IN THIS ISSUE 2 From the Headmaster
Message from Mason Lecky
Saints in Service
St. Christopher’s School’s legacy and commitment to helping others and bettering our world
Chapel Talks Alaister Burke ‘20 Benjamin Jones ‘20 The Rev. Joe Torrence Jameson Knotts ‘20
8 Community Voices The Rev. Whitney Edwards Gerard Broussard ’20
22 The Center for the Study of Boys Carter Schmitt ‘21, Jacob Carnley ‘22 and Freddy Preston ‘22 work on trails for the James River Park System.
Boys and Well-Being
Faculty | Staff News
MESSAGE FROM THE HEADMASTER
THROUGH SERVICE One of my great privileges as headmaster is witnessing service in action here on campus.
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When I joined the St. Christopher’s community nearly four years ago, I immediately felt the school’s intentional emphasis on service. It was and is a pervading ethos that is noted and practiced by students, faculty, alumni and families. At St. Christopher’s, we often pair the words “service” and “leadership,” knowing that in serving others, we can most effectively lead and create positive change. When our boys are at their best, their leadership is rooted in a cause greater than themselves, greater even than our immediate community. This ethos and emphasis can be hard to quantify. While we can measure service hours and projects among our students, count the growing number of community partners
that we join in bettering the Richmond community, and point to an impressive number of alumni in positions of service and general altruism, quantifying this ethos may actually miss the point. Service isn’t simply something we do at St. Christopher’s; it is who we are. One of my great privileges as headmaster is witnessing service in action here on campus. Our youngest Saints at every grade level partner with a local charitable organization throughout the year to establish ongoing relationships. Middle School boys engage in a variety of outreach activities, including volunteering once a month with their St. Catherine’s counterparts. Our Upper School leads the way, most visibly through its Missionary Society, which organizes a host of activities. Our 50-hour service requirement is merely the start for many boys who weave community outreach into their everyday lives. Our alumni continue to lead a life of service after graduation. Peruse the boards of Richmond’s most impactful nonprofits, and you will likely find Saints represented. The school’s Alumni Board organizes an annual day of service, as does the Class of 1964. We are proud that our alumni continue to find ways to serve and to lead, long after they leave St. Christopher’s. On a separate note, as this magazine goes to press, we are excited to open our transformational new Arts Center. We will christen the space with a March 22 concert featuring student musicians from all three divisions. On Friday, April 24, at 7:30 p.m., we will welcome an esteemed slate of artists, both alumni and friends, to perform in the new Louis F. Ryan Recital Hall. All are welcome, and we hope to see you there. It is an exciting time to be a Saint! I hope you enjoy this issue of StC Magazine.
Mason Lecky Headmaster
Kindergarten boys’ art in recent years for the annual project, “Let’s make the world a better place.”
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CHAPEL FLIP THE SWITCH Though it does sound strange, I want to give thanks to this phrase that has changed my life.
The first time my dad said this, I was Alaister Burke ‘20 in a forgetful phase of my middle school years. One of my few responsibilities at home was to feed the dogs at 6 p.m. There was no end of aggravation for my parents because it took three or four reminders from them before I would finally go and feed the dogs. One night, my parents sat me down and said something like this: “You are the captain of your own ship; you are the president of your own life; you can dream something and think big, but all it is, is a dream. All dreams are possible, all tasks are manageable, all deadlines achievable, provided you commit to them. Like turning the light on in a dark room, it will only happen if you decide to flip the switch. Turn the light on. Light the match. Fire up the engine.”
our families, both related and unrelated. The brotherhood and connections we have formed have influenced forever the way we will live. Our school has given us this opportunity and, for that, I think I can say for all of us, we are eternally grateful.
In that moment, I realized the superpower presented to me. I just have to flip the switch to make a change in my life.
The end of our high school journey is somewhere on the horizon. It has been a beautiful journey.
As soon as senior year came around, I began reflecting more than ever on the journey that we have all embarked upon at St. Christopher’s. We have grown so much together — mentally, emotionally and spiritually. ... We have crossed the street from Lower to Upper School, and we are on a boys-tomen journey in which change is ever present. The No. 1 factor in this journey has been
Feelings of nostalgia, hope, acceptance and compassion have overwhelmed me. From drafting up playbooks for the Middle School Turkey Bowl to drafting college essays for our future, I can tell that some of my classmates have had similar feelings. From tossing paper airplanes off the slides in Lower School to throwing them off the Chamberlayne balcony as seniors, a lot has
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All dreams are possible, all tasks are manageable, all deadlines achievable, provided you commit to them. Like turning the light on in a dark room, it will only happen if you decide to flip the switch. Turn the light on. Light the match. Fire up the engine. changed. Maybe we were trying to latch onto something we knew we couldn’t get back, but those memories and feelings from the people we once were still inform who we are today. Over the years, I’ve been inspired by peers who have taken advantage of the opportunities we have and flipped the switch. It could be a newfound curiosity with calculus, a revelation reading Thoreau, or choosing to train with a passion and purpose. For subjects that don’t come easily, flipping the switch means that despite your struggles, you will find a way to prevail and surpass expectations, yours and others. … I realize that, today, I’m not that far removed from the tiny fifth grader who idolized those above him. I am still curious.
I still love to play tennis. I still worry about the future. But now I know I have some say in the future. I may worry, but I know every morning is another chance to flip the switch. We change; those changes over time reflect who we are. That’s not to say that we are constantly changing into different people, but rather expressing the journey we’ve undergone. One doesn’t stop. Each and every day, we are given the opportunity to flip the switch. ... Amen.
Alaister Burke ’20 Thanksgiving chapel, Nov. 25, 2019
BE A FRIEND TO SOMEBODY TODAY Though it’s been a number of years since I was there, I distinctly remember the drop-off at the Lower School every morning. As I would exit the car, my dad Benjamin Jones ‘20 would say a couple of simple words that I thought little of. He’d always say, “Be a friend to somebody today.” As the innocent Lower Schooler I was (or I assume I was), I wasn’t sure of Dad’s purpose in telling me “to be a friend to somebody today,” how to do it, and its true meaning. I still tried to “be a friend,” although I was slightly disappointed
because I wasn’t getting anything concrete in return. Sometimes, it was lending someone 50 cents so that they could get a snack at break. Other times, it was letting someone take my spot in the famous Class of 2020 basketball games during break, but I was trying to be a friend to people wherever I could. ...
Nothing about losing Carter made sense, except how much better I understand the priceless value of friendships. It wasn’t until last year, when I came to understand how truly wise my dad’s directive to “be a friend” was. Carter Sommers, a close friend to many of us since Lower School, passed away. It was shocking, confusing and hard to believe. But one thing it wasn’t was lonely. Right away, people reached out, texted, checked on me, hugged me and made sure I wasn’t alone unless I wanted to be. Nothing about losing Carter made sense, except how much better I understand the priceless value of friendships. It has made all the difference in the midst of this grief. As Proverbs 18 says, a real friend can stick closer than a brother.
Benjamin Jones ’20 Thanksgiving chapel, Nov. 25, 2019
IT’S NOT FAIR In my family, I am the oldest child, which, along with other things, carries a lot of responsibility. Mostly it means that my sister always The Rev. Joe Torrence got everything she ever wanted because she was the youngest — more dessert, a more prominent room, a newer bike, the list went on and on. Growing up, “It’s not fair” was often heard at my house. Looking back on it now, I realize that she did not get everything, but it certainly seemed that way at the time. It is interesting how when we feel slighted or that we are not getting what we think we deserve, we notice the injustice quite quickly. When inequality is tilted in our direction, we tend to see it in only a matter of seconds. However, when injustice is a burden placed on others, we tend to be less quick to notice. The psalmist tells us that those who observe justice and fairness are blessed because it is a challenging trait to obtain. There is a fundamental instinct within all of us revolving around receiving what we are owed. Maybe it is from our old days of fighting for survival, but we know WINTER 2020 | 5
IT’S NOT FAIR right away when things are not fair for us. One of the challenges in following Christ is that he often calls his followers to raise the red flag when something is not fair, instead, for others. This idea goes against our very nature. It goes against the culture in which we find ourselves, but to demonstrate justice is to act justly for the benefit of others.
When inequality is tilted in our direction, we tend to see it in only a matter of seconds. However, when injustice is a burden placed on others, we tend to be less quick to notice. When we can see acts of justice, the works of fairness, we are increasingly able to call out others for contrary acts. We can give a voice to those who often find themselves voiceless. When we trust that our needs are taken care of, we can focus our energy on building fairness for others. We believe that others are looking out for us because we are looking out for them. May you have the courage to be the voice for the voiceless and to look out for fairness for others. The next time you say, “It’s not fair,” may it be for someone else.
The Rev. Joe Torrence Lower School chapel November 2019
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THE BLESSING OF TRIAL AND TRIBULATION Every Thanksgiving, my family has a tradition. Before we enjoy the splendid feast set before us, we pass a wooden spoon around the dining room table. As each person receives the spoon, they name something they are grateful for, then pass it on. Over the years I’ve heard many things my family members are grateful for. The Jameson Knotts ‘20 most common being family, the food before us, the shelter over our heads and the opportunity to be together. Through this tradition’s duration, I’ve yet to hear anyone say that they are grateful for their trials.
In these last five years I have learned a lot about myself and gained a new perspective on life. Even as I miss my sister, I’m deeply grateful for the lessons I’ve learned from her passing. I’ve realized the people in our lives are not guaranteed to be with us forever, so appreciate them fully. I stopped getting caught up in small drama; it is just not important. Going through this tragedy let me know that I could get through anything in life. I know I can make it through.
However, James says that we should consider it pure joy when we encounter trials. This seems to be a contradictory statement. After failing a test, should we get up and jump for joy? Of course not. While it may be difficult to find joy in a moment of trial, whether it’s a failed test or something infinitely more serious, what is more important is to be able to look back on our trials and see how they have caused us to grow, how we’ve adapted or what we’ve learned about ourselves. Everyone faces hardship. Everyone has been through a difficult time, or even lost a loved one. As humans, we can’t stop these things from happening. They’re inevitable. What we can do is manage our response. It is absolutely OK to feel overwhelmed by life’s difficulties. But will we let self-pity or a feeling of hopelessness get the better of us, or will we move forward and find helpful ways to cope with our struggles? When your darkest trials occur, find comfort in the words of James, and know when you make it through, you will have grown.
Life can change in an instant.
I believe that our trials add value to our lives. If you were handed an “A” on a test, you probably wouldn’t feel that accomplished. On the other hand, if you had a difficult test coming up and you spent hours preparing for it, if you got an “A” you would feel great. You probably would feel like your hard work is worth it and you can accomplish anything if you put forth enough effort. The things that have the most value are those which we worked hardest to get. I’m aware that many of you know me as “one of the wrestlers.” And while I chuckle when I hear this designation, I’ve begun to enjoy the title. To me, wrestling is all about struggle. The practices are tough, the competition is unrelenting and the season feels like it’s nonstop. At times it can be easy to get caught up in all the adversity. However, I’m deeply grateful for wrestling. The struggle has taught me power in perseverance, given me a camaraderie like none other and proven to me the axiom that “hard work pays off.” When I was 13, I lost my older sister in a tragic boating accident. It is true what they say, your life can change in an instant.
When I came to St. Christopher’s last year, I hardly knew anybody, and I didn’t really get the way things worked. However, having already been through darker times, I knew things would get better. And sure enough, as the year progressed I began to make new friends and started to really enjoy myself. St. Christopher’s has reaffirmed to me the value of being a man of character. So may we be grateful for our trials. They will teach us much about ourselves, and they will add value to our lives. Just as St. Christopher’s advocates the education of the whole boy, dealing with our trials will holistically develop us so we will lack nothing. From the letter of James: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Amen.
Jameson Knotts ’20 Thanksgiving chapel, Nov. 25, 2019
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The Gold Within By the Rev. Whitney Edwards In 1765 the Burmese army invaded the nation of Siam, a strategically important slip of land. Centuries later, Burma would be renamed Myanmar and Siam Thailand. The invaders sacked cities and committed such terrible atrocities that there is still a strain in relations between Myanmar and Thailand all these years later. Gracefully, in that invasion and war, not all of the ancient Siamese culture was lost or destroyed, including some monasteries and beloved Buddhist relics, statues and scrolls, which dated as far back as the origins of the deeply loved religion in that region. One thing that survived was an enormous Buddha statue in the Ayutthaya monastery. It was covered in stucco, which is essentially mud and colored glass. Almost 10 feet tall and weighing 5.5 tons, it was considered holy, if not altogether attractive. And that is probably why it was not broken or stolen. The subsequent story of the mud Buddha unfolds for 200 years. Through more occupations and wars, it was left alone and moved here and there, eventually ending up sitting outside a pagoda with a tin roof barely keeping the monsoon rains off.
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In 1955, Buddhist monks decided to move the mammoth Buddha to Bangkok. As the ropes lifted the Buddha for transport, they broke, and the Buddha fell to the ground, splintering with cracks in it. It was a shocking moment, not only because this holy relic was broken, but because of what emerged. Beneath the broken pieces of mud shone gold. The monks carefully picked at the remaining mud, and it turned out the mud Buddha of Ayutthaya was anything but. It was actually 5-plus tons of pure, solid 18-carat gold. It dated from the 1200s and was worth hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars. As best as anyone can figure out, it seems the Buddhist monks in the 1760s had known they couldn’t possibly move their statue ahead of the brutal Burmese invasion. So they quickly covered it over with mud and glass pieces and hid it in plain sight. I love that story, and who wouldn’t love a true story about plucky monks who outsmart an entire army? But also, I love it because its truth resonates. Imagine how many people looked at the golden Buddha over those 200 years it was coated in mud and had no idea what they were actually looking at. I know I am liable to do the same, and not just with statues. But with people, too.
“Oh Lord, you know us, for you made us. And everything you make is good. Very good. Help us to see that goodness within ourselves. Help us to see it in others and treat them accordingly. As the psalmist writes, ‘We praise you, for we are fearfully and wonderfully made.’” AMEN
Even with the best of intentions, and even with our closest friends, we can never see the whole of a person, all of their joys and burdens. How they have been blessed and wounded. Their strengths, which might feel like weaknesses if we had to carry them. Maybe your childhood was similar to mine. At a young age I learned to hide my feelings, fears and anxieties. I learned to pretend-smile. Gosh, I got so good at it, Iâ€™d even forget I was pretending. Pretending is its own kind of mud coating. Like the mud over the Golden Buddha, it protects us, but it can also harden into a shell, hiding the best parts of us underneath. With the help of good Christians, capable counselors and friends, I have learned to tell the difference and trust that who I am is more than enough. If only we could clearly recognize the goodness in ourselves. And how deeply it runs in every human being.
