The Bulletin T H E M A S T E R S S C H O O L | F A L L 2 018
A WORLD OF LEARNING: PREPARING STUDENTS FOR A WORLD THAT IS BECOMING MORE GLOBALLY INTERCONNECTED EVERY DAY
CONTACTS The Masters School 49 Clinton Avenue Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522-2201 914-479-6400 mastersny.org Send letters to: Communications Office firstname.lastname@example.org Send alumnae/i news to news editors listed in Class Notes or: The Office of Alumnae/i Engagement email@example.com
ON THE COVER A monk at the Zhiyun Monastery in Lijiang, China waited outside the monasteryâ€™s main hall while a group of Masters students visited the temple. The students left their shoes outside, as is the tradition when entering a Buddhist temple.
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CONTENTS COVER STORY
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FROM LAURA DANFORTH ALUMNAE/I UPDATE CLASS NOTES ANNUAL REPORT OF DONORS
A WORLD OF LEARNING
The Masters School’s new Global and Civic Exchange Program broadens the boundaries of a Masters education, preparing students for a world that is becoming more globally interconnected every day.
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TYLER PAGER ’13: A Journalist Striving to Give Voice to the Voiceless COMPETING WITH THEIR MIGHT: 10 Graduates Commit to College Sports WHAT OUR STUDENTS ARE READING IN MEMORIAM: Leslie May Marra ’67
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FROM LAURA DANFORTH
Fostering Cross-Cultural Connections Dear Friends, Masters embodies a dynamic convergence of cultures, with students who hail from 20 states and more than 30 countries. For many years we have prioritized forming a diverse and global community where our students can engage in cross-cultural interactions that lead to new perspectives and understanding. Despite our differing views on the world today, few would argue that a single strategy or way of thinking can provide lasting solutions to what divides us and to what ails the world. And along with that “big-picture” truth is the concrete value our students gain in strengthening cross-cultural competency: they will soon compete for jobs in a global market that requires a broad and informed worldview, the ability to innovate, a sensibility toward cultural differences, and the verbal and intellectual fluency that comes with knowing at least one language other than one’s own. The world needs people who have a broad understanding of global issues and a deep sensitivity to those with different views.
“THE WORLD NEEDS PEOPLE WHO HAVE A BROAD UNDERSTANDING OF GLOBAL ISSUES AND A DEEP SENSITIVITY TO THOSE WITH DIFFERENT VIEWS.”
Adolescence — a time when one’s perspective is taking shape either by broadening or by narrowing — is the optimal time to begin to establish a global mindset. Our faculty know this, and embrace the opportunity to provide a setting that fosters cultural openness, awareness and appreciation. Our Global and Civic Exchange Program, for example, prepares students for active civic engagement by inviting them to be involved with and understand the critical issues facing today’s world. Students participating in this program have traveled to Cuba, Montreal, Japan and Senegal. They have experienced life in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Lijiang, China, made repairs to nursery schools in the Dominican Republic, and spoken with political leaders about historical and social issues in Santo Domingo. Each year, our community is enriched by extended visits from Senegalese and Japanese exchange students, who have a fully immersive experience living in our dorms and attending classes. Masters sixth graders delight in interacting with students in Dakar, Senegal via Skype, and our language teachers offer seminars on cultures rather than focusing solely on language proficiency. Thus our world is both shrinking and expanding; we educators have the opportunity and the responsibility to prepare our students to optimally serve the world as powers for good. What a blessing it is that our duty is also our joy. This issue of The Bulletin takes a peek at some of our current and future global initiatives. It also includes our 2017-18 Annual Report of Donors. I am immensely proud and grateful to have the backing of a supportive community that celebrates our commitment to educating every student “to be a power for good in the world.” Enjoy! Warm wishes,
LAURA DANFORTH Head of School
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Abdoulaye Ngom, an Upper School language teacher, looked on as students tried their hand at calligraphy during the iFest international festival held at the Fonseca Center last spring.
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A WORLD OF LEARNING
THE SCHOOLâ€™S NEW GLOBAL AND CIVIC EXCHANGE PROGRAM BROADENS THE BOUNDARIES OF A MASTERS EDUCATION.
By Michael Butler
AT A TRADITIONAL TIBETAN WEDDING, ON A PLATEAU 2.5 MILES IN ELEVATION, 300 GUESTS GATHER, INCLUDING A GROUP OF VISITING STUDENTS FROM THE MASTERS SCHOOL. ONE OF THEM IS HONORED TO HELP THE BRIDE WITH HER MAKEUP.
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A YOUNG ALUMNUS ENTERING A GRADUATE PROGRAM IN BUDAPEST FINDS HIMSELF PART OF A REMARKABLY COSMOPOLITAN COMMUNITY â€” AND FEELS RIGHT AT HOME. THE INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT, HE SAYS, REMINDS HIM OF MASTERS.
MEMBERS OF STUDENT CHORUSES TRAVELING IN SCOTLAND ATTEND A CONFERENCE ON MUSIC EDUCATION, PERFORM AT GLASGOW ROYAL CONCERT HALL, DANCE AT A TRADITIONAL FOLK CELEBRATION, AND OFFER FELLOW PASSENGERS A SPONTANEOUS AND MUCH-APPRECIATED CONCERT ABOARD A FERRY IN THE FIRTH OF CLYDE.
These small, intriguing moments reveal a larger, important truth: a Masters education is in many ways an international experience, and it is becoming more so every day. Masters is working to integrate diverse aspects of learning and school life that are already internationally focused and to build upon them. The goal is to prepare students for life and work in a world that is becoming more globally interconnected every day.
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This focus is reflected in the School’s decision to launch the Global and Civic Exchange Program, a new initiative with the potential to grow into a hallmark of the Masters experience. Dr. Robert Fish, director of the program, explains its purpose: “We are taking the community of 49 Clinton Avenue out into the world and also bringing the world here. We’re breaking down brick-and-mortar classroom boundaries and creating the chance for engagement with the broader world, near and far.” At the heart of the School’s plans is the burgeoning global citizenship core, a curriculum designed to ensure that a set of shared experiences enrich the education of every Masters student. The coursework includes three years of a world language, two years of world history, and one semester of world religions — requirements that already set Masters apart from many peer schools. It envisions new elements as well, including additional internationally focused electives, a global scholar in residence, and continued offerings through Masters’ network of partner schools.
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“WE ARE TAKING THE COMMUNITY OF 49 CLINTON
AVENUE OUT INTO THE WORLD AND ALSO BRINGING THE WORLD HERE.”
As Masters aspires to become even more global, it has the advantage of some impressive building blocks already in place. The School attracts students from more than 30 countries, as well as faculty of diverse national origins — from Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Djibouti, France and Spain, among others. Masters has established relationships with partner schools in Canada, China, the Dominican Republic, Japan, Senegal and Pakistan. It boasts outstanding world language programs, which inspire 80 percent of students to pursue studies beyond the required level. And it has the remarkable treasure of New York City at its doorstep, a microcosm of our multicultural planet just 40 minutes away by train. There are also a multitude of ways in which life and learning at Masters reflect a global emphasis. “You may find Middle School students connecting with pen pals in Pakistan or reading poetry from the Dominican Republic,” Fish explains. “You will find curricula in the arts embracing works from other cultures. You will see a tremendously popular elective in international relations. And you will encounter all sorts of extracurricular highlights, from an annual international fair to a thriving Model UN club, to internationally themed student organizations.” Going forward, he says, the goal is to expand these opportunities and make them a more integrated part of each student’s experience. It is work driven by a powerful conviction that is shared by and resonates with thought leaders in business, government and academia: in 21st-century life, global skills and knowledge are not simply desirable assets, but essential competencies.
