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The Magazine of St. Martin’s Episcopal School

A tribute to our Headmaster 17 years of guidance to SMES


Teaching the Humanities through the Arts Learning to yearn for God St. Martin’s gets gritty SMES Sports: Inside the Playbook The Tech Lab at St. Martin’s Alumni news


invest in lifelong learning G

ifts to The St. Martin’s Fund are an investment in every student and

every faculty member. Your support enables the school to enrich the programs and opportunities each child receives and helps equip our teachers to inspire a love of lifelong learning in every student.

LEADERSHIP GIVING LEVELS Warrior Circle - $10,000 and up Providers Circle - $7,500 to $9,999 Headmaster’s Circle - $5,000 to $7,499 Leaders Circle - $2,000 to $4,999 OTHER GIVING LEVELS Benefactors Circle - $1,000 to $1,999 Patrons Circle - $500 to $999 Friends – up to $499

For more information or to contribute online, please go to www. and visit the “Support St. Martin’s” section of the website.

Patterns EDITOR Kristi Gaffney

CONTRIBUTORS The Rev. Dr. James Hamner IV Kathy Florence Kristi Gaffney Christine McAleer Mary McPherson Mark McDaniel Kinshasa Msola Mike Morris Stefanie Taylor Photography: Kristi Gaffney Stan Leary Christine McAleer Tracy Ballot Smithsonian Summer Institute Design: Kathy Florence ADMINISTRATION The Rev. Dr. James E. Hamner IV Headmaster Cindy Alexander Principal, Early Childhood Dr. Mary McPherson Principal, Elementary School Tony Shaffer Principal, Middle School Tracy Ballot Director of Advancement and External Affairs John Cunningham Chief Financial Officer Blythe Marsau Director of Admission and Financial Aid The Rev. Stefanie Taylor Chaplain The Rev. Dr. John McCard Church Rector Patterns is published biannually by St. Martin’s Episcopal School. Please direct any letters, comments or news items to: St. Martin’s Episcopal School 3110-A Ashford Dunwoody Rd. Atlanta, GA 30319 Attn: Kristi Gaffney Mission Statement : St. Martin’s Episcopal School is dedicated to providing a quality education of the whole person in a loving, Christian atmosphere, which fosters lifelong learning.




Please enjoy our first expanded issue of Patterns magazine. Patterns will be published on a biannual basis to bring you more in-depth articles on curriculum, trends in education, behind-the-scenes professional development, parent, staff and alumni interviews, alumni happenings as well as all of the great campus news going on at St. Martin’s. We welcome your feedback and suggestions at any time.


Kristi Gaffney, Editor

this issue

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From the Headmaster SEEN & HEARD

News and happenings in the school community A TRIBUTE TO OUR HEADMASTER

17 years of leadership


Teaching the humanities through the arts S T. M A R T I N ’ S G E T S G R I T T Y

Instilling passion and perseverance


Learning to yearn for God


Sports at SMES


Spheros, Robots and Drones, Oh My! ALUMNI NEWS

Class Notes VOICES

Tony Shafer, new Middle School Principal

On the cover: The Rev. Dr. James Hamner administers the sacraments of holy communion as part of middle school chapel. PATTERNS

= Winter 2017


from the headmaster “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting, Father, Prince of Peace” Isaiah 9:6 I write this note as we enter the season of Advent, leading up to the excitement and joy of Christmas and the New Year. We have enjoyed a strong and good fall semester at school, full of accomplishment, learning, and growth for our students. With this issue, we have moved to publishing Patterns twice a year to allow longer editions with more detailed, reflective writings on the extraordinary kaleidoscope of activities and learning which occur daily in this remarkable school. In this edition, you will learn about the role of “Grit” at St. Martin’s, our commitment


to professional development, the expanding use of educational technology in our classrooms and labs, our sports, drama and academic achievements, and an indepth look at our religion curriculum among many other items. I’m always glad and proud of our many alumni accomplishments which we share as well. The strong foundation our graduates received here continues to serve them well in their varied lives and professions. My colleagues and I eagerly anticipate an exciting spring semester. We give thanks for the gift of our students and for your support which allows St. Martin’s to be such an exemplary community of learning and teaching and the catalyst for the development of our students’ minds, bodies, and spirits — a place where each child is known and loved. Wishing you and your families a wonderful New Year.

A c

Dr. Hamner welcomes St. Martin’s new Warrior mascot. At right, he joins students at the annual Cookies and Carols Christmas event.


Winter 2017



Starting the year off right



A rite of passage for Middle School students each fall is signing the SMES Honor Pledge. Students attend a special chapel service and sign the pledge to acknowledge their understanding of honesty in and out of the classroom.

High Touch High Tech Follow us!


Fourth grade science students enjoyed a day of learning about weather-related topics in handson fashion. The in-house field trip brought High Touch High Tech to campus for a great day of science.




= Winter 2017


seen & heard

Football Friday

PTO Fall Festival



On one of the few chilly and fall-like days in October, the PTO held its annual Fall Festival. Kids, parents and SMES faculty enjoyed the traditional rides, games, cake walk, fright walk and much more. Another popular event was the dunk tank where students had the opportunity to dunk a variety of faculty members. The annual event coincided with the St. Martin in the Fields church bazaar to offer festival goers a wide variety of fall fun.

A Friday in September marked a fan-favorite tradition at St. Martin’s. Students were invited to wear their favorite college or pro football team jersey to school on Football Friday. Everyone enjoyed the special spirit day and celebrated many different sports teams.


Winter 2017


T S fi a s w r l M

seen & heard

King Snuggles

named 1st Grade Mascot President

The votes were tallied and results showed King Snuggles as the clear winner to serve as the SMES first grade mascot president. As part of learning about the election process in America, first grade students campaigned, made signs and even wrote candidate platforms to boost votes for their respective class mascot candidates. Everyone is looking forward to a great year of leadership from Ms. Terishenski’s class mascot King Snuggles.

4th Grade serves others with school supplies Each year, the fourth grade service project focuses on collecting school supplies for donation to a local Atlanta charity that supports under-served students in our area. This year, they chose to send the collected supplies to support students in Louisiana who were affected by the massive flooding. It was a great effort and provided important learning for students to help those in need.


= Winter 2017


seen & heard

St. Martin’s drama students win big at state-level competition

This fall, St. Martin’s Middle School drama students won first runner-up for their performance of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid, Jr.” at the 52nd Georgia Theater Conference in Augusta. St. Martin’s also received special recognition for set and costumes, a best-supporting actress win for Audrey Holton, and an all-star cast selection by Win Scott and William Stovall. This annual conference features competitions for middle and high school students and allows attendees to participate in workshops to develop their craft.


Winter 2017


A o S t t s a s c t A

seen & heard

What Lifts You?

Fall debuted an interactive piece of original art created by third- through eighth-grade students and SMES faculty and staff. The piece titled “What Lifts You” was made from individual feathers and depicts a beautiful set of wings. Students, faculty and visitors were invited to take photos in front of the piece for a dramatic effect.

Bag it and Share it First graders’ food drive The SMES annual food drive to benefit The Suthers Center for Christian Outreach took place in November. This first grade-sponsored event coordinated an all-school food collection effort and delivered the non-perishable goods to The Suthers Center for distribution to needy people in our nearby community. Great job first grade!


7th grade students qualify for Duke TIP Congratulations to 37 of our seventh graders who qualified to participate in the Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP).

A special chapel service was held on Oct. 4 to celebrate the work of St. Francis of Assisi who preached to protect and love animals and the natural environment. A few special guests received blessings as part of the service. In addition, students worked all month to collect needed pet supplies to support the DeKalb County Animal shelter.

Each year students are recognized in this national program based on their scores on various standardized tests taken during their sixth grade year. Qualifying students are invited to take the SAT or ACT test and also to participate in programs for middle school students hosted at nearby colleges. Congratulations to (top row, l-r) Cordelia Tranfield, Sam Alexander, Liam Cash, William Fenstermacher, Ms. Christina Johnson (sponsor), Benjamin Nordstrom, Warren Neel, Alex Norris, Michael Lynch; (middle row, l-r) Kendall Buchanan, Katie Holmes, Abby Hughes, Noelle Broughton, Annie Quinn, Ella Cannon, Lydia Davis, Helen Wamey; (front row, l-r) Ryan Pennington, Sophie Steck, Ellen Claxton, Grayson Seib and Joseph McGhee.; (not pictured) Laila Ahmed, Allie Campbell, Grant Gaffney, Johanna Graham, Ben Hamer, Patrick Hannon, Ethan Hayek, Edward Hires, Ryan Hoad, Erik McKeithen, Will McLaren, Sky Murphy, Jazmin Perkins, Rachel Trotter, Will Tuggle and Daniel Turner. PATTERNS

= Winter 2017


Halloween parade is a spooky SMES tradition

It wouldn’t be October without the Halloween tradition of St. Martin’s kindergarten students walking hand in hand with eighth graders parading around campus to kick off the holiday— in grand costume style. The students and some very festive faculty members looped around the St. Martin’s parking lot to cheers and laughter. A giant dinosaur, the Ghostbusters gang, a variety of princesses and Pokémon’s Pikachu characters were just some of the great costumes.


Winter 2017


seen & heard

Five named to Honor Band, perform at Young Harris

SMES band members represented St. Martin’s at the Tri-State Middle School Honor Band event held at Young Harris College. Five students were nominated by band instructor Allen Barbee and selected to participate from among 500 other nominees from Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. The day-long event included rehearsals to learn new music and concluded with the 130-member ensemble performing a concert. (l-r) Nicholas Lennon (6th), Katie Holmes (7th), Will Bieze (6th), Ethan Hayek (7th) and Arden Adams (8th).

K9 Unit visits 3rd Grade

The Brookhaven Police Department’s K9 unit paid a visit to St. Martin’s to teach third grade students about the value of this important police work. Students were able to ask questions and everyone got to pet “Dan-O.”