I was talking to a boy the other day. He is a really high achiever. And he was being really hard on himself for something, which to some might seem pretty small in comparison to all the things he does so well. He is such a good guy, but I donâ€™t think he knows it. As we talked, I wondered what he sees when he looks in the mirror. I fear he sees more mud than gold in his reflection. I donâ€™t blame him, though. All of us need reminding from our families, friends, teachers, chaplains and counselors how precious we are. That our true value can never be found in a gradebook. It is not measured in yards gained or goals scored. It cannot be counted like contacts on our phone or figures in a bank balance. It will never be measurable by college ranking. What is most valuable in us is divinely made, good and pure, and more precious than gold. The Rev. Whitney Edwards delivered this talk in Upper School chapel Sept. 9, 2019.
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Unexpected Friendship Through Service SERVICE TRIP TO RURAL APPALACHIA TEACHES LIFE LESSONS By Gerard Broussard ’20
A solid five and a half hours away in Appalachia lies Wise County, the poorest county in Virginia, with 400 square miles and a population of 40,000. What’s missing from these stats is the beauty of the place. Even after four hours of sitting in a cram-packed van, I couldn’t help but be mesmerized by the rolling mountains covered in trees. I was on a service trip and my mind was focused on helping these people, but why so far? The 100 participants were divided into 17 crews, and organizers sent their teenage laborers off to work at different sites. My crew’s duty was to rebuild a deck and redo some bedroom floors and walls. Just hearing about the tasks was enough for me to regret coming. All I could think on the drive to the site was, “Why am I here? I already have my service requirement. Why would I ever choose to do this?” Pulling onto the road of the site, the car began to shake, foreshadowing what state the house might be in. We arrived, and I could see the disaster before me. A completely rotted deck was ready to fall any minute, and trash covered the worksite. I just wanted to go home. I could only imagine what the homeowner
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might look like to let a home get in such shape, only to be interrupted from my thoughts as our adult leader threw us another curveball. We couldn’t do the morning prayer in front of the home because the ministry wasn’t sure of the homeowner’s faith. That shocked me. I couldn’t grasp why we were on a Catholic missionary trip if these people might be anti-Christian. After the morning rituals concluded, it was time to meet our host. Out steps not one person but three mountainous men who made me feel like I instantly shrank a solid foot and a half. Now I was even more confused because it looked as if the three of them could do more work than half our crew combined. Without meaning to, I had already created stereotypes and assumptions about these people as anti-Christian and lazy. I thought I was somehow better. After the introductions, I learned that we were helping a single dad, a lumberjack who injured his back on the job, and two teens, who had lost their mother only a year ago. I wanted to smack myself. I didn’t even know these people, but I had made false assumptions. Now I was all fired up. I was going to work my tail off for these people to make up for my ignorant way of thinking. However, after several hours tearing planks off the deck, I thought, “I’m done. I’m sorry I thought mean things, but I really want to go home. It’s hot. My knees are killing me. My fingers hurt from yanking boards. I broke my hammer.” What saved me from shutting down on the spot was the call for lunch and a much-needed break. The adult leader encouraged us to connect with our host teens, Ethan and Andrew. No one wanted to, but really no one wanted to talk to Andrew. He was at least a solid 6-foot 4-inches and 400 pounds. He was intimidating, and I was forced to somehow make small talk. We talked for an hour before I realized I was supposed to go back to working 15 minutes ago. From that conversation, I learned that Andrew was only a junior, played football as well as the guitar at his local church and wanted to try wrestling. His least favorite football team was the Redskins, and he wanted to go to school at UVA-Wise. I couldn’t
help not wanting to go to work and jokingly asked, “You want to switch places?” He looked at me and said, “I’d love to, but we didn’t know if we were allowed.” Surprised they wanted help, we found both brothers work gloves and eye protection, and they went right into it, prying off boards in record time and helping mix cement much more quickly than we’d been struggling to do before. When it was time to leave the site for the day, my mood was completely different. That morning I would’ve rather been in school, but that night I couldn’t wait to go back and learn more about Andrew. After the third day, we gathered in small group time and were handed back papers where we had written about trip expectations. I had indicated that I expected to do some work and come back and maybe feel a bit better about myself. When I reflected on the trip, it felt like I was doing less and less work and more of just lending an extra hand to someone I was beginning to see as a friend. It wasn’t like the trip had spiritually touched me or that I was suddenly a better person, but it was as if the experience offered me a chance to change my perspective. I wasn’t doing the work for someone, but with someone. The thing is that at one point, neither Andrew nor I wanted to be standing in his yard. Our reasons were different in some ways, but in other ways, they weren’t — pride, awkwardness with people unlike us and the invasion of privacy the work required. Through the encouragement of a few and the enticing chance to take a trip with friends, I ventured into the unknown. As for Andrew, he was generous for allowing me to come into his home. And we each made a very unlikely friendship, one I value deeply. Service is about the work. Rotted boards torn up, nails driven, sweat spent. But it’s not supposed to be about that work. It’s the internal work of realizing who is my neighbor. And learning that in loving them, I love myself and my God that much more. Gerard Broussard ’20 completed this service project last summer, as part of his Catholic Diocese outreach program.
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SAINTS IN SERVICE By Kathleen Thomas
Back in the ’90s, varsity soccer donated weekend time to a local charity each spring. Coach Jay Wood described himself as too green or too narrow-minded to cede an in-season training day to service work. Despite the good intention, turnout was spotty, with many boys conflicted out, mostly due to other sport commitments. In 2004, Hurricane Gaston inspired change. During pre-season, a team member’s home flooded and, between practices, a group of players helped the family clear debris and damaged property. “For me, that was a dynamic sensation that, together, the team could do good — and that we should be doing it, of course, during our season on a normal practice day ‘at some cost to ourselves,’” Coach Wood said.
Left: Christopher Cheuk ‘28 volunteers at Shalom Farms in Midlothian. Middle: Kahlil Nash ‘24 works the soil in Costa Rica. Right: Robbie Boykin ‘21 and a friend enjoy Saturday Academy.
SAINTS IN SERVICE
Upper School students lend helping hands for a James River Park System cleanup last spring.
SERVICE noun. 1. the action of helping or doing work for someone. “millions are involved in voluntary service” Similar: act of assistance, good turn, favor, kindness, helping hand
verb. 1. to be available to assist a person, group, community, cause or belief without expectation of reciprocation. “to be of service to another” Similar: help, assist, be helpful
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In the 15 years since, varsity soccer has devoted one fall practice to hands-on community work. “It’s only one day, but it reflects the important message that there’s something greater than ourselves, than our team,” Coach Wood said. In recent years, other StC varsity teams have followed suit. The involvement testifies to the school’s commitment rooted in founder Dr. Churchill Gibson Chamberlayne’s values. Dr. Chamberlayne created the Missionary Society to focus on service. Several of the school’s articulated core beliefs are reflective — recognizing that we are part of something greater than ourselves, valuing the power of relationships and community, acknowledging that every boy has the capacity and responsibility to make a positive impact. The more we lean into this part of our mission, the more we become like Christopher, the patron saint who carried the disguised Christ child across a river, said Upper School Chaplain Whitney Edwards: “His story is about humility, that we might truly uplift our neighbor. It’s what we’re called to do. When we lift up the poor for the sake of their needs, we believe we’re serving God himself.” Each division organizes programs for community service funneled through each Missionary Society. The school has long upheld traditions of canned food and clothing drives, raised money running races for good causes, collected Christmas gifts for low-income families and hosted dress-down days where participant donations benefit nonprofits. In recent years, however, the emphasis has moved to more engaged interaction.
Lower School “The more we lean into this part of our mission, the more we become like Christopher, the patron saint who carried the disguised Christ child across a river. ... When we lift up the poor for the sake of their needs, we believe we’re serving God himself.”
Boys in Lower School partner with one nonprofit throughout the school year to establish ongoing relationships. Each grade engages with its community partner at least once every nine weeks. “The service-learning work is spread over the year so that it is more ingrained in our school culture,” said Lower School Chaplain Joe Torrence. “My hope is that service learning will be less about collecting and giving away stuff, but more about building relationships and community with people who are different from us and finding a common ground we can share.”
Middle School In conjunction with St. Catherine’s, Middle School boys volunteer once a month with various community groups. A new eighth grade elective, Engage RVA, focuses on experiencing the city through public service and civic engagement. Students engage in hands-on learning that culminates in developing and presenting a project for a local organization. “We expose boys to a multitude of ways to help, allowing them to take ownership as caring, first-class citizens,” said Mrs. Christie Wilson, who co-teaches the class with History Teacher Jon Piper.
Upper School Boys in Upper School must fulfill 50 hours of community service outside the school with a focus on face-to-face interactions. There they confront the question, “Who is my neighbor?” firsthand. The Rev. Edwards likens the process to learning a new language, when the younger years are formative: “Once they get to college, the incentive is not there. If they don’t know their neighbor, they’re not going to see the needs that lie therein.”
Faculty Leads By Example Upper School History Department Chair Andy Smith stands out for donating much of his vacation time to service. He initiated a trip to New Orleans in 2007, where he has returned almost a dozen times since. He has pursued other rebuilding projects, sometimes in conjunction with St. James’s Episcopal Church and sometimes with StC students, in Haiti, Appalachia, Tanzania, Cuba and Top: Sidney Hetherington ‘28 and Lane Fishburne ‘28 Middle: Middle School students on a summer mission trip to Costa Rica Bottom: Upper School students enjoy their X-Term trip, a civil rights tour of the South, which included a community service component.
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SAINTS IN SERVICE
a Navajo reservation in Utah. He has organized numerous groups through the school’s Upper School X-Term program to help local nonprofit, project:HOMES. Middle School Science Teacher Kyle Burnette co-founded in 2014 Beyond Boundaries, a nonprofit that provides outdoor opportunities to individuals with disabilities, and Upper School Languages Teacher Elsa Woodaman brought Building a Better Richmond Public School to StC in 2016. Mrs. Woodaman and about a dozen boys contribute 40 to 50 hours each year to help with cleanup and other projects. “You realize that charity starts at home,” Mrs. Woodaman said. “We need to help out our own city. Kids recognize they can be part of the answer, part of the solution.”
nonprofits. The school’s Alumni Board organizes an annual day of service, as do members from the Class of 1969. As part of the new strategic plan now in process, Mr. Lecky envisions a commitment to the city and renewed partnerships with Richmond groups, possibly offering internships and more experiential education. “We’re working hard to view service as a partnership,” he said. “It’s a lateral experience, as opposed to hierarchical one, which benefits the boys in developing empathy and compassion and awareness.”
St. Christopher’s Core Values • WE RECOGNIZE THAT WE ARE PART OF SOMETHING GREATER THAN OURSELVES. • WE VALUE THE POWER OF RELATIONSHIPS AND COMMUNITY. • WE BELIEVE THAT EVERY BOY HAS BOTH THE CAPACITY AND RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE WORLD AROUND HIM. As boys grow to understand the needs, they will be better positioned to help address the root causes. Headmaster Mason Lecky does not want St. Christopher’s to be set apart within walls, but to lean into its calling as a community partner where both sides are enriched. “We learn alongside each other,” he said. Between 2001 and 2014, the school organized five symposiums, bringing in national speakers to address leadership and service. To broaden the reach of inspiring messages presented, parents Mollie Reinhart and Laurie Rogers organized a group of local nonprofits who were invited to attend. The community partners group still meets for lunch on the StC campus once a year to connect and share experiences. Meanwhile, the legacy of service is visible through alumni commitments. Mr. Lecky has observed an impressive array of Saints graduates who serve on boards of Richmond service-oriented 16 | StC Magazine
Above: Ned Lumpkin ‘24 finishes off a vegetable bed in Costa Rica. He and others worked with the Bri Bri to clear a section of rain forest to plant food for their own consumption, including beans, tubers and pineapples. Below: Varsity soccer players Nate Broughton ‘22 and John Collier ‘22 clean debris from the grounds at Virginia Supportive Housing.
City Saints reaches out to Richmond’s underserved youth By Peter Cross Under the canopy of tall pines that surrounds the St. Christopher’s pool, 25 boys scamper along the water’s edge in a game that is somewhere between Sharks & Minnows and Marco Polo. The activity is part of City Saints, a fully subsidized summer camp for rising third through fifth graders from Richmond’s East End and Southside that is staffed by StC faculty and students. Arriving on campus in July, participants enjoy and immerse themselves in the myriad resources our school has to offer. They play games, listen to stories, shoot off water rockets, engage in math puzzles, and — of course — play in the pool. It’s two weeks of making friends and having fun. For me, the most rewarding part is seeing the smiles on kids’ faces at the end of each day. I have found that students, especially those in our underserved communities, learn best and feel included when they interact with caring people who make them feel valued. The young people in our care pick up on subtle clues and quickly learn that we appreciate them as individuals. These interactions help us break down barriers and build trust. The boys make connections and are free to pursue a wider horizon of possibilities. City Saints works best with one basic mission — it’s good to be exposed to a different way of seeing and being, and it almost always breeds compassion and empathy. Our St. Christopher’s boys who act as counselors and our campers may live five miles apart, but culturally are worlds apart.
I have found that students, especially those in our underserved communities, learn best and feel included when they interact with caring people who make them feel valued.
Face-to-face relationships are essential. In 2002, former StC Middle School Head Phil Spears and former Coach George Bland ’93 created City Saints with the hope that it would provide an open and creative atmosphere based on trust, and it might inspire students to imagine a future and ultimately connect them with mentors.
I have grown as an educator, especially working with colleagues and young people who are passionate about learning and equity. Allowing our boys to interact with the greater Richmond community dovetails perfectly with a compelling line from our Boy’s Prayer: “Keep me ready to help others … at some cost to myself.” It is a joy as a teacher to see them evolve from carefully considerate stewards to working directly and fully beyond our campus. After 18 years of City Saints, it’s satisfying to see how everyone involved becomes inspired, and we truly blossom as people.
PETER CROSS Middle School Math Teacher Peter Cross got involved with City Saints a few years after its inception in 2002.
