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The Hillside S o u t h K e n t S c h o o l M a g a z i n e | Summer 2012

The Hillside 2012 Volume XLIX Number

Head of School’s Report

Editor: Thomas Javery Communications Coordinator

Paradigm Bridge Needed

Copy Editor: Mary Flemming Brown

Contributors: Carol-Ann Bruen Lynn Mellis Worthington Cheryl Moore Send address changes to: South Kent School 40 Bulls Bridge Road South Kent, CT 06785-1199 (860) 927-3539 x206 email:

South Kent School adheres to a longstanding policy of admitting students of any race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, and national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, and other schooladministered programs. Mission Statement South Kent School is an independent, college preparatory school for boys. Since its founding, South Kent has maintained ties with the Episcopal Church. Three principles define the school: Simplicity of Life, Self-Reliance, and Directness of Purpose. We offer, by living simply, an uncluttered environment for lively and rigorous learning. We encourage our students to become self-reliant in order to develop competence and self-esteem. We value directness of purpose: we want each student to welcome the challenge to focus his energies, to set goals, and to work to meet them. South Kent School fosters these principles in a community, small in numbers, that provides a safe and supportive family structure. We embrace diversity and cherish honesty, courtesy, and compassion. In this energizing atmosphere, we provide leadership opportunities that develop a student’s sense of responsibility and service. We nurture in our students, regardless of belief or religious affiliation, a thoughtful engagement with spirituality. Visit South Kent School’s website at ..._ _ _ ...

Printed on recycled paper

Cover2 • The Hillside Summer 2012


rought, soaring humidity, scorching and uncontrollable wildfires, and hundreds of shattered temperature records across the country, all played out against the backdrop of a sluggish economy—this was the summer of 2012. Climate change and a failing economic model are serious challenges for future generations. I say climate “change” because I recognize that while it was hot and dry in the U.S., other parts of the globe were colder and wetter during this same period. Nevertheless, the evidence is mounting that our climate is, indeed, changing because the average global temperature is rising. According to many scientists, the weather this summer is what climate change looks like in the early stages. If this is true, what should this mean for the institutions in our culture tasked with educating future generations? At this point in my life, I find myself sharing the opinions of David Orr, the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics at Oberlin College. Orr is calling for an educational “perestroika” in the face of these unprecedented and intractable dilemmas now facing humanity. Now, more than ever before, we need to rethink the process and substance of education—at all levels. In place of a system that values separation, extraction, fragmentation, and quantification, we must create education that teaches unification and connection and that produces decency, prudence, resiliency and wisdom. I don’t see this happening in very many places nowadays, but this is exactly my vision for South Kent’s new Center for Innovation (CFI). (For more on this, see Richard Chavka’s article in this edition.) Orr, in Earth in Mind: On Education, Environment, and the Human Prospect (Island Press, 2004), writes about his fear that our old educational paradigm will still be too effective at producing the things we no longer need while some of us race to construct the alternative. “In contrast,” Orr muses, “I worry that we will compete all too effectively on an earth already seriously overstressed by the production of things economists count and too little production of things that are not easily countable such as well-loved children, good cities, healthy forests, stable climate, healthy rural communities, sustainable family farms, and diversity of all sorts.” Orr concludes by writing: “Many of the educational reforms now being proposed have little to do with the goals of personal wholeness, or the pursuit of truth and understanding, and even less to do with the great issues of how we might live within the limits of the earth.” I cannot agree more.


hile I am alarmed by the climate and our economy, I remain optimistic that meaningful changes can come from our collective recognition of the larger pattern. We just need to begin connecting the dots. Take, for instance, the exciting news made by a team of scientists working for the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN). In July they announced that the existence of the elusive Higgs boson particle has finally been proven. Here, to my mind, is a powerful connection between the secular and the sacred—just the type of connection that we’ll need to identify and honor as we move forward into our new education.... Continued on page 3


The Hillside

Volume XLIX, Number 2 Summer 2012

“We are all called to serve. This is part of what it means to be human - to use our God-given gifts and talents for the betterment of our communities and this world.”

see page 6


2 4 14 16

FRONT&CENTER Letters to the School Prize Day Center for Innovation Update Winter and Spring Athletics



Affinity Groups 6

Call to Service, Call to Adventure and Call to Explore

A Hero’s Journey 26

Catch up with four recent grads and see how the values of SKS have affected their lives in college and beyond.


32 39 42 46

ALUMNI Alumnus Profile Class Notes Alumni Weekend In Memoriam

inbox Missives

Dear Mr. Vadnais, I hope all is well with you and your family. I am sitting in my office looking at the school’s website and I must say “WELL DONE!!!”. I am so happy to see that the Hillside is a leader in innovation and dedication when it comes to educating Young Men. I am also excited to see the use of technology in the classroom. I was talking to my classmate Emmy, (who is an Apple user) about the iPads for each student and how awesome that is. Actually, we both laughed because of the experience of carrying book bags from the Fieldhouse or Garfield to the Schoolhouse. We even remember those times in Study Hall and having to go to the library and waiting for a computer to complete an assignment. Even those memories are priceless…an iPad would have been awesome…LOL!!! I often talk about my experiences at South Kent and how it has contributed in the foundation of who I am today. Please send my regards to all of the students and faculty. Let them

To Reach Us... Editor’s Note: We welcome any correspondence that you might be willing to share with us. Please email letters to the editor to You can also send mail to Hillside Letters, South Kent School, 40 Bulls Bridge Road, South Kent, CT 06785. All letters may be edited for content. Letters received by The Hillside will be considered for publication unless otherwise stipulated by the sender.

2 • The Hillside Summer 2012

know how very proud we as alum are of their “Brilliant” accomplishments. Keep up the GREAT WORK. Josh Mosley ’99 Austell, GA

Dear South Kent, The presentations and conversations over the course of Alumni Weekend were really well done. It was the best explanation yet of why and how the school has changed in the ways it has. My classmates - all those with whom I spoke - were optimistic and enthusiastic about the school and its future. All the best,

Frank Brown ’82 Silver Springs, MD

Dear Hillside Editor: What a thoroughly engaging and informative issue of the winter edition of The Hillside. Currently I am on a late winter/early spring visit to my son Andrew ’78 and his spouse’s south Florida home where I read his copy and also visited his SKS classmate Sam Barrington. I was particularly moved by the enthralling anamnesis of S.S.B. written by Paul Matthews ’51 which brought back treasured memories of “The Old Man”. I had the privilege of succeeding his older brother John as third prefect during the 1947-8 academic year. Johnny was a superb athlete playing football, hockey and rowing on our crew and a classmate of “Birdy” Edwards, our senior prefect that year. For the record I think Mund’s first name was Fred (not “Mark”) and Strohmeyer was

For digital back issues or to get The Hillside on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, visit: Walt (not “Dick”.) They were also great athletes that academic year when we were undefeated in football and were coached by Bill Gillette who was the best football coach I ever had either in secondary school or at the collegiate level. (I only recently learned that my punting average is still Trinity College’s all-time seasonal record, and I attribute it to Bill Gillette who taught me how to kick the pigskin at Pigtail and later earn Little All American Honorable Mention in 1950.) I, too, fondly recall all the familiar phrases S.S.B. would repeatedly utter which Paul quoted, and would add one more from my increasingly failing memory: “Follow the green line!” It was also an unexpected revelation for me to learn from Matthews’ piece that The Old Man was, in Paul’s words “Forced to retire by his own faculty and trustees in 1954”. I was previously under the impression that after 30+ years, he simply ran out of gas. Having personally been in the secondary school vocation for the same amount of time at the teaching, coaching, administrative and chaplaincy levels, it can take its toll over the decades, and The Old Man had certainly put in his time!

In any case, I found the entire excerpt from Paul’s “Now the Day is Over” completely captivating and thank you, the Editor of The Hillside, for including it in the current school publication. Cordially, and appreciatively, Richard L, Aiken, (The Rev. Retired) ’48 Truro, MA P.S. Did you know that in those “Old Days” the entire student body with faculty used to walk the back road down to New Milford for away football games with Canterbury? The football team got rides, and on the return trip faculty wives would pick up tired stragglers in their cars to get back to school for supper. I doubt that would happen today! CORRECTION AND AMPLIFICATION In my “Pigtail Reminiscence” in the winter issue of this magazine, I mistakenly stated that “Sam Bartlett was forced to retire by his own faculty and trustees in 1954”. This was not the case at all, as was swiftly pointed out to me, and I apologize for stating as fact what was, I now see, only

rumor and hearsay. I have checked with my cousin Legaré Cuyler, and he reminded me that Mr. Bartlett took a year’s sabbatical in 1952-53, and traveled around the country talking to alumni, and that this may have opened his eyes to the ways in which the world was changing. Bill Gardiner writes me that in his sophomore year of college (1952-53) “the Old Man spoke to a group of SKS graduates in downtown Hartford [and] expressed some solemn thoughts about ‘not being up with the times’”. As well as this, Legaré informed me that Mr. Bartlett was heard to say that he was ‘tired’ and had ‘accomplished his mission’. Legaré was there at Prize Day 1954 when our uncle, Buzz Cuyler, then head of the Board of Trustees, announced Mr. Bartlett’s resignation. I’m not in any doubt now that it was of his own volition. He had been Headmaster for 31 years of the school he had started with my uncle Dick Cuyler he had achieved a major work, a kind of masterpiece, or in his own understated words, “a good job, well done”; he had “fought the good fight”, and he was worn out. I think that’s much closer to the truth than what I originally wrote.

ADDENDA Here is one more anecdote about SSB, to demonstrate his quirky, pioneer independence, not to say his ‘keen sense of the ridiculous’. He told us that once, when he went to his bank in Eastham, MA, on Cape Cod (or Cod Cape, as Doc Henry called it) to cash a check, there was a new teller there who didn’t recognize him and demanded identification. The Old Man had no ID with him. Finally, after trying to reason with the young teller for some time, the Old Man loosened his belt enough to pull the edge of his underpants out, showing the nameband that Mrs. Bartlett had sewn there, saying, “Will this do?” I can’t remember whether he got the check cashed, but I think so. Paul Matthews ’51 Lambertville, NJ

continued from inside front cover: ... Here, think: new career options in fields like propulsion technology, multi-dimensional communication and computing, and reality training—since soon proof may be available from the quantum world that humans use the power of thought to construct their own physical realities, beginning on the subatomic level. Of the Higgs boson discovery, Jeffrey Kluger, writing in Time Magazine ( July 23, 2012) said: “The particle may help physicists crack some of the other great cosmological mysteries: the nature of gravity, the invisible dark matter that makes up 80% of the universe, the dark energy that is forever pulling the cosmos apart. There’s a strange mixing of faith and physics in all this—a contemplation of puzzles so hard to grasp and findings so consequential that they take on a sort of secular religiosity.”


t South Kent, we are not waiting for others to solve the problems in education—we’re creating a paradigm bridge of our own through The Center for Innovation. So, when you are asked “What is South Kent School?” You can answer with the following: The South Kent experience develops young men for academic and character excellence who can evolve and adapt, be globally competitive and prepared to meet the challenges posed by a changing natural environment. Employers want leaders with broad skills who can think for themselves and solve problems in whatever form they take. Therefore, a school entrusted with preparing tomorrow’s global leaders must offer more than rigorous academic and competitive athletic programs. Leadership in the evolving global economy requires the ability to recognize and adapt to change, the flexibility to adopt new technologies, insight into relationships with other people and cultures, creative problem-solving within environmental constraints and a sound mind, body, and spirit. At South Kent, we hone the development of these characteristics through a process that students can rely on to succeed at every stage of life. We call this process the Hero’s Journey.

