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FALL 2015/WINTER 2016

The Magazine of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

LEARNING OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM

STUDENT LIFE AT SPA >> INSIDE: 2014-15 ANNUAL REPORT


Scott Streble

>> LETTER FROM THE HEAD

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STUDENT LIFE

We have spent the past three months engaged in the enviable task of beginning to live and learn in the marvelous new Huss Center for the Performing Arts. From the moment school opens in the morning, the Huss Center is bustling with life. Students, staff, and visitors pass through the Schilling Family Courtyard, flow through the glass doors into the Redleaf Arts Commons and into the Upper and Middle schools. Our Upper School students have made the Commons a favorite place to socialize and study, and their talk and laughter is a constant throughout the day. The auditorium and Driscoll Family Commons are packed with classes, rehearsals, and events often well into the evening hours. The Huss Center is an elegant and alluring building and like all great architecture it inspires and challenges. For performers and speakers, students and faculty alike, the Huss Center is an implicit and explicit invitation to excel, to be the very best you can possibly be. We opened the performing arts center in late August just as students returned to school and, after only three months, the Huss Center has became a fundamental anchor in our culture and the daily life of the school. In early September, I was chatting with Jack Romans ’16, a senior and exceptionally talented actor and singer. Jack has been in almost every SPA production since his Middle School years, and he has also performed with professional Twin Cities theatrical companies, including the Children’s Theatre and Steppingstone Theatre. Jack loves performing anywhere, but he says that being on the Huss Center’s stage is different. “I’ve been on lots of stages, but the minute I stepped on the Huss Center stage, I felt like I was home,” Jack told me. He is eager to rehearse and perform on his “home” stage and he is determined to take full advantage of the Huss Center’s acoustics and technical wizardry. Mastering the acoustical subtleties will take time and plenty of practice and Jack relishes the opportunity.

Jack has found his home—his passion—on the Huss Center stage and in the performing arts, but that feeling of being at home comes in many different forms for our students: on the athletic field, at the debate podium, or as a member of a club or organization. This dynamic is at the heart of our student life programming, which you’ll read more about in this issue of SPA Magazine. The Huss Center is a powerful symbol of the importance of life outside the classroom, and in these first months our students have already recognized how this building and the opportunities and challenges it presents will shape their experiences in extraordinary ways. For me, the Huss Center is also a potent embodiment of our mission: to shape the minds and hearts of the citizens and leaders of tomorrow. The pursuit of academic excellence is our first priority, but if we simply prized academic achievement and paid scant attention to who our students are outside the classroom, to their notions of citizenship or compassion or community, we would be failing to fulfill that mission. This is why extracurricular activities are critical to the SPA experience, although I hesitate to use the term “extracurricular” to describe our robust offerings in athletics, theater and music, or the dozens of clubs and organizations available to our students, because these activities are not “extras.” They are different configurations of the learning community. When you are on a team, or in a play or in a club, you are in a classroom of sorts—you are learning what it is to collaborate, to be both a leader and a follower, and the sublime satisfaction that comes from working and striving with your friends and classmates to achieve a common goal. I hope this might inspire you to visit school and see our student life program in action during an athletic contest, musical performance, or theatrical production.

Bryn S. Roberts, Head of School

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2015-2016 BOARD OF TRUSTEES OFFICERS Charlotte Shepard Johnson ’64, President

Contents

The Magazine of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

Fall 2015/Winter 2016

Mrunalini Parvataneni, Secretary Scot W. Malloy, Treasurer MEMBERS Mark W. Addicks William M. Beadie ’58 Litton E.S. Field, Jr. ’75 Elizabeth Driscoll Hlavka Anne Larsen Hooley Frederick C. Kaemmer ’88 David W. Kansas ’85 Allan Klein ’64 David Kristal Bruce A. Lilly ’70 Paul S. Moe Tim O’Brien ’77 Ann Ruhr Pifer ’83 Gail A. Ward Timothy A. Welsh Shannon McNeely Whitaker ’78 Philip W. White ’81 The Honorable Wilhelmina M. Wright

Features 1 Letter from the Head 10 Homecoming 2015

Every Spartan’s favorite day, in photos.

2014-2015 ANNUAL REPORT

16 Celebrating the Class of 2015

Let’s be friends. Join us at facebook.com.

Commencement and college choices for the Class of 2015.

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On the cover

Learning Outside the Classroom: Student Life at SPA SPA’s robust program of extracurricular activities is a critical piece of the school’s mission. Read more about learning outside the classroom at SPA.

28 Student Life Meets Real Life: Profiles

Merritt Clapp-Smith ’87, Barry Wark ’98, and Kathryn Schmechel ’17 reflect on student life at SPA.

2014-2015 Annual Report

Departments 4 Through the Doors 12 Spartan Sports

Follow us on twitter.com/ StPaulAcademySS

34 Alumni/ae News 36 Philanthropy 39 Class Notes 46 In Memoriam

See what we are doing at youtube.com/user/ StPaulAcademy

On the cover: the 2015-16 boys’ varsity hockey team celebrates a goal. Inset, top to bottom: Jane Jackson ’16, co-president of the Upper School Art Club, works on a piece in the Randolph Campus art studio; Hayden Graff ’21 and isabella Tunney ’22 in the Middle School fall play, Dizzy Fantastic and Her Flying Bicycle; a young chess whiz makes a move in the Lower School chess club. Head of School >> Bryn S. Roberts

St. Paul Academy and Summit School 1712 Randolph Avenue St. Paul, MN 55105 651-698-2451 info@spa.edu www.spa.edu

Editor >> Ami Berger Contributing Writers >> Laura Billings Coleman, Alex Loveland Principal Photographer >> Scott Streble Contributing Photographers >> Ami Berger, Katie Braman ’16, Jayme Halbritter, Jim Harrison, Greg Helgeson, Alex Loveland, Tom Lundholm, Bobak Razavi, John Severson Design and Layout >> Kimberlea Weeks, Sexton Printing

SPA Magazine is published twice annually by St. Paul Academy and Summit School for alumni/ae, parents, and friends of the school. We welcome your comments and thoughts. Please contact us at spamag@spa.edu with suggestions for stories, news, and photos, or write us at SPA Magazine, 1712 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul, MN, 55105.

Check out our photo depot at stpaulacademy. smugmug.com

Read SPA Magazine online at spa.edu/ Alumni/ae > Learn > SPA Magazine


>> THROUGH THE DOORS

HUSS CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS OPENS

Head of School Bryn S. Roberts addresses the Upper School during Opening Assembly in the Huss Center on

Ami Berger

September 1, 2015.

After more than a year of construction, the Huss Center for the Performing Arts opened to the public on September 1, 2015, the first day of classes for the school’s Middle and Upper Schools. “We could not be more pleased with this wonderful new facility,” says Head of School Bryn Roberts. “We wanted to create a state-of-the-art, first-rate performance space for our students,” Roberts says, “and I believe the Huss Center will raise our students’ sights, fortify their ambitions, and exceed their expectations.” The Huss Center encompasses almost 35,000 square feet on the west side of SPA’s Randolph Campus. The centerpiece of the facility is the 650-seat auditorium, which features a fully digitized light and sound system, an orchestra pit, and a 50-foot fly space behind the stage for raising and lowering scenery. Additional spaces include the Driscoll Family Commons, a multipurpose space that can seat 200 and will be used for smaller performances, rehearsals, classes, and school gatherings; the Redleaf Arts Commons, the two-story entry and lobby space that also serves as a new entrance to the Upper School; the Schilling Family Plaza, a landscaped outdoor space directly to the west of the building that features bench seating and plants native to Minnesota; the Kunin Family Theatrical Design Studio for building and storing sets; and the Jackson Ward Smith dressing room and makeup space for performers.

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The Huss Center will be used primarily for SPA’s robust theater and music programs, including six theatrical productions per year—three in the Middle School and three in the Upper School—and five major concerts featuring Middle and Upper School musicians in orchestra, band, and choirs. The space will also be used for classes, assemblies, the school’s signature Senior Speech program, guest speakers and performers, and school events. The school hosted a Grand Opening Performance in the Huss Center on October 10, 2015, which featured performances from Lower, Middle, and Upper School students [see pages 50-51 for photos from the Grand Opening Performance—Ed.] Eric Severson, who directs SPA’s theatrical productions and teaches English in the Upper School, calls the new facility “stunning”: “With the opening of the Huss Center, the doors have now been opened to every possibility we could think of for our performing arts program,” says Severson, who has taught and directed theater at SPA for 15 years. “When I walk through the building, I see endless opportunities for our productions, our staging, and our curriculum. I am so excited to take this first year to explore and play,” he says, “and to figure out how to best use the space to showcase the enormous talent of our students.”


SPA WELCOMES SEVEN NEW FACULTY MEMBERS IN FALL 2015 Cari Jo Anderson is an Upper School physical education teacher. She holds B.A. degrees in health education and physical education from Bethel University. Prior to joining SPA, Anderson spent three years teaching health and physical education at St. Anthony Middle School where she also coached volleyball and track at the middle school and high school levels. Mary Gallagher team-teaches in Grades 1/2 in the Lower School. She spent ten years as a teacher at international schools in Bulgaria, South Korea, Malaysia, and Austria. In the Twin Cities, Mary taught at Hamline University, Nova Classical Academy, and Island Lake Elementary School. Gallagher earned a B.A. from St. Olaf College in English and Women’s Studies and an M.Ed. in Teaching from the University of Minnesota John Goncalves team-teaches in Grades 3/4 in the Lower School. He is a graduate of the Wheeler School, an independent school in Providence, Rhode Island, and also taught Grade 3 at Wheeler. He holds a B.A. in Education Studies & Human Development from Brown University and an M.A. in Elementary Teaching, also from Brown.

Hatti Hembre team-teaches in Grades 3/4 in the Lower School. She attended Macalester College as an undergraduate, studying biology and environmental studies. After working in the environmental field for several years, she earned a Masters of Education at the University of Minnesota. She has taught Grades 2-5 in Hopkins and in the Eagan, Apple Valley, Rosemount school district. Loreen Lee team-teaches in Grade 5 in the Lower School. Lee earned her B.A. in Liberal Studies from Sarah Lawrence College. She participated in the Aspire Teacher Residency to earn her teaching license, and holds a M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of the Pacific. Jay Schutte is the Middle School Athletic Director and teaches Middle School physical education. Prior to joining SPA, he was the athletic director and elementary dean of students at Community of Peace Academy in St. Paul. He holds a B.A. in K-12 Physical Education from Concordia University in St. Paul, and a M.A. in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University in Irvine, CA. Jenny Volden is a Middle School math teacher. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Iowa State University, and holds a master’s degree in Educational Technology from MidAmerica Nazarene University. Prior to teaching at SPA, Volden taught middle school math at schools in Kansas and Iowa.

SUMMER RESEARCH TRIP TO COSTA RICA In August 2015, a group of 16 Upper School students traveled to Costa Rica for a ten-day research study-abroad experience led by Upper School science faculty Ned Heckman and Beth Seibel-Hunt. Working with Heckman and Seibel-Hunt, in addition to faculty from the University of Wisconsin Madison, Drexel University, and the University of Costa Rica, students explored rainforest and marine ecology through independent research projects primarily focused on native Atta Leaf Cutter ants. Students also participated in community service projects through day trips and ecotourism during their stay in Costa Rica.

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>> THROUGH THE DOORS

NEW PLAYGROUND DEBUTS AT LOWER SCHOOL Ami Berger

The process of rebuilding the playground began in 2014, with Lower School Principal Holly Fidler leading the initiative. Throughout the year, Fidler worked with students, parents, faculty, staff, and the Goodrich facilities team to identify priorities and possibilities for a new playground to replace the aging structure currently in place. To involve students in the process, the Lower School offered a playground “Mini” course in which students engaged in brainstorming and discussion with people in the community about their dreams for the new playground. Fidler then met with construction companies, and solicited feedback from the Lower School community on the various designs during the annual Lower School Bazaar in May 2015.

Kindergartners enjoy recess on the new Goodrich playground.

Brand-new Goodrich Campus playground greeted Lower Schoolers at the beginning of the 2015-16 school year. The new playground features multiple play structures, slides, tunnels, rope ladders, a seated spinning wheel, and plenty of room for open play.

Fidler notes that the new playground “increases the quality of play, is accessible for all children, and encourages students to be collaborative.” The theme of the new playground is “the natural environment and urban green space,” the hallmarks of which can be seen in the playground’s natural colors, treehouse design, and structures resembling logs, rock faces, and lily pads. The Lower School also made the conscious effort to incorporate the historic beauty of the Goodrich campus, planning around the school’s mature trees and plant life.

RUBICON COMPETES FOR HIGHEST HONOR IN STUDENT JOURNALISM For the first time in the SPA student news organization’s history, The Rubicon has been named a Pacemaker Finalist in the “Tabloid: 16 or Fewer Pages” category. SPA is the only Minnesota school to be named a finalist in this category and one of only four Minnesota schools to achieve Pacemaker Finalist status. The Pacemaker awards are sponsored by the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) and are the highest honor for student newspapers; they are unofficially known as the “Pulitzer Prize of student journalism.” NSPA judges select Pacemakers based on coverage and content, quality of writing and reporting, leadership on the opinion page, evidence of in-depth reporting, design, photography, art, and graphics.

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“I am so thrilled for the staff,” says Kathryn Campbell, Upper School teacher and Rubicon advisor. “Being named a Pacemaker finalist has been a goal for a long time, and to achieve it is a wonderful accomplishment.” Boraan Abdulkarim ’16, who is this year’s Rubicon Editor-in-Chief, says that The Rubicon staff has always looked up to Pacemaker publications and used previous award winners as inspiration. “To be finalists for such a high recognition is an honor.” Abdulkarim says, “and the prospect of being a Pacemaker publication [ourselves] is exciting, to say the least.”


Alex Loveland

KATHRYN CAMPBELL NAMED JOURNALISM EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR

On Thursday, May 21, 2015, the Minnesota High School Press Association (MHSPA) presented the 2015 Journalism Educator of the Year award to Kathryn Campbell, Upper School English teacher and advisor of The Rubicon, pictured above, SPA’s award-winning student newspaper. Campbell was presented with the award during a surprise visit by representatives from the MHSPA to her Rubicon classroom. At the recognition, she cited her students as her inspiration. “My staff constantly surprises me with their inventiveness and creativity,” she said. Selection criteria for the Educator of the Year award include teaching/advising preparation, experience and ability; relationships with students and others; contributions to the profession; promoting appreciation for journalism and as a career; and support for the First Amendment.

