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BULLETIN W I N T E R • 1 9 9 7

Volume 67

Number 2

In this Issue SPOTLIGHT

2 ROUNDING THIRD WITH STYLE A Tribute to William G. Nicholson By Barclay Johnson ’53

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7 MAGISTRI VETERES ET DOCTI A Profile of the Classics Department


Page 10 On the cover: Front, the campus in snow. Back, skating on the pond—a timeless activity at Taft, marked in this picture by the construction of the Ivy Kwok Wu Science and Mathematics Center. The Taft Bulletin is published quarterly, in March, May, August, and November, by The Taft School, 110 Woodbury Road, Watertown, CT 06795-2100 and is distributed free of charge to alumni, parents, grandparents, and friends of the school. E-Mail Us! Now you can send your latest news, address change, birth announcement, or letter to the editor to us via e-mail. Our address is Of course we’ll continue to accept your communiqués by such “low tech” methods as the fax machine (860-945-7756), telephone (860-274-2516), or U.S. Mail (110 Woodbury Road, Watertown, CT 06795-2100). So let’s hear from you!





Winter 1997


Rounding Third With Style A Tribute to William G. Nicholson: Teacher, Advisor, Writer, and Full-time Activist By Barclay Johnson ’53

“Don’t disappoint yourself.” W.G.N.


ew teachers, if any, can match what Taft has come to know as “Nicholson’s quality service.” Although Bill feels ready to retire in June, he is incapable of shifting down. Proud, intense, and devoted to education in all forms, he continues to enjoy some of his best days now. This fall, when asked how he could grade a batch of senior essays after a two-hour school board meeting in Watertown, Bill answered, “Black coffee.” By the end of the same week, he had precisely crafted thirteen letters of recommendation for “early-action” seniors. “I like to get them in the mail,” he said, keeping the other reason to himself: These kids deserve the service. 5 Taft Bulletin



It is no surprise that a bevy of students seeks him out for help, advice, or just good company. Moreover, Bill is easy to find. When classes end for the day— if they ever do for him—he is busy at work in his office, correcting tests that he has just given or preparing special material for classes in the morning. But he is so meticulously organized that he can make time to chat with any visitor. Later in the afternoon, if no one stands waiting at his door, Bill goes outside. He can usually be found catching the end of a ball game or inspecting the new Math and Science Center under construction. Since the day that giant shovels first broke ground, Bill has been typically impressed by the workers’ expertise. That he will not be here when this edifice opens for business hardly bothers Bill; the sight of rapid progress makes him happy enough. (Meanwhile, those builders putting the final touches on the Nicholsons’ new house in Osterville, Cape Cod, will do well to finish the job by June.)

“One of Taft’s most eminent teachers, admired for his range of interests, commitments, and generous support of students, Bill Nicholson has set an example for all teachers of his era and of eras to come.”

A prodigious worker himself, Bill seems replenished by signs of industry, especially in the field of education. Friends have often said that here is a teacher who could have excelled in any profession. Yet this top-notch journalist and political pundit did not just happen to choose education. Bill has always felt a certain affinity with young people and a personal obligation to them. Furthermore, during his undergraduate days at Brown University, where he devoured everything in print, Bill also absorbed the strengths of his finest professors. To this day, his teaching style remains traditionally formal; moreover, his solid confidence reflects the success of his students. With remarkable knowledge, avidity, and discipline, Bill has produced a harvest of skilled readers and writers year after year. Fascinated by the material himself, he charges them up with his own enthusiasm, portraying the authors as vividly as he does the characters and social climates of the books. Even his students’ essays “entertain” him. Notorious for giving a slew of tests and papers, he monitors each student like Socrates at the gates of matriculation. Immediately thereafter, his persistent nose for error and anxious fingers for comThe 1989 book that followed The Taft-Thacher ment go to work on their Letters, 1985.


Winter 1997

—Lance Odden writing. (All shortcomings are forgivable once—even sham, sloth, and slovenliness—but only once.) Most of his students actually want to rewrite their papers, and, soon enough, all of them do— in part, perhaps, because Bill does half of it for them, but mainly because he asks no more of his students than he does of himself. Then, to make them feel more like college material and people of the world, he takes them out to plays or poetry “slams.” While the classroom has been the one place that Bill would never give up, he has served like a fiend of duty in many jobs. First, as a leading member of the English Department, Bill has designed as many courses as anyone in his time. Then, too, he has worn many administrative hats—some of them at once. During the turbulent seventies, Bill was director of college placement, then senior class dean, editor of the Taft Bulletin, school biographer, and head coach of j.v. baseball. Beyond his official work, Bill is revered for his wisdom and generosity as an advisor to students and colleagues alike. With a keen overview of the college scene, both Bill and his wife, Connie, whose career in education resembles his own, continue to direct upper schoolers to the best colleges for them. Also, skeptical of modern commerce, the Nicholsons know the world as a marketplace. Working largely in tandem, researching a number of common interests, traveling extensively through the U.S. and Europe, they have become authori-


ties of true value. As consumer advocates, travel consultants, film critics, and political analysts, this team enjoys helping faculty friends avoid charlatans and bad deals. Although Taft has been their home since 1969, the Nicholsons have lived for the school’s motto beyond the campus. Connie has run her own college placement service; Bill has sat on three local committees: the Commission on Aging, the Watertown Redevelopment Agency, and, most recently, the town’s school board, to which he was elected with a large mandate for reform. In Lance Odden’s words, “No teacher at Taft since Harley Roberts J.V. Baseball coach, not long ago in the twenties has been more actively at Columbus Academy, while earning his master’s degree in history at Ohio State, civic-minded.” Furthermore, Bill’s résumé is unique and edited The Columbus Seminars. From in its national scope. After graduating 1963 to 1965 he worked at The Cate from Brown in 1958, Bill taught English School in California. From there, the Nicholson family went to North Carolina, where Bill served as dean of faculty, Everyone knows Bill’s particular college placement officer, and assistant interests; he, in turn, knows those headmaster at Charlotte Country Day. Before coming to Taft, he was headmasof his closest colleagues just as well. ter of the Birmingham University School Often referred to as the “clipper” or in Alabama. Then, while on sabbatical “scissor man,” Bill keeps in touch by leave in 1983, Bill worked for Brown University’s Admissions Office. sprinkling into mailboxes clippings Moreover, his summer writing has from papers and magazines on been equally impressive. As editor or author, Bill has published three books and authors, dead or alive; on benighted a score of articles on topics ranging from politicians justly cartooned; samples school founders and teachers to Pete Gray: of good articles for use in class; of One-Armed Major Leaguer (1976) and baseball in general. Then, as contributturgid, mushy “writing” for use ing editor for Greek Accent, he wrote beneath the dog’s bowl. (Bill’s cats about the Olympics. (Of course, a posthave been especially neat.) script for the archives will underscore

