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Riparian T H E R I V E R S S C H O O L • S P R I N G 2 0 12

• Changing Landscape of College Admissions • Educators as Experts • Alumni Day Preview: May 19 • Robotics on the Rise

D i re c to r o f Co lle ge Co u n s e l i n g

Rick Rizoli

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A Banner Year for Varsity Sports

The boys’ ski team captured the NEPSAC Championship title, led by top 10 slalom and giant slalom finishes by captain Tom Barker ’13 (left) and Stephen Richlen ’15.

Boys’ hockey secured its first ISL Eberhart Division Championship.

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Girls’ basketball won the NEPSAC Championship for the third year out of four.

Girls’ field hockey won the NEPSAC Championship.




Christine Martin, Director of Communications and Stewardship CONTRIBUTORS

Melisse Hinkle, Associate Director of Communications Hillary Noble, Communications Assistant PHOTOGRAPHY/GRAPHICS

Tim Morse, Michael Young, Hillary Noble, Hailey Miller, Carol Holtz DESIGNER

David Gerratt, PRINTER

Signature Printing & Consulting, Brian Maranian ’96 HEAD OF SCHOOL





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Hailey Miller

The Rivers School 333 Winter Street Weston, MA 02493-1040 781-235-9300

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Message from Head of School Tom Olverson FEATURE:

Educators as Experts Robotics Team Wired for Success FEATURE:

The Changing Landscape of College Admissions Campus News Parent News: Senior Parents Celebrate Rivers Artists Go for the Gold FEATURE:

Jarzavek Chair Awarded G. West Saltonstall ’61: Alumni Excellence Award Recipient Honoring 25 Years of Service: Jim Long and Bruce Amsbary Mida van Zuylen Dunn: A Celebration of Life Career Development Takes Off ALUMNI PROFILES:

Ashley Stanley ’97 Ben Donahue ’06 Jeff Talmadge ’64

Class Notes and Alumni Events In Memoriam

RIPARIAN: “One that lives or has property on the bank of a river or lake.” The Riparian is published twice a year for The Rivers School alumni, parents, students, faculty, and friends. To save on the cost of mailing the Riparian, Rivers has consolidated multiple mailings addressed to the same household so that your home will receive only one copy. If you have reason to receive additional copies at your address, please call Chris Martin at 781-235-9300, ext. 230.

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Message from the Head of School



ach fall and winter, we host a number of admissions events for prospective families. I really enjoy these gatherings because they provide opportunities for me to think deeply about what makes Rivers Rivers and to use the right words to describe who we are. This search for a precise definition of Rivers has been on my mind quite a bit lately as various groups in the Rivers community—administrators, faculty, trustees—have spent time this year discussing the critical elements that make up the school’s identity. So, what is the essence of Rivers? We’ve identified five attributes —excellence, character, relationships, quality of experience, and innovation—that shape the school’s identity and define the contours of our work here at Rivers. So, a little about each element. Excellence—Rivers believes fervently that if students are to discover their talents, grow, and realize their potential, teachers must have high standards of excellence and communicate to the students that they expect them to meet those high standards. Character—I told our students at the beginning of the year that if Rivers graduates great academicians, great artists, and great athletes but not good human beings who embody the Core Values of the school, then we will have failed in our mission. There are plenty of very smart adults in the world today who lack moral judgment; Rivers does not need to add to that number. Rather, we expect each student to be a leader, which we define as being one’s best self and positively influencing others.

Relationships—When students know that teachers care about them as multi-dimensional human beings with an array of interests and talents, and when they know that teachers want them to succeed even when the bar is set high, then these students will be much more likely to stretch for excellence, pick themselves up after failing, and try something new. At Rivers we often say, “The best learning takes place in the context of relationships.” Quality of Experience—It matters to us that our students enjoy being here. It matters to us that they feel as if they are successfully confronting the challenges we put before them, gaining self-confidence and a sense of self-efficacy, and coming to the clear realization that they can do this thing called adulthood. Innovation—Innovation at Rivers is not chasing the latest educational fad just because it’s the “hot” thing. Innovation means continually looking for more and better ways to live our mission. It means being “hungry” and never satisfied. It means having the courage to move beyond the status quo to ask hard questions because at the end of the day, it’s about the students, and what we can do to best prepare them for what lies beyond Rivers. The fact that these elements define Rivers doesn’t mean that we are perfect in living each one of these elements; our spirit of innovation would never let us come to that conclusion. It does mean, though, that our sights are set squarely on these five elements, using our experience, our imagination, and our knowledge to strengthen each of them. This is what makes a school— or any organization for that matter—great: not just having a clear mission and living that mission but constantly searching for better ways to live that mission. It’s the Rivers Way! I’m interested in your reactions. Have we captured the essence of Rivers? Email me at, comment on Twitter (@tomolverson), or respond on my blog http://insidetheheadshead.

Board of Trustees 2011–2012

Honorary Trustees of the Corporation

PRESIDENT: Roy S. MacDowell, Jr.

Term Trustees Michael A. Bell Benjamin R. Bloomstone Robert E. Buonato ’81 Louise Cummings ’98 Karen L. Daniels Howard G. Davis ’70 Robert J. Davis Mark R. Florence Clinton P. Harris 2 •Andrew Riparian Spring N. •Jaffe ’93 2012

Daniel A. Kraft Frank H. Laukien Hongmei Li Barbara V. Ligon Deborah H. McAneny Michael E. McGuinness James C. Mullen Geoffrey S. Rehnert Alan D. Rose, Jr. ’87 Solomon B. Roth Laurie Schoen

Mark S. Schuster ’72 Richard L. Smith Steven J. Snider Michael P. Stansky Eric M. Wolf Life Trustees David M. Berwind Charles C. Carswell Joan T. Cave Stephen R. Delinsky Peter A. Gaines

G. Arnold Haynes Harriet R. Lewis Thomas L. Lyons Kenneth P. MacPherson ’42 Joel B. Sherman Frances B. Shifman William B. Tyler ’43 Joan A. Vaccarino Cai von Rumohr Joan C. Walter Frank S. Waterman III ’41 Dudley H. Willis

Joan T. Allison Thomas P. Beal, Jr. Richard A. Bradley Marie Fitzpatrick Louis J. Grossman ’67 Joshua M. Kraft ’85 Warren M. Little ’51 Virginia S. MacDowell Deborah S. Petri Frederick G. Pfannenstiehl ’59 Eleanor Pyne Prince A. Tozzer Spalding ’62

Educators as Experts




or History Department Chair Ben Leeming, many Thursday mornings in the fall involved a 5:30 a.m. wake-up call in Albany, New York and a three-hour drive back to Rivers to begin the school day. The trek was just one stretch of a longer academic road Leeming is traveling as he makes his way to his final destination: a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University at Albany. “This is an exciting and challenging journey that I’m on,” he said. “I find myself just thoroughly stimulated by it.” With a master’s degree already under his belt, Leeming took a sabbatical year starting in 2010 and officially set out to pursue his Ph.D. coursework, which focuses on the history of Mexico’s indigenous people during the early colonial period and one of the languages spoken at the time called Nahuatl. He was drawn to the program—despite its distance from home—by the prospect of working with a professor (and his now-advisor) at University at Albany, whom he calls the “world’s leading expert in this slice of history.” Leeming is certainly not alone in his ongoing push to develop his expertise. When it comes to further education, nearly twothirds of current Rivers teachers and administrators hold graduate degrees. That group includes seven Ph.D.s, one D.M.D., three J.D.s, and more than 50 individuals with master’s degrees.   The numbers are impressive, but Leeming and his colleagues are quick to point out that graduate studies are just one part of the picture when it comes to illustrating faculty expertise.   “All of us at Rivers are very passionate about being the best teachers we can be,” said Leeming. “We’re constantly not only open, but eager to challenge ourselves to do what we do better.”   For Rivers teachers and administrators, pursuing excellence and further developing expertise include participating in con- ferences and seminars, cultivating passions through faculty enrichment grants, a daily exchange of ideas and knowledge, and numerous professional development opportunities. For example, many teachers have taken part in the Teachers as Scholars program, which brings K-12 teachers from both public and private schools together in the Boston area to attend seminars led by experienced university professors.   Yet, the foundation for being an excellent teacher at Rivers is being an excellent doer. From performances by faculty musicians to presentations at national conferences and publications featuring articles and quotes from administrators, the expertise that exists at Rivers is constantly on display and sought after.   “We’d never imagine an art teacher who isn’t also an artist,” said Leeming. “I want to both practice history and teach history.”

“All of us at Rivers are very passionate about being the best teachers we can be. We’re constantly not only open, but eager to challenge ourselves to do what we do better.” Ben Leeming, History Department Chair

Cultivating expertise and being actively engaged in one’s field is part of day-to-day life at Rivers. The common philosophy among teachers is clear: Practice what you teach, be innovative, and never stop building your skills.   “What is impressive about Rivers’ faculty is that not only are they experts in their disciplines, they are practitioners,” said Head of Middle School Susie McGee. “Students are in the company of artists, philosophers, scholars, scientists, historians, musicians, economists, linguists, mathematicians, and athletes who also teach and teach well. Students are blessed with daily role models Spring 2012 • Riparian • 3

