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Riparian The Rivers School | FALL 2019

Celebrating Our New Fields

Celebrating Our New Fields fall 2019

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An Invitation from The Rivers School Conservatory and The Rivers School

The Holiday Pops Saturday, December 7, 2019, 6:30 p.m. The Rivers School Campus Center

A festive community celebration featuring student performances from The Rivers School and The Rivers School Conservatory, including The Rivers Upper School Big Band, Rivers Youth Orchestra, Marimba Magic, and more To purchase tickets, please go to our website,


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Jane Dornbusch, Senior Assistant Director of Communications De s i g n e r

David Gerratt contributing Photographers

Janet Ciummei/NortheastProPhoto, Katie Harrigan, Joel Haskell, John Hurley, Adam Richins Contributing writers

Marissa Birne, Stephen Porter Printer

Signature Printing & Consulting Brian Maranian ’96

He a d o f S c h o o l

Edward V. Parsons Director of Advancement

Krissie Kelleher D i r e c t o r o f C o m m u n i c at i o n s

Stephen Porter

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

Riparian: “One that lives or has property on the bank of a river or lake.”

And Please Join Us for Our

Free Sunday Series Upcoming Sunday afternoon performances on January 12, February 2, March 15, and March 22 at 3:00 p.m. in Rivera Recital Hall, featuring our outstanding young musicians and faculty artists For more information, contact The Rivers School Conservatory at 781-235-6840

The Riparian is published twice a year for The Rivers School alumni, parents, students, faculty, and friends. To conserve resources, 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 Jane Dornbusch at 339-686-2230. Photo (above): “A Study in Blue,” by Caleb Leeming ’19 ON the COVER

Rickie Red Wing lands on campus

Riparian T h e R i v e r s S c h o o l • fa l l 2019

2 Questions and Answers 3

14 Making the Future at Rivers



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33 Leslie Jackson Judge ’95:


35 Alumni News and Notes


From the Head of School

Campus News

Hall Family Speaker Series; Sages and Seekers; Focus on Faculty: Andrea Villagran; and more

philanthropic impact

postcard from campus


12 Five Questions for . . . RIVERSIDE CHAT

Karin Narcisse

Alumni Events

Reunion; Golf Tournament; Summer Socials; Apple Picking Alumni profiles

Making Sense of Nutrition Kyle Hegarty ’95: Think Globally, Act Globally From our inbox

New Fields of Dreams

Rivers Travels

Bob Cleverdon ’40: A Quiet Hero

13 New Athletics Logo; RED WING REPORT

Coaching Advice


Faculty Enrichment Grants

fall 2019

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M e ssa g e from th e H e a d of S choo l

Questions and Answers By Edward V. Parsons

Each summer, we choose a book for the entire faculty and staff at Rivers to read as a community, as a means of inspiring new ways of thinking about the vital work we get to do. This year’s selection was A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas. The book encouraged us all to consider a slightly counterintuitive possibility: that great questions are more powerful than quick answers. The author, Warren Berger, argues that answers are stronger in the end if we arrive at them by stepping back and asking more—and better—questions first. Berger noticed that one common characteristic of successful entrepreneurs and leaders was their tendency to ask questions. In the book, he traces several innovative concepts and ideas generated by people who asked a lot of questions—and who failed multiple times on their way to success. These innovators asked questions not just because they were innately curious; for them, it was a strategy for advancing their ideas. And so they developed their questioning abilities as a means of achieving their goals. Berger traces success to the tendency to ask hard questions, refine them, and push at those questions until they begin to lead somewhere. He sees this in a wide range of entrepreneurs and businesspeople who started with nothing more than a question—people like Van Phillips, who, after losing a foot in a water-skiing 2

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accident at the age of 21, invented a new and innovative prosthetic. Phillips began that journey by asking himself why no one had been able to invent a better prosthetic. Then there’s Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyoda Industries (later Toyota), who built a questioning protocol into the work of every team in the company. And Tim Westergren, the founder of Pandora Radio, who started asking questions until he found a way to marry search engines, genetic coding, and radio to one another. As is clear from these examples, questioning can lead to meaningful outcomes. But these examples are focused on end results. Important as those are, one valuable takeaway from the book is understanding questioning as the development of a habit, a way of approaching the world and of supporting a diverse and equitable community. I found in the book a few important habits that go hand in hand with asking questions and that support the values that make Rivers a special community. What habits does questioning create?  • • • • •

Action and engagement Open-mindedness Slowing down and deliberating Questioning our own assumptions Taking ownership and responsibility

Questioning also drives innovation in schools by forcing us to consider the components of our work that we may take for granted, such as grading,

scheduling, or advising. These days, “innovation” is often linked to technology. But there are other innovative ways to enhance the student experience. Asking ourselves simple “Why?” questions encourages us to step out of old habits and seek more effective approaches to old challenges. We need to develop these habits in order to become the kinds of questioners who make a difference. The faculty and staff had some thoughtful dialogues about Berger’s concept and how it might impact our classrooms and our culture. We’re starting to implement some of these techniques into our work across the school. This is an incredibly exciting time at Rivers. We’re just a few months from opening the doors of The Revers Center for Science and Visual Arts, and this past fall saw the completion of our new athletics complex and boardwalk. Next on our list are enhancements to other academic spaces. We’re thrilled about all that. But we also know that the improvements to our campus facilities aren’t the most exciting developments here right now. What is truly inspiring is the opportunity in front of us to build the school we want to be, performing the vital work of preparing our students for the world beyond our walls. That work supports the development of empathy, engagement, curiosity, and compassion, and it begins with teaching students—and ourselves—the habit of asking all the right questions.

New Name on Campus

The Revers Center for Science and Visual Arts


an Revers has been a Rivers believer since 2013, when his son Nick enrolled as a tenth grader. “I didn’t know a lot about Rivers before I sent my son there,” he admits. He was delighted, he says, to find that Rivers has “very dedicated teachers who are not only good at teaching but also at connecting with students. I was really impressed with the curriculum, staff, and administration.” But the school’s physical plant, he believed, didn’t reflect the strength of the faculty and academic program or Rivers’ far-reaching aspirations for its future. Revers, the founder of a leading private equity firm in Boston, recognized the situation as an opportunity and sprang into action. He became chair of the campus master plan committee, and through that, he says, “My eyes were opened to what was possible. I saw that I might enhance the high-level independent-school education that Rivers offers.” A full slate of capital projects, from new buildings to renovations of existing spaces, was proposed, and fundraising began in short order. Now, just a few years later, the Rivers community can see the results rising in the center of campus. Revers provided the lead gift for the newest building on campus, which will officially be named The Revers Center for Science and Visual Arts. “The Rev,” on track to open in January 2020, will add 34,000 square feet of classroom space to campus, housing stateof-the-art facilities for science and visual arts programming.  Revers agreed to lend his name to the building because the project is one he believes in so strongly. “This will be transformational,” he says, adding, “I’m not a big one for putting my name on things, unless it comes with a purpose.” For example,

at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, where he earned his MBA, Revers was instrumental in the creation of the Revers Center for Energy, which is giving business students a deep dive into the topic and, in turn, inspiring prospective students to matriculate. He hopes that The Revers Center for Science and Visual Arts at Rivers will have similar impact, providing facilities that support the strength of the school’s educational experience and that serve as a gathering place to inspire collaboration and cross-pollination. Another of his goals in making his gift and agreeing to name the center was to inspire others to follow suit. Revers is quick to point out that, while he is happy to have his name associated with the building, such an effort “takes a team,” and he praises the committee members, the board, the facilities group, and all those whose efforts are making the building possible.  For his part, Head of School Ned Parsons is thrilled to see Dan Revers’s name on the new center. “Dan really stepped up and showed this community what we can do when we put our minds to it,” says Parsons. “His belief in Rivers and his willingness to declare that belief in such a public, visible fashion are truly an inspiration.” And even though his days as a Rivers parent are behind him, Revers has never stopped being a Rivers booster. “I don’t have a personal stake in it; I just want Rivers to be a great place. I appreciate what it did for Nick,” says Revers. And, he says, as a result of those collaborative efforts by the entire community, the building is even better than he’d dreamed it would be. “That’s what happens,” he says, “when people share a vision and work toward a common purpose.”

This summer, Dan Revers visited campus and was pleased to see the new building taking shape. fall 2019

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Hall Family Speaker Series Amplifies the Message of the CCCE

Eric Liu addressed a near-capacity crowd at Rivers in October.


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When the Center for Community and Civic Engagement opened its doors last fall, its mission was multi-faceted, as was its approach. Created with the goal of equipping students to exert positive influence on public life, the Center facilitates connections and engagement between students and the wider world beyond Rivers. The center has brought numerous “visitors” to campus through video teleconferencing, supported student participation in conferences, hosted forums on current events, and sponsored a series of alumni talks. Now, another major CCCE initiative has come to fruition. The Hall Family Speaker Series launched this fall with a gift from Alison and Max Hall, parents of Natalie Hall ’19. The Halls’ vision and generosity, says Center director Amy Enright, enabled the realization of a long-held dream. “From the Center’s inception,” says Enright, “[Head of School] Ned Parsons recognized the potential of a speaker series to raise awareness on campus of the most challenging and important issues of the day. Alison Hall came to the CCCE, listened to our plans for a broad array of student programming, and decided to support the speaker series specifically.” Alison Hall says her desire to support the CCCE grew out of Natalie’s experiences at Rivers. “Our daughter had amazing teachers and wonderful opportunities throughout her seven years at Rivers, particularly during her junior and senior years,” says Hall. “Max and I feel grateful to Rivers for the experiences and conversations that helped her define the things she cares about and focuses on beyond school, and how she sees herself in the world. I think the Center for Community

and Civic Engagement was launched to help all Rivers kids do that—to see themselves in the bigger picture, use their voices, understand their impact— so it made sense for us to help the CCCE in its mission,” says Hall. “In talking with Amy about the CCCE’s specific needs,” she continues, “the topic of outside speakers came up. That felt like an area where the impact could really ripple out and be multiplied.” The Halls’ gift was finalized late last winter, with a goal of launching the speaker series this fall. Next came the challenge of finding the perfect speaker to kick it all off. Enright knew it would be crucial to set the right tone; in very short order, the author, activist, and speaker Eric Liu moved to the top of her list. “Liu struck me as the most accessible, inspiring voice working in civics right now,” Enright says. Liu, she says, was her “dream speaker,” and she was thrilled when he agreed to visit campus in early October. Rivers partnered with the Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University for the event. Before an audience of more than 300 parents, faculty, and community members, Liu said that the central task of engaged citizenship is asking “What should I do?”—and then doing it. Power, he said, can accrue to the powerless through “the magic of organizing” and of taking action as a community. And he spoke of the need to combine power with character— in the broad, social sense—to create true citizenship. It was an apt sentiment for the occasion. Alison Hall said she “could not be more excited or impressed by Amy’s efforts in getting Liu as the inaugural speaker. What an incredible kick-off to the series.”