SAINTS IN SERVICE
SATURDAY ACADEMY Saturdays ARE for Learning, Fun and Making Connections By Christie Wilson Saturday Academy is my connection to Richmond. It is the cornerstone of what community involvement is all about at St. Christopher’s. Designed as a weekend day of fellowship with third, fourth and fifth graders from inner city schools, the program fosters academic enrichment, one-on-one tutoring, fastpaced games and lunch. Upper School students from St. Christopher’s and St. Catherine’s volunteer their time, energy and enthusiasm. To me, the program breaks down walls, opens eyes and demonstrates relationship-building to the core.
Since then, that spirit has carried over, grown and matured. Today, we run four sessions per trimester, sending two buses to five different schools. Acting as liaisons and ambassadors for the program, Upper School students make announcements, recruit workers and help plan lessons. They represent the face of Saturday Academy. Vivacious and energetic StC mentors model humor, humility, optimism, creativity and curiosity to go beyond what is required.
inspiring students to serve, specifically as mentors to Richmond youth At its inception in 2006, former Headmaster Charley Stillwell sought to inspire students to serve, specifically as mentors to Richmond youth. Partnering with Fifth Baptist Church, five young boys arrived on campus eager to work with our Upper School volunteers. I spent that first session learning how to go with the flow, something that has never come easily to me. Yet, I felt oddly at home. All involved were powerfully moved by the harmonious unity and emphasis on stewardship. We made sandwiches for the boys, ran enrichment sessions for the small group and collectively gravitated to the spirit of welcome.
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Saturday Academy fully articulates community involvement at St. Christopher’s. Assistant Directors Kathleen Hornik, Brian Zollinhofer and I are grateful for the brigade of teachers who donate their free time to lead an assortment of enrichment sessions. Saturday Academy is a tightly knit community where it’s fun to do things with friends, especially ones just made.
How can you use your skillset to bring about change? By Christie Wilson St. Christopher’s founded the Summer Institute on Leadership and Public Service (SILPS) in 1999 to empower students to forge relationships and initiate change. The program includes a diverse high school group from the Richmond metro area that wrestles with social justice issues while learning about leadership through service. Funded by the family of Richmond leader T. Justin Moore Jr., SILPS helps rising seniors find their voice, clarify their values and align their actions with others in a common calling for civic engagement. In my mind, SILPS represents the future. I find a sense of hope surrounded by young people truly energized by helping others. The program shows how quickly connections can be made. In just three weeks, students from different schools and backgrounds build bonds that will last beyond the short amount of time spent together on our campus. Working alongside Lower School Academic Support Teacher Jen O’Ferrall, Middle School History Teacher Jon Piper and Middle School Science Teacher Kyle Burnette is a joy. We learn from each other, and we learn from students, admiring how they let down their walls and connect.
CHRISTIE WILSON Math Teacher Christie Wilson, the Middle School director of student life, has led Saturday Academy since it started 14 years ago, as well as the Summer Institute on Leadership and Public Service.
The program uses a leadership curriculum, internships and problem-solving exercises to explore challenges in such areas as education, housing, equal rights and the environment. It exposes students to underserved or special needs communities, including The Faison Center, Beyond Boundaries, Shepherd’s Way Relief Center and Sportable. Driven by a sense of fairness and equity, these programs promote aid, comfort, guidance, advocacy, hope and humanity. SILPS is a great example of how our students live the St. Christopher’s mission. As students wrestle with social justice issues in our city, the hands-on practice of helping others becomes workable, tangible and significant.
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SAINTS IN SERVICE
Preparing Students for their next venture By Ross Gitomer Each year I have the opportunity to work with rising ninth graders from the East End of Richmond through UP RVA, a nonprofit focused on helping city kids transition to independent schools across Central Virginia. Challenges result from different expectations, rules, procedures and cultures. My role with UP RVA comes into play as a math teacher. For four days we work on algebraic fundamentals. As cool as the math part is, what I really love is connecting with the students. I try to lay the groundwork to help prepare them for the increase in freedom and workload while inspiring them to take personal responsibility for both.
I am honored to work with this program founded by Collegiate graduate Toby Desch that provides a multitude of services, including tutoring, transportation, SAT help, college visits and job placements. The kids who come through UP RVA are great contributors to their communities. UP RVA’s presence in Richmond is healthy, helping broaden horizons for all of us involved as well as the students served.
“Boot camp was great. It helped us learn the basics so when I came to St. Christopher’s, I’d be straight as far as basic algebra. Mr. Gitomer was funny. When I came I didn’t know anybody except for him. He’s good at opening up and helping you.” - Jahlique Carlyle ’21 20 | StC Magazine
ROSS GITOMER Upper School Math Teacher Ross Gitomer leads a summer math boot camp for UP RVA on the StC campus.
READING ADVENTURE CLUB Instilling a love for books By Glorietta Jones St. Christopher’s opened its doors again this summer to partner with the University of Virginia Curry School of Education, St. Catherine’s School and Peter Paul Development Center to offer the Summer Reading Adventure Club that helps boost literacy for struggling elementary and middle school students. This four-week program, organized through UVA, has flourished under the leadership of two dedicated educators — former Lower School Assistant Head Vickie Alley and University of Virginia Curry School of Education Assistant Professor Julie Gray. In 2005, after my first year teaching at St. Christopher’s, Dr. Alley asked me to help the following summer, and it has been a rewarding journey ever since. At the start of each day, students eat breakfast donated by my lovely co-workers before engaging in small group instruction with licensed teachers working toward reading specialist degrees through the UVA Curry School. Ninety-minute tutoring sessions, based on assessed needs, involve reading to build fluency and comprehension, writing and word study for phonics, spelling and vocabulary. Students also engage in creative and structured play — writing, illustrating, playing board games, creating stories and hands-on learning activities. Oftentimes, participants choose books donated by Lower School teachers and parents to take and keep at home where they can read to a parent to build confidence.
GLORIETTA JONES Second Grade Teacher Glorietta Jones is clinic director for the Summer Reading Adventure Club held every year on the St. Christopher’s campus.
At the conclusion of the program, schools involved receive reports on student reading levels and instructional suggestions for the upcoming year. On the final day, participants showcase their learning with a reading performance. Participating school administrators and parents are invited to witness these young people in action through this culminating experience. I am blessed to have this opportunity to help children from different backgrounds and schools to strive for common goals to enhance reading fluency and embrace a love for reading.
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CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF BOYS
Boys participate in a schoolwide laughter yoga program.
Boys and Well-Being By Kathleen Thomas
In recognition of World Mental Health Day, St. Christopherâ€™s Journeys to Manhood fall program focused on boys and wellbeing. The two-day event, organized through The Center for the Study of Boys, featured presentations, small group discussions, laughter yoga and mindfulness exercises. Jordan Burnham and Matt Bellace spoke to a community gathering, free and open to the public, the evening of Oct. 10 and again the next day to Middle and Upper School boys. Both men used relatable personal experiences as inspiration for coping with anxiety and depression. Dr. Bellace, a youth motivational speaker and stand-up comedian, stressed the importance of social support, urging students to surround themselves with friends, teachers and others who support safe risk-taking and encourage them to be the best person they can. â€œThe No. 1 predictor of your behavior are the friends you hang with or
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“The unique challenges and needs of young men are not receiving enough attention. Doctors, teachers and family members may not recognize the symptoms of depression, which in men can include anger, irritability and aggressiveness.” Source: National Institute of Mental Health
surround yourself with,” said the author of the book, “A Better High,” which is used in Upper School health classes. Meanwhile, Jordan Burnham detailed his teenage struggles with depression that ultimately resulted in a suicide attempt at age 18 when he jumped from his bedroom window on the ninth floor and miraculously survived. He went on to make a career of telling his story to give others hope. An ESPN documentary of his story was nominated for an Emmy. Questions from Upper School boys that followed his talk were heartfelt. How do we break the stigma? How do we tell our parents? Did you struggle talking about it when we as men are supposed to be strong? Mr. Burnham says the only way to break the stigma is by sharing stories. He said sometimes writing a letter can open doors to an easier conversation. And finally, he passed along advice from his father: “The manliest thing you can do is ask someone for help.”
Dr. Bellace encouraged students to turn to meditation, music, exercise, nature and helping others as alternatives to drinking and drugs. Boys in grades K - 12, along with faculty and staff, also gathered on Knowles Field for an innovative well-being program. Slash Coleman of Laughter Yoga Richmond led the school through several laughter yoga exercises. The boys then paired off in groups and talked about a wish they have for themselves, the school or community. They wrote those wishes on fabric leaves, which will be used to create a “Wish Tree” for a display in the new Arts Center. Lower School boys also made breath beads and participated in mindful breathing workshops with the Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation, a Richmond nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness of teenage mental health. Through programs such as these, St. Christopher’s will continue to try to help boys navigate these challenging times. Reflecting on the day, one seventh grader said, “I had no idea revealing what gave me stress would actually relieve it.”
How to improve your mental health
The Center for the Study of Boys’ mission is to promote best practices in engaging and teaching boys through research, professional development and programming.
1. Give and accept help. 2. Talk to friends and family. 3. Do things that make you happy. 4. Eat well and keep active. Source: mindingyourhead.info Student organizers for The Center for the Study of Boys’ fall program gather here with speakers Jordan Burnham (front left) and Matt Bellace (front right).
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HAPPENINGS FROM THE HALLS OF ST. CHRISTOPHER’S
The Role of the Monument Avenue Statues Mr. Bill Martin visited StC this fall as part of the Williams-McElroy History Endowment speaker series. The Valentine museum director discussed the Monument Avenue statues and the role Richmond played in the history of slavery and civil rights. Mr. Martin believes it’s vitally important to discuss these difficult parts of Richmond’s history. “We have to recognize the central role that Jim Crow really plays in informing everything we do,” he said. “Whether it’s where we go to school, where we go to church, all those things are really informed by that entire period. No place can tell that story the way Richmond can.” In early December, a small group of students, along with Upper School Digital Arts Teacher Amanda Livick and Upper School English Teacher Kiernan Michau, watched the unveiling of Kehinde Wiley’s “Rumors of War” bronze statue of an African American man on horseback at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
Voices of Colonial Virginia
Celebrating Spanish Culture
Voices of Colonial Virginia, a half-day, hands-on culmination of third grade’s study of Virginia history, took place in October in conjunction with St. Catherine’s. Students learned about food, games, clothing and daily life among Colonial-era cultures while participating in such activities as preparing a Colonial Williamsburg Brunswick stew and creating African masks and Native American pottery.
Sixth grade students in Mr. Jon Piper’s Global Thinking class learned how different cultures celebrate bountiful harvests, creating visual presentations of traditions around the globe, including Iran, Ghana and Israel.
Fifth grade boys created presentations about Hispanic culture, traditions and history. The boys displayed their work in Lower School classrooms and led fourth grade boys on a tour of their projects, which included Spanish soccer teams, food, Caribbean culture, Aztec temples and the work of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo.
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Carrington Brown ’71: An Artist of the Natural World Carrington Brown’s artwork was on display in the Luck Leadership Playhouse the month of November, followed by a gallery reception in December. After working as a landscape designer for 35 years and raising five sons, the 1971 St. Catherine’s graduate returned to painting, working in oil, and oil and cold wax. “I attempt to express a feeling about the places I visit, the beautiful horses I live with and ride, and the beauty and color of trout experienced while learning to fly fish with my husband,” she said in a statement. “I really am just attempting to make the unseen visible or seen in a new way.” Brown studied at Hollins College and Pratt Institute, where she earned a degree in fine art. Her sons and three brothers attended St. Christopher’s and her grandfather, Dabney Lancaster, taught at StC.
“Hamilton” Cast Members Coach Student Actors Two cast members of the touring Broadway show “Hamilton” visited in December to hold interactive workshops and mock rehearsals. The workshops, offered to both St. Christopher’s and St. Catherine’s Middle and Upper School students, provided encouraging feedback as well as practical tips for singing and dancing. Cast members were Jon Viktor Corpuz, who plays John Laurens and Philip Hamilton, and Olivia Puckett, who stars as Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds.
Middle Schoolers Explore RVA Now in its second year, Explore RVA uses the city of Richmond as its textbook. Middle School faculty design excursions and activities to share passions, interests and expertise. Activities so far this year include attending a Richmond Symphony HopkinsEggleston Discovery Concert, watching a documentary at the Science Museum of Virginia and touring Richmond’s iconic Hollywood Cemetery to learn about its history and artwork.
Second Graders and Juniors Collaborate to Study Physics, Art and Culture
Helping Alumni Navigate the Post-College Job Market
A group of juniors and Lower School boys collaborated this fall to build and fly kites, enforcing science lessons of gravity, flight and lift. They also honored Dio de los Muertos celebrations in Guatemala, writing messages on the kites to deceased loved ones.
Gib Staunton ‘81 (St. Catherine’s), founder of Staunton Career Advisors, spoke to St. Christopher’s and St. Catherine’s alumni and their parents in early January. She provided practical guidance, illustrated best practices and answered questions about the post-college job market. WINTER 2020 | 25
Welcome New StC Edmund Benson ’55 Edmund Benson ’55 is president of S&B Insurance Co. Inc. He received his B.A. and B.S. undergraduate degrees from Hampden-Sydney College. His son Eddie graduated from StC in 1992, and he has three grandchildren who are Saints.
Randy Daniel ’78 Randy Daniel ’78 is president of Seaboard Concrete Products Company. He graduated from the University of Virginia with an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering as well as an MBA from its Darden School. He is a trustee for UVA’s School of Engineering and also serves on the advisory board of the school’s department of chemical engineering. He formerly served on the StC Board of Governors from 2009-2016, was chair of Parent Annual Giving and a member of the Athletic Committee. Randy’s son Hunter graduated from St. Christopher’s in 2012.
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Penelope Kyle Penelope Kyle served as Radford University’s sixth president and first female president from 2005 to 2016. She started her career as an attorney with McGuireWoods, was the first female officer at transportation company CSX Corp. and ran the Virginia Lottery. Penny graduated from Guilford College and completed post-graduate work in English at Southern Methodist University. She earned a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and an MBA from the College of William & Mary. Penny is serving a second term on the board of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics and is also a member of the Board of PRA Group, Inc. Penny’s son Kyle Menges graduated from StC in 2007.
Board Members Elizabeth Wallace Elizabeth Wallace is a former teacher who received her undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Virginia. She is a volunteer at St. Stephen’s Church, Anna Julia Cooper School and St. Christopher’s. Her husband Fleet graduated from StC in 1986, and her children are all Saints: Ellie (St. Catherine’s ’14), Fleet ’15, Mary Clarke (St. Catherine’s ’18) and Walker ’20.
