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04330 PERMIT NO. 121




FA LL / W I N T E R 20 19


Vol. 148, No. 1 FALL/WINTER 2019

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• • • • • •

Brushes Umbrella Slippers Wastebasket Lamp (but not oil) Bible


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Editor: Carrie Harrington Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications: Wendi Patella P’17 ’20


What’s old is new again PEDDIE’S NEW BRAND IS RICH IN HISTORY.


“By the fall of ’75, ‘Born to Run’ was in hot rotation on FM radio stations like WMMR and in our room in Wilson Hall.” – TRACY WELLINGTON ’78


Sophie Kennedy ’15 wants you to sip sustainably.

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Contributors: Beth Dial P’22 Allison Meyer Patricia O’Neill P’13 ’15 ’17 ’20 ’22 Marisa Procopio ’87 Megan Sweeney Art Director: Brandon Detherage Photographer: Andrew Marvin Illustration: Jonathan Bartlett Printing: J.S. McCarthy Printers The Peddie Chronicle is published twice a year by the Office of Strategic Marketing and Communications for alumni, families and friends of the school. The Peddie School 201 South Main Street Hightstown, NJ 08520-3349 Tel: (609) 944-7500 peddie.org/chronicle We welcome your input: editor@peddie.org

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NEW PATIO DINING Students enjoy the new outdoor patio at the Finn M.W. Caspersen Campus Center. Other recent student-focused campus improvements include The Grille and senior lounge renovations, and new sitting areas in The Walter and Leonore Annenberg Science Center.


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To the Editor: The Chronicle’s recent story “Rival Relationships” (Fall/Winter 2018) is a wonderful testament to the special bond we share not only with fellow Falcons but also with our rival Bucs in Blairstown. This past summer, I was reminded of the strength of that bond. As executive director of The TEAK Fellowship, I secured a grant to take 25 talented and motivated ninth-grade students from underresourced communities in New York City to a leadership retreat at the Princeton-Blairstown Center in Blairstown. All I had to do was get them there – but a coach bus from Manhattan to Blairstown for the overnight trip would cost as much as $2,300, a deal-breaker financially for our nonprofit. I had given up on the trip when I sent one last email. I sent that last email to Blair Academy’s Head of School Chris Fortunato – a man with whom I had much in common but whom I had never met – and described to him my dilemma. I told Chris that I could buy 25 round-trip bus tickets from Port Authority Bus Station in Manhattan to Newton, New Jersey, and back for $600. Sadly though, Newton was still 15 miles away from Blairstown. So, I asked Chris if he or members of his staff would consider driving two of their school buses to pick us all up in Newton

and deliver us to the retreat center. Needing their help on a weekend at the end of June, I was not optimistic. Without hesitation, Chris told me that he would try to honor my request. Two seasoned Blair faculty members contacted me a few weeks afterward. They agreed to give up their personal time on a Saturday to pick us up in Newton and take us to the center, and then drive us back to Newton on the following Sunday. Neither would entertain the idea of compensation for their troubles. Twenty-five talented and motivated students from under-resourced communities in New York City enjoyed a transformative experience simply because these two Bucs were willing to give this old Falcon a little help. We would do the same for them, I am sure. John Green Head of School Emeritus

MAY 29–30 2020



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BRAND NEW There are many ways to tell a story. Through people, through experiences, through history.

We also tell stories with symbols that speak in ways that words alone cannot. A story as rich as Peddie’s needs to stay fresh and relevant. True to our motto, “We finish our labors to begin them anew,” we have recommitted to The Peddie School seal, first introduced to this community in 1875, as our primary brand mark. The earnest farmer depicted in the center of the seal has served as a reminder to generations of Peddie students that we harvest what we sow, and that we are always growing, always improving and always embracing what the future holds. In today’s world, the symbols of prominent institutions also appear on websites, T-shirts, cell phone cases, and any number of places. Accordingly, we have established a family of visual assets to present the Peddie story. The assertive Peddie wordmark and the bold “P,” while contemporary, are also exact replicas of the handwriting used in our original, handdrawn seal. We are moving into the future, on the shoulders of our history. This is the first change to Peddie’s visual identity in more than 15 years. It was an inclusive process that required input from many members of our community. After all, it’s your story we are telling.

Peter A. Quinn P’15 ’18 ’21 Head of School


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The Peddie Seal is the formal logo of The Peddie School and is used as a stately expression of the Peddie brand. This symbol has been at the core of Peddie’s visual identity since 1875 and communicates significant symbolic meaning and history through its images and the school’s Latin motto. The new Peddie wordmark and monogram are derived directly from the seal.

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Peddie Monogram

Peddie Seal


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Peddie Wordmark

All of the elements from the Peddie brand trace their origins from the original hand-drawn seal.


