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T H E

M AG 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

W I N T E R

The Everyman for New Orleans

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TABLE OF CONTENTS FROM THE HEADMASTER. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 FEATURE Film Features — Adam Aresty ’03, Sean Baker ’89 and Ari Brown ’03 . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 COLLEGE CORNER Katie Grabowski ’12 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 PROFILES Reverend Ray Cannata . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Reflections from the 1930s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

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ALUMNI NEWS New Alumni Council Officers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Regional Alumni Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Young Alumni Night & Dedication of Dan Hoffman Court. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 GSB NEWS Trustee Kirk Honored as EBONY Magazine Power 100 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 GSB Players Stage Murder on the Nile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Homecoming at Home Winds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 ATHLETICS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 PATRONS Jim Breuer’s Sell-Out Benefit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Color Me Beautiful. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Getting to Know the New Trustees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . E.E. Ford Foundation Approves GSB Grant. . . . . . . . . . Michael Golden Receives Lindabury-Thomas Award . Merke Learning Commons Dedication. . . . . . . . . . . .

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ALUMNI NOTES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 FACULTY NEWS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

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, Headmaster 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 Matthew Marsallo, Major Gifts Officer 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 gsbschool.org facebook.com/gsbschool facebook.com/gsbschoolalumni Design by Vision Creative Group Cover Photo: Reverend Ray Cannata in his Elvis Costume, posing with his wife Photographer was James J. Reeves, II, New Orleans

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Harry Chowansky III Ann Drzik Gia Dunn Michael Fritzlo Liz Fucci Donald Fuentes Robert Hemm SBS ’46 Rose Kirk Douglas Matthews Linda Moore Edmond Moriarty III Elizabeth Nametz Sandi Niccolai James O’Connor Robert O’Leary Preston Pinkett III Steven Polachi John Raymonds Marianne Saladino

Robert Sameth, Jr. ’89 Vlad Torgovnik Janine Udoff Sid Rowell, Ex-Officio HONORARY TRUSTEES Patti Aresty Joe Behot Miguel Brito Laurie Brueckner Brandon Clark Bill Conger Sam Corliss Richard Emmitt Nelson Ferreira Michael Golden Judy Fulton Higby John Howard Adrienne Kirby Michael Mandelbaum

Richard Markham Mary McNamara Patty Muchmore Ellen Nardoni Mark Paris Todd Ross Maureen Stefanick Jayne Vespa Michael Weinstein

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BOARD OF VISITORS Miguel Brito David Farris The Honorable Thomas H. Kean Blair MacInnes Edward E. Matthews Virginia Moriarty John Reeves

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FROM THE HEADMASTER

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

The involvement of our students in the performing arts over the years has been well known within the GSB community. However, now more and more, our alumni are attracting attention for their accomplishments. Whether it is Sean Baker ’89, Adam Aresty ’03, Ari Brown ’03, or others, Gill St. Bernard’s is making its mark in the entertainment business. Just recently, I was watching Saturday Night Live and noticed a young alumnus, Dylan Polachi ’14, who was a background character in a sketch. To be sure, there are and will be many more. We are blessed to have many fine teachers who have encouraged our students to explore their talents in this area, from Paul Canada in the theater to Mike Chimes’ film class as well as others over the years. The strong writing program established by such teachers as Barbara Ripton and Kathy Maisano remains in place. Be it behind the camera, in front of it, writing scripts, or creating “trailers,” our graduates are making their mark in Hollywood. A thousand miles away in New Orleans, Rev. Ray Cannata has taken a different route. Drawn to the city in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, he remains actively committed to building both houses and relationships. Though only at GSB for a short time, the sense of community that permeates our school took hold in him and he has made a significant impact in the place he now calls home. Close relationships, a sense of community, and influential teachers; all have been a part of St. Bernard’s, the Gill School, and Gill St. Bernard’s from the very beginning. Our alumni always talk about the importance of them while in school. I hope you will enjoy this edition of the magazine and the stories on the following pages. Go Knights,

Sid Rowell Headmaster

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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

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l Musica g n i r p S

Amy McCloskey ’79 sporting a bird costume for a production of Once Upon a Mattress during her student days at GSB.

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FEATURES

FE AT U R ES

Take One: Three Roads to “The Show” By Alice Roche Cody

When working with students in his film courses at Gill St. Bernard’s, Mike Chimes keeps in mind the vast range of career choices within the entertainment industry. He provides students with a broad overview, touching on camera angles, point of view, editing and sound and lighting. Chimes, who has been teaching at Gill since the 1970s, has seen past students break into the film industry, three of whom are profiled here. As Chimes notes, “They are in the business, making a living and being successful even though the odds were stacked against them. It’s a long shot, but dreams do come true.” Screenwriter Adam Aresty ’03 will never forget the night last April when his horror film Stung premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. Scanning the audience, he found himself dually overwhelmed: It marked such a momentous event in a career that’s exceedingly difficult to break into and he was blown away by the throng of people from Gill St. Bernard’s

who packed the audience to celebrate his midnight movie screening. The crowd was crammed with classmates he hadn’t seen since graduation, when he left for film school at the University of Southern California. His academic counselor, Mike Chimes, who co-taught the unit where Aresty directed his first short film, was in attendance, along with his retired English teacher and writing mentor, Barbara Ripton, and former faculty members Peter and Randi Schmidt, who frequently took Aresty and his movie buff friends to catch the latest indie films. “Gill had the numbers – teachers, students, administrators, faculty – they all came out. It was a ‘This is your life’ moment,” says Aresty, who lives in Los Angeles. “Afterwards, my producers asked, ‘Who paid all these people to be here?’ The take away, for me, was the sense of community. Growing up with everyone, and them saying, “‘I always knew you’d do this, and you did it!’” Aresty had a childhood fascination with movies, sparked by seeing Jaws, and like other Gill graduates now working in Hollywood, that budding interest was nurtured and

Aresty at Tribeca Film Festival.

