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This issue of LUMEN is also available online. To view the interactive experience, visit:

S P R I N G 2 0 21



35 AHA! Alumni Share NA Moments That Changed Their Lives

42 Reimagining Rigor: Faculty Share New Approaches to An NA Education


2 Perspectives

4 NA News

50 Advancement

52 Alumni News

56 Class Notes

17 VISIT NA on the web at LIKE NA on Facebook @newarkacademy FOLLOW NA on Twitter @newarkacademy FOLLOW NA on Instagram @newarkacademy



S P R I N G 2 0 21 Donald M. Austin Head of School


Lisa Grider Assistant Head of School for External Affairs EDITOR

Renée Walker, Ed.D. Director of Communications and Marketing ASSISTANT EDITORS

David Beckman Lisa Grider CONTRIBUTORS

Evan Nisenson ’99 Jeff Vinikoor BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Executive Committee Samuel W. Croll III ’68 Chairman Lawrence G. Cetrulo ’67 Secretary Marika Alzadon ’89 Donald M. Austin John H. Bess ’69 Patricia Budziak

Lauren Hedvat ’01 Wayne D. Kent ’85 Robert Marcus Larry Wiesneck

Turning Points Leading to Successful Trajectories

Trustees Millwood Hobbs, Jr. David Castelblanco Andrew Kogan ’90 Lara Coraci-Basile ’88 Lisa Powers Ajay Dhankhar Valerie Radwaner Virany Cuong Do Michael Rockoff ’87 Robin Eichler Melissa Tassé Robert Fink Glenn A. Waldorf ’90 Anjali Gupta Elizabeth Christou Woodall Karen Guy-Smith Emeriti Louis V. Aronson II ’41 Nancy Baird Harwood ’75 Paul Busse ’38* K. Kelly Marx ’51 Robert Del Tufo ’51* John L. McGraw ’49 William D. Green ’69 Robert S. Puder ’38* William D. Hardin ’44* Gary Rose William T. Wachenfeld ’44

As we usher in summer and prepare for a well-deserved break in the school year, it brings me great pleasure to


Glenn A. Waldorf ’90 President

see the energy surrounding life at Newark Academy.

From choral rehearsals in outdoor spaces to lively classroom

Sydney Hershman ’11 Amanda Addison ’06 Allison Hyans ’11 Nicole Andrzejewski ’13 Lauren Jacobs-Lazer ’98 Rohit Bawa ’93 Jordan Jett ’11 Michele Chiles-Hickman ’86 Katherine “Katie” Johnson ’11 Asha Talwar Coco ’99 Lauren Kaplan ’09 Daniel D. Cronheim ’72 Jacqueline Lipsius ’93 Christopher Davis ’12 Steve Lozowick ’63 Rebecca Moll Freed ’94 Kathleen Mangunay Pergament ’95 Justin Garrod ’93 Ed Pursell ’02 Kumar Ghafoor ’10 Jed Rosenthal ’93 Susan Goldberg ’79 Brett Finkelstein Rubin ’05 Peter Gruenberg ’81 Lena Hill Ryals ’94 Rasheea Williams Hall ’95 Alex Senchak ’02 Jade-Addon Hall ’98 Alexandra Swanson ’09 Shannon Hedvat ’03 Pamela Helfant Vichengrad ’94

discussions in our now tented courtyards, the NA campus

reflects the promise and possibility of returning to some

semblance of our normal routine.

With the resumption of each activity – such as catching a late afternoon

spring sports contest or preparing for our in-person Commencement

(Sunday, June 13), I gain appreciation for all that Newark Academy has

been able to accomplish this year. While COVID-19 continues to impact all of us, our students, faculty and staff have demonstrated how much

Emeriti Lance Aronson ’74 Leo Gordon ’69 J. Richard Beltram ’41* Jeffrey Silverman ’82 John H. Bess ’69 William Stroh ’48* Richard Watson ’50

can be achieved when all members of the community come together with a common purpose. Despite occasional set-backs and ever-changing circumstances, Newark Academy has remained open for in-person

Newark Academy Office of Institutional Advancement 91 South Orange Avenue, Livingston, NJ 07039 Telephone: (973) 992-7000 Email: *Deceased

teaching, learning and working throughout the 2020 – 21 academic year.



I  SPRING 2021

I plan to spend part of this summer

reflecting on our shared accomplishment in order to capture the “aha moments” that brought about creative solutions

to complex problems and set our course for the days to come.

This issue of LUMEN includes a piece about “aha moments” that alumni experienced while they were students at Newark

Academy. These vignettes, featuring four

alums, go to the heart of the transforma-

tional experience that is an NA education. Encounters with an inspiring teacher,

a challenging subject, or a move out of a

comfort zone shaped the trajectories and fueled the achievements of these alums. Although each person had their own

unique turning point, Newark Academy provided the environment where such

magic could, and does, happen.

Similarly, this issue of LUMEN offers

insight into the role that Minuteman

Athletics plays in leadership development for our student-athletes. Recognizing student leadership development as a

key component in Newark Academy’s definition of athletic excellence, the

Department of Athletics is focusing on helping our students develop the skills

they need to succeed both on and off the

fields of play. I hope you will enjoy reading

reflections from some of our young alums who found that the discipline, teamwork and confidence honed as Minuteman

captains led them to leadership roles in their respective careers.

The lasting impact that a Newark

Academy education has on students is well-illustrated in these stories. The

hard work by students is consistently

enhanced by abiding support of our

equity and inclusion, while serving as an

a passion for guiding each student’s jour-

members. I am grateful for Glenn’s many

faculty. Newark Academy teachers bring

ney of intellectual development. This type of personal engagement with students

requires that we continuously “reimagine

rigor.” I hope you will enjoy reading how

some of our teachers meet the challenges of inspiring a passion for learning in today’s NA students.

Finally, this issue of LUMEN honors the leadership of Glenn Waldorf ’90, as he

steps down from his role as President of the Alumni Board of Governors (BOG). During the past six years during which

Glenn has led the BOG, he has helped to

invaluable resource for many community contributions to creating a strong alumni

body in addition to his steadfast commitment to Newark Academy.

As you turn each page, I hope that you

will gain appreciation for this incredible

community and, perhaps, recall a Newark

Academy “aha” moment of your own. Best wishes for a restful, renewing summer. I look forward to seeing

our community come together in September.

enhance the NA alumni experience and strengthened connections among our

graduates. As we have seen this year, the alumni network has been a guiding light

for our community’s work towards greater




Picking Up Pen and Publishing During The Pandemic

While the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed many daily experiences, it sparked an even greater change for three Newark Academy students who were driven to use their creativity and generosity of spirit to support and build community through their publications.

Kaitlyn Chee ’23 Easy Eating Describing herself as a “typical teenager who loves to cook,” Kaitlyn Chee ’23 drew on her love of cooking and baking to publish Easy Eatings: The Book for Kids Whose Parents Don’t Cook. The book invites all families to take an international culinary journey through simple, easy-toprepare recipes. Each chapter highlights a different country with both recipes and Kaitlyn’s stories from her travels around the world. “I have been fortunate enough to travel the world and be exposed to a multitude of culinary dishes. I wanted to share easy


recipes inspired by my travels with kids who may not have been able to experience this,” Kaitlyn says. “While I started writing this book in 2017, it felt fitting to release it during a time when no one was able to travel. While it is important to acknowledge that not all of the recipes are authentic to each cuisine, but inspired by common ingredients, I hope that readers will be inspired to learn more about other cultures and try new foods.” Easy Eatings has been reviewed by MasterChef Junior winners and a Chopped Teen grand champion. Kaitlyn is donating all profits from the book to Save the Children, a charity providing food to children impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While I started writing this book in 2017, it felt fitting to release it during a time when no one was able to travel… I hope that readers will be inspired to learn more about other cultures and try new foods.”

Michaela Wang ’21 Broomed, Blessed, and Braised In her book Broomed, Blessed, and Braised: Celebrating Traditional Chinese Holidays, Michaela Wang ’21 invites readers to take a deep dive into Chinese holiday customs, legends and dishes. Michaela’s book highlights each of the eight traditional Chinese holidays – the Chinese New Year, Lantern Festival, Qingming Festival, Dragonboat Festival, Qixi Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, Double-Ninth Festival, and Winter Solstice – and explores how each has evolved across geographical regions. The holidays also serve as lenses through which to study broader Chinese culture, the arc of China’s historical periods, and the culture’s most ingrained societal values. “I started researching and writing BBB in my ninth grade at NA, so the pandemic did not serve as the catalyst of my work,”



I  SPRING 2021

– Kaitlyn Chee ’23

Easy Eatings: The Book for Kids Whose Parents Don’t Cook

by Kaitlyn Chee ’23. Silvy Zhou ’21

designed the cover art for the book.

Michaela explains. “However, pandemicrelated xenophobia against Asian Americans reinforced the reason why I wrote it: to ignite my audience with a more multidimensional perspective of Chinese culture.” Michaela collaborated with Meilo So, an award-winning children’s book illustrator, to further enhance her storytelling through the book’s designs. Asked why she focused on bringing attention to Chinese holidays, Michaela explains, “Cultural


…Pandemic-related xenophobia against Asian Americans reinforced the reason why I wrote it: to ignite my audience with a more multidimensional perspective of Chinese culture.” – Michaela Wang ’21

Michael Pyo ’22 Living Zine When the COVID-19 pandemic caused the nation to quarantine in 2020, Michael Pyo ’22 creatively responded to the situation: he founded Living Zine, a digital magazine to support his fellow creatives. “When my busy personal life came to a halt, I had two choices: to be depressed or to utilize an opportunity to connect with a broader community of young people who have so much creativity in their lives,” Michael says. “I believed I could collect pieces created by talented youth and give them a platform to publish their work.” Living Zine has evolved into a multi-media zine for young creators, with submissions shared by artists and writers worldwide, from California to Australia. The goal of the publication is to give underrepre-


celebrations play an intrinsic role in our appreciation and desire to learn about different cultures. Especially for many first-generation American teens, holidays may serve as a reconnection point to our parents’ mainland. Without these flavorful bites of culture throughout the year, sacred cultural traditions could go extinct. Thus, my mission was to utilize Chinese holidays as a window to understand the broader Chinese history, theology, philosophy and cuisine.”

sented voices opportunities to showcase their talents, which has resulted in work from a diverse community of young people. To date, Living Zine has published two issues, with a total 158 pages of art, writing and photography by more than 100 creators. The Living Zine team, led by Michael as its editor-in-chief, is composed of more than 300 members from 43 countries, 34 U.S. states, and 109 colleges and universities worldwide.

where creative young people can come together and share their gifts and talents and their hopes and dreams for a better world.” To subscribe to Living Zine, visit

“During this challenging time, I hope Living Zine will help lift people’s spirits and encourage them to tap into boundless creativity and thought,” Michael says. “We are glad to provide a space where so many young artists, writers and photographers have the opportunity to share their work with the world. I am even more encouraged to grow and maintain this space

When my busy personal life came to a halt, I had two choices: to be depressed or to utilize an opportunity to connect with a broader community of young people who have so much creativity in their lives.” – Michael Pyo ’22





NA Celebrates The Off-Campus Study Program From excursions in the Colorado Rockies to studies of maritime life on the Maine

coast, Newark Academy’s off-campus study program has enabled approximately 125

students to expand their intellectual exploration through its six distinct educational

opportunities. On the 20th anniversary of the program, LUMEN looks at the many

ways in which the program has offered memorable experiences for NA students.

THE IDEA of introducing oppor-

for permission to do this 20

2003. Current Head of School

site away from the NA campus

others to do the same.”

directed School Year Abroad

tunities to spend a semester at a began with a simple proposal

from Ben Grant ’02. Ben’s parents, David N. Grant III, former NA Board of Trustee member and his wife Nancy, served as

co-directors of the Mountain School, a semester school in

rural Vermont, so Ben grew up familiar with the concept of

off-campus study. By the time he reached the age of 17 and

was an NA student, he desired a similar experience to those he had witnessed as a child.

“As much as I’d like to take

credit for a creative idea, I was literally born into it. It was a

very familiar concept and place to me,” Ben says. “I admire the

adventurousness of all those for whom it was a bit more of a leap into the unknown. In all hon-

esty, I had no idea when I asked


years ago that it would inspire Ben initially approached

Upper School Principal Richard

DiBianca, Ph.D. with the idea to study off-campus. Rich, who

now spearheads the program,

recalls those early conversations. “I remember the faculty and

administration at the time were quick to understand it and see the value in it, and they were game to work with me on

things like how credits and

requirements would reconcile

between NA and the semester program,” Rich says.

With the support of Penny

Riegelman, NA’s head of school at the time, Rich approached

the NA Board of Trustees with a proposal to formalize the off-

campus study program, which

the Board officially approved in

I admire the adventurousness of all those for whom it was a bit more of a leap into the unknown. In all honesty, I had no idea when I asked for permission to do this 20 years ago that it would inspire others to do the same.” – Ben Grant ’02



I  SPRING 2021

Donald M. Austin, who once

in France, came to NA in 2007 understanding the value of education infused with a global mindset.

NA now consistently offers

experiential learning opportunities at six off-campus loca-

tions to approximately nine

students each year. Students can engage in outdoor and

wilderness education at Alzar School in Cascade, Idaho;

conduct aquaculture research

and explore Bahamian art and

culture at The Island School;

learn about the challenges and rewards of farm life at Maine

Coast Semester at Chewonki;

study foreign policy-making

and meet top presidential and congressional advisors at the

School for Ethics and Global Leadership in Washington,

D.C.; make the outdoors their

classroom at High Mountain

Institute in the Colorado

Rockies; or spend a full year overseas through School

Year Abroad.

Among the many hallmarks of

these off-campus programs are

time, when students learn to

teaches adaptability,” he says.

Ben believes that the program’s

company, observe the environ-

reality and you have only a

unique approach to education.

be comfortable with their own

ment around them, and journal

to process their thoughts.

“During those four-month

semesters, our students are

able to mature as young people at a greater rate,” Rich says.

“They are problem-solving in a different way and encouraged

Dr. Richard DiBianca specialized curricula and attention to student development.

Some locations are community

based, with each student taking on a particular job, role or

responsibility. Others encourage periods of individual reflective

to take risks. They aren’t doing

“You drop into this alternate

quick three or four months to

make the most of it. That skill –

the ability to adjust quickly to change – is one of the most valuable I can imagine in a

world where the pace of change seems to be accelerating.”

Off-campus experiences have proven popular among NA

this for their parents or solely

students over the years, and

growing as individuals.”

meet the demands of students

academic reasons. They are

Ben shared a similar sentiment

when looking back on his experience in the off-campus pro-

gram. “On top of whatever the academic curriculum happens to be, this kind of experience

the program has evolved to

seeking summer experiences

as well. In order to ensure that it is equitable and inclusive,

the program also supports the needs of NA students who receive financial aid.

success can be credited to NA’s “I think the fact that it has

become a successful program is testament to the school’s

openness to new ideas and proof of its desire to create

meaningful educational experiences for its students,” Ben

says. “It’s also strong evidence

that off-campus study is simply a good idea, and one that’s far under-used in the context of

high school. I think that spending time immersed in an unfamiliar environment is more

impactful the younger you are, and if you’re fortunate enough

to have the option, there’s no reason to wait until college

(or later) for a self-imposed change of scenery.”

Riaan Dhankhar ’21

I attended the School for Ethics and Global Leadership (SEGL) from January to May 2020 and had an incredible experience. I am passionate

about international relations and knew right away that attending SEGL was the right decision. The school had an ethos that made it easy

for me to jump right in.

I was with a small group of 24

lining was meeting with many

The whole process does come

where we lived with faculty in

ier to make those connections

my senior project, where my

students, a small community

the same house. The school also has an active alumni network, which adds to its strong com-

munity. I was able to meet with leaders in international rela-

tions, visit the Indian Embassy, and pursue many of my areas

of interest. The highlight of my experience took place on my fourth day when I had the

opportunity to go to the Senate

to see part of the first impeachment trial of then President Trump.

After spring break, SEGL moved online because of COVID-19,

and it was rough not being able to see everyone while in quar-

antine. Academically, the silver

high-profile people. It was eassince everyone was home, so I

met with several U.S. Senators

and members of the U.S. House of Representatives. These

opportunities helped to make

up for the lack of an in-person experience. After our unusual

semester, when COVID restrictions changed, I was able to

visit other SEGL students and faculty, and those close relationships were still present.