Andrew J. Vadnais

Summer 2012 The Hillside • 3

South Kent’s Class of 2012

Congratulations, Class of 2012! Prize Day Awards

Headmaster’s Cup................................................................................................................................ Nino Hernandez SSB Cup............................................................................................................................................... Delano Williams The James S. Johnson Memorial Trophy...............................................................................................James O’Connor The George and Maggie Bartlett Cup..................................................................................................... Jangu Chothia Mary Flemming Brown and Arthur Wood Brown Award...................................................................... Tae Hoon Kim The Paul and Terese Abbott Cup..........................................................................................................Daniel DeRocco The Scott C. Mitchell ’72 Prize......................................................................................Benjamin Gardner, Luis Davila William P. Gillette ’29 Trophy...............................................................................................................James O’Connor John C. Farr ’58 Trophy....................................................................................................................... Benjamin Lussier The Cum Laude Society.......................................................................... Mengdi Hao, Tae Hoon Kim, Jangu Chothia Academic Leader of the VI Form............................................................................................................ Tae Hoon Kim Humanities Prize...................................................................................................................................... Jangu Chothia Bartlett English Prize..........................................................................................................................Joshua Watkinson Mathematics Prize................................................................................................................................... Tae Hoon Kim George G. Knopf Science Prize............................................................................................................... Joseph Zaccara Scholastic Improvement Award..........................................................................................................Benjamin Gardner Chapel Reading Prize................................................................................................................................. Cody Guerry ELL Prize......................................................................................................................................................Ziqiao Han Art Prize................................................................................................................................ Ziqiao Han, Yun Suk Park The Pigtail Prize................................................................................................................................... Seung Hwan Jin Call to Adventure Prize......................................................................................................................Benjamin Gardner Call to Explore Prize................................................................................................................................. Ignacio Baeza Call to Service Prize...........................................................................................................................Keegan McCarthy 4 • The Hillside Summer 2012


Summer 2012 The Hillside • 5

inclass Affinity Groups




By Lynn Mellis Worthington


n an effort to educate the whole person, South Kent School launched a new co-curricular program this year. Both students and faculty reported great success with the Affinity Groups. Each term, members of the Fifth Form, Sixth Form and Post-Graduate class were placed in one of the three groups: Call to Service, Call to Adventure and Call to Explore. Each group had a slightly different mission, but with each activity students came away with experiences that in some cases altered their outlook on life. Chi-Chen Hsieh, a rising Sixth Former from Taipei, Taiwan, enjoyed the new experi-

6 • The Hillside Summer 2012

ences provided by Call to Adventure and Call to Service. During the Winter Term, he had a number of adventures including hiking, rock climbing and camping out. “We built a little house, a shelter, in the woods. I spent a night in it,” Chi-Chen said. “That’s the first time I’ve ever done this in my life.” During the Spring Term through Call to Explore, he was reintroduced to playing the piano after not touching the instrument for five years. Even Sixth Former Ben Gardner, who has spent quite a bit of time enjoying outdoor activities, was touched by the experiences in Call to Adventure. “It gives students a great opportunity to learn more about themselves,” Ben said. “I liked how we went outside every Monday and Friday, and we learned a lot of new things, like climbing rocks or going on hikes

to Bulls Bridge and St. John’s Ledges.” Ben thinks the Affinity Groups are a great addition to South Kent. “The Affinity Groups help kids find new things they haven’t experienced before, such as helping out the community or singing in a play,” he said. One of the reasons for establishing the Affinity Groups was to enhance character development of the students. The school continues to stress that each boy is on his own Hero’s Journey as described by author Joseph Campbell. Part of that belief is that heroes are called serve the community of which they are a part. The Call to Service group worked both on campus and off to provide service to others.



hi-Chen found the Call to Service activities a way to build “mental toughness” in students. He acknowledged that most of the students did not enjoy the on-campus activities of dishwash and collecting recycling. “These things are not something that people are willing to do,” Chi-Chen said. He said Call to Service Coordinator, the Rev. Steve Klots, explains that students have to learn to do things they don’t always want to. “We have to do something that we’re not willing to, but it is serving other people,” Chi-Chen said. Call to Service did a number of different projects throughout the year. During the Winter Term, the group focused on raising funds for World Bicycle Relief, a non-profit organization started by alumnus F.K. Day ’78 and his wife Leah to provide bicycles to residents of third world countries. A 24-hour bike-a-thon was held on stationary bikes in the weight room. Students and faculty rode for 20-minute shifts from Jan. 28 beginning at 8 p.m. and continuing through to the next evening. World Bicycle Relief was founded in 2005 as an organization dedicated to providing access to independence and livelihood through the power of bicycles. Since its inception, WBR has put over 90,000 specially designed, locally assembled bicycles in the hands of students, healthcare workers, and entrepreneurs in developing countries around the world. By increasing their mobility, WBR has likewise increased their possibilities. In the 2010-2011 school year, South Kent School students and faculty raised enough money to buy 41 bicycles for World Bicycle Relief. During the two years a total of $7,557 was raised. Another project was helping an elderly woman in New Milford in April as part of the Sears’ Home for Heroes and Rebuilding Together. Students were part of a group of volunteers who worked to complete the

replacement of all the windows in her home, as well as cleaning and organizing her house. During the Spring Term, a group of students traveled to Hartford for the Bishops’ Fund for Children 5K Race. There was a group handing out water to the runners, as well as a group running. There is a personal connection to the organization as the chairman of the organization is an alum, Foster White ’55, who visited the campus prior to the race to talk with students about the Bishops’ Fund. Each week, the boys and faculty helped locally in the town of Kent as well. The monthly lunch program for seniors continued this year with students serving pizza and chicken wings one Friday a month at the Kent Senior Center. Seniors delighted in talking with the South Kent boys over lunch. Regular visits were made to The Kent, a specialty care nursing home, where students socialized with the residents. Throughout the experiences provided by Call to Service, students learned valuable lessons about themselves. There were trips each term to a soup kitchen, Church Street Eats, at Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford. Many of the students had never sat down at a table next to someone who was poor,

We are all called to serve. This is part of what it means to be human - to use our Godgiven gifts and talents for the betterment of our communities and this world.

Clockwise starting left: Samuel Lartey and Chenshu Rong cleaning up roadside trash on Earth Day; Keegan McCarthy, Cody Guerry and Mr. Farley on Dish Duty; The fall Call to Service group helping at Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford

Summer 2012 The Hillside • 7

Affinity Groups

homeless and hungry. Chi-Chen learned that it was impossible to tell who was homeless and who was not. “We should treat people equally first. That is one of the big impacts for Call to Service,” he said. He also recognized that he has a lot of material things that other people don’t have. Father Klots is passionate about teaching students about service. It is something that he has stressed each of the 18 years he’s worked at South Kent. “We are all called to serve. This is part of what it means to be human - to use our God-given gifts and talents for the betterment of our communities and this world,” Father Klots said. He hopes that as students take part in these activities and by asking them to reflect on what they did, which was a regular part of the bi-weekly meetings, they are challenged to embrace their own calls to service. One of the things that Father Klots liked about the new Affinity Groups is that every student went through each of groups. “We got nearly every one of them offcampus to a major project that required them to interact with and serve persons and communities not directly involved with the Hillside,” he said. “This took a lot of commitment, and I could not have done it without the Call to Service faculty team. In the end, people were helped and lives were touched, including our own.”



assion is one thing that defined all of the Affinity Group coordinators. Pat Bonis led the Call to Adventure group with a number of other faculty. He designed the program with a balance of risk and challenge. “We embraced young men’s risk-taking behaviors, facilitating those activities in a safe way, and allowing them to push outside their comfort zones,” Mr. Bonis said. Along the way students learned what they were and weren’t capable of, but they also learned to support each other. “I want to expose them to these things so they get a new appreciation of what they can and can’t do,” Mr. Bonis said. “It is important for us all to learn humility and be humbled.” “The outdoors is awesome at that,” he said. Climbing mountains isn’t just about getting to the top, Mr. Bonis explained. It is also about recognizing when the weather won’t cooperate and prohibits one from getting to the top safely. “You have to learn that the best in the world go down and don’t make their objective. In the extreme, some people don’t make it out alive,” Mr. Bonis said. “It’s something that everybody, in my opinion, should expose themselves to.” The students enjoyed the variety of activities that were offered. They learned

to tie knots and canoe on Hatch Pond and go on many different hikes in the nearby area. Sometimes they stayed inside and were inspired by movies. Mr. Bonis enjoyed showing them “First Ascent” videos, that he called “mind blowing.” “Call to Adventure is important because most kids haven’t been outdoors, especially kids who come from the city. It really gives them an experience to be out in the woods and broaden their horizons,” said Ben. The area where the school is located is surrounded by natural beauty and the students were encouraged to appreciate that in Call to Adventure. The hikes selected always provided a goal or an objective. “We don’t have the biggest peaks but they are steep,” Mr. Bonis said, noting they lead to lookout points. “I always think if you’re going to climb something, you want to see something. It has to be incentivized.” He is not afraid to push students beyond what they might think are their limitations. “I think it struck a chord in every kid, whether it was watching a video or slacklining or going for a hike,” he said. He’s worked with a number of students in different situations, but there are always a few who surprise him. “It seems almost always there’s the one kid that you think is not going to do anything, not going to buy in, and then they totally buy in,” Mr. Bonis said. Mr. Bonis took a select group of students to Colorado and Utah for a one-week adventure (see related story). Ben said it made a lasting impression on him. “It was one of the best experiences of my life,” Ben said. “When in your life do you get to climb the second highest mountain in the country? I don’t think any other school can say they’ve done that and had a group do that. “ Left: Boys relaxing after a trek to the top of Bull Mountain; Right Top: Ben Welton, Daniel DeRocco and Anthony Florentino canoeing on Hatch Pond in the middle of February; Bottom Right: Jalen Harvey slacklining with fellow members of the Call to Adventure group

8 • The Hillside Summer 2012

We embraced young men’s risk-taking behaviors, facilitating those activities in a safe way, and allowing them to push outside their comfort zones.



etting in touch with their creative sides, Call to Explore pushed students into areas they might not always be comfortable with. Coordinator Cheryl Moore, who teaches art, led the students in learning about theater, music, singing and dance. She was joined by her husband, Walter Moore, English teacher Keenan Sheridan, and music teacher Marcus Cooper. Each term, Call to Explore divided up into at least three different sections. In the Fall Term, the group performed Shakespeare’s Henry V. Mrs. Moore said that first group was challenging. “They really did not want to buy in because, again, we’re an all-boys school; they didn’t want to buy into the theater and music thing,” she said. However, her connection to Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, MA, allowed her to outfit all the performers with authentic costumes and swords. “Once they saw the cool costumes and the big swords, all of a sudden it all came together in the last two days. Everyone was dressed beautifully. Everybody was holding a sword. Everybody finally knew their lines. They knew the music,” she said. Mrs. Moore always begins each performance with a talk to the audience about how important it is to be respectful when watching live performances. It is an important message for teenage boys who live a big portion of their lives experiencing art in front of a video screen. She couldn’t have been more pleased by the response from the Fourth Formers, who were the first audience to watch the Henry V performance. “They made it OK for these guys to perform, and they kept them from being embarrassed. It was a great moment,” she said. “They had a grateful audience that said ‘Wow, that guy can get up with a medieval costume on and recite lines from Shake-

speare and it’s completely OK.’ Nobody was laughing. Everybody was watching and kind of enthralled by this.” The resurgence of theater on the Hillside is welcomed by many. “We’ve had theater here before, but it kind of melted away a little bit,” Mrs. Moore said. “It’s nice that we can bring it back.” That success in the fall led to tackling several one-act plays during the Winter Term. Performances were in early March with Mr. Don Mousted serving as the technical director. The Phobias was directed by Mr. Kelvin Jefferson, Variations on the Death of Trotsky was a comedy directed by Mr. Sheridan and Mrs. Moore, and Mere Mortals was directed by Mr. Moore. Students rehearsed for weeks in various locations on campus and then came together in the Bringhurst Theater for the final performances. Mr. Cooper led a group that performed music in the Assembly Room. Students chose their favorite song to cover. In the art room, Mrs. Cruz Zoeller worked with students to express their creativity through the use of paint. During the Spring Term, Mr. Cooper turned his attention to drumming. A drummer himself, he encouraged students to learn more about the instrument. Students created a unique instrument called a drumbone that was made entirely from PVC pipe. The sound was created from moving parts of the pipe back and forth and simultaneously beating on the open end with a paddle. Each student in the group took a turn organizing a musical performance on Friday evenings known as the Cardinal Underground. One evening was devoted to drumming and others were karaoke and open mic nights. Another section that focused on music employed their vocal instrument, learning to sing and even create their own songs. Musician Michael Brown was brought to campus by Mrs. Zoeller for a gospel music session in Summer 2012 The Hillside • 9

Affinity Groups

Clockwise from top: Cody Guerry, Thomas Coleman and Delano Williams acting in Mere Mortals; Chao Huang and Starr Soltys teaching a dance lesson; Richard O’Shaughnessy and Chi-Chen Hsieh performing for the School

Once they saw the cool costumes and the big swords, all of a sudden it all came together in the last two days. Everyone was dressed beautifully. Everybody was holding a sword. Everybody f inally knew their lines. They knew the music. 10 • The Hillside Summer 2012

St. Michael’s Chapel. He later took a group of SKS boys to a multi-school performance, Gospelfest, in April at the Hotchkiss School. During the Spring Term, he worked with a group of students in Call to Explore, instructing them about singing. “It’s great to see them opening up. The first session is always, ‘I’m not going to sing.’ That’s just the male thing. As each session happens, you begin to see them opening up a little more,” Mr. Brown said. “Boys want to sing. Boys want to dance and do a lot of things that is deemed not a sport. I think a lot of boys want to do this but they have to feel safe enough to do it, I guess. I think it all happened here. We had great sessions and they opened up. They sang, they wrote songs and they gave their input.” Mrs. Moore tackled creating a dance performance with a group of boys during the spring. She knew it would be difficult, so she hand-picked those she felt had the right mixture of self-confidence and attitude to complete the performance.

