THE RIVERS EDGE Vol. XLVIII, Number 2
The Rivers School, Weston, MA
Construction of new science and art center to begin in September BY HENRY MULLER ’19 EDITOR IN CHIEF
As the Rivers’ community says goodbye to an outstanding senior class, the rest of the students and faculty wait patiently for its newest addition: the Rivers’ Center for Science and Visual Arts. This new building, which will be the largest academic building on campus after its construction, will feature two floors dedicated to the sciences and visual arts. Not long after graduation, work crews will begin the process of digging up the campus and relocating power, sewer and gas lines in preparation for construc-
tion. If all goes well, construction of the new building will begin in September and be completed in roughly 14 months. It should be worth the wait. Without question, when the building opens in December 2019 the arts and science programs will be dramatically enhanced. There will be brand new ceramics studios, photography labs, a dark room, classrooms, a lab dedicated solely to student independent lab work, a robotics workshop, an engineering classroom, and new gallery spaces to display artwork. Indeed, the new construction, the first since the Campus Center was completed in 2011, will be a
game changer. “It’s going to enable the teachers and the departments that are in it, upper school science and visual arts, to expand their programs in the ways they want to,” said Head of School Ned Parsons. “Right now, for example, there are teachers in the science department who have these really interesting ideas for the classes they teach that require a certain kind of lab space, but the space they are in right now is prohibiting them from doing these cool new things.” Rivers students should be able to relate to this. The labs students currently use are close to inadeContinued on page 2
Tierney leaves indelible legacy The Performing Arts chair and RSC director departs after 26 years BY ADAM NADDAFF-SLOCUM ’18 EDITOR EMERITUS
Today, many of us know Mr. Tierney as the Director of The Rivers School Conservatory and Chair of the Performing Arts Department, but few of us have had the opportunity to learn more about his background and his varied experiences at Rivers. Tierney will leave Rivers in the end of June to become the new head of school at the Cambridge Friends School. His departure will most certainly leave a big void to fill as his accomplishments and contributions to Rivers are hard to enumerate. When Mr. Tierney first joined The Rivers School in September 1992, he was hired as the chorus director and golf coach. He had previously taught at Chapel
Hill-Chauncy Hall in Waltham, as well as at a number of area colleges such as Lasell College and Boston College. For Tierney, a career in music was always his dream. “After a brief stint thinking about psychology and architecture,” he says, “I have always been interested in music education.” When Tierney journeyed to Rivers in the fall of 1992, the school did not have a music building other than Blackwell House, the former headmaster’s house, so there was room to grow. “The school’s incredible reputation and interest in building a music program is why I chose Rivers,” Tierney says. The lack of music facilities did not phase Tierney; he was excited for the opportunity to
greatly expand the school’s music program. During his 26-year tenure at Rivers, Tierney revived and directed the chorus and winter musical programs, coached the varsity golf team, oversaw ensembles on international tours and at competitions, expanded the summer academic offerings while changing the culture of the school with regard to summer programs, introduced the internship program for musicians, and advised upper school students on their academic, musical, and personal lives. In 2005 he started the spring break music trips for Rivers student musicians traveling and performing in France, Croatia, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland, among others. Tierney also established an Continued on page 7
June 8, 2018
Prize Day 2018
The Faculty Prize Joseph G. Nedder ’18 Dudley H. Willis Trustee Prize Emma G. Chowdhury’18, Noah J. Harrison ’18, Benjamin C. Joiner ’18 The Jeremiah J. Sheehan Memorial Prize Emily R. Smith ’18 The Hooper Lawrence Memorial Prize Timothy J. Lapsley ’18 The F. Ervin Prince Award Keira R. Thompson ’22 The Harvard Club Prize Michael S. Manasseh ’19 The Thomas P. Olverson Prize Hunter A. Taylor-Black ’19 The Williams College Book Award Callie S. Kamanitz ’19 The Brown University Alumni Book Award Anna Donlan ’19 The Columbia Book Award for Community Engagement Chrismary Gonzalez ’18 and Louise C. Ambler ’18 The Johns Hopkins University Prize Apsara R. Balamurugan ’20 Kenneth F. Benjamin ’50 Citizenship Award Margaret C. Leeming ’21 and Adebiyi O. Oyaronbi ’21 The Robert W. Rivers Prize for English Phie G. Jacobs ’18 The Mathematics Prize Lindsay B. Bogar ‘18, Aidan P. McAnena ’18 The Science Prize Emma G. Chowdhury ’18, Aidan P. McAnena ’18 The George Woodbridge History Prize Louise C. Ambler ’18 Interdisciplinary Studies Prize Alexander L. Klein ’18 Otto Alcaide Language Prize for Spanish Emma S. DuBois ’18 Otto Alcaide Language Prize for French Isabel A. Hardy ’18 Austin A. Chute Memorial Prize Julia W. Holton ’18, Maya Z. Wasserman ’18 The Modern Language Prize for Chinese Julia M. Homa ’18 The Three-Dimensional Arts Prize (Ceramics) Emily R. Smith ’18 The Two-Dimensional Arts Prize Joelle R. Mentis ’18 The Photography Prize Alexander L. Klein ’18 The Choral Music Prize Michaela Francesconi ‘18, Isabel Hardy ’18 The David Killam Instrumental Music Prize Joseph G. Nedder ’18 The Nonesuch Players Prize Dominique E. Marshall ’18 The Priscilla Wallace Strauss Athletic Prize Isabel Guerard Silvia ’18 The James A. Navoni Athletic Prize William T. Shea ’18 ISL Award of Excellence Kasey M. Cunningham ’18, Thomas George Benjes ’18 The Rivers School Scholar-Athlete Awards Lindsay B. Bogar, Grace D. Bradley, Ian M. Brostowski, Julia R. Carlin, John J. Corrigan, Kasey M. Cunningham, Meghan C. Gazard, Caroline O. Grape, Noah J. Harrison, Julia W. Holton, Benjamin C. Joiner, Jenna M. Letterie, Caroline H. Magnan, Aidan P. McAnena, Madeline K. Olton, William T. Shea, Isabel G. Silvia, Nicholas A. Stathos, Sara M. Stephenson, Tess M. Sussman, Marissa N. Tomaino, Kendall S. Zaleski Senior Award for Exceptional Dedication to Athletics Kasey M. Cunningham ’18, Meghan C. Gazard ’18, Isabel G. Silvia ’18 Cum Laude Society Louise C. Ambler, Lindsay B. Bogar, Emma G. Chowdhury, Alexa M. Cornetta, Kasey M. Cunningham, Julia W. Holton, Julia M. Homa, Phie G. Jacobs, Alexander L. Klein, Nina G. Knight, Aidan P. McAnena, and Maya Z. Wasserman
The Rivers Edge
June 8, 2018
School readies campus for ambitious new building project Continued from page 1 quate. Tommy Kantaros, a sophomore science enthusiast, agrees that the bigger spaces will be an upgrade. “In the science classrooms that we use right now, we can perform certain lab experiments well,” Kantaros said. “But with a new building, these labs will be performed with greater amounts of space and better resources, which excites me.” Currently, students often do labs at Rivers in which they know the answer before they start. “That’s not how science in the real world works,” said Mr. Parsons. With the new building, science experiences will become more authentic and students may better realize science’s sense of mystery and excitement. “In the real world of science,” Mr. Parsons said, “a scientist has an idea to explore or a question they are trying to answer, so they create an experiment to try to figure out if what they think might be true actually is. Real science is not knowing exactly what’s going to happen.” This new building will allow the Rivers’ science department, and its students to come up with their own experiments. Students will have the space to conduct their own research, come up with their own results, and explore the particular discipline more independently. In the new facility, students can enter the realm of science as it pertains more to the real world than the classroom. Along with the upgrade in the sciences, the arts department at Rivers can expect an equally dramatic improvement. “What’s awesome about this new Center for Science and Visual Arts is it pulls all the visual arts together in one building,” said Upper School art teacher and chair David Saul. In its current form, Rivers visual arts spaces are spread out and disjointed. Tucked away on the lower level of Haynes Hall are the majority of the studio arts, and combined on their floor is a history classroom and several non-art faculty offices. Across the lower parking lot in Haffenreffer, sculpture teacher Rindy Garner is tucked away doing sculpture in a building dominated by middle school classrooms and a gym. In short, Rivers’ arts department lacks the unity and emphasis they deserve and need. Enhancing the arts facilities has been long overdue. “Our current art is comprised of little boxes and paintings on eight by eleven sheets of paper,” said Mr. Parsons. It is good art, nonetheless, but the new building will allow artists to obtain the flexibility and workspace it has needed. “Now we are going beyond the standard high school curriculum,” Parsons said. The arts faculty could not be happier.
A rendering of the front of the new Center for Science and Visual Arts. The two-story, 34,000-square-foot building will be located on the northeast side of Waterman Field in between Prince and Haffenreffer. The building will also provide outdoor classrooms and a patio. “In the contemporary world, art isn’t just one thing,” said Mr. Saul. “It’s not just ceramics or drawing or painting, it is a combination. The new spaces will allow us to pull art together from more than one discipline.” Part of this exciting opportunity comes from the fact that the art classrooms are all directly next to one another. “The 3D art is going to be side by side with the 2D art,” said Saul. “We are going to be able to flow and blend together much better to make more collaborative and interesting pieces.” When asked about the bigger spaces, Mr. Saul echoed Mr. Parsons in his enthusiasm for the opportunity to create more exciting pieces of art: “It’s not that bigger is better, but some of the advanced and ambitious students want to create larger projects.” The facilities for the visual arts programs and science programs are getting massive upgrades, but why put two such contrasting subjects in the same building? Part of the answer is that these departments were deeply in need of improvements, but Mr. Parsons also sees the potential of the two working together. “Most schools don’t have science and art,” Parsons said. “They have science and math. Something that we are considering is how much we value interdisciplinary studies, and there are a lot of faculty members who are really excited about the marriage of science and art as opposed to science and math. For example, you can be in a science class and go into an art space and build a 3D model of a DNA molecule. There are just a lot of different ways to think about how science and art come together.” Along with the improvement within the school, Rivers is excited about attracting prospective students who are passionate about
science and art. “If you visit Rivers you look at Bradley Hall and say ‘oh they have good music.’ You look at MacDowell and say ‘oh they have good sports teams,’” Saul said. “But now students visiting and deciding on Rivers will say, ‘oh they have great art and science departments.’” To be sure, there is a certain cache that having a building like this gives to the Rivers community. “We think that it will get people coming here to understand our commitment to doing really high end work in all of our disciplines,” Parsons said. Yes, losing some of the turf is a negative, and not being able to see our sports teams in the middle of campus will be a big culture shift, but the building is an opportunity for Rivers to have facilities that matches the program. The Rivers’ Center for Science and Visual Arts signals Rivers growth and emphasis on educating its students to the best of its ability.