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the CCCE’s mission of promoting civic engagement. For Arie, the lesson couldn’t have been more clear. “People think we’re electing officials and trusting them to make decisions for us, but actually, we’re electing them to hear our voice,” she said. “They were interested in us. I think that’s really cool—that congress people really care what their constituents think and are willing to work with them.”

Congratulations to the Class of 2019! Students attended the CARE Conference in DC and paid advocacy visits to the offices of several Massachusetts lawmakers.

Civic Engagement in Action: Students Visit D.C., Meet with Lawmakers It’s sometimes said that laws are like sausages: It’s better not to see them being made. In June, a group of Rivers students got a rare glimpse of the lawmaking process and came away convinced that the reverse is actually true. Romy Arie ’21 said, “You feel like citizens have a big effect on what laws go into place. You can really change the laws of our country.” Arie was one of seven students who traveled to Washington, D.C., for the CARE National Conference, accompanied by Amy Enright, director of the Center for Community and Civic Engagement, and Kit Cunningham, director of service learning. CARE is an international humanitarian agency that works to defeat poverty and achieve social justice, largely through improving the lives of women and girls worldwide. Said Enright, “The amazing thing about CARE is that although they do direct-intervention, boots-on-the-ground work in over 90 countries, they also have a whole section that is geared toward advocacy and systemic change.”

The latter area served as the focus of the conference. Day one helped train participants for advocacy. The next day, conference attendees mobilized into action, visiting the offices of their lawmakers to advocate on behalf of CARE’s initiatives. Rivers was one of the very few high school contingents in attendance, but the students’ youth proved no obstacle to their access or participation. The group visited the offices of five Massachusetts members of Congress—Stephen Lynch, Katherine Clark, Ayanna Pressley, Joe Kennedy, and Seth Moulton— as well as senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, meeting with aides or, in the cases of Moulton and Kennedy, briefly with the lawmakers themselves. Lauren Barich ’20 said the trip was “very impactful,” and she found it interesting to see the various styles of Massachusetts-themed décor in the lawmakers’ offices: stylized drawings of towns in her district for Clark; JFK memorabilia for Kennedy; Bruins and Red Sox items for Lynch. It brought home a valuable point for Barich: “What we care about is what they care about.” Enright was pleased that the Washington trip so clearly dovetailed with

Last spring’s graduating seniors have spread their wings and flown off to start the next chapter in their lives. Here’s a list of the colleges and universities where they matriculated: Amherst College

Sacred Heart University

Babson College (2)

Skidmore College

Bates College

Smith College

Boston University (5)

Stanford University (2)

Bowdoin College (3)

Syracuse University

Brown University (3)

Trinity College

Bucknell University (3)

Tufts University (2)

Colby College (5)

Tulane University

Colorado College (4)

University of California, Los Angeles

Columbia University Connecticut College Cornell University (2) Dartmouth College (2) Elon University (3)

University of Delaware University of Denver (2) University of Miami University of Michigan (2) University of Rochester

Endicott College

University of Southern California

Hamilton College Howard University Lehigh University (2) Miami University, Oxford

University of St Andrews Vassar College Villanova University

Middlebury College (2) Northeastern University (4) Northwestern University Oberlin College (2) Providence College (2) Queen’s University Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Wake Forest University Washington U. in St. Louis (4) Wellesley College Wesleyan University Williams College (2) Worcester Polytechnic Institute (2) Yale University

Rhode Island School of Design

FALL fall 2019 2019

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Since Last Time Spring is always a busy season on the Rivers campus, and this year was no exception. 1 & 2. The annual Parents’ League Auction, one of the most anticipated events of the year, featured an “Off to the Races” theme. The May 4 gala saw MacDowell transformed into Churchill Downs, Pimlico, and Belmont Park all rolled into one. Through a silent auction, live auction, and various appeals, close to $350,000 was raised for professional development, student technology, and renovations to the Black Box theatre. 3. Alumni Day, on May 11, featured a full slate of sporting events, a session on diversity equity and inclusion, and two major awards: The Alumni Excellence Award, given to Bob Hohler ’69, and the Young Alumni Achievement Award, given to Alison Freed ’04. Here, Bob receives congratulations from Alumni Council president Lisa Hurwitch Raftery ’93.

4. Later that evening, Reunion brought classes ending in 4 and 9 back to campus for cocktails, dinner, and sharing fond memories of Rivers. See page 28 for Reunion class photos. 5. Students and faculty were celebrated

forMiddle theirSchool’s accomplishments—academic, artistic, athletic, The Lion King Jr. and personal—at this year’s Prize Day, on June 7. It was a day to recognize the hard work and dedication of students, faculty, and staff alike.

6. Graduation Day, June 8, brought

picture-perfect weather and a class of 90 excited seniors eager to head out into the world and make their mark. After the ceremony, the Class of 2019 gathered around the flagpole for the traditional tossing of the caps.






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Seven Join Board of Trustees Rivers recently welcomed a new group of term trustees. They bring a wealth of experience, expertise, and enthusiasm to the Rivers board. John Foley, P’22, ’25

John Foley is one of the founding partners of Wayzata Investment Partners, a private equity firm that invests in distressed companies and special situation assets. He holds a BA from Amherst College and an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College. He is currently board chair of the Beat Nb Cancer Foundation, funding research for children with neuroblastoma and other pediatric cancers. John and his wife, Danae, live in Wellesley with their two sons, Charlie ’22 and Teddy ’25. Jemea Goso ’04

Jemea Goso is an alumna who lives in Washington, D.C. She recently became a senior consultant at Deloitte, after serving for many years as manager of the Washington, D.C., Department of Corrections. She received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and police science from George Washington University and a master’s in social work from the University of Chicago. Sheila Hiatt, P’21, ’22

Sheila Hiatt and her husband, Matthew, have been a part of the Rivers community

for a number of years. They have three children, Alexander ’21, Sophia ’22, and Amanda, an eighth grader at Dedham Country Day School. Sheila has been a partner at the law firm of Hiatt & Hoke LLP for over 21 years. She received her BA in journalism from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and her JD from Northeastern University School of Law. Hiatt has been a member of The Board of Trustees at Dedham Country Day School for 10 years. Susan Janosky, P’22

Susan Janosky spent 23 years at Biogen, serving most recently in the positions of VP, Global Supply Chain and Manufacturing, and VP, Global Quality and Compliance. After leaving Biogen, she was an independent consultant for an early-stage biotech company. She earned a bachelor’s degree from UNH and graduated from Harvard Business School’s PMD program. She has been on the board of a nonprofit, Sibling Connections, for five years, serving as board chair for the past two years. In addition, she served on a number of board committees at the Meadowbrook School. Amaris Peña-Ramos P’22, ’25

Amaris PeñaRamos and her husband, Wilfredo Ramos, have two children at Rivers, Natalia ’22 and Marcos ’25. Peña-Ramos has served as co-chair of the Parents’ League Auction for the past three years. She is manager of acquisitions and integration at Iron Mountain. She

received her MBA and master’s degree in finance from Boston College and is a licensed certified public accountant. Peña-Ramos is active in educational affairs. She has been extensively involved in the Framingham and Ashland public school districts, working to enhance the educational experiences of the students. Roger Randall P’17, ’21

Roger H. Randall is the father of a Rivers alumna, Kristen ’17, and a current student, William ’21. Randall is a lawyer who currently serves in the Litigation Bureau of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. The Bureau represents the Commissioner of Revenue in tax litigation. His other interests include music; he and his wife, Elizabeth, are regular visitors at Tanglewood and attendees at Rivers School Conservatory concerts. (Son Will plays piano and saxophone.) His interests as a Trustee include capital projects, audit, financial planning, and the Conservatory.    Peter Walter P’23, ’25

Peter Walter cofounded Trident Capital Group, a private equity real estate fund focused on industrial properties. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Boston College and received an MBA from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College. He and his wife, Jessica, live in Wellesley with their four children, Casey ’23, Avery ’25, Matthew, and Rory. Walter is also on The Board of Trustees of Tenacre Country Day School.

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Sages & Seekers Builds Bridges Between Generations How do you measure a life? Rivers sophomores tackle the topic each year as they participate in the Sages & Seekers program. The students are paired with older adults from surrounding communities; as “Seekers,” they spend hours interviewing the “Sages” to create the program’s culminating project—a tribute essay that students present to their peers and the other sages at the end of the term. The tribute is not a mere retelling of incidents but a fully developed story with themes, lessons learned, and motifs teased out of the ordinary dramas of a lifetime. This past spring marked the 10th year of Rivers’ participation in Sages & Seekers, created by a nonprofit organization that works to build bridges between students and older people. Rivers was one of the early adopters of the program, which gradually evolved into a cornerstone of the 10th grade program. English department chair Mac Caplan says that Rivers is the only participating school that makes Sages & Seekers a required component of the curriculum.


