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S T.

S T E P H E N’ S



Summer 2020

Strength in Community

SNAPSHOT Allen Cao ’20 shows appreciation for St. Stephen’s teachers during the senior car parade



2 Head Lines 3 Spartan Strong: The Spring Term that

Tested and Bolstered Our Resilience

12 In Community 17 Spartan Life 30 Alumni News


head of school Christopher L. Gunnin

chief marketing and communications officer David E. Perryman

managing editor Anne Marie Becka

class notes editor Michelle Geo Olmstead

graphic design Ellen Buckmaster, Bucko Design


contributors Christine Aubrey, Cynthia Bartek, Chris Caselli ’82, Clarus Studios, Kathy Coe, Jim Crosby ’70, Kat Erben, Melody Harman, Lori Johnson, Kim Maguire, Michelle Geo Olmstead, David E. Perryman, Chelsea Richards Spartan magazine is published twice a year for constituents of St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. Copyright © 2020 St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

subscription information and address changes Judy Mullinix, or 512.327.1213 x124

P H OTOS COVER: Rising 8th graders Lauren Miller, Addison Scott and Lauren Brown at the Middle School car parade TOC: George Breckwoldt ’20 celebrates the end of school at the senior car parade; Kurt Oehler ’93, Gene Phillips, Dean Mohlman and Charles Warlick ’83 at the MLK Day March; senior Declan Maguire and Upper School art instructor Elizabeth Zepeda display their portrait of Kathryn Respess during the Crossroads dedication



Summer 2020

FACING CHALLENGES TOGETHER This spring was a challenging period for our community, as well as our country and the world. In the midst of a global pandemic that forced us to change the way we live, learn and engage with others, the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd were stark reminders of our nation’s terrible legacy of racial violence and discrimination. Throughout this unsettling time, I have found deep comfort in our school’s founding vision, core values and noble mission, and I have taken great pride in the way our community

pandemic. The litany of remarkable stories goes on and on, and you can read about many of them in this issue.

Renewing Our Commitment to Social Justice This year, we renewed our commitment to social justice by providing our students, families and employees with resources to find support and strength in community, to better understand the societal forces perpetuating discrimination, and to feel empowered to take action toward creating a more equitable and peaceful

has come together to address these tragedies.

world. We have made great strides on our Diversity, Equity and

Responding to a Global Pandemic as a Loving Community

wide initiatives to help us accomplish these goals. I am profoundly

There is an old adage that in times of distress, people show what they are truly made of. I am pleased to say that Spartans of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs stepped up this spring. I am immensely proud of our students’ resilience and goodwill in adapting to our remote learning model. In the midst of so much change, they gathered together in the virtual realm in creative and engaging ways. I also have been inspired and uplifted by the commitment and ingenuity of our faculty and staff. St. Stephen’s teachers delivered engaging academic material using a combination of both traditional and innovative methods. These were augmented by an array of educational resources and opportunities for students to pursue independent learning beyond formal assignments. Further, our residential faculty and staff tirelessly supported and cared for boarding students unable to return home due to the pandemic, as well as members of the St. Stephen’s and Austin communities

Inclusion (DEI) audit — one of our most important communitygrateful for the leadership of Yvonne Adams and her DEI team members, and I appreciate everyone who participated in the DEI audit. We will continue working with the Glasgow Group to finalize a strategic DEI plan that will help us translate our mission and core values into effective policies, practices and programs. In addition, faculty sponsors continued to support student-led affinity groups, as they met in virtual spaces this spring to discuss and process the racial violence we witnessed across the United States — only the latest in a long history. Our employees continue to participate in meetings of the school’s Alliance of White AntiRacist Educators, and they are investing time in additional DEI education. The “recovery of humans” has always been the work of Spartans. This sacred mission — launched by the Rt. Rev. John Hines and the Rev. William Brewster seven decades ago — is more important

hardest hit by the economic downturn.

than ever. Our foundational belief in the inherent dignity of every

I sincerely appreciate the leadership of our board, whose wise

most turbulent times. I invite each of you, in your own way, to join

counsel and dedication to our mission have helped guide us through these difficult times. I also am grateful for the trust and support our parents gave us as we transitioned, on the fly, to new modes of teaching and learning. In addition, I was deeply

human is a North Star that continues to guide us through even the me in picking up the mantle of those Spartans who came before us, as we recommit as a community to the recovery of humans. With love and prayers,

moved by the international parents who sent facemasks and other personal protection items for the safety and well-being of our community. As always, I am inspired by our many alumni who enrich the lives of others daily, including those who serve as first-responders and caregivers on the front lines of the global


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

Chris Gunnin, Head of School


The Spring Term that Tested and Bolstered Our Resilience Few moments are as joyful for students and faculty alike as perusing the school calendar and seeing “School Closed for Spring Break” blocking out two full weeks of March. Even the extra day in February for leap year could not darken our spirits. Yet, as we made our way into early March, news reports of viral outbreaks around the world became too urgent to ignore. Within a few short weeks, COVID-19 became a global pandemic and ended life as we knew it … at least for a while. The spring of 2020 will forever be remembered as one that tested our school community’s resilience and resolve. Yet, true to form, St. Stephen’s students, teachers, staff and coaches rallied—and discovered just how powerful our collective strength and spirit can be. As we moved from the traditional classroom setting to a remote learning model, our students and faculty never allowed sheltering-in-place or physical distancing to dampen their remarkable perseverance or good cheer.


Summer 2020


While many school families were trying to plan physically distanced holy season

In the wake of medical supply shortages

celebrations for Easter, Passover and

due to COVID-19, science teachers

Ramadan, St. Stephen’s Director of

Lauren Murphy, Kathy McCain and Dean

Equity and Inclusion Yvonne Adams

Mohlman gathered more than 5,000

rallied the school’s residential families to

medical gloves—initially earmarked for

create holiday care packages for people

use during dissections in science classes

experiencing food insecurity. Members of

—and donated the much-needed items

the residential community helped gather

to local physicians and nurses. Travis


much-needed supplies, pack boxes and

County Medical Society representatives

deliver care packages to our families

were extremely grateful for the personal

in need.

protective equipment, which enabled them


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

to continue their important work.


PHOTOS (left to right) Kathy Coe helps prepare food deliveries for local families; Dean Mohlman packs up donated medical supplies

Spartan Magazine

strong INSPIRATION Early in spring term students in Troy Lanier’s Electronics and Robotics class started learning how to implement computer vision on an inexpensive single-board computer called a Raspberry Pi. During the shift to remote learning, the intrepid Lanier helped students find equipment from suppliers in their home countries to continue their robotics projects. From Thailand and Korea to Jamaica and Texas, every student


received the resources needed to work virtually alongside Lanier in their own home robotics lab.

The St. Stephen’s English department celebrated National Poetry Month in April by sharing videos of our teachers reading their favorite poems. Scan the QR code above with your smart phone camera to hear Greg Bravo-Bonetti read “Gate


A-4” by Naomi Shihab Nye. His reading Throughout the period of online learning,

was a wonderful reminder of simple ways

mathematics teachers Dhvani Sethi and

to look for the good around us.

Kurt Oehler assigned their students a number of statistics projects using real-time COVID-19 data. In addition to making

To help students acclimate to a remote

use of the City of Austin COVID-19 case

learning model, teachers frequently

tracker, students studied up-to-the minute

shared photos of themselves and their



information from The University of Texas

classes working from home, which helped

pandemic toolkit, created by the Division of

establish a sense of normalcy to daily life

Statistics and Scientific Computation.

during the pandemic.

PHOTOS (clockwise from top left) Noah Yow shows off his remote robotics lab; English teacher Greg Bravo-Bonetti; English teacher Colleen Hynes celebrates her birthday with students via an online video chat; math teacher Kim Meyer at her remote work station with cat Anchovy



Summer 2020

strong creativity Student Government spearheaded a number of online social events for Spartans, including movie watch parties and virtual coffee houses. Their weekly livestream meetups showcased the musical talents, culinary skills and artistic creativity of


our teachers and students to the delight of everyone who logged onto the group’s Instagram live sessions.


Remote music and dance lessons? You bet! Dance instructor Ally Holt held virtual dance classes with her Middle School students, and the school’s music instructors, including cello teacher Hai Zheng Olefsky, conducted livestream lessons with students, who never missed a beat.


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

PHOTOS (clockwise from top left) Hai Zheng Olefsky holds a virtual music lesson with 11th grader Sofia Messier; siblings Matthew and Natalie Kim share their talents during a StuGov coffee house; Middle School dance students

spirits To help spread cheer among our graduating seniors, the Parents’ Association made


yard signs for every member of the Class of 2020, enabling them to share their Spartan spirit with family and friends.

Although the pandemic brought a quick end to Southwest Preparatory

Spartan Magazine

If we were to give an award to the most resilient Spartans, special honors would go to the dozens of boarding students who were unable to return to their homes during the first few months of the pandemic, when many countries closed their borders. During students’ extended campus stay, these Spartans showed true perseverance and grit. They were tirelessly supported by International Program staff and our Residential Life community, under the great care and loving direction of Sarah Todd and Gene Phillips. Special thanks go to our international student parents, who reached out to support students and staff during this difficult time. A number of overseas families mailed hundreds of face masks to the school to help ensure the health and safety of everyone on campus. We are deeply grateful for your thoughtfulness and generous support.


Conference (SPC) play, athletes and coaches across the conference united to honor members of the Class of 2020. On May 2, SPC participants ran, walked, biked and hiked with the collective goal of logging 2020 miles to honor senior


athletes. St. Stephen’s Spartans were excited to compete and amassed more than 370 miles in the competition.

PHOTOS (left to right) Shirley Yang ’20 shows off her Spartan pride; boarding students on a spring break field trip before Austin's shelter-in-place order: Linda Liu, Victoria Ge, Ivy Fan, Yuka Yasui, Miranda Zheng, Jennifer Liu and Bella Cui sstx.org7 7


Summer 2020

Campus Car Parade Celebrating the Class of 2020 When it became clear that traditional end-of-year celebrations would need to be reimagined, Head of Upper School Kim Garey organized a fun and festive bell ringing and car parade for the graduating class and their families. Held on May 15, the parade of seniors through campus proved to be a cheerful end to the unusual spring term. Lined up along the parade route were faculty and staff decked out in Spartan gear, waving celebratory banners and yelling congratulations. It was a heart-warming event, befitting an extraordinary class that faced down many challenges during their final spring term. We wish that every senior could have attended. We look forward to welcoming all members of the Class of 2020 back to campus for our traditional graduation ceremonies as soon as it is safe to gather in community once again.