The interior plan for the first floor of the new center, which will include ample facilities for all the studio arts as well as additional gallery space.
A rendering of the second floor which will house science classrooms, labs, a robotics workshop, break-out rooms, and a guided student research lab for those eager to perform more in-depth work.
The Rivers Edge
June 8, 2018
Rivers makes changes to Discipline Com. procedures BY NOAH NADDAFF-SLOCUM ’21 and ETHAN ZHENG ’21 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
The school’s Disciplinary Committee, comprised of three faculty and four students, reviews cases of students who have violated major school rules and then recommends an appropriate punishment. While Discipline Committee cases are rare - on average the school sees 10 or so a year - the consequences, especially for seniors, can have a major impact on a Rivers student’s career and possibly the college process. While Rivers used to not notify colleges about infractions that happened prior to senior year, the expectation of colleges was that a student would provide that information on their own in college applications. Now, however, any discipline that results in a suspension or worse will be reported to colleges by the school and the family, but a change in the gradations and severity of punishments should mitigate this. Earlier this year, Dean of Students William Mills announced the changes to the D.C. that would better serve students who come before it. The entire discipline process starts when Mr. Mills is notified
about a school rule violation. After he investigates the case, he then decides whether it should be sent to the D.C. Mr. Mills works with the student involved to review what has happened, and the student generates a statement that they deliver to the committee. When the meeting with the D.C. and the student occurs, Mr. Mills gives an overview of the circumstances, listens to a statement from the student involved, and then the committee can ask questions before convening to discuss the case and to recommend a consequence that they deem fitting. While presenting the case, the student’s statement about everything that has happened is critical. One purpose of this statement is to “give context to the student’s decision-making, and lessons learned,” according to Mr. Mills. While giving this statement, the student explains what his/her role was in the incident and what the student has learned through the process. While the student presents their perspective, he or she has a faculty member, or “advocate,” present that offers support and represents the person well. Most often, this advocate is the student’s advisor, or another chosen adult; they are there to support the student. This is a manda-
tory part of the process unless the student absolutely refuses it, which is rare. At the high school level, Mr. Mills along with others value the student’s self-reflection. The parents are not present for the meeting because, among other reasons, Mills believes, it is “important for the student to take responsibility independently.” If a person on the committee has a relation to the case or student involved they can recuse themselves to avoid a biased opinion and result. If they do not feel the need to recuse themselves, but Mr. Mills sees a compelling conflict of interest, he or the Chair of the Committee, English teacher Jennie Jacoby, will “have a conversation with them to double check their relationship to the case or student involved.” That is when alternates come into play. These are students and adults that are not always on the D.C., but only when someone has recused themselves. There is one alternate faculty, so if one faculty can’t make it, then the alternate comes in for the case. This also goes for the students on the committee. The most common punishment that the D.C. gives, is a suspension. This is because the cases that go before the D.C. are major school rules violations
which result in stiffer consequences. They do also have probation, which in the past has always been attached to a suspension, but under the revised system, can also be applied separately. The committee decides how long this probationary period is; probation means that, “you really need to make good decisions while you are in that period,” as Mills described it. If a student does get in trouble during this period, then he or she will be back in front of the D.C. and could get dismissed from the school. The D.C. can also give out a letter of warning to the student which is a level below probation and suspension. A new addition is restriction for which the student in question is allowed to come to school for academic classes but is separated in a room doing work during free periods and cannot participate in any cocurricular activities. The DC used to be able to recommend as punishment a suspension, probation and even dismissal. A new piece of the committee is a warning. Although probation was listed separately from suspension, it was often tied in with suspension. Now, however, the DC can recommend probation on its own.
The tension surrounding the DC and its policy reforms mainly had to do with the college application process and the school’s obligation to notify colleges of past disciplinary actions. The new procedure allows Rivers and the student to send the whole truth and related growth of all disciplinary incidents from 9th through 12th grade to colleges, as is requested on college applications. Dave Lyons, Director of College Counseling, is in full support of the changes. “The old system was tricky because we were not able to comment on infractions prior to the 12th grade,” Lyons said. “This new policy allows us to work more effectively and honestly with both the kids and the colleges.” Mr. Lyons says that colleges understand that students make mistakes, and that high school is about growth rather than being perfect. In the majority of incidents, Mr. Lyons said, “infractions that are not part of a larger pattern of bad behavior or poor character have no impact on the process.” If one has had a disciplinary infraction, colleges don’t interpret it as poor character rather as a mistake that turned into a learning experience for the student.
“Based on extensive research and discussion about deep and authentic student learning, the Curriculum Committee proposed discontinuing the winter exam period and making changes to our assessment strategy in ways that would enhance teaching and learning through the course of the year,” Tamarro said. “This proposal was discussed with the entire faculty, [Head of School Ned] Parsons, [Director of College Counseling Dave] Lyons, parents, and students.” In terms of students’ perspectives, the response to this administration’s pivot was overwhelmingly positive. “This winter was so much easier without midterms, and I felt like I could actually enjoy the weeks leading up to break instead of stressing myself out,” said senior Aidan McAnena ‘18. McAnena’s opinion was a popular one, as very few have come out in opposition of the decision. It is clear that this was not a last-minute decision. Abolishing midterms from The Rivers School was something that was turning in the minds of the administration for several years. “We very carefully considered the pros and the cons and focused on strategies to enhance the quality of student experience with the goal of fostering deep and authentic student learning,” Tammaro said. “As such, our discussions relied on the
cognitive science literature that informs best practice teaching. We know that the deepest and most long-lasting learning occurs when teachers use three types of assessments - quizzes, cumulative tests, and a final exam at the end of the year for year-long courses.” As Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Tammaro oversees the academic life of the Upper School, while also driving innovation in Rivers’ academic programs, implementing the programmatic initiatives of the Strategic Plan, and working closely with department chairs. Tammaro also teaches Psychology courses at Rivers and is a master at the human brain. On the effects of testing, Tammaro said, “Research shows that this approach changes the emphasis in students’ work from short-term acquisition that allows students to perform well on a test when it is given, to longer-term mastery. Quizzes provide immediate feedback about how well students understand something when it is first presented so that both students and teachers can ensure that students have the building blocks they need to reach a higher level of understanding. Cumulative tests during the year allow us to gauge genuine learning, providing the opportunity for students to use what they are learning as they integrate it with what they have already learned and build an
increasing level of understanding and intellectual competence.” Now that midterms are gone, the logical question many students may be asking are the June finals next, but Dr. Tammaro reassures us that finals are here to stay. “Final exams are an important culmination to year-long courses,” she said. “Studies show that students who take cumulative finals retain the information they learn longer than students who do not take cumulative exams. Our system of continuous review and assessment throughout the year provides the structure that prepares students for the final exam. Both teachers and students will have the information they need to ensure that students are developing mastery. This is evidence-based practice.” According to Tammaro, removing the 90-minute December midterms made the start of the winter term a lot more practical. “Although there were some benefits to winter exams there were also downsides,” she said. “The discontinuation of winter exams allows us to fully utilize the winter trimester for the work of that term rather than disrupting it for mid-year exams, and it increases the overall number of teaching days within the academic year. Additional teaching days and a more cohesive winter trimester have a direct impact on student learning. The most valuable time we have is that time in the class-
room for teachers and students to work together. Engaged learning time is far superior to a week devoted to testing.” The old saying, “Enjoy it while it lasts,” seems not to apply in this scenario, as midterms may be gone for good -that is unless evidence surfaces supporting the benefits of midterms. “At Rivers we are always monitoring the effectiveness of what we do, as well as studying external research to inform our practice,” Tammaro added. “As an innovative and forwardlooking institution, we will make changes when there is evidence to support those changes. Our commitment is to put what we know of best practices to work in the service of the most effective learning environment.” For freshmen, the first class not to have two exam periods, the emphasis on building toward one final exam was helpful. “Our teachers have prepared us the whole year to study for finals, and I had a lot of unofficial midterms in most of my classes, so I wasn’t worried about adjusting for finals,” said freshman Noah Naddaff-Slocum ‘21. Still, if students have any feedback, Dr. Tammaro is eager to hear it. “I welcome student’s thoughts and feedback,” she said. “Please reach out if you would like to discuss this, or any other aspect of your academic program at Rivers.”
Move to one exam period has positive impact on students BY ADAM NADDAFF-SLOCUM ’18 EDITOR EMERITUS
As many noticed, especially returning upper schoolers, this past December at Rivers was a lot different than previous ones. There were no dreary, slightly panicked walks to the Haffenreffer Gym garbed in hoodies and sweatpants. No stressedout students attempting some extra practice problems in lower Campus Center. And, most importantly, there were no exams. Although some upperclassmen felt it unfair the underclassmen did not have to go through the pain of midterms, the majority of students were overwhelmingly pleased with the decision. For anyone new to the school this year, winter midterms were 90-minute cumulative tests given in each year-long class. The major assessments accounted for 10% of one’s final grade while the June year-end exams counted for 15%. “The decision to discontinue winter exams came about after a full year of consideration and study on the part of the Curriculum Committee,” said Dr. Susan Tammaro, Dean of Academic Affairs, who spearheaded the effort and who surely made headlines - and friends - in just her second year at Rivers. For Tammaro, department chairs and others involved, the reason to eliminate the winter exams was simple.
