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Winter 2019

Exploring Our Shared Spaces


S T.

S T E P H E N’ S



SNAPSHOT Senior Travis Dowd claimed the 2018 SPC Cross Country title


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

CONTENTS 2 Head Lines Shared Spaces 3 Learning in Community 4 Becker Library Renovation 6 Wonder PIRL 8 Lesson in Volunteerism 10 Breakthrough Program Mentors 12 Week in the Life of a Proctor

P HOTOS COVER: Students enjoy the newly remodeled Becker Library space TOC: New portable furnishings in Becker Library provide comfortable spaces for students to study; Nicole Heyer and Kendal Dowd peruse the school’s new photography book collection; Head of Upper School Greg Hicks ’68, Head of School Chris Gunnin and the Rev. William Brewster ’51 at the Pioneer Spartan Dinner

head of school


Christopher L. Gunnin


editor Anne Marie Becka

class notes editor Nolu McIlraith ’12

design Ellen Buckmaster, Bucko Design

contributors Yvonne Adams Christine Aubrey Cynthia Bartek Hayden Blood Sherry Buchanan Paul Carrozza Chris Caselli ’82 The Rev. Todd FitzGerald Ann Gateley ’66 Melody Harman Nolu McIlraith ’12 Jacquelyn Mouton- Johnston Kathy Rainey Melissa Rubin Nicole Wortham Laura Zhu ’19

Spartan Life 14 Faculty Honors 15 Exploring Affinity Groups 16 Class of 2022 Picnic 17 Invention Convention Winners 18 Cross Country Team Wins Title 19 Parents Strengthen Our Community 20 Spearheading Healthy Eating 21 Photography Book Collection 22 West Texas Program 23 Student Achievements 24 Annual Fund Giving 25 Remembering Faculty Alumni News 26 Reunion 2018 30 Alumna Serves Her Community 32 Class Notes 40 Planned Giving

Spartan magazine is published twice a year for constituents of St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. Copyright © 2019 St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

subscription information and address changes Joanna Sarrett, or 512.327.1213 x158




Winter 2019

LIVING AND LEARNING TOGETHER IN COMMUNITY Earlier this year I heard the expression, “Farmers don’t grow crops; they create the environments where crops can flourish.” The comment came during a discussion about education and was much more about the work of helping young people become the best versions of themselves than it was about farming. The underlying implications on education and parenting were intentional: Learning cannot be forced upon someone. While this statement reminds us of the responsibilities of young people to take advantage of their learning opportunities, as well as the limits on what educators and parents can do for children, it also reminds us of the importance of creating the best environment for young people to learn and grow. The St. Stephen’s faculty often reflects on the important work of creating the right environments for our students. One of the most important roles of great educators is to provide spaces for young people where they are physically, emotionally, psychologically, intellectually, socially and spiritually safe to flourish. I have thought a lot in the last decade about the environments within school communities. As information is more readily available on the Internet and as the number and type of online learning opportunities become increasingly prevalent and affordable, leaders of independent schools have been forced to reconsider the value of their school communities. However, the St. Stephen’s experience has never been about just access to information. During our strategic planning process last year, community members talked about how St. Stephen’s provides a “joyful living and learning experience,” which is far more valuable to adolescents than a process by which information is accessed. Much of the work outlined in the strategic plan is dedicated to strengthening students’ relationships with others and their sense of belonging within our community. We also are committed to exploring and enhancing the ways that the physical environment—our sacred shared spaces on campus—impact us individually and collectively. While Spartans are guided and inspired to acquire knowledge during their time here, they also are provided the transformative experience of living and learning together in community—one carefully crafted to enrich their creative, emotional, physical and spiritual development in truly profound ways. Whether students are sharing ideas in classes, spending time together in the dorms or dining hall, or worshiping with others in Chapel, their learning and development are informed and enhanced by the relationships they form with others on The Hill. This issue of Spartan magazine explores just a few of the shared spaces and special moments that make up the St. Stephen’s experience for our students. I hope these stories resonate with current families and alumni alike, as they illustrate our longstanding commitment to providing meaningful learning and growth opportunities for all Spartans.


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— christopher l. gunnin, head of school

Spartan Magazine


At St. Stephen’s, we talk a lot about community. We often extol our school’s

rich history of bringing together students and faculty of varied backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs to learn and live together. However, our objective is not to fill classrooms with a spectrum of students for the sake of labeling our population diverse. Rather, at St. Stephen’s community is an intentional “meeting of the minds” in which students authentically engage with and learn from one another. We intentionally design our academic settings, campus programs and extracurricular activities to enable students of all backgrounds to share their knowledge and unique perspectives with others in a welcoming and supportive environment. Students build earthquake-proof structures in Engineering, pair up to analyze campus biodiversity in Biology, design 3-D paperweights in the Makerspace, share foods from different cultures in the dining hall, learn to make homemade pasta with their dormmates…. Through these countless daily interactions, students’ knowledge and understanding of one another grows, and their appreciation for each another and the larger global community expands. The following articles showcase just a few of the myriad shared spaces and opportunities St. Stephen’s students have to live, learn and grow together in community.




Winter 2019


What’s the Big Idea? A few years ago, the Becker Library staff began to examine our school library space and consider its limitations, as library design and educational practices continued to evolve. As part of a “best practices” study, the St. Stephen’s campus committee gave the library team permission to consult with a design firm, Studio 8 Architects, and we began an intensive research process to discover what our faculty and students wished for in a renovated library. During the discovery phase of our research, we talked with targeted groups of students and faculty to hear their thoughts. We also spent hours carefully observing the students to see how they actually use the space, as opposed to relying on recollections and assumptions. The key takeaways from our research were that library patrons wanted more comfortable furnishings and greater flexibility of space arrangement to accommodate a wider variety of uses. These concepts rang true to library staff as well, because they aligned with our research surrounding user experience-based design. When applied


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to a library environment, user experience (commonly referred to as “U/X”) design principles specify that we should be ready to meet the needs of anyone who walks through our doors with an academic purpose, whether that is to work collaboratively, study individually, host a class, or relax and take a break.

Here’s the Fun Part The library staff had a wonderful time honing in on a new design by contemplating different color palettes, furniture styles and functions, and zones for various uses. St. Stephen’s Archivist Amy FitzGerald tracked down the architect’s plans for Becker Library from the mid-1970s. From these, we drew on some of the original elements of the space’s design to inform our choices and subtly honor the history of Becker Library. The end result was a less cluttered, more open layout and a more contemporary, slightly “mod,” style. We accentuated these design elements and helped create a calming space by introducing colors that echo the natural setting just outside the building’s many windows—the grays and greens seen in the trees,

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foliage and surrounding hills. Our partners at MeTEOR Education Co., a learning environment design consultancy, provided multiple 3-D renderings along the way, helping us to envision the space and transform our dreams into reality.

Funding (and Realizing) the Dream By the beginning of 2018, our plans for the new space design and decor were in place. All we needed was the funding to cover the cost of our proposed renovation. Fortunately, around this same time, the Parents’ Association (PA) asked the school community for project proposals for their annual Spring Swing event. We proposed that the Becker Library renovation serve as the sole “Make It Happen” fundraiser project. We were gratified to discover that they loved the idea, and the library renovation garnered tremendous community support. Thanks to the PA’s hard work and school community’s great generosity, we were able to bring our vision to life! Immediately following the February fundraiser, we switched into high gear and created a project timeline that would not disrupt any ongoing programs, classes and activities in the library, but that would enable us to complete the renovations before the new academic year began. As a result, the lion’s share of the renovations was completed during a few short summer months. The transformation was astonishing!

What’s New and Improved? One of our most popular innovations found in the renovated space has been the addition of high-backed pod-style chairs, along with portable tables and ottomans, all of which are oriented toward our floor-to-ceiling windows. Also, to accommodate gatherings such as club meetings and class presentations, the entire upstairs area can be reconfigured in just a few minutes by rearranging the furnishings to create one large, open space. We also converted the back office into a common room for more focused study and private teacher conferences. We are especially proud of our new front area circulation desk, where staff is visibly present and where we keep Chromebooks and textbooks, as well as other reading materials. Faculty are so excited about the newly designed spaced that they have volunteered to work study shifts, increasing their presence in the library while they catch up on work and supervise students. Thanks to the support of the entire school community, our vision for a true shared space has come to fruition. We invite you to stop by and experience for yourself all the benefits of Becker Library—our dynamic academic center on The Hill!

— cynthia bartek, head librarian

PHOTOS (left to right) Portable furnishings enable the library to be reconfigured in just a few minutes; sixth grader Bryson Gibbs enjoying the new space



Winter 2019


We were galvanized by our community’s shared purpose to inspire a lasting love of learning and spirit of service so that students go on to live lives of meaning and enrich the world. We decided if that statement defined St. Stephen’s as a school, then the mission was exactly what we should seek to fulfill in our new makerspace. We wanted the Project and Idea Realization Lab (PIRL) to be a place where students could develop a love of learning and use that learning to give back to the community and enrich the world. As the chips and queso dwindled, Lanier and I hashed out an ethos that defined the PIRL’s culture and purpose: “The PIRL serves to provide an environment for all members of the St. Stephen’s community to engage in design, innovation and creative service while also recognizing the individual, local and global hope and change that compassionate making can bring to society.” Following that initial brainstorming session, we went to work putting together a space that provides students with a wide range of opportunities to creatively engage in and realize their project goals. The questions we raised were endless, and the task of meeting our students’ needs was daunting. We had to determine what tools students would need, how the space should be arranged to be most meaningful, and how we would attract students to the space and get them interested in innovative technologies.


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First came the research. Even though I had built a makerspace just a few years before, technology already had evolved and improved. Following weeks of intensive research into tools and project materials, the high-tech machines started to roll in the door—boxes laden with hand and power tools, as well as electronic equipment. Next, the PIRL walls were covered with dry erase paint. Butcher block tables and balance stools put the finishing touches on the space. Just like that, the PIRL was born. Yet, what I still could not imagine was what would happen once our students arrived on campus for the beginning of school. A few days into the academic year, I came across an article in one of my maker publications about 3-D printing limbs. I had taught Jenna Rogge, a member of the Class of 2019, in my Maker class the previous year, so she immediately came to mind. She had shared with me her passion for working with people who have limb differences and had expressed interest in designing 3-D printed limbs. I emailed Rogge the article about 3-D printed limbs. I told her I had no idea how to do this, but we had the tools and could try together. Less than an hour later, she responded: “I want to do this.” The next day, she was in the PIRL. What happened next was hard to fathom. After the limb design was programmed, our state-of-the-art, dual-extrusion 3-D printer started buzzing and moving. Filament turned into fingers, palms, wrists and joints. As they came off the printer, Rogge began assembling the pieces—fingers to joints, joints to palm, palm to wrist. When she ran into an error, we would both take to the Internet, searching for helpful videos and graphics and how-to documents. Finally, all the hard work and dedication paid off. I clearly remember that it was a Wednesday afternoon the first time Rogge bent the wrist on her prototype and a finger moved. We both squealed with excitement. It was a truly unbelievable moment. In a matter of weeks, we had built a working prosthetic hand. It picked up water bottles. It shook hands. It was more than just a plastic creation; it was built from innovation, ingenuity, imagination and compassion. It was Spartan in the truest sense of the word. And while this project success would seem to be enough to hang our collective hat on, we were only 50 days into the new school year. Since that time, the PIRL has been constantly abuzz with activity. Throughout the fall, individual students, entire classes, groups of friends, and staff members have scheduled time in the PIRL to work on projects. Eighth grader Emmie Casey, who came to the PIRL on the first period of the first day of school, observed Rogge’s work on several prosthetic devices and has joined in the efforts to design and print working limbs for people in need. Geometry students came in to build shapes for laser cutting, and Chinese language students

