the bulletin THE MASTERS SCHOOL / SPECIAL EDITION 2016-2017
FRUITS OF REVOLUTION: A LOOK AT COEDUCATION, HARKNESS AND CITYTERM AFTER 20 YEARS
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ON THE COVER
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It might have been hard to imagine in 1996, but Masters today is thoroughly coeducational, enrolling girls and boys in virtually equal numbers.
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CONTENTS FEATURE STORY
04 DEPARTMENTS 02 16 21 22 25 59 60
FROM LAURA DANFORTH CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS AUTHORS’ CORNER SNAPSHOTS ALUMNAE/I UPDATE REMEMBRANCES LEADERSHIP
THE REVOLUTION OF ’96 In 1996, Masters made a series of historic decisions. Twenty years later, we review the results—looking at the place of coeducation, Harkness learning, and CITYterm in the life of a thriving school.
Students Collaborate on Films Shot on Location
16 Senior Excels on National Soccer Stage 19 IN MEMORIAM: 24 Louise Riker Edmonds ’46 IN MEMORIAM: 27 Lilian Hall Fisher ’37 THE BULLETIN / SPECIAL EDITION 2016-2017 / 1
FROM LAURA DANFORTH
Staying True to Our Mission as We Evolve Dear Friends, The only thing better than arriving at The Masters School last year as the 14th Head of School has been starting Year Two and finding—knowing—that I am exactly where I’m meant to be. Having climbed the steepest section of the learning incline, I’m enjoying the view of the Masters community. Every day I am inspired by the enthusiasm of our faculty and the vibrant energy of our students. I’m encouraged by the growing diversity of our community, by the vigor and keenness with which we tackle everyday issues and by the goodwill and determination with which we collectively approach challenges. True to our mission, we gather—every day—to learn, to strive, to dare, to do, and most importantly—to be a power for good.
THROUGHOUT THE YEARS, WE HAVE TAKEN ON CHALLENGES AND ADAPTED TO CHANGING CIRCUMSTANCES WHILE REMAINING TRUE TO OUR SCHOOL’S VALUES AND MISSION.
The academically strong, creatively vibrant, and ethically robust school community we are today is built on the strong foundation of the past 140 years. The essence of our history lives in every corner of our School and through the might of every member of our community. Throughout the years, we have taken on challenges and adapted to changing circumstances while remaining true to our School’s values and mission. In the early 90s, faced with perilously declining enrollment, Masters opened its doors to boys. This move was bold, risky and right. Could we bring in boys, though, and hang onto the very best, inimitable qualities of “Dobbs”? The sense of connectedness, of equity, inclusion, camaraderie and empathy that undergirds the culture of a girls’ school? Yes, it turns out, we could. For the past two decades, boys and girls at Masters have been working and playing together, taking on leadership roles in equal measure, debating one another, and bringing multiple perspectives to the table. Our diversity has only deepened; our community benefits immeasurably from having students from 31 countries and from backgrounds as varied as we can find. Our students respect different viewpoints, break away from stereotypes and contribute to the life of our School on equal footing and with an equal sense of belonging. The sense of belonging that students feel
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at Masters becomes the template for all their future experiences of community and prepares them to confidently contribute to society. Anchoring us through these changes has been the connective force of the Harkness method of teaching, which we adopted close to the same time as coeducation. Now Harkness is progressive—then it was almost radical. Thank you, brave and visionary predecessors! This discussion-based approach to teaching and learning remains the perfect fit for a school that strives to hear every voice and values an inclusive, interactive learning experience. Through this dynamic process, our students learn so much more than academic content; they learn social interaction, communication skills, critical thinking, collaboration and compassion. Our students learn to listen to each other—infinitely easier said than done. In the Masters classrooms, learning happens because true dialogue and deep listening lead to thorough understanding. With further conviction that the most profound learning is rooted in experience, in 1996 Masters launched CITYterm, a semester-long program that takes full advantage of our fortuitous proximity to New York City while fully engaging students in learning and thinking for (and about) themselves as they learn about the world that is beyond themselves. Every semester we welcome to our campus 30 students from around the country, and they thrive through a unique immersive learning experience that CITYterm graduates describe as truly transformational. We have so much to be proud of at Masters, and even though we have been hard at work for 140 years, we are just getting started! Now is a good time to take in the inspiring vista of the past, gaze at the long path of the future and savor the moment of the present. Thank you for being a part of this journey. You are helping to see our School through another successful era of Doing it With Our Might. Warm wishes,
LAURA DANFORTH Head of School
Always Evolvingâ€”The Masters Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center underwent a complete renovation in the summer of 2016. It provides purpose-built space for classes in design, engineering and social entrepreneurship, as well as a home for both the Upper School robotics team and the Middle School team, which is new this year.
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THE REVOLUTION OF ’96
“We looked at a million ideas. We chose the best. And we decided to do them all at once.”
Two decades ago, Masters embraced a trio of bold innovations: coeducation, Harkness learning and CITYterm. A snapshot of the School today shows an institution that is strong and thriving, with those bold new ideas now woven thoroughly into the fabric of its identity.
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THERE ARE CERTAIN MOMENTS WHEN A SCHOOL IS WILLING TO RISK PROGRESS IN A TRULY BOLD WAY. THAT WAS MASTERS IN 1996.
— ERICA CHAPMAN F’99, CO-DIRECTOR OF CITYTERM AND INTERIM DEAN OF FACULTY
WE LOOKED AT A MILLION IDEAS. WE CHOSE THE BEST. AND WE DECIDED TO DO THEM ALL AT ONCE.
—PAM CLARKE, HEAD OF SCHOOL 1990-2000
AT THAT TIME, MASTERS WAS FACING A VERY SERIOUS CHALLENGE. TODAY, IT’S A POWERHOUSE AMONG INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS.
—EDGAR M. MASTERS H’98, LIFE TRUSTEE
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To see the breadth of change a short 20 years can bring, look at The Masters School. In 1996, Masters faced serious challenges. Enrollment had fallen below 200; the School was running large budget deficits; its very existence was in some doubt. Twenty years later, Masters is, by any measure, ascendant, with more than 670 students, record endowment, academic programs that have never been stronger, and standards that have never been higher. The story of this remarkable resurgence began on June 16, 1995. That day, a planning committee of trustees, faculty representatives and administrators met to review a proposal put forward by then-Head of School Pam Clarke. And that day, the Board of Trustees voted to change the School. The three most significant pillars in the adopted plan were to embrace coeducation, to adopt the Harkness method of instruction and to launch CITYterm, a groundbreaking, experiential initiative in urban learning. In addition, the Board decided to greatly expand the enrollment of the Middle School, then a fledgling program housed in the attic of Masters Hall.
A New Dimension of Diversity
To a family touring Masters today, it might be difficult to discern that the School was ever other than what it is now: thoroughly, unself-consciously coeducational. However, for Zak Sos ’99—the very first boy who committed to enroll in a coeducational Masters—the campus felt quite different. Sos recalls a ratio of roughly six girls to one boy when he transferred to the School as a tenth grader in 1996—a ratio more or less reflected in his class photo at graduation, where white dresses dramatically outnumber a sprinkling of jackets and ties.
“The ideas were all part of a drive to academic excellence,” says Clarke. “Our charge was to bring in more students, to keep bringing in better students and to deliver a more powerful learning experience to those students once they were here.”
“We all had a lot to figure out,” Sos recalls of his early days at the School. “At times it felt a bit bizarre—for instance, when I had to take to the soccer field in girls’ uniform shorts because the boys’ uniforms hadn’t arrived in time for our season opener.”
At the time, Board Chair Edgar M. Masters, a proponent of the plan, but understandably anxious, wrote, “Time will judge the merits of this decision.” Still a member of the Board today, he sums up the verdict of the decades in one word: “Phenomenal.”
The culture shock may have been especially great in Sos’ case because he had transferred from an all-boys’ school. “It was a classic New England boarding school, as structured as you could imagine. We saw girls twice a year for formal dances.”
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Students around a Harkness table in 1998.
T The first coed class g graduated in 1998.
THERE WERE SOME GIRLS’ SCHOOLS THAT HAD GONE COED AND VERY QUICKLY STARTED TO FEEL LIKE BOYS’ SCHOOLS. THAT WAS NOT GOING TO BE US.
—SUSAN “SPARK” CREMIN ’65, TRUSTEE FROM 1992 TO 2013
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THE REVOLUTION OF ’96 Along with the occasionally awkward adjustments, Sos also remembers “a huge awareness and commitment to making coeducation work.”