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Spartan Magazine

PHOTOS (left page, clockwise from top) Senior triplets Braeden, Sophie and Aubrey Johnson enjoy the parade; Victoria Alcocer cheers on her classmates; residential faculty Alix Lacelarie-Kautz and Kathy Coe parade with senior Emma Hou; Sierra Coffey celebrates the end of her senior year (right page, clockwise from top) Sophia Waugh at the car parade; Cindy Stadulis, chief financial and operations officer, shows off her Spartan spirit; Roman Rhone parades with his class; members of the English department cheer on the seniors; Jorn Dammann joins the revelry



Summer 2020

Middle School’s Spirit-Filled Close to the School Year On May 29, the St. Stephen’s community gathered to celebrate 8th-grade students’ graduation from Gunn Hall and to honor the many accomplishments of all Middle School students. The morning kicked off with the time-honored Middle School Closing Ceremony, held in an untraditional manner, as participants joined by computer for the event. The ceremony was followed soon afterward by a joyful campus car parade for Middle School students and their families. During the morning ceremony, Head of School Chris Gunnin and Middle School Head Magnus Maccow each paid special tribute to students for their great resilience and strong spirits. Following their remarks, a number of special academic, artistic, athletic and community leadership awards were presented. The Academic Hall of Fame Award, which is presented each year to the students who achieved High Honor Roll status every term for the three years of Middle School, was presented to Zachary Geller and William Burkhart. Zachary Geller (8th grade), Audrey Wan (7th grade) and Emma Ton (6th grade) were recognized for their outstanding scholarship and for achieving Highest Academic Standing in Their Class. Named for the first head of Middle School, the Priscilla Foster Award recognizes an inspiring student leader with a can-do spirit and desire to help others. Eighth grader Anna Guan was awarded the 2020 Priscilla Foster Award. Bryson Gibbs (7th grade) and John Wells (6th grade) were recognized with the Citizenship Award for reflecting the highest traditions and core values of our school. The Linda Douglass Spirit of Hope Award, which recognizes a student leader who exemplifies what it means to make a difference in the school community and beyond, was presented to Hannah Simmonds. Golden Pen Awards were presented to Christopher Aung (8th grade), Libby Miller (7th grade) and Edward Leigh Jr. (6th grade). The Middle School’s Spiritual Leadership Award went to Jocelyn Hoenicke. The Anne Teel Athletics Award was presented to Alice Wilkerson, and the Hunter Paschall Athletics Award went to William Burkhart.

PHOTOS (top to bottom) Asha Williams; Zachary Geller


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

Spartan Magazine

PHOTOS (clockwise from top) Charlie Evans; Amani Gupta and Keyen Gupta; Cale Chappelear; science instructor Stacey Wink; Bethany Butler’s sweet note to teachers



Summer 2020

Faculty and Staff Retirements Deirdre Strand Director of Dance Before I joined St. Stephen’s, I served as director and choreographer of Tapestry Dance Company, which I had co-founded. In 1995 St. Stephen’s alumnus Boyd Vance ’75 was working for Tapestry, and Liz Moon was his piano accompanist for shows. He suggested to Liz that they give me an opportunity to bring dance to the school. I was hired that year to start an extracurricular dance program for Upper School students. Initially, the class met twice a week after school. Not long afterward, I was approached with the idea of offering dance as one of the five options in the Middle School fine arts rotation. I later expanded the program for students who either were interested in dance as part of the Theatre Focus Program or who participated in sports after school and could not attend the regular after-school offering. Before long I also began to teach a choreography class that gave students tools to express themselves through the power of dance. These students were able to conceive their own show, which I produced and directed. The range of dance offerings included ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, hip hop and a variety of ethnic styles, such as African and Irish dance. That is when the idea of forming a school dance company began. The students chose the name, Chrysalis. Twenty-five years later, I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with so many fabulous faculty members and talented and passionate students. To develop a program that did not exist before was an honor. I will miss my colleagues and the endearing students that this school attracts. After retirement, I hope to integrate back into Tapestry as an administrator, as well as a teacher for special events. I love to travel and have been blessed to see the world through my professional dance experiences and connections. I would love to volunteer for some of the organizations that I support, and I also would not mind taking a cooking class or two. I do hope to come back to the school to watch performances and games and to support these young people that I have gotten so close to. I also hope to continue some beautiful friendships with my colleagues.


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

Sylvia Lin Chinese Language Instructor I initially joined St. Stephen’s in 2006 to teach Chinese in the Upper School. I have been a crossover teacher, typically teaching five levels of Chinese courses every year, since Chinese classes were started in the Middle School in 2009. In addition to teaching, I have been a Middle School advisor, and I sponsored the Chinese Language and Culture Club. At the time I was hired, St. Stephen’s was the first and only secondary school in the Austin area offering a Chinese language course as a foreign language elective. I feel honored to have joined this pioneering program. I appreciate all the love, kindness and support I have received here. St. Stephen’s has been much more than a workplace for me; it is a community where we have a vision to make this world a better place by working together to educate our students, to serve communities and to support everyone. I know that when I retire this summer, I will miss my students the most. I have taught multiple levels of Chinese, so I often teach the same students for several years. I have enjoyed watching them grow into fine young adults. After I leave The Hill, my husband and I plan to move to North Carolina to be closer to my son and his family. We also plan to spend more time in Taiwan as well. I look forward to having more time to read, cook and travel around the world.

Spartan Magazine

Kathi Murphy School Receptionist

My oldest child, Maria Murphy-Mayberry ’02, began attending St. Stephen’s as a 7th-grade student. At the end of her first year, the business manager, Ben Brewster, offered me a full-time position as the receptionist. At that time the position was being staffed by temporary workers. No one really wanted to do the job. Knowing I would be a good fit, I accepted and started in May 1997. I have enjoyed many aspects of my job. I enjoyed working here while Maria and her sister, Claire Murphy-Mayberry ’08, attended the school. I also really enjoyed working with so many wonderful people throughout the years, including some amazing Parents’ Association volunteers. I have been blessed to get to know so many great educators and administrators. It has been delightful to watch so many students grow into adults through the years. I especially enjoyed my role as a supporter of the boarding students through my work in the mailroom. I truly enjoy nurturing young people who are so far from their families. As a family we hosted four international students during my tenure. That experience was very enriching for all of us. When I retire I will miss my co-workers and the students. I’m a big fan of the dining hall staff, as well as the great food they provide. I will certainly miss 6th period lunch! I also will miss being on our beautiful campus and the rhythm of a busy school day. Looking ahead, I plan to take good care of myself and my family. My plan is to continue to learn about our world and my place in it. I am grateful for being able to work at St. Stephen’s. I have truly loved coming to work on our beautiful campus every day. I am very grateful for the education that my daughters received here. I am really glad that I had the opportunity to be part of this community.

John Chovanetz Plant Manager John Chovanetz joined the St. Stephen’s school community in March 1992. During his 28-year tenure, he oversaw some of the most dynamic changes to the campus in school history. His colleague and friend, Charlton Perry, reflected on Chovanetz’s great impact on our school community. “John quietly and faithfully did his job behind the scenes,” Perry said. “Sometimes with resources and sometimes armed with only his own ingenuity, he managed to cobble this place together and keep it moving forward. He’s the man who has been on call 24-hours a day, seven days a week to fix any crisis. “Most of you probably don’t know who he is, and he’s probably OK with that,” Perry added. “Really though, I think it’s a shame. No one deserves to be recognized more than John. “It is not hyperbole to say that no individual has had a bigger impact on students’ experience in the classroom than John Chovanetz,” Perry concluded. “He’s been dedicated to ensuring the quality of students’ experience on campus for longer than all our students have been alive. We will all miss him. And we thank him for his tremendous service to the school.”



Summer 2020

Jim Crosby ’70 Reflects on His Spiritual and Intellectual Home


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

Spartan Magazine


was 13 in the summer of 1966 when my family first drove up the curvy road, through the limestone gate near where the school tennis courts are now, onto the St. Stephen’s campus. A would-be athlete, entering through the green sports fields made me feel like I was in heaven. Less than a month later, we had moved from our hometown of Del Rio, Texas, to Austin, and I found myself ensconced as a freshman day student at St. Stephen’s. Throughout the next four years, on football, basketball, soccer and baseball teams, I was able, even encouraged, to pursue my athletic fantasies. Like Robert Duvall’s character in “A Family Thing,” I was small, but I made up for it by being slow. Athletic prowess aside, I was a wonderful teammate. Hank Ewert ’70 still tells the tale of how I let him run into the right field fence, failing to warn him to stop when we were taking turns catching deep fly balls in practice. Academically, that first semester of my 9th-grade year, it seemed the odds were much higher for me sinking than swimming. As I remember it, Halsey Tichenor assigned us the whole of Genesis for the first few days of history homework, and I was up until 1 or 2 a.m. each night trying to keep my eyes open. At times, I looked around at my classmates from Dallas, Austin and Houston and felt myself very much the country bumpkin, almost literally just come to town on a load of pumpkins. I survived. Kathryn Respess taught me to take notes. Alan Fenton taught me to read with curiosity and imagination. L.A. Becker’s enthusiasm for film encouraged me to see its artistic and communicative possibilities.



As a community we were much more geographically isolated in the late ’60s than we are now. Yet when the seniors of ’68 responded within days of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination by starting the MLK scholarship, the pursuit of justice was encouraged in us all. The fact that Bishop Hines, our founder, was presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church and a civil rights activist was not lost on us. What I have come to realize through years of writing and rewriting my spiritual autobiography, and encouraging others to do likewise, is that St. Stephen’s is in a line of communities across my personal history that have combined the life of the mind with the life of faith. Before high school, there was St. James’ Episcopal Church in Del Rio. I went to kindergarten and 1st grade there. Sunday school, youth group and acolyte duties at St. James’ were formative for me. Then there were my high school years at St. Stephen’s. In college I got involved with a campus Christian group, studied New Testament Greek with seminarians and surprised myself by earning a double major in religion and history. Since then, I have been part of several other faith communities where I have found both fellowship and intellectual growth. Not least, of course, has been St. Stephen’s the second time around. I came to work at the school when I was 40. My classmate Richard Burns ’70 was working in Admissions at the time. In recruiting my oldest child, Justin, he also recruited me. In hiring me, Fred Weissbach combined oversight of the community service program with teaching theology in my job description. Chaplain Pat Gahan further shaped my sense of calling by inviting me to serve alongside him as lay chaplain. Stephen’s Kids, which evolved into our ongoing work with the Breakthrough and Emerging Scholars programs, was his brainchild. Jim Woodruff, as theology department chair, has been mentor, neighbor and brother to me, lo, these many years. Alice Tucker taught me by example to be myself, especially in developing and delivering sermons. I am deeply grateful to Roger Bowen for initiating our relationship with the folks of Haiti, and to Johnny Wilson for building that program with such dedication. Mike Wallens left a lasting legacy in the form of our school prayer. I remember fondly the iterative process of developing the prayer throughout one school year with a group of deeply engaged, sometimes boisterous students. As chaplain these last years of my tenure, Todd FitzGerald has been such a pleasure to work with. He has the gift of encouragement. It has been exciting to see his vision


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

Summer 2020

of moving from the “community service” orientation to the more integrated “service learning” model come to fruition. I cannot wait to see what the Bishop Hines Center for Social Justice becomes under his leadership. Speaking of leadership, Yvonne Adams has blessed me richly by welcoming me into the conversation countless times. Racial healing and the school’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts have been advanced immeasurably by Adams and her team, and the student and faculty affinity groups they have fostered. All of which is to say, I suppose, thank you. As my spiritual and intellectual home, St. Stephen’s has taught me and so many others that life is indeed a spiritual journey. Ongoing growth as a person who can walk through this world with intelligence, wisdom and love is an ideal I have learned from the school community. And, along with the sense that it takes a village to raise a child has come the understanding that we never stop growing and learning, and the village is always essential. Frank Mikan told me long ago that I would learn more from my students than they would from me. That has proven to be true. In my experiences in the classroom, advisory and dorm, students have been the center of this school community and its reason for being. They have taught me openness, presence, patience, gratitude—love. I hope that one contribution of mine, in particular, endures long after I am gone—the song “Other Folks’ Shoes,” which I wrote in 1997. It’s about empathy and compassion. The chorus goes like this: “It’s other folks’ shoes, it’s other folks’ shoes, it’s walkin’ in their moccasins a mile or maybe two. It’s knowin’ yourself, forgettin’ yourself, seein’ what yourself would do, if you walked around this world awhile in other folks’ shoes.” Another song on my mind recently has been “Spanish Pipedream.” The songwriter, John Prine, a hero of my college days, fell to the coronavirus on April 7. As I have gotten ready to retire and move back to our cabin on a meadow 20 miles east of Austin, I have realized more and more the impact his lyrics had on me in 1971, when I first heard them. “Blow up your TV, throw away your paper, go to the country, build you a home. Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches, try and find Jesus on your own.” So thank you, St. Stephen’s. That callow 13-year-old coming through the school gate in the back seat of his parents’ car is still with me, 54 years on, wondering what’s coming next. Come visit me in Webberville. We will pick and sing on the porch, eat some peaches and look for Jesus together. Peace. —jim crosby ’70, theology teacher and lay chaplain

Spartan Magazine



Outstanding Teaching Awards Presented to Sadler, Mikan and McCain During the final faculty/staff meeting of the school year, three members of the St. Stephen’s faculty were recognized for outstanding teaching and innovation. Octavia Sadler, Middle School history instructor, and Frank Mikan, science department chair and physics instructor, were awarded the Dean H. Towner Master Teaching Chair. In addition, Upper School science instructor Kathy McCain received a new innovation grant from the Borders Family Endowment for Faculty Innovation. Congratulations to these outstanding educators!