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encouraged by his supportive Upper School teachers and advisors. “I was the annoying kid with the movie camera,” he says. “Half-a-dozen film nerds and I would go around making movies. It was an invasion to pull out that giant movie camera.” In that filmmaking unit, also taught by English teacher Cathy Maisano, Aresty directed Things Fall Apart, his first Matrix-like flick. He realized then he had an affinity for writing instead of directing, which still surprises him. “That unit was a dream, I spent two weeks writing and making movies,” he said. “Back then, a lot of schools in the area had TV production classes and a lot of money, Aresty during the shooting of Stung. but Gill was winging it.” He found the atmosphere at Gill conducive to creativity. “The arts are an important part of the undercurrent vibe there,” he says. “You handed in your homework for curriculum, but teachers always asked, ‘What do you want to do, and how can we help you?’” After graduating in a class of 36 students and progressing to USC with 15,000 undergraduates, he found himself well prepared. “One thing Gill instilled is having conversations outside of the classroom with teachers. It’s not the typical student/teacher relationship,” he says. “Then in college, I’d email my professor and say, ‘Let’s get lunch,’ so I could pick his brain and engage in a dialogue. It’s a valuable thing, being comfortable with your teachers. Then, back in class on Monday, when the professor calls on you, he speaks directly to you, in a seminar of 400 people.” The impetus for Stung came about during a summer break from college, when Aresty catered a garden party on a remote farm in Bernardsville that was infested with cicada-killer wasps. “They put the bar where the wasps were nesting, and I was so terrified the whole time,” he recalls. “I thought, There’s a horror story here.” After, he wrote a short piece about giant mutated deadly wasps, and turned it into a screenplay. Seven years and many revisions later, his thriller featured on the big screen. These days, Aresty is finishing the sequel to Stung, but he still makes time to return to Gill as a screen-writer-inresidence for Mr. Chimes’ filmmaking units. The advice he gives to students aspiring to make it in the biz: “It doesn’t just happen in one day, it takes hard work and dedication to honing your craft. It takes mental fortitude to sit down and write and know you’re never done.” He instructs students to immerse themselves in all movie genres. “Go see Avengers, and go see independent films because those guys will be making Avengers later on.” He adds, “And stick to your dream. It’s difficult – anything rewarding in life is difficult,” he says, “but it’s possible.”

Showcasing a film at Sundance – the largest American independent film festival, which is held every January in Utah – is a fantasy for many filmmakers. Last year, this long-shot came true for Sean Baker ’89, when his latest low-budget film, Tangerine, which he co-wrote and directed, premiered at the Park City extravaganza. Shot on an iPhone, Tangerine was the first of its kind to be featured at Sundance, an experience that Baker found surreal and stressful. “Sundance was great – they gave us prime screening times and better venues, but it wasn’t fun,” he says, with a laugh. “It was 12 days of pulling my hair out. Extreme stress. I didn’t get to see any other movies. The whole 4


FE AT U R ES

Baker at the Gotham awards ceremony.

time I was worried about selling my movie and what the critics were going to say.”

own, an outsider, and that can lead to an air of condescension,” he says.

He need not have worried, as the critics have been abuzz over the film released by Magnolia Pictures that follows two transgender sex workers one Christmas Eve on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Highland Avenue in West Hollywood. Rolling Stone called it an “indie tour de force” that “jumps off screen and wows you like nobody’s business.” The Hollywood Reporter was also full of praise: “It’s the warmth and absence of judgment or condescension toward its marginalized characters that makes Sean Baker’s film such a vibrant and uplifting snapshot.”

Shooting with an iPhone helped with this challenge, as it allowed for more intimacy with the actors than using traditional movie cameras, which can be more intrusive. “The iPhone had a wider lens, you couldn’t zoom, there’s no telephoto, so it changed my style by force,” he says. “Instead of being so observational, it drew me in closer, and in many ways, helped the audience be more participatory, instead of observing from a distance.”

For Tangerine, Baker cast experienced actors, such as James Ransone, with unknowns like Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor, whom he met at an LGBTQ Center in West Hollywood. “It’s how I make all my films; I combine first-time actors with seasoned and encourage improv on top of the scripted work,” he says. Baker was sensitive to how he portrayed this transgender community inside West Hollywood. Even though he lives there, he’s well aware that for this particular portion of town, he is not a part of it. “I’m dealing with a world that’s not my

This was a welcome outcome, as the decision to use iPhones was born of necessity: Tangerine had a $100,000 budget, a sum so small that the movie’s action had to span one day because there was no money for costume changes. “It was an act of desperation, but one benefit I realized halfway through the shoot was that it gave a whole different feel than my previous films,” says Baker, whose other credits include Prince of Broadway and Take Out. An early success in his career allowed him to focus on independents. The hit show that he co-created, Greg the Bunny, was featured on Fox and the Independent Film Channel. “Indie films make no money, so I was lucky to have a side career to pay the rent,” he says. 5


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Tangerine Sundance premiere.

Growing up, Baker’s interest in cinema was first launched at Gill, with the help of his Spanish teacher, the late Debbie Doloff, who started the Audio Visual Club and named him editor of the school’s debut video yearbook. Then, when it came time to apply to film schools, Chimes suggested NYU, back when the aspiring director’s goal was to make the next Die Hard movie. “I was mainstream minded then, I had a different sensibility at 18,” he says. “Now I’m not chasing my first super blockbuster. Writing my own scripts and creating my own style is the ideal career for me.” And it’s a calling that has earned wide acclaim. Last year, Variety named him one of ten directors to watch, and Tangerine was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award in the best feature category, typically reserved for films over $500,000. Recently, Baker shot a short fashion film for Kenzo using an iPhone, and his next project is about children who live outside of Walt Disney World, the marginalized families hit by economic hardship. While his edgy films are far from the action-packed adventures starring Bruce Willis he once dreamed about making, he knows he has one fan base he can absolutely count on. “Gill continues to support me every time a film comes out,” he says. “Peter and Randi Schmidt, the Riptons, Mike Chimes, they all let me know they’ve seen it opening weekend.”

Not all paths to Hollywood lead to a directing gig or a stint penning scripts, as Ari Brown ’03 found while forging a less traditional route to Tinseltown. Brown, creative director of motion graphics for Big Picture Entertainment, works behind the scenes producing trailers and ad campaigns for blockbusters such as Ted, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Up, Transformers, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, Night at the Museum and Looper, a thriller starring none other than Bruce Willis. Trailers serve as the enticing advertisements that feature dazzling moments within a movie that tantalize people to watch the featured show and are packaged as mini-productions themselves. Within this realm, motion graphics is a specialized niche. It combines visual effects with design to create animation technology that gives the illusion of motion. 6


