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32 Lightning in a Bottle Fall Drama, “A Shortage of Quotes,” Encourages Thoughtful Dialogue 38 Grit & Resilience Why They Matter IN THIS ISSUE

2 Perspectives 4 NA News 28 Advancement

At a celebration honoring Blackie Parlin’s 55 years at NA and his last academic class, faculty flanked the hallway to applaud as Mr. Parlin (in traditional Moroccan attire) exited the classroom. Mr. Parlin was escorted to the Black Box Theater where refreshments were served. Good thing he had a machete on hand to cut through the cake! Follow Mr. Parlin’s continuing NA adventures in the next issue of “Outreach”.

30 From the Archives 45 Alumni News 48 Alumni Profiles 55 Class Notes

the conversation: “Like” NA on Facebook; ‚ Join Follow NA on Twitter @newarkacademy; Visit us on the web at

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outreach SPRING 2014 Donald M. Austin Head of School


Lisa Grider Director of Institutional Advancement EDITOR Debra Marr Director of Communications


A S S I S TA N T E D I T O R Marci Kahwaty Communications Associate CONTRIBUTORS Elaine Brodie Jessica Lubow Jay Butan ’75 Blackie Parlin Garrett Caldwell Candice Powell Matthew Gertler ’90 Ben Purkert ’03 Ted Gilbreath Courtney Roosa Geoff Lipari ’89 Kristin Walpole BOARD OF TRUSTEES Chairman Jonathan D. Olesky ’74 Executive Committee William Bloom Kim Hirsh ’80 Patricia Budziak Jeffrey Kaplan Laura White Dillon David D. McGraw ’77 Nancy Baird Harwood ’75 Jane Wilf Trustees Donald M. Austin Philip McNeal John Bess ’69 Samir Pandiri Betsy Dollinger Bernstein ’86 Sandra Peinado Lawrence G. Cetrulo ’67 Richard Redmond ’77 Jeffrey H. Cohen ’81 Alexander M. Rose ’96 Samuel W. Croll, III ’68 Mark Rosenbaum Mary Ellen DeNoon Joshua Weinreich Scott Hayward Larry S. Wieseneck Lauren Hedvat ’01 Suzanne Willian Betsy Zimmerman Emeriti Louis V. Aronson II ’41 William D. Hardin ’44 Paul Busse ’38 K. Kelly Marx ’51 Robert Del Tufo ’51 John L. McGraw ’49 William D. Green ’69 Gary Rose William T. Wachenfeld ’44 A L U M N I A S S O C I AT I O N B O A R D O F G O V E R N O R S John Bess ’69 President Van Stevens ’65 Vice President Amanda Addison ’06 Sean Allen ’03 Jacqueline Lipsius Fleysher ‘93 Noah Franzblau ’86 Peter Gruenberg ’81 Shannon Hedvat ’03 William Kaplan ’69 Lauren Jacobs-Lazer ’98 Gillian Javetski ’07

Benjamin Purkert ’03 Edward Pursell ’02 David Rattner ’03 Jed Rosenthal ’93 Lara Samet ’01 Alexander Senchak ’02 Andrew Somberg ’07 Glenn Waldorf ’90 Brian Zucker ’84

Emeriti Lance Aronson ’74 J. Richard Beltram ’41 Richard M. Watson ’50 Newark Academy Office of Institutional Advancement 91 South Orange Avenue • Livingston, New Jersey 07039 Telephone: 973.992.7000, Fax: 973.992.8962 E-mail: • Website:


Many social critics and school reformers have recently faulted American schools for their failure to teach skills and behaviors important for success in the 21st century. According to them, tradition-bound educators are failing to provide American students with what they will need to be competitive in a shifting global economy. In their view, American high school graduates arrive at college bereft of the academic training and resilience needed to adapt to the rigors of undergraduate life. Fortunately, most Newark Academy graduates continue to report academic success and social integration at a range of excellent colleges in the U.S. and Europe. Nonetheless, questions about what we teach or fail to teach are being discussed at public and private schools with particular attention to what have been termed “21st-century” or “non-cognitive” skills.

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o a significant degree, the addition of “new” skills to the list of expectations of what schools should teach reflects shifting perceptions about what our students need in order to thrive in a technology-centered global economy. Parents and business leaders are anxious about the future and wonder if our schools are doing enough to prepare students for it. Completing a first semester of calculus, speaking passable French, or writing a cogent analysis of Joyce may have been enough for 20th-century high school students to demonstrate their preparedness for college, but today’s students are expected both to do more in traditional disciplines and to demonstrate competency in other areas. Some of these new skills could be described as traits of character: grit, resilience, integrity and leadership. Other skills such as problem solving, adaptability, collaboration and digital literacy are linked to the fastchanging world of technology in which

fall outside of what the College Board people must work effectively on teams and measures. How then do we devise measures projects that change quickly. How is Newark of performance that push students toward Academy responding to these shifts? teamwork and originality as well as the In important ways, we are steadfastly tried and true traditional skills? continuing what we have been doing well Several recent changes in our for generations. Building character has academic program stretch students in long been central to Newark Academy’s novel ways. The required immersion mission. In addition to the habits of mind program takes students into an unfamiliar students develop by meeting high academic context in which they must adapt and standards, they learn valuable lessons by apply newly learned skills; many return playing on athletic teams, working in the from these experiences with greater selfarts, running clubs, and engaging in confidence and broadened perspectives on community service. These activities serve the world. The original research required as laboratories for collaboration and for the IB extended essay and the portfolio leadership as well as fertile ground for the that all eighth-grade students assemble lifelong friendships that so many alumni for their spring teacher-parent conferences cherish. Participation in peer-led projects are curricular opportunities for sustained also helps students learn to bounce back self-reflective work. from disappointment They also highlight our and failure. Newark Academy must lead the students’ impressive Although many charge to incorporate programs oral and written of the so-called and experiences that develop communication skills. 21st-century skills skills and behaviors that we value Our teachers and have long been coaches have already implicitly promoted taken first steps to rethink how we assess at Newark Academy, the faculty is now skills in certain areas, and more adjustments exploring ways to teach them more will follow. In Middle School athletics, explicitly. One central question concerns for example, coaches are now using a assessment. Since we assess what we value rubric that identifies not only ability and and value what we assess, it follows that sportsmanship, but also attitude and daily when certain skills fall outside of commitment. The faculty recently heard traditional academic disciplines, we must from an expert who is working with adjust the way we assess students. How teachers across the country to develop do we encourage creative problem solving scientific ways to measure non-cognitive or divergent thinking in a high-stakes skills. Departments are exploring how to academic environment in which a safe integrate those skills into existing semester path to the right answer may deter the courses, capstone trips, and June Term. pursuit of original work or novel solutions? This is both an unsettling and exciting Certainly SATs and APs don’t assess time for education in America. Newark students’ creativity or teamwork, so Academy students continue to benefit schools like Newark Academy must lead from the academic strength of the faculty the charge to incorporate programs and as well as their willingness to experiment experiences that develop skills and and innovate. NA behaviors that we value, even if they OUTREACH spring 2014

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by Candice Powell, English and Humanities faculty In December 2012, I returned invigorated from my first People of Color Conference (PoCC) — an annual two-day conference sponsored by the National Association of Independent Schools, geared to help participants understand their roles in advancing their independent schools’ equity and justice around racial and ethnic identity. I was motivated to become further involved in diversity work at NA in a way that was both real and immediate.

Coming to Voice: Black American Literature Course Texts “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison ”For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf” by Ntozake Shange ”Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston

As such, I set out to create a new English senior elective for the 2013-2014 year: a black American literature course that centered on the metaphoric “invisibility” of black men and women in America. After meeting with English Department Chair Lou Scerra, I presented my proposal to NA’s Curriculum Committee, who gave the new semester-long course the official nod; Coming to Voice: Black American Literature was born. Coming to Voice seeks to examine how black writers, in novels, poetry and memoirs, present black characters in ways that perpetuate and/or challenge the stereotypical image of black identity. From the outset, I insisted that my 11 seniors “keep it real”; a course on the “silencing” of marginalized voices required honest, not censored, dialogue. My students (nine of whom were female and three of those nine, African American) rose to the challenge. Notably, on some days our class conversations were light; the screening of Chris Rock’s Good Hair brought about moments of levity as we explored the “politics” of black hair. On other

days, however, when emotionally-charged topics like white privilege, internalized racism and feminism rose to the surface, the mood was much heavier. During those class sessions I was stretched most as an educator. I have a responsibility to teach my students about careful reading and analysis of literary works. Additionally, I have an obligation to teach them about the historical and cultural landscape out of which the literature was born. Through this course, however, I have learned that I must also find ways to engage students and provide them with additional ways of knowing that enhance their capacity to thrive fully and deeply beyond the classroom. As such, my students were not the only ones asked to take risks; I often brought narratives of my own experiences – as a West Indian, as a female, as a mother – into the classroom. In this way, I aimed to create a learning environment of liberating mutuality wherein students were comfortable linking their own experiences to the course material because their teacher was willing to do the same. Writer bell hooks describes education as “the practice of freedom.” Coming to Voice embodies this ideal more than any other course I have taught. This elective gave students the opportunity to recognize and explore the silencing of voices in black American history and literature. Beyond that, it gave them – and me – the opportunity to “come to voice.” What’s more freeing than that?

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THIS SCIENCE PROJECT HAS LEGS A Middle School Class, an Upper School Class — and Some Willing Insects — Illustrate STEM in Action Does temperature impact neuron transmission? To find the answer, students in sixth-grade Interactive Investigations designed experiments that would model how neurons respond to heat and cold — using roaches. Their fellow scientists were Upper School IB Computer Science students. The sixth-grade student groups carefully removed some of their roaches’ legs. (No roaches were harmed. Their legs grow back.) Once removed, the appendages stay “alive,” so students could probe the roach legs and test their neuron function in different conditions. IB Computer Science students entered the lab as “technology consultants,” whose mission was to develop software that would accurately analyze the data that their “clients” collected. To that end, they worked to understand the sixth-grade students’ needs and collected sample data for developing their computer programs. Scientifically relevant results: Real-life applications of the scientific method plus real-life experience creating computer applications for data analysis equals innovative, collaborative, STEM-tastic classroom experiences.

FROM THE FRONT LINES Global Speaker Mike Kay ’99 The Global Speaker Series welcomed Newark Academy alumnus and former Special Forces Green Beret Commander Mike Kay ’99. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Mike spent much of his military career leading teams on anti-terrorist missions and implementing programs to improve conditions for people living in war-torn areas. He discussed his 2012 deployment in Afghanistan, where he commanded a team of Green Berets tasked with stabilizing a border district in the Hindu Kush Mountains. He then answered students’ questions about his Newark Academy career and about life in the military. Read more on pages 52-53.

MOCK TRIAL — REAL SUCCESS Newark Academy’s Mock Trial team finished the season with an impressive record. The team won its fifth consecutive Essex County championship and followed up with a win in the North Regional preliminaries — an NA first. Judge Leo Gordon ’69, attorney advisor to the team, invited the students to the United States Court of International Trade in Manhattan. The team conducted training exercises and worked with local, state and federal prosecutors during their visit. The team ended the season with the North Regional Final Playoff competition. Members of the Mock Trial team include Samantha Altschuler ’14, Emma Coffey ’14, Ethan Savel ’14, Andrei Buna ’15, Ruby Gould ’15, Kevin Lin ’15, David McGraw ’15, Kevin Mittal ’15, Betsy Peinado ’15, Abraham Ratner ’15, Scott Wright ’15, Alice Fernandes ’16, Mauranda Men ’16, Elizabeth Merrigan ’16 and Asia Moore ’16. Faculty advisors: Benson Hawk and Rebecca Gordon.

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Just a few years ago, the idea of a virtual classroom sounded like something out of a sci-fi novel. But online teaching and learning resources have quickly found their way into schools, and enhancing classroom experiences with technology is becoming the norm.


his year, Newark Academy implemented the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS), giving teachers and students tools for in-person and virtual collaboration. In plain English, the system allows students to do academic work – like taking classes, working with classmates on group projects, and completing assignments – all online.


It’s way more than the old “grab and go”: one-way communication that just allowed for getting homework assignments online. With capabilities like online discussions, Google integration, online quizzes and tests, distance learning capabilities, and mobile access, Canvas gives teachers new ways to educate and maximizes teaching and learning for students.

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“Our old system functioned as a repository, a ‘file cabinet’ for information,” said Stephanie Rusen, NA’s educational technologist. “Canvas, in contrast, is an online classroom that engages students with academic content and learning activities to enrich and expand face-to-face instruction.” Newark Academy is one of a handful of independent schools using the Canvas LMS. The company’s clients are mostly colleges and universities, including the University of Pennsylvania and Dartmouth College.

The technology helps the school incorporate all types of blended and distance learning practices into its curriculum. Language teachers can assign diction and pronunciation work that students can complete and submit as audio files. Teachers can announce changes to classes and homework, hold conferences and discussions, post multimedia material for students, conduct assessments, collect work and communicate with individual students and their parents, all via the LMS. SNOW DAY SCENARIO Introducing the Canvas LMS just before one of the snowiest winters on record was a stroke of good fortune. Last winter saw quite a few closures of the Newark Academy campus. On some snow days, faculty members conducted virtual classes on the Canvas platform. Teachers opened real-time conference sessions that allowed students to participate and collaborate from home. Here’s how it works: Newark Academy Humanities faculty member Benson Hawk invites his IB History class to a web conference at the regularly scheduled class time. Students log in and Benson opens the discussion. It’s just like a virtual business meeting, with Benson presenting a PowerPoint and students commenting in the chat box or unmuting their lines to chime in and answer his questions. Benson is an avid user of Canvas’ capabilities and has used the technology for online office hours and tracking student group projects, and he posts all assignments and other class information on the system. Face-to-face class sessions are still the gold standard, but the learning process can be aided and enhanced by the use of the LMS. “Using Canvas keeps classes on track, even when students and teachers can’t meet in person,” Benson said. Welcome to Learning 3.0. NA

NA DIALOGUES 2014 A Conversation With Marsha Kreuzman Holocaust survivor, humanitarian and lecturer Marsha Kreuzman, visited NA for the Humanities NA Dialogues series. Marsha, a survivor of five concentration camps, has dedicated her life to telling her story and reminding the world that the Holocaust and other acts of genocide must never happen again. Marsha recently found her concentration camp liberator after a 70-year search. While perusing the “Star-Ledger,” she read an anniversary announcement for Mr. and Mrs. Joe Barbella, married for 65 years. The announcement noted that Joe was one of the World War II veterans who had liberated the Mauthausen concentration camp. Marsha reconnected with Joe and they have since established a unique and heartwarming friendship. Their story was recently featured on “NBC Nightly News” with Brian Williams. Each year, Newark Academy invites and welcomes a Holocaust survivor to share their experiences with our students. This generation of students will be among the last to hear the powerful, live testimony of those who experienced one of the darkest periods in history. OUTREACH spring 2014

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CONNECTING WITH HISTORY 2014 Commencement Speaker: Dr. Clement A. Price Newark Academy is honored to announce the 2014 commencement speaker: Rutgers University professor Dr. Clement A. Price will address the Newark Academy Class of 2014 during commencement exercises on June 8. Dr. Price is a longtime resident of Newark and a noted authority on the city’s history. He was recently appointed official historian for the City of Newark by Mayor Luis Quintana. Price has led historical tours of Newark for many years, pointing out landmarks and locations significant to the city’s rich cultural history. He will chair the committee that will organize observances of the 350th anniversary of the city’s founding in 2016. Dr. Price served as agency lead for the National Endowment for the Humanities on President Obama’s 2008 transition team. He was reappointed by the President to be Vice Chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. Dr. Price is a member of the Scholarly Advisory Committee to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture; a member of the advisory council for the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History; and a Trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Dr. Price is a Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor at Rutgers, one of the highest faculty honors at the university.