WARRIOR TV PRESENTS AT STATEWIDE TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE St. Martin’s innovative middle school TV news club, Warrior TV, hosted a demonstration booth after earning a spot at the student showcase exhibit at the Georgia Educational Technology Conference (GaETC) held at the Georgia International Convention Center on Nov. 2. The TV-news style journalism club at St. Martin’s writes, films, produces and broadcasts periodic news shows to highlight school activities, spotlight teachers or programs and feature school sports. An eightmember, Middle School crew was invited to set up a mobile studio at the GaETC conference to demonstrate TV production skills for the conference attendees. Warrior TV club members attending: Luly Ahmed, Allie Campbell, Caroline Belisle, Grant Gaffney, Will McLaren, Jack O’Donnell, Jack Schmitt and Emma Schwind.


= Winter 2017


Open House Nov. 5 On a beautiful fall Saturday, St. Martin’s opened its doors to prospective families to visit the campus and learn more about SMES. Visitors were greeted by faculty and staff, toured the campus led by student ambassadors and invited to a short Q&A-style assembly to learn more from alumni, faculty, parents and trustees.

Faculty News

Families visited classrooms, met teachers and had the opportunity to participate in STEAMbased activities along the way.


Winter 2017

Ms. J. publishes children’s book Inspired by moments from their own family, SMES guidance counselor Christina Johnson and her brother Iggy Larrea have co-authored and published a children’s book offering a creative story to help inspire self-confidence in kids. Cuckoo for Coconuts can be found at



seen & heard

New Warrior mascot debuts at volleyball finals

A huge thanks to the SMES Class of 2015 for the awesome class gift of a school mascot! The Warrior was in the house on Oct. 13 at the SMES-hosted MAAC volleyball championship game and helped cheer on the lady Warriors to a second-place win.

POP Club Update The SMES POP (Power Over Prejudice) Club is a group of students, administrators and faculty working to perpetuate love, sympathy, and cultural diversity. The club recently named its new officers for the 201617 school year. Congratulations to Arden Adams, president; Barrett Feagin, vice president; and Savannah Fleming, secretary. The group will debut a new name soon based on contest entries from the SMES community. Stay tuned!

RNS 12 SUZI BASS NOMINATIONS Congratulations to SMES drama teacher Heidi McKerley for earning 12 Suzi Bass Award nominations (Atlanta’s version of the Tonys). Top nomination was a best director category nod for the production of her original play, “The Toxic Avenger.” The play ran for three months at the Horizon Theatre Company with an encore performance at Piedmont Park for an audience of 6000+ people.

Principals Speak at NAES Conference The National Association of Episcopal Schools recently held its biennial conference in New Orleans hosting more than 600 attendees from schools across the country. St. Martin’s division principals Cindy Alexander, Dr. Mary McPherson and Tony Shaffer, along with school chaplain Mother Stefanie Taylor, addressed attendees with a presentation highlighting the value of collaboration ‘behind the scenes.’ The SMES team shared St. Martin’s best practices for developing ‘the whole child’ and guiding students and families with compassion and grace.


= Winter 2017


seen & heard

Bishop Wright visits SMES

St. Martin’s honors veterans at annual event In honor of America’s Veterans Day, St. Martin’s hosted its annual Veterans Day celebration complete with speakers, patriotic music performed by its band and chorus and festive decorations.

Students, parents, veteran guests and many members of the community crowded into the school gym to hear an inspiring keynote message from kindergarten parent Lt. Cmdr. Roger House, U.S. Navy (retired) and student and faculty speeches from “The Veteran I Admire Most” essay contest winners. The morning was filled with patriotic songs, a living flag presentation and many performances by the band, choruses and various grade levels.

The Right Rev. Robert C. Wright, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, visited St. Martin’s on Nov. 29. He held a roundtable discussion with student vestry members and delivered an inspirational sermon at chapel services.


Winter 2017


seen & heard

Lessons & Carols

St. Martin’s Jingle Jog On a December morning, more than 100 SMES runners braved the cold to participate in the first Jingle Jog event. This PTO-sponsored fun run event is back by popular demand with a different name and time frame to better suit the community. A 1-mile fun run was followed by a 5k run and everyone enjoyed this festive way to ring in the holidays, get some exercise and support the PTO and school community. Congratulations to 1-mile Fun Run winners Quinn O’Conner and Emma Simon, 5K student winners Carter Fletcher and Ava Marsh, and 5K parent winners Neal Dickert and Richelle Terry.

Students, faculty and staff attended the annual Lessons & Carols service on the last day of the first semester. This annual tradition is a way for everyone to participate in a beautiful service in preparation for Christmas.


On Dec. 2, the halls were decked and the PTO elves were out in full force for the annual SMES Cookies & Carols event. Students enjoyed a fun day of carols, delicious cookies and most importantly, a visit from Santa Claus!


= Winter 2017


17 years o


legacy can be defined as ‘something that happened in the past or that comes from someone in the past.’ The Rev. Dr. James Hamner will retire from his St. Martin’s headmaster post in May. Those who look back on the remunerative years of his leadership will note the valuable legacy of advancement, growth and spiritual guidance that has secured the foundation for a bright future for St. Martin’s Episcopal School. For now, we are grateful for the present and the past 17 years of consummate influence he has delivered. Dr. Hamner arrived at St. Martin’s in the millennial year of 2000 with his late wife Laurie and their three daughters, each of whom would walk the halls as St. Martin’s students. The student population was predominantly pre-school age children and Warrior Hall was a brand new building. Well-prepared to lead the 590-student school into the 21st century and with a blank canvas before him, Dr. Hamner immediately instilled his own brand of professionalism and innovative spirit that quickly empowered opportunities for new programs, curriculum and professional development for staff. Fast forward and much has changed. The sweet, neighborhood private school is now a thriving and competitive independent school boasting rigorous academics, a robust STEAM-based curriculum, dedicated faculty and staff, flourishing arts and sports programs and a host of brick and mortar additions and improvements all wrapped around a tight-knit, committed community of parents, students, faculty, alumni and church members. With a mission to maintain and enhance St. Martin’s Episcopal identity, Dr. Hamner’s pastoral influence was clear and tested on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when the entire SMES community dealt with the worst terrorist attack America had ever seen. Many spent time gathered in chapel that day where Dr. Hamner shared uplifting words to help the community heal and to calm fears about an uncertain future.

James Hamner 2008


Winter 2017

Dr. Hamner’s calming and comforting pastoral presence immediately set the tone for St. Martin’s education curriculum. He recognized the importance of weekly chapel services as instrumental in the spiritual development of all students, no matter their age, denomination


s of leadership: the Rev. Dr. James E. Hamner, IV or faith. He was personally involved in the religious studies department as the eighth grade ethics teacher and put into place a dedicated school chaplain. A grateful St. Martin’s community gave back that comfort and support as Dr. Hamner dealt with his wife Laurie’s long battle with cancer and death in 2007. Taking it to the next level. Over time, many of the St. Martin’s programs have grown and flourished. When Dr. Hamner arrived, the school offered cross country, soccer, softball and tennis. Today, St. Martin’s is a leader in the MAAC conference and fields competitive sports teams for boys and girls including basketball, volleyball, golf, baseball, soccer, cross country, tennis and YPL football designed to ready middle school students for high school athletics. Art, drama, music and foreign language programs got a gracious boost with the Hendon Challenge spearheaded by SMES parents Charlie and Cynthia Hendon in 2002. Supported by Dr. Hamner and the Board of Trustees, the Hendon Challenge launched SMES’ on-going, thriving drama and Spanish programs. Likewise, off-campus learning experiences reached a new dimension under Dr. Hamner’s leadership. In 2006, a former Middle School science teacher brought the idea of a Grand Canyon experience as a culmination of student learning at St. Martin’s. Dr. Hamner worked with the Board of Trustees to ensure this and other meaningful Middle School trips are included in St. Martin’s tuition and offset by the annual fund.

The 2008-2009 school year saw the celebration of St. Martin’s 50th anniversary. Events for the Jubilee celebration in August kicked off in the gym with a surprise entry by Dr. Hamner on the back of a motorcycle. Students and faculty enjoyed a day of special performances, carnival rides, food and games. A family picnic was also held for the entire St. Martin’s community to celebrate its 50 years of education. Among many strong management skills, Dr. Hamner is a leader that has put faith in his administration, faculty and staff and enabled the personal and professional growth of his staff through that autonomy. As testament, St. Martin’s Episcopal School was named among the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s “Best Places to Work” in 2016. And more, Dr. Hamner has been a remarkable steward of SMES’ fiscal responsibilities. As St. Martin’s prepares to bid farewell to its 17-year leader, students, staff, parents, faculty and colleagues reflect on the deep and lasting legacy he will leave. Many have shared their thoughts in the pages that follow. Among them, The Rev. Daniel R. Heischman, D.D., Executive Director of the National Association of Episcopal Schools, articulates the thoughts of many: “In the Episcopal school world, there is a great tradition of priests being heads of school,” said Rev. Heischman. “It is a reflection of the fact that, at heart, priests are teachers, as well as that leading a school is an act of ministry.”

The 2009 capital campaign was the most successful in the school’s history and made the Middle School expansion possible. In a stagnant and uncertain economy, Dr. Hamner and the Board of Trustees had the vision and boldness to move forward with the plan and worked tirelessly to make it happen.

“As both priest and head of school, James is among a shrinking group of people that carry both of those roles and live them out on a daily basis,” he continued. “He does this with deep devotion, a wise understanding of how both institutions – church and school – operate, and a wonderful sense of humor. St. Martin’s is what it is today by virtue of James’ ability to lead decisively as well as humanely. I have cherished the opportunity to work with James, and have valued the many conversations we have had through the years. On each occasion, James’ dedication shines through, along with his wonderful sense of irony and ability to take a step away from and take a larger perspective on being at the center of this whirlwind we call school life.

An annual alumni dinner for St. Martin’s graduates and their parents at the end of their senior year in high school, serves as a cherished reunion of middle school friends and a sincere sendoff as students begin their next steps toward college and careers.

St. Martin’s will certainly miss many things about James’ leadership, but I suspect one thing the most: who he is, by virtue of that distinctive and distinguished combination of priest and school head.”

Recognizing the growth and value of its expanding Middle School, Dr. Hamner and the Board of Trustees established a strategic vision for St. Martin’s that was anchored by a plan to build the Middle School facility.