subject in general and, specifically, Nelson Mandela. Dolan says her interest in the topic directly “I have definitely stemmed from teaching an apartheid unit in seventh grade humanities at Rivers. Now, her graduate realized a lot of things work informs her teaching and has “fed the unit.”    “[My graduate studies] allow me to go into I want to do as a much more depth about the subject matter and think about it in new ways,” said Dolan. “I ask teacher as a result of myself, ‘How can what I’m learning through my having been back in courses feed what we do here at Rivers and the way we learn?’ When I take what I learn at the the classroom with a graduate level and put it into a seventh grade couple years of teaching classroom, I’m looking at the big questions that [the students] can relate to. They can’t necessarily relate to being in a prison cell for 27 years ununder my belt.” fairly, but they can certainly relate to the idea of Mac Caplan, unfairness. I look for the universal themes that will really appeal to the age group.” Upper School English     Leeming hopes to follow in this practice teacher and teach his specific subject matter at Rivers someday, but in the meantime he says his courseof lifelong learning and purpose where relevance and personal work directly shapes his teaching style and helps him empameaning are exemplified and valued.” thize with Rivers students.   Upper School English teacher Mac Caplan is one of these practi  “Being a full-time professional student and a full-time tioners. He is constantly honing his skills outside the classroom and professional teacher are one and the same project for me,” is now approaching his fifth and final summer at Middlebury College’s said Leeming. “When I’m a student, I’m always thinking Bread Loaf School of English, where he’ll receive a master’s degree about teaching and when I’m teaching, I’m always thinking in English this year. about learning and how they inform each other.”   “I have definitely realized a lot of things I want to do as a teacher   Middle School Dean of Students Clinton Howarth pulls as a result of having been back in the classroom with a couple years from his experience as a graduate student in his multi-faceted of teaching under my belt,” said Caplan. role at Rivers. Howarth, who came to Rivers in 2004 after   Caplan says he has received unwavering professional and financial working in public relations for three years, earned a master’s support from Rivers during his graduate work. Without this assistance degree in education from Boston College in 2011. He says he would have had to make a choice: save money over a much longer graduate school gave him the opportunity to learn the theory period of time or not go to Bread Loaf at all. behind his practice and helped him recognize that the depth   “Rivers made it an easy choice,” he said. of expertise among his colleagues in the Middle School   When discussing how his studies have amplified his expertise and serves as a necessary jumping off point for innovation. impacted his role as a faculty member at Rivers, Caplan points to a   “[Graduate school] made me realize that what we do here number of things: specific texts he studied at Bread Loaf that he now in the Middle School is so forward-thinking,” he said. “I would teaches at Rivers, a graduate course that allowed him to lay the fountalk about the things that we’re doing so nonchalantly and dation for an elective he is teaching this spring, and a fiction writing [my fellow students] would look at me and say, ‘How do you class that took him out of his comfort zone and helped him identify do that?’” with students who may be approaching something new at Rivers. He   When characterizing the overall expertise of faculty also says taking a closer look at certain texts he was already teaching members at Rivers, it’s impossible to ignore the intermingling has been helpful.   of deep subject knowledge and excellence in teaching that   “[For example, studying A Raisin in the Sun at Bread Loaf] made largely defines the faculty’s approach and shapes the student me much more confident and knowledgeable about the text and experience. helped me understand it in a much deeper way,” he said.   “The expertise with the subject lets you be dynamic within   Middle School humanities teacher, Melissa Dolan ’98, agrees. your subject, but then there’s this unbelievable depth of ‘kid She is pursuing a master’s in liberal arts with a concentration in hisknowledge’ at Rivers,” said Howarth. tory at the Harvard Extension School. There, she has built upon her   The keen ability of Rivers faculty members to understand expertise in African history, taking several courses that focus on the students and leverage relationships creates a symbiotic 4 • Riparian • Spring 2012

connection between subject expertise and teaching expertise. “Subject expertise doesn’t mean anything if kids aren’t interested in what you have to say,” Howarth continues. “Because we know the students so well and we know the curriculum so well, we’re able to take our knowledge and our understanding of who these kids are and bring those things together in a way that makes kids want to learn – in a way that makes the kids genuinely enthusiastic about what they’re doing… I see the relationship piece as the conduit for important ideas.”   Spanish teacher Aisha Cort understands the importance of these connections in communicating subject matter to students. Cort earned a Ph.D. in Spanish Literature at Emory University, where she taught undergraduate students. She loved teaching, but found the college environment didn’t allow her to form many close bonds with students.   “Here at Rivers, you actually get to know your kids,” she said. “You get to know their parents. You can sit down with them. You don’t have set office hours. They can drop in anytime…you can listen to kids and understand them.”   Faculty members don’t just mentor students; they also mentor one another, fostering the sharing of expertise and ideas in a collegial way. Rivers actively honors the expertise of experienced teachers and promotes this culture of mentoring, most recently through the establishment of the Nonesuch Circle of Teachers and the Berwind Circle of Teachers as Mentors and Scholars. Both designations recognize exceptional teaching and stand as the highest distinctions among teachers at Rivers.

“The expertise with the subject lets you be dynamic within your subject, but then there’s this unbelievable depth of ‘kid knowledge’ at Rivers.” Clinton Howarth, Middle School Dean of Students

“It’s not just kids who are learning here. You have teachers who are still in the process of learning and that’s part of being a teacher.” Aisha Cort, Upper School Spanish teacher Recipients are selected from a pool of Senior Teachers and the honors provide a more prominent way for these advanced educators to display academic leadership and share their expertise with other faculty members. English teacher Jennie Hutton Jacoby, who came to Rivers in 1996, and Spanish teacher Melinda Ryan, who began teaching at Rivers in 1975, are the first two faculty members to be honored as members of the Berwind Circle. “Over the past few decades, Melinda and Jennie have set the standard for teaching excellence in our community,” said Head of Upper School Patti Carbery. “They have inspired generations of Rivers students through their passion for teaching, their mastery of their disciplines, their pedagogical expertise, and their love of working with young people.” Through their membership in the Berwind Circle, Jacoby and Ryan share the formal mentoring and evaluation process with Carbery and McGee. They meet individually with each teacher they are mentoring, discuss the teacher’s goals, observe some of his/her classes, meet again to address commendations and recommendations, then write formal letters for his/her file. Even outside of these evaluations, faculty members maintain that being part of the Rivers community is not just about acquiring expertise, it’s also about sharing it. “We talk a lot about what we’re doing in the classroom, but it’s not hierarchical at all,” said Caplan. “Even though I have fewer years of experience than my colleagues [in the English department], I feel like we’re all very supportive and we’re all trying to get better as teachers, so we respect one another…and while we’re comfortable sharing ideas, we’re also comfortable being our own people in the classroom.” Spring 2012 • Riparian • 5

“[My graduate studies] allow me to go into much more depth about the subject matter and think about it in new ways. I ask myself, ‘How can what I’m learning through my courses feed what we do here at Rivers and the way we learn?’” Melissa Dolan ’98, Middle School humanities teacher

The high level of faculty expertise is compounded by this distinct willingness to collaborate, and freely share knowledge and ideas. Just after spring break, faculty members gathered for what has now become an annual series of faculty workshops.   More than a dozen faculty members hosted workshops for their colleagues, with topics ranging from an introduction to Spanish as a second language to a series of chemistry experiments. Dolan, who taught a session that focused on a case study of Nelson Mandela and leadership in the curriculum, says the workshops allow faculty members to draw on the expertise of colleagues they may not necessarily interact with on a day-to-day basis.   This collaboration among faculty members is particularly apparent in the Interdisciplinary Studies Department, in which the crossover among disciplines calls for guest appearances from teachers with expertise in certain subjects.   In her first year at Rivers, Upper School science teacher Maureen Courtney has quickly been tapped to share her knowledge of neuroscience with students through guest teaching spots. She recently visited Upper School history teacher David Burzillo’s “Disease in History” class during a unit on HIV/AIDS to discuss HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorder, a topic she has studied closely during her doctoral program at Boston University. Courtney, who is currently writing her dissertation, will also visit Interdisciplinary Studies Department Chair Julian Willard’s class, “Exploring Ethics: Language, Literature, and the Brain,” this spring to give students some background in neuroscience as it relates to ethics and free will.   Courtney also calls upon her subject expertise in her own classes, whether it’s giving specific nuclear chemistry examples or showing students what kind of neurological testing she did with HIV/AIDS patients during her graduate studies. She says the breadth of expertise among her colleagues makes the Rivers experience rich for students.   “Everyone is there for a reason and has some level of expertise,” she said. “Whether it is a Ph.D. in physics or knowing exactly how to keep students engaged…Everyone has a really good mix of both [subject expertise and teaching expertise].”   “There’s a diversity of backgrounds,” said Caplan. “The commonality is that people are dedicated to teaching. They care a lot 6 • Riparian • Spring 2012

about their field, but they come from different perspectives and many different backgrounds, which I think is really beneficial.” Though faculty members bring a variety of perspectives to their work, they say one of their main goals in constantly pursuing excellence is to instill in their students an appreciation for lifelong learning.   “I don’t think you can ever be the best teacher or the best administrator,” said Howarth. “It’s all about asking questions and finding new ways of learning from different people. Boston College was just another way for me to do that.”   “It’s not just kids who are learning here,” said Cort. “You have teachers who are still in the process of learning and that’s part of being a teacher. You don’t just stop after you get your Ph.D. That is the kind of enthusiasm we want to instill in our kids across the board—the idea that it doesn’t just stop after the class is over or after we finish a chapter.”   Carbery says she feels honored to work with educators who are so devoted to their craft.   “[Our faculty members] are models of lifelong learning, pursuing advanced degrees and staying current with the latest pedagogical research,” she said. “Some of the most dynamic classroom moments happen when teachers share ideas from a master’s degree class or from a thesis paper with their students. Students love to know that their teachers are so willing to work right alongside them in the journey of learning.”   As for Leeming, his journey toward becoming Dr. Leeming continues with a set of upcoming exams and preparation for his dissertation. But this degree is merely a means to an end when it comes to learning.   “I have this vision of being a teacher here who’s also actively engaged in his field by doing research and publishing,” he said.   It may take another five years for Leeming to complete his Ph.D., but the learning process will continue long after that milestone arrives. Despite the fact he is making his way toward a degree that is somewhat atypical for a high school teacher, he knows where he wants to end up.   “Most people assume the reason I’m pursuing a Ph.D. is because I want to be a college professor and, in fact, I don’t,” said Leeming. “I want to teach at Rivers…Rivers is where my heart is.”

Robotics Team Wired for Success By HILLARY NOBLE


et another Rivers team worked its way to a championship this year, but it’s the first team in school history to get there with the help of a robot. In its inaugural year as an official competitor, the Rivers robotics team qualified to be one of the top 24 teams in Massachusetts to compete for the state championship. Under the leadership of faculty advisor Michael Schlenker and Doug Steinfeld P ’08 ’11, the team has worked all year to build and improve upon a robot to compete against other schools. The challenge, announced to the league in September, required teams to build a robot capable of tasks like scooping racquetballs to place in crates, stacking or lifting the crates as high as possible, and maneuvering a bowling ball into various positions. After passing through two state-qualifying rounds, the Rivers team traveled to the state championship on March 10 to compete with the best teams from across Massachusetts. Team members worked tirelessly on their robot during the days and weeks leading up to the state competition, increasing the reliability of the robot and training student “drivers” for competition. At the championship, the team was interviewed by a judging panel before competing in several qualifying rounds. Rivers was selected as an alliance team in the semi-final and final rounds by one of the top four teams in the competition, and

they finished with an overall rank of sixth out of the 24 teams at the championship. For a first-year team, a sixth place finish was nothing short of impressive. The formation of a robotics team at Rivers stemmed from Schlenker’s robotics course and came to fruition with guidance from Steinfeld, who has worked in the field of engineering for more than three decades. Steinfeld first learned about FIRST, the international high school robotics competition league, in the early 2000s and thought it was a great way to spark student interest in the fields of science and technology. After his daughters Manya ’08 and Molly ’11 graduated from Rivers, Steinfeld helped establish the school’s first robotics team. “It really is an ideal mechanism for introducing students to many forms of technology in a compact package,” said Steinfeld. “It involves mechanical and electrical design as well as software engineering—and that’s just in building the robot. There is also an element of strategy and problem solving.” Last winter, Ben Warwick ’14 took control of setting up the program. This year, students, along with parents Helen Kim and Colin Warwick, have invested tremendous amounts of time in making the team a fierce competitor among its peers. They met during club blocks, on weekends, and before school one morning a week. Team member Carlton Jester ’13 spent a total of 20 hours one weekend preparing for and participating in one competition.