“THAT DIFFERENT WAY
For many people, their first thought in connection with global learning is the chance to study abroad. This is true because academic travel programs are widely available and also because the experiences they offer are often unforgettable. Take the story of the 14 Masters students and two chaperones who traveled to Tibetan provinces in China, on a journey to learn about Buddhism, in 2015. This “Sacred Sites” expedition included visits to the Zhiyun Monastery in Lijiang and to a traditional Tibetan wedding in Daocheng. Ellen Cowhey, an Upper School history and religion teacher and one of the trip leaders, says the combination of destinations yielded a wondrous array of indelible moments: from climbing the monastery’s 138 stairs into “a popsicle-blue sky” and being greeted by the welcoming smiles of 60 young monks, to encountering the striking works of religious art in the monastery’s collection. Days later, at a wedding, the Masters contingent joined guests in exploring the trove of presents brought for the couple, including sacks of barley, yak-leather boots and turquoise jewelry. This was also an opportunity for one skillful student to help the bride with her makeup.
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If one goal defines academic travel at Masters, it is to go beyond tourism. Students and teachers travel not simply to see sights — to witness and watch — but to engage.
At the monastery, each student was paired with a young monk and spent a day following his schedule. The students played baseball, soccer and Frisbee with the monks, and participated in a half-day vow of silence. They joined the monks in painting some 300 stupas, which are dome-like commemorative monuments, and even taught the monks in an English class. Lazarena Lazarova ’17 remembers the satisfaction of leading an English lesson, then moments afterward encountering the monks she had taught, now at lunch. “When we walked into the room, two of the boys were there waiting for us and bowed. At first we were confused. Then we realized they were honoring us, in the same way they honor their real teachers.” Student journal entries from the trip are filled with deeply felt insights, about the real meaning of the Buddhist concept of detachment, the radical simplicity of the monks’ lives, and the sense of identification that connected these students from around the world with each other. For Cowhey, the experience sums up what makes travel a uniquely powerful learning opportunity. “It’s the dizziness of high altitude,” she says, “and the chance to hold a baby yak. It’s a different way of knowing and there is no way to experience that intensity without being there.”
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In a recent arts-focused sojourn in Cuba, students led by visual arts teacher Cheryl Hajjar encountered art of many kinds and created original work themselves. They made hand-bound visual journals before and during the trip. They took photos of Havana and Havanans, and jammed with the street musicians and dancers who gather each evening by the city’s old seawall, the Malecón. They learned about the art of Santeria, a religious practice combining elements of Catholicism and Voodoo. They learned about the craft of papermaking and spoke with artists who use old food containers as their medium. “The idea,” explains Hajjar, “is to gain an understanding of another culture and way of being, in this case, a culture where making beauty is very much part of everyday life. Along the way, students also began to discover the historical and political realities that have shaped the country we were exploring.” Hajjar cites the value for students of stepping beyond their comfort zone. For some, this means simply leaving their school and family behind and traveling to another country. For others, it’s being forced to communicate in a different language to gain a family’s consent to take a photo of them on the street. For those even more daring, it may mean visiting a Cuban school of circus arts — and stepping into the ring. Experiences like these are magical, but also the result of careful planning. Masters teachers consider the kinds of opportunities each trip can offer. They prepare students before the journey with extensive seminars, and they complete detailed plans.
“THE IDEA IS TO GAIN AN UNDERSTANDING OF
ANOTHER CULTURE AND WAY OF BEING, IN THIS CASE, A CULTURE WHERE MAKING BEAUTY IS VERY MUCH PART OF EVERYDAY LIFE. ”
“ANY DAY IN A
Adventures abroad make for great stories. In terms of educational impact, however, experiences every day on campus can be every bit as powerful.
Jennifer Carnevale, Chair of the Department of Performing Arts, scheduled a choral trip to Scotland to include multiple performances, as well as the chance to take part in an academic conference alongside graduate students and researchers from colleges and universities. There was also time to join in the dance at a traditional Scottish ceilidh (kay-lee), and the opportunity to accompany an orchestra of students with special needs from Surrey, England, in concert. In order to ensure a successful experience, teachers not only plan, but also complete dry runs. The spring before the Sacred Sites journey took place, trip leaders Ellen Cowhey and Brian Cheney traveled to rural China with co-hosts and Masters parents Mark and Daisy Ma P’17 to vet local interpreters and plan the route that would take the group from the monastery to the wedding 300 miles away. “I first made the trip with a monk named Fred as my driver. The roadways were terrifyingly high, narrow and winding. I decided this was not the place to be with a driver who believes in reincarnation,” she explains, laughing. “When we came back with students, we took a plane.”
Oliver Campbell ’18 explains the point this way: “Any day in a Harkness class at Masters is an international experience.” Campbell took part in the art-focused trip to Cuba. This experience inspired his portfolio, which eventually earned him admission to art school. But, he says, cultural encounters in class are equally meaningful. He cites conversations from a history class with a friend from Jamaica who helped him understand the reality of colorism — racism within members of the same ethnic group — or exchanges with a friend from South Korea, who explained that a society might have entirely different views from ours when it comes to basic ideas like the value of individualism. “This is the advantage of taking American studies with classmates who are not all American,” Campbell says. “I went into the class thinking of the U.S. as the norm, and I didn’t even realize it. All that changed.” Upper School history teacher Matt Browne agrees. He points out that the richness of Harkness exchanges increases with the number of perspectives brought to the table. “That happens when you have a student body as diverse as ours. It also happens when students come back from transformative experiences abroad, and when exchange students from our partner schools come visit Masters.”
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“CULTURE IS NO LONGER EXTRANEOUS. IT’S
THE ANIMATING FORCE. IT’S WHAT MOTIVATES LEARNING AND MAKES IT MEANINGFUL.”
Browne describes teaching U.S. history to a class that includes students from China, Russia, Portugal and Germany, as well as Americans. “When you discuss U.S.-China relations, you realize the story may not be as simple as it first appears. There may be misperceptions on both sides.” The same, he says, is true of the Cold War or World War II. “We had one student from Russia who stood up during a Morning Meeting and spoke with great conviction about Russia’s role in the war. Americans may naturally tend to think of World War II as ‘an American event.’ He wanted to remind us that 20 million Russians gave their lives.” International dimensions are woven into other fields of study, too, from the literary works students explore to the choral works they perform. Jennifer Carnevale, who led Masters singers on their trip to Scotland, explains that the canon of choral music is thoroughly multilingual. “We’ve always performed works in Latin, Spanish and other languages,” she says. “Now we are asking how can we go beyond just pronouncing the lyrics to make a cultural connection? How can we appreciate, not appropriate?” Robert Fish says that global connections weave into Masters coursework in many ways, but that further enriching these connections is one of the key goals of the Global and Civic Exchange Program. “From science to dance,” he says, “we want to do more.”
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THE ROLE OF
As Masters prepares its students to thrive in a multicultural world, building fluency in languages other than English is key. But for those who studied a language in years gone by, the full impact of this experience may be hard to appreciate. The reason is that at Masters and other schools embracing current best practices, language learning has radically transformed in recent years. “Teaching a modern language used to be about grammar and vocabulary,” explains Richard Simon, Modern and Classical Languages Department Chair. “Maybe you explored some culture if there was time left over, but there was never time left over.” In the last decade, he says, the profession has seen a tremendous push in a new direction. “Culture is no longer extraneous. It’s the animating force. It’s what motivates learning and makes it meaningful.” Abdoulaye Ngom, who teaches Spanish, explains that much of the substance of his course is now about “real people in Spanish-speaking countries speaking about their real, daily life.” In the bygone era of language labs, listening to native speakers was a small part of most courses. Today’s technology means that any laptop can function as a language lab. What’s more, the wealth of authentic audio and video content available for language learners has expanded exponentially.