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Bringing the program to Rivers is a complicated feat of logistics. In the fall, the process of finding Sages begins. The goal is to have one Sage per Seeker, and Caplan says it’s a “herculean task” to track down more than 90 older adults who are willing and able to make the commitment and travel to campus each week. Middle School’s Once the program begins, the The Lion King Jr. initial sessions focus on introducing the Sages and Seekers. A “speed dating” session helps students get to know the Sages a bit and express their preferences in choosing a partner; good chemistry between Sage and Seeker can make all the difference. Then the process begins in earnest, as students spend several class sessions interviewing their Sages and digging beyond the surface to find a storyline.  Along with the curricular component, the program includes community engagement. On a Monday in late April, the 10th grade gathered in Hutton Hall with a cohort of Sages to share lunch. Afterward, the students led workshops in improv, art, and technology. Finally, Sages and Seekers participated in a

meal-packaging program run by End Hunger New England, boxing 18,000 nutritious meals to feed the hungry throughout the region. Just a couple of weeks later, students and Sages convened again to share their tribute essays. As each Seeker in turn stood at the podium to share their tribute, the Sage took a seat nearby, listening and, in some cases, responding with visible emotion. Portraits emerged of individuals with long, eventful lives, full of experiences both commonplace and extraordinary. There was no shying away from difficult topics: divorce, disappointment, illness, racism, professional struggles. But there was also much to celebrate: humor, happy marriages, children raised, dreams fulfilled, wisdom earned. The Sages had lessons to impart, and the Seekers had eagerly taken in those lessons. A few elders presented gifts to the students—including, in one case, a framed poem that may have summed up the eternal message of old age to youth: “Hold on to your dreams / They all may come true / Believe in yourself / And others will, too.”

f o c u s o n fa c u lt y

A nd r e a V i l l ag ra n

Fluent in People


irrors and windows: Andrea Villagran likes to evoke these two glass objects when describing her approach to teaching languages. The mirror denotes the ways in which students can acquire selfknowledge and self-assurance through the study of language. “My hope for them is that they gain confidence in themselves to speak it,” says Villagran, who has just started her fifth year teaching Spanish and French at Rivers. “Providing a safe environment where they’re allowed to make mistakes—that’s key.” But the window is just as important. For Villagran, who double-majored in French and political science with a minor in economics, the study of language is inseparable from the study of the cultures that speak it. That philosophy is reflected in her Spanish V curriculum. One of four courses Villagran is teaching this year, it’s newly cross-listed as an interdisciplinary class, the first year-long IDS offering at Rivers. In it, students examine, through the lens of fantasy, how different societies develop different types of government and how they affect political regimes, countries, and people—all in Spanish, of course. Language is the window through which students view the broader subject. Villagran is well positioned to understand the power of language. The Guatemala native grew up speaking Spanish but began studying German at the tender age of 2. “I was enrolled in an immersion program,” she explains. “All the way through school, every class I took was in German.” English was introduced in fourth

grade—“with Austrian professors who spoke British English.” She had always hoped and expected to go abroad for college, but she credits a “fabulous college counselor” with putting small liberal arts schools on her radar. For the future political science major who dreamed of working in international development, Wellesley College—with its rich history of educating women leaders—was a match. Her parents didn’t mind her going to the U.S., but, she recalls with a laugh, “My dad didn’t really understand why I wanted to go to a women’s school. He vicariously wanted me to go to Notre Dame.” At Wellesley, Villagran picked up yet another language, French, and discovered, through a summer internship, an affinity for teaching. She taught at an independent middle school after college, spending summers earning her master’s degree in French at Middlebury. But she wanted to teach at the high school level—“to be able,” she says, “to dig deeper into

the complexity of language.” The job at Rivers, she says, offered the very opportunity she sought. It opened other doors (or windows?) as well. In addition to teaching, Villagran serves as chair of the Interdisciplinary Studies committee and, starting this past summer, as director of Rivers’s travel programs. In that last capacity, she hopes to add even more substance to the student travel experience, tying the trips to the academic side “so they feel like they are a Rivers program.” The desire to better understand the wide world and its people lies at the heart of Villagran’s approach. “My main goal for my students is that they gain an understanding and appreciation, through the messiness of learning a language, of how difficult it is to express oneself in a foreign language,” says Villagran, who is studying Arabic in her spare time. “I don’t want my students to be fluent in the language, but fluent in people.” — Jane Dornbusch

fall 2019

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Faculty Mentorship is Key at RSC


t The Rivers School Conservatory, relationships add meaning to music education. As they share in students’ musical journeys, RSC faculty members model The Rivers School’s mission of Excellence with Humanity. Here, we turn the spotlight on a student-faculty pair who illustrates the importance of mentorship in musical excellence, as they discuss their relationship, their favorite shared memories, and what they’ve learned from one another.

Choral director Susan Emmanouilidis welcomed Thabi Khumalo ’17 to RSC following Khumalo’s Conservatory Program audition in eighth grade. During the four years of study that followed, Khumalo sang with Emmanouilidis in both the Upper School women’s chorus and Conser- vatory Program vocal ensemble and studied voice with Junko Watanabe. She has continued to prioritize music in college, singing with the Skidmore College Opera Workshop and performing with Skidmore College Theater.

Susan Emmanouilidis What is your favorite memory of Thabi? The first time I heard her sing, when she auditioned for the Conservatory Program. I think it’s my favorite memory because it leads to all the other wonderful memories. She opened her mouth, and I heard this beautiful voice that moved me. When Thabi started singing, I have no idea if her mind stayed nervous, but her heart didn’t, and she sang from her heart.

How would you describe Thabi’s influence in the classroom? Thabi had a style of singing that she loved, but she was always open to something new, whether it was Broadway or opera. Not every student is comfortable allowing themselves to branch out. She was an example and a role model for other kids to expand their horizons.

What’s something that you’ve learned from Thabi? To not let go of the main reason we sing, which is that we love to do it. We do have to work at singing, to develop our voices and our abilities, but I think of Thabi and I think of the grassroots singing—the singing that comes from our soul. And if we let go of that, it doesn’t matter how advanced somebody is in the technical sense. If they don’t sing with heart, it doesn’t matter. That’s the biggest gift Thabi’s given me.

Thabi Khumalo How has Ms. Emmanouilidis influenced your development as a student and a musician? I think back to a day during my senior year when we had finished in Conservatory, but we stayed and talked about music, the group, and my college process. I knew that I could Susan Emmanouilidis & Thabi Khumalo


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talk to Ms. E not just as my teacher but as someone I could look up to, who cared about my growth as a person.

Do you have a favorite moment from the women’s chorus or vocal ensemble with Ms. Emmanouilidis? After I soloed at Jordan Hall, when she was congratulating me and she acknowledged my growth as a student. She met me in eighth grade and then saw me as a senior in high school. It’s nice to have someone who has seen the whole journey.

If Ms. Emmanouilidis were a musical instrument, what do you think she’d be? What first came to me was the piano. What I love about the piano is that I think of the way Joe Nedder ’18 plays. I feel like Joe touches the piano, and it’s like gold: It’s luscious, passionate, and there’s life in that. And I feel like that’s a great description of Ms. E—the way she approaches things, the way she presents herself. — Marissa Birne ’15

A. Ramón Rivera to be Celebrated in January


irector emeritus and beloved piano instructor A. Ramón Rivera has given many gifts to The Rivers School and The Rivers School Conservatory. Rivera has made immeasurable contributions to the history, spirit, and success of Rivers and the RSC, and we are delighted to give back to him as we prepare to celebrate a very special milestone: the pianist’s 80th birthday. From perspective to positivity to a passion for Bach, the gifts that Rivera gives to his students are priceless. They are also reciprocal. Says Rivera,  “I learn more from my students than I think I teach. That’s why I’m in love with teaching. If I presumed to know everything there was, I would have given up the career long ago.” An avid learner, Rivera is notable for his generous and humble approach.   Many of Rivera’s students began their piano studies during early childhood, frequently continuing into adulthood. Rivera has played an important role in their development as musicians, and he remains in touch with many who have passed through his classroom. He recently recounted the experience of traveling to London to hear former student and highly acclaimed classical pianist Eric Lu make his debut at the Royal Albert Hall, as part of the 2019 BBC Proms this past fall. Hearing his former student was an emotional moment. “I got a little teary-eyed about it,” he says. He cares deeply about each of his students and

Rivera at the 2016 Seminar on Contemporary Music for the Young, with Emilia DeJesus ’19 (left) and composer Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee (center).

takes pride in their successes. Whether he is teaching beginners or highly advanced pianists, emphasizing form or interpretation, Rivera builds teaching and learning partnerships with his students that are one-of-a-kind. We are delighted to celebrate Rivera’s 80th birthday this January at an event to honor the many gifts that he has given to our community. His birthday party will take place on Sunday, January 26, at 3:00 p.m. in the space fittingly named for him, Rivera Recital Hall. Keep an eye out for an official invitation! So many members of the Rivers and RSC communities have benefited from Rivera’s inspiring presence. The event promises to be an apt celebration of  his 80 years of boundless spirit, wisdom, and humor and 42 years of dedication— and a chance to give back to a teacher who has given of himself so generously. —MB

fall 2019

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R i v e rs i d e C hat

Five Questions for . . . Karin Narcisse In her 25 years at Rivers, Karin Narcisse has worn many hats. “I taught here, I was a class dean, I coached,” she recalled recently. She took on yet another role in 2007: assistant director of admissions and diversity outreach coordinator. Narcisse has enjoyed all her positions here, but admissions, she says, is special. “No two years are ever the same, which is what I love about it,” she says. What brought you to Rivers? I was working at the Newman School in Boston. It was one of those first jobs where you do everything and get paid so little, but I learned that I loved teaching and working with kids. When it was time to look elsewhere—to grow professionally— I had a bunch of interviews, but when I came to Rivers, I said, “I want to work here.” People were incredibly welcoming, and there was a genuine sense of community. It really spoke to who I was and where I wanted to be. Has much changed in admissions over the 12 years you’ve been in the department? Admissions is always changing. It’s challenging, interesting, and fun because every year is different. The kinds of students we attract are smart and talented and want to be involved in their school community. We are always looking for a good fit for us and for them, and that’s one thing that hasn’t changed. How do you describe Rivers to prospective families? There’s no elevator pitch. But I want to convey that this is indeed a community—one where you will be respected and challenged, and where there will be adults who are going to mentor you and care about you as a person.  What is the biggest challenge in admissions generally, and in the area of diversity outreach specifically? The biggest challenge is diversity outreach. All independent schools struggle to try to maintain or augment their numbers [of students of color]. But while it’s important to attract and yield students of color, it’s equally important to yield students who are a good fit for Rivers. I’m looking for students of color who will thrive here academically and contribute to our program while adding to the inclusive fabric of our community. Sometimes that does not match up with what the numbers should be, but if you find the right students, it will increase over time.  What are the qualities you look for in an applicant? I always tell parents I’m looking for kids who are interesting and interested—who are on the edge of their seat with passion. It can be anything. I once interviewed a girl who talked about growing reptiles in her bathtub. That’s a kid who’s interesting to me.