“I feel that dance is something that maybe has been taboo here,” she said. “Dance more than anything else excites me, impresses me and makes me feel like we could actually do this again next year.” Part of the secret to their success was that they utilized the dance talents of Fourth Former Chao “Jack” Huang. Jack came up with a dance routine to teach the older boys, and then Starr Soltys helped him refine it and teach it to the others. Starr, an actress and dancer, also teaches dance regularly. “Starr was able to help Jack break these wonderful movements that he has in his head and in his body down into something that everybody could understand,” Mrs. Moore said. Although the dance routine had elements of hip-hop, Mrs. Moore and Mrs. Soltys encouraged the boys to collaborate on its formation. “We threw a little bit of the sports tricks in - the hockey in with the sticks and pucks and the soccer balls on the head and throwing them back and forth to each other,” Mrs. Moore said. She is pleased with the results and she hopes that the boys will take away an awareness of the arts through their experiences. “This has opened them up to other roads of interest - a cultural world,” Mrs. Moore said. Below: Gianluca Vallini and Ben Welton showing off their costumes and weapons



group of six students decided to push themselves beyond their usual experiences in early May to go on a trek with one of their teachers. Call to Adventure Coordinator Pat Bonis took the students to Colorado and Utah. Some of them signed up not really knowing what they were getting into. The students were Chenshu Rong, a Sixth Former from China; Jangu Chothia, a Sixth Former from Ghana; Ben Gardner, a Sixth Former from New Preston, CT; Ben Welton, a PostGrad from New Milford, CT; Keegan McCarthy, a Sixth Former from Fort Collins, CO; and Jon Zaskorski, a Fifth Former from Port Washington, NY. By Lynn Mellis Worthington


Mr. Bonis started talking about the trip during the Winter Term. “I threw it out to some kids I knew were excited to be in Call to Adventure in the spring. I said, ‘Let’s do something big. Let’s have a big adventure.’ “ He meticulously planned their week-long trip. While he originally planned to take the group to Mount Whitney in California, he soon realized that was not going to be possible with the time restrictions and permits necessary. Instead, he learned about Mount Albert in Colorado, which is 14,400 feet high. “It’s the highest point in the Rockies. It is the second highest point in the contiguous United States,” Mr. Bonis said He praised the rangers who turned out to be extremely helpful right up until days before they left. Students returned from the trip exhilarated. “It was a very humbling experience. You don’t see mountains like that out here,” said Ben Gardner. “It makes you feel small seeing Arches National Park. You’re tiny in that canyon in the desert. “ “I felt so fortunate for these six kids. We met our itinerary exactly as planned. How often does that happen with a group of young men?” he said. Their itinerary included going to Fort Collins, CO and then driving to Leadville, CO. They camped outside in tents before ascending the mountain, but Mr. Bonis had a surprise for them when they got back down the mountain. He rented a cabin that had a warm shower, beds and electricity.

“We had a family style dinner, a real guy dinner with potato chip bags,” Mr. Bonis said. “We were laughing and joking. They were what made the trip. They loved it.” The group then traveled to Utah and the Arches National Park, which provided a dramatic change of scenery and beautiful scenes. They ventured on a couple of night hikes to Delicate Arch and Balance Rock in the desert and enjoyed all that the area had to offer, from bouldering to hikes through the Arches, making meals and camping.

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Student Gallery

12 • The Hillside Summer 2012

Left Page Clockwise from top left Keegan McCarthy - “Lake Michigan Light House” Pastel Cody Guerry ~ “Guerry Family Sunset” Pastel Andy Tang ~ “Floral Still Life Close Up” Pastel Jacky Han ~ “Wild Iris” pastel Jacky Han ~ “ Floral Still Life in Blue” Pastel Right Page Clockwise from top left Yun Suk Park ~ “ Mixed Medium Mash-Up” Torn Paper, Acrylic and Watercolor Collage Yun Suk Park ~ “ Eyes and Gears” Graphite, Acrylic and Art Pen Jacky Han ~ Art History Reproduction Vincent Van Gogh - Acrylic Yun Suk Park ~ “Ribbons” - Acrylic Jacky Han ~ “ White Still Life” - Pencil Jalen Harvey ~ Art History Reproduction Joan Miro - Acrylic Summer 2012 The Hillside • 13

inschool Center for Innovation

By Richard Chavka Associate Head of School Director of Center for Innovation


am happy to report that as of mid-July 2012 we are nearing completion of a number of important initiatives at the Center for Innovation (CFI) and eagerly planning for increased student involvement at the site starting in September. Phase One of the proposed site work, which includes the creation of four new irrigation ponds, an open watercourse, parking areas and general site preparation for new construction, will be finished in the next couple of weeks. We have also roughed out the main connecting trail between the two school sites and flagged two of the five proposed mountain bike trails. Additionally, work is almost complete on the first phase restoration of the 1740s farmhouse. Last year students in the Applied Technology class measured the entire house and produced 3-D, CAD drawings that were used to secure restoration funding from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation. The initial work started this spring includes the replacement of all the timber sills and some posts that have deteriorated over the last 270 years.

Newly planted fruit tree growing on the northwest slope

14 • The Hillside Summer 2012

Interestingly, the failing chestnut sills were replaced with local black locust, the only wood other than chemically treated timbers that the building inspector approved. The last few months have also seen the installation of our first section of permaculture orchards and edible plant zones. Over two hundred fruit and berry-producing trees and bushes have been planted on the northwest slope of the site. Deer fencing will be installed in the near future. Even with all the impressive progress this spring, probably the most important initiative was getting students on site, engaged in meaningful programing with the introduction of a Stewardship: Historic Building Technologies class. This course consisted of two major, parallel areas of study, each exploring different aspects of stewardship and long- and short-term resource allocation. Half of the class time was spent examining current theory and literature about the global circumstances that continue to impact our present and future use of natural and man-made resources; these included peak oil, climate change, population overshot and species extinction. The second area of study involved the exploration of historic building technologies as a point of contrast to modern resource use: specifically, examining the process of timber frame construction as it relates to the 1740 farmhouse on site. Through the examination of hands-on skills/techniques for drawing and fitting timber and the theoretical knowledge needed to apply them, students constructed a new timber-frame structure at the CFI site. Additional focus areas within the course included: conservation, architectural history, design and geometry, information technology, management and professional practices.


leven Sixth Formers and Postgraduates signed up for the first Stewardship class. The pilot program was helpful in giving us a real understanding of how travel to and from the CFI site might affect scheduling at the School and a good idea of how students would respond to a truly experiential class. We were able to travel by small bus to the project site on Mondays for a six-hour work session and Thursdays for a two-hour session. Students also met for two additional multi-block class periods during the week. Scheduling, it turns out, was not an issue, and the reaction from students was incredibly positive. By all accounts our first class at the CFI site was a huge success.

Jalen Harvey cutting a mortise using the boring machine

Working with Dr. Jed Struckus, our timber frame construction consultant, students were fully engaged in every part of the design and building process. With hot chocolate and muffins in hand, we braved the chilly morning winds of late March to make the trek to the CFI site to get started. Two and half months later, just before Prize Day at the end of May, we put the finishing touches on a modest, but meaningful, 9’ x 12’ timber frame structure. Once roofed and sided, the small building will eventually become one

of the outbuildings on site. Although the end result of all the work this spring was a relatively small framed building, we were all aware that the effort was significant because of what it represented. The boys knew that they were part of something substantial in the history of the School. And, although some of them liked to downplay the importance of being part of the project team that built the first building at the CFI site, it was obvious they took great pride in what they accomplished and felt a real sense of ownership in the project and the site.

S Jalen Harvey, Benjamin Welton, Benjamin Gardner, Dr. Jed Struckus and Zachary Carrano hoisting the final pair of rafters

were measured and marked and the sawing, boring and chiseling began. Keeping with our intent of qualifying for LEEDs building standard on all CFI projects, all materials were purchased locally at a sawmill just south of the School. The boys quickly mastered the complexity of laying out timbers and measuring, prepping frame sections so that tenons fit mortises, and treenails work as expected. Interestingly, each of the boys seemed to excel at a certain aspect of the process, some more amenable to the precision work of fine mortise cuts, others more interested in the assembly of the larger parts. All contributed. This was a true team effort to rival any athletic endeavor at the School; it would not have happened other wise.

o, what’s next? First, we will build on the success of this year, continuing the Stewardship class and putting up new timber frame buildings as we research and study the bigger issues concerning sustainability and resource use. We will also expand our offerings to get Third and Fourth Formers on site for group projects that focus on similar themes of stewardship and resource management. How to clean up Hatch Pond will become a major focus of the science program next year as well. The School has received an $80,000 grant from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) for continued monitoring of the pond and for exploring remediation strategies. Within the next couple of weeks we will hire a permaculture manager/educator to expand the agricultural component of the site and begin developing curricula that focuses on food resource issues.

Ryo Yamazaki roughing out a rafter tail

This was unconventional construction, done with historic hand tools. Yes, the real thing - including hand-operated mortising machines, chisels and mallets and, of course the students’ favorite, the “commander” a massive mallet used to pound frames together. There is just something about boys and big toys. Timbers were selected, cut lines

Benjamin Welton marking a rafter with the layout tool

You can see all of the real-time progress on the former dairy farm through the CFI web cast at the School’s web site. Summer 2012 The Hillside • 15

inuniform Winter & Spring Athletics


16 • The Hillside Summer 2012

Hockey Lacrosse


Cheryl Moore


Crew Tennis Basketball

Prep Basketball If this year was any indication of the excitement, competition and fun for the upcoming season, get ready, South Kent and the HVAL! The 2011-2012 Prep Basketball season began with a lot of promise and high hopes. We launched the season with four straight wins, including a huge win over the Tilton School, which was ranked third in the country at the time. South Kent saw its prep basketball ranking go as high as number eight in the country at one point. The remainder of the season was a rollercoaster ride with league wins over schools such as Northfield Mount Hermon and some tough losses. The season concluded with an 18-11 record and a tough one-point loss to New Hampton School in the playoffs. The South Kent Prep Basketball graduating class had five players that signed Division I National Letters of Intent. Ricardo Ledo, the #1 ranked fifth-year player in the country by The Hoopscoop online, led the pack with his commitment to Providence

College. Others that signed NLIs include Chris Ortiz to Kent State University, Laimonas Chatkevicius to the University of South Carolina, Zedric Sadler to Rider University and Isaac Freeman to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Ledo was the team’s leading scorer, averaging 21 points per game this season with a season high of 43 points versus Lee Academy. Ortiz also had a solid season as he led the team in rebounding at almost eight per game, while Chatkevicius shot an amazing 58% from the floor. As the rollercoaster ride has come to an end, I am looking forward to sending these young men onto the next chapter of their lives. I wish them all success in college, and I hope the next ride is a lot smoother. Coach Kelvin Jefferson

Varsity Basketball The 2011-2012 season started off with plenty of optimism, with nine players from the previous team returning, three returning

Ryo Yamazaki drives past defenders; Dylan Benz makes a run on the basket.

for a second season, five returning for their third season and one for his fourth. The problem we knew we faced was everyone wanting a piece of us as the defending champions from the 2010-2011 season. Everyone always says you have to be big to win in basketball; tell that to a team with a 6’2” as your big man. The combination of speed, strength, familiarity and maybe some swag proved to be a combination the league had difficulty with. It seemed that our loss to Chase Collegiate early in the season sent a wake-up call that teams were not going to lie down against the South Kent Cardinals. That loss ended up being our last within the league on the way to beating Chase the second game and ultimately in the finals. I tip my hat to the coaching staff and players at Chase. These three games were the most competitive games we have played in years. For the first time in many years, league coaches voted for most valuable players in a 1st through 3rd Team format. Taking honors on the 1st Team were Garrett Fox and Kenan Williams. I am a firm believer that a Summer 2012 The Hillside • 17

Fall Athletics

team sport rarely has an MVP, for a league to acknowledge two from the same School on the 1st Team is something special. Congratulations to both boys for a job well done. As the coach of this team, I am most proud of how the team represented themselves throughout the season. The boys banded together as a family and worked hard with one goal in mind. Winning a championship is fun, being proud of how your players accomplished the feat is something coaches never forget. Congratulations, boys; you were a great group to be associated with. Coach Gary Benz

JV Basketball There is one word that summarizes the 2011/2012 South Kent School Jr. Varsity Basketball team. It is a pronoun… HER (Heart, Effort & Respect) The game exemplifying our heart and effort was against Salisbury. At times we were behind, and at times we were ahead. As the game entered the final minutes, we held strong and fought off a late run. Heading into OT, we kept it close and pulled off a 48 to 45 victory to Protect Our House. Our season ended in similar fashion with a win against Forman in which Dong Ha won the sportsmanship award. Throughout our journey there were a few memories worthy of sharing: Justin Corday and the first ALMOST dunk in a Jr. Varsity Basketball game; Sam Lartey and Gehrig Deaver demonstrating respect for their opponents by offering to help them up when they were on the ground; Despite breaking his glasses, Dong Ha Kim finishing a game with athletic tape holding his frames together in true Kurt Rambis style. Coach Mike Daniels 18 • The Hillside Summer 2012