The Rivers Edge
June 8, 2018
In final farewell, a plea to Rivers community Dear Loyal Edge Readers (loyal I know because you are reading this editorial), I admit freely that this is one of the only times I have written an editorial, but my task is an easy one. First, I would like to thank you for a few things. 1. Picking up The Edge. 2. Reading The Edge. And 3. Reading this editorial in The Edge. Now that I’ve finished with the formalities, I would like to share something with you loyal readers that I have been waiting to do for a long time. This is my public plea for you to join The Edge. To be honest with you, our school’s newspaper, honored in 2015-2016 by the American Scholastic Association as outstanding school newspaper, has been struggling. Last year, due to a fluctuating staff, we were only able to publish three issues. While these issues were some of the best published, there were only three of them. My goal for in the beginning of the year was to publish The Edge at least five times, and this seemed very realistic as almost 40 student writers signed up at the club fair. However, the first meeting saw only ten writers at Haynes 16 Tuesday B Mod. Although these ten writers are a big talent, we need more of you future prize-winning journalists to join. Perhaps the fear of additional work may hold you back, so let me make one thing clear, The Edge is not a big time commitment. We meet to assign article topics and then to do a status check. All you have to do is drop your article in the shared folder. Being part of The Edge is 100 times easier than that math test you just took. It’s three easy steps: 1. Get assigned an article (you don’t even have to come to a meeting, we can email you). 2. Write that article. 3. Submit that article. Still not convinced? Allow me to make another point. College’s LOVE student-run newspapers. Imagine yourself in a year or two sitting down in a college interview. Instead of regretting not participating in more clubs, you can tell them you are part of your school newspaper. When I am in a college interview, and I tell my interviewer that I play football, they think it’s cool, but when I tell them that I am editor of my school newspaper, their jaw drops. If you want an extra reason for a college to accept you, join the Edge. It will add to your Common App not to mention sharpen up your interviewing skills. But you can also learn some useful information, which brings me to my second point. Struggling with your English grade? Have no fear, join the Edge. The Edge makes writing fun. Since we don’t often assign analytical essays, you won’t need to concern yourself with the five paragraph essay or whether you footnoted properly. You can write an opinion piece on a topic you feel strongly about, write a feature piece on a person who has had an impact on the school, or explore a new program or initiative on campus. The journalistic format for articles is relatively easy to to pick up. The possibilities are endless. Without question, you will become a better writer and journalist. Finally, although your friends may not think you’re cool for joining The Edge, your parents will. Imagine coming home and seeing the smile on your parents’ faces when you tell them you joined the school newspaper and are training to be a journalist, the guardians of democracy. Not only may it help you get a new phone, but it will give your parents one more thing to brag about to their friends. That being said, I would like to thank The Edge for an amazing four years of mentorship, knowledge, and friends. I cannot imagine my high school experience without this club. Know that when you join The Edge you will make new friends, hone your writing and journalistic skills, and lastly, but also more importantly you will make your parents very happy. Let’s get started and email next year’s editor, Henry Muller, at email@example.com.
Opinions & Editorials
Senior projects changes poorly done BY ALEX CLAY ’18 STAFF WRITER
Senior projects are an essential part of Rivers students’ experiences in the 12th grade. Every senior completes his or her project during the two weeks preceding graduation and then gives a presentation to 11th graders, teachers, and parents. Many seniors view this capstone project as an opportunity to explore topics they never got the chance to study, dive deep on creative options, or do valuable community service or internships. Often, students have collaborated on projects and accomplished many goals. Most of my classmates have been looking forward to their senior projects ever since they came to Rivers, and some had even planned what they were going to do.Thus, it baffled many seniors when the school announced during homeroom on Thursday, Feb. 1st, that they had altered the guidelines for senior projects. Group projects were eliminated and doing an independent study was no longer an option. The administrators in charge justified these changes by saying, in essence, that they wanted seniors to take the projects more seriously this year. This left seniors with two different choices: internships or community service. I believe the school did not
handle this situation correctly. First, they revealed the amended system in an odd way, primarily they made the announcement way too late. I would expect at least a full year of notice so students could plan accordingly. For something that is a graduation requirement, an email should have been sent to students and parents explaining the changes in detail and providing reasons for each decision prior to the start of school in September. Likewise, I don’t buy the school’s justification; it appears somewhat misguided that the school allowed the actions of a few students in past years to alter the opportunities that we deserve and had come to expect. Since independent studies were forbidden this spring, many students who sought to explore their interests in music or visual art through their projects scrambled to come up with new ideas. Independent studies were often popular with students who took performing arts classes, such as jazz band, orchestra, and chorus, to fill their arts requirement and never had the chance to take visual arts classes such as photography, drawing, and ceramics. They were also popular with musicians and artists who wanted to hone their skills. Unquestionably, internships seem like valuable opportunities to gain work experience. In reality, however, very few companies
are willing to hire high school students for a two-week internship, and I doubt that businesses would let students do anything more than get coffee or work the copy machines. How much experience can one actually get when they are working, most likely in a limited role, for two weeks? Moreover, the school’s refusal to accept requests for collaborative projects is extremely hypocritical when one looks at the values Rivers prides itself upon. The website reads: “We cultivate a caring, respectful, and collaborative environment.” Hence, it is really interesting that the school would not let students collaborate on the final assignment of their careers that will almost certainly be one of their most impactful experiences at the school. This spring, many seniors made the most of the new project format, fulfilling internships at various sites in the area. However, there were plenty of my classmates who feel they missed out on what had become a beloved rite of passage. To me and many others, the new guidelines for senior projects are contrary to the school’s core values. While there is room for improvement to any program, the senior class did not deserve to have this decision made more than halfway through the year and delivered without any input from us.
The Rivers Edge
Editor-in-Chief Editor Emeritus Assistant Editor Sports Editor Staff Writer/Columnist Staff Writer Staff Writer Staff Writer Faculty Advisor
Henry Muller ’19 Adam Naddaff-Slocum ’18 Zachary Zhang ’18 Cam Cobey ’18 Alex Clay ’18 Phie Jacobs ’18 Elizabeth Donovan ’19 Nathalie Ahn ’19 Alex Stephens
Contributing Writers: Ethan Zheng ’21, Noah Naddaff-Slocum ’21 Photography: Chad Crogan, Janet Ciummei, Chris Martin, Chip Riegel THE RIVERS EDGE is published by the students of The Rivers School. THE EDGE is a forum for the ideas, issues and concerns of the student body. Letters and contributions from the entire Rivers community - students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni are welcomed and encouraged. Unsigned letters will not be published, but names will be withheld upon request. Please send letters to The Editors, THE RIVERS EDGE, The Rivers School, 333 Winter Street, Weston, MA 02493.
June 8, 2018
The Rivers Edge
Prescription painkillers impacting high schools as well BY ALEX CLAY ’18 STAFF WRITER
The over prescription of opioid painkillers has been one of the main causes of the opioid epidemic in America. Of the many factors leading to the crisis, overprescribing seems to be the most pressing and visible issue. Many doctors over prescribe painkillers to protect their reputations. Doctors and pharmacologists have also been charged and convicted of felonies because they ran “pill mills”: fraudulent pharmacies or medical practices that acted as addicts’ or drug dealers’ prescription drug suppliers. In the past decade, a national debate about opioids emerged, and some Americans believe overprescribing and the resulting opioid epidemic is a medical injustice against vulnerable populations. At Rivers, we rarely talk about this crisis, and I believe that our community is somewhat apathetic towards the widespread issues that opioids have caused in our towns and cities. I sent out a survey, and I interviewed the athletic trainer, Myron Mentis, who, although he cannot prescribe opioids, has an extensive knowledge about medical philosophy, to see how much our community has been affected by overprescribing. The survey was sent out on Friday, Feb. 23rd to the entire Upper School (grades 9-12) and Upper School faculty. This was a sampling pool of about 400 people, and, as of Sunday, February 25th, 141 people had responded. I began with asking a simple question to mark the percentage of respon-
dents who had been prescribed opioids in the past five years. I used a five year window to increase the relevancy of the data. According to the results, about one fourth of respondents have been exposed to prescription painkillers in the past five years. That is below the 38% of American adults who were prescribed opioids in 2015, according to a US government study. This disparity could be explained by doctors’ attitudes toward prescribing opioids to minors. “Physicians are much more careful prescribing [opioids] for young adults than for older people. You typically do not see an overuse of opioids for young populations,” explained Mr. Mentis. The second question asked respondents who said they had been prescribed painkillers to name why the painkillers were prescribed. I expected most of the responses to be for sports injuries, but the majority of respondents indicated that recovery from an operation was the reason for their prescription. Mr. Mentis had estimated that “Of the significant interventions for injuries that we have had probably 50 percent were prescribed opioids or narcotics for pain.” Although addiction can result from overprescribing for sports injuries and recoveries from operations, addiction can set in much more easily when opioids are prescribed for chronic pain. As one respondent commented: “If people have chronic pain, they shouldn’t be prescribed painkillers. Not only is that not healthy, but that’s one reason why people
become addicted to them.” Opioids activate the brain’s opioid receptors and often build tolerance over time when used to treat chronic pain because the brain creates more receptors. This encourages addiction because the brain’s natural chemicals are not enough to satisfy these receptors when the opioid is not present. Question three sought to investigate into which types of painkillers were prescribed the most. Overwhelmingly, respondents selected Oxycodone, marketed under OxyContin, as the prescription they received. This data represents the grip that Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, has on the pharmaceutical industry. Oxycodone is more powerful than both Percocet and Hydrocodone (Vicodin), so doctors often prescribe it because they are certain that it will alleviate pain. According to an article in The New Yorker, Purdue Pharma targeted white, working class communities in the Rust Belt where employees of manufacturers suffered chronic pain and work-related injuries. They gave people free pills and coupons, promising that the OxyContin that they sold was not addictive. In the comments, students complained that the pills, especially OxyContin, made them feel dizzy and nauseous, which indicates how withdrawal symptoms can be felt after just a few pills. Question four provided a description of the percentage of pills that students had taken. The large portion represents students and faculty who were not prescribed pills. Otherwise, the results were
quite evenly distributed through the categories, with most of the respondents saying they had taken less than 100% of the pills they were prescribed. In fact, eight respondents, or 20% of those who were prescribed painkillers, reported that they never took any of their painkillers at all. This shows how over prescription is indeed a major problem facing our community and should be discussed more. We cannot have strong painkillers lying around in our houses, and we should not have doctors prescribing us more pills than we need. Eastern medicine is one of the solutions that Mr. Mentis said many people consider as an alternative to opioids. “If [your medical philosophy is] Eastern-based, there are other options such as acupuncture and herbal medicine,” Mentis said. This ties in with ethical relativism, the belief that different cultures can have different and acceptable ideas for what is morally acceptable. Indeed, the concept of pain itself may be related to ethical relativism. “Pain is a very difficult issue to understand because everyone’s response to pain is different,” Mentis explained. “It is largely cultural-based and on personal experiences. There is a difference in perception. It is very difficult to get an objective opinion on pain.” Thus, since pain depends upon one’s relative cultural experiences, doctors have difficulties assessing how to treat people’s pain. When doctors decide whether to prescribe medication, they
must consider many factors. Doctors weigh their reputations, other doctors’ actions, and the patient’s condition when allotting the medication. If patients give doctors poor reviews because they did not give enough medication to mitigate the pain, doctors can lose other patients and get fired from hospitals. A culture also exists within hospitals and clinics where doctors will adhere to the practices of more experienced or senior health professionals when prescribing. The opioid crisis has led to doctors weighing the addiction potential of drugs in this ethical decision as well. All of this leads to an intense amount of pressure on doctors to make correct decisions when they prescribe (or do not prescribe) medication. I was also saddened by the number of stories of addiction that were shared in the comments of the survey. A number of respondents wrote about the impact that the opioid crisis and overprescribing have had on their families. One respondent wrote about how their father had an addiction to painkillers. Another respondent shared that they “have a family member who was addicted to [painkillers] for years and it wreaked havoc on the children and marriage, not to mention her own health.” These stories give insight to the horrifying epidemic that is affecting our communities. We must have conversations at Rivers about how we can address over prescription because it can be solved, yet it has led to an epidemic.