Bill’s zealous devotion to Brown University and to the Braves of three cities, for which he will be ribbed by colleagues without mercy, even after retirement.) While the theme of all his efforts is education, Taft may best remember Bill as himself on every page—easy to know for the knowledge and skills that he has shared with more than one community; for his savvy, humor, and extraordinary work ethic; for his strong likes and dislikes that, despite the comedy of his absolutism, are as lucid and specific as his writing. To use one of Bill’s favorite words, there is nothing “fuzzy” about this man. Finally, if this super individualist must embody contradictions, Bill’s are at least benign. Conservative in dress, manners, and defense of the king’s English, he promises to be an outspoken liberal until the ocean takes him out to sea. Moreover, he will always be a public activist, despite his tendency to grow impatient with wordy controversy. Then, intensely independent, preferring to “sink or swim” by his own merit, he uses his indelible memory of literature and history to help other teachers design their own electives, and his editing skills to tighten up their prose. Also, few others

Only the blackboard is out of date Taft Bulletin



have been so responsive to colleagues, infirm or abject, and none more hospitable. Since their arrival at Taft, Bill and Connie have entertained a wide assortment of characters, particularly on election nights, with a photo portrait of F.D.R. looking down on their crowded den. Also, they have put up international students for long weekends; parents and trustees; a house-painting poet from Provincetown, whom they met on his ladder; and a writer from Bulgaria named Nick, beside whom Bill happened to sit on a train ride across the Balkans. And the final paradox: for all his love of historical literature, and despite the “objective” nostalgia in most of his writing, Bill seldom spends a minute in the past. He is a realist of the present. All accomplishments are old to him. ◆◆◆

Energized by the integrity of doing his best at any job and by his love of learning, Bill is determined to leave Taft at the top of his career. Justifiably he now has the unprecedented honor and privi-

Energized by the integrity of doing his best at any job and by his love of learning, Bill is determined to leave Taft at the top of his career. Justifiably he now has the unprecedented honor and privilege to teach courses of his own design, with books and poems of his choice. lege to teach courses of his own design, with books and poems of his choice. For all his accolades, including the presentation of his Independence Foundation Chair in 1981 and the 1995 Abramowitz Award for excellence in teaching, nothing is more fitting than the fact that his electives were fully enrolled from the week of their offering. Some boarding school teachers on the verge of leaving, for good or ill, may feel a kind of desolation. Not Bill. He is retiring with the exuberance, acumen, and security of thrift for a second life. To be sure, he and Connie will thrive in their

new home, for there is nothing that Bill can’t do except carry a tune, and nothing Connie can’t do except quiet him without hurting his feelings. They will cultivate their new gardens, take long walks on the Cape, add books to their majestic library, write more of their own, travel the world, and return to enjoy their three Taft-graduate heirs and Caroline, their amusingly precocious granddaughter, who will soon be teaching Bill. Perhaps he and Connie will start a college placement bureau together. And who will be surprised if Bill takes up teaching again? Certainly no one at Taft.

“It is true that Nicholson’s desk continues to move approximately one inch every semester. No one less meticulous, less squared away, less protective, would notice those glacial marks on the wall-to-wall carpeting for at least a decade. Of course, Bill’s desk does not levitate; it simply slides indiscernibly toward the pond, and Bill continues to measure its regress. Then, comically indignant, he insists that colleagues and custodians alike take notice. Not that “Nick” could ever believe in the supernatural, although he still pays homage to Jetta “the wonder cat,” long deceased, who allegedly had talked and performed tricks for him. At present, while thready wall cracks have all been patched, a fault could exist beneath the carpet. But no one seems alarmed. This couldn’t happen to a better guy.” —A colleague 6

Winter 1997

Taft’s Community Service Day—in the spirit of Nicholsonian democracy

Classics Department Profile

Magistri veteres et docti A Profile of the Classics Department Taft Bulletin


Classics Department Profile


e may teach an ancient language, and we ourselves may be becoming just a bit seasoned (we average 32 years of teaching at Taft), but our enthusiasm for Latin and for teaching remains youthful. Although our favorite authors differ, we are united by a common love of the language and the Classical civilizations. For a variety of reasons (some expressed below), the great writings of more than two thousand years ago are still well worth reading in their original language today. —Richard Cobb, Department Head Richard D. Cobb Twenty-eight years at Taft Bowdoin College, BA; Ohio State University, MA Currently teaches Introductory Latin; Literature of the Late Roman Republic (Cicero); The Early Roman Empire (Augustus); Roman Comedy; and Advanced Placement Latin Literature (Catullus and Horace); Department Head; Director of Residential Life I always love teaching our Roman Comedy course in the second semester of Latin III. We read the Menaechmi by Plautus and, even though we use a college text, it is not that difficult because the vocabulary and forms are repeated frequently and there are numerous conversational passages where a little common sense will produce accurate translations. Furthermore, it’s a very funny play (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is based on five Plautine plays). For many of our students, this is the first time they feel they can both translate something from the original Latin and understand it without any help from their teacher. 8

Winter 1997

Classics Department Profile Joseph J. Brogna, Jr. Twenty-six years at Taft Bowdoin College, BA; University of Massachusetts, MAT Currently teaches Second Year Latin; Special Latin II; Literature of the Late Roman Republic (Cicero); Vergil; and Third Year Greek (Homer); Director of Security I enjoy teaching Vergil’s Aeneid for a number of reasons. First, a student can relate to it on several levels: literal—the epic and legends aspect; figurative—the poetics and imagery; and the allegorical—the juxtaposition of Aeneas and Augustus as leaders. Second, it is fun to teach from a technical standpoint because the more able students at this level get a chance to apply fundamental knowledge in a very practical manner.

Donald Oscarson ’47 Forty-three years at Taft Yale University, BA, MA Currently teaches Special Latin I; Honors Latin II (Major Roman Authors); and Special Latin III; Director of Student Services I find particular pleasure in teaching the works of Cicero such as the First Catilinarian because such speeches show the student that how one says something may be as important as what one says. In other words, students get a sense of the author’s style and how he uses words in the most effective fashion. Cicero is a genius at putting words together in a way that adds great dramatic intensity to what he says. By understanding Cicero’s craftsmanship, students may get a sense of how to write their own language more effectively, and thus may begin to understand why we may call such a writer a “genius.”

Course Offerings

Major Roman Authors

Literature of the Late Roman Republic

Special Latin I

Special Latin III

The Early Roman Empire

Introductory Latin

Advanced Placement Latin

Roman Comedy

Special Latin II

Introductory Greek


Second Year Latin

Second Year Greek

Independent Project in Classics

Taft Bulletin




Winter 1997





hat would you do if you were twenty-one years old and discovered that finding an internship is next to impossible, and you heard from your slightly more senior peers that landing a job is even tougher? If you’re Rachel Bell or Sara Sutton, both 1992 Taft graduates, you would start your own company— JobDirect. Together they started a business that gets college students to enter their résumés on-line and then match them up with corporations looking for interns or people to fill entry-level positions. TM


Rachel and Sara knew each other growing up in Pittsburgh, before Rachel moved to Connecticut. They met again at Taft by chance; neither knew the other had applied. They wound up as roommates—and eight years later—as business partners. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? And yet, it can be hard to be taken seriously in the business world when you’re young, female, and without job experience. At left: Rachel Bell and Sara Sutton with JobDrive, the customized bus—painted by a group of “reformed” graffiti artists—that transports a handful of staff members and a bank of fifteen laptop computers from college campus to college campus.

