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Parents’ Post A Newsletter for Parents and Friends of The Thacher School

Dear Parents and Friends:

final Post of the year begins with the sound of hefty pipes TThis clanging not far from my study window facing the center of cam-

pus—the last part of taking down the tent under which seventy graduates were, one by one, handed their Thacher diplomas on June 7—Thacher’s largest class in the School’s history. Ten days earlier, I’d stood with a few seniors by the flagpole, watching as the same big white truck ground its way up Pepper Tree Lane and eventually parked on the Forest Cooke Lawn. Its back door flung open, we peered in, and worried aloud at what we saw, or didn’t see: Just chairs? Where’s the tent? Had they forgotten the tent? Soon enough, though, chairs off-loaded, the big bags of canvas got the heave-ho, then, the metal posts. Within hours, the biggest visual symbol of festivities to come stood, stolid and important, over the lawn. Under that tent, Commencement came and went (though, in Thacher fashion, lingered ceremonially for a little over two-and-ahalf hours), but by Saturday afternoon, the scene was already a little ghostly: the fine new oak podium standing guard over a desolate scene of chairs breaking rank, over-folded, dog-eared programs lying here and there, a hat forgotten by its owner perched on a close-by tree branch.

Year-End 2003

Yet a week later, the tent again housed members of the Thacher ­family—graduates celebrating their fifth-year reunion all the way back through the years to the “old boys” whose memories of this place were hewn in the early 1930s. They numbered over 400, a small and fond army who’d returned, many with families, to remember when. Only one of the fourteen reuning classes (the most recent) actually recalls a graduation tent—at least this sort—and yet under it, in after-banquet speeches that ran for close to two hours, they found commonality and continuity, not, perhaps in the precise details of their individual Thacher experiences, of their particular and unique coming-of-age, but assuredly in the values underpinning them: honor, fairness, kindness, truth. In fact, relatively few—primarily only those of us who work and live here—have the privilege and infinitely rich perspective afforded by the two tent-events, but we hold a certain secret: when at the end of the second, generations of Thacher alumni and alumnae fill the space to the ridgepole top with the words and music of The Banquet Song, it’s not too difficult to imagine the freshly-minted grads of a week ago joining the celebratory throng a brief five years hence. They already belong.

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“Out-of-Door Study”

…is how, in a late nineteenth century advertisement, … Mr. Thacher framed the elemental and defining aspect

“As our canoes floated downriver, we became witness to wildlife of all kinds—beautiful bird and plants, dramatic landscapes. At times, we passed cliffs that reached nearly 80 feet high—begging for us to climb and jump.”

of his school on the then far edge of the country. All these years later, stepping out into wilderness takes a slightly different sort of effort— but it’s still a semi-annual event for all students (though many venture out more often than is required). This spring’s trips, orchestrated by Director of the Outdoor Program Brian Pidduck and his able crew of Camping Committee cohorts —Raelyn Viti (Whitney Snyder, Arielle Flam, on her Calvin Lieu), fanned out across Colorado River the Golden State and a couple canoe trip of its neighbors, taking in some magnificent country and makeastern slope ing the kind of memories that of the Sierra; will delight and cheer for years various Sespe River fishing and swimming holes; the Manzanato come. [Editor’s note: When Sisquoc and Rogue Rivers; Point Reyes; the San Rafael Mountains; Michael and I host the oldest Lake Oroville; the Domeland Wilderness and Utah’s Zion National alumni during June’s Reunion Park; the lower Colorado River and Havasu Canyon (part of the Weekend, we note this predictGrand Canyon). able consistency: horses and camping are the two subjects that connect the old boys with a sure and stunning immediacy.] Some of the destinations for backpackers, horse campers, sailors, skiers and mountaineers: the south fork of the Kern River in the Southern Sier ra, Humphrey’s Basin in the High Sierra, and Ke n ne dy Meadows on the

Year-End 2003  ::   

in a local show at Soule Park, competing in western and English equitation Thirteen members of Thacher’s Chamber Singers—the School’s and pleasure classes, as well as in elite a cappella vocal ensemble—packed their bags in late April for gymkhana races. Pictured here: Annie a short but very musical trip to a choral festival at Brigham Young Lathrop, who did it all—and emerged University on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The competition in- at the end of the long day as champion cluded groups from eight other high schools. Good thing our sing- in her division. e     As just reward ers packed light, because they surely had some heavy metal to return for achieving his A-Horse Camper with: a gold medal and a first place trophy, awarded by adjudicators rating this spring, Matt O’Meara crewho gave our Toads perfect scores for their intonation, technique ated a three-day solo trip, hiking from and interpretation. Pictured here with their director, Greg Haggard, Lyon’s Camp through the Sespe on the between stops at Pearl Harbor (where they performed on the USS Red Reef trail, over the Ridge and back to campus. “I wanted to deArizona Memorial), the Dole Plantation, and a Polynesian village: lineate symbolically and actually the rite of passage that graduating Bianca Kissel, Matt Mayne, Clare Holstein, John Babbott, Hugh Gor­ from Thacher represents to me,” he mused. “Completing a period don, Julia Erdman, Russell Grether, Jackie Fiske, Whitney Livermore, of aloneness in the wilderness is a way to do so.” e     Thacher’s Nikke Alex, Brenton Sullivan, Ali Arastu, and T.J. Bermant. Front Dance Ensemble, under and center: Lilly Haggard. the directorship of Gal­ lia Vickery, spent time and much energy in San Francisco on a trip that included taking classes at Citicentre Dance Theater in Oakland and at The Branson School in Marin. Hip-hop and classical ballet were barely the beginning: they also studied West African dance (which includes singing), contracosta ballet, and the Brazilian Capoeira—an esoteric combination of martial art and dance that left even our strongest girls a little weak in the knees. Many thanks to the families who hosted the ensemble for overnights and meals: the Fiskes, the Morrills, the Bechtels, and the Sanseaus.  e     Winners In Elissa Thorn’s Phreshman Physics classes, spring means it’s of The Mangled Measuring Spoons Award, “in time for anchors aweigh. The annual model boat-building project, honor of the impulse of rigorous helpfulness which involves each student and established to recognize the student or or student pair’s choosing a students who have consistently gone beyond the call to be of assisboat with literary, historical, tance at Open House throughout the year”: Elizabeth Craver, Hana or cultural significance, and, Chang, Annie O’Donnell, and Stephen Rooke. e     The Famous using principles of buoyancy, Couples Dance—another brainchild brought to us by the indefatistability, and resonance, then gable Indoor Committee—paired the usual suspects (Clark Kent designing and constructing a and Lois Lane, et al) and some slightly ship, barge, bark, dory, dinghy, more contemporary: pictured here, Harry tanker—whatever. Predicting how much cargo and wave action the Potter and Hermione Granger (known boat could handle was also part of the assignment. “Standouts this to those who love ’em as Nick Brownell and Jessica year,” said the good professor, “were Cornwell). Aubrey Wynn’s Venetian gondola, When the final ballot had The Indoor Kaggie Orrick’s highly original peach been counted, the esteemed Committee, [of James and the Giant Peach fame], position of School Chair for with Jacey Roche and Robert Cerda and Ruth Sawyer’s molded ice boat— as its student heads and Theana even if it didn’t quite work, a very cool 2003-04 went, by vote of Hancock as its faculty advisor, kept idea!” Shown putting their handiwork the student body, to Evan weekends packed with unique and to the test in this photo are Josh Werlin, pictured here giving toadally terrific activities throughCornwell, Eric Elias, Erica Puccetti, out the year. We’re grateful! e     A Dallas Swift, Aubrey Wynn, and Drew his campaign speech before quartet of Thacher riders who Smith. e     Several Thacher riders, the Assembly. had officially qualified back in the primarily underclassmen, participated