Susan “Spark” Cremin ’65, a member of the Board of Trustees from 1992 through 2013, remembers the deliberative process that shaped coeducation as it would be practiced at Masters.
“We were not like most coed boarding schools that had started off all-male,” he explains. “We were determined to achieve balance and ensure that women’s views were honored. Feminism was strongly valued at Masters, and that fact had a lasting impact on me.”
“You need to realize,” she says, “that every person on the Board who made these decisions was personally dedicated to the cause of women’s education—and many of us had directly benefitted from the experience.” That commitment, she says, led to a thoughtful planning process, which included a number of research trips to other institutions.
Ellie Collinson ’98 was a junior at Masters when Sos and his fellow pioneering boys arrived. She recalls some of the same awkwardness that Sos describes. She notes that by and large she liked the boys and that at least one among that first group to arrive became a friend for life. And she, too, points out the School’s intentional steps to determine the form coeducation would take. “In my senior year,” she says, “it was decided that we would have co-chairs of student government, one boy and one girl, to ensure that girls would not lose that leadership opportunity.” The School took the same step with other campus clubs, too. “It may have felt a little forced,” Collinson reflects, “but it was not a bad idea.”
“There were schools that had taken a look at their balance sheets and decided overnight to go coed,” continued Cremin. “That was not us. There were also some girls’ schools that had gone coed and very quickly started to feel like boys’ schools. That was not going to be us either. We were determined that we were not just adding a new group of students, but making sure we created a community that worked.”
School leaders also made the decision that in the newly expanded and coeducational Middle School, classes in the seventh and eighth grades would be single-sex, an arrangement still in place today. The arrival of Harkness teaching along with boys had an important impact, too. “We were still figuring out Harkness then,” Collinson explains, “but one thing was clear. It meant that no one—girl or boy— could be pushed to the back of the room. No one could be a wallflower.” Gratefully, she notes that due to a gradual transition, her senior physics class was actually still arranged in rows of desks, affording one last chance for refuge in the back.
MY ROLE IS TO HELP STUDENTS DEVELOP THE SKILLS TO MAKE THIS PROCESS OF DISCOVERY WORK. IT’S CREATING THE CONDITIONS OF POSSIBILITY.
— MIGUEL SEGOVIA, UPPER SCHOOL ENGLISH DEPARTMENT CHAIR
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“Actual Inquiry Together”
Walk the hallways of the Upper School, and in virtually every classroom—including labs—you will find a Harkness table. Science rooms are typically laid out in two parts, with a table at one end and lab benches at the other. Most of the tables are made of ash, seat approximately 14 and were designed with a clever two-part top, allowing them to fit through classroom doors. In the backstage area in the Claudia Boettcher Theatre, however, sits a unique specimen of the Harkness form: a modular table, with a dry-erase writable surface, made up of a series of wedge-shaped desks that can be dispersed around the room or come together to form a whole. “I love that table,” says Marianne Van Brummelen, an Upper School math teacher and pedagogical coach. “It may be the perfect one to symbolize what we as a school are doing. The philosophy of Harkness is about the act of coming together and creating something new— something beyond what each person contributes individually. That table concretely shows the process in action.”
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At first glance, a Harkness class in progress might seem less than revolutionary. After all, student-teacher dialog has been a pillar of pedagogy since the time of Socrates. And even many traditional schools have now adopted a seminar format in at least some humanities classes. But, look more closely and you realize that Harkness at Masters is teaching and learning in an ambitious and thrilling form. Ownership of the educational enterprise has shifted. The stakes have been radically raised. “We give students a problem they’ve never seen before and let them explore,” says Van Brummelen, citing her approach in math classes. “I’m not explaining how to factor an equation. Instead, that’s something we are discovering together.” She readily concedes that to simply describe the steps would offer a certain efficiency. “But we have to ask what we are teaching. Is it just this specific mathematical skill or is it how to approach a problem you’ve never seen before? I believe the essential question is ‘What do effective problem-solvers do—especially when they get stuck?’ And if that’s the question, I can’t give the answers.” Clearly, Harkness is not simply a matter of classroom format and furniture, but of philosophy—a philosophy that is profoundly student-centered. Over years of practice, faculty members find themselves thinking less and less about how they teach, and more and more about how students learn. They cite research showing that active engagement of multiple parts of the brain leads to deeper and more lasting learning than simply taking in
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information through a lecture. And, they work to ensure that their classroom conversations are not just lectures in disguise. “At my previous school, I also taught at a big table, but was still mainly engaged in a transmission model of education,” explains Miguel Segovia, Upper School English Department Chair. “Yes, I would ask questions, but I usually knew the answer I wanted. I tended to have the insights and would try to guide the students toward articulating them. Here, we are engaged in actual inquiry together.” If the pattern of the conversation tends to flow through the teacher rather than spontaneously from student to student, he says, it’s not Harkness at its best. Van Brummelen concurs: “We may be having a lively talk, but if we are halfway through class, and I look down and realize that I, the teacher, am still the one holding the whiteboard marker, I need to make an adjustment.” Making Harkness successful takes skill and work. Teachers and students focus intentionally on effective listening. They learn to ask good questions. They develop an awareness of the difference between clarification questions and exploratory questions—those that advance the dialog along a path of real inquiry. And they don’t learn these abilities all at once. “The longer I have focused on Harkness teaching,” says Segovia, “the more clearly I’ve come to understand that my role is to help students develop the skills to make this process of discovery work. It’s creating the conditions of possibility.”
Bold Adventures in Urban Learning
One weekday morning—as the first classes on campus are gathering around their Harkness tables—the 30 students currently taking part in CITYterm have gathered on the Brooklyn Bridge to yawp. Yes, yawp, proclaiming their presence to all the citizens of the city, at the top of their lungs. They are inspired by the example of Walt Whitman, who declares in Leaves of Grass, “I sound my barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world.” In a semester overflowing with experiences of a thrilling diversity, it is difficult to pick a single emblematic moment, but yawping would be a contender. It exemplifies the openness to experience at the heart of CITYterm, the attitude that makes so much else possible. “Every day is different,” says Maddie Bowen F’14, an alum of the program now enrolled at Rice University. “One day you’re interviewing residents of Section 8 housing on violence in their lives. Another day, you get up at 3:00 AM to go talk to the vendors at Fulton Fish Market about where they get their fish. You fall asleep on the trip back, smelling a lot like fish.” The activities of the program change from day to day—and from term to term—as teachers continually innovate. At the core, though, is a commitment to a powerfully immersive, interdisciplinary experiential kind of learning. In the Urban Core, a mainstay of the program since its start, students explore literature, history and urban environments all together, simultaneously looking at topics through multiple lenses.
CITYTERM TRANSFORMED MY LIFE. IT MADE ME TRUST MYSELF AS A LEARNER AND THINKER IN THE WORLD.
—ANNA SOBEL, CITYTERM F’97, MASTERS ’99
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“If I had to pick a single overarching takeaway from the program,” says Bowen, “it would be an insight into the grand interconnectedness of things, something that’s uniquely evident in cities.”
“We are continually introducing new projects like these and then modifying them based on what works best,” says Erica Chapman F’99, Co-Director of CITYterm. “Innovation is built into the bones of the program.”
Through the Neighborhood Study—another mainstay over the decades—students immerse themselves in a single neighborhood for a week, researching every aspect of its identity: its commercial activity and history, architecture, culture, and street life.
Those who have taken part in CITYterm over the years speak of its impact in powerful terms. “It was my first extended exposure to a community of peers who were intellectually curious and equally interested in a rich conversation about ideas and art,” says Campbell-Holt, who today heads an independent theater company. “I can’t tell you how much that meant.”
“Your challenge is to develop a deep understanding of a neighborhood,” says Adrienne Campbell-Holt S’97, who took part in CITYterm in its very first year. “You are working to articulate the logic of that neighborhood. It’s such an ambitious goal for high school students—especially in our case, as we were focusing on Chinatown, and as non-Chinese speakers, interacting almost entirely with people who spoke only Cantonese or Mandarin.” In case it’s not evident, another theme inspiring much of CITYterm is a commitment to nudge students beyond their comfort zone. In a more recent neighborhood-focused project, students have been exploring areas within the South Bronx, researching housing, education, transportation and more. They are then assigned an undeveloped lot and charged with designing a new use for it. After meeting with local residents, conducting research and completing designs, they present their work to a group of architecture and city planning professionals.