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Students and alumni often ask about the artwork in the center of the seal and why a farmer represents our academic institution. The answer lies in the Latin motto which is the essence of the seal. “We finish our labors to begin them anew.” The artwork is a metaphor for Peddie. That farmer is actually a sower of seeds. He is seen bunching his jacket to hold his supply of seeds as gardeners often do. He is simultaneously tossing new seeds to the ground while harvesting the last batch, now represented as fully grown wheat. The sun is both setting over the mountains (labors finished) and it is rising over the mountains to represent a new day (beginning anew).

PMS 117


The return of the Peddie Seal also marks the return of “The Old Gold and Blue” to Peddie.

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The original seal, first hand-drawn in 1875, was digitized for readability and for ease of use in 21st century applications.


Born out of the main brand elements, these ancillary icons feature Peddie’s founding year and are used on apparel, merchandise and in athletics to provide further versatility to the Peddie brand.


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From banners, flags and signs to hats, scarves and uniforms, the new Peddie brand can now be seen all over campus. Show your own Peddie pride by visiting The Peddie Store (now rebranded and stocked with new merch) in the student center or online at peddie.org/store.


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TiePeat! It was a thrilling Peddie-Blair Day in Hightstown on November 2. The Falcons clinched a tie for the Kelley-Potter Cup when, in the final event of the afternoon, the Peddie football team defeated Blair 41-7. Peddie football also secured the Mid-Atlantic Prep League title and celebrated its first undefeated season since 1988. Peddie and Blair will share the Kelley-Potter Cup until the Falcons return to Blairstown next November. Peddie won the Cup four consecutive years before tying with Blair in 2018 and 2019. It was the first time the tally for the Cup has ended in a tie two years in a row.


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Photos by Andrew Marvin and Craig Dale


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Peddie welcomes five new members to its Board of Trustees

Michael Smith ’79

is a professor of engineering and applied sciences at Harvard University.

Allison Davi ’02

is the managing director and head of business development at Benefit Street Partners, a leading credit-focused alternative asset management firm in New York City. Notable: Davi, an Annenberg Scholar, was a member of the Peddie Leadership Council and is co-chair of the Peddie Fund.

“Having the opportunity to attend Peddie changed the trajectory of my life. I’m hopeful that I can be involved in changes that do the same for others.”

Notable: In 1979 Smith and his teammates were the fastest prep school Boys’ 200 Medley Relay in the country, and earned Peddie its first national swimming record ever.

“Peddie had an outsized impact on my life. I’m looking forward to giving back to an institution that has meant so much to me and my brother [Andrew Smith ’81].”


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Mitchell “Mitch” Mackler ’84

has extensive experience managing in-house counsel across a wide variety of businesses. A seasoned traveler, Mackler has visited more than 40 countries. Notable: Mackler is a founding member of the Peddie Leadership Council.

“I recall the sheer number of possibilities I was presented with at Peddie, and the chances I was given and then prodded to try out and try on.”

Suzanne Daly Hart ’99

is senior vice president of Two Sigma, a New York City-based hedge fund. Notable: At Peddie, Hart was student body president and received the Walter H. Annenberg Award in recognition of her devotion and service to the school.

“I am looking forward to helping support Peddie’s strategic priorities and giving back to a community that has given me so much.”

Jean Minskoff Grant P’82

is the president and chief operating officer of Minskoff Grant Realty & Management Corp. in White Plains, N.Y. Notable: Grant previously served as chief dietitian and a teaching fellow at New York University.

“I hope that I might help the leaders of tomorrow aim high enough to reach their goals, and hope that the goals they set are commensurate with the enormous challenges in the world.”


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From left: Nylah Lee '22 (#11), Emmy Zu '22 (#7), Nikita Dahiya '21 (#8), Rose Lichtman '21 (#13), Chris Liang '20 (#46), Margot Steinhauser '21 (#8), Sanya Kumar '21 (#2), Sara Lougy '20 (#5) and Hannah Keaton '20 (#00). Not pictured: Lindsay Fred Kartoz '21 (Soccer Mom)


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Sarah DeLappe’s play “The Wolves” reveals a glimpse into the lives of nine high school-age girls on a travel soccer team. The audience listens in on a cacophony of conversation as the girls warm-up on the turf for their games. They gossip about things ranging from war and genocide to pop culture and their relationships. “In that time, we come to know them as

unique individuals with distinctive voices,” said Liz Sherman, Peddie’s director of theater. Adding, “I have grown to love them all.” The student cast and crew entertained audiences for three shows in October. The Freshman Musical, “Willy Wonka,” followed on November 16. Next up: Peddie’s Winter Musical “1776” opens in February.


