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table of contents



6  KQED Is Executing a Pivot


“KQED’s challenge is to extend our digital capacity while we sustain the radio and TV business,” says Anne Avis ’77.

10 Discovery: A Personal Model, a Business Model

Ashley Fouts ’94 is facilitating the myriad decisions necessary to turn breakthrough science at the bench into life-changing drugs for patients.

14 Recraft a Company to Create a Lifestyle Brand

David Pun ’99 embraces the challenges of running a lifestyle fashion brand in the hyper-competitive

Across the Quad

48 Head of School “Leave Room to Be Surprised”

34 Sports

by Todd B. Bland

Hall of Famer Coach Mac Reaches

49 Messages

200 Career Wins 52 Alumni Authors

by Liz Matson 38 Faculty Perspective

55 Class Notes

Comeback by Jim Connolly

60 Post Script A Kinder, Gentler Place:

40 In Sight

An Appeal to My



Photograph by

by Martha Rose Shulman ’68

Michael Dwyer 42 On Centre

retail market.

18 Headed for Mars, On Schedule Confident about human capability, Ryan Sebastian ’06 and Harry O’Hanley ’06 are on the SpaceX team, working to design and execute breakthrough aeronautics.

19 SpaceX on a Need-to-Know Basis

Editor Cathleen Everett Associate Editors Erin Berg Liz Matson Design Stoltze Design

Photography Laura Barkowski ’15 Erin Berg Martin Berman Michael Dwyer Evisu Ferm Living Genentech John Gillooly Sheila Griffin

Akintola Hanif Liz Matson Glenn Matsumura Jane McGuinness The Posse Foundation David Rabkin SpaceX Susan Wheelwright Greg White

23 The Power of a Posse Lamont Gordon ’87 is helping transform students’ lives and colleges’ expectations.

26 Mentors: Honest Talk About Teaching Bringing the tool of observation to a professional level fuels growth for Milton mentors as well as new faculty.

30 Engineering Solutions for a Species in Peril

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, handicapped status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, 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, handicapped status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, 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.

Grade 3 students take a role in reviving the Monarch butterfly population.

spring 2015



mi lt on maga z i n e  


Turnaround. How does a shift in direction begin? What kind of insight galvanizes action and produces unforeseen progress or unprecedented growth? After the fact, we note when a turnaround has happened. A business rebounds; a nonprofit makes inroads on meeting a need; a team builds victories after a stretch of defeats; an idea burgeons into an enterprise. In this Milton Magazine, we talk with alumni and faculty whose work and sense of purpose enables them and others to find strategies and opportunities that change our terrain.

spring 2015


acro s s t h e qua d

Faculty Facts: The Lives They Lead Teacher: a person or thing that teaches something; especially: a person whose job is to teach students about certain subjects (Merriam-Webster) Does that include being house heads, class deans, coaches, advisors, coordinators and sponsors? Does it include weekend dorm duty, driving students to the airport or community service, directing plays, choreographing dance concerts, running music rehearsals, leading hikes, or chaperoning dances? above

Do you recognize this mustachioed man? Bob Sinicrope began in the math department in 1973. For 40 years he has led Milton’s jazz program. He recently became president of the Jazz Education Network. His inaugural JEN conference hosted 3,500 jazz educators and Herbie Hancock as the keynote.

College “Recs” Faculty each write, on average, six to twelve college recommendations per year. Department heads and faculty who teach mostly juniors and seniors get the most requests.

Advising students on matters big and small At five to six students per year, senior faculty have guided many advisees over the years.

vivian wu wong History:


English and history faculty member Elaine Apthorp once wrote a record 26 recommendations in one year.

“It’s a major matter for each student’s application, so I devote a lot of time and thought to preparing each one.” — Elaine Apthorp


mi lt on maga z i n e   

dar anastas

don dregalla

tarim chung

Performing Arts:



238 180 84 laurel starks

mary jo ramos

terri herr neckar


Modern Languages:


189 110 75  


Did you know?

The secret lives of faculty

Just athletics:

Math faculty members climb 73 steps in

Mark Connolly is training for a 134-mile bike ride in

They outfit and equip 85 teams

Ware Hall to their classrooms an average

June. Jennifer Hughes performs in community theater

(57 Upper School; 28 Middle School)

of five times a day.

productions. Josh Emmott is an avid fly fisherman.

for three athletic seasons.

Athletics and physical education faculty each spend roughly 500 hours per school year on the fields/courts/rink/training rooms at Milton and another 30 to 40 hours on team buses.

Matt Bingham can juggle. Hal Pratt is a cabinet maker. Louise Mundinger collaborates with other composers

Average purchases each year include:

to create new works for the pipe organ. Elaine Apthorp

24 footballs

plays acoustic guitar, five-string banjo and a “sweet

80 soccer balls

little ukulele named Amy.” Hannah Pulit just became

12 volleyballs

a certified yoga instructor. Matt Simonson was a

60 field hockey balls

The science department orders about

competitive figure skater. Susan Karp paints still life.

14 dozen squash balls

20,000 pairs of gloves for the labs each year.

Tarim Chung is an avid cyclist and triathlete in the

300 hockey pucks

summer. Ted Whalen served as a non-ordained minister.

36 basketballs

Paul Menneg, visual arts faculty, orders

Don Dregalla has a keen interest in the Civil War.

108 dozen tennis balls

Linnea Engstrom loves to Zumba. Gary Shrager used

24 dozen baseballs

Middle School robotics students use

to play ultimate Frisbee. Sachiyo Unger is a long-term

40 dozen lacrosse balls

9,600 LEGO pieces every year.

practitioner of Baptiste yoga. Dar Anastas designed seven

144 Gatorade bottles

three to four tons of clay per year.

The performing arts department stages eight major productions each year.

floors of lighting in the Prudential Tower. Ryan Stone

120 towels

spent a year in China as the head coach of the Chinese

750 pounds of laundry detergent

Women’s National Hockey Team. Matt Petherick has run six marathons. Heather Sugrue speaks French.

A year of reviewing papers, quizzes, exams, and labs — just a sample: Performing Arts


Susan Marianelli listens to 2,000

Maria Gerrity: 720 papers

speeches each year

Caroline Sabin: 800 papers Tarim Chung: 420 essays

History Math Susan Karp: 600 quizzes/exams Heather Sugrue: 900 quizzes/



Heather Zimmer: 4,500 lab pages

Modern Languages

Matt Bingham: 166 tests,

Severine Carpenter: 1,800

Laurel Starks: 416 papers/exams Josh Emmot: 384 papers,

39 exams

K–8 Sachiyo Unger, Grade 2: 1,800

quizzes/tests/projects Sandy Butler, K–5 art: Hundreds

of projects, “from painting parrots with kindergarteners to group Lewis and Clark murals with third

35 mid-terms, 65 major labs,


and 170 mini-labs

Mark Connolly: 750 to 1,000

Sarah Richards: 192 tests,


graders with their self-designed

72 major labs, and 216 mini-labs

Isabelle Lantieri: “A lot!”

social justice artwork.”

graders, to Egyptian masks with fourth graders, to helping fifth

spring 2015


case one


mi lt on maga z i n e    

anne a v is ’ 7 7  


KQED Is Executing a Pivot Anne Avis ’77 “Part of the value and the beauty of the public media system,” Anne Avis says, “is that it reaches 99 percent of the country through this network of independently run local stations.” Not only in hip, urban centers but in remote, rural areas, NPR stations air news that is intensely local, as well as regional, national and global. “We need all of that news,” Anne says, “to make real and

Rewarding interactive experiences, and the chance to

important decisions about the people and issues that

be part of a vibrant social community, have to happen

affect our lives. That’s why public media is so important

alongside excellent content.

to democracy.” Anne recently completed eight years as a board member at KQED and six years on the NPR Foundation board. “What’s surprising is that our business model — with a diverse revenue mix that includes membership dues — is a model that other news organizations are testing right now.

All media are scrambling to address the reality that audiences use multiple platforms, at once, to find what they want. KQED is uniquely “well-positioned” in this environment, Anne believes, “to successfully accomplish the transformation that’s under way.” Headquartered in San Francisco, KQED is public TV,

Ours evolved organically; it has worked and is still working.

radio and online media serving nine counties in Northern

We have a value proposition and a financial model that

California. KQED is explicitly intent on fulfilling a

is enviable. It’s so hard to build a news organization from

leadership role in the nation.

scratch. Many are trying to do it, so the responsibility to adapt and thrive is strong.” The demise of television and radio that was widely predicted early in the digital revolution has not come

Location is one reason for Anne’s confidence that the station will succeed. Not only is KQED the single dual licensee in the Bay Area (TV and radio), but Northern California is also the most receptive and supportive region

to pass. People are still watching TV and listening to radio,

in the country for public broadcasting. Those engaged

and at the same time, online, mobile and social media

KQED fans are in their cars as well. “Everyone is looking

activity is growing rapidly. “So our challenge,” Anne says,

to us to see how we execute this transformation,” Anne

“is to extend our digital capacity while we sustain the

says, “because we can be the model. This awareness helps

radio and TV business. Our digital technology has to be

us push to be better. We’re testing and experimenting

just as robust as our radio and TV infrastructure.”

with strategies that can be replicated.”

s p r in sp ing 2015


on climate change issues, and her husband Eric, former Google CEO, for example, are now KQED “underwriters.”

“Everyone is looking to us to see how we execute this transformation, because we can be the model. This awareness helps us push to be better. We’re testing and experimenting with strategies that can be replicated.”

After a two-year transition to a custom Salesforce database, KQED can better define its audiences. “We’re beginning to learn things about who’s engaging, what our value is for them, and who might join that audience,” says Anne. “Then we filter what we’ve learned from listening to them through the lens of our mission — improving people’s lives.” Creating new apps, blogs, e-newsletter feeds, curated content for streaming in Bluetooth-equipped cars — moves like these, according to the most recent Pew Research report on media, seem to be building audience in the public domain, while listening to radio or watching

KQED’s president is Anne’s other key reason for confidence. Anne served on the search committee that

Area Bites, the food blog, and MindShift, a blog about trends

resulted in John Boland’s appointment in 2010. As he

in the future of education.

assumed his role, John Boland said that his big dream “was that this institution becomes the 21st-century model

Quite a few public media stations have a “chief content officer” now. John Boland created the position first, at KQED and then at PBS, assigning top-level responsibility

for what public service media can be.” KQED may recently have been seen primarily as a

for integrating content across all the station’s channels

San Francisco–oriented institution, but during Anne’s

and platforms. That focus and function recognizes today’s

eight years on the board, the station has earned regional

audience expectations.

relevance, and has engaged San Jose and Silicon Valley


TV has leveled off. KQED’s most popular blogs are Bay

A stream of innovations, along with updated fund-raising

leaders. Strengthening these connections has been a

techniques, demonstrate KQED’s commitment to nimble,

priority for KQED and for Anne as board chair. Some of

expert marketing, a critical element of the 21st-century

the region’s experts in digital media, marketing and

public media model, in Anne’s opinion. “We focus on how

education are now invested in helping to realize the front-line

we can more directly target and engage people who might

vision for KQED. Wendy Schmidt, a philanthropist focused

be inclined to public media,” says Anne. John Boland also

m i lt o n m a g a z i n e  


believes in the power of partnering, as a structural and

programming infrastructure works in a complicated and

marketing option that could breathe new awareness

delicate equilibrium.

and vitality into the public media “product.” He’s referring not only to the well-respected cultural and educational

An ambassador for the station’s aspirations, Anne outlines the campaign building blocks: expanding KQED’s

institutions in the area, like Stanford University or the

technology infrastructure; growing the capacity to create

de Young Museum. He’s talking about unconventional

new programs, especially in the news, arts, sciences and

partners, like the San Jose Mercury News. KQED’s newsroom

Bay Area life; and expanding KQED’s footprint in tech-

is strong. Can KQED fill the news gap, especially in

nology education, at a time when the need to cultivate skills

local and regional news, when fewer reporters from other

at the intersection of teaching and technology is great. The

organizations are out there in the field? As a nonprofit,

prospect of reaching these goals will really speak to some

KQED doesn’t threaten corporate news organizations, and

donors, Anne knows, and will simply not resonate with

joining strengths might help create a more valuable service

others. She serves as an unflagging, honest communicator

and product. Boland is focusing the station on imaginatively

with those who might be capable of helping KQED make

looking at what’s working in the marketplace and where

strides on its key priorities.

the audience is going — rather than hunkering down in the silos and conventions of the public broadcasting past. Of course the resource question looms large for KQED

“I’ve learned so much from doing this work,” Anne says. “I had so much to learn, I needed advice and counsel. I asked, I got it, I learned, and I keep learning. I like being

as it does for every public media outlet. Working with

part of a mission-driven and educational institution at a

the board’s nominating committee, Anne has focused on

time of amazing change.

finding and recruiting skilled, committed people to KQED’s

“I believe in the power of the best information and

board. Careful to emphasize the board’s governance role,

storytelling to motivate and bring out the best in people. The

and distinguish that from management, Anne knows that

medium for the storytelling might change, but people are

talent on the board can facilitate KQED’s strategic direction.

hungry for the information, and they’ll find it. I hope there

She has been working with John Boland to develop

will always be a demand for those institutions that create

KQED’s capital campaign and identify the philanthropy

quality news and the chance to learn more about your world.

that will address the resource question. Unpretentious,

They are powerful forces for good.”

earnest and compelling, Anne easily shares her mastery of how each element of the public media financial and

by Cathleen Everett

spring 2015



mi lt on maga z i n e  


case t wo


Discovery: A Personal Model, a Business Model Ashley Fouts ’94 Last December, Ashley Fouts moved away from a lab bench. That is, away from her own lab bench. At Genentech, she began a new job keeping track of a molecule and the teams working on it. As a project manager, she facilitates the myriad decisions that are necessary to turn breakthrough science at the bench into life-changing drugs for patients. Genentech’s business is discovery. Genentech wants to

unknown terrain had a certain high tension to it. With

be “the leading biotechnology company, using human

no one looking for them or at them, they were free and

genetic information to discover, develop, manufacture and

mobile on their wheels; they discovered a dead mouse

commercialize medicines to treat people with serious or

in an alley. “What wasn’t to love about that adventure?”

life-threatening medical conditions.”