‚ 5,338 living alumni

‚ 24 current parents attended NA

‚ 64 alumni in the Athletic Hall of Fame

‚ 22 experiential learning courses will be offered during June Term 2014

‚ 24,4 57 square-feet added to the NA campus with the addition of the Upper School Academic Center ‚ 80 sophomores and juniors have taken advantage of NA’s off-campus study option since its inception in 2001 ‚ 11,686 community service hours were completed by NA students last year ‚ 24 years of IB at NA; 332 IB diplomas awarded


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IN GOOD VOICE NA vocal music took center stage with recent visits from two highprofile professionals. Vocalist Casey Breves visited Newark Academy as choral Artistin-Residence. A graduate of Yale University and alumnus of the acclaimed professional ensemble Chanticleer, Mr. Breves has achieved success as a soloist, ensemble singer and vocal coach. Throughout the week, he joined choral and music classes, conducted workshops and discussed his journey as a professional vocalist. During his visit, Mr. Breves gave a concert for the NA community, performing popular songs as well as some of his original pieces. Singer and educator Dr. Ysaye Barnwell visited NA for a one-day workshop involving choral, humanities and health classes. Dr. Barnwell is a former member of Sweet Honey In The Rock, the all-female performance ensemble rooted in African American history and culture. She presented her workshop “Building a Vocal Community,” which explores the values embedded in spirituals, ring shouts, hymns, gospels and songs from the Civil Rights Movement, all taught in that tradition. Dr. Barnwell conducted the workshop in that tradition, engaging the audience in a call-and-response style. Dr. Barnwell’s method stresses that everyone’s voice is part of the larger community. Every voice belongs, and every voice creates something new and unique. The coming together of uncommon voices is how we create unity in the world.

Casey Breves

Dr. Ysaye Barnwell

NA ARTS ON THE WEB ‚ 85 members of the NA community submitted work to the 11th annual Community Art Show, “Dream On”

‚ 29 NA students earned scholastic art and writing awards ‚ NA’s jazz band, Chameleon, made magic at the Charles Mingus High School Competition and Festival, earning first place

Go to

www.newarka.e du/ arts-news for the full stories and updates

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BEE MUSICAL “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” brought back memories of childhood and adolescence. The clever, playful musical chronicled the experience of six outsiders vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime. “Spelling Bee” originally played off-Broadway before moving to the Great White Way. Audience members were forewarned that a lucky few would be selected at each performance to participate on stage as “guest spellers.” Among the guest spellers were: faculty members Stephanie Acquadro, Pegeen Galvin and Luis Gomez; and students Jake Faber ’14 and Grace Alofe ’14.

OUTREACH spring 2014

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Students and Alumni Joined Together for a Magical Night of IMPROV AT NA Braving the arctic temperatures on a wintry evening in January, a hearty group of theater-goers filled the Black Box at Newark Academy and enjoyed 90 minutes of quirky characters, odd scenarios and unexpected moments of hilarity. All of this was accomplished by a strong cast of actors who had no script, set, props or rehearsals. In fact, most of the alumni who participated in this event had never worked together before. How could this possibly result in a first-rate performance? Only through the magic of improvisational theater! For years, Scott M. Jacoby and Elaine Brodie have offered NA thespians opportunities to learn the art of improvisation. Between acting classes and the Improv Club, many alums recall the thrill of performing this kind of “fly-without-a-net” theater. Quite a few have gone on to join improv troupes in college and beyond. Many of them came back into the fold on this January evening to share the stage with some of our current improvisers. With a few suggestions from the audience, actors created scenes on the spot by remaining open, alert and present — ready to follow a scene partner in any number of different directions. The audience marveled at the spontaneity, wit and joy with which these actors performed. It was remarkable that more than a dozen alums could walk into our Black Box and make such magic. At the conclusion many of them asked, “Is this an annual event?” The answer — YES! If you have an interest in joining us next year, contact Elaine Brodie, or Scott Jacoby,


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FACULTY ACHIEVEMENTS Jessica De Santa, English, recently had an essay published as part of a book entitled Affective Disorder and the Writing Life: The Melancholic Muse (ed. Stephanie Stone Horton). Jessica’s chapter, “The Incessant Rise and Fall and Fall and Rise: Virginia Woolf Treading the Waves,” considers Woolf’s own perceived connections between writing and the special creativities accessible in illness. English faculty member Vanessa Jimenez Gabb’s Red Poems debuted during the 2014 Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference in Seattle in February. It is the second chapbook (short book of published poetry) in a new series from Similar: Peaks:: Online/Print Journal & Press. English faculty member Tess James recently celebrated the publication of her short story “White Moon Rising” in Narrative Magazine. Narrative is dedicated to advancing literary arts in the digital age by supporting the finest writing talent and encouraging readership across generations, in schools, and around the globe. The Narrative online library includes new literature by celebrated authors and by the best new and emerging writers. Choral music faculty member Viraj Lal was nominated by the North Jersey School Music Association to conduct the Region 1 Junior High Mixed Chorus at its March concert. The organization represents Region 1 of the New Jersey Music Educators Association. The Junior High Mixed Choruses are composed of students in grades 7-9 who hold high standings in their school choral programs. Candice Powell, Humanities, received a grant from the Stanton Foundation’s Innovation in Civics Education program. The Foundation awards grants to educators to promote the exploration of experimental and imaginative ideas for teaching of government, politics and civics. Candice is planning a humanities initiative that fosters civic responsibility. The project will integrate civic learning into the humanities curriculum using interactive technology, paying particular attention to current issues. Connecting students to their political communities through digital communication technologies and direct contact with leaders, the initiative will help them develop confident public voices and more positive attitudes toward government.

A FOND FAREWELL TO AN ADMINISTRATOR, COLLEAGUE, FRIEND Marquis Scott Leaves NA after 12 Years Marquis Scott joined Newark Academy’s Technology Department in 2002. In 2004, he advanced to the position of director of technology, becoming a member of the Academy’s administrative team. Marquis’ talents stretched far and wide within the NA community, touching the lives of students, parents and colleagues alike with his boundless energy, enthusiasm, warmth and humor. As director of technology, Marquis led efforts to deliver cutting-edge technology to maximize teaching and learning in the classroom. He worked collaboratively to develop a 21st-century learning environment in the new Upper School Academic Center and led a talented team of faculty and technologists through an 11-month process to establish a new online learning management system for the school. (See page 6.) Marquis also directed and managed diversity initiatives at NA — spearheading regional workshops, organizing Black History Month events, leading delegations to the national People of Color Conferences, serving as an advisor to the Umojaa Club, and managing NA’s Summer Bridge Program. In addition to these responsibilities, Marquis at various times served as varsity and JV boys’ basketball coach, varsity softball coach, faculty liaison on the Advancement Committee and general organizer of many good-will events for the faculty. Marquis will join the staff at Nightingale-Bamford School in New York where he will take on leadership roles in technology and business development. We thank him for his countless contributions to the NA community and wish him continued success in his career.

OUTREACH spring 2014

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Good-Bye Notes As the academic year draws to a close, Newark Academy will wish a fond farewell to two longtime members of its community: Lydia Masterson and Bill Blaskopf. These talented teachers and coaches have touched the lives of thousands of students, alumni, parents and faculty during their long careers at NA. We are truly grateful for their passionate teaching, their creativity and innovation, and their unfailing commitment to excellence.

A Tribute to Lydia Masterson HUMANITIES FACULTY, 1979-1985; 1991-2007 ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF ADMISSION, 2007-2014

From Stephanie Acquadro, English Faculty

In baseball, it’s called “hitting for the cycle” when a player hits a single, a double, a triple and a homerun in one game. Knowing Lydia, for me, has been like hitting for the cycle: she is my neighbor, a colleague at NA, my son’s former teacher and, most importantly, my friend. We have broken bread together, enjoyed book club chats and explored the changes that have taken place at Newark Academy during the years we have both been at the school. Lydia is a serious intellectual with a wonderful guffaw that makes her double over when she laughs. She has always been sincere in wanting to help students from her classroom perch (even when donning a witch’s hat) or as the financial aid director in the NEWARK ACADEMY

Admission Office. She is both ethically discreet and guilelessly open in her delight about subjects ranging from goddesses to gossip. In my years of knowing Lydia, we have shared a physical therapist, a trip to the museum, a night at the ballet and long talks during wonderfully lingering dinners with fellow diners Amy Hone and Nancy Celente. Lydia’s contributions to Newark Academy are everywhere: from her excellence in the classroom, to the high standards she set for herself and her students, to the principled way she helped guide the peer leaders, to her commitment to a fair admission process. Newark Academy will miss her – and so will I. Best wishes to you, Lydia!

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From Amy Hone, Science Faculty

Newark Academy was greatly impacted by her deep understanding of the NA culture. After serving for so long in the classroom, as a member of the humanities faculty, she was the most valuable possible resource for my continued growth and understanding of the NA educational ethos and philosophy. From a personal standpoint, I could have asked for no better friend and ally. Her calming presence kept me sane on many a crazy day in the office. She was the “voice of reason” in my ear on issues I was passionate about, and her unwavering support in so many areas of my personal life made her much more important to me than just the

In the fall of 1979, I had the good fortune to begin my career at Newark Academy alongside Lydia Masterson. We confessed to one another early on that we had no idea how we got here and how incredibly tough it was being new teachers! We were comforted by the fact that we were on this journey together and promised we would always have each other’s back. Thirtyfive years later Lydia continues to be my “go-to person” whenever I might need guidance. I have always appreciated her no-nonsense approach to life sprinkled with just the right dose of good humor. I admit I’m going to miss seeing my dear friend on Lydia is a serious intellectual a daily basis, but with a wonderful guffaw that I know we will makes her double over remain good friends because of our when she laughs. shared experience — Stephanie Acquadro at Newark Academy. I wish Lydia the very top notch associate director best in the years ahead. she quickly became. From Will Taylor, Lydia’s daily presence will Director of Admission be missed, but I take comfort Lydia’s impact on me personally in the fact that she will remain and professionally has been a part of my team as an profound. She joined my staff interviewer and evaluator. No as associate director, once I one understands our community moved from that position to and the admission process as become director. My developwell as she, and I consider ment as an administrator for myself to have been truly

blessed to call her my friend and colleague for the last seven years. From Carol Spooner, Director of Counseling

There is no one quite like Lydia! Teacher, advisor, coach, associate director of admission – Lydia has been an integral part of Newark Academy in so many different positions. It has been my utmost pleasure to have worked with her for the last 15 years as co-leaders of the Peer Leadership Program. With her keen intellect, insightful assessment of individual and group dynamics, and teaching expertise, she has had an outstanding influence on the development of 240 senior peer leaders. But it is her zany sense of humor, her delight in all things fun and funny, and her willingness to put herself 100 percent into any task that have created what we all strive for: a learning experience that is purposeful, enjoyable and tied together by sincere human connection. For me, her perspective has been my sanity and my balance, as we have processed not only the needs of the program but also the ups and downs of our own lives. We have camped in all kinds of weather, shuffled through the darkness looking over our shoulders for bears, run past rattlesnakes in

Colorado, and tried to solve more scavenger hunt clues than we care to count; but through it all, Lydia has been my ultimate enthusiastic and supportive colleague and friend. I am going to miss you, Peer Pal! From Blackie Parlin, Humanities Faculty, Archives

Lydia is a perpetually upbeat person. Nobody has ever been given a downer by Lydia. I will miss her laugh. About Lydia professionally: Lydia was initially valued by the Humanities Department because she brought a knowledge of art, previously lacking. She soon became authoritative on strange and mystical rites and OUTREACH spring 2014

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ancient history. On the faculty trip to Israel her nightly informal lectures on Hebrew and Roman history were greatly valued. From Joan Parlin, Former Middle School Principal, Former Director of Admission

Many years ago when I was director of admission at NA, I was told I needed surgery. Since it was April, which at the time was the busiest part of the year for the admission office, I panicked. However, in about 15 minutes I was replaced by Lydia! I need not have worried. Lydia picked right up and did her usual superlative job. When I think of Lydia, however, my first thought is of cracking up at the lunch table at her hysterical stories, many of which I have repeated to friends who don’t even know her. From Cindy Reinhard, Director of Financial Aid

When I think of Lydia, two words come to mind: professional and friend. Lydia’s patience in teaching me about the world of financial aid has been immeasureable; there is no question too foolish, or so she makes me feel. I can always count on her sound judgment and trust her instincts. Her work in financial aid and admission has been invaluable, but it seems she never completely left the NEWARK ACADEMY

classroom. Lydia has been tireless in her continued involvement with the students – as a mentor for IB extended essays, a tennis coach, a community service coordinator and a peer leader advisor. Lydia has also been a great friend. We not only work together, we play tennis together, eat lunch together, work out together, became grandmothers together, and share life’s trials and joys together. Lydia has enriched my life at NA and I am deeply grateful that she will be joining us next year to help us during the admission season. We couldn’t do without her infectious laugh to see us through.

From Joe Borlo, Former Humanities Faculty

Lydia, Lydia ... Much too young and vibrant to go to pasture. I have known Lydia for years, always with laughter and wonder at what she might be up to next. I am not sure she will ever forgive me, for she tells the story to everyone. One day she came to my office for a personal chat on motherhood and raising children. It was difficult to take her seriously, for she had just stepped out of her class dressed like some wild Greek devotee to Medusa, snakes and rattles included. Her question: “What’s it like to have a child and stay home for a while? We are thinking of starting our family now.”

“Great,” I said. “There’s nothing as beautiful as having a little beautiful baby in the house.” Lydia later returned to NA carrying a little bundle, which she offered to me. “No thanks,” I said. “I don’t like babies.” At that point the real Medusa appeared. “You’re the one who told me that life is beautiful with a little one in the house!” Medusa left the office in a huff, never to ask my advice about anything again. It is not as if I could have given her advice on teaching, though, since she had it all down to a high-powered, high-energy, always-mobile, always-playing grand-motivation classroom persona. Too bad this everyoung, wonderful workhorse feels a need to go to pasture.