Campbell, who has taught English and advised The Rubicon since 2007, was nominated for the award by SPA colleagues and students. Campbell’s English department colleague Tom Fones praised her talents in both teaching and journalism. “She facilitates the voices of so many diverse students and mentors these voices to serve many audiences, both within and outside the school,” Fones wrote in his nomination. “Kathryn has taken the publication to extraordinary heights, while continuing to serve the needs and the interests of the student body.” In her nomination letter, Rubicon staff member Boraan Abdulkarim ’16 wrote, “She never talks down to us and isn’t afraid to laugh. She’s wordlessly taught us how to be efficient, organized, articulate, and passionate.”

WORLD SAVVY TAKES FIRST PLACE AT STATE SPA’s 2014-15 World Savvy team won first place in the Minnesota State Senior Level World Savvy competition on the topic of “Population and Progress” at the University of Minnesota in the spring of 2015. The World Savvy program is focused on developing young people who are prepared to engage, succeed, and meet the challenges of 21st century citizenship. In the competitive setting, students work together to solve global issues. Over 375,000 youth and 2,200 teachers have participated in the World Savvy program since its inception in 2002.

The 2014-15 team researched the social, political and economic implications of AIDS and Ebola and wrote a script covering their research, which they performed in the format of a newscast. According to coach and Upper School teacher Sushmita Hodges, the team “demonstrated collaboration at its best and worked tirelessly to produce an outstanding summary of how to deal with disease pandemics.” The 2015 team included Sarah Wheaton ’17, Diane Huang ’17, Kathryn Schmechel ’17, Sophie Jaro ’17, Emma Truman ’18, Emilia-Topp Johnson ’18, and Milo Wittenberg ’16.

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>> THROUGH THE DOORS

John Severson

MUSICAL EARNS 16 AWARDS FROM HENNEPIN THEATRE TRUST

Sonja Mischke ’15 (far left) and Jack Romans ’16 (center) both earned Outstanding Performance awards from the Hennepin Theatre Trust SpotLight Awards.

Student performers were recognized for their work in SPA’s Upper School spring musical, Urinetown, by the Hennepin Theatre Trust’s 2015 SpotLight program. SpotLight is the only program of its kind in Minnesota; it supports and honors high school musical theater students and schools that produce musicals. Each year, SpotLight representatives attend productions around the state and honor the schools with prestigious SpotLight awards. The Urinetown cast and crew earned 16 SpotLight awards, including six ensemble awards (Honorable Mention Overall Production; Honorable Mention Overall Performance; Honorable Mention Overall Performance by a Chorus; Honorable Mention Performance in Dance by a Chorus; Honorable Mention Vocal Performance by a Chorus; and Honorable Mention Acting Performance by a Chorus), and ten awards for individual performers. Jack Romans ’16 was named Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role for his performance as Bobby Strong; and Sonja Mischke ’15 was named Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role for her performance as Penelope Pennywise. Eight students also earned Honorable Mentions for their performances: Evan Laduc ’15 (Office Lockstock); Maddie Flom-Staab ’15 (Hope Cladwell); Halsey Moe ’15 (Cladwell B. Cladwell); Sophia Harrison ’15 (Little Sally); Dozie Nwaneri ’15 (Hot Blades); Taylor Rients ’16 (Little Becky Two Shoes); Justin Zanaska ’16 (Mr. McQueen); and Riley Wheaton ’16 (Officer Barrel).

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DEBATE GOES TO CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND IN INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION In May 2015, four members of the SPA Upper School debate team traveled to New York City to compete in the Bickel & Brewer/ New York University International Public Policy Forum (IPPF) debate championships. The SPA team was one of only eight teams out of the 243 that originally entered the competition to be selected for the championship round to debate the topic: “Resolved: Mass surveillance is not a justified method of governmental intelligence gathering.” The team of Shaan Bijwadia ’15, Jordan Hughes ’15, Afsar Sandozi ’15, and Thomas Toghramadjian ’15 advanced through the quarterfinal and semi-final rounds to compete against St. Mark’s, a Texas independent school, in the championship round. A very strong St. Mark’s team just outscored SPA, 3-2, to claim the title. According to debate coach Tom Fones, the second-place finish includes much to be proud of for the team. “This was an absolutely incredible experience,” says Fones. “To finish second in a worldwide tournament involving 243 teams from 32 U.S. states and 21 countries is a tribute to the scholarship and teamwork shown by Afsar, Jordan, Shaan and Tommy. [Assistant coach] Heather Fairbanks and I were thrilled with and for them.” The 2014-15 competition began in October, as teams from around the country and globe submitted qualifying round essays on the IPPF topic. The team’s first accomplishment came when SPA was the only Minnesota team to advance to the “Top 32” round. After claiming this title, the team made SPA debate team history, earning a spot in the “Sweet 16.” Finally, the team advanced to New York City by qualifying as one of the “Elite 8,” emerging from a field that began with hundreds of teams representing more than 1,000 debaters.


Ami Berger

SENIORS NAMED NATIONAL MERIT SEMIFINALISTS Seven members of SPA’s senior class were named National Merit Semifinalists in September 2015. The Semifinalists are (pictured, left to right) George Stiffman, Milo Wittenberg, Anna Biggs, Caroline Montague, Netta Kaplan, Michele Heilig, and Tessa Rauch. The seven Semifinalists represent 7% of this year’s senior class; nationally, less than 1% of high school seniors are awarded Semifinalist recognition. SPA consistently ranks among the top high schools in Minnesota for percent of class recognized in the National Merit competition.

The seven National Merit Semifinalists in the Class of 2016.

In addition to the seven Semifinalists, nine additional seniors earned National Merit Commended honors, which recognize students in the top five percent of the more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2016 competition. Those seniors are Boraan Abdulkarim, Elizabeth Bukingolts, William Donaldson, Christine Lam, Thomas Monserud, Jack Romans, Maya Smith, Joel Tibbetts, and Margaret Vlietstra.

JOIN US! JANUARY 2016 ADMISSION EVENTS Lower School (K-5) Open House 1150 Goodrich Avenue, St. Paul Thursday, January 21, 2016 9:00-11:00 a.m.

Middle/Upper School (6-12) Open House 1712 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul Thursday, January 14, 2016 6:30-8:30 p.m.

BUSING AVAILABLE FROM NORTH OAKS, WOODBURY, EDINA AND MINNEAPOLIS For more information visit www.spa.edu/Admission or call 651-698-2451.

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2015 This year’s Homecoming was a blend of tradition and

change. Long-time favorites like Spirit Days, the ping-pong competition, Friday’s Blue and Gold Day, and the Storming of the Field were highlights of the week. Students also enjoyed a few new traditions: holding the annual lip-sync in the Huss Center; a doughnut-eating contest during Pep Fest; and the first-ever soccer game to be featured on Homecoming Friday: the girls’ varsity soccer match against Hill Murray.

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Photos by Scott Streble

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>> SPARTAN SPORTS

Courtesy SPA Athletics

Spring 2015 Season Wrap-Up

The 4 X 800 team set a new school record at the State meet.

GIRLS’ TRACK It was a championship season for the girls’ track team. Mary Naas ’15 took first place in the IMAC 1600 race, followed by a first

place finish at the Section meet and finally by a third place finish at the State meet. Naas was also a member of the 4 X 800 team (pictured left; Naas at far right) which set a new school record at the State meet with a fourth place finishing time of 9:45:30; the team also included (pictured left to right) Emma Hills ’18, Greta Sirek ’18, and Lexi Hilton ’16. Naas was named All Conference and All State; Sirek, Hilton, and Hills were named All Conference Honorable Mention along with Lauren Hansen ’17 and Sorcha Ashe ’18.

BOYS’ TRACK The team was led by Mike Destache ’15, who finished third in the 1600 and second in the 3200 at the IMAC conference meet. The 4 X 200 relay team of Destache, Peter Baker ’16, Matt Jaeger ’17, and Dalante Peyton ’17 took second place at the Conference meet and third at Sections. Mike Destache earned All Conference honors and Dalante Peyton and Peter Baker were All Conference Honorable Mention.

GIRLS’ LACROSSE The girls’ lacrosse team, a cooperative with Visitation, showed tremendous growth this season, finishing with a 10-3 record. The team finished in third place in the IMAC just behind powerhouse teams Blake and Breck. All Conference honors went to Ella Matticks ’17, and All Conference Honorable Mention honors went

Ami Berger

DAWN WICKSTRUM AND JAY SCHUTTE TAKE ON LEADERSHIP ROLES IN DEPARTMENT OF ATHLETICS SPA’s Department of Athletics welcomed two new staff members in leadership roles in the fall of 2015. Dawn Wickstrum is the school’s new Director of Athletics, having joined the school in July after a national search to replace Peter Sawkins. Wickstrum comes to SPA from the Francis W. Parker School, an independent school in Chicago, where she led the athletic program for four years. Prior to her tenure at Parker, she was the Lower School Physical Education Coordinator at Lake Forest Country Day School. Her work in K-12 independent schools was preceded by a career in college athletics, as an Assistant Athletic Director at Defiance College, Assistant to the Athletic Director at Lake Forest College, and Assistant Athletic Director for Women and Minorities at Earlham College. “Dawn comes to SPA with a wealth of experience in athletic administration combined with a nuanced understanding of independent schools,” says Head of School Bryn S. Roberts. Wickstrum is also an experienced coach, having coached both basketball and softball at the college level. She was also an exceptional two-sport collegiate athlete in softball and basketball. Wickstrum holds a B.A. from Lakeland College in Wisconsin and an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. Joining Wickstrum in the Department of Athletics is Jay Schutte, who joined SPA in August 2015 to fill the new role of Middle School Athletic Director. Schutte, who also teaches Middle School physical education, was the Athletic Director and elementary

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Dean of Students at Community of Peace Academy in St. Paul prior to joining SPA. He has taught physical education in schools in Minnesota and Nevada and is a football, basketball, and baseball coach. He holds a B.A. in K-12 Physical Education from Concordia University in St. Paul, and a M.A. in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University in Irvine, CA. “With the growing participation numbers in Middle School athletics, it became clear that we needed someone to really focus on the experience of our athletes,” says Middle School Principal Jill Romans of Schutte’s new role. Schutte works closely with students and with the Middle School leadership team to make sure athletics “always has a voice at the table,” Romans says. “Community is a critical piece of the Middle School academic experience, and we wanted to ensure that the same community expectations and norms that we emphasize in the classroom are also present in the athletic program,” says Romans. “Jay’s work has provided that important bridge between the students’ academic lives and their athletic lives.”


SPARTAN FACES IN THE CROWD

BOYS’ LACROSSE Spring of 2015 was the debut season for the boys’ lacrosse team, which included players from SPA, Minnehaha Academy, St. Croix Lutheran, DeLaSalle, St. Agnes, and Concordia Academy. The team finished the season in fourth place in the competitive IMAC conference, with a season record of 2-6. Junior David Nicholson ’16 earned All Conference Honorable Mention honors.

BOYS’ TENNIS

BOYS’ GOLF The boys’ golf team finished in second place in the Independent Metro Athletic Conference and was the runner-up in Section 4AA. Drew O’Hern ’17 led the team with a scoring average of 37.16, qualifying him for the State tournament and earning All Conference honors. Colin O’Hern ’17 and Tony Morice ’17 were named All Conference Honorable Mention.

Senior Michael O’Shea was a coach’s dream on the new SMB Wolfpack football team this fall. Michael alternated between running back, quarterback, and wide receiver; he ended the season as the top running back for the SMB team and was a selection to the 2015 All District Team. His athleticism extends to baseball, where he plays first base, outfield, and pitches for the Spartans. He will serve as co-captain in the spring of 2016. ALEXANDRIA VON TERSCH POHRER ’20: TENNIS

SOFTBALL The softball team finished in fifth place in IMAC conference play with a 2-17 record. The Most Valuable Player was Kathleen Bishop ’20, and Vanessa Miller ’16 earned the team’s Chalk Line Award. Miller was also named All Conference, along with Ella Hommeyer ’16.

Michael O’Shea ’16 at bat for the Spartans. Colin O’Hern ’17 on the tee for the golf team.

MICHAEL O’SHEA ’16: BASEBALL AND FOOTBALL

The girls’ golf team ended the season with a 2-3 conference record and finished fourth in the IMAC conference tournament. Annette Vargas ’15 earned All Conference Honorable Mention and missed going to the State meet by only three strokes. This young team is looking to improve their level of play in 2016 with the return of Lily Nestor ’19 and captains Sabrina Brown ’16 and Cait Gibbons ’16.

Courtesy SPA Athletics

The Boys tennis team finished with an overall record of 5 wins and 6 losses and a fourth place finish in the very strong Independent Metro Athletic Conference. All Conference awards were earned by Shaan Bijwadia ’15 and Eliot Tong ’15. All Conference Honorable Mention honors went to George Stiffman ’16 and Matti Solomon ’16.

GIRLS’ GOLF

Katie Braman ’16

to Bridget Hoffmann ’16 and Hayley Hoffmann ’18.

BASEBALL The team improved tremendously throughout the spring. Despite their 5-15 record, the team and ended the season on a high note with two Section victories: one over the #4 seed Highland Park and the othr over #8 seed DeLasalle. Weston Lombard ’17 was selected to the All Conference team. Michael O’Shea ’16 And Emerson Egly ’17 earned All Conference Honorable Mention Honors; Lombard and Egly were also named to the 4AA All Section Team.

The 2015 season was eighth-grader Alexandria von Tersch Pohrer’s second as a starter on the varsity girls’ tennis team, and this year she played her way to number one singles. Alex faced some of the top singles players in the state throughout the season and postseason, finishing in third place in the Section tournament and earning All Conference honors. With four years of high school still ahead of her, Alex is looking forward to a long and successful Spartan tennis career. ELI GOLDMAN ’18: SOCCER Sophomore Eli Goldman was a mainstay on offense on the varsity boys’ soccer team. Eli led both the Spartans and the IMAC in scoring this fall, putting up 33 points with 19 goals and 14 assists over the course of the season and leading the team to a conference title. Eli earned All Conference honors and was selected by the Minnesota Soccer Coaches Association as member of the 2015 All State Second Team, a significant accomplishment for a sophmore. CLAIRE RISTAU ’16: SOCCER AND LACROSSE Senior Claire Ristau battled through early-season injuries and was a driving force on defense for the girls’ varsity soccer team. Coach Ben Bollinger Danielson notes that Claire’s speed and athleticism had a great impact on the team’s offense due to her ability to get up on the attack while still maintaining her defensive position on the field. Claire was named to the All State Second Team, an honor not normally accorded to a defensive player. Claire, who is the daughter of Mike Ristau ’85, is also a standout defender for SPA girls’ lacrosse: the spring of 2016 will be her fourth year starting on the varsity lacrosse team.