Sara, an international relations student at Berkeley, and Rachel, a recent transfer to Hobart and William Smith with thoughts of becoming a special education teacher, came up with the idea two summers ago while visiting Boston together. They had been using e-mail as a way to keep in touch since Taft, so they were familiar with the Internet. “Once we got the idea, we couldn’t stop.” Rachel’s dad, as a self-starting role model, was the first person they went to with the idea. “We woke my dad up,” says Rachel, “and said ‘Hey, listen, this is our idea.’ He helped us make contacts with key people in the business world and prove how viable our plan was.” Soon

after, Sara’s mom—who they claim is a virtual technophobe—bought them a book about the Internet. “Our families were both so supportive. They would have liked us to finish school, but admitted that if we did, someone else would start a business like this first.” They kept their new project under wraps for about six months, swearing a few close friends and family members to absolute secrecy. “We thought we were going to take a semester off from school and raise $60,000 in three weeks to get the company started.” Hundreds and hundreds of thousands later, they are still raising it. “Our first reality check,” says Sara, “was when we met with a company about doing some conTaft Bulletin



sulting work and helping us to figure out what we needed technically. They gave us some astronomical number. We walked from Silicon Alley (down by the World Trade Center) up to Grand Central Station, our heads just reeling. ‘Well, that’s it,’ we said, ‘we’ll just have to raise more money.’ But we never thought for a moment that we wouldn’t go ahead with it. Once we got an office, we were so excited we would stay there almost every night until we were so cold we had to leave (since the heat turned off after nine o’clock).” In their search for board members, they found a woman named Michelle Cassidy, the CFO of Oak Venture Technologies. “It was inspirational to talk with her—because she was a woman with solid business contacts, with real experience, who could help us. Having a woman role model was so incredible,” says Sara. “She was about the first business woman we met. All of our contacts and meetings at first were all male.” Lots of people have ideas, but I wondered what made the difference for them in turning it into reality. “Our families, everyone we knew was so sup-


Winter 1997

portive. It was incredible. We wouldn’t be here today without them. We especially thank Jim Hedges [’66]. He called us after talking to Kelly Ford’s [’92] dad, Rick Ford [’66]. We didn’t know him at the time, but we knew Jamie [’94] and figured he must be his dad. He gave us our connection to the marketing firm we’re using, and they’ve been terrific. They treated us like any of their big clients.” If you’re starting to get the impression that a number of Taft grads are involved in this enterprise, you’re right. Virtually all of the company’s investors and advisors are Taft alumni: Drum Bell ’63, Drum Bell ’90, Richard Bell ’71, Jim Hedges ’66, Mark Potter ’72, Steve Potter ’73. Classmate Scott Willard is one of eighteen [going on twenty-two] full-time staff members. He has been an integral part of their team, helping make the two-month JobDrive tour such a success. Richard Bell was there the day I came to interview Sara and Rachel. “It’s like his second job,” says Rachel. “He’s always ready to help us in any way that he can. He helped us get this office space, which we’re currently expanding, and works next door. He stops by every

day for an update.” One of the reasons so many people have been enthusiastic and supportive, explains Sara, is that they enjoy living the entrepreneurial experience vicariously through them. Last winter, they launched their student representative program by calling all of their Taft classmates, who were then mostly seniors in college. JobDirect sent marketing materials to the Taft volunteers, and in return they had some experience to put on their résumés. “We have one friend who told us it landed her a job.” So far, the money has been raised by private investors, and students register with JobDirect for free. But beginning in January, JobDirect began to charge corporations to make use of the database. A business pays anywhere from $315 to $3315 to activate an account, depending on the size of the company and whether or not they want unlimited search and job posting services. Members get their company information listed on the JobDirect World Wide Web site []. For an additional $1500 they can have a hot link— a button that brings a student directly


to the company’s own web site. A onetime résumé search to find potential employees costs $150. They can search by school, location, area of interest, grade point average, languages, computer skills, and even cultural background. “There are no other comparable internship services out there,” they tell me. “The New York Times wrote that only 60,000 students did internships last year. There are 14.1 million college students; virtually all of them have access to the Internet. When you arrive at college these days, you get your keys, your phone number, and your e-mail address. That’s why we want to begin with freshmen, to help them find internships. It’s also easier for them to update their résumé from time to time than to start from scratch when they’re seniors.” As other people catch on to the idea, what will keep JobDirect going, I ask. “The bus,” they answer in unison, almost laughing. They are referring to the JobDrive, a custom-painted, laptopequipped camper that they’ve been sending around to college campuses up and down the East Coast this fall—fifty-six in all. “We have over 5,000 good résumés in our database in only two months; over half of them are from the JobDrive. Right now,” Sara adds, “we have only one comparable competitor, but they are a listing service—more like on-line want ads—not a matching service as we are.” Here are the three major factors they say are the keys to their current and future success: First, they are always improving their database as new technologies come along to make it better and faster. Second, campus representatives are a solid part of the company. They are now paid positions, over one hun-

dred of them, and give JobDirect name recognition on campus. Third, the bus. It has been so successful that they have purchased two more. This spring, there will be one on the West Coast, one in the Midwest, and one on the East Coast, all visiting colleges and inviting students to enter their résumés on line. “Students get excited when they see the bus pull up and then see us set up a bank of fifteen laptop computers.” They give away hats, shirts, cups, and other insignia items to h e l p spread the w o r d . Some of their campus visits are at football games. This fall, they have a spot reserved at the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston. They have also taken out ads in the Unofficial Student Guides, read by over a million students on 71 campuses. In addition, they are reaching out to the college-age market by playing “a key role” in a major concert tour this summer called HORDE (Horizons Of Rock Developing Everywhere). The tour will visit over forty cities and was begun by a band called Blues Traveler—a band, coincidentally, that Rachel and Sara had danced to in Taft’s Armstrong Dining Hall freshman year. Many of the nine other bands on the tour are highly popular among Taft students as well as college students. JobDirect has received lots of publicity thus far, and upcoming shoots with MTV News and ABC’s Weekend News promise more exposure. So where do Rachel and Sara want to go from here? “Where will the Internet be in five years? You don’t know. We want to do what it takes to be successful. Our ultimate goal is to be the FedEx for stu-

dents. We’d like them to say, ‘I’m going to go JobDirect my résumé.’ So far we’ve focused all our energy on getting to the ‘next’ stage. We’re an actual company now, and making it a success is our top priority.” Both say they are sure they will go back and finish their degrees. It has been a challenging experience, they say, learning how to raise money and to negotiate deals. “School does not prepare you for that,” says Sara. “We’re young, and we’re women. It can be hard to be taken seriously—a small start-up company, run by two women who look like they could be fifteen rather than twenty-two,” says Rachel. “But we have enough experience now that we can look beyond that mentality and not let it get in the way of moving on to the next level,” Sara adds. “You learn from everything. When things get tough, we look at each other and say ‘Well, we’re learning.’” They both agree, “It’s the perfect job.”