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red wing report

New Look for Red Wings

Coaching the Coaches We asked four Rivers alumni currently working in college athletics about the best coaching advice they ever received. Here’s the hard-earned wisdom they shared.


he opening of the new athletics complex (see page 16) coincides with another big change for the school—the unveiling of a new athletics logo and wordmark. Developed over the course of the past year, with input from coaches and students, the new logo features a stylized red-winged blackbird in flight. Predominantly black with red highlights, the logo aligns with the colors of the new school mascot, unveiled during Homecoming Weekend 2018. The new logo replaces the all-red, single-wing logo, which the school adopted more than 20 years ago. “We’ve been wanting to create a new logo for some time now that would feel more modern and unique to Rivers. We also wanted a logo that would be easier to use as a graphic element on uniforms, signage, spirit wear, and other school merchandise,” says Athletics Director Bob Pipe. “I’m really happy with what we’ve come up with.” The new logo and wordmark are one of several different design iterations developed for the school by graphic designer Dwight Darian over many months. Once the designs were narrowed down to two top choices, those options were shared with several different focus groups of students and coaches last spring. The input from those focus groups led to a few more design tweaks and helped guide the decision on choosing a final design. “This is an eye-catching, high-energy logo,” says Pipe. “It provides us with lots of flexibility in how we can use it, and it does a better job of paying tribute to the bird that was the original inspiration for the Red Wings name.” —Stephen Porter

There are two pieces of advice I have gotten that have been equally impactful. They came at different stages of my coaching career (this is my 30th year coaching at the college level).    The first was from my coach at Babson, Steve Stirling, when I was just starting out.  He told me that passion for the game and hard work would carry me the farthest, and that watching and listening were the two most important skills I needed to have.     The most recent and probably most impactful advice I have received in the past 15 years was from Jeremy Boone, a leadership coach I work with: “If your presence isn’t making an impact, your absence won’t make a difference.” —Jamie Rice ’85, Head Coach, Men’s Hockey, Babson College The best coaching advice I ever received was actually from a coach at Rivers. The coach told me there are three things you can always control in life: your attitude, your effort, and your work-rate. If you are able control these three variables and make them your biggest positives, you will be very successful in whatever you do. —James Greenslit ’02, Head Coach, Men’s Soccer, Roger Williams University The best piece of coaching advice I received, as simple as it may seem, was “You do it for the girls, and don’t ever lose sight of that!” Although some may think that sounds obvious, it’s something that stuck with me, because being a coach goes far beyond the sport itself. A coach plays such a crucial role in an athlete’s life over the four or five years they spend together. A good coach has a positive influence on the athlete going into adulthood—allowing someone to feel confident not only as a player but as a person who will be much more than just the sport they play. —Tayra Melendez ’12, Director of Women’s Basketball Operations, Bryant University Best piece of coaching advice I have ever received: “There are three types of people. Those who want it to happen, those who wish it to happen, and those who make it happen. Those who make it happen are the ones who transform teams and programs.” —B.J. Dunne ’06, Head Coach, Men’s Basketball, Gettysburg College

fall 2019

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Giving Back, Year after Year


icky Shifman Constant ’99 is as good as her name: She’s been a consistent donor to Rivers for 17 years, starting not long before she graduated from college. “In my mind, it’s not negotiable,” she says. “Of course, I’m going to give something.” Giving to Rivers is important to Constant because Rivers gave so much to her. Even back in college, when she made her first donation, she says, “I think I had an understanding that I wouldn’t have been where I was without Rivers, without the really strong foundation and support that I had at Rivers.” Entering Rivers as a seventh grader, she wasn’t quite so sanguine. “That was a tough year,” she acknowledges now. But, she says, “I wanted to stick it out and work through it, and I did—and I ended up loving it.” It was the first lesson of many she learned at Rivers— finding the strength and confidence to persevere. In fact, Constant points to resilience as perhaps her most valuable takeaway from Rivers. “I wasn’t a kid who got As in everything; there were classes I struggled through.” But faculty members


Faculty Giving: Making a Statement

aculty at Rivers are accustomed to aiming high—and encouraging their students to do likewise. But this past year, faculty and staff set a particularly meaningful record: 92 percent made a gift to The Rivers Fund. Faculty and staff invest heart and soul in Rivers, but the fact that they also support the school financially speaks volumes. Why is faculty participation so important? “Teachers at Rivers enjoy a precious benefit in the school’s overt focus on our work,” says Upper School English teacher Meghan Regan-Loomis. “The very high rate of faculty giving is an acknowledgment of the specialness of that level of professional support and is part of a virtuous cycle of inspiration that we share with the school.”  For Upper School math teacher Dan McCartney, giving back to Rivers has always been important. But the clincher, he says, was learning that the level of faculty participation is important to other donors, because of what it says about the faculty’s commitment. “That made it a no-brainer,” he says. McCartney, a father of two Rivers graduates, is inspired by the school’s commitment to constant improvement. “Everyone here is trying to get better, trying to optimize the student experience, and no one is standing still,” he says.  The Rivers Fund touches every aspect of school life, supporting interdisciplinary studies and innovative courses and programs like robotics, the freight farm, and Sages and Seekers, not to mention such expenses as athletic uniforms, costumes


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like former Middle School math teacher Martha Cummings and English teacher Jennie Hutton Jacoby settled for nothing less than her best effort, and she learned to hold herself to a high standard. “With that mindset, I was able to get through college and grad school,” says Constant. She also credits her parents with some of her desire to donate. Edward Shifman ’61 and Fran Shifman, a life trustee at Rivers, are “pretty philanthropic people. They work hard and give back,” she says. Constant regrets that her gifts to Rivers haven’t always been large—“Unfortunately, during the years of grad school, buying a house, and getting married, I didn’t always have a ton of money”—but their consistency gives them immeasurable value. Thankfully, others in the community share Constant’s constancy: On average, 40 percent of donors to The Rivers Fund have made gifts for five consecutive years or more. Rivers donors are deeply loyal and committed to the students of the future. And Constant wouldn’t have it any other way. “If you had a good experience and you’re proud of where you went to school, you want to give back.”

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Meghan Regan-Loomis and Dan McCartney

for theater productions, library research tools, music concerts, and so much else that makes Rivers a special place. To McCartney, it isn’t the size of the gift that matters. “It’s not about giving a major gift—just enough so that people know we support the school, enough to make a statement,” he says. Regan-Loomis concurs. “The act of participating in the sustenance of the school has its own value,” she says. “Like voting or marching for a cause, giving has a symbolic function. It demonstrates our commitment to a mission that we truly believe in. It says: I’m in. Absolutely. For me, giving to Rivers is both a promise and a thank-you.” 

M ark Yo ur C a l e n d ar

Upcoming Events Wednesday, November 21, 2019 Pre-Thanksgiving Reception for Young Alumni at Lir, Boston Saturday, December 7, 2019 Rivers Holiday Pops, Campus Center The Rivers School and The Rivers School Conservatory join together in a festive concert to recognize excellence in music at Rivers. Thursday–Saturday, December 19–21, 2019 The Rivers School Basketball Holiday Tournament, MacDowell Athletic Center Join us as we cheer on the Rivers teams and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the tournament. Saturday, January 8, 2020 Young Alumni Lunch, Kraft Dining Hall If you are a recent grad, join us for lunch while you are home from college on winter break! Thursday, January 30, 2020 Rivers Connect: Life Beyond Winter Street, Campus Center Alumni share their expertise on next steps and life after Rivers. Thursday and Friday, February 20–21, 2020 Upper School Musical, Regis College Rivers musicals always showcase great talent and energy; come cheer our actors! Sunday, February 23, 2020 Men’s Alumni Hockey Game, MacDowell Athletic Center All men’s hockey alumni are welcome back for our annual alumni game and lunch. Saturday, May 2, 2020 Parents’ League Annual Auction, MacDowell Athletic Center The Parents’ League largest fundraiser for the year, with silent and live auctions. Monday, May 4, 2020 20th Annual Rivers School Golf Tournament, Charter Oak Country Club, Hudson This tournament brings alumni, parents, and faculty together for a day of competition that raises money for the Alumni Financial Aid Fund. Saturday, May 16, 2020 Reunion and Alumni Day, Rivers Campus Enjoy a day of Rivers sporting events and join your reunion class for evening festivities . Thursday, June 4, 2020 Alumni Senior Breakfast, Kraft Dining Hall Help celebrate this year’s senior class and welcome our newest graduates into the alumni association.