Timothy McCoy ’87 Timothy McCoy ’87, head of business development for The London Co. of Virginia, formerly worked for Thompson, Siegel & Walmsley LLC and Old Mutual Investment Partners. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in political science and serves on UNC’s Learning and Writing Center advisory board as well as the Richmond Focus Steering Committee.
Richard Mitchell ’78
Taylor Williams ‘96
Richard Mitchell ’78, a Richmond gastroenterologist, completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia before graduating from Tulane University School of Medicine. After a fellowship at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, he served on its faculty. His son Jack ‘22 is a current sophomore.
Taylor Williams ‘96, principal at Spy Rock Real Estate Group, received his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and his MBA from its Darden School. He is a board member of the Richmond Performing Arts Alliance and helps coach St. Catherine’s youth basketball and Geronimo lacrosse. His son Sam ’30 is a second grader at StC.
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FALL FESTIVAL A Friday night Oyster Roast kicked off weekend festivities for the annual gathering of Saints of all ages. A sunny fall day made for a glorious outdoor celebration of games, inflatables and food, while marketplace vendors enjoyed brisk sales inside the field house.
HOMECOMING The annual pep rally before the Nov. 2 Homecoming game, orchestrated by Chas Steinbrugge â€™20 and Student Council, generated enthusiastic anticipation of the game. It marked the return of the infamous Red Man, a Trojan horse, Scott Gym blackout, comedic video and enthusiastic cheers. Saints gathered the next day for a cookout lunch on the terraces, followed by varsity footballâ€™s win over Collegiate School 31-7. Festivities also included recognizing the 1964 Saints football team and celebrating the 55th anniversary of its dominant 8-1 season as well as the inaugural Cars & Coffee, where 20 alumni, parents and friends displayed an array of classic and performance cars.
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LEGACIES Junior Kindergarten William Catlett ’33, son of Tommy Catlett ’77; Claiborne Johnston ’33, son of Claiborne Johnston III ’96 and grandson of Billy Hancock ’68; Dewey Gottwald ’33, son of Thomas Gottwald ’05 and grandson of Teddy Gottwald ’79; Alfred Warren ’33, great-grandson of Alfred “Pug” Adkins III ’47 (deceased); Wilson Flohr ’33, son of Willy Flohr ’02
Kindergarten Christopher Matthews ’32, son of Richard Matthews ’89; Ward Schaaf ’32, son of Matthew Schaaf ’97; Baylam Bowmer ’32, son of Cary Bowmer ’97; Ware Taliaferro ’32, son of Tripp Taliaferro ’97; Woods Beck ’32, grandson of Hank Gibson ‘67; Carter Brown ’32, son of Tyler Brown ’01
Lower School Bridger Clemons ’31, son of Travers Clemons ’94; Carson Stalker ’27, son of Stephen Stalker ’89; Emory Ruffner ’28, grandson of Ham Scherer Jr. ’60 and great-grandson of John Hamilton Scherer 1917 (deceased)
Middle School Christian Rogers ‘25, son of Noah Rogers ’92 Campbell Stalker ‘24, son of Stephen Stalker ’89
Upper School Lewis Tompkins ’23, son of Taylor Tompkins ’86 and grandson of Seldon Tompkins ’62
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The Arts Highlights from recent StC student theater productions
WELCOME TO WONDERLAND! By Alex Cox ’26 The Middle School fall play this year was “The Adventures of Alice In Wonderland.” Rehearsals started in September and the play was performed in mid-October. “Wonderland” had six performances, each around an hour long, which opened with a cover of “My Coat of Many Colors,” sung by Anne Hubard ’25 (St. Catherine’s) and Eloise Medinger-Caudle ’24 (St. Catherine’s). Tech crew worked hard on cranking out props, decorations and costumes in the little time they had. And they did really well, too! I really enjoyed being part of the cast and I’m pretty sure the others did, too. If you enjoy acting or want to try something new, I recommend joining Outré. If you don’t like acting but want to join, you can join the tech crew to make costumes, props, work on set design or help run the show. Alex Cox ’26 wrote this for Paper Boy, the Middle School online newspaper.
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AMPERSAND PRODUCES “ONCE UPON A MATTRESS” Ampersand performed “Once Upon a Mattress” at The Steward School in November due to ongoing construction of a new theater at St. Catherine’s. In his review of the revamped “The Princess and the Pea” fairy tale, The Pine Needle Editor Henry Weatherford ’21 wrote, ”Their use of lighting, sound, music and acting shows an exemplary understanding of the intricacies of theater.”
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FALL SPORTS RECAP
A Season to Remember Fall Sports Sweep Prep League Cross country won its third consecutive Prep League and third straight VISAA title. Neal Dhar '20 was the Prep League champion and John Green was named Prep League Coach of the Year. The Saints placed an unprecedented eight runners on the All-Prep team, as they all finished in the top 15 of the race. In the VISAA meet, six runners earned All-State honors, as the second-place finisher was 23 points back. Football finished the season 10-2, earning the most wins in school history, before falling in the VISAA title game 14-6. The Prep League champs boasted League Player of the Year in linebacker Jeff Moore '20, who was also named Co-State Player of the Year. Lance Clelland earned Prep League Coach of the Year. All-Prep and All-State pick Will Tazewell '20 is now the school's career leader in receptions. The team had a 10-game win streak, also a new school mark. Soccer finished 17-3-1, won the Prep League title and finished as state runnerup. Gerard Broussard '20 was named Prep League Player of the Year, Jay Wood Coach of the Year and Warner Collier '20, Wheat O'Hagan '20, Curtis Hale '21 and Nick Washington '21 were also named All Prep. Broussard, Collier and O'Hagan made first-team All-State. Washington made the second team. The team put together two eight-game win streaks. Compiled by Stephen Lewis, director of Sports Information
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William Tune â€˜20
Varsity soccer players celebrate their final win.
George Hodgson â€˜20
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Student News Here are just a few highlights of what our students are doing in their extracurricular pursuits.
Liam Nolan ’20 wrote a feature on NFL running back Alfred Morris last spring and sent it to the Richmond Times-Dispatch for consideration. The sports editor replied that he couldn’t run it because it wasn’t a local story, but encouraged Liam to submit others. Since then, the paper has published the student correspondent’s stories on Virginia Union football, the Spikeball national championship and two high school football games. Zack Harrison ’20, Will McDermott ’20 and Oliver Sabo ’20 have started a tutoring program with Upper School Chaplain Whitney Edwards at Fairfield Elementary School. The group visits several times a month to help with after-school homework and activities.
Baird Weisleder ’21 has been a proactive leader of the Houlagan Saints, the school support group for Houlagans’ Rest dog rescue. He coordinates meetings, schedules student volunteer activities at adoption events and leads fundraising efforts. Raif Winn ’24 starred in Virginia Repertory Theater’s November production of “13,” the first Broadway musical to have a cast made up entirely of teenagers. Chas Steinbrugge ’20 was featured in a Business Insider article about his Instagram account, “trigoMEMEtry,” where he asks permission before reposting funny tweets. His interactions with everyone from Lil Nas X to Elon Musk are part of what propelled his page to more than 140,000 followers. The article reads, “If Steinbrugge sees a tweet from an account he doesn’t have permission from, he slides into their DMs, or in Musk’s case, tweets at him.” About 60% of the time, they respond, and only deny him permission about 2% of the time, he said. Chas posts about three or four times a day, with the tweet itself in the first slide and the DM conversation in the second. He also created a meme citations generator, which uses the MLA format to help other meme pages credit the people whose memes they repost. Nathan Aschheim ’22, Topher Durette ’22 and Mac Suskind ’21 attended the Student Diversity Leadership Conference in Seattle in December. Jazz Band Director John Winn’s third period rock rhythm section band played at Orbital Music Park in December. Musicians included Henry Edmunds ’21, Mike Hawkins ’21, Will Hodges ‘22, Peter Huff ‘23, Barner Konvicka ‘23 and Henry Leister ‘22. Middle School boys who made District Chorus include Ben Butterfield ’25, Winston Morris ’25, Christian Rogers ’25, George Dewey White ’24 and Tate Wilson ’25; Upper School boys are Alex Hatfield ’23, Max Kobal ’23, Scott Neely ’22, Teddy Price ’23, and Luke Thomas ’21. District Chorus comprises top singers in the Richmond area who performed a concert in February following two days of rehearsal. Five StC students applied for and received scholarships to attend last year’s James River Writers Conference in October — Miles Mullins ’21, Colin Royal ’21, Reynolds Short ’19, Nash Steed ’21 and Mac Suskind ’21. The boys were joined by three St. Catherine’s students, along with Saints faculty Durk Steed and John Morgan. The students attended readings, panels, lectures and Q&A sessions with established writers in nonfiction, fiction and poetry and also participated in hands-on writing exercises.
Jude Reiferson ‘20 works with students at Fairfield Elementary School.
Joseph Long ‘22 has been selected to participate in the 10th grade Virginia Space Coast Scholars program sponsored by the NASA Wallops Flight Facility and the Virginia Space Grant Consortium. Killian Winn ’22 won this year’s Poetry Out Loud school-wide competition, followed by Jack Omohundro ’21, who placed second, and Spencer Villaneuva ’21, who placed third. 34 | StC Magazine
The 2019 United Soccer Coaches Fall High School Boys All-Mid-Atlantic Region Team tapped Gerard Broussard ’20. The team comprises 32 players from five states and Washington, D.C. Gerard is the seventh Saint to make the team, joining Charles Valentine ‘93, Rob Cann ‘01, Doug Hare ‘01, Max Hare ‘06, Austin Wates ’07 and Alexander Levengood ’19 (a three-time honoree). Bo Angus ‘24, qualified for the under-15 U.S. Sailing Team, competing in Italy in March.
Richmond Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” Features StC Students Three StC students danced in Richmond Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker”: Carter Lecky ‘28 as Fritz; Ephraim Bullock ‘22 as the head of the dragon Chinese attendant; and Oliver Gardner ‘23 as the Arabian doll and tail of the dragon Chinese attendant. Last summer, Oliver also performed with Cadence Theatre in conjunction with the Richmond Ballet in “Grease,” playing Johnny Casino.
Above: Ephraim Bullock ‘22 Top right: Oliver Gardiner ‘23 Bottom right: Carter Lecky ‘28 Photos by Sarah Ferguson | Richmond Ballet
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Class Notes Are you interested in becoming a class scribe? We are recruiting alumni to help us gather news. If interested, contact Jennifer Scallon: firstname.lastname@example.org.
CLASS SCRIBES Mr. Thomas “Bumby” Cary Gresham email@example.com
Stephen Hawley Martin has released two more books. “How Science Reveals God” draws upon scientific studies in five areas of exploration to make a case for the existence of God and creation. “Consciousness, The Hard Problem Solved” reached the top 10 in its category on Amazon and was that category’s No. 1 new release.
Harry “Le” Leland Frazier Jr. firstname.lastname@example.org Richard Renner reports that in his early career, he worked for tech companies Cisco, Intel, Gould, Pirelli and CSC, traveling frequently throughout the United States and some in France and Italy. Since 2000,
1961 “Water in His Veins”
Williams credits StC for developing life skills essential to career
1959 Jack Cann writes, “It is not often that you hear from me, but there has been a development in my life, quite a surprise, in fact. After I presented in February my most recent book in translation, ‘Portuguese Commandos in Africa,’ the retired commando generals who had fought in Africa banded together and persuaded the president of Portugal, Professor Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, to grant me one of the knighthoods for which foreigners are eligible. ... On the afternoon of September 5, 2019, I had an audience with the President at the Belém Palace outside of Lisbon and was made a knight commander of the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator (approximate translation from the Portuguese). I feel certain that neither Mr. Bailey nor Mr. Vergason nor Mr. Squires thought I would be the author of nine books and had no idea of the seeds they planted in us at the time. So this is great fun.”
John Page Williams retired as The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s senior naturalist after 46 years of dedicated service. He spearheaded the foundation’s environmental outdoor program and advocated for the Chesapeake Bay’s health, vitality and restoration. The Capital Gazette recently published an article on his life work, using his quote as its headline, “I’ve got this water in my veins.” The feature showcased his contributions as a teacher and his fascination with preserving the bay, describing him as a man “who’s dedicated his life to the bay, becoming a living, breathing encyclopedia for its waters along the way.” John Page established the foundation’s award-winning environmental outdoor program, developing the curriculum and becoming a champion for getting kids and teachers on the water. John Page has written hundreds of articles about the bay, from Capt. John Smith’s adventures to the ecology and habitat that support horseshoe crabs, oysters, blue crabs and, of course, fishing. He has written for Chesapeake Bay Magazine for 40 years and will continue, while writing for other publications as well. He recently relocated from Annapolis to Richmond, where he grew up on campus as the son of an Episcopal priest, the school’s second headmaster, and expects he will continue to help the foundation on a contract or volunteer basis. John Page gives StC much credit for developing life skills needed for his work: “George Squires taught me how sentences work, and Literary Societies got me used to standing up and talking in front of people,” he said. “St. Christopher’s has absolutely been part of helping me do what I do. I’m eternally grateful. It’s great fun to be back and fun to be back on the James, Chickahominy, Mattaponi and all those waterways in Virginia.” On the evening of John Page’s farewell from CBF, its former Director of Fisheries Bill Goldsborough gave his longtime colleague and friend a tribute and closed by saying, “I guarantee you, whether they caught fish or not, every one of the thousands of people he has taken out on the water in his life will never forget it.”
Jack Cann ‘59 (far left)
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he has worked as a network administrator and consultant for several companies and currently serves as network administrator for BBRents, a property management company. In 2017 he and his son Richard (III) started OSI.IO, a software development and integration company. In addition, he has worked as a retail realtor in South Carolina since 2005, with property investments along the way. He lives on Lake Murray in Columbia, South Carolina. “I miss the days ‘under the pines,’ as that was one of the best times of my life,” Richard writes.
will ensure the continued growth of artistic and organizational excellence at Richmond Ballet and allow us to continue our mission to awaken and uplift the human spirit for many years to come,” Billy said in a statement. He also worked on campaigns for StC, United Way, the YMCA and American Heart Association.
