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SEWICKLEY SPEAKING T H E

M A G A Z I N E

O F

S E W I C K L E Y

Meredith Doyle ‘12 and Andre Green ‘11 plant an American chestnut tree as part of Sewickley Academy’s partnership with The American Chestnut Foundation’s efforts to restore the tree to its native forests.

A C A D E M Y

SUMMER 2011


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CONTENTS

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A LABOR OF LOVE FOR THE AMERICAN CHESTNUT

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DR. CHIP FLETCHER ‘74: A CONDUIT FOR SCIENCE

EDITOR

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DIGGING DEEPER: BRINGING SAFE WATER TO SOUTHERN ASIA

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CONTRIBUTORS

J. Beau Blaser ’95

Lawrence Connolly

Greta Daniels

Sharon Hurt Davidson

Jennifer FitzPatrick

Winthrop Palmer

Douglas Schafer ’86

Mandi Semple

Susan Sour

Tracy Wazenegger

Haley Wilson

PHOTOGRAPHERS

Greta Daniels

Carrie Kennedy ’86

Douglas Schafer ‘86

Mandi Semple

James R. Wardrop ’57

Haley Wilson

DESIGN

Third Planet Global Creative

www.333planet.com

A CUP OF HOPE

PASSING ON THE BOUNTY | HEARD AROUND CAMPUS

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A LABOR OF LOVE FOR THE AMERICAN CHESTNUT

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INSPIRING YOUNG SCIENTISTS

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SEEKING GOOD

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OUR GRADUATES ARE GOING PLACES

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GRADUATION 2011

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DIGGING DEEPER: BRINGING SAFE WATER TO SOUTHERN ASIA

Haley Wilson

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SEWICKLEY SERIES 2011-2012

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WINTER & SPRING SPORTS WRAP-UP

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DR. CHIP FLETCHER ’74: A CONDUIT FOR SCIENCE

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WHAT’S NEXT?

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TRANSITIONS 17 A CUP OF HOPE

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NEW TRUSTEES

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THE ATHLETIC FIELDS CAMPAIGN

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SPRING ALUMNI EVENTS

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CLASS NOTES

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REMEMBERING KURT CERNY

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ONE OF A KIND: JEROME P. “JERRY” SMITH

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IN MEMORIAM

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Love it? Hate it? Read it? We would love to hear what you think about this issue of Sewickley Speaking. We may edit your letters for length and clarity, but please write! Haley Wilson Sewickley Speaking 315 Academy Avenue Sewickley, PA 15143 hwilson@sewickley.org

Sewickley Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation in the administration of its educational policies, financial aid program, athletic program, or any other policy or program.

C Printed on 100% recycled paper that is processed chlorine-free.


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Heard Around Campus

Dear Readers of Sewickley Speaking, Inquiry, investigation, scrutiny, analysis, and synthesis: such are the tools of intellectual engagement that we impart to our students each day. They are also the tools employed by alumni in various fields of endeavor, most profoundly in the sciences where the goal is to better understand the world in which we live. As I write this, Mike Finke ’85 is on the International Space Station for the third time in the next-to-last shuttle to be launched by the United States. During this mission, astronauts, including Mike, installed a cosmic ray detector that is “designed to look for the telltale signs of antimatter and the unseen dark matter believed to make up nearly 25 percent of the universe.”

“We don’t first ‘discover who we are’ and then ‘plan our lives.’ Rather, we explore the world and thereby discover the challenges and opportunities that speak to us and to which we want to respond.”

Closer to home and featured in these pages, Dr. Chip Fletcher ’74 is a geologist and professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa who recently won an award for climate change science from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Chip’s research into the sustainable use of natural resources and the mitigation of associated hazards is intended to help people become better stewards of the earth.

Graduation remarks of Bill Jackson ’82, CEO and founder of GreatSchools

Dr. Holly Michael ’94, professor at the University of Delaware who studies groundwater flow and movement of contaminants underground, is working hard to assess the sustainability of low-arsenic groundwater resources in the Bengal Basin. Addressing the challenges posed by naturally occurring arsenic in groundwater would have important positive human health effects for tens of millions of people in Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, Vietnam, and other countries in the region. Closer still, here on campus, science teacher Tracy Wazenegger and her environmental science students have joined the American Chestnut Tree Project, which is seeking to revive the species, which was decimated in the last century by blight.

“I can’t think of a teacher who has done more to advance the mission of the school.”

Whether here on campus or in outer space, Sewickley Academy students and alumni are engaging their hearts, minds, and hands to enhance our understanding of the world to ensure that we will be able to pass to future generations the enormous bounty that has been our own inheritance. I hope you enjoy reading about their remarkable and inspiring work in this issue of Sewickley Speaking!

A faculty member’s comment on Joan Cucinotta, the 2011 Elizabeth Bishop Martin Award recipient

Sincerely, Editor’s Note: We mistakenly claimed that Tony Innamorato ’03 was the first Academy grad to attend the U.S. Naval Academy in the Winter 2011 issue. Tony was actually the fifth alumnus to attend USNA, following in the footsteps of Linden Berkheimer ’66, Randall Masters ‘74, Duncan Richardson ‘75, and Rodney Skirpan ’85. Tony was followed by 2009 graduate Joshua Otto. Our apologies for this oversight!

Kolia O’Connor Head of School

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T he American Chestnut

A L a bor of Love f or

By Senior School science teacher Tracy Wazenegger

Sarah Rooney ’13 and her mom, Stephanie, plant an American chestnut in the orchard at Nichols Field.

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Over the course of three months, environmental science students spent time during each class period with the young chestnut seedlings, caring for them and recording data on the growth of each tree.

Though the trees looked large as they grew in their pots in the greenhouse, once they were in the ground they revealed themselves as vulnerable saplings.

As storm clouds cleared on a Sunday in May, 10 environmental science students planted an orchard of American and Chinese chestnut trees with the help of their families, peers, and Academy administrators and faculty. This is the first orchard of its kind planted at a school in Pennsylvania, and is part of The American Chestnut Foundation’s project to restore the nearlyextinct American chestnut to its native forests, an endeavor that is estimated to take place over the next 150 years. Before the early 1900s, American chestnut trees made up approximately 25 percent of forest plant life in the United States and were both ecologically and economically important. The trees were often keystone species of forest ecosystems, providing food and shelter for a multitude of other organisms. They also produced bountiful nut harvests and had tall, straight trunks that were ideal for timber. A deadly chestnut blight, originating from Asia, was first observed in New York in 1904. Over the next 40 years, the blight wiped out nearly all American chestnut trees. The blight infects wounds in the bark of the tree, which then develop into cankers. Eventually the fungus shuts off the flow of nutrients and all but the root system of the tree dies. Unlike its Chinese

equivalent, the American chestnut had no resistance to the blight. Thanks to The American Chestnut Foundation and volunteers, there are efforts to reintroduce American chestnut trees to the forests of the United States. As part of that effort, Sewickley Academy’s environmental science class, period B (EnviroB), worked with Sewickley Heights Park Ranger Thad Jones to plant an orchard of American and Chinese chestnut trees. In February, the 10 students in EnviroB started what will become a long-term project for environmental science students at the Academy. The class planted 20 American chestnuts and 20 Chinese chestnuts in the greenhouse of the Oliver Building. Over the course of the next three months,

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the students spent time during each class period with the seedlings, caring for them and recording data on the growth of each tree. By mid-May the trees were ready to be acclimated to the outdoors. Students made numerous trips to carry the trees outside and then back inside when storms threatened the plants’ safety. It was a labor of love to ensure that our trees had the best possible start. On May 22, the strongest and healthiest trees were planted in a small orchard behind the tennis courts on Nichols Field. Though the trees looked large as they grew in their pots in the greenhouse, once in the ground in the natural environment, they revealed themselves as vulnerable saplings. The students in the class will continue to serve as stewards for the


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A Labor of Love for the American Chestnut [continued] young trees until next year’s environmental science class takes over. The data recorded this year is a small start to an enormous amount of data that will be collected by future classes as the trees continue to grow and then become infected with the blight. In fact, within about six years, all of the American chestnuts in the Academy’s orchard will succumb to the chestnut blight. They will die back to only a root system, while their Chinese counterparts continue to thrive. Though the American chestnuts will ultimately perish, SA’s orchard is functioning as a valuable reserve of genetic diversity for American

chestnuts. In order to produce an American chestnut that is blight-resistant, The American Chestnut Foundation is working to hybridize the American and Chinese trees, and a successful breeding program requires a large pool of American chestnut genes. In the years to come, Academy students will use the orchard for research. Students will chart differences in growth and appearance between the American and Chinese chestnuts and will record real data on the progression of the blight. Many questions remain unanswered. Only time will tell if all of the trees will become

infected at once or if any of the trees will have a natural resistance to the blight. I look forward to working with future environmental science classes to explore these questions and many others. EnviroB students hope they will see the reintroduction of chestnut trees to America’s forests within their lifetime. They have gained real experience working to preserve a native species, and I could not be more proud of all that they have accomplished and learned. They have inspired me and I hope their work will inspire Sewickley Academy’s community and beyond.

Inspiring Young Scientists The Academy’s science program introduces students to the knowledge, questions, and skills essential to making sense of the natural world. Through curiosity and creativity, students develop the scientific process skills they need to appreciate the world in which they live. They also develop a sense of ethical and moral responsibility to sustain the natural resources of the earth and a curiosity that stimulates life-long learning in science. For the youngest students at the Academy, an appreciation of nature is instilled through hands-on exploration of nature. Under the direction of Fern Hollow Nature Center, Lower School children take many outdoor field trips where they are introduced to the beautiful gifts of nature. Primary science teacher Holly Hilberg explains, “The children are instructed to leave only footprints and take only memories.” Later, conservation is formally introduced as the practice of preserving the earth’s natural resources through individual actions. After students learn about natural resources, they brainstorm ways to reduce their consumption of those resources through wise choices and habits that encourage the practice of reusing or recycling materials. 

For the youngest students at the Academy, an appreciation of nature is instilled through hands-on exploration of nature. Here, Kindergarten students take a nature walk at Fern Hollow Nature Center.

Current events, such as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico or the earthquake in Japan, are incorporated into the curriculum. Roleplaying activities that require students to complete research and report their findings also help to give students a perspective of how change can occur. In Jonathan Riddle’s Middle School science class, students held an energy summit that required them to research and then give advice to the “president” on how best to use the research, and develop an energy budget over the next 10 years. “Not only does this project support the topics that we cover in class regarding energy sources, it also gives our students practice at looking at local and global issues and considering innovative, realistic solutions,” says Jonathan.

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SEEKING GOOD “Whatever you are seeking that is good, is seeking you … go forth.” We all have favorite quotes or maxims that guide us or move us at some point in our lives. These words have provided direction for Joshua Pollard ’01. On April 23, Joshua served as the keynote of Sewickley Academy’s first Scholars Luncheon – an opportunity for scholarship recipients and benefactors to come together, and in many cases, meet for the first time. During his talk to students, administrators, his family, and friends of the school, he shared the impact that Sewickley Academy has had on his life, remarking on the friendships, the high expectations, the support of family and teachers, the ability to learn in any setting, and the exposure to so many things that were previously foreign to him. His time at the Academy was not always easy, but the experience has helped shape who he is today, and for that, he is grateful. Joshua was a Simmons Family Scholar during his junior and senior years at SA after transferring from Woodland Hills High School. His hometown of Braddock on the east side of Pittsburgh was a stark contrast to the village of Sewickley. According to Joshua, “There could not have been any more distance between Sewickley and Braddock.” Over time, he has recognized the advantages of being exposed to different communities, people, and perspectives. The daily commute to the Academy from his home required Josh to start his school days at 5 a.m., and his many extracurricular activities kept him on campus long after class had been dismissed. During his time at the Academy, Josh made a positive impact on the community through his involvement with the American Youth Foundation Compact Team, the boys’ varsity basketball team, the African-American Awareness Club, the French and Italian Club, Poets-in-Person, Teen Leadership Council, Summerbridge Pittsburgh, and the peer counselor program.

