The Magazine | Spring 2019

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MAGAZINE Spring 2019

Pine Crest School

Paving an Unexpected Road to Entrepreneurism

How Students Develop an Entrepreneurial Mindset

Success Secrets from Three-Time State Champions Team Creates Human Connection Through Interactive Experiences

A Diagnosis Sparks Opportunity 1

TABLE OF CONTENTS In Memoriam.........................................................................................................................................4 Save the Date: Alumni and Reunion Weekend 2019.......................................................................... 5 Alumni Events: Homecoming and Reunion Weekend....................................................................6-7 Connected with Panthers Nationwide ............................................................................................ 8-9 Entrepreneurial Stories .......................................................................................................................10 Paving an Unexpected Road to Entrepreneurism.........................................................................10-11 Brad Austin ’97 Obstacle to Opportunity: Launching A Health Food Brand............................................................ 12 Brooke Bal ’10 Alumni Working Together to Bring Human Connections Through Art........................................... 13 Aric Waldman ’14, Michael Kenton ’10, Andrea Abtahi ’10, Alexander Waldman ’10 Expanding His Family’s Bakery into New Markets.............................................................................14 Dawid Goszczycki ’08 Disrupting Traditional City Scaffolding with Urban Umbrella.........................................................15 Andrés Ulises Cortés ’92 How Students Develop an Entrepreneurial Mindset.........................................................................16 Giving Students the E.D.G.E............................................................................................................... 17 Student Profiles: Three-Time State Championship Student-Athletes..........................................18-19 Spotlight on Jana Blackwell ’81..........................................................................................................20 The Making of a High School Musical.............................................................................................. 22 Social and Emotional Education: Engaging the World with Empathy............................................23 President’s Society Reception.............................................................................................................24 Spotlight on the Rosenberg Family.................................................................................................... 25 Student Entrepreneurs Making Their Name in The Community.....................................................26


The Magazine Staff Editors Christine Dardet Andrea Tomassini

Creative Design Allison Findeiss ’10


Dear Pine Crest School Community, What will the world look like in five, ten, or twenty years when our students enter the workplace? This is one of the essential questions that guides Pine Crest School faculty in our pursuit of teaching and preparing our students to be future ready. We can be certain that automation will heavily influence the new world and that our students will be called upon to demonstrate high-brain, deep human interaction in all that they do. Our learners’ ability to exhibit adaptability, empathy, global understanding, and a collaborative mindset will distinguish them, and no matter what professional paths they choose to pursue, an entrepreneurial mindset will pave the way for fulfillment. With this in mind, we have begun to weave entrepreneurial learning into the Pine Crest pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade curriculum and summer programming with opportunities for deeper exploration via extracurriculars and honors-level course work. I am pleased to announce that our Academic Council for Curricular Review approved a new three-year Upper School course for 2019-20 titled the McMillan Fellowship in Social Entrepreneurship Honors. This will provide an outlet for students to practice thinking outside the box to find and solve problems that are not their own. By focusing on others and what they may need, our students will further develop empathy and hone their skills of innovation, perseverance, and problem-solving.

Nikki Allred Linda Bartron Paul Baur Jana Blackwell Jillian Conway Rachel Fallet-Lax Janet Gabriel Alisa Karten Keri Kolettis Brandy Miller Candace Moore Meaghan Obst Lisa Ockerman Susan Peirce Krista Promnitz ’97 Jane Salimbene Flynn Turner Amy Varo-Haub Edward Waite ’09 Danielle Weisfisch ’20

This course is a first for Pine Crest, but the concept of an entrepreneurial mindset is nothing new for our graduates. In this issue, you will read about alumni who are making their mark on the farming, food, art, and architecture industries, alongside stories about what Pine Crest is doing today to grow entrepreneurial mindsets in our students.

Published by Pine Crest School for alumni, families, faculty, and friends of the School’s Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale campuses.

It is our goal to send Pine Crest graduates out into the world as emergent leaders who know their strengths and who have the courage to challenge norms, break barriers, and move forward with confidence. This is an exciting time to be a Pine Crest student and teacher. The future starts here!

Please email comments and suggestions to


Dr. Dana Markham ’18H President 3

In Memoriam

Robert “Bob” Goldberg

James “Jim” Lansdale

Mr. Bob Goldberg The Pine Crest community served as Academic mourns the loss of Jim Dean, Upper School Lansdale, former faculty Head, and then Head of member of 30 years. School for Pine Crest’s An avid World War II Fort Lauderdale campus historian in his free time, from 1999 to 2005. In Jim, along with his wife, 2005, he was named Carol, and close friends Juan and Cristina Head of School for the Boca Raton campus, Sollosso, spent their summers visiting World a position he left in 2008. War II sites. Bob was an amazing, insightful educator. At Pine Crest, he was a science teacher, In 2008, he was described as the “Face department chair, and a coach. He loved of Education for Palm Beach County” by being on campus and wanted to be Palm Beach Illustrated Magazine. That involved. Jim’s powerful laugh and his love recognition was certainly well deserved. for Andy Koobir’s chili in the Nutter Dining Bob was an intellect and a visionary always Hall were famous among students and with his eye on the future. An exceptional coworkers. consensus builder, he was diplomatic, kind, He was passionate and knowledgeable on and a great listener. These talents were further enhanced by a personality filled with many subjects, and his students knew they could always turn to him with questions. great humor and spark. His concern for others was ever-present, and George Ring his door was open every day to students and faculty at Pine Crest. Bob was the Mr. George Ring epitome of a great leader. He made his retired from Pine mark on South Florida students, educators, Crest School as and families, and he will be tremendously the Upper School missed by the Pine Crest School community Dean of Students. as a colleague and a friend. He is remembered by students and peers for his sense of humor and for dancing on stage Robert Doddridge, Jr. ’51 during the jazz concerts with Mrs. Barbara Grosz! Robert Doddridge ’51 passed away on January 7, 2019. Robert As the Assistant Principal in the Upper had many interests and School, he helped usher in the use of passions concerning computers on campus. Alumni may real estate and politics. remember meeting with him individually to He even established arrange their schedules done on the new The Bookmark, a wellcomputers! remembered book store on Las Olas. Pine Crest was His former students and colleagues lucky when Robert returned remember him being ready to help whenever he could. to campus as a tennis coach. His former students will remember him for his smile and positivity. His approach was for students to be competitive but to have fun. His love for the game was apparent in all he did.


Ellen Weiss Mrs. Ellen Weiss was active in the life of Pine Crest School for more than three decades, first as a parent and volunteer and then as a beloved Lower School teacher on the Fort Lauderdale campus for 27 years before retiring in 2017. Mrs. Weiss was a kind person and a talented artist who incorporated her creativity and love of art into everything she did. Her soft-spoken, warm demeanor led to her being especially engaging with young children. Mrs. Weiss touched the heart and soul of generations of Pine Crest students, and she will be missed by all who had the honor of knowing her.

