GSB Alumni Magazine: Summer 2016

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The Triptych



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B E R N A R D ’ S



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TABLE OF CONTENTS FROM THE HEAD OF SCHOOL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 FEATURES Tryptych Returns: Painting Back Home in Founders Hall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 PROFILES Recipe for the Good Life: Hillary Davis GS ’69 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 COLLEGE CORNER The Art of Connections: Haley Miller ’13 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8


ALUMNI NEWS GSB Alumni Weekend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 GS and SBS Reunions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 COMMENCEMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 GSB NEWS GSB Performers Stage The Boy Friend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Retiring Teachers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 ATHLETICS Strong Season for Spring Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Dan Hoffman Memorial Court . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 PATRONS Hemm House Naming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Denim & Diamonds Gala a Success . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23


Retiring Trustees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 CASE Honors F .M . Kirby Foundation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 E .E . Ford Grant Matched . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 A Gift of Love . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 In Support of Gill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 ALUMNI NOTES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 FACULTY NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Board of Trustees Gill St. Bernard’s alumni magazine is published three times a year by the Communications & Marketing Department and the Alumni Office. S.A. Rowell, Head of School Allyson B. Daly, Director of Communications & Marketing Jill Brown, Writer & Communications Specialist Jennifer Doherty, Director of Parent Relations & Special Events James F. Diverio, Director of Development Meredith Marks, Assistant Director of Alumni and Development Chanelle Walker, Director of Alumni Relations/Associate Director of Development Gill St. Bernard’s School P.O. Box 604, St. Bernard’s Road Gladstone, NJ 07934-0604 908-234-1611 Photography in this issue by Becky Bedrosian Photography, Larry Levanti Photography and GSB staff members, unless otherwise noted. Cover photo by Becky Bedrosian Photography. Design by Vision Creative Group Some freelance writing by Alice Roche Cody

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Harry Chowansky Ann Drzik Gia Dunn John Frantz Michael Fritzlo Liz Fucci Donald Fuentes Robert Hemm SBS ’46 Rose Kirk Jeffrey Lager ’86 Douglas L. Matthews Mark Mazzatta Linda Moore Sandi Niccolai James O’Connor Robert O’Leary

Steven Polachi John Raymonds Marianne Saladino Robert Sameth, Jr. ’89 Vlad Torgovnik Janine Udoff


BOARD OF VISITORS Miguel Brito Brandon Clark Sam Corliss David Farris Michael Golden The Honorable Thomas H. Kean Blair MacInnes Edward E. Matthews



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Welcome to the latest issue of the GSB magazine. The cover story celebrates the restoration and reinstallation of the triptych in Founders Hall as well as those SBS alumni who spearheaded the campaign for the preservation of the painting. The cleaning and repair of the triptych took nearly ten months, and it is my hope that our alumni will return to the campus in the coming months to see this highly significant piece of our school’s history. For all, it will be the first time to see the work as the artist, Stanislav Rembski, originally intended. A visit to the campus this fall will also offer you a chance to see our new field house. In late August, the facility came online, as students returned from summer vacation. A special dedication for the building is planned for Family Day, on September 24. With the completion of the field house, work will begin soon on a new performing arts center. Currently, the architects are hard at work on preparing the construction documents. Upon their completion, the plans will be further reviewed by Chester Township staff before permits may be issued. I look forward to updating everyone as that important project gets underway. As a school, we are most mindful of our history and honor the past—be it through the preservation of a campus icon or the alumni profiles featured in this magazine—while also ensuring that we continue to navigate the best course for the future. Toward that end, the trustees recently made some revisions to our mission statement and core values in an effort to make them more concise and the language more memorable. In this way, we hope that both will regularly serve as touchstones for all that we undertake. Moving forward, the mission statement and core values will be included on the inside front cover of this magazine and other school publications. Our Mission To provide a balanced, diverse and secure community that prepares students academically, socially and ethically for college and a meaningful life. Our Core Values Courage, Integrity, Respect, Compassion, Excellence Gill St. Bernard’s is a special place: one informed by the spirit of its past, the character of our present students, faculty, parents and alumni, with a unique vision of education for the 21st century. It is most notable that even with all of the changes that have occurred in the past decade, the fundamental nature of our school remains the same. I hope to see you on campus soon at one of our upcoming events.

Sid Rowell Head of School 1


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Triptych Returns Painting Back Home in Founders Hall

SBS alumni Bob Hemm ’46, Junie Hockenbury, David Oakley ’47, Sid Rowell, George Coulthard ’67, Douglas Zeek ’66 and Merritt Ierley ’54

In 1929, renowned portrait artist Stanislav Rembski completed the largest painting he ever produced, a three-panel work depicting scenes from the life of St. Bernard of Clairvaux. Because of its size, 20 feet wide and 17 high, Rembski had to rent a barn and assemble scaffolding to complete it, the panels having outgrown his studio. When the work was finished, the artist installed it himself—even constructing its three frames—not in a museum or private collection, but above the mantel in Founders Hall, where it remains today. Both the artist and the Reverend Thomas Conover, the school’s founder and then head of Saint Bernard’s School, felt that the painting, which was a tribute to the school’s namesake, should be part of the boys’ dayto-day life. 2

While the prominent location ensured the work’s visibility over the years, it also came at a cost. Dirt and smoke built up on the painting’s surface and the work suffered punctures and tears. SBS graduate David Oakley ’47, who took the lead in fundraising for the painting’s restoration over the past twelve years, remembers the triptych from his student days in the late 1940s. “Even then it had problems,” he said. “There were some rips and holes, and in places it had been patched together with Scotch tape. I wasn’t in a position to do anything about it then, but it bothered me to see it disordered like that.” In the 1930s and 1940s, the school would not have had financial resources to professionally repair the triptych. The


painting had been installed at the height of the Great Depression, and, in fact, the artist settled for a fraction of its original price. That modest sum eventually came from a few interested donors, including Conover himself. A few decades later, school finances were still tight, and by that time, the punctures and tears may have seemed more like badges of familiarity than any great cause for alarm. It was not until 2010, following an article in the alumni magazine, that the idea of restoring the triptych gained much traction. According to Oakley, “The article was a turning point. It made this thing work.”

invisible deterioration that was taking place. According to Christyl Cusworth, the fine art conservator who handled the restoration, mending the holes was relatively straightforward. The real concern was the cloth on which the triptych had been painted; it had begun to disintegrate in a process that is invisible from the painting’s surface, and ultimately irreversible. Cusworth noted that the triptych was made on jute, as opposed to linen or canvas. “Jute is like burlap and it gets very brittle, dry and fragile over time,” she said. “The painting is very heavy, and it was no longer evenly stretched on its frame, so the weight wasn’t being displaced properly. If you looked closely, you could see that the triptych was beginning to sag and distort at the bottom.” She adds, “Eventually it would have just broken and torn from its own weight, possibly shearing off the frame.”