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From Sam Goldfischer, Director of Finance

These are my thoughts on just a few of the many roles, tasks, and experiences in which I have been fortunate to interact with Lydia. In each role, Lydia has thrown herself full-heartedly (not fool-heartedly) into her work. During her many years in the classroom, as an outstanding teacher immersing herself and her students in the studies of humanities and history, Lydia made it all tangible to the students she taught. As an advisor, she was the go-to person for my daughter, Arielle ’03. In her position as director of financial aid, Lydia brought empathy, wisdom, firmness and resolve to the countless

meetings, always with a positive and cheery attitude. During the faculty trip to Israel, she used her depth of knowledge of world religions to have intense and thoughtful conversations well into the night. Her grasp of the intricacies associated with various issues in that part of the world was educational to the entire group of faculty, even at 2 a.m. In each of these ways – as an educator, advocate, historian, administrator and colleague – Lydia has given her all. She interacts amazingly with students and adults and her personality always shines through. My life has been enhanced, having Lydia a part of it in so many ways. Thank you, Lydia, not just for what

you have given to NA and to me, but for being who you are and for sharing that with everyone around you. From Amy Schottland, Humanities Faculty

exuded her passion for learning and modeled the idea that history is indeed a living and breathing presence in all our lives. As an exuberant tennis coach, she transmitted her thirst for competitive sport with grace and humor. While

When thinking about my colleague and good friend Lydia Masterson, I must ...she is indeed a “moonbeam,” smile and reflect and she has lit up the halls on the line from at Newark Academy for the musical The more than 29 years. Sound of Music, — Amy Schottland “How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?” Yes, serving as co-leader of the Peer she is indeed a “moonbeam,” Leadership Program, she offered and she has lit up the halls at sagacious advice to students, Newark Academy for more parents and faculty alike. And than 29 years. As the Ancient finally, as an admission officer, World goddess Athena, she Lydia reflected the heart and soul of an institution she knew and loved so well. She became one of Newark Academy’s most beloved representatives and presented our school to the outside community with warmth and grace. Her years and devotion and love of teaching have brought her a wisdom that this institution will sorely miss. Her moonbeam’s glow will resonate for many years to come. If you’d like to share a remembrance, please send an email to Amy Schottland,, by June 1, to be included in a book of memories for Lydia. OUTREACH spring 2014

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A Tribute to Bill Blaskopf FROM ROBERT MALLALIEU, DIRECTOR OF LIBRARY/MEDIA SERVICES; DIRECTOR OF SUMMER SESSION In the end, it all added up: to 40. At the conclusion of this school year, Bill Blaskopf, longtime math teacher, department chair, coach, and lover of numbers, will retire from Newark Academy, completing 40 years of remarkable and dedicated service. Bill came to Newark Academy in 1974 and was soon appointed chair of the Math Department, a position he held for 34 years. He led his department with passion and extended equal enthusiasm to professional organizations such as the Association of Mathematics Teachers of New Jersey, where he served as president. At NA, he coached girls’ basketball, winning a state championship before moving on to cross country where he organized and ran the NA Cross Country Invitational. He found many other ways to contribute: serving as scheduling officer, advising the model railroad club and the math club, helping with the holiday party (where he also filled in for Santa), and climbing Breakneck Ridge on Senior Mountain Day for some 30 years. And of course, who can forget his exuberant participation in the annual Morning Meeting Halloween Parade or his “suiting-up” in a Trenton Thunder uniform to declare each opening day of Major League Baseball, the game he loves? He

brought that love to June Term, designing and teaching a course in Sabermetrics. And speaking of June, Bill spent the latter part of that month, along with July and August, assisting in the development and running of Newark Academy’s successful summer session. But his first love was teaching math, and for that he was recognized by both the NA community and the state of New Jersey. Bill has been a good friend and trusted colleague to many on the faculty and staff. His morning herald, “Welcome to (fill in the weekday),” helped us all greet the day with a smile. When Bill turned 61, I sent him a birthday card that said, “On your next birthday that is a prime number – you’re outta here!” He smiled; he knew the number. He taped the card on the side of his refrigerator at home, where it still hangs, and then continued to do all that he has done so well at Newark Academy. Until it all added up: to 40.

Dear Newark Academy, Thank you for 40 years! BY BILL BLASKOPF, MATH FACULTY, 1974-2014 This academic year has been my 40th and last year at Newark Academy. As I get ready to embark on a new journey, I would like to share some recollections about NA. After reading this, if you would like to share any remembrances with me, I would love (and look forward to) your emails. On a spring day 41 years ago, I interviewed at both Pingry and Newark Academy. Fortunately for me, NA Math Department Chair James Blake called and offered me the teaching position at Newark NEWARK ACADEMY

Academy. My acceptance of the offer turned out to be the best professional decision I have ever made. After my first year at NA, Mr. Blake stepped down as Math Department chair and asked me to replace him. I ended up serving as chair for 34 years. From 1948 to 2009, NA had only two math department chairs, Mr. Blake and me. I am very proud of this. In addition to teaching math, I coached varsity girls’ basketball in their first season after having been a club team.

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former athletes to identify the sport and/or years. I have also been Math Club team sponsor every year during my tenure. The talented students on that team have always excelled ...who can forget his exuberant in local, state and participation in the annual Morning national contests. Meeting Halloween Parade or his Each year, in May, “suiting-up” in a Trenton Thunder our math team uniform to declare each participates in the opening day of Major Essex County Math League Baseball? League contest. Even — Robert Mallalieu though our school is much smaller than many of the others, we have In my third year of done quite well in this coaching girls’ basketball, the competition, bringing home team won the State Prep B at least one individual or team championship against trophy each time. Montclair Kimberley Academy. In 1997, a freshman The girls on that squad were student expressed an interest so talented and played so well in starting a model railroad together. That game was my club. Ms. Galvin put the boy greatest coaching experience in touch with me and the and the last game of my Model Railroad Club was born. basketball coaching career. The club’s main activity has I then coached varsity been to set up a train display cross country for 10 years and for the children who attend took over organization of the NA’s annual holiday party in Newark Academy Cross December. This great tradition Country Invitational. Last fall continues today because of one was the 36th year of the student’s initial interest. Invitational. I have been Throughout the years, many involved with all but the first. students have helped to run This team has been fortunate the club and the annual to have had many good coaches holiday party setup. over the years, particularly the Working at a school for current coach, Jon Olesky ’74 40 years produces a multitude (Chairman, NA Board of of memories – from helping to Trustees). I have also coached build an elevated dance floor several other sports over the for Junior Prom to helping years and would challenge my That first year, the team finished the end-of-season play day undefeated. I have since had the privilege of teaching the sons of one of these women.

to sponsor a Battle of the Bands, the Kids Against Cancer Club and the Middle School Math Club. I have participated in 30 Senior Mountain Days and have only missed three since my first outing. I was particularly proud of the years when my two daughters were seniors and I was able to have a photo taken with each of them at the top of the mountain. Speaking of my daughters,

how can I ever thank NA for providing them with such a quality education? Their successes in life are due in part to the experiences they had and the friendships they made here that have lasted a lifetime. Another career highlight has been the opportunity to work for NA’s Summer Session. For many years I taught the math clinic. Most recently, I served as one of the two assistant directors. The OUTREACH spring 2014

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opportunity to work with Bob Mallalieu, director of the summer session, and Tom Ashburn, assistant director, has taught My memories of NA students through the years are vast and wonderful.

me to be a better teacher and to understand both students and their parents even better. Newark Academy has provided me with many opportunities to grow professionally. In 2003-2004, I was able to reduce my teaching load in order to serve as president of the Association of Mathematics Teachers of New Jersey. NA also encouraged me to participate on committees for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools, in addition to visiting and speaking at math conferences throughout the United States. My professional experiences have led to my receiving several outside awards. None of these would have come without NA’s support. In 1994, I was recognized as one of the three New Jersey state finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching. Last fall, I received the Max Sobel Award as the leading Mathematics Educator NEWARK ACADEMY

in the State of New Jersey. I am humbled by these awards. As I reflect on the students I have had the privilege to know, I think of those who had great abilities in math, the student-athletes I coached, and those whom I did not teach but with whom I developed friendships. My memories of NA students through the years are vast and wonderful.

Finally, my colleagues … there have been so many members of the Math Department who have impressed me both as teachers and as people. I have learned so much from these professionals and consider many of them close personal friends. For those who are bored by my rambling, I apologize. For those who appreciate my

Thank you, Bill, for your lasting contributions to NA!

rambling, thank you for allowing me this time. I have so much to say and hope that I haven’t said too much. I have always considered the Newark Academy community my second family and want you to know how much I appreciate you. In closing let me just say, “Welcome to Monday.” NA

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Follow us on Twitter @NAMinutemen

In case you missed it... Recap of winter athletics headlines on the web

‚ Jocelyn Willoughby ’16 scored her 1000th point during a matchup with Bloomfield Tech ‚ Pat Gerish ’14 broke the record for all-time wins by a Newark Academy wrestler ‚ Sophomore fencer George Haglund earned silver at the Cadet World Fencing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria; and gold at the XVI International Cadet Tournament in Pisa, Italy Go to for more news and updates.

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by Ted Gilbreath, Director of Athletics While Newark Academy has long enjoyed a reputation for providing its students with the opportunity to attend the nation’s best colleges and universities, what is sometimes overlooked is the outstanding job the Academy’s coaches, teachers and college office staff members are doing to prepare their athletes to participate at the next level.


here are currently 43 former Minutemen competing in the NCAA and a whopping 19 members of the Class of 2013 who can now call themselves college athletes. Several former student athletes responded to a survey sent out by the Athletic Department. Their responses send clear messages to the aspiring collegians currently competing on South Orange Avenue about the great job Newark Academy does prepping our athletes, about the differences between high school and college athletics, and about the reasons kids keep competing. Not all of NA’s current college athletes envisioned themselves playing sports at the next level. For every Zack Widmann ’12 (Skidmore/soccer) who “always had a vision even before coming to NA,” there is another like Chris Matturri ’12 (Lafayette/tennis) who “never really thought that far ahead” or Carly Gruenberg ’12 (Hamilton/basketball) who actually said she had not seen herself as a potential college athlete. Perhaps even more interesting are the cases of athletes who found themselves pursuing sports that had not been their main interests when they started high school. Ashley Ulrich ’11 (Dartmouth/cross country, track and field) was a soccer player until her senior year when she took up cross


country, and Jordan Jett ’11 (University of Pennsylvania) took a meandering course, starting with basketball, switching to football because of his college interest and then walking on as a track and field athlete. WELL-PREPARED

From those variant starting points, these athletes all believe that they were helped in the pursuit of their college ambitions by their Newark Academy coaches. Ashley cites Cross Country and Track Coaches Jon ’74 and Susan Olesky as the reason she is currently running at Dartmouth and gives them credit for believing in her potential and helping her to gain success as a competitor. Ashley also credits their support and guidance as instrumental to her recruiting process: “They helped me to articulate my needs as a student and as an athlete when speaking to college coaches.” While all of the athletes surveyed gave their coaches credit for their current successes, the services rendered run the gamut from Basketball Coach Liz Bona recognizing Carly’s potential, to Soccer Coach James Morris allowing Zack to take risks in the game. For a selfdescribed creative player, this provided the freedom and encouragement to play to his strengths. Perhaps it is Carly who best sums up the attitudes of all of these

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young men and women by saying, “I would not be where I am today without my NA coach.” A BALANCING ACT

. . . the Newark Academy experience was formative in preparing these student-athletes to tackle many of the challenges of college athletics.

Regardless of their coaches, there is among the survey respondents a universal recognition that the Newark Academy experience was formative in preparing these student-athletes to tackle many of the challenges of college athletics. From a recruiting perspective, Whit Harwood ’11 (Colby/lacrosse) credits NA for giving him the opportunity to compete against some of the best basketball and lacrosse programs in the county and state. He also recognizes that NA’s small size was an asset when he was able to get more playing time earlier in his high school career than he may have had at larger schools. This, he said, proved invaluable in terms of marketing himself early to college coaches. Hamilton’s Carly Gruenberg echoes Whit’s belief. She said, “It might have been drastically different if I had gone to a bigger school, where I might have given up on basketball before realizing my potential talent.” Jordan further emphasized the potential of unforeseen opportunities when he explained that he became a much more versatile athlete, having to play multiple positions on small teams. Other athletes credit the discipline needed to juggle sports and classes at Newark Academy as the perfect primer for college life. Ashley said, “My Newark Academy experience put me in the position of having to balance academics and athletics each season, which trained me to be extremely careful about planning my schedule in order to prepare for success. This included speaking to teachers about my game schedule, working ahead on the weekends and being cognizant about getting as much sleep as possible” – pressures she describes as extremely similar to those at college. For tennis player Chris Matturri, it was simply playing on Arky Crook’s legendary OUTREACH spring 2014

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tennis teams (and achieving success both personally and as a team) that instilled him with the confidence that he would have the ability to play at Lafayette. As prepared as they may have felt when they arrived on their new campuses, none of these athletes describe the transition from the NJSIAA to NCAA levels of competition as anything but eyeopening. Lafayette lacrosse player Laura Kleiber ’10 cites time as the biggest difference, describing Division I sports as a huge commitment. This impression is reinforced by Ashley, who observed, “There is obviously a big difference in time commitment from high school to college basketball. In college you have to spend a lot of time in the weight room, there are longer practices and a lot of travel.” She also noted, “Practices and workouts just move at a much faster and more competitive pace than in high school.” None of which should serve to dissuade the aspiring college athletes on campus. Successful college athletes can indeed balance the rigors of their schedules. Laura said, “You may not be able to take a four-hour nap after class or watch 10 episodes of a Netflix show but if you have the focus to do your homework when you have the time, you’re able to go out with friends at night.” FROM NA TO THE NCAA

For the next potential wave of kids from NA to the NCAA, our current college athletes have some great advice. In terms of getting to college, the consensus is that students should think broadly and not be afraid to market themselves. Laura encourages kids to “get out there and visit schools, talk to coaches and don’t count any schools out.” Jordan urges athletes to keep their priorities in order: “I would encourage NA studentathletes to make sure that they pick a school that they really want to go to, and not base their choice completely on NEWARK ACADEMY

athletics. Many schools allow you to walk on if you can prove yourself. I ended up coming to my school because I liked it a lot, and then ended up walking on to the team. I am glad I did it that way.” This is a thought Whit reinforces with a telling anecdote from his own experience: “I was recruited to Colby by one coach, coached my first two seasons by another and will play my last two seasons under a third coach. So I would advise anyone looking to play a sport in college to recognize how quickly coaches can change regardless of what they tell you. The coach I played my first two seasons for once announced that he expected to be at Colby for at least the next 35 years – he left less than a year later.” FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME

Finally, it is clear that these athletes are willing to take on the added commitment and accompanying time pressures for a simple reason: they love to compete, and competing on college athletic teams has afforded them opportunities to build lasting relationships with their coaches and teammates. When asked why she competes, Laura jokingly responded, “I ask this every single day … I think it’s because I refuse to quit anything in my life. College sports have taught me determination and organization, and make me prioritize my life. I love playing lacrosse and being on a team.” These thoughts were echoed by Carly: “I am so lucky to be on a team and cannot imagine myself not being a part of one. Being on a team really makes me feel like I am a part of something, has given me my best friends, provides structure, and all while getting to play the sport that I love.”

. . . they love to compete and competing on college athletic teams has afforded them the opportunity to build lasting relationships with their coaches and teammates.

Regardless of the sport or athlete, a few things seem to be abundantly clear: Newark Academy is preparing its student-athletes to be successful at the college level, and the athletes themselves are having a great experience. NA

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NEWARK ACADEMY GIRLS’ SOCCER WELCOMES COACH BRENDAN DOYLE Athletic Director Ted Gilbreath knew exactly what he was looking for in a new varsity head coach for the Newark Academy girls’ soccer team: a talented educator and a great coach with the technical knowledge, personal skills, professional experience and connections to serve NA athletes on the pitch and in the college admissions process. He enlisted the help of several NA girls’ soccer experts: athletes Sara Widmann ’15 and Amaya Lopez-Silvero ’15; devoted NAGS (Newark Academy Girls’ Soccer) parents Christine McGrath and Matt Woods; and boys’ varsity head coach Jim Morris. The committee ultimately came to a unanimous decision: Brendan Doyle was hired as the next head girls’ soccer coach. He holds a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Premier Diploma and a United States Soccer Federation A license. He coached club teams to state and Region One Colonial League Championships; coached at the Everton (English Premier League) and Union Deportivo Las Palmas (Spanish First Division) Youth Academies; and was voted Union County Coach of the Year while at New Providence High School.

