RCDS Bulletin - Fall 2019

Page 1


2 From the Headmaster 4 Commencement Address 6 College Choices 7 Upper School Graduation


8 Middle School Graduation 9 Fourth Grade Moving-Up


24 The Makerspace: Where Ideas Come to Life A Conversation with RCDS Makerspace Director Gail Sestito 26 Coding Up Computer Science and Technology at RCDS 28 Projects with Purpose The Edward E. Ford Foundation Community Engagement Fellowship Program 30

10 News from Rye Country Day

Teaching at RCDS: Creativity, Innovation, and Leadership 2019-20 Institute for Innovative Teaching & Learning Fellowships



14 Spring Sports Go, Wildcats!


16 All-School Art Exhibit Art-Story 16 Spring One-Acts (un)Happily (n)Ever After 17 Spring Dance Concert Shake, Rattle, Rock ‘n’ Roll

33 Grandparents & Special Friends Day 33 The Blue & Gold Dinner

PARENTS ASSOCIATION 34 The Parents Association Year in Review 35 The Blue & Gold Ball


17 Middle School Musical Seussical Jr.

36 Class Notes


38 In Memoriam

37 Summer in The City

18 Honoring Faculty and Staff 20 New Faculty and Staff 22 New Trustees




HEADMASTER Dear RCDS Community, The conclusion of one school year, summer break, and the beginning of a new year are generative times for the Rye Country Day community. In June, we proudly bid farewell to the members of the Class of 2019, who have begun their collegiate careers and have no doubt already started to prove themselves as leaders at their respective institutions. We look forward to celebrating their continued success through the years as they join the ranks of some 4,000+ RCDS alumni making their contributions across the country and around the world. The Class of 2019 set a strong example of excellence in every aspect of school life, and we can see their excellence reflected in our current Upper School students’ endeavors in the classroom, on the field, on the stage, and in the broader community. On the other end of the spectrum, our Lower Schoolers continue to develop their learning through reading, classroom productions, service, artistic projects, and physical education. From the Makerspace to the theater and the court, Middle School students exhibit outstanding learning, thinking, and doing as they embody the wonder of that stage of life where younger minds blossom into the faculties of thought and creativity that form the foundation for their Upper School years and beyond. In all of our students, it is profoundly inspiring to watch the transformative power of learning. The summer highlighted Rye Country Day’s commitment to citizenship and public purpose as Upper School students participated in the annual Ethics Project and The Edward E. Ford Foundation’s Community Engagement Fellowship Program. Our students demonstrated what it means to be engaged, purpose-driven citizens who strive to make a difference through thoughtful community partnerships characterized by a deep commitment to service. Students also enhanced their awareness as global citizens in June through travel to Sicily with a focus on interdisciplinary learning and thinking. In this issue of the RCDS Bulletin, we look back into some meaningful moments from the spring and summer, the final months of the School’s historic sesquicentennial year. You will also get a glimpse into important teaching and learning initiatives on campus. From STEAM to public purpose, athletics, the arts, and beyond, our education provides students with the skills and attributes necessary for leaving an indelible mark on their communities, small and large. As you read this issue, I hope you will share my inspiration and pride in the impressive work and achievements of our students and teachers. Sincerely, Scott A. Nelson Headmaster


Fall 2019


Enjoy a limited-edition commemorative book detailing the storied history of Rye Country Day School and its first 150 years. This visually stunning coffee table book includes RCDS history, archival photographs, and contemporary photography featuring campus, students, and faculty as captured by awardwinning photographers. Books are available for purchase for $150 each. Please visit www.ryecountryday.org/book to order your copy.

Not for Self, but for Service



Commencement Address The 2019 Commencement Address was delivered by Kate Ordway, Chair of the RCDS English Department and Teacher of Upper School English and Art History. In June, Mrs.Ordway retired after 21 years at the School. She offered the following words of reflection and advice to the Class of 2019 on commencement day.

thank you,

Mr. Nelson, Ms. Sullivan, Rabbi Salomon, Mr. Weiss, Mr. Leef, friends and family of, but, most especially, the graduating class of 2019! Although many of them will vouch that I have been here forever, it’s not quite 150 years! I did arrive, however, when Mr. Nelson and I had very different hairdos; when we had to cross the road in order to get to the PAC; and when there was still a telephone booth in the Pinkham building in front of which eager seniors used to line up to call home on April 15th, asking whether a thick envelope had arrived from their dream college. There were bells to indicate the end of one class and the start of another. Even this building did not exist in its present form, and certainly not the beautiful new Cohen Center for the Creative Arts. The campus has transformed itself, as—I suppose—we all have. As I believe my respected colleagues will attest, ours is that wonderful profession whereby we are also the ones who are learning every day. In fact, as Mr. Leef recently mentioned at the last assembly, when years ago a Beelzebub-of-a-bee invaded my ninth grade discussion of “Lord of the Flies,” I warned the class, “Whatever you do, don’t try to shoo it away by waving your arms!” Its stinger in the middle of my nose was indeed a learning experience! Since then, it has been my delight to applaud many wonderful graduating classes. But this one is, well… 4

Fall 2019

Look with amazement how beautiful they are! Pied beauty! For not one is defined by a single talent alone. I see a math whiz who directs plays, a singer who shoots three-pointers, a composer who wrestles, a painter who programs, a poet who pirouettes. I could mention all 98, as well as the exponential variations on their many talents, but there is not enough time.

i am because of you

There is a little time, however, to reflect on how much this class has helped each other, has contributed to this school, and has truly influenced me. As our lives touch, we learn and we grow. We are the very definition of entangled particles that Mr. Einstein posited. Ubuntu in Nguni Bantu or “I am because of you.” Right now, there are many in this hall who are thinking back, recalling perhaps when you, the Class of 2019, were just entering kindergarten or when they, too, were very young and “as clever as clever,” as Christopher Robin would say. Or perhaps they are recalling when they were graduates, about to embark on their own respective journeys. I am one of those: in fact, this is not my first graduation speech. Seventeen-years-old, I composed what

I thought was a truly remarkable piece. I began with the words of haiku poet Kobo Daishi: “Flow, flow, flow—the river of life is ever onward.” It had all the right stuff: solutions for past wrongs, high hopes for the future, and even a bit of rebellion about the dress code (sorry, Mr. Kyle, but mini-skirts were IN!). I was certainly very eager to practice that speech and drove happily toward school to rehearse it on the morning of the ceremony. It was a beautiful, hot June morning in Villa Park, Illinois. I was all set—the speech and the white dress, although no one would see it under the voluminous blue gown. I was only a block from school when, at a four-way stop, another driver and I both proceeded forward, and she crashed into me. Though shaken, no one was hurt. The family car was in ruin, however, and there would be no rehearsal. I had been distracted, thinking only of the road ahead of the “ever onward” and not the moment. That evening, I gave my speech to what I thought was surely the delight of my 840 classmates (I went to a big school). Afterward, many people congratulated and complimented me, but later, a friend of my mother confided that she could not really hear me very well and basically missed half of my supposed words of wisdom. Of course, I realized I had not practiced; I had been distracted. I was much too eager to “get there,” without looking around me. I have since been much more aware of the hazards of always looking ahead and not around. It is certainly easy to be swept

away by the latest current, without floating freely, without allowing oneself the quiet time that leads not only to peaceful appreciation of this beautiful world but also to resolution, determination, and eventual action, by which one can buck the tide, turn the tide, and eventually actually become a watershed for change. I do not predict; I absolutely know that in this space, at this moment, there are among you future writers and artists, who will create beacons of light to guide our paths; healers and inventors, who will cure our

the river of life is ever onward

ills and lighten our loads; mathematicians and scientists, who will be guardians of our earth and the universe beyond; and ethical counselors and governmental leaders, who will undo centuries of wrong and pave the way by which we then can all—as the song goes—“lay down our burdens” and truly “study war no more.” And just how are you going to do that? Yes, like Prufrock, there will be time—“time for decisions and revisions, which a minute will reverse.” But your time is NOW! As the old joke goes, I asked a librarian where the “self-help” books were, and she replied, “If I told you, that would defeat the purpose, right?” Try something new (you decide!), watch for an opportunity. What risk did Josh Bennet ’06 take in my AP English class his senior year, when instead of a poetry report on Keats or Stevens, he asked to do one on Tupac Shakur? When he took that risk, a door had opened for now-Professor Bennet, and he burst through it. But I’m not going to tell you that you might not fall on the other side. There will be mistakes and, yes, failure too. I recall, for example, another student from some years past who told me how thrilled he had been to play soccer on a well-known college team. During an important play-off game, he apparently saw an opening on the field and raced to score a decisive goal. Instead of jubilation on the faces of his

teammates, he saw horror; he had scored a goal for the opposing side. The ball had soared right past his own goalie! Jack had been distracted and thus had made a big mistake. Now a successful financier, he still recounts how painful that moment was for him, but how he nonetheless went on to become captain of the Yale team, frequently sharing with younger players how important it was to keep not only your eye on the ball, but your mind as well. For in those moments, he had not been mindful of the rest of his teammates on the field; he had not seen the larger picture. But today this moment is—and should be—all about you: the suits and dresses, diplomas and programs, of course! But take a minute to reflect on the help and hard work that you have done for so many in the years you have been at RCDS: with SET and SCOPE, in community kitchens, cancer recovery centers, sustainability projects, sewing pillows for migrants and for those who are lonely or ill. It is because of that selfless service that I know already the good that you will continue to do for our community, our society, and our world. Thus, what can you do for the million species that are now at risk of vanishing from this earth? What can you do to overcome the racial, religious, and economic hurdles that face people around the globe? The arctic ice-cap should not continue to melt; children should not wake up hungry nor be worried about stray bullets hurting them; and all human beings should have the freedom to make choices that determine where they live and whom they love. In closing, I am reminded of another graduation speech. I was fairly new to RCDS when I taught Nick Kroll ’96, now a well-known actor and successful comedian. Like so many of you, he was sharp and funny and always kept me on my toes. In 1996, as class president, he gave a very good speech, most of which I have unfortunately forgotten— Laszlo, I promise I won’t forget a word of yours!—except for one important part. From this podium, he called upon a fellow graduate to take out a trumpet,

which he had somehow secreted with him when processing to where you are seated now, and then asked him to blow a single note. Clarion and clear, that high pitch resounded in the gym, bringing a jolt and a smile of surprise to all of us in the audience. Nick then asked his friend to improvise on that one, solo note. Seemingly without effort, the tones from his horn glided and looped around us, creating a spontaneous melody, lively and interesting and lovely. Life can be startling, but we do not usually play only one note; we can imitate the playlist of others, or we can improvise and create our own song. We will make mistakes. Sometimes the notes are false and the combinations dissonant. But even as one clear sound can be either an alarm or a lullaby, so, too, can our voices and actions become intertwined to form something new, something bigger. I must agree with Hamlet when he tells his friend, “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” But there are things that I have discovered and know to be true: Try not to be distracted, but when you make mistakes—and you will—don’t be afraid to improvise, step back, and look at the larger picture. We are all entangled particles. Like George Seurat, we are pointillists who—thanks to the many colors and identities of who we are—each contributes a tiny little bit to the larger canvas of life. I am because of you. And now, “Shantih, shantih, shantih.” I wish you peace, until we meet again.

i wish you peace, until we meet again




2019 Amherst College Barnard College Boston College Boston University Bowdoin College Brown University (3) Bucknell University (2) Carnegie Mellon University Case Western Reserve University Colgate University (2) Colorado College Columbia University Cornell University (7) Dartmouth College (3) Duke University (5) Franklin and Marshall College Georgetown University (2) Hamilton College Harvard College (3) Indiana University at Bloomington Johns Hopkins University Lehigh University (2) Loyola Marymount University 6

Fall 2019

College Choices*

New York University (3) Northeastern University Northwestern University (2) Princeton University Richmond, The American University (UK) Roger Williams University Santa Clara University Skidmore College Smith College Stanford University (2) Swarthmore College Syracuse University Tufts University Tulane University Union College University of California, Santa Barbara University of Chicago (2) University of Connecticut

University of Michigan (4) University of Notre Dame University of Pennsylvania (7) University of Richmond University of Rochester University of Southern California University of St. Andrews (UK) University of Texas, Austin University of Wisconsin, Madison Vanderbilt University (2) Vassar College Wake Forest University (2) Washington University in St. Louis Wellesley College Wesleyan University Wheaton College Williams College Yale University (3) *One attendee unless otherwise indicated


Congratulations to the Class of 2019! RCDS is proud of our newest alumni!











1. The Invocation was offered by senior parent Rabbi Deborah Salomon; 2. The class speaker, Senior Class President Laszlo Kopits, shared words of advice with his classmates; 3 & 4. Alumni Executive Board President Scott Weiss ’96 presented the Alumni Prize, the School’s highest honor, to Charlotte Townley amd Faith Hardy; 5. The Senior Class Gift was announced by Class President Laszlo Kopits and Class Vice President Natalie Sanchez. The gift is a time capsule from the Class of 2019 to the Class of 2069; 6. Co-Chairs of the Class of 2019 Endowment Fund, from left, Blanca Hirani, Eric Medow, and Bets Miller, announced that 100% of senior class parents had contributed in excess of $643,000 to the Class of 2019 Endowment Fund; 7 & 8. Faculty and staff members Denise Francella and Heather Robinson were recognized on their retirement and made honorary members of the Class of 2019; 9. The WildScats performed “Some Nights/It’s Time”; 10. The Concert Choir performed Handel’s “Hallelujah,” a tradition at Commencement.