Waikiki Gold


Short Takes


  ::   Parents’ Post

­ inter—­Katherine Bechtel, w Phoebe Barkan, Sara Schnei­ der, and Hanna Uscinski— headed to Ohio with their coach, Elizabeth Mahoney, in April to compete in the Nationals. Each girl rode for individual points, then again for te am p oints both on the flat and over fences, drawing horses at random for each class. Sara earned a call-back out of the original 30 in her class, putting her in the top fifth. Katherine rode in the Championship class, which consisted of the top ten riders of the weekend in terms of point accumulation. “She had a tough horse draw, but wound up eighth nevertheless,” reported Coach Mahoney. “I was proud of all our riders.” Meeting the Thacher equestrians at the event was Amanda Grumman CdeP 2002, who earned a first place in the alumni division. e     Nearly 100 grandparents joined their special someones for two days on campus, walking and/or being whisked to various performances, classes, Assembly, sports and riding events, and no end of terrific meals. The celebration’s chief orchestrator was Elaine Elliot, ably aided by Carol Castanon, Susie Swan, Linnea Richards, Kristin Vanderloop, Becky Swift, and Jane Car­ roll. Pictured here is Lauren Chase with her grandmother, Patricia Bergen. e     Celebrating “The Birthplace of Interscholastic Lacrosse in California in 1967” and dedicating a plaque to its honor this spring were coaches and players from the two schools— namely, Thacher and Cate—that went boldly where no one had dared go before (lacrosse being more generally perceived as a sport solely for east coast types). Pictured here with Bill Rexford and Thacher’s varsity captains Emery Mitchem and Tyler Caldwell are Cate’s Director of Athletics, Aps Kinnan; Scott MacGregor, Captain of Thacher’s lacrosse team in 1967; and this year’s Cate captains, Kai Sata and Kyle Haskett. e     The Ventura County Star sent news to the editors of The Thacher Notes, Katie Kuhl, Katie Telischak, and Graham Dunn, and their faculty advisor, Elizabeth Bowman, heralding awards garnered by three Thacher noteworthies in The Star’s Best of High School Journalism competition: Walker Cahall and Coulter Woolf in the Cartoon division and Lucy Herr in the Sports Feature category. e     Two of this year’s most intriguing speakers visited this spring: Nationally noted in reproductive endocrinology and infertility, Dr. Larry Werlin (father of Rachel CdeP 1997, and present

students Evan and Emma) spoke about the most recent research in this specialized nook of science, as well as on what’s on the horizon in fertility and other areas of genetic research. Dr. Janet Reineck, anthropologist and international aid worker, showed slides and talked about her experiences in post-war Kosovo—“the perks, the promise and the failed promises, and the reconstitution of reality.” e     In the “Errata” column, this: The artwork featuring a climber in the last Parents’ Post should have been credited to Calvin Lieu. My mistake. e     The Shakta Bearstep Buckle, granted by the Director of the Horse Program and worn by each honoree as an appreciative token of that student’s deep interest in and help to the Horse Department, changed belts this spring: from Phoebe Barkan to Brian Keane. e     Our own Peppermint Tulips— Mary White, Lauren Fiske, and founding singers Jackie Fiske and Julia Erdman—took their a cappella warbling on the road this spring, delighting (in this photo) an appreciative audience at the Local Hero bookstore. e     Newest tadpoles swimming in the pond: Isabella Jiyun Yoo, 8 lbs. 8 oz. and 21˝, born June 1 to Linda and Pierre Yoo; and, on June 9, Ellis Redfield DelVecchio, also 21˝ but weighing in at a slightly heftier 9 lbs. 5 oz., joining Sarah and Greg, and sibbies Alden and Caroline. Pictured here with the first of the 2003 faculty children, Declan ­Mahoney, is School Chair Charlie Munzig, announcing a School Holiday in honor of that nibblet’s arrival earlier this spring.


the expert guidance of craftsUUnder men Bo Manson and John Bueti

(artisans responsible for the design and execution of the extraordinarily beautiful new oak podium mentioned on page 1), students in Wood Design produced their first furniture show—the last of this year’s installations in the Brody Art Gallery and a joint effort with Studio Art students who had recently completed oil portraits. Ten woodcraftsmen and ‑women—Tommy Kim, Hana Chang, Ian Whittinghill, Emery Mitchem, Martin Sawyer, Graham Dunn, Carrie Blayney, Justin Torres, Ryan Church (pictured here with sister Lauren), and alum Ben Heil­ veil—displayed their works in oak, cherry, walnut, maple, ash, and even birch plywood—chairs and benches, writing and coffee tables, even a CD rack.

Year-End 2003  ::   

Spring     Sports

What an extraordinary year it’s W been for Thacher athletics! Seven

varsity teams won Condor League championships, two teams got to the CIF quarterfinals, two made it to CIF championships, one team won a Southern California championship, and one won the CIF Southern Section championship. What’s more, many Thacher athletes earned individual honors: Thacher athletes secured fourteen spots on All-CIF teams this year and one individual proved to be the best in our division not only in the CIF Southern Section but also in the entire state of California. And, as if that weren’t enough garlands, by vote of the teams from the ten schools in the Condor League, Thacher also won this year’s CIF Shake for Sportsmanship Award. This spring capped off the year in a final blaze of glory. Four teams won Condor League Championships: Baseball, Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse, Boys’ Varsity Tennis, and Boys’ Track; and two teams were voted this season’s Tony Dunn Sportsmanship Award: Boys’ and Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse. But beyond the accolades and championships were those irreplaceable lessons and memories that invariably result from striving with teammates on field or court to achieve a common goal. —Rich Mazzola, Director of Athletics

Varsity Girls’ Lacrosse Coaches: Emily Etchells and Peter Robinson Captain: Annie Wheatley Undefeated in Condor League play and a Tony Dunn Sp or tsmanship Award winner, this team also won the first annual Southern California Girls L across e Ass o ciat ion Championships, coming from behind in the

“One of the season’s nicest moments was the afternoon that the girls’ spent working with 7th and 8th grade players from Laguna Blanca, showing them some fine points of the game, then playing in a mixed scrimmage.” —Peter Robinson,  Varsity Girls’ Lacrosse coach

tourney’s final game to defeat Cate 10-6. They played all over the state, from Stanford to LA, the San Gabriel Valley to Orange County and many spots in between. “These girls seem to love playing the game with each other,” marvels Coach Etch. “This made for a great season full of fun.” Seniors Annie Wheatley, Bessie Hatch, Melissa Vickery, and Carrie Blayney inspired and led their younger cohorts from the junior and sophomore classes.