Henry Wheeler ’72H An honorary alumnus of the Class of 1972, Mr. Wheeler and his late wife Betty were longtime supporters of the School. To recognize faculty and staff who have shown exemplary service to Pine Crest, Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler established the Wheeler Family Recognition Award in 2002. Etched in Pine Crest’s history, the Wheelers were parents and grandparents to eight Pine Crest alumni. As a Trustee, Mr. Wheeler was integral in the early development and relocation of Pine Crest to its current NE 62nd Street campus in Fort Lauderdale, which opened in 1965. He was a trusted confidant of Pine Crest founder Dr. Mae McMillan and her son William J. McMillan. Mr. Wheeler was later named a member of Pine Crest’s Board of Directors Emeritus. “Mr. Wheeler’s generous support of our School has benefited thousands of students and teachers over more than 30 years,” said Pine Crest President Dr. Dana Markham. “He and Betty leave a tremendous legacy and set a wonderful example of philanthropy for our entire community.”


ALUMNI REUNION WEEKEND OCTOBER 11-12, 2019 You are invited to reconnect with your fellow Panthers at Alumni and Reunion Weekend. Reunion years: 1954, 1959, 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009, 2014

For event details and registration, go to: Sincerely, Questions? Contact us. Flynn Turner

Director of Alumni Relations and Programs 954-492-4111



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Pine Crest Alumni Association As an alumnus/a, you are an important part of the Pine Crest School community. There are many ways for you to benefit from our community, but you can also make a difference for students and faculty. • Attend Alumni and School Events • Keep Us in the Loop • Visit Us! • Guest Speak at Pine Crest School • Volunteer with one of our Parents’ Associations • Give to The Pine Crest Fund To stay informed update your information, by visiting: 5



We always say, “Once a Panther, Always a Panther!” More than 350 alumni reconnected at Homecoming 2018. The day began with tours of campus and ended with a gorgeous sunset over Best Field. Alumni, students, families, and faculty showed off their Panther Pride at the Homecoming football game against Gulliver. The following night, more than 320 alumni from the classes of 1958 through 2013 celebrated their reunions. These special events are an occasion to renew ties with fellow Pine Crest graduates and reflect on the Pine Crest experience. Thank you to all who attended and celebrated Pine Crest. We look forward to seeing you all this year!







1. 2.

Joyce Robinson ’72 and Kevin Boothe ’01

3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Nina Angella Beauchesne ’83 and Frank Angella ’85


Jennifer Warton ’98, Samara (Warman) Platt ’98, Roberta (Carvalho) Correia ’98, David Scheider ’98, and David Bierly ’98 John Kranstover, Michael Pierson ’11, Glen Pierson, and Zack Kessinger ’11 Dale Waldman ’98H and John Harrington ’55 Allison Findeiss ’10, Brooke Bal ’10, and Briel Gillespie ’10 John Kennelly ’81, Veronica Kennelly, Payton Kennelly ’22, and Savannah Kennelly ’13 Tony Jaswinski ’96H and Brenda Gooden ’17H Nine players from the 1972 undefeated football team: David Behring ’73; Hall of Famer, Wayne Grimditch ’73; Hall of Famer, Steve Purinton ’73; Hall of Famer, Steve McNally ’73, Glenn Horn ’73, Nate Rosen ’73, Cliff Selwood ’73, Isaac Garazi ’73, and Bob Rickel ’73





Reunion 1.

Richard Pachter ’78, Sam and Simone (Justus) Spiegel ’78

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William Beye ’58 and Jonathan Atkins ’58 Jennifer (Busto) Grnja ’88, Stephanie Flack ’88, Mark Millspaugh ’88, Mark Nadeau ’88, and George Telegadis ’88


Ross Lande ’08, Kaytrelle Moore ’08, William Dunwoody, Blanca Boccardo ’08, and Jose Trimarchi


Jeffrey Caminiti, Gayle Coons ’68, Daniel Raymond ’68, Cynthia (Bilder) Caminiti ’68, George Schmidt ’68, Virginia Bennett ’68, and Ann Roberts


Jodie Dawson ’88, Holly (Hudson) Bodenweber ’88, Jodi Thorz ’88, Natalie Umbert ’88 Lee Pressley ’88, Vivian Sklar ’88, and Debbi Bernstein ’88

7. 8.

George Schmidt ’68 and Ann Roberts


Michael Narea ’08, Samantha Rood ’08, Courtney Huynh ’08, Katie Needle ’08, Samara Seligsohn ’08, and Josh Meisel ’08

10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.




Lisa Pugmire ’88, Ruth Friedman ’88, Vicky Bass ’88


The Class of 2008


The Class of 1998 The Class of 1993 The Class of 1988 The Class of 1978 The Class of 1973

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Connected with Panthers Nationwide




During Fall 2018, Pine Crest School welcomed more than 200 alumni at events in Miami and New York City.

Connect with Panthers in your neighborhood.

Todd Oretsky ’92 hosted the Miami event at Pipeline in Brickell. In New York City, Rebecca Brogan Morse ’98 and Russell Shattan ’00 treated alumni to views from 86th floor of the World Trade Center at the TWA Lounge.














Carmelo Troccoli ’95, Thom Spoto, President Dr. Dana Markham ’18H, Melissa True ’97, and Upper School Head Joseph Walters ’95


Doug Feirstein ’88, General Counsel Whitney Walters-Sachs ’92, Todd Oretsky ’92, and Jessica Feirstein


Senior Associate Director of College and Academic Advising Kathleen Sullivan, Tommy Sullivan ’17, and Larry Mellone, Director of Fine Arts


James Krangle ’99 and Adam Mait ’98


Steve Vainder, Todd Oretsky ’92, Bruce Hodges ’92, and Kristan Bodden ’92


Edward Waite ’09, Alumni Development Officer, and Frank Maister ’89


Marcie Bour ’80 and Larry Berliner ’02


Ninth Grade Dean Kalah (Tompkins) Fanning ’95 and Benjamin Dennis ’04


Greg Lakin ’94 and Jonathan Eisenberg ’00


Amanda (Kaufman) Shear ’98 and Lisa (Dean-Kluger) Jerles ’97


Executive Director of Auxiliary Programs Jana Blackwell ’88 and Paige Cole Hyatt ’81













Taylor Palank ’09, Amanda Savage ’09, Pine Crest President Dr. Dana Markham ’18H, Sarah Rubin ’09, Sarah Brody ’11, and Savanna Kennelly ’13


Event hosts Russ Shattan ’00 and Rebecca Brogan Morse ’98 with Pine Crest President Dr. Dana Markham ’18H


Omar McKenzie ’10, Ayaan McKenzie ’08, and Ladan Liban ’11


Samuel Krouse ’14, Jonathon Bell ’13, Chelsea Hartney ’13, Jordan Gershman ’13, and Michael Berkowitz ’13


Claudia Sosner ’12, Samantha Shafer ’12, Morgan Manella ’12, Allison Shapiro ’12, and Hadley Musinsky ’12


Lindsey Brown ’08, Sydney Friedkin ’08, Cara Chayet ’08, and Pine Crest President Dr. Dana Markham ’18H


Jared Firestone ’08, Greg Drozdow ’08, and Pine Crest School Alumni Development Officer Ed Waite ’09


Matt Kaplan ’04, Rachel Kaplan ’04, Jennifer (Cast) Weinstein ’04, and Jonathan Weinstein ’03


Deanna Hennelly ’17, Amanda Gomez-Rivera ’17, and Brian Meller ’17

10. 11.

