Milestones 2013

Page 1


Commencement Reflections from Our 2013 “Lifers” Closing Exercises for Middle and Lower Schools




Table of Contents FROM THE HEADMASTER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 UPPER SCHOOL COMMENCEMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 “GSB LIFERS”. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 MIDDLE SCHOOL CLOSING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 LOWER SCHOOL CLOSING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Welcome to Milestones This is the premiere issue of Milestones magazine. Milestones will be published annually by the communications and marketing department and is dedicated to celebrating the graduating class at Gill St. Bernard’s School. The magazine also features the school’s eighth and fourth grade students as they transition to the Upper and Middle Schools, respectively. As a private college preparatory school that offers a pre-K through 12th grade education, Gill St. Bernard’s is also proud to recognize its annual “GSB Lifers” (graduating seniors who have matriculated at Gill for 12 years or more) in each issue of Milestones.

Gill St. Bernard’s Milestones magazine is published annually by the communications and marketing department.


Sid Rowell, Headmaster

Oscar Beck Karen Blair Larry Bostian Ed Brown Paul Canada Brittany Casser Isabel Corbin Fred Corona Jennifer Diamond William Diamond Marilyn Dori Diana Fiore Carrie Grabowski Len Grabowski Claudia Hesler David Hodgson Sarah Isusi Leo Janas

Allyson B. Daly, Director of Communications and Marketing Michael LaBrie, New Media Specialist Megan Zakrzewski, Communications Specialist Gill St. Bernard’s School P.O. Box 604, St. Bernard’s Road Gladstone, NJ 07934-0604 908-234-1611 Cover image by Becky Bedrosian P ’11 of Becky Bedrosian Photography. Additional photography in this issue also by Becky Bedrosian Photography and by GSB staff photographers unless otherwise noted. Design by Vision Creative Group. Some freelance writing by Alice Roche Cody.

Allison Kochis David Lee Melissa Lewis Andrew Lutz Derek Martin Cindy Orr Bob Ort Linda Park Sharon Poticny Candace Pryor Brown Barbara Ripton John Ripton Margery Schiesswohl Randell Schmidt David Southerland Michiel Stil Takisha Sulton John Taeschler Irv Taylor Amy Tierney

Kim Turse Greg Washburn Gina Wendell Mike Wendell Laura Wengel UPPER SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION Michael Chimes, Director of Academic Technology Gerry Cirillo, Dean of Students David Pasquale, Director of Athletics Susan Petrone, Upper School Director Peter Schmidt, Director of Studies Kerri Ann Small, Director of College Guidance

UPPER SCHOOL STAFF Judy Dechent Carolyn Giordano Meredith Swenson

From the Headmaster



Welcome to the first edition of Milestones, a newly created annual GSB publication that celebrates our graduating seniors. Within these pages we present a number of photographs from Commencement, including those of individual award recipients and of every senior. We also present the college matriculation list—a real testament to the strength of the Class of 2013. Also featured are the 2013 “Lifers,” those students who have attended GSB since first grade or, in some cases, preschool. Many of them arrived on campus at the same time I did in 2001. It has been my privilege to share in their experiences and watch them grow. Their stories are a tribute to Gill St. Bernard’s, and several touch upon how GSB has changed during their time here and the impact it has had on their individuality. I wish all our graduates much success in their future endeavors. I also want to thank all of our parents for their continued support. Education remains the single best investment we can make, and it is a lasting gift that we give to our children. I am confident that our newest alumni will continue to experience success moving forward, and trust that their time here was well spent.

Sid Rowell Headmaster

Headmaster Sid Rowell looks on as Peter Carollo ’13 receives his Upper School diploma from board of trustees Chairman John Howard P ’17, ’21.


Upper School Commencement




The 2013 Commencement Exercises

GSB Community Celebrates New Chapter for Graduating Seniors A celebration of achievements and fond reflections, the 84 members of the Class of 2013 officially concluded an exciting and enlightening journey through Gill St. Bernard’s School at Commencement on June 2. The students were joined by more than 800 proud family members and friends as well as faculty, trustees, administrators, alumni and staff at the special ceremony. Led by bagpipers from St. Ann’s of Hampton Pipes & Drums band, the event began with a formal procession to the Athletic Center, where all were greeted by Rabbi John Schechter of the Congregation B’Nai Israel of Basking Ridge. In his invocation, Schechter said, “We gather today to celebrate your achievements in learning and to reflect upon your headmaster’s, your teachers’, your grandparents’ and your parents’ dedication to the cause of learning.” Headmaster Sid Rowell then offered his congratulations to the Class of 2013. “This afternoon, we join to express our appreciation and give attention to the Class of 2013 and all that its members have been a part of and have accomplished during their time at Gill,” he said. “The Class of 2013 is a wonderfully talented group that features 19 students who have been at GSB since the first grade. This class has won Paper Mill Playhouse awards as well as nine sectional and five state athletic championships. Collectively, it has performed thousands of hours of community service and in the fall, its graduates will attend an impressive array of colleges and universities throughout our country.” Rowell then went on to recognize that these accomplishments were not without difficulty. “This past year was particularly challenging and brought both extreme weather and incomprehensible violence to our nation,” he said referring to the devastation that Superstorm Sandy caused the region in late October and to the tragedies in Newtown, Conn., and Boston that shook the country. “In the face of so many challenges, it has truly been a great year for our school, and just as we come together in times of need so, too, must we come together as a community to celebrate,” said Rowell. Seniors Jana Bernard, Theophilus Timothy, Laura Wood and Ryan LaPré shared individual reflections about their time—for some as many as 11 years—at Gill St. Bernard’s School. “Gill is the place where I’ve gotten to know amazing teachers and friends, people who have helped me walk with purpose, to take major strides toward achieving my goals,” said Wood. “When I look back, one word comes to mind: community,” LaPré commented in his speech. “We’ve all experienced ups and downs, but none of us have experienced this alone.” To show appreciation toward all that the community has provided over the past several years, LaPré, along with Caragh Corcoran and Scoey Young, also presented the school with a check for more than $1,400, a departing gift from members of the graduating class. As traditionally is part of Commencement, the school