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Bowen agrees: “You are living and learning with 30 of the most exceptional people you will ever meet. That means just having bagels together in the morning is a memorable experience. It means that riding the Metro-North train and talking for a half hour on the way into Grand Central becomes an experience that stays with you and changes you.” “I took so much from the program,” she concludes, “from interviewing skills to empathy. I learned so many things and so many different ways to think.” Anna Sobel, CITYterm F’97, Masters ’99, another alum of the program, sums it up this way: “It transformed my life. It made me trust myself as a learner and thinker in the world.”
A Unifying Theme
To proclaim your existence from the Brooklyn Bridge and to discuss in far more polite tones the narrative strategies at work in Frankenstein while seated in a classroom might seem very different endeavors. If you speak, however, to people who have experienced CITYterm and those immersed in the art of Harkness education at Masters, you realize that the two forms of teaching and learning are strongly aligned. Both are student-centered, participatory and skill-based—concerned with insights students generate rather than information teachers impart. Both value self-reflection and self-assessment. Both embrace the same ultimate goal of deep learning. “When I came to CITYterm, I had one idea in mind,” says David Dunbar, Academic Dean of the program and founding faculty member. “I wanted a lab school to find out why some learning is memorable, and why some learning becomes transformational.” As CITYterm evolved over the years, he says, the program has drawn on research in cognitive psychology and the work of educational innovators around the world—from Swedish advocates of deep learning to leaders in Japanese Lesson Study. “For generations,” Dunbar says, “students were judged by the volume of knowledge they mastered. We want to go beyond measuring and celebrating massive short-term memory and cultivate more important cognitive skills.” In this statement, Dunbar is describing the inspiration behind CITYterm, but he could just as perfectly be summarizing the spirit of Harkness. As Co-Director of CITYterm and also Masters’ Interim Dean of Faculty, Erica Chapman sees clear connections between the educational experience in the Masters classroom and those created through the School’s pioneering program in urban immersion. “Ideas travel and adapt,” she says. “In fact, the crossover is everywhere.” Examples range from a skyscraper project in an Upper School history class to the Middle School’s Hudson River Project to the annual City Project students take on in ninth grade—all experiences that grew originally from elements of CITYterm. Viewed clearly, coeducation, Harkness and CITYterm, it turns out, are not three separate pillars in a plan for progress, but initiatives sharing a common spirit that have influenced life at Masters in pervasive, interconnecting ways. The ethos of Harkness, for instance, palpably transcends the classroom. “An issue will come up on campus, and students might say ‘Let’s Harkness that,’” explains Van Brummelen. “They have a feeling of empowerment and ownership that grows from years of discovering their voices are heard and matter.”
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THEY HAVE A FEELING OF EMPOWERMENT AND OWNERSHIP THAT GROWS FROM YEARS OF DISCOVERING THEIR VOICES ARE HEARD AND MATTER.
—MARIANNE VAN BRUMMELEN, MATH TEACHER AND PEDAGOGICAL COACH
HOW IT HAPPENED
A Revolution by Design
Pam Clarke, Head of School 1990-2000
Just as the School’s innovative approaches have created a feeling of empowerment, they have drawn on the force of diversity— diversity among the students that Masters and CITYterm attract, diversity in the perspectives they share, and diversity enriched by coeducation. “I would say that learning is at its best when you have the greatest variety of voices in the room,” says Chapman, “and that includes diversity of gender.” One more thread running through the Masters experience as it has evolved in these 20 years is an essential openness to risk. Those first boys who ventured to enroll at Masters two decades ago have something in common with the students today who leave their normal high school lives behind for the odyssey of CITYterm—and also with those who make Harkness work by putting their ideas on the line every day in class. In multiple ways, Masters has become a school that celebrates the spirit of healthy risk-taking necessary for the most powerful kinds of learning to happen.
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Today, the Harkness method of instruction is a growing trend nationwide, with at least 150 independent schools claiming some form of adherence to it. Today, CITYterm stands out as a widely respected leader among immersive term-abroad programs, which have also proliferated. And today, coeducation has proven itself a fully successful aspect of Masters’ culture—and has helped position Masters as a school of choice. In 1996, however, none of this could be known. All that was clear was the need for bold action. Pam Clarke, Head of School at the time, sums up the situation this way: “Our enrollment was down, our financial situation was not good, and the landscape around us was changing.” Fewer families who had traditionally sent their children to boarding school as a matter of course were now doing so. New competition had arisen from institutions such as Exeter, Andover and St. Paul’s, which now admitted girls. And, fewer prospective students were open to the idea of all-girls education. “We looked at survey data from the SSAT,” explains Clarke, referring to the organization that provides a standardized test used by admission officers. “We saw that fewer than 10 percent of new students would even consider single-sex learning—and,
of course, only about half of those were girls. Our market had simply become too small. Over time, we saw that those girls’ schools that were able to buck this trend had far larger endowments to work with than we did.” Fortunately, Masters had other strengths to draw upon: a tradition of outstanding academics, a core of remarkably loyal alumnae and visionary leadership. “When I joined the Board,” says former Trustee Cremin, “I was immediately taken by the energy and brain power of Pam Clarke. She was a forward-thinking leader, deeply dedicated to the School’s success.” Edgar Masters, then Chair of the Board and still a Trustee today, concurs: “Pam Clarke was a brilliant head.” For her part, Clarke returns the compliment. “Edgar was the best Board Chair ever. You can have all the ideas in the world, but you are nowhere if your Board can’t make effective decisions. Fortunately, ours could and did.” By all accounts, the process that led to approval of the School’s 1996 plans was thoroughly deliberative, with the Board as a whole acting as a planning committee over the course of a yearlong exploration. Board members considered options that ranged from turning Masters into a performing arts institution to launching summer seminars to eliminating the boarding program altogether. “We looked at a million ideas,” says Clarke. “We chose the best. And we decided to do them all at once. We exploded out of the gate, and it worked.”
“I believe we made the right move,” says Edgar Masters, “and the heads and Board chairs who took over subsequently did an absolutely beautiful job of sustaining the School’s progress.” As it turns out, the decisions that Masters made in 1996 not only positioned the School to thrive into the new century, but also anticipated ideas that would soon come to dominate thinking across much of the educational world. “We were doing 21st-century learning before they had a name for it,” says Chapman. “Whether it’s project-based, experiential learning, metacognition or a push for more authentic forms of assessment,” adds Dunbar, “we have been engaged for a couple of decades in what everyone is now talking about. “And,” he adds, “it’s absolutely great. These are important ideas. They are catching on, and Masters is on the front end of the wave.” Looking back, it’s striking not only how prescient the School’s decisions in 1996 proved to be—and how successful—but simply how audacious. “There are certain moments when a school is willing to risk progress in a truly bold way,” says Chapman. “That was Masters in 1996. “I would ask what other school has changed so much and so successfully? Often, by nature, schools shy away from change, even as they trumpet it. At Masters, we embraced change—and this is key—we are still innovating and evolving today.”
WE WERE DOING 21ST-CENTURY LEARNING BEFORE THEY HAD A NAME FOR IT.
—ERICA CHAPMAN, CO-DIRECTOR OF CITYTERM AND INTERIM DEAN OF FACULTY
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Students Collaborate on Films Shot On Location Instead of sitting around a traditional Harkness table in the classroom, the students use a modular table that Galgano and Carnevale built to serve the unique needs of the course. The standing-height table features a dry-erase board surface and legs on wheels, and can be taken apart to accommodate various group sizes, then pushed back together so the entire class can work together.
With a cast of four and a running time of five minutes, Transition tells a wistful story about two high school students who rediscover a little of their childhood playfulness. Transition was one of the short films recently created by students in the On Location class, an interdisciplinary Upper School course introduced in the 2014-15 academic year. During the yearlong class, participants collaborate on an original screenplay, art direction, sound design, costume design, acting, shooting, editing and soundtrack work—learning all the techniques necessary to produce short films. Upper School faculty members Vincenzo Galgano and Jeff Carnevale currently teach the class. Each year, Galgano says, the students begin with small projects (called “scrambles”) that allow them to practice the various techniques and the collaborative process, move on to medium-scale projects (“omelets”), and finish with a final project (“soufflé”). For each scramble, the students are given a concept and a specific technique to work on, and must complete the project during a single two-hour class period. For one such project, the students stripped the soundtrack from a scene in the movie, Wall-E, and created a new soundtrack. The students shape their ideas during the creative development phase of a movie project. They then are broken into small groups to learn and practice skills and techniques, such as lighting or set construction. The groups then converge during the production phase, with directors guiding the cast in a performance captured by the crew. Once production has wrapped, the crew edits and prepares the final video for screening.