“What was most impressive about these seniors,” Mr. Robinson reports, “was their example of unselfish team play. When injuries limited our options on defense, for example, Captain Wheatley switched from offense to take over in the back. When goalkeeper Carrie was injured, she nonetheless offered support and advice to Rena Karefa-Johnson, and was instrumental in making her an outstanding sub. Bessie played wherever she was needed, and Melissa made significant contributions with her hustle and toughness.” Annie and Bessie both earned spots on the SCGLAC All-Star team. Powerhouse goal-scorer Virginia Dawson won the vote of her teammates for Most Valuable Player; Dana Gal earned Most Improved. Four Thacher lax-women tried out for the California Under-19 team, which competes in the East. From the teams in that Tourney is chosen the National Lacrosse team: Sabrina Lee, MacKenna Chase, Jennie Tucker, and Virginia Dawson all made the first cut (125 players down to 36); in the end, Jennie and Virg earned berths on the team. JV Girls’ Lacrosse Coaches: Kara Hooper and Phoebe Larson Captains: Jessica Cornwell, Belle Bueti and Rachel Munzig So what if two-thirds of the JV’s had never held a lacrosse stick in their hands before stepping into the Rose Bowl (yes, the one in Pasadena) for their first game? Initial inexperience never did get in the way of this potent team, populated by all but three of the freshman girls: they redeemed their only two losses (to Cate and OVS) by excellent and decisive victories later in the season, winding up with an impressive season record of 9-2. Another feather in their ponytails: they were the only Condor League team to beat Midland—part of their final week in which they also rousted OVS and Cate. Hat-trickster Belle Bueti, high scorer in goals, assists and groundballs, was voted Most Inspirational by her teammates, while super-goalie Rena Karefa-Johnson won Most Valuable Player—no wonder, what with her 66% save percentage. Most Improved—by literal leaps and bounds—were Julia Oh and Kaggie Orrick. Varsity Boys’ Lacrosse Coaches: Bill Rexford and Bo Manson Captains: Tyler Caldwell and Emery Mitchem Facing tougher competition than Thacher ever has, this was “the little team that could,” according to Coach Rexford. He went on to write, “Although it may not have shown up in the win-loss distribution, this season was as rewarding as any I’ve had, in terms of the growth I witnessed in the players.” One especially satisfying moment for the team came in their victory over Coach Rexford’s former players from Rye Country Day School in New York. Others: Cameron Goodman’s scoring the winning goal in overtime against Novato on their trip to the Bay Area, and, time after time, Alex Herr’s drawing the competition’s best defensemen, even when he was outweighed by many pounds. As for the season coming up:

  ::   Parents’ Post

“I think that we may have, in Jaime Luna, the best goalie in the state!” says Coach Rex. Year-end team honors went to seniors: Tyler Caldwell, Most Valuable (and selected to both the all-tournament team at the Carmel Tourney and the LA Regional AllStar Team to complete in the national tournament in Vail this summer); Jimmy Madigan, Most Improved; and Emery Mitchem, Most Inspirational (also all-tournament at Carmel, as well as selected as one of only two Californians to play for the West team in the National East-West Senior High School All-Star Game in New York—“a huge honor,” in the words of his coach). Junior and captain-elect Ward Sorrick was also selected to play on the LA AllStar team. Bespeaking the team’s sportsmanship was their winning the Condor League’s Tony Dunn Award.

The squad’s finest moments came in the first half of the OVS game, where, despite their inexperience, the Smutty-Toads dominated the early game and reached half time with a 4-1 lead. Victory eluded them ultimately, but boys on all parts of the field played with newfound confidence and skill—and enough hints of finesse to make us confident that these lads will rise to the JV level next year like cream to the top of the milk bottle. Track and Field Coaches: Derick Perry, Kurt Meyer, Theana Hancock, Pierre Yoo Captains: Bianca Kissell and Ian Strachan

Because of the many switches of sports seasons for several athletic teams this year, Track and Field found itself in transition. Beginning the spring with just six boys and thirteen girls, the team’s members needed to dig deep—and dig they did, uncomplainingly dedicating themselves individually and colJV Boys’ Lacrosse lectively to each practice and meet. “We will miss our senior athletes Coaches: Spencer Stevens, Tyler Manson CdeP 2001 “Every person contributed to the Captains: Chance Phelps, Matt Stenovec, Evan Werlin dearly, but they have left a season’s success,” said Coach Perry. A home-field win over Cate, an overtime defeat of OVS, and powerful, lasting legacy. Combine “Attitudes were consistently positive; a one-goal victory over Laguna Blanca—these were among these kids were so willing!” Winners this year’s memorable moments for this spirited and cohe- their spirit with a great group of at the Condor League Championsive team. “It was all about good, fundamental lacrosse,” returners, and we can hardly wait ships included Steffi Rauner in the said their coach—and about for our next sports seasons.” discus, Katie Frykman in the 400M, spreading the wealth: eleven Bianca Kissel in the 300M hurdles, —Rich Mazzola, Annie O’Donnell in the 3200M, different players scored goals Director of Athletics Michael Quintana in the 110M during the season, demonstrating that as individuals, High Hurdles, Ian Strachan in the they were good at scouting 400M, and Stephen Rooke in the 300M Hurdles. Thacher’s boys’ open players and, as team 4×400M relay team of Ian Strachan, Bel Lepe, Andrew Fair, and members, unselfish in dishRyan Smith also brought home the gold. In the end, the boys were ing out passes. It was a spring Condor League champs (for the first time since the coach himself of very close games, only two of which all season were decided by ran for the Toads as a student here), and the girls came in second. At more than a two-goal spread. The JV’s finished with a season record the end of the season, Katie Frykman strode into the Most Valuable of 5-3. Voted Most Improved Player was Max Anderson, while Most Player spotlight, while new-to-the-sport Steffi Rauner and Kaitlin Inspirational was Even Werlin. In his first-ever goalie experience, Walter shared the David S. Lavender Improvement Trophy. Chance “The Wall” Phelps—the team’s only senior—earned Most Valuable Player. Varsity Boys’ Tennis Freshman Boys’ Lacrosse Coaches: Cam Spaulding CdeP 1992 and Michael Mulligan It was, says Coach Spaulding, “a short season, but rich in learning opportunities and good humor as this band of neophytes joined together to amass a 2-3 record.” Even with humbling defeats to Cate, OVS, and Conejo Valley, the 12man team had rallying moments—and through it all, gained a wealth of experience in the ABC’s of lacrosse, from legal checking to picking up ground balls.

Coach: Torek Helsen Captain: Troy Pollet Although the Condor League was loaded with strong talent this year, yielding some exciting and equitable competition on the courts, Thacher—quite simply—ruled. The senior-heavy team ended its season undefeated in the League, with Captain Pollet ably aided by classmates Will Chamberlain (Most Improved), Alex Huth, Zak Kitnick, and Eddy Tavernetti, as well as juniors Ali Arastu and Martin Sawyer, sophomore Aus­ tin Pollet, and freshman Ryan Smith. “The most memorable match,” asserted Director

Year-End 2003  ::   

of Athletics Rich Mazzola, “was undoubtedly the good old-fashioned barn burner against Cate. The Toads and the Rams collected nine sets each, but when the games were tallied, the Toads emerged on top, 80-71.” The momentum of the victory propelled the boys into their concluding matches of the season, in which they sent both Dunn and Laguna Blanca home in the agony of defeat. Although our racqueteers went on to CIF play and beat Magnolia handily 16-2 in the first round, they lost in the second to Milken Community in a close 10-8 match. Troy Pollet, Most Valuable Player, won 21 of 24 sets in League play and was undefeated in the two CIF playoff matches. The doubles team of Eddy Tavernetti and Austin Pollet were dominating in regular season play, while the duo of Chamberlain and Huth provided steadfast consistency and reliability. JV Boys’ Tennis Coach: David Johnston On this team, everyone shared the privilege and responsibilities of captaincy—as well as MVP and MIP honors. Reports Dr. J, “In fact, you might call us more of a communal than an individual, competitive enterprise.” Still, everyone played gamely, and with documented attentiveness to the exigencies of good sportsmanship. (To the boys across the net, “Nice point!”; to each other, “Good point! Well done!”) Seniors Walker Cahall and Graham Dunn, joined by juniors Jim Sligh, Gilbert Acosta, David Moore, and Ned Lincoln, established themselves as positive role models for younger players Parker Lohman, Calvin Kim, Zach Behar, and Ben Cas­ tanon, whether in on-court political discussions or in actual play. A good time was, most assuredly, had by all.

