Milton Magazine, Spring 2020

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Features 12 Playing (and Staying in) the Numbers Game Drawing upon her own experience with mentors who’ve supported her along the way, mathematics professor Omayra Ortega ’96 is committed to mentoring other young women of color in their pursuit of careers in mathematics and statistics.

16 A Responsibility to Be Hopeful In the midst of defending clients facing enormous challenges, public defender Cristina Rodrigues ’06 still finds reasons to hope.

20 The Good Fight Throughout his career, civil rights lawyer Philip Tegeler ’73 has been pushing back against policies keeping low-income families from accessing better housing and education.

24 Thinking Globally, Acting Locally Omar Longus ’04 had long planned for a career in the foreign service, but when personal circumstances kept him close to home, he found what he had been looking for all along.

28 A Silent Crisis Advocate for the elderly Scott Parkin ’65 believes the problems of the country’s aging population need greater attention.

32 A New Direction for the Transition Program 36 A Place for Discovery and Design

Departments 4

Head of School Paying It Forward

42 On Centre 54 Sports

6 Classroom Lovers of Language

57 Class Notes


62 Board of Trustees

Faculty Perspective A Lesson in Love

10 Across the Quad The Outdoor Program

68 Post Script “And I am the same Wall. The Truth is so...”

40 In Sight Photo by Michael Dwyer

Head of School Todd Bland

Design Stoltze Design

Chief Communication Officer Jennifer Anderson

Photography Timothy Archibald Kendall Chun Marisa Donelan Michael Dwyer John Gillooly Faith Ninivaggi Elena Olivo Rick Reinhard Evan Scales Greg White

Editor Sarah Abrams Associate Editors Marisa Donelan Liz Matson

Milton Magazine is published twice a year by Milton Academy. Editorial and business offices are located at Milton Academy, where change-ofaddress 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 on recycled paper.

Cover artwork: Olivia Taveira ’20. Digital self-portrait.



Creating Opportunity Providing students with the tools to grow and flourish and realize their greatest potential is at the heart of Milton’s mission. It is the principle that informs and guides our ongoing work and that is echoed in the deeds and actions of many of our alumni. We feature some of that work in the following pages.

head of school


Paying It Forward

they’ve had at Milton and elsewhere in their

Few things are more inspiring than witnessing

explore and develop their interests and

the moment a child opens the door to their

passions, and encouraging them to help others

lives. Whether they’re helping Special

own potential.

do the same.

Olympians develop as athletes and cheering

I stood in the back of the auditorium at Boston’s Henderson Inclusion School as

When we can expand access to those outside our own campus, we provide not only

them in competition, assisting at a summer camp in Navajo Nation, or caring for women

musicians from Milton Academy’s chamber

a critical public service, but an experience that

and children in a transitional shelter, our

orchestra taught their hosts, the school’s

shows our students and adults the countless

students are sharing their hearts and minds

kindergartners, about musical instruments:

ways they can make a difference in this world.

with the world around them. This engagement

the sounds they make, their role in an

We witness this as our students support their

gives them the opportunity to use their talents

orchestra, and the importance of practice.

classmates and other young people, as faculty

and kindness to lift up others, sometimes

members collaborate with their peers at Milton

igniting the first sparks of interest for a career

Henderson is a Boston public school educating students from kindergarten through

and beyond, and as members of our community

in service. It also gives students perspective

12th grade across two campuses in Dorchester.

reach out to help neighbors struggling through

into the social and economic challenges facing

Named after retired Boston educator William

challenging times.

Henderson, who went blind during his career,

Last year, during the 2018–2019 school year,

the school educates students with physical and

two dedicated English faculty members,

intellectual disabilities in general education

Alisa Braithwaite and Lisa Baker, launched

the people who surround us daily — sometimes within our own community. Opening the door to every student’s potential is fundamental to what Milton offers

classrooms alongside their nondisabled peers.

the Humanities Workshop, a project-based

our diverse, amazing students. In this issue,

Seeing our Upper School students as they

learning program designed to show the role

you will read about the important work we are

shared the magic of music with their wide-eyed,

the humanities play in a well-functioning

doing on campus to help students realize

inquisitive audience — in a warm, accepting

society. In the workshop’s first year, Alisa and

their full potential and also about some of our

environment where all students have the

Lisa assembled a consortium of five Boston-

alumni who are dedicated to providing greater

opportunity to thrive — I was reminded of a

area private, public, and charter schools to

opportunity for others. Every year, I hear from parents and

fundamental truth: We can’t know what a

tackle the topic of socioeconomic inequality

child is capable of unless they have exposure to

in Boston. Through a variety of storytelling

students about the profound impact of Milton

forms — from videos to poster displays —

on their lives. And every year, I am filled

students in their English, modern language,

with overwhelming gratitude to be associated

what’s possible and access to the right tools. Milton’s music department chair, Adrian Anantawan, lives that truth: Adrian has

arts, history, and social sciences classes

with an institution capable of providing

pioneered a relationship between Milton and

explored a variety of issues around this topic.

opportunities to so many people, in so many

Henderson, and Milton students have

With their peers in the participating schools,

different ways.

succeeded in raising thousands of dollars to

Alisa and Lisa opened the door to collaborative

provide ability-appropriate instruments

learning across the city of Boston: more

for interested young musicians who may not

than 1,000 students worked on the project

otherwise have access. This program for

in its first year.

music inclusion carries a strong message:

Our students are similarly engaged.

Music is for everyone, regardless of physical

Each week, more than 200 Upper School

ability or the money to pay for instruments

student volunteers fan out across Greater

and lessons.

Boston through our Community Engagement

Helping students unlock the doors to their

Programs and Partnerships office. For them,

own potential is why we, as educators, do what

service is more than just a résumé-builder:

we do. A key component of a Milton education

It is a key part of their own learning process,

is fostering in each student the excitement to

and a way to pay forward the opportunities



c l a s s r o o m

Lovers of Language

Students find answers to contemporary issues in the classics

At Milton, there is no such thing as a “dead”

Intensive Classical Greek. The work is hard,

language. Here, the classics are alive and

and students make mistakes, but they also

thriving, and students can choose to continue

have fun. Jesse stresses that there is sometimes

a Milton tradition of Latin or Ancient

more than one answer. “I want you to be

Greek — languages that date back roughly to

thinking about translating these in different

the 6th century BC and the 9th century BC,

ways,” he says. “I want you to make choices.”


For most classics students, the path

One cold, wintry morning, four students enter Jesse Sawyer’s basement classroom

begins with Latin. Freshmen start with Latin 1 or, if they studied in the Middle School Latin

in Straus Library. It’s first period, and not

program, they track into Latin 2 or Latin 2/3.

everyone is fully awake yet. They write

Once they have mastered the basics, students

their Ancient Greek homework phrases on

can take classes in Latin lyric poetry, Roman

a whiteboard, such as:

philosophy, Roman historians, and selected readings that students choose themselves.

on georgos, oistha tous nomous

Intensive Classical Greek is open to students who have made it through level four

With enthusiasm and gentle prodding, Classics Department Chair Jesse Sawyer

of a language, but according to Jesse, those

Jesse, who is chair of the classics department,

with a Latin background tend to be in a better

has the students break down the translation

position to understand the method.

word by word. This is the introductory class,

“In Greek 1, we do a lot of comparisons,” Jesse says. “Often I’ll describe something to them in Latin because that’s their entry point into the Greek texts. Unlike Latin 1, the pace is pretty fast, and it requires students to demonstrate their ability for a lot of memorization work. We require those disciplined habits that go into foundational language work. There’s no time for the learning curve, so they really have to kind of hit the ground rolling.” Students continue with Greek 2, in which they read Plato and Lysias. Advanced students may undertake independent studies. This year, Jesse is teaching a Greek tragedy course, and classics faculty member Daphne Bissette is teaching a Greek historians section. The other two classics faculty members are Tasha Otenti and longtime teacher Sarah Wehle. “Classics fits well into a liberal arts education,” Jesse says. “In an English class,




@Milton_Academy     @miltonacademy

you read 30 pages a class. In a Latin or Greek

offers opportunities outside class to expand

class, you’re going to read 30 lines. It’s a

their learning. Every other year, a March-

“Classics also helps us connect to contemporary issues, such as how the structure of the

different, slower reading. The word philologist —

break trip alternates between Italy and Greece.

U.S. government functions, or to social issues,

a lover of words and stories — best describes

This year, the department created student

such as a woman’s role in the family. These

those who are interested in the classics. We

clubs for both the Middle and Upper Schools,

are all social constructs that we’ve inherited from the classical tradition. Being able to make

read to savor every bit. Sometimes that detailed

which meet after school. Daphne is the

work can be onerous when you’re trying

faculty advisor for both clubs. The Middle

that connection is important, because you

to figure out your subject and your verb. But

School club focuses on Certamen, a quiz-bowl

want to be able to see how we as a society have

other parts can be really rich, when you can

style game for students of Latin, Greek, and

improved, how we have evolved, and what

understand the subtlety of language and the

classical civilizations. Club members will

parts are still alarmingly similar.”

depth of thought that goes into that writing.”

compete this year at Boston Latin School and

In her sophomore year, Idone went on the

Harvard University. The Upper School club

Milton trip to Greece, and this past summer she

engages in activities including Certamen and

went to Italy for six weeks through a UMass

casual presentations that students make to

Amherst archaeological dig at an Etruscan site

one another and the faculty.

outside Siena. She also published a piece about

Most classics students end up passionate about the languages, and the department

“It’s a nice way to supplement our curricu­ lum,” says Daphne, after a presentation in which Advanced Greek 1 students showed a

domestic violence in antiquity on a classics blog run by a Brandeis University professor. “It’s wonderful when a student can supple­

slideshow about the Parthenon. “It’s so nice

ment Milton’s rigorous humanities program

to have all these students rapt and listening to

with classics, because both programs use

their peers.”

different aspects of close reading skills,” Jesse

Idone Rhodes ’20 took Latin in Grade 7 and

says. “And there are so many different areas

Ancient Greek her sophomore year. Taking

to explore. One day we can be talking about

Latin was more of a parent decision, she says,

archaeology, and then another day we’re

but the language drew her in. Taking Ancient

talking about love poetry. And then another

Greek was on her initiative.

we’re talking about Roman morals and the

“You get so much more out of an English class when you have the foundation of the

best way to live one’s life. As a teacher, this variety is exciting.”

Western tradition that we’ve been reading about in our classics classes,” Idone says.

Liz Matson



fac u l t y p e r s p e c t i v e

A Lesson in Love For math teacher Vanessa Cohen Gibbons, creating a supportive, inclusive environment for all Milton students is both challenging and gratifying.

Nearly every stranger who engages me in small talk

with “those black kids from the city.” As horrific as this

expresses alarm when I tell them my profession. “You

was, I knew, even as a child, that this teacher meant to

teach high school math AND live in a dorm?” is a typical

pay me a compliment. That interaction served as one of my

reaction — often accompanied by a horrified facial expres­

first lessons about the insidious nature of racism.

sion. I answer in the affirmative, without describing the dozen or so other roles I have on campus. I then follow up

began to affect my work. I was the only out gay kid in a

with a question about why they are so shocked.

school of 2,000 and the only black kid in my honors classes.

By and large, the people I meet cannot see themselves returning to a high school environment, because they

After my middle-school experience, I wondered about the gatekeepers who put me in honors classes. Did they give me

remember feeling alienated as students, both from the

these opportunities because I was “one of the good ones”?

subject matter they were asked to learn and from their

A few months into freshman year, my locker was graffitied

peers and teachers. It is hard for these acquaintances to

with a homophobic slur, and I was hauled into the principal’s

understand that the toughest challenge I face — fostering

office to explain what I had done to provoke the other

connection — is also the best part of my job. For me, every

students. The principal seemed genuinely concerned as

day at Milton presents an opportunity to help students

he offered me this advice: “You should try to be normal; then no one would bother you.” I felt hopelessly lost. I could

feel loved by their school. I know how it feels to go to a school that is not a loving environment. I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, a biracial black girl in an otherwise all-white neighborhood. St. Louis

“I still think about what would have happened to me had I been more vulnerable to the racist and homophobic messages I received from my schools.”

ignore people who obviously meant me harm, but I had no framework for understanding the behavior of adults who made hateful statements without even knowing it. My

is a typical American

grades plummeted. By the end of the year I had decided that

city in that it affords

I would do my learning elsewhere, and ultimately lobbied

vastly different

to fulfill my high school requirements at a community college.

opportunities to

I still think about what would have happened to me

people depending

had I been more vulnerable to the racist and homophobic

on their race and

messages I received from my schools. What if I had


internalized those messages rather than decided that the

status. In middle

people delivering them were wrong? What if I hadn’t

school, I was no

had the privilege of taking my learning into my own hands?

longer one of just

I would probably not have been able to endure my under­

a few black kids

graduate physics program, where I was the only black

because my district participated in a busing program.

student and one of a handful of women. I would not have

Black students were bundled up and transported in the wee

earned a Ph.D., nor would I teach at a school like Milton

hours of the morning to “better” schools in St. Louis County.

Academy. How many people are denied these opportunities?

Our “better” school certainly did not love these students. In fact, I remember one white teacher who told me as much.


In high school, the lack of a loving school environment

And what can I do with this access now that I have it? These questions helped shape my professional motiva­

She confided that my relatively light skin and suburban

tion. My primary goal is to help Milton become a school

upbringing made me “one of the good ones.” With a long sigh,

that gives all its students access and opportunity by, first

she complained that none of the teachers knew how to deal

and foremost, knowing and loving each child.



@Milton_Academy     @miltonacademy

Loving our students is a prerequisite for expanding opportunity, and I spend a lot of time thinking about how a school would demonstrate that if it truly loves its students. A loving school affirms marginalized identities, roots out bias, and helps community members learn to mitigate the effects of their bias — regardless of their intentions. A school that loves its students ensures that advanced classes have students from all backgrounds, and that no demographics are underrepresented. A loving school has an adult population that reflects the students’ identities, from faculty and staff to the highest levels of the administration and the board. A school that loves

“I could ignore people who obviously meant me harm, but I had no framework for understanding the behavior of adults who made hateful statements without even knowing it.”

its students holds them to high expectations while also treating them with the tender care that all children crave. In a loving school, students are listened to, cheered for, disciplined, and respected. These ideals drive my personal work as an educator, and I see them as imperative to our continued success as an institution. At Milton, with our resources, credentials, and reputation, our priority must always be to love our students.



acro s s t h e qua d


The Outdoor Program The H. Adams Carter ’32 Outdoor Program was founded to honor the Milton graduate, teacher, and world-renowned mountaineer who, in 1947, founded the precursor to the Outdoor Program — the Ski and Mountaineering Club. Today’s Outdoor Program, directed by computer programming faculty member Kendall Chun, includes an after-school activity and a trip program. Students can rock climb, hike, paddleboard, sea kayak, and more. All day and weekend trips are free and open to all Upper School students.




@Milton_Academy     @miltonacademy



a lumni featur e s

O M AY R A O R T E G A ’ 9 6

Playing (and Staying in) the Numbers Game Omayra Ortega ’96 was already interested in pursuing a graduate degree in mathematics when she heard an alarming statistic: Fewer than 1 percent of all math Ph.D.s in a given year were awarded to Latinas.

“The same low numbers were true for black women, and

is now an assistant professor of mathematics on a tenure

even if you didn’t restrict it to gender, the number was 1 or

track at Sonoma State University, one of the schools in the

2 percent beyond that. It was really eye-opening for me,”

California State University system.

she says. “Before then, I naively believed in the general

Before she began her graduate and teaching careers,

benevolence of the world and that equality reigned every-

however, Omayra benefited from mentors who opened

where. I decided I needed to get my Ph.D.”

doors to opportunities she would never have considered.

The statistics came from a talk by Colette Patt, director

She wouldn’t have known what graduate school for a

of diversity for the Mathematical & Physical Sciences

mathematician would entail, or about important under­

Graduate Diversity Office at the University of California

graduate research projects, if mentors hadn’t shown her

Berkeley, whose goal is to increase the diversity and

the possibilities.

retention of underrepresented groups in STEM fields.