= Winter 2017


His handwritten notes reminded faculty and staff that Dr. Hamner valued each one of our personal contributions to the SMES community. I will always remember his keen sense of humor and hearty laugh, and I always appreciated his support in my role as a teacher to his three lovely daughters. I always felt his pastoral presence.

– Pat England, former teacher Without James’ vision and leadership, the new Middle School building wouldn’t exist. His sense of what was good for MS students was keen, and he loved that the students learned with their minds, bodies, hearts and souls.

—Skeeter Lee, former MS Principal James Hamner has long been a personal and professional friend who has kept me enlightened, engaged, and entertained with his astute thinking and sharp sense of humor. He is a rarity.

—Stephen G. Kennedy

Retired Head of Trinity School/Atlanta, First/Former Executive Director, AAAIS I will always be grateful for Dr. Hamner’s support as he gave me the opportunity to lead the elementary school and his continued confidence in me as I grow as an educator and school administrator. I will miss his wisdom, openness, and sage and honest advice.

- Dr. Mary McPherson, ES Principal Under James’ leadership, every aspect of SMES has been positively impacted — academics, athletics, the arts, facilities, financial stability, and the endowment. He leaves a lasting and indelible legacy.

—Susan Coker, alumni parent former Trustee


Winter 2017


Over the years, I have seen James through multiple lenses — as a parent, as a board member, and as a banker. I saw in him an extraordinary blend of excellence as an educator, executive and visionary leader. I am deeply appreciative of the positive impact he has had on my family, our school and our community,

—Joe Evans

alumni parent, former Trustee, State Bank and Trust Company As an Episcopal priest and educator, James brought a unique understanding of Episcopal schools to SMES, recognizing the importance of students’ spiritual development and service to others. He was incredibly supportive of me as admission director when we welcomed students from New Orleans during Katrina, and as a high school placement director when I approached him with the idea of hosting a boarding school forum on the SMES campus.

—Jan Swoope

retired Admission Director, High School Placement Director

James’ legacy is substantial, enduring, and dignified: Lifting the school’s academic programs, improving the school’s building, classroom, arts, and sports infrastructure, fostering a caring and spiritual school environment, and raising the school’s stature and visibility in metro Atlanta.

Dr. Rudolph Bonaparte alumni parent, former Trustee

Dr. Hamner always reminded us that “Life is full of choices.” It is important for us as parents, teachers and staff to remind the children that the choices they make now, the habits they get into, will impact the rest of their lives.

– Cindy Alexander, EC Principal Headmaster’s Reception, 2008 PATTERNS

= Winter 2017


When I arrived at St. Martin in the Fields Church, James and his late wife, Laurie, gave me a warm welcome to the church and school community. I quickly realized that my family and I had been called to a special place that exemplified St. Martin’s sharing of his cloak. While our school has been blessed with a fine faculty and staff, the Christian atmosphere and commitment to both spiritual and intellectual formation at St. Martin’s is due to the fine leadership of Dr. Hamner.

Fr. John McCard, Rector

cutline here

St. Martin in the Fields Church

James instantly became the face of St. Martin’s. He brought a practical approach to keep the school modern and relevant. James’ commitment to our mission, his grace, his style, and his love will be his legacy.

—Cynthia & Charlie Hendon, alumni parents,

former Trustee Dr. Hamner with Charlie Hendon, 2004

My 10 years at St. Martin’s were the happiest and most fulfilling of my education/ministry career, in large part because of James’ confidence in me and his leadership in religious education and worship. St. Martin’s has benefited from his intelligent, thoughtful, and steady leadership.



— Rev. Edith Woodling former SMES chaplain

It has been my pleasure to work with James for more than ten years. His leadership has transformed St. Martin’s into a school of excellence. Both my children and I have greatly benefited from his vision and commitment to Episcopal education.

—Katherine Fortner

Executive Assistant to Headmaster, alumni parent The Hamner family shortly after their arrival to St. Martin’s. Claire, Caryn, Laurie, Caroline and James, 2000


Winter 2017


a t

. d f d


It has been a pleasure to work with Dr. Hamner and witness the tremendous growth of St. Martin’s over the past 17 years. His attention to all areas of the school has helped St. Martin’s earn the outstanding reputation we enjoy in the Atlanta school community today.

—Blythe Marsau

Director of Admission & Financial Aid, alumni parent For more than 15 years, James has brought excellence through disciplined, organized growth and maturity to St. Martin’s programs and campus – including dedicated space designed for the school’s divisions and success in the K-8 school niche. As a friend, I have seen James experience low and high personal times. As a parent of St. Martin’s graduates, I have witnessed James’ work. And as a volunteer and colleague, I have worked alongside James. Throughout, James has been unwavering in character, professionalism and success.

Bishop visit: Fr. John McCard, Bishop Neil Alexander, Rev. Dr. James Hamner, Rev. Edith Woodling, 2005

—Len Al Haas

alumni parent, former Trustee Under James’ leadership, St. Martin’s has grown from good to great. The exceptional middle school is a direct result of his ability to rally parents, foundations, donors and the community to support his vision of a world class pre-K through 8th grade institution. His legacy will be visible at SMES for years to come and will have tremendous impact on future generations.

Fun Run, 2003

—John Baumstark

alumni parent, former Trustee I have great respect and appreciation for Dr. Hamner. Professionally, he always supported me and encouraged me to become a better teacher. Personally, he was a big part of my life, he married my husband and I almost 9 years ago. He was a great spiritual guide on such an important milestone of my life.

—Cristi LeBron former teacher

50th Anniversary Celebration, 2008 PATTERNS

= Winter 2017


when I was in third grade I convinced my dad to let my class have a dog day and bring our dogs to school. Education has always been a huge value for my dad and I couldn’t be prouder of all he has done.

—Caroline Hamner My dad has devoted his life to the betterment of the lives and education of students at SMES for the past 17 years. Whether STEM, spiritual education or gardening, he has wholeheartedly advocated for our students. He is immensely proud of SMES alumni and still keeps in touch (and brags about) what former students have accomplished. For the rest of my life, I will take the lessons I have learned through SMES and incorporate them into every decision I make going forward.

—Caryn Hamner My dad is an incredibly intelligent, thoughtful, and responsible man. He cares for the SMES community deeply and is always considering what is best for its students, parents, and staff. He cares so much about what teachers have to say that he even listened to my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Kraft, when she begged him to finally get my sisters and I a pet dog (an incredible lesson learned there about persistence). I owe my wonderful experience as a student at St. Martins and owe him many thanks for letting me tape all my paper snowflakes on his office walls. To me, he is an inspiration.

Dr. Hamner with youngest daughter Caroline at the 50th anniversary celebration

—Claire Hamner As James’ wife, I am very proud of him for his numerous accomplishments at St. Martin’s School. He is an intelligent, dedicated, and innovative leader, who is also compassionate and caring for those he works with and all the students. It is wonderful to see how his vision for St. Martin’s has been embodied in so many ways. St. Martin’s will always have a special place in our lives.

—Cindy Hamner


Cindy and James Hamner, faculty Christmas Party at Peachtree Golf Club, 2015 Winter 2017



I have great respect and appreciation for Dr. Hamner. Professionally, he always supported me and encouraged me to become a better teacher. Dr. Hamner struck me as a great leader by his loyalty to his teachers and staff. When I joined the Board of Trustees, I understood that the faculty came first to him. This is admirable in any leader.

—Susan Richardson

current and alumni parent, current Trustee

James Hamner, 2004

I began to really know Fr. Hamner as a colleague when I was Head of School at Episcopal School in Baton Rouge. I could always count on his insights and integrity and felt supported by his genuine desire to see the nation-wide community of Episcopal schools thrive.

-Kay Betts former head, Episcopal School of Baton Rouge, current Interim Assistant Principal Marist, founder of Betts Strategic Group Through all of my interactions with James I have always been impressed with his deep knowledge of school administration as well as educational trends and challenges. His wisdom and insight was instrumental in the establishment of our endowment which will help ensure the continuous improvement in the St. Martin’s experience.

First day of school, 2016

—Derek Porter

current parent, current Trustee Vice Chair PATTERNS

= Winter 2017


James’ impact on SMES through leadership and intentional purpose is hard to put into words. In my mind, his legacy is and will continue to be the incredible faculty, staff, and administration he has assembled and led for the past 17 years.

—Richard Jaynes

current and alumni parent, current Trustee Chair The Rev. James Hamner is the consummate educator who understands the need to develop the whole child — body, mind, and spirit. As a man of faith who engaged in the ministry of developing youth, no doubt he has given his life to the most noble cause on earth.

- Dr. Steve Robinson

former president, Southern Association of Independent Schools Jane Hollman and I were Presidents of the PTO the first year of James’ tenure at St. Martin’s. We were so fortunate to be able to watch him begin to implement his vision for the school – to be the best Pre-K – 8th Grade school in Atlanta. He did it!

—Margaret Stickney alumni parent, former Trustee

I’ll never forget the first time I spent the night with Claire in 5th grade. a bunch of girls were sleeping in their living room and we were howling laughing and loving that we were staying up late. Mrs. Hamner came downstairs to tell us we had to be quiet because Dr. Hamner had a tennis match the next morning. the first thing that came to my head was, oh my gosh! Dr. Hamner, the headmaster, plays tennis on the weekend?

—Sarah Johnson SMES alumni


Winter 2017




Early Childhood Grandparents’ Day The sun was shining down on St. Martin’s for our Early Childhood Grandparents’ Day celebration! The theme was “We Are Family” and guests were entertained by St. Martin’s littlest performers as well as presentations from their teachers. Highlights included remarks from Headmaster The Rev. Dr. James E. Hamner, IV, a beautiful prayer by school chaplain Mother Taylor and an impassioned speech by St. Martin’s Annual Fund Grandparent Chairs Jim and Pat Bryan.

Wouldn’t it be grand if every day was

Grandparents’ Day?