Mikan Receives Inspirational Teacher Award from MIT Frank Mikan, science department chair and physics instructor, received the Inspirational Teacher Award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) this spring. The award recognized Mikan as a K-12 educator who “has had a significant influence on the lives of his students by instilling values and a love of learning that shapes their future.” Mikan was nominated for the award by Ryan Przybocki ’16, a member of MIT’s Class of 2020, who said his time in Mikan’s classes were the defining years of his educational experience. In his nomination letter, Przybocki recalled afternoons spent in Mikan’s classroom as “my fondest memories of high school, surrounded by countless experimental gadgets and devices.” Ryan Przybocki ’16 presents the MIT Inspirational Teacher Award to Mikan in May



Summer 2020

Chapel Program Celebrates Community Kindness Members of the St. Stephen’s kindness committee held a special Chapel service in late January to share “random acts of kindness” with the school community. Kindness was our school’s yearlong “theme” for the academic year. Prior to the program, committee members had asked Upper School students to share with them specific acts of kindness they had experienced during the school year. Student participants Edbert Wu, Jordan Mendelson, Katherine Wilkey and Billal Lyzzaik each took turns reading students’ submissions during Chapel.

“I’m new this year and was very scared about being a boarder. My roommate showed me kindness that I never experienced with my other friends before. Once, I was really stressed about my grades in history, so she reviewed the materials with me.” “It was the beginning of the year and I was feeling kind of alone, but then someone I didn’t know that well just waved hello to me — it made my day.” “My friends reached out to me at a time that was difficult. I’m so glad to have people I can rely on.” “A person has consistently asked throughout the year how I'm actually doing. Like, past the “yeah I'm good” sort of phase. That shows true devotion to creating an actual friendship.” “My friends accept me when I cannot accept myself.” “At the end of a group project, my partner took the time to thank me for working with her. Group projects can be awkward, so her acknowledgment was really refreshing.”

The yearlong school theme initiative was introduced in 2014 in an effort to focus our community on a common positive goal. To date, yearlong themes have included Peace (2014–15), Respect (2015–16), Beyond Tolerance (2016–17), Listen (2017–18), Welcome (2018–19) and Kindness (2019–20).


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

Spartan Magazine

Kathryn Respess Crossroads Dedication

PHOTOS (clockwise from left) Victoria Woodruff, the Rev. Todd FitzGerald and Jim Crosby ’70; Cynthia Bartek dons a Viking helmet in honor of Respess; Julie Buckthal Person ’71, Felecia Peavy ’75, Laura Camp, Dinah Acord Weems ’75 and Danna Orr ’72

On the morning of Jan. 9, St. Stephen’s students, faculty and alumni gathered to dedicate the Kathryn Respess Crossroads in memory of the beloved history teacher and residential dorm parent who taught at the school for 50 years. Crossroads, as the heavily trafficked mixed-use space was nicknamed long ago, was completely remodeled last summer thanks to a successful St. Stephen’s Parents’ Association fundraiser. The redesign fulfilled a wide range of community member needs. In addition to providing dedicated space for students to meet with faculty, the modular furniture can be reconfigured easily for club meetings and study groups. However, the most significant change to the space is its new name: Kathryn Respess Crossroads. Head of School Chris Gunnin, who welcomed the school community to the dedication event, called Respess “one of the greats.” “Good schools have good programs, great schools have a healthy culture and strong sense of community, and the best schools have a soul,” he said. “There is no question that the formation of the soul of this school community was impacted and enhanced by Kathryn Respess. “In renaming the Crossroads in her honor, we ensure that her story continues to be told and that her life continues to be celebrated,” he concluded before introducing Middle School English teacher Victoria Woodruff, a longtime friend and campus neighbor of Respess.

“Kathryn Respess was the rushing intellectual river of St. Stephen’s for half a century,” Woodruff said. “She promoted deep learning and equipped students with the skills to brave the depths of serious academic thought. Her job was teaching essay writing and history, but her passion was challenging world-views and sharing values like compassion, openmindedness and academic tenacity.” Additional participants were the late teacher’s students and colleagues, including Julie Buckthal Person ’71, parent Melinda Young, Danna Orr ’72, Felecia Peavy ’75, Dinah Acord Weems ’75 and Jim Crosby ’70. As the dedication program came to a close, attendees enjoyed the sounds of Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” booming across The Hill, a nod to Respess’ annual spring golf cart jaunt across campus, during which she would don a Viking helmet, brandish a spear and chase students while the opera thundered behind her. In addition, a Pop Art-style portrait of Respess, which now hangs in the Crossroads, was unveiled. The colorful giclee print was created by Upper School art teacher Elizabeth Zepeda and 12th grader Declan Maguire. It is a vivid, witty and joyful tribute to a remarkable educator who was very much the same.



Summer 2020

The Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers Visits St. Stephen’s St. Stephen’s Episcopal School members were honored to host the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, assistant to the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church for evangelism, reconciliation and stewardship of creation, on our campus, Jan. 12-13.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) team, which used their time with her to reflect on our DEI initiatives. She also met with the Green Goblins environmental club to discuss sustainability initiatives at St. Stephen’s, as well as with a number of other students and faculty. She preached in both Middle School and Upper School Chapel on Monday, during which she quoted Jesus and singer-songwriter Lizzo and focused on the message that we are all the beloved children of God.

“Spellers is regarded as one of the most powerful preachers in the Episcopal Church and a dynamic leader in justice initiatives for schools and churches across the nation,” explained the Rev. Todd FitzGerald, school chaplain. “As a radical follower of Jesus, she is solidly in the Bishop Spellers, who holds a master’s in theological studies from Harvard Divinity John E. Hines tradition of loving those on the margins and inspiring others School, became an advocate for social justice during her undergraduate years at Wake Forest University. She is well known for her 2016 TEDx to do so as well.” talk, “The Revolutionary Art of Listening,” in which she calls upon people of differing backgrounds and beliefs to put their political and religious One of three assistants to the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, Spellers strives to transform the church from an institution to a movement differences aside, listen to one another and find common ground. through the power of listening and love. She oversees the church’s work related to racial justice and social healing, as well as evangelism, church planting, ethnic ministries, domestic poverty and care of creation. PHOTO (left to right) Ebube Oraelosi, Bella Salazar Harper, the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, Quari Robinson and Natalie Kim During her visit, Spellers enjoyed Sunday dinner with the school’s


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

Spartan Magazine

Libby Miller Earns Grand Prize Honors in National Essay Contest Congratulations to 7th-grade Spartan Libby Miller, who was named a Middle School Grand Prize Winner in the “What Will You Run For” student essay contest sponsored by Scholastic. Miller was one of only three middle school grand prize winners nationally. The “What Will You Run For” contest asked students to pick a local cause or issue they wanted to address in their community and then identify how they would effect change through one of three roles: mayor, city council or state legislature. Miller wrote about the education system in Texas and how she would effect change as a member of the state legislature.

that her entry was in the correct age band after I read it. I couldn’t believe it was a middle school student. Extremely well done!’” Miller was surprised when she found out she had received an award. Scholastic had planned to notify the winning writers by May 6. The day came and went, and Miller heard nothing. Almost a week later, she found out that the email they had sent to Keyes had bounced back, undelivered. On May 16 she got word that she had won grand prize honors. So how did she respond when she finally found out? “I pretty much screamed,” she exclaimed. Extremely well done, indeed!

Miller’s award-winning essay covered a lot of ground. In addition to addressing the “inadequate education budget” in Texas, she discussed the barriers to opportunity that students of color face in the state. Here is a snippet from her essay: “… Black and Latino children are six times more likely to go to a highpoverty school in Texas. Brown v. Board of Education ruled that any ‘U.S. state laws establishing racial segregation in public schools are unconstitutional.’ This ruling made states undo any laws saying that there had to be schools for just Black and schools for just White students, but it was not always implemented well. …” Miller said she decided to enter the essay contest during spring break, after her family’s plans were canceled due to COVID-19. “When it became clear that I wouldn’t be really doing anything else, I figured that I might as well,” she explained. “It was also supposed to be a revamp of an essay that I had done before. In 5th grade, we had written similar essays in groups. My group wrote about littering, and I thought it would be fun to see how my writing style has changed in a couple of years. “The most difficult part was figuring out how Texas funds our schools,” she continued. “I had to go through the education budget, tax forms and so many more documents. My brain was pretty much swimming with numbers when I had finished. My only thought while going through all of the forms was, ‘well this is messed up.’ Though, actually putting all of that information into understandable words might’ve been harder.” Miller credits her English 7 instructor, John Keyes, with encouraging her to work on her writing. “Mr. Keyes has inspired me in a couple of ways. He showed me some of his own writing work, and that really inspired me. He also really encouraged me to keep on practicing.” Keyes could not be happier about her writing and her tenacity. “Libby spearheaded this whole endeavor herself,” he said. “In speaking with a representative of Scholastic, I was told: ‘I am not part of the judging process but, when the winners were forwarded, I double checked at least three times



Summer 2020

Coaches from other Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) schools took notice after his commanding performance in the fall cross country championships. He dominated the competition during the meet at the Woodlands last November, finishing with a time of 15:28.5 on the 3.1-mile course, setting a personal record and earning first place out of more than 200 runners. After the coaches’ votes were tallied, he was named First Overall All-SPC for Cross Country. Not long afterward he was selected for the 2019 Texas Runner and Triathlete All-State Cross Country Super Team. The nonplussed Baeza took it as a sign he was improving. “It’s pretty encouraging to see your name alongside those of the state’s best; it validates a lot of the work I’ve put in,” said Baeza, who enrolled at St. Stephen’s in 8th grade and immediately joined the swim team. “I’ll never forget when, as I was leaving Chapel on one of the first days of school, I saw Coach Paul Carrozza,” he said of his cross country coach and mentor. “Paul encouraged me to come out to cross country practice. I was hesitant, but my friend Cole McQuinn convinced me to go. And to this day, I’ve kept going back!” Although he still credits his decade in the pool with providing a good aerobic base for running, Baeza dropped out of swimming his sophomore year to focus solely on cross country. Since that time, his focus has been razor sharp. He even continued his training during the summer months between his 11th- and 12th-grade years.

Julian Baeza Chases His Dreams Julian Baeza never set out to become a competitive runner; he considered it an adjunct activity that would enhance his swimming. “I swam competitively from ages 5 to about 15,” explained the Spartan senior. “Our swim coaches would often make us run three miles as extra aerobic work. While all my friends would complain, I always enjoyed running after swim practice. “So while I like to say that I started training my sophomore year—when I stopped swimming, joined the cross country team and truly started running regularly—I learned to love running long before then.” Baeza’s passion for the sport is obvious to anyone who has witnessed the unwavering concentration he possesses while running—his body and mind in perfect unison. It’s difficult to overlook. As is his inherent talent.