son record. No secret weapons, really, just great players and, in particular, an exceptional pitching staff led by Graham and Charlie and supported by Owili, Cameron Robertson, and Cal Jensen. Meanwhile, catcher Brenton Sullivan seemed never to miss a pitch-call. Together the team managed three no-hitters and held opposing teams to a paltry 1.4 runs, on average, per game. The offensive line-up was equally impressive, with three hitters—Charlie, Graham, and Dillon Valadez—at or above the awesome .400 batting average. In post-season CIF play, the team bar­reled “Perhaps the biggest joy of all for me through to was meeting the coaches [of these Ojai the quarterValley schools]. As personalities, they’re finals, where they suffered a diverse group, but they all have one a disappointing defeat. “I take my hat thing in common. They want the best off to the seniors on this team: they pursued excellence in the best way posfrom their kids. As a rookie reporter, I sible: with hard work, playful laughter, a found their willingness to help and their powerful sense of shared endeavor, and eagerness to teach refreshing—not at exemplary sportsmanship.” All-CIF honors went to Graham (1st Team) and all like the diva-coddlers professional Charlie and Brenton (both 2nd Team).

Baseball Coaches: Rich Mazzola and Robert Torres Captains: Charlie Munzig and Brenton Sullivan The kind of game that was this team’s season opener sets a certain standard—and tone—that is generally difficult to maintain. Yet hold steady they did, as Head Coach Mazz reports: “After their opening day no-hitter, 11-run win, the Toads traveled to Dunn for their first [of eight, it turned out] Condor League victory in which Graham Douds and Rich­ ard Smith each blasted two-run homers in the fourth inning, and Owili Eison’s grand slam led a twelve-run sixth inning. And that was just the beginning.” Undefeated in League play and therefore Condor League champs for the third consecutive year, this team eventually racked up a 13-1 sea-

coaches have turned into.”

—Jesse Phelps, sportswriter for the Ojai Valley News


Director of the Horse Program, Cam Schryver, recognized several students whose work in one aspect or more of the Horse Program had earned them special praise: Megan Boswell and Matt O’Meara won the Advanced Riding Award for their work in the Yearling Project. Becky Swan, newly elected president of the Pack and Spur Club, achieved the esteemed rank of Horseman for her work in the Yearling Project and for starting one of the two-year old colts from the Rhoads Ranch. Achieving the highest echelon, Top Horseman, “for the body of their work, culminating in their Senior Exhibitions, and in recognition of the fact that they have sufficient experience and judgment to be considered Horse Faculty” were Phoebe Barkan, Katherine Bechtel, and Michael Dachs. In other horse-and-rider news, Thacher’s Gymkhana Team, under the coaching of Chuck War­ ren, won the Fourth Annual TriGymkhana, competing against teams from Fountain Valley School (CO) and Orme School (AZ). Katherine Bechtel, Michael Dachs, Phoebe Bar­ kan, Hugh Gordon, Annie Lathrop, Yoon Kim, Marc Fuller, Lauren Chase, and Robert Cerda, pictured here at Assembly announcing the victory.

  Gymkhana   ::   Parents’ Post




It may have been a tad soggy during this spring’s Big Gymkhana Family Weekend, but the drizzle seemed only to add to the pervasive and insistent spirit of frolic and fun. From Friday night’s art gallery opening to the stunning cabaret that featured song, dance and drama, through the Grand Entry horse-’n’-rider pinwheel and a handful of gymkhana races on Saturday, all went essentially as planned, despite the rain. Unscheduled shenanigans out at the “field” included a spontaneous Washington Poles foot-race and a no-holds barred mud-pig-pile. A classic tri-tip barbecue, the over-the-top parents’ auction that netted over $80,000, and Open House followed as the skies began to clear. A Sunday morning non-denominational service in the Outdoor Chapel, parent-student tennis matches, and trapshooting for all comers—these under Ojai’s spring sunshine—rounded out the weekend’s activities. All of it proved out the best of the Thacher spirit of resilience, generosity, and rollicking good fun, on horseback or in the slop. Gymkhana Team scores Green: 4271 Captained by Katherine Bechtel, Robert Cerda, and Michael Dachs Orange: 3376 Captained by Montana Caset and Hanna Uscinski Blue: 3278 Captained by Lizzy Brewer, Hugh Gordon, and Ian Whittinghill

Top Ten Riders

(in order) Katherine Bechtel Annie Lathrop Hugh Gordon Lauren Chase Deirdre Herbert Phoebe Barkan Marc Fuller Alyssa Tennant Robert Cerda Sara Schneider Top Ten Freshmen

(in order) Annie Lathrop Lauren Chase Deirdre Herbert Marc Fuller Alyssa Tennant Andrew Fair Alex Marlantes Yoon Kim Billy Irwin Nick Wiltsie Silver Dollar Pick-Up Winners: James Allison, Andrew Fair, Ruth Sawyer Perpetual Silver Bridle for on-going achievement in the Horse Program: Becky Swan and Armando Leon Top English Rider: Katherine Bechtel

Year-End 2003  ::   

Winners in the doubles tennis tournaW ment were John and David ­Babbott,

the elder of whom has won this event five consecutive times—three with son David and once each with Ben and John. (Quoth he, “I know how to pick partners.”) In the trap-shooting competition, Ian Whittinghill and his dad, George, took top honors.

10  ::   Parents’ Post

SENIOR EXHIB Teachers at Heart

a thesis question, root around in research for several months, find where the LLocate topic really lives for you, refine the question, practice what you want most to say about

it, then stand in front of a podium for thirty minutes or so, speaking to students, faculty, and family: this is how you transform from student to teacher as a Thacher senior. It’s called Senior Exhibition, and this year’s topics—from A (Ancient Roman Spectacles) to V (Superluminar Velocities)—were especially stimulating and rich, proof positive of the diversity of interests in the Class of 2003 . ARTS & LETTERS Laurel Back Phoebe Barkan Katherine Bechtel Carrie Blayney Lizzy Brewer Walker Cahall Will Chamberlain Michael Dachs Owili Eison Julia Erdman Jackie Fiske Bessie Hatch Jessie Liu Jimmy Madigan Emery Mitchem Cameron Ridgeway Annie Wheatley

Photography and the Homeless Ancient, Classical, and Contemporary Horsemanship: The Evolution of Training Systems in the Western World Training Horses with Trust The Cultural Significance Celebratory Cakes around the World Ernest Hemingway Special Effects in Film: A History The Films of Akira Kurosawa Ranch Horse Starting: A Contemporary Case Study Michael Jackson: Pop Mogul or Pop Tart? Modern Art and its Influence on Fashion Bob Fosse: Choreographer, Director, Revolutionary of the Theatre Tap Dance Virginity: A Cross-Cultural Perspective Lasers Three American Craftsmen: Gustav Stickley, Sam Maloof, and George Nakashima The Anthropology of Make-Up Television Comedies