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“I loved the collaborative nature of the class,” says Emma Friedman ’18, who took the On Location course in 2015-16. “It was really fun to get to work on different sections of the production, as well as pre/post production. Almost everyone got a chance to work in all of the different categories, so all of us walked away from On Location with a broad set of skills.” In 2015-16, the class created Transition, a movie about two students who take a break from the stress of high school and “growing up” and rediscover their past innocence through a chance encounter with an old friend. The film, shot on location at Untermeyer Park and Gardens in Yonkers and Waterfront Park in Dobbs Ferry, stars Ava Navarro ’18 and Cedar Berrol-Young ’18, with guest appearances by Alisa Beck ’23 and Adrien Blanc ’23. Although the movie’s scenes flow seamlessly, the shooting of a key scene did not go as originally planned. The students had decided to film the scene near a large stone tower at Untermeyer Park, but on the day of the shoot, they discovered that the structure had been roped off for repairs. After some brainstorming, the students decided to film the scene on a long staircase in the park that leads to a view of the Hudson River. “I think that location change actually worked out for the best,” says Ava. “The scene turned out absolutely stunning.” Other locations used for past projects include Estherwood Mansion and Park Cottage, and an outdoors site in nearby White Plains, NY. In the future, Galgano says, he hopes that the class can shoot some movies in a locale favored by many professional crews: New York City.
Students Help Kids Handle Homework & More After helping a local girl with homework, Lauren Evans ’17 sat down to draw with the youngster, creating a bird with multicolored plumage. The girl, noting that the bird reminded her of an old story that her parents had told her, began talking about her Central American heritage. “It was a really fun way to connect with the young girl,” Lauren says. “It also was great that she felt comfortable enough to share things about her family with me.” This exchange took place at Cabrini Immigrant Services, a Dobbs Ferry-based agency that provides services to local immigrants and their families, including an after-school homework program for elementary school students. Local high school tutors—most of them, from Masters—provide the homework help.
Every year, students spend up to three hours a week assisting children in grades 1 through 5 with math, history, reading and spelling homework, as well as reading skills. About 25 students served as tutors during the 2015-16 academic year. Lorraine Campanelli, Director of Cabrini Immigrant Services, says that the tutoring provided by Masters students has been invaluable. “The Masters students are so prepared, so dependable and very dedicated,” she says. “They come with such a willing heart. Wherever help is needed, they’re willing to provide it.” The tutors work one-on-one with the kids, helping them figure out math problems, asking them questions about the books they are reading, and much more. Masters students who are gifted artists have helped the youngsters draw pictures based on the characters and plots in their books, adding another dimension to the learning experience. Several Masters students show promise as future educators, notes Campanelli, a former reading teacher. Among them is Hanlin “Sam” Liu ’19, who first volunteered as a tutor in the fall of 2015. “I really saw the connection he had with the kids,” Campanelli says.
Sam says the experience has helped reinforce his desire to pursue a career in education. “Carrying the dream of being an educator in the near future, I devoted myself to the service of others ever since I perceived the importance of appreciation and giving back to the community,” he says about his work at Cabrini. “From this experience, I learned how to communicate with younger kids from deep inside.” In the 2015-16 school year, several Masters students also began participating in Fletcher’s Place, a new, dynamic reading program that Cabrini added to its services for young children. The Masters students took training sessions to learn the Fletcher’s Place methodology, which teaches reading through “multisensory, physically active, cooperative learning activities,” including games, songs, storybooks and video lessons. Noting that service learning is a two-way street, Atlee says, “Our students are learning so much from the kids they’re working with—about different cultures, customs and experiences. What’s happening with immigrants in America today is an important topic. Through this program, our kids are learning about the immigrant experience on a personal level.”
“I volunteered for this program because I wanted to try to help young kids gain a greater love for school and learning,” says Lauren. “I learned a lot about how to communicate with people of different ages and backgrounds. I also gained a great appreciation for the joy that comes from teaching people and helping them not only to learn, but to have a passion for that learning.” Masters has worked with Cabrini for 18 years, as part of Masters Interested in Sharing and Helping (MISH), a service learning and co-curricular program, says Director of Community Service Amy Atlee. Eddie Hock ’17 and Huston Watson ’17 work on math problems with children at Cabrini Immigrant Services.
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A Year of Music Milestones for Julius Rodriguez ’16 Talented musician Julius Rodriguez ’16 has just wrapped up a prolific year, in which he played drums for singer Macy Gray, toured Japan and performed at major venues on both coasts. Rodriguez, now a jazz piano student at The Julliard School, was one of 21 high school jazz musicians from across the United States selected for the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Jazz Orchestra (NGJO). He played drums for the NGJO assembled in 2016 by the Monterey Jazz Festival organization, which every year selects a new group of students to form the orchestra. “I spent a two-week tour all around Japan playing music and teaching with the NGJO,” Rodriguez says, noting that the orchestra toured the country in July and August. The ensemble later performed at the 59th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival in California. Rodriguez was chosen for another high-profile spot last summer: he played drums in the band that backed R&B and jazz singer Macy Gray during her tour to promote her album, Stripped. Earlier in the year, Rodriguez participated in Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead, a jazz residency, performance and composition project at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The Jazz Ahead program identifies outstanding, emerging jazz artist-composers in their mid-teens to age 25, and brings them together under the tutelage of established jazz artists. The young
musicians played three concerts at the Kennedy Center and also performed at the Apollo Music Café in New York City. Rodriguez says he was thrilled to have been chosen for the Jazz Ahead program. “I really was not expecting to get into the program in my first year auditioning. Looking at some of the alumni in the past 15 years, some of those names I recognized as teachers of mine, so it is a huge honor for me to be included in the lineage of this program at this point in my musical career.” Rodriguez also was among 32 high school students from across the U.S. selected for the 2016 GRAMMY Camp-Jazz Session. The group of jazz singers and instrumentalists traveled to Los Angeles to perform at several events, including GRAMMY in The Schools Live!—A Celebration of Music & Education. The band also recorded an album, GRAMMY Jazz 24, at Capitol Studios & Mastering. To cap off the week, the students attended the 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards as guests of The Recording Academy and then performed at the awards celebration after-party. “I spent a week rehearsing, performing and rehearsing with 30 of the best high school musicians in the country,” Rodriguez says. “I had been auditioning for the band for the past four years, and I am so glad that I got to do it this year. My experience was unreal!”
Eighth Graders Explore Boston’s History Masters’ eighth graders explore key historic sites in Boston as part of their interdisciplinary study of the evolution of American identity over the last 500 years. During the annual trip to Massachusetts, the students and their chaperones visit several places that tell the story of the American Revolution and beyond. They walk along the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail, stopping at Faneuil Hall, the Boston Massacre site, Old North Church, the Granary Burying Ground, the Old State House, Boston Common and the Massachusetts State House. A visit to the John F. Kennedy Library, a tour of Fenway Park (one of the oldest baseball stadiums in the United States); and a ride on the Boston Duck—a World War II-style amphibious landing vehicle—were also on the itinerary during the most recent Boston trip. Back in the classroom, the eighth graders created video essays with photographs they took during that visit. The videos incorporated American music and images of Boston that reflected ways in which the 400-year-old city exemplifies American identity.
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Senior Excels on National Soccer Stage After playing for the women’s national soccer team in her age group, girls’ varsity soccer team Co-Captain Samantha “Sam” Coffey ’17 has a strong shot at advancing to the next level. The United States Soccer Federation selected Sam as one of the top 26 players in the country to participate in a training camp at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center last year. After two call-ups to the camp last spring, Sam was among the 20 players chosen for the USA Under-18 (U-18) Women’s National Team. In July 2016 the team traveled to England, where it trained for two weeks and played against the British women’s national team in the same age group. “It’s been a life-changing experience,” Sam says of the opportunity to train with and play for the U-18 team. “It will keep improving my game. I’ve definitely seen a difference.”
During the camps, Sam worked with U.S. Soccer Women’s Technical Director April Heinrichs, who is head coach of the U-18 team. The two assistant coaches were also members of the national team. As a member of the U-18 team, Sam is on track to qualify for the 2018 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup. But her ultimate goal is to be recruited for the U.S. Women’s National Team. “That is what I’ve been working for my whole soccer career,” she says. “Sam has aspired to play at the highest level possible,” Masters’ team Coach Hernando Santamaria says. “Being called
up to the top program in the United States is a true testimony to her hard work and dedication to the sport.” Noting that she trained two to three times a day last summer, Sam said she was “exhausted at the end of the day. But it’s what I love to do. I’m more than 100 percent certain that this is what I want to do with my life.” Before pursuing a professional soccer career, though, Sam plans to attend Boston College. She has a verbal commitment to play for BC’s women’s soccer team, and expects to sign a letter of intent in February 2017.
