St. Thomasâ€™s Day School Magazine for Alumni, Parents & Friends
St. Thomas’s Day School BOARD OF TRUSTEES Gina Criscuolo Chair John Forrest ’88 Vice Chair Eileen O’Donnell Secretary Tracey Meares Treasurer Gina Panza Rev. Keri Aubert Heather Tookes Alexopoulos Alexander Babbidge Christopher Cavallaro ’90 Donald Edwards William English Jeralyn Fantarella Kenneth Paul Otoniel Reyes Kathryn Scherer Denise Terry
Cover photo courtesy of Lauren Tobias P '25
Head of School
In & Around
the St. Thomas’ Community
New Board, Faculty & Staff
St. Thomas’s Day School Events/Alumni
St. Thomas’s Day School | BALLOON
Design Meredith Jensen
The Year in Photos
Danielle Plante Director of Institutional Advancement
Art Direction/Graphic Designer
Photography Danielle Plante Sandra Rizzo Lauren Tobias
ST. THOMAS'S DAY SCHOOL 830 WHITNEY AVENUE NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT 06511 PH 203.776.2123 | FAX 203.776.3467
W E L C O M E A Message from Gina Panza, Head of School It’s been quite a courageous year at St. Thomas’s Day School. I am excited to share this issue of The Balloon with you. On the pages that follow, you will read how courage is at our School’s foundation and discover some of the many ways it is displayed daily amongst our students and teachers. St. Thomas's has always been a safe environment in which students can feel free to ask questions and take risks, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to shine a spotlight on our courageous students and teachers, who challenged themselves in a myriad of ways this past academic year. Whether welcoming a new classmate or taking part in a debate, our students showed courage in the big and small ways. These actions were made possible by our purposeful and passionate teachers, who model courage by stepping out of their own comfort zones. It is just as important to be courageous as a school community. It takes a great deal of courage to re-envision a 21st century education while remaining true to our philosophical beliefs on learning. Over the last seven years, I, along with my faculty and staff, have observed, gathered information, researched ideas, shared visions, debated and asked hard questions in order to identify and clarify what our students will need to thrive and make a difference in this fast-paced, ever-changing world. We have courageously examined the curricula, looking for ways to update content and modernize our teaching techniques. We have adopted a math program that focuses on problem solving, critical thinking and math language so our students develop deep conceptual understanding and skills application. We have amended our social studies curriculum to include global awareness and social justice components. We have introduced diverse literature surrounding complex issues to help our students understand the nature of human interactions. Little by little, we have bravely taken steps to evaluate our thinking about children, learning and education. Now, we are excited to re-envision our learning spaces to match what we have unearthed about education. We have hired a team of architects and begun to dream a dream of spaces that will best accommodate our students and their different learning styles. Our first phase, the first floor classroom renovation, was completed in September 2019, and will provide students with a modern learning environment equipped with mobile furniture, flexible seating and upgraded technology. This fall, we will begin to envision plans for a Learning Commons with a focus on science, technology, the library and a maker space, which will provide our students with the skills and tools necessary to live and thrive in the decades ahead. While honoring the work that came before us, we courageously push ahead to take on our next exciting challenge. We look forward to another year of growth, and hope you will visit campus or attend an event so you can see firsthand the courage-in-action at St. Thomas’s Day School.
Warm regards, Gina Panza Head of School 3 SUMMER/FALL 2019
COURAGE to Bloom written by Sarah Pfeffer
COURAGE AS A CORE VALUE
“COURAGE IS BEING AFRAID OF SOMETHING BUT DOING IT ANYWAY.” A St. Thomas’s Day School student shared this wise statement when asked to describe the word that is at the heart of the School’s mission. The development of courage is cultivated in the daily lives of students at St. Thomas’s in a manner that is purposeful-yet-organic. But with a concept that is so seemingly intangible, how do the dedicated and passionate faculty members plant roots and nurture the quality of courage? And how do they recognize its fruit when it starts to grow? 4 St. Thomas’s Day School | BALLOON
Building courage is deliberate at St. Thomas’s –– it starts with the School’s foundational principles and comes to fruition in the classroom. Many have seen firsthand as St. Thomas’s students are built up by the School’s motto to “cultivate happy minds, open hearts and brave ideas.” This bravery is encouraged in students as they pursue understanding with an adventurous spirit; demonstrate innovative and progressive thinking; and engage in exploration and problem solving. Simply put, St. Thomas's students practice courage. And they can only practice courage in their daily lives because of the trust they feel in the intentional, emotionally safe community at St. Thomas's, where they are empowered to take risks and learn from their mistakes.
COURAGE COURAGE IN THE SMALL (AND BIG!) THINGS “In kindergarten we try to provide a safe space to take risks and an atmosphere of resilience, curiosity and adaptability,” says teacher Norine Page. “Courage in the kindergarten might mean being kind to the new child in the class, trying something new or speaking up for something you believe in.” All of these acts of courage are possible because Page’s classroom is a place that “recognizes and celebrates each child.” She infuses a positive selfimage in each of her kindergarteners, sharing a favorite quote by Winnie-the-Pooh author A.A. Milne as an example of her personal philosophy: “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” When a statement like this is the foundation of learning, it breathes confidence into every action throughout the day. “Courage comes in all shapes and sizes,” says Head of School Gina Panza. As Chaplain Derek reminded the community last year in Chapel, “It may sometimes look like a heroic or bold act; however, most of the time it is much quieter and sometimes goes unnoticed.” A St. Thomas's student might show courage by joining the school orchestra or the BlueStars chorus; working through a challenge in the Makerspace; or taking on community issues by helping the homeless or supporting the New Haven Animal Shelter. Music teacher Nora Lee agrees with Panza that although it can go unnoticed, “courage abounds at St. Pictured above: Fifth-grade students bravely dissect a pig's heart. Below: The fourth grade present their newly written preamble to the school.
they applied their own values to a newly-created resolution and presented it in costume at the endof-year Grade Four Presentation in the chapel:
We the Fourth Grade In order to have a more perfect school year Will work for fairness for all in our community Help make sure there’s peace in our land Thomas's, and...it is apparent on a daily basis.” Specifically, Lee sees courage in small moments and interactions, like when a student plays a new game on the playground, or when someone leads a prayer in Chapel for the first – or last – time. Lee calls Arts Week “the shining example of courage,” explaining, “Because we have prepared a safe space, children unblinkingly dive into the deep end of something outside their comfort zone and then courageously perform for the entire community.” Notably, the fourth grade recently rewrote and performed their own version of the preamble to the Constitution in a spin-off of “Schoolhouse Rock.” In conjunction with the drama department,
Protect all of the students’ rights and Respect and care for those in need And make sure these efforts succeed Not just today – but forever Across the playgrounds of St. Thomas’s Day School 5 SUMMER/FALL 2019
THE COURAGE TO TAKE RISKS
Above: Mr. Stapleton integrates technology and songwriting and invites students to present their own work. Below: Ms. Page creates a safe space for students to take risks and learn.
Students at St. Thomas’s are empowered to take risks and stretch themselves because their equally courageous teachers remind them daily that it is okay to make mistakes; it is the willingness to try, and the ability to learn from mistakes, that matters. But as we all know, “telling” is not enough. Educators must show courage personally for their students to believe it and feel confident enough to practice it. Lee recognizes the courage it takes for an educator to “teach something in a new way for the first time,” something that occurs often at St. Thomas’s. In an “open classroom” setting, teachers work together with colleagues and also partner with students, allowing for spontaneity and creative collaboration within their daily lessons. “Teachers often say they learn just as much from the children as the children learn from them through these partnerships,” Panza emphasizes. Science teacher Josiah Venter opens each class with an opportunity for students to discuss their week or weekend. “The majority are eager to share,” he says. Still, “I believe it requires courage to share your personal joys.” Venter also sees this courage extended into class exercises: “Students take a guess at a proposed question, even if they aren’t sure they’re right.” Although it might be presumed that students would have a fear of being wrong, Venter sees that “plenty of St. Thomas's kids are happy to give an answer they aren't sure of.” Furthermore, these same brave students put their science projects on display for the entire community to observe or critique. Venter calls this act, in particular, “a huge testament to courage.” And outside of his science class, Venter notes he sees courage in the way his students participate in Chapel.
