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Meika Neblett ’90 (see p. 22)

FA L L 2 0 2 0

Contents fall 2020

“This is an all-hands-ondeck moment. A lot is going to change when this is all said and done, and some of it is just amazing.”


C U R T I S C E T R U L O , P. 2 8

Quad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

head of school . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Milton 2020: A Feet-First Leap Into the Unknown in the classroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Rethinking Building Blocks, Growing in New Ways faculty perspective . . . . . . . . 10

A Different Kind of Classroom


Through their questioning, leadership, and willingness to speak out, these Milton alums are making a difference— in their professions and in the world. One of the many challenges in putting a magazine together during a pandemic is making sure that the people we feature are photographed safely. Photographer Brad Trent wore a mask throughout his socially distanced shoot with Meika Neblett ’90 (left). And at the end of the session, Neblett posed with a mask to help chronicle the unusual times we’re in.

Milton Magazine

A Change in Plans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Days before their virtual graduation, nine members of the Class of 2020 shared their thoughts on what was lost, and even what was gained, following the very sudden turn of events in their young lives.

Born to Lead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 The physician and chief medical officer MEIKA NEBLETT ’90 always knew she wanted to be a doctor. One of the worst health crises in a century helped confirm she was right.

c l o ck w i s e f rom le f t: l au re n t c i l lu f fo; ton y l uong ; j i ng w ei ; wa lte r sm i t h

Making a Difference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

On the Cover

All Hands on Deck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

On Centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

In the midst of a pandemic, noted reconstructive surgeon CURTIS CETRULO ’88 embraces a new challenge.

Hail to the Chief

DA R E TO B E T RU E FA L L 2 02 0

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


A fourth-generation Boston firefighter, DEANNA MCDEVITT ’99 is the first woman in the Boston Fire Department’s 342-year history to become a district fire chief.

We Must Do Better . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 New York City’s work and training advocate JOSE ORTIZ ’99 believes the pandemic has served to magnify the struggles of society’s most vulnerable and the urgent need for change.


Todd B. Bland C H I E F CO M M U N I CAT I O N O F F I C E R


upper school . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

Money Matters for Young Women middle & lower schools . . 52

The Importance of Being Seen in the news . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Science honors, poet laureate visit, crossword puzzles, and more dare the campaign for milton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

Alumni Life . . . . . . . . . . 71 class notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 graduation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 new trustees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 retiree tributes . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 in memoriam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 board of trustees . . . . . . . . . . 89 nkotq: new kids on the quad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 postscript . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 plus: covid-19 stories from our alumni and friends

Jennifer Anderson E D I TO R

Sarah Abrams AS S O C I AT E E D I TO R S

Marisa Donelan Liz Matson CO PY E D I TO R

Martha Spaulding DESIGN

Modus Operandi Design Patrick Mitchell André Mora CO N T R I B U T I N G A RT I S T S

Matt Carlson Laurent Cilluffo Jason Grow Tony Luong Michael Prince Brian Samuels Jason Schneider Karolin Schnoor Walter Smith Brad Trent Michael Warren Jing Wei David Yellen milton magazine is published twice a year by Milton Academy. Editorial and business offices are located at Milton Academy, where change-of-address notifications should be sent. As an institution committed to diversity, Milton Academy welcomes the opportunity to admit academically qualified students of any gender, race, color, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, or national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally available to its students. It does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship programs, and athletic or other School-administered activities. printed in the usa on recycled paper



Milton Magazine


photograph by

Michael Prince

Fall 2020


Quad Head of School



Milton Magazine

in an ordinary year, autumn days on campus can make it feel like time has stopped: The comforting scent of sun-warmed bricks mingles with smoke from the Straus chimney, the afternoon spills golden light into Wigg Hall, and footsteps on dry, crunchy leaves provide a soundtrack. When you close your eyes, it could be 2020 or 1920. It may be tempting in those moments, in a place with such an enduring history as Milton’s, for some people to romanticize the past— to yearn for days we perceive to have been less challenging, to conflate fond memories with a notion of better times. But if 2020, in all its tumult and heartbreak, has taught us anything, it’s that we must resist the lure of nostalgia when it comes at the expense of necessary progress. At a school like Milton, progress needs to run through our veins—and in many ways, it already does: Our teachers seek innovative ways to deliver instruction, and our students explore interests in and out of the classroom that will prepare them for the modern world. We make plans for our campus and teacher training to accommodate the future of learning. You will see, in the pages of this magazine, that our alumni carry on in this spirit of progress, daring to stretch themselves, to find bold new approaches to insurmountable challenges. You will hear from members of our Class of 2020, who, facing an unprecedented global pandemic, mustered strength beyond their years and leapt feet-first into the unknown. Milton must now follow their example.

ja s on g row

Milton 2020: A Feet-First Leap Into the Unknown

While our newest graduates were preparing to take their leap, many Black students and alumni and those representing other marginalized communities were taking Milton to task for failing to make the progress that our values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice demand. They’ve shared stories of unjust treatment by peers and adults, outright bigotry, and the painful accumulation of microaggressions—racist comments, jokes, and hostile slights—that made them feel they didn’t belong, as if Milton was not fully theirs. These are uncomfortable but necessary realities for Milton to confront: The School many of us know and love has alienated and harmed our classmates and colleagues. Experiences that some may treasure as fond memories, others recall as challenges they were forced to overcome. We know that the diversity in our community—of races, ethnicities, gender identities, religious affiliations, and more—is an essential component of the excellent education we offer students. But how can we ask students to “Dare to be true” when we haven’t created an environment where they are all free to express their true identities safely and without judgment? White supremacy, colonialism, and institutional racism are baked into American society and its educational systems. Milton is not alone among schools in receiving criticism, but we understand that provides no comfort to those who have been hurt during their time here or those who wish to see us advance. We also understand that racism and bias are not simple problems that can be solved with updated policies and plans; rather, they illustration by

Laurent Cilluffo

“How can we ask students to ‘Dare to be true’ when we haven’t created an environment where they are all free to express their true identities safely and without judgment?”

are behaviors and mindsets that must be continually addressed in all aspects of campus life in order to keep their effects at bay. Beginning this summer, a dedicated, diverse group of faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and trustees convened to tackle a list of action items, which include updates to curriculum, mandatory training and evaluations for employees, new procedures for reporting incidents of racism and microaggressions, and increased efforts to hire and retain faculty and staff of color. A foundation of this work is transparency: We will measure our progress in these areas and update the Milton community on our ongoing work. Milton has a great multigenerational tradition of excellent writing and speaking, but in this context, words alone fall well short of what

we need to achieve. Some will read this column with a great deal of skepticism, having heard similar commitments in the past without seeing genuine, sustained change. From them, I ask humbly for grace. We must acknowledge the difficulty of structural change: Our progress has faltered, and we will stumble going forward, but we promise to forge ahead, learning and growing from our mistakes. We must act. We must embrace one another with love and respect for our differences as well as our shared identity as members of the Milton community. We are called to follow the examples our students and alumni set—to adopt a culture of progress, to name and confront the challenges we face, and to relentlessly pursue a better future for all Milton students.

Fall 2020


Quad In the Classroom

Rethinking Building Blocks, Growing in New Ways

“At Milton, we were used to building a community of young people and old people who love to learn,” said David Ball, Upper School principal, at a faculty meeting last spring. “We bring them all together and build a community to deepen our understanding of the world. I just assumed the building blocks—the classroom, the dorms, the performances—would always be there. The most challenging part was not having those building blocks. Our situation required careful thought; we had to rethink our building blocks and our circumstances. We were pushed to grow in new ways.” during the early weeks of March, the rapidly evolving nature of covid19 forced Milton to make difficult decisions while surrounded by uncertainty. School-sponsored March break trips were canceled first. But as the crisis deepened worldwide, it became clear that school operations would need to wrap up early for the break, and classes were initially suspended until April 13. Everything unfolded at a rapid pace. With a student body hailing from 22 nations and 29 states, it wasn’t a surprise that some students could not immediately return to their homes. Forbes House was kept open for those who were staying, and the Facilities Department prepared the dorm and campus for scaled-down operations. For the Academic Technology Services (ats) department, the first course of action was to get operational staffers up and running to work from home. While some of them regularly used laptops, others needed equipment. ats manned a drive-through pick-up on campus. “We carefully and meticulously assembled packages,” says Bryan Price, chief information officer. “Someone would drive up to the back door and we would carry out equipment to their car and off they went. Then our team spent hours on the phone, remotely connecting to

Upper School Principal David Ball


Milton Magazine

their computers to get them set up.” Over the March break, faculty had the option to take “Designing for Online Learning,” a week-long course from Global Online Academy, which the Deans’ Office arranged. The program took teachers into a deep dive on the differences between synchronous and asynchronous learning; the concept of “wayfinding,” whereby learning materials are designed to empower students; how to arrange coursework so that students could navigate it easily; and how to maintain personal connection in the online classroom. Meanwhile, the Deans’ Office had to make decisions about how remote learning would work and be assessed. One of the first major decisions was to keep the first two weeks asynchronous: Students would learn the same material on their own schedule without gathering as a class. “Being asynchronous at the beginning felt right,” says Heather Sugrue, academic dean. “Milton’s strength is our commitment to equity, so we needed to think about where our kids were. Some students had long journeys home or were in hotels by themselves quarantining. Some of our students had sick family members. And making that choice to be asynchronous gave teachers time to think about how to teach, because it

was a complete 180 for them.” Also in keeping with the idea of equity during a time of crisis remote learning, it was decided that all work done in the spring would be assessed on a pass/fail basis. Semester two courses also shifted to pass/ fail. For full-year courses (including half courses), where students had completed work in person up until spring break, teachers calculated a letter grade to represent the work of the year in a meaningful way. Meanwhile, in the middle of the break, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker ordered all schools closed, which meant that Milton needed to close its one open dorm. Some students were able to return to their home state or country; others were taken in by Milton families. The School extended the return date to May 4 and then eventually extended remote learning to the end of the school year. When March break concluded, during the course of two planning days, ats led or supported faculty in a variety of training sessions. Faculty and staff could take various levels of training in Zoom, which became an important class meeting tool, and in other programs such as Screencastify, in which teachers could record lessons with an embedded video of themselves. In the past, the Upper School instructional technologists Mark Connolly and Joshua Furst had made video tutorials for the faculty on programs such as Schoology, the School’s learning management system. Now they enhanced and repackaged them to fit the new needs. “We had systems in place we were able to leverage,” says Connolly. “But we also had to ask ourselves: illustration by

Laurent Cilluffo

What is reasonable in two-and-ahalf months, with what we were calling a crisis patch?” On April 1, a survey was sent to Upper School students via email to ask them about their current housing situation and personal circumstances and whether they had access to the internet and a device. The responses showed that as faculty members started planning their remote learning course material, they needed to think about other responsibilities students might have, such as helping to care for younger siblings and whether a student had space available for quiet and intense work. “We had to focus on students and where they were at and the idea was to think of students first, pedagogy next,” says Upper School Principal

David Ball. Milton’s Health and Counseling Center advised the faculty to expect to see heightened anxiety among students as a result of so much uncertainty, fear of getting sick or knowing someone who might get sick, and isolation and separation from friends and School support systems. Faculty advisors were designated as a key access point for students and stayed in contact with their advisees, following up on any issues or questions. ats helped students who had issues with internet or computer access. Some students had left computers and other devices in the dorms; these were tracked down and shipped to their owners. Some students needed new devices sent to them. Price says that Milton’s vir-

tual private network (vpn), which securely accesses the School’s network resources became invaluable, whether for the business office staffers or for a student in Vietnam or China, where students don’t generally have access to Google, which is a core platform for Milton learning. As remote learning progressed, both teachers and students wanted more opportunities for classes to meet. First, Zoom office hours were offered for each class, so students could check in with teachers. Meanwhile, in a Herculean effort, Registrar Liz Wood and Sugrue went through all the class rosters, figuring out each student’s time zone and finding time slots for every class to meet synchronously on Zoom. Zoom classes began the week of April 20; a class might meet

Fall 2020


Quad In the Classroom

“When you build a real community in your classroom, it doesn’t go away when you shift over to remote learning. Who they were in the classroom is who they were on Zoom.” NICOLE COLSON ENGLISH DEPARTMENT CHAIR

Nicole Colson

Real Community in a Virtual Classroom In English and history classes, learning stems from conversations that focus on discussion with peers, not lectures from teachers. When Milton had to abruptly switch to remote learning in the spring, faculty members had to figure out how to shift this experience from in-person to virtual. English Department Chair Nicole Colson says that while being in a space together is the ideal, she found the overall experience to be positive. “When you build a real community in your classroom, it doesn’t go away when you shift over to remote learning,” says Colson. “Who they were in the classroom is who they were on Zoom.” One trick she figured out after a few sessions was to have all the students unmute themselves for the entire class. Some were worried that background sounds from their home life would be disruptive, but Colson felt otherwise. “I wanted us to hear each other’s spaces,” she says. “It kept us from feeling like we were speaking into a void.” It also removed a barrier for class discussions. Students didn’t need to remember to hit a button to speak. “Successful conversations about literature happen when everyone brings who they are into the discussion,” says Colson. “If you’ve been able to have honest conversations in class, then doing this online can still feel natural.” She says that workshopping their writing over Zoom also went well. Every spring, in her “Man and the Natural World” class, Colson does a photography unit based on Teju Cole’s book Blind Spot. This spring, the visual arts teacher Scott Nobles gave a guest presentation over Zoom. Then students took photos in their home environments­—a narrower focus than in the past, but Colson was very happy with the results. “These photos were so authentically who they were, so in some ways it made this project even better,” she says. Students shared their work with one another over Zoom and, says Colson, they had great discussions. Another Colson spring tradition is offering an optional film unit for seniors after their classes have ended and they are on senior projects. Usually they watch the films together in her classroom and then have discussions. She decided to still offer it, and was surprised that a group of seniors from three different classes signed up. On their own, the students watched movies such as Citizen Kane, Lawrence of Arabia, and The Godfather and then discussed the films. Colson says it was a great way to wrap up the year.


Milton Magazine

in the early evening Milton time so that students in a time zone 12 hours away could join during their early morning. There were also other optional learning opportunities for the faculty. History faculty member Vivian WuWong attended a webinar called “Lessons for Advanced Online Teachers,” by the Aurora Institute. One of the panelists said, “We are all first-year teachers now.” “This really resonated with me, so I used it to help frame our thinking about the kind of work we needed to be doing in support of our teachers,” says WuWong. Teachers improvised their classes in creative ways. Connolly and Furst worked with them to make course content more interactive and robust. Some English and history classes continued a hybrid Harkness table style over Zoom. Some math and science teachers recorded desktop whiteboards to break down material for students to watch on their own. Then they used the Zoom class time to answer questions and review what the students had watched. Modern Languages easily adapted and expanded use of audio files. For example, Connolly’s Spanish 2 Honors class worked together on podcasts, writing the scripts on shared Google docs and then recording individual audio files that were spliced together. “This kind of work felt like a distant relative of the work we were doing before spring break,” says Indu Singh, dean of teaching and learning. “But there were also some pretty incredible things taking place in these classes. Our most powerful resource was each other.” “We were able to continue core

A Creative, Flexible Approach to Remote Math

Miton experiences,” says Connolly. “They were adapted, but not forgotten or eliminated.” These included traditional end-of-the-year events that no one wanted seniors to miss out on. ats staff members Genevieve Healy and Steve Glennon became Zoom masters, creating meaningful virtual events for Baccalaureate, Prize Assembly, and, of course, Graduation. They also arranged webinars throughout the crisis remote learning period that allowed Upper School Principal David Ball and Head of School Todd Bland to host various meetings with parents, faculty, or staff. By the end of the school year, Milton had logged 12,536 Zoom classes or meetings totaling 3,059,788 minutes, and had hosted 69 webinars for 9,106 participants. In anticipation of the possible disruption of the upcoming year by continued covid-19 outbreaks, Milton arranged for faculty training over the summer. Every faculty member took a three-week course focused on designing hybrid learning materials through One Schoolhouse, whose mission is to empower learning and transform education. “Hybrid learning is the ability to toggle seamlessly between being online and on campus, and also teaching students online and in the classroom simultaneously,” says Singh. During the two weeks of asynchronous learning and one week of synchronous learning, faculty members redesigned a unit from one of their classes and were given feedback. Then they applied their new knowledge to redesign all their courses. 

A few weeks into Milton’s remote-learning program, the math teacher Phil Robson started getting headaches. If the additional time on video calls and email and creating online instruction plans was affecting him, he figured it might be affecting students as well. To offset the added screen time, Robson instituted “no-screen math” in his precalculus and statistics courses. He offered students a game or activity they could complete entirely off-line. “There were math games and puzzles they could work on with their parents and siblings or by themselves,” he says. “I gave them different options. They were not all mandatory. They were fun.” Robson gave students trigonometry-based word searches and crosswords—inspiring some students to create their own math crosswords—in addition to games. One of the no-screen activities was the mathematical strategy game Nim, a deceptively simple exercise with ancient origins that can be played with anything from pebbles to computer code. “One of the kids pretty much figured it out, which is impressive because it’s something I have never taught,” Robson says. “He wanted to learn more, so we ended up in a very long email conversation about it. He got it proved.” The switch to remote instruction, which was not without challenges, provided Robson with more opportunities to share feedback with students. Breakout sessions during live online class meetings allowed the students to discuss topics in smaller groups, and Robson suggested groupings for assignments. In place of the instant feedback that occurs in a classroom, he dedicated more time to emailing each student at least twice a week. In addition to the screen-free exercises, Robson used Kahoot! and Desmos, online educational games that allowed him to gauge students’ understanding of concepts. “I tried to keep it structured,” he says. “It was varied, but not unpredictable. I wanted the experience to feel like my regular classes, but to be flexible enough to meet students where they were. My goal was to make things manageable, engaging, and creative.”

Phil Robson

liz matson Fall 2020


Quad Faculty Perspective


Katharine Millet

“We have to model what learning looks like in order to inspire those in our classes to keep doing it. We have to insist, too, that often there is no single answer.” 10

Milton Magazine

“how likely is it that we will come back after spring break, Ms. Millet?” A student looked up at me from her seat at the Harkness table—curious, but not worried. “I don’t know,” I said, “but I suspect we will probably come back on time.” That was Monday, March 9, 2020. By Wednesday, the prospects looked more dire, and by Thursday night, the administration had made the decision to start spring break a day early. Most teachers like to have the answer. To be informed enough to respond to their students’ daily questions or to point young scholars toward the proper path of investigation. Yet we also have to be comfortable with not knowing. We have to model what learning looks like in order to inspire those in our classes to keep doing it. We have to insist, too, that often there is no single “answer.” Not knowing, along with our students, and exploring together, is an integral part of the learning journey. When covid-19 hit the United States in force, and Milton Academy shifted online, our full community was thrown into the unknown. We had to learn digital platforms and how to connect with our advisees over a screen; we needed to moderate discussions with the inevitable connection lags; we were forced to scrap time-tested lesson plans and start afresh. Many of us experienced this academic change while also facing various degrees of upheaval in our personal lives—the illness of, passing of, or even just separation from, dear family and friends; the shift to caring for and educating our children or younger siblings from home; the absence of usual health and wellness routines and appointments; and/or the loss of employment or regular

income streams our households depend on. As many noted during this time, we were entering crisis teaching in a time of global pandemic, not simply “going digital.” Not even the most intrepid among us would have chosen this level of challenge, but we all had to face it. When looking into the unknown, students and teachers alike rely on two things: the knowledge they do possess and the skills and competencies they have already acquired. What I knew in March 2020 was that students learn best when they feel connected to their teacher and classmates and that sticking to known platforms and routines would support my students, regardless of the circumstances in which they found themselves. I also knew the basic structure for the spring. The Deans’ Office surveyed all students about their access to technology and the internet, along with their current time zone, and assigned each class a weekly meeting slot for synchronous gatherings. Teachers’ “office hours” for individual and group questions were also established and distributed to students. With these touchstones in place, we forged ahead. Begin with connection. Numerous studies, and personal experience, have convincingly demonstrated that relationships are at the heart of the most durable and meaningful learning. Thankfully, our students were not new to us when we began teaching remotely. We had already established norms and a classroom culture, along with a sense of trust. Coming back to school after an extended spring break, my students were initially assigned to contribute

to a discussion board, each of them posting a video answering questions such as: “What was one thing you thought you would never get sick of (but were SO wrong!)?” and “What do you appreciate so much more than you did before quarantine began?” It was wonderful to see students’ faces and hear their voices again, and to learn more about their individual interests. I posted my own videos as well, and let my students know about my dog’s passing in March, which prompted several heartwarming notes of condolence. Each week ended with a survey asking both “How am I doing?” and “How are you doing?” which allowed me to improve my approach in two ways— responding to my students’ feedback, and responding to individual students’ current state of mind. Rely on routines. Since September, my class has always begun the same way: with a “First Thing.” Up on the whiteboard, as students trickled into the room, would be a short task to start the day. “Pick a quote from last night’s reading to discuss with a partner,” or “Can you come up with a pop culture example of each of the forms of Greek love?” When our Zoom classes started up in April, I continued the practice to reinforce our class dynamic. One week I asked students about creative outlets they’d discovered (or rediscovered) during their weeks of isolation. They shared their short comedic films, paint-bynumber canvases, cookie recipes, photography experiments, and newly memorized guitar melodies. I, for one, treasured this familiar structure as a way to make Zooming feel less distinct from our previous

illustration by

Laurent Cilluffo

way of being together. Following established routines like this one, and using common tools like Schoology, our learning management system, was a way to create a baseline of normalcy in a highly abnormal situation. As a teacher of two freshman history survey courses, I had a single academic objective for this spring: to help my students complete their Class IV research papers. As a department, we extended the length of time allotted to the assignment, and as a school, we pivoted to a pass/ fail grading system. This freed my students and me in many ways and possibly produced even better papers overall. Students were able to design their own schedule and pace for meeting weekly expectations. They chose topics of personal interest and identified the hours and settings in

which they could be most productive. Some faced great personal hardship during that time and were able to tend to self-care first and catch up later. The grace we gave one other during the spring was beautiful, frankly, and something we all should carry forward. During a pandemic, it became strikingly clear that academic growth cannot happen before safety, relationship, and communal support. We have all been forced to recognize the differences of circumstance that impact our students’ abilities to learn and the burdens they carry beyond the amount of homework they have. We have opened our lives to one another in new ways, and perhaps the doors should not fully close when we resume again. Much is still uncertain about the 2020-2021 school year, but I know

my first priority come September is to get to know my students. Doing so over the internet is a novel challenge but I have the lessons of this spring guiding me. I will create spaces for learning that transcend classroom walls. I will be more attuned to my students’ emotional states and extend more grace. I will acknowledge that growth looks different and happens at different times for individual kids. I will worry less about assigning numbers and letters to student work and focus on providing meaningful feedback that contributes to learning. covid-19 has forced us to reevaluate what we know our School to be and has helped clarify what is essential and what is not. And if we do not learn and grow from this experience, then exactly what message are we sending our students?