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designed mooncakes for Moon Festival. In addition, senior Veer Chauhan printed 3-D propellers for a drone he has been building. Freshman Oscar Humphrey came to the space wanting to show his pride in the newly formed Austin Saints football team, a partnership between St. Stephen’s and St. Andrew’s. Within an hour of him leaving the PIRL with a paperweight that included the Saints’ logo, his initials and his jersey number, the remainder of the football team came in groups to make their own, as well as ones for their St. Andrew’s teammates. Their work inspired their non-footballplaying friends to come in and explore the space as well. They used the laser cutter to etch their cell phone cases, create paper weights, and cut various designs into wood and acrylic. Members of the Spartan Theatre production of “She Kills Monsters” came to the space to design scales for their dragon costume—something that previously would have been expensive and complicated to obtain. However, the PIRL’s laser cutter carved through red and black foam sheets with ease to bring the dragon to life. A group of teachers hosting a sustainability conference on campus came to the space to imagine a recycled takeaway gift for attendees. Likewise, in preparation for the Pioneer Spartan Dinner, the Advancement team created laser-cut wooden ornaments from a drawing of the Chapel by senior Nina Duan. As a result of these many creative imaginings, at one point the 3-D printer ran for 32 consecutive days without a break, including weekends, and the laser cutter burned through more than 250 hours of work time. An audible, unceasing and literal buzz…. I no longer try to imagine what will happen next in the PIRL. It is impossible to predict the creativity of our students and faculty and what they will dream of next. In his song “With My Own Two Hands,” Ben Harper sings, “I can change the world with my own two hands, make a better place with my own two hands, make a kinder place with my own two hands.” The song finishes with the phrase, “but you got to use your own, Lord, you got to use your own.” I can think of no better way to describe what is happening in the PIRL every day: Spartans come in and imagine ways to make a kinder, better global community using their own hands to change the world.

— nicole wortham, ph.d., educational technology coordinator

PHOTOS (top to bottom) Jenna Rogge shows off 3-D printed pieces of her first prosthetic hand design, “Raptor”; Austin Saints football players Chris Mabley, Timothy Bridgeman and Jackson Owens with their team paperweights; Rogge’s second design, “Cyborg Beast”



Winter 2019


Gokhale, who was born in Austin, moved around the world with her family throughout her early life. She enrolled at St. Stephen’s as a freshman and began tutoring for iACT the following year. “I started volunteering in March 2017, and this past school year I co-directed the Saturday tutoring program,” Gokhale said. “As the granddaughter of Indian immigrants, I truly believe in the power of education to uplift those in need. “During one of my first experiences tutoring with the program, this 6- or 7-year-old kid is dropped off by his parent, and the little kid starts bawling. I thought, ‘OK, that’s pretty normal, kids cry on their first day.’ But this kid was really terrified. Later I found out that back in Iraq an armed man had come into his classroom and held him at gunpoint until his father paid a ransom for his release. “Teaching a child who has been through such a traumatic experience can be difficult, but also incredibly rewarding,” Gokhale added. Sait said he also was driven to volunteer with iACT because he knows that knowledge can change lives, particularly for marginalized populations. An Austin native who enrolled at St. Stephen’s in sixth grade, Sait has been a volunteer tutor since summer 2017.


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Although working with young refugees with a limited knowledge of English can be challenging, Sait has found that he does not need language to effectively communicate with his students. “While English is a vital skill that every child needs to learn to succeed in school, it’s not the only way to get a point across,” he said. “We use pictures, gestures and tone of voice to convey information during our tutoring sessions.” “There are certain gestures and expressions that go beyond the boundaries of words; we always start with the universal sign of friendship smiling,” said Gokhale, who finds the time she spends with her students to be deeply gratifying. “What’s most rewarding is seeing a child improve and become more confident in not only their English skills, but in themselves. Whether they’re learning the alphabet or reading chapter books, it’s so rewarding to see them learn new things that will help them in the future.” Sait said he feels the same. “I enjoy seeing the kids become confident in their skills. Whether it’s seeing a little kid remember the sequence of the alphabet or confidently express herself in English for the first time, the impact the program makes is visible and long-lasting.” Gokhale and Sait began volunteering at iACT after learning about the organization in Chapel from the Rev. Todd FitzGerald, St. Stephen’s chaplain. Service learning has been an essential component of the school’s mission and the St. Stephen’s experience since the school was founded. “Our Service Learning Program challenges students to internalize our mission and the school prayer through education, service and reflection,” said FitzGerald, who believes the program strengthens individual character and enhances students’ worldview. Seeking ways to enhance students’ service learning opportunities, FitzGerald reached out to iACT’s program director, Lubna Zeidan, in late 2016 to discuss establishing a tutoring program for local refugee children. “She was eager to help our students connect with members of this vulnerable population in our city,” FitzGerald said. On a Saturday morning the following January, FitzGerald drove five Upper School students to a local apartment complex to meet Zeidan and several refugee children who lived there. “We were met in a small efficiency apartment where tutoring was held by two of the children’s mothers,” he said. “They were from Afghanistan and attempting to assimilate into the United States. They were grateful to us for our offer to help work with their children. “On that first morning, we had six children from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria who ranged in age from 6 to 13,” he added. “Our students were attentive and compassionate, and they enjoyed the one-on-one connection with these marginalized boys and girls trying to settle into life in Austin.”

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Gokhale and Sait began volunteering at iACT after learning about the organization in Chapel from school Chaplain Todd FitzGerald.

“We also have implemented a testing system so we can make sure students are retaining the information we teach them,” Gokhale added. “Their initiative and commitment have been inspiring to many other students,” said FitzGerald, who invited the two to share their experiences with other St. Stephen’s students during a special Chapel program last September. The two also have written and self-published a book about the refugee experience in an effort to teach others what they have learned from their students. Based on a fictional character, “Aya’s Home” tells the story of 10-year-old girl adjusting to her new life in America. The illustrations were created by iACT refugee students, and all proceeds benefit the refugee program.

PHOTO (left to right) Pria Gokhale and Ali Sait

Among the 20 students who served as tutors that first year, Gokhale and Sait soon emerged as tutoring leaders. “They have improved communication throughout the program, especially communication among the St. Stephen’s students who are involved in it,” FitzGerald said. “In addition, they have enhanced the quality of the tutoring program by designing a curriculum for our students to use when they tutor kids on Saturday mornings. Ali and Pria served as tutors in iACT’s iLearn Refugee Youth Summer Program, and that experience empowered them to further enhance the Saturday tutoring program.” After volunteering in both programs, Sait and Gokhale felt compelled to create their own curriculum. “We looked at other ESL curriculums and designed our own lesson plans for each week,” Sait explained. “Each plan consists of reading- and writing-based activities, a structured group lesson, a picture book review, and two games. We’ve created two variations of the materials: one for beginners and one for more advanced kids.”

Reflecting on why they wanted to write the book, Sait said the idea came from their shared desire to do more to help their students. “Refugees have important stories that need to be shared,” Sait said. “Without a doubt, I have been impacted by my volunteer work,” he concluded. “Volunteering has made me more aware of the issues affecting our world and has allowed me to join the global effort to improve the human experience.” Gokhale said she feels the same. “Tutoring has pushed me out of my comfort zone at times, but with that comes the chance to grow as a person. You begin to understand some of the problems that impact our world and, in that process, become more self-aware. I think it’s important to recognize your own privilege and then use that knowledge to help those who are not as fortunate.”




Adding to the excitement on the rainy morning was the fact that many of the Spartans mentoring the Breakthrough students participated in the program themselves while in middle school. They invested long hours during the school day and on weekends with the hope of gaining admission to St. Stephen’s through the school’s Emerging Scholars Program and ultimately becoming the first in their families to attend and graduate from college. Rain-soaked T-shirts and wet shoes did little to dampen the spirits of the Breakthrough students or their mentors as they entered the library computer lab to begin their work together. The students peppered their mentors with questions. The wanted to know what it


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Winter 2019

is like to be a student at St. Stephen’s, how the classes are, what it is like to live in a residential hall, and whether they were scared when they first arrived on campus. The mentors and students mixed and mingled easily, as the Spartans explained the St. Stephen’s experience to the younger students. One of the mentors, a St. Stephen’s junior* who participated in Breakthrough as a local middle school student, laughed and shared that she was apprehensive when she was first accepted into the Upper School, but that she had a St. Stephen’s mentor in the Breakthrough Program who helped and encouraged her. “It will all be worth it,” she promised the younger students. “I am already well prepared for college!” Although junior year can be demanding, she has taken on the added responsibility of mentoring Breakthrough students because she wants to help others, as another Spartan once helped her. “I love attending these Saturday sessions,” the Spartan explained. “I see myself in these students; I never thought I would have a chance to attend a school like this. I never knew a school like this even existed in Austin. “When I was accepted to St. Stephen’s, I was scared,” she said, adding that she often misses her family, but believes living on campus has helped her succeed and enabled her to more fully immerse herself in classes and school life. “Over the last few years, I got to know one of the Breakthrough students who is now a freshman here,” she said. “I remember that as an 8th grader she asked lots questions and took the Saturday sessions seriously. I told her that St. Stephen’s is the most accepting place. People accept your differences. More than that, they like it when you are yourself—an individual. And the teachers are happy to meet with you and help you.” As the day’s activities started to wind down and the students wrapped up their research, another Spartan mentor assisting two Breakthrough students pointed to something on the computer screen while casually chatting with them in Spanish. Perhaps several years from now, these young middle school students will take over her role as a Breakthrough mentor and assist the next generation of future Spartans.

*For privacy purposes, St. Stephen’s does not identify financial aid recipients at our school.

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Matching Gift Challenge The Emerging Scholars Program was established at St. Stephen’s in 2008 in partnership with Carolyn and Jack Long and Breakthrough Central Texas. The program was founded on the basic principle that education truly is the great equalizer, and its goal is to remove financial barriers to success for first-generation, college-bound youth from low-income households in Austin. Thanks to generous donors, St. Stephen’s has been able to admit up to four Breakthrough students each year to the Emerging Scholar’s Program and cover 100 percent of their tuition. To date, more than two dozen Emerging Scholars have attended St. Stephen’s through this scholarship program and gone on to enroll at select colleges and universities across the country. And while the program has been transformative for these students, the entire St. Stephen’s community has been enriched immeasurably by their presence and participation in our school community. St. Stephen’s is thrilled to announce that the Long family has reinvested in this important program with their third major gift―a 3-to-1 matching gift challenge of $1 million, meaning that St. Stephen’s will collect $1 from the Longs for every $3 raised by the school community to support the program.

PHOTOS (top to bottom) Breakthrough Program mentors Anna Nasi, Maria Rangel, Kate Goodman and Margo Downing; sophomore Evan Ugarte mentors a Breathrough Program student

Please consider making a gift to the Emerging Scholars Program today to help us meet this important gift challenge. For more information, contact Associate Head of School for Advancement Christine Aubrey or Director of Major Gifts Hayden Blood at 512-327-1213. Thank you!