Elementary School Grandparents’ Day It was a beautiful day at St. Martin’s for our Elementary School Grandparents’ Day celebration! Guests were treated to performances by St. Martin’s students which included choral performances, storytellers, the 5th grade band, and an all-school finale of Everybody’s Got A Light To Shine as well as welcoming remarks from Dr. James Hamner, invocation by school chaplain Mother Taylor and an impassioned speech by St. Martin’s Annual Fund Grandparent Chairs Jim and Pat Bryan. PATTERNS

= Winter 2017



The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Summer Institute:

Teaching the Humanities through Art

By Christine McAleer, Middle School English Teacher


Winter 2017


Anticipation T he Washington, D.C. morning dawns sunny and hot. In my hotel room four stories above D.C.’s colorful and bustling Chinatown, I gather and pack my supplies— the collection of 33 art cards I have worked with for the last three weeks, my agenda, my iPad, notebook, pens, and water bottle. I decide to leave behind Making Thinking Visible, the book our new middle school principal, Tony Shaffer, assigned us to read over the summer. After all, even though I only have about five pages left to read, I’m sure I will be too busy to finish it today. It’s tempting, though, because it is the best, most thoughtful, and most practical book I have read about teaching in quite awhile.

Nervous and excited, I walk three blocks crowded with buildings, past gift store windows from which lucky

Maneki-neko Cats, in unison, wave good morning, past pungent restaurants selling food from all around the globe, and past people, people, people — tourists, young professionals, and a few homeless folk whose gaits are decidedly slower than the rest. I look up as I pass under the bright gold pagoda-topped arch that stands as a sentinel on the edge of Chinatown. I turn left down the next street. In front of me, at the end of the block, looms the sun-drenched Smithsonian American Art Museum, an awe-inspiring example of Greek Revival architecture with doric columns and marble, marble, marble. I’ve looked forward to this day since I received the email notifying me of my acceptance. The application process had been slightly grueling; I’m used to making my students write the essays! But now, here I am. I register, and then I meet in person the two people I have been communicating with through the Summer


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Institute’s collaborative website for the past several weeks, Phoebe Hilleman, one of the lead educators at the Smithsonian, and Marie Large, an assistant in the education department. They are just as generous and smart in person as they have been online.

Surprise Because the museum will not open to the public for another two hours, Marie escorts me across the courtyard, and I’m overwhelmed with the beauty of this place for what will be the first of countless times over the next five days. Our classroom is at the end of a gallery-lined hallway. As Marie leads the way, I want to say, “Wait! That’s an Edward Hopper, right? Wait, I know that must be a Grandma Moses! Wait, isn’t that the original of The Farm? One of the art cards we received? Wait, wait, wait…” The classroom is spacious, with a projector and podium in front and a lovely, refined breakfast spread on the tables in back. The tables for the teachers have plenty of outlets to charge the technology we will use all week, our own devices and the instituteissued Microsoft Surface Pro’s we will use as we create our collections and lessons. There are about 25 of us in the class, high school and middle school history, English,

A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity for Inspiration and Experience and social studies teachers from all over the country, from public schools, independent schools, religiously-affiliated schools, rural schools, and urban schools. By the end of the week, I will be incredibly impressed by all of them and their ideas, their creativity, their enthusiasm, and their hard work. I learned so much from them all. After we settle in, receive our toolkits — a binder filled with countless invaluable resources — and take a private, close-up tour of our nation’s finest artworks, we return to the classroom where we are introduced to the thinking routines we will be studying and using for the week. They are the Harvard Project Zero’s Thinking Routines from the book Making Thinking Visible by Karin Morrison, Mark Church, and Ron Ritchhart — Tony’s book, the same book that has been inspiring me all summer long! I want to shout, “I’m reading that book right now! I brought it with me! It’s on the bedside table in my hotel room!” However, my natural shyness prevents me, but, by this time tomorrow and for the rest of the week, I will be holding up the book for all to see and chatting excitedly with Phoebe and my classmates about my eagerness to try the routines with my own students! I cannot help but feel a weird sense of fate. First, just two weeks after I learned that I had been accepted to the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Summer Institute, SMES was awarded the Goizueta Foundation grant for its STEAM programs, and, for an English teacher, how can you get any more focused on the “A” in STEAM than through a course titled, “Teaching the Humanities through Art?” And now, in addition, here I am, actually seeing, implementing, and participating in the exact thinking routines that my new principal advocates. Kismet? Karma? Coincidence? Either way, I nod a “Thank you” to the Lucky Cats in the gift store windows on my way back to the hotel.



Over the next three days, I participate in not only several of the Making Thinking Visible routines, but also in several unique art inquiry strategies. We work in small groups; we work individually designing our own lessons using the artwork we chose before our arrival during our pre-institute assignments. All of our work focuses on intense observation, shared discussion, precise thinking, and detailed writing. Winter 2017


Th c

W t p w “

I p C k A w


W L t

I I m t p t Q y q s t

F o y P Th o n


B S a t A T d e i A r e e

These are the skills I want to impart to my students. The work is engaging, new, and collaborative; I want that for my St. Martin’s kids as well. We learn the steps to writing a collaborative poem about a piece of art. We learn to think like a curator. We write a postcard as if we are present in a painting. With a partner, we describe a painting while our partner must draw it. We laugh; we share; we claim, support, and question. We learn the most essential of all essential questions, “What makes you say that?” Interspersed between our collaborative efforts, we hear from one of the museum’s painting conservators and one of its curators. We listen to Joanna Marsh, the Senior Curator of Contemporary Interpretation, give her fascinating and illuminating keynote address, “Advocacy and Activism: Artists Effecting Change in the Anthropocene.” We also work individually to think about all we have absorbed and all we have seen and how we can use it in our classrooms.

Creation We create our lessons with the Smithsonian’s new website, called the Smithsonian Learning Lab, where teachers can design their own collections and lessons and share them with others. I quickly get comfortable with the Microsoft Surface Pro and the Learning Lab site. I title my lesson “Every Picture Tells a Story.” I focus on Achelous and Hercules, a mammoth, mythic, bright mural by Thomas Hart Benton. First, to get the students truly engaged and observant, and without any background knowledge about Benton’s painting, they will participate in the See-Think-Wonder routine with the mural. After that, I introduce the vocabulary of literature and narrative. Next, the Claim-SupportQuestion. How might these literary terms apply to this mural? Explain. Support your claim with evidence from the text. Yes, a painting can be read like a text! What questions remain? I create my lesson in the Learning Lab. We are given time to create some collections as well. I gather and save on the site paintings I think will enhance the units I teach back home. Finally, on Friday, each teacher presents his or her lesson. The best part — we post our lessons on the collaborative website we will all have access to for the rest of the year. It’s an extraordinarily impressive treasury! We say our goodbyes. Before we go, Phoebe reminds us that this museum belongs to us as citizens of the United States. These resources are ours, and, as educators, we must share as much as we can with our students, and she and her team will be there for us whenever we have questions or need help.

Practice Back home, the first week of August, I teach the English/Language Arts Brush-Up Summer Camp. Every day we examine a new painting. Making sure to use lots of adjectives and concrete nouns, the students write postcards as if they are visitors in the painting. They write poems that ask questions and include prepositional phrases. And during the first few weeks of the school year, I teach my lesson, “Every Picture Tells a Story” to my seventh graders. And, lo and behold, it all works. The students drive the discussions. Their insights impress me. The kids are so engaged; I’m so engaged, and I know I’m Making Thinking Visible because I can see it and hear it! So, already, my students have benefited from my week inside the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and, for me, there is absolutely no question. I use the resources frequently, and I still think about the museum and the artwork nearly every day. I feel such immense gratitude to my St. Martin’s community for this extraordinary opportunity. PATTERNS

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Spotlight on Tricia Anderson

Why do you volunteer? This is the third year at St. Martin’s for the Anderson family. Tricia and her husband, Bill, are both attorneys and the parents of two sons— Jack is in Pre-K and William is in first grade. Tricia has been very active in the PTO and chaired the inaugural Winter Social, co-chaired the inaugural Mother-Son Warrior Games and has served as a room representative. She is currently serving as the Early Childhood coordinator and the Early Childhood Field Day co-chair.


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I volunteer because as a parent I want to be involved in my children’s education and overall school experience. The faculty and staff at St. Martin’s do so much for our children, and I want to give back to them and to the school.

What advice would you give to other SMES parents? You can get involved and make a difference in big and small ways. Whether serving on a committee and volunteering for a few hours per year, or by chairing a big event. There are people to assist you and help you along the way. It is a true team effort.

What makes St. Martin’s special? My sons LOVE school! They love their friends, teachers, classes, everything. They are genuinely excited to get up in the morning, put on their uniforms and go to school. And the amazing thing is that everyone at St. Martin’s — teachers, administration, etc., all seem to feel the same way! I am proud to be a St. Martin’s parent.

What is your favorite SMES tradition? The Fall Festival. Seeing the families and teachers having a great time with games and rides on a beautiful Fall day, really makes me feel like we are part of something special.