Ashley summarizes. “We had freedom, and we discovered

For example, Ashley points to Genentech’s drug Herceptin, a treatment for metastatic breast cancer, as “the fi rst personalized medicine.” Drugs like Herceptin are

Ashley, who loved math, ran into a crisis when she moved

now commonly called targeted therapies; they can be

from Denver, Colorado, to Franconia, New Hampshire. For two full years, the Franconia schools did not introduce

certain genetic composition. Today, genetic testing of

her to any math she hadn’t already learned in Denver.

a patient’s cancer cells drives certain decisions about what

That deprivation only fed an aggressive appetite, and when

treatment regimens may be most effective. Herceptin helped

she got to Milton, Ashley “dove into the deep end.” She

lead that pivotal shift in responding to certain diagnoses.

devoured math and science regardless of whether she was

A competitive cyclist and hard-core skier whose early Ashley would not have predicted her work world today. Still,

Molecule Building Set, photo courtesy Ferm Living.

and tools at hand.”

effective if and when a person’s breast cancer cells have a

post-college years played out in Jackson Hole, Wyoming,


something we could examine right up close, with sticks

formally “ready” for the levels she chose. At Penn, she took advantage of many different science programs, all over the world, like a semester of marine

as she points out, some of her earliest memories of childhood

biology in Australia. She majored in ecology and

do seem predictive, at least in hindsight.

environmental science, “but that didn’t feel right as a

One of her earliest and happiest memories was of getting lost on her bike with two neighbors. Prowling around in

career,” she says. So she put off finding a career and joined the many highly educated skiers living and working in



“The physicality of it, building something with my hands, literally running from the centrifuge to the bench — ‘I really like this,’ I thought.�

remarks. “He taught me to ask the questions that would

Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Her timing was fortuitous. The CEO of a biotech firm located in La Jolla, California, bought a Jackson Hole company and hired local people

disprove my hypothesis, and ask them as soon as possible. Ask them first, if you can. Researchers tend to

to work in his lab, sequencing DNA. “Five of us worked

ask questions that would prove, rather than disprove, a

from 3 p.m. until midnight, after skiing all day,� Ashley

hypothesis, because doing the opposite is hard. Sometimes,

says. “This is where I learned the basics of molecular

in the end, people catch what’s missing, but not always.

biology.� This is also where she discovered how much she

There’s a reason why so much of the scientific literature

loved working at the lab bench. “The physicality of it,

that is published today just doesn’t hold up.� “A really good scientist develops,� Ashley says. “It’s like

building something with my hands, literally running from the centrifuge to the bench — ‘I really like this,’ I thought.�

cooking: you have this intuition about what you can and

When two Ph.D. friends left the lab for research at Emory,

can’t do, but it’s building on experience that really matters

Ashley decided to explore graduate programs herself. She

and enables your skills to grow.� Having earned her Ph.D., developed a body of work

began at Stanford in the biology department but the search for research that met her own definition of excitement led to Stanford’s microbiology and immunology department. “Microbiology is actually comparable to ecology, in that

“that held up,� as Ashley describes it, and worked on a post-doc project, Ashley moved from academia to join Genentech’s new program in infectious diseases. She

it’s about a pathogen and a host, and all those interactions,

worked on CMV (cytomegalovirus), a common human

at a molecular level.�

virus that typically does not become symptomatic. However, if a woman becomes infected with the virus for

“You’re in the deep end,� Ashley comments about research leading to a Ph.D. “The intense problem solving,

the first time during pregnancy, the virus passes to the

continually motivating yourself to ‘build and scale brick

fetus. Babies infected in utero can be severely compromised,

walls’; then figuring out what the next ‘wall’ should be,

developing symptoms that include hearing loss and

building it yourself, and getting over that one as well was

mental retardation. The virus is also very dangerous for

rigorous. You develop problem-solving skills, and more

immunosuppressed individuals. “Developing a drug to treat CMV in pregnant women

than anything, a core of self-motivation.� “My advisor was fantastic,� Ashley says. “His methodology and focus were similar to Dr. Eyster’s at Milton,� Ashley



seemed both noble and important,� Ashley thought, and trying to achieve that was consistent with Genentech’s


mission. Ashley was using her training to address basic

Ashley says, on the 30 molecules currently under


research questions like, “How does the virus enter a cell?”

development at Genentech. “Each molecule has its own

But what differentiated her work at Genentech from that

devoted teams: pharmacology, clinical, biomarker,

DNA on parade. Photo © Genentech, via

at Stanford were the other questions that occupied so much

core, and technical development (manufacturing). Project

of her time. Who are the patients we want to treat? What

managers tend to work on more than one molecule,

type of drug might be safest for them? Could such a drug

thus gaining exposure in diverse disease areas.

work on CMV? What would a clinical trial look like to test whether it works? In the end, the decision on Ashley’s molecule was a “no go.” The clinical path involved too many hurdles; the sum of the barriers put the project out of reach. But the rigorous review that led to that negative finding had an alluring appeal: “I got to see all these fun decisions,” Ashley says, “a strategic side of the process, wholly dependent

“I’ll be helping the teams make the best decisions on their molecule, bringing experts from all different functions together and holding team members accountable for their contributions.” “Once again, I acted opportunistically and followed a passionate interest,” Ashley muses, having now taken on the work of discovery both literally and metaphorically. “Sometimes I ask myself, ‘How does this make sense,’

on the science of course, but at a higher level.” It led her to

having left the physical lab bench where I was so thrilled

take on an intense new internship at Genentech, testing

to be?”

her aptitude and inclination to help lead at the crucial intersection of science and strategy. As a result, the whirling set of “as-yet-unknowns” that orbit around the development of any drug are now Ashley’s

“Well, I’m exploring a different sort of ecology,” she says, naming a concept that wraps the present and the past tidily. “You can compare a company to an organism, and in my new role I smooth the interactions between

home base. Her deep, tested knowledge of science is vital,

the distinct parts of the company.” The best memory of

and her role is to help teams work together to craft the bigger

a 7-year-old lost on her bike may go one better to explain

picture beyond individual perspectives. She is a project manager, one of roughly 50 people in a field of 1,200 researchers; she is part of the Portfolio

where Ashley is now: the thrill of being lost, the rigor of real evidence, the power of shifting perceptions, the diligent pursuit of a new path.

Management and Operations (PMO) group at Genentech. Project managers help “pull everything together,” as

by Cathleen Everett

spring 2015


case three

da v id p u n ’ 9 9

Recraft a Company to Create a Lifestyle Brand David Pun ’99 Everyone has a favorite pair of jeans. Whether it’s a worn pair that has seen better days or a designer pair that fits just right, jeans are a personal wardrobe staple. David Pun’s jeans are works of art. He is the enthusiastic chairman and CEO of Evisu, a Japanese lifestyle fashion brand best known for producing jeans with high-quality craftsmanship, vintage buttons and hand-painted details. Six years ago, David was working for a private equity firm and Evisu was one of the portfolio companies. According to David, Evisu was “grossly mismanaged and the brand

brand. I felt it was the right way to reposition the company

had lost its identity.” David saw promise in the company

for growth. At the time, it was a one-step backward,

and tried to convince his firm’s founders to keep investing,

two-step forward strategy. We wanted to figure out what the

but they wanted to sell. “Even though the company was on the verge of bank­ ruptcy, I felt confident that my plan could turn the company around. So I organized a management buyout. I mortgaged

brand stands for and what we are trying to communicate to consumers.” Within one year of David’s leadership, Evisu went from five years of red ink to operating in the black, cutting

my mom’s house and used all my savings. I basically put all

expenses from $12 million annually to $4 million. Instead of

my eggs in one basket and everyone thought I was crazy,

offering 1,000 different products per seasonal collection,

but these opportunities are rare.”

David’s team cut down to 400. Today, Evisu has 120 stand-

The Evisu brand, named after the Japanese god of

alone stores in Asia. They are mainly concentrated in

prosperity, was founded in 1991 in Japan. At the time, Levi’s

China, including a five-story concept store in Hong Kong

was selling their original shuttle loom machines, which they

filled with art and a mixology bar.

no longer considered efficient. Evisu bought the looms and

All imagery courtesy Evisu.

“We thought there was a huge opportunity in the China markets, where our consumers really embrace the

“Selling the lifestyle of the brand, instead of just focusing

became part of the vintage heritage denim movement that

on ‘please buy us,’ is important,” says David. “A consumer

took off in the ’90s. The brand expanded quickly and globally,

who wears Evisu appreciates art, challenges the status quo,

but it began to flounder in the 2000s. One of the first deci-

and wants to self-express in a unique way. Our customers

sions David made when he took over was to exit the U.S. and

appreciate the more irreverent and humorous elements of

European markets and retrench the business back to Asia.

the brand.”

spring 2015


certain deals that in hindsight he would have managed differently. Now that the business is stabilized and it’s a

“Fostering the right culture and having people who are passionate and work closely together to achieve the same goal is important. It’s a very different environment from my finance days. In the creative world, the rewards aren’t all financial.”

“reasonably strong” franchise, David’s next move is figuring out how to reenter the U.S. market. “What I like most about what I do is being an effective and motivating leader for my team and my peers,” says David. “Fostering the right culture and having people who are passionate and work closely together to achieve the same goal is important. It’s a very different environment from my finance days. In the creative world, the rewards aren’t all financial.” David is energetic; his life is fast-paced. Four months each year he travels to stores, visiting anonymously to observe consumers in action. In his downtime, he enjoys racing cars at the racetrack and playing squash. As a student and squash player at Milton, David was hugely

There were certainly missteps along the road. David was initially very cost conscious, he explains, and didn’t hire a full team. Now he feels that slowed the turnaround. Because he doesn’t have a fashion background, he believed


influenced by former coach and beloved faculty member Frank Millet. “When I was a student, he was a grandfather figure to me on and off the squash courts,” says David, who

that hiring international design talent would be more

affectionately calls him FDM. “I apply what I learned from

effective; over time he learned that design talent in Asia is

him subconsciously in my work — lead by example, roll

strong. And his initial China business partner was not

up your sleeves and get to work. I once saw FDM fixing a

the best choice, but financial pressure led him to rush into

clogged toilet at the squash courts! Another time after

mi lt on maga z i n e  


a match, he was the last person there, picking up the trash all the students had left behind — their wrappers, their drinks. He could easily have had someone else do it, but he was doing it himself, and that moment stayed with me. I learned there are no shortcuts. Everyone has to do their time; put in the hard work and the hard work will pay off.” David embraces the challenges of running a company in the hypercompetitive retail market. He balances ambition with pragmatic business sense, striving to keep a creative element in his commercial enterprise. “When you take a risk like this, a lot of naysayers challenge your thought process or your strategy. When we exited the U.S. market, industry people said it was going to be the end of Evisu: ‘You don’t know what you are doing, you are a finance guy!’ But that’s the beauty of not having a fashion industry background, because I think differently. I ask a lot of questions, talk to many different people, and do my research. But at the end of the day I stick with my gut instinct. Obviously, you have to be realistic and listen to what people say, but at the same time, you have to dare to challenge the norm, be confident in yourself and use your best judgment.” by Liz Matson

spring 2015


case four

r yan se b as t ian ’ 0 6 and ha r r y o ’ han l e y ’ 0 6

Headed for Mars, On Schedule Ryan Sebastian ’06 and Harry O’Hanley ’06 of SpaceX are designing and executing breakthrough aeronautics. Ryan Sebastian and Harry O’Hanley, graduates in the Class of 2006 who were also Class IV roommates in Goodwin, are among the designers, engineers and fabrication specialists working on breakthrough aeronautics at the massive SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California. Ryan and Harry are immersed — for many intense hours every day — in the design and operations of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. Reaching beyond what many of us may have considered the outer limits of human capability fills them with enviable energy and purpose. This conversation with Ryan and Harry sheds some light on the whys and hows of their lives with rockets today. Were you the prototypical little guys shooting rockets

When did working on rockets become mainstream

off in empty fields while you were growing up?

academic work? At Milton?

ryan: Definitely. I was always into rockets. My uncle

ryan: At Milton. Mr. Gagnon, in particular, was totally

introduced me to rockets and I built them in my parents’

onboard with my investigation and exploration of rocketry.

garage and launched them in the park fields nearby. I

Whenever I spent time away from Milton, I was building

couldn’t get enough; as I grew, so did my interest. I applied

rocket motors and developing solid propellants at home.

rocketry to as many school science projects as I could

When it came time for my senior project, with Amanda

and kept flying bigger rockets in bigger fields. I found

Brophy and Kathryn Evans, I designed, built and launched

rockets fascinating then and still do today. In terms of

an 11-foot, 85-pound rocket to an altitude of 1.5 miles.

engineering and design, rockets travel further and faster above

Portrait photos by Martin Berman. opposi t e

Photos courtesy SpaceX.


I attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) for

than anything else man-made.

college, where I majored in mechanical engineering with

harry: Not at all. I really stumbled into this work. I was

supported explorations in rocketry. Contrary to what I

an aerospace concentration. WPI had few institutionally always interested in engineering but had no intention

expected, I had more support and encouragement at Milton

of going into aerospace. In fact, the beginning was hard,

than at WPI. The projects I was involved with waned

because my background was not in aerospace.

while I completed my undergraduate and graduate degrees.

mi lt on maga z i n e  


SpaceX on a Need-to-Know Basis what is spacex?

when it expects to have a fully certified,


Space Exploration Technologies Corporation

human-rated launch escape system

SpaceX Headquarters

(SpaceX) designs, manufactures and launches

incorporated into the spacecraft.