Winter 2019

A Week in the Life of a Proctor The residential program at St. Stephen’s is an essential component of campus life, stemming from our founders’ original vision for a diverse and inclusive school community that respects and values the individuality of its members. Shared living spaces lead to a wealth of shared experiences and a deepened appreciation for others. Senior boarding student Laura Zhu has been a member of the residential community throughout her four years at St. Stephen’s. She now serves as a Freeman House dorm proctor, a student leader selected by administrators and house parents to provide peer supervision and support to younger boarders. Zhu shares with us

In Freeman House, 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. is reserved for study hall every school night and Sunday nights. After study hall, the girls in Freeman House like to take a break in the living room before going to bed. The girls and I especially love making cookies or cinnamon rolls while we catch up on what happened throughout the day! After the girls are ready for lights out at 10:30 p.m., I head back into my room and complete my school work.

Tuesday Tuesday is my duty day! I am responsible for helping my house parent, Melody Harman, with looking after the dorm and am on call for whatever might come up. During dinner, I help ensure that all the girls check in for the night. On this particular evening, she tells me that one student has not checked in. I go to her room and find her asleep in bed, so I wake her up and walk her to the dining hall. I do not leave the dining hall until everyone has checked in. Following dinner, there are still about 45 minutes left until study hall. I go to the recital hall and practice violin until it is time to go back to the dorm. I prepare for study hall five minutes before it starts by collecting everyone’s cell phones and making sure that everyone is ready for a two-hour quiet study. I stay in the common room during study hall on Tuesdays to help girls with their work, if they need assistance.

what a typical week is like for a proctor.

Monday Monday can be stressful for students who just had a fun, restful weekend. In the morning, I make sure that everyone is awake and ready for their classes before I leave the dorm. Monday nights are always exciting after a long day of school work. The entire boarding community meets in the dining hall at 6 p.m. for our weekly residential sit-down dinner. It is a great opportunity to catch up with friends or bond with people we do not know well. Each Monday dinner menu has a different theme, such as Korean, Jamaican, Hawaiian or the holidays, such as Lunar New Year or Thanksgiving. After dinner, all the dorm proctors gather to meet with the head school counselor, John Dugan. As a group we bring up issues in our dorms and discuss potential solutions or improvements. We also learn from each other’s experiences. After the meeting, Freeman proctors meet with our house leader, Alix Lacelarie-Kautz, to recap what has been happening in our dorm.


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After study hall I remind the girls who are on chore duty to do their work and make sure that the dorm is clean by the end of the night. When all the girls are in bed at 10:30 p.m., I go back to my room and continue with my school work for another hour.

Wednesday Today is a typical school day, much like any other. After a long day of classes, we are all ready for after-school activities, such as sports, clubs, rehearsals or simply hanging out with friends in the dorm. During study hall, I stay in my room to work on my college application essays. One of the girls from the dorm comes to my room and tells me that she is stressed out by the amount of school work she has. I calm her down by suggesting that she communicate with her teachers and ask for an extension. I also suggest that she go to bed early and do the work in the morning instead.

Thursday Today is the birthday of a girl in Freeman House. After study hall, we all gather in the dorm common room for a birthday celebration. Many of us make a special toast, then we sing a birthday song together and eat cake. Many boarding students celebrate their birthdays in the dorm. Proctors and dorm parents help make sure everyone feels loved and cared for.

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Friday It is almost the weekend! While I am getting ready for school, a girl comes into my room and tells me that she has a headache. I walk her over to the Health Center and run to my first class right afterward. The dorm is louder on Friday after school than at any other time! Some girls are leaving for home while others are chatting; others are watching TV in the common room. The other Freeman House proctors, Cecilia Fields, Jinho Rhee, Rachel Huo and I, are going out for a proctor dinner and movie night! At midnight, I am back and make sure that everyone goes to their rooms for the evening and keeps quiet for the night.

Saturday Most of the girls like to sleep in on Saturday mornings. During lunch, I help dorm parents get everyone to the dining hall for check-in. There are always a variety of weekend activities for students to choose from! We go to the grocery store, mall, downtown Austin,

ice cream shops and so on. Some weekends the proctors organize a movie night for the dorm. There are also game nights when girls gather and play Uno, Monopoly and other board games together as a family. One of my favorite dorm activities occurs the first Saturday of the school year the annual Dorm Olympics! This year, the Freeman girls all dressed in blue and took a group photo before the Olympics started. It was a great time for me to become closer to the girls in my dorm, fellow proctors and dorm parents.

Sunday Mandatory Chapel starts at 11 a.m. We gather in the common room 30 minutes before the service to discuss the topic of the Sunday Chapel and then I announce chores for the week. Everyone in the dorm spends Sundays working to prepare for the upcoming school week and resting! Then we do it all over again‌.

— laura zhu, class of 2019

PHOTO (left to right) Freeman House proctors Laura Zhu, Cecilia Fields, Jinho Rhee and Rachel Huo



Winter 2019

SPARTAN Life Di Laura and Perry Honored for Work with Student-Athletes Two St. Stephen’s educators were recognized last fall for their outstanding work with studentathletes. Tennis Academy Director Carlos Di Laura was named Touring Coach of the Year by the U.S. Professional Tennis Association, and Charlton Perry, director of the Devil's Canyon Wilderness Program (DCWP), was named an outstanding educator by the Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center. Di Laura, who joined the St. Stephen’s Tennis Academy in 2003, received the Tim Gullikson Touring Coach of the Year Award in August during the 2018 Tennis Teachers Conference. The award is given to those coaches who work with a playing professional on the ATP World Tour, WTA or with a touring junior. Under his direction, the school’s Tennis Academy has developed more than 50 players to NCAA programs. A member of the faculty since 1996, Perry received the Westcave Award for Enduring Dedication for teaching students to live sustainably and find a deep and rich connection with nature. He was recognized during the Center’s annual celebration dinner in September for providing one of the most innovative and successful initiatives in Central Texas to get children out into nature. Perry has led and dramatically expanded student participation in DCWP since taking over as director of the program more than a decade ago. Congratulations to these dedicated and inspiring educators!

PHOTO (left to right) Carlos Di Laura was honored by the U.S. Professional Tennis Association; Charlton Perry with his Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center award


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School


Spartan Magazine

Exploring Shared Experiences in Affinity Groups St. Stephen’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is one of the bedrocks our school mission. We ask students to become aware of and sensitive to the personal and cultural differences of our community members, and we strive to ensure our campus is a welcoming, safe and equitable environment for everyone. To help students connect with others who share their unique perspective, Director of Equity and Inclusion Yvonne Adams created a new campus-wide program called Affinity Groups, an initiative that provides a safe space for students who share cultural, economic, linguistic, political, racial or religious backgrounds, as well as sexual orientation or gender identity. “Affinity groups are designed to affirm the group that is gathering,” explained Adams, who believes these groups provide an additional layer of support for students who sometimes can feel alone in their differences or “otherness.” St. Stephen’s Affinity Groups are comprised of a number of smaller student groups that regularly meet to explore issues and share information that may affect its members. The groups’ discussions and activities depend on the needs and interests of the specific group. Currently, St. Stephen’s affinity groups include Unapologetic: Black/African-American; Espacios Compartidos: Latino/Latina/Latinx; WOKE: White/Caucasian; Asian/AsianAmerican/Pacific Islander; and True Colors: LGBTQ. Each smaller group is supported by a member of the faculty or staff, who also identifies with that group. In addition, several adult-only affinity groups meet regularly at school. “Some people may wonder why affinity groups are important to have within the larger St. Stephen’s community,” noted Adams. “We learn a great deal from conversations and interactions with people from all backgrounds and

experiences, which happen on a daily basis at St. Stephen’s. However, we have unique identities that make us see the world in different ways. “Often, we engage in intercultural dialogue without examining how our identity affects our perceptions, and we stumble into conflict because someone else does not ‘see’ the same things we do,” she added. “Having conversations in affinity groups allows us to begin to examine why we see the world the way we do and acknowledge that we all experience the world differently. This understanding engenders greater acceptance of other peoples’ perspectives, allowing for more fruitful intercultural dialogues and interactions.” Ultimately, affinity groups enhance and support positive, healthy communication and interactions across campus, as they enable individual students to feel more empowered by and appreciated for their differences. “Research shows that affinity groups help members feel psychologically more ready to seek relationships outside the group,” Adams said. “Shored up with the self-confidence that comes from healthy identity development, students begin to engage in healthy risk-taking activities like making new friends.” In the end, affinity groups help the many different members of a diverse school community become more accepting and appreciative of themselves and others, enabling students to look beyond their own personal perspective in an effort to understand and appreciate other people’s unique stories, histories and voices. PHOTO Members of St. Stephen’s Unapologetic affinity group: seniors Sirah Diallo, Timothy Bridgeman, Jordan Mitchell and Chiayenne Wolfe



Winter 2019

Gunnins Host Picnic for the Class of 2022 At the beginning of the academic year, Head of School Chris Gunnin kicked off a festive new school tradition ― an Annual Freshman Picnic. Hosted by Gunnin and his wife, Nancy, at their campus home, the inaugural event provided a great opportunity for new and returning Spartans to get to know one another and bond as a class while enjoying traditional backyard barbecue fare and ice cream. “Nancy and I were thrilled to host the new freshman at #10 today,” Gunnin said, referring to his campus home. “I enjoyed getting to know our newest Upper School students a little better and was happy to officially welcome them to the school. I look forward to getting to know each of these students better throughout the next four years.”

PHOTOS (clockwise from top) Channing Allen and Olivia Knox with Nancy and Chris Gunnin; Tony Shan, Leo Gao and Shear Huang; Anna Valdez and Jael Damman; Ellis D’Arcy and Fiona Lemieux; Rehka Nitzsche and Taylor Bernard; Chase Bratton, L.D. King, Ben Jones, Nehikhare Igiehon and Sergio Otero


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

Spartan Magazine

Best Invention Convention Ideas Celebrated In mid-December, Kindy Verderber’s sixth grade science students participated in the fifth annual Invention Convention, a project-based learning curriculum designed to teach students to think critically about problems in their world; consider the impact of inventions on their lives; and apply STEM, invention and entrepreneurial skills in creating real-world solutions. “The intent of this contest is to encourage creativity and develop problemsolving skills among students,” Verderber said. “Participants in the program identify a need or solve a problem by following the same steps and patent application procedures that an inventor would follow when patenting an invention.” Students spent six weeks designing, building and testing their inventions in preparation for the annual contest. Their inventions were judged by several prestigious individuals, including Upper School students in Danielle Horton’s engineering class. Judges rated the inventions on a variety of factors, including how well the invention addressed a problem, how thoroughly the invention was researched, and how well the invention was designed and constructed. Award-Winning Inventions Best Environmental Invention: “Waterizer” by Sofia Dunkerly Best Fun and Leisure Invention: “The Lazy YouTuber” by Joshua Natinsky Most Practical and Useful Inventions: ”Get the Beep Out of My Way” by Ben Patrick; “The Bath Blanket” by Rex Gilliland; “Fold-A-Stick” by Annabel Furlong Most Marketable Invention: “Nosquitos” by Lily Faulkner Most Original and Unique Invention: “Stay Dry” by Katie Oddo Best Layout/Design/Creative Tri-Fold Board: “Snazzy Strips” by Lauren Miller Best Technological Breakthrough Invention: “Thermal Phone Charger” by Sebastian Estep