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By Dr. Mary McPherson, Elementary School Principal

St. Martin’s mission is to educate the whole child.

n of o i t a n i b m Grit: A co erseverance for p d n al a o n g o t i s n a t r pas mpo i y l r a l u a sing

What does it mean to educate the whole child? As a school, St. Martin’s focuses on not just a child’s intellectual development but also his/her social, emotional, and physical development. To complement an existing, well-aligned and rigorous academic curriculum, St. Martin’s has developed a curriculum for teaching “soft skills” — including creativity, time management, teamwork, ethics, curiosity, and resilience — to its students. It is resilience that has launched many animated conversations among faculty and administration over the last several years as the school works to understand what resiliency is in a young child, the best way to support its development, and how to assess it and provide feedback to parents. Each summer, members of the St. Martin’s faculty and staff read a selected book that introduces new research or helps the school address a strategic or educational goal. Knowing that resiliency has been a hot topic among faculty and staff, Dr. Angela Duckworth’s recent book, Grit, was a natural choice. Duckworth, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, PATTERNS

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school the middle g is t a t n ta r o everythin grit is imp “Teaching se in a world where found with the u e level beca and answers can b lost. Teaching s et u g o e n a n s give instanta utton, resiliency c silient help eir re b e a b f o to h s ts th u n e p re scent stud to perseve early adole base skills needed into adulthood. It head da them the sts as they e to be proactive an n re te in d n er desir ially whe talents a ster an inn hallenges — espec nally.” fo o ls a n a o c tc y and pers s to accep willingnes d both academicall challenge e teacher r, 8th grad fi a h S n la A

first became interested in the concept of grit when she realized that the students who were most successful in her high school math class were not those with a natural aptitude but rather those who demonstrated “grit.” Grit, according to Duckworth, is “a combination of passion and perseverance for a singularly important goal.” It is what St. Martin’s would term as “stick with itness” (a truly technical term!). Through her research which included data on West Point recruits and graduates, National Spelling Bee winners, professional sports teams such as the Seattle Seahawks and many others, Duckworth found that those who were most successful were not people with the highest SAT scores or the greatest athletic prowess, but rather those who persevered and did not give up at the first sign of failure. She explains that grit can be developed. She argues that while one can’t will himself or herself to be interested in something, an interest can be developed through discovery. Once an interest is developed, it’s effort and practice as well as setbacks and failures that bring success. It is the getting up and trying again that develops grit. Overcoming setbacks or failures is the most painful part for adults, let alone children. Duckworth explains that parents and educators can help develop grit in children through utilizing a demanding but supportive style. Being emotionally supportive while still holding high standards and expectations and pushing students to finish what they have started is most important in developing grit. Children also have to learn to reflect on their successes and failures to understand what worked well and what can be improved upon. The thought process for parents and educators has to move past the “everyone gets a trophy” approach to “those who persevere often get the reward.” But the reality of real life is that even with determination and perseverance, the reward is not guaranteed. That is not realistic or real life.


As a Pre-K through eighth grade school, St. Martin’s unique configuration lends itself to allow for the right type of environment for students to develop grit. With its focus on the developmental needs at each division and grade level, faculty and staff can provide the autonomous support model recommended by Duckworth with a focus on high standards, emotional support, and parental involvement. Developing children into successful and resilient adults is often messy and sometimes painful, but with parents and school Winter 2017


working together with a common mission, children can develop into gritty adults. “A teacher’s challenge is to encourage self-directed learning,” said Charlotte O’Keefe, fifth grade teacher. “If a student has determination or grit, they will not quit when the work is difficult. I tell my students, ‘The harder your work is, the better it is for your brain!’ They are surprised to learn that the brain actually grows and changes because it is challenged. When a student is frustrated with a wrong answer or if they forgot to do something, I remind them that if they already knew everything, there would be no reason to come to school! We really are here to practice learning, to discover, to try new things, to make connections. As a language arts teacher, I teach the value of paying close attention to details — not just skimming the story. The bottom line is to keep trying!”

D Tips for parents or teachers to help groom a gritty kid Ask: “Is this the best way?” or “Is there another way to do this?” Challenge: Try again and make an educated guess. If you’re wrong, the world will not come to an end. Let me know if it sounds/seems/looks better. Switch it up: What do you think? Encourage: You really improved this time! I can tell you worked hard on this.

now teacher I k g d o o h d il rin ly ch “As an ear e line between nurtu o ls n a there is a fi arts and minds and ough r e h h t g k r n you nts to wo thing as e d tu s g n e motivati themselves. Som ipping it s challenge ting on a coat and z a fourr put aunting fo ver and d simple as ly ib d e r inc so up can be en frustration take elp them. h h t W year-old. rt, it is easier to jus ath and a r t be the tears s the time to take a ggle with a But that is en I let a child stru rsistence . Wh g pe step back am teachin oes succeed, I t a h t w o ild d task, I kn hen the ch truly theirs.” w o S . it r g is and plishment the accom her Pre-K teac r, e g it ru F Lauren PATTERNS

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Learning to y Teaching through educational ministry

By Mother Stefanie Taylor, Chaplain

y first job out of seminary was split between being an assistant priest at a church and the assistant chaplain at St. John’s Episcopal School in Tampa. I was very nervous to be a school chaplain. I was worried that in becoming a teacher, I would lose my identity as a priest—an identity that was only just formed and by which I felt truly called. I was nervous that being in a school setting would mean not practicing being a priest and I would become “out of shape.” Little did I know, I was stumbling into my life’s passion and learning that a school setting is one the holiest of all the grounds on the Earth. For the first time ever, the students with whom I was partnering in their formation showed up every day of the


Winter 2017


week. More than that, I was building a base of knowledge and understanding as opposed to helping someone discern what their base was made of. My students were a blank slate upon which God was painting and I was holding up the mirror. It was exhilarating.

They asked questions like, “why do people have to believe in Jesus?” and “why did God kill people in the Bible?” They made bold statements like, “I like the God of the Old Testament better than the one of the New Testament—he wasn’t such a sissy,” and “God learns just like us.” Each fresh question and audacious statement helped untangle a knot of bad theology in my life and I was alive in the midst of God interacting with his children; who, in their innocence, didn’t realize that their intuition concerning the nature of God was enviable and seldom comes naturally to adults.

yearn for God PATTERNS

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While I had never taught formally in a school and was never trained in classroom management, I began to thrive in the classroom. We had class outside, we played games (one of my favorites was Egyptians versus Hebrews capture the flag), we meditated, journaled, shared, loved, and devoured scripture. By the end of my first year at St. John’s I realized that I didn’t give up any of my priesthood to be a school chaplain; rather my priesthood took on a well-rounded shape: I had an altar, I had people and I was in an atmosphere where I could proclaim the gospel and not only that, but I could pass on the ability to proclaim the Gospel to others. Teaching helped me understand that the church, at its core, exists to connect the past with the future, the self with the community, and one’s secret knowledge of God with their conscious knowledge of God. Kahlil Gibran, poet and author of The Prophet, once said, “No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge. The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness. If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.” This statement might as well be my job description as a school chaplain and I am grateful to have learned that being a priest is not about the church or me. It’s about God and His people. Sometimes my job is to stand in persona Christi and be a visible sign for a young soul who needs to see God and sometimes my job is to stand in persona ecclesiae — a representative of the church— and be a safe haven or something to push back against. In either case, I am teaching.


Though often confused, education and instruction are not one in the same. For example, teaching a religion class by inviting children to read scripture, memorize verse, and learn the history of the church, is instruction. Likewise, a series of facts and knowledge handed down through story is instruction. By contrast, when a religion teacher introduces questions such as, “Does God learn?” and then shares Winter 2017


answers to the question from his or her own understanding of God, then the teacher is uncovering wisdom and that is education. We do both here at St. Martin’s School, and I call that educational ministry.

world’s need. It’s about teaching people to long for the endless immensity of God and God’s love. Whether a child is Baptist, Presbyterian, Hindu, Muslim or just simply spiritual; they can enrich their connection to God by learning to yearn for God.

Ministry comes from the Greek word diakoneo, meaning “to serve.” I like to define religious education as the process of enlightenment. Therefore, educational ministry is a service given to others to aid in the processes of their own enlightenment — it’s about lighting a fire within another person’s soul. Much like a sacrament, an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, educational ministry is the outward and visible sign of communal wisdom handed down. For that reason, religious education at St. Martin’s can enrich all students, regardless of faith, background or culture.

Educational ministry is about helping awaken to the steady voice of God from within and teaching them to respond to that voice. This can be done in practice through mutual trust and exploration.

Accordingly, educational ministry is not about teaching Bible stories, the history of the church or reciting statistics about the

Like a tree that must have strong roots in order to grow and thrive, an educator must have a strong theological foundation in order to produce growth. This strong, solid ground allows an educator to see from higher ground so that a picture can be expanded enough for the educator to point in the right direction. It is not the dissemination of facts that makes one a teacher, but rather the ability to point to truth.


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Religion classes: An integral part of St. Martin’s curriculum St. Martin’s Episcopal School’s religion teachers each have Masters of Divinity degrees and all are grounded in solid theology. This solid foundation aids in building trust with students. When children second guess their ability to hear God’s voice or they wonder if they are creating God in their own image, they tend to revert to trying to get things “right” and discernment becomes threatening. Therefore the role of the educator becomes like that of a blaze on a hiking trail: to become a visible sign to students that they are on the right path. Children need someone who can encourage them to keep seeking, to keep exploring; all the while feeling like they won’t lose God in the process. Beginning in early childhood, children meet once a week for religion classes. Teaching about God through a Christian lens, the Bible and the characters that make up our rich history are introduced to students. They are engaged through art, storytelling, playing, and of course, by answering their rich questions! In elementary school, students meet with Ms. Rouse or Ms. Ludvigsen once a week to learn from the Godly Play curriculum. This curriculum model is a worship service, and using a Montessori foundation, invites students to engage with scripture creatively through play. The curriculum offers theological reflection and the opportunity to ask open questions bringing each child deeper into the stories.


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In Middle School, students are taught religion from Ms. Ludvidsen, Ms. Rouse or Mother Taylor and meet twice a week. Sixth grade: Students take a deep dive into the Old Testament. They learn the structure of the Old Testament, Jewish culture and ancient customs, authors of the books, and how the canon came into being. Students will hear the stories of the Old Testament with a focus on the overall theme of each book and the theological implication of each lesson. Seventh grade: Students take on an in-depth study of the New Testament and as well as world religions. Students will learn the structure of the New Testament as well as the climate of the ancient world at the time of Jesus. They will learn how the Gospels are similar, how they are different, and the central message of each writer. They will also learn how the church was formed after Jesus’ death and how the disciples spread the word of his life and death 2,000 years ago. Correspondingly, they will learn who Jesus is now, what he is doing now, and why he reaches out to us over and over again. In the second half of the year, students will be able to see Christianity against a backdrop of other world religions: Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism as means to help orient their own identity in a vastly diverse and connected world.