Top Five Things Faculty Were Most Excited About for the 2019–20 School Year We asked—they answered. 5. Experiencing the inspiring energy from students  “as they dive into their studies.” —Mac Caplan  4. Seeing the student advisors welcome their new classmates with open arms and “show them what it means to be a Red Wing.” —Keith Zalaski  3. Jumping back into the innovative curriculum and “teaching with and learning from new colleagues” as well as “faculty we have known for years.” —Sequoyah Reynoso and Jeremy Harrison

2. Watching the new outdoor spaces come to life  both at the new turf fields and outside of MacDowell Athletic Center, which “is sure to be a favorite spot for our students and classes this year.”—Joanna Seymour And finally…  1. Standing on the beautiful boardwalk now connecting campus to Nonesuch Field with its “amazing views and the feeling, while on it, of being one with nature (just as the Rivers founders had envisioned).”—Feryal Sacristan  fall 2019

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Two Fields of Dreams (Plus a Pavilion) Rivers Unveils New Athletics Complex


hen Rivers School student-athletes returned to campus in September, they were introduced to a brand-new athletics complex comprising two state-of-the-art artificial turf fields and a new pavilion. The updated complex dramatically improves Rivers’ athletic facilities. Construction began in May and proceeded at a breakneck pace all summer, with a goal of having the fields available for the fall sports season. “I couldn’t be more pleased with how this project has gone,” says Head of School Ned Parsons. “We were for- tunate to have nearly perfect weather all summer, so there were virtually no construction delays. I am so grateful to the donors who not only provided the funds to make this project a reality but encouraged us to get the complex built as quickly as possible so that it would be ready for use during this fall’s sports season.” Situated in front of the MacDowell Athletic Center, the new complex is in roughly the same location as the old playing fields. The first field, called Davis Field, runs parallel to Winter Street and will be used for football, field hockey, and lacrosse. Baker Field, at the far end of the complex next to Hovey Avenue, will be used for soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse. Between the two fields sits a pavilion consisting of a fieldhouse and large patio area. “The pavilion is a really


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nice addition to our campus facilities,” says Parsons. “We’ll be able to use it to serve food to spectators during games, and it will be a gathering spot for our community during special events.” The entrance to the complex is framed by a new stone wall and two stone pillars. On a stone pedestal between the pillars, the school has placed a bronze statue of a red-winged blackbird in honor of the native species that serves as the inspiration for the school’s sports nickname, the Red Wings. On game days, Rivers athletes entering the field will be able to touch the statue, dubbed Rickie Red Wing, for luck. Homecoming weekend in October saw the official unveiling of the new complex, amid the fun and festivities of traditional sporting events, school spirit, and Red Wing pride. “We were thrilled to celebrate the opening of this new complex at Homecoming with our full Rivers com- munity of parents and alumni,” says Parsons. “I know our kids are going to love it.” � R — Stephen Porter

The Making of the New Athletics Complex • 159,846 square feet of synthetic turf carpet were installed • More than 550,000 pounds (275 tons) of rubber were installed in the field • More than a mile of drainage pipe runs underneath the field • A stormwater storage system under the field has the capacity to hold 32,849 cubic feet (245,710 gallons) of stormwater

fall 2019

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Rivers Travels

Rivers’ commitment to preparing students for an ever-changing world is reflected in our travel programs. They go way beyond mere tourism; each is an educational dive into the culture, history, and customs of the host country. This past summer, students explored the unforgettable sights of China, lived like French students in Provence as part of an exchange program, and spent two weeks studying culture and language in southwestern Spain for the interdisciplinary studies course “Cádiz: At the Intersection of History and Contemporary Spain.”

s g n i t e e r G rom


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After creatin g miniature terra cotta warriors wit h molds, we went to see the actual te rra cotta wa rriors. There we explored , the different p it s w here the warriors had been dis co vered and learned abou t how each w arrior was unique and had its own rank in the army. We e ven got to m eet the real farmer who first discovere d the warrio in 1974. I do rs ubt I’ll forg e t th is day anytime soo n. fallll 22001199 | Riparian | fa

江河学校 333 Winter Street Weston, MA 02493 USA


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ivieres L’ecole des R treet 333 Winter S 493 Weston, MA 02

x ed to Les Bau Today we head t one of the mos de Provence, es in France. beautiful villag e walked up to Once there, w ored where we expl the chateau, l of the medieva the remnants the rtress, built in castle and fo and A picnic lunch 10th century. aving wn followed. H a stroll to to oyable! a voyage incr


Hola desde Cádiz fall fall 2019 2019

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Robert Cleverdon ’40

A Quiet Hero By Jane Dornbusch

Like many of his “Greatest Generation” peers, Bob Cleverdon ’40 thinks of his service during World War II as no big deal. “It was nothing spectacular,” says the 97-year-old Ipswich resident with a shrug.    The government of France respectfully disagrees.    Cleverdon, along with two other WWII veterans, was awarded the French Legion Medal of Honor with Chevalier Distinction, in a Bastille Day ceremony that took place at the Cambridge residence of France’s consul general in Boston. The service that Cleverdon dismisses as “nothing spectacular” included 30 bombing missions over Europe. Three of those missions targeted Nazi forces in France, and it was in gratitude for these particular efforts that Cleverdon received the medal.    On a Tuesday in late July, in the comfortable family room of the home he shares with his daughter Lisa Clark and her husband, Cleverdon recalled his time in the Army Air Corps, his days at Rivers, and a long life that has taken a few twists and turns. Cleverdon was a navigator—one of three in a crew of about a dozen fellow soldiers—on a B-24 bomber. It wasn’t the job he’d intended to do. He and a buddy enlisted, hoping to fly planes. Cleverdon’s friend went on to become a fighter pilot, but his own aviation aspirations hit a small snag. “I washed out,” he says with a chuckle. “I couldn’t land ’em.”    But that didn’t ground the would-be pilot. He was sent to navigator school, where he learned the arts of dead reckoning and celestial navigation. “I ended up in the 8th

Cleverdon was awarded the French Legion Medal of Honor in July.

Airforce, 392nd bomber group, in B-24 planes, out of Wendling, England,” he says, the facts indelibly etched in his memory. Significant dates bookended his overseas service. He notes: “I boarded a train to go to Europe on D-Day. And I boarded a ship back to America on VE Day.”    In between came those 30 bombing missions, the majority of them over Germany. He flew his first on July 29, 1944, and his last on April 5, 1945—a period of just over 8 months. Cleverdon is a bit reluctant to talk about the war, a bit dismissive of the dangers he confronted on a nearly weekly basis. It’s just not his way to dwell on what was simply a matter of duty. But he vividly recalls one mission to Holland, flying low over the rooftops in the lead plane of a group of 40, dropping supplies to American paratroopers who’d arrived there the previous day.    A less welcome memory is that of being shot at by German forces. “Plenty of planes didn’t make it home,” Clark prompts, and Cleverdon recalls: “We had plenty of holes. The Germans could shoot pretty well. We lost some engines, but no one got hurt.” Cleverdon downplays both his good fortune and his courage: The 8th Airforce suffered heavy casualties during the war, with more than 26,000 dead.     He’d initially been scheduled to fly 25 missions, but as the war progressed, the number kept increasing. By the time May 1945 arrived, he and his fellow crew members were happy and relieved to board a crowded ship headed back to the States. Near the end of the journey, the ship broke convoy and ended up docking in Boston. “That was a thrill for me,” says the Newton native.   His Rivers experience had proven to be

invaluable to the young soldier. Asked if he took any lessons from school to war with him, Cleverdon doesn’t hesitate: “Teamwork. That’s what I learned.” The hockey rink and the classroom were good training for the camaraderie and esprit de corps that carried his bomber crew through the war.    Cleverdon attended Rivers for only two years, joining the Class of 1940 as a junior, but he says that sending him to the school was “the best move my family ever made.” He’d been educated in Newton public schools up to that point. But Newton High School (the city had only one in those days) was large and overwhelming. “I just didn’t like it,” says Cleverdon. “It was too big.” Rivers offered small classes—there were 19 in his graduating class—taught by young, energetic teachers who welcomed the new student. “The teachers were all friendly and nice,” Cleverdon recalls. He often walked from the family home in Newton Centre to the Dean Road campus in Brookline, a distance of about three miles.    After Rivers came Bowdoin, an experience Cleverdon recalls as “sort of a disaster.” “It was too big, compared to Rivers, and all the professors were much older,” he says, and he left after a year to study aircraft design and mechanics. That, too, was short-lived, as the war escalated and with it, Cleverdon’s desire to serve. Like many of his peers, Cleverdon put his education on hold to enlist in the armed forces.    Following his hitch in the Army, he attended Babson, which, he says, “was full of crazy veterans like myself.” But the business education he received proved invaluable when he joined the family business, the civil engineering firm Cleverdon, Varney & Pike.    Cleverdon stayed close to his Rivers friends, and it was through them that he met his future wife, Margery, at a party

thrown by former classmates. The two were married in 1949 and went on to raise their four children—two daughters and two sons—in Wellesley. Margery passed away in 2008; Lisa bought the Ipswich house not long afterward so that Cleverdon could move in with her.    Cleverdon has remained a loyal friend to Rivers, serving as a member of the alumni council and returning to campus faithfully for sporting events, reunions, and—of course— the school’s annual Veterans Day observance.    For Cleverdon’s generation, the war was a formative experience like no other. In the days following the French Legion Medal of Honor ceremony, Cleverdon’s achievement— and his modesty—were highlighted in a Boston Globe column by Kevin Cullen ( The article concluded, “Bob Cleverdon is the greatest.”    Here at Rivers, we couldn’t agree more. � R fall 2019

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How They Spent Their Summer Vacations F a c u l t y E n r i c h m e n t G r a n ts

By Jane Dornbusch


i s i ti n g th e s e t t ing s of favorite books. Follow in g in a fore be a r’s footst eps. Surviving in the wilderness. Singing with kindred spirits. Learning to strum the ukulele. The scope of projects underwritten by faculty enrichment grants is nearly limitless, reflecting the varied interests and passions of Rivers teachers and administrators. The grants, which are explicitly not intended for professional or curriculum development, are one way that Rivers supports its faculty in the broadest sense. The goal, as stated in the program guidelines, is to “enrich the applicant’s personal and professional growth . . . thereby enriching the Rivers community.” Participants come back recharged, inspired, and ready to share what they’ve learned. Here’s a look at the projects undertaken by this year’s grant recipients.