“A lot of the work I do now is modeled on experiences that I had as a student, and I’ve had fantastic mentors throughout my life,” she says. “I’ve been supported and encouraged,

“A lot of the work I do now is modeled on experiences that I had as a student, and I’ve had fantastic mentors throughout my life. I’ve been supported and encouraged, and so I know how effective mentorship can be.”

and so I know how effective mentorship can be.” At Sonoma State, where she teaches elementary applied statistics and calculus II and leads the mathematics colloquium, Omayra seeks to offer her students the same attention and guidance. Many Sonoma State students come from California’s North Bay area, a largely agricultural region. Many of Omayra’s students have full-time jobs or families — or both — and come from working-class backgrounds. They arrive with different levels of preparation for college courses. “They work very, very hard. So I try to give them my best every day, because if I have them in my classroom,

Omayra took the statistics as a personal challenge, ultimately earning her doctorate in mathematics — and picking up a master’s in public health along the way —


I know it’s a very precious two hours for them and for me,” she says. “I try to make it worth it for them.” Her own undergraduate experience gave her an under­

from the University of Iowa. Following years teaching at

standing of balancing work and college. Omayra struggled

Arizona State University and her alma mater, Pomona

at Pomona at first — a naturally social and warm person,

College, and a stint as a public health consultant, Omayra

she spent more time hanging out with friends than in class.


Photos by Timothy Archibald



So she left Pomona, moved in with family in Milpitas, California, and attended community college while working

During the fall semester, MERG students were working toward creating a mathematical model to research

full-time in a bakery. She raised her grades enough to

the spread of measles in the United States. Using existing

return to Pomona and complete her degree.

models, they hoped to study how the anti-vaccination

Omayra developed the Mathematical Epidemiology Research Group (MERG) to encourage undergraduate

movement has affected the spread of the disease. “I encourage in particular underrepresented students

students to persist in math and statistics. Typically, the

to come and do research with me,” Omayra says, “because

group has been 95 percent female and 80 percent students of

I think that sometimes the classroom lecture setting can

color, but the demographics shift every semester. MERG

get really boring and stale. If you’ve had a lifetime of being

students select their own topics, and Omayra mentors them

in school and being traumatized in STEM classes, you’re

in their research.

not going to thrive in that setting. So through guided

Diversity in epidemiology and other research fields is necessary to ensure that researchers have a complete view of the populations they study and can help bridge dis-

research, I hope to get them excited about their topics.” Omayra also takes her students to events where they can network with and learn from academics who repre­

parities in health outcomes, Omayra says. Pharmaceutical

sent diversity in STEM. An example is the Society for

companies, for example, know that certain medications

Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science

affect patients differently depending on genetic and

(SACNAS) conference, which was the first such gathering

demographic factors, so their researchers have to look

Omayra attended as a student. She is now a lifetime

outside the majority population.

member of the group. “I love SACNAS because it combines showing the students pathways to join the scientific community with ways to integrate their own cultures, so you see many different aspects and many different faces of science,” she says. By the time students arrive in an undergraduate program, they have a personal conception of their own math ability that most likely began forming during early education. It’s a hard mindset to push back against, Omayra says — especially in her statistics class, which is required for many Sonoma State majors outside the math department. She tries to encourage her students to reach out for help. “They know they have to take this class, but they’re struggling, and the mindset can be ‘This is normal. I’m supposed to struggle, and it won’t help if I talk to my teacher, because this is how I’ve always done math. I struggle and get things wrong,’” Omayra says. “They’ve accepted this role for themselves because that’s the way it’s been for years.” Omayra grew up in Far Rockaway, Queens, and attended public school until she came to Milton for high school. During middle school, one of her teachers recommended that she apply to Prep for Prep, a program that prepares students of color from New York City to attend independent schools, and supports them through their academic careers.



“I was always a nerdy child, from kindergarten on, and I loved Prep for Prep so much because it was 100 percent nerdy brown children,” she says. “It was just like heaven.” Milton felt like a “big slumber party,” she says. “You’re

Taking classes in Iowa’s College of Public Health also took Omayra to Egypt, where she combined her work for her math doctorate with her infectious disease expertise. Working with the U.S. military at the Naval Medical

always surrounded by your friends.” The school at the

Research Unit - No. 3 in Cairo, Omayra studied the rotavirus

time seemed to her “overwhelmingly wealthy and white,”

vaccine and worked on a cost-benefit analysis of admin­

something that pushed her out of her comfort zone, but

istering the vaccine in Egypt.

through programming for students of color, she found a sense of belonging. “I think I was interested in literally everything,” Omayra

Along with teaching, Omayra is actively involved in epidemiological research. One of her projects is a study of the effect of migration on the incidence of malaria in

says of her time at Milton. “I remember filling out college

Botswana. She works with a group of women from all over,

applications and needing an extra sheet of paper for the

including one who does research in Botswana, to gather as

extracurricular section. I knew that I wanted to be a math

much information as possible for the study.

and music double major in college, which is what I did, but I wasn’t intensely focused on math at the time.” By the time she was at Iowa, pursuing her doctorate in math and computational science, Omayra’s interest in everything earned her a master’s degree in public health —

“We’re all mathematical epidemiologists, but some of us are deeper into the epidemiology side, while others are deeper into the math and statistics side. It’s a very diverse group of women,” she says. Omayra’s research work is inherently collaborative. So is

somewhat by accident. She had taken a few classes in the

her approach to guiding students. Whether it’s suggesting

College of Public Health when she learned of an opportu­

graduate programs that may be a good fit or pointing them

nity to go to the Gambia and work in the Ministry of

toward research projects that match their interests, she

Health there. During her interview, the coordinator asked

believes that mentorship can drastically improve the

why she wasn’t getting her M.P.H., and Omayra responded

direction of a student’s studies.

that the workload might be too much. As it turned out,

“It’s very important to me to mentor young women of

the only course she was missing was Introduction to

color for those reasons,” she says. “I love teaching and

Public Health.

I love working with students of all kinds, and I know how

“That’s another example of a mentor who was instru­

you can change someone’s life, and not even with that

mental in my career success,” she says. “Having that

much effort. A lot of times, it’s about sharing information —

M.P.H. has been very helpful in gaining collaborators

just letting a student know about opportunities.”

in my work in mathematical epidemiology, but also in getting a health care consulting job that I had in Arizona.”

Marisa Donelan



a lumni featur e s


A Responsibility to Be Hopeful By the time a client meets Cristina Rodrigues ’06, there is usually a long trail of adversity behind them. “More often than not, when someone is at the door of criminal court, there’s a story of a separate missed opportunity to intervene in their life,” she explains. “So for me, justice

struggles they’re facing. “And so one of the things I love about this job is that

in the criminal setting is only possible with continued

both of those things are present. Whenever I’m working

and increased investments in our shared responsibility for

on a case, in order to do my job well, I have to connect

meaningful public education, affordable housing, health

with my client. If I’m going to be able to tell a compelling

care  —  particularly mental health care  —  a nd trauma

story about their situation, I have to know their story.”

response in communities with high rates of violent crime.” Cristina is an attorney with the Committee for Public

A lot of her cases relate to the “war on drugs”: narcotics charges ranging from simple possession to small-time

Counsel Services (CPCS), a state agency in Massachusetts

distribution to the sale of large quantities of drugs. Many of

that functions as a public defenders’ office for clients

her clients suffer from mental illness. Many are homeless.

who cannot afford legal representation. She works in the

“A lot of what many homeless people do all day is illegal,”

agency’s downtown Boston office and on cases in the

Cristina says. “In many respects, it’s illegal to live outside.

Boston Municipal Court Central and the Dorchester and

Those can be desperate cases. I see a lot of trespassing

Chelsea district courts.

charges, and shoplifting, too.”

Attorneys in Cristina’s office average about 40 cases at

So much happens on a daily basis in a city’s district

a time, which she describes as “pretty low” in comparison

courthouse that it can feel rushed and overwhelming. One

with public defenders in other cities, whose caseloads can

of the responsibilities of a public defender is to slow the

exceed 100.

process down for clients and recognize the full humanity of

Despite that workload, Cristina tries to understand

everyone involved, Cristina says. It matters when decisions

the human realities involved in criminal cases. In some

are made, from arraignment and bail hearings through

situations, a person has broken the law and will receive

the conclusion of a case; it matters even when the client is

an appropriate punishment. In others, clients are

found guilty of a reprehensible crime.

trapped in a cycle of run-ins with a justice system that

One of her clients was being held on bail he couldn’t

disproportionately affects already-vulnerable populations:

afford for a relatively minor charge, and was at risk of losing

people living in poverty, people with mental illness,

his Section 8 housing qualification because he was in

communities of color, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, and

jail — even though he was there without a trial or a conviction.

homeless people. “I have always been interested in social justice and

“I think of my job as more than defending clients against the specific charges,” Cristina explains. “One of the things

organizing, and the ability of communities to build up the

I always hope to do in the process, regardless of what

power to change the institutions affecting them,” she says.

happens in the end, is to make sure that the individual’s

“I also really enjoy direct representation, and even though it’s in this legal context, I love working one-on-one with


people, and alongside them, to help them fight whatever


human experience is recognized. The vast majority of people have reasons they’re in the predicaments they’re in,

Photos by John Gillooly



and the full context should be taken into account. I think when we do that, and do it over and over again in different cases, we are realizing systemic change.” Asked about what justice looks like to her, Cristina quotes scholar and activist Cornel West: “Justice is what love looks like in public.” “All of our constitutional rights and liberties, all of our privacies, are interconnected,” Cristina says. “And because those experiences are interconnected, you can never punish just one person. Every person has a whole community tied to them — children, loved ones, parents, and neighbors who are all affected by a person’s sudden and traumatic absence. When incarceration is involved, there is a very long, very serious list of civil consequences

“That even people in impossible situations and up against the full weight of the state still have the full range of human emotions is really inspiring. It helps me a lot, because I think that people engaged in social reform have a responsibility to be hopeful.”

limited resources to help as many people as they can. I feel really lucky that that was my example growing up.” At Milton, Cristina was involved in community engage­ ment and justice and equality work, which she carried with her to Brown University, where her interest in public service was nourished. After Brown, she attended Harvard Law School (HLS), where she got her first experience representing clients.

that stick with you for the rest of your life. Punishment

in housing and handled eviction cases. There, her passion

facts, and evidence call for it. But we should not impose

for direct client representation became clear.

these things carelessly, excessively, or in a discriminatory manner.” Justice, therefore, “in the context of the criminal system,

“It’s incredibly intellectually engaging, because you’re solving a puzzle, examining the evidence, and putting together a story,” Cristina says. “You have to work really

would be when the system behaves in a way that openly

hard to gain the client’s trust to get their story from them,

and honestly recognizes its history, the country’s history,

and you also have to reflect it back in a manner that the

and the realities of different communities and people’s

decision makers will respond to.”

lived circumstances,” she continues. “It gives people a fair

HLAB sparked Cristina’s interest in legal aid, and as

chance to raise a defense, regardless of how much money

she advanced through law school, she learned more about

they have, and it doesn’t rush the process or assume guilt.”

criminal law. She describes being both disturbed by the

Cristina’s interest in social justice comes from her

country’s criminal justice system and drawn to its reform.

parents, immigrants from Cape Verde, who raised her in

Following HLS, Cristina clerked for U.S. District Court

Dorchester and Milton. An example of hard work and

Judge Denise J. Casper, and then worked in the commercial

hopefulness, they encouraged her to have faith and excel,

litigation practice of a New York City law firm, where

she says. They also showed her the reality of service,

she handled antitrust cases and also did pro bono work

including the sacrifices necessary to serve.

on death penalty cases.

“They are both very much engaged in their community


At the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau (HLAB), she worked

and incarceration are necessary when the charges,

From there, she came to CPCS. She recently took a

and have always demonstrated an incredible amount of

sabbatical from the agency to clerk for Chief Judge Jeffrey R.

generosity,” she says. “And they have really stretched their

Howard in the U.S. Court of Appeals (First Circuit) and


returned to public defense in the fall of 2019. Between her recent clerkship and return to CPCS, Cristina traveled to Colombia for a Spanish-language immersion program, and she continues to take Spanish classes in Boston in her free time, hoping to remove the language barrier with some of her clients. Cristina intentionally celebrates “even the small victories in her cases,” and keeps records of motions and trials she’s won. The physical reminder of those wins is helpful on a hard day. “I’ve also over time changed my definition of what a victory is, because it’s important to my own mental well-being and ability to sustain the work,” she says. “I can’t expect that every time I go to court, I’m going to win; that doesn’t line up with the realities of the position I’m in. But I consider it a victory if I have a day where my client feels satisfied with what’s happening, if they feel like we’re fighting.” Cristina is often surprised by her clients’ resilience in the face of challenges. When they manage to crack jokes or share their personal stories, it’s a reminder of “the humanity at stake in this work. “That even people in impossible situations and up against the full weight of the state still have the full range of human emotions is really inspiring,” she says. “It helps me a lot, because I think that people engaged in social reform have a responsibility to be hopeful.” Marisa Donelan





a lumni featur e s


The Good Fight Civil rights lawyer Philip Tegeler ’73 works to ensure greater access to better housing and education for all citizens. On a busy street in downtown Washington, D.C. — just

design of housing and education programs that expand

minutes from the White House and a short ride down

opportunities for low-income families and children.

Pennsylvania Avenue to the U.S. Capitol — Phil Tegeler spends his days — as he has throughout his career —  defending the rights of low-income families to better

and state and local groups from around the country that

housing and education.

promote racial and economic integration and inclusive

From his early work at the American Civil Liberties Union in Connecticut, where he litigated a wide variety of civil rights cases, including a landmark school desegrega­

practices in schools. The organization also supports local activists in their advocacy efforts. Phil points to an additional factor that exacerbates

tion case in the Hartford area, to today, when he serves as

the inequality that persists in housing and educational

executive director of the Poverty and Race Research Action

opportunities in metropolitan areas: a widening of

Council (PRRAC), a civil rights policy organization, Phil

the country’s income gap, and the resulting geographic

has been working to change housing and education policies

separation of rich from poor.

that segregate and disadvantage low-income families of color.

“The data is clear that rising economic inequality is

“One of our country’s most harmful legacies in the

being accompanied by increases in economic separation,”

20th century was the way the government intentionally

he says. “It’s not just the isolation of wealthy white families

segregated our metropolitan areas,” he says. “Pushing back

in high-opportunity enclaves; it’s also the isolation of low-

against those policies has been a central goal of my work.”

income families of color in high-poverty neighborhoods

And as someone who has been pushing back for decades, he knows firsthand how strong resistance to change

and schools.” This geographic separation of the wealthy and the poor,

can be. “The status quo is very powerful,” he says, “and

which is closely related to race, he says, is driven in large

our educational system needs not just temporary fixes

part by “biased perceptions” of school quality. Exclusion­

but structural reform. It needs to deal with the effects of

ary zoning helps to maintain school districts for higher-

school district boundary lines and exclusionary zoning

income students, which leads to higher test scores and even

and the procedures for crossing those lines and opening up

higher housing values in those towns.

housing and school opportunities for children who have traditionally been excluded.” At PRRAC, a nonprofit he describes as part think-tank, part advocacy organization, Phil works with a team of

Photo by Rick Reinhard

A large part of the agency’s work supports the National Coalition on School Diversity, a network of research centers

“There’s also of course going to be more heavily resourced and higher-quality schools in those school districts, because there’s the tax base to support it,” Phil says. “Sociologists call this phenomenon ‘opportunity hoarding.’ It’s an old

lawyers, researchers, and writers that conducts research on

term, but it’s a very apt way of describing how this kind of

housing and education issues, advocates at the federal level

inequality happens.

to promote opportunity and protect civil rights advances, and helps state and local agencies in their planning and

“As a result, you end up having schools with 80 to 90 percent of the students living in poverty. These are kids



who need the most help and the best teachers and the most resources, but they are getting the least — while the schools with students with the most resources, the students who need those resources the least, are getting the most. And that’s pretty much how we’ve set up our metropolitan areas.”

“The status quo is very powerful, and our educational system needs not just temporary fixes but structural reform.” But he also sees a more positive trend emerging: a growing awareness of both the value to all students of learning in an economically and racially diverse environment and the value to society of providing a highquality education to all children. ABOVE RIGHT

Speaking at a housing mobility conference in 2018. BELOW With PRRAC board members.

“Even though racial isolation and poverty concentration are increasing, there’s also a general trend toward more

“And they also see the disadvantage that is imposed by putting low-income kids in separate schools. People are

racial diversity, particularly in inner suburban commu­

now starting to recognize again that we can’t just maintain

nities,” Phil says. “In all our communities, people are

separate schools for low-income children of color. It’s just

beginning to see the value of diversity for their kids — not

not a viable policy for our country.”

just racial diversity, but economic diversity.