SELF-ASSURED, CONFIDENT LEADERS The character education program at St. Thomas's distinguishes "instilling the lifelong value of courage" as part of its mission, and this is regularly discussed in Chapel and in the classrooms, with an emphasis on showing courage in the small 6 St. Thomas’s Day School | BALLOON
A sixth-grader leads Chapel and shares her culture and traditions.
things while becoming one’s best self, one day at a time. Students are able to do just that as they practice leadership skills in Chapel. “Courage is fostered during a student-centered morning Chapel,” Second grade teacher Erin Clark says. “Counting birthday pennies, presenting special projects, being the student chaplain and delivering ‘This I Believe’ speeches are all opportunities for the children to channel their courage in order to become self-assured, confident leaders.” Clark refers to St. Thomas’s as a “special place that truly bridges the connection between kindness and courage.” The kind, confident students at St. Thomas's have the courage to petition Panza for positive changes in the School, from food options or dress code. Panza recalls the “not only brilliant, but brave” upper schooler who proposed dress code amendments which resulted in a new policy allowing for more inclusivity and further options in attire as students move up grades. And when it is time to move on from St. Thomas's, graduates take these self-advocacy skills with them into their lives. As graduation speaker Dr. Andrew Baldwin ’95 said in June, “This is the place where I established the
roots that would support my life, education, and career, and found the wings of courage and confidence to fly away and chart my own path.” Baldwin is a Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital that went on from St. Thomas’s to the likes of Phillips Academy Andover to Harvard to Yale University. But of his lineup of impressive diplomas, he says, “the one that is most prominently displayed in my office (and the one that is most special to me) is my St. Thomas’s Day School diploma. The qualities that are most important for someone with my job –
patience, dedication, curiosity, kindness, and inclusiveness – are all things that I learned here at this school.” To the Class of 2019, Dr. Baldwin shared that although their common experiences at St. Thomas’s may seem small, “You will remember them forever and in time appreciate the kindness, and wonder, and courage that they bestowed upon you.” And the confidence to take a chance even when it might be scary is just what children today need as they courageously face the sunshine and choose to bloom.n
Fifth-graders show confidence and reverence as they honor Martin Luther King, Jr. 7 SUMMER/FALL 2019
the St. Thomas’s Community Head of School Gina Panza and the sixth grade class cut the ribbon to officially open the playgrounds.
ST. THOMAS’S OPENS THE SCHOOL YEAR WITH NEW PLAYGROUNDS!
The 2018-2019 school year opened with a momentous ceremony to celebrate the completion of the new St. Thomas’s Day School playgrounds. An excited crowd of students, faculty, staff, parents, grandparents, alumni and friends gathered together to share in the joy of the historic day.
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IN & AROUND THE ST. THOMAS’S COMMUNITY
The students take advantage of every area of the playground joy abounds!
The playgrounds serve as the perfect background for cross-grade connections to be made.
The ceremony started with traditional first day of school sentiments and Head of School Gina Panza directed her remarks at the students mentioning that today was a day unlike any other first days of school. “Today is special, as we will begin our school year on the playground and not in the Chapel. I am absolutely thrilled to have you here on these playgrounds that once started as a dream and today are a reality.” Panza then took the time to recognize all of those who through their generosity, foresight and artisanship brought the project to where it stands today. Appreciation was extended to the students, faculty, administration, the Board of Trustees and the Church for their vision and guidance, and to Playground Project Manager Chris Ozyck for his unparalleled expertise, professionalism and thoughtfulness.” 9 SUMMER/FALL 2019
Playground project manager Chris Ozyck is applauded for his work during the opening ceremony.
A last thank you was extended to all of the generous donors, many of who were in attendance, who helped to build a unique place of play and assured many more years of outdoor exploration for the students. The ceremony commenced with the sixth graders joining Mrs. Panza up front as they took their position next to her as the leaders of the School. On a 1-2-3 count the ribbon was cut and the playgrounds were officially opened for play. The new playgrounds have brought an incredible sense of vitality and enthusiasm to life at St. Thomas’s this year. They have been used in many different ways – educational, play, and social – and continue to be the place of gathering for our students, faculty, and community members. We are grateful to all who had a hand in making the playgrounds possible.n
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IN & AROUND THE ST. THOMAS’S COMMUNITY
ST. THOMAS’S ANNOUNCES FORMAL DRAMA PROGRAM Historically, every grade participates in either a play, a musical, or a skit that is directed by their homeroom teacher with help from the music teachers. While St. Thomas’s has always had a strong commitment to performance, there hasn’t always been a dedicated path to help our students prepare. This year we were proud to announce a formalized Drama Program spearheaded by longtime faculty member Andrew Myers. The goals of the newly instituted Drama Program are to deepen students’ creative thinking skills; engage the students’ imaginations while fostering poise, participation and problem solving abilities; and to cultivate empathy by exploring perspectives through observation, role-playing and reflection. In the fall, students met once a week to explore and experience a variety of different theater themes.
Kindergartners perform The Mitten, in its 31st year at St. Thomas's.
Each session consisted of a warm up, a concept discussion, and a thematic game to support the concept. Myers says, “I love sharing my passion for playbased theater games. They broaden a child’s burgeoning empathy through observation and role play. Theater is a cultural space, where we examine ourselves in a mirror. Performance of theater is a universal cultural phenomenon that exists in all societies. Understanding theater helps us understand what it means to be human.” In the spring, the focus of the Drama Program turned to preparation for the musical, plays and skits. Having already explored theater concepts and the necessary tools needed for performance, the students then spent more time rehearsing and working on production. Myers reports with enthusiasm that it has been astonishing to watch the students make connections and observations and respect and respond to each other’s work. The performances at St. Thomas's Day School have always been extraordinary, but with a true understanding and honoring of each other's work, it is even more magical. n
The sixth grade performs Jesus and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
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A MONTH OF GRATITUDE AND GIVING BACK Each month, the St. Thomas’s Day School community focuses on a core value as part of the character education program. The core value is introduced in Chapel and highlighted with stories and talks over the course of that month. From there, head teachers and specials teachers weave that value throughout their classes to reinforce and expand students’ learning. November was a standout month as the school community focused on the core value of gratitude and participated in a series of pertinent events.
Kindergarten participates in Operation Gratitude and wrote to thank you notes to our servicemen and women.
In Chapel, Native American Heritage Month, Veterans Day and Diwali were recognized and celebrated with song, poetry, stories, dances and special guest speakers (including St. Thomas’s very own Business Manager Deepak Goplani); and each day the students and St. Thomas’s Day School | BALLOON
faculty volunteered a word or two about what they were thankful for. The Kindergarten showed their gratitude by hosting a Thanksgiving feast for their families. They shopped and prepared a full Thanksgiving meal and put on two small skits as entertainment. St. Thomas’s also invited some of the people for whom our students are most grateful to Grandparents and Special Friends Day and warmed them with a morning of fun. Gratitude goes hand in hand with giving back and in November our students and faculty focused quite a bit on both. The month began with preparation for a Penny Harvest. Sixth grade students researched several community action programs to support and presented their top three choices to the student body. The student body then voted for their pick, selecting Y2Y New Haven, a Yale student group who is creating a shelter for youth experiencing homelessness. Pennies were then collected and a total of $380.76 was raised. Y2Y graciously picked up the donation and took the time to meet with the sixth grade to discuss their work and how the donations would be used. They left the St. Thomas’s students with the following words of inspiration, “If you are interested in a particular cause learn as much as you possibly can about it” and, “If you want to make a difference, tell someone, don’t stay quiet.” The last piece of advice Y2Y New Haven left with the students was that “you can make a difference in the community by doing big things or small things,” and during the St. Thomas’s Day of Giving, the entire school community came together to
The first grade class rake leaves and beautify the school's passive spaces as part of the Day of Giving.
do just that. On November 19, each grade selected a community service project and spent a designated time during the day to give back. Projects ranged from Edgerton Park cleanup to making cards for the troops overseas to organizing a spring blood drive. November was a busy month for the students of St. Thomas’s but it is guaranteed that they left for Thanksgiving break grateful and inspired. In the other months of the school year the core values included compassion, respect, courage, hope and creativity. St. Thomas’s Day School assures that the students will leave here not only with academic preparedness but with the social and emotional tools to be kind, thoughtful citizens of the world. n
The fifth grade create motivational cards as part of care packages for the homeless.
IN & AROUND THE ST. THOMAS’S COMMUNITY HONORING MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. WITH A POWERFUL TRIBUTE At St. Thomas’s we promote and nurture social activism and encourage our students to make the world a better place. As such, the honoring of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. during the school’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Chapel is important and powerful. On Thursday, January 17, the St. Thomas’s community gathered together for a morning observance of the work and achievements of Martin Luther King, Jr. The School was proud to have guest speaker Kica Matos, Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice at Community Change, there to speak to students and parents. Matos began her talk by asking the students what words came to mind when thinking of MLK, Jr.
