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We are Hackley Lifers… Last year, my second child graduated from Hackley and I concluded my 15th year as a Hackley parent. My boys and I have been lucky to grow up on the Hilltop. The group of children who attend Hackley’s Lower School benefit from shaping influences—from their teachers and peers, as well as by way of community values—that set these students up to thrive. My sons’ Lower School teachers, many of whom still teach at Hackley, didn’t presume limits to a child’s curiosity. I recall sitting with my six-year-old on a beach, watching pelicans swallow fish as he eagerly explained the process of peristalsis. He told me, “The throat is a muscle.” A Lower School teacher explained peristalsis to my son, and it stuck. For my children and their friends, it was cool to try hard. After school, my son and a visiting friend would have a snack, take out homework, and diligently complete it before setting out to play. Work habits that, I am happy to report, persist today. And, they came to appreciate the value of community. At some point in my son’s college search, he said, “I know there are lots of great options for me. What matters most to me is to be in a place with great people.” A value he’ll carry forward from Hackley, forever. My boys still look forward to visiting the Lower School. The warm reception rejuvenates them, and they return to their more grown-up lives reminded of the Hackley ideal of “unreserved effort.” It’s a Hackley thing—and they learned it first in Lower School. Hackley Parent of Alumni
HACKLEY REVIEW SUMMER 2015
Contents 2 From the Headmaster
4 Hilltop Updates
10 Commencement 2015
18 Enter there to be and find a friend Hackley students establish a growing partnership with Brooklyn’s P.S. 81 By David Sykes and Nicole Butterfield
24 Creating Welcome and Delight Will Guidara ’97 Redefines “Cool” By Elizabeth Gunnison Dunn ’01
30 Discovering Magic Regina DiStefano and Hackley Lower School Science By Amanda Esteves-Kraus
Editor: Suzy Akin Primary photography: Chris Taggart
On the cover: The view from Will Guidara ’97’s rooftop at The NoMad.
Hackley Review: More color, less weight! We have redesigned Hackley’s publications to allow us to share content more effectively with our audiences—alumni, current families, parents of alumni, grandparents, and friends. “Class Notes” is now its own alumni-specific magazine, and Hackley Review, with stories about Hackley people and programs, now comes to you twice a year in full color. Suggestions? Email us at email@example.com. Happy reading! © Copyright 2015 Hackley School. All rights reserved.
From the Headmaster 2
“ARTHUR NAETHING: or, THE TEACHER”
often write in these pages about the life of our school. Nothing is more fundamental to that life than teaching, the exchange with students over matters of intellectual and moral importance. In writing praise of Mr. Naething, I pay tribute not only to him, but to the art of teaching and to those who devote their lives to its practice. Mr. Naething as Teacher truly deserves to be considered one of Emerson’s “Representative Men.” On April 23rd, Shakespeare’s birthday, we held a memorial service for Mr. Naething, who in his thirtyfive years at Hackley became beloved. At our service, Joe Klein ’64 invoked Mr. Naething’s favorite play in bidding him goodbye:
Good night, sweet prince, And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest! In honor of Mr. Naething, Kevin Elden ’81 recited the “To be, or not to be” soliloquy. When Kevin had recited it as a student, Mr. Naething’s praise helped inspire his professional career as an actor. Mr. Naething thought deeply about Hamlet throughout his teaching career and beyond. He was renowned for his teaching of Shakespeare, and so it seemed appropriate, with his approval, to commission a portrait of him as Hamlet for Goodhue Memorial Hall. The “To be, or not to be” soliloquy is at the center of Hamlet physically (in Act III) and intellectually; it held Mr. Naething’s heart and mind throughout his life. Hamlet is recently come from his studies at Wittenberg, and this speech is posed as if it were a topic for scholarly exposition—this is the question— expound! As all students of Mr. Naething know, Hamlet is not considering suicide, though in his
speech he reflects on why others do not consider suicide. The key is the meaning of “To be” for Hamlet: being is attained through action—it is action that defines us. Rather than translating as “To live, or not to live,” it is closer to “To act, or not to act.” That question is Hamlet’s central preoccupation in the play, and since action will define his identity, he wishes to act with honor. Mr. Naething pointed out how a crucial colon in the First Folio shapes the meaning of the speech:
Or to take Armes against a Sea of troubles, And by opposing end them: to dye, to sleepe No more; The colon before “to dye” suggests that dying may follow from doing what is necessary to end one’s troubles. “To be,” then, means “to take Armes,” and by taking arms, to die, or risk death. In other words, “not to be” means not to act, which means to preserve one’s life instead of risking it through action. In this context, Hamlet views the fear of what lies after death as what may keep one from taking an action that risks death. Choosing life, however, may cost one’s honor and identity. With this understood, the conclusion of the speech makes sense:
... thus the Natiue hew of Resolution Is sicklied o’re, with the pale cast of Thought, And enterprizes of great pith and moment, With this regard their Currants turne away, And loose the name of Action. Thinking, or “Conscience,” keeps us from acting— considering the consequences of acting “puzzles the will.” The crucial phrase, “to be, or not to be,” means the opposite of what those not students of Mr. Naething often assume.
Walter C. Johnson
Mr. Naething invoked this speech and the play as a whole to hold students’ attention for generations. The question at stake is not simply whether to act, but how by so doing we shape our identity, irretrievably and forever. Shakespeare captivates us with his portrayal of Hamlet’s mind thinking, grappling with circumstances not of his choosing and outside of his control—reacting, responding, reflecting on how to navigate with honor a path through these circumstances. Ironically, our sense of what defines Hamlet’s identity—his brilliant, inventive mind— is what Hamlet himself fears will undermine his identity. Hamlet sees thinking and acting as in some senses conflicting. Our students are also in a struggle to shape their identities, grappling with circumstances not of their choosing and outside of their control. Like Hamlet, they must navigate the influence of powerful and much-loved parents, find who is a true friend and spar with rivals, discover first love, and earn their self-respect. They, like Hamlet, are creating, or choosing, their identities. As teachers, through education, we hope to help them become conscious of the importance of their choices, and accordingly to act wisely.
What is the tragedy of Hamlet? In Act I, he sees himself as the pawn of circumstance:
The time is out of joint. O cursed spite, That ever I was born to set it right! By Act V, he has come to a Stoic faith that those circumstances are subject to a higher will:
There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how we will— In the end, Hamlet finds in “readiness” the balance between acting and thinking. As Epictetus said,
Remember that you are an actor in a drama, of such a kind as the author chooses to make it…. For this is your business: to act well the character assigned you; to choose it is another’s. Hamlet, then, is the tragedy of an infinite mind bound by finite circumstances. In that, it spoke to Arthur Naething as it speaks to us all. “The final value of action…is that it is a resource…The mind now thinks, now acts, and each fit reproduces the other…. A great soul will be strong to live, as well as strong to think.” Through his role as a teacher, Mr. Naething became such a great soul. —Walter C. Johnson
Hilltop Updates 4
John R. Torell IV ’80 Steps Down from Board Presidency
John R. Torell IV, Hackley Class of 1980, concluded his term as President of Hackley’s Board of Trustees on June 30, 2015 after five years of service. In his five years as president, John has led virtually every single board meeting, and has been a member or ex officio member of every single board committee. Endlessly committed, responsive, generous, and thoughtful, his deep belief in Hackley comes through in everything he does. In addition to his role as president, John serves as a co-chair of The Legacy Campaign. His leadership has helped us raise $81 million (as of 6/8/15) toward our $90 million goal. He also served as a co-chair of the successful Goodhue Initiative. He and his wife, Margaret, have inspired us as well with their generosity as leadership donors to the Legacy Campaign, the Centennial Campaign, the Goodhue Initiative, and our Latino Student Financial Aid Endowment Fund. In addition, John has been a key contributor to numerous auctions. John’s interest in Hackley’s students and his fellow alumni comes across powerfully through his commitment to Hackley’s Networking initiative, both personally as a mentor and more broadly in connection with his firm, Tudor Investment Corporation. He has personally advised young alumni and also has enabled the school to establish a strong relationship with Tudor, resulting in the placement of a number of seniors through our Senior Project program, Hackley college-age juniors in Tudor’s summer internship program, and the placement of at least one full time employee. Similarly, he’s made his office in New York available for meetings and phonathons over the years. Service to Hackley is a family tradition. John’s father served on Hackley’s Board of Trustees when John was a Hackley student. And the family’s belief in Hackley extends to a third generation, as John and Margaret have entrusted two daughters to Hackley. John’s first year as president concluded as his daughter, Gentry, Class of 2011, graduated, and his last year now coincides with the graduation of his daughter, Jane. In addition, his nephew Alex is a member of the Class of 2018. We are grateful to have the Torell family as part of our community. We’re grateful as well that John won’t be leaving the board, and that we will continue to benefit from his partnership.
John C. Canoni ’86 Named President, Hackley Board of Trustees
John Canoni, Hackley Class of 1986, has been named the fifteenth President of the Hackley School Board of Trustees, effective July 1, 2015, succeeding John R. Torell IV ’80. A graduate of Amherst College (BA cum laude), John earned his JD at Fordham University and has practiced complex commercial litigation at Whitman Breed Abbott & Morgan LLP and Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP prior to opening the New York office of Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young LLP in 2013, where he serves as Partner-in-Charge. One of Hackley’s most dedicated alumni volunteers, John joined the Hackley Alumni Association Board of Directors in 1991, served as Secretary from 1995–1997, and as President from 1997–2001, during which time alumni annual fund participation increased from 14% to 25%. John traveled extensively to regional receptions, has been a tireless phonathon volunteer, and for many years, a dedicated class agent and reunion organizer. The Hackley Alumni Association Board of Directors honored John at the end of his tenure as President with the creation of the John Canoni Travel Program, which helps support student participation in Hackley’s international travel programs, and subsequently named him an Honorary Director of the Hackley Alumni Association. In addition, John has also been an active participant in Hackley’s Networking Initiative, mentoring young alumni interested in the law. John joined the Board of Trustees in 2006 and currently serves as chair of the Board’s Buildings and Grounds committee. In this role, John has been a critical force in the planning and execution of numerous campus projects, beginning with the campus beautification project that included the redesigned main entrance and other campus landscaping improvements and continuing through the Goodhue and Raymond renovations and the construction of the northern athletics fields, to the planning of new faculty housing and health and wellness facilities. In addition, he serves as a co-chair, with John Torell and Neal Leonard, of The Legacy Campaign. Deeply connected with Hackley as both an alumnus and as a Hackley parent (his daughter, Lizzie, AX ’17, attended Hackley from fifth through eighth grades and his daughter, Jennifer, is a member of the Class of 2020), John has attended numerous parent, faculty and alumni gatherings to open up discussion about campus plans and to invite input from the community.