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Katie Baman ’16

Courtesy SPA Athletics

Fall 2015 Season Wrap-Up

Emilia Hoppe ’18 on the trail for Spartan cross country. The IMAC Championship boys’ soccer team.

CROSS COUNTRY BOYS’ SOCCER The boys’ soccer team won the IMAC championship, capping off a 10-7-2 season in which they never lost a conference match. Although the team eventually fell to Holy Angels in the postseason, they went further in sectional competition than the previous year and had five All Conference honorees: Eli Goldman ’18, Ethan Maione ’17, Eric Lagos ’19, Quinn Smith ’16, and Sam Parkhurst ’16. Goldman was also named to the All State team by the Minnesota Soccer Coaches Association. Colin O’Hern ’17 and Mathewos Solomon ’16 were named All Conference Honorable Mention.

GIRLS’ SOCCER This season saw excellent growth in a team that played a highly competitive schedule, including many top-ranked teams in Class A and AA. The girls finished with a 6-103 record, placed third in the conference, and were seeded fourth in the section for postseason play. The team had a solid postseason, advancing to the Section Semifinals before losing to Holy Angels. Lauren Hansen ’17 and Hayley Hoffmann ’18 led the team in goals with 11 and 7, respectively; Hoffmann also led the team in assists with 9. Claire Ristau ’16 was named to the All State second team and was also All Conference, along with Hoffmann and Bridget Hoffmann ’16. All Conference Honorable Mentions went to Hansen and Taylor Rients ’16.

FOOTBALL It was a remarkable first year for the SMB Wolfpack football cooperative between SPA, Minnehaha, and Blake. The team had an outstanding debut season, with an perfect 8-0 record that included big wins over IMAC rivals Breck (39-6) and Providence Academy (38-20). The team’s undefeated season led to a number one seed in the section for the postseason. Almost a third of the Wolfpack players were SPA studentathletes, including Michael O’Shea ’16, who was named a member of the All District Team, and captain offensive lineman Kyle Salverda, named All District Honorable Mention. Other standouts from SPA included wide receiver Dalante Peyton ’16, defensive linemen Mark Ademite ’17 and Jake Adams ’18, and offensive lineman Brendan McGlincey ’16. The team’s postseason hopes were dashed by a loss to powerhouse Mahtomedi, but the team is looking forward to building on this first year’s success.

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Both the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams were relatively young, with many first-time runners on the team. Both teams made strong progress throughout the season, with 20 of the 26 runners having their best race in one of the last two meets. Maddy Breton ’20 earned All Conference honors and Lexi Hilton ’16 earned All Conference Honorable Mention; other top runners for the team included Maggie Hlavka ’19, Ethan Less ’19, Jonah Spencer ’19, Max Soll ’20, Sam Hanson ’20, and Larry Chen ’18.

GIRLS’ SWIMMING AND DIVING The SPA team finished in third place in the St. Paul City Conference, led by senior captains Cait Gibbons ’16 and Maya Smith ’16. The team team included many talented young swimmers: ninth-grader Abby Lanz ’19 qualified for the State diving tournament; classmate Lucy Sandeen ’19 qualified for the Section finals in the backstroke; and eighth-grader Victoria Greeman ’20 qualified for the Section finals in the 200 and 500 free. Lanz, Sandeen, and Greeman were all named All Conference along with Mina Mandic ’21 and Nora Turner ’19. Jasmine White ’21 was All Conference Honorable Mention.


SMB WOLFPACK FOOTBALL COOPERATIVE TEAM EXCEEDS ALL EXPECTATIONS FOR INAUGURAL SEASON At the beginning of the 2015 fall athletics season, no one knew quite what to expect from the new SMB Wolfpack football cooperative. The co-op was formed in the spring of 2015 as a partnership between SPA, Minnehaha Academy, and The Blake School; the “SMB” in the name is an acronym of the first letter of all three schools. The team’s name was the easy part. The more difficult task would be bringing together players from three different schools—players who had competed against each other in past years—into a single team. This was a concern for senior Brendan McGlincey, who initially worried about the team’s cohesiveness. “At first it seemed like the biggest challenge would be connecting with the other guys to make a uniform team with solid chemistry,” says McGlincey. Fortunately, those fears turned out to be unfounded: “It was honestly never an issue,” says McGlincey, who says that it wasn’t long before the team “seemed as though we had been playing together for our whole lives.” McGlincey’s classmate and teammate Michael O’Shea ’16 agrees. “We’ve become really close with all the kids from the other schools—kids we had been playing against the past couple of years,” O’Shea says.

Unfortunately, however, the Wolfpack could not quite maintain their perfect record. The undefeated team fell to Mahtomedi in a heartbreaking, last-second field goal that claimed the 10-7 victory for the Zephyrs. Despite the post-season loss, football coach and SPA physical education teacher Bill Ross has nothing but positive things to say about the season and the team. “This 2015 season was a great experience for all of us,” Ross says. “It was a great example of players and coaches working together to build great chemistry from the ground up, and then playing with and for one another all through the season.” Both McGlincey and O’Shea agree that the Wolfpack’s successful inaugural season should be the foundation for years to come. “Moving forward, it’s important for people to remain optimistic about the program,” says McGlincey, who is “confident that [the team] will continue to keep up the winning mentality.”

The Wolfpack debuted with a perfect 8-0 season.

GIRLS’ TENNIS

VOLLEYBALL

Girls’ tennis ended the season with an 8-7 record and success in the postseason. Alexandria von Tersch Pohrer ’20 played first singles throughout the season—a big achievement for a Grade 8 athlete—and finished with an overall record of 9-4, including a 4-1 conference record and a third-place finish in the individual section singles tournament. The first doubles team of team captain Ella Hommeyer ’16 and Numi Katz ’18 finished 10-3 and went 2-3 in conference play. von Tersch Porher, Hommeyer, and Katz earned All Conference honors, and All Conference Honorable Mention went to Diane Huang ’17 and Amodhya Samarakoon ’17.

Volleyball had its strongest season in years, with a 7-3 conference record and several big wins against powerhouse teams Minnehaha, who were previously undefeated in the IMAC, and Visitation, a former conference rival which none of the SPA seniors had ever defeated. Blythe Rients ’19 led the team in kills (263) and also put up 48 blocks, 56 aces, and 78 digs, and Emily Olson ’16 led in assists (552). Both Rients and Olson earned All Conference honors; Chloe Wilkens ’16 and Sophia Rose ’18 earned All Conference Honorable Mention.

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Katie Branan ’16

The team’s dominant regular season earned the Wolfpack the #1 seed in the postseason and a bye in the first round of the Section playoffs. As the team geared up to play the #4 seeded Mahtomedi, the boys knew they would need to prove their worth in 5A football, a step up from the teams they had played during the regular season.

Courtesy SPA Athletics

That chemistry was obvious on the field throughout the season. The Wolfpack’s 60-man roster played their way to a regular season record of 8-0, and the team wasn’t scraping by either: the Wolfpack had several crushing victories, including big wins over IMAC rivals Breck (39-6) and Providence Academy (38-20), and Twin Cities neighbors Como Park (44-7), Minneapolis South (42-6), and St. Paul Johnson (35-0). Fans responded, and even the games played away and at “home” field Blake were packed with SPA students, parents, and community members.

Volleyball had its strongest season in years.

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CLASS OF 2015 COMMENCEMENT PHOTOS BY GREG HELGESON

Commencement Ceremonies for the Class of 2015 opened with the “Graduation March,” performed by Blythe Rients ’19 and Taylor Rients ’16 on violin and Cole Thompson ’17 on piano. Comments from Head of School Bryn Roberts, Board of Trustees President Charlotte Shepard Johnson ’64, and Upper School Principal Chris Hughes followed, along with the remarks of Senior Class Speakers Afsar Sandozi ’15 (top left) and Asad Masood ’15 (middle left), and Commencement speaker Michael J. Davis, Chief Judge of the District of Minnesota (bottom left). After the traditional Processional, the graduates celebrated with family friends at a reception on the North Lawn.

Afsar Sandozi, (above) and Asad Masood (below) were selected by their classmates to be this year’s Senior Class Speakers.

STRIKE A POSE: THE PRESENTATION OF DIPLOMAS Clockwise from top left: Julia Hansen, Abdulsalan Osman, Jeline Claiborne, Luke Bishop, Olivia Carry, and Haris Hussain.

Commencement speaker Judge Michael J. Davis addresses the Class of 2015.

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The 88 members of the Class of 2015 became the school’s newest alumni/ ae at SPA’s 115th Commencement on Sunday, June 7, 2015.

Afsar Sandozi received the 2015 Alumni/ae Bowl, given each year to that member of the senior class deemed to be most outstanding in many areas of school life.

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Eva Perez-Greene received the 2015 Faculty Bowl, awarded to that senior who has shown unusual breadth and depth of intellectual interest and outstanding commitment to academic excellence.

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Sarah Romans (above left) and Tyler Seplak (above right) were the recipients of the 2015 Head of School Bowl, awarded to those members of the senior class who have been recognized by their peers and teachers for significant contributions to the school.

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1 | Sandhya Ramachandran and Aliza Rahman during the Processional 2 | Chidozie Nwaneri polishes his newly-acquired diploma 3 | Jack Labovitz and Shaan Bijwadia at the post-ceremony reception 4 | Halsey Moe (far right) with his family, including sister Avery Moe ’13 (second from right).

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CLASS OF 2015 COLLEGE CHOICES

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Greg Helgeson

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Jayme Halsitter

Dizzy Fantastic and Her Flying Bicycle photos by John Severson

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the number of Upper and Middle School students who participated in The Laramie Project (right), the Upper School fall play, and Dizzy Fantastic and Her Flying Bicycle, the Middle School fall play (pictured above and below).

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LEARNING OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM

STUDENT LIFE AT SPA BY LAURA BILLINGS COLEMAN

THERE ARE MORE THAN 100 SPEAKING PARTS in The Laramie Project, Moisés Kaufman’s play about the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student beaten and left for dead in the town of Laramie, Wyoming. When director and Upper School English teacher Eric Severson planned the production for this year’s Upper School fall play, he knew that casting The Laramie Project would be a challenge. The show requires at least 30 actors and another dozen for the production crew, and the show’s subject matter and intensity also requires a high level of maturity and critical thinking from the cast. The unsparing language asks young actors to give voice to points of view that are challenging, even repugnant. Just as demanding are the parts that require students to stay engaged on stage, without uttering a single word. “I always tell students it’s the toughest job in theater, to be on stage without any lines,” says Severson. “But their commitment to the ensemble was so deep. Every student on that stage knows that what they’re doing matters—that their presence is essential even when they’re silent. That’s what makes so many of the shows we do here at SPA such a blessing and a joy, because students are so invested.” Head of School Bryn Roberts says that The Laramie Project was an exceptional showcase of the students’ acting talents. But he also notes that the production highlighted the way SPA’s student life program asks students to explore and expand the roles they play in their school community outside the classroom. “We want to provide an exceptional classroom experiences for students—that has been our mission for more than a century,” Roberts says, “but we also want to provide experiences that teach our

students to be kind, to be compassionate, to be successful citizens who are forces for good in their community at multiple levels,” he says. “This takes an understanding of what it means to be part of a larger group—not just thinking about the perspective of others in an academic way, but also learning to respect and appreciate the struggles of other people in a wide variety of contexts. How do we collaborate? How do we understand our differences? How do we embrace the talents of others? And perhaps most importantly, what does that look like outside the classroom, in the world to which we expect our students to contribute as citizens and leaders?” Such questions are a natural outgrowth of being part of an endeavor like The Laramie Project, but such discussions aren’t confined to performing arts— they play out every day across the full spectrum of extracurricular life at SPA. Whether it’s covering a complex school issue for The Rubicon, learning to argue an unpopular point of view in debate, representing SPA on a tennis court or soccer field, or taking part in student-led club, the lessons students learn outside the classroom at SPA are often just as formative in fueling the school’s mission of “shaping the minds and hearts of the people who will change the world.” “We believe that we have to consciously work at helping students understand what it means to be part of the wider community,” says Roberts. “When I think of life outside the classroom, it’s really about creating a whole series of opportunities, from Lower School on up, where children learn what it really means to work with other people and be part of a team.”

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PICKING TEAMS PLAYING FOR FUN For most students at SPA, the first introduction to student life outside the classroom comes on a playing field. Athletic participation at SPA is high: in fall of 2015, 80% of students in Grades 6-8 and nearly 70% of students in Grades 9-12 participated in one of the school’s interscholastic athletic teams. Soccer is far and away the most popular sport, with 153 Middle School and 112 Upper School students, boys and girls, playing on a soccer team in the fall of 2015. But when the season ends, even the most accomplished athletes are strongly encouraged to try something new next season. “There are a lot of studies that support the idea that switching it up and not specializing in a single sport year-round will prevent injuries and strengthen muscles, but I think the biggest benefit is in the mind,” says Middle School Athletic Director Jay Schutte. “I tell students that no matter how much you love soccer and want to play it all the time, the love can die down the more you do it. It’s like eating pizza for every meal—the desire isn’t there after awhile. Better to take a rest and come back to it with an energized attitude.” SPA offers an unusually large number of sports for a school its size, making it possible for student athletes to sign up for something new at nearly any level, says Upper School history teacher Ben Bollinger Danielson. Bollinger Danielson coaches the girls’ varsity soccer team, whose game against Hill Murray this fall was the focus for SPA’s Homecoming celebration. “The size and culture of SPA makes it possible to compete at a really high level,” he says, ‘but there’s also a lot of room for kids who just want to try things out, and those kids make important contributions.” “While the environment of sports is somewhat artificial, the skills you learn are really valuable,” Danielson says. “You learn to handle public observation, and if you fail in front of people, you learn from that and you build your resiliency. You learn what it means to be coached, to accept honest feedback about what you’re doing well and what you’re not doing well. Sharing goals with your team, working through conflict—it’s a really intense environment for interpersonal growth that doesn’t always get replicated in the classroom.” 22

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As the level of play and time commitment required to compete in varsity athletics grows, so do the bonds and relationships between players. “When we reflect on our own experiences in sports, the thing that adults will bring up again and again is the people they played with,” says Schutte. “You don’t remember the games or the scores, but in the end you’ll remember your teammates, being on the bus, and laughing in the locker room. Those are the memories that last.” Senior Dalante Peyton agrees. Peyton, who is a standout player for SPA in both football and basketball, remembers playing catch with classmate Michael O’Shea when they were both in Lower School. Classmates at SPA since Kindergarten, Peyton and O’Shea spent this past fall leading the Wolfpack—SPA’s new cooperative football team with Blake and Minnehaha—as stars on the team’s offense. “We had to learn to play with players we used to play against, but it turned out to be a blessing,” Peyton says. “Our coach did an amazing job of bringing us together.” The Wolfpack went undefeated during the regular season, but fell to Mahtomedi in the first round of the play-offs. “It was a tough way to end the season, but it was also nice for Michael and I, knowing that we’d built something together that could grow,” Peyton says. Director of Athletics Dawn Wickstrum says stories like that make clear why athletics can be such an important pathway to leadership. “Our kids know that when they’re out on the field, they’re not just representing their school,” Wickstrum says. “They’re also representing themselves, and showing the community that they understand what it means to part of something bigger. Your parents won’t ever watch you take a math test,” Wickstrum says, “but they will see you passing to your teammate, or helping a guy on the other team up from the floor,” she says. Wickstrum, who joined SPA in July of 2015, has been impressed with the level of sportsmanship SPA student athletes have for themselves and their opponents. “This fall our volleyball team played five matches against Blake and won, and it was incredible to see how respectfully the girls reacted when they lined up to shake hands, even though they were probably jumping out of their skins,” Wickstrum says. “There’s nowhere else in a school building where you can experience those momentsof being a good citizen and a good sport so consistently.”