Today, entry-level job seekers can “surf” the net to find employment. Taft Bulletin


Mathematics Department Profile

The Meaning in Mathematics A Department Profile


he last decade has seen significant change and reassessment in mathematics education, both of methods and content. One major thread of reform has been driven by changes in available technology; the question is no longer whether to use graphing calculators and computers, but rather how to employ them to optimize the learning experience. There also have been salient alterations in methods of assessment and the time spent on cooperative work in the classroom. More math evaluations today require writing and explanation, and assigned projects are gradually supplementing the standard quizzes and tests. The curriculum is evolving, too, most recently with the introduction of our AP Statistics course and the use of data analysis in our precalculus courses. However, our goals of preparing our students to think clearly and to be effective and intelligent citizens in the world that awaits them have not changed, although they do require us to make constant adjustments to keep pace with that future world. Our department members boast a wide range of academic and professional backgrounds, and this provides a fertile field for the ongoing discussion of what we hope to accomplish in the math classroom. Here, my colleagues and I share our favorite subjects or topics to teach. —Ted Heavenrich, Department Head


Winter 1997

Mathematics Department Profile

Ted R. Heavenrich Twenty years at Taft Oberlin College, BA Currently teaches Geometry, Honors Precalculus, Statistics, and Advanced Placement AB Calculus; Department Head

One of the many things that I enjoy teaching is problem solving. It is a unifying thread that runs throughout mathematics education. All math courses abound with the opportunity to do significant problem solving. After all, math originated as a problemsolving tool; it is at the very heart of the nature of the discipline. Students get a real kick out of struggling with,

and eventually mastering, challenging problems. A focus on problem solving motivates the acquisition of requisite skills in any given course. I believe that many math educators confuse the means with the ends. The specific math skills are simply the means to an end, one of whose major components is the ability to reason clearly, powerfully, incisively, and persuasively. Taft Bulletin


Mathematics Department Profile

Jean Strumolo Piacenza ’75

Elson Liu

Fourteen years at Taft

One year at Taft

Yale University, BA; University of Connecticut, MSW candidate; Yale Divinity School, M.Div. candidate

Stanford University, BS ; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MS

Currently teaches Geometry; Director of Student Support Programs I love teaching. It’s really that simple. For me, the excitement is less in the subject matter and more in the intellectual growing up that happens in the classrooom. I enjoy working in the Math Department because it offers me the opportunity to encourage students to love math. When a student who has come into my class as a math cynic or a math phobic is transformed into a math lover, I experience extreme satisfaction. Some say that girls are more likely to be insecure in the study of math—not in my classroom! I do believe that it’s important for women to be in math classrooms, that much I am sure is true. I work primarily with lower schoolers; it is my hope that I am a part of their learning to enjoy the study of math early in their Taft careers so that they will continue to thrive in our department.


Winter 1997

Currently teaches Geometry and Precalculus; Technology Assistant I especially enjoy teaching geometry because there are so many different ways for students to approach it. One approach is for students to use their visualization skills to develop their mathematical intuition. Another approach is for students to learn a logical system of principles and conclusions. Alternatively, students can learn geometry as a language—developing the skills to define and defend their ideas clearly and accurately. I also enjoy teaching geometry because it lends itself to the use of technology in the classroom. A major part of my responsibilities at Taft concerns the use of a variety of technological tools to enhance the educational process for both faculty and students. I believe these approaches and tools can help geometry students and the entire Taft community expand their understanding of the world both mathematically and generally.

Mathematics Department Profile Lois DePolo Eleven years at Taft College of Mount St. Vincent, BA Currently teaches Algebra I, Honors Algebra I, Precalculus, and Senior Calculus “Let’s turn to the next section on applications,” I say. I can’t fool the students as they know applications mean “good old word problems.” This is one area in mathematics that I enjoy teaching, though definitely not the easiest. Once students have the skills, solving word problems actually brings out the best tools of teaching and learning together. Beyond locating a distance in Algebra I, predicting exponential growth in Precalculus, or investigating related rates in calculus, I find the students themselves are the most enjoyable part of my teaching day. The diversity of student personalities and learning styles makes classroom dialogue stimulating and creates an atmosphere which acts as a catalyst for the learning process. I always enjoy the exchange of ideas and the unique and creative solutions my students offer as viable alternatives to solving a word problem. We are sorry to report that Lois died of cancer on March 4. The Taft community is deeply saddened by the loss, and we send our heartfelt condolences to her husband, Jerry; and to their daughters, Anna ’89, Beth ’92, and Sarah ’94.

John Piacenza

Susan McCabe

Fourteen years at Taft

Sixteen years at Taft

Yale University, BS

Bowdon College, AB; Wesleyan University, MALS

Currently teaches Advanced Placement BC Calculus, Honors Precalculus, and Honors Algebra II I like teaching calculus because it has a rich historical background. It is useful, and sometimes critical, that a student understand some of the history of the subject. As each student learns calculus, one can observe, in swift review, the development of the entire subject itself from its embryo to its current state. Of course, it happens differently with each student, but the general pattern for every student is that all previous knowledge of math must be blended in order to achieve the level of sophistication required by calculus. I still get excited every year when I teach theorems which were, in their era, huge leaps in mathematical thinking. I hope that some of that excitement rubs off on the students as they are experiencing their own leaps in knowledge.

Currently teaches Algebra II and Functions and Graphs Algebra II is the one course that I have requested to teach each year. I have very fond memories of my math teachers from high school, but the person who had the greatest influence on me was my Algebra II teacher. She was a demanding yet compassionate teacher who expected the best out of her students. In turn, she always put forth a great deal of energy and was devoted to her classes. It is my hope that I show a fraction of her enthusiasm and dedication in my courses. I always remind my students of how much fun math can be and hope that I can convince a few young minds.

Taft Bulletin


Mathematics Department Profile Jennifer Bogue Kenerson Three years at Taft Bowdoin College, BA Currently teaches Geometry, Honors Geometry, Algebra II, and Precalculus I love teaching geometry because it is a subject of many dimensions—learning definitions, doing proofs, but mostly figuring out puzzles. Lower schoolers have a real zest for learning and an eagerness to please. I love the fact that in geometry there is usually more than one way to do a proof and still be absolutely correct. There is nothing more pleasing than seeing a student raise her hand to do a proof and to have another student raise his hand to tell you his way and find out that he is correct as well. They are justifying all of their statements with reasons that they know are correct and are able to see how theorems are derived, which helps them justify their approach. Geometry lends itself to different activities, such as using computer programs that allow them to derive theorems themselves. Students like to know how geometry applies to real world situations, and they like to do projects that take them out of the classroom at times. Working in groups is another favorite, and when they figure out difficult problems together they feel extremely successful, which is always a great source of satisfaction for me as well.


Winter 1997

Roger C. Foley

Stephen J. McCabe

Nine years at Taft

Sixteen years at Taft

University of Connecticut, BA

Bowdon College, AB; Wesleyan University, MALS

Currently teaches Introduction to Computer Science and Advanced Placement Computer Science AB; Director of Computer Services I most enjoy teaching the programming concept of recursion. Now, most people don’t consciously know what this concept entails unless they have had a good, rigorous computer science course, but can grasp what it is if given an appropriate example. Many types of problems lend themselves to recursive solutions, and, furthermore, there are some problems that can only be solved recursively. The understanding of this concept and then the ability to implement the technique into problem-solving is one of the higher order thinking skills that are developed in computer science, even if the prospective student has no intention of ever becoming a programmer or software engineer.

Currently teaches Geometry, Algebra II, Honors Algebra II, and Advanced Algebra and Elementary Functions I enjoy teaching geometry because it is a course in mathematics that allows students with a variety of learning styles to “see” math and its relationships for the first time. It is particularly rewarding to work with a student who, while frustrated with algebra and its symbols and operations, comes alive in math when presented with geometry’s visual and verbal features.