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Back to the Drawing Board 16 PEDDIE CHRONICLE

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J OYCE CHE N ’ S WO RK S A RE A B S TR AC T D E P I C T I O N S O F T H E N AT U R A L WO R L D : paintings that suggest the flaking of birch bark or sunlight shifting on a leafy forest floor. “I grew up in Upstate New York, and I was surrounded by trees,” she said. “The Adirondack Mountains were literally my view outside my house. I took all that scenery for granted. I didn’t realize that it was beautiful and worth appreciating until I went to college.” Joyce Chen’s other work happens in the classroom, where she guides Peddie students through the artistic process in Honors and AP Studio Art. Chen had the opportunity to revisit and reexamine both of her occupations during a two-week residency at the Vermont Studio Center (VSC) this summer. Nestled away in picturesque Johnson, Vermont, VSC is the largest international artists’ and writers’ residency program in the U.S. In an isolated, natural environment, free from the distractions of everyday life, VSC provides workspace, housing and a supportive and inspiring community to artists and writers. Peddie is fortunate to have the support of Barry Goldsmith ’62 P’83 GP ’12 ’15 ’18, who has been funding VSC residencies for Peddie faculty members for over two decades. Of this, Chen said, “It is such a gift to have time to focus on my art.” The program hosts artists from all over the world, from young and emerging artists to well-established artists with a broad body of work. “I’ve never been able to meet so many different artists at different stages in their careers in one place,” Chen said. VSC is both collaborative and constructively critical, with artists freely observing and examining each other’s work. It’s not so different from the community that the arts department tries to foster at Peddie. “It was great to get someone else to look at my work in a different way, a more trained way,” said Chen. “That’s also different for me as an art teacher because I’m usually the one providing that kind of feedback to students. It was almost like going back to the drawing board myself,” she said.


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New Faculty

1. Josh Brown Language

2. Craig Dale Visual Arts

3. Michelle Dewey Spanish

4. Paul Griffith English

5. Gregory Koch Mathematics

6. David Luo Mathematics

7. Nick McDonnell Mathematics

8. Emily Munch English

9. Jordi Serrato Science

10. A  ntoinette Tessaro Mathematics

11. Binbin Zhao Language

Credentials: bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, University of Illinois Previous experience: Spanish teacher, Doane Academy (Burlington, N.J.) and Warren Easton Charter High School (New Orleans); Fulbright exchange program in Mexico Loves: cheering on the Cubs

Credentials: Bachelor of Science and Engineering in computer science, Princeton University; Program in Teacher Preparation, Princeton University Previous experience: mathematics teacher, John Witherspoon Middle School (Princeton) Loves: competitive gaming

Credentials: master’s degree in aquatic chemistry and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, National Autonomous University of Mexico Previous experience: science teacher at TMI Episcopal (San Antonio), Colegio Bosque Real (Mexico), Colegio Suizo de Mexico and Westhill Institute (Mexico) Loves: good company (especially his family)

Credentials: European master’s degree in multilingualism and education, Universidad del Pais Vasco (Spain) Previous experience: Spanish teacher, The Darrow School (New Lebanon, N.Y.); English teacher, Liceo Leonardo da Vinci, Gallarate (Italy) Loves: all things shiny, metallic, glittery and iridescent

Credentials: bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy, Williams College Loves: soccer (At Williams, Griffith was twice named to the NESCAC Academic AllConference.)

Credentials: bachelor’s degree in mathematics, University of Chicago Previous experience: mathematics fellow, Culver Academies (Culver, Ind.) Loves: skateboarding

Credentials: master’s degree in mathematics education, Columbia University; bachelor’s degree in economics and political science, Columbia University Previous experience: mathematics teacher, High Tech High Media Arts and Francis Parker School (both in San Diego) Loves: scuba diving

Credentials: Craig joined Peddie after a long professional career as a freelance photographer and exhibiting artist. Previous experience: studentteacher, Hoboken High School; art instructor, The New School and Hola Dual Language Charter School (Hoboken) Loves: his 8x10 large format camera

Credentials: master’s degree in computer science, University of Toronto; bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a bachelor’s degree in computer science, Austin College (Sherman, Texas) Previous experience: mathematics teacher, Great Hearts Academies (Phoenix) Loves: the Green Bay Packers

Credentials: bachelor’s degree in English and a bachelor’s degree in psychology, University of Michigan Previous experience: humanities fellowship, Culver Academies (Culver, Ind.) Loves: horror movies

Credentials: master’s degree in Asian Studies, Seton Hall University; Bachelor of Arts, Beijing Foreign Studies University Previous experience: Chinese teacher at Rutgers University, Seton Hall University and The Lawrenceville School Loves: cooking

Answers: Left to right, top to bottom: Nick McDonnell, Craig Dale, Antoinette Tessaro, Gregory Koch, Josh Brown, Jordi Serrato, Paul Griffith, Binbin Zhao, David Lao, Michelle Dewey, Emily Munch


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Can you guess who’s who? Fill in the numbers from page 18!

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It was staggering the more she thought about it.

Science teacher Katy Lambson holds a pottery fragment she excavated at an Israeli archeological site this summer.

Opposite page: The sun rises over the Tel Keisan archeological site in Israel.