Joshua Pollard ’01 (right) and Head of School Kolia O’Connor at the Scholars Luncheon.

sports superstars – I want to help strong students whose talents are not being fully realized,” explains Pollard. He believes that if they can just get to SA, these kids will have the opportunity to have their real potential come to fruition. This is why Joshua announced a gift to the school of $10,000 to support a Pollard Scholar next year. To Joshua, “giving back” is not optional, it is a responsibility. This is how he was raised. “It is not about waiting until you have discretionary or extra money, it is simply what you do.”

Following graduation in 2001, Josh continued his education at the University of Rochester where he double majored in economics and statistics. An internship with the global investment research department at Goldman Sachs in the summer of 2004 led to an offer for full-time employment with the prestigious international investment firm following his graduation in 2005. Josh now leads the equity research group that covers the U.S. housing market and home builders market, and is currently the youngest group leader at Goldman Sachs.

That afternoon in April during the Scholars Luncheon was the first time that Joshua met Mr. Richard Simmons, the man who made his Sewickley Academy education possible. You can bet that Mr. Simmons was just as proud of Joshua as his parents were when he was at the podium speaking and giving back. Joshua strives to live his life seeking good. He believes he found it in Sewickley Academy and he is going forth to make a difference in the lives of others.

Joshua visits his hometown regularly and sees so many young people who would benefit from a Sewickley Academy education – kids just like him. “I am not talking about geniuses or

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Our Graduates Are Going Places

Ninety-seven percent of the Class of 2011 was admitted to a college they ranked as a top choice, and the class was offered more than $3.9 million in college merit scholarship money. Seventy-six percent of the class is venturing out of state for college. The Class of 2011 will attend the following institutions: Olivia Ahearn Emory University Brenton Atcheson University of South Carolina William Athol Dartmouth College Michael Auron Washington University in St. Louis Alexandra Bailey Emory University Scott Bingman The College of Wooster James Bly Colgate University Allison Breves Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Benjamin Brown Trinity College, Connecticut Kaitlyn Buterbaugh Villanova University Ian Carroll Brandeis University Albert Civitarese Washington and Lee University Colleen Compliment The College of Wooster Elena Corcoran The George Washington University Elizabeth Dietrich Syracuse University Alyssa Dillon Grove City College Katherine Dimmick Washington University in St. Louis Michael Donnelly The George Washington University

Anne Duerr Boston University Jason Evanko Syracuse University Danielle Fanelli University of North Carolina at Charlotte Matthew Ferrari University of Dayton Alexander Gedeon Boston University Andre Green Allegheny College Aja Happel Ashland University William Hogan Dartmouth College William Hough Macalester College Ian Hrycenko Pennsylvania State University, University Park Bradley Janicki Bucknell University Kenny Johnson Duke University Antonio Juliano Princeton University Erin Keller Denison University Cara Krohn Furman University Edward Lally Towson University Sebastienne Leo University of Southern California Nicola Limbach The George Washington University

Timothy Macdonald Wheaton College, Illinois Reed Mango Bard College Joseph Manzinger Washington and Lee University William McCormick Vanderbilt University Heather McCormish Princeton University Megan McGinley The College of Wooster Julia McKnight Boston University Madeline McLeod Lehigh University Natashia Miceli Robert Morris University Emily Mistick Harvard University Madeline Moersch University of San Francisco Aurley Morris Allegheny College Clayton Morris Allegheny College Mary Nagel Allegheny College Jenna Napoleone Wake Forest University Joseph Patrick The College of Wooster Rachel Paulus DePaul University Matthew Peter The University of Tampa Lamar Pickett Wake Forest University

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Thomas Poepping Carnegie Mellon University Alexandra Proie Boston College John Roberts St. Lawrence University Sameer Rustagi Georgetown University Katlyn Schwarzwaelder Allegheny College Victoria Sepich University of Pittsburgh, Honors College Andrew Shannon University of Pennsylvania Rose Solomon Brandeis University Daniel Sponseller Colorado College Richard Stinson Rollins College John Straka Bucknell University Ethan Taylor Colgate University Hannah Taylor Bucknell University Margaret Torrence Massachusetts Institute of Technology Jeffrey Tott Boston University Melanie Trecha University of Arizona, Honors College Gianna Vinci Allegheny College


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GraduatION 2011

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1. Alumni parents celebrate with their children at the Class of 2011’s graduation. Left to right: Jeffrey Moersch ’75, Madeline Moersch ’11, John Macdonald ’75, Timothy Macdonald ’11, John Straka ’83, and Jack Straka ’11. 2. Head of School Kolia O’Connor, graduation speaker and founder of GreatSchools Bill Jackson ’81, and Chairman of the Board Glenn Buterbaugh gather before processing into the commencement tent.

3. The Buterbaughs with their newest Academy alum, Kaitlyn. Left to right: Allison ’08, Kaitlyn ’11, Glenn, Karen, Ryan ’02, and Kristin ’05. 4. After the ceremony, Class of 2011 classmates celebrate together. 5. At the graduation of their youngest, the Patrick family gathers for a photo. Left to right: Justine ’03, Joseph ’11, Katharine ’02, G. ’06, Judith, and Gregory.

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Located at the confluence of the Ganges, Meghna, and Brahmaputra Rivers, Bangladesh and its inhabitants are threatened by poisoning from naturally occurring arsenic in the groundwater.

Digging Deeper: Bringing Safe Water to Southern Asia By Senior School English teacher Lawrence C. Connolly

Colorless, tasteless, and naturally occurring, arsenic-contaminated water threatens 100 million lives in Southern Asia. Left unchecked, the contamination could result in what the World Health Organization has called “the largest poisoning of a population in history.” Holly Michael ’94 wants to stop that from happening. “Mrs. Sherry taught earth science in seventh grade,” Holly recalls, speaking from her office in Newark, Delaware. “That was my first introduction to the subject.” After that came biology, chemistry, physics, and calculus. But Holly also acknowledges a debt to her studies outside the math and science fields. “I am so thankful that I have a strong academic background, especially in English. The well-roundRooney anda her mom, Stephanie, an ed education thatSarah I received has’13 been huge benefit becauseplant I don’t

Currently an assistant professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Delaware, Holly spends part of each year in Southern Asia gathering data on arsenic contamination. Initially her work focused on India and Bangladesh. Last year she was in Cambodia. This year she plans to be in Vietnam. It’s a lot of travelling, and it is all part of a journey that began years ago when Holly was a student at the Academy.

American chestnut in the orchard at Nichols Field.

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struggle with the mechanics of writing. It’s just a matter of dealing with content.” This preparation has allowed her to accrue an impressive roster of publications, including recent pieces in Nature and Science, two of the world’s leading scientific journals. After graduating from the Academy, Holly went into environmental engineering at Notre Dame, figuring that the field would expose her to a good mix of science, math, and environmental issues. “Then, in my first hydrogeology course, I had a great professor who got me interested in hydrogeology in developing countries.” That professor was Stephen E. Silliman, professor of civil engineering and geological sciences. “At the time he was working in Haiti, focusing on sustainability, water supply, and sanitation. The huge health implications got me really excited. I liked the mix of work that seemed to be both socially relevant and scientifically challenging.” Her studies continued at MIT, where she earned a doctorate in hydrology in 2005, after which she went on to do post-doctoral work that included field studies in Southern Asia. “Much of what we did on that first trip was reconnaissance and data collection. It was meeting after meeting with government officials and academics. It was an eye-opening, amazing experience trying to figure out how to communicate and collect data.”

Back in the states, Holly Michael’s work involves monitoring the flow of groundwater into coastal areas where an abundance of nutrients causes problems such as algal blooms. Here, Holly (left) and her students measure the water level in a well.

She also got to interact with those individuals most affected by arsenic contamination, the village farmers who draw their water from PVC pipes driven into the ground and topped with hand-operated pumps. “The sediments there are very soft. People don’t even need rotary drills. Instead, they use a hand percussion method developed by local drillers. Working by hand, they are able to install wells 30 or 50 meters underground. In that depth zone, 40 to 50 percent of the wells have arsenic levels higher than 50 micrograms per liter. The World Health Organization standard is 10.”

ally don’t appear until after years of exposure, it’s not surprising that people are more focused on trying to feed their families.” Fortunately, there are others who share these concerns, and Holly has been collaborating with the region’s government workers and scientists, primarily at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. “One of my Bangladeshi graduate students got his master’s at Dhaka, so we often work together, exchanging personnel and ideas.” “A lot of the work I’ve been doing requires gathering data on a large scale from all over the region – both in Bangladesh and India. Since we can’t collect all this data on our own, we rely on various agencies, mostly government agencies, for more information. As a result, I have spent a lot of time in government offices talking to people and explaining what we do and why we need the data.”

Yet, even though the long-term health effects include increased risks of cancer and cardiovascular disease, local villagers often face impediments when dealing with the presence of arsenic in their wells. “The water doesn’t taste bad, which is why no one even knew the arsenic was there until the 90s. And since health effects such as cancer gener-

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Digging Deeper: Bringing Safe Water to Southern Asia [continued] It’s an ongoing process, but Holly believes that the poisoning can be avoided by helping villagers drill and maintain wells that draw water from below the contaminated depth zone. Progress has been made, but as Holly points out: “There is much more that we need to understand.” As a university professor, Holly works to educate new generations of students and scientists, but she believes that students need not wait until college to get involved in environmental issues. “Back in the early 90s at SA, we had the Environmental Club, and I remember how we used to get excited about collecting the recycling out of the bins, and how it got us talking about the environment. Any clubs like that are worth getting involved in.” She also stresses that earth science isn’t just for scientists. “There are more and more opportunities for people who understand the science but are also interested in policy or environmental law, opportunities for people with interdisciplinary backgrounds who are able to go out and communicate environmental issues and help policy makers understand what these issues are.” And there’s plenty of work to be done, both around the world and close to home. “I have local field sites here in Delaware, where I look at the flow of groundwater into coastal waters, estuaries, and out to the ocean. We are interested in that because groundwater flowing into coastal areas carries a lot of nutrients and can cause problems like algal blooms. These problems occur most often where there are human populations that affect the constituents in the ground water.” Clearly there is much work to be done. Fortunately, there are people like Holly Michael doing their part to ensure the people of the world have access to safe drinking water.

Forty to fifty percent of the wells in Southern Asia are contaminated by arsenic, like this one in India. Holly and her team are working to ensure that local villagers avoid the contamination by drilling and maintaining wells that draw water from below the contaminated depth zone.

Many inhabitants of southeastern Bangladesh villages suffer from arsenic poisoning, which often leads to cancer.

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2011-2012 See the back cover for a tear-out save the date card!

Challenging Stereotypes Silk Screen Film Series Saturday, January 7, 2 p.m. Friday, January 20, 7 p.m. Sunday, January 29, 2 p.m. Rea Auditorium

More to Live For Seun Adebiyi Friday, October 21, 7 p.m. Rea Auditorium

More to Live For is the story of three lives, all shaken by cancer and dependent upon the one vital bone marrow match that could save them. These individuals – 15time Grammy winner and saxophonist Michael Brecker, founder of The Love Hope Strength Foundation James Chippendale, and Nigerian winter Olympic hopeful Seun Adebiyi – are similar only in their fate and prolific accomplishments. Their unrelated paths become connected in a desperate fight for survival and a singular mission: to bring awareness about bone marrow donation to the millions of people who could save a life today. Seun Adebiyi will be at Sewickley Academy to share more of his story and answer questions after the film screening.

Holiday Music from Around the World The Mata String Quartet Thursday, December 1, 7 p.m. Rea Auditorium

Academy strings teacher Jhonnatan Mata and his string quartet, alongside talented student musicians, will celebrate the season with a lively concert of holiday music from around the globe.

For the second year in a row, the Academy is partnering with Silk Screen, a Pittsburgh non-profit that celebrates Asian arts and culture through film, music, and dance. This year’s films will focus on challenging stereotypes in Asian cultures. Each will be followed by a moderated discussion.