The article highlighted not just the painting’s place in the school, but also its market value, something that argued for the triptych’s restoration on practical grounds. Oakley noted that at first, many wondered if the work merited the investment. Christyl Cusworth removing the triptych Few knew of Rembski’s reputation as a portrait artist or that he A major challenge when transporting the painting from Founders Hall to Cusworth’s studio in had been commissioned to paint presidents and Lambertville, New Jersey, was to protect the other luminaries, including Franklin Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Johns Hopkins and Babe Ruth. already brittle jute from further harm. “Any little bump or touch along the way could have resulted In 2010, even with the damage to the canvas, professional appraisers valued the triptych at about in a major tear,” said Cusworth. While a small painting can be wrapped and transported without $250,000. Following restoration, the painting’s being taken off its stretcher (the underlying estimated value increased to roughly $400,000, a wooden frame to which the canvas is stapled), figure that in all likelihood will continue to grow moving the three panels of the triptych would over time. have been risky. Prying the canvas from its Thanks to many contributions, by 2015 the stretcher would have been riskier. That left the school could at last proceed with the painting’s option of cutting the canvas free—a practice often restoration. Ironically, the damage to the painting’s associated with amateur art theft. According to surface, although it may have prompted action, Cusworth, however, when Rembski wrapped turned out to be much less significant than the the tack strip (the unpainted edge of the work)


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around the back of the stretcher and stapled it in place, he left about six to eight inches of extra material. That extra material allowed the restorers to cut the cloth away from its stretcher, while still leaving a wide margin around the painted work. The process minimized stress to the painting, and it also supplied the restorers with jute from the original work which they would eventually use to make repairs to the triptych. Working from scaffolding over the course of two days in June of 2015, Cusworth and her team began by removing the exterior frame from the center panel, carefully taking out the nails and staples that held it in place. With the exterior frame down, Cusworth cut the tack edge from the stretcher and then slowly lifted and loosened the canvas. Working from the top down, the restorers rolled the canvas onto a two-footdiameter cardboard tube, part of a custom rig that Cusworth built. As they draped the painting over the roller-tube, they gently brushed and vacuumed any debris from the back of the canvas.

Cusworth restores the painting in her studio


David Oakley and family

When asked if she was surprised that the work had survived for so many years, Cusworth suggested that Rembski’s particular style as a painter may have helped keep the triptych intact. She explained, “His style in this painting is more typical of a mural painter than a portraitist. The triptych looks very detailed from a distance, but up close you can see that it is really just the suggestion of detail. The paint layer is very light; there aren’t layers and layers.” She adds, “If there


were, the weight of the paint would in all probability have caused the work to break. At the very least, the paint would have cracked or fallen off, making it harder to restore.” Once the triptych had been unrolled in the Lambertville studio, Cusworth and her team began cleaning the painting, the most time-consuming part of the restoration process. Using organic solvents, cotton balls and Q-tips, they removed any surface dirt as well as the layer of varnish, which had discolored over time. According to Cusworth, “By looking at the white in a painting, you can gauge roughly how much the varnish has discolored over time. You find the brightest white, usually a reflection from a piece of jewelry or perhaps a white shirt, and you can use that to get a sense of how different the painting will look once the varnish is removed.” She adds, “In the case of the triptych, the varnish had really darkened it and dulled the colors. If you look at the before and after, you can see that some of the browns were in fact purples. The change in color is perhaps the most dramatic part of the restoration.” After the front had been cleaned, Cusworth used scraps of original jute to repair the rips in the canvas. As part of this process, she first removed any repairs that had been made previously. “The goal,” she explains, “in any restoration is not simply to mend the painting but to return it to the way the artist originally intended. We take out any older repairs before we make new ones because we don’t know how well they were done or what materials were used. By the same token, everything we do is 100 percent reversible.” With the surface of the painting restored, Cusworth and her team turned to the back (the verso), cleaning it and then treating it with a vinyl adhesive. The adhesive, which bonds with the jute fibers, is then backed with a layer of linen. When dry, the adhesive binds the paint to the jute and the jute to the linen. The process shores up the painting, stabilizes the jute material and keeps the paint layer from breaking off. With repairs complete, Cusworth varnished the triptych—the last step before returning it to Founders. The new varnish duplicates the original look of the painting and helps to reveal the depth of colors, and it also protects the paint layer from future damage. During spring break, Cusworth and her team took advantage of the relatively quiet campus to reinstall the painting in Founders. A reception was held on March 31 in honor of the returned triptych and the donors who helped make restoration possible. After remarks from Head of School Sid Rowell, Oakley and Hemm each spoke a few words, gratified to see the triptych, restored and in its rightful place. According to Oakley, “Throughout the process of campaigning for the triptych’s restoration, everyone seemed to agree that the painting should not be relocated. Its place is above the fireplace in Founders Hall.”



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Recipe for the Good Life Hillary Davis GS ’69 By Jill Brown Hillary Davis ’69 sits at an outdoor table at Maison Kayser on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, one of several cafes under the aegis of world-renowned bread maker Eric Kayser. Davis looks completely at home in the early morning sunshine, as she insists that you try an almond croissant and some buttery scrambled eggs—both of which she suggests pair better with a steaming café au lait. And the bread of course. “Almost as good as Paris. Really, very close,” she offers. Davis is the author of three cookbooks that celebrate French food, with a fourth due out this September, so it’s not surprising that she knows where to find a great baguette or the best pain au chocolat. And when she finds something good, her first instinct is to share. Whether in person or through her cookbooks and blogs, Davis offers her knowledge of food the way she would offer a plate of fresh-baked cookies: spontaneously and without affectation. And her enthusiasm is contagious. After a few minutes in her company, you begin to suspect that she may have inadvertently hit upon the recipe for happiness: Do what inspires you, share the things you love, and never stop making new friends. Davis lived in France for 14 years, where she learned a good deal about the food, the people and the regions. She condenses quite a bit of that knowledge in her cookbooks, but leafing through them, it is clear that she wants to do more than simply impart information. Davis explains, “I am trying to show not just what people eat, but what their life is like. I have tremendous help from my photographer Steven Rothfeld. He loves France as much as I do.” She adds, “Between the two of us, we do a pretty good job of capturing the way it feels to be there, to enjoy a leisurely meal with friends: it’s a way of life that is simple, uncomplicated and comforting.” Several reviewers agree


From Cuisine Niçoise

and liken Davis’ books to travel guides for food lovers. Lisa Dinsmore, a reviewer for offers, “Her love of all things French jumps from every page and the photos make you want to immediately book a flight.” In her first cookbook, Cuisine Niçoise: Sunkissed Cooking from the French Riviera, Davis explores the dishes that she experienced firsthand while living in a small town in Provence. These, she says, are not foods that most people would know of or would associate with France. In the villages surrounding Nice, the food is a blend of French and Italian influences, with an emphasis on simple, seasonal fare. Several of Davis’ recipes call for fewer than eight ingredients, olive oil is used more routinely than butter and several of the dishes have fresh fruit, fish or vegetables at their center. Beyond showcasing regional dishes, Davis focuses on everyday cuisine, and she is passionate about quality ingredients: “Children in France may have a ham sandwich for lunch: a fresh baguette sliced lengthwise, good Normandy butter, carved ham (not sliced ham from a deli), and the best local cheese. To me


that’s a gourmet meal. It’s exceptional. But there is nothing fussy or difficult about it.” She adds, “I see my mission as demystifying French cuisine, helping people realize that it doesn’t have to be formal or fussy.” In her next two books, French Comfort Food and Le French Oven, Davis remains true to her message that French cooking can be simple and homey. In her newest book, French Desserts, she admits to including pear charlotte. “I went back and forth about whether or not to put it in the book. Who is going to make a dessert that takes two days and involves twelve steps?” she says. After a moment, she adds, “It’s not difficult though, just time-consuming. My hope is that people will give it a try. It is worth every minute.” Davis has enjoyed cooking since she was a child. She recalls, “My dad liked to cook. He would cook all weekend. When he saw that I was interested, he bought me cookbooks to encourage me. I was about eight or nine when he brought home the Time Life series. Each of the books featured food from a different country. I would just dip in and cook whatever. Even as a kid, I was already sort of experimenting and playing with the recipes, learning from them rather than just following them.” She adds, “I think some of that spirit of creativity comes from Gill. Or it was in me already, and Gill nurtured it. The school was such a warm and homey place. It looked like this fairytale castle but it was also so homey and comfortable. The place, the teachers gave you this sense of accomplishment and belonging. It gave me confidence in myself. I didn’t love school as a kid, but I loved going to Gill. It was a happy place.” That confidence and the willingness to take risks led Davis through a series of occupations before she decided to pursue her love of cooking professionally. Not long after graduating from Gill, she earned a degree from the New York School of Interior Design. Immediately after, she worked for three years as a professional designer in a showroom across the street from the famed Decoration and Design (D&D) building on Third Avenue. Deciding she wanted something more, Davis earned a BA with a major