Not for Self, but for Service



2019 Middle School Graduation Congratulations to the Class of 2023!






1. Dr. deChabert addressed the graduates; 2 & 3: Members of the Class of 2023 celebrate graduation; 4.The eighth grade members of the Chorus, under the direction of Mr. Coulianos, performed “We Can Dream.”; 5. Eighth Grade Class Speaker Anthony P. addressed his classmates, encouraging them to remember that they always have each other to get through high school; 6. Incoming Upper School Student Body President Sabrina Reznik ’20 welcomed the rising ninth graders.


Fall 2019



2019 Grade 4 Moving-Up Ceremony

Ms. Liebowitz led the fourth graders in “The Dreamkeeper.�

Mrs. Shea welcomed families and friends.

Dr. deChabert addressed the rising Middle Schoolers.



News from Rye Country Day RCDS ETHICS PROJECT

In June, 14 Upper School students gathered for the fourth annual RCDS Ethics Project, an interdisciplinary retreat developed by faculty collaboration aimed at expanding students’ knowledge and analytical skills around matters pertaining to ethical awareness and purpose-driven engagement. The retreat examined ethics and the law, and participants worked together to develop their critical thinking and decision making skills while navigating complex ethical dilemmas including: the use of genetic genealogy in crime investigation and the resulting privacy issues; mass incarceration and various causes such as minimum sentencing laws; the causes and effects of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994; and ethical challenges involving free speech and privacy as they relate to social media platforms and regulation. They engaged in debates, watched and listened to a range of multimedia sources, spoke with a variety of guest speakers, and wrote a proposal to the Upper School administration based on their generative conversations. Participating faculty members included Jenny Heath (Grade 11 Dean and Upper School English Teacher), Charles Sliter (Upper School Humanities Teacher), and Sarah Danziger (Classics Department Chair and Upper School Latin Teacher).

TEACHER TAKEAWAY “ From a faculty perspective, one of the things I love about the program is being able to work with colleagues in other departments to create an interdisciplinary curriculum.” — Jenny Heath, Grade 11 Dean and Upper School English Teacher


The Reader’s Theater production in May showcased the results of Kindergartners’ work throughout the year to “crack the code” on reading. The students, who dedicated a lot of time to reading (in groups, alone, with teachers, and with fourth grade buddies), worked up to being able to read on their own for 10 minutes straight! For the big showcase, they spent weeks reading their lines, using vocal expression to bring the story to life, and staging the story, all while deepening their understanding of narrative.


Skyping with the RCDS Lower School, Josephine Pucci, 2014 silver medalist with the U.S. Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, emphasized the importance of having courage, finding joy in process, staying dedicated to goals, and bouncing back from challenges. Said Pucci, “If you drop a bouncy ball, what happens? It bounces back up! If you drop a rock, what happens? It stays on the ground! Always be a bouncy ball. When you fall down, when you get challenged, bounce back up!”


Upper School Spanish teachers Ileana Hernández Carafas and Pam Sheehy partnered with Caritas in Port Chester to create a special program that combined upper level Spanish with Public Purpose. Once a month, Upper School Spanish students visited Caritas to assist with setting up tables for lunch service, bagging fresh produce, loading carts, and helping clients with their food selections, all while communicating in Spanish.

TEACHER TAKEAWAY “ The program was truly enriching and heartwarming, and it provided an invaluable true-to-life experience that could never be duplicated in a classroom.” — Ileana Hernández Carafas and Pam Sheehy, Upper School Spanish Teachers

10 Fall 2019

For RCDS news and updates, visit www.ryecountryday.org/news  ryecountryday @ryecountryday  @ryecountryday  @willythewildcat for athletic updates



Kyle Sisitsky ’25 competed in MasterChef Junior last March. Kyle joined 23 other contestants for the weekly challenges, which were judged by chefs Gordon Ramsay, Christina Tosi, and Aaron Sanchez.


Having found community in competition, Kyle summarized the experience in an interview with The Journal News stating, “It was a high pressure situation, so of course I was very nervous competing, but I made friendships that will last a lifetime. We all helped each other through the competition and the heat in the kitchen.”

Last spring, Upper School students took advantage of two programs offered by White Plains Hospital designed to provide hands-on experience in a variety of healthcare careers. Isabella Dartnell ’20, Ariane Voulgaris ’20, and Caroline Geller ’20 participated in the White Plains Hospital Clinical Tutorial Program, a semesterlong educational course where they met doctors, surgeons, nurse practitioners, nurses, and other clinical staff. They toured the emergency room, explored the medical simulation room used to train medical staff, and learned about the machines and technology available in the radiology lab. Hands-on learning included how to use a harmonic scalpel by cutting and cauterizing raw chicken, how to intubate with a laryngoscope, and how to suture using a rubber template. They also practiced cauterizing with a grapefruit and administered an epidural to a pineapple. In another wing of the hospital, Yuto Abe ’22, Tess Asness ’20, Sofia Bolger ’21, Kathryn Farrell ’21, and Philip Kimmel ’21 participated in a two-day workshop on robotic technology where they learned about the history of robotic surgery and the process of preparing the robot for surgery. The highlight of the program was using the da Vinci robot to simulate surgery and stitching.

STUDENT TAKE AWAY “The simulations allowed me to get a sense of how these robots function and how it can be different from a surgeon using only his bare hands when operating.” — Yuto Abe ’22


Last April, 42 Middle School students participating the yearlong leadership program Learning to Lead ventured to Bow Tie Cinemas, where they met with the CEO, COO, and Director of Food and Beverage. The executives presented a case study based on two theaters in Stamford and asked students to wrestle with questions related to seating, food, showtimes, pricing, specialty offerings, differentiation, branding, and marketing. The students presented their ideas to the cinema leadership team and then learned about the company’s current strategic decisions and direction. Special thanks to CEO Ben Moss P’26, P’28 for designing this real-world, relevant, and engaging leadership learning experience.

Not for Self, but for Service 11


News from Rye Country Day CELEBRATING PURPOSE

At the annual Public Purpose Community Dinner in May, students, families, faculty, and community partners gathered to celebrate the many ways students made a meaningful difference during the year. The evening began with an exhibit of service learning projects in which student representatives from each project shared their work and reflected on its impact. Xio Rivera ’19 and Aisling Sullivan ’19 delivered keynote speeches about their collaboration with Caritas Food Bank. For Xio, the work at Caritas helped shape his perception of and connection with members of his local community. He reflected, “I knew that outside of the doors of Caritas, each of the people who were there had a story and a life, and I was able to make a change in that life, and the lives of many others.” Aisling spoke about how, as a first year Spanish language student, she felt grateful to the people at Caritas for helping her learn and practice the language she now loves. A special thank you to our community partners for their generosity and spirit of collaboration!


Members of the Rye Country Day GOPiNK club organized their eighth annual Spring Fashion Show in May to benefit New York Presbyterian Hospital. Hosted at The Westchester and sponsored by Nordstrom, the fashion show featured 30 RCDS Upper School students who modeled “the hottest trends for Prom 2019” from a variety of designers. Ticket sales, general donations, and a portion of Nordstrom’s overall sales from the day were donated to support New York Presbyterian Hospital’s breast cancer research, education, and support programs. Congratulations to the organizers, club Co-Presidents Helena Zimmerman ’19 and Natalie Sanchez ’19, along with Vice Presidents Chloe Cornell ’20, Ryan Hammel ’20, and Bella French ’20.

12 Fall 2019


In May, students in Grade 4 engaged in a crosscurricular unit culminating in a “Wax Museum” performance. Each student researched and presented an inspirational person who made a meaningful contribution to the world. They conducted research by reading non-fiction books and then developed persuasive paragraphs in which they were able to apply recently learned writing skills, such as appositives, coordinating conjunctions, and transition words. They also created wire sculptures of their inspirational figures in art class. In preparation for the “Wax Museum” performance, the students wrote scripts, created costumes, and practiced public speaking skills.

CONGRATULATIONS! Memorial Scholarship Award, which recognizes a senior who exhibits a commitment to service and understands the art of listening, and one who has courageously accepted challenges and used strength to move forward and help others. From left, Director of Diversity and Inclusion Ali Morgan, Patricia Bautista ’19, Faith Hardy ’19, and Headmaster Scott Nelson.

Patricia Bautista ’19 and Faith Hardy ’19 were honored in April with a Certificate of Accomplishment by the New York City Committee for the Princeton Prize in Race Relations for their demonstrated commitment to advancing race relations within the greater RCDS community. Director of Diversity and Inclusion Ali Morgan shared, “Faith Hardy has contributed so much to our community. She has stepped up and made a huge impact on campus. Patricia Bautista’s commitment to positive racial relations is on display every day. She has earned the respect and admiration of peers and adults alike.” Nathalie Felton ’19 reached the semifinal stage of the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. Headmaster Scott Nelson remarked, “Throughout her time at RCDS, Nathalie has shown effort, courage, humility, and most of all, kindness. We are very Nathalie Felton ’19 proud of her accomplishments, and look forward to following her future successes at Brown University and beyond.” Warren Kennedy-Nolle ’19 and Ethan Zeplin ’19 received awards from the Rye Youth Council in April. Warren received the Suzanne C. Murphy

Ethan received the September 11th Memorial Award, which was created in special memory of those victims of the World Trade Center tragedy who lived in or attended school in Rye. The award recognizes a student who demonstrates commitment to community, understanding of sacrifice, and dedication to making a difference in the lives of others.

Ethan Silverman Guffey ’20, Isabel Stronski ’20, and Graham Weber ’20 were recognized with National Honors at the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Ceremony at Carnegie Hall in June. Isabel won a Gold Medal in Ethan Silverman Guffey ’20 the Personal Essay/ Memoir category for her narrative “Las Cucarachas.” Ethan won a Gold Medal in the Digital Art category for his piece “Pink Walls and Palm Trees.” Graham won a Silver Medal medal for his photograph “Power.” Isabel Stronski ’20

James Chen ’19

James Chen ’19 won second place in the Cell and Molecular Biology category of Regeneron WESEF 2019 (Westchester Science and Engineering Fair). James presented his research, “Elucidating the Effect of Chemical and Drug Exposures on Mitochrondrial DNA Copy Number,” a project stemming from his work in Jennifer Doran’s Upper School Science Research course.

From left, Warren Kennedy-Nolle ’19 and Ethan Zeplin ’19.

Peter Nicholas ’22 was named the co-winner of the Bedford 2020 Greenlight Award competition, a program that provides students with a framework, support, and incentives to create sustainable initiatives. His project, “Change the World One Meal at a Time,” addressed factory farming and the pollution and wasted resources it causes. With the goal of lowering meat consumption across the RCDS campus, Peter raised awareness through social media, a poster campaign, and a school-wide “eat vegan” competition. In the first 12 days of the project, meat consumption was down 376 lbs, and 24.5 million gallons of water were saved!

Peter Nicholas ’22

www.ryecountryday.org 13





14 Fall 2019



Varsity Baseball

9 8 0

Varsity Softball

3 9 0

Boys’ Varsity Golf

7 4 0

Girls’ Varsity Golf

9 2 0

Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse

14 7 0

Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse

13 5 0

Boys’ Varsity Tennis

13 2 0

Girls’ Varsity Tennis

8 3 0

Boys’ Varsity Golf NYSAIS Champions FAA League & Tournament Runner Up Boys’ Varsity Track FAA Champions NYSAIS Champions Girls’ Varsity Track FAA Runner Up

Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse FAA Champions NYSAIS Runner Up Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse NYSAIS Runner Up Sailing 2nd Place at Ryan B. Mahoney ’ 98 Regatta 3rd Place at NYISA-SE Team Race Championships 4th Place at NYISA-SE Fleet Racing Championships

ALL-LEAGUE RECIPIENTS Baseball Owen Coady ’19 Aldo Stefanoni ’20 Jack Weiss ’20, Honorable Mention

Softball Isabella Sanchez ’21 Sadie Silverman Guffey ’20, Honorable Mention Boys’ Golf Jackson Gaynor ’20 Charles Jolly ’19, Honorable Mention Girls’ Golf Samantha Bobman ’19 Gabriella Jolly ’22, Honorable Mention Boys’ Lacrosse Charles Keating ’21 Liam McLane ’20 Ray Konopka ’19, Honorable Mention Girls’ Lacrosse Laura Baine ’20 Katharine Brydson ’21 Charlotte Price ’20 Alik Shehadeh ’21, Honorable Mention Boys’ Tennis Justin Mandell ’19 Gabe Smilovic ’19 Jack Miller ’19, Honorable Mention Girls’ Tennis Sriya Krishnan ’22 Sena Selby ’20 Lily Rosen ’19, Honorable Mention Boys’ Track Cameron Coleman ’19 Cullen Coleman ’20 Robbie Fox ’20