Sarah Unger ’03 Appointed to Hackley Board of Trustees
The Hackley Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Sarah Unger ’03 has been appointed to the Board for a three-year term as Hackley’s first Young Alumni Trustee. Sarah Unger writes, “I am thrilled to be able to offer my counsel to Hackley—a place of such meaning and importance in my life, and the lives of my classmates. It’s an honor to have this opportunity and I look forward to enriching the relationship between Hackley and the young alumni community in the next three years.” The Young Alumni Trustee position has been created by the Board to bring the perspective and experiences of our younger alumni to the Board’s discussions and policy deliberations. Candidates considered are alumni who are actively engaged with the school and who are under the age of 30 at the time of their appointment. This position will fill one of the three Alumni Trustee positions mandated under Hackley’s by-laws. After Ms. Unger’s three-year term is completed in June 2018, a new Young Alumni Trustee will be elected from the Classes of 2006–2018. Sarah Unger attended Hackley from 10th to 12th grade, participating in The Dial, soccer, and performing arts, and graduated cum laude in 2003. She received a BA from the University of Virginia in 2007. She is currently Vice President of Insights & Strategic Planning at Ketchum, a leading global public relations firm, where she is founder of Ketchum’s Millennial and Gen Z expertise unit, enabling companies to connect with younger generations on an honest, impactful level. She was recently named to the Forbes “30 Under 30” list in the field of Marketing and Advertising, a list of the brightest stars in Marketing & Advertising under the age of 30 who are setting the standard for new strategies and tools for brand engagement.
Sarah is a Hackley Class Representative and an active Networking Initiative volunteer who has mentored fourteen young alumni since 2010. She has joined the Young Alumni Networking panel two years running, presenting to college-age alumni, and has informally consulted with Hackley’s Alumni and Development office on creating more engagement with our Millennial alumni. Board President John Torell ’80 notes, “Hackley’s young alumni influence the present and will determine the future of our alumni community, but it has been unusual for alumni to join the Board until 20 or more years after graduation. Sarah’s accomplishments and expertise will lend extraordinary value to the Board’s work, while also helping to assure that our young alumni continue their strong connection with Hackley. As one of many of our alumni Trustees, I am grateful to Sarah for her great affection for and belief in our school.” Anna Abelaf Retires
Anna Abelaf retired at the end of the 2014–15 school year after 34 years of service. During her tenure, she has served Hackley in a wide variety of roles. She has taught German, Russian, Italian, History and English, served as a Class Advisor for over a decade, directed Hackley’s former summer school program, and was a member of our English as a Second Language faculty for the years in which that program served the needs of Hackley’s international students. Most recently, she has served as a member of the Ninth Grade English team. She is also the mother of Ina Groeger ’01 and Maya Groeger ’07. Few Hackley teachers have offered such good-hearted versatility across a teaching career; we are grateful to Anna for her many contributions to Hackley. Friends who wish to honor Anna’s service are invited to consider making a tribute gift. Anna has asked that gifts in her honor be dedicated to Hackley’s future Performing Arts Center.
H I L LT O P U P D A T E S C O N T I N U E D
Rowena Fenstermacher Retires
Angela Ashley-Holland Retires
Rowena Fenstermacher retires after 25 years as a mainstay of our Classics Department, teaching Latin in both Middle and Upper School. In addition to serving as Secretary of Hackley’s Chapter of The Cum Laude Society, she has served as Recording Secretary for the Classical Association of the Empire State (CAES) and received the Lambos Teaching Award in 2002. She is also an accomplished fencer, who helped coach our teams for many years. In Latin studies, she has been a consistent innovator, embracing technology, ranging from video, podcasting and online drills to games, while being active in researching web sites and participating in professional dialogue, both on-line and in old-fashioned in-person meetings and conferences. With her departure, the vitality and erudition that suffuses The Raymond B. Goodell Room, formerly known as Room L, then H2C, now Hale 126, will never be the same. As is our tradition, we invite friends who wish to honor Rowena to consider a tribute gift. She has requested that gifts in her honor be directed to the beautification of the campus, including the maintenance of the Allison Trails.
Angela Ashley-Holland leaves Hackley after a tenure of 20 years as Middle School art teacher. At Hackley, she has also taught upper school Sculpture and Computer Graphics and Animation as well as 1st and 3rd grade art in the Lower School. She initiated the Lower and Middle School Art Shows, created the first Middle School Facebook and has been a beloved Middle School advisor over the years. Angela also began our Middle School community service program 18 years ago and has developed it into the outstanding program it is today. All this, while leading the Community Council for five years and acting as the MS Faculty Representative for three years. Her son, Taylor Holland, graduated in the class of 2010. We are grateful for her friendship and wish her the best in her next adventures. Members of the community who wish to honor her contributions are invited to consider making a tribute gift. Angela wishes to see contributions in her honor dedicated to support Hackley’s Round Square Community Service initiatives.
Adrianne Pierce, her colleague of 20 years, offered the following deep thoughts on the occasion of Rowena’s retirement:
Josh Marks ’92 has accepted the positon of Director of Finance at the Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School (LREI) in Manhattan effective July 1, 2015. LREI is a progressive PK–12 independent school of 650 students in lower Manhattan. Josh attended Hackley starting in second grade, graduated Hackley in 1992 and Dartmouth in 1996, and earned his MBA at NYU Stern School of Business. After 10 years in finance and consulting, Josh returned to the Hilltop as Director of Business Operations and Financial Aid and Varsity Fencing coach in 2006. Josh has also served as an academic advisor, and forged strong bonds with Hackley students. His deep commitment to Hackley is deeply rooted in his time on the Hilltop as a student. He understands the value of a Hackley education first-hand and has devoted an extra dose of energy and passion to all that he does.
There once was a girl called Rowena. Well-versed in the lingua Latina. She dabbled in crosswords, Was known to have crossed swords. Let’s toast her good health with retsina!
Josh Marks ’92 Named Director of Finance at LREI
Under his leadership, Hackley’s financial aid program has grown and strengthened, he has provided outstanding support to the Board of Trustees in the managing Hackley’s investments, he has effectively managed the School’s employee benefits programs, and has been integrally involved in framing and analyzing the many projects at the heart of Hackley’s success in recent years. In addition, Josh has led Hackley’s Fencing team to unprecedented success, and as Hackley’s resident bagpiper, has led countless campus celebrations. We are grateful for all his contributions and his friendship. Kevin Rea Appointed President of Wyoming Seminary in Pennsylvania
Kevin Rea has been appointed the 12th President of Wyoming Seminary, effective July 1, 2015. Kevin joined Hackley’s faculty in 2004, having earned his B.A., magna cum laude, English with Distinction, from Providence College, a B.A. and an M.A. with Honors, English Language and Literature, from University of Oxford, England, and a Masters of Arts, First Class Distinction, in Cultural and Critical Studies from University of London, Birkbeck College. He had previously served as teacher, coach, department head, school magazine editor, and boarding associate at two English boarding schools. Kevin served as Dean of our Boarding program from 2006 to 2010, when he was named Assistant Headmaster. Kevin was awarded the NAIS/E.E. Ford Foundation Fellowship for Aspiring School Heads in 2007–2008 and attended the NAIS Leadership Institute. He guided Hackley to membership in the Green Schools Coalition of Westchester, played a key role in the US student trip to PowerShift ’09 in Washington, and participated in the Bedford Environmental Summit. He chaired the staff Technology Review Committee and coordinated the Faculty/Staff Representatives and Diversity Coordinators committees. He has attended the NAIS Summer Diversity Institute, the NAIS People of Color Conference, the NYSAIS Diversity Conference, and Cornell University’s ILR School Strategic Diversity Retention workshop. He has organized faculty exchanges and gap year visits for visiting faculty and students from Kings’ School Gloucester, and led a Casten trip to London. As Assistant Headmaster he created Hackley’s Department of Community Studies, linking programs united by an ethical orientation—Community
Service, Diversity, Global Education, and Sustainability and guided Hackley to membership in Round Square, which has opened new possibilities for our programs in global education. Kevin and his family will be a great loss to our community. His wife Jennifer has directed our students in plays, and their three children were born here at Hackley. They have made a permanent place in our community and in our hearts. Steve Bileca Appointed Assistant Headmaster
With announcement of Kevin Rea’s appointment as President of Wyoming Seminary in Pennsylvania, Hackley launched a search for a new Assistant Headmaster, and was fortunate to find an exceptional candidate from among our ranks. Steve Bileca has accepted appointment as an Assistant Headmaster for 2015–16. Director of the Middle School since 2013, Steve has also engaged and led our community through our initial explorations in Health Education, leading this year to the creation of a new administrative position—Director of Community Wellbeing. A colleague described Steve as “one of the most astute readers of people and one of the most diplomatic individuals I know; he is one of the most up-to-date educational theorists I know; and he is one of the most engaged and enthusiastic teachers I have met. The first two traits are essential in this job, the second is vital to the academic life of those he supervises, and the third is the heart of our mission.” In addition to his personal qualities, Steve brings to the position prior experience as an Assistant Head, as a Middle School Director, as a Dean of Students, as a History Department Chair, as a Teacher, and as a co-founder and co-Director of both a month-long language immersion program in Spain for high school students and an educational company in Spain. We’re fortunate that Steve will be with us to support our new Middle School director’s transition, assuring that desired continuity with the ongoing benefit of his wisdom in the ways of Middle School student life and curriculum. Please join us in congratulating Steve on his new role at Hackley!