Mathematics Department Profile

Jonathan R. Bernon

Carl Carlson

Eleven years at Taft

Two years at Taft

Lafayette College, BS; Harvard University, AM

Wesleyan University, BA; Harvard University, M.Ed.

Currently teaches Precalculus, Advanced Placement AB Calculus, and Atmospheric Science; Technology Coordinator

Currently teaches Honors Geometry, Precalculus, and Advanced Placement Economics; Associate Dean of Students

My favorite math topic to teach is Riemann sums in second semester Advanced Placement Calculus. The idea that you can find the area under a curve by adding up the areas of an infinite number of rectangles is a very powerful intellectual construct. While the notation and algebra may be quite difficult for students initially, they often come away with a new appreciation for the power of calculus. In addition to requiring a wide range of mathematical techniques, the beauty of doing a Riemann sum appears at the end of the problem when everything simplifies and you are left with a numerical answer.

My favorite subject to teach is geometry. It requires the use of clear, multi-step, logical thinking more than any other subject. This comes as a shock to many students, and their initial response is almost always frustration. The teacher plays a crucial role in helping the students build from the mastery of one concept, to bringing together two, then three or more, definitions and theorems into one problem. Some students begin very quickly to understand how to approach the course. However, many students struggle and want to give up. Stepping in at this point in the learning process and providing encouragement and advice is critical. All students who put forth sustained effort and practice are rewarded with dramatic improvement. By the middle of the year, most students are able to write out correctly an eightto ten-step proof that requires the use of several different concepts. It is tremendously satisfying to play a role in a process where growth and improvement are so obvious.

Taft Bulletin


Mathematics Department Profile Sam Hsiao Two years at Taft Haverford College, BS Currently teaches Senior Calculus, Honors Algebra II, and Precalculus Teaching Senior Calculus has been my most rewarding experience in the classroom by far. Calculus is a beautiful subject that challenges the human mind to link abstract ideas, such as limits and infinity, with more concrete notions like velocity and distance. It ties together many of the topics in mathematics that previously only seemed weakly connected, and it provides students with an appreciation of the importance of mathematics in describing the things that happen around us. The need to coherently explain ideas in calculus to my students has forced me to reorganize constantly my own knowledge of certain topics. This continuous reorganization has strengthened my own understanding and given me new perspectives on even the most basic concepts. No doubt this course is a benefit for me as much as it is for my students.

Gerald DePolo Twelve years at Taft Providence College, BA; Fairfield University, MA Currently teaches Algebra II, Functions and Graphs, and Advanced Placement AB Calculus Mathematics, in general, is a very easy and enjoyable subject to teach because it is so organized and sequential. By its very nature, learning math teaches students to reason deductively and inductively. The process of learning mathematics requires repetition, reinforcement, and associa20

Winter 1997

tion with previously learned material. The most important aspect of math education is the thinking patterns that students learn and apply, most times unconsciously, to everyday situations. The algorithms learned in mathematics serve people throughout their lives, whether they go on to technical or nontechnical occupations. After teaching math to young people for the last thirty-four years, in both public and private schools, I know that the development of a person transcends all other considerations in the educative process. Proficiency in subject matter is important, but the overall well-being and human development of the student should always take precedence.

Mathematics Department Profile Al Reiff, Jr. Twelve years at Taft Harvard University, BA; Wesleyan University, MALS Currently teaches Algebra II, Senior Calculus, Advanced Placement AB Calculus, and Advanced Placement Statistics Calculus is generally considered appropriate for only the top-flight high school students. For decades, the only calculus offered at Taft was Advanced Placement—college level material geared only for the best math students. Starting with the Class of 1991, Taft now offers Senior Calculus. This course is open to the average math student who has the appropriate math background, largely seniors. I find this to be the most worthwhile course I teach. We cut throught the mystique of calculus. We take ideas and concepts radically different from what has been previously studied and make them accessible to the average student. Calculus relies on the skills acquired in earlier courses, so it serves as a culmination of the last three years of math skills while taking those skills and moving in a dramatically new direction. Most students in Senior Calculus do not view themselves as “good” math students, but when they realize that they have tackled the toughest topics in a high school curriculum, their feeling of accomplishment is the best part of teaching.

Karla Palmer Three years at Taft Harvard University, AB; Wesleyan University, MALS Currently teaches Algebra II, Geometry, Precalculus, and Advanced Placement AB Calculus More than anything, I love an opportunity to mess around with numbers, whether it’s having a student try to factor a large number (like her phone number), generate a list of Pythagorean triples, or just learn tricks for doing calculations in her head (can you square 215 without pulling out a calculator?). We don’t have a course in number theory, but I’d jump at the chance to teach it; most of the math learned there isn’t generally regarded as useful, but I think the more a student “plays” with numbers the less intimidating math becomes. My guess is that the student who is good with the arithmetic and can see patterns will probably also have an easier time with problem solving on a higher level.

Course Offerings

Honors Algebra II

Advanced Placement BC Calculus

Algebra I

Advanced Algebra and

Functions and Graphs

Honors Algebra I

Elementary Functions



Senior Calculus

Honors Precalculus

Honors Geometry

Advanced Placement Statistics


Algebra II

Advanced Placement AB Calculus

Independent Project in Mathematics

Taft Bulletin



Gail Wynne Named First van Beuren Chair Holder This fall, Headmaster Lance R. Odden announced the appointment of Gail Wynne to be the first recipient of the John A. Hope van Beuren Chair in the Arts at Taft. Established in October, the van Beuren Chair was created by John A. and Hope van Beuren, parents of Archbold van Beuren ’75. Mr. and Mrs. van Beuren created the chair to recognize both great teaching and the importance of the arts in secondary school education. Headmaster Odden said, “Gail Wynne’s selection is a great tribute to her outstanding contributions to her students and to the creative life of our school over the past two decades. It is with great pride that I announce this honor both for Gail and for Taft.” Although she was born in New York City, Gail lived much of her early life in India, where she continues to find artistic interest and inspiration. A 1961 graduate of Syracuse University’s College

of Fine Arts, she earned a BFA degree in painting, and she later received her MS degree in art education at Southern Connecticut State University. Prior to teaching at Taft, she taught in public schools in New York and at a small Indian boarding school in South India. Gail began teaching art at Taft in 1968 and was head of the Arts Department from 1987 to 1993. Founder and coordinator of the Taft-Kodaikanal (South India) student exchange, she also has been faculty advisor to over 200 students in the Taft Independent Study Program. For continued growth as an artist, she has received Summer Study Grants almost every summer for the past 28 years to work with artists, writers, and art educators at various universities. Her travels and studies invariably take her back to India where she photographs and exchanges art. Gail enjoys working with a

variety of materials and techniques. Traveling to India to learn more about the village crafts, especially fabric design and clay work, she incorporates many different elements into her artist’s books which also include her poetry and stories about growing up in India. Her work has been exhibited at the Watertown Library, Syracuse University, Bennington College, Washington Art Association, and The Pottery Garden in New Milford, to name a few. “I would like to thank the van Beuren family for their support of the arts at Taft,” Gail adds, “and the Board of Trustees for choosing me to be the first holder of the van Beuren Chair in the Arts. It is gratifying to know that the arts are now being recognized as a vital part of the curriculum at Taft, and that our art educators will be honored along with their colleagues in other departments for their contributions to Taft.”