Jared Mellin ’00 and Russ Shattan ’00 Jacob Goldberg ’12, Jared Browarnik ’12, Pine Crest Marketing Communications Manager Allison Findeiss ’10, Pine Crest President Dr. Dana Markham ’18H, and Taylor Roschman ’12


Paving an Unexpected Road to Entrepreneurism


rad Austin ’97 began his undergraduate career thinking he was going to be a veterinarian. “When I started at the University of Florida, they wanted you to declare a major right away,” said Brad. “I found Animal Sciences and thought, ‘I like animals, I like being outside,’ and it seemed cool.” Brad was two years into his degree before he was able to take Introduction to Animal Science. “On the first day of class, the professor asked ‘how many of you are pre-vet?’ I saw most of my peers’ hands go up. I knew there were not many available seats in the vet school, and as time went on, while I enjoyed the class, I realized there were more serious students who wanted to become veterinarians than I did. Since I enjoyed the subject, I stuck with it.” That summer, Brad took a course about cattle nutrition that would change the course of his life. “I really liked cattle nutrition, and I found out I could earn a master’s degree in Animal Sciences specializing in cattle. Since I was one of the only students in my degree program who had not grown up with cattle on ranches or farms, I started taking every opportunity to get as much experience as I could. I graduated with my Bachelor of Science and rolled into my master’s in beef cattle nutrition.” Things took an unexpected turn for Brad when the professor he was studying under passed away. “It put a speed bump in our program, but I ended up on the good side of things because I met the woman who would become my wife, Meg.” “When I finished my master’s degree, I applied


for some doctoral positions. I enjoyed teaching and had taught during my master’s program, but I was not offered any of the positions I had applied for. Around the same time, Meg’s parents were building their own farm, Cindale Farms. I asked if they would hire me without pay so that I could learn to farm.” Brad lived and worked at Cindale Farms for six months until Meg got the news she had been accepted to veterinary school at the University of Florida, and the couple returned to Gainesville. “I ran a research lab and began my doctoral program in Beef Cattle Physiology, essentially the feeding and breeding of cattle.” After completing school, Meg began practicing outside of Gainesville while Brad finished his degree. After finishing his degree program, Brad and Meg decided to move back to Cindale Farms to start farming again. “Meg’s parents started training us, and we learned how everything runs on the farm. We ended up co-managing the farm until we decided to start our ice cream business.” Meg’s sister, Lauren, had been working with a family winery in sales and would become the catalyst for Southern Craft Creamery. “Meg, her parents, and I had wanted to create a value-added product to give us more access to consumers. We wanted to create a product, but running the farm is full time.” The family took a few classes to learn about the chemistry of ice cream and making ice cream. Despite common practice, Brad and Meg knew they wanted to make an ice cream that

is not homogenized or made with stabilizers and emulsifiers — a product that would showcase their milk. “Lauren spent a year working on recipes, and we finally found a recipe that would let us not homogenize, add stabilizers, emulsifiers or anything like that, creating a simple, clean product,” said Brad. “We sold our first pint in 2013. In the beginning, it was all hands-on. We would work on the farm all morning and in the afternoons, we would go to the creamery and do everything by hand, stamp the pints, add the labels, et cetera. We sold pints and pans wholesale, as well as by word of mouth.” “We focused on chef-owned restaurants or small family grocers — people who pay attention to their products. This was necessary for two reasons; first, we sell a premium product with a premium price, so we needed a market for that. Second, without stabilizers it is a delicate product. We need retailers who will pay attention to it and store and serve it properly. Because these sellers are between us and consumers, we have to be careful about who we use to ensure customers have a great experience with our product. That has always been our goal.” After four years, the family decided to open a retail store for their ice cream. “We finally reached a point where we wanted a footprint in our town,” said Brad. “We purchased a building, spent a year renovating it, and we now have a coffee and ice cream shop! We officially opened in February 2018, a new venture into something we don’t know anything about: retail and food service.” “The retail has gone as well as can be expected. People enjoy it; we have a steady local clientele, as well as travelers from all over the world who visit the nearby state park.” Along with managing the farm and the creamery, Brad and his family are involved in local and national organizations, and lawmakers who regulate the dairy industry. “My father-in-law is the Vice President of our Co-Op,” said Brad. “My mother-in-law is on the board of Farm Credit, a national bank that focuses on agricultural loans. Meg is a director on the Florida Dairy Farmers board.” “I didn’t know when I graduated the role that politics would play in what I do. But, it plays a large role, and we pay close attention to candidates and where they stand on the issues.” “We are usually in Tallahassee once a year speaking with legislators,” said Brad. “We have been to Washington, D.C., to speak with lawmakers to let them know what we do. There are not many people who know what we do. We feel that part of our

job is to let people know what we do and why we do it.” “If lawmakers don’t know what we do and why we do it, their laws could put us in a bind. Some laws are well-intentioned but misdirected, and we need to educate the public and legislators about what we do because they don’t know.” In October of 2018, the northwest coast of Florida was hit by Hurricane Michael. The storm was a category four, the strongest hurricane to hit the state since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. “Since Hurricane Michael hit us,” said Brad, “we are trying to figure out the new normal for our farm, creamery, and community as a whole. The level of devastation is unlike anything you could imagine. On the farm, we lost thousands of trees, miles of fences, a few structures, and cows. As a community we have lost trees, homes, businesses, and some of our identity.” “We know that we will never return to the normal that we had before the storm, but we seek to find a normal now that will hopefully, in the long run, be a better normal than we had. It will take years for our communities in this area to recover. Hopefully, in that time we can continue to prosper and grow.” Speaking about the biggest lesson he has learned about being an entrepreneur, Brad believes success is about staying true to who you are. “Identify what you want to do and what that brand will be. Once you build it, you have to protect it — one misstep, and it is over. More than that, the thing I have learned the most on the entrepreneurial side is overall flexibility. You need to have a plan, but you need to be able to adapt.” On offering advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, Brad says, “if you go to college, don’t be afraid to try new things, take classes you think may be interesting. Don’t be afraid to do things that make you uncomfortable; that is how you can find your true self. Comfortable is boring, there always needs to be a little stress. If things are too comfortable, it means something is probably going to change.” “Learn as much as you can and do not be afraid to ask people who have done it, or are doing it. Follow them, intern, see what they do, ask why they do it, and learn as much as you can. We still go to farms whenever we can. There is always something to learn.” 11

Obstacle to Opportunity: Launching a Health Food Brand After being diagnosed with a severe gluten intolerance five years ago, Brooke Bal ’10 knew she needed to pay more attention to the ingredients in the food she ate. “I had to start reading ingredient labels of everything much more closely,” said Brooke. “I quickly began to realize many foods that are touted as ‘healthy’ aren’t healthy at all. A lot of these so-called healthy foods contain an excessive amount of sugars, artificial ingredients, hydrogenated oils, and other nutritionally-void ingredients.” Leading an active lifestyle, Brooke would often grab a protein bar on the go. It was then that she began to see an opportunity. “My biggest problem was finding a bar that wasn’t a disguised candy bar loaded with unhealthy ingredients,” said Brooke. “I couldn’t find a protein bar that had clean ingredients, tasted good, and was reasonably priced. So I started making my own and that’s when the idea for bakebars was born.” bakebars are an all-natural, all-in-one protein bar kit containing all the premeasured ingredients needed to make your own homemade protein bars. All

are focused on natural food stores and expanding our productions to meet the growing demand.” There is a lot that Brooke has learned since becoming a business owner.