Tasting the World As Masters grows more international, so does the menu in the Cameron Mann Dining Hall. Lee Bergelson, who oversees dining services, describes a bold range of flavors that recently joined the menu rotation. Choices include South Asian, East Asian, Mediterranean and Latin American dishes — from tandoori chicken and a ramen noodle bar to bronzino with lentil rice and pork al pastor. “The key,” says Bergelson, “is that these dishes are not Americanized. We take pains to source special ingredients and prepare the meals authentically.” The reception, he says, has been extremely positive. “For some students, these dishes are new, for others, a taste of home. With both groups, they’ve been a hit.” Thanks to the innovative menu, food now provides one more chance for Masters students to connect with cultures from around the world.
The results of this new approach have been impressive. “Students of modern languages see the relevance of their studies much more clearly,” says Simon. “They actively seek out opportunities to speak, and they move toward proficiency faster. We now have our American students of Mandarin Chinese chatting with our native speakers by the time they are in level two. That did not used to happen.” He describes a group of Masters students studying Spanish whose service project involved visiting a senior center in Washington Heights, NY, where they practiced language skills and formed personal bonds with residents who had emigrated from the Dominican Republic. “They were using the language in a meaningful way over a period of time,” Simon notes. “It had a powerful effect on them as speakers of Spanish and as people.” It’s the kind of immersion and interaction that can make a local experience feel very much like travel overseas.
Of course, the global side of Masters is not new. Students and teachers have long come from many nations, and alumnae/i have gone on to careers around the world. Today they live and work in 66 countries on six continents. Speak with them and you learn that the School has prepared them well in many ways. Noah Buyon ’13 went from Masters to Georgetown University and then on to graduate studies at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. He says the fact that he chose to pursue a master’s degree in the area of European history related directly back to his Advanced Placement European history class at Masters, taught by Matt Ives. “In fact,” he says, “I can draw a straight line to that class and Mr. Ives. That was the moment that opened my eyes to non-American history and literature.” It wasn’t just what Buyon learned at Masters that prepared him, but also how he learned. “I might not even have wanted to go
abroad if not for Harkness and the connection it created with people from other places,” he explains. “In forcing everyone to speak, it prepares you to face all sorts of challenges with confidence. That includes the immersion into a different mode of living that comes with a move to a new country.” Stacey Ng Lacy ’93 grew up in Hong Kong before coming to Masters and, after earning two economics degrees at Boston University, returned to Asia and began a career in banking. This professional path has taken her to Hong Kong, Shanghai, and now, Singapore. As the head of operations and technology for Citibank Private Bank Asia and a managing director of the bank, she says that living and working in these varied places presented challenges she was able to tackle. “You find yourself without the support of family, wanting to prove yourself to people who don’t know you, and therefore needing an exceptional level of confidence.” Masters, she says, gave her the right mindset. “It trained me to be independent in the way I think. It helped me to see risk-taking as a positive adventure. It made me open-minded. It made me open to an international assignment and to a career I might not have had.” For Lacy, this preparation for adventures abroad was not related to a specifically international focus in her learning, but to something more fundamental. “It was the personal attention,” she says. “It was the chance to get involved in music and drama and not be judged. It was a teacher who inspired me and told me, ‘You can do anything you want.’” Maya Berrol-Young ’13, who has been working as a Fulbright English teaching assistant in Thailand, found Masters similarly empowering. “My experience at the School shaped the way that I approach the world. Being in classes with people from nearly every continent, living in dorms with fellow students who spoke multiple languages, having teachers who were educated and grew up abroad. This was the Masters I attended. It wasn’t clear to me until coming to Thailand how rare that is for most Americans. “I hope — and expect — that Masters will continue to promote empathetic and expansive thinking in its students and to send out globally minded graduates into the world.”
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TYLER PAGER ’13
A Journalist Striving to Give Voice to the Voiceless
2 By Andrea Lehman
1 1/ Tyler Pager ’13, Medill School of Journalism Class of 2017 valedictorian, delivered a speech at the Medill graduation ceremony. 2/ Pager engaged with residents of a local Pygmy village in Monasao, Central African Republic. 3/ Pager joined New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof on a reporting trip to Monasao last spring.
“Good journalism does matter,” says Tyler Pager ’13 by way of explaining his career choice. With bylines from Dobbs Ferry, NY, to Monasao, Central African Republic, the young journalist has had a seasoned reporter’s share of fascinating experiences. Since graduating from Northwestern University in 2017, Pager has earned a master’s degree in comparative social policy at Oxford University, accompanied The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof on a reporting trip, and interned on the Times’ Metro Desk. This early success is due in large part to his considerable curiosity, drive, tenacity, and desire not just to tell the story, but also to give voice to the voiceless. At Masters, Pager rose through the ranks at Tower, the student newspaper, to become its editor-in-chief and was named New York State Journalist of the Year by the Journalism Education Association in 2013. Next came Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, where he also became editor-in-chief of the newspaper, The Daily Northwestern, as well as Medill’s Class of 2017 valedictorian. While in college, Pager had journalism internships at several news outlets, including The Boston Globe, Politico and USA Today, covering such topics as how the Trump administration’s immigration policy affected western New York dairy farms, and the open-door policies of black churches after the mass shooting at a church in Charleston, SC. These and other stories “made me interested in covering politics, not just the horse race type of politics, but also policy — how it’s made, how it’s implemented and how it affects people,” he says.
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Cowhey agrees: “Tyler was so eager and excited about being a journalist. He wanted to know how to get on Tower. He was always willing to do the work, to take advice, to learn the craft of writing, and to throw himself into the mix and see what happened.” Pager describes his work on Tower as “an incredibly formative experience, where I developed a passion for journalism.”
Although Pager had originally planned to work at a newspaper after college, he decided that he needed “a stronger policy background to be able to write more authoritatively” about what interests him most: “the nexus of politics and policy.” Thanks in part to a Northwestern fellowship, he participated in an internationally focused program in comparative social policy at Oxford during the 2017-2018 academic year. Meanwhile, Pager applied for two opportunities that “I never expected to get”: the James Reston Reporting Fellowship (a summer internship at The New York Times) and the annual Win a Trip contest sponsored by Nicholas Kristof, a Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner. “Miraculously, I won both of those,” Pager says, leading him to shadow Kristof in April 2018, finish up at Oxford, and return to New York to work at the Times. The experience with Kristof was “unlike any reporting experience I had ever had,” Pager recalls. “I learned so much from being with Nick. He is so brilliant.” The pair took 15-hour road trips through the Central African Republic, with Pager observing Kristof ’s method of reporting while doing his own. Four of his pieces were published in the Times, including one about a rural clinic where local residents are trained to provide medical care. His time spent with Kristof will have an indelible effect, says Pager: “Watching him report was an incredible educational experience. How he finds and approaches a story has changed how I will approach stories in the future.” Pager was particularly taken by Kristof ’s “model of trying to engage an audience that is so far removed from the subject. He’s interested in big-picture stories on health care and education but tells them through individual people.” It is a model Pager hopes to emulate as he develops his “interest in investigative and long-form reporting.” “I knew that I wanted to do journalism since Masters,” Pager says, having “grown up reading the newspaper and scouring the news.” As an Upper School student, he began to acquire relevant skills and experience, enrolling in Introduction to Journalism, taught by Upper School teacher Ellen Cowhey, as a freshman. “I did whatever I could to get published in the paper,” he says.