Taft Honored For Trail Work In mid-December, the Connecticut Forest and Park Association recognized Taft for the work the school community did as part of Community Service Day both this year and last. Forty-five students and 13 faculty members spent the day completing trail maintenance projects on four sections of the Mattatuck Trail and three sections of the Waterbury Area Trails. The CFPA sponsors over five hundred miles of blue-blazed hiking trails on 22

Winter 1997

public and private lands in Connecticut, maintained primarily by trail volunteers. “The Taft School has just done a tremendous job,” Linda Therrien, director of volunteers and membership for CFPA, told the Waterbury Republican. “They didn’t go out to do this to get an award— they did this because they really wanted to and it was very much appreciated.” Roger Foley, director of computer services and computer science teacher at Taft, is a volunteer trail manager on part

of the Mattatuck Trail and coordinated the school’s effort with the CFPA. Taft’s history with the Connecticut Blue Trails system goes back to the time of Harley Roberts, a part owner of the school with Horace Taft. Mr. Roberts privately raised funds to purchase land that now comprises the Mattatuck State Forest and Black Rock State Park and turned it over to the public. He was also one of the individuals instrumental in the Blue Trail system’s inception in 1929.


Grandparents’ Day Once again, record numbers of grandparents arrived to spend the day at Taft with their grandchildren, including the first grandparents to send their daughter and her daughter, and prob-

ably the only grandparents to have offspring in each of the four classes.The day has become a strong tradition with many families who look forward to the event every year.

Christina Oneglia ’98 greets her grandfather Francis Oneglia (also father of Greg ’65) on Grandparents’ Day.

Becky Belcher ’97 welcomes her grandmother Dorothy Parker.

Don and Toni Tuttle visit four of their grandchildren at Taft—one in each class— Spencer ’98 and Beecher Tuttle ’00 and Laura ’99 and Shep Stevens ’97.

Dick and Harriet Strumolo (parents of Tom ’70 and Jean ’75, who is pictured between her parents) are the proud grandparents of Emily Piacenza ’00 and Addie Strumolo ’98, far right.

Matt Juraska ’98 with his grandmothers, Grace Juraska and Janet McCarthy. Taft Bulletin



Cum Laude In November, twelve members of the Class of 1997 were in- students who may have had problems adjusting in their first ducted into the Taft School Chapter of the Cum Laude Society, year to rebound without sacrificing academic standards. Other a group recognized for superior achievement their junior year. members of the class will be chosen for induction at gradua“If you look at the twelve students coming in [to the society] tion based on their senior-year records. now,” said Bill Morris ’69, dean of academic affairs, “they are the top scholars in the class, both in terms of their gradepoint average and in terms of the rigor of their programs— some were taking two or three Advanced Placement courses last year in addition to honors courses.” Taft’s Cum Laude Society has focused only on students’ junior year academic performance as opposed to a track record beginning freshman year. “Cum Laude allows schools to establish their own standards,” Bill adds. “We went back and looked at [the inductees’] two previous years. These students would still be included.... They have been right at the top all along.” By Cum Laude Honorees, standing from left, Paolo Kartadjoemena, Richard Possemato III, Owen focusing on the junior year Muir, Brian O’Dea, Wickliffe Shreve II, William Morris III, and Jennifer Shilobod; seated, Jennifer alone, he told the Waterbury Blomberg, Brianne Mahoney, Janet Chen, and Katharine Mangione. Felix Koch, an ASSIST stuRepublican, it allows boarding dent at Taft last year, is not pictured.

Promising Photographers Taft’s own photography teacher, Brian Moriarty, and alumna Jessica Wynne ’90 were recently chosen among the country’s twenty-five most promising photographers under twenty-five. Their work has been included in the book, 25 Photographers Under 25, published by Norton Press. The photographers were chosen by Alice Rose George, who edited the volume. The 24

Winter 1997

idea for the book came from a conversation with noted educator Robert Coles, who wrote the introduction. He asked her what the younger generation was photographing. She consulted educators, editors, agencies, photographers, and friends. She reviewed hundreds of portfolios, deciding on twentyfive exceptional photographers to include in the publication.

An exhibit of the combined works of the twenty-five photographers was held at Parsons School of Design in New York City in December to celebrate the volume’s publication. The exhibit will travel on to Texas and several other states, ending up in San Francisco late next year. A copy of the book has been added to the Hulbert Taft, Jr., Library collection.


Winter Alumni Games

A strong alumni turnout for men’s squash and hockey games on Sunday, January 12, made for an exciting day, although both varsity teams emerged victorious. Above Alumni Hockey Squad. From left, Jim Southard ’61, Fred Erdman ’71, Steve Potter ’73, Courtney Wemyss ’78, Jamie Better ’79, Jeff Potter ’80, Garry Rogers ’83, Scott Richardson ’82, and Matt Donaldson ’88. Left: Alumni Squash Team. From left, Geoff Blum ’73, Brian Smith ’96, John Hayes ’89, Bob Campbell ’76, Drum Bell ’90, Peter Frew ’75, Andrew Bogardus ’88, Andrew Taylor ’72, and Bill Morris ’69. Taft Bulletin



Fall Big Red Scoreboard Boys’ Cross Country


Coaches: ............................................ Steve Palmer, Stephen Levey

Coaches: ..................... Steve McCabe, Joe Brogna, Jack Kenerson,

Captain: ............................................................. Tucker Green ’97

Chris Butler, John Crosby, Len Tucker

Record: .................................................................................... 8-3

Captains: ............................... Dewey Ames ’97, David Jenkins ’97

John Small Cross Country Award: ..................... Tucker Green ’97

Record: ................................ 5-3, Erickson League Co-Champions

Captain-elect: ..................................................... John Skovran ’98

Black Football Award: ......................................... Dewey Ames ’97 Cross Football Award: Christopher Hills ’97, Brian Telesmanic ’97 Captains-elect: ................... Louis Costanzo ’98, William Pettit ’98

Girls’ Cross Country Coaches: ......................................... Mike Townsend, Karla Palmer Captains: ................ Jennifer Blomberg ’97, Heather Lambert ’97,

Boys’ Soccer

Jessica Riggs ’97

Coaches: ..................................... Willy MacMullen, Tom Woelper

Record: .................................................................................... 7-2

Captains: .......................... Doug Blanchard ’97, Lee Whitaker ’97

Girls’ Cross Country Award: ...................... Jennifer Blomberg ’97,

Record: ................................................................................. 9-4-3

Heather Lambert ’97, Jessica Riggs ’97

Carroll Soccer Award: ....... Doug Blanchard ’97, Lee Whitaker ’97

Captain-elect: .............................................. Michelle O’Brien ’98

Captain-elect: ................................................. Bruce Hodsdon ’98

Field Hockey

Girls’ Soccer

Coaches: ............................................ Fran Bisselle, Kelley Roberts

Coaches: ............................................. Beth Wheeler, Shelley Hull

Captain: ............................................................ Sarah Banister ’97

Captain: .................................................. Katharine Mangione ’97

Record: .................................................................................. 11-2

Record: ................................................................................. 4-7-2

Field Hockey Award: ......................................... Sarah Banister ’97

1976 Girls’ Soccer Award: ....................... Katharine Mangione ’97

Captains-elect: ................................ Blair Otto ’98, Sarah Otto ’98

Captain-elect: .............................................. Adaline Strumolo ’98

The varsity field hockey team went all the way to the New Englands, winning over Greenwich Academy in the semi-finals and finally succumbing to St. Paul’s. The boys’ j.v. soccer team had a dynamic, undefeated season, winding up 11-0-2.


