Page 1

The Grammar School Winter 2014


message from the head t is my pleasure to welcome you to the fall 2013 edition of Roots & Wings, The Grammar School’s publication designed to highlight and celebrate the vast accomplishments and noteworthy undertakings of our students, faculty, alumni, and friends.


Contents New Faces at TGS .........3 Ecuador Projects...........4 Focus on Ecuador at TGS.......................5 School Field Trips.........6 The Grammar School Installs Wood Pellet System ......................8 Seventh Grade Participates in Vermont State Woolly Adelgid Study ........................9 Medieval Faire ............10 Third Grade Poetry ....14 Olympic Skier Visits TGS Fourth Grade ..14 TGS Preschool Teacher Ken Brautigam, P ’11, ’13, Named 2013 Early Child Educator of the Year by Windham Childcare................15 XCRunning at TGS.....16 Soccer..........................18 TGS Student Highlights 2013–2014..............19 The Power of Discovery After School STEM Program: Where Children Learn by Doing! .....................20 News from The Development Office......................20 Fourth Annual Foreign Language Night at TGS.........................21 A Special Evening to Celebrate TGS and Give Thanks ...........22 The Grammar School Graduation June 13, 2013 ........................23 Obituaries ...................25 Alumni Notes and Photos Fall 2013.....26

This has been an exciting and particularly busy fall for TGS as we have embarked on a number of new initiatives. From our new afterschool program, The Power of Discovery, to our community dinners, to the development of a new website, TGS has been busy. Perhaps most exciting has been the collaborative work of the community to create a new Strategic Plan, which will help guide The Grammar School’s direction and energy for the next five years. We are slated to finish our aspirational and realistic Strategic Plan before the Board of Trustees reconvenes in January. I am confident that this plan addresses important issues facing TGS, while also assuring that the magic of our traditions and incredibly strong school culture will remain as vibrant as ever. As the new Head of School, I have enjoyed countless conversations with faculty, parents, students, alumni, and friends of TGS, and I am continually impressed with the imprint a TGS education has on the lives of our students and their families. TGS provides the first educational experiences for many young minds, and creates a strong platform for academic success in our alumni, as students leave with both a love for learning and honed critical thinking skills. I am confident that with the strong leadership of our talented Board of Trustees, our exceptional faculty and staff, and the commitment of our alumni and friends, TGS is well poised to stay vibrant and healthy for years to come.


Dan J. Marchetti, P ’24 Head of School

the grammar school

The Grammar School 69 Hickory Ridge Road, Putney, VT 05346 802.387.5364 Faculty and Staff Dan Marchetti, Head of School P ’24 Phil Blood P ’23 Karen Blumberg Charlie Boswell P ’13 Ken Brautigam P ’11,’13 Carol Cutts P ’01 Ponnie Derby P ’97 Sara Dunbar Laurie Fichter P ’04,’06 Johanna Gardner P ’08, ’10 Debby Gray P ’02 Chris Harlow P ’96, ’98, ’99 Paul “Hop” Hopkins ’19, ’21 David Hull P ’19, ’21 Liz Jackson P ’19, ’21 Linda Kosiba P ’02, ’04 Alli Lubin Libby McCawley P ’07, ’09 Eve McDermott P ’06, ’08 Tara Meinhard ’88 Mary Heller Osgood ’68 P ’95, ’97 Nick Racco P ’15, ’17 Hannah Richards Kathy Richardson ’67, P ’02, ’03, ’05 Tracy Rodriguez P ’13, ’15 Suzanne Rubinstein P ’14, ’17, ’18 Jessica Sardinas P ’20, ’22 Jared Stolper P ’11, ’15 Emily Weinberg P ’17, ’19 Tammy Neathawk P ’14, ’16 Board of Trustees 2013–2014 Chris Adams P ’17—Walpole, NH Julie Burns Vice Chair P ’19, ’24 —Walpole, NH Peter Eden, Chair P ’22—Walpole, NH Kevin Frietas P ’14(NG), ’17—Guilford, VT Erika Gustafson ’91—Medford, MA Peter Howe P ’03, ’06 —Alstead, NH Marcia Leader P ’82, ’85—Putney, VT Maggie Smith P ’90, ’93—Putney, VT Beth Stickney P ’19—Bellows Falls, VT Natalie Thomson P ’13, ’15—Walpole, NH Eric Velto P ’21—Bellows Fall, VT Trustees Emeritus/Co-founders George and Kitty Shumlin P ’69, ’70, ’74 Roy (Dick)* and Dottie Richardson P ’63, ’67, ’68, ’69, ’74, ’76 * deceased Editors: Mary Heller Osgood and Dan Marchetti Photography: David Hull, Suzanne Rubinstein, Zach Caldwell, Mary Heller Osgood, and other submissions. Design/production: Susan Kochinskas, Flocksholm Design Cover photo: David Hull

On the cover: New Head of School, Dan Marchetti with Sam Elliot ’17 and Ava Clarke ’17

Printed on recycled paper 100% post consumer, PCF

roots&Wings winter2014


New Faces at TGS he Grammar School welcomes new members to its community, as well as previous faculty and staff with new responsibilities. Dan Marchetti began his tenure as Head of School in July; Peter Eden, President of Landmark College, is the new chair of the Board of Trustees; and Hannah Richards is the new art teacher. David Hull, who was a half year fifth grade substitute last spring, is the technology coordinator, and Liz Jackson, Spanish teacher, has added fifth grade Spanish classes to her position.


Welcome from TGS Board Chair Peter Eden he Board of Trustees of The Grammar School joins you in this celebration of community that occurs through Roots & Wings. We have so much to recognize and honor, and this terrific publication is but just one way we display the strengths of TGS.