Fifth-graders present a powerful tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.
Hands shot up and “leader,” “brave,” and “hero” were shared. Matos acknowledged that most everyone in the room thought he was a hero, yet when he was alive, he was hated and often referred to as “unAmerican” and “the most dangerous man in America.” Matos explained that the best part of Martin Luther King, Jr. was that he kept on fighting for what he thought was just and right despite what others thought about him. Matos, a woman who has dedicated her life to fighting for justice, said she draws her strength
from his work and encouraged our students to do the same. A powerful moment came at the end of her speech as a packed Chapel of students and family members (many of whom are also notable social activists) clapped their hands and stomped their feet as a response to Matos asking who wanted to make the world a better place and be a brave participant in fighting for the rights of others. This was just the beginning of many significant moments as the first grade went on to recite the poem “Tribute to a Great King” and the Bluestars sang a moving rendition of “I Dream a World.” Perhaps most powerful was the fifth grade class recitation of MLK, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The students displayed an incredible sense of strength and seriousness and were both reverent and relevant. In closing, Chapel came to an end as always, with a The Prayer for the World and a vow to “make this a better world and let it begin with me.”n
Speaker Kica Matos addresses the school community speaking on the importance of fighting for what you believe in. 13 SUMMER/FALL 2019
The Head of School and students building bookshelves in the makerspace.
BUILDING A COMMUNITY OF MAKERS The Maker Movement has never been more alive at St. Thomas’s Day School! What is the Maker Movement, you ask? It is a constructivist and constructionist movement that supports a learn by doing model. It is a push to integrate learning across curriculum areas, including science, technology, engineering, art, math, history and so much more. It is an opportunity for children to actively engage in the learning process in ways that are motivating and come naturally to them.
Posts written by Gina Panza, Head of School 14 St. Thomas’s Day School | BALLOON
St. Thomas’s Day School students have been “making” things for the past 63 years. Active engagement has been a guiding principle to teaching and learning at St. T’s since its inception. We know, and science supports, that making stirs imaginations, ignites children’s brains and stimulates areas of interest and curiosity. The act of making adds significant dimension to how students learn. Current brain research affirms our work and inspires our on-going commitment to provide a program whereby children investigate, collaborate, discover, build resiliency and solve problems. Our students’ innate curiosity and imaginative abilities are quite evident. From the creations made in the mud kitchen to the volcanic islands formed in the sand box, we are constantly reminded that our children are masterful
IN & AROUND THE ST. THOMAS’S COMMUNITY to support hands-on learning has led to a complete overhaul of our daily schedule. Our children now have longer blocks of time to learn, explore and fully immerse themselves in their work. While our teachers have always carved out “tinkering” space in the classrooms and in the hallways, I am excited to announce that we now have a dedicated space for our students to engage in their projects and investigations. The Maker Space is stocked with wonderful materials, objects and tools to seed ideas and inspire intrinsically motivated projects. All teachers and students have access to this space and its materials.
Pictured above: Students explore Edgerton Park and gather materials for "making."
makers and dramatic dreamers. They are enthusiastic learners who ask questions and seek answers. Our children are serious explorers, deep thinkers and powerful builders. Their creativity is boundless! Watching our students both in the classrooms and on the playgrounds solidifies for me the importance of providing sufficient time and space for true inquiry-based learning to take hold. In fact, our on-going commitment
In this era of “hyper-change” it is more important than ever before to foster a culture that provides a stable environment while embracing necessary changes to prepare our students for the future. According to the World Economic Forum, complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity will become the top three skills workers will need to be successful in the workforce in the Fourth Industrial Revolution – 2020 and beyond. Our goal is to inspire and prepare students to be the next generation of innovators. We are excited to nurture our children’s design thinking processes through meaningful making at St. T’s. The possibilities are endless for our community of makers!
A curious sixth-grader in the midst of a science investigation.
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School is our unwavering commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice. From its inception, St. Thomas’s Day School has been deeply committed to motivate children of diverse races, creeds and backgrounds to become independent thinkers who appreciate, understand and serve others. Over the past few years, our collective efforts to strengthen the links between our educational philosophy and institutional equity at St. Thomas’s has progressed. We regularly examine our curriculum, current practices and traditions to assess appropriateness and assure we are delivering an equitable and culturally responsive program. As such, increased engagement in leading accountable social justice work in our classrooms has been noted.
The diversity bulletin board created by the sixth grade class.
A CONTINUED COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, INCLUSION, EQUITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE I recently had the opportunity to read St. Thomas’s Day School Guide Book – a publication written and illustrated by Mrs. Lindley’s third grade class in the spring of 1993. This book tells all about St Thomas’s Day School from the third grade pointof-view. Gym Night, Field Day, birthday pennies, field trips and “tuns of fun on the playground” were some major highlights. I was immediately struck by the similarities between the well-known favorites of our current third grade students and those of Mrs. Lindley’s class over 25 years ago. It was heartwarming to learn that many experiences and traditions of long ago still remain beloved hallmarks of our school today. Another commonality that links our past to current day St. Thomas’s Day
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For example, for over 30 years, second graders at St. Thomas’s have shared their learning about the history of New Haven by portraying their own immigrant ancestors in the class play, “Coming to New Haven.” Over the course of those years the play has evolved to incorporate the beautiful diversity of our community. We continue to work to increase our sensitivity and awareness to the accurate and age-appropriate telling of our shared history. This year the second grade teachers have expanded student choice to include not only personal stories of relatives and/or ancestors who immigrated to America, but also stories
Titus Kaphar P '19 '21 presented to our students on his famous artwork and the need for more inclusive history.
IN & AROUND THE ST. THOMAS’S COMMUNITY
of influential people from New Haven and people who have made important contributions to New Haven. Additionally, the teachers continue to work to fairly tell the story of the meeting between the settlers and New Haven’s first people, the Quinnipiacs. Our third grade Native American unit has added a present day perspective in addition to solely learning the historical content. The fifth grade has implemented a book club whereby novels have been carefully chosen to support themes of social justice. They are also reading stories from a variety of perspectives and texts from diverse authors. Our unique community of different perspectives and talents greatly enhances our ability to provide students with authentic and thought-provoking experiences. This month we are excited to embark on our 2nd Annual Parent Speaker Series for upper school students. Some topics include: Social Justice in
Japan and Australia, Pan-Africanism & African Diaspora, Representations of Indigenous People in (White) Colonial America, The Criminal Justice System, Is Justice Blind? and Limitations of the United Nations. In addition, this winter we welcomed Hanifa Washington, equity specialist, to our community. Ms. Washington will be working with our students, faculty and parent community to deepen our individual and collective awareness and knowledge about how to develop and implement culture, practices, curriculum and policies that are rooted in equity, inclusivity and belonging. I’m confident that the work we are engaging in today will help equip our students with the necessary skills to fight for what they believe is just and right. We remain committed to continue this work as we prepare our children to be the change agents that will make this a better world. n
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the Year in
PHOTOS 18 St. Thomasâ€™s Day School | BALLOON
THE YEAR IN PHOTOS
FALL 2018 - SPRING 2019
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KINDERGARTEN TROUT RELEASE
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THE YEAR IN PHOTOS
G R A N D PA R E N T S D AY
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THE YEAR IN PHOTOS
F I E L D D AY
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H O L I D AY T R A D I T I O N S
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THE YEAR IN PHOTOS
H A L LOW E E N
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F U N & E D U C AT I O N A L E V E N TS
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THE YEAR IN PHOTOS
THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
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ST. THOMAS’S GRADUATES 2019
CLASS OF 2018 CLAIRE SUNG-HEE BILLINGS - Hopkins School KARL ISAIAH MARKOVITS BILSTON - Hopkins School ROSA KATHERINE MARKOVITS BILSTON - Hopkins School HOLLY ALEXANDRA DIADAMO - East Shoreline Catholic Academy PRINTHA STELLA ELLIS - ATLAS Middle School SAVION TITUS KAPHAR - The Foote School
On Wednesday, June 12, the Class of 2019 graduated from St. Thomas’s Day School. Eleanor Lee and Kyle Song were the recipients of The Founders’ Award. Andrew Baldwin ’95 gave the graduation address.