Winter 1997


Spring Athletic Schedule 1997 This schedule is subject to change. If you would like to verify the time and location of any game, please contact the school at 860-945-7706. W, Apr. 23

Varsity Baseball W, Apr. 2 S, Apr. 5 W, Apr. 9 S, Apr. 12

2:30 2:30 3:45 1:30

3:00 2:30 2:30 2:45 3:00 4:00 2:30 2:45 2:30 2:30 2:45 2:30

Salisbury H Westminster A Deerfield H Berkshire/Taft Tournament Tournament Finals H Loomis A Hotchkiss H Kent H Trinity-Pawling A Choate H Avon A Avon H Loomis H Hotchkiss A Kent A Trinity-Pawling H Choate A

3:45 3:00 2:30 2:30 2:45 3:00 4:00 2:30 2:45 2:30 2:30 2:45 2:30

Deerfield Loomis Hotchkiss Kent Trinity-Pawling Choate Avon Canterbury Loomis Hotchkiss Kent Trinity-Pawling Choate

Su, April 13 W, Apr. 16 S, Apr. 19 W, Apr. 23 S, Apr. 26 W, Apr. 30 F, May 2 W, May 7 S, May 10 W, May 14 S, May 17 W, May 21 S, May 24*

JV Baseball W, Apr. 9 W, Apr. 16 S, Apr. 19 W, Apr. 23 S, Apr. 26 W, Apr. 30 F, May 2 W, May 7 S, May 10 W, May 14 S, May 17 W, May 21 S, May 24*


S, Apr. 19


Berkshire/ Litchfield/LymeOld Lyme HS @ Bantam Lake


S, Apr. 26 W, Apr. 30 S, May 10 S, May 17 W, May 21 S, May 24*


Ethel Walker/ Gunnery/Litchfield @ Bantam Lake 3:00 Deerfield/Litchfield @ Bantam Lake 3:00 Choate/Litchfield @ Bantam Lake 3:00 Middletown HS/ EO Smith HS on Connecticut River 2:30 Berkshire/Gunnery/ South Kent @ Lake Waramaug 3:00 EO Smith HS @ Bantam Lake 8:00 AMNew England Championships @ Lake Quinsigamond, Worcester, MA

Varsity Golf M, Apr. 7


W, Apr. 9


S, Apr. 12 S, Apr. 19 W, Apr. 23 S, Apr. 26

1:00 1:00 2:15 1:45

W, Apr. 30


W, May 7 S, May 10 W, May 14

2:00 2:00 11:00

S, May 17


W, May 21


British Public School Travel Team @ Waterbury CC Hopkins/Salisbury @ Yale Choate/NMH H Deerfield H Kingswood H Canterbury/TrinityPawling H Avon/Hotchkiss/ Westminster Loomis H Berkshire A Kingswood Invitational Choate/Hotchkiss/ Suffield Berkshire/Salisbury

1:00 2:30 1:00

Choate Hotchkiss Deerfield

JV Golf

S, Apr. 12 W, Apr. 16 S, Apr. 19


W, Apr. 23 W, Apr. 30 W, May 7 S, May 10 W, May 14

2:15 2:00 2:00 2:00 2:30

Kingswood Avon Loomis Berkshire Hotchkiss


Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse S, Apr. 5 W, Apr. 9 S, Apr. 12 Th, Apr. 17

2:30 3:45 2:30 4:00

S, Apr. 19 W, Apr. 23 S, Apr. 26 M, April 28 W, Apr. 30 F, May 2 W, May 7 S, May 10 W, May 14 S, May 17 W, May 21 F, May 23 S, May 24*

3:00 3:00 3:00 4:00 2:30 4:30 3:30 2:30 2:30 2:30 3:00 4:00 2:30

Salisbury A Brunswick A Westminster H Sacred Heart Univ. JV A Deerfield H Choate H NMH A Canterbury H Kent A Suffield H UMass JV A Loomis H Avon H Hotchkiss A Trinity-Pawling A Kingswood H Alumni

Boys’ JV Lacrosse S, Apr. 5 S, Apr. 12 Th, Apr. 17 S, Apr. 19 W, Apr. 23 F, Apr. 25 W, Apr. 30 F, May 2 W, May 7 S, May 10 W, May 14 S, May 17 S, May 21 F, May 23

2:30 2:30 3:30 3:00 3:00 4:00 2:30 4:30 3:00 2:30 2:30 2:30 3:00 4:00

Salisbury Westminster Greenwich CD Deerfield Choate Canterbury Kent Suffield Millbrook Loomis Avon Hotchkiss Trinity-Pawling Kingswood

Taft Bulletin

A H H H H H A H H H H A A H 27


Boys’ III Lacrosse S, Apr. 12 W, Apr. 16 S, Apr. 19 W, Apr. 23 W, Apr. 30 W, May 7 S, May 10 W, May 14 W, May 17 S, May 24*

2:30 3:00 2:30 3:00 2:30 3:00 2:30 2:30 2:30 2:30

Hotchkiss Westminster Canterbury Choate Kent Loomis Salisbury Kent Avon Salisbury

Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse S, Apr. 5 W, Apr. 9 S, Apr. 12 W, Apr. 16 S, Apr. 19 W, Apr. 23 Th, Apr. 24 S, Apr. 26 Su, Apr. 27 W, Apr. 30 W, May 7 S, May 10 W, May 14 S, May 17 W, May 21 S, May 24

3:00 3:30 2:30 2:30 2:30 3:00 3:30 4:00 10:30 3:15 2:30 2:30 3:00 2:30 3:00 2:30

Girls’ JV Lacrosse S, Apr. 12 W, Apr. 16 S, Apr. 19 W, Apr. 23 S, Apr. 26 W, Apr. 30 W, May 7 S, May 10 W, May 14 S, May 17 W, May 21 S, May 24*

4:00 4:00 4:00 4:30 2:30 4:30 4:00 3:45 4:30 4:00 4:30 3:45

Varsity Softball S, Apr. 5 W, Apr. 9 S, Apr. 12 W, Apr. 16 S, Apr. 19 28

3:00 2:30 2:30 2:30 2:30

NMH Trinity JV Kingswood Loomis Deerfield Westminster Harrowgate Princeton Day Lawrenceville Greenwich Ac Kent Pomfret Choate E. Walker Hopkins Hotchkiss



Kingswood Loomis Deerfield Westminster Indian Mtn Greenwich Ac Kent Pomfret Choate E. Walker Hopkins Hotchkiss


NMH Berkshire Canterbury Westminster E. Walker


Winter 1997

Tu, Apr. 22 S, Apr. 26 W, Apr. 30 F, May 2 W, May 7 W, May 14 S, May 17 W, May 21 S, May 24*