H I L LT O P U P D A T E S C O N T I N U E D
Cyndy Jean Appointed Middle School Director
Cyndy Jean has accepted appointment as Hackley’s Middle School Director for 2015–16. She will fill the position previously held by Steve Bileca, who moved into his new role as Assistant Headmaster on July 1, 2015. Cyndy’s appointment is the culmination of a national search in which a field of over 110 candidates was narrowed to a dozen for telephone interview and five for on-campus finalist interview. Cyndy interviewed with over thirty Hackley staff members as well as with three officers of the Hackley Parents’ Association, and the feedback we received made her the strongest of our candidates. Cyndy came to Hackley as an Assistant Lower School Teacher in 2007 on graduation from Amherst cum laude, but we had in fact recruited her in her junior year, in the fall of 2005, because of what we saw as her exceptional potential. After three years as a Second Grade Assistant Teacher and JV Field Hockey and Lacrosse coach, Cyndy was one of 70 candidates for a 5th Grade English position, of whom 14 received on-campus interviews with demonstration lessons. She was appointed in March 2010, and received her Masters from Fordham that June. In 2012 she was appointed as our 5th Grade Dean, and in the summer of 2013 she was hired by i2 Science Camp to serve as their Director at Hackley, in which role she developed and monitored programs, supervised teaching staff, managed the budget and supplies, and coordinated with Hackley’s Science Department. Cyndy has become a stimulating leader in the Hackley community, chaperoning Casten Trips, representing Hackley to Young Round Square at the Global Conference in South Africa, working on Hackley’s partnership with the Duha School in Rwanda, attending the NAIS People Of Color Conference and Diversity Directions training, and supporting technology initiatives, all while also serving on the Board of Representatives for the Tree of Life Orphanage in Haiti and as Board Chair of Konbit Mizik, also in support of the children of Haiti. A colleague observed, “Nobody loves Hackley more than Cyndy Jean, and nobody has such a love for Middle
Schoolers. By virtue of hard work, positivity, thoughtfulness and openness, she has earned the respect and admiration of our entire community.” We are proud she will be our new Middle School Director. Please join us in offering her congratulations! Meghan O’Callaghan Appointed Director of Lower and Middle School Admissions
This academic year, we welcomed Meghan O’Callaghan to our Hackley admissions team as the Director of Lower and Middle School Admissions. Meghan came to us from Lawrence Woodmere Academy, a PS–12 school on Long Island, where she served as Director of Admissions. Prior to that, she spent three years teaching Grade 1 at LWA, though she has over ten years of Lower School teaching experience, including work in Kindergarten and Grade 3 at schools in Lynbrook, NY and in Manhattan. Meghan has her BA in English from Siena College, a MST in Elementary Education from Fordham University, and has done coursework at Columbia Teacher’s College. At LWA, Meghan introduced some important initiatives, including the revamping of the School’s website and the expansion of the school’s social networking efforts, including establishing their presence on Twitter and Pinterest. In addition to her strength in program marketing, her natural warmth and her outgoing, friendly demeanor recommended her as a great member of our Admissions team. Meghan and her husband Tom have a daughter, Devyn, who joined Hackley’s Lower School this year. Meghan is also an avid triathlete, having competed in numerous Olympic and sprint distance events over the years. She has also used her athleticism to help raise money for and awareness of breast cancer research by participating in 5K runs and Breast Cancer Walks. We’re grateful to Meghan for her great work this year.
Charles Colten Named Director of Community Wellbeing
Charles Colten joined Hackley in August 2014 as Hackley’s inaugural Director of Community Wellbeing. The creation of this position signifies the broad aspirations Hackley has embraced— to nurture in our students the knowledge and desire to live well, in ethical relationship with our fellow human beings and our environment. Our goal is to plan and implement a comprehensive K–12 curriculum that reflects and furthers emergent thinking in health and wellness, including areas such as nutrition, habit formation, social-emotional learning, physical education, and mindfulness practices. This year, Charles has built upon the work our faculty, staff, and trustees began last year, launching a multi-year, communitywide undertaking. Charles came to Hackley from The School at Columbia University, where he served as the Director of Advisory, Outreach, and Public Purpose. He holds a Masters Degree in Private School Leadership from the Klingenstein Center at Teachers College, Columbia University, as well as a BA from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in Philosophy and an MA, also from Madison, in Latin American Studies. He was certified by the Solo School of Wilderness Medicine in New Hampshire as a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician, and earned listing in the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. Charles is also a distinguished teacher of Aikido, an art of self-defense founded in ideals of peace and reconciliation, with concern for the wellbeing of the attacker. He holds a Fourth Degree Black Belt (Yon Dan) in Aikido, and also instructs in Tai Chi, stress management, and conflict resolution. As the Director of Community Wellbeing, Charles chairs the Health Department, supervises the Physical Education Department, coordinates with senior administrators, and serves on the Academic Committee. We look forward to working with Charles as this important work continues to evolve.
Angela Alonso Named Modern Languages Department Chair
Earlier this year, Danny Lawrence announced his decision to step down from his role as Chair of the Modern Languages Department to devote himself to teaching French full-time, and Hackley launched a national search for a new department chair. After screening dozens of resumes, conducting many phone interviews and then bringing a group of finalists to campus, we were delighted to find a wonderful candidate already here at Hackley. We are pleased to announce that Angela Alonso has accepted the school’s offer to become our new Modern Languages Department Chair. Angela joined Hackley’s faculty in 2013 as Lower School Spanish teacher. Before coming to Hackley, Angela taught Spanish and French at the Middle and High School level at two California independent schools—The Branson School and The Head-Royce School. In Angela, therefore, we have a chair who has taught languages to Lower, Middle and Upper School students, gaining experience and understanding of the scope and sequence of the grades 3–12 curriculum and the opportunities and challenges that teachers face at each level. While at Branson, she served as Interim Department Chair on two occasions, leading faculty evaluation, overseeing Branson’s (then) new Mandarin Chinese program, and helping the school explore a new global education program. At Hackley as well as her two previous schools, she has served on the school’s faculty diversity committee (a committee she chaired at Branson), and she has presented or served as a workshop facilitator on topics related to teaching and diversity work at national and regional conferences. Committed to global education, she founded a company to organize language immersion programs in Spain for high school students. In addition, she has gained valuable experience with strategic work during her tenure as a trustee for Esceula Bilingue International, California’s first Spanish-English bilingual International IB school. A fellow teacher characterized her as “dynamic, charismatic, seasoned and creative in her approach to teaching” while another remarked that she “articulates her vision clearly and passionately.” Please join us in congratulating Angela!
On June 6, 2015, Hackley graduated its 116th class. Congratulations to the Class of 2015!
Cum Laude Induction 2015 On June 2nd, 13 members of the Class of 2015 were inducted into Hackley’s chapter of the Cum Laude Society. Sofie Marie Alabaster
Natalie Catherine Gustin
Andrew James Alini
Ross Standley Hoch
Emma Brooke Satty
Sophia Buchanan Bannister
Claire Bennett Meyer
Nur Khalid Sultan
Henry Lawrence Brooks
Julius Jacob Oppenheim
Joshua Kaplan Clark
Michael Henry Rover
On a clear day a walk across the quad brings views of the Castle or of White Plains. I think, “miratur molem aeneas magalia quondam,/ miratur portas strepitumque et strata viarum,” lines from the first book of the Aeneid. As he approaches Carthage for the first time, “Aeneas marvels at the mass, once huts, he marvels at the gates and noise and pavements of the streets.” The busy Carthaginians, later compared to bees, are building a city from the ground up. Again, the poet, unlike Aeneas, knows that Carthage (in Aeneas’ future) will rival Rome, but for the poet, this is history of centuries past. We, too, on the Hilltop are busy, and we have a great sense of space, as our views are wide and sweeping, our campus extensive. The Latin word spe-s, pronounced space, means hope; it is purely coincidental that the English word space and the Latin word for “hope” sound the same, but is it possible that when we give others more space in our hearts—forgiveness, kindness, good cheer—we may also create more hope for a peaceful future in the world? Latin is awesome.
—Rowena Fenstermacher Excerpted from the Cum Laude Address
Class Day Awards Each year at Class Day, Hackley honors students, faculty and staff for the many ways in which they honor Hackley ideals. We honor Eighth Graders and Upper School students for academic achievements and for character, warmth of spirit and personal growth, and we honor teachers and staff for the ways in which they have shaped student lives and learning, as well as long service to Hackley School.
Jeffrey Guzman received the Royal A. Clark Service Award
Sophia Bannister received the Alan Seeger Prize in Writing and the Sherman Book Award in Performing Arts
Bill Roberts â€™75 presented the Roberts Scholar Athlete award to Tristan Jung
Elijah Maynes, left, was chosen by his peers to receive the Frumkes Award for the friendliest senior
Greer Levin received the Headmasters Award
Andrea McCree received the Miller Bowl for outstanding spirit of enthusiasm and cooperation
The Class of 2015 dedicated the yearbook to Melissa Stanek â€™90
Parker Cup winner Jules Oppenheim
Doc Rob received the Kimelman Award
technology continues to fill our classrooms, it looks almost as if computers are on track to replace our teachers. But as I think about what our teachers have to put up with every day—late students, talkative students, sleepy students, students who just don’t get it—I can’t help thinking that it would be much simpler to replace students with computers instead.
Alert and attentive, from 8:05 to 3:05. Never makes a careless mistake. Always ready for a quiz or test. Turns
know this place. We know its varied denizens. We know the students. We know the teachers. We know the early risers. We know the night owls. We know which teachers will be eating breakfast together every day. […] We know each other’s passions, and have loyalties to each other that are stronger than steel.