At Cowhey’s suggestion, Pager also volunteered to write for his hometown newspaper. Over four years, he covered high school graduations, store openings, the athlete of the week and, along with summer journalism programs, “developed a large body of writing,” according to Cowhey. Meanwhile, Pager was honing the personality traits that would serve him well as a journalist. “He’s always been really ambitious, and his perseverance is extraordinary,” Cowhey says. At Medill, this whatever-it-takes approach led him to read 1,000 pages of police and inspection reports to cover a problem-plagued youth residential treatment center in Sheboygan, WI, and to gain access to medical records for a story exposing insufficient access to mental health care at the university. Pager’s enthusiasm proved valuable, but it needed tempering, he concedes. When he came to Masters, he says, he was “very eager, wanting to jump in at every opportunity.” He credits the School’s Harkness teaching method with not only making him comfortable speaking — including to strangers — but also “teaching me to listen and to ask good questions.” The diverse student body “fostered a larger sense of the world,” enhancing his innate curiosity, he says. “Wanting to tell stories that were unfamiliar to me was instilled at Masters.” Like Kristof, Pager hopes to build a career in investigative narrative journalism, covering topics like poverty and health care. “A lot of the stories that I am proudest of surround issues of care for the most vulnerable.” He traces this passion to his time at Masters. “The desire to improve your community is inherent in the Masters experience,” he notes. He sees journalism as “a form of public service ... We talk very idealistically about the impact you can make on peoples’ lives, but I have been able to make a difference, whether at a student newspaper or as a professional.” Cowhey is, of course, impressed by her former student’s accomplishments, but she also appreciates that he has taken time to return to Masters to mentor the next crop of student journalists. Just as important, she says, is “Tyler’s vision of journalism as a piece of social justice, telling the story for those who don’t have a voice. That’s something I’m really proud of him for.”
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COMPETING WITH THEIR MIGHT
10 Graduates Commit to College Sports
From left: Diego Medina, Sharon Peña, ' ' Petar Janicijevic, Oren Vassar, Oladayo Thomas, Joost-Olan Sheehan, Sanaa Shakwi, Cristina Aldeanueva, Rama Sy. (Not pictured: Natasha Scott Morton.)
By Isaac Cass
Their sports are as varied as their backgrounds, but these 10 members of the Class of 2018 share an impressive achievement: they compete with their might, and are continuing their athletic careers at the collegiate level. It is a highlight for The Masters School’s Athletic Department, and the School at large, to have so many talented athletes recruited, in some cases by more than one college. “It used to be that kids who played in high school could try to do a walk-on at a Division III level,” Athletic Director Kevin Versen says. “That’s changed dramatically. In many of these sports, that’s just not the case anymore. You have to be asked and recruited to be on the team. To have 10 Masters kids accomplish this is a tremendous feat.” The talented group of athletes was honored during a ceremony in the Fonseca Center’s Sharon Room last spring. They were joined by family, friends, faculty, coaches and administrators, marking a special moment for Masters’ expanding athletics program. In her remarks during the event, Head of School Laura Danforth was effusive in her praise. “The character that you have and the way you represent our School is pretty remarkable,” Danforth said. “I’m a head of school who is quite proud. I want to thank all of you for presenting yourselves with the utmost character in representing our School. I would also like to thank the coaches who are here and the parents who have driven to many, many practices and games. Kevin Versen has built such a wonderful program. And this would not have been possible without our whole athletic team.”
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THE ATHLETES Cristina Aldeanueva ’18 — a member of the rowing team at Trinity College. A former swimmer and water polo player, Aldeanueva picked up rowing three years ago and was an instant success, making waves in regional and national competitions. She rowed as a member of the Greenwich Crew varsity team, based in Greenwich, CT, under the direction of coach Heidi Hunsberger, who praised her athleticism, commitment and selflessness as a teammate. Petar Janićijević ’18 — a member of the Pennsylvania State University fencing team. A varsity fencer for five years at Masters, Janićijević captured an astounding 13 titles in both team and individual league/tournament formats. He also made the Serbian national team, competing in various international events around the globe. He has joined a Penn State squad that has captured a record-setting 13 NCAA national championships. At an individual signing ceremony last May, former Masters fencing coach Francisco Martin predicted that Janićijević would one day compete in the Olympics. Diego Medina ’18 — a member of the soccer team at Wheaton College. Medina, a standout goalkeeper, spearheaded Masters’ defense during a decorated four-year career. He graduated as the program’s all-time leader in save percentage, shutouts and wins. Medina also competed in basketball and volleyball, earning a total of eight varsity letters during his high school career.
Joost-Olan Sheehan ’18 — a member of the Bates College soccer team. A varsity soccer player for four years, Sheehan was a commanding presence in the middle of the field, using his physical size and immense leadership qualities to take the Panthers to new heights. He also swam, played lacrosse and ran indoor track, earning eight varsity letters in the process. Sharon Peña ’18 — a member of the soccer team at Mount Saint Mary College. Peña was the definition of consistent and reliable, starting every single game for the varsity girls’ soccer squad over the past three years. The Fairchester Athletic Association (FAA) selected her for its All-League distinction several times. Coach Hernando Santamaria commended Peña’s heart and passion, noting that she would be a perfect addition to Mount Saint Mary’s athletic program and school community. Natasha Scott Morton ’18 — a member of the sailing team at College of Charleston. Scott Morton, who was recruited by eight colleges, joins one of the top sailing programs in the nation. She crews a C420 boat, which is roughly 13 feet long. She has competed in many high-level events, including the USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival. Sanaa Shakwi ’18 — a member of the Virginia State University track and field team. Shakwi assembled quite the athletic résumé at Masters, winning the New York State Association of Independent Schools title in both shot put and discus last spring. She also took first place in both events at the New England Prep School Track Association championships.
Rama Sy ’18 — a member of the basketball team at SUNY Oswego. Sy was an integral frontcourt player for the girls’ varsity basketball squad, and received an FAA All-League Honorable Mention distinction in her sport. In her senior year, she helped the Panthers compile a record of 20-5, leading to a runner-up finish in the New York State Association of Independent Schools tournament. It marked one of the best seasons in program history. Oladayo Thomas ’18 — a member of the soccer team at Gettysburg College. Thomas was the beating heart of the boys’ soccer program over the past four years, helping the Panthers rewrite the record books along the way. The All-New England Prep School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) and All-FAA selection won a pair of FAA titles and guided Masters to a historic runner-up finish in the 2016 NEPSAC tournament. Thomas participated in multiple sports — including squash, indoor track, lacrosse and volleyball — to earn eight varsity letters. Oren Vasser ’18 — a member of the tennis team at College of William & Mary. Vasser leaves a lasting legacy at Masters, as he brought home the School’s first FAA singles title last spring. Vasser, who was a member of the varsity squad for four years, also plays on the United States Tennis Association circuit and is nationally ranked.
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WHAT OUR STUDENTS ARE READING By Janice Leary
Over the course of their years at Masters, students read a rich variety of works from classical, American, British and world literature. English and humanities teachers assign books that expose students, from grades 5 through 12, to an array of genres, cultures and literary voices. A sampling of what our students are reading these days is featured on these pages. Our faculty are confident that adults will also enjoy these books, whether reading them for the first time or returning to them to gain a different perspective.
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GRADE 5 Book titles provided by Michaela Boller, Middle School English
WONDER by R.J. Palacio. Wonder is an especially ideal text for students this age, as the main character, Auggie Pullman, navigates his fifth grade year by going to school for the first time. Born with a facial abnormality, Auggie must learn how to persevere when others only want to bring him down. In the end, kindness prevails.
THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH by Norton Juster. Juster tells the story of Milo, a young boy who unexpectedly receives a magic tollbooth one day and drives through it in his toy car, transporting him to the Kingdom of Wisdom. There, he acquires two faithful companions and embarks on a quest to restore the kingdom’s two exiled princesses to the throne. In the process, he learns valuable lessons and discovers a love of learning.
THE WESTING GAME by Ellen Raskin. A mystery novel, The Westing Game relates the bizarre chain of events that begins when 16 people gather for the reading of a millionaire’s will. The book features inventive word games and a plot filled with humor, intrigue and suspense.
“The Westing Game, along with the other two books, explores themes of bravery and courage, as characters are asked to step outside their comfort zones to become heroes and heroines of varying degrees.” — Michaela Boller, Middle School English
GRADE 6 Book titles provided by Jessica Kelly, Middle School English
THE GIVER by Lois Lowry, is a dystopian novel that focuses on the themes of memory and the past, courage, choice, isolation and suffering. The Giver tells the story of Jonas, a boy living in a highly controlled community. Students love this book because they get to think about how important personal choice, or lack thereof, is in their lives.