Trustees have a duty of care and a duty of loyalty to TGS. In our duty of care we provide oversight to TGS and strive to ensure that good judgment occurs with any decision or initiative. In our duty of loyalty, allegiance to TGS is of paramount importance, as we are careful to put the best interest of the School ahead of all else. This is an important time for TGS to have a board committed to the duties of care and loyalty. Head of School Dan Marchetti is off to a very good start, and the excellent faculty and staff of TGS are working hard to strengthen existing traditions and elements of the School, while simultaneously creating a bold but achievable strategic plan that we believe will create a TGS that best serves the students of today and those of tomorrow. TGS has an enduring ethos built on our ability to shape young learners and provide an exquisitely balanced overall student experience. This success has continued even in times of economic challenge. An ability to provide excellence for our students under any conditions is a wonderful, rare quality — but imagine what TGS could do if financial strength were truly ensured through even greater support to this important non-profit private institution. Imagine what a gift it would be to Dan, the faculty and staff, the founders and the many past and present TGS donors, and especially the students, if we all lived up to this duty of care and loyalty and put TGS at the very top of the list when considering philanthropic support each year. That added support, combined with the pervading sense of goodness that comes from the campus and the community, will allow TGS to reach new heights and change even more lives every day. Thank you for your support of TGS. It is our duty, as a community, to keep this important institution strong and vibrant as we evolve to meet our goals. With kind regards, Peter Eden, Ph.D., P ’22

David Hull, Technology Coordinator David Hull, father of Lucy, ’22, and Zinnia, ’20, is the new technology coordinator at TGS. He has taken over from Alli Lubin, who was eager to focus exclusively on her busy job as music director. David had been the fifth grade teacher since January 2013, filling in for Charlie Boswell, who was on a half year sabbatical. The school was in the process of changing its internet service and email platform, and since the beginning of the fall, TGS has gotten a fiber optic internet line that allows multiple users to access the internet. David has provided leadership for The Grammar School faculty and staff to use a new Google email platform that enables them to connect with each other more readily. David’s expertise, optimism, and continual good humor have made him an invaluable addition to TGS.

Hannah Richards, Art Teacher Hannah Richards, the new art teacher at TGS, has experience teaching kindergarten through college level art students. Her goal is to encourage the serious work of play in her classroom. In her own studio, Hannah makes drawings, paintings, and monoprints about contingency and opposition, and thinks about the intersection of scientific inquiry with art. Hannah’s work has been exhibited locally and internationally, and she is the recipient of both a Schultz Foundation grant and a Kahn Liberal Arts Institute Post-Baccalaureate Fellowship. For the past ten years, she has been involved in developing non-toxic and sustainable printmaking techniques for professional artists. For her first multi-grade art project, Hannah had students design and paint a mural. All first through eighth graders participated in the activity, which portrays a lively, welcoming tree at the entrance to the main building.



Ecuador Art Projects by Hannah Richards ith Ecuador as this year’s Global Education Theme, it has been a focus for the first interdisciplinary art projects of the year. Public art in Ecuador is common, and often government funded; in keeping with that theme, each class has worked on a mural at the entryway to the cubby room in the lower school.


Seventh and eighth graders designed the mural. In preparation, they looked at a variety of murals and street art in Ecuador. All the students submitted proposals for the project, and chose seventh grader Dylan Ray’s ’15 design. Every grade in the school has worked on the mural in some capacity, with responsibilities delegated by Dylan. In other Ecuador inspired projects, seventh graders created their own interpretations of the Aztec Lady of the Dead, Mictecacihautl, queen of the underworld, using the prompt image of her “jaw agape to swallow the stars” from Aztec legend. They drew in neon oil pastels on black paper to highlight the skeletal whites and brights. Sixth graders began a silkscreening project in which we looked at the symbolism of the colors and coat of arms in the Ecuadorian flag, using it as a starting point to make individual coats of arms and colors for flags, which we will then silkscreen onto shirts. Fifth graders created colorful bread babies or “guaguas” to adorn the Day of the Dead altar, and fourth graders imagined their own versions of Quetzlcoatl, the birdsnake of Aztec and Mayan legend in drawings and sculptures.

Eighth graders plan

Eighth graders begin the base coat of paint

Students remarked that the art projects have reinforced and enhanced what they learn in the homerooms, group activities, and All School Meetings, for a more comprehensive understanding of Ecuador and its culture.

Seventh grade mural

First graders paint flowers and plants

Sixth graders at work

roots&Wings winter2014


Focus on Ecuador at TGS Reflections on the Service Learning Trip to Ecuador By Libby Green, ’13 ast April, I was granted the opportunity to take The Grammar School’s service learning trip to Ecuador. At Nahual-Kroka Farm, I felt immediately at home. The setting, a lush, green, natural place with a view I had previously only dreamed about, invoked a specific feeling of peace, contentment, and hunger to learn. I felt truly inspired here before we even began working on the farm.


I felt a sense of purpose and fulfillment. I learned how to do new things, all the while helping people. There is little more gratifying than bonding with friends over hay and alfalfa in Ecuador. My favorite chore was milking. We had to wake up before 4 in the morning, while the southern stars were still awake and the sun was only considering making an appearance.

TGS students preparing breakfast at the Nahual-Kroka farm in Ecuador

his year’s Global Education Theme focuses on Ecuador. In March TGS eighth graders participated in a service learning and language immersion program in Ecuador, which was so rewarding for the students that it will be repeated this year. To augment that program, throughout the fall students in kindergarten through sixth grade are studying Ecuador in classes and as well as in small group activities. Mixed age groups meet once a week for cooking Ecuadorian foods, learning traditional music and dance, creating culturally inspired clay sculptures and applique, and constructing a clay bread oven.