ELEANOR GRACE LEE - Hopkins School JACKSON PAUL MOKOTOFF - Hopkins School MADELEINE CLAIRE MOYN - Hopkins School SPENCER GERARD SCHOEN - The Southport School DAVIS EDWARD JING SETO - Hopkins School ALEXANDER SKULA - Hopkins School KYLE JUN-SEOK SONG - Hopkins School GABRIEL KURIEN THOMAS - Adams Middle School
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ABOUT DR. ANDREW BALDWIN ‘95, 2019 GRADUATION SPEAKER Andrew Baldwin came to St. Thomas's Day School in the first grade and left as a graduating member of the Class of 1995. Over the past twenty four years, Andrew has kept quite busy. He continued his secondary education at St. John's School in Houston, TX and the prestigious Phillips Academy Andover. He attended college at Harvard University and medical school at the University of Texas. Dr. Baldwin completed his General Surgery residency at Yale University, and is currently a Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital. Andrew lives in Boston with his wife Courtney and 1-year-old daughter Eliot. We are proud to have such an accomplished alumnus as part of our community, but more so, proud that despite an incredibly impressive list of schools attended, Andrew attributes the direction and success of his life to his time at St. Thomas's. Andrew stated in his speech to the graduating Class of 2019, “Despite the great distances my life has taken me over the years, St. Thomas’s will always be a special place in my heart. For this is the place where I established the roots that would support my life, education, and career, and found the wings of courage and confidence to fly away and chart my own path.” n
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ANNUAL EVENTS & HOLIDAYS AT ST. THOMAS’S
New Board, Faculty & Staff
We are proud
to welcome new
members of the Board of Trustees, as well as new members of the faculty and staff. They all bring a unique set of experience and qualifications, and will be instrumental in helping us to continue to grow the level of excellence at St. T’s. v
C H R I S TO P H E R C AVA L L A R O Board Member
WILLIAM ENGLISH Board Member
OTO N I E L R E Y E S Board Member
ADELE GELPERIN Kindergarten Assistant Teacher
LESLIE REYES Kindergarten & First Grade Assistant Teacher 31 SUMMER/FALL SPRING 2018 2019
CHRISTOPHER CAVALLARO, BOARD MEMBER CHRISTOPHER A. CAVALLARO is a Vice President of Wealth Management, as well as a portfolio manager at Morgan Stanley, and a longtime resident of the New Haven area. He currently resides in Hamden with his wife Randima and their two sons, Sebastian ’24 and Xavier. Christopher’s journey started at St. Thomas’s as a child and it took him to Hawaii and Japan where he completed his college education and later back to Japan and Central America where he started his career. After living and working abroad for many years, the round trip journey brought him and Randima back to New Haven to raise a family. Christopher is an active member in the community and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Goodwill of Southern New England. Christopher is an avid skier and cyclist and continues to race competitively to this day. n
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WILLIAM ENGLISH, OTONIEL REYES, BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BILL ENGLISH is on the faculty of the Economics and Finance departments at Yale University. He teaches and conducts research on monetary policy and central banking issues. Before coming to Yale, Bill worked for more than 25 years at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, DC. While living in the Washington DC area, Bill was on the Vestry of Christ Church Georgetown and was head usher of the family service there for more than 15 years. He and his wife Tracey live just a few blocks from St. Thomas’s, on Huntington Street. They have two sons, now 27 and 22, who live in Arlington, Virginia. Bill received a Bachelor of Arts in economics and mathematics from Yale University in 1982 and a Doctor of Philosophy in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1986.n
OTONIEL REYES is the Chief of Police of the New Haven Police Department where he has been employed since January 2000, starting his career as an officer in the Patrol Division. During his almost 20 years in law enforcement, he has conducted numerous investigations on the Local, State and Federal level. In 2003, he was deputized as a Federal agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and helped dismantle one of the largest criminal enterprises in the City’s history with connections to New York and Columbia. Chief Reyes received the Medal of Honor in 2006 for engaging a gunman and preventing him from entering a school to elude capture after shooting a police officer. He is also the recipient of two police department life-saving awards. He has extensive training in criminal investigations, leadership development, critical incident management, labor relations, media relations, and policy development. He attended the prestigious FBI National Academy and the Senior Management Institute for Police. Otoniel resides in New Haven with his wife, Leslie, and their son, David ’21. He enjoys playing the guitar and bass, sports and spending time with his family. n
ADELE GELPERIN, KINDERGARTEN ASSISTANT TEACHER ADELE GELPERIN will join St. Thomas’s Day School as the Kindergarten Assistant Teacher. Ms. Gelperin brings teaching experience from a variety of settings including Hartsbrook School, Cold Spring School and New Haven Reads. Ms. Gelperin strives to create opportunities for experiential and inquiry-based learning, guided by the belief that children’s curiosity should be at the center of their learning. Ms. Gelperin earned a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Holyoke College and is a recipient of the Psychology and Education Department Award for Academic Excellence.n
LESLIE REYES, KINDERGARTEN & FIRST GRADE ASSISTANT TEACHER We are excited to formally welcome LESLIE REYES to the St. Thomas’s Day School Community as the Kindergarten/ Grade 1 Assistant Teacher. Last spring, Leslie worked as an Assistant Teacher in Kindergarten and in the Extended Day Program. Mrs. Reyes is an enthusiastic and dedicated teacher with over 18 years of experience with preschool and early elementary age students. Her ability to deliver individualized plans and programs tailored to each student’s unique needs while stimulating strong student educational enjoyment and appreciation makes her the perfect fit for our school. Mrs. Reyes earned a Master of Science in Education from the University of New Haven, a Bachelor of Science in sociology from Albertus Magnus College and holds a Professional Educator Certificate K-6 from the State of Connecticut. We are excited to welcome Mrs. Reyes back for the 2019-2020 school year. n
33 SUMMER/FALL 2019
Image Left (in frame) + right below:
Sixth grade students thank Mrs. Breuler for her service and dedicate the yearbook to her.
THANK YOU MRS. BREULER FOR 37 YEARS! T H I S PA S T J U N E , PAT S Y B R E U L E R ,
St. Thomas’s beloved faculty member and longest standing employee, retired after 37 years of dedicated and loyal service to the School. Over the past several decades, Mrs. Breuler taught, guided, loved and inspired hundreds of children. The students of St. Thomas’s were the beneficiaries of her many gifts and talents and are better people for having her in their lives. We will be forever grateful to Mrs. Breuler for being such a huge part of the culture of St. Thomas’s and for positively influencing all who had the pleasure of being taught by her and having worked alongside her. Best wishes Mrs. B for a healthy and happy retirement! n
34 St. Thomas’s Day School | BALLOON
I loved Mrs. Breuler's afterschool cooking class! We made English muffin pizzas and peanut butter cookies. By my calculations, this was 31 years ago!! Thank goodness I took that class, or I would be at a loss for what to make with my 4-year old daughter now! - Caitlin Eicher Caspi ‘92 I wanted to share a memory of Mrs. Breuler! She taught me to write my name 36 years ago when I was in Junior Kindergarten. At the time, my name, Rosalie, seemed unfairly long, but she helped me persevere. Both of those--writing my name, and persevering--have been so useful in my life. I became a teacher myself, and now I train teachers at the university level. I'm sure my love of the classroom has everything to do with my early positive experiences with kind and patient teachers like Mrs. Breuler. Thank you and enjoy your retirement! - Rosalie Metro ‘90
EVENTS ST. THOMAS’S DAY SCHOOL
SPRING GATHERING 2019
On May 4, St. Thomas’s Day School hosted a spring gathering event to celebrate the strength and success of the School and to honor all those who have been an integral part in making it happen. Over 150 members of the community gathered together for the casual but festive event where Head of School Gina Panza gave an impressive “State of the School” and thanked all those in the room for helping to contribute to the school’s good standing.
ALUMNI/PARENT RECEPTION The Alumni/Parent Reception was yet again a great success as members of the community came together at Stonycreek Brewery in Branford to reminisce and connect with St. Thomas’s. This is always the perfect event to kick off the school year and we hope to see you all at the fall reception this October!
35 SUMMER/FALL 2019
YOUNG ALUMNI NIGHT "But if the roots are strong...no matter where they roam...those same wings on which they soared away...will help... to fly them home." St. Thomas’s was so happy to have more than 35 young alumni join us on the playgrounds for a night of pizza, conversation and fun!
save the date!
ALUMNI/PARENT RECEPTION Friday, October 19, 2019 6pm – 8pm St. Thomas’s Day School Join us for wine and cheese and to tour our newly renovated classrooms! 36 St. Thomas’s Day School | BALLOON
Clockwise from right: John Forrest '88, Alexis HighsmithSmith '91, and Christopher Cavallaro '90, with their children on campus.