Phil’s sensitivity to social injustice began at an early age. He grew up in the town of Weymouth, Massachusetts, when the first phase of Boston’s controversial busing policy was getting under way. His father, a Lutheran minister, and his mother, a public school teacher and principal, were both involved in civil rights issues affecting people on the South Shore. “Growing up in that town is where I first learned about segregation and its effects. I learned a lot about just how much resistance there was in the white suburbs of Boston at that time to things like housing and school integration,” he says. It was also a time of great social unrest in the country. At Milton, Phil was deeply affected by the school’s response to the turmoil occurring throughout the country. He was a freshman in 1969, when the Moratorium against the Vietnam War took place, and in the spring of 1970, when the students and faculty went on strike to protest the expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia and the student killings at Kent State. “I was so inspired that the school went on strike after Cambodia and Kent State and by the juniors and seniors who were leading the strike and the faculty who voted



to support it,” he says. “That was a very powerful thing to

doesn’t mean you need to stop fighting,” he says. “It’s

experience and feel — that as students, we had power. I

important to push back and try to change those policies.”

think all of us at Milton who grew up during that time were affected in a really positive way.” He went on to co-edit the alternative student newspaper,

He points to the issue of mass incarceration as an example of how quickly attitudes can change. “People have been fighting mass incarceration for many years, and we

The Biweekly, during his senior year. “I had some great

are only now beginning to see some progress,” he says. “And

experiences at Milton,” Phil says. “We had an amazing

certainly 15 years ago people were not talking about school

faculty, including most importantly for me Paul Monette,

integration as a value as freely as they are now.”

who was an extraordinary English teacher and poet.” He continued to stay socially active as an undergraduate at Harvard University, where he volunteered at Phillips Brooks House, the university’s center for public service, and, later, at Columbia Law School, in New York, where he prepared for a career as a public interest lawyer. Encouraged by the recent resurgence of interest in more socially and economically diverse communities and schools, Phil believes that despite a resistance to change, victories —  both large and small — can still be achieved. “Public education is a state and local function,” he says, “and decisions about what kind of diversity you’re going to have within your schools is really a local decision, so there is a lot of room for local activism — not everyone at the local level has a ‘not in my backyard’ mindset.” Phil and his PRRAC colleagues see an increase in commitment on the part of local officials and local govern­ ments to expanding opportunity in their housing programs and access to better neighborhoods. And they are observing activity not just among school and government

He also points to recent PRRAC successes: “In 2017,

officials, he says, but also among students and parents in

we helped block HUD (Housing and Urban Development)

cities across the country — in places such as New York City;

from repealing an important civil rights reform that

in the counties around Washington, D.C.; and in Hartford,

benefited over 200,000 families, and last year we helped

Connecticut, where almost half the children are now

get a small grant program into the federal budget that

attending integrated schools.

will help more families with Section 8 housing assistance

“We’re excited by the fact that once local officials and their

move to high-opportunity areas. That’s a huge step

constituents believe in the idea and feel empowered that

forward, and it’s going to help thousands of families make

these issues of racial and economic diversity are important,

real changes for their kids’ futures.”

it doesn’t really matter as much what the federal government

He looks forward to continued progress. “I still get

is doing,” Phil says. “What’s emerging in New York City,

a lot of satisfaction in the large and small victories,”

for example, is extraordinary in terms of the movement for

Phil says, “like when we can stop a regulation from being

school integration at the student and parent level, but also

repealed or help a local housing agency adopt more-

the adoption of school integration goals by the chancellor.” And despite the reality that overall trends predict even

At New York University Law School last fall with Dennis Parker of the National Center for Law and Economic Justice. Photo courtesy NYU Photo Bureau © Olivo

inclusive policies. You may only meet one or two families who are getting the benefits, but you know there are also

greater economic inequality, Phil expresses both optimism

a lot of other families you’ll never meet whose opportu­

and determination as he looks toward the future.

nities have been expanded.”

“When you’re doing social justice work, you’re often pushing against the tide. So the fact that the overall trend

Sarah Abrams

is more economic inequality and greater economic divides and increasing concentrations of racialized poverty, that

Phil can be reached at





a lumni featur e s


Thinking Globally, Acting Locally As an international relations major at Tufts University, Omar Longus ’04 had clear and ambitious goals. He wanted to be a foreign service officer and work for the U.S. State Department, serving his country and making a difference in the world. After Tufts, his next step would be to attend law or business school. But during his senior year, his father passed away, which was challenging. Two years later, his brother died unexpectedly. Omar was unmoored by those losses. “It just threw all my plans for a loop,” says Omar, who

One night in class, Omar mentioned that elections

graduation. “What got me out of that funk was literally my

were coming up and reminded his students to vote. One

mom telling me I had to start something and encouraging

student asked if it was an important election. “That set

me to look at Salem High.”

off a red flag in my head,” he says. “I had to say, ‘Every local

Both of Omar’s parents had been educators who held

election is important, because these are the things that

multiple degrees. His father, originally from Washington,

will impact your life in our community.’ Then we debated

D.C., had been a professor at Salem State University,

whether it was better to think locally and act globally, or

where he taught in the School of Social Work and founded

think globally and act locally.”

the Institute for UnDoing Racism. His mother was from

Omar had always envisioned his brother as the one who

Colombia and a longtime, now retired, guidance counselor

would stay put, and that he would be the one off traveling the

at Salem High School.

world. “But when he was gone, it anchored me here,” Omar

Omar started substitute teaching at the high school,

says. “I realized there was a lot of need in this community

where currently about 46 percent of the 916 students come

and that these needs are important to me, so I should be here.”

from low-income households, and 13 percent have limited

Omar didn’t immediately change his career plans. He

proficiency in English. He followed up his work as a substi­

was still thinking about that foreign service job and planned

tute teacher in the school’s culinary arts program, where

to attend business school. While Omar was studying for

a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corp director noticed his

his GMAT, the Salem High principal asked him to sub in

fluency in Spanish and asked him to become an English

some of the student ESL classes for a couple of days.

teacher of adults in a program for students’ families. Many

“Well, a couple of days became a couple of months,”

of the families are from the Dominican Republic or other

Omar remembers. “Because I was an inexperienced teacher,

Spanish-speaking countries, but Salem has residents from

I turned to a lot of people for help. One of them was an

all over the world. This night class would be Omar’s first

administrator who helped me out in the classroom. One day

taste of teaching.

when I finished, she asked, ‘Hey, have you thought of being

“This is when I started to realize that the things I wanted to do as a foreign service officer, such as travel to All photos by Faith Ninivaggi

my backyard,” Omar says. “I could do that work here.”

returned to his hometown of Salem, Massachusetts, after

a teacher?’” She told him about a grant program at Salem State, where

new places, work with different kinds of people, learn

he could earn a master’s degree in education for free if

new languages and different cultures, were right here in

he committed to teaching in one of the program’s partner



communities. Omar decided to enroll, and as he was finishing up his master’s degree, Salem State asked him to

At Salem High, some of his coursework includes the “newcomer program,” which is set up for students beginning

stay on and run the Project SAEL (Successful Advancement

to learn English skills who are new to the school and are

of English Learners) grant program to help local teachers

often new to the United States. In a couple of the biology

receive licensure in ESL. He agreed and began to run the

classes, he is the language specialist and co-teaches with

program while also fulfilling his student teaching require­

a content specialist.

ment; afterwards, he stayed on for the duration of the five-year grant.

On this particular day, Omar stands at the door and greets students on the way in, checking in with each one: “How are you doing today?” Many of the students are low-

“At a place like LEAP, I might see a student master something that isn’t part of the school curriculum, but will make me feel like ‘Oh, wow, this person is able to shine in this way, in this place.’ Those are the things that keep me going in this work. The work is meaningful, but it’s also fun.”

level English speakers, and although it is a freshman class, some of the newly arrived students are older. It takes about 15 minutes for the class to settle in, because seat assignments have been rearranged — a regular routine throughout the year — and some students are not happy. Omar is a calming presence, walking between the tables, quietly speaking one-on-one with some students in a mix of Spanish and English, while the other teacher starts discussing the class material. Many students are engaged in learning, but one group of boys is not. They are disruptive, but Omar remains calm. At times he pulls one or another out into the hallway for a discussion. Throughout the class, he never raises his voice and uses

Today, he is an ESL/science teacher at Salem High

Omar (center) and fellow mentor Mia Riccio (right) meet with an 11th-grade student at LEAP for Education.

a variety of approaches to get the students to focus on their

School. His days start early and end late, and during almost

work, helping them understand the material or pointing

all of that time he is interacting with teenagers. Outside

out why their behavior is unacceptable. Between the

school, he is involved with the nonprofit LEAP for Education

moments of distraction, learning is happening. After class,

as a program facilitator for Brothers for Success, a peer

Omar and the other teacher debrief. This is one of their

support group for males of color. He also serves on the board

most challenging groups, but they care about each student

of the Salem YMCA and is working with a small group of

and discuss future strategies.

community organizers to launch a nonprofit called Within U that focuses on the 18-to-24 age group.

Not all the teens Omar works with, either inside or outside school, will go on to four-year colleges or even receive their high school diplomas. Omar tries to meet each teen where they are; he knows he can’t fix every problem. People, particularly students, can feel pressured by expectations set by others and by society, he says. “They think ‘My life is only going to be fulfilling or successful if I check these boxes.’ As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized you can create the boxes you want to check. If you ask society to create those for you, you’re never going to be rich enough, or you’re never going to be successful enough.” After his school day ends with the chess club, he turns his attention to his other work. First is a meeting in a vacant barbershop with the Within U team. They are a passionate group in the early stages of launching the nonprofit, discussing their mission and vision statements. Their hope is to fill in the gap as young adults start to make their way in the world. From there, Omar heads over to LEAP, in downtown Salem. Part of LEAP’s mission is to “empower firstgeneration-to-college and underserved youth to engage in



Omar and a Salem High School junior canvas Salem to promote a community event.

their education, graduate with a post-secondary degree

communities. The things I tend to invest my time in fit that

or credential, and succeed in a career that matches their

mold: It has a solid structure, but it’s socially driven and it

strengths, interests, and values.” Teens are hanging out in

involves community empowerment, youth empowerment,

a common room, waiting for others to arrive to start the

and uplifting people.”

movie The Martian (subtitled in Spanish) as part of STEM

Finally, sometime after 8 p.m., Omar can go home and

Week in Salem. It’s a comfortable space for older kids,

unwind. He says he’s been working on finding more

with popcorn and beanbag chairs. Omar seems to know

downtime to hang out with his friends, practice hot yoga,

each teen and gets pulled into various conversations. “At a place like LEAP, I might see a student master

and do the other things he enjoys. But his work is also his enjoyment. If it weren’t for the Y board meeting, he

something that isn’t part of the school curriculum, but will

would have been content to hang out at LEAP with the

make me feel like ‘Oh, wow, this person is able to shine in

kids and watch the movie.

this way, in this place.’ Those are the things that keep me going in this work. The work is meaningful, but it’s also fun.” Linda Saris, LEAP’s executive director, who has known

This work, says Omar, is as “meaningful and important to me as if I were working at the highest level in the State Department. People who mentored me and who put a lot of

Omar for many years, relates a revealing story about the

work into their local community are not going to have the

dedication he brings to his work. When Omar first started

same publicity or notoriety as someone like a secretary of

volunteering, he was doing a lot, but she could not afford to

state. If that is your goal, that’s great, but at the same time

pay him. Finally, she was able to get a grant to support their

that’s not the end-all. You can do service work in a local

efforts and gave him a check for $1,000 as a stipend. Omar

community and find that very meaningful, compelling, and

took the check, cashed it, and brought the money back to be

valuable to yourself, and also to the people around you.”

used as petty cash for pizza, movies, field trips, and so forth. Omar’s final stop for the day is a board meeting that

Liz Matson

evening at the YMCA. It is a busy, vibrant place that runs and supports numerous programs in and around the city. “I love the Y,” Omar says, “because they mesh both the heart

To learn more about the Salem YMCA:

and the hard work that is needed to care for the community. It is a strong organization with strong principles, but at its

To learn more about LEAP For Education:

core, it’s a lot of people with big hearts who want to help their





a lumni featur e s

S CO T T PA R K I N ’ 6 5

A Silent Crisis Scott Parkin ’65 wants greater attention paid to solving the problems of the country’s aging population. After more than three decades advocating for the nation’s elderly, Scott Parkin believes that although progress has been made around aging issues, much more needs

translating very technical or legal language into something

to be done.

you and I might understand for its 4 million retiree

“It’s really pretty scary,” says Scott, who spent much of his career at nonprofit organizations helping educate seniors about their benefits and advocating for greater elderly protections and funding for essential programs. The facts bear out his concern: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual income of households

subscribers. The insurance industry needed that then and needs it now.” He later served for more than a decade as vice president of communications at the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA), an organization that represented only nonprofit nursing homes, retirement

led by individuals 65 or older is $48,000, and a 2015 analysis

communities, and senior housing with services. There he

by the Government Accountability Office estimates that

promoted and saw the growth of ethics committees in

the median retirement savings for Americans aged 65 to 74

long-term care, which until then were found in hospitals

is $148,000.

but rarely in nursing homes.

Asked about the recent spate of commercials featuring contented seniors with their financial advisors planning

At AAHSA, now called Leading Age, he also led annual public affairs initiatives to block efforts to cut federal

retirements filled with travel and new adventures, Scott looks

funding for affordable housing for the elderly. In addition,

dismayed. “Most of us don’t realize that there are so many

a report edited by Scott, Nine Ways the Budget Hurts Older

people who didn’t do well, who didn’t perhaps get a decent

Americans, resulted in his organizing a meeting of aging-

education, who weren’t able to save money, often through no

organization leaders with President Bill Clinton, who had

fault of their own. They may have had a sick child,” he says. “The median Social Security benefit is around $1,500 a month,” he adds. “Try living on that and nothing else. If you don’t have any savings — even if you have $150,000

read the report. (The proposed legislation was ultimately defeated.) Scott later served as vice president of the National Council on Aging, where he helped launch BenefitsCheckUp,

in savings, which may be drawing down 8 percent a year —

a website tool that over the years has allowed more than

you’re not going to be doing too well.”

8 million seniors to learn about and apply for government

In the 1970s, Scott lived in Maine, first reporting for

Photo by Rick Reinhard

“With Blue Cross and Blue Shield, I learned how to write in plain language,” Scott says. “I learned a technique of

benefits programs. His last job in the field was with

the weekly York County Coast Star and later as editor of the

Justice In Aging. He was the nonprofit organization’s first

Coastal Journal and a Guide to Maine. From 1979 to 1981, he

communications director. “It was a great place to end

was a reporter for the Lewiston Daily Sun. He started writing

my career,” he says. “The causes they get behind, such as

about aging issues after moving in 1982 from Maine to

strengthening nursing home rules and protecting Medicaid

Washington, D.C., where he worked for Blue Cross and

and the Supplemental Security Income programs for the

Blue Shield’s federal employee program.

elderly poor, remain very important to me.”



Scott (on right, in front) with aging-organization leaders at a meeting in 1995 with President Bill Clinton to discuss a report on the damaging impact on older Americans of Congress’s budget.

As baby boomers move into retirement at a rate of

This means that waiting lists are often years long. “Congress

approximately 10,000 a day, Scott believes that two issues

should consistently appropriate a lot more money to help

threaten the future economic stability of many seniors

develop — whether it’s nonprofit or for-profit — a ffordable

and their families: a lack of affordable housing and the

housing for poor seniors,” he says. “There’s a lot of

astronomical cost of long-term care. According to a recent government report, as housing costs have risen precipitously in recent years, the share of

affordable housing being built, but it’s not necessarily for older adults.” Long-term care, the other issue that threatens to under-

older households paying more than 30 percent of their

mine the economic stability of families, is one that no

income on housing is projected to soon rise to 50 percent.

one wants to talk about, he says, even though its cost can

And the number of homeless seniors is also growing.

devastate individuals or families. “It’s something people just don’t know about or just don’t want to think about until it hits them square in the face.

“Most of us don’t realize that there are so many people who didn’t do well, who didn’t perhaps get a decent education, who weren’t able to save money, often through no fault of their own.”