THE HUMANITIES Nikke Alex Jackie Au John Babbott Alison Barbieri Tyler Caldwell Dawn Cleveland Shayla Cooke Arielle Flam Alex Gidwitz Phoebe Halsey Viviana Hernandez Will Johnson

Diabetes: Threatening the Future of Native Americans The Silver-Screen Dream: Hollywood and Female Icons The Aboriginal Problem: Australia’s Silent Genocide Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche: A Revolutionary Figure in Tibetan Buddhism Leaders of the North African Campaigns of World War II Hawaii: A Political History AIM-The American Indian Movement Rebuilding the WTC Site: Conflicting Goals, Innovative Solutions Viva Las Vegas: The American Gaming Industry California Water: Past, Present, and Future Hispanic Gangs and Gang Membership Dragons in Western and Eastern Mythologies

Year-End 2003  ::   11

BITIONS 2003 Ellery Khazanovich Katie Kuhl Mary Leighton Charmiane Lieu Kylie Manson Melanie Morris Charlie Munzig Troy Pollet Jacey Roche Sarah Shaikh Richard Smith Sarah Tapscott Katie Telischak Mike Tyson Amy Vanderloop MelissaVickery Mary White Vivan Wu

Ford Motor Company: Multinationalism in the Car Industry The Fundamentals of Addiction; Alcoholism as a Disease Underground Cities in Cappadocia Marriage Rituals: A Study of Chinese and Hindu Cultures Hinduism Creole Stew: A Cultural Study of Creoles in New Orleans Pre- and Post-Americanization Ancient Roman Spectacles Investing in the US Stock Market Biological Warfare and Terrorism Secularism in India Sports Scandals: Who’s to Blame? Rumspringa: An Amish Practice The Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918 Communism in Mongolia China’s Falun Gong Spain’s Flamenco Culture Prep School Coeducation: Three Case Studies Chinese Propaganda Posters

THE SCIENCES Chris Cahill Robert Cerda Hana Chang Vincent Chen Kyle Dumont GrahamDunn Drew Fleck Alison Flynn Hugh Gordon Russell Grether Lucy Hodgman Alex Huth Brian Keane Zak Kitnick Luke Myers Emily Nathan Matthew O’Meara Nathan Parker Chance Phelps Whitney Snyder Brenton Sullivan Eddy Tavernetti Ian Whittinghill

The Sierra Nevada: A Geological Survey Horse Whispering Binding Busted Bones: Orthopedic Biomaterials Bipolar Disorder The Yellowstone Hotspot Mazes and Labyrinths Hydroponics Superluminar Velocities The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on the Human Mind Channel Islands Management Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Artificial Intelligence High-speed Photography Tourette Syndrome Wireless Communications The Linguistics Wars Axiomatic Set Theory The Physics behind Snowboard Design Transfatty Acids: Shelf-life or Human Life? Creativity in Education Noctoambulation Chernobyl The Effect of Feedback Systems and Control Theory on Modern Aeronautics and Astronautics

12  ::   Parents’ Post

Academic Commendations photo by Annie Strachen



Lucy Herr* Lauren Church Kaja Johnson Elise Post Drew Smith


Chandler Pease* Ellen Adams Max Anderson Sarah Chamberlain Josephine Chow Dana Gal Bel Lepe Kaitlin Walter


Jessica Cornwell* Julia Robinson* Cara Bonewitz Ella Carney Lauren Fiske Kelly Percival Jamie Siegel


Owili Eison* (The Jack Boyd English Prize) Katie Kuhl* (The Jack Boyd English Prize) Hana Chang Jackie Fiske Mary Leighton Jessie Liu Kylie Manson Emily Nathan Katie Telischak Amy Vanderloop The Nash Robbins Short Story Prize, for excellence in writing, presented each year to the author of the best short story of the year: Emily Nathan

the end of each school year, the community gathers one final time to hold a banquet. At its conclusion, AAtunder the overhanging branches of the Pergola’s pepper trees (this year, dripping with drizzle), faculty members in each department announced the names of those students who have been voted Academic Commendations by virtue of their consistently superior work. These names are listed below, an asterisk indicating the student or students who have done the finest work in the given subject area.

The William Bishop Nixon Poetry Prize, awarded to the student who has written the best poem at any time in the year: Phoebe Barkan and Julia Robinson


Matt O’Meara* (The Morgan Ward Prize) Jackie Au Katherine Bechtel Hana Chang Hugh Gordon Alex Huth

Level IV and AP Julia Robinson* Lizzy Brewer Jenna Reasor Jamie Siegel Michael Yun The Foreign Language Award: Katie Kuhl


photo by Annie Strachen



Dallas Swift* James Allison Julia Oh Drew Smith Ariel Wang Nick Wiltsie

Level I Josephine Chow* Jackie Au Lauren Chase Kaja Johnson Arthur Kaneko Elise Post Kelly Singco Drew Smith



Ned Lederer* Josephine Chow Chandler Pease Justine Robinett Richard Smith Willy Wilder


Leland Franklin* Kelly Percival Martin Sawyer Jamie Siegel Ward Sorrick Evan Werlin The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Award, for excellence in Science and Mathematics: Martin Sawyer

Level II Lucy Herr* Drew Smith* Lauren Bangasser Sarah Chamberlain Ryan Church Sarah Jackler Bel Lepe Chandler Pease Catherine Robinson Kaitlin Walter Level III Max Anderson * Jessica Cornwell Ho Jung Kim Mary Leighton Ward Sorrick Alissa Wallace

Each year, The Science Award is given to the student who has done the best work in Physics, Chemistry, and Life Science. This year, awards went to Chandler Pease (Physics), Martin Sawyer (Chemistry), and Chris Cahill and Katie Telischak (Life Science)


Drew Smith* Lucy Herr Julia Oh Elise Post Jordan Reiff Ryan Smith Ariel Wang Coulter Woolf Nick Wiltsie


Zach Behar Edward Cahill Josephine Chow Tommy Kim Ned Lederer Justine Robinett Eleni Towns Willy Wilder


Cara Bonewitz Lauren Fiske Leland Franklin Ho Jung Kim Bianca Kissel Peter Oberndorf Stephen Rooke Jamie Siegel Evan Werlin


Jackie Au Phoebe Halsey Mary Leighton Charmiane Lieu Kylie Manson Melissa Vickery

photo by Annie O’Donnell


9 10

Drew Smith* Lucy Herr Yoon Kim Nick Wiltsie Barrett Brown* Max Anderson Sarah Chamberlain Josephine Chow Arthur Kaneko Calvin Kim Marguerite Kissel Bel Lepe Chandler Pease


Virginia Dawson* Whitney Livermore* Cara Bonewitz Jessica Cornwell Lauren Fiske Ho Jung Kim Bianca Kissel Kelly Percival Julia Robinson Jamie Siegel

Year-End 2003  ::   13

and School Awards 2002-2003 12

Jacey Roche* Ali Barbieri Phoebe Barkan Shayla Cooke

The Harry Llewellyn Bixby Dramatic Cup, awarded in recognition of a student’s contribution to the Thacher Drama program: John Babbott

The Darrah Corbet, Jr. Studio Prize: Zak Kitnick The Marcus Hele Dall Award, to the best photographer in the School: Lindsay Hunt

photo by Whitney Snyder



Lucy Herr (Art/3D) JuliaOh (Art/2D) Ariel Wang (Art/2D and Music)

Coulter Woolf (Art/3D) Aubrey Wynn (Drama)