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Re Pe ad m m d m d or on er ie fa e a pa ad v c u b o u ge e n l t y t 8 8 tu . res

you find something intact,” Lambson said. “The square that my husband was in, they found an olive press that was pretty much completely assembled. And we found lots of storage jars that were almost completely intact,” she said. Lambson also had the opportunity to attend a one-week intensive course at Tel Shimron, an archeological site near Nazareth. There she studied the physical science side of archeology, including soil chemical analysis. “As a chemist, getting to see very specifically how chemistry is used in archeology was amazing,” she said. Lambson thinks that most people, including her students, have a “latent interest” in studying artifacts and plans to introduce archeology-related lab work in her “Chemistry in the Community” and “Advanced Organic Chemistry” classes. “In a couple of years, I would love to introduce a collaborative archeology class at Peddie where I can talk about the physical science and my colleagues in the English or history department can evaluate time periods. I think that would be really interesting,” she said.


On a sweltering July day at the Tel Keisan archeological site in Israel, science teacher Katy Lambson had just excavated a loom weight. It was considered a “small find,” but Lambson found herself awestruck while holding the 2,000-year-old plus tool that had once been used for weaving. “In America, we say, ‘this is such an old building, it dates back to the 1700s,’ and there I was witness to something that had been intact for millennia,” she said. Lambson and her husband, Jeremy, spent four weeks at the ancient Phoenician site, located just a few miles from the Mediterranean coast in the Galilee region of Israel. The trip was organized by one of Jeremy’s professors at the Princeton Theological Seminary. It was the first time in Israel, and the first time on an archeological dig, for both. “My experience in archeology before this was watching Indiana Jones,” Lambson said. The Lambsons were joined by nearly 40 volunteers, many of whom were American students with plans to pursue archeology, and around a dozen specialists, including historians and pottery and bone experts. “It was cool to see how people from all different walks of life and all different ages bonded through this one unique experience,” she said. Volunteers were divided into teams and assigned to one of several 10-meter square patches of land on the 15-acre mound. To get ahead of the brutal Middle Eastern sun, they began the arduous task of unearthing Iron Age remains at around 5:45 a.m. each morning. Lambson said that team members located pottery sirds (fragments) about every few seconds. “Not a minute went by where you weren’t finding some form of pottery, and they ranged from tiny pieces the size of your thumbnail up to almost complete vessels,” she said. Afternoons were spent washing delicate fragments and handing them over to experts, who decoded chronological clues and determined what could be reconstructed. Occasionally, someone would find a nearly unscathed object. “It’s always really exciting when

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Peddie graduates f irst Armellino Scholars When Peddie’s first Armellino Scholars, Regan Cook ’19 and Daniel Funderbirk ’19, crossed the stage to accept their diplomas last May, it was an exclamation point at the end of a profound fouryear journey. “I really believe that those four high school years are the most formative in a kid’s life,” said Michael Armellino ’57 GP’19. He established the Armellino Scholarship in 2014 as a way to “increase access to Peddie for all kinds of kids who are qualified,” and Cook and Funderbirk were the first recipients. The merit-based scholarship covers tuition and boarding costs, as well as a stipend for an approved summer experience. “Peddie was a dream place for me to be,” said Cook, a George Washington University political science student and competitive rower. At Peddie,

Cook discovered her passion for history and spent several weeks at the Southern Oral History Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as part of her summer signature experience. Last winter Cook received the “Most Valuable Rower” award for Girls’ Crew. “There’s pretty much nothing I am doing now, or have done in the last four years, or probably will do for the rest of my life that I could be doing without Peddie and Mr. Armellino,” she said. Funderbirk, who attends Berklee College of Music and plans to double major in performance and business, asserted how much he grew during “those pivotal years becoming a young adult” at Peddie. The avid performer was in numerous concerts and productions at Peddie, both as an actor and in the pit band. He portrayed Gaston in the freshman musical,


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“Beauty and the Beast” and last year played trumpet in Peddie’s first professionally produced music video, “You Will Be Found.” “You have to hold yourself to a greater standard,” said Funderbirk of being an Armellino Scholar. “It helped me to work harder.” “Four years ago, when I first met Dan and Regan, they were a little bit shy,” recalled Armellino. “But every year they became more and more comfortable. When they graduated, to me, it was like having my own grandkids graduate.” Head of School Peter A. Quinn P’15 ’18 ’21 spoke of Armellino, Cook and Funderbirk with pride and gratitude. “Armellino’s generosity has now attracted and supported ten exceptional students, the first two of whom have graduated,” he said. “Daniel and Regan were the pioneers. They opened their hearts and minds to learn and to give as much as they could along the way. ” Along with the gift of an exceptional Peddie education, both scholars appreciate the role models the program afforded them. Funderbirk calls Armellino “someone I could call and talk to about anything. It’s like talking to a grandfather,” while Cook credits calculus teacher, the late Kate Nicholson, as a wise mother figure in challenging times. The students are excited about their next chapter. “Peddie is home to me, but I’m ready to make myself uncomfortable again,” said Cook.

“You have to hold yourself to a greater standard.” —Daniel Funderbirk ’19

Dan Funderbirk ’19 performs at Peddie’s Spring Music Concert in May 2019.