CHAINS by Laurie Halse Anderson, is a historical fiction novel set in New York City during the American Revolution. The story is narrated by Isabel, a 13-year-old slave. Students enjoy this book because it helps them better understand the themes of courage, family and war.
I WILL ALWAYS WRITE BACK: How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda. The co-authors became pen pals as teenagers, leading to a cross-cultural friendship that deeply enhanced their lives. This was the most popular book in our memoir series. It’s truly transformational for all who encounter this book.
GRADE 7 Book titles provided by Paul Friedman, Middle School humanities
Seventh graders are assigned several “readers” — excerpts from larger texts. One reader comes from Melba Pattillo Beals’ WARRIORS DON’T CRY: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock’s Central High. Beals, one of nine African American teenagers chosen to integrate Little Rock’s Central High School, recalls the struggles she faced and the threats to her life that she and the other teens endured. The text gives students an opportunity to reflect on the impact that Beals had on race relations from the front lines of school desegregation.
LIZZIE BRIGHT AND THE BUCKMINSTER BOY by Gary D. Schmidt. This fictional account tells the story of a real community descended from former slaves living on an island off the coast of Maine. The book is full of humor, beautiful natural descriptions, dramatic moments, and the development of a strong friendship, with the tinge of romance, between the main protagonists, Lizzie and Turner. Students can identify with the friends’ perspectives as young adults and the challenges of fitting in, as well as with the complicated nature of family dynamics and the pressures of society at large, especially one mired in the segregationist attitudes of the past.
CHECK THESE OUT MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHERS’ RECOMMENDED READING FOR ADULTS: •THE WESTING GAME
•LIZZIE BRIGHT AND THE BUCKMINSTER BOY •WARRIORS DON’T CRY: A SEARING MEMOIR OF THE BATTLE TO INTEGRATE LITTLE ROCK’S CENTRAL HIGH
•I WILL ALWAYS WRITE BACK: HOW ONE LETTER CHANGED TWO LIVES
•BROWN GIRL DREAMING BY
JACQUELINE WOODSON. IN BROWN GIRL DREAMING, WOODSON DESCRIBES WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO GROW UP AS AN AFRICAN AMERICAN IN THE 1960S AND 1970S. EACH CHAPTER IS WRITTEN IN THE FORM OF A POEM. “IF YOU LOVE POETRY AND MEMOIRS, THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU,” SAYS JESSICA KELLY.
Books assigned to seventh graders reflect the grade’s curriculum, which revolves around the theme of diversity and identity.
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FEATURE: WHAT OUR STUDENTS ARE READING C O N T I N U E D GRADE 8 Book titles provided by Tim Campbell, Middle School humanities
THE CRUCIBLE by Arthur Miller. This
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee
LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding.
play explores the rise and fall of Puritan communities in New England. Although the drama was written as an allegory for McCarthyism, Miller’s exhaustive research on the Salem witch trials forms the basis for understanding life in a repressive, theological society. This leads into a study of the American Constitution, focusing on the freedoms of speech, writing and religion.
is a classic American coming-of-age novel about racial oppression in the Deep South. Told from the perspective of the narrator, Scout, this novel explores sensitive themes of childhood, race and the pursuit of justice in a segregated community.
This timeless novel examines the nature of the human race: savage or civilized? A plane carrying a group of English schoolboys crash-lands on a remote Pacific island and must work together in order to have any hope of rescue. Golding explores the heart of man, the reality of war, and the duality of humankind in the wake of World War II.
GRADE 9 Book title provided by Miriam Emery, Upper School English
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME by Mark Haddon. The text is part mystery, part coming-of-age novel, which fits well into the ninth grade’s journey and self-determination themes.
Christopher, the 15-year-old narrator who has Asperger’s syndrome, sets out on a mission to learn who murdered a beloved neighborhood dog. Because Christopher’s emotions and logical thinking are uncommon, the book enables students to see and interpret the world in remarkably new ways. Students, many of whom have siblings, relatives or friends with autism, find the writing
within the page-turning book to be captivating and rich, and the narrator to be a young detective who helps them discover new powers of empathy.
G R A D E 10 Book titles provided by Zev Barnett, Upper School English
Among major assigned works in recent years, the most loved and also the most hated has been OEDIPUS REX by Sophocles. In this Greek tragedy, Oedipus becomes king of Thebes and fulfills a prophecy that he would kill his father and marry his mother. It’s mesmerizing in the same way that true crime dramas are mesmerizing. As Oedipus brings about his own doom, students express an incredible array of emotions: frustration, anxiety, excitement, relief and guilt. To paraphrase a sentiment expressed by literary critic Stanley Fish, physicians do not like diseases, but they
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might enjoy the process of diagnosis; Oedipus Rex is a sick story, but students of literature can still similarly enjoy the process of diagnosis. Core texts assigned to tenth graders include several works by William Shakespeare and such authors as George Orwell and Franz Kafka. Adding to the mix are books by contemporary authors, such as Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, Marjane Satrapi’s memoir about growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution, and I Am the Beggar of the World, translated by Eliza Griswold,
a collection of clandestine poems by Afghan women. The eclectic mix of writers and stories is intended to foster connections between literature and history so that students can see the relationship between self, text and world. In challenging assumptions, these works allow students to bear witness to their own growth and, hopefully, to come to appreciate reading and writing as a means to self-discovery.
G R A D E 11 Book titles provided by Lisa Green, Upper School English
HOME by Toni Morrison and THE THINGS THEY CARRIED by Tim O’Brien.
Both books deal with war — the Korean War and the Vietnam War, respectively — through storytelling, memory, truth and love. The journey of an African American soldier returning from Korea to his hometown in Georgia, Home connects in interesting ways to Homer’s ancient epic The Odyssey and to a key period in American history, with its subtle allusions to details that speak to the darker side of the 1950s: McCarthyism, segregation, and racism in housing as well as medical research. A classic contemporary novel, The Things They Carried deals with the experience of war through a hybrid form of storytelling that encompasses, and seeks to bridge, traditional divisions, such as fiction and memoir, novel and short story, prose and poetry, and, most significantly, truth and lies. The book is accessible yet rich in its structure and language, and it leads to interesting discussions about language as well as character and theme.
G R A D E 12 Book titles provided by Miriam Emery, Lisa Green and Darren Wood, Upper School English
THE REMAINS OF THE DAY by Kazuo Ishiguro. In the twelfth grade Advanced
Placement English class, students begin the year with this novel. Narrated by an aging butler who travels by car through the post-war English countryside, the novel deals with history and politics as well as love and morality through language that challenges students to read closely and look beneath the surface to discover a deeper sense of longing and regret.
HAMLET by William Shakespeare. A perennial favorite with seniors is Hamlet. At the forefront of the text is Hamlet, a college man perpetually mired in existential crisis over the loss of his father. Hamlet, a play that has 421 question marks, is a wonderful text for skeptical seniors. The Shakespearean tragedy begins with a minor character asking, “Who’s there?” — a query that seniors ask of themselves over and over again during the year. CITIZEN: AN AMERICAN LYRIC by Claudia Rankine and DON’T CALL US DEAD by Danez Smith. Students in the Race and Literature senior seminar read these
CHECK THESE OUT UPPER SCHOOL TEACHERS’ RECOMMENDED READING FOR ADULTS: •THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME • H OME •THE THINGS THEY CARRIED
•THE REMAINS OF THE DAY • O EDIPUS REX:
“IF YOU’RE FEELING UP FOR A CHALLENGE (OR YOU’RE IN NEED OF CATHARSIS), SOPHOCLES MIGHT BE JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED,” SAYS ZEV BARNETT.
• P LEASE EXCUSE THIS POEM, AN ANTHOLOGY
EDITED BY BRETT FLETCHER LAUER AND LYNN MELNICK. DARREN WOOD RECOMMENDS THE BOOK “FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN POETRY SCENE.”
books, which feature some of poetry’s important contributions to discourse concerning race in America.