Fall 2020


FALL 2020


Milton Magazine

Making a Difference

p hoto g ra p h by

The curiosity to ask why and the courage to speak out are qualities that lead to innovation and change. The individuals featured in this issue embody these qualities. Through their questioning, leadership, and willingness to share their views, they are making a difference—in their professions and in the world.

illustration by

Eight Hour Day

Fall 2020


A Change Äąn Plans

Illustrations by Karolin Schnoor


Milton Magazine

It was a time when everything changed. As the first signs of spring were appearing on campus, members of the senior class had much to look forward to. Spring break was coming up, and after months of hard work, seniors were preparing to take off for class-and-sports-related programs or to relax with friends and family. —  When they returned from break, there would be spring sports—tennis, sailing, lacrosse, and baseball—and concerts, art shows, and a spring play. And, of course, there would be Prom and Graduation—those final moments to celebrate with friends and classmates everything they had shared. —  But all that changed last March amid a health crisis that upended life around the world. Travel plans were discarded, and students headed home, uncertain when they would return. In May, Milton announced that the campus would be closed for the remainder of the school year. —  In early June, in the days before their virtual Graduation ceremony, several seniors shared their thoughts on what was lost—and what was gained—following the unprecedented turn of events in their young lives.

Fall 2020



We all joke about how high school is nothing like High School Musical, but I don’t think any of us expected it to stray from the Disney movie’s plotline this much. I remember sitting in Mrs. Baker’s nonfiction English class on the day before spring break. We chose to spend the class saying good-bye to one another rather than going over the classwork that had been assigned. (I believe we all chose this route to get out of going over our homework.) I remember scoffing at the sentimentalism expressed throughout the discussion, believing Mrs. Baker’s apocalyptic premonitions to be just that—apocalyptic. Now, lying in my bed, writing this reflection six days away from Graduation, I feel utterly blindsided by the present circumstances. I would be lying if I said that I am not secretly grateful for quarantine. Despite what my Transition counselors told me, homesickness grew worse as the years went by. I was unsure how I would make it to Graduation, and senioritis was doing nothing to help my cause. You deal with a lot of emotions and internal conflict when you leave home at a young age; I grappled

“I feel utterly blindsided by the present circumstances.” NYLA SAMS

with questions regarding whether I had given up my childhood. Was it worth it, and what had I lost by coming to Milton? Quarantine has made me feel like I have gotten those years back with my family. It has also allotted me the time to repair and strengthen my mental health. Being able to be in the comfort of my home before making what seems to be the final transition into independent adulthood is the greatest blessing I have ever been granted. But I would also be lying if I said that the pandemic and its repercussions have not taken a toll on me and the Class of 2020. I have witnessed the devastation that covid-19 has caused among our class. I have seen the tears cried; I admittedly have cried some tears myself. I have read the angry rants on Instagram about how none of this is fair. I have watched myself slowly withdraw from society and the strong efforts that Milton has made to keep the end of the year as “normal” as it can possibly be. It’s been hard to remain motivated and hopeful during this long stretch of time that seems to constantly extend. But I have seen our community come together as never before. From the Student Activities Association’s weekend activities that were updated weekly to the Boat Dance and Prom videos that our faculty and staff put together, it’s clear that Milton cares about its students. Our teachers and advisors are thinking about us and finding creative ways to make the best of this situation, and it’s a much better response to this pandemic than the response by a lot of the world’s governments. It’s keeping me hopeful and encouraging me to look at the bright side of things.

“Now that I know the world really can turn upside down at a moment’s notice, I think I will return to normal life with renewed appreciation for structure, friends, and fun.” OLIVIA WANG


Milton Magazine

Olivia Wang

Zac Ibrahim



As many students can tell you, the last week before we left for spring break was a pretty grim one. All of a sudden, the coronavirus pandemic became very real in the country. Trips were canceled one by one, and rumor had it that we would return to campus later than expected. Classes were filled not with stress about assignments and projects but, rather, with despairing discussions about the virus. I wish I could’ve ended my time at Milton on a happier note, but of course I will remember Milton for much more than just the last week of school. I can’t remember the last time I have spent so much quality time with my family and with myself. My mom and I are trying new recipes; my brother and I are going on hikes. I feel like I am almost living in a bittersweet pause in my life right now. Spending time with myself has also been important. I’ve gotten a lot of small things done that I have always wanted to do over the past few years, such as reading and reflecting, and I’m also getting significantly more sleep now than I have ever before, a good recovery from an exhausting three and a half years at Milton. This is definitely a year to remember. I think it will forever be a part of how my friends/teachers and I remember high school, especially my class. Because we are without one another now, we realize how good we have had it for the past three and a half years. Like most students, we always found something to complain about—the workload, signing out, chapel—but now we literally wish we could complain about school again. If anything, this experience has reinforced my love for the Milton community. Even when everything is uncertain and up in the air, my class deans and the administration do their best to plan a senior spring (albeit virtually). Even when they don’t have to, my teachers check in with me. Now that I know the world really can turn upside down at a moment’s notice, I think I will return to normal life with renewed appreciation for structure, friends, and fun.

Parents and friends have said to me, “You must be so upset to be missing Graduation.” However, I discovered that Graduation was the least of my concerns and that what I truly missed were all the daily interactions with peers and the casual spring evenings sitting on the Quad. I’ve attended Milton since the second grade, and for the majority of my life I thought of Milton as a school and nothing more. Only when I lost the ability to be physically on campus did I realize that Milton is so much more than just a school. There is an energy to Milton that I could not replicate in the past couple of months. Whether it was meeting on campus with friends for socially distanced get-togethers or continuing our learning online, nothing felt like Milton. I found that the passion, spirit, and “vibe” that exist at Milton are truly something that I took for granted throughout my years there. My time away has allowed me to fully appreciate Milton for what it is, and I will remember it far more fondly than I might originally have. My senior year was taken from me in what felt like the blink of an eye, and what that has taught me is that you never know when you might lose something or someone, so always make sure to appreciate what is in front of you.

“What I truly missed were all the daily interactions with peers and the casual spring evenings sitting on the Quad.” ZAC IBRAHIM

Fall 2020


Beck Kendig

Jayla Rhodes



I left for spring break with half my possessions piled onto my bed or scattered through the drawers of my wardrobe and desk. Most of the stuff I considered unessential at the time. I had enough clothes to wear, my backpack of school supplies, and whatever I needed for the week I planned to spend skiing with friends. As we know, the week after school let out for break became a time of revelation and increased confusion. covid-19 was very much our problem—a global problem, now America’s problem, now Milton Academy’s problem. Many of us would be lucky enough to keep a certain distance from the pandemic’s real damage; some not so much. But when I arrived home early and attempted to fabricate some sort of routine, I felt a slow settling of unease. What now? There was always something I was missing, something I did not know, some return date to Milton that felt a little too hopeful. Just before Graduation, in early June, I was let back into Wolcott by Vito, the man who has cleaned our dorm since I started

at Milton, and who, after freshman Beck misplaced his new retainer, spent a morning combing the trash with me to find it. The author Tobias Wolff once wrote, “It takes a childish or corrupt imagination to make symbols of other people.” I haven’t graduated yet, so perhaps childishness is not such a crime in my case. Vito waited, holding the door open whenever I passed through, as I reunited with and packed up all my beloved, nearly forgotten, and nonessential things. All my papers and photocopied poems, the steel wire basket full of water bottles, a thrifted Coogi jumper displaying its iconic past wearer Biggie Smalls—these things left behind for months calling me back. But when I came by for my last load, Vito was gone. I left the dorm, its halls and common room strangely subdued, and I felt empty. I have my stuff. Alongside these artifacts of Wolcott and senior year, I have memories from 3.75 very good years. But I am missing the bits of Milton I did not get to say good-bye to … and properly thank.

“I left the dorm, its halls and common room strangely subdued, and I felt empty. I have memories from 3.75 very good years. But I am missing the bits of Milton I did not get to say good-bye to … and properly thank.” BECK KENDIG

When thinking about the expectations and excitement I had built up for my senior year, I never imagined I would be sitting at home during the last week before Graduation. In the 80 days I’ve spent here in Atlanta, I find myself missing my daily routine on campus and grieving for the moments I had planned with my friends who are now dispersed around the world. I miss my friends’ fellowship and their presence, but I don’t dwell on it; I know we’ll all be reunited soon enough. The hardest thing for me has been transitioning out of Milton so loosely and trying to keep my joy while celebrating my accomplishments. I’m proud of the resilience of my class through this chaos, yet a part of me wishes my turbulent high school experience could have just ended normally. Without the noise and hassle of campus, I have found a silver lining in the peace my room and time with family have brought me, and I’ve gotten some big plants to pass the time with me. This experience has brought me closer to the friends I value the most and has allowed me to take some time away from a community that was just as draining as it was uplifting. I have an urge to reach out to many of the teachers who have impacted my time on campus, and I thank this distance for giving me the space to reflect on what I want to say. Overall, this time is teaching me that my life is larger than just what I experience on a day-to-day basis, and that good things come to those who wait.

“I find myself missing my daily routine on campus and grieving for the moments I had planned with my friends who are now dispersed around the world.“ JAYLA RHODES


Milton Magazine


Last weekend, my dad, brother (ERIC REILLY ‘22), and I rode our bikes from Dedham to Milton and then spent an hour riding around campus. Just as when I first read the email announcement that remote learning would continue through the end of the year, I was surprised by how emotionally impacted I was. Biking around the Quad, I couldn’t help picturing myself eating lunch with friends on the grass, playing Spikeball and pick-up soccer after school, enjoying English class outdoors on a nice day, performing in my last Beatstock before a crowd of students and families, attending my own live Graduation, and saying in-person thank-yous to the peers, teachers, coaches, and mentors who made my time at Milton so special. I missed it all. During a conversation with Mr. Reddicks earlier this year, before we knew much of anything about covid-19 and the impact it would ultimately have, he predicted that I would cry at Graduation. I don’t cry often, but I expect he was right; I know that with or without this early termination of senior year, I would be sad to leave Milton behind. So these days it is sometimes difficult to know whether to attribute my emotions to this particularly unexpected end or to the inevitable feelings that come with any kind of major life transition point. What I do know, though, as my friend MAYA BOKHARI ’20 so perfectly put it, is that we should be grateful that Milton gave us 3.75 years of experiences worthy of being this sad about losing. This pandemic will certainly bring the Class of 2020 together, not only at Milton but around the country and the world. How many other classes can say they celebrated their 18th birthdays with car parades? Or got to spend a lot of time with their families before heading off to college? Or received commencement speeches from Barack Obama and Lebron James? On a more serious note, though, our Milton class really has experienced a lot. We were freshmen during the 2016 election; we’ve gone to high school while school shootings have risen nationwide; we are the last class to have been present for the 2017 sit-ins and we helped build a new disciplinary system as a result; we’ve experienced significant changes in dorm visitation rules; we’ve watched the names of spaces on campus change in response to revelations of a past faculty member’s sexual misconduct; our class served as the first group of mentors for the reinvented Transition Program; and now, when we seniors believed we’d finally earned just a few months to simply enjoy life together, this. The Milton Academy Class of 2020 absolutely deserves an opportunity to come together and reflect on all that we’ve gone through. Milton’s rigorous academics, incredible arts programs, competitive athletics teams, and community of support—not to mention all the challenges that we’ve endured during our time here—have more than prepared our class to take on the world and make the changes we want to see in it. And so, my hope is that this unexpected end to senior year will prompt more of our class to return for future reunions than ever before. I am forever grateful for all the opportunities that Milton afforded me; I just hope I get one last chance to share that gratitude with the people who have supported me.

Fall 2020



“Once we began our online classes, it was kind of a return to normalcy. I think for me and for a lot of other students, it was just awesome to see everybody’s faces again.” WILL LIVINGSTON


Milton Magazine

If someone had told me at the beginning of the school year that in the spring we’d go home for spring break and that would be it, I think I would have tried to live more in the moment and appreciate how special a place Milton is. I loved Milton, and I’m so grateful for the years I’ve had here. Leaving Milton and not knowing that that was it was a challenge. Once we began our online classes, it was kind of a return to normalcy. Obviously, we weren’t able to cover as much online as we would have in class, but I think for me and for a lot of other students, it was just awesome to see everybody’s faces again. It became more like school, and it was so good to have that kind of structure. You can get lost in the days at home not having much of a schedule. I arrived at Milton in my sophomore year, and I lived in Goodwin all three years. Living in Goodwin, where I was the dorm monitor my senior year, was one of the highlights for me. We were all super close, and I loved the faculty. I got to form relationships with them in a way that I never had before. Ms. Collins, our dorm head, always helped to make Goodwin feel like a home. I think it was on a Goodwin Zoom call where someone mentioned that they now realize how just seeing people every day is special; it’s easy to take those moments for granted. This experience has made me appreciate people more and the things we got to do. Playing football with Coach Mac and with my closest friends was another highlight of my time at Milton. I try to focus on the fact that I had two-and-a-half years at Milton, which was fantastic, and I will make sure that I stay close to the friends I’ve made. Obviously, I’ve never been through anything like this before. It’s an experience I’ll never forget and one I’m sure I will take with me into the future, knowing that nothing is really guaranteed and just how lucky I’ve been.

“A little piece of Milton will always be with me in the form of that passion and leadership Milton burrowed in my heart.” KENDELLE GRUBBS


Like all things, my time at Milton has come to an end. The end-of-year, senior-focused events that seemed so distant when I was a freshman are now coming to a close, with Graduation just a couple of days away. Now it seems that all I have left is to reflect and say good-bye. Boarding school and Milton are not for everyone, and it’s sad when you have to see your classmates leave because of that. But, thankfully, Milton was for me. Here we’re allowed to grow. We’re given opportunities to make our own choices and pathways that other schools would never allow. What school allows its students to so vocally criticize their administration when they deem something unjust or unfit? A good one. Milton does not stifle our voices. And for that I am grateful. I don’t know what kind of person I would be

if I hadn’t gone here. I, for one, don’t think I’d be a leader. Milton has an abundance of student leadership positions (some might say a bit too many) because it fosters a sense of fighting for what you want. Once you take that first leap into the deep end of your own passion, you realize that the world contains more possibilities than you previously imagined. I don’t know where my future will take me when the last name is called at Graduation, but I know that I have something to strive for and fight for. A little piece of Milton will always be with me in the form of that passion and leadership Milton burrowed in my heart. I’m sad to leave, but I know that Milton has prepared me for greater things to come.

“Although finishing high school this way would definitely not be anyone’s first choice, it did allow us to look back and appreciate what we had as a class at Milton.” ABI BORGGAARD


For me, the hardest part of finishing senior year at home was missing my final sports season at Milton. After looking forward to finishing our high school sports careers, it felt like the season was taken out from under us. Although we couldn’t spend time with our friends on the Quad, we did find ways to keep in touch. We had weekly Zoom calls with our sports teams, and we had group FaceTimes with friends. Some people even started sending letters to their friends or teachers. Although finishing high school this way would definitely not be anyone’s first choice, it did allow us to look back and appreciate what we had as a class at Milton. Because we did not get our final days on campus, we have learned to treasure great moments with friends.

Fall 2020



Story by Sarah Abrams Photographs by Brad Trent


Milton Magazine

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Fall 2020


MEIKA NEBLETT ’90 can’t remember a time when she didn’t want to be a physician. In fourth grade, when one of her Milton classmates came down with mononucleosis, Neblett bought a book and read everything about the disease from beginning to end. In eighth grade, she chose to study Spanish, knowing she would need to speak the language in the communities where she planned to practice. “Everything I did was in preparation to be the doctor I wanted to be,” she says from her office at Community Medical Center, in Toms River, New Jersey, where she has served as chief medical officer for the past year. Her determination and certainty about the future kept her life on track and busy after Milton: She earned her bachelor’s degree from Emory University in three and a half years, spent a summer studying Spanish in Mexico, earned a medical degree from Howard University, and completed a three-year residency in emergency medicine. In her freshman year at Emory, she also made time to play varsity tennis and competed that year in the Women’s ncaa Division I Tennis Championship. But what she also knew from an early age was that she wanted to play a leadership role in her profession. “I like being part of decision-making and understanding exactly why decisions are being made,” she says. “I’m good at pulling together tons of different opinions and formulating just how things should be done. I’m also open to new experiences. That part of my personality alone has helped make me a good leader.” To acquire the training she would need to become an executive physician, after completing her residen-


Milton Magazine

cy, she earned a master’s in science management at New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Administrative roles soon followed: vice-chair of the emergency department and medical director at St. Luke’s Cornwall in upstate New York, attending physician at Mount Sinai in New York, and, for eight years, director of urgent care at Mount Sinai in Queens, New York. Eight years ago, she was appointed chief medical officer at Hoboken University Medical Center, in Hoboken, New Jersey, where she served until last year when she moved to Community Medical Center, a large, acutecare hospital, about an hour’s drive south of New York City, along the New Jersey coast.

— Neblett’s arrival at Community Medical Center coincided with one of the worst global health crises in a century. She had barely settled in when, in early March, the hospital began seeing its first wave of covid19 patients. Since then, she has spent six days a week, 12 hours a day at the hospital. “Every day we come in and look at what’s going on,” she says. “We have a whole entire command center with a board that has exactly how many patients are here, how many are sick, how many are not sick, how many are on vents, if there are any new deaths. We’re looking at every single thing in the hospital, where everybody is, monitoring the changes from yesterday to today to see who and what needs our focus, what went well, what didn’t go well. “I’m seeing the big picture of

“I truly believe I wouldn’t be where I am today were it not for my dad and Milton Academy— the two most influential forces in my life.” N E BL E TT AT FOU R (ABOVE) WI TH HE R FATHE R, ROY, AND WI TH J E N B O D NICK ’90 (OPPOS ITE) AT HER MI LTON GRADUAT ION

where things should go and how things should happen. There’s a lot of input coming from the way the er doctors want to do things and the way the icu doctors want to do things. We’re a part of a very large system, and I make sure that all the protocols and policies fit together with what we are currently doing and what’s supposed to happen.” Important to Neblett is that the health professionals she oversees feel supported. “Since the executives are not face-to-face with the patients and the danger of infection, it’s important to show those on the front lines that we’re here for them, up close, not just from afar with our feet up and texting on our phones,” she says. “So we actively make rounds on the floors to see what we can do for them. It’s important for us to be here on the weekends; we walk around all over the hospital just to let them know that we’re in this fight together.” Neblett’s schedule leaves little time at home with her husband, Rich Cronin, or for running or playing tennis. For now, she runs only once a week on her day off. In the midst of all this, she says, she has learned an important lesson. “One of the things that I’m not very good at, and which I’ve learned to get better at, is outwardly communicating everything that I’m thinking and doing. In the first week of the pandemic crisis, a lot of my doctors and colleagues were asking, ‘What’s going on?’ So over those first several weeks, I learned how to better communicate and that has been helping everyone.” “In fact,” she said laughing, “someone the other day actually said, ‘Stop communicating so much,’ so all my doctors now know exactly Fall 2020

what’s going on, good or bad, and the truth to all of it. Without getting political, what’s going on right now with the government is ‘Give us true information and we will be fine. Don’t lie to us, just really be open and honest. No matter what it is, we can deal with it.’ All people want is true information.”