LEGACY LIVES AT ST. THOMAS’S DAY SCHOOL Don’t we all wish that we could go back to our childhood and relive our fondest memories? Three members of our alumni body are doing just that. John Forrest ’88, Christopher Cavallaro ’90, and Alexis Highsmith-Smith ’91 recall the teachers, chapel, Elves’ Workshop, class trips, and holiday traditions as some of their favorite parts of being students at St. Thomas’s. And ironically, today, they find themselves living it all over again as they drop their children off with their former Kindergarten teacher, volunteer at Elves’ Workshop, and sing along to songs they know all too well during chapel. John Forrest graduated from St. Thomas’s in 1988, went on to Bowdoin College and Yale Medical School, and is currently an interventional cardiologist and member of the faculty at Yale. His family resides in Hamden and his two sons attend St. Thomas’s. John and his wife Emily are incredibly involved with the school; John as ViceChairperson of the Board and Emily as the Co-President of the PTO. Christopher Cavallaro and his wife Randima have lived all over the world with stints in Japan, Central America, and New York City. Currently, Chris and Randima reside in Hamden and Chris works in finance at Morgan Stanley. They returned to Connecticut to raise their sons – one of whom attends St. Thomas’s and the other one who will be coming to the school in the next few years. Christopher recently accepted a seat on the Board. Alexis Highsmith-Smith is a graduate of the St. Thomas’s Class of 1991. She attended Hamden Hall and Duke University, going on to earn her law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is currently the Executive Director of the New Haven Legal Assistance, a non-profit law firm in New Haven. Her son and daughter attend St. Thomas’s. John, Christopher and Alexis played together on the playgrounds of St. Thomas’s and now their children are following in their footsteps. When asked if they always envisioned their children attending St. Thomas’s, they say no. As successful, professional adults with open minds, they explored all options, looking for the best fit for their individual children. John Forrest remarked, “I was quite hesitant to send my children to the same school that I had gone to simply because I did not want them to be limited to the same experiences I had as a child. However, in visiting St. Thomas’s from the perspective of a parent, I was very pleased to see that while the sense of community around the school remained, over the past decade there has been a modernization as it relates to the broad education of young children.” While our alumni all agree that the community, academic rigor, traditions, and values remain a foundation of the school, they have noticed that the changes, particularly in daily schedule structure and curriculum, allow St. Thomas’s to provide an unsurpassed experience and education for young children.n SUMMER/FALL 2019
CLASS OF 2013
Where are they now?
ANNIE ACQUAVITA University of New Haven TILLY BROOKS Yale University SOPHIA CAPOBIANCO University of Massachusetts, Amherst CLARE CHEMERY Yale University AUDREY DUNLAP Mount Holyoke College PRISCILLA EHRGOOD Yale University ERIN ELLBOGEN Wellesley College SAGE GIACOMINI Quinnipiac University CONNOR HARTIGAN Georgetown University NIA JONES Albertus Magnus College BEN LEVINE Georgetown University
St. Thomasâ€™s Day School | BALLOON
TONY LEWIS Unknown DYLAN MALOY Lafayette University ANA PANAGROSSI College of the Holy Cross CONNOR PIGNATELLO Syracuse University THALIA PITTI Vassar College ANTONIO PITTI Gap year HENRY RUGER Columbia University ANNA SATHER Boston College THEO TELLIDES Williams College LIANA TILTON Washington University in St. Louis ANDRES VECE University of Connecticut
Sherie Randloph is an associate professor of history at the Georgia Institute of Technology where she teaches courses on social movements, black feminist theory, gender, race and incarceration, Black Power, African American history and women’s history. She is the founder of the Black Feminist Think Tank, which creates programs that support the work of Black feminists and she is the author of Florynce “Flo" Kennedy: The Life of a Black Feminist Radical. Her second book "Free Them All": African American Women Political Exiles in Cuba is in the works. Visit her website: www.sheriemrandolph.com. Her goddaughter now attends St. Thomas’s!
James Beall resides in NYC and works for City Group in investment banking.
1986 Abby Fellows resides in Miami where she works as a personal chef. She is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and spent many years working as a notable chef in Washington, DC.
1987 Phoebe Fellows is the co-founder and co-owner of Edge Collections, a design and fabrication firm specializing in interior wall design. She is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology and has previously worked for Betsey Johnson and Barneys. Colin Moffet is the owner of Artemis Ward, a full service marketing agency in Washington, DC. He works with clients such as National Geographic, Nike and the Motion Picture Association. He is married to Natalie and has two elementary school-age daughters.
1989 Nicholas Chambers is married to Ute, an entomologist, and has two children. He lives in Diedorf, Germany and works as a Content Manager for KUKA Robotics.
1992 Caitlin Eicher Caspi is employed by the University of Minnesota where she is an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. Her research is focused on health equity, researching policies and interventions to improve dietrelated health outcomes.
2002 Liam Duffy graduated with his M.B.A. from the University of Virginia in the spring of 2019. He accepted a position at Harris Williams Bank in Richmond, VA as a transaction advisory.
2003 Katie Fellows is a traveling nurse, currently stationed in Hawaii and looking to head to Maine in a few months. She is enjoying her time in Hawaii and has taken up scuba diving.
2005 Sam Greco graduated from Georgetown Law this past spring and is commissioned to be an officer in the Navy JAG for the next four years. His long term plans are to return to Washington, DC and politics. Earl Lin lives in Washington, DC and works as a paralegal for the MacArthur Justice Center, an organization that fights cases to right individual wrongs, confront racial and social inequality, and demand real reform. He is planning to attend law school in a few years. Zach Pham lives in Colorado, where he went to college, and works at a software development company as a Quality Assurance Supervisor.
2006 Robert Emmet is getting his Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from the University of Washington. Myles Pham is a ski instructor in Colorado.
2007 Michael Berry will enter the Ph.D. program at Drexel University in the fall. He is currently working as researcher in a neuroscience lab at Massachusetts General Hospital.
2008 William Beall is a teacher in Russia, but will be coming back to the United States shortly to work in government.
Megan Janeway is a general surgery resident at Boston Medical Center. She is married to Ryan Mylrea and they have a son Justin who is one-year-old. Megan often runs into Emily Allen, who is an emergency room physician at Boston Medical Center. Congratulations to Becker Chase and his wife who welcomed their first child, Soren Schantz Chase, who will be one-year-old this fall. Becker resides in NYC and is employed by Chartline Capital Partners.
Emily Acquavita graduated a semester early from UCONN and is living and working for TD Bank in NYC. Sam Berry graduated from Yale and is applying to Ph.D. programs in computational biophysics. Cecilia Crews will enter her senior year at Yale in the fall. She spent last summer in South Africa conducting public health research about the ethics of HIV prevention trials. Alexander Tellides graduated cum laude from Union College with a B.A. in political science and philosophy.
Conor Duffy is a lawyer at Robinson and Cole in Hartford, a law firm that focuses on corporate health care law. He lives in Wooster Square in New Haven with his wife. He remains close to Devin Osborne who is a student at the Yale School of Forestry.
Spencer Lovejoy just completed his junior year at Yale where he continues to excel as the #1 on the men’s squash team. When he’s not studying or playing for the Yale team, he can be found traveling the world playing in the professional circuit. Evan Pham is a student at the University of British Columbia where he participates in the co-op program. He is studying engineering.
1999 Eamon Duffy received his M.D. and M.B.A. from Yale in the spring of 2018 and is now a resident at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore where he will be for the next five years.
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Katharine Larsen is a student at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA majoring in engineering and physics and playing Division III water polo. She made the dean’s list both semesters of her freshman year and she was awarded the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference All-Academic Team Honors, as one of only 8 women from her team to win this award. Gwyneth Maloy finished her sophomore year at Williams where she majors in biology and psychology. She continues to swim for Williams, achieving both a place on the AllConference team and NESCAC All-Academic honors. She teaches first grade science through the Teach to Learn program and mentors a fifth grade student through the Assist Program. She will spend the summer doing a research internship at the Nathan Kline Institute.
Sam Lovejoy is a student at Hamden Hall. He is very interested in the ocean and marine life, having spent a week tagging nurse shark at the Cape Eleuthera Institute last summer. He continues to try to improve his time in the pool and hopes to attend the Futures Swim Championship this year. Julia Tellides is a rising senior at Hopkins.
Julia Acquavita is a sophomore at Providence College. Joshua Ip is a sophomore at Yale. Emma Pham lives in Japan where she works as a ski instructor.