Franklin Hong ’19 Allan Houston, III ’19 Greyson Humphrey ’21 Dylan Lynch-Quinones ’21 Julian Martelly ’19 Jack Merrill ’22 Ben Pearce ’21 Devan Phelan ’22 Gideon Prempeh ’21 Aaron Serianni ’20 Nicholas Tallis ’19 Laszlo Kopits ’19, Honorable Mention Girls’ Track Alexandria Dunkley ’21 Caroline Geller ’20 Faith Hardy ’19 Jordan Miller ’21 Saliyah Muhammad ’21 Arly Rodriguez ’21 Ellie Stevens ’22 Isabel Stronski ’20 Ariane Voulgaris ’20 Marin Yearley ’22, Honorable Mention


Baseball Coaches Award: Billy O’Meara ’19 Wildcat Award: Owen Coady ’19 WNESSLA All-League: Charles Keating ’21 Liam McLane ’20 WNESSLA Honorable Mention: Ray Konopka ’19 Nishan Shehadeh ’19

Girls’ Golf Coaches Award: Tess Asness ’20 Wildcat Award: Samantha Bobman ’19 Boys’ Lacrosse Frank Effinger Award: Ray Konopka ’19 Ray Konopka Award: Nishan Shehadeh ’19 Girls’ Lacrosse Coaches Award: Annie Cooper ’19 Paulina Harasimowicz ’19 Natalie Sanchez ’19 Wildcat Award: Paulina Harasimowicz ’19 WNEPSWLA All Stars: Laura Baine ’20 Charlotte Price ’20 Sailing Coaches Award: Reece Haft-Abromovitch ’22 Ryan B. Mahoney ’ 98 Award: Jaume Pujadas ’20 Boys’ Tennis Coaches Award: Gabe Smilovic ’19 Wildcat Award: Justin Mandell ’19

Softball Coaches Award: Phoebe Shapiro ’21 Wildcat Award: Sadie Silverman Guffey ’20

Girls’ Tennis Coaches Award: Lily Rosen ’19 Jess Yaffa ’19 Wildcat Award: Sena Selby ’20 FAA Singles Champion: Sena Selby ’20 FAA Doubles Semi-Finalists: Lily Rosen ’19 Isabel Showers ’20

Boys’ Golf Coaches Award: Charlie Smilovic ’21 Wildcat Award: Jackson Gaynor ’20

Boys’ Track & Field Coaches Award: Cameron Coleman ’19 Wildcat Award: Julian Martelly ’19

SHOW YOUR WILDCAT PRIDE! Shop for RCDS apparel and more at ryecountryday.org/shop All-State: Cullen Coleman ’20 Robbie Fox ’20 Hudson Friedman ’22 Allan Houston, III ’19 Julian Martelly ’19 Ben Pearce ’21 Devan Phelan ’22 Nicholas Tallis ’19 NYSAIS Champions: Cameron Coleman ’19 Robbie Fox ’20 Allan Houston, III ’19 Julian Martelly ’19 (4x100 relay) Girls’ Track & Field Coaches Award: Isabel Stronski ’20 Wildcat Award: Faith Hardy ’19 All-State: Alexandria Dunkley ’21 Faith Hardy ’19 Arly Rodriguez ’21 Isabel Stronski ’20 Ariane Voulgaris ’20 NYSAIS Champions : Alexandria Dunkley ’21 (shot put) Isabel Stronski ’20 (800 meters & 1500 meters)

CONGRATULATIONS T0 the 11 members of the Class of 2019 who are continuing their careers as student-athletes at some of the finest colleges and universities.

First row, from left, Jane Reynolds (University of Pennsylvania, Rowing), Conrad Crakes (University of Pennsylvania, Sprint Football), Mindy Pang (Princeton University, Water Polo), Sabrina Vumbacco (Bucknell University, Swimming), and Malcolm Brydson (Union College, Football, not pictured). Second row, from left, Owen Coady (University of Pennsylvania, Baseball), Nick Owens (Williams College, Football), Justin Mandell (Cornell University, Sprint Football), Franklin Hong (University of Rochester, Football), Allan Houston, III (Brown University, Football), and Cameron Coleman (Columbia University, Football).

Not for Self, but for Service 15


“Ms. Keown is not telling you to glaze something or make a sculpture of this specific thing. She’s just saying: make art. Art can be anything, art is everything. I love seeing other people’s art and how they worked hard.” —Eleanor Brown ’25

2019 All-School Art Exhibit


With the theme “Art-Story,” the 2019 All-School Art Exhibit harnessed the power of narrative across mediums, including drawing, photography, painting, printmaking, collage, sculpture, and multimedia work. Every student from each division had at least one piece represented in the stunning exhibit that showcased how artists make choices that share the story of the piece and the creator. Reflecting on the exhibit, Art Department Chair Eric Drotch emphasized, “Telling stories through visual art can be very personal and, therefore, unique. Each student’s artwork, whether representational or abstract, was a reflection and visual depiction of their lived experience. The broad range of works mirrored the diverse student body that created them.” The exhibit’s reception was followed by the One-Acts, which further echoed the storytelling theme through performance.



ne Act Plays

16 Fall 2019


by Jay Gerlach, Drama and Dance Department Chair Over the last few years, the annual spring One Act plays have become a mainstay in the culture of the Upper School. This year was no exception, as the student body had the opportunity to attend “(un)Happily (n)Ever After,” a series of student-directed One-Acts that chronicled a multitude of relationships, all of which asked the question: Does it always have to end happily? Over the course of two performances for the Upper School and two performances for friends and family in the new Black Box Theater in the Cohen Center for the Creative Arts, audiences got to bear witness to the hard work of 14 student directors in the Advanced Topics in Theatre class and 28 student actors who auditioned for roles in the production. This project was a culmination for the student directors as they embarked on a yearlong journey learning how to write, direct, and produce in an experimental space such as the Black Box Theater. Each performance was met with a standing ovation!




by Ashley Zanon, Middle and Upper School Dance Teacher Entitled “Shake, Rattle, Rock ‘n’ Roll,” the 2019 Spring Dance Concert presented energetic and exciting pieces that featured rock music in its many forms as it evolved through the decades. Learning choreography, building stamina, and embodying the spirit of each rock ‘n’ roll song through their movement, students dedicated themselves to honing and presenting their dance skills. The choreography spanned various styles including contemporary, modern, and jazz. The concert also featured special pieces by guest choreographer Danielle Bensky and student-choreographed senior solos by Camila Hirani ’19, Amber Michaca ’19, Kioni Shropshire-Maina ’19, Claire Slocum ’19, Aisling Sullivan ’19, and Sarah Wright ’19. Students from both the Middle and Upper School divisions performed, representing the Cedar Street Dance Company, Upper School Art Elective and Physical Education Dance, and seventh and eighth grade Physical Education Dance. Sharing their talent and skill on stage, students danced with passion for a packed house of thoroughly entertained RCDS community members!

Seussical Jr.


Middle School Musical

by Kate Henerey, Middle and Upper School Drama Teacher

The seventh and eighth grade Integrated Performing Arts class presented “Seussical Jr.” on three dates in April for the Lower and Middle Schools, as well as parents, friends, and family. Throughout the course of two trimesters, students engaged in the many facets of creating a musical from the ground up. Working together, they participated in audition prep and acting, dance, and singing techniques to grow their musical theater skills and produce a cohesive performance. Their learning and collaboration culminated in a charming production full of beloved Dr. Seuss characters.

www.ryecountryday.org 17


CELEBRATING OUTSTANDING FACULTY & STAFF CONTRIBUTIONS Coming together to reflect on and celebrate the accomplishments of the academic year, Rye Country Day School faculty and staff attended the Faculty & Staff Tea on May 30. This festive annual gathering recognizes individual faculty and staff for their outstanding contributions to Rye Country Day through seniority fellowships, awards, vacation grants, and anniversary and retirement celebrations. Congratulations and deep gratitude to all of our awardees and honorees!

SENIORITY FELLOWSHIPS Faculty who have served Rye Country Day for over 10 years are eligible for one of five Seniority Fellowships. Meredith deChabert Assistant Head of School Middle School Principal Jennifer DeVito Upper School Librarian Laura Festo Pre-Kindergarten Teacher Johnny Flynn Humanities Department Chair, Grades 5-12 Upper School Humanities Teacher Ethan White Upper School Humanities Teacher SUMMER VACATION GRANTS Nominated by their peers, six faculty members (two from each division), two staff, and two administrators are awarded Summer Vacation Grants. Designated for travel and vacation during the summer months, these special grants recognize outstanding service to Rye Country Day. Dion Beard Director of Facilities Ellen Cartwright Grades 7 and 8 Dean Director of the Middle School Study Skills Program Kerry Linderoth Director of Sustainability Upper and Middle School Science Teacher Tamara McKenna Middle School Language Arts Teacher and Learning Specialist Eliza McLaren Director of Strategic Initiatives and Marketing Stephanie Melgar Technology Support Specialist Dan Murray Coordinator of Global Studies Upper School Latin Teacher Jamie Radwan Lower School Learning Specialist Debra Simpson Lower School Science Teacher Ariana Wimpy Student Billing Manager

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ENDOWED FACULTY CHAIRS The Rye Country Day School Endowed Faculty Chair program was established to honor and reward outstanding teachers in all three divisions of the School, while also providing additional funds for overall faculty compensation. Since the program’s inception, eight Endowed Faculty Chairs have been created, seven of which rotate every three years. MIDDLE SCHOOL CHAIR

Beatrice DeSabatino Middle School Latin Teacher LOWER SCHOOL CHAIR


Johnny Flynn Humanities Department Chair, Grades 5-12 Upper School Humanities Teacher ENGLISH CHAIR

Ted Heintz Grade 10 Dean Upper School English Teacher MIDDLE SCHOOL CHAIR

Marcia Mignon Middle School Science Teacher RCDS PARENTS ASSOCIATION CHAIR

Debra Pager Director of Student Support Services Lower School Psychologist CLASS OF 2006 CHAIR


Whitney Turner Lower School Computer Science Teacher




1. Gil Castagna was recognized for his 40 years of service to RCDS; 2. Seniority Fellowships went to, from left, Ethan White, Laura Festo, Johnny Flynn, Jennifer DeVito, and Meredith deChabert; 3. Recognized on their retirement were, from left, Carmela DeCarlo, Ileana Hernández Carafas, Denise Francella, and Kate Ordway; 4. Summer Vacation Grants went to, front row from left, Ellen Cartwright, Jamie Radwan, and Debra Simpson; back row from left, Dion Beard, Stephanie Melgar, Eliza McLaren, Ariana Wimpy, Kerry Linderoth, and Dan Murray; 5. Amanda Sackey received a Cohen Excellence in Teaching Award.

FACULTY AND STAFF AWARDS Awards are presented to faculty and staff for outstanding service to RCDS. Recipients are those who meet the specific criteria for each award. FRANK EFFINGER AWARD for outstanding service to RCDS

Elizabeth Bennett Athletics Office Administrator and Coach PRISCILLA LIEBMAN AWARD in recognition of courage and outstanding service to RCDS

Ileana Hernández Carafas Upper School Spanish Teacher LINDA GROSSMAN AWARD for outstanding service to RCDS

Morgan Fitzpatrick Admissions Office Administrative Assistant CAROL LICHTENFELD AWARD for outstanding advising in the Middle School

Denise Francella Physical Education Teacher and Coach WILL MCCURDY ’05 AWARD for outstanding advising in the Upper School

Donald Kyle ’81 Upper School Dean of Students Grade 10 Dean Upper School English Teacher

COHEN EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AWARDS The Cohen Excellence in Teaching Awards are yearly grants awarded to faculty members who have been nominated by their peers and selected by the administration for outstanding instruction and contributions to the School. These awards are the result of a leadership gift from the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation to the Advancing a Tradition of Excellence Capital Campaign. Gil Castagna Physical Education Teacher and Coach Doug Cerrone Upper School Mathematics Teacher Karen Cosgrove Grade 2 Teacher

Not for Self, but for Service 19


Carrie Donahue Middle School Counselor Jennifer Doran Upper and Middle School Science Teacher Stacy Kaufman Grade 4 Teacher Ali Morgan Director of Diversity and Inclusion Humanities Teacher Coach Amanda Sackey Middle School Science Teacher Tim Silverman ’89 Middle School Spanish Teacher Upper School Counselor Peer Leadership Director Heidi Southard Head Athletic Trainer Upper School Health Teacher ANNIVERSARIES With meaningful dedication spanning up to 40 years, the following faculty and staff were recognized for their ongoing service at Rye Country Day School. 40 Years Gil Castagna Physical Education Teacher and Coach 20 Years Lorraine Brimat-Smith Middle School Administrative Assistant Matt Cavanaugh Grade 9 Dean Upper School Spanish Teacher Lauris Khan Upper School Mathematics Teacher Joe LaVigna Maintenance David Yellen Upper School Mathematics Teacher RETIREES Rye Country Day bid farewell to six members of the faculty and staff who concluded their outstanding careers at the close of the 2018-19 academic year. Denise Francella (27 years) Physical Education Teacher and Coach Heather Robinson (26 years) Library Assistant Susan Nelson (25 years) Director of Publications Kate Ordway (21 years) English Department Chair Upper School English Teacher AP Art History Teacher Carmela DeCarlo (17 years) Upper School Administrative Assistant Ileana Hernández Carafas (12 years) Upper School Spanish Teacher