— Neblett credits her father for giving her confidence that she could do whatever she set her mind to. Roy Neblett, who early in his career served on Boston Mayor Kevin White’s staff, in later years operated his own accounting firm in Mattapan Square, where Neblett’s mother, Patricia, also worked. “The most influential person in my life was my dad,” she says. “He was a wonderful, strong figure, and he had a very specific image of who he wanted his daughter to be. He taught me to be very independent. I knew how to change my own oil, how to change a tire. I knew what everything in a toolbox was. That was all very important to him. It was important to him that I not throw a football ‘like a girl,’ so to speak, that I know how to hold it on the laces and spiral. He didn’t want it to ever be said that ‘she does something like a girl,’ which, as you know, is not always a positive thing when said in that manner.” Their family was close knit. Neblett and her brother, TOURÉ ’89, a music journalist and culture critic now living in Brooklyn, grew up in Randolph, Massachusetts, not far from the Milton campus. A lifelong tennis player, their father instilled a love of the game in both his children. When Neblett competed in the nationals at Emory, her parents 25

girls. Today, according to the Journal of the National Medical Association, Black females represent only 2 percent of physicians in the United States. Fewer still become chief medical officers. “I was raised to believe that I can do anything,” she says. “I have tried to be a role model to my community so that other Black girls think the same thing, regardless of where they’re from. I volunteer my time and give back both in this country and abroad.” She recently traveled on a medical mission to Ghana where she helped organize almost 500 volunteers.

“I was raised to believe that I can do anything. I have tried to be a role model to my community so that other Black girls think the same thing, regardless of where they’re from.” NE B L E TT (ABOV E) WI TH KE RIN M CGLAM E ADAM S ’91, HE R D OU BL ES PARTNER AT BOTH MI LTON A ND E M O RY U NI V E RSI TY. “DOG MOM” NEBL E TT (OPPOSITE) W I T H BROOK LYN, AN 11-YEAR-OL D BOX E R, IN THE LE AD AND I Z Z Y, A 3-YEAR-OL D MASTIF F.


Milton Magazine

flew to Atlanta to watch. “It was so exciting to see him watch his daughter play tennis at that level,” she recalls. “There were the umpires sitting on the seats and ball boys and girls running around. It was all the pomp and circumstance and glitz and glamor.” After his death, in 2018, Neblett paid tribute to her father by organizing a tennis tournament in his memory. “Tennis was his sport,” she says. Neblett also credits Milton for what she has accomplished. “I truly believe I wouldn’t be where I am today were it not for my dad and Milton Academy—the two most influential forces in my life,” she says. She remains close with many of her Milton classmates. “Milton helped to formulate who we are,” she says. “Who we were and what we did back then is really reflective of the people we became.” Neblett wants her story to serve as more than a tale of personal achievement­— as an example of what’s possible for young Black

— As the first wave of the pandemic began to subside in the New York/ New Jersey area last spring, Neblett and her team began planning for what lay ahead. “What we’re looking at and preparing for now is based on what we know and how we should do things differently in the future. How should our hospital be arranged? Should we have different entrances? Should we have different things slightly off campus or outside? How do we reassure the public that it’s safe to come in? Those are the types of things we have to think about, because there will be another wave, but we don’t know what it’s going to look like just yet.” For now, Neblett continues to work long hours—managing a health crisis at her new post that is likely to reverberate for years to come. This experience, she says, has only helped reaffirm the choice she made as a young girl eager to learn more about a disease that had befallen her Milton classmate. ■


Story by Marisa Donelan Photograph by David Yellen 28

Milton Magazine

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Fall 2020



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j o s h ua tou s t er

number of conditions must be met for a transplant surgery to be successful. Organs and appendages must be perfect matches, for one thing. Surgeons must painstakingly connect vessels and tissue. And patients must be vigilant with their follow-up medication regimen, or the body may recognize the transplant as a threat and react by fighting it as it would an infection. For CURTIS CETRULO ’88, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital who performed the country’s first penile transplant in 2016, groundbreaking transplant surgery requires not only precise science, but the right patient. The oldest of four brothers who attended Milton, Cetrulo spoke with Milton Magazine in the spring about his career as a pioneer in transplant surgery and pivoting his mgh lab to collaborate on the response to covid-19. A successful solution to a previously insurmountable problem follows years of study, review, and approval, and it relies on a whole team, including the person being healed. “It wouldn’t be wise to choose someone for this kind of procedure if they were not armed with the emotional well-being tools, the coping mechanisms, and the commitment to go forward,” Cetrulo said. “It’s not just the initial period. It’s afterward, making this new body part your own and, in this case, being selfless enough to want to talk about it publicly and provide an example for others. We, fortunately, hit the jackpot with our patient in that he’s incredibly selfless in sharing his experience.” The patient, who had lost his penis to cancer, is one of only four people in the world who have received successful penile transplants. His candor about the experience is vital because of the surgery’s implications—not just for similar cancer patients but for wounded warriors, whose genitourinary injuries inspired Cetrulo’s team in the first place. It started with a different patient, a different pioneering surgery. Cetrulo had performed mgh’s first hand transplant. The complicated surgery was done for one of the survivors of the 2003 Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island. Cetrulo used a technique called microsurgery, named because the vessels are so tiny that they require a microscope for the surgeon to see the connections. He was presenting the hand-transplant case when he was approached by a transplant fellow named Glen Barrisford, a urologist who had just returned from visiting the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Reconstructive microsurgery had great implications for facial and hand transplants, Barrisford said; could it work for genitourinary injuries—an unspoken but devastating trauma for some wounded veterans?

“Microsurgery is what got me hooked. You can see all the amazing things you can do … from replanting a finger or an arm, to creating a functional muscle so someone can smile.”

Cetrulo (left) prepping for a 2013 hand transplant surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital

“Wounded warriors are now surviving because they have amazing body armor that protects the abdomen and the thorax,” Cetrulo explained. “In previous conflicts, those who were shot or in blasts would die because of injuries to their lungs, heart, and abdomen. Because of the new armor, they’re surviving, but they’re getting injuries to the face, arms and hands, legs, and genitourinary area. But no one was talking about genitourinary trauma.” The loss of urinary and sexual function is a sensitive topic for a patient at any age; for the wounded veterans, many of whom are young men, it represents an unbearable loss—of intimacy, independence, and a chance to start a family, Cetrulo said. The urologist described despondency among the veterans with genitourinary injuries. About a dozen surgeons worked with Cetrulo to research the possibilities and carry out the surgery. The Department of Defense has strict requirements before innovative surgeries are permitted on a veteran. “The way they think about it— and we share this view—is that those guys have sacrificed enough,” Cetrulo said. “The military funds studies for these things, but it’s incumbent on us to work out the protocols and to demonstrate to the Department of Defense that what we’re doing is safe and the benefits will outweigh the risks. We would not treat any civilian patient any differently. It’s just a principle.” Reconstructive microsurgery for penile transplantation could benefit cancer patients as well as wounded veterans, and the doctors set out to find a good candidate—ultimately

connecting with the man who received the 2016 transplant. “He is just a wonderful patient,” Cetrulo said. “He realized that it was bigger than himself, that it could help others. And he’s doing great. The drugs he needs to take are tough: They cause issues, and we’ve dealt with infections. It hasn’t been all smooth sailing. It took almost three years for his function to return.” Sharing the success of that surgery has been critical to Cetrulo, who has been in contact with the physicians in South Africa who performed the world’s first (and, recently, its fourth) successful penile transplant. He has also connected with the team from Johns Hopkins that in 2018 performed the first-ever total penis and scrotum transplant for a veteran who suffered injuries from an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. Reconstructive microsurgery is Cetrulo’s favorite part of his practice, in which many patients are children who have suffered traumas. The technical challenges of procedures to restore a face after burns or salvage limbs that might otherwise need to be amputated are worth confronting when the procedure can change a life. Cetrulo always had his sights set on medicine, wanting to follow in the footsteps of his father, a highrisk obstetrician. After seeing a toe-to-thumb transplant as a medical student, Cetrulo decided to become a surgeon. “Microsurgery is what got me hooked,” he said. “You can see all the amazing things you can do with that tool, from replanting a finger or an arm, to creating a functional muscle so someone can smile.”

Fall 2020



The Cetrulo brothers, pictured here at Curtis’s wedding, are all Milton graduates (from left): Erik ’89, Curtis ’88, Craig ’96, and Kyle ’93.

“This is an allhands-on-deck moment. A lot is going to change when this is all said and done, and some of it is just amazing.” Milton Magazine

That spirit of collaboration was on display in Cetrulo’s lab as well. He is the director of the vascular composite allotransplantation (transplantation of cells) lab at mgh. “I love the research,” he said. “I love innovating and solving problems where there are unmet needs. These problems that just drive us crazy—that’s what drives the lab: wanting to find a better solution.” In response to the pandemic, Cetrulo redeployed his lab resources to studying antiviral therapies. The traditional anti-rejection drugs needed by transplant patients are immunosuppressants—powerful medications that can have devastating side effects such as kidney failure and cancer. They’re necessary when a patient needs a life-saving transplant such as a heart or a liver. But

for life-enhancing procedures such as facial and hand transplants, each case means balancing whether taking immunosuppressants is worth it for the patient. In Cetrulo’s lab, researchers have been exploring whether various therapies using donor stem cells in transplant recipients can help patients build up their immunologic defense. When the coronavirus arrived, they switched gears to study whether stem cell therapies can be used to combat the airway inflammation that makes covid-19 so brutal. Cetrulo’s brother KYLE ’93 owns the stem-cell laboratory Auxocell, which donated discarded fetal and placental cells to mgh. Although the pandemic was like nothing modern medicine had seen before, Cetrulo detected an early silver lining: unprecedented cooperation and sharing among doctors, researchers, and the biomedical industry—people accustomed to competing against one another to publish or win funding. Another Cetrulo brother, ERIK ’89, sent Curtis a news story about a small biotech company in Seattle that had seen early success with a new coronavirus therapy; a few hours and a couple of emails later, the company agreed to partner with Cetrulo on a clinical trial. “The beauty of a place like mgh is that there are a lot of really smart people working on really smart approaches to this crisis,” he said. “But even if we don’t have enough patients to do all these clinical trials here, plenty of patients all over the world can benefit. And I don’t care who gets the credit; we’ll just send the information to the next place that needs it and collaborate.” ■

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Cetrulo also performs post-mastectomy breast reconstructions for cancer survivors, peripheral nerve surgery, cosmetic surgery, and other forms. When covid-19 first appeared in Boston, Cetrulo and other mgh surgeons were temporarily reassigned: As surgeons, they are trained in the intensive-care procedures necessary for coronavirus treatment, such as placing central and arterial lines and running ventilators. Learning from New York City doctors who were in the throes of responding to the crisis, surgeons and some anesthesiologists formed a “surgical s.w.a.t. team” of doctors who could efficiently perform those procedures and free up the time of other icu physicians. The coronavirus forced seismic changes in medicine, seemingly overnight. Globally, doctors had to face dire decisions about which patients would receive which limited resources. Non-emergency procedures ground to a halt: Cetrulo had to postpone several surgeries and held pre- and post-operative appointments via video conferencing. Meeting with patients remotely has demonstrated the efficiency of telehealth technology, he said. In the midst of everything, Cetrulo and his wife, Kate, were helping with their son, Dylan, a third grader whose school had gone remote for the rest of the year. Collaboration and technology were key to that effort, too. Curtis’s brother CRAIG ’96, an educator, helped the family manage the sudden shift to remote learning. “This is an all-hands-on-deck moment,” Cetrulo said. “A lot is going to change when this is all said and done, and some of it is just amazing.”

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Milton Magazine



Story by Liz Matson Photographs by Tony Luong Fall 2020



a three-story brick building on Chestnut Hill Avenue, the Engine 29 firehouse primarily covers the Allston and Brighton neighborhoods of Boston. Inside, when District Fire Chief DEANNA MCDEVITT ’99 is on duty and not out on a call, she spends hours at her desk thinking about and preparing for emergencies. “I try to read, study, and learn from other incidents, whether they’re in Boston or across the country,” says McDevitt. “At an emergency, it can be stressful and overwhelming. You can lose what we call ‘situational awareness’ and get tunnel vision. So I prep and run through scenarios in my head beforehand. That way, when I am in an emergency situation, it’s not overwhelming and I can follow checklists in my head of what to do.” McDevitt, a fourth-generation Boston firefighter, was sworn in as a member of the fire department in 2008. In November 2019, she was promoted to district fire chief, the first woman ever to hold the position in Boston. Her father retired as a deputy chief of special operations in 2014, after more than 40 years of service. Her brother is currently a Boston firefighter, and her sister is a Boston police officer. Her grandfathers on both sides were Boston firefighters as was one great-grandfather. Despite this public service legacy, when McDevitt headed to Yale University, where she played ice hockey, she was not thinking about a career in firefighting. Her goal was to attend medical school after teaching for a few years at a private school. So after graduation, she began teaching chemistry and algebra at Kimball Union Academy. She also coached girls’ soccer,

hockey, and lacrosse. While teaching, she “was considering if I still wanted to pursue a medical career,” McDevitt says. “Then my brother joined the fire department in 2006. At his academy graduation, as I watched him walk across the stage and take the oath, I just thought, ‘Oh, this would be kind of neat to try.’” She took the state’s civil service exam, which consists of a written exam and a physical abilities test. When she received the news that she would be part of the June 2008 class, she still wasn’t sure she wanted to be a firefighter, but she thought “it would be quite the experience to at least try it.” For four months in 2008, she trained at the Boston Fire Department Training Academy. “I loved it from day one, honestly,” she says. “The teamwork aspect of it, the physical challenges involved—it just seemed like the perfect job for me. And to learn and share my academy experiences with my dad and my brother was just so unique.” At the academy, she was one of two women. It is no secret that few women serve in the city’s fire department. A department review commissioned by the mayor’s office in 2018 revealed that out of a force of 1,500 firefighters, only 16 were women. The mayor has committed to carrying out all the recommendations in the report, including hiring more female firefighters. “Everyone has to prove themselves, but when you are different—and being a woman makes you different—people are watching,” says McDevitt. “They want to see that you want to do the job, that you’re serious about it, and that

Fall 2020


you’re not looking for any special treatment. At the academy, I wanted to be clear that I didn’t want special treatment; I wanted to do this, and if there was something I couldn’t do, then I wanted to be reevaluated. There were definitely things that were more physically difficult for me, but everyone there was so supportive in teaching the techniques, and helping me find my strengths and improve on my weaknesses.” New firefighters are assigned to a company, and McDevitt was assigned to Engine 3 in the South End. She spent five years there as a firefighter before she studied for the civil service exam and got her first promotion to lieutenant. “Engine 3 was a great place to start,” she says. “The company has a good response area that includes downtown Boston, Dorchester, and South Boston. I got to see different aspects of firefighting, such as fighting a fire in a three-story woodframe dwelling versus a high-rise building. I had excellent officers and senior firefighters who were always helping me learn and improve.” In 2013, she was promoted to lieutenant, and then in 2016, to captain. “The transition to company officer was a challenge that I enjoyed,” she says. “I had worked for officers who were excellent leaders and taught me the importance of solid decision-making and consistency both on and off the fireground.” McDevitt worked several years as a lieutenant and then as a captain on Cambridge Street in Beacon Hill before returning to her hometown of South Boston as captain of Engine 39. Today, as a district fire chief, McDevitt is assigned to District

11, overseeing the three firehouses and five fire companies in Brighton. She works two 24-hour shifts on an eight-day cycle. As fire chief, she no longer goes with the company on many of the runs that she did as a firefighter, such as alarms sounding, vehicle accidents, and water leaks. But when Boston Fire Alarm receives a report of smoke or fire in a building, McDevitt says, “I respond with three engines, two trucks, and a rescue, and I am in charge of the fire operations from that point on.” She also responds to emergencies that require a chief officer to take over decision-making and control of the incident. Those could include alarms for carbon monoxide, natural gas leaks, or hazardous-material incidents. At the scene, a fire chief stays outside, and the company goes in to figure out what is going on. The firefighters often have little or no information about the building they are about to enter. If it’s a minor problem, such as a malfunctioning appliance, they solve it and send everyone home. If it’s a small fire, they put it out. For bigger emergencies, the decisions of the fire chief are critical. “What I love about my position now is problem solving and figuring out what is happening,” McDevitt says. “On the scene of an emergency, I’m figuring out who is there and where they are operating. It’s almost like coaching a team, figuring out who my players are.” McDevitt coached Milton’s girls’ varsity ice hockey for a few years while she was a firefighter. “Because I’m outside, I’m listening to the officers who go in the building tell me what’s going


Milton Magazine


McDevitt holds her threeyear-old son, Tommy, at the ceremony marking her promotion as the first woman district fire chief in the history of the Boston Fire Department.

j e s s ica ri na l di /th e b o s ton g l ob e v i a g e t t y imag e s ( top )

on. And then I’m figuring out how to solve the problem.” McDevitt says the unknowns and the time pressure in an emergency can be challenging. “You only have a certain amount of time to make decisions. After an incident, I always examine should I have done this or should I have done that? What can I do better? Sometimes you need to look at your mistakes but then let go of them. It’s difficult, but then it also leads to improvement.” At the time of this interview, last spring, the fire department was following new protocols because of covid-19, such as wearing personal protective equipment, taking temperatures twice a day, and not rotating firefighters between firehouses. One of the biggest losses was stopping firehouse meals, a beloved tradition worldwide when firefighters sit down and eat meals they cook for one another. “You would look forward to eating together, but in these times, we’re just trying to keep everyone safe,” says McDevitt. Her husband, Thomas Carroll, is also a Boston firefighter at a different firehouse, and they have a three-year-old son. When she was pregnant, “they were so great about it. As soon as I was pregnant, until I had my baby, they gave me a desk job and then I went on maternity leave.” And although she appreciated the desk job during her pregnancy, McDevitt couldn’t wait to get back to the firehouse and to a career that now seems like a natural fit. “My whole life feels like everything—being an athlete, being on teams, training for hockey—all those things led me into having a good background to go into the firefighting field.” ■ Fall 2020



Milton Magazine

Interview by Sarah Abrams Photographs by Walter Smith


Fall 2020


“The recent social movement is not only a response to the unlawful and brutal treatment of Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement, it’s about people being hungry; it’s about people not having fair wages, it’s about people who are locked up in their homes who feel they’re not healthy and safe.”

JOSE ORTIZ JR. ’99, executive director of the New York City Employment and Training Coalition (nycetc), wants to lift New York’s marginalized populations out of poverty and into jobs that allow them to live more economically secure lives. As the leader of the country’s largest regional workforce development organization, Ortiz advocates for the 180 city organizations that provide job training and placement services to nearly 600,000 New Yorkers. In representing the coalition’s mission and vision, Ortiz meets regularly with its leaders, the city’s business and corporate executives, and elected officials at the city, state, and federal levels. Last November, to increase awareness about the urgency of equipping low-wage earners with 21st-century skills, Ortiz spoke before the Joint Economic Committee (jec) in Washington, D.C. And in April, as the covid-19 pandemic swept through New York, disproportionately affecting the health and livelihoods of the community nycetc serves, he spearheaded the NY Workforce Recovery Strategy Group, an independent effort among public- and private-sector leaders to create a strategy and policy recommendations for New York’s covid-19 economic recovery. In May, Mayor Bill de Blasio named Ortiz to the Labor and Workforce Sector Advisory Council to “inform the Administration’s efforts to restart the economy and city life... and to serve as a critical link to disseminate information about re-opening and provide guidance to shape the City’s response to the covid-19 pandemic.” In an op-ed, “A Call To Action,” that Ortiz cowrote in June, and for which he secured the signatures of almost 100 nonprofit leaders of color, he discusses the rights of New York’s protesters, the dismantling of entrenched systems that perpetuate poverty, and creating opportunities for those who’ve been left behind. As the number of covid-19 cases was declining in New York City early this summer, Milton Magazine spoke with Ortiz about what’s next in helping improve the lives of the city’s most vulnerable and how the current social movement might have an impact on that struggle. 42

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Fall 2020



I wanted to be sure they understood the parallels between the economic imperative to invest in a good workforce system for employers and the moral concern we should all have for investing in the millions of New Yorkers who struggle to earn a living wage. I think some folks get lost in the different pieces and feel they need to pick sides; I wanted them to hear that there’s much to be done and that can be done to address both concerns. I fundamentally believe that talent exists everywhere. Our research shows that a majority of small and medium businesses report having difficulty finding workers with the skills needed to fill positions. What’s more, increased automation and ongoing technological advances will only heighten the need for more highly trained workers. Our member organizations, which collaborate closely with employers, provide the training, professional development, and social services that help workers acquire the necessary skills to succeed in these positions. These organizations have shown that when the support is there, people are capable of acquiring the skills that lead to higher-paying jobs. However, four decades of decreased federal funding have led to a real struggle in helping move people into jobs where they can thrive. That has prevented us from being able to attack the problem from a more generational approach—from being able to respond to any failings of the educational system—and to invest in people’s ability to learn more effectively. Given the fragile state of local and state economies, associations like the one I lead need to increase their focus on federal policy, which is what I hoped to accomplish at the JEC hearing.