pilot all have something in common: they’re things you do alone. At this point in my life, there was nothing I feared more than public speaking: interacting with other people outside of my family was something that terrified me to the extreme. One of my strongest memories from this time was how I would always grab the seat in the back right of the classroom: with the teacher’s desk in the front left, this meant there was as much distance between her and me possible, and thus reduced the chances of me being forced to answer anything. So what happened? What magical person or event took place that changed me, transformed me from the kid hiding in the corner to the person standing in front of you now? Well, Rivers happened. There was no sudden catharsis, no world-shattering revelation as I stepped foot on campus for the first time. Each and every change came gradually. First, there wasn’t any more hiding in a classroom, especially in classes that were just ten people or less. Second, I was no longer play-
ing music alone - I was put in various different ensembles, so for the first time I had to coordinate with others, to listen to what each separate piece was in order to make the piece overall improve. Finally, despite having no experience whatsoever playing sports, I ended up playing middle school soccer, and I’ll never forget that, in 8th grade year, a bunch of guys on the A-team felt bad that I was the only 8th grader on B-team soccer, and managed to convince Mr. Pierson that I should move up, despite still being a terrible soccer player to this day. Though all of these stories might sound unrelated, these middle-school experiences were just some of the many things that showed me the strengths of community and communication. Suddenly, teachers were no longer these unapproachable sources of information to memorize but actual people who would actively discuss with students in class. Music wasn’t just a solitary performance but something that requires coordination and cooperation to do right. And even if I was terrible at soccer and spent
most of 8th grade fall on a bench, the fact that I was there at all was because other people had cared enough to help me there. High school brought its own challenges. Despite having grown in middle school and having learned that it was okay and encouraged to speak up, that didn’t mean that I was any good at it yet. I’m not going to lie and say that I’ve gotten better at it since then: I still like my peace and quiet, and my conversational skills can best be described somewhere between “somewhat decent” and “painfully awkward”, but it’s leaning into that awkwardness and embracing something that I’m not quite good at that I’ve learned. I will never be 100% comfortable with strangers or public
speaking, and that’s okay. Yet even though I’ve changed so much since then, in many ways I’m still that same kid from 5th grade: I still love sci-fi and fantasy, still love video games (even if I don’t have the time to play them anymore), and while growing up confronted me with the harsh reality that I will never be a Jedi Knight, I’m still holding out to be a pilot, somehow. What changed most about me was the change in perspective. Conversations aren’t dangers to avoid, but an essential part of everyday life. Challenges aren’t things to avoid or run away from, but to confront and grow from. Most important of all, it wasn’t shameful to be a quiet person - I just needed to stop hiding it.
Confessions of an introvert: how I overcame being quiet
BY ZACH ZHANG ’18 STAFF WRITER
am a quiet person at heart. Now, most of my friends, upon hearing that, would immediately object. They’d probably say something along the lines of, “Zack, you were sophomore co-president, you play piano, and were in both the fall play and the musical. Your voice has a decibel range somewhere in between a shotgun blast and a thunderstorm; you are by far one of the least-quiet people that I know.” To all of which, I say, “You’re not wrong.” Like most people, however, I wasn’t always like this. To understand, we need to rewind the clock, all the way back to fifth grade: I was several inches shorter, obsessed with the sci-fi and fantasy genres, and my voice was about two octaves higher. I loved video games, piano, and dreamed of one day becoming a pilot and Jedi like my childhood hero, Luke Skywalker. Playing video games, practicing piano, and being an X-Wing
Congratulations to the Class of 2018 and The Edge’s own: Adam Naddaff-Slocum Zach Zhang Alex Clay Phie Jacobs Cam Cobey
June 8, 2018
The Rivers Edge
Up close and personal with the new school co-presidents BY NATHALIE AHN ’19 STAFF WRITER
Senior Co-Presidents Scott Hilinski and Georgia Freeland really ended the 2017-2018 year with a bang, but Rivers has no idea what it has coming next fall. Ecstatic Maren Durant and driven Dylan Keusch, the newly elected school leaders, plan to take the 2018-2019 school year to another level with their boundless energy and innovative ideas. “Let’s finally bridge the gap between Conservatory kids and athletes,” Maren stated as one of her goals. “If we have no homework for plays, we should do more ‘no homework nights’ for everyone to see jazz and chorus concerts or even to come see a game.” Because often times homework hinders students from attending these concerts and games, Maren provides a possible solution, explaining how light homework nights would encourage students to come support each other’s after-school interests more often. Dylan, agreeing with Maren, chipped in the idea of having Rivers’ Big Band play or Chorus and A Cappella sing before special games, such as Fall and Spring Homecoming. Both presidents also mentioned they wanted to make Spring Homecoming “more of a thing,” and with the addition of music performances and possibly a food
truck, they have faith it would be a huge hit next year. Maren further highlighted her determination in helping the student body transition during the construction of the new Science and Art Center next year and ensuring the coming year is just as enjoyable as this year, even with the absence of students’ main hang-out location: Waterman Turf Field. Fear not, though, as Mr. Parsons explained last week, a strip of the turf will remain for students to use. “Instead of just talking about the things we should do, I actually want to do something about the conversations we always have,” Dylan declared. Dylan went on to list some little, fun things he would like to implement to put a smile on students’ faces, such as bringing in more musical and outside guests and having more food during break. On a more serious note, he wants to have more outside speakers and entrepreneurs speak at all-school meetings. “Rivers is very sheltered now and students are only focused on school, but I would love to have someone who brings a different perspective.” “Being a co-president of the Rivers’ student body provides a unique opportunity to be the medium between the faculty and students. I don’t know any other way I’d have that opportunity,” Maren indicated. Similarly, Dylan mentioned how he “genuinely loves do-
Junior class Co-Presidents Dylan Keusch and Maren Durant will take their talents and leadership skills to the next level as they assume the role of school co-presidents for the upcoming school year. Photo by Nathalie Ahn ’19. ing this job and has since sixth grade.” He explained how he truly has a passion for representing the grade and leading in general. “I just really love it a lot.” “Community,” both Dylan and Maren stated upon being asked their favorite thing about Rivers. Maren pointed out some aspects she especially loves: “The fact that I can always talk to Sarah Cobb at the Café, and then talk to Ms. Fitzgerald about homework but also about summer plans in the same conversations. Seeing
sophomores sitting with juniors. It’s just really rare other places.” Likewise, Dylan believes it is a “very special place where there is a relationship between students but also between students and teachers. There isn’t a sense of people dragging you down and competing, but instead everyone is pushing you to do better.” As for any leaders, both students think about their legacies. For Maren, she wants to be remembered as “two copresidents who made a difference
and actually changed things for the better. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small or big thing or the year in general, but I want it to go great and to have lasting impact.” For Dylan, he wants to be someone that is approachable by all students from sixth graders to seniors and someone that always had people’s backs. Throughout all their creative planning to make next year count, Dylan and Maren emphasize their hope to have a purpose at Rivers and a lasting impact.