The Ecuador immersion program, launched by Spanish teacher Liz Jackson, P ’19, ’21, includes students working and staying on Nahual-Kroka farm in Palugo, near Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Liz notes that at Nahual-Kroka Sustainable Farm and School, the mission is to reinforce the connection between the human being and his/her environment. The farmers and residents in Nahual are dedicated to sustainable living and farming, which is practiced in every aspect of life through their dairy farming, sustainable organic agriculture, ecological building, wilderness training, and permaculture school. The farm has organic gardens that feed 30 families each week, and there are numerous free-grazing domesticated farm animals. The program will take place during spring vacation, and is voluntary for all eighth graders. Liz is spearheading fundraising events to help pay for the cost of the trip. For more information, please email

One of the most inspiring parts of this trip was taking the cows to their pastures. We walked through a narrow pathway in the woods beside a meadow, a single file line of cows stretching around bends in front of us, dewy brush and singing birds to our right, occasional glances of the rolling hills to our left, and an incredible golden view of the volcano Cotopaxi stretching above the bushes. The air was thin, sweet, and refreshing, and I felt I great sense of peace and centeredness come over me. I had several other experiences like this; during the hike through rolling hills and glassy lakes on a cold, rainy day, sitting in the animal field drawing the view as the sun set over the hills and mountains, playing guitar and singing around the campfire, even just cooking in the hand-built kitchen or reading in the hammock on the deck of the cabin. I gained so much from this trip. I went home a different person; I was more peaceful, more grateful, closer to my classmates, more adventurous, and had a new outlook on life. It was there that I wrote all of my best poetry, drew all of my best art, and learned more about myself than I thought existed inside me. It was there, too, that I decided I’d be travelling the world as soon as I have the opportunity, and I know that I’ll be revisiting the farm in Libby Green with former Head of School Ecuador. Steve Lorenz in Ecuador


the grammar school

School Field Trips ield trips have been an integral part of The Grammar School’s curriculum since the school was founded. TGS values education outside the classroom, and students at TGS have many opportunities to learn beyond our campus. For all students at the school, community service, history, art, music, sports, language, and culture, are areas enhanced by trips. Students and alumni describe field trips as some of the most rewarding and memorable events of their time at TGS. Traditional, annual field trips, as well as a variety of curriculum related activities that take students off campus, are a valuable and important feature of every TGS student’s education.


A sampling of annual field trips at TGS: • Preschool and kindergarten blueberry and apple picking at Green Mountain Orchards • First grade visits to Putney Main Street to map the town • Second grade annual hawk watch on Putney Mountain • Third grade monthly trips to Thompson House Nursing Home

Blueberry picking at Green Mountain Orchards

Noa Rubenstein ’19 at Putney School Farm

in Brattleboro and local history museums and sites • Fourth grade annual Connecticut River floating exploration • Fifth grade Cardigan Mountain hike and whitewater rafting • Sixth grade Lake Champlain camping trip and visits to the Vermont State House and Boston • Seventh grade trips to Mount Moosilauke and Quebec • Eighth grade trips go to Takodah/Monadnock, Boston, and Nantucket • All school hike and lunch on Putney Mountain • Spanish trips to Spanish Harlem and Ecuador and the French exchange with students from Montreal The list is long and inspiring, and as one student remarked, “In my old school, going on a hike and writing poetry at the top of a mountain would have been a one time event. Here we do activities like that every week!”

Second graders at Vermont Institute of Natural Science

Gerrit Blauvelt ’19, Beckett Mundell-Wood ’19, and Kemp Wagenbach ’19 at the Hoooper Institute for Farmer Boy history unit

roots&Wings winter2014

All School Meeting on top of Putney Mountain


Elephant tree on Putney Mountain

Seventh grade annual hike up Mount Moosilauke

Community connections — third graders decorate pumpkins with Thompson House residents

Second graders at Vermont Institute of Natural Science

TGS class of 2015 at the Hood Art Museum in Hanover, NH


the grammar school

The Grammar School Installs Wood Pellet System he Grammar School is excited to announce the installation of a new biomass wood pellet heating system for the main building to replace the 16 year-old wood chip/oil boiler. Building manager Chris Harlow P ’96, ’98, ’99 and business manager Deb Gray P ’04 researched many pellet systems before choosing Froling Energy of Peterborough, NH to design and install the system for TGS.


Froling Energy estimates that in ten years the entire system will be paid for from the savings in fuel costs. According to Froling Energy, during the past several years the school has used an average of 4400 gallons of fuel oil during the heating season, which will be replaced by an average of 44 tons of pellets, a cost savings of $5000 per year. Froling’s Jim Van Balkenburgh says, “The school ends up with a system that is more reliable [than the old one], with less maintenance and zero fossil fuel use.”

The new boiler in the former [wood] chip house

The two new 60-fuel biomass boilers will have a total maximum output of 400,000 BTUs per hour, burning at 83% efficiency on average and netting 13,500 BTUs per ton of pellets. They are housed in the old chip house, and there is little noticeable difference from the outside. From the basement, however, instead of the chip hopper there are now two brand new shiny red boilers. As Deb Gray says, “It looks like the boiler room of the Titanic down there!” The biomass system furthers The Grammar School’s commitment to use more sustainable and local sources of energy. The school’s solar panel array, installed and funded by the local solar company Soveren in 2012, generates enough power to cover most of the school’s electrical needs. Soveren owner Peter Thurell noted that when the panels are purchased by TGS, that cost will be balanced by the power produced. He says that when TGS has paid off the purchase price, “The system should meet the school’s electricity requirements for another 35 years or so for free, except for maintenance and occasional inverter repairs.”

Chris Harlow directs the truck loading the pellets into the hopper

TGS is proud of these initiatives that support our educational philosophy. Students in the Upper School will monitor energy output and usage throughout the year, as the school continues to pursue green and sustainable sources of energy.

Good luck Steve! Former Head of School Steve Lorenz’s farewell presents from the students included a pint of syrup from every class (one of Steve’s favorite gifts for visitors to the school), and a sugar maple tree. Steve planted his tree by the upper school driveway.

roots&Wings winter2014


Seventh Grade Participates in Vermont State Woolly Adelgid Study


major focus of the seventh grade science curriculum under teacher Paul “Hop” Hopkins, P ’19, 22, is the study of trees on campus and throughout New England. As an extension of their research, last spring the seventh grades took part in an official Vermont state survey of the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), an invasive insect threatening hemlock trees in Vermont and the eastern US. Under the guidance of TGS parent Jordan Fletcher, P ’16, ’19, of Fletcher Tree Service, students investigated the hemlock stands on The Grammar School campus for HWA. Fletcher, who is a Vermont First Detector for HWH, presented them with information on how the insects injure hemlocks, and ways to combat the infestation with chemicals, fungi, and other pests. He trained students to identify potential invasive insects, so they could be included for the survey. Seventh graders were able identify several trees infested with the woolly adelgid, important information that was included in the state survey.