20 Fall 2019

NEW FACULTY & STAFF As 2019-20 begins, Rye Country Day welcomes an accomplished and impressive new cohort of faculty and staff. ADMINISTRATION Priya Singhvi Director of Health and Wellness Ms. Singhvi joins Rye Country Day as the School’s first Director of Health and Wellness. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Austin College and an M.S. in Counseling from Southern Methodist University. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Psychology with a specialization in neuroscience at California Southern University. Ms. Singhvi previously served as the Upper School Counselor and as a member of the Leadership Team at Greenhill School in Dallas, TX. LOWER SCHOOL Francesca Shin Davia Kindergarten Lead Teacher Ms. Davia joins RCDS after serving as a kindergarten and second grade teacher at the Fay School in Southborough, MA, since 2014. She attended Brandeis University as an undergraduate, and she holds an M.S.Ed. from Bank Street College of Education. Jourdan Layne ’15 Lower School Assistant Teacher After graduating from RCDS in 2015, Ms. Layne majored in sociology with a concentration in education at Muhlenberg College. She has also been a Counselor in Rye Country Day’s Action Summer Enrichment Program from 2014 through 2018. Alexandra Levy Lower School Assistant Teacher Ms. Levy holds a B.S. in Early Childhood Education (Pre-K – Gr. 4) and a B.A. in Italian from Bucknell University. She has served as a Teacher

Resident in the Bronxville Elementary School while pursuing a Master of Professional Studies in Childhood and Special Education at Manhattanville College. Marlana Moysak ’13 Lower School Assistant Teacher A Class of 2013 RCDS alumna and graduate of Lafayette College, Ms. Moysak is currently completing a Masters degree in Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education at Manhattanville College. She has also worked as an Assistant Teacher at Mohawk Country Day School in White Plains, where she has been a Head Counselor and General Counselor in their summer program since 2010. MIDDLE SCHOOL Don Fitz-Roy Computer Science Teacher Mr. Fitz-Roy joins RCDS from his most recent position as a member of the technology faculty at the Bush School in Seattle, WA, where he taught technology and computer programming in a makerspace room for middle school students. Mr. Fitz-Roy brings a wealth of experience in programming, robotics, and innovation. He holds a B.A. in Education Studies from Brown University. Julie Nuñez Social Studies Teacher Ms. Nuñez brings to RCDS 10 years of teaching experience, most recently teaching sixth grade humanities at Bank Street School for Children in New York City. She also has served as a sixth grade lead teacher at Cornelia Connelly Center and as a lead teacher at Girls Preparatory Charter School. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from SUNY Binghamton and an M.S.Ed. in Education from Lehman College. UPPER SCHOOL Tatum Bell English Teacher Ms. Bell holds a B.A. in American Studies from Yale University and an M.A. in Private School Leadership from the Klingenstein Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Ms. Bell taught English for five years at Virginia Episcopal School, where she also helped lead initiatives in diversity and inclusion, coached, and worked within the dormitory program.

José Benítez Meléndez Spanish Teacher Prior to joining RCDS, Mr. Meléndez taught Spanish, worked in the boarding program, and led international trips at Milton Academy in Massachusetts. He earned his B.A. in Spanish Education from the University of Puerto Rico with minors in French and Italian and his M.A. from Middlebury College. Mr. Meléndez is currently working on his doctorate at the University of Puerto Rico. Craig Burt Science Teacher Mr. Burt joins RCDS from Cushing Academy in Massachusetts, where he taught several chemistry courses including AP Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and General Chemistry. He also served as a dormitory head and coach. Mr. Burt earned a B.A. in Chemistry from Williams College and an M.S. in Organic Chemistry from the University of California, Irvine. Katy Everett English Teacher Bringing 25 years of independent school teaching experience to RCDS, Ms. Everett was previously the English Department Chair at The Stanwich School in Connecticut, where she taught in both the middle and upper schools and developed the curriculum for the AP Literature and Composition program. She holds a B.A. in English from Connecticut College and an Ed.M. in English Education from Rutgers University. Nicole Zazzarino Part-Time Science Lab Assistant Ms. Zazzarino joins RCDS after having worked in the biopharmaceutical industry since 2012, where she supported molecular biology research with a focus on cloning technologies. She holds a B.S. in Biology from Marist College. ATHLETICS & PHYSICAL EDUCATION Amanda Popoli Physical Education Teacher; Head Coach of Girls’ Varsity Soccer; Middle School Coach; Assistant Girls’ Lacrosse Coach Ms. Popoli holds a B.S. in Physical Education and Sports Management from Adelphi University and an M.S. in Recreation and Sport Administration from Western Kentucky University. She previously taught physical education and coached soccer in Rockland County, at the Bronx Lab School, and at Lehman College.

STAFF Dania Abu-Shaheen Director of Publications and Lead Storyteller Ms. Abu-Shaheen joins RCDS from Sarah Lawrence College where she was the Director of Alumni Relations and a former editor of Sarah Lawrence magazine. She brings experience in communications, leadership and project management, and content generation across platforms. She holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence with a concentration in creative writing and literature. Isabel Gonzales Admissions Interviewer Ms. Gonzales is serving as an Admissions Interviewer this year following her previous position as the Admissions Office Assistant. She is a graduate of Georgetown University. Isabel has been a parent at RCDS for the last 12 years and has served on the Parents Association, volunteering and chairing different committees. Julie McCrory ’03 Manager of Stewardship and Engagement Ms. McCrory arrives from Sacred Heart Greenwich, where she worked in the Advancement Department managing gift processing and donor stewardship. Ms. McCrory is a proud RCDS alumna from the Class of 2003, and she graduated with honors from New York University, earning a B.A. in European and Mediterranean Studies. Gayle Regan and Rebecca Tenney Nurses Ms. Regan and Ms. Tenney were long-term substitute Nurses from the Rye school district for most of the 2018-19 academic year. They will continue to share the second Nurse position in 2019-20. Melissa Mahoney Wirth ’97 Manager of Alumni Relations Ms. Wirth previously worked at RCDS in the Office of Admissions, and she is a soccer and lacrosse coach. A dedicated alumna, she has served three terms on the Alumni Executive Board. She received a B.A. from Middlebury College and an M.A. and Ed.M. in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University’s Teachers College. Her three children are currently enrolled at RCDS, Class of 2027, 2029, and 2031.

www.ryecountryday.org 21



1 2 7

6 4

SUSAN BAO Ms. Bao is a Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager of J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Inc., a global leader in investment management and private banking. She joined J.P. Morgan in 1997 and has overall responsibility for managing several Large Cap U.S. Equity strategies with over $30 billion of client assets under management. Previously, she was responsible for the U.S. Equity analyst portfolios and served as a member of the Disciplined Equity Team. Ms. Bao holds a B.S. from Centenary College and an M.B.A. in Finance from the Stern School of Business at New York University. She is a holder of the C.F.A. designation. Ms. Bao is active in the Rye community and serves on the Board of Directors of the Rye Art Center. She and her husband, Yong Gao, live in Rye with their two children, Charlie (Class of 2024) and Andrew (Class of 2026). JENNIFER BLAKE Ms. Blake is the Managing Director and Global Head of Business Development at Balyasny Asset Management (BAM). She is a member of the firm’s Management Committee and Chair of the firm’s Women’s Leadership Committee. Ms. Blake joined BAM’s New York office in 2008 and is 22 Fall 2019


1. Susan Bao; 2. Jennifer Blake; 3. Leigh Geller; 4. Tina Mathias; 5. Thomas Nichols; 6. Patty Perez; 7. Jeffrey Talpins

responsible for investment and non-investment hiring globally. Prior to BAM, she was a vice president in Morgan Stanley’s Prime Brokerage Sales group. From 2000 to 2006, she was at Goldman Sachs’ Spear, Leeds & Kellogg division. She holds a B.S. in Business and a B.A. in Spanish from The Ohio State University and an M.B.A. in Finance from New York University. Ms. Blake and her husband, Eric, live in Rye with their two children, Julia (Class of 2025) and Warren (Class of 2027). LEIGH GELLER Ms. Geller is an attorney who has focused her career on law enforcement and security. She is a principal at Bedrock Intelligence, a consulting firm that specializes in school security and emergency management. Ms. Geller is also a Vice President at Investigative Management Group, a private security and intelligence gathering firm in Manhattan, where she supervises security audits, investigations, and cyber security reviews for private clients. Ms. Geller began her career as an Assistant District Attorney at the New York County District Attorney’s Office.

Ms. Geller holds a B.S. from Cornell University and a J.D. from the Fordham University School of Law. Since moving to Rye in 2006, Ms. Geller has been an active member of the Rye community, where she has held numerous volunteer positions, including Midland Elementary School PTO Co-President and Rye Free Reading Room Auxiliary Board Co-President. At Rye Country Day, she has worked in various Parents Association roles, including Co-Chair of the Fall Book Fair and Gift Boutique, class liaison, host family, and Wildcat Den volunteer. Ms. Geller is also a member of the School’s Annual Giving Committee. She has previous trustee experience, having served on the Board of Trustees for Dutchess Day School, a private K-8 school in Millbrook, NY. Ms. Geller and her husband, Jeffrey, live in Rye with their three children, Caroline (Class of 2020), Henry (Class of 2022), and Susanna (Class of 2025). TINA MATHIAS Ms. Mathias currently serves as the Board Treasurer and Chair of the Finance

Committee of Stamford Academy, a charter high school in Stamford, CT, serving students who struggled in traditional school environments. She previously served as the Treasurer of the North Street School PTA and on the Board of Trustees of Putnam Indian Field School in various roles, including Treasurer and Buildings and Grounds, where she oversaw the addition of a gym. As an RCDS parent, Ms. Mathias has volunteered as a host family and has been Co-Treasurer of the Book Fair for the past three years. Ms. Mathias previously taught mathematics at both Stuyvesant High School and Greenwich High School. Prior to teaching, Ms. Mathias began her career in real estate finance working at Capital Trust and Victor Capital Group, where she was involved in a variety of real estate and corporate finance transactions. Ms. Mathias holds a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School. She also holds an M.A. in Teaching Secondary School Mathematics from New York University. Ms. Mathias and her husband, Andrew, live in Greenwich, CT, with their three children, Ben (Class of 2023), Chris (Class of 2025), and Zachary (Class of 2028). THOMAS NICHOLS Mr. Nichols leads Business Development at GMS Piling Products, a supplier to the deep foundations construction industry that provides geotechnical consulting services for engineering firms and contractors, piling for driven and drilled foundations, tooling for drilling operations, and services related to the supply of steel pile foundations. Prior to his role at GMS Piling Products, Mr. Nichols led the New York branch of Becho Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Tutor Perini Corp. He specializes in the design and construction of deep foundations, heavy civil work, and earth retention systems for medium to large-scale public and private projects in New York and the I-95 corridor. Mr. Nichols is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Deep Foundations Institute. At the latter, he was the Driven Pile Committee chair from 2009 to 2012, where he directed a committee of engineers, contractors, and professors to

produce research papers and coordinate seminars in the U.S. and Canada. A former resident of Bronxville, Mr. Nichols served on the Bronxville School Facilities Committee from 2013 to 2015 and the Bronxville School Board of Education from 2015 to 2016. He was also an active member of Christ Church Bronxville, serving on the vestry from 2013 to 2017. Since moving to Greenwich, CT, in 2017, Mr. Nichols has been a member of the Greenwich Academy Strategic Planning Committee. In 2018, he served on the Christ Church Greenwich Recruitment Team during its search for a new rector. Mr. Nichols and his wife, Carla Countryman, live in Greenwich with their two children, Maggie (Class of 2025) and Katie. PATTY PEREZ Ms. Perez is the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of 1901 Partners Management, a private equity firm that manages a portfolio of energy and energyrelated investments. She began her law career at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in 1996, where she was an associate in the M&A group, before joining Stroock & Stroock & Lavan in 2002 to focus on corporate restructuring. Ms. Perez became a partner in Stroock’s Financial Restructuring Group in 2004 and later joined O’Melveny & Myers as a partner in the M&A and Private Equity practice in 2007. In 2012, she moved in-house to Ziff Brothers Investments, where she worked closely with the private equity team as their lead transactions lawyer until that team founded 1901 Partners Management in 2015. Over the years, Ms. Perez has provided pro bono legal services to individuals in a range of matters, including domestic violence, political asylum, public benefits, and education, and to not-for-profit corporations in matters involving corporate governance, labor and employment, and contract negotiations. Ms. Perez is the President of the Board of Directors of The DreamYard Project (www.dreamyard.com), the largest arts organization in the Bronx, which provides arts-in-education programming to over fifteen thousand children in the community.