1966 CLASS SCRIBE Gus Epps email@example.com
1968 Billy Hancock, a former business lawyer at Troutman Sanders and former Richmond Ballet Board of Trustees president, rejoined the Richmond Ballet in 2014 as director of advancement. He is pictured here in December with Artistic Director Stoner Winslett announcing the conclusion of the organization’s recent $10 million campaign. “The money from the campaign
Billy Hancock '68
1980s 1980 From Samuel Williamson: “After more than 35 years at IBM, I recently hung up my spurs and am finding time to enjoy life, including a lot of time out in Idaho.” Sports anchor/reporter Vern Glenn recently ran into photojournalist James Mann ’99 his first day on the job at CBS affiliate KPIX-TV in San Francisco. James, a VCU grad who attended StC in Lower and Middle School, recently joined from a San Diego station. “Somehow during the chat, we discovered we were both from Richmond,” Vern said. “When he mentioned he went to a small private school, my ears perked up. When he said St. Chris, I said, ‘Unbelievable.’ There may have been a few expletives, too.” Both alums also worked for local Richmond TV stations early in their careers. Meanwhile Vern continues to cover big-time sporting events, most recently the 49ers in the Super Bowl.
Andy Morse ‘75 currently serves as board of directors president for the Charlottesville-based Virginia Law Foundation.
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1972 A Reflection from Down Under Former AFS student fondly remembers StC experience I was at St. Christopher’s in 1971-72 as an AFS student living with the Stone family across the river. Sheridan Stone ’72 (deceased) was my host brother. I haven’t been back to the States since the winter of 1975-76 and would love to know about the people I went to school with and even somehow contact them. I’ve attached a recent photo with my daughter Amy at her wedding. I had such a fantastic year in Richmond and am very thankful to St. Christopher’s for giving me the opportunity of being there. I have been living on the coast about 800 kms north of Sydney at a place called Byron Bay working as a lawyer for Legal Aid for over 30 years, essentially as a defense attorney and manager.
Take care, Hugh van Dugteren firstname.lastname@example.org
Hugh van Dugteren ‘72
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John Hawkins '72 Pens BioTech Pioneer Biography By Gene Bruner ’78 When John Hawkins ‘72 drew up his bucket list, writing a book came in ninth. Little did he know he possessed remarkable skills as an author. An expert in assessing top boardroom talent in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, John found a worthy subject in life science visionary Henri Termeer. Warm, humble and charismatic, Termeer is considered the co-founder of the biotech industry. The result: the piercingly eloquent biography, “Conscience and Courage: How Visionary CEO Henri Termeer Built a Biotech Giant and Pioneered the Rare Disease Industry.” As the title suggests, Termeer’s life impacted millions of patients, many of whom were children, in the rare-disease community. Also known as orphan drugs – where the number of patient recipients is less than 200,000 – Termeer led the charge to research, develop and supply medications to treat rare disease patients. With his ascension as CEO of a neophyte biotech called Genzyme in 1983, he did to pharmaceutical companies what the internet did to classified ads. Instead of creating a single pill that treats all 2 million people with a particular disease or symptom, Termeer realized that individualized medicine had the potential to change the nature of what it means to be medicated. Trial and error was replaced by something closer to genetic programming; a messy, expensive process suddenly became patient-specific, quick, reliable and affordable, opening up whole new categories of “People thought Henri production. Termeer was absolutely
After graduating from St. Christopher’s, crazy. So one of the things John attended the University of Virginia I loved about this guy, and and earned an MBA from the Tuck School everybody else did, too, is of Business at Dartmouth. When he first met Termeer, John worked as a health care he took risks, but especially banker with Alex. Brown & Sons. Later, as for the benefit of patients. chief financial officer of mammalian cell culture firm Invitron Corp., he gained a — John Hawkins ’72 front-row seat to the burgeoning biotechnology industry. In December 2016, a then-retired Termeer invited him to an event replete with CEOs and executives whom John had recruited. Buoyed by the meeting, the pair had coffee and talked for nearly two hours when Termeer casually stated, as if it were hardly worth mentioning, that he was mentoring more than 46 CEOs at the time. John filed the remark away, interpreting Termeer’s pro bono work as a measure of his generosity and “how much he valued the human dimension of this business.” However, within the year, Termeer died unexpectedly. When John attended the memorial service, he was struck as six eulogists, from a Nobel Laureate to Termeer’s 16-year-old daughter, praised the lifesaving work of a man credited with pioneering the rare-disease industry and instilling the importance of vision and purpose. Committed to a clear and coherent definition of leadership, Termeer approached his work with an inquiring mindset, while demonstrating faith and loyalty to the underserved. He hired professionals aligned to his way of thinking: industrious and innovative mavericks who broke rules, took risks and set ambitious goals, with patient care at the forefront.
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John Hawkins ‘72
John credited his years at St. Christopher’s for instilling in him an appreciation of dedication to hard work and stick-to-itiveness. Specifically, he recalled how Mr. Brinser, his rhetoric and ancient history teacher, stressed structure, accuracy and rigorous attention to detail. The oldest son of the beloved Lower School Librarian Bette Hawkins Dunford, John approached research and writing as a test, a two-year process where he interviewed 130 people and performed an exegesis of some 200 boxes of materials, including speeches, presentations and congressional testimony. Awakened in the middle of the night with an avalanche of ideas, he resorted to placing a notepad by the bed and keeping ungodly hours with extended writing jags. His routine included writing for three to four hours, editing drafts from the day before and collapsing from exhaustion after endless work sessions of researching, writing and editing. The turning point occurred when he attended the Biographers International Organization Conference and gleaned the advice that writing is like playing the accordion: creating drama, releasing drama — drama in, drama out, whittling it all into a 222-page biography. Released in October and already in its second printing, “Conscience and Courage” is a must-read for future executives and anyone interested in becoming a passionate and innovative leader.
Continued from page 37
CLASS SCRIBE Alexander Macauley email@example.com
Poulson Reed was elected bishop coadjutor in Oklahoma in December. The Rev. Reed is rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church and Day School in Phoenix. He is the spiritual and managerial leader of both the church and school staffs. Previously, he served as the sub-dean and canon of St. John’s Cathedral in Denver.
David Bandas reports that his work at Audio Exchange is going well. The company, which began 41 years ago, focuses on high-end stereo gear and custom home-theater solutions. Dave first had a job at Audio Exchange the summer after graduation and continued working there part-time while he pursued his media career with local radio and TV stations. He found his way back to Audio Exchange full-time six years ago and bought in to the business as a partner. In addition to its Richmond West Broad Street location, the company sells gear on eBay, Amazon and other online marketplaces.
1984 StC displayed David Blanchard’s art in StC’s Luck Leadership Center Playhouse in October. David earned his BFA in painting and printmaking from VCU and has lived in the pastoral beauty of Highland County for 25 years. Sheep, his current subject, are a part of his family’s everyday life, and he finds them “amusing, peaceful, needy, wandering, just like us.” David said that he enjoys the process of painting and its struggles. “When a painting presents the push and pull of old and new ideas, foreground and background, layers competing for attention, I strive to navigate these competing forces and aim to neither be stumped nor satisfied,” he said.
Caton Lee ‘23 and David Blanchard '84
Poulson Reed ‘88
1990s 1990 Lt. Col. Francis Park spoke in StC Upper School chapel on Veterans Day about the opportunities he received as a member of the U.S. military. His inspiring words, in conclusion, were as follows: “Beverly Mauck, the editor of the 1946 Raps and Taps, wrote in the foreword to that edition that ‘the boys of St. Christopher’s have answered with courage the summons to the destruction that war makes necessary in order that the constructive ways of democracy may continue. This is what the school will always mean to us — constructiveness, for running parallel to carefree hours of play, but always superceding them, has been the need to fit ourselves for a life of service and continued growth.’ Coming after World War II, those boys, the tail end of the so-called Greatest Generation, looked forward to a degree of normalcy, community and shared purpose. Today, we face many of the same challenges that Mauck mentioned in his foreword. I’ll always be grateful to a nation that greets veterans with a heartfelt ‘thank Continued on page 41
1989 Radio Host Promotes Healthy Debate John Reid was the cover story for the an August issue of Style Weekly. His WRVA morning radio show explores news, business, entertainment, weather, traffic and sports. The article questions whether healthy debate is still possible. John replied, yes, that his personality on air as a consensus builder helps, as does showing respect, giving room to guests with opposing views to understand the other sides. John admitted facing challenges as a gay Republican, and he is praised for his honesty and listening skills. “Friends and colleagues say Reid simply is nice — but not Mr. Rogers. He pushes buttons and speaks his mind, and at 6-foot-3 can wield a commanding presence. But he walks the line between opinionated and general,” the article said. The story explored John’s background as an Eagle Scout and StC Student Council president remembered for performing spot-on, brave impressions of teachers. John earned his bachelor’s degree from Baylor University. After graduating, he interned in Ronald Reagan’s press office and worked as the overnight producer for the CBS affiliate in Waco, Texas. He returned to Richmond in 1994 to work at Channel 8 as a weekend anchor, investigative reporter and ultimately co-anchor until 2004 when he moved to Washington, D.C. There he served as director of communications for former Gov. George Allen’s Senate office and then for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and private public relations firms.
John Reid ‘89 Photo courtesy of Scott Elmquist | Style Weekly
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Charles Alexander ’82 Returns to Campus A look back in time to the one-time fastest high school runner in the country By Gene Bruner ’78 Charles Alexander ’82 returned to campus where he rubbed elbows with former Coach Bruce Nystrom, former teammate Russell Bowles ’78 and the varsity cross country team. Here’s a look back in time to December 1981. Early in his running career, Charles did not stand out. Coach Nystrom said he showed some ability as an eighth grader but not enough to raise great hopes: “He was not very fast and he was not very strong. His unnatural gait seemed destined to put such strain on his knees and ankles that I had suggested he pick out a podiatrist and orthopedist.”
“Alexander’s ... final half-mile stretch run ... left spectators from all over the country in awe.” — The Washington Post Undeterred, Charles posted a perfect 16-0 record in meets his senior year. His list of triumphs was impressive: Prep League champion; State Private School champion; William & Mary Invitational champion, UVA Invitational champion and Georgetown Invitational champion. The pinnacle came when he toed the starting line in Orlando, Florida, for the National High School Cross Country Championship where nearly all competitors came from large public high schools.
on that turn, I got up on my toes and started picking up speed,” Charles said. “It was like going into fifth gear. It just came. And once I got ahead of him, I just said, ‘Let’s go!’” Charles won, posting a time of 14:51, making him the fastest high school runner in the country. He graduated at the top of his class that spring and went on to Stanford University. In 1992, 10 years after his title, Charles qualified for the Olympic marathon trials. He gives Coach Nystrom a great deal of credit. “He had a lot to do with who I am as a person in my work ethic and in striving relentlessly for goals.” The two continue to stay in touch and are close friends. Charles is now director of mechanical engineering at Flex in Silicon Valley, where he designs cool stuff for clients ranging from Nike to Whirlpool and particularly enjoys mentoring student interns and co-ops. “I’ve found many parallels in coaching high school runners, which I did as an assistant for six years, something I hope to get back to when I transition out of tech in a few years,” he said. Charles kept up running but has been cycling the last six months due to injury: “I’m able to work out a lot harder on the bike than a broke-down runner can manage on old knees, so it’s a lot of fun, and I have a good group to ride with.”
The nature of the course was a concern. Its flatness favored speedsters over slower but stronger runners. An early lead was essential, Charles knew, because he did not have raw speed to engage in a sprint race at the end. In the Orlando field were several California runners who had broken nine minutes in the two-mile, and one of them, Harold Kuphaldt, had run an 8:57, 15 seconds faster than Charles’ best time. Just beyond the 2.5-mile point, the Californian known for his finishing kick and the tall, lanky Richmonder with the peculiar stride were leading. With 300 yards to go, they headed for the home stretch, tearing into a 60-yard U-turn together. Then, almost magically, one of the runners shot into a five- then 10- then 20-yard lead with 150 yards to go. The two racers were dressed alike, and the powerful kick was characteristic of Harold’s running style, but it was Charles. “I was thinking second place was good enough, but 40 | StC Magazine
Top left: Mason Lecky, Charles Alexander ‘82, Russell Bowles ‘78, Bruce Nystrom Top right: Charles Alexander back in the day Bottom: Charles Alexander ‘86 with the 2019 cross country team
Continued from page 39 you for your service,’ but in response, I offer the words of Rob ‘Waldo’ Waldman, a retired Air Force pilot, who said, ‘If you really want to thank the Americans who fight for our country, be the kind of American worth fighting for.’ I leave you with that challenge, a worthy one for the future that lies ahead of you.” Robbie Fierro became the deputy commonwealth’s attorney for the city of Hopewell, Virginia, in July.
1993 Toks Ladejobi, shown in the picture below with his son Exum, stopped by StC with a friend he was showing around campus in December. He was excited about the new Arts Center and remembered fondly veteran teachers Cliff Dickinson, Don Golladay, Jay Wood, Ron Smith and Andy Smith. He shared that his mom made him come here in sixth grade, and he cried every day for a long time, but said the tide soon turned. He looks back and recognizes it as one of the best decisions of his life. Toks is now a principal with Blackstar Real Estate Partners in Washington, D.C.
1994 CLASS SCRIBE Massie Ritsch firstname.lastname@example.org We didn’t get to see Justin Dray at our 25th reunion last spring, but we do get to see him occasionally on screens large, small and mobile. Justin took his acting talents, honed by Ampersand, to Hollywood many years ago and has been living near the water in Venice Beach. Recent roles have cast him alongside Brad Pitt (shown here in last year’s “Ad Astra”), Rob Lowe, Billy Ray Cyrus and Zach Galifianakis. Justin’s latest starring role is a big one: husband. He and Elizabeth “Libby” Birkenmeier tied the knot at San Francisco City Hall last June, then again with L.A. friends over Labor Day on Catalina Island and, finally, with their families in Libby’s hometown of St. Louis. (See photo on page 48.) Fickle business that entertainment is, Justin is brilliantly hedging with a product that never goes out of favor: pizza. He is apprenticing alongside a mentor he describes as an international pizza consultant. Justin says, “We mostly focus on the bread. In crust we trust. ... Whether it’s acting, relationships or pizza — you need a strong foundation to support whatever life will put on top.” Chris Peace is making a career transition of his own after serving in the House of Delegates since 2006. A Republican representing New Kent County and parts of Hanover and King William, Chris handily won seven straight elections before a hard-right challenger came gunning for him. The reason? Chris defied his party’s leadership to support expanding Medicaid so more of his constituents could have health care. On election day in November, a write-in campaign for Chris generated nearly 5,800 votes that didn’t go to that other guy (whose own class scribe is welcome to offer a counter-narrative in another magazine).