Molly Cameron ’14 tags a tree

Hop noted that last spring’s project was rewarding and educational, and he plans to introduce the survey to this year’s seventh grade, as well.

William Parkman ’14 and Tyler Silbey ’14 lay out a tree plot

NEW at TGS: The Grammar School Community Dinner Initiative GS Community Dinner is an initiative launched this year to ensure that every TGS family has an opportunity to meet the new Head of School, Dan Marchetti, as well as other TGS families from all grades (preschool through eighth) in a casual, fun, off-campus setting. Every TGS family will be invited to one of these events during the 2013–14 academic year.


A heartfelt thank you to the families who have already hosted events at their homes, Anita Dunlap and Ned Childs P ’05, ’09, ’15,Wendy and Sean Brennan P ’10, ’13, ’15, and Julie P ’19, ’23 and Ken Burns P ’96, ’99, ’19, ’23.

Grammar School Families at the Community Dinner hosted by Anita Dunlap and Ned Childs


the grammar school

Medieval Faire 2013 n Saturday, October 12 from 10 am to 4 pm, TGS was transformed into a medieval village as it celebrated 25 years of the Medieval Faire. Thanks to the efforts of chair Beth Stickney, P ’20, and the Medieval Faire committee, it was the biggest day ever at the Faire. Over 1400 knights, princesses, and paupers, along with their families, enjoyed a beautiful October day with delicious food and exciting medieval games and activities.


Jaja Laughlin, P ’14, former chair of the Medieval Faire committee and a long time Medieval Faire organizer, has been an inspiration for all workers and fairegoers for many years. The Grammar School community gives enormous thank you for her leadership and efforts. We all will miss her creative guidance. We are excited for the continuing success of the Faire under Beth Stickney’s expert guidance.

Medieval Faire court transition: Center, retiring Queen Libby McCawley P ’07, ’09 and King Dondo Cuerdon P ’09, ’12, ’14; left, prospective Queen Liz Jackson P ’19, ’21 and right, prospective King Justin Altman ’95

Eli Siegel ’22 Katie Edwards ’21

Dexter and Atticus Eden ’22

Sadie Bell ’20

Dan Marchetti in the dunking booth

Zazzie Brelsford ’81 and daughter

roots&Wings winter2014


Sonya Harlow, daughter of Ryan Harlow ’96

Preschool Teacher Ken Brautigam fastens a climbing helmet

Holton Taylor ’17 jousting

Jack Rockefeller ’18

Zoe Robb ’18

Lucy Kaplan ’20

Molly Blood ’23 and Lilia Sardinas ’23


the grammar school

Medieval Faire 2013 Alumni and Friends

Aashna Kinkhabwal ’13 and Josie Weil ’13

Amanda Upton and husband Justin Altman ’95

The Chambers family — Laura Sturgill, Clara Chambers ’16, and former art teacher William Chambers P ’16, ’18,

Chip Freeman ’20, Ben Worley-Reichman ’20, and Marshall Taylor ’20 Back left to right: Jack Bell, Rebecca and Pedr Seymout P ’18, ’20, Mark Tarmy P ’97, ’00, ’02 — Front: Liza Bell ’18

Susan Flint ’13 Alumni Esme Lovell-Smith ’06, Becca Shumlin ’06, and Liv Shumlin ’05

Former French teacher Iedje Hornsby GP ’18

Ryan Harlow ’96 and Amy Harlow ’74, P ’96, ’98, ’99

roots&Wings winter2014


New Gardens and Gardening Classes at TGS by fourth grade teacher Emily Weinberg, P ’17, ’19 hanks to TGS class of 2012 who gave the school a gift that will keep on growing! Students provided funds and helped build three raised garden beds near the playground. With the leadership of parent Simon Renault P ’23, these gardens have had a successful first season and students are experiencing the rewards of planning, tending, and harvesting vegetables and flowers.


Simon is passionate about farming, locally produced food, and natural science. He taught a series of lessons to students in grades K-5 that inspired kids to ask questions, observe changes, and follow a life cycle from seed to table. Beginning with the study of soils, where students were able to feel different soil samples such as silt, gravel, and sand, Simon then taught the classes how to mix their own garden soil with loam and composted organic matter. They learned about the importance of earthworms in improving the soil, and how to plant vegetables and flowers. Every lesson was a hands-on experience for students to participate in planting seeds and observing changes over time.

Jasper Everingham ’18 and Jürgen Sweeney ’18

The harvest was celebrated with enthusiasm as students preserved and cooked with the bounty. They dried carrots, tomatoes, and beans, used pumpkins and Indian corn to decorate the school, and made potato soup, bean spread, and sunflower seed artwork. As part of this series, groups of students visited two local farms to learn more about farming. They are in the process of putting the gardens to bed for the winter, and preparing them for spring planting by covering them with a warm blanket of dried leaves. This has been a wonderful opportunity for students to experience of the cycles of season and growth right here at TGS, and we hope to continue the garden project in future seasons. Kyra Sparrow-Pepin Chapin ’02 and family

Mark Green P ’10, ’13 Patrick Lierle ’13 and Jack Spanierman ’13 Third graders harvest corn from the garden


the grammar school

Third Grade Poetry by Linda Kosiba, P ’04, 06 hird graders began the year reading E.B.White’s Charlotte’s Web. A farm is where most of this story is set, so we visited a local farm at Putney School. Back in the classroom, the children painted farm animals and wrote poetry to accompany their illustrations.