in economics from Columbia University and then worked in the American Express financial management program. When her husband’s job moved them to London in the mid-80s, Davis took the opportunity to earn a graduate degree in economics and international relations from Cambridge University and then worked for five years as an investment banker in London. Afterward, Davis’ husband got a summer posting in Paris, where the couple had always dreamed of living. That posting turned into a more permanent opportunity, and Davis spent the next decade and a half living in France—first in Paris and then in the village of Bar-sur-Loup in Provence. While there, she ran a small public relations firm and learned all she could about the regional foods and wines.

Taken during the photo shoot for French Desserts . From left, Barbara Barielle, photo stylist, Steven Rothfeld, photographer, and Davis

When Davis returned to the States, she took a job as vice president of corporate communications for Triad Healthcare. She also began working more on her writing, authoring A Million a Minute, an inside account of the fast-paced world of securities trading, in 1999, and contributing articles on food and cooking for magazines and online sites. Eventually, her reputation as a food writer turned into a deal for a cookbook with Gibbs Smith, the publisher that has handled all of her subsequent books. 7


For her next project, Davis is considering writing a book about ways for home cooks to reduce food waste. Although not specifically about their cuisine, the book is still inspired by the French. She explains, “Last winter, France passed a law making it illegal to throw away edible food. Instead, they are required to make sure it gets to charities and food banks. I am a big advocate for programs that work to end hunger and I think almost everyone who loves to cook wishes they threw away less food, but they don’t necessarily have the strategies to get there. This book would help them do that.”

Radio interview with Cathy Erway of Heritage Radio

When asked how she chooses her next project, Davis says simply, “I do what inspires me, something I think I will enjoy and be good at.” For Davis, that recipe—as simple and straightforward as the ones in her books—is just right. To learn more about Hillary Davis and her cookbooks visit

COLLEGE CORNER The Art of Connections Haley Miller ’13 By Alice Roche Cody For Haley Miller ’13, every encounter is a gift, an opportunity to forge a connection. It’s a winning mindset that has landed this senior at Pratt Institute on the red carpet with celebrities such as Dr. Oz and movie star Anna Camp, and helped secure a coveted summer internship at McCann New York, a leading global advertising network. Miller’s strategy for success can be traced back to her days at Gill, particularly when Bruce Beck, the lead anchor from NBC Sports, teamed up with faculty member Mike Wendell ’84 to teach a unit on broadcasting. “Gill gets you so ready for the real world without your realizing it,” she said. “Mr. Beck talked about connections—that it doesn’t matter what field you’re in—to make as many connections as you can. That stayed with me. Every now and 8

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then I’ll email him and say, ‘Thanks for the connections.’” During her phone interview with McCann in a quest to earn a competitive summer spot with the firm, Miller remembered Beck’s advice. As she hung up the phone, she thought “I may not get the offer, but I’ll send a note—I’ll do what I can to keep the connection.” She adds, “Gill always taught me to say thank you, to let the person know you’re appreciative and enjoyed spending time with them.” At the time of her interview, Miller was in the middle of her junior-year advertising project as a Pratt communications design major. She was still fleshing out ideas for creating an interactive, multi-sensory computer program that evokes memories based on the user’s feelings about certain colors. “The first site will start with the ocean—cyan blue—and what that triggers in the brain, like summer and happy memories,” she says. In Miller’s mind, it’s no coincidence that she’s focusing her current work on color and how it relates to memory, as her first-year project at Gill concentrated on color theory and how colors affect feelings. “One of my peer leaders at Gill said that 95 percent of the time, whatever you pick for your freshman project is what you’ll end up pursuing later in life,” she says. “Now I’m working with color – it’s all coming together, and it’s amazing.” In the midst of her busy life on the Brooklyn campus, Miller also serves as an event intern for Darin Pfeiffer Consulting. At high-end events, including movie premieres and film festivals, she leads VIPs down the red carpet. “I love my job. I’ve met so many celebrities,” she says. “I guide people and make them feel comfortable. When they ask, I take photos for them on their phones. I say, ‘You asked the right person; I’m a photography minor!’ I make them look good.” Then, she’s quick to hand off her own phone for a shot of herself next to the notables. This role, too, hearkens back to her Upper School experience. “I gave tours at Gill, I was assigned prospective students, and I loved guiding them through the campus,” she says. For Miller, celebrities are a nice perk, but her real focus is on using her talent to help others. “It’s always in my heart to give back to someone,” she says. In 2015, Miller shadowed an art director during the production of a commercial to raise awareness for children with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). Tagged “the worst disease you’ve never heard of,” EB is a rare, genetic connective tissue disorder that affects one out of every 20,000 births in the United States and leads to fragile skin that can blister and tear. For the shoot, Miller snapped photos and helped keep a little girl afflicted with EB comfortable and entertained. “I became close to her,” she said. “She really touched me.” Miller also enjoys contributing her time to Homeless Solutions, where she once volunteered and now brings her younger brother, Trey. And there’s always time for her alma mater, as she frequently returns to the Gladstone campus to chat with students about pursuing the arts in college. As for her former Gill classmates, Miller does her best to keep in touch. She’s constantly looking for ways to contribute and to form a connection. “If you hold the door for someone, you never know, he could be the CEO of a company,” she says, adding with a smile, “Let’s get connected!” 9


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GSB Alumni Weekend On April 29-30, GSB celebrated those graduating classes ending in 1 or 6, as alumni, family, faculty and friends gathered on campus for alumni weekend . Events included a picnic, featuring the ever-popular photo booth, family-friendly activities and a wine and cheese reception in Conger Alumni House .

Top Row: Class of 2011 (Front l . to r .) Meaghan Moriarty, Jane Harrington-Noonan, Betsy Swartz, Mark Small, Cos Arnett, Brendan Connell, Stephanie Amoroso, (seated) Alden Corbett, Zack Zirpolo, Cassandra Mireski, Shannon Murphy; Ashley Nedd ’06 and Alexis Nedd ’09; Middle Row: Performing Arts Chair Paul Canada and Shannon Ludlum ’03; Class of 2001, Lindsay Nevins, Naomi Ages, Jeffrey Ludlum, Erin Brooks, Jaime Goodrich, Scott Mehan; Bottom Row: (l . to r .) Christina Fuchs Robinson ’81, Cristina Johnson Sutro ’80, Sabrina Sutro Elwell ’83, Shelly Goodman Infield ’81; Jin-ie Jung ’04, Gabrielle Mathias ’04 .



Gill School and St. Bernard’s School 50th Reunion Gill School alumnae and SBS alumni returned to campus on June 4-5 for reunion weekend, honoring the schools’ 50th reunion classes . Two of the SBS alumni in attendance were celebrating their 70th reunion: Robert Hemm and Reynold Thomas . For many, a highlight from the weekend was a round-table discussion with Middle School Director Kyle Armstrong, as it offered a chance to reflect on the ways in which the school has changed and grown over the years .