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

“Some people may perceive cross country as nothing more than miserable running in unbearably hot weather; I personally see it as a daily privilege to literally chase your dreams,” explained Baeza, whose performance at the SPC championships put him on the national radar for a Division 1 spot. On National Signing Day in February, he inked to run cross country for Columbia University. The swimmer in him still seems a little amazed at the turn of events. “Running in high school was never something I planned on doing; it’s something that snuck up on me—but I’m sure glad it did!”

Spartan Magazine

Experiments in Balance with Lizzy Jones Solar panel cells are typically built with silicon, but senior Lizzy Jones built one this year using carbon-based organic raspberries. During development, she tested ways to make the solar cell more efficient by pitting raspberries against other types of organic dyes, such as blackberries and eggplants, varying the levels of acetic acid in the fabrication and the amount of surfactant in a titanium dioxide paste. But she did not stop there: In order to test the cells, she built her own instrument to measure the cell’s efficacy. We asked the young scientist to share her St. Stephen’s experience with our readers. I am generally interested in science and mathematics. I love learning the theoretical aspects of math then using problem-solving to apply them to a practical science problem. When I found out about the Troy Lanier course where students devise and build their own science project, I signed up immediately. I had been wanting to learn how solar panels work, and this was the perfect opportunity to do just that. In my research, I found a relatively new type of solar cell called the Grätzel cell, which can be made using cheap materials like organic dye and titanium dioxide. This was the perfect project because it enabled me to research more about how solar cells work, to learn to build them using inexpensive materials and to design my own experiments using the solar cells I made. In astrophysics this year, we made our own telescopes! In groups of two or three, we followed Frank Mikan’s instructions and were given full license to use machinery like the drill press and the jigsaw. In building the telescope, we learned its mechanics far more than if we had just studied diagrams of telescopes. His classes are unique because they are interactive. Instead of giving us a formula and telling us to memorize it, he creates experiments that demonstrate the principle, and we use the data we collect to mathematically derive the formula. I ended up learning the material more thoroughly as a result. I feel so fortunate to have studied with the teachers at St. Stephen’s. They genuinely care about their work and students, and I will forever be grateful for all they have taught me. Their dedication motivated me to work harder every day. My teachers encouraged me to become involved in many different activities, from fine arts to sports to clubs. I am grateful that the school offers so many activities, but it is easy to overcommit. My greatest challenge has been balancing academics with extracurriculars. I have been in orchestra since I came to St. Stephen’s in 6th grade. I also ran the peer tutoring program and was in the Model UN club. I have found so much joy in trying new things, and I will certainly continue to do this for the rest of my life.

My favorite place on campus is the athletic fields. I have made many fond memories on these fields, from hard-won games to stargazing with the Austin Astronomical Society, and I will certainly miss playing on them next year. This year I played field hockey and soccer again and ran track, and I played lacrosse for the first time! Being an athlete is important to me because it keeps me active and pushes me to try new things. If I had a difficult day at school, I could always look forward to practice, where I could clear my head and enjoy the exercise. Being a member of different teams helped introduce me to so many new people. I am grateful for the friendships and experiences I gained. I am also grateful for the school’s friendly, tight-knit culture. I am an introvert by nature, but I never hesitated to introduce myself to new faces on campus because I knew they would be friendly. I am not exactly sure what I will study in college. For now, I plan to focus on math and science broadly with an emphasis on experimental science. But I will carry a liberal arts philosophy with me into the world.



Summer 2020

Celebrating Girls and Women in Sports On the first Thursday in February St. Stephen’s kicked off its annual celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day. For the third consecutive year, Head Athletic Trainer Kathy Rainey and Assistant Athletic Director Chelsea Richards led a Chapel presentation to bring attention to gender inequities in athletics and offered a lunchtime expo the following day for female athletes. During their talk the coaches highlighted a number of positive gains for women in sports from the past year and brought attention to continued battles for equity that female athletes and teams face. “A lot has changed since I first started working as an athletic trainer more than 25 years ago,” noted Rainey. “My hope is that students will see how far we have come, but also how much further we need to go.” The following day, Rainey and Richards hosted an expo in the Middle School Gym with a number of health and activity experts, who provided functional movement assessments, skin cancer screenings, sports bra fit discussions, menstrual product Q&As, ACL injury prevention, orthotic insert consultations and conversations about women’s health care. Students expressed appreciation for the candid conversations and innovative product demonstrations offered at each booth. “This is one of my favorite days of the year,” Richards said. “It’s important that we talk about and model active lifestyles for our students. There is no greater gift than feeling confident, capable and, ultimately, proud to be in our own bodies.” —chelsea richards, assistant athletic director

and sports information director

Special thanks go to the following experts who participated in the expo: • Central Texas Pediatric Orthopedics Physical Therapists—Provided ACL injury risk assessments; research shows that females ages 12 to 18 are at higher risk for knee ACL tears • Austin Sports Medicine Physical Therapists—Reviewed common athletic orthopedic injuries and discussed prevention and treatment • Go with the Flow—Showcased innovative menstrual products for women with active lifestyles • Chelsea Richards—Demonstrated an array of feminine products, including tampons, period panties, menstrual cups and discs, feminine wipes, deodorants, and bikini trimmers • Title Nine Athletic Wear—Offered sports bra fittings and explained how to choose the right type for different impact levels • Bill Stone, pedorthist with Foundations Footwear—Offered gait analyses and options for custom orthotic insoles; reviewed the latest female-oriented running and exercise gear • Beverly Hamilton, Ph.D., from IMPACT Melanoma—Explained different types of skin cancer and the importance of wearing sunscreen and protective clothing; provided skin cancer screenings and information on sun-damage prevention • Shannon Abikhaled, M.D., Westlake Gynecology—Discussed the stages of womanhood from preteen to age 18, as well as what to expect during a gynecologist appointment and why • Holly Lorka, R.N., The Hospital at Westlake—Provided genderexpansive health and wellness information for trans and non-binary student-athletes


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

Spartan Magazine

Middle School Winter Sports Roundup St. Stephen’s Middle School sports teams ended winter term on a high note. Congratulations to the players, coaches and parents of all of our swim, soccer and basketball teams for a great winter season. High-fives to the Red Soccer Team, which ended its season with a 3-0 victory over Trinity to finish the season undefeated! Congratulations also are in order for the 7th/8th Girls’ Purple Basketball Team and the 8th-Grade Boys’ Basketball Team, which both won their AIPL Championship games! Our students were led to victory by two St. Stephen’s alumni. Maddie Almanza ’16 coached the 7/8 Girls’ Purple Team, and D.J. Johnson ’09 coached the 8th-Grade Boys’ Red Team. Johnson’s team finished their season 13-0, and for several of the students, it was their third consecutive AIPL Basketball Championship—quite an accomplishment. Not to be left out, the 6th-Grade Girls’ Basketball Team finished second in their AIPL tournament.

—kathy coe, middle school sports director

Kim Maguire Photography

Six Spartans Sign to Play Sports in College St. Stephen’s celebrated National Signing Day on Feb. 5 with a special ceremony in the school Chapel honoring the six members of the Class of 2020 who signed letters of intent to play Division I and III sports in college. Each student was introduced by Jon McCain, director of athletics, before being joined by their parents and coaches or other special guests for the signing. Our school community is extremely proud of these outstanding student-athletes. Go, Spartans!

Nathan Arimilli, tennis, Claremont McKenna College Julian Baeza, cross country/track, Columbia University Coby Carrozza, swimming, The University of Texas at Austin Kaysi Gutierrez, soccer, Salem College Julian Lopez, soccer, Duke University Pablo Schober, soccer, Case Western Reserve University

PHOTOS (top to bottom) Coby Carrozza, Kaysi Gutierrez, Julian Lopez, Julian Baeza, Pablo Schober and Nathan Arimilli; Coach D.J. Johnson ’09 with the 8th-Grade Boys’ Red Team; Coach Maddie Almanza ’16 with the 7/8 Girls’ Purple Team



Summer 2020

MLK Day Celebration The St. Stephen’s school community celebrated the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in January by participating in an array of educational activities focused on issues of racial inequality and social injustice. The day’s events were designed by St. Stephen’s diversity, equity and inclusion team to examine the subtle and overt ways discrimination affects individuals and society as a whole. Yvonne Adams, director of equity and inclusion, guided students and faculty throughout the day. Students in 6th, 9th and 12th grades participated in the MLK Day parade at the Capitol in downtown Austin. Following the march, students enjoyed a box lunch on the grounds of Huston-Tillotson University before embarking on a guided tour of Wheatville, one of Austin’s freedmen’s communities established by former slaves after the Civil War. Their excursion ended with a tour of the historic antebellum Neill-Cochran House Museum and a theatrical performance of “If These Walls Could Talk,” which highlighted the different experiences and treatments people would have had in the home depending upon their race, class, gender and socio-economic status. Seventh and 8th-grade Spartans were treated to a number of oncampus programs developed and facilitated by Devin Walker, professor of curriculum and instruction at The University of Texas at Austin (UT). Students engaged in interactive exercises and discussions about equality, equity, power, privilege, oppression, systemic racism and allyship. Their day ended with a special MLK Day-themed performance of “I Have a Dream” by the school’s Chrysalis Dance Co.


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

Tenth and 11th graders spent the first part of the day viewing the recently released film “Just Mercy,” a biopic about civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson’s work to free wrongly convicted death row prisoners. After returning to campus for lunch, students gathered in Chapel to discuss the movie with the Austin-based filmmakers Noah Isenberg, chair of the radio, television and film department at UT, and Ya’Ke Smith, associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion at UT. Special thanks go to Adams and her team for planning such powerful educational opportunities for our Spartans! PHOTOS (clockwise from top left) Anthony Watson; Shaina Schechter and Chloe Legere; Richard Shao, Allen Cao, Jorn Dammann, Liam Archacki, Dean Dowling, Roland Gadbois, David Houston, Dennis Lu and Aditya Sankaran; Sixth-grade Spartans march at the Capitol

Spartan Magazine

Global Vision 2020 International Festival It only comes around every two years, so this spring campus event was particularly momentous! Students, faculty, staff and parents swarmed the Middle School Gym on Friday, Feb. 21, for the school’s biennial International Festival. Global Vision 2020 kicked off right after classes, so the gym was packed with Spartans celebrating our school’s diverse, global culture. Festival goers snacked on a wide array of tasty treats from around the world while enjoying musical, dance and vocal performances by school members.

Spartans Win National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

The event was organized by a committee of students with help from the International Office and was sponsored by the Parents’ Association. Student members of the International Festival committee included Griffin Ball, Whitney Ball, Clea Bell, Devon Bell, Andrew Bohnsack, Allen Cao, Lauren Gill, Betsy Goodrum, Fernanda Hurtado, Lizzy Jones, Nayeon Kang, Peter Lee, Jack Li, Jolie Pham, Quari Robinson, Chelsea Saucedo and Jack Turner. Adult members were Ling Allen, Dana Ball, Kathy Coe, Robyn Gill and Sarah Todd. Special thanks to Spartan Tony Shan for serving as event photographer.