“It’s frightening, because by the time someone arrives at a point where they understand what it costs — when they’re taking care of either a parent or a spouse — they’re already in their 70s,” Scott says. “They thought that perhaps Medicare would be helping — and it does help if you need short-term rehabilitation, but not with long-term care either at home, in assisted living, or in a nursing home. “There’s really nothing other than impoverishment for many people confronted with those costs,” because of this, Scott adds, “and it’s a failure of our political system not to

In June, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to

been a reluctance over the years to come up with a federal

for the Elderly Program. This would be the largest amount


dedicated to building more affordable housing for low-

“And it really hasn’t made a difference who’s been

income seniors since 2010. From 2017 to 2019, Congress

in power. In late 1988, during the Reagan administration,

provided only $166 million in total to the program.

Congress passed the Medicare Catastrophic Care Act,

“In the old days, we were regularly getting significant funding every year for the program,” Scott says, “but interest in building more affordable housing has dwindled.”


address the problem. There are policy solutions, but there’s

appropriate $803 million for the Section 202 Housing


which addressed long-term care, but it was repealed after many seniors thought its costs were too high,” he says. “It was a great idea, but it was poorly communicated.”

More recently, the Affordable Care Act, created under the Obama administration, at one point included a home and

He recalls a recent visit he and his wife made to the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, where they learned

community-based services benefit that would have covered

how the United States mobilized as it prepared to enter

the kinds of services that keep people in their own homes.

World War II — cranking out 17 destroyers a month: “You

The administration did not implement it, however, out of fear

say, ‘What, how is that even possible?’

of future costs. “Another opportunity lost,” Scott notes. And for a few decades, the long-term care insurance

“Our system is designed to say, ‘There’s a war on right now — let’s mobilize and get things done,’ but you can’t

market grew. Scott, who drafted the first Consumers Guide to

just snap your fingers and solve a crisis like this one; it just

Long Term Care Insurance, says the market could have helped

won’t happen,” he says. “You have to work at it, you have

those who could afford the premiums, but as insurance

to build programs, and you have to make them last, but that’s

companies began to pay claims and realized the risk to their

not how our system is designed.

bottom lines, most of them stopped selling it. Retired for the past five years, Scott and his wife, Joyce, continue to live outside Washington, in Reston, Virginia, where he stays active with writing, painting, and drawing classes and taking part in writers and life-drawing groups. They return every year to Maine, where Scott’s father’s family is from. They have two grown children, a son who lives in Washington, D.C., and a daughter who lives in Golden, Colorado. Scott’s ties to Milton remain strong; he has served on several reunion committees over the years. “I have great admiration for how the school and campus have grown and changed,” he says, recalling that in his time, “the theater was a repurposed building with windows on three sides, the art studio was primitive, and the library collection was small.” Nevertheless, he says, “I can trace my love of writing, literature, theater, painting, music, political science, history, and a lifelong interest in social justice to my Milton experience.” He also has fond memories of sitting on the library floor listening to a lecture by Buckminster Fuller or Robert Oppenheimer, and he remembers that “Sunday night chapel was always the week’s highlight, because after the service I could walk a girl I liked back to her dorm.” In retirement, he has continued to advocate for the elderly. Only recently did he step down as a member

“The country can do things if it wants to or feels it must. I just don’t think that we feel we must help poor, sick, homeless, or dying seniors. I don’t think there’s that urgency around housing or long-term care, even

of the board of directors for a local nonprofit that provides

though almost every family will have to confront at least

affordable housing to low-income older adults.

one of these issues sooner or later.”

Actor and speaker Ed Asner with Scott at the annual AAHSA conference.

Although Scott remains hopeful that attention to aging issues will improve, he is disappointed at the pace of

Sarah Abrams

progress. And with newspapers and journalists dedicated to those issues fast disappearing, he worries that awareness of problems in housing and long-term care will only lessen. “So much that happens in this country happens when there’s a crisis, and these kinds of issues are going to be pretty big,” he says. “Unfortunately, solving the problems confronting the elderly will not happen quickly.”





at milton

A New Direction for the Transition Program At the start of the school year, in August, Milton’s Transition Program, a communitybuilding program that has provided a foundation for new students of color and international students for more than three decades, broadened its focus to include all new Upper School students. The change to the program resulted from Milton’s commitment to creating a more informed, culturally competent, and inclusive community. “We made these changes in order to build an Upper School community that’s defined by certain habits of heart and

“The change to the 35-year-old program shows that Milton Academy is committed to ensuring that students of

mind,” says Principal David Ball, “and the best time to begin

all backgrounds have the time to explore topics such as

building that culture of inclusivity and mutual respect is

identity and culture while celebrating the things that make

when students first arrive on campus. It’s the first thing they

us unique,” says Ilan Rodriguez, director of Student

hear and it’s the first thing they do; it’s foundational to who

Multicultural Programming. Ilan led the redesign of the

we are as a school.”

new program.

The orientation program’s evolution comes in part as

The new students — both boarding and day — were

a response to students of color and international students

assigned to family groups and lived on campus. The

who have expressed a need for all students to share in self-

main thrust of the program was to introduce them to the

assessment and cross-cultural work. “The onus to address

language of identity and culture and build a familiarity

culture should not be placed on students of color and

and capacity for cross-cultural conversation and connection.

international students,” says Heather Flewelling, K–12

As part of the program, students participated in a series

director of Multiculturalism and Community Development,

of affinity-group discussions around issues of identity and

about the decision to restructure the program. “We’re all

culture. Topics ranged from race, religion, and sexual

in, all of us. We had to work as a larger community.”

orientation to socioeconomic status and privilege — sensitive

At the same time, recognizing the unique challenges that students of color experience in the School and the world, the new program will continue to provide space and

subjects that are often hard to discuss. “These are conversations that can be difficult,” Ilan says, “but when we have them in a safe space, students see

time throughout the year for ongoing conversations and

how powerful and important it is to share, learn from

connections. At the start of the weekend, students of color

each other’s experiences, and explore how we can be allies

and international students also participated in a one-day

to one another. Our goal is for students to come away

immersive program.

thinking, ‘I belong at Milton Academy. I am seen. My voice



matters. My lived experiences may be different from my peers’, but there is more that brings us together than what sets us apart.’” The program also emphasized the importance of creating time and space for relationship building among the students. In addition to the serious topics, they were able to meet with advisors and class deans, engage in team building exercises, and enjoy a lively pep rally. An important component of the program was the expansion of the student mentor group to guide and support the new students. More than 30 juniors and seniors were chosen on the basis of their proven records as student leaders and on prior involvement in cultural and identity programs. Parental engagement was another important feature of the program. “We wanted parents together in the same room to engage in conversation about why this initiative is important to us as a school community and to remind them that their child is a part of this journey,” Heather says. In response to a survey sent after the event to all new students and their families, which requested feedback To be honest, at first I was quite frustrated by the change to the

on tools they may have acquired by participating in the

Transition Program, because as an international student, I know how

program, one student replied, “My voice. Using my voice

important it was to have had that week to get used to living in a new space — to get used to the quirky things that we weren’t used to having happen. However, after participating as a mentor in the new program, I think it might be a good change, because Milton can now show all of its students what it believes in. Now all incoming students learn what Milton’s about and what it means to be a part of this community. There have been a lot of conflicting opinions about the new program, from “This was an amazing experience” to “We should change it back to the way it was.” My biggest observation is, let’s see what happens. I don’t think we can draw any immediate conclusions, because its impact is so long-term. It’s still to be determined what we’ll see. stefan aleksic ’20

As a mentor, I learned the importance of listening — of truly listening and of really understanding that everyone arriving at Milton comes from very different backgrounds in terms of how much practice they’ve had with having conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion. I learned that people are going to make mistakes and that that shouldn’t be a reason to shut them down or be negative. It’s important to recognize that if people want to learn, that’s something to be celebrated, even if they do make mistakes. As a white transition mentor, it was so hopeful to see


how many of the new white students were eager to learn. This would be

Director of Student Multicultural Programming Ilan Rodriguez (standing) with students.



their first experience of being asked to have difficult conversations. They want the Milton community to be better, and that was good to see. ali reilly ’20


@Milton_Academy     @miltonacademy

The new Transition Program is beneficial for a lot of students. It raises conversations earlier than they would normally be raised, and it’s particularly helpful for white students to hear from students of color about the environment they’re about to enter and about what’s OK to say and what’s not OK to say. Having participated in the old program, the one thing I’m still struggling with is how important it was to students of color who were coming from extremely different backgrounds. I know taking part in that program changed their Milton experience as a whole. I’m not sure the new program strikes the right balance between the time the students of color need to have together as a group and the time when all the new students participate. Striking the right balance still needs to be resolved. brian bowman ’20

We need a cultural shift at Milton, and this program is a crucial step in the right direction. Including all new students in discussions around issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion will initiate and continue that change and emphasize the value Milton places on this work. In the next few years, as all new students have the chance to participate in the program, the impact will become even more discernible. chloe brenner ’20

to advocate from the platform I was born with for those

The memories I have of the Transition Program as an international student

who need help in advocating for what they believe in.

are of hanging out with a group of vibrant friends. We had a lot of fun.

Everyone deserves an equal voice and should be heard.”

But it was also a bit scary for a lot of us, because the program was so

The program was merely an introduction to how

different from what was to come. The new program provides students

Milton positions itself around its principles and practices

with a more solid transition between the program and the actual Milton

concerning social and cultural identity. Recognizing the

experience. Some students have felt a bit pessimistic about the new

need to provide continued connection and conversation

program, asking, “Why do we have to do this?” I think the cynicism will die

among students, the organizers have planned ongoing

down a bit if we see that the program works and brings the community

affinity discussions, workshops, and retreats.

together. A bit more free time and some of the more fun aspects of

In October, approximately 50 students of color and

the old program could really help to coalesce some of the more serious

international students attended a weekend retreat in

aspects of the new program.

Plymouth. It was an important opportunity for students

andy zhang ’21

of color and international students to reconnect and share their thoughts and feelings early in their Milton experience. “The more students get involved, the more

When I participated as a new student in the Transition Program, it was only

they will understand the importance of this shift and why

for students of color, and it was definitely effective in helping me create

their support is vital to Milton’s advancement,” Ilan says.

bonds with other students of color. It helped me form the friendships that

The first phase of the new program was a success, say

I still have. However, there was this very visible divide back then between

the program organizers, but there is always room for

the program folks and the students who were white, and it was unsettling.

improvement. Program evaluations will continue to ensure

The new program makes it easier for students of color to integrate. Since

that “we are listening to the voices of students, while also

all new students participate, students of color are surrounded by people

committing to the larger goals of the school,” Heather says.

who don’t look like them, and it gives them the opportunity to form

“This work is not easy, but work that seeks to shift culture,

friendships with people that are based on more than race. It’s helpful to be

support students, and build a tighter community is

able to pick who you want to be friends with, not just because they look like

something worth taking on.”

you but because you like that person. That’s the advantage that the younger students have. For me, my friends were based on who looked like me.

Sarah Abrams

bella lora ’21






@Milton_Academy     @miltonacademy

a t m i l t o n

A Place for Discovery and Design Middle and Lower School students come together in a design thinking space What happens when a fish is not a fish? In Bridget Sitkoff’s seventh-grade computer programming

Lyle Bradley ’95; he just “got it” in the development of a

class, it means that a student’s math didn’t work out quite

welcoming lab that is practical and fun, Bridget says. At

right. She holds up a 3-D printed figure that a boy made

any given moment, students may be there writing code

in class: There was a funnel shape that should have been

to create images on their laptops, or studying new program­

a conelike fin. “I love this one. I love that it’s upside down,” Bridget says.

ming languages, or learning to program micro:bits (small, handheld microcontrollers) to operate cars they’ve built.

“How can you understand where something went wrong? Well, you get this out of the printer and say, ‘Oh.’ It’s more physical and tangible and real than when you get a math test back and a problem is wrong. When your fish isn’t a fish, that’s something you can understand right away. It fits in perfectly with the algebra the seventh-graders are currently taking, so I can meet them where they are in math. “It’s not me telling them they did something wrong,” she continues. “It’s them saying, ‘Wait, that’s not what I meant to make.’ There’s real power to that. But it’s also real computer science. They’re writing real code.” Bridget is the technology integration specialist in Milton’s Middle and Lower Schools. She works with students through Grade 8, blending computer science, math, robotics, engineering, and virtual reality in

“At any given moment, students may be there writing code to create images on their laptops, or studying new programming languages, or learning to program micro:bits (small, handheld microcontrollers) to operate cars they’ve built.”

age-appropriate forms that apply math and coding concepts to technological discovery. Most of this work happens in a sun-filled section of the

During a Middle School class in early October, Bridget

Perry Reading Room in the Caroline Saltonstall Gymnasium,

encouraged students to play around with different sequences

a design thinking space that was renovated last year and

for code, with the objective of drawing a tree. The mood

includes two 3-D printers, a table for VEX and Lego robotics,

was energetic, filled with kids proudly showing off their

a smartboard, and tech gadgets such as virtual reality

successes, asking one another for help, and laughing when

(VR) headsets. The architect who designed the space was

their plans went sideways. If something failed, Bridget



The new design thinking space in the Perry Reading Room is open to all Lower and Middle School students.

told them, keep trying: “Nothing is going to break if you

Hall, and students would have to ask her to unlock it if they wanted to revisit a project outside of class. Now they

make a mistake.” During breaks in the day, students drop in to play board games, work on robots or other projects, or explore VR or augmented reality programs. Before the room was created, programming activities were somewhat scattered, with

can access it during any free or activity time, which means “it’s always kind of a mess in here, but it’s kid-made,” Bridget says. The new space feels like their own. “It has been huge for us to get this dedicated space,” she

students working on projects in hallways. Bridget had to

continues. “Kids can store things they’re working on and

store equipment and projects in the basement of Greenleaf

find the equipment they need. Middle and Lower School kids feel equally comfortable and welcome here, and there are not a lot of spaces where that organically happens. At recess, everyone’s here, from third to eighth grade. They

“We want our kids to be creators, not just consumers. It’s great that young kids can access information online, but can they get their own ideas across and share them using technology?”

don’t always interact with each other, but you’ll see them checking out what other kids are making.” Over the past few years, more girls and students of color have become involved in programming and robotics in the Lower and Middle Schools, in part because of mentorship by Upper School girls. Their examples, and the new, open-to-all space, have made the younger students feel more comfortable joining these activities, Bridget says. Avery Miller ’20 helped lead the charge.




@Milton_Academy     @miltonacademy

“Avery came to Milton in fourth grade, and through her

“If you don’t teach them to be creators of technology,

Middle School years, she was one of the only girls in all

they won’t be,” she says. “We want our kids to be creators,

these programs. She was really determined to make sure it

not just consumers. It’s great that young kids can access

wouldn’t stay like that,” Bridget says. “She’s been a huge

information online, but can they get their own ideas across

ally in coming to talk to girls about why they might want to

and share them using technology? Because that’s a totally

sign up and what her experience has been. She’s helped

different thing. I care about that more than their facility

to build this program up.”

with looking something up.”

Working with computer programming faculty members in the Upper School, Bridget has designed a curriculum to

Marisa Donelan

prepare eighth-graders for — and excite them about — what they’ll encounter once they reach their high school math and programming classes. All ninth-grade students work with the programming language Java in their geometry classes, so Grade 8 students learn related concepts. “We want them to be ready with the skill set, but also be appropriately challenged once they reach ninth grade,” she explains. Today’s students are digital natives, comfortable users of technology, because it’s always been a part of their lives. But that doesn’t automatically equate to skill development, Bridget says. She hopes adults will focus less on the time students look at screens and more on the quality of their screen time. It’s one thing to watch videos on YouTube, and another thing to make something brand-new, combining math, coding, and creativity.



in sight


o n c e n t r e  Heyburn Speaker Discusses New York City and the Sea New York City’s vulnerability to rising sea levels and storms goes back to its earliest days, historian Ted Steinberg told history students during the 2019 Heyburn Lecture. Steinberg is the Adeline Barry Davee Distinguished Professor of History at Case Western Reserve University, and his work focuses on the intersection of environmental, social, and legal history. Although many residents were caught off guard by severe flooding during Hurricane Sandy, in 2012, Steinberg said, the “seeds of New York City’s expansion at the expense of the sea had been planted in the early years.” He described how English settlers in the late 1600s started expanding out to the low-water mark, filling in the land to make it easier for large ships to dock. This expansion and land filling continued over the years and centuries, changing the original shape of Manhattan and the surrounding New York City metro area. One example: The wetlands, which are important for flood protection, have decreased from 300 square miles in 1900 to 33 square miles today. “New York has not done a good job at addressing the coastal

Sculpture Class Takes a Walk in the Park

flood risk,” Steinberg said as he showed a map with the city’s

Spreading out across the 20-acre grounds of the deCordova Sculpture

current plans to expand out into the East River.

