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Remembering the 10th Anniversary of 9/11

September 11, 2011

Volume 68, Number 1

The Masters School, 49 Clinton Avenue, Dobbs Ferry, NY

Masters Remembers Emma Thomas by Daniel Block Editor-in-Chief

On August 24th, tragedy struck in North Carolina. Emma Thomas, a rising junior, was driving along with her father, Stuart Thomas, when the two got into a terrible car crash. Stuart Thomas was pronounced dead at the scene. Emma died the next day. Emma was just sixteen years old when she passed away. In her death she leaves behind a large extended family in North Carolina. It includes her brother, Scout Thomas, what she would call her three moms, her biological mother Leslie Gill and her life partner Donna Lewis, her father’s wife Andrea, and three other siblings, Jack, Annie, and Bibi.. But

she also leaves behind a family at Masters, who are left both grieving and remembering the wonderful, though tragically short, life she lived. Emma came to Masters in the tenth grade, after her family found the school while visiting friends in Nyack. “On a Saturday, we just drove over to look at the campus, and we just happened upon Mary Schellhorn, and very quickly we were into the enrolment process in Masters,” said Leslie Gill, Emma’s biological mother, and one of what she would call her three moms. And soon thereafter, Emma would come to grow close to Masters. “When she found Masters, it was truly a home for her,” Gill said. Two of Emma’s Ford

dorm parents, Marianne Van Brummelen and Jennifer Carnevale, told Tower they remember Emma as being both engaged and caring from day one. “Emma moved in last year during preseason. So it can be a little intimidating to be in the dorm. It’s not really set up, and can be a little cold,” Carnevale said, “especially for first year students. But Emma jumped in with a smiling face. She reached out to other people.” “She was really outgoing, really friendly from the beginning,” said Van Brummelen, who was also her advisor. She particularly remembers a choice Emma made during one dorm activity. “We have a map up in the dorm, and every student puts a

A TEAMPLAYER, THOMAS participated in Cross Country in the fall and Varsity Girls Basketball in the Winter. She was to be a captain of the Cross Country team this fall.

flag where they are from, or where they feel affiliated with,” she said. “And Emma looked up at me and said, ‘Can I use the gay pride flag?’” To Van Brummelen, it showed openness that she would admire, and

that would extend across all aspects of Emma’s personality. “Often in high school there is a social hierarchy. Emma didn’t buy into that. She jumped in with both feet, right from the beginning.”

Photo by Ken Verral

Everyone who knows Emma remembers her as possessing those characteristics. “She was just extremely friendly right away,” said Helena de Oliveira, a junior, and one of Emma’s friends. “It was continued on page 3

United We Stand: 9/11, Ten Years Later Thomas’s organs benefit 80 lives by Noah Buyon and Nick Fleder

by Alicia Chon Editor-in-Chief

Tower Staff

At 8:46 a.m. on September 11, 2001, the first of four hijacked commercial planes crashed into a carefully selected target on American soil-- the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The ensuing hours, which entailed the purposeful destruction of three more planes, and the loss of nearly 3,000 lives, have been seared into the collective memory of all Americans. Although a decade has passed since these harrowing events inspired fear and astonishing courage, they continue to shape American lives in countless ways. First and foremost, the 9/11 attacks prompted the entrance of the U.S. into the global “War on Terror.” The resulting combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan have claimed thousands of American, Iraqi, Afghan, and Pakistani lives and were met with much criticism. President George W. Bush, who championed these conflicts, suffered a drop in his approval rating from over 90% a directly following 9/11 to nearly 20% when he left office. War has had painfully obvious effects on American society today, but some

Public Domain Image THE BLUE PILLARS OF LIGHT, ABOVE, are lit for a few nights every 9/11 at Ground Zero. They illuminate the lower Manhattan skyline, serving as reminders of the imposing facades of Twin Towers.

of the horrors and tragedies of these long-standing conflicts remain invisible back home. Nevertheless, the persistent casualty reports issued by the Pentagon are constant reminders of the high cost of retribution. Perhaps the most visible reminders of 9/11’s tragic legacy at home are the extensive security measures implemented in the wake of the attacks. From the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security to strict travel restrictions

at U.S. airports, a renewed focus has been placed on maintaining a high degree of safety within American borders, to the tune of $75 billion a year (according to the L.A. Times in 2011). Post-9/11 safeguards have generated some controversy, as security protocols such as full-body scans have been labeled onerous and intrusive, yet have been credited with foiling a number of potential terrorist attacks. continued on page 6

Emma Thomas, who completed sophomore year at Masters and tragically passed away at the tender age of sixteen, should be nicknamed “The Giver.” She was a regular volunteer as a kindergarten and first grade teacher at Oak Hill Elementary School, had organized a 10k ‘Rockband’ race for a local charity in North Carolina, and mowed the grass at the YMCA in her spare time. As her final act of kindness, she will be saving nearly 80 lives as an organ donor. Emma expressed her intent to become an organ donor from a young age. Leslie Gill, Emma’s biological mother, said, “Even as a little girl, she always wanted to sacrifice and help others. She did not have a moment of hesitation in deciding to become an organ donor.” Organ donation is the bestowal of biological tissue, or any organ of the human body, from a living or dead person to a living recipient in need of a transplant. Once someone is registered in their respective state’s Organ Donation Registry, they may be contacted to make a living donation. In the event that the donor is deceased, any of their

organs, such as the heart, intestinal organs, corneas, and tissues, can be transplanted after examination. The Thomas Family was put in contact with Carolina Donor Services (CDS), an organization that coordinates the recovery of organs for transplants and covers the entire state of North Carolina. Dereck Mushayamunda, Family Support Coordinator at CDS and a close family friend to the Thomas Family, has known Emma since she was a child. He and his family had even attended the Boys Scout Award Ceremony for Scout Thomas, Emma’s older brother, two days prior to the accident. Mushayamunda disclosed that eight of Emma’s organs were recovered, including her lungs, pancreas, both kidneys, liver, which was split for a child and an adult patient, corneas, heart, and tissue. Mushayamunda said, “I have heard that all those who received Emma’s organs are doing very well.” Tissue organs, such as skin and bone, is used to help burn patients, cancer patients, and those in need of a skin graft, to name a few. In total, Emma’s recovered organs are estimated to save approximately 80 lives, not counting those

who will survive vicariously through the research any of her organs will provide. Emma’s story is bittersweet. The tragic loss of her and her father, Stuart, is undeserved, yet there is hope for the many patients awaiting to receive her donations. By the policy of CDS, the Thomas Family must wait one year before potentially getting in contact with Emma’s organ recipients. Gill said, “I cannot wait to see her beautiful big brown eyes again.” The Wake Forest Baptist Hospital, where she was treated post-accident, recognized Emma’s courageous actions and raised the Donate Life Flag for 24 hours in her honor. Mushayamunda said, “Our hospital only receives about 30 donors a year, so our flag does not get raised often. The raising of the flag is a small way to commemorate Emma.” Emma’s name will also be engraved on a copper leaf. In an upcoming ceremony, her family will place the leaf on a branch of a copper ‘Donor Tree’ in the lobby of the Wake Forest Baptist Hospital, in honor of Emma and her act of selflessness. Gill and Donna Lewis, Gill’s lifetime-partner, said, “It continued on page 3


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Crossing the Final Rainbow by Erica Wolencheck Contributing Writer

At Emma’s funeral, the priest described Emma as a sprinter, sprinting in life and through life. I love this analogy because I experienced it first hand, as she’d literally sprint past me at the end of a run, and in the figurative sense, for Emma sprinted through life, packing in as much as she could in her sixteen short years. I am so proud, not only to be able to call Emma my best friend, but proud of her for what she has done. I want to be able to congratulate her for the lives she has saved.  Also I am proud of the fourteen miles she ran a

few days before she died-two of which were barefoot. I am proud that Emma’s funeral was packed with people who love and care about her.  So many people that folding chairs had to be brought in to accommodate them--some people were even standing.  It’s incredible how many lives Emma touched. As the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was sung, I scoffed through tears, thinking how Emma would laugh that such a song would be used to remember her at her funeral.  But as I continued to listen, I found that the song perfectly captured Emma and her ability to hope, to laugh,

and to look at the world in a different way. I think she must be somewhere over the rainbow right now watching over all of us. Her ashes now lay partly with her family and partly in the sunshine of a church across the street from her North Carolina home.  It’s beautiful there, surrounded by flowers, next to the woods that I like to think she is running in right now, and right above the ashes of her father.  I love you, Emma Thomas, and miss you so much--we all do.  But what comforts me most is how even in death she is so much so alive.  It’s just the way she would have wanted it.