Music groups travel to Vienna, Venice over spring break BY ELIZABETH DONOVAN ’19 STAFF WRITER
Upper School musicians and singers had a very exciting opportunity over March break: a trip to the big V’s of Europe: Venice and Vienna. The Conservatory organizes this trip biannually, and it is, by all accounts, a beloved highlight of the program. With members from the chamber orchestra, men and women’s chorus, various and select jazz combos, and the new piano class participating in the trip, this year’s excursion in March was well worth it. Director of the Conservatory and chair of the Performing Arts at Rivers, David Tierney, organized the trip and accompanied 55 students, along with orchestra directors Dan Shaud and Magdalena Richter, chorus director Susan Emmanouilidis, and jazz director Philippe Crettien. With its talented musicians and excellent repertoire, this trip was one of the most successful and enjoyable ones yet. Past destinations for the trip, which dates back to 2005, include France, Italy, Spain, Croatia, and Switzerland. “What a wonderful experience to share with my classmates,” said Daniel Weitz ’20. “La pasta
è molto buona.” Apparently, the music department waits for no one, and the itinerary for the trip was packed with loads of venues to perform at along with many places for the students to explore. In particular the orchestra headed to St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, one of the most famous buildings in the city, to kick off the tour. Performing in the city where it was first composed, the orchestra played Beethoven’s First Symphony, performed earlier in the year at an All School assembly, which was a big hit among the students, who received a refreshing change from the usual senior speeches or announcements. Joining the orchestra at this venue was the chorus, combining to perform as part of a Catholic mass, followed by a brief concert afterwards. These two ensembles joining as one created a riveting group that left its audience waiting for more and on their feet applauding. The orchestra played Italian, German, and American music for the tour. They also played at the Venice Conservatory again, as they did two years ago. Their performance there was so well received that the orchestra was invited back. There they played a piece by the beloved Italian
heads off to an exciting new Rivers School Conservatory. He composer Ottorino Respighi, a opportunity at the end of the will be missed but this European beautiful classical addition to school year. Mr. Tierney has exemplifies Mr. Tierney’s leaderthe mix of pieces. In both of these places they also played part been a staple to the Conservatory ship and lasting legacy at Rivers. and every facet of the perform“I think the trip was truly of American composer Aaron something meaningful bringCopland’s “Appalachian Spring”, ing arts program, supporting and enriching the many groups and ing together the conservatory featuring the American hymn tune “Simple Gifts”. For this, the ensembles it has to offer. Tierney program as a whole,” said one has been the Conservatory’s student, “and Mr. Tierney helped already talented group of musimake it an experience we will cians in the orchestra were joined director since 1996, not only influencing the lives of Rivers never forget.” by the chorus and a number of students but also expanding the chamber groups from the Conservatory Program. “Playing the music from the actual place it was written was really cool,” said one of the musicians. The jazz combos and Honors Big Band had two showcase performances as well, one in a jazz club in Vienna as well as a venue outside of Venice. The award winning jazz program had the opportunity to showcase their talents as well. In some ways, Farm to Table however, this trip was bittersweet. It On Thursdays in May, 6th grade students took turns manning the Farmers Market, featuring fresh produce from the Freight Farm as well as homemade pesto sauce was Mr. Tierney’s last trip with the and salad dressing, which got rave reviews. Photo by Kate Harrigan. Conservatory as he
June 8, 2018
The Rivers Edge
Tierney leaves lasting legacy after 26 years at Rivers Continued from page 1 adult community orchestra, the Rivers Symphony Orchestra, facilitated the construction of Bradley Hall in 2006, and tripled the enrollment of The Rivers School Conservatory. In 2003, he created the The Rivers School Conservatory Program, providing students with an opportunity to balance both musical and academic studies within a nurturing and supportive community. In addition to his work at Rivers, Tierney has conducting engagements at the Waltham Philharmonic Orchestra and the New England Classical Singers. He is also Minister of Music at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Dedham. When asked how he juggles his workload, Tierney responds, “In many ways, all my responsibilities complemented each other, although managing them all was a 24/7 job.” After starting so many successful initiatives, Mr. Tierney could list several achievements, but he quickly connects all his experiences at Rivers back to those that make up the school: the students. “My favorite part of the job,” he says. “Hearing and seeing the student performances from solo recitals, to arts nights, to the musical - it is so gratifying to hear and see the growth and high levels of performance in our students.” Tierney is in awe of how fast 26 years went past and during that time two events stand out: “The day we broke ground for Bradley Hall,” he explains, “and any of the Jordan Hall concerts.” During his tenure, Mr. Tierney has seen and implemented many changes, but the most significant change he recalls was “watching Rivers’ evolution into becoming one of the leading independent
Mr. Tierney directs The Rivers Symphony Orchestra, an adult community orchestra he started. schools in New England.” Over the years, Mr. Tierney himself has not only changed professionally but also person-
“I never cease to be amazed by Rivers students’ sense of balance and fairness, despite the chaos of the world around them.”
- David Tierney
ally. “Rivers has made me a more patient and strategic thinker.” As Mr. Tierney continues his journey, he will most likely be
asked about his past experiences. Looking back on his time at Rivers, he describes the school as “a small, but incredibly complex community that eschews the typical New England prep school model with its commitment to the arts and incredibly strong student-teacher relationships.” Leaving a school, whether as a teacher or a graduating senior, is always a little bittersweet, and there are always things that will be missed. For Tierney, what he’ll miss most is the students: “I never cease to be amazed by Rivers students’ sense of balance and fairness, despite the chaos of the world around them.” Having honed many skills as a teacher and administrator while at Rivers, Mr. Tierney’s time here has prepared him well
In addition to all the changes and improvements Tierney made to the school’s performing arts program, he also helped grow the size and reputation of The Rivers School Conservatory. The RSC now boasts a faculty of more than 100 distinguished artist-teachers from the Boston area who provide lessons and musical opportunities for more than 900 students ages 3-90 from more than 40 different towns.
for his next stage in his career as head of Cambridge Friends. Tierney will no doubt apply his learning from Rivers to work
“Under his creative passion and vigilant eye, the Conservatory Program has provided students with the opportunity to balance both musical and academic studies.”
- Yearbook Dedication
with the Cambridge Friends community and tackle new and different challenges. Those of us who have had the
privilege to know Mr. Tierney will certainly agree that he personifies excellence with humanity and has helped Rivers be the great school it is today. “Rivers has given me an amazing education in how to build a school founded upon excellence,” he says, “and I hope the school always maintains its independence from the restrictions of traditional thinking.” Tierney has made a lasting impact on the Rivers Community which is part of the reason the Class of 2018 dedicated their yearbook to him. The following is an excerpt from the dedication: “Offering unconditional encouragement and personally invested, Mr. Tierney is always there to push students to pursue new activities when they doubted, staying late into the night just to hear two minutes of a recital, and listening to his students, regardless of how small the issue. Under his creative passion and vigilant eye, the Conservatory Program has provided students with the opportunity to balance both musical and academic studies within a nurturing and supportive community. To the entire Rivers Community, he has made unparalleled contributions and lasting impacts that will help Rivers continue to grow into more than just a school but a community, fostering mutual respect and encouragement. For Conservatory Program students, he has been an irreplaceable advocate, empathetic and compassionate.” The Rivers Community would like to thank Mr. Tierney for his service to the school, and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.
One of Tierney’s legacies will surely be starting the music trips over spring break. Above, Conservatory students and Tierney enjoy a break during this year’s trip to Vienna and Venice.
The Rivers Edge
June 8, 2018
The year in drama: Rivers actors delivered 3 great shows BY PHIE JACOBS ’18 STAFF WRITER
It has been a great year to be a theatre kid at Rivers. English classes in several grades delved into the works of great playwrights like Shakespeare and Arthur Miller, while the seniors in Ms. Bailey’s playwriting elective had the opportunity to add their unique voices to the theatrical canon. But Rivers students have really shone this year as performers in the fall play, winter musical, and middle school production, which took us from Ancient Rome all the way to the African serengeti. Last fall, the Nonesuch Players invited us to travel back in time to the 1990s for its production of She Kills Monsters, a fun-filled fantasy romp by contemporary playwright Qui Nguyen. The play follows the story of Agnes Evans (Dominique Marshall ‘18, seasoned Rivers actor and finalist in last year’s National Shakespeare Competition) as she attempts to come to terms with the death of her sister Tilly (Louise Ambler ’18). Agnes’s search for peace leads her into the bizarre, hilarious, and surprisingly touching world of Dungeons and Dragons, where her sister lives on as Tillius the Paladin, a valiant warrior who still cannot seem to escape the horrors of adolescence. As Agnes struggles to understand her sister’s life, the real world, populated by Agnes’s hapless boyfriend Miles (Zack Zhang ’18) and flippant guidance counselor Vera (Julia Slayne ’18), and the world of the game begin to blur. Guided along by Chuck Biggs (Charlie Bondhus ’18), Agnes accompanies Tillius’s party - bloodthirsty demon queen Lilith (Julia Homa ’18), aloof elf Kaliope (Phie Jacobs ’18) and Orcus, the former overlord of the underworld who would rather watch TV than defeat evil (Chrismary Gonzalez ’18) - on their quest to rescue the Lost Soul of Athens. “It’s funny and emotional and deals with some serious issues all at the same time,” stage manager Maya Wasserman ’18 said of She Kills Monsters. After watching
Under the guidance of Diane DeVore and co-director Julia Auster, the middle school’s production of The Lion King, Jr was a huge hit this spring, playing to sell-out crowds and getting rave reviews. With a talented cast, elaborate choreography, and dazzling costumes, it was easy to see why. the show, any audience member would agree; despite the abundance of swords, monsters, and 90s music, She Kills Monsters delivered a heartfelt message about coming to terms with grief, but that message was so well disguised with humor and daring stage combat that most audience members didn’t realize they were crying until the house lights turned on at the end of the show. The winter musical, on the other hand, was unconcerned with messages and morals and fully devoted to showing the Rivers community a good time. Drawing inspiration from traditional Roman and Greek theater, Stephen Sondheim’s lesser-known musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum tells the story of Pseudolus, (played by Rivers’ resident musical superstar Joe Nedder ’18) a Roman slave who seeks to win his freedom through wit, trickery, and a series of harebrained schemes each more preposterous than the last. As Pseudolus connives to unite his lovesick master Hero (Caleb Leeming ’19) with the virtuous Philia (Sara Stephenson ’18), a
The veteran cast of last fall’s production of She Kills Monsters, which provided plenty of entertainment for audiences.