Park and Museum, students from visual arts faculty member Martin

Steinberg received his Ph.D. from Brandeis University. His latest book is titled Gotham Unbound: The Ecological History of

McDermott’s Advanced Sculpture class studied and sketched works by renowned modern and contemporary artists.

Greater New York.

“Right now in class, we’re working on two pieces: a stone piece and one with welded steel,” said Martin. “And a lot of the pieces here use those materials. It’s a really great place to explore and discover things.” The visit to the deCordova, located in Lincoln, Massachusetts, was part of a daylong study of sculpture in the Boston area. After spending the chilly and misty morning encountering outdoor installations, the class traveled to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. “We try to do this at least once per semester, to take the students out to these great places we have access to,” Martin said. His favorite piece at the deCordova is Steven Siegel’s “Big, with rift,” a 2009 work constructed of stacks of newspaper and native vegetation. Martin began the class’s visit there to demonstrate how a piece can evolve. “There were these big, tall stacks of newspapers that were just left to decompose,” he said. “At this point, it’s hard to tell that it’s even newspaper — it just looks like natural forms. It’s interesting that a piece can change over time, and every time you come back, it’s something new.” The deCordova Park shares an image with Milton’s campus: Jim Dine’s 1985 “Two Big Black Hearts,” a pair of 12-foot-high bronze heart shapes near the bottom of a sloping lawn, recalls Dine’s 1988 “Four Hearts,” which stands in front of the School’s Kellner Performing Arts Center.




@Milton_Academy     @miltonacademy

Bingham Visiting Writer: Poet Gregory Pardlo “I don’t believe in writer’s block,” he said. “When I feel myself saying

“Everyone is going to get something different from a poem, so I just have fun with it and let the world take it from there,” said Pulitzer Prize-

I’m blocked, I’ll say, ‘That’s BS.’ It means there is something I want to

winning poet and memoirist Gregory Pardlo, who was “street testing”

say, but I haven’t given myself permission to say it yet.” Digest won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Other honors

some new work during the fall Bingham Visiting Writer assembly. Pardlo’s new poems explore ideas of faith. His visual, at times humorous, writing explores the death of a professional wrestler, the

include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts for

highs and lows of a long marriage, and the personal relationship

translation. Pardlo’s first collection, Totem, won the APR/Honickman

between father and son. After finishing with a couple of older poems

Prize in 2007. He is the poetry editor of Virginia Quarterly Review and

from his collection Digest, he answered students’ questions about his

teaches in the MFA program at Rutgers University–Camden. His most

writing process.

recent book is Air Traffic, a memoir in essays.

Boys’ Varsity Soccer: ISL Champs Boys’ varsity soccer had an exciting and stand-

“They significantly improved from the start

out season. The team was undefeated in the ISLs

of the season to the end of the season,” said

(12–0–3), clinching the ISL championship title in

Chris. “They knew they were talented but

the game against Noble and Greenough, another

thought early on that talent would be enough.

undefeated ISL team that came into the match

So we worked on how talent is not the primary

with a one-point advantage in the standings.

ingredient. We worked on how to embody

“Winning that game was the most incredible

values and qualities we thought we needed

experience of my time here,” said David

to develop. We talked about complete and

Walley ’20. “In those last five minutes of the

consistent efforts. And being focused and

game, we were tied, and I felt it was going to

consistent on whatever we were doing, whether

be like other years, with us coming in second

it was a weight-room workout, a two-hour

every time.” But in the last minute of the

field training, or a game. They used their hunger

game, Aidan Farwell ’21 scored the winning

to do the work to improve.”

goal, and the home crowd was exuberant. The beginning of the season (overall record 13–2–3) started off a bit sluggish. “We had high expectations at the beginning

The team was seeded fifth for postseason play in the NEPSAC Boys’ Soccer Champion­ ship Class A and traveled to Connecticut for the first round, where they beat the Taft

of the year,” said Noah Jackson ’20. “We

School 3–1. In the semifinals, they traveled

thought winning would just come to us. But a

to Northfield Mount Hermon, where they won

couple of early losses opened our eyes. We

2–0. The final game was back in Connecticut,

had a team meeting about expectations versus

against Worcester Academy. The game was

reality. We changed our approach to focusing

tied 1–1 after regulation play, so the winner

on one game at a time and then went on to be

was based on penalty kicks, with Worcester

undefeated in the next 15 games or so.”

Academy coming out on top.

Head Coach Chris Kane said boys’ varsity soccer has consistently been a strong program over the years, “but this group very much had to prove something for themselves on their own terms.”

“We played the toughest games we could

wasn’t like they felt they did not rise to the moment. They stepped up and played

possibly play, all on the road, and just met the

incredibly well. They did it with class. They

challenge of each of those moments,” Chris said.

did it with toughness. They responded with

“At each step, they played better and with more belief. To be close and not to win is tough, but it

a lot of resilience, and togetherness and support from one another, which was great.”



on cen t r e , con t.

Heather Sugrue Is the New Academic Dean What does the academic dean do?

It changes from day to day. This office oversees attendance, and I work closely with the class deans to make sure we’re supporting students. I’m at the helm, but a lot of other people are involved. Another part is making sure faculty know what is expected and helping new members. I work closely with the other deans and the Upper School principal, and I’m involved if there are academic integrity violations and discipline committee issues, as we help students in those moments where there’s been a misstep. I work closely with Kate Collins, the director of academic support in the Academic Skills Center. If a student is struggling, we’ll meet together with their teachers to make sure we’re all on the same page. This helps, because if one person sees something a little off, they won’t dismiss it because they’ll know we’re seeing it across that student’s classes. I talk to students one-on-one about how things are going, and try to help them if they hit a bump in the road. Heather Sugrue, who this past summer became the new Upper School academic dean, has witnessed two decades of

What are some of the ways the math department has

Milton Academy as a math teacher, a house head, and most

changed since you started at Milton?

recently, the math department chair. She replaces Jackie

A number of teachers were hired while I was chair, and it’s

Bonenfant, whose role has transitioned to dean of academic

been exciting to see how great they’ve all been and how

initiatives. In a recent interview, Heather discussed the

much they enjoy Milton. I also did and continue to do a lot of

joy of teaching math, her excitement about her new position,

close work with Chris Hales in computer science. It’s his love

and what makes Milton students so special.

but something I’m interested in too. That partnership led us to create this mini-unit exposure to programming that’s

What was it about the position of academic dean that

in all the geometry courses, which has been a great addition.

interested you?

As math department chair, I found it rewarding to use my

Math can be intimidating for some people. How do you

math knowledge to collaborate with the adult community

make it more accessible and exciting?

here. I really enjoyed that. I also felt that I was creating some

A lot of fear about math is from people being told they are

new habits as department chair, as opposed to following

not good at it, either explicitly or implicitly, for a long time.

expectations or guidelines. There were challenges and

It begins in elementary school, where acquiring math skills

exciting parts. That made me think a lot about how we can

requires being a fast processor. If you do take more time,

make other department chairs feel supported as they step

there’s an assumption made that you’re not getting it or it’s

into their roles, which was a big draw to this new position. The other piece, and the thing that’s kept me at Milton


not making sense. Things start getting hard in fourth and fifth grade, maybe even in third. I am in awe of elementary

since my arrival in 2001, is the students, because they’re

school teachers who are teaching every subject in a

amazing, unique, and interesting in so many different

classroom with the same group all day. That’s such a gift

ways. I have loved the opportunities to get to know my

and such a challenge. There are a lot of people who say

advisees, the students in the dorms and in my classes, but

that they’re scared of math, or bad at math. It is not unlikely

this new position gives me the opportunity to get to know

that there are elementary teachers who put themselves in

even more students while we’re helping them to navigate

that place. It’s hard to share the joy of math if you’re actually

this place.

a little scared of it yourself.



@Milton_Academy     @miltonacademy

Sharing Stories for Systemic Change But we can all find joy in math. That’s the culture we’re working to build at Milton. We may not all choose to be

When an act of legislation ends legal discrimination, it does not automatically end oppression or abuses of power, said scholar and activist Jamal Grant

mathematicians, and that’s fine. In my classes, I find ways

at an assembly hosted by the student clubs Students Interested in Middle

to invite more students into the joy that is “playing with

Eastern Affairs (SIMA) and Amnesty International.

math.” I love low-floor, high-ceiling problems that everyone feels like they can at least try, and where there really is no limit to where you can go with a solution. I also try hard to ask questions to which I don’t already know the answer, and focus on listening to my students.

“It’s not enough to change bad laws and bad leaders,” he said. “We have to change the systems that keep bad leadership in power.” Grant worked with three other African American scholars and activists to create a film exploring the topics of wealth inequality, race relations, and progress in post-apartheid South Africa for the Ase [Ah-SHAY] Research Film Project. He was the lead producer for the film, Ubuntu Rising, a

Was there someone or something that inspired you to

documentary covering the legacy of apartheid: continued social inequality,

become a teacher?

corruption, infrastructure failures, and poverty.

My dad was a math teacher, so it was definitely on my radar. I grew up at a school that’s in some ways similar to Milton:

Filmmaking was a new venture for Grant, a first-generation American who was raised by Trinidadian immigrants in Boston. He graduated

Westtown School, in Pennsylvania, another K–12 school

from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, with a bachelor’s degree

with boarding and day students. I always liked math, so it

in mechanical engineering, and has worked as a mechanical and aerospace

wasn’t anything new or surprising that I might study it

systems engineer at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory. He is the founder and

in college, but I wasn’t planning to be a teacher. I majored

director of the NET Mentoring Group, a nonprofit focused on closing the

in math and minored in French. When I came out of school,

achievement and opportunity gap for minorities and young women in

I started working at a French library in Boston, which

STEM fields. He has held international human and civil rights fellowships

was fun, but also a little boring on a day-to-day basis. The

in Rwanda, Detroit, and Atlanta, where he studied colonialism, resistance,

first day that I looked for a new job, I saw an opening for

and social progress.

a calculus teacher at St. Paul’s School, in New Hampshire. I interviewed, and that’s where I started teaching.

Grant is a public policy master’s degree candidate at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where he is a fellow at the school’s Center for Public Leadership.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a teacher?

I’m a very different teacher now than I was when I started, and even than six or seven years ago. The thing that makes teaching challenging is also what makes it so much fun: You can always do it better, and you have do-over moments every year, or even every day. I’m always planning, thinking about what we’re going to do, and knowing that I’m probably going to change the plan because someone’s going to ask a good question, or an idea will come up that we want to explore. I’ve also really prioritized getting to know everyone in the room very well. I love the math, of course, but knowing who the students are makes a big difference.



on cen t r e , con t.

“Dare to Be True” Is a Lesson for Life, Grammy-Nominated Musician Jidenna Tells Students Rapper and singer Jidenna Mobisson ’03 returned to campus as part of the expanded Transition Program (see page 32), serving as the keynote speaker for new students of color and international students, and as a panelist in a conversation with their parents. The events preceded programming throughout Labor Day weekend for all students new to Milton. “It’s the first day — I know you feel a little bit nervous, but I want to say congratulations to each and every one of you,” Jidenna said. “I sat in the same seats you’re sitting in right now, with students who were just like you. Some of the people here that you don’t know yet will be your best friends for life.” Born in Wisconsin, Jidenna moved to Nigeria with his family

Creatures Great and Small Outside the AMC

he encountered racism from children and adults that made him

Two birds in flight, a swimming shark, and a fanged fish are just a few

question his sense of belonging in certain places. His family lived in

and lived there until the age of six. Upon returning to the United States, the family settled in Massachusetts. Throughout his youth,

of the sculptures that make up the Creatures Great and Small exhibit

the working-class Boston neighborhood of Mattapan, which borders

outside the Art and Media Center (AMC). Each of the eight pieces is

Milton but felt like a world away from campus. Jidenna recalled

done by a different artist in materials such as bronze, granite, steel,

feeling embarrassed by his mom’s car, asking her to drop him off at

and resin. Pamela Tarbell of PR Tarbell Fine Art curated the exhibit,

the edge of campus on the days he didn’t walk from the train station.

which will be on display throughout the 2019–2020 school year. One of the pieces, “The Understudy,” by local artist Bob Shanahan, is housed inside the AMC. The sculpture, built out of natural

Jidenna offered tips for rising to the challenges of a rigorous environment like Milton. First, he advised students to work closely with the faculty, because teachers are invested in student success —

materials such as bark and twigs, depicts a Diatryma — a dinosaur

he remains in touch with teachers who have become friends over the

that roamed New England millions of years ago.

years. He also advised students to embrace the diversity of the

The other pieces line up in front of the AMC. Morris Norvin’s “Piscator II” is the largest — a steel structure, painted gray and bent into the shape of a swimming shark. The smallest is the sleek “Epoxy Cheetah” by Wendy Klemperer. Shirin Adhami, a new visual arts

School and to get to know students with identities and backgrounds different from their own. As well as sharing their lives with faculty and peers, he said, students should follow the School’s motto. “I’ve never forgotten ‘Dare to be true,’” Jidenna said. “It takes

faculty member and Nesto Gallery director, says a favorite of the

courage to find your vulnerabilities. It takes courage to embrace

younger students on campus is “Toothed Fish,” composed of granite

them. But when you do, you become a mighty person, and you’re

and quartz by Thomas Berger.

able to walk on your own.”

Shirin’s art history class discussed the pieces; she said many

Students should expect to grow in their understanding of identity

students are really responding to the exhibit’s “creatures” theme.

during their time at Milton, Jidenna said. Through his African

In past years, outdoor installations focused on abstract work, so

American history course, he learned about leaders who helped shape

Ian Torney, chair of the visual arts department, asked the curator

his understanding of what it means to be black; through his peers

to think of a figurative theme, and from that came the idea of finding

with different identities, he learned the importance of finding — and

work that represented creatures.

using — one’s own voice.

The installation took place at the start of this school year, when

After graduating from Milton, Jidenna attended Stanford, where

all the artists brought their work on the same day. Some pieces

he studied ritual arts. He is signed to Janelle Monáe’s Wondaland

required tricky lifting and heavy bases to anchor them. Milton’s

Records, and his song “Classic Man” received a Grammy Award

facilities team helped with the installation. One of the artists,

nomination in 2016. In the summer of 2019, he released the album

Beverly Benson Seamons ’46, passed away in 2012, so her son did

85 to Africa, which showcases his influences of African and

the installation of her “Osprey,” a bronze sculpture.

Caribbean music, hip-hop, and soul.




@Milton_Academy     @miltonacademy

Learning About Local Environmental Justice Work Poor air quality, asbestos dumping, and lack

as high as the state average, that developers

in environmental justice. On the way back

of green spaces are just a few of the environ­

would raze buildings and leave behind

to Milton, the group made a quick visit to the

mental issues that residents in lower-income

toxic debris, and that the neighborhood train

Urban Farming Institute in the Mattapan

city neighborhoods face on a daily basis.

to downtown Boston was replaced by an

neighborhood of Boston. Some Milton students

Twenty-two students from the Activism for

inefficient and polluting bus system, making

are regular community engagement volunteers

Justice in a Digital World class and two sections

access to jobs more difficult.

on the farm.

of Science in the Modern Age went on the Toxic Tour of Dudley Square in the Boston

History faculty member Andrea GeylingMoore started taking students on the tour

neighborhood of Roxbury to learn about

almost 10 years ago when Dave Jenkins ’99

environmental justice initiatives.

worked as an organizer for ACE. Dave video-

David Nolies, from Alternatives for

conferenced with students the day before

Community and Environment (ACE), a

the tour and talked about how one of the

nonprofit based in Dudley Square, was their

group’s big successes was an eight-year battle

guide. “We are the voice for the people that

to get the subway system to offer discounted

don’t have a voice,” he told students. Nolies

youth passes. Although he is no longer at ACE,

grew up nearby in a government housing

Dave continues to work on environmental

project and has been involved with ACE for

justice issues.