Ms. Perez holds a B.A. in History from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was an editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. She currently serves on the Dean’s Council for Penn Law Women. Ms. Perez and her husband, Neil Stronski, live in Bronxville with their four children, Isabel (Class of 2020), Patrick (Class of 2023), Luke (Class of 2025), and Caroline (Class of 2027). JEFFREY TALPINS Mr. Talpins is the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Element Capital Management, the investment manager of the Element Capital Fund. He launched the Element Capital Fund in April 2005 and has continuously headed its investment activities since that time. He provides strategic direction for Element and is responsible for all major investment decisions for the investment funds managed by Element. Under his leadership, the Element Capital Fund has grown from $250 million at inception into the largest discretionary global macro fund in the world at $18 billion today. Investors in the Fund include some of the world’s largest pension, endowment, and sovereign wealth funds. Mr. Talpins runs a family charitable foundation, which seeks to make a difference in the world through improving career opportunities for inner city children, supporting long-term prosperity for Israel, and conserving both open spaces and wildlife. He serves on the boards of the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) and the American Prairie Reserve (APR), and he is active in a number of other charities and philanthropic organizations. Mr. Talpins holds a B.S. (Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa) from Yale University with Distinction in Economics and Applied Mathematics. He lives in Mamaroneck with his wife, Mara, and their two children, Liana (Class of 2023) and Chase (Class of 2027).

Not for Self, but for Service 23


“We hope to cultivate creativity, awareness, community, and value, and we strive to infuse learning with innovation, purpose, and joy.” —Gail Sestito, Makerspace Director

MAKERSPACE Where Ideas Come to Life

Located in the Cohen Center for the Creative Arts, the RCDS Makerspace is an innovation lab for Middle and Upper School students. The space serves as a hub of creativity and invention on campus, featuring a wide range of engineering and manufacturing equipment such as computer-controlled machining tools, hardware supplies, motors, sensors, microcontrollers and related electronics, 3D printers and scanners, laser cutting machines, traditional power tools, electrical equipment, and other design equipment. Built to inspire new modes of design-oriented thinking, hands-on learning, and inventive creativity, the Makerspace has fast become a favorite place for discovery, exploration, and collaboration for the Rye Country Day community. We recently sat down with Makerspace Director Gail Sestito to talk about the excitement and potential of making at RCDS.

24 Fall 2019



with Makerspace Director Gail Sestito. What is a makerspace? A makerspace is an open place where people can share ideas, use high tech and low tech tools, tinker with materials, learn to create with 3D and 2D machinery, and discover valuable communication tools, design strategies, and tangible life skills that they can take with them into the wider community. It is a place to explore, innovate, and iterate. It is a place to solve problems and design solutions. It is a place to try and try again. It is a place of acceptance, thought, and creativity. The Makerspace at RCDS is open to all students, faculty, and staff; they can learn independently, receive one-on-one instruction, or learn with a group. It is a place where learning extends beyond books, classrooms, and pages. It is a place where ideas come to life. How does the Makerspace support learning at RCDS? The Makerspace has inspired teachers to reinvent curriculum. Some have taken existing projects and added new layers of meaning and technology. Some brought ideas to the space, and others created projects based on the available materials and tools. Some created projects after seeing others in action. The inviting atmosphere welcomes the RCDS community and encourages them to ideate, design, and create. In the Makerspace, we look to support teachers through their own design process as they plan meaningful projects for their students. Each project this year had a curricular connection.


Whether using high-tech tools like 3D printers or the laser cutter or low-tech options, such as cardboard and recyclables, each student learns various techniques and methods related to process, material, and prototyping. Most exciting is seeing students bring together technology and creativity in their projects. The Makerspace has really showcased the interdisciplinary potential and benefits of STEAM.

The Makerspace opened in September of 2018 and you joined the School at the same time. How did the first year go? I truly enjoyed being a part of the Makerspace from the beginning. I feel very fortunate and grateful that I arrived when I did. Perfectly situated in the Cohen Center for the Creative Arts, the Makerspace is alive and buzzing with art, technology, and creative thought. Curiosity brought many people to the space, so did word of mouth as teachers began to bring their classes here to complete projects. It was amazing to see how many students visited the space. Every Middle School student used the space at least one time; many came two to three times with classes. Upper School students made excellent use of the space for various projects, with and without their teachers. Throughout the year, we experimented with orientation and arrangement to find the best fit for the materials and machinery,

and I anticipate the space will continue to be quite fluid, evolving with each idea, invention, and educational innovation. It was a really inspiring first year! What is the Maker Mindset? The Maker Mindset is a thinking framework that guides the behavior of creators in the space. Such qualities are making room for play, tinkering for practice, reflecting often about process, and asking questions like “what if” and “what comes next.” The Maker Mindset also encourages ownership and accountability while working in the space, including being respectful of others and cleaning up, appreciating fails and fixes, asking for and learning from advice, collaborating, and documenting work and progress. Many of these ideas and practices coincide with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards, as tech integration is at an all-time high in the makerspace movement. Infusing technology with crafting skills and materials allows students to be empowered learners and leaders, good digital citizens and knowledge constructors, innovative designers, computational thinkers, creative communicators, and global collaborators.

Which of the characteristics in the RCDS Portrait of a Graduate do you see students working on in the Makerspace? All of the Portrait of Graduate characteristics—Character, Knowledge, Skills, and Citizenship—are exhibited and honed in the Makerspace. Every connection, construction, thought process, and collaboration contributes to the development of a well-rounded thinker and doer. We hope to cultivate creativity, awareness, community, and value, and we strive to infuse learning with innovation, purpose, and joy. What is the Makerspace Apprenticeship Program and how do you see it evolving? Upon my arrival at RCDS, I was proud to have a major role in the development of the Makerspace Apprentice Program. The program involves students as Makerspace ambassadors who encourage and guide students and teachers as they embark on their creative journeys this new space. Students initiated the program with Computer Science Chair and Director of Academic Technology Katie O’Shaughnessey and Photography Teacher Chris Kaye. As apprentices, the students assist with curricular projects, and they care for the materials, machines, and workspace with me. It is wonderful to have such a devoted group of students willing to donate their time and energy to help run the space, and I am so pleased to observe them work intensely on their own skill development. With every new year, we hope to add more apprentices with a wide variety of skill sets and interests to help run our space as efficiently and effectively as possible. Our Makerspace Apprentices will acquire and develop a toolbelt chock full of skills, talents, and portfolios unmatched to other peers their age. These abilities, thought processes, and talents will undoubtedly carry them far in life and lead them to remarkable paths, some yet to be determined, as technology and careers are ever-evolving. I have no doubt that each apprentice will be ready for anything that is placed before them, ready to solve problems with grit and resolve.

Makerspace in Action? Examples of projects from 2018-19 •

As part of studying the skeletal system, Joe Rue’s Bio 9 class made biomechanical hands using only recycled materials and things in the Makerspace.

Sarah Land’s English 10 class read “Frankenstein” and created robotic monsters from trash using Hummingbird robot kits. They learned hardware, programming, and using various materials to bring their creatures to life.

Demonstrating their understanding of mechanical waves, particularly sound waves, eighth grade physical science students designed and built musical instruments made out of recycled materials and common hardware items. The project brought together applied skills of building and theoretical knowledge of physics, engineering, and math.

After reading “Don Quixote,” specifically the iconic windmill scene, students in Matt Cavanaugh’s Spanish 3 classes created windmills of their own, displaying themes of change they want to see in the community.

Students in Spanish 2, 3, and 4 created, sewed, and embroidered pillows with phrases and notes in Spanish to send to kids in need at the border. This project was started by Joan Kubisch and carried on by Pam Sheehy and Laura Mungavin.

Seventh graders read “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in Anne Alexander’s class, and then, using 3D science, they created shadow boxes displaying quotes, events, acts, and scenes to tell the story visually.

As part of studying early civilizations and Sumerian writings with Brian O’Callaghan, fifth grade students made unique clay carvings using the ancient alphabet.

• Did you know? The Makerspace is now home to the Middle and Upper School Robotics teams!

To learn more about the Makerspace and the amazing projects happening inside, visit www.ryecountryday.org/makerspace

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CODING UP Unlocking the limitless, cross-disciplinary potential of technology and computer science

ISTE Standards <Creative Communicator > Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats, and digital media appropriate to their goals.

<Innovative Designer>

Students use a variety of technologies within a design process to identify and solve problems by creating new, useful, or imaginative solutions.

<Knowledge Constructor>

Students critically curate a variety of resources using effective tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts, and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others.

<Global Collaborator> Students use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally.

<Computational Thinker> Students develop and employ strategies for understanding and solving problems in ways that leverage the power of technological methods to develop and test solutions.

<Digital Citizen>

Students recognize the rights, responsibilities, and opportunities of living, learning, and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal, and ethical.

<Empowered Learner> Read more about technology at RCDS online

www.ryecountryday.org/tech 26 Fall 2019

Students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving, and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences.


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technology goals that circumscribe the student experience. The ISTE developed the standards as a “framework for students, educators, to make an analogy between learning a administrators, coaches, and computer language and learning to code, Computer science educators to rethink education and Science Chair and Director of Academic create innovative learning environments.” Technology Katie O’Shaughnessey recently The framework helps RCDS ensure that the stated, “Just like Latin is the foundation of School’s community and its classrooms are our always-evolving language, computer best equipped for digital-age learning and science is the foundation of our alwayscitizenship. Importantly, the standards’ focus on evolving technological landscape. Tomorrow’s community, collaboration, and communication leaders should have that foundation.” As the also supports strategic initiatives at Rye world continues to be more and more reliant Country Day including Character/Leadership/ on computers and computing Ethics, Diversity and Inclusion, Global innovations to function, fields Studies, Public Purpose, and STEAM. as disparate as biology, Next year, the Technology Committee fashion, agriculture, and will implement the TIE (Technology finance are influenced daily Impact and Efficacy) assessment. by computer innovations. This assessment, which is aligned Pervasive everyday reliance with the ISTE standards, uses faculty, on smartphones and the student, and administrative feedback gh u a Internet aside, students must to assess the technology integration h Katie O’S be experienced in the field of and backend services at the School. The computer science to function in this results will be used to inform the Committee’s cyber-connected economy—and to be able to future initiatives. navigate the ethical and personal implications that new technologies present. At Rye Country To date, the work of the Technology Day, learning computer science is integral to Committee has resulted in the Middle preparing students to become well-rounded and Upper School computer citizens in a digitally connected world. science requirements, which are in addition to the Offering courses in computer programming already required tech (coding) as well as design and engineering, the courses in Pre-K through RCDS Computer Science Department is working Grade 6. In the Lower to ensure that students are technologically School, the Committee proficient citizens of the 21st century who are has provided guidelines on comfortable with existing tools and capable the integration of technology of embracing those that have not yet come to into classrooms and coursework pass. The computer science curriculum also as well as counsel on pertinent topics such addresses how computing innovations affect as recommendations for screen time and our society, economy, and culture and how social media use. Across the School and students can have a positive impact as engaged with the help of the Technology Committee, digital citizens. initiatives to ensure technology literacy, enhance instruction, and bolster teacher training are continually underway. The Committee has implemented training for faculty and staff, alternate assessment at RCDS, chaired by and project-based learning training Ms. O’Shaughnessey, IT Director for teachers, and community-wide Andrew Gillies, and Assistant digital citizenship programs. Head of School Meredith Supporting Rye Country Day’s deChabert, is responsible for commitment to responsible ensuring that students receive digital citizenship, the Committee the cross-curricular benefits has introduced a K-12 program of exploring technology. After that addresses themes of using and examining the School’s mission along sharing intellectual property, digital with exemplary models from peer schools, the footprint and reputation, cyberbullying and Committee elected to adopt the International digital drama, and gender stereotypes and Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) social media. Standards, seven interconnected bands of

The Technology Committee

You might be wondering: How does one differentiate between computer science, technology, and STEAM? The answer is less about setting these disciplines apart and more about learning how they work together—and unlocking the limitless potential of their interaction. Computer Science is the study of how to use computers to solve problems and automate solutions that scale. Technology encompasses a full range of equipment including computers, phones, copiers, SmartBoards, televisions, and cars, among many others. STEAM explores the intersection of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.