Eighth grade: A course in ethics culminates students’ religious education at St. Martin’s. Ethics is their religion in practice. Students will explore who they are and who they wish to become by studying classical ethical theory: virtue ethics, utilitarianism and deontology and then hold those theories up against a backdrop of Christian ethics. In the second part of the year they do a case study of the Holocaust and then they move into topical ethics where they debate modern issues that speak to them and practice using the tools they’ve acquired to articulate what they believe and how they practice that belief. St. Martin’s teachers are grounded in good theology, church history, the sacred script and the history of the Scriptures and understand how people have traditionally known God. From such a solid base, students learn to trust their instruction and themselves. All the while, teachers recognize the dignity of each student and the work of God already moving within them. Like a mother who is watching as her child nervously takes her first steps, the teachers at St. Martin’s School provide security without interfering. Pursuing a truth that is not easily seen can disquiet the soul. A real teacher is the one that lets the disquiet endure and trusts God to let the disquiet give way to wonder.


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AWARDS Cross Country MAAC ALL CONFERENCE Alex Norris Ryan Kirschner

Fall Sports Wrap Up: Seven teams • 97 student participants

WARRIOR Dori Lauth Benjamin Nordstrom Matthew Gillin MOST IMPROVED Caroline Koziol Finn Shaw

Boys A Soccer MAAC ALL CONFERENCE Sam Alexander WARRIOR Michael Lynch Charlie Seelke MOST IMPROVED Grant Gaffney

St. Martin’s athletics had a fantastic fall of 2016.

Boys B Soccer

“Each team focused on skill development and I saw a lot of growth this season,” said Athletic Director Mark McDaniel. “We had 97 students participating on seven different teams.”

HUSTLE Zimm Staats WARRIOR Will Tuggle Hayes Pope MOST IMPROVED Lucas Voorhies

The program was also busy playing host to many athletic contests. St. Martin’s hosted home volleyball and soccer games along

Girls A Volleyball MAAC ALL CONFERENCE Bridget McCarthy WARRIOR Claire Payne Ella Smoak MOST IMPROVED Melissa Rubiano

Girls B Volleyball HUSTLE Kate Postell WARRIOR Ali Campbell MOST IMPROVED Sky Johnson Arden Adams

Girls C Volleyball WARRIOR Addie Newberry Reese Butler

with two cross country meets at Brook Run Park. The MAAC Volleyball Championship was also held in the SMES gym in front of a packed house. The sports season culminated with the fall sports assembly held on Oct. 21. Honors went out to volleyball, soccer and cross country team members along with the presentation of MAAC Championships for both boys’ and girls’ cross country teams and runner-up for A-volleyball. This is the first time in recent school history for SMES to sweep the cross country championship. Congratulations to all sports teams and sports assembly award winners. Way to go Warriors!

MOST IMPROVED Reagan Wissman


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Inside the playbooks: The athletic program at St. Martin’s By Mark McDaniel, Athletic Director The St. Martin’s athletic program has grown from its humble beginnings into a robust middle school sports program. Its strategic approach develops student athletes to be competitive and prepared for high school play, while still enjoying the middle school experience. The coaching strategy behind each sport is based on research, collaboration and coaching experience. This combination is intentionally applied with the goal to better prepare athletes to be competitive with an emphasis on winning, while maintaining careful attention to strengthening opportunity for development and maximizing future potential.


Goal: To prepare student athletes for success at the next level. Objectives: Concentrate on skill development, teamwork, communication and leadership. Strategies: • The skill development program mimics high school training. Player skills are evaluated and practices are planned accordingly to maximize benefits for the season. • Teamwork is crucial for success. Players learn other’s strengths and weaknesses and bond as a unit. Player-to-player and coach-toplayer communication foster growth. • Focus on leadership. The SMES team is made up of 6th-8th graders. This configuration allows the older boys to lead and build a sense of brotherhood in the dugout and on the field. “Coaching varsity baseball at Pace for years really helped me get an idea for what it takes to be a good high school player. This learning has shaped how we run our practices and what we expect from our teams.” — Coach Albanese


Goal: To create solid basketball players, increase ‘player IQ ,’ and prepare for high school. Objectives: Streamline offensive and defensive strategies for all six teams to dedicate more overall time to individual skill development. Strategies: • Focus on man-to-man defense to increase ‘player IQ’ and develop a better understanding for the game. Zone is an easier strategy at this level, but man-to-man creates better players for the future. • Each team runs a continuous offense. Players can easily transition from one team to the next without a learning curve allowing us to focus specifically on skill development and polishing and tweaking the offensive strategy. “Streamlining gives us more time to work on skills and I believe this approach leads to a deeper understanding of the game. Our kids are learning the ins and outs of a system that teaches them to be aggressive on the court, score without the ball and more.” —Coach McDaniel


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Cross Country

Goal: To create competitive teams that show significant improvement from beginning of season to end. Objectives: Focus on the mental growth for each individual cross country team member. Strategies: • Develop a team culture that supports work ethic and self-confidence to help develop strength and speed. • Identify personal strengths and weaknesses of each runner and instill a motivation strategy that will work best for each team. Create a culture of “team.” “I hope to discover the heartbeat of each team that I coach. It is the one thing that can inspire teamwork in a largely individual sport and promote self-awareness in athletes as they understand they are running for more than themselves.” —Coach Hanse


Goal: To create an atmosphere for all players to find success. Objectives: Raise players’ ‘golf IQ’ and teach a better understanding of the game. Strategies: • Emphasize golf etiquette and course management. This teaches players how to approach the game, act as ambassadors of the school, and leads to a deeper understanding of the game. • Create a team environment. As golf is a largely individual game, SMES coaches teach the importance of support and competition to raise each player’s game. Honesty and integrity. Play the ball where it lies. “While every player and every swing is different, the golf team works on individual development, etiquette, course management, teamwork and mastering the rules of the game.” —Coach Conrad


Goal: To provide an opportunity for classmates to play with their friends, while becoming better soccer players. Objective: Emphasis on skill development and learning the team’s strengths and weaknesses. Strategies: • Reps, reps, reps. Most practices consist of drills to develop the basic fundamentals. This helps develop players new to the game and sharpen more experienced player’s skills and abilities. • To teach and play possession soccer. “Most kids are playing high-level club soccer and are being taught and trained in certain ways year round. Our job is to develop their skills and find a system that suits all of our players.” —Coach Tereshinski


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Goal: To create an atmosphere for all players to find success. Objectives: Establish a positive environment where teamwork will be developed and raise players overall ‘tennis IQ.’ Strategies: • Emphasize how to approach the game, act as an ambassador of the school and teach a deeper understanding of the game. Most of our teams consist of middle schoolers of all ages. Our eighth graders are tasked to be leaders, make everyone feel a part of the team, and help keep the morale up and team attitude of the team high. • Build on tennis fundamentals already learned through outside coaching and stress strategy, teamwork, doubles play and the establishment of team mentality in a mostly individualized sport. • Learning teamwork is crucial— especially for those playing doubles. • The 6th-8th configuration allows the older athletes to lead and build a sense of team spirit on the court. “Building a team atmosphere is one of our main objectives for tennis. If we create an environment that is supportive and allows the players to ‘push’ each other to play stronger, then we can have a great shot to accomplish our season goals.” —Coach Nama


Goal: To develop players’ overall skill, ability and understanding of the game. Objective: Become better players through a systematic approach to practice and thoughtful plan of attack for games. Strategies: • 3 hits, 3 hits, 3 hits. Ball control is fundamental and provides vision, objectives and overall understanding of how to approach the game. • Each team runs the same formation. This allows for a focus on skill development rather than teaching new formations and rotations each year. • Teaching communication is a key aspect of volleyball. Coaches run drills focusing on court awareness and team communication. “By the time a player reaches the A team, it should be second nature to understand where to be on the court and what to do at all times. Players should be strong, consistent communicators on the court. Through the SMES program, players learn to become better leaders on and off the court and represent our school with spirit and poise.” —Coach Nama

YPL (Youth Passing League)

Goal: To improve football skills through a low-contact, fast-paced game. Objective: 7-on-7 football concentrates on the development of skill positions for both offense and defense. Strategies: • Teaching the fundamentals of the game. Players on both sides of the ball are learning proper footwork, route running, throwing, catching, preparation, reading the game and overall ‘football IQ.’ • Playing a variety of positions. Teaching the basics of footwork, routes, stance, and giving kids a chance to prepare for positions they could play in the near future is a core strategy. “YPL is a great way for our students to play football with their classmates and in a fun and safe environment. Kids will learn football fundamentals and have an opportunity to contribute playing skill positions. YPL is a place for boys and girls to have fun.” —Coach Harris


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Spheros and Robots and Drones, Oh My!

A Snapshot Inside the ES/MS Tech Lab

By Kinshasa Msola and Mike Morris SMES Technology Lab Instructors Technology in the classroom is an ever-changing industry with new ed-tech trends introduced constantly. And when students are digital natives, it’s not an easy job for educators to ensure children are both learning the fundamentals and being challenged through age-appropriate curriculum. St. Martin’s has always strived to be ahead of the educational technology curve, but in the Tech Lab, computer education is at a whole new level. The program offers a host of technology opportunities from basic computer education for younger students to one-to-one personal device programs in fourth through eighth grade to the cloud software that gives teachers and students access to their work anywhere — it’s 21st century learning at its best.


Winter 2017


In elementary school, all students visit the tech lab on a weekly basis as part of their class rotation. The goal for these young learners is to understand computer fundamentals. First and second grade students start the year by learning about the main parts of a computer and understanding important computing terms. This helps them realize that computers are a part of almost everything they do and experience. They continue the year by mastering visual mapping and graphics software which helps them understand key concepts by making their ideas concrete. Keyboarding, basic coding and learning through games are just some of the other activities our young learners explore and practice in tech class each week.

Third grade students start the year by learning to navigate the St. Martin’s website. This first introduction is critical as they will build on these web skills over the course of the year. Fourth graders start the year off with a comprehensive five-week iPad boot camp and also learn the ins and outs of their new St. Martin’s gmail account. In fifth grade, the iPad boot camp is reiterated before allowing students to take their device home each day and keyboarding is stressed as a skill as basic and necessary as math fundamentals. In addition, third through fifth graders learn about Augmented Reality (AR) and 3D printing. They begin with learning about the importance of 3D printers in today’s world and are then introduced to CAD software like TinkerCad and Autodesk. Both 3D design/ printing and AR skills are foundations for the fourth and fifth grade STEAM projects assigned each spring. The second half of the school year in ES is dedicated to learning the basics of coding by utilizing a variety of new ageappropriate software and devices. From the Foos app in first grade to Spheros in third grade, and finally to Code Monkey software and Drones (yes Drones!) for fifth graders, St. Martin’s elementary students are prepped and ready for what’s ahead in middle school.