A Letter to an Angel Dear Emma:

Words cannot express how deeply your passing is mourned, nor how profoundly you will be missed. In one short year, you became Ford Dorm’s very own ray of sunshine. “I always try to leave a place better than I found it.” ~ from Emma’s 1st semester boarding self-assessment Your quiet, humble grace masked a dedicated and passionate commitment to leave each place you entered better than you found it and Ford was the willing beneficiary of your mission. “I also make sure to help a sister in need…. I am truly grateful for ford dorm and the wonderful ladies in it.” ~ from Emma’s 2nd semester boarding self-reflection Your younger siblings were your pride and joy and your older brother your compass. You were an amazing sister both to your biological siblings: Scout, Jack, Annie, and Bibi; as well as to your adopted Ford sisters. “Your enthusiasm for learning both in and out of the classroom is unparalleled, and it has been wonderful to see you take advantage of opportunities to try new things and pursue your interests… Your willingness to expand your horizons has fueled your growth as a student and as a person.” ~ from Emma’s 3rd quarter advisor note We treasure the moments that we had with you, admire the growth you exhibited in your time here, and mourn the loss of memories yet to come. You had a unique and wonderful combination of inner strength and openness to learning from the wisdom of those around you. Your thirst for knowledge made you a great listener and an even better friend. We cannot comprehend that your beautiful, hopeful young life has been so abruptly ended. You saw beauty in everyone around you and had a way of bringing to light the goodness you unerringly found in each of us. Your warmth and compassion are still felt within the walls of Ford. Your vibrant smile remains an image that is indelibly stamped in our hearts. You were and are loved and will be missed. Rest with the angels. With love, Ms. van Brummelen and Mrs. Jennifer Carnevale

Tower 2011-2012 Editors-in-Chief: Alicia Chon and Daniel Block Tower Staff: Alex Minton, Tyler Pager, Nick Fleder, Johanna M. Costigan, Lily Herzan, Noah Buyon, and Sophia Fish Faculty Adviser: Ellen Cowhey Contributing Writers: Erica Wolencheck, Jennifer Carnevale, and Marianne Van Brummelen Contributing Photographers: N/A Staff Photographers: Bob Cornigans, Eve Wetlaufer, Ken Verral, and Renee Bennett

Letter Policy

Published approximately seven times a year, Tower, the student

newspaper of The Masters School, is a public forum, with its editorial board making all decisions concerning content. Unsigned editorials express views of the majority of the editorial board. Letters to the editor are welcomed and will be published as space allows. Letters must be signed, although the staff may withhold the name on request. The paper reserves the right to edit letters for grammar and clarity, and all letters are subject to laws governing obscenity, libel, privacy, and disruption of the school process, as are all contents of the paper. Opinions in letters are not necessarily those of the staff, nor should any opinion expressed in a public forum be construed as the opinion or policy of the administration, unless so attributed.

TOWER/ September 13, 2011

Growing our Hearts by Ellen Cowhey Tower Adviser

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n the ninth of September, 2001, the concern before me was for the rounded mass that formed near the base of each mighty redwood in the Californian forest in which I stood. I worried that the trees had developed a sort of blight. The explanation though, was that since the forest is so lush, it’s hard for light to penetrate to promote a sapling’s growth. So these “burls” near the bottom of each trunk are like dormant balls of energy, and if anything should critically injure the massive tree, the burl would begin to emerge as a new tree, tapping into the original tree’s system, and likelier to survive than a tiny sapling. This curious foresight the trees seemed to contain intrigued me like a clue to something, but of what, I didn’t yet know. On the tenth of September, I boarded a plane to New York, heading back to my home in downtown Brooklyn. And on the eleventh of September, two planes struck the Twin Towers. I heard the news on the radio and went outside and could see the burning towers. I headed up a few blocks and saw the march of ash-draped people streaming down from the Manhattan Bridge. In the distance, the remnant of the World Trade Center billowed with smoke against an unbelievably blue sky. The wind blew east that day, right toward Brooklyn, and I could smell it. I headed back, stopping to stock up on food supplies and bottled water. After arriving home, I realized I couldn’t just stay indoors. I needed to be with people. I thought of all those men and women trudging over the bridge, and thought about their grief-stricken faces. I unpacked the groceries and paced for a few minutes. I needed to act. I snapped my cupboards open and shut, trying to think of what to do next. Then it clicked and I started packing. Ten minutes later, salmon-like, I wove against the pedestrians pouring into Brooklyn. I went as far as the police barriers, setting up next to a “No Parking” sign. I pinned up my cardboard sign: “Free water, free jellybeans!” I unpacked my wire laundry cart and put a wooden square on the top of it. I set up a tub of jellybeans, and started pouring cups of water. Soon enough, people stopped for water. Then, for some, when they saw jellybeans, the whole crazy world seemed to shrink for an instant. “Wait! Could I have an orange jellybean?” “Sure!” I’d say, magnanimously, “Take three!” I remember one woman

eyeing me suspiciously, asking if they were laced. I promised her they weren’t and she took a handful. Everyone else just seemed pleased for a little bit of sugar as they continued their too-long trek home. Two other things happened there on the corner. First, I became an impromptu information booth: Who did this? How many people died? Where can I donate blood? I’m a German tourist—is it safe for me to go back to Manhattan now? How can I help? When are the subways coming back on? Is this air safe to breathe? I had no answers. Mostly, people just needed to tell their stories and sometimes, they just needed a hug. The other thing was that I thought I’d only be out distributing water for about 30 minutes, given my meager supplies. But friends happened to come by and asked me if I needed more cups. “No, just more water,” I said, half in jest. But they came back with a whole box of bottled water. Then someone else donated paper cups, and people gave me crumpled dollars. So when others paused to ask how they could help, I shoved the donated bills at them. I pointed them toward the store and told them to come back with supplies, and, unlike any other day in New York, they did. In fact, I stayed on that corner for over three hours. Finally I needed to get out of the gritty air and sit down. So I left the water and jellybeans with a young guy who had joined me there, to continue distribution operations, while I wheeled my laundry cart home. I hadn’t planned on handing out jellybeans that day. It just unfolded that way. Our efforts were just one tiny example in a day of thousand kindnesses, and ten thousand heroisms. And even though things weren’t all right, having witnessed and been a part of that bursting forth from that deep wellspring of human energy—of people sharing their stories, wanting to help, accompanying each other--I knew somehow, we’d survive. All of us have that energy in us, to be sprung forth when tragedy strikes. Life’s program includes joy, abundance and delight but like those redwood burls of energy, the most beautiful sharing and generosity comes when times are hardest. So we hold each other now, in remembrance of all the family and friends and acquaintances who have touched our lives and we’ve lost to death, or other painful separations. And we also can draw from strength that’s secretly curled inside each of us, and trust that, to quote poet Mary Oliver, “our hearts are ready to be broken, and I mean broken open.”

Editorial: Tower’s Mission Statement 2011 It is hard to think of something more fundamental to an engaged citizenry then journalism. It is the profession that is responsible for keeping the public informed about what is happening in their community, and it is the profession responsible for holding those in power accountable to their actions, and it is the profession that enables people to make informed decisions. Hence, journalism is important to a nation like the United States, where the government’s authority is derived from the people and it is critical that the people stay informed. But it is equally as important to a small community like Masters. Tower exists for many

reasons. It exists as a class to educate students about local and global news as an exercise in creating a newspaper, and as a platform where the Masters community can voice their concerns. It also serves to deliver the truth to the community, without distorting or overplaying any issue or debate. But above all, Tower exists because we believe in your right to know.        In order for our school, as a community, to function and be complete, it must have an agency through which events can be covered and issues can be raised and discussed. Our number one priority is to ensure every member of the Masters School is aware of the occurrences going on around them, and

of the problems that the school faces. We are making it our goal to cover as many events and gatherings as possible, in order for students and faculty to have a more complete image of what the community is. Therefore, with this first issue, Tower is making a promise. We vow to provide everyone with the most balanced and accurate information on issues facing Masters, taking place in Masters, and occurring beyond Masters. With an overflowing number of journalists, photographers, and editors, diligently working to uphold this promise, we are confident we will not disappoint. But please, keep in mind: for a news organization to be strong, valid,

and trustworthy, we need the support of our readers. We believe an article is at its zenith when the people have a story to tell, and the writer accurately conveys this story to the public. So, expect Tower to engage in comprehensive reporting, on events like school plays and sports teams, to issues like security and drug abuse. And expect it to be honest, straightforward, and not with the aim of advancing any agenda or cause, but with providing you with the best information possible on your school. To do any less would be to violate what journalism is all about, and to deprive you of the information to which you are entitled.