FE AT U R ES

One component is the trailer’s main title design. “It needs to very quickly convey the style and tone of the film and has a very short amount of time to do so,” says Brown, a South Hollywood resident. “Often, it’s something people have a gut-reaction to, and the language of the design and animation needs to help convey whether the movie is a comedy, drama or action.” Think of the trailer of the original Alien: “It opens with shots of outer space, and in the top of the screen, lines appear,” he says. “They start creating letter forms as the trailer progresses, helping to build suspense, until they finally reveal the title of the film.” At Big Picture Entertainment, Brown does a bit of everything, including designing and producing animated services for television shows, documentaries and commercials, as well as post-production work that ensures all sound quality is just right. It’s no surprise that while at Gill, Brown assumed a backstage role. For theatrical productions, including Damn Yankees and You Can’t Take It With You, he worked the lighting design. Serving as editor during filmmaking unit, he collaborated with Aresty, and their friendship continues to this day. After Gill, Brown studied film at Fairleigh Dickinson and interned at MTV and various post-production houses in New York City. He then freelanced, editing documentaries, music videos and reality television shows, but the West Coast beckoned him. “I always knew I’d try to make it in LA in the film industry,” he says. “I figured that even if I had to come back to New York City, I didn’t want to kick myself later.” Coincidentally, as he was about to trek across the country, an industry contact asked if he’d like to join his new LA startup that would specialize in trailers. “My first day on the job was the day the company launched,” he says. He spent the next four years at The Refinery Creative, but left to join a smaller house where he could do more production work and branch into other venues, such as web series and documentaries. The switch to Big Picture Entertainment was made, and he hasn’t looked back. “I get to be creative every day,” he says. “I problem solve and figure out how to communicate visually with people and give them a sense of what a film is about. It’s a great feeling of accomplishment when I’m able to convey the story and tone of a film in only a few minutes. It’s fun to watch my work in a theater, with an audience, and see their instant connection to the work I do.” He enjoys perfecting his craft when creating trailers, his particular contribution to the big screen. “Motion graphics is highly specialized,” he says. “It’s not something you hear about in film school. There are so many different ways to break into the industry.”

Is Mikaela Gegelys Next? A Director in the Making Mikaela Gegelys ’17 studies filmmaking with Mike Chimes. A budding director herself, she created a documentary on the recently acquired Home Winds property. Like her notable predecessors, she plans to apply to film school. Link to Home Winds video: http://www.gsbschool.org/Page/About/Contact-Us/Home-Winds

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COLLEGE CORNER

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

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A World of Possibilities Katie Grabowski ’12 “I’m not sure what happens after graduation,” says Katie Grabowski ‘12, a current senior at Princeton University, “but there are a lot of interesting options on the table.” Looking at Grabowski’s course of study, it is easy to understand why after-graduation opportunities abound. She is one of only a handful of students to major in civil and environmental engineering and ecology and evolutionary biology, and she is also working toward a certificate from the university’s environmental studies program.

Surveying vegetation in Mozambique.

While any one of those interests could serve as the foundation for graduate work or a career path, for Grabowski they also inform travel opportunities. Under the auspices of Engineers Without Borders, she travelled to Kenya in January of 2014. Her team worked predominantly in the countryside, where Grabowski helped to create lesson plans for water treatment, conservation and sanitation. She also helped construct rainwater catchment systems. “It’s not enough to simply bring water or drill a well,” she explains. “Some people have wells, but they are so badly maintained that it is worse than drinking river water. It is more important to teach, and demonstrate, sustainability.”

Grabowski’s next four trips focused on ecology and environmental biology. In June of 2014, she traveled to Bermuda to study marine biology and learn scuba diving. A few days after Bermuda, Grabowski returned to Kenya, this time through an internship with the Princeton Environmental Institute. Grabowski interned at the Mpala Research Centre and Wildlife Foundation, assisting a doctoral candidate from Princeton’s ecology and evolutionary biology department. The research explored associated defenses in plants, looking specifically at a species of spiny shrub and how it is able to invest more energy in growth and less in defense when it grows near acacia trees, which are known for their large thorns.

As much as Grabowski enjoys engineering, she sees it a complement to her interest in ecology and the environment, subjects she has been passionate about since her student days at GSB. “At Gill, I took A.P. courses in biology and environmental studies. I loved them,” she says. “I knew then that I wanted to work with plants and animals but within the larger framework of the environment. That’s the big picture for me.” She continues, “There is a track at Princeton that allows me to focus on ecology and environmental biology while pursuing a certificate in environmental studies, and the combination really appeals to me. I think the engineering component will give me a better problem solving background in whatever I choose to do.”

In the spring of 2015, Grabowski spent a semester in Panama, which involved coursework in tropical biology, parasitology, Pre-Columbian peoples and coral reefs. Grabowski particularly enjoyed the coral reefs and the tremendous diversity of marine life. She offers, “We spent a week on the Pacific coast and then took an overnight bus trip to the Atlantic coast – there are very few places where that is geographically possible.” After Panama, she spent the summer in Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, where she conducted research for her senior thesis. Summarizing her thesis topic, Grabowski says “Populations of large mammals were devastated by Mozambique’s sixteen-year civil war, which drew to a close in 1992. Most of those species are still struggling, but one species of antelope – the waterbuck – is doing better than anything else. Scientists and environmentalists


COLLEGE CORNER

want to understand why and they want to explore what that could mean for other species as well. A lot of people are looking at those questions, including my thesis advisor, Professor Robert Pringle. Hopefully, my thesis will contribute to the work that is being done.” Although Grabowski loves to travel, when she is on campus, she is highly involved with the life of the school. She holds three on-campus jobs – meeting with foreign students several times each week as part of the university’s English language program, serving as assistant house manager for Richardson Auditorium, and supervising swim instructors at the university pool. Whether at home or abroad, Grabowski has been able to make room for an incredible range of interests and activities, and it seems unlikely that graduating from Princeton will change that. She is not in a hurry to choose a career, perhaps because she has been actively designing one since her student days at Gill. Guided by her love of the environment, Grabowski will continue to incorporate her strengths, her interests, and of course her travels, into the “big picture.”

Did you know there are creative ways to support Gill St. Bernard's School? Ways in which Gill St. Bernard's School, you and your loved ones all benefit at the same time? With thoughtful planning, you can create win-win solutions for you and Gill St. Bernard's School.

Timothy Erday ’90, Wealth Management Expert and GSB Founders Society Member: "The biggest hurdle that charities have to overcome is getting people to recognize that every gift, no matter what its size, is important. Too often, people think, 'If I can't give $1,000 or $50,000 now, I won't get involved because my gift won't make a difference.' The fact of the matter is that whether by donating cash or appreciated securities, or by including GSB as a beneficiary on a retirement account or life insurance policy, there are many meaningful ways to support an organization." YOUR PLANNED GIFT TO THE SCHOOL WILL HAVE A LASTING IMPACT ON THE GSB COMMUNITY!

At the equator, with one foot in the northern hemisphere and one in the southern hemisphere.

If you are interested in learning more about this society or how you could make a planned gift to GSB ensuring our traditions continue for generations to come, please let us know. Call Gwen Paxon, Director of Annual Fund and Planned Giving, at 908-234-1611 x205 or email gpaxon@gsbschool.org for more information.