St. Stephen’s is always well represented in the annual Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition, and this year was no exception. Students submitted works across a range of categories and claimed 58 art awards and 12 writing awards in the regional competition. Gold-key winning artists and writers then advanced to the national level. Among them, three Spartans brought home national awards. Congratulations to the following National Award winners! Ray Swartz, a 10th grader, received a national Gold Medal for his photograph “Man Enough.” His submission was sponsored by photography instructor Chris Caselli ’82. Tony Shan, a 10th grader, received a national Silver Medal for his photograph “Phoenix-Fly.” His submission was sponsored by Elizabeth Zepeda, Upper School art instructor and director of Scanlan Gallery. Christopher Aung, an 8th grader, was awarded a national Silver Medal for his writing submission “Half-Breed.” Middle School English teachers Vicki Woodruff and Miriam Murtuza, Ph.D., sponsored his submission. “Our students have an intrinsic desire to drive their personal narrative and share their vision and voice,” Zepeda said. “Our arts programs give them that creative outlet.” PHOTOS (left, top to bottom) Global Vision 2020 organizers show off their custom tees; Elly Abikhaled performs during the International Festival; (right) Tony Shan with his award-winning photograph



Summer 2020

Sustaining “Radical Hope” for a More Equitable World For the second consecutive year, St. Stephen’s hosted its “Radical Hope” diversity conference, which was open to all regional ISAS-member school students and teachers, as well as members of the larger Austin community. The annual conference is the brainchild of alumna Riley Nichols ’19 and Yvonne Adams, director of equity and inclusion, who has guided our community’s work in this area for more than a decade. She was joined at the Feb. 22 program by more than 180 students, faculty, staff and parents representing a wide range of affinity groups and their allies, including 72 St. Stephen’s school members.

Student Leaders Mentor Local School Children To cultivate a love of reading and to help promote literacy, administrators at Harmony Science Academy, a pre-K to 8th-grade public charter school, sought out local students to come into their 3rd-grade classrooms to read aloud to students and ask comprehension questions. Three leaders of St. Stephen’s Unapologetic student group, 12th graders Sierra Coffey, Miranda Galvan and David Houston, answered the call in late February. The students they read to were so enamored with the Spartans they begged them to return for another reading. Unapologetic is just one of our school’s student affinity groups that regularly meets to explore issues and share information affecting its members. Affinity groups support positive, healthy communication and effective interactions across campus, as they enable individual students to feel more empowered by and appreciated for their differences. Ultimately, they help the 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 to understand and appreciate other people’s unique stories, histories and voices.

PHOTOS (top) Miranda Galvan, Sierra Coffey and David Houston; (bottom) John Gentile, Yvonne Adams and Rodney Glasgow


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

Co-facilitators Rodney Glasgow, Ph.D., and John Gentile returned to lead the conference, which they helped launch last year with Adams. The 2020 program offered completely new learning opportunities for participants, as Glasgow and Gentile strive to focus on current “hot button issues” in our culture. “We wanted to discuss what’s important right now, so we spent a lot of time talking about whistle blowing and allyship—taking a proactive stance, rather than just being reactive to a situation,” Adams explained. In addition, since the program was held during Black History Month, the organizers made a point of weaving important facts about prominent African-Americans into the various conference sessions. Adams said a highlight of the daylong program was witnessing students finding their voice. “Hearing the students share their personal stories and say they believe it is possible to create a new way of being in community gave me hope,” she said. “They exhibited power and strength in a way that gives me hope for the future.”

Spartan Magazine

Gratitude on The Hill

Grateful for Your Support I want to send a huge thank you to our entire school community for making the 2019–20 Annual Fund drive a success! Through your gracious giving and participation, we exceeded our fundraising goals for the year. Our theme was “One Gift. One Hundred Percent,” and we strived to increase participation from everyone and encouraged giving at any level. Thank you for participating! We had tremendous support at all levels from faculty and staff, alumni, grandparents, trustees, friends of the school and, of course, parents. In fact, this year’s parent participation was 73 percent. That is truly amazing, and we are extremely grateful. I also want to thank all of our parent class captains and volunteers, who worked so hard on the Annual Fund. They dedicated much of their time, energy and passion to make this year’s campaign a great success. I am grateful and honored to have worked with such amazing people. The St. Stephen’s Parents’ Association hosted “Gratitude on The Hill,” the 16th annual Spring Swing event, in late February. More than 300 parents, faculty, staff and friends of the school gathered in Clayton Gym, which was transformed into a beautiful evening under the stars. Gratitude on The Hill celebrated the appreciation that we all have for St. Stephen’s teachers, the wonderful campus environment and school community—three things everyone can agree make our school on a hill such a special place.

This school year did not end the way any of us ever could have imagined. But our school community is strong, and we are always together in spirit. We are fortunate to be part of St. Stephen’s. Thank you—from the bottom of my heart!

—kat erben, annual fund parent chair, 2019–20

The event generated more than $212,000 for the school’s operating budget, financial aid and a special “Make It Happen” project. On its own, Make It Happen raised more than $130,000 for improvements to the school’s trails and outdoor learning environment, including land assessments, mapping and wayfinding signage, as well as outdoor classrooms and gathering spaces, tools and storage for land management and research, and outdoor recreational equipment. Special thanks to my Spring Swing co-chair, Maryann Bell; sponsorship chair Janet Allen; decoration co-chairs Alicia Clark and Molly Jones; food and beverage chair Marnie Near; and Make It Happen chair Hilary Bellm. And many thanks to all the Spring Swing committee members and parent volunteers who made the event a great success! We are truly grateful to each of you!

—lori johnson, spring swing co-chair, 2019–20


PHOTOS (left, top to bottom) Lori Johnson, Melody Harman and Maryann Bell; Hilary Bellm, Brent Bellm, Davis Baldwin ’93 and Donna Baldwin; (right) Kat Erben with son Jess, a member of the Class of 2021



Summer 2020

Alumni Events

Alumni Panel: College Athletes On Jan. 9, Upper School students were treated to a special panel featuring alumni participating in college athletics. St. Stephen’s Athletics hosted the event, featuring Chris Mabley ’19, Andrew Abikhaled ’17, Riley Nichols ’19, Anna Hartzell ’17, Kayla Thompson ’17 and Erin Mikeska ’16.

Lunch on The Hill Members of the classes of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s joined Head of School Chris Gunnin and Michelle Geo Olmstead, director of alumni relations, for Lunch on The Hill events in January, February and March. Alumni reminisced with classmates, shared stories and learned about the current Spartan experience.

Spartan Alumni Regional Event: Dallas On February 13, alumni in Dallas gathered for dinner with Head of School Chris Gunnin and Michelle Geo Olmstead, director of alumni relations.

PHOTOS (middle) Rebecca Gibbs, Mallory Boyle ’04, Louise McNutt ’07, Chetan Panda ’09 and Charlton Perry; (bottom) Paul Talbot ’74, Chris Gunnin, Bart Wulff ’64 and Jordan Walker ’03


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

Spartan Magazine

6500 St. Stephen’s Drive Austin, Texas 78746



See ya soon!

In late February, Spartan alumni in San Antonio from the classes of 1951–80 were treated to “Crackers and Milk.” The “Crackers and Milk” series of events celebrates cherished Spartan traditions and enables alumni to share stories of their times on The Hill.

“Mamma Mia” Alumni Reception Before the Upper School performance of “Mamma Mia” on March 1, alumni gathered for a reception in the Helm Fine Arts Center foyer. The group then attended the show and received a special welcome from Lindsay Brustein, director of the Theatre Focus Program.

Virtual Events Due to physical distancing guidelines brought on by COVID-19, alumni gathered in new and creative ways this spring, participating in virtual happy hours, dinner clubs and study halls. They also attended online discussions on spirituality, diversity and the history of St. Stephen’s through the new series “Discussions on The Hill.”


12:00 pm

For up-to-d ate event info rmation, check out our Spartan A lumni Netw ork Join today at spartanalu mninetwo

Tell Your


PHOTOS (top to bottom) Chris Gunnin, Ruth Doty Killam ’54, Barbara Williams, Leighton Johnson Donnell ’56 and George Williams ’56; Elizabeth Hansing Moon and Jennifer Stayton ’85; Patricia Henna Rowe ’89 and Mark Rowe ’88



Summer 2020

Alumni Check-In: St. Stephen’s College Athletes Every year St. Stephen’s celebrates National Signing Day to honor members of the senior class who have inked letters of intent to play sports in college. These student-athletes join an impressive group of Spartan graduates who go on to play varsity sports in college, competing in a diverse array of programs that includes field hockey, football, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, track and sand volleyball. We decided to catch up with a few of these alumni to learn more about their experiences playing collegiate sports and glean any advice they have for current Spartans.

Denise Devlyn ’18 WOMEN’S ROWING Denise Devlyn matriculated to the University of Washington in Seattle, where she was a member of the women’s rowing team that won the 2019 NCAA Championship. Devlyn said that she enjoyed a smooth transition to college, which she attributed largely to being on an athletic team. “It was a little overwhelming going from such a small, intimate school like St. Stephen’s to my general chemistry class with 200 other students,” she noted. “But athletics made me feel like I had that more intimate community like before.

Erin Mikeska ’16, WOMEN’S SOCCER Erin Mikeska matriculated to Rice University in Houston, Texas, where she played on the women’s Division I soccer team and served as captain of the team her junior and senior years. She believes that being a boarding student helped prepare her for college life. “I had learned how to manage my responsibilities,” she said of boarding life. “I knew how to balance my life and knew my priorities. I was able to stay on track with my studies and soccer schedule.”

“I think incoming freshmen feel lost sometimes because it is easy to lose structure to your day with the freedom college gives you,” she added. “But with my intense practice schedule, I was forced to stay organized. I also never felt lonely because my teammates quickly became my closest friends, and I always knew they had my back. I was able to find my place here.” Last summer, Devlyn opted to stay in Seattle for an internship with King County working in the environmental lab. “I was an intern in the microbiology/ aquatic toxicology division that works on water quality monitoring and sampling throughout the area,” she said. “St. Stephen’s definitely helped instill my love for the environment.”

Mikeska, who graduated in May with a degree in kinesiology, offered advice to other Spartans thinking about following in her footsteps. “I would say that it’s important to consider what you want out of your collegiate experience,” she said. “Even though soccer is a fall sport, we still had few weekends free in the spring. You are going to have practice just about every day, so weekend trips and staying out late are not things you will be able to do very often. But, if you love competing, being a part of a team and winning championships, those sacrifices will not seem like much to you.”

Denise Devlyn ’18 (far left) celebrates with her team


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

Michael Hewlett ’16,


Michael Hewlett attended Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada, where he played on the football team. He enjoyed a smooth transition to college life. “The teaching at St. Stephen’s is top-notch,” he said. “Coming into the university, it was easy to tell that I was far better prepared than my fellow classmates. Another thing I learned at St. Stephen’s is that hard work will get you further than talent ever will and that there always will be people around you who are willing to help when you’re in need.” Hewlett found the talent level of everyone around him to be the most challenging part of competing at the college level. “Everyone I played with and against were the top players on their respective high school teams,” he noted. Despite this challenge, he offered advice to students dreaming of playing sports in college. “Work harder than you ever have before, and go for it! Playing the sport you love in college is one of the most rewarding things you can do, and making the roster of a college team is such a great payoff for all the work you have put in over the years.”

Spartan Magazine

Julian Flores ’16, MEN’S SOCCER

Mallika Rao ’16, WOMEN’S LACROSSE Mallika Rao matriculated to Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., where she played on the Division III women’s lacrosse team. As a first-year student, she drew upon several aspects of her St. Stephen’s experience. “Being able to write and express yourself in a clear and concise way is the most beneficial skill students can have as they start college,” she noted. “It makes every class so much easier because conveying your point and crafting an argument comes organically. Rao said she appreciates that St. Stephen's allowed her to try so many different things. She believes this enabled her to become a well-rounded student. A neuroscience major on the pre-med track, she wants a career serving others. “Rhodes set me up with an incredible experience at LeBonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis last summer doing clinical research on epilepsy and functional motor disorders,” she said. “I was able to present this research at the Child Neurology Society conference in October. I will now move into clinical research for a year before applying to medical school.”