Tower /September 13, 2011

News

The Life of Emma Thomas: A Snapshot of Emma from Those She Loved and Inspired continued from page 1

just very comforting to be around her.” Erica Wolencheck, another junior and friend of Emma, felt the same way. “I just felt comfortable around her, she didn’t judge me. She was so strong yet so nice.” And all her friends remember her not just as someone who was nice, but as someone who was fun. De Oliveira remembers climbing trees, doing obstacle courses, Spongebob marathons, and even music. “We used to sing about potatoes to one another,” she remembered. “She managed to make jokes out of the saddest of times, and they always made things seem better.” Vincent Galgano, Emma’s cross country coach, remembered her as not just a strong runner, but as a team player. “She was a serious, but fun runner,” he said. “She was always charismatic and enthusiastic about the girls’ team and the guys’ team.” So much so, Galgano said, that they decided to make her team captain, even though she was a new student. Galgano also remembers Thomas as someone

who was both centered but open. “She had her core group of activities, but was always open to trying new things.” One manifestation of Emma’s openness came in her love of religion. “She was interested in different types of religions; she really enjoyed the world religion class at Masters. She embraced everybody, and embraced everybody’s religion,” said Donna Lewis, Leslie’s life partner, and one of Emma’s moms. Ellen Cowhey, Emma’s world religions teacher, said her love of religions and was evident in that class. When students take the one semester class, they are required to go on one field trip. But Emma chose to go on more. “She did world religion trips second semester, not because she had to, but just out of interest,” Cowhey said. But it was more then just Emma’s love of diversity and spirituality that was apparent. Her compassion for others showed through in the class. Cowhey remembers one story especially as a testament to Emma’s caring nature. “It was that really awful day when we found

out about Goh’s death,” she said. “And then later that day I found out about a student I had taught for four years was expelled.” In the midst of all this, Cowhey had to teach her

caring, and always willing to try and help others. “She was compassionate, and she believed that compassion could unite the world,” said Lewis, who, along with Gill, remembers her

EMMA THOMAS and sophomore Evi Robinson decorating pysanky eggs for Easter last Spring in a workshop headed by Gretchen Beckhorn.

world religions class. “I could speak, but I couldn’t hold back the tears. I asked the class what we should do, then offered two possibilities, and the kids were quiet. I think they were all freaked out to see their teacher crying,” she said. “But Emma looked at me and said, ‘Well, what will make you feel better Ms. Cowhey? Let’s do that.’” That story seems to epitomize what those who knew and cared for Emma felt; that she was kind,

saving bluebird eggs after the mother of the eggs was killed. And De Oliveira remembered her always caring for her friends, both emotionally and literally. “She would always have food with her,” she said. “We’d go to the city and I’d say something like ‘You guys want to stop somewhere? I’m thirsty.’ and she would just materialize a water bottle with enough water for a village.” Emma’s compassion

The Giver Who Keeps on Giving continued from page 1

is very appropriate that her name will be placed on a leaf, because Emma loved trees.” During her year at Masters, she had been actively involved with the Tree Ceremony in May 2011, as she held a bowl of cornmeal that symbolized nourishing feminine energy. Additionally, the nurses at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital made an imprint of Emma’s hand and presented it to the Thomas Family, all of whom have voiced their gratitude to the hospital for giving their family something concrete to remember Emma by. Gill smiled and said, “I literally kiss it everyday. It’s like I can hold her hand again.” It is the hope of her family that more people nationwide will be inspired by Emma and become organ donors. As of this year, there are over 110,541 patients waiting for organ donations, according to Mushayamunda. He said, “People should become organ donors because it saves lives. With only 2% of the American population registering to become organ donors per year, it is not enough.” Emma’s final actions have inspired both Gill and Lewish to become advocates for organ donating. Referencing the copper tree at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital, Gill said, “There were

not many leaves on the donor tree. We are making it our personal mission to make it like a summer tree in full bloom.” She continued, “Our next chapter of life is to continue the last

“Our next chapter of life is to continue the last chapter of Emma’s life.”

chapter of Emma’s life.” Amy Silverstein, mother of Casey Silverstein, ‘11, and author of Sick Girls, an award-winning memoir chronicling her own medical journey, is a strong advoacte for organ donation. At the age of 25, Silverstein was a law school student at NYU when she became afflicted with a virus that attacked her heart. She was fortunate enough to receive a young heart from a thirteen-year-old girl and has lived a full and active life since then. Silverstein said, “No one who receives an organ is ‘kind of’ sick. These recipients will literally die without an organ donation. Without my heart transplant, I would have died.” Since her surgery,

perhaps manifested itself best in her final action, donating her organs. “It is completely consonant with what I would expect,” said Maureen Fonseca, Head of School, who said she

Silverstein has served on the board of United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS), formulating and implementing rules that are related to organ donation and procurement. To all potential-organ donors, Silverstein said, “In many ways, after you pass away, it would be a waste of your body not to become an organ donor. I respect those who want to be buried or cremated, but think of the people whose lives you could save. ” Silverstein and her entire family, including Casey, are organ donors. The process of becoming an organ donor is simple. One can sign up when they obtain a driver’s license or driver’s permit, like Thomas did, or when they renew their driver license. New Yorkers can also sign up through the New York State Health Department’s website, http://www. health.ny.gov/donatelife. The decision to donate an organ, tissue, and/or cornea can be daunting, but it is arguably the greatest gift one can bestow, and it’s free. Imagine how many lives can be saved through cadaveric organs, when just one tissue donor can enhance the lives of more than fifty people. Gill concluded, “Donating your organs is the most loving thing you can do. It is the final act of love that you can do in your life.”

Photo by Renee Bennett

felt a special connection to Emma. “There was this sense of maturity and connectedness with everyone. And now that lives on.” Gill and Lewis felt the same way. “Emma died as a hero. She also lived as a hero. It’s a hero’s life, a hero’s passing, and now a hero’s legacy,” said Gill. And now, Emma lives on not only in spirit, but physically. “In the midst of all this nightmare, to know that Emma is living is comforting. In a year from now,

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we will get to meet the people that have her heart, her liver, her kidney. We will get to see those big beautiful eyes again. It brings some peace to something so terrible,” Gill added. At first the organ donation was difficult for Carnevale and Wolencheck to accept. “The initial reaction is like being punched in the stomach,” Carnevale said. Wolencheck agreed. “It was shocking, because I didn’t want my best friend to be taken apart.” But soon, both found the move to be inspirational and selfless. “I wish I could tell her how proud I was of her. She changed my mind about organ donation. I know I want to be an organ donor now,” said Wolencheck. “The second reaction was, of course she was an organ donor,” added Carnevale. “Emma would think it would be selfish not to be. She would give you the shirt off her back if she thought you needed it.” And so Emma, in some ways, lives on, both in the bodies of those who benefited from her organs, and in the memories of those who knew and loved her.

New Second in Command Already Making Strides How to register and become an organ donor:

1. Declare your in-

terest to become an organ donor when you obtain your driver’s license or non-driver identification card, permit, or renew your license.

2. New York residents can register on: http://www. health.ny.gov/donatelife. 3.

Out-of-state residents can register through the Donate Life America website: http://www. donatelife.net/register-now.

4. People above

the age of 18 can become organ donors via voter registration.

5. Minors can express their interest to their parents or guardians.

by Tyler Pager Tower Staff

Adriana Botero will assume great responsibility in her new position as second-in-command at Masters, serving as the Associate Head of School for Faculty Affairs and Program Development. Botero’s educational influences derive from her teenage years living in Columbia. “My first educational models were three of my high school teachers during my junior and senior years at Marymount High School in Bogota. They taught me about the importance of social justice ad introduced me to Paulo Freire who, to this day, remains an important influence in my professional life.” Head of School Dr. Maureen Fonseca recognized the need for this new position last year. “The school has grown in the last ten years and I felt that my travel responsibilities have increased as well. I wanted to make sure someone was here, especially during my absences, to keep the new programs developing and to ensure the division heads were not in a holding pattern.” Fonseca added, “One of the school’s big goals is to have individual attention for our faculty just like they give individual attention to each student.”

Fonseca then went through a nationwide search and chose three finalists. After a long process of interviews, Fonseca selected Botero for the job. “She has a great deal of experience in schools working on all the areas that are important here: working closely with faculty and faculty development. She truly understands the values of both day and boarding students,” Fonseca said. Previously, Botero was the associate head of school at the United World College High School in New Mexico for 12 years. Botero said her position entailed working very closely with the faculty and focusing on their growth and development. She added that she would also be improving the alignment between the Middle School and Upper School. The people at Masters attracted Botero and were the reason she fell in love with the school. “There is a special warmth to the place and the people. I felt that the students were very proud of their school,” Botero said. Fonseca has already seen Botero’s impact on others. “In the first few weeks here, she has shown herself to be an insightful contributor, a strong and wise leader, and someone who understands the essence of The Masters School.”