then honored the 19 “GSB Lifers” (see related story on page 8) and their families who have demonstrated a longstanding commitment to and confidence in GSB since as early as preschool. Throughout the remainder of the ceremony, 18 awards were given for excellence in subjects including science, history and math. Four seniors also received Honor Board Awards, while 17 graduated cum laude or within the top-20 percent of their class (see page 4). With their diplomas in hand, the graduating class concluded Commencement with a recessional to Todd Quad, where each classmate was met with applause by faculty members, administrators and trustees.

Clockwise from top left: Ryan LaPré ’13 (m.) is awarded the Julian T. Brown Cup at Commencement, presented by last year’s recipient Daniel Sonnenberg ’12 (l.) and Headmaster Sid Rowell (r.); Now a graduate, Jasmine Davis ’13 (m.) happily celebrates with her father Alfred (l.) and sister Jada ’16 following Commencement; (F. to b.) Iman Jebara ’13 and Alekzandra Jackson-Rakovsky ’13 make their way to the Athletic Center; Natalia Sachs ’13 (r.) is recognized for achieving the highest academic record throughout Upper School. The 2013 Jean Loizeaux Award for academic excellence was presented by the retired faculty member, Jean Loizeaux (l.), as well as Headmaster Sid Rowell (m.); Madeline Quinn ’15 (m.) congratulates her sister Emily ’13 (r.), along with their fellow track teammate, Emily Iannaconi ’13 (l.), after the ceremony; (L. to r.) Andrew Devine ’13, Jana Bernard ’13, Theophilus Timothy ’13 and Robert Anderson ’13; (L. to r.) Tina Jiang ’13, Margaret LaPré ’13 and Sarangi Patel ’13 discuss future college plans while waiting for Commencement to begin; Members of the 2013 varsity boys’ tennis squad, (l. to r.) Bryce Neville ’14, Kiliaen O’Connor ’14, Ryan Osterman ’13, Alexander Rowe ’13, Harald Parker ’14 and Kyle Williams ’14, gather for one last team photo. Also pictured: Garrett Rowe ’15 (r.); The Steck family, including mother Nancy (l.), 2013 GSB graduate Brian (m.) and father Paul (r.); Together, (l. to r.) Lydia Dey ’13, Kimberly Lindquist ’13 and Elizabeth Prins ’13 recall fond memories from Gill St. Bernard’s School; The Class of 2013.




2013 Commencement Honors and Prizes (In order of acceptance)

Gill St. Bernard’s 2013 Commencement recognized the academic achievement, athletic success and more obtained by graduating seniors who received the following awards and distinctions:

Frances B. Rohn Memorial Award

Named in honor of a former mathematics teacher at The Gill School, this award is given to that student who has achieved the highest four-year average in mathematics.

Natalia Sachs

Brianne Adornetto

Matthew Amoroso

Robert Anderson

Jenna Arasim

Nicholas Baker

Jana Bernard

Nicholas Bilynsky

Nicholas Blackman

Christopher “CJ” Blasi

Svetozar Brankov

Benjamin Brown

Peter Carollo

Samantha Casternovia

Margot Chowansky

Austin Colbert

Madeline Connell

Caragh Corcoran

Sarah Cramer

Carol J. Heaney Memorial Award

In memory of a beloved science teacher of many years at GSB, this award recognizes that student who has demonstrated intellectual curiosity, outstanding academic achievement and superior promise in the study of science throughout Upper School. Andrew Devine

History Department Award

This book prize is presented annually to those seniors selected by the department as having done the most outstanding work in history. Emily Quinn, Laura Wood

Peapack-Gladstone Bank Award

This award denotes a savings bond from the PeapackGladstone Bank, and is given to that senior with the highest four-year average in English. Emily Quinn

World Language Department Award

A book prize awarded to that senior with the highest four-year average in French, Spanish or Latin. Margaret LaPré

Computer Science Award

This distinction annually honors that graduating senior who has demonstrated interest, aptitude and exemplary achievement in computer science throughout Upper School, excelling in computer programming, computer-aided design or both. Benjamin Brown

Ferber Visual Arts Award

Donated by Meredith Green Ferber ’93, this award is presented to that senior who has shown exceptional artistic talent in the visual arts, including painting, drawing, sculpture, woodworking or photography.