We know this place like we know the lines on the palms of our hands. We know when each tree will flower, when orderly lines of Lower Schoolers will march to the PAC, when amorphous hordes of Middle Schoolers will mob Akin Common, and even when and where birds and squirrels like to perch. […]
Hackley Board President John Torell ’80, Henry Brooks ’15, Walter Johnson and trustee Roger Brooks at Commencement.
homework in on time every day. And fluent in many languages, from Arabic to Zulu, including Java and Python. In short, a computer appears to be a teacher’s dream student. But, fortunately for us, our teachers did not choose to become computer programmers. They chose a harder path. Despite all our flaws—maybe because of all our flaws—they chose to teach us, and to care for us. —Henry
Brooks ’15 Excerpted from the Salutatory Address
I hope that we can find it within ourselves to pass on not only what we have learned in classrooms, but also what we have learned about people and about places. I hope that when we enter new schools, new communities, and new lives, we will bring with us the unmistakable power of this special sort of knowledge. And that our experiences in those new places will be all the richer for it. I want each one of us to listen to the heartbeat of a new place, to feel its pulse as we feel our own. We are all integral parts of Hackley—I challenge you to be as essential to a new environment. —Michael Rover ’15 Excerpted from the Valedictory Address
Michael Rover ’15 with John Torell and Walter Johnson at Commencement.
Will Guidara, Class of 1997, restaurateur (see story, page 25), offered this year’s Commencement Address, which opened with a tribute to Walter Johnson, as he noted, “While my classmates and I have been building our careers, he has spent the last 20 years making Hackley better and better with each passing year. On behalf of my classmates…it just means a lot. We love this place. I feel it just reinforces everything I love about Hackley that it just keeps getting better and better.” He also referenced former teachers and coaches re-met at Commencement—Father Dearman, “G” (Coach John Gillard), and Coach Chris Arnold, and most particularly, Mrs. Siviglia, who, he reports, “demanded that I send her my speech for today. I did, and she sent it back with a whole lot of comments. There was no grade, but it read like a “B+.” We disagree—and Mr. Johnson gave the speech an “A.”
graduated from Hackley in 1997, and I was a lifer. And, I lived around the corner from here. I spent 13 years my life fully immersed on the hilltop. But my parents moved away a long time ago, so I don’t get back nearly as often as I’d like. So it’s a pleasure to be here. And there are a couple of things I am thinking about.
Some of my memories of this place are still parts of my life. That quote, “Enter to here to be and find a friend,” which I, and I’m sure all of you, walked under countless times. Honestly, when I was here, I thought it was a bit cheesy, but in the years since I’ve realized how profoundly true it actually was. See, some of my closest friends today are people I met in Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade. And this is something that so many people who went to Hackley can relate to, but something that people who went to other high schools just have an absolute inability to understand. There is something really special about this place. The people who are sitting around you today, if you don’t take them for granted, can be some of your closest friends for an incredibly long time.
the more I realized that the best lessons I have to teach are those that I have learned from others. So today I am going to tell you about two of the incredible people in my life, and the lessons they taught me. The first is Frank Guidara. That’s my dad. My dad is a lifelong restaurateur and the hardest-working person I’ve ever known. He was one of those Super Man-like people when I was growing up, who could just do anything. I was in awe of him. My mom was sick when I was young and in addition to taking care of her, and working 14 hour days, he was also a really good Dad to me. He was at every recital, every soccer game, always helping me with my homework. I learned a lot from him. But there was one lesson that had the more impact on me than all the others—he taught me about fearlessness. When I was really young he gave me a paperweight that said “What would you attempt to do if you could not fail?” The word “can’t”? He hated the word can’t—it was worse than a curse word in my house growing up.
I’ve been really fortunate in my career and in my life since I left Hackley. But giving this Commencement Address is really a highlight and one that I will look back on for a number of years, and I thank everyone here for the honor.
As I said, he was also in the restaurant business. The restaurant business is hard. You work a lot, and it’s pretty difficult to be successful. And for that reason every single person in my family—every single person— wanted me to do absolutely anything except follow in his footsteps.
Leading up to today I spent a long time trying to decide what I wanted to talk about, what type of wisdom I wanted to share with you as you get ready to begin this next phase of your lives. The more I thought about it,
Except for him. He always avoided telling me what he thought I should do with my career, but also avoided telling me what he thought I should not do with it. He just wanted me to do what I loved.
When I was 10 or 11, I thought I needed to know exactly what I wanted to do with my life, to have a fully detailed life plan, and I remember having a conversation with him where I was feeling very anxious that I didn’t know what I wanted to do. He responded by laughing, turning off my 8-bit Nintendo, and he said, “Find what you are passionate about, and do that.”
all he was allowed to do was wash dishes. His second year, he got a very impressive promotion, and was then allowed to wash vegetables. In his third year, climbing the ladder at lightning speed, he was given the responsibility of now chopping those vegetables. It wasn’t until his fifth year that he was allowed to step behind the stove.
Now, that’s easy to hear when you are 11; it’s probably even easy to hear when you are 18. But here’s the thing—as people get older and the realities of life start to come into play, it gets harder and harder. Because people stop getting motivated by their hopes and instead start getting motivated by their fears.
I remember a conversation with him when we had just started working together and I thinking how hard that must have been, and then I said, out loud—keep in mind, I was American, part of the ADD generation— how boring it must have been.
I remember a few years after I graduated college I called him, frustrated and nervous, because a lot of my friends were making twice as much money as I was. They had nicer clothes, nicer apartments, they were taking girls on nicer dates. And he said, “Do you love what you do?” And I said, yes. And he said, “Everything else is going to fall into place.” The second person is Daniel Humm. Daniel is my business partner, my chef, and one of my closest friends. Daniel is truly one of the greatest chefs in the entire world. He is detail-oriented, he’s exacting, he is passionate, he’s creative. It’s inspiring to get to work with him every day. He’s not like what you might imagine of a chef if you’ve seen them on TV; he’s not angry, he doesn’t scream at people all the time, and he’s remarkably skinny. He’s a joyful, caring, warm, compassionate person. Like my dad, I’ve learned so much from him in the 12 years we’ve been working together. But there’s one lesson he has taught me that has had more impact than all the others. He taught me about patience. See, being a chef is a craft. Daniel grew up in Switzerland, and there you make a choice of whether to pursue formal education or to pursue a craft, an apprenticeship. So at age 12, he stepped out of the classroom and into the kitchen for the first time, but it wasn’t until he was 26 that he actually became a chef. That means that for 14 years he was expected to put his head down and not really think, to follow the instructions of others, and to learn. The stories he has shared…. He spent the majority of that time working at this one restaurant, arguably the top restaurant in Switzerland, and for the first year,
But he couldn’t have disagreed more. See, he believes in the beauty of repetition, and finds joy in the idea of doing something enough and getting just a little bit better at something with each passing day. It was instilled in him early on if you want to be one of the great chefs in the world, it would take patience, that deeper level learning is essential, and it takes time, and truly to be the best at anything you need to enjoy every single step along the way. So it’s these two people and these two lessons that have truly guided my path and are the main reasons why I am where I am today. Being fearless, but being patient. And it’s through finding balance between these two ideals that one can find success. Too many people get scared that they will fail if they pursue their passion. But the happiest people are those who believe—who don’t do what other people tell them they should do, but who pick their path based on what they truly love. And the ones who succeed are those who realize that to do anything of real greatness takes time. Right now, you’re all in a place where you can truly do whatever you want. I would just encourage you to reach for the stars…but just know that getting there is going to take some time. So what do you want to do? What is your passion? Maybe you don’t know yet—and that’s okay too. Sometimes it takes time. But when you find it, just follow it, and don’t let anyone, especially yourself, convince you to do anything else. Be fearless in your ambitions, and patient in your pursuit. Thank you, and congratulations. —Will Guidara ’97
By David Sykes and Nicole Butterfield
P.S. 81 19
Enter there to be and find a friend
Hackley students establish a growing partnership with Brooklyn’s P.S. 81 On a Saturday morning in January, 2014, 29 Hackley freshmen and their grade dean, David Sykes, boarded a bus and headed to P.S. 81, an under-resourced elementary school in Brooklyn. Armed with athletic equipment, musical instruments, and art supplies, the students were prepared to begin to fill a gap in critical resources. The fifteen P.S. 81 students who came to school that day discovered options not available to them during the week. Some chose PE classes that offered relay races and skill-building exercises for basketball, football, and soccer. Others sang songs, learned about a variety of instruments, and had a dance party. A third group made clay pinch pots and sent them back to Hackley for a first round of firing, knowing they would have a chance to glaze them on the next visit. This was the humble beginning of a long and meaningful partnership.
P.S. 81’s Change for Kids School Manager Zareta Ricks notes, “Every time students from Hackley gives up their Saturday morning to share a part of themselves through art, music, sports and engaging conversation with students from P.S. 81, a little bit more of the world opens up for them beyond Bedford Stuyvesant. That, in itself, is priceless.” Members of Hackley’s class of 2017 returned to P.S. 81 once a month for the remainder of the school year, and as word spread among P.S. 81 students, their numbers Hackley 10th graders team up with P.S. 81 students.
swelled to nearly fifty. “The Hackley students get excited when we go, upset when we don’t, and they come to me with ideas for new activities and projects that we can do with the students at P.S. 81,” notes David Sykes. “They hate not going on Saturdays because they feel like they are letting the students down.” On average, thirty Hackley students participated in each monthly visit, with over sixty percent of the grade participating during their freshman year. Their enthusiasm was contagious, and the meaningful connections forged with the P.S. 81 students encouraged all to look forward to coming to school on a Saturday. Tenth grader Riya said, “P.S. 81 has really changed [the way] I think about service because being able to actually meet the kids [I’m] helping is such a unique experience. Interacting with the kids and getting to know them and their interests makes visiting P.S. 81 on Saturdays special. Before visiting P.S. 81 for the first time, I used to associate service with bringing coats, food, or supplies into school for drives, but developing a relationship with so many of the kids makes the experience much more personal. As soon as we got there on the first day last year it was clear how much our presence meant to each of the kids at P.S. 81.” The school-to-school partnership even makes the notion of a “coat drive” more meaningful, as it allows more targeted support. “Rather
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Water coloring and dying Easter Eggs makes for a fun Saturday in Brooklyn.