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TOWER/September 13, 2011

FEATURES

FEATURES

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September 11th 2001: 10 years later Masters Reflects on 9/11 by Tyler Pager Tower Staff

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n Chris Frost’s first day at Masters, he expected hectic day, but could never have anticipated the devastating reality. On September 11th, 2001, Frost was fortunate to find out about the attack before it hit the news because a former teacher was on the phone with her husband who happened to work at Trinity Chapel, which is right next to where the Twin Towers were. When the plane hit, her husband told her and she came running down to Frost’s office and told him. Head of School Dr. Maureen Fonseca first thought that the crash was an accident. “But then the second plane hit and then we knew it wasn’t an accident- it was terrorism.” Fonseca held a meeting with her other administrators that make up the crisis team to decide what actions the school should take to ensure the safety of student. The team finally brought all of the Upper School students to the Dining Hall to tell them what had happened. Students then split into advisee groups to further their understanding of the attacks. One student’s mother,

who worked at the World Trade Center, happened to leave the building to get coffee as the building fell. The student’s mother was fine and there were no students that were enrolled in Masters at the time that lost parents. History teacher Jane Rechtman envisioned the attack differently. “In my mind, it was like a little passenger plane hitting the World Trade Center. I remember saying what does that have to do with us having absolutely no idea how much it had to do with us.” The school held a memorial on Reunion field where all the students gathered in a circle holding hands and prayed for those who were killed. “We had school the next day because we felt normalcy would be comforting although we encouraged teachers to talk to students if needed and lose some curriculum time,” Fonseca said. “We didn’t want to act as the whole world was ending.” Assistant Director of Admission and Masters graduate Andrea DiNizo ‘02 remembers the tragic day like it was yesterday. “It was my senior year and it was right after first period and I went down to the library because I had a free

second period. My friend then told me that his mom called and said a plane just crashed into the Twin Towers.” DiNizo added, “I didn’t believe him at all. I was like your lying.” DiNizo remembers spending her free period going around the school asking everyone she saw for confirmation on the attack. “Everyone was really tense. There were students that were hysterically crying, other students consoling them, and others that just didn’t know what was going on,” she said. DiNizo recalled that night was the only night she ever watched TV during study hall. “We watched the news for the entire two hours. All thirty of us crammed into the common room to watch the tiny little TV we had back then.” As Frost thought back to the day, he said, “I thought as a school we handled it incredibly well. Parents who were in the counseling profession volunteered their services, other parents volunteered their homes to students that couldn’t get home-- it was awesome.” Frost added, “It was a really powerful experience of people coming together to help each other. It was the most inspiring introduction to this community.”

The Shape of the World After 9/11 continued from page 1

by Noah Buyon and Nick Fleder

Photo courtesy of Wally Gobetz

A VIEW FROM THE HUDSON RIVER of the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The effects of the tragic day are still apparent in America even though ten years have passed.

Masters senior recalls her personal experience on 9/11 by Sophia Fish Tower Staff

We woke up in a hurry to get to school that morning. My sister and I were already an hour late and my mother struggled to get us out of bed. It was almost nine a.m. when we left the house and headed to school an hour late. The next thing I remember was the horrible sound from the first plane. It was so loud, so close, and so low. It flew right over our heads down Greenwich Street and when it was directly over us, Eliza reached up her arms and I swore she touched the roaring plane.

When the plane crashed in to the first tower, people immediately rushed out of every building, flooding the streets in chaos. The crash immediately took over the entire building, the fire engulfed the top half of the building and created a huge ring of orange fire. The fire instantly overwhelmed the air and all we could breathe was the smell of the burning buildings. Everyone on the streets stopped and stared; we all assumed the crash was an accident. After the initial shock from the crash sunk in, people began to run

frantically north, attempting to escape the think layer of dust that had suffocated our oxygen. On the corner of Chambers and Greenwich streets, I saw every student from my elementary school, P.S. 234, being dragged out by his or her parents. Later P.S. 234 would be completely evacuated and taken over by the Fire Department to house survivors and burn victims. Back at my house, my neighbors and I climbed the five flights of stairs up to my roof where we watched the second plane hit the next Tower.

By then it was clear this was no accident. From my rooftop we could see every bit of damage that was being done to these two buildings. Every glass window shattered and the walls and people burned down; we watched as people engulfed in fire jumped out of the highest floors to the concrete ground below. After watching the towers crumble for hours, my mother rushed us back into our apartment where she packed a few bags and we left our Tribeca home. Once out of the apartment we went to a nearby deli

and bought facemasks to protect us from the dust that made the air thick and heavy. Everyone in the deli was crowding around the small television screen watching live footage of the towers melting down. It seemed distant and less believable on the TV screen. For the next few months my family moved up to Garrison, NY. There I locked my doors to all outsiders and rarely came out of my room. I spent hours huddled under my bed covers traumatized by the images of people burning and dying. No matter how many

therapists and trauma specialists were sent, no one could revive me, as I relentlessly continued to reject anyone’s company. When we finally arrived back in New York City, my neighborhood of Tribeca was completely destroyed. Dust still filled the air, and the remains of the towers covered the streets. My school relocated to PS. 41 on 11th street in the West Village while the fire fighters continued to use PS. 234 as it’s home base as they cleaned up Ground Zero. Myself along with every other P.S. 234 student are so grateful to

the hundreds of people across the world that reached out to us. We received one thousand paper cranes from students at an elementary school in Japan, we were sent several new teachers from different states, and programs were set up for students whose parents had been direct victims of the crash. Ten years later and we are all mourning the losses of this tragic event, but now is also the time to celebrate the courage of the survivors and the New York Fire a n d Police Departments.

The family of Sophia Fish and neighbors gathered on the roof of their building as the Twin Towers fell. Fish lives in the neighborhood where the World Trade Center stood and still remembers the tragic day.

Photo by Sophia Fish

A year after 9/11, the Daily News conducted an experiment where they snuck pepper spray and small knives through checkpoints at 11 airports. Since then, significant progress has been made in ensuring the continued protection of the American lives; however, President Obama declared in a June 28 2011 National Strategy for Counterterrorism briefing that “much work remains to be done.” Charles Minton, father of Alex Minton ‘13, works as a trader in the financial world, and the plane that flew into the South Tower flew directly over his building. “In the short term, thousands of employees were dislocated,” Minton reflected, “and for months we had to share desks with [fellow employees].” He continued, “The long term effects in the business world were how companies designed their ‘disaster recovery’ plans.” Buildings are now rented and kept empty, yet furnished, in case of a disaster

of 9/11’s magnitude. “Disaster and evacuation drills occur more often and are taken more seriously,” Minton explained. The events of 9/11, and the related war in Afghanistan, exposed the American public to the violent and unpredictable nature of international extremism, as well as widespread disdain for U.S. culture and policies . In a series of reactionary measures, the U.S. government rammed the USA PATRIOT Act through Congress, and opened a contested military prison in the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. These events sent tremors throughout the American legal system, which is considered among the most open in the world. Many continue to question the legitimacy of these measures as American citizens have private electronic messages subject to searches, and alleged militants remain in prison indefinitely without trial, or even charges. Beth Felber, a criminal defense lawyer and witness to the World Trade Center attacks, said, “the U.S. Bill of Rights has been trampled on based on [post-9/11] concern, which sometimes

borders on hysteria.” Heightened anti-Muslim sentiment and racial profiling were also unfortunate effects of the terrorist attacks. In a Jan. 2010 Rasmussen poll, 59% of Americans condoned racial or ethnic profiling at security checkpoints, and 71% agreed that such profiling is necessary in today’s environment. Racial profiling of Muslims post-9/11 was not only evident in Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents and police at security checkpoints, but in elected officials as well. In March of 2011, Peter King, a New York Republican who headed the House Homeland Security Committee, ran a series of hearings titled “Radicalization in the American Muslim Community”, pointedly assuming only Muslims were being capable of terrorizing the American people. King disregarded a study conducted by Duke and the University of North Carolina showing that the Muslim community was responsible for stopping nearly 50 out of 120 known terror plots since 9/11, and proceeded with his probe of the community.

However, profiling of this caliber is by no means a byproduct of 9/11 alone. The 1995 bombing of a government building in Oklahoma City was conducted by Timothy McVeigh, a white Army veteran with a Christian background, but law enforcement agencies looked for “Arab terrorists” directly after the attacks. Interfaith groups, such as the Coexist Foundation and the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA), have made great strides in differentiating practicing Muslims from the radicals in their midst, through outreach and educational programs. Despite these efforts, the prevalence of anti-Muslim discrimination among the American people has surely grown since the 9/11 attacks. As a part of the enduring legacy of 9/11, we live in a world that is more acutely aware of the evils of extremism, although this knowledge has come at a cost to civil liberties. Although 10 years have gone by since the Twin Towers fell amidst fire and terror, the mark left on society in the aftermath of such a tragedy has not faded.