March Winds The Renaissance City Winds Tuesday, March 13, 7 p.m. Rea Auditorium

The Renaissance City Winds has become one of Pennsylvania’s foremost chamber ensembles. Touring takes the group throughout the eastern U.S., with past appearances at the Kennedy Center, New York’s famed Carnegie Recital Hall, and the Pennsylvania governor’s home. The Renaissance City Winds has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, Meet the Composer, and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music. This concert, which is the culminating event of a 15-day student residency project, will feature music originally composed by Sewickley Academy students. Supported in part by the Albert & Bertha Sector Speaker Series Fund.

A Night of Poetry Terrance Hayes Thursday, February 2, 7 p.m Gregg Theater

Award-winning poet Terrance Hayes is the author of Wind in a Box, Hip Logic, and Muscular Music. His book, Lighthead, won the 2010 National Book Award. His other honors include a Whiting Writers Award, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, a National Poetry Series award, a Pushcart Prize, two Best American Poetry selections, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. He is a currently a professor of creative writing at Carnegie Mellon University. Terrance will recite poems from his old and new collections, where the political and the personal converge in innovative and beautiful ways.

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All Sewickley Series programs are free and open to the public.

For more information and to register, please visit www.sewickley.org/sewickleyseries.


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WINTER & SPRING SPORTS WRAP-UP Baseball 4-11 The varsity baseball team, led by captains Mike Auron ’11, Albert Civitarese ’11, Will Hogan ’11, and Jack Straka ’11, had the largest roster in a long time with 24 players. An unusually rainy spring forced a number of doubleheaders that resulted in a late season three-game winning streak. Girls’ Basketball 7-13 The varsity girls’ basketball team once again made it to the playoffs this year. The team’s highlights included a dramatic victory at Union that clinched a playoff berth. Also, captain Reed Mango ’11 was selected as an all-section player.

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Boys’ Basketball 9-12 Led by captains Kenny Johnson ’11, Billy McCormick ’11, and Tom Poepping ’11, the varsity boys’ basketball team qualified for the playoffs for a ninth consecutive year. Carrington Motley ’12 was named to both the all-section and all-WPIAL teams. Ice Hockey 7-15 The varsity ice hockey team’s roster was comprised of 17 players, the largest roster in recent history. Captains Danny Sponseller ’11, Ed Lally ’11, and Jack Straka ’11 led the team back to the playoffs with a dramatic 7-6 victory over Knoch. Boys’ Lacrosse 16-6 The varsity boys’ lacrosse team – led by captains Ben Brown ’11, Ian Hyrcenko ’11, Ed Lally ’11, Matt Peter ’11, and Jack Roberts ’11 – finished the year 16-6, advancing to the WPIAL championship game and to the state quarterfinals. Ed Lally, who set a school record for career points and goals, and defenseman Jack Roberts were named to the All American lacrosse team by the WPIAL coaches.

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Girls’ Lacrosse 13-8 The varsity girls’ lacrosse team – led by captains Olivia Ahearn ’11, Erin Keller ’11, and Nicola Limbach ’11 – finished 13-8, and by virtue of advancing to the WPIAL championship, clinched a berth in the state playoffs for the first time in school history. The Panthers won a first-round game and finished the season in the state quarterfinals. Erin Keller and Caroline Ross ’12 were selected by the WPIAL coaches for the All American lacrosse team.

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Softball 6-7 The varsity softball team, led by captains Kat Dimmick ’11, Annie Duerr ’11, and Aja Happel ’11, established a number of firsts in the team’s third season of WPIAL varsity play. The last game of the season gave the team a final record of 6-7 and put the Panthers in fourth place, just one place out of the playoffs. Swimming & Diving 6-2 (Boys) 4-4 (Girls) The varsity boys’ swimming and diving team, featuring Rhet Happel ’13 as a state qualifier, finished in second place with a record of 6-2. The varsity girls’ swimming and diving team finished second in the section with a 4-4 record with Aja Happel ’11 leading the way.

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Boys’ Tennis 23-2 The varsity boys’ tennis team, led by captain Danny Sponseller ’11, captured the ninth-straight section championship and eighth-straight WPIAL Championship by defeating Hampton 4-1. At Hershey, the doubles team of Will Kleeman ’13 and Daniel Martchek ’14 captured the WPIAL Doubles Championship. Track & Field 1-5 (Boys) 3-3 (Girls) Varsity track and field had the largest roster in school history with 32 participants. Caitlin Bungo ’12 captured a gold medal at WPIALs by winning the 800 meters and also finished third at states in the 1,600 meters. Carrington Motley ’12 captured a WPIAL gold medal in the long jump.

5 1. Andrew DiNardo ’12 waits for the pitch in the game against Elderton. 2. Driving the lane, Rachel Pregel ’12 goes for a lay-up against Cornell. 3. Pat Edson ’12 fights off a North Allegheny offensive player trying to make a shot. The team advanced to the state quarterfinals for the second year in a row. 4. Caroline Ross ’12 races to win a ground ball against Fox Chapel. This game was an important victory for the Panthers who later went on to the state playoffs. 5. For the eighth-straight year, the varsity boys’ tennis team won the WPIAL Championship.

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Dr. Chip Fletcher ’74: A Conduit for Science Located 3,500 miles away from the U.S. mainland, Pago Pago, the de-facto capital of American Samoa, looks more like a large village than any capital city you may have seen before. Home to 11,500 people, Pago Pago is one of the largest villages in American Samoa and serves as a focal point of local commerce, education, and cultural events. It is also one of the lowest points on the island and therefore most susceptible to the effects of hurricanes, tsunamis, coastal flooding, and other natural hazards. In 2010, Dr. Chip Fletcher ’74 and his team from the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UH) conducted a detailed topographical survey of the area to assess its vulnerabilities and help the residents of Pago Pago understand how the long-term ramifications of global climate change will affect their homes. The Chip Fletcher (left) received an EPA award in 2010 for his work with Micronesian Islanders to study revealed that the village’s medical assess threats from sea level rise in the western tropical Pacific. facility is in a dangerously low area of the community and any flooding caused particularly in regards to the rise in sea level in recent years. “The by sea level rise, intense rainfall, and other factors related to climate only place that offers the chance to study the history of past climates change would be catastrophic for the clinic. With this knowledge in and paleo-sea level history in the north central Pacific Ocean is this hand, community leaders are already working to avoid this potential lonely string of islands.” catastrophe and to ensure that medical aid is always available to its In the beginning, Chip’s research required him to strap on scuba gear community. and dive down to the surrounding coral reefs to drill core samples Through his work in places like Pago Pago, Chip discovered a key in that revealed information about the changes in the Pacific Ocean the fight against climate change – engaging, educating, and empowthroughout history. This research led to ering island communities. While his life’s a secondary concentration in the effects work has focused on researching coastal of climate change on this fragile ecosysecosystems such as reefs and beaches tem. “I realized that one of the major comand advising decision-makers on conponents of climate change is the rising of servation steps in Hawaii and other Pasea levels and how that will affect coastal cific islands, one of his most remarkable communities.” This is especially pertinent achievements was not discovered in the in island communities where the sea is at laboratory, but rather, through his tireless the front door. efforts to bring science to the public. In order to take a proactive approach to this critical problem, Chip From the moment Chip arrived at the University of Hawaii at Manoa organized and led an effort to open a center that would synthesize in 1991, he was drawn to the shoreline and its diverse ecosystems. science, law, island traditions, and community planning in a way that “Living in Hawaii is like living in a natural museum. We have everywas comprehensible and compelling for residents and policy-makthing from mountain peaks that get snow in the winter, to watersheds, ers. Chip describes The Center for Island Climate Adaptation and streams and rivers, to coastal zones with beaches, reefs and the Policy (ICAP) as a four-legged stool composed of climate science, deep sea all within about 20 miles. That is the real joy of studying environmental law and policy, urban and regional planning, and inHawaii and other Pacific islands. You’ve got a full palette of environdigenous island (Polynesian and Micronesian) knowledge. ICAP is ments that are readily available for research.” In conjunction with a diverse group of academic specialists from UH Manoa’s departhis avid study of the Hawaiian coastal zone, Chip researched the surments of planning, ocean and earth science, Hawaiian studies, and rounding ocean and its role in the changing environments on land,

“It’s up to us to adapt to this problem. It is a huge task that will take generations to resolve.”

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the School of Law. Through this unique interdisciplinary approach, ICAP aims to facilitate a sustainable climate-conscious future for Hawaii, the Pacific, and all global island communities through innovative research and the production of real-world solutions for island decision-makers in both the public and private sectors. ICAP serves as a two-way conduit between the university and island communities to catalyze climate change adaptation and resiliency. Its early successes are due in large part to its ability to cooperate with community leaders effectively. Asking communities to make significant changes to their lifestyles in order to mitigate the effects of climate change is never easy, but Chip Fletcher and his colleagues at ICAP possess the sensitivity and awareness of island culture that allow them to successfully introduce new ideas and negotiate plausible solutions. “The first thing you need to do is listen. My role in these initial conversations about climate change in Hawaii is to educate and raise awareness. Once I have delivered my message, I go into listening mode and let everyone have time to share their reactions to the information. It is a very democratic process and it has to begin with a high level of respect. In Hawaiian communities, it is rare that the loudest voice in the room wins. In a subtle way, it is almost as if the quietest voice in the room wins out, provided the quiet voice is accompanied by wisdom,” says Chip. In 2010, the United States Environmental Protection Agency recognized Dr. Fletcher’s advancements in climate change science with an award at the 12th Annual EPA Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles, California. Other honorees included scientists, legislators and elected officials, corporations, non-profit organizations, and community groups that were also recognized for their efforts to protect public health and the environment. Chip sees this award as an opportunity to bring much-needed attention to the issues that he and his colleagues at UH and ICAP are already addressing. For Chip, the future of the planet is incredibly uncertain. The emission of greenhouse gases that causes global warming continues to increase each year, the nuclear accidents in Japan have created a terrible setback for the nuclear industry that offered an important alternative to fossil fuel, and global governments are not taking strong enough actions to mitigate the effects of climate change. He adds, “It’s up to us to adapt to this problem. It is a huge task that will take generations to resolve. I see my role as a conduit for science between the scientific community and the policy community. I enjoy working with government agencies and community groups to raise their awareness of climate change and hope that my efforts will make it a priority for them as well.”

Thousands of people live on islands like this one in Micronesia. The sea level rise is making their drinking water salty and killing plants such as taro and banana in their agro-forestry.

In the future, Chip’s legacy in Hawaii will not be limited to his years of scientific inquiry and devoted study of the Pacific ecosystems. Instead, most Islanders, who simply know him as “Dr. Chip,” may sooner describe him as a sympathetic listener, a tireless advocate for the preservation of their communities, and a partner in their efforts to diminish the effects of climate change in the Pacific.

In the village of Amouli, American Samoa, Chip and his team assessed threats from sea level rise, coastal erosion, stream flooding, and tsunamis to plan for future development.

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What’s Next? Learn what life after the Academy will look like for this year’s retirees.

LARRY HALL

If you are standing in line with your children at Six Flags or Busch Gardens, you just may recognize the inimitable Larry Hall standing in front of you. As an avid roller coaster enthusiast, Larry set a personal best when he rode 68 roller coasters around the USA in one summer. Since his retirement in September 2010, he can take a more leisurely pace pursuing this thrill “when most of the kids are in school.” He lists a number of other advantages to his new life: he doesn’t have to “worry if the Ohio River Boulevard has slid across the train tracks into the river,” he doesn’t have to “wait with baited breath to see if school is closed because of snow,” and he can “be home when the UPS guy comes.” During his 40 years at the Academy, Larry’s roles have been numerous, but most alumni remember him best as German teacher Herr Hall. Viking helmets, cuckoo clocks, Wagnerian opera, and gingerbread houses were all part of the immersion in German culture that he fostered in his classroom. As dean of students, Larry initiated the exchange program with Munich, Germany, that is now in its 33rd year. Through this program and throughout his career, he was committed to providing equal opportunities for students on financial aid to participate in foreign travel.