courtesan from the brothel next door, we are introduced to a lively cast of characters, including courtesans, eunuchs, Roman soldiers, and perhaps the most hilariously dysfunctional family ever to grace the stage at Regis College. “I liked the idea of doing a satirical farce,” director David Tierney explained. In past years, the winter musical has often dealt with deep, existential themes about love and humanity and/or sought to convey some form of important message to the audience. As Mr. Tierney put it, “even Cinderella had a dark side.” Forum appealed to him precisely because it had no deeper message and was instead purely meant to entertain the audience through raunchy humor and melodrama. Pseudolus even quips at one point that the audience can deal with “morals tomorrow,” after they have finished watching the show. Unfortunately, Forum was Mr. Tierney’s last show at Rivers, as
next fall he will be beginning his stint as headmaster of The Cambridge Friends School. Though this will no doubt be an exciting career shift, Mr. Tierney does regret that his new role will be more administrative in nature and less student-oriented. “This is what I’m going to miss at Rivers,” he admitted, “working directly with students.” Luckily his career as director of the winter musical ended on a high note; Forum was a truly special show, well-suited to a director whose unique style and passion will be dearly missed. “It’s a breath of fresh air,” espoused Tim Lapsley ‘18, who played the aptly named warmonger Miles Gloriosus. Forum represented a rare opportunity for actors to abandon a certain level of emotional nuance in favor of broad physical comedy, leading to more carefree, fun-loving performances. Since the musical draws so heavily from Greek and Roman theater, many of its char-
acters are archetypal in nature and fulfill somewhat stereotypical roles: we have, for example, Hero’s father Senex (brilliantly played by Brendon Kaye ’20), a lecherous old man whose pursuit of younger women is constantly foiled by his shrewish, nagging wife Domina (the talented Michaela Francesconi ’18), and the obsequious brothel owner Marcus Lycus (Jack Baker ’18), whose only goal in life is the accumulation of money. Just because these characters are stereotypical does not mean that they lack dimension, as each cast member deeply considered the motivations of their character and the emotional journey that character made throughout the story. And although some audience members were disturbed by the lewd humor of Forum, the musical really did offer anything one could want: beautiful courtesans, thrilling chases, mistaken identity, young love, and most importantly, a happy ending. But perhaps the most ambitious theatrical production to grace the Rivers stage this year was The Lion King, which the middle school brought to life this spring. The production was so popular that many students failed to purchase tickets in time, but luckily those unable to go were treated to a performance at All School Meeting of hits like “Hakuna Matata” and “I Just Can’t Wait to be King.” The real star of this show, however, was veteran costume director Judy Weiner, who put together an amazing array of costumes and animal masks and made the musical a feast for the eyes as well as the ears. “What Judy Weiner—and the whole production team—has pulled off once again is nothing short of amazing!” said Director Diane Devore. The Lion King was unfortunately Ms. Weiner’s last show at Rivers, but her time with the Nonesuch Players has definitely ended on a high note, and we wish her the best in all her future endeavours.
Brendan Kaye, Joe Nedder and Phie Jacobs were some of the many talented actors in the Rivers production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum this winter.
The Rivers Edge
June 8, 2018
Art exhibit showcases the diverse talents of Class of 2018 BY HENRY MULLER ’19 EDITOR IN CHIEF
The Senior Art Exhibit took its place in the Bell Gallery in the lower level of the Campus Center in late May as it does every year, but the Class of 2018 made sure there was nothing routine this time around. Our senior artists left their mark. “There were a lot of stand out pieces from a lot of great artists,” said gallery director and visual arts teacher Jeremy Harrison. Added Arts Department chair David Saul: “This senior show reflects a range of extraordinary pieces from top artists in the class. It’s a great way to view the landscape of this senior class.” One such artist, Joelle Mentis, has been creating stunning visual art at Rivers for her entire seven-year career, and several of her pieces are featured in this year’s gallery. Joelle’s awardwinning art comes in the form of paintings of her friends and family with a colorful, abstract twist. Her style is unique, and one she says she has come into over time: “Over the past seven years I have changed a lot and honed in on my own style,” Joelle says. “Finding myself and my style is something I’m really proud of.” Joelle also spoke of her classmates’ similar growth: “It is cool to see over the years how things have changed. It’s a comparison of us to our former selves which we don’t often get. When you have a senior show, it’s less like an assignment and more like a story. This is definitely some of the work we are most proud of.” Their visible evolution has been something Joelle has enjoyed about this Senior Exhibit. “We are all at a point right now, with finishing senior year and
The senior art exhibit is always one of the highlights of the Bell Gallery as it features the many talents of the graduating class. This year is no different as more than 25 student artists from the Class of 2018 are featured. As always, the stunning works of the most well known artists of the senior class stand out, but just as impressive are the surprises going off to college, that a lot of us are doing a bunch of reflecting,” Joelle says. “This exhibit gives us the opportunity to see our growth through art.” It’s a pretty cool thought: to see a physical representation of your growth - not just as an artist, but as a person as well. Some more familiar faces to the exhibit this spring include Alex Klein (no surprise) with his photographs of captivating nature scenes, only Alex’s representations of nature are not always the serene and comforting images we are used to. For example, in one of Alex’s photographs he captures a night-time lightning strike, the white electricity contrasting with the blackened sky. There is a certain violence in his image that makes it a standout photograph. And if you like the photographs here, be sure to visit
One of senior Joelle Mentis’ five drawings featured in the show.
his impressive website, www. alexkleinphoto.com. Emily Shen adds a number of ceramic pieces to the show
“When you have a senior show, it’s less like an assignment and more like a story. This is definitely some of the work we are most proud of.” - Joelle Mentis ’18 that demonstrate her mastery of the pottery wheel. Emily chose darker colors for her ceramics to highlight the detail of her craftsmanship. Shen’s work has garnered a number of awards and honors over the years, most
recently a 1st place in the Small Independent School Art League (SISAL) competition. Senior Lexi Lehan, also featured in the exhibit, took home a 2nd place award in SISAL for her drawing entitled “Sister”. Senior artists, in fact, received numerous other awards as well. Two seniors were recognized for work submitted to the National Scholastic Art and Writing Competition. Ashley Burgarella ’18 won a Gold Medal for her short story entitled “Biography of Rosemary” and Gianny Cepeda ’18 won a Silver Medal for her photograph, “Youthful Determination,” In addition, Five students received multiple awards, with one senior, Isabel Hardy ’18 receiving Silver Keys in both categories, for photography and poetry. And in a first for a Rivers artist, Joelle Mentis ’18 received an honorable Mention for her entire art portfolio. Despite the big names we all have come to know, the gallery
also features Rivers students who aren’t exactly known for their art but who present as lifelong artists nonetheless. Tess Sussman has a black, white, and red drawing of a sports car in the gallery. “It’s awesome to see artists like Tess in this year’s gallery, because she is a great artist right along with everybody else,” says Mr. Harrison. There are our hardcore artists, and then there are just versatile, hard-working, talented kids, like Tess, bringing their own perspective on art to the gallery. As a whole group, these seniors created a reflection of their class, a reflection of who they are and what they have done, and they have made this gallery their own. “Each senior show has its own personality based on the kids in the class,” Mr. Saul says, but when asked what that personality was, both artists and teachers had a tough time coming up with a response. “Everyone just did their thing. They did what they know best,” explained Mr. Harrison. Perhaps the personality of the Senior Art Gallery embodies the diverse personalities of our senior class in this way: a mixture of dedication and intelligence, like Emily’s ceramics; a contrast of talents and perspectives, as conveyed in Alex’s photos; a versatility, represented by Tess and her drawings; and a quirkiness and humor, as revealed in Joelle’s paintings. In 2019, there will be another Senior Art Exhibit reception on the lower level of the Campus Center, and Mr. Harrison will, again, set out all those delicious cookies. (Thank you, Mr. Harrison!) And we can look forward to, again, taking in the art because in that art is a story: the story of our seniors. Full of surprises. Full of talent.
Award-winning photographer Alex Klein has several pictures featured in the senior art exhibit.
The Rivers Edge
June 8, 2018
Spring sports wrap up: varsity squads post good seasons BY CAM COBEY ’18 SPORTS EDITOR
Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse
The boys’ lacrosse team ended the season with a record of 13-6 and 10-5 in the ISL. Justin Walker, now in his 17th year coaching lacrosse, along with assistant coach Andrew Navoni, who played for Walker on the 2009 ISL winning team, led the team to another winning season. Senior captains Peter Burnes (Union College), and Tommy Benjes (St. Lawrence) also led the team this season. The Red Wings started the season really hot, winning eight out of their first nine games, including an early statement win against Phillips Academy, a team Rivers had lost to the season before. Another impressive win during this streak was against a stingy Brooks team, who scrapped throughout the whole game to keep it close. Captain Peter Burnes had “one of the best games I’ve seen from an attackman in Rivers history” in that game, according to head coach Walker, recording 5 goals and 3 assists. The team then hit the tough stretch of their schedule, and lost to some of the powerhouse teams in the ISL such as Governor’s (who went on to have a share of the ISL title), St. Sebastian’s, and Belmont Hill. The boys got some huge wins in between though, beating a good Middlesex team during spring homecoming 105. Captain Tommy Benjes had 3 goals and 1 assist in this one, changing his shot placement each time on a talented goalie. Another big win came against Tabor Academy on the road. It was a hot day, and the team was without two
The boys’ varsity lacrosse team had a strong season, finishing 16-6, with wins over Andover, Tabor and Middlesex. Photo by Janet Ciummei. big contributors in Burnes and junior Chris Bucking. It was a back and forth game throughout, and although Rivers maintained the lead for a while, Tabor came back at the very end to tie it up. Luckily in overtime, after a couple lucky bounces went Rivers’ way, long pole Johnny Kantaros received a nice feed from junior Evan Roan and snuck it past the goalie to secure a win for Rivers. Sophomore Tommy Miller also had a killer game against Tabor, netting 5 goals. Going into the final stretch of the season, the boys lost a tough one to Roxbury Latin, which is always a hotly contested battle. Evan Roan ended with 3 assists, and senior Cam Cobey ended with 3 goals, but it wasn’t enough
on the scorching hot day in W. Roxbury. On the last game of the year, Rivers played rival Nobles. The game was played on the new Nonesuch field, and it was the first lacrosse game ever played there. Rivers started out hot against a Nobles team that had won their last 12 games. They jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first 5 minutes and were completely rolling. At half it was all Rivers with a score of 8-4. Unfortunately, Nobles potent offense overpowered Rivers in the second half, and the Nobles goalie started playing very well. The boys lost 13-9, but fought throughout the game. Fittingly, all 5 seniors scored in the game. Overall this year, Rivers lacrosse had a great season. The seniors that graduated were the winningest class in Rivers history. Offensive standouts this season were Peter Burnes, who ended with 60 points (25 goals, 35 assists), which was good enough for top 10 in points in the ISL. Senior Cam Cobey also ended with 46 points (35 goals and 11 assists) in a breakout year, and Captain Tommy Benjes ended with 38 points (23 goals and 15 assists). Goalie Pat Mahoney ’19 was also a standout in net this season in his first year at Rivers, being second in the league with 202 saves, and first in the league in save percentage with 66%. The team is very young, mostly made up of sophomores and juniors, and they will look to have another strong season next year.