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What we’ve experienced as a result of covid19 has really sped up a lot of changes that are happening with employers. What are employers’ needs? What is the future of work? What about technology acceleration? The things that were already a challenge before were further exacerbated as a result of the pandemic and the economic crisis that followed. The recent social movement is not only a response to the unlawful and brutal treatment of Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement; it’s about people being hungry, it’s about people not having fair wages, it’s about people who are locked up in their homes who feel they’re not healthy and safe. It’s a response to the leaders of systems that perpetuate poverty, stifle economic freedoms, and suppress opportunities that would allow for historically marginalized communities to thrive rather than survive. The combination of these two moments—covid-19 and Black Lives Matter—has led to a reckoning. All of it is warranted, but at the same time, it’s hard to figure out ways to make really meaningful change. Whether or not what’s going on now will translate into some real action depends on how forceful the narrative is. People tend to go into their corners. We’re seeing a lot of that type of reaction today, whether it’s defunding the police or “All Lives Matter.” These hard-line positions sometimes make it difficult. While they’re necessary in some ways, it’s important for us to come to some consensus in order to ensure that the movement continues and accelerates change. We need good leaders who are going to continue to make progress and continue to move us in the right direction, because, as with most big moments, the change that comes out of them can sometimes be very incremental. WHERE DOES NYCETC GO FROM HERE?

It will be on my organization and partners across the nonprofit and for-profit community to put forth recommendations that will help heal the community and jump-start the economy. That will require incredible effort to come to any consensus. In the long term, with an economic crisis of this caliber, we will need our city and state leaders to collaborate effectively and get the federal government to inject capital into the state. Without it, the next 18 months will be a difficult period for New York. However, now is the time for us to listen and, as a result of listening and allowing the conversation to flow, then connect what we’re hearing with tangible legislation. When it comes to job training, we need to ask: What have been the failings in the system so far? Are people actually

being moved out of poverty into good, well-paying jobs that present a better future for their families? If that’s not happening, where are we failing? Is there a more appropriate place where we should be putting the funding in order to be more effective? We need to bring leaders from each of the sectors that are supporting our communities together and try to figure out, moving forward, what is a much more inclusive agenda in each one of those areas—and that includes job training and employment services. The types of change we’ll see will depend on what the policy requests are and how people respond to them. nycetc is certainly on the front line in helping to drive that narrative. HOW HOPEFUL ARE YOU THAT PROGRESS WILL BE MADE?

Since I’ve been in this role, we are now able to talk to people on both sides of the conversation who respond to us as advocates—who can convene appropriate and effective conversations that can lead to positive legislation. But policy work is really hard and exhausting, and the type of change that you often see is very slow. I’ve been working over the past several years on a couple of requests in particular with the mayor’s office that have made very little headway. It’s not that they’re not valuable, but they’re something that we have to continue to keep putting our foot on the pedal on. That slowness makes it very difficult to feel like you’re winning and moving things. But then in other ways, we’ve made tremendous progress and we’ve gotten tremendous wins. But there are more difficult days than there are great days and that can be very taxing. Nonetheless, I fundamentally believe that in the long run, we’re doing work that is really essential. We’ve been able to elevate the work in such a way that the people who are in a position to really make the change, like elected officials, are listening. To me, that says that we’re making progress, and that’s really important. ■

Ortiz speaking at the NYCETC Conference in 2019

“I fundamentally believe that talent exists everywhere. A majority of small and medium businesses report having difficulty finding workers with the skills needed to fill positions. Our member organizations help workers acquire the necessary skills to succeed in these positions. These organizations have shown that when the support is there, people are capable of acquiring the skills that lead to higher-paying jobs.� Fall 2020


On Centre Student Life at Milton


Milton Magazine

illustration by

Matt Carlson

Fall 2020


On Centre Upper School

Money Matters for Young Women


what is the difference between credit and debit? How are interest rates calculated? And what is an roi? For many young women, with little exposure to the fundamentals of finance, such concepts have little meaning. Invest in Girls (iig), an organization with origins at Milton, has been making a significant difference in changing that scenario. Through a three-tiered approach that offers financial literacy workshops, on-site visits to financial services and investment firms, and oneon-one professional mentoring opportunities, iig is working to cultivate a generation of financially literate and empowered girls. “This program is having a lot of impact on girls across the country and it’s an example of something that started at Milton,” says iig’s cofounder DUNE THORNE ’94, who has served on Milton’s Board of Trustees since 2012 . The impetus for the program, which now serves more than 2,000 girls a year, came in 2010, when CHELSEA MEHRA ’11 contacted Thorne about interning the following summer at the Boston-based investment firm Silver Bridge Advisors, where Thorne served as a principal. Thorne said yes. There, Mehra spent the summer conducting research on financial lit48

Milton Magazine

eracy programs for women and sat in on workshops that Thorne had designed to show women how to build thoughtful investment plans. Helping women understand the intricacies of building wealth had been a central focus for Thorne since her days as an mba student at Harvard Business School. Although women made up close to 50 percent of her graduate school class, Thorne observed, a significantly lower percentage were enrolled in investment management classes. She wanted to know why and decided to learn more about how women think about money and how they invest differently from men—an inquiry that led to a career empowering women to become more financially literate. Mehra was so enthusiastic about the workshop she attended that she suggested Thorne bring her program to Milton. Together they tailored the content to an audience of young women at the School. One of their first steps was to seek support and sponsorships from respected women in the industry to hold them accountable for their goals. They were backed by 10 women who each contributed $1,000 to launch iig’s program at Milton. The workshop was so successful that other events were added, and soon the iig program was expanded to include a deeper dive into the industry, adding on-site visits and mentoring opportunities. As Mehra left for college, the newly redesigned program, formally named Invest in Girls, was tested at two nearby independent schools: Middlesex School, in Concord, Massachusetts, and Westover School, in Middlebury, Connecticut. Within the next several years, illustration by

Jason Schneider

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Fall 2020


On Centre Upper School

“We have research that shows that women stay in bad jobs and bad life situations simply because they’re not comfortable and confident enough in their money-management skills—because they haven’t known to save enough on their own to be empowered to leave.”

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Milton Magazine

c ou rte s y of i nv e s t i n g i rl s

iig expanded its reach to community centers and public and charter schools in states throughout the Northeast, from Virginia to Massachusetts. Today, less than 10 years after its first workshop at Milton, iig operates in 10 states, educating approximately 2,000 girls a year in 40 organizations, and acquiring corporate sponsorship from almost 20 financial services firms along the way. BETSY KELDER ’96, iig’s executive director, who knew Thorne when they were on Milton’s ski team together (back then, her last name was Stein) and whose sister, AMANDA STEIN CARMEL ‘94, was a close friend of Thorne’s, is passionate about iig’s mission. A lack of basic training and awareness around money matters, she says, can result in a lifetime of economic and personal hardship, and women are especially vulnerable. “We have research that shows that women stay in bad jobs and bad life situations simply because they’re not comfortable and confident enough in their money-management skills— because they haven’t known to save enough on their own to be empowered to leave,” Kelder says. “This is an opportunity for us to start really early with girls.” “And it doesn’t matter whether you’re going to be a social worker and make $70,000 a year or a ceo and make $7 million a year,” Kelder says. “The concepts that we’re teaching are going to empower you to understand and make the best use of however much you earn, to be able to stand on your own two feet to make the decisions you want to make for yourself and not feel that money is the reason you can’t have

”The concepts that we’re teaching are going to empower you to understand and make the best use of however much you earn,” says Betsy Kelder ’96 (opposite left), IIG’s executive director. Kelder and cofounder Dune Thorne ’94 (right), have known each other since they were on Milton’s ski team together. Thorne has served on Milton’s Board of Directors since 2012.

the life you want.” The program’s three tiers, which all offer workshops, site visits, and mentorship opportunities, feature different levels of emphasis. Tier one focuses on the foundational concepts of financial literacy— from the pitfalls of payday loans to effective budgeting to a primer on the stock market. Tier two takes a closer look at career access, by examining the opportunities the industry offers. And tier three offers internships and one-on-one matches with female executives for those wishing to pursue a career in finance. For the time being, until the current health crisis abates, all iig programs and meetings are being held virtually. Thorne and Kelder like to point to examples of the impact iig has made: the student who returned to tell them that because of her participation in an iig workshop she bought a cd with money she received from her grandmother, becoming the first person in her family to use an investment tool; and the young woman, who after learning about budgeting through iig, saved enough money to buy her mother a car so that she no longer had to ride a bus two hours every day to commute to work. And there are the young women, who, because of iig, are exposed to career opportunities they previously couldn’t imagine. Between her sophomore and junior years at Milton, ZOE FLESSAS-FINOCCHE ’19 spent a summer at Brown Advisory as a Brown Advisory fellow. Her experience at the investment management firm was so rewarding that, as she looked toward college, she planned to prepare for a career in finance. “When we open girls up to these

careers,” Kelder says, “what we’re trying to do is say, ‘There are really meaningful, fulfilling careers that you can be part of that are going to give you real access to opportunity in your life, and you should consider how these play to your strengths.’” “The reality is these girls do it themselves,” says Thorne, who in 2012 moved to Brown Advisory, where she is the head of private client growth and strategy. “iig opens the door, creates the spark, but these are great young women who just sometimes need a little helping hand or a little spark to unlock their potential.” Last year, iig increased its capacity by partnering with the Council for Economic Education (cEe), a national nonprofit providing financial and economic literacy training to educators. With the national platform the partnership provides, says Kelder, who was instrumental in overseeing the partnership between the two nonprofits, iig will be able over the next 18 months to expand to serving 3,000 to 5,000 girls a year in 15 states. It will also be able to significantly increase volunteer opportunities for those in the industry. That a program that has brought economic empowerment to so many young women got its start at Milton is deeply gratifying to Thorne, who now sits on iig’s advisory board. And through Thorne and Kelder, the program continues to maintain close ties to the School. “It has really been such a wonderful journey,” Thorne says, “and we are still only in the early chapters of the organization’s growth and impact.”

Fall 2020


sarah abrams

On Centre Middle & Lower Schools

The Importance of Being Seen


the unscripted moments of a Middle School day—a passing conversation in the hallway, a pickup game at recess, an “aha!” moment in robotics—are what make the experience special, according to Steven Bertozzi, principal of Milton’s Middle School. Interviewed at the end of the spring semester, leaders of the Middle and Lower Schools described their efforts to meet the nonacademic needs—social, emotional, and physical—of Milton students as the School began its remote-learning program in response to the novel coronavirus. “One of the things I promise every parent is that we know our students,” Bertozzi said. “We know them as learners; we value those conversations between classes, the things that happen in advisories. We want to make them feel seen. That’s the promise I still want to provide: We will find ways to make sure that we are seeing your kids, even in this remote setting.” Necessary measures taken to slow the spread of covid-19 may have adverse effects on children’s mental health and well-being, the World Health Organization (WHO) cautioned in March. In addition to fears about the virus itself and the potential grief of losing loved ones, staying at home for long stretches of time removes children from critical social interaction. 52

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“If schools have closed as part of necessary measures, then children may no longer have that sense of structure and stimulation that is provided by that environment, and now they have less opportunity to be with their friends and get that social support that is essential for good mental well-being,” the who advised. “Although all children are receptive to change, young children may find the changes that have taken place difficult to understand, and both young and older children may express irritability and anger. Children may find that they want to be closer to their parents, make more demands on them, and, in turn, some parents or caregivers may be under undue pressure themselves.” The pressure on many parents to balance their own professional responsibilities with managing their children’s education became clear early on, said Frank Patti, principal of the Lower School. Younger students are more dependent on adults to keep up with daily work and progress, so Patti created a team of learning and reading specialists to support students throughout the school day. To help parents and students adjust to such a sudden, significant change in routine, Patti established a series of webinars led by outside experts in parenting as well as in child and family psychology. The webinars were well received and kept open the lines of engagement between the School and families. Valérié Thadani, director of health and wellness at the Lower School, saw opportunities for students to have social time despite their physical separation and created virtual friendship-group meetings illustration by

Jing Wei

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Fall 2020

for kids to have some unstructured time together. She also made videos for students to practice yoga and meditation and scavenger hunts for outdoor walks and exploration, and she started the Lower School Pet Parades, a virtual show-and-tell of pets in the Lower School community. “We are still very much one community, so there was a driving force behind having those messages and activities geared for the entire School, rather than a specific grade level,” said Thadani, who is also an internal medicine physician. “Kids need structure and dependability, and their routines were upended abruptly, so we wanted to provide them with tools to manage their feelings and cope with stress.” Both Thadani and Middle School counselor Nicci King anticipated some regression—emotionally and academically—when students returned in the fall after being off campus for at least six months. Playing is such an important part of the Lower School, Thadani noted; social distancing may not allow for the types of play to which students are accustomed, or even for hugs between friends. “We’re going to really work to put them at ease, because this is a big adjustment,” she said. Making sure that students had the ability to interact in fun, unstructured ways became important in the Middle School, said King. Teachers began hosting virtual lunches and recess, music trivia, and other activities—touchpoints that helped lend some sense of community to the days. King stayed in touch, via oneon-one Zoom sessions, with the students she counsels regularly.

“Many of the issues have stayed the same, but some have become mostly about remote learning,” she said. A few of the students with anxiety said they felt somewhat validated— now the rest of the world is learning to cope with the worries they’ve had all along. “There are so many moving parts to this, but I think the Middle School is working really hard to make things as predictable as possible for the kids,” King said. She put together Padlets—online bulletin boards organized by topic— for parents and students. The parent Padlet provided resources for parents to help their kids cope with the massive changes that came with the pandemic, while the students received tips on self-care and connecting with their families, activities to fight boredom, and ideas for remote community engagement and service. Bertozzi surveyed each Middle-Schooler, asking, among other questions, whether students had a quiet place to work; whether they felt able to maintain connections with teachers and peers; whether they felt they were staying on track academically; and what highlights and challenges they faced. Some of the challenges were logistical— managing time and finding all the resources for each class—but many were emotional or social. The students felt stressed. The first few weeks of remote classes were overwhelming. They missed one another. “Not being able to hug my friends,” one student listed as a challenge. “Even though Zoom is nice, it’s not the same as being in school together,” another wrote. Working without the company of classmates


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could be boring, someone said. An eighth grader wrote that she was staying in touch with close friends but missed interactions with students she wouldn’t ordinarily see outside school. Data from the survey helped Bertozzi and the Middle School faculty make improvements to the program. Early on, learning specialist Liz West began sending pacing guides to help the students manage their time; smaller-group “breakout sessions” on Zoom provided a more intimate space for students to interact. Many others stepped up to help: West and music teacher Alan Rodi started a sign-language club. Athletic Director Sam Landau created video workouts. And the students took it upon themselves to help their peers. Some, remembering their experiences arriving at the Middle School, initiated efforts to create a welcome video and offer advice to Grade 5 students and parents as they got ready to start in a new division. They also honored important social and cultural milestones, such as the Day of Silence in support of the lgbtq+ community—organizing and coordinating with teachers to make it a meaningful day despite the remote environment. “We have seen a lot of kids rise up and look for leadership opportunities in many new and creative ways that even the adults hadn’t thought about, which has been incredible to see,” Bertozzi said. “And so many of those leadership opportunities they’re looking for have shown what they value in the School, and the community they’ve created, even remotely.” marisa donelan

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On Centre Middle & Lower Schools

“Kids need structure and dependability, and their routines were upended abruptly, so we wanted to provide them with tools to manage their feelings and cope with stress.” VALÉRIÉ THADANI, LOWER SCHOOL DIRECTOR OF HEALTH AND WELLNESS

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Fall 2020


On Centre In the News COMPETITIONS

Successful Year for Robotics Team

The robotics team started off the spring season with three robots qualifying for the U.S. Open Robotics Championship. Unfortunately, that tournament and two other spring championship tournaments were canceled because of COVID-19. But under the leadership of team captains DIEGO DOMENIG ’20, AVERY MILLER ’20, and TONY TAO ’20, the team had a solid year and was unwavering in the commitment and work it put into the robots. RYAN SHUE ‘23, who drives one of the robots, says, “It’s great to work with people who have the same interests as you. And it’s a fun way to apply that interest in and knowledge of engineering.” The team participates in VEX Robotics, an after-school program that challenges students to design and build robots that compete against others to complete certain tasks in a small arena. Team members meet in the basement of the Art and Media Center. “They’re here all the time, until 6 p.m. on weekdays and later on Fridays,” says Chris Hales, chair of the Computer Science Department. “They are so dedicated. They put in the time so they can improve and succeed.” One of Shue’s and Tao’s favorite competitions this year was the Night at the Museum, held at the National Air and Space Museum in Virginia. Sixty of the best high school teams from around the world competed in a room holding the space shuttle Discovery.


Milton Magazine


Students’ Honors Biology Project Becomes Published Research

g re g w h i te ; m a ri sa d on el a n (rig h t)

EMMA BRADLEY ’20 and KIRAN BIDDINGER ’20 wanted to perform a “complicated” lab experiment for the Honors Biology class they took as juniors. One year later, their findings were published in the Journal of Emerging Investigators, a monthly publication that features the work of middle school, high school, and college students. “It was really difficult to figure out what we were going to do,” Bradley says. “We were in the lab all the time, for weeks straight.” Their report, “Temperatures of 20°C produce increased net primary production in Chlorella sp.,” was accepted by the journal in October 2019. The work must be sponsored by a faculty member—the duo’s sponsor was Science Department Chair Julie Seplaki—and undergo an extensive editing process before it can be published. The pair join ALAINA CHERRY ’20 and ALLISON REILLY ’20, whose paper “Longer Exposure to 2% India Ink Increases Average Number of Vacuoles in Tetrahymena pyriformis” was published in October 2019 by the journal. In their experiment, Bradley and Biddinger found that chlorella—a kind of single-cell green algae—reached maximum efficiency around 20° Celsius (about 68° Fahrenheit). Chlorella is an autotroph, which means it can produce its own food and energy from its surroundings, including light, water, and carbon dioxide. Net primary production is the rate at which the organism photosynthesizes, minus its cellular respiration. In this process, chlorella can turn carbon dioxide into glucose. The two began editing their assignment report to submit to the journal in the spring of 2019, with help from Seplaki and other members of the faculty, and the final report was published in February 2020. Milton science teachers place a strong emphasis on being able to communicate about scientific concepts, which is why Seplaki encouraged the class to consider pursuing journal submissions. “You don’t realize how extensive the editing process is until you do it,” Biddinger says. “We got a lot of good feedback about the style of our writing and where we needed to explain the process in deeper detail.” One of the implications for their experiment involves climate change, Bradley says. “The importance of finding its optimal temperature is that we found where it’s best at removing CO2 from the environment and turning it into a beneficial by-product. So we think it has potential as a sustainable food source.”

Emma Bradley ‘20 and Kiran Biddinger ‘20

► A link to the study is currently featured on the Journal of Emerging Investigators’ homepage, under “Latest Research.”