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varsity teams won the IMAC conference championships in 2014-15; from left. girls’ Nordic skiing, boys’ basketball, girls’ cross-country, and volleyball.

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teams in 19 sports are offered every year for students in grades 5-12.

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TAKING PART TAKING RISKS Beginning in the Lower School, student life programming is introduced as a way to engage students in the larger SPA community. In addition to the Lower School’s interscholastic sports teams, which begin in Grade 5, students can participate in after-school programs like Chess Club, Girls on the Run (an introduction to running for girls in Grades 3-5), karate instruction, or private music lessons. During the school day, Lower School students are gradually introduced to co-curricular programming through the six-week “Minis”— electives chosen by students starting in Grade 3 that engage students in activities they might not otherwise try. Recent Minis have included basic computer coding, stop-motion animation, basketball, drumming, lasercut printing, flag football, and kite-making. While the classroom is still the focus for student learning in these grades, Lower School principal Holly Fiddler says this introduction to life outside the classroom gives SPA’s youngest students “a chance to experience school from a different perspective—one in which you’re engaging with your peers and your teachers in an entirely different way. It’s a way to exercise different ‘mind muscles’ than you use in the classroom.” By Middle School, students are ready for more sophisticated extracurricular programming, and Grades 6-8 include experiential learning opportunities such as the Grade 6 Rendezvous Days, tied to the study of the French voyageurs in the 19th century; the Penumbra Theatre Collaborative and a much-anticipated trip to Camp Widjiwagan for a weeklong immersion in outdoor learning in Grade 7, and the Grade 8 “Winterupt” unit, which combines design thinking projects with a week-long language immersion unit. “Those

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the number of “minis” offered every year to students in grades 3-5. Minis are elective courses held twice a week and range from (pictured left to right) wiffle ball, chess, computer coding, and lacrosse.

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experiences are about being open-minded and interactive and working with peers that you might not normally work with,” says Middle School principal Jill Romans, who says these skills are the same ones that students need to succeed in the Middle School’s more traditional student life activities—athletics, the Middle School theatrical productions, the Lego League, or the Geography Bee, for example. It’s all designed to show students the value of taking chances, Romans says: “I think some students come in to Middle School and think they’ve missed the boat—if you haven’t been skating since you were three then you shouldn’t even try to play hockey, or if you haven’t had five years of voice lessons you can’t be in the musical,” says Romans. “We want to make it clear that we don’t yet know who the great athletes are, the great artists, the great writers. It’s too early to start putting people in boxes—we want students to try it all.” “Try it all” is the mantra in the Upper School as well. There are 25 student activities, clubs, and organizations open to (and run by) students in Grades 9-12, and Upper School Dean of Students Max Delgado oversees a system to ensure that students are engaging with what those activities have to offer. “In the fall, every Grade 9 student is required to sign up for three clubs that they will attend over the course of the first three weeks of school,” Delgado notes. “It’s not a permanent commitment. You don’t have to make that your club for the next four years. But we want to maximize exposure to these opportunities and take away the awkwardness of being new by making it mandatory for everyone.” While students sometimes resist at first, Delgado says they often come back at the end of the month to report


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Number of days that Grade 7 students spend at Camp Widjiwagan every winter, as part of an outdoor education and community-building experience that marks the mid-point of the Middle School years.

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Upper School students have been honored by the Minnesota Scholastic Art Association for excellence in drawing, painting, sculpture, and photography since 2011.

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The number of high schools from 32 states and 21 countries that the 2014-15 debate team beat to get to the championship round of the International Public Policy Forum, one of the most prestigious high school debate tournaments in the world.

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Number of years in a row, since 2009-2010, that The Rubicon has earned a First Class ranking from the National Scholastic Press Association for excellence in student journalism.

that they’ve found brand-new activity or affinity group they love. “We push them through that initial hesitation,” Delgado says, “and then back off and let them have their own experience.” Mary Hill, Director of College Counseling and Academic Planning, says that giving students an early taste of what’s possible over the next four years at SPA is essential for cultivating a thriving school community—not to mention an attractive college admissions profile. “The sooner you explore, the more quickly you discover the things that bring you joy,” she says. “Students who take time to discover their talents are better positioned to show they’ve achieved a level of depth when it comes time to demonstrate that in the college application process.” Co-curricular activities such as debate and The Rubicon, that include both curricular requirements and extracurricular commitment, offer students the framework to follow their interests even farther than they could in the classroom. “When I talk about The Rubicon, I tell students it’s a class, it’s a club, and it’s a calling,” says Rubicon advisor Kathryn Campbell. Campbell adds a fourth “C” to that list: community. “We have conversations around the fact that the entire SPA community will be reading what you write, and may not be looking at things with the same perspective you have,” she says. “We have a larger purpose in the school community, and we talk about ways students can say things that may be provoking, but in ways that people can hear.” “Our student life offerings include a level of public recognition and accountability that’s different than what happens in the classroom,” says Chris Hughes, principal of SPA’s Upper School. Hughes notes that the Upper School’s shift three years ago to a more flexible “block” schedule has enhanced both classroom life and student life by offering a more immersive classroom experiences while freeing up time for students to take part in a wider range of clubs, performances, and electives. “Now we have well over 50 to 60 percent of the Upper School taking part in these purely elective opportunities, so it’s

not uncommon to see students who participate in a sport, take part in debate, or play in a concert all in the same week,” he says. “I think the level of participation and the decisions we’ve made to support it are the signs of healthy community. If kids are just grinding out homework all the time we’re not preparing them for much of anything in the long term.” Upper School history teacher and debate coach Tom Fones agrees; Fones believes the block schedule “has been one of the best things we’ve ever done. It really changed the tenor of the school in very positive way,” he says. Not only do the 75-minute class periods give students a chance to dive deep into their material without being interrupted by a bell, “we also have dozens and dozens of kids going to debate tournaments, and that’s because they can fit it in to their day and into their lives,” says Fones. SPA’s six-day schedule has also made it possible for students to pursue their passions off-campus as well, allowing senior Jack Romans to meet all of his classroom requirements while still making the curtain call for recent productions at the Children’s Theatre Company and the Steppingstone Theater. Romans says going deep into the role of Gregor Samsa for an SPA adaptation of “The Metamorphosis” his sophomore year inspired him to start connecting the dots between theater, history, literature and the discussions he and his classmates have everyday around a Harkness table. “At one point I was even thinking about how Gregor Samsa would think about what I was reading in class, and it was like the whole experience was making me susceptible to learning everything I could,” says Romans. “That’s when I realized that getting really into theater was actually making me better at school.” That’s the lesson Bryn Roberts hopes SPA students of every age learn from participation in student life. “When you’re really taking part in your school community, you learn that there are bigger interests than your own,” Roberts says, “and if we have given our students that understanding then we have fulfilled a large part of our mission as educators and as a school community.” u

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Kathryn Schmechel, class of ’17 Making the most of a flexible schedule Ask Kathryn Schmechel what’s on her calendar today, and she may need to consult her iPhone. “I have a list just to keep track of everything,” says Schmechel, who is a junior at SPA. “I don’t know how I’d do it without a planner.” Keeping track of everything Schmechel is doing can indeed be a challenge. She’s a member of the school’s debate team, now ranked #1 in the state of Minnesota, and co-president of Common Ground, an affinity group for students of color. She plays flute in SPA’s honors orchestra, serves as an appointed official in the YMCA’s Youth in Government program, and recently represented the 26 coral atolls that make up the Maldives at a Model United Nations conference. (“They’re dealing with climate change and sea level issues, which made it really fun,” she says.) She writes essays for the International Public Policy Forum, serves on a student committee exploring ways to incorporate safe spaces into SPA’s campus and culture, and is just starting to research her college options, making recent visits to Princeton, Columbia and Georgetown. (“I liked them all,” she says.) Until recently, Schmechel was also a competitive swimmer, an activity she gave up to make more room in her schedule. “It was a really hard decision because I’ve been competing since I was in 5th grade and it’s been a big part of my life,” she says. “But one of the things you learn about having so many opportunities at SPA is that you also have to figure out what your priorities are. I only do things because I love them.”

Scott Streble

Combined with her classwork, it’s a long to-do list, but Schmechel says both classroom and student life have become more manageable since SPA’s Upper School

made the shift to block scheduling, a major realignment of the academic schedule implemented in the fall of 2013. Instead of having the same classes every day at the same time each day for 45 minutes, Upper School students have 75-minute periods that meet every other day. “The block schedule gives us so much more flexibility, so you can take two electives if you want, and make time to meet with your teachers, and try things that wouldn’t have been able to fit in before,” she says. “I’ve found that the busier I am, the easier it is for me to get things done.” Schmechel says her experiences outside the classroom complement her work in the classroom. “Debate has definitely honed my speaking skills and helped me to think about issues from many points of view,” she says. Taking part in challenging conversations about race and identity as a leader of Common Ground has also taught her that discussions around the Harkness table “sometimes need to be about more than just data.” “There are times we can’t just intellectualize, and we need to think about things from a person’s experience and emotional impact to really look at multiple sides of an issue,” she says. “One of the most important things I’ve learned is that leaders aren’t always leading—you have to be listening to your peers and collaborating, taking into account not just your personal beliefs and opinions, but other people’s points of view, too.” Though she’s been a committed debater since 9th grade, Schmechel says one thing she appreciates about the culture of SPA is that her role with the top-ranked team doesn’t define her. “You always hear about the cliques in high school, how the jocks or the theater kids or the science kids all split off from each other, but I’ve never experienced that at SPA,” she says. “The school gives you so many different opportunities that orchestra or debate doesn’t have to be the one thing that defines your identity. Well-rounded people don’t have just one interest.” Schmechel has been encouraging the ninth-graders she knows to make the most of SPA’s flexible block schedule, making time to meet with teachers by and using free time to explore the many clubs and organizations the Upper School offers. “Free period can be a great time to hang out and be with your friends, but you can also use it to take advantage of some pretty incredible opportunities. I would say, don’t just come to a club meeting once or twice—take the time to really get involved. That’s where things get really fun and interesting.” u

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Scott Streble

“One of the most important things I’ve learned is that leaders aren’t always leading—you have to be listening to your peers.”

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Scott Streble

“What I discovered was that the more involved I was [at SPA], the more balanced I felt.�

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Merritt Clapp-Smith ’87 Learning Balance for a Lifetime For most high school students, stress is a common denominator. But while she was a student at SPA in the class of ’87, Merritt Clapp-Smith says she learned a lesson about managing stress that’s made a lasting difference in her life: “What I discovered was that the more involved I was, the more balanced I felt.” Clapp-Smith entered SPA in 7th grade, and fresh from a crosscountry ski experience with her family, signed up for SPA’s Nordic ski team ski. “I never liked sitting still, so that became a good outlet for me,” says Clapp-Smith, who says the ski team was a way to burn off energy at the end of the day and connect with students in other grades. When the season ended, she decided to keep up the pace, joining SPA’s track and field teams in the spring, and running cross-country in the fall. She went on to captain all three teams, earning the Girls Athletic Trophy her senior year. “Of course, there were days where I had so much to do that I didn’t want to go, but one thing you discover about exercise is how great you feel when you’re done,” she says. “That became very motivating for me.” Skiing and running were only two of Clapp-Smith’s interests: she also took advantage of the wide range of studio arts classes offered in the Upper School under the direction of former Fine Arts faculty chair Hazel Belvo. “She had an ability, beyond saying encouraging and engaging things, to figure out how to push you to the next level, and try new things that you might not at first be comfortable doing,” she remembers. “I alway felt she was very supportive to students who were trying to express themselves in risky ways with their art, allowing them to be true to who they are.” Her commitment to those classes earned her the Ariel Davidson Award for Fine Arts her senior year. All this was in addition to her academic work, which was strong enough to earn her early admission to the then brandnew urban planning program at Cornell University; she went on to earn a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “When I look back, I think that arts, athletics and academics together were a really good complement to each other and allowed me to perform almost at a higher level than I would have if any one of them had been absent,” she says. “I had school work and physical exercise for the mind and body, and the art was like meditation. It’s easy to forget that when you’re older with a job and family. But I know that in my adult life, I feel better and think better when I have a healthy balance of work and ‘extracurriculars’ in my life.”