2013 Annie Acquavita will be attending the University of New Haven in the fall where she will be studying criminal justice and playing on the lacrosse team. Sophia Capobianco will be attending UMASS Amherst in the fall where she plans to major in preveterinary medicine. She continues to volunteer and work at an animal shelter in Branford. At Hopkins she played squash and was the Co-President of the PAWS Club which raised money for local shelters. Additionally she served as a volunteer at the CT Food Bank and as a camp counselor at a summer camp in Branford. In the fall, she participated in Hopkins’ Princeton Model Congress in Washington, D.C. She travelled to Europe in March for spring break to The United Kingdom, Belgium, Normandy, Germany and Austria for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Connor Hartigan graduated from Hopkins, where he was a cross country captain and All-League in both cross country and track. He was awarded the Gerald F. Stevens History Prize and the Edward F. DeNoyon French Prize. He also continued his favorite pastime of singing with the Trinity Choirs. After a gap year, during which he will work in France and travel around Europe, he will enroll at Georgetown University. Benjamin Levine will be attending the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business this fall after graduating from Hopkins School. Benjamin was active in the Pathfinder tutoring program having worked for them full time last summer. He was also the Head of Model United Nations and spent the last two summers with the spanish department in Guatemala and Nicaragua. He earned his private pilot’s license in 2018 and enjoys flying when he has the time. This summer he will be working for the Town Of Chilmark on Martha’s Vineyard as a traffic officer. Dylan Maloy graduated from Hopkins where he was a member of the varsity wrestling and golf teams. He co-founded the Entrepreneur Club and was a member of the Chinese language honor society. Outside of Hopkins, he was actively involved with hockey. He will attend Lafayette College in the fall. Henry Ruger is ranked #1 in the Boys 18 Tennis USTA Middle States Region. Anna Sather will attend Boston College in the fall. Theodore Tellides will be attending Williams College in the fall and plans to continue rowing. Andres Vece graduated from Hopkins where he played varsity lacrosse. He will be attending the University of Connecticut in the fall where he plans to major in mechanical engineering. 40 St. Thomas’s Day School | BALLOON
2015 Andrew Crews attended Choate this past year and was an intern at the New Haven Land Trust last summer. Lorelei Goodall was inducted into the Wilbur Cross Honors Society and the Spanish Honors Society. Additionally, she is a volunteer at New Haven Reads. Ella Ip is a student at Westlake High School in Austin, TX. Orly Baum is a junior at Hopkins where she was the recipient of the Junior School DPH Sportsmanship Award. She is a member of The Razor (newspaper), Concert Choir, Triple Trio (all female a cappella group), Yearbook, Hopkins Drama Association, Softball, National Spanish Exam Gold Medal, and All-State Choir.
2017 Tanner Lee participated in the Hopkins school play this past year and works at the Eli Whitney Museum. Zachary Macey is a student at Hopkins. He enjoys lacrosse, theater and hockey, and was awarded the CJ Marottolo Award for ice hockey. Kamini Purushothaman attends Hamden Hall where she is the chief editor of the school newspaper, the stage manager for theater, and is a member of Junior Thespian Society and Mathcounts. She is the recipient of school awards in math, science, Latin, and English. Daniela Rodriguez-Larrain is involved in music and volunteering. Alex Spasov attends Hopkins and is involved in tennis, field hockey, fitness, the school newspaper, choir and piano. Cornelia Streeter attends Hopkins and is involved in the school play and softball. Sam Williams attends Hopkins and likes to play basketball.
2018 Daya Baum attends Hopkins where she is involved in the school play, Music Ensemble, field hockey, basketball, lacrosse, and piano. Sarvin Bhagwagar attends Hopkins and is involved in robotics, chess, and baseball. He likes to read in his free time. Charles Botsman is a student at Hamden Hall and is involved in the school newspaper, theater club, cross country and squash. His other interests include video games and making YouTube videos. Jack Jessen enjoys taekwondo, skiing, sailing, and scuba diving. His travels in 2018 took him on an RV road trip through the Rocky Mountains, as well to family reunions in Iowa and Poland. He also visited Disney World for the first time and Puerto Rico. He sailed in Italy this past summer. Amir McFerren is a student at Hopkins and enjoys basketball, cross-country and participating in the school plays. Isabel Pizarro attends Hopkins and enjoys soccer and drama. She traveled to London last spring break. Henry Rugemer is involved in Gators Baseball, JCC basketball, piano, and is a member of the Titans of Rock band. He was awarded high honors all marking periods from 2017 to present. Ben Simon attends Hopkins and participates on the basketball and soccer team, is a member of Hilltoppers and Model UN, and plays the saxophone in the seventh grade band. Matias Vece is enjoying Hopkins where he is a member of the soccer, wrestling, and lacrosse teams. He earned a silver medal for the NSE (National Spanish Examinations). Sierra Walters attends Hopkins and is involved in the Community Service Club, cross country, tennis, and the Student Diversity Club. Outside of school, she participates in gymnastics and received the Number One All-Around Score in Gymnastics. n
ALUMNI profiles CANDICE NORCOTT ’91 WHEN CANDICE NORCOTT was in the second grade, she chose to study and research American Psychologist, Dr. Louise Bates Ames for the biographical unit at St. Thomas’s. After receiving a letter from Candice about her work, Dr. Ames showed up at the school for her final presentation. Although Candice remains unsure of just when she decided to pursue psychology, her mother cites this moment at eight years old as the inflection point. Today Candice is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist at the University of Chicago in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience where she is an Assistant Professor, a national consultant and a public speaker. A graduate of Brown University and UCONN, Norcott did her pre and post doctoral work at Yale University’s Department of Psychiatry where her research focused on gender and trauma. She then went on to work in the juvenile justice system developing behavioral health curriculum for girls. Most recently, she was hired by the University of Chicago to develop behavioral health services and educational programs for girls and women around reproductive health.
Additionally, Candice serves as a national consultant with extensive experience in trauma, gender and race. She was recently featured on the Lifetime docu-series “Surviving R. Kelly” and was a guest on Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk as an expert discussing the impact of sexual abuse on girls and young women, and the intersection of race. When asked about her memories of St. Thomas’s and what impact she thinks the school may have had on her, Candice says that it is less about what she remembers, and more about what she felt. “There was this sense of being safe," Candice says, and expands on it by mentioning the close relationships she had with teachers and other members of the St. Thomas’s community. In addition, she mentions that it always felt that what they were being taught was important and related to the world around them. In the future, Candice plans to continue and expand upon the very important and pertinent work she is doing for our world today. She will move forward with consulting and speaking, and hopes to develop programming for both girls and boys that impacts responsible sexual decision making. A shining example of a St. Thomas’s Day School alumna, Candice remains committed to her work and helping others and helps daily to make this world a better place. n 41 SUMMER/FALL 2019
ALEKSANDRA ROMANO ’00 WHEN THE TOPIC of memorable sixth grade plays comes up in the St. Thomas’s community, there is always mention of one particular alumna. In 2000, Aleksandra Romano took the stage as the lead in Charlie Brown and Friends and left an everlasting impression with her incredible voice and talent for theatrics. When asked about the performance today, Aleks honestly remarks that she doesn’t remember much about it except to humbly say "Yes, I do remember that our class had a lot of creative talent."
It all makes perfect sense when you hear Aleks speak about her background. At four years old Aleks’ focus became the violin, and she continued training during her seven years at St. Thomas’s and the years that followed at Hopkins. And although she was an active member of the concert choir and acapella group at Hopkins, she never envisioned a future as an artist. A self proclaimed lover of learning, she envisioned a life as an academic, stopped playing the violin and enrolled at Bard College with St. Thomas’s Day School | BALLOON
the goal of becoming a sociologist and anthropologist. It wasn’t until an Art Song elective, that professors recognized her raw and natural talent and suggested she could make something of it. She then applied and was accepted into the Aspen Music Festival and as she tells it, "it all snowballed from there." Aleks spent the next 10 year training and today, Aleks is an award winning and internationally recognized opera singer. She has an incredibly impressive career, having traveled all over the world performing in over 30 professional productions. Aleks is a stunning beauty with a stunning voice, but perhaps most importantly, she is a kind and humble human being, another true example of a St. Thomas’s Day School graduate. And while many may argue her star was born during her sophomore elective at Bard College, we would like to think it all started on an elementary school stage back in 2000. n We encourage you to learn more about Aleks on her website at www.aleksromano.com
Aleks visited St. Thomas's to sing during Chapel and present to students during Arts Week.