Prep Hockey This year’s addition of the 2011-12 Red Army was one of the strongest “teams” we have had here on the Hillside since my arrival in 2009. The boys truly were what an SKS team should be. Led by great captains, the expectation out of the gate was very high. After a hard pre-season the boys really pulled together in our first challenge, coming away with the title at the Northeast Showcase in Tilton, NH. As the winter moved on, we found ourselves hovering around the top 10 where we projected ourselves to be. We hit a bump in the road with a few key injuries and losses but never looked dejected or as if we would throw in the towel. A midFebruary showdown with Gunnery turned out to be a thumping as we walked into their hostile environment and beat the Gunnery team 6-1. This win would thrust us into the first spot for small schools for the rest of the season. On the last day of the regular season, we were bumped to #2 with KUA falling out of the Elite 8. We went into the playoffs believing we had a great shot to accomplish our goal of getting to Salem for the final four

only to outplay a Brooks School Team but run into a hot goalie who made 45 saves and end our year. I must admit it stung, but again I stress to all former hockey players from South Kent, you would have been proud of the 2011-12 troops as they represented the Cardinal in tremendous fashion. The bar has now been set for future teams to challenge the brotherhood of this past season. Coach Eric Soltys

Varsity Hockey South Kent varsity hockey ended their 2011-2012 season with a record of 10-8-2. The team showed its strength and potential early on with a dominating 9-2 victory over Forman in the home opening game. The following day, the guys earned an impressive 2-0 victory over a solid Millbrook team. The first loss of the season (2-6) came against Fairfield Prep. Several weeks later, the team defeated Fairfield Prep in a rematch. The toughest part of the season was its

mid-point. With a number of injuries and fatigue, the team suffered several consecutive losses on the road. These include a 4-6 loss to a talented Delbarton team, and 1-7 loss to Salisbury. The team pushed through and managed to finish the season on a good note, winning the last four games. Coaches DeRocco and Vylet were pleased with the overall tone of the season. All players displayed sportsmanship, desire for victory and, most of all, camaraderie when disappointment fell upon them. The growth in each player’s skill and discipline this past season was commendable. At the winter sports banquet, Luc Chatelain was named the best offensive player. Chatelain led the team in points this season. Kyle Leeds received the award for the best defensive player. Brian Allen was awarded the coaches’ award, for the best all-around player. Coach Stan Vylet ’04

Lacrosse The South Kent School Varsity Lacrosse

Team posted an impressive 8-7 record with a very competitive schedule against some of the top teams in New England. After dropping their first two games of the season, the Cardinals found their niche and won the next four games, outscoring their opponents 58 goals to 15. Much of the success of the squad was due to the cohesiveness of the unit and the leadership of the Sixth Formers. The reliable set of under-formers deepened the skill set of the team and made the Cardinals a formidable opponent. Tri-captains Joe Zaccara, Ben Welton, and Cody Champagne were terrific leaders who helped establish strong and supportive team dynamics. Luc Chatelain, a Sixth Former, led the team in goals and provided much of the offensive spark. Like many other players, Fifth Former Kenan Williams continued to improve throughout the season, particularly in his midfield play. Fifth Former Kyle Leeds earned Most Improved Player for the season. He had played goalie his entire childhood only to try out a long pole on defense for us this year. In addition, senior Josh Watkinson, also a new face on this team, took the important role as our crease defender and

Weijia Ren shields the ball as he makes a move to the basket; #11 Jason Salvaggio wins the face-off versus Brunswick in prep hockey; #4 Luc Chatelain controls the puck as he heads up ice; Ben Welton catches a pass in an HVAL matchup versus Harvey

provided a strong vocal role on the field. The team had two new goalkeepers in our lineup, Fifth Formers Jason Salvaggio and Noah Williams, on top of returning fifth form goalie, Cameron Loomis. Salvaggio was the starting keeper for most of the season and provided many game-changing saves while often surprising teams with his ability to run the ball down field. Noah Williams added to our lineup by making many commendable saves and willingly taking a long pole to add to our defensive lineup. Loomis, a three year veteran, made strong improvements this season, even adding a goal against Cheshire Academy to his stats when he stepped onto the field as an attackman. The wide range of experience allowed the team to experiment with different set-ups. The enthusiasm, hustle and positive energy from the boys was at the heart of the team’s success. The departing seniors have played meaningful roles in continuing to build upon the strength of the lacrosse program. Each of Summer 2012 The Hillside • 19

Fall Athletics

these boys proved to be a contender against every team on our schedule. Coach Dillon Duncan ’04

Crew The 2011-12 was equally a competitive and a developmental year for rowing. A strong group of returning athletes helped a large group of novices to become capable oarsmen. A large roster allowed the team to enter varsity and novice crews at every regatta. All of the athletes gained proficiency in the act of rowing as well as the completion of the chores that are an integral element of this sport. Also, instilling appreciation for the demands of rowing and the equipment was a major accomplishment this year. This spring, the rowing team was able to practice at Hatch Pond in South Kent and at the GMS rowing center on the Housatonic River in New Milford. The tranquility of Hatch Pond allowed the oarsmen to focus on the technicalities of rowing through drills and low-speed exercises. The long 20 • The Hillside Summer 2012

distances of the Housatonic River provided the oarsmen with aerobic conditioning and race simulations. On campus, the team made good use of the ergometers and rowing tank. In summation, practices this year were demanding and productive. Competitively, the team had some difficulty this year. The team was late getting on the water and inexperienced relative to most of the competition. Fortunately, rather than choosing to become discouraged, the team set out to prove themselves as a formidable opponent. After experiencing defeat early in the spring, the crews learned the value of drills and approached conditioning practices with enthusiasm. By the end of the spring, all crews had podium finishes at races on the Connecticut River and Lake Waramaug. This year’s rowing team grew tremendously. Skilled athletes developed into oarsmen, and individuals bonded into successful crews. All members of the rowing team learned the importance of accountability and trust. A crew cannot attempt to row unless all members are present physically and mentally. Once the athletes learned this, they began to become oarsmen and were able to perform

competitively. With few Sixth Formers this year, the rowing team is excited to compete with a more seasoned roster next year. Coach Tim Henderson

Tennis Although we were unsuccessful in defending our 2011 HVAL championship, the South Kent tennis team had a very successful season. We made the playoffs by virtue of losing only one regular season league match to Harvey. In the first round of the playoffs, we beat Forman, always a tough competitor, 6-3. The win set up the match for the championship with-who else?-Harvey. The final score was Harvey 5-SKS 2 but the match was much closer than the final score indicated. We lost one match 9-11 and another in a tiebreak. If either of these matches had swung in our favor, we would have played the second and third doubles matches which would have given us a decent opportunity to win the match. That being said, we lost in a very competitive match to a solid team.

The boys of the 2nd boat in “The Rosy” on Lake Waramaug; Anil Ozer awaits the opponent’s return of Ignacio Baeza’s serve in a doubles tennis match; Jimmy O’Connor eyes his hit.

We are looking forward to next year with a strong returning nucleus of players. Those who represented SKS in matches were Anil Ozer, Ignacio Baeza, Pedro Ostolaza, Evan Chien, Miguel Santa, Brandon Bennett (MVP), Keenan Bennett, Long Hoang (most improved player) and Chi-Chen Hsieh (coach’s award for a fantastic comeback). Coaches Macomber and Vylet salute the 2012 South Kent tennis team. Coaches David Macomber and Stan Vylet ’04

Varsity Baseball The South Kent Cardinals had a very up and down season full of incredible highs and some crushing lows. The season began with a football score (20-10) loss to Masters School, and a game that the Cardinals wish they could have back. However, the team went on to win 9 out of their next 14 games to end the season at 9-6. Their wins included a 1 hit shutout thrown by junior Gehrig Deaver against Chase, and impressive performances against

FAA conference powerhouses Hamden Hall and Greens Farms. The biggest win of the season came against, soon to be HVAL champs, Christian Heritage. The boys came out to a slow start, but with great pitching from Sixth Former Patrick Magliano, and Fifth Former Gehrig Deaver, and an incredible game saving defensive play by PG Zach Carrano, they were able to take the game into extra innings and a chance for the win. In the 8th inning, MVP and South Kent “Silver Slugger” Award winner, Anthony Florentino came up to bat with two runners on base. Anthony took a first pitch fastball over the left field fence, giving the Cardinals a 5-2 lead. Freshman, Mitchell Lundholm, came in to “shut the door” in the bottom of the 8th inning, pitching his team to a 5-3 victory. Unfortunately, the team did not have the post-season they wanted. With an early round exit against Hamden Hall in the New England Small School Playoffs, and a loss to Chase School in the HVAL semi-final game, the ending to their season did not do the team justice for how hard they worked this year.

South Kent’s 2012 baseball team hit over .350 as a team and was undefeated at home. They are losing a great Sixth Form and PG class in Zach Sugar, James O’Connor, Patrick Magliano, Zach Carrano, and Danny DeRocco. Luckily for the Cardinals, they have six out of nine starters coming back, and look to build off this season by winning a championship next year. Coaches Phillip Darrin and Ben Cohon ’06

JV Baseball This year’s JV Baseball season began with five but quickly grew in size to fifteen players. There were some who had played organized baseball before, but most were new to the sport. From the beginning we focused on developing fundamentals, displaying sportsmanship and having fun. Although we began the season slowly, we ended on a high note, winning our game against the TrinityPawling School. It was impressive to see the dedication, skill development and sportsmanship of each boy throughout the season. Summer 2012 The Hillside • 21

Fall Athletics

Injay Lho ready to strike with his eyes on the ball; Jonathan Zaskorski hits a long drive down the fairway.

Even when facing significant challenges against some of the top talent in the league, the South Kent JV Baseball team held their heads high. With the leadership of Tyler Hoadley and Aziz Al-Othman, the team developed as a cohesive unit. As coaches, we saw Jiongzhe Tang, Lei Yang and Corey Greenberg really develop their fielding and hitting skills. Memorable moments include Lei catching every ball hit to him in left field against Millbrook, Corey going 2-3 and Jiongzhe ripping a double that could have been a stand-up triple. Pitching at the JV level can be inconsistent at times, but with the talents of Ben Brady and Kyle Wehmhoff we were able to put forward a consistent effort and hold opposing teams. Injay Lho, Bojun Wang and Dong Ha Kim each put forth a consistent effort each day we hit the field and were a pleasure to have on the team. Vitaly Zaitsev and Ross West each provided solid play at first base, which proved to be an extremely important position for our defense. The longest shot of the season went to Al Rogers who gave us much needed offense at times and was solid behind home plate. 22 • The Hillside Summer 2012

Throughout the season the team had some good laughs, was competitive, demonstrated sportsmanship and had fun. This was an excellent year for the JV Baseball team and sets the stage for a competitive next year. Coaches Mike Daniels and Pat Crowley ’08

Golf In what can only be described as a banner year for the program, we started the 2012 season with 17 boys eagerly trying out for the varsity golf squad. Skill levels varied from beginner to seasoned players, but all were incredible enthusiastic about the prospects of representing South Kent on the links. After a week of on-course assessment and hours on the range, seven were selected to be part of the varsity squad. This year’s varsity golf team consisted of Devin Garrison, Jonathan Zaskorski, Joe Deveny, Austin McIlmurray, Jack Rosenberg, Ben Gardner and Brenden Walch. When not on the course, the remainder of the boys spent time in a

developmental program with Dr. Sidorowich. We hope to see them all back next year ready to hit the links as contributors to the varsity squad. We opened the season with a tough match, nine holes against Avon and Choate on a narrow hilly course, Farmington Woods. Right out of the blocks we knew we had a challenge on our hands. Even though all of our seven starters this year were new-comers to the South Kent golf team, they turned in a great effort. When the final score cards were tallied, we fell a little short. Nevertheless, this was a good opening season test and would set the tone for the rest of the spring. In our mid-season stretch of matches against some stiff competition including St. Luke’s, Brunswick, Berkshire, Kent, Hotchkiss, Salisbury and Millbrook, all of our starters turned in some stellar individual performances. The most impressive outings for the team this year, representing two big wins for the program were the early-season match against Housatonic Valley Athletic League (HVAL) rivals Forman School and Chase Collegiate and the season closer against Harvey School. Anchored by solid play from team captain Devin Garrison, Jack Rosenberg and fifth former John Zaskorski, the South Kent squad carded a 15-stroke victory on a blustery day late in April at Bull’s Bridge Golf Club in the first match. Joe Deveny, Austin McIlmurray and Brenden Walch all contributed impressive scores. The match against Harvey was a decisive win for the team, with third former Austin McIlmurray claiming medalist honors for the South Kent squad. Coach Richard Chavka




ALL ON LIN NEW ES HO P Summer 2012 The Hillside • 23

inuniform Selects Hockey

By Richard Brande ’88 and Coach Devin Rask


ots can happen in one year, and the evolution of ice hockey at South Kent School is a great example of this. What has been known around campus as “Selects” went from concept, to a one-team reality this past winter. Now as we look toward the upcoming winter, South Kent’s hockey program – as it is now called - will see three teams (U14, U16 and U18) competing at the AAA level. These teams begin competition in early September, and play approximately 60 games against the top AAA teams from the Northeast and throughout the nation. The two older teams (U16 & U18) will be eligible to compete for the USA Hockey National Championship in April 2013. Last year the program competed at the U16 level and made such an impact in the realm of elite ice hockey that expanding on this success was the only logical next step. The inaugural team entered the 2011-2012 campaign with a lot of expectations but not a lot of familiar faces. Very few of the twentyone III and IV Formers even knew each other before arriving at SKS. Head Coach Devin Rask had a lot of depth and talent to work with as players from as close as CT and as far away as Latvia came to South Kent School to be part of the program.