bars are gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, plant-based, and contain no artificial ingredients. “With bakebars, you get bars that are fully customized to your liking, are far healthier, contain multiple nutrients, and are budgetfriendly,” said Brooke. Launched in 2017, bakebars has been growing steadily. They recently launched on Amazon and are being sold at various natural food stores and fitness centers across Florida. “We plan to continue to expand into other retail markets,” said Brooke. “Right now we

“There are definitely good days and bad days,” said Brooke. “I’m learning how important it is to stay persistent, persevere, and trust the process. Business, just like life, is filled with setbacks, challenges, failures, and successes. You have to recognize that everything you face on a daily basis is a chance to learn and grow as a person and business owner. All in all, the possibilities are endless and the experience is priceless.” Speaking about her time at Pine Crest, Brooke said, “The drive and ambition that surrounds you at Pine Crest is unparalleled. That drive is understood and developed by everyone — teachers, coaches, and administrators all push you to be the best you can be. The School shaped me into the person I am today, and I will forever be grateful to the Pine Crest family.”



Alumni Bring Human Connection Together Through Art They decided to submit an idea for a grant. “We came up with the Night Lily,” said Alexander. “We wanted to find something that fit their theme but was different than anything else they had.” The group’s design won the grant and the Night Lily became a reality and a jump start.

About two years ago, Alexander Waldman ’10, Andrea Abtahi ’10, and Michael Kenton ’10 were celebrating a fellow alumnus’ birthday.

Aric Waldman ’14, Michael Kenton ’10, Andrea Abtahi ’10, and Alexander Waldman ’10.

At the time, Alexander was working in film and television, “which is something I had wanted to do since I was in fifth grade at Pine Crest,” said Alexander. “Most of the time, my work was to help the production of the project, so I did not get to make creative decisions. The work was rewarding but frustrating.” Andrea was also working in the television and film industry on post production. “My work focused on making commercials and music videos,” said Andrea. She was also looking for a way to exercise more creativity. Michael developed his taste for creative

expression as a radio DJ playing electronic music as a student at Northwestern. “What I like about electronic music is that it is complemented by visual elements,” said Michael. “I worked in a cognition lab as an engineer studying cross modal perception, how senses of light and sound make experiences. I was captivated by this idea. Alexander and I love the visual that describes what you hear in music and so we got involved with the Northwestern Battle of the DJs and ran the lights for the show. That started our desire for creating visual experiences.” While that desire was there, it would still be a few years before they would launch Monos Menos Manos, or M3. “We were at the party talking about what we were doing in our professional lives and realized we had an opportunity to take creative roles in our own hands,” said Alexander. That opportunity was a grant application at the Electric Forest Music Festival, an eight-day, two-weekend, music event that brings together music, art, and more than 45,000 people. The festival offers artists money and manpower to realize an applicant’s vision for the festival.

“What we create is more than a painting or piece you look at,” said Alexander. We cultivate an experience around each piece we create. We involve technology in a way that brings something new or unexpected but without being ‘techy.’ We like to use newer ideas to try to bring something to the table that hasn’t been seen before - create new experiences and show people that technology isn’t just something that lives in your pocket or in a server room somewhere but is a tool to foster human connections and make the world a little more beautiful.” Recently, M3 received a new member on their team, another Pine Crest alumnus, and younger brother to Alexander, Aric Waldman ’14. A recent graduate from Northwestern with a degree in art theory and practice, “it was a natural segway [to join M3],” said Aric. “Alexander involved me as I was hitting my stride at the Art Department at Northwestern, and it seemed like a great way to showcase art. I am not the most ‘tech forward’ person on the team, but M3 is a way to bring art to people.” When asked what they would like readers to know, Alexander said, “Hire us!” with a short laugh. “But seriously, there are many opportunities to incorporate artfulness in whatever you do. The way a doctor visualizes a problem or diagnosis to explain it, or someone has a product they are trying to introduce, taking a little extra time to think about how you can package that into something easily understood is something I consider art. It’s about fostering a human connection and tapping into something that makes you connect with another person. Whatever you do, do it artfully.”


Expanding His Family’s Bakery into New Markets After 12:00 p.m. I have some time for tasks like meeting with wholesalers, searching for new store locations, and more. Quite often, I also come to the bakery at night to oversee production, but that’s my father’s area of expertise. Every week is a little different. We often travel to fairs in Las Vegas, Germany, and Dubai to sell our goods and look for areas where we can improve our operations.”

Since graduating from Pine Crest School in 2008, Dawid Goszczycki earned an undergraduate degree and returned to his native country of Poland to join his family’s bakery business. Dawid moved to Fort Lauderdale as a Pine Crest freshman student-athlete in the fall of 2004. “The swim team brought me to Pine Crest,” said Dawid. “A big part of my time as a student was spent swimming, and I have many great memories in the pool.” His father started Piekarnia Tyrolska bakery in 1989 after the fall of the long-standing communist government in Poland. “He opened his first bakery and kept opening bakeries one by one,” said Dawid. “When I finished college at the University of Pittsburgh, I moved back to Poland to help run the business.” Today, the family owns 150 bakeries in northern Poland, producing all kinds of baked products, including frozen and fresh bread, doughnuts, cakes, buns and much more. The bakery is organic and uses only non-GMO, natural ingredients. Dawid, who is the company’s Vice CEO, shared what a typical day running the bakery is like. “I go to the bakery in the morning to prepare our shipments, which is the most complex part of the business,” said Dawid. “Freshness is key! We promise that all of the products in our stores have been baked within the last eight hours, requiring more than 70 delivery trucks to be loaded within two to three hours, twice a day.” “After the deliveries have left, I stay for a few hours meeting with the marketing, sales, and accounting teams. 14

Through a recent investment, Dawid is expanding the business and is excited to reach new markets. “In the next few weeks, we will open a brand new facility,” said Dawid. “The new industrialized facility has the capacity to produce up to 450,000 loaves of bread a day. Currently, it has four production lines that will eventually expand to eight. It is 20,000 square meters (over 215,000 square feet), and houses our own mill and vegetable preparation line. With this new facility, we can purchase ingredients directly from the farmers, and skip the in-between businesses. We are one of the largest bakeries in Europe right now.” Dawid plans to open up the bakery to international trade. “We have a huge share of the market in northern Poland, so the natural step forward is to stay true to ourselves and our beloved recipes and quality, and compete in the global market,” said Dawid. “We have plenty of advantages, primarily that production costs here are lower than in other parts of the world, and the quality of ingredients is also unmatched anywhere else. We want to capitalize on those competitive advantages to move forward.” Of course, we had to know Dawid’s favorite item from the bakery. “We have a loaf of bread, the name translates to ‘twice baked bread,’” said Dawid. “We put it in the oven a little longer than our other loaves of bread, and it has a smoky flavor. I enjoy it a lot. The doughnuts are pretty good, too!” When asked if there was anything else that he wanted to share Dawid said, “We welcome anyone from the Pine Crest family who would like to come and visit! We are very welcoming here in Poland.”