PROFILES

PROFILES

The Spirit of Place: Reverend Ray Cannata and the Big Easy By Jill Brown

The Reverend Ray Cannata has generated a fair amount of media attention over the past decade, ranging from Wall Street Journal articles to major network documentaries. Much of the buzz centers on his successful quest to eat at every non-chain restaurant within the city limits of New Orleans, more than 750 at last count. Additional articles tout Cannata’s having given up his car so that he can walk the city; he often clocks more than 20 miles over the course of a workday. Other coverage spotlights Cannata in his Elvis costume, something he dons for Mardi Gras celebrations and various parades as a member of the Krewe of Rolling Elvi.

Cannata preaching at Redeemer Presbyterian .

Cannata first came to New Orleans in 2005, days after Hurricane Katrina struck the city. In the weeks leading up to the storm, he and his family lived comfortably in Bridgewater, New Jersey. “I had gone to seminary in Princeton and was living What may sound like an eccentric bucket list to in Bridgewater with my wife and our two kids. I some, for Cannata is business as usual as a was running a parish. It was a good life, a pleasant pastor of the Redeemer Presbyterian Church on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans — and more life and I was not consciously looking for a compelling than each individual adventure is the change,” Cannata says. So, when an offer came to interview for the position of pastor at a struggling sense of place and purpose that underlies and church in Louisiana, Cannata concedes, “We unites them. Cannata is a man with a mission, went as much for the city as to see the church. We one that at its core has little to do with food or weren’t really imagining a scenario in which we fossil fuels or rock and roll. He ministers to the would sell the house, pack up the kids and start people of New Orleans and in a broader sense over.” Nonetheless, that is exactly what they ended to the city itself. Whether helping rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, showing up for dance up doing. During that first visit, Cannata and his wife fell in love with the city, but they still felt practice every week at NOLA Brewing and Le that a move was not in the cards. The same day, Bons Temps or meeting with parishioners over however, the church called Cannata for a second lunch at one of the city’s eateries, everything Cannata does further connects him to the city, its interview. He and his wife decided to make the trip again that coming weekend. They never made culture and people. He explains, “When I came it to the airport, however. Hurricane Katrina kept to New Orleans, I wanted to immerse myself in them grounded in New Jersey and the couple the place, and many of the disparate things I do watched on television as the storm laid waste to make a lot more sense when you view them in those terms. When I walk, I leave time for divine the city they had visited only a week before. interruptions, those conversations and chance A decade later, Cannata still wonders if he and meetings with people that I never would have had his family would have moved to New Orleans if in my car. My family and I take vacations in the it hadn’t been for Katrina. Seeing the enormity of city. I shop in town and avoid chain stores and the devastation galvanized him. He and his wife chain restaurants.” felt called to go, to reach out to the victims and to

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

to fix things and to enjoy things; everything else is a distraction. New Orleans gives us so much to enjoy and so much that needs to be fixed: heartbreaking poverty, crime and illiteracy. Beyond that, I love the relationships here. In New Jersey and New York, people are so busy. I feel they long for relationships and friendships but struggle to make time for them. New Orleans is less productive, but people spend more time with one another. Something as simple as watching TV becomes a social gathering, here. I sit on the porch at night and talk with people.” Paying homage to Elvis.

help rebuild the city. “We had nothing in place,” he says. “We put the house up for sale, we arranged for the children to stay with friends for a while, and we got in our station wagon and drove down. We didn’t know where we would stay when we got here or even what we would do,” After a pause, Cannata adds, “It was the best decision of our lives.” In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the 40 parishioners at Redeemer Presbyterian dwindled to 17. Revitalizing the church would be a daunting challenge by any measure, but Cannata reflected, “God loves an underdog!” In the first few days after he and his wife arrived, they were joined by groups of Presbyterian missionaries who came down to lend a hand in the aftermath of the storm. According to Cannata, “Teams just started showing up. We had no real idea what to do at first. I think we went to Home Depot and asked what we would need to build a house.” Cannata and his group learned quickly, however. In fact, his parish has played an active role in rebuilding more than 600 homes to date. The momentum, he remembers, became contagious. “The volunteers just kept coming,” Cannata says. “At one point, we had over 120 people; one night my family and I had 15 house guests. That evening provided the inspiration for Cannata’s quest to sample all of the city’s restaurants. He recalls, “Inevitably, when we had guests, the conversation would turn to food— everyone wanted to know the best and most authentic places to eat. It was then that I first had the idea of getting to know the city’s restaurants.” When asked what he loves best about his adopted city, Cannata offers, “I believe our purpose in life is

Cannata remembers feeling a similar sense of place during the two years he spent at Gill St. Bernard’s. “I came to Gill in eighth grade and after ninth grade, I ended up going to a Catholic school that was closer to my home. It was a large brick building with none of the beauty and interest that Gill offered.” He adds, “During my short time at Gill, I understood that it was a place to explore and to be inspired by. Even then, I appreciated the sense of place and the spirit of community. Those two years shaped me in meaningful ways.” To learn more, the documentary The Man Who Ate New Orleans and the Reverend Dr. Cannata’s books, Rooted and KRE Confidential, can be found through Amazon or other vendors. More information about the Redeemer parish can be found online at redeemernola.com.

Cannata and family.

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PROFILES

Reflections From the 1930s SBS and the Wychwood School Last fall, Robert C. “Robbie” Robinson SBS ’36 contacted the alumni office to share some photos and recollections from his days at Saint Bernard’s School. In the 1940s, Robinson became the first alumnus to return to the school as a teacher and coach, living with his wife and children in a dormitory, which is now the main house on the Home Winds Campus. After receiving Robinson’s notes, the school invited other alumni from his era to share reflections of their time at the school. Harold S. Barker Jr. SBS ’39 wrote in as did Evelyne Jarratt Smith Maughs, the first student ever to enroll at the Wychwood School. Founded in 1934 by Elizabeth Gill, Wychwood would later become the Gill School. The SBS alumni hold in common memories of farm life. Days included milking cows, grooming and caring for horses and helping to maintain the buildings. Robinson, who remembers helping to build the Scout Cabin that still stands on the campus today, recalls, “They kept you busy as a young fellow; no time for idle hands.”

a hill, in a beautiful old three-story frame house that was surrounded by spacious lawns and magnificent trees.” She adds, “And yes, there was a tennis court.” At the time Maughs began Wychwood, the school held only seven students and employed three teachers in addition to Miss Gill: “Miss Hailey, Mr. Achenback who took care of our sports, and Miss Woods, affectionately known as Miss Woodsie.” In addition, Frances Carter, Miss Gill’s niece helped out. Maughs reflects, “We were like a large family.” After graduating from Wychwood in 1935, Maughs went on to study languages at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. She returned to Wychwood in 1985 with her husband Dr. Sydney B. Maughs for the school’s 50th reunion. She was the only one there from the school’s first senior class. Summing up her year at Wychwood, and perhaps speaking for generations of Gill alumnae and SBS alumni, Maughs writes, “All I can say is thanks for the memories.”

