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Groundbreaking Pine Crest breaks ground on a new Upper School Academic Center, a $23 million project scheduled to begin in May.

Mission Statement

To offer a challenging academic experience complemented by excellence in the arts and athletics; to develop the character, independence, and leadership of each student; and to provide a nurturing learning community that prepares students to meet the global challenges of our future.

1501 NE 62nd Street Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334 Tel: 954.492.4100 Fax: 954.492.6651

2700 St. Andrews Boulevard Boca Raton, FL 33434 Tel: 561.852.2800 Fax: 561.852.2832

Groundbreaking Pine Crest breaks ground on new Upper School Academic Center in May


| 12 | Haitian Relief Efforts


Pine Crest joins the world community in Haitian relief efforts.

| 16 | Brand New!

Pine Crest partners with Zimmerman to evolve the School’s brand identity.

| 20 | Highlights


Fort Lauderdale’s Lisa Miller and Boca Raton’s Peggy Lustig retire.

| 26 | Arts

Sleeping Beauty, Musical Competitions, Miami City Ballet and much more

| 30 | Athletics

The dawning of Brandon Knight, and the sports roundup with the swim teams

| 33 | Alumni


A closer look at Nancy Wengren ’55, Roberto De Villacis ’85, Shelley Huff Schultz ’70, Kevin Boothe ’01, Skip Heydt ’60, and several outstanding young alumni


Toni Marshall



Toni Marshall, Nick Crisafi, and Judy Reich Contributing Writer

Toni Marshall and Nick Crisafi Vice President for Advancement

Pat Boig


Toni Marshall and Nick Crisafi Class Notes

Candace Moore Facebook

Candace Moore Proofreaders

| 42 | Unforgettable

Nick Crisafi, Susie Ledbetter, Laura Deane, Joanne Pelton, and Alisa Karten

Layout and Design

Tributes to Stephen Philip Shaller ’86 and Carroll Norman Pearson, Jr. ’83

| 46 | Facebook Memories

Alumni share memories of their favorite teachers.

Milan De Vito Design Publisher

Pine Crest Magazine is produced by the Pine Crest School Advancement Office Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010


Welcome to the Future The Fort Lauderdale campus will break ground on the new Upper School Academic Center in May.




• Class Reunion Years

• All-Alumni Ballet Class with Brenda Gooden

What’s the best part of this year’s reunion? Simple... it’s YOU! 50th: 1960 20th: 1990

40th: 1970 10th: 2000

30th: 1980 25th: 1985 Half-Century Club

We are pleased to announce the formation of the Pine Crest School “HalfCentury Club,” recognizing alumni who graduated 50-plus years ago. All classes prior to 1960 are invited to join this year’s 50th Reunion (Class of 1960) for the first-official induction ceremony to be held at the Saturday evening Dinner & Dancing celebration.

FRIDAY, APRIL 16 • Classes Without Quizzes 8 to 11:00 a.m. (Coffee and registration in the Panther Café) Take your favorite class again, or sit in on a new one.

• Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame Induction 8 to 11:00 a.m., Stacy Auditorium 2010 Inductees:

Michael S. Averett ’01 (Swimming) Marshall J. Godschalk ’03 (Rowing) Rick Ramirez ’02 (Lacrosse) Brittany C. Ross ’04 (Volleyball) David W. Schecter ’02 (Lacrosse) Lee Skidmore Wenthe ’59 (Swimming) Kyle M. Zeller ’02 (Baseball) Richard Bond (Special Recognition – Lacrosse) John R. Cain ’95 (Special Recognition – Football)

• All-Alumni Welcome, State of the School Report, Campus Tours and Reception 5:30 p.m., ICI Lecture Hall – Official welcoming remarks by President Lourdes Cowgill followed by Head of School Dale Smith presenting the State-of-the-School Report, including a first look at the plans for the new Upper School Academic Center. Campus tours will follow, then conclude with everyone in the Faculty Courtyard for the All-Alumni Reception featuring student musical entertainment, hors d’oeuvres, beer, and wine.


Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010

10:00 a.m., Palmer Dance Studio Come back to the barre! Bet you still remember your warm-up exercise.

• All-Alumni Co-ed Soccer Game 10:00 a.m., West Campus Kick it around with your classmates and friends!

• Reunion Celebration – A Night of Tributes, Dinner & Dancing 7:00 p.m., Hyatt Regency Pier 66, Fort Lauderdale A very special evening of tributes and reconnecting with old friends, plus a sumptuous dinner followed by hours of dancing to the memorable music of your generation! Truly a night of celebration!

• Reunion Weekend All-Inclusive Cost Half-Century Club, 50th, 40th, 30th, 25th and 20th Reunion Classes: $125.00 pp 10th Reunion Class: $110.00 pp Friday Night All-Alumni Event for Non-Reunion years: $20.00 pp NOTE: Hyatt Regency Pier 66 is holding a block of rooms for PCS Alumni. The special rate is $159 per night and the “cut-off date” is March 23, 2010. Reservation requests received after the “cut-off date” will be based on availability at the hotel’s prevailing rates. All reservations must be made individually through the hotel’s Reservation Department by calling (954) 5256666 or 800-233-1234.

For additional information about Alumni events, please contact Alumni Director Susan Ledbetter at 954-492-6602 or

I was sitting with our magazine editor, Toni Marshall, poring over what she calls the “budget” for our Pine Crest Magazine. I’ve learned over the past few years that the “budget” lists the proposed stories or “touts” what we are going to publish. As usual, the publication is chock full of great features on our alum (a fashion designer turn reality show celeb and the longest-serving teacher in Broward County at 50-plus years) and highlights current student achievement.

fall 2009-10 Board of Trustees Walter Banks ’61, Chair Michelle Cibene ’84, Vice Chair Marc Bell Lourdes Cowgill, Ph.D. Jean Findeiss Robert Fishman Mark Gilbert ’74 Daniel Goldberg Jeff Hollander David Kantor Arthur Keiser ’71, Ph.D. Albert “Sonny” Kotite Edward Pozzuoli Hiromi Printz Kevin Quinn Douglas Reynolds ’75 Jeff Roberts Sheri Sack Karen Schlesinger Dan Sheinberg Ana Waldman Peter Wittich Jordan Zimmerman

Emeritus Directors

In this issue, the main feature focuses on our new Upper School Academic Center, for which we will break ground in May. The facility includes state-of –the –art learning centers, a student union, and much more (I mentioned the new Academic Center in the fall edition of our Magazine). The new complex will help match our 21st-century learners with a building as equally designed. It will also help inspire our top teachers and attract the best new candidates.


President’s message

Robert Friedman, H ’77 Theodore Friedt, H ’81 William H. Grimditch, Jr. H ’67 Richard Ingham John Leech ’56 William J. McMillan ’45 Paul Roepnack Henry H. Wheeler

Alumni Council Marcie (Berman) Bour Patron ’80 Elizabeth Camp ’94 Charles Cobb ’93 Lucy Friedt Dublin ’72 Norma Martin Goonen ’65 Jeffrey Keiser ’73 Lara Osofsky Leader ’93 Ashley Palmer Lindsay ’99 Sara Regensdorf ’97 Jon Wiley ’79

As I reviewed the “budget,” two other articles jumped out at me, and both dealt with the devastating earthquake in Haiti. One feature focused on how Pine Crest School sprang into action to assist our Haitian-American employees and students. Sadly, a few of our employees lost relatives in that massive quake. That article also outlined our efforts to aid the devastated nation by sending dollars via a local relief agency, clothing collections, and fundraising for a major tent project to shelter families forced to sleep in the streets. The other article is a compilation of a diary and a blog entry plucked from the writings of two alumni, Alex Cottin ’99 and Dr. Vince De Gennaro ’98, who accompanied medical teams and humanitarian groups to the devastated region to help the injured. After reading their stories, and seeing firsthand the generosity of our students, faculty, and parents during this tragedy, I can say that I have never been more proud of our Pine Crest family.

Pine Crest School – a College Preparatory School 1501 NE 62nd Street Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334 Tel: 954.492.4100 Fax: 954.492.6651 2700 St. Andrews Boulevard Boca Raton, FL 33434 Tel: 561.852.2800 Fax: 561.852.2832


Lourdes M. Cowgill, Ph.D. Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010



Groundbreaking Pine Crest Breaks Ground on a New $23 Million Upper School Academic Center in May 2010 BY TONI MARSHALL

Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010







Enriching Spaces 1: International Media Wall 2: Expanded Performance Studio 3: Fibonacci Hall 4: Hot Spot Café 5: Cesaro Hotspot


Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010

n As educators map curriculum to new studies on the adolescent brain, architects are designing schools to facilitate this new learning model. Curriculum specialists concur that a well-rounded education goes farther than just the three “Rs.” The learning environment – even the bricks and mortar count. “Our new Academic Center is being constructed and organized with the primary goal of delivering a 21st century curriculum to kids who learn differently than they did before... they have different expectations,” says Head of School Dale Smith. “In our new Upper School, classrooms will be organized to facilitate discussion – a movement from traditional teaching roles of just dispensing information.” In May, Pine Crest breaks ground on a new Upper School Academic Center complex, a $23 million project scheduled to be ready within 18 months. Following the Academic Center’s completion, a new administration complex will involve enhancing offices located under the School’s symbolic bell tower. Neyda Otero, Director of Project Management and Construction, fresh from the Boca Raton campus’ new LEED-certified Lower School and administration building projects, describes the new Academic Center as a complete learning center. She says it will feed off the traditional strong institution model, yet encourage a new ergonomic learning and development environment. Working with the architectural design firm Zyscovich, which handled the Boca Raton Lower School, the Academic Center will go through a huge restructuring, playing off the School’s existing signature structures such as the Huizenga Building and the two bell towers, while enhancing the School’s beautiful courtyards and landscape. “Areas outside the classroom will be set up to provide learning areas for students where they may congregate and discuss their work. Hallways will be learning areas where students can also gather and learn,” says Otero. Classrooms and spaces will be much more flexible in terms of teaching. There will be conference spaces, and one outstanding feature will be a Student Union. “It’s a departure from nice, neat little roles where students are passive receptors of information,” explains Smith. “The past [older building] is a model that served its purpose, but it’s not something we want to emulate. We will take the good things from the past and merge them.”

The three-story, LEED-certified Academic Center will consist of an atrium, three adjoining buildings, and a central courtyard. The construction will mainly take place to the south and east of the School’s A-wing, leaving those buildings intact. The A-wing, which houses many of the Upper School classrooms, will be razed following the completion of the new structure, and replaced with a courtyard – opening up to the new LEED-certified Academic Center. The only affected building during construction will be Student Services, where College Counseling is located today. That building will be torn down, its offices relocated until new quarters are established in the Academic Center. “The design team structured the project in a way so as not to disrupt classes. We did not want to use portables,” adds Otero. Upper School Head Dr. Todd Huebsch spoke with parents and students about the new facility. He has received positive feedback all around. “I think they see it as a generation shift in an approach to education – truly a paradigm shift.” Huebsch says a team visited and researched a number of schools before they agreed on the design. “We looked at schools nationally; a team went to Atlanta to schools like Pace, Westminster, and Woodward that all have relatively new buildings. They also based their design on the success of the new Boca Raton Lower School. “What we really wanted to do is duplicate the enhancement on the elementary level in Boca at the Upper School. The neighborhood design of our Middle School will feed right into it,” Dr. Huebsch says. In terms of instruction, Dr. Huebsch explains the Academic Center is designed for teachers as facilitators of learning – “less sage for the stage and more guides on the side,” he notes. There will certainly be much more multisensory teaching and learning and more opportunities for interactive learning environments, but the same level of rigor, achievement, and outcome with the new design. “We are looking forward to having a Student Union. In terms of student life now, they make due because they are great kids,” Huebsch notes. “It was interesting to see the kids’ reactions when they saw the renderings. When juniors and seniors heard about the new Academic Center, they said they wanted to stay in school.”

Previews 1: The campus will be fully enclosed to improve safety and security. 2: The new central entrance will lead to a guard house.

Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010


Previews 1: The Atrium will connect the three main buildings. 2: The new design complements the Huizenga Science building.


Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010

The Upper School Academic Center Facilities

Signature Features

The Atrium The Atrium, a spacious, multi-story gathering space, will connect the three main buildings. It will provide outdoor, inviting nooks for small groups of students to gather, study, and learn. The Atrium entrance will be supported by four Greco-Roman columns mirroring those on the Huizenga Building.

Innovative Classrooms and Adjoining Learning Spaces The larger classrooms will provide more options for teachers in designing and presenting engaging and creative lessons. The classrooms will contain seminar tables and flexible furniture that facilitate a dynamic and interactive learning environment. In each classroom, there will be state-of-the-art technology, including interactive white boards. Each classroom will lead seamlessly to an adjacent learning space.

The South Hall The South Hall will run parallel to Northeast 62nd Street, forming a new outward buffer for the campus and providing an inner boundary for the Central Courtyard. The Hall will contain state-of-the-art classrooms for English and modern language courses, and also will provide a home for the important instructional support functions of College Counseling, Guidance, and Technology. The Central Hall The Central Hall will be the anchor of the Academic Center and the home of the Robert and Eugenie Friedman Institute for Civic Involvement, our center for service learning. This hall will add to our campus two innovative and state-of-the-art learning spaces: 1) a mid-size, theater-style lecture hall 2) two collegiate-style, Case-Method Seminar rooms.

The East Hall The East Hall will extend into the center of the campus, providing an inner boundary for the Central Courtyard and a link to the Huizenga Building. The Hall will contain stateof-the–art classrooms for social science and math. The Hall also will house the Upper School Office and a new campus feature, the Hollander Student Union, which will become the center of activity for Upper School students.

The Central Courtyard As the primary area leading to the Upper School Academic Center, the Central Courtyard will be the physical and symbolic center of our campus. The Central Courtyard will be one of many beautiful and inviting courtyards in the interior of the campus, serving as a gathering area for students and teachers. The Central Courtyard will connect and highlight the two beautiful bell towers on our campus.

Complex Planning and Design The Upper School Academic Center (above) project will consist of an atrium, three adjoining buildings, and a central courtyard.

Case-Method Seminar Room The Case-Method Seminar rooms will be collegiate in design, allowing teachers and visiting lecturers a customized space to present seminars. The graduated seating and horseshoe design of the rooms will provide a learning environment that allows students in discussion-based courses to interact with each other and the teacher in a seminar setting. LEED-Certified Building – Environmental Conservation and Energy Efficiency The environmentally-friendly building will be one of many ways teachers will introduce students to the importance of choices that reduce our carbon footprint and preserve our natural environment. Classrooms will be equipped with smart lighting that dims and brightens depending

on the natural light that enters from large windows. The abundance of natural light provides an optimum learning environment which studies show improves student performance. Our LEED Certification will mean significantly improved air quality free from pollutants and allergens and a healthier educational environment for our students and teachers. Student Union The inviting indoor gathering area will be the center of activity for students in the Upper School. Students will be able to gather before school, during free periods, and after school. Outdoor Gathering and Study Spaces for Students The Academic Center will add a number of shaded, outdoor gathering and study spaces for students and teachers with tables and chairs. Campus Safety For the first time, a fully enclosed exterior to our campus will improve safety and security for students, teachers, and parents. The new central entrance will lead to a guard house at the opening of the horseshoe driveway in the center of campus. This area will be the primary entrance point for visitors, an area regulated and controlled by our security team.

Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010


Committed to the Cause Diversity Director Karla Dejean exhibits some of the clothing donated by Pine Crest families.

PCS Joins the World Community in Haitian Relief Efforts BY TONI MARSHALL

It was especially heartwarming to see the people around me trying so hard to help strangers in Haiti. And this is where I realize what real generosity is, giving when although you may never get anything from it, you give because there is an inclination to help those in need. I am so grateful for the efforts of Pine


Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010

Crest School in helping Haiti, and would like to say that every wristband, baked good, $5 spent on dress-down day, or any random donation helped somebody stay alive in Haiti today. You may not see the results of your charity, but know that it is literally changing the lives and situations of many people in Haiti.

Please continue your efforts to help Haiti, for it will be a long and strenuous process to restore the country, and thank you for all past contributions – they are greatly appreciated. Martina Fouquet ’12 Pine Crest Haitian-American student

When the greeting went out “Sak Pase,” the audience responded: “Nap Boule!” “I thought I was going to hear that from a few students, but it came from all over the auditorium,” says Pine Crest Diversity Director Karla Dejean. n “I could go to another school, in another region, and kids would not know how to respond, but it is evident how influenced we are by the Haitian culture,” says Dejean. Following the devastating January earthquake in Haiti, the entire Pine Crest School community sprang into action to provide aid and support to Haitian employees and students as well as those in the quake-ravaged region where hundreds of thousands reportedly have lost their lives. Many more have sustained serious injuries, and a vast number remain homeless. Estimated damages are at $11 billion. For Pine Crest, the disaster hit so close to home that Head of School Dale Smith immediately put together an action plan to help with the crisis, which was spearheaded by Dejean; Vince Arduini, Assistant Dean of Students on the Fort Lauderdale campus; and John Kranstover, Boca Raton campus Assistant Lower School Head. Pine Crest has roughly 20-30 students of Haitian descent and as many staff members between its two campuses. “The immediate focus is our employees and our students on both campuses who have family and relatives in Haiti,” Smith wrote to parents, outlining relief plans for the upcoming weeks. Tragically, there are members of the Pine Crest School staff whose family members perished in the earthquake. During meetings with staff members, Pine Crest Safety, Transportation and Security heads on both campuses, Ryan Gallagher and Joe Markham, discovered that other members of the School community are still not able to locate relatives. The School immediately set up stations to help employees navigate the Internet and post pictures on media sites. Within a week of the disaster, Pine Crest began its Haiti relief efforts with a dress-down day for students, faculty, and staff. In exchange for donating $5, those in our School community were encouraged to wear jeans and red or blue shirts in support of Haiti. The School raised more than $12,000 as a result of that effort, which was matched by a $10,000 donation from a Pine Crest family and a

$2,000 gift from junior Wendi Oppenheim’s Opp Guide. That money was donated to Food for the Poor, an established agency experienced with relief efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean. Proceeds from other School fundraisers will go toward providing tents for Haiti’s tens of thousands of homeless families. In total, the School raised nearly $47,000. “This is a wonderful effort by our students and staff,” says Arduini, who has been tallying up the money from the event and providing logistical support to outside agencies working in concert with the School. Arduini, Dejean, and Kranstover organized clothing drives on both campuses. Parent volunteers sorted and packed the clothing. Students helped to carry the items to a truck provided by Food for the Poor. “Having student input has allowed for them to understand the extent of the disaster and to help out in any way they can,” Arduini notes. Besides the school-wide clothing drive, many clubs sold wrist bands with Haitian flag colors and held bake sales, while divisions on each campus collected backpacks and provided sundries. Even our Pre-Primary students brought in hygiene items to help with the effort. The Haitian flag hangs in the Fort Lauderdale Panther Café today. “On the Boca Raton campus, we put up a banner and had pens and flair markers to write on. We had to add to that banner within an hour because it was filled with good wishes,” adds Kranstover. “I think there are more hugs and everything going on with our Haitian staff members and us.” Kranstover was in Honduras in 1998 when hurricane Mitch hit that country, killing an estimated 11,000 people with as many missing, and leaving 2.7 million people homeless. “The coming together of the international communities and schools is something similar to what I am feeling with this project. You give students a chance to do something like this – it is a very big part of growing up.” In addition, assemblies on both campuses shed light on the dire situation faced

by the Haitian people. During the annual Multicultural Assembly for Middle and Upper School students in Fort Lauderdale, dancers paused for a few minutes to show a PowerPoint presentation of the devastation accompanied by powerful words of hope. Pine Crest parent and Haitian native Alex Fouquet (Martina ’12 and Alexandra ’15), visited both campuses and gave a history lesson on Haiti and its contributions to the world during separate assemblies. “I would like the emotion now to translate into action,” the banker told the audience. “With what happened in Haiti – reconstruction won’t happen over night.” His wife, Viviane, who is a nurse, plans to travel to the country to provide medical assistance. Dejean, whose in-laws are Haitian, at times is emotional as she expresses her gratitude to the School community. “It’s always nice to see what’s happening in the halls when others are in need – but personally this is just a feeling that these efforts are inadvertently helping family members of mine – especially the tents – and so that people can have the basic needs in life,” she says. “It is a very intimate connection. It also gives me and a lot of people hope.” Although it is truly unfortunate that Haiti is in the spotlight for this reason, it’s an opportunity for multiculturalism in education, she adds. “We are a worldly bunch here at Pine Crest, but right now we are forced to learn more about this country that is so close but at times has been so far away because of its political turmoil and problems... Haiti gets hit every other year by a devastating hurricane but the devastation caused by the quake has just put it right in our faces. We cannot ignore this type of destruction to this country.” The School recently received information that students from our sister school in Haiti, Three Little Flowers, are safe. However the school, which also serves as a community center, suffered extreme structural damage from the quake and has been unable to operate. The Haiti Relief Project will continue to look for ways to help the school in the coming months. Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010





Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010





Mobilizing Support for Haitian Relief


1: FTL Club representatives: Sara Ganz ’10 (Beta Club and Drama Club); Natalie Bijlsma ’10 (German Club); Jacob Drucker ’11 (Geography Club); Bryan Yamhure Sepúlveda ’10 (Spanish Club); Rebecca Mendelsohn ’10 (Teenage Republicans); and Wendi Oppenheim ’11 (Opp-Guide) 2: Pre-Primary students collect sundry items for Haitian relief. 3: Parent Alex Fouquet gives a history of Haiti’s contributions to the world. 4: Boca students sign a banner of well-wishes. 5: Assistant Dean of Students Vince Arduini provides details of the relief effort during assembly. 6: Boca’s Assistant Lower School Head John Kranstover with fifth-grade students who raised money for Haiti. 7: Students carry boxed-donated items to Food for the Poor truck. Clubs that contributed by holding drives, bake sales, fundraisers, or matching funds: - AKIN Club - Junior Beta - Beta Club - Opp-Guide - Black Students Association - PCCF - Creative Writing Club - SADD Club - Drama Club - Spanish Club - French Club - Teenage Republicans - Geography Club - Young Democrats - German Club

Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010



Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010

“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” Jeff Bezos, Founder of

Brand New! Pine Crest School Enlists the Creativity of Zimmerman Advertising to Evolve its Image

BY NICK CRISAFI n When it comes to education, Pine Crest has earned a reputation for excellence for more than half a century. However, a confluence of circumstances – including a new strategic plan from the Board of Trustees, the celebration of the School’s 75th anniversary, and the planned construction of new facilities on both campuses – led Pine Crest to rethink its brand last year.

The goal of this endeavor was not to introduce a significant philosophical shift (as some re-branding efforts do), but to offer a unique perspective in communicating what Pine Crest has always provided – one of the premier educational experiences in the nation amongst college preparatory schools. In looking ahead to its next 75 years, Pine Crest is blazing a trail amongst 21st-

century schools by preparing its students in the best ways possible to meet the challenges of the global marketplace. Its up-to-the minute pedagogical methods and state-of-the-art facilities and technology (See “Groundbreaking” on page 6) are concrete examples of such a commitment. What Pine Crest needed was an evolution of its brand to articulate that message to the outside world.

Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010


“Pine Crest School has an undeniable stature, scale, and pride one does not find in our educational tier.” – Jordan Zimmerman, Chairman of Zimmerman Advertising and Pine Crest parent and Trustee

“We wanted to make the look more contemporary without sacrificing the sense of pride that’s built into Pine Crest’s 75 years of history.” – Milan De Vito, Zimmerman Advertising’s Creative Managing Director

Enter Jordan Zimmerman. A Pine Crest parent and Trustee, his company – Zimmerman Advertising – is the 14th largest agency according to AdWeek and one of the nation’s leading brand builders. His philosophy of “Brandtailing™” (the ability to drive next-day sales while generating and maintaining a company’s brand) has allowed him to grow his business to more than 1,100 employees in 10 states while grossing $2.5 billion in revenue annually. Some of Zimmerman’s clients include Nissan, Papa John’s Pizza, Pep Boys, Friendly’s, White Castle, and the Florida Panthers. Vice President for Advancement Patricia Boig initially approached Jordan about helping Pine Crest with its brand. “My hope in approaching Jordan,” says Boig, “was that his agency would create a ‘brand’ which would be recognizable and represent the highest standards in academic and extracurricular excellence. We knew that being consistent in how we represent ourselves both internally and externally would pay huge dividends for the School in the future.” After several meetings with members of the School’s administration, Zimmerman and his team helped Pine Crest refine its messaging focus. By distilling the very essence of what Pine Crest has to offer, Zimmerman helped the School ensure its continuation of attracting the best students

The original Pine Crest School Academic logo


Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010

in this new millennium. “The educational system is getting more and more competitive,” notes Zimmerman. “At the same time, the growing importance of educational quality has never been greater. “Pine Crest is the best school, but needed to create an even more aspirational image for itself moving forward.” One of the first modifications Zimmerman suggested was a subtle adjustment from “Pine Crest” (PC) to “Pine Crest School” (PCS). The obvious aim here was to distinguish Pine Crest itself as a school, lest it be confused with political correctness, personal computer, or a neighborhood in Miami. The most highly visible results of Zimmerman’s re-branding process, however, can be seen in the School’s evolved logos. Because of the consistent success of Pine Crest’s athletic programs – and to capitalize on the national media attention the School has garnered due to Brandon Knight ’10 and the basketball team – Zimmerman’s group created two series of logos – one for academics and one for athletics. “With the academic logo, it was more about refreshing than redesigning,” says Milan De Vito, Zimmerman’s Creative Managing Director who oversaw the creation of the logos. “We wanted to make the look more contemporary without sacrificing the sense

The new Pine Crest School Academic logo

of pride that’s built into Pine Crest’s 75 years of history.” To do so, De Vito and his team pored over countless Pine Crest publications, materials, and archival photos – some of which dated back to the ’30s and ’40s – to emotionally connect with the School and get a sense of its history. The result was an impressive series of academic logos that look collegiate in nature. “Pine Crest School has an undeniable stature, scale, and pride one does not find in our educational tier,” affirms Zimmerman. “The new brand reflects that, communicating that Pine Crest acts and behaves like a university within the world of high schools.” Zimmerman’s team retained the iconic bell tower within the academic logos, along with the mantra of “Education, Character, and Leadership.” However, it made Pine Crest’s shade of green darker and richer while adding gold as an accent to the traditional green and white. “The gold, as a third color element, adds prestige and a little pop to the academic series, and excitement and dimension to the athletic logos and uniforms,” says De Vito. “The use of gold as accent helps enhance the richness of the green.” The athletic logos were a little more challenging because they called for a whole new design. When Zimmerman’s team

began looking at what Pine Crest had used up to that point, they found dozens of different panther incarnations. It doesn’t take someone like Jordan Zimmerman to tell you that inconsistency equals a weak brand. So De Vito and his colleagues introduced a whole new panther created from scratch – an original creation which no other high school or college can claim. “This new panther is proud, strong, and even a little intimidating but,” laughs De Vito, “not excessively aggressive or violent.” The new athletic logos made their debut on February 5 when the boys’ varsity basketball team played a nationally televised game against Winter Park, Florida on ESPN2. The team wore its new uniforms for the first time (produced specifically for that game) and was supported by hundreds of fans in attendance, 400 of whom were wearing white t-shirts emblazoned with the new green and gold artwork. Not only was the brand receiving firsttime exposure to people all over the world, but so was Pine Crest School. It was the perfect setting for the School to reveal its new look. “Having a clear academic and athletic brand in the marketplace now enables Pine Crest to differentiate itself in our presentation to the world at large,” explains Boig, whose Advancement Office oversees the integrity of the brand by making sure the

The original Pine Crest School Athletic logo

logos are used according to the guidelines set forth by Zimmerman and the School. “We are working hard to ensure that our communication and messaging reflects the engaging, creative, and meaningful teaching and learning that is the trademark of a Pine Crest education,” adds Head of School Dale Smith. “The apparel with the new logos has been very popular with the students,” notes Lisa Goldberg, a Pine Crest parent and the head of the Spirit Store on the Fort Lauderdale campus. “Our black hooded sweatshirts with the new panther head sold out in a week.” In addition, those who were wearing the white t-shirts at the game televised on ESPN2 purchased them from the Spirit Store, another indication that the student body is embracing the new look. What does this mean? Well, according to Zimmerman’s group, it’s the realization of a goal they had all along. “When you look at Nike, you don’t just think of shoes,” says De Vito, “you think about an experience – feeling the thrill of sport and victory – which means that brand has transcended its own products. I’m confident that the logos we’ve developed will do that, too. They’re sophisticated, modern, powerful, and they accurately reflect the excellence that is synonymous with Pine Crest School.”

The new Pine Crest School Athletic logo

Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010



Fort Lauderdale Says Goodbye to Lisa Miller n After 24 years of service to Pine Crest School, Lisa Miller has retired in order to devote more time to her family and to the many charitable organizations in which she and her husband are extremely involved. Lisa’s commitment to our school community began in 1986 when she became a parent volunteer. In the 1990s, she joined the Technology Staff and then moved into the Upper School Office. Finally, in the fall of 1997, she joined the College Counseling team. “I have worked with very few people who were as committed to Pine Crest and our students as Lisa Miller,” comments Marcia Hunt, Director of College Counseling. “Over the past 13 years, almost every school report and recommendation were reviewed by Lisa, a remarkable feat being that almost 2,000 students graduated from Pine Crest during that time. No stone was ever left unturned; no detail was ever omitted. Week-


Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010

ends traveling with her husband during the fall, for example, were often passed in her hotel room preparing materials to send to colleges. During the spring, Lisa would likewise spend weekends traveling, but working remotely on the details for our Book Award and Investiture Ceremony. Her commitment to our School was remarkable.” As the first face who people saw when they walked into College Counseling, she was always the person with whom students celebrated when they received good news from colleges. And she was also the first to support students during moments of disappointment. Whatever students and families needed, Lisa worked tirelessly to deliver. As David Manella ’10 writes: “Mrs. Miller was one of the most compassionate, altruis-

tic, and warmhearted members of the Pine Crest community. She genuinely cared about every Pine Crest student, comforting us in the face of disappointments and celebrating with us in light of our achievements. Mrs. Miller always went out of her way to help any student, whether during the college process or through an insightful conversation. Her optimistic attitude, kind-hearted demeanor, and constructive assistance will certainly be missed.” Such sentiments have been echoed repeatedly over the years by alumni. “She was a wonderful colleague, a superb mentor to students, and for many of us, a good friend,” comments Ari Worthman, Associate Director of College Counseling. “It’s hard to envision Pine Crest without Lisa Miller.”

We’ll miss you, Lisa! Pictured here with College Counseling’s Matt Mettille, Lisa Miller retires after 24 years.


Boca’s Peggy Lustig Retires Following 20 Years of Service n Pine Crest gave a fond farewell to Peggy Lustig in December as Boca’s longtime Assistant to the Head of School retired after 21 years of faithful service. There was a breakfast reception held in her honor in the Mazer Family Dining Hall for faculty and staff (past and present!) to say goodbye to Lustig and wish her the best of luck. As someone who enjoys traveling, she was presented with a set of fine luggage as a gift from Boca’s faculty and staff. During the campus Holiday Show, she was called on stage and presented with flowers by Middle School Student Council President Nicholas Groomes for her years of dedication and commitment to Pine Crest School. To express his appreciation for Lustig’s contributions to Pine Crest, Head of School Dale Smith wrote the following e-mail to Boca’s faculty and staff: “Peggy began her association with Pine Crest in 1982 when she enrolled her son in the third grade. She enrolled

her daughter the following year. From her first day on campus, Peggy was an active and involved parent volunteer. Several years after joining the

Pine Crest school community, DeHaven Fleming hired Peggy as the School receptionist. Less than a year later, Peggy accepted the position as Assis-

Farewell Peggy! Student Council President Nicholas Groomes presents Peggy Lustig with flowers.

tant to the Head of School and has served impressively in the role for the past 20 years. Always willing to help wherever needed, one summer early in her career Peggy served as the school nurse for summer camp in addition to her other responsibilities. Peggy is someone who truly understands the culture and inner workings of our School. Her commitment and care for Pine Crest are extraordinary. With her departure goes a wealth of institutional knowledge and a historical perspective that truly is unique. Peggy has been invaluable to me in my transition to the Boca Raton campus. I am grateful for her help, support, and guidance. Her departure is a significant loss for our school community. As she leaves Pine Crest, on behalf our entire School community, I would like to recognize her wonderful service to Pine Crest and thank her for her hard work, commitment, and dedication to our School. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”

Lower School Students Bask in New Playground

Playtime! The playground equipment is designed to refine motor skills and sensory receptors.

n During a lively ribbon-cutting ceremony, the Fort Lauderdale Lower School opened up its new playground to cheers from students, faculty, parents, and administrators. Students watched for nearly two months as workmen enhanced older structures and assembled new playground equipment. “I am proud to stand here this morning in celebration of your new playground, in part because of the dedication you showed in helping to plan this project,” said Lower School

Head Christine Khachane. “Whether by contributing to a brainstorming list, drawing a picture of equipment, or doing research by visiting Holiday Park Playground, each student contributed to what you see.” Through the Student Council officers and Student Council representatives, Khachane and Associate Lower School Head Barbara Hollowell were able to gather a tremendous amount of information in order to plan for the new playground. “I am most proud of your

flexibility and thoughtfulness during the construction process. Many of you have shared your excitement while watching the installation of the playground and some of you even shared your thanks with the assembly crew and facilities staff while they worked. This Lower School Playground is really your playground,” Khachane said. A special thanks to the Pre-Primary and Lower School Mothers’ Club which helped, in part, to fund the new playground development. Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010



Studio 75: A Disco Extravaganza 1




It’s a Disco Inferno! 1: Staying Alive! 2: Jim ’88 and Marlene Cowgill win best couple award. 3: Heidi Pettee ’82 shows off her winning best female costume! 4: Stacy Gym is a disco club complete with a swanky lounge. Seated (l to r) Trustee Jordan and Denise Zimmerman (Jett ’21 and Jordana ’23) and Loren and Robert Lins (David ’20 and Avery ’23)

n For one electrifying night, Stacy Gym pulsated under the lights of Studio 75. Long drapes, funky signs, bell-bottom pants, go-go boots, afro-wigs, feathered hair, leisure suits, and a few dancers in cages flipped partiers back to the 1970s. The revelers danced all night to tunes like “Disco Inferno,” “I Will Survive,” and anything by The Bee Gees. This groovy crowd also enjoyed a live auction, emceed by alum Drew Sattee ’78 (Zander ’11), while Robert and Katia Rubenstein (Jack ’18, Natalie ’20, and Ethan ’22) won the $10,000 tuition credit. Heidi Pettee ’82 won the female costume contest, and Eduardo Hauser (Alexandra ’16, Eduardo ’18, and Natalia ’20) picked up the male honor. Jim ’88 and Marlene Cowgill (J.T. ’16 and Ashlyn ’19) won best couple award. Thierry Catering provided a menu overflowing with delectables such as sushi and foie gras. The caterer also served up lamb chops which resembled the ones worn by some of the men who sported the fashionable long sideburns. Thanks to Co-Chairs Suzanne Jarvis, Beth Leahy, and Janet Roy for doing such a “dyn-o-mite” job! The event was sponsored by the Pre-Primary and Lower School Mothers’ Club, the Middle and Upper School Parents’ Association, and the Fathers’ Club.

Boca Raton Fathers’ Club Raises $16,000 for Daniella Fund n The Fathers’ Club on the Boca Raton campus raised more than $16,000 for the

Grateful Parents Andres and Italia Folleco thank Boca Raton Fathers’ Club for raising more than $16,000.


Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010

Daniella K. Folleco Scholarship Fund. The proceeds will benefit deserving students who otherwise would not be able to attend Pine Crest School. The fundraiser took place at The Dubliner, the popular Irish pub/restaurant in Mizner Park in Boca Raton. According to Fathers’ Club President Adam Bloch, “We had so many people from both campuses come out and support this great cause. Everyone had a great time, and it truly exceeded our expectations.” Boca Raton Fathers’ Club member Paul Goldschlag and his band, Amp’d, put on a great show as they performed contemporary and classic rock songs for those who attended. Donations were collected at the

Singing for the Scholarship Paul Goldschlag’s band, Amp’d, plays classic rock at the fundraiser!

door and online, and a raffle was also held during the night’s festivities. The scholarship fund was established in honor of Pine Crest Fort Lauderdale student

Daniella Folleco who passed away in 2007 due to complications stemming from her battle with bone cancer. She was only 12 years old.

ACHIEVEMENTS 2009-10 Beta Club Inductees New Beta Club Inductees receive certificates from Upper School Head Dr. Todd Huebsch.

National Beta Club Inducts New Members n In a stirring ceremony filled with strong speeches and testimonials about character, Fort Lauderdale’s chapter of the National Beta Club recently inducted its new members. Club sponsor Joan Wing gave an overview of the Club’s fundraising activities. She also mentioned the joy of working with existing club members, praised their integrity, and welcomed those who took the pledge to “always strive to hold fast to the principles of honesty; to endeavor to maintain a creditable record; and to cultivate in life the principles of morality, service, and leadership.” The National Beta Club was founded in 1934 by Dr. John West Harris in Landrum, South Carolina. There are now more than 416,000 active members in Junior and Senior divisions and more than 7,700 clubs in 44 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Guam, Russia, and Germany.

2010 Kristina Allen Saad Anjum Brooke Bal Eric Blumberg Taylor Bracco Harrison Braun Faith Connor Jacqueline Fierroz Allison Findeiss Robert Foster Dylan Goldberg Jacob Gordon Natalie Johns Katherine Kerbis Neeraj Khiyani Jonathan Lee Omar McKenzie Aaron Mondshine Juliana Musheyev Aaron Robin Jacob Schwartzwald Trent Uthe Morgan Weiss 2011 Steven Arnst Ebony Calloway Nicholas Fournier Jennifer Gammond Hayley Hashemi Stephanie Hyatt Courtney Lang Abigail Lieberfarb Anneta Petichenskiy

Michael Pierson Jason Rittenhouse Yunjiao Xian Robert Zebrowski 2012 Pablo Arboleda Joshua Aronson Emily Becker Jared Browarnik Winfield Brown Alexander Don Trevor Eisenberg Martina Fouquet Alexandra Galel Jacob Goldberg Jaime Halberstam Alan Levy Ryan Luck Nabeel Markatia Daniel Moon David Saperstein Allison Shapiro Madeline Smoot Ryan Walter Forrest Wilson 2013 Elyse Anderson Farhaan Anjum Benjamin Battle Jonathon Bell Amman Bhasin Matthew Bodner Blair Bosshardt

Patrick Boyle Alex Britton Rebecca Brody Matthew Busel Louis Davis Matthew Deutsch Jordan Gershman Hannah Goldberg Noah Grass Veerain Gupta Ryan Hager Blake Halim Max Haubenstock Anastasia Hediger Byrne Hollander Lara Kay Samuel Korntner Amy Morrison Henry Noonan Jessica Pancer Mauricio Peisach Akesha Sanjay Solomon Seckler Kylee Shea Genevieve Silva Carolina Soto Sammie Spector Alan Steiner Harris Stolzenberg Joshua Tartell Stephanie Thompson Adam Weiss Ella Wurth Jie Rong Xiong Paul Zammit

Cum Laude Inductees Students celebrate the Cum Laude induction. They represent the top 20 percent of this year’s Senior Class.

Cum Laude Inductees Recognized for Academic Achievement n Thirty-eight students representing the top 20 percent of the Senior Class recently were recognized for outstanding academic achievement. Parents and friends gathered in Egan Auditorium to salute our Cum Laude Inductees, many of whom also enjoy success in the arts and athletics. University of Pennsylvania Associate Secretary Eric Kaplan was the keynote speaker, adding humor to some words of wisdom, praise, and advice.

Cheyenne Allenby

Jason Lee

Katherine Baker

Andrew Green Logan

Andrea Bogarin

David Manella

Nathaniel Braffman

Ivana Masimore

Marcus Comiter

Amanda McFarlane

Matthew Corban

Rebecca Mendelsohn

Jacqueline Cox

Tulio Ospina

Samuel Doniger

Natalie Pancer

Isabella Dreyfuss

Ryan Pyle

Paige Finkelstein

Sydney Resnik

Jacob Frantz

Sophia Roberts

Leah Fried

Robert Sami

Sara Ganz

Ian Stahl

Emmanuelle Genoyer

Gillian Sternheim

Sharla Grass

Marissa Suvall

Brandon Jaffe

Samantha Taylor

Michael Kenton

Roberto Vargas

Brandon Knight

Alexander Waldman

Emily Lazowick

Bryan Yamhure Sepúlveda

Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010



Fifth Graders Tour New Chiller Facility 1



Taking notes 1: Facilities Chief Gene Wojtynek explains how the chiller plant operates and lauds its energy-saving features. 2: Students take notes to calculate math formulas. 3: Fifth graders are impressed with the plant’s capability.

n As part of their unit on electricity in science, the head of Pine Crest’s Facilities Department, Gene Wojtynek, volunteered to take each one of Karl Nitowski’s fifth-grade classes on a tour of the new chiller facility. Wojtynek took time out of his busy schedule to guide five separate tours, each time enthusiastically answering questions while educating the students about the facility. However, more importantly, the students learned about energy conservation and ecofriendly environmental design. As a follow-up project, each student will also take several kilowatt meter readings from his/her own homes to examine personal energy usage. Pine Crest is one of the few pre-k through 12 schools to have such a system. Students learned a lot about the aspects of the chiller facility, which includes approximately 7,000 feet of preinsulated chilled water distribution piping. The new plant, located on the northwest end of the Fort Lauderdale campus behind the Lower School pool, consists of three new 750-ton high-efficiency, electrically-driven centrifugal chillers, three new 750-ton cooling towers, primary and secondary distribution pumping, and all associated controls and valves. The building is LEED certified and includes a cistern to catch rain and to water plant life.

Boca Students Accessorize with Personal DNA

Wearable DNA Michelle Smith Santarelli ’89 explains how to extract DNA from a solution.


Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010

n Upper School biology teacher Michelle Smith Santarelli ’89 made a special visit to the Boca campus to help Andrew Leeds and his eighth-grade classes conduct a DNA experiment and talk about our Upper School science program. Santarelli had the students gently chew the insides of their cheeks, swish with water, and

then expel the contents into a test tube in order to get a sample of their cells and, as a result, their DNA. Students then created a solution within the test tubes and, after some vigorous shaking and waiting a few minutes, were able to separate their DNA from their cells. They then used a pipette to extract the DNA from the solution and placed it in small plastic vials to fasten to strings and wear around their necks!


Aiming for the Gold Christina Lewis ’11

Olympic Aspirations 2




Middle Schoolers Create Eco-Friendly Trophy for Earthman’s NFL Player of the Year n Fort Lauderdale Middle School students and art teachers Ileana Lavender, Stephanie Little, and Mary D’Angelo created an eco-friendly trophy for Earthman’s (Lanny Smith) “eco-conscious” Pro-Football Player of the Year. Students and teachers used recycled glass to create a colorful trophy for Atlanta Falcons’ fullback Ovie Mughelli. The trophy was presented to Mughelli during a ceremony at Harbordale

Elementary, another “green” school on the Friday before SuperBowl Sunday. Several Broward School officials were on hand for the occasion as well as our own president, Dr. Lourdes Cowgill, and Vice President for Admission Elena Del Alamo. What an honor for Pine Crest to help recognize an eco-friendly champion! Special thanks to parent Lisa Peddy (Beckton ’18 and Alexis ’22) who helped coordinate the project!

n Junior Christina Lewis has made the Pre-Olympic Development Team for the second straight year. Last year Christina traveled all over Europe and the United States competing in sailing for the USA. This past summer was her first experience in her new boat. She is now sailing an i420 similar to a club 420, in which the U.S. high schools and colleges compete. The i420 will take her to the next boat which will be her Olympic boat, the 470. Christina sails with her teammate, Marlena Fauer, from New York. The two have been friends for many years and sailed together in the Opti’s. Each flies back and forth on weekends to train and compete together. This summer the two will travel to Germany, Israel, Spain, The Netherlands, and France. They have just finished qualifying for “Worlds” and are hoping to be the representatives for “Youth Worlds” this year in Turkey.

Pictured Above 1: Atlanta Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli (left) with Earthman (Lanny Smith) – the award presentation also included a concert and video show. 2: Art teacher Stephanie Little removes trophies from the kiln. 3: Middle School students worked many hours to produce an eco-friendly trophy made from recycled glass. 4: The completed set of trophies. 5: Earthman Lannie Smith (left) and Ovie Mughelli (right) with Middle School students.

Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010



Pine Crest Singers Shine at All-State Choir Held in Tampa

Florida for the seventh straight year. Those in the Elementary School Division from our Boca campus included fifth graders Amanda Anderson, Jodie Kahan, Hannah Printz, and Danielle Swords, and were joined by fourth graders Caroline Adkins, Ryan Baker, Catalina Cole, Alexandra Feeney, Isaac Leifert, Samantha Printz, Alexandra Slusarenko, and Noa Weiner. The Fort Lauderdale campus sent Mariana Giraldo, Amanda Goldberg, Madeline Hage, Lindsey Robertson, Tara Schulman, Tommy Sullivan, Joshua TaylorWilson, and Madeleine Turner. On the Middle School side, Jordanna Brody and Kira Kosarin were named to the AllTalented Singers State Treble Chorus while Erin Guest conductor, Dr. Henry Leck (Butler University) is flanked by (left to right) Tara Schulman, Mariana Giraldo, Maddie Hage, Blankstein, Alina Edep, Nicholas Madeleine Turner, Lindsey Robertson, Amanda Goldberg, Tommy Groomes, Adam Shapiro, and Sullivan, and Joshua Taylor-Wilson. Aric Waldman were chosen as n Pine Crest produced 26 All-State singers part of the All-State Mixed Chorus. this year, a record number, to be part of their All three groups were judged by members respective division choirs. We had more of state-sanctioned musical associations elementary All-State singers than any other and traveled to Tampa during the second school – public or private – in the state of week of January. There they participated in


Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010

intensive rehearsals and performed in concert at the Tampa Bay Convention Center under internationally renowned conductors. Henry Leck directed the lower school students while Rebecca Ramos and Jeffery Redding oversaw those in the middle school categories. All three groups also performed the world premiere of songs specifically composed for the event and each recorded a direct-to-digital live CD and DVD. In addition, seven Pine Crest students were selected to take part in the Southern Division of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Honor Choir in Memphis from March 10-13. Those named to the Children’s Honor Choir are Tristan Cade, Jodie Kahan, Hannah Printz, and Alana Udwin. Those selected to the Middle School Honor Choir include Jack Altman, Tara Assari, and Sabrina Udwin. The Middle School Honor Choir will be conducted by the nationally-acclaimed Paul Caldwell while the Children’s Honor Choir will be conducted by the renowned Sandra Snow. Following their days of rehearsals, four choruses in all will be performing in the beautiful Cannon Center for the Performing Arts and the historic St. Pete’s Catholic Church.