Those are lessons she leans on now in her role as the City of St. Paul’s Senior Planner charged with redeveloping the site of the former Ford Motor Company assembly plant in Highland Park. The 135-acre plot on the banks of the Mississippi River is one of the Twin Cities’ most closely watched parcels of real estate, attracting the attention of urban design experts from around the world. “It’s unusual to have a site like this in the middle of the city in such an incredible location,” Clapp-Smith says. “It’s an amazing opportunity to take everything we’ve learned about what works in cities, and what hasn’t worked so well, and try to apply the best of those lessons in a place that’s large enough to create a real neighborhood—one that’s already surrounded by terrific neighbors and a vibrant community.” Since she joined St. Paul’s planning department nine years ago, Clapp-Smith has been involved in everything from redesigning the city’s parking requirements to studying sustainable design models in Scandinavia that could serve as a template for St. Paul’s mixed use site. “How you change things in our built environment can affect the economy, and how people feel in a space, positively or negatively,” she says. “What I love about this project is that it has so many facets to it—we’re talking to the community about their priorities and interests, we’re working on environmental and storm-water issues, and we’re thinking about how to align those needs to the real estate market while working with a corporate entity,” the Ford Motor Co. which still owns the property, she says. “Bringing all of those pieces together is fascinating, and very rewarding.” With so many moving parts at play, and a project timeline that may go on for years, Clapp-Smith says “it helps to be a little idealistic and optimistic” to make a career in urban design. It also requires the ability to see things from many points of view while articulating a strong vision for the project. “Sometimes in professional lives it’s easy for people to get caught up thinking maybe they shouldn’t make too many waves or challenge things. But I feel like everyone who goes through SPA learns those skills at such a young age that they don’t even think about it—they just do it automatically. And it makes them really valuable and strong community members and colleagues.” Those are lessons she hopes her daughters, now both students in the Upper School at SPA, learn, along with the skills to create a healthy mix of academics and student life activities as they move toward college and adult life. “I think learning balance is one of the biggest challenges of their generation,” she says. “and I commend SPA for their work in supporting that.” u

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Jim Harrison

Barry Wark, Class of ’98 Discovering a passion for better science Digital cameras were still a novelty in the mid-90s, when Barry Wark had a brainstorm moment in the middle of an SPA biology class discussion about DNA. “What we really wanted was a gene sequencer, but they were too expensive, and so I started to think, ‘Gosh, I wonder if you could get started with a digital camera…” To test his hypothesis, the SPA sophomore taught himself computer coding in order to build a software program that he could use in class. When the idea worked, Wark took his extracurricular project several steps further, reaching out to professors and making connections in the molecular diagnostics and pathology lab at the University of Minnesota. Even before he graduated from SPA, he’d earned a patent for the clinical diagnostic tool he invented for lab researchers—a technology he sold to a California biotech firm while at Stanford University for an undergraduate degree in symbolic systems. “That project was definitely not part of the SPA curriculum, but I got a lot of support from my teachers for pursuing it all the way,” says Wark, who also recalls a long list of formative experiences at SPA that took place outside the classroom. He was an exceptional violinist, according to SPA music teacher and orchestra director, Almut Englehardt. “Barry was both a very talented musician and a natural leader,” says Englehardt, who asked Wark to play with the Upper School orchestra when he was still in the Middle School. Wark continued his musical education at Stanford, where he played first violin in the Stanford Orchestra. Music wasn’t Wark’s only artistic outlet at SPA: a senior seminar in the fine arts showed him how to see the world in new ways. “Art is not my forte by genetics or nature, but I appreciate art and think much more critically about art all because of that experience,” he says. And playing soccer for SPA taught him how to accept disappointment with grace and have fun while doing it. “I have the dubious distinction of being on the first team in my memory that didn’t make it to the

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state tournament—but we had a great time.” Music, soccer, and art aside, Wark says the unquestioned high point of his SPA education was another aspect of the school’s student life program: the 10-day winter camping trip he and his classmates took in Voyageurs National Park as part of the Odyssey program. “Part of what was so compelling about that trip was the science,” he says, “since it’s hard to appreciate what an ecosystem does in the winter until you’ve lived in it.” But Wark’s real takeaway from the Odyssey trip was a new sense of himself as a leader: “The effect on kids’ confidence and leadership skills and personal interactions from having a wilderness experience like that is almost universally transformative,” says Wark, who went on to become a wilderness camp counselor and an instructor in Stanford’s Outdoor Education Program. “It’s the best kind of leadership training there is.” Today Wark uses those leadership skills as the founder and CEO of ovations.io, a venture-funded software platform that allows life scientists to share data and collaborate—a need he noticed first-hand while working toward his Ph.D. in neurobiology and behavior at the University of Washington. His early success creating that biology class gene sequencer inspired him to think about how he could push science forward by making it simpler for researchers to share their work. “Scientists have to spend an enormous amount of time on a computer, documenting their work, but not doing science. I realized that if you can make that process


“SPA is definitely a place where you can push yourself in any direction you want.”

simpler, you could do more to advance science with a tool like this than you could accomplish as an individual researcher.” Wark launched ovations.io based on that software platform; the company is now a five-person start-up headquartered in Harvard Square. He and wife Abby welcomed their fourth child this fall, just as ovations.

I was about to launch its first generally available product. “There’s quite a lot going on in our lives,” he says. He credits the outside the classroom experience at SPA for showing him how turn his passions into his livelihood. “It was a great place for me,” he says. “SPA is definitely a place where you can push yourself in any direction you want.” u

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>> ALUMNI/AE NEWS

ALUMNI/AE

COUNCIL CORNER Lauren Nuffort ’02 President lauren.nuffort@gmail.com

The Alumni/ae Council and SPA’s Office of Institutional Advancement have a lot to report! Immediately following the annual Golf and Tennis Classic in August, the Advancement staff geared up for Reunion Weekend. This year’s Reunion celebrated classes ending in “0” and “5”, but it didn’t stop there: nearly 120 alums from classes across the decades returned to campus on Friday, September 11 to attend the annual All-Alumni/ae Art Show and Reception, and many more attended Class Parties all around the Twin Cities on Saturday, September 12. Next year’s Reunion will take place on September 9-10, so mark your calendars now. The success of Reunion Weekend paved the way for the kickoff of the 2015-16 Alumni/ae Council Speaker Series on October 22, featuring a panel of alumni/ae that have made incredible strides in the media industry.

Dave Kansas ’85, Chief Operating Officer at Minnesota Public Radio/ American Public Media, Catherine McKenzie ’88, Senior Broadcast Producer at CBS News/Interactive, and Andrea Scott ’79, Arts Editor for The New Yorker magazine responded to questions posed by moderator and Minnesota Public Radio reporter Sasha Aslanian ’86. The discussion included an overview of the current media landscape and 2015-2016 COUNCIL MEMBERS a preview of where the industry is headed. Lauren Nuffort ’02 The panelists also talked about how their President experiences at SPA shaped the path to where Nikki James ’05 they are today, and Cat McKenzie and Andrea Events Chair Scott spent time at the Upper School talking David Salchow ’88 with students about their careers. The Council Fundraising Chair is looking forward to the February Speaker Craig Smith ’87 Series event on February 18, 2016, featuring Volunteerism Chair Tony Sanneh ’90 and moderated by Marley McMillan ’05. I hope you’ll plan to join us. Joe Benson ’68 Also on the Council’s roster is preparing for the second annual Alumni/ae Day of Giving on Thursday, April 28, 2016. Watch for more announcements as spring approaches. The Council has also updated the Class Agent roster to make sure all classes are being served by the program. New agents have joined the program and we thank all alumni/ae volunteers for giving their time and energies to SPA. As always, please feel free to share your feedback on all of these happenings with any Council member.

Jonathan Brenner ’92 Dan Citron ’89 Sarah Crandall ’02 Lindsay Giese ’05 Mercedes Henderson Clark ’88 Bryce Holstad ’10 Devon Holstad ’07 Hilary LeBon ’91 Steve London ’91 Meaghan Moriarty ’99 Alex Nemeth ’95 Pierce Norton ’08 Zach Pettus ’99

ALUMNI/AE EVENT CALENDAR January 2016

April 2016 Alumni/ae Day of Giving Thursday, April 28, 2016

Upper School Winter One-Acts Friday, January 29, 7 p.m.

Sponsored by the Alumni/ae Council Visit www.spa.edu > Alumni/ae > Support

Huss Center for the Performing Arts, Randolph Campus

February 2016 Alumni/ae Council Speaker Series Athletics, Leadership, and Community: A Conversation with Tony Sanneh ’90 Thursday, February 18, 5:30 p.m.

Vocal/Orchestral Concert and Community Chorale Saturday, April 30, 2016, 7 p.m.

Huss Center for Performing Arts Randolph Campus All alumni/ae are invited to participate and attend! Contact aklus@spa.edu for details.

Minneapolis Club 729 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis Visit www.spa.edu > Alumni/ae > Learn > Speaker Series

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May 2016 Middle and Upper School Jazz Band Concert Sunday, May 1, 2 p.m.

Huss Center for the Performing Arts

Upper School Spring Musical: Les Miserables Friday and Saturday, May 20-21, 7 p.m. Sunday, May 22, 4 p.m. Huss Center for the Performing Arts


CONGRESSMAN WILLIAM FRENZEL ’46 DEDICATION On September 10, 2015, St. Paul Academy and Summit School dedicated its Upper School history area on the Randolph Campus to the memory of Congressman William E Frenzel ’46. A group of Frenzel family members, classmates, and friends gathered in the Huss Center to hear remarks from Head of School Bryn Roberts (pictured below), and later, to reminisce, view the plaque in honor of Congressman Frenzel (above) and share memories of a great alumnus and Minnesotan.

REUNION 2015 Alumni/ae and guests came back to SPA over the weekend of September 11-12 to celebrate Reunion 2015. A highlight of this year’s Reunion: the chance to see the brand-new Huss Center for the Performing Arts, which was open for tours during Friday evening’s All-Alumni/ae Reception. Friday evening also featured the Alumni/ae Art Show in the Harry M. Drake Gallery, showcasing the works of Matias Arganaraz ’05, Anya Dikareva ’05, Adrian Ting ’90, and Mary Ann Barrows Wark ’65. It was a beautiful night for alums to gather in the Lilly Courtyard, tour the new Huss Center for the Performing Arts, and reconnect with each other. On Saturday, the traditional Heritage Brunch was held for graduates in the classes of 1965 and above, and that night’s Reunion Class Parties for classes ending in “0” and “5” were held all around the metro area.

To view more photos from Reunion 2015

visit www.spa.edu > Alumni/ae > Connect > Photo Albums

>> SAVE THE DATE FOR NEXT YEAR:

Reunion Weekend 2016 will be held September 9-10, 2016!

SPA is coming to Boston on April 7, 2016, for a Regional Alumni/ae Event

CALLING ALL BOSTON ALUMNI/AE!

The event is chaired by Nancy Jasinksi Lotane ’80 and is open to all St. Paul Academy and Summit School alumni/ae in the Boston area.

Look for your invitation in early 2016 or call 651-696-1320. www. spa.e du

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Greg Helgeson

>> PHILANTHROPHY

SEPTEMBER 20, 2015

SCHILLING FAMILY PLAZA DEDICATION The Schilling Family Plaza, which welcomes visitors to the main entrance of the Huss Center for the Performing Arts, was dedicated on September 20, 2015. Attending the dedication were members of the Schilling family, including Hugh Schilling ’43 (pictured at the podium at right). The dedication was held outside on the Schilling Family Plaza—a landscaped outdoor space directly to the west of the Huss Center that features custom-designed bench seating and plants native to Minnesota.

LEADERSHIP GIVING SOCIETY

EVENTS CELEBRATE SPA’S PHILANTHROPIC LEADERS The Leadership Giving Society’s annual Recognition Evening was held on April 23, 2015, at the home of LGS member and SPA Trustee Mark Addicks Addicks opened his home to the more than 70 LGS members who attended the event. Deborah Christakos, Mark Hooley, John Christakos, and Barb Naramore

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LGS members gathered again this fall, attending the Fall Member

Luncheon on October 23. The event was held in the Driscoll Family Commons—the light-filled, two-story multipurpose space in the northwest corner of the Huss Center for the Performing Arts. The lunch was hosted by Head of School Bryn S. Roberts and Leadership Giving Society Chair Mrunalini Parvataneni, and featured


ANNUAL FUND EXCEEDS 2014-15 GOALS AND LOOKS TO “BUILD ON IT” IN 2015-16 The 2014-15 fundraising year was an exceptionally strong one for the SPA Annual Fund. The school surpassed its goal and set participation marks that exceeded both national averages and peer independent schools. Parent participation totaled 75%, significantly higher than peer schools and 10% higher than the national average for independent schools. Alumni/ae participation totaled 24%—10% higher than the national average of 14%—and SPA faculty and staff set a new record at 91% participation, well above the national average of 78%. The Annual Fund’s new “Build On It!” theme acknowledges and celebrates that success, says Annual Fund Chair and current parent David Kristal, who works with SPA’s Institutional Advancement team and a large cohort of parent, alumni/ae, and staff volunteers. “The school is in such a great place right now philanthropically,” says Kristal who also chairs the Advancement Committee for SPA’s Board of Trustees. “There’s been a real transformation in how the school community www.spa.edu/Giving approaches giving. The SPA culture now has a true appreciation and understanding of how important philanthropy is, and the ‘Build On It’ theme is a celebration of the fact that we’ve come a long way in terms of that understanding,” Kristal says. “There’s always more work to do, but we are really proud of how far we’ve come and we’re looking to build on that success.”

BUILD ON IT!

Annual Fund 2015-16

BUILD ON ON IT! IT! BUILD

Annual AnnualFund Fund2015-16 2015-16

behind-the-scenes tours of the Huss Center and an insightful talk on the future of independent schooling by Bryn Roberts. The Recognition Evening and the Fall Member Luncheon are two of the benefits of membership in the Leadership Giving Society, which honors donors to the

Annual Fund who contribute $2,500 or more each year. For more information about the Leadership Giving Society, contact Senior Development Officer Sarah Johnson at sjohnson@spa.edu or 651-696-1320.

www.spa.edu/Giving

Mark Addicks and Gail Ward

Alex and Amanda Liu

Kathy Spraitz ’80, Betty Grey, and Martin Asis

John Christakos and Charlie Zelle ’73

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>> PHILANTHROPHY

“AMBASSADORS AND ADVOCATES”:

VOLUNTEERS AND PHILANTHROPY AT SPA SPA parent Mrunalini Parvataneni isn’t looking for ways to fill her time: the pediatric ophthalmologist known as “Dr. P” to her young patients has a thriving medical practice, two busy children in Grades 7 and 5, and a number of community service roles, including her work on SPA’s Board of Trustees. But when she was approached to serve as the Chair of the Leadership Giving Society (LGS), it never occurred to her to say no. “Our children are so happy at SPA—they love learning, they love their friends, and they are being prepared for the real world in ways they don’t even understand yet. All that is made possible by philanthropy,” she says, “and so not contributing to that when the school asked for my help wasn’t even an option.” Parvataneni works closely with SPA’s Office of Institutional Advancement on reaching out to potential members of the Leadership Giving Society, coordinating events for current members, and strategic planning for the future—work that Sarah Johnson, the school’s Senior Development Officer, considers critical to the success of the LGS. “It sounds like a cliché, but we honestly could not do our work without our parent and alumni/

ae volunteers,” Johnson says. “They are our most passionate ambassadors and advocates,” she says, “and that passion is what is truly most important. The dollars raised are critical, clearly, but it’s the volunteers’ commitment to the school that sends such a strong message about the school’s values and priorities.” That commitment is also what drives parents Christina and Jonesy Worrall, who are the lead volunteers for the Annual Fund’s parent efforts. “Volunteering for the Annual Fund has become intrinsic to our commitment to the SPA community, because we know that the work will have a positive impact close to home and out in the community,” says Christina. “We love that SPA is providing our sons with an exceptional education, but we also love the intangibles of the school community that promote empathy, confidence, resiliency, diversity, curiosity, and warmth,” Jonesy adds. “We are very much aware that the Annual Fund enables delivery of those intangibles at SPA, and we value the opportunity to share that with parents, alumni/ae near and far, faculty, and staff in support of SPA.”