“Peddie was a dream place for me to be.” —Regan Cook ’19

Regan Cook ’19 (center) rows on Mercer Lake with Peddie Girls’ Crew last spring. Cook was named the team’s “Most Valuable Rower.”


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Above: Bill Volckening ’84 stands in front of “Woodland Chromatics,” one of the quilts in his collection. Top: This detail of a 1970s polyester quilt is from The Volckening Collection.

Bill Volckening ’84 didn’t set out to become an artist, quilt maker and collector, author and award-winning blogger. But that’s what happened — and he credits Peddie for much of it. “Peddie fosters diverse interests among its students, and that’s one of the most important things I learned there,” he said. Initially, visual art was a diversion for Volckening, an accomplished swimmer and restless student who had taken an art class “to get the credit out of the way.” “(Art teacher) Katy Graham was co-teaching a photography class with (admissions counselor) Noah Hotchkiss,” remembered Volckening. “Katy really opened up something new for me. It wasn’t just photography after that. It was painting and drawing and all kinds of things.” The rapid sea change that took place in Volckening’s life began to lead him down exciting new paths, earning him an Eastman Kodak award and creating momentum for the next step: highered arts study. In his senior year, Graham became Volckening’s advisor and guiding force as he built a robust art portfolio.


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“Peddie fosters diverse interests among its students, and that’s one of the most important things I learned there.” “Within one year, without ever having taken an art class at Peddie, I was in — early — at Rhode Island School of Design,” he said. “It was almost like an identity crisis that could have gone terribly wrong, but it ended up going beautifully: I went from being a swimmer and athlete to being more of an artist.” Volckening went on to New York’s School of Visual Arts and then to graduate school at New York University International Center of Photography. In the early ’90s, he returned to Peddie as a volunteer swim coach. Then, another path appeared: Volckening went to a private showing of antique quilts and was spellbound.

It led to a 20-year “love affair” of collecting, appraising, lecturing and writing about quilts. Many pieces in Volckening’s collection have been showcased worldwide. “I call myself a quilt magnet,” Volckening said. “Quilts represent the longest unbroken chain of women’s creative expression in the United States. They document history; they show the personality of the makers. They outlive us.” During last Reunion Weekend, Volckening pointed out his name on The John Holmes Lubkert Memorial Prize for Creativity plaque in Swig Arts Center. “I was a really difficult student,” said Volckening. “Peddie is an amazing place for getting me through. It was every teacher who looked at me and didn’t give up. After a while, I wanted to make these people proud.”


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Sipping Sustainably


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A Florida Keys native, SeaStraws Chief Sustainability Officer Sophie Kennedy ’15 grew up an eyewitness to the rapid decay of the state’s coral reef system. But Kennedy’s passion for environmental sustainability really took off when she came to Peddie. “I still remember that first day in Masters when CoJack (former Peddie English teacher Courtney Jackson ’04) handed me my recycling bin,” recalled Kennedy. “Even though I had come from a family who loved and valued the outdoors, I had never recycled before. This was the first of many instances during my time at Peddie where I was made aware of how I could personally make an impact on the environment.” Kennedy spent several weeks at The Island School in the Bahamas for her Peddie Research Science Signature Experience. There, living with students in a sustainable community, she studied issues affecting coral reefs. She later explored her passion for the environment in AP Environmental Science class. Inspired by a Peddie trip to India, where she remembered being horrified over the vast quantities of plastic floating in the Ganges River, Kennedy used her Honors Studio Art senior thesis as an opportunity to educate the Peddie community about plastic waste. Using garbage she collected around campus, Kennedy built a raft and, donning a handcrafted dress (also made from plastics), paddled across Peddie Lake to the cheers of onlookers. Since then, Kennedy has made it her mission to educate others about the dangers of plastics. “I found my voice on that lake,” she said. Kennedy co-founded SeaStraws in 2018 with fellow New York University (NYU) students while earning a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies. The sustainable straw company has sold over four million paper straws to date and in doing so, according to Kennedy, prevented the use of more than four thousand pounds of plastic. The SeaStraws team has received venture capital funding and in May won the grand prize for social ventures in NYU’s $300K Entrepreneurial Challenge, one of the largest university entrepreneurial competitions in the country. While straws only account for 1% of the world’s plastic, Kennedy believes they serve as an introduction to many about the importance of

environmental sustainability. “Straws serve as a gateway for a bigger conversation about what is truly sustainable, and the responsibility of the consumer to speak up. I see all of these environmental issues not as problems, but as opportunities to make change,” Kennedy said. She added, “I have Peddie to thank for helping me build that mindset.” Below: Wearing a dress she made from plastic waste, Sophie Kennedy ’15 paddles across Peddie Lake in May 2015 on a raft she constructed from garbage. Bottom: Sophie Kennedy ’15 has made it her mission to educate others about plastics.