24 • The Hillside Summer 2012




ne of the standards of an elite, high school-aged sports program is its ability to prepare, showcase and ultimately graduate its players into NCAA Division 1 schools and beyond. This year the U16 team had 3 players accept college commitment offers: Charlie Manley to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Chase Priskie to Quinnipiac University, and Joe Snively to Yale University. A verbal commitment between NCAA athletic programs and young student athletes is a very common practice in the world of today’s elite recruiting. South Kent is very proud of these accomplishments and expects many of the young men from our hockey program to end up in the NCAA. In addition there were five players selected in the United States Hockey League (USHL) draft, and two in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft. The 2011-2012 season was filled with many highlights and few disappointments. The first half of the season was focused on playing a lot of regional competition, intent on showing the world of AAA ice hockey that our team was in fact able to compete with the best at the U16 level. The team took two out of three games from the peren-

nial New England powerhouse Mid Fairfield Blues which sent shock waves through the prep school and AAA hockey world. At the Beantown Classic, a well knon high level showcase in Boston, the U16 team defeated the #13 team in the nation at the time, Team Illinois. The fall peaked with the U16 Team playing in the prestigious Bauer Invitational in Chicago in early November. This highly touted showcase draws college coaches and professional scouts from around the USA and Canada. One of the most memorable weekends of the year was the final road trip to Pittsburgh, PA. A split with the #8 ranked Pittsburgh Hornets showed everyone that the Selects Hockey Academy at South Kent was here to stay. The season ended with the U16 ranked nationally at # 22 by (the de facto authority.) The Long Island Royals, Buffalo Sabres and NJ Avalanche were the only northeastern teams – including New England - ranked higher. The entire ice hockey staff has worked tirelessly over the spring and summer to recruit and build the program to the full 3 team line-up for 2012-2013. The teams will play a schedule mostly in the northeast and New England next year, with key tournaments and showcases built in as well. We encourage all alums and friends of the School to follow the progress of the teams and, if at all possible, to come out and see these immensely talented South Kent boys compete.

The team took two out of three games from the perennial New England powerhouse Mid Fairf ield Blues which sent shock waves through the prep school and AAA hockey world.

Far Left: Austin McIlmurray remains unfazed and keeps his eye on the puck while getting checked by a player from Northwood School; Left: Anthony Siderio takes out a player from the opposing team while Joseph Snively sweeps in to take the puck; Above: Joseph Snively shoots the puck between the defender’s legs just before scoring a point.

Summer 2012 The Hillside • 25

inperspective A Hero’s Journey


he concept called a Hero’s Journey by writer Joseph Campbell, and the speeches and correspondence of former South Kent Headmaster George Bartlett inspired South Kent to approach boys’ education in a new way. We have embodied the Hero’s Journey in a fourstage, four-year process reflecting adolescent growth and maturing, making each step the theme of a student’s school year. In South Kent terms, the stages of this journey are “A Sense of Place: Community and Belonging,” “The Quest: Coming of Age,” “Responsibility and Commitment,” and “Service and Moving On.” These themes define the Form Program. Launched in the fall of 1999, the Form Program is an innovative and balanced program for boys that guides their quest and provides tools to prepare them not only for college, but for lives as men of quality. South Kent’s goal in blending its founding principles of Simplicity of Life, SelfReliance, and Directness of Purpose with the new curriculum is to provide a school experience for the 21st century world that gives boys the intellectual, moral, physical, and social foundation for scholastic achievement in college and productive citizenship in adulthood. Each year, boys embark on a focused journey that intertwines classroom curriculum with age-appropriate and challenging field experiences. Our boys grow in confidence and knowledge as they explore, interpret, and employ the lessons they learn. 26 • The Hillside Summer 2012


hat follows are the stories of four recent graduates, where their roads have taken them after South Kent and how their lives have been shaped by the recurring themes of the Hero’s Journey.


oshua Mosley ’99 grew up in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, NY during the 1980s and 90s. At that time, Crown Heights was an area imbued with racial tension and poverty. However, Josh wasn’t pulled into that morass. Raised by his godparents from the age of two, Josh was encouraged to expand his horizons and capture new experiences. His godmother, a highly educated, motivated woman ensured that he participated in numerous enrichment programs. She guided him with purpose. “My childhood was very interesting – I was blessed to have two people who were not blood members of my family raise me since I was two years old. They were my motivation to succeed and to go to South Kent as well. “I’d always been in several enrichment programs,” said Josh. One was the competitive Wadleigh Scholars Program founded by Edouard Plummer. “Every Saturday we learned

about entrance exams, how to study and write essays – that was my first exposure to boarding schools.” Through Wadleigh, he got involved in A Better Chance, a program that exposes inner city youth to boarding schools across the country. “I visited Hotchkiss and Berkshire, but South Kent was willing to take a chance on me. When I got there I thought, where am I? The ultimate shock! I had never been in a situation where I’d been with a lot of people that didn’t look like me. I grew up in a place where African Americans lived. When I got to South Kent, there where people from all walks of life.” In fact, two Korean classmates – one of them his roommate spent a week at his house during one spring break. “I got exposed to kimchi…it was very interesting.” Josh was a ‘4-year boy’, graduating in the spring of 1999. He became the student activities prefect and did many other things on the Hillside. “I came to deeply believe in the SKS values of simplicity of life, self-reliance and directness of purpose. Those things actually live with me today.” “I wasn’t always the best student; I

made mistakes, but I had different people to talk to. Believe it or not, Mr. Vadnais – he came in my senior year – was the Dean of Students, and he always had an open-door policy. He always talked to me. My senior year was my toughest year – I had a lot of responsibility to go with the fear of going off to college. If it wasn’t for his talks with me…I probably would never have lived the life that I do now.” Josh went on to major in history at Morehouse College in Atlanta and is an Operations Manager with Strayer University – where he oversees two campuses dedicated to working with Verizon Wireless, meeting the training needs of their employees at their Atlanta and Tampa call-centers.



hat do the next five or ten years hold for Josh Mosley? “I’m a dad of a 3-year-old and I want to focus on him and establish my family.” He’s also concerned that males across all cultural lines have become less engaged in education. “I will also explore the opportunity to establish my own education consulting firm. I want to help families to make the proper decision for their sons to go to the right school.”

Left: Josh’s SKS portrait; Above: Mac and Father Klots on Prize Day

cLean “Mac” Erskine ’99 has a spirit that seems to regularly thirst for adventure. It’s taken him from Philly to South Kent to Colorado and now to the City by the Bay. He’s a ‘4-year boy’ from the class of 1999 and continues his Hero’s Journey – always moving forward but challenging himself to succeed on his own terms. “I grew up outside Philadelphia in a town called Chester Springs. It’s a very small town that is largely unknown, where most people have a few acres if not a farm. Because of some learning disabilities, I went to Benchmark school for most of my pre-high school years. Benchmark taught me to largely overcome my challenges with the help of my family.” The supportive environment Mac enjoyed at Benchmark was obviously something he wanted to continue in high school. “There never really was a choice for me when it came to choosing a high school. I remember driving home after visiting South Kent; my parents and I had not made it off the campus when I told them that I was going to go there. I just knew it was the right place for me. They questioned my reasoning the entire three-hour ride home and attempted to prepare me for the possibility of not getting in. But I just always knew it was going to be my place; its character was unmistakable.” Summer 2012 The Hillside • 27

A Hero’s Journey

While South Kent’s intimate community was a very welcoming place for someone who grew up in a supportive family (one sister, two stepbrothers, and one stepsister as well as a stepmom and stepdad) and a nurturing primary school environment – being away at boarding school for the first time can create anxiety. “I remember walking around with my mom feeling pretty scared to be so far away from home and not knowing a soul. But pretty soon after moving, I met my bunkmate Jeff Viola who would end up being my roommate for four years. Meeting Jeff made everything seem manageable; I now had a friend to go through it all with. After that there were some challenging moments, but there was always a supportive staff member that I felt I could reach out to.” Before South Kent, Mac spent many days maintaining his home: mowing, gardening, fixing fences. Who knew household chores would become one of his highlights at South Kent. “Jeff and I were kind of paired up for everything. And as Fifth Formers, he and I were put in charge of the. At the time it seemed like a punishment – shoveling snow, raking. But later on, he and I were selected as prefects, and it made us feel as though we had paid our dues and earned the responsibility. It was a pretty cool feeling to be a part of running things and deciding what would be done.”

28 • The Hillside Summer 2012

After SKS, Mac attended Muhlenberg College and studied philosophy and psychology. Then he got the itch for a new adventure. “I always wanted to go West. So after graduation, my girlfriend and I got in my car and just started driving towards Vail, Colorado. I knew that if we went around ski season there would be work. I got a job in a North Face store and stayed for about two years. It was great – not much money, but a great experience.” Responsibility called Mac back to Philadelphia to help his mom with some health issues. And once that was resolved, he was ready for another adventure. “One day I’m watching “Mrs. Doubtfire” and that puts San Francisco in my head. I had already done the Northeast. And I had a friend who was able to get me a slot doing tech sales. So I moved. After a few years and one job change, the economy dropped and I ultimately found myself without a position. But I had accumulated some savings and wanted out of sales anyway. “Now I am working on launching a website and building a small company. I spent the last year and a half teaching myself web development and am looking to pursue a career in product management hopefully for a start-up.”


o what has South Kent meant to Mac more than 13 years since leaving the Hillside? “One of my qualities that I value greatly is self-reliance. It is also something that I look for in my friends and companions. I believe someone who is capable of getting things done on his or her own is someone who deserves or even commands respect, and South Kent took a large part in fostering that quality. Without them I don’t think my life would have been nearly as interesting.”

Left: Mac at his graduation from Muhlenberg College.; Right: Drew’s SKS portrait; Far Right: Drew in the goal during his Trinity College hockey days


rew Barber ’03 was always going to play hockey. He grew up a member of a tight-knit family in Vestal, NY, a small town just outside of Binghamton. Hockey was his life. To get more serious about the game, he moved on to the Athol Murray School of Notre Dame in Saskatchewan, but that didn’t take. He went on to play hockey at South Kent. Then he played at Trinity College. So you

get the idea: Drew was all about hockey. So how did this goalie end up doing deals at Skadden Arps, one of the world’s leading M&A law firms? “I dislocated my knee while at South Kent, and it became a nagging thing throughout college. Towards the end, it really derailed what I hoped would be a career in hockey. So in the spring of my junior year at Trinity, I began to shift my focus away from hockey and started thinking about the law school path.” Drew’s experience at South Kent began with a desire to play high level hockey and a referral from a family friend. He enrolled at SKS as a Sixth Former. And while his experience at South Kent was a relatively short one – only one year – it made quite an impact. “I went to public school with maybe 1600 or 1700 students, so when I got to South Kent it was like night and day from my previous experiences. But I felt part of the family from the get-go. “Students have to play a sport every season at South Kent, so I had joined the soccer team and was running laps next to Jayson Cash who was the captain of the soccer team. We became friends and he introduced me to his friends. Within two or three weeks I was carrying my stuff from my dorm at the top of the hill to the bottom, to move into his dorm. “That hockey season, we ended up being Number 1 in New England, prior to the

playoffs. For the quarterfinal game they closed the entire school, and everyone took the busses to the game; we had a barbecue outside – as a Sixth Former it doesn’t get any better than that…we won 8 – 0.” After graduating from SKS in 2003, Drew went on to Trinity College to major in economics and, of course, to play hockey. But as his old injury took its toll, he turned his focus to the study of law and enrolled in UConn Law School where he graduated in 2010. “I was always a sports fanatic – so even if I wasn’t playing hockey, I wanted to be involved in sports one way or another. I thought it would be great to be a sports agent, and after freshman year at Trinity I had the good fortune to work for an NFL and golf sports agent in Florida. I did some NFL contracts and was involved in Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville. So that was a driving force - to try to combine sports with the law.” Turns out a focus on a law career wasn’t the only meaningful thing Drew picked up at college. “I met my wife at Trinity but we didn’t start dating till the very end. Coincidentally, she also went to UConn.” The rest, as they say, is history. Drew will be married for two years in August.


oday, Drew Barber isn’t a hockey player; nor is he a sports agent. He’s a second-year associate at the Boston office of Skadden Arps, perhaps the world’s foremost Mergers and Acquisition law firm. The firm is based in New York City where they have over 1,000 attorneys. But Drew prefers the Boston office. “I knew that NYC was not going to be the fit for me,” says Drew. “I had a lot of success at South Kent, Trinity, and UConn – all of Summer 2012 The Hillside • 29

A Hero’s Journey

which were smaller environments. In Boston we have about 60 attorneys. I like the appeal of working for a big firm but in a small office environment. I get to know my colleagues, and it’s much more collaborative. I see it as a much better long-term solution for me.” Drew also got an incredible career boost between his time at UConn and his start at Skadden. “I got a one-year clerkship with the Honorable Christopher F. Droney while he was on the US District Court of CT. The clerk is his eyes and ears in the courtroom and does much of the research and drafting of legal opinions. It was really a great legal experience. When I was working for the judge, President Obama nominated him to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals and he was confirmed in November of 2011. He was a great mentor.” What life lessons did Drew take from South Kent? “It really made me believe in myself and gave me the opportunity to grow as a person. I look back at my short time there as having had many great teachers, mentors, and friends. I grew very close to Father Klots who married me and my wife. And they’ve done a great job of having a diverse student body –that’s a big advantage as we’re becoming more and more of a global economy.