T.J. Bermant (Music) Maddie Ignon (Ceramics) Ned Lederer (Drama) Juliana Ma (Studio Art) Annie Strachan (Photography)


Jessica Cornwell (Studio Art)

Elly Harder (Studio Art) Whitney Livermore

The Rhode Island School of Design Art in acknowledgment of achievement in the Visual Arts: Jessie Liu The Agnes M. Lord Music Award: Julia Erdman The Eric Bechtel Dachs Prize for Technical Theatre, awarded by the Drama Director to the student who, in his or her career at Thacher, has shown the greatest dedication, imagination and expertise in technical theater: Hana Chang and Hugh Gordon

Annie O’Donnell

The Class of 2000 Dance Award: Ali Barbieri


The Munro-Palmer Public Speaking and Debating Prize: Troy Pollet



Chris Cahill (Drama) Hana Chang (Wood Design) Julia Erdman (Art History) Jackie Fiske (Music) Phoebe Halsey (Studio Art) Whitney Snyder

Cum Laude Society The Cum Laude Society is a national organization that recognizes superior academic achievement and excellence in select high schools across the country. Founded in 1906, it is modeled on Phi Beta Kappa, the college-level honor society. Election to Cum Laude commends those students who, while undertaking a rigorous course load, have maintained the very highest level of academic achievement and integrity throughout each and every one of their Thacher years. Additionally, these scholars have proven themselves to hold dear the qualities of “excellence, justice and honor” named in the Society’s motto: “Arete, Dike, Time.” Jackie Au Chris Cahill Hana Chang Mary Leighton Charmiane Lieu Kylie Manson Emily Nathan Jacey Roche Katie Telischak Amy Vanderloop Mary White Vivian Wu

The Jesse Kahle Horsecamper Award, to the student who, in the opinion of the Camping Committee, has demonstrated horsecamping skills of the highest quality and greatest range by planning and carrying out a variety of worthwhile trips during a Thacher career: Phoebe Barkan

The Best Camper Award, to the student who, in the opinion of the Camping Committee, has demonstrated camping skills of the highest quality and greatest range by planning and carrying out a variety of worthwhile trips during a Thacher career: Phoebe Barkan and Matt O’Meara

The George Beckwith Gymkhana Trophy, presented to the captains of the winning gymkhana team: Katherine Bechtel, Robert Cerda, and Michael Dachs

Highest Riding Mileage: Hugh Gordon

The Bissell Gymkhana Trophy, presented each year to the high-point rider: Katherine Bechtel

The Marvin Shagam Award was established in Mr. Shagam’s name to honor that student who has made a difference in The Thacher Community through force of character, goodness, courage, vision, and love for all God’s creation, rather than for leadership in academics and athletics: Cara Bonewitz

The Vaquero Cup, awarded to the best all-around student in riding, shooting, and gymkhana: Katherine Bechtel The Charles Pratt Trapshoot Plate, awarded to that student with the highest score: Michael Dachs (47/50)

The Edward R. Spaulding Tennis Cup, presented each year to the School Tennis Champion: Troy Pollet


Sarah Tapscott (Studio Art)

photo by Gilbert Acosta

14  ::   Parents’ Post


years ago, as a parodic and far SSeveral more sensible answer to the exorbitant

hoopla of the more typical high school prom, Phyllis Johnston, English Department Chair (pictured below with her steady beau, Dr. J), invented The UnProm. This extravaganza is put on in alternate years by the faculty for the students, whose get-ups center on whatever topical theme the faculty determines—this year, t’was The Foot-Ball. And here’s the kicker: students may wear only thrift store duds or outfits heretofore mothballed in closets. “Dates” are assigned; this year, juniors and seniors fetched frosh and sophomores, respectively. It’s all a great way to honor the prom tradition while playing down most of its expense and playing off much of what makes it, for most high school kids, a unique combo of

the particular kind of wisdom that’s best dispersed by someone who has lived a rich and varied life outside of Thacher, as well as inside it—this year, Cam Schryver, Director of the Horse Program. Cam’s address, weaving one instructive story into the next, took us to Jim Shoulder’s Bull Riding School, the Trinity Alps, construction work sites in Oklahoma and Lake Tahoe, a lumber mill in Hoopa Valley, California—and, ultimately, back here to Thacher, “an idyllic environment [where you get] a solid education, enough experience to handle practical situations, and a model for how things can work and how people can relate to each other.” “In the year ahead, Lamb Auditorium

From the reflection may disappear, but the magic of and quiet of Vespers, i t w a s d o w n t h e the performances we saw there will rocky trail to books remain. Sports fields may change, and review sheets but how we changed playing on and study notes— preparation for the them won’t… This school will always f i n a l e x a m s t h at remain a place where we struggled and took place through sometimes prevailed, a place were we Thursday morning, in between which made great friendships—with other bags and boxes get students, with faculty and staff, with packed and shipped horses and dogs, and with the best and stored, dorms hold banquets, and bunch of little kids in the world. What fun and terror. We think yearbooks are signed. will never change about this school, it’s safe to say that the By late Thursday af- even if the campus and the Ojai Valley only scary thing about ternoon, the Pergola Thacher UnProm is how was crowded with ta- do, is its commitment that we should much pink shows up! bles dressed in linen leave here prepared to carry its ideals and flowers, ready for to the world.” the All-School BanCharlie Munzig, School Chair, quet—the final forThere are, of course, as many ways to wrap up a school year as there mal gathering of stuat the All-School Banquet are schools. At Thacher, “the end” takes just about a week, and it be- dents and faculty and gins, more or less officially, with a gathering of students and faculty faculty families. Pepper tree leaves at first glistened in the gathering at the entrance to the Outdoor Chapel on the Sunday evening after mist, then flat-out dripped on the assembled crowd; as one trooper our last formal dinner. There, under the Memorial Pergola, the Head noted, “it was a little like camping, but with chairs and lipstick.” of School reads aloud the names of the Thacher boys who gave their ­Academic awards, traditional School prizes, the ­ announcement lives in the two World of Cum Laude, and Wars, in Korea, and goodbyes to faculty “I completely believe we have the model right here. You in Vietnam. It is a preceded two culsomber litany—one have worked it. You have lived it. As battle-hardened minating speeches— to which we are more seniors, you would probably argue that this place is far o n e b y o u t­ g o i n g attune d now t han School Chair Charlie from perfect. I would agree—but would counter that perhaps at any time in Munzig, the other recent history—and it Thacher is the best place I have ever lived and worked, and by Head of School inevitably establishes is the most perfect attempt at a community to live up to Michael Mulligan, a tone of solemnity who concluded, “To its mission statement and ideals. The reasons Jess Kahle for the Senior Vespers quote a conversation service that follows. [Director of the Horse Program Emeritus] worked here overheard between This year, though, the are now the reasons I work here. It is a way to use the skills I have to work in a two freshmen bushmessage—delivered whacking up in the community that, although small, has a disproportionate and positive effect on the by a faculty member hills last fall, excited by one of their first chosen by the gradu- world. This effect is your heritage. I hope you extend it.” ating class—was laced —Cam Schryver, Director of the Horse Program, in his Senior Vespers address independent forays aboard their trusty with great humor and



Year-End 2003  ::   15

steeds—‘Hey, dude, I’m off-roadin’!’ In fact, we have all been offroading together. That’s what a good deal of the Thacher experience is about: We are not just riding the same old trails as everyone else. And because of this, our vistas are grand and our friendships are enduring.” Next morning, the underclassmen were off for their summers of work and play, he a d­ i ng out the gate almost simultaneously with family and friends of seniors driving in. Where the seniors began as younguns on Opening Day three or four Septembers ago—the sloping lawn behind the Head’s Home, edged by Pepper Tree Lane—was where they returned—a whole lot more grown up, but, again, with their folks—for a reception that served as an hors d’oeuvre for Baccalaureate, held in the Outdoor Chapel. The ceremony’s featured speaker was Yasmin Tong CdeP 1984, Thacher’s first female School Chair, for several years a senior account executive for Fannie Mae and presently a freelance journalist. Ms. Tong argued for going through life’s stages boldly, “questioning the expectations you have for yourself and that others may have for you.”