Opposite: Made from renewable materials, this black straw by SeaStraws is compostable and breaks down in 60 days. (Photo provided by SeaStraws)


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Spinning new perspectives

Justin Barnett ’02 was supposed to be a scientist.

“I was a dual physics and chemistry major,” chuckled Barnett, a Cornell University graduate. Barnett’s career path changed course after he accepted a fellow Cornell student’s offer to learn how to DJ. “I picked it up relatively quickly,” remembered Barnett. Soon Barnett was DJing regularly around campus, and during his last two semesters, he interned for P. Diddy at Daddy’s House Recording Studio and RSMG. “That’s when I knew I was going to figure out a full-time path in music,” he said. Barnett, known professionally as TK MAC (his grandmother’s middle initials are “TK” and his dad’s middle name is “McDonald”), DJs in A-list clubs across the country and serves as a tour DJ for numerous artists. He’s also a songwriter, producer, engineer, and most recently, a recording artist. Barnett’s interest in music began when he was a toddler. He played the violin at two-and-a-half years old, and just a few months later, started taking piano lessons from his father. As a teenager, Barnett explored other instruments like the trombone, xylophone, piano and drums. At Peddie, Barnett was a member of the jazz band and orchestra. “I was also in a band called ‘Luos,’ which is ‘soul’ spelled backward, with Chris Tomson ’02 who is in Vampire Weekend, and Nick Mencia ’02,” he reminisced. Barnett spoke fondly about his time at Peddie. “I was just coming into my own as a human being, as a young man, as a young AfricanAmerican man,” he said. “I made some lifelong friends, and I had teachers that really cared about me.” Barnett’s debut recording project, “A Hollywood Love Story,” which launched this summer, draws on hip-hop, R&B, pop, electronic music and gospel. He described the EP’s debut single, “Work it More,” as “a celebration of any woman in any capacity of your life that has gone after it.” “I think this all goes back to my childhood,” he added. “I grew up in a household where my mom was a fairly successful businesswoman …


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“I was just coming into my own as a human being, as a young man, as a young African-American man.” are put together, how to utilize formulas to make your life easier. Which is why I wanted to do the physics thing,” he reflected. “But I actually applied a lot of the same principles I learned in physics to music. I realized the more I dug down that they work hand in hand,” he said.


Ma c

and my dad was such a supporter of her being able to realize her dreams. That is really where the motivation for the song came from.” While Barnett may have diverged from a sciencerelated career, he hasn’t lost his data-driven way of thinking. “I’ve always had a knack for engineering from the standpoint of how things work, how things

(Photos provided by Justin Barnett ’02)


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Champion Status


Tiff Zachos ’88 stepped up in a big way this summer, and her actions earned her champion status. The world-class lacrosse player was already playing goalie for the U.S. women’s team at the United World Games in Amsterdam when she volunteered to fill in as goalie for the U.S. men’s team. “That’s how I wound up with a gold medal,” Zachos beamed. Her good deeds didn’t end there. With both leagues’ approval, the national club team member also volunteered to assist the Dutch women’s team at the games. “Their goalie was unable to play for part of the tournament, so I split goalie duties with two

Dutchmen,” she said. “I won a bronze medal as a part-time member of their team.” It wasn’t the first time that Zachos stepped up to help a team. During her junior year at Peddie, women’s lacrosse coach Melinda Reuter asked her defense player to rise to the occasion. “Our goalie decided she wasn’t going to play that year and it was a surprise to everyone,” Zachos remembered. “Coach sat me down and said, ‘You know, goalie is the best athlete on the team and we’re really in need of someone who’s a great athlete to step up and pick up a goalie stick and take over.’ From that day forward, I never went back to playing on the field.” Zachos eventually became captain of the team,


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“I came to Peddie sophomore year a completely scattered, disorganized, troublemaker kid, and I left a champion headed for the school of my dreams.” and the Winant Cup winner (for outstanding Peddie scholar-athlete) went on to play lacrosse for Cornell University, where she studied veterinary medicine. Zachos vividly remembered the day she received her college acceptance letter. “I brought the letter with me to [lacrosse] practice, and I saw Coach Reuter coming to the field, and I was waving the letter in the air. She knew what it was and came running and gave me a gigantic hug. It was one of the best days of my life. March 23, 1988. The day is burned in my memory.” Zachos insisted that she would not have been accepted to Cornell if it were not for Peddie. “I came to Peddie sophomore year a completely scattered, disorganized, troublemaker kid, and I left a champion headed for the school of my dreams,” she said. “Peddie broke down all of my bad habits and rebuilt me into the strongest person in the world.” The small animal orthopedic surgeon recently switched gears and is finishing up a residency training program in Erie, Pennsylvania. “I’m a physician and a veterinarian,” said Zachos. “I graduated from medical school two years ago. But I’m keeping my veterinary license, and I do some consulting and some limited work with that. I plan to do both ultimately,” she said.

Tiff Zachos ’88 shows off the gold and bronze medals she earned at the United World Games in Amsterdam this summer.