The disciplines are inherently intertwined, and students are best prepared to tackle 21st century problems through cross-disciplinary exploration. Thinking about the 21st century and its rapid pace of advancement, Ms. O’Shaughnessey is confident RCDS students will have what it takes to thrive and lead. This confidence is rooted in the knowledge that through their work in technology, computer science, and STEAM, our students will be “supported and empowered to adopt emerging technologies quickly and to read or watch content that helps them to learn what they need to know in order to realize their visions and dreams.” In addition, because of the School’s various initiatives and its stated commitment to digital citizenship, faculty have the skills to provide the best support to students. From curricular opportunities to clubs and after-school activities, technology is integrated into the fabric of the RCDS teaching and learning experience. “Our evolution will never be done,” she says, “Technology training is ever-changing. We will never just ‘land’ and remain static.” As for those who say technology is going to completely change education, Ms. O’Shaughnessey has this to say: “At its heart, education will always be about building relationships while raising inquisitive, creative, empathic, and empowered young people who are able to think critically, express themselves creatively, and work for the betterment of their world.” Not for Self, but for Service 27

Projects with Purpose Through the Edward E. Ford Foundation Community Engagement Fellowship Program, RCDS students develop and implement innovative, sustainable projects with community partners to make a positive difference as they demonstrate what it means to be aware, engaged, and purpose-driven citizens. The Community Engagement Fellowship Program at Rye Country Day School, now in its fourth year, enables RCDS Upper School students to partner with a community organization to develop and implement innovative, sustainable projects that address the needs of the organization. The Upper School students who are accepted as Community Engagement Fellows spend the summer completing their service projects at community partner organizations with funding provided by the Edward E. Ford Foundation and the RCDS community. This allows the community organizations to benefit from the students’ enthusiasm and passion at no cost, and it enables purpose-driven Upper School students from all socioeconomic backgrounds to participate. Launched in 2016 with a generous $50,000 grant from the Edward E. Ford Foundation, which was matched by donations from the Rye Country Day School community, the program’s goal is to offer summer service opportunities for students and to foster ongoing partnerships between RCDS and local community organizations. Fellows collaborate with community partner organizations and RCDS faculty members on all phases of their projects—faculty offer cross-disciplinary guidance as the fellows chart their paths to active community engagement. Community and academic partnerships are at the heart of this program, and a commitment to service is the fellows’ guiding principle as they bring together innovation, hard work, interdisciplinary thought, awareness, empathy, and decision-making skills to propose, design, and implement impressive purpose-driven projects. 28 Fall 2019

Prior to beginning their projects, fellows prepare by participating in a series of seminars exploring service learning models and best practices and awareness in community service. Guided by RCDS faculty, they engage in conversations about systemic social inequality to better appreciate the missions and value of their community partner organizations. They also think about their own identities and those of their partner communities in order to ensure thoughtful and mutually beneficial relationships. The preparation provides support that allows fellows the space to plan, process, and reflect on their upcoming experiences in the field. Highlighting the alignment of the program and Rye Country Day School’s mission, Headmaster Scott Nelson states, “The Edward E. Ford Foundation Community Engagement Fellowship Program grew out of the Public Purpose Initiative, and it affirms the RCDS motto, Not for Self, but for Service, as it nurtures students’ potential to lead lives of meaningful community engagement. It has been inspiring to watch our students make outstanding contributions to their organizations. They are exemplary representatives of the School’s deep commitment to public purpose and service. We greatly appreciate the generous support of the Edward E. Ford Foundation and the RCDS community that makes this inspiring program possible.” Since its launch, the program has funded 42 inspiring projects led by 47 Upper Schoolers in partnership with over 20 community organizations. The most recent cohort of fellows— 14 Upper School students, to be

exact—spent the summer of 2019 continuing the program’s tradition of building compassion and leadership skills while deepening community connections. The 10 organizations with whom they collaborated extended from Westchester to New York City, and the projects ran the gamut from creating athletic programs at youth centers in Port Chester and Mount Vernon to building volunteer management systems in White Plains, tackling children’s literacy in Rye, analyzing data of lead levels in Westchester water, and facilitating women’s empowerment in the Bronx. Reflecting on the program’s breadth and accomplishments, Director of Public Purpose Rebecca Drago shares, “Rye Country Day’s commitment to public purpose is seen beautifully through the E. E. Ford Fellowship, showcasing a powerful example of social justice oriented service learning.” Ms. Drago has been especially inspired by the way the program has strengthened students’ self-awareness and their appreciation of community bonds stating, “Each time I visit a Fellow in action I am increasingly impressed. Their colleagues at their sites consistently gush about the amazing work they do and how excited they are to have a Fellow on board. We have passionate, energetic young people at RCDS. The fact that we are able to support them at this level in pursuing their passion for doing good is unique—and a model I’d love to see expanded to encourage more students to work towards justice in our world.” Indeed, these young leaders at RCDS are living, learning, and collaborating Not for Self, but for Service. To learn more about the E. E. Ford Foundation Community Engagement Fellowship Program, past fellows, and projects, please visit www.ryecountryday.org/eeford





Building computers to establish a tech center at a local community center

Teaching ESL classes for parents at a local elementary school


Creating a buddy program pairing high school volunteers with children with special needs


Providing innovative database management for a nonprofit serving immigrants


Collecting school supplies for schools in Syrian refugee camps


Developing a program to teach math and social entrepreneurship skills through baking




Helping residents at a local senior center use technology

Collecting and analyzing water samples from the Long Island Sound




Creating a hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) enrichment program for girls

Teaching coding classes at a community center

14 Leading a children’s literacy program



15 Building a new online volunteer management system for a community garden

x = 2y - 7

Running sports and performing arts programs at local summer camps and community centers

Improving the infrastructure of a community garden

Creating a children’s book about heart conditions, which will be sold as a fundraiser for research


2019-20 INSTITUTE for Innovative Teaching & Learning Fellowships

Encouraging creativity, innovation, and leadership among teachers is critical to providing an excellent education to students.


he RCDS Institute for Innovative Teaching & Learning was launched in 2016 with the core belief that encouraging creativity, innovation, and leadership among teachers is critical to providing an excellent education to students. Since then, the faculty innovation lab that empowers RCDS teachers to develop and implement ideas that advance 30 Fall 2019

the School’s mission and values has overseen 20 multi-disciplinary projects led by 35 RCDS faculty members. Each year, RCDS solicits proposals from faculty for projects that extend their passions and ideas beyond their individual classrooms and disciplines. The administration selects five projects for the Institute to fund and support, and the fellows have one summer and the following school year to grow their projects from

idea to implementation. Institute fellows collaborate to explore new ways to identify and understand the skills, perspectives, and traits needed for students to thrive now and in their future. Born out of the RCDS Strategic plan, Bold Vision 2020, the Institute seeks to catalyze faculty-led efforts to imagine, explore, and launch new ideas, programs, and innovative methods that advance the School. Through providing meaningful


leadership and professional development opportunities to faculty, the Institute has identified cross-sections of the School’s initiatives and principles, facilitating their efficient and practical implementation and curricular integration. Inspired by the work of faculty colleagues facilitated by the Institute, Director of Strategic Initiatives Eliza McLaren shares, “The success of the Institute has strengthened a belief that school change occurs best and most often in the form of micro-innovations proposed and led by teachers, and in the incremental growth of programs and the continuous re-dedication to core values that result.” The Institute’s goal has been to inspire collaboration as well as passion and enthusiasm for the role of RCDS faculty as educators. This year’s projects are an exciting chapter in this important initiative that ensures ongoing programmatic excellence and transformative experiences for students through cross-disciplinary faculty engagement. The following five projects, led by 12 faculty, are underway for the 2019-20 academic year. For detailed descriptions of these and previous Institute projects, visit ryecountryday.org/institute

Walking Through History

How might we engage students in a meaningful discussion about and interaction with social justice, global history, and civil disobedience? This project seeks to more completely integrate the diversity and inclusion, public purpose, and global studies school initiatives into the eighth grade through revamping the Language Arts and U.S. History curricula and developing a new trip for eighth grade to Montgomery, Selma, Burmingham, and Atlanta. FACULTY COLLABORATORS: Ron Hanlon, Middle School Social Studies Teacher Tamara McKenna, Middle School Language Arts Teacher and Learning Specialist Kyle Mitschele, Middle School Social Studies Teacher


How might we harness the power of storytelling in order to bring the entire RCDS community together through the sharing of our profound, important, and life-changing perspectives while, at the same time, keeping the experience personal and intimate? Stories have the power to build empathy and tear down barriers. When we hear and take interest in the experiences of others, we nurture the roots of compassion, tolerance, and understanding that sustain the kind of people we all aspire to be. It is our hope that through WildChats, we can prove that just a few minutes can establish a mindset that lasts a lifetime. FACULTY COLLABORATORS: Jay Gerlach, Drama and Dance Department Chair, Drama Teacher Joan Kubisch, Upper School Spanish Teacher Tim Silverman ’89, Middle School Spanish Teacher, Upper School Counselor, Peer Leadership Director

Improving the School’s Use of the CTP5 (ERB) Data Using data to promote school growth.

This project seeks to dig deeper into understanding and analyzing the CTP5 data to promote school growth. Can we find any patterns using the CTP5 data? How can we maximize the use of this data? And, lastly, let’s reevaluate why and how we use this test. FACULTY COLLABORATORS: Libby Jelliffe, Middle School Learning Specialist Jamie Radwan, Lower School Learning Specialist

Curriculum Scope and Sequence: Breaking Down Silos and Building Connections How might we dig deeper into the curricular conversations we are already having while developing connections between divisions and disciplines and RCDS initiatives, values, and commitments?

Following the 2019-20 Scope & Sequence project, through which 100% of the faculty’s curriculum was recorded in Atlas Rubicon, we will turn our focus toward leveraging the full potential of the faculty-created tool to cultivate opportunities for reviewing the academic curriculum to ensure coherent scope and sequence from Pre-K through Grade 12. We hope to facilitate energizing conversations that lead to further integration of school initiatives and enhanced curricular innovation between disciplines and divisions. FACULTY COLLABORATORS: Sarah Flynn, Upper and Middle School Latin Teacher Nicole Leath, Grade 4 Teacher

Classroom Candids: A Year of Collecting, Documenting, and Presenting Student Work via Social Media How might we showcase the talents of our students and faculty to a wider audience?

By applying the newfound prevalence of social media in education combined with the power of images, the goal of our project is to capture everyday learning and share it with the broader RCDS community by visiting classes, snapping photographs, filming video clips, and interviewing students and teachers about the work they do. Follow us as we take over the School’s Twitter @ryecountryday. FACULTY COLLABORATORS: Jennifer Doran, Upper and Middle School Science Teacher Gail Sestito, Makerspace Director, MIddle School Science and Computer Science Teacher Not for Self, but for Service 31


Annual Fund It takes all of us.


Community | Innovation | Excellence

Make Your Gift Today



GRANDPARENTS & SPECIAL FRIENDS DAY In May, more than 150 grandparents and special friends shared the morning with students in Grades K, 2, and 4. They began the day with breakfast with their loved ones, followed by a visit to the classroom for fun activities, including a garden lesson. They concluded their visit with a student concert in the Dunn Performing Arts Center.

The Blue & Gold Dinner, in honor of the Class of 2019, was a special evening for the 98 seniors, as they were welcomed into the Alumni Association as its newest members. Headmaster Scott Nelson opened the program acknowledging the students, faculty, and alumni. He was followed by Laszlo Kopits ’19, Senior Class President, and James Chen ’19, Student Body President, who offered a toast to the class.

BLUE & GOLD DINNER Newly appointed English Department Chair Iain Pollock was the evening’s speaker.

Scott Weiss ’96, President of the Alumni Executive Board, spoke to the seniors about maintaining an ongoing relationship with RCDS and how important his classmates and teammates have been to him since he graduated. Mr. Weiss then introduced the newly elected class agents, Nathalie Felton ’19, Laszlo Kopits ’19, and Helena Zimmerman ’19. Iain Pollock, Upper School English Teacher and newly appointed English Department Chair, was chosen by the students as the speaker for the evening. He emphasized that happiness is different for each person, and that above all else, he hoped that each senior leaves RCDS and finds the type of happiness that stems from a deep understanding of and comfort in one’s self. He concluded his speech by quoting the poet Walt Whitman, “I exist as I am.”

Senior Class President Laszlo Kopits ’19 and Student Body President James Chen ’19 offered a toast to the Class of 2019. From left, Kennedi Eisley ’19 and Helena Zimmerman ’19.

From left, Nick Tallis ’19, Cameron Coleman ’19, and Owen Coady ’19.

www.ryecountryday.org 33

PARENTS ASSOCIATION Officers of the 2019-20 Parents Association, from left, Jodi Buchbinder (Vice President), Allyson Kim (Treasurer), Rosa Perkins (President), and Liz Roddy (Secretary).

The Parents Association


The RCDS Parents Association’s mission is to foster the relationship between the parent body and the School and to work in partnership with the School for the benefit of the RCDS community. To accomplish these ends, the Parents Association: • Facilitates communication between parents and the School • Develops and promotes a strong sense of community and school spirit • Raises funds for programs and events that enhance school life Funds raised by the Parents Association in 2018-19 supported the following programs, among others: • $40,000 for faculty professional development grants • $30,000 for equipment grants • $88,000 for Upper School scholarships • $43,000 for Middle School scholarships • $7,000 for the Faculty/Staff Holiday Gift Fund • $3,500 for assembly programs for students • $3,500 for the ACTION Program • $2,200 for music lesson scholarships • $10,000 for Summer Grants for financial aid students • $20,000 to construct the first outdoor classroom on campus The Parents Association is also proud to award a special prize on Upper School Prize Day to a senior or seniors “who exhibit exemplary personal growth and service to others.” This year, the Parents Association prizes were awarded to James Chen ’19, Erin Salomon ’19, and Kioni Shropshire-Maina ’19. To learn more about the Parents Association and parent volunteer opportunities, visit www.ryecountryday.org/parentsassociation 34 Fall 2019

Then Parents Association President, Lea Stevens (second from right), and the winners of this year’s Parents Association Prize, (from left) James Chen ’19, Kioni Shropshire-Maina ’19, and Erin Salomon ’19.

GRATITUDE AND WELCOME WISHES Lea Stevens concluded her term as President of the Parents Association last spring, and the RCDS community extends sincerest gratitude for her outstanding leadership and dedication. A warm and spirited welcome goes to incoming Parents Association President Rosa Perkins. The Rye Country Day community is stronger because of the incredible work of the Parents Association. Thank you!