P.S. 81 and Hackley students working together to make pinch pots.
than supporting a random coat drive, we will hear from our partners that they need 47 coats for these particular kids,” Mr. Sykes observes. The specific connection makes the reality of “need” all the more real to our students. Student leadership was a critical part of the program’s success, and the students who organized each of the activity areas went above and beyond in both planning for each visit and encouraging their peers to get involved. As their ninth grade year came to a close, the class decided upon a culminating event for their grade level project: a dodgeball tournament to raise funds for the organization that made their visits to P.S. 81 possible, Change for Kids (CFK). Change for Kids supports public elementary schools in low-income communities who lack the resources to provide their students with a quality education. The organization provides its partner schools with programs, volunteers, collection drives and additional leadership support. Under the leadership of CFK Executive Director Colin Smith, an old friend of Mr. Sykes’ from his own high school days, the organization has grown to benefit more than 3,000 students at eight New York City elementary schools. Recognizing and responding to the unique needs of each partner school is their formula for success. Hackley’s CFK tournament was an incredibly upbeat, community-building event held in Zetkov and open to all Upper School students. More than 100 students participated, and with the entry fees, raffle tickets, t-shirt and sunglasses sales, the class raised over
$3000 in one afternoon. These funds helped make possible a graduation trip for P.S. 81 fifth graders. To kick off the second year of the project, Mr. Sykes brought the entire tenth grade to P.S. 81 on their First Friday for “Hackley and P.S. 81 Welcome Back to School Day.” Two thirds of the class worked with students in classrooms and one third assisted teachers with classroom cleaning and set up. Making connections with individual children was clearly a highlight of the day for most students. Upon their return to Hackley, we heard many stories like this one from our tenth graders: “One girl named Jazmine was silent the whole time I sat with her. I made her laugh, but otherwise I didn’t get much out of her. Until she drew a picture of me…which made my life. We are all now one larger community. It is if as if our two schools together made something greater than teammates, but rather family. No matter whether we were playing sports or helping in the classroom, the bonds we made will never break. I look forward to our next visit.” Another simply said, “I just loved seeing all the kids smile.” On their P.S. 81 visit, Hackley students discovered how easy it is to put our school’s “be and find a friend” motto into practice. “After organizing and labeling books in a Pre-K classroom, I sat down with the kids and a girl named Marcy asked me to read her a story. I was touched that she saw me as a friend so soon after meeting me and was comfortable enough with me to ask me to read to her. The trip made me feel very fortunate for the opportunities we have here at Hackley and for the opportunity to help out at P.S. 81.”
Hackley 10th graders lead an energetic sing-along one Saturday morning.
Returning to the same school over a period of several months and years allowed friendships to grow, making the work more meaningful for all involved. Building upon the strong connections forged between the students from Hackley and P.S. 81, an idea for a child-specific holiday toy drive began to take shape. P.S. 81 students received a wish list in November and checked off one item. Members of the class of 2017 set up a bulletin board with index cards listing each P.S. 81 student’s name and gift request. This allowed members of the Hackley community to shop for and wrap a present for a child who really wanted the item. Many cards never made it to the board because Hackley tenth graders had requested in advance to be allowed to shop for the P.S. 81 students they knew from working with them on Saturdays. Their enthusiasm spread quickly, and the toy drive wishes were fulfilled within three days. Hackley’s tenth grade class collected over 100 gifts, each one complete with gift wrap and a handwritten holiday card addressed to a P.S. 81 student. Tenth grader Ashley credits the toy drive’s success to the extraordinary participation of Hackley students. “This process was unique because we had personal relationships with these students and we knew we were buying them gifts that they wanted,” she notes. “This allowed us to by specific gifts for specific kids, which made it that much more meaningful. One six year old girl named Victoria who loved art requested an art-related present. Being able to buy her that gift, and knowing she was getting something that she wanted, made the whole thing incredibly special.”
The P.S. 81/Change for Kids partnership has taken on a life of its own. What started as a simple idea has blossomed into an incredible relationship between the two schools. “The fact that we will continue this connection for the next two years will only add to amazing connections that have been formed and continue to positively influence students at both P.S. 81 and Hackley,” Mr. Sykes observes. Across four years, he says, real mentoring can happen. “Students in first or second grade can build a relationship with a Hackley student across four years—deepening the connection and enlarging the learning potential over time.” However, the larger lesson has more to do with how much they have in common with these kids. Mr. Sykes notes, “The children our students worked with are brilliant. Creative. This was, for example, the first time some of the P.S. 81 students had touched clay, and the work they were able to produce was astounding. So much ability and imagination.” He reflects, “The remarkable part about the entire thing, however, is that the partnership’s success is entirely the product of the Hackley students and their incredible commitment to service and to the students as P.S. 81.” In addition to bringing all 98 tenth graders to P.S. 81 in September for First Friday, the partnership between the schools has continued in a number of ways throughout this year. Hackley tenth graders continue to visit P.S. 81 on Saturdays, providing sports, art, and music activities for the young scholars at P.S. 81 when this year’s extraordinary snowstorms didn’t get in the way.
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Students gather for a group photo after sharing some delicious Brooklyn pizza.
Saturday field trip to a museum, park, or sporting event In November a handful of Hackley students spent for students from both two schools. the day working with Change for Kids to help set up for one of the organization’s big fundraisers. Working The Hackley partnership at P.S. 81 has inspired Change tirelessly all day at the event location, the Hackley for Kids to work to replicate it in similar partnerships students helped to put together an impressive event between independent high schools and the public that raised nearly $400,000 for Change for Kids. elementary schools in their network, using Hackley as a Although the main goal of the partnership is really model and our students as potential leaders in helping to work with and form bonds with P.S. 81 and its Change for Kids emulate what we’ve already accomstudents, this was a valuable opportunity for some plished. CFK Executive Director Colin Smith observes, tenth graders to see a different and important side “The Hackley Change Club has been an inspiration of the non-profit world. for all of us at CFK. They inspire our students to run through P.S. 81’s doors in anticipation of another day This spring, in what the tenth grade hopes will of engaging activities. They inspire our teachers with become a Hackley tradition, the class organized the the confidence of additional support. They inspire our second annual dodgeball tournament to raise money staff with their dedication, ingenuity and leadership. for P.S. 81—another fun-filled day in the name of a great cause. And, over the years to come, we believe their shining example will inspire a number of similar clubs at CFK’s One of the unique aspects of this service project is other partner schools. We are so proud and grateful to the ease with which it lends itself to a prolonged be partnering with such an amazing team.” and meaningful partnership. The tenth graders are thrilled to have formed a relationship with P.S. 81 and Considering the class’s work so far, Dave Sykes reflects, are looking forward to another two years of working “That a project we launched in the class’s first year with the young scholars in Brooklyn. Students may extend for the entire course of the Class of 2017’s approach Mr. Sykes constantly with ideas about how Hackley years is tremendously exciting to me. But to to expand the partnership. Their hopes for the future imagine that the partnership our students have created include establishing a day in the Spring when the has inspired new programming with permanent, wideP.S. 81 students come to Hackley for a day of music, ranging impact beyond Hackley’s own involvement? That surpasses my wildest dreams; our students should sports, art, and a barbeque on the fields; creating pen be very proud of the lasting impact of their work.” pal relationships between the schools so the P.S. 81 students can form a closer relationship with specific Ω David Sykes teaches Upper School history and is Dean Hackley kids, and have an means to communicate for the Class of 2017. Nicole Butterfield, Middle and Upper with them between visits; and organizing a joint School English teacher, is Upper School Community Service Coordinator.