Brendan is the owner and director of U.K. Elite Soccer and the Football Club of New Jersey. These roles put him in contact with hundreds of potential soccer applicants in the off-season and afford him the opportunity to steer athletes through the college recruiting process. Parent Matt Woods is optimistic about the committee’s selection and the next season: “It’s not just about winning and losing, but are the girls improving and learning the game? Are they giving 100 percent and are they still having fun? It’s an exciting time for the program and I hope the girls are looking forward to the future.” Sara Widmann says, “I highly respect Brendan Doyle as a coach. I think he will bring great improvements to the team and the NA girls’ soccer program as a whole.”


Athletic Director Ted Gilbreath and Maya Hayes ’10

Soccer stand-out Maya Hayes ’10 is realizing her dream of playing professional soccer after being selected in the first round of the draft (6th overall) by New Jersey’s Sky Blue Football Club, which plays in the National Women’s Soccer League. Jim Gabarra, Sky Blue’s coach, said in a statement, “We are very excited to have our first-round pick, Maya Hayes.” At NA, Maya was a dedicated player with enormous talent. She completed her NA soccer career with 92 goals, including the 38 she scored during her senior year. Maya continued her stellar soccer career in college, this time donning the blue and white of the Penn State Nittany Lions. Expectations for Maya were high in Happy Valley and she did not disappoint. Starting 80 of 89 games during her four years of eligibility, she finished her Penn State career with 71 goals – 17 of which were game-winning. In her sophomore year she led the nation with 31 goals, setting both Penn State and Big Ten records for points scored in a single season. She was twice named Big Ten Forward of the Year and twice named to the All-Big Ten First Team. Maya also became the youngest member of the United States Women’s U-20 soccer team, where she took part in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in 2010 and won the tournament in 2012. Maya graduated from Penn State with a degree in kinesiology and a future as a professional soccer player. Recently, she found her past colliding with her future when she arrived on the Newark Academy campus in March and strode out to the turf as a member of Sky Blue… to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions. OUTREACH spring 2014

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A Prelude to Summer JUNE TERM 2014


Students are actively involved during class time in the creation of an ongoing product. June Term, now in its third year, offers more than 20 courses featuring a wide

On the final day of classes this June, students in physics teacher Bob Bitler’s class won’t be hunched over desks, urgently scribbling out answers on a written final exam. Instead they will be competing in the LEGO Mindstorm Challenge, the culmination of a course called STEMtastic: Discovering How Things Work, which will be offered for the first time during Newark Academy’s June Term. “NA is putting a greater emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and we hope to get kids excited about these subjects with a June Term class like this,” says Bob, who is collaborating with Kevin Bunch (Arts) to develop and teach the class. “We’re going to be exploring all sorts of modern complex technologies and how they work, along with some math and physics workouts – and then finally, we’ll be building simple robots to do complex tasks.”

variety of subjects and experiences for students in Grades 9-11. Courses offered this year include documentary filmmaking, a reflection

In a class called Walking

A course helmed by two new

project on the sociology of poverty,

Manhattan, Blackie Parlin

English faculty members —

(Humanities) and Stephanie

Vanessa Gabb and Jessica

Acquadro (English) will lead

Manhattan, an exploration of Chinese

DeSanta — is particularly exciting.

students on a six-day walk from

Book Publishing Bootcamp

culture, and two food-related courses:

the Battery, up Broadway to 190th

invites students to be guest

one exploring the future of food

Street, stopping at locations

staffers for the online literary

and the other looking back on the

relevant to assigned readings

magazine “Five Quarterly.”

that address diverse topics such

Students will select winners for

as architecture, immigration,

a real fiction and poetry contest

digital photography on location in

impact food has had on our national identity.

economics and urban planning.

from a pool of finalists and then produce and publish the winning chapbooks. Vanessa


For students with an interest in biology – and a strong stomach – Amy Hone’s No

and Jessica, relying on

Guts, No Glory: A Comparative Study of Animals with Backbones will give young

in the publishing arena,

biologists the opportunity to participate in seven dissections over the course of two weeks. Time will also be spent exploring the woods around campus, and trips to an aquarium and wildlife refuge will heighten student knowledge of the diversity of vertebrate animals.

course to simulate a real

their own experiences have designed the publishing house, and each day will be modeled on a day in the life of a publishing imprint.

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JUNE TERM (JT) GETS AN “A” FROM STUDENTS 92% say JT allows for a more creative learning experience. Lou Scerra (English) and Scott Jacoby (Arts) will direct budding playwrights who will write — and perform — two original one-act plays in From Page to Stage. Pop culture enthusiasts will join Rayna Lifson (Humanities) and Lynn Barker (Language) in analyzing American sitcom families with the aim of producing a television pitch for their own

A new class is being taught by a June Term veteran. Jay Torson (Arts) has led students through the creation of large-scale environmental art works displayed on campus for the last two years. But for the upcoming term, he is working with Peter Reed (Humanities) to present a course called History of Military Strategy. A history buff whose coaching background has instilled in him a great appreciation for strategy, Jay is extremely enthusiastic about teaching this class. “I’ve always been interested in history and, more specifically, the role that the military plays in shaping history – for better or for worse. Our aim will be to look at battles and campaigns that had a lasting impact. We will study how new technologies and strategies were employed. Each day, students will spend an hour playing strategy board games like Risk and Diplomacy so they can try their hand at the helm of their own army!”

modern-day sitcom.

“THIS YEAR IS A TURNING POINT FOR JUNE TERM,” said the program’s coordinator David Griffin, who is also an English teacher. “The junior class this year is the first class to have taken a June Term course each year during Upper School, so it feels like the program is now incorporated into the culture at NA. The transitional phase feels complete and June Term is now just what happens at the end of the year at NA.” David is pleased to see June Term settle comfortably into the culture of the school and is equally excited about the course offerings. “We have more than 20 courses for students to choose from,” said David. “Some of these courses are returning for a third year and have become well-oiled machines. At the same time, we have added six new courses, which help to preserve the dynamic energy that drove the program from the beginning.” As unique as the topics covered during June Term are, so is the mutual enrichment inherent in this type of learning. “I think the teachers get as much out of it as the students do,” said David. “From both a personal and a professional development perspective, the chance to team-teach and learn from another faculty member is a great experience. I was thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with Derek Kanarek, chair of the Math Department, and to observe a different but effective approach in the classroom.” Based on the overwhelmingly positive student responses in course evaluations — David says 95 percent of students give the program a positive rating — and the enthusiasm with which faculty members approach the planning and teaching of their courses, it is not an overstatement to call Newark Academy’s June Term a resounding success.

98% agreed that JT allowed them access to more hands-on learning during the process. 92% believe JT has encouraged them to collaborate more with others. 98% say that their teachers are enthusiastic about teaching JT. 92% say they have gained practical skills for the future. 92% enjoyed their course selection and would recommend it to others. 100% agree that JT meets its mission of providing opportunities for students to pursue their passions and discover new interests through offerings that combine intellectual rigor with the ingenuity of focused, experiential learning.

For a complete list of June Term course offerings, visit june-term Follow June Term @newarkacademy on Twitter beginning June 2, #najuneterm

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NA for Life Carrie and Ken Somberg Newark Academy is fortunate to enjoy wonderful support from virtually all parents of current students. It’s not uncommon in any given week to see the same NA parents volunteer in the school store, cheer on Minutemen tennis, attend an instrumental concert, and then make a gift to the Annual Fund. Understandably, though, many parents tend to refocus their support and attention once their children graduate from NA. In this, Carrie and Ken Somberg have set themselves apart as some of the most loyal alumni parents in the Newark Academy family.



arrie and Ken joined the NA community when their sons Andrew ’07 and then Adam ’10 started Middle School, and they wholeheartedly supported the school throughout their sons’ years at NA. One of the first events they attended was the dedication of the Simon Family Field House, which set the stage for their relationship with the Academy. “We saw that people give back to the school, even if they aren’t alumni themselves,” said Carrie. The impact of that first impression is evident. Carrie has served as president of the Newark Academy Parents Association, member of the Board of Trustees, and a Rise Academy tutor. Ken and Carrie continue to make generous gifts to the Annual Fund and attend an abundance of NA events. They may still be found in the stands of many football and baseball games. When Rise & Flourish: The Campaign for Newark Academy kicked off in January 2013, Carrie and Ken had not had a child attending Newark Academy for nearly two-anda-half years. Nevertheless, they did not hesitate to step up as alumni parents and make a contribution at this crucial moment in NA’s history. The Sombergs made a special twopart commitment, the first part being an outright gift to help fund the much-needed renovations of the outdoor athletic facilities. In addition, they joined the 1774 Society by documenting their intention to leave

a gift to Newark Academy in their wills. Carrie and Ken’s exceptional gifts have gone a long way in making progress toward the campaign goal of $30 million. Their commitment has also made a powerful statement to fellow alumni parents about the importance of keeping Newark Academy strong for students today and in the future. Ken and Carrie’s support for Rise & Flourish hasn’t ended with their own gift. They have also volunteered as co-chairs of the campaign’s Alumni Parents Committee, leading the charge on getting the word out to other alumni parents about the campaign’s goals and impact. The Sombergs encourage fellow parents to reflect on their children’s NA experiences and consider making a gift to Rise & Flourish to support the school for future generations. Carrie and Ken have truly made Newark Academy a family philanthropic priority, and they are proud that their sons are in on the act too. After graduating from Middlebury and working two years in New York, Andrew moved to San Francisco to work for TPG, a private equity firm. As the only member of the Board of Governors based in the Bay Area, he is now helping connect fellow alumni in the region to NA and expanding NA’s reach across the country. Adam will graduate from Rice University in May 2014 and remain in Houston to work as an investment banking

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COMMITTEE CHAIRS We are deeply grateful to all of our Rise & Flourish committee chairs for generously devoting their time and gifts to Newark Academy. Volunteers leading the charge with specific groups include: CURRENT PARENTS

Lori Kany and Susan Ratner ALUMNI (classes prior to 1987) John Bess ’69 and Sam Croll ’68 YOUNG ALUMNI (classes since 1987) Alex Senchak ’02 ALUMNI PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS

The Sombergs: Adam ’10, Ken, Carrie and Andrew ’07

Carrie and Ken Somberg and Phil Waldorf FORMER TRUSTEES

analyst with Evercore. He has already begun attending alumni events in New Jersey when he is in town. Both Andrew and Adam have personally continued the family’s tradition of supporting NA by becoming loyal donors to the Annual Fund as well.

For information on how you can support Newark Academy’s transformational Rise & Flourish campaign, contact Lisa Grider, Director of Institutional Advancement, or (973) 992-7000, ext. 320. NA

Will Green ’69 and Gary Rose FACULTY AND STAFF

Tom Ashburn, Sam Huber, Candice Powell and Jeff Vinikoor FOUNDATIONS

Suzanne Willian

GRANTING FUTURE SUCCESS Provident Bank Foundation Supports NA’s Newark Scholars Program Newark Academy is pleased to announce that the Provident Bank Foundation has approved a grant request in support of the Newark Scholars program. Founded in 2012, the scholarship program helps Newark Academy attract the best and brightest students from the City of Newark by providing them with “full-ride-plus” scholarships, competitive with the comprehensive financial aid packages typically offered by boarding schools. “Newark Academy is extremely grateful for this opportunity to partner with the Provident Bank Foundation,” said Head of School Don Austin. “Their generosity and support will assist in our efforts to offer very generous financial assistance to the most promising students in Newark, helping to keep these future thought leaders here in Essex County.” Grant funding from the Provident Bank Foundation will be used to reach a $5 million fundraising goal necessary to fully endow the Newark Scholars program. Currently there are six students enrolled at Newark Academy who have received scholarships through the Newark Scholars program. As long as these students remain in good standing, their aid packages will be renewed through their senior years. For more information about Newark Scholars, please contact Lisa Grider, Director of Institutional Advancement, or (973) 992-7000, ext. 320.

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by Blackie Parlin

Reflections on History Meaningfully Taught A colleague, knowing that this is the last year in which I will teach a class at NA, asked if I would explain my teaching philosophy. I just laughed, as I considered it rude to say “No.” I believe a history teacher has to find his or her own philosophy and style, and I have never tried to proselytize. But here is my philosophy of teaching history.


’ll start by saying that, in my opinion, history is the worst taught of the high school disciplines. Recently we learned that regular Fox News viewers, when tested, knew less about the world than people who watched no news programs. Similarly, some history students know less after they’ve “taken” history. As a high school student, I hated history. I had Ancient History, American


History, and avoided Modern European History by taking Latin 5. In my years in grades 7-12, the Cold War produced the threat of World War III (the Berlin blockade); new nations including India and Israel were founded; Mao Zedong said that the Chinese people, one-fifth of the world’s population, had “stood up”; the U.N. confronted North Korea’s invasion of the South; a young generation of black

Americans was starting to demand the end of Jim Crow – and in school not one of these topics was discussed. If history is not relevant, if it is only a recitation of past details, it is a waste of time. I believe that the textbook, as a source, is a detriment to effective history teaching. The textbook has a monotone voice that bores and overwhelms the student with details that are quickly forgotten. Since publishers want big sales, controversial material is eliminated or diluted so no textbook selection committee will be offended. I feel immeasurable professional indebtedness to a history professor who, a half century ago, used the metaphor of a wire fence: Determine those topics or subjects that are of paramount significance; go deeply, for those are the fence posts; then connect each to the next post with a thin wire of continuity. The student will remember the significant topic that is studied in depth. Fine teachers will disagree to some extent in identifying the topics of paramount significance. I believe a wise administration will give considerable latitude for teachers to select topics. There certainly will be unanimity that the following topics from U.S. history are of paramount significance: the formation of the government, the expansion of the nation and its role in the world, the break-up of the Union, the periodic waves of reforming zeal, the aspirations and outcomes of U.S decisions for war. In selecting the topics of paramount significance, the teacher must have a genuinely global perspective. Many schools now give perfunctory lip service to globalism, but the concept gets lost in implementation. Since no schools will devote more class time to the teaching of history, the implication is clear: To gain a global perspective, much that is traditionally taught in U.S. History will need to be dropped. I have a pre-World War I U.S. history textbook that devotes three chapters to the Canadian fishing controversy – easily