Sun Comes out for Fort Lauderdale Middle Schoolers Annie

Captivating Performance Scenes from the musical, Annie.

n Period costumes enhanced beautiful sets that silhouetted the New York skyline for this year’s Fort Lauderdale Middle School musical, Annie. A chorus of students brought to life familiar Broadway tunes such as “It’s the Hard Knock Life” while Annie, played by Ashleigh Braun ’14, pulled the audience into the world of a hard-luck orphan who is eventually saved by gener-

ous billionaire Oliver Warbucks (Chaplain Christopher Harrison) and his secretary, Grace Farrell (Allison Belette ’14). Elizabeth Frankenthal’s ’14 Miss Hannigan, along with William Keiser ’14 as her brother, Rooster, and his girlfriend, Lily St. Regis (Skenda Jean-Charles ’14), moved the audience with their humorous scheming. Congratulations to all who participated in the musical. Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010



Sleeping Beauty A Timeless Classic

n Sleeping Beauty, presented by the Student Cultural Arts Series, was a huge hit spellbinding audiences throughout its run. Each performance received a standing ovation from audience members who were mesmerized by dancers under the direction of Brenda Gooden and assistant directors Amy Cichoski,

and John Sheaffer. This year’s cast included Meredith Brown, Hanna Colin, Chelsea Grimme, Allison Findeiss, Morgan Weiss, Alana Cain, Pernell Myers, Aaron Robin, guest artist Jordan Lefton from the Dreyfoos High School of the Arts, Justin Etcheverry, Dylan Goldberg, and junior Cara Becher.

Performance du Jour: Scenes from Sleeping Beauty.


Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010


2010 FMEA All-State Ensembles

Middle School Students Re-Enact Renaissance Times n Both our Lower and Middle School students on the Boca Raton campus had fun reveling in the pomp and pageantry of the sixth-grade Renaissance Festival. The all-day affair began with a display of colorful banners touting various European rulers of the era along the Middle School corridors. Also on exhibit were student-written Shakespearean sonnets and projects illustrating the exploits of prominent European figures of the time. Orchestra students, dressed in period attire, played a number of 17th-century pieces before the entire student body was ushered into the Zimmerman Family Athletic Complex. Once there, our Middle School Chorus and soloists performed several lovely Renaissance-era songs prior to the much-anticipated human chess match. In the end, the Green army, led by “King Dale of Smith” and “Queen Tammy of Stamm,” defeated the Blue army captained by “King Scott of Wing” and “Queen Lourdes of Cowgill.”

In Hollander Assembly Hall, two of Shakespeare’s masterpieces, Macbeth and Hamlet, were also performed by our sixth graders and the day was capped off with a formal “Call to Court.” The latter brought students, faculty, and staff together in the Bernstein Family Commons Room to enjoy an elegant spread of tea and desserts, courtesy of Don Janezic and his Sage staff. The celebration was the culmination of the sixth-grade’s interdisciplinary unit that enabled the students to study the Renaissance in every subject. In Ancient Civilization, they used desktop publishing to create a newspaper which included headlines and stories from the era; completed labs in science that investigated the works of da Vinci and Michaelangelo; learned about Fibonacci and other mathematicians of the time in math class; created fairy tale movies in their French and Spanish classes; in Chinese they studied the life of Marco Polo; and they wrote Shakespearean sonnets in Language Arts.

2010 FMEA All-State Ensembles – Middle School 7-8 Treble Chorus: Allison Belette, Jordanna Brody, Kira Kosarin

Samantha Powers ’10 Dances Her Way to the Miami City Ballet n Senior Samantha Powers was featured on the South Florida Morning Show for performing with the Miami City Ballet. Samantha has been taking ballet since she was about 9 years old. During her summers, she attends intensive and prestigious ballet

summer programs: she was at the School of American Ballet in New York City in 2005, 2007, and 2009, and studied with the San Francisco ballet in 2008. While training with Cuban teachers, Samantha has been able to keep up with Pine Crest’s curriculum. When she came home from New York last summer, she decided to audition for the Miami City Ballet School (MCBS), and was accepted and placed into the

n The All-State ensembles are highly select groups of students from Florida’s elementary, middle, and high schools who rehears and performing selected music with guest conductors. Beginning in late September, students all over the state auditioned for this opportunity. Pine Crest is pleased that so many of our students from both of our campuses took the initiative to work hard in being named among the finest studentmusicians in the state. The All-State ensembles performed as part of the Florida Music Educator’s Association (FMEA) Conference, “Music and the Creative Mind: Wired For Success,” January 6-9 in Tampa.

7-8 Mixed Chorus: Erin Blankstein, Alina Edep, Nicholas Groomes, Adam Shapiro, Aric Waldman

highest level with full scholarship. With the recent evaluation of Samantha from MCBS, the school gave her the important principal role in the “workshop” in May.

2010 FMEA All-State Ensembles – Upper School SSAA Orchestra: Elyse Anderson, Samantha Topper. Mixed Chorus: Sara Ganz, Nicole Steinberg, Isabelle Vrod. 7-8 Orchestra: Ismail Ercan, Carson Poltorack. TTBB Chorus: Russell Pollack, Alexander Waldman. Symphonic Orchestra: Alex Fox, Susie Han, Trent Uthe. Concert Orchestra: Gabriella Itzler, Sam Nemiroff

Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010


The Dawning of Knight BY NICK CRISAFI


Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010


n The accolades keep piling up for Brandon Knight ’10. The two-time reigning Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year, who nearly lead our Panthers to their third consecutive state championship this year, has chalked up almost as many awards and honors as he has points. In the Panthers’ Region 4-3A quarterfinal game against Clewiston in mid-February, Knight dropped 27 points on the Tigers to surpass the Broward County record of 3,346 points set by former American Heritage player and rival (current University of Florida star) Kenny Boynton. (By the way, the Panthers won, clobbering Clewiston 67-37.) “I appreciate it,” said Knight to The Miami Herald after the game. “You know, it shows that I have been working hard, but with my legacy, I want to be remembered by winning. A lot of people are remembered by points, but my most important thing is to get this third state championship; and if you win, other things will follow such as points and records and stuff like that. Like I said, the most important thing is winning.” If winning matters most to Knight, there’s

another game he can set his sights on after the Panthers fell 70-46 to Tallahassee Rickards in the state title game on March 4. He recently received one of the most prestigious honors for a senior-year basketball player when he was named to the McDonald’s All American High School Basketball Team. It’s the first time a Pine Crest student has ever been selected. Since 1977, McDonald’s has annually invited the nation’s top basketball high school seniors to display their on-court talent to the world. These games raise money for Ronald McDonald House Charities, a non-profit organization. This year’s crop of 48 future NCAA, NBA, and WNBA superstars will tip off the 33rd annual boys’ game and 9th annual girls’ game at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio on March 31. In addition to this honor, Knight has also been selected as a finalist for the Morgan Wooten Award as the 2010 McDonald’s National High School Player of the Year. This award recognizes the nation’s top high school basketball senior who demonstrates outstanding character, exhibits leadership,

and embodies the values of being a studentathlete in both his school and community. Knight is a prime candidate since he’s as stellar in the classroom as he is on the court. He’s an honors student with a GPA above 4.0 and was recently inducted into Pine Crest School’s Cum Laude Society. In addition, he routinely volunteers his time in community service projects through his local church and tutors other students at Pine Crest. As if that weren’t enough, Knight was also recently named to the 2010 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team. So far, nine of the best high school basketball players from across the country have been named to play on this prestigious squad which will represent our country this summer as it takes on competition from all over the world. Having accomplished so much in such a short amount of time, it’s hard to believe that this is only the beginning for the high school senior who will soon declare where he’ll be attending college. Whether it’s Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, or Syracuse (all of which are on Knight’s list), one thing seems certain – this star’s brightest days are yet to come. Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010



Owning the Pool BY NICK CRISAFI

Great Swim Season Back Row (left to right): Edward Walker, Ryohei Takatsuchi, Eric Erton, Michal Rokita, and Austin Evenson Front Row (left to right): Ryan Walter, Jose Arrillaga, Thomas Veale (holding trophy), and Alex Evenson

Past Winners of The Sun Sentinel’s High School Swimmer of the Year Award* 2002 – Vesna Stovnaska 2003 – Christy Raliegh 2004 – Christy Raliegh 2005 – Joey Pedraza 2006 – Joey Pedraza 2007 – Stephanie Eisenring 2008 – Elijah Flood 2009 – Thomas Veale *All Pine Crest students


Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010

n Another Pine Crest student-athlete who made a name for himself this year was Thomas Veale ’11. As a member of the Panthers’ swimming and diving team, he led Pine Crest School to third place at the state meet by finishing second in the 200-meter and 500-meter freestyle while helping the 200-meter medley relay and 200-meter relay teams to fourth-place finishes. He also recorded county-best times in the 200-meter (1:39.49, tied for the School record) and 500-meter freestyle (4:27.59) which earned him automatic All-American honors. His reward? How about being named the Sun-Sentinel’s High School Swimmer of the Year? This marks the eighth consecutive year that a Pine Crest swimmer has been honored with this title. “Thomas is a very focused athlete,” says Aquatics Director and Head Coach Jay Fitzgerald. “He understands the commitment involved, and he does it willingly and cheerfully. The good thing is he is going to be able to come back next year and see if he can win a state title.” Along with this recognition, Veale was also named to the Broward All-County Boys’ Swim Team along with teammates Marcel Betschart ’12 and Michal Rokita ’12. On the girls’ side, Siena DeVenuto ’10, another Pine Crest AllAmerican, was named to the All-County Team. She was the district and regional champ and state runner-up in both the 200-meter freestyle and 500-meter freestyle. Jennifer Aguirre ’11, Cheyenne Allenby ’10, Rebecca Aiello ’11, Brittany Hammond ’13, Mallory McKeon ’12, Stephanie Moeller ’11, Ana Rodriguez ’12, and Alina Schulhofer ’13 received All-County Honorable Mention. As a result of the Lady Panther’s efforts, Fitzgerald was named the Girls’ Coach of the Year, the ninth time he has been named Broward’s Coach of the Year either for the boys’ or the girls’ teams. He also captured the award in 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. This year he led the girls to a second-place finish at state in Class 1A for the fourth year in a row. His only loss in 11 dual meets was to state champ Jacksonville Bolles. “Any time you can win as many dual meets and be district and regional champs for boys and girls, and state runner-up for girls, it says a lot about athletes,” says Fitzgerald.

Alumni 1

“We were known for getting in trouble.” – Nancy Wengren, on recalling a graduation day memory

Nancy Wengren ’55: Teaching for More than 50 Years BY TONI MARSHALL 2

n Walking the halls of Bayview Elementary, Nancy Wengren ’55 takes a minute to chat with long-time friend Patty Robinson. Robinson, now a teacher, was in the sixth grade when Wengren started working at Bayview as a student teacher back in 1959. “She’s why I am a teacher,” says Robinson. “I started here my first year with Nancy right next door.” Wengren is the longest-serving employee in Broward County Schools and has no plans to retire. After all, what’s 51 years of teaching at the same place when you love it? Wengren began her half-century-plus career at the Fort Lauderdale school soon after Bayview opened its doors for the first time. She has seen a lot of changes. “In the beginning, there were no TVs or air conditioning,” says Wengren, preparing for her first-grade students to take on their daily math challenges. “Every year there is something to learn, like the Promethium board I haven’t mastered yet. But, I’ve got the computer practically mastered.”

Wengren has seen it all. After all, she had attended many schools before landing at Pine Crest’s Broward Boulevard location during her junior year. Her father was a naval officer so they traveled and lived in many places. While she was at school in Philadelphia, her parents decided to retire to Fort Lauderdale. Wengren enjoyed her stay at Pine Crest, despite the culture shock she felt upon her arrival. “I was dumbfounded because there were girls in short skirts. I had never been to a school where I had to wear Bermudas.” Her mother taught kindergarten with Marjean Packard. She had former Pine Crest President Bill McMillan for American History. She even remembers the day when Founder Mae McMillan told her and John Harrington ’55 to behave on graduation day. “We were known for getting into trouble,” she recalls. Though her stay was short at Pine Crest, the School made a significant impact upon her. Many of her teachers were excellent role models for the field of study she would pursue. Following graduation from Pine Crest alongside classmates Wayne Huizenga ’55 and others, she attended Stetson University. She ran into Huizenga at a Miami Dolphins game and gave him a big hug, as he proudly told his security team, “We went to school together,” she says. After she left Stetson University, she attended the University of Southwest Louisiana in Lafayette. Pine Crest prepared her for college, the outside world, and the challenges that she would face in an evolving educational system. She has outlasted 13 superintendents and seven principals.