Through the Eyes of Masters: Current Students’ Experiences by Johanna M. Costigan Tower Staff

E very generation lives through events that are so powerful, so consequential, or so destructive that even as they happen, it is clear they will be a part of history. It’s as if catastrophes are the only time during which everyone is simultaneously thinking about the same thing. During that second or day or month, you know you’re worrying about the same issue as your friends, your family, or the person sitting next to you on the subway, because it’s such a hugely influential and humbling circumstance that you have no choice but to let it consume your consciousness. Disasters also have the ability to freeze time. A thirty second clip that shows the Twin Towers fall evokes an emotional and heartbreaknig reaction from viewers, not half a minute of buildings collapsing. This is because the attacks on 9/11 destroyed far more than buildings; they destroyed America’s content with domestic security, they destroyed the functionality

of two of the country’s most integral cities, and of course, they destroyed the lives of 4,428 innocent people. (The official number of deaths was 2,819, plus 1,609 lost a spouse of partner). The severe ruination that occurred ten years ago has been preserved by all who witnessed it, yet exists most immediately in the memories of members of the Masters School.

Dazian Lizardo Junior Dazian Lizardo’s experience certainly epitomizes the phrase “blessing in disguise.” On September 11th, 2001, Lizardo was sick with a cold and decided to stay home from school. Concerned for his wellbeing, his mother decided to stay home with him. Lizardo’s mother worked a few blocks away from Ground Zero, in one of the buildings that crashed. If she had gone to work on that infamous Tuesday, she very well may have been hurt or killed, a fate far worse than Lizardo’s small cold. “It makes me feel lucky, and marveled that that really happened,” Lizardo said. Despite this

eerie coincidence, in Lizardo’s story one can easily find at least a fractionally positive perspective amongst the dominant pain, misfortune, and mournfulness Americans associate with September 11th.

Hunter LaMar When five-year-old (and current Junior) Hunter LaMar was dismissed from school early on September 11th, he couldn’t have known to feel anything but happiness that the school day had been cut short. However, his gratefulness that school was dismissed was soon replaced with concern. LaMar said, “When my mother picked me up, I could tell she was in a distressed state, but I didn’t understand why.” That is, until the terrible truth became apparent, even to LaMar’s first-grade mind. He continued, “I looked over and even in New Jersey I could see the smoke arising from the recently fallen towers.” Curious, LaMar asked his mother what happened, but all she could convey to him was that there had been a fire. LaMar said, “My younger self

dismissed it as no big deal.”

Julia Tedesco Junior Julia Tedesco’s mother worked on the 74th floor of the first Twin Tower. The plane crashed into the 80th floor. That 6-floors of difference enabled Bernice Malione to escape the building safely, saving the Tedesco family immense heartache and grief. Recalling her earliest memories of that day, Tedesco said, “At some point during the school day I got called into the office. They said my dad called, wanting to let me know that my mom’s okay.” She continued, “I was in first grade so I didn’t really know what was going on. What I remember clearly is my classmates making fun of me for getting called into the office.” When Tedesco got home, she went over to her neighbor and friend’s house. She and her friend were playing in the basement, as if everything was normal. A ritual of theirs was whenever Tedesco’s mother came to pick her up, they would hide, avoiding leaving each other’s company. Tedesco remembers when

her mom came looking for her, she was crying. That’s when she knew there was something seriously wrong.

“My mom saw firefighters coming up the other way, and she thought they must have known they wouldn’t make it out.”

Tedesco heard her mother’s account of the day years later, once she was old enough to completely understand it. Tedesco recalled Malione’s memories of escaping. “She had to walk down all these flights of stairs, and in the staircases there were women sitting, crying. They had already given up.” She

continued, “My mom saw firefighters coming up the other way, and she thought they must have known they wouldn’t make it out.” Bernice Malione had a hunch it was a terrorist attack in the midst of her escape, when a bomb went off in the basement of her building, though most people had no idea what was going on and couldn’t have been more confused. One of her friends and coworkers was sitting in their office’s kitchen, watching the towers crash on television, as it was already being broadcast. He just resigned himself to the attack, stayed right where he was and died. Commenting on the aftermath of her mother’s experience, Tedesco said, “Every year it comes up again, as my mom watches the tribute they have on the news channels. She watches so she can see the names of her friends that died being honored and remembered.” Tedesco continued, “Remembering how close I was to losing her reminds me of the horror that not only America went through, but my family went through.”


4

TOWER/September 13, 2011

FEATURES

FEATURES

5

September 11th 2001: 10 years later Masters Reflects on 9/11 by Tyler Pager Tower Staff

O

n Chris Frost’s first day at Masters, he expected hectic day, but could never have anticipated the devastating reality. On September 11th, 2001, Frost was fortunate to find out about the attack before it hit the news because a former teacher was on the phone with her husband who happened to work at Trinity Chapel, which is right next to where the Twin Towers were. When the plane hit, her husband told her and she came running down to Frost’s office and told him. Head of School Dr. Maureen Fonseca first thought that the crash was an accident. “But then the second plane hit and then we knew it wasn’t an accident- it was terrorism.” Fonseca held a meeting with her other administrators that make up the crisis team to decide what actions the school should take to ensure the safety of student. The team finally brought all of the Upper School students to the Dining Hall to tell them what had happened. Students then split into advisee groups to further their understanding of the attacks. One student’s mother,

who worked at the World Trade Center, happened to leave the building to get coffee as the building fell. The student’s mother was fine and there were no students that were enrolled in Masters at the time that lost parents. History teacher Jane Rechtman envisioned the attack differently. “In my mind, it was like a little passenger plane hitting the World Trade Center. I remember saying what does that have to do with us having absolutely no idea how much it had to do with us.” The school held a memorial on Reunion field where all the students gathered in a circle holding hands and prayed for those who were killed. “We had school the next day because we felt normalcy would be comforting although we encouraged teachers to talk to students if needed and lose some curriculum time,” Fonseca said. “We didn’t want to act as the whole world was ending.” Assistant Director of Admission and Masters graduate Andrea DiNizo ‘02 remembers the tragic day like it was yesterday. “It was my senior year and it was right after first period and I went down to the library because I had a free

second period. My friend then told me that his mom called and said a plane just crashed into the Twin Towers.” DiNizo added, “I didn’t believe him at all. I was like your lying.” DiNizo remembers spending her free period going around the school asking everyone she saw for confirmation on the attack. “Everyone was really tense. There were students that were hysterically crying, other students consoling them, and others that just didn’t know what was going on,” she said. DiNizo recalled that night was the only night she ever watched TV during study hall. “We watched the news for the entire two hours. All thirty of us crammed into the common room to watch the tiny little TV we had back then.” As Frost thought back to the day, he said, “I thought as a school we handled it incredibly well. Parents who were in the counseling profession volunteered their services, other parents volunteered their homes to students that couldn’t get home-- it was awesome.” Frost added, “It was a really powerful experience of people coming together to help each other. It was the most inspiring introduction to this community.”

The Shape of the World After 9/11 continued from page 1

by Noah Buyon and Nick Fleder

Photo courtesy of Wally Gobetz

A VIEW FROM THE HUDSON RIVER of the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The effects of the tragic day are still apparent in America even though ten years have passed.

Masters senior recalls her personal experience on 9/11 by Sophia Fish Tower Staff

We woke up in a hurry to get to school that morning. My sister and I were already an hour late and my mother struggled to get us out of bed. It was almost nine a.m. when we left the house and headed to school an hour late. The next thing I remember was the horrible sound from the first plane. It was so loud, so close, and so low. It flew right over our heads down Greenwich Street and when it was directly over us, Eliza reached up her arms and I swore she touched the roaring plane.

When the plane crashed in to the first tower, people immediately rushed out of every building, flooding the streets in chaos. The crash immediately took over the entire building, the fire engulfed the top half of the building and created a huge ring of orange fire. The fire instantly overwhelmed the air and all we could breathe was the smell of the burning buildings. Everyone on the streets stopped and stared; we all assumed the crash was an accident. After the initial shock from the crash sunk in, people began to run

frantically north, attempting to escape the think layer of dust that had suffocated our oxygen. On the corner of Chambers and Greenwich streets, I saw every student from my elementary school, P.S. 234, being dragged out by his or her parents. Later P.S. 234 would be completely evacuated and taken over by the Fire Department to house survivors and burn victims. Back at my house, my neighbors and I climbed the five flights of stairs up to my roof where we watched the second plane hit the next Tower.