“Usually when alumni are invited to return to speak at an event such as this, everyone expects them to provide some exquisite wisdom about how to achieve excellence and success in the future. I wish I could do that for each and every one of you, but I can’t. I can’t because it’s really up to each of us to discover our own unique formula for living a rich and fulfilling life. Each of us has something that differentiates us from everyone else. Discovering and expressing our individuality is the real work and real joy of living.” —Yasmin Tong CdeP 1984 in her Baccalaureate Address At the Senior Banquet that followed, Riley Bechtel CdeP 1970 (father of Brendan CdeP 1999, Darren CdeP 2000, and Katherine CdeP 2003) delineated, via tales of his own children’s learning, the almost infinite variety inherent in a Thacher education. In the gloaming, it was on to formally recognizing the contributions of Kathy and Brian Back, Heads of the Parents Association, and of Marshall Milligan CdeP 1969, whose service to the School has been as continuous as it has been peerless. Then, the awarding of School’s major prizes:

“In grand style, you have overcome the toughest challenges Thacher could throw at you. You have truly distinguished yourselves as a great class, not only because you are the largest ever to graduate, but, far more importantly, because you have demonstrated bedrock values. You have honed, glazed, and fired them. This close-knit community, your close friendships, and your accomplishments as well as your mistakes (which, after all, are investments if you reap the learning return from them) have greatly contributed to this hardening of your values.”

The Thacher Letterman Club Perpetual Sportsmanship Award, given to the boy or boys who, by vote of the Athletic Council, has demonstrated those qualities of sportsmanship, participation, achievement and leadership characteristic of the highest ideals of inters cholastic athletics: John Bab­ bott, Tyler Caldwell, Charlie Munzig, and Brenton Sullivan

The Elizabeth Helms Ad a m s Pe r p e t u a l Spor tswomanship —Riley Bechtel CdeP 1970 Award, given to the in his Senior Banquet address girl or girls who, by vote of the Athletic Council, has demonstrated those qualities of sportsmanship, participation, achievement and leadership characteristic of the highest ideals of interscholastic athletics: Annie Wheatley and Bessie Hatch The Newton K. Chase Community Service Award, given to that student who, through volunteer work in the community, has demonstrated an unselfish interest in and concern for others: Laurel Back and Katie Telischak The Charles Warren Alpinist Award, given to the student or students who, in the eyes of the Camping Director and climbing instructors, demonstrates the highest level of safety, responsibility, and dedication to the Climbing Program: Russell Grether and Kylie Manson The School Chair Award: given in recognition of the contributions of the School Chair throughout the academic year: Charlie Munzig The Charles L. Tutt Silver Bowl for Integrity and Responsibility, given by the faculty in recognition of those qualities of character not always recognized in the traditional school-type awards—not primarily leadership, but integrity and responsibility, fortitude in the face of adversity, and consideration for others: Troy Pollet

16  ::   Parents’ Post

The Thacher Cup, presented to the senior who, in the judgment of the faculty, best demonstrates those qualities the School holds as central: academic excellence, extracurricular achievement, moral leadership, and concern for others: Kylie Manson The Banquet concluded with a few final words from the Head of School: Last evening at the All-School Banquet, I shared with students and faculty my sense of this year’s having been, by so many objective and subjective measures, a fulfillment of the toast we make every September: May this be the best year yet! Hyperbole, I realize, gets old—but I cannot let you all leave tonight without saying again how richly satisfying it is, how infinitely rewarding, to be part of an educational endeavor in which everyone invests so completely, in which everyone believes so fervently. We aim high together, and even when the results aren’t stunning or necessarily exceptional, we can take great pride in the honesty of the effort—then aim high again. But this year has, indeed, been a fine one, and as I said last night, it’s thanks in huge portion to you seniors. The adjectives you will hear tomorrow morning about yourselves—kind, conscientious, diligent, trustworthy, honorable, striving, fair, keen-sighted, generous, to name but a very few—have defined you as individuals. But as individuals, you have joined together in the worthy experiment that every year at Thacher represents. Collectively, you have made your own unique Thacher, the one that will remain not an elusive, shimmering memory but rather one as bold, as vibrant and clearly outlined as one of Walker’s cartoons.

Farewell but Ne’er Goodbye

Thacher, too, and honored at the All-School banquet for LLeaving their inestimable contributions, are four members, each of whom has, to paraphrase author Wallace Stegner, brought at least one critical stone to the pyramid that is Thacher’s culture.

e Melissa Johnson (Assistant Director of Admission, champi-

onship basketball coach), to New York City where she’ll be a Coro Foundation Fellow in a highly selective graduate program that focuses on public policy.

e David Harris (Science Department Chair, Physics teacher, 3rd Team Soccer coach nonpareil) to the Hackley School in Tarrytown, NY, where he’ll serve as Chair of the Science Department.

e Monique DeVane (Assistant Head for External Affairs, Direc-

tor of Admission & Financial Aid) to Cambridge, MA, where she will join her husband, Brian Driscoll, who left his post as Campaign & Major Gifts Director at Thacher in February to become Vice President of Resource Development at Babson College. From her new Director of Development digs at Shady Hill School, Monique will be able to keep an eye on sons Liam and Owen, who will be students there. And off to a well-earned sabbatical at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, goes Gallia Vickery (Mathematics, Dance), with husband Bill and daughter Sasha. (Melissa will stay in the west, beginning her college architectural program in September.) Gallia has been appointed Adjunct Professor in W & M’s Department of Theatre and Dance, where she’ll be teaching a course, interning with a lighting designer, taking a couple of courses and “dancing for pure pleasure.”

It defies reason to think that you became all this solely during your time here. Truth is, each of you arrived as wonderful raw material—not merely potential incarnate. So here and now, I would like you seniors to join me in thanking the people who provided and nurtured that goodness in you before letting you take wing from the nest: your parents and families and long-time friends who sacrificed in countless ways that you might join this community and become more fully the person you were meant to be. Tomorrow is just a few hours away, the inevitable goodbyes spinning towards us just as surely as the earth rotates on its axis. But now, I say goodnight with a special sense of poignancy, because you all are those to whom I said one opening day—just yesterday it seems—“Let’s all link arms. Together, we will make Thacher the best it can be.” I thank you for replying, through so many gestures and words, “Yes, let’s.” photo by Becky Swan