Disrupting Traditional City Scaffolding with Urban Umbrella Walk along a New York City sidewalk for long enough and you may discover a delicious slice of pizza, a one-of-a-kind retail flagship store, dozens of highrise buildings — and miles and miles of scaffolding, also known as sidewalk sheds. Made of wooden planks and metal poles, the sheds are temporary structures on the outside of a building being built, repaired, or restored. New York City’s Local Law 11 requires owners of buildings above six stories to have their facades regularly inspected to prevent any debris or masonry from shaking loose, falling from great heights, and injuring pedestrians below. Scaffolding is so prevalent in New York City that, in 2017, The New York Times reported 280 miles of sidewalk scaffolding in front of 7,752 buildings, which is enough to encircle Manhattan nearly nine times. In 2009, the City of New York Department of Buildings launched a design contest in the hope of one day replacing traditional dark sheds with visually appealing options. Pine Crest School alumnus and architect Andrés Ulises Cortés ’92 and his team at Agencie Group entered the design contest and beat out over 450 entries from major firms around the world to win for their Urban Umbrella design. After the contest announcement, the Agencie team began engineering, testing, and building the first Urban Umbrella, which was unveiled by Mayor Michael Bloomberg at 100 Broadway in the heart of Manhattan’s

Financial District. The possibility of redefining city sidewalks in dense urban centers for new development or restoration became a reality. Andrés and his team began developing business plans and raising venture capital and by 2016 had acquired new customers in New York City, Vancouver, and Toronto. Urban Umbrella appeals to city business owners. While traditional scaffolding serves a practical need — pedestrian safety — it negatively affects urban businesses due to poor visibility and decreased foot traffic.

shortages and design challenges, for example — that have required Andrés to go back to the drawing board repeatedly to improve design, fabrication, supply chain, marketing, and all areas of his business. When listening to Andrés speak about his work at the Agencie Group and their Urban Umbrella project, it is abundantly clear that he is doing what he loves. To him, an entrepreneurial mindset requires a willingness to persevere and work under adverse conditions.

“With rents as high as $6,500 per square foot in major cities like New York, businesses are loath to lose customers due to poor visibility,” said Andrés. Using robotically fabricated recycled steel components, translucent panels, and Andrés finalizing a 3D model. customizable LED lighting, “There are going to be successes and Urban Umbrella resembles an open failures; I take nothing for granted,” umbrella. With its elegant, inviting design, said Andrés. “Knowing this, my Urban Umbrella allows for air, light, and advice to students and young adults movement while a building is under repair, is to select a career path based on solving a big pain point for businesses something you are passionate about. while also allowing pedestrians to continue Make decisions based on what you to enjoy exploring the city. enjoy…that is the fuel that will push As with most startup ventures, there you through the tough times.” have been bumps in the road — supply 15

How Students Develop an Entrepreneurial Mindset Skills may include: • initiative and self-direction • risk-taking/willingness to try and fail • flexibility and adaptability • creativity and innovation • critical thinking • problem solving • the ability to see opportunities • assemble resources • consider calculated risks • empathy

Pine Crest’s approach to entrepreneurship is educational in nature with a focus on skill building and collaboration. At Pine Crest School, we believe our students must learn to be as agile and adaptable as possible. High-brain human traits such as global understanding and empathy, deep thinking and learning, and complex problem-solving mindset through collaboration will distinguish our students and set them up for success. In the spirit of meeting the learning needs of our students, Pine Crest encourages and offers innovative, cutting-edge educational opportunities for them to try new ideas and experiences, take charge of their own learning, and make meaningful pathways for exploration and growth. One of these opportunities is entrepreneurship. In teaching entrepreneurship, we offer students a chance to develop entrepreneurial mindsets. An entrepreneur is innovative and resourceful; he or she creates value. An entrepreneurial mindset may be applied in many aspects of life, personally and professionally.

1. Entrepreneurship at Pine Crest is a mindset. 2. Entrepreneurship provides an additional

platform for students to fail forward. 3. Entrepreneurship programs complement

a strong academic core and Pine Crest strategic initiatives, including innovation, computer science, and Social and Emotional Education. 4. Located in the Huizenga Science Center/

Egan Library building on the Fort Lauderdale campus, Entrepreneurship Dedicated to Global Engagement (E.D.G.E.) is a dedicated space for faculty and students to gather, learn, plan, collaborate, and work on entrepreneurship-related projects. Entrepreneurship at Pine Crest is not confined to this space; it is woven throughout the classrooms, fields, courts, and stages. 5. Pine Crest students who discover a passion

for entrepreneurship have a clear trajectory, from Middle School wheel courses and Upper School clubs (DECA, TSA) to Upper School coursework in AP Micro/Macro Economics and the McMillan Fellowship in Social Entrepreneurship Honors.


Giving Students the E.D.G.E. By Danielle Weisfisch ’20

Pine Crest’s Entrepreneurship Dedicated to Global Engagement, or E.D.G.E., is home to the School’s entrepreneurship program and STEM-related student organizations.

E.D.G.E. was designed with student input as a space for collaboration. Some of the features of the space include floor-toceiling whiteboards, multiple collaborative stations, computers tailored for computer assisted design (CAD), modular furniture, and various accessories to facilitate students’ creativity. These resources help students brainstorm and bring their ideas to life with all the materials they need at their fingertips. Beyond the space, E.D.G.E. programs promote the development of an entrepreneurial mindset in Pine Crest students. “The E.D.G.E. space promotes cooperative learning,” said John Kolettis ’21. “Students can develop their ideas in an environment where failure and risk-taking are encouraged and will ultimately lead to success.” E.D.G.E. was developed after students working in the Zimmerman Family iLabs and Mintz Family iLabs, our Fort Lauderdale campus and Boca Raton campus makerspaces, were looking for ways to take their ideas to the next level. With a focus on social impact projects and entrepreneurial ventures, the E.D.G.E. space has become a home for students to refine and further develop their ideas.

and Upper School to integrate design thinking, principles in economics, and social entrepreneurship. Lessons for students will be designed for every grade level to be age-appropriate, and will introduce challenges and projects based on real-life businesses, explore major areas of business, and introduce students to key marketing concepts. “These resources will be invaluable to students,” said Amy Varo-Haub, Fort Lauderdale Middle School Head and Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Pine Crest School. “This curriculum will allow students to take away the concept of idea versus opportunity and apply it to solve real world problems.”