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AP History teacher is constantly plagued by eliminated. What about the War of 1812, the thought that the class must pick up the presidencies of James Buchanan and details in order to be prepared. The student Arthur Garfield, the Indian Wars, the Age must know Macon’s Bill #2, San Juan Hill of Flappers and so on? Material has to be and the Smoot-Hawley Tariff. And cut if the class is to focus in depth on what preparation for essay questions on the is of paramount significance. AP and IB exams has the same disquieting Once the teacher has determined the effect. Years ago there was an AP test that topics of paramount significance, appropriate required an essay on the causes of the War reading materials need to be selected and of 1812 and an IB edited for effective essay question on the study. Essential here We seem to be entering another London Naval are original sources period in which we will consider Conference of 1930. and profound again the issues of justice, If I were Czar of interpretive essays. Education, I’d ban For example, on the fairness and humanitas. tests like these. There Civil War, the student is no purpose in must read Lincoln’s the study of history, incidentally, if the definition of war aims and contrast that student cannot take an important issue, with Jefferson Davis’ statement of the discuss what happened, present a thoughtful issues. Then, the student should read some point of view and give the responsible excellent and profound interpretive essays. counter-arguments. What has a Richard Hofstadter or an The divine oracle of modern education Eric Foner said of the issues? The same says of multiple-choice tests, “There are combination of source materials and five possible answers. Usually you can conflicting interpretive essays should be eliminate two answers for sure and another used with global topics. Weight should for pretty sure. This gives you a choice be given to topics that bring the issues of two. Take a guess.” This is education? up to contemporary times. The student using a textbook gets no The teacher needs to be very aware of concept of research. The author’s search personal perspectives and the responsibility for original material, the weighing of that of fairness. Interpretive essays with different material, the formulation and defense of perspectives are essential here. My an historical hypothesis are all unseen by understanding of the teacher’s role did a the textbook reader. The student should 180-degree turnabout after I’d been teaching constantly use original source material, for 10 or 15 years. Initially, I would deliver assess that material and formulate great balancing acts: “On the one hand … interpretations. but on the other hand …” At the end of At the risk of offending some readers, the year, if some students thought I was a a final thought about teaching history: communist while others believed me to be U.S. history has had a wave-like pattern a fascist, I was delighted. Then, one day in which eras of reforming zeal have been a student said that I was being arrogant followed by quiescent periods of smug in assuming that every student would be self-satisfaction. The periods of reform brain-washed by hearing my personal have seen crusades to bring justice, better views. He was right, and ever since that equalize opportunity, protect the defenseless day I have been willing to state my views, and assuage suffering. Such eras have always feeling the responsibility to show always been exciting to me: the anti-slavery other perspectives. movement of the 1840s and ’50s, the Now I will address the complication confrontation of economic and urban of the standardized test. The AP History problems in the Progressive Era, the battles exam has a multiple-choice section. The

for economic justice in the 1930s, and the Civil Rights and women’s movements of the 1960s. We have gone through a long period in which some serious issues of elemental justice and humanitas have been downplayed or ignored. An American president could blithely cut off serious discussion of poverty by repeating accounts of mythical “welfare queens.” We seem to be entering another period in which we will consider again the issues of justice, fairness and humanitas. When the Occupy Wall Street movement focused on the 1 percent and the 99 percent, the protestors were derided and thought clueless. Now these issues have come to the fore. There is a desperate need for leaders of knowledge and sensitivity and for a public prepared to be attentive and responsive to the national discussion. We need the understanding that can only come from education.

The academic department that has the responsibility of developing that understanding is – History. Not history from a monotone, 1,000-page textbook; not history that evaluates by multiplechoice questions; not history that is a prep course for standardized tests. Our young people will not have the understanding or the heart to grasp the issues of economic and social justice at home and the wise use of American power around the globe unless they have a solid foundation in history, meaningfully taught. NA OUTREACH spring 2014

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Fall drama, A Shortage of Quotes, encourages thoughtful dialogue through dramatic interpretation by Marci Kahwaty, Communications Associate


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Diversity. Inclusion. Concepts that have guided Newark Academy culture, policy and programming for some time. But during the past year, a shift occurred. Newark Academy internalized those concepts in unprecedented ways. It’s difficult to say just how it happened, but a number of events contributed to a major shift in the way we view ourselves, identify ourselves and talk to one another about topics like race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender and religion.

NA shared some unique collective experiences as a school during the 2012-2013 academic year: A delegation of students, faculty and staff attended the National Association of Independent Schools People of Color Conference (PoCC), returning with strong diversity programming for the second half of the year; the Feinberg Multicultural Assembly series brought Dr. Mykee Fowlin to NA to perform his one-man-show, You Don’t Know Me … Until You Know Me, which explores the profound impact of image and stereotype on young people. During a Morning Meeting last spring, members of the Gay Straight Alliance stood on the stage in Rose Auditorium and spoke publicly about their sexual orientation, some for the first time. The community was talking and it was time to capture the lightning in a bottle. The 2013 fall drama, A Shortage of Quotes, continued that dialogue, bringing tough-to-talk-about subjects into

the open (into the Lautenberg Black Box, to be exact). The production was conceived and written by students, along with faculty members Scott M. Jacoby and Amanda Addison ’06. Through a series of scenes and monologues, actors addressed issues including race, religion, socioeconomic status, academic pressure and body image. EVERYONE’S TALKING When the faculty and students came back from PoCC and presented their experiences and recommendations at a faculty meeting, Amanda Addison admitted that the discussion struck a chord. She and her friends, fellow NA alums, had often discussed their experiences as students of color in the NA community. Newark Academy had provided a rich academic experience, but students of color described a sense of being on the outskirts of the social scene.

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They had little idea of what was to come but had faith in their goal and in the artistic process. “Trust the process” would become the cast’s mantra...

Last summer, Scott and Amanda contacted students to begin discussing the project. They had little idea of what was to come but had faith in their goal and in the artistic process. “Trust the process” would become the cast’s mantra during the making of A Shortage of Quotes. From the initial information session about the project and the subsequent auditions, a group of 25 students emerged, all of whom would write and perform some piece of A Shortage of Quotes.

Odette Rodrigues ’05 echoed Amanda’s sentiments, describing a tough transition from Newark to Newark Academy during her freshman year: “NA was growing and becoming more diverse at that time. But the conversation – the dialogue about it – wasn’t keeping pace.” “I prospered academically. But socially it was different,” Odette explained. “I found a home when I joined Umojaa (the Newark Academy club dedicated to learning about African-American culture and promoting unity at NA). That’s where most of my friends were from, not from students among the majority of the NA population.”

TRUST THE PROCESS The creation process lasted for two intense months. The first month saw a lot of

Fast forward to 2013: The NA community was tackling the issues that Odette described. “Something was definitely happening here and we had to capture it,” said Scott Jacoby, referring to the discussions taking place. “We had to do something to take advantage of this momentum and create an artistic response to it.” Scott had participated in a conference about teaching collaborative theater, and he was ready to try out a student-generated fall drama piece that would give NA students a forum to talk about issues in their own words.

discussion, arising organically among the students about issues they had faced. “We shared experiences and struggles dealing with diversity and inclusion,” said Amanda. “Those conversations were complex, dealing with issues like feeling marginalized for being black, guilty for being white, tongue-tied for speaking with an accent or judged.” When writing finally began, the group struggled with how to put their ideas into a cohesive production. “As we got together we realized that everyone had a message that they wanted to deliver but not everyone

A SHORTAGE OF NAMES Where did the name come from? The cast was having a discussion and one of the cast members was trying to think of a quote to illustrate a point. When she couldn’t think of one, she said she was experiencing “a shortage of quotes.” And the name stuck.


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felt like they had a way to deliver it,” said sophomore Truman Ruberti, one of the writers/actors. Should this be a traditional play? Should there be an ongoing plot? Should personal prose be amalgamated into character themes? That didn’t feel right either. (Trust the process.) “Your stories are the most compelling stories we have,” Scott told the cast. “Using them is the most authentic way to do this.” Someone brought up the idea of a school tour to anchor all of the performances in the play. With each destination on the tour, personal stories about race, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, sexuality and academic pressure unfolded.

The venue is dark as junior Amani Garvin takes the stage for the first scene of A Shortage of Quotes. Amani is alone onstage with a single spotlight as she delivers a powerful soliloquy about the “Five Points of Identity” that people look for to draw quick conclusions about someone they meet: name, gender, ethnicity, sexuality and religion.

But the name Newark Academy isn’t uttered anywhere in the play and that’s by design. “We wanted it to feel more universal than that,” said Scott. The actors are clearly talking about life at an independent school but it could be any independent school. And one of the (few) rules that governed the writing process prohibited references to specific individuals in any of the scenes. One of the themes that kept coming up in the playwriting process was the idea of guilt for having the privileges that many students enjoy. “We tried to impart that no one should

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Affinity Groups at NA 36

Amanda Addison’s role as a faculty advisor for A Shortage of Quotes has become a launching point for a project she is spearheading on behalf of the Alumni Board of Governors (BOG): the creation of affinity group programming. “As an alum who is now a faculty member and very involved in the current school community, I had been thinking about how to attract some fellow alums back to campus,” Amanda explained. “I invited friends to see the play and I got the sense they were coming to terms with feeling disconnected from the school community at times when they were here. Seeing a contingent of alumni of color in the audience, and seeing the issues being addressed on stage was a very positive experience for them.” Her friends’ response to the performance combined with her attendance at the People of Color Conference, where affinity group programming was a major theme, motivated Amanda to suggest that the BOG consider adding programs for affinity groups to the schedule of annual alumni events. Examples of affinity group programs might include an NA attorneys group, a reunion of alums who went on the Southwest trip or a gathering for alumni of color. “It’s happening all over at the independent school level,” she said. “I’m excited about the possibility of bringing something like this to NA.” The BOG’s Young Alumni Committee, led by Amanda and Sean Allen ’03, will research, plan and implement the program. The committee is in the earliest stages of planning, but Amanda expects that they will model their efforts on programming available at top collegiate institutions Amanda said the goal for the BOG is to create an infrastructure for the affinity groups, starting with a concrete vision statement. She stressed that affinity groups are not divisive. Rather, she pointed out, they are designed to engage individuals with NA through their diverse interests, backgrounds and experiences. “This is not about having subsets of people or excluding others,” she said. “We created A Shortage of Quotes because we care about NA. The affinity groups are being established in the same spirit.” “We are always looking for new and creative ways to both engage and serve NA alums,” said Matt Gertler, director of alumni relations. “Under the direction of Amanda and Sean, and with the input and experience of their peers, I’m confident that our alumni community will be well-served by affinity group programming.” NEWARK ACADEMY

feel guilt for having privilege because that keeps you from using it to create positive experiences for others,” said Amanda. “The takeaway is, ‘You’ve got the privilege. Stop feeling guilty and be constructive.’” As the cast moved closer to a completed script, Amanda suggested including a questionand-answer session at the end of each performance. “With so much to say, it couldn’t just end,” she said. The comments in those sessions ranged from technical questions (How did you write the play?) to compliments (Thank you for being brave enough to do this). In one of the question-and-answer sessions, an audience member asked the cast about how

participating in the production impacted them. Amani Garvin, whose performance opened the show said, “I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had an issue with feeling like they weren’t being understood and feeling uncomfortable because they weren’t understood. As we go on I feel like this play has helped us deal with that.” Liz Merrigan ’16 said, “Performing in this project has helped me learn how to communicate things that are difficult.”

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ON THE RIGHT TRACK By all accounts, A Shortage of Quotes helped to further the conversation about diversity and inclusion within the Newark Academy community that had begun the year before. In particular, the production helped move that dialogue forward, with new voices and new ways of approaching the topics that need to be addressed, even though they make us feel vulnerable. “The discussions happening at NA may not all be a result of A Shortage of Quotes,” said Truman Ruberti. “But we definitely helped it along.”

inspired programming to keep us talking about important issues in the NA community and beyond. “From an alum’s perspective, I’m so happy to see that a play like this can be produced at NA and that the conversation is continuing,” said Odette Rodrigues. “It’s important for alumni to know what’s happening on campus. For alumni who may have felt like they weren’t represented when they were students, a production like A Shortage of Quotes might help them feel more connected to Newark Academy.” Toward the end of the play sophomore Valery Tarco, in her school tour guide role,

The NA community continues to find new ways to communicate difficult subjects and inspire authentic communication. Class discussions, global speakers and Morning Meeting presentations offer forums for students to share their perspectives. The Oyster Club, which was formed by NA students in response to Dr. Mykee Fowlin’s presentation, promotes positive self-image and positive peer-to-peer interaction. Clubs like the Gay Straight Alliance, Girls Helping Girls and Umojaa have developed

admitted that no school is without social issues. But in the final analysis, she said, “I’d rather be at a place where we can talk about our issues and work through them, than at a place where you either swim or drown.” The lines of communication must remain open, evolve, inspire programming and curricula, and encourage understanding of the similarities and differences among us. It’s a conversation that needs to continue and that, ideally, need not ever end. NA


A Shortage of Quotes helped to further the conversation about diversity and inclusion within the Newark Academy community.

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& Resilience Why They Matter, and How NA Can Inspire Its Students to Lead Successful and Meaningful Lives

By Jessica Lubow FROM POP CULTURE TO ACADEMIA, REFERENCES TO “GRIT” AND “RESILIENCE” ARE POPPING UP ALL OVER. These words may conjure images of America’s first European settlers, who braved the unknowns of westward expansion to seek land, gold and freedom. Or perhaps we are reminded of the rigorous training routines of Olympic athletes, or of an entrepreneur who, with nothing more than a computer and a dream, went on to found a multi-billion dollar company. Grit and resilience are certainly key to physically grueling tasks and to “beating the odds” in a variety of contexts, but how are they relevant to Newark Academy students preparing themselves for a successful transition to college and beyond?

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University of Michigan psychology professor, and Martin Seligman, psychologist and founder of the field of Positive Psychology, examined all aspects of “character.” Peterson and Seligman identified 24 character strengths, common across all cultures and eras, known to cultivate meaningful and fulfilling lives. They raised thought-provoking questions about the nature of character (is it innate or is it learned?) and how it can be taught in schools, in families and in the culture at large. After reading Character Strengths and Virtues, two respected and influential educators took notice: Dominic Randolph, head at the well-respected Riverdale Country School in the Bronx, and David Levin, co-founder of the KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) charter school network and superintendent of its New York City branch. Both educators were heavily invested in the question of character, and both were particularly curious about how schools can do a better job teaching important elements of character to their students. Randolph and Levin established a collaboration of their own, intent on applying the ideas of Peterson and Seligman to curriculum development at independent schools and KIPP schools. They narrowed down the original list of 24 character strengths to seven traits they determined to be most crucial: zest, grit, self-control, social intelligence, gratitude, optimism and curiosity. At KIPP’s four New York City schools, teachers

have implemented a “Character Report Card” to assess their students in all character traits. One of their biggest challenges has been explaining the value of these indicators to parents. However, once parents understand that focusing on the character traits in question will develop children who are more likely to attend and be successful in college, they become very receptive. At Riverdale, the challenge has been quite different. These students, like many of those at NA, begin their educational journey from a position of relative privilege, in an environment where “failure” is rare and is usually seen as something to be avoided. Paul Tough, author and frequent writer on topics including education, parenting, poverty and politics, stated in his 2012 book How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character that “what kids need more than anything is a little hardship; some challenge, some deprivation that they can overcome, even if just to prove to themselves that they can.”