SHOW YOUR PRIDE! Hats, mugs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, ties, blankets and more…find them all at the Campus Store! Go to www.mastersny.org/campusstore to see the new Dobbs line and other items. To place a phone order, please contact the Campus Store at 914-479-6404 or www.mastersny.org/campusstore. Hours: Monday-Friday 11:30 AM – 12:45 PM; 1:45 – 4:00 PM and selected weekend events.
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Three New Trustees Join the Masters Board The Masters School welcomed three new members to the Board of Trustees this year. We are fortunate to have such a talented and dedicated group of parents and alumnae/i volunteering on behalf of the School. Fred Brettschneider P’19 is Co-Founder and President of LibreMax Capital, a New York-based asset management firm specializing in structured credit. He chairs LibreMax Capital’s risk committee and is a key member of its investment committee. Fred holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto (1986), an M.B.A. from the Schulich School of Business (1989) and an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics (1993). He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder. He is a former member of both the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee and the Board of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. Fred and his wife, Michele, live in Scarsdale, NY with their two daughters, Morgan ’19 and Haley.
Kate Henry ’94 is a Managing Director at NFP, a global insurance brokerage and consulting firm headquartered in New York City. Kate has oversight of NFP’s employee benefits, retirement and human resources consulting practices for NFP’s Northeast Region, and is responsible for managing the overall growth and profitability of the region. She is a member of the NFP Women in Leadership Council. Prior to joining NFP, Kate was a Principal at Mercer, where she spent nearly a decade developing and managing client relationships. Kate graduated from The Masters School in 1994 and holds a B.A. in European history from New York University. She and her husband, Jeremy Hise, live in Chappaqua, NY with their daughter, Eleanor, and son, William.
Victor M. Luis P’17, ’19 is Chief Executive Officer of Coach, Inc. Before his appointment as CEO, he held the role of President and Chief Commercial Officer of Coach, with oversight for all of the company’s revenue-generating units, strategy and merchandising, while also serving on Coach’s Board of Directors. Victor has been a member of the senior leadership team since joining Coach in 2006, holding a number of key international management roles and spearheading the company’s successful expansion strategy in Asia. He holds a B.A. from College of the Holy Cross and an M.A. from University College, Durham University, UK. His son Alexander is a member of the Class of 2017 and his daughter Emma is a member of the Class of 2019.
Our students rely on the Annual Fund, and the Annual Fund relies on you. By coming together to support the Annual Fund, our community ensures that Masters remains an extraordinary place for students to learn and grow—all day, every day.
All day, every day, the Annual Fund is impacting the educational experience of every student at Masters. As The Masters School’s primary source of unrestricted funding, the Annual Fund is essential to nearly every aspect of life here at the School. It provides support for:
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Academics & Faculty Financial Aid The Arts Athletics Innovation Programs Greatest Need
Your gift of any amount is welcome, appreciated, and needed. Please give online at www.mastersny.org/makeagift or by calling (914) 479-6449 before June 30, 2017. Volunteering with the Annual Fund is a great way to show your school spirit and make a positive impact on our community. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, contact Jen Schutten at (914) 479-6449 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Under the Harrow By Flynn Berry ’04 Published by Penguin Books, 2016 Alumna Flynn Berry’s first novel is “a riveting psychological thriller and a haunting exploration of the fierce love between two sisters, the distortions of grief, and the terrifying power of the past,” the publisher says. Nora, the main character, takes the train from London to visit her sister, Rachel. When she enters Rachel’s house, she discovers that her sister has been the victim of a brutal murder. “Haunted by the murder and the secrets that surround it, Nora is under the harrow: distressed and in danger,” according to the synopsis. “As Nora’s fear turns to obsession, she becomes as unrecognizable as the sister her investigation uncovers.”
Reviews of the book—by The New York Times, The Washington Post and several other publications—have been lavish in their praise. “Hitchcockian…A moody psychological thriller that explores sisterhood’s complex mix of love and resentment,” Booklist stated. “Berry accomplishes the rare feat of making the victim come alive on the page without ever sacrificing the deep, all-encompassing loss felt by those left behind,” opined Kirkus Reviews. Berry, who grew up in Irvington, NY, said of her novel, “It was a story that I needed to tell. I was scared and angry about a crime that happened in my neighborhood.” Writing the book, she added, was a way of becoming a kind of detective and investigating a fictional crime. “Having a first novel out has been both wonderful and nerve-wracking,” Berry observes. “It takes a tough skin, but it’s also confirmed all that I’ve loved about reading and writing since I was little.”
Say the Wrong Thing: Stories and Strategies for Racial Justice and Authentic Community By Amanda Kemp ’84 www.dramandakemp.com Amanda Kemp, Ph.D., is a poet, playwright, and advocate of racial justice and equality. She founded Theatre for Transformation, a performance method and theater company whose mission is to create a world of forgiveness, abundance and peace. Dr. Kemp leads workshops and makes keynote presentations that blend poetry, song, and stories from her life. What is the primary focus of Say the Wrong Thing: Stories and Strategies for Racial Justice and Authentic Community? Say the Wrong Thing is composed of blog posts that I wrote in reaction to police killings of African Americans and conversations with my white husband. I share my failures and celebrations. It’s also filled with what I’m learning about self-forgiveness and mindfulness. I cried when writing some of the entries, especially upon re-reading a letter from my teenaged black son. Switching between an intensely personal and societal lens, the book offers
practical strategies or spiritual practices that we can use every day as we strive to “be the change” we want to see in the world. What inspired you to write the book? I write to come home to myself. Writing helps me to connect with my deepest wisdom and my topmost feelings. I don’t like feeling angry or sad, but writing gives me a way to be present with myself when I do feel bad. Conversely, writing also connects me to a larger, multiracial community of compassionate people who love justice and mercy. What do you hope readers will take away from Say the Wrong Thing? I hope readers will ask: how can I be kind to myself and do one courageous thing today? I hope they start an uncomfortable conversation coming from the heart. I hope they will go from being nice to being real. Given the national conversation on racial tensions, is it more relevant than ever to address the issue? Yes, and here are the five Strategies of the H.E.A.R.T. that I use: Hold space for transformation, Express yourself, Act with intention, Reflect on yourself, and Trust the process. Where can we learn more about your book and other racial justice initiatives you’re working on? I’m leading a racial justice workshop series, called Strategies of the H.E.A.R.T., in various schools and faith communities, as well as continuing a tour of my performance project, Inspira: The Power of the Spiritual. To learn more, go to www.dramandakemp.com.
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SNAPSHOTS UPPER SCHOOL
Fonseca Center Hosts Winter Play for First Time
Instrumental Music Skills Showcased
Captivated audiences watched the Upper School’s winter play, Love and Information, in the Fonseca Center’s Experimental Theater last year—the first time the new space was used for the annual winter production.
Masters’ classical instrumental ensemble classes got a chance to display their talents at the Instrumental Concert held last spring in the Estherwood Mansion Library. A large group of families attended the event, which was conducted by music teacher Curt Ebersole.
Drama and Dance Department Chair Chris Briante chose the play in part because the piece is by a prominent female playwright, Caryl Churchill, which seemed fitting because the Center was named in honor of a woman, former Head of School Maureen Fonseca. The production featured 40 of the 57 playlets within Love and Information, with students creating scenarios based on the dialogue and brief descriptions provided. Because there were more than 100 roles, each cast member played between four and six characters.
The Middle School Orchestra performed “Burst” by Brian Balmages and the title theme from Jurassic Park by multiple-Academy Award winner, John Williams. The Symphonic Winds performed the “Academic Festival Overture” by Johannes Brahms, “Pavane” by Gabriel Faure and “The Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Philip Sousa. The Chamber Music class performed Felix Mendelssohn’s “Violin Sonata in F minor,” “Rondo for Two Flutes and Piano, opus 25” by François Doppler, and “Piano Trio opus 159, No. 1” by Carl Reineke. The String Ensemble performed “Procession of the Nobles” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, “Rondo in Blue” by Robert Longfield and “Espérance” by Catherine McMichael.