22 years, since he was 15. As he walked students around to different

Back at ACE’s offices, the students had lunch and wrote their reflections on the

spots, he explained that Roxbury’s childhood

morning. Nolies talked more about how

asthma hospitalization rate is nearly six times

important it is for young people to be engaged

Lessons in Service and Leadership from Army Captain Nick Morton ’02 Nick Morton ’02 was a few weeks into his

commander, air operations officer, platoon

senior year at Milton when the terrorist

leader, and civil affairs sergeant, with

attacks on September 11, 2001, stirred in him

deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. His

the need to serve. Before graduating from

military education includes graduation

Milton, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve —

from the Army Ranger School, where he

and began a lifelong military career.

finished in the top 15 percent of students

Now an army captain, Nick was the 2019 Veterans Day speaker. “We spent the days and months trying

that completed all phases of the grueling program on the first attempt. Nick has been awarded the Bronze Star, the Meritorious

to process what had happened” after

Service Medal, the Joint Commendation

the 2001 attacks, he said about the many

Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the

conversations he had with classmates. “I

Joint Service Achievement Medal, and the

can’t speak to what my classmates felt at

Army Achievement Medal, among others.

that time, but for me, it began to synthesize

He received his bachelor’s degree in

this sense that I wanted to become part

finance from the University of Maryland at

of something bigger than myself. I started

College Park and his M.S. in organizational

wondering if I had something to give, if

leadership from Columbus State University.

I could be of value.”

He is currently working toward his master’s

As a soldier, Nick has served as a weapons troop commander, infantry company

degree in public administration at Harvard Kennedy School.



on cen t r e , con t.

Students Spend a Day in the Life of the U.S. Senate

students to try on a position that they may

It’s one thing to learn how a bill becomes a law.

student senators broke into subcommittees,

It’s another thing entirely to step into the shoes

where they had the opportunity to ask

be personally opposed to, she said. “It’s a

of a lawmaker.

institute staff experts about various provisions

good exercise to have them argue for the other

they could attach to the bill, or to interview

side sometimes.”

American Government and Politics students spent a morning in Boston last fall

and vote on presidential appointees. They then

The late Massachusetts Senator Edward

at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the

caucused with other members of their parties

M. “Ted” Kennedy ’50 envisioned the institute

United States Senate, where they shed their

to decide on proposed amendments to the bill.

as a place where visitors could learn about

student personas and became U.S. senators,

Finally, student representatives from each

the legislative process. During their visit, the

poised to act on a comprehensive immigration

party spoke on the senate floor to defend their

Milton students toured a replica of Kennedy’s

amendments. The bill was defeated by a vote

Washington, D.C., office, most of which was

of 51–39.

transferred to Boston after his death.

reform bill. “It’s helpful for them to have hands-on experience with the process,” said Perin Gokce,

Each student was given a profile that

They also viewed an exhibit dedicated to

a history and social sciences faculty member

included their randomly assigned party

the late New York Rep. Shirley Chisholm,

who arranged the trip. “It gives them a better

affiliation and the top political priorities for

the first black woman elected to Congress and

understanding of all the competing demands

the state they represented. They weighed

the first black candidate to run for a major-

that senators grapple with before they go into

various options according to factors such as

party presidential nomination. Representative

a vote: their party’s interests, their state’s

job creation, government spending, civil

Chisholm’s famous quote “If they don’t give

interests, and their personal viewpoints.”

liberties, and national security.

you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair” is

Milton students joined students from

Perin is interested in creating more

represented throughout the Kennedy Institute

Mansfield High School in the institute’s senate

hands-on opportunities for her students,

by folding chairs decorated to honor people

chamber, a nearly exact replica of the U.S.

including mock Supreme Court hearings

who have been historically underrepresented

Senate chamber in Washington, D.C. The

and debates. It’s a worthwhile challenge for

in U.S. government.




@Milton_Academy     @miltonacademy

In Animation, Faculty Member Y   oshi Makishima ’11 Finds Storytelling Has No Limits For Yoshi Makishima ’11, animating a story is a way to put your stamp on every aspect of it. The animator is a director, a writer, a designer, and an actor, making choices that affect everything from characters’ personalities to the overall tone of a film. Yoshi’s short film Night was an official selection at the 2019 San Diego International Kids’ Film Festival last August. She submitted the four-minute piece after completing it for a class at the Harvard Extension School.

senior project, she worked with former modern languages teacher Mary

Kalel Mullings ’20 Selected for All-American Game

Jo Ramos to animate Spanish stories for Middle School students. After

Milton’s varsity football linebacker and running back Kalel

Milton, Yoshi attended Smith College, where she majored in English, and

Mullings ’20 was selected for the 2020 All-American Bowl,

Yoshi, a performing arts faculty member in Milton’s Middle School, began animating when she was a student in the Upper School. For her

took animation courses at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Night follows an unidentified figure through a city covered in

joining an elite group of athletes who have played in the all-star game. Surrounded by his coaches, teammates, family, and

darkness to a forest. Yoshi made the character genderless, ageless, and

friends, Kalel was presented with an honorary game jersey,

without other identifiers so that viewers could relate to the figure.

commemorating his selection, during a ceremony in the

The inspiration came from a summer with repeated electrical blackouts;

Fitzgibbons Convocation Center in October.

Yoshi found the sudden plunges into darkness and quiet to be isolating. “I spent a lot of time in the dark, which made me think about light, and

Kalel began his varsity football career as a 13-year-old freshman, playing against 18- and 19-year-olds in one of the

the absence of it, and how lonely that can feel,” she said. “It was a major

top leagues in New England. He will attend and play at the

inspiration, and something I thought a lot of people might relate to.”

University of Michigan in the fall.

Being an official selection at a film festival means being screened

“One would surmise that all this attention and notoriety

there. At the San Diego Film Festival the screenings happened in small

would affect Kalel,” said Coach Kevin MacDonald. “However,

groups, and the film that won in Yoshi’s category was in her group.

he has never changed. He has continued to be the same kind,

Yoshi couldn’t attend the festival because it was held when teachers were

affable, humble, and outgoing young man he has always been.

preparing for this academic year.

Yes, Kalel is an outstanding football player with a bright future,

Yoshi was able to share Night with a special audience of tough critics: her students. Many of them showed genuine interest in the film and in animation in general. Yoshi is thinking of ways to incorporate animation

but he is an even better young man who has left an indelible mark on our school.” Past All-American Bowl participants include NFL players

into the School in some way — perhaps through a workshop, if scheduling

Reggie Bush, Tim Tebow, Joe Thomas, Andrew Luck, Odell

allows. And she would love to see more girls get into filmmaking.

Beckham Jr., and Trevor Lawrence. The honor recognizes top

“It does seem like there’s a real hunger for it, especially at this moment in time,” she said. “The kids are so comfortable with computers and

high school football players as they pursue their goals and provides opportunities for competition, learning, and personal

they’re also media literate in

development that benefit student-athletes both on and off

a way that is astounding

the field.

and exciting. Making films

Kalel was the only Massachusetts athlete selected to play

used to be so much more

in the 2020 All-American Bowl, in San Antonio, Texas. It

of a niche interest. It used to

aired live on NBC in January.

be something you’d have

Boston City Council Member Matt O’Malley, who represents

to go out of your way to learn

Kalel’s West Roxbury neighborhood, presented him with a

about. But it’s a language

Certificate of Recognition from Boston Mayor Marty Walsh

these students are so

and a resolution by the city council to acknowledge his

comfortable speaking.”




on cen t r e , con t.

Collaboration at Play Strings players from Milton’s chamber orchestra watched members

The rehearsal was a master class, not only in classical music,

of A Far Cry, the Grammy-nominated string ensemble, discuss a few

but in deep listening and focused cooperation. Adrian hoped the

measures of a Haydn minuet during a pause in the action. One musician

encounter with world-class musicians would inspire the Milton

suggested a slight change to the speed of the melody as others nodded

performers and encourage them to take on a similar leadership style.

in agreement. Another chimed in with a reminder about the dynamics

During a break in the rehearsal, students formed groups according

of a section. They started again, the adjustments made.

to their instruments and took the opportunity to ask questions of

“The unique thing about A Far Cry is that they don’t use a conductor,”

the professional musicians. Part of the reason for the visit was for

said Adrian Anantawan, Milton’s music department chair. “They’re

the students to get to know the musicians better than a guest concert

a fully democratic orchestra, and they make decisions as a group. The

would allow, Adrian said. “Our students are here to observe this process,” he said. “One of

leadership is shared.” The Milton group visited an open rehearsal in the Isabella Stewart

the pieces we’re working on is similar to a piece of music A Far Cry

Gardner Museum’s Calderwood Hall, a modern, four-story performance

is doing, so hopefully we’ll be able to pick up on some of how they work

space behind the historic Boston art museum. Students took notes as

and be able to apply that to our performances throughout the year.”

A Far Cry, this year’s Gratwick visiting performers, shared their insights

performed at the 89th Gratwick Concert in October.

and corrections to their piece.



Milton students composed two pieces for A Far Cry that were


@Milton_Academy     @miltonacademy

The Bottom Line? Punctuation Matters. This sentence is missing its marks:

each other’s words,” English faculty member

of a piece by making a punctuation choice.

Eric Idsvoog says. “In our writing, we depend

Our students should have that kind of power

I learned heed this warning future employees

on punctuation marks to capture those

and control over their language.”

how bosses who are desperate to fill positions

crucial, human features of thought and voice.

convince staff who have expressed no interest

A sentence without the right punctuation

opinions on punctuation and enjoy exploring

is like a head without a face. Also, as every

its nuances. Eric, for example has a penchant

in those positions to do the job anyway

Milton’s faculty grammarians have strong

student learns, the path from misplaced

for dashes — “ They are versatile, visually

The sentence is part of a past sophomore

commas to cannibalism is short and not sweet.

clear, and expressive,” he says. “They are also

English test, challenging Milton students to

Imagine the sentence ‘Let’s eat, my friend!’

easy to overuse.” The rules about spacing

insert the correct symbols to create the

without the comma.”

around ellipses can trip him up, and he harbors

appropriate pauses and attribution in a long

Aside from its tonal implications, improper

a preference for the American convention of

paragraph without under- or over-punctuating.

or unclear punctuation can have drastic

including periods and commas inside

Those with a heavy hand may be surprised

effects: In 2018, a missing Oxford comma cost

quotation marks, as opposed to the British

to learn that the sentence is missing just one

a dairy company millions of dollars in a

style, which places them out. “If you write

comma, a period, and two em dashes: “I

dispute with its drivers.

‘hello’, you might as well be singing ‘God Save

learned — heed this warning, future employees —

A firm grasp on the mechanics of the

the Queen,’” he jokes.

language enhances the work that emerges

Whether colons or semicolons belong

convince staff who have expressed no interest

from the School’s advanced courses, says

inside or outside of the quotation marks is a

in those positions to do the job anyway.”

English Department Chair Caroline Sabin.

tricky question for writers, faculty member

A period between two sentences, for example,

Katherine Hamblet says. (They go outside).

can distinguish two linked thoughts; a comma

The “graceful and decisive” colon, when used

followed by a conjunction such as “and” or

correctly, can make a strong impact, she says.

how bosses who are desperate to fill positions

Learning about punctuation may not be as thrilling to an English student as discovering a work of literature; it may pale in comparison with the gratification that comes from finalizing a piece of writing. But Milton English teachers,

“although” explains the link explicitly. “If you join the sentences with a semicolon

The bottom line? Punctuation matters. “If you listen to someone read aloud without

in a program that has long boasted strong

instead of a comma and one of those coordi­

regard to the punctuation, you will have

writers, spend time on the fundamentals of

nating or subordinating conjunctions, you’re

trouble understanding a passage, but listening

grammar and style, including punctuation

now saying to the reader, ‘There is a logical

to a reader who understands punctuation

and the teaching of megablunders: eight critical

link between these two sentences, but I’m not

for communicating meaning is easy,” says

writing mistakes to avoid. These are the

going to tell you what it is. You have to figure


technical aspects of writing and reading that

it out, and I have chosen not to tell you. There

help convey meaning and scaffold creativity.

is a reason why I want you to do the work,’”

as the serial comma, the English department is

Caroline says. “What power you have, what

in full support.

“When we speak to one another, we depend on pauses and changes of tone to understand

control. You make sure that your reader

the logic and, just as importantly, the emotion of

gets exactly what you wanted them to get out

As for the Oxford comma, otherwise known

Eric has just one question: “Can we call it the Milton comma?”



on cen t r e , con t.

Steven Bertozzi Named New Middle School Principal When people learn that Steven Bertozzi is a middle school educator,

up; it was a place where I could learn, play sports, do art, and just

their response — perhaps recalling their own experiences or the

discover what I liked to do,” he says. “Middle school is about character,

challenges of raising a child through the middle grades — often falls

and as the adults in the community, we get to set the tone for who

somewhere between awe and sympathy.

these young people are going to be.”

But for Steven, who became the principal of Milton’s Middle School in

Steven began the 2019–2020 school year as interim principal, and

December, the magic and messiness of tween and early teen years affords

strong support from students, faculty, and families soon made it clear

an opportunity to support students as they navigate the important

he was the right person for the job, Head of School Todd B. Bland says.

transition from childhood to young adulthood. “I think one part of the challenge of being a middle school principal

“Steven is a dedicated educator who has proven to be an effective leader. His passion for teaching our Middle School students — helping

or teacher is that you just want everyone to know how amazing this age

them to grow intellectually, socially, and emotionally — shines in his

group is, how resilient they are, how curious they are,” he says. “The

work,” Todd says. “I am thrilled to work with Steven as he transitions to

rest of the world doesn’t always see promise in this age group, so it’s our

a role in which he can develop and implement a long-term vision for our

responsibility to continually remind kids how special they are when the

Middle School.”

rest of the world treats them like they’re not.” Middle school is an exciting time for students to become more

Steven has more than a decade of experience working at independent schools, including teaching and serving as a grade dean at Hawken

independent, discover their interests, and explore aspects of their

School, in Lyndhurst, Ohio, and as a department chair at Hyde School

identities. Steven’s dedication to middle school education comes from

in Woodstock, Connecticut. Prior to becoming principal, Steven was a

inspiring teachers who helped guide him through those years.

Grade 7 social studies teacher and coach at Milton and a leader of

“They had such an impact on my life and took such an interest in me and my growth as a learner and as a person. I loved school growing

student cultural clubs and affinity groups. He has also been a member of the Middle School’s leadership team for the Office of Multiculturalism and Community Development (OMCD), helping the division in its strategic diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work. DEI initiatives are central to Steven’s focus in the Middle School. He plans to expand faculty professional development and to work with the faculty and the OMCD to identify specific action steps going forward. He has been impressed with student leadership in DEI work: Students join and lead discussions about social identities like race, gender, and socioeconomic class, and the student diversity leadership group conducts workshops on important topics such as body image. Additional priorities include strengthening the academic program with interdisciplinary and service-learning opportunities. “The students are recognizing the resources we have at our fingertips, both in the city of Boston and from families and community members,” he says. “It’s amazing how often our kids ask for community service work.” Steven is also excited to continue working with the principals of the Upper and Lower Schools to align curriculum throughout the School. It’s important for students and teachers to thrive within their own divisions, but also to recognize that Milton is a K–12 community, he says. What makes Milton’s Middle School such a special place is the level of support students receive from their teachers, advisors, coaches, and counselors. “In all the different ways we interact with them, we know our kids well,” he says. “We take the time to meet with them, look at patterns, discuss their growth. We celebrate who they are beyond just learners. We celebrate their individuality and what they bring to our community. We celebrate leadership in all its forms in the Middle School. We see the value in the whole child.”

Last year, more than 1,100 alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students, and friends gave back to Milton, supporting all that makes Milton exceptional. What can we accomplish together in 2020? Mark your calendar, tune in on social media, and make your gift to the Milton Fund.