Hawthorne, California

advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company

Launch and landing sites

was founded in 2002 to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling

“As of February 17, 2015, SpaceX has completed

Cape Canaveral, Florida (launch pad 39A,

people to live on other planets. More than

17 back-to-back successful missions on its

site of Apollo rocket launches); Vandenberg Air

3,500 employees work at SpaceX on this effort.

Falcon 9 rocket.”

Force Base, California; and South Texas

“Profitable and cash-flow positive, SpaceX In December 2008, SpaceX won a NASA

has nearly 50 launches on its manifest,

Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract.

representing more than $5 billion in contracts.

SpaceX will fly a minimum of 12 cargo resupply

The SpaceX customer base is diverse, including

Rocket-development facility McGregor, Texas Offices

missions to the International Space Station

space station resupply missions, commercial

Houston, Texas; Chantilly, Virginia;

(ISS) for NASA; and in the near future SpaceX

satellite launch missions, and U.S. government

Washington, D.C.; and Seattle, Washington

will carry crew as well. SpaceX is planning

science and national security missions.”

its first crewed Dragon/Falcon 9 flight in 2017,

founder Elon Musk, entrepreneur whose other companies include Zip2, PayPal, SolarCity and Tesla Motors

spring 2015


spac e x on a n e e d - t o -k now b a si s , c on t.




Elon Musk believes that our becoming inter-

Falcon 9: two-stage launch vehicle, designed

First privately funded, liquid-fueled rocket

planetary is the next key step in evolutionary

from the beginning to be reusable and

(Falcon 1) to reach orbit on September 28, 2008

life. If something is important enough to figure

carry crew.

on the scale of evolution, he asserts, it’s worth our commitment and our resources. “The lessons of history would suggest that civilizations move in cycles. You can track

Falcon Heavy: heavy-lift launch vehicle, designed from the beginning to carry humans into space. Restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars.

First privately funded company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft (Dragon) on December 8, 2010 First private company to send a spacecraft

that back quite far — the Babylonians, the

Dragon: a free-flying spacecraft designed

(Dragon) to the International Space Station

Sumerians, followed by the Egyptians, the

to deliver both cargo and people into orbiting

on May 25, 2012

Romans, China. We’re obviously in a very


upward cycle right now and hopefully that remains the case. But it may not. There could be some series of events that cause that technology level to decline. Given

“It is the only private company ever to return “To control quality and costs, SpaceX designs,

a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit, which

tests and fabricates the majority of its

it first accomplished in December 2010. The

components in-house, including the Merlin,

company made history again in May 2012

that this is the first time in 4.5 billion years

Kestrel, and Draco rocket engines used

when its Dragon spacecraft attached to the

where it’s been possible for humanity to

on the Falcon launch vehicles and the Dragon

International Space Station, exchanged

extend life beyond Earth, it seems like we’d

spacecraft. This has helped SpaceX to

cargo payloads, and returned safely to Earth — 

be wise to act while the window was open

offer one of the lowest launch prices in the

a technically challenging feat previously

and not count on the fact it will be open

industry and to significantly reduce

accomplished only by governments. Since

a long time.”

conventional rocket development time.”

then Dragon has delivered cargo to and from elon-musk-mission-mars-spacex

the space station multiple times, providing regular cargo resupply missions for NASA.”


h e a ded for m a r s, on sch edu l e , con t.

production “The SpaceX factory is vast and employs

harry: I knew engineering was my thing, but rockets just

weren’t part of the picture for me early on. My undergrad

3,000 people but is remarkably clean, bright

work at MIT concentrated on mechanical engineering. I

and quiet. Technicians are casually dressed

returned to MIT and got my master’s in nuclear engineering.

in shorts or jeans, sneakers or sandals. One group checks on a Falcon 9 launch system;

How did you get started, professionally?

across the corridor another works on

ryan: I started my career at Raytheon Missile Defense

protective fairings to encase cargo; a few

Systems but at the advice of one of my WPI professors

yards from that a guy with goggles produces

began looking for a job in rocket propulsion to align my

spare parts from a 3-D printer; in a sealed

career with my interests and get more involved in rocketry

lab next door colleagues with hairnets and

as I had been before WPI. I moved to California to work

blue coats inspect equipment for a launch

on solid rocket motors at Aerojet, where many space and

later this year, the company’s third supply mission for NASA. “The factory exudes Silicon Valley’s no-fuss ethos, a streamlined contrast to NASA bureaucracy and bloat . . . . SpaceX’s focus on reusable technology has slashed costs —  the company says it can get an astronaut to the space station for $20 million, versus

“At SpaceX there are clear goals, a ‘get it done’ attitude, and a persistent desire to do better from all aspects, all while not throwing cost out the window.”

$70 million charged by Russia for a seat on a Soyuz rocket. SpaceX is testing reusable prototype rockets that can return to Earth intact, rather than burn up in the atmosphere.

defense propulsion systems are built. Aerojet primarily

If successful, rockets could be reused

sells solid propellant systems in which the oxidizer and

like aeroplanes, cutting the price of a space

fuel are premixed — cast and cured into a physical solid

mission to just $200,000, for fuel.”

contained within a chamber. Using a propellant that’s in elon-musk-mission-mars-spacex

place and ready to be ignited when you need it has a practical advantage in military situations. These motors are very similar to what I was making in my garage. At Aerojet, I led several teams working on different

sources the-elon-musk-interview-on-mars 2013/jul/17/elon-musk-mission-mars-spacex

projects. I enjoyed learning how to motivate people, translate expectations, keep stakeholders and engineers happy, and at the same time gain insight into solid propulsion system designs. Although the technical work was fascinating, the exposure to the business model of the defense industry made me turn toward SpaceX. harry: I interned at SpaceX in 2011, left to go to graduate

school, then returned to SpaceX in 2013. I’ve always opposi t e

worked for SpaceX.

Photos courtesy SpaceX.

What are your days like at SpaceX? ryan: I am the Falcon 9 Second Stage Build Engineer.

[Falcon 9 is the two-stage rocket designed to launch satellites and the Dragon spacecraft into orbit.]  I connect the build processes to the design and make sure we are meeting the engineering intent in the physical rocket. The

spring 2015


h e a ded for m a r s, on sch edu l e , con t.

teams need to be in continual communication to make

harry: The schedule at SpaceX is very impressive. We

sure that the parts we’re building meet the design needs

turn things around at a fast speed. You go from concept to

and that those build processes are always improving.

seeing something “real” quickly. Typically, we complete things on the order of days, rather than months or years,

harry: In terms of a position, I’m a Falcon 9 First Stage

as in some businesses.

Responsible Engineer. My job is to design and develop the first-stage propulsion systems and provide launch

What do you draw upon from your personal tool kit

support. I can be at the design phase of the design operations

most often?

ladder or actually be driving the launch vehicle — that is,

ryan: My interest in searching for the root cause of an

on the console, in mission control, monitoring the rocket,

outcome, the driver behind a result. I learned to investigate

in Hawthorne or Cape Canaveral. There are plenty of

and understand issues while building and flying amateur

interesting engineering problems, and working all the

rockets; any outcome would be the result of the level of

way along the ladder is great.

detailed thinking I did beforehand. Because of that experi­ ence, I enjoy digging into the details of systems and problems. harry: Operations necessarily generate huge data sets.

They’re complex. You need to form an understanding

“Operations necessarily generate huge data sets. They’re complex. You need to form an understanding quickly, about what happened or what is about to happen.”

quickly, about what happened or what is about to happen. You need a fundamental understanding of the system to do this. I’ve always been good at forcing myself to dig deep and understand the system I’m working on so that I can intrinsically know what’s going on. What do you love most about your work now? ryan: Besides being able to work on rockets? The

environment: At SpaceX there are clear goals, a “get it done” attitude, and a persistent desire to do better from all Can you talk about some of the challenges?

aspects, all while not throwing cost out the window. There’s

ryan: Integrating myself into the liquid propellant rocket

a confidence that we can and will accomplish things that

world: Familiarizing myself with the rocket as a system

haven’t been done before. It’s fast-paced, collaborative, and

has been challenging but an excellent learning experience.

people are excited. I love coming into work and being

Ever-growing responsibility and insight in all aspects of

surrounded by people so passionate every day.

the rocket and SpaceX’s business tools are both a challenge and an opportunity at SpaceX.

harry: It’s the freedom and responsibility tension that I

like the most. It gives me the sense that I control my own harry: Every person at SpaceX has an uncommon,

destiny. I work on high-tech Falcon rockets and having direct

probably unrivaled, amount of freedom and responsibility

responsibility on the vehicle does it for me. Some cool stuff

from day one. I enjoy that. When your work involves

is going on here that isn’t going on elsewhere. There’s lots of

operating systems you need to make decisions in real time,

responsibility throughout SpaceX; it’s a unique company.

like during the launch campaign.

We’re involved in the next frontier.

How does the reality of your job compare with what

by Cathleen Everett

“outsiders” might think your job involves? ryan: People might not realize the level of detailed work

that is involved in every aspect of the vehicle. Every item goes through design and analysis before it is built, inspected and tested. The reality of the job is managing the minute details to make sure that the components and vehicle are ultimately successful.


mi lt on maga z i n e  


case five

l amon t g o r don ’ 8 7

The Power of a Lamont Gordon ’87 Growing up in Washington, D.C., son of a single father, Lamont Gordon ’87 attended seven different schools through eighth grade. Most of his family didn’t graduate from high school; no one had gone to college. When he discovered Milton through a summer enrichment program, boarding school was an unknown concept. Buoyed by an admission brochure and encouragement from his father, Lamont applied and earned a full scholarship. Move-in day was the first time he set foot on Milton’s campus. “Milton was a great opportunity for me, but it was also my only opportunity,” he says. “I had no options at home. Milton changed the trajectory of my life.” Today, Lamont is professionally dedicated to educational access and equity. He discovered the Posse Foundation while working at Brown, his alma mater, helping to scale up the university’s impact on public education. The Posse Foundation helps young people — many of whom would be overlooked by traditional admission processes — attend some of the country’s top colleges and universities. “I was impressed with the mission, the model and the outcomes,” he says. “The program was perfectly in line with my career interests and goals.” Posse has partnerships with 51 top-tier colleges and universities, and places 10 students each year into each entering class of schools like Dartmouth, UVA, Boston University, Tulane, Cornell and Wesleyan. The name “Posse” refers to the linchpin of the program’s success.

spring 2015


“The name and the model developed from student


public school system and community-based organizations;

Photo by Sheila Griffin.

feedback,” says Lamont. “Students need a network when

students are accepted into the program in December

p r e v io u s pa g e

they’re leaving their own communities and transitioning

of their senior year in high school. (In 2014, 700 students

Photo by Akintola Hanif.

to these colleges and universities.”

were admitted from a pool of 16,000 nominees.) Posse’s

opposi t e

Photo courtesy the Posse Foundation.

Founder and president Deborah Bial earned a

criteria, which are dominated by SAT scores. “We’re

of Posse’s cohort model and outstanding graduation rate.

not just looking for academically talented students, we’re

Founded in 1989, Posse has helped place more than 6,200

looking for leaders,” says Lamont. “We’re looking for

young people and maintains a graduation rate of 90 percent.

students who work well with a team, communicate well,

Lamont began with Posse as director of the Boston office,

are strategic thinkers, and who will bring those skills to

which serves about 300 students each year from the city’s

campus and to the workforce. The best way for us to assess

public schools. Eager to be part of the foundation’s strategic

these qualities is to see them in action.”

direction, he became an associate vice president in January

The program achieves that observation and selection

2014, based at the national headquarters in New York City.

through their Dynamic Assessment Process (DAP). During

Posse’s partner schools commit to admitting the

the DAP, students problem solve during activities large

selected cohort of students and providing a full scholarship

and small, which allows them to showcase their qualitative

for each student, over four years. Posse recruits the

skills. Evaluators walk around the room, observing,

students, prepares them, and provides the support that

taking careful notes. After a second round of traditional

helps them succeed.

interviews, students rank their top three school choices.

The foundation works from nominations from the


admission process pushes back on traditional admission

MacArthur “Genius Grant” for the overwhelming success

mi lt on maga z i n e

By accepting a spot in a posse, students effectively enter

into an early decision agreement. Once admitted to the program, Posse Scholars partici­ pate in weekly workshops on team building, leadership

also stimulating changes in the way colleges approach evaluating students for success. “The program is not just about college access and graduating — it’s about looking

development, cross-cultural communication, and academic

at the people running this country, and wanting to make

awareness from January until August, preparing for the

sure those decision makers represent the diversity of the

transition to campus. They anticipate and discuss the

United States. When a 12th grader steps into that room, we

challenges ahead and figure out how to access resources.

want to be able to determine whether she might one day

“Posse is an asset-based organization,” says Lamont. “We focus on our students’ strengths. When students say,

be running Citibank, spearheading medical research, or starting a nonprofit. If so, we want to help her get there.”