Both Robinson and Barker share fond memories of George Fessenden, SBS ’36. In fact Barker roomed with him during his junior and senior years. “There were two of each of us in each room,” he writes “My roommate was George Fessenden. He was quite a guy. I was a second baseman and a pitcher on the baseball team. When I pitched, he was my catcher.” Robinson’s chief memories of Fessenden are from the 40s, when both men had returned to SBS as faculty members in the science department: Fessenden as a biology teacher and Robinson as a chemistry teacher. The two also coached football together during those years, and as Robinson remarks “were buddies.” Robinson left teaching at SBS when he was called to Korea in 1953. After that, he spent the next fifteen years as an officer in the Air Force before eventually returning to teaching at a boarding school in Connecticut. Standing in sharp contrast to daily chapel, an unheated gymnasium, and farm work, Evelyne Jarratt Smith Maughs recollections of Wychwood are of “a school on 12

Robert C. “Robbie” Robinson, SBS ‘36.


ALUMNI NEWS

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

New Alumni Council Officers Naomi Ages and Emilia Giordano Naomi Ages ’01 Naomi Ages ’01 joined Gill St. Bernard’s as a lower school student in 1990, followed by her younger brothers Justin ’03 and Sean ’05. While in the Upper School, Ages served as editor of the student newspaper, The Fourth Estate, and as a four-time student government officer. As a senior, Ages took on the role of student government president and captained the varsity softball and soccer teams. Ages earned a bachelor’s degree in American history and literature from Harvard University in 2005 and a Juris Doctor from the University of Southern California in 2010. In November of 2010, Ages launched her career at the New York City law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, L.L.P., where she specialized in global finance and pro bono asylum matters. She was recognized for her pro bono efforts with the Sanctuary for Families’ Above and Beyond Award in the fall of 2014. In September 2014, Ages joined Greenpeace as a legal advisor and then moved to the organization’s Washington, D.C. office last May to lead the new climate liability project. In addition to getting to know her new city, Ages continues to travel as much as possible, volunteers with an animal rescue organization, and cheers for her beloved New York Giants.

Emilia N. Giordano ’06 Emilia Giordano holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies with a concentration in media from the New School in New York. Currently, she is the assistant librarian at Gill St. Bernard’s and a master’s candidate at The New School for Public Engagement in New York, concentrating on media studies with a focus in participatory learning and digital media. She was awarded the Dean’s Merit Scholarship for 2016 by the New School. During her time working in the Upper School, Giordano has integrated media literacy instruction into the library curriculum to promote information and digital literacies as well as to encourage media activism and civic engagement. She has taught students scientific literature review and guided inquiry in basic research skills and humanities research skills. Recently, Giordano received the New Challenge social innovation grant award to develop technologies that can assist students with learning disabilities. She also runs indoor rock climbing programs for students with learning disabilities and their allies in Brooklyn, New York.

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ALUMNI NEWS

Regional Alumni Events During the fall of 2015, alumni events were held across the country to bring alumni of different generations together, allowing them to reconnect with former classmates and meet other alumni. It is the goal of the Alumni Office and the Alumni Council to form and develop alumni networks across the country.

Los Angeles

October 17 at the home of Holly and Adam ’03 Aresty. Clockwise, from top: (L. to r.) Back Row: Nancy Washburn Lee ’81, Sid Rowell, Chanelle Walker, Rachel Rovner ’05, Adam Aresty ’03, Holly Aresty, Peter Schmidt, Russell Burt ’83, Front Row: kneeling Randi Schmidt, Alexis Nedd ’06, Jessica Garvey ’05; Lamont Stapleton ’06, Sid Rowell, Debbie Stapleton; David Hickok ’76, Carol Yin, Russell Burt ’83.

San Francisco October 18 at the home of Erin and Jeff ’86 Lager. Clockwise, from top: (L. to r.): Craig Barberich ’85, Meredith Barberich, Randi Schmidt, Peter Schmidt, Erin Lager, Jeff Lager ’86; Mike Chimes and Page Tomblin ’91; Peter Grabowski ’08, Bridgette Freihart, Ben Aresty ’07; Elizabeth Weatherby, Sid Rowell, John Weatherby SBS ’62

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

Washington D.C. November 18 at the home of Adam Tenner ’85. Back row: Ray Conger ’05, Paul Wells ’12, Brian Palladino ’93, Peter Schmidt. Front Row: Randi Schmidt, Andrea Dennehy ’85, Avi and Adam Tenner, Sean Ages ’05, Naomi Ages ’01.

New York City December 3 at the Beer Authority.

Clockwise, from top: ; Dan Mistretta ’07, Roman Jablonskyj ’09, Mike Jablonskyj ’09, Daina Raiffe ’10; Cassie Mireski ’11, Templeton Timothy ’11, Morgan Mireski ’08; Bianca Noll ’10, Lauren Rosenblatt ’10; Sasha Arnesen ’07, Danielle Miranda ’08, Sara Ash ’08.

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ALUMNI NEWS

Young Alumni Night – December 18 More than 40 recent graduates turned out for the annual Young Alumni Night on December 18. The evening featured opening night for varsity girls’ and boys’ basketball and for varsity fencing. Between the two basketball games, the school held a special ceremony dedicating the court in memory of Dan Hoffman, father of former GSB varsity boys’ basketball player Dom Hoffman ’12. Dom, a senior at Bucknell, attended the ceremony to honor his father who died last summer at the age of 44 after a battle with cancer. He was joined by his younger brother Dallas Hoffman ’18 and by their mother, Patricia Hoffman.

Top Row: (l. to r.) Jenna Steele ’15, Nita Diverio ’15, Meg Donlin ’15, Eliza Brookman ’15, Paige Knichel ’15, Sophie Connell ’16; Annie Opel ’12, Danielle Williams ’12, Jessica White ’12; Bottom Row: (l. to r.) Sally Gordon ’14, Casey Saladino ’14, Gabriella Gomes ’14; Kimberly Calabrese ’14, James Reiner ’14, Raena Dell’Ermo ’14; Jack Markham ’12, Jordan Schreer ’15.