Students’ passion for this field is driving a new arm of the School’s curriculum. Currently being planned for the 2019-20 school year are a variety of opportunities for students in Lower, Middle, 17

Student Profiles: Three-Time State Championship Student-Athletes Freshman Kevin Mendez ’22 and junior Tsion Yared ’20 are threetime state championship titleholders for diving and cross country, respectively. Kevin is one of 13 divers in Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) history to have won three consecutive state diving titles. Kevin is the youngest diver to do so, winning his first title as a seventh grade student in 2016. His win this year gives the 1A State Championship diving title to Pine Crest School for six years in a row. Kevin has been diving since he was five years old. “I was learning how to swim when I was three years old,” said Kevin. “I saw the diving boards and I wanted to try them, but I had to wait until I was five. What I love is the feeling of being in the air and going through the water and the feeling afterward of completing the dive.” This year has been an incredible year for Tsion, who had the opportunity for the second time to compete at the Nike Cross Country National race in Portland, Oregon as one of two runners to qualify from Florida. She was also named the 2019 Gatorade Florida Girls’ Cross Country Runner of the Year. Tsion is one of only 15 girls to have won three or more cross country state championships in FHSAA history. Tsion has been running with her mom since she was 10. “I started running competitively in fifth grade,” said Tsion. “I have always been running. My mom is a runner, and I started running with her as a kid.” For these two student-athletes, discipline and time management are critical to getting their workouts and their homework done. “It’s hard,” said Kevin. “I stay up until around 11:30 p.m. to make sure I get everything done. I work in the car when I am going to and from practice. It is hard, but I get it done. This is what I love about Pine Crest, the education. The courses are challenging, but I am being prepared for what is next in life. I have opportunities to succeed.”


more, and my free periods are key. I base my training schedule around when I need to study.” “Balance is more important than ever this year,” Tsion continued. “Running helps me be proactive about my studying because I know I want to get a good grade, and I need the right amount of sleep to perform well.” Both Kevin and Tsion have strict workout regimens to keep them in top shape. “I work out three times a week in the weightroom,” said Kevin. “I am in the pool and the diving board six times a week for three hours, and once a week I take a stretching class.” Before a competition, Kevin trains following the meet format, practicing from a list of dives. “I eat the same meals all week, so there are no food surprises,” said Kevin. As a two-sport student-athlete — cross country and track and field — training for Tsion varies depending on the time of the year. During the cross country season, “I get to school at 6:00 a.m. and lift in the weightroom and use the bike for 35 minutes,” said Tsion. Kevin Mendez shows off his state championship medal. “Twice a week, I follow the regimen that Coach Hibbs creates for the team. After school, we practice from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. On ‘hard’ days, we are on the track doing interval workouts, and on recovery days, we run and utilize the track and west campus. On Saturdays, we run on the beach in Fort Lauderdale from 6:00 to 8:00 a.m.” On winning a third consecutive state title, Kevin said, “I don’t take it lightly. It is not easy to accomplish, and I don’t intend to stop working hard.” “It has been humbling knowing that the hard work paid off,” said Tsion. “It is hard to see it coming together because we start training so early, at the beginning of the summer. There is a sense of relief when everything is working out.”

As a junior, Tsion has had some more time to refine her study schedule.

Tsion is also a two-time state champion in the 3200-meter race for track.

“My time management has gotten better, although my workload has gotten more intense,” said Tsion. “Now, I balance school work and preparing for testing. I have learned to utilize my weekends

“Track meets are a different atmosphere,” said Tsion. “Meets are a whole day event — you run your race, and the sprinters cheer for you. In between races, you get to relax and cheer on

your teammates. I am looking forward to the upcoming season because we have sprinters and field events, so our team is bigger. I am also excited to participate in big track meets; we might possibly go to Virginia for an indoor meet, and for outdoor we may go to California so I am excited for those trips.” The secret to their success? “Don’t be obsessed about your sport,” said Kevin. “Do other things so you don’t get sick of it and burn yourself out.” Tsion has two secrets. “I pay a lot of attention to details,” said Tsion. “I have learned that doing the small things makes a big impact, like making sure I am getting eight or more hours of sleep, and using my time wisely.” Part two of her success, “I drink tart cherry juice as an antiinflammatory!” said Tsion. “Before races, I always listen to the same playlist to get into the zone and get motivated.” Kevin and Tsion participate in other activities outside of their sports. “I work at a homeless shelter,” said Kevin. “I am on the board of Joshua’s Heart Foundation, which is an organization that helps feed those in need.” “I am a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes,”said Tsion. “I also play the piano and the percussion in the School band. I have been playing the piano since I was seven years old and the percussion since fifth grade.” “What I love about Pine Crest is the challenge that School presents us with,” said Tsion. “I am always up for

a challenge, and I think that pushes us to want more. The students here are competitive, and sometimes that atmosphere can be stressful, but it pushes us to be better students and strive for more.” While Kevin and Tsion feel the challenges of being studentathletes, they are not alone. “I don’t have enough words to say about what Coach Janet Gabriel [Head Diving Coach] has done for me,” said Kevin. “She is an amazing person. She is very involved in making people better; she is selfless and caring.” “Coach Baur [Cross Country and Track and Field Program Head] has been a mentor for me,” said Tsion. “He has coached me since I was in fifth grade and has made me the runner that I am today. He knows how to push us to our limits during every single workout, cross country meet, or track meet.” “It is easy to progress as a person when you have help from basically everyone at Pine Crest, coaches, faculty, and administrators. Pine Crest is a friendly environment, and you know that everyone here wants the best for you.” 19

Spotlight on Jana Blackwell ’81 As a Pine Crest School Class of 1981 alumna, teacher, coach, and parent of two alumni, Calla ’11 and Chandler ’14 Cissel, Jana Blackwell’s Panther Pride runs deep.

where campers will create a fashion wearable, market it, and try to sell it.” “Entrepreneurship is in high demand among students,” said Jana. “They are so good at innovating and creating, but they need to know if their invention is usable. The business side of innovating is important for students to learn so they can take their ideas outside of the classroom.” Other new summer programs include cooking with our dining hall chefs on both campuses, designing and racing wooden cars on a special track, and even DNA analysis with genetic blueprinting and forensics.

“This is my 20th year at Pine Crest,” said Jana. “What attracted me to education was the flexibility to be professional and still raise a family. However, my first job at Pine Crest was actually at Pine Crest Day Camp (PCDC) in 1976 when I was 13. I worked at Day Camp every summer, even through college.”

When asked about what she is most excited about, Jana said, “Helping put Pine Crest on the map for auxiliary programming. I want to enhance our programs and reach the community. What we love is offering unique programs in a safe and secure environment. No matter where you are during the summer, the opportunity to experience the Pine Crest community is available, even if it is just for one week.”

A beloved Middle School social science teacher and Cheerleading Program Head, Jana returned to Pine Crest after living abroad and teaching in England. This year, she began a new chapter in her career at Pine Crest as the Executive Director of Auxiliary Programs, overseeing all extracurricular student life, including summer programming, summer school, extended day, after-school activities, and the Spirit Store on both the Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale campuses. “Pulling these areas of student life under one umbrella allows us to make sure they represent Pine Crest well,” said Jana. “My team and I have been tasked with creating signature programs, the way PCDC has been a signature summer program over the last 60 years. We are working toward building new and exciting programs for students.” One of the highlights for Jana in this new role “has been involving staff, including Facilities and Dining, in our auxiliary programming,” she said. “ With new auxiliary options on the horizon, we are working together to offer spectacular opportunities for our students.” One of those new programs will be focused on entrepreneurship. During the summer, Pine Crest will offer a week-long fashion technique class 20

Jana Blackwell ’81, Chandler Cissel ’14, and Calla Cissel ’11



36 dive into summer fun 8





The Making of a High School Musical actress. “They have demonstrated adaptability and an ability to step outside of their comfort zones. Learning how to interact and work with a large cast, developing characters with depth and texture — the growth in their confidence and communications skills has been an honor to watch.” Libby Baker ’19 was the stage manager and Mrs. Allred Boyd’s right hand.