Katie Henderson: Among Friends Walking through Wales to connect with her own Quaker roots, Upper School English teacher Katie Henderson found symbolism everywhere. “We spent a lot of time losing the trail, finding the trail, having no idea where the trail was but having a compass and a map,” she says. “Basically, it was every metaphor anyone has ever used to explain life’s journey.” On the literal level, Henderson traveled to Wales to visit the Quaker meeting houses where her forebears worshipped. She had hoped to join an actual meeting at some of the stops along the way, but the logistics were such that that never came to pass. Nevertheless, as she and her husband hiked 120 miles in eight days across the remote regions of the country, the journey took on a spiritual dimension. “The thing that felt most Quaker to me,” says Henderson, “were the long walks in silence and reflection. The hikes were so powerful and purposeful. That’s what will stay with me more than the meeting houses. Those were a destination; it was the journey, the process, that was really meaningful.”   She continues, “I was so grateful the whole time. I get to do this because my school supports teachers doing things that allow them to feel fulfilled and reinvigorated. I spent a lot of time thinking about teaching and things I want to do in the classroom.”

Henderson hiking in Wales

Emily Poland: Music to Her Ears “I’m very musically challenged,” admits Middle School science teacher Poland. “I don’t hear rhythms.” So it comes as a slight surprise that Poland’s faculty enrichment grant provided her with ukulele lessons at the Rivers School Conservatory. But if part of the grant’s purpose is to take recipients out of their comfort zone, Poland’s choice makes perfect sense. In taking the lessons, Poland hoped to gain enough proficiency to join in when husband Sam (a former Rivers faculty member) and their musical friends played and sang together. She’d tried before, but, she says, “I kept getting good enough to play a few songs, but I’d get to the same point and then stop.” This time was different: she learned some theory, she worked on the proper positioning of her hands, and, most of all, the lessons “put me in a different mental state about what the goal is.” It involved slowing down and learning deliberately rather than “powering through.”   And being a student brought home to Poland how challenging that role can be. “Every time I go for a lesson, it opens the door to how much I don’t know,” she says. The experience has helped her empathize with her own students when they struggle. But it’s also provided the pure pleasure of learning for its own sake. “I can see the potential joy this will bring me,” she says. “It brings joy when you can focus on a task.”


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Poland strums a tune on her ukulele

Lloyd (left) poses at the site of this wartime photo of her father

Gillian Lloyd: In Pursuit of the Past Growing up, director of admissions Gillian Lloyd was steeped in stories about her parents’ wartime meeting and courtship: her father was an American GI in World War II Europe, and her English mother became a war bride. But learning about her father’s combat experience was harder: Like many members of his generation, Lloyd’s father “never really talked about the war.” That made the discovery of her father’s wartime photo album especially precious. In it, he had meticulously organized and labeled images of various sites in Germany and France where he’d served in the last year of the war. From those photos, Lloyd was able to reconstruct some of his experiences, and it inspired her to follow in his footsteps.   Lloyd and her husband visited many of the places her father had recorded in photos, even re-creating some of his images. But the trip, which was rooted in Lloyd’s personal family history, soon became much more. Says Lloyd, “We had an additional goal of understanding more about World War II. We went to a lot of French Resistance museums, and we learned a lot about people who, during times of crisis and horrors, were putting their lives on the line. It became so much bigger than just learning about my dad.” The upshot, says Lloyd, is feeling more mindful that “everyone has a story, and everyone is affected by their past and by their circumstances.”

Laura Brewer: Books Brought to Life Middle School humanities teacher Laura Brewer is the kind of passionate reader who is almost literally transported to other worlds when she’s immersed in a book. This summer, a faculty enrichment grant gave her the opportunity to actually visit the countries and the landscapes of her favorite novels. Mind you, that’s no simple proposition, given that many of those books, by such authors as Dorothy Dunnett and Octavia Randolph, are set not only in remote lands but in distant history. But most of the places she visited—Norway, Scotland, Denmark, Bruges—have preserved their past in such a way that an imaginative traveler can feel immersed in another age. “In Orkney, there’s a town called Orphir,” she says. “There actually is a Viking drinking hall you can visit.”   Elsewhere, she says, “We saw Viking burial mounds— graves built with standing stones the size of Viking ships. We saw all kinds of cairns. Of course, stone things last the longest.” Being on site also meant “seeing the land and the weather and what it feels like when the hay is in the meadow. It brought the books to life completely.”   The course Brewer teaches is “The World Through Story,” and the trip, she says, helped make that framework feel “real and concrete.” It’s a message Brewer hopes to convey to her students, along with a broader one that the inveterate traveler invariably rediscovers on every journey: “I always come back with renewed appreciation for how great the world is.”  

Brewer channels her inner Viking

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Brown on the Camino of St. Ignatius

Mary Brown: Following a Saint’s Footsteps Following the Camino of St. Ignatius, 400 miles on foot through the rugged terrain of Basque country and into Cataluña, is not for the faint of heart. But Spanish teacher Mary Brown is hardly a neophyte when it comes to pilgrimages. In 2015, she walked the Camino de Santiago—the way of St. James— and she was eager to try the more challenging and less traveled Ignatian Way.   “It’s a whole different camino,” she acknowledges. “You walk almost every day for five weeks. It’s grueling. It’s not that developed. There are not many places to stay or get a drink.” And, she says, “It was phenomenal.”   Only about 500 people have completed the journey, says Brown; the absence of amenities for pilgrims has kept the numbers down. The daily hikes were challenging, but along the way, she and her companion met many “camino angels”—such as the helpful young couple who appeared out of nowhere when they were lost on the trail or the family who drove by and offered water just as Brown’s supply had run out.   The challenges of the trip only enhanced Brown’s sense of accomplishment. “I feel renewed spiritually, culturally, physically, linguistically. I am so excited to share this with my students and colleagues. My batteries are recharged,” she says. 

Susan Emmanouilidis: Hard Work and Harmony As a choral singer, music teacher Susan Emmanouilidis must collaborate with others to practice her craft. “I’ve never cared to be a soloist; I’ve always enjoyed being in a chorus,” says Emmanouilidis, who directs the Men’s and Women’s Choruses at Rivers and the Conservatory Program’s Vocal Ensemble. It’s crucial to find the right blend of voices and the right chemistry, and that’s why Emmanouilidis was so delighted to participate in Serenades Choral Travel through her faculty enrichment grant. “It’s a rich, high-level choral experience, with demanding rehearsals, led by conductors who are top in the field,” explains Emmanouilidis. And it doesn’t hurt that the program takes place in beautiful settings; this past summer’s chorus was based in Sicily, with performances in the island’s ancient churches and cathedrals.   Emmanouilidis isn’t kidding about those demanding rehearsals, which ran to six hours on many days. “It’s hard work; you build up a sweat, and you sleep really well,” she says.   The joy that underpins the hard work is a lesson she brings back to the classroom. The best part of teaching, she says, is when she looks at the singers’ faces and sees them “having fun getting to that point of being a fine chorus. In Sicily, I felt that sense, being challenged to create a unified sound with my peers. We’re never too old or too experienced to learn more. If I’m experiencing that, that’s going to transfer to my teaching.”

Emmanouilidis (center) performs in an ancient Sicilian church


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Webster tackles the cycling stage of the world triathlon championship

Kim Webster: Going the Distance Math teacher Kim Webster can be nonchalant about her athletic accomplishments. Last year, she participated in the national triathlon championships in Cleveland. “It’s not so hard to qualify,” she says. (And it’s merely an Olympic distance—not even close to the Iron Man competition she did in Kona a few years back.) Press her a little, and she’ll tell you how she did: “I won in my age group,” she says, adding, “I was the first woman to cross the finish line.” Only when a local TV station interviewed her did Webster realize the magnitude of the accomplishment: “The reporter asked me when I was going to start training for Switzerland.” “Switzerland” meant the world championships, held over Labor Day weekend in Lausanne. It was an expensive proposition, but Webster was able to participate with the help of a faculty enrichment grant.   In September, Webster raced in Lausanne and ended up finishing third in her age group. Webster has competed in many triathlons, but this one was special, she says, because of the international nature of the event. “There were people from everywhere—Europe, Japan, Mexico, Australia. That was the coolest part of the race.”   Webster’s devotion to the sport serves as an example to her students. “I tell them how important it is to have a passion. Being able to model that for students and advisees is hopefully something I bring back to the community.”

Yoshi Fujita: Staying Alive Fun fact: More people die of hypothermia in August than in January. When it comes to surviving in the wilderness, continues Upper School Science teacher Yoshi Fujita, “Hypothermia is the thing that kills people the fastest.” Fujita is unlikely to die of hypothermia in any month, thanks to his participation in a nine-month wilderness survival immersion course run by the ROOTS School in Vermont. For nine weekends throughout the project, Fujita and a handful of classmates spent time learning how to build emergency shelters, start fires with a bow drill, find drinkable water, identify edible plants, and otherwise master the skills needed to survive in the wilderness.   An avid backpacker, Fujita first took survival classes some years back as a practical matter. But as he became more knowledgeable, he began to find the subject inherently interesting. “It engaged the engineer in me. It’s problem-solving, using what the natural world provides,” he says.   The program’s final challenge was a four-day survival trip. There were triumphs and failures, and ultimately—since all participants survived—there was success. All that, says Fujita, was “a good reminder of what our students have to deal with every day. And it was a good reminder of what it’s like to be a student again—to live what we preach, in being a lifelong learner.” � R

Fujita builds a snow shelter

fall 2019

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postcard from campus

This summer saw the completion of a new boardwalk over the wetlands, improving access to Nonesuch Field—and providing lovely views of fall foliage.