GENE SARNACKI

Gene Sarnacki leaves the Academy after 11 years serving campus-wide needs through the help desk – a tech support position that requires a wide range of knowledge on computers, printers, telephones, and SMART Boards. Famous for his sense of humor, Gene believes that you “fix the customer first” and “fix the machine later.” People with malfunctioning machines often need a little soothing on the route to recovery and Gene’s persistent smile and jokes (sometimes corny, as he freely admits) accomplished exactly that. Gene’s personal philosophy involves helping others, and treating everyone as you would want to be treated. What will he be doing in his retirement? “Everything my wife tells me to do!” Gene says with a big grin. He and Dolly have been married for 47 years. Gene was a gymnast until he turned 30, performing to a standing ovation at a match in Essen, Germany, during his Air Force days. That strength and stamina will serve him well when, now still very energetic at age 70, he plans to remodel two bathrooms and add a new room onto his house, doing almost all the work himself.

Those who know him well know that Larry is a person who does a thousand small acts of kindness and generosity for others with quiet grace and humility.

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ANDY TRAVIS

Labor Day weekend four years ago, SA needed a replacement for a new biology teacher who had become ill and couldn’t start the year. A desperate situation was averted when Andy Travis’ name appeared in the substitute teacher pool. He had moved to Pittsburgh from Florida where he had taught for 40 years, and had been subbing at schools all around town. After 10 days of filling the biology position on a trial basis, Andy was hired. He considers SA to be an “educational heaven for teachers and students.” Andy’s kindness and patience, his passion for his subject, and concern for students made his classroom a warm and welcoming environment where students followed their own passion for science. What will Andy do next? This summer, he was “a kid again” at their cottage near Chautauqua on Findley Lake, swimming, hiking, boating, and eating homemade ice cream with his family. In September, he expects that the feeling of “low stress” will be a new one. He will continue to help with his wife’s antique business at the Wexford General Store and the Whistle Stop in Corry, Pennsylvania. They may even travel in their popup camper. SA is grateful to Andy for his teaching talent and commitment to the school these past four years.


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TRANSITIONS

SA Welcomes New Middle School Head, Jeff Zemsky Sewickley Academy welcomes Jeff Zemsky as the new Head of Middle School. He comes to the Academy from the York Country Day School (YCDS), where he served as head of both the Middle and Upper Schools for the past four years. Prior to joining YCDS, he was the executive director of the Cottonwood Gulch Foundation, an environmental education organization operating in Albuquerque and Thoreau, New Mexico. Jeff began his career in independent schools at The Agnes Irwin School, where, in addition to teaching Latin through the AP level, he was also the dean of students. A graduate of Germantown Friends School, Jeff attended Carlton College in Minnesota, where he majored in classical studies, graduating magna cum laude and becoming a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his master’s degree in instructional technology at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Having worked with students in both the Middle and Upper Schools at YCDS, Jeff understands what students require at the different levels of their education and how to help them transition from the middle school years to high school. “Our early school experiences should begin the important work of fostering in every student self-confidence, a love of learning, and a pride in active citizenship,” says Jeff. Through middle school, he stresses the importance of certain habits that contribute to successful learning – organization, perseverance, concentration, and the beginnings of abstract reasoning – while at the same time keeping students’ creativity, intellectual curiosity, and flexible thinking alive. Upon entering high school, Jeff says, focus shifts to balancing independence and collaboration. “Independence as a learner evolves from students testing their own thinking and coming to understand how their work can stand on its own,” says Jeff. “Students at the upper school level find the motivation to do their best work when they believe they are making a contribution to a larger purpose beyond themselves.” “Jeff’s experience beyond the middle school years will allow him to enhance the Middle School curriculum by shaping programs, courses, and activities that will inspire and educate students in Grades 6 through 8, while at the same time, successfully prepare them for their transition to the Academy’s Senior School,” says Head of School Kolia O’Connor. “We are grateful and excited that Jeff is bringing such a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Academy, which will benefit our Middle School students and faculty, along with the entire school community.”

Susan Sour’s SA Journey Continues At the end of the school year, Susan Sour stepped out of her role as head of Middle School. For the past six years, her passion for education and her principled commitment to the welfare of Middle School students have helped create and sustain a culture of support for student growth. Courageous and always willing to stand up for those things she believes in most firmly, she has set an ambitious standard of excellence in all areas of school life. Susan is an alumna of Sewickley Academy, as are 17 other members of her family. She has always remained involved in the school’s alumni association, even serving as director of alumni relations for four years before moving into the Middle School head position. And now her Sewickley Academy journey continues! Susan will rejoin the alumni office in the fall as an alumni associate, and she is looking forward to reconnecting with alumni of all ages. In her farewell address at Grade 8 graduation, she expressed her “attitude of gratitude” for all the opportunities she has had through the years at the Academy and for the many pleasures of six years of student relationships. She looks forward to following these students’ progress for years to come.

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A CupOF

Hope

By Douglas Schafer ’86

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Douglas Schafer ‘86 (right) and HOPE-JP board member and coffee fanatic Yoshi Masuda prepare coffee at an emergency shelter in Miyatojima.

Douglas Schafer ’86 is an entrepreneur, long-term Japan resident, husband, and father of three boys. He is president of Toyo Beverage, K.K. and Toyo Shokuhin, K.K., and also operates Osaka’s premiere cafe, Shakers Cafe Lounge. This spring, he traveled to the Tohoku region of Japan to help with the earthquake/tsunami relief efforts. This is his story.

take on the needs of the battered community. An NPO can’t just jump in and say, “Here we are!”  So we were charged with this mission first: to build trust and communication.

Less than three weeks after the earthquake and tsunami struck northeastern Japan on March 11, I find myself on a plane headed into Fukushima airport. I was asked to go by Lowell Sheppard, a friend who is the director in Japan of a Canadian non-profit organization (NPO), HOPE International Development Agency (HOPE-JP). When a disaster strikes, there are generally three stages of disaster response. The first phase is search and rescue, which lasts about 10 to 14 days. The second phase is survivor emergency care, which lasts 30 to 90 days, but in Japan’s case will go on much longer. The third phase is the rebuilding or rebirth stage, which will take years. This stage is the reason for my trip. HOPE-JP is a long-term, relationship-based organization that assists and supports communities that are rebuilding.  Lowell wanted me to travel into the region with a HOPE-JP board member, Yoshi Masuda, to assess the community of Miyatojima to make sure that the organization would be able to

I meet up with Yoshi at Fukushima airport and we start driving north up the coast into Miyagi Prefecture. Off in the distance to our left are beautiful snow-capped mountains. To our right are rice paddies littered with debris from the destruction. Many areas are still soaked with sea water. The highway is raised up just enough that it served as the final barrier where the water came to a stop, nearly eight kilometers (five miles) inland. We drive for an hour and what we see is nothing like what was shown on television. I lived through the Kobe earthquake in 1995, and this is on such a larger scale that I just can’t put this into perspective. The devastation is like the Kobe earthquake meeting Hurricane Katrina with a little Godzilla thrown in as well.

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Douglas describes the devastation in Japan as “the Kobe earthquake meeting Hurricane Katrina with a little Godzilla thrown in as well.”

As we drive, Yoshi tells me his plan to build trust and communication. Coffee. Yes, freshly brewed coffee. This is Yoshi’s entire plan. Now you must think he is nuts. I did. As we drive through hours of destruction, I thought he had to be joking. How is brewing coffee going to do anything for these people?

which is the emergency shelter for 500 people who have not left the island. Along the edge of the school are several open fires with men huddled around warming themselves and talking. It looks like a big campfire party, except these men are burning old beams from their homes to stay warm.

A few hours later, we reach the Self Defense Force’s (SDF) makeshift causeway into Miyatojima. This area is considered one of Japan’s three most beautiful natural areas. Today it is anything but that. It is grey with a light mist. You can’t easily tell where the ground and sky part. It is a war zone with trees toppled over, huge expanses of land with nothing but debris, SDF trucks, and the sound of helicopters. We have entered a scene from Saving Private Ryan or Full Metal Jacket. A huge stretch of land that was once filled with homes and forest is now all gone, all wiped clean. The bridge for the island has been replaced by a narrow, almost-one-lane rubble crossing that is open only from 7 a.m. until nightfall. Once closed, you are locked on whichever side you happen to be for the night.

Unlike the aftermath of Haiti or Katrina, there is a tremendous calm at this shelter. It is well organized and it is what makes Japan so special. The traditional values and organizational structure of this community made dealing with the immediate devastation possible. It kept everyone calm. It gave hope for the future. Seeing this made me want to do whatever I could for the survivors, knowing they did not expect it and that they would honor whatever we could do with and for them. People talk about the victory of the human spirit, but to see it in action is moving beyond imagination. Yoshi brought a hand grinder and some specialty coffee beans from his favorite roaster. Yoshi is a coffee fanatic. I am in the industry and I can tell you he is overly passionate – too passionate – but passion is what bridges gaps. The people have been here for almost three weeks in terrible conditions. Now was Yoshi’s chance to show me how his grand plan would work.

After crossing the causeway, the weather clears. We see boats in places they shouldn’t be and a perfectly intact second floor of a home and its roof sitting in the middle of a small river. Cars are strewn about everywhere. Then the destruction ends, and we enter a side of the island that is untouched. This place is one of the most beautiful areas of coastline I have seen in Japan. It is a beautiful island village, and only then do I begin to understand what was lost. This area is a temporary paradise as we pass to the other side of the island where the destruction zone begins again. We arrive at the grade school,

The brewing of coffee ended up being secondary. It was how Yoshi did it that made the difference. Rather than just brew it, he gave a seminar in coffee. He is a professor, and it is clear he knows how to teach. Yoshi is a character, a unique spirit in this world. He drives an old Benz that runs on used vegetable oil. As he drives along it smells

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Young children at the emergency shelter receive a lesson in coffee-making.

starting to weigh on her and the others. They are shut off from the world. Noriko says that having us here and having the chance to talk gave her a connection to the outside world that she is beginning to miss. The stress in this shelter is starting to show, but her appreciation for the coffee and our presence is moving.

like tempura. He teaches classes wearing bow ties and has 24 pairs of stylish glasses so his students always have something different to look at each day. He is a made-for-TV movie character. Imagine, this nutty professor and goofy foreigner standing in the middle of an emergency shelter brewing coffee. We were certainly an oddity, but the best kind of oddity.

This is the genius behind Yoshi’s coffee vision. What is a cafe after all? A place where people come to sit, talk, meet, relax, and enjoy. I own cafes in Japan but before this trip, they meant business for me. Yoshi showed me the other side. This is why coffee and cafes have such a strong place in our societies. We created a space in this shelter to let people share their feelings, exchange information, and let the pain come out in a natural and sociable way.

Three adorable children, Shin (8), his sister Kiku (10), and their friend Rina (8), approach us and want to be taught by Yoshi. Slowly, small groups of people form lines to wait for coffee and sit down to talk and share stories. Not disaster stories, but daily conversation. A regular neighborhood cafe. After about two hours of running this little cafe and teaching the kids to run the show, we begin to pack up our things and prepare to tour the island’s destruction. Before we leave, Shin’s mother approaches us, nearly in tears. She tells us that her son has always been a very inward and reserved child. She could not believe how we drew him out and how energetic and upbeat he became. She was thrilled. It was the kind of reaction that makes volunteering so worthwhile.

I have returned to the Tohoku region a few times since our initial visit, and the people are simply amazing. The hardships they are enduring and the way they are dealing with the tragedy is touching to behold. The first trip, and our first cafe, showed me that even though people look for large grand gestures from the national government, it is the small things that mean so much. This is what holds survivors over until those grand governmental plans can be put in place and start them on the path back to a more normal daily life.

After the tour, we return to the shelter to make more coffee and talk to more people. A woman named Noriko pours her feelings out to Yoshi and me. She explains that she used to spend much of her time online with her blog. She had many friends around Japan whom she kept in touch with via social sites. This contact sustained her. Now it is gone. She knows people are sending her supportive comments, but she can’t access them. Losing touch with the greater society is clearly

To read more about Douglas’ involvement with the relief efforts, visit his blog at http://tohoku.posterous.com/.