Opposite: Tiff Zachos ’88 (bottom center) played goalie for the U.S. women’s team at the United World Games in Amsterdam in July.


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gradually and all at once, with planning and without. Sometimes, it can even happen during Algebra II. We’re just thrilled to know Peddie had a hand in it. Here are the stories of six couples who nurtured the seeds of friendship, guidance and support that were planted at Peddie — and let them bloom.

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JALEH AMOUZEGAR ’85 & CHRISTOPHER ACITO ’85 Jaleh: Chris and I sat with one person between us in chapel and community meeting for four years; we started dating at the end of senior year. We barely spoke until we were both peer leaders during our senior year. We became friendly and in the spring managed to gather three classmates and convince our parents to let us take a trip to Florida for spring break. After the trip, we spent a lot of time together. I was secretly hoping he would ask me to prom; two of my close friends were hoping to go with him too! He asked me to prom, and we began dating immediately. We became serious very quickly. We dated all through college, managing a four-hour distance between our two schools. We took one year off in graduate school and reunited at age 25, when we became engaged. I can honestly say that this relationship was the best thing that ever happened to me! Peddie helped solidify our relationship because we share many friends and memories, and we essentially grew up together.

From left: Peddie graduates Jaleh Amouzegar ’85 and Christopher Acito ’85 celebrate at their May 1985 commencement ceremony.

KIMBERLEY (THOMPSON) NIXON ’00 & CHRISTOPHER NIXON ’00 Kim: We met on campus freshman year. We had the same friend circle, and we ran track together. I always had a crush on him, but it took a lot of effort on my part (me asking Chris for gum in chemistry class, or asking him to hold my blocks during track practice) for Chris to realize he liked me too! We went to prom junior year, and the rest is history. In high school, you’re experiencing your highest highs and your lowest lows, with full-on teenage angst. We experienced all of those things together, and that really cemented us early on — being elected student body president (Kim), breaking sprint records (Chris), not getting into your first choice for college, the occasional disappointing test result, and pulling a hamstring (both!) — we did all those things together. Our large group of Peddie friends still reflect back on the good ol’ days: Blair Day, bonfires, pizza on Main Street. Chris spent a lot of time with me and my friends in the Masters lounge. I spent a lot of time trying to impress his mom when she was volunteering on campus … and we took a lot of ribbing from friends for both. But we wouldn’t change anything, not a thing. Christopher Nixon ’00 and Kimberley Nixon ’00 pose for a prom photo in May 1999.


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T.J. MCCARTHY ’99 & LY-LAN (WISLER) MCCARTHY ’99 T.J.: Ly-Lan transferred to Peddie at the start of our junior year. We briefly met on the first day of school during lunch, but our “romance” began to take shape during Mr. Browne’s Algebra II class. And just like in a John Hughes film, Ly-Lan was the studious one in the front of the class and I was the know-it-all making dumb jokes in the back. I looked forward to the days when math rolled into lunch, so I had an excuse to walk and talk to Ly-Lan on the way to the cafeteria. In the fall, Ly-Lan was on the field hockey team, and while that large, gaggling group of girls ran by me during cross-country warm-ups, we’d each try to steal glances at each other. In some ways, high school was tough, dealing with all these new and wild emotions. And Peddie had a lot of rules. But we were on the track team and had so much time during the day together. We also had great friends, coaches and teachers. As graduation approached, we planned to go to different colleges and didn’t know where the future would take us. We looked forward to moving on from high school, but we also worried that life wouldn’t be any better or easier than it was right then. Both proms were memorable. Junior year, we were so new in our relationship and so nervous, but that event definitely set up our relationship (it finally gave me the courage, on the bleachers during track practice, to ask Ly-Lan out). Our first kiss was behind Swig Arts Center. We were so absorbed in each other when we were together. Senior year was totally different: We were more relaxed and able to have fun with our friends. The campus and that N.J. weather

T.J. McCarthy ’99 and Ly-Lan (Wisler) McCarthy ’99 stand in front of Potter North on the evening of their junior prom.

were also a big part of the story. We went mud-sliding on the baseball field in a downpour. Got caught in a random hailstorm outside of Swig. On beautiful days, we were either hitting field hockey balls back and forth or on a blanket outside of Potter listening to music with Ly-Lan’s roommate (and later, maid of honor) Laura Oberdorf Koenig ’99. We enjoyed going to events together, like a musical or Vespers, but we could also be on campus and be just totally oblivious to anyone and everyone around us.