I also brought unique and interesting experiences back to NA. I am now one of the student

SEGL ambassadors, helping to

encourage other NA students to apply to the program, so they

can enjoy a similar experience.

full circle. I am now working on SEGL experience is also proving beneficial. For the project, my

hope is to become an intern or research assistant at a think tank in Washington, D.C.

The biggest lesson that I learned

from this experience and the

civil discourse at SEGL is that it is

okay to be wrong, especially in

today’s politics. Today, there’s

an expectation that you can’t

show weakness. I learned to

say what I believe in even if it is

considered wrong. In actuality,

this is a sign of strength.

Riaan Dhankhar ’21,

top row, second from left




James McCullough ’21

that most students, including

learning in a different environment with different people. I have

semester. As we had discov-

I wanted to spend a semester away so that I could experience

attended NA since sixth grade, so I jumped on the opportunity to

go away for a semester and switch things up. The Island School caught my

in history class we studied

being in and around the water.

history. The close community

eye right away because I love I spend my summers sailing

competitively, and fishing and swimming off of Cape Cod.

The Island School actually gave me all these opportunities,

along with many adventures outside my comfort zone.

The classes are unlike any I have ever taken before. All classes are based on what is around you. For example, in science class we studied the marine

ecology of the reefs and mangroves around Eleuthera, and

Bahamian rather than U.S. that you build with the

Bahamians around you

immerses you in a completely different way of life.

Disconnecting from technology, which was a requirment

at The Island School, was very

weird at first, but within a week I rarely thought about my

phone. I would say the only time when I was annoyed by not

being connected to the internet was when the NBA and NHL

playoffs were going on. I found

Michael “Mikey” Marcus ’21

me, were sad to be getting our phones back at the end of the

ered, people get too attached to

their phones and lose sight of

what is right in front of them.

After coming back home, I was a different person with different values in life. I left The

Island School feeling more confident in the work I do, whether it is academically or on the

soccer field. I came away with

so many new friends who I still keep in touch with and plan to stay connected to for a long

time. I still keep in touch with

my teachers as well, which has allowed me to have another

semester away, if I saw something that blew my mind, my

first instinct would be to grab

my phone and take a picture or video. I came back and found myself never doing that, but

support system outside of NA.

instead appreciating what is in

experience was to simply “be

hand again.

My biggest takeaway from my

front of me because I might

never be able to witness it first

In Fall 2018, during my sophomore year, I went to the Alzar School,

While some of our classes on

of resilience. After making

Chile. I decided to study off campus because I wanted to experience

traditional in style, those in

and slipping into a river in the

spending about three months in Idaho and about five weeks in

learning in a less typical environment in an unconventional way. I chose the Alzar School specifically because of how the outdoor

experiences and cultural exchange opportunities were integrated with the academics to create an interactive, well-rounded and rigorous educational experience.

the Idaho campus were more Chile and on our backpacking and whitewater expeditions

were more focused on applying what we were learning to how we were living.

Though it sounds cliché, my

semester off campus taught me to live in the moment and to prioritize the things that I

value. As a learner, this means

Park, I learned to bounce back and push forward.

My time away has also made my time back at NA more

meaningful. By prioritizing

what brings me the most joy, I have been able to avoid

spreading myself too thin,

which has allowed me to be a

I am passionate about instead

Additionally, while there have

my time evenly between all of the subjects. On a personal level, those two takeaways

have allowed me to be generally happier and less stressed. While at the Alzar School,

I discovered the importance

I  SPRING 2021

middle of Patagonia National

better and more dedicated

of forcing myself to distribute


wrong turns in the hills of Idaho

that I now allow myself to

spend more time on topics that


where your feet are.” Before my

member of the NA community. definitely been times when I

have felt emotionally drained

during this year of learning in a pandemic, the resilience that I

learned at the Alzar School has allowed me to continue being an active participant in my classes and school groups.


NA Team Helps Seniors Navigate COVID-Impacted College Searches

As with almost everything since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the new normal in Newark Academy’s College

Counseling Office is anything but business as usual. With no in-person group meetings and no college representatives on campus due to health and safety precautions, college counseling at NA has been reimagined – and enhanced – in many ways this year.

extended our office hours and availability to evenings and weekends in an effort to get them the facts and figures and to help them feel connected.” Senior Kaitlin Weiss ’21 is grateful for the invaluable support and comfort she received from the College Counseling Office despite the challenges of the pandemic.

NA’s college counseling team guides students through the 2020–21 school year. “Parents and students craved information as so many things were in flux,” says Director of College Counseling Kerry Winiarski, whose team works each year to guide NA students along the complex path to college enrollment. Kerry explains that building relationships with NA families and tapping into external resources took on renewed importance, as there were many uncertainties about what Fall 2021 would be like for students and what the application process for each college would entail. Although

NA’s counselors continued to encourage students to find their own best fit, it became clear that the College Counseling staff would play a greater role in facilitating that process.

“We are trying to be as accessible as possible,” Kerry says of their ongoing work. “We meet with individuals and families in person, or on Zoom, and have often

“Mrs. Winiarski always made time to meet with me when I had questions or concerns and was a consistently warm and smiling presence throughout an otherwise daunting process,” Kaitlin says. “It was extremely helpful to have someone who knew my character reading my college essays. Her advice was always insightful, and she helped me refine my writing without losing my voice.” (CONTINUED)

We meet with individuals and families in person, or on Zoom, and have often extended our office hours and availability to evenings and weekends in an effort to get them the facts and figures and to help them feel connected.” – Kerry Winiarski





In addition to its strengthened connections with NA families, the College Counseling Office also increased its external partnerships and communications, providing real-time information and resources about virtual college visits and the application process. “I was very fortunate to have gone through the lacrosse recruiting process throughout 2019, so I was able to visit most of my schools before the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kaitlin says. “I know for a lot of my friends not being able to visit schools in person was a concern. As the College Counseling Office navigated this year’s process themselves, they gave us constant updates about testing and set up programs for us.” Kerry explains that her office regularly connects with college admission representatives to understand how application review processes are evolving, including new test-optional policies. The College Counseling Office then shares this information through weekly emails to juniors and seniors and their parents. Some of the office’s external partnerships were newly forged to give students greater access to universities’ and

NA seniors find support and enjoy good times in the college counseling office. colleges’ information, workshops and programming. Other partnerships came from a more familiar source: NA’s in-college alumni. Nearly 100 NA alumni are currently volunteering to help support current students on their journey to higher education. NA alumni near and far are serving as accessible and relatable contacts for NA students seeking to understand the real “ins and outs” of the colleges and universities that they are considering. “We are so grateful to have a wonderful alumni network that truly cares about NA,” says Kerry. “This is one of those times in which having a community goes beyond individual successes.”

When standardized testing presented a new challenge, the College Counseling Office found another solution: bring the test to NA. Although most colleges moved to testoptional applications for 2021, and although several area testing facilities have closed, many NA students still hoped for the opportunity to take the tests to strengthen their applications. “Administering standardized testing at NA has been a huge win for our students,” Kerry says. “They know the campus and they’re familiar with us. They feel more comfortable taking the test here, which is an added benefit for them.”

Mrs. Winiarski always made time to meet with me when I had questions or concerns and was a consistently warm and smiling presence throughout an otherwise daunting process. It was extremely helpful to have someone who knew my character reading my college essays. Her advice was always insightful, and she helped me refine my writing without losing my voice.” – Kaitlin Weiss ’21



I  SPRING 2021

Kerry explains that she and her team are fortunate to be able to pivot and help NA students during this time of even greater need. “We don’t have all of the answers, unfortunately,” she says. “What we can do, though, is provide support and encouragement and continue to educate ourselves as well as our students and parents. At the end of the day, it brings us joy knowing that they can leave NA and head in their desired direction. We’ll always do whatever we can to help them get on that path.”





Minuteman Team Captains Gain Valuable Experience On and Off the Field Today’s teenagers are, in many ways, experiencing a vastly different

adolescence from that which their parents and grandparents went through. Still, despite the ubiquitous presence of cell phones in their

hands, many students continue to value opportunities to take on

traditional leadership roles. For Newark Academy students, being

elected class or school president, earning the lead role in the winter

musical, and being named captain of one of the 24 varsity athletic

teams are considered great honors and important responsibilities.







These roles, and others like them, have staying

power because of the benefits students receive


from taking on the additional duties and

responsibilities that come with service.

For students who take on the role of team

captain, the lessons they learn from leading

their peers can last a lifetime. NA’s Director of

Athletics John Amosa and the NA varsity coaching staff

consider leadership development to be an essential aspect of

the student-athlete experience and are always working with

team captains to help them bring the concepts and skills they

learn in the classroom to the fields of play.

“Two years ago, Newark Academy committed to expanding our

definition of learning beyond content mastery to skill development, through adoption of the Six Cs skills rubric,” John says. “Every teacher and coach who interacts with our students is seeking opportunities to help them develop skills in critical thinking,

creativity, collaboration, communication, cultural competency,

and character.” According to John, that rubric is also the perfect recipe for a successful team captain.

Building on the assumption that leadership takes many forms,

John notes that a team captain needn’t be the best athlete or the

loudest voice on a team. “We remind our student-athletes that a captain can lead from any spot on the roster,” he says. “Captains

are the student-athletes who embrace challenges for themselves and their team, and they are willing to pursue team goals before personal athletic accomplishments.”

John and the Minuteman coaching staff recognize that young people

are not yet fully developed as students or as leaders. To support the

leadership development of NA student-athletes, the Athletic


Boys’ Soccer – Max Alter ’22, Zac Strain ’22 Girls’ Soccer – Ava Cole ’22, Kate Fishbone ’22, Zoe Hermans ’23


Department has updated policies related to team captain selections

and a set of expectations for all incoming captains. “We encourage our

team captains to think about what kind of leader they want to be and

then to share that with the coach and other adults involved in their

program,” John says. “Then we try to mentor them throughout their

time as captain, making sure that they reflect on their role and seek to

improve not only themselves but also their team.”

Among the important leadership habits instilled in team captains are

those of celebrating successes, holding themselves and their team-

mates collectively accountable for outcomes, and bouncing back after

disappointment, whether individual or collective. “I try to remind our

student-athletes and especially our captains that NA believes in a

growth mindset – for everyone,” John says. “Today’s performance or

behavior is not forever. Tomorrow you have the opportunity to listen

to feedback and to be better: a better person, a better leader, and a

better team.”

The experience of being a Minuteman team captain has given many NA alumni valuable skills that they continue to use

long after graduation. Read on for reflections from former Minutemen who appreciate the lessons they learned

from their time on the field or court.

Every teacher and coach who interacts with our students is seeking opportunities to help them develop skills in critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, cultural competency, and character.”

Field Hockey – Tess Kesler ’22, Lauren Hardman ’22


We encourage our team captains to think about what kind of leader they want to be and then to share that with the coach and other adults involved in their program. Then we try to mentor them throughout their time as captain, making sure that they reflect on their role and seek to improve not only themselves but also their team.”

I  SPRING 2021

NA TEAM CAPTAINS – FALL 2021 Girls’ Tennis – Melanie Kramarchuk ’22, Hilary Adelman ’23, Kaya Rajparia ’22

Football – Chase Clark ’22, Logan Pak ’22, Jelani Dean ’23

Boys’ Cross Country – Max Falkin ’22, Max Gorbarty ’22, Andy Nagpal ’22

Girls’ Cross Country – Emily Swope ’22, Sophia Chen ’22



Although Danielle Garrod ’98 did not recognize it at the time, she became a master juggler while at Newark Academy.


her experiences at NA prepared

softball) who was relied upon

challenges. “You adjust a lot

captain (soccer, basketball and

as a leader in every season,

Danielle honed her juggling

affairs at Warner

Music Group, Danielle

better to college, when you’re on

skills she learned as a

York office to working remotely

guide her team at Warner. These

“There’s been a lot of time try-

your own for the first time, if you

relies on the leadership

Minuteman team captain to

skills as she learned to balance

have learned to manage your

alongside rigorous classes and

ability to compartmentalize and

navigate the complexities and

cate time to academics helped

merchandising, digital distribu-

her commitment to athletics

involvement in several clubs,

including the Minuteman

Society. “It was all balance,”

Danielle recalls. “With my

classes, my teams and the other

things I was involved in at NA,

doing all of it was a matter of

balance, and it was an impor-

tant lesson that helped me once

I went to college.”

As she pursued a bachelor’s

degree at Cornell University and then her J.D. at Columbia Law School, Danielle realized that

team during the

switch from being

her well for those subsequent

time,” she says. “Having the

recognizing the need to dedime when I went to Cornell.”

Danielle’s success managing

her time was just one of the

valuable lessons she gained as

a team captain. After earning

her law degree at Columbia, she

headed west to obtain a master

of law in entertainment and

music law from the University of

California Los Angeles (UCLA).

In her current role as vice presi-

dent of business and legal

skills have allowed Danielle to

for much of the past year.

ing to be a calming voice,” she

says. “I want them to know that

ever-evolving landscapes of

the company is thinking about

tion and physical distribution

leader to keep the members of

for several record labels.

“I’m big on trust and communi-

cation,” Danielle says of her

leadership style. “I think that’s

very important in being a leader

and motivating a group of peo-

ple to follow you and to be posi-

tive in the face of challenges.

At the Academy, the ultimate

decision-makers were the

coaches, but being a team cap-

tain taught me that building

trust and fostering communi-

cation – by being friendly with

everyone on the team, listening

to teammates, being encourag-

ing – can really help drive a

group toward a common goal.”

Danielle cites the disruption

brought on by the COVID-19

pandemic as an example of

when she had to draw on her

leadership skills to reassure her


together at Warner’s New

their safety. It was my job as a

my staff informed, since things

were changing rapidly. In a large

organization, there can be ‘black holes’ where it is hard to know

what is going on at a number of levels. I feel it is important to

bring calmness to the situation

by telling my team what I know,

what I’m hearing, and what decisions are being made.”

Danielle cites her time at NA

as the source of these values:

“My belief in the importance of

communication comes from

being in a leadership position

on Newark Academy teams and

from practicing good commu-

nications with my coaches and

teammates. I thought then, and

believe now, that communica-

tion is one of the focal points for

being an effective leader.”

My belief in the importance of communication comes from being in a leadership position on Newark Academy teams and from practicing good communications with my coaches and teammates.”








When Eva Ostrowsky ’05 began her job search after graduating from Cornell University in 2009 she couldn’t believe how frequently employers asked her about teamwork.

GIVEN HER YEARS as a four-

Beginning her professional life

Academy, Eva found the

soon decided that her passion

sport athlete at Newark

interview process as easy as a pre-game walk-through.

“One of the job descriptions

described exactly what being on a team required and I remem-

ber thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, I feel like I’m cheating,’” Eva recalls. “Interviewers asked me to tell

about a time I had worked with

in the finance industry, Eva

was not to be found on Wall Street but in hallways and

classrooms similar to those

where she spent her adolescence. Today Eva serves as

the director of counseling and wellness at The Hun School of Princeton, an independent

boarding and day school for

grades 6-12. As an educational professional supporting stu-


that key skills can be learned

and honed after the academic portion of the day ends.

“I learned resilience and hard

work and collaboration as a part

been in a difficult situation.

One asked me to tell about a time when something went

well for me but didn’t go well for a friend and how I dealt with that. My time as a student-

athlete at Newark Academy and Cornell gave me a lot of

those life experiences in games and practices.”



I  SPRING 2021

president in 2004 – 2005.

“NA prepared me to figure out

how to manage a lot of different things all at the same time,”

Eva says. “I also learned how to

advocate for myself and to lean on other people for help when

I needed it.”

NA’s close-knit community is

something that Eva cherished

while here. “I remember talking to teachers about our field

NA prepared me to figure out how to manage a lot of different things all at the same time. I also learned how to advocate for myself and to lean on other people for help when I needed it.”

dents, she knows first-hand

a team or a time when I had

time to serve as school council

of being on a team and serving as a captain,” Eva recalls. A

four-year member of the NA field hockey team and team

captain in the 2004 season, she also played lacrosse and divided time during her winter seasons between winter track and

swimming. And when she

wasn’t in class or at a team

practice, Eva managed to find

hockey games, dealing with a

win or a loss. Having others to

help process those things and to help you figure out how to

balance all that with schoolwork are things I appreciate now.” Those relationships

are among the things that

ultimately drew Eva back to

a career working in independent schools.

“NA was a place that taught

me that a community is where people can support you and

believe in you for doing more

than one thing,” Eva recalls.

“When teachers showed up at

my lacrosse games, I felt really

good about how I fit into the

community. Maybe they came

because I was a good student in their class and I participated. But they also came because

they wanted to see me run fast on the lacrosse field and help

my team there. The NA com-

munity pushed me athletically as well as in the classroom.”