Event Features Variety of Dance Styles The Masters Dance Company performed ballet, modern, Afro-Cuban and musical theater dance pieces during An Evening of Dance in the Claudia Boettcher Theatre. The performances during the spring event showcased works by then-Artistic Director Mary Rotella and three professional guest choreographers: Cynthia Anderson, Rebecca Bliss and Gierre J. Godley. The dance pieces were “Dulce y Fuerte” (Sweet and Strong); “Rezo de Yemaya,” “Ethos,” “Affinity,” “Swing Time!,” “Roll’em,” “The Gal from Joe’s” and “Sing, Sing, Sing.”
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SNAPSHOTS MIDDLE SCHOOL
Middle School Musical a Hit Masters community members packed the house to see Xanadu, the Middle School musical, during its two performances last year in the Claudia Boettcher Theatre. The Tony Award-nominated adventure, a spoof of the Xanadu movie, follows the journey of a Greek muse, Kira, who descends from the heavens of Mount Olympus to Venice Beach, CA in 1980 on a quest to inspire a struggling artist, Sonny, to create the first roller disco. But when Kira falls into forbidden love with the mortal Sonny, her jealous sisters take advantage of the situation and chaos abounds.
Music, Magic & More Middle School students sang, played instruments and performed magic tricks at the fall 2016 Talent Showcase in the Claudia Boettcher Theatre. The entertaining program included two original songs, an original comedy act, and heartfelt performances of musical pieces by artists ranging from George Gershwin to Mauro Giuliani.
Middle Schoolers Play Rock Classics Three student bands gave an energetic performance of popular rock songs during the annual Masters of Rock show in Doc Wilson Hall last spring. The bandsâ€”SnaFu, The How, and Owen & The Peachesâ€”played songs by the Beatles, Pat Benatar, Tom Cochrane, Foreigner, Imagine Dragons, the Ramones, Toto, and The Who for an audience composed of families, students and teachers. Masters of Rock consists of three different groups that meet weekly throughout the year, culminating with a performance at the end of the year, according to music teacher John-Alec Raubeson, who directs the event. Students are assigned to one of the groups based on their instrument, skill level and availability. They learn rock and pop songs while honing musical skills on their instruments and/or voice, gaining valuable experience working in an ensemble.
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A Tribute to Louise Riker Edmonds ’46 Louise “Lou” Riker Edmonds ’46 passed away on September 27, 2016, in Alpharetta, GA. Before her recent move to Alpharetta, Lou was a longtime resident of Sag Harbor, NY, and lived in Rye, NY for several years. After graduating from Masters in 1946, Lou went on to study classics at Bryn Mawr College and returned to her alma mater in 1950 to teach Latin to generations of young women at Masters, where her career spanned over 40 years until her retirement in 1992. Although primarily a Latin teacher, Lou taught a variety of subjects over the years, including ancient history, religion, and Middle School drama. In the early 1970s, she became the academic counselor and a college guidance counselor, and also served as Acting Dean of the Faculty and Director of Studies during her time at Masters. Lou was twice awarded the Dobbs Alumnae/i Association’s highest honors, receiving the Eliza Bailey Masters Fellowship Award for service to the greater community in 1982 and the Anna Howe Faculty Award for her inspirational work with students, both in and out of the classroom, in 2011. Lou’s “Dobbs” legacy bridges three generations: her mother, aunt, sister, cousin, and daughters Ann ’70, Ryan ’73 and Beeara ’78 all attended the School. Well-read and widely traveled, Lou projected a quiet, unassuming brand of authority. She did the Sunday crossword puzzle in pen, her thumb was green, and her ability to conjugate irregular verbs was evergreen. Lou was civic-minded and charitable, creative and kind. A lifelong learner, she was insatiably curious and could often be found nose-deep in a book. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her, and her memory will live on in the minds and hearts of her students, colleagues, and friends.
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Alumnae/i Board Welcomes Three New Members The Alumnae/i Board is the governing body of the Dobbs Alumnae/i Association, composed of volunteers elected annually by the Association. Its purpose is to promote today’s Masters through a deep knowledge of its strengths and to continually reinforce ties with our alumnae/i through outreach, reunions and other events and programs. The Alumnae/i Board serves as a resource to all alumnae/i for networking, support and friendship and encourages active participation in the life and IQCNUQHVJG5EJQQNVJTQWIJXQNWPVGGTKUOCPFöPCPEKCNUWRRQTV2NGCUGLQKPVJG$QCTFKPYGNEQOKPI ELEANOR “ELLIE” COLLINSON ’98
AUSTIN O’NEILL DUNYK ’98
MIRNA VALERIO ’93
Ellie Collinson is Chief Program Officer at United Cerebral Palsy (UCP). In this role, she is responsible for advancing the organization’s mission through strategic communications, public policy, and public education campaigns. Before joining UCP, Ellie was most recently chief administrative officer for The Raben Group, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying, consulting and public affairs firm specializing in issues of law and public policy.
Austin O’Neill Dunyk lives in Syracuse, NY with her husband, Mike, 18-month-old daughter, Charlotte, and their dog, Harley. She loves hiking through the woods of central New York with her family, making sure Charlotte grows up with an appreciation for hands-on learning and a love for nature and exploration.
Mirna Valerio is an ultra-marathoner, cross-country coach, equity and inclusion educator, blogger at Fat Girl Running, and contributor to 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. Mirna is a fierce proponent of the idea of athletic pursuit as a way of engaging in self-love, body-positivity and body-acceptance. She is currently working on a running memoir due to be published in the fall of 2017.
Before moving to Washington, Ellie ran a community-based organization in southern Colorado focused on civil rights and religious freedom where she beat back efforts to privatize a school district, protected gay/ straight alliances in public schools and increased support for affirmative action policies. She has advised state legislators across the country as state legislative programs manager at People for the American Way, and also worked in higher education fundraising. Ellie graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Colorado College with a degree in Asian studies, and holds a master’s of public administration degree from the University of Colorado-Denver. Ellie comes from a long line of Masters women, and is one of seven women in her family to have attended the School. She has been volunteering for Masters for over 25 years, joining her mother as a runner at the alumnae/i phonathon and helping out in the café at the Estherwood Boutiques as a young girl. She is excited to follow her mother’s footsteps in joining the Alumnae/i Board, and looks forward to contributing her expertise in nonprofit communications to our alumnae/i relations activities and to engaging with alumnae/i in the D.C. area.
Professionally, Austin has lived in search of her passion. She has worked as a news radio reporter in the nation’s Capitol, a director of communications in the political arena in Harrisburg, PA, in education as a recruiter and program director and, for the last four years, as a Financial Advisor with Prudential Financial. She loves helping families plan and work toward living their dreams and leaving a legacy. Austin is excited and honored to join the Alumnae/i Board: “The further my high school days at Masters fall into my past, the more I realize how truly amazing the students there were and are—and how important it is to get involved to help keep this magical place thriving for our children, grandchildren and future generations. I truly believe, now more than ever, our planet needs a place like Masters: a place where intelligent, unique, strong, creative and capable people prepare to actually change the world.”
Mirna currently teaches, coaches and serves as the Director of Equity and Inclusion at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School. She also taught at Masters from 2000-2003 and had the opportunity to work alongside some of the same educators who had encouraged and inspired her during her time at the School. “Dobbs afforded me the opportunity to commune with girls from all over the globe, thus giving me an immense amount of perspective and worldview as an adolescent. The love and encouragement you receive from all at Masters became the reason that I try to pay it forward in every way in my life.” Mirna is eager to join the Alumnae/i Board and play an active role in helping to shape the future of today’s Masters.
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Reunion Award Winners Each year at Reunion, it is our tradition to honor members of our community who have distinguished themselves through service—to the School, to its students, and to the world outside Masters. Award recipients are honored during the Reunion Banquet Dinner and Awards Ceremony, which takes place during the weekend’s celebrations. Please join us in congratulating our 2017 honorees:
THE RICHMOND BOWL Louise Millholland Cecil ’57 is the 2017 recipient of the Richmond Bowl, which was created to honor the late Nell Angle Richmond ’34 and Tom Richmond. It is presented each year 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. After Masters, Louise’s undergraduate and graduate studies in photography at Columbia College Chicago and the International Center of Photography in New York City eventually led her to teaching photography and family portrait work. She is an award-winning photographer who has exhibited in the United States. She lives in Vancouver, B.C., where she is a devoted volunteer and supporter of the arts. Over the years, Louise has worn a number of hats in service to her alma mater. She has volunteered as a Reunion Committee member and served faithfully for many years as a class notes editor, gathering news and writing about the adventures of the Class of 1957 for The Bulletin. In 2007, Louise established the Cecil Scholarship Fund for Dance, which provides financial support to a student pursuing his or her passion for dance at Masters. Most recently, Louise partnered with the School to share her 2013 book of nature photography and inspirational quotes, Out on a Limb, with members of the Estherwood Society. Louise’s two sisters, Carol Strasburger ’54 and Allaire Warner ’60, also attended Masters.