• •


Get Excited for Giving Day: April 16, 2020



2 #miltongives


For Facilities Team, Athletics Work Is 24/7

Ernie Ostine’s first day of work for Milton’s facilities

seventeen hard-surface tennis courts, an ice rink, an

department was on a snowy day in February 1978. It’s a story

outdoor track, and a dedicated dual mat wrestling area.

that Steve Zannino, associate director for grounds, events,

longest, is the foreman of the eight-member grounds crew.

look good to not show up, Ernie walked to campus through

Tending the turf and grass fields is a main focus during

the heavy snow from his home in Dorchester. He was stuck

the fall and spring sports seasons. The baseball fields

on campus for the next five days during what became

require the most maintenance. Milton has wells to water

known as the Blizzard of ’78. Forty-one years later, Ernie

the grass, so lack of rain is not a big concern, but a lot

is the longest-serving member of Milton’s stellar facilities

of care is still needed to keep the fields in good shape. They

team, a dedicated group that keeps the campus humming.

are aerated, seeded, and covered with a “top dressing”

A big responsibility is the upkeep and care of the campus


Manny Taveres, who has been at Milton the second-

and fleet management, likes to tell. Worried that it would not

in a process that is repeated at least three times throughout

spaces and surfaces where Milton’s student athletes

the year. The mowing is constant — the crew maintains

practice and compete. The athletic facilities comprise four

35 acres of grass. Lines need to be painted, areas need to

buildings and outdoor spaces that include eight grass

be raked, and sports equipment needs to be moved

fields, one turf field, six wood courts, seven squash courts,

around or stored.



@Milton_Academy     @miltonacademy

The Berylson Turf Field was installed during the summer of 2018. Steve was instrumental in making decisions to ensure that the field met athletic department expectations — especially for field hockey, because it’s the best surface for that game. Turf is also a great surface during inclement weather for all teams. “The designer and installer were great,” Steve says. “They did a nice job blending it in with how the rest of the school looks.” The project also finished on time and on budget. Facilities crew members Andre King and Pete Henderson have taken a particular interest in the upkeep of the field, which requires a special machine to “lift up the flattened grass and groom the surface,” Steve says. “Some believe these fields are maintenance free; actually we must carefully care for and inspect the surface regularly.” During the winter season, most of the crew’s focus is on

Steve says. Its demise unfortunately occurred in the middle

the indoor spaces. The squash and basketball courts are

of the night during the 2018–2019 hockey season, and the

swept and washed regularly, but most of the labor goes into

facilities crew had to scramble to get the melting, messy ice

the ice rink, which is not a year-round rink. In the warmer

out of the building and start the process of making new ice

months, the rink space is used for indoor tennis courts.

with a temporary chiller. They were able to get the rink up

In October, the facilities team starts the process of turning

and running in six days.

those courts into a rink — a huge physical undertaking. First they install the heavy boards and glass. Then the coolant

The new state-of-the-art system consists of a huge cooling tower and five compressors (called ice cubes) instead of

glycol flows through the rink’s underground pipes, and the

two. The installation, which took careful work over many

crew lays down thin coats of water with a handheld hose,

months, is located in a tight space behind the back walls

a process that can take hours. After a certain number of

of the rink. Additional new pipes extend out to Apthorp

coatings, an outside contractor paints the lines and the ice

Chapel and the squash courts.

white. This is followed by more layers of water before the ice is resurfaced by a Zamboni for almost two days to make it just right. One of this year’s biggest projects was installing a new chiller system after the old one “lived its life after 22 years,”

“The new system runs a lot more efficiently,” Steve says of this project, which also finished on time and on budget. “It captures the heat from the equipment, which runs through new pipes to heat the Fitzgibbons Convocation Center, the chapel, and the squash courts. It will also provide airconditioning to all three buildings in the warmer months.” For Steve and his team, every day is different and the to-do list is never-ending. Even when classes are not in session, sports activities continue. Events such as the Flood Marr hockey tournament are held over vacation breaks and various sports camps use Milton’s athletic spaces during breaks and in the summer. Whether the crew is dealing with a melted ice rink or snow removal so that fans can get to a game, upkeep of the facilities is a year-round endeavor. Liz Matson



“The launch of the Dare campaign was a new beginning for Milton and a promise to

Dare, the most ambitious campaign in

our people. We set out to ensure that Milton is an environment where the most

the School’s history, closes June 30, 2020.

talented, curious faculty and students could thrive. Professional development,

Make your gift today in support of

robust financial aid, and opportunities at every turn help us keep that promise.

Milton and its future.

We’re designing an education that is innovative, responsive, and relevant, one that empowers students — our future leaders. Dare with us.” Head of School Todd B. Bland 617-898-2447

class notes

1944 Bill Childs shared that just weeks

State. Since retirement, he has

about our long-term future.

Ned Crosby and David Ehrlich

from his 93rd birthday, he finds

lived in Hopkinton, Massachusetts,

Andre sends his very best to

“rejoined” forces in Minneapolis

that all of his close friends from

in his parents’ weekend house

old friends and classmates.

the Class of 1944 are gone. He is

(c. 1800), which he has renovated

fortunate to remain in fair health,

for comfort. His focus is now on

but cannot travel alone. If any

conservation issues in his town


on Minnesota’s political history

classmates would like to corres­

and region. He enjoys subsistence

▼ Jean Childs shared that “Our

in the splendor of the glorious

pond, his email address is

farming, which keeps him healthy.

side of the street didn’t stay

state capitol. Bill is in a

He has traveled extensively and

for the Saturday dinner during

retirement community and he

enjoys studying and collecting

Reunion, so we missed the

Diana Moore says that her

enjoys his life there very much.

maps and books on the history

official photo.” Pictured here:

husband, Charlie, has started

of cartography. Two happy

Liz Biddle Barrett, Sally Sprout

making tables from cedar.


marriages (his first wife died of

Lovett, Jean Worthington Childs,

She enjoys painting beach

cancer) have given him great

and Constance Trowbridge.

scenes on top of “said tables,”

Andre J. Navez spent his profes­

pleasure. The state of much of the

in June as an offshoot of David’s Yale class. They sat through a wondrous presentation

and they are both on the

sional life as a foreign service

world — including especially the

craft circuit. She writes, “Lots

officer with postings in Laos,

current U.S. administration, the

of work and enjoyment. We

Congo (twice), Chad, Belgium,

irresponsible treatment of natural

are both feeling our 83 and

Ethiopia, and Djibouti, with

resources, and obvious over­

86 years, however, but trotting

NASA and the Department of

population — makes him worry




cl a s s no t e s, con t.


1955 Katharine (Tinka) Gratwick Baker

fellow and lecturer on diplomacy.

▶ Four members of the Class of

is a founder and president of the

He remains active as the chair

1966 got together last summer at

board of directors of Northampton

of a global business development

Harry Norweb’s house in Marion,

Neighbors, a new “village” that

firm and an iconoclastic public

Massachusetts. Pictured (L to R):

supports aging in place for seniors

speaker on contemporary foreign

Guild Tucker, Ted Southworth,

by providing volunteer support

affairs. He divides his time

Harry Norweb, and Chuck

and social activity for people over

between Washington, D.C.,


55. After less than two years of

and Rhode Island. Details at

operation they have more than 800

1971 Tap Francis lives in Marion,

members, which she says “shows Tim Brooks ’63 and his wife,

the village movement has hit a

Elise (Lisa) Forbes Tripp just

Martha, are continuing their

sweet spot for us old folks.” Tinka

produced a 35-minute profes­

Massachusetts, again, after

retirement travels. Their latest

encourages you to look for one in

sional documentary with first-

40 years in Colorado, California,

journey was a camping

your community, saying it offers a

time activists who help immigrant

Texas, Washington, and most

great alternative to institutional

families at the Texas border,

recently, the Big Island in Hawaii.

and hiking trip to Labrador and Newfoundland.

living for seniors.

fight voter suppression in North

He hopes to run into old friends

Carolina, and mobilize youth

who are in the area!


for gun control. She describes the film as inspiring, recognizing

Sylvie Peron writes that after

Rupert Hitzig writes that he’s

good citizens without mention

15 years at the helm of Altitudes

happy and healthy after all these

of the current administration!

magazine, building the brand

years. “A great ride for 60 years

More at


business-aviation publication.

TV shows, documentaries. Still working, still flirting, and still

Jim Kaplan got a terrific reception

start this back-to-school season

married to a wonderful partner . . .

when his column on turning 75,

on a high note, aged 66!”

years. Have made a lot of movies,

immensely grateful for my wife,

Tap Francis ’71 lives in Marion, Massachusetts, again, after 40 years in Colorado, California, Texas, Washington, and Hawaii, and hopes to run into old friends in the area.



from scratch, she just joined, as co-editor, Ultimate Jet, another

with great friends from my Milton

Sylvie says, “I’m quite excited to

“Passing Time With the Eternal

Karen, my two grandchildren, and

Footman,” appeared in the

my sons, one of whom survived

Vineyard Gazette.


a long bout with a “broken heart,”

Meg Matthews Herman writes

but now lives a full life as a

that by the time you read this,

husband and daddy with his NEW


she and her husband, Bruce, will

HEART. Rupert is thankful for

Tim Brooks shared that he and

have celebrated 46 years of

his son’s doctors and to his son’s

his wife, Martha, are contin-

marriage! They have two children,

donor, and sends his love to all

uing their retirement travels.

Ben and Sarah, who are happily

the Milties who have made his

Their latest journey was a

settled with their own families

life richer.

camping and hiking trip to

and professions, and like typical

Labrador and Newfoundland.

grandparents, they “shamelessly


Between travels and their

boast about our five wonderful,

four grandchildren, they are

unique, amazing, smart, adorable

Chas Freeman has re-upped for

having a wonderful time. “If

grandchildren.” Meg retired a few

another year at Brown’s Watson

any classmates are coming

years ago, and says it is a privilege

Institute, where he is a senior

through Delaware, let us know.”

to have more time to babysit, help


@Milton_Academy     @miltonacademy

Alice Outwater ’77 Alice Outwater ’77 ’s book Wild at Heart:

America’s Turbulent Relationship with Nature, from Exploitation to Redemption was published by St. Martin’s Press in April 2019 and was listed for the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction. Alice researched the natural history of the United States through the lens of human interaction with nature and wildness, beginning with the relationships of indigenous peoples and the land. Wild at Heart explores humans’ physical, spiritual, and economic relationships with nature, from before the time Europeans landed on the continent through agricultural and industrial movements detrimental to today’s conservationist and environmentalist efforts. “Our relationship with nature is influenced by economic systems and spiritual beliefs; there are no universal standards, and actions that are unthinkable


in one culture or era are unremarkable in known to Darwin, dogs, and philosophers

another,” Alice writes. “But the deeper truth

friends and neighbors, and fully

Eve Zimmerman is a professor

enjoy their “wee farm with

of Japanese literature at Wellesley

alike is that all living beings are inextricably

horses, barn cats, friendly dogs,

College. She writes, “Studying

part of nature. And nature is beyond our

and an unruly mob of chickens.

English with Kay Herzog at

control. That also means that human nature is

We love where we live, and every

Milton instilled in me a love of

beyond our control. We are wild at heart. There

time we pull into our driveway,

reading, which I’m able to put

is wildness everywhere, and within us all.”

we exclaim, ‘Who are the lucky

to good use in my new job as

people who get to live HERE?’”

director of Wellesley’s Newhouse

Thanks to her husband’s work

Center for the Humanities.”

as an artist and a professor, they enjoy a steady stream of merry guests, and encourage Milton


friends to visit. “It’s a good life

Scott Johnston is pleased to report

and we like to share it.”

that his debut novel, Campusland, just hit #15 on Amazon, beating

▼ Meg (third from right) with her

out Stephen King and the Very

family in Italy this past summer.

Hungry Caterpillar (“Yes, it’s still a best seller,” says Scott). He describes his book as a fun read about college culture run amok.



cl a s s no t e s, con t.


Carolyn Grant ’80 and her husband, Jerry, live in Chicago, where they listen to Cubs home games from their back porch.

Carolyn Grant and her husband,

Polly Duke has been teaching

programs in Martinique, Quebec,

Jerry, celebrated several gradua­

French and Francophone studies

France, Spain, Costa Rica, and

tions. Their son Sean graduated

for 32 years at Andover, Columbia

China. Her older son, William, is

from George Washington

University, and now Friends

now 24 and engaged to his

University and joined Warner

Academy, on the North Shore of

girlfriend from Williams College.

Media in New York City, while

Long Island. She is president of the

They are pursuing their master’s

their son Duncan graduated from

Metropolitan New York Chapter

degrees at Yale. Her younger son,

Walter Payton College Prep and

of the American Association

Peter ’17, loved his years at Milton!

is attending Syracuse University.

of Teachers of French and partici-

He is a jazz pianist and trombonist,

Carolyn and Jerry live in Chicago,

pates in many conferences on

theater enthusiast, and lover of big

where they listen to Cubs home

pedagogy and culture. She also

cities. He is a junior at Williams

games from their back porch. Rebecca Williams, Ph.D.,

has been department chair at

College and plans to go to London

Friends Academy since 2001 and

this spring to play music. Polly has

has created exchange and travel

been married for 32 years to Ben

recently completed a 23-year career as a clinical psychologist and associate professor in San Diego and happily moved across the country to beautiful Savannah, Georgia. She has written two popular books on mindfulness, The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction and, most recently, The Gift of Recovery: 52 Mindful Ways to Live Joyfully Beyond Addiction. For anyone who would like to get in touch, Rebecca’s website is

Rebecca Williams, Ph.D., ’80 has written two popular books on mindfulness, the most recent being The Gift of Recovery: 52 Mindful Ways to Live Joyfully Beyond Addiction.

1981 ▶ Ashlee Robertson married

Peter McClary on June 23, 2018. In the family photo are nine Milton graduates. Top to bottom: Chris Robertson ’83 , Phil Robertson ’82, Meg Robertson ’87, Michael Robertson ’53 , Andy Robertson ’88, Swing Robertson ’81, Cate Robertson ’17, Claire Robertson ’13 , and the bride.




@Milton_Academy     @miltonacademy

Duke, an attorney at Covington &

happy to see them and share our

Burling, LLC, and a photography

midwestern hospitality. All are

to the last, that it’s one you’ll likely

enthusiast and gardener. She

happily married with kids, and all

read in a single, delicious sitting.”

never slacks, from the first page

still plays the banjo and guitar

are excelling in their careers.

Published by HMH Books, Wild

and sings, and is a member of the

Really proud to have best friends

Game’s film rights were bought

Westbury Quaker Meeting. She

for 40 years!”

by Chernin Entertainment.


Cambridge to work at JM Forbes

Adrienne Brodeur is the author of

& Co., a trust company. With


the memoir Wild Game: My Mother,

both sons in college, she and her

Her Lover, and Me, published in

husband, P.K. Simonds, continue

JB Pritzker writes, “Karl Austen,

October 2019. The New York Times

to spend significant time on

Phil Robertson, and Fred Bisbee

Book Review describes it as

writes, “Thank you, Milton, for helping me to become a lifelong learner and educator.”

flew from California, Thailand,

“Exquisite and harrowing . . . The

Beth Colt has moved to

the Cape managing real estate investments including the Woods

and Vermont, respectively, to

book is so gorgeously written

Hole Inn. They look forward to

attend my inauguration as 43rd

and deeply insightful, and with

continuing to connect with Milton

governor of Illinois. I was so

a line of narrative tension that

grads in both locations.

Polly Duke ’81 still plays the banjo and guitar and sings, and thanks Milton for helping her become a lifelong learner and educator.