Julian Flores attended the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., where he played on the men’s soccer team. Among the biggest challenges he faced was learning to appreciate his role on the team. “I was a practice player for three years,” Flores explained. “I spent the first two years thinking I was good enough to be starting or at least to be an impact substitution. In my junior year, I changed my mentality and focused on what I could control — my attitude, my effort and my mindset — and I was much happier. I also became the best practice player we had, and that was an important role for me so that I could lead the team by example and help rid the team of negative attitudes.” Flores, who graduated in May with a degree in electrical engineering, also appreciated the unique college experiences he had by attending a military academy. “I was excited to be in a class where I learned to jump out of planes,” he said. “I was able to do an internship at Schweitzer Engineering, a company that specializes in protective relays for power grids. I also was paid to go to school, so I saved up my money to go on cool spring break trips with my friends. I’ve been to Italy, the Netherlands, Ireland and England.”

Elizabeth Sturley ’16,


Elizabeth Sturley attended Amherst College in Massachusetts, where she played on the Division III women’s field hockey team. She offered valuable advice to other Spartans considering playing college sports. “Make sure you love the school itself, not just the chance to pursue your sport,” she said. “Sports are unpredictable, so you want to make sure you’re in an environment where you would be happy even if you were not playing.” She also made the most of academic, study abroad and internship opportunities. “I spent a semester in Copenhagen, Denmark, studying justice and human rights. I also had some incredible chances to travel across the continent and learn through different perspectives. I spent my summers working for some really cool nonprofits, including a workers’ and immigration rights advocacy law firm, a genocide and atrocity prevention organization in Washington, D.C., and the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission.” She wrapped up her college career by writing an interdisciplinary thesis about the rhetoric of genocide and atrocities. Clarus Studios Inc.


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We want to help ensure that the gates stay open to as many people as possible, regardless of their zip code.

Keeping the Gates Open for Everyone


nyone who has spent time on campus likely has noticed the tall, lean bearded man wearing a cowboy hat and overalls. When I first joined the school community as a parent, I joked to my children that he was probably the most interesting person on campus. Now, after having had the chance to interview Charles Warlick ’83, French teacher and Spartan alumnus, I know that my initial assumption was absolutely true. During a lunchtime talk, Warlick shared with me why he has stayed connected to St. Stephen’s throughout his life. I arrived at St. Stephen’s as a 7th-grade day student in the fall of 1977. I attended St. Andrew’s for elementary school, and the big question on 6th graders’ minds was whether they would apply to St. Stephen’s or go to public school. I decided to go for it, and someone must have been asleep at the switch, because they let me in.


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

There is no way to give an accurate account of my St. Stephen’s experience without writing a book. St. Stephen’s has had a profound impact on almost every aspect of my life — from my career path to my spiritual journey. The St. Stephen’s family provided me safe refuge with structure, expectations, plenty to think about and wonder at, and worthy opponents like Robert Phipps and Dean Towner, who ensured that I always had windmills to tilt at. One of the culminating events for seniors in the spring was a major theology paper on a book selected from a departmental list. I had picked up the habit somewhere along the way of labeling the pages of my essays with song lyrics instead of numbering them, e.g., first page “Yesterday,” next page “all,” followed by “my,” then “troubles” and so on. My theology paper was 13 handwritten pages, each labeled with a word from the Swell Maps’ song “Vertical Slum”: “I got a space between my eyes, and I never thought about it.” When the Rev. David Hoster ’65 returned our papers, I saw that he had replied to my labeling with similar labeling of his own: “You've got a space between your ears not to think about it with.” Hoster had to read, annotate and grade 60 major papers in time to submit senior grades before graduation, yet he took the time to think up that brilliant retort in exactly 13 words. I have kept that paper all these years.

St. Stephen’s awakened my brain, which I had not really used until junior year left me no alternative, and showed me how to use it and use it well. You would not know it to look at my transcript, but the considerable academic success that I enjoyed at Pomona College and University of Michigan was constructed on the foundation poured at St. Stephen’s. As a faculty member today, I know the academic program is as strong as ever without having become stagnant. My mother, Doris Warlick, and I both have included St. Stephen’s in our estate plans because my parents could not afford to send me to St. Stephen’s without my grandmother’s help. We want to help ensure that the gates stay open to as many people as possible, regardless of their zip code. We support this school because we had the privilege of experiencing firsthand what a foundational and transformational experience St. Stephen’s provides to its students and because we believe that the world would be a poorer place without St. Stephen’s in it. —melody harman, director of planned giving


Spartan Magazine

Class Notes 1952 Royce Drake and his wife, Pat, have been living in the University Village condos in Charlottesville, Va. They moved there in 2017 at the request of their two daughters, who live nearby.

1953 After graduating from St. Stephen’s, Bob Scott pursued a career in graphic art and design in Boston and New Bedford, Mass. In 1956, his uncle, James Parker Clements, advised him to attend art school rather than continue his liberal arts studies at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn. He applied and was accepted to Kansas City Art Institute and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. While at the Museum School, Scott met with the Rt. Rev. John E. Hines, who founded St. Stephen’s. The conversation led him to attend Tufts University, where he earned his bachelor of fine arts degree and subsequently found permanent positions in Boston and New Bedford in the textbook publishing and commercial printmaking fields. He and his wife, Dale Gifford, have been enjoying retirement by the sea in Wareham, Mass. His art studio is located at their home on Burgess Point near the west portal of the Cape Cod Canal. If you are interested in learning more about Scott’s work, visit

1957 Ruth Wilson Witten sends greetings from the Midwest. She is well in the midst of these dark days, but never more grateful for her St. Stephen’s education. She can lose herself in a good book and turns to faith to keep grounded and thankful for her many blessings. She has been following the guidelines on keeping herself and her family safe and well.

1958 A true Spartan, Jeannette Schaleben Cook will serve as Spartan Pioneer representative on the Spartan Alumni Association board for 2020–21.

1962 Duncan Osborne was asked to give the annual Trachtman Lecture at the national meeting of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) last spring. This was a significant presentation and an honor for its presenters in the ACTEC circle. Osborne is a partner of Osborne, Helman, Knebel & Scott LLP in Austin. His practice focuses on domestic and international estate planning with an emphasis on asset protection planning. He is a frequent author and lecturer on estate planning topics and has made

presentations and published articles both domestically and internationally on the subjects of offshore trusts and asset protection planning. Osborne is a former adjunct professor of law at The University of Texas School of Law and is dedicated to lecturing and writing on topics in his practice area and helping clients with all aspects of their estate planning. To hear his lecture, go to http:// Lecture.mp3

1967 Randy Parten, Mike Parten ’69, Ellen Justice, Eric Leibrock and Jane Leibrock ’00 attended the celebration of Judge Justice’s 100th birthday at the Justice Center at The University of Texas School of Law. The group enjoyed an afternoon discussion on the center’s pro bono work at the school, which pairs students with real clients who need legal advice. Last winter, the Partens visited Norie Clarke and her mom, who is 95 and in great shape. Clarke shared that her son, Alan, is having success with geothermal projects and biotech placements. Her daughter, Emma, after graduating from CUNY School of Journalism, is now working full time at MSNBC as a researcher for Ali Velshi. Clarke recently joined Code Pink in Nevada and had been barricading the entrance to Creech Air Force Base until she was carted away to jail. Upon being released, she acquired a dog, Arlo, named probably for Arlo Guthrie, who would have appreciated her civil disobedience. The Partens also visited Daryl Hause Tanner and George Tanner in February. They are doing well and working to see the world. George has been recovering from a serious skiing accident that gave him a major concussion.

1968 During this unusual time, Molly Dougherty has rarely gone out except for walks with her wonderful and interesting brother, Chrys Dougherty ’69. She has been spending an inordinate amount of time ordering food and supplies. She is grateful for good health, as well as her loving husband, Kip, and adorable kitty, Holly. She misses her 2-year-old twin grandchildren, who just moved to Florida. She has been enjoying reading in the backyard hammock and watching television shows and movies. She misses “The Americans,” but has loved the final season of “Homeland.” She is addicted to news. She finds the politics and science fascinating and is a big fan of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Although it’s been stressful, she says she has much to be grateful for!

New Charitable Deduction for Taxpayers Who Do Not Itemize The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, was signed into law on March 27, 2020. This provision allows Americans who support charitable organizations in 2020 an above-the-line deduction of $300 for cash contributions, whether or not they itemize their deductions. Further, for individuals, the CARES Act suspends the 2020 cap of 60 percent of adjusted gross income limit for all charitable giving and increases it to 100 percent. (Section 2204—Modifications for Charitable Giving) For more information, contact Christine Aubrey, associate head of school for advancement, at 512-327-1213 x118.

During this spring of isolation, Rob Henderson and his wife, Leilani, are finding ways to work from home, help with the grandkids while maintaining an appropriate social distance, and otherwise hold it together. Their shopping has diminished to a once-a-week outing. The couple is enjoying reading and talking with friends and family via Zoom and FaceTime. They are carefully masked and gloved when they go out. Henderson enjoys wearing a bandana to shop because it makes him feel dangerous. On a serious note, both of their daughters and sons-in-law are first responders; all have been quarantined during the lockdown given exposures to the coronavirus. Only one developed symptoms; fortunately, she was negative when tested. They are all back at work and are attentive and careful with their parents. They could not ask for a better team in their small circle. They feel blessed. In short, they are well and following the guidance of the folks who went to medical school. John McFarland and his wife, Jill, spent the spring sheltering in place. His law firm closed its office, so they are all working from home. McFarland reported that his family is doing well. His son, J.T., has been learning how to make soap while sheltering in place in San Antonio. They are all learning to use Zoom. Ellen O’Brien reported that son Keelan and his girlfriend’s planned move to Vietnam was canceled due to the pandemic. They quickly changed plans and



Summer 2020

the fight against COVID-19. He is grateful for what feels like a meaningful contribution. He is also catching up on reading and exercise and has restarted playing piano. His daughter, Julia, got married last November and is currently in nurse practitioner school. His sons, Davey and Doug, continue to make a living in the video gaming world. His wife, Maxine, is still practicing integrative and functional medicine, though she is hoping to retire by the year’s end. The couple looks forward to finally being able to travel together. He hopes to be able to travel to the 50-year reunion for the Class of 1971. [We hope so, too!]


(left to right) David Long, Evan Judd, Greg Jones, Dan Richards, Roger Williams, Tim Judd and Robert Ettinger

headed to visit her and her husband, Duane, in the mountains of Western North Carolina with all their earthly belongings and their two cats. Since then, he has started working remotely in Vietnam. They beefed up their Wi-Fi to handle their work and visits with friends and family all over the country. They rotate who cooks, which is a lot of fun. They are both excellent cooks! O’Brien’s oldest child lives in Oregon and is busy with computer programming and math courses. They reported that despite all of them being stacked like cordwood, they have been enjoying the beautiful spring. Her county has a population density of 87 people per square mile, according to the last U.S. Census, so she feels pretty safe from infection and very blessed! She hopes all of her fellow members of the Class of 1968 are doing well and are taking care of themselves and their loved ones. Nancy Pope has been doing well in St. Louis, considering the circumstances. Her family in St. Louis consists of her husband, younger son and Nancy’s former student, who substitutes for in-town daughter. They made the decision not to see anyone else for the duration of the lockdown. Nancy’s older son and daughter-in-law are equally well in the Chicago area, and they speak often. She is deeply grateful for her physical and financial health. She feels so privileged that she finds it guilt-inducing, and she is starting to understand why her mother always said she worried less when she prayed more.