‘I can’t do this,’ we say, ‘Yes you can.’ They may not be used to hearing that message, but they internalize it. Posse is

by Erin Berg

a merit-based scholarship. Kids are here because they’re smart, driven, accomplished students with great potential and strong academic backgrounds, well prepared, and with every right to be there. “We’re not simply a diversity program, but that’s part of what schools are looking for. They also partner with us because they know our scholars are going to graduate, and they’re looking for leaders who are going to be active, contributing members of their campuses.” These days, Lamont is expanding several key initiatives from Posse’s recent strategic plan. Those include the foundation’s career and alumni programming, graduate and fellowship opportunities, and the new veterans initiative. “Posse Scholars graduate and become leaders in the workforce, so we want to help them think about long-term goals as soon as they enter the program,” says Lamont. “Our model is based on partnering with undergraduate institutions, but we have affiliations with some top graduate programs as well. We want to create a culture where students know about fellowship opportunities and they know they have access to them. We learned that 40 percent of Posse alumni were pursuing or had earned graduate degrees two years after college, but many were not going to top-tier programs. We want to help students see themselves as eligible and then help position them well.” Posse’s Veterans Program leverages the cohort model to serve post-9/11 military veterans looking to earn bachelor’s degrees at top schools. Vassar was the first school to admit a Veterans Posse; Wesleyan was next, and Dartmouth committed in 2014. Posse is applying its cohort model — which has been successful with younger students for 25 years — to a new population with very different needs. Lamont oversees a team that is working to help build a strong nomination network, and gain a foothold in veterans’ community programs and the military’s transition services. They are thinking through what a “posse” means for 20- and 30-year-olds, some with families of their own. Posse operates in nine cities across the country and is opening its tenth site in San Francisco this year. Not only is Posse changing life opportunities for students, but it’s

spring 2015


at milton

t he men t o r p r o g r am

Mentors: Honest Talk About Teaching You won’t catch Lydia Thorp walking. If she runs she can get where she needs to be on campus, just barely. Lydia has taught Spanish at Milton since 2010, and she lives in Millet House. Twice each week she also attends classes taught by new Milton faculty members. She sits alongside students taking Spanish III with José Benítez-Meléndez; and she leans on the art tables with students in the Drawing course that Jenny Hughes teaches. Each week Lydia also meets with José and with Jenny separately, so they can talk about what she observed. Chiseled out of schedules that are famously tight, a new

turn; watching the cues; guessing the right word; keeping

mentoring program links eight veteran Milton teachers

track of the score. José closes the class with a worksheet.

with 14 teachers new to the School for work over several

The pulse of the class never falters.

years. In year one, they spend their most significant time observing one another and reflecting on what they see. Launched this year, Milton’s Mentor Program deliberately creates a non-evaluative space for new faculty

Lydia watches, smiles, take notes continually. Using a chart, she tracks the progress and timing of elements within the class (travel vocabulary build-out; quiz game gamble; worksheet closure). She records José’s techniques,

to ask questions, talk honestly about teaching, and learn

his interaction with students (who speaks, how often,

about the School.

who doesn’t). She notes how students arrange themselves in the room: Can José connect visually with each student?

A week’s chronicle

She and José have already discussed his objective for

José’s smile is as wide as the classroom door; he greets

this class, so she notes what happens compared to what

each of his students in Spanish, with a separate comment.

he had planned. In follow-up classes, José plans to build

The moment they’re seated he moves them into a discussion,

organically toward the grammar and usage complexity

completely in Spanish, about travel and vacations. Through

involved in the concepts they launched together today.

quick “Q&A,” reacting and playing off their answers, José

concrete facts. They give me constructive feedback; general

generate more — about logistics, people, what happens at

comments do not. For instance, I’d like comments about

the airport. Once their web of words consumes the

my writing on the board, how I communicate the definition

whiteboard space, José sets up a quiz game. Teams of

of a word, the pace of the class, to what extent students were

three: two kids sit facing the class; a third stands, facing his

involved, and did the material and the activities vary enough.

teammates. The standing team member must give apt

All photos by John Gillooly.


“I’ve always looked for feedback,” José says. “I like

records words, phrases, concepts. His follow-up questions

“I want feedback from students as well,” he says. “I’m

enough clues (in Spanish, of course) that his teammates

impressed at Milton’s willingness to get students’ feedback.

successfully guess a particular word. The clock is ticking.

I’d like to know what they think of the homework, whether

Teammates rotate sitting and standing. Five teams of

they like the stories we’re reading, whether the pace of the

three keep the game hopping. One team will ultimately win.

course is okay. They might tell me, for instance, ‘It’s okay for

The students are invested — anticipating their own team’s

honors; a little fast for non-honors level.’”

mi lt on maga z i n e  


spring 2015


“Getting to know the academic culture of the School, the

exists. Students move from the art table to desktop

expectations within this environment — mentors can help,”

computers in the digital design lab. Some students are

Lydia explains. “Going into this, I anticipated explicitly

Photoshop “pros”; some are Photoshop-phobic. Each

observing teaching and learning. Often other things come

student dives in, and different types of individual requests

up too, part of teachers’ daily lives that affect their teaching,

pop up quickly: One boy needs an explicit explanation;

assumptions you don’t realize you make if you’ve worked

someone else needs an approach to a technical problem;

here for a while. For instance, what it means to live in the

another is looking for an interim critique. Jenny moves

dorm and interact with students day and night; or comment

around the room, responding calmly and thoroughly,

writing; or particular idiosyncracies of the Milton schedule.

person by person. Regardless of a student’s starting place,

“José planned the vocabulary lesson to stage his teaching of the grammar,” Lydia explains. “His methodology is

Jenny helps him or her gain the ground that makes an independent follow-up step possible. One student, for

more organic, whereas I use a kind of ‘equation’ format to

instance, was having trouble moving her drawing from her

help kids understand grammar. It will be interesting for

email inbox to Photoshop so she could work with it. Jenny

both of us to see which students respond to each of these

ultimately got a camera and reshot the image, saved it to the

two approaches, as we observe one another over time. I

hard drive where the student was working, and helped

document what José’s process was, and I watch for a general

her browse to find it and move it into Photoshop. Students

gauge of students’ reaction to the material and the process.

ask one another for help as well. They all seem to know

I take note, too, of whether any kids drifted off into their own

who can help with what. Their project choices are diverse:

conversations, and how consistently they seemed to focus

a poster advertising an NFL game; a highway sign to

on what was happening. Clearly, doing this with José makes

advertise a movie; a book cover designed around the profile

me reflect intensely on my own practice.”

images of the characters; and an ad for Planet of the Apes,

Jenny Hughes is slight, relaxed and soft-spoken. Without

original promotion. In one class, Jenny needed to be an

creating a visual treatment from a tiny element of the raising her voice, she owns every student’s attention as

unflappable resource, teaching general digital skills,

she reviews the project they’ve undertaken. Each one is

Photoshop application specialties, design considerations,

developing a poster, an ad, a book or a DVD in Photoshop

and artistic conceptualization.

for printing in large format. They work from an image, a


Once Jenny had launched the class, Lydia walked around

drawing or a photo (their own, or one they’ve found online);

the room, noting the number and pace and range of

they conceive a plan, then use attributes in Photoshop

questions from and responses to students. She observed the

to design an original treatment. It cannot be a reflection of

designers at work, watching to see how each was making

some other promotional material or image that already

progress independently. Lydia drew a “map” of the work

mi lt on maga z i n e  


stations in the room and numbered the students so she

in the past, and that was mostly for their own evaluations,

could keep track, for Jenny, of which students asked how

Lydia explains. Training for the mentor team, which

many and what kind of questions during class.

happens both on and off campus, redefines observation.

Like José, Jenny was eager for what Lydia’s observation

“You need to begin with a clear understanding of what

could bring to light. Boys asked fewer questions, it turned

a teacher’s specific objective is for a class,” Lydia says.

out, although all the students wanted Jenny’s help, from the

Natural tendencies to critique or praise, or both, need to be

experienced kids to the novices. The two teachers looked

refocused on a different kind of attention, recording and

at Lydia’s map and the patterns of interaction. “As a

reviewing. Mentors also learn about instructional coaching,

department, we’re working on integrating art and tech­ nology,” Jenny says. “This project puts the two together, and we’ll see how the differences in Photoshop familiarity

goal setting, diversity, and Milton’s recently crafted “Principles of Teaching and Learning.” “We learn so much from each other,” Lydia says

work out. Once we know, we can stay with this plan, or

frequently. “Across disciplines, levels, vastly different

consider giving students several smaller projects that build

kinds of learners, and diverse teaching strategies,

to this larger one. Or, I could present Photoshop tools in

the growth that goes on is absolutely reciprocal.” These

one class — how to add text, enlarge or size down, select and

teachers seem to have a tactile feel for each other’s styles

erase color. Each person would have to learn quickly, but

and motivations, energy and ways of connecting with kids.

at least everyone would have the basics when we started

Their meetings give them insight into how a particular

the project.”

person parses a teaching challenge and plans to approach

Lydia went on to ask Jenny about the status of her

it. Each of them learns how that effort worked, in real

advisees. They had been talking over the semester about

time. They can help one another be aware of the socio-

effective supportive steps for different students. They

cultural issues active in teenagers’ lives, their fears, their

rounded out their meeting by previewing the challenge of

expectations about their own competencies, or how they

Milton’s January schedule. “I know I’m always surprised

understand risk.

at how quickly we move from break, through to review, to exams,” Lydia said, “and I thought you might want to think about how the month would go.” Observation is frequent and steady (at least once,

Observation by your colleagues is a luxury; teachers know that. It’s also a nearly invaluable asset; a discrete skill; and a powerful motivator for growth. The bonus, when veteran and newer teachers observe one another, is

weekly) and the debriefing meetings follow at the same

reciprocal growth. That was fully anticipated — now it’s

rhythmic pace. Those logistics are one key element, and

being fully appreciated.

new skills are another. Milton mentors reflexively start observing by relying on how they have been observed

by Cathleen Everett

José Benítez-Meléndez earned his bachelor’s degree in Spanish education with minors in French and Italian from the University of Puerto Rico. José earned his master’s degree from Middlebury College in Mediterranean studies, Spanish, and Italian. José has tutored students in Florence, Italy; instructed kindergarteners in Romania; and, most recently, taught Spanish and lived in a dormitory at the Darrow School. José lives in Wolcott House. Jennifer Hughes of the visual arts department earned her bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College and her master’s degree in printmaking from the University of Iowa. Since 2009 she has served as studio manager at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, where she has also served as an instructor. Jennifer has taught at the Eliot School in Jamaica Plain; at Tufts University’s Experimental College; and at the Boston Architectural College. A practicing artist, she has held solo shows at Harvard University’s Holyoke Center Arcade Gallery and Roxbury Community College. Lydia Thorp joined the Milton faculty in 2010. A graduate of Skidmore College, Lydia lived in Madrid for eight years before moving to Milton, and she served as an admission representative at the Madrid campus of Saint Louis University. Earlier in her career, Lydia taught Spanish, served as a dorm parent, and coached at the Westtown School in Pennsylvania.

spring 2015


at milton

in t e r discip l ina r y ac t ion in g r ade 3

Engineering Solutions for a Species in Peril “Engineering is the future, and young people are primed to learn about it,” says Phoebe Ryles, Milton’s Lower School woodworking teacher. “To design and construct, children have to think through steps and decide what should come next. You just need the right project to launch 8-yearolds into this work.” Inspired by a program on cutting-edge engineering curriculum developed by the Museum of Science, Phoebe

and experience, the students design what they hypothesize

leveraged the Grade 3 Monarch butterfly unit. Phoebe

will work. Phoebe walks the children explicitly through

charged her students with researching, designing,

the Engineering Design Process — a five-stage course of

building and installing a 4×8 foot raised planting bed — 

asking questions and solving problems: Ask, Imagine, Plan,

a butterfly way station. With teachers Jane McGuinness

Create, Improve.

and Susan Wheelwright, third graders learn about

Students build models — several — and then test them.

the Monarch’s life cycle; they raise butterflies from the

They learn as much from the failed ideas as they do

caterpillar stage and learn about habitat, diet, and

from their success. From drawing plans on paper, they move to cardboard models, to building “to scale” models.

migration patterns. In recent years, students also learn that Monarch

Challenges are many, and often unexpected. “We’re

butterflies could become extinct, because their natural

problem solving in real time, all the way through,” says

habitat is being destroyed. Each year, migrating Monarchs

Phoebe. “For instance, if we run out of wood, we need

lay their eggs on abundant milkweed. Housing and

to reassess and come up with a new plan. I’m trying to

commercial development, as well as the increasing growth

teach the children to be resourceful and think through

of genetically modified corn, has decreased the wild

challenges. I tell them, ‘You made it, so you can fix it.’”

milkweed. An intercontinental movement is working at

Children rely on concepts of fractions and

placing way stations strategically, at points where the

division — math above their grade level. When the time

butterflies can feed and lay their eggs. In building their

comes to learn about division, they’re prepared and excited.

raised-bed way station and planting it with the right flora, Milton students learned that they could help reverse the decline in the Monarch population. The third graders began by examining other raised


kind of lumber was used? Together, based on their research

“These children gain confidence based on ability,” says Phoebe. “Assembling and installing the raised bed means manipulating — lifting, measuring, cutting — solid 2×12 boards. The students do the lifting on their own!

beds on campus and asking their own questions: How are

They figure out how to work together, and they feel capable,

they joined at the corners? Are any weak or breaking? What

because they are.”

mi lt on maga z i n e  


spring 2015


i n t er disci pl i na ry ac t ion i n gr a de 3 , con t.