ANNA HOWE FACULTY AWARD Dr. Eileen “Lee” Dieck, Upper School science teacher and Co-Director of Ethical Leadership, has been voted the recipient of the 2017 Anna Howe Faculty Award. The award recognizes an outstanding current or former faculty member who has shaped and changed the lives of students in a positive and impactful way. It is presented to a faculty member who has not only excelled in the classroom, but who, through guidance, encouragement and support, has also made a meaningful difference to his or her students.
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Lee came to Masters in 2004 after retiring from a career in internal medicine. At Masters, she has played numerous roles: developing courses in world health, physiology and ethical leadership, coordinating the general chemistry curriculum, coordinating costuming for the Drama Department, working closely with students as a class dean and serving on and co-chairing various school committees. Having just completed a year’s sabbatical during which she continued to research best practices for our Ethical Leadership program, Lee returned to the classroom this past fall. In her community, Lee has served on the Medical Board and Board of Trustees of Northern Westchester Hospital and the Alumni Board of Governors of New York Medical College. She recently began her second term as Chair of The Board of Professional Children’s School. When not fulfilling her professional obligations, Lee loves to spend time with Bill, her husband of 36 years and best friend, and her three adult children, the youngest of whom, Chelsea, is a Masters alumna (’09).
ELIZA BAILEY MASTERS FELLOWSHIP AWARD Dr. Joanne Liegner ’73 is this year’s recipient of the Eliza Bailey Masters Fellowship Award, which honors an alumna/us who exemplifies Miss Masters’ philosophy through outstanding service to his or her community, seeking a common good beyond personal comfort and influenced by his or her years at The Masters School. After attending Masters, Joanne went on to Brown University, graduating in 1977 with a B.A. in honors biology. She furthered her studies at the Boston University School of Medicine, where she met her husband, Dr. David Brody. In 2001, together with David, Joanne founded The Chiapas Project, a nonsectarian, nonprofit organization that brings teams of volunteers to Zoque communities in the Chiapan Highlands of southern Mexico. The volunteers travel to remote Mayan villages, set up a mobile clinic, and perform emergency dental and medical care available to the approximately 18,000 indigenous inhabitants of the region. The goal of The Chiapas Project is to create a permanent presence of trained medical and dental care providers for the indigenous people of the region.
Lilian “Lil” Hall Fisher ’37 1918-2016 Lilian “Lil” Hall Fisher ’37, a devoted alumna and Honorary Trustee of The Masters School, passed away peacefully at her home in Naples, FL on September 21, 2016.
“Meg” McKeon ’15. The next member of the family line, her great-granddaughter Cora McKeon, will be attending CITYterm at The Masters School in spring 2017.
Born on June 5, 1918 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Lil was the daughter of Edith Chase Hall Harmon and Marcus B. Hall. She graduated from Masters in 1937 and attended Sarah Lawrence College for a short time. She married Benjamin Reeves Fisher in 1939 and they settled in Pittsburgh, PA for the next 60 years. Thanks in large part to Lil’s can-do personality and sense of service, Pittsburgh and the many alumnae who hailed from there would become a vital part of the history of “Dobbs.” Lil had wonderful recollections of her earliest days as a new student, such as arriving from Pittsburgh via Grand Central Terminal to meet Eliza Masters in Estherwood Mansion, and many other stories of the alumnae with whom she corresponded over the nearly 80
years that followed her time at Masters. She loved her school. Lil received the Richmond Bowl for outstanding service to Masters in 1979, served as a member of the Dobbs Alumnae/i Board, and was even inducted as an honorary member of the Class of 1965. She served as an Honorary Trustee for many years, always diligently reading, and often commenting on, the materials sent in advance of Board of Trustee meetings.
Lil’s service to education and nonprofits as a leader and fundraiser was legendary. Along with her extraordinary service to Masters, she served as an Honorary Board Member at Pressley Ridge School in Pittsburgh. She was also a strong supporter of the American Cancer Society of Western Pennsylvania, and was an active member of The Garden Club of Allegheny County, where an interest in horticulture and a gift for design led her to become a master judge of flower shows. In Naples, she supported Planned Parenthood and The Conservancy of Southwest Florida.
Her legacy at Masters was deep. Attending Masters were her daughters Margaret “Peggy” Fisher Blackburn ’60, Coburn “Cobey” Hall Fisher ’65, Christine “Chrissy” Fisher Wagner ’72; sister Anne Hall McMahon ’41; nieces Diana “Pokey” Davis Kornet ’62 and Mary “Molly” Davis Booth ’68; cousin Cameron “Cammie” Hall ’64; and great-grandchild Margaret
Lilian Hall Fisher will always be remembered for her engaging smile, sense of style, positive attitude, love of travel, and deep love of her friends and family all over the country, including her 10 grandchildren and nine greatgrandchildren. She embodied the very best of The Masters School and the School had no stronger champion than Lil.
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WANTED: CLASS EDITORS! If you yearn to discover what your former classmates are doing and wish to reconnect the Dobbs ties that bind, consider volunteering to write your class’ “notes” for The Bulletin magazine. The following years are in need of class scribes: 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1946, 1948, 1953, 1958, 1959, 1971, 1972, 1990, 1993, 2008, 2013, 2015; and former faculty. If you are interested, please contact: email@example.com or 914-479-6532.
WE WANT YOUR NEWS AND PHOTOS! Have you taken an interesting trip? Or pursued a new interest? Gotten married, had a child, moved across country or just the county line? Or have you been doing what you’ve done all along? We want to know! Our class notes pages also need your smiling faces to liven them up. Please send along photos with your news that show you with your family, pursuing your hobbies, or travels to faraway lands. If you are sending a digital photo, please save the image as a JPEG at the highest quality. You can send all news and photos to your news editor, email: firstname.lastname@example.org; or send them directly to our office via snail mail: Office of Alumnae/i Engagement, 49 Clinton Avenue, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522.
WE NEED YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS! We’d love to contact you via email occasionally, but many times we learn that we either do not have an email address for you or do not have one that is current. Please take a few minutes to update your information at: www.mastersny.org/update or send your email address to: Office of Alumnae/i Engagement, The Masters School, 49 Clinton Avenue, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522.
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To be included in the next issue, please send your notes to your class notes editor or to the Office of Alumnae/i Engagement: Angelique Chielli Office of Alumnae/i Engagement 49 Clinton Avenue Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522 914-479-6532 • email@example.com
First Ladies 1935
Volunteer Needed Please call the Office of Alumnae/i Engagement at 914-479-6532.
Joan Revell Vaughan PO Box 187 Prides Crossing, MA 01965-0187 978-927-0025
1936 Volunteer Needed Please call the Office of Alumnae/i Engagement at 914-479-6532.
1937 Volunteer Needed Please call the Office of Alumnae/i Engagement at 914-479-6532.
1938 Volunteer Needed Please call the Office of Alumnae/i Engagement at 914-479-6532.
1939 Rosetta Merrick Celentano 6152 Verde Trail N., Apt. B125 Boca Raton, FL 33433-2482 561-483-3190 firstname.lastname@example.org
1941 Volunteer Needed Please call the Office of Alumnae/i Engagement at 914-479-6532.
1942 Volunteer Needed Please call the Office of Alumnae/i Engagement at 914-479-6532.
1943 Volunteer Needed Please call the Office of Alumnae/i Engagement at 914-479-6532.
1944 Annie Atkins Clark 88 Notch Hill Road, Unit 151 North Branford, CT 06471-1848 203-208-0807 email@example.com
MAY 19-20, 2017
Return. Reconnect. Remember.
> Rediscover the places that hold special memories for you, rekindle friendships, and learn about Masters today at Reunion 2017.
> All alumnae/i are welcome; classes ending in 2s and 7s are celebrating special Reunion milestones! Make plans now to join your classmates on campus in the spring.
> Visit our Reunion 2017 webpage at www.mastersny.org/reunion for updates and news, as well as information about hotel accommodations.
> Questions? Interested in volunteering? Contact Amie Servino â€™95 at firstname.lastname@example.org or 914-479-6611.