WITH YOUR GIFT TO THE ANNUAL FUND, YOU CAN HELP US BUILD ON IT. Your gift shapes the experience and opportunty for every student and teacher to do their best work. The excellence for which SPA is known and your connection to it is affirmed with your support of the Annual Fund. We invite you to help us build on this strong foundation by giving to the 2015-16 SPA Annual Fund.

BUILD ON IT!

Annual Fund 2015-16

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>> CLASS NOTES

’46 CLASS AGENTS

The Class of 1946 is looking for Class Agents! Please contact alumni@spa.edu or 651-696-1302.

Winslow Briggs, who is a professor at Stanford University, says he has had the very good fortune to be able to continue his many decades of research on fundamental processes regulating plant growth and development in the academic setting. Over the years, Winslow has worked with graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting senior investigators in his laboratory. He says that “Largely because of them” and his collaborative work, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1973. He was also awarded the International Prize for Biology in 2009 at a ceremony in Tokyo with the Emperor and Empress presiding. Winslow says, “My interest in science at an early age was sharply stimulated by a remarkable SPA teacher Russell Varney and that interest has never flagged.”

’52 CLASS AGENT Dean W Alexander promedica1@aol.com

Paul Aichele has been living the “backwoods life” in northern Wisconsin for over 30 years with his wife Diane. This fall, the couple put up ten cords of firewood, felling 25 trees on their back property. Paul also

participated in a 10-mile, twoportage kayak race through the Eau Claire Lakes chain this summer. After taking first place in his age group for the last couple of years, Paul says he will now retire from doing Birkebeiner/Kortelopts. He adds, “I have not written here for years, but thought I would update if anyone from the mid-century graduating group is still around.

’53 CLASS AGENTS Judith Blake Judith.blake@att.net John Holman

Charlie Hauser, who at age 80 is still actively ski racing in Colorado and all over the world, was recently featured in an article about Masters ski racing in the Vail Daily Newspaper. The article highlights how Charlie started racing; he was bored with regular skiing and decided to try Masters racing at the age of 72. In the article, Charlie says he is in the sport for the camaraderie and competition, but he also loves the travel as well. Supported by his wife, Teresa (who comes to every race, trains with Charlie, and and makes food for his fellow competitors) Charlie is working out and getting ready for his first season in the Men 12 age class, which is 80-84 year olds.

’54

Have news to share?

CLASS AGENTS Bonnie Mairs bonnie1673@earthlink.net Wally Mayo mayowalter@yahoo.com

Bonnie Mairs traveled to eastern Turkey at the end of October, 2015. She had lunch in Istanbul with Sibel Tanberk, who was an AFS exchange student in her brother Jim Mairs ’57 class in 1954-55. Sibel is an Economics professor, still teaching 2 days a week. He says he has very good memories of his year in Minnesota and sends greetings.

Email your news to alumni@spa.edu or send it to Class Notes: St. Paul Academy and Summit School 1712 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul, MN, 55105 We look forward to hearing from you!

Become a Class Agent!

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Class Agents keep in touch with their classmates and provide updates on SPA happenings.

CLASS AGENTS Dutton Foster duttonfosters@comcast.net Susan Rose Ward cswsrw@comcast.net

Class Agents also help with special events and reunions. All classes welcome additional volunteers and multiple Class Agents are encouraged.

Sandra Mundy Irvine-Pirtle

reports that life is good despite the passing of her “dear sweet husband,” Tommy Irvine, in 2011. Sandra was remarried in 2014 to a wonderful man named Raymond from Nashville; she lives in Nashville part of the year, as well as in Boca Grande, Florida and at her cabin in Hayward, Wisconsin. Sandra reports being excited to visit her daughter Cece, her husband Hod Irvine, and their son Julian in British Columbia soon. She regrets not being able to get to any reunions recently but does plan to attend the next event. She says, “I miss seeing my girlfriends… if any of you are ever in Nashville or Boca, please give me a call and say hello!”

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>> CLASS NOTES

Patricia Spadavecchia continues

to juggle a life between Italy and New York: while “the music plays keep dancing,” she advises. She does come back to Minnesota, and when there, finds herself so happy that she thinks of returning. Unfortunately, she has vowed not to live where she needs a car and does not plan to move back anytime soon. Because she has dual citizenship, Patricia was able to go on a fascinating trip to Iran last spring. She recalls, “Everyone wants to talk to foreigners, so you are approached everywhere. When I said I came from Rome and spoke English, people were interested, but when I said I was from New York, I was mobbed; everyone under 40 or so had questions and wanted cell phone photos together.”

’60 CLASS AGENT Raleigh Ormerod raleigho@aol.com

This year, Merle Freeman launched a new company, SAFE Family Wearables (www. oursafefamily.com) at the CES show in Las Vegas. Merle is very excited to be diving into this new business adventure and furthering the wearable technology field.

Nancy Thayer-Haggerty ’71, and Laura Tiffany Foster ’69; Second row: Jim McCartney ’72, Alice O’Brien Berquist ’71, Nancy Mairs Daly ’71, Dick Bancroft ’45, Gus Ljungkull ’72, and Ann Bancroft ’74; Third Row: Sarah Lindsay ’74, Diane Adler Robertson ’76, Carol Swanson ’71, and Bob Mairs ’73; Top Row: Ellen Sell Brynteson ’74, Carol Adler Zsolnay ’72, and Mark Harrison ’71. Not pictured,

above with the couple). The couple recently traveled to Ireland to celebrate for their first anniversary. Mystie says “Life is good. And, yes, it IS my first marriage!”

’75 CLASS AGENT Lit Field litfieldjr@earthlink.net

but present, was Ann’s mother Debbie Butler Bancroft ’48 and not present, but helped plan, Elisabeth Moles Ljungkull ’51, mother of Gus. alumni@spa.edu or 651-696-1302.

s Mystie Brackett married Chuck Esterly on October 11, 2014 in Lyons, Colorado, where they now reside. Classmate Carol Zsolnay ’72 and her husband Gabor represented St. Paul Academy and Summit School at the wedding. After marrying Chuck, Mystie now has two daughters and three granddaughters (the youngest granddaughter, Riley, is pictured

s Bruce Butwin has had a busy year filled with lots of celebrations, including a 30 year wedding anniversary with his wife Sally. Bruce and Sally also celebrated his son Barry’s marriage and his daughter Stacia’s graduation from high school (Stacia is pictured above with Barry’s wife).

CLASS AGENT

The Class of 1980 is looking for Class Agents! Please contact alumni@spa.edu or 651-696-1302.

Denise Lilyholm Callahan

celebrated many milestones with her sons this year. In August, she dropped her oldest son Andrew off at St. Lawrence University. After two years of playing junior hockey, she says he is ready to be heading off to his first-choice college where he hopes to play lacrosse. In June, her middle son, James, graduated from The Morristown-Beard School. He will now do a post-grad year at The Salisbury School in Connecticut (an all-boys prep school), before playing a year of junior hockey with the USHL Green Bay Gamblers in 2016-17. After that, James will head to Quinnipiac University where he’ll be playing Division 1 hockey in the ECAC. Brady, Denise’s youngest, is in his last year of Middle School, which she cannot believe. Brady loves playing hockey, lacrosse, and soccer. All in all, she says “it has been a great year for which we are very grateful!” She adds that she was disappointed to miss Reunion this year and hopes the group had as much fun as they did last reunion.

’85 CLASS AGENT

’72

Dave Kansas dkansas@mpr.org

CLASS AGENT John Edgerton jedgerton@propertiesedge.com

Daymond Dean says, “I so

s

Gus Ljungkull hosted an

event for the Ann Bancroft Foundation at his home on September 19 (pictured right). Attendees included numerous SPA graduates: Bottom row left to right, Hunter Bancroft ’78, Deborah O’Brien Gundry ’75, 40

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enjoyed seeing everyone this fall for our 30 year reunion at Nicole Winter Tietel’s home. You all are awesome! Let’s not wait another 5 years to get together as a class again. Who’s up for a 50 year birthday bash in a few years?”


’86 CLASS AGENTS John Patterson johnwilderpatterson@yahoo.com Renee Hilmanowski Ochaya theochayas@oh.rr.com

’88 CLASS AGENT Dan Deuel dhd823@comcast.net

Class of 1988

s Catherine McKenzie, Senior Broadcast Producer at CBS News/Interactive, celebrated with classmates at The Freehouse in Minneapolis after she was featured on a media experts panel at the SPA Alumni/ae Council Speaker Series in October. Joining her at Freehouse was Jennifer O’Brien ’88, Rick Epstein ’88, Dan Deuel ’88, Chris Cheney ’88, David Salchow ’88, Mercedes Henderson Clark ’88 and Dana Nelson ’88.

’97

s Maggie Moss and Michael Feldbaum were married on March 7, 2015 in a private ceremony in Palm Springs, California (above). The couple celebrated their wedding at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis on May 16, 2015 with family, friends, and SPA alumni/ae (below). s

s Susan Dickinson Kistner married Bret Kistner on April 10, 2015 in Snowmass, Colorado. There to celebrate with Susan and Bret were SPA classmates (pictured below) Sarah Bancroft-Howard ’86, Sarah Callahan Baker ’86, Jill Magnuson Romans ’86, Gretchen Lilyholm ’86, Christie Quigley Manning ’86, and Karen Earl Reis ’86.

s Erik Takeshita joined the Bush Foundation as its Community Creativity Portfolio Director in July 2015. Erik is overseeing the development and execution of the Foundation’s programming around arts-based community development efforts in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and 23 Native nations that share the same geography.

CLASS AGENTS

s

Dena C. Larson denacitronlarson@gmail.com Jeff Jarosch jeff.jarosch@gmail.com

Kistner Wedding

Pictured above (Front Row): Charlie Dickinson ’99, Michael Feldbaum, Jenny (Swanson) Cameron ’97. (Middle row): TJ Moss ’06, Chris Hart ’99, Zach Pettus ’99, Vanessa (Denis) DeCourcy ’01, Charlie Knutson ’97, Maggie Moss Feldbaum ’97, Morgan Montgomery ’97, Zameer Baber ’97, Daniel Johnson ’97. (Back Row): Mike DeCourcy ’99.

Alumni/ae Council speaker series brings back media experts from the classes of ’79, ’85, ’86, and ’88. The October 2015 Alumni/ae Council Speaker Series featured a panel of media experts including Dave Kansas ’85, Executive Vice President at American Public Media Group, Catherine McKenzie ’88, Senior Broadcast Producer at CBS News/Interactive, and Andrea Scott ’79, Arts Editor at The New Yorker. The panel was moderated by Sasha Aslanian ’88, a producer and reporter at Minnesota Public Radio. For more on the event, see page 35. www. spa.e du

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1955 | Front row, left to right: Vicki Holmen, Diane Kenyon Schunk, Horace Hills Irvine, Minty Piper, Georgia Sommers Wright, Vicki Ford ’56. Second row, left to right: Anne Duvall Harris, Ethel Welch Griggs ’59, Si Ford, Richard H. Kyle, Jane Kyle Back row, left to right: Doug Holmen, Chauncey Griggs, Theodore Peter Townsend, Joanna Townsend. Attended but not pictured: Jonathan Morgan, Martha Morgan.

1960 | Front row, left to right: Dave Brown, Mark Krinsky, Jan Goodwin Rupert, Dick Adair, Cole Oehler, Mike Driscoll. Second row, left to right: Bill Hollinshead, Caroline Foster , Marcy Armstrong-Dorau, Sherry Lund, Tim Freeman, Jock Irvine. Third row, left to right: Walt Sosey, Dan Ritchie, Ellen Blasena, Raleigh Ormerod, Allen Wol.Last row: Robert Greenman, Barrie Britton, and Tom Mullery.Attended but not pictured: Bob Parish, Roger Groth, Deede Smith, Vicki Cross.

1965 | Front row, left to right: Joth Blodgett, Stuart Goldbarg, Jesse Okie,, Katie Eddleston, Mary Hollinshead, Mary Ann Barrows Wark, Barbara Vlacich, Betsy Turner, Mari Okie Fouracre. Second row, left to right: Bill Owens, Bob Hertz, Peter Shull, Bob Works, Bob Knutson. 1970 | Front row, left to right: Bill Whitaker, Emily Ravits, Chip Lindeke, Craig O’Brien, Charlie Greenman, Chris Downey, Bob Knox, Terry Schilling Gilberstadt, Allison McMillan. Second row, left to right: David Baird, Charlotte Bray McDermott, Cynthia Davidson Mills, Lucy Hollinshead, Marcia Adair, Bob Adair, Barry Ross, Bruce Lilly, Laura Bathke, Katie Hartzell Blevins, Katherine Levin, Ellen Seesel, Kate O’Brien, Steven Flom. Attended but not pictured: Betsy Cudworth Perna, Joe Perna.

1975 | Front row, left to right: Liz Doermann, Tom McNeill, Matt Mesnik. Second row, left to right: Laura Kuhn, Andy Redleaf, Jim LaFave, Jeff Ross. Third row, left to right: Tim Ober, Steve Rasmussen, Diana Brainard, Linda Baisch, Tory Hauser, Paddy McNeely, Litton Field. Back row, left to right: Nick Scott, Todd Nicholson, Will Bathke, Bill Given, Michelle Johnson Holmes, Sue Sell, Julie Lange Varga, Cathy Weyerhaeuser, Nannette Hart, Debbie James, Betty Kroeger Elliott, Myles Jacob.