Winter 2019

PHOTO Spartan XC team at the 2018 SPCs

Cross Country Team Overcomes Obstacles

The following student-athletes made it into the history books as Top 10 runners: Travis Dowd* Julian Baeza* Philip Chang* Jayan Nitzsche* David Allen* Sloan Wittliff Ben McHorse Shaunak Divine Yusoo Hwang *All-SPC

The 2018 Cross Country (XC) season was a story of overcoming obstacles. Senior Crayton Carrozza, two-time defending Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) Cross Country champion, was unable to compete for his senior season because his late-August birthday missed the September 1 cut-off date by six days. His ineligibility meant that the Spartans, defending SPC champions, would have to prove themselves without their No. 1 runner. Fortunately for the XC team, senior Travis Dowd stepped right in to lead the team for the season by winning the Westlake Chaparral Invitational, taking fourth at the McNeil Invitational and claiming the 2018 SPC champion title. In addition, Dowd was voted National Athlete of the Week by MileSplit for his win at Westlake. Heading into the SPCs, the XC team had their work cut out for them if they wanted to retain the title. They had won the championship by only two points in 2017 and then lost several graduating seniors and Carrozza. So what did they do? They stepped up and crushed the competition, winning the 2018 SPC title with an impressive 37 points―their second championship in as many years. Their sense of accomplishment rippled across the St. Stephen’s team, parents, coaches, administration and the league. As for Carrozza, despite the initial set-back, he was able to run in the 2018 Texas A&M Invitational and the prestigious Mt. SAC Invitational in California. He claimed the top spot in both events. With those races behind him, Carrozza has been preparing for the 2019 spring track season and his future college career. His performances in last year’s spring track season were stellar. In addition to being SPC champion, he was the conference all-time record holder in the 800-, 1600- and 3200-meter races, and anchor of the winning 4 x 800-meter relay team. He also was voted Texas High School Coaches Association Athlete of the Year. Thanks to their success at the SPCs, the whole team heads into the spring track season with the confidence that they will continue to make the St. Stephen’s community proud of their hard work and dedication to excellence and being the best that they can be.


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

Spartan Magazine

Building a Strong Community St. Stephen’s Parents’ Association (PA) is dedicated to supporting the school’s core values, including promoting an inclusive and equitable school community. We strive to create an environment in which every parent and student feels included, connected and a part of something bigger. Toward this end, all parents of current St. Stephen’s students automatically are members of the PA. This fall the PA leadership renewed its commitment to the school’s mission and values by launching two new initiatives: creating a new Mentor Family Program and reenergizing our Spartan Homecoming Spirit Week.

The Mentor Family Program Beginning last spring, a group of interested parents met to discuss how St. Stephen’s parents could do a better job helping families new to St. Stephen’s integrate into our community ― feel welcome, comfortable, informed and included. Among the many projects that grew from our discussions, including a reorganization and revamp of our Spartan Week Ahead newsletter and the creation of a Frequently Asked Questions document, the group organized a peer-to-peer, parent-toparent mentor program to personalize and de-stress the integration process for new families.

Spirit Week continued through the following week with many well-attended home games for Middle School and Upper School volleyball, field hockey and flag football teams. In addition, each day of the week had its own costume theme that was coordinated by Kathy Coe, dean of students for grades 9, 10 and 11, as well as members of student government. For the middle of the week, the PA organized an all-school pep rally. Despite the on-again, off-again rain, the school’s Thunder drumline performed to a crowd of happy kids. Spirit Week concluded on Friday with Grillin’ with the Gunnins, an all-school cookout hosted by Head of School Chris Gunnin and his wife, Nancy. Spartan Homecoming Spirit Week was full of excitement, intensity and joy, and we were thrilled to see the community come together for these spirit-filled events. — melissa rubin, parents’ association president, 2018–19

Each member of our Hospitality Task Force became a mentor family for a handful of new parents. Under the leadership of Jill Dewey, mentor family chair, each mentor reached out to new parents to personally welcome them to St. Stephen’s, assist them in navigating and enjoying the first weeks of school, and field a multitude of questions that arise when a student starts a new school. Mentor families continued to support and communicate with their new families well into the fall, as needed, to help ensure each new family felt like they had a supportive, empathetic and encouraging friend at the ready. Many new families reported that their transition to St. Stephen’s was smooth, and some expressed interest in joining us next year as mentor families. Never resting on our laurels, we already are busy revising and refining our processes to improve the experience for next summer’s new faces.

Spartan Homecoming Spirit Week One of the liveliest times on any school campus is homecoming, when fall sports and student enthusiasm are in full swing. The PA believes this represents a great opportunity in the school year to focus on building community and camaraderie―a time for all school constituents to gather and unite as Spartans. This year’s Homecoming Spirit Week commenced on Friday with a huge turnout for the Spartan Block Party, an after-school carnival sponsored by the PA. It was followed by the only Saints varsity football game played on our campus this year. Alumni joined in the fun, as Reunion Weekend began on Friday and continued through the weekend.

PHOTOS Homecoming Spartan-style



Winter 2019

Students Spearhead More Healthy Eating Throughout the last few years, Head Athletic Trainer Kathy Rainey has helped initiate a number of student-led nutritional improvements on campus and increased the full school community’s interest in more healthful eating. In the spring of 2018, members of student government recognized the demand for healthier snack options in the school bookstore. A committee was formed, comprised of then-seniors Ava Mouton-Johnston and Allie Goldreyer and current senior Greta Kastner, who created a detailed form to survey the interests of all students. Based on the 255 responses they received, the committee determine that students wanted a variety of healthier food options in the bookstore. They met with Bookstore Manager Missie Thorp and shared the detailed survey data, which indicated the types of foods that students were interested in purchasing. Thorp removed many of the unhealthier items that are loaded with caffeine and sugar and restocked the store with the requested items, including guacamole, hummus, carrot sticks, mozzarella sticks, nutrition bars, baked chips, trail mix, nuts and apple slices. Thorp reported that students who previously never frequented the bookstore for snacks now visit regularly. Other healthful changes spearheaded by Rainey throughout the last few years include: Replacing snack options in Athletic department vending machines with more healthful choices Increasing the quality of the salads and fruits provided in the dining hall Offering fresh fruit, nutritional drinks, and protein bars/shakes in the athletic training room for all student-athletes Improving the nutritional quality of meals provided to athletes on school trips Providing healthful snack suggestions to dorm parents and advisors in the fall Giving or arranging for dietitians/doctors to give talks on nutrition to students and athletic teams, including new boarding students, Health classes, and female/male triad athletes

To learn more about the nutritional needs of adolescents and healthful food options for student-athletes, please contact Kathy Rainey at


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

Spartan Magazine

Picture Yourself in Our New Photography Book Collection John Scanlan, longtime member of the school community and current Spartan grandparent, has donated a meticulously curated collection of nearly 1,000 fine art photography books with topics spanning a wide range of genres, including documentary, architecture, portraiture, fashion, figure study, landscape, sports, street, still life, abstract, modern, conceptual and superrealism. The collection also includes texts on early photography techniques and photo criticism, as well as photographer monographs. With his gift, Scanlan has established a robust reference library for use by current and future students and teachers. The complete collection is housed in the Bowen Fine Arts Center. If you would like to arrange a time to visit, please contact Photography Instructor Chris Caselli ’82.

PHOTO Taya Lorenz pulls selections from the school’s new collection of photography texts



Winter 2019

Students Explore Davis Mountains Upper School physics and engineering teacher Danielle Horton led 14 students and four faculty members on a trip to the Davis Mountains last November. In addition to studying the local flora and fauna, the group participated in a service project for the Davis Mountains Nature Conservancy. Spartans worked the land, improving trails and access to a remote section of the Conservancy. The next day they visited the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Institute for an extensive hike, during which they learned about the ecology, geology and wildlife of the Rio Grande River Basin. Evenings consisted of a star party at McDonald Observatory and a guided night hike through the Conservancy. Other highlights of the trip included roasting marshmallows on a charcoal grill (due to the burn ban in the Preserve), spotting a Black bear on a migration route from the mountains of Mexico to New Mexico, playing games in the lodge, and making new friends.


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

The intrepid participants (pictured left to right) included: Tony Shan, Vijay Jhaveri, Miranda Weber, Richard Shao, Chloe Lawrence, Allen Cao, biology teacher Kathy McCain, Veer Chauhan, Lillian Gunn, Cole McQuinn, Kate Beveridge, Ari Sher, Leo Gao, Leo Chou, Cristian Dominguez and West Texas Program leader Danielle Horton. The West Texas Program at St. Stephen's creates opportunities for students to participate in short four- or five-day field trips to learn about land and water conservation in West Texas. Students get to camp under the stars, hike the land, search for fossils, visit with local ranchers, and help preserve and protect the land. Typically, four or five trips are offered to student groups each year. Students interested in participating in the West Texas Program should contact Danielle Horton. This program is made possible by a gift from G.R. White Trust.

Spartan Magazine

Seniors Recognized for Academic Achievement St. Stephen’s is pleased to announce those members of the Class of 2019 who have been recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corp. and the National Hispanic Recognition Program for their strong academic performance on the October 2017 PSAT. Among them, 13 seniors were named National Merit Semifinalists, 14 were honored as National Merit Commended students, and six were named National Hispanic Recognition Program scholars. Recognized seniors included David Allen, Lauren Aung, Ella Benjamin, Emma Breckwoldt, Philip Chang, Veer Chauhan, Jordan Cobb, Audrey Czuchna, Travis Dowd, Will Dure, Aidan Ellis, Jacob Hale, Kristen Hanks, Kailey Hicks, Gary Hu, Ian Hutchison, Josh Lafair, Brett Lin, David Lucid, Ben McCord, James Mohn, Siofra Murdoch, Sofia Otero, Jenna Rogge, Zachary Routh, Elizabeth Rowe, Ben Sabra, Gracie Salomon, Lavanya Sankaran, Katya Shmorhun and Haley Stilp.

Members of StuGov were sworn into office last fall; pictured above are executive board members (seated) Aidan Ellis, Philip Chang, Veer Chauhan, Mary Orms and Chloe Lawrence with StuGov class representatives



Winter 2019

An Education in Supporting the Annual Fund St. Stephen’s faculty share their reasons for making a gift to the Annual Fund:


“I’m proud to work at a school that is committed to offering transformative experiences to a diverse student body. I often take for granted the resources that allow me to teach the way I do. But the reality is that the meaningful work we do at St. Stephen’s would not be possible without generous financial support from people who believe in our mission. When I contribute to the Annual Fund, I think of it as an investment in that mission, an investment in the type of place our school strives to be on its very best days.” — andy aceves, upper school english teacher


“I contribute to the Annual Fund because of St. Stephen’s dedication to diversity, inclusion, service learning and rigorous academics. As an alumna and current faculty member, supporting the Annual Fund is one of the most important ways that I can show my appreciation for the school’s ongoing commitment to the values and mission that make it such a unique and special place.” — virginia talley ’97, spanish instructor


“From the day I interviewed, I could feel the special vibe on campus. It is important to me to support organizations that work toward helping others and the greater good of the world. I cannot think of a better organization to support than the one at which I work.” — kim meyer, upper school math teacher, house leader allen house


“I know the decision to contribute is personal. Sometimes people wonder what a $5 or $10 gift will do in a world where gifts of much more are the ones we hear about in the news. A gift of $5, $10 or $100 makes an impact in and of itself, added to all the others. Supporting the Annual Fund is a way to show that St. Stephen's is not just a job; it's something we all support, and we show it through our participation. — elizabeth hansing moon, fine arts department chair


“St. Stephen’s is a place that understands the importance of community. That’s why the Annual Fund is so crucial: It ensures that we remain strong and vibrant, and able to continue the important mission entrusted to us for generations to come.” — greg bonetti, annual fund faculty co-chair, english instructor


“I believe that contributing to the Annual Fund is important because not only is it a practical way for us to meet our operating expenses, but much more importantly, it’s a way for me to show how much I love my community at St. Stephen’s. Teaching here is how I make my living, but considering how much my job has given me, I want to give back!” — jenneken van keppel, annual fund faculty co-chair, english instructor

Please join these incredible teachers in making a gift to the 2018‒19 Annual Fund by visiting today.