ANNUAL REPORT 2017 - 2018
REPORT Message From the Director of Institutional Advancement Dear Members of the St. Thomas’s Day School Community, There is no doubt that courage is a quality that is nurtured and supported here at St. Thomas’s Day School. It can be seen every day in the classrooms, in the halls, in Chapel, on the playgrounds - in every crevice of the school’s campus. It can also been seen among our many dedicated and loyal donors who make the choice to invest in St. Thomas’s and who give their gifts of time and resources, in hopes it will make an impact on the lives of our students and faculty. They say without risk there is no reward, and I want to personally THANK YOU all for your commitment to the School and for, in many cases, making it your philanthropic priority. I can assure you the impact has been HUGE. St. Thomas’s saw the Annual Fund reach record-breaking height again this year closing at
2018 - 2019
STATEMENT OF OPERATIONAL REVENUES & EXPENSES REVENUES AND SUPPORT
TUITION AND FEES (ALL PROGRAMS)
STUDENT ACTIVITIES & OTHER
INVESTMENT INCOME (ALL ASSETS)
ADMINISTRATIVE & DEVELOPMENT
approximately $132,000, a number that has nearly doubled over the past five years thanks to our donors’ courageous support. The money raised this year has helped to fund the creation of the makerspace, the addition of new fieldtrips, and the hiring of a consultant that will enhance our understanding of diversity, equity, social justice and inclusion - among many other things. The growth of the Annual Fund has allowed St. Thomas’s to be as transformative as the education we provide. Thank you again for investing in St. Thomas’s and allowing the school to forge ahead. With much appreciation,
Danielle Plante Director of Institutional Advancement
43 SUMMER/FALL 2019
2018 - 2019
ST. THOMAS’S DAY SCHOOL is proud to recognize the many donors who made gifts or pledges in the 2018-2019 fiscal year. Thank you to all of the members of our community whose support will continue to provide another year of exceptional educational programming.
GIVING CLUBS Annual Fund gifts of $1,000 or more receive special recognition for their generosity to St. Thomas’s Day School. These leadership level donors set a shining example for others; adding to the momentum that will carry St. Thomas’s Day School to even greater levels of achievement.
HEAD OF SCHOOL CIRCLE Gifts of $10,000 or above
Barry and Lisa Blake P ’22 Greg and Heather Mokotoff, P ’19, ’20, ’25
Gifts of $5,000 - $9,999 Pat and Todd Baumgartner, P ’05, ’08 Richard Carroll and Barbara Roach, P ’01, ’02 Emily and John Forrest ’88, P ’21, ’24 William and Jean Graustein Fund, P ’87, ’90 Deborah Paul Ken and Holly Paul, GP ’19, ’20, ’26 Charles Pennington and Susan Zhang, P ’16, ’22, ’24 Kigon Song and Justina Cho, P ’19, ’21, ’24
Gifts of $2,500 - $4,999 Elizabeth Alexander P ’10, ’11 Alex and Tracy Babbidge, P ’06, ’10, 12 Frank Chang, P ’14, ’16 Donald and Sally Edwards Stuart and Beverly Halpert GP ’22 Philipp Hecker and Amy Halpert P ’22 Robert and Kristen Jacks, P ’20 Kathryn Miller-Jensen and Kyle Jensen P ’21, ’26 Tracey Meares P ’11, ’16, ’18 Joseph Tagliarini and Lois Pan, P ’20, ’22
FRIENDS OF ST. THOMAS’S Gifts of $1,000 - $2,499
Christopher Alexopoulos and Heather Tookes Alexopoulos, P ’24 Jared and Kathy Champion, P ’20, ’23, ’26 Philip and Lois DeLise, P ’14 Jeralyn Fantarella, P ’11 Jonathan Gage and Janet Patys P ’96, ’00 Amira Gohara, GP ’18, ’20 Michael Klingbeil and Anita Buckmaster P ’22, ’22 Jonathan and Amy Macey, P ’17 Daniel Markovits and Sarah Bilston P ’16, ’19, ’19 David Newton, P ’02 Eileen O’Donnell and Anthony Skrip, P ’22 Betty Panza, GP ’97, ’99 Gina and Prisco Panza Timothy Snyder and Marci Shore, P ’22, ’24 Joan Steitz, P ’92
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ANNUAL REPORT 2017 - 2018 The following is a list of individuals who made an Annual Fund or capital gift during the 2018-2019 fiscal year. We are very grateful for their generous support to St. Thomas’s Day School:
Marcus McFerren and Miriam Gohara
Danielle and Matt Plante
Robin and Eric Reymond
Thomas and Allison Near
Ashutosh Pathak and Bindu Lal
Julian Aiken and Kathryn James Christopher Alexopoulos and Heather Tookes Alexopoulos
Hamid Mojibian and Manijeh Zehtabchi Greg and Heather Mokotoff Samuel Moyn and Alisa Berger
Charles Pennington and Susan Zhang Miguel Pizarro and Jocelyn Garrity
Rachel and Bob Psaradellis Sandra and Robert Rizzo Eric and Brigid Snow Chaundra and David Vasseur Josiah and Megan Venter
Martin Beatty ’73 Dana Blanchard ’83 and Nancy Blanchard
Gina and Louis Criscuolo, III
Keri Aubert and Jakki Flanagan (B) (V)
Philip and Lois DeLise
Alex and Tracy Babbidge (B)
Thomas and Susan Duffy
Frank Chang (B)
Gina and Louis Criscuolo III (B)
Jonathan Gage and Janet Patys Robert and Jane Gillis William Graustein Marie Greger and Family Jane Griffith and Pat Sabosik Joseph and Kathleen Grimaldi
Ken and Holly Paul (B)
Christy Fisher and Harold Koh
Kathryn and Alex Scherer (B) (V)
Ruth Koizim and Family
Denise and Don Terry (B) (V)
Trey and Elisa Billings
Philip DeLise, Jr. ’14
Anthony Skrip and Eileen O’Donnell
Conor Duffy ’97 and Nicole Bikakis
Craig Smith and Erica Ahlert-Smith
John Forrest ’88 and Emily Forrest
Alexis Highsmith Smith and Ken Smith
Benjamin Gage ’96 and AnnDorit Gage
Kingsley and Sara Leighton
Tim Snyder and Marci Shore
Earl Lin ’05
Kigon Song and Justina Cho
Sam Lovejoy ’14
Ted and Lisa Lovejoy
Andrzej and Jessica Stanek
Spencer Lovejoy ’10
Gordon and Rebecca Streeter
Paul Mitchell ’83
Jared and Kathy Champion Zuriel Correa Amador and Maria Rojas Duran Gina and Louis Criscuolo III Tatianna Curtis Christopher D’Amato and Susan Burlingame Robert Davis and Karen Seto Kyle and Lydia Dugdale Asia Goodwyn Edusa Nathaniel Ellis and Britt Anderson Fernando and Mercedes Fernandes John ffrench and Irma Passeri John and Emily Forrest Matthew and Jennifer Gregory
Joseph Tagliarini and Lois Pan Prakash and Shari Thomas Thomas Thornhill and Anne Turner Gunnison Benjamin Turk and Lise Thomas Marcela and Dante Vece Matthew and Donna Vinci Sarah Walters Travis Zadeh and Supriyah Gandhi Taisu Zhang and Xiaoxue Zhao
Sara Nadel ’92 and Marshall Cox Sophia Nadel Skaar ’95 Spencer Noyes-Lloyd ’00 and Fabian Engler Taryn Rathbone-Daub ’98 Henry Ruger ’13 Alexis Highsmith Smith ’91 and Ken Smith
Si-hoi Lam John Loge Jonathan and Amy Macey David and Allison Marro Mary McDonald Tracey Meares
Craig and Ann O'Connell
Stuart and Beverly Halpert
Norine Page and Jim Dadio
Margaret and Doug Hartmann
Naomi Panza and Kenneth Coleman
Joseph Pignatello and Elizabeth Stewart
William and Katherine Porter
Ken and Holly Paul
John and Amy Acquavita
Dan Turner-Evans ’98 Josiah and Megan Venter Sierra Walters ’18
Marc Potenza Andrew Putnam and Maria Markham
Robert and Kristen Jacks Kyle Jensen and Kathryn Miller-Jensen
Todd and Pat Baumgartner
Titus and Julianne Kaphar
Ken and Melissa Scheve
Ferentz and Sophia Lafargue
Joanne and Michael Maselli
Steven Berry and Lauren Pinzka Dana and Lucia Blanchard Susan and Bob Blanchard Kathleen Bower