Loomis Chaffee. The team was captained by Caroline Phelps, an All-American last year and who will be playing at Villanova, and Georgia Cabot, both of whom provided good leadership, both being on the team for four years. The girls started out the year with a big win over Milton, but then lost to a very talented St. Mark’s team that finished with just 1 loss in the ISL. The girls won the next three of four games, and each of their wins were just by one goal, showing how competitive each game was. The girls beat Thayer 13-12, BB&N 13-12, and Governor’s Academy 14-13. In these three games, Phelps had 13 goals with a whopping 4.33 goals per game. Isabel Silvia also recorded 11 points in these three games. Nathalie Ahn also had 5 points (4 goals and 1 assist) against Governor’s that propelled them to a huge win. “We go all out in every practice and game,” Cabot said, “and this mindset really helped us get through this portion of the season.” The girls ended their season on a very strong note, winning five
out of their last six games. One of these wins included a victory over St. Paul’s, which was arguably the best win of the spring for the girls, as they ended St. Paul’s undefeated season, and they are considered one of the best teams in New England. It was certainly an exciting one, and the girls upset the formerly undefeated St. Paul’s squad 15-10. Another big win came against Groton, which the Red Wings won 17-15, with Nathalie Ahn and Caroline Phelps combining for 16 points (5 goals and 3 assists each). The girls then played in the ISL championship tournament over the weekend, and faced a tough Brooks team where they lost by a goal. This tournament has only been implemented in the past couple of years, but provides for even more competition in the ISL to vie for the top spot. But, the girls bounced back just a few days later against Nobles, who ended up winning that ISL tournament. In a high scoring, hotly contested battle in Dedham, the girls won 19-14 behind 6-point efforts from Ahn, Phelps, and sophomore Annabelle Hasselbeck. It was a strong way to end a great season. “It was the highlight of the year,” Cabot said. “It was a great way for the seniors to end our season because we played great all over the field and had fun.” The future is bright for the team as well. They finished 3rd in the ISL this year with their strong team chemistry and work ethic, and look to do even better next year. They return a core group of players such as Ahn, the two Hasselbeck sisters (Annabelle ‘20 and Mallory ‘21) and many more.
The boys’ baseball team ended with a record of 4-11 on the season, and 3-10 in the ISL. Darren Sullivan, Brad Cohen, and Marc Strou ’98 coached the team this year. Coach Sullivan has been coaching Rivers baseball for over Continued on page 11
Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse
Sophomore Annabelle Hasselbeck, a key contributor to the girls’ varsity lacrosse team’s success, cuts up field during a game. Photo by J.Ciummei.
The girls’ varsity lacrosse team had another successful season, going 9-4, and 8-3 within the ISL. Head Coach Lisa Parsons is now in her second year as head coach of the team, and she coaches alongside middle school science teacher and former Bowdoin lax player Sarah Freeman. Parsons played college lax at Middlebury and also coached at
Freshman shortstop Abi Weiss anchored the infield for the softball team this spring. Photo by Janet Ciummei
The Rivers Edge
June 8, 2018
Coed golf team comes up one match short of ISL title matches in there with Brooks and Thayer (both 4-3), but smoked Middlesex (7-0), Belmont Hill (5-2), Lawrence Academy (6-1) and Governors (6-1). “Some of these teams were very formidable opponents,” captain Brostowski commented. “We were always able to pull out a win though.” The biggest match of the year was against St. Sebastian’s, a perennial golf powerhouse. Both teams went into the match undefeated. Unfortunately, Rivers lost 6-1, but still put up a battle. The course conditions at Seb’s course were not the best, and they were the only team that really challenged them and the only team that kept the squad from winning the ISL. Because there are only 7 players that can play at once for the team, each player was hugely important to the success of the team. The #1 slot was filled impressively by Jay Callahan ’19. Callahan had another fantastic year now as an upperclassman after showing his dominance as an underclassman the previous two years. Callahan faced some very strong opponents across the ISL and gave each one of them a
run, finishing with an impressive record of 11-5-1. But the key to match play was Rivers’ strength up and down the ladder, in particular, Ben Snyder, a freshman, stood out in captain Brustowski’s eyes. “Ben was the anchor in every match,” Brustowski said. “More than a few times it came down to his performance, and he always came through.” Snyder posted a 15-1-1 record. The team also was coed for the first time since 1998 with juniors Maggie Monaghan and Kaitlyn Shaughnessy rounding out the lineup. Other members of the team included Carter Ablon ’20 at the #2 spot (10-4-2), along with Alex Clay’18, Matt Cormier ’20, Lucas Grossman ’18 (13-4), Tommy Kantaros ’20, Owen Nagode ’21 and Michael Webber ’19. “I felt coming in we would have a great season and it certainly matched my expectations,” said Coach Smith. “We only graduate three and the top four players are all coming back so next year looks like we should be right back there again. Hopefully, we can finally push through and get a league title.”
all cancelled due to weather, which was a huge blow to the team. The ISL season started out on a high note, where the boys notched a big 10-3 win against Milton Academy. Unfortunately, they lost the next four, but three of them were by two or fewer runs. The team also took a hit when captain and star pitcher Billy Shea got injured (shoulder), as he was the team’s #1 ace, but Shea was able to come back a few games later and hit a bomb of a homerun on Nonesuch Field. “I’ve never seen a ball hit that far,” Coach Stroum said. Billy also won the team’s home run derby on the last day of practice where he hit bomb after bomb over Winter Street. It was truly a spectacle. The Red Wings then went on to beat a good Middlesex squad by a score of 3-2 behind pitcher John Corrigan, who really stepped up in the absence of Shea. They then lost to a very good St. Sebastian’s team 1-0 again behind Corrigan who pitched an absolute gem, but the one run was a killer in the end. Senior Andrew Sullivan makes a throw to first Sebs went on to for the Red Wings. Photo by Janet Ciummei. win the ISL, so
clearly the team had the talent to stay with top teams. The season though ended on a good note. The boys won two out of their last three games, with victories over Groton (5-3) and Brimmer & May (7-0). The Brimmer game was special for the team because it was senior night, so the seniors made that day’s lineup, and they all got to start as well. The team will look to improve next year and will likely do so with their young talent. Although they lose many good players such as Shea and Corrigan, they still have a lot of young talent in sophomores Donald Sivollela and Cade Webber, as well as freshman Jack Dorsey.
BY CAM COBEY ’18 SPORTS EDITOR
In just its 6th year back as a spring sport at Rivers, the varsity golf team had its best season of its modern era. The Red Wings inished with a record of 14-1-2 which put them second in the ISL. Head coach Brian Smith led the team, while math teacher Keith Zalaski was the assistant coach for the team. Senior Ian Brostowski and junior Jay Callahan were the captains this season. The Rivers golf program had been a successful one dating back to the 1980s, but then it hit a slide in the early 2000s. Rivers dropped the program shortly there after, but it was revived in 2012 and has grown ever since. In 2016, the team almost won the ISL, but fell one putt shy against - who eles? - Seb’s. As shown by the 2018 record, the season went really well for Rivers’ talented golfers. The Red Wings started out their season hot, with wins against Brooks, Middlesex, Thayer, Belmont Hill, Tabor, Governors, Lawrence, and BB&N. They had some close
Senior captain Ian Brustowski taps in a putt during one of the golf team’s matches this spring. The squad went 14-1-2 and just missed winning the ISL for the second time in three years.
Spring sports update: baseball and softball teams compete Continued from page 10 15 years now, and coach Cohen has now been with him coaching for 10 years. This year’s captains were seniors Billy Shea (bound for Williams College) and John Corrigan. Due to the tough weather at the beginning of the spring season, many games had to be cancelled because of both rain and snow. This is one reason why the team struggled throughout the season because they weren’t able to play many preseason games to warm up for ISL play. Games against O’Bryant, Newton South, Weston, and Newton North were
The softball squad finished their season at an impressive 10-6 and 5-5 in ISL play, going above .500 for the second straight season after 9 seasons of being at or below that mark. Coached by Christine Fitzgerald, who played college softball for the Colby Mules, and Maureen Courtney, the team started out the season red hot, with three straight wins against Milton, St. Mark’s, and Thayer, out-scoring these teams 48-16 in the process. The Red Wings hit a rough patch in the middle of the season, however, suffering a few losses against strong teams, but they then bounced back at the end of the season. This was partly due to senior leadership. “The team worked really well together and was led by a dedicated and talented group of seniors,” Fitzgerald said. The seniors re-
ally stood out for the team. Julia Holton, in particular, was stellar on the mound all year for the team, while Kasey Cunningham held down the outfield in centerfield, and Louise Ambler was a key at first base. Fitzgerald also noted that manager senior Lindsay Bogar helped the team’s morale. “They could not have been better leaders and role models for the underclassmen,” Fitzgerald said, and that speaks volumes. The second half of the season resulted in 7 straight wins for the girls, winning by landslides in some games like against DexterSouthfield, which they won 17-2, and St. Paul’s which they won 223, and also winning really close games like their 6-5 battle against Lawrence. At 10-6, the squad had the most wins Rivers softball has had in 10 years. Although they lose their senior leadership next year, Fitzgerald is confident that the underclassmen who learned from these seniors can follow in their footsteps next year and lead Rivers softball to another successful season.