   “Robotics is a varsity sport,” said Schlenker. “Intensity, commitment, and teamwork are all a huge part of this.”    Billy Oldach ’12 says there are several similarities between his experience on the robotics team and his experience as a member of Rivers’ varsity football team.    “It’s all about cooperation,” he said. “It’s about performing under pressure, keeping your cool, and working as a team.”    According to Schlenker, being on the robotics team is more than just teamwork and commitment—it’s a chance for these students to be involved in real-world problem solving. “I would say that robotics is the best preparation for real life here at Rivers,” he said. “It involves mobilizing a team, tackling a challenge, time management, leadership, communication, and being creative and focused to solve a problem where the answer’s not always so obvious. Students who excel at this will excel later in life.” Oldach, who will be studying engineering this fall at the University of Connecticut, agrees. “This is what the field of engineering will be like,” he said. “There is a lot of listening to other people’s input and compiling everybody’s ideas into one solid plan.” Oldach says he has high hopes for the future of the team and the growth of the robotics program at Rivers. “This has been a learning experience to say the least,” he said. “We have a young team and this is only our first year, so there is still a lot of learning to go.” Spring 2012 • Riparian • 7

The Changing Landscape of College Admissions A Conversation with Director of College Counseling Rick Rizoli By CHRISTINE MARTIN


Rick, you’ve been in the business of college admissions for 35 years, 27 at Rivers, and you’ve worked both the admissions side and the counseling side. How has the college landscape been changing? Well, there are a number of factors that have had a major impact in the last decade: the Common Application, Early Decision, the economy, to name a few. It’s such a hot topic that when I emailed 50–60 admissions deans for their opinions, 80 percent got back to me to share their insights! People could interpret the changing landscape as all bad news. But while it’s easy to superficially look at how hard it is to get in and just submit more applications, we look at strategies to help our students deal with the situation. Being aware of what’s changing and finding ways to react and advise students and their parents is an important part of what we do. It’s our duty.


So, what is the good news? As I see it, the one thing that hasn’t changed is authenticity. The most selective schools are not swayed by high grades, test scores, and transcripts filled with AP courses alone. The authenticity of the student and the “matchability” are still essential. Most colleges ask for supplemental information as a way to speak to “match-ability,” to let them know why you are a good match for them and they are for you. Our role is to help the student be authentic. At Rivers we start with self-assessment as a critical first step. An admissions officer needs to be able to connect the dots on an application. If a student says he’s interested in business, in addition to seeing math and science classes on his transcript, does he have outside evidence of his interest to support this—an internship, a job, an online business? You need proof of what you are saying—evidence to point to. A lot of applicants just do what is asked. We tell our students you need to go beyond. 8 • Riparian • Spring 2012

Rick Rizoli P’05, ’07 on “his” bench in the quad

We tell them “when you’ve done what is asked, before you push the button, ask someone in your family or in our office, ‘Have I told them everything I want them to know?’” And you have to do this school by school—there is no universal answer. It is a chance to come alive to them. It allows a student to separate himself from everyone else. We have a great visual we use with students that illustrates a way that all students have a chance to get a leg up. We ask them to visualize a big hook surrounded by lots of smaller hooks—athletics, test scores, music, legacy, what people typically think give kids a leg up. But the big central hook is the personal connection with someone in admissions. You need to have an advocate in the admissions office who will support your application when the committee deliberates. So many colleges no longer interview candidates on campus. How can a student make a connection? I do lament the loss of the interview. Few highly selective schools do on-campus interviews. Most rely on alumni interviews whose value can vary based on the alumni and how seriously the admissions office takes their input. So we place great stock in encouraging colleges to visit Rivers, and we end up with more than 100 visitors a year. They see the campus in action, meet the kids, create a mental image. Between Dave Lyons, our associate director, and myself, we visit about 50 colleges a year. I just returned from a threeday, eight-college trip where I spent time with people from Penn, Princeton, Haverford, and Swarthmore, among others. Wylie Mitchell, former dean at Bates, reminded me in an email of the “importance of institutional relationships that I think you and I value in our respective roles. Others benefit from being reminded about the human factor in all these matters, too.” What effect has the economy had on the admissions scene? President Obama recently threw down the gauntlet to higher education to put the

brakes on rising costs, which have been going up at double the rate of inflation for years. They need to hold down costs. The federal government is thinking twice about participating in grant and loan programs to fund skyrocketing tuitions. The Feds are requiring schools to post a net price calculator on their websites so families can see up front what the cost will be. I sat on a panel at a recent College Board conference that included financial aid and admissions directors from Middlebury, Smith, and St. Michael’s Colleges, where I was the independent school voice. We ran the numbers for four colleges. Depending on what calculator they use— the federal calculator, commercial software, or their own, with each taking into consideration a different mix of income and assets—the four schools came up with vastly different costs for the same family, as much as twice the cost at one univer- sity as at another. The down side of having financial information like this that isn’t standardized is that kids might be encouraged to apply to a school they cannot truly afford, or be discouraged from applying someplace that they can actually afford after scholarships or grants are figured in. In the long run, I don’t think net price calculating will change the practice of heavy tuition discounting or merit scholarships as a way of attracting students. And the more selective schools with larger endowments will still have the ability to enroll the students they want. How has Early Decision altered the landscape? Rivers has always encouraged students who know where they want to go to apply Early Decision. But now we are very assertive about having students apply early. We warn them about reaching too far in their choice, but we do encourage them to go for a reach, and a lot of our students are admitted to reach schools every year. College deans are reporting that anywhere from 35–50 percent of their freshman classes are admitted early, sometimes from just 10 percent of their total applicant pool.

This has been a remarkable year for Rivers so far: 63 percent applied Early Decision, and 91 percent of those students were accepted. Another 26 percent applied Early Action and 82 percent of those were accepted. That means that 59 of 88 students, or 67 percent, are enrolled before the regular admission acceptances have even gone out. That is the most we have ever seen at Rivers. What do you see coming down the road? One trend that was reported by Brown’s Dean Jim Miller, and confirmed by deans at other highly selective colleges, is that “everyone in my world continues to chase the really high-powered scientists.” We’ve seen eight to 12 Rivers students in each of the past few years pursuing math, science, and engineering, which is a reflection of the strength of our own math and science curriculum as much as the times. In fact, Lee Coffin at Tufts commented that “Rivers has changed in the last decade or so more than any school I can think of.” I’m afraid that the middle class is going to have an increasingly hard time. Schools with large endowments can increase the threshold for qualifying for aid and help them out, but less selective schools that relied on merit scholarships to attract students can’t sustain financial aid and merit programs at the same time. Colleges report increases in international applications, decreases in programming as budgets are cut, more options for online viewing of lectures in conventional courses, and three-year programs. There are just so many areas that are in flux. That’s why it is so reassuring when a dean tells me that he can always trust what he sees on a Rivers application. Because that is the bottom line in this whole process: trust—in yourself, in your counselor, and in the school where you hope to spend the next four years. That’s what we’re here for, to build that trust.

Spring 2012 • Riparian • 9

Campus News and his memories of dealing with racism and working through emotional turmoil to achieve his goals, he emphasized the role education played in his success.

Rivers Clubs Enjoy Success at National Conferences

The girls’ hockey team at Frozen Fenway 2012

Take Me Out to the Hockey Game

It may have been one of the coldest days of the winter that wasn’t, but Rivers’ girls’ varsity hockey players were all fired up as they took to the ice on January 4 during Frozen Fenway 2012. With an impressive record just a month into the season, the Red Wings faced off against St. George’s before a cheering contingent of Rivers fans and held a comfortable lead for the entire game. The once-in-a-lifetime experience of playing in the shadow of the Green Monster and traipsing through the Red Sox dugout on the way to the locker room will undoubtedly be a highlight of their skating careers at Rivers. Winning at Fenway was the icing on the cake.

Esteemed Visitors Share Experiences with Students

Students and faculty have had the opportunity to meet with several esteemed guests this year, including U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Davidow, author Alison Smith, and Ernest Green, a member of the Little Rock Nine. Ambassador Davidow, one of the most experienced and well-respected diplomats in the U.S., met with the Model UN for an interactive talk and question and answer session. Davidow spoke to students about 10 • Riparian • Spring 2012

his extensive career in Africa and Latin America, gave advice to those interested in international relations, and answered student questions about working overseas. The Rivers community also welcomed to campus Alison Smith, author of the 10th grade summer reading book Name All the Animals. Smith shared insights and excerpts from her memoir, an intimate coming-of-age story about coping with the death of her 18-year-old brother, and struggles with faith, religion, and family conflict. Ernest Green’s visit was a supplement to the Upper School’s summer reading book Warriors Don’t Cry, a memoir written by another member of the Little Rock Nine. As Green shared anecdotes, insights,

Firing ceramics using the Raku method on the shore of Nonesuch Pond

Debate and Model UN clubs have both attended conferences this year, where they achieved notable success. The Rivers Debate Team attended the Northeast Fall State Conference in November, where six Rivers students were awarded “Best Speaker” honors. Arianna Zhang ’13, Jen Lowell ’15, Marissa Birne ’15, Griffin Kay ’12, Juliana Rordorf ’12, and Dan Corcoran ’13 all received the honor, which was awarded based on student ballots. More than 1,000 students from the Northeast attended the two-day conference, including 23 students from Rivers. The attendees debated hundreds of diverse topics relevant to current events in the U.S., and “Best Speaker” honors were awarded to the students who most successfully defended their positions under the scrutiny of their peers. Model UN has had an eventful year. In the fall, seven students traveled to the University of Connecticut for a teaching conference to improve their skills in research, debate, and parliamentary procedure. The conference gave students an opportunity to participate in a variety of tasks relating to international affairs. In January, 15 students from the Model UN participated in an even larger conference at Columbia in New York City, where

Campus News

New Club Holds Musical Performances with a Philanthropic Tone

Bob Pipe with Tayra Melendez ’12 after scoring her 1000th point

students joined committees ranging in topics from 2014 Counter-Revolution in Cuba to Harry Potter Order of the Phoenix. Matt Tanner ’12, Robert McLarnon ’12, Sam Berger ’13, Andre Tilahun ’12, Asa Phillips ’13, and Andrew Kafker ’13 were all honored for their outstanding performances as delegates.

Musicians Represent Rivers at Eastern District and All-State Festivals

Twelve Rivers musicians were accepted into the Eastern District Festival, a competitive weekend festival offered by the Massachusetts Music Educator’s Association as an enrichment opportunity for talented young musicians. Additionally, 11 of the 12 students also received All-State recommendations from their auditions, which is a significant honor for these musicians and The Rivers School Conservatory. Seven Rivers students were selected to participate in the prestigious All-State Music Festival in March, where the most talented student musicians in the state come together for two days of rigorous musical study and performance. Hundreds of students from across Massachusetts met in Boston for the opportunity to work with some of the best teachers and conductors in the country.