4:15 3:00 3:45 4:00 2:30 3:00 2:30 3:00 2:30

Miss Porter’s Loomis Deerfield Westover Kent Choate Kingswood Hopkins Hotchkiss


Boys’ Varsity Tennis W, Apr. 9 S, Apr. 12 W, Apr. 16 S, Apr. 19 W, Apr. 23 S, Apr. 26 W, Apr. 30 F, May 2 W, May 7 Th, May 8 S, May 10 M, May 12 W, May 14 S, May 17

2:30 Hotchkiss A 3:00 Deerfield H 2:30 Salisbury A 2:30 Kingswood H 2:30 Gunnery A 2:30 Loomis H 2:30 Berkshire H 4:00 Westminster A 2:00 Canterbury A 3:15 Avon H 2:30 Trinity-Pawling H 4:00 Choate A 2:30 Suffield H New England Tournament @ Choate W, May 21 2:30 Hopkins H S, May 24* 2:00 Kent H

Boys’ JV Tennis S, Apr. 12 W, Apr. 16 S, Apr. 19 W, Apr. 23 S, Apr. 26 W, Apr. 30 W, May 7 S, May 10 W, May 14 S, May 17 S, May 24*

3:00 2:30 2:30 2:30 2:30 2:30 2:30 2:30 2:30 2:30 2:00

Boys’ III Tennis W, Apr. 16 S, Apr. 19 W, Apr. 23 S, Apr. 26 W, Apr. 30 W, May 7 W, May 14 S, May 17

3:00 2:30 2:30 2:30 2:30 2:30 2:00 2:30

Deerfield Berkshire Kingswood Westminster Loomis Avon Hotchkiss Trinity-Pawling Hopkins Choate Kent


Rumsey Hopkins Loomis Westminster Berkshire Hotchkiss Kent Choate


W, May 21 S, May 24*

2:00 2:00

Canterbury Kent


Girls’ Varsity Tennis W, Apr. 9 S, Apr. 12 W, Apr. 16 S, Apr. 19 Tu, Apr. 22 W, Apr. 23 W, Apr. 30 F, May 2 W, May 7 Th, May 8 S, May 10 W, May 14 S, May 17 W, May 21

2:30 3:00 3:00 2:30 4:15 2:30 3:00 4:00 2:30 4:15 2:30 3:00 9:00 2:30

Girls’ JV Tennis W, Apr. 9 S, Apr. 12 W, Apr. 16 S, Apr. 19 W, Apr. 23 W, Apr. 30 F, May 2 W, May 7 S, May 10 W, May 14 S, May 17 W, May 21

2:30 3:00 2:30 2:30 2:30 3:00 4:00 2:30 2:30 3:00 2:30 2:30

Berkshire H Deerfield A Loomis A E. Walker H Miss Porter’s A Westminster H Greenwich Ac. A Westover H Kent A Kingswood A Hotchkiss H Choate H Kent Tournament Hopkins H

Berkshire Deerfield Millbrook Loomis Westminster Greenwich Ac. Westover Kent Hotchkiss Choate Kingswood Hopkins


Boys’ and Girls’ Track S, Apr. 12 W, Apr. 16

2:00 2:30

S, Apr. 19 W, Apr. 23 S, Apr. 26 W, Apr. 30 F, May 2 W, May 7 S, May 10 W, May 14 S, May 17

1:00 2:30 2:30 2:30 3:30 2:30 2:30 2:30

Andover/Deerfield Trinity-Pawling H (boys only) Deerfield Relays Westminster H Kingswood A Berkshire A Avon/Choate Suffield A Hotchkiss A Loomis H New England Meet @ Hotchkiss

*Alumni Day Boldface denotes home school Updated scores are available at the school’s website: or call the Taft Sportline at 860-945-7950.








—By Ryan H. Sager ’97


he White House is understandably concerned about recent survey data showing drug use up 105 percent among young people between the ages of 12 and 17. GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole has pounced on this issue, promising to revitalize that war if elected president. Unfortunately, the government can’t really win the drug war; only parents can do that. Even at the height of the War on Drugs in 1992, 32 percent of high school seniors reported having used marijuana, nearly 10 percent admitted to having used hallucinogens, and cocaine use—including “crack” cocaine—was in the double digits. The numbers, although lower than they had been before President and Mrs. Reagan launched the War on Drugs, would have been considered frighteningly high only a few decades ago. As a high school senior, I can tell you first-hand that drug education has become a joke among teenagers. Everyone I know has been through drug education classes, yet I don’t know anyone who has decided to abstain from drugs because of what they were told in class. And while drug interdiction efforts admittedly have decreased the flow of drugs into the country, prices never seem to rise so high that young people can’t obtain the drugs they seek. Why can’t government do better? Because it can’t strike at the root of the problem—which is spiritual. “Oh, brother,” I can hear people groan, “another religious nut.” Far from it. The recognition that problems like drug abuse and teen pregnancy are ultimately spiritual in nature has taken a long time to sink in, but even most medical authorities now readily admit that what makes Alcoholics Anonymous

so effective is its spiritual component. The same is true for drugs. As a nation, we must begin to recognize that America is awash in drugs because there is a great demand for them. The reason there is such high demand for drugs has far less to do with public policy than with widespread personal and spiritual dissatisfaction. Some teens turn to drugs out of boredom, some out of insecurity—but most turn to drugs to escape from lives that seem empty. As Patrick Fagan, senior policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation and a former family therapist and clinical psychologist, put it, “Behind teenage drug use is the unhappy, empty heart that quite a few of our young adolescents have.... If they’re not happy, and the empty heart needs filling, they turn to other things.” Frequently, these other things are alcohol and drugs. Teenagers turn to drugs because they haven’t been pro-

larly hard semester in school and turn to drugs after having been relatively happy and straight for her whole life. On the other hand, I have plenty of excuses for turning to drugs, should I choose to make them. For example, my parents are divorced and my 10-year-old handicapped brother Zachary died when I was 14. Yet I have never found it necessary to use an illicit drug. The difference between us is that I was lucky enough to have received a strong spiritual upbringing from my mother. The knowledge that I am ultimately cared for, and that my life has meaning regardless of how the world may look at any given moment, keeps me away from a dead-end like drugs. Lack of such an understanding, I believe, has allowed my friend to make a wrong turn. The War on Drugs can’t be won by the government. The responsibility for this one lies with parents. Parents must take the

“Unfortunately, the government can’t really win the drug war; only parents can do that.” vided with the inner resources to face life with confidence and hope. Lacking a strong moral or spiritual foundation, they feel empty, confused, and afraid. I’m not just moralizing here. Statistics show clearly that children with strong moral and spiritual backgrounds are less susceptible to drug use. A Cornell University study, for example, showed that high school seniors who don’t attend church weekly were 40.8 percent more likely to use drugs than those who do. This lines up with my own experience. I have watched a close friend with a fairly normal life go though a particu-

time to instill in their children moral values and spiritual teachings. Only then will young people recognize the power within themselves to meet all of life’s challenges. Ryan wrote the above article last summer as an intern at The Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based public policy research institute. It received wide circulation through the KnightRidder/Tribune Information Services, appearing in the Hartford [CT] Courant, Orange County [CA] Register, and Tampa [FL] Tribune and Times among others. As a middler at Taft, Ryan founded The Forum, which he continues to edit this year. Taft Bulletin


Winter 1997 Taft Bulletin  
Winter 1997 Taft Bulletin