Fall 2020


On Centre In the News


Poet Robert Pinsky on Translating Dante’s Inferno

Three-term U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky speaking to students in Straus Library


laughed and said he had two answers: “Absolutely never. And every second.” He also discussed the challenge of translating poetry lines from a language that has many more syllables than English does. In order to run the two translations side-by-side in the book, the English translation was “padded” with white space. Pinsky read aloud Canto 32 and then exclaimed, “Clearly, Dante knows how to tell a story, and it’s an outrageous story!” He talked about the act of reading: “Ideally, you want to read with your mouth and ears, feel it, and get to know it. It’s like listening to a song that you like for the first time. You are not really paying attention to the words but just listening and enjoying the music. Then, on the second or third listen, you might pay more attention to the words.” Pinsky is a professor of English and creative writing in the graduate writing program at Boston University. His anthology The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1966-1996 was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. His work has earned him the PEN/Voelcker Award, the William Carlos Williams Prize, the Lenore Marshall Prize, Italy’s Premio Capri, the Korean Manhae Award, and the Harold Washington Award from the City of Chicago, among other accolades.

l i z mat s on

Three-term U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky discussed his translation of Dante’s Inferno last winter with students taking “Founding Voices: Literature from the Ancient World through the Renaissance.” In a free-flowing conversation, an affable Pinsky answered students’ questions about his translation, which they were reading in class. He explained that his full translation came about after he was invited to translate one of the Inferno cantos for an anthology. He also helped another poet with his assigned canto and realized how much he enjoyed the work. “I’m very interested in difficulty—a worthy difficulty—not trivial or canned,” Pinsky said. “I realized with this, I had a difficulty that I really loved.” The full translation took a year of work and then another year of showing his work to colleagues and Italian friends. “You can’t translate Italian sounds into English; you have to find an equivalent,” Pinsky said. “So if a word sounds great in Italian, you have to find a word that sounds great in English.” When asked by a student if he ever had to compromise, Pinsky

Milton Magazine



Student’s Weekly Crossword Was a Hit

Massachusetts Scholastic Art and Writing Award Winners

The weekly crossword puzzle of MARGOT BECKER ‘20 was a fun and challenging Friday must-do for many students and adults around campus. Individuals and teams of students rushed each week to complete the challenging 15×15 published on the inside back page of The Milton Paper. Becker gave out prizes in a variety of categories and emailed out the names of all those who completed the puzzle correctly. Even after remote learning from home began after March break, Becker continued to email the puzzle to the Milton Academy community and run lists of the winners. “I wanted it to be that if you send it in and it’s right, you get a reward of some kind, regardless of your speed,” Becker says. “I started a ‘beautiful completion’ prize’ for the best-looking puzzles. My whole aim was to encourage everyone to do these, have a good time, and get something out of it.” Becker says she began making crosswords her junior year on her own, first just sketching some and then making 5×5 puzzles, or “minis.” Using a software program called Phil, she progressed to the “midi” size and then to the more difficult 15×15 format, which is the size of the New York Times weekday crossword. Becker’s love of crosswords started early. “I’m from a crossword family,” she says. “My grandfather did two a day until the day he died.” Becker partners with her dad to complete the daily puzzles on the New York Times app.

A “remarkable” number of student writers and artists were recognized by the Massachusetts Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the nation’s longest-running competition to identify creative talent among students. Thirty-one students earned 43 writing honors and 19 students earned 34 art honors. In writing, ANNE KWOK ’21 received numerous awards in poetry and fiction including three Gold Keys, one Silver Key, and one Honorable Mention. For her poem “Aubade For My Sister,” she also received an American Voices and Visions Medal, the highest regional Scholastic honor. “It is one of the more abstract poems I’ve written,” says Kwok, who was taking the creative writing course and the poetry half course. “I’m experimenting with new forms of writing and exploring different poetry forms.” Last fall, her work was also recognized by the Foyles Young Poets competition, when she was awarded Commended Poet. Kwok says she has always loved writing, but at Milton she has more opportunities to write poetry. She has also enjoyed having visiting poets on campus,including Gregory Pardlo, who spent time in her class: “I’d been struggling a lot with appropriating someone else’s voice, and he told me it’s about finding the individual story and to focus on that.” ERICA YIP ’20, who earned a Gold Key and a Silver Key in poetry, was also a finalist in the 2020 Young Arts National Competition for a play script adapted from a piece of her fiction. In the Scholastic Art Awards, GRACE LI ’20 earned a Gold Key for her photograph “space and movement,” a Silver Key for “blue bedroom,” and four Honorable Mentions. “One of the reasons I am drawn to photography is the ability to warp a viewer’s perception of reality through a medium that historically has been trusted to accurately capture it,” Li says. “With Polaroid film specifically, I enjoy experimenting with different ways to manipulate the film and chemicals used to develop the image. By changing the temperature or interfering with the development of the film, I can create new realities.”

Margot Becker ‘20 shared her love of crossword puzzles with the Milton community by challenging them to solve puzzles she created.

Fall 2020


On Centre In the News RESEARCH

Expanding the Narrative About Muslim Women

Using research conducted on three continents, JANA AMIN ’21 has been working for nearly two years to deepen the understanding of a 20th-century Egyptian princess whose story was only partially told. Princess Fawzia Fuad, at one point the queen of Iran, received worldwide attention for her beauty—she was often compared to Western movie stars—during the coverage of her 1939 political marriage to Iran’s crown prince, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. Amin’s research of Egyptian documents unveiled a more complex princess than the one portrayed in the British and American press—a nurse who was involved in Egypt’s health care system and a leader who galvanized Egyptian women to fight for their rights. Amin’s work was featured in an exhibit at the American University in Cairo (AUC), and she conducted research in Egypt, the U.K., and the United States. “Cecil Beaton, who was one of

Princess Fawzia Fuad of Egypt


the photographers for the British royal family, went to photograph her in Iran,” Amin says. “He described her as a ‘fair-skinned princess with sad eyes,’ and the photos show her near a gate. It almost looks like she’s in a cage. And so it was fascinating to get a different perspective on her and to see some of the different roles she played.” Amin’s interest in Fuad began during the summer before her sophomore year, when she attended a history camp run by The Concord Review, a publication of research papers written by secondary school students. She is Egyptian and Muslim, so when she had to choose a historical subject to research in depth, she began learning about Fuad. International media described the princess as “one of the world’s most beautiful women”; coverage of her wedding focused on its opulence. While visiting family and friends in England and Egypt, Amin was able to go to museums and archives to view original documents, including an album in the St. Antony’s College Middle East Archives at Oxford that documented the wedding between Fuad and the crown prince and the diplomatic visits that led up to it. Not until she went to the AUC did Amin find information about Fuad’s life that went beyond her beauty and her wedding. “I went to its rare books library,” Amin says, “and found that she was featured in a lot of the local media, especially this one magazine called Al-Musawar, which basically translates

as ‘the picture.’ Here, she was finally covered for her work. She was not a political pawn, no longer someone who was without a voice, no longer someone who was just getting married. She was a nurse who advocated for women and children’s health care. She encouraged women to get involved in Egyptian politics.” The team at AUC’s rare books library was impressed with Amin’s research and invited her to present it. It also wanted to expand her research into an exhibit, so she worked with the team on curating one that opened last summer at AUC. The preservation team taught Amin about the care that goes into preserving historical artifacts and using them to tell a story. The exhibit received positive media coverage, and Amin is working to see if she can take it to other research centers or museums. She has also been giving talks—including a TEDxYouth talk in Boston—about her research about changing the narrative around Muslim women, and about the importance of maintaining archives to preserve history. “We can use archives to bring some validity to the human experience and to connect people with the past,” she says.

m a r i sa d on e la n ( top ) ; g re g w h i te



Clowning Around in Improv Class

Talbot Speaker: Wonderful and Worthy— Students Are Already There

Even when they’re fully committed to a character, the best improvisers bring their own personalities to their performances, says improv performer GEMMA SOLDATI ’09. Soldati and her comedy partner, Amrita Dhaliwal, visited improv classes taught by Peter Parisi, a teacher in the Performing Arts Department, before spring break. The performers shared the joy and connection inherent in clowning. As students improvised chickens and horses, and took audience cues for their characters, they added telling flourishes: a Shakespearean flair, comic movement, and a confrontational “neigh.” “These things are real; they’re part of who we are,” Soldati told the students. “You have to bring the truth of who you are to the stage. You’re not going to be successful onstage if you’re trying to hide.” Clowning allows performers to play with power dynamics, absurdity, poignancy, and hilarity. A good clown—in the commedia dell’arte tradition rather than the big-shoes, rednose tradition—can be a conduit for all kinds of emotion. Soldati and Dhaliwal have toured with their two-woman show, The Living Room, in the United States and internationally, winning the Best Comedy award at the 2019 Melbourne Fringe Festival in Australia. Playing off each other and creating a story doesn’t always result in humor, Soldati says. “It’s not a competition to see who’s the funniest. You need each other.”

“How would you engage in your life if you knew you were wonderful just as you are?” the clinical psychologist Adia Gooden asked Milton students. “I want you to think about what you would have the courage to do if you knew you were worthy.” Gooden, the director of community programs and outcome measurement at the Family Institute at Northwestern University, visited campus in January as the Talbot Speaker. She spoke with students about the issues of imposter syndrome and low self-worth, the feelings that make even the highest achievers feel unworthy in their day-to-day lives. Imposter syndrome makes a person feel they don’t belong in a place, even when they have been specifically chosen to be there. For students at a selective school like Milton, or for adults in their workplaces, that feeling can manifest in different ways: People may “make themselves small” and fly under the radar for fear that others will discover they don’t belong; they may procrastinate on tasks they feel unqualified to complete; or they may put unsustainable pressure on themselves to be perfect. Low self-worth can affect anyone, Gooden said, and she believes it is at the root of many mental illnesses. People are constantly exposed to messages—internal and external—that tell them they’re not adequate for various reasons, and those in marginalized communities are especially vulnerable, she explained. Struggle and discomfort are normal, even helpful, parts of growth. A person’s value is not in their possessions or achievements but in their individuality, Gooden reminded her audience. She offered four strategies to help students feel worthy and gain a sense of belonging: Practice self-acceptance; practice self-compassion, especially after mistakes, and allow yourself to feel your real emotions; connect to supportive people; and identify your unique strengths and what you can contribute to your community. The SAMUEL S. TALBOT ’65 Memorial Fund for Counseling and Community Issues, established in 1993, enhances the School’s efforts to teach community members about behavioral issues.

Gemma Soldati ’09, right, and Amrita Dhaliwal, left, visited an improv class to share their work in clowning

Clinical psychologist Adia Gooden discusses imposter syndrome.

Fall 2020


The School’s most ambitious fundraising campaign ever provides greater support to its students and teachers and helps ensure a more secure future. 62

“It’s both our honor and our responsibility to ensure Milton remains a place of exceptional teaching and learning. I have tremendous gratitude for the many alumni, parents, and friends who played a role in the campaign’s success, whether their motivation was to make Milton stronger for students today or a desire to pay it forward for future generations.” B RADLEY M. BLOOM P ’06 ’08 ,CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE CHAIR

The campaign set a goal of increasing the endowment and unrestricted funds to strengthen Milton’s ability to support its teachers, attract a dynamic student body, and create new opportunities across divisions. Since Dare’s public launch in 2015, the Milton community has come together to help raise $182.7 million, making the campaign’s goal and long-lasting impact a reality.


A Breakdown of the Campaign’s Accomplishments

Endowment Support for Operating Budget


2012 $7.7 M

$12.6 M





Endowment Value 2012


$190 M


$330 M

“We conclude this campaign stronger and better prepared for our future. Our endowment has historically been three to four times smaller than our peer schools’ endowments. By growing our endowment, we are making a commitment to investing in our students and faculty today and to securing Milton’s future.” T O D D B . B L A N D, H E A D O F S C H O O L




► C A M PA I G N P R I O R I T Y

Faculty Funds raised for the faculty provide Milton with the means to attract and retain the most talented teachers, offer greater faculty housing, and expand the School’s professional development program, an initiative that offers a host of development opportunities. Faculty members are encouraged to attend conferences and workshops in their areas of expertise. To develop leadership skills, many of Milton’s teachers are participating in change-management workshops. And to address the abrupt shift to remote learning, all Milton’s teaching faculty are participating in workshops for remote and hybrid teaching and learning.

“Knowing that there are funds set aside for faculty development and growth is so crucial. As we look to a more uncertain future, what it means to be an educator will continue to be dynamic and require new skill sets. Milton’s commitment to professional development helps us to see this time as an opportunity for growth and innovation.”  I N D U S I N G H , D E A N O F T E AC H I N G A N D L E A R N I N G , E N G L I S H D E PA RT M E N T


Teaching Honored For more than three decades Esther Tsang, the mother of ERIC ’85 and PATRICK ’90 TSANG, taught primary school in Hong Kong. When she passed away four years ago, the brothers, who have remained close to Milton through the years, decided to establish a fund honoring her life’s work and values. “She was a huge influence on Eric and me in terms of always reminding us to maintain our humility, to always be mindful of how we’re treating others,” says Patrick, the chief executive officer and director of Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited in Hong Kong, who has been a member of Milton’s Board of Trustees since 2017. She taught us that if you want to earn someone’s respect, you must first respect that person.” The Esther Tsang Faculty Fund was established to attract talented faculty to Milton in a range of sub-

jects and to provide support for professional development, he says. “We wanted it to enhance the overall faculty experience and to maintain as much flexibility as possible in how the support should be used.” The fund was also established to recognize the superb teaching the brothers received at Milton. “Milton has always been very near and dear to our hearts in terms of the education we received,” Patrick says. “For Eric and me, the quality of the Milton faculty is something we’ve always remembered. A number of different faculty members went above and beyond their duties as teachers, and that was really important to us, especially as boarding students so far away from home. They were more than teachers; they were advisors, dorm parents, and friends. The advice, mentorship, and friendship that we received shaped us into who we are today.” 65

► C A M PA I G N P R I O R I T Y

The Milton Fund The Milton Fund represents 8 percent of the operating budget and plays a vital role in keeping Milton economically strong and stable. The Dare campaign increased giving to The Milton Fund by 34 percent, adding $1.4 million to the School’s annual operations. With the steady support of The Milton Fund, the School is able to meet emerging needs, such as developing a new course, expanding co-curricular clubs, and providing professional development for faculty members.

“T he Milton Fund allows us to grow our operating budget in the areas where we need it most without having to make difficult choices about what happens elsewhere. We rely on it to make things happen. Costs inevitably rise as a Milton Academy education incorporates more technology and experiential learning. Annual donor support gives us the ability to create a program we think is important for the modern student.” H EIDI VANDERBILT-BROWN, CHIEF FINANCIAL AND OPERATING OFFICER



Operating Budget Supported by The Milton Fund

Growth in Milton Fund Dollars Raised During the Course of the Campaign


A Big Hit for the Sciences

“I give to Milton as a thank-you, and to repay all the joys I had there and the opportunities I experienced. I want future students to have those same experiences.” JANE CARR ’53

The students love them and so do the faculty in Milton’s Science Department. The eight-foot-wide, floor-toceiling fume hoods, equipped with sliding glass doors, allow students to perform chemical experiments not usually conducted at the high school level. The hoods remove vapors from the work site, giving students an opportunity to work with chemicals that would have been too dangerous to use prior to the installation. Purchase of the hoods was made possible by support from The Milton Fund, with money raised through Milton’s capital campaign. In 2017, after researching the potential benefits of fume hoods and discussing the idea with others in the department, Science Department Chair Julie Seplaki proposed purchasing them to the administration. Joel Moore, who has been teaching chemistry at Milton for the past six years, describes the change they’ve made to how chemistry is taught as “off the charts.” He says the purchase was a huge upgrade in terms of what it permits the department to do: “It takes the scope of our experimental work and exponentially increases it.”

The hoods are located in classrooms where the department’s honors, advanced, and organic chemistry classes take place, and where, Moore says, many of Milton’s most enthusiastic chemistry students are taught. “There are certain chemical reactions that produce volatile compounds or gases that in previous labs we could not carry out,” he says. “These classes have benefited tremendously from having the new hoods.” The intermolecular forces lab also uses volatile liquids that can produce odor and potentially release flammable vapor into the room. “If you have the fume hoods,” Moore says, “you can mitigate these hazards, so the students are able to do much cooler chemistry. Our fume hoods are jam-packed with students working in them.” The fume hoods, which, Moore says, are the standard for doing industrial-capacity science, are significant purchases that wouldn’t have been possible without the funding. “Their addition took an already dynamic curriculum and just made it better.”


► C A M PA I G N P R I O R I T Y

Students A hallmark of the Milton experience is the connections made within a dynamic student population. Financial aid makes that experience possible for many talented Milton students. Since the beginning of the campaign, the School’s financial aid budget has increased by 47 percent.

Increased Financial Aid Funds Offer Increased Opportunity

Financial Aid Budget Growth




$8.9 M

$13.1 M

when AILSA BEGGS ’18 toured Milton as a prospective student, she was struck by how relaxed and “in their element” students seemed. She knew she had found her place; when she received her admission letter, she accepted right away. “At the time, my excitement for Milton was much less about the exact classes or resources, and more about how I felt when I was on campus,” Beggs says. “My excitement never faded, and when my large orange envelope arrived, there wasn’t even a choice to make.” Coming from a small mountain town in northern Idaho, Beggs was excited about the academic challenges Milton could offer. She took part in Outdoor Program activities, explored Boston, and made friends she will have for life. In Eve Goldenberg’s English class, the world of critical personal thought opened for her. Rachel Klein-Ash, her college counselor, supported Beggs by helping her set goals for the future. As it does for nearly 30 percent of current students, financial aid enabled Beggs to attend Milton. The

Dare campaign has and will continue to support financial aid growth, totaling $13.1 million in the 201920 school year. “Milton’s financial aid program has made the life I live now possible,” Beggs says. “I have been blessed with countless individuals and opportunities that have shaped me into the person I am today, and my scholarship to Milton is one of them. Having the opportunity to attend Milton made it an actual possibility for me to pursue the goals I had set for myself, surrounded by similarly motivated peers and teachers whose goal was to bring out the best in us.” Today, Beggs is in her third year at Columbia University, where she is pursuing a joint political science and statistics major with a minor in education. Since 2019, she has worked as a paralegal in an employment rights law firm in Manhattan, and she volunteers at Matriculate, which provides advising for high-achieving low-income students.

► C A M PA I G N P R I O R I T Y

Campus & Operations Campaign Provides Campus Upgrades Robotics-loving Milton students at all grade levels now have places to prepare for tournaments, work on projects, explore new technology, or simply hang out with one another, thanks to upgrades made possible by the Dare campaign. These changes—a renovated and expanded robotics room in the Art and Media Center for Upper School students and a brand-new design thinking space for Lower and Middle school students in the Caroline Saltonstall Building—represent just a fraction of the projects in the Dare campus improvements list, all planned with students’ needs in mind. The campus master plan projects completed and anticipated with the support of Dare funds involved a thorough look at the School’s existing spaces with an eye toward students and sustainability, says Chief Financial Officer Heidi Vanderbilt-Brown. “We’re taking a close lens to spaces we’re already using in certain ways and asking, ‘Is that how this space should be used in the future?’” she says. “‘And what will best support and provide flexibility to our program? It all starts with the program.”

Campaign funds have helped achieve dozens of program improvements in recent years, including new hoods in the Pritzker Science Center to expand chemistry course options (see page 67); significant improvements to Ware Hall, including renovated classrooms, a new science lab and expanded learning spaces, the addition of an elevator, and needed hvac upgrades; a new cooling system for the Athletic and Convocation Center that provides air-conditioning and operates the ice rink, a new turf field; and upgrades to common spaces in many

of the dorms. The School also added new faculty housing units and upgraded many others in support of on-campus living. And the master plan continues: Work will begin in 2022 to move Cox Library into Wigglesworth Hall, making it possible for the History Department to stay together in a research-focused space, while the current library building will be renovated into a new center for Upper

School mathematics. Improvements to the Schwarz Student Center will provide additional space for student programs and for individual and group work. “Programmatic goals, articulated by the faculty, have driven the planning for each project. As a result, Milton has created spaces that have an immediate and visible impact on students’ experience,” says Upper School Principal David Ball.



Leaving a Lasting Legacy

Bill Harwood ’70 has vivid memories of his time at Milton, including when students went on strike in 1970. It was the height of the antiwar movement, and he credits Milton for maintaining its academic integrity while giving students latitude to test their values. In the classroom, high academic standards paved the way for Harwood's later success as a lawyer and a law professor. He realizes that tuition doesn’t cover the full cost of a Milton education, so he has made regular donations to Milton since graduation. He also made a charitable gift by naming Milton as a beneficiary of his IRA. “It feels great to give back to an institution that gave so much to each of us,” Harwood says.


Alumni Life

Meet Emma Margaret Krenitski, born on March 7 to Alice Bator Krenitski ’07 and her husband, Scott. (see p. 88)

News & Notes from Our Alumni Community

Fall 2020


Class Notes 1935–1954

193 5

◄ One of Milton’s oldest graduates, CONSTANCE BRADLEY MADEIRA, died peacefully at her home in Northeast Harbor, Maine, on March 24, 2020, at the age of 102. She was born in Convent Station, New Jersey, on December 31, 1917 and graduated from The Peck School in Morristown, New Jersey, before entering the class of 1935 at Milton Academy Girls’ School. Connie cherished her Milton years and often regaled family and friends with happy memories of her three years boarding in Hathaway House. A skilled and passionate athlete, she played field hockey, basketball, baseball (“not softball”), and tennis. Shortly after her 100th birthday, she vividly recalled an annual “Boys’ School vs. Girls’ School” baseball contest, proudly telling family members that she pitched for the girls’ team and even got a hit. The headmaster served as umpire and dressed in full uniform! From her early teens onward, Connie spent summers in Northeast Harbor, Maine, and became enamored of sailing on the Maine coast. She was an accomplished skipper in one design racing boats, and graduated in later years to the relaxation of cruising aboard her beloved sloop, Baleira, with family, friends, and devoted crew. After a divorce from Crawford Madeira in 1965, Connie moved from Princeton, New Jersey, to Dorset, Vermont, where in winter she taught skiing at Stratton

Constance Bradley Madeira ’35 passed away in March


Milton Magazine

Bill Porter ’51 enjoying martinis with his dog, Lyra, and granddaughter, Zeyla, May 9, 2020.