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PAIGE (SPRINGER) DAGGETT ’90 & BRADLEY DAGGETT ’90 Paige: We met walking across the football field, preseason, before our junior year, the first year for both of us. I was walking away from campus with some girlfriends, and he was walking back toward campus. We were just friends at Peddie and in the same crowd, and then we both ended up at the University of Alabama, and we began dating when we were there. Another Peddie alumna, Tricia Robles ’89, gathered a little Peddie reunion in Tuscaloosa because Dino Pascarelli ’91 was coming to town, so we hung out that weekend and began dating after that. It’s so nice for the two of us to have had Peddie in common and we have a lot of the same friends to this day. We’ve kept in touch with so many of our Peddie friends. We share that as our past, and we share it as our present because it was such a great time. And Brad feels the same way. It’s so nice that we can both look back at that together and continue to have it as part of our lives. We’ve been together at every reunion; we definitely make it back every five years for the big ones. On our 25th, we had all five kids with us, and Brad was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame for baseball. That was such a special day. His roommate John Coffey ’90 came back to be a part of the ceremony, and my roommate and best friend, Zi-yah Esbenshade ’90, and Denise Sullivan ’90, my oldest daughter’s godmother, came back to support Brad. Peter McClellan ’90 is a classmate of ours and a teammate of Brad’s. Having him be at Peddie, and Mary Tennyson Mahoney ’94, is so wonderful. It’s just the feeling of Peddie and what it gave both of us at a time in our life when we both needed it — needed to be independent and go to boarding school — and Peddie was a game-changer for both of us. We keep in touch with a lot of our classmates. We both loved it. For different reasons, we both needed it at that time in our lives, and it gave us a similar springboard to our lives.

Paige Daggett ’90 and Bradley Daggett ’90 at their June 7, 1997 wedding.


The Daggett family celebrates Bradley’s induction into the Peddie Sports Hall of Fame in 2015 (from left): Presley, Holden, Berkeley, Vance and Marley


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JAMES MUCCIARONE ’86 & ELENA (TOMPKINS) MUCCIARONE ’86 We met during freshman and sophomore years but didn’t really start spending time together until Mr. Reimann’s English Honors class in winter term of junior year. Our favorite memories are hanging out in the canteen after classes and in the student center after family-style dinners. Junior and senior proms were good times. Conversations with Dean Bill McMann (nicknamed “Bert” in those days) were always fun. Peddie is the root of our relationship, the common experience that we shared and have both grown from. Different paths brought us to Hightstown, but we have been on the same path ever since. Peddie is family for us. If teenagers are looking for heroes aside from their parents, Peddie had no shortage of heroes for us. Faculty influenced our values and helped shape the people that we have become. Having those shared values and that common experience at such a formative age in our lives has kept us aligned for 35 years now.

Elena Tompkins ’86 and James Mucciarone ’86 prepare for their senior prom.

R, OTHE R , B S S’ E ’7 7 JAME CCIARON MU PAUL MARRIED TT PA AN S E J Y ’80. MAR ONE R A I MUCC James Mucciarone ’86 and Elena Mucciarone ’86


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MARY (“BUNKY”) RUNSER ’74 & KEVIN MARRAZZO ’74 Bunky: We don’t recall exactly when we met. We did set crew together with Harry Holcombe. He was wonderful. For years, whenever we would see him at reunion, he would say, “Kevin! Bunky!” We were friends at Peddie. They didn’t have much mixing; they didn’t have dances or anything like that because there were so few girls at the school. We did not actually date until May 1977. But we stayed friends, corresponded by mail, as one did then. And even if we spoke on the phone, it had to be after 11 o’clock because it was much more expensive to call before 11 p.m. We got married August 1, 1981, in the [Ayer Memorial] Chapel. It was a beautiful place to get married. Peddie was such a good environment and so cohesive. We had the little mailboxes in Wilson Hall, and you could send notes to each other and go check your mail. Everybody pretty much knew most, if not everybody, else. And we were just lucky that we met when we did and had such a supportive environment, and we still love Peddie today. We were clearly wellsuited for each other from the beginning. We’ve just had our 38th anniversary.


Kevin: We started out as friends, and that’s the basis of the relationship. And at some point, she wasn’t dating anyone, and I wasn’t dating anyone, and I asked her out. We knew each other as friends and said, “Hey, let’s take this to another level.” Peddie, in general, was just such a great experience. The memories and summoning the recollections is just all great. Especially the Bunky part. Peddie is such a nurturing and enriching environment on many levels — learning, academics, new ideas, friends. We go back to reunion — it was just our 45th Reunion. And for those of you who are old enough to remember 45s (the little records), you would play them on your turntable, and you would put this 45 adapter on it. And Bunky has this symbol on her shirt in the reunion picture — a subtle reference to our 45th reunion.

Above: Mary Runser ’74 (bottom row, second right) and Kevin Marrazzo ’74 (bottom row, center) celebrate their 45th Reunion with their Peddie classmates on June 1, 2019. Opposite: Kevin Marrazzo ’74 and Mary Runser ’74 marry at Ayer Memorial Chapel on August 1, 1981.


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Did you meet your significant other at Peddie? Let us know! Email your story and photos to editor@peddie.org. For more Peddie love stories, visit peddie.org/chronicle.

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04330 PERMIT NO. 121




FA LL / W I N T E R 20 19


Vol. 148, No. 1 FALL/WINTER 2019

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Profile for Peddie School

Peddie Chronicle Fall/Winter 2019  


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