“Lastly, South Kent’s values built around simplicity of life still resonate with me today. Nothing can replace hard work and the commitment to what you’re doing – whether you’re playing college hockey or are an M&A attorney.” 30 • The Hillside Summer 2012


unwook Kim ’09 has a firm grasp on what it is to live the Hero’s Journey – and there’s no reason he shouldn’t. He’s had his life uprooted nearly half-adozen times and he’s barely in his 20s. When you ask him where he’s from, he makes clear the answer is not simple. “Every now and then, I get asked this question,” Kim said. “Every time, I feel this question becomes increasingly more difficult to answer.” At eight years old, his family was plucked from a carefree life on a tropical island off the southern coast of Korea (he likens Jeju Island to Hawaii – clear water, sandy beaches and stress levels “rarely above slight irritation”) and placed half-a-world away in New York City. “You can imagine the eight-year-old me getting thoroughly shell-shocked,” Kim said. “Perhaps most of the shock was just visual and superficial, much like a child visiting Toys-R-Us for the first time. But NYC started a tiny disturbance within my young mind that later became the basis for cross-cultural understanding. Moving to the States unlocked a whole new perspective for me, and that tiny disturbance reverberated within my mind, as I grew up immersed in two different cultures.” But his childhood home was soon to change again. By the time he hit seventh grade, Kunwook was back in Korea and, armed with a more worldly perspective and knowing how

much his homeland had changed, quickly realized integration would be just as hard as when he first moved to the US. His attempts to internally reconcile the two cultures during his middle school years met with limited success. “At the end of these three years, I decided I needed to go to the States once more,” he said. “That’s when I found South Kent School.” He’s quick to point out the important question about his success at SKS is not why he decided to go there in the first place; it’s why he chose to stay. That’s easy. Family. With fewer than 200 students on campus, everyone knows everyone else by name, Kim said. “You get the sense that people genuinely care, in the classrooms, in the dorms and on the fields. This warm atmosphere permeates every sector of life at South Kent.” And when people genuinely care, he added, they make genuine and unrestrained efforts to help you, one-on-one. That creates success both in and out of a classroom, Kim believes. He got a sense of this family community right from Day One when walking up the hillside after checking in. “‘Hey, over here!,’” Kim remembers a faculty member shouting as he ran toward Kim. “Someone was calling me like he had known me for years.” And Kim remembers what that man said: “‘Whatever, whenever you need, I’m your

man.’ I’ve never doubted that during my time at South Kent.” South Kent is well-sized to quickly change to meet student needs – especially academically. During his fifth form year, Kim said he felt the need to take advanced courses that weren’t yet offered at South Kent. A petition to the Dean of Academic Affairs resulted not only in an invitation to take supplemental classes at a local university, but also the full support from staff and teachers at South Kent. And since Kim wasn’t alone, South Kent adapted with half a dozen Advanced Placement courses the very next year. “I made a plea to consider my situation and lend me a hand,” Kim said. “The school responded in a manner that not only benefited me, but also students to come. This very real mutual understanding -- and the willingness to engage in it at any time -- is at the heart of the South Kent family.” After his time at SKS, Kim

enrolled at Dartmouth College, majoring in Economics with a focus on financial markets and intermediaries, and Anthropology. He’s now serving his two years of military conscription for the Republic of Korea Army.


s for the short-term future, his plans are nothing but confident -- a job in finance or consulting with a possible career option in law. His plans beyond that are more general, but still clear. “I want to start something -- something impactful, lasting and significant,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for self-made, passionate entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Howard Schultz. Hopefully, I can figure out what that is while working.” But the lessons from South Kent have far from left his mind. He said he especially relates to one of the principles that define South Kent: self-reliance. “At South Kent, I learned that a rather large portion of the equation for success depends on what I make of myself and how I manage the situation at hand, however unlikely or unfavorable they may be,” he said. “South Kent gave me the tools I can use in the future, for my future.” “Teach a man how to fish,” he says.

Far Left: Father Klots performing Drew’s wedding ceremony; Left: Kunwook’s SKS portrait; Right: Kunwook with Alejandro GarciaPedroso wearing matching Dartmouth shirts

Summer 2012 The Hillside • 31

inperson Beyond SKS







t’s a long way from Jeddah – the sprawling Saudi Arabian metropolis that also serves as the gateway to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina – to the bucolic hills of South Kent, CT. In fact it’s over 6,000 miles. But for Hani Farsi ’86, who in the fall of 1983 was dropped at South Kent School, it seemed even further. Recalling what brought him to South Kent, Mr. Farsi – ‘Hani’ he invited us to call him – recalled, “On my 15th birthday, I got a phone call saying, ‘Guess what?’ I said, ‘Am I getting a car?’ My father answered, ‘No, you’re going to South Kent’.” Such is how his Hero’s Journey began.


outh Kent School’s vision is to develop young men who can evolve and adapt, be

32 • The Hillside Summer 2012


globally competitive and prepared to meet the challenges posed by a changing natural environment. Students undergo a core transformation in their years on the Hillside. They are presented new challenges, forced out of their comfort zones, given the tools to succeed and gain the maturity to appreciate their own accomplishments. At SKS, we call that process of transformation a “Hero’s Journey.” Each student’s journey is unique, but no less powerful than another’s. Hani Farsi’s stands as an excellent example of what it means to live the Hero’s Journey. “At the time I was growing up in Saudi Arabia, my father was the mayor, and I suppose had I remained there through my teens, I probably would have become a spoiled brat. It was really the truth because everyone gave me breaks in school. My father thought it would be a very good idea for me to leave Saudi Arabia, go to the US, and have that experience. He wanted me to know what it is like as well to be away from home, to live a less pampered life. He thought this sort of thing would turn a boy into a man.” According to his official biography, Hani Farsi lived in Jeddah until the age of 15 but travelled widely with his father; thereafter he attended South Kent School and then American University in Washington DC where he graduated with a BA/ Masters in International Affairs. Upon graduation, he worked in the Washington DC office of Amnesty International and then moved to London in 1993 where he started a family office to manage the family’s assets. Ten years later, in 2003, he became a British citizen.

He has sat on the board of the Donmar Warehouse Theatre, personally subsidizing the acclaimed London Theatre and saving it from closure. He has been an active investor in London restaurants and membership clubs, building up the largest shareholding in the Soho House Group, selling it in 2007. Now at 45, in addition to his business interests, Hani Farsi is also committed to continuing the philanthropic work of his father Dr. M.S. Farsi. In 2009, the M.S. Farsi Foundation was founded to support the advancement of healthcare, cultural awareness, education and environmental protection. So far the MSFF has bestowed grants upon projects in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the United States.


KS recently spoke with Hani Farsi at length about his life, his philosophy, his vision and how they were influenced by his years at South Kent School.


Hani Farsi

You grew up in Saudi Arabia; wouldn’t you say that South Kent was quite an interesting choice?

Hani and his father Dr. Mohamed S. Farsi

I’ll be very honest with you: it was not my choice. I was growing up a Saudi. My cousin was in South Kent; his father sent him there. He discovered South Kent because his uncle, who was involved in education, had found the school. In early 1983, my father was recuperating in the U.S. from triple-bypass surgery. On his way back to Europe, he went via New York and decided to go and visit my cousin at South Kent. I think it was freezing cold there – students were shoveling snow and working the cafeteria, working the dishwasher. What he saw there really impressed him. He liked the idea of the students working in the school, having purpose and, in his mind, demonstrating that you can’t be a leader until you are a follower. You can’t understand the connection between the two, and he thought that this is what I needed.

What was your first impression when you arrived at South Kent? I had been to the U.S. before, but you have to understand, South Kent is in the northwest corner of Connecticut. It looks exactly the same now as it did then and probably the same as the 1950s. It’s a little part of the world where time stands still. I was captured by its beauty, but at the same time captured by the fact that it completely did not resemble anything that I had ever seen before. I had traveled the world with my father, and what I had seen was very different. It made me feel very vulnerable, very much the way a fish feels out of water. But soon, I took the challenge and I intended to make a success of my time there. I started making friends. And then before you knew it, you didn’t have any time to think. They work you day and night. You’re constantly doing something, and you’re constantly assuming new challenges. And that’s what’s amazing; you can actually measure from week to week, month to month how far you have come. And what was completely uncomfortable for you becomes normal. You mentioned being vulnerable. That’s one part of the Hero’s Journey you took at South Kent, isn’t it? A lot of it is really subconscious. Part of the hero’s journey is leaving home – leaving the village, leaving the island, leaving whatever wherever you are from and venturing out. And through various trials, a search for one’s identity and a search for truth, you return back a wiser person with perspective. And that’s exactly what happened to me. I left home, I left all that I knew and I left my culture, my friends. But I realized very quickly that I had more resources in me to be able to adapt to situations that would be out of my comfort zone. That taught me a hell of a lot because right now I know for a fact that I can be dropped off in any corner of the world at any moment in time and I’ll be fine. Do you think you still would be able to be dropped in any corner of the world had you not gone to South Kent? No. I really don’t think so. Learning from a very early age that I can depend on myself is Summer 2012 The Hillside • 33

Beyond SKS

what really changed it for me. Had I stayed the son of a powerful man in my home country and had people cut corners for me and done things for me, how could I? You become softer in terms of your will, your inner strength. I believed in myself. Discovering it so early has really changed my life. Your father was a city planner in Jeddah.

Dr. Mohamed S. Farsi

He was a pioneer – I don’t use that word lightly, but he was. He was the first member of our family to go to university. He was one of the first-ever Saudi architects. At a young age he was responsible for planning the entire western coast of Saudi Arabia. In his 30s, he became the mayor of Jeddah. Mayor in my part of the world is different than the political position it holds here. They have no elections – everything is appointment. The mayor then was responsible for developing and planning the city – a city that, before he came, was only a few hundred thousand people. In 1973, there was an oil embargo, and Saudi Arabian oil went from $1/barrel to $40. There was a need to build an infrastructure. So millions of people came to Jeddah from the West and the East to work. And people came by the hundreds of thousands from the poorer parts of Saudi Arabia to make a living. You go from a few hundred thousand to a million, a million and a half within a few years.

How do you think he influenced your view of the world?

He taught me a lot. He never shied away from a challenge if he believed he was right. He never sought glory; so long as it’s done was what mattered to him. He had a deep sense of self-confidence. He spoke to everyone equally and he never forgot his old friends. He was also the worst businessman I’ve ever seen in my life! I believe he does not think about what’s in his bank, but he gives what he feels others around him need. He would read newspapers – I’ve told this story a many times – and if he saw, – especially in Egypt, a train crash or a bus crash, and it killed or injured many people and there were orphans or widows, he made sure that the injured and affected relatives were looked after and supported. He was a human being first. He is very much alive – I wanted to name the foundation after him – why wait until after he goes for me to tell people how special he is and how much he helped me and changed my life.

In 1993 you moved to London. What made it the right place to seek your next challenges? I moved to London when I was 25. I was in the U.S. for 10 years exactly. I spent a year in Amnesty International, and that reinforced my belief that I could not live in a country that I felt I could not practice a basic right such as buying a newspaper, not one that has a censor’s pen over it. What really is the point of a life in which I choose to go back to a place that has restrictions on the freedoms I think we should all enjoy? We had no business here in London. It’s a city that I’d known all my life – a city I felt very 34 • The Hillside Summer 2012

comfortable in. I thought it was both central to East and West. Everyone that I knew always passed through London. I wanted to make sure that if I started a life here that it would be a life where my father’s name really holds no sway. If I fail or succeed, it will be down to me. Tell us about the Corniche Group and how the idea of the foundation came about.

I started what people refer to here as a family office, managing my assets. A little before I turned 40, I decided I needed a more dynamic structure that would expose me to a variety of opportunities, so I thought of creating Corniche. I hired investment bankers I had known for years and put together a small team, and the first thing we did was Soho House. I was able to do the deal, and 4 months later, a crazy offer came to sell the company, so it was a great start for us. I’m the CEO; I bring the deals to us. I’m the one who looks at our investment philosophy and look at the areas we go in. We try to go into deals with other family offices. We focus on media and hotel development. At one point, I realized I was always giving to charity, always. I don’t raise money; it’s just my money, and it’s not based on profit or loss. I give whether we have a good year or bad year. We’ve [the foundation] done a lot of scholarships; we feed about 400 or 500 people in Africa between Uganda and South Africa. We give money to health, culture and education. I believe culture really helped change my life and my view of the world.