1984 ▼ Jennifer Jewell has been a

winning public radio program

Hands: 75 Extraordinary Women

public radio producer since

and podcast on natural history

Working in the World of Plants,

2007, and currently focuses on

and the human impulse to garden.

which centers on women trans­

Cultivating Place, an award-

Her first book, The Earth in Her

forming horticulture around the world, is due out in early 2020 from Timber Press. She lives and gardens in interior Northern California with her two daughters, Delaney Jewell Simchuk (College of William & Mary, Class of 2021) and Flannery Jewell Simchuk (University of Puget Sound, Class of 2023). Jennifer will be traveling all over the Northeast (and the country) in 2020 talking about the book

Beth Colt ’83 and her husband continue to spend significant time on the Cape managing real estate investments, including the Woods Hole Inn.

and would love to connect with classmates in their home cities (and gardens!). She invites friends to check out the Cultivating Place website for dates and locations. She’s also active on Instagram at @cultivating_place.



boa r d of trustee s Robert Azeke ’87

Harold W. Janeway ’54,

John D. McEvoy ’82, P ’19, ’20, ’25

Patrick Tsang ’90

New York, New York

P ’79, ’81, ’87, G ’12, ’14

Milton, Massachusetts

Hong Kong

Bradley M. Bloom P ’06, ’08

Webster, New Hampshire

Emeritus Emeritus Wellesley, Massachusetts

Claire D. Hughes Johnson ’90

Wendy C. Nicholson ’86

Erick Tseng ’97

Vice President

San Francisco, California

New York, New York Kimberly Steimle Vaughan ’92

Treasurer Charles A. Cheever ’86

Menlo Park, California

Caterina Papoulias-Sakellaris

Peter Kagan ’86

Milton, Massachusetts

P ’17, ’19

Concord, Massachusetts Douglas Crocker II ’58

New York, New York

Luis M. Viceira P ’16, ’19 Belmont, Massachusetts

H. Marshall Schwarz ’54, P ’84

Delray Beach, Florida Jason Dillow ’97

Boston, Massachusetts

Elizabeth B. Katz ’04


Dorothy Altman Weber ’60, P ’04

Boston, Massachusetts

Lakeville, Connecticut

Boston, Massachusetts

William A. Knowlton P ’23

Gabe Sunshine P ’22, ’24

Edward E. Wendell Jr. ’58,

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts

New York, New York Elisabeth B. Donohue ’83 President New York, New York

Yunli Lou ’87

Dune D. Thorne ’94

Shanghai, China

Lincoln, Massachusetts

Randall C. Dunn ’83 Chicago, Illinois

P ’94, ’98, ’01 Milton, Massachusetts Sylvia P. Westphal P ’18, ’21, ’25, ’27

Stuart I. Mathews P ’13, ’17

Boston, Massachusetts

Vice President and Secretary James M. Fitzgibbons ’52,

Waban, Massachusetts

P ’87, ’90, ’93

Ronnell L. Wilson ’93 Jersey City, New Jersey

Emeritus Kevin K. Yip ’83, P ’16

Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

Hong Kong Eleanor Haller-Jorden ’75, P ’09 Wädenswil, Switzerland Franklin W. Hobbs IV ’65, P ’98 Emeritus New York, New York




@Milton_Academy     @miltonacademy



Alex Merrill is happy to report

women-focused capsule clothing

that his new publishing house,

brand centered on the economic

Anne McManus Hurlbut writes

that she is working in communi­

Apollo Publishers, is growing

empowerment of women through

cations at Nobles as a writer/

and now has more than 25 titles.

education and opportunity.

content manager. “Turns out this

The first big hit title was The

With a range of exclusively ethical,

is a fabulous place,” she says.

World Beneath, by Richard Smith,

certified organic, sustainable,

with stunning photography

and thoughtfully designed

of little-known sea life. Apollo

clothing, Loskey is fully com­


is actively looking for books

mitted to minimizing waste,

Abria Smith released a single in

to publish on the oceans, weather,

respecting the environment, and

September. Listen at distrokid.

cooking, and art . . . and, of course,

supporting women. ▼


for Farah Pandith’s next book.


Alex writes, “I hope everyone bought her last one!”


Jennifer Stromsten sends cheers

Dave Killen accepted a new

from western Massachusetts,

position at Ellis Realty Advisors

where she is working in rural

(commercial sales and leasing).

economic development, and

He lives in Minot, Massachusetts.

Alex Merrill ’86’s new publishing house, Apollo Publishers, now has more than 25 titles.

describes herself as “too involved in local politics.” She and her husband, Dave, have a senior at Smith College and a senior at


Northfield Mount Hermon. She

▼ Anil Thomas and James

describes “a busy spring with two

Williams recently caught up and

graduations and our 30th Brown

had a nice sail in Westchester.

reunion, but we’re going to do it all!” She invites Milton friends to look them up if they’re ever in Greenfield. They’ll let you in on some local secrets — watering holes, swimming holes, or hole-inthe-wall music venues.

Jennifer Stromsten ’86 invites Milton friends to look her up if they’re ever in Greenfield, Massachusetts.

1987 Alison Fitzgerald Kodjak and Cassie Robbins joined Lori Dandridge Cunningham at a

private shopping event support­ ing the New York launch of Lori’s new clothing brand, Loskey. Founded in 2017, Loskey is a sustainable, fair trade, and



1994 Patrick Radden Keefe’s book

independent school in Boca

responding to email on Fridays.

Say Nothing, which chronicles

Raton, Florida. He and his wife,

I trust you’ll forgive (or perhaps

the history of the Troubles in

Katherine, have two daughters,

enjoy) any delays.”

Northern Ireland, was listed as

Emilia, 5, and Maya, 2.

one of the 10 Best Books of 2019 by the New York Times and as


one of the best books of the year


by Maureen Corrigan, book critic

Alda Balthrop-Lewis spent July

for NPR’s Fresh Air.

through October of 2019 on a

new platform for professionals

book forthcoming from Cambridge

seeking an integrated solution

University Press in 2020,

for financial strategies, tax prep,

David Snider spent the summer

launching Harness Wealth, a


Thoreau’s Religion: Walden Woods,

and estate planning that combines

Craig Cetrulo is in his fourth

Social Justice, and the Politics of

digital insights and best-in-class

year as dean of faculty at Saint

Asceticism. Alda writes, “During

advisors. David lives in Greenwich

Andrew’s School, a JK–12

this time, I am reading and

Village with his wife, Whitney,


Celebrating class years ending in 5 and 0. Join the celebration! Alumni of all graduation years — stay connected year-round through Milton’s new alumni network,

Register today at

and enjoys hanging occasionally

produced his first show at the

with Ben Steiner and Lucas

Rialto: the award-winning epic


The Inheritance. He’s also become a certified mediator and is engaged to the brilliant Martha Gimbel,


an economist who (phew) is not

Jason Yeager recently released

bored by the arts. He remains

his fifth album, New Songs of

close with many Milton friends,

Resistance, on Outside in Music.

frequently ringing in the new

Combining Latin jazz, chamber

year with a Mustang posse, and

music, and political protest songs,

his brother Alec ’09 is getting

the album is available on Amazon,

his MFA in dramatic writing from Carnegie Mellon; Lee couldn’t

David Snider ’03 launched Harness Wealth, a new platform to help professionals identify financial opportunities.

be prouder. ◀ Julie Ellison Palmedo and her

husband, Randy, welcomed their second son, Theodore “Teddy” George Palmedo, on September 18, 2019. Big brother Robby is thrilled with the new arrival.

2006 Bailey Carroll married Jon

Wakelin, a St. Paul’s graduate, on August 3, 2019. ▼ The photo of the couple with

iTunes, and most other digital

Milton alumni: Back row:

music platforms. Earlier this

Annie Jean-Baptiste, Ian Halpern,

year, Jason made his Carnegie

Jim Frantz, Jon Wakelin (groom),

Hall debut in a solo recital of

Bailey Carroll, Katherine Marr,

classical, jazz, and original pieces.

Jeff Marr ’04 , Jefferson Shaw.

Lee Seymour ’05 continues to work in the theater industry, covering Broadway for Forbes magazine, and recently produced his first show at the Rialto: the award-winning epic The Inheritance.

Jason lives in New York with his fiancée, Julie Benko, and their cat, Thelonious Monk. Lee Seymour writes that 15 years

later, he is relieved to report that things are turning out just fine. He continues to work in the theater industry, covering Broadway for Forbes magazine, and recently



cl a s s no t e s, con t.

2007 Alexandra Desaulniers is thrilled

have demonstrated professional,

to return to New England and

personal, and civic commitment to

the ISL. This past fall, after eight

improving the quality of life within

years in Washington, D.C.,

our region. Irene is cofounder

working for nonprofits and higher

of Mei Mei, an award-winning

education, Alexandra accepted

restaurant and catering business

a position as assistant director

serving Chinese-American

of alumni engagement and

cuisine. Irene is passionate about

annual giving at The Governor’s

carefully sourced ingredients

Academy. She is looking forward

and open book management, and

to reconnecting with Milton

she serves on the boards of

alumni in the Boston and New

many community organizations

England area.

in Boston, including Lovin’ Spoonfuls and Project Bread.

◀ Trevor Prophet married Emily

Seeley on August 3. The newly­ weds live in Bothell, Washington,


and welcome future get-togethers

Jessica Carlson (Millet House)

with Milton alumni in the Seattle

is costarring in The Man in the

area. Pictured (L to R): Julian Fu,

Woods, an independent feature

Chandler Sherman, Trevor

film, alongside Sam Waterston,

Prophet, Emily Seeley, and

Marin Ireland, Jane Alexander,

Elizabeth Whitman.

and Odessa Young. On a snowy night in 1963 in Pennsylvania, a boarding school student goes


missing in the woods. Her friends,

Chelsey Locarno married Michael

along with a bohemian poetry

Puopolo in Boston on September

teacher, a disgraced quarterback,

28, 2019. Marissa Simmons was a

a shunned ex-cop, and the

bridesmaid. Alyson Friedensohn,

headmaster’s wife, agree to search

Maggie Bouscaren, Maddy Hobbs,

for her. As they do, they confront

Nick Hunnewell, Lauren Hawkins

the lies, ghost stories, and

’07, Maddie Winrow ’06, and

demonization that the idyllic

Charlie Cabot ’09 were in

school was built on.

attendance. ▶ Merilin Castillo graduated

Photos in class notes marginalia by: John Phelan (CC BY 3.0); Sarafraser, Paul Lemke (Dreamstime); LunaseeStudios, Vereshchagin Dmitry (Shutterstock); and Rostislav_Sedlacek, DenisTangneyJr, marchmeena29, TarpMagnus (iStock).




Irene Li was recognized by the

from Columbia Law School and

Greater Boston Chamber of

passed the bar exam in the fall.

Commerce and City Awake as

She is pictured here being sworn

one of Ten Outstanding Young

in as a lawyer in Massachusetts

Leaders for 2019. The awards

on November 18. She is currently

celebrate the contributions

working at Ropes & Gray, and will

of current and emerging young

begin a clerkship with a federal

greater Boston leaders who

judge this summer.

@Milton_Academy     @miltonacademy

In Memoriam Class of 1937 Sidney Smith Walker Rob O’Gara and Isabel Wise ’13

Class of 1939

were married at Newagen Seaside

Ann C. Campbell

Inn on Southport Island, Maine, on July 6, 2019, which is also

Class of 1942

Rob’s birthday. Rob and Isabel

John Carey

met and started dating while both were at Milton. Milton

Class of 1943

graduates played important roles

Anne Felton Spencer

in the wedding, including the father of the bride (Rick Wise ’82),

Class of 1946

best man (Jon Franco), maid

Sophie Finkenstaedt Danforth

of honor (Catie Wise ’17), and a

▲ Back row (L to R): Rick Wise ’82 ,

number of bridesmaids and

Josh Ellis ’13 , Rob O’Gara,

Class of 1948

groomsmen (Henry Arndt, Julia

Jon Franco, Henry Arndt,

John Dacre Bennett

McKown ’13 , Nina Wadekar ’13 ,

James Wang, Ted Stikeleather

Benjamin Eustis Jeffries

James Wang.) Isabel continues

’82 , Lauren Stikeleather ’16

as a management consultant

Front row (L to R): Nina Wadekar

Class of 1949

at Accenture, where she has been

’13 , Julia McKown ’13 , Isabel

Paul Revere Jr.

employed since graduating

Wise O’Gara ’13 , Catie Wise ’17,

from Cornell. Rob, a professional

Susan Wise ’86

the Springfield Thunderbirds,

Class of 1950 Rodney Cushing Brown

hockey player, is currently with the minor-league AHL affiliate


Class of 1955

of the Florida Panthers, after

▼ Duncan Sewall became engaged

Paul R. Toulmin

playing in the Boston Bruins and

at Colby College to his girlfriend

New York Rangers organizations

from senior year!

upon graduating from Yale.

Class of 1957 Stephen Todd Anderson

While at Yale, Rob was a member of the NCAA national champion­

Class of 1967

ship team.

William Hobbs Faculty and Staff Jane Eastburn Paul Healey

To notify us of a death, please contact the Development and Alumni Relations Office at or 617-898-2447.



post script


“And I am the same Wall. The Truth is so . . . ” I was a day student, and going back

from Milton, and we all grew up in different

Milton and my Dorchester neighborhood

parts of the country and the world. My Milton

was becoming increasingly distracting and

years were the beginning of my understanding

difficult. I tried to be fully immersed in both

of the phenomenal impact the right learning

worlds, but it wasn’t working. When I wasn’t

environment and the best teachers can have on

commuting on the T, in school, or at play

a student. Because of that, I became a teacher,

or basketball practice, I was hanging out

and then a division head, and ultimately a head

with my neighborhood friends, who didn’t

of school. (A shout-out and inexorable gratitude

understand or accept my excuses of “I

to Ed Foley, former head of school at Derby

can’t — I have to do homework.”

Academy in Hingham, Massachusetts — and

Ellie and Dick Griffin, two of the most

also my ninth-grade basketball coach and

selfless and caring people I’ve ever met, saw

mentor — for taking a chance and hiring me as

what was happening to me, recognized my

his upper school director in 1994, launching

academic shortcomings, and somehow still

my career as a school administrator.:-))

made me feel like I had extraordinary potential. Along with my teachers, coaches, and advisor, I played Tom Snout, the tinker, in my Class IV

understatement. My closest friends today are

and forth between the disparate worlds of

The Griffins and Mr. Foley, along with so many others at Milton, inspired me, gave

they scrutinized my schedule, kept a close eye

me hope and confidence, opened doors that I

on my homework, and made it clear I wasn’t

didn’t even know existed, and challenged

play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. And for

going to be able to slip through any cracks at

me in ways I couldn’t have imagined in eighth

the past 40 years, to the dismay of my children,

Milton. They invited me to start spending

grade at the Grover Cleveland.

I still enthusiastically recite all my lines

the night with them at their home on campus

whenever someone mentions the play. “In

at least once a week. That led to my staying

I’m the same Randall Dunn I was in high school. I’m older, but I still feel like that

this same interlude it doth befall that I, one

additional nights with friends in Wolcott

involved, enthusiastic, and sometimes

Snout by name, present a wall . . . ”

House (eventually becoming a full-time

completely overwhelmed teenager. (As Snout

boarder), developing stronger work habits,

said, “And I am the same wall. The truth

and, ultimately, making significant academic

is so . . . ”) The only difference now is that I am

It was my first role in a play, and it was an eye-opening introduction to the stage, my fellow thespians and classmates, and

improvement. The Griffins (along with

acutely aware of how many people at Milton

Milton Academy. I came to Milton from the

Mrs. Husbands, the Class IV play director,

supported me, helped me build my foundation,

Boston public schools at the urging of my

and my Milton friends, teachers, and coaches)

and expanded my horizons. And every single

school guidance counselor, Mrs. Husbands,

changed the trajectory of my life.

day, I am so, so grateful.

and under the sponsorship of A Better Chance.

When I was a teenager, it felt like life was

I’m sure I don’t need to explain to anyone

happening to me. I was enthusiastic, but

Randall Dunn (below, #23) is the head of school at

that Milton was a very different world than

pretty darn self-absorbed. As opportunities

the Latin School of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois.

the Grover Cleveland in Dorchester. In

presented themselves at Milton, I took

addition to the Class IV play, I joined the

advantage of them, and I had a blast. I loved

freshman basketball team — another first. My

Milton. But I was also overwhelmed. And

schedule of rehearsals and practices was

I realize now, though I didn’t fully grasp it

tweaked so that I could do both. My social,

then, how many adults spent considerable

athletic, and extracurricular life soared

time and effort (often behind the scenes) on

throughout my freshman year at Milton, and

my behalf to make sure that I was able to

I was fully engaged with all my new Milton

be successful at Milton and beyond.

friends and experiences. But I was struggling academically.



To say that Milton expanded my oppor­ tunities in life would be a tremendous

david greenway ’54’s work as a foreign correspondent for Time magazine took him to far corners of the globe, reporting from Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Saigon during times of political unrest. From Time, he moved to the Washington Post under Ben Bradlee, reporting from the Vietnam War, then opening the Post’s first Jerusalem bureau. “Who could ask for anything more?” David asks. He credits Milton faculty member A.O. Smith with opening up a new world for him through literature; he was determined to have a career that included travel. Now retired, David enjoys sailing, hiking, and bicycling, and he still keeps up with friends from Milton and Forbes House. David has included Milton as a beneficiary in his will, and he looks at today’s School with appreciation. His advice to its students is simple: “Take advantage of everything Milton gave you, and try to give something back — not just to Milton, but to society.”

For more information on supporting Milton through a planned gift, contact Mary Moran Perry, Director of Planned Giving 170 Centre Street, Milton, MA 02186 617-898-2376 or

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Mosope Bakare ’21, Chiemerie Akunyili ’21, and Mia Adriko ’21 perform in School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play

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