A young cow’s nose Is as pink as the sunset fading behind the willow Ibby Hopkins ’19

The horse galloped Faster than the wind Faster than lightning In the meadow Back and forth Up and down Through the pasture Faster than the wind Aiden Fletcher ’19

Chickens Chickens Everywhere Roving around Roving in the chicken coop Roving in the chicken pen Roving in the places they are not supposed to be in Roving on hay bales Roving on their feed tray Chickens Chickens Everywhere Gerrit Blauvelt ’19

Third grade farm paintings

Olympic Skier Visits TGS Fourth Grade GS class of 2018 (this year’s fourth grade) has been fortunate to have US Ski Team XC skier Noah Hoffman as a class mentor for the past two years, and was very excited to welcome him back in November for a visit before he headed to Norway for early season skiing. He answered questions and discussed his upcoming ski season, including racing in the Olympics in Sochi, Russia in February, 2014.


Noah comes to Putney several times a year to meet with his coach Zach Caldwell ’84, and Zach’s son Gunnar

’18 first introduced him to TGS. As they have since second grade, Noah’s loyal and enthusiastic class of ’18 fans will follow his progress throughout the winter.

roots&Wings winter2014


TGS Preschool Teacher Ken Brautigam, P ’11, ’13, Named 2013 Early Child Educator of the Year by Windham Childcare Ken says, “It was a real surprise, and a huge honor, to have been selected Early Childhood Educator of the Year. It’s a tribute to all the wonderful mentors, colleagues, parents, and children that have contributed to The Grammar School Preschool all these years. I’m proud of the program we offer, and look forward to coming to school each and every day!”

the program. “We make a lot of room for play. Children learn deeply and thoroughly when they’re having fun.”

(Reprinted by permission of Windham Childcare)

Ken makes a strong commitment to partner with parents in his program. Melanie Kent, a parent in the program, appreciates this connection. “There is a lot of interaction between Ken and parents through regular conferences, his blog, and written narrative reports about our children and how they are doing. I appreciate that dropoff is a fluid time where parents can be in the classroom easing the transition to the school day. He makes himself very available for parents should they need to check in about anything at anytime.”

en Brautigam has been at the helm of The Grammar School’s Preschool program since it’s creation nearly 20 years ago.


On a recent visit to The Grammar School in Putney a mother walked into the preschool classroom and found all of the children gathered around a table helping Lead Teacher Ken Brautigam perform a science experiment with baking soda, a bottle, and a rubber glove. The students were in various outfits, some of them having migrated over from the dress up corner, and they were all fixated on what he was doing. “The atmosphere was appropriately relaxed, which allowed the students to ask questions and Ken was happy to repeat the experiment over and over so that students could see the glove inflate many times over,” wrote Apple Gifford [P ’22, ’20], mother of one of the preschoolers. “He fielded their questions with patience, and did not demand their attention, but rather earned it with his steady, calm approach to the activity.” Such a scene helps to describe why Ken Brautigam has been named Windham Child Care Association’s Early Childhood Educator of the Year. Ken has been teaching at The Grammar School for nearly two decades. Ken’s calling to work with youth started young. One of his first jobs was working at his local Parks & Recreation Department as a coach’s helper for Little League teams. In high school, after his family moved from Wisconsin to Kentucky, he worked at the local 4H program. With both parents as teachers, education was all around him growing up — his father taught at the university while his mother started a preschool program and went on to train other preschool teachers. Three of Ken’s four siblings are also now educators. After getting his degree and certification to teach high school, Ken began his job search in Putney just as The Grammar School was starting up a preschool program. Nancy Calicchio [P ’77, ’78] was the director at the time. “Nancy had a vision of what the preschool could look like,” Ken remembers. “I was a newcomer and she provided me with all the right direction, encouragement and support to go out and get the training I needed.” The creation of the program borrowed heavily from the Waldorf, Reggio Emilia and Responsive Classroom approaches to education. Over the years, with support from colleagues and parents and inspired by the children themselves, Ken worked to fine-tune

Ken Brautigam in the preschool

Over the years Ken has learned as much from the parents in his program as they have from him. “Working so closely with different families has taught me a variety of strategies required for working with different learning styles,” he says. Dan Marchetti is the current Head of School. He was thrilled to learn of Ken’s recognition. “Ken founded our Preschool program at The Grammar School and has been the life-blood of the program ever since, serving as the foundation for countless students’ transformational growth, and inspiring them with a sense of wonder. Ken cultivates kindness, values, and a truly embodies The Grammar School philosophy of whole child education. We are so happy for Ken to receive this formal acknowledgment, and we remain grateful to him for his years of exemplary service.” Ken has served on The Putney Library Board and is currently the Assistant Chair of the Windham Child Care Association Board of Directors where he’s been involved for six years. He’s played a pivotal role in planning their annual Fall Into Art benefit which has grown each year. Executive Director Elizabeth Raposa describes him as "thoughtful and insightful" and extremely supportive of those working on behalf of young children. Board Chair Jim Maland agrees. “Ken’s expertise as an educator has been invaluable towards many WCCA decisions. Known for his wonderful sense of humor, he is a great listener, he takes on tasks with passion and understanding and he continually works hard to build a growing community of supporters of high-quality child care.” See the article and read more about Ken online on the Windham Child Care Association website.


the grammar school

XC Running at TGS TGS Fun Run and Invitational 2013 he Grammar School’s running program, established more than three decades ago, continues to thrive and grow. Former TGS teacher and Head of School Chris Osgood P ’95, ‘97 remembers that he started a form of TGS running for Zach Caldwell ’84, Bill Spire ’85, Aleika McAllister ’88, Brant Stead ’88 and a couple of others students in the early 1980s, when the runners raced at Northfield Mount Hermon School. In the early days a number of area schools hosted small, dual meets throughout the fall season, but over the years some of those schools have dropped their programs or have unable to hold races. TGS has become an increasingly popular venue for running races, and this year the school hosted three popular meets.