By then it was clear this was no accident. From my rooftop we could see every bit of damage that was being done to these two buildings. Every glass window shattered and the walls and people burned down; we watched as people engulfed in fire jumped out of the highest floors to the concrete ground below. After watching the towers crumble for hours, my mother rushed us back into our apartment where she packed a few bags and we left our Tribeca home. Once out of the apartment we went to a nearby deli

and bought facemasks to protect us from the dust that made the air thick and heavy. Everyone in the deli was crowding around the small television screen watching live footage of the towers melting down. It seemed distant and less believable on the TV screen. For the next few months my family moved up to Garrison, NY. There I locked my doors to all outsiders and rarely came out of my room. I spent hours huddled under my bed covers traumatized by the images of people burning and dying. No matter how many

therapists and trauma specialists were sent, no one could revive me, as I relentlessly continued to reject anyone’s company. When we finally arrived back in New York City, my neighborhood of Tribeca was completely destroyed. Dust still filled the air, and the remains of the towers covered the streets. My school relocated to PS. 41 on 11th street in the West Village while the fire fighters continued to use PS. 234 as it’s home base as they cleaned up Ground Zero. Myself along with every other P.S. 234 student are so grateful to

the hundreds of people across the world that reached out to us. We received one thousand paper cranes from students at an elementary school in Japan, we were sent several new teachers from different states, and programs were set up for students whose parents had been direct victims of the crash. Ten years later and we are all mourning the losses of this tragic event, but now is also the time to celebrate the courage of the survivors and the New York Fire a n d Police Departments.

The family of Sophia Fish and neighbors gathered on the roof of their building as the Twin Towers fell. Fish lives in the neighborhood where the World Trade Center stood and still remembers the tragic day.

Photo by Sophia Fish

A year after 9/11, the Daily News conducted an experiment where they snuck pepper spray and small knives through checkpoints at 11 airports. Since then, significant progress has been made in ensuring the continued protection of the American lives; however, President Obama declared in a June 28 2011 National Strategy for Counterterrorism briefing that “much work remains to be done.” Charles Minton, father of Alex Minton ‘13, works as a trader in the financial world, and the plane that flew into the South Tower flew directly over his building. “In the short term, thousands of employees were dislocated,” Minton reflected, “and for months we had to share desks with [fellow employees].” He continued, “The long term effects in the business world were how companies designed their ‘disaster recovery’ plans.” Buildings are now rented and kept empty, yet furnished, in case of a disaster

of 9/11’s magnitude. “Disaster and evacuation drills occur more often and are taken more seriously,” Minton explained. The events of 9/11, and the related war in Afghanistan, exposed the American public to the violent and unpredictable nature of international extremism, as well as widespread disdain for U.S. culture and policies . In a series of reactionary measures, the U.S. government rammed the USA PATRIOT Act through Congress, and opened a contested military prison in the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. These events sent tremors throughout the American legal system, which is considered among the most open in the world. Many continue to question the legitimacy of these measures as American citizens have private electronic messages subject to searches, and alleged militants remain in prison indefinitely without trial, or even charges. Beth Felber, a criminal defense lawyer and witness to the World Trade Center attacks, said, “the U.S. Bill of Rights has been trampled on based on [post-9/11] concern, which sometimes

borders on hysteria.” Heightened anti-Muslim sentiment and racial profiling were also unfortunate effects of the terrorist attacks. In a Jan. 2010 Rasmussen poll, 59% of Americans condoned racial or ethnic profiling at security checkpoints, and 71% agreed that such profiling is necessary in today’s environment. Racial profiling of Muslims post-9/11 was not only evident in Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents and police at security checkpoints, but in elected officials as well. In March of 2011, Peter King, a New York Republican who headed the House Homeland Security Committee, ran a series of hearings titled “Radicalization in the American Muslim Community”, pointedly assuming only Muslims were being capable of terrorizing the American people. King disregarded a study conducted by Duke and the University of North Carolina showing that the Muslim community was responsible for stopping nearly 50 out of 120 known terror plots since 9/11, and proceeded with his probe of the community.

However, profiling of this caliber is by no means a byproduct of 9/11 alone. The 1995 bombing of a government building in Oklahoma City was conducted by Timothy McVeigh, a white Army veteran with a Christian background, but law enforcement agencies looked for “Arab terrorists” directly after the attacks. Interfaith groups, such as the Coexist Foundation and the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA), have made great strides in differentiating practicing Muslims from the radicals in their midst, through outreach and educational programs. Despite these efforts, the prevalence of anti-Muslim discrimination among the American people has surely grown since the 9/11 attacks. As a part of the enduring legacy of 9/11, we live in a world that is more acutely aware of the evils of extremism, although this knowledge has come at a cost to civil liberties. Although 10 years have gone by since the Twin Towers fell amidst fire and terror, the mark left on society in the aftermath of such a tragedy has not faded.

Through the Eyes of Masters: Current Students’ Experiences by Johanna M. Costigan Tower Staff

E very generation lives through events that are so powerful, so consequential, or so destructive that even as they happen, it is clear they will be a part of history. It’s as if catastrophes are the only time during which everyone is simultaneously thinking about the same thing. During that second or day or month, you know you’re worrying about the same issue as your friends, your family, or the person sitting next to you on the subway, because it’s such a hugely influential and humbling circumstance that you have no choice but to let it consume your consciousness. Disasters also have the ability to freeze time. A thirty second clip that shows the Twin Towers fall evokes an emotional and heartbreaknig reaction from viewers, not half a minute of buildings collapsing. This is because the attacks on 9/11 destroyed far more than buildings; they destroyed America’s content with domestic security, they destroyed the functionality

of two of the country’s most integral cities, and of course, they destroyed the lives of 4,428 innocent people. (The official number of deaths was 2,819, plus 1,609 lost a spouse of partner). The severe ruination that occurred ten years ago has been preserved by all who witnessed it, yet exists most immediately in the memories of members of the Masters School.

Dazian Lizardo Junior Dazian Lizardo’s experience certainly epitomizes the phrase “blessing in disguise.” On September 11th, 2001, Lizardo was sick with a cold and decided to stay home from school. Concerned for his wellbeing, his mother decided to stay home with him. Lizardo’s mother worked a few blocks away from Ground Zero, in one of the buildings that crashed. If she had gone to work on that infamous Tuesday, she very well may have been hurt or killed, a fate far worse than Lizardo’s small cold. “It makes me feel lucky, and marveled that that really happened,” Lizardo said. Despite this

eerie coincidence, in Lizardo’s story one can easily find at least a fractionally positive perspective amongst the dominant pain, misfortune, and mournfulness Americans associate with September 11th.

Hunter LaMar When five-year-old (and current Junior) Hunter LaMar was dismissed from school early on September 11th, he couldn’t have known to feel anything but happiness that the school day had been cut short. However, his gratefulness that school was dismissed was soon replaced with concern. LaMar said, “When my mother picked me up, I could tell she was in a distressed state, but I didn’t understand why.” That is, until the terrible truth became apparent, even to LaMar’s first-grade mind. He continued, “I looked over and even in New Jersey I could see the smoke arising from the recently fallen towers.” Curious, LaMar asked his mother what happened, but all she could convey to him was that there had been a fire. LaMar said, “My younger self

dismissed it as no big deal.”

Julia Tedesco Junior Julia Tedesco’s mother worked on the 74th floor of the first Twin Tower. The plane crashed into the 80th floor. That 6-floors of difference enabled Bernice Malione to escape the building safely, saving the Tedesco family immense heartache and grief. Recalling her earliest memories of that day, Tedesco said, “At some point during the school day I got called into the office. They said my dad called, wanting to let me know that my mom’s okay.” She continued, “I was in first grade so I didn’t really know what was going on. What I remember clearly is my classmates making fun of me for getting called into the office.” When Tedesco got home, she went over to her neighbor and friend’s house. She and her friend were playing in the basement, as if everything was normal. A ritual of theirs was whenever Tedesco’s mother came to pick her up, they would hide, avoiding leaving each other’s company. Tedesco remembers when

her mom came looking for her, she was crying. That’s when she knew there was something seriously wrong.

“My mom saw firefighters coming up the other way, and she thought they must have known they wouldn’t make it out.”

Tedesco heard her mother’s account of the day years later, once she was old enough to completely understand it. Tedesco recalled Malione’s memories of escaping. “She had to walk down all these flights of stairs, and in the staircases there were women sitting, crying. They had already given up.” She

continued, “My mom saw firefighters coming up the other way, and she thought they must have known they wouldn’t make it out.” Bernice Malione had a hunch it was a terrorist attack in the midst of her escape, when a bomb went off in the basement of her building, though most people had no idea what was going on and couldn’t have been more confused. One of her friends and coworkers was sitting in their office’s kitchen, watching the towers crash on television, as it was already being broadcast. He just resigned himself to the attack, stayed right where he was and died. Commenting on the aftermath of her mother’s experience, Tedesco said, “Every year it comes up again, as my mom watches the tribute they have on the news channels. She watches so she can see the names of her friends that died being honored and remembered.” Tedesco continued, “Remembering how close I was to losing her reminds me of the horror that not only America went through, but my family went through.”


6

TOWER/ September ?, 2011

Features

Masters Welcomes New Teachers and Staff to the Community Ronica Bhattacharaya

Mark Barr

Q: What’s one fun fact about yourself?