Mountain and continued to migrate to Maine in summer. In 1978, she made Northeast Harbor her permanent residence and became fully immersed in the local community, serving on a variety of local boards and committees. She is survived by her 3 daughters, 10 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and a team of compassionate, loyal caregivers. A memorial service will be arranged at a later date.

came with us. She and I went through training and licensing eight or nine years ago, giving us a good chance to check up on some facilities near our old home in Glastonbury, Connecticut. She loves people and is a big help in getting to know people, and taking me on frequent walks around this campus. She often recognizes masked friends before I do. I’m playing with colored pencil painting as a less messy way to feel creative. Wishing you all good health.”


JEAN WHITHAM writes, “Whit and I enjoy our new life in New Hampshire, living at Birch Hill, a continuing care retirement community, on the outskirts of Manchester. Our daughters, in Colorado and Tennessee, feel we are as safe as possible (locked down for many weeks), able to take walks, work on fitness, and socialize within limits. We read a lot and do all kinds of puzzles. Gathering family and friends on Zoom has been such a treat! Happily we are very comfortable in our apartment. I find my conversations often filled with retelling memories. Just recently a discussion of 2020 school graduations—or lack of them— led to talk of our Milton Girls’ School event in 1954. How sad it would be not to have that memory to cherish. But then I realized the ceremony has long been quite different than I remember! Changes will be interesting, perhaps difficult to accept when this pandemic is behind us. Hopefully people can enjoy their memories of life at Milton as I do after so many years."

► Former Upton House resident

BILL PORTER writes, “Odd episode in our lives. I’ve been sheltered at home since March 13, seeing family through Zoom. Gratifying but insufficient! Seven grandchildren, 4 to 25. Oldest, Zeyla, lives in an apartment downstairs. We have martinis together."

1953 EMILY JEAN MACAULAY SMITH, now Emily Cain, writes that she’s “living in Toronto at Christie Gardens ‘retirement home’ in a small east-facing, sixth floor apartment with a view of the Niagara Escarpment as it passes east to west through Toronto north of Lake Ontario; handy for my son and his family. Very grateful to Milton Academy and in particular to Miss Punderson, aka ‘Miss Pundy,’ for brilliant English classes, and also Miss Ormsby, who taught us plane geometry. Much affection to everyone.”

1 95 4 JACK CANNELL is the class notes secretary for his Princeton Class of 1958, which requires a new column about 15 times a year. He says it keeps him busy. Jack and Betty Ann moved permanently from Montclair, New Jersey, to their summer place in Mattapoisett as they weather the coronavirus. SARAH “SALLY” LOVETT shares that 2019 was a good year for travel, with trips to Kenya, Tanzania, and Zanzibar in March, and Vietnam and Cambodia in November. By contrast, in 2020 there is “no traveling.” Instead, Sally and Bob packed up their kitchen and sitting room for a complete renovation, with demolition beginning June 1, when they moved into their living room for two months with a refrigerator, microwave, and hot

plate. She writes, “Oh my! I really can’t complain since our kitchen is 32 years of age, quite out of date, and the new one will be a work of art. When not packing, I walk, read, and garden. We have beautiful birds at the feeder, singing and nesting in the yard. I’m getting to meet neighbors at a social distance who walk down our lane with their newly adopted dogs and maybe a baby carriage. I miss our friends and family but we stay in touch by phone. I wish you all good health and I hope we can keep this bug at bay.” DUFFY SCHADE and Gerhard moved into StoneRidge, a senior independent living place, in November 2018. “We’re so glad that we did, especially now. It’s located in Mystic, Connecticut, a beautiful area (with one of our sons and his family nearby). We’re very well taken care of. Our Australian shepherd, Sydney,

Fall 2020


Class Notes 1955–1964 0 1   C OV I D S TO R I E S

In mid-March, as Boston’s restaurants closed their doors, restaurant owner IRENE LI ’08 (pictured above) quickly switched gears. She turned her attention from full-time operation of her award-winning Boston restaurant, Mei Mei, to full-time support of Boston’s frontline health care workers and to many of the area’s less fortunate restaurateurs. Li began collaborating with Off Their Plate (OTP), a national all-volunteer initiative supporting COVID-related health care workers on the front lines of the pandemic. Through OTP, she not only contributed cooked meals to health care workers, but also helped distribute bags of groceries. “We thought it would be good to keep our health care providers out of grocery stores—to take that pressure off them,” she says. By early May, OTP had distributed 1,700 pounds of food to 100 health care workers at the Boston Hope Hospital—a 1,000-bed, temporary medical center treating patients recovering from COVID-19. Li also helped raise more than $10,000 for almost 40 struggling immigrant-owned mom-and-pop restaurants that weren’t getting the kind of attention better-known restaurants were receiving. “It felt great to send money to business owners who were in an even more precarious position than Mei Mei,” she says. Li also partnered with a community organization in Everett, one of the Boston area’s hardest-hit towns in the pandemic, to provide 300 households with donor-funded groceries that were packaged at Mei Mei. And in a new distribution initiative—Project Restore Us (learn more at www.projectrestore.us)—Li had supplied, as of late June, more than 80,000 pounds of groceries to essential workers and immigrant families. Encouraged by the outpouring of community support, Li hopes the pandemic has helped increase greater awareness of vulnerable populations and service workers. “There is now an appropriate level of attention on the various plights of immigrant workers, undocumented workers, low-wage workers, tip workers,” Li says, "and I do hope that understanding the crisis they’re currently in will help ensure that we keep an eye out for these communities in the future.”


Milton Magazine

195 7

KITTY STINSON CARLETON is disappointed about the postponement of Reunion, but far sadder for two grandsons missing their college graduations and a granddaughter missing her high school. Kitty and Kevin are staying in Vero Beach waiting to see what happens with the reopenings in New Hampshire and the states along their driving route.

PHILIP RAND writes, “COVID started off as something ominous, of course, but the period of quarantine has actually been quite enjoyable for me (albeit people around me may have gone bankrupt or departed for the other world!). I performed a second reading of i Promessi Sposi and the Divina Commedia and an English novel and one written by a Neapolitan friend. The Corriere della Sera reminds one of The New York Times for the abundance of articles to read, so that takes up a part of the day. Six nights a week of Ashtanga yoga at home, etc. "

PENNY DUNCKLEE writes that lately she has been a “weather watcher” for the local NBC news program. She says it’s fun to see her sunrise and sunset photos at the end of weather forecasts, writing, “Enjoy life, everyone. We only get one.”

195 6

reports that all is well in Los Angeles. “Start every day with a beach walk, and then coffee and a croissant at a little bistro. Still trying to get my NEXT movie made. It’s a little bit more difficult because nobody, for three months, has had pitch meetings. But I love my wife, Karen, my grandchildren, and my two sons (Sebastian just got a heart transplant). I am doing lots of videos for Sam Beard and Gift. I get a great deal of pleasure from helping others find their way. I love my memories of Milton, and still my BEST friends were all from those glorious four years. Onward and upward, and don’t miss the Reunion next year.” RUPERT HITZIG


is healthy and happy in the woods of Groton, Massachusetts, and feeling closer to Milton than she has in many years, in part thanks to a spring Zoom meeting with the class. “Ted Wendell was once again the coordinator of the event, and, as usual, the great leader of our class. Seeing each other on the computer was a wonderful gift, and I hope that other classes have or will have done the same. Turning 80 is the big event for me since retirement. I am like a child getting ready to blow up balloons. This is extremely exciting, since most folks in my family have not been able to do this. I send my love to you all.”

b ri a n samue l s

Feeding Boston’s Frontline Workers

195 5

1959 PHIL KINNICUTT sends greetings from Florida, where he has relocated from Hawaii. He and Marcia Schoeller are still sheltering in place in Vero Beach. They feel lucky to enjoy the outdoors with beach walks and "competitive" croquet together, and Phil is fishing and trying to revive his golf game. A trip north to visit Phil’s grandkids in Salem and other relatives and friends in New England is on hold, and a planned cruise down the Danube is in question, but he recognizes that those are minor items compared with the catastrophic situation in our country and the world. “We all face an uncertain future but I am hoping for the best... for everybody, everywhere...and I wish everyone good luck and good health.”


Bill Vanderbilt, John Bihldorff, Peter Robbins, and John Grandin bonefishing at a favorite retreat on Andros Island, in the Bahamas. They invite readers to see a similar photo published in the Class Notes of five years ago, adding “compare and contrast….aging gracefully; happy in our work!”

1 96 0 CHAS FREEMAN continues to offer commentary on current affairs from his perch at Brown University’s Watson Institute. See chasfreeman.net. ELISE TRIPP writes, “Like many of you I have been at home since March 11 and am lucky in the midst of all the suffering and loss. My small contribution is in donations to food banks and helping my Chinese neighbor steer donations of masks from China to area hospitals. I have

enormous respect for all those who are cooperating with the lockdown in situations that are very difficult and will continue to be so.” 1962 DIANA (DINA) ROBERTS is enjoying her second year as the director of institutional advancement at Gore Place, in Waltham, Massachusetts. The country estate of Christopher Gore and his wife, Rebecca, is the finest example of early Federalist architecture in New England. Dina is working

Fall 2020

on her third book, a novel titled Both Sides Now, about the high school friendship of two women that survives a decade of turmoil. 1963 TIM BROOKS hopes that his classmates are healthy during this difficult time. He is grateful to Dave Sargent from his class for his regular Facebook posts, especially the ones about the Vietnam War. “Thank you, Dave!”


▼ In January, JESSE KORNBLUTH published a novel, JFK and Mary Meyer: A Love Story, a reimagining of the burned diary of the only woman Kennedy may have 75

Class Notes 1965–1971 0 2   C OV I D S TO R I E S

Alums Turn Hashtag Into the Nation’s Largest Platform for PPE Donations

ADAM BECKMAN ’12, KEYON VAFA ’12, and NICK DEVEAU ’12 were part of a coalition of physicians, scientists, engineers, and technologists working together to help frontline workers get the personal protective equipment they needed. In March, Beckman, now a fourth-year MD-MBA candidate at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Business School, and his fellow students were pulled off hospital rotations because of COVID-19. They transitioned to virtual learning and were also given time to work on COVID-related projects. Beckman was one of four students asked by a small group of doctors to help with turning a new hashtag, #GetUsPPE, into a petition on Twitter. Then the growing group decided to build a distribution channel to match PPE supplies to hospitals in need. The end result was the nation’s largest platform (GetUsPPE.org) for personal protective equipment donations. “What started as a grassroots project grew to hundreds of people,” says Beckman, who stressed that his contribution was just one of many and mainly at the beginning of the project. “Early on, we needed a data science team, so I reached out to friends and colleagues including Keyon and Nick,” says Beckman. Vafa is getting his Ph.D. in computer science at Columbia University, and Deveau leads a team of data scientists at pymetrics, a talent-matching platform that leverages objective data. He is also earning a master’s in bioinformatics at Stanford University. Beckman, who has long been interested in health policy and public health, also early in the pandemic helped launch covid19bill.org, which published recommendations to Congress for public health and health care priorities for stimulus legislation. He has coauthored multiple op-eds about COVID-19, including an opinion piece in USA Today about access to health insurance with a classmate and two former content management system administrators. “It feels critical, especially now, to speak up with words, writing, or voting about the dysfunctional and inequitable health system COVID-19 is highlighting,” Beckman says.


Milton Magazine

loved, murdered in Georgetown a year after his assassination.

To what end I’m not always sure. Mostly joyful. My husband, three dogs, and I live together now in days that flow between breakfast and Netflix with an occasional doctor’s appointment thrown in. Bedtime is earlier and earlier. Thankfully we both like the same TV shows; we both read, and our children aren’t far away.”

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DAVID BROWN writes that after a decade in South Carolina, he has moved back to Maine. “Our progeny are all in New England, which helps us put up with real winter again. In June, I will be celebrating my first year of survival from a double-lung transplant. I was looking forward to attending our 55th Reunion. I guess I will have to wait until next year to see a bunch of strangely familiar old people. To that end, I hope my classmates will take care of themselves.”

EMILY BURR is living in Canterbury, New Hampshire, with her husband, Richard. She is a Unitarian Universalist community minister with a focus on social justice and legislative advocacy. “I am glad we had our 50th Reunion last year and got to be with so many classmates.”

NANCY GANZ WRIGHT writes, “It’s been, oh, probably 40 years since I sent in a note. Something about a pandemic makes you want to reach out. I’m old and gray and most of my life has been lived.

19 7 0

▲ Miltonians gathered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, for a mini-50th reunion. They write, “While it was a relatively small gathering, the festivities lasted over many days, over many stories, and over many bottles of wine! We hope to gather in Milton in June for a larger and more

At a 1970 mini 50th Reunion (left to right) Jeff Garrity, Bob Gannett, and Rob Fallon

extensive 50th Reunion. However, should the coronavirus preclude those festivities from happening, we will fondly remember when the Three Milton Amigos and their wonderful wives were able to relive the glory days of Milton 50 years ago. We discovered that ‘the older we get, the better we were!’ Stay healthy and safe, my friends." 1971 TIM BROWN will retire in June after 38 years of teaching mathematics and statistics at The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. He and his wife, Barbara Elkins, will be moving to Northampton, Massachusetts, this summer.

The Milton Fund makes a Milton education exceptional. By providing 8 percent of Milton’s operating budget, it provides essential resources for today’s students and teachers.

MARGARET TRUMBULL NASH writes, “I know that none of us believes we’re old enough to attend a 50th high school Reunion. That said, let’s flaunt our gray hair and come back to Milton next year to catch up with each other. In these strange pandemic times it has been important to reconnect with old friends. I hope to see you all. Ideas for the Reunion are welcome.”

Fall 2020



Graduation 2020

Meet the Milton Class of 2020

Classmates cheered one another on as each graduate's name was called at this year’s online commencement exercises on June 5. Brendan Hegarty and Nyla Sams were chosen by their classmates to deliver the graduation remarks. • Livesey Phillips Abar • Zaki Ellis M’hammedi Alaoui • Stefan Aleksic • Sarah Saad Alkhafaji • Zachary Brennan Ankner • Aurora Faith Austin • Louis Joseph Radin Barber • Virginia Morris Barrett • Eliza Mary Claire Barrett-Cotter • Alexandra Patricia Barron • Samantha Kimberly Bateman • Margot Heath Becker • Kiran John Biddinger • Maya Jane Bokhari • Zane Matthew Bookbinder • Abigail Bates Borggaard • Emma Catharine Borggaard • Benjamin Adam Bosnian • Matthew John Bower • Brian Gregory Bowman • Emma Elizabeth Bradley • Chloe Isabel Brenner • Yaneris D’Anique Briggs • Zachary A. Brooks • Connor Allan Brown • Dillon Angelina Brown • Michelle Christine Buleke • Daniel Patrick Burke • Jonah Ian Bussgang • Madeline Conant Cappillo • Amelia Genevieve Carlson • Maxwell Stephen Cassella • Nicole Marie Cepeda • Yik To Calvin Cheong • Alaina Isabel Cherry • Henry H. Cheung • Grace Anne Chiang • Nicholas Won Choi • Malia Gyr Chung • India Enfield Claudy • Samantha Kylander Cody • Piper Lloyd Coes • Katherine Winstead Conn • Anne Sheerin Corcoran • Tyler Crist • Cori Ruth DeLano • Diego Mihai Domenig


• Emma Sunhee Drisko • Willa Gibson DuBois • Jerry Ducasse • Katherine Virginia Dudley • Kadian Davina Eccleston • Paul Christopher Ehret • Yaseen Hazem Elsebaie • Blair Reddan Englert • Stella Grace Finocchio • Ethan Ecklund Furdak • Hannah Shaler George • Maya Lizhi Geyling • Orson Ruairc Gillick Morris • Benjamin Copeland Goddard • Samuel Robert Goldberg • Mitchell Douglas Gonser • Justin Patrick Greene • Kendelle Noelle Grubbs • Caroline Bridget Guden • Ugur Gurol • Madison Nicole Hackett • Akira Joe Hagiwara • Elizabeth Hastings Hall “I encourage everyone to let themselves be wrapped up, drawn into, or in some cases, submerged, in the spontaneous. I think it’s the best way to live, because those are the moments we remember most, the moments that define times in our lives.” BRENDAN HEGARTY

• Roger Haydock Hallowell IV • Abigail Michelle Hanly • Brendan Nichols Hegarty • Caroline Holliday Heyburn • Celia Millet Hoffman • Anna Johnson Holtschlag • Graydon Tate Holubar • Mary Tobin Howley • Zan Donald Huang • Imani Wanda Hussain • Zacharia Hani Ibrahim • Osafuwmengbe Osarenkhoe Idahor • Noel Ike Igbokwe • Stephen Francis Irving Jr. • Ainsley Nealon Iwanicki • Noah Nathaniel Marley Jackson • Charlotte Brewster Jordan • William Healy Jordan • Zoe Hillman Katz • Beck Alexander Kendig • Leo Kaplan Khadduri • Cameron James King • Sophia Augusta Lachenauer • Samantha Elizabeth Lee • Brianna Ashley Lewis • Grace Li • Jennifer Lim • Justin Shi-yu Lin • Max Talbot Litvak • William Conners Livingston • Danielle Chen Lu • Andrew Ling Ma • Duncan Scot MacGillivray

• John Samuel Benedict MacGregor • William Hennessy Magann • Daisy Christine Marshall • Nasib Sadiki McDonald • Leydn Young McEvoy • John Michael McLaughlin • Alexa Adams Mehlman • Ramez Metri • Avery Rose Miller • Benjamin William Monnich • Kalel Anthony Mullings • Niall Michio Murphy • Anna Down Murray • Devon Bolton Noble • Tara O’Malley • Margot Rutherford O’Marah • Patrick Doyle O’Neill • Erinma Adaeze Onyewuchi • Shane Michael O’Sullivan • Kathryn Anne Packard • Pari Lee Palandjian • Sarah Camille Palmer • Mark Pang • Kathryn Haley Paul • Samuel Walter Peacock • Henry David Perry-Friedman • Jennifer Rose Peters • Olivia Cecile Pouliot • Shalimar Aliza Pujols • Charles Jackson Rebuck • Allison Nicole Reilly • Idone Farren Rhodes • Jayla Vera Rhodes • Grant Kramer Robinson • Alexander Burling Rodriguez • Nyla Alise Sams • Kyle Franca Santiago

Where They’re Headed

University of Chicago, Boston College, and NYU top the 79 destinations for Milton’s ’20 grads

“We have demonstrated time and time again the strength of our voices, and have experienced so much during our years on this earth that we are beyond qualified to make America what it needs to be.” NYLA SAMS

• Kavi Pinak Shah • David Rui-Wen Shaw • Jeanna Yuyang Shaw • Abigail Teresa Sheehan • Jun Seob Shim • Jennifer Wells Small • Nathan Jeremy Smith • Iryna Sobchyshyna • Theodore Brooks Solter • Jayla Ajanae Stallings • Thomas Allan Stikeleather • Elizabeth Jillian Wen-Ying Strang • John Christopher Sullivan • Daniel Sung-min William Suter • Michelle Naa Ameley Tagoe • Isa Tariq Ka’ala Taha-Stern • Long Tao • Deanna Nayr Tarraza • Olivia Jean Taveira • Henry David Taylor • Rufus Logan Taylor • Evita Thadhani • Priya Gitanjali Thakore • Wyatt Leo Troy • Yuki Tsutsumi • Susan Louise Urstadt • Katerina Victoria Varsamis • Zachary Griffith Vaughan • Andrew Joseph Viola • Charles Robert Volpe • David Wyman Walker Jr. • Katherine Anne Walker • David Matias Walley • Jiaji Wang • Olivia Lynn Wang • Caitlin Elizabeth Waugh • Anneke Soelberg Wernerfelt • Mathea Montgomery Wernerfelt • Devon Mason Whalen • Antoine Solles Wiley • Jake Dennis Willcox • Deven Syon Mosi Williams • Andrew Jacob Willwerth • Larissa Tess Wolfberg • Emma Yang

Erika Zi Yan Yip American University.......................................... 3 • Miriam Zuo Amherst College................................................ 6 Barnard College................................................. 4 Bates College......................................................1 Bentley University...............................................1 Boston College................................................... 9 Boston University................................................1 Bowdoin College................................................ 4 Brown University................................................ 5 Bucknell University............................................ 2 Univ. of California, Los Angeles...........................1 Univ. of California, San Diego.............................1 Carnegie Mellon University.................................1 University of Chicago........................................ 12 Claremont McKenna College...............................1 Colby College.................................................... 4 Colgate University..............................................1 Colorado College................................................1 University of Colorado, Boulder.......................... 2 Columbia University.......................................... 3 Connecticut College...........................................1 Cornell University.............................................. 2 Dartmouth College............................................ 5 Duke University.................................................. 2 Florida A&M University .......................................1 George Washington University............................1 Georgetown University....................................... 5 Georgia Institute of Technology..........................1 Gettysburg College.............................................1 Hamilton College............................................... 2 Harvard College................................................. 5 Haverford College.............................................. 2 Howard University..............................................1 Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign...................1 Kenyon College...................................................1 Lehigh University................................................1 Maryland Institute College of Art........................1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology............... 3 University of Massachusetts, Amherst................ 2 University of Miami............................................ 2

University of Michigan....................................... 2 Middlebury College............................................ 6 Mount Holyoke College.......................................1 New York University........................................... 7 Univ of North Carolina (Morehead-Cain).............1 Northeastern University..................................... 2 Northwestern University.....................................1 University of Notre Dame....................................1 University of Pennsylvania................................. 3 Pomona College................................................ 2 Princeton University........................................... 2 Purdue University................................................1 Reed College.......................................................1 Rice University................................................... 2 University of Richmond...................................... 2 Ringling College of Art & Design..........................1 Samford University.............................................1 Santa Clara University........................................1 Savannah College of Art & Design.......................1 University of Scranton.........................................1 Skidmore College................................................1 University of Southern California........................1 St Lawrence University........................................1 Stanford University............................................ 2 Trinity College.................................................... 2 Trinity College Dublin..........................................1 Tufts University.................................................. 3 Tulane University............................................... 4 Union College.....................................................1 United States Military Academy..........................1 University of St Andrews..................................... 2 Vanderbilt University......................................... 2 University of Vermont........................................ 2 University of Virginia ......................................... 4 Wake Forest University .......................................1 Wesleyan University........................................... 2 William and Mary............................................... 3 Williams College................................................ 3 Yale University................................................... 3

Fall 2020


Class Notes 1975–1992 0 3   C OV I D S TO R I E S

A Clever Conversion Helps COVID Patients Breathe Easier

At the peak of New York City’s response to COVID-19, city hospitals were in danger of running out of ventilators to support patients who could not breathe on their own. At Mount Sinai Hospital, in Manhattan, a team of healthcare workers found a way to convert the 200 sleep apnea machines donated by Tesla CEO Elon Musk into effective breathing tools. Among them was HOOMAN POOR ’99, a pulmonologist and professor of pulmonology, critical care, and sleep medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “There was really no reason why this couldn’t work,” Poor told Business Insider about converting the BiPAP machines. Because of the virus’s contagiousness, Poor and the team had to find a way to contain it rather than let exhaled breath recirculate, as it does with an ordinary BiPAP. Once developed, the conversion would take about 10 minutes per machine—a promising tool for hospitals struggling to keep up with the volume of patients. As doctors worldwide began to theorize that COVID-19 was causing blood clots in patients, the Associated Press reported Poor’s team used a clot-fighting approach that combined a blood thinner with the clot-busting drug tPA. The approach showed some success but was not a proven therapy, Poor says; however, it could guide further research on COVID-19 treatment.