Top Row: (l . to r .) SBS ’66 Worth Gretter, William Willoughby, John Hopper, Richard Davidson, Douglas Zeek, John Logie, Robert Dallas Bottom Row: (l . to r .) Reynold Thomas, Jr . ’46 Bob Hemm ’46; Gill ’66 Susan Rowley Swenson, Jane MacNeil, Deborah Hobbie Stryker, Sharon Wood Chesson, Patty Muchmore


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On June 5, Gill St . Bernard’s School graduated 94 seniors—the largest class in the school’s history—at its annual Commencement ceremony . Janine Udoff, P ’16, ’17, ’21, ’23, chair of the board of trustees, awarded the diplomas, including one to her daughter Allie, who began at Gill as a preschool student . Congratulations to this newest group of alumni as they begin the next phase of their academic careers at colleges and universities throughout the country .

Top row (from left): Aniello Ianniello ’16; Jada Davis ’16 and Matthew Del Priore ’16 , Sid Rowell with the co-recipients of the 2016 Jean Loixeau Award, Kara Saladino ’16 and Ludi Zhu ’16; Middle row: Matthew Taylor ’16 and Daniel Sivolella ’16 present the senior gift to Sid Rowell; Emma Corbett ’16 and William Conlan ’16 . Bottom row: Class of 2016 .



Alumni at Commencement Several young alumni returned to campus to attend Commencement and congratulate the members of the Class of 2016 .

Top row: (L . to r .) Alanna Noll ’12, Sophie Connel ’16, Samantha Kramer ’16, Veronica Maoli ’16, Bianca Noll ‘10; Casey Saladino ’14 and Kara Saladino ’16 . Middle row: Max Lieblich ’14 and McKenna Lieblich ’16; (L . to r .) Mary Cors, Devon Kaiser, and Isabelle Demontigny ’15, Emily Iannaconi ’13 and Michael Iannaconi ’16 . Bottom row: (L . to r .) Kendall Dunn ’14, Lucy Dunn ’16 and Mackenzie Dunn ’12, Emma Clayton ’14 and William Clayton ’16, (L . to r .) Meghan Moriarty ’11, Kaitlyn Moriarty ’16, Jill Moriarty, P’11, ’14, ’16, ’22



SBS Chair of Excellence in Teaching Kindergarten teacher Diane Lipnickey received this year’s St . Bernard’s School Chair of Excellence in Teaching . She has been a Lower School teacher at Gill St . Bernard’s for 17 years and currently serves as the Early Childhood team leader as well as the administrator for extended-day programs . The award was presented jointly by Head of School Sid Rowell and last year’s recipient, Middle School social studies teacher Joanna Hayes . Lipnickey was recognized for her outstanding commitment to the growth and well-being of both her young students as well as her colleagues . One coworker noted that “she touches the lives of every student she teaches and every peer she works with .” Another offered, “I hope to one day be as exceptional as she is .”

This year’s recipient, Diane Lipnickey, seated

Class of 2016

College Matriculation List


Andrews University

High Point University

Barnard College

Hofstra University

Baylor University

James Madison University

Boston College (4)

Lehigh University (3)

Boston University

Loyola University Maryland (3)

Bucknell University (3)

Middlebury College

Caldwell University

New York University (2)

Carnegie Mellon University

Norwich University

Colgate University (2)

Pennsylvania State University (2)

College of William and Mary

Providence College

University of Maryland, College Park

Cornell University (3)

Princeton University

University of Rochester

Dickinson College

Quinnipiac University

University of South Carolina

Drew University

Rowan University

University of Southern California

Drexel University

Rutgers University-New Brunswick

University of Vermont

Duke University

Saint Louis University

University of Virginia

Elon University

Smith College

University of Washington

Emory University (3)

Southern Methodist University (2)

Vassar College

Fairfield University (6)

St. Lawrence University (2)

Villanova University

Fordham University

Syracuse University (2)

Wake Forest University

Franklin and Marshall College

Texas Christian University

Hamilton College - NY

The College of Saint Rose

Washington University in St. Louis (3)

Haverford College (2)

The George Washington University (4)

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Trinity College Tufts University Tulane University (2) University of California, Davis University of California, Los Angeles University of Houston

Williams College


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GSB Performers Stage The Boy Friend

Last spring, the GSB Players staged The Boy Friend, a musical by Sandy Wilson that is set on the French Riviera in the 1920s. At the center of the show is Polly, Brooke Stephenson ’18, an English heiress looking for love. Disguising herself as a poor girl, Polly falls for Tony, Billy Conlan ’16, the son of Lord and Lady Brockhurst, who is disguised as a messenger boy. Highlighting the theme of mistaken identity, the musical ends with a lavish costume ball in which Polly, Tony and all the other cast members find love. Performing Arts Chair Paul Canada received a Paper Mill Playhouse nomination for outstanding costuming achievement. Among the cast were four outstanding seniors who bid farewell to the Gill stage: Billy Conlan, Neil Ianniello, Caty Matthews and Mycroft Zimmerman.

Ross Pollack – National Merit Finalist Ross Pollack ’16 was a finalist in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship program . Each year, approximately 15,000 finalists are chosen from among more than 1 .5 million applicants . According to the National Merit Scholarship program, finalists are chosen on the basis of their abilities, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies .



Retiring Teachers GERRY CIRILLO: 41 YEARS AT GSB In 1975, after having completed graduate work at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Gerry Cirillo joined the art department at Gill St. Bernard’s. He lived on campus and taught a range of two- and three-dimensional courses, including ceramics, drawing, painting, and woodworking. Over the next 41 years, Cirillo’s role changed repeatedly to fit the evolving needs of the school. He became chair of the art department, then director of admission, then director of student activities and, finally, dean of students, a position he held for 24 years. Along the way, he coached football, softball and tennis, advised the ski club, and led dozens of unit programs, both regionally and internationally. Amid continually shifting responsibilities, however, one thing remained constant: Cirillo always found time to teach woodworking. While generations of students may remember him best as the dean of students, Cirillo considers woodworking his most significant legacy at the school. “I started life as a woodworker. At RISD, I studied architectural design and furniture design,” he says. “Gill is one of the only schools in the tri-state area that still offers woodworking. The thing I am most pleased with in my tenure is that so many students have gone on to find their way into a career after taking woodworking here.” Effortlessly, he rattles off the names of eight former students who went on to become professional woodworkers. Among them, two currently work as architectural restorers, one is a wooden boat builder, and the others maintain their own studios. He adds, “One former student, Bob Ort ’89, teaches photography and woodworking at Gill. Another, Cos Arnett ’11, will be teaching woodworking in the Upper School after I retire.” Over the course of four decades, Cirillo has seen the school grow and has witnessed important changes to the campus, including consolidation in 1996 and construction of the Hockenbury Academic Center, the Athletic Center and, most recently, the acquisition of the Home Winds campus. He notes, however, that those aspects of the school that first drew him to Gill St. Bernard’s remain the same. “The physical campus has grown, and the new buildings are welcome additions,” he says. “But the spirit of the school—the thing that makes it what it is—that has never changed. It’s why I have stayed so long. My commitment hasn’t just been to independent school education; my commitment has been to Gill St. Bernard’s.” For Cirillo, one of the first items on the agenda in retirement will be setting up a woodworking studio at his home. He also has a travel schedule roughly worked out, based on the locations of his three children: Florida, Rhode Island and Vermont. “I love to travel,” he says “and I am looking forward to seeing more of my three children. I also love to collect antique furniture, so I will have the flexibility to go to auctions and estate sales now.” When asked what he will miss most about Gill, Cirillo says, “I will miss the people, without a doubt. Most people go to work or school and then they go home. This is a place where you form real friendships with the people you work with, and that is the way it has always been. The Schmidts, the Riptons, Mike Chimes, Irv Taylor—we have been friends for more than 30 years.” He adds with a smile, “I’ve had a nice career.” 16