Alekzandra Jackson-Rakovsky Caporusso/DeLuca Award

This award, established by two graduates from the Class of 1996, honors that senior who has provided distinct leadership over the past four years, enabling others to share in extracurricular programs and providing leadership throughout Upper School activities. Madeline Connell

Joyce Creasey Memorial Award

An award recognizing that senior girl whose ability, leadership, sportsmanship and team loyalty have contributed most to the Knights’ athletics program. Emily Quinn

Harold D. Nicholls Memorial Award

This award is presented to the best male senior-athlete, in memory of Harold D. Nicholls, a teacher, coach, senior master and headmaster who served St. Bernard’s School between 1917 and 1957. Jaren Sina

Bennett Service Award

Presented in memory of Caryl and J. Gordon Bennett, this award was established by The Gill School Parents’ Committee and honors that student whose community service activities best show concern and consideration toward others.

Caragh Corcoran, Stark Kirby 4



Susan H. Stover Award

First introduced in 2003, this award honors Susan H. Stover, former director of development at Gill St. Bernard’s, and is presented annually to that senior who demonstrates the highest level of service and loyalty to the school.

Nicholas Blackman

Lindabury Senior Honor Award Jasmine Davis

Nicole DeRosa

Andrew Devine

Established by the Class of 2007, this award is presented to that senior who has positively affected the experiences of underclassmen by working hard to be a person of inclusion, demonstrating compassion and thoughtfulness and acting as a role model and a leader. Scoey Young

Julian T. Brown Cup

A St. Bernard’s School tradition since 1913, this silver cup represents the highest honor a male senior can obtain while at GSB. The recipient must work for the good of the school, show thoughtfulness and consideration, maintain integrity and, above all, exemplify characteristics of faith, honor and consideration. Ryan LaPré

Lydia Dey

Timothy DiBisceglie

Pilar Dominguez

Elizabeth Gill Girl Award

The highest honor to be attained by a female senior while at GSB, the annual recipient of the Elizabeth Gill Girl Award must work for the good of the school, show thoughtfulness and consideration, maintain integrity and, above all, exemplify characteristics of faith, honor and consideration.

Emily Iannaconi

Jean Loizeaux Award

This award is given to that senior holding the top academic record in the class. Natalia Sachs

Honor Board Award

Bijan Eizadkhah

Jessica Ferrando

Emily Fischer

Presented by Dean of Students Gerry Cirillo, this award recognizes the integrity of those four seniors who have served on the Upper School Honor Board. The Honor Board is a committee that educates community members on the importance of upholding GSB’s core values and helps affirm the ideals of the school. In addition, the board evaluates cases of student misconduct.

Margaret LaPré, Andrew Provines, Laura Wood, Yale Zirpolo Cum Laude Society

Amanda Greenberg

Jaclyn Hammond

Sarah Hassett

Founded in 1906, the Cum Laude Society recognizes excellence, justice and honor in secondary schools. An association of 382 chapters worldwide, membership within cum laude is granted to those students who rank among the top-20 percent of their graduating class. Jenna Arasim,

Nicole DeRosa, Andrew Devine, Jessica Ferrando, Emily Iannaconi, Margaret LaPré, Ryan LaPré, Harrison Loomis, Ryan Osterman, Sarangi Patel, Andrew Provines, Emily Quinn, Natalia Sachs, Caitlin Stefanick, Kelly Stefanick, Jae-Chiang Wong, Laura Wood

Emily Iannaconi

Carson Ingersoll

Alekzandra Jackson-Rakovsky

Iman Jebara

Blake Jenkins

Christopher Jenkins





Tina Jiang

Trevor Kaminski

Stark Kirby

Jessica Kundla

Margaret LaPré

Ryan LaPré

Hannah Layden

Mark Leonhard

Kimberly Lindquist

Harrison Loomis

Kyra Madden

Katherine “Kasia” McLellan

Haley Miller

Alexis Molnar

John William Murphy

Samantha Murray

Ryan Osterman

Sarangi Patel

Elizabeth Prins

Andrew Provines

Emily Quinn

Michael Renna

Julie Roettger

Sienna Roth



Alexander Rowe

Natalia Sachs

Jonathan Schreer

Jaren Sina

Wesley Spear

Brian Steck

Caitlin Stefanick

Kelly Stefanick

Katelyn Stephenson

Peter Stone

Sucheta Swaminathan

Kyle Swartz

Theophilus Timothy

Pearson Treanor

Thomas Troxell

Ella Valdes

Bethany Valentine

Campbell Wentworth-Ping

Samuel White

Brian Williamson

Jae-Chiang Wong

Laura Wood

Scoey Young

Yale Zirpolo


The 2013 “GSB LIFERS” From left: Samantha Casternovia, Alexis Molnar, Nicholas Blackman, Kyra Madden, Yale Zirpolo, Caitlin Stefanick, John William Murphy, Mark Leonhard, Madeline Connell, Hannah Layden, Kyle Swartz, Kimberly Lindquist, Kelly Stefanick, Bijan Eizadkhah, Jasmine Davis, Samuel White, Sucheta Swaminathan, Sienna Roth and Brian Williamson.