Middle School Madness

St. Martin’s students receive a Chromebook in Middle School to use as a basic tool for navigating classes. Those who choose the Tech elective are inundated with enough technology devices, software and equipment to jump start a generation of future engineers: Tickle/Tynker iPad apps utilize Blockly coding to fly Spider Drones, RoboMatters RobotC software makes Lego Mindstorm NXT and Vex IQ Robots move on

command and TinkerCad and Makerbot programs make 3D imaginative designs come to life through 3D printing. Sixth graders hone coding skills through physical programming. They are tasked with navigating a partner about the classroom through simple commands like “move forward” and “turn right.” They then move on to where they program cartoons to move through mazes and perform various actions. Once they have mastered this, it’s time to move on to the python coding language. With Georgia Tech’s “earsketch” website, sixth graders code advanced programs to manipulate and play music. New this year to the seventh grade program is an introduction to robotics. Students begin the year with a research project to learn about the past, present and future of this revolutionary subject and each student presents their findings to the class using Google Slides. After learning the basics of the subject, they move into the fundamentals of the RobotC coding language, a C-based programming language developed by Carnegie Melon University and now maintained by RoboMatter, Inc. With this language, students are able to program the Lego Mindstorm NXT robots. The coding language also serves as basis for programming the Vex IQ robots in eighth grade. Students learn basic commands to make motors move by guiding a virtual robot through mazes and obstacle courses on a computer screen. Once mastered, they are ready to try the real deal with the Lego robots. Eighth graders brush up on coding skills by programming drones to take off from a particular spot and perform specific flight paths based on predefined command blocks of code.



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They learn basic commands then move to more difficult tasks such as flying under a table and landing on the opposite edge. Students also learn that real life interferences can get in the way of their tasks — something as simple as another student walking by the table and creating just enough wind to knock a drone off course. Once their logical processors (brains) are refreshed and ready for more, eighth graders build on their knowledge of RobotC to program the Vex robots to do increasingly more difficult tasks. They walk them through mazes, balance them on the edge of a table and teach them to carry a backpack to class (well, maybe not that). But, this robust programming language is capable of more advanced tasks for those who are ready while also making room for repetitive learning to ensure every student masters each concept. At the end of the semester, students are given a complex task, designed to utilize all components of the robot that they studied. Everyone learns at a different pace, and this presents the biggest challenge in tech class. Learning tech is much like building a house. Without a good understanding of the foundation, the walls will quickly come tumbling down. This is why the more advanced classes run a dynamic curriculum and classroom projects are geared toward that class’ level of understanding. As much as tech is about advancement, SMES tech is also geared to slow down to make sure everyone is engaged and fully understands the concepts.

EC gets lots of tech too! In preparation for elementary school, our smallest learners are introduced to a host of technology concepts in early childhood. Beginners and Pre-K students • make use of the SMART Boards, SMART Tables • learn through a variety of iPad learning apps Students in Kindergarten • learn the basics of coding using OSMO, KIBO, Dot and Dash, and a Mouse Robot • identify the parts of the computer • practice keyboarding and mouse skills • create drawing projects using KidPix 3D • practice storytelling using the Draw and Tell app • use technology to practice reading skills


Winter 2017


PORTRAIT OF A GRADUATE Titania Jordon, SMES Class of 1995 Titania Jordan is the host of NBC Atlanta affiliate WXIA’s weekly television show Atlanta Tech Edge. Titania started her own fullservice marketing consulting firm after gaining experience as an account executive with Lincoln Financial Media, working with clients like Whole Foods, Nikon, Samsung, and Zerorez to create copy, radio ad campaigns and digital promotions targeting women in the Atlanta market. She served as the CMO of KidsLink, co-founder and CMO of PRIVET (one of the top 10 coolest apps to come out of the Atlanta Tech Village), and most recently as executive director of Band of Coders Girls Academy and CPO of

Marist University of Georgia

Titania enjoys helping startups (like RedRover and Hirewire) launch in the Atlanta market and frequently appears as a tech contributor on Atlanta & Company. She travels the country appearing on programs such as The Doctors and The Today Show, speaking at esteemed conferences such as DigSouth, Mom 2.0 and Dad 2.0, and emceeing events like the Atlanta Hawks Agency Shootout. Titania was named a “tech innovator and a mother of invention” by The Atlantan in 2015 and one of the “Women Who Lead & Light Up Atlanta’s Tech Ecosystem” by Hypepotamus in 2016. Titania enjoys painting and building some pretty sweet LEGO cities with her family in her downtime.

High School

Marketing Something special you learned at SMES Everyone has intrinsic value because we are all made in the image of God and loved so much by Him. St. Martin’s taught me that I could do anything and be anything — Follow my dreams. Break glass. And bring glory to our Heavenly Father because at the end of the day, that is all that matters. Favorite SMES tradition Chapel, Field Day and our Alma Mater that I was honored to be a part of witnessing the creation of by Mrs. Sandy Cobia in second grade Dream job The one I have now; fashion designer or creative director at the next big startup would be a close second. Favorite SMES teacher Patti Pitoscia Favorite Celebrity Justin Timberlake Favorite food Chicken Mango Quesadillas Favorite book Through the Eyes of a Lion Favorite movie Catch Me If You Can Favorite way to give back Tithing and through my efforts at Band of Coders Girls Academy College



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class notes 1989 Jackie Caprio would love to connect with other graduates from St. Martin’s first graduating class — the sixth graders that graduated in 1989. Contact her at jcaprio@

1992 Kelley Crenshaw and husband Zach welcomed a baby girl on Oct. 3. Caroline Paige Crenshaw was born a day before their third wedding anniversary. She weighed in at 6 lbs., 10 oz.

Brad Simpson, SMES ‘96

1996 Brad Simpson and his wife Alexis and son Ford welcomed new baby Elizabeth James born in May. Baby “James” was named for her dad and grandfather.

Emmarie Huetteman, SMES ‘01


Sara Hodges married Andrew Klein last November in Jamaica after living and working in Jamaica for close to a year. She is currently managing an internal audit department. Kyle Oglesby and his wife welcomed a baby boy, Joseph Preston “JP” on July 20. JP weighed 8 lbs., 12 oz and was Jenny Reineck, SMES ‘04 (C) with 21” long. her mother (R) and friend.

2003 Marin Gerulski works for Uber in San Francisco where she is product manager for its engineering department. She will be married in April in Napa.

2004 Jenny Reineck had a busy summer making plans for a trip to Africa and training for and completing a triathlon. She wrote a presentation for the zoo conference this summer.

2005 NiQui Hailey will graduate from Arizona State with dual degrees in mass communications and media studies. She has accepted a job as a flight attendant with Frontier Airlines and will be relocating to Colorado.

2006 Andrew Currie is working at Shift Technologies — shift. com, a start-up firm in San Francisco.

Lee Guschenritter is engaged to marry fiancé Anna Akins in May at Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island.

Te U

Thomas Barnhart married Kristy Zimmerman on Oct. 8.

2001 A baby boy for Kyle Oglesby, SMES‘ 01


Winter 2017

Emmarie Huetteman is writing for the New York Times covering congress.


Siblings Burke McCarty, SMES ‘06, (L) and Payton McCarty SMES ‘02, visit with Dr. Hamner at a recent neighborhood gathering.

Fo tea Ha in S Sh rig vis Ca Ge

class notes

Savanna Ford is working at SMES in the Elementary School as a second grade assistant. Charles Mixon is attending the Professional Golfers Career College in Hilton Head. He has been a raft guide for the past six years. Tara Thomas graduated from West Georgia College last summer. She worked as assistant volleyball coach for St. Martin’s B team.

NiQui Haley, SMES ‘05

2008 Charles Mixon, SMES ‘07, is a raft guide.

2007 Patrick Beless completed his football career last January at the University of Georgia by kicking two extra points in the Taxslayer Bowl. He was also awarded the football scholar athlete award in the

spring, and was named a Billy Paine Scholar. Patrick is now an assistant coach for Marist helping with the kickers, and is giving private kicking lessons. He continues to work for Liberty Mutual in Duluth in the surety bonds department.

Claire Currie graduated from Georgia Tech with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing. She is living in San Francisco and is working for Clever on the district partnerships team. Haley Gordon, SMES ‘05, with SMES counselor Christina Johnson

Teacher Update Former fifth grade teacher Kym Bailey Hall is now teaching in St. Simon’s Island. She is pictured at right on a recent visit to St. Martin’s Cathedral in Mainz, Germany.

St. Martin’s friends from graduating year 2006 - 2008, including Morgan Waikel, Taylor Anderson, Houston Hendon, Will King, Lauren Buss, Sarah Johnson, Jake DeLaney, Reid Smith and several parents at Smith’s Olde Bar to celebrate the release of a CD by The Stir’s. SMES graduates Tanner Hendon, McClain Hendon and Andrew Evans make up the popular local band. PATTERNS

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class notes 2010 Jennifer Leib plays tennis at Florida Atlantic University. Elizabeth Ewing has been accepted into the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business with a risk management and insurance major. Langford Hills, SMES ‘10

2009 Anna Akins is a senior at Washington and Lee University majoring in business journalism and minoring in the classics. She is the editor-in-chief of Washington and Lee’s student newspaper.

Langford Hills attends The University of Alabama and is a member of the varsity men’s tennis team. He made the Dean’s List both freshman year and sophomore year and was named to SEC academic honor rolls each year. He was also selected as an Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) scholar athlete. He is majoring in finance with an economics minor.

Alexandria Cannon, SMES ‘12, (C) and Kathryn Danner, SMES ‘12, (R) are pictured with a friend at their graduation from Holy Innnocents’ Episcopal School in May 2016.

Sam Downey landed his first role in an off-Broadway play, “Mary the 5th.”