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ALUMNAE/I UPDATE — REUNION 2018
Alumnae/i Reconnect at Reunion 2018 Spanning eight decades, some 150 alumnae/i returned to campus for Reunion 2018 on May 18-19. Laughter and conversations filled the air as old friends reconnected and reminisced about their days at “Dobbs,” while also forming new bonds with one another and the School. The weekend featured a mix of traditional moments, such as the Maypole dance and Glee Club Sing-Along, as well as new affinity-based receptions for the Black Alumnae/i of Masters group and current and former members of Tower staff. The School also inducted its first three members into the newly founded Athletics Hall of Fame. The weekend culminated with the Reunion Banquet and Awards Ceremony, featuring an outstanding performance by Dobbs 16 and a moving ceremony celebrating the 2018 Reunion award honorees. We hope you enjoy the snapshots from Reunion 2018.
50th Reunion — Class of 1968 Top row, from left: Dencie McNichols Brooke, Sally Nolan, Kathy Stevenson Garst, Wendy Wick Reaves, Louise Douglass, Jennifer Richardson, Patricia Athey Brown, Margot Kuhn Mehringer. Middle row, from left: Judith McCormack, Wendy Cochran Jones, Victoria Irons Walch, Barbara Celentano Leek. Front row, from left: Margaret Fanning, Dorothy Browning Falcione, Carol Grey Romaine. Seated, from left: Kathryn Heintz Barclay, Deborah Woodward Leach, Elizabeth Wickenden McMahon, Stephanie Edens Wilson, Melanie Frantz Harwood.
Alumnae of the 1950s, from left: Jocie Garlock Rowley ’53, Ivy Friesell Rufe ’53, Anne Bell Robb ’53, Susie Marckwald Mackay ’58.
Nancy Schaefer ’48 celebrating her 70th Reunion.
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SAVE THE DATE SAVE THE DATE
N O I 21019 N N O U I 2 N 0 U E 9 R RE May 17-18, 2019
May 17-18, 2019 Return | Reconnect | Reminisce
Return | Reconnect | Reminisce
Alumnae danced around the Maypole, a longstanding Reunion tradition.
to the campus that holds special memories.
RECONNECT with old friends and make new ones. about your days at your alma mater while REMINISCE learning about the School of today. MAKE PLANS NOW TO JOIN YOUR CLASSMATES! ALL ALUMNAE/I ARE WELCOME; CLASSES ENDING IN 4 OR 9 ARE CELEBRATING SPECIAL REUNION MILESTONES. Visit www.mastersny.org/reunion for updates and news, as well as information about hotel accommodations. Questions? Interested in volunteering? Please contact the Office of Alumnae/i Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org or 914-479-6611.
40th Reunion — Class of 1978 From left: Susan Peterman, Deborah Rhee Rosencrans, Elyse Lazansky.
45th Reunion — Class of 1973 Back row, from left: Suzy Tipson Hall, former faculty member Carol Gill, Marguerite Rizzi, Leslye Lynford, Cynthia Cramer von Rhine. Front row, from left: Viki Randall Kaczkowski, Elizabeth Warriner Newhall, Judith Stern, Holly Hoopes Hudimac, Dorothy Escher Kerr.
A little rain was no match for these alumnae taking a stroll down memory lane.
35th Reunion — Class of 1983 From left: Freya Read, Suzanne Meshken Hagen, Board of Trustees Chair Edith Chapin, Nancy Enger-Barrera, Meeghan Sinclair, Aileen Speight, Stephanie O’Brien Kodweis.
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ALUMNAE/I UPDATE — REUNION 2018
30th Reunion — Class of 1988 Back row, from left: Amy Zimmerman Freed, Jennifer Poole Yates, Sarah Walker Popko, Katherine Spahn Thatcher, Alyson Sivak Grossman, Sally Croker. Front row, from left: Heather Finck, Amanda Cox Skinner, Lisa Ench Semler, Katie Lippa Stutz, Melinda Panella Insana, Suzie Paxton, Aneesa Majid, Steph Dunne Cohen, Tiffany Marsh.
20th Reunion — Class of 1998 Back row, from left: Ellie Collinson, Sarah WingeSorensen, Kirsten Adams Brown, Lily Seaman. Middle row, from left: La’Teea Goings, Erin Brown Yankus, Kandy Lee, Marina Distant-Williams, Dobbs Alumnae/i Association Board member Austin O'Neill Dunyk, Ronit Schlein. Front: David Powell.
25th Reunion — Class of 1993 From left: Eva Vogel ’94, Hanako Uenishi Funakoshi, Stephanie Seidel, Mirna Valerio, Caitlin Van Dusen, Maria Recine-DeBellis.
10th Reunion — Class of 2008 Back row, from left: Jonah King-Kaplan, Michael Gallinari, Nzaba Fonseca-Sabune, Oliver Bivins. Front row, from left: Emily Chapman, Molly Edwards, Taisha Clark, Lauren Pilzer, Sarah Wyrough, Lauren Bernstein.
Members of the Class of 1993 came out to support classmate Mirna Valerio at her reading from her memoir, A Beautiful Work in Progress. From left: Julia Henery Maum, Valerio, Larisalena Ortiz.
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STAY CONNECTED Visit our website for the latest news from campus: www.mastersny.org Watch your inbox for The Masters Messenger Alumnae/i e-Newsletter
From left: Dobbs Alumnae/i Association Board President David Heidelberger '01, and Nikos Papagapitos â€™03.
Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/mastersny Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/mastersny Follow us on Instagram: instagram.com/mastersschool Join us on LinkedIn: Search for The Masters School Alumnae/i Network Prefer to talk to us the good, old-fashioned way? Call the Office of Alumnae/i Engagement at 914-479-6611.
Alumnae/i and current students perused issues of Tower from the 1960s through the present.
5th Reunion â€” Class of 2013 Back row, from left: Raleigh Capozzalo, Jason Mask, Nicolas Graziano, Alex Minton, Hunter LaMar. Middle row, from left: Annie Chen, Allegra Carter, Emily Ullman, Ryan Goethals, Cathy Sellier. Front: Dazian Lizardo.
Members of the Class of 2017, from left: Leo Psaros, Hannah Regele, Elena Salzmann, Courtney DeLong, Ingrid Hirt, Jacob Regele.
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ALUMNAE/I UPDATE — REUNION 2018
Alumnae/i participated in the Glee Club Sing-Along led by Jennifer Carnevale, Chair of the Department of Performing Arts.
From left: Lisa Ench Semler ’88, Amanda Cox Skinner ’88, Katie Lippa Stutz ’88.
Faculty members reconnected with their former students during a wine and cheese reception.
Current and former faculty and staff engaged with alumnae/i and current students during the first meeting of the Black Alumnae/i of Masters affinity group. From left: Director of Equity and Inclusion Karen Brown, Carolyn Alston ’68, Hunter LaMar ’13, Daniella Blumenthal Jackson ’88, Shamira Guillaume ’21, Marlene Furtick, a former dance teacher; Leron Dugan ’20, Lina Philizaire ’20, Abdoul Bah ’19.
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Dobbs Alumnae/i Association Board members Austin O’Neill Dunyk ’98 and Sujata Adamson-Mohan Jaggi ’01 with their daughters.
The Annual Fund
by the numbers ••••••••••••••
Last year, we received support from:
895 492 alumnae/i families 100% faculty & staff
and many other generous members of our community.