Students need to apply what they’ve learned of life

“Grit is a top predictor of success, and this is what they’re experiencing. The physicality of woodworking makes it appealing and tangible. Creating a concrete, practical product makes this learning real for [the students].”

science (keeping data, forming hypotheses) to this engineering-math-woodworking collaboration. With Spanish teacher Lucia Castineira, students learn the related Spanish vocabulary and test it, connecting via Skype with peers in Mexico — other young people committed to this cause. Students use the Internet program Journey North to track the butterflies’ migration north and south; they keep track of current events; and they artistically express what they’re learning in nature journals. “We’re focused on extending and connecting lessons throughout the year,” says Grade 3 teacher Jane McGuinness. “Students bring in New York Times articles about the declining Monarch population that they’ve found online with their parents. On top of everything else, they’re using technology well to help with their research.”


mi lt on maga z i n e  


“This unit involves many academic skills, but it also appeals to students’ character, persistence, desire to do good,” says Phoebe. “Grit is a top predictor of success, and this is what they’re experiencing. The physicality of woodworking makes it appealing and tangible. Creating a concrete, practical product makes this learning real for them. Students love helping a creature they’ve come to care about. We’re helping them develop great habits —  being good citizens, communicating, compromising productively, and persevering in the face of challenge.” by Erin Berg

s p r in sp ing 2015



Hall of Famer Coach Mac Reaches 200 Career Wins by Liz Matson

A perfect day for football. Cool and breezy with peeks of

sun. The last game of the season against rival Nobles

where he played hockey and football, Coach Mac knew

and Greenough. As always, Coach Kevin MacDonald, or

he wanted to be a teacher and a coach. His first job was

“Coach Mac,” is the first to arrive at the Robert Saltonstall

teaching English and history, and assistant coaching hockey

Gym — getting organized and filling water jugs. A man of

and football at Archbishop Williams High School in

habits and rituals, he calls himself “obsessive compulsive.”

Braintree, Massachusetts.

“I always sleep the night before, but before games, I’m

“I was lucky to work for Joe Crowley, a legendary

very nervous,” says Coach Mac, who was inducted into

football coach,” says Kevin. “His theory is that football is

the Massachusetts Football Coaches Association Hall of

not complicated; it’s a simple game. He ran only four plays,

Fame last spring. “The kids will tell you that I pace. I’m

but the players always knew what they were doing. He

always pacing. I feel that if I’m not nervous, they’re not

was very consistent. We went from being one of the worst

going to think it’s an important game.”

programs around to one of the best programs around.”

When the team takes the field, Coach Mac paces the


As an undergraduate at College of the Holy Cross,

After two years, Coach Mac became head coach when

sideline, carrying his clipboard, his face set in concentration.

Coach Crowley retired. He continued winning at Archie’s

A win against Nobles would be the season’s highlight. And

for 19 years before coming to Milton in 1996. He continued

this win would be Coach Mac’s 200th career win as a

the upward trajectory of the Milton football program that

football coach. A huge milestone in any coach’s career. The

his immediate predecessor, Joe Lang, had begun. He

players are amped up, knowing what is riding on this game.

also excelled in the classroom, and he still enjoys teaching

mi lt on maga z i n e  


Expository Writing. It is telling of his coaching and teaching that former players and students make up the majority of his coaching staff. The Mustangs are dominant in this Milton–Nobles game, up 21–0 in the first half. Coach Mac, pacing, bellows across the field: “Don’t relax! Do. Not. Relax!” His go-to phrases both encourage and direct the action: “Dish it out, don’t take it!” “Kick and stick!” and “Poison! Poison!” when he doesn’t want a player to touch the ball. He compliments players and notes sportsmanship as he sees it. In the last two minutes of the game when Milton is up 40–7, Coach Mac finally releases the tension in his face. The players can’t contain their excitement over the win. When Coach goes out to shake the Nobles coach’s hand, his players swarm him, shouting and whooping, and Coach Mac’s smile is big and wide.

“You could be a great coach as far as wins and losses go, and not be a great high school coach. A high school coach needs to be a good role model. You should be teaching right from wrong. You should be helping to get students into college. That’s why high school coaching is so rewarding.”

Justin Yoon ’15, a National Top Ranked Kicker When Justin Yoon ’15 first arrived at Milton in Class IV, his athletic focus was hockey. This spring, he graduates as one of the top-ranked high school football kickers in the country and will bring his talent to Notre Dame. He will be the starting kicker for the Fighting Irish and a student in the Mendoza College of Business. From Nashville, Tennessee, Justin started playing football in eighth grade, after a middle school coach took notice of his soccer kicking skills. He pursued this kicking talent at summer football camps. His spot-on, long-range kicks added a new dimension to Milton football, and Justin credits Coach Mac for his support. “He really trusts me, and that trust factor makes me believe in him, as he believes in me,” says Justin. “It’s not always easy to trust the kicker to get the job done. I respect Coach Mac for letting me do what I do and believing in me.” Justin says one of his most memorable games was Milton’s 27–21

“Winning is important,” says Kevin. “That is your chief

win over Lawrence Academy in his sophomore year, in which he blasted

goal. But you could be a great coach as far as wins and losses

four successful field goals, the final one from an amazing 54 yards.

go, and not be a great high school coach. A high school coach

These long kicks led to Justin being selected to play in the 2015 Under

needs to be a good role model. You should be teaching right

Armour All-American Bowl Game this past January. Justin was spot on

from wrong. You should be helping to get students into

and set records for most field goals made (three) and longest field goal

college. That’s why high school coaching is so rewarding.”

made (47 yards) in the seven-year history of the bowl game.

When the season ends, Coach Mac is busier than ever.

A dedicated student, Justin’s work ethic is strong, both on and off

First up is working with seniors and helping them through

the field. When he was injured in the season opener this year, Justin

the college process. Over the school year, roughly 100 college

turned his focus to rehabilitating his injury, but he also spent hours

football coaches visit Milton on recruiting trips. Coach

mentoring Min Park ’17 to be Milton’s next kicker. Justin says although it

Mac handles this constant flow of visitors, maintaining an

was frustrating to miss five games this past season, he enjoyed what

important network. He also keeps tabs on the juniors as

has always been his favorite part of Milton football: “Just spending time

they start their college plans. In the summer, he works at

with the team and being around my friends on the field.” And when he

various college football camps where he can “advocate for

was back in form for the last game against Nobles, Justin capped off his

our players.”

Milton career with a 49-yard kick.

spring 2015


sports, con t.

Since Coach Mac shines the spotlight on his players rather than himself, we asked some Milton football alumni for their thoughts on Coach Mac. The stories poured in. Coach Mac, Year One

“I had high expectations and a lot invested in Coach Mac’s

The Championship in ’14

“I was the starting quarterback for three years and a senior

inaugural season at Milton. My teammates were equally

captain under Coach Mac. Playing for Milton and Coach Mac

invested. With the 100th Milton–Nobles game as the ’96

was an honor. Before every game he would talk about the

season headliner, nothing short of an undefeated season

word ‘pride.’ Before Milton, that word didn’t mean much to

was acceptable to any player on the roster. Anticipation and

me, but when I left it meant a whole lot. He taught me how

curiosity took a hairpin turn toward concern during our

to take pride in my studies, athletics and my day-to-day life.

first team meeting with Coach Mac when we learned that

He strived for his players to be ‘good guys’ on campus and

our balanced, offensive attack would be overhauled into

to do the little things — hold doors open for people, or thank

a run-only offense, reminiscent of the Vince Lombardi days,

the staff in Forbes. He was one of the most approachable

when a pass was considered a trick play. Coach Mac didn’t

people on campus, always willing to lend a hand and lead me

give our concern an opportunity to fester. His actions made

in the right direction if I struggled with a class or any

it clear that he had just as much riding on the ’96 season;

aspect of School life.

our goals were aligned. Coach Mac led with hard work, accountability,

My greatest memory was winning the New England Championship my senior year. Winning it with Coach Mac

perseverance and pride, and the latter singularly defined our

was so gratifying, because our team had grown with him

’96 season. He dove in with his players, especially his seniors,

over my three years. We were a below average football

taking an interest in all of their pursuits. He maximized his

team during my sophomore year, and one of the best in

players’ ability with daily encouragement and unwavering

New England my senior year.”

support. Coach Mac naturally gravitated toward the tradition

 — anthony scurto ’14

and rivalry at Milton Academy. He embraced and valued Herbert “Stokie” Stokinger, and made Stokie the focal point of the 100th Milton–Nobles game. To say that Coach Mac’s first season at Milton was a

This Milestone

“Coach Mac was a fantastic coach and role model for me

success is an understatement. Not only did he lead the ’96

when I played fullback and linebacker. I learned about being

team to victory in the 100th Milton–Nobles game, he also

a team player and challenging myself both on the field

made good on an undefeated season and added a New

and in the classroom. I have wonderful memories of Milton

England Championship for good measure. With Coach Mac,

and many are related to playing for Coach Mac from 2001

the lessons we learned on the field were as valuable as the

to 2005. He is a great coach, a great mentor, and most

lessons we learned in the classroom. On behalf of the ’96

importantly a great person. He has had a huge influence on

team, and all his players, congratulations on a hall of fame

many young men who have graduated from Milton, and the

coaching career and teaching excellence.”

200th win is a testament to his dedication and commitment

 — alexi evriviades ’96

to players, present and past. An amazing milestone and well deserved.”  — ryan fitzpatrick ’05


mi lt on maga z i n e    

A Game of Emotion

The Fundamentals

“I played tailback for Coach Mac from 1996 to 1999 and went

“I was the running back in 2003 and 2004 when we went a

on to play for Brown University. I was lucky enough to be

combined 13–2–1. Coach Mac was not about trick plays or

a part of Coach Mac’s first Milton Academy team that went

snazzy, spread offenses. He believed in fundamentals, doing

8–0 and won the New England Championship. Coach Mac

your job, and simply being stronger, faster, and better

made it clear from day one that our goal was to be the

prepared than the opposition.”

number one team in the ISL. He brought a winning attitude.

 — timothy daniels ’04

By the time we opened the season, he had instilled so much confidence in us that we felt unbeatable. Coach Mac told us that ‘football was a game of emotion.’ He used our emotion to motivate and inspire us. He played the underdog card to

The Joy of the Game

“Coach Mac’s competitiveness and focus are matched by his

get us fired up for a big game, to inspire us to be our best

integrity and desire to see his players succeed. He loves seeing

and compete fiercely for ourselves, our families, our School

his players get where they want to go, in football and in life.

and for each other. We all loved and respected Coach Mac’s hard-nosed philosophy. No frills, finesse or trick plays, just old-fashioned man-on-man football. He demanded that we be the most

Mac always has a plan and a reason for what he is doing — a seemingly crazy drill or pre-game pep talk. It usually sets you up to succeed and to learn, which are often the same thing. Coach Mac also has a ton of fun, and he instills the joy of

fit team, and that often showed up in the fourth quarter of

the game in his players. He enjoys victories for the same

games. Coach Mac gave us a platform to be ourselves and

reason players do. He gets pumped up, hates to lose, and can’t

to succeed in doing so. Down 20–0 at the half against Thayer

wait to get back to work for the next week.

(for the New England Championship), there was no panic

Coach Mac doesn’t get caught up in the hype or the

in the locker room. We had been coached to respond to

moment, and he embodies what he preaches: living up to your

adversity and to dig deep. We won that game 21–20.

own best standards, keeping your word, never giving up, and

I learned so much from Coach Mac about the value of hard work, preparation, and an emotional commitment

working not just for yourself but also for those around you. I feel honored to have spent time with him on the football

to the task at hand. Running into guys I played with and

field and to have had his guidance; and I would not be the

reliving some of the special moments is fun. I am excited

person I am today had it not been for Coach Mac. He has a

for Coach Mac’s 200th win and proud to have been a small

generous spirit and understands what truly brings satisfaction

part of his legacy.”

in life. It’s really great to recognize him for reaching this

  —   l eo evriviades ’99

milestone. He deserves every accolade. He’s a legend.”  — tom pilla ’02

spring 2015


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

Comeback by Jim Connolly, English faculty

Jim Connolly of the English department, who has taught creative writing at Milton since 1983, has long been a poet and writer of fiction. The textbook devoted to teaching poetry that Jim developed is unique in including students’ writing and commentary. He has shared this text with many educators —  individual practitioners eager to maximize their effective­ness in the discrete art of understanding teaching and teaching poetry. Jim’s poem, “Comeback,” is included in his recently published collection, Picking Up the Bodies. Jim is now at work on a novel.


mi lt on maga z i n e  


Rocco Francis Marchegiano:

They come back to me like letters

I met him once. He shook my hand,

through a chute, the forgotten words

said “Nice to meet you, kid” and looked

of a boy who learned the lessons

away, money on his mind.

that each fist delivered: fight

I was with his nephew. I said “Nice to meet you, champ” and looked

to the death, be willing to die on each street corner,

away. I was sixteen,

every win and defeat another notch

my own hits and licks on my mind.

in a reputation that tells you who you are — 

Our city’s legend retired into a dull weight of fame — 

I was a dumb kid,

overrated, underrated — 

I say to myself, who has grown old and dumb,

and death in 1969,

neither embarrassed by it nor proud of it — 

Newton, Iowa, a mangled plane.

we were boys who grew up in our fists.

His body flown home to Brockton, to our family’s funeral home,

And, today, I wonder what Rocky would say

my grandfather buried him — 

about The Brockton Enterprise’s front page news,

my father, the embalmer, touched him up.

the heroin addiction infecting our city,

In 1970, I went to Des Moines, Iowa

the headlines spreading across the country,

to teach and met Lowell Coburn,

the White House announcing

the young undertaker who shipped Rocky’s corpse

the match between the government

back home to Brockton.

and the bad batch of stuff

He lived next door. “Nice to meet you,”

that’s killing our city’s immigrants

he said. “Coincidence is what death can give us.”

in staggering numbers, the newspapers recording

And when I returned to Brockton,

of a one-sided fight.

each day’s deaths like judges scoring the rounds a beaten-up place with window grates

And I remember my grandfather

on Main Street’s abandoned stores,

chalking the names of the deceased on his blackboard,

the steel defending against the nothing that is left,

the posting of the wakes and funerals.