“Everything I have learned from Gill will always stay with me. It is the place where I grew up, and my time here has been so special. Attending a school where everyone is so tight-knit has truly been a privilege. The friends I have made here and the knowledge that I have acquired will last a lifetime.” — Kyra Madden, a student at GSB since kindergarten




Both academics and athletics at GSB have played a prominent role in the growth and development of Nicholas Blackman. “My favorite location on campus was either the soccer or baseball field—these were the places where I could forget about the world and focus on sports,” he says. “These places were my sanctuary.” The varsity baseball captain credits coaches like Mr. Diamond, Mr. Pasquale and Mr. Bednarsky for helping him transform into a true team leader. Meanwhile in the classroom, Mr. Hodgson stands out most in Nicholas’ mind. “He had the most significant impact on my education because he was a great teacher I could relate to and talk with about everything,” he says. “I had him since eighth grade and each year was memorable.” In all, GSB prepared Nicholas well for college. “Attending a school like GSB affected my growth as a student. I am comfortable approaching teachers, or even adults, if I need help. It also taught me to believe in my answers and not to second-guess myself. I’ve loved it here at Gill. I believe the atmosphere, faculty and staff made me into the young man I am today.”

Throughout her years at GSB, Samantha Casternovia has observed significant transformations campus wide. “The biggest change has been the size of the student body, with the addition of the new Upper School building,” she says. “In Lower and Middle School, there were no more than 40 kids to a grade, but by the time I entered Upper School, my class’ size had doubled to about 83. While this took some getting used to, the change allowed me to meet many more people and make new friends. Though it got hectic at times, it will help make the transition to college easier.” Although excited for college, Samantha also cannot wait to return to Gill in the future. “Through my many years at Gill, countless graduates have walked into my classes to visit teachers and younger friends or talk about college,” she says. “I now look forward to coming back to talk with my favorite teachers as well. I hope I never lose touch. I plan to visit on family and alumni days and even crash a few big sports games and poetry nights.”

When Madeline Connell became stage manager her junior year, she fell in with a group of talented, close-knit students and discovered a special spot at GSB. “My favorite place on campus was the theater,” she says. “After I became stage manager, I spent almost all of my time there. In the theater, everyone becomes family. One of my best memories at Gill was winning ‘Best Overall Production’ for The Mystery of Edwin Drood at the 2012 Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards. This was such a special moment for me because everyone involved with the show worked so hard to put on an amazing production. It was an incredible feeling to know that all our work paid off and that everyone enjoyed watching the show as much as we enjoyed performing it.”

JV/Varsity Baseball: Captain JV/Varsity Ice Hockey: Alternate Captain JV/Varsity Soccer Blue Crew Concert Choir Admissions Ambassador Peer Leader Lead for Diversity H.O.P.E. Relay for Life

High Point University

Varsity Fencing Excalibur: Editor-in-Chief, Layout Editor, Photographer The Fourth Estate: Layout Editor Peer Leader Senior Convocation Speaker Social and Prom Committees Science Buddies Blood Drive: Captain H.O.P.E. Relay for Life

Boston University

GSB Players: Stage Manager — The Dining Room, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Plaza Suite Concert Choir Mixed Choral Ensemble Women’s Choral Ensemble Admissions Ambassador Peer Leader Habitat for Humanity

High Point University





Thanks to her time at GSB and the rigorous academic curriculum it provided, starting in the Lower School and continuing up through grade 12, Jasmine Davis is more than ready for college. “My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Zimmerman, dumped loads of homework on me, but now I can look back with unbiased eyes and say that Mrs. 'Z' prepared me well for the amount of homework I would receive in my later years,” she says. “My experiences at GSB also prepared me for presentations and tests in college. It gave me an idea of what I will need to do to achieve the life I want after college. As far as college is concerned, I’m not worried about juggling the workload and any other activities. I know what I’m capable of and I look forward to striving for the things I want in life.”

For Bijan Eizadkhah, lessons learned on the soccer field are just as important as those learned inside the classroom. “Gill taught me how to be respectful of others and gain respect; I will remain a GSB Knight in the way I conduct myself,” he says. “Mr. Bednarsky was my favorite teacher and coach. He told great stories and held me and my teammates to the highest standards.” Bijan, named “Player to Watch” by The Star-Ledger in 2012, will remember his challenges on the soccer field most: “My greatest memories of GSB fall under the category soccer—from the time Coach Diamond ran the mile with us, to all the trophies we won.” Academically, Bijan also takes away important values from the school that has become somewhat of a second home over the past 14 years. “GSB helped me become confident in myself,” he says. “It helped build character. The value of a GSB education goes beyond getting a student into college. Every teacher helps prepare you for your next challenge. Teachers don’t just teach the material, they teach good preparation and study habits.”

For Hannah Layden, choosing just one favorite GSB memory is nearly impossible. Her most special moments include the school’s annual Stone Soup and Turkey Days, and her eighth grade class trip to Washington, D.C. “There’s no way for me to pick,” she says, but adds that if she had to play favorites, her Unit trips would definitely be at the top of the list. “I was fortunate enough to go on the Spanish exchange Unit my freshman year and then work at an orphanage and a school in the Dominican Republic my sophomore and junior years. These Units had the biggest cultural impact on my life and made me much more aware of the world.”