Almost 100 racers participated in the 2nd Annual Fun Run on October 9 at Green Mountain Orchards, where after the race the runners enjoyed hot cider and consumed almost 400 warm cider donuts. At the Invitational on October 23, more than 130 racers from BAMS, Academy, Putney Central School, Ludlow, Riverside, Reading, and The Grammar School participated in the .5 mile, mile, and 1.5 mile races on an open, hilly field near the

TGS runners at the Invitational

school. In addition, 16 eager runners joined the second annual untimed Lollipop race for children 5 years and younger, where the prize was a lollipop at the finish line. In the Invitational scored races, runners received first, second, third, or participant ribbons, and the winning teams were awarded trophies. TGS won the boys team trophy in the .5 mile race, and the girls team trophy in the mile.

Beth notes that there are exciting plans for a SheWinS/TGS relationship. South Africa will be the focus of the school’s Global Education Theme in the 2014–2015 school year. The Grammar School is exploring the possibility of an exchange with students from the SheWinS program in the future, including hosting students at a soccer camp on campus, and having TGS students travel to Memel, South Africa to participate in the SheWinS soccer program

After the races, runners were treated to fresh cider donuts and apples from Green Mountain Orchards in Putney.

SheWinS Event GS hosted an open 5K fundraising race on October 6 to raise money for SheWinS (sports helping to empower women in South Africa). Beth Henkle, ’03, a soccer coach for SheWinS in South Africa for the past three years, organized the event. (Henkle also has coached K–1–2 soccer for the three seasons as well as 3–4 soccer at TGS this fall.) Though lightly attended because of inclement weather, all the participants enjoyed the run, including Head of School Dan Marchetti.


Dan Marchetti finishing the SheWinS race

roots&Wings winter2014


there. Giving local students the opportunity to interact with peers from another culture would foster mutual understanding and a sense of global community. She writes, “The lessons I have learned through my involvement with SheWinS are many, but the one that stands above the rest is the revelation that the seemingly smallest moments of connection and friendship, be they teaching, coaching, learning, or playing, can have immeasurable effects. What SheWinS teaches all those involved is that an understanding of the lessons we can learn from participation in sports is what really matters. The true value of sports, especially for young girls, lies in what they can teach: teamwork and self-confidence, selflessness and individual achievement, the value of friendships on and off the field, the benefits of hard work, and the freedom of play.”

Beth Henkle, back row, second from right, with SheWinS students and volunteers.

The Lollipoppers start their run

Gunnar Caldwell ’18 and Aicher Hearon ’15 in the Fun Run

Preschoolers preparing for the Invitational Lollipop event Amelia Opsahl ’17 winning the girls Fun Run

Marshall Taylor ’20 holds his blue ribbon



5–6 soccer

7–8 soccer celebrates a win

the grammar school

roots&Wings winter2014


TGS Student Highlights 2013–2014 ighth grade student Susan Flint ’14 has been accepted into the Vermont State Legislative Page program for the 2014 legislative session. She joins four other TGS alumni who have served as pages for six weeks during the session, including Sarah Levine ’08, Greer Cowan ’09, Roo Weed ’10, and Sophie Basescu ’13.


Fifth grader Wells Mundell-Wood ’17 had a poem selected for publication in the Vermont Young Writer’s Project Anthology. Susan Reid, publications coordinator for the Young Writers Project, says, “Wells Mundell-Wood’s piece, The First Time, is included in Anthology 5 because it is among the best from the 2012–2013 school year. Our team of judges combed through about 12,000 submissions…. and had to be extremely selective to make a final list because we had space for less than 70 pieces in our book.”

Fifth grader Amelia Opsahl ’17 was featured in the Keene Sentinel for her athletic and academic accomplishments this past year. From the article A 10-year-old of many talents by contributing writer Joan Geary: She’s a champion figure skater with a host of medals to prove it, and plays a key role with a local baseball team. She’s enrolled in a highly selective academic program through John Hopkins University, writes mystery stories and regularly runs 5K road races. In her free time, she cares for homeless dogs. And Amelia Opsahl, 10, of Chesterfield will soon be a fifth-grader.“I like to have goals,” she said. “Getting things done and getting results is rewarding. It’s good to have goals and to be happy doing what you do.” Sixth grader Ella Warner ’16 was one of 30 individuals who were selected for the Circus Smirkus 2013 performing troupe for the Big Top Tour.

The First Time by Wells Mundell-Wood I remember the first time my toe, just one toe, dangled in the water, creating never-ending circles surrounding my first step. A sign of true creativity in my path. I remember the first time the pencil made contact with the paper. The first time, if you twisted and turned it, it could form the most complicated, most confusing, most vague drawing. I remember the first time I blew out the candle, the little flickering flame, dancing above the stick, my thoughts pondering with incredible hope. I remember the first time I sat, leaning against a tree trunk and let my mind flow into the breathtaking letters of a book. I remember the first time I let my heart flow into a story, yet to be created. A story of the twists and turns of what could finally appear to be my life.

Four TGS students, including Noa ’19 Amalia ’18, and Mia Rubinstein ’13, and Roselle Lovell-Smith ’13, will act in the Young Shakespeare Players East production of Macbeth, and have been invited to perform at Amherst College on December 14, 2013.

Wells Mundel-Wood ’17

Amelia Opsahl ’17

Ella Warner ’16


the grammar school

The Power of Discovery After School STEM Program: Where Children Learn by Doing! he Grammar School is excited to announce a new program open to all students in grades 2–8: The Power of Discovery, an after school STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) program. This program offers young people innovative, project-based after school clubs led by talented mentors and coaches.


The Power of Discovery is a 16 week program open to all children, from late October through February. The clubs focus on developing skills and interest in STEM areas, as well as creative and critical approaches to problem solving. The program offers young people a fun, safe environment to apply concepts learned during the school day, and allows children to take risks through trial and error problem solving in collaborative team settings.

STEM activities — Lego robotics

Thanks to a generous anonymous grant, The Grammar School will be able to support a broad array of clubs, as well as offer scholarships, so that the program can be accessible to all children who are interested in participating. Some of the clubs offered during the pilot year are: FIRST Lego Robotics Club, Chess Club, Math Olympiads, Science Club, Kids Design and Craft Club, and Future Problem Solvers. A comprehensive listing and registration forms are available online, For more information call Suzanne Rubinstein (P ’13, ’18, ’19) or David Hull (P ’20, ’22) at The Grammar School, 802.387.5364.