Making the transition to The

Hun School after five years as

dean of middle school student culture at the Pingry School,

Eva has had to draw upon her

experiences as a team-builder

and leader during an unprecedented year for schools across

the United States. In many

ways, Eva’s new position at Hun

draws on all of her experiences as an independent school stu-

dent, student-athlete and educational professional. “Taking

on this role at Hun has been an amazing move for me,” she

says. “Hun is a boarding school, so I live on campus with my

husband and children. Between being a dorm parent, the director of counseling and wellness, and a mom to three little ones,

I am not coaching right now, but

I am building relationships with students in new ways. The cur-

rent COVID restrictions mean students can’t ‘drop in’ as I’m

told they usually do, but even

under these circumstances, it is

such a welcoming place. I am so

excited to be part of another

fantastic community.”



Whit Hartwood ’11 has had a lifelong passion for sports and competed as a two-sport athlete in basketball and lacrosse at Newark Academy.

WHEN HE WAS a lacrosse team

idea that ‘It’s not the size of the

gaining career experience

For Whit, working in the busi-

former NA director of athletics)

the fight in the dog that mat-

launching new products in the

fulfillment of a lifelong dream.

After a college internship at

landed a job that he believes he

captain, his head coach (and

Ted Gilbreath convinced Whit

that he should pursue opportunities to play college lacrosse, which he went on to do for

Colby College. Yet Whit recalls

how his competitive spirit was primarily shaped by his years on the NA basketball team – an underdog team that won

back-to-back conference titles during his time at NA, in 2008 and 2009.

“We played a really tough

schedule, and we were a tough team,” Whit says. “In terms of preparing me for college and

everything else, that experience was the epitome of the

dog in the fight, but the size of ters.’ Our team was made up

of guys who were underdogs

and overachievers, both in the

game and outside of the game.” Whit notes that the experience taught him the strength that comes from being a part of a

group effort. “We played with what and who we had on the

team, and the sum of the parts

was greater than what any one

of us could have done individu-

ally. That stuck with me through

college athletics and beyond.”

Since graduating from Colby in 2015, Whit has remained con-

analyzing, developing and

technology and media spheres. ESPN during the 2014 FIFA

World Cup (soccer), Whit spent time at Fox Sports, NBC News and Peacock TV. Earlier this

ness of sports has been the

In his position at Buzzer, he has has been preparing for since his playing days at NA and Colby.

On a recent LinkedIn post, Whit noted, “In so many ways, this

year, Whit accepted a position

feels like a convergence of

manager at Buzzer, a mobile-

career to date. I feel extremely

as senior product operations

first, live sports platform built on micropayments, interest-

driven mobile notifications and authentication. Buzzer was named to Fast Company’s

everything I’ve touched in my

grateful for the opportunity to work with an intentional and thoughtful team of industry


2021 list of Most Innovative Companies.

nected to the world of sports,


We played with what and who we had on the team, and the sum of the parts was greater than what any one of us could have done individually. That stuck with me through college athletics and beyond.”








When asked about his experience as a Newark Academy soccer captain, it takes Sean Allen ’03 a moment or two to reconnect with that time in his life.

For Sean, pre-season and prac-

we’d won! But he was teaching

that energy I need.” Sean also

The heat of mid-August, the

nent and to uphold our stan-

every member brings to a team.

tices were as formative as any

game experience he had at NA.

running of sprints after a game

poorly played – times like those that he wasn’t sure he could get through are the moments that stand out for Sean. “When I

was an underclassman, our pre-

season practices were captaindriven, and they were hard,”

he recalls. “I now think of it as a

kind of ‘trauma-bonding.’ You

get through it with your team-

mates and that bond is solidified. Then, when it comes to

crunch time in a game, you draw on the experiences you’ve had with your teammates. That’s


STARTS talking

about his days playing

as a Minuteman, the

memories come flooding back

and Sean easily pinpoints the

valuable training he received, which he still relies on today. “First of all, I didn’t look like

someone who would be a cap-

tain,” Sean remembers, noting

that he was so skinny as a ninth grader that his mother didn’t even want him to play soccer

out of a fear that he would be

injured. “I wasn’t the star of the team. I wasn’t the best striker.

I was a defender, and it was my

job to complement and support our midfielders and forwards.

I also wasn’t loud. I tried to lead by example.”



I  SPRING 2021

when you take your effort into

a higher gear.”

Sean credits NA’s varsity head

coach at the time, Warren Butler, for teaching him a valuable lesson: “respect the process,” in

any effort. “We played a game against Oratory Prep, and we

were the much better team,”

Sean recalls. “We won, but the score was much closer than it

should have been and much too

close for Coach Butler’s comfort.

At the end of the game, he made us run sprints. I didn’t understand it at the time – I mean,


us to respect the game, respect

the process, respect every oppodards. I’ll never forget that.”

Today, in his role as relationship manager for Fidelity Investments, Sean practices daily

much of what he learned as an

NA student-athlete and captain.

Because each year of NA soccer brought new players to the

team, he learned to bond quickly with people that he didn’t know

cites his time as a Minuteman

for teaching him the value that

“We’re not all going to be good at doing everything, on the field or in the office. Once you under-

stand your own strengths and

what you bring to the team, then you come to trust the strengths

of the others around you.”

Looking back, Sean says he felt

that being named a team captain was a tremendous honor

and hadn’t chosen to work with.

and a responsibility he took

with people – the people I work

cism,” he recalls. “I didn’t do that

“In my work today, the quicker I

can make authentic connections with and my clients – the more

successful I will be and my company will be.” He also notes that part of making that connection is asking others for help. “I am

transparent with my teammates and my manager. If I’m not sure

how to handle something, I don’t hesitate to reach out to others.” Perseverance is another trait

that Sean gained from his days as an NA athlete. “Just like the

times when I thought I was too

tired on the field, there are days

seriously. “I learned how to give teammates constructive critiin front of others and I learned how to give what’s called the

‘feedback sandwich,’ where you offer a positive, a constructive point about how the person

can improve, and then another

positive, like ‘You’ve got this.’” Another lasting impact from

his NA soccer days is his love for the game. “I still play soccer!”

he says. “I play on a team in an over-30 league. Today my

teammates are guys with wives, kids and mortgages, but it is

and times in my professional life

the same type of camaraderie

dig deep in those times and find

long as I can.”

when my energy lags. Playing

soccer at NA taught me how to

that I felt when I played at NA. I’m going to keep playing as

We’re not all going to be good at doing everything, on the field or in the office. Once you understand your own strengths and what you bring to the team, then you come to trust the strengths of the others around you.”


Playing at the Collegiate Level

Across the athletic fields on the NA campus, you can often find student-athletes showcasing their athletic prowess in a

variety of sports – from football and track to field hockey and soccer. While all Minutemen are prepared to potentially play a

sport in college, several NA seniors have chosen to continue their athletic careers as National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) scholar-athletes. NA seniors who have committed to becoming college athletes beginning in Fall 2021 include:

Will Charvala ’21

Jordan McCray-Robinson ’21

Thomas Clancy ’21

Washington College Lacrosse

Fordham University Track and Field

Cornell University Baseball


Instagram: @NA_Minutemen Facebook: @NAMinutemen

Kaitlin Weiss ’21

Sam Goidel ’21

Bowdoin College Lacrosse

University of Chicago Tennis NEWARK ACADEMY






Fuel Change at NA


They have allowed all of our students, particularly our students of color, to share their thoughts about critical issues.”

It is hard to believe that it has been nearly a year since the NA community

– Gardy J. Guiteau

came together at the Equity and Inclusion Summit of July 2020. The summit

remains a pivotal event in NA history, not only for outlining key action steps

for creating greater equity and inclusion at NA, but it also expedited opportunities for open and transparent conversations during which all community

While some of these conversations have helped students address their

members will know that their perspectives are valued and heard.

experiences with intersectionality,

In the past few months, NA has

notes on their shared experiences.

storming of the U.S. Capitol on

held several events to foster greater

By the end of the fall term, students of

January 6, 2021, the Office of Equity

dialogue among students, faculty

color in the Middle School and Upper

and Inclusion and NA faculty members

and staff, alumni and parents.

School met separately with Head of

held meetings to allow students to

School Donald M. Austin and NA

discuss and process the event. The NA

administrators to discuss E&I at NA.

Students of Color affinity group sub-

others have helped students to make meaning of current events. After the

“There are many existing points of entry into these conversations about equity and inclusion at NA,” says

“These spaces were needed and nec-

Director of Equity and Inclusion

essary, and these events have been

sequently held a meeting focused on mindfulness and self-care.

Gardy J. Guiteau. “But I knew that

well received,” says Gardy. “They have

“We began the meeting with a simple

there were missing spaces and oppor-

allowed all of our students, particularly

meditation giving us the time and space

tunities for more engagement. We still

our students of color, to share their

to become centered and relaxed,”

needed to build capacity among differ-

thoughts about critical issues.”

says humanities teacher Callie Prince,

ent groups in the NA community and create supportive connections between each of these groups.”

Speaking With Students At the beginning of the school year, the Newark Academy Equity and Inclusion Team partnered with several student clubs to offer a series of Open Equity and Inclusion meetings in the Upper School to address a variety of topics. In addition to these conversations, the Upper School affinity groups – NA LGBTQ Students, NA Students of Color, Young Men of NA, and Young Women of NA – offered greater opportunities and space for students identifying within those identity groups to come together and exchange



I  SPRING 2021

Students come together to discuss equity and inclusion at NA.

who joined the NA faculty this year (see article on page 32). “We then facilitated a discussion for the students, focusing on a series of questions: What brings us comfort these days? What is self-love? What gets in the way of self-love? During these challenging times, what do our relationships and our community look like? And how do we build more community, especially at NA?” These conversations have also highlighted just how nuanced and multifaceted racism is and the importance of having allies and accomplices. As anti-Asian violence increased nationally, the Asian Diversity Club, with support from the Office of Equity and Inclusion, gathered to discuss those troubling developments. “It helps to have these discussions, and it’s great to see the community and ally participation,” says Elaine Choy ’21. “It shows that the community cares. I’ve seen an increase in these conversations since my freshman year. It’s good to know that students have a voice and can bring up the social justice issues that they are passionate about. These small changes in the school can create a greater impact in the community and outside NA.” Alexis Romay, NA language teacher and E&I team member and advisor, also believes that these conversations strengthen the NA community. “Supporting students of color and

NA alumnae share how they broke into their industries and advanced their careers during “She Knew She Could,” an event in celebration of Women’s History Month in March.

Forging Faculty Dialogue NA faculty and staff have continued throughout the year to participate in professional development on E&I issues in order to be effective facilitators of such discussions and act as models of NA’s Community Commitments for Belonging. Many are also taking part in a thorough review of

even more difficult for people of color who live, work and study in predominantly white institutions – without alienating white students and colleagues requires a lot of tact and skill,” says Alexis. “It also requires courage

should consider the opportunities to have these important conversations based on the topic of the lesson that day or provide students time to reflect on current events that may influence the learning environment.” After the insurrection at the Capitol,

existing administrative policies at NA

Rochelle amended a lecture she was

through a lens of equity and inclusion.

giving on Reconstruction to include

“Faculty, first and foremost, need to create classroom communities in which students feel safe and comfortable enough to engage in these types of conversations,” says Humanities Department Chair and Upper School Equity and Inclusion Coordinator

some images from the recent event and to draw historical connections between our current political divides and those during the era of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Doing so allowed the class to move forward with content while also giving space (CONTINUED)

addressing issues that are essential to their lives – at a time that has been

Rochelle Outlaw Edwards. “Rather than forcing the conversation, they


Faculty, first and foremost, need to create classroom communities in which students feel safe and comfortable enough to engage in these types of conversations.” – Rochelle Outlaw Edwards

and clarity of thought.”







Spring 2021,a new affinity group for

about opportunity. She believes that

parents aimed at supporting families

hosting NA events at times that all

with members of varied physical,

parents can attend is another E&I

mental and emotional abilities. for students to discuss their feelings and concerns around the insurrection. “Cultural competence should be a

“As an NA parent of color, I am pleased with the direction that NA is going in as it relates to equity and inclusion,”

requirement for educators. If you

says NAPA Communications Chair

don’t have an awareness of how social

and incoming NAPA Vice President

identities intersect and how they are

Leigh Slaton Mumford. “NA has

connected to power and access, that

been supporting the Black and Latino

effort. “The ability to have events virtually and the idea of scheduling them in the evening, I believe, afforded the opportunity for working parents to participate,” Leigh says. “With these options, participation and attendance noticeably increased.” Still, Leigh notes that while NA has made progress in its efforts to become more equitable and inclusive, there


As an NA parent of color, I am pleased with the direction that NA is going in as it relates to equity and inclusion.” – Leigh Slaton Mumford

will be reflected in what you teach and

is more work that must be done. “Expanding dedicated resources to the Office of Equity and Inclusion would be a tremendous assist towards this effort,” she says. “I am very optimistic that NA will continue to

Families Network for a number of

how you teach it. That’s why we must

years. The increase of full-time NA

have faculty and staff who are trained

faculty and staff of color as well as

to be capable of working with a diverse

accepted families is noticed among

student community,” says Alexis.

the parent community.”

Alumni and Parent Discussions

Leigh adds that E&I is not only about

strengthen its commitment to equity and inclusion.” For a complete list of NA’s recent E&I accomplishments, view the E&I quarterly reports.

race, gender or ability, but it is also

While current students are having important discussions in and outside the classroom, NA’s Black alumni continue to consider how they can support current students. Alumni helped to promote and attended the MLK Day lecture and engaged with students during a wellness event. Newark Academy Parents Association (NAPA) is also working to foster a greater sense of belonging among parents. NAPA’s new parent affinity groups – the LGBTQ+ Parents and Allies Group and the Immigrant Parents Network – were developed last year using the Black and Latino Families Network as an exemplar. Both groups blossomed over the course of this year. The success of these groups made way for the creation of the Diverse Abilities Group in



I  SPRING 2021

NA alumni reconnect and discuss racial inequities during a spoken word event in honor of Black History Month in February.




These partnerships include a multi-year engagement with Covenant House and a long-standing and evolving partnership with The Apostles’ House.


NA Community Service Efforts Create Partnerships for Learning Like most other aspects of its educational program, Newark Academy’s approach to

community service is grounded in long-held core values, yet continually evolves to meet the needs and opportunities of a changing world.

Many older alumni fondly recall their efforts at “serving others less fortunate” while attending NA. These one-off efforts, frequently initiated by students, were the foundation of what later became NA’s formal community service program. Under the leadership of a much-beloved faculty member, the late Betty Newman, the program launched a number of long-standing activities, including the SCEEP Olympics and an annual holiday party for children in need. While generosity of spirit remains at the core of NA’s approach to serving others in the community, the program has shifted from a “helping hand” model to more of a “service learning” paradigm,

designed to help students partner with the broader community in ways that benefit everyone involved. According to Director of Community Service Sarah Fischer, this approach still offers help but also gives NA students opportunities to “interact effectively with, and appreciate, people of different backgrounds and cultures.” “The service learning our students engage in has to be based on mutual respect – respect for what we, as volunteers, bring to a situation or issue and what those we are working with bring,” Sarah says. “We want our students to consider themselves partners with others, not saviors. And we want our students to look beyond an immediate need to consider

the root causes of social issues such as food insecurity, homelessness and environmental vulnerabilities.” In light of NA’s approaching 250th anniversary in 2024 and renewed calls for social justice initiatives, NA’s community service program is seeking to strengthen its partnerships with existing programs and organizations in the city of Newark.

The Covenant House partnership includes an annual Solidarity Sleepout each November, with NA students raising awareness and funds in support of housing and services for young people who have experienced abuse, neglect, abandonment, homelessness and human trafficking. Although last November’s Solidarity Sleepout took place as a virtual event, approximately 180 NA students participated, garnering more than $15,685 to date for this important effort. A two-decade partnership with The Apostles’ House in Newark is another example of NA’s commitment to community-based service learning. A source of comprehensive social services for homeless women with children and for families at risk of homelessness in Newark and Essex County, The Apostles’ House has continued to partner with NA despite having to shift to virtual activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (CONTINUED)

The service learning our students engage in has to be based on mutual respect – respect for what we, as volunteers, bring to a situation or issue and what those we are working with bring.” – Sarah Fischer








In 2020, instead of offering the traditional holiday party, student volunteers distributed food and goodie bags and offered virtual arts and crafts events for Apostles’ House families. According to Sarah, the opportunity to launch a new program with The Apostles’ House has been a silver lining of the pandemic. “A new program called The Apostles’ House Kids is giving our students a wide range of programming to get involved with,” Sarah says. “Apostles’ House and Newark Academy share many goals for the kids we serve, like building resiliency and developing life skills. By working as volunteers with the younger children served by The Apostles’ House, our students can build their own skills in these areas as well as sharing what they have already learned.” NA Reads is another new initiative that serves both The Apostles’ House and Newark’s 13th Avenue Elementary School. NA Reads began in November 2020, with NA students reading books over Zoom to Apostles’ House children, who read along with their own books. In early 2021, the program expanded to include NA students and parents recording story readings for families of young children who attend the 13th Avenue School.