Andrew and Amy Myers
Richard Carroll and Barbara Roach
Christopher and Nora Lee
Deon Mann and Kanicka Ingram-Mann
Daniel Markovits and Sarah Bilston
Norine Page and Jim Dadio
Gina and Prisco Panza
Ken Cooper and Kathleen Vespa
Juan Leal and Patricia Pintor
Katie and Masa Patterson
Gerald and Emily Jones
Ned and Susan Phipps
Rodion and Isabel Rathbone
Eric Baum and Danielle Antin-Ozerkis
Michael Klingbeil and Anita Buckmaster
Anthony and Cynthia Cavallaro
Nora and Christopher Lee
Donald and Franca Bertoli
Alex and Tracy Babbidge
Deepak and Hina Goplani
Paul and Dina Berger
Steven and Mary Ellen D'Amato
Richard and Christine Alcutt
Kiran Keshav and Kate Baldwin
CURRENT AND PAST GRANDPARENTS
Andrew and Amy Myers
Philipp Hecker and Amy Halpert
Tracey Meares (B)
Gina and Prisco Panza (B)
Alex and Elaine Sangiovanni
Christopher and Randima Cavallaro
Jonathan and Amy Macey (B)
Michael Kaplan and Susan Sawyer
Christopher Cavallaro ’90 and Randima Cavallaro
John and Emily Forrest (B)
Eileen O'Donnell and Anthony Skrip (B)
Robin and Eric Reymond
Daniel Botsman and Crystal Feimster
Jeralyn Fantarella (B)
Ginger and Scott Junkin
John Baik and Jin Young Myung Barry and Lisa Blake
Donald and Sally Edwards (B) (V)
Nancy Ruddle David Simon and Heather Gerken Joan Steitz George Tellides and Adina Chelouche
Betty Panza Alan and Martha Petrush Paul and Kathryn Philip Margaret Spencer Walter Spencer and Dianne Hagan Phillip and Penny Stickney Sabin and Beverly Streeter
FORMER FACULTY & STAFF, FRIENDS Dorothy Asch Barbara Bennett
Dana and Lucia Blanchard
Zoran Zimolo and Dolores Vojvoda
Susan and Bob Blanchard Kathleen Bower
Ida and Joseph Ginnetti
Christopher and Heather Tookes Alexopoulos (B)
Janie and Jeff Lange
45 SUMMER/FALL 2019
FOUNDATION FOR SCHOLARSHIP ENDOWMENT
Denise and Don Terry
Sara Bryson Nadel
Prakash and Shari Thomas
Linda and Jeff Pawelek
Class of 2019
Sophia Bryson Nadel Skaar
Bruce and Alice Thomas
Ned and Susan Phipps
Fred and Marie Acquavita
Kathleen and Paul Wilkes
William Gabriel Bryson Nadel
Trey and Elisa Billings
GIFTS IN KIND
Craig Crews and Katherine McKenzie
Rodion and Isabel Rathbone Carmen Rodriguez Rivera
Jared and Kathy Champion
John Geanakoplos and Anne Higonnet
Alex and Elaine Sangiovanni
Harold Koh and Christy Fisher
David Simon and Heather Gerken
Craig and Ann O'Connell Deborah Paul
CORPORATIONS/ FOUNDATIONS The Alexander Family Fund Amazon Smile NewAlliance Foundation William and Jean Graustein Fund
ENDOWMENT Anthony Peretore St. Thomas's Church
MEMORIAL AND HONORARY GIFTS In honor of Fred Acquavita Susan and Bob Blanchard In honor of Patsy Breuler Matthew and Donna Vinci
In honor of the Class of 2019 Andrew and Amy Myers In honor of Anton Cruz Roe Curtis
In memory of Calla Pearl Kaphar Titus and Julianne Kaphar In honor of Andrew Knott, Esq. Dorothy Asch
In honor of Janie Lange Spencer Noyes-Lloyd and Fabian Engler
In honor of Greta and Eleanor Lee Walter Spencer and Dianne Hagan
In memory of Abram and Meri Mann Polina Mann
In memory of Joan Morgan Andrzej and Jessica Stanek
In memory of David Moser The Greger-Moser Family In honor of Vivian and Sylvie Smith Craig Smith and Erica Ahlert-Smith
In honor of St. Thomas's teachers Tom and Susan Duffy In honor of St. Thomas's students Anonymous
Ted and Lisa Lovejoy
Anthony Skrip and Eileen O'Donnell
Paul and Cynthia McCraven
Prakash and Shari Thomas
Thomas and Allison Near
Paul Tipton and Mary Daly
Ken and Holly Paul
PLAYGROUND PROJECT These represent gifts made to the playground project in the 2018-2019 fiscal year. Julian Aiken and Kathryn James Claire Billings Natalie Billings Elisa and Trey Billings Janet and Van Dyke Billings, Jr. Susan and Bob Blanchard Sally Cabrera Hugh Carey and Barbara Mason Christopher and Randima Cavallaro Frank Chang Ricardo Chavira Don and Sally Edwards Lely and David Evans Stephanie Fitzgerald and Frank Cochrane FOCUS Inc. Catherine and John Forrest Jonathan Gage and Janet Patys Preston and Lisa Graham Daniel Harrison Stephen Holton Gerry and Emily Jones Kathy Kingston Chris Klatell and Fiona Doherty Mary Louise Learned Nora and Christopher Lee
46 St. Thomasâ€™s Day School | BALLOON
Arnold West Haynie Wheeler Susan White
SPRING GATHERING FACULTY SPONSORS Christopher and Heather Tookes Alexopoulos Alex and Tracy Babbidge Elisa and Trey Billings Susan and Bob Blanchard Renu and Dowin Boatright Christopher and Randi Cavallaro Jared and Kathy Champion Roe Curtis MaryEllen D'Amato Nathaniel Ellis and Britt Anderson Emily and John Forrest Deepak and Hina Goplani Matt and Jennifer Gregory Langdon Hammer and Uta Gosmann MyLinh and Scott Jones Michael Klingbeil and Anita Buckmaster Molly Levan Elmo Lin Heather and Greg Mokotoff Betty Panza Ken and Holly Paul Rodion and Isabel Rathbone Sandra and Robert Rizzo Gary Robison Anthony Skrip and Eileen O'Donnell Gordon and
Karla and Rocco DeMaio Karyl Evans Alexis Gage Koffee Eileen O'Donnell Carmen and Waring Partridge Charles Pennington and Susan Zhang
ANNUAL REPORT 2018 - 2019
THANK N K YOU O
VOLUNTEERS 2018-2019 Thank you to our volunteers for being a vital part of our community and for helping to teach our children the importance of giving back!
PARENT-TEACHER ORGANIZATION EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Kristen Jacks, Co-President Heather Mokotoff, Co-President Emily Forrest, Vice President Kristen Jacks, Secretary Lois Pan, Treasurer
ROOM REPRESENTATIVES Hollister Berry, Kathryn Miller-Jensen, Susan Zhang, Justina Cho, Donna Vinci, Dwayne Betts, Andy Stanek, Maria Rojas Duran, Jennifer McTiernan, Elaine Sangiovanni, Gordon Streeter, Bindu Lal, Irma Passeri, John ffrench, Anna Skula, Elisa Billings, Alisa Berger, Monica DiAdamo, Sarah Bilston, Daniel Markovits
ROOM REPRESENTATIVE CO-CHAIRS
Renu Boatright, Anita Buckmaster, Kathy Champion
GAL A COMMITTEE
Justina Cho, Andrew Myers
Anita Buckmaster Monica DiAdamo
Kanicka Ingram-Mann Kathryn Miller-Jensen
Kristen Jacks Karla DeMaio
47 SUMMER/FALL 2019
Non Profit Org US Postage PAID Waterbury, CT Permit #118
The St. Thomas’s Day School Annual Fund 2019-2020
LET IT BEGIN WITH ME Each day at St. Thomas’s Day School the students end Chapel by reciting “Make this a better world, and let it begin with me.” A St. Thomas’s education is more than just a rigorous academic program. The students participate in daily events and programs that allow them to develop into confident, compassionate, kind, and active citizens who go out into the world and make a difference. The Annual Fund provides the financial assistance needed to sustain and grow the programs that help us nurture strong leaders and good community members. We ask you to join us in paving the way for our students, the future, by making a gift to the Annual Fund in the 2019-2020 school year. Gifts can be made using the return envelope attached to The Balloon or by visiting
Questions? Please contact Director of Institutional Advancement Danielle Plante at d p l a n t e @ s t t h o m a s d a y.o r g or ( 2 0 3 ) 7 76 - 2 1 2 3 x 1 2 2