Broward’s Longest-Serving Teacher 1: Wengren has taught at Bayview Elementary in Fort Lauderdale for nearly as long as the School has existed. 2: Wengren in the midst of a math challenge

Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010



Roberto De Villacis ’85: Fashion Designer Turn TV Celeb BY TONI MARSHALL n He yanked the “W” from their cubicle in a fit of irritation; his design partner grimaced and exclaimed to the camera: “I cannot work with him!” It was probably one of the funniest, yet revealing sides of Roberto Henrichsen De Villacis ’85 during his appearances on Bravo’s Launch My Line. The show finished taping this past April. De Villacis has caught the eyes of producers and was recently in Miami taping a pilot for his own fashion TV show. “I was on my best behavior to not tear the whole place apart. I wanted him (my design partner) to know that collaboration is vital,” recalls De Villacis of his days on the reality show. “From looking at the show and how they’ve edited it, our characters were colorful. We started off with such huge fights.” The show pairs style experts with style professionals. It was economics, plain and simple, that steered the established designer to the reality television show. “In the fall of 2008, the whole economic crash that happened worldwide really affected luxury fashion. Everything stopped. I was supposed to launch a readyto-wear collection.” His Paris manufacturers said to postpone the launch and concentrate on what he does best, dressing the stars. De Villacis is known for creating designs for celebrity Carrie Underwood. Natalie Cole is his most obsessed fan, he notes. And, he has designed a showpiece for Kate Perry, awards’ outfits for Anjelica Huston, and others. Disney animated one of his dresses for the Enchanted video.


Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010

A love for old-style Hollywood glamour (he has relocated to California) and an attraction to the film and television industry prompted him to take a chance on going “reality.” “I moved to LA inspired by old Hollywood glamour, not just red carpet glamour – where people were extremely elegant until 10 in the evening. Their clothes still look in style today,” he says, as a teen who watched old Hollywood movies after doing his homework. “I want to get an Oscar, that’s why I’m here. It’s going to take me a bit of time,” says De Villacis, who has written a treatment on “how glamour saves the world,” a hybrid/reality documentary based on the real-life story of his travels throughout Paris, India, and South America while doing his fashion shows. His sister encouraged him to look into the reality show, Project Runway, the design show starring supermodel Heidi Klum, but he felt he was too established for the show, which gives hopefuls a chance to design clothing and be judged by a panel. Then Bravo came up with the concept of Launch My Line. De Villacis found reality television fascinating. “It actually works like being in theater – a play. It’s totally up to you to do your part. You have to be yourself, natural, which in acting is most difficult. You have to be aware that everything you say and do is being filmed.” Watching De Villacis on the show, one easily can see that he has the flair and drama to attract viewers if he decides to take on television or film as a career. His fashion flair started back at Pine Crest, and he credits the school for much of his success. Born in Ecuador, his father was an American engineer working on the Pan-American Highway. They lived between Quito, New York, and Fort Lauderdale. When his father passed away, they decided to put down roots in Fort Lauderdale. He started at Pine Crest as a sixth grader and continues to speak warmly of the School. “It really gave me a great education and set the groundwork for my career,” says De Villacis, who grew up dressing like a preppy kid. “I got to wear my own stuff in the seventh grade, and I became super preppy.” By ninth or tenth grade he discovered Europe and the new wave movement – David Bowie, punk dressing. “Of course it was a bit of a shock to the school for me to go from preppy to fashionista. I remember being called into the principal’s office once –

I was petrified. They brought me in because I was wearing distressed jeans.” With his fashion breakouts and artistic talents, De Villacis was destined for fashion or the arts. His family, however, wanted him to become a doctor or lawyer. “But I had this great art teacher and Art History teacher who opened my world. The art teacher encouraged me to enter an art competition.” He won a scholarship to New York’s Pratt Institute. At Pratt, his choices were fashion or art for four years. He left Pratt and enrolled in one of France’s top designer schools, Studio Bercot. He graduated in 1989 with honors. “I made my own collection, considered like pre-Prada, and was discovered by Karl Lagerfeld.” The fashion icon let De Villacis be part of his entourage, something Lagerfeld had never done at the time, De Villacis recalls. He was allowed to go back stage for fittings and allowed to see how the top designers worked. Lagerfeld knew he had talent and vision, he says. “That was the greatest training ground.” De Villacis took a break from fashion during those early years to concentrate on art. He exhibited his work at the Louvre in Paris. Now he looks back on those days and appreciates the great stepping stones designers like Lagerfeld provided for him. He has worked with Alberta Ferreti and Versace. He also joined Missoni’s team and has been an art director for Lancome and L’Oreal. He explains that in the competitive world of fashion, a designer really doesn’t make his or her mark in the early years. It takes time. “Giorgio Armani presented his first showing at 40!” Best known for his fashion line TrashCouture, De Villacis says the clothing he designs is functional and the real thing. His inspiration often comes from the moving colors of the sea and the sand. He embroiders everything with semi-precious stones and incorporates seashells in his work. “I treat it like sculpture. Fashion is an artform.” Today he spends a lot of time between LA, Miami, and Paris concentrating on his couture shows, trunk shows, and recently a show for Haiti relief. He’s also involved with the “Dress for Success” charity. He has plans for a trunk show in April in Palm Beach. With all of his successes, De Villacis still appreciates the reality of his chosen career. “It’s a struggle everyday when you decide to be an artist in a creative field – to live on the edge – because there really is no security.”


A Holiday Tale of Two Santas BY NICK CRISAFI


’Tis the Season 1: Henry “Skip” Heydt ’60 dressed as Santa Claus for the holidays. 2: Kevin Boothe ’01 playing for the New York Giants.

n Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum: one is the successful owner of a marketing firm in Wilton, Connecticut – a picturesque hamlet of just under 18,000 people, while the other is an imposing offensive lineman for the NFL’s New York Giants. Yet despite the dramatic differences in their careers, and the fact that their graduating years are 41 years apart, Henry “Skip” Heydt ’60 and Kevin Boothe ’01 share one overarching condition: a generous heart. This past holiday season, Heydt grew out his snow-white beard and donned the iconic red suit to bring comfort and joy to both children and adults at 32 different events and functions in and around Wilton. His inspiration came from – where else... his septic tank guy. “My septic system backed up, and this gentleman came out to fix it, and he looked like Santa,” says Heydt, who also serves on the boards of Wilton’s Chamber of Commerce and Historical Society. “He just had this great, big white beard, and I got to talking to him, and he told me that he belongs to FORBS (Fraternal Order of Real-Bearded Santas). What he did in dressing up as Santa sounded so wonderful and meaningful, I decided to try it.” Heydt, however, wasn’t exactly prepared for the rigorous regimen the role demanded. “I started reading manuals, going online for info, and contacting local organizations. You don’t just grow a beard and become Santa Claus – you have to get a background check, buy insurance – there’s all this stuff that you never think goes along with it!” He wouldn’t trade his experiences for all the gifts in the world. “It revealed to me this whole other part of what Christmas could be,” he explains. “I met this woman at a senior center who was in a wheelchair. She was 110 years old, but she was all dressed up, wearing make-up, Christmas earrings, a Christmas sweater. She said she got dressed up just for me – to see Santa. She just wanted to talk about her childhood in Abilene, Texas. I told her how I remembered bringing her a doll when she was six, and she was so delighted. The people in the facility said they had never seen her open up like that to anyone before.”

So will this Santa be back for a sophomore season? “Oh, yes,” says Heydt. “I love seeing the faces of the old people and the children when they see me – their expressions are exactly the same: wide eyes, smiling faces, the grasp of their hands. It’s a wonderful feeling, and Christmas is all about doing good things for people.” Speaking of sophomores, Boothe also took on the role of Santa this past winter for the second consecutive year when he met with foster children during the New York Giants’ annual Jingle Jam event at their practice facility in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Boothe spent the day meeting and speaking with hundreds of foster children, providing them encouragement and as many autographs as they wanted. The event was held in conjunction with The Heart Gallery of New Jersey, Inc., a non-profit corporation dedicated to raising awareness about foster children available for adoption. Through the volunteer efforts of some of the country’s most prestigious photographers, portraits are taken that help capture the individuality and spirit of each foster child who is eligible to be adopted. These photographs are then shared via the Web and through gallery exhibits in the hope that potential families will be moved to inquire about adoption. “It’s hot in that suit,” Boothe remarked in a December 10 New York Times article. “But it’s for a good cause. Hundreds of kids come out. It’s good to pass out gifts and see their faces. In this tough time economically, you provide a little bit of cheer.” Boothe is not a stranger to being an active member of the community as he has participated in numerous charitable functions throughout his four-year NFL career, including benefits for United Way, Ronald McDonald House, and the Food Bank for New York. A SuperBowl champion, he even took some time this summer to help provide a testimonial for Pine Crest’s Capital Campaign piece. “I mention to people all the time how Pine Crest prepared me for life at Cornell and the NFL,” says Boothe. “It wasn’t just about textbooks and classroom lessons, but life lessons. It was there that I learned to manage my time and be responsible.” For Heydt and Boothe, if life is a test, then it’s one they’re easily acing. Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010



A Developmentally Designed Playground: Commitment to Educating the Whole Child

Pre-Primary Director Shelley Huff-Schultz ’70 recently published this research article on playgrounds and activity in Florida Education Leadership Magazine, Fall 2009 edition. Huff-Schultz has been the head of the Pre-Primary Division since January 2008. Previously, she worked in the School’s Developmental Learning Center. She holds a bachelor’s in English and Education from Duke University and a master’s in Educational Psychology from Florida Atlantic University.

n At Pine Crest School, we decided to help our youngest students learn better by having fun. One only needs to read the newspaper to find numerous research studies that support the importance of play in the development of young children and their learning. In a study in Pediatrics, the official journal of The American Academy of Pediatrics, Kenneth Ginsburg noted that “Play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-


Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010

being of children and youth.” (2007; p.182) The issue of play is so important that the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights has recognized play as a right of every child. With brain-based research in mind, Pine Crest School undertook construction of an innovative playground conducive to developing the entire sensory system of students in pre-kindergarten through grade 2. The brain and the senses work together to regulate the information an individual

processes throughout the day. Research in brain-based learning has shown that we hold only 1% of received information in our shortterm memory. Over time, we learn to filter out extraneous information and respond only to selected information. This selected information, now held in short-term memory, allows us to decide how to react to various stimuli within 20 seconds. Then long-term memory is used to connect with past experiences and knowledge. A well-integrated sensory system is important in providing a child with the ability to regulate what is being presented and learned at school. Each student must perform a balancing act in what is expected of him or her in the classroom and what he or she can accomplish. The vestibular and proprioceptive systems are part of the sensory system and work at the unconscious level. The vestibular system in the brain allows us to stand, maintain balance, and move through space. Bending to retrieve an item, using stairs, playing sports, or even holding a lunch tray requires balance. Balance is an integral part of movement throughout the day. The vestibular system also adjusts heart rate and blood pressure, muscle tone, limb position, and immune responses. Adequate functioning of this system allows the orchestration of movement and the feedback necessary in learning a skill such as writing with a pencil. The vestibular system is considered to be the basis of our physical and emotional security. Dysfunctions in this system can cause anxiety, abnormalities in muscle tone, and academic problems. Some activities to increase function in this area are swinging, rocking, spinning, bouncing, and jumping. The playground at Pine Crest was designed to include swings, bounce - button steps, a spinner seat, a jump ‘n bounce, and an unstable bridge. These playground items were chosen specifically to enhance the development of the vestibular system. Children who are able to use balance and movement often are more successful as students. Gross and fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination are easier to master with healthy vestibular functioning. Years ago (perhaps 40-50), when a child entered kindergarten, he/she was exposed to activities such as walking a balance beam, climbing steps, rope jumping, dancing, swinging, and playing ball as an integral part of the kindergarten program whether as “physical education,” music, or recess – a convention long lost in our current school