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NEW TRUSTEES Brandon Elliott Brandon and his wife, Elizabeth, are relatively new to the Academy, but in their short time here, they have become actively involved in the community. They have three children at the Academy: Mason ’16, Thomas ’19, and Anna ’22. Brandon and his family relocated to Sewickley from Delaware last summer when he joined CONSOL Energy as vice president of investor and public relations. Before working at CONSOL, Brandon was with Friess Associates (the managers of The Brandywine Funds), and before that with Cardinal Capital Management of Greenwich, Connecticut.  He received a degree in psychology from Dartmouth College. Coming from a family of educators, Brandon brings a valuable perspective to the board that includes prior independent school experience, investment and finance experience, and a general enthusiasm for the Academy’s mission.

Dr. Ashvin Ragoowansi Ashvin is currently a neurosurgeon with West Penn Allegheny Health System. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University and received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine. His residency was completed at the Mayo Clinic. Ashvin and his wife, Beth, have six children spanning ages 3 to 15. Two of his oldest, Olivia ’14 and Evan ’16, are students at the Academy. Recently, Ashvin was actively involved in the Middle School head search as well as the strategic planning task force. He looks forward to playing a more active role at the Academy by serving on the board of trustees.

Louann Tronsberg-Deihle Louann is currently treasurer of Koppers Holdings, Inc. and has previously worked at Wesco Distribution, PNC Bank, Manufacturers Hanover Trust, and Marine Midland Bank.  She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with dual bachelor’s degrees in international business and international relations, and then received her Master of Business Administration from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. Louann and her husband, Larry, have three children at the Academy: Emma ’12, Sarah ’15, and Ian ’17. Throughout her years as an Academy parent, Louann has enthusiastically served on the audit committee and the Home & School Association board as treasurer. She also acted as chairperson on the recent Middle School head search committee.

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The Athletic Fields Campaign In May, the board of trustees approved the launch of The Athletic Fields Campaign. The goal of this campaign is to create premiere athletic field facilities to support PK-12 physical education and athletic programs. Projects to be funded include: Frick Field: • Installation of new turf facility • New softball backstop with seating for the home and visiting teams • LED wireless scoreboard • Seating for spectators Wardrop Field: • LED wireless scoreboard Nichols Field: • LED wireless scoreboard for soccer, lacrosse, and baseball • Completion of irrigation system • Professional improvements to grass and ongoing maintenance • New baseball backstop • Construction of team meeting room Rendering of the turf at Frick Field.

Why This Campaign? Sewickley Academy is a premiere institution with a championship athletic program. The Athletic Fields Campaign will support the development of personal and team excellence for our student-athletes. With so many student-athletes, the pressure on our facilities is substantial. While we have quality constructed facilities, wear and tear and overuse have meant that maintaining our fields at their highest levels has been a challenge. Benefits Sewickley Academy will have a high performance natural grass facility in a beautiful setting for varsity teams at Nichols Field. We will also have turf at Frick Field that will serve as a premier practice facility for all levels, and a premier game facility for varsity softball and field hockey teams, and Middle School teams.

Why Here, Why Now? The timing is just right. We have the permits, Phase I construction currently underway requires reconstruction of Frick Field, and there is a ground swell of interest. Interest in turf has been around for a while, but the board of trustees was attending to critical issues outlined in both the strategic and master plan that identified priorities for the school’s overall and future health – both fiscal and the physical plant. Now the school is well-positioned to move forward with The Athletic Fields Campaign. This project can be completed and in use by the spring 2012 season. To learn more, contact Sharon Hurt Davidson, director of advancement, at 412-741-2230 ext. 3042 or shdavidson@ sewickley.org. You may also visit www.sewickley.org/ athleticfieldscampaign.

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Spring Alumni Events

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1. Alumni gather at Yamashiro in Hollywood. Row 1: Alex Ball ’92, Chris Piehler ’89, Jennifer Markus ’89. Row 2: Alex Alpert ’95, Alli Pultz ’91, Greg MacDonald, Scott Ferguson ’70, Rodney Altman ’00, Samir Desai ’92, Ben Barnes ’95.

5. Director of Alumni Relations Greta Daniels, Lauretta Matthews Ross ’91, and former faculty members Sharon Matthews and David Chesebrough enjoy each other’s company at Lauretta’s home in Columbus.

2. Denver alumni get together at the home of Brewster and Margaretta Caesar ’69. Row 1: Director of Alumni Relations Greta Daniels, Laura Thomas ’05, Janet Hayes ’70, Missy Fenner Stolberg ’70. Row 2: Sean McRae, Shelley Harris McRae ’96, Margaretta Caesar ’69.

6. At the wine tasting event at the The Naked Grape in Sewickley, Kathy Gordon Hilliard, Patricia Gordon Cooklin ’83, and Jennifer Otto Giotto ’83 enjoy the summer night.

3. Monika Ross, Ron Ross ’83, Amy Baribault Powell ’79, and Ron Powell at the North Harbor Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. 4. Reed Schroeder ’71, Director of Alumni Relations Greta Daniels, Jonathan Beales ’71, Judith Mikita ’76, and Frank Ciarallo ’82 enjoy some barbeque at Cincinatti’s Montgomery Inn.

7. Heather Semple ’78, Doug Fowkes ’82, and Mary Louise Fowkes catch up at the Sewickley alumni event. 8. Associate Director of College Guidance Trevor Rusert, Jonathan Quinn ’10, Maddie Sproull ’10, Allison McKnight ’09, Vaughn Wallace ’08, and Director of College Guidance Jennifer FitzPatrick have breakfast at Pamela’s in Oakland.

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CLASS NOTES 1934

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1969

Marian E. Mukerji ’34 writes, “I now have 12 great-grandchildren!”

Helen Childs Burns ’60 became a grandmother in February 2011.

1943

1962

Classmates Garth James ’69, Kenneth Huot ’69, and Sidney Henderson ’69 and their spouses got together at Crater Lake Lodge for a minireunion in June.

Charles A. Lyon ’43 asks, “Who is left of this last 10th grade class?” To connect with Charles and other classmates from the Class of 1943, please contact gdaniels@sewickley. org for more info.

The daughter of Eleanor Rumpf Gero ’44 writes after the passing of her mother, “She always enjoyed getting her annual directory and newsletters from Sewickley. She would tell stories to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Thank you for being part of her life.”

Nancy Hayes Kilgore ’62 recently published her first novel, Sea Level. The story begins in 1980 when Brigid Peterson becomes the first woman minister in Sand Hill, Virginia, a remote town on the Delmarva Peninsula.  Women’s roles are in flux, in both church and society, and Brigid’s parishioners are apprehensive about their new minister. But when, influenced by her artist friend Mary, she preaches about the female aspect of God, some of them become enraged, and the church is thrown into turmoil. Both Brigid and Mary become submerged in conflict and have to dive deeper into their own spiritual lives to find the way out. 

1953

1968

Suzanne Meagher Owen ’53 became a grandmother in September 2010!

Horgy Morrow ’68 and Ginger Booth Morrow ’71 are grandparents for the second time! Lucy Morrow Augustin was born on April 26, 2010. She joins her brother, Chase John August (4), and proud parents, Sally Morrow Augustin and John Jacob Augustin.

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Eleanor Rumpf Gero ’44 in 1970.

1970 Jackson Elliott Rice, son of R. Douglass Rice ’70 was married to Jennifer Smythe in Stonington, Connecticut, on September 25, 2010.

1971 Mary Carroll Weiss Ryan ’71 writes, “Just spent another Memorial Day weekend with Reed ’71 and Sheila Schroeder. Golf, tennis, and the Final Four Men’s LAX Tournament. So much fun sharing Baltimore with old friends.”

1974 J. Stephen Mikita ’74 recently published his newest book, I Sit All Amazed: The Extraordinary Power of a Mother’s Love, with Deseret Books. Copies of this book can be purchased on the publisher’s website, www.deseretbook.com.

Garth James ’69, Kenneth Huot ’69, and Sidney Henderson ’69 at Crater Lake Lodge in June.

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J. Stephen Mikita ’74 recently published “I Sit All Amazed: The Extraordinary Power of a Mother’s Love.”


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Ahead of their Class

No MCATs, no organic chemistry, and no pre-med program? No problem. Two young alums will soon find themselves as the most unlikely medical school classmates. Kristin Buterbaugh ’05 graduated from Northwestern University with undergraduate degrees in American studies and history. Lauren Bonomo ’09 is currently studying linguistics at Yale University. Both have Kristin Buterbaugh ’05 (left) been admitted to the Mount and Lauren Bonomo ’09 (right) Sinai School of Medicine’s Humanities and Medicine Early Acceptance Program, an outstanding accomplishment given the school’s competitive admittance rate of only 10 percent. According to Mount Sinai’s website, the program “provides a path to medical school that offers undergraduate students maximum flexibility to explore their interests in humanities and social sciences. Ideal candidates for this program will have demonstrated an interest and ability in the sciences and math in high school, taken a minimum of science/math courses in college, and have personal attributes that show promise for becoming a compassionate and humanistic physician.” Students apply to the program after only two semesters of college and are notified by the end of their third semester.

1976 Jim Caruso ’76 writes, “What a thrill to bring Cast Party to the Academy, and to catch up with so many old friends! It was a very musical and happy reunion for all of us! Suzanne Genter Friday ’76 and Liza Thornton ’76 are gearing up for this fall’s 35th class reunion. If you are interested in helping to plan the class party or would simply like to be included on all our future communications, please email Suzanne at sgfdesign@hotmail.com. Judith Mikita ’76 performed an original dance piece at the Contemporary Dance Theater’s Choreographer’s Festival on June 17 and 18 in Cincinnati. The piece she performed was titled, Kathy and Janet, and was choreographed in memory of SA classmate and friend Kathryn A. Zeller ’76, who was a victim of domestic violence. Anna Singer ’76 performed Orpheus and Euridice with the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh and Attack Theatre in November. The performance was staged in a historic mansion on Millionaire’s Row in Pittsburgh.

As a college sophomore in the fall of 2006, Kristin applied to the program and was admitted. What drew her to the program was the opportunity to be around other students who were good at science, but like herself, enjoyed other pursuits. After the Academy, she completed two undergraduate majors and continued to be involved with music and publications, even designing the Gates Magazine while pursuing her graduate degree at the University of Cambridge as a Gates Scholar. Lauren is just beginning her junior year at Yale and is excited to move forward with her studies now that there is no need for the MCATs and medical school applications. This summer, she completed an internship at UPMC’s Center for Cellular and Molecular Engineering with Dr. Rocky Tuan. Keenly aware of the fact that most linguistics students do not pursue biomedical internships during the summer, Lauren is enjoying every minute of her time in the lab – something she rarely gets to do as a linguistics major. She comments, “To be able to do what I love – study language and later go to medical school – is amazing.” Learn more about Mount Sinai’s program at www.mssm.edu.

Jim Caruso ’76 entertains the crowd with Billy Stritch during SA’s own version of “Cast Party” in April.

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1978 Jean Weinzierl ’78 writes that she is an “empty-nester now” as her daughter Nicki will be a senior at Denison University this fall, and her son Jamie will be a sophomore at Brown University.

1980 Wiredforwine.com, the company of Evans Gebhardt ’80, is now shipping to Pennsylvania! SA alumni get free shipping until September 17, 2011, by using the discount code: DCSA.

1981 Mark D. Moore ’81 writes, “Having fun in Northern Virginia and enjoying the kids and their successes. Liz is a junior at NC State and Matt is a freshman at Virginia Tech. Virginia is in the eighth grade. Where did the time go?!?”

1982 Kate Poppenberg Pigman’82 was named chairman of the board for the Laughlin Children’s Center in Pittsburgh. Kate has been a member of the board of trustees for 10 years and has served as the president of

1985 the board of directors for the last three years. The Laughlin Children’s Center has been providing services to children and families of the Quaker Valley since 1897. Kate will be responsible for outreach to area school districts and enhancing the services offered by the center.