FOSTERING RESILIENCE AT NA Newark Academy administrators, faculty and trustees have embraced this message. The Academy’s current Strategic Plan, a road map for the school for the next five years, identifies key goals relating to program excellence and innovation. Among these goals is the charge to foster resilience in students. The plan states that NA students must seek challenges, withstand setbacks, embrace responsibility, and use the lessons of experience to spur growth, and that NA must pursue and communicate the value of school policies that nurture resilience. This goal is already a reality in many facets of NA students’ lives. In the Middle School, each year concludes with a unique off-campus experience known as a “Capstone Trip.” Each trip is designed



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to reinforce themes the students discuss throughout the year, from the academic to the interpersonal. One trip that really tests the grit of sixth graders takes them to Overlook Farm in Rutland, MA. The farm is run by the nonprofit organization Heifer International, and offers many experiential and team-building programs. NA sixth graders participate in Heifer’s “Global Gateway” program, a 24-hour hands-on experience designed to teach them about living with limited resources (with not so much to eat and less-thanluxurious accommodations for instance). As Middle School Principal Tom Ashburn notes, “Sometimes the hardest part is convincing the parents that this is a good idea, but the kids really love it and they come away with a deep sense of accomplishment.” Upper School students have many opportunities to discover their passions and to create their own unique educational paths. The Upper School Immersion Experience, formally adopted in 2009, draws students out of their comfort zones and into challenging situations of their own choosing, be it a foreign language program while living with a host family, or an outdoor adventure requiring both mental and physical resilience in conditions far more rugged than they experience in their daily lives.

A LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE The Immersion Experience, whether two-week or semesterlong, provides students opportunities for life-changing off-campus educational experiences that encourage full engagement in the world beyond the classroom. For Yale freshman Zoe Huber-Weiss ’13, “life-changing” is the perfect way to sum up her semester at the Mountain School in Vershire, VT. The Mountain School features a studentoperated working farm and a host of courses and experiences designed to teach students wilderness skills and to connect them more deeply with the natural environment. Zoe arrived at the school for her junior spring semester full of excitement and trepidation. “I’m a short, artsy, asthmatic girl from Short Hills,” she laughs. “To say that this experience pushed me out of my comfort zone would be an understatement.” Zoe’s biggest test came in the form of her four-day “Solo.” Armed with a journal, a pencil, several books, a pocketknife and some basic camping equipment, Zoe set up camp for herself and spent the next four days going from cautious and a bit afraid, to downright joyful. “By the end of the trip I had nearly frozen to death, danced in the middle of a stream, defended my dinner from a greedy squirrel, fixed my broken sleeping bag, and attained the knowledge that I could do something outside my comfortable little world – and love it.”



Whether students choose to challenge themselves physically, like Zoe, or through an adventure abroad or even an internship in their intended field of study, they gain the confidence to handle life’s daily ups and downs with greater ease. “I literally think to myself, ‘if I can survive a four-day Solo, I can do one more astronomy problem set!’” she concluded. In addition to the Upper School Immersion Experience and the Middle School Capstone Trips, there are smaller, daily ways in which teachers and administrators at NA help students learn to be responsible for their own decisions. In the Upper School, students begin each …students have academic term with many opportunities a 12-day “drop/add” period during which they to discover their can enroll in a class and passions and to create experience its content and pace for a significant their own unique amount of time before educational paths. determining if it is the right path for them. Director of College Counseling Amy Shaprio embraces the concept of “drop/add” for the signal it sends to students. “They learn when they can push themselves toward something they really want, like an IB class that will be hard work but ultimately very gratifying, and also when to back off. Noticing when they’ve pushed themselves too far is just as important to good decision-making as holding themselves to high standards.”

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LEARNING TO MOVE ON For Marquis Scott, who wears three hats as director of technology, diversity coordinator and head of NA’s Summer Bridge program, the notion of grit and resilience crystalized in an instant when he was just 11 years old. Marquis and his brother, who lived in a tough inner city neighborhood of What Worcester, MA, were up to their usual daredevil antics when if the Marquis, riding too fast on a secret to bicycle with faulty brakes, was struck by a car. His injuries were success is minor, but his mind and body received quite a jolt. “My failure? perspective suddenly shifted,” says Marquis. “I realized I was not going to live the rest of my life in this place, where poverty was the norm and where nobody was moving forward.” Marquis set himself on a new path, one from which he has not strayed since. “By the time I got to high school it was clear there were a lot of gaps in my academic fundamentals,” Marquis said. With the help of a dedicated teacher, Marquis began to see his exit from the inner city take on a real and tangible shape in the form of a full scholarship to the prestigious Hotchkiss School, in Lakeville, CT, where he entered as a post-graduate student. From there, Marquis continued his upward trajectory, going on to earn a bachelor’s degree at Union College and playing semi-professional basketball in Greece. “I’m never going to stop moving forward,” says Marquis. In the Summer Bridge program, Marquis has worked with


newly enrolled students who have not had the benefit of an academic and cultural environment like NA’s. He knows first-hand about the adjustments they need to make, and he works with them during the summer and throughout their years at NA to help them adapt smoothly and successfully. Marquis Scott’s story is inspirational, although it is in stark contrast to that of many Newark Academy students, who have enjoyed a relatively smooth journey through their education thus far. When we consider all that can be learned from life’s setbacks and disappointments, we must then ask, how can we teach these important life lessons to kids for whom success has come so easily? The author Paul Tough sums up the dilemma with the question, “What if the secret to success is failure?” Parents’ well-meaning impulse to protect their children from hardship may in fact deprive them of their ability to overcome challenges on their own and of the sense of self-worth they gain by doing so. Newark Academy, along with many other independent schools, is engaged in an ongoing dialogue on this very topic. Head of School Don Austin notes that NA’s culture is one of empowerment, where students learn that they can do anything they set their minds to. “We are committed to our students’ success, and we must broaden our definition of success to include some failures as well. Our challenge is to become more explicit about presenting our students with appropriate obstacles and even frustrations, the management of which will certainly make them stronger and more successful at NA and in the years that follow,” said Don. Learning to move on after disappointment is a skill frequently discussed in Amy Shapiro’s NA office. As the director of college counseling, she must help students find ways to challenge themselves and maintain high expectations, while giving them room to fall short of these expectations in a way that keeps them motivated and optimistic about their futures. “I firmly believe that when it comes to the college process, students land where they should land,” says Amy. For some, a rejection letter might be their first significant experience with disappointment, but Amy tries to help NA seniors see that if they are receiving some “no’s,” from schools, it actually means they are doing the right thing by reaching, if only slightly, beyond their easy grasp. “Of course parents and teachers want to protect their kids from difficult news on the college front,” she says, but when students can turn this disappointment into a positive opportunity to assess

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MENTAL TOUGHNESS An Athletic Perspective themselves honestly, they become more resilient and develop a reservoir of strength upon which they can draw from far into the future.”

DAUNTED BUT NOT DEFEATED For star soccer player Zack Widmann ’12, the college application process took many surprising turns. Throughout his years at NA, Zack was a standout player, and he was named captain for his senior season. However, he seemed to fall into a gray area in the college recruitment landscape. A strong athlete with the potential to make an impact as a Division III soccer player, Zack found his academic record was a tier below what many “D-III” schools were looking for. Although he would have been a strong candidate academically at many Division I schools, his opportunities to play soccer would likely be limited. Finally, he was given a chance to play for a coach at Colgate University (D-I) and during a soccer practice in the course of his campus visit, Zack tore his anterior cruciate ligament, sidelining him for six grueling months of recovery and rehabilitation. “I couldn’t believe my bad luck, for this to happen right in front of a coach who had taken a real interest in me as a player,” recalls Zack. With his soccer season in doubt and his college options limited, Zack decided to take a post-graduate year at Choate Rosemary Hall, in Wallingford, CT, during which time he was courted by the coach from Union College, a small Division III school in Schenectady, NY, where both Zack and his family agreed he could have a great experience as a student-athlete. “But when I got to campus in the fall of 2013,” he says, “it was clear that the coach had recruited at least seven or eight other players with skills very similar to mine. Ultimately I was cut from the team during pre-season.” Daunted but not defeated, Zack convinced the Union coach to give him another try. “I was allowed back on the team on a trial basis, but I really felt like an outsider – they never even gave me a team jersey. It was a very uncomfortable situation.” Anxious to get his college career moving forward in a more positive direction, Zack, along with his coaches from NA and Choate, launched a cold-calling campaign to coaches at other schools, and he was able to convince the coach at Skidmore College to take a chance on him. “I was so warmly welcomed into the program here at Skidmore – by January I officially enrolled as a transfer student and I really couldn’t be happier,” says Zack. Although his journey to the right school was bumpy, he feels certain now that he is in the right place, and, most importantly, he has proven to himself that he had the strength and

Grit and resilience are in vogue now, but these traits have always been at the heart of successful athletes. Coaches understand that it is often mental toughness more than pure athletic talent that makes a great player. A certain degree of mental toughness is innate, but it can also be fostered. “One way we try to accomplish this at NA is through the Captains Council,” explains Ted Gilbreath, Athletic Director. Team captains at NA are selected by their peers and coaches nearly one year in advance, and during the year leading up to their captaincy, they are expected to grow into the leadership role. Newark Academy holds regular Captains Councils attended by captains of all sports, during which the captains engage the student-athletes in conversation about what makes a successful team. Captains learn that they have a very important role to play, not only leading by example but also holding their peers accountable for their commitment and their effort throughout the season. In the Middle School, the Athletic Department tries to instill those same values, grading students not on their performance in sports but on their work ethic and their skill as team members. “We hold the kids accountable for the values we prioritize,” said Ted.


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resilience to turn a difficult situation into a victory. “I hope to be a smarter, stronger player than ever and to lead my new team to great success this season, and considering what it took to get here, I am so grateful and proud to have fought this battle and won.”


GRIT: THE INDICATOR OF SUCCESS Zack’s words would certainly resonate with Angela Lee Duckworth, an assistant professor in the psychology department at the University of Pennsylvania, who has made the study of “grit” central to her work in psychology and education. In her late 20s, Duckworth left a demanding job as a management consultant to teach math in public schools in San Francisco, Philadelphia and New York. After five years she went back to school to complete her PhD in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research shows that “grit” is a better indicator of success than factors such as IQ or family income. In her May 2013 TED Talk, Duckworth poses the question, “What if doing well in school and in life depends on much more than one’s ability to learn something quickly and easily?” Evidence suggests that something other than IQ, Experiencing good grades, and other setbacks and traditional markers of success lies behind the learning from personal and professional them is an triumphs of people widely considered “successful.” excellent way to Intrigued by this notion, develop grit... Duckworth conducted a study of a wide range of subjects including West Point cadets, spelling bee participants, new teachers placed in challenging urban schools, and corporate salespeople. She examined the characteristics common among those who had the best results in their respective fields and found that all shared a “passion and perseverance for long term goals,” a trait she identifies as “grit.” We have all heard the expression, “Life is a marathon, not a sprint.” It seems that those who live by this mantra, who train steadily over many years, and who persevere in the face of challenges will reap the biggest rewards. Talent alone, notes Duckworth, does not make people “gritty.” Schools know a lot about how to improve students’


LIFE IS A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT content-based skills, but we are much less informed about how to teach students to have grit. Experiencing setbacks and learning from them is an excellent way to develop grit but not one that can always be replicated in a school environment. NA’s Head of School Don Austin is interested in how to build such learning opportunities into the curriculum. He believes that one useful method is to put greater emphasis on creative and divergent thinking. “When students are less focused on finding the ‘right answer’ they are free to approach a problem from a variety of interesting angles,” says Don. “This creates a more student-centered learning environment where kids can be guided by the ideas that excite them, rather than simply learning to master content.” Like Duckworth, Don and other innovative educators are seeking to inspire young people to find passion in their studies as a way to deepen their intellectual experience and contribute to their lifelong success and fulfillment. “We want to emphasize the value of the struggle,” says Don, “and the satisfaction that comes from sticking with a challenge to the end.” Don and the rest of the NA faculty now face the equally important task of assessing students’ progress in those key character traits that lead to success in school and beyond. One potential solution is the Mission Skills Assessment (MSA), a web-based program that allows students, during twiceyearly sessions, to rate themselves on such key skills as teamwork, creativity, ethics, resilience, curiosity and time management. The MSA also has a teacher-based component, involving faculty in the assessment of the same skills in their students. “The culture in many traditional secondary schools is quite risk averse,” notes Don. “In assessing our students’ skills in areas beyond the scope of traditional academic testing we can encourage healthy risk-taking, while still holding them accountable for their progress.” NA

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THE EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE OF NA From Ben Purkert ’03, Alumni Board of Governors A few years ago, NA conducted research to identify what most distinguishes the school. The results were definitive: it’s the people. Newark Academy’s faculty, administration and staff are outstanding. And the student body is truly one of a kind — diversely talented, highly accomplished and intellectually curious about the world. Then our students graduate. In so doing, they join a similarly distinguished community: NA’s alumni. Pursuing excellence across many different fields, Newark Academy graduates are leaders in business, finance, law, government, technology, academia, science and medicine, the arts and beyond. In my class of 2003, for example, you’ll find a PhD zoologist researching native bird species, an IP lawyer specializing in the music industry, and a start-up entrepreneur building a green tea consumer-goods business. As a member of the Board of Governors, I’m committed to helping our alumni create connections through Newark Academy. It means organizing events that give alums opportunities to network and share career expertise. It also means bridging the gap between alumni and current students, so that both remarkable communities can learn from and inspire each other. Over the past year, my Board of Governors committee has successfully spearheaded efforts to bring these groups closer together. In partnership with Director of College Counseling Amy Shapiro and Alumni Relations Director Matt Gertler, we organized the first annual Mock Interview Night last November. More than a dozen NA alums volunteered as mock college interviewers for NA seniors and juniors, providing helpful guidance about the interview process based on their experiences. Alums gained an up-close appreciation for the extraordinary talents of today’s student body, while the students honed their skills and garnered valuable advice. We also conducted our first-ever Alumni Day of Service in April. Held at the Community Food Bank of NJ in Hillside, this event was a great opportunity for local alums to help others in need, while having fun reconnecting with old friends and meeting current NA students. Additionally, we’re dedicated to facilitating more alumni-student mentoring opportunities. We want to ensure that NA’s student organizations have access to the wealth of relevant real-world expertise our alumni possess, while alumni stay in close touch with the various amazing things happening at NA. By fostering and enriching these connections, we hope to make the entire Newark Academy family a little closer. Want to get involved? Email me at or Matt Gertler,

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One of the best strategies you can employ in your career transition or your job search is networking. Actually, even if you’re not in transition, you should still be networking. You never know what opportunity may present itself! Think about this: about 90 percent of positions available aren’t advertised. How do people find them? Networking! Talking with people you know and asking them to introduce you to other folks is the core of networking. Organizing events and opportunities for NA alumni to network has been a top priority for both the Alumni Relations Office and the Alumni Board of Governors (BOG) this year. Some of those initiatives included:


Need to Network? Yes you do!

NA INTERVIEWING NIGHT The BOG, in conjunction with the College Counseling Office, sponsored NA’s first “Interviewing Night” last November. Regional college interviewers, most of whom were alumni, volunteered to conduct mock college interviews and provide interviewing tips and techniques for NA juniors and seniors. The event was part of a BOG-led initiative to create opportunities for students, alumni and faculty to engage in the “Life of the Academy.” Among those alumni who participated were Amanda Addison ’06, Sean Allen ’03, Neha Bhalani ’03, Joel Glucksman ’68, Achilles Kintiroglou ’96, Stephanie Macholtz ’93, Alan Moscowitz ’46, Jon Olesky ’74, Ben Purkert ’03, David Rattner ’03 and Nisha Suda ’03. If you are a regional college interviewer and are interested in volunteering at this event for the 2014-15 school year, contact Director of Alumni Relations Matt Gertler at (973) 992-7000, ext. 367,


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ALUMNI-IN-COLLEGE NETWORKING WORKSHOP In January, NA held its 2nd Annual Alumni-in-College Networking Workshop. James Smith (father of Jalen ’13 and Jada ’18) spoke to the most recent alumni about the importance of professional networking and how best to do it. James also provided interviewing tips and techniques, best practices for social media and strategies for conducting informational interviews.