“It was fun, exciting, and adventurous. I really hope they come back. I had a great time. My favorite activity was learning how to really play soccer.” —Leonard, age 9, P.S. 81 student
“Volunteering at P.S. 81 for First Friday exposed me to the impressive drive, initiative, and compassion of the class of 2017. The moment that stands out most in my mind occurred during P.S. 81’s recess—Hackley students played basketball, jumped rope, and interacted easily and joyfully with young P.S. 81 students. I was so impressed with how effortlessly our students initiated games and conversations with these younger kids, many of whom they had never met. To me, this moment displayed wonderfully just how willing our students are to step outside of their own comfort zones in order to positively impact the lives of others.” —Brigid Moriarty, Hackley faculty member
“A few years ago, I attended a public school in the Bronx similar to P.S. 81. It wasn’t easy. The huge community really limited me from finding who I really am. Now that I have been granted an opportunity to help kids who came from the same background as I did, I now want to make a difference in their lives. I am now in the position to give back, and I wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity. Hopefully some of them will be granted the same blessings I now have. —Lisha, Hackley tenth grader
“I enjoyed art and music the most. That was my first time using clay and I made a teapot. I really like those big kids. They helped me and were really, really, nice. I can’t wait for them to come back. I’m coming all the time.” —Akiyanah, age 9, P.S. 81 student
“Having grown up surrounded by art and music, it is shocking to me that there are kids out there who don’t get to have that experience, because I feel that it has really shaped me as a person. Being able to go to P.S. 81 and give the students there an art project to do, whether it be with clay, wood, or watercolors, is very rewarding for me because I can see how happy they are and how involved in the project they become, and, at the end, how proud they are of what they have created. That makes me happy, too, because I feel like I am able to share with them a bit of my own childhood experience with art that they may not have been able to enjoy the way I did. Getting the P.S. 81 students excited about school, art, music, and creating in general is a priceless way for all of us at Hackley to inspire future generations. —Camille, Hackley tenth grader
“I was shocked by the number of students that came out; especially for a Saturday. One of our biggest challenges was getting our 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders to come out for Saturday school for additional help and Hackley’s partnership helped tremendously. We had more kids come out than ever before. I’m excited and looking forward to another great year.” —Brenda Cumberbatch, Assistant Principal, P.S. 81
“The high level of enthusiasm and leadership of the Hackley students mind-blowing. From their first visit, they came into P.S. 81 and independently took on the task of engaging the 81 scholars in various activities. Their ability to capture the attention of children as young as five years old for hours at a time during art confirmed how important it is for elementary aged kids to spend time exploring their creativity. The music class gave the P.S. 81 scholars a chance to enjoy the sound of their own voices and showcase hidden talent. The open gym allowed them to have hours of fun and learn the importance of team work. This partnership continuously proves that there are no boundaries in education and I am so grateful to Hackley for their relentless commitment. As an organization, Change for Kids would like to duplicate this partnership model to partnerships with other independent schools.” —Zareta Ricks, Change for Kids School Manager, P.S. 81
“What struck me most about our trip to P.S. 81 was the universal language of childhood. Our kids—freshmen at the time— are so busy, stressed out, and overbooked that they often forget to take a step back, relax, and enjoy their youth. On their trips to P.S. 81, our students put down their cell phones and for those four hours they are kids again. They instantly connect with the youngsters all around them—some of whom barely reach the stomachs of our students. They laugh, joke, tickle, and sing. The room is awash with smiles. Everyone is speaking the same language. Amanda Esteves-Kraus, Hackley faculty member
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By Elizabeth Gunnison Dunn ’01 25
Creating Welcome and Delight Will Guidara ’97 Redefines “Cool” “I wasn’t supposed to acknowledge the mongoose.” Will Guidara ’97 is sitting on a couch in the library of The NoMad, his restaurant in Manhattan’s Flatiron district, explaining a bout of conspiratorial giggling with the server delivering our drinks. It has to do with a service technique, a sort of slightof-hand that Guidara engineered to address the question of what a server does with her tray while pouring and handing over a beer. “There’s a person who subtly walks up behind the server and accepts the tray. We call that person the mongoose. But you’re never supposed to acknowledge the mongoose, because the mongoose is meant to be invisible.” Nobody can remember where the term came from, but it has stuck. The mongoose is just one of a number of practices in play at The NoMad to infinitesimally smooth the interactions between the restaurant and its guests, and the whole thing is classic Guidara: the creation of a fix for something that almost no one else would even realize was a problem, the goofy name, the easy rapport with his staff. It’s a small illustration of the attention to detail, the creativity, the warmth and sense of fun that have catapulted him to a leading position in the hospitality industry.
Will Guidara ’97, restaurateur. Photo by Francesco Tonelli.
Along with his business partner, the chef Daniel Humm, Will Guidara owns and operates the restaurant Eleven Madison Park, which under their watch has received five James Beard Awards, three Michelin stars, and two four-star reviews from the New York Times, and is currently ranked as the world’s fifth best restaurant by Restaurant Magazine. Its waiting list would stretch from Madison Park to Tarrytown. The duo also owns The NoMad, the clubby, chic dining room and bar inside a hotel of the same name. If Eleven Madison Park is the overachieving firstborn, The NoMad is the cool little brother; Prince Harry to Eleven Madison Park’s William. Then there are the cookbooks, of which Guidara and Humm have dashed off two, with a third on the way this fall. Guidara is also the co-founder of The Welcome Conference, an annual symposium that he developed as a forum for sharing ideas between hospitality professionals.
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“There’s this quotation from Maya Angelou that I think about a lot,” Will explains. “‘They may forget what you said, they may forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.’ It’s a mantra that we talk about a lot in my restaurants, and it really applies to my time at Hackley. Hackley made me feel great.”
But before he was the subject of glowing New Yorker profiles and New York Times reviews, Will got his first taste of the media spotlight courtesy of The Dial. “Pasta Bar Received Well,” declares a headline from a 1996 edition. It goes on to recount Will’s triumphant installation of a station for pastas and sauces in the Hackley dining room. Everybody starts somewhere. Will was a Hackley lifer. “It was really important to my mom that I get a good education, so my parents scrimped and saved to put me into Hackley,” he recalls. He was an avid drummer (and still is), a soccer player, and an active participant in student government. Mostly, though, when Will recalls his time on the hilltop, his mind doesn’t travel to particular classes, games, or concerts. What he remembers is a pervasive sense of contentment and belonging. “There’s this quotation from Maya Angelou that I think about a lot,” Will explains. “‘They may forget what you said, they may forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.’ It’s a mantra that we talk about a lot in my restaurants, and it really applies to my time at Hackley. Hackley made me feel great.” Will had his sights set on the restaurant business from an early age. “I saw what my dad was doing and loved it, and it’s all I ever wanted,” he says. Will’s father, Frank Guidara, was a restaurant operations man; for much of the time that Will was at Hackley, he was the president of the restaurant division at Restaurant Associates, a large hospitality company which provides high-end food services to museums, performing arts centers, corporations, and schools around the country. While his classmates were
sleeping late and couch-bound playing video games, Will went to work with his dad every Saturday, learning first-hand the ins and outs of the service business. After stints washing dishes and waiting tables during high school, he went on to attend Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, one of the country’s top hospitality programs. He spent most of his early career working his way through Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group—as a maitre d’ at Tabla, a modern Indian restaurant, then as the General Manager and eventually Operations Director for the food service at the Museum of Modern Art. In 2006, Mr. Meyer approached Guidara with a proposition: he had installed a new chef, the Swiss-born Daniel Humm, and a new general manager at Eleven Madison Park, with the goal of elevating the eight year-old establishment from a brasserie to a four-star operation. The two weren’t getting along, so the GM had to go. Would Guidara take the job? The rest is hospitality history. It’s safe to say that Guidara and Humm over-delivered on Meyer’s ambition for the restaurant, and in 2011, the duo bought the business from their boss. Today, despite its stature as a destination restaurant, a meal at Eleven Madison Park includes none of the stuffiness and hauteur that usually attend the highest echelons of fine dining. Will’s fun-loving, affable nature bleeds into the restaurant’s DNA; he and Humm frequently host parties at both Eleven Madison Park and The NoMad, and host live music whenever they can (Chris Pandolfi ’97 and his
Alumni friends gather at The NoMad, April 2015.
bluegrass band The Infamous Stringdusters have even made an appearance). In his recent four-star review of the restaurant, The New York Times’ Pete Wells wrote, “the restaurant tries as hard as any I know to bring delight to the table with every course. It succeeds so often that only the most determinedly grumpy souls could resist.” Wells credits Guidara with “working to establish a loose, entertaining tone in the dining room that sets Eleven Madison Park apart from its competitors.” Anyone who knew Will during his time on the hilltop would readily agree. The restaurant’s light-hearted charm is made possible by Guidara’s relentless cultivation of his staff. When new servers start at Eleven Madison Park, they receive a 97-page manual to study. Will has also famously devised a system of hand signals, like catcher’s signs, aimed at making service more efficient, subtle, and effective. Even more important than drilling the technical aspects of high-end service, though, is his sustained effort to shape his staff into a community, and encourage a culture that values excellence—a goal inspired by growing up in a place where it was cool to be smart, and cool to work hard. “When I started at Eleven Madison, I wanted to change the culture from it being cool to talk about where you were drinking at 3 AM the night before
to it being cool to talk about where you ate your last great meal,” he explained. “I realized, because I had the benefit of going to school at a place like Hackley, that you could make something cool just by being passionate about it.” The notion of community extends to the way Eleven Madison Park treats its diners. At a time when restaurants are increasingly driven by chefs and a focus on service is waning, Guidara and Humm decided together that their restaurant would put a strong emphasis on hospitality—believing that a fine dining experience should not just provide memorable food and white-glove service, but make every guest feel like a million bucks. It’s a truly revolutionary sentiment in the world of four-star restaurants, where a sense of warmth and welcome often gets lost beneath the fanfare. “I think if you don’t like the food but you felt so taken care of, you will go back,” Will explains. Earlier this spring, I spoke on the phone with Anne Siviglia, whom Will had mentioned to me as a favorite teacher. “There was an enthusiasm and imagination in Will that I loved,” Mrs. Siviglia recounted. “I remember when I used to go over vocabulary, on one of the lists was the world ‘burly’ and he thought it was the funniest word. He really enjoyed things.” I immediately thought of the mongoose.
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On April 21, Will Guidara hosted a gathering at The NoMad Hotel for 175 Hackley alumni from the Classes of 1994 through 2004, as well as eight past and present faculty who taught these alumni in their student days. Hackley alumni are notorious deadline burners when it comes to RSVPing for events, yet as Hackley Alumni Association President Christie PhilbrickWheaton-Galvin ’01 noted, responses to this invitation filled the event to capacity in just two hours. The signature Guidara welcome was evident from the moment guests arrived to be greeted by polished yet friendly staff in The NoMad’s eclectic and elegant rooftop space, where Will’s staff had mounted “Enter here to be and find a friend” above the doorway.
Mrs. Siviglia told me that she had recently eaten lunch with Will at The NoMad, and that it was one of the most wonderful dining experiences of her life. “Watching him communicate with his staff put me in mind of the trainers of the Lipizzaner stallions in Vienna,” she recalled, with a laugh. “There was no showmanship. It was all so genuine and so subtle.” She didn’t remember what he said, exactly, and she didn’t remember what he did. But she remembered the way he made her feel. Ω Elizabeth Gunnison Dunn, Hackley Class of 2001, is a James Beard Award-nominated food writer who writes about food for the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg Businessweek, among other publications, and co-authors cookbooks with chefs. Her second book, a Japanese dessert compendium called The Kyotofu Cookbook, hit shelves in April 2015. Until 2011, Elizabeth was the assistant to celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, a role that encompassed everything from ghost writing to business development to recipe testing. She holds a degree in the History of Art from Yale University, where she served as a writer and then an editor at the Yale Daily News.