Dedication of Dan Hoffman Court 16


GSB NEWS

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

Trustee Kirk Honored as EBONY Magazine Power 100 Trustee Rose Stuckey Kirk P ’18 was recently honored by EBONY Magazine in the publication’s annual Power 100 list. The list celebrates and honors African-Americans across a variety of categories who lead, inspire and demonstrate through their individual talents, the very best in Black America. Kirk was honored on December 2 at a star-studded gala held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles where she was recognized as a Corporate Crown honoree and feted for her work as Verizon’s Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, and her role as President of the Verizon Foundation. She has led the organization since 2011 and has overseen the company’s efforts to utilize technology to address critical societal issues in education and domestic violence. Kirk was recognized among other influential corporate leaders, celebrities, community crusaders, and entrepreneurs. A member of the GSB board of trustees since 2013, Kirk also has been recognized as one of the top working mothers in America by Working Mother Magazine, as a woman of power by the National Urban League, as one of the most influential women in corporate America by both Savoy Magazine and The Network Journal, and as one of 21 leaders for the 21st century by Women’s eNews. In addition to her work for Verizon, she currently serves as the chair of the board of directors of Dress for Success Worldwide; as a member of the president’s cabinet at her alma mater, Arkansas State University; and is active on several community boards and organizations. Her son, Connor, is a sophomore at GSB.

No Mystery behind the Success of GSB Players In November, the GSB Players staged Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Nile, a mystery set aboard a luxury paddle steamer as its makes its way up the Nile River. The production was directed and outfitted The cast of Murder on the Nile. by Performing Arts Chair Paul Canada, and offered the accomplished performances and meticulous costumes that audiences have come to associate with Gill productions.

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GSB NEWS

Homecoming at Home Winds Several hundred attended Homecoming & Family Day at GSB on Saturday, September 26. For many, the day offered a first look at the recently-acquired 128-acre Home Winds Campus and the property’s main house. In athletics, cross country runners raced on the newly-established Home Winds course, with both Middle School and varsity teams defeating their opponents. The main campus hosted competitions in tennis and soccer, with the Booster Club providing food and souvenirs for the fans.

Construction Updates In December, construction crews completed framing of the new field house. The facility is scheduled to be completed in August of 2016.

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

Holidays at Gill During the holidays at Gill St. Bernard’s, students across all three divisions performed in concerts to ring in the festive season. From the early childhood production of The Nutcracker to strings recitals, jazz concerts and the Middle and Upper School choral concerts, the weeks leading up to winter break are filled with sounds and sights of the season.

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ATHLETICS

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

Winning Season for Varsity Boys’ Soccer Varsity Boys’ Soccer posted a fantastic season, finishing with an 18-4-0 record, garnering a Prep B Championship, the Skyland Conference Championship in the Valley Division and competing in the Sectional Final of the NJSIAA Non-Public, North B Tournament. In the team’s home opener, the boys shut out Morristown-Beard, the first victory in a nine-game winning streak and the start of a formidable season. Among the season’s highlights was a double hat trick – six goals in rapid succession – courtesy of Anes Mrkulic ‘17 in a match up against Immaculata on September 19. On November 1, the team defeated Princeton Day School (2-1) to claim the NJISAA Prep B Championship, its first since 2011. On November 10, in the semifinal round of the State NJSIAA Non Public, North B Tournament, the boys shut out MontclairKimberley, bringing Coach Tony Bednarsky to 398 wins as the squad’s head coach. The team fell to Newark Academy (1-0) at the state sectional finals.

Building Year for Varsity Girls’ Soccer The varsity girls’ soccer squad overcame a rough start to put together some important late-season wins and advance to the quarterfinal round of the NJISAA Prep B Tournament. The girls finished with a solid record of 9-9-1, and with only five players graduating this spring, the team’s younger players gained some valuable experience for competition next fall. Highlights of the season included defeating Rutgers Prep 3-0 in the first round of the Somerset County Tournament on October 3 and finishing out the regular season with three successive wins. 20


AT H L E T I C S

Impressive Play from Varsity Girls’ Tennis This fall, the varsity tennis team swept more than its fair share of matchups to end the season 15-1-0. In tournament play, the girls claimed the Skyland Conference Raritan Division Championship, the Non-Public South B Sectional Championship, and they completed the highest-ever finish in the Somerset County Tournament, claiming third place. Among the players graduating this spring are the formidable Krishna Patel at first singles, Carolyn Najarian at third singles, and steady doubles player Lucille Dunn. The team, however, has a talented roster of underclassmen to call on, including players from this year’s undefeated JV squad.

Varsity Cross Country Undefeated in Non-Tournament Competition Varsity cross country went undefeated in nontournament matchups this fall. The boys’ and girls’ squads claimed the Mountain Division Championship of the Skyland Conference and took second (girls) and third (boys) place in the NJISAA Prep B Championships at Blair Academy. On November 14, the team competed in the NJSIAA Non Public B Group Championships. Three runners medaled at the event: Robert D’Angelo ’18 (17:29) and Felix Andersen ’17 (17:38) for the boys, and Sahara Ensley ’16 (20:51) for the girls. The boys’ team claimed third overall and the girls took fourth place. Both teams qualified to compete in the NJSIAA Meet of Champions on November 21, where D’Angelo posted the best time for the GSB boys’ team with 17:23 and Ensley the best time for the girls’ squad with 20:49. 21


PATRONS

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

Jim Breuer’s Sell-Out Benefit for GSB Comedian Jim Breuer P ’17 performed to a soldout crowd of nearly 1,300 at the Mayo Performing Arts Center on the evening of Saturday, September 19. Breuer arranged the show as a benefit for Gill St. Bernard’s, with all of the proceeds going toward the campaign for a new Performing Arts Center. Before the performance, 125 guests who had purchased tickets to a VIP reception gathered to mingle with Breuer and others. Following the show, Director of Development Jim Diverio offered, “Jim was great. He received many kudos from members of the GSB community and from other guests following the show. His decision to donate all of tonight’s proceeds to the school’s campaign to build a new Performing Arts Center is wonderful; he is generous and he truly values the arts in education.” Breuer and his wife Dee are the parents of Upper School student Gabby Breuer and great volunteers and supporters of GSB.

Color Me Beautiful The annual Parents’ Association Fashion Event marked its 20th year with a soldout crowd of more than 250 guests turning out to shop, mingle and try their luck at winning fabulous prizes. After lunch, Julie Kaminski P ’17, ’19, author of The Flourishing Home, talked with the group about achieving greater happiness and wellbeing. Following Kaminski’s address, Event Chair Sharon Macak P ’20, ’22, ’25, ’27 introduced the much-anticipated runway show. Twelve models, all of them moms of GSB seniors, rocked the runway in fashions from Windswept Boutique of Mendham. Through this year’s event, the parents’ association raised more than $40,000.