NEW YORK CITY NETWORKING NIGHT Newark Academy sponsored its annual Networking Night event at the Penn Club in Manhattan. Alumni of all industries gathered to exchange business cards, learn about other professions and hear from experts in their respective fields. A record number of alumni turned out to hear a panel discussion focusing on those contemplating a career change. The panelists included Peter Gross ’61, Nancy Baird Harwood ’75, Anthony Melillo ’03 and current parent Peter Wagner.

SMALL BUSINESS NETWORKING WORKSHOPS Newark Academy hosts several Small Business Networking breakfasts each year that provide opportunities for small business professionals to develop connections with each other. NA alumni, current parents and alumni parents are welcome to attend and will be given an opportunity to share their experiences and challenges. Business cards are exchanged and referrals are provided. At each meeting, a guest speaker presents on a topic relevant to the current business climate. Recent topics have included managed service providers, leveraging social media, and the impact of the Affordable Care Act on small businesses.

INTERNSHIPS.COM Did you know that hosts a Newark Academy page for alumni seeking internships or entry-level positions? Yair Reimer ’01 was the first person hired by the company after it was founded. The company is now a part of the Career Arc Group network of job services. Visitors to the site can browse hundreds of internship opportunities by geography and industry.

PROFESSIONAL NETWORKING ON SOCIAL MEDIA Newark Academy alumni also congregate on LinkedIn and the Newark Alums Facebook page. These are excellent venues to search for new business opportunities and make connections with alumni from every industry. The NA Alumni Mobile App for all Android and iOS devices also provides a “one-stop shopping” experience by providing all of NA’s alumni-networking opportunities together in one place. Visit our website at for more information on networking as well as upcoming events, volunteer opportunities and more. OUTREACH spring 2014

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The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is an annual longdistance race run in early March from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska. “Mushers” with teams of 16 dogs cover the distance in 9-18 days, often through blizzards, sub-zero temperatures and gale-force winds. In an ongoing demonstration of true grit and resilience, veterinarian Jay Butan ’75 has worked as a volunteer at seven races in the last 12 years. Here is his account from the event in March.

by JAY BUTAN ’75

Going the Extra Mile at Alaska’s Iditarod I trudge along, my heavy monster-looking boots crunching through the snow as I seek my destination. I raise my head up so that the beam from the headlamp worn over my fur hat can pierce the darkness. My breath is a wisp of cloud for a moment. The classic green paint stands out even in the darkness, and I am almost there. The anticipated relief is tempered by the reality of the situation: it is 4 a.m. and 8 degrees below zero and I am approaching an outhouse. How did I get here, again?



or me it began in 1975 while in my senior year at Newark Academy. I’d like to say it was Blackie Parlin’s encouragement to challenge myself or Joe Borlo’s directive to think in non-linear ways, later referred to as “thinking outside the box.” The reality is that I was perusing the newly-released Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue and toward the end of the magazine I discovered an article about sled dogs, mushers and a relatively new event – a nearly three-week long sled dog race called “The Iditarod.” I, the devout city kid and aspiring veterinarian, was completely drawn in, and so began a fascination that was fostered from afar for the next 25 years. Until ... Through a series of connections and accidents, I found myself in 2001 lifted from my companion animal practice in sunny South Florida and deposited on the frozen tundra for the first time. Though still fascinated by the romantic allure of such a stark and foreign environmental extreme (at that point I had been living in Florida for 13 years), I was also concerned about the welfare and care of the dogs. Animal welfare activism was just beginning to gain traction in the social consciousness. After 12 years with the race, I can attest to the mushers’ love and passion for their dogs and their concern for the animals’ well-being. The dogs, for their part, are devoted to their humans, whom they see as the leaders of their packs and teams. And – they love to run! The dogs are a dream to work with. They are happy, well-trained elite athletes, as comfortable

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receiving a belly rub as they are working as a unit to navigate a snowy, icy trail when it is 8 below at 4 a.m. Which brings me back ... There are some nights when I can see the Aurora Borealis. Other nights are less dramatic but still brilliant with stars so close and bright we feel as though we could pluck one out of the sky just by reaching up. Some days are clear, with the sun blinding from its reflection off the snow. Other days, a fresh snow falls relentlessly and we spot fox scurrying about as they seek out meals. Moose tracks are a real find. As someone who grew up in Newark, New Jersey, and is about to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his veterinary practice in Lake Worth, Florida, there is not a moment when I am in Alaska that I am not in awe of nature, the incredible dogs who make this event possible, and the international collection of volunteers who gather to see the safe and successful running of the Iditarod. NA


After 12 years with the race, I can attest to the mushers’ love and passion for their dogs and their concern for the animals’ well-being.

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English Professor Examines Roots of Popular Film, 12 Years a Slave The Steve McQueen film “12 Years a Slave” generated an extensive amount of buzz from critics and audiences alike, and the movie proved to be a powerhouse during the awards season, culminating with an Academy Award win for Best Picture. Newcomer Lupita Nyong’o also took home the award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her riveting portrayal of Patsey in the film.



r. Salamishah Tillet ’92 is an associate professor of English and Africana studies at the University of Pennsylvania and has written extensively about slavery, including a book titled Sites of Slavery: Citizenship and Democracy in the Post-Civil Rights Imagination. Recently, Oxford University Press published a piece by Salamishah examining the importance of the role of Patsey in 12 Years a Slave. “My first book looks at how African American artists and writers in the post-civil rights period were pre-occupied with remembering slavery in their work. I had spent 10 years of my intellectual life thinking about this conundrum of people who are descendants of slaves but don’t have a personal experience with it, yet are using it in their work. So when 12 Years a Slave was released I was interested in seeing how this builds on my work. I was primed for the topic.” In an essay for The Root, the Washington Post’s online news, opinion and culture site for African-American influencers, Salamishah examines the unique source of the material for 12 Years: an actual slave narrative. In the piece, Salamishah points out that Hollywood lags 40 years behind historians and authors who, in the 1970s, began rejecting plantation-owners’ records as the authoritative source on slavery and turned instead to the personal accounts of slaves. In the article, “Hollywood Finally Catches Up With History,” she discusses the fact that, although nearly 200 slave narratives were published in the United

States and England between 1760 and 1947, filmmakers have almost completely ignored these materials. “Hollywood thinks of itself as progressive but it isn’t really on the front lines with issues like slavery and the treatment of Native Americans,” she explained. “It took a long time to make a movie like this because slavery is a taboo topic, which has a lot to do with the fact that America was built on this kind of slave labor.” Salamishah saw the film before it was released and said she was quite moved by it and its approach to the national story of slavery. “No matter how much I’ve studied slavery, to see the cinematic portrayal of it is so paralyzing. It’s so unreal and to know that it’s part of our actual history, I was stunned into silence,” she said. “No matter how much you think you know about slavery, there is still so much silence around it.” In addition to teaching, Salamishah, with her sister Scheherazade Tillet, co-founded the organization A Long Walk Home, which uses art therapy and the visual and performing arts to end violence against girls and women. In 2010 both women were finalists for Glamour Magazine’s “Women of the Year” award for their advocacy work. Salamishah has appeared on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC and NPR. She is a prolific writer whose work on issues of race, gender, and popular culture are featured frequently in The Nation and The Root. NA

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NAon the road… In the midst of one of New Jersey’s coldest and snowiest winters, NA hit the road and received warm receptions from alumni in the South and on the West Coast.

PLACES WE VISITED: WASHINGTON, DC • Library of Congress February 12, 2014 BOCA RATON • Boca Country Club February 24, 2014 NAPLES • Naples Yacht Club February 25, 2014 VERO BEACH • Bent Pine Golf Club February 27, 2014 PHOENIX AREA• The Boulders March 9, 2014 LOS ANGELES • Petersen Automotive Museum March 16, 2014 SAN FRANCISCO • The Metropolitan Club March 19, 2014 ATLANTA • City Club of Buckhead May 1, 2014





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A Real American Hero by Garrett Caldwell, Humanities Faculty I watch my six-year-old son as he struggles, sprawled on the bedroom floor, with his current Lego project. Above him hangs an autographed picture of Mike Kay ’99. I think of the memorable hour I recently spent with Mike in Middle School Principal Tom Ashburn’s old office. Mike told me that his being “comfortable with discomfort” helped him to thrive during his years of service in the Green Berets. He said that resilience was more important than physical strength, fitness or dexterity in joining America’s elite warrior class. It’s a lesson, he noted, that teachers at NA taught him daily during his six years at the Academy. With Mike’s help as role model, it’s a lesson I hope to impart to my son.



s a child, Mike was influenced by the many Vietnam War movies featuring the Green Berets; his heroes included John Wayne (The Green Berets) and Sylvester Stallone (Rambo). But the key moment for Mike occurred when he was a freshman at Newark Academy. Based on his father’s recommendation, Mike read The Long Gray Line, the epic tale of the West Point class of ’66. Mike’s parents, whom he described as “anti-establishment, anti-war... real hippie-types,” were supportive of their son’s goals. America owes them a debt of gratitude. Mike’s experience at NA helped to foster in him a desire to serve, as well as an appreciation for teamwork. Mike’s teachers, Joe Ball and Alexandra Mahoney in particular, helped him to see beyond himself. Mike grinned as he relayed how Alex, upon discovering that he was not prepared for his Macbeth recitation, asked him to stand up and recite from Rambo. Mike internalized the value of big-picture thinking from such teachable moments; as a Green Beret, he would need to think on his feet and be creative. (He passed the recitation assessment.) Mike remembered fondly his NA football, lacrosse and wrestling teammates and coaches. It was with affection that Mike recalled how the football team was “undermanned and outmatched.” Mike’s analogy is a classic: “My NA football team

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Mike’s experience at NA helped to foster in him a desire to serve, as well as an appreciation for teamwork.

going up against Caldwell High School” was not unlike “being in charge of 12 guys in the Afghan mountains surrounded by a couple hundred Taliban fighters.” Mike has many wonderful qualities – chief among them, a sense of humor. Mike retired from the Green Berets a few months ago and is headed down a new career path. He was admitted to the Wharton School’s MBA program and has accepted an internship position with Goldman Sachs. Last year he married Kumi Dikengil ’99 an NYU graduate. While Mike served in the Philippines, Okinawa, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere during the last decade, he and Kumi somehow found the time to date, fall in love, and build a life together. I suspect a key to their success is Kumi’s perhaps limitless understanding. Mike said that after serving abroad together for months at a time in close quarters, he and his team struggled while apart during visits home. He admitted that after arriving home it would take about 20 minutes before he was on the phone with his buddies making plans to hang out. Mike understated when he said his wife is “stable and strong.” Heroic, I’d say. I already have the space reserved on my daughters’ walls for pictures of Kumi. NA

Polymnian 1998

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A RECOLLECTION OF JOHN L. KIM NA Faculty Member, 1969-1996 by Geoff Lipari ’89

Mr. Kim was the complete package, plus cool and alternative.

I was introduced to John L. Kim as a freshman, thanks to upper classmen John Van Emden ’87, Casey Woodruff ’87 and Chris (Flash) Fleissner ’88. Mr. Kim spent many hours with the older students, and if the guys he liked accepted you, this opened a door to friendship. So, as a first-year student in a new school, I jumped right in. Mr. Kim had a cult following, a kind of rock star status akin to that of fellow faculty member Joe Borlo. Unfortunately, I never had the privilege to study under Mr. Borlo, who was dapper and erudite in a George Clooney manner while Mr. Kim was more the mad-scientist type. Both men burnished their images spending countless hours each semester engaging students in the hallways and courtyards – talking, listening, building relationships, always secretly teaching. When I look back upon those years now, I realize this was one of the beauties of an NA education. I can see John Kim with his black toupee, black-rimmed glasses, white T-shirt under his blue button-down, V-neck sweater and blue blazer. Then there were the white athletic socks and black leather walking shoes. So like a faun from antiquity, Mr. Kim was professor up top and sportsman from the knees down. The “professor” taught me economics and Science and Society. I have read hundreds of authors in my lifetime, yet two maxims by which I have chosen to live my life were

taught to me by John Kim. The first one, “Respect all men, honor good men, bow down to no man,” was relayed during my elective course Naziism, Holocaust and World War II. Mr. Kim’s classes were standard, small-group lectures, but one always had to beware of the pop quiz and sitting too close to the front. Sometimes, Mr. Kim would get so excited about a topic, he would spray on you as if you were in the front row of a sold-out Broadway show. The “sportsman” was always on the sidelines for the games, especially football. He coached me on the “John Nance ’88” Stanley Cone champs team, along with Roger Bassin ’88, Curt Jacey ’88, Adam Miller ’88, Jeff Snyder ’89, Matt McTamaney ’88, and Jamie Agresti ’88. Mr. Kim was the complete package, plus cool and alternative. For a teenager, of course, this was a big attraction. He functioned as a sort of substitute parent if I rebelled against my own. Over the years, I lost touch with Mr. Kim. Looking back on my life, I will always regret not re-establishing contact. Mr. Kim would be happy I learned from this error and will not make the same mistake twice. “Most people talk about other people, some people talk about events, but only great people discuss ideas.” This second maxim was delivered by Mr. Kim some 25 years ago. For me, there was no greater man than John L. Kim.

SEND US RECOLLECTIONS OF YOUR TEACHERS The Newark Academy Alumni Relations Office is compiling stories of teachers from the most trusted source, the students they taught. If you have an anecdote or simply wish to put into words the impact your teachers had on your life, we want to hear from you. If you would like to contribute to this vital piece of Newark Academy history, send an e-mail to Matt Gertler

at or mail your recollections to the Newark Academy Alumni Relations office.

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CLASS NOTES 1944 William Haynes is assistant clinical professor of cardiology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, where he has worked for over 35 years. He also serves as chaplain of the Officers Society at Princeton’s University Medical Center. His WWII military service, as well as his study of theology and medicine, inspired the authorship of two books, Sea Time and Is There a God in Healthcare?

1949 65th Reunion Contact: Kenneth Baum ’49

managers in New Jersey in the January edition of New Jersey Monthly magazine. Bill was honored, saying that the recognition was extremely gratifying. Bill is the founder and current president of Van Winkle Associates.

1954 60th Reunion Contact: Henri Gordon ’54 (512) 476-0900

1955 Howard Rosen is retired from medicine and now volunteers as a science teacher in Nashville, TN.

1959 Kenneth Baum and wife Jackie recently moved from Silver Spring, MD, to a retirement community located near Fredericksburg, VA. Jackie’s son Dan, and his wife Cheri, bought the house next door. The family’s Thanksgiving Day celebration at Dan and Cheri’s home included their sons and daughter, Ken’s daughter Marsea, her husband Steve and Ken’s grandson, Michael.

1952 Bill Van Winkle was selected as one of the top wealth

We Fondly Remember

55th Reunion

Bill Van Winkle ’52 with his “New Jersey Monthly” magazine award

before reunion and the lunch, hosted by Bud D’Avella ’62, were among the most notable of the weekend festivities. He was particularly pleased that Neal Gilman and John Blumberg traveled a long distance to participate.

1964 50th Reunion

Contact: Douglas Slade ’59

1962 Whitney Russell reports that all is well but very busy. He teaches at Northampton High School in Massachusetts, where he also coaches JV football and softball.