Whether shagging foul balls or swinging at a change-up, the place on campus where Mark Leonhard feels most comfortable is the baseball field. “Many of my fondest memories come from that field,” he says. “It’s been a place where no matter what, I was glad to be on it.” It should come as no surprise, then, that the teachers who inspired him most were his coaches. “Mr. Diamond—my advisor, teacher and coach—played a huge role in my experiences here,” he says. “He and Coach Pasquale helped shape me, both on and off the field, to be the person I am today, preparing me for the years ahead.” For this honor roll student, his time at GSB was not just about sports. “Gill academically prepares you well for the challenges you will face in the years to come,” he says. “This strong community allows students to be comfortable; to come out of their shells and to improve on themselves. GSB gives everyone the best shot for success.”

Varsity Fencing: Captain JV Soccer: Captain Ski Club Social and Prom Committees

Wellesley College

Varsity Soccer: Captain Relay for Life

The University of Scranton

Varsity Swimming Varsity Indoor Track Peer Leader 30-Hour Famine Volunteer

Elon University

Varsity Baseball: Captain JV Basketball JV Soccer Admissions Ambassador Relay for Life

Bard College


KYRA MADDEN 13 years


Kimberly Lindquist has witnessed many transformations while at GSB and she likes what she has seen. “When I began at Gill, I was a part of a pre-K class with about 10 kids,” she says. “As I entered high school, my class was one of the biggest the school had seen at that time. As the years went by, however, Gill expanded its campus size and population. It evolved and brought in more and more students every year. This expansion made room for a diversity of students and a campus that has improved day-in and day-out.” Despite leaving GSB, Kimberly is determined to remain a part of its community. “When I graduate, I will leave behind my second family at Gill,” she said. “I will look back on the memories I made with all the people I love and wish that I could redo them. I will hold back the tears when I am walking with my classmates at Commencement, though, because I know that my second home will be here; waiting for me when I come back to visit.”

Over the past 13 years, both under the direction of her teachers and through her surroundings on the GSB campus, Kyra Madden has come to truly appreciate history. “Mr. Ripton is a teacher who loves what he does. He is passionate about history and is genuinely interested in the opinions of each of his students,” she says. “This pushed me to actively participate in class discussions and to do my best to learn and fully understand the material. From his enthusiasm, I have developed a deep appreciation of the subject.” For Kyra, this appreciation is reinforced simply by strolling across Todd Quad. “I love the Chapel because its unique architecture gives the campus character. When you walk in, you can feel the history; so many past students that have been there too. It is also where the choir classes are held and the high ceiling allows for the sound to carry beautifully. It’s a perfect building.”

Alexis Molnar—a singer, actress, comedienne and dancer—can honestly say that it all started at Gill. “Mrs. Seibert, my fourth grade music teacher, came to my mother and me, and told us that I could sing,” she says. “From then on I started lessons. I owe a lot to her!” A mezzo-soprano, Molnar has performed on Broadway and has appeared in MTV’s Danger Dawgz along with the blockbuster hit The Bourne Legacy. Her training also includes classes at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London and Second City Comedy Troupe in Chicago. According to Molnar, by far her favorite experience at GSB was the Unit trip to Disney. “It was the best Unit ever! I loved how I could take a seminar on something really interesting, like marine biology, and then go to the parks for the rest of the day with a show or two in between. The group of kids that went on the trip was great. I still have mementos from that experience, such as a custommade lightsaber and an autograph book, signed by characters Goofy, Aladdin and Peter Pan!”

JV/Varsity Soccer Blue Crew Excalibur Admissions Ambassador Peer Leader H.O.P.E. Relay for Life 30-Hour Famine Volunteer

Fairfield University

JV/Varsity Soccer Varsity Indoor Track Varsity Cross Country Concert Choir Mixed Choral Ensemble Women’s Choral Ensemble The Fourth Estate: Layout Editor, Senior Editor The Unknown Muse VOTES Mock Trial Admissions Ambassador Social Committee Bridges Outreach Habitat for Humanity H.O.P.E. Relay for Life

New York University

GBS Players: Actor — Tartuffe, The Dining Room

Pace University, NYC


SIENNA ROTH 12 years


John William Murphy has achieved much athletic success at GSB, including two state sectional championships in varsity soccer and the title of varsity golf team captain. But one experience has topped them all. “Playing hockey this past season for the first time was a blast!” he says. John William feels it is the athletics program at GSB that has experienced the most change during his 14 years as a “Lifer.” “We’ve excelled in athletics; through our director, coaches, trainer, the Athletic Center and new and improved fields,” he says. What’s more, the person who had the most significant impact on this athlete was Mrs. LaBarre; “a great assistant athletic director, teacher, coach and friend,” says John William. While John William will always remain a Knight at heart, it is because of faculty members like Mrs. LaBarre that he is more than ready to become a Mustang.