One of the newest clubs on campus embraced the holiday spirit this December by combining two longstanding staples of Rivers culture—music and community service. Encore, a student organization that aims to fundraise through public musical performances, held a concert at the Chestnut Hill Mall to raise money for Cradles to Crayons. As student musicians, Arianna Zhang ’13 and Kathryn Nielsen ’13 set out to explore new ways for Rivers students to share their musical talents outside the recital hall. When they decided to merge this idea with a community service project, the foundation for Encore was formed. The club has more than 12 student performers and 40 active student members who help with fundraising efforts at Encore events.

Friendships Formed and Lessons Learned at Student Diversity Leadership Conference

At the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC), students from across the country come together each year to share stories, experiences, and insights relating to diversity at independent schools. This year, Director of Diversity John Bower traveled to the conference in Philadelphia with students Tayra Melendez ’12, Ope Olukorede ’13, Katie Oppenheim ’12, and Alex Gamez ’14 for a learning experience filled with new friendships and self-discovery. For three days, the Rivers students joined more than 1,500 others for workshops, guest speakers, and group discussions. Their level of enthusiasm remained high throughout the long days as they learned more about one another and discovered new aspects of their own identity.

was invited to speak to Rivers students during their celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In his speech, he shared his cultural background, personal experiences, and anecdotes about his family. Most of all, he focused on some of the most poignant lessons from King’s fight for civil rights, the ways in which those insights can be applied to interactions with others, and the importance of embracing all types of diversity. “We must spend more time focusing on the positives of race and similarities between races,” Tolentino said in his address. “It’s about relating and integrating.”

New Courses Offer New Perspectives

Two new courses are providing students with fresh perspectives on current and historical events—from analyzing strategies behind the Cuban missile crisis to reflecting on the effect of smallpox on George Washington’s leadership during the American Revolution. In Mark Hall’s Game Theory and Decision Making course, part of the Interdisciplinary Studies Department, students are learning that for any game, competition, or situation, there is a best strategy that can be used for optimum success. Hall’s course began by focusing on basic principles of game theory, probability, and psychology. Students learned how to use these principles in evaluating logical situations and

Rivers Community Honors Martin Luther King, Jr.

Reverend Francisco Tolentino, an active member of the Greater Boston community and parent of alumna Laticia Tolentino ’02,

Kristy Szretter ’97 speaking in the Disease in History class

Spring 2012 • Riparian • 11

Campus News analyzing opponents. Later in the trimester, they begin to focus on real situations, many of which are historical, and develop solutions to problems. In Dave Burzillo’s Disease in History course, students are engaging themselves in a topic their books rarely emphasize. According to Burzillo, disease has impacted history tremendously, and this impact has not always received much attention in history books. However, courses focusing on disease in history began to develop in the mid-1970s and are now a common find in college course catalogs. Since it is taught from a predominantly historical perspective, Burzillo’s course focuses on the social, economic, political, and religious impact of disease on historical events. To aid in the scientific portion of the curriculum, Burzillo has invited various guest lecturers to his classroom. Most recently, Kristy Szretter ’97, a flu pandemic specialist who worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for seven years, visited the class to discuss the current unit on the influenza outbreak of 1918.

Two Students Find an Important Cause to Share with the Rivers Community

Rivers students Erica Chalmers ’14 and Maclaine Lehan ’14 are working to rally the Rivers community around a cause in which they have a shared interest. By organizing a philanthropic dodgeball tournament, Chalmers and Lehan enlisted the help of their classmates to provide more educational opportunities for young girls in Africa. After gathering academic materials and school furniture at her previous school, Natick High School, Chalmers got in touch with the founder and director of a non-profit organization called Starfish International that aims to educate young girls in West Africa. When Chalmers came to Rivers as a sophomore this past fall, she joined forces with Lehan, whom she knew before starting at Rivers, and the two girls immediately began planning ways for Rivers students to get involved with Starfish International. They organized an Upper School dodgeball

12 • Riparian • Spring 2012

Rivers Big Band at the Mingus Competition

tournament in March, and the tournament raised $1,000 for the cause.

Rivers Givers Honor This Year’s Grant Recipients at Annual Check Presentation

After reaching their annual goal of $10,000 through fundraisers and donations, and undergoing a rigorous selection process, members of Rivers Givers announced this year’s three major grant recipients at a check presentation ceremony in February. Grant recipients for the 2011–2012 school year are organizations that focus on helping struggling young people in both local and international communities. The student philanthropy group will donate $5,000 to Bridge Over Troubled Waters, a nonprofit organization in Boston that provides homeless people between the ages of 14 and 24 with food, shelter, counseling, education, and transitional necessities. Rivers Givers will also donate $3,000 to Adoption and Foster Care (AFC) Mentoring, an organization that matches children in the foster care system with consistent mentors. The final $2,000 in this year’s fund will be donated to the Glorious Orphanage in Tanzania, a registered in Rivers Givers presenting check to Bridge Over Troubled Waters representatives

dependent school and orphan care facility that provides young African children with education and basic resources such as food, water, and medical care.

Big Band Wins Spirit Award at Mingus Competition in NYC

The Rivers Big Band was honored with the prestigious Spirit Award at the 2012 Charles Mingus High School Competition and Festival in New York City. This is the fourth year of the Mingus Competition and the Rivers Big Band has been a finalist all four years, winning Best Big Band in 2010 and Best Combo in 2011. The Spirit Award is given to one school out of more than 80 performing arts schools and traditional schools entered in the festival nationwide. Sue Mingus, founder and coordinator of the festival, even took time to compliment the Rivers band in front of all of the members of the audience and renowned adjudicators. “The Rivers Big Band was able to cover the whole history of jazz in their rendition of Jelly Roll—from Dixieland jazz to bebop to contemporary jazz. They did a fantastic job,” she said.

Parent News

Rivers’ Parents of Seniors Celebrate


he parents of the senior class gathered in the fall at the home of trustee Ben and Amy Bloomstone for an evening of relaxation and reminiscences about Rivers. Head of Upper School Patti Carbery shared her annual words of wisdom about the milestones and challenges facing parents and their children during their final year at Rivers.

Amy and Benjamin Bloomstone

Mike McGuinness, Ben Bloomstone, Steve Snider

Jay Orlander, Jackie Mitus, Michael and Debra Young

Carolyn Snider, Kendall and Christopher Kay

Archie McIntyre, Chet Birger

Tom Olverson and Al Nagelberg Ben Bloomstone, Wendy and Dan Kraft

Mira Levitt, Linda and David Tanner, Carolyn and Jerry Friedman

Richard Oldach, Dejyetenush and Wubishet Tilahun

Spring 2012 • Riparian • 13

Rivers Artists Go for the Gold


or the second year in a row, Rivers’ art students earned a record-breaking number of awards at the Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards competition. This year, Rivers students received 10 Gold Keys, 15 Silver Keys, and 26 Honorable Mentions, for a total of 51, covering every medium to which entries were submitted: photography, ceramics and glass, drawing, painting, digital art, sculpture, and printmaking. Four students received two awards, with three of them achieving recognition in two different media. The number of awards has quadrupled since 2008 when Rivers received 10 nods. Seven of this year’s recipients have been honored with a Scholastic Art Award in the past, including a senior who has been recognized for three years in a row. The Gold and Silver Key artwork was displayed during February and March at the Massachusetts State Transportation Building. The Gold Key winners (pictured here) were then sent to New York City for national consideration. Tayra Melendez ’12, “Vase”

Zach Bunick ’14, “Vortex” *

Emma Harrison ’13, “Milo’s Chair” Alex Gamez ’14, “Echo”

* National Award Recipient Abi Crawford ’13, “Teapot” 14 • Riparian • Spring 2012 2011 14

Salvatore Sprofera ’14, “Self-Portrait”

Natalie Schoen ’16, “Broken City” *

Lindsey Ades ’14, “Woven” *

Summers Ford ’12, “My Girl”

Silver Keys Andy Ades ’12, Anne Armstrong ’13, Abby Burke ’13, Molly Busch ’14, Dan Corcoran ’13, Emily Fraser ’14, Nina Friedman ’12, Elizabeth Magnan ’16, Georgia McIntyre ’12, Tayra Melendez ’12 , Ju’Quan Mills ’16, Justin Snider ’15, Jeff Vaz ’12, Ashley Weir ’12 Honorable Mentions Kelsey Bacon ’12, Ross Barlow ’14 , Angie Buitrago ’13, Nina Ciffolillo ’12, Danny Davis ’13, Quentin Eagan ’14, Alejandra Gil ’12, Sarah Gilmore ’13, Stephen Goodwin ’13, Kevin Hester ’14, Alexa Holmes ’14, Jennifer Jasinski ’12, Devon Kelliher ’13, Carson Knisley ’12, Savannah Knisley ’15, Alec Long ’13, Elizabeth Magnan ’16, Meghan McEachern ’12, Alyssa McNally ’16, Meghan Morgan ’15, Jenny Rosenfield ’14, Jaclyn Sisselman ’13, Salvatore Sprofera ’14, Brooke Stoller ’12, Emily Treveloni ’15, Adam Verga ’16 Rachel Silverman ’14, “Circles”* 15 Spring 2012 • Riparian • 15

Jarzavek Chair Awarded


lumni, parents, faculty, and staff filled the Campus Center for the fourth annual Jarzavek Chair Affair to celebrate the awarding of the first endowed teaching chair at The Rivers School. Visual Arts Department Chair David Saul was recognized for his expertise in his field and the inspiration he has provided to hundreds of students during his 29 years of teaching photography at Rivers. Guests tasted an array of fine wines, liquors, and delicious hors d’oeuvres, donated by a number of generous alumni and friends, including Damian de Magistris ’97, the Willis family, Jeff Katz ’95, Jeff Kotzen ’02, Kate Kumler Bruenner ’01 and Kip Kumler, Phil Stathos ’83, Aimee and Scott Cronin ’92, Kevin Carter, and Michael Clancy. The event co-chairs, Steve Sugarman ’92 and Chris von Rumohr ’89, and their committee worked tirelessly for months to secure the wide range of items offered in the silent auction, including rare wines, restaurant gift certificates, and vacation packages. Proceeds from the auction as well as the raffle of an instant wine cellar will benefit the Jarzavek Teaching Chair Fund.