Year-End 2003  ::   17


 SCHOOL THE THACHER ation Parents’ Associ July, 2003

informative Dear Parents, end. It has been an an at w no is n tio ided us with socia of Trustees has prov ts of the Parents’ As d en ar id Bo es e Pr th as on ar es ye Our ng school esentativ a top notch boardi rving as your repr g se in at nn th ru in in us r ed lv fo year social and ues invo e highest levels of many complex iss th e th on to so in al t ht bu sig in ics new adem mmitment of t just on first rate ac e excellence and co no th is of s e cu ar fo aw e l th el re w e whe we all are to you ar t know how lucky We are sure all of t. no en ay m pm u lo yo ve t de bu al r, mor ache d of Trustees. administrators at Th viduals on our Boar d di an in ff, of p sta , ou lty gr cu ed fa the tfulness, and committ time, deep though r accomplished and ei y th el g m rin tre ee ex nt an lu ve ha em for vo thankful to all of th We are extremely r. he ac Th t and suppor s’ Association this resources to guide nated by the Parent di or co d an d re so of ways due to the and services spon munity in a variety m e co ol ho The various events sc e th who helped in larg l and beneficial to e thank all of you W . rs is ee th nt lu in year were successfu vo ne nt yo re er tion of so many pa we cannot name ev efforts and dedica year it was. While er those who nn l al ba k e th an is th th lly e mak e to specifica lik ld ou w and small ways to e w n, enthusiasm, energy ed our appreciatio eir duties with such th ed ra, ut ec letter who has earn ex d an n), Sandy O’Mea committee chairs d Staff Appreciatio an ty r ul ea ac G stepped forward as (F er ith ch ha k you to Betsy Sm ebbie Tennant (T and creativity. Than bert Torres, and D Ro ecues), Elizabeth d rb an Ba ie nd rr ke Te a, ee W in ed ily M am e (F ev m St Shaikh s Mitche Barb and and Mohammed edina and Denni ha M e es ev Ay St ), d rs to an oc rb Pr n Sales), Ba anoff (Exam Keane (Graduatio rvices), Nina Toum s’ Day), and Helen nt on re b pa jo nd White (Library Se an ra le (G cu tt her Her nd), Elaine Ellio Susie Bechtel for to rship ks la an ho th (Parents’Annual Fu s sc r es fo dl ). And boun 0 to be used 03 00 5, 20 $8 of s of as od Cl e ho th or Party for in the neighb ction which raised the Gymkhana Au erating costs. rly fun and assistance and op has been particula It . us r fo by n w has flo od fortune of betenth at Thacher!) e have had the go w ur n, (o tio ar ye cia st so pa As e s’ Th nt population. e Parent e and talented pare as Presidents of th rs , at ve th di in lly ng rfu hi de ric on en the w ents of the with more of you, will serve as Presid ho coming ­acquainted w ill ah C ed N t from you ol and advance Drs. Car same great suppor e in th y ng jo ki en an th ill w by ey We close e are sure th n for 2003-2004. W Parents’ Associatio d. di eir duties as we as they go about th your children! derful summer with Wishing you a won Warmest regards, ck Kathy and Brian Ba 4377 • Fax (805)

ad • Ojai, Ca 5025 Thacher Ro

01 • (805) 646lifornia 93023-90


18  ::   Parents’ Post

Unbroken Circle:  Seniors now Freshmen

to all corners of the world of higher learning are the members OOff of the Class of 2003. We send them on their way with a hearty,

“Godspeed!”—and a reiteration of something Cam Schryver said in his Senior Vespers speech: “Remember: good stories are important. They are the building blocks of legends, and through them, the events and people in them attain a kind of immortality. So, Class of 2003, my hope for you is that your lives are heroic enough, humorous enough, honest enough, fair enough, kind enough, and truthful enough that you inhabit the good stories of others and attain that immortality. For me, of course, you already have.” We might add: for all of us. Graduating Senior Nikke Alex Jackie Au John Babbott Laurel Back Alison Barbieri Phoebe Barkan Katherine Bechtel Carrie Blayney Lizzy Brewer Walker Cahall Chris Cahill Tyler Caldwell Robert Cerda Will Chamberlain Hana Chang

Destination University of Arizona Georgetown University Amherst College UCLA Northeastern University St. Andrew’s University (Scotland) Stanford University Wellesley College Scripps College California Institute of the Arts Dartmouth College Vanderbilt University Colorado State University The George Washington University Johns Hopkins University

Vincent Chen Dawn Cleveland Shayla Cooke Michael Dachs Kyle Dumont Graham Dunn Owili Eison Julia Erdman Jackie Fiske Arielle Flam Drew Fleck Alison Flynn Alex Gidwitz Hugh Gordon Russell Grether Phoebe Halsey Bessie Hatch Vivi Hernandez Lucy Hodgman Alex Huth Will Johnson Brian Keane Ellery Khazanovich Zak Kitnick Katie Kuhl Mary Leighton Charmiane Lieu Jessie Liu Jimmy Madigan Kylie Manson Emery Mitchem Melanie Morris Charlie Munzig Luke Myers Emily Nathan Matt O’Meara Nate Parker Chance Phelps Troy Pollett Cameron Ridgeway Jacey Roche Sarah Shaikh Richard Smith Whitney Snyder Brenton Sullivan Sarah Tapscott Eddy Tavernetti Katie Telischak Mike Tyson Amy Vanderloop Melissa Vickery Mary White Vivian Wu

Emory University Scripps College Amherst College Colorado State University Cornell University Trinity University University of Southern California New York University University of Southern California Barnard College University of Southern California Bucknell University University of Notre Dame Columbia University Pepperdine University McGill University Tulane University University of Michigan Carleton College California Institute of Technology University of Pennsylvania UC Santa Barbara UC Santa Cruz Bard College The George Washington University University of British Columbia Brown University UCLA—Arts & Architecture Lewis & Clark College Colorado College Claremont McKenna College Art Institute of California Wesleyan University University of Southern California UC Berkeley University of Chicago Johns Hopkins University Maine Maritime Academy University of Southern California Colorado College Cornell University Middlebury College University of Southern California Pepperdine University University of Southern California Villanova University UC Santa Barbara Vanderbilt University Franklin College—Switzerland UC Berkeley California Polytechnic State University UCLA Northwestern University

Year-End 2003  ::   19

photo by Annie O’Donnell

end this final Parents’ Post of the II2002-03 academic year with a rec-

By the Lake

ollection of History teacher Bill Rexford’s TOAD talk this spring: After paying tribute to his whirling dervish, mega-accomplished mom and pondering a bit on the busyness of Thacher life, he gently admonished, Remember to do nothing once in awhile. He then read two poems; the first, by James Galvin, inspired the other, which he himself wrote. With Bill’s permission, I include it here, a reminder in the middle of summer of what these weeks can give to us, if only we let them.

I stand waist deep and I follow a yellow aspen leaf down to meet itself in the sky water lake. In the surface there are rose pink clouds and a bird flying, Beneath, my toes vanish taking solace in the sleeping ooze. I want more.

We hope you are all in the middle of a happy and restful vacation. And if not restful, we hope you’re making as much wild fun as these inventive Thacher ­laddies.

I want to look up, out from this clear iris and see the world. I sink, and a ripple distorts all. Entry is pointless. It is there in the lake but not for me.

Design and Production Tim Ditch Photography Lauren Bangasser, Emily Etchells, Tami Haggard, Theana Hancock, Elizabeth Mahoney CdeP 1980, Julie Manson, Joy Sawyer-Mulligan, Bill Prather, Chuck Warren, Abby Wilder

I wait for the waters to calm and look to you mellow and mild you sit on the granite rock leaning back on straight arms locked. Your eyes too, mirror the world. I move to be nearer and this ingress sends a shiver through you and you look away. I wait for the waters to calm, and do nothing.



Editor Joy Sawyer-Mulligan



Production Credits



Cheers to all!

by Bill Rexford


Year End 2003  
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