1983 The Pittsburgh-based Smith Brothers Agency, co-owned and operated by Lindsey Smith ’83, Miles Smith ’84, and Bronson Smith ’88, recently announced the opening of a satellite office in San Francisco to better manage their West Coast clients.

1984 Maria Gaydos ’84 hosted a Steelers Superbowl tailgate party at her office in the Dallas area with several Sewickley Academy friends in attendance. She writes, “It was a pleasure getting to see all of the Sewickley Academy alums, families, and friends that made it to the Big ‘D’ to attend the Superbowl! We had a great time at the pre-game tailgate party. It was great to see so many faces that I hadn’t seen in years!”

SA Alumni and Friends Superbowl Tailgate. Row 1: Bronson Smith ’88, Maria Gaydos ’84, Bobby Gordon ’86, Tom Gordon, Tim Gordon ’84. Row 2: Tom Smith, Lindsey Smith ’83, Hal Partenheimer ’74, Mike Grogan ’84, Will Snyder ’83, Lisa Wood ’83, Laura Wood ’83, Rody Halcolmb.

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Wendy Zug Brown ’85 writes, “Hello dear Class of ‘85! It has been three decades since I moved from Sewickley, and I have thought of you all so many times! I have seen a few of you over these years, and I hope that all of you are doing well. I continue to live in Yellowstone with my husband, Jeff, and three high school-aged daughters, Laura, Becca, and Sarah. I am grateful for my years at SA and have many wonderful memories.” Elena Foster Dryden ’85 and Blyth Boyer DelBene ’85 and their families vacationed on South Padre Island in Texas. Blyth writes, “It was so great to reconnect after all these years with someone I have known since first grade.” E. Michael Fincke ’85 completed a successful mission to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Endeavor. This journey marked the last mission of the Endeavor shuttle and the second-to-last-mission of the NASA shuttle program. In addition to four spacewalks and several maintenance upgrades to the ISS, Endeavor’s crew also delivered the $2 billion Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer particle detector, which is designed to study dark matter, antimatter, and other high-energy phenomena that can-

Elena Foster Dryden ’85 and Blyth Boyer DelBene ’85 vacationed on South Padre Island with their families this summer.


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CLASS NOTES 1988 not be detected from Earth. Mike now holds the American record for the longest total time spent in space, 381 days. Ehren Jordan ’85 and Anne Marie Failla Jordan ’85 returned to Sewickley this summer to share some of the vintages from Failla Vineyards with the folks at the Sewickley Heights Golf Club.

1986 Roswitha Firth ’86 took a new position last fall as head of business continuity for Calpine Corporation in Houston, an independent power producer with a fleet of over 90 natural gas fired plants and the largest single renewable geothermal power resource in the world. “The job is challenging and I’m enjoying learning about a new industry.” Sloan Munter ’86 is living in Vail, Colorado, “where the moose are camped in the yard and making our Pudelpointers go crazy! I see Cricket Gordon Pylman ’76 around town, and Chris Scioscia McLean ’86 and her son Jack came to Vail this winter to ski the 500-plus inches of snow that we received!”

Sloan Munter ’86 with her Pudelpointer, Hardy Brown, during North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association training.

Karl Messner ’88 writes, “For the last several years, I’ve been traveling the world in search of adventure and inspiration. In the last year or so, I’ve been to 13 countries: Mexico, Honduras, Belize, Aruba, Grand Cayman, Costa Rica, Columbia, Panama, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, and Germany. In addition to exploring these places, I’ve also had the opportunity to perform my music throughout my travels. I toured as a musician for a decade after leaving Academy and am about to release a solo CD. (Details at KarlMessnerMusic.com where you can catch a glimpse of a rather unorthodox performance of the most requested live rock song.) Also, I just reconnected with one of my favorite alums from the Academy, Axel Ricci ’87, who is now a thoracic surgeon in Paris. Find me on Facebook!”

1989 Kyri Greenleaf-Jacobs ’89, executive vice president and shareholder of Bonnie Heneson Communications (BHC), has been named one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women, which recognizes outstanding achievement by women through professional accomplishments,

Karl Messner ’88 (right) and an Egyptian friend at the Pyramid of Zoser, outside Cairo in September 2010.

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community leadership, and mentoring. She also received the honor in 2009. Jacobs has spent 20 years as a communications, public relations, advertising, media and marketing professional, leading major campaigns for some of BHC’s largest clients. As an agency principal, she is integral in the company and has managed agency operations for more than 10 years. She continues to play a handson role for clients, serving as a strategic counselor and advising BHC senior managers on development and implementation of effective communications, advertising, and marketing plans. In addition to leading BHC, Jacobs serves in leadership roles in Howard County and has been recognized for her achievements. She joined the HC DrugFree board in 2007 and became chair in 2009. Jacobs also serves on the boards of Leadership Howard County and the Domestic Violence Center in Howard County. Scott ’89 and Kim Riebling welcomed a baby girl, Sophie Maeve, on February 18, 2011. Kim is a corporate attorney and Scott is a music producer/engineer. They live in the Boston area and enjoy nearby beaches.

Sophie Maeve Riebling, daughter of Scott ’89 and Kim Riebling.


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Playing Her Heart Out

1990 Sari Cohen ’90 recently joined the UPMC Center for Integrative Medicine in Shadyside. Sari’s specialty is naturopathy, which includes nutrition, botanical medicine, nutritional supplements, and other integrative modalities to assist in both acute and chronic diseases. Naturopaths earn doctorates in four-year naturopathic medical schools where they are clinically trained to help people achieve optimal health through lifestyle changes and modalities such as nutrition, homeopathy, herbal medicine, and hydrotherapy, among others.

1991 Ayanna Lee-Davis ’91 married Malanzo Davis at LeMont in Mt. Washington on May 29, 2011. Michelle Helena Denk ’91 launched her “American dream,” PrizeBite.com — an online specialty food gift business that ships anywhere in the United States. She has made it PrizeBite’s mission to be “a gift that keeps on giving” through the delicious experience of sharing the best of the best American-made foods. PrizeBite packages are customizable and presented in reusable and distinctive jute tote bags — intended to be appreciated long after they arrive. A portion of PrizeBite’s

Music and teaching are two major themes in the life of Marissa Knaub ���00, and pretty much have been since the day she was born. Her parents, Maribeth and Michael Knaub, are both musicians and educators. Today, Marissa is an accomplished harpist, having played the instrument since age 10. A teacher at one point herself, she taught the harp at an inner city school in Atlanta. As the saying goes, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Marissa was born and raised in Sewickley and was a lifer at SA. “Sewickley Academy is really a home to me,” says Marissa. But her connection to the Marissa Knaub ‘00 Academy actually spans back further than her own time here. Her father taught music at the Academy in the 1970s, teaching alongside revered dance and musical theater teacher Mario Melodia. Michael Knaub created the first chamber singers group and was the first to introduce woodwinds and brass into the school’s instrumental program. Marissa laughs, “It was never a question where I would go to school.” Throughout her time at the Academy, Marissa played the harp, taking weekly private lessons and incorporating it into her time at school through special performances, class musicals, and her own graduation ceremony. After SA, she earned a Bachelor of Music in harp performance and music business/management at the Berklee College of Music and a Master of Music in harp performance at the Peabody Institute of Music of The Johns Hopkins University. For two years, Marissa taught at an urban high school in Atlanta, instructing approximately 60 kids a day on 14 harps. “A harp program in any high school is rare, and to have one in an urban setting is surprising,” says Marissa. “I think teaching is one of the most important things a person can do. As a teacher you cultivate the beginnings of a student’s development and help them realize what they want to do and who they are.” After Atlanta, Marissa moved to Cleveland to study with one of the world’s premiere soloists and most recorded classical harpist, Yolanda Kondonassis, at The Cleveland Institute of Music. She recently finished the two-year program, which allowed her to practice and focus on performance and prepare her for a major harp competition, the Lyon & Healy awards at the University of North Texas in June 2011. “This was my first major competition and it left me very optimistic about playing in future competitions. When it came time to perform, I can say, ‘I played my heart out!’ In order to make it in any field in the arts, you have to have a passion and love for what you do. It’s not always easy, but this passion has brought me such excitement and enrichment in my life that it makes the ‘hard days’ all worth it.”

Ayanna Lee-Davis ’91 and Malanzo Davis at their May 2011 wedding.

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CLASS NOTES 1998 Tracy Johnson ’98 recently began a new position as senior marketing manager at American Express. She is still living in and loving New York City and enjoys catching up with old classmates as often as she can.

proceeds is donated to domestic hunger relief. Check out PrizeBite.com and enjoy a special introductory discount. To receive a 10% discount on your entire order, enter promo code PBLOVESSA at order confirmation when you shop through September 30, 2011.

1993 Lucie Hoch Wuescher ’93 and her husband, Allen Wuescher, welcomed a baby girl, Charlotte, in December 2010.

Charlotte Grace, daughter of Peter and Stephanie Madey Morton ’98.

1995 Ben Barnes ’95 took his very funny Fish Out of Water series on the road this summer when it was selected to be shown at the TBS Just for Laughs Festival in Chicago as one of the best comedy short films from around the world! Check out the featured short, Joyride, on www.benbarnes.net.

1996 Justin Ball ’96 is the VFX supervisor for HBO’s critically acclaimed new series, Boardwalk Empire. Justin and his team play a critical role in creating the look and feel of

Michelle Helena Denk ‘91 with specialty food items offered by her new company, Prizebite.

prohibition-era Atlantic City through their technical acumen and attention to detail. This project also afforded Justin the opportunity to collaborate with the show’s executive producer, Martin Scorsese.

1997 Melinda Markvan ’97 graduated from the Massachusetts School of Law, passed the Massachusetts bar exam, and was married on October 10, 2010. All in 2010!

Stephanie Madey Morton ’98 and her husband Peter are thrilled to share the news of the birth of their first child, Charlotte Grace. She arrived on September 13, 2010, and weighed 6.6 lbs., 19 inches. “She is such a blessing, we could not ask for anything more. We are currently enjoying parenthood and relocated to Newport, Rhode Island, in May.” The paintings of Kate Norris ’98 are currently on display at The Two Sisters Art Gallery in Sewickley. The gallery is owned and operated by Molly Amsler ’76. Kate and her husband also recently welcomed their daughter Rhyan Mackay Norris into the world on July 7, 2011.

1999 Julie Bevevino ’99 and J. Brett Fulesday ’99 wed on March 5, 2011, surrounded by many members of the Academy community. Their wedding party included Lisa Bevevino ’02, David Bevevino ’06, Laurel Weller Noe ’98,

It was truly a Sewickley Academy gathering for the wedding of Julie Bevevino ’99 and Brett Fulesday ’99. Row 1: David Bevevino ’06, Pamela Gregg, Cindy Bevevino, Brett Fulesday ’99, Julie Bevevino Fulesday ’99, Erin Sebastian ’16, Teddy Oh ’16. Row 2: Crissy Hahn Storck ’99, Courtney Nass ’99, Alexis Beattie ’99, Lisa Bevevino ’02, Kennedy Stine ’14. Row 3: Chris Johnson ’98, Laurel Weller Noe ’98, Elizabeth Bryson ’99, Chris Anderson, D. Bantleon ’14. Row 4: Patti Stine, Les Stine.

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2000 After graduation from Middlebury College, Ashley Brown ’00 completed a CORO Fellowship and her master’s at Carnegie Mellon University. She is currently working on her doctorate at MIT. In addition, Ashley was recently married on the tropical island of Anguilla.

2001 Kate Norris ’98 and husband Sean welcomed a baby girl, Rhyan Mackay Norris, on July 7, 2011.

Sophie Elizabeth, daughter of Brennan and Liz Usaj Igoe ’99.