David Saul and Jack Jarzavek

Alexandra Krotinger ’04, Marissa Goldstein ’03, Jack Jarzavek

Cai von Rumohr P’89, Clint and Meg Harris P’04

David Saul, Chris ’89 and Amanda von Rumohr

David Saul, John Cyr ’99

Arnold Scott P’91, Peter and Debbie Gaines P’94, David Saul Jeremy Harrison P’05,’07,’11,’13, Spencer Godfrey ’98, Jennie Jacoby P’07

Steve Sugarman ’92, David Saul, Jack Jarzavek, Tom Olverson 16 • Riparian • Spring 2012

Johanna and Mike Campbell ’85, Alice Murphy and Phil Stathos ’83, Bill ’85 and Maureen Stewart

David Prince ’72, David Saul

Paul Karasch, Carol Weintraub P’08, Sarah Weintraub ’08

Scott Cronin ’92, Jeanette Szretter Jeff Lowenstein P’10,’16, George Alex, Greg Cahill, Hank Miller, all Class of 1977

Kip Kumler P’01

Jamie Carlin ’81, P’15,’16, and Garry Holmes P’14

Jim Vaccarino P’86,’88, Tony Vaccarino ’86, Todd Sheinkopf ’88, P’17

Steven Salny, Mitch Coddington, Martin Gould, all Class of 1973

Steve Sugarman ’92, Mike Zafiropolous ’82 P’15, Thalia Sugarman Damian de Magistris ’97 and his assistant serving Mac Caplan

At the bidding table: Bridget O’Connor Garsh ’00

Spring 2012 • Riparian • 17

G. West Saltonstall ’61

2012 Alumni Excellence Award Recipient By CHRISTINE MARTIN


esty Saltonstall was indisputably the “big man on campus” by the time he graduated from Rivers in 1961. Not only an imposing force on the football squad, he was equally in command in the classroom, on the stage, in the glee club, and as President of Student Council. He received the Harvard Club Book Prize in his junior year, and both the H. Hooper Lawrence Award and Faculty Prize at graduation. As the contributors to the Current’s “Last Will and Testament” quipped, “West Saltonstall leave[s] the school leaderless...” Saltonstall will be honored for his professional and volunteer contributions with Rivers’ 2012 Alumni Excellence Award at the Reunion dinner on May 19. “I spent 13 years at Rivers, back in the days when the school went from kindergarten through high school,” said Saltonstall. “After a dozen years in Brookline, I spent my last year in Weston, part of the first class to graduate from the new campus.” After Rivers, Saltonstall attended Williams College where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in American civilization. He took a break from academics to serve in the Marine Corps for three years, an experience that was more life-altering than life-threatening. “I was fortunate to serve at a time between the Korean and Vietnam Wars when things were pretty calm,” he commented. “It was quite an awakening for a kid from Chestnut Hill—first Parris Island, then the West Coast and the Far East. I remember talking to a group of Rivers students years later, and Hardy Ellis, Rivers’ Dean of Studies and Placement Director at the time, was disappointed when I recommended the service to students who need-

18 • Riparian • Spring 2012

ed to find themselves before college. I did a lot of growing up in the Marines but was glad to be a half-step ahead of Vietnam.” After Williams, Saltonstall worked in marketing and insurance before joining the First National Bank’s personal trust department, launching a successful career in the investment field. He served as director of Scudder Private Investment Counsel’s Boston office, then became president of Eaton Vance Trust Company and Eaton Vance Investment Counsel in 2004. He is now President Emeritus at Eaton Vance where he continues to serve as trustee for families and individuals. With certification as a Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered Investment Counselor, he has guided his clients through the vagaries of the market with his thoughtful and experienced advice. “When it comes to weathering these economic downturns, it’s helpful to have been around,” said Saltonstall of his longevity in the business. “But the bubbles are always dangerous. The market cycles used to be longer—now they seem to be coming closer and closer together.” Through the years, he has shared his professional expertise through a variety

of industry organizations, including the Investment Counsel Association of America and the Boston Society of Security Analysts. But his generosity with his time and talents has gone far beyond professional affiliations. He has contributed to many local community organizations, putting in years of service on school, hospital, and church boards, as well as Sailors’ Snug Harbor of Boston, The Humane Society of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and The Massachusetts Historical Society, where he is a trustee and member of the investment committee. Saltonstall served with particular dedication and enthusiasm on the board of the U.S.S. Constitution Museum for 12 years, nine of those years as Chairman of the Board. During his tenure the museum greatly expanded its exhibition space and acquisitions, earning the museum a national award. He was delighted to be invited to accept the museum’s award at the White House in 2004. “As a Marine, recreational sailor for many years, and history major in college, I really enjoyed serving on the Constitution board,” he commented. “I finally stepped down because I thought it was time for new blood, but it was a wonderful experience. At an institution that small you really feel the impact of what you’re doing.” Over the years, Saltonstall has remained well-connected to his alma mater. He was a member of The Rivers School Corporation from 1996 to 1999 and volunteered on various alumni committees, including one charged with establishing the BergenDecker Award in memory of former staff members Phyllis Bergen and Betty Decker. He recently shared his professional wisdom at a gathering at Weil’s Boston office, hosted by Rivers’ career development committee, adding yet another dimension to the meaning of the term “Rivers lifer.”

Celebrating 25 Years of Service on May 19


ruce Amsbary P’05 has served as Director of Finance & Operations and Assistant Treasurer since 1987, overseeing the school’s business office, food service, bookstore, and facilities operations and serving on various trustee committees. He is currently treasurer and executive committee member of the Massachusetts Association of Nonprofit Schools and Colleges (previously serving as president for four years), a Board member of Independent Schools Compensation Corporation (ISCC), and has served on various committees over the years for the Asso- ciation of Independent Schools in New England. He received a BA from Hobart College in economics and an MBA in accounting and management from Babson College. Bruce was the recipient of Rivers’ Bergen-Decker Award in 2003. As Assistant Head of School and Director of Student Affairs for the Upper School,

Bruce Amsbary P’05

Jim Long is responsible for the Upper School co-curricular program, advisor program, and assembly program, and oversees the Upper School Class Deans. Jim is also a Middle School boys’ basketball coach and ninth grade academic counselor. Jim has held a number of positions during his

Jim Long

tenure, including Dean of Students for the Upper School, Head of Middle School, acting Head of School, and varsity basketball coach. He graduated from Bowdoin College with a BA in history and government and later received a master’s in education from Harvard University.

On the Run for Financial Aid


he second annual 5K Run for Rivers will be held Sunday morning, May 20, during Alumni and Reunion weekend. Event organizers Emily Snider ’12 and Brooke Stoller ’12 are looking to match the success of the inaugural race which raised nearly $3,000 for two financial aid funds that were established in memory of Ian Greenblatt ’04 and Ian McVey ’03. Last spring’s race around campus drew 70 runners, including students from the Middle and Upper Schools, parents, faculty, alumni, and friends of Rivers families. The run also featured prizes, t-shirts, food, and music that contributed to the great camaraderie of the event. For more information, contact Director of Community Service Jeanette Szretter at 339-686-2433 or Rivers Runners gather after a Thanksgiving race. 2011 Run for Rivers

Spring 2012 • Riparian • 19

Mida van Zuylen Dunn

A C E L E B R AT ION OF L I F E : May 1 9 at 1 0 : 0 0 a.m.



he Rivers School lost an iconic member of the faculty with the passing of French teacher and librarian Mida van Zuylen Dunn on November 28, 2011. Mme. Dunn, who graduated from Simmons College in Boston in 1967, began teaching French at Rivers in September 1969, covering the full range of courses from Introductory to Advanced Placement French. Mida Dunn with colleague Paul Licht in 1998 “Mida was a wonderful colpleasure to find a fellow European on league, mentor, and friend,” said Melinda the faculty. Mida had a style and sophis- Ryan, fellow Rivers language teacher. tication that was a great addition to the “Kind, generous, and witty, Mida was a school’s language department. As a dedicated teacher who gave freely of her colleague, she was always a delight.” time and of herself to her boys, her col A strong believer in lifelong learning, leagues, and her school. She was a wonMme. Dunn was the recipient of several derful teacher who held her students Rivers faculty enrichment grants to study accountable for their French lessons but French literature in Belgium as well as the she was also warm and approachable Spanish language in Madrid. After conwith a lively sense of humor.” cluding her tenure as a French teacher in Emblematic of that humor were the 1986, Mme. Dunn continued on as a partcroquet tournaments she would organize time assistant librarian at Rivers, where on campus, often with outlandishly she enjoyed working with librarians costumed participants. Debbie Petri and Mary Everett. Mme. Dunn was born in Dungu, “After more than 42 years of friendship, Belgian Congo in 1924, grew up in Brussels, I got to know Mida very well,” reminisced and served with the Belgian Red Cross former faculty member Jack Jarzavek. during World War II. She went to Ottawa “One of her special gifts was a prodigious after the war as personal secretary of the memory for facts, dates, and arcane inforBelgian Ambassador to Canada, then mation. That was why she was an excellent moved to New York as personal secretary reference librarian, always ready to direct of Paul-Henri Spaak, first President of the students in their term projects.” United Nations General Assembly. She After her retirement in 1992, Mme. lived with her husband Jack and family Dunn became a member of The Rivers of three in Colorado for a number of School Corporation in 1995 and was later years before moving to Newton. named an Honorary Trustee of the Corpo “When Mary and I first came to Rivers ration. She was the mother of John-Peter in 1981, it was the completion of an emi’70, Christopher ’76, and Jacqueline Dunn, gration from Europe via Canada,” said and proud grandmother of nine grandRichard Bradley, former headmaster. “We children. were still quite European so it was a real 20 • Riparian • Spring 2012

   In 1996, Mme. Dunn established the Mida van Zuylen Dunn Award for Teaching, an annual award highlighting excellent teaching by a young faculty member. She funded the establishment of a second teaching award in 2010. The awards “recognize and honor teachers who, through the caring practice of their craft, instill in students a love for learning.”    “I was very humbled and flattered to receive this award in the spring of 2003,” said Language Department Chair Cathy Favreau. “I had been teaching Middle School Latin at Rivers for four years and for 14 years overall, and this recognition affirmed that I was upholding the values and goals I had set for myself in this profession. It was especially dear because this is an award established by a former teacher. The fact that Mida cared so deeply about both Rivers and teachers and honored both through the establishment of this award has always impressed me.” “After her retirement, when I would see her over tea, a movie, or an excursion to see other friends, I discovered Mida’s almost total recall of her students and their accomplishments in her classes,” recalled Jarzavek. “Since I worked in alumni relations for almost twenty years, I would bring up names of former students and invariably, if Mida had taught them French, I would hear a full report on their growth as language students. The more I knew Mida, the more facets of her personality and talents I discovered. She was indeed a very remarkable person whom I shall dearly, dearly miss.”

Career Development Takes Off


ow in its second year, the Career Development Com- mittee, chaired by Stephen Lable ’90, has been making great strides in developing Rivers’ alumni networking capabilities. The fall career networking event in Boston was hosted by Westy Saltonstall ’61 at Eaton Vance, where Saltonstall is president emeritus. The evening featured Larry Glazer ’86, managing partner at Mayflower Advisors, who spoke about the importance of networking. “It’s important for people to develop their network before they need it,” said Glazer. “That’s what we’re trying to do here.” Building on the success in Boston, a New York branch of the committee, chaired by Brian Snerson ’86, met for the first time in January. Jared Gerstenblatt ’93 is hosting a spring reception for New York-based alumni at Chimera Securities on Park Avenue, where he is co-chief executive officer. To create a robust resource for connecting and networking with one another, alumni are urged to update their information on the new online directory as soon as possible. Similar to LinkedIn, alumni are able to log in and search for fellow alumni based on class year, education, industry, and location. Please go to to log in and get started. If you’re interested in being involved with the Career Development Committee, contact Associate Director of Advancement Marney Hupper at or 339-686-2247.