I couldn’t find the signs of my old hometown. At George’s Café,

I stare Rocky down once more.

one of the city’s last landmarks,

Hanging high above the other boxers,

I walked through its rooms to study

his right arm is raised in victory,

all the newspaper clippings and photos hanging

and that right hand, famous,

on the restaurant’s walls.

now, and then, is always

I stalked each fight in search

coming back to me, heroic

of the city that was gone:

in that night of near defeat against Walcott, our champ coming back in the thirteenth round,

Below Rocky’s photos, Ali snaps a left through the bloody mouth of Cooper, and Hagler’s right cross clubs

that right smashing into Jersey Joe’s jaw, a bullet in a bolt that locks shut —  what we had and can never get back.

the “Motor City Cobra’s” chin, a right, that night, as right as right, the “Hit Man’s” legs collapsing, his eyes on queer street, that bewildered look that takes me back to the rings and heavy bags of my youth, all the bad words, the punches given and taken.

sp r in g 2 0 1 5


in sight

Beatnik Nanseera Wolff, Class IV, Robbins House. Photo by Michael Dwyer.




spring 2015


on centre

John P. Reardon ’56 Receives the Milton Medal On January 23, 2015, the Milton Academy Board of Trustees awarded the Milton Medal to Jack Reardon, a longtime trustee and a wise and loyal supporter of his School. Head of School Todd Bland recalled the dinner meeting

“Jack’s service to Milton has been vast, deep and meaningful,” Brad concluded. “He epitomizes the life and spirit of Dare to be True. Jack, we are aware and most grateful for your decades of commitment, engagement and

in 2008 that he and his wife, Nancy, shared with Jack

service to Milton. Please join me in thanking my friend

Reardon and Brad Bloom — an evening that solidified Todd’s

and mentor, Jack Reardon, recipient of the Milton Medal.”

decision to serve as Milton’s head of school. He spoke about the supportive care and insight that Jack reliably

Citation from the Milton Medal Program

and generously provided throughout Todd’s last six

Jack Reardon was elected to the board of trustees in 1991.

years. Similarly, Brad Bloom credited Jack with his own

With skill, loyalty and generosity, Jack supported every

willingness to assume the presidency of Milton’s board.

aspect of Milton’s institutional strength until and beyond his

Brad noted, in particular, Jack’s ability and willingness

retirement from the board in 2013. Jack began by chairing

to listen, and his effectiveness in helping institutions

the campaign steering committee in 1992 that prepared

understand what challenges should be addressed, and

for Milton’s first comprehensive capital campaign. “The

what changes should occur. “Four heads of school — E d

Challenge to Lead” raised $60 million from 1995–2000, and

Fredie, Robin Robertson, Rick Hardy and Todd Bland — 

expanded the supportive connections with alumni and

and four board presidents — Harold Janeway, Marshall

parents that would be a critical foundation for meeting

Schwarz, Fritz Hobbs and I — sought his counsel,” Brad

Milton’s aspirations in the future. Jack chaired the Trustees

said. “In every conversation, public or private, Jack is

Committee during his tenure, guiding trustees and trustee practices, informed by his unfailing acumen about matters of governance. That position signaled a much broader port-

“Jack’s service to Milton has been vast, deep and meaningful. He epitomizes the life and spirit of Dare to be True.”

folio: trusted emissary, diplomat, counselor, honest broker, or change agent when that was necessary. On the board and in the School, Jack was an astute listener, and always promoted the broadest possible understanding of an issue. Co-chair of the search for Head of School Todd Bland, Jack implemented a process that stands as an example of open, responsive communication with the full Milton constituency. Milton is extremely grateful for Jack’s seemingly limitless

steady, calm, and focused on the point. He responds with

service over 22 years, helping Milton to be both daring and

candor, wisdom and sensitivity, regardless of the issue. He

true, always; he has prepared Milton well for the future.

frames the importance of a decision in few but relevant words. We all try to understand the full measure of each of those words.” As he delivered the Milton Medal Award, Brad summoned Mr. Frank Millet’s words about Jack from just that week: “Jack has a wonderful way with people. When you talk with him, you know that you have his full attention. If you want something, he will do the best he can to honor that. He’s regularly in contact with many people and he has many friends. He understands the essence of a person, no matter the person’s age. He’s been devoted to Milton since 1956. He’s a very loyal person.”


mi lt on maga z i n e  


spring 2015


on cen t r e , con t.

Randall L. Kennedy Shares His Thoughts on Race Relations in America Milton’s 48th War Memorial speaker, Professor

favoritism and has done too little to educate

Randall L. Kennedy, told students, alumni

the public on the hazards that blacks face.”

and parents that despite “a chasm that

“Beneath the malaise is a deep current of

He cited numerous statistics and laws that traced the long, slow path of blacks from an oppressed group of four million slaves in

separates the circumstances in which whites

racial pessimism that has a long history in

1860 through the civil rights era to the election of the first African-American president.

and blacks typically find themselves,” he

American and African-American thought,” said

is still an optimist about race relations in the

Mr. Kennedy. “Pessimists believe that racial

United States. Professor Kennedy is the

harmony predicated on fairness is not part of

have clearly elevated the fortunes of African

Michael R. Klein Professor at Harvard Law

the American future. They posit that America

Americans as individuals and black America as

School, where he teaches in the fields of

will not overcome its tragic racial past.”

a collectivity,” said Professor Kennedy. “Hard

criminal law, contracts, and the regulation

Professor Kennedy made clear that he is

“Changes in public attitudes, law and custom

facts may give plausibility to the pessimistic

of race relations. In September, Professor

an optimist while stressing that “intentional,

tradition, but they make the optimistic tradition

Kennedy continued an important Milton

invidious racial discrimination constitutes a

compelling. Despite the many wrongs that

tradition that brings to campus public figures

force in American life that is far from negligible.

remain to be righted, blacks in America

who discuss core social and political issues.

It is a substantial headwind that blacks and

confront fewer racist impediments now than

other racial minorities face in many key areas,

ever before in the history of the United States.”

Although the election of President Barack

The War Memorial Lecture was established

Obama was an amazing and pinnacle moment

including housing, finance, employment,

for America, Mr. Kennedy said many African

criminal justice, electoral politics, and markets

in 1922 to honor those Milton graduates who

Americans were deeply affected by the economic

for romance and marriage.”

gave their lives in World War I, and the

downturn and believe President Obama has “been too fearful of being charged with racial

Professor Kennedy said he is hopeful of the “prominent trajectory” of African Americans.

foundation brings to campus notable guests who have dedicated their careers to the responsibilities and opportunities connected to leadership in a democracy. Professor Kennedy was born in Columbia, South Carolina, in 1954. He attended St. Albans School, Princeton University, Oxford University, and Yale Law School. He served as a law clerk for Judge J. Skelly Wright of the United States Court of Appeals and for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the United States Supreme Court. He is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia and the Supreme Court of the United States. Awarded the 1998 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for Race, Crime, and the Law, Professor Kennedy writes for a wide range of scholarly and general-interest publications. His most recent books are For Discrimination: Race, Affirmative Action, and the Law (2013), The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency (2011), and Sellout: The Politics of Racial Betrayal (2008). A member of the American Law Institute, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Association, Mr. Kennedy is also a Charter Trustee of Princeton University.


mi lt on maga z i n e  


Volleyball Earns ISL Title in Record Season With chanting fans packing the ACC, the atmosphere was electric as the girls’ volleyball team faced off against Nobles and Greenough in the final game of their regular season. The Mustangs blocked and spiked their way to a thrilling 3–0 victory. With only two losses to ISL teams this season, this win clinched the league championship title and earned the team a spot in the New England playoffs. “For that hour and a half, the girls were rock stars out there,” says

Among College Students and Professionals, Milton Seniors Win First Prize at MIT’s Hackathon

Derek Palmore, varsity coach and Middle School faculty member. Last year the team finished strong, but this season surpassed all expectations. “The girls sustained such high-level play this season,” says Coach Palmore. “As a team, they had incredible turnaround and recovery time. So if we found ourselves down a few points or lost a match, the team did a great job moving forward quickly.”

Neekon Vafa ’15 and Harry Kwon ’15 took their computer program-

This marks the first time in more than a decade that the team has

ming skills to a whole new level when they participated in — and

made the playoffs. Though they fell to Phillips Andover in the first round,

placed first at — MIT’s Internet of Things Hackathon in October.

captain Marina Fleites ’15 credits both Coach Palmore and Assistant

A hackathon is an event in which computer programmers and

Coach Fang Yuan with bringing the players up to their A game.

software developers collaborate intensively on software projects. “The spirit of a hackathon isn’t competitive,” says Harry. “Everyone goes there to learn, even the most experienced programmers.” Most of the attendees are working professionals; Neekon and Harry were the only high school students participating. Last

“In practices, we would split up,” she says. “Defense players went with Coach Fang, because that is his specialty. Coach Palmore focused on offense. This way we worked on a lot more technique, got specific feedback, and then brought it all together as a team.” Most players pick up the

summer, Neekon added his name to MIT’s waitlist after researching

sport in high school, because

various hackathons. The night before the two-day event, Neekon

volleyball programs are not

received word that he was in, with a couple of extra tickets included.

as entrenched in New England

The event kicked off with team leaders pitching their projects.

as they are in warmer parts

Participants then chose which team they wanted to join. Neekon

of the country. Marina is the

and Harry picked the “Perfect Playlist” project, which involved

most seasoned veteran on

programming dynamically adjusting playlists that use sensors to

the team, playing since her

read the atmosphere of the room. For example, at a house party, the

freshman year.

sensors might pick up that it’s time to play a dance song.

“I’m so excited we made

“Although we were younger than the other team members, we

post-season,” says Marina.

both understood what they understood and what they were saying,”

“I remember as a freshman

says Neekon. “We also contributed our own ideas and felt very

looking up at the banners

comfortable as part of the team.” Harry and Neekon are both taking

hanging in the ACC, and

Mr. Hales’s Programming Applications class this semester.

all I wanted was a banner

When work was complete, each team presented its project to

for volleyball. And now we

the judges. Neekon and Harry’s team was awarded first prize. The

have one! I am so proud of

prize included tickets to the main Internet of Things conference

the team. Everyone played

the following week, which Neekon and Harry attended for one day.

amazingly well against

“We learned a lot of actual programming and engineering at the hackathon,” says Harry. “The event also gave us an idea of what

Nobles, and the energy of the crowd certainly helped.”

real software engineering is like. Now I see how the whole process works, from designing and building the product to working efficiently as a team.”

spring 2015


on cen t r e , con t.

Dr. Eyster Fuses Biology and Art as She “Looks Closely” Linde Eyster enjoys looking closely at things — as a scientist,

the leaves and stems in my small garden, where I witness

as a teacher, and as a photographer. For the past few years,

both amazing organisms and fascinating animal behaviors.”

she focused on the natural environment in her backyard

a photographer and member of the visual arts department — 

lens. The result was a stunning, colorful collection that was

answered her photography questions and helped her sort

on exhibition in Pieh Commons in October.

through hundreds of photos to select the ones to exhibit.

“I wanted the photos to tell biological stories,” says Linde,

Linde’s interest in photography began as a child, when

who has taught a variety of life science courses at Milton

she occasionally converted the bathroom into a darkroom

since 1990. “So, you’re not just looking at a photo of two ants.

to develop her prints. For research toward her master’s

You are looking at a biological process. The ants are on a

degree, she took her first close-up photographs to document

stem guiding the tiny aphids up and down, because the ants

the colors of nudibranchs (sea slugs), which fade quickly

are dependent on the aphids for their nourishment.”

when the organisms are placed into preservatives. During

Linde shot all the images outside in natural light, with

her doctoral research on embryonic shell formation at

the subjects in their usual patterns and environment.

Northeastern University, she spent many hours photo-

The plan grew out of a cross-curricular biodiversity project

graphing subcellular structures with transmission electron

she assigned her Advanced Biology students, who were

microscopes, followed by hours of printing thousands of

required to find and photograph a dozen different inverte-

black-and-white images of cells and cell parts. Many of these

brates on campus or near their homes.

images were published in her scientific papers.

“I did the assignment myself to estimate how long it would


Linde’s friend and fellow faculty member Bryan Cheney — 

garden, photographing a range of organisms with a macro

“Without realizing it, I was learning skills through my

take to accomplish, and the project reawakened my love

microscope photography, such as composing the shot,

of photographing little things,” says Linde. “Even without

finding the right angle, and cropping to focus on the elements

a camera in hand, I love the surprises of looking closely in

you want,” says Linde.

mi lt on maga z i n e  


A Tricycle Rides Back to Milton A new art installation hanging from the rafters in the Art

and find building materials. So much of the trike came

and Media Center completes a circle that began with two

from the old Milton dump!”

inquisitive students in the late 1970s. David Rabkin ’79 and

After 1,000 man-hours during the winter, the trike was

Justin Aborn ’79 were in their junior year when they built

ready to ride that spring. Ian Torney ’82, chair of the visual

a large, recumbent tricycle called the “A-Rab.”

arts department, says he remembers David and Justin riding

“Both of us were fiddlers,” says David, who is now the

the trike around campus. After they graduated, the trike sat

Farinon Director for Current Science and Technology at the

in David’s mother’s garage until 1997, when they extensively

Museum of Science in Boston. “We liked building, and we

refurbished it for an arts festival. This time it was stored

were always taking stuff apart and putting it back together

more carefully, so when they took it out of the garage in 2013

again. The idea of the trike came about because we really

to hang in the AMC, it was in much better shape.

wanted to learn how to weld. Welding is one of the great

“Seeing the trike hanging in the AMC is very satisfying,”

crafts, being able to work with metal and bond it in a way

says David. “It does my own and Justin’s heart good to

to make it really strong.”

know that it’s somewhere other people will enjoy it. It’s an

They approached Michael Bentinck-Smith, who was the woodworking teacher in the Lower School at the time. He

interesting form. From where it is hung, you get to look at it from all angles; it looks different from various directions,

agreed to teach them to weld, but to count the work as an

and you can appreciate a whole other dimension of it. Milton

independent project they needed a solid idea and design.

students are so bright and motivated, so if even a little

“Something that went fast with wheels made sense to our adolescent minds,” says David. “We decided that a human-

inspiration is derived from looking at it, and that leads somewhere interesting, that is great. If it opens a door and

powered vehicle would be much more elegant, so the design

shakes up someone’s mental model of something they

grew from that idea. Back then, you could go to the dump

were thinking about, then we’ve achieved our mission.”

spring 2015


head of school

“Leave Room to Be Surprised” by Todd B. Bland

Every Wednesday morning, I look forward to

Milton students set high expectations for

was irrevocably changed by these events.

themselves. The same great qualities that

And I am grateful every day for the friends

14 students in my section of Senior Transitions.

brought them to Milton — intellectual curiosity,

and mentors who helped me alter my plans

This course is designed to help Class I students

self-motivation, focus on a passion — can make

and realign myself with a new — exciting,

manage the complexities of senior year and

them particularly vulnerable when realities

terrifying — set of circumstances.

the college admission process, and focus on

alter the plan they had envisioned. Sometimes

how to make a smooth and healthy transition

without even knowing it, young people define

“best” pieces of advice. But this one is a gem:

from high school to college. Senior Transitions

success by a set of external criteria, and find

Be open to plans that evolve over time. Life

is one of four courses in Milton’s Affective

themselves living lives that they are “supposed

comes at you fast, and often you do not know

Education program that all students take over

to” live, rather than lives they choose.

what you know, until you know it. Moving

sitting around the Harkness table with the

I am a planner. I believe in setting goals

their Milton years.