STEM activites — More Lego

Annual Fund he 2013–14 Annual Fund goal is $125,000. We hope you will consider participating this year!


Like most independent schools, The Grammar School’s tuition covers only 87% of the cost to educate our students. The Annual Fund exists to help fill that remaining gap. The Grammar School relies on the generosity of TGS alumni, grandparents, parents (current and former) and friends to achieve the annual fundraising goal each year. The Annual Fund is the first and foremost fundraising effort of the school and pays for 6% of the school’s operating budget.

A strong Annual Fund helps to attract and retain the finest, most caring faculty, ensures that students benefit from small classes, robust art and athletic programs, the latest technology, and supports the Scholarship Fund so that TGS can remain accessible and available to the broadest pool of qualified students.

TGS 2013–2014 Operating Budget: $2,000,000

87% Operating Budget $1.73M

With your support TGS will continue to give todays students every opportunity to develop as intellectually curious and engaged young people; and they will take the skills and lessons they learn at TGS with them to high school, college and eventually out into the world.

Give online:

7% Non-Tuition Revenue $145,000

6% Annual Fund $125,000

roots&Wings winter2014


Fourth Annual Foreign Language Night at TGS oreign Language Night has become an exciting annual event at TGS. For the fourth year, French and Spanish teachers Johanna Gardner and Liz Jackson led fifth-eighth graders in a foreign language cultural celebration. Performing before a full house on November 14, students presented fairy tales from abroad and served sweets from France and Spain. As one enthusiastic parent remarked, “It was a joyful, immersive language experience. The students were excited to work collaboratively in mixed age groups and exhibit their talents for an appreciative audience. Everyone had a lot of fun!�


Students perform fairy tales in French and Spanish


the grammar school

A Special Evening to Celebrate TGS and Give Thanks n a brisk evening in October, close to fifty people gathered at the home of Marcia and John Leader in Putney for a special dinner. The dinner was organized by The Grammar School’s Development Committee as an event to give thanks to all those who have made significant contributions over the years to The Grammar School, as well as provide an opportunity to introduce the new Head of School, Dan Marchetti, to the greater community.


Like most independent schools, tuition covers only 80% of a TGS education. The Grammar School’s annual campaign contributes significantly to that 20% of the schools operating budget not covered by tuition. It was a great pleasure to bring together grandparents, former and current TGS parents, faculty, staff, and friends to offer our thanks for their generous support of The Grammar School.

Peter Eden and John Leader P ’82, ’85

Anita Dunlap and Marcia Leader P ’82, ’85

A special guest that evening was Dottie Richardson, cofounder of The Grammar School. It was an incredible honor to have her in attendance, and many current TGS parents enjoyed speaking with her about the early days at The Grammar School.

Dottie Richardson (center) with Wendy and Art Magnaghi P ’88, ’92

The evening was a tremendous success. Thank you to all who helped organize and orchestrate the event and to all who attended. We would like to extend a very special thanks to Marcia and John Leader for opening their home and hearts to The Grammar School community.

Vicki and Teese Gohl P ’10, ’12

Left to right: Ned Childs, Dan Marchetti, John Leader

roots&Wings winter2014


The Grammar School Graduation June 13, 2013

TGS graduating class of 2013

he Grammar School graduated nineteen eighth graders on June 13, 2013. The eight boys and eleven girls gave presentations for the audience, which were complemented by teachers’ speeches about each graduate. Offerings included individual and group songs, reflections, and an original graphic novel. Diplomas were awarded by outgoing Head of School Steve Lorenz and Chair of the Board of Trustees Peter Howe. Lorenz noted that he was graduating with the class, and he also was looking ahead to new experiences and responsibilities.


Class songs



Secondary School

Jack Spanierman Colette Anton Aashna Kinkhabwala Simon Basescu Mackey O’Keefe Katy Brennan Allegra Wu Riley McIntosh Ole Saaf Annice Pelletier Libby Green Carrie Brautigam Josephine Weil Ellinore Todd Long Sophie Basescu Toby Weed Patrick Lierle Quinn Thomson Russell Boswell

Putney, VT Dover, VT Dover, VT Westminster West, VT Walpole, NH Saxtons River, VT Saxtons River, VT Saxtons River and Putney, VT Saxtons River, VT Grafton, VT Putney, VT and Walpole, NH Westminster West, VT Chesterfield, NH Chesterfield, NH Westminster West, VT Westminster West, VT Putney, VT Chesterfield, NH Putney, VT

BUHS BUHS Burr and Burton Academy Vermont Academy Vermont Academy Vermont Academy Vermont Academy Vermont Academy Putney School Putney School Putney School Putney School Northfield Mount Hermon School Northfield Mount Hermon School Northfield Mount Hermon School Northfield Mount Hermon School Northfield Mount Hermon School Dublin School Stratton Mountain School

Rainy entrance

roots&Wings winter2014


Obituaries Joe Famolare The Grammar School was fortunate to receive a very generous anonymous gift to the annual fund in memory of TGS grandparent Joe Famolare, 82, who died peacefully at his home in Putney on July 11, 2013. His grandsons Joe ’01, and Kirk ’02, Meier graduated from TGS, and his daughter Hilary worked here in the 1990s and 2000s. Joe was the President of Famolare Inc., a leading US importer of fashion footwear from Italy. He also founded the Vermont Agricultural Business Education Center in Brattleboro, to encourage partnerships between business, government, education and agriculture. As the gateway to Vermont, VABEC is the first campus in southern Vermont to combine schools and business to cultivate a strong center for learning and cooperation.

Joe Famolare GP ’01, ’02

Joe leaves behind Sandra, his wife of 55 years, his daughter Bibiana and her husband Nicholas Heymann, his daughter Hilary and four grandchildren, Kiira, Joe, Kirk and Erika.