Peter Yaffe ’65, Scott Firth ’93, Josh Dorfman ’93

Westy Saltonstall ’61, Larry Glazer ’86, Stephen Lable ’90

Alexandra Krotinger ’04, Tera ’03 and Drew Kull Alex Forse, Charlotte Lewis, Michael Rosenberg, all Class of 2002

Justin Tulman ’90, Roy MacDowell ’96, Jeff Katz ’95

Rich Fischer ’84, Jeff Tarlin ’84 April Seligman ’03, Amelia Hutchinson ’01, Bryant Roche-Bernard ’06, guest, Megan Yau ’06

Career Development Committee Danielle Ain ’05, Stephen Baldini ’96, Carolyn Bass ’01, Robert Daley ’82, Glen Davis ’89, Andrew DeAngelis ’93, Lawrence Epstein ’87, Lawrence Glazer ’86, Marissa Goldstein ’03, Paul Holian ’89, Bradley Karelitz ’04, Jeffrey Katz ’95, Stephen Lable ’90, Chair, Charlotte Lewis ’02, Roy MacDowell ’96, Michael McCabe ’83, Jared Perry ’95, Nicholas Petri ’02, April Seligman ’03, Gregory Stoller ’87 Spring 2012 • Riparian • 21

Alumni Gather in NYC


ore than two dozen Rivers alumni from the New York area enjoyed the cosmopolitan setting of the Adelson Galleries on the Upper East Side at the mid-October annual reception. Hosted by Michael Simches ’80, the venue provided a lovely back-drop for alumni who enjoyed catching up with Head of School Tom Olverson, former faculty member and trustee Barbara Ligon, and current faculty member Jennie Jacoby.

Michael Simches ’80, Tom Olverson

Ainsley Mallows ’06, Grady O’Gara ’03, Jake Olin ’04

Nina Birger ’06, Barbara Ligon, Liz Chiu ’03

Emily Thomson ’02, Dan Barr ’01, Mary Taggart ’02

Jennie Jacoby, Rachel Tovin ’06

Rebecca Roblin ’99, David Snider ’99, Elissa Hintlian ’99, Jamie Putnam ’01

Miles Jacoby ’07, Nicki Hunter ’05

Melissa Benjamin ’11, and Anna Teng ’11

NYC Career Development Committee David Olverson ’02, Chris Laakko ’02 Jen Post ’07, Jesse Comart ’04, Hillary Ain ’07 22 • Riparian • Spring 2012

Pierre Bouvard ’79, Jesse Comart ’04, Jared Gerstenblatt ’93, Nicole Hunter ’05, Charles King ’90, Lawrence Meltzer ’82, Grady O’Gara ’03, Brian Snerson ’86, Chair, Douglas St. Amant ’83, Mary Taggart ’02, Emily Thompson ’02, Timothy Ward ’03

Alumni Profile

Ashley Stanley ’97: On the Road Again By CHRISTINE MARTIN


ost people think nothing of ending up with a doggy bag of restaurant leftovers, but Ashley Stanley ’97 is passionate about what those leftovers say about food and our society. As founder and executive director of Boston nonprofit Lovin’ Spoonfuls, she has an insatiable appetite for the fresh, wholesome food that never has a chance to reach diners’ plates and shoppers’ carts. Rather than let thousands of pounds of perfectly edible food go to waste in restaurants and supermarkets around the city, she and her staff make the rounds daily, picking up truckloads of surplus perishables and delivering fresh produce, lean proteins, and whole grains to local soup kitchens and food pantries. Stanley never set out to establish a non-profit; as a matter of fact, she spent a number of years in the fast-paced world of marketing and luxury retail in New York City. But her own experience with restaurant leftovers led first to some internet research and then to the realization that the dichotomy between wasted food and hungry people could be addressed with a redistribution of resources. So, Stanley took the initiative to try and tackle the problem. “The circumstances around hunger are changing, and I really think the conversation about hunger relief needs to change along with it,” she said. “We have to adopt new ways of meeting the need. Lovin’ Spoonfuls is really a reaction to the situation, a practical application of what I learned a few years ago about food excess. There is more than enough food to feed everyone around the globe. Yet one in every five Bostonians is classified as ‘food-insecure,’ meaning they are chronically hungry or don’t know where their next meal is

coming from. Additionally, wasted food costs the U.S. more than $1 billion every year in taxpayer money, and accounts for five to seven percent of our oil consumption to incinerate this food.” Since its founding in 2010, Lovin’ Spoonfuls ( has developed into a vibrant partnership of restaurateurs, supermarket chains, farms, service organizations, government offiin the community like Island Creek cials, and local businesses. Stanley and her Oysters, Toro and Coppa restaurants, staff of three are the managers, fundraisand last year’s Ultimate Tailgate Party ers, drivers, media specialists, and public at Sam’s on the waterfront, featuring policy lobbyists; you name it, they do it. Boston and Nantucket’s best chefs. As Their board of directors (including resa result, the organization has been able taurateur Christopher Myers, chef Joanne to expand to two vehicles and drivers Chang, chef Ming Tsai, and television host as well as an additional staff person. Andrew Zimmern) is matched in stature Demand for their services is high, by the organizations they serve (the Pine at both the vendor and government Street Inn, Haley House, Bridge Over level, and a capital growth campaign Troubled Waters, among others), and the is underway to help Lovin’ Spoonfuls businesses that donate (from Whole Foods meet that demand. to Allendale Farm). Stanley and Lovin’ As a star athlete during the formaSpoonfuls have been featured in every tive years of girls’ athletics at Rivers, major media outlet in the area. Stanley managed to take advantage of Stanley was recently asked to sit on an community service opportunities the international panel at an Oxfam conference school organized, but gives her family honoring women involved in food justice, credit for instilling in her a sense of in recognition of her own commitment responsibility toward others. and work towards hunger relief. “Growing up, I learned from my “Hunger is a global problem of distrifamily what it means to be a good bution and access, and the solution is just neighbor, which is what Lovin’ Spoonthat—distribution and access,” said Stanley. fuls tries to be,” said Stanley. “It’s im“My immediate goal is to cement our presportant to me to continue to get out in ence in the Commonwealth, and we’ve the trucks on a regular basis to pick up had tremendous support from Governor and deliver food—staying connected Patrick and Mayor Menino. The idea is is really at the heart of my mission. to create a sustainable model so Lovin’ This is about people, and food is just Spoonfuls can be easily adapted and such a basic necessity—healthy food, implemented to serve any city.” especially. At the end of the day, it’s Support from the Boston community just people helping people.” is evident in the wide range of fundraisers held for Lovin’ Spoonfuls, which have run the gamut from a Website: ‘Lamb Jam,’ sponsored by the Facebook: American Lamb Board, events Twitter: @LovinFoodRescue put on by friends and partners

Spring 2012 • Riparian • 23

Alumni Profile

Ben Donahue ’06: Giving Back, Getting Back By CHRISTINE MARTIN


ather than head for Wall Street or law school after graduating from Boston College, Ben Donahue ’06 headed south to New Orleans for a ten-month commitment as an AmeriCorps volunteer at the St. Bernard Project, where Rivers students have been volunteering for the past several years during winter break. “I feel like I came late to the game as a volunteer. Rivers has a great community service program, but I was really caught up with athletics while I was a student,” said Donahue. “Then when I transferred to BC after a year at University of Colorado, I started to get involved with their community service activities. I didn’t realize at first that it is a huge part of the identity and culture at BC. I signed up for a spring break trip as a way to meet people and ended up going to Virginia with their Appalachian Volunteers to work with Habitat for Humanity. It was an incredible trip and I really got hooked on service.” Donahue joined BC’s Loyola Volunteers, which bring BC students to a youth center in a public housing neighborhood in Brighton, and eventually ran the program during his senior year. He volunteered at the St. Bernard Project the summer before senior year through an AmeriCorps Vista program. The Project was established by Liz McCartney, a Boston College graduate who was so moved by the devastation she witnessed after Hurricane Katrina that she set up the non-profit to help rebuild homes, provide social services for residents, and employment opportunities for veterans. During Donahue’s recent AmeriCorps term in New Orleans, he was

24 • Riparian • Spring 2012

Ben Donahue with Laura Mahoney and Emilie Gitlitz, all Class of 2006, at the Thanksgiving reception.

able to focus on the workings of the nonprofit, in particular doing fundraising and outreach to potential donors. He did have a chance to wield the occasional tool, but was happy with the opportunity to learn so much about the organization itself. Now, while he plans for the future, Donahue is working in Providence at Butler Hospital, as a research assistant on a health care study involving young adults. “I was a history major in college, and studied the African Diaspora in Haiti and other countries, so I’m very interested in traveling and volunteering in Africa at some point,” he said. “I was impressed to hear that Rivers students are reaching out to various African communities in their own volunteer efforts—that’s amazing!” “As a teenager at Rivers, I was really living in a bubble,” said Donahue. “My lifestyle during my service trips has been pretty simple, but that’s the philosophy behind Jesuit service and the AmeriCorps program. There’s something to be said for living a life similar to those you’re serving.”

Ben Donahue with his mother Susanna at the Campus Center opening.

“I think that my struggle to pick my next avenue of service, while hard, is almost freeing,” concluded Donahue. “The fact is that there are hundreds of ways to engage in service, whether it is advocacy, hands-on work, policy, research, or consulting. It isn’t just about giving up your possessions and heading to some area where you think you can help. You can live a normal life and engage in service at the same time. Right now, I just have to decide whether I want to engage in service by volunteering with the Peace Corps, by getting my master’s in public health or international development, or by doing policy work through government or politics, non-profit consulting, or with an NGO. The point is just to find something that you see wrong and do something about it. The sense of meaning you can get from that is very profound.”