Do you identify with a particular culture? I’m a bit of everything, really, because I have spent years here and years there. My real deep culture is that of being a human being – being able to connect to others. The first challenge I had after university was a question of identity. In the end, there is no right and wrong; you accept them all and let them wash over you and eventually what resonates with you stays with you. How did Amnesty International and what you did there play into this feeling you have? It was really important to me. I was a bit lost at university. I was disillusioned, and I was beginning to question a lot of issues about what I saw. Here was this class of super-wealthy Middle Easterners cutting themselves off from the rest of the world in terms of simply not engaging. The Gulf War had just started – when Iraq invaded Kuwait. I joined them [AI] for a year – it was a very eventful year. It stayed with me because it made me realize I really wanted to make a difference during my life. That my work would have meaning, really touch people’s lives and change things. That was something I promised myself.

Summer 2012 The Hillside • 35

Beyond SKS

You talked about the two sides of the coin, the culture, how wealth can empower and wealth can cut off. How did you reconcile how much of your culture would remain with you? I started by analyzing what is it about my culture that I don’t like. I came to realize that it was the lack of personal freedom, the lack of religious freedom, the horrendous treatment, of course, of women, as we know, but also almost everyone. It’s a county when at any point in time your basic dignity can be taken away. The problem in the Middle East is that we have not gone through what the West has gone through in the past 500 years. We’re basically in our Dark Ages. We have a long way to go, and what happened last year in Egypt and Tunisia is a spark. That part of my culture makes me happy. I do want to be a part of implementing a slow change that will come about – whether it’s me offering scholarships, making films, or helping artists mount work. I believe in slow change—evolution. How did you get into film? I got into film by accident. When I was in London, I went to see a fantastic production of GlenGaryGlenRoss put on by Donmar Warehouse. I was told it was going to shut down unless they got some help. I went to meet the artistic director, Sam Mendez, an Oscar winner, and I helped keep the theater open. I started enjoying the process of seeing words on a page transform into a work that you show to others. I also like that the medium is one that goes to your heart immediately – it makes you think, it makes you feel, it makes you laugh, it makes you cry. And I wanted to make, eventually, one film that could touch people. That could tell a side of a story, that could argue a case. We have Corniche Pictures, which to date has 6 films, 4 in post-production. Another side is my distribution company Le Pacte. I chose the French market because it was the biggest and best for film in Europe. We’ve had a phenomenal ride to date. For the last 5 years, we’ve been in Cannes every year. This is in and of itself a big deal. There are between 2,000 and 4,000 films submitted – they choose 20 or 22. This year we had five in the competition and won 5 of the 7 awards, which has never happened before and may never happen again. How involved are you with South Kent? I was on the Board and I’ve been invited to join again. I provide a scholarship there. I’m really impressed with what Andy is doing. We have an amazing story to tell. This is not your typical Swiss school or old-money school. It really does turn boys into men. It takes them on their hero’s journey in a simple place where the ratio of students to teachers is remarkable. There’s nothing like it. What do you want to see for the school in the future? We can be an incredible small school that attracts a very diverse group of students. We are not encumbered by an old tradition; therefore, we can constantly create new and interesting 36 • The Hillside Summer 2012

programs. The hero’s journey should be the cornerstone of it. I really want to see travel being a big part of it. I think we should be at the leading edge of technology. I think we should bring in interesting faculty from around the world. But keep the same size – in no way change the DNA because I think it’s phenomenal. I am now looking for my own kids, and I can afford to send them anywhere in the world. I can send them to Switzerland or I can send them to South Kent where I know they’ll have an incredible journey and really turn into men. What does your future have in store? I’m a father of twin boys. I just finished a journey of building a big hotel. I want to continue working on three fronts: I’d love to work on another hotel or two. I want to continue making my films, and I want the foundation to feel that in seven years we’ve really made a difference. I want to look back and see I’ve really touched the lives of many people. That we’ve helped educate, helped build a health center. Side Note: At this point we were thinking, how many journeys is this man going to take? Well, Hani Farsi’s last comment gave us some clue that maybe he’s not done reinventing himself just yet. One day, I’d like to be the first man from my part of the world to open a vineyard – to really own something that makes me work with the earth. I’ve worked with steel and concrete; it’ll be nice to work with something that grows organically.

Summer 2012 The Hillside • 37

FALL AUCTION Friday, Oct 12, 2012

SAVE THE DATE Keep up with the latest SKS happenings by liking the SKS Facebook page! 38 • The Hillside Summer 2012

intouch Class Notes Please remember to send in your class notes by mail, or by emailing Carol Ann Bruen. bruenc@


Allen Perrins

Still racing my 30’ catboat; 5 races, 2 firsts.


Bill Reynolds

My girlfriend Peggy and I spent two weeks in Spain in November to attend a 50-guest birthday party organized at the Marbella Club by Peggy’s father to celebrate his 105th birthday! He is as sharp as the day he graduated from Harvard in 1929. Also starting to plan for my 65th reunion of the class of 1948 in 2013. Hope all my classmates will make every effort to be on the Hillside to celebrate our longevity.


Peter Pirnie

Still working at U.S. Agency for International Development where I am secretary to the Credit Review Board, for credit facilities in 64 developing countries. Married 47 years to my wonderful wife, Carolyn.


Charles Chance

My eldest daughter just had triplets – 2 boys and a girl. I now have 9 grandchildren and 1 great-grandson!


Stephen Rule

Almost half way into my 8th year here in The Villages, “Florida’s friendliest hometown”. A year-old association with the University of South Florida’s Medical School has just completed a huge survey of residents’ health issues and desires. At last 39% of us (approx 36,000) participated in it – a record return. It has already resulted in a commitment by a developer to build 8 healthcare centers where primary care physicians will practice “Marcus Welby-style medicine”.


By Ralph Woodward

Classmates, et al: Our sixty-fifth reunion at the Bulls Bridge Inn on Friday evening, June 8 was noisy, crowded, dark, and delightful. As The Pigtail used to say: “A good time was had by all!” Annette and Bob Adams, Charles Hodgman, Corinne and I represented the Class of 1947. We were joined by Rusty and Allie (Woodward) Funnell and Roger Betts of the Class of 1952 and Legare Cuyler ‘58, Tricky Dick’s youngest, now a trustee of SKS. Bill Edwards couldn’t make it but we toasted him and Duane Newton and Henrik Bull in absentia as well as all our members who have moved on to greater adventures. So many in the last few years: Gordon Brekus, Dunc Chaplin, John Clark, Chip Fawcett, John Matthews, Bob Melville...the years take their toll. The group picture comes compliments of Charles Hodgman who has not lost his touch with the latest thing in digital cameras. He and Marjorie are in the midst of closing on their home in Cornwall, CT and a move to Ann Arbor to be near their son. Bob and Annette won the long distance award (Lynchburg, VA). Bob spends a portion of his time thinking about higher mathematics at levels he has kept tuned up taking courses at Virginia Tech. Annette observes with good humor and a certain amount of amusement as he spins his cocoon. Bob did the honors at the Alumni Memorial Service reading the names of our classmates who have died. Corinne and I were at the School Saturday morning to say hello to everyone. The School and its grounds are in splendid shape and the preparation of the campus at the north end of Hatch Pond to be called the Center For Innovation is coming along nicely. The school website is now a varied and dramatic portrait of the school and its activities. You should not miss an exploration of It is entertaining and an invaluable way to keep in touch. So all is well at South Kent, a very different place from our day: more diverse, much more in keeping with the world at large, and, in many ways, a significant leader among its contemporaries in pointing the way to future developments in education. We should all be proud of it and generous in support of its mission. My regards to you all. Old friends are the best, -Ralph Summer 2012 The Hillside • 39

The ultimate goal is to make us America’s healthiest hometown.

Boylston A. Beal II

Am excited about your iPad program. I see it as a real big step forward. Maybe education can now learn how to process the information, not just memorize it.

I now own and operate Seaside Gallery, a fine arts business in Pismo Beach, CA while continuing to live in Santa Barbara. We look forward to focusing our skills and experience in this challenging market and the adventures and friendships sure to come. Please call on us if you are in the area.

in 2009. I rebuilt a Cessna 172 and flew it in September 2009. I remarried in 2010 and live outside Harrisonburg, VA on my own private, grass airstrip. I am currently employed as a manufacturing engineer in Staunton, VA.


Chip Swanson

Doug Denham

After 43 years in the classroom (25 at SKS, 2 at The American School in Quito, Ecuador, and the last 16 at Albuquerque Academy) I have decided to retire in June of 2012. I will have more time to visit grandchildren and travel to South America. I will also be active as a court interpreter in the New Mexico area.


Tom Burgher

In April, I retired from a 45-year aerospace career with some of the best American aerospace companies. South Kent proved to be a formative experience that changed the direction of my life. Beyond the familiar SKS credo of directness of purpose, self-reliance, and simplicity of life, South Kent also taught me the confidence to be an individual, the importance of individual contribution to the success of the community, and to live by principles of transparency and integrity. The most significant course corrections that helped shape who I was to become were applied kindly, gently, but forcibly by the SKS faculty and staff. Although I served as Class Agent for the Class of ‘63 for nearly 10 years after graduation, military, marriage, children, career, college educations commandeered my time and resources. Now with a new focus and all 3 kids graduated (the last from UC Santa Cruz this summer), I hope to be able to pay more attention to SKS. Sherie, my wife of 39 years, and 40 • The Hillside Summer 2012


Larry Newhall

Our three oldest are in college: Cheston and Ashley at The University of Utah; junior and freshman respectively and Carolin at the Univesity of Frier, Germany. Brooke and Gerrit are juniors in high school and Gerwin is a high school freshman. I am currently president of The University of Utah’s parent association. My wife Nadja is a vacation planner at Deer Valley Resort.


John Folsom

In May, I had the honor of swearing my son James into the US Air Force as a 2nd Lt upon his graduation from Clemson University. He is now in OK, waiting to start pilot’s training. I continue to work for the VA and plan on retiring in about 5 years.


Sam DuPont

I received my FAA Airframe and Powerplant License in 2008 and my private pilot’s license


Family is doing well. Suzi’s business continues to develop and keeps her on her toes. The changes at both state and federal levels present both challenges and opportunities. Hannah, 22 and Alex, 21 both live in Burlington while finishing up UVM and working through the summers. Empty nesters! Much less cleaning…My business is still a little slow. Not bad though. It allowed me to do some furniture work. Sheep still keeping the pastures mown! All in all, life is good.


Bill Wreaks

Life is good and business is steady… and we’re enjoying life with our fifth baby (Paris)…as well as the other four! David Coles, Bill Detwiler, Taylor Stockdale and I met in New York City on April 3 to celebrate Taylor’s 50th Birthday.


Timothy Weir

I am living in Bolingbrook, IL, where I work in Retail Department Management, covering the Left: Tom and Sherie Burgher; Top Eastern United States. I am Right: James and John Folsom at James’ married and have 3 children.

swearing in to the Air Force; Lower Right: David Coles, Bill Wreaks, Bill Detwiler and Taylor Stockdale in NYC for Taylor’s 50th



It was great to see everyone on the Hillside for Alumni Weekend. It warmed my heart to see things progressing well in the hands of Mr. Vadnais and the rest of the crew. As we say out here, get’er done!

Jeff married Emily Milne at Sugarbush Resort in Warren, VT, on July 5, 2012. The Rev. Steve Klots, school chaplain, presided at the ceremony, and Jeff’s South Kent classmate Dillon Duncan was one of the groomsmen. Jeff has just taken a position as the head coach of the U-16 boys hockey team at the Culver Military Academy in Culver, IN, while Emily finishes up her degree in dentistry at Marquette University in Wisconsin.

Jamie Leeson

Charles Goodridge

Made it through the real estate bust and continue to sell real estate with Prudential Manor Homes in Saratoga Springs, NY. We added number 3 to the family last year. Holden joins Gracelyn, 11 and Owen, 8. My office is in downtown Saratoga, and if you are ever in the area, please stop in to say hello.

Jeff Hill


Matt Balke

Matt married Alyssa Coulston on May 25, 2012, at the Lake House Inn in Perkasie, PA. The Rev. Steve Klots, school chaplain, presided at the ceremony, and other South Kent guests included Aaron Davies ‘05, Matt Tendler ‘06, and Wayne Sands ‘07. Matt and Alyssa are living in Pottstown, PA, where he helps run an insurance agency.


Mike Vaskivuo

Mike was named MVP for the Fort Wayne Komets. As a member of the Komets, Mike helped win the Central League’s Ray Miron Presidents’ cup.


Day Regatta I got 2nd in the Lightweight Intermediate 8+ and made the grand final in the Lightweight Intermediate 4+. At USRowing Club Nationals this year in the Lightweight Intermediate 8+, I got 2nd. I would really love to connect with other rower alumni to hear about what rowing at South Kent was like back in the day. My e-mail is In addition to all the rowing, I have been enjoying my classes at Hobart and am planning on majoring in American Studies and minoring in Religious Studies. I really enjoyed coming back to the Hillside for graduation this year; it was great to see the boys as well as the many teachers who helped me along my journey.