It may sound clichéd, but Sienna Roth has had too many good times at Gill to pick just one. “Over the past 12 years, there have been a million concerts, inside jokes, anecdotes, field trips, class projects and assemblies—an infinite number of favorite memories,” she says, specifically recalling events like Relay for Life, Unit trips, prom and Homecoming. Another thing that Sienna attributes to the success and happiness she has found at GSB: the faculty. “Mr. Lutz had the most significant impact on my experience here at Gill,” she says. “He helped to further my appreciation for the English language and literature. Under his guidance, my voice as a creative writer grew stronger and bolder. My time at Gill helped me realize my own potential and allowed me to think of my future in broader terms. Gill gave me the tools and mindset needed to succeed in college and beyond.”

For Caitlin Stefanick, GSB has become a home away from home, filled with many comfortable spaces, favorite memories and special teachers. She has enjoyed studying with friends in the reference room, also taking in the picturesque view that it offers to the outside campus. In addition, she will never forget her time spent serving as captain to the varsity soccer team, and singles out one Middle School teacher, Mr. Grabowski, for instilling a love of the subject math. “Throughout my experiences at Gill, I always felt comfortable on campus; the school provided a very safe, nurturing environment in which I found it effortless to be myself and focus on my studies,” she says. “This made me feel as comfortable at Gill as in my own home. I’ve been here since preschool, so I feel that Gill has shaped me into the person I am today. In that way, I will always be a Knight at heart, carrying with me the values and knowledge Gill has instilled throughout my years at the school.”

JV Basketball Varsity Golf: Captain Varsity Ice Hockey Varsity Indoor Track JV/Varsity Soccer Social and Prom Committees

Southern Methodist University

Varsity Fencing: Manager Excalibur The Fourth Estate: Layout Editor The Unknown Muse Social Committee Blood Drive 30-Hour Famine Volunteer Relay for Life

Varsity Soccer: Captain Math Club Relay for Life

The University of Chicago

Dickinson College




KYLE SWARTZ 14 years

For many, being a part of the GSB community is much like having an extended family. This certainly holds true for Kelly Stefanick, who had the good fortune of progressing through Gill St. Bernard’s School with her twin sister, Caitlin, and will continue this tradition at college in the fall. “My fondest childhood memories have to do with my sister, whether we were pretending to be one another, tricking our friends or fooling our teachers,” she says. “One of my greatest memories at Gill was the day that my sister and I found out that we both got into The University of Chicago, because all of our friends were there to support us and share in our excitement.” Kelly definitely feels ready to take on college life in the “windy city.” “Rigorous academics at Gill have prepared me well for college,” she says. “All of the extended research papers, writing assignments and exams have prepared me to face whatever academic challenges The University of Chicago may pose. Being a student-athlete at Gill also made me efficient when performing various activities. It made me work on time-management and helped me develop skills across multiple areas.”

When Sucheta Swaminathan suffered her fifth concussion during the 2010 soccer season, she became an assistant to Glen DePino, athletic trainer. In this capacity, Sucheta helped her teammates with icing and taping their injuries, as well as guided them through rehabilitation. She recognizes her athletic trainer’s knowledge as a key component in helping to shape her future. “Mr. DePino had the most significant impact on my experiences as a student-athlete at Gill,” she says. “He steered me through some rough patches with injuries and was a great motivator and supporter who helped me discover a possible career option. From him, I learned how to help fellow athletes who were injured and how to handle different injuries. I am forever grateful because without his advice, I would not have taken the direction that I am choosing to take today.”

When Kyle Swartz reminisces about his 14 years at GSB, it is the jungle gym that sparks the most memories. “I remember countless games of tag, foursquare and kickball in the spring and fall, and building snow forts during the winter—it’s my way of going down memory lane,” he says. Throughout his time at GSB, this “Lifer” was challenged every step of the way. “Gill taught me to set higher goals for myself on a yearly basis,” he says. “At first, it was all about block castles and finger painting, which eventually evolved into Chi-square statistics problems, speaking intellectually about coronal mass ejection in astronomy and creating multiple film projects. Attending GSB helped me think in more practical ways. It taught me to weigh all possible outcomes when faced with difficult questions and allowed for lots of communication among my peers. It also taught me how to build professional relationships with educators, who will help me in college and afterward.”

Varsity Soccer: Captain Relay for Life

The University of Chicago

Varsity Soccer: Player, Captain, Team Manager, Assistant to Athletic Trainer Excalibur: Layout Editor, Photographer 30-Hour Famine Volunteer

University of Maryland, College Park

Varsity Cross Country JV/Varsity Golf Mountain Biking Club Ski Club Outdoor Club: President GSB Dance-a-thon Relay for Life

St. Lawrence University




Samuel White certainly felt comfortable spending his days on the GSB campus these past 13 years. While there, he logged plenty of time with his friends in the library and retreated to several of his favorite teachers’ classrooms when seeking help or advice. “Gill is small and intimate enough that it functions just like a home,” he says. “You may have disagreements with classmates, you may not like a certain teacher’s style—any number of negatives can hit you—just like in a real home. But at the end of the day, we reconcile and get past our differences. We care enough about one another that we all ultimately get along, just like family members do.”