I  SPRING 2021

“Shortly after we started the reading program with The Apostles’ House, leaders from the Newark Academy Parents Association (NAPA) reached out to me with a similar idea,“ Sarah says. “NAPA had launched its own service partnership with the 13th Avenue School through the I Have a Dream Foundation. In both cases, our students and parents are learning, first-hand, how the pandemic has affected low-income families and how important it is to keep children reading and learning even in trying circumstances.” Sarah also notes that these types of experiences prompt a deeper level of cultural competency among NA students. “As our students do this work, we discuss the fact that we are disproportionately serving students and families of color,” she says. “Rather than having that simply reinforce existing implicit biases, the Community Service Council is actively discussing how to serve a broader population and avoid a ‘white saviorism’ paradigm. As we look to next year, we hope to expand our partnerships to other areas in Northern New Jersey. Whether in Sussex or Morris County or right in Livingston, systemic issues like food insecurity, homelessness and other challenges exist. These aren’t Newark problems – they’re everywhere problems. That’s also a lesson our students are learning.”

NA’s annual Month of Action took place virtually in February, with the theme of Moving Forward: Awaken Your Inner Activist. Approximately 27 student clubs and NA families participated by making web pages, highlighting activists and hosting events. A few NA students shared the ways in which they showcased their leadership skills through several community service events.

“I’m really passionate about political participation and voting in particular. I was motivated to write to my local New Jersey lawmakers to advocate a work holiday on Election Day for New Jersey voters.” – Kavya Nivarthy ‛21

“I signed three petitions about shutting down and not replacing Line 3 in Minnesota. These petitions mattered to me because they concerned two areas of service and advocacy that I am passionate about: climate change and indigenous people’s rights. Additionally, I sent emails to New Jersey assemblymen and women, senators, and the governor to support causes that work to create equity and equality in societies that have been poisoned by systemic discrimination and inequality. Finally, I also participated in the ‘Color a Smile’ program because I believe in the importance of acts of kindness in an attempt to bring joy to others!” – Emily Swope ‛22

“Today, I made toys for animals at St. Hubert’s Animal Shelter. This was important to me because I have worked with St. Hubert’s in the past, and although I could not work with them like I planned this year due to COVID-19, I wanted to stay connected and keep helping.” – Kate Fishbone ‛22 Jack DeVirgilio ʼ24

donated food to Meeting

Essential Needs With

Dignity (MEND), an

interfaith network of

20 member food pantries

located throughout Essex County.




Molly Cantillon ’21

and members of her

Techshare team.

Techshare Adapts,Thrives THROUGH THE PANDEMIC

When Molly Cantillon ’21 visited her grandfather’s hometown in Guangxi, China, she was

struck by the shortage of technology available for local students. Molly returned home determined to help provide low-income children with access to enhanced opportunities

for learning in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) both locally and globally.

With a purpose and ingenuity, Molly formed the nonprofit organization Techshare Project

in 2017.

Techshare’s executive board is made up of Newark Academy students, and most of its volunteers are students, with only a handful of adult mentors involved. Since its inception, the organization, which has more than 140 volunteers, has given approximately 700 students access to STEM resources while raising more than $3,000 to implement a new phase of our Global Computer Community Project in the Philippines. One of Techshare’s main initiatives involves monthly events at the Boys & Girls Club of Newark, where elementary school students have created games with scratch coding and built their own robots to compete

in races. “That’s what’s been amazing about Techshare,” says Jack Cleeve ’21, one of the first fellow students Molly recruited. “We actually see it have an impact and make someone’s life better. It’s an amazing feeling, seeing it help people.” Techshare strives to help kids not only locally but also abroad. Last year, the group partnered with the Peace Corps and The Batey Foundation to travel to the Dominican Republic, bringing computers they had built to elementary students there. During the visit, a group of Techshare volunteers spent two days helping students from San Luis and Santo Domingo build and race robots.

Of course, like everyone else, the organization had to alter its plans due to COVID-19. No longer able to make those in-person trips, the group now has pivoted to offering a webinar series of educational programs with featured speakers on STEM topics, which can be found on the Techshare Instagram page. The Techshare team is also leaning on technology and social media to enhance its presence. “During Summer 2020, we often would repost insightful posts on Instagram and communicate with other STEM student-led organizations,” Tiffany Agkpo ’21, who has been at the center of the organization’s operations

explains. “We organized a webinar series where we invited young leaders in STEM to inspire middle school and high school students to pursue different facets of STEM from astrophysics to UX design. We’ve also been working on our Global Community Computer Project, and we’ve been communicating often about that via Zoom.” At the same time, the Techshare volunteers have teamed up with the NA Robotics Club to collaborate in building more computers for students abroad. “Engaging different members of the community, who maybe a few years ago didn’t even know about Techshare, is an amazing feeling,” Molly says. “It’s awesome to know that we’re changing the culture – not just generating knowledge, but also using that knowledge to make life-changing impacts.”










Take Students on a Virtual Exploration Last summer, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many universities and organizations postponed or cancelled

their internships for students who were seeking in-person science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)

experiences. While initially seen as a challenge, this change ushered in new and innovative virtual opportunities for NA students. No longer limited by geography, NA students are now able to participate in virtual labs and cutting-edge research from across the globe while physically remaining at home.

EIGHT NA STUDENTS –Molly Cantillon ’21

Charles Crosby, who stepped into

and approaches to independent work

Stella Gilbert ’22, Ryan Kim ’22, Kaya

November 2020, frequently looks for

Virtual labs were introduced last year and

(see story on page 23), Lauren Freed ’22, Patel ’22, Julia Seebach ’23, Skywalker

Li ’22 and Ian Zhang ’23 – shared high-

lights of their 2020 research internships with faculty, parents and peers at the

annual STEM presentation night, which

for NA students. “I am consistently

says Charles. “It is important for myself

explore human anatomy and dissections

Under COVID-19 restrictions, NA faculty

STEM experiences here at NA.”

how simulations can be used for natural

have reimagined and adapted STEM

accommodating different learning styles,

critical thinking while replacing their

physical effects of virtual reality.

I  SPRING 2021

have been effective. In addition to the

natural selection simulations and chemical

experiments found in the virtual labs,

students have done in their internships,”

of fields: Kaya, for instance, studied

while Julia charted the emotional and

and collaboration, including on Zoom.

impressed by the caliber of work our

and my colleagues to offer equally strong

disaster preparedness training while


these and similar STEM opportunities

was held virtually in January.

The students’ work covered a range


the role of NA STEM coordinator in

experiences to continue fueling students’ usual hands-on experiences. There is now a greater variety of assignments

NA students now can use technology to

without the need for gloves or scalpels.

“It’s been an adjustment,” says Charles,

“but we were fortunate to be technologi-

cally and pedagogically prepared.”

On the next page, two NA students discuss

their work in STEM during this pandemic.

Skywalker Li ’22

Skywalker Li ’22 spent Summer 2020

interning at New Jersey Institute of

Technology (NJIT), where he learned to

read scientific papers and studied the

photocatalytic reduction of CO2 in artifi-

cial photosynthesis, a potential source of

clean energy. Skywalker is continuing his

internship with NJIT during the current

school year and in Summer 2021. He is

currently working with a Ph.D. student

on cubic gauche polymeric nitrogen,

which is a high-energy-density material

used for explosives. He also recently won

an impressive six awards at the North Jersey Regional Science Fair.



Skywalker ’22 reflects on his STEM experiences over the past year:

definitely think my internship greatly helped my studies in every class at NA.

One of the biggest benefits of the STEM experience has been the improvement

in my intellectual curiosity. Participating in back-and-forth discussions with

STEM professors and Ph.D. students made me realize that nothing should be taken for

granted. They constantly pushed me to question every result and to come up with my own

conclusions. This systematic way of questioning things has helped in all academic areas.

It, of course, helped me gain a deeper understanding in my STEM classes, but it also

helped me form more cohesive and logical arguments in English and humanities. In a

society dominated by misinformation, I believe it is more important than ever to practice skepticism. The STEM opportunities at NA really helped with that.

It has definitely been a challenge adjusting to the new environment, and opportunities

are limited. I was lucky that my STEM teachers at NA were able to create some virtual labs,

which allowed us to do some hands-on work. Additionally, Mr. Crosby has been very

helpful by updating us on new information and opportunities in STEM.”

Juliet describes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on STEM experiences and how the school has adapted to these circumstances: hile I miss the familiarity of pre-COVID-19 lab periods, NA has successfully adapted its

STEM programs to give students interactive, educational and COVID-safe experiences. My Chemistry Honors class has done a combination of hands-on labs and virtual

simulations. During our hands-on experiments, everyone has their own station and materials.

I feel extremely lucky that NA is able to offer us these resources so our learning is not compromised during

Juliet Bu ’23

Juliet Bu ’23 will spend

Summer 2021 interning with Dr. Xianqin Wang at her materials engi-

neering lab at NJIT.

the pandemic. Our virtual simulations are great substitutes for when we are remote and unable to be in

the lab. Although these new lab formats are different, NA STEM classes have continued to prioritize

high-quality education for us.

While I was planning out my activities for Summer 2021, I frequently visited the “STEM Opportunities

Page” for students on MyNA (the school’s internal digital platform), where I found amazing research

programs and internships, like my upcoming internship with Dr. Wang. These opportunities are con-

stantly updated by our STEM coordinator Mr. Crosby. I am excited to work in a professional research environment, and I am very grateful for NA’s vast connections, which have helped me find unique extracurricular STEM experiences.”

NA students discuss their STEM internship experiences during the STEM Presentation Night in January 2021.







Fond Farewells

SJ: In ways large and small, the NA community has become much more accepting

LUMEN: What has been the most enjoyable part of working at NA? the most fun part of my days. Although

SJ: My wife Christine Johnson is also retir-

the interactions with the students. I have also enjoyed the camaraderie of the faculty.

his career at Newark Academy in

1983. He had previously taught at

School level. Most recently, I’ve been teaching Algebra I and Algebra I Honors. I have been an advisor every year, and I advised or supported the publication of the Polymnian for more than 30 years. I also coached a number of sports, including JV boys’ soccer, Middle School boys’ soccer, varsity girls’ soccer, varsity girls’ softball, JV girls’ basketball, and Middle School baseball.


I  SPRING 2021

Norway and Sweden are high on our list.

Over the years, many alumni have sung their songs to me when back on campus for Homecoming.

LUMEN: What roles have you had at the school? What courses have you taught?

I have taught exclusively at the Middle

well as Europe; England, France, Germany,

median, mode and range to the tune

SJ: I have many fond memories of working

teaching a 10th-grade Algebra 2 course,

hope to travel around the United States as

concepts. This year, for example,

LUMEN: Over the years, who has influenced your work at NA?

Scott Johnson (SJ): Except for one year

some of our winters in Florida. We also

and perform songs to explain math

also the site where he would meet

his wife, Christine Johnson.

Maine. In a few years, we may also spend

the math song. Every year, students write

in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Scott

proximity to New York City. NA is

of our summers on Little Sebago Lake in

that has become a tradition in my classes:

of “Happy” by Pharrell Williams!

strong academic program and

ing from NA, and we will be spending most

SJ: Many years ago, I introduced a project

a duo explained the concepts of mean,

was drawn to NA by the school’s


LUMEN: In this issue, we are featuring alumni “aha” moments. Can you think of an “aha” moment during your teaching career?

Indian Mountain School in Lakeville,

Connecticut, and The Shipley School

This has been great to see.

I have taught the same course for many years, each year feels different because of

Math teacher Scott Johnson began

of the needs of our students over the years.

LUMEN: What’s in store for you in the next phase of life?

SJ: Working with students has always been

Scott Johnson

LUMEN: How has NA changed over the course of your career?

with Jeff Kacur when he was the varsity boys’ soccer coach and I was the JV coach. He was always very supportive and would do anything for me and the teams. He was also a great friend. Hampton Abney was another mentor and friend. His guidance in shaping the yearbook always impressed me. Similarly, Tom Ashburn has always championed my work, and I’ve appreciated his great sense of humor. More recently, Rob Rezvani has shared his knowledge of technology with me and his ideas for integrating technology into the math classroom.

Christine Johnson Middle School Office Manager

Christine Johnson began working at

Newark Academy in 1997. She came to the school when her friend Bev

Pickering announced her retirement from NA. Bev, who had always raved about working with NA students,

told Christine about an opening, and Christine knew she couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

LUMEN: What roles have you had at the school?

LUMEN: What’s in store for you in the next phase of life?

Christine Johnson (CJ): When I first

CJ: I look forward to enjoying life on

arrived, I worked as the Middle School

Little Sebago Lake in Gray, Maine, with my

administrative assistant. I then became

husband Scott, who’s also retiring from

the administrative assistant to the former Head of School Elizabeth Penney Riegelman. Eventually, I returned to the Middle School, as I was eager to return to a role where I could spend more time with

Newark Academy. We will probably spend late spring, summer and fall in Maine. I hope winters are somewhere far away from the cold! I also look forward to traveling to visit family and friends.

Eileen Gilbert (EG): As the Director

students. In the Middle School, I have worked as the office manager, as an advisor, and as a Student Council advisor. I’ve also coached Middle School girls’ basketball and Middle School girls’ volleyball.

LUMEN: What has been the most enjoyable part of working at NA? CJ: Far and away, the camaraderie I’ve felt with colleagues and students has made working at Newark Academy fun, enjoyable and educational.

LUMEN: How has NA changed over the course of your career? CJ: The teachers are younger as well as the students! More seriously, new technologies have changed many aspects of

LUMEN: What has your work at the school involved?

Eileen Gilbert

Director of Administrative Services

Eileen Gilbert began working at Newark Academy in 1984. She had previously been coordinating transportation for NA with a local bus company, and

when NA’s business manager offered

her an in-house position, she initially declined; when asked again, though,

she decided to pursue the opportunity.

of Administrative Services, I have overseen a number of aspects of school operations. These have included coordinating daily transportation, transportation for field trips and athletic teams, book ordering and distribution, and bookstore and school store operations. In recent years, I have also coordinated the rental of school facilities by outside groups.

LUMEN: What has been the most enjoyable part of working at NA? EG: I’ve always enjoyed solving problems. Engaging with colleagues to come up with and implement solutions to challenges has been rewarding.


the roles I’ve had.

LUMEN: In this issue, we are featuring alumni “aha” moments. Can you think of an “aha” moment during your teaching career? CJ: There are always challenges that arise in a school and many moving pieces involving students, faculty, staff, administration and parents. I learned an important lesson from former Middle School Principal Joan Parlin: she taught me both to learn from mistakes and to learn to live with them. Her wisdom helped me feel more comfortable in my role and as a member of the Newark Academy community.







LUMEN: Do you have a favorite memory from your years in the bookstore? EG: Every summer, several current students or recent graduates help out in the bookstore. I will always be grateful to all of them for helping to coordinate book orders and distribution. They have been fun to work with and have really contributed to the success of the bookstore.

LUMEN: What’s in store for you in the next phase of life? EG: As my new chapter begins, I look forward to being with family and friends. I am very thankful to NA for so many years

Bob remembers the call he received

from former Dean of Faculty Blackie Parlin asking him to interview for

the position. As soon as Bob learned about NA, he was hooked.

LUMEN: What roles have you had at the school?

BM: During the summer of 1988, NA temporarily hired Jean Moroz to automate the entire library and audio-visual collection. Six years later we had an opening for a librarian. Facing the prospect of reading

Robert Mallalieu (BM): I’ve had many

countless résumés, it suddenly dawned

roles at Newark Academy, including direc-

on me: “AHA! Let me see if Jean Moroz is

tor of library media services, summer

available!” She was; she was hired, and

session director, department chair, admin-

that working relationship flourished and

istrator, coach, advisor and more. I was

lasted for 26 years!

also part of The Watchung Mountain Boys,

LUMEN: How has NA changed over the course of your career?

a Morning Meeting performing group that included Steve Miller, Fred McGaughan and Lee Abbey.