Toks Ladejobi ‘93 with his son Exum
Brad Pitt and Justin Dray ‘94 in “Ad Astra”
Chris, who continued to practice law while serving in Virginia’s part-time legislature, is back to his practice full-time, helping individuals, families and businesses. He and his wife Ashley have two young Saints:
Chris Peace ‘94 gathers with students after chapel.
daughter Camden ‘26 (St. Catherine’s) and son Henry ‘29. Chris gave a chapel talk to the StC Upper School in November, encouraging the boys to identify their own calling to service and “brighten the corner where you are” by using the value of “choosing the hard right over the easy wrong” as their enduring guide. Good advice, always.
1996 Harrison Hall joined the retail services team of Colliers International as a senior vice president. He was formerly with Divaris Real Estate.
1997 Matthew Schaaf started a new position as senior vice president, middle market banking, at SunTrust, now Truist.
1999 CLASS SCRIBE Merrill Cann email@example.com WINTER 2020 | 41
Class Notes 2000s 2000 Austin Harris was named CFO of New York-based Milk Bar. He was with Health Warrior Inc. for seven years, most recently as chief financial officer.
2001 CLASS SCRIBE Paul Evans firstname.lastname@example.org
Will Hardy has been named an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs. He first joined the organization as a basketball operations intern in 2010 after graduating from Williams College. Head Coach Gregg Popovick said, “Will Hardy is a talented young basketball mind who has earned a great deal of respect from everyone in the organization, thanks to his knowledge, spirit and personality.”
CLASS SCRIBE John Garland Wood email@example.com
Burton Fuller was named vice president and chief supply chain officer at Johns Hopkins Health System in Baltimore. He was previously a senior manager in Deloitte’s health care practice.
CLASS SCRIBE Christopher Alexander firstname.lastname@example.org The Class of 2009 enjoyed a strong showing at our 10-year reunion in May. Many thanks to Thomas Brown and his wife Claire for hosting.
2004 CLASS SCRIBE Ben Traynham email@example.com
Tab Wood was recently elected partner at Sussman Shank LLP, a full-service law firm in Portland, Oregon. Tab and his wife Abby have four children: William, 5; Freddy, 3; and identical twins girls Jane and Nell, born May 17. Brian Herod and his wife Joy had their third child, Isadora Jacqueline. They live in Ashland, and Brian practices at Neighbors & Herod Family Dentistry in Midlothian. Robert Porter joined Porter Realty Company Inc. as a sales and leasing associate in August. Katherine and Ben Traynham welcomed their second daughter, Margaret Hawkes, in September and recently moved back to Richmond from Washington, D.C. Ben is an attorney at Hancock, Daniel & Johnson PC.
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Richard Luck and wife Jenna had their first child, Caroline Luray, in December. They will move to Atlanta in April to work with the southeastern region of Luck Stone. Neal Moriconi graduated in August from the University of Central Florida with a master’s in health care systems engineering.
Adam Lynn was named partner at McAllister, DeTar, Showalter & Walker LLC in Easton, Maryland.
John Cain received his chartered financial analyst designation in August.
Stephen Davenport has returned to St. Christopher’s as a major gift officer.
Will Hardy '06
2007 CLASS SCRIBES Brelan Hillman firstname.lastname@example.org Thomas Jenkins email@example.com Jacques Farhi and wife Mary Elizabeth welcomed Louis Raymond Aug. 24, 2019. The family resides in Charlottesville, Virginia, where Jacques is working on his residency in urology. Jake Gardner serves as Westbound & Down Brewing Co.’s head brewer in Idaho Springs, Colorado. Westbound won the Great American Beer Festival’s Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year award. Brelan Hillman was accepted into Leadership Metro Richmond’s Leadership Quest Class of 2020. During the 10-month program, he’ll take part in an immersion and analysis experience focused on criminal justice reform in the Richmond region.
Scott Richardson teaches sixth, seventh and eighth grade math and coaches the Middle School girls’ basketball team at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in New Orleans, Mason Lecky’s former school. Malcolm Magovern also lives in New Orleans, where he is completing his residency at Tulane Medical Center. Harrison Tucker married Kara Earthman in Nashville Oct. 5. His father Carter ‘76 was best man and classmates Christopher Alexander and Thomas Andrews were part of the wedding party. Harrison, Kara and their beloved cat Toby live in Nashville. Billy Miller lives in Las Vegas and serves as the chief operating officer of Pacific Services Group, which provides transfer agency and other corporate services to publicly traded and pre-IPO companies in the United States and Canada. Matt Londrey is now a nurse at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond. He was also one of the youth team coaches for USA Climbing at the Youth World Championships in Arco, Italy, earlier this year. John Stillwell and his wife Lindsey are living in Center City, Philadelphia, where John is Continued on page 45
An International Backpacker Reflects on Growth and Taking Risks By Peter Wright ’06 One of the things I learned during my years at St. Christopher’s was to seek out and accept opportunities for growth and exposure. Friendships were forged by everything, from rebelling against going to class by playing ping pong at St. Catherine’s to boarding airplanes on the Europe trip to explore unknown territories. As Saints, we were charged with the responsibility to lead, serve and grow. In 2018, I focused on the growth aspect of this charge. I took a three-month sabbatical from my career to grab my backpack and my journal and travel around the world. Dick Kemper always pushed us to believe that the sky is the limit to what we can accomplish. With an open mind, an iPhone containing six power-packed playlists and Kemper’s words in my head, I embarked on a journey through 21 cities spanning Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. In each city, I had proactively connected with private equity fund managers via LinkedIn to grab coffee and interview them about their careers. In seventh grade, the late Professor Koenig told me that successful people in this life learn at an early age to ask for advice and guidance and not hide behind fear. My goal is to establish a private equity fund that invests in firms centered on artificial intelligence. Thanks to Professor Koenig, I understand the value of seeking advice every step along my way. I am currently an MBA candidate at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. On a recent school-led trip, I was afforded the opportunity to travel back to the Middle East. While there, I connected with a fund manager whom I met on my personal voyage the previous year. Upon further discussion, I was offered the opportunity to complete my summer internship through his firm in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, this summer. We may never know the full extent of why God places certain people and moments in our lives. However, we must always be grateful. I am forever grateful for the lessons bestowed upon me during my time at St. Christopher’s. For with a humble spirit accepting advice from others and an open mind, I will become the Saint I was destined to be. While working toward his MBA, Peter Wright ’06 serves as vice president at RKJ Partners, a middle-market investment bank. He graduated from Howard University with a business degree in 2010 and received a graduate certificate in data science and applied machine learning last year.
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Wat Bryant '70's quest to exonerate Richard Jewell By Gene Bruner ‘78 Working security during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Richard Jewell discovers a backpack containing a bomb and alerts law enforcement. Jewell is touted as saving thousands of lives after the pipe bombs explode. However, media outlets pick up on a tip leaked by the FBI, and Jewell lands in the unwanted glare of the limelight. He needs an attorney, and he reaches out to the one legal friend he has – Watson Bryant ’70. Wat Bryant ’70 needs to be in several places at once: an interview with Style Weekly, lunch with friends, a 50th reunion gathering and a flight back to Atlanta for the movie premiere of “Richard Jewell,” directed by Clint Eastwood. However, he seems most determined to attend wrestling practice on a recent fall visit to campus. Trim and square-shouldered, nowhere near the 185 pounds he carried as a senior undefeated wrestler, Wat is a picture of rude health. He appraises the grapplers’ sweaty reversals, flips, escapes and spins with knowing eyes. “If it hadn’t Wat Bryant ‘70 with actor Sam Rockwell been for wrestling, lacrosse and church, I would’ve never left the campus,” he admitted. He became a boarder when his family moved to Atlanta the summer before his 10th grade year. He rebelled at the move to a city without lacrosse. “At StC I had varsity teams, great friends, and I had finally figured out school,” he said. “I wasn’t up for leaving a great world to break in another. But, I couldn’t stay out of trouble and lost many, many weekends to demerits. I once had a streak of 10-plus in a row lost.” By temperament, Wat is neither diffident nor the least bit retiring, and Academy Award-winning actor Sam Rockwell captures his ability to knock conventional alignment completely off plumb. “Sam’s performance is not far off the mark,” Wat asserted, “except wardrobe. I never wore a three-piece suit, and, if anything, he makes me appear too nice.” Rockwell was drawn to Wat’s anti-authoritarian ethos. He spent long hours learning the attorney’s mannerisms and intonation.“It felt good to play someone smart,” Rockwell quipped in a recent magazine article. “Wat is a wild dude, a bronco that you have to wrestle down. ... He’s like a character out of a Tennessee Williams play.” Rockwell’s and Nina Arianda’s witty portrayals of Wat and his assistant/wife Nadya humanize the material. In one scene, their embrace of Richard Jewell and his mother, Bobi, is warm, compelling and poignant. Yet, in the next, Rockwell does all the verbal
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venting for Jewell and proceeds to incinerate the FBI, the media and even the stodgy mandarins of the major networks – Tom Brokaw, Jay Leno, CNN and NBC – with Wat’s flame-throwing vitriol and adamantine scorn. Wat keenly possesses the daring confidence and the irreverent swagger of a man who enjoys itching for a fight, and he puts the fun back into being morally outraged, having once accused his eighth grade history teacher of tyranny and enumerating several reasons why. “I hate bullies,” Wat said, “and in the movie (and real life), I’m not nice or professional dealing with them. My profanity makes it an R-rated movie in the first 30 minutes, and I’m still hiding from my mother (a St. Catherine’s girl). During the shoot, the film crew used my office. The bumper sticker I FEAR GOVERNMENT MORE THAN TERRORISM has been on the wall since the early ’90s, still is and always will be.” Wat confided, “StC taught me the most valuable lessons of my life. My buddies always stood by me, right or wrong. Mike Brinser was the best, a giant among men. Roger Clapp taught me how to target a goal in wrestling and to work my way into shape to achieve it. And Dan White showed me how to read a book, focus on the content and apply what I learned. Once I figured out that, I could and did learn anything I chose, except for calculus.” Jewell was never charged with any crime, and the true bomber was apprehended years later. However, the general public does not recall Jewell’s exoneration and erroneously links him to the awful crime even to this day. “Richard Jewell gave me the greatest honor of my life, as an attorney
Class Notes Continued from page 42 in sales for Richmond-based pharmaceutical company Kaléo, and Lindsey is an attorney. John and Lindsey miss their days living in the Fan but are loving life in Philly. John also started UVA Darden’s Executive MBA program this fall and has used it as a great excuse to regularly visit his parents, Charley and Sallie, and brother Henry ‘14 in Washington, D.C. and a friend, to stand with an innocent man falsely accused of a heinous crime,” Wat said. “And more, one of my greatest joys, after the ’96 Olympic ignominiousness and only child Richard’s way-toosoon passing, is to be with his mom as she experiences such happiness via this movie lauding her boy.” Saints Wrestling Coach Ross Gitomer circles his team around Wat at the end of the workout. The boys, drenched in sweat, yet wide-eyed and alert, listen in as Wat gushes over the team’s success. One athlete asks the best way to cut weight, and Wat responds: “In rubber suit, doing burpees in the boiler room until I dropped, then rubber suit and sitting in a hot as I could stand whirlpool. Our standard practices would expose any institution to criminal liability these days.” A welterweight inquires what Clint Eastwood is like. Wat jokes: “Clint Eastwood is a great guy with a fantastic sense of humor, with some on display at my expense in the movie. I would go up to him and say, ‘I know what you’re thinking. Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Clint will pick it up, ending with, ‘Do you feel lucky? Well, do you punk?’” And lastly, Coach Gitomer asks, “What is your favorite move?” Wat, the lovable crank with a wry sense of humor, yet sweet as wine and as true as your dog, without missing a beat, answers, “Having the referee raise my hand above my head in victory.”
Chorus and the Virginia Commonwealth University Singers. He was in Richmond Ballet’s “The Nutcracker,” and he and Keaton Hillman ‘12 performed in Virginia Repertory Theatre’s summer production of “The Wiz,” both part of the ensemble.
2010s 2011 CLASS SCRIBES Kurt Jensen firstname.lastname@example.org Henley Hopkinson email@example.com Saints in NYC: Corey Dalton works as the director of academies sales and marketing at golf technology company SwingU and co-founded the St. Christopher’s alumni group of New York. Rob Vozenilik recently started a new job with New York Road Runners. Connor Beck is working at a young tech startup called Alpha. Casey Fox married in December 2018 and lives in Claremont, California, with his wife Madison. Saints earning advanced degrees: Henley Hopkinson is a J.D. candidate and Global Law Scholar at Georgetown Law and lives in DuPont Circle, Washington, D.C., where, happily, he runs, not infrequently, into fellow Saints. Brody Hingst graduated from medical school in May and started his residency in emergency medicine in Florida. He is also engaged. James Busch is in his third year of a doctoral program at Dartmouth College in earth sciences and has done field work in the Yukon Territory. Max Parks is living his best life working in project support at NASA and plans to earn a doctorate in a related field. Ira White took to the stage in late September in a title role for “Carmina Burana,” a collaboration of the Richmond Symphony, Richmond Symphony
Ira White ‘11
2013 CLASS SCRIBE Morgan McCown firstname.lastname@example.org Alex Beale is a production coordinator for a VFX company in Los Angeles, Artemple-Hollywood.com. Stuart Brown was recognized as “My Hero Monday” by B101.5 in Fredericksburg, Virginia, in August for his work as a firefighter and paramedic.
2014 CLASS SCRIBES Peyton McElroy email@example.com Alec Ball firstname.lastname@example.org
2015 CLASS SCRIBE Fitz Fitzgerald email@example.com
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Class Notes Richard Hamrick graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University in May with majors in economics and European history. Last summer he traveled and completed a month-long program at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. In September, he rejoined McKinsey & Co. as a business analyst in the Atlanta office.
Levengood ‘19, a freshman forward at the College of William & Mary, and Myles Brown ‘15, a senior midfielder who joined the Rams last season, with Coach Jack O’Donnell (far left) and Coach Jay Wood (far right).