When Brian Williamson recalls his many years at GSB, he thinks about time spent with friends: hanging with classmates inside the gazebo, sprinting alongside his teammates at track meets and carving up the ice with his hockey team. “My greatest memories at GSB are those of track meets that I went to with my team members, the ones at the end of the season that last all day. Competing in them with friends made each one amazing,” he says. “My track and cross country coach, Mr. deWolfe, has had the largest impact on me as a person. He has taught me many life lessons.” Brian also appreciates the size and feel of Gill. “Its small classrooms and challenging classes made me a better student,” he says. “GSB instills within you a drive to succeed, a motivation that will stay with me always—as a young adult going into college and as a mature individual entering into the workforce.”

Yale Zirpolo is grateful to have received so many opportunities to expand his cultural horizons through GSB. During his 13 years as a “Lifer,” he was able to learn about life in the 1800s and was offered a first-hand look at the regions that lie beyond campus borders. “My favorite memory is visiting Apple Valley School in Mrs. Miller’s second grade class,” he says. “It was an activity we did to simulate the life of a student living in the 1800s. We mimicked everything, from sharing desks to standing in the corner when disobedient. For our final project, we were asked to create something related to the activity. With the help of my parents, I made a life-sized cut-out of myself and dressed it up in 19th century clothes.” Later, in his junior year, Yale traveled to Hilo, Hawaii, as part of the Upper School Unit program. “This trip not only showed me a completely new place, but also allowed me to experience some of the priceless wonders located within our very own country. We spent our days hiking through the rainforest, walking over a solid sheet of volcanic rock and climbing to the top of a volcano to catch a glimpse of the fiery lava inside,” he says. “We also visited the Pearl Harbor Memorial and toured Volcano National Park.”

Varsity Cross Country Varsity Fencing Varsity Swimming: Captain The Unknown Muse Academic League

Colorado College

Varsity Cross Country Varsity Ice Hockey: Captain Varsity Track and Field Relay for Life

Purdue University

Honor Board Member 2020 Club Admissions Ambassador Lead for Diversity Science Buddies H.O.P.E. 30-Hour Famine Volunteer

Bentley University


Middle School Closing




Eighth Grade Closing Exercises

Completing the Journey to the Upper School

The Middle School division held its eighth grade closing ceremony June 5, marking the official promotion of the Class of 2017 to the Upper School. Hundreds of family, faculty members and friends gathered at the benchmark event in the Athletic Center to commemorate the 51 eighth grade students who will assume the role of Upper School freshmen in the fall. The term “for good” posed a frequent theme throughout this year’s exercises as members from the Middle School’s 7/8 chorus performed Stephen Schwartz’s “For Good,” and 10 eighth grade students were honored with awards for their hard work—whether in the classroom, on the playing field or throughout the community—to benefit both the school and others (see right, by order of acceptance). Also presented to individuals from the rising class were more than 60 certificates of excellence across subjects including English, math, history and science. Following the formal presentation of prizes, each was awarded certificates of completion from Headmaster Sid Rowell. The ceremony concluded with a recessional to the Thomas Court Flag Pole, where GSB’s newest members of the Upper School received hugs, handshakes and congratulations in acknowledgement of their tremendous growth and development as individuals while passing through the Middle School. “This class has many exceptional students and athletes who will, without a doubt, make positive contributions to our Upper School,” said Matthew Huber, director of the Middle School. The rising group of eighth graders will join 37 newly admitted freshmen in the Upper School this fall.

Middle School Honors and Prizes Boys’ Athletic Award Sportsmanship, dedication and leadership are the principal qualities that coaches look for in determining the winner of this award. Steven Bednarsky, Michael Morreale Girls’ Athletic Award Awarded annually to that eighth grade female who, in the opinion of her coaches, best represents qualities of determination, loyalty, cooperation and sportsmanship. Cameron Campbell, Erica Phiansunthon Francis Winston Award This award is presented to that eighth grade student who, in the opinion of faculty members, has shown significant personal growth throughout Middle School. Erica Phiansunthon Marjorie Hibbler Memorial Award The eighth grade recipient of this award is selected each year by members of the faculty as having displayed the greatest academic improvement over his or her Middle School years. Hannah Lazar Frank Mazzocchi Award In memory of St. Bernard’s School alumnus Frank Mazzocchi ’66, this silver bowl is given annually to that male student who best exemplifies a friendly manner, and willingness and devotion toward the school. Lachlan Wright Martha Gray Tray Named in honor of one of Gill St. Bernard’s most distinguished educators, this award annually recognizes that female eighth grader who has consistently demonstrated loyalty, integrity and sincerity during her tenure in the Middle School. Kaitlyn Sleyster Scholastic Honors Award Presented to that student who maintains the highest cumulative grade-point average among his or her classmates throughout the academic year. Louise Horn Additional 2013 Scholastic Honors Award recipients include: Daniel Wang ’18 Citizenship Award The most prestigious prize a Middle School student can obtain, the Citizenship Award is granted to that individual who best upholds The Gill School’s motto: faith, honor, consideration. Louise Horn Additional 2013 Citizenship Award recipients include: Mark Giordano ’19, Alexis Maus ’20, Alexander Roch ’18