Fashion Event Committee.

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PAT R O N S

New Trustees Named Ann Drzik P’17 Ann Drzik P ’17 joined the Board of Trustees in May of 2015, having served on the Buildings and Grounds Committee during the 2014-15 academic year. Drzik brings considerable leadership experience to the Board, having been a vice president at J.P. Morgan & Co., Inc. for over 10 years. While there, she held senior leadership positions in corporate finance, including credit policy, portfolio and lending analysis, global research, financial advisory, mergers and acquisitions. Drzik received a B.A. degree in English Literature from Princeton University and an M.B.A. from New York University. She is a current trustee of Paper Mill Playhouse and former trustee of Chatham Day School and The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Drzik, her husband, John, and two children, Lara ’17 and Tom, live in Mendham.

Steve Polachi P ’08, ’11, ’14 Steve Polachi P ’08, ’11, ’14 joined the Board of Trustees last spring and is currently directing the Home Winds Task Force. Polachi is the co-founder of Coddington, Chadwick and Meyerson, Inc. (CCM), an independent, full service marketing communications agency based in New York. Polachi serves as the agency’s director of account management. Polachi has also co-founded two other marketing firms, ProSequence and Say So Marketing, which are now incorporated under the CCM umbrella. Polachi received a B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross and currently resides in Mendham with his wife, Debra, and their children Alexa ’08, Ryan ’11 and Dylan ’14.

Rob O’Leary P ’11 Robert O’ Leary holds more than 35 years of successful experience in the marketing communications arena for the pharmaceutical and medical industries. O’Leary has traveled the world for business and along the way, he became intrigued with the beauty and wellness industry. Having access to the most prestigious spas and wellness centers both in the U.S. and abroad, he gained his knowledge from top industry experts and has combined his skills to develop his latest venture, Drift Beauty & Wellness Spa. Rob’s motto of “rejuvenation through innovation” is reflective of his years of experience and is a driving force behind Drift Beauty and Wellness.

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PAT R O N S

E. E. Ford Foundation Approves GSB Grant Request In November, Headmaster Sid Rowell received news from John Gulla, the Executive Director of the Edward E. Ford Foundation, that the foundation had approved a grant for the school to develop programs for the Home Winds Campus. The application process began this past summer. After the school completed the pre-application process and coordinated a campus visit with Gulla, GSB formally applied to the foundation with the goal of receiving a $50,000 grant. “We believed that we had a great opportunity to establish a unique program at GSB. The E.E. Ford Foundation likes to support initiatives, programs, and new learning opportunities, and the recent acquisition of the Home Winds farm presented such an opportunity,” Sid Rowell observed. “Our recently established task force had already identified many potential programs, and we needed to identify funds to support them.” The proposal detailed how Home Winds could provide an opportunity to dramatically increase the school’s commitment to sustainability, expand our farm-to-table program and develop an environmental education component for our students. Among the many elements noted in the proposal were the purchase of livestock and equipment, expanding the school’s gardens, and developing a curriculum which would include courses in bacteriology, microbiology, agriculture and other life sciences. In mid-November the foundation approved the full amount of the $50,000 request, which by their protocol will require a 1:1 match over the course of the next several months. In a letter to the headmaster, the foundation approved the school’s use of the grant money “… to establish a unique school/ model program for learning about environment, food and stewardship, through careful development of a recently acquired small working farm …”

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The dollar-for-dollar match effort is already underway, and Rowell and the Home Winds task force have begun to set priorities within the plan to facilitate its implementation. “The timing could not be better,” explained Steve Polachi P ’08, ’11,’14, a GSB trustee and chair of the task force. “We are fortunate to have this invaluable asset, and now we can begin to use it, perhaps well before we thought possible, in a way that will give our students unique opportunities to grow and understand the environment and sustainability. We are so fortunate to have such a unique ‘lab’ right in the backyard.” Rowell added, “Nothing could be more affirming for the school, and for Betsy Michel, than to have the E.E. Ford Foundation recognize the unique opportunity we have and to promote its use and appropriate development. Betsy said her father would have wanted the property returned to the school, and this grant will help us to steward their gift as I know she hoped it would be.” The New-York-based E. E. Ford Foundation was established in 1957 and focuses solely on support of independent schools across the country. The foundation’s mission, in part, is to strengthen and support independent secondary schools and to challenge and inspire them to leverage their unique talents, expertise and resources to advance teaching and learning throughout this country. (For an update on the progress toward the match call Jim Diverio at (908) 234-1611, ext. 210 or email jdiverio@gsbschool.org.)


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

Michael Golden P ’99, ’02 Receives Lindabury-Thomas Award Trustees, former trustees, administrators and other guests gathered in Founders Hall on Friday, October 23, for the annual Former Trustee Dinner. As part of the celebration, Headmaster Sid Rowell recognized Michael Golden with the 2015 Lindabury-Thomas Award. Considered GSB’s highest form of recognition for a trustee, the annual award honors a former trustee for outstanding service to the school. Golden served on the Board of Trustees from 1998 through 2006, and afterward as an honorary trustee. During his tenure, he was a member of the Development Committee and the Building and Grounds Committee and was involved in the construction of the addition to Conover, the Athletic Center, and the planning for Hockenbury Hall. During his remarks, Rowell noted that “One of Mike’s great passions is athletics” and that Golden “has been a longstanding supporter of Gill’s athletic programs.” Beyond attending every soccer game to watch his daughter Cassie ’99 and son Justin ’02 play, Golden worked with Dick Emmitt P ’02 to establish the Booster Club, an organization dedicated to supporting GSB’s athletes and athletic programs. Golden served as the club’s vice president for many years. Several years after his children had graduated, Golden and his wife Mary stepped forward to offer significant financial support for the installation of the turf field. Another of Golden’s athletic pursuits was horse riding. In the 1980s, he owned Gem Twist, one of the best show jumpers in the history of the sport. Gem Twist was the only horse to be named the American Grand Prix Association Horse of the Year three times, and he claimed two medals in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, where, fittingly, he was ridden by a GSB alumnus, Greg Best ’80. Golden would ride Gem Twist on the GSB campus. These outings marked his introduction to the school and began a decadeslong relationship between his family and GSB. In his remarks, Rowell described Golden as “a most worthy recipient,” adding “but because he is so humble, it took some work to convince him of this.” He concluded, “His and Mary’s love for their children, Cassie and Justin, drew him into Gill St. Bernard’s School, ultimately at the highest level of service… and leadership. He has made a significant difference in the life of our school in so many ways and it is we who have been honored by this gift of service and support for so many years. It is my privilege to recognize this year’s recipient of the Lindabury-Thomas Award for outstanding service to the school, Michael Golden.” Upon receiving the award, Golden reflected on his deep connections to the school, saying “It has been less about what we have done for the school than what the school has done for us. We have been rewarded far greater than what we have contributed.” He added in closing, “It is our treat to still be involved with the school.” 25