LUMEN: What has been the most enjoyable part of working at NA?

BM: One answer is the change brought about by technology and information access. When I started, there was one telephone in the library, and one very

of meaningful work.

BM: I particularly enjoyed working with

large Wang computer used for scheduling.

students and colleagues in small groups

Access to information was limited to

Robert Mallalieu

and teams to accomplish common goals.

a physical card catalog, encyclopedia

Director of Library Media Services and former Summer Session

Director Bob Mallalieu began

working at Newark Academy in 1982. He was seeking a strong

independent school where he could

work as a library director and coach.

Whether it was the summer session

sets and magazines. Today’s access to

administration, the library staff, an ath-

information has given students unimag-

letic team, an advisor group, memorable

ined empowerment in their pursuit of

student AV crews, or an ad hoc committee, I appreciated the opportunity to get to know people better and work together through issues with determination, perseverance, enjoyment and, of course, some fun and laughter.

LUMEN: Do you have a favorite memory from your years at NA – a student who left an impact? a beloved colleague? an event or trip? BM: Beloved colleagues and memorable students abound; they will stay with me for the rest of my life. If I had to put some people at the top of this list, it would be the summer session crew of Bill Blaskopf, Tom Ashburn, Jean Moroz, Nancy Celente and Dan Erlandson. Working alongside them was the highlight of my career at NA. Additionally, having my youngest son, Josh ’21, attend and graduate from NA was a special blessing for which I am grateful.


LUMEN: In this issue, we are featuring alumni “aha” moments. Can you think of an “aha” moment during your teaching career?


I  SPRING 2021

knowledge and learning.

LUMEN: What’s in store for you in the next phase of life? BM: Initially, doing some things that you don’t have as much time to do when you work full time: traveling and hiking with my wife; playing and performing Appalachian and gospel music with friends; volunteering in national parks; seeking opportunities to serve others; short-term mission trips; spending time with our 10 grandchildren; and, every once in a while, turning the alarm clock off.

their own cultural and religious

history. My connection to my colleagues

identities. Dr. Alan Strand, Penny

has gone beyond friendship, and I have

Riegelman, Don Austin, Rich Dibianca,

not only enjoyed working and laughing

and Von Rollenhagen, to name a few,

with Joseph Borlo, Lydia Masterson,

gave me the gift of intellectual freedom.

Kirsti Morin, Julie Jacoby, Scott Jacoby and

I have also been a faculty advisor to

Jeff Vinikoor, but we have truly learned

many clubs, most notably the Jewish

from each other, and been willing to share

Club, Minuteman Society, and the newly

ideas – both successful and, sometimes,

created Food Club.

less successful.

the most enjoyable part of teaching at NA

LUMEN: In this issue, we are featuring alumni “aha” moments. Can you think of an “aha” moment during your teaching career?

has been becoming a part of the lives of my

ARS: I know this is really corny, but I must

LUMEN: What has been the most enjoyable part of working at NA?

Amy Rubin Schottland Humanities teacher Amy Rubin

Schottland began teaching at Newark

Academy in 1982, having first learned

about the school from her husband,

Dr. Paul Schottland, who is a member

of the Class of 1970. When her children were born, Amy stepped away from the classroom, but she returned in

2001. She is also the proud mother

of two NA graduates, Dr. Elliot

Schottland ’02 and Laura Schottland

Giske ’06.

LUMEN: What roles have you had at the school? What courses have you taught?

ARS: This is not a difficult question: by far

students and their families. This commu-

say that every day – and I mean every day

nity has returned my sense of dedication

– has had its “aha” moments! The nature

many times over. The students have fully

of adolescents is that they are in their own

embraced me as their teacher, advisor,

world, and we as teachers are in our own

mentor and, ultimately, their friend.

world – and, somehow, we connect with

I have been fortunate to have taught sev-

each other. That is the miracle of teaching:

eral generations of NA families, including

to find a way to communicate with each

Wayne Kent ’85 and his three beautiful

other, and to find joy in sharing what we

daughters. How is it possible that I have

know. I have been so fortunate to be in

not aged one year, and yet my students

those trenches where the connections

have now become parents themselves?

have been made.

LUMEN: Do you have a favorite memory from your years at NA – a student who left an impact? a beloved colleague? an event or trip?

LUMEN: How has NA changed over the course of your career?

ARS: For sure, there have been many

and meeting the needs of students. This

ARS: I think, over the years, there has been a growing respect for understanding

highlights, and many deep and abiding

is undoubtedly a very positive movement.

Amy Rubin Schottland (ARS): It has been

memories, from the deeply moving to

I think the students feel connected and

my deepest personal and professional

the more mundane everyday experiences.

valued more and more.

pleasure to have taught a variety of courses

One year, in commemoration of a visit by

at NA. I taught World Cultures in the

a peace delegation from Hiroshima, Japan,

Middle School, and under the support

I asked the whole school to read “One

and encouragement of Tom Ashburn

Thousand Cranes,” and then we proceeded

LUMEN: What’s in store for you in the next phase of life?

I designed a month-long archaeological

to make one thousand origami cranes,

expedition on the grounds of NA entitled

which were hung at the entrance to the

“Can You Dig It?” In addition, with the

school. In 2011, Sam Goldfischer and I

guidance of the late Betty Newman,

organized a momentous and deeply mem-

I taught the Upper School American

orable journey to seven concentration

Experience class. I also designed and

camps in Poland and the Czech Republic.

taught the senior elective course called

Even though this undertaking was deeply

Politics of Change. Most significantly,

disturbing, our diverse band of students,

I began to carve out the ninth-grade

parents, colleagues and spouses were

Ancient World course, which has encour-

forever changed by our common goal of

aged so many students to see beyond

revisiting and learning about our common

ARS: Here is where I get to talk about my adorable grandsons, Jackson and Zachary, and how I hope to spend more time being their Nana. In addition, I have started a new business: Nana Bakes, NJ. I hope to continue my love of baking and teaching with this new enterprise. The world of Zoom has opened up many new ways that I can connect with kids and their families.







Finishing Strong: Four Faculty Members Reflect on Their First Year at NA


Dr. Oliver Hagen | Arts Department/Orchestral Music

My life has taken me through various conducting, piano and teaching jobs,

from New York City to Paris. In 2016, I started teaching conducting and coaching

chamber music at the Juilliard Preparatory Division, which I continue to do on weekends.

In a previous decade, I assisted French conductor and composer Pierre Boulez in Lucerne

and Paris. More recently, I played piano on a Grammy-winning album of the music of

Steve Reich.

Newark Academy’s full orchestra was a major selling point for me. So many schools have a string orchestra and a band or wind ensemble, but here they are combined. The energy and rehearsal flow I felt on my audition day – combining high-level performance with pedagogy – was exactly what I was looking for. It’s been quite a first year. Orchestra and wind ensemble changed status from all-remote courses to in-person. Earlier this month, the orchestra played all together for the first time, set up in two different rooms across the hall from each other, with me conducting in the middle. Section leaders Kristin Tsay ’21 and Ruthie Gu ’21 were key players (and conductors) in helping this happen! It felt like being in an opera pit, where musicians often find themselves with obstructed sight-lines but still make it work for the sake of the whole. It was so personally satisfying to pull this off in a year full of troubleshooting. For our sixth grade students, the need to address classroom capacity issues inspired us to revamp the curriculum. In chamber music, we have had in-person learners



I  SPRING 2021

synchronize with remote learners in a very small ensemble setting. Zoom collaborations can work! Seventh- and eighth-grade strings students have enjoyed some percussion improvisation from time to time, as a healthy change of pace. Since March 2020, my previous teaching had been remote, so at NA


I was eager to continue trying out new methods such as multi-track recordings. What’s most interesting to me is that my teachers have been recommending recording as a form of practicing all my life. I have also been asking students for years to practice their orchestra music by playing along with professional albums. I have found making multitrack recordings myself to be very helpful in learning music. Well-known artists like Stevie Wonder have been asynchronously recording multiple parts for decades. Suddenly, in the pandemic, these methods became absolutely necessary in school environments. Having recordings as the backbone of student work samples allows for much more individualized support and specific feedback than the large ensemble experience has historically offered. I am always open to hearing from my students about how all of this is working for them – especially considering the level of motivation I have felt from students at NA. I have enjoyed the atmosphere and sense of community created by our musicians, whose qualities as motivated learners and humans have made me feel welcome and valued in a new position. I was particularly impressed to hear, in a recent faculty meeting, about the many accomplishments of students nominated by their peers for the Ad Lumen Awards. From a personal standpoint, I have often asked myself how classical music and the orchestra, can help

I have enjoyed the atmosphere and sense of community created by our musicians, whose qualities as motivated learners and humans have made me feel welcome and valued in a new position.”

promote social justice. Inspired by some of the initiatives taken in the greater classical music industry, students had a session on Black classical composers that led to incorporating names such as Joseph Bologne and Florence Price into our repertoire – composers I had never heard of in high school or even during my doctoral work. Students have been exploring various genres of Black musical culture and have also been working on music from PubliQuartet’s video biography about Madam C. J.


Walker, the wealthiest Black woman of her time. We are lucky at NA to have one of the premiere jazz education programs to look up to as we widen the cultural sensibilities of the orchestral program. Conducting a large orchestra is one of my great joys in life; it is one of my favorite ways of sharing my passion for music with others. I would very much like many students to experience the thrill of conducting, should they choose to give it a try. It’s been

Kristin A. Nwokedi | Upper School English

Prior to coming to Newark Academy, I worked in international schools. I lived

for six years in Shanghai, where I taught English at the French School of

Shanghai. There, I prepared students to pass their National Diploma with the option

for international honors in English language and literature study.

remote learners, and I wanted their experiences to be as integrated as possible with those of on-campus classmates. Therefore, I really leaned into using technology in all of my classes so everyone could interact

teaching, I also served as the school’s coordinator of diversity and inclusion.

on digital platforms. I have been impressed by the students’ alacrity and skill in using technology.

Several important aspects of Newark Academy drew me here. I love the fact

What surprised me most about working at NA is how quickly faculty

that NA offered the IB Diploma as an option for students who were interested in taking on the challenge. I also love the emphasis and intentionality

After receiving Diploma Program certification from the International Baccalaureate Organization, I then moved back to the United States to work in an international school where I could use my IB knowledge. I worked for five years as an IB English language and literature teacher at the International School of Indiana in Indianapolis, during which time I also became an IB examiner. Outside of

great to have a few already join an informal, cyclical group conducting lesson. More generally, I hope to foster an environment where students are musically self-sufficient: where they know how to creatively practice their craft, how to communicate, and how to organize themselves. In a sense, my job is to put myself out of a job! Lucky for me, though, my job begins again with each new sixth-grade arrival.

that NA put on diversity, equity and inclusion. It was fabulous that NA was in such a good location! I like its proximity to New York City and to awesome nature hikes like the Appalachian Trail. I teach ninth-grade Literature and Composition and 11th-grade IB English. Beginning a new job in the age of COVID has definitely been an experience! It was a unique challenge to begin at a new school during a year when you could only see half of colleagues’ and students’ faces. I had to learn students and colleagues by their eyes and the tops of their heads! I also knew that NA would have some

and staff knew my name. It was nice to walk around and get smiling eyes from people, followed by “Hi, Kristin!” – even when I wasn’t sure that I had ever formally met them. I feel like NA is a bit like the television show “Cheers” in that way! My hopes for my future at NA are manifold. I hope to grow professionally as a teacher, a learner and a champion of education that values collaboration, reading, diversity, mindfulness, internationalism, geekiness and art. I also hope to pass on to my students a love for the privilege and the pleasure of learning. Hopefully, they will learn, travel the world and teach someone something new.







Samantha Wilkerson | Middle School Science

Before coming to Newark Academy, I was a Teach for America corps member,

teaching middle school science and English in St. Louis. I became interested in

NA when a friend of mine who is an alumnus told me about the school, and I thought

teaching here would be an interesting new experience.

While this year has been extremely unusual, I have been in awe of the resilience the students show in the face of great adversity and constant change. It is a testament to their characters and their desire to learn and grow. I think the thing that most surprised me was how much fun I am having, even in a pandemic!


Everyone has been extremely welcoming and kind. I hope to continue to work for the community and develop lasting relationships with NA staff and students. In my classes, I hope to continue introducing my students to diverse texts and learning about their experiences and lives. I am also working to

Callie Prince | Upper School/Middle School Humanities

I am originally from Oakland, California, and graduated from Trinity College in

2017 with a bachelor’s degree in history. After graduation, I lived in New York

and worked as a litigation legal assistant at Sullivan & Cromwell LLC. Last year, I also

spent time as a paralegal secondee in the litigation and regulatory proceedings group at

Goldman Sachs. While I learned invaluable skills from my previous positions, I decided

to pursue a career in teaching, as that was more in line with my skills, interests and

goals. I come from a family of teachers and was also inspired by their careers.

gone above and beyond to welcome and support me. This year has confirmed just how special it is to be a part of the NA community.

I was initially drawn to Newark Academy because of its academic rigor, emphasis on continued personal growth, and strong sense of community. I am continually thankful for the kindness and authenticity of everyone I have met here. In an especially challenging year, everyone has



I  SPRING 2021

I love teaching seventh-grade American Studies and ninth-grade Ancient World. It has been ideal to teach in both the Middle School and Upper School, as I’ve been able to learn more about NA in its entirety. The students impress me every day with their dedication, maturity and intellectual curiosity. Even with all the challenges of this year, the students’ adaptability has been truly remarkable. They are all rock stars! What has surprised me most about working at NA is the positivity and commitment of the entire school. Joy and gratitude resonate within the community, making teaching at NA

help bring educational equity to the City of Newark as a board member of Newark for Educational Equity and Diversity (NEED), and I hope to continue working with NEED for the community at large.

a positive and rewarding experience. Every adult on campus is focused on supporting all of our students, and it shows. I feel as if my most critical goal is to encourage and support my students as lifelong learners and responsible members of society. I am grateful to be at a school where helping to develop this kind of student is the focus. While at NA, I am excited to continue working with and learning from my colleagues and students. I enjoy serving as a faculty advisor to the NA Students of Color Affinity Group and the Ethics Club. I look forward to becoming more involved outside of the classroom. I also want to continue my education and look forward to future professional development opportunities. Later on in my career, I would love the opportunity to pursue more leadership roles as well.


What has surprised me most about working at NA is the positivity and commitment of the entire school.”

A Passion and A Purpose: Two NA Faculty Members Will Lead as New Department Chairs Viraj Lal, Choral Director, Chair, Arts Department

Why Did You Decide to Step into This Role?

As a member of the Newark Academy community since 2007, I have witnessed and contributed to the growth and development of the arts program under former Chairs Scott Jacoby and Elaine Brodie. Inspired by their leadership, for many years I have thought about the opportunity to build on their accomplishments. As I consider the next 10 years of my career at NA, leading the arts department is an honor as I begin the 15th year of my tenure.

Dan Reed, Chair, English Department Why Did You Decide to Step into This Role?

Having had the opportunity to do similar work for another mission-driven institution – Camp Pemigewassett, a boys’ summer camp in New Hampshire – I was excited for the chance to get more involved in work that shapes the experiences of our students and teachers. I continue to be impressed by the dedication, generosity and intellectual fervor of both NA’s English faculty and our students; it’s an especially inspiring group to work with. Finally, after recent conversations with Neil Stourton (current Department Chair) and with several colleagues, I found that our Department has several compelling common goals (more on those below); I’m personally very passionate about these areas for development, so it felt like the right time to take on a role like this. Looking Ahead

“First things first.” I’m looking forward to working with all my colleagues in the English Department to establish a collective vision. What do we each already love about our curriculum? In five years, what do we want to look different? In addition to that collaborative exercise, I am excited to continue our department’s focus on DEI efforts – ensuring diverse representation in our texts (of authors, characters

Looking Ahead

In the United States, there are not many South Asians in the field of education, even fewer in the arts and rarely in administrative positions. Considering the significant population of South Asian families at Newark Academy, I hope my representation as arts chair is validating. My ideas are diverse and stem from a global perspective. My vision is to elevate our arts community and programs through collaborations and potential international projects and much more. Elaine Brodie has been a boon for our arts department and has led our program and colleagues phenomenally over the past 10 years. I am grateful to have Elaine mentor me as I transition into the role. I hope to carry on her sincere admiration and affection for our arts colleagues as well as her warmth and kind nature towards our NA families. I am ready and confident that I will be able to enhance our excellent arts program and I look forward to shepherding our programs out of the pandemic and into a fresh world, full of vibrant, robust artistic possibilities.

and experiences) and extending efforts towards equity and inclusion further into our day-today curriculum and pedagogy. I envision a design process that garners input not only from all members of the English department, but also from others in the NA community, especially our students.