Alumni Profile

Jeff Talmadge ’64: Fulfilling Dreams By CHRISTINE MARTIN


e need a vacation! Who can argue with that? Certainly not Joan and Jeff Talmadge ’64 who hit upon that sentiment as the name for their ground-breaking vacation rental website in 1997. Even today, 15 years later, has unique features that make it one of the most user-friendly sites in cyberspace. “The website was the result of two very different factors,” said Jeff. “First, we bought a house in Orleans on Cape Cod in 1996 and quickly decided we had to rent it out for part of the summer to help pay the bills. Second, at that point in my career, I was a software consultant and realized, while at a Microsoft convention, that the wave of the future lay in search capability sites. So my business partner and I decided to build a vacation rental site as a sample to demonstrate our expertise to business clients. There were other vacation rental sites on the internet, but they were just listings by town. We developed a site that allowed the renter to search for listings by location, price, amenities, and vacation dates. For the next ten years, we were still the only searchable site and, even now, we are the only site that allows the renter to enter a number of preferred dates and locations at the same time.” So, how do you launch a rental website? Where do you find a critical mass of listings? The Talmadges first approached Cape Cod realtors and found it was an uphill battle to convince them that both they and the homeowner would benefit from added exposure on the internet. Then Jeff ’s wife Joan, at the time an editor at an educational publishing company, began coldcalling homeowners who advertised

properties in the classifieds in newspapers and alumni magazines to sell them on the new concept of internet advertising. They now boast 4000 listings on the Cape and Islands and in Florida, where they have established a second presence. The website receives 2 million visits a year from 1.2 million individuals. The business, based in their home in Wellesley, has grown to eight employees, including their daughter Becky who helps manage the Cape listings and son Jim who has become the programming guru. “He knows more about programming than I ever could,” says the proud father. But what Jeff is actually most proud of is that he and Joan have built a successful business out of the complementary nature of their skills. “Joan is the service side and I am the technical, financial, analytical side,” said Jeff. “Ours is the perfect melding of technology and personalized service.” “With an interactive website, customer service includes dealing with the occasional bad review from a disgruntled renter or owner unhappy with how their home was treated,” adds Joan. “We work hard to broker a happy ending for everyone. As with any business, a returning renter or owner is one you don’t have to go out and find.” Not content to rest on their success, they are constantly looking for ways to engage their customers, both homeowner and renter. They have a Vacation Planner portion of the website, with restaurants and attractions for the Cape and Islands —a boon to anyone trapped on a rainy day with a houseful of kids. They also help arrange services such as landscaping and maintenance for out-of-town homeowners. Ideally the site will become a trusted resource for anyone looking for a vetted service or business in the area; that customer is a potential owner or renter in the future.

Jeff and Joan Talmadge

In expanding the services offered they don’t want to do something that competes with the rental business, rather they carefully consider what will benefit their core business. “We want to keep the customer engaged by offering other services, so when the next year rolls around they come back to us because they’ve repeatedly been on our site for a number of reasons,” said Jeff. Their success can be measured in part by the fact that they have become the go-to resource in both the local and national press for reliable analysis and forecasts of the Cape rental scene. “With the wide geographic area we cover, and the thousands of properties we list, we can offer much more concrete statistics than the anecdotal evidence a local realtor might give, based on his listings in a couple of towns,” said Jeff. “The press knows that we are straight shooters. We don’t try to put a spin on the situation that isn’t based in fact. Of course we want to be optimistic, and thankfully that has been the situation with rentals in the past few years.” So when you do need a vacation, (and who doesn’t), go to WeNeeda, click on My Vacations, and start to plan, or at least dream!

Spring 2012 • Riparian • 25

Student Alumni News News

Class Notes 1967


Joe Scott visits schools occasionally as a per-

Bill Burnham writes, “After 30 plus years in the

formance artist depicting Charles Perrault and Raymond Devos in French and Robert Browning and Holman Day in English.

“Big Bank World” of CRE lending, I’m now looking for new opportunities in the smaller community bank loan review sector. If anyone has any ideas, I am also interested in exploring opportunities in non-profit conservation-oriented foundations. My wife Elizabeth and I just became grandparents for the second time as daughter Bates gave birth to our second grandson in Abu Dhabi; our three others are all closer to home. Looking forward to seeing everyone at our 45th.”

Jeremy Cohen writes, “All is well in Atlanta. Just watching our boys grow up fast as they are now in second and third grades. Seems like just yesterday they were born. All my best to the Rivers community. I hope I can make it to my 25th reunion.”


1964 Rick English writes “Life is very good in Nashville. My real estate business is doing very well in the worst of times. Sarah has her fox hunting, I have my cars, and we have two wonderful granddaughters. I was so sorry to hear about Coach Tommy (Thomsen). Without him and Paul Light, I could have never made it.”



Wayne Durkin underwent successful triple bypass surgery in September. “Tough getting old.”

Nick Miller sent a recounting of his tour in Vietnam to share at Rivers’ Veterans Day ceremony.


1966 Court Dwyer hosted a mini reunion at his home in Maine in November, joined by Si Balch, Rod MacPhie, Tom Swaim, and John Lafferty. The group tries to get together a few times a year at various homes in the Maine vicinity. “All goes well in Maine for Sue and me. We are now enjoying the fruits of our labors on Midcoast in a setting that makes us happier than ever before. We are expecting the arrival of our second grandchild in March from our son and his wife and our third this July from our daughter and her husband. Both are having children later in life than we did: this allows us to enjoy the experience of grandchildren later in our lives. More and more of our class are moving into retirement years by getting more involved and active than before! An email circulated among many of us recently affirmed our desires to attack our current and future years with more vigor than years past. I ran into Lynne and Bruce Sedgwick at a local restaurant recently. They live right across the lake from us. We visited Si and Lila Balch last fall at their retirement home further north on the coast of Maine than we are. And we talk with and see Rod and Adrian MacPhie and Tom and Judy Swaim often: they also reside in Maine. And I understand Peter Foss lives in southern Maine although I have not spoken with him but hope to soon.”

26 • Riparian • Spring 2012

Nick Vantine writes, “I attended Mike Cotter’s burial service in Natick on February 10th along with Doug MacPherson, Joel Holzwasser, Kevin Crowley, Paul Paulini, Jim Crowley, David Prince, and Roger Prince. As you can imagine the church was full and the service a moving testament to the courage, strength, and determination that Mike’s shown his entire life.”

1984 Bob Leavitt writes, “I’ve been working at the

1990 Mike and Marcie Handler have organized Cruise for Life, a unique sailing and power boating event scheduled for July 28–29 and based at MacMillan Pier in Provincetown. “There will be amazing music, delicious food, great friends, tremendous fun, and passionate fundraising to benefit the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Captains may register their boats and crew online, and recruit friends/crew to join them and share in this amazing experience.” For more information, go to

1995 Kyle Hegarty sends greetings from Singapore. “I’ve been living here since 2006 and having a great time. We’ve got a squiggly little eightmonth old boy, Luke, who’s keeping us busy and awake. If anyone happens to swing by Asia, let me know and you can baby sit. Hope everyone is doing well.”

White House for two years as Director for African Affairs on the National Security Council. Before my current government posting, I was at the Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies in Fort Leavenworth and before that at the military’s U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany. It’s great seeing classmates who come through Washington, DC.”

Dave O’Brien recently got a new job at the University of Georgia as Director of the Office of Legal Career Services and moved to Athens, GA. He hopes to see fellow Rivers alumni at future events!

1986 Brian Snerson emailed, “Hey fellas. Sorry I couldn’t make it to the 25th reunion. You all look great (well, except for Beef!!) I’m helping Marney Hupper organize a NYC Career Development Committee so if anyone is in the NYC area or knows of others who would want to be involved, let me know. Would love to grab drinks if anyone is ever in town.”

Gianna Barbieri, daughter of Jamie ’96

1996 Jaime Barbieri writes that she and husband Anthony and daughter Myca, age 3, welcomed their second daughter Gianna in January 2011. “We are ecstatic to have a growing family.” Becca Popkin Mohler emailed, “My husband Billy and I welcomed our first baby, a little girl named Leotie Belle, in November! She was born in Santa Monica, CA, and we can’t wait to bring her to MA for a visit! Hope everyone at Rivers is great!”

Student Alumni News News

Becca Lehrhoff writes, “I am currently finishing my MFA in contemporary performance at Naropa University, a Buddhist inspired university in the foothills of the Rockies, famed for its excellent contemplative education. I have been studying contemporary performance techniques in voice, dance, acting, and creating devised work. I am currently working on my thesis and look forward to seeing my hard work come to fruition at the conclusion of the semester.”

2001 Class agents: Carolyn Bass at, Jonathan B. Karelitz at Jonathan.Karelitz@opco. com, and Daniel P. Barr at danny.mjbha@gmail. com. Lynne and Donny Nicholas were married in September on Cape Cod. They recently purchased a condo and are now residing in Boston’s North End.


Celine Blechman ’97 and Annie; Lauren Rosenberg ’99 and Mia; Cara Fudemberg ’97 and Jack.



Class agents: Daniel I. Sherman at sherman54@ and Grant Hecht at ghecht33@aol. com. Dan Sherman writes, “Jennifer Palan and I were married in October at the Belmont Country Club and I was excited to have so many of my closest friends from Rivers attend. I am enjoying my work as a senior program officer at The Boston Foundation. Jennifer and I are expecting our first child in July, and we continue to reside in Boston. I hope the class of ’97 is excited for our 15th reunion.”

Alicia Jaworski emails, “I started a solo law practice, Jaworski Law, focused on elder law and estate planning based in Andover, Minnesota. My five-year-old son, Tucker, just started hockey, and while watching him practice I was reminded of going to see the Red Wings while I was in high school. We are really enjoying life in the land of 10,000 lakes!”


Class agents: Scott M. Moriyama at scott and Marissa J. Goldstein at

Adam Cohen writes, “After graduation, I moved

Lynne and Donny Nicholas ’01

to Atlanta where I’ve worked as a financial consultant to the provider side of the health care industry for the past three and a half years. If anyone ever finds themselves venturing down South, please feel free to reach out!” Omar Kennedy emails, “I am currently in LA where I’m an athletic trainer at a high school, as well as a trainer at one of the top fitness centers on the West Coast. Oh yea, I still model, hoping one day this will turn me into the next Will Smith.” Katie Neff is in her second year at the Fletcher School at Tufts University pursuing her master of arts in law and diplomacy.

Grady O’Gara is working as a trader and an an-


Class agents: Kathleen M. McCourt at mccourtk and Spencer E. Godfrey at spencer

Class agents: James Bernson at and Bridget A. O’Connor at bridgeoconnor@


Ed Lewis writes, “We just launched SNOCRU for

Class agents: Scott M. Prieur at Scott.prieur@, David S. Garsh at, Stephen E. Robb at robbstephen.robb@gmail. com, and Elissa B. Hintlian at elissa.hintlian@

Class agents: Charlotte R. Lewis at charlotte.r. and Elizabeth A. Weyman at Ticia Tolentino sang with the Rivers jazz ensemble during an inspiring Martin Luther King assembly in January.

Android with Tracking. Other than that I have been travelling around the country promoting SNOCRU in skiing related areas. I’m currently in Colorado going to the major college campuses promoting it.”

alyst for a small hedge fund in New York City called Senvest International. “I live in Union Square and recently ran the Boston Marathon dressed as Larry Bird.” Ashley Pooley has been living in San Francisco for almost three years, currently working sales for after working for an intensive eating disorder program, La Ventana. She is part of the Golden Gate Triathlon Non Profit Club and completed her first triathlon in 2011 and her first half-marathon in February 2012, with plans to do at least two more triathlons in 2012.

Spring 2012 • Riparian • 27

Student Alumni News News

Thanksgiving Tradition


he annual Pre-Thanksgiving Reception was a welcome prelude to turkey day festivities for more than 60 alumni who nibbled and sipped the night away at Dillon’s in the Back Bay. Conversations ranged from the latest news about jobs and travels to sports recaps (the Red Sox debacle) and predictions (how far could/would the Pats go!)