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

Spartan Magazine

Remembering Brooke Laws and Karen Haverlah In early fall two indelible campus figures and deeply loved members of our school community lost their battles with cancer: Brooke Howe Laws, who served most recently as Middle School dean, and Karen Haverlah, music instructor. In their own right and in their own ways, they were both remarkable women.

Brooke Howe Laws, 1971 to 2018 Born in Boston, Mass., Laws earned bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and history from Baylor University and a master’s degree in Spanish from Middlebury College before embarking on a career in education. She joined the St. Stephen’s faculty in 1998 and was a cornerstone of our school for 20 years. Laws taught Upper School Spanish and served as 9th and 10th grade dean before moving to the Middle School, where she taught Spanish, served as 8th grade team leader, student advisor and, ultimately, Middle School dean. Many current and former Spartans point to her strong leadership and thoughtful support as vital components of their time at the school. Laws was widely recognized for creating what is now the unofficial motto of Gunn Hall: “Work Hard + Be Kind.” For Magnus Maccow, head of the Middle School, “The simplicity and power of these words sum up the genius of Brooke, because this is the way she went about her life.” Family and friends recently established the Brooke H. Laws Endowment to honor her memory and great legacy at St. Stephen’s. This special named endowment will support a guest lecture series, regularly bringing national experts in the fields of adolescent development, socialemotional learning and character development to the school. For more information, please contact Christine Aubrey, associate head of school for advancement, at

Karen Christiansen Haverlah, 1944 to 2018 A native Texan, Haverlah earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas Lutheran University and the University of Houston, respectively. Haverlah was a fixture at St. Stephen’s for more than 30 years. In addition to Middle School music classes, she taught private organ and piano lessons. Throughout her tenure at the school, she served as accompanist to the Madrigal Singers and school choirs, and organist for Chapel services and special programs. Haverlah also sang soprano for many years alongside St. Stephen’s colleagues in the Conspirare Symphonic Choir in Austin. Haverlah will be remembered and celebrated for her extraordinary kindness, steadfast commitment to her students, enduring patience, compassion and cheerful spirit. “Since her passing hardly a day has gone by without at least one or two students or parents stopping by to tell me about a special moment they shared with her,” said Elizabeth Hansing Moon, Fine Arts department chair. “Karen treated everyone with remarkable care and thoughtfulness. She touched the lives of generations of Spartan families. We will all miss her gentle spirit and kind heart.”

The St. Stephen’s school community remains grateful for the presence and grace of Brooke Laws and Karen Haverlah in our lives.




St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

Winter 2019


Spartan Magazine

A Toast to the Past and Nod to the Future

On September 21, the first day of Reunion 2018, the weather forecast was grim. Impending storms threatened to hamper the weekend’s festivities. Then, unexpectedly, the sun broke through the clouds as if to welcome alumni back to St. Stephen’s. The air was crisp, the foliage vibrant, and bursts of energy erupted across campus as alumni made their way back to The Hill. Reunion 2018 marked the beginning of many new offerings. Traditional Reunion programming was paired with impactful new initiatives, such as a Leadership Luncheon and Spartan Colloquium. The festivities commenced on Friday morning with alumni attending Chapel with current students. Campus tours and lunch with members of the Class of 2020 followed. The evening’s activities began with an intimate Social Hour, where Spartans of all ages connected with one another. A record number of alumni attended the Pioneer Spartan Dinner with Head of School Chris Gunnin. More than 60 alumni from the Classes of 1951 to 1968 gathered in the newly renovated Becker Library to reminisce about their time at St. Stephen’s and share where life has taken them throughout the past 50-plus years. At the end of the event, attendees received a handmade wooden ornament engraved with a drawing of the Chapel by senior boarding student Nina Duan. This ornament was created in the school’s new Project and Idea Realization Lab (PIRL) and perfectly encompassed the essence of St. Stephen’s — interdisciplinary learning and creative experimentation combined with intradepartmental collaboration. Saturday’s programming kicked off with the inaugural Leadership Luncheon, a special gathering designed to celebrate and thank Alumni Class Representatives, Legacy Council members and alumni trustees for their steadfast commitment to the school. The Rev. William Brewster ’51 was the distinguished speaker for the event. During his talk, Brewster shared information about the early days of the school, when his father served as the first headmaster, and other personal stories that helped Spartans in attendance more deeply connect with the institution. Brewster demonstrated some of the many ways in which alumni, regardless of when they graduated, can have an impact on and remain connected to the school. Following the luncheon, the Class of 1968 hosted the first-ever Spartan Colloquium. Entitled “1968: A View from The Hill and After,” the panel was moderated by History Department Chair Shelley Sallee, Ph.D. The colloquium was the brainchild of several members of the Class of 1968, who worked together to figure out event logistics, plan the topic of conversation and secure a moderator. This event was well attended and significantly enhanced the quality of Reunion programing on Saturday afternoon. Members of the Advancement Office hope that the success of this event inspires more

PHOTOS OPPOSITE PAGE (top to bottom): The Rev. Anne Knight Hoey ’56 at the Pioneer Spartans Dinner; Randall Paris, Hilary Metcalfe Paris, Blaire Metcalfe Merket ’08 and Garret Merket; THIS PAGE (top to bottom): Lou Porter Bailey ’71, Julie Buckthal Person ’71, Mary Bachman Burke ’69 and Jennifer Stayton ’85; Natalie Wolfe ’08 and Ryan Wolfe ’08 attended Reunion for the first time as spouses



Winter 2019

alumni to get involved in Reunion planning so that future programming resonates with you and your classmates. A video recording of the Class of 1968 colloquium can be found on the St. Stephen’s YouTube page. The annual Saturday evening barbeque proved, once again, to be a highlight of Reunion weekend. Usually held on The Hill near the Chapel, this year’s barbeque was moved to Clayton Gymnasium due to the threat of rain. As always, alumni and their families, faculty and staff, and friends of the school reconnected with one another and welcomed new Spartan alumni into the fold. Alumni returned to campus on Sunday morning for the last event of the weekend. The day began with a special Chapel program, during which graduates sat with boarding students. The Rev. William Brewster ’51 served as guest speaker once again and used the opportunity to underscore the significance of the school’s founding, as well as its mission, vision and values. The morning ended with our annual Champagne Brunch. Attendees enjoyed delicious food and refueled before beginning their journeys home. Thank you to all alumni who made the trip back to campus for Reunion 2018. We understand that in the digital age it may be easier to connect with classmates via social media. However, nothing can replace reuniting with one another in person, on our campus. We hope that all of you will join us for Reunion 2019, September 27-29, when we will celebrate the class years ending in 4s and 9s. Please remember that all alumni classes are invited to participate in Reunion festivities. In the meantime, if you have not yet made a gift to this year’s Annual Fund campaign, please consider making one today. In addition, you can connect with other Spartan alumni at any time by downloading our professional networking app, “Spartans Connect,” from the App Store, Google Play or at http://community.evertrue. com/sstx. —nolu mcIlraith ’12, alumni relations and giving coordinator

PHOTOS (top to bottom): Henry Brooks ’58, Steve Hall, Stella Brewster Hall ’58 and Bruce Street ’58; Associate Head of School for Advancement Christine Aubrey with Tom Romberg ’59 and Peggy Romberg; Shoichi Sato ’08, math instructor David Hailey and Robbin Goodman ’10; Johnathan Quander ’89, Director of Major Gifts Hayden Blood, Mallory Boyle’ 04 and Thomas Frakes ’05; (right) English instructors Jenneken Van Keppel and Colleen Hynes with their daughters


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

Spartan Magazine

If you would like to serve on a Reunion committee and assist with planning, please contact Nolu McIlraith ‘12, alumni relations and giving coordinator, at or 512.327.1213 x178.

PHOTOS (clockwise from top left): James T. Carter ’13, Annie Nordhauser ’13, Spencer Dunkerley-Offor ’13 and Patrick O’Hare ’13 celebrated their fifth Reunion; members of the Class of 1998; Director of Planned Giving Melody Harman and Alumni Relations Giving Coordinator Nolu McIlraith ’12; biology instructor Dean Mohlman with spouse Shobie Partos and their daughter; members of the Class of 1993 celebrated their 25th Reunion; Mary Bachman Burke ’69, Alan H. Fenton, James B. Smith ’72 and Katherine Enyart ‘73


Winter 2019

Photo by Whitney Martin


MEASURE founder Meme Styles and Yasmine D. Smith ’12 (right)

Serving and Strengthening Her Community “I am most proud of waking up every day and having the privilege of serving those around me,” said Yasmine D. Smith ’12, chief development officer of MEASURE, a nonprofit that partners with local communities to address complex social problems in Austin, Texas.

Smith, who graduated from St. Edward’s in three years with a degree in criminal justice, went on to earn a J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law. “Outside of law school, St. Stephen’s was the hardest academic experience that I have had,” said Smith, who said the school helped her cultivate the skills needed to navigate law school. While on The Hill, she learned time management, honed her writing skills, developed academic resilience, and learned the importance of maintaining balance for her emotional and physical well-being. When Smith enrolled at St. Stephen’s in the fall of 2009, she initially suffered culture shock; she was not accustomed to such a rigorous academic environment. Also, as a financial aid recipient, Smith said she had to deal with imposter syndrome in which she doubted her right to attend the school. “Attending St. Stephen’s enabled me


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

to realize my own self-worth and inner strength, because I was challenged and succeeded in ways I never had before,” she said. “I also realized it was an opportunity to expand my horizons and improve the quality of life not only for myself, but for my family and community as well.” Smith found support in a beloved campus icon, history teacher Kathryn Pulley Respess, who served as her advisor. Respess worked tirelessly to create a sense of home and belonging for her boarding advisees. She often treated them to homemade breakfast pastries and made them birthday cakes. Smith also gained a strong sense of community from living in the dorms. “Mrs. Respess worked hard to guarantee each of her advisee’s academic success,” Smith said. “Mrs. Respess was intentional

about understanding her students’ different learning methods. She was a teacher who was able to recognize the variety of academic experiences in her classroom and how a blanket model would not satisfy the academic needs of all her students.” Smith recalled a time when she was having difficulty mastering the chronological order of events they were studying in her freshman history class. “I remember sitting in the Crossroads during an off-period with Mrs. Respess,” Smith said. “She pulled out a pencil, started making beats on the table and began rapping the important historical dates to help me learn them for an upcoming exam.” In addition to Respess, Yvonne Adams served as both role model and mentor to Smith. “She showed me a way to be strong that I had not seen before,” Smith said of the school’s director of equity and inclusion. “Black women are very strong individuals. She was able to show me how a black woman in a predominantly white institution could navigate the space while still being authentic.” Although Smith said this is a skill she is still trying to master, she believes her exposure to Adams’ professional skill set and personal guidance have aided her greatly, particularly while attending law school. Ultimately, she believes the most important lesson she learned at St. Stephen’s was that “diverging differences are the culmination of a beautiful world.” “To embrace and learn from individuals who are of different socioeconomic statuses and races and have different ideologies is crucial,” she noted. “Intercultural exchange can only be achieved when you are intentional about respecting and loving those around you. “It is important to remember that every person you come across, every class you take, every event that you attend is an opportunity to learn,” Smith added. “You must take advantage of these opportunities and of what is in front of you. This is the only way to broaden your horizons, expand your skill set, and challenge your ideologies and beliefs.” Smith carried this philosophy with her to law school at UT, where she soon realized that her transition into this new academic setting would not be seamless. Smith felt her more well-established peers, who came from higher socio-economic backgrounds and were able to utilize their personal networks to their advantage, started their program with an unequal advantage. Even though she mastered the academic material, having limited financial resources made it difficult for her to “look and act the part.” “I quickly became aware of how my lack of financial capital created barriers to access,” she said. “Once I was in a mock interview, and the