2016 Alexander Hamilton was named associate at 49 Financial. The online Wall Street Journal published an article, “The Hot New Team in College: Rock Climbing,” which featured this group photo that included Riley Varner, a University of Colorado senior. The story explored the growing number of colleges where students are leading a surge in competitive climbing. “A generation of kids who grew up amid the boom in climbing gyms is transforming the college scene from ragtag recreational clubs into a competitive league,” the article said, with more than 260 colleges now with competitive climbing teams, up from about 175 two years ago, according to the sport’s national governing body, USA Climbing.
Riley Varner ‘16 (third from left)
2017 James Armstrong performed in Upper School chapel with his a cappella college group, The Princeton Footnotes. Virginia Commonwealth University and the College of William & Mary soccer teams scrimmaged Aug. 20 at Sports Backers in Richmond. Pictured here are Simon Fitch ‘17, a junior midfielder at VCU, Alexander 46 | StC Magazine
New Alumni Board Members Charlie Blanton ’65 Charlie, a retired nuclear fuel buyer for Dominion Energy Virginia, graduated from Hampden-Sydney College and from the University of Richmond’s T.C. Williams School of Law. He is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Richmond and volunteers at Westover Hills Elementary. His son Armistead graduated from StC in 1997, his daughter Dabney graduated from St. Catherine’s in 1998, and two grandchildren currently attend St. Christopher’s.
George Dunston ‘87
2019 The National Astronomy League awarded Tyler Hutchison the HorkheimerSmith National Youth Service Award and Scholarship, which included a Kennedy Space Center tour as well as a cruise to the Bahamas as part of the Astronomy League Convention’s 50th anniversary, where he served on a panel of experts. Tyler was also featured as part of the WCVE Instagram feed and website. He is also a guest blogger for a national astronomy platform that reaches more than 15,000 members and participated in a TEDxRVA in November at Collegiate School, where he was one of three interactive speakers. Colin Knight, a craft and material studies major at VCU, was the only student featured in an art show at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The exhibit presented more than 50 works by 15 contemporary artists from the Carolinas, Tennessee and Virginia from July 2019 to January 2020. Charlie Whitlock, a music major at Belmont University, appeared in “Christmas at Belmont,” a PBS special featuring the college’s music department.
George is an associate general counsel at Barnes & Noble Inc. in New York. After graduating from Dartmouth College and the University of Virginia School of Law, he worked for two law firms and at Merck.& Co. as legal counsel.
Hunter Garland ’06 Hunter is a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. in Washington, D.C. The Princeton University graduate formerly worked as a research analyst for Dorsey Wright & Associates in Richmond.
Corey Dalton ’11 Corey lives in New York City and is director of academies sales and marketing at SwingU, a golf instruction app. The High Point University graduate formerly served as head golf coach for Léman Manhattan Preparatory School.
Class Notes DEATHS 1938
William Maury Hill of Richmond, Virginia, died July 10, 2019. He is survived by his son Thomas J. Hill ’75.
Corneal Bernard Myers Jr. of Lake Wales, Florida, died Feb. 14, 2018.
Lewis Kimmel Johnson of Oakmont, Pennsylvania, died Dec. 7, 2018.
William Bidgood Wall of Farmville, Virginia, died Jan. 8, 2020.
Clarence Wood Beasley Jr. of Edenton, North Carolina, died May 11, 2019.
William Horatio Brown IV of Surgoinsville, Tennessee, died March 6, 2019. Survivors include his brother Roderick D. Brown ’51.
David Max Northen of Richmond, Virginia, died Oct. 24, 2019.
Sidney Buford Scott of Richmond, Virginia, died Sept. 4, 2019. Survivors include his brother George Ross Scott ’64.
Bernard Winn McCray Jr. of Richmond, Virginia, died Oct. 11, 2019. His is survived by his grandsons P. Tucker Braden ’10, Christian W. Braden ’13, Charles S. McCray ’15 and Stephen T. McCray ’16.
Henry Reed Randolph of Richmond, Virginia, died June 16, 2019.
Dr. Bradley Gray Johnson of Mechanicsville, Virginia, died May 19, 2019.
Henry Harman George of Williamsburg, Virginia, died Dec. 5, 2019. His is survived by his brother William B. George Jr. ’58 and his son Henry N. George ’07.
Darryl Francis Deane of Richmond, Virginia, died July 2, 2019.
William Daniel Andrews of Farmville, Virginia, died July 17, 2019. He is survived by his brother Lester E. Andrews Jr. ’66.
Randolph Hume Neal of Richmond, Virginia, died Monday, Aug. 27, 2018. He is survived by his brother Polk M. Neal Jr. ’69.
Richard Adams Eichner of Alexandria, Virginia, died Oct. 17, 2019.
Douglas Call Dabney of Richmond, Virginia, died Nov. 28, 2019. He is survived by his brother T. Todd Dabney Jr. ’62.
Thomas Jackson Slipek of Columbia, Virginia, died Sept. 14, 2019.
Bruce Cobb Gottwald Jr. of Richmond, Virginia, died Oct. 20, 2019. He is survived by his brothers Thomas E. Gottwald ’79 and Mark H. Gottwald ’77, and sons Bruce C. Gottwald III ’10 and W. Hays Gottwald ’12.
Claiborne Reel Dingledine of Farmville, Virginia, died Nov. 24, 2019. He is survived by brothers William S. Dingledine Jr. ’69 and Thomas A. Dingledine ’72.
Dr. Walter W. Scott Jr. of Rexford, New York, died Dec. 23, 2019. He is survived by his father Walter W. Scott ’56.
Fletcher Flynn Wyche of Richmond, Virginia, died Nov. 12, 2019.
Edgar Forrest Jessee III of New York City, died June 2, 2019. He is survived by his brother C. Blake Jessee ‘06.
FACULTY & STAFF Anna Ferch Trebour of Richmond, Virginia, died June 7, 2019. Anna worked with our youngest Saints in Little Saints daycare.
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Mr. and Mrs. Henry C. Hager, son Henry Harold, Aug. 2, 2019
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas P. Bryan IV, daughter Abigail Catherine, July 5, 2019
Mr. and Mrs. W. Wilson Wall III, son Banks Mattingly, April 22, 2019
Mr. and Mrs. William H. Paulette, daughter Hollis Elizabeth, Sept. 13, 2019
Dr. and Mrs. Leon I. Smith-Harrison Jr., son Robert “Robbie” Brackett, Sept. 29, 2019
Mr. and Mrs. Bryan E. Tedeschi, daughter Joanie Christine, Nov. 11, 2019
Mr. and Mrs. Andrew G. Crowley, daughter Elizabeth Spilman, Dec. 10, 2019
Dr. and Mrs. Ross C. D. Buerlein, daughter Tess Cosby, Jan. 19, 2019
Mr. and Mrs. Ten E. T. Wellford Jr., son James Alexander, Nov. 25, 2019
Mr. and Mrs. Ward G. McGroarty, daughter Eleanor Walters, Aug. 2, 2019
Mr. and Mrs. L. C. Alexander Skidmore, son Oliver James, Sept. 1, 2019
Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Tabard Wood, twin daughters Jane and Nell, May 17, 2019
Mr. and Mrs. John H. Cain, son John Houston Jr., July 24, 2019
Mr. and Mrs. Marshall C. French, son Mason Rives, Aug. 8, 2019
Mr. and Mrs. Alexander D. Baruch, twin sons Beau Fernand and Hudson Hargrave, Sept. 4, 2019
Mr. and Mrs. Jacques J. Farhi, son Louis Raymond, Aug. 24, 2019
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel V. Priddy IV, daughter Mary Hampton, Nov. 5, 2019
Mr and Mrs. Richard S. Luck, daughter Caroline Luray, Dec. 9, 2019
Mr. and Mrs. William I. Valentine, son Hunter Thompson, July 30, 2019
Philip Whitfield Hughes to Marie C. Lowden, March 9, 2019
Justin Clark Dray to Elizabeth D. Birkenmeier, June 27, 2019
Thomas Charles Andrew Innes to Alice Derry, Oct. 5, 2019
Kevin Arthur Elmore to Juliette Marie Fitzsimmons, Oct. 19, 2019
David Leonard Coleman Jr. to Katie Bisceglia, Oct. 26, 2019
Martin Frasher Kempe to Meredith Kaltz, Sept. 21, 2019
Ashton Howard Goldman to Margaret Moncure Clary, Sept. 28, 2019
James Ware Zocco to Alexandra Whitehead, June 22,2019
Thomas Ambrose Darden to Lauren McClelland, April 6, 2019
Carter Harrison Tucker Jr. to Kara Gordon, Oct. 5, 2019
Peter Tucker Braden to Marian Craighill, June 29, 2019
Beirne Carter Hutcheson to Clare Campbell Moser, July 13, 2019
Bruce Cobb Gottwald III to Annie Cosby, Sept. 7, 2019
Robert Connor Wood to Dana Anne Gullquist, May 11, 2019
Kurt Michael Jensen to Emma Williams, June 22, 2019
Mark Haywood Gottwald to Meghan Elizabeth Rayner, Sept. 28, 2019
Photos | 1. Ashton Goldman ‘04’s wedding 2. Thomas Innes ‘01 and his wife Alice 3. Justin Dray ‘94 and his wife Elizabeth 4. David Coleman Jr. ‘03’s wedding 5. Tucker Braden ‘10 with his wife Marian and fellow Saints 6. Thomas Darden ‘06 and his wife Lauren 7. Jack Farhi ‘07 with his wife Mary Beth and son Louis 8. Berkley and John Cain ‘04 with their son John Jr. 9. Richard Luck with his wife Jenna and daughter Caroline 10. Will Valentine ‘11 with his wife Cele and son Hunter
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Faculty News PROFESSIONAL NEWS Lower School Learning Commons Coordinator/Librarian Lucinda Whitehurst has been appointed to a national committee for the Association for Library Service to Children, the world’s largest organization dedicated to supporting and enhancing library services to children. Mrs. Whitehurst continues to write monthly reviews of children’s books for publication in School Library Journal and Booklist magazines. Middle and Upper School Counselor Sazshy Valentine became a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in the state of Virginia in June. To obtain licensure, a postgraduate 3,400-hour supervised residency is required, as well as passing the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE). Upper School Academic Dean and Director of College Counseling Jim Jump was a featured panelist at the National
Association for College Admission Counseling conference in Louisville that addressed repercussions of the Operation Varsity Blues scandal. He presented in November to the College Board National Forum in Washington, D.C., and to the Virginia Association of Independent Schools on the topic, “College Counseling or College Coaching? Transformational or Transactional?” He was quoted this fall in The Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Inside Higher Ed, The Hill and Today in College Admission. In January, a Forbes magazine website article on college admission “influencers” for 2019 included Mr. Jump. Jazz Band Director John Winn had a busy summer and fall performing in the pit orchestra for “The Wiz!” and “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” at Virginia Repertory Theatre. He also performed with the touring production of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” at Altria Theatre, and with ’70s pop music star Debby Boone on her Christmas show at the American Theatre in Hampton. In May, Ron Smith’s new poem, “Don’t Know Much about the French I Took,” was published in Plume, an online publication, and three other new poems were published in the book, “Endlessly Rocking: Poems in Honor of Walt Whitman’s 200th Birthday.” In June, the StC writer-in-residence judged the Library of Virginia Book Award for Poetry, gave
a poetry reading at the Sport Literature Association Conference in Limoges, France, read a parody of Hemingway’s “Big Two-Hearted River,” and participated in a bilingual reading of poems written for the International Ezra Pound Conference at the University of Salamanca. In August, Broad Street, an interdisciplinary magazine of nonfiction and artwork, and Virginia Bards Anthology each published two of his poems. In October, Mr. Smith and other former University of Richmond football players participated in the unveiling ceremony to honor their legendary coach, Frank Jones. Jay Wood received the third Annual High School Coach of Significance Award from United Soccer Coaches, along with its High School Coaches Advocacy Group. The award recognizes members who are coaching for character and using the soccer field to teach life lessons at the high school level. Director of Community and Inclusion Ed Cowell, Lower School Head Benita Griffin, Second Grade Teacher Amy Buerlein, Lower School Spanish Teacher Isabel Shealy, Extended Day Head Abbey Moring, Upper School Math Teacher Emmett Carlson and Upper School History Teacher Stuart Ferguson attended the People of Color Conference in early December in Seattle. Attendees found the experience powerful. History Teacher Stuart Ferguson said, “As a white man, who lives and works in spaces that are largely white, it was an
GIVING EDUCATION INNOVATORS A GLOBAL PLATFORM Assistant Head of School Sarah Mansfield joined 15 leaders from around the world as a TED-Ed Innovative Educator. The group traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland, to attend the TED Summit that challenged participants to consider what education might look like if innovative voices in education were shared and amplified globally. For her talk, Dr. Mansfield focused on the traumatic brain injury she endured at age 14 when she was hit by a car and had to teach herself to walk and talk again. She parlayed the lessons learned in patience, determination and empathy to the classroom. “I would love for all educators and students at St. Christopher’s to realize that they, too, have ‘ideas worth spreading,’” Dr. Mansfield said. “Eighth graders in my Leadership & Communications class will be taking on this challenge soon and will give TED Talks in February. I can’t wait to give them a global platform to express themselves.” To watch Dr. Mansfield’s talk, go to www.bit.ly/STCmansfield.
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important, humbling and uncomfortable experience to be in the minority for once.” Mr. Ferguson said he learned a great deal from workshops about equitable grading practices and the importance of teaching history through many different voices. He said, “I left this conference with a greater understanding and awareness of my own privilege, and I am motivated to be an improved, active ally for those who do not benefit from those same privileges.”
other scholars, were published in October in the first issue of Maths • Physics • Technology Quest, where Mr. Boyd serves as a co-editor-in-chief. “The idea occurs to me that I have more opportunities to do mathematics because I can, given enough time, write a decent sentence in English than because I was a particularly good mathematician,” Mr. Boyd wrote with characteristic humbleness.
Director of Academic Technology Hiram Cuevas is serving as executive director for Blackbaud’s Product Advisory Board. Blackbaud provides cloud software and data intelligence for corporations, nonprofits and schools, including St. Christopher’s and St. Catherine’s.