Faculty and staff in attendance helped Mr. Nelson blow out the candles to celebrate the School’s 150th.

Blue& Gold The


Sunil and Blanca Hirani.

The evening’s auctioneer Willy the Wildcat, A.K.A. Patrick J. Tully, sold the old Willy costume to one lucky, nostalgia-happy guest.

by Lisa Allen & Elizabeth Moyer, Blue & Gold Ball Co-Chairs

Committee Chairs, from left, Aileen Burdick, Elisabeth Wolfe, Tara Hennigan, Sarah Coady, Lisa King, Wendy Millan, Deborah Katz, Blair Metrailler, Laurie Ballantoni, Lisa Allen (Event Co-Chair), Lea Stevens (Parents Association President), Elizabeth Moyer (Event Co-Chair), Sarah Smith, Jenna Weinberg, Kimberly Thurston, Rachel Weiss, Kim Pinkham, and Loren Dinger.


n April 13, 2019, current parents, faculty and staff, former faculty and staff, alumni, and parents of alumni celebrated the 150th anniversary of Rye Country Day School at the Blue & Gold Ball.

The Ball provided the community with the opportunity to explore the storied history of RCDS, to honor and recognize current and former faculty and staff, to savor delicious food provided by Watson’s, and to dance the night away to the evening’s musical guests, The Gold Keys. The Ball also served as the Parents Association’s biennial fundraiser, with proceeds benefiting the Parents Association and supporting its important work aiding students and faculty at RCDS through scholarships, equipment grants, professional development grants, and more. Thanks to the generosity of the community, the Ball raised over $400,000.

From left, David Wagman, Kim Wachenheim Wagman ’84, Melissa Mahoney Wirth ’97, Michael McCaffery, and Amy Wachenheim McCaffery ’97.

Headmaster Scott Nelson kicked off the festivities.

The Blue & Gold Ball would not have been possible without the hard work, enthusiasm, and creativity of the Blue & Gold Ball Committee. Special recognition and thanks are owed to the Blue & Gold Ball Committee Chairs: Laurie Ballantoni, Aileen Burdick, Sarah Coady, Ann Colin, Lisa Fallon, Laura Formato, Tara Hennigan, Blanca Hirani, Tess Resman James, Lisa King, Kelly Mulderry, Kim Pinkham, Greg Russo, Sarah Smith, Michele Stuart, Kimberly Thurston, Rachel Weiss, and Elisabeth Wolfe. Not for Self, but for Service 35


Class Notes



Leigh Hallingby ’63 writes, “A favorite RCDS teacher, Betty Reardon, celebrated her 90th birthday this weekend. I was delighted to be part of the celebration, along with classmates Betsy Pugh ’63 and Jonathan Reader ’62 and his wife, Andi. Attendees literally came from all over the world to honor Betty for her pioneering work in peace education.”


50TH REUNION Peter Klein ’69 writes, “I recently celebrated my grandson Miles’ 5th birthday and the marriage of my daughter, Keanvy, in January of this year.” He also shares, “I just started a new job with a software company in Baltimore—always more to learn!” Susan Berndt Mahoney ’69 writes, “My husband, Daniel, and I recently celebrated our 43rd anniversary. Daniel retired almost 20 years ago, and we have been able to enjoy traveling all over the world but divide most of our time between Florida, Connecticut, and Vermont (yes, we still ski but have given up trying to keep up with our 9 grandchildren on the slopes). Our three children, Melissa ’97, Ryan ’98, and Derek ’00, all attended RCDS, and Melissa’s three are now third generation RCDS students, Class of 2027, 2029, and 2031!” David Doniger ’69 and Lisa Jorgenson will celebrate their 40th anniversary in two years. David still holds our government’s unfaithful stewards to account at NRDC in Washington. Their daughters both live and work in DC: Perrin at Smithsonian and Cynthia at the Federal Reserve. Their son William is getting his engineering Ph.D. at UW Madison. He adds, “Cynthia had a baby, our first grandchild, last August and mom and dad are definitely into babysitting.” Carla Wyman Benka ’69 writes, “Dick and I are enjoying our relatively new

36 Fall 2019

role as grandparents of William, now 19 months old. Fortunately, we get to see him about every 6-8 weeks, either at our home in Brookline, MA, or at his parents’ home in Ann Arbor. In between visits, I continue to be involved in local government (and sometimes local politics), and Dick continues to co-teach and tutor middle school math at a charter school in Boston, where 99% are children of color. Good health enables us to travel, with multiple trips to France (all those years of French at RCDS are serving me well) and one scheduled for Ireland at the end of August. Having dodged our 40th reunion ten years ago, I’ve managed to come to terms with the idea of a 50th and look forward to seeing classmates in October.” Joan Albert Dreux ’69 reports that in June of this year she and Mark relocated their primary residence to Arlington, VA. They spend much of their summer months at the Delaware shore. Youngest daughter, Caitlyn, graduated in 2018 from Miami of Ohio in education. She won Best New Teacher at her Loudoun County Virginia elementary school for the 2018-2019 academic year, and she is engaged to marry Adrian Camacho in October 2019. Ann Haralambie ’69 writes, “I continue to practice family and child welfare law in Arizona but spend 3-4 months in the summer and fall at my lake house in NH. In June, my 23-year-old grandson and I went to Paris for 10 days, where I was singing Faure’s Requiem and Vivaldi’s Gloria in concerts at La Madeleine and St.

Francois de Sales. I was able to brush off some of my very rusty RCDS French. In July, I went to Alaska as the ABA Advisor to the Uniform Law Commission drafting committee on the Unregulated Transfer of Adopted Children Act. While there, I took a four-seat plane ride up to Denali, including landing on the Ruth Glacier. I look forward to being back to New York for my 50th reunion in October.”


Jeffrey Di Iuglio ’72 writes, “I presented a paper at the National Association of African-American and Hispanic-Latino studies held in Dallas, Texas on February 14, 2019. My paper was titled Luis Cernuda, Poet in Exile: England, Massachusetts, and Mexico. My love of languages and poetry was nurtured by my wonderful teachers at RCDS.”


45TH REUNION Joseph Guarnaccia ’74 shares, “5 years ago I got divorced after 21 years and 2 beautiful girls (all good). Two years ago, I bought a historic colonial era house in Princeton, NJ, and soon after, a huge ash tree fell on it and killed my dog (not good). It took one and a half years of fighting with the local historic preservation folks before I am finally back in the house (turned out nice). Still working as an environmental engineer with a virtual office, happily living in Princeton, and keeping track of my social worker and biologist girls (very good). Haven’t replaced the dog yet, though.”


40TH REUNION Wendy Gorlin Tayer ’79 shares, “My husband and I traveled with our daughter in Guatemala and Belize in April as she spent five months there in a Spanish immersion and public health delivery program before going to nursing school at Penn. I had the good fortune to have late night drinks in DC in April and then lunch in San Diego in June with Micheline Roth DiNardo ’79. Wendy Dritz Carver ’79 visited me in February! We had a blast hiking and catching up in San Diego!!”

1980 & 1981 John Treacy Egan ’80 recently appeared in “A Comedy of Tenors” at Olney Theater in Olney, Maryland. Fellow alum Lisa Nevans Locke ’81 had the opportunity to attend a performance and shared that as the lead, “he stole the show!”


In January, Rye Country Day welcomed nearly 200 students and jurors from across the globe to participate in the United States Invitational Young Physicists Tournament (USIYPT). Dr. Al Rizzi ’82, who serves as the chief scientist at

Boston Dynamics, was a USIYPT juror, and he wowed participants with a presentation on some of the “legged” robots he has developed.


35TH REUNION Alex Gardner ’84 is a litigator at the law firm of Mintz & Gold and lives with his wife, Linda, in NYC. They have two boys in college (Max is a senior at Bates College and Peter is a sophomore at Lehigh University). For many years, Alex coached his boys in a basketball tournament held at RCDS against Rich Williams ’85 and his boys. Greg Fitzsimmons ’84 wrote that he is in Venice Beach raising his daughter JoJo, who’s a surfer, and sending his son Owen off to DePaul in the fall. He celebrated 20 years with his first wife Erin this summer and continues to tour doing standup as well as writing on TV shows. He won four Emmys as a producer on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and just finished two seasons on HBO’s Crashing. He has a show on Howard Stern’s channel on Sirius and has guested on Howard’s show over 50 times. He says, “It all started by performing at the RCDS talent show senior year. Mr. James Godfrey H ’95 shut off my mic after some blue

material, and the rest is history.” Hugh Burns ’84 launched Reevemark, a strategic communications advisory firm, last fall. Reevemark advises public and private companies on issues such as shareholder activism, mergers and acquisitions, litigation, crises, and other reputational issues. Hugh and his wife, Molly, live on the Upper East Side with their two children, Sebastian (12) and Annabelle (8). David Frydman ’84 writes, “I have had my own commercial litigation firm, Frydman LLC, in midtown Manhattan for almost 20 years. My wife, Francine, and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this September, and we live in Scarsdale. Our daughter Hannah is starting veterinary school at Royal Veterinary College in London, daughter Sydney is attending Colgate University, and son Jedd is starting Scarsdale High School.”


30TH REUNION Emily Lazar ’89 was featured as a keynote speaker at New York Music Month: Innovation at the Intersection of Music + Tech presented by the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.




The Susan J. Life Society recognizes and honors the generosity of those who have made provisions for the School in their wills or estate plans. For more information on ways to combine planning for the future and support of Rye Country Day School, please contact Julie McCrory ’03, Manager of Stewardship and Engagement, at (914) 925-4526.


Alumni gather to celebrate Wildcat Pride

Over 70 RCDS alumni from the classes of 1970-2016 celebrated the start of the summer season at Tuttles Bar & Grill in Manhattan on June 13. Headmaster Scott Nelson welcomed the energetic crowd and thanked the Alumni Executive Board for hosting the festive gathering. A special highlight of the evening was Mr. Nelson’s toast to longtime P.E. Teacher and Coach Gil Castagna in honor of his 40th anniversary at RCDS. In a heartfelt speech, Mr. Castagna thanked the alumni for their continued dedication and support of the School and remarked, “It is the RCDS alumni, as well as my incredible colleagues, who have made working at RCDS for 40 years so fulfilling.” In Gil’s words, “Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat.”

Stay connected with the RCDS alumni community!

Visit www.ryecountryday.org/alumni or contact Melissa Mahoney Wirth ’97, Manager of Alumni Relations, at melissa_wirth@ryecountryday.org to learn about alumni events and volunteer opportunities.

www.ryecountryday.org 37


Class Notes

SPRING/SUMMER 2019 Congratulations to Andrew Wyatt Blakemore ’89 on winning a Grammy, Oscar, and Golden Globe for the song “Shallow” sung by Lady Gaga and Bradly Cooper in the movie “A Star is Born.”


Craig Daily ’90 was on campus in June to present the Dartmouth College Book Award at Upper School Prize Day. Craig is the Head of Equity Risk Management at Millennium Partners. He and his wife, Happy, have two daughters, Morgan (RCDS Class of ’23) and Hollis.


Sarah Dodds Brown ’91 was recently profiled by the American Law Institute. Visit ali.org for the ALI Reporter, Spring 2019 edition, p. 12.


Michèle Lallemand Brazil ’92 was on campus in June to present the Columbia University Book Award at Upper School Prize Day. Michelle sits on the Board of Directors of Fiver Children’s Foundation and serves on the Global Council at the Studio Museum in Harlem.


Andrew Wiener ’93 was the winning bidder of Willy the Wildcat at the 150th Blue & Gold Ball auction.


25TH REUNION Nicole Maisel Feldman ’94 writes that she is living in Armonk, NY with her husband Jonathan and their three boys, Spencer, Tyler, and Cooper. Nicole started her own business, SimplyNic, in which she does personal styling, shopping, and closet organizing for women and men. Ryan Salm ’94 writes, “I had a kid, travel all over the world all the time, and run my own photography biz.”

Robin Quittell Ponticelli ’94 and Jen Ely Mellet ’94 kicked off summer in Greenwich poolside at the home of Anne-Marie Peterson McMahon ’94. They were joined by their kids, Jordana Ponticelli (RCDS Class of ’30), Spencer Ponticelli (RCDS Class of ’33), Maddie and Charlie Mellet (RCDS Class of ’33), Katherine McMahon, Julia McMahon, and James McMahon. Sharon Grossman Herzog ’93 and her daughter Jordan (RCDS Class of ’30) also joined these Class of ’94 friends for some fun in the sun! Robin Quittell Ponticelli ’94 reports that two RCDS alums, Hannes Boehning ’17 and Brandon Levine ’16, just completed summer internships at her firm Fortress. She shared that they each had to undergo a very rigorous and competitive application process in order to be accepted into the summer internship program.


Congratulations to Michael Cavino ’95 and his wife, Nicole, who welcomed their second child, Catherine Anne, on January 23, 2019. She joins her big sister Emilia, who turned four in July. Ben Selzer ’95 was on campus in June to present the Johns Hopkins University Book Award at Upper School Prize Day. Ben is the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Development Officer at Schweiger Dermatology Group.