Spartan Magazine

interviewer stated that my best suit was not ‘up-to-par’ and would deter me from getting hired at some of the best firms in Austin.” Yet, these obstacles did not distract Smith from her studies. In fact, the presence of these barriers motivated her to work in tandem with UT officials and community organizers to help level the playing field for people of color and underserved students in the law school. She partnered with the nonprofit Dress for Success to create a suit bank to ensure that all students had access to appropriate professional attire. She also worked with administrators to lower the cost of food in the campus cafe. In addition, to increase the number of people of color who study and practice law, she partnered with the educational nonprofit Breakthrough Austin to teach local high school students about the field of law. To date, they have introduced close to 200 sophomore students to the field of study and programs offered a UT. Smith is particularly proud of a new orientation program she helped start for students of underserved backgrounds entering UT as firstyear law students. The initiative, “Thriving in Law School,” helps provide for incoming law students many of the things that Smith wished she had at that point is her career. “The goal of this diversity program is to level the playing field for students from underserved communities so they can thrive in ways that I was not able to,” she said. “During this orientation, new law students are able to network with UT law alumni so that they enter the program with useful social capital. They learn about important resources available to them, such as where to get affordable tailored suits, and the ins and outs of the internal politics and structure of the school.” Following law school, Smith joined the local nonprofit MEASURE as a legal fellow. She now serves as chief officer of development, which encompasses fundraising, planning events, and helping to facilitate marketing and communications for the organization. “MEASURE’s objective is to leverage quantitative and qualitative information, in the form of research and education, as a tool to bridge divisions and empower communities to address complex social problems,” she said, “MEASURE uses data to track instances of police misconduct and community policing. It utilizes the data to help inform grassroots organization and methods of bringing local law enforcement and community members together to breakdown stigmas and other misconceptions.” Looking ahead, Smith plans to continue working for MEASURE, as well as find a full-time associate position at a local law firm. She also plans to continue to “serve those around me in both my personal and professional life to influence social, economic and political change in the Austin community.” —nolu mcIlraith ’12, alumni relations and giving coordinator



Winter 2019

Class Notes 1951
























1957 RU T H W I L S O N W I T T E N

1958 J. P. B RYA N OR


1960 PAT FAT T E R B L A C K

Joan Berry Bird has been enjoying retirement with chamber involvement and local Lions Club legacy projects.


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

Joann Sullivan returned home from attending the Grantmakers in Aging annual conference in Memphis, Tenn. Sullivan said it was great to hear from other philanthropists about programs they are supporting for older adults in their respective states. She has been also amazed at how important a role philanthropy plays in developing programs like palliative care, which insurance companies often refuse to cover. Helen Thompson released her new book, “Texas Made/ Texas Modern,” in which she traces the architectural legacy of architect O’Neil Ford from the 1930s until today.

Candy Miller maintains a web page for the class at Jay Millard started his 13th season working on the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in High Definition series, bringing live performances to cinemas around the world on 10 Saturday afternoons during the season. He and his wife have been living in London for the past year and a half. They had a chance to visit with Jonathan Neale, both in London and during the summer in Cape Cod, Mass. During their time in London, he and his wife, Wenda, took advantage of the central location and visited a lot of countries, from Iceland to Tunisia. He hopes this finds all his classmates healthy and happy!


third day and then headed up to northern France with Gen. Patton’s army, where he was wounded, came home and then met Buck’s mother, who was a candy striper at the VA hospital in Temple, Texas.

Janet Youens Wolters is widowed. She has moved to her hometown, where she has lots of family and friends to support her and is in her comfort zone. Louis Buck and his wife, Nancy, were in Annapolis, Md., and went to a Navy football game, where they saw their sons and daughters-in-law. The weather was cool and beautiful. He played golf in the Navy homecoming tournament, but did not do very well due to a stiff back. He and his wife have plans to travel to France in May 2019 for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The purpose of the trip is to see where his father went ashore on the

Helen Thompson ’66 at a book signing for “Texas Made/Texas Modern” Ann Gateley reported that Jeff Turner and another St. Stephen’s alumnus visited her and husband Ira with their wives for the balloon festival. She and Ira hosted a meal for them and had a great time with good friends and wine. She and Ira traveled a lot during 2018, as they celebrated her 70th birthday. They visited eight countries, ending their trip in Australia and New Zealand. Candy Miller has spent a lot of time in California since her mother’s death in May. She was fortunate to have been with her for her mother’s final six weeks, which was a gift. Stroud Kelley is still living in Prague, where Ann Gateley and her husband, Ira, visited him earlier this year.

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Sean G. Turner stated that although it has been a difficult year, with epic flooding in his tiny city, he feels fortunate that his home is still standing, as many were not so fortunate. He also suffered some loss of property due to the flood but is confident that he will survive these challenges. He sends his love to all of his former classmates and friends.

Sarah Gerfen retired in winter 2017. She had previously been operations director at a small nonprofit. The transition to retirement was really strange at first, but now she is quite delighted with having the days to do as she pleases. Her family is still a big factor in her life; their first child got married in summer 2018. Unfortunately, two days later her son ruptured both his patellar tendons and could not walk for a while. So she spent a month in Burlington, Vt., taking care of him. Afterward, she spent the month of November in Sarasota, Fla., where she spent time with her mother, who is 95. Sarah asked that you contact her if you happen to be in the Washington, D.C., or Sarasota areas.

1971 K AT H RY N M I L L E R A N D E R S O N

Larry W. Jones sends his prayers to the Fenton/ Simmonds families, especially to Claire Simmonds’ son, Patrick. Anne Gateley ’66 reunited with Stroud Kelley ’66 in Prague earlier this year

1967 R A N D Y PA R T E N

Kathryn Miller Anderson continues to enjoy reconnecting with Spartans of all ages. Earlier this fall, a group of St. Stephen’s alumni reunited to enjoy the Beatles music at the weekly Beatles Bash at New World Deli in Hyde Park in Austin. She would love for other alumni to join them Tuesday nights at 6:30 p.m.!


Robert Henderson reported that Reunion 2018 was a huge success. Outside of traditional Reunion programing, Clarke Heidrick and his wife, Catherine, opened their home to classmates on Saturday for brunch. During the event, attendees reunited with the first recipient of the school’s Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship, Rudy Green ’71, and his wife, Joyce. The synchronicity of events following the decision by the Class of 1968 to “do something” after Dr. King’s assassination was complemented by Green’s compelling, improbable and wonderful story, which he shared with the group. That decision by high school seniors to take action from April to June in 1968 altered the trajectory of both his life and St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. Spartans from the Class of 1968, in their voluble and probing way, made another decision. They framed inclusive parameters for and then recommitted to the legacy of the MLK Scholarship to ensure it remains an endowed fixture of St. Stephen’s for generations to come.


Spartan alumni at the weekly Beatles Bash in Austin


Marriane Burke has lived in St. Louis since 1986 and has transitioned from teaching ESL, K-8 and primary French to a becoming a licensed professional counselor specializing in mood disorders, trauma and borderline personality disorder. She completed her M.A. in counseling from Covenant Theological Seminary in 2007. She worked as a therapist and certified Christian conciliator at Live at Peace Ministries from 2007 to 2009, and she has been a staff therapist at the nonprofit CrossRoads Counseling Center since 2010. Her daughter, Kathleen Kayembe, is a writer who publishes science fiction urban fantasy books. She was thrilled to have stories included in the 2017 and 2018 Best Science Fiction anthologies. Her son, T.K. Kayembe, has a production company called WinWin, in Los Angeles, Calif. He writes and produces music for various artists, primarily hip-hop, as well as other commercial interests. Peter Pate missed Reunion 2018 because he was visiting his son, Zach, at Radford University in Virginia. While he has spent most of his professional career in defenserelated aerospace, he is currently a civil servant at the U.S. Department of Defense. He is also a district commissioner in northern Virginia. His daughter Kassidy is trying to decide what course her life might take. Pate was sorry to miss his 45th reunion but promises to make it to the 50th.


Darrell David reported that he and Brenda have moved into their new home in Allandale, near 2222 and Mopac, although construction continues. They love being in what is now considered “Central Austin” and a great neighborhood but, most importantly, spending significantly less time on Mopac during rush hour. They welcomed their third grandchild in mid-December.

Mike Thompson and his wife, Pam, have been living in Cary, N.C., where in the last 10 years, he has built up a small consulting firm focused on data mining, predictive modeling, artificial intelligence and what has come to be called ‘data science.’ It has been challenging and rewarding, especially the work he has done on workplace and public safety. He tries to spend time in the outdoors hiking, but running a small business takes a lot of time and energy. He also volunteers in scouting, mostly just sitting on boards of review for Eagle Scout candidates. In 2017 he found time to do one unusual thing and became a certified Emergency Medical Technician. Pam stopped teaching piano a while back. She still does some research related to her dissertation



Winter 2019

Virginia Bailey, daughter of Dinah Accord Weems ’75, Libby Flory ‘75, Mark Flory ’75, and Hannah Flory at dinner in Dallas

Members of the Class of 1973 reunited at the Driskill Hotel in Austin while celebrating their 45th Reunion

on 18th century music notation and plays some for her own pleasure, but most of her activities are no longer piano-related. She works part-time as a medical librarian and volunteers as an ESL tutor. Mary Mullins is a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she teaches critical thinking, reading, writing and research skills to freshmen and sophomores. She is also active in Liberal Women of Chesterfield County (LWCC). The LWCC formed after the 2016 presidential election. The organization works to get progressive candidates elected; advocates for important issues at the local, state and national level; and does community service projects. Pundits keep wondering if the enthusiasm of the resistance will wane, but the LWCC is continuing to build momentum. LWCC efforts and successes have been reported on in The New York Times, Washington Post and the The Economist, among other publications. Mullins has been married to her husband, Tom, for 31 years. He is semi-retired and has a part-time private practice providing therapy to couples and individuals. Together, they have two grown daughters. Rachel is married and lives in Hawaii with her husband, Brandon, who is stationed at Pearl Harbor. Rachel currently manages a Gates Foundation Grant for the community college system there. Madeleine lives in San Diego. She is certified in geographic information system and is a hydrographic data analyst.