ALUMNI programs. These activities were part of the kindergarten programs because teachers knew there was a direct correlation between physical movement, eye-hand coordination, and the development of gross and fine motor skills that would help the children to read and write. They might not have known all the “science” behind their knowledge, but they were astute observers and understood the importance of encouraging young children to engage in a variety of physical activity. Unfortunately, today, many young children spend their time before coming to school in front of a TV or computer, rather than running and playing and moving. Thus schools are once again trying to provide the appropriate “curriculum” to help children develop the basic “tools” of learning. The development of the Pine Crest playground is a means of providing youngsters with the opportunity to have fun while developing the necessary physiological skills needed to help learning. The proprioceptive system is almost as large as the tactile system, and allows us to know our body and where it is in space. Proprioceptors continuously send information to our brain from our many muscles, joints, and bones. Students with a healthy system are able to move easily around a classroom and other students. They are able to organize their materials, sit, and attend to presented information. Understanding the importance of the proprioceptive system, it was imperative to engage students in activities that would help in the development of this system, thus, crawl-through tunnels, a tunnel slide, raised walkways, a triple slide, a hurricane slide, and a spacewalk were chosen as integral parts of the playground. These equipment pieces were added to the playground design to foster in each child a greater awareness of his/her body, where it is in space and relation to others, and how it is moving. The children learn to navigate the playground equipment with respect to themselves and the other children who are playing nearby. As their prowess increases, students come to more easily realize their body position and how to move about without colliding with peers or objects. The quality of the proprioceptive system affects how children interact and function in the classroom and the total school environment. This system also determines how other students and teachers perceive them. Together, the vestibular and proprioceptive systems keep us grounded. Almost all the playground activities – run-

ning, jumping, climbing, spinning, bouncing, and swinging – excite these two systems. This excitement encourages the activation of new neural connections and pathways, and allows the brain to reorganize the networks of connections in response to the use of these pathways. Bilateral coordination is the ability to organize the two hemispheres of the brain. It allows us to use our hands, arms, feet, and legs in a coordinated way. First, a child coordinates the use of his body symmetrically. Later, the coordination becomes asymmetrical. Bilateral coordination leads to an awareness of the two sides of the body, the selection of a dominant side (laterality), and left/right discrimination (directionality). Inadequate development in laterality and directionality may lead to difficulty in writing letters and numbers. Many letter and number reversals may be present. Difficulty reading left to right on the printed page or organizing written work from left to right on a blank paper may arise. An activity like jumping jacks or the use of both hands and feet that crosses the midline of the body requires the brain to strengthen the nerve cell pathways that link the two hemispheres of the brain. This crossing allows the development of gross and fine motor skills that are required each day at school. Cutting, writing, and typing are examples of academic skills that require the coordination of both hands. Such skills are important for communicating with others. Several varied types of climbing walls, ladders, and climbing tunnels were added to the playground to encourage the development of bilateral coordination. A well-integrated sensorimotor system assists the brain’s development of motor planning and executive function. Motor planning entails having an idea about an action, realizing where the body is in space, beginning the action, proceeding in proper sequence, implementing adjustments, and recognizing when to stop that action. Without well-developed motor planning, a child might have difficulty following sequential instructions, writing legibly, planning an essay, or homework organization. Sensorimotor activities are important for development and learning during the early years. Executive function refers to working (short-term) memory, which ultimately leads to long-term memory storage, and such tasks as prioritizing, organizing, and the ability to mentally shift and apply information. These tasks

become more and more essential as children progress through their school years. Without efficient sensory integration, school can be an ongoing struggle for a student. Difficulties may arise in motor output, auditory processing, transitions, or making friends. The innovative design of the playground encourages those play activities to stimulate and grow the areas of the brain necessary for sensory imagination to occur. Each piece of equipment was viewed and chosen with this goal in mind. The safety and developmental appropriateness of the equipment also were major considerations. The many areas where children can play together on the equipment and learn from each other also foster the social and emotional development of each child. Each class has access to the playground two to three times a day for one-half hour. Pine Crest School is proud of its commitment to the whole child. The playground was developed with input from a playground designer, the school president, the school vice president of finance and controller, the facilities director, and the PrePrimary head. Synthetic turf with padded fall zones was chosen for safety, aesthetic, and sanitary reasons. Sunshade structures were installed to protect children from the intense rays of the South Florida sun. Funds were raised and donated by the Mothers’ Club to ensure the completion of this project, which took a year from the initial planning phase through completion. Experimental research on the effects of play on the playground and the academic development or achievement of students will not be undertaken due to the lack of a control group. However, qualitative research documented by observations and anecdotal reports and interviews with parents, teachers, and students should reveal information that can support the School’s assumptions relative to play and learning. The School anticipates an improvement in gross and fine motor skills, impulse control, attention, and certain cognitive abilities in the future as a result of play on this equipment. But for now, we are satisfied in hearing the laughter of the children as they run to the playground. And we enjoy catching the middle and high school students who have snuck back to take a turn playing. References Ginsburg, K., “The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds,” Pediatrics (Vol. 119. P. 182)

Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010



Alumni Meet During Haitian Crisis Following Haiti’s devastating earthquake, medical personnel and volunteers from the United States and across the world traveled to the devastated Caribbean island to assist in its recovery. Two Pine Crest alumni ran into each other while helping with medical aid. Vincent De Gennaro ’98 and Alex Cottin ’99 wanted to share some of their experiences with our readers. We are honored to reprint a section from their blogs and diary entries as they donated time and endless energy to the relief effort.

I am the Regional Director for Merlin, a medical emergency relief organization (www.merlin-usa. org) and, in this capacity, have recently opened up the Los Angeles office. As part of the emergency response team, I’ve been in Haiti for over a week now and had the auspicious coincidence of running into a good friend from Pine Crest, Vince De Gennaro ’98 at the U.N. base in Port au Prince. As a medical resident at U.M., Vince and a few others were down here performing some incredibly beneficial medical work for the people of Haiti - I truly admire his efforts and his organization. - Alex Cottin ’99

n God gives you lemons, you make lemonade right?! So what happens when you find yourself in a makeshift field hospital and hundreds of patients are flocking in with all kinds of injuries, begging to be treated? Well, as I’ve come to realize over the past few days, you do what you can! And that’s exactly what we’ve been doing... This weekend has been, to say the least, busy! Over the all-too familiar plate of fried goat at dinner tonight, I glanced around the large table, and I couldn’t help but notice


Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010

the battered faces. However, it only took a few more seconds to understand that behind those weary eyes, was an immense sentiment of pride, honor, and accomplishment – a feeling that I, not even remotely qualified to resemble anything close to a medical professional, shared as well. Simply put, it’s the feeling of knowing that we’ve been saving lives despite the challenging conditions, in a time when nothing else really matters... All hands on deck! As I look around our newly established

field hospital in Delmas 33 this evening, right as the surgical team was performing its last operation for the day, I was quite simply overwhelmed by how far along we’ve come and how much we’ve built as a team: a reception area for patients to sign in; a nursing station; a fully-equipped, fully-working surgical theater; a post-op. area for patients to rest; a storage unit for our medical supplies; food and water; and we’re in the process of building latrines and a kitchen! Oh, and to top it all off, a couple of makeshift wheelchairs and a soccer ball made out of bubble wrap added just an extra-needed sprinkle of makeshift home-made goodness! With the medical staff in full swing, I spent the past couple of days supporting them in any way I could. From handling interview requests and other media-related issues, to translating to patients, to helping unload supplies...I got a nice, well-rounded taste of Merlin’s emergency response modus operandi. And I’ve enjoyed every moment – well most of them! Truth be told, it’s been hard at times, very hard – not just physically draining, but also emotionally and psychologically tormenting as I realize more and more just how unfair this whole situation is. The people of Haiti have got to be some of the kindest and most charming, and yet they have absolutely nothing. Whatever they had is gone, vanished, and so many of them have been unfairly subjected to so much pain and suffering. It’s excruciating at times just to witness this injustice (imagine living it!). So I’ve tried to balance it with a dose of innocuous laughs, smiles, and fleeting moments of escape. For example, I gladly took up Gerard, our driver who’s become a close friend, on his offer to take me around to his home to meet his family. And what a lovely family it is! His entire home was destroyed during the earthquake, and some of his family badly injured as a result. Yet, despite it all, they’ve managed to become even closer, having set up a makeshift outdoor home built under tarps assembled from various materials. Gerard proudly introduced me to his mother, his children, his nieces, nephews, and many others who were all bundled up next to each other, some severely wounded, but all genuinely happy, it seemed, to meet a new friend of Gerard’s. This really made my day! I’ve come to really appreciate the people of Haiti – most of whom I’ll never forget.





Working In Haiti 1: Vince De Gennaro ’98 (left) and Alex Cottin ’99 (right) in Haiti 2: Street view of the earthquake’s devastation 3: A homemade sign requesting help. 4: De Gennaro helping a local resident.

Vince De Gennaro Shares His Experience n Having been to Haiti twice before, I can tell you that the conditions there were awful before the earthquake, and that may color the way the media who haven’t been there before perceive it. I was able to travel throughout most of the city without security or road issues, but I did not go to the hardest hit part of Cité de Soleil. I worked with Project Medishare, which is an NGO started by University of Miami physicians in 1994 and has run medical clinics and built hospitals in the rural central plateau in partnership with Partners in Health. The Project Medishare hospital consisted of two tents on the United Nation’s base and one corner was sectioned off for an “OR.” The “operating room” was two tables cordoned off by partitions. They performed mostly amputations for the first three days and were doing 25 surgeries a day, although the care had switched to more limb-saving operations at that point. They were amputating limbs using the same leather belt as a tourniquet on everyone. There was a CNN reporter who lived with us in the tents, and you can watch her videos (which has a shot of me in the back wearing scrub top and khaki shorts) at: video/#/video/health/2010/01/19/cohen. I went to another hospital for two days that is a real hospital. They had two operating rooms going 24 hours a day with orthopods sleeping in shifts. I worked in triage, pre-op and post-op, and functioned as an ER doc, pediatrician, nurse, psychiatrist, and physical therapist. The mortality at the two hospitals was 2-3 patients per day, which is roughly 1-2% of the 200-300 total patients. Everyone had supplies, but not always the right ones. The Project Medishare hospital had pain meds and antibiotics and lots of doctors, but poor facilities. The community hospital had ORs, a lab, and an x-ray, but they didn’t have good antiobiotics, and they didn’t have pain meds. They were giving Tylenol for postop pain to the amputees. I brought them a large box of meds from the Project Medishare hospital and spent my nights dispens-

ing IV pain meds in the post-op rooms. The community hospital sent Project Medishare patients to be evacuated to Miami. Project Medishare sent patients to the community hospital to get x-rays and labs. They also sent nurses, doctors, and supplies. There was an Israeli hospital that had ventilators, so we sent them a baby who was intubated but who volunteers spent 10 hours bagging before they reached a ventilator. The Israeli hospital had ventilators, x-rays, and a neonatal intensive care unit, but was located in a hard-to-get-to part of town, so Project Medishare funneled their sickest patients to them. There were literally times when we would trade patients; when a car came to drop one off, we gave them one to take back. The most inspiring thing for me was this spirit of cooperation. During my four days, I worked with paramedics, nurses, and doctors from Korea, France, Hungary, and Portugal. There were Jamaican army soldiers and Bolivian UN soldiers providing security for the two hospitals. People worked 1824-hour days and never stopped moving. They gave away supplies, free rides, traded patients, and gave away food and water – all in the name of helping the Haitian people. On my last morning, the “aftershock,” a 6.1 magnitude, woke me up after an hour-and-a-half of sleep. The patients were screaming with such terror that I have never heard before. They began evacuating themselves, and the medical staff then joined in when we saw that the whole hospital was going to leave no matter what. We evacuated almost 300 patients and every single piece of furniture in 15 minutes. Then we moved the pharmacy and supplies outside; and within 45 minutes of the quake, we were back at work treating the patients. They were so frightened we had to convince the patients whose turn it was in the OR to actually go inside. Thanks for listening to my own therapeutic ramblings. Peace, Vince Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010