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1980 | Front row, left to right: Carrie Victor Lee, Heidi Hijikata, Lisa Adler Hale, Kris Flom, Paul Bullard. Second row, left to right: Kathy Spraitz, Marlieke van Tyn Dahlberg, Pam Victor Libertini, Sheila Delaney Moroney, Peter Mairs, Hendrie Grant. Back row, left to right: Peter Albrecht, Bobby Zelle, Sheri Riley, Dan Levitt, John Moody.

1985 | Front row, left to right: Peter Morris, Sean Gilshannon, Jocelyn Merry Woodruff, Daisy Campbell Pellant, Julie Silverman Burton, Kim Harpole Quale, Daymond Dean. Second row, left to right: John Wolf, Cathy Paper, Rick Sutherland, Andrew Katzung, Lyn Hooke Chapman, Susan Bagnoli Truman. Third row, left to right: Kate Chally-Graff, Emily Greenberg, James Templeton, Nicole Winter Tietel, John Cunningham. Fourth row, left to right: Jennifer Ross-Bruns, Jamie Gardner, Dave Kansas. Fifth row, left to right: Sam Arnold, Mike Ristau, Kevin Lagos. Last row, left to right: Brian Hagerty, Johnnie Green.

1990 | Front row, left to right: Kat Mitchell, Elizabeth Johnson Siqveland, Anne-Marie Swayze Major, John Bradford, Von Kolpe, Debbie Lipschultz Goldenberg. Second row, left to right: John Siqveland, Marty Chester, Adrian Ting, Jennifer Stevens, Fred Lee, David Murphy, Jamie Morris. Back row, left to right: Brad Paymar, David Hodgson, Bob Larson, Jason Kahn, Rick Magnuson, Lucas Alm, Adam Reilly, Dan Sharp, Matt Heffernan. Attended but not pictured: Michele Bond, Melissa Geller, Kristen Appert.

1995 | Top row (from left): Abebi Stafford, Dave Johnson, Jean-Paul Lipton, Jon Stark. Second row (from left): Emily Nelson Hayes, Nicole Rosen Peterson, Sara Longstreet, Tim Davis, Elle Levins Oksanen, Katie Kirschbaum Frisch, Heidi Weitzman Wiste, Madeline Davies Bowie. First row (from left): Eloise Hatting, Scharlemann Eaton Klapste, Jacy Rubin Grais, Alex Nemeth, John Moore.

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’04 CLASS AGENTS Andria Cornell andria.m.cornell@gmail.com Tyler M. Olson tolson@smcpros.com Ashley Malecha antonashley@gmail.com Sarah Anderson sarah.m.raisch@gmail.com

Dan Titcomb and James Bachmeier are the founders

’99 CLASS AGENT Lisa Stein lisaannestein@gmail.com

s This fall, Kristen Sellers reprised her favorite role for her favorite show of all time: She played Janet Weiss in the The

McVeety Wedding

of San Francisco-based financial technology startup Lendeavor, a free service for small businesses that organizes credit products and loan types into a transparent network that empowers business owners with information about their lending options. Three other SPA alumni are now working for Lendeavor—Andrew Bennett, Dillon Titcomb ’09, and Joe Merrill ’09—for a total of five SPA graduates out of an eleven-person team.

s Sam McVeety married Jordan Goldwarg in July 2015. The SPA contingent at the wedding included (pictured left to right), Sam’s dad Jim McVeety, who teaches math in the Upper School, Sam’s brother David McVeety ’10, Jordan and Sam, Andrew Bennett ’04, Karen Levi ’04, and Laura Martini ’04.

Jakes Wedding

Siblings Matt ’13 and Molly ’15 Fiedler, who both attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, were profiled in an October 31 Pioneer Press article entitled “Gophers athletics bond runs strong in Fiedler family.” The article focuses on Matt and Molly’s success as Gopher athletes: Matt on the baseball team and Molly on the soccer team. Earlier in the month, Molly was featured in the University of Minnesota newspaper The Minnesota Daily in October 2015 for her outstanding performance as a freshman on the U’s soccer team. As a freshman, Molly started in the midfield for the Gophers all year and was been vital to the team’s offensive and defensive play. 44

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’05 CLASS AGENT

The Class of 2005 is looking for Class Agents! Please contact alumni@spa.edu or 651-696-1302.

s

s Dan Weiner and husband Carl Roller celebrated the birth of their son, David Alex Weiner, on November 17, 2015. Dan reports that David weighed 7 lbs, 12 oz. at birth, “and came equipped with a very well-functioning set of lungs, especially around 4 a.m. Exhaustion aside, everyone is doing well!”

Rocky Horror Show at Titusville Playhouse in Titusville, FL. Kristen states, “The theatre has become a second home for me and I was honored to receive the ‘Best Lead Actress in a Musical’ award for my role as Mrs. Banks in ‘Mary Poppins’ last season.”

Ben Jakes married Kendall Drew on April 25 in Chicago. The reception was held at the Art Institute of Chicago and served as a reunion for several SPA graduates, including Ben Redleaf ’05, Alex Lurie ’05, Ben Jakes ’05, Libby Jakes ’01, Charles Kerl ’05, and Simon Townsend ’05.


’07 CLASS AGENT

The Class of 2007 is looking for Class Agents! Please contact alumni@spa.edu or 651-696-1302.

s

s Nikki Stennes James and Emily James were married this June at the James J. Hill Library in St. Paul, MN. The newlywed couple was fortunate to celebrate with some fellow Spartans, who brought “fiendish dance moves and summer style” to the party. SPA classmates pictured with the couple include Beth Billington ’05, Merritt Swain ’05, Lindsay Giese ’05, and Joel Cornell ’05 in the second row, and Brandon Levy ’05 and Ilse Griffin ’05 in the third row.

Kelly Whitaker ’07 married Brendan Rousseau on June 13, 2015 in a lakeside ceremony in White Bear Lake, MN. SPA was well-represented across multiple generations at the wedding. Pictured below, back row, left to right: Phil Allen ’78, George Kinkead ’81, Paddy McNeely ’75, Charlie Whitaker ’74, Pierce Norton ’08, Clover Earl Zell ’78, Doug Whitaker ’76, Harry Whitaker ’10, Will Whitaker ’13, Spencer McMillan ’07, Evan McMillan ’10, Mary Victoria (Tory) Hansen ’07. Second row starting left with tall woman in gray: Irene McNeely ’82, Vicki Mateo Lincoln ’78, Andrea Garretson Potter ’78, Debbie Whitaker ’97, Beth Whitaker Tranchina ’99, Emily Whitaker Riddering ’00, Sarah Whitaker ’10, Kelly Whitaker ’07 and groom Brendan Rousseau, Harry McNeely, Jr. ’42, Steve

Whitaker ’78, Shannon Whitaker ’78, Jean Carlton Ambler ’49, CJ Whitaker ’12, Drew Whitaker ’12, Molly Cohn Cassidy ’07. Left side kneeling: Shawn McNeely ’78, Phillip Foussard ’78, Bobby Hartzell ’71, Bill (William) Whitaker ’70, (John) Jack Whitaker ’71, Grant Whitaker ’12, Robert (Bobby) Whitaker ’11, Nathan Johnson ’10, Andrew Bradley ’12. Also attending but pictured: Josephine Millard Chernenak.

’11 CLASS AGENTS Taylor Billeadeau shootingstars262@hotmail.com Kaia Wahmanholm kwahmanholm@gmail.com

Gavriella Levy Haskell graduated

from Smith College in 2015 and is now starting a master’s degree in the history of art at the Courtauld Institute in London. Samantha Pilicer started her PhD in Chemistry at Georgetown University this fall.

’15 CLASS AGENT

The Class of 2015 is looking for Class Agents! Please contact alumni@spa.edu or 651-696-1302.

s Dean Isaacson was named Hamline University’s Athlete of the Week in September 2015 for his outstanding performance in the net for Hamline men’s soccer. Dean was the starting goalie for every game this season, with 88 saves and an impressive 1.34 goals-allowed average. Dean’s success on the team was also the subject of a September 30 article in the Pioneer Press entitled “Hamline University freshman learns goaltending on the fly.”

Whitaker Wedding

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Woody Plant Society and the St. Paul Garden Club.

’41 Sarah Lovegrove Baker “Sally” Ross of St. Paul, died peacefully in her home surrounded by family on August 5, 2015. Sally was born on April 16, 1923 and was a proud and devoted lifelong resident of St. Paul. After graduating from Summit School in 1941, she went to Smith College in Northampton, MA and graduated in 1945. That same year, she met her loving husband of 67 years, Ham Ross, at a house party on Madeline Island. Ham and Sally were married on November 29, 1947 in St. Paul and began their family life together. Sally was a lifelong learner and reader, with an incredible mind and natural curiosity. For 52 years she was a member of a women’s seminar that studied literature, poetry, and history, all taught by college professors. She read two newspapers every day and returned to the University of Minnesota to get an additional degree in landscape design in 1979 inspired by her love of gardening. For 30 years, she spent many happy days with her fingers in the dirt as a professional landscape designer in partnership with David Murphy, Bluebird Landscaping, hand selecting each plant for her clients at Bachman’s Wholesale in Lakeville where all the staff knew her by name. She placed every plant as if it was a child to be loved. Many friendships and political debates began over a flat of vinca rosea. She was a devoted member of the

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Sally had an enduring passion for volunteerism, her community, and social justice causes. She served on numerous boards, including; Capital Community Service, Children’s Home Society, Face-to-Face, Family Service, Friends of the St. Paul Library, The New Century Club, Northland College, Planned Parenthood, St. Paul Council of Arts and Sciences, The Science Museum, Summit School, and Unity Unitarian Church. From a young age, Sally had a great sense of community responsibility, and she and Ham both believed strongly that making the world a better place was their job to do. Perhaps her favorite collaboration was the Ross Group, a group of St. Paul women leaders who met weekly to discuss the vibrancy and health of their community. The group even caught the notice of the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart when they protested the placement of the Peanuts characters in Rice Park. The most important things in Sally’s life were her family and her countless friends. She and Ham truly savored their time with both. Sally was preceded in death by her husband Hamilton, her parents Ada and James Baker, and her brother Bartlett. She is survived by her four children James ’71 (Camille Didier ’72), Hamilton ’72 (Constance Tiesberg), Sarah Caruso ’77 (Richard Hurrelbrink), and Mary ’81 (Jon Berg). She is also survived by her seven grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews and extended family members.

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Stanhope Blunt, still mobile and living at home at 93, died July 20, 2015 from complications from a fall. Stanhope was born March 22, 1922 in La Junta, CO, but raised in St. Paul where he attended St. Paul Academy as a young man. He later attended Northwestern University and Carleton College before enlisting in the Army Air Force in 1943. From his base in Italy, he flew 34 combat missions as flight navigator in B-24 bombers. After the war, Stan graduated BBA from the University of Minnesota, and then traveled to California on a job search doing short stints driving an armored mail truck for the San Francisco Post Office, working at a lumber camp, and playing piano in an Oakland waterfront saloon. Stan returned home to St. Paul in 1948 and took a job as the first St. Paul employee of Western Airlines when they extended service into the Twin Cities. During his ten year stint there, Stan progressed from ticket agent to regional sales manager of the California based carrier. After the airlines, Stan joined Minneapolis based advertising agency Campbell Mithun, as a trainee, and would spend the rest of his working years with this firm including a six year period managing their Denver office (1963-1969). After returning to Minneapolis headquarters, Stan was made President in 1970 and then Chairman/CEO in 1974,

when he headed a group who bought out founder, Ray Mithun. With billings tripled since the Mithun buyout, Campbell Mithun joined the Ted Bates Agency (New York) in 1978 to afford clients better international capabilities. Until his retirement in 1984, Stan continued as Campbell Mithun’s Chairman and CEO and as a member of the Bates executive committee in New York City. After retiring, Stan split his time between Minneapolis and Marco Island, Florida. His many hobbies included piano, painting, golf, travel, writing, hunting, and fishing. He became the founding president of the Madeline Island Golf Club; co-founded Arctic Lodge Ltd., one of the earliest fly-in fishing camps in northern Saskatchewan; produced a videotape on golf legend Gene Sarazen, and authored two books, one a family genealogy, and the other on his WWII experiences. Stan also dedicated his time to his community, serving on the local boards of the hospital, symphony, and United Way, in addition to many others. He is survived by his wife, Ann McDermaid Blunt; his son, Douglass and wife, Angela Blunt of Uniontown, OH; his son, Brian and wife, Lavonne, and their son, Cooper Blunt of Missoula, MT; and daughter, Melissa and her husband, Chuck Leonard, also of Missoula. His first wife, Barbara Douglass Blunt, died in 1995.


’42 Alice Hubbard Liptak passed away peacefully at her home on September 25, 2015. Alice was a wonderful, loving person who was always ready to lend others a helping hand. She was also a true lover of animals. She is survived by her son, Michael; brother, Stanley; as well as nieces, nephews and grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her mother, Alice Rochford; father, Stanley; brother, Richard; husband, Michael; and Molly.

’43 Malcolm Cammack passed away at the Cammack Family Farm on Thursday, September 24, 2015. His passing came just six days shy of his 91st birthday. He is survived by his bride of 66 years, Elizabeth “Betty” Bancroft Cammack ’47, his children and their

spouses: Huck ’69 (Chrissie), Richie ’70 (Ann), Elizabeth “Binkie” Closmore ’71 (Greg), Debbie Muller ’75 (Rob), Sally Miesen ’82 (Jack), and Julie Backer ’91 (Brigg), as well as by his 17 grandchildren, and his four great-grandchildren.