English teacher and coach Jenny Leffler remarked, “It was a truly lovely event starting with the absolutely amazing setting. From the second I walked in, I felt like I was seeing old friends—people so welcoming, doing such wonderful things, and so truly happy to be together. I feel so lucky and so proud to be a member of this community, and seeing former students and players the way I did on Tuesday night just illustrates that. I think I smiled and laughed from the second I arrived until long after the evening was over.”
Clockwise from top left: ’98 Reunion: Deirdre Colligan Zahl, Laura Stokes-Greene, Ana Venturas-Ripp, and Colin Renz Will and buddies: Mike Murphy ’97, James Pratt ’97, Will, Carlo Esannason ’97, and Jonny Hirsch ’99 Will reminisces with Anne Van Leer. Will Guidara ’97, Anne Siviglia, and Elizabeth Gunnison Dunn ’01. Great cityscape view. Classmates from 2001 celebrate at The NoMad.
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By Amanda Esteves-Kraus
Discovering Magic: Regina DiStefano and Hackley Lower School Science This article is part of a series on faculty holders of Hackley’s endowed chairs. Regina DiStefano was named to The Parents’ Chair for a three year term, beginning in 2013. The Chair was endowed by the Hackley Parents’ Association to recognize excellence in teaching and is awarded to faculty following nomination by their faculty peers. Full disclosure: children under the age of 10 scare me. I spend my days in the science classrooms of the Upper School—teaching biology to juniors and seniors—and my conversations with students occur at eye level. So it was with some trepidation that I entered the Hackley Lower School—a beautiful building sized for individuals who barely reach my hip—to gather my research on Regina DiStefano. I say “research” because over the last few months, I poked and prodded many individuals in order to gather data on Regina and Hackley Lower School science. Scientists know that only with data can you formulate a conclusion. Let me share with you some numbers that I picked up on my first day of this social experiment. Table 1: Comparative Summary of Hackley LS versus US Science Divisions Upper School
Number of Teachers
Number of Classes Taught per Teacher
Maximum Number of Students Taught
166 (Every student grades 1st–4th)
Number of Teachers who Teach in Heels
Average Heel Height
One of her colleagues said it best, “She literally is SUPER WOMAN.” And I have to agree. But what struck me most as I explored the world of Lower School science was just how much my goals for my “big kids” matched the goals Regina has for her “little kids.” When Regina and I first met to talk about her program, I asked her what she believes defines her approach to Hackley Lower School science. At the center of her multifaceted response was her desire for her students to “find meaning in the world” and to “constantly be wondering.” Amongst the haze of SATs, college-applications, and dramatic promposals* this is the same lesson I hope to impart on my students. So how do we as teachers accomplish these goals? The answer to that question varies from teacher to teacher, but what is clear is that the groundwork for inquiry-based science at Hackley begins with Regina DiStefano in the Lower School.
* Prom-posal (präm-pozel) noun 1. An all-consuming Hackley phenomenon during the weeks leading up to prom that involves the juniors and seniors developing elaborate, entertaining, and sometimes odd ways to invite their heart’s desire to prom 2. An offer of a prom date
Lower School science students building cars they will later race, testing the effects of friction and other forces. The project is part of a unit on simple machines; cars combine levers, wheels and axles.
Families touring Hackley will often say the school resembles Hogwarts. If so, then Regina’s second-floor classroom is that magical room at the top of several moving staircases that manages to make you feel that you are no longer inside, but instead exploring the natural world outside. Windows cover one entire wall of the Lower School science classroom. When I walked in for the first time, I felt enveloped in the trees. None of the surrounding school buildings or neighborhood houses were visible. Instead, the view was a panorama of tree branches, the sky, and birds as they flitted past the windows. In elementary school, teachers chastised me for staring out the window; this classroom would have been my downfall. Luckily, what I soon discovered was that the inside of the classroom was just as lively and magical as the outside world. Old hornets’ hives and birds’ nests hang from the ceiling. Colorful solar system projects cover another wall. There are books everywhere, posters of local bird species, and reconstructed owl pellets. And just when I began to border on sensory overload, my eyes landed on what might be the bestkept secret of Hackley—the Science Word Wall. It is a wall full of science vocabulary. Words like “crenate,” “arachnid,” “conduction,” and “momentum” stand proudly on the wall in big, glossy, black letters. True magic! You may think I am the biggest nerd for falling in love with this wall, but when I told my juniors and seniors about this phenomenal creation—well, actually, first they did laugh at me—but then they started pestering me to create their own Science Word
Wall in my classroom. At the core of all sciences, but especially biology, is a bevy of new vocabulary. I often write on graded assessments, “Please use your science vocabulary.” The smooth endoplasmic reticulum produces lipids, whereas the rough endoplasmic reticulum produces proteins. Fail to delineate the adjective, smooth or rough, and it is impossible to know this particular organelle’s function. Even within these two sentences, new questions pop up in relation to vocabulary; “What is a lipid again? An organelle?” It can be never-ending—hence the begging for an Upper School Science Word Wall. When I asked Regina about the Word Wall, she told me it was “just the best” classroom aid, reminding students to focus on what they say and how they say it. Exploring and discovering meaning is all well and good, but without the basic skill set of vocabulary, students cannot ask the appropriate questions. It is not enough in Regina’s classroom to say “seethrough” when “transparent” is on the Word Wall. She believes students “feel better and more capable if the work is hard for them,” and part of that capability is appropriate use of science vocabulary. This conversation about language underscores a central tenant of effective science education. These days, the buzz in science education is all about “STEM,” and many curricula—and more important, many students—seek to compartmentalize STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) as subjects completely detached from humanities classes. Not only does this reinforce old stereotypes, encouraging those students who naturally gravitate
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Students take advantage of Hackley’s largest classroom—our woods!
to quantitative subjects to justify their resistance to the humanities while marginalizing those who more naturally gravitate to literature and arts, it fundamentally detracts from the depth with which each student can engage with the subject. Through language we not only learn and build a stronger foundation, but also unlock other doors. “Endo,” for example, derives from the Greek endon, which means “within.” Understanding this, we can conclude that both the smooth and rough endoplasmic reticulum must be within something. My first year teaching at Hackley, a student floored me by nonchalantly stating, “Of course, the function of the cloaca [an opening in birds for the release of both excretory and reproductive products] makes sense because the Latin association of the word is ‘sewer.’” With this observation, this student engaged every other student in the classroom and ensured that no one would ever forget the term cloaca. And this is what I think is so phenomenal about Regina. She understands and manages to create a science classroom that is incredibly hands-on and inquiry-based without losing sight of the other skills students need to have to simply be good students. One of the days I visited Regina’s class was a day she deemed “a boring day” because her first grade students were doing research for their research projects. Now, I do not know what you were doing in your school in first grade, but I can assure you, I was most certainly not involved in research of any
A fourth grader displays the result of owl pellet dissection.
kind. And yet here was a classroom of little people, all focused on gathering information on their assigned animals. To make them feel special, and to keep them focused, Regina set-up blue cardboard dividers around students to create the feeling of cubicles. Regina notes, “Students need to learn to look at sources, understand and question where information comes from, and draw conclusions from what they gather—facts or data.” With the amount of information available to students instantaneously these days, it is never too early to learn this lesson. In my conversations with students, parents, and colleagues, it is clear that Lower School science is fun. Regina said it best when she told me she loves her job because she “gets to play all day long.” Students build racecars and race them in the hallway. The different modes of heat transfer—conduction, convection, and radiation—became a delicious lesson when taught through the vector of popcorn. A current senior who had Regina in third grade distinctly remembers the still popular catapultbuilding activity. The assignment is to build a catapult out of pieces of wood, paper, glue, and rubber bands. The activity focused on trial, error, and recording of results, in order to learn from each attempted design—in short, the real-life scientific method. He recalled that his catapult “worked terribly, but it was a lot of fun to build.” Whenever I perform dissections with my students, the Hackley lifers always—and I mean always—remember dissecting the owl pellet in
Hackley 4th graders and kindergartners at the Wolf Conservation Center.
The Wolf Project The swan song of Lower School
As the fourth graders begin to learn
the course of the years. “Why do
Science is the WOLF UNIT. Regina
everything there is to know about
the red wolves only have numbers
DiStefano developed the project at
wolves, they share this information
when the ambassador wolves have
the encouragement of Ron DelMoro,
with their buddies. Regina’s unit
names?” (4th grader). “Can red
former Lower School Director. The
encompasses ecology, biodiversity,
wolves and gray wolves breed with
project engages Hackley students
predation habits, and endless other
each other?” (4th grader). “Does it
in two partnerships: the first, with
new vocabulary terms. She uses the
hurt when the elk lose their antlers?”
the Wolf Conservation Center
wolf as a framework for studying
(kindergartner). “Why do the wolves
located in South Salem, NY, and the
the local environment and changing
pace back and forth like that?”
second pairs Hackley fourth graders
weather patterns. Meanwhile,
(4th grader). “How come the wolf
and their Kindergarten “buddies.”
however, the kindergartners read
doesn’t like you?”(kindergartner).
The Kindergarten Buddy partnership extends back decades, as Hackley’s oldest Lower School students (once fifth graders, but fourth graders since 2004 when fifth grade joined the Middle School), partner with Hackley’s youngest students at the start of the school
fiction stories that portray wolves as “bad,” evil creatures. Hackley fourth graders share knowledge that expands the kindergartners’ perspectives so the younger students may come to appreciate wolves as more than just fairy tale villains.
year, and this relationship blossoms
Come springtime, the fourth graders
throughout the year through joint
and their kindergarten buddies
snack sessions, mini “peer advisory”
travel to the Wolf Conservation
meetings, and other activities. At
Center where they get to see live
the end of the year, the kindergart-
wolves and ask questions of the
ners sing to the fourth graders at
naturalists at the Center. Their
questions reveal the depth of the knowledge they have gained over
The Wolf Unit is one of the staples of the Lower School science program that students look forward to each year. The current fourth graders can now remember when they were kindergartners and visited the Wolf Center with their own fourth grade buddies. The project continues to grow and flourish. Most important, however, by the end of the unit, students learn that the “Big, Bad, Wolf” does not really exist. Regina observes, “If I’m doing my job right, the students should understand there really is no such thing as a ‘bad’ animal.”