1969 Jane Dryden Louis has joined the Spartan Alumni Association board as secretary.


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

1971 Last month, Don Wreden retired from his role as senior vice president of patient experience for Sutter Health in California. More than 41 years after graduating from medical school, it became clear to him that it was time for him to “graduate” into the next phases of his life. He said that after having planned this transition for more than a year, it was bizarre to leave health care less than one week before the overwhelming pandemic brought our country to a standstill and some parts of our health care system into crisis. It has been very emotionally challenging for him to be separated from the work being done to directly care for the sick. Wreden decided to continue to give back to his profession by serving with a group of physicians and nurses providing emotional and coaching support to medical colleagues impacted by

REUNION 2020 AND 2021 St. Stephen’s has moved Reunion 2020 from September to the weekend of April 16, 2021, making it Reunion 2020 and 2021! Please mark your calendars and save the date! Spartan classes ending in 0s, 5s, 1s and 6s will celebrate their reunions at that time. All alumni are invited to attend! Reunion co-chairs Alice Nazro Nezzer ’87 and Shannon Powers Flahive ’96 and the planning committee are developing an extra special weekend. To join the planning efforts, please email Michelle Geo Olmstead, director of alumni relations, at

Doug Anderson is still toiling away with the legal business in Victoria and surrounding counties. The lawyers have had to learn to use technology for online meetings and hearings due to the shutdown. Last year Anderson was asked to serve as senior warden at Trinity Episcopal Church. If someone had told him that he would have presided over the search for a new rector, the replacement of the interim rector, the departure of the associate rector and social distancing, he thinks he may have joined the Methodist Church. They are at the end of the search, and he is looking forward to things getting back to normal. Anderson still referees high school soccer, bay fishes and bird hunts. He did get to celebrate the birth of his second grandchild and first granddaughter in February. Kennedy Grace Anderson was born on Feb. 2 at 2 p.m., and her room was 2200. He said that he knows what her lucky number will be and is looking forward to her first soccer game.

1974 In late February, the St. Stephen’s Parents’ Association hosted its annual Spring Swing event. The program included an amazing video by director Michael Moss, featuring alumni Jennifer Stayton ’85, Mark Rowe ’88, Chetan Panda ’09 and Yasmine Smith ’12. Check out the video at watch?v=0oiPf3LuNi4&t=196s.

1977 Robert Ettinger reported that the monthly breakfast meeting that he holds with classmates Dan Richards, Roger Williams, Greg Jones, Tim Judd ’79, Evan Judd, David Long and Maury Domengeaux has turned into a Zoom conference call to stay in touch during the pandemic. Ettinger’s daughter, Lilly, recently was named collegiate recovery worker of the year. She is assistant director of wellness and recovery at Baylor University in Waco. His granddaughter, Caroline, is almost 2 and is a roving chatterbox. His son, Reilly, moved out of his apartment in New York City months ago and moved into his house in Dallas. He is a vice president at a private equity firm.

JOIN THE ALUMNI BOOK CLUB This book club provides an opportunity for St. Stephen’s alumni to read interesting books and discuss them in an online community. Sign up to help us pick the next book at

1984 Sallie Smither Crotty and her husband, Mark, moved to Seattle last summer. He is executive director of the Northwest Association of Independent Schools. She has been busy with a couple of classes and looks forward to teaching again. She has enjoyed reconnecting with Curtis Vredenburg and his family. She looks forward to reconnecting with Brenda Turner, who recently moved back to Seattle. She hopes all is well with everyone! Please let her know if you make it to Seattle.

1985 After serving for the past three years as Spartan Alumni Association president, Jennifer Stayton has assumed the role of past president for the 2020 and 2021 school year. Stayton has been asked to serve as a St. Stephen’s trustee. You can hear her each weekday morning on KUT’s Morning Edition.

1987 Alice Nazro Nezzer has been appointed co-chair of Reunion 2020 and 2021. Nezzer currently serves as Middle School director at St. Andrew’s in Austin. She previously taught at St. Stephen’s.

1989 Patricia Henna Rowe has been appointed to serve as Spartan Alumni Association president. She has served as a trustee of St. Stephen’s for the past six years and

Spartan Magazine

chair of the trustee advancement committee. She and husband Mark Rowe ’88 have had two children graduate from the school: Andrew ’16 and Elizabeth ’19. Son Matthew is a member of the Class of 2023.

1995 Ben Chan has been appointed to the Spartan Alumni Association board as alumni regional representative for Washington, D.C. He will work with the school’s Alumni Relations office to design alumni programming for his area.

1996 After helping the Alumni Relations office with the Lunch on The Hill series and the alumni reception for “Mamma Mia,” Shannon Powers Flahive has been appointed to serve as co-chair of Reunion 2020/2021.

1998 Congratulations to artist Cheyenne Weaver! She recently was accepted into the 2020 Crit Group at the Contemporary Austin. The program builds a community and network of support for working artists in Austin dedicated to growing their artistic practices.

1999 Becky Hollis Diffen and Daniel Diffen have been appointed to serve as alumni co-chairs of the St. Stephen’s Annual Fund of the Spartan Alumni Association board.

2006 A profile of alumna Virginia Cumberbatch was the cover story of the February issue of Austin Woman’s magazine. She discussed fighting for equity in her hometown and what it means to be a good neighbor. Cumberbatch also named two people familiar to most Spartans as women who inspire her: Yvonne Adams, St. Stephen’s director of equity and inclusion, and Yasmine Smith ’12.

2007 Paul Byars has been appointed to serve on the Spartan Alumni Association board as alumni chair of Spartans Engage. He will work with the Alumni Relations office and Parents’ Association Spartan Engage project chairs Laura Scanlan Cho ’89 and Robyn Gill. Louise McNutt has been appointed to serve as chair of alumni recognition on the Spartan Association board.

2009 Chetan Panda ’09 served as alumni chair of the Annual Fund on the Spartan Alumni Association board throughout the school year. The association and St. Stephen’s are grateful for his efforts. Last winter, D.J. Johnson coached the Spartan 8thGrade Boys’ Red Team to victory at the AIPL League Tournament Championship for Middle School Basketball. The Red Team went undefeated all year! Johnson currently works in the school’s Admission Office.

2003 Michael Lockwood Crouch wed Daniel Edward Henning on April 5 at Manhattan Marriage Bureau. He is a voiceover actor in New York, and his spouse is marketing content manager of Music Theatre International. The couple met on the uptown local C train in New York City and have been together ever since.

2004 Mallory Boyle has been active on the Spartan Alumni Association board for the past three years. Next year she will take on the new role of alumni regional representative for Texas and will work with the Alumni Relations Office to engage Spartans throughout Texas. Eric Neuhaus has served on the Spartan Alumni Association board for the past five years. St. Stephen’s is grateful for his time, dedication and leadership.

D.J. Johnson ’09

2013 Danielle Strasburger and Nathan Goldberg ’14 have been spearheading Harvard Forward, an effort to get the school to divest its financial holdings from investments in fossil fuels.

Michael Lockwood Crouch ’03 and Daniel Edward Henning



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that features Bowdoin students and their personal styles. She credits this work as the inspiration for her travel itinerary. She plans to visit Brazil, India, Senegal and South Korea to explore how people use fashion to cultivate their identities, react to their environments and break boundaries.

2016 This winter, Maddie Almanza coached the Spartan 7/8 Girls’ Purple Team to victory at the AIPL League Tournament Championship. Mallika Rao, student athlete advisory committee (SAAC) president at Rhodes College, kicked off the inaugural Division III SSAC mental health social media campaign for mental health awareness on Instagram in May.

Caroline Herrera ’15

After serving for three years on the Spartan Alumni Association board, James Carter has agreed to continue his service. He has been appointed alumni regional representative for New York and will work with the Alumni Relations office to engage alumni and design programs for the area.

2015 Caroline Herrera has been serving on the frontlines of COVID-19 as a first responder in Mobile, Ala. We are grateful for her dedication to her community and her work during this difficult time. Hailey Wozniak received a year-long grant to study abroad this fall through the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship Foundation. As a student at Bowdoin, she co-founded Avant-Garb Magazine, a journal about fashion and culture

Maddie Almanza ’16 with Coach Peter Menacker


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

This spring, Elizabeth Sturley received the People’s Choice Award in the Three-Minute Thesis Competition for her work “An Atrocity by Any Other Name: Uses and Misuses of the Term Genocide.” More than 600 organizations from 80 countries participated in the competition. Sturley recently graduated from Amherst.

In Memoriam Alice Ann Lynch ’58 passed away peacefully from leukemia on Jan. 31. Her devotion to friendship may be her greatest legacy. At The University of Texas, her academic focus was history, but her true major was friendship. Her Theta sorority sisters became pillars in her life. She married fellow UT student William “Bill” Wyatt of San Antonio in 1962. Two years later they moved to San Antonio, where they were blessed with two sons, John and Richey. Lynch served in leadership roles of community and charitable organizations that included, among others, the START Gallery at the San Antonio Museum of Art, Learning About Learning and the San Antonio Library Foundation. She also served on The University of Texas Press Advisory Board in Austin and championed the Texas Book Festival and the San Antonio Book Festival. In January of 2000, she married Sam “Woody” Norwood at the top of Aspen Mountain. Lynch was diagnosed with advanced peritoneal cancer in 2016. She lived life with the same humor and zest as ever before, but with an evident and profound sense of gratitude, joy and acceptance. As recently as last year, she journeyed to Antarctica and became enraptured with penguins. Lynch is survived by her husband; her sons and daughters-in-law, whom she loved as her own; John Wyatt and Susan Ludwigson, of Glen Ridge, N.J.; and Richey and Joan Wyatt of San Antonio. Tim Pettus ’62, alumnus and former faculty member, passed away on Feb. 1. After graduating from St. Stephen’s, Pettus studied at the University of Louisiana in 1967 and went on to earn his graduate degree in mathematics from the University of Georgia. He taught at the University of Louisiana, the University

of Georgia, the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., St. Andrews, St. Stephen’s, Phillips Exeter Academy and St. Mark’s. During his sabbatical year from St. Mark’s in 1987, Pettus taught at the Shore School in New South Wales, Australia. This experience gave him a taste for international education. After leaving St. Mark’s in 2001, he spent 11 years teaching math in China as part of the School Year Abroad program. He will be remembered as an innovative teacher, a loyal friend and a true gentleman. Pettus is survived by his wife, Mary; his three children, Sarah, Tim Jr. and Stephen; and five grandchildren. Alexandra “Sandy” Dodge Montgomery ’70 is remembered as a multi-talented woman: teacher and advocate for learning-disabled children, plaintiffs’ lawyer in significant health and abuse-related cases, and legal analyst for the California State Senate. She was generous with her time, helping friends and family with legal issues, as well as mentoring at-risk high school students in the CASA program in Orange County. Montgomery is survived by her son, Nathan Day; her mother, Margaret; her brothers, Robert and Carleton; her niece; Esther; and her nephews, Robert and Jacob. Mark Clark ’71 passed away on March 12 at Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital. After graduating from St. Stephen’s in 1971, he received his B.A. in economics from Austin College in Sherman. Following his college graduation, Clark went into the electrical contracting business and was a pioneer in the electrical aggregating industry. From the age of 6, his gift for electrical wiring was evident to his family. His interests included traveling, reading, working in his shop and having Friday breakfast with ‘ROMEO’ buddies. Over the years, Clark served as a Mason, a Rotarian, a Paul Harris Fellow, Son of the American Revolution, and master electrician. Clark is survived by his wife of 43 years, Janet Russell Clark; his daughter and son-in-law, Lauren Clark Coleman and Teddy Coleman; grandsons James Tius ‘Ty’ Coleman and Taylor Eugene Coleman of College Station; brother George F. Clark III and wife Charlotte Ashcroft Clark of Dallas. Robert Hewitt ’77 passed away on April 1. After graduating from St. Stephen’s, he attended The University of Texas at Austin. Hewitt then worked alongside his father and grandfather for many years as president of O’Connor & Hewitt Ltd. He also was active in The O’Connor & Hewitt Foundation in Victoria, Texas. Robert provided leadership and stimulus to those with whom he worked until full completion of various and many endeavors. His valuable input and steadfast efforts were evidenced through his many board appointments, benefitting the Dorothy H. O’Connor Pet Adoption Center (named for his paternal grandmother), Trinity Episcopal School, Victoria Economic Development Corp., Victoria Performing Arts Center, Victoria Crime Prevention Commission, Victoria Regional Airport Commission, Wells Fargo Bank and St. Stephen’s. His efforts and