Frederick James Neher, age 90 of Oak Park Heights, Minnesota, passed away peacefully in his sleep on March 13, 2015, at Boutwells Landing in Oak Park Heights, Minnesota. Fred had a long and wonderful life. Fred was born to Frederick and Cecilia (Kilbane) Neher

of St. Paul in February 1925. He graduated from St. Paul Academy in 1943 and like many patriotic young men at the time promptly enlisted in the US Army. He was selected for the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) as an officer candidate and started his studies at the University of Puget Sound in the fall of 1943. Unfortunately, due to the dire need for combat troops, ASTP was cut at the start of 1944 and Fred was transferred as a combat replacement into the armored infantry with Patton’s 11th Armored Division. He survived the 11th Armored Division’s push from France into Germany and was wounded after the Battle of the Bulge. After recovering, Fred used his fluent German language skills in the OSS to round up fugitive German officers. Fred was always proud of his participation in this great endeavor. After returning home, and discharge from the Army in 1945, Fred resumed his education at Harvard College under the GI Bill. He earned his medical degree at Harvard in 1952 and began his surgical residency at the University of Minnesota under Dr. Richard Varko. Fred even participated in the first open-heart surgical procedure with Dr. Varko in 1952. It was an exciting time for Fred and the surgical team at the University, and he also met a young surgical nurse, Phyllis Rybak, whom he married in 1958. Fred and Phyllis settled in St. Paul where they raised their family and Fred went into private practice. He specialized in vascular surgery and became chief of staff at St. Joseph’s and United Hospitals and a

member of the Minnesota Medical Association. He continued his lifelong passion for the outdoors and enjoyed Minnesota fishing, hunting, bird watching and hiking. Fred and Phyllis built a lake house near Detroit Lakes and spent 30 years vacationing there with family and their dogs. They also traveled frequently to Bavaria to visit their German relatives and visited their children and grandchildren in Boston, Idaho, California, Texas, Louisiana, Brazil, England and Australia. Fred was a loving husband, wonderful father, a great teacher and a loyal friend. He is survived by his five children, Frederick ’77 (Mickey) Neher of Mahtomedi, Minnesota, Kurt ’79 (Luisa) Neher of Ojai, California, Lise ’81 (Dan) Revers of Weston, Massachusetts, Erick ’82 (Heather) Neher of Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Konrad Neher of Center City, Minnesota; his brother Jim ’54 (Kate) Neher of St. Paul; as well as ten grandchildren ranging in age from 6 to 26. Fred’s loving wife of 55 years, Phyllis (Rybak) Neher of New Prague, Minnesota, passed away in November of 2013.

’44 John Edward Middlebrook was born in St. Paul on September 14, 1926 and died in Bloomington, Minnesota on May 25, 2015. His father Bill was the Vice President of the University of Minnesota while his mother Margaret ran both the household

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and her husband’s busy social schedule. John grew up during the dominance of Golden Gopher football and remembered vividly the players of the five National Champion teams between 1934 and 1941. Academics were heavily emphasized in the Middlebrook household and John was an exceptional student. In 1940 he became ill with rheumatic fever and missed the entire school year. When he returned to school at St. Paul Academy in 1941, he completed both Grade 8 and 9 in one year. This has never been accomplished, before or since, at SPA. While at SPA he met Harry Gregg, the outgoing and unrestrained opposite to John’s shy and twice thinking personality. They became best friends for life. John immediately enlisted in the US Navy after graduating from SPA in 1944. By 1945 he was with the US Fleet in the South Pacific. After the war John entered college, first at St. Thomas and then at the University of Minnesota. At the “U” he met and fell in love with Phyllis Canfield and they married in 1948. They began raising a family and John began medical school at the “U” during which time he also enlisted in the US Army, ultimately achieving the rank of Captain. Upon graduation he was assigned to a MASH unit in Korea but was deferred as he had two young children. His unit was overrun in 1953 with complete loss of life. This both haunted him and made him grateful for every day he had for the rest of his life. John was a true member of “The Greatest Generation.”

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After his time in the service, John became an Internal Medicine Specialist ultimately forming a long term medical practice, Hedrick, Mullin & Middlebrook. From 1955 to 1974 he was team doctor for the UMN varsity basketball team and in the 1970s, he was Chief of Staff at St Mary’s Hospital. In the 1980s John became a senior physician at Group Health and continued to perform US Army physicals well into his retirement. In his early 50’s John also discovered that he was a good athlete and became an avid skier, golfer and tennis player. He also rediscovered his abilities as a bridge and poker player. Most important, after all his years of dedicated and demanding work as a Doctor, he and Phyllis were able to enjoy more time together, including weeks at their cabin on Madeline Island, winters in San Miguel de allende, Mexico and, later in their lives, at hockey rinks where they became St. Paul Academy and St. Paul United’s greatest hockey grandparents. After 66 years together, it was no surprise that John died soon after the death of Phyllis in October 2014. John was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Phyllis, his parents Bill and Margaret, his brother Bill and grandchildren Alex and Analise. He is survived by his sisters Ann and Margaret, his children Joan (Michael), Bill, Geoff (Sachiko), Chris (Cathryn) and Apophia (Steve), his grandchildren Seanan, Leslie, Clea, Ian ’10, Delaney ’11, Mary and Silas as well as six great grandchildren.

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Alida Butler Stange passed

Eleanor May (Bratnober) Joyce passed away on July 1, 2015. Ellie was born May 25, 1932 and was a St. Paul native who graduated from Summit School in 1950. She resided in Santa Fe, New Mexico for the last 15 years.

away on October 4 at the age of 87. Alida was born and raised in St. Paul and attended Summit School before graduating from the Garrison Forest School in Baltimore, Maryland. As a student at Summit School, Alida was a member of the modern dance club and was thought by her classmates to have a future in music. Her affinity for culture stayed with her all her life; she was a perceptive and informed lover of art and a connoisseur of French culture and cuisine. Alida was a generous supporter of conservationist organizations and liberal political causes. She was also a committed tennis player, and continued to hit the court well into her 80’s. Alida is preceded in death by her husband, the late G. Robert Strange, a professor of English at Tufts University. She is survived by her sister Allison Butler ’43 of Kennet Square, PA, her brother David Butler ’48 of Denver, and her stepchildren Maren Stange of New York City, Margit Stange of Berkeley, CA, and Eric Stange of Arlington. She is also survived by her grandchildren Alex and Mia Stange, and Clara Hobson, and nieces Marna Matthews, Maeve Matthews, Anne Butler, Molly Butler, and Kate Butler, and her nephews Scott Matthews, Lawrence Butler and Peter Butler, as well as many cousins.

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Ellie is survived by her brother Robert Bratnober ’46, sister Carol Thrush ’54, daughter Anne, son Peter & family, son John, and son Paul & family. Jettabee Ann Christenson Edman passed away in her

Heritage Village home on August 29, 2012, at the age of 79. Jettabee was born in Lancaster, Wisconsin on January 2, 1933 to parents Otto and Thelma Christenson. The family later moved to St. Paul, where Jettabee attended Summit School. She was an incredibly active student serving as President of her senior class and President of the French Club. She also participated in plays, the a cappella choir and the school’s yearbook, The Flame. She was highly regarded by her classmates and known for her keen humor. Upon graduating from Summit School in 1950, Jettabee pursued a degree in English from Brown University, studied art at the Rhode Island School of Design, and eventually earned an MA in Counseling from St. Joseph’s College. After college, Jettabee married music professor, Austin B. Caswell. She later married Silas Ward Gould Edman, with

whom she lived and loved for forty years. The two resided in Chicago, Long Island, Connecticut, South Carolina, and even Brazil. Jettabee enjoyed an engaging career in retail at Lord & Taylor, but still had time to put her fine arts education to good use as an accomplished oil painter. Those close to Jettabee describe her as deeply insightful. She was sincerely interested in everyone in her life and loved nature, music, laughter, and good friends. Jettabee was preceded in death by her husband, Silas, who passed away in 2005. She is survived by her four children, Lisa Christenson Caswell, Austin Baldwin Edman, David Radcliffe Edman ’79, and Silas Ward Gould Edman Jr., as well as their partners and children, Lisa, Louise, Cathy, Adriana, Samuel, Charles, Gabriela, Diego, and her younger brother, Gregory. She will be greatly missed.

’54 Roger (Rod) Bacon passed away on Saturday October 10, 2015 at the age of 79. Rod was a member of the class of 1954 and was incredibly active during his time at St. Paul Academy. He was a member of the Rifle Club, Drama Club, Glee Club and A Cappella choir, played on the varsity football and hockey teams and was the captain of the varsity tennis team. Following his time at SPA, Rod studied engineering at the University of Minnesota


and then went on to Columbia University. After serving in the United States Army Reserves from 1959-1960, he returned to Columbia where he earned a degree in Experimental Psychology. Rod enjoyed a long and diverse career, participating in some truly unique projects across multiple fields. Early in his professional life, Roger engaged in medical and scientific studies. During the late 1960’s he was the director of primate training for UCLA and NASA’s joint biosatellite program, the third phase of which launched a monkey into space and provided crucial data about how to best equip astronauts for such travel. Later in life, Roger widened his area of expertise and spent most of the 1970’s doing woodwork for various decorative furniture warehouses in Hollywood. He continued to work in the sciences as well, doing laboratory research for the VA in Brentwood, California, and promoting behavioral enrichment for captive animals. His love of animals is something he maintained his entire life, and during his later years he worked as a dog trainer, an occupation he held until his passing. Rod was a wonderful and vibrant part of the SPA community. He was a regular presence at reunions and other school events, and was a committed supporter of the school. He will be missed by many. Rod was preceded in death by his brother, Jack ’50 who passed away in 2004 and his twin brother Don ’54, who

passed away in 2013. A service for Rod will be held in St. Paul on March 25, 2016. Details will be provided at a later date.

William “Pete” Ward was born in St. Paul on November 20, 1936. He died peacefully surrounded by family on July 4, 2015 at his home, Elkhart Ranch, near Wilsall, Montana. Pete attended SPA from 1945 until his graduation. He excelled in every sport that caught his attention, however, it was in baseball that he hit his stride and received four varsity letters and captained the squad his senior year. He attended the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a B.S. degree from the Wharton School in 1958. Following college, Pete began a varied business career that included stints at 3M, Minnesota Plastics Co., Dain, Kalman, & Quail, and the Gokey Company. He later became an independent financial adviser and investor in a variety of ventures. Pete had a passion for the outdoors that only intensified as he grew older. Hunting, fishing, bird dogs, and conservation were of special interest. Soon after his marriage to Margaret Miller in 2000, the couple established permanent residence at Elkhart Ranch in Montana. There, he could step out the door and be in the middle what he loved most. Pete was preceded in death by his parents, William Sr. ’28 and Mary Clapp Ward ’27. He is survived by his wife, Margaret Ward. Pete and his first wife,

the former Victoria Galloway ’55 had three children who also survive him: William, III (Marie); Andrew ’80 (Amy); and Wendy ’82: Grandchildren; Kristi, William, IV (Hillary), David, Larkin and Caleb. He is survived by brothers Charles ’56 (Susan Rose ’57), John ’58 (Margaret) and former stepson, Brian Green ’87. Pete was deeply committed to the SPA/Summit community. He served on the Board of Trustees and the Alumni/ae Council. He has requested that any memorials be directed to the Chinese Program Fund at St. Paul Academy and Summit School.

’55 Elise Rosenberry Donohue was born on July 9, 1937 and passed away peacefully while surrounded by family on May 21, 2015. All fondly remember Elise whose life was characterized both by the breadth but also the depth of her relationships from the Clyde Park Cow Belles to the Vassar Club of New York City. Present in all things were both her love of the land rooted in over forty years of cattle ranching in Montana and her deep appreciation for ideas, the arts and the life of the mind recognized in her being awarded an honorary doctorate from Montana State University and service on the board of Minnesota Public Radio. All who met Elise sensed a soul as deep and rich as the soil of her native Minnesota and a spirit as vast as the big sky of her adopted Montana.

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She was preceded in death by her mother, Sarah-Maud Weyerhaeuser Sivertsen ’25 and her father, Walter

S. Rosenberry, Jr. and by her brothers Walter ’49 and Charley ’51. She is survived by her children Edward (Beverly) Phares of Athens, Georgia; Elise Phares of Bozeman, Montana; and Robert (Robin) Phares of Big Timber, Montana; her sister, Lucy (Jim) Jones ’59 of Wayzata, Minnesota; and five grandchildren: Rob Phares, Anne (Bill) Anderson, John Phares, Lauren Phares and Lucy Phares; her first husband Robert (Peg) Phares of Denver, Colorado and her step-father, Robert Sivertsen of St. Paul; and friends and extended family too numerous to mention.

’89 Eliza Herman passed away on October 14, 2015. After graduating from SPA, Eliza went on study at Macalester College. She worked at the University of Minnesota in the Center for Farm Financial Manager, Department of Applied Economics. At the U of M, Eliza helped coordinate workshops and other educational resources designed to help farmers make optimal business decisions. Her team was recently recognized by the University’s Extension Dean for their service to farmers in navigating changes resulting from the 2014 Farm Bill.

Eliza is survived by her parents, Robert K. and Carolyn Herman, and her sister Tory Herman ’85.

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>> PERFORMANCES

More than 100 students in Grades 5-12 performed in the Huss Center for the Performing Arts Grand Opening Celebration on October 10, 2015. An audience of 650 attended the performance, which was the first time in school history that students from all three divisions came together for a production.

Grade 5 students in the show’s opening act: a rendition of “We’ve Come Together To Sing.”

The Summit and Academy Chamber Singers perform “City Called Heaven.”

Warming up backstage before the performance.

Middle Schoolers performed two numbers from Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory

“I Want It Now”

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Photos by John Severson

Cast members from the 2015 Upper School musical perform “Run, Freedom, Run” from Urinetown: The Musical.

The Upper School Honors Sinfonia performed music from the opera Turandot and “Applause” by Lady Gaga.

The show’s finale featured every student in the performance singing “When I Grow Up” from Matilda The Musical.

The capacity crowd filled the Redleaf Arts Commons for the post-show reception.

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Twin Cities, MN Permit No. 3400

1712 Randolph Avenue St. Paul, MN 55105-2194 Change Service Requested

TO PARENTS OF ALUMNI/AE: If this is no longer the current mailing address for your son or daughter, please let us know at alumni@spa.edu or 651-696-1318.

A capacity crowd filled the Huss Center for the Performing Arts on October 10, 2015, for the Grand Opening Celebration. More than 150 students in Grades 5-12 performed for a capacity crowd of 650. See pages 50-51 for more photos from the performance.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS January 2016 Upper School Winter One-Acts Friday, January 29, 7 p.m.

Huss Center for the Performing Arts, Randolph Campus

February 2016 Alumni/ae Council Speaker Series Athletics, Leadership, and Community: A Conversation with Tony Sanneh ’90 Thursday, February 18, 5:30 p.m. Minneapolis Club

March 2016 Middle School Musical: Cinderella Friday, March 4, 7 p.m. Saturday, March 5, 4 p.m. Huss Center for the Performing Arts

April 2016 Upper School Vocal/Orchestral Concert and Community Chorale Saturday, April 30, 7 p.m. Huss Center for the Performing Arts

May 2016 Middle and Upper School Jazz Band Concert Sunday, May 1, 2 p.m.

Huss Center for the Performing Arts

Upper School Spring Musical: Les Miserables Friday and Saturday, May 20-21, 7 p.m. Sunday, May 22, 4 p.m. Huss Center for the Performing Arts

Profile for St. Paul Academy

Spa Magazine Fall 2015/Winter 2016  

Spa Magazine Fall 2015/Winter 2016