President of the RCDS Alumni Executive Board Scott Weiss ’96 was on campus in June to present the Cornell University Book Award at Upper School Prize Day. Scott is a founding partner of Melius Research and serves as the firm’s Head of Sales.


Russell Dritz ’97 was on campus in June to present the University

38 Fall 2019

of Pennsylvania Book Award at Upper School Prize Day. Russell is a Principal at Quad Partners, and he is a country music songwriter and member of the Nashville Songwriters Association.

for a Golden Globe in 2019 for best television series - musical or comedy. In April, Dave returned to campus to meet with students, tour campus, and reconnect with some of his favorite RCDS faculty members!


In May, RCDS hosted the fourth annual Ryan B. Mahoney Memorial Regatta. Over 30 sailors competed at American Yacht Club in Rye, NY in memory of Ryan Mahoney ’98 who lost his battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2012. In honor of Ryan, the club flew the three nautical flags signifying his initials, R.B.M.

Maya Rock ’98 was on campus in June to present the Princeton University Book Award at Upper School Prize Day. Maya founded Fresh Ink Book Editing in 2010, and she is the author of the young adult novel Scripted. She is working on her second novel. Congratulations to Pamella Goode Jenkins ’98 who was just named Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach at Delaware State University!


20TH REUNION Congratulations to Andrew Sagor ’99 and his wife, Kimberly, on the birth of their son, Jordan, on 2/17/19. Jordan joins big brother Jack (10/16/15) and big sister Sophie (2/15/17).


In March, David Holstein ’01 gave Headmaster Scott Nelson a tour of the Sony Pictures lot in Los Angeles. Dave is the writer/creator of Showtime’s dramedy series Kidding, starring Jim Carrey and Catherine Keener. Kidding was nominated

Congratulations to Kent Moran ’01 and his wife, Katrina, on the birth of their son, James Frederick Moran, on February 18, 2019 at 11:21 p.m., weighing 7lbs 4oz.


Katie Hunt ’02 was on campus in June to present the Brown University Book Award at Upper School Prize Day. Katie is the Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer of Showfields, The Most Interesting Store in the World. She is also co-founder of The Fund, a community-driven early-stage venture fund in NYC whose goal is to support the next generation of the city’s entrepreneurs. Francesca Rios ’02 returned to campus to share her perspectives on internet safety and social media with fourth through eighth grade students as well as parents. As the assistant district attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s cybercrime division, Francesca investigates and prosecutes crimes

involving hacking and network intrusions, cyber-frauds, and all manner of schemes where computers or the internet are used to commit or conceal crimes. Congratulations to Nicole Jackson Fanjul ’02 who made partner at Latham & Watkins LLP. Nicole is a member of the Finance Department and focuses her practice on advising on a wide range of leveraged finance matters. She received her JD from Harvard Law School in 2009.


Dana A. Cates ’03 shares, “After graduation, I went to Boston College (Class of 2007) and then Boston College Law School (Class of 2011). I commissioned into the USAF in 2013. I was recently promoted to the rank of Major in the United States Air Force JAG Corps. I’m an attorney, and I practice military justice, international and operations, and civil law. I advise commanders on discipline and personnel issues and on the legality of programs and operations in support of worldwide missions. I’ve served in Florida, South Korea, Georgia, and Nevada.”


15TH REUNION Patrick Reese ’04, Malcolm Gray ’04, and Ryan Burke ’04 caught up and traded old stories at the February 2019 RCDS Reunion in Los Angeles! Congratulations to Brendon Nimphius ’04 on his marriage to Susie Nathan. Ryan Burke ’04 attended the beautiful celebration.

Kathleen Shannon ’04 is working as Counsel to Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.


On May 23, photographer Rachel Boillot ’05 presented her new book, Moon Shine, a photographic portrait of musical heritage in Appalachia, at the Rye Arts Center. Rachel’s work was recently featured in The Guardian.

10TH REUNION Congratulations to Carole Mariani ’09 and John Stretton who were married on February 24, 2018 in Houston, TX. The wedding party included Carole’s sister and maid of honor, Cristina ’14, and bridesmaids (left to right) Lindsay Fried, Erica Adler, Zoe Parker, Marni Aronson, Alyssa Wohl, and Becky Lange—all RCDS ’09. Carole and her husband both attended Rice University but met through friends after they graduated.

Cara Rock Singer ’05 shares that she and husband Aaron “have each accepted TT jobs at UW-Madison starting next year in History and Religious Studies, respectively.” She writes, “We feel incredibly grateful for our good fortune and thankful for the many, many, many people who have supported us along the way!” They have two children, Liora (four and a half) and Eli (six months). Congratulations to Vanessa Jackson ’05 who was just elected partner of the firm Davis Polk. She is a member of Davis Polk’s Corporate Department in New York, practicing in the Finance Group. She received here J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2012.


Liz Seter Bradley ’08 and her husband, Jonathan, welcomed their first child, Jonathan Ellis Bradley, Jr. (JJ), on 5/4/19. She and Jonathan were married in October of 2017, and they live in Purchase, NY. Liz shared

5TH REUNION Henry Townley ’14 was on campus in June to present the University of Pennsylvania Book Award at Upper School Prize Day. Henry will start work as a software engineer at Facebook in the fall. Kate Feiner ’09 will be married to Raymond Paul Lorenzoni, III on October 19, 2019 in Manhattan.


Congratulations to Brandon Nieuw ’08 and his wife, Pamela, on the birth of their daughter, Scarlett Rose Nieuw, on February 27, 2019.

Emily Duarte ’15 was on campus in June to present the Harvard University Book Award at Upper School Prize Day. Emily will be traveling through Greece and South America before she joins Oak Hill Advisors.



David Townley ’16 was on campus to perform at Upper School morning meeting with his a cappella group, Doox of Yale. Next year, David will be singing with Yale’s Whiffenpoofs.

Ayelén Rodriguez ’10 was on campus in June to present the Columbia University Book Award at Upper School Prize Day. Ayelén will be moving to Paris in the fall to pursue her Juris Doctor & LLM in a dual-degree program with Fordham Law and the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne.


that her engagement photo was taken on the ice at RCDS!

students attended a Lunch & Learn presented by Andres Soto ’13. Andres, who graduated from Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science with a degree in Applied Math and is now a Google Software Engineer. Andres reflected on his RCDS journey as a student of color from an immigrant family, explored applications and intersections of math, physics, and algorithms, and highlighted recent projects focusing on artificial intelligence and machine learning.


Congratulations to Julia Lindon ’09 whose television pilot, “Lady Liberty” premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Julia is the writer, creator, and star of the show. Learn more about the show at www.ladylibertytv.com

Will Collingham’s ’04 daughter, Ella, attended her first Ranger’s game and also celebrated her first birthday! Congratulations to Dustin Fleischman ’04 who married Alyssa Weiss. Fellow RCDS classmates Hamill Serrant ’04, Nick Carcaterra ’04, Will Collingham ’04, Pete Paleokrassas ’04, Josh Cohen ’04, and Adam Krasner ’04 celebrated with the happy couple!


Congratulations to Melanie Mandell ’16 on being named NESCAC Player of the Year!

Eliza McCurdy ’13, keynote speaker for the 150th anniversary speaker series, spoke to the Middle and Upper Schools earlier this year about her experiences working in the criminal justice system on Riker’s Island. Her work was featured in a documentary entitled AFTER RIKERS: Justice by Design which aired on PBS as a part of Justice Week. Over 60 Middle and Upper School

Stay connected to RCDS!

• Send class notes to melissa_wirth@ryecountryday.org • Join the alumni facebook group


• Visit the alumni website ryecountryday.org/alumni

Not for Self, but for Service 39

In Memoriam Alumni

GLENN R. URQUHART ’88, 48, of Fairfield passed away on February 19, 2019. Glenn is survived by his daughters, Maiya Urquhart and Katie Urquhart; his mother, Catherine Urquhart; his father, William Urquhart; his wife, Mary; his siblings, Edward Urquhart and his wife, Pam, Elizabeth Urquhart, Alison Urquhart, Brian Urquhart, Abigail Urquhart, and Christine Urquhart; his former wife, Merrie Deitch; an aunt, Christine Urquhart; and nieces and nephews, Dylan, Jack, Declan, Chloe, Eloise, and William. Glenn enjoyed spending time with his loving children, nieces, and nephews and playing guitar, coaching soccer, basketball, reading, touring with the Grateful Dead, fishing, boating, the beach, martial arts, and playing with his dogs. He was an All-American lacrosse player and a varsity basketball and soccer player. At the time of his death, he was an electricity broker and was employed by Marex Spectron. BARBARA MARX HUBBARD ’47 passed away on April 10, 2019. Barbara was a futurist, spiritual thinker, author, and proponent of what are today called New Age ideas. She was also a candidate for the Vice Presidency 35 years ago at the Democratic National Convention where she urged, “We must combine our compassion with our creativity. We must initiate a new process in democracy to identify our positive options, discover our potentials and commit our political will to long-range goals.” She is survived by a son, Lloyd; three daughters, Woodleigh Hubbard, Suzanne Hubbard, and Alexandra Morton; two sisters, Jacqueline Barnett and Patricia Ellsberg; a brother, Louis Marx Jr.; a half-brother, Curtis Marx; eight grandchildren; and three greatgrandchildren.


MAXINE MARKELL, mother of Roy Markell ’83, died on February 20, 2019. Maxine was a loving grandmother of Benjamin and Charlie. She was an avid lifelong learner, a supporter of numerous charities, and an appreciative, devoted, and loyal friend to many. She liked a good joke too. She will be missed by all. She is survived by her husband, Richard. EVERETT ERLICK, father of James Erlick ’73 and Lorre Erlick ’79, passed away on March 8, 2019 in Stuart, FL. He was a veteran of the broadcast industry. As Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Director of the American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. for 25 years, Everett helped build the company into a cultural powerhouse culminating in its 1985 sale to Capital Cities. Prior to joining ABC, Inc., he served as Vice President of Young & Rubicam, Inc. Everett worked closely with five different presidential administrations, including collaborating with Attorney General Robert Kennedy to desegregate cinemas in the South. He served on the Board of the Everglades Foundation. Everett held several fly-fishing world records. He is survived by his wife, Nancy Ruth Jacobs; their two children, son James and daughter Lorre; and his four grandchildren, Landy and Nikki Erlick and Max and Alex Brenner. WILLIAM D. MOORE, who taught English at Rye Country Day from 1980 to 1999, died at 82 years of age on June 20, 2019. He was born near Amarillo, Texas where he lived until he went to Texas Christian University in Fort Worth before transferring to and receiving his B.A. from Columbia University. From there he went on a Fulbright Scholarship to Germany where he perfected his German. Having “fallen in love” with Europe, he stayed on, teaching at the Institut Montana in Zug, Switzerland for a number of years and then going to London where he taught at the American School. During an exchange year teaching in Pacific Grove, California, he decided to remain in the States and thus, at the behest of Glen Robertson, with whom he had taught in Switzerland, came to RCDS from which he retired many years later. He was a natural linguist and became proficient in Spanish by attending classes taught by Mary Leech. After retirement, he spent several months each year in Oaxaca, Mexico where he perfected his Spanish. He loved to travel and did so as long as he could. His last trip was to Texas where he spent two weeks visiting the places of his youth. His funeral was on Sunday, June 23 at St. Vladimir’s Seminary in Crestwood with burial at St. Tikhon’s Russian Orthodox Cemetery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania. He had many friends who will miss his intelligence and sharp wit. ALLEN D. HALL, RCDS alumnus and former teacher, coach, and administrator, passed away on May 15 in Connecticut. Allen entered RCDS as a seventh grader when his father, Eliot Hall, joined the RCDS English faculty. After earning his bachelor’s degree from Brockport State Teachers College and teaching for a year in upstate New York, Allen joined RCDS in 1955 as a physical education teacher and football coach. He received his Master’s Degree from the University of Bridgeport and eventually became Director of Boys’ Physical Education and Athletics. During his tenure, he oversaw the construction of the LaGrange Field House and the addition of several athletic fields, while also expanding the interscholastic athletic program to 45 teams by the time he retired in 1987. Allen was a Founder and President of the Fairchester Athletic Association. He was inducted into the RCDS Alumni Hall of Fame in 2016. JULIA BILLINGSLEY, whose thoughtful and loving care as a school nurse and colleague added so much to the RCDS community, died from glioblastoma on August 8, 2019, in Rye. Julia was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1967. She earned degrees in nursing and intensive care nursing from St. Boniface Hospital and the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. Julia was a charge nurse in intensive care at King Faisal Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a nurse manager for the post-surgery recovery room at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, and a charge nurse in the intensive care unit at UCONN Medical Center in Farmington. Active in the Rye community, Julia served on the Board of Directors of the Rye YMCA, as a Governor of Manursing Island Club and Chairman of that Club’s Membership Committee, and as a Deacon of Rye Presbyterian Church. After choosing to stay home with her three children in 2005, Julia returned to work in 2014 as a nurse for the Rye City School District, and she became a nurse at RCDS in 2016, working at the School until her diagnosis. Julia is survived by her husband, Jim, and their children, Charlotte, Campbell, and Latham. She will be missed greatly by the RCDS community.

40 Fall 2019