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IRV TAYLOR: 32 YEARS AT GSB When Irv Taylor came to Gill St. Bernard’s in the fall of 1984, the computer science department, which he chaired for the past 15 years, did not yet exist. Neither did the office of academic technology, the Fourth Estate student newspaper or the Gill chapter of the Quill and Scroll Society. Taylor brought each of them to the school during his 32-year tenure, and each of them thrives today—a reflection of his broad learning and his commitment to Gill St. Bernard’s. When Taylor first joined Gill, his diverse academic interests—literature, math, science and theater to name a few—were immediately put to use. In 1984, he was hired to chair the school’s only combined department: math and science. Taylor taught both geometry and biology, a subject he had majored in at Williams College, along with English. During his first few years at Gill, he also coached, oversaw the school’s yearbook, started the school’s newspaper and even took on parts in theater productions. His favorite role remains that of Bottom from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which was directed by Paul Canada, who was just starting his career at the school. During those early years, Taylor was beginning to explore computers, an interest that would later guide his career. “I remember some of the parents donated a few Apple IIe computers in the 80s,” he says. “No one really knew what to do with them at the time. I started to learn about them, and a little later I was able to offer the school’s first computer class.” Then in the early 90s, he left the classroom to become the school’s first director of academic technology. The job, he recalls, was very hands-on in the early years. “In the late 90s, I oversaw the networking of the campus and I remember we had to do a geological survey of where the rocks were so that we could lay the underground cable.” One of his last missions as director of academic technology was to bring the school safely through Y2K. At the time, computer programmers input only two digits to represent the calendar year, and no one knew whether computers would recognize the shift from 99 to 00 when the calendar reached 2000. Many theorized that computers everywhere would freeze up, bringing the world to a grinding halt. Taylor recalls, “We spent a year printing out computer files and photocopying every piece of paper on the campus. In the end, not much happened, but like most places, we had prepared for the worst.” After successfully navigating Y2K, Taylor opted to return to the classroom, and he proposed to Sid Rowell, the newly appointed head of school, that he start a computer science department. By that time, Taylor had taught himself Basic, HTML, C and Java and taken computer science courses at Sussex County Tech. He had also kept pace with computer hardware. Rowell happily agreed and Taylor chaired the computer science department until his retirement in June. Taylor’s 32 years at the school were marked by an inexhaustible enthusiasm for the next challenge and a willingness to adapt, grow and remain at the forefront of the evolving educational landscape. It would be difficult to define his single most important legacy. If you ask him what he is most proud of, however, he is liable to start naming former students—those who have gone on to careers in medicine, science and technology. When asked what he will miss most about Gill, the answer is again, the students. “They keep you on top of things,” he said. “I will miss my adult friends, of course. I have had some wonderful colleagues over the years. But the excitement of the students is contagious. It keeps you young.” In terms of what’s next, Taylor says he has always wanted to write a novel. “Perhaps,” he adds with a smile, “it will be about a fictional school—Bill St. Gerard’s…” Taylor was awarded the Saint Bernard’s Chair of Excellence in Teaching in 1997. 17

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SUE HONE: 25 YEARS AT GSB Sue Hone has been part of the Lower School at Gill St. Bernard’s since 1991 when she began substitute teaching third graders at the Stronghold campus. Her memories of that first classroom include a fireplace, which “was quite lovely, actually.” Over the next two and a half decades, Hone served at various times as a math teacher for grades four and five, a homeroom teacher for grades three and four, and occasionally as a music teacher. She was awarded the St. Bernard’s Chair for Excellence in Teaching in 2000, and shortly after agreed to fill in as Interim Lower School Director while the school sought a replacement for retiring director, Peggy Doyle. The interim designation was soon dropped, however, as Hone proved so successful in the role. During her five years as Lower School Director, she introduced Singapore Math, character education programs and oversaw the renovation of Evans Hall. It was, however, always the dynamic of the classroom that most captured her heart, and ultimately she returned to teaching third grade. “Every year in the classroom is something new,” Hone said. “The curriculum may not change much, but the children are different each year. There’s always something there that makes you feel this is a child I can work with, this is a child I can help. And that is a really good feeling.” Originally from England, Hone has shared “tastes” of Britain with her students throughout the years, stocking the classroom with Jelly Babies and establishing the tradition of third-grade English tea, an event held each spring to cap off a yearlong social studies unit on England and India. BOB AND CINDY ORR: 13 YEARS AT GSB Bob and Cindy Orr joined Gill St. Bernard’s in 2003 with their son David ’10, who was entering the third grade. In 2011, the couple donated the greenhouse that comprises part of the GSB community garden. When Bob Orr came to Gill, his background in education included more than teaching and tutoring. He had been the CFO for a school on the West Coast and had done two stints as a head of school, one in Idaho and one as founding head of the Willow School in Gladstone, New Jersey. By his own admission, Orr is not able to sit still easily or for very long. That fact, coupled with his inexhaustible good will, made him a perfect fit for the Middle School at Gill. “I love working with the kids more than just about anything else,” he said. “Whether or not students remember all of the mathematics that I taught them is of less concern to me than whether they remember that they were and are really important to me. I would hope that students would think back and remember that we really gave them everything that we had. Every bit of energy, every bit of devotion, and however they may remember the individual classes, I hope that’s the lasting effect.”



In addition to his work in the classroom, Orr inaugurated the Middle School sailing unit, which has grown in popularity each year, and the seventh- and eighth-grade current events club—both of which he considers highlights of his time at the school. When asked about the current events club he said, “Typically more than 20 students come to the meetings. It’s thrilling that so many Middle School students are interested in the news; some of them know more about the news than I do, which is terrific. I firmly believe that if we can get kids interested in world affairs, they will grow up to be well-informed citizens and voters.” A dedicated environmentalist, Orr also served as head of the school’s environmental task force in its inaugural year. “The environment has always been interesting to me, and how we can do more to protect it,” Orr said. “The task force was an opportunity to do something outside the classroom, and work with other teachers, all three levels, and it was really one of the most enjoyable things, besides obviously working with the kids, that I’ve been able to do here.” Bob Orr was awarded the Saint Bernard’s Chair of Excellence in Teaching in 2011. During her time at Gill, Cindy Orr taught almost every course offered in the Upper School math department, served as advisor to the Math League and authored the textbook Foundations of Analysis, an Introduction to the Structures of Mathematics. She also taught AP Psychology, a course that she introduced to the Upper School and that remains immensely popular. In her, Gill found a highly dedicated master teacher who brought to the school nearly 40 years of experience teaching math at both independent and public schools. When she joined the Upper School math department, Orr was one of only three teachers. One of her favorite things about her tenure at Gill has been seeing the department grow and watching more students “become passionate about math and sciences. “The department has grown phenomenally,” she said. “Knowing we are graduating students who are well prepared in math feels really good.” While her chief academic focus was in the mathematics department, Orr is also a talented poet and storyteller, and she was a regular fixture at Upper School poetry nights. She credits English Department Chair Andrew Lutz and the unit program with her decision to pursue an MFA in creative writing when son David left for college. She offers, “We took a group of kids to Monhegan Island to write (and in some cases to paint), and it was amazing and wonderful. It really got me back into writing again and helped me critique my work.” Although they moved to their lake house in Oregon after commencement this past June, it is difficult to imagine that either of the Orrs will ever actually retire. Both will be involved with Students for a Better World, the foundation they founded last spring, and both will continue teaching. Bob plans to volunteer as a teacher and tutor for math students at the local public schools as well as to volunteer teach archery, photography and sailing for the local girl scout troop. Cindy will tutor a few GSB students in linear algebra through an online course platform. In addition, Bob looks forward to sailing and kayaking and Cindy plans to continue working on her poetry and hopes to publish a book. She will also spend time volunteering, quilting and kayaking. According to the Orrs, “We hope that faculty members, and friends and former students will come visit us in Oregon; we would absolutely love that. Beyond that, we’ll just kind of see how it goes.” 19