From pre-kindergarten to twelfth grade, from music and visual art to dance and theater, there is a medium for every Pine Crest student to try and pursue, along with academics and athletics. The Upper School musical is part of the Student Cultural Arts Series hosted by Pine Crest’s Founder’s Council, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Ashley (Palmer) Lindsay ’99 serves as chair of the Founder’s Council and was deeply involved in the arts during her time as a Pine Crest student. “During my time in the Pine Crest musicals, Stacy was a second home, and the cast and crew became my family,” said Mrs. Lindsay. “The sheer amount of time and effort that goes into these productions is mindblowing.”

“Speaking of our leads, it is amazing to see each of them perform. I remember being with each other in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, and now they are the leads of the show. I am so proud of the whole cast, and there is not a group of people I would rather spend my senior performance with.” Mrs. Nikki Allred Boyd, Pine Crest Upper School Dance Instructor,

“The musical is a community I never thought I would be a part of,” said Libby. “I have such a fear of the stage. In ninth grade when I decided to do backstage crew, I thought it would be the first and last time I had anything to do with theater. I was wrong. My role as stage manager demands I listen and provide feedback. I understand that listening is as critical as speaking. A show is a complex process requiring skillful collaboration. My time managing this process allowed me to come

“It was a treat for the Founder’s Council to get a sneak peek of that hard work at a preview of the Musical and then have the opportunity of a Q&A session with the show’s seniors. One thing that was a common theme for all the students was the familial bond this cast has, which takes me right back in time to the Pine Crest stage and makes my heart incredibly happy.” More than 40 Upper School students made up the High School Musical cast, production, and creative team, including singers, actors, dancers, musicians, and behindthe-scenes stage crew members. “The musical has really come to mean a lot to me, especially this year,” said Sydney Stanley ’19, who is a cast member and a dance captain for High School Musical. “As a dance captain, I helped guide the cast by teaching, observing, and adjusting choreography. Something our director emphasizes is how important the ensemble is — they create a living background and give our incredible leads something to play off of.” 22

out of my comfort zone to be part of a production even though I am not on the stage.” is the choreographer and director who, alongside colleagues and students, began preparing for the musical over the summer. “I educate our students to be professionals,” said Mrs. Allred Boyd, who herself works professionally as a musical theater

“Though we have stumbles throughout the process,” continued Libby, “the end result is always one that everyone involved can be proud of. From actors and scripts to props and lights, I have learned to perceive problems as opportunities to make a better show.”

Social and Emotional Education: Engaging the World with Empathy As class begins each day at Pine Crest, you will see a Lower School classroom in their morning meeting connecting through song or engaged in activities like mindfulness stretching. In Middle School, you might find a classroom practicing mindfulness and breathing techniques before diving into a lesson. In Upper School, you could observe an English class collaborating through peer editing or a science class talking about ways to reduce stress as a means for maintaining a biological equilibrium. These are all examples of Social and Emotional Education in action across both Pine Crest campuses. Pine Crest’s Social and Emotional Education Initiative uses the power of emotions to create more effective and compassionate classrooms. “Social and emotional skills are critical whether you are four or 40,” said Krista Promnitz ’97, Co-Chair of the Social and Emotional Education Initiative. “It is important to know how to manage yourself. It is important to know how to create and sustain good, healthy working relationships.” According to research from The Aspen Institute, students who participated in evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) programs showed significant improvements in social and emotional learning skills, behavior, attitudes, and academic performance, as well as reduced emotional distress and conduct problems. “We know for our students to be successful in today’s ever-changing world, it is imperative that we help our students grow into emotionally responsive adults who are able to collaborate with others while exhibiting empathy, compassion, and kindness,” said Lisa Ockerman, Co-Chair of the Social and Emotional Education Initiative. Pine Crest’s Social and Emotional Framework includes four distinct pillars: social awareness, selfawareness, self-management, and relationship management. First grade teacher Cindy Brocato says her students always look forward to social and emotional learning activities. These activities help them bond as a class and understand what their expectations are for the day.

classroom, and family, the safer they feel,” said Mrs. Brocato. “In classrooms of older students,” said Mrs. Promnitz, “you’ll notice a change in the way teachers and students are communicating with one another. We are talking in a more positive way; we talk about what we expect and what we want, rather than a long list of ‘don’ts.’” Social and emotional learning also comes in the form of peer editing. As students read papers from one another, they get to see different points of view and learn effective ways to communicate and provide feedback. “It has opened my eyes a lot and given me new methods of working with papers and working with essays,” said Charlie Hazleton ’22. “Peer reviews will help me with social skills and working with others.” The faculty has received intensive training in social and emotional education through Pine Crest’s professional development resources, including workshops, book clubs, and speakers who also present to parents. Pine Crest emphasizes hiring emotionally responsive faculty and staff to ensure that social and emotional education continues to make a difference in the lives of students. “My own children come home and talk about their morning meetings,” said Mrs. Promnitz. “They love what is going on in their classrooms and they talk to me about the different techniques that their teachers are using to help them regulate themselves and help them manage their learning environment.” “It is great to see that what we are working on so diligently with our teachers is translating into the classroom and that our students are not just absorbing it, but applying it and are excited about it. It’s fun; it’s interesting and they feel really good about learning these skills.” “Our students are learning to lead with empathy and creativity,” said Mrs. Ockerman. “Pine Crest is committed to supporting our students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset that empowers them to shape the future.”

“Research shows that cognitive growth stems from social interaction. The more that students feel a sense of community, 23

President’s Society Reception


Pine Crest President Dr. Dana Markham ’18H welcomed members of the President’s Society to a reception on November 17, 2018 in Egan Auditorium on the Fort Lauderdale campus. More than 150 alumni, parents, parents of alumni, grandparents, and faculty attended. “We strive as an institution to constantly challenge and improve ourselves, and you help us plan for the extraordinary education of tomorrow,” said Dr. Markham. “Tomorrow calls for a set of new skills, a new kind of teacher, a new kind of student, and a new kind of leader. Refusing to be comfortable with our accomplishments to date, we continue to instill in our institution the same spirit of a vigorous growth mindset that we expect of our students.”














Board of Trustees Chair David Kirschner, President Dr. Dana Markham ’18H, and Andrew Wurtele


Donna Mordis, Leandra Saverimuttu, and Melanie Connors, Vice President of Admission


David Clark, Head of School, Boca Raton Campus, and Doug Berman

11 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 13 12.

Ernesto and Melissa Vega Carolyn and Luis Morell Chrissie Baust ’97 and Scott Baust Colleen and Dan Hurt Jeff and Lauren Morris Daniel Munson, Barry Mordis, and Mark Hughes Barbara and Michael Landry Jennifer Friedman, Lisa Grossman, and Tracy Louv President Dr. Dana Markham ’18H with Svetlana and Eduard Nakhamkin

13. 14.