2011 Lili Byce is currently a sophomore at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. studying politics pre-law. She plans to minor in Asian studies. Lili is an Air Force ROTC (AFROTC) cadet and president of the Chinese Club.

Sam Nail graduated in May 2015 from Pace Academy and then spent a gap year working as a software development intern at Sideqik, a startup technology/marketing company located at Tech Square in Atlanta. Sam is now a freshman at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., where he is majoring in computer science.

2012 Sarah Frost is in the University Honors Program at Georgia Southern University. She has been named a Southern Leader and is a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority. Max Jewell graduated from Marist School in May and is attending Ole Miss. He is a Provost Scholar and was admitted to the Trent Lott Leadership Institute, majoring in public policy leadership.

Trey Blasingame is a sophomore at the University of Georgia and plays intramural soccer. He will be studying abroad this summer in Europe.

Pierson Klein, SMES ‘12 (front row, 3rd from left) and her squash team after winning U.S. High School Nationals.


Winter 2017


Haley Solomon is starting her second year at St. Andrews, Scotland’s first university and the third oldest in the English-speaking world.

Scott Kulke, SMES ‘12 is a freshman at Auburn University.

E t P J s

Ken Roberts was inducted into the National Honor Society at Westminster School.

Molly Belisle, SMES ‘13, and Cade Anderson were named King and Queen on Holy Innocents’ Homecoming Court.

Devin Cochran, a graduate of Greater Atlanta Christian School, is playing football for Vanderbilt University.

2013 Erin and Caroline Barnes, SMES ‘12, pledged Gamma Phi Beta at UGA this fall. Their older sister Haley Barnes, SMES ‘06 (C) is a Gamma Phi Beta at Auburn and now a sorority sister too. Caroline is majoring in Journalism. Erin is majoring in Environmental Engineering. Haley teaches second grade at Pace Academy in Atlanta. Pierson Klein graduated from The Westminster Schools in May 2016 and is currently a freshman at Columbia University in New York where she is a member of the Varsity Women’s Squash team. Elizabeth Perez is a freshman in the honors program at Columbia College Chicago pursuing a degree in acting. Scott Kuhlke is a freshman at Auburn University. Haley Solomon. SMES ‘11

Kyle Blasingame is a senior at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School and plays varsity lacrosse. He is taking two AP classes and has a weekend/seasonal business, “Two Brothers and a Pickup Truck,” handling moving and Christmas tree pickup and recycling.

Ryan Connor has made his third mission trip to Haiti with the Praying Pelican Mission. He will lead a high school group of students for another mission trip in the summer.

2014 Bailey Lusk attends Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, plays on the varsity girls’ soccer team and is captain of the JV girls volleyball team. She ended sophomore year with a 4.0 GPA and is a member of Young Life and the “We are the World” club. While working as a camp counselor at Wiecua Road Baptist Church over the summer, Bailey received the counselor of the year award.

Maggie Mixon attended a summer ‘16 immersion program, “Communication & Negotiation in a Global Society” and served as varsity cheer captain at George Washington University. Maggie is a student at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School. She worked as an intern at the BB&T tennis tournament for third year. Ryan Connor, SMES ‘13 PATTERNS

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Marist honors SMES grads

McKenzie Miller is a member of the varsity football and basketball competition cheerleading squads at St. Pius X.

Marist held its annual Academic Honors Night in August and recognized the following SMES alumni for academic acheivement during the 2015-16 school year:

Connor Thompson spoke to current SMES students about his experience and transition to Wesleyan. After his freshman year, he received the Iron Wolf award for participating in football, lacrosse and basketball.

Dean’s List: Ellie Crump, ‘14; Lila Crump, ‘14; George Fish, ‘15; Maggie Sjostrom, ‘14 Blue Award: Luke Cannata, ‘17; George Parker, ‘17; JT Termini, ‘16 Honor Roll: John Bailey, ‘15; Watson Coker, ‘14; Michael Ferguson, ‘13; Maggie Fitzgerald, ‘13; Eliza Griffin, ‘15; Luke Hale, ‘14; Francesca Herrera, ‘15; Grant Kelly, ‘13; Caswell King, ‘15; Caroline Koch, ‘13; Abby Lauterbach, ‘15; Garrett McCarthy, ‘15; Jake Montgomery, ‘13; Knox Pittman, ‘14; Georgi Prevosti, ‘13; Chandler Sharp, ‘15; Molly Sikes, ‘14 Gold Award: Jack Griffin, ‘17

Marist Honor Society 2016-17 Inductees National Honor Society: Watson Coker, ‘14; Lila Crump, ‘14; Ellie Crump, ‘14; Luke Hale, ‘14; Grant Kelly, ‘13; Knox Pittman, ‘14; Ethan Reback, ‘13; Marin Shaw, ‘14; Molly Sikes, ‘14; Maggie Sjostrom, ‘14

2015 graduates enjoyed Marist’s Homecoming activities. Pictured above: Chander Sharp, Brock Thrasher, Cooper Heath, Matthew Larkin, Jackson Brennan, Lewis Jaynes, Nicole Mulford, Ansley Bittick, Annie Oates, Emily Davis, Mackenzie Miller and Allie Bittick. Kaitlyn Hoad is on the dean’s list at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School where she plays on the school’s tennis team.

Erika Kaivani is a junior at Gallaway. She made a recent mission trip to Haiti and is currently applying for a return trip.

Paige Demba is a junior at Pace Academy taking AP and honors courses. She recently portrayed Mrs. Meers in Pace’s production of “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” Last summer she attended the UNC School of the Arts’ four-week drama intensive program and worked as a camp counselor at Pace Summer Programs. She serves as the secretary of the Pace Upper School Chorus, is a member of the Knightingales choral ensemble and is a Pace Ambassador.

2015 Cece Blasingame is a sophomore at Westminster. She is a cheerleader, plays lacrosse and is an admissions ambassador and bible study leader for sixth grade girls. She has a jewelry business in her spare time.

French Honor Society: George Fish, ‘15; Caswell King, ‘15; Clare McGrath, ‘15; Knox Pittman, ‘14; Lauren Young, ‘15 Spanish Honor Society: Marin Shaw, ‘14 German Honor Society: Lila Crump, ‘14


Winter 2017

Lucy Brumbaugh, SMES ‘16, and team members from Holy Innocents’ team from the Junior Diabetes Research Fund Walk.


Erika Kaivani, SMES ‘14

Francesca Herrera was selected to join the Marist Singers and Trio. She is a founding member of the Marist Dance Company, on the Dean’s list, and participated in a summer intensive program with the Joffery Ballet.

2016 Megan Moffett is a freshman at Marist School where she played on the JV volleyball team and will be cheering for the JV basketball teams this winter.


Christmas Social 2016 Alumni from 1990-2012 kicked off the holiday season with a social at Mellow Mushroom in Brookhaven to reminisce with fellow classmates and SMES faculty and staff.


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What a wonderful “homecoming” our family has enjoyed this fall! As unlikely as it might seem that a boy from Oroville, Calif., and a girl from Livingston, Texas, would meet in Augusta, Ga., that’s how my wife Dora and I began our story. Georgia has always been our adopted home state and our son was born in Augusta. It actually wasn’t geography that brought us back to Georgia, though. Dora and I have lived all over the place. More important than location is our long-held belief that, among the great ways to educate a child, the one that best suits our son is the preschool-8th model, preferably one that is not too large. That also happens to be the model that allows for the greatest leadership and character growth for middle schoolers, so as a middle school guy, that’s where I want to be professionally. We then decided to be even a little more picky and look for a faith-based school. We have both spent the majority of our professional lives in nonsectarian schools, and although the learning in such schools may be at a high level, we wanted to connect that learning to deeper understandings that are in line with our values as a family. So, just to summarize, we were looking for a small, preschool-8th, faith-based school that was looking for a middle school principal. The interesting thing is not what happened when we found St. Martin’s, though. The interesting thing was what happened when I visited for an all-day interview. This day, you might also recall, was the day of Son of Snowmageddon (cue ominous music). A serious snowstorm was on the way, the highways were jammed all day and the governor was asking businesses to close at noon. I arrived at St. Martin’s to find... school. Mrs. Auson was calmly announcing schedule changes, students were laughing, walking to their classes and fully expecting to have the normal (half ) day that they ended up having. Mr. Lee was exhibiting his usual dry humor, Dr. Hamner was his normal, gracious self, and the kids with whom I met were great kids who could hold a real conversation with a visiting adult. That calm, stable environment was reflective of a healthy school culture that is focused on the needs of the kids. Clearly, this was where I needed to be. Since accepting the position and joining the St. Martin’s family, I have been asked many times what the transition has been like and, more importantly, what I think of the school. The answer has been consistent since day one: “As advertised — and then some.” Many thanks to all the members of the St. Martin’s family for the warm welcome that seems to be second nature in this loving family.


Winter 2017


Registration Opens February 1! SESSION 1: June 5 - June 30 SESSION 2: July 11 - August 5

Fun for children in rising Pre-K through 8th Grade

Summer 2017

Enrollment at St. Martin’s Episcopal School is not required to attend.

IN BROOKHAVEN: 3110-A Ashford Dunwoody Road Mark McDaniel, Director: 404.237.4280, ext. 380 To Register:

Come join us for the summer! Summer camps at St. Martin’s Episcopal School provide a variety of child-centered activities focusing on skill building, learning and lots of fun! We offer one-week sessions specializing in the following activities and much more. Check online for a full list. • Golf • Tennis • Baseball • Soccer • Yard sports • Volleyball • Cheer • Dance • Music • Art • Chess • Fashion

• Typing • Computer • Film making • Musical theater • Comedy • Improv • STEAM • LEGO • Server design • Science • Engineering • Academic brush-up

St. Martin’s Episcopal School 3110-A Ashford Dunwoody Road Atlanta, GA 30319

potential. realized. watch your child do good things • Beginners (3-year-olds) through 8th grade • Extended-day program available MIDDLE SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Rising 5th - 7th grade


Saturday, January 21, 2017 10:00 a.m. - noon Ages 3 - 7

Questions? Contact the Admissions Office at 404-228-0709 or visit

3110-A Ashford Dunwoody Rd. | Brookhaven, GA 30319

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