Varsity Tennis Teams
The girl’s tennis team finished the season with a record of 5-5. Sally Kellogg is in her 5th year as coach, and Caroline Magnan and Sarah Bargamian were the captains. The season was very streaky for the girls, but it was their third season of .500 or above after being below that mark for the previous seven years. Rivers started off the season with a few close matches. They
narrowly beat St. Mark’s 9-6 and then lost to Thayer by just one match, 8-7. They got back-toback big wins, however, against Governor’s and Tabor, during which everyone played really well and the girls won most of their matches. The team went on to win two more matches the rest of the year against Lawrence and St. George’s, and then unfortunately lost at New Englands. Stand outs for the girls were sophomore Hannah Buckhout, who backed up a phenomenal freshman year with another great year. Seniors Emma Dubois, Maddy Olton, Caroline Magnan, and Sarah Bargamian were also great leaders and were keys to the success of the girls this season. The boys’ tennis team ended their year at a record of 2-12. They were coached by Philip Parish, who was the assistant coach for Harvard tennis for many years, and captained by Teddy Gelb. Although their record wasn’t the best, the guys still had a lot of fun and were very close as a unit. They started their season in Hilton Head, South Carolina, to warm up for the season in the warm weather. They beat Thayer Academy early in the season in a great day of matches, and they won 8-7. They also smoked Lawrence Academy 15-0 later in the season. The seniors showed a lot of leadership in this team, and were also contributors to the team. Harrison Pearlson, Teddy Gelb, and Noah Harrison were anchors for the squad. Griffin Jones, an 8th Continued on page 12
The Rivers Edge
Sports: track stars shine at ISLs Continued from page 11 grader, was also on the team, and came up huge in some matches, and will definitely be a huge part of boys tennis in the future. Also, juniors Nate Sherman, Henry Muller, and Griffin Bua were big this year, and will hopefully get the tennis team back on the winning track next season when they return as seniors.
Track and Field
The Track team at Rivers had another banner season under coaches Paul Karasch and Steve Paluseo, both of whom have both been coaching the team for 15 years. The captains on the boys side were seniors Rohan Dhir and Nic Stathos and the captains on the girls side were seniors Caroline Grape and Caroline Magnan. The season consisted of many meets in different locations against all of the ISL opponents. These included meets at Tabor, St. George’s, Thayer, and Belmont Hill. They competed against those schools as well as Milton, Middlesex, BB&N, and Roxbury Latin. Many members of the track team performed well in these events, and especially in the running events. Towards the end of the season, the team participated in both the ISL Championships and the New England Championship. The ISL Championships took place at Governor’s Academy, and Rivers performed very well. On the women’s side, Samirah Moody, who is just a freshman, won the ISL Championship in both the
For the second year in a row, Rivers speedsters Samira Moody ’21 and Myles Epstein ’19 were the league’s fastest sprinters at the ISL Championships held at Governors. Photo by J. Ciummei. 100m and 200m, which is an amazing achievement, although not totally surprising since she won the 100m last year as an 8th grader. Kendall Zaleski also finished 11th in the 100m and 12th in the 200m. In the 800 meter, Caroline Grape came in 6th, and Lisa Byrne ’19 came in 11th. In the 1500m, the girls placed three runners in the top 7, with Addy Vettel ‘20 finishing 3rd, and Grape and Sara Stephenson ‘18 finishing 6th and 7th. Stephenson also finished 3rd in the 3000m race. On the men’s side, Epstein once again dominated the field, winning the 100m and 200m for the second year in a row and capped it off by winning the long jump for the men, putting on a really special performance for Rivers track and field. In addition, Mark Ryan ’20 came in 9th in the
800m and Nic Stathos finished 6th in the 1500m, while Aidan Mcanena came in 18th. Captain Rohan Dhir also finished 4th in the high jump. As a team, Rivers finished 6 out of 11 teams at the ISL Championships. A week later, the track team competed in the New England Championships. Stathos nailed New England’s by finishing first in both the 1500m and 3000m, a tremendous feat. Not to be outdone, Samirah Moody also finished second in both the 100m and 200m, again impressive because she is just a freshman. Sara Stephenson also finished second in the 3000m, and Dhir finished 3rd in the high jump. It was a great season for Rivers track, and the top runners returning next year as well as some rising stars, the future looks bright.
metaphors. Have your writing be concise and direct wherever possible. Write like you talk, rather than talking how you write, if that makes any sense. DO try and stick to a main topic. It seems to me that a lot of people will start off talking about one thing, but then end up on something completely different that has absolutely no relation to what they were saying earlier.
wacky camp experience - so take it for what you can. That being said, DO try to relax when it comes down to the speech itself. I think that a lot of people end up having the wrong perspective of senior speeches - they’re not insurmountable challenges, but an opportunity - at its best, it’ll be a chance to share something you might not otherwise be able to share, and at worst it’ll be a mildly embarrassing moment that will pass with time. So take risks, enjoy the experience of writing it, and hopefully of giving it. DEFINITELY DON’T write about the latest fad, whether it’s your new smartphone, the latest fashion, or video games. Yeah, I’m talking to you, Fortnite people. Think about it: do you really want to look back in five years and realize that you talked about what was probably a flash in the pan that’ll probably be irrelevant and utterly forgettable within a year? The key to a successful senior speech is sharing something about yourself that is personal and meaningful while at the same time making it relevant, interesting and memorable. And if you’re still stuck, you can always talk about what you did over summer vacation. Happy summer everyone!
How to give a great senior speech BY ZACH ZHANG ’18 STAFF WRITER
So imagine this: you’ve made it. You’re finally in senior year, applying to colleges, and staring down your last year at Rivers. As is tradition, of course, there’s one penultimate thing that every graduating student must do: the senior speech. Delay it all you want or can, at one all-school/ division meeting or another, you’re going to stand up at that podium in front of 400 people and talk about something for at least five minutes, whether you relish it or dread it. Having recently - and finally presented my own, I feel duty-bound to share some advice to rising seniors (and any underclassman planning to graduate) who might not have any clue what to write about quite yet. So here they are - the do’s and don’ts of a senior speech: DON’T write a paper to read aloud. I can’t stand it when it happens, especially since giving a speech is so different compared to an English essay. I’ve heard terrible English students write fantastic speeches, and amazing English students write awful ones. Make your words conversational: no flowy, overly-long descriptions, no difficult to follow
Obviously, you should write about something that you’re passionate about, so just remember to stick to it. DON’T leave it to the last minute. Not only will Mr. Caplan eventually hunt you down, but people can tell. Not only that, but this is one of your few chances to really go out and talk to the entire school about whatever you want - your dog, a sibling, that
June 8, 2018
College Matriculation Class of 2018
Abrams, Sophie University of Southern California Ahn, Coleman University of Southern California Ambler, Louise Vassar College Aronson, Tyler Tufts University Baker, Jon Fairfield University Bargamian, Sarah Hamilton College - NY Benjes, Thomas St. Lawrence University Bloom, Aidan Boston College Bogar, Lindsay B Northwestern University Bondhus, Charlie Wesleyan University Bradley, Grace College of the Holy Cross Brostowski, Ian University of Notre Dame Burgarella, Ashley Northeastern University Burnes, Peter Union College (New York) Cabot, Georgia University of Richmond Capello, Tyler Middlebury College Carlin, Julia College of Charleston Cepeda, Gianny Brandeis University Chowdhury, Emma Georgetown University Clay, Alexander University of Notre Dame Cobey, Cameron Colgate University Colena, Austin Elon University Cornetta, Alexa M University of Michigan Corrigan, John Babson College Cunningham, Kasey Bowdoin College Daley, Shannon Northwestern University Day, Courtney Colgate University Dhir, Rohan Indiana University at Bloomington DuBois, Emma University of Wisconsin, Madison Fischman, Jake University of Michigan Fischman, TK University of Michigan Francesconi, Michaela University of Vermont Freeland, Georgia Colby College Frometa, Giovanni Fairfield University Gazard, Meghan Connecticut College Gelb, Theodore Syracuse University Goldaber, Jillian Union College (New York) Goldsmith, Jason Drexel University Gonzalez, Chrismary Northeastern University Grape, Caroline Connecticut College Grossman, Lucas Elon University Hardy, Isabel The George Washington University Harrison, Noah Lehigh University Hilinski, Scott University of Miami Holton, Julia W Kenyon College Homa, Julia Columbia University Iacopucci, Kira University of Miami Jacobs, Sophie Wesleyan University Joiner, Benjamin Hamilton College - NY Katende, Khloe Boston University Klein, Alex Johns Hopkins University Knight, Nina Stanford University Lapsley, Timothy Kenyon College Larkin, MacKenzie Gap Year Lehan, Alexa Fairfield University Leslie, Charles Wake Forest University Letterie, Jenna Middlebury College Longfield, Matthew Fairfield University Magnan, Caroline Hamilton College - NY Marshall, Dominique Hobart and William Smith Colleges McAnena, Aidan Rice University McCaffrey, Devan University of Richmond McNally, Megan Syracuse University McPherson, Iman Tufts University Mentis, Joelle Sarah Lawrence College Meyer, Jack Providence College Morgan, Sarah Bucknell University Mulder, Jessica Middlebury College Naddaff-Slocum, Adam Bates College Nedder, Joseph Northwestern University Olton, Madeline University of Wisconsin, Madison Pacific, Sophia Boston College Pearlson, Harrison Tulane University Phelps, Caroline Villanova University Pingeon, Chloe Colgate University Porter, Aidan Princeton University (2019) Shea, William Williams College Shen, Emily Cornell University Silvia, Isabel St. Lawrence University Simmons-Hayes, Bryan Emerson College Sivolella, William University of Virginia Slavik, Joseph Syracuse University Slayne, Julia Bates College Smith, Emily Union College (New York) Snoddy, Andrew Bates College Stathos, Nicholas A. Bates College Stephenson, Sara Washington and Lee University Sullivan, Andrew Syracuse University Sussman, Tess Harvard University Teixeira, Isabel Smith College Tomaino, Marissa Tulane University Wasserman, Maya Z Bates College Wooding, Theodore Yale University (2019) Zaleski, Kendall Sona Skidmore College Zhang, Zachery Brandeis University