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alumni events

2019 Reunion Classes A Welcome Return to Rivers

Class of ’74 Front: Sturdy Waterman, Bob Borzakian, Joel Holzwasser, Doug MacPherson Back: David Timlin, Nick Vantine, Bob Costello, Dick Anderson, Bob Tremblay, Milt Yanofsky Class of ’69 Front: Jim Schuknecht, Cary Corkin, Bill Whittemore, Steve Gabriel Back: Bob Hohler, Eric Johnson, Ed Goldberg

Class of ’84 Rich Fischer and Tom Kealy

Class of ’79 Front: Barry Marson, Steve Sherry, Bennet Heart, Rob Gochberg Back: Herb Holtz, David Szent-Gyorgyi, Steve Silverman, Walter Krawczyk, Howard Alberts Class of ’89 Chris von Rumohr, Michael Shiner, Niall Carney 28 28

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Class of ’94 Front: John Gaines, Sara Masucci, Mark Rosen Back: Peter DiBona, Berkeley O’Keefe, Eric Bauer, Mark Szretter

Class of ’99 Front: Stephen Robb, David Garsh, John Whalen, Dave Lyons Middle: Esme Williams, Georgia (Butler) Mulgrew, Lindsay Roetter Back: Todd MacDowell, Jeff Berman, Chris Fuller, Dan Head, Nicky (Shifman) Constant

Class of ’04 Alex (Krotinger) Lisavich, Alison Freed, Pia Clive

Class of ’09 Front: Rachel Howe, Kaleigh Hunt, Liza Warshaver, Janey Ades, Tony Duplisea, Matt Robinson Back: Eric Anderson, Olivia Rochman, James Lapides, Cathleen Connors, Jackie Gannon, Jordana Greenfield, Marisa Fox, Becca Duffy, Steph Greenfield, Dan McCartney

Class of ’14 Front: Zach Bunick, Katherine Dutile, Linsdey Ades, Max Mueffelmann. Middle: Maura Crowley, Tatum Bradley, Ellie DiCaprio, Meghan Lee, Melissa Maffeo, Annie Thayer, Lizzie Thayer. Back: Erica Chalmers, Molly Busch, Andrew Kauffman, Nate Johnson, Stevie Van Siclen, Ryan Johnson, Maclaine Lehan

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alumni events

Golf Tournament Provides Fun and Funds


n May, more than 120 alumni, parents, and friends turned out for the 19th Annual Rivers School Golf Tournament to Benefit the Alumni Financial Aid Fund at the Charter Oak Country Club in Hudson. The event raised more than $75,000 to help students attend Rivers. Jeff Berman ’99 again served as golf committee chair; the Daley family—Stacey and Pat ’84, P’13, ’15, ’18, and Fred and Tina P’12, ’14, ’16—generously donated Charter Oak for the day. The tournament sponsor was W.J. Connell Co./ John Stephenson P’18. This year’s honoree was longtime tournament stalwart Gary Todd ’84, P’22. The foursome of faculty member Keith Zalaski, John Corridan ’06, Scott Barchard ’06, and Ernie Lupi came in first. � R John Corridan and Scott Barchard, both Class of ’06

Honoree Gary Todd ’84

Doug Wooldridge, Mike Handler, Chris Welburn, and Matt Tobin, all Class of ’90

Steve Frank ’80 and Andy Ferguson ’82


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Taylor Cross ’12, women’s hockey coach Dana Trivigno, Toni Ann Miano, and Haley Skarupa

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Larry Epstein ’87 lines up a putt.

alumni events

Summer Socials Bring Alumni Together


n June, alumni in two cities gathered to socialize, share laughter and memories, and celebrate the beginning of summer. In Boston, local graduates enjoyed an evening at popular waterfront hangout Tia’s. Alumni living and working in New York got together on the rooftop at Rare Bar and Grill. In both cities, attendees enjoyed reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones. Hope to see you there next time!

Director of alumni engagement Marc Stroum ’98, Kate Mecke ’13, Jaclyn Sisselman ’13, Maddie Bauer ’13, Devon Kelliher ’13, Sophie Brown ’13, Tyler Swartz ’13, and Darren Sullivan, Rivers history teacher and baseball coach

Kathleen Ball ’07, Darren Sullivan, Nicki Hunter ’05, and Jared Gerstenblatt ’93

New York

Darren Sullivan, Andrew Kaufmann ’14, Zach Bunick ’14, and Jaclyn Sisselman ’13

Olivia McSweeney and Erin Connolly, both Class of ’15 Pete Harris ’14, Jake Stenquist ’15, Hunter Dempsey ’15, and Ryan McCaffrey ’15

Boston Pete Ciccarelli, Connor MacIsaac, Justen Voghel, and Jasen Voghel, all Class of ’16 fall 2019

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alumni events

Alumni Gather for Fall Fun at the Farm It was a picture-perfect September day when Rivers alumni and their families turned out for apple-picking at Lookout Farm in Natick.

Georgia (Butler) Mulgrew ’99 brought her two boys, Matthew and James.

Members of the Class of ’98, with a few of their offspring: Marc Stroum, Lauren (Mirel) Movshovich and son, Brooke (Hegarty) Evershed, and Kristen (Culgin) Nendza and son

Jeff Kotzen ’02 with his daughters

Jennifer and Dan Sherman ’97 with their son, and Spencer Godfrey ’98 and wife Jamie with their three children

Todd MacDowell ’99, wife Jackie, and their three kids Todd MacDowell, Nicky (Shifman) Constant, Dave Lyons, Dave Garsh, and Georgia Mulgrew, all Class of ’99 32

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alumni profile

Le s l i e J ac kso n J udg e ’ 9 5

Making Sense of Nutrition


he messages are everywhere, and they’re far from subtle. “We learn it from toddlerhood,” says Leslie Jackson Judge ’95. “Thin is good, large is bad.” Just take a look at kids’ cartoons, she says: “The protagonist is always a thin person, and is clas- sically pretty or handsome. The antagonist is in a large body, and is lazy or stupid.” Judge has built a career countering that pervasive—and insidious— message and the mindset it creates. A registered dietitian, she provides nutrition education to adolescents and other clients, much of it promoting the concept of “healthy at every size.” For several years, Judge has returned to Rivers to teach a seventhgrade course that covers the nutsand-bolts of basic nutrition. But last year, she stepped in to add a nutrition component to the ninth grade wellness curriculum, viewing nutrition through a social justice lens. These students are at an age when they’re particularly vulnerable to peer pressure and societal messages around weight, so Judge makes it her mission to open their eyes to the ways in which they’re being influenced. “We as a society have grown, through history and through social cues, to understand from childhood that being in a perfect body size is ‘preferred,’ ” says Judge. “In the class, we look at why are people told to be thin. We break that down. We look at bodies through history. Bodies have always come in different shapes and sizes, and you cannot equate being thin and being healthy. Bodies can be healthy at every size.”

Judge didn’t set out to be an advocate for nutrition, health, and body positivity. At Wellesley College, she studied art history, expecting that one day she would work in a museum or as an archaeologist. “I went to Greece; I worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum,” she says. “And at some point, I said to myself, ‘I love this, but it’s not what I want to do for a living.’ ” Judge says she had never thought of herself as “a science person,” but she was an athlete, and that led to an interest in how best to fuel the body for peak performance. From there, it was a logical step to enroll in a master’s degree program in nutrition at BU. She trained as a clinical nutritionist, earning her registered dietitian credential and working in hospital settings, with a focus on oncology. But when she became a mother—her children are 10 and 7—she decided to go into private practice, where she encountered a new type of client: Those with eating disorders. “It was a whole different challenge,” she says, “but it brought me to where

I am now.” These days, she focuses on nutrition education, such as the class she provides for Rivers. Judge attended a small private elementary school, and when it came time to choose a high school, the intimate scale of Rivers suited her. “You were encouraged to build relationships with teachers,” she says. “That resonated with me. The community aspect, the relationships, that vibe—not all schools have that.” To this day, she notes, her former teachers remember her when she visits campus. “Rivers was a place where you encouraged to pursue interests and develop as a learner and a thinker,” she continues. It laid the groundwork, she says, for her unconventional career path: “When you go to a high school like Rivers, and you get a liberal arts degree, you’re never in a position where you say, ‘Oh, that option is closed to me.’ I had friends and colleagues who were ‘science people,’ and it’s great they had that clarity. But having this whole other side of the brain helped make me the clinician that I am.” And it helped her create the broad context for teaching adolescents about nutrition, weight stigma, and body image. By the time the ninth graders have gone through the twoday class, says Judge, “they totally get it. When you start to look at how the messages are presented in social media and movies and ads, they see how they’re being manipulated. The class isn’t going to change everyone’s way of thinking in a few days, but it shifts the lens so they see it with a fresh perspective. That’s all we’re trying to do—shift the way of thinking.” — JD

fall 2019

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alumni profile

K y l e He g art y ’95

Think Globally, Act Globally


e live in a world that’s more interconnected, more fluid, more global than ever before. Everyone has heard that, but few are in a better position to understand it than Kyle Hegarty ’95. Hegarty has held many positions, but he describes his current role in broad terms: “I work with organizations to help their people build global leadership skill sets— communication, negotiation, adap- tation, those kinds of things. What started with helping companies sell their stuff into new markets evolved into what I’m doing now, which is helping global companies get their people to become global in how they approach their work.” That work in turn positioned Hegarty to write his first book, which is coming out in April 2020. The Accidental Business Nomad, A Survival Guide for a Shrinking Planet  (Nicholas Brealey Publishing) “uncovers what working globally really means for millions of people who find themselves working in foreign environments, either directly or remotely,” says Hegarty. The timely tome helps those working abroad to understand how to parse the differences among international business cultures. “From embarrassing cross-cultural faux pas to multi-million dollar misunderstandings,” he says, “my book gives an insider’s view into why companies going global are getting it wrong and shares the top skills needed for anyone to be successful in our messy, interconnected world.” Hegarty, who is now based in Singapore, has been edging toward global interconnectedness since college. At Bowdoin, he majored in international relations and minored