Crissy Hahn Storck ’99, and Kennedy Stine ’14. The ceremony occurred at Trinity Episcopal Church in Beaver, Pennsylvania, where Julie’s parents, Cynthia (assistant to the head of school) and Joe married in 1975. Pam Scott (Lower School music teacher) and Guy Russo (former Academy choral director) played the organ and sang, respectively. Patti Stine, director of annual fund and auction and mother of Taylor ’07, Kennedy ’14, and Cole ’17, served as wedding coordinator extraordinaire for the day. Other Sewickley Academy faculty members who attended include Larry Hall, Pat Rose, and Claudia Gallant.

John and Bethany (Giles) Colavincenzo ‘99 and big sister Emma welcomed Grant Christopher on October 20, 2010. The family resides in Boston, where John is a teacher and coach at Boston College High School, and Bethany works as a consultant at Children’s Hospital and through a private practice, New England Educational Development, LLC.

Kate Norris’ ’98 paintings are on display at The Two Sisters Art Gallery in Sewickley.

Emma and Grant Colavincenzo, children of John and Bethany (Giles) Colavincenzo ’99.

Liz Usaj Igoe ‘99 and her husband, Brennan, welcomed their first child, Sophie Elizabeth, on March 21, 2011. “We couldn’t be happier, and she is such a great baby.” They are moving from Boston to New Hampshire in the fall so Brennan can attend business school at Tuck.

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Allison Theis Dolan ’01 and her husband Brian, also a Pittsburgh native, currently live in Big Sky, Montana. They welcomed their third child, Mary Grace, on October 20, 2010. She joins older siblings Anne (4) and John (2). Lee Goldfarb ’01 finished his first year of business school at UVA’s Darden School of Business and is extremely excited to announce that he was selected for a summer internship as the finance coordinator at Cirque du Soleil! Since July 2010, Nick Smyth ’01 has been working on the Treasury Department team that is building the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). In March 2011, he joined the CFPB’s Enforcement Division, which will be responsible for enforcing the federal consumer financial laws for products like mortgages, credit cards, and car loans.

Allison Theis Dolan ’01 with her husband Brian and children Anne, John, and Mary.


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CLASS NOTES 2005 The CFPB officially opened its doors on July 21, 2011. Check out www.consumerfinance. gov to learn more.

2002 This summer, two SA Senior School students interned with Nina Marie Barbuto ’02 at her newly founded art space in Pittsburgh, Assemble. Assemble strives to be a place where one can engage his or her intrigue through hands-on activities about art and technology while making physical and nonphysical community connections. Emily Sakamoto ’13 and Andrew Nassar ’14 learned about all aspects of a non-profit arts organization including event planning, fundraising, grant writing, and much more. Would you be willing to host a SA student or recent grad as an intern at your company? Contact Greta Daniels at gdaniels@sewickley.org for more information. Adam Schlossman ’02 recently quit his D.C. job to manage a North Carolina-based alt-pop band, Delta Rae. “This summer, we’re touring all over the country. In early August, we’ll be joining the band Carbon Leaf on their southeastern tour and then going into the studio in

October to record our first album. I went from making a comfortable living in a good D.C. law job to working for free - clearly the plan my parents always had for me. Luckily, I’ve never had more confidence in anything I’ve done and I’m loving every second of every day.” Delta Rae (and Adam) played the Shadow Lounge in Pittsburgh in July. For more info, visit www.deltarae.com or find them on Facebook.

2003 David Flaherty ’03 is a doctoral candidate in American history at the University of Virginia. Kacey Wells ‘03 is engaged to marry Bobby McAleer on August 20, 2011, in St. Michaels, Maryland. The couple met at Elon University and they reside in Reston, Virginia. They are looking forward to celebrating their August nuptials with family and friends.

2004 Urie Norris II ’04 and his trio started performing at the new Cosmopolitan Resort Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, on February 25, 2011. Additionally, Urie performed on Broadway in October with Swedish pop sensation, Arash.

Delta Rae, a North Carolina-based band, is managed by Adam Schlossman ’02.

Kara Brown ’05 spent the year following her graduation from Middlebury College teaching in rural Thailand. She is currently in a master’s program focused on high school counseling at Boston College.

2006 David Bevevino ’06 started a new job as a research associate with the Education Advisory Board, a division of the Advisory Board Company, in Washington, D.C. This position allows David to further explore his interests in higher education policy and administration through his research regarding academic affairs, student affairs, and university financial affairs. David writes, “The transition to life in Washington, D.C., has been a quick and seamless one. Now that I have settled in the city, I am hoping to become more involved with the Roosevelt Institute Alumni and Young Professionals Network. This will allow me to continue some of the work that I did at UNC-Chapel Hill through our chapter of the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network.” Samantha Borkovic ’06 lives and works outside of San Diego at Camp Stevens Conference and Retreat Center. She writes, “Every day I enjoy the beautiful mountain weather,

Marion Joy ’07 with Gerald D. Holder, U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering, at her graduation from the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering.

Samantha Borkovic ’06 lives and works outside of San Diego, California.

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2009 teach outdoor education, facilitate teambuilding and ropes course initiatives, and operate the retreat center. Life is pretty great!” Richard Thornburgh ’06 was recently accepted into American Airlines flight school in Florida and expects to earn his wings in 18 months.

2007 Marion Joy ’07 graduated from the University of Pittsburgh this spring with degrees in bioengineering and chemistry. She will begin her doctorate in bioengineering at Pitt this fall where she will continue researching the cellular mechanisms of breast cancer progression. She is currently collaborating with a post-doctoral student on a research project that examines the effects of the protein, Profilin-1, on breast tumor metastasis using mouse models and in vitro assays. She also worked on her first scientific publication as a co-author this summer. Elizabeth Kerr ’07 was awarded a Boren Scholarship to study in Tanzania for the 20112012 academic year. Elizabeth is currently an undergraduate student in linguistics at the University of Chicago. She will study Swahili at State University of Zanzibar in Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania. David L. Boren Scholar-

Benjamin Thomas ’08 graduated from Naval Hospital Corps School this summer.

ships are sponsored by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), a major federal initiative designed to build a broader and more qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills. Boren Awards provide U.S. undergraduate and graduate students with the resources and encouragement to acquire language skills and experience in countries critical to the future security and stability of our nation. In exchange for funding, Boren award recipients agree to work in the federal government for a period of at least one year.

Michael Fulmore II ’09 writes, “I was thrilled to be at Heinz Field for the inevitable demise of the dirty birds during the NFL playoffs this year!”

2010 Renee Motley ’10 finished her freshman year at Harvard College and will continue her study of Arabic over the next three years. She spent this summer interning for the Heritage Valley Health System.

2008 After spending the first half of the summer studying abroad in Prague, Jeff Kendall ’08 traveled to Cape Canaveral for an engineering internship with NASA at the Kennedy Space Center. Timing could not have been more perfect as Jeff was able to meet up with fellow SA alumnus Mike Fincke ’85, when Fincke and the rest of the Endeavor crew returned from their most recent shuttle mission. On July 6, 2011, Benjamin Thomas ’08 graduated from Naval Hospital Corps School, designating him as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

Michael Fulmore ’09 and his roommate at the Steelers vs. Ravens game during the 2010-2011 playoffs.

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We Want Your News! Just married? Found a new job? Took an exciting trip? Moving away or back to the area? Whatever your news is, we want to hear it! Send your news to alumni@ sewickley.org or submit it on www.sewickley.org/classnotes.

Jeff Kendall ’08 and Mike Fincke ’85 meet up at the Kennedy Space Center after Fincke returned from his latest shuttle mission.


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REMEMBERING Kurt Cerny On January 18, 2011, Academy dance teacher Kurt Cerny passed away from heart disease. Kurt taught dance at the Academy beginning in 1996 and since then had taught nearly every student in all grades through his dance classes and musicals in the Lower, Middle, and Senior Schools. Every year he choreographed the musicals in each division and also directed the Lower and Middle School musicals. During his 15 years at the Academy, Kurt was a team player who enthusiastically volunteered for extra duties on campus – whether it was supervising the playground during recess or ensuring Lower School students were safely into cars at the end of the school day. His fun-loving spirit made him the ideal coordinator of the Lower School’s “Secret Santa” each Christmas. “Kurt had a wonderful way of looking at the world with just the right combination of humor and cynicism. He always seemed to have a little grin on his face as if he was thinking, ‘Isn’t this a hoot?’ His eyes always sparkled with pride – and amusement, too. He got such a kick out of it all!” writes former Director of Development Marnie McKnight. Before coming to the Academy, Kurt had 18 years of teaching experience at Duquesne University, Point Park University, and Carlynton School District in Carnegie, Pennsylvania. While pursuing his bachelor’s degree at Duquesne University in the late 70s, Kurt was on a full scholarship as a Tamburitzan – a traveling ensemble of talented artists who perform the music, songs, and dances of Eastern Europe.

Lower School Field Day was one of Kurt’s favorite Academy traditions.

precious human being. Kurt loved teaching and he loved children. That should be no surprise because he had the heart of a child. Like Peter Pan, he never wanted to grow up. … Of all the things that I miss, it’s his sense of humor that I miss the most. I miss the biting, cynical, acerbic wit … it kept me in stitches for 16 years. In times of sadness, and there have been those since his passing, I can still hear him say, ‘Come on, it’s not so bad – keep your chin up … or at least one of them.’”

Through the years, Kurt built a robust theatre and dance resume with the Pittsburgh Playhouse, Gargaro Productions, West Virginia Public Theatre in Morgantown, Kenley Players, Jewish Community Center, and many other groups and events. He is fondly remembered by many of his former students. “Many of my happiest SA memories centered in and around the dance studio, thanks to Mr. Cerny’s welcoming personality and wonderful smile,” says Hannah Pryce ’06. Kendall Thornburgh ’03 adds, “Kurt was more than a teacher and director during my years at SA, he was a friend and mentor. Always there to listen, and he always had a smile on his face that I will never, ever forget.” Kurt will be remembered most for his love of his students, his ability to connect with them in a positive way, his wit, and his warm, welcoming smile. He was a trusted colleague, dear friend, and inspiring educator. Kurt’s close friend and colleague David Ed shares, “Like raw oysters, Kurt was an acquired taste. He had definite opinions – there were no gray areas. But if you could look past a few flaws – every diamond has them – you would find a

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The Kurt Cerny Memorial Fund for Students has been developed to provide assistance to students who are recognized as aspiring performing artists, and who would benefit from educational opportunities to realize his or her full potential. To learn more, visit www.sewickley.org/kurtcerny.


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One of a Kind: Jerome P. “Jerry” Smith A Tribute by Director of Technology J. Beau Blaser ’95 From the start of his career as a French teacher at the Academy in 1967 to his time as a member of the technology department beginning in 1997, Jerry Smith’s many contributions to Sewickley Academy are untold. I count myself as one of those fortunate enough to have known him. As a student in the Middle School in the late 80s, he was my French teacher for two years. During my college years, when I was looking for an internship in information technology, I found an opportunity in the newly formed technology department at the Academy where Jerry Smith had already established a reputation as a leader in the field. He spent much of his time teaching the rest of us what to do and how to do it in the new digital age. Jerry interacted with all aspects of Academy life. As a faculty member, he taught French, was a coach of wrestling and soccer, and a singer whose voice could always be heard singing the alma mater at assemblies or on those winter mornings when he participated in the Lower School holiday hall sing. As network administrator, he worked with everyone: administration, faculty, staff, the maintenance crew, students, and alumni. Long-time colleagues and former students were shocked to hear of his sudden passing on April 26, 2011, but all remember a man with incredible dedication and commitment to our school. Jerry was an expert in so many facets of life and was always there to lend a helping hand or to offer advice. He was an expert in network administration and security, French language and culture, and other foreign languages like Italian and Gaelic. His email signature contained the Gaelic term: “foghlaimeoir,” which means “learner.” He was always learning new things, his mind never idle or at rest. Studying the Gaelic language, history, and culture for many years, he would occasionally participate in a weekend-long retreat with other learners of the Gaelic language – speaking nothing but Gaelic the entire weekend. If you took the time to get to know Jerry Smith in any of his roles, you know what a special person he was. Knowing Jerry was something I appreciate more so now because of the influences he left with me: friendship, mutual respect, humor, and loyalty to name a few. Always a fan of debate, even conversations about the most mundane of topics excited Jerry. Lunch conversations centered on life, society, politics, hockey, Steelers football, philosophy – the list goes on and on. He would always have something to offer a conversation; his unique point of view would always spur the conversation on in a new direction.