1975 M A RY B R A N D T S Y LV I A M C I N T Y R E - C R O O K


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

Charles Stover and his wife, Mary, hosted a party for her father-in-law’s 90th birthday in October — an event that caused friends and family to come from as far away as Panama. February marked his 20th year at Apple, where he works mostly on Apple’s accessibility initiatives. He enjoys this work and regularly gets emails from Apple customers explaining how Apple’s accessibility features have truly helped them or helped their family members. It is a satisfying and rewarding job. Doug Bryce reported that his youngest son, Michael, headed off to become an engineer, leaving him and his wife, Grace, in a house that could be a small hotel. In December 2017, he sold his family’s 19-room Georgetown office, which used to be the Texas Hotel and was in the family for 80 years. He now has a mobile law practice focused on estate planning, probate, small business, trusts and other family protection law. He often finds himself going to his clients’ meeting place of choice, which is very popular. He and Grace also have become certified Transformational Breath facilitators. It is a safe, drug-free modality that uses various techniques to bring about physical, emotional and spiritual transformation. Grace is also a certified trainer and travels to a lot of events. She gets a lot of “hopeless” clients to feel better, using many different techniques. Dinah Acord Weems and her husband, Jeff, took an early 20th wedding anniversary trip to Europe. They took a Viking River cruise down the Danube from Germany through Vienna, ending in Budapest. They celebrated their son Kent’s wedding in 2018 in Wimberley, Texas. Libby Brosier Flory reported that she and her husband, Mark Flory, and their daughter, Hannah, reunited with Spartan alumni over dinner in Dallas. Hannah completed her fifth year general surgery residency at UT Southwestern Medical Center in June.

Catherine Texter Baker recently got a job at Wesleyan College in Macon, Ga., to head up the College’s Equestrian Program. She coached three students who competed in a show in Gainesville, Fla., where Sylvia McIntyre-Cook lives, so they were able to catch up for the first time in 35 or 40 years. Sylvia McIntyre-Crook still lives Gainesville, Fla., is still painting and loves it. She is involved with some political activism and supporting local candidates. She has a daughter in Austin who is self-employed making purses and T-shirts with embroidered images and phrases, as well as padded bicycle bags that her bicyclist boyfriend designs and helps to sew. Her son lives in Oslo with his longtime girlfriend who is from Norway. He is doing well there as a percussionist. Her husband, Larry, is looking forward to retiring from teaching at the University of Florida department of music at the end of the academic year.

Sylvia McIntyre-Crook ’75 and Catherine Texter Baker ’75

1976 DA N I E L N O RT O N

Join the Facebook Page “St. Stephen’s Episcopal School Class of 1976” Susan Guest Cook is excited to share that her daughter, Lizzie Guest, premiered her new comedy, (DE)CODED, at NYC Fringe in October.


Robert Ettinger reported that on the last Saturday of every month, Roger Williams, Dan Richards, David Long and Maury Domengeaux meet for breakfast. They discuss the issues of the day and then try to remember what they did together in high school and college. Often times, between them, they can put together the events of something they did together back in school. Ettinger went to San Francisco in May to see a show at the Fox Theater in Oakland with his son, Reilly, who lives in Dallas and Manhattan. They had dinner with Evan Judd and his daughter, Annabelle, who is a senior in college and delightful.


1979 C A R R O L L L I V E LY R E E S E R

Kal Silverberg reported that life has been interesting for his family. His son, Steven, graduated from Rice in 2013 and is scheduled to graduate with a Ph.D. in physics with a specialty in astronomy from Oklahoma in 2019. He has been on loan to NASA at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., for the past three years as project manager for a citizen science website. He also has published three or four articles as lead author in various astrophysical journals. He will look for a one-year post-doctorate in the Boston area next year, as his fiancée will have one more year at Hebrew College in Newton, Mass., working on her combination music/ Jewish education degree. Silverberg’s daughter, Sarah, is finishing her senior year at Saint Louis University, where she is majoring in mechanical engineering. She is working in a robotics lab on campus on a National Science Foundation-funded position, learning how to teach a robot to do simple human actions, like shake hands. Her ultimate goal is to put the next generation of robots on planets. His wife, Karen, is still at Tarrant County College, running the ABA-approved Paralegal Program while keeping him out of trouble. She had a bout of cancer in late spring 2016, but she was very fortunate that it was stage zero. The hardest part was that his dad passed away from Alzheimer’s 11 days after her surgery, which made for an interesting recovery summer. His mother is still with them, amazing everyone with her health and attitude given that she has had Multiple Sclerosis since 1970. As for Silverberg, he is starting his 33rd year with the BNSF Railway. He has bounced around several departments and is currently in customer support in Fort Worth. If anyone is coming through or visiting Fort Worth, he is always up to treating friends to lunch.

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1982 W E N D Y W H I T E NAU G H T O N


1984 S U Z A N N E C A N TA R I N O P F E I F F E R

1985 L I B B I E WA L K E R A N S E L L


ALUMNI GATHERINGS AROUND THE WORLD Throughout the past three years, St. Stephen’s faculty and staff have had the pleasure of reconnecting with alumni at a variety of Spartan gatherings. Alumni Relations, Admissions, Athletics, International Program and Fine Arts department staff, as well as Head of School Chris Gunnin, have worked intentionally to create spaces where our alumni feel welcomed. Some of our largest events were held in New York City, Austin, Houston and Washington, D.C. These events have included alumni socials, private dinners with faculty and staff, and post-conference receptions. We have been pleased to welcome Spartan alumni of all ages, their families and significant others to these events, as they enable us to stay connected with and remain a part of our graduates’ lives. So whether you plan to spend an evening with us or have just enough time to stop by and say, “Hi,” we would love to see you soon at one of our gatherings. Have you received notifications about our most recent alumni events? Please help ensure that we have your most up-to-date contact information by emailing Nolu McIlraith ’12 at Sharing your current contact information is crucial to ensuring that you receive an invitation to alumni gatherings. It also helps us determine which cities to visit.

1987 C AT H E R I N E H O E Y R A N DA L L


1989 J O H N AT H A N Q UA N D E R
















Winter 2019

Keith Junell Statler and his wife welcomed daughter Beverly to their family in the fall. Beverly is well cared for by big brothers Felix and Lyle.

1993 DAV I S B A L D W I N

Ben Hoke and his wife, Katherine, welcomed Mildred “Millie” Doris Hoke to the world on June 1, 2018. Millie and her proud parents live in Salt Lake City, Utah, where they love to hike, bike and travel to new-found West Coast destinations. Beverly Statler with her big brothers, Felix and Lyle Zach Friedman lives in New Jersey with his wife and two kids, Lilly (5) and Oliver (1). He is chief revenue officer at Trusted Media Brands.


Sarah Means ’00 and sister Lizzie Means Duplantis ’08 modeling the designer boots from their company




Ben Hoke ’93 with wife Katherine and daughter Millie


1998 JA R E D H O C K E M A



1999 BECKY HOLLIS DIFFEN Don’t forget to join the Class


Mackenzie Martin married Joshua Cook in November in a small ceremony in Montague County, Texas. They were surrounded by family and close friends and celebrated the next night in Dallas, where they live. The wedding party included Mackenzie’s sister, Shannon Martin ’08, brother Andy Martin ’01, Aysha (Akmal) Doman, Rabia (Cumber) Sami and Rebecca Whitehurst.



We need a Class Representative. If interested, please contact Nolu McIlraith ’12 at



St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

Gabriella Ainslie is director of buying and strategy for Sunroom, a collection of boutiques in Austin and Malibu, as well as online. She is getting married in the spring to Wilfredo Perez, an architect and painter. She and Wilfredo have two adult dogs, Ollie and Mak. She had a great time registering people to vote before the midterms. She also went camping for the first time since high school.

Sarah Means and sister Lizzie Means Duplantis ’08 turned their passion and appreciation for cowboy boots into a business. Reared as the fifth generation on their family’s West Texas cattle ranch outside Marfa, they grew up marking important life events with custom cowboy boots, often of their own design. After years of receiving compliments on their custom boots and seeing a void in the marketplace for similar styles, they were motivated to create premium-quality western boots with a high-fashion edge. They debuted Miron Crosby in June 2017 with the opening of their flagship store in Dallas.

Brooklyn Barbieri-Henson, director of marketing for the Paramount Theatre in Austin, was thrilled to welcomed her brother, Nick Barbieri ‘05, to the Paramount as director of content strategy. Her husband plays at the Broken Spoke every Tuesday night. Katharine Bayer spends her days drawing and designing at a residential and small commercial architecture firm in Austin called StouseDesign. On the weekends she goes forest bathing with her partner, Andy. She is thrilled to be a new Auntie! Elizabeth Bayer-Morgan lives in Austin with her husband, new daughter, and dog Birdie. This past summer she joyfully welcomed her daughter, Adley Catharine Morgan, who was born on July 2 at Seton Hospital. Elizabeth married Ellis Morgan on August 4, 2017, at her family’s home in Montana. She loves working at Long-View Micro School, an innovative new school striving to reimagine education. Through this work Elizabeth also works for the Number Lab, Long-View’s educator-facing arm, which seeks to reshape the culture of math education across the nation and world.

D.J. Bentley celebrated his nine-year anniversary at Apple. He is living in Pflugerville with his wife and dog Simon! He DJ s events every month as DJ Squared! Jaque Bow-Rousselow is living in her hometown of Alpine, Texas, with her husband and new baby! Jacque is a mental health psychotherapist with two businesses. She started Brisa Counseling Services, where she specializes in trauma therapy for all demographics. Her second business is Cathedral Properties, which she owns and manages alongside her mother. This summer was an incredibly emotional time for her family. She and husband Josh Rousselow were married in early July. One month later they were saddened by the passing of her beloved father. His life was a beautiful blessing. A month after that they welcomed their first child, a precious little boy named Roam Jaeger Bow-Rousselow, who holds his hands just like her father did. She was lucky enough to visit St. Stephen’s last summer and share the special place with her husband and extended family. Kim Burnstad and her husband, Will, recently took their 3-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter on an overnight train trip to Chicago—a 22-hour adventure! Meagan Butler is an administrator in the AISD counseling department and trains hundreds of counselors in the Neurosequential Model of Education. She has two precious kitties named Moxie and Button. Rush Daniel is a lecturer at the University of Washington in the English department, where he focuses on rhetorical theory. Lia Davis is a civil rights attorney in Austin and works for a nonprofit that helps advocate and protect the rights of people with disabilities. Meredith Farmer is assistant teaching professor of literature at Wake Forest University. This spring she will be a fellow at the Smithsonian and would love to see any Spartans who come to or live in Washington, D.C. Daniel Fielder worked for six years in a public aquarium, where he raised seahorses, wrestled alligators and captured a dozen bull sharks by hand. He then went on to graduate school to earn a master’s degree in computer science and cyber security. He now does network defense development for the government. Lillie Furman-Henson runs her own textile design company out of Austin, while her husband, Jeremiah, designs and makes jewelry by hand at Smoke and Daggers. They have two lovely children named Arrow and Vega. Estelle Giles and her husband, Matt, welcomed their precious daughter, Iris Camilla Anne McKenna, to the world in June 2018. Shelly Hardin lives in south Austin and works as a physical therapist at Victory Medical. She also trains in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and practices the drums and yoga.