Additionally, our recent Growth & Renewal curriculum review process included conversations about the breadth of our writing curriculum, and the possible benefits of implementing more modes of writing in our instruction. I look forward to collectively mapping out what this might look like and how it would fit into our skills planning through the seven grade levels at NA. I get really excited talking about skills curricula, because I believe that the strongest English curriculum leverages both intentional skills planning extending both across a given grade level and vertically through all our grade levels, and significant individual teacher flexibility in most aspects of teaching. This sort of balance, I think, gives students two critical things: equitable opportunities for growth and the development of critical skills, and the opportunity to learn from and with teachers who are manifestly passionate about what they teach. Learn more about the ways in which Dan and NA English department faculty are “reimagining rigor” on page 45.






Mr. Guiteau Leaves a Lasting Impact on NA Newark Academy’s Director of Equity and Inclusion

Gardy J. Guiteau will step down from his role at the end

of the 2020 – 2021 school year. He will join his wife and partner Dr. Mirangela Buggs, who has been appointed as the Director of Institutional Equity at the American School of London.

“Working tirelessly with students, faculty, administrators, trustees, parents and alumni, Mr. Guiteau has spearheaded significant institutional change,” says Head of School Donald M. Austin. “His list of accomplishments are myriad. Mr. Guiteau has impacted every corner of our community. I am personally indebted to Mr. Guiteau for his work and his partnership.”

Academy with a great sense of pride and accomplishment. I depart NA proud to have served in this role and knowing that the work of advancing equity, inclusion and belonging is

Since joining Newark Academy in July 2018, Mr. Guiteau

in the capable hands of so many colleagues who are passion-

has been instrumental in creating a broad, deep and inclusive

ate and excited about where the institution is headed.”

framework that is steering Newark Academy toward its goal of having every person in our school community feel an abiding sense of belonging.

NA will continue to move its DEI efforts forward in order to become a more equitable and inclusive community. Learn more about Gardy J. Guiteau’s recent DEI work at NA on page 18.

“I can honestly say that working with students, families, colleagues, Board members and alumni at NA has more than lived up to my expectations,” says Gardy. “I leave Newark

Gardy Guiteau, Director of Equity and Inclusion, guides the NA community’s critical conversations centered on trust building and social justice.



I  SPRING 2021







ocratic seminars are at the core of many English classes at Newark Academy because they demand

that students take responsibility for their own learning and support

one another along the path of understanding. The teacher must be merely the “guide on the

side.” However, we are allowed to throw the occasional stone into the pool, simply to disrupt the surface, to see what ripples may form and how students’ minds can swerve. One of my favorite disruptive statements is, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” I love seeing the looks of consternation, then dawning awareness, on my eighth graders’ faces, as this is both a playful and somewhat disorienting idea.

AHA! An “aha” moment is the same sort of disruption – the same sort of movement towards a new awareness that my statement stimulates in students. These moments were highlighted by author Ben Cohen ’06 in his recent interview with Olympic swimmer Christopher Jacobs ’83, WNBA player Jocelyn Willoughby ’16 and President of the Daytona Tortugas Minor League Baseball Team Ryan Keur ’08. The alums shared the key turning points in their athletic careers when they suddenly “got hot” and exceeded in their athletic performance, even changing their lives. Inspired by these experiences, LUMEN put out a call to other alumni, asking for times in their NA careers when they uncovered something new about themselves, something that caused them to swerve from their expected paths. I had the pleasure of speaking with four alumni – Rebecca Freed ’94, Rasheea Williams Hall ’95, Dr. Lee P. Neuwirth ’51 and Elliott Zornitsky ’18 – each of whom had an experience that catalyzed a ripple effect in their lives.



I  SPRING 2021



hen Dr. Lee P. Neuwirth was in the first form (eighth grade), the Academy had demerits, penmanship classes, boxing, a drum and bugle corps, World War I veteran teachers like Mr. Hobbs – and a librarian, Mr. Davis,

who had graduated from college in the 19th century! Perhaps most intriguing, though, were the post-graduate students who had fought in World War II. “They were nice to us,” Lee recalls, “but they were not children. They were men.” In the midst of pugilists and veterans, Lee encountered his own battle in the form of Mr. Butler, a demanding math teacher. Unfazed, the future pure math scholar and deputy director of the Institute for

Defense Analysis assumed he was going to ace a quiz on factoring polynomials. Instead, he earned a paper drenched in red marks and a failing grade. And in that moment, he realized something that would become a thread throughout his long career. “There is such a thing as thinking you know something without actually knowing it,” Lee says. “You can hear something and not truly understand it. After that quiz, I always asked myself whether or not I truly understood anything and everything in my life.” Lee believes that, most of the time, mathematicians like him live in

There is such a thing as thinking you know something without actually knowing it. You can hear something and not truly understand it.”

a cocoon of intellectual frustration: sometimes they earn a break for a day or so, then they become fascinated and confused by the next theorem or idea. Interrogating himself about the extent of his knowledge because of that first failing grade all those years ago allows him to, as he says, “keep my acuity intact.”




nd after college? What if you were so impacted by a

The late Betty Newman, who was then the Mock Trial

club in high school that it determined your career

team’s faculty advisor, led by example: she held meetings


and inspired you to serve that high school commu-

at her home, which helped the team to bond. Through

nity? Rebecca Moll Freed, who is currently nomi-

these experiences, Rebecca learned lessons she still relies

nated as President of NA’s Alumni Board of Governors, is

on today. “My experience helped me learn the importance

a partner in Genova Burns LLC’s Newark office, where she

of collaboration and the value of being part of a team,” she

chairs the practice groups on corporate political activity

says. “I think that too often we feel the need to come up

and on nonprofits, trade associations and tax-exempt

with answers or solve problems on our own. We are some-

organizations. Discussing her current work, Rebecca is

times afraid to admit that we may not know an answer.”

quick to note that her legal career truly began at NA. Before her junior year, Rebecca assumed she would become a pediatrician, but she had also been involved in the Speech and Debate Club, which sparked her interest in trying out for the Mock Trial team. After being chosen as an attorney in her first year on the team, Rebecca thrived. She is not a confrontational person by nature, but she loved the preparatory work for trials: the dissection of information, the movement from making an argument to questioning, and especially the “storytelling” aspect of law. “I do not like working from notes,” Rebecca says. “Presenting ideas that you have committed to memory

My experience helped me learn

the importance of collaboration and the value of being part of a team. I think that too often we feel the

need to come up with answers or solve problems on our own.”

allows you to draw people in.”




I  SPRING 2021



hree playwrights who must each create a one-act drama between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Three directors who must each execute a playwright’s vision in time for a performance at 8 p.m. It takes a creatively

acute thinker to successfully finish the marathon that is NA’s 24-Hour Playwriting Festival, but that’s the kind of mind Elliott Zornitsky possesses. A member of the Student Council and the cross country team, and a future recipient of NA’s Ad Lumen Award, Elliott looked forward with excitement to the event. But then Scott Jacoby,

Sitting in the audience, I was able to see that I wrote something people responded to – that they reacted when and how I wanted them to. It made writing real for me.”

NA’s longtime drama teacher, announced his retirement. Elliott and his fellow IB Advanced Acting students were devastated. What would the new teacher do? To the

heard people laughing at the jokes he had written that

actors’ delight, she rose to the challenge. As Elliott says,

changed everything. “Sitting in the audience, I was able

“NA is its teachers. They are given great resources, and

to see that I wrote something people responded to – that

use them to get to know their students so well. A few

they reacted when and how I wanted them to. It made

occupy the role of something close to a counselor.” People

writing real for me,” Elliott says.

like Benson Hawk, Sarah Fisher and that brave new (in 2017) drama teacher, Rachel Shapiro-Cooper, allowed Elliott to grow.

Now, even though he keeps busy at Dartmouth studying political science, Elliott also finds time to be a writing tutor. “At NA, I found out I have a voice, and the passion

But it was the moment when Elliott – exhausted and

of other students helped build a bridge for me from

exhilarated from a night spent feverishly writing his

high school into college.”

play and exploring the darkened hallways of the school –




ometimes the moment that changes us is the result

When Rasheea saw

of many events lining up like cosmic dominoes, day

those front fields

after day. That was the case for Rasheea Williams

stretching out, she

Hall, currently the Vice President for Broadcast

knew she was in a place


Standards and Practices at Fox Broadcasting Company. After attending a summer institute for gifted students who resided in Newark, run at the time by former NA

Today, smiling warmly, Rasheea

faculty member Joe Ball, Rasheea was granted a scholar-

relates that her passion for learning

ship to NA. Rasheea easily recalls her “aha” moment:

“allowed me to be chosen to exist in a new world.”

when the #70 bus from Newark pulled up to drop her off

She credits the growth she experienced at NA, starting on

at 91 South Orange Avenue for the first time. Rasheea

that very first day, to her many mentors and supporters

awakened at 5 a.m. in order to make it to school on time,

on the faculty and staff. Sue Sawatsky’s quiet nurse’s

and that bus had traveled through many iterations of

office gave Rasheea a refuge for saltine crackers and the

New Jersey’s class structure and levels of privilege.


I  SPRING 2021

chance to sit and collect herself, and Kerry Winiarski’s sage advice helped her make the next big leap to the world of college. Among these supporters, Rasheea’s time at NA was an opportunity for her to cement her “willful

[My passion for learning] allowed


that would quite literally change her reality.

me to be chosen to exist

optimism.” As retired faculty member and Middle School Principal Joan Parlin used to say to her, “You always believe that you can work things out.” And Rasheea does!

in a new world.”


SO MANY “GUIDES ON THE SIDE” were mentioned by these alumni. It is clear that the bonds formed between students and their faculty and staff mentors act like ripples, both disruptive and generative. And the energy causing those ripples has not yet been used up. Somehow, these “aha” moments lodged in the consciousness of these individuals; the rocks that disrupted the surface tension of their lives as young people were of such substance and mass that they remain. And what a revelation that is! So I ask of you: What do you know? How do you know it? How did you get to where you are now?







NA Artists’ Creativity Garners Prestigious Awards Seven Newark Academy students received a total of 13 awards at the 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for the Northern New Jersey Art Region, the nation’s longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens. These students’ works exemplified the awards’ core values: originality, technical skill, and the emergence of personal voice or vision. NA’s award recipients are as follows: GOLD KEY

Jessie Luo ’22 SILVER KEY

Lucas Alland ’22, Lauren Freed ’22, Tess Kesler ’22, Jessie Luo ’22, Jeffrey Keys ’21 HONORABLE MENTION

Jessie Luo ’22, Kaya Patel ’22, Anika Verma ’22 All students’ winning works are accessible for viewing at the Montclair Art Museum’s online exhibition. DREW FRANCE ’22 won the 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards’ Civic Expression Award for creating an original work of art or writing that promotes responsible civic life. Drew won the award in recognition

of her critical essay titled, “The Pantry Paradox: Food Insecurity as a Threat to the Meaning of American

Citizenship.” The essay addresses how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity in

the United States. Drew initially wrote the essay as an assignment for her AP U.S. History class, taught by Rochelle Outlaw Edwards.

As a Civic Expression Award recipient, Drew will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Her essay was among

the nearly 230,000 works that were entered into the awards competition by students from every state in the nation for adjudication.



I  SPRING 2021



hether you are sitting among students

at a Harkness table or walking through

the halls at Newark Academy, you will


find NA faculty consistently reimagining the educational rigor that the school is

known for. Each day NA educators bring innovative, engaging and challenging

experiences to students in order to help instill within them with a genuine love of

learning. This focus on academic excellence

is affirmed by NA’s supportive community – one in which students learn together

while developing as confident individuals

with integrity. Several NA faculty members shared with LUMEN their vision of what

“reimagining rigor” means to them and

their colleagues in their respective roles as educators.

humanities IB health




science b y R ac h a e l R e e v e s     I

What are humans made of? What should we do about

climate change? How can we prevent a global pandemic? Interactive Systems, the eighth-

grade science course, teaches students the content and skills they need in order

to engage with these questions and more. In teaching the course, I have found that

traditional assessments can’t always achieve my goals, so I often rely on inquiry-based labs and

student-driven research projects to structure and assess student learning. Looking back at her time in Interactive Systems, senior

“I was really surprised by how much

Ruthie Gu ’21 says, “I really appreciated the agency we were

we change the rivers around us,”

given, particularly with the infectious disease project and

says Saul Brauns ’25. “Studying the

the end-of-year science fair. By being able to choose our

Passaic River made me think about

own topic and research question, a genuine curiosity was

how we should be protecting the water

fostered for the subject matter. I am of the opinion that

we rely on.”

curiosity is more valuable than knowledge capacity. The latter gets you good test scores; the former encourages out-of-the-box thinking – the kind that leads to discoveries and breakthroughs.”

As a Middle School teacher, I also have a responsibility to prepare students for the academic rigors of Upper School science and IB courses. As they study the human body, students learn to design their own experiments and

As I designed the course, I hoped to instill in students a sense

manipulate laboratory equipment like microscopes and

of curiosity about the world around them and the skills to

sphygmomanometers. Exercises like mind-mapping help

think critically about problems facing their communities. For instance, in the Fall, we spend time exploring the NA campus, thinking about our impact on the local watershed. Students measure water quality in the stream on campus and in the local Passaic River, submitting their data to the Great Swamp Watershed Association, in support of the nonprofit’s mission to “protect and improve the water resources of the Passaic River region, from the Great Swamp headwaters to Newark Bay.”

students draw connections between topics and think deeply about the content they are learning. “Eighth-grade science sets a foundation in skills-based learning that reaches far beyond the Middle School,” explains Science Department Chair Caitlin Ciampaglio. “As students enter the Upper School they are equipped with key problemsolving skills using discipline-specific knowledge and methods of inquiry while thinking divergently. The dayto-day of our eighth-grade science class focuses on constructive sharing of roles, responsibilities, spaces and resources in the laboratory.” Throughout the year, students practice lab design skills, culminating in a science fair at the end of the year. The fair is modeled after an IB assessment in the Upper School, for which students research a topic of their choice then design, execute and report on the results of their own experiments. “The fair celebrates intellectual, personal, and creative risk-taking – all of which the Upper School program is centered around,” says Caitlin. Senior Kaleb Youngren ’21 recalls his eighth-grade project fondly, remembering “how fun it was working with my classmates to figure out whether artificial flavorings really matter to taste.” There is nothing more rewarding to an educator than seeing

Rachel Reeves, Middle School teacher, encourages her students’ scientific explorations.



I  WINTER 2021

your students joyfully learning new skills and thinking deeply about issues, and I am so lucky that I get to witness this happening on a daily basis.

english by Dan ReeD    I

To me, reimagining rigor means realizing balance. It means

creating balance between writing and other forms of communication, as my students

and I combine a detailed approach to strong writing – a central hallmark of a Newark

Academy education – with opportunities for other modes of creative expression.

It means finding balance between self-driven and collaborative work, both of which will surely be

essential in our students’ lives after they leave NA.

Perhaps most importantly, it means achieving balance between teacher and student. Not a proponent of the classical “sage on the stage” model, I find that my students and I thrive together when we prioritize teacher-student collaboration in as many areas as possible – planning and facilitating discussion, choosing texts, designing assessments – instead of abiding by a traditional top-down approach. In these ways, I work with my students not only to promote challenge and find joy in learning, but also to realize that this joy can and should come as a direct result of that challenge.

This looks different in every grade. For instance, the seniors in my IB English Higher Level (HL) class work together to define what a great reading discussion looks like, and then they plan and facilitate the discussions – each student working with a partner – for some of our texts. This year, inspired by one of my colleagues in the English department (shoutout to Mr. Scerra!), I asked my IB students to choose our final course text; they debated the merits of several works and eventually settled on Kazuo Ishiguro’s Booker Prize-winning The Remains of the Day (one of my favorites, in fact!).

Dan Reed, newly appointed English Department Chair, engages students to explore the themes presented in Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day. To be sure, I work to apply many of the same academic rigors that have long characterized a challenging English education, namely those that come with a meticulous approach to analytical and persuasive writing. Indeed, my students might tell you about how I expect knowledge gained from our “Daily Nuggets” – short lessons at the start of each class about all sorts of “hard skills” related to our subject – to show up in their writing. They might also mention the challenges of our cumulative writing curriculum, and the necessity of keeping a detailed record of writing feedback in order to progressively master skills and mature as writers. My goal every year, though, is to get to a place with my students where they are the ones applying the rigor to our work.