Nicki Hunter, Bill Moody, Alex DeBlois, Elizabeth Kohn, Cristina Lepore, all Class of 2005

Dalinda Ifill, Aaron Edelman, Maya Galindo, all Class of 2005

Jacquelyn Durand ’08, Jeff Devereux ’08, Nicole Stenquist ’08, Megan Tedoldi ’09, Jack Birger ’08

Rob Prenovitz, Bridget O’Connor Garsh, Eric Simoni, all Class of 2000 Sarah Bailey, Charlotte Dennis, Tessa Drake, Heather Lord, Emilie Gitlitz, Laura Mahoney, all Class of 2006

Grant Hecht ’97, Marc Stroum ’98

Jeff Devereux, Jon Salzman, Sarah Weinstein, Caite Cutler, Todd Seresky, Jeremy Moskowitz, Class of 2008 28 • Riparian • Spring 2012

Student Alumni News News

DC Connections


lively contingent of Rivers alumni recently gathered at the popular Mediterranean restaurant Zaytinya in Washington, D.C. for a reception with Head of School Tom Olverson and former faculty member and alumni liaison Jack Jarzavek. College students joined seasoned DC veterans over drinks and hors d’oeuvres from the innovative mezze menu.

Bob Leavitt ’84, Jack Jarzavek, Andrew Mekelburg ’75, Jeremy Moskowitz ’08

Brooke Barron ’05, Jeremy Moskowitz ’08, Rob Shanfeld ’07, Tom Olverson

Bob Leavitt ’84 (second from left) arranged an afterhours tour of the White House for Norm Dobbs, Jack Jarzavek, and Director of Alumni Programs Hailey Miller.

Stanley Richardson ’73, Jack Jarzavek, Andrew Mekelburg ’75

Peter Morosoff ’62, Jon Post ’00 Jon Reiber ’96, Hannah Shambroom ’07, Nick Jenkins ’07, Diveena Coppan

Jeremy Moskowitz ’08, Nick Jenkins ’07, Rob Shanfeld ’07, Brooke Barron ’05

Spring 2012 • Riparian • 29

Student Alumni News News

Alumni Hockey Ends Successful Season


he seventh annual Alumni Hockey Game drew a record turnout of players and fans in the MacDowell Arena for the last game of the season. Players from the Sunday night alumni league were joined by more casual players anxious to reconnect with former teammates for a little friendly competition. After a post-game lunch in Hutton Commons, the players headed back onto the ice for one last skate with their families before the end of hockey season. Alumni skaters and friends, male and female, looking for an opportunity to play on a weekly basis are urged to join the Sunday night league next season. Please contact Director of Alumni Programs Hailey Miller at h.miller@ or 339-686-2246 for more information. Tory Fiske ’82, Dan Rabinovitz ’82

Mike Handler ’90, Larry Handler P’90,’02 Nathaniel Wooldridge, Jacob Tobin, Ellie Handler, Evan Handler Jason Newburg ’93 with Brooke and Jennifer Scott Bartfield ’96 with Skylar and Cameron

Brian Sullivan ’05, Pat Tuohy ’05, Tim Gustus ’04, Rick Wright ’99, Ryan Daly ’05, Will Cushing ’05

30 • Riparian • Spring 2012

Griff Nash ’04, Cliff Nash ’04, Mark Main ’05 and guests enjoy lunch

Student Alumni News News

Alumnae Skaters Rejoin the Ranks


dozen recent graduates took a break from final exams and holiday shopping to join their Red Wing counterparts for a winter break hockey practice in MacDowell Arena. They warmed up with familiar drills on the ice then went stick to stick for a low-key scrimmage under the direction of girls’ varsity head coach Melissa Dolan ’98. After the game they all headed up to Hutton Commons for brunch and conversation, catching up on job and college news. For the younger girls it was a chance to see how team camaraderie can last years after the final goal has been made.

2004 Class agents: Margaret C. Petri at mpetri@ executive, Alexandra S. Krotinger at, and Bradley S. Karelitz at

Alexandra Krotinger is living in the South End and working as a channel account coordinator at HubSpot. “For a company of only 300 people, there are three Red Wings, including Sam Shoolman and Kelsey Norberg.”

2005 Class agents: Rachel E. Gorman at gorma20r@ and Amanda M. Chace at amanda

Danielle Kaster and Michael Melione were married in October, and the couple now resides in New Jersey. Amanda Chace writes, “I graduated in August with my MBA from Bryant University’s accelerated program. CrossFit Torque, the gym I own with my brother Rich ‘03, is very successful! We hope if any alum is ever in the Foxboro area they will stop in and check it out! I also recently landed my dream job at Reebok International as an affiliate relationship manager as part of the CrossFit Fitness and Training Team. I look forward to seeing my classmates and others at the alumni events in the upcoming year!”

2006 Class agents: B. J. Dunne at and Scott H. Barchard at s.barchard@gmail. com. Megan Yau is a luthier (violin maker) in her last year of school at the North Bennet Street School.

2007 Class agents: Hillary E. Ain at hillaryain@gmail. com and Christopher J. Whittier at Christopher.j.

Zach Barnett is living in LA where he works as a math teacher. In September 2011 he published a short story, “A Senseless Conversation,” in Cambridge Journals about the Turing Test, which is a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior. Billy Duplisea sold his landscaping/construction company in mid-2011 and moved to New York City to work at BlackRock in asset management. He is looking forward to returning to Rivers for the fifth year reunion and still keeps in touch with many Rivers alumni. Kadie Greenfield is currently working as a community residence counselor at McLean Hospital’s Gunderson Residence for adult women with borderline personality disorder. “I have also been performing in musical theater productions in the Boston area since I graduated, in a Newton Country Players production in March, and in a Hingham Civic

Spring 2012 • Riparian • 31

Student Alumni News News ter is enjoying living in downtown Boston and working as a marketing coordinator. James Wolf is currently living in New York City and working for Ernst & Young.

2008 Class agents: Stephanie R. McCartney at and Jeremy S. Moskowitz at Steph will be graduating from Harvard in May 2012 and will begin working with Audax in August. Rachel Hunter will begin working next year as a commercial real estate lending analyst at Morgan Stanley.

2009 Brittany Mills ’08 and Katelyn Landry ’08 after a recent game Music Theater production in April. I am excited that I am able to pursue a career in psychology as well as continue to perform in musical theater productions.” Amanda Korff started in January at an advertising firm called LIPMAN. “I am an associate of brand investments - so I work on accounts that LIPMAN has invested in, a little different from a typical advertising place, but very cool.” Dylan Lockman graduates from Santa Clara University in June with a master’s in electrical engineering and is currently interning in the Microelectronics Division of IBM. Dylan Macarthy will be attending medical school to pursue an MD degree in the fall of 2012. Nikki Schus-

Class agents: Adrienne E.Anderson at aandy54 and Rebecca A. Nichols at beccaanic Louise Blake spent a semester studying abroad in India. Becca Duffy is finishing up her third year at Union and is excited to spend her first whole summer in Boston interning at MGH. She would love to see some fellow Rivers alums over the summer! Alexa Kopelman spent a semester studying abroad in Denmark.

Brandon Meiseles writes, “As a sophomore at Duke University, I have been very involved on campus. This semester, I founded a statistical Science Journal, the first in Duke history! Once a semester, we publish a journal of student research, papers, and accomplishments for the community to read. It has been a formative experience, and I wanted to share it with my Rivers family!”

2011 Class agents: John William D. Corkin at jwd, Marissa T. DelFavero at, Robert W. Costa at, and Wendy E. Nicolas at

Student News In Memoriam William R. Carter ’51, November 5, 2011 Michael J. Cotter ’74, February 4, 2012 Mida Van Zuylen Dunn, November 28, 2011


Konrad Gesner ’51, December 7, 2011

Class agents: Adam N. Lowenstein at adam, Shannon M. McSweeney at, Leah P. Stansky at, and David B. Tackeff at

Roger P. Griswold ’49, October 31, 2011 Edwin Hawkridge ’38, March 12, 2012 Stephen B. Howell ’68, September 19, 2011 Ferris “Tommy” Thomsen, January 2, 2012

Class of 2011 Enjoys New Campus Center—at Last!


fter patiently watching the Campus Center take shape throughout their senior year, the Class of 2011 was invited to enjoy the new facility at a dinner hosted in their honor during winter break. Their excitement at seeing each other after a semester at college was matched by their enthusiasm for the wonderful features of the new building— the dining hall, café, art gallery, classrooms, and comfortable areas to relax. Needless to say, there was a bit of envy for the lucky students who now enjoy the building every day!

Margo Seresky, Michelle Durand, Simone Aptekman

32 • Riparian • Spring 2012

Abby Gilmartin, Will Corkin, Dan McCartney Meghan Smith, Mitch Newcomb, Rob Costa, Gabe Zetter

Ben Marcus, Osa Okoh, Evan Gallagher

Andre Tilahun, Emily Snider, and Billy Oldach, Class of 2012

Don’t sit on the sidelines. Be a Rivers fan and make a gift to the Annual Fund! Your participation counts.

Young Ambassadors The Alumni Association benefits each year from the Rivers seniors who volunteer to be student representatives to the Alumni Council. Bringing their unique perspective as current students, they provide insights into Rivers’ myriad programs and activities, some of which alumni participated in during their days at Rivers, but many of which are new and exciting additions. This year’s representatives are Billy Oldach, Emily Snider, and Andre Tilahun. Together they cover a broad range of interests and passions. Billy is on the inaugural Robotics team that made it to the state finals this year. Emily has helped to organize the annual 5K Run for Rivers to raise money for Rivers’ financial aid funds, and Andre has been a member of Rivers’ award-winning Model UN team. In the fall, Billy will be attending University of Connecticut, Emily Bowdoin

Where will your Annual Fund gift go? • Faculty enrichment—for new interdisciplinary courses where students gather and synthesize information to solve real-world problems • Financial aid— for the 26 percent of students who couldn’t attend Rivers without your help • Athletic equipment and uniforms—for our championship teams • Art materials for use in the classrooms— for our award-winning artists

Your gift matters. Each gift helps us give our students the true Rivers experience. Go to to make a gift or mail a check or credit card information to: Advancement Office, The Rivers School 333 Winter Street, Weston, MA 02493

College, and Andre Lehigh University. Any gift increase will be matched by a grant Rivers received from the E.E. Ford Foundation to support Professional Development, up to $50,000.

The Rivers School 333 Winter Street Weston, MA 02493-1040

Address Service Requested

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Boston MA Permit No. 10

Rivers admits academically qualified students of any race, religion, sex, disability, or national origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally available to its students. Rivers does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, disability, color, ethnic, or national origin in our admissions policies, educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic or other school-administered programs.

Please notify us if your phone number, mailing address, or email address changes so that Rivers can stay in touch with you and your family. Contact Lydia Gibson at 339-686-2239 or

Spring 2012 Riparian  

The Rivers School Alumni Magazine - Spring 2012

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