Brian Melzer, Nirmal Saverimuttu, and Ricky Vogel


Jennifer Kaufman, Shannon Touradji, Sheila Zietz, and Dr. Beth Familant-Bernick

Natalie Martino-Hughes, Brandy Miller, Director of The Pine Crest Fund, and Melinda Munson

For more information about philanthropic giving to Pine Crest School, contact Susan Peirce, Vice President of Advancement, at or 15 954-492-4121.

Spotlight on the Rosenberg Family We are honored to shine a spotlight on Todd ’95 and Caroline Rosenberg. Todd is a proud Pine Crest alumnus, and he and Caroline are the parents of Dylan ’25, Julian ’28, and Gavin ’30. For the Rosenbergs, sending their children to Pine Crest was never a question. “My experience as a student at Pine Crest was incredible,” said Todd. “How could I not want to give my children the opportunity to come here?” “Ever since we met,” said Caroline “Todd has always spoken about his friends and memories from Pine Crest. We just knew we wanted our children to be here.” “The first day I dropped Dylan off at school, it was emotional,” said Todd. “I was taken by the idea that I was dropping my first son off at the school I attended. It was such a meaningful experience for me.” “When I was a student, I didn’t appreciate everything the School offered. Now as a parent, I come here and enjoy my children’s experience and what they go through — see how incredible it is. I immediately recognize how much more the School has to offer and how much more thoughtful it has become, and I can appreciate that as a parent.” Todd started at Pine Crest in the sixth grade. “I was one of the few kids from my previous school to make it to Pine Crest,” he said. “It was a hard transition for me. Even though I was just a kid, I immediately recognized that my peers who started in pre-kindergarten or kindergarten had the building blocks they needed. Everything they needed was ingrained in them from a very young age, and they were far better prepared to succeed. I had a much harder time. I feel good knowing my kids are getting the foundation they need to get through the more challenging times in Middle and Upper School and will graduate with an incredible education.” “What always blows me away,” said Caroline, “is when we see our kids get up in front of an audience, perform, and actually know what they are doing. They are way ahead of where I was at their age. When we attend the concerts and shows, I am amazed at how bright and coordinated they are, and that they have the confidence to get in front of strangers and do what they do. We love that Pine Crest thrusts them into public speaking and gives them the confidence to do it well.”

“I look back at my undergrad and graduate experiences, and I say if it wasn’t for Pine Crest and what I learned from sixth to twelfth grade, those experiences would have been a lot harder than they were,” said Todd. “Many of the things I think I am good at today are because of Pine Crest.” “We see how successful our kids are, and that is what makes us want to give every year,” said Caroline. “Our children are being educated here, but our appreciation is deeper than that. We trust and believe that the School administration knows what they are doing.” This year, Todd and Caroline established the Rosenberg Family Inclusion Aid Award. Pine Crest School Inclusion Aid provides resources for students who could not otherwise afford enrichment and academic activities that are outside of the classroom. “We always wanted to do something more, but hadn’t found the right fit — something that would be meaningful in helping students who don’t necessarily have the resources our kids have,” said Todd. “When we heard about the discrepancy between the amount of financial aid for tuition, which is substantial, relative to the lack of funds available to those same students to pay for all of the things Pine Crest offers at extra cost to help students succeed during their school years, we were shocked. We knew right away we needed to help bridge this gap.” “Access to extras like the Learning Network, after school programs, class trips, transportation to and from school, and attendance at academic and athletic competitions are what inclusion aid helps to cover,” said Todd. “These are important for students to be included in the Pine Crest experience.” “The Learning Network here is the best; sometimes students need to have that extra support for a year, and then they are able to excel,” said Caroline. “These things come with a cost, and we wanted to level the playing field for all children regardless of their ability to pay to have every opportunity and to get every experience that Pine Crest has to offer.” “It makes us feel good to give back,” said Todd. “Nothing happens without people getting behind it. That doesn’t just mean financially. People’s effort and time is so valuable for the School, and this is something we know we can help with.”

The Rosenbergs have been giving to The Pine Crest Fund for 12 years. 25

Student Entrepreneurs Making Their Name in The Community Upper School Students Rhea Jain ’20 and Neil Sachdeva ’21 were selected to join the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) in the fall of 2018.

Neil’s company, Vulcan AI, creates chatbots powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to answer questions in real time.

YEA! is a program that supports aspiring entrepreneurs in middle and high school. The program runs for nine months and connects students with local industry leaders, community members, and educators to develop their interests. At the end of the program, students pitch their ideas to a panel of investors. The first place winner receives seed money for their company.

“They are placed on my clients’ websites,” said Neil. “Customers who are looking for quick answers can simply ask the bot, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Chatbots improve customer service and customer experience for businesses.”

This year, Rhea and Neil won first and second place, respectively, in the “Shark Tank” event, the culminating event of the program where students compete for seed money for their businesses.

Neil got the idea to launch his business after working with an AI firm in the summer before entering his sophomore year.

“My mom actually found the Academy online,” said Rhea. “She encouraged me to get involved with them to grow my business, which I was just getting off the ground.” Rhea started Rénoosh — a high-end, petite clothing line in 2017 — as a freshman. “I struggled to find clothes that fit me,” said Rhea. “I am only 5’1”! I have a large social media following, and people would reach out to me asking where I find my clothes. So I decided to create my own. I created nine pieces that are interchangeable — you can make more than 25 looks with the pieces.” As the first place winner, Rhea traveled to Rochester, New York to compete against the YEA! winners from around the country at Rochester Institute of Technology. Contestants compete to win scholarship money and other prizes. Rhea was part of the top 10 finalists, finishing in sixth place.

“I was working with chatbots and conducting research there on where and how the bots are used,” said Neil. “They are great tools but they aren’t widely used, yet! I thought that I could help get the word out.” Neil won second place in the competition and has garnered attention from local business leaders who have offered to buy his service and invest in his company. Neil isn’t the only entrepreneur in his family. His younger sister Annika Sachdeva ’25 is also involved with the YEA! and has been working to launch her business, SunStreaks. As a long-distance runner, she found carrying a bottle of sunblock to be inconvenient. SunStreaks are individually packaged sunscreen wipes for athletes on the go. Annika won first place at YEA!’s Elevator Pitch Competition in which she had 60 seconds to pitch her business to local entrepreneurs.

Sherese James-Grow , Foundation Manager of Boca Raton YEA!, Rhea Jain ’20, and Troy McLellan, CEO of the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce.


Congratulations to our Young Entrepreneurs Academy winners Rhea, Neil, and Annika!

Do you know what happens when a gift is made to The Pine Crest Fund? Since the start of the 2018-19 school year...

Gifts to financial assistance made a Pine Crest education possible for 18% of our families, and our community became more vibrant!

Chromebooks, iPads, virtual reality, and an exciting curriculum made it possible for students from prekindergarten through twelfth grade to log more than 38,250 coding hours and learn problem solving, collaboration, experimentation, confidence, resilience, and creativity!

More than 30 renovation projects were completed across both campuses, including the installation of 300,000 square feet of natural and synthetic turf in academic, athletic, and recreational spaces!

For more on how your gifts impact our community, visit: 27


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