$2.4 [million for:]
faculty • academics financial aid • the arts athletics • innovation programs campus & dorm maintenance greatest need
Make your gift online at www.mastersny.org/makeagift or call 914-479-6433
Our sincere thanks to all those who attended the Estherwood Society annual luncheon on Friday, May 18, 2018. The luncheon kicked off Reunion Weekend 2018, and included an engaging keynote address by Ellen Cowhey, Upper School journalism, history and religion teacher. Cowhey also holds the distinction of Jane Rechtman Faculty Chair. We also would like to extend our deepest gratitude to all members of the Estherwood Society for their generous commitment to The Masters School. Alumnae/i, parents and friends who have chosen to honor The Masters School through their estate, trust or other gift planning vehicle are eligible to join the Estherwood Society. Society members leave a legacy that provides opportunity and promise for our students now and into the future. In recognition of their generosity, members are invited to our annual luncheon and other special events throughout the year. For more information about the Estherwood Society, gift planning or to notify The Masters School of your intentions, please contact Gina Cantelmo, Assistant Director of Leadership Giving, at 914-479-6646 or email@example.com.
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Masters Creates Hall of Fame to Honor Alumnae/i In recognition of the significant contributions of alumnae/i, students and coaches to the world of athletics, and with the goal of inspiring future generations to compete with their might, The Masters School has launched a Hall of Fame.
1/ The 1900 Masters basketball team, including Lois Miller Waterman. 2/ Lois Miller Waterman, Class of 1901.
1 By Celeste Rivera
The inaugural Athletics Hall of Fame inductees were honored at a moving ceremony during Reunion 2018. The first honoree was Lois Miller Waterman, Class of 1901, the founding member of the Dobbs Athletic Association (DAA). The DAA was created to promote an athletic spirit and develop sports and exercise at Masters in a lasting way that would benefit the community and bring pleasure to every member of the School. Carol Ebbert Hackett ’65 and Suzie Paxton ’88 were also inducted. During the ceremony, Head of School Laura Danforth officially inducted Lois Miller Waterman into the Hall of Fame. Marcus Diaz ’19, a current DAA member, officially inducted Carol Ebbert Hackett for her commitment to athletics and the strides that she has made in advancing opportunities for women and girls to pursue their athletic interests. At Masters, Hackett was a member of the DAA and played field hockey, volleyball, tennis, softball, basketball and lacrosse. After graduating, she continued to play volleyball for the next 12 years.
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In 1973, Hackett joined the staff of Wooster School in Danbury, CT, where she coached varsity volleyball and girls’ varsity tennis and taught physical education for 35 years. After serving as the assistant athletic director, she became the first female athletic director for a coeducational school in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council. As the Title IX federal law — which prohibited discrimination in education programs on the basis of sex — was just beginning to be implemented nationwide, Hackett had to fight to ensure that Wooster’s female athletes had the same number of competitive sports teams that were available to male students, as well as the necessary uniforms and equipment.
3 3/ From left: Carol Ebbert Hackett ’65, Head of School Laura Danforth, Athletics Director Kevin Versen and Suzie Paxton ’88. 4/ Carol Ebbert Hackett ’65 in a photo taken at the Wooster School. 5/ Suzie Paxton ’88 (at far left) with members of the 1996 U.S. Olympic fencing team.
During the ceremony, Marne Kies Dietterich ’65 surprised her classmate by announcing that the funds raised by the Class of 1965 for Masters’ Annual Fund in 2017-18 were donated in her honor. Hackett thanked the School, her coaches, her students and her friends for what she described as a truly memorable and fulfilling journey over the years. In another touching moment, Petar Janićijević ’18 presented Suzie Paxton with her official induction. Following Paxton’s footsteps, Petar is now a fencer at Pennsylvania State University. Paxton was visibly moved by a congratulatory video from her former Masters fencing coach, Francisco Martin, who said “she deserves it, and she is continually giving glory to our School.” Paxton thanked the school community for helping her find her passion for fencing. Noting that she formed lifelong bonds with her classmates while at Masters, she said, “Each woman in my class is amazing and doing things with passion and purpose, and positively influencing her corner of the world.”
Paxton was a nationally and internationally top-ranked fencer in women’s foil individual and team competition. Her accomplishments include: competing in two national championships at Penn State; member of the U.S. national team, during which she won medals at World Cup competitions, Pan American Fencing Championships, World University Games and other international events; member of the team that won the first gold medal by a U.S. team in a World Cup in Cuba, in 1992; represented the U.S. at the 1996 Olympic Games in individual and team competition; served as a fencing analyst for NBC Sports’ 2004 Olympic Games broadcast; honored as a torchbearer in Amfilochia, Greece, helping to carry the torch toward the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. The DAA, Dobbs Alumnae/i Association and Masters Athletics Department worked together to create the Hall of Fame to honor alumnae/i contributions to the athletics and arts fields. The athletics division recognizes outstanding athletes, coaches and teams for their athletic performance, leadership and program contributions while at Masters and after attending the School. In 2019, Masters will induct its inaugural arts honorees, in addition to a second class of athletic honorees.
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Reunion 2018: Meet the Honorees Each year at Reunion, it is our tradition to honor members of our community who have distinguished themselves through service — to the School, its students and the world outside Masters. Reunion Award recipients are honored during the Banquet Dinner Awards Ceremony, which takes place on the Saturday evening of Reunion Weekend. Please join us in congratulating the 2018 honorees: MAUREEN FONSECA YOUNG ALUMNAE/I AWARD
ELIZA BAILEY MASTERS FELLOWSHIP AWARD
Created in 2015 to honor former Head of School Maureen Fonseca, the Young Alumnae/i Award recognizes an alumna/us under the age of 30 who embodies the values and mission of The Masters School — to learn, to strive, to dare, to do, and to be a power for good in the world — and who maintains a deep connection to Masters and to his or her fellow alumnae/i through volunteerism and active involvement in the life of the School.
The Eliza Bailey Masters Fellowship Award honors an alumna/us who exemplifies Miss Masters’ philosophy through outstanding service to his or her community. While this award recognizes an alumna/us who exemplifies Miss Masters’ ideal of service in the world beyond Dobbs, potential candidates should also have maintained their ties to and affection for our alma mater.
Molly Edwards ’08 is the 2018 recipient of the Maureen Fonseca Young Alumnae/i Award. Edwards is a Ph.D. candidate in biology at Harvard University. She is researching the developmental and evolutionary genetics of columbine flowers (and owes her love of plant science to Elizabeth Merrill’s Advanced Placement biology class!). She would like to dedicate her career to improving communication and trust between scientists and people who are not scientists. To that end, she devotes most of her time outside of the lab to outreach projects. You can catch her talking science around Boston and New York City, or on her YouTube channel, “Science in Real Life.” Edwards has remained connected to her alma mater since graduation. During the Masters in Bloom Gala at the New York Botanical Garden, she graciously led VIP tours of the orchid show, focusing on a particular orchid that she was studying at the time. Edwards attended two Boston alumnae/i events last fall, where she warmly connected with other alumnae/i — especially fellow Dohters alums. Dr. Eileen Dieck, who was Edwards’ advisor and was a science teacher at the time, and is now Masters’ Ethical Leadership Coordinator, shared the following reflection about Edwards: “What has impressed me most has been her growth in the years since leaving Masters. The seeds planted here have helped her grow into a strong, positive role model for women. She is an authentic and whole person — a respected scientist, and a strong and vocal advocate for women’s rights (and the rights of all humans), with the clarity of vision both personally and professionally that will continue to propel her.”
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Mirna Valerio ’93 is the 2018 recipient of the Eliza Bailey Masters Fellowship Award. Valerio teaches Spanish, coaches cross-country and serves as the director of equity and inclusion at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School in Georgia. She also taught music at Masters from 2000-2003 and had the opportunity to work alongside some of the same educators who encouraged and inspired her during her time at the School. Valerio is a blogger at Fat Girl Running and a former contributor for Women’s Running magazine. In 2015, her running and fitness journey was featured in The Wall Street Journal, Runner’s World magazine and “NBC Nightly News,” helping to broaden the conversation about plus-sized athletes and participation in the traditionally "aspirational body only" world of sports. A fierce proponent of the idea of athletic pursuit as a way of engaging in self-love, body positivity and body acceptance, Valerio published a running memoir entitled A Beautiful Work in Progress in the fall of 2017.