19 75 JONATHAN FOSTER is living in Los Angeles but is increasingly bicoastal. He has spent 30-plus years managing wealth for families on the East and West Coasts. Jonathan has been married since 1986 to Laurie; their son Michael is an accomplished jazz musician in New York City; their son Charlie is an employment lawyer in Los Angeles; and their daughter, Elizabeth, is a preschool schoolteacher in New York City. “I have continued my lifelong obsession with playing squash ever since Milton,” Jonathan writes, “playing at Penn and on the pro tour for a number of years afterward, and two to three times per week to this day, now augmented with an unhealthy obsession with golf as well!”

19 7 7 ROSE KERNOCHAN describes the last year-and-a-half as eventful: taking a job at the International Culinary Center (formerly French Culinary Institute), overseeing a readings series at New York’s National Arts Club, and separating from her husband of 22 years. She’s sheltering in place in a lovely Long Island house. “I really enjoy keeping up with a lot of my ‘77 classmates on Facebook.”

welcomed his first grandchild, Frederick Steel Gabourie. STEEL SWIFT

On behalf of his family, including JENNIFER ’78 and NICHOLAS ’80,


CHRIS TRAKAS ’77 shared that their mother, ANNE P. (POULOS) TRAKAS P ’77 ’78 ’80, passed away on March 2. Her husband, DR. JOHN C. TRAKAS P ’77 ’78 ’80, predeceased her in 2009. “She was very fond of Milton and proud that all three children attended Milton for 14 or 13 years each. She was a regular volunteer at Swap-It for decades and attended numerous school and athletic events and plays that her children were in. She also made many friends among Milton parents.”

198 3 MICHELLE PEIRCE, a Barrett & Singal partner and cochair of the firm’s litigation group, has been named the president-elect of the Women’s Bar Foundation (WBF). She will become president for the year 2021. Michelle has served as a trustee and volunteer with the WBF’s Family Law Project, helping one client for years with her family law matter. She has also been a comedian at the annual Comedy Night fundraiser. Michelle’s practice is focused on complex civil litigation and white-collar criminal defense. She has been a trustee on the executive board of the WBF since 2006.

198 4

In January 2020, MARK ATWOOD LAWRENCE was appointed director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas. In that role, he manages a

04  C OV I D S TO R I E S

Arts Organizations Dig Deep Into Their Collections for PPE vast archive of records from LBJ’s presidency and oversees the library’s museum, education programs, and outreach activities. Previously, Lawrence taught history at the University of Texas at Austin, where he specialized in American politics and foreign policy. After four years as Vermont’s secretary of education, REBECCA HOLCOMBE stepped down a few years ago and is now running for governor as a Democrat, against a Republican incumbent “who vetoed bills related to paid leave, a handgun waiting period, and closing the Charleston loophole in background checks, and who has dragged his feet on climate action and health care reform.” To learn more or to reach Rebecca, visit rebeccaholcombe.com. 1986 TAV MORGAN wrote to share that his father, BARRY ’57, passed away peacefully on April 17 from complications related to the coronavirus. Since retiring, Barry had been enjoying his passion for the arts and travel and spending time with his family at his beloved summer residence on Brooks Pond. A resident of Forbes House and an outdoor enthusiast, Barry often recounted stories of hiking with Ad Carter and the other members of the Mountaineering Club. One of his fondest Milton memories was of their adventurous ascents in the Alaska Mountain range in the summer of 1957. A loyal alum,

Barry had the great pleasure of awarding his granddaughter CHARLOTTE MOREMEN ’19 her Milton diploma last spring. 1 989 ADRIA ESTRIBOU just published her third book, Angel Insights for Unprecedented Times (April 2020). She recently moved to Sedona, Arizona.  

1 992

Last summer, TOM GIORDANO traveled to Scotland and completed his training with master teacher Kristin Linklater, becoming designated as a teacher in her method of (spoken) voice. He has since joined the faculties of Shakespeare & Company in western Massachusetts, and Emerson College, in Boston, and splits his time between Massachusetts and New York City. PETER SCOBLIC received his doctorate from Harvard Business School, where his research focused on how to make strategy in uncertain times. Harvard Business Review’s July-August issue featured his article “Learning from the Future” as part of its cover package on leadership during the pandemic. Scoblic is working on a book about strategic foresight, and he has cofounded a consultancy, Event Horizon Strategies, with classmate JON REIN, to facilitate foresight projects for organizations and teach associated skills to their leaders.

As COVID-19 ravaged New York City communities in early spring, hospitals were quickly running out of PPE for their staff. The father of MOLLY KRAUSE ’08, a physician in New York State, was treating potential COVID-19 patients without access to adequate protection. Krause, who is an arts and culture publicist (her eponymous firm, krause co., was recently named by Observer as “one of the most influential firms in the visual arts industry”), saw an Instagram post by a preparator at the Whitney Museum showing a box containing N95 masks and gloves, a donation from the museum. Krause says it made her realize “the coincidence that museums’ and galleries’ art-handling supplies double as medical-grade PPE. I reached out to contacts at a couple dozen art organizations, including the Frick, Christie’s, and a number of major museums and galleries, and I provided resources to facilitate donations to NYC-area hospitals based on the art organization’s location.” She also placed press stories in art trade publications to heighten visibility of the initiative and encourage others to donate. She received additional requests to facilitate and donations totaling thousands of gloves, hundreds of N95 masks, and other miscellaneous supplies such as Tyvek suits. Krause notes that a PPE donation from Cheim and Read gallery was via NICHOLAS GINSBURG ’10. Krause, who lived in Hathaway House, says that Ginsburg, who lived in Goodwin House, “was my assigned ‘little brother’ when Milton paired junior and freshman boarders.” By late spring, the art organizations’ efforts had delivered 23,000+ gloves, 300+ N95 masks, 500+ masks, 300 protective booties, and 75 Tyvek aprons to medical professionals. Molly Krause

Fall 2020


Class Notes 1993–1996 05  C OV I D S TO R I E S

Spice Adds Life to Boston’s Frontline Workers

When it became clear early last spring that Boston was dealing with one of the worst outbreaks of COVID-19 in the country, CLAIRE CHENEY ’02, owner of Curio Spice Company, in Cambridge, was looking for a way to help. Shortly after the online and retail supplier of high-quality, sustainably sourced spices closed in mid-March, Cheney saw a huge spike in online sales. “Everyone was home, everyone was cooking, and I thought, ‘I’m glad we’re busy, but I want to do more,’" she says. "I didn’t want to just ship spices; I wanted to figure out a more direct way I could impact our community.” She decided to take the sales of one of her favorite products—a Sichuan chili spice mix that she had developed with restaurateur IRENE LI ’08 (see page 74)—and donate the profits to Off Their Plate (OTP), a national organization that provides meals to frontline health workers. Customers could either purchase the spice mix at the store price ($9.50 a jar) or donate more. When the fundraiser ended in June, Cheney had raised more than $4,000 for OTP. “I feel however much money we raised is better than no money raised,” she says. “My hope is that every time a customer looks at the jar (the jar comes wrapped in OTP branding) they think, 'Oh, maybe I can tell my friends about this project.’ It’s like a physical reminder. There are so many ways on the internet to help that sometimes it’s hard to remember which one to choose. Having a physical reminder in their cupboard may help people to give and continue to contribute.”


Milton Magazine

1 997

At the home of LISA (BALZANO) PUGLISI, in Fairfield, Connecticut, a Milton friends’ reunion with families took place in July 2019. Pictured left to right, all Class of 1997: Annie (Moyer) Martinez, Lauren (Wahtera) Czapla, Emily (Brooks) Murphy, Heather McGhee and Cassim Shepard, Alex (Muenze) DePalo, Alyssa (Friedman) Yan, Meroe Morse, Jackie Barton Pomahac, and Puglisi.

19 93 ARYEH STERNBERG writes, “I wanted to send an update from Lockdown Central, down under in Sydney, Australia. I have been spending my time enjoying isolation with my newborn daughter, Isabella, and my wife, Marcia, while trying to bring safety to Australia with robots that will help patrol the retail shops to ensure we can all safely return to our normal shopping behavior.” He has been living and working in Australia since the beginning of the year, having returned from a year working in Jakarta, Indonesia, where he was supporting an advertising agency with its data transformation. “We hope the great work that the Australian government has been doing at keeping us safe will pay off soon with a quick return to less restrictions, and I am looking forward to bringing my daughter

out into the parks, where she can experience the beautiful Australian weather and nature. I hope everyone at Milton is staying safe, and look forward to the next chance I have to visit campus and say hello.” 19 94 NOAH FREEMAN is living in the South End of Boston with his two kids, Ella, nine, and Julian, six. “I am thrilled to say that Ella will be attending fourth grade at Milton in the fall.” FREDERICK MELO is the father of two kids, ages five and three, and living the “Midwestern dream” as the St. Paul bureau chief for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, a daily newspaper in St. Paul, Minnesota. He shares that he celebrated 15 years with the newspaper in January, and his anniversary celebration immediately caused a global virus crisis.

06  C OV I D S TO R I E S

UChicago Student Works to Help Boston Frontliners with Childcare

SARAH SCHECHTER was named chairwoman and partner at Berlanti Productions. Having joined the company in February 2014, Sarah has been part of developing a record 20 television series across seven outlets. On the film side, she produced Joe Wright’s Pan, and the upcoming Free Guy, starring Ryan Reynolds. Prior to joining Berlanti Productions, Sarah spent nine years at Warner Bros. Pictures, serving as senior vice president of production. During her tenure, she oversaw films such as Spike Jonze’s Her and Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino.


is part of the leadership team at the fast-growing Boston start-up Voicify. Paul brings brands and nonprofits to life on voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant. He recently caught up with LYLE PAUL COSTELLO



SCOTT TREMAINE is currently living in Basel, Switzerland, as head of global retail operations at Dufry (owner of Hudson News in the U.S.). He is the proud father of a beautiful 15-year-old daughter, Lucia, who lives with her mother in Elche, Spain. “As of May,” he writes, “I have not been able to see her in over two months, but she is healthy, happy, smart, and has a heart of gold.” He took Lucia on a tour of Milton; she loved it and he loved being back.

In March, when the University of Chicago sent students home to continue their learning online, SELIN EGE YALCINDAG ’17 returned home to Milton. As the daughter of two physicians, Yalcindag says she was “eager to help out the families of health care workers during the COVID-19 crisis in any way that I could.” She became the Boston ambassador to Step Up to SIT, a student-led initiative with the goal of keeping health care and other essential workers healthy and able to do their jobs while reducing the transmission of COVID-19 between children and their families. This initiative matched high school and college students willing to offer their babysitting services with individual families to allow parents to keep working. It was cofounded by two sisters, one of whom went to UChicago, which is how Yalcindag first heard of it. “My role was mainly organizational, monitoring an online sign-up sheet and reaching out to health care workers to connect them with a babysitter," says Yalcindag, who also volunteered as a babysitter. "I also served as a liaison between area hospitals and the service.” Stepuptosit.com is now available in 10 metropolitan areas around the United States. When students sign up, they indicate their availability, willingness to volunteer their time, child age preference, and driving capabilities. If a health care worker is able to pay the babysitter, hourly rates and payment structures are determined between individual students and families. Selin Ege Yalcindag

1 996 OMAYRA ORTEGA shares that she is in her third year as an assistant professor of mathematics and statistics at Sonoma State University in northern California, where she is a co-PI on a team

Fall 2020


Board of Trustees: New Members

Milton’s Board of Trustees provides essential support to the School in promoting its mission, vision, and goals. Milton is grateful to this year's retiring board members: ERICK TSENG ’97, KIM STEIMLE VAUGHAN ’92, and WENDY NICHOLSON ’86, who have served on the board since 2012. We thank you for your service.

➀ David Brewster

➁ Yeng Felipe Butler

DAVID BREWSTER ’90 cofounded and built EnerNOC, a Bostonbased provider of energy management software and services that enables its customers— businesses, utilities, and power grid operators worldwide—to optimize the use of energy. Brewster grew EnerNOC into a public company with more than 1,000 employees. He is a board member of Vicinity Energy, LineVision, and Mantis Innovation Group. He also serves as a trustee at Shady Hill School, a global leadership council member at the World Resources Institute, and a board member at the Upper Amazon Conservancy. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Brewster earned a master's of environmental management from Duke University and an M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. He is married to Oleanna Klein and has three children, ages 13, 10, and 8.


is head of the Liquidity Client Group at Wells Fargo Asset Management in Boston, where she manages the company’s short-duration and cash management business. Butler joined Wells Fargo from State Street Global Advisors, where, as global head of cash business, she oversaw a team of 30 short-term fixed-income investment sales professionals. In her nearly nine years with State Street, Butler held a number of roles, including strategic leader for fiduciary advisory solutions and head of U.S. cash business. She began her career in sales and marketing with Merrill Lynch and in insurance and financial services with State Farm Insurance. Butler has served on the board of the Esperanza Academy for Girls and helped found Global Entrepreneurship Network, a nonprofit that helps increase the number and quality of new business ventures in developing countries. She also founded a Responsi-

➂ John B. Fitzgibbons JOHN B. FITZGIBBONS ’87, who served on the Milton Academy Board of Trustees for many years (2007 to 2019), returns to the Board this year. He previously served as chair of both the budget and investment committees and as a member of the building and grounds committee. He is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Basin Holdings, a group of companies that manufacture industrial equipment and provide specialized services to global customers, and is founder and

chairman of the following entities: Integra Group, a Russian energy company; Brookline Real Estate Holdings, a real estate development company; Global Guardian,a global security firm; and Hudson Valley Harvest, an agricultural distribution company. Fitzgibbons is board chair emeritus of the SUNY Research Foundation, co-vice chair of the Cancer Research Institute, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He graduated in 1992 from Harvard University, where he earned a B.A. in government studies. Fitzgibbons is married to Christine Williams Fitzgibbons, who serves as vice president of strategic initiatives for Special Olympics New York. They have four children: John Jr., Eleanor, and twins Thomas and William. Members of Fitzgibbons’s family who have attended Milton include his father, JAMES MOREY FITZGIBBONS ’52, a trustee emeritus; his brothers PETER G. FITZGIBBONS ’90 and MICHAEL S. FITZGIBBONS ’93; uncles EDWARD S. FITZGIBBONS ’40 and HAROLD E. FITZGIBBONS JR. ’53; and many cousins.

➌ ➋


ble Citizenship Board at Merrill Lynch that enables and encourages employees to become involved in local community service. A graduate of Dartmouth College, where she majored in Asian and government studies, Butler holds an M.P.A. degree from Harvard Kennedy School. She and her husband, Charles Kingston Butler III, have two daughters, CAMILLA MABEL ’25 and BIANCA KINGSTON ’33.

Milton Academy

Class Notes 

Heather McGhee '97, the Stevenson Fellow at Choate Rosemary Hall, with Choate teacher Jonas Peter Akins '97 in February.

➃ Sonu Kalra BHARAT SONU KALRA P ’23 ’26 ’28 is a portfolio manager in the equity division at Fidelity Investments in Boston, where he currently manages the Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund. He joined Fidelity in 1998 as an analyst covering the radio, television, and entertainment industries, and subsequently followed various areas within the technology sector, including hardware, software, networking, and internet stocks. From 2002 to 2005, Kalra served as sector leader for the technology team, where he managed the following funds and portfolios: Select Networking & Infrastructure Portfolio, Select Technology Portfolio, Fidelity Advisor Technology Fund, VIP Technology Portfolio, and Select Computer Portfolio. From 2005 to 2009, he managed the Fidelity OTC Portfolio. A graduate of Pennsylvania State University, Kalra earned an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He serves on the finance advisory board at Smeal

College of Business at Penn State University. Kalra and his wife, Nina Mehra, have three children, all of whom attend Milton: SARA RANI ’23, MAYA JANVI ’26, and NIKHIL MEHRA ’28.

that was recently awarded a five-year, $2.2 million NSF grant for work titled, "Transformative Inclusion in Postsecondary STEM: TIPS Towards Justice." She writes, “We will develop, pilot, and test a two-year pathway (the TIPS Pathway) for academic departments to move toward a truly Hispanic-serving vision of a radically inclusive STEM culture, leading to demonstrably equitable outcomes including graduation and persistence rates.” Omayra recently hosted a Zoom brunch with her cohort from The Mountain School (S’95), where she caught up with B CHATFIELD and CHRISTINA CAPONE NAGLER, both Milton class of ‘96.

➄ Eugene Frederick Reilly EUGENE FREDERICK REILLY ’79 P ’10 ’12 is chief investment officer

for Prologis, the global leader in logistics real estate, where he oversees all the real estate investment, development, and management activities in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. He has been with Prologis and predecessor company AMB since 2003 and prior to that, chief investment officer of Cabot Properties, Inc., a private equity industrial real estate firm where he was a founding partner and member of its investment committee and board of directors. He has served on numerous boards including Grupo Accion, S.A. de C.V., a leading development company in Mexico and Strategic Hotels and Resorts, Inc., a publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE:BEE). He is a 1983 graduate of Harvard University, where he earned an A.B. degree in economics. He is married to Judith W. Reilly, owner of JW Reilly Boston. His children SARAH ANN REILLY ’10 and SHANNON M. REILLY ’12, brother CHRISTOPHER M. REILLY ’80, and cousins RICHARD REILLY ’55, KEVIN REILLY ’73 and WENDELL REILLY ’76 are all Milton graduates.

19 9 7

▲ HEATHER MCGHEE was the Stevenson Fellow at Choate Rosemary Hall in February. Classmate JONAS PETER AKINS, who teaches history and government at Choate, organized this year’s lecture, where Heather delivered a compelling address on her career in policy advocacy and her recent research into the role that racism plays in all our lives. Her recent TEDWomen talk is available online. Heather’s book, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, will be coming out in 2021. 19 98 KATE GREER DICKSON is living happily in Ojai, California, with her two sons, Kahlil, 11, and Rhodri, 6. She completed her master’s in counseling psychology at

Fall 2020


Tribute: Our Retiring Faculty & Staff

In June, Milton honored retiring faculty and staff for their many years of service to the School. Tributes by their colleagues and friends are excerpted below.