Top row, from left: The Castrucci family, twin sisters Nicole ’17 and Julia ’17 (l. to r.) with their parents Jill and John; The Richardson family including, from left, Keith Richardson with his children Ethan ’23 and Rachel ’17, and wife, Dawn. Missing from photo: Aidan Richardson ’23; Second row, from left: (L. to r.) Alyssa DiFazio ’17 and Will Dadouris ’17 excitedly march to the Athletic Center, ready to move onward to the Upper School; Classmates (l. to r.) Carolyn Brand ’17 and Samantha Bittman ’17 celebrate their transition to the Upper School division; Eighth grade award recipients (l. to r.) Kaitlyn Sleyster, Cameron Campbell, Louise Horn, Hannah Lazar, Steven Bednarsky, Michael Morreale, Erica Phiansunthon and Lachlan Wright; The Bednarsky family including, from left, grandparents Laurence and Kathy MacDougall, children Peter ’08, Steven ’17 and Kathryn ’14, and parents Tony and Donna. Missing from photo: Andrew Bednarsky ’10.

Lower School Closing



Fourth Grade Closing Exercises

Class of 2021 Moves “Forth” to the Middle School The number “four” held very special meaning to the 44 children from the Class of 2021 as Gill St. Bernard’s rising class of fourth grade students completed its passage through Cox Lower School during closing exercises on June 4. There to commemorate this milestone achievement during a ceremony in the Athletic Center were family, faculty and friends. Many students also received prizes and awards recognizing athletic excellence, exemplary character and utmost generosity (see below). Also offered throughout the event were parting words from the Class of 2022 whose message to the soon-to-be fifth graders included tips to study well and achieve “good grades,” to stand up for one’s self but still “be nice” and to “do what is right while helping others to do the right thing.” Following a musical presentation of “Onward” by the transitioning class, Headmaster Sid Rowell and Lower School Director Peggy Campbell-Rush formally introduced Gill’s newest and youngest members of the Middle School division. Lower School Honors and Prizes Presidential Fitness Award Presented to that student who scores in or above the 85th percentile each year for four years while completing tests across areas of fitness including endurance, strength, flexibility, speed and agility. Patrick Cullen Fourth Grade Character Education Flag This prize recognizes the students whose selfless acts of kindness were witnessed by teachers, faculty and administrators within the Lower School throughout the academic year. John “Jack” Alexy, Hunter Babinec, Emma Chesman, Patrick Cullen, Catherine D’Arcangelis, Michael Fritzlo, George Han, Owen Hand, Laura Howard, Liam Jones, Sofia Laboy, Christopher Lake, Stella O’Connor, Jason Savas, Callie Silvey, Caroline Solondz, Natalie Sturman, Connor Udoff, Perry Zoumas Amol Ajinkya Citizenship Award Created in memory of Amol Ajinkya, a late student, the Citizenship Award represents the most prestigious prize any Lower School candidate can receive. Selected each year by fourth grade and related arts teachers, the annual recipient is recognized for his or her thoughtfulness, sensitivity and generosity of spirit. Owen Hand Top row, from left: Isabel Orazietti ’21 walks with her fourth grade classmates to a closing assembly in the Athletic Center; Rising fourth grade students (l. to r.) Michael Fritzlo ’21 and Christopher Lake ’21; (L. to r.) Andres Castano’21 and Emma Chesman ’21 jump for joy while celebrating their official transition to the Middle School; Catherine D’Arcangelis ’21, one of 19 Lower School students recognized for earning the Fourth Grade Character Education Flag; Bottom row, from left: Owen Hand ’21 (l.) is presented the Amol Ajinkya Citizenship Award, one of the highest honors a Lower School student at Gill St. Bernard’s can receive, from Headmaster Sid Rowell (r.); Members of the “Black Belt Players,” Ava Escousse ’21, Graeme Hollingshead ’21 and John “Jack” Alexy ’21, perform Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” on the recorder; Patrick Cullen ’21 receives the Presidential Fitness Award from Physical Education Teacher Pete Roslund during Lower 17 School closing.

Best of luck this fall, Class of 2013! American University

Furman University

Roanoke College

Bard College

High Point University (2)

Rochester Institute of Technology

Bentley University (2)

Hobart and William Smith Colleges

University of Rochester

Boston College (2)

Hofstra University

Roger Williams University

Boston Conservatory

College of the Holy Cross

Savannah College of Art and Design

Boston University (3)

University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign

The University of Scranton (2)

Brandeis University

Lafayette College (2)

Seton Hall University (2)

Bucknell University (2)

Lehigh University (2)

Sewanee: The University of the South (2)

University of California at Davis

Marist College

Skidmore College

Carnegie Mellon University (2)

Maryland Institute College of Art

Southern Methodist University

The University of Chicago (2)

University of Maryland, College Park

St. Lawrence University

Colby College

Muhlenberg College (3)

College of Staten Island

Colorado College

The College of New Jersey

Stevens Institute of Technology

Columbia University

New York University (2)

Vassar College

Cornell University (3)

Pace University, NYC

Villanova University

Davidson College

Wake Forest University

University of Delaware

Pennsylvania State University, University Park (2)

Denison University

University of Pennsylvania

Wellesley College

Dickinson College

Pratt Institute (2)

Elon University (3)

Providence College

Fairfield University (2)

Purdue University

Florida Southern College

University of Richmond

Washington University in St. Louis

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