Meanwhile, my students in ninth-grade Literature and Composition, having already written plenty of analytical essays (as I’m sure they’d tell you), recently went through the process of proposing, designing and completing creative projects in response to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. With the aid of a rubric to keep them on the right track, they needed to determine what rigor looked like in their own processes. Unsurprisingly, they ended up producing a panoply of imaginative projects, complete with analytical artist statements: a painstakingly designed Twelfth Night Monopoly game, an original Twelfth Night-inspired rewrite of a popular Hamilton song, and an adaptation of the play set at a modern high school, to name just a few. I’ve found that, when students are given a stake in planning their experiences, they tend to choose rigor. Their creative risk-taking has inspired me to challenge myself in the classroom in similar ways, like planning special units around skills that each year’s students want to learn but that I first need to learn more about myself. Perhaps more importantly, I think their choosing to challenge themselves is rather auspicious for them, as this sort of intrinsic motivation will be integral to their well-being when a teacher’s grades are no longer the ostensible markers of their success. In the meantime, I continue to revel in how much I learn from my students – and how much they learn from one another – when they share in the mission of designing our experience together in the NA English classroom.



b y M a R y ly s I n g e R     I

If you imagine learning complex grammar exceptions and

memorizing long vocabulary lists as the definition of rigor in the language classroom,

think again. Today’s modern language classes at NA foster students’ abilities to use

French, Mandarin and Spanish to communicate their thoughts and open doors to

other ways of thinking and experiencing the world. Using techniques that promote the use of only

the target language in the classroom, NA students are challenged from their very first day in class to take risks and to figure out what they are hearing. Content is selected for its ability to spur exploration and discussion of topics from a variety of domains, and assessments are often project-based and multi-faceted.

While a traditional language classroom may wait until students have learned “enough” and “earned” the right to engage in critical thought, NA teachers are suporting students in active learning. For example, Middle School French students will use simple tools like decision trees and inductive reasoning processes when discussing grammar, becoming actively involved in ensuring accuracy of communication. Mandarin teacher Shun-Yao Chang and Spanish teachers Reyther Ortega and Patty Pascal recently devoted a year of professional development to implementing a scaffolding approach in their intermediate curricula. “Rigor for us means setting high expectations but supporting our students during their learning progress,” says Reyther. “We immerse them in the culture and language they are learning and place them out of their comfort zones.” This approach has been very successful, according to Reyther: “Students are more motivated when they know exactly what is the real-life purpose of the material they are learning.” Meanwhile, in IB language classes, students meet with authors, UN delegates and other guests, engaging with them in discussions of timely topics. The students develop criticalthinking skills in the process of analyzing causes and effects,

Katherine Guo ’24 and Dagny Slomack ’24 with the awards they received at the 2020 National French Contest.



I  WINTER 2021

and then propose solutions to realworld problems. Collaboration and creativity are key features of language instruction at NA. Thematic units with project-based assessments allow students to engage with technology and each other while working towards meaningful final projects that pull together material in ways the students themselves design. The results are varied and exciting: comic books, newscasts, memes and brochures are just a few of the examples one finds across languages and levels. In Mandarin classes, for example, all levels of instruction participate in an NYU-sponsored annual competition that requires students to write a script and produce a film on a proposed theme. Last year’s Mandarin B, 2 and 3 levels all won awards for their interpretation of “Ten Minutes to Change the World.” Collaboration is crucial not only among students but also between teacher and class. French teacher Moussa Fall says, “My goal is to have my students in the ‘leaning zone’ – which is between their ‘comfort zone’ and the ‘red zone’ – because that is where learning occurs.

Claire Waskow ’23 participates as a guide during the Middle School French C’s annual field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

humanities by Rochelle outlaw eDwaRDs    I

The experience of the pandemic and the

constant shifts between remote and in-person learning have inspired faculty members in

the Humanities Department to reimagine rigor as we seek to maintain the intellectual quality

of our courses, to keep students engaged, and to make classes more fun and enjoyable. In humanities

classes, reimagining rigor began with reimagining homework assignments. While some classes, like AP

U.S. History, reduced the length of nightly reading assignments, others, like Modern World History and IB Philosophy Higher Level (HL), replaced homework assignments with in-class readings. Reading aloud together in class allows students to digest difficult concepts and vocabulary

together and allows the class to do immediate work with the text.

a campaign for a political party during the 1860 presidential election. The project required their investigation into the life of a candidate, the candidate’s political positions, and the issues central to that year’s election. In addition to a written report, groups were tasked with implementing a campaign for the candidate via social media or posters throughout the school, using primary sources. Both of these projects demonstrate the department’s focus on skill building. In past years, humanities assessments tended to be more traditional, like in-class essays; now, however, faculty members are constantly seeking creative ways to assess student learning. One example of this can be seen in IB Philosophy HL, where some essays have been replaced with daily reading Rochelle Outlaw Edwards, Humanities Department Chair, helps her students to take ownership of their learning. Another strategy, used in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, is incorporating more discussion-based classes and rotating the responsibility of students to submit discussion questions on each night’s reading. According to Jim Coe, who teaches the course, this strategy helps frame the class’s thinking about the material and gives students an increased sense of ownership over their own learning. Another way of reimagining rigor is through creative group projects. In American Studies, groups of students were tasked with researching, planning and teaching lessons on the postCivil War era. Each group wrote an outline, conducted a seminar, designed a Kahoot (an online, game-based learning platform), and gave a quiz on the material they presented. This project stressed collaboration, communication and creative thinking skills. Likewise, in American Experience, a recent group project incorporated five of the Six Cs: Citizenship, Collaboration, Communication, Creativity and Critical Thinking. Students worked in groups to plan

notes and reflections. According to course teacher Dr. Richard DiBianca, these types of assessments give students more control over their learning. Rather than spending time on studying and trying to anticipate the questions on an in-class essay, students put more effort into making deeper connections to the texts. In IB Modern World History Standard Level (SL), students were required to debate whether Adolf Hitler was Germany’s fate or misfortune. As they would for an in-class essay, students had to develop nuanced and focused arguments while illustrating the depth of their understanding of the historiography surrounding Hitler’s rise to power. A debate tests their oral communication skills and challenges them to immediately respond to arguments posed by their classmates. The debate in IB Modern World History reminds us of the challenges of the past year, with students continually shifting from in-person to remote learning and the impact of those changes on these types of assignments. We applaud our students for remaining dogged in their endeavors, despite our ever-evolving circumstances. Beyond COVID, the Humanities Department plans to take these new challenging and innovative ways of reimagining rigor into the future.



IB by neIl stouRton    I

If you graduated from Newark Academy

in the 1990s, you remember the International Baccalaureate program

as catering to a handful of students. Fast forward to today, half the

students in each class graduate from NA with an IB diploma, while many others

take individual IB courses as honors offerings.

NA students have embraced the IB diploma program because it is widely recognized as the most rigorous college-prep curriculum available, but that rigor is not limited to challenging exams. Diploma candidates take IB courses over the final two years of Upper School in six subjects, so they must demonstrate both breadth and depth of knowledge. In addition to studying for end-of-year IB exams, students in each subject must complete IB-moderated internal assessments and other coursework to demonstrate that they can absorb and analyze the course material. IB courses value mastery of skills over content, and students may demonstrate those skills by creating a podcast in a language class, coming up with an independent topic for a paper in math, or doing lab work to prove a theory in the science textbook. Lessons are inquiry-based, and students are always encouraged to challenge ideas and to question sources. The Extended Essay, now completed during June Term, allows each student to follow their passion and to become the school’s expert in a particular area of knowledge, resulting in a 4,000-word research paper.

on Africa rather than Europe, and IB arts classes look at plays, dance forms, music, paintings and film from around the world. I also invited NA seniors Lori Hashasian and Nicole Pesquin for their take on IB…

What are IB classes really like?

“I really love the freedom that IB gives to choose the classes I am most passionate about. My favorite part of my IB classes is the discussions. I appreciate the ability to learn from my peers and use their differing perspectives to form my own perspective on a subject. The material is presented in a way that encourages students to question and build their knowledge on real-world issues, rather than simply memorizing theorems and facts.”

How do IB classes differ from AP or regular classes?

“My biggest concern about taking IB classes was that they’d all be teaching to a test in the same way AP classes do. I was pleasantly surprised that this wasn’t the case at all. IB exams are structured to test critical thinking, so a lot of them involve writing argumentative essays and shorter responses. Preparing for IB exams falls naturally into the structure of the class since most class discussions involve lots of critical thinking and creating arguments. Internal assessments provide a unique opportunity to research a topic that you’re really interested in. They put the responsibility of choosing a topic into your hands and require you to manage your time effectively.”

Which IB class developed your thinking the most, and why?

Neil Stourton, Director of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IB), and Lori Hashasian ’21 discuss real-world issues to further frame a class discussion. The IB was founded to foster international mindedness, but looking at other cultures and experiences also forces us to question our own assumptions and values. To this end, IB literature classes read works in translation, IB history now has a focus



I  SPRING 2021

Theory of Knowledge (TOK) has definitely transformed the way I think about learning. Before taking TOK, I’d never really considered the different ways we learn and produce knowledge. TOK doesn’t have as many homework assignments or assessments as other classes, which makes it a stress-free environment and gives you space to just think. One of my biggest takeaways from TOK is that certain types of knowledge are not inherently more valuable than others. For instance, while knowledge in science might be more objective than knowledge in the arts, that does not make it more valuable to society.”

health In the Health Department, “Reimagining Rigor” Is Answering the Question Why? by DIana FeRnanDes    I

Through our curriculum and hands-on lessons, it is our goal in the

Health Department to provide information that can help students become more knowledgeable,

to provide tools for positive decision-making, and to give students opportunities to recognize why their mental and physical health is important.

We ask students to connect on a personal level and reflect

on ways to handle these situations and oppor-

on course content, in order to strengthen understanding

tunities to practice those skills.

and confidence in making healthy decisions for themselves. Across all grades, students are asked to come together and discuss why actions are important and what impacts they may have on people around them or on themselves as individuals. “In Upper School, students learn about healthy decisionmaking that will take them through life,” says Health Department faculty member Tara DelRusso. “They consider decisions regarding their mental, social and physical health, as well as the consequences of these decisions. Consent, perspective-taking and stress management are all a part of the conversation.” In Kirsti Morin’s seventh-grade Understanding Risky

In my own Physical Health classes, I ask students to explore movement, game strategies and personal fitness with an emphasis on why movement is important. In a class where physical performance is often thought of as primary, it’s easy to forget that knowing why we move can be just as important as the movements themselves. In the midst of a pandemic, these opportunities for students to challenge themselves through movement have become even more meaningful. In my tenth-grade Physical Health class, students create individualized physical goals and design their own workouts to find success. Last fall, I had several students thank me for helping them reach goals they didn’t think were possible, especially because prioritizing

Behaviors class, she uses real-life examples of peer pressure

movement while home has been challenging. One student

and peer conflict to make scenarios relatable for students.

impressively completed over one hundred push-ups in a

She then leads discussions that result in practical advice

single class period! This was something she thought she’d

Diana Fernandes, Health Department Chair, helps Wesley Freeman ’23 (on the left) and Zoe Hermans ’23 (on right) to reach their physical health goals.

never be able to accomplish. It’s a true joy to work with and support these students, and it’s especially gratifying to watch as they push themselves and take responsibility for their physical health. As Carol Spooner, another faculty member in the department, says, “Whether designing their own fitness programs, creating healthy coping strategies for the physical and mental-health challenges of the pandemic, or developing empathy and perspective-taking skills to better connect with others, the Health Department curriculum celebrates challenge and inspires integrity within oneself and in collaboration with others.” It is our hope that all of our classes instill in our students lifelong skills and the confidence to take charge of their wellness for many years to come.













I  SPRING 2021





sĈƤÝŸŀûÝāĈŋƪōōƍÝńGƍōā ɀȾɀȾɫɀȾɀȿ




Letter From Glenn Waldorf ’90 President, Alumni Board of Governors

It took 30 years and becoming president of Newark Academy Alumni Board of Governors (BOG) for me to appreciate what I learned in my first year at Newark Academy. Drama class taught me how to improvise

and add creativity to words spoken on stage in order to make the

audience enjoy a show. Playing basketball taught me how critical

passing is for running up the score and getting wins. And Latin class taught me carpe diem – seize the day.

››› The quotes within this article were shared by members of Newark Academy’s Board of Governors.



I  SPRING 2021

and understanding all voices in order to


Glenn is a compassionate, dedicated, and funny leader. He has set the Alumni BOG up for great success. Thank you Glenn for your service.”

reach consensus positions on complex issues. Each year, we evaluate our results and operations and modify our structure to meet our alumni constituents’ needs. This year COVID-19, Zoom, and a greater emphasis on equity and inclusion reshaped our approaches to meetings

When I was elected president of the BOG

progress is possible during each

in 2015, I was fortunate not to start with a

academic year

tabula rasa (blank slate). I benefited from the strengths and approaches of my predecessors. Thank you, Judge Leo Gordon ’69 (BOG president from 2005–2011), for the extraordinary commitment you


Ubi concordia, ibi victoria (where there is unity, there is victory): forging our

The most prominent area where we have

them for success

expanded programming and resources is enhanced alumni networking opportunities.

I am grateful to have worked with two

connecting the school to our alumni, and

outstanding women as vice presidents –

our alumni to each other. Thank you, John

Rebecca Freed ’94 and Jacqueline Lipsius

Bess ’69 (BOG president from 2012–2015),

’93. We recruited an outstanding group

focused the board’s actions in building the NA community. Expanding on these former presidents’ dedication and planning, I sought to raise the bar for how the BOG operates and what we could accomplish for and with our alumni. The board has a clear set of aims: to be the dynamic leadership group of the NA alumni community, dedicated to supporting the mission of the school and serving as a relevant catalyst for engagement between the school and its alumni. My approach as a leader blends my character, experiences, and additional lessons

of alumni leaders and doubled the size of the board. I’m very proud of how the BOG became a proactive working board that anticipates and reflects the interests and goals of our entire alumni constituency. The BOG now includes NA graduates from

as well as in the middle of the country. In addition, a majority of the board is now female, with women chairing the preponderance of BOG committees. The BOG represents a diversity of alumni viewpoints and experiences, as 30 percent of the governors on the


Divide et impera (divide and conquer):

We have made our governors’ involve-

being very practical about what can be

ment an engaging and fun commitment.

accomplished and how

The BOG has changed the substance of our

don’t count them): acting with a sense of immediacy to implement whatever


nors located on the East and West Coasts

board are alumni of color.

Utere, non numera (use the hours,

Thanks to the recommendations of a

the 1960s through 2010s. We have gover-

from those first NA classes:


and online events that have engaged our alumni.

volunteers into a team and empowering

made to NA in advancing the BOG and

for developing robust strategies that

and our programming. I’m thrilled at how we’ve created innovative in-person

meetings to include presentations from trustees, administrators and students on key topics. Discussions focus on hearing

Glenn is an incredible one-man band. Beyond his personal dedication to NA, he is also always intent on learning about each BOG member to understand how he can support them. We welcome our new President and at the same time, understand there will never be another Glenn.”

dedicated alumni task force reporting to the BOG, we adopted a smartphone app to foster alumni networking, ran workshops for young alumni to get a jumpstart on their careers, and expanded our online programming for different industries. This year we transformed our popular NYC Networking Night into a virtual con-

I’ve known Glenn and his family since I was in Kindergarten! Glenn was the first person to welcome me back with open arms to the BOG when I returned for my second stint. His leadership, humor, and care for the NA community and the BOG will be missed!”

ference that attracted alumni nationwide, including NA graduates from the 1950s through 2010s. I am also pleased with the growth in our equity and inclusion efforts during the past few years. We have opened dialogues among our alumni of color, students and





Glenn was a focused leader that helped elevate the BOG’s role at the school. He will be missed…”

NA administrators about their distinct and common sets of experiences. Attending some of these events taught me key lessons that NA students are learning – especially how to defuse conflict and create understanding and empathy. I am proud that the BOG is working hard to support and implement the school’s important equity and inclusion work. NA alumni now participate in NA’s community service initiatives, help NA juniors prepare for their college interviews, and socialize with faculty. Reunion has become a much fuller and more popular experience. The BOG expanded our alumni awards ceremony to recognize contributions to the arts, along with professional, athletic, alumni service and faculty achievements. The BOG is always measuring our progress


Glenn is a tireless champion for the NA alumni community.”

and how we can best serve alumni. I believe that our growth and evolution as a board has had a positive effect on NA and its

In June 2021, after 10 great years on the BOG, including six as president, I am concluding my service on the alumni board. Thank you all for your encouragement during this time and your support of the incoming leadership team. I think that the BOG will be in great hands and do even more to serve our NA community

mater such a prominent place in your

in the coming years.

hearts and minds. Thank you to our excel-

As I learned in my first year at NA, there is

lent group of governors for what you’ve

a time to exit the stage and pass the ball to

accomplished and for your ambitious

other fantastic alumni. As I say goodbye,

ideas. Thank you to the strong and

I close with one last Latin phrase we all

creative team in the NA Advancement

learned at NA – one that needs no transla-

Thank you, alumni, for participating in

Office that backs our initiatives and has

tion: Ad Lumen.

school activities, for engaging NA on

been especially impressive during this

social media, and for giving our alma

challenging year.

alumni community. The greatest sign that alumni recognize our increased efforts is that they frequently approach us about volunteering for NA and joining the board.