Paula Larson H E A LT H C E N T E R S TA F F, 1978–2 02 0

When we think of Paula Larson and her legacy at Milton, it is truly difficult to put into words what impact she has had on the Health Center, students, faculty, and staff throughout her career. The words dedication, service, compassion, commitment and leadership come to mind when we think of Paula Larson. Paula began her career at Milton in September of 1978, leaving her position as a bedside nurse at Carney Hospital to begin her lifelong career in public health. She has seen the exponential growth of the Health Center and school nursing staff from her days attending to sick students in the basement of Ware Hall to the Health Center’s current home in Faulkner. Throughout her career she has seen former students become faculty members or parents of incoming students, and she remembers them all. When greeting a new parent who was a former Milton student, she would often say, “I remember when,” and recall a time they were in the Health Center and the treatment they received for an illness or injury. Through the years, we have watched Paula care for students as they navigate their way through a new health crisis such as diabetes, cancer, or sickle cell anemia. She accompanies students to medical visits and works tirelessly with stressed students and their parents, instructing, counseling, and helping them in the management of their new illness. If there is a medical issue that arises for a student, you can rest assured that Paula has treated another student with a similar issue, and she will even recall the student’s name and the treatment they received. The idea of a 40-hour work week is lost on her; she simply stays until the work is done, and makes herself available for her staff 24/7. For the Health Center staff, Paula is seen as a leader, a mentor, and a friend. The personal connections she has made with the Health Center staff will never be forgotten. She has stood by us all, through marriages, births, graduations, and deaths, and we are ever so grateful for her unwavering


support. We thank you, Paula, for your years of service, experience, expertise and leadership, and for your commitment to your staff, students, faculty, and parents at Milton. Your daily presence in the Health Center will be missed beyond words, and we wish you all the best in this next chapter. DAWN CRUICKSHANK

Tom Sando S C I E N C E D E PA RT M E N T, 198 8–2 02 0

Tom came to Milton in 1988 and for 32 years has been a pillar of the Milton Academy Science Department and the School at large. Tom is one of the smartest people I have ever met. His deep knowledge of the natural world and his innate understanding of science and scientific processes is second to none. This coupled with his brusque and determined personality have cowed many Class IV students as they walked into class on the first day. What they learn over the weeks is that he is one of the most compassionate, caring, and engaged teachers they will ever have the opportunity to learn from. Their initial fear and trepidation transition into devotion and respect. Tom will do everything in his power to make sure that his students succeed. One might think that Tom only has the tools he hides in ancient paper boxes, yellowed like scrolls dug from an archaeology site or bunker and piled high in teetering towers around his classroom. However, his true pedagogy lies in his love of his students and his mastery as a teacher. Tom has been the heart and soul of our department for as long as I have been at Milton. His Honors Physics class was a flagship class in inquiry teaching before we used that term to describe our curriculum, and his Class IV physics, nuclear physics, and environmental science classes are all models of practice. There is no doubt that Tom is an exemplary teacher, however it is his character and kindness that stand out when you are his colleague. Tom is one of the most loyal, morally developed, and compassionate adults you will meet. This loyalty manifests itself in his care for his colleagues, and the fact that he will always be at your side in times of need. To add to this loyalty, Tom is a man of principle. He is willing to speak his mind, and to say the hard things. He does this with care and true compassion. Tom in many ways is a brother to me, and one we love. Milton Academy is a better school

◄ Paula Larson with granddaughter Eliana

Class Notes 1998–2004

Louise Mundinger

because Tom has taught here. The hole which will need to be filled is not insignificant upon his departure. Tom, thank you for your teaching, your loyalty, your morality, your humor, and your kindness. Now, pack up your bowling balls, your countless old paper boxes, and ride off into the sunset. We will miss you! MICHAEL EDGAR

Louise Mundinger M U S I C D E PA RT M E N T, 198 6 –2 02 0


One Singular sensation Every little note she played

Pacifica Graduate Institute last year, is working as an AMFT, and because “she’s crazy,” rolled right into the Ph.D. program in integrative therapy with healing practices, also at Pacifica. Solo parenting in quarantine has given her a particular appreciation for living in such a beautiful place and slowing down in a smaller community. She comes back over and over again to what is most important and how lucky she is to love.

One Thrilling combination We’re so glad that she stayed.

One Chorus Line performance And the band began to freeze Lots Of Artstravaganzas Brought the crowd to their knees Eight Octet voices as smooth as a new Rolls-Royce The way she helped many freshmen find their voice


20 0 2

In 2019, NAFEESAH ALLEN concluded her Ph.D. in African migration at the University of the Witwatersrand, in South Africa. Her recently published articles are available on her website: www. nafeesahallen.com. She would love to e-connect with other Mustang publishers and writers! KEN NAKAMURA has been living in China for the past eight years and is finally moving back to Los Angeles so that he can eventually leave advertising and start something new in real estate. He’s celebrating 12 years with his husband, Saul, and five years with their adopted four-legged daughter, Emma.

We smiled for 34 years as she helped us sing Walk by her room and you’d always hear voices ring Ten!------- trips to Persan France, Middle Schoolers oo la la Les baguette et chocolate Je ne c’est------ quoi!------Ooh! Sigh! Scarves that draw attention Do! I! really have to mention She’s------ Lou-------ise--------

Soooooo Many musicals For the Middle School la la We could not have done such shows without her Oo! Sigh! Check out her beret We! could! sing with her all day! She’s Lou-ise! Go to www.milton.edu/news/mundinger to listen.

BENDETSON MCCOURT ’05 welcomed Hayes Carolina McCourt on January 21, 2020. (See p. 91)

20 0 3


M.P.H., writes, “Here I am in my full PPE taking care of COVID-19 patients at the Boston Medical Center Emergency Department like a boss.”



Fall 2020

JULIA CAIN and her wife welcomed their second child this February! Making her appearance three weeks early, Louisa (see p. 91) enjoys snacking, taking really short naps, and staring adoringly at her older sister, Darcy, age four.

20 0 4 PETER COLOMBO and his wife, Sydney, welcomed their son, Peter Michael, on November 27, 2019 (see p. 90). Peter is feeling grateful and looking forward to what 2020 will bring.


In Memoriam

Class Notes 2005–2015


Constance Bradley Madeira ’35 Dr. Evan Calkins ’39 1940 –1949

Summer G. Albion ’40 Dr. Arthur B. DuBois ’41 Ingersoll Cunningham ’42 Reverend Timothy B. Fyffe ’42 Oakes Ames ’43 Margaret Crocker Ives ’43 Roger A. Perry, Jr. ’43 Thomas G. Cleveland ’45 Roberdeau Callery DuBois ’45 Anthony Moore '46 H. Kimball Faulkner ’48 Thayer Fremont-Smith ’49 Samuel P. Newbury ’49 Lieutenant Colonel Myles S. Richmond ’49 Adele Gilmore Simonds ’49 Scott G. Wakefield, Jr. ’49 1950—1959

John B. Malcolm, Jr. ’50 Dr. Philip J. Andrews ’53 Dr. John D. Stackpole ’53 James G. Mumford ’54 Charles A. Robinson, Jr. ’54 Duncan E. Chapman ’56 Francis W. Newbury ’56 Barrett Morgan ’57 Alexander C. Cortesi ’58 Rufus M. Perkins ’58 David A. Wheatland ’59 1960– 196 9

Dr. Pietr Hitzig ’60 19 7 0–1979

Edward L. Hays ’70 Dr. Tamsin A. Knox ’73 1980–1989

Thomas J. Waters ’82 19 9 0– 1999

Peter G. Ryan '91 Fa c ulty & Staf f




2 006

LIESL HEPBURN (née Kenney) and her husband, Charlie, welcomed a son Bryn Elliot Hepburn (see p. 90), on St. Patrick’s Day 2020. The family lives in Lake Tahoe, California, and Liesl and Charlie both work in the ski industry.


TANNER HARVEY shared that he and his wife welcomed their son, Isaac, on June 26, 2019. Professionally, Tanner passed his comprehensive exams and is in the candidacy for a Ph.D., studying the potential applications of snake venom proteins, which he extracts from venomous snakes that he and his colleagues collect or that are part of the permanent collection at the University of Northern Colorado. Tanner is working on several manuscripts for publication and had one published this year. He also finished a semester as the professor of the university’s Advanced Anatomy & Physiology class. “It was definitely trial by fire, or quarantine, rather, having to redevelop methods and content after the switch to remote learning when the campus closed.”

Milton Magazine

cofounded Equitably Designed, a consulting service that empowers businesses in the fashion space to design products and deliver services with equity at the center of all they create. Given Alex’s experience in fashion and technology and Annie’s role as head of product inclusion at Google, the pair offer concrete and actionable interventions to drive positive growth for their clients. To learn more, visit equitablydesigned. com or email equitablydesigned@gmail.com 2 007 TIM CORKUM married JOCELYN FIFIELD (The Mountain School

S’08) in the spring during the quarantine. They live in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, right down the street from SARAH EBERT. They are very excited to give Sarah a hug soon.

ALICE BATOR KRENITSKI and Scott Krenitski welcomed Emma Margaret to their family on March 7, 2020 (see p. 71). TREVOR PROPHET continues to work for the YMCA of Greater Seattle and looks forward to supporting his community in the wake of what has been an uncertain and isolated time for many. JEE-AHN JANE SUH received the 2020 Top 30 Under 30 award, a Canadian national award in hospitality leadership. A large part of the nomination was recognition for being promoted to general manager of Canoe Restaurant, a Canada’s 100 Best restaurant. Earlier this year, she oversaw Canoe’s renovation and reopening to mark the start of its 25th year,“ she writes. "Canoe is a stalwart of Toronto’s dining scene; I’m very honored to continue our restaurant’s legacy in our milestone year. Of course, COVID-19 closure is putting a whole new twist. But I welcome the challenge. Dare to be true, right?”

2 0 02

◄ JAY DESHPANDE ’02 married Candice

Davenport in May 2019 and sent along this group photo of ’02 guests. From left to right: Deshpande, Davenport, DAVID FORBES, Tracey Machala, CHARLIE BISBEE, CHRIS DALTON, FAZAL YAMEEN, ALEX HANNIBAL, KATHERINE WALKER


Since graduating, LOXLEY BENNETT says, he’s always used the excuse of being “too busy” to write a note, but being forced to stay at home for the past month has inspired him to reevaluate his priorities and “maintaining my connection with Milton Academy is definitely a top priority.” After graduating from Milton, he majored in neuroscience and behavior at Columbia University. Before classes began, he met a very ambitious young man from New Jersey who ended up becoming “my best friend and, eventually, my husband.” As of August, they have been together for nine years, married for two. At Columbia, Loxley engaged in HIV and global health research, which inspired him to explore military medicine. After graduating from Columbia, he joined the Massachusetts Army National Guard as a medic and worked as an EMT and a behavioral specialist in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 2018, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the air force and entered the class of 2022 at the Uniformed Services University for medical school. 2015

is excited to share that she was accepted into Boston University’s Ph.D. program in philosophy, and if circumstances permit, will be moving back to the area next fall. “Ain’t no place I’d rather be,” she shares, along with her well wishes to fellow alumni. ■ CAROLINE “CWALL” WALL

Milton Academy: Board of Trustees 2020-2021


1798 Elisabeth B. Donohue ’83


New York


Stuart I. Mathews P ’13 ’17 ’17

Vice President



Edward E. Wendell Jr. ’58 P ’94 ’98 ’01

Vice President



Claire D. Hughes Johnson ’90 P ’24




Robert Azeke ’87


New York


Bradley M. Bloom P ’06 ’08




James M. Fitzgibbons ’52 P ’87 ’90 ’93


Chestnut Hill


Franklin W. Hobbs IV ’65 P ’98


New York


H. Marshall Schwarz ’54 P ’84




David B. Brewster ’90



Yeng Felipe Butler ’92 P ’25 ’33



Charles A. Cheever ’86



Douglas Crocker II ’58

Delray Beach

Jason Dillow ’97

New York

Randall C. Dunn ’83


John B. Fitzgibbons ’87


Eleanor Haller-Jorden ’75 P ’09


Peter Kagan ’86

New York


Sonu Kalra P ’23 ’26 ’28



Elizabeth B. Katz ’04



William A. Knowlton P ’23



Yunli Lou ’87 P ’24


John D. McEvoy ’82 P ’19 ’20 ’25



Gene Reilly ’79 P ’10 ’12

North Andover


Gabriel Sunshine P ’22 ’24



Dune D. Thorne ’94



Patrick Tsang ’90

Hong Kong

Luis M. Viceira P ’16 ’19



Dorothy Altman Weber ’60 P ’04



Sylvia P. Westphal P ’18 ’21 ’25 ’27 ’27



Ronnell L. Wilson ’93

Jersey City


Kevin K. Yip ’83 P ’16 ’23

Hong Kong


FL NY IL NY Switzerland




Class Notes

NKOTQ: New Kids on the Quad

07  C OV I D S TO R I E S

Milton Alums Zoom in to Stay Connected

Alumni share photos of additions to their families. Peter Michael Colombo, born to Peter Colombo ’04 and his wife, Sydney, last November 27

When Milton moved to a remote-learning model in March because of COVID-19, many opportunities for visiting speakers and guest lecturers had to be canceled. Milton alumni stepped up, however, joining classes or academic departments virtually to share their work and answer questions from students. ► DJ NASH ’90 (above) joined Mary Sisson’s seventh-grade English classes to talk about storytelling. Nash is the creator and showrunner of the ABC show A Million Little Things, which was recently renewed for a third season. He has worked as a producer and writer on several other shows, including Truth Be Told, Up All Night, and Growing Up Fisher, which was loosely based on his childhood. ► NICK DOUGHERTY ’07, managing director of MassChallenge HealthTech, visited (via Zoom) Upper School science students and faculty to talk about how engineering, technology and entrepreneurship can spur health innovation. Dougherty co-founded VerbalCare, software to improve communication between patients and providers, shortly after graduating from Boston University, and is the co-chair of Together.Health. ► Fourth and fifth graders in the Lower School received a virtual visit from research scientist NATHALIE GOODKIN ’95, who shared her work in ocean and climate studies. Goodkin, a paleoceanographer, has traveled the world to study historical climate conditions using cores extracted from coral, which serve as a living record of things such as ocean temperature, salinity, and surface current. This work can help predict future conditions. ► Upper School jazz students heard from pianist AARON GOLDBERG ’92. Goldberg’s most recent album, At the Edge of the World, was released in 2018 on Sunnyside Records. He spoke to students about how his interest in jazz began at Milton, what it’s like to tour with some of the most influential jazz musicians of his time, and how he has evolved as a musician.


Milton Magazine

Bryn Elliot Hepburn born to Liesl Hepburn ’05 and her husband, Charlie, on St. Patrick’s Day

Louisa, born in February, to Julie Cain ’03 and her wife

Darcy Cain, age four, big sister to Louisa (right) Hayes Carolina McCourt, born to Samantha Bendetson McCourt ’05 and Trevor McCourt ’01, on January 21



hometown could kill me was petrifying and paralyzing. It was too much to bear on my own anymore, even though I am acutely aware that, eventually, my disease will likely kill me. I canceled the d.c. trip and found equilibrium again the next morning. The same day I was forwarded a viral email by James Robb, the molecular virologist who studied coronaviruses in the 1970s, which had both credibility and tips I’d not yet heard, including, “This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs).” He might as well have written my name in the parentheses. I forwarded it to about a hundred people, and texts and emails started streaming in, ratcheting up my jitters. “You’ve been on my mind,” “Where are you?,” “Have you headed for the hills?,” “What do you need?” My sister kept texting from Boston, “Why are you still there?” Their genuine concern raised the pitch of my own. Soon my anxiety meds, effective at a fixed dosage for years, stopped working. As I hatched a plan to get out of the city, I relied on Lyfts, my left hand in a blue nitrile disposable glove for dealing with the outer world. Hunting for more hand sanitizer, I found myself cursing the healthy doomsday preppers who’d cleared out cvs. After a friend posted a picture of herself on Instagram in a costume including a face mask, I snapped at her for making light of precautions. If someone in the elevator touched my dog, I feverishly wiped him with disinfectants. Inspired by Sallie Tisdale’s book Advice for Future Corpses, I even jotted down a “death plan.” My head aches from the stress, and my speech has quickened under its strain. covid-19 temporarily robbed me of the sense of agency critical to managing my illness. So, while I can never escape my disease, I am lucky that I can choose to escape New York. On Thursday, I got out of Dodge and started driving south to rural Florida. I’ll be there till it’s safe for me to come back. Whenever that is. SARAH IS A NEW YORK-BASED FREELANCE WRITER AND ACTIVIST. SHE IS CURRENTLY WRITING A BOOK ON RARE DISEASE CITIZEN SCIENTISTS CALLED LIVING WITH ZEBRAS.



I’m in the High-Risk 2 Percent. It’s Exhausting.

on a mid-february flight out of jfk, I skeptically eyed my early 30-something seatmate and his face mask. He looked and sounded healthy, and likely wasn’t on immunosuppressants like me, I thought churlishly. Maybe it’s covid-19 neuroticism? But who was I to judge? A stranger would never guess from looking at me that my lungs are at 39 percent capacity thanks to an ultrarare disease. I’m a 44-year-old New Yorker in the 2 percent “high risk” class for coronavirus. In 2013, I was diagnosed with lymphangioleiomyomatosis (lam), which ravages lungs—including mine—with cysts that block out oxygen, the growth of which is slowed by an immunosuppressant drug called Sirolimus. While I’m lucky to have a treatment at all— 95 percent of rare diseases have no treatment whatsoever—I’m susceptible to everything. Last year alone, bronchitis lasted six weeks; a clean kitchen-knife cut in my hand required 24 hours on IV antibiotics; Campylobacter, the foodborne illness, roiled my gut for 14 days; and an infection split open the membrane of my eyeball. Coping with this vulnerability has become second nature. I stockpile hand sanitizer when there’s no pandemic. I travel with a Z-Pak and zinc throat spray for colds, as well as amoxicillin to treat chance infections from superficial cuts. If a neighbor sniffles on a plane, at a concert, I explain my predicament and ask to move to a new seat. On the subway, I never hold the poles, instead balancing my weight on my wrist; if I hear a cough or a sneeze, I furtively move to the other end of the car. Family and friends know to

cancel our plans if they or their kids are sick. Four weeks ago on a ski vacation, I was less concerned with fears of covid-19 than with the strep throat my niece came down with at our shared rental. On the trip home, however, the profusion of travelers in face masks at Vancouver airport startled me. By the time I got home to Harlem, a vague unease had set in. My next subway ride was downright paranoid as I suspiciously scanned jostling passengers for signs of illness, panning like a camera in Contagion. I’ve never before been one to fly into a panic, but doubt started finding fissures. A couple days later, a humanitarian colleague texted: “Hi love. I’m thinking of you. I’m sure the coronavirus stuff has to feel scary given lam.” Bizarrely, I reflected, aside from an occasional morbid thought, I wasn’t experiencing fear. The next day my shrink called, offering to do our appointment by phone instead of in his Upper West Side office. I had rubber gloves, sanitizer, and a scarf to cover my nose and mouth, I told him; I’d be fine. “But you’re high risk,” he said. I replied, “I’m always at risk.” Having fought for seven years to maintain independence and quality of life in the face of my disability, I’m loath—sometimes idiotically so—to give an inch. Sleep soon became elusive. Was it the moon, I blindly wondered? On March 4, the day before I was to take Amtrak to D.C. for a work trip, my doctor emailed her 200 lam-clinic patients the sterilization and social-distancing tips everyone’s heard about by now, and links to daily updates from the cdc and NYC Department of Health. She also urged us


Milton Magazine

to stock our medication supplies, in case we need to quarantine ourselves. That day, I’d emailed her Columbia University office to schedule my quarterly lung-function tests, to which her assistant swiftly replied, “Dr. D. doesn’t want you at the hospital.” My spine tingled. Monitoring her patients has always been paramount; it’s how she course-corrects treatment plans and protects us from lam’s ugly progression toward lung transplantation. Now she was protecting us from a new, existential threat. An hour later, my doctor texted me herself to ban me from the subway. I picked up the phone to ask her about my trip. “No Amtrak either.” Suddenly, falling into the high-risk category went from surreal to real. I’d grown accustomed to not trusting my own body, but now I couldn’t trust my way of life. The finely calibrated illusion of control I’d honed around my health blew apart. In a shrill, weepy, full-blown freakout, I called, in succession, my sister, a colleague, two besties, and my mother. The notion that navigating my CONTINUED ON P. 91


me dia m a sm e d




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“Odd episode in our lives. I’ve been sheltered at home since March 13, seeing family through Zoom. Gratifying but insufficient!” —FORMER UPTON HOUSE RESIDENT BILL PORTER ‘51. TO SEE HOW YOUR FELLOW MILTON CLASSMATES ARE DEALING WITH THE PANDEMIC, TURN TO P. 71

Profile for Milton Academy

Milton Magazine, Fall 2020  

Milton Magazine, Fall 2020