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The Science Word Wall
Lower School—slowly pulling apart the regurgitated pellet looking for bones that they have to then rebuild into a complete mouse skeleton. Students learn to identify the bones not only by structure, but also by name. This activity is time-consuming, meticulous work that requires attention to detail and patience. These are the moments that resonate with Hackley students. Science is a living, breathing, constantly evolving process, and if done properly, a fun process as well. My current students do not remember doing research in Regina’s class. They do not remember her focus on the scientific method and using proper terminology. What they do remember are the owl pellets, the final fourth grade “Wolf Unit” [see previous page], and the opportunity to venture out and explore the 250 or so acres of woods on Hackley’s 285 acre campus. But whether the students who have gone through the Lower School are aware of it or not, this strong foundation is lodged in their brains. I see it everyday in my classroom and outside of my classroom. When I say outside, I mean outside. My classes trek through the wilds of Hackley regularly. Upper School Biology and Ecology teacher Tessa Johnson’s Ecology classes are in the woods every day. Often, Tessa’s students pair up with Regina’s Lower School students to check for salamanders in varying locations in the woods. These Upper School-Lower School student partnerships continue throughout the year and
often evolve to lasting devotion. (One Lower Schooler frequented the sports games of his Upper School “salamander buddy.”) The Upper School students are amazed by how much knowledge of science and the woods the little people have and it is all a testament to Regina. She introduces the students to the Hackley woods, to the plants and animals local to the area, and all the while holding the students accountable for the proper names of species, and encouraging them to view the world with wider eyes. Tessa and I have hatched ducks in our classroom for the last three years. The level of craziness in our classroom the first few days after the ducks hatch may in fact rival prom-posal season. Regina brings many of her science classes to visit the ducks throughout the process—from eggs, to hatchlings, to toddler ducks. Tessa and I take turns talking to the Lower Schoolers who come to visit. Often our Upper School students will even take over and speak. It’s wonderful to watch the Upper Schoolers step into these responsible roles and tread into the world of communication with youngsters. We are always struck by how observant Regina’s students are. They notice how the water rolls of the ducks’ oily feathers, or can point out bloods vessels in the developing embryo while it is still in the egg. My Upper Schoolers are always surprised to find how smart and curious Regina’s students are and I have to remind many of them that I am sure they were like that in Lower School. They shrug and respond, “debat-
Success in machine building—it moves!
[Regina] introduces the students to the Hackley woods, to the plants and animals local to the area, and all the while holding the students accountable for the proper names of species, and encouraging them to view the world with wider eyes. able.” Once the little people leave our classroom, the overall energy level of the room immediately drops and there is a quiet moment of reflection. Another Hackley lifer informed me that she loved when the Lower Schoolers visit because she remembers being a kindergartner and having a fourth grade “buddy” during Regina’s legendary “Wolf Unit.” She once thought her fourth grade “buddy” was the coolest person ever and couldn’t image being on the brink of leaving Lower School to enter Middle School. Now this lifer is about to graduate from Hackley. I say graduate intentionally, because I do believe once you are part of Hackley, you never truly leave Hackley. But when this student does leave Hackley, I know that she will leave with a strong foundation in science that all started with Regina. She will leave with a desire to explore the world around her, a desire to question, and with a fondness for owl pellets. Most important, she will graduate with the knowledge that there are certain key skills—language, writing, communication, the importance of sources—that not only apply to science, but have also been key elements of her many other Hackley classes.
This is what makes Regina so outstanding as a teacher. As one of her colleagues noted, “Our Lower School students are taught the same procedure for conducting an experiment as the Middle and Upper School students as they formulate a hypothesis and either prove or disprove it methodically.” Regina makes it fun and creative without losing academic rigor and while building stronger students. Not to mention, she’s doing all of this in heels. After spending this time in the Lower School world, I realize that in so many ways, my students are really just Regina’s students trapped in big bodies. There is no such thing as Lower, Middle, or Upper School Science at Hackley. There is only Hackley Science. And Regina is its foundation.
Ω Amanda Esteves-Kraus joined the Hackley Science faculty in 2012 after completing her undergraduate degree at Williams College, where she majored in Biology and Art History. A member of Hackley’s Boarding faculty, she also conducts Upper School Admissions interviews and serves as Unity Alumni Coordinator in Hackley’s Upper School Diversity program. She begins graduate work in Biology at Teachers College, Columbia University, in September.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES 2015–2016 Officers
John C. Canoni ’86, President Sy Sternberg, Vice President Susan L. Wagner, Treasurer John R. Torell IV ’80, Secretary David A. Berry ’96 MD, Ph.D. Christopher P. Bogart Roger G. Brooks John C. Canoni ’86 * Thomas A. Caputo ’65 * H. Rodgin Cohen Maria A. Docters Dawn N. Fitzpatrick Jason J. Hogg ’89 Lynda Holden-Bryant Keith R. Kroeger ’54* Kaveh Khosrowshahi ’85 Michael H. Lowry Theodore A. Mathas Timothy D. Matlack ’70 Diane D. Rapp Harvinder S. Sandhu, M.D. Lauren W. Sheng Sy Sternberg John R. Torell IV ’80 Sarah Unger ’03 Susan L. Wagner Pamela Gallin Yablon, M.D. *Alumni Trustee Honorary Trustees
Herbert A. Allen ’58 Daniel A. Celentano John T. Cooney, Jr. ’76 Marv H. Davidson Jack M. Ferraro H’63 Berkeley D. Johnson, Jr. ’49 Bruce F. Roberts Philip C. Scott ’60
Hackley School adheres to a long-standing policy of admitting students of any race, color, religion, and national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, or national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship or athletic and other school-administered programs.
James L. Abernathy ’59 John J. Beni ’51 Harold Burson Mark R. Gordon Robert R. Grusky ’75 Koichi Itoh ’59 Michael G. Kimelman ’56 Jonathan P. Nelson ’64 Marvin S. Neuman ’63 Conrad A. Roberts ’68 Lawrence D. Stewart ’68 HACKLEY PARENTS’ ASSOCIATION
Jayne Lee, President Priya Krishna, Executive Vice President Carmela Curran, Administrative Vice President Maggie Walker, Upper School Vice President Michelle Dhanda, Middle School Vice President Jennifer Kalapoutis, Lower School Vice President Jonalie Korengold, Secretary Ify Nwokorie, Treasurer Torrie Pizzolato, Assistant Treasurer
HACKLEY ALUMNI ASSOCIATION, INC. Officers
Walter C. Johnson, Headmaster
Christie Philbrick-WheatonGalvin ’00, President Sallyann Parker Nichols ’87, Vice President Daniel E. Rifkin ’89, Treasurer Patricia M. Raciti DeCenzo ’02, Secretary
Board of Directors
Development and Alumni Affairs Office
Marc S. Brodsky ’86 R. Raleigh D’Adamo ’49 Patricia M. Raciti DeCenzo ’02 Henry E. Dunn III ’58 Nordia A. Edwards ’99 David E. Friedman ’95 Bernard M. Gordon ’03 Jedd A. Gould ’85 Eric B. Gyasi ’01 Michelle Annunziata Hambright ’94 Richard C. Hodgson ’51 James Holden, Jr. ’66 Divonne M. Holmes à Court ’83 Thomas S. Karger ’63 Kevin K. Khosrowshahi ’81 Timothy L. Kubarych ’06 Joseph P. Marra ’86 Lauren E. McCollester ’82 Tanya N. Nicholson Miller ’90 Nicole R. Neubelt ’91 Sallyann E. Parker Nichols ’87 Christie Philbrick-WheatonGalvin ’00 Neal R. Pilzer ’74 Daniel E. Rifkin ’89 Anastasia E. Venturas Ripp ’98 Conrad A. Roberts ’68 William G. Roberts ’75 Jasmine C. Swann ’96 Belinda L. Walker Terry ’76 Honorary Directors
John C. Canoni ’86 Philip C. Scott ’60
Kevin Rea, Assistant Headmaster Susan Akin, Director of Communications and Community Relations, Editor, Hackley Review Waits May, Director of Online Communications
John Gannon, Director of Development and Alumni Affairs Haleh Tavakol ’84, Director of Alumni Relations and Alumni Giving Jason A. Rizzi ’03, Director of Major Gifts Cindy Urick Stickles, Director of Annual Fund Marjorie G. McNaughton Ford ’85, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Marlene Myhal, Event Coordinator and HPA Liaison Jen Bisschop, Alumni and Development Associate Kara Forcelli, Development Assistant
Why I Am a Hackley Trailblazer
I would not be where I am today, the President and CEO of my own Public Relations firm, had it not been for the education I received at Hackley. The school not only helped me hone my writing skills, but it also taught me organization and time management. The teachers instilled in me a sense of confidence that has carried me through college, graduate school, and into my professional career. I could not be more grateful. That is why I decided to become a Trailblazer Donor for the Hackley Legacy Campaign. I hope my contribution helps generations to come receive the education and confidence I was lucky to gain during my time on the Hilltop. —Ali Sirota ’01
What is a Trailblazer Donor? Gifts and pledges totaling $5,000–$29,999 made by Hackley alumni from the Classes of 1990–2014. Many of our Trailblazers are utilizing recurring monthly gifts to fulfill their multi-year commitments that will continue to define their Hackley Legacy and strengthen the school for present and future generations.
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