Upper School Instructional Technologist Carey Pohanka presented at the VAIS New Teacher Institute in July, “Designing Your Space: What Messages Are You Sending?” and “How My Grandmother Inspired Empathy in 8th Grade Boys.” The latter was a PechaKucha, a fast-growing storytelling platform that uses 20 slides, each with 20 seconds of commentary. Ms. Pohanka is a member of the VAIS Professional Development Advisory Council, the main driver for the Leading Learning Conference and thematic efforts for participating schools. StC hosted the Calculus Network of Richmond October conference in the Luck Leadership Center. Twenty-five AP Calculus teachers from the metro Richmond area took part in this professional development focused on the AP Calculus AB and BC exams administered last May. Upper School Math Teachers Jeb Britton (StC) and Sue Jenkins (St. Catherine’s), along with Maggie Walker Governor’s School’s Lynn Reed, organized the event. The Rev. Joe Torrence served as homilist at the Mid-Atlantic Episcopal School Association gathering in October at All Saints Episcopal Church, which was also attended by 30 Chapel Team fifth graders. Former Upper School Math Teacher Jim Boyd reports that he continues to fly the StC flag. “Absolutely Fun,” written with Professor Bear, as well as “The Pentagon Challenge,” “Proofs by Contradiction” and “Area Analysis,” written in conjunction with
Middle School Science and Drama Teacher Jeremy Dunn and his wife Anna welcomed their third son, Callum Walter, into the world June 22. He joins his brothers Liam ’28 and Aidan ’31. Isabelle Joy “Jojo” was born to Middle School Science Teacher David Shin and his wife Esther July 25, the birthday of their older son Henry.
Aug. 25 was a big day for Middle School History Teacher Derek Porter and his wife Tiffney, who gave birth to their first child, Jael Antoinette, as well as Middle School Spanish Teacher Chris Carrier and his wife Sarah, who celebrated the arrival of their firstborn, Finn Stephen. Middle School Math Teacher Craig Chewning entered his first barbecue competition at the Beyond Boundaries R.I.M.B.Y. Festival in early August. His pulled pork barbecue, apple coleslaw, smoked chicken wings and hash browns proved to be a winning combination. The Bar-B-Chew Team won first place overall.
Middle/Upper School Counselor Sazshy Valentine married Jonah Kane-West Dec. 21 in the Upper School chapel.
4 Photos | 1. Jeremy Dunn and his son Callum 2. The Shinn Family 3. Tiffany and Derek Porter with baby Jael 4. The Carrier Family
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Alice Flowers: Preserving StC History A tribute to StC archivist who gave her job her all Alice Flowers retired last fall after serving the school for 34 years. This tribute, written by Max Dodge ’16, ran in the March 2016 issue of The Pine Needle, its centennial edition. Composition books crammed with basketball stats going back more than five decades, every Raps and Taps yearbook since its 1926 inception, military uniforms, books and enough flammable material to send the fire marshal into conniptions give Alice Flowers’ office a unique flair. The school archivist dwells off the beaten path in an office, which was formerly a dormitory, littered with artifacts of St. Christopher’s. Mrs. Flowers, a 1961 graduate of St. Catherine’s, said she has always been more interested in St. Christopher’s than her alma mater. From her early years, she found ways to participate here, from acting in plays to writing for The Pine Needle, where she served as a St. Catherine’s correspondent. This early foray into the world of journalism foreshadowed a future obsession of sorts. During high school she worked as a teen writer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch and interned there several summers. At the University of Mary Washington she continued as a stringer, and to this day is an avid reader of newspapers. After graduating with a degree in theatre, Mrs. Flowers taught English, public speaking and directed plays in Newport News and Charlottesville high schools while continuing to work as a stringer for the Times-Dispatch. She received her graduate degree in theatre at the University of Virginia, where she was the only female in her classes. When she and her husband moved back to Richmond, she taught theatre at Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond before accepting the job at St. Christopher’s. At the time there were no archives and few alumni publications. The school was looking for someone to produce a regular alumni periodical. When she first arrived, she played many roles, from editor of school magazines to photographer and substitute English teacher. Her passion manifests itself in her creation of the “Saints in the News” bulletin board in Chamberlayne Hall, where she posts articles about the activities and accomplishments of alumni, students and faculty. Her office shows the telltale signs of a self-proclaimed newspaper nut: overflowing boxes of newspapers and clippings posted and strewn about. Oddities include
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Dr. Chamberlayne’s spectacles, leather football helmets, awards, photographs, medals and more. The rooms exist in a state of apparent chaos, but Mrs. Flowers knows exactly where to find things. Shifting piles to uncover hidden curiosities, she paints a picture of what the school was like in the past. Her domain also includes the collection of all issues of The Pine Needle, one of the oldest continual school newspapers in the state. The records are surprisingly complete, lacking only about five issues. Locked away in a fireproof safe is the first edition. Dated March 6, 1916, it is nothing more than illegible handwritten text on a few sheets of lined paper. Mrs. Flowers not only loves the past of St. Christopher’s, but revels in the present. “I love the life of working at a school,” said Mrs. Flowers. “There’s always something going on.” She thrives on learning and the meticulous research that goes into publications. She was a pivotal contributor to the centennial book, “St. Christopher’s School: Scholars and Gentlemen.” To others the most striking aspect of her personality is her thoroughness and thoughtfulness. Upper School Chaplain Melissa Hollerith calls her the “embodiment of the living history of the school.” She recounts how Mrs. Flowers “goes above and beyond” to find pictures of and information about alumni and former faculty. When long-time faculty member Jack Bolling passed away, Mrs. Flowers scoured the archives for days to unearth photos that no one knew existed. Mrs. Flowers has relocated to the Raleigh/ Durham area to be closer to family.
Vicki Lynn remembered for loyalty and commitment Former Development Director Delores Smith recruited her former colleague and friend Vicki Lynn to join her in St. Christopher’s development office in 1987. Both retired last year. Here’s an excerpt from Mrs. Smith’s tribute given at her long-time colleague’s retirement celebration last May. “Excellence has always been Vicki’s objective. She strives for it in her every action. She sets the bar high, and she simply can’t give less than her all. This was true when I met her in the early ’70s in the insurance business, and it continues to this day. You can see it in the way she has raised her boys, the way she runs her household, even in the way she entertains guests. You can see it in the way she tackled golf and sewing, the way she cares for her grandchildren. You can see it in the way she has led her temple in outreach programs. And, of course, you can see it in the way she has served St. Christopher’s School. No one is perfect, not even Vicki, but if she falls short of her own goal, it eats at her. At St. Christopher’s, she has worked weekends, stayed past midnight in the office and then arrived early the next morning doing whatever it takes to have her volunteers, her headmaster and me well prepared for whatever’s next. Because she is intuitive and thorough, she goes well beyond what’s asked of her. She anticipates as well as executes. This commitment to excellence at St. Christopher’s is not without some personal cost. Ask her mother or husband Miles or her children. St. Christopher’s and our fundraising program have benefited from her attention to detail, her drive to settle for nothing less than the best. “Vicki is steadfastly loyal. By that I mean she has a fierce allegiance to the people and things that are important to her. But she is not naively loyal. Her loyalty must be earned. To make things better, she will speak truth to power, and she will defend what matters and defend it everywhere — at work, at play, on the golf course, in the grocery store — whenever what she holds valuable is weakened or challenged. Because she is so warm and caring, her loyalty extends a long way, but St. Christopher’s and its mission and its people are lucky to be paramount in that list.
“St. Christopher’s is indeed fortunate to have Vicki’s strong talents working on its behalf for three decades. “But perhaps her secret weapon, and what makes working with her a delight, is her quick and sometimes wicked sense of humor. It’s a rare and valuable gift. In the face of chaos, near disaster, epic irritability or just profound fatigue, Vicki’s dry wit can delight and totally change the perspective. Unfortunately, I cannot — meaning I will not — quote Vicki’s most soul-saving comments. But believe me, her ability to utter the perfect tension-relieving comment at just the right moment is a priceless asset. “ … And now I look forward to sharing a long retirement with you. I look forward to sharing the growth and progress of our families! A toast: Sister, here’s to our next adventure!”
Brian Lynn ‘98, Vicki Lynn, Adam Lynn ‘01, Miles Lynn
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NEW FACULTY & STAFF Administration / Staff Director of Development Jane Garnet Brown comes to St. Christopher’s from the MCV Foundation, where she was director of gift planning. She formerly worked in development for the Nightingale-Bamford School in New York, Columbia University and Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia. Mrs. Brown earned an undergraduate degree in history at Davidson College and master’s degrees from Columbia University (fundraising management) and Campbell University (trust and wealth management). Ed Cowell, director of community and inclusion, served as headmaster at Salisbury School in Maryland and before that as a dean of students, chief diversity officer and director of multicultural affairs at Salisbury University, Bucknell University and the College of William & Mary, respectively. Mr. Cowell earned his undergraduate degree in psychology from Virginia Wesleyan College and a master’s of education administration degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. He completed additional graduate work at William & Mary. Major Gifts Officer Stephen Davenport ’08 joins StC from St. Margaret’s School, where he most recently served as director of development, nearly doubling its annual fund during his tenure. After graduating from St. Christopher’s, Mr. Davenport earned a B.A. in English literature from Clemson University. After graduating from Sewanee, The University of the South, Katherine Flohr worked as a relationship service manager for Brown Brothers Harriman and a financial advisor for BB&T Scott & Stringfellow. She now serves as StC assistant director for campaigns and special projects.
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Nikki Jones is the Lower School Admissions and Financial Aid administrative assistant. She previously worked as head staff manager and lead financial manager at Precision Body Works, an auto body repair shop. Mrs. Jones graduated from Longwood University with a B.S. in special education and served as a special education teacher in Hanover County Public Schools. Digital Media Manager George Knowles launched his career in Washington, D.C., working for the American Red Cross and the American Youth Policy Forum. From there, he joined Virginia Commonwealth University’s public relations team and most recently served as digital strategist and copywriter for Abigail Spanberger’s congressional campaign. Mr. Knowles holds a B.A. in anthropology from the University of New Mexico and a master’s in public affairs and interactive journalism from American University. Maryn Massell, StC business manager and director of accounting, started her career as an audit manager for KPMG. This James Madison University graduate also worked in accounting for Markel Corporation, and most recently for Collegiate School. Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs and Annual Giving Jennifer Scallon formerly developed and managed fundraising, prospecting and stewardship events for the Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia. She also worked in event planning for the Montclair Art Museum in New Jersey and at CMI Event Planning in New York. Mrs. Scallon received a B.S. in mass communications/media studies from James Madison University. Middle/Upper School Nurse Megan Hollomon received a B.S. in nursing from James Madison University. This Richmond native formerly worked for the University of Virginia Student Health and the Miller School in Albemarle, Virginia.
Middle School Kirsten Boyd is teaching one section of eighth grade French. She spent a year in France at the Université Paris-Sorbonne while a student at Sweet Briar College and has spent significant time traveling in France. In a prior role with Early and Co. French Antiques, Mrs. Boyd traveled to France often to collect antiques and art to import and sell in the United States.
Upper School History Teacher Chad Chafee is an upstate New York native who graduated from Siena College with a B.A. in history education and from the State University of New York at Albany with an M.S. in general education studies. Mr. Chafee taught social studies and coached football and baseball at Cosby High School in Chesterfield for the past 10 years. Megan Garrity filled in for Upper School Science Teacher Dan Fisher’s paternity leave this fall and is also teaching math. The James Madison University graduate has a B.S. in integrated science and technology and previously taught at Worcester Preparatory School in Berlin, Maryland. Upper School Spanish teacher Iñaki Gonzalo San Millán is an alumnus of Askartza Claret School and the Universidad Deusto, both in his native Bilbao area of northern Spain. After receiving a B.A. in Spanish philology, Profe Iñaki worked his way across the United States earning an M.A. in Spanish from the University of Oregon and in Spanish literature from Washington University in St. Louis. As a graduate student, he taught at those same schools, in addition to the University of Mary Washington, Bradley University and Middlebury College.
Upper School English Teacher Kiernan Michau is a Maryland native who earned a B.A. in comparative literature from Harvard University and an M.S. in education from Northwestern University. For the past two years, she taught English at Lake View High School in Chicago. Christine Rotter is working with all ninth graders as part of first semester Freshman Seminar. She earned a B.A. in psychology and special education from Purdue University. Mrs. Rotter has taught in the Henrico County Public Schools system as well as Conestoga High in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.
Extended Day Julia Hartley is a Middle School Extended Day teacher and study hall proctor. She spent the past two years in North Carolina and Ohio as a sixth grade English language arts and social studies teacher. Ms. Hartley graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.S. in human development and family science and received a post-baccalaureate teaching license from Notre Dame College. Laura Smith is co-teaching in kindergarten. At Randolph-Macon College, she studied English, classical studies and women’s studies and worked as a writing tutor. Last summer, she worked at StC’s Summer Experience Day Camp. Stephanie Sullivan, who is co-teaching JK and fourth grade, graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a B.A. in English and from Jacksonville University with an M.A.T. in English education. She has worked in the education field with all ages, preschool through adult, and spent the last two years as a substitute teacher for Extended Day.
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The Ongoing Influence of Dick Kemper Former Athletic Director Dick Kemper was inducted into the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Hall of Fame at its national conference in December 2019. Coach K retired from St. Christopher’s in 2006 after 42 years of service as physical education teacher, coach, camp director, mentor, administrator and athletic director. He now serves as the executive director of the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association. Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Paul Woody described him as exemplifying the best qualities of his profession. He wrote in a Dec. 17 story: “Kemper, 79, was a coach, athletics director, role model, equipment guru, grass-cutter, scoreboard-clock operator, reader to children in the Lower School at St. Chris and someone who would do anything at anytime for the benefit of the school, the athletes, the students, the faculty and staff.” In the article, Mr. Kemper said he had a long list of mentors along the way and that he was accepting the Hall of Fame induction in their honor. “That’s typical Kemper,” Woody wrote. “His first instinct is always to deflect credit and attention from himself and onto someone else.”
“Coach Kemper embodies what it means to be an educator, and all St. Christopher’s students, not just the athletes, knew that Coach Kemper cared for them and was cheering for them in their various pursuits. There are so many things I admire about Coach, especially his ability to always see the positive in every situation and the good in every boy. He’s on my Mount Rushmore of great people and great Saints.” Hamill Jones ’00 Director of admissions and financial aid
“I broke my thumb during football season, and Coach Kemper made me jog laps on the track to stay in shape. At first, I hated it, but over time I fell in love with running. By the time I was a senior, I had whittled myself down to a thinclad. Coach Kemper pulled me aside during two-a-days and told me I always had a spot on the team, but I would make a bigger impact if I joined the cross country team. It was the best advice I ever received. Plus, he was always at the finish line waiting to shake my hand.” Gene Bruner ‘78 Middle School teacher 56 | StC Magazine
The Magazine of St. Christopher's School