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Strong Season for Spring Sports In 2015, Holy Spirit High School kept varsity baseball from advancing to the sectional finals of the NJISAA Non-public B South tournament. This June, it looked like “déjà vu all over again,” as the Knights faced the team in another sectional semifinal. In his final pitching appearance for Gill, senior George Stiuso held Holy Spirit to one run, helping the Knights to a dramatic extra-inning 2-1 victory and to their first-ever appearance at the sectional finals. The team finished out its season 11-1 in the league and 19-11 overall, claiming the Skyland Conference Mountain Division championship and advancing to the quarterfinal rounds of both the Somerset County Tournament and the Prep B Tournament. Other highlights included a 6-0 victory over archrival Pingry in the second round of the Somerset County tournament, a 7-0 victory over Roselle Catholic in the opening round of the NJSIAA State Tournament, and a 100-hit milestone for Matt Taylor ’16.

James Raia ’16

In its second season under the leadership of head coach Nicole Spiotta, varsity softball went 11-1 in the league and 14-7 overall, garnering a Prep B title for the second consecutive year and winning the Skyland Conference Mountain Division championship. Other notable achievements from the season included an 8-4 win over Mount Saint Mary’s on opening day, a seveninning perfect game, courtesy of Maddy Bedrock ’17 on April 11 and a 10-0 shutout over North Plainfield with Emma Corbett ’16 on May 5. Corbett also celebrated 100 hits as a Knight in May. Led by head coach Brian Callanan, who joined Gill last fall as director of lacrosse programs, the boys’ team embarked on its first season as a varsity program. The team finished with an impressive 11-5 record and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NJSIAA Non-public B tournament. In April, the boys quickly put to rest any doubts about their ability to compete at the varsity level, opening the season with three decisive wins over Edison, Newark East Side and Parsippany. The Knights launched into May with a 9-4 win over Kittatinny in which goalie Will Dadouris ’17 made 17 saves. On May 7, captain Mike Del Priore ’16 recorded Mia Kirby ’18



a hat trick in a 5-4 loss to Peddie. Following the Peddie matchup, the team closed out the regular season with a fourgame winning streak. In the team’s second season at the varsity level, girls’ lacrosse built on the experience from last year and recorded some important achievements for the program. Despite a tough 4-14 season, the girls garnered the team’s first shutout (150 over Bishop Ahr on April 23) and secured a berth in the NJSIAA tournament. Boding well for the future of the program, in a May 16 matchup against Edison, Amelia Kirby ’17 scored 11 goals, setting a school record. She was subsequently named player of the week by Varsity boys’ tennis went 10-4 for the season, posting six 5-0 victories and one 4-0 win. The boys competed in the NJSIAA Non Public B South sectional quarterfinals and finished second at the Prep B championships and in the Skyland Conference Mountain Division. At the Prep B Championships, Marc Orazietti ’16 took first place at third singles.

Billy Conlan ’16

Varsity golf finished 8-8 for the season. Captain Dylan Blackman ’16 led the charge in April, posting low score in seven matches before an injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season. Highlights included a win over Belvidere in which the Knights recorded the top six low scores. In varsity track and field, the duo of Greg Niccolai ’16 and C.J. Liccata ’18 took first place in discus at the Millburn Relays, combining for a distance of 247’ and setting a school record. The boys’ 4x1600 relay team also claimed first and set a school record with a time of 18:54. At the Prep B championships on May 23, Ludi Zhu ’16 took first in the long jump, second in the triple jump and third in the 100. For the boys’ squad, Licata claimed first in the shot put. The team closed out May at the South Jersey B Sectionals, with Nicole Johnson ’18 taking first in the 800. In June at the State Group B championships, Zhu took second in both the long jump and the triple jump. Matthieu Petit ’17 finished third in the 800 and Johnson finished fourth. In the 3200, Bobby D’Angelo ’18 finished fourth. Eleven athletes qualified for the Meet of Champions, which was held on June 8.

Ludi Zhu ’16

For a full wrap-up of winter and spring sports, visit www .gsbschool .org/page/athletics/athletic-news 21


Athletes Continuing in College Among the 2016 graduates, 15 athletes will be continuing play at the college level. Representing Division I Fairfield University is Samantha Kramer ’16, who signed with the university last November. At Gill, Kramer spent four years as a varsity starter for girls’ basketball, captaining the team in her junior and senior years. She reached the 1,000-point milestone in February 2016. An NJSIAA National Women in Sports honoree, Kramer was designated first team all-conference and all-area, and second team all-state. Also joining Division I programs are men’s basketball players Connor Klementowicz ’16 (Hofstra) and Adam Mitola ’16 (George Washington University). Congratulations to all of our student athletes as they compete for colleges and universities through the country.

Students Playing in Division III Programs Emma Corbett (Williams College, Softball); Michael DelPriore (Norwich University, Men’s Lacrosse); Sahara Ensley (Washington University in St . Louis, Track & Field); Maddie Gallic (Haverford College, Women’s Basketball); Michael Iannaconi (Washington University in St . Louis, Track & Field); Tyler Kwaak (Drew University, Men’s Soccer); Lauren McBride (Dickinson College, Women’s Basketball); Carolyn Najarian (Trinity College, Women’s Tennis); Jane O’Connor (St . Lawrence University, Women’s Soccer); Nic Ricciardi (Rowan University, Men’s Soccer); George Stiuso (Pennsylvania State University, Altoona, Baseball); Julius Stoma (Franklin and Marshall College, Men’s Basketball) .

Dan Hoffman Court Over the summer, crews refinished the floor of the Dan Hoffman Memorial Court in the Aresty Pavilion. The court was dedicated in honor of Hoffman at a ceremony last December, which was held on opening night for the varsity boys’ and girls’ basketball teams. Hoffman, who lost his battle to cancer in 2015, was the father of former varsity boys’ basketball players Dom Hoffman ’12 and Dallas Hoffman.



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Hemm House Named At the annual faculty and trustee dinner in May, trustee Robert Hemm SBS ’46 was honored by a surprise announcement that the main house on the Home Winds campus was being named in his honor. The newly-named Hemm House stands as a testament to Hemm’s many contributions to the school over the years. During his days as a student, he lived in the house, which served as a dormitory at that time. Hemm, pictured in front of Hemm House, celebrated his 70th reunion this spring.

Denim & Diamonds Gala a Success In April, more than 200 guests came out to support GSB at the Denim & Diamonds Gala. The event raised more than $260,000, including support for the Home Winds campus. Special thanks to our gala committee, event chairs, sponsors and to all who helped make this year’s gala a huge success.