My students are often subjected to my many

from failure to success; despair to fulfillment;

and creating plans to help you realize those

financially strapped to financially capable;

questions: What makes you happy? What does

goals. I also believe in pausing regularly,

illness to health: Navigating those transitions

success look like? Who are you now, and who do

to assess, to make sure my goals and plans

takes grit, courage, flexibility, resilience, and

During this year, we focus explicitly on life

you want to become? How does a person lead a

align with my priorities. Life invariably

striking out into unknown territory. So many

good life? These foundational questions, and the

interrupts even the best-laid plans. Falling

Milton graduates I have met and admire have traveled these pathways.

answers they prompt, set a context that enables

in love with my wife at age 18; taking on a job

students to make the most of their final year

for which I felt woefully under-qualified;

at Milton, of college, and of the world beyond.

having three children in 14 months. My life

In his commencement speech to Milton’s Class of 2011, author Reif Larsen ’98 said, “We like plans. But don’t plan too hard. Leave room to be surprised.” I am proud to be part of a School that prepares students to follow paths that they have determined — that helps develop confidence, and courage, and creativity, that helps young people pursue their passions and find authentic, meaningful success, and fulfillment. Our graduates show us, again and again, that Milton fosters and supports this thoughtful way of leading a life.


mi lt on maga z i n e  


me ssage s

Jennifer Finney Boylan

Debby Irving

What does it mean to be transgender? What is gender identity? This

Activist and author Debby Irving talked with students

year’s Talbot Speaker, Professor Jennifer Finney Boylan, answered

about what she explained as an epidemic of “white silence.”

these questions for students and faculty, with charm, personal anecdotes,

Ms. Irving, this year’s Multiculturalism and Community

and compassionate advice. Professor Boylan is the inaugural Anna

Development Speaker, said that when it comes to racism

Quindlen Writer-in-Residence at Barnard College and the author of

in the United States, white people must be part of “cross-

She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders.

racial conversations” in order to make progress on racial divisions and injustices. A graduate of the Winsor School

“The question is not how you go

in Boston, Ms. Irving holds a bachelor’s degree from

from being a man to a woman,

Kenyon College and an M.B.A.

or a woman to a man. The real

from Simmons College. She is

question is: How do you live

the author of Waking Up White.

an authentic life? How do you be you, out in the world?

“We are all connected, but we

That well-intentioned

are damaged, and we need to

advice, ‘just be yourself,’

repair that damage.”

can be the most difficult advice to follow.”

m e s sage s, con t.

Donald Johnson Dr. Donald Johnson — English professor and poet in residence at East Tennessee State University — was last fall’s Bingham Visiting Reader. In honor of Veterans Day, Dr. Johnson began his reading with two poems about soldiers and war. The first, “The Sergeant,” was inspired by his father, a World War II veteran who later commanded a squad of the Honor Guard that traveled through West Virginia. The second poem he read, titled “Point Lookout, Maryland,” recalled the American Civil War. An avid sports fan and accomplished

Blake Gilpin

sportswriter, Dr. Johnson served for 16 years as general

This year’s Henry R. Heyburn ’39 Speaker

editor of Aethlon: Journal of Sports Literature. His most recent

in History, Professor Blake Gilpin, used

book of poetry is More Than Heavy Rain.

his expertise on the 1850s abolitionist John

When others mustered out in ’46, you soldiered

of history are created: by combining fact,

Brown to illustrate how the narratives on, commanding a squad that buried the box

perspective, and sometimes imagination.

after narrow box the Army sent home from abroad.

Dr. Gilpin, a professor of history at Tulane University, has spent a decade studying

For a year the wind off the Kasserine,

John Brown and the cultural phenomena

peasants muddled to their knees on Mindanao

surrounding the man and his legend. His

and oceans being oceans all over the world

book John Brown Still Lives!: America’s Long Reckoning

kept turning up dead West Virginians.

with Violence, Equality, and Change was a finalist for

 — From “The Sergeant”

Gilder Lehrman Center’s Frederick Douglass Book Prize. Dr. Gilpin earned his Ph.D. from Yale University.

Anand Giridharadas Journalist Anand Giridharadas had an “almost American

“You are all historians, the moment you learn two facts and link them together, creating a narrative. Our history actually tells us more about who we are today than about people in the past. And that’s okay. We need

life” growing up. Born in Ohio, the son of Indian

that narrative, that context, to make sense of who

immigrants, he shared with students the story of what

we are, and where we are, now.”

led him to live in India for six years. A New York Times columnist and the author of India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation’s Remaking, Mr. Giridharadas was this year’s Hong Kong Distinguished Lecturer. “The country I grew up with in my mind was giving way to a different India. It was a revolution from within . . . The changes had to do with people revolting against parents who told them they would be a doctor or a lawyer, or who they would marry . . . You had millions of people starting to say to themselves that destiny is what you make it.”


Junot Díaz Pulitzer Prize–winning author Junot Díaz spoke with students not only as a creative writer, but also as a Dominican American

Maysoon Zayid

immigrant and an activist. Hosted by Milton’s student Latino

Maysoon Zayid — comedian, actress and activist — was the

Association, Mr. Díaz answered questions from a packed room

2015 Margaret A. Johnson Speaker. Born with cerebral

of students, on topics ranging from the writing process to the

palsy, Ms. Zayid is a powerful advocate for the disabled.

response to Ferguson, from gender equity to immigration. Mr.

She told stories about growing up in New Jersey, where

Díaz is the author of several books, including The Brief Wondrous

she was accepted for who she was. But as a theater major

Life of Oscar Wao, for which he earned the Pulitzer Prize for

in college and a struggling actress pursuing a career, Ms.

Fiction in 2008. He is a creative writing professor at MIT and

Zayid realized that disabled people were almost nonexistent

the fiction editor of Boston Review.

in the entertainment industry. She has appeared on “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” Comedy Central, PBS, CNN, HBO, MTV, ABC and Huffington Post Live. She is a “When your teachers tell you to ‘write what

recurring columnist at The Daily Beast and was a speaker at TEDWomen 2013. She is the founder of Maysoon’s Kids, an

you know,’ they are

education and wellness program for disabled and wounded

teaching you to scale

Palestinian refugee children.

things correctly. In other words, if you

“The world is broken, but together we can fix it. Including

can’t draw a cup, it’s

people is important not because we have to, but because

going to be hard to

it makes for a better world. Don’t let other people define

draw a battle station.

you. Clap for yourself, and other people will join you.”

Until you can accurately describe your own world, it’s probably going to be difficult for you to describe someone else’s.”

Michael A. McKenna Mike McKenna, network manager of Milton’s Academy Technology Services department, delivered this year’s Veterans Day assembly speech to students as a proud and accomplished veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Growing up in Manville, Rhode Island — home to the country’s first World War I monument — he knew and admired many American veterans. Enlisting at age 19, Mr. McKenna spent ten years as a U.S. Marine. “The military can provide you with invaluable experiences: an education, leadership opportunities, problem-solving and planning skills, just to name a few. In the military there’s a Plan A, Plan B and Plan C. We plan for everything, because no matter how much planning you do, Murphy (as in Murphy’s Law) will always pay you a visit.”

spring 2015


a lu m n i au t hor s

The Season of Migration: A Novel

Out of Left Field

The Big Trip: A Family Gap Year

by Nellie Hermann ’96

by Liza Ketchum ’64

by Martha McManamy ’75

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, January 2015

Untreed Reads, July 2014

Lulu Publishing, July 2014

Vincent van Gogh is one of the most popular

The summer of 2004 is full of promise for

Taking a year off from the “rat race” is an idle

painters of all time, and yet we know very

Brandon McGinnis. He has a job, a spot on the

dream for many, but the McManamy family — 

little about the difficult period in his youth

varsity swim team, loving parents, and loyal

including their three teenagers — decided to

when he and his brother, Theo, broke off

friends. Brandon and his dad, ardent Red Sox

make it happen. The Big Trip: A Family Gap Year

all contact. In The Season of Migration, Nellie

fans, wonder: Could this be the year the Sox

tells how they put high school, college and

Hermann conjures a profoundly imaginative,

finally win the World Series? Then Brandon’s

work on hold while they learned Spanish

original and heartbreaking vision of Van

father dies suddenly. His will, signed just

in Spain and volunteered in Bolivia, Guatemala

Gogh’s early years. In startlingly beautiful

before his death, reveals a secret kept for 30

and Kenya. Choosing home stays and local

and powerful language, Hermann transforms

years. As shadows of the Vietnam War bleed

transportation over hotels and rental cars, they

our understanding of Van Gogh and the

into the escalating war in Iraq, Brandon sets

undertook a deeply immersive journey of

redemptive power of art.

out to solve the mystery his father left behind.

Nellie Hermann was born in Boston and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her first novel, The Cure for Grief, was published in 2009. She teaches creative writing at Columbia University and has taught and lectured widely on the use of creativity in non-traditional contexts.

“slow travel,” living simply, and experiencing

His journey takes him to Canada’s Cape Breton

life as the locals do. A vivid account full of

Island, where he uncovers the bittersweet

adventures and lively observations, the story

truths about the past, and a family facing its

also offers a template for anyone yearning

own hidden demons. Brandon’s courageous

to undertake an intellectual, emotional and

search throws him into life’s game, with its

spiritual journey of discovery.

devastating losses, unexpected curve balls, and thrills as wondrous as a home run on an autumn night. Liza Ketchum is the author of 15 books for young people, including Where the Great Hawk Flies, winner of the 2006 Massachusetts Book Award for Children’s Literature. Liza is on the faculty of the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Hamline University. She divides her time between Massachusetts and Vermont.


mi lt on maga z i n e    

Martha McManamy is a multi-lingual, Quaker activist with a serious travel bug and a desire to make a difference. She lives with her husband and children in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

The Social Profit Handbook:

and value. To create and capture social profit,

The Essential Guide to Setting Goals,

David argues, you need both quantitative

Assessing Outcomes, and Achieving

and qualitative measures, both numbers and

Success for Mission-Driven Organizations

assessment of things that can’t be expressed

by David Grant, former faculty

in numbers. In his newly published handbook,

Chelsea Green Publishing, Spring 2015

David “shows how to measure success in a way that helps you achieve it, illustrated by

People working in non-profit organizations

examples of organizations that have done

can and will lead us out of our world’s

exactly that.” Those who lead, govern and

“mess,” David Grant believes, but to achieve

support non-profit organizations can learn

that, they have to change the way they

about formative assessment in The Social Profit

think about assessment — measuring their

Handbook — assessment practices that will

success. To begin with, David argues for a

improve future work rather than merely judge

shift in vocabulary. We are familiar with

past performance.

organizations that create or preserve financial profit; the groups that give us access to medical care, art and music, clean rivers, high-functioning public transportation or that empower young people should be called social profit organizations. Social profit organizations have to define the outcomes that people they seek to help actually need

David Grant, former Milton English department faculty member, and his wife, Nancy Grant, a co-founder of Milton’s Mountain School Program, have developed this handbook for mission-driven organizations. David’s career has centered on innovative teaching and learning; he served as president and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation in Morristown, New Jersey. He now consults with organizations around the world that have a social or educational mission.

Veteran of Two World Wars: Charles Davis Morgan, Class of 1902 A memoir about a Milton graduate who fought in both

During the first he was wounded three times, badly gassed,

World Wars arrived in Mr. Frank Millet’s hands this fall. The

and was decorated for valor by King George V. During

author, Dick Morgan ’46, remembers fondly Mr. Millet’s

the second war, while in his late fifties and suffering from

role during his Milton years. Mr. Millet delivered Dick to the

the effects of the previous war’s wounds, he spent

ship in New York that would reunite him with his father in

four years as a POW in Germany and died shortly after. . . .

England. Dick had not seen his father for six years; during

He was a highly courageous, literate, sensitive man.”

four of those years, his father was a prisoner of war. “I believe that the enclosed manuscript can be of

Dick completed the memoir “One Family — Two Wars,” as an 86-year-old, for the benefit of his children,

interest to you,” Dick writes, “as it is largely based on the

grandchildren, and other interested family and friends.

correspondence of one of Milton’s most outstanding

Remembering the important role that Milton played

graduates, my father, who fought both World Wars in the

in his father’s life, he made sure that Mr. Millet was able

British army, thus twice losing his American citizenship.

to read it.

spring 2015












For information on gift planning, contact Suzie Hurd Greenup ’75 at or 617-898-2376.