Potential Reunion Award honorees are nominated by the alumnae/i community at large, and winners are determined by a vote of the members of the Dobbs Alumnae/i Association Board. If you would like to nominate a classmate or friend for one of our alumnae/i awards after reading the criteria above, please contact the Office of Alumnae/i Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org or 914-479-6611.
ANNA HOWE FACULTY AWARD The Anna Howe Faculty Award recognizes current or former faculty members who have helped shape and change the lives of their students. The award is presented to a teacher who has not only excelled in the classroom, but who, through guidance, encouragement and support, has made a meaningful difference to his or her students. Ellen Cowhey is the 2018 recipient of the Anna Howe Faculty Award. A teacher of history, religion and journalism, Cowhey has served as a member of Masters’ History and Religion Department for 14 years. She is also a longtime advisor for Tower, the student newspaper, and has served as a Cole dorm parent for nine years. As a teacher, she is committed to continually deepening her understanding and her students’ understanding of the world’s religious traditions. She is a spiritual leader in the broadest, most inclusive sense of the term — someone who reminds us of the importance of meditation, looking within, and taking responsibility for our spiritual health. One of Cowhey’s greatest contributions has been her Tower role. She works with the writers late into the night and on weekends, helping them meet deadlines. During her tenure as its advisor, Tower has won awards every year and become one of the most prestigious high school newspapers in the country. Meanwhile, the number of students interested in taking Cowhey’s journalism classes grows every year, and more students are pursuing journalism careers after they graduate. As Head of School Laura Danforth stated at the Awards Ceremony, “Ellen is a connector and a collector of people — if she knows you, she is keeping track of you and your well-being, whether you’re aware of it or not. So many students love her and continue their relationships with Ms. Cowhey long after graduation, as evidenced by receipt of this award.”
THE RICHMOND BOWL Created to honor Nell Angle Richmond ’34 and Tom Richmond, this award is presented each year by the Dobbs Alumnae/i Association to an alumna/us whose exceptional support of and service to The Masters School reflects the same outstanding quality of creative leadership demonstrated by the Richmond family. Because this is an Alumnae/i Association award for leadership, it traditionally goes to an alumna/us who has worked as a Masters volunteer in a number of roles over a period of years, showing leadership and dedication in not just one but many areas of service. It recognizes a kind of selfless dedication and willingness to serve, and has gone to alumnae/i who have always been willing to go the extra mile in their service to the School. The Richmond Bowl recognizes the recipient’s staying power as an active leader, with a record of long-term service as opposed to intense short-term service. Sally Nolan ’68 is the 2018 recipient of The Richmond Bowl. One of Nolan’s early volunteer experiences was inspired by a presentation in Morning Chapel/Meeting at Masters. The Rev. Robert Bryant spoke about the New England Grenfell Association and its work in Newfoundland and Labrador. Sally was so moved by the presentation that she volunteered to spend the summer of 1969 on Dog Island in Labrador, where she and another volunteer ran a day camp. Nolan began volunteering at Masters on the Alumnae Association Board in the 1990s, serving as its president. During her tenure, the Board introduced a Term Paper Survival Kit for juniors to try to lessen the anxiety that many eleventh graders felt during their spring semester. Nolan was inspired to develop this kit because of the term paper process she had learned at Masters, which she says has served her well throughout her years of college, business and now retirement, whenever she is called upon to create a report, letter or proposal. From 1994 to 1998, Nolan served on the Board of Trustees as the alumnae representative. It was an intensely challenging time for The Masters School, and the Board was almost single-minded in its focus on finding a path to survival for the School. She saw the difficulties facing single-sex institutions without large endowments, and was struck by the data showing that women did not donate to their schools at the same rates as men. Nolan committed to making herself an exception. She also volunteered for the Estherwood Boutiques, managing the treasury function and working closely with a dedicated group of alums, parents and staff.
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Leslie May Marra ’67 1949-2018 The Masters School notes with sorrow the passing of its devoted alumna, Leslie May Marra, on May 26, 2018. Leslie was a proud Delta and an involved Dobbs graduate. She was active in on-campus sports and credited her years at Masters with playing an
REMEMBRANCES 1935 Elizabeth Craighead Donaldson of Lincoln, MA on March 19, 2018 1939 Anne Reed Dean of North Branford, CT on June 2, 2018 1939 Adrienne Anderson McCalley of Nantucket, MA on March 12, 2018 1939 Mary Congdon Van Evera of Duluth, MN on April 13, 2018 1940 Muriel Snidewind Hutchinson of Akron, OH on March 31, 2018 1941 Madeleine Bond Fisher of Wellesley, MA on April 8, 2018
important part in her development.
1942 Louise Littlefield Lowden of Fort Myers, FL on May 17, 2018
After graduation, Leslie continued
1943 Virginia Potter Bingham of Dover Plains, NY on January 23, 2017
to dedicate much of her time and energy to the School, serving as an Annual Fund volunteer and member of the Estherwood Society. Perhaps her most critical role was her service on the Board of Trustees from 1988 to 2000, when she played an instrumental part in the search committee that brought Pam Clarke to the role of Head of School in 1990. Leslie also served during a time when the pivotal decision was made for Masters to become coeducational, helping to ensure the School’s ongoing success and propel it forward, while upholding its reputation as one of the finest independent schools in the tri-state area. To recognize her selfless dedication and to honor her exceptional service to Masters, Leslie was the recipient of the Richmond Bowl in 1995. She was a remarkable woman and a true champion of her alma mater whose legacy will
1943 Barbara Brydone Calder of Halifax, NS on January 27, 2018 1944 Gretchen Keehn Thomsen of Seattle, WA on June 2, 2018 1944 Hope Griggs Turner of Weston, CT on February 3, 2018 1945 Ruth Harris Gillis of Branford, CT on June 8, 2018 1946 Carol Sayers Vockel of Delray Beach, FL on December 9, 2017 1947 Jane Pelham Carlson of Weston, MA on April 19, 2018 1948 Ida Blake Long of Santa Monica, CA on August 11, 2017
continue to inspire others for generations to come.
1948 Margaret Curtis McKinney of Chapel Hill, NC on April 4, 2018
Upon her retirement, Leslie lived in Ridgefield, CT. Previously, she was a pediatric
1950 Lucy Roesler Bollman of Solomons, MD on April 27, 2018
occupational therapist in private practice in Pleasantville, NY, using her energy and creativity to help young patients succeed. Her devotion earned her the
1951 Sarah Ackerman Clark of Blue Hill, ME on May 13, 2018
admiration and respect of many colleagues in her field.
1952 Ann Farnsworth Mestres of New York, NY on March 10, 2018
Leslie was a member of the Whippoorwill Club in Armonk, NY, and enjoyed golf,
1953 Elaine Schenck Hawes of Ray, MI on May 28, 2018
bridge and equestrian pursuits. She traveled the world with her family and was a lover of animals — especially her Tibetan terriers and her horse, Fred. She is survived by her husband of 44 years, Peter; and their two children, Stuart Marra and his wife, Sarah; Brooke Johnson and her husband, Jeremiah; and three grandchildren, Brandon and Emma Johnson, and Carter Ryan Marra. Leslie’s example is an inspiration to all who knew her, and she will be missed by the Masters community.
1954 Jane Cochran Hughes of Saunderstown, RI on May 9, 2018 1956 Margot Kittredge of Carlisle, MA on May 12, 2018 1956 Cynthia Compton Starkovsky of Del Mar, CA on April 14, 2017 1958 Susan Mitchell Klosek of Dobbs Ferry, NY on May 9, 2018 1961 Nancy Lyons Wildemuth of Peoria, IL on February 1, 2017 1965 Ann Howe Billings Hilton of Nashville, TN on August 12, 2018 1967 Leslie May Marra of Ridgefield, CT on May 26, 2018
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