The Denim & Diamonds Gala Committee: (standing, left to right) Dawn Richardson, Noelle Chalfant, Sharon Bittman (co-chair), Jen Meenan (co-chair), Ann Matthews and Kim Ferruggia . (sitting, front row, left to right) Wendy Supron, Cindy Matthews, Barbara Duggan and Jill Gateman



Retiring Trustees EDMOND MORIARTY, III After 15 years as a member of the Board of Trustees, Edmond Moriarty, P ’11, ’14, ’16, ’22 stepped down this June. He joined the board in 2001, and over the course of his tenure served as chair of the Committee on Trustees and most recently, vice chairman of the Board of Trustees. He was honored at this year’s Commencement ceremony, receiving the Gill St. Bernard’s Medal for Service to the School in recognition of his dedication to Gill St. Bernard’s. During his time on the board, Moriarty aided in the development and implementation of three strategic plans and assisted in the revision of the school’s by-laws. He brought to the board his considerable experience in the financial world and played a significant role in the planning of capital campaigns for the school. Most recently, Moriarty served as Head of Merchant Banking and Real Estate Investing and Alternative Investment Partners at Morgan Stanley. He joined the company in 2010 as Chief Operating Officer of Investment Management, and has worked previously with Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, in positions of increasing responsibility throughout the departments of investment banking, global capital markets and risk management. Moriarty holds an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and a BA from Hamilton College in New York State. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York and Elon University. He and his wife Jill are longtime residents of Far Hills, NJ, along with their four children, Meghan ’11, Cole ’14, Kaitlyn ’16 and Shane ’22. PRESTON PINKETT, III Elected to the Board of Trustees in 2013, Preston Pinkett brought his invaluable experience in the financial sector to Gill St. Bernard’s, through his role on the Finance Committee. Pinkett currently serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of City National Bank of New Jersey, with previous experience as Senior Vice President for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority for four years, and Senior Vice President with PNC Bank for eight years. Through these positions, he has focused his work on expanding economic development in New Jersey. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Cornell University. Pinkett sits on various business and non-profit boards.


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ELIZABETH “EBIE” NAMETZ After nine years of service, Ebie Nametz, P ’03, ’09 is retiring from the Board of Trustees. A dedicated supporter of all things GSB, Nametz was elected to the board in 2007. Prior to joining the board, Nametz served as president of the Parents’ Association and also co-chaired the school’s annual gala on more than one occasion. She and her husband Michael are avid supporters of the arts at Gill. As a trustee, Nametz helped form and ultimately chair the Friends of the Arts Committee. She also proved an invaluable resource to the school’s theater department, volunteering as props coordinator and producer for six productions, including The Secret Garden, which took home a Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Award for best musical in 2008. Nametz and her husband live in Texas and spend summers in Cape Cod, where they receive visits from their two Boston-based sons: Gill St. Bernard’s graduates Patrick ’03 and Steven ’09. Stay tuned for our upcoming ussue with profiles of new trustees: John Frantz, Jeffrey Lager ’86 and Mark Mazzatta

CASE Honors F.M. Kirby Foundation In February, the F.M. Kirby Foundation received the Council for Advancement and Support Of Education’s (CASE) John R. Chandler Award. This is one of the most prestigious awards given by this national organization. The John R. Chandler Award is presented to a corporation or foundation for its long-term and significant contributions to independent schools. Gill St. Bernard’s assisted Newark Academy in nominating the F.M. Kirby Foundation, along with The Lawrenceville School. The foundation has supported a variety of areas including higher education, environment, health care and independent schools for over a half century. Gill has been the proud recipient of significant support from F.M. Kirby Foundation for the past decade, the most recent gift being a total of $1 million after a challenge grant of $500,000 was given to the school to help raise funds for a new performing arts center. (see Summer 2015 magazine) “We are proud to have supported Newark Academy in their nomination of the Kirby Foundation,” said Jim Diverio, Director of Development. “It was not hard to present a compelling case for the foundation. The Kirbys, and their foundation, are truly outstanding and deserve this national recognition.” Head of School Sid Rowell, Diverio and Director of Alumni Relations Chanelle Walker, along with representatives from Newark Academy and Lawrenceville, joined members of the foundation at the ceremony in New York City during the CASE national conference in February. President and Director Dillard Kirby P ’09, ’13 accepted the award on behalf of the F.M. Kirby Foundation.



E.E. Ford Grant Matched Last fall, the Edward E. Ford Foundation approved a $50,000 grant in support of the school’s development of a farm program at the newly acquired Home Winds campus. As stipulated in the grant, a 1:1 match be raised by the school. In February, three months after the school was approved for the grant, the match was achieved. This good fortune was made possible by the generosity of the Chabot Foundation. Impressed with the plans for the farm, and supporting the philosophy of creating a unique and comprehensive farming and education model as part of an independent school mission, this private foundation not only matched the $50,000 but doubled it with a pledge of an additional $50,000 over the next year. Steve Polachi, P ’08, ’11, ’14, chair of the Home Winds task force was instrumental in engaging the Chabot Foundation. He noted, “We had the grant from E.E. Ford but the money would not be available until we had the match in hand. The Chabot Foundation saw fit to almost immediately match the gift but then further challenged us to do it again.” In April, this second challenge was also completed. During the Annual Auction Gala, a special appeal to support the Home Winds project was made and in less than five minutes the second $50,000 was matched, with over 30 families committing to the project. This included Liz and Mike Fucci P ’17, who pledged $25,000, bringing the total for Home Winds support that evening to nearly $60,000. “The generosity of the GSB community is most impressive, and the commitment of our families to the farm-to-table program helped make it a reality,” said Sid Rowell. “In particular, I am most thankful to Steve Polachi for all his efforts. The program we are developing is unlike any other in the state.”

A Gift of Love Jaime and Kris Goodrich’s love of Gill St. Bernard’s and its community began in the 1990s when they both started at the school. It was during their time here on campus that they met, became friends and their friendship eventually blossomed into love. Today, they are happily married and have two young daughters, Eva ’27 and Lyla ’30, who continue the GSB tradition and attend the Lower School. Looking to the future, Jaime and Kris want to ensure their children, grandchildren and future generations of GSB students are able to have that same sense of pride and appreciation for their time at the school. This is why they have made a planned gift to Gill St. Bernard’s School in addition to their years of annual support of the school’s ongoing needs. Jaime and Kris took advantage of the opportunity available to all GSB community members and went through a complimentary, comprehensive financial planning process offered by the school. If you are interested in finding out how you could make a similar gift or would like to learn more about the free, no obligation financial planning process, please contact Gwen Paxon, Director of Annual Fund and Planned Giving, via email at gpaxon@ or at 908-234-1611 x205. 26