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in economics. “The liberal arts angle combined with the international focus has been helped steer my career path ever since. In fact, it gave me a great foundation not only to focus on global sales and marketing, but also to be entrepreneurial and creative,” says Hegarty. He worked in finance briefly after college and served as a project manager at a dot-com startup in the early 2000s. That set the stage for joining TSL, a marketing firm for tech companies; he was part of the core team at the beginning and stayed on to see TSL become a leading worldwide marketing agency. In his own telling, Hegarty is himself something of an accidental business nomad. “Moving to Singapore was a bit fortuitous,” he recounts. “I wanted to do more deals in Asia, because there was so much buzz about how the region was growing, so I started telling my U.S. clients we could deliver across Asia—even though I had no idea how I was going

to deliver on that. There was tons of demand, and before I knew it, I was spending most of my time hopping around Asia trying to figure out how to help companies sell telco equipment in Vietnam or security software in Indonesia or cement in Bangladesh. It was a liberal arts learning experience on steroids. Singapore, a gateway to the region, was the perfect place to set up shop as a regional hub.” It’s all a long way from Weston, but Hegarty gives Rivers credit for helping him develop the necessary mindset to succeed in his chosen field. “I recall a spirit of openness when it came to experimenting with new ideas,” he says of his Rivers days. “For example,” he recalls, “when I was at Rivers, the school newspaper was in bad shape. Some of us wanted to do something about that, and we had amazing support from the faculty, many of whom are still at Rivers. If a student wanted to make the place better, the school was supportive in allowing you to try it—even if it didn’t work. It was an environment where students could identify problems and be encouraged to do something about solving them. That’s a cool way to prepare for the real world, where there are a lot more things broken that need fixing.” That drive to fix what’s broken is what pushes Hegarty today. In addition to writing the book, he has trained thousands of executives and is a frequent keynote speaker at business and management conferencesaround the world. The through line, he notes, is helping individuals, teams, and organizations do a better job. “It sounds cliché,” he says, “but helping people really does feel good. That’s why I enjoy this kind of work.” —JD 

news from our inbox

Warren “Renny” Little ’51 included this note on his Reunion RSVP: “My granddaughter Erin was an all-scholastic field hockey player at Acton-Boxborough. She is a sophomore there.” Court Dwyer ’66 sent along a picture of himself, Steve Cline, and Henry Grosjean at a Scottsdale meet-up last winter—a mini-reunion, he writes, for which “the Class of ’66 is so famous. While most occur in Maine with other members of the class, this one happened in Arizona.” Chris Shorb ’84 provided this update: “Nothing new with me, except getting very close to being an empty nester. By the time folks read this, my younger son will have started classes at Portland State University in Oregon. Thirty-five years after we graduated from Rivers on that fateful day in June, my youngest graduated from high school. It’s weird to no longer engage in those school-time rituals like parent-teacher conferences or back-to-school night or lacrosse games/practices/tournaments. My older son is looking to transfer to a UC to complete his environmental studies major. He’s still at home as he takes his GE classes at the local city college and also waits tables at a local sushi restaurant. For me, I’m still at LogMeIn’s

Court Dwyer, Steve Cline, and Henry Grosjean, Class of ’66, in Arizona

Santa Barbara, Calif., office as the product owner of the largest of our ecommerce systems, but work frequently takes me back to corporate headquarters in Boston. When I do travel back once or twice a year, I get to see Marc Johnson, Jeff Tarlin, and Mike Jacobs. It’s been great. Occasionally, folks have come to the LA area (Mike Tofias, for instance) and reached out. Would love to connect with other ‘Riparians’ out in Southern California, especially if folks travel through Santa Barbara. I’m not on Facebook, but I am on Facebook Messenger. Hit me up!” A number of Rivers classmates celebrated with Amelia Hutchinson ’01 and Alex

White at their September wedding in New York City. Below, from left, are Tracy Anik Barry, Becca Soule Meneses, Jill Hoffmeister DeMello, Monica Walsh Mosseri, Danielle Levine Steinman, Ali Grabler Stein, Amelia, Alex, and Kathryn Jigarjian Fagin, all Class of ’01. Charlotte Lewis ’02 emailed, “Kathryn Jigarjian Fagin ’01 hosted a Rivers get-together in March. We all enjoyed Peter’s pizza!” Pictured (next page) are Sean Irving ’01, Charlotte, Becca Soule Maneses ’01, Jill Hoffmeister DeMello ’01, Kathryn Jigarjian Fagin ’01, Bobby Wright ’01, Chad Gray, and Liam Hardy ’01.

Wedding of Amelia Hutchinson ’01

fall 2019

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news from our inbox

Luke Flood ’12 received a masters of music in orchestral conducting from the University of Cincinnati—CollegeConservatory of Music (CCM) in 2018. Since graduating, he has served as associate conductor for the national tour of Lincoln Center Theatre’s production of The King and I, and is currently touring as principal keyboard with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS. Kimberly Kontrimas ’03 reports, “I’m currently working as a registered nurse at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, alongside Taylor Cross, Rivers Taylor Cross and Class of 2012 and Kimberly Kontrimas girls’ varsity ice hockey coach. I am also working part time as a hospice nurse and loving every minute of it. A few years ago, I began to run and finally am making up for being a wicked slow runner while a member of the cross-country team at Rivers. I’m enjoying planning vacations around races. A few months ago, I traveled to Florida to run the Princess Half Marathon in Disney World with Taylor Cross. I am currently training for the ‘Dopey Challenge,’ in which I will be running 48.6 miles over four days (a 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon, back-toback) to raise money for breast cancer research. It was great to be back at Rivers recently for the dedication of a conference room for Bruce Amsbary. Great to catch up with my former teachers, especially Mr. Saul!”

Pizza party, Charlotte Lewis ’02 (see previous page)

Wedding of Brendan Harty ’04

Brendan Harty ’04 got married in June, with a large contingent of Rivers ’04 classmates in attendance. From left are Michael Swersky, Devin Ferreira, Jake Olin, Jon Fainberg, Tim Choate, Brendan (with bride Erin), Will Thorne, Dave Newman, Will Harris, Richard Shanfeld, and Jack Maloney.

Disclaimer: Rivers welcomes Class Notes from alumni about their jobs, travels, weddings, and births, but does not print information about engagements and pregnancies. Rivers assumes submissions come from the alumni claiming responsibility for them and that they accurately communicate personal news.

W e W a n t T o H ear F r o m Y o u !


New job? New baby? Wedding?

Please submit a class note to share your news and stay

Awesome travel experience?

connected to the Rivers community. Send submissions

Your Rivers friends want to

to Marc Stroum, director of alumni engagement,

hear your updates!


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Planned Giving

Providing for Rivers’ Future Rick Rizoli Was Destined for Rivers Many Rivers alumni and former faculty have a strong connection to the school. But Rick Rizoli may be one of the few who believes his ties to Rivers reflect divine intervention. “My journey to Rivers was pretty much scripted by the heavens above,” says Rizoli, who spent three decades as head of college counseling here. It was early on in his career, while working at Landon School in Maryland, that Rizoli found himself driving down the Mass Pike during a visit to his family in Massachusetts. His future wife was by his side, and as they drove through the Weston area, he recounts, “I pointed to my right and said, ‘There’s a school over there where I’d like to work someday.’ ” Rivers had come to Rizoli’s attention when he’d worked at Muhlenberg College, some years earlier. He’d made visits on the college’s behalf to various high schools and was impressed with what he saw at Rivers. A year or so after that fateful day on the Pike, Rizoli—looking to move on— was working with a headhunter who provided a list of possible openings. Lo and behold, Rivers was on the list, and Rizoli interviewed with Richard Bradley, then head of school. The pair hit it off so well, he says, “Not only did I leave with a job offer for me, but I had one for my wife as well.” Rivers indeed seemed fated to be part of his family’s life. Naturally, his two children, Kelly ’05 and Steve ’07, are Rivers alumni. Rizoli is deeply appreciative of the experience they had at Rivers. In his mind, the most significant aspect of a Rivers education, and the quality that sets it apart from peer schools, is that “Rivers is able to appropriately challenge all students. The faculty has the ability to get the best out of kids with different strengths and abilities and talents.” He recalls the words of one graduate that particularly resonated: “Rivers believed in me until I believed in myself.” Rizoli is pleased to be part of the Nonesuch Society and include Rivers in his estate planning. “It’s not just about what Rivers has done for me and my family, but what I know Rivers has done and continues to do for so many kids and their families,” he says. “It’s a place to believe in, and it’s a place I believe in.”

Above: Rick Rizoli left Rivers after a life-altering bicycle accident in 2012. A frequent visitor to campus, he recently addressed students on the subject of resilience, using as an example his own initial and ongoing rehabilitative efforts to live with his injuries.“Work hard, stay positive, and find a community,” he told the audience.

The Nonesuch Society was established to recognize the generosity of alumni, parents, and friends who have made provisions for Rivers in their estate plans. Its members have each made a commitment to ensure the continuation of excellence in teaching that is so critical to the education of future generations.

When you include Rivers in your will, you play a significant role in helping future generations of Rivers students. At the same time, by taking advantage of tax laws that encourage philanthropy, making a bequest to Rivers can significantly reduce estate-tax burdens.

For more information about gifts to Rivers, such as bequests, living trusts, and gifts of life insurance or retirement plans, or if you would like more information about the Nonesuch Society, please contact Senior Associate Director of Advancement Mike Ebner at or 339-686-2233.

The Rivers School

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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 Ashley McGlone at 339-686-2239 or

The Rivers Fund supports our most treasured assets—our faculty and students

Support The Rivers Fund • July 1, 2019–June 30, 2020 • www.

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The Riparian - Fall 2019  

The Riparian - Fall 2019