For over four decades, Jerry Smith touched the lives of so many in the Academy community.

Cups of 2002 and 2006. When I arrived at work, I could hear loud cheering coming from the technology offices as both he and Dr. Uwe Stender cheered on their respective teams over coffee. They had already been there for hours to enjoy the game and their friendship. In all of Jerry’s roles, there was always time enough to get the job done, while also embracing life and enjoying the company of those around him. For over four decades, Jerry Smith touched the lives of so many in the Academy community. Our memories of him and the impression he left on our lives is his true legacy: to always do your best and have some fun along the way.

Though there can be no single tribute to Jerry’s legacy and contribution to the school he loved, an award has been established in his name. The Jerry Smith Award for Outstanding Service will call attention to Academy staff members and the quiet, but powerful contributions they make to the Academy community, like those made by Mr. Smith on a daily basis for the past 14 years as network administrator.

As network administrator, Jerry always came to work early to check on the various systems, which worked out well in the World

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As of July 14, 2011

ALUMNI VIOLA CULBERTSON GEER ’37

ELEANOR RUMPF GERO ’44

Viola Culbertson Geer ’37 passed away on March 21, 2011, at the age of 89. Born in Pittsburgh and raised in Sewickley, she was the daughter of the late John Dickey and Viola Wheeler Culbertson. Predeceased by her husband E. Throop Geer Jr., M.D. and son John C. Geer, she is survived by her daughter Suzanne C. Geer and two sons, E. Throop Geer III and Christopher M. Geer. A graduate of The Madeira School, Viola was married to Dr. Geer in 1943 and moved to Riverside, Connecticut, in 1951. A lifetime spent in giving and assisting others, she will be greatly missed by all who were fortunate enough to know her.

Eleanor Rumpf Gero ’44 passed away on May 1, 2009. She was born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1930. While growing up, she lived in Sewickley, New York City, Fairbaut, and Vermont. She is survived by five children, Cmdr. Murray Gero (USN) and his wife Debbie, Cathy Gero, Judi Wachsmuth and her husband Dean, Chuck Gero and his wife Libby, and Linda Merkens and her husband Joe.  She is also survived by 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.  She had recently retired from H & R Block where she had worked for over 15 years as a tax preparer.  She was active in her church, St. Georges, Mission Viejo, as head of the altar guild, singing in the choir, and working on the vestry.  She was active in the Red Cross from the age of 15. She was also a ‘Gray Lady’ volunteering in several hospitals in the mid 1950s through late 1960s.

ALFRED REED SCHROEDER SR. ’37 Alfred Reed Schroeder Sr. ’37 of Sewickley Heights passed away on March 25, 2011, at the age of 88. Born in Sewickley, he was a WWII Army Veteran, serving in Normandy, where he was awarded a Purple Heart. A graduate of the Cranbrook School and Trinity College, he worked for the Farmers Bank prior to becoming co-founder, then president, of Schroeder Brothers Corporation, Inc. He was a very active, beneficent member of every organization he joined. His efforts as chairman of the Sewickley Heights Historical Review Board led to the first rural historic designation in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and he served as a member of the Sewickley Academy board of trustees from 1968 to 1976. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Ann Howison Williams Schroeder; his two sons, A. Reed Schroeder Jr. ’71 and J. Howison Schroeder ’74; and his five grandchildren, Alfred Reed Schroeder III ’00, Jesse Redman Schroeder ’01, Elizabeth Davenport Schroeder, Lydia Williams Schroeder, and John Howison Schroeder Jr.

JOHN T. STONER ’46 John T. “Jay” Stoner ’46 passed away on February 15, 2011, in his home at the age of 79. Born and raised in Sewickley, John was one of four children in the family of Frank R. Jr. and Jane Stoner. Following studies at Sewickley Academy, St. Andrews School, and Colgate University, he enlisted in the Navy during the Korean War. During his career, Mr. Stoner headed international operations for Valspar, one of the largest global coatings manufacturers in the world. In addition to his wife, Gail, Mr. Stoner is survived by his former wife, Elizabeth Alexander Stoner; his children, Jane Stoner ’73, Richard “Dick” Stoner ’75, and Joel Stoner ’82; his sister, Barbara Kittel ’57; 14 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

WILLIAM A. GORDON JR. ’52 William Alexander “Sandy” Gordon Jr. ’52, born December 28, 1937, died April 11, 2011. He was predeceased by his father, William A. Gordon; his mother, Madelaine Laughlin Alexander; and his brothers, Laughlin Alexander Gordon and Charles Alexander Gordon. He is survived by his loving wife, Lucretia Selover Gordon; their two children, Elizabeth G. Fichera ’78 and William A. Gordon III; his grandchildren, Kristin M. Fichera and Katie M. Goodrich; his great-grandchild, Finley Marie Goodrich; and his surviving brothers, Gordon Gordon ’49, Maitland Alexander Gordon ’51, and Jonathan Harrington Gordon ’60.

MARSHALL RODD HERRON JR. ’41 Marshall Rodd Herron Jr. ’41 died January 31, 2011. He was born in Pittsburgh on July 24, 1925. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Alice B. Herron; his brothers, William and Lewis Herron; his children, Lisa Bankoff and Marshall Rodd Herron III; and several grandchildren and step-grandchildren. Educated at Sewickley Academy and The Hotchkiss School, he joined the Navy at 17, serving as a radarman on the USS Zeilin and participating in landings throughout the Pacific theater. He then began a 45-year career with Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., living in Pittsburgh, Richmond, and Buffalo.

NANCY TRAINER MUSE ’55 Nancy Trainer Muse ’55, beloved wife of Albert Muse, passed away at her home in Pittsburgh of ovarian cancer on January 28, 2011. After the Academy, she attended The Madiera School and Briarcliff College. She was the daughter of the late Nancy Clause and John Morehead Trainer. She is survived by her husband, Al; siblings, John Trainer ’66 and Martha Dingman ’58; children, Alexandra Ehrlich and Nonie Shore; and her many grandchildren.

VIRGINIA “BUNNY” VINCENT ’41 Virginia “Bunny” Vincent ’41, born April 27, 1926, passed away on February 4, 2011. She attended The Madeira School and Carnegie Institute of Technology from which she graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre design. In 1949, Virginia married George G. Vincent of Sewickley. They had four children, Suzannah, Margaret, Thomas, and Virginia. In 1955, Virginia and her husband moved to Lakeville, Connecticut, where she was active in the region’s cultural and civic organizations. She was a gifted artist who worked in many mediums including needlepoint, graphic arts, and theatrical design. In addition to her four children and husband, Virginia is survived by her three grandchildren, a niece, and a nephew.

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S EW I CKLEY

SP EAK IN G

SYDNEY OLIVER PALITTI ’57

SU MMER

2011

FAMILY OF ALUMNI

Sydney Oliver Palitti ’57 of Rosslyn Farms and Nantucket, Massachusetts, died unexpectedly on June 21, 2011, in Hyannis, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of the late David Brown Oliver II and Laura Liggett Oliver ’33, and was educated at Sewickley Academy and St. Timothy’s School in Stevenson, Maryland. She made her debut at Allegheny Country Club. Mrs. Palitti formerly was a long-time member of Allegheny Country Club and the Edgeworth Club. She is survived by her husband of 42 years, Carl Edwin Palitti Sr.; her children, Laura Oliver Palitti, Carl Edwin Palitti Jr., and Patricia Anne Palitti Bennett; her granddaughters; and her sisters, Elsie Oliver Mackenzie ’58, wife of the late Rev. David C. Mackenzie, and Gertrude Oliver Hetherington ’60, wife of Dr. Arthur F. Hetherington III ’58. Sydney was a gentle soul, who loved her family unconditionally and all the beauty of nature.

JILL SWANSON CLARK

January 5, 2011 Wife of Craig A. Clark ’79, sister-in-law of Richard A. Clark II ’75 PAUL W. CONRAD JR.

December 22, 2010 Father of Elizabeth Conrad ’92 and P. William Conrad ’92 CHARLES GEORGE “CHUCK” CROSS

January 18, 2011 Father of Charles S. Cross ’76, Joan Cross Feick ’87, and Mary Cross ’80 IRENE MCCUTCHEON HAWK

April 27, 2011 Mother of Susan Hawk Coy ’70

WILLIAM THEODORE HUNTER ’71

ANDREW DECKER HUNTER

Sewickley Academy received word of the passing of William Theodore Hunter ’71. He is survived by his sister, Alice Decker Hunter ’66, of Willow Creek, California.

Brother of Alice Decker Hunter ’66 HENRY PETTUS

June 22, 2011 Father of Eric Pettus ’84

DIANA ELIZABETH BEESON ’71

ELIZABETH “BETTY” RIEGEL

Diana Elizabeth (Poister) Beeson ’71 died on February 11, 2011, after a courageous struggle with cancer. She was born on August 14, 1953, in Evanston, Illinois. As a child, she moved with her family to Sewickley. Following graduation from the Academy, she attended Ithaca College and the University of Missouri-Columbia. She received a master’s degree from the University of Iowa in 1988 and a doctorate in mass communications from the University of Iowa in 2004. She married Phil Beeson in 1978 and had two sons, Jack and Ben. Diana served as the program director of University of Iowa Television (UITV) from 1983 until 2000, as well as an instructor of journalism. She married Michael Real in 2004. She is survived by her husband Michael Real, sons Jack and Ben Beeson, father John Poister, and brothers John ’68 and Geoff Poister ’73.

January 23, 2011 Mother of Stephen Riegel ’76 LORRAINE ROBERTS

April 10, 2011 Mother of Lydia Roberts Valentine ’93 and Laurice Roberts ’98 JOHN M. WEBB

April 26, 2011 Husband of Mary Theresa (Williams) Webb ’47 and father of Elizabeth Webb McComas ’74, Mary Webb Bourke ’77, and Getrude “Trudy” Webb Allen ’82 PAUL MYRON WICK

PETER CHRISTOPHER WISE ’74

April 22, 2011 Father of Christine Wick Sizemore ’60, Laura Wick ’62, Wendy Wick Reaves ’68, and Sandy Wick Ruggiero ’69

Lifelong Sewickley resident Peter Christopher Wise ’74 passed away on July 14, 2011, following a heroic struggle with cancer. He was a talented lacrosse player and coach for many area lacrosse teams. Peter was a gifted carpenter, and he periodically worked on the Academy’s campus, skillfully assisting with projects. Last summer, he gave personal attention to the details surrounding the construction of the Colin Wise ’07 Memorial Courtyard on campus. He was also the manager of Martin Wise Properties. Peter is survived by his loving wife, Nancy; two children, Caroline and Christopher ’09; two brothers, Tim ’70 (Sally) and John ’72 (Meghan ’72); a nephew, Bryan Wise ’05, and three nieces, Adele, Mary Helen and Katie Wise. He will be sorely missed by all, including numerous in-laws, as well as the many tradesmen and Academy employees with whom he worked.

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315 Academy Avenue | Sewickley, PA 15143

SAV E TH E DATE

Reunion Weekend 2011 September 30 & October 1, 2011 The weekend will include... • Distinguished Alumni Award Ceremony • Alumni Games Day BBQ • 25th Anniversary Celebration of Ephemera • Parties for the milestone reunion classes ending in ’1 or ’6

...and much more! Reunion invitation with a full schedule of events is forthcoming.

For more information, visit www.sewickley.org/reunion.  

Questions?

Join Friends REUNION WEEKEND 2011

Contact Director of Alumni Relations Greta Daniels at gdaniels@sewickley.org or 412-741-2230 ext. 3044.


Sewickley Speaking Summer 2011