Left: Brian Wallace and his wife Ashley; Top: Father Klots, Emily Hill, Jeff Hill and Dillon Duncon; Middle: Tyler WilsonMenting; Below Father Klots, Matt Tendler, Alyssa Balke, Matt Balke, Aaron Davies and Wayne Sands

Tyler Wilson-Menting


Brian Wallace

Brian married Ashley Furr at the Chapel Dulcinea in Austin, TX, on March 25, 2012. Guests at the wedding included the Rev. Steve Klots, school chaplain, who presided at the ceremony, and--of course--Brian’s father Bennie, who in the past has served as a school trustee. Brian and Ashley are living in San Antonio, TX, with their daughter Leyah.

After graduating I spent my summer rowing for Penn AC, in Philadelphia on Boathouse Row. I raced in the Independence Day Regatta getting 3rd in the Junior A 8+. Later that summer at USRowing Club Nationals, I raced and made the grand final. When I got to Hobart College, I spent the year rowing on the Varsity team. We won Liberty League and NY State championships on the Second Varsity 8+. This summer I rowed for The New York Athletic Club, and at the Independence Summer 2012 The Hillside • 41

intouch Alumni Weekend

42 • The Hillside Summer 2012

intouch Alumni Weekend

You Can Go Back Home Again… At Least for the Weekend 19 graduates from the Class of ‘82 made the journey back to South Kent School to celebrate their 30th reunion. Many traveled a great distance, and several were on campus for the first time since Prize Day. Taku Hasegawa came in from Japan while “Old Man” Alvarez came in from London. Others traveled from Seattle, British Columbia, Montana, Texas, Maryland, Minnesota (Willard Hunnewell piloted his own Cessna 206), and many parts of New England. As one would expect, it was as though we’d never left the Hillside. Stories of dust pans flying down the hallway in New Wing (apologies to Mr. Richards), grinder deliveries to the second driveway (aka Mr. Abbott’s “slippery slope”), Big Bill’s management style and ingenious exploding devices were retold in animated fashion,

thanks in large part to Tony Tocco. Sean Driscoll was masterful in his emcee duties Saturday night. There was also time for remembrance and reflection in the Chapel, an exciting vision of the school’s future presented by Head of School Andy Vadnais, and a tour of the new Center for Innovation, which holds great promise as a differentiator for the school as future students will work to solve complex problems with hands-on studies in science, technology, engineering and agriculture. Back to our farming roots! The school is evolving and has a very bright future. It is unclear how much the school’s graduates have evolved, based on the 48 hours we spent together, but it is clear SKS brings out the best in all of us. -Hamilton McCulloh ’82 Summer 2012 The Hillside • 43

intouch Alumni Golf

44 • The Hillside Summer 2012

intouch Senior Prank


he class of 2012’s senior prank is without a doubt one of the best in the School’s long history of tomfoolery, hijinks, shenanigans and monkeyshine. One Sunday night, under the cover of darkness, a group of seniors snuck into the assembly room and carefully replaced the portraits with posters of these doctored reproductions. No one is sure how they pulled it off, but the posters were convincing enough that much of the school did not notice until the joke was pointed out to them. Head of School Andrew Vadnais gave them high praise for pulling off what he felt was the best prank in his time at the School and for not doing a bit of damage in the process.

Top Row: Daniel DeRocco as Samuel Slater Bartlett; Patrick Magliano as Wynne Wister; Middle Row: Alexandre Poulin as Amy Lyon; Sotirios Athanasopoulos as Richard Cuyler; Benjamin Welton as George Bartlett; Bottom Row: James O’Connor as Noble Richards; Thomas Coleman as Samuel Woodward

Have a good story of your pranking days here on The Hillside? We would love to hear it! Email your story to: Summer 2012 The Hillside • 45


Alan “Ace” Edmunds ’37 Retired Air Force Brigadier General Alan C. Edmunds, died peacefully October 9th, 2010 at his home in Spokane, Washington. General Edmunds was born in Oradell, New Jersey, and attended schools in Yonkers, NY, New York City, South Kent School, in Connecticut, and Dartmouth College. In 1939 he enlisted in the US Army and received an appointment from the Army to the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY in 1941. He graduated as a second lieutenant and pilot in the Army Air Corps in June 1944. General Edmunds spent much of his Air Force career with fighter aircraft. Throughout his career he he flew P-47’s and P-51’s in the Pacific Theater, served as squadron commander of an F-86 squadron at Chambley Air Base in France, was the Air Force Project officer in Sandia Base, New Mexico, served two tours in the Headquarters of the Tactical Air Command, his last four years of service were spent as the commander of Strategic Air Divisions at Fairchild AFB in Spokane. After his retirement from the Air Force at Fairchild in 1972, General Edmunds organized and managed Hospitality Services to insure adequate visitor housing during Expo ‘74. After the Expo he was appointed as the executive director of the Spokane Area Development Council until his retirement in 1982. General Edmunds was involved with organizations such as: the Elk’s Club, the Rotary 46 • The Hillside Summer 2012

Club of Spokane, the Economic Development Council of Washington (two term president), the Pacific Northwest Development Council, the American Development Council, the Air Force Association and the Retired Officer’s Association. General Edmunds and Joan Baylis were married in Westfield, New Jersey, in June, 1944. Joan died in October 1974. In 1976 he and Yvonne Carter were married in Spokane where they resided for the past 34 years.

John Thomas Anderson Ely ’41, died peacefully on 27 September 2011 at the age of 88, in Palmerston North, New Zealand. John was born in 1923 in San Francisco, California, to John Thomas Anderson Ely, Sr and Ruth Mallery Ely. His parents divorced when John was 2 years of age. His mother later married Norris Whitehill, an officer in the United States Navy. John attended over 30 public schools before entering boarding school in South Kent, Connecticut in 1938. Upon graduation from South Kent School in 1941, John attended Stevens Institute of Technology for 1 year and then the University of Wisconsin. He entered the Army Air Corps in 1943 and completed the PreMeteorology Program, then the Communications Course at Yale University and Radar Electronics Course. John was one of the first five Atomic Bomb Weaponeers and went on to teach the first classes in the Weaponeers and Bomb Commanders School. During the 50’s he was an electronics officer and worked on engineering problems of B-36, B-47 and B-52 aircraft, publishing 25 related papers. During this period, he invented an analog computer to do celestial navigation automatically and an aircraft anticollision system. In 1957 he returned to graduate school at the University of Washington and received a

Masters Degree in Physics. From 1960-1964, John was a physicist in the Space Physics Lab in Massachusetts, designing cosmic ray telescopes. Then, until his retirement in 1968, he served as a Director in the Headquarters of Foreign Technology Division. His rank at retirement was Colonel. John then began his second career: Research Professor at the University of Washington. In addition to teaching physics. John conducted cosmic ray experiments, discovering four galactic cosmic ray modulations. During the last 25 years, John devoted much of his effort to researching cosmic rays’ effects relating to nutrition, health and disease. He established and served as Executive Director of the Applied Research Institute. Palmerston North, New Zealand was John’s home for the past dozen years, and John became a citizen in 2005. He was an avid tennis player for most of his life. This interest started in boarding school where he was a member of the tennis team. He was an accomplished cartoonist and would adorn letters from boarding school to his family with drawings. He created all the drawings for his school yearbooks, and his Amherst classmates recall his drawings on the blackboards. One of his Amherst classmates, Jim King, may have summarized John the best by saying: “A brilliant individual who never seemed to engage in any physical or mental activity half-way. Always seeing challenge, eschewing convention and reveling in contention -though outwardly deploring it”.

Alex Ross Wilson ’47 Boulder lost a guiding light of the folk dance and singing community on May 13, 2012. Alex Wilson, born in Syracuse, New York, was known for years as Tink among his many friends in this community where he resided for fifty-five years. Alex came to Colorado to pursue rock climbing, skiing, folk dancing and singing. After losing several companions in mountaineering accidents, he imited his climbing to rescue work. He worked in the building trades until his retirement at age 79 as a carpenter with the Boulder County Government. Alex will be best remembered for is his contribution to the international folk dance community. Alex provided inspiration for the founding of the Village Arts Coalition in 1989 and leasing the Pearl Street (dance) Studio a year later. As a skilled carpenter, he re-built the interior of that drab, cinder-block building into a pleasant dance space for the folk dance. He was passionate about including all who wanted to dance as well as encouraging those who wavered on the sidelines. Alex was an accomplished dancer specializing in Eastern European and Scandinavian dance. He traveled to Hungary on several occasions to participate in festivals. His friends remember stories of his travels to dictatorship-ruled Romania where having a foreigner in your home overnight was against the law. Alex stayed the night in the hayloft of a barn to avoid detection. Finding

his Hungarian travel companions at the station on his way out the next day, they insisted he return to the farm with them where he stayed another night in the barn. Upon hearing music in the village square, he stole out to watch some of the last examples of local folk dancing as it had been a part of village life for a thousand years. Alex made a special contribution to the civic life of Boulder on his 75th birthday by organizing and funding a three-day party which brought in musicians from around the country. His friends will remember him as he looked that weekend in the photo above— joyous, energetic, and welcoming others to join in. The Reverend Canon Francis S. Bancroft III ’52 of Wellfleet, MA, died June 3, 2012. Born in Nyack, NY, Father Bancroft attended Indian Mountain School and South Kent School, and was a graduate of Wesleyan University and the General Theological Seminary. He was ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church in December 1959. During his career he served as curate at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Mountain Lakes, NJ, and as vicar and then rector of St. James Episcopal Church, Ridgefield, NJ. In 1981, Father Bancroft received the Diocese of Newark’s Canterbury Award for outstanding service and, in 1993, he received the International Lions Club Melvin Jones Award. Always active in the community, Father Bancroft served on and chaired the Chaplaincy Committee at Englewood Hospital and was chaplain to the Ridgefield police and fire departments, the Ambulance Corps, the Lions Club and various youth organizations. He was also president of the Ridgefield Clergy Association.

friends in his home; this was when Brown was at his best. Brown, endured and persevered through the infirmities of his last years with great dignity and integrity.

Brown Dossett ’53 of Shreveport, LA. Brownie, as called by his friends or Papere, as called by his family, was born August 3, 1934 in Cameron, Texas. Brown passed on October 30, 2011 at his home in Shreveport. Brown attended the Southfield School for his primary education and then attended South Kent School for high school. Brown was a multisport star in football, crew and ice hockey, the latter of which he was captain. He then matriculated to LSU where he was a pledge of the SAE fraternity. There he met Barbara, the love of his life. They were married August 13, 1955 in Bogalusa, LA and then moved to Shreveport where Brown finished his studies at Centenary, graduating in 1957. To the day of his death, Barbara was his “bride”. Brown and Barbara started their family in 1957 with Amie’ de Fuentes Dossett, followed by Brown Dossett II in 1959, Andrew Bienvenu Dossett in 1961, and Anne Michelle Dossett in 1962. Brown worked in the family door manufacturing business and then was owner/operator of Shreveport Sash & Door, followed by a long career as a manufacturers’ representative of doors and windows. He was an enthusiastic and avid hunter and fisherman. He took his children dove, duck and goose hunting, and his wife, fishing. Many a day and a lot of his nights were spent entertaining family and

Drawings on these pages are by John Thomas Anderson Ely and copied from the 1941 yearbook

Summer 2012 The Hillside • 47

inretrospect Reflections

The Pigtail, November 19, 1982

48 • The Hillside Summer 2012

An Invitation to Join the St. Michael’s Society The St. Michael’s Society recognizes those who establish their own legacy for the future of South Kent School.

Members of this Society have expressed their commitment to South Kent School through a very special and important form of financial support. These donors have named South Kent as the ultimate beneficiary of a planned gift. Such gifts might include a bequest and/or charitable income gift, such as charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder unitrusts, charitable remainder annuity trusts, or gifts of life insurance. Membership Benefits Your membership involves no dues, obligations, or solicitations, but it does allow us to thank you and recognize you for the plans you have made, and it may inspire generosity in others. The most important benefit you will receive from joining the St. Michael’s Society is the satisfaction derived from making a lasting contribution to the long-term success of South Kent School.

Interested in how a Charitable Remainder Trust works? • You transfer cash, securities or other appreciated property into a trust. • The trust pays a percentage of the value of its principal, which is valued annually, to you or beneficiaries you name. • When the trust terminates, the remainder passes to South Kent School to be used as you have directed. Some benefits from establishing a trust: • Receiving income for life or a term of years in return for your gift • Receiving an immediate income tax deduction for a portion of your contribution • Paying no upfront capital gains tax on appreciated assets you donate • Being able to make additional gifts to the trust as your circumstances allow, for additional income and tax benefits

For more information regarding planned giving options available at South Kent School, please contact Tim von Jess, Director of Development, at (860) 927-3539 x205, email him at, or visit the planned giving section of the School’s website at

South Kent School 40 Bulls Bridge Road South Kent, CT 06785-1199 860-927-3539

Parents of Alumni

If this publication is addressed to your child who no longer maintains a permanent address at your home, please notify the alumni office of a preferred mailing address by calling 860/927-3539 x206 or emailing us at Thank you!


Summer 2012  

South Kent School's Summer 2012 Hillside

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