Glenn has been an exceptional leader on the BOG. He has taken the time to get to know each member of the BOG and has done a remarkable job making sure that we are all connected to one another and to Newark Academy. Glenn truly cares about NA, each member of the BOG, and the entire alumni community. He also has a great sense of humor which makes service on the BOG a lot of fun! Although I will miss calling Glenn, ‘Mr. President,’ I am thankful to call him my friend!”



I  SPRING 2021

Cosimo Fabrizio’18 Introduces rapStudy

A passionate and talented musician, Cosimo Fabrizio ’18 has channeled his love

of music and education into the development of a new company called rapStudy.

Co-founded by Cosimo while attending Cornell University, rapStudy is an online

platform that uses popular song melodies paired with new lyrics to educate children on topics ranging from COVID-19 to the Electoral College.

In a recent interview Cosimo said, “rapStudy really originated from the impact that

music can have by helping prompt ideas and serve as a memory and retention aide. Over a

year of thinking and development, we realized that that has no better place than in the class-

room with young students.”

Cosimo is currently double-majoring in economics and government at Cornell. When not absorbed in his

coursework, he focuses considerable energy on ensuring the continuing success of rapStudy. Asked about the future of the company, Fabrizio said, “If we can have access to younger kids and get their learning process to a place where their relationship with learning fundamentally changes, we will have met our goal. If kids are

more excited about the learning process and realize that learning is not just about filling out worksheets, we

think we’ll be able to have a profound impact on kids’ lives.”

Watch our recent interview with Cosimo Fabrizio ’18 on YouTube to learn more about his work with rapStudy.


Celebrate and Reconnect with NA! LEARN MORE:










Stephen Knee

Michael r. Yogg

Stephan G. Kravitz

Mark Belnick’s theatrical production partnership is coproducer of the new, musical version of the iconic “Back To The Future,” which played to packed houses and SROs during its tryout last year in Manchester, UK, until COVID intervened. The show is now scheduled to open this summer (COVID willing) in London’s West End, for an unlimited run before hopefully heading to Broadway.

Franklin C. phifer, Jr.




Jerome Bess says, “80 years ago I graduated from NA and started what was to be four years of college. Not so! WWII got in the way! Lots of action those days. I returned from Italy in January of 1946 and finished college with a degree in marketing. But returning to school wasn’t the same experience for me as the world had changed.”

douglas B. Slade


Frederick Katz, Jr. 60th Reunion

60th Reunion CONTACT:


Curtis Cetrulo

robert lee (561) 747-4331

peter papademetriou

1946 75th Reunion



robert Cronheim


Bernard J. d’Avella, Jr. bud@davellafamily


Van S. Stevens Alan Grassano and his wife Valerie are the proud grandparents of Jack Miles Grassano born September 3, 2020. Jack joins his first cousin Margot Leigh Grassano born May 7, 2019.


William (Bill) Van Winkle





Edward l. levitt


daniel d. Cronheim


Warren G. Soare


lance t. Aronson

1967 1975

Matthew leone

2020–2021 NA ANNuAl FuNd Make your gift by June 30.

Mark Menza

55th Reunion



I  SPRING 2021

leo M. Gordon

Harry Hazelwood III



Charles A. Fischbein


John H. Bess

Contact: William d. Hardin, Jr.





50th Reunion

1961 1944



William J. York

Imagine the possibilities your gift can have. Support NA:

1976 45th Reunion CONTACT:

donald C. deFabio robin lechter Frank

1978 ricky Kirshner, owner of RK productions Inc. was an executive producer of President Joe Biden’s and Vice President Kamala Harris’ Inaugural festivities. He also directed the 2020 Democratic convention last year.


Michael Schneck


when automotive engineers and mechanics race their homemade jalopies as fast as 450 mph. She saw her first live NASA launch – a bucket list item since age 10 – with other press members at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Afterward, she accompanied photographers who retrieved their remote cameras near the launch pad, enabling a close-up look at the charred returned SpaceX fuselage. Susan also wrote about a 2019 dive trip she took with retired astronauts to the Aquarius Reef Base, an undersea lab where they trained to live aboard the space station, and the Coral Restoration Foundation, a reef conservation effort. Her weekly Zoom sessions with her Burning Man campmates, including Brian Stroehlein ’80, and visiting with Michael Blum ’79 kept her “relatively sane.”







Kim S. Hirsh

1981 40th Reunion

Grammy-nominated singer, Stacey Kent, was a recent guest on Newark Academy’s NA Voices podcast and has recently released her newest single, Landslide:



Arthur (Artie) Williams IV Artie Williams works for E Street Capital Management, a hedge fund. He is in regular contact with John Roegner, Hans Petter Evensen, Andy Mulvihill and Mac Harris. In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, Susan Karlin managed some silver linings in the last year. She won a Los Angeles Press Club Award for a Fast Company profile of Poppy Northcutt, the first female NASA mission control specialist turned women’s rights attorney. Susan took a road trip to the Bonneville Salt Flats, on the Nevada/Utah border, for Speed Week,


William E. Markstein


Kimberley Griffinger Wachtel trevor Weston, Professor of Music at Drew University received an Arts and Letters Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

1. Alan Grassano’s ’65 grandson, Jack Miles Grassano. 2. Susan Karlin ’81 diving in the Florida Keys. 3. Craig B. Helfer’s ’07 daughter, Ella Rose Helfer. 4. Natalie Lampert’s ’08 daughter, Melody Doris, and her big brother, Josh. 4. Carly McMahon ’13 and Charles Bushnell ’13 at their wedding.




IN SEARCH OF THE COLOR PURPLE Dr. Salamishah Tillet ’92, Author Salamishah Tillet’s book, In Search of the Color Purple was published in January 2021. Former Newark Academy faculty member Joseph Ball, who read Salamishah’s work, shared his thoughts on her book. “Salamishah draws up her academic studies, her interviews with Alice Walker, Oprah, and others, as well as her personal experiences with tragedy and pain, to illuminate the personalities, relationships and themes of Walker’s modern classic, The Color Purple,” Joe said. “I finished Salamishah’s book with a deeper understanding of the characters Celie, Shug, Albert, Sofia and Harpo; but even more so, I came away with a deeper admiration and love for Salamishah. Her book is a gift. Give it to your friends, and make sure you save a copy for yourself.”

1986 35th Reunion

1991 30th Reunion



Betsy dollinger Bernstein

richard l. Worth richardworth2001@

James C. Schachtel

1993 1988



timothy E. Herburger

lara Coraci Basile

Jed S. rosenthal

Matthew Mctamaney Melissa dollinger Shein


pamela Helfant Vichengrad


Stacey Bradford


Glenn A. Waldorf



I  SPRING 2021

rebecca Freed moderated a conversation for, “She Knew She Could: A Women’s History Month Event,” featuring five of NA’s amazing alumnae who have broken into their respective industries. Chloe Miller published her new poetry book, “Viable,” which is a collection of poems and stories about “childbearing in the twentyfirst century, when mothers are held to an impossible standard of producing

perfect pregnancies, and an early miscarriage can haunt future motherhood.”


Evyan turner

1996 25th Reunion CONTACT:

Jason S. Granet Andrew Slutzky


Amanda rubinstein Black


Jack A. Hyman lauren Jacobs-lazer Smita ramanadham

Jenna Smith Schwerdt Congratulations are in order for Jamin Mendelsohn who welcomed her baby Sacha Portoff home on February 21, 2021. Archana rao Calapa and her husband PJ Calapa shared a special conversation in an interview with Evan Nisenson ’99, the Director of Alumni Relations about how they have been managing their restaurant business during a pandemic. Michael Carniol and his family welcomed home a baby girl, Chloe Hannah Carniol, on March 31, 2021. Jade-Addon Hall was nominated for the 2021 Man & Woman of the Year Campaign to raise much-needed funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. To help raise awareness and funds for this initiative, Jade recruited a team of close friends and colleagues which includes several NA alumni: ryan Howard ’97, Jenna Smith ’98, pinakin Jethwa ’98, Kavita Jethwa ’01 and roopali Jethwa ’02. You can learn more by contacting Jenna at


John Gregory Asha K. Coco dr. david Green, associate professor of anatomy, coauthored a paper published in Scientific Reports with Daniel Garcia-Martinez and Jose Maria Bermudez de Castro, paleoanthropologists from the National Center for Research on Human Evolution (CENIEH) in Burgos, Spain. Their published findings suggest that Homo antecessor shoulder development was nearly identical to that of Homo sapiens. The authors concluded that H. antecessor shoulders were already very similar to modern humans, even during the Lower Pleistocene (~850,000) years ago.”


Alison poole lasher Genevieve Custodio welcomed her baby girl, Madeline.

2001 20th Reunion CONTACT:

Colin r. Griggs Brian McGaughan


Joshua Jacobs Marcelo C. porto Alexander C. Senchak

Andrew Martino’s novel start-up restaurant concept, Ghost Truck Kitchen, celebrated its 2nd anniversary on April 20th. Andrew is currently fundraising to grow the concept to multiple locations in 2021 and beyond. For inquiries, please email

some way during this tough time. The entire Fritze family is looking forward to the end of the pandemic so we can come back to New Jersey to visit family and spend time down the shore!



danielle Grunebaum Barrett

2006 15th Reunion CONTACT:

Julia Appel Sarah Marcus Hansen sarahmarcushansen@ Brandon Hedvat

lauren H. Anderson

Kathryn pagos

Ilana Mandelbaum Sterling ilana.mandelbaum@

david N. rattner

Stephanie reingold

Asia Stewart

Evan p. Sills

louise Ball Schutte

Jahlisa Braithwaite’s daughter Jayla was born on December 20, 2020.


Julie Cubicciotti welcomed home her baby boy Daniel Anthony IV.


david Mazzuca and a colleague at Harvard wrote an op-ed titled, “Combine federal funds to clear the air and reopen schools.” This opinion contribution is featured on The Hill. Heather podvey Asip welcomed home baby Callum Asip who was born on March 1st. dorian Muench-Fritze, and Kevin Fritze have been staying safe and keeping very busy in Charlotte, NC during the pandemic. Dorian has been getting their son through remote learning while becoming their daughter’s preschool instructor. She has an even greater appreciation for everything that teachers do, especially the little, day-to-day things that most parents never see. Meanwhile, Kevin has been managing his company’s response to the coronavirus pandemic since June, when he was put in charge of helping the company’s manufacturing sites respond to cases among their 9,000+ employees. While the role is challenging, it is rewarding to be able to help others in


Jonathan Allocca Gabriel Gaviola Molly McGaughan Bridget duffy raines Jacquelyn S. dorsky pinchuk (Jackie) and her husband Randy welcomed their baby Skylar Nora home.


david doobin Catherine pfeffer Emily Crystal Andrew Somberg Craig B. Helfer welcomed home baby girl Ella Rose Helfer, born on 2/21/21.

BECoME A ClASS AMBASSAdor! Class ambassadors perform a valuable service to the NA alumni community: they communicate school and class news, support key initiatives such as Reunion, and encourage participation in the Annual Fund. Sign up online at




We Fondly Remember Edwin M. Gangemi ’78 March 1, 2021 Frank M. MacKeith ’50 February 9, 2021 Charles R. Moffatt ’37 February 6, 2021 Gerald L. Evans ’80 January 28, 2021 H. Peter Schaub, Jr. ’40 December 18, 2020 Robert J. O’Brien ’60 October 28, 2020 Kenneth Goldman ’50 December 9, 2019 Martin T. Gilman ’47 Ernest N. Scarpa ’50 April 15, 2020

welcomed their daughter, Melody Doris, on February 13, 2021. She joins big brother Josh, age 2. The family also recently bought their first house and have moved out of Manhattan and back to New Jersey!


Andrew S. Binger Christina A. Colizza rebecca Curwin Shannon lam Webster Brian l. Silver Congratulations to Carly Hyatt Balagia who welcomed her baby girl Anabel home.



david Frank Alexa Gruber Kitchin Maximilian C. Staiger Congratulations to Michael Forman and Becky Jay Forman who welcomed their baby girl Molly Ezra, November 2020. rachel Klein Melhorn and Bryan Melhorn welcomed home a baby boy. Natalie (Friedman) lampert and her husband Gary



I  SPRING 2021

10th Reunion

lisa Fischer patrick Kelly

After spending years connecting at NA events, Susan Kobler, mother of Kendra Kobler, and several moms from the Class of 2010 realized it might be the end of seeing each other once their daughters graduated. To stay in touch, they formed a book group. 10 years and more than 100 books later, their group still meets nearly every month. When the pandemic hit, they switched from inperson to Zoom, and were able to invite their daughters to join (who were scattered in various cities). The mother/ daughter duos include the Koblers, Mukherjees, Shubes, Steins, rajans, and Bienstocks.


Sydney Hershman

Madeline delamielleure maddydelamielleure15@

Jordan I. Jett

Jasmine Gamboa

Jennifer Mandelbaum

Nicholas Murray

Jourdan McGhee

Zachary persing

Congratulations to William Harwood (Whit) who recently got engaged and started a new job at an organization called BUZZER as a Senior Product Manager.

Matthew thekkethala matt@learnforlife



Christopher p. davis Shane S. Neibart Carissa E. Szlosek


Brian McHugh




SaVonne Anderson Nicole Andrzejewski Matt Cowen Carly McMahon married Charles Bushnell on June 6, 2020 with immediate family present at the ceremony.


Jai Ghose thomas pan lauren Whelan Jacob Wieseneck

Gebereal Baitey became an assistant men’s basketball coach at Emory University on February 22, 2021.

2016 5th Reunion CONTACT:

Courtney Cooperman courtneycooperman@ Jacob Furst Joshua Martin Elizabeth Merrigan Elizabeth.merrigan16@ Samuel Vazir Bryan Wilensky Mackenna Woods Joshua Collin is Co-Founder of Bioloop Sleep, which offers expert 1-on-1 sleep coaching digitally to provide a more personalized way to unlock better sleep health.


Chloe Yu

Step Ahead & Sharpen Your Skills:

REIMAGINE SUMMER 2021 at Newark Academy June 28 - August 6


• Grades K - 12

Students will: Increase their skill-level, so they are better prepared for a return to school

in the fall

Engage in experiential learning opportunities for leadership development

Gain new perspectives from peers and instructors, to encourage participation and growth Choose among several offerings, including: Academic & Enrichment Programs

Meaningful discovery & skill development in advanced credit classes, STEM, arts, writing, sports, SAT/ACT Prep

NA-X Courses

EXclusively taught by NA faculty and administrators, with EXploratory courses in languages, financial literacy, philosophy, anatomy, coding

Apply online today!

… and MORE!

Newark Academy


91 South Orange Avenue Livingston, NJ 07039


P (973) 992-7000 E


Parents of alumni: If this publication is addressed to your child and he or she no longer maintains a permanent residence at your home, please notify Newark Academy,

This publication has been printed on recycled papers certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. In doing so, Newark Academy is supporting environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests.

SAVE THE DATE SEPTEMBER 20, 2021 Minuteman Golf Invitational Cedar Hill Golf & Country Club Livingston, NJ

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Newark Academy LUMEN Spring 2021  

LUMEN is the magazine of Newark Academy in Livingston, NJ. In this edition LUMEN features articles about Alumni "AHA Moments" that changed t...

Newark Academy LUMEN Spring 2021  

LUMEN is the magazine of Newark Academy in Livingston, NJ. In this edition LUMEN features articles about Alumni "AHA Moments" that changed t...

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