Spartan Magazine

Michael Hernandez is currently in graduate school at Rice University School of Architecture in Houston. He and his wife, Sarah, welcomed their baby boy, David Thomas Hernandez, in September. Carl Kramer is living in Dallas with his wife and two children, Marcelo (6) and Emilia (3). They have two boxers, which keep them extra busy. Their kids are involved in extracurricular sports and such. He is working in the vaping business. He has returned to school to earn a master’s in marketing at UT‒Dallas. Vivian Lee lives in Manila in the Philippines and works as chief operating officer for Wedu, a nonprofit social enterprise that supports the leadership development of women in Asia. She is also a certified yoga teacher. In honor of Gabe Lester, Texas Center for the Missing has established the Gabriel Lester Hero Award to recognize individuals whose extraordinary efforts have helped bring the missing home. The Gabriel Lester Hero Award is presented at the annual Champions for Children event and the annual Golf Challenge for Children. Laura Neuhaus-Zittran installed a new work at MIT for their space initiative, the Stethosuit, a cross between a spacesuit and a stethoscope. A speculative work of science fiction, it synchronizes the sounds of the body with sounds from outer space. Yes, she knows there is no sound in space; she uses NASA’s transmuted recordings as Voyager 1 left the solar system and encountered interstellar plasma. She hopes to keep working with the playful side of imagining humans in space and has started teaching astronaut-inspired yoga. Leslie Oduwale teaches social-emotional learning at Austin High School. She is also the head boys’ and girls’ tennis coach. Since she started coaching, the teams have been really successful, making regional and state appearances. She was voted “High School No-Cut Coach of the Year for Texas.” Mia Pixley is a professional psychologist working in the San Francisco Bay area. Although she completed her Ph.D. more than three years ago, a series of fortunate events derailed her from taking her licensing exam. These were: an off-Broadway musical in NYC; marriage to her husband, Kevin Shaw; birth of their baby, Mikai Shaw; and a professional cello studies program at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She is trying very hard to take said licensing exam to become a clinical psychologist. She also continues to play cello and work on her musical passions. Jason Rios and his partner, Adam, and cat, Yoko, still call NYC home. After four years teaching and two years working as principal of Harlem Prep Middle School in East Harlem, Rios has transitioned out of day-to-day school life and now works as a curriculum specialist for the school’s network, Democracy Prep Public Schools. He designs middle school reading and writing curricula.

It is still bizarre for him to sit in front of a computer for most of the day, but thankfully he has an app that tells him when to get up and take a break. John Turpin lives in Silver Spring, Md., and works at a church in Washington, D.C. He and his wife had their second baby in January. Lila Vasquez has been based in Houston for eight years, traveling the world helping her clients comply with various anti-corruption laws. The best part of last year was when she became a first-time aunt. Cecilia Winter after living in Cairo, Egypt, for four years, she relocated to Washington, D.C., to earn a master’s degree in early childhood education. She has since been working as a prekindergarten Spanish teacher at a bilingual public charter school. In their free time, she and her husband, Carlos, enjoy biking, cooking and traveling. They spent time in Colombia for Christmas and visited the Amazon rainforest. Anna Zaigraeva and husband Evan just celebrated 17 years together. She still has the same cat, although it is older now but still spry and cuddly. They recently moved to a new home in Brooklyn, N.Y., where she does a lot of gardening on the terrace. When she is not working as a court interpreter, she runs a surprisingly popular online store.


2003 We need a Class Representative. If interested, please contact Nolu McIlraith ’12 at Samantha Lo reunited with International Program Director Sarah Todd this fall, when Todd and Head of School Chris Gunnin visited alumni, parents and prospective students in various countries across Asia.

Sarah Todd and alumna Samantha Lo ’03 reunited during Todd’s fall travels



Winter 2019







Leslie Canter Swanson ’08 with husband Bo Swanson on L I S A N O R D H AU S E R their wedding day with friends and family


2006 S E L I NA S T R A S B U R G E R

for clients. He specializes in rural areas and has been lead designer for the Texas towns of Cibolo, Cuero and Gonzales, providing these areas with fiber internet access.





2007 A N N E B U C K T H A L C H I LT O N

J. J. B O T H A C H A N TA L S T R A S B U R G E R

Nathan Goldberg reunited with former Spartans when the Harvard Crimson played the Air Force Falcons the United States NCAA Men’s Soccer competition. COLE ARLEDGE


Amanda has set up a Facebook group for the class called St. Stephen’s Class of 2008 Leslie Canter Swanson married Bo Swanson in May 2018 in the St. Stephen’s Chapel. The ceremony was officiated by the Rev. Todd FitzGerald, school chaplain. The wedding party included St. Stephen’s alumni Logan Canter ‘10, Elizabeth Varner Han ‘07, Alyssa Segen and Drew Daniller-Varghese. Leslie and Bo live in Arlington, Va., where Leslie owns and operates Leslie Swanson Travel, a travel agency specializing in luxury and adventure travel. Leslie hopes to build a better world through travel. For her, travel has been her way of sharing her love of learning and diverse cultures by creating experiences for others that broaden their perspectives and open their minds. Traveling as a student at St. Stephen’s taught her valuable lessons and allowed her to bring new perspectives to the classroom and school community. The opportunities she had to see the world inspired a respect for different people, places and cultures ― something that St. Stephen’s emphasizes in all aspects of our day-to-day. Will Robinson has moved to San Antonio and joined TRC Engineers, a multifaceted company with several offerings; his group is environmental engineering. As part of the communications group within the oil and gas division, Robinson designs fiber to home networks


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

2010 C A R L O T TA G A R Z A O M A R YA G H I RYA N N Y O U N G

2011 L I N D S AY R E D M A N G R AY T W O M B LY H E N RY S I K E S

Franklin Lassandro ’18, Jonathan Wilkey ’18, Julian Flores ’16, Natalia Gutierrez ’18, Nathan Goldberg ’14, and Junro Narita at the NCAA men’s soccer competition

2015 JIM OLD



2017 We need a Class Representative. If interested, please contact Nolu McIlraith ’12 at


Spartans Connect

Spartan Magazine

Join Our Online Community. Spartans Connect includes a directory integrated with LinkedIn, maps, photos and more! Spartans Connect gives YOU the power to continue to build relationships with St. Stephen’s alumni and stay up to date on school news and events. Networking and connecting have never been easier.

k Search for and download “Spartans Connect” in the iPhone App Store, Google Play or any web browser using the address: l Sign up for an account using LinkedIn or Gmail m Update your profile, then start connecting with St. Stephen’s alumni and current and former faculty/staff n Check out alumni events near you, and stay up to date with St. Stephen’s school news


12:00 pm

Nolu McIlraith Alumni Nearby Professionals to Know Classmates Directory News and Social

Tell Your Friends

o Spread the word to your classmates!

All Spartans are automatically included in Spartans Connect. To be removed from the app, contact Nolu McIlraith ’12 at

Questions? Contact Nolu McIlraith ’12 at


Winter 2019

Class Notes Submissions We encourage alumni to share personal updates with us for Class Notes. Spartan alumni are contacted by their Class Reps several times a year for news and information. For assistance contacting your Class Rep or to submit news directly by email, please contact Nolu McIlraith ’12, alumni relations and giving coordinator, at 512.327.1213 x178 or Ann Gateley ’66

Investing in What Matters One of the best parts of my job is meeting and getting to know our fabulous St. Stephen’s alumni. They never fail to amaze and inspire me. This was certainly the case during my recent visit with Ann Gateley ’66, a member of the school’s Legacy Council. Members of the Legacy Council, models of philanthropy for our school, have named St. Stephen’s as a beneficiary in their estate plans. More than 50 years after graduating from St. Stephen’s, Gateley clearly embodies the school’s values, and she continually tries to make her mark on the world. During a recent conversation, she shared with me why staying connected to St. Stephen’s and her fellow alumni is so important to her. I first arrived on campus in the fall of 1961 as an eighth grader from Wichita Falls, Texas. I quickly discovered that there were rules lots of rules that encouraged personal, as well as community, responsibility. For example, boarders were expected to clean their rooms daily and carry out community or “Hill” jobs, such as Chapel keeping or table waiting, to specifications. Seniors were inspectors. If you accrued four “unsatisfactories,” you were assigned to a weekend work crew for a larger community project, such as rebuilding walls and picking up trash along the school road. Most students figured out how to avoid these tasks. I, however, was a slow learner. After 15 or so work crews during my eighth grade year, I began to comprehend the value of consistency. Ditto for scholastic expectations. Supervised evening study hall was required for new and desultory students. Being the latter, I was not allowed to study in the dorm until my senior year. Thanks to these mundane, but crucial, St. Stephen’s experiences, I became neat, punctual and purposeful. Although the rules and expectations were dispassionately applied, the school’s teachers and advisors were passionately interested in the education of their awkward teenaged charges. Through various teaching milieus, creativity and original thought were modeled and encouraged. Interest in others was fostered. As I progressed through my professional career, I became increasingly appreciative of the value of dedicated teachers and mentors. It was not surprising that I eventually earned two degrees in “helping” professions: social work and medicine. Similarly, it was no accident that I remained in academia for my entire career. I felt that although my achievements may be modest, I might be able to influence my students to become compassionate clinicians and outstanding researchers and scientists. When I turned 50, I decided to make a will. In doing so I wanted to acknowledge what was important to me. By investing in education, I could contribute to something beyond myself. Planned giving creates a legacy that will continue the unique learning opportunities that St. Stephen’s offers, which includes learning how to make a bed properly. If you would like to learn more about ways to leave a gift to St. Stephen’s in your estate plans, please give me a call at 512.327.1213 x125 or send an email to

—melody harman, director of planned giving


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

Class Notes also can be submitted directly online at www. Select the “Stay Connected” box. For help finding your Class Rep, please visit the Alumni page at We welcome high resolution photographs with your Class Notes submission. Please send a JPG format in the largest size possible (at least 900 pixels; image 3 inches wide at 300 dpi). Please include the names and class years of everyone in the photo. Spartan magazine editors reserve the right to edit or omit any information submitted.

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CMYK / .eps

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Facebook: StStephensAlumni Private Alumni Facebook Group: groups/StStephensAlumniGroup

Instagram: SSTX_OnTheHill

Twitter: StStephenSchool

LinkedIn: St. Stephen's Episcopal School Alumni

LinkedIn: St. Stephen's Episcopal School Alumni

Have you received any emails from the alumni office recently? If not, we may not have a current email address for you. Please send your current email address to so you won’t miss invitations to fun events and news about your classmates. Thanks!

Exceptional is hard won.

Thank you, Annual Fund.

The St. Stephen’s experience is truly transformational. We nurture students’ curiosity and creativity while providing the support and guidance they need to expand their knowledge, explore new interests and pursue their dreams. Providing exceptional learning and growth opportunities every day takes hard work — and a lot of support. That is why we ask all members of our school community to make a gift to the Annual Fund every year. St. Stephen’s Annual Fund directly supports the school’s annual operating budget, which is why 100 percent participation in the Annual Fund is so important. So if you make only one gift to the school each year, please support the Annual Fund, First! Thank you for supporting our Spartans!

6500 St. Stephen’s Drive Austin, Texas 78746

If you receive multiple copies of this publication or have updated address information to share with us, please send an email to Thank you!

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PARTING SHOT Boarding students Lee Hicks, Tina Zhao and Ivy Fan enyoy a hike to the Gulch


Profile for St. Stephen's Episcopal School

Spartan magazine, Winter 2019  

Spartan magazine, Winter 2019