PAT R O N S

Merke Learning Commons Dedication On October 16, students, faculty and other members of the school community braved the early morning chill, gathering outside of the Middle School to take part in the official dedication of the Merke Learning Commons. On hand for the ceremony were five members of the Coscia family, lead supporters of the project, who traveled from Florida for the event: Dean and Margy P ’11, ’15 and their daughters Katie ’15, Bridget and Amy. The Coscia’s sons Christopher ’11 and Michael were unable to attend. As part of the dedication ceremony, the Learning Commons was named in honor of Margy Coscia’s parents, the late Bill and Shirley Merke. During his address, Kyle Armstrong, Middle School director, reflected “They [the Merkes] were always so impressed with the education their grandchildren received at Gill, and I know their spirits are looking down as we dedicate this space in their honor.” The Coscias chose to make the lead gift for this project as they were moving to Florida after 13 years as members of the GSB community. The Learning Commons comprises two rooms: a library, stocked with young adult fiction and a range of age-appropriate non-fiction, and an adjacent makerspace. A sliding glass door between the two rooms allows them to be used separately or in combination. A makerspace, like an invention lab or a think lab, it provides raw materials, including 3-D printers, Arduino boards, craft supplies and Legos, for students to create and invent. By design, a makerspace encourages innovation, collaboration and multi-disciplinary thinking. The project began over the summer, with the space constructed almost entirely by the GSB operations team. Prior to construction, several faculty members weighed in on the design of the space and how it could best be used by students. At the dedication ceremony, Armstrong thanked everyone who “contributed time, treasure or talent,” calling the project “the direct result of a community commitment to educational excellence.” The Learning Commons was completed by late August, in time for the first day of school. After Armstrong’s remarks, Learning Commons Coordinator Lia Carruthers presented the Coscia’s with a signed copy of Tori McClure’s memoir A Pearl in the Storm, one of the family’s favorite books. The ceremony concluded with music teacher Amy Southerland leading the Middle School students in the song “For Good,” from the musical Wicked. Taking a cue from the song, Armstrong told the Coscias, “Although your address has changed to warmer climates, your family will always be part of the GSB community, for good.” 26


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

Become Part of the Alumni Walkway As a member of the Gill St. Bernard’s School community, you have the opportunity to help preserve our past and secure our future. During GSB’s centennial year, the alumni walkway was established to honor members of the school community. This past fall, the walkway was refurbished. The walkway approaches the Chapel, at the center of the GSB campus, and is used by every member of our community day after day. Reserve your place in GSB history by personalizing a piece of this walkway. Bricks may be purchased by or for alumni, students, faculty or friends of the school for $125 each (4” x 8”) and include up to 12 characters/spaces per line.

Purchase your brick at gsbschool.org/bricks, and become a part of GSB history today.

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FAC U LT Y N E W S

FACULTY NEWS

Rowell Serves as Vice Chair on NJAIS Team Last fall, Headmaster Sid Rowell served as vice chairman on the NJAIS accreditation team for the Peddie School, an independent 9-12 boarding and day school in Hightstown, New Jersey. In addition to his work on the accreditation team, Rowell is currently treasurer for NJAIS. Gill is currently entering into its own reaccreditation process, beginning with a selfstudy in 2016.

Cosentino Attends Green Boot Camp Middle School science teacher Teri Cosentino was one of 50 science teachers chosen to participate in the Honeywell Green Boot Camp in San Diego this summer. The workshop focused on new ways of teaching sustainability, renewable energy and environmental innovations. Cosentino was among 50 participants selected from more than 800 applicants throughout the world.

Lynn Prosen Attends Birdsleuth Retreat Lower School science teacher Lynn Prosen attended the 2015 Birdsleuth Educator Retreat in Ithaca, NY at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The workshop introduced creative outdoor, inquiry-driven research projects.

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Hearts for Honduras Lower School French and Spanish teacher Hope Napolitan spent a week in Honduras this July. The trip centered on collaborative work between American and Honduran teachers at the Hearts for Honduras School (Escuela Corazones Para Honduras) in La Entrada, Honduras.

in New York City on January 22. The exhibit is titled “Fresh Marks” and includes eight oil on canvas paintings that represent Isusi’s passion for pattern and design. Her work will be available to view through April.

Jamie Swinson Completes Masters Jamie Swinson, a Primary 3 teacher, completed her master’s in education with an NJ Reading Specialist certification and a Supervisory certification from Centenary College of NJ.

Dr. Lutz Enjoys Summer Seminar for AP English Teachers In July, Dr. Andrew Lutz, chair of the English department, completed a week-long intensive summer seminar at the Rutgers University Advanced Placement English Institute. The seminar was for teachers of advanced placement English literature and composition, and advanced placement English language and composition.

Sarah Isusi Showcases Her Work at Gallery Fine Arts Chair Sarah Isusi presented her work at a private showing at the Namaste Gallery

Fine Arts Chair Sarah Isusi.

Obituaries Andrew Geier ’88 of Austin, Texas passed away on September 1, 2015. Andrew is survived by his sister, Dihann Geier; brother, William A. Geier; and six nieces and nephews.

Bradner McPherson “Brad” Littlehale Jr.

SBS ’67 of Dover, Massachusetts, passed away on July 6, 2015. He is survived by his wife Linda Rodes; his sons Brad III and Walker; his sister Suzanne O’Malley and her husband Dennis.


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

Restoration is almost complete on the triptych The painting is expected to return to campus this spring.

Reconnect, Reminisce, Celebrate!

Save The Date For Alumni Weekends

April 29-30, 2016

Second Alumni Weekend For Gill & SBS Alumni 50th Reunion

June 4-5, 2016 www.gsbschool.org/alumni-reunion

All Alumni Welcome 33


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

Chapel January 2016

Non-Profit Org U.S. Postage PAID W. Caldwell, NJ Permit No. 55

Profile for Gill St. Bernard's School

GSB Alumni Magazine: Winter 2016  

GSB Alumni Magazine: Winter 2016  

Profile for gsbschool

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