English Teacher

History Teacher

by Lily Herzan Tower Staff

Q: Where are you from/ What were you doing prior to coming to Masters? A: I grew up in the Midwest, spent most of the

last twenty years in D.C. and New York, and most recently spent a semester (this past spring) teaching Creative Writing at St. Louis University. I have worked with just about every grade level from kindergarten to college.

Photo by Lily Herzan

by Lily Herzan Tower Staff

Q: What is your teaching philosophy? A: Like adults, students remember ideas, themes, and concepts better than facts, so I want my students to recognize the shape and hue of “the forest” that the individual trees create. Coaching students toward writing with increasing precision and clarity has also been one of my goals, for our thoughts can only be as sharp as our words. My wish for my students? That they leave my courses with a sense of why the study of history matters. Q: What attracts you to history?

A: How much time do you have? For starters, I value the capacity of the past to clarify the present for us. The different historical experiences of other societies can help us understand the set of hopes and fears that shape their political culture – and thus their interactions with the world. I’m also fascinated by the process of historical change and by the challenge of identifying what catalyzes change. Q: What is one fun fact about yourself? A: I don’t know about “fun,” but I used to play the drums and I used to race bikes. I also have a very cute dog.

Karen Brown-Mills

Assoc. Director of Admissions

Photo by Casey Chon

KAREN BROWN-MILLS, ABOVE, served for many years as the director of community relations and development for the Urban League of Westchester. She is experienced in marketing and event planning.

by Sophie Fish Tower Staff

Q: Where are you from? Where did you work/ what were you doing before you came to Masters? A: I was born in Gary, Indiana. However I live in New Rochelle, NY and briefly for 4 years lived in London, UK. Before Masters I worked at Whitby School in Greenwich, CT as the Assistant Director of Admission in charge of 3rd-8th grade admission and was a secondary school counselor. Q: Who is your role model? Both within the education field and out.

A: My role model is a woman by the name of Moyra Hadley. She was the Head of School at ACS International Schools in the UK and motivated me to consider working in the independent school environment. Q: What attracts you to your field? What about the admissions at schools is interesting to you? A: I have really enjoyed working with students and their families. It is a wonderful feeling to help parents find the right fit for their child and to see the smile on a student’s face when he is enjoying going to school.

Assoc. Director of Admissions by Alex Minton Tower Staff

Q: Where are you from/ What were you doing prior to coming to Masters? A: Before coming to Masters, I worked in the admission office at Princeton University. Q: What’s one fun fact about yourself? A: As for a fun fact, let’s

Q: Who is your role model? A: There are many; re-

Q: What attracts you to your field of work? A: The clowns and the cotton candy, but mostly the opportunity to promote literacy and well-being.

and those she loves.

Tova Meyer ABOVE, Mark Barr spent most of last year teaching for Mrs. Edwards who was on Maternity leave. He returns this year full time. Barr spent 17 years teaching at The Trinity School.

A: Over the summer, I figured out how to kind of play “Paint it Black” by ear, on the flute. That surprised me, at several levels.

cently, in terms of writing and teaching, I’ve found Dave Eggers’ efforts as a community writer really helpful. I definitely think he’s laid down some really great tracks.

see... I’m a big fan of the New York Mets, which isn’t always fun, but I still love them. Q: Who is your role model? A: I’d say my role model would have to be my mom. We’re very different in many ways, but she’s a great example to me of a strong woman who balances work and life and always sticks up for herself

Q: What attracts you to your field of work? A: I’m drawn to the field of admissions because I enjoy working with and learning about people, and I’m looking forward to getting to know students and families very well here at Masters.

Photo by Alex Minton

TOVA MEYER, ABOVE, attended Williams College as an undergraduate. She was invovled in the school’s music program, where she played the flute and the piccolo.

Catharine Boothroyd Biology Teacher which causes African sleeping sickness in Humans.

by Alex Minton Tower Staff

Q: Where are you from/ What were you doing prior to coming to Masters? A: I am originally from (and still consider as “home”) Toronto. I moved to Manhattan as a teenager, attending The Nightingale-Bamford School. I then went on to study for a BA in Biology at SUNY Purchase and a Ph.D. in Genetics at The Rockefeller University. I most recently carried out research at The Rockefeller University on the parasite Trypanosoma brucei,

Q: What’s fact about

one fun yourself?

A: Although I lot of training in ences, I never took a biology until I was in

have a the sciactually course college!

Q: What attracts you to your field of work? A: I’ve always loved science—the sense of mystery and discovery, as well as the process itself, are appealing to me. However, my wish is to make science more accessible. I think

Photo by Lily Herzan

ABOVE, Catharine Boothroyd has earned several awards for her research in molecular parasitology. Her most recent work involved the study of pahtogens that change protien markers.

that one downfall in science is the impression that it is only accessible to a “chosen” few. So much of our everyday lives revolve

around science to some degree, and we should all be able to understand and discuss these issues.

Fernando Mejia

Q: Who is your role model?

Director of Facilities by Alex Minton Tower Staff

Q: Where are you from/ what were you doing prior to coming to Masters? A: I was born in Bogota, Colombia. I am a Biologist. I was a Biology teacher for 18 years and The Director of Facili-

help

A: Barack Obama.

ties and Operations at the United World College for 5 years after that.

Q: What attracts you to your field of work?

Q: What’s one fun fact about yourself? A: I am a Biologist and experienced teacher but I rather work in Facilities.

Dobbs 16

Photo by Alex Minton

ABOVE, Fernando Mejia joins our community as our director of facilites. He’s extermely excited to get to know both students and factuly this year.

A: Hands on, challenging work every day.

name their album!

All submissions are due by September 30, Friday, via email to gillian.crane@mastersny.org


TOWER/ SEPTEMBER 13, 2011

FEATURES

Masters Welcomes New Teachers and Staff to the Community

7

Andrea DiNizo

Tim Custer

Assoc. Director of Admissions Asst. Director of Admissions by Alex Minton Tower Staff

Q: What’s one fun fact about yourself? A: I just rescued a puppy from Tennessee named Dylan, who is a black lab/ basset hound mix. Q: What attracts you to your field of work?

Photo by Alex Minton

TIM CUSTER ATTENDED Avon Old Farms School for highschool, and went on to attend St. Lawrence University.

by Alex Minton Tower Staff

Q: Where are you from/ what were you doing prior to coming to Masters? A: I am originally from Avon, CT. Prior to joining the staff at Masters, I was the Assistant Director of Admission at Avon Old Farms School in Avon, CT. Q: What attracts you to your field? A: Admissions work has a lot of appeal for me. First and foremost, I really enjoy getting the chance to frequently meet and interact with prospective students and parents. I’m new to Masters and I still have quite a bit

to learn, but I’m really looking forward to the chance to talk with families about all of the opportunities that Masters provides. I’m also looking forward to being an advisor and working on one of the weekend teams. Q: Who is your role model? A: My most significant role models are probably my parents. They are both teachers (and have been for close to 30 years), and they are big factors in my decision to work in schools. Many of my other relatives are also teachers, but my parents never pressured me to follow in their footsteps.

A: What attracts me to my field of work is a desire to work with students and help them to grow. I always knew

that I wanted to work with students, but was fascinated after I took an Intro to Psychology class my freshman year of college. I changed my major to psychology and put my focus into adolescents. I also love to coach and watch students develop as athletes and mature as individuals. Being an alum, I am extremely excited to be back at Masters and looking forward to an amazing school year. Q: Where are you from/

by Sophia Fish Tower Staff

Q: Who is your role model?

Q: Where are you from? Where did you work/ what were you doing before you came to Masters? A: I am a native New Yorker. Prior to coming here, I taught at The Collegiate School, The Chapin School, Harrison High School (for several decades) etc.

A: Both within the education field and out. Mathematics has been a love of mine since elementary school. Like many such relationships, there has been an ebb and flow, but the underlying relationship has persevered. I once wrote a curriculum to teach math using experiments from physics and chemistry, but it was still biased toward

the math. Q: What attracts you to your field? A: I believe that all students can have a successful experience in

Photo by Johanna M. Costigan

SHERMAN TAISHOFF, ABOVE enjoys traveling and phtography. He also loves to read science fiction novels.

their study of math. It will require, of course, time and effort.

Courtney DeStephano History Teacher

by Daniel Block

by Daniel Block

Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief

Q: Where did you work before you came to Masters?

Q: Where did you work before you came to Masters?

A: I was teaching at the Putney School for eight years. I loved it. My favorite place is the classroom.

A: I was at Boston College getting my masters degree in European History. My major was in modern Irish history and my minor was in European history. And I was a teaching assistant teaching history in the modern world.

Q: What’s one fun fact about yourself?

A:I was a scientist for years before teaching, and I lived in Trinidad. At the international school in Trinidad, the AP Bio teacher became sick four days before School began. They

planning and non-profit fundraising. I also just finished my Masters degree this past June in School Counseling.