Tommy Simmons ’03 Helps Mozambicans with English Theatre On behalf of myself and all of Peace Corps Mozambique, I would like to thank the Pine Crest School administration, faculty, student body, and parents for all the help and support they have given towards the 2009 MELTA English Theater Competition. I echo the sentiments of the hundreds of students who participated and the thousands of lives touched by the competition when I say, THANK YOU! - Tommy Simmons ’03

n Until this past September, the annual English Theater Competition was never held outside of Beira, the provincial capital of Sofala, Mozambique in Southeast Africa. Founded by the Mozambican English Language Teachers Association (MELTA) 13 years ago on the principal of “development through cultural exchange,” the competition and all the benefits that came along with it were never able to flourish in any of Mozambique’s 10 other provinces. However, after many conversations with MELTA’s president, Simon Militão, and treasurer, Harry Assane, it was decided that their dream of expanding this truly great and inspiring competition must be realized. A site was found at the historical Montalto Cultural and Academic Center in Chimoio, the provincial capital of Manica; a theme was written, “Problems Facing Mozambique and Mozambican Solutions,” and sent out to interested secondary schools throughout the Central Region of Mozambique, and just like that, the 13-year-old dream of MELTA’s expansion was successfully underway (Pine Crest drama students raised funds through ticket sales and other activities to help). On September 26, 2009, for the first time in the history of Mozambique, MELTA had a multi-provincial English Theater Competition with schools from the provinces of Sofala, Manica, and Tete. Of the 11 schools that participated, the most rural and isolated school was Escola Secundária Santo António de Barada in the district of Búzi, within the Province of Sofala, where I taught school. As an English teacher in Barada – a small fishing village without electricity or running water and only accessible by boat – me and my counterpart, Lourenço Tembanunca, directed our group of 10 students – Ancio, Valdemar, Ramos, Carvalho, Tony, Elijah,


Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010

Maria, Lina, Pascoa, and Julieta – for almost three months in preparation for the competition. Three days a week students of all ages and teachers were drawn to the noise and excitement emitted from the school’s practice room – a 15-by-15 foot cement room. From 3:00 p.m. until sunset, these 10 students poured their hearts and souls into a script they themselves wrote. As the competition neared, Valdemar, Tony, and Elijah were called by the local government to become official party members. They rode their bikes the 50 kilometers to the district capital Búzi, registered, then raced back the 50 kilometers to make theater practice. The sweaty, exhausted, and breathless trio powered through two full performances without complaint, inspiring other actors to pour themselves completely into their characters. A week later, Lourenço and I joined our 10 student-actors and traveled by boat to Beira with an end destination of Chimoio. The competition was a day away. On Saturday, September 26, 2009, at 8:00 a.m., the first-ever, multi-provincial MELTA English Theater Competition began. Another first was the fact that the competition was held in a professional theater. Students and teachers from 11 different schools across the Central Region of Mozambique entered the theater, with their green and yellow “ACTOR” and “DIRECTOR” shirts. Their immediate sense of inspiration and empowerment was palpable. From 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., the jury had a daunting task ahead of them. Militão and Assane of MELTA, Farisai Gamariel, a university professor, and Ruben, the Peace Corps Country Director, stoically walked to their backstage deliberation room. As the students and teachers waited for the jury’s decision, the Montalto Theater was filled with laughter and cheers for the seemingly never-ending string of impromptu

Karaoke performances. Our group caused an uproar with a flawless rendition of Chris Brown’s “With You.” At roughly 4:00 p.m., the jury had reached its decision. The buzz among teachers and students was that the coveted award for best performance was between Escola Secundária Cristo Rei de Gorongosa and our performers from Escola Secundária Santo António de Barada. As Gamariel took the microphone to announce the awards, María Luís Fumo from Barada turned to me and whispered, “Estou a tremer teacher!” (I’m shaking!). With hands held, eyes closed, and heads down, the troupes waited to hear the decision. Best Actor and Actress were announced, and then there was an eruption from Ancio, Valdemar, Carvalho, Tony, Elijah, Ramos, Lina, María, Julieta and Pascoa as Lourenço Tembanunca was chosen as Best Director. He held his certificate and PortugueseEnglish Dictionary higher than Peter Jackson (Oscar-Award-winning Director of Lord of the Rings) ever would have. When Cristo Rei from Gorongosa was called as the winning performance, the 10 other schools rose to their feet and gave raucous applause and cheers. A shared sense of accomplishment was apparent in each of the nearly 200 participant’s faces. Ending in a dance party that night, it was obvious the competition had changed lives. A renewed sense of self and confidence was reflected in each student and teacher’s smile. What we all witnessed that day was that belief in one’s abilities, unwavering commitment to a truly good cause, and a critical view of hope for the future is a solution to Mozambique’s problems. In short, the MELTA English Theater Competition elicits these feelings in all who bare witness to the competition. Thanks again to Pine Crest for all your help and support, and we can only hope next year’s competition lives up to all that we saw this year. MELTA was founded 13 years ago with the principal focus of training Mozambique’s largely inexperienced English faculty as the discipline became ever more prominent in the state-mandated curriculum. Since its inception, the association has been holding workshops and conferences to further the country’s language and education goals, in some cases, pairing creative workshops with health initiatives.




English-Theater Competition 1: Tommy Simmons teaches English in Mozambique. 2 & 3: Mozambican students practice for the competition.

Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010


Unforgettable IN MEMORIAM



Matt Goldstein ’88 and his wife, Barrie Morganstein, proudly announce the birth of their first child, Lila, on October 8, 2009. “We are thrilled to be new parents of our happy, healthy, beautiful baby girl” commented Matt. The family resides in Charlotte, NC.

Vail Marie Miller Fucci ’99 married Matthew Fucci on September 12, 2009. PCS alumna, Lt. Jocelyn Loftus-Williams ’98, was a bridesmaid, coming to the wedding from Italy where she is stationed as a Navy JAG. Vail’s sister, Martha Miller, PCS Lower School alumna, was the maid of honor. Martha graduated from Lehigh University with Honors and is now working at Creative Media Marketing in New York City.

1989 Cathy Fellows Jaquette ’89 and husband, Scott, welcomed their fourth son, Nathan Chase, on April 29, 2009. The family lives in Northern Virginia.


Carroll Norman Pearson, Jr. ’83

Steven Philip Shailer ’86

n Carroll “Norman” Pearson, Jr. (44) slipped quietly away on January 12, 2010 at E.T. York Haven Hospice in Gainesville, FL after a 12-year battle with cancer. “Norm” was an economist with CH2M Hill, an avid fisherman and hunter, as well as a member of Grace United Methodist Church, Kappa Alpha Order, and Ducks Unlimited. In a tribute to his colleague and friend, Bill McElroy, VP and GNV Area Manager of CH2M HILL, said, “Everyone he worked with was impressed by his dedication and commitment to service. We all knew him for the long hours, extensive travel, and unique interest in hunting down the answers in clients’ financial and decision-making processes. The fact that he did so while quietly suffering through his health challenges made his dedication even more remarkable. He was a good friend and will remain an inspiration for all of us.” Norman is survived by his wife, Karen Pearson, daughter, Katherine Pearson, father, Carroll Pearson, and sister, Mary Beth Pearson Blake ’85.

n Steven P. Shailer (41) of Fort Lauderdale, FL and New York, NY passed away on December 7, 2009. Steven was the son of Phil and Midge Shailer, and the brother of Leslie Shailer Curley ’82 and Tracy Shailer Coe. A memorial celebration was held Saturday, December 12, 2009 at Pine Crest School’s Egan Auditorium. In his eulogy for Steve, friend and alumnus Lee Banks ’85 said, “Steve was particularly easy to love. Not often do you find a charismatic, artistic, intelligent, athletic, and good-looking guy who is more concerned about others than himself; a person with all the reasons to be egotistical but is the farthest thing from it. The diversity of his enduring friendships is a testament to his character and his ability not to judge others. The capacity for these are rare today as the finest of wines, and I toast my friend for his unique innocence. May we all take a lesson from him... I know Steve would like that.”


Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010

Kimberly Altschul Straker ’90 and her husband, David, are thrilled to announce the birth of their daughter, Alexa Brooke, on April 28, 2009. Marnie Mysnyk Memmolo ’90 and her husband, Michael, welcomed Ava Grace Memmolo on September 29, 2009. Ava weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces, and was 21” long. The family lives north of Boston in Beverly, MA where Marnie owns North Shore Yoga, and Michael is an accountant at Ernst & Young.

In December, Vail completed her Ph.D. in Bioethics from Case Western Reserve University. For her dissertation, Vail analyzed the role of the consumer in the consumerdriven healthcare movement, focusing on the effects of access to a computer, low literacy levels, and English as a second language. The years of Spanish at Pine Crest played a large role in her ability to complete the research. Additionally, Vail was promoted to senior manager in the Scientific and Regulatory Affairs department at PhRMA (the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America) in Washington, DC.


1992 Robbi Miller ’92 married Nathaniel Marmur on May 23 at Temple Beth El in Boca Raton, Florida. The couple lives in Manhattan where Robbi is corporate counsel in the legal division of ITOCHU International Inc., a Japanese general trading company. Nate is a partner in the law firm Stillman, Friedman & Shechtman, P.C. where he specializes in white collar criminal defense. They would welcome hearing from PCS alumni in the NYC area (robbi_miller@post.

1999 Nick Green ’99 married Mandy George on October 24, 2009 on St. Pete Beach in Florida. They currently live in New York City.

Justin Kitzes ’00 happily announced his marriage to Audrey in October 2009.

2004 Mr. and Mrs. Joe Wong are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Karen Kin-Tin Wong ’04 to Adam Ian Bregman ’04, son of Mr. and Mrs. Howard Bregman. Karen is a 2008 graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Nutrition and is currently attending Ross Veterinary School in St. Kitts. Adam is a 2008 graduate from the University of Florida and graduated Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in History. He is currently attending Law School at the University of Florida.

Alumni/ae news is important to the Pine Crest Community!

Please keep us updated on the latest happenings in your life by e-mailing Class Notes, pictures, news, and features to or via U.S. mail to Alumni Office, Pine Crest School, 1501 NE 62nd Street, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33334

Read the latest alumni news online at

Barrie Morganstein, Matt Goldstein ’88, and Lila Goldstein

The Straker Family

Ava Grace Memmolo

Mr. & Mrs. Nick Green ’99

Mr. & Mrs. Justin Kitzes ’00

William Miller, Martha Miller, Matthew Fucci, Dr. Vail Marie Miller Fucci ’99, and Martha Miller

Adam Ian Bregman ’04 and Karen Kin-Tin Wong ’04

Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010






Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010






WOW! What a night... n More than 100 PCS alumni and faculty came together to party at Mai-Kai for our annual Holiday Gathering. It was a great evening of hugs, laughs, pupu platters, and (of course) the infamous “barrels”... Pictured: 1: Ethan Skolnick ’90, Carolina Leon, Dr. Lourdes Cowgill, and Dr. Norma Martin Goonen ’65. 2: Amy McDonald ’94, Daniel Cartledge ’94, Sean Thompson ’94, and Eric Ginnis ’94. 3: Billy McLaren ’89 and Marcia Hunt, Director of College Counseling. 4: Jamie and Gex Richardson ’82. 5: Hudson Gill ’97, A.R. Barrington ’93, and Peter Perri ’93. 6: Roberto Coquis ’89, Judy Pino, and Pine Crest teacher Ann Birr. 7: Pine Crest teacher Tad Harrington, Sara Knapp Medrano ’89, Cari Wellington Perri ’93, and Lara Osofsky Leader ’93. 8: (L to R) Jennifer Brafman ’84, Glenn and Cristina Sollosso Pierson ’84, Amy Averbuch Kronengold ’84, and Tony Carriuolo.

Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010


Pine Crest Alumni Share Memories of Their Favorite Teachers


Pine Crest Magazine Spring 2010

One last cheer before the end of the year...

WE CAN DO IT! YES, WE CAN! There is still time to make a gift and join the hundreds of Pine Crest community members helping us to reach our 2009-10 Annual Fund Goal.

Thank you to everyone who has made a gift thus far. To make your tax-deductible gift, please use the enclosed envelope. You also may call Alisa Karten, Director of Annual Giving, at 954.776.2177; give on our secure Web site:; or welcome a call from one of our 165 dedicated volunteers.

Non-Profit U.S. Postage PAID Fort Lauderdale, FL Permit No. 532 1501 NE 62nd Street Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334

A New Beginning A rendering of the new Upper School Academic Center at Pine Crest Fort Lauderdale.

Printed on Recycled Paper

Pine Crest The Magazine  

Spring 2010 Issue

Pine Crest The Magazine  

Spring 2010 Issue