> Visit our website for the latest news from campus: www.mastersny.org > Watch your inbox for our alumnae/i e-newsletter > Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MastersNY > Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mastersny
stay connected! 58 / WWW.MASTERSNY.ORG
> See whatâ€™s happening on Instagram: https://instagram.com/mastersschool > Prefer to talk the good, old-fashioned way? Call the Alumnae/i Office at 914-479-6611.
Gladys Fernandez Smithies of Key Biscayne, FL on September 3, 2016
Louise Riker Edmonds of Alpharetta, GA on September 27, 2016
Jane Leake Chisholm of Lakewood, WA on March 17, 2016
Gioia Connell Brock of Claryville, NY on May 24, 2016
Jane Guernsey Pope of Burlingame, CA on November 9, 2015
Eleanor Bradford Currie of Memphis, TN on July 6, 2016
Mary Shorey Cushman of Naples, FL on July 20, 2016
Antoinette Beckers MacNamara of Wayland, MA on April 2, 2016
Nancy Lambie Lawrence of Saint James, NY on April 1, 2016
Tina Schultz Smith of Ann Arbor, MI on May 25, 2016
Eleanor Allyn Marcy of Brunswick, ME on June 24, 2016
Mary Olin Pritzlaff of Santa Barbara, CA on July 18, 2015
Lilian Hall Fisher of Naples, FL on September 21, 2016
Elizabeth Foster Blair of Sewickley, PA on August 11, 2016
Mary Adams Young of Chicago, IL on February 20, 2016
Robin MacGregor Morton of Greenwich, CT on January 6, 2016
Frances Ingersoll Staniford of Vero Beach, FL on May 13, 2016
Jean Miller Biddle of Cortland, NY on May 15, 2015
Caroline Craig Sutton of Centerreach, NY on October 9, 2015
Sarah Nason Clawson of Falls Village, CT on September 5, 2015
Elaine White Beals of Southborough, MA on August 21, 2016
Maria Phelps Murdock of Houston, TX on May 26, 2016
Sarah Maynard Davis of Osterville, MA on March 31, 2016
Penelope May Thompson of Mathews, VA on May 7, 2016
Suzanne Marache Geyer of Vero Beach, FL on March 7, 2016
Constance Huested Allen of Lawrence, KS on January 29, 2016
Julie Richards Anderson of Bath, NH on January 20, 2015
Heidi Fry Edelman of New York, NY on August 29, 2016
Anita Cooper Stickney of Cape Elizabeth, ME on June 6, 2016
Carola Padley Eldridge of Beaufort, SC on February 12, 2016
Phyllis Igleheart of Evansville, IN on January 15, 2016
Ann Bonar Williamson of Plano, TX on January 9, 2014
Eleine Hoffman Brooks of Cincinnati, OH on May 1, 2016
Susan Smithers of Palm Beach, FL on June 16, 2016
Margaret Fred Rawlings of Lookout Mountain, TN on May 31, 2015
Elizabeth Bailey See of Beverly, MA on September 26, 2016
THE BULLETIN / SPECIAL EDITION 2016-2017 / 59
the bulletin T H E
B U L L E T I N
S P E C I A L
Adriana Hauser Director of Strategic Communications email@example.com
Timothy Kane Associate Head of School firstname.lastname@example.org
Isaac Cass Digital Communications Coordinator/Content Producer email@example.com Bob Horne Director of Marketing firstname.lastname@example.org
Christina Camardella Director of Development and Engagement Programs email@example.com Angelique Chielli Associate Director of Alumnae/i and Parent Engagement firstname.lastname@example.org Judy Donald Advancement Associate email@example.com Rosaria Golden Campaign and Special Projects Manager firstname.lastname@example.org Maryann Perrotta Database Administrator email@example.com Mary Ryan ’00 Director of Annual Giving firstname.lastname@example.org Jen Schutten Assistant Director of Annual Giving email@example.com Amie Servino ’95 Director of Alumnae/i and Parent Engagement firstname.lastname@example.org
Photography: Isaac Cass, Bob Cornigans, Vincenzo Galgano, Bob Horne, Janice Leary, Kevin Monko/Kelsh Wilson Design
60 / WWW.MASTERSNY.ORG
Head of School Laura Danforth
E D I T I O N
Laura Danforth Head of School email@example.com
Janice Leary Assistant Director of Communications and The Bulletin Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
LEADERSHIP 2016-2017 Board of Trustees Tracy Tang Limpe ’80, P’18, Chair Edith C. Chapin ’83, Vice Chair J. Keith Morgan P’17, Treasurer Keryn Norton Mathas P’19, ’21, ’22, Secretary Fred Brettschneider P’19 Jonathan Clay P’19, Michael D’Angelo P’15, ’19 Michelle DeLong P’17 Karen Feinberg Dorsey ’84 Lucinda Emmet ’57 Michael Greene P’10, ’13 Kate Henry ’94 Alexandra Herzan P’13 Sheree Holliday P’16, ’20 Clay Lifflander P’14, ’16 Victor Luis P’17, ’19 Edgar M. Masters H’98, Life Trustee Susan Follett Morris ’57, Life Trustee Christine Grim Neikirk ’84 Beth Nolan ’69 M. Suzanne Paxton ’88 Janet Pietsch P’09, ’20 Diana Davis Spencer ’56, P’84 Shan Zhu P’16 Honorary Trustees Marin Alsop ’73 Cynthia Ferris Casner ’52, P’76, ’86 Jeannette Sanford Fowlkes ’58, P’87 Ruth Mitchell Freeman ’51 Nancy Maginnes Kissinger ’51 Claudia Boettcher Merthan ’51 Lynn Pilzer Sobel ’71, P’99, ’05 Dobbs Alumnae/i Association Board Karen Feinberg Dorsey ’84, President David Heidelberger ’01, Vice President Sujata Adamson-Mohan ’01, Recording Secretary Sharon Nechis Castillo ’84 Eleanor H. Collinson ’98 Austin O’Neill Dunyk ’98 Linda Vipond Heath ’69 Lusyd Doolittle Kourides ’70
Elyse Lazansky ’78 Evan B. Leek ’01 John M. McGovern ’07 Hannah J. Miller ’10 Ricardo C. Oelkers ’03 Mary M. Ryan ’00 Mirna A. Valerio ’93 Parent Association Executive Committee Janet Pietsch P’09, ’20, President Kristy Fitzgerald P’16, ’18, Co-Vice President Upper School Kim-Adele Rosner P’17, ’18, Co-Vice President Upper School Marie Fabian P’22, Co-Vice President Middle School Michelle New P’21, ’23, Co-Vice President Middle School Committee Chairs and Representatives Leslie Rusoff P’17, ’17, ’18, Chair, Admission Support Cori Worchel P’19, ’21, Chair, Annual Fund Leslie DuBeau P’14, ’18, Boarding Parent Representative Mary Lockhart P’19, ’20, Chair, Faculty-Staff Appreciation Day Anne Termini P’20, Chair, Parent Programs; Boarding Parent Representative Class Representatives Dana Alonzo P’21, ’23 Janet Bernstein P’13, ’16 Marie Fabian P’22 Kristy Fitzgerald P’16, ’18 Rachel Khanna P’17, ’18, ’18, ’23 Mary Lockhart P’19, ’20 Jillian Miller P’22 Allison Moore ’83, P’17, ’19 Jennifer Nappo P’21, ’23, ’23 Janet Pietsch P’09, ’20 Kim-Adele Rosner P’17, ’18 Leslie Rusoff P’17, ’17, ’18 Robin Scheuer P’18, ’20 Anne Termini P’20 Cori Worchel P’19, ’21
Eliza Bailey Masters wrote in a 1919 letter to alumnae/i, “you own the School.” Inspired by her call to action, the alumnae raised the money for a new school building, completed in 1921, and named it Masters Hall in her honor. Today—nearly 100 years later—The Masters School still relies on the generosity of our community to continue Miss Masters’ legacy and support our School’s mission, students, programs and future.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT Annual Giving Endowment Support
The Parent Association
The Dobbs Alumnae/i Association
For more information about giving opportunities, please contact the Advancement Office at 914-479-6433 or visit www.mastersny.org.
Class Reunion Committee Alumnae/i /i Giving Day There Th here are numerous num rous ways wa to get involved volved give back and giv bac to Masters. Masters. Please contact Director of Alumnae/i Alu / and Parentt Engagement Engag ment Amie Am mie Servino ’95 at email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in volunteering.
49 Clinton Avenue | Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522-2201
The Masters School Spring Bulletin 2017