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class notes 1942 In December, Henry Moulton lunched with John Carey and John’s wife, Pat, at the Grand Central Oyster Bar in New York City. John is a columnist for The Rye City Review; his column is called “A Rye Oldtimer.” He brought with him a recent column, which mentioned his football days as captain of Milton’s team.


▲ Tare Newbury, Josh Lane and


▼ Ernesto Macaya Ortiz

the late Hale Sturges learned

Tom Turner ’s first book, Palm

and his wife, Roberta Hayes

at their 50th Reunion that they

Beach Nasty, was published

Macaya Ortiz, celebrated their

were distant cousins, united by

in January. The crime novel

son, Roman, who was made

the “Ware” name. Since then, they

has attracted the attention of a

ambassador to the United States

have held reunions in New York,

Hollywood production company

published his first book,

from Costa Rica. Ernesto and

Maine and Massachusetts. This

interested in making the book into

Palm Beach Nasty,

Roberta are pictured with

picture was taken at their most

a movie. Tom is also working on a

in January.

President Barack Obama, Roman

recent gathering at Tare’s house

screenplay called Underwater. Tom

Macaya Hayes, and Roman’s wife

over the summer. Hale passed

lives in Charleston, South Carolina,

and children.

away just weeks later.

Tom Turner ’66

and would love to connect with local Milton classmates.

1978 On September 29, 2014, Gregory Jacobson hosted the second

annual “The Jake” best ball golf tournament for men and women in support of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The event was held at the Salem Golf Club in North Salem, New York.


Gregory Jacobson ’78

Dr. Curt Cetrulo recently

hosted the second annual

dedicated a scientific article to

“The Jake” best ball golf

longtime Milton faculty member


Mr. Frank Millet. In the article, Curt cites Mr. Millet’s influence on his pursuing a career of caring for burn-injured patients. Curt’s research on the subject was awarded Best Poster at

spring 2015


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

the meeting of the American Association of Plastic Surgeons in


June 2014.

Steve Lehman earned the top spot

in the 2014 NPR Music Jazz Critics Alejandro “Ali” Danois was

Poll — Jazz Album of the Year — for

named a finalist for the 2014

his album Mise En Abîme.

Salute to Excellence Award by the National Association of Black Journalists for his article “New


Jersey Drive,” featured in the

▼ On September 16, 2014, James

November 2013 issue of Ebony

Meeks and his wife, Jennifer,

magazine. Ali recounts the story

welcomed Adam Thomas Meeks

of George Briscoe of Newark,


New Jersey, who set out to help

▲ Laura Beatrix Newmark

in Grand Rapids, Michigan,

his son, Isaiah Briscoe, reach his

welcomed the birth of her son,

weighing 9 pounds and 14 ounces.

NBA dreams against the back­

Milo Liev Zaklad, on November 13,

drop of high-stakes recruiting

2014. First son Elias is adjusting

wars between major collegiate

well to his role as older brother

programs over middle- and high-

to “Mellow Milo.” Laura says she

school athletes. Ali is a senior

is tired, but enjoying her family

writer and editor with The Shadow

of four.

League and co-host of WEAA’s Blacktop Xchange Sports Report.

▼ Old friends Mollie Nelson

Webster and Lily Davis ’97 enjoy

1991 Steve Lehman ’96 earned the top spot in the 2014 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll for Jazz Album of the Year.

James Matthew Chamberlain,

who attended Milton’s Lower School, passed away on November 10, 2014. Formerly from Milton, Hingham and Scituate, Massachusetts, he spent his career as a renowned chef initially in the Boston area and for the past 15 years in Sarasota and the Charlotte County areas of Florida.

1993 Jessica McDaniel is a baby

photographer who has been running Boston Baby Photos for 11 years. She lives in Milton.


mi lt on maga z i n e

beach time in Little Compton, Rhode Island.

into the world. He was born

2000 Ashley Carter was married over

Labor Day Weekend to Phillip



▲ Trustee Erick Tseng married

▼ Lindsay Lowder and Milton

Rachel Lee on July 26, 2014. The

friends Lydon Vonnegut,


ceremony was held at Campovida

Sarah McGinty London and

Parker Rider-Longmaid was

Vineyard in California wine

Nia Hays got together with their

named a 2015 Bristow Fellow, earning a one-year fellowship

country. The entire weekend was

babies and toddlers for a photo

one massive party, including an

shoot with Lindsay’s sister,

in the U.S. Solicitor General’s

Indian baraat procession. From

Jessica Haynes McDaniel ’93 ,

Office to work on cases pending

Milton Academy, sister Anita

a local photographer. Lydon’s

before the Supreme Court. The

Fellow, earning a one-year

Tseng Shaw ’99 and honorary

daughter Janie, Lindsay’s

fellowship is awarded to recent

fellowship in the U.S. Solicitor

cousin Janet Lin were there to

daughter Josie, Sarah’s son

law school graduates with

help the happy couple celebrate

Mac, and Nia’s son Gus were

outstanding academic records

their special day.

all smiles.

and top clerkships.

Parker Rider-Longmaid ’04 was named a 2015 Bristow

General’s Office.

spring 2015


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

James McHugh ’12 helped the Vanderbilt Melodores a cappella group



▲ Liz O’Neill and John Dennison

James McHugh, musical director

were married in Apthorp

of the Vanderbilt Melodores,

Chapel on September 20, 2014.

helped the a cappella group place

Longtime O’Neill family friend,

first in the holiday edition of

Rev. Scotty McLennan, parent

NBC’s hit singing competition

to Will McLennan ’00 and Dan

show, “The Sing-Off.” On the

McLennan ’03 , officiated the

show, the Melodores wowed the

ceremony. Malcolm Thayer

judges with their renditions of

Dennison was best man and Kate

Jason Derulo’s “Trumpets” and

O’Neill ’00 was maid of honor.

Hozier’s “Take Me To Church.”

place first in the holiday edition

Liz and John are the second

of NBC’s hit singing competition

Milton Academy marriage in the

show, “The Sing-Off.”

Dennison family, the first being


John’s maternal grandmother and

Ellen Sukharevsky contributed

grandfather, Jane and Malcolm

to the recently published The

Mackenzie, who met fighting

Boarding School Survival Guide,

over an alumni bulletin at Jane’s

a book written for students

nursing station at Columbia

by students. Ellen’s piece, “Day

Presbyterian. The reception was

Students: Finding Your Place,”

held at the MIT Endicott House

is one of several chapters in this

in Dedham, Massachusetts.

unique guide that is designed to help students navigate life at boarding school.


mi lt on maga z i n e

Deceased Class of 1971

Barbara Wendell Kerr

Sara J. McCarthy

Class of 1940

Class of 1976

Alice Hurd Moulton

Jonathan A. Spound

Class of 1941

Former Faculty

The Reverend Augustus

William M. Moore

L. Hemenway

2014 ▼ Eighteen years after Emily

Class of 1928

Corinne Kernan Sevigny ▲ Milton pulled off a 1–0 win in

To read the obituaries of deceased alumni, you

Bland and Maggie Bland were

the 33rd annual Milton–Nobles

Class of 1942

can log in to Milton’s

born two months prematurely

alumni soccer game against a

Ernest H. Gunther

alumni web pages and visit:

and spent the first six weeks of

Nobles squad at least twice as

their lives at Mount Auburn

numerous. Milton’s record in the

Class of 1943

Hospital, the twins returned to

alumni matchup is 14–11–6 with

Anne Sage Saxton

the hospital in a different capacity.

two cancellations (hurricane and

Anne Putnam Seamans

Emily and Maggie delivered

snow!). Front (L to R): Chris

to the newborns caps that they

Robertson ’83 , Zac Trudeau ’05 ,

Class of 1945

knitted as part of their senior

Doug Sibor ’05 , Max Hoffman ’05 ,

Peter N. Toulmin

service project, “as a way to give

Dan Sibor ’01, Eric Pascavage ’01.

back to the wonderful community

Back (L to R): Trevor Prophet ’07,

Class of 1949

that gave us the chance to live

Colby Tucker ’05 , Mike Chao ’08,

Charles Robinson

the healthy lives we do today.”

Matt Enright ’05 , Chris Trakas ’77,

The caps were purple in honor

Seth Reynolds ’90, Ted Hays ’70.

of November’s Shaken Baby


Class of 1950 Hugh P. Chandler

Awareness month. Class of 1954 Gunther E. Fritze Class of 1955 Albert J. Scullin Class of 1956 Hale Sturges II Class of 1957 Kenneth W. Gregg

sp r in g 2 0 1 5


post script

M a r t ha Rose S h u l man ’ 6 8

A Kinder, Gentler Place: An Appeal to My Contemporaries concern to my parents. Making friends was easy, but I never developed any passion for the place. Few of us did. Decades later I was surprised to hear from two of my closest, coolest friends in L.A. that their daughter, Tess, had decided to go to boarding school and had chosen Milton. She had a wonderful time, and when they told me what the place was like, I could tell that things had changed since my Milton days. Private school for my own son had never been on my mind. It was not a financial possibility for me, and Liam was getting a good enough education in the magnet public schools he attended in Los Angeles. But by eighth grade he was bored, and one day he told me he wanted to go to boarding school. I told him to research several East Coast and California schools online. “If you get in, and if you get financial aid, Martha Rose Shulman ’68 is a cookbook author and writes Recipes for Health for the New York Times.

When I graduated from Milton Academy in 1968, I did not

look back. I kept in touch with close friends and a few of my teachers, and I visited the school once, but I never went

In April 2013, Liam and I went to Milton’s revisit day. My sister came, too. It was the first time we had set foot on

to a class reunion and I never donated. Nor did my sister

campus since 1968. We were flabbergasted by the different

(Class of 1967). I always appreciated the amazing education

world we walked into that day. We were not surprised by

I got at Milton, especially because I didn’t go on to lead a

the excellent education. The beautiful, new facilities were

conventional life, and I’ve always believed that my Milton

also not unexpected, nor that the place was now thoroughly

education gave me the intellectual confidence to do that.

co-ed. But everything else was different. Life at Milton

But I do not have fond memories of my time there.

seemed balanced. The administration and teachers seemed

So I am more surprised than anyone that I am now a

to really care about the total well-being of the students, and

Milton parent and thrilled to be one. This is not because

the students looked happy! The faculty and administration

I have changed; it’s because the School has changed. The

looked happy too, and both the faculty and student body

Milton Academy that my son goes to is not the Milton

were diverse.

Academy that I went to in the ’60s. That School was not kind, and it certainly was not fun. Nor was it diverse, by any stretch. It was an enclave of

What changed? We cornered Mr. Ball after a presentation and asked him. He seemed to know exactly what we were referring to, and said that the changes had begun to take hold

WASPs; it made me more aware that I was Jewish than I had

in the 1990s. “We knew that we had to change if we were

ever been in my life. When I first arrived at Milton I was a

going to survive as a school,” he told us. And so they did.

fish out of water. That first week I shook during classes, my

The gamble Milton Academy took on Liam is paying off

hands sweat, and I had a lump in my throat. I know this still

both for Liam and for Milton. Which is why now, to my great

happens to students who suddenly find themselves out of the

surprise, I find myself to be one of Milton’s biggest boosters.

little pond where they had always been the smartest, but at

One way I can give back is to reach out to my contemporaries,

the time this feeling had more to do with the fact that Milton

who, like me, may not have the best memories of Milton. Look

was not nurturing in any way. It was sink or swim.

again; go and visit; check out the website. You will smile

Driven survivor that I am, I swam, willing my teachers to


then I’m all for it.” Both of those things happened.

and shake your heads in disbelief. I hope you’ll be inspired

love me, becoming an enthusiastic hockey goalie, and work­

to give, so that more students can have the life-changing

ing so hard that the headmistress, Miss Johnson, expressed

opportunity that was so generously given to my son.

mi lt on maga z i n e    

boa r d of trustee s George Alex

Margaret Jewett Greer ’47

Yunli Lou ’87

Frederick G. Sykes ’65

Cohasset, Massachusetts


Shanghai, China


Chevy Chase, Maryland Robert Azeke ’87 New York, New York Bradley M. Bloom

Rye, New York Stuart Mathews

Franklin W. Hobbs IV ’65

Vice President

Dune Thorne ’94


Waban, Massachusetts

Lincoln, Massachusetts

New York, New York

President Wellesley, Massachusetts

Harold W. Janeway ’54

Bob Cunha ’83

Webster, New Hampshire

Chris McKown

Erick Tseng ’97

Milton, Massachusetts

San Francisco, California

Wendy Nicholson ’86

Kimberly Vaughan ’92

Vice President

Boston, Massachusetts

Emeritus Milton, Massachusetts Claire Hughes Johnson ’90 Mark Denneen ’84

Caterina Papoulias-Sakellaris Peter Kagan ’86

Randall Dunn ’83

Boston, Massachusetts

Milton, Massachusetts Ted Wendell ’58

New York, New York H. Marshall Schwarz ’54

Vice President Chicago, Illinois

Dorothy Altman Weber ’60

Menlo Park, California

Boston, Massachusetts Elisabeth Donohue ’83

New York, New York

Stephen Lebovitz


Weston, Massachusetts

New York, New York

Milton, Massachusetts Ronnell Wilson ’93 Jersey City, New Jersey

Chicago, Illinois V-Nee Yeh ’77 James M. Fitzgibbons ’52

Hong Kong

Emeritus Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

Kevin Yip ’83 Hong Kong

John B. Fitzgibbons ’87 Treasurer Bronxville, New York

Milton Magazine

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Profile for Milton Academy

Milton Magazine, Spring 2015  

Milton Magazine, Spring 2015