Laura Heller Laura Wilson Heller, 83, long time math and science teacher at TGS, died peacefully at her home in Putney on March 23, 2013. Her four children, Jessic, ’66, Mary ’68, Geordie ’70, and William ’75, Heller, as well as three of her grandchildren, Brayton ’95, and Emily ’97, Osgood, and George Backer Heller III ’02, attended TGS. In addition to teaching math and science, the history of Putney was one of Laura’s passion, which she also shared with her students. She served as president of the Putney Historical Society and had an encyclopedic knowledge of Putney’s history and residents for the past 200 years. She leaves her four children, Jessie, Mary, Geordie, and William, her five grandchildren, Brayton and Emily Osgood, George Heller III, and Norma and Andrea Heller, and her brother Bill, as well as many other close relatives. Laura passed away seven months after her husband George Heller, and also was predeceased by her brother, George Wilson.

George and Laura Heller P ’66, ’68, ’70, ’75, GP ’95 ’97, ’02



the grammar school

Alumni Notes and Photos Fall 2013

Sarah Cooper-Ellis ’63: Leaf season has been busy at the Hidden Springs Maple store, where the coffee is always hot, the syrup is sweet, and the maple creamies can’t be beat! Sarah Johnson Doenmez ’73: Things at Dublin are wonderful! I have been at Dublin for 25 years. Last summer Mom and I went up to see Whit (Francis Whitcomb, TGS Head of School ’66–’74) at his home. I have enjoyed corresponding with him over many years.

TGS alumni at the West Hill Shop cyclocross race on November 10, 2013: Justin Altman ’95, Toby Wells ’95, and Brayton Osgood ’95, and Emily Osgood ’97

fun community and there is a lot of opportunity to create art and work with other artists on projects. My time at the Grammar School was formative. I think about it all the time. It was an open and creative place.”

in Jackson for 20 years,” she said, “so it’s really nice to be acknowledged for being a part of this community of creative people. It’s a neat award because it acknowledges all the different ways people can be involved in our artistic community.”

Kelly Leader Johnson ’82: Just got back from New Orleans where I ran my first 1/2 marathon, went on a fun swamp cruise, and enjoyed the seafood festival! We are about half finished reclaiming Left: Kelly Leader our Boulder baseJohnson ’82 ment from the flood. Jax is loving first grade, and Corinne loves everything. Both are great skiers after our first winter at Granby Ranch so we can’t wait for the season to start! Hello to everyone!

From the Cultural Council website: “… The Cultural Council is also excited to honor Bronwyn Minton as the recipient of the Creative Pulse Award. This award is given to an inspirational and invigorating trendsetter in the valley, one who is introducing fresh programs and project.

Alicia Brelsford ’82, won four bronze medals in the World Cup finals and the World Championships (two in the time trial and two in the road race handcycle races) in Canada this past September. She says, “Training and Willa are my two main focuses. She LOVES TGS!”

Bronwyn Minton has been an artist in Jackson since 1992, working with a variety of mediums and technique including ink, clay, and interactive installations. She has collaborated with many artists throughout the valley and has also taught art with pARTners, Community Visual Art Association, and Central Wyoming College. Currently she works as the Assistant Curator of Art at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.”

Tyler Harlow ’99, stopped by school on a visit from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where works with adjudicated youth 10–18 years old for the Department of Family Service.

Congratulations to Bronwyn Minton ’82, who was awarded the Creative Pulse Award by the Cultural Council of Jackson Hole. Bronwyn writes to TGS, “I live in a very

From the Jackson Hole News & Guide: “Minton said…“It means a lot to me because I’ve been doing collaborative projects and doing art and working in the arts

Chris P ’96, ’98, ’99 and Tyler Harlow ’99

roots&Wings winter2014

From Vermont Academy: Congratulations to Class of 2017 co-presidents Simon Basescu and Mackey O’Keefe [both TGS class of 2013] and secretary Lizzy Adams. Simon Basescu and Mackey O’Keefe competed against twelve other Vermont Academy freshmen to become co-presidents of the class of 2017. They will serve on the VASA board along with the copresidents from each class.

Fiber Arts for Rwanda (reprinted from the Putney Post with permission — photos by Melissa Johnson, P ’07, ’11 Celine Mudahakana ’13, is a native of Rwanda. She traveled there last year and spent time in Kigali working with CHABHA (Children Affected By HIV/AIDS), a non-profit organization that raises funds for grassroots projects in Rwanda and Burundi that care for orphans and other children affected by HIV/AIDS. Older children learn trades through CHABHA’s Project Independence.


Upon returning, Celine put on an exhibit in nearby Brattleboro of her black and white photos and spoke about her experiences working with the children who are served by CHABHA. She has since organized a community work day to benefit CHABHA and sold many of her beautiful art pieces, primarily scarves made on the looms in the weaving studio, all for the benefit of CHABHA. In July 2013, Celine traveled to Kigali with her weaving teacher, Melissa Johnson, Pat Dodge, recent alumni Ethan Roos ’13, Becky Hiam ’13, Greer Cowan ’13, and current students Sundara ’14 and Bea ’14, to deliver a selection of yarns and four looms to create a weaving workshop. They also trained young Rwandans on how to use the looms to create items to sell. Several stores in Kigali are interested in marketing the weavings that are produced and there is the possibility of marketing them in New York City as well. Melissa says, “We are optimistic that this project will make a difference in the lives of Rwandans affected by HIV/AIDS and living with very limited resources.”

Putney School students with Rwandan weavers

Celine Mudahakna TGS ’09

L-R: Ethan Roos TGS’09, Becky Hiam TGS ’09, and Greer Cowan TGS ’09



Calendar on 6: Online Aucti 2 – 9 1 ry a ru b e F ive Auction & February 28: L sh Bell Bottom Ba tain Orchards at Green Moun al 3: Spring Music April 30–May parents Day May 16: Grand pring Concert May 22: K–6 S uation June 12: Grad

Kyran Dell ’20

James Bowen ’20

Isabelle Greenewalt ’20

Roots & Wings Winter 2014  

The Grammar School Putney Vermont Publication

Roots & Wings Winter 2014  

The Grammar School Putney Vermont Publication