Math Teacher

Science Teacher

Q: What attracts you to your field?

What were you doing prior to coming to Masters? A: I am from Elmsford, NY. Prior to Masters, I worked for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society where I worked in event

Sherman Taishoff

Leslie Reed

A: About nine or ten years ago, I, with my family, took the kids out of school and sailed about for two years from Massachusetts north to the Bay of Fundy, down to the Yucatan Peninsula, then back again. Our sailboat was the first boat allowed through the East River after 9/11.

Photo by Alex Minton

ANDREA DINIZO JOINS the community as the Assistant Director of Admissions. She graduated from the Masters School in 2002.

Q: What is your teaching philosophy? Photo by Daniel Block

LESLIE REED, a former scientist, comes to us from Vermont, where she loved to snowboard.

knew I was a scientist, so they asked me if I could teach. I said okay, at least until you can find another teacher, which they never did. And I instantly fell in love with it. Q: What is your teaching philosophy? I like to think of it as a team effort. It’s not me

deciminating information. I love kids to take ownership of their own learning, and to tell me what they want to learn about. Q: Who is your role model? A: My sophmore year English teacher. I think everybody can point to at least one great teacher in their lives.

A: I really believe in making class fun and enjoyable. I believe in having students relate the present to the past. Q: What attracts you to your field? A: I really like the one on one interaction with students. What attracts me to high school is that I feel like I will get to see them on a more regular basis. In college you see them once

Photo by Eve Wetlaufer

COURTNEY DESTEPHANO, a graduate of Skidmore college, will teach World History II. She concentrated in modern Irish history in graduate school.

or twice a week. Q: What’s one fun fact about yourself? A: At one point in my life, I knew how to play the bagpipes.

Q: Who is your role model? A: My college advisor, Erica Bastress-DuCart. I was in her class, Crime and Punishment. It was the best class I had taken in my entire life.


8

SPORTS

SPORTS

Masters Marathoners Go the Distance! by Johanna M. Costigan Tower Staff

When the Greek soldier Pheidippides ran the 26.2 miles from the city of Marathon to Athens, he had no idea that his run would become the legendary namesake of a feat many members of the Masters community are inspired to accomplish. Faculty such as College Counselor Arthur McCann, middle school Latin teacher Jenna Dunn, former Biology teacher Jennifer Knipe, who left Masters last year to enroll in graduate school at Columbia University, new Math teacher Sherman Taishoff, Annual Fund Director Mary Ryan, and math teacher Sabina Bajorovic have all participated

“A huge motivation during my training is to say, ‘I’m running for Donna.’ Any pain I go through in my training becomes relative when I remember the pain she endured.” -Heather Sherman

in marathons or are currently in training. Furthermore, Head of School Dr. Maureen Fonseca will be running in the New York City Marathon this November. Jenna Dunn first became interested in running when she started running to lose a few of her first year of marriage pounds. Her original intention was to get in shape and try something new, but she never thought she would run a marathon. Dunn’s friend and neighbor, a serious athlete, eventually convinced her to participate. After eighteen weeks of training, Dunn made her way to the Cape Cod marathon in Falmouth, Massachusetts. Dunn said, “It was really incredible but to be honest, I didn’t run fast. I had one goal, and it was to finish. As a person who’s never participated in any sort of athletic team sport or events, for me it was the greatest physical accomplishment of my life.” She continued, ”I pushed my body beyond what I ever thought I was capable of. I had to do it. You can’t train for that long and run that many miles and not finish. I did it so I could say I did.” McCann, who participated in his first marathon this spring, registered on a whim because

Tower/September 2011

Photo courtesy of Renee Bennett

MASTERS ALUM GALORE ran the New York City Road Runners last April, despite the rainy weather impediments. Karen Feinberg Dorsey ’84, Mary Ryan ’00, Rebecca Goldberg ’01, Sujata Adamson-Mohan ’01, Greg Pasternack ’05, middle school teacher Heather Sherman P’14, are pictured above.

friends and co-workers such as Knipe inspired him to try it. He said, “For years I’ve been talking to her about her races, admiring her experiences and her training. I knew it was a challenge that I would maybe one day want to attempt to tackle.” Middle school Math and

“I pushed my body beyond what I ever though I was capable of. I had to do it. You can’t train for that long and run that many miles and not finish. I did it so I could say I did....It was the greatest physical accomplishment of my life.” -Jenna Dunn Science teacher Heather Sherman grew up constanly playing sports with her brothers and eight male cousins. As her competitive spirit was established at an early age, Sherman never lost her athetically ambitious nature. Though she played soccer and tennis in college, she knew she was not going to pursue them professionally. When she grew up and had kids, she wanted to make sure she didn’t become a soccer mom stuck on the sidelines. She started running to maintain her athleticism and give herself a

relaxing, theraputic block of time. Once she started coaching, Sherman vowed to stay in shape and on top of her game. “When I was in school I had a really overweight tennis coach who appeared to have never picked up a racket, and I remember finding that hypocritical,” Sherman said. “I didn’t want to be like that.” Every year, Sherman runs in the Race for the Cure in New York City , which is a race to benefit breast cancer research. Sherman said, “A relative of mine passed away because of breast cancer, and so a huge motivation during my summer training is to say ‘I’m running for Donna.’ Any pain I go through in my training becomes relative when I remember the suffering she endured.” Sherman believes running is a unique sport due to its flexible nature. “Running gives you this advantage of at any level you can keep on going and set individual goals for yourself,” she said. Sabina Bajorovic also undergoes stringent training. Since she participates in the New York City ING marathon every year, her training never ends. A helpful component to her training is acting as the Masters Running Club coach every spring. To Bajorovic, the appeal of running marathons is the excitement and the accomplishment. She is able to get through it by being “well prepared for the run as well as truly enjoying the race.” Mary Ryan, Director of the Annual Fund, first became interested in running marathons when she graduated from college, where she

played lacrosse, without an official sport to play. She was looking for an activity that would enable her to maintain her competitive edge, and found it in running races. Having already participated in 5Ks and half marathons, Ryan is now preparing for the New York City Marathon in November. She said, “I run about five times a week and that’s a mix of long runs, shorter runs, and speed workouts too.” Ryan is primarily motivated by her competitiveness, as well as the fact that every week she runs longer than ever before. Constantly beating her personal record is like a continuous encouraging pat on the back for her, said Ryan. After the upcoming New York City run, Ryan does not have any specific plans to attempt another. “I don’t know what I’ll do after. But I don’t think I’ll become addicted.” She continued, smiling, “I don’t think I’ll be like Ms. Knipe!”

“Crossing the finish line was like when a quarterback gets a touchdown, I felt that same type of raw emotional explosion, like a release of bottled energy.” -Art McCann Sherman Taishoff, a math teacher joining Masters this year, has a long history of running marathons. Back when he was running marathons, he trained

50 -60 miles per week, including a ten miler on Saturdays and a long run of 15 -18 miles on Sundays. Taishoff said, “It was a 3-month commitment, not only for myself but also my family.” He continued, “I find jogging to be an exhilarating special activity that allows me to think and enjoy the changing seasons.” McCann felt the same commitment and excitement as Taishoff. He said, “For me personally, running this marathon was a feeling of excitement that I hadn’t experienced since I played sports in high school.” He continued, “Back then I was a serious athlete, and I would get really revved up and even though I did play sports in college, there wasn’t the boyhood excitement that there was in high school. Running the marathon rekindled that for me. I was so emotionally excited.” That being said, it was still undoubtedly a great relief for him to finally get to the end. “Crossing the finish line was like when a quarterback gets a touchdown, I felt that same type of raw emotional explosion, like a release of bottled energy.” Despite this, McCann insists crossing the finish line was not the most satisfying aspect of his marathon experience. He said, “It’d be easy to say that crossing the finish line was most rewarding, but the preparation really was. It forced me to prioritize, and make choices, both socially and at work.” He continued, “Nutrition and healthy foods are a huge part of it because when you force your body to move for over three miles straight, you can’t ask it to run on dining hall cookies and French fries.” When asked about starting all over and running another, McCann said, “I’m not eager to take on the responsibility of preparing again. I don’t want to do it unless I really set a goal and work toward that goal without cheating. If I did run another one, I’d like it to be an occasion, place, time, and preparation that all come together in a way equally as gratifying.” Dunn also doubts she’ll participate in another marathon any time in the near future, but is considering the possibility. “Running a marathon allowed me to accomplish something I never thought I was capable of doing. I ran slow as possible, but I finished.” Knipe plans to continue running marathons, and joked that she’d like to be running marathons even when she’s 80. wShe said, “It’s a very self motivating personal challenge. It allows me to push myself past a limit I didn’t think existed.”

Tower Issue #1 2011-2012  

Published September 13, 2011

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