SPARTAN ALUMNI NETWORK Join the Spartan Alumni Network at STAY CONNECTED Connect instantly with more than 6,000 St. Stephen’s alumni, faculty and staff around the world. ENGAGE Get all of your St. Stephen’s alumni news in one place. RE-CONNECT Find and re-engage with fellow Spartan alumni using the online directory. GIVE BACK Introduce, employ and offer to act as a mentor to fellow alumni. EXPAND Use the trusted St. Stephen’s community to expand your professional network. JOBS Post openings and find job leads.

generosity touched the lives of many for the betterment of the community as a whole, always without limitation or boundary. He was part of the Hewitt family legacy at St. Stephen’s. His mother, Terry Hewitt ‘57, attended St. Stephen’s, as did his sister, Mary Hewett ‘85, and daughter, Ellen Hewitt Sanders ‘01. Hewitt served on the St. Stephen’s board of trustees for three terms (1989–2002) and was a member of the St. Stephen’s Endowment Corp. He loved St. Stephen’s and gave generously to many of its funds and projects. William Lee Kemper III ’84 passed away on Nov. 24, 2019, in Bluffton, S.C. Kemper leaves behind his cherished wife of 20 years, Ann Marie Burgeson Kemper, and his two beloved daughters, Savannah Marie and Lily Ann. Kemper was a larger-than-life man who had a special way of connecting with everyone he met. He grew up in Houston and Austin, and although he and his young family moved to the lowcountry 16 years ago to be there for his ailing father-in-law, he remained a true Texan at heart. He had a true passion for travel and cherished the time spent with family exploring other cultures. Kemper had a Porsche race engineering business in Austin, and cars and racing were always a part of him. He recently transitioned into safer autocross with the SCCA Buccaneer Region. His daughter, Lily, did the race car graphics, and Savannah was the driver. He was such a hands-on father, making it his

Spartan Magazine

mission to teach and give of himself in every way to his girls and family. He was an artist and made fabulous wood sculptures, and he taught the girls a love of art, making sure they knew he valued whatever they did. He was a consummate storyteller, instilling a love of creative writing in the girls. He loved building sets and projects for his daughters’ schools and was a coach for the clay shooting team. Elizabeth Henderson Jepson ’01, beloved wife of Bryan Leigh Jepson and daughter of George and Linda Henderson, died unexpectedly but peacefully on Jan. 31 at her home in Wichita, Kan. Jepson was a lovely, vivacious and caring person, who brought light and joy to everyone she met. After graduating from St. Stephen’s in 2001 and from The University of Texas at Austin (Plan II) in 2005, she graduated from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2009. In law school, she served as executive managing editor of the inaugural volume of the Estate Planning & Community Property Law Journal and as an articles editor of the Texas Tech Law Review. The most significant event in law school, however, was that she met Bryan, the love of her life, when randomly assigned to an editing exercise. They were married in 2011 and began life together in Amarillo, where they both practiced law. In 2015 they moved to Wichita and continued their legal careers while creating a warm and welcoming home for themselves and their rescue dogs. Jepson practiced law with Brown & Fortunato P.C., based in Amarillo, Texas, throughout her career. She held a certification in health law from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and was a member of the Texas, Kansas and Missouri bar associations. Clients from across the country relied on her for advice and guidance in complex regulatory matters and substantial business transactions, and she worked tirelessly on their behalf. David Heberling, former faculty member, passed away in April. He received his undergraduate degree in English literature from Juniata College and his master’s degree in English literature from the University of Arizona. Heberling had an innate curiosity and was passionately interested in many things. He was a selfdescribed “Renaissance Man.” His passion for teaching, landscaping and weather garnered his attention throughout his life. He enjoyed two long careers. The first was as a high school English teacher at St. Stephen’s, where he was active in early sustainability efforts and helped found the environmental action group, which still thrives in a different form today. His children also attended the school, where they had the pleasure of hearing from their friends and classmates about all the quirky things he was doing. After 21 years of teaching, Heberling decided to turn a hobby into a career and began Prairie Wood Landscaping. His true passion was landscaping, and he happily spent the majority of his hours in his own backyard or someone else’s, single-handedly making the world a more beautiful place. He was a leader of the Native Plant Society of Texas. Heberling is survived by his parents,

Paul and Louise Heberling of Huntingdon, Pa.; sister Judy Heberling and brother-in-law Michael Husband of Huntingdon, Pa.; brother Scott Heberling and sister-inlaw Diana Hubsch of Pittsburgh, Pa.; daughter Natalie Heberling ’99 of Golden, Colo.; son Paul Heberling ’01 and daughter-in-law Katie Wallat; and grandsons Will and Alex Heberling of Denver, Colo.

Khotso Khabele ’91 Khotso Khabele ’91 was a hero to me just like his mother, Joan Khabele, and his grandmother, Bertha Means, are today. He was an idealist and a doer. My first memories of him are from the early 2000s, when he and then-wife Moya were beginning to envision the Khabele School. As he processed the tragic events and national crisis brought on by the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, he acknowledged the world as a changed place. He became a vocal visionary and sought ways to put his ideas about education into action. Khabele liked to say, “We lean into change.” He prepared students for the changes that technology and globalization would bring to their lives. At the same time, he was a practitioner, teaching peace studies with a focus on balancing the rapid pace of life with spiritual centering. “I think that he was one of the most highly spiritual people in the world,” said his sister, Inonge. “Khotso believed we were entering a golden age, melding technology and spirituality to make the world better together.” He and I talked a lot about fundraising. Khabele loved the idea that through a gift, a donor was given the opportunity to become involved in something larger than themselves and invest in an institution’s mission and values. He embodied the qualities we wish for all of our St. Stephen’s graduates: to live into our school’s mission by creating a life of meaning and enriching the world. St. Stephen’s English instructor Ben Hines ’91 remembers Khabele as incredibly idealistic. “Khotso loved to laugh, and he moved constantly to bring everyone together so we could all share in the joy of the moment,” Hines said of his longtime friend. “What he built for all of us who knew and loved him was a kind of spiritual home, where we could just be ourselves and be happy.” Martin Quander ’82 agreed with Hines. “His sense of humor was infectious and his compassion immeasurable,” Quander said. “I am blessed to have known Khotso for more than 30 years and could not be more proud of the man, the teacher and the father that he became.”

—christine aubrey, associate head of school for advancement



Summer 2020




S T.

S T E P H E N’ S



Alumni Class Representatives Winter 2020

Will Brewster ’51

Meghan Alexander ’96

Fred Heldenfels ’52

Shannon Powers Flahive ’96

Edna Noel Heldenfels ’53

Tina Bentsen Henrichson ’96

Michael Hines ’54

Elizabeth Anne Sykes Rains ’96

Colin Phipps ’55

Cam Beesley ’97

Ellen McCorquodale Martin ’56

Jared Hockema ’98

Ruth Wilson Witten ’57

Rebecca Hollis Diffen ’99

J.P. Bryan ’58

Claire Browder ’00

Tom Romberg ’59

Katharine Bayer ’01

Pat Fatter Black ’60

Juliet Frerking ’01

Steve Jolly ’61

Kean Tonetti ’02

David Sanders ’62

Brian Kaufman ’04

Julia Cauthorn ’63

Rachel Katz ’05

Joiner Cartwright ’64

Sarah Cromwell Sheppard ’06

Arthur Wright ’64

Selina Strasburger ’06

Dianne Duncan Tucker ’65

Cole Arledge ’07

Helen Candler Miller ’66

Anne Buckthal Chilton ’07

Randy Parten ’67

Amanda Kushner ’08

Robert Henderson ’68

J.J. Botha ’09

Josh Harrison ’69

Chantal Strasburger ’09

Kathryn Miller Anderson ’71

Carlotta Garza ’10

Darrell David ’72

Omar Yaghi ’10

Douglass Anderson ’73

Ryann Young ’10

Ann Rhodes McMeans ’74

Lindsay Redman ’11

Dr. Mary L. Brandt ’75

Henry Sikes ’11

Sylvia McIntyre-Crook ’75

Gray Twombly ’11

Dan Norton ’76

Alia Yaghi ’11

Robert Ettinger ’77

Yosua A. Husodo ’12

Mark Tucker ’78

Helen Elizabeth Old ’12

Carroll Lively Reeser ’79

Caroline Pringle ’12

Peter Larkham ’80

Jake Politte ’12

Erica Peters Stafford ’81

James Carter ’13

Charlotte Stuckey Brigham ’81

Annie Nordhauser ’13

Wendy White Naughton ’82

Nathan Goldberg ’14

Laura Mears Mirecki ’83

Jaclyn Horton ’14

Suzanne Cantarino Pfeiffer ’84

Jim Old ’15

Libbie Walker Ansell ’85

Nick Goldreyer ’16

Chris Breckwoldt ’86

Allie Goldreyer ’18

Catherine Hoey Randall ’87

Blossom Maduafokwa ’18

Mark Rowe ’88

Andrew Yow ’18

Jonathan Quander ’89

Wyatt Gill ’19

Joe Frisz ’90

Tom Guan ’19

Liz Fleming Powell ’91

Greta Katsner ’19

Monika Powe Nelson ’92

Chloe Lawrence ’19

Davis Baldwin ’93

Lucy Schmidt ’19

Catherine Cook Weiss ’94 Seth Alley ’95 Ben Chan ’95 Hawkins Li ’95 Beth Cockerham Mack ’95 Ann Strauser Palmer ’95 Rhea Benbow Thomas ’95


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

The classes of 1970, 2003 and 2017 need a Class Representative. If you are interested, please email Michelle Geo Olmstead at

Strength in Community

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 Michelle Geo Olmstead, director of alumni relations, at 512.327.1213 x178 or Class Notes also can be submitted directly online at Select the “Stay Connected” box. For help finding your Class Rep, please visit our Alumni webpage 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 full names and class years of everyone pictured. Spartan magazine editors reserve the right to edit or omit any information submitted.

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Private Alumni Facebook Group: facebook. com/groups/StStephensAlumniGroup If you have not received emails from the Alumni Office recently, we may not have your current email address. Please send your information to so you do not miss invitations to events and news about your classmates. Thanks!


REUNION 2020 AND 2021 APRIL 16-18, 2021

Spartan Magazine

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PARTING SHOT Middle School students shower love on a puppy during the MLK Day march at the Capitol


Profile for St. Stephen's Episcopal School

Spartan magazine, Summer 2020  

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