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In Support of Gill

Delivering the Future Campaign James and Olivia O’Connor enrolled their twin daughters, Stella and Zoe, in pre-kindergarten at Gill St. Bernard’s School in the fall of 2007. In a recent conversation with James O’Connor, P ’21, ’21 he shared why he and Olivia are active volunteers and ardent supporters of Gill St. Bernard’s School. Early on, we both got involved with the school; we attended the auction and other school events. Friends were talking a lot about supporting the school. Liv and I talked about it, and I began to research how and what we might be able to do. We wanted to help make the school the best we could for our girls, but we also wanted to help Gill move forward with its vision. We had made a few gifts the first couple of years, but we grew confident that we could make an impact and the school would use it wisely. After we made our first significant gift, we felt very good about it. Philanthropy is important to us and we are fortunate to be in a position to support worthy organizations. We will only support causes that have a clear mission and proven track record for meeting their goals. For that reason, Gill remains our number one philanthropic priority. Since our first campaign gift to our most recent one, the school has proven that it remains true to its mission and looks to positively affect the education that our children and every child at Gill receives, and keep an eye to the future as well. We see it as a gift for us—and for future generations. In general, I believe giving back to your community is important. I understand everyone has their own priorities and though I wish everyone would give to Gill, I am not one to do more than (happily) set an example and hope others follow. It’s a personal choice. If by our example, and by our own enthusiasm, others follow, then that’s great. Gill is a wonderful community. There’s a perception out there that it is a school for the privileged and we need to do more to show that is not the case. The school gives financial aid to many worthy families and I hope we continue to increase our ability to help even more. To understand why we give to Gill, I hope everyone just looks around. The campus and the facilities are great. The program is world class. The students are genuinely happy. Listen to your friends and family. As my daughters enter eighth grade this fall we are so proud of how they have grown. Our family and friends often share how grounded, mature and confident they have become. They are smart. That will help them when they graduate. There is no doubt we credit Gill for a big part of that. And will the girls say they are proud to have gone to GSB someday? … I believe they’ll say “YES.” That outcome is worth it. 27




Alumni Relations Director Chanelle Walker returned from maternity leave in July. Welcome back Chanelle, and a very special thanks to Lee Amoroso, P ’11, ’13, ’19 for stepping in while Chanelle was away.

Middle School math teacher and alumna Courtney Pugliese Sica ’06 attended a three-day workshop in Staten Island in July for teachers of Singapore Math. The workshop focused on the pedagogy underlying Singapore Math.

Cornell University. She also took part in two workshops at the Pfieffer Center in New York State on methods for saving seeds. Last spring, Middle School science teacher Teri Cosentino published an article in Science Scope, the magazine of the National Science Teachers Association. The article looked at a project Cosentino introduces to the sixth grade each year in which the students design and build pinball machines.

Upper School classics teacher Jared Ciocco attended a three-day workshop at the American Classical League Institute at the University of Texas, Austin. Classics teachers from around the world gathered to share teaching strategies and hone their classroom skills. Middle School history teacher Drew Burton, who joined GSB this fall, attended The Holocaust and Human Behavior: a Facing History seminar Middle School students work on designing and for educators in August. The program emphasizes constructing pinball machines ethical decision-making through the study of history, Sara Isusi, Chair of the Fine Arts Department, was literature and human behavior. one of a dozen artists selected for the Great Spruce Head Art Week: an artist-in-residence program held Lower School science teacher Lynn Prosen in Deer Isle, Maine, each July. “It was a thrilling and Middle School science teacher Noreen opportunity to paint En Plein Air and I was so Syed ’10 attended the New Jersey Science Teachers excited to work out in the beautiful Maine landscape Association summer institute in July. The topic of for a solid uninterrupted week,” Isusi said. the five-day institute was “Preparing Elementary Teachers to Implement Next Generation Science During the summer, Upper School English teacher Standards.” In addition, Prosen, who serves as the Mark Signorelli attended the College Board’s school’s Garden Education Coordinator, completed course for teachers of Advanced Placement English a six-week organic gardening course offered by Literature and Composition. Last winter, Director of Development Jim Diverio and Director of Alumni Relations Chanelle Walker were selected to speak at the annual CASE-NAIS (Council for the Advancement of Education and National Association of Independent Schools). The two presented: Re-engaging Alumni in Changing School Communities on February 1.

Lower School science teacher Lynn Prosen

Gwen Paxon, director of the Annual Fund, passed her Certified Fund Raiser Executive (CFRE) exam this summer. 31

T H E M A G A Z I N E O F G I L L S T . B E R N A R D ’ S S C H O O L

Obituaries Harold T. Batten SBS ’41 of Wyckoff, NJ, passed away on December 14, 2015. He is survived by his wife Emily Batten, his son Thomas Batten (Barbara), granddaughter Kelly Liberati (Giancarlo Liberati), and great-granddaughter Sophia. Janet Boynton Means GS ’47 of Lindenhurst, IL passed away on September 2, 2014. Janet is survived by her children, David B. Means, Betsey M. Wills and Sarah C. Means along with two grandchildren, two stepchildren and three step grandchildren. Charles Starr SBS ’48 of Lehigh Acres, FL, passed away on September 24, 2015. Claire “Pat” Seaman Magnus GS ’50 passed away on November 8, 2015 in Asheville, NC. She is survived by her husband Bob Magnus of Mars Hill, NC and four children, Tom Magnus (Barbara Reid), Jim Magnus (Valarie), Ted Magnus, and Samantha Hanshaw (Michael Hanshaw); eleven grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. Wesley Edward Bassett SBS ’60 of Rio Rancho, NM passed away on June 23, 2016. He is survived by his wife Spankie Lou Bassett; six children Buffy Swenson, Christy Gonzalez, Eddie Bassett, Kim Dowden, Lynn Brashar, Scott Bassett; fourteen grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. Caryl Speir Byrnes GS ’65, passed away on May 2, 2016 at her home in McLean, VA. She is survived by her son Carter (Lindsay), grandchildren Avery and Austin, and sons Spencer and Rory. Robert W. Levy ’80 of Asheville, NC passed away on August 18, 2016. He is survived by his father Ira Levy and step-mother Elaine Levy; his mother, Ancie Manuel and niece, Miranda Levy; sister, Patricia Levy, and brothers, Seth Levy and Kurt Rogers. Rob was featured in the Winter 2014 issue of GSB Magazine for his commitment to service.


David Asher Burnhill ’82 of Rockville, MD passed away on November 27, 2015. He is survived by two children, Jacob and Eliana Burnhill and his sister, Lauren A. Burnhill. Shannon Diane Bailey ’98 of Savannah, GA passed away following a car accident on August 21, 2016. Bailey was a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and worked for the Ziegler and Walker Law Firm in Savannah. She is survived by her mother Diane Ankele-Quinn and step-father Douglas Quinn of Savannah, father Michael Bailey and step-mother Betty Bailey of Bonita Springs, FL., longtime partner, Lonnie Coulter, her step-sisters Kristen Emerich and Courtney Wilson, half-sisters Christine Bailey, Megan Bailey, Ali Bailey and Katie Bailey and three grandmothers: Catherine Bailey of FL, Mary Lou Ankele and Bethany Radeka of Savannah.

Peggy Cihocki Former SBS faculty member Margaret “Peggy” Cihocki of Huntington Beach, CA passed away on May 29 while hiking on the Sam Merrill Trail near Altadena, CA. Peggy and her husband John both taught at SBS in the 1960s. Peggy is survived by her husband and children Laura and John. Bruce Palmer, a former English teacher at Gill St. Bernard’s, passed away on Friday, November 7, 2014. Palmer, who lived in Signal Mountain, TN, authored more than 10 books and also wrote for local newspapers. He is survived by his wife Suzanne Palmer, his children Mark of Signal Mountain, Matthew of Pensacola, FL and Maria of Erwinna, PA, his sister Diane Clare of Wayland, MA, and grandchildren Geoffrey, Rachelle, Natalie and Harrison Palmer and Griffin and Marin Shankin.

Then & Now At Reunion, Class of ’66 Recreates Photo From 50 Years Ago



Gill St . Bernard’s School P .O . Box 604 St . Bernard’s Road Gladstone, NJ 07934-0604 908-234-1611 gsbschool .org facebook .com/gsbschool facebook .com/gsbschoolalumni

GSB Community Gardens, August 2016

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