1963 Steve Lozowick had a terrific time at the dinner honoring the reunion class of 1963. The dinner at Nero’s the night

Contact: Michael Yogg ’64

Mark Belnick is excited to announce the arrival of granddaughter Penelope Jane on October 17, 2013. Mark starred in the Los Angeles revival of Inherit the Wind, which opened in February at the Grove Theatre Center. Michael Yogg is sad to report the death of classmate Michael O’Grady on November 18, 2011, in Illinois. Michael O’Grady was


ROBERT BUSSE ’30 April 12, 2014


HOWARD BROKOW ’34 December 20, 2013


JOHN BOLTON ’38 December 6, 2013


GILBERT AUGENBLICK ’39 December 10, 2013


CLARENCE O’CROWLEY JR. ’44 December 25, 2013


ALAN CORBO ’47 December 29, 2013


EDWIN FAIRFIELD ’68 March 27, 2013

ROBERT BUSSE ’30 ß APRIL 12, 2014 Nearly a year ago, Bob Busse celebrated his 100th birthday and a lifetime of achievements (see Outreach, Spring 2013). On March 27, 2014, we were fortunate to catch up with him during an alumni road trip. Lisa Girder, Director of Advancement, and Bob, a proud NA graduate, happily shared stories of Newark Academy, then and now.




AVA DETORE ’08 December 14, 2013

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a retired hospital CEO and served at Norwegian American Hospital in Chicago and Indian River Medical Center in Vero Beach. Michael Yogg reported that the obituary website included a note from classmate Ned Ames, who attended NA from the fifth through ninth grades.


Rob ’81 and Andrea Kummel Burke ’81

WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD? To get to one of the most eco-friendly small businesses in the area, owned and operated by Rob Burke ’81 Wayne Auto Spa is no ordinary car wash and express lube, having won the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence and the Passaic County Green Buildings Award. An early adopter of solar technology, Rob designed his business to have the smallest possible carbon footprint. He uses biodegradeable soaps; special furnaces that heat his facility by cleanly burning used motor oil collected in his quick lube; and a special water-recycling machine that reduces water consumption by 85 percent. Rob also won permission to install a wind turbine to produce clean electricity after six years of litigation with the local planning board. As a former partner at the law firm Sills Cummis & Gross in Newark, Rob’s legal background helped him in court — and in Trenton. Rob drafted two bills and successfully lobbied for their adoption. Both make it easier for New Jersey landowners to install wind and solar energy devices. Two years ago, Rob added a Victory Garden and Learning Center to his property. There he raises 30 hens for their eggs and bees for their honey, and he harvests thousands of pounds of fruit and vegetables every year. He donates much of the fresh, organic, non-GMO food to local food pantries. According to Rob, “Folks who can least afford it get the highest quality, most nutritious food available, with dignity.” Rob has raised $12,500 toward a $30,000 goal for a greenhouse to supplement the Victory Garden. Eva’s Village, a nonprofit organization in Paterson, will own the greenhouse and Rob will operate it at his expense for their benefit. “Eva’s Village is a dynamic organization that touches many lives,” Rob said. “I’m excited to be feeding their residents while raising awareness of a host of important issues at the same time — from sustainability, to renewable energy, to resource conservation, to energy independence/national security, to education and awareness, and so on.” Rob regularly hosts students of all ages and speaks at local schools and colleges about building community through sustainability. “I’ve grown fond of the Native American proverb, ‘We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.’ My enthusiasm for this stuff can be contagious. Dozens of people appear out of nowhere to pitch in and help. I know I’m making a difference,” said Rob.

1967 Michael Lytwyn retired after 11 years as a clinical assurance auditor, the last five with Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals. He and his wife moved to Maine and are looking forward to exploring their new home state, as well as touring the rest of the country and Canada, in their Winnebago. Proud father Larry Cetrulo keeps us up to date on his children. Lara had her third child, Jonathan, in the fall. Lauren is married and looking forward to the birth of her child in May. Nick married Kayla, his classmate from medical school, and both are doing residencies at Philadelphia hospitals. Kate is an editor at Simon & Schuster in New York but is considering a career in law.

1969 45th Reunion Contact: Leo M. Gordon ’69 John H. Bess ’69 William Kaplan USAF (ret) ’69

1974 Rob and his wife, Andrea Kummel Burke ’81, live in Morris Township and have two children, one dog and, at the moment, a basement filled with more than 100 vegetable plants growing under lights in anticipation of the approaching growing season. NEWARK ACADEMY

40th Reunion Contact: Lance Aronson ’74

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Jon Olesky was named 2013 Cross-Country Coach of the Year by Star-Ledger High School Sports. He guided Newark Academy to its second straight Liberty Division title at the Super Essex Conference Championships, a runner-up finish at the state Prep B championships, and fifth place at the state Non-Public B Championships.


Chiropractor of the Year Donald C. DeFabio ’76

1975 Liz Clowney Arnold lives in Naples, FL. Sadly, her husband passed away in September 2013. Liz works part-time as a computer software trainer in the pharmaceutical industry. Robert Lee has been working and living in Norway since 1994, when his father Robert E. Lee ’44, his sister and he donated the family business, Lees Park, to the Morris County Parks Commission. He lives with his wife, three daughters and two grandchildren.

1976 The Association of New Jersey Chiropractors named Donald C. DeFabio 2013 Chiropractor of the Year at their annual fall symposium. This award is presented to a New Jersey Doctor of Chiropractic who exemplifies a superior level of service to his profession, community and patients.

1978 Lesly D’Ambola met NA student Abigale Parker ’19 at the Doc D’Ambola Regional Youth Cup Fencing Tournament in January. The event is named for Lesly’s

Lesly D’Ambola ’78, Abigale Parker ’19, Samuel (Doc) D’Ambola

father and fencing coach, Samuel (Doc) D’Ambola, a Hall of Fame fencer and coach. Abigale won the girls 12 and under saber competition.

Robert Settlow has joined Wells Fargo as a private mortgage banker. Rob lives in Glen Rock, NJ, with his wife and three children.



35th Reunion

K. Lesli Ligorner was named one of two “Attorneys Who Matter” by Ethisphere Magazine, in the Labor and Employment category, for her work in employment and compliance law for the third year running. She was also named Labour & Employment Lawyer of the Year for 2013 by China Law & Practice; and Labour &

Contact: Michael Schneck ’79

1984 30th Reunion Contact: William Markstein ’84 Brian K. Zucker ’84

Employment Lawyer of the Year for 2013 at the AsiaMoney Women in Business Law Awards. She is grateful for her NA education and the lifechanging introduction by Blackie Parlin to China and Japan, which provided her with the tools that continue to help her understand the culture.

1989 25th Reunion Contact: Stacey BradfordGreenberg ’89

Josh Dvorin is an attorney practicing worker compensation and personal injury law in South Plainfield, NJ. He resides in Scotch Plains with wife Elaine and their three children.

1986 Rob Chiappetta, Pete Hutchinson, Anthony D’Amore, Robert Staub and Darren Burns made their way to Hilton Head, SC, in October as part of their annual venture south to play a round of golf. Anthony had the low score this time around.

Rob Chiappetta ’86, Pete Hutchinson ’86, Anthony D’Amore ’86, Robert Staub ’86, Darren Burns ’86 OUTREACH spring 2014

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K. Lesli Ligorner ’87 (left) was honored at the AsiaMoney Women in Business Law Awards.

After being elected to the Piscataway Board of Education in November, Bill Irwin was elected president of the board.

2010, performing in and around northern New Jersey.

1994 20th Reunion

1991 Mikelle Lipsius Komor was promoted to partner at LeClairRyan, where she specializes in commercial litigation, lender liability defense, regulatory guidance and corporate representation on behalf of financial service institutions and private investors. She is also the female lead vocalist for jam band Midnight Rain since

Contact: Pamela Helfant Vichengrad ’94

1995 Anne Vanguestaine-Draga and her husband, Antoni, welcomed their fourth child, daughter Giulia, last December. Giulia joins sisters Chloe (16) and Estelle (6) and brother Enzo (3).

Anne Vanguestaine-Draga ’95, daughter Estelle, son Enzo, husband Antoni, and baby daughter Giulia



15th Reunion

After several years of studying and working abroad, Keren Ra’anan Eliezar is excited to be back in New Jersey. She is working as the director of recruitment and development at the Pre-Collegiate Learning Center of New Jersey, an innovative Jewish high school and middle school program in East Brunswick. She and her husband reside in Highland Park, where she teaches yoga and holistic health in her spare time.

Contact: Asha K. Talwar ’99 John C. Gregory ’99

2003 Last November, David Mazzuca visited with Kevin Fritze, Dorian Muench Fritze and their new baby Kenneth in Charlotte, NC, where Kevin and Dorian now reside.



10th Reunion


Newark Academy Official Page Newark Academy Minuteman (Athletics) Newark Alums Newark Academy Alumni @NewarkAcademy @NAMinutemen @NewarkAcademyArts @NAAdmissions Newark Academy Alumni


Contact: Danielle Gruenbaum White ’04 Kathryn Pagos ’04 Louise Ball Schutte ’04 Stephanie T. Reingold ’04

2006 Sarah Marcus is engaged to Matthew Hansen. They live in New York and are planning a wedding for May 2015.

Samantha Massengill is engaged to Bryan Blaisdell. Their wedding is planned for September 20, 2014. Both are engineers in San Antonio, TX. Sam serves as a member of the advisory board for a local science and engineering magnet high school and is also active in various other leadership and volunteer roles in San Antonio. She loves being outdoors and recently started biking again after a long hiatus.

2008 In November, Andrew Goldberg accepted positions at Fox Sports News and Sirius XM Satellite Radio. At Fox,

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David Mazzuca ’03, baby Kenneth Fritze, Kevin Fritze ’03, Dorian Muench Fritze ’03

he is a digital content programmer, crafting daily newsletters for all 16 NFL teams in the AFC North, AFC East, AFC South and NFC East. As a play-by-play board operator for Sirius XM, Andrew ensures that all covered sporting events are broadcast on the satellite channels. Meghan Henshall is finishing her last few months of Peace Corps service working as a community health education extension agent in rural Cambodia. During her time in Asia she shared her experiences with Jen Zelnick, who was living in Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh, working as a Luce Scholar; and with Cori McGinn, who flew over to travel the country with Meghan. She looks

forward to reconnecting with NA friends when she returns to the United States in the fall. Bradley Maykow recently started a new position as quality specialist at a global biotechnology company, Refine Technology. The company, based in New Jersey, specializes in filtration system manufacturing for protein-based drugs. He is also continuing his work as a high-performance athletic consultant with Fluid Mechanics.

2009 5th Reunion Contact: Andrew S. Binger ’09 Shannon R. Lam ’09

Matthew Hansen with fiancée Sarah Marcus ’06

Christina A. Colizza ’09 Rebecca L. Curwin ’09

Andrew Binger joined the faculty at the Newark Boys Chorus School last winter. He teaches Spanish to students in grades 5-8 and is helping design a new curriculum for native Spanish speakers that focuses on Hispanic culture instead of language. Andrew will also develop an enrichment curriculum for each grade, including test prep, creative writing and drama. Shannon Lam is finishing her graduate year at The College of New Jersey, earning a master’s degree in special education. She recently

returned from student teaching at the American International School in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she taught a kindergarten class. She also completed her student teaching requirements in a fifth-grade inclusion classroom in Somerville, NJ. Sam Lara lives in New York and was recently promoted to district manager at ABM Industries.

2010 Kendra Kobler received the 2013 ISPA Foundation Mary Tabacchi Scholarship at the International Spa Association

OPPORTUNITIES A CLICK AWAY For NA students looking to gain professional experience and explore career options, finding the right internship can be daunting. To streamline that process and give students a wider network of potential mentors, Newark Academy has partnered with to connect student internship candidates with local employers. The website offers resources for students, employers and schools in one location. Finding Newark Academy students the best opportunities helps put them on the path to success. To learn more, visit Kendra Kobler ’10

OUTREACH spring 2014

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Our annual New York City social, “Down by The River,” returns with a trip to the Boat Basin. Sun, fun and friends! Hope to see you there!

MAY 30: BOSTON RED SOX Back to Beantown! Spring in Boston is hard to beat, but we do with a trip to historic Fenway Park to watch the Red Sox take on the Tampa Bay Rays in this classic battle for the AL East division title.

Jackie Markowitz ’10, Kendra Kobler ’10, Maddy Lill ’10

Conference in September. The scholarship is awarded to a college or graduate student who is pursuing a spa management/spa leadershiprelated career. Jackie Markowitz and Maddy Lill visited Kendra last spring during her semester abroad in Copenhagen.

2012 Last October, Alistair Murray joined Jumpstart, an

AmeriCorps program aimed at preschool children and their families in low-income areas. The organization recruits and trains college students and community volunteers to bring the Jumpstart curriculum to the classroom. Alistair is assigned to the Howard Area Family Center in Chicago, where he organizes activities for preschool children. His goal is to complete 300 hours of service by the end of the school year.

MAY 31: ALUMNI LACROSSE Get out your stick, get back in shape, and be the laxer you remember.

JUNE 13: PHILLIES/CUBS We’re heading to the City of Brotherly Love to watch the Phillies take on their long-time rivals in a classic contest of two of the oldest teams in baseball.

JUNE 8: COMMENCEMENT AND OLD GUARD RECEPTION Just before we celebrate the newest alumni, we honor our alumni of 50+ years.

JUNE 30: NATIONALS/BRAVES Back in the nation’s capital, we set aside politics to watch the Nationals take on the Atlanta Braves, both favorites to win a division title this year.


Get the Newark Academy Alumni Mobile app and take NA with you wherever you go: ‚ Network with other alumni

We’re getting ready for our annual trip down memory lane. Come home again to see what’s new and what never seems to change. If your graduation year ends in a 4 or 9, then save the date because it’s one to remember.


‚ See which old friends live and work nearby

When you’re home for the holidays, come out and celebrate with fellow NA alums in Morristown. It’s local and it’s free.

‚ Learn about upcoming alumni events


‚ Get NA news and updates

‚ Connect with NA on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

Growing up is optional. Join us for one of our alumni event mainstays. It’s a good time whether you’re on the court or the pitch.

‚ and much more!

Visit the iTunes or Google Play app store to download the NA Alumni Mobile app for your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Android device.


Visit for upcoming regional events, small business networking events, photos, news and more!

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Homecoming and Reunion October 25, 2014

Homecoming: Start the day with the Be the One 5K Run, then cheer the Minutemen on to victory and enjoy tailgating and activities for the whole family. Reunion: Attention 4s and 9s: It’s your year, so come home again to see what’s new and what’s just the way you remember it.

NEWARK ACADEMY HELPED SHAPE YOU AT THE START OF YOUR LIFE JOURNEY and has made an impact on all your adventures along the way. Consider honoring your lifelong relationship with Newark Academy by joining The 1774 Society and including NA in your estate plans. Simple, fuss-free planned giving vehicles available to those at any age include:

ß Will ß Life Insurance Policy ß Retirement Account

For more information about these and other planned giving options, please contact Lisa Grider, Director of Institutional Advancement, at (973) 992-7000, ext. 320 or

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Newark Academy 91 South Orange Avenue Livingston, NJ 07039 Phone: 973.992.7000 Fax: 973.992.8962 E-mail: Return service requested

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 the alumni office, 973.992.7000, or send an e-mail to 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.




Spring 2014  

Newark Academy Outreach Magazine

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