Cyrus Fall 2019 (Issue 10)

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Cyrus a magazine for alumni and friends of The Blake School

Fall 2019

Second Nature Tom Winston ’95 films life on the wild side

Gram Slam

Instagrammers you need to follow

Host With The Most

Molly Bloom ’01 takes listener questions


FROM THE HEAD OF SCHOOL

Cyrus a magazine for alumni and friends of The Blake School Editor Kristin Stouffer Managing Editor Photo: Julia Jeffries

Tracy Grimm Graphic Designer Cate Hubbard Thanks to the many Blake community members who have contributed to this publication. Our Mission

Click Here to Learn More

The Blake School provides students with an excellent, academically challenging education in a diverse and supportive community committed to a common set of values. Students are expected to participate in an integrated program of academic, artistic and athletic activities in preparation for college, lifelong learning, community service and lives as responsible world citizens. Our Core Values

“Have you heard this new podcast?” “I saw it in a TED Talk.” “She broke the news on Twitter.” We’re a click away from learning about virtually anything. For centuries, accessing information was the challenge; now it’s navigating the distraction of an endless scroll. The student in me thrills at choosing my own subject matter. The teacher in me revels at the engaging options for the classroom. The pages ahead capture a byte of this sort of lifelong learning in the digital age, from nature documentaries (page 6) to social networks (page 12) to science podcasts (page 18).

Respect Love of Learning Integrity Courage Commitment to Pluralism The Blake School Administrative Offices 110 Blake Road South Hopkins, MN 55343 952-988-3430

Why Cyrus? Cyrus Northrop played a formative role in one of Blake’s

Multimedia has long been a part of the Blake experience, as noted by our cover story subject Tom Winston ’95, who got his start in video as a student here. And as Jane Lansky ’20 reminds us, sometimes first-person experience is the best teacher (page 29). I am excited to share important revisions to our annual giving program. Our annual fund, now known as the Blake Fund, allows you to direct financial support to six different areas: arts, athletics, student financial assistance, faculty professional development, LearningWorks and Blake’s greatest need. We aim to provide giving opportunities resonant with your interests and passions. More at blakeschool.org/give.

founding institutions. In 1915, Northrop Collegiate School was named in his honor to recognize Dr. Northrop’s achievements as a nationally regarded educator and as president of the University of Minnesota. His legacy of educational excellence continues at Blake today. cyrus@blakeschool.org

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Anne E. Stavney, Ph.D. Head of School The Blake School


CONTENTS Fall 2019

COVER STORY

CALL OF THE WILD

Filmmaker Tom Winston ’95 documents the natural world for fans around the globe. PAGE 6

IN PHOTOS

DEPARTMENTS

#photoworthy

In Brief 2

Meet Instagram users with a flair for the creative.

Cover Story 6

PAGE 12

Q&A 18

Q&A

Molly Bloom ’01 Gets Serious About Being Curious The award-winning podcast host creates a fantastical world for kids and families. PAGE 18

In Photos 12 In Print & Production 20 Class Notes 21 Voices 29


IN BRIEF ACADEMIC HIGHLIGHT

ARCHIVES

ARTS HIGHLIGHT

COMMUNITY

FACES ON CAMPUS

SERVICE

ACADEMIC HIGHLIGHT

STATE DNR GRANTS SCHOOL FOREST STATUS

At about four acres, the wooded area south of Blake's Hopkins campus isn't large by most land standards. But for the young students who use it as a place to play, learn and explore, the benefits are enormous. That’s why Blake applied for, and was awarded, School Forest status for the area through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. As a Minnesota School Forest, Blake can receive information and advice on plants, trees and wildlife as well as access to teacher workshops on how to integrate forest use into curriculum.

FACES ON CAMPUS

THE HMONG EXPERIENCE AND THE SEARCH FOR DEEPER UNDERSTANDING Author Kao Kalia Yang receives invitations from around the country to talk with audiences about the Hmong experience. But the Twin Cities-based Yang

chose to visit Blake, as she explained to students, “because I understood that for many of you here, you don’t know who the Hmong are. I came not looking for your agreement or disagreement. I came in search of a deeper understanding,

not only for the Hmong story but for your own.” Born in Thailand’s Ban Vinai refugee camp in 1980, Yang and her family came to Minnesota as refugees in the summer of 1987. She now brings her own and others’ experiences to life through storytelling. Her threeday visit, made possible by the Classes of 1955 Speaker Fund, inspired students, facul­ty and staff, who read her memoir The Late­homecomer, as well as the greater Blake community. SERVICE

WATER PROJECT REACHES BEYOND BLAKE A project spearheaded by the Upper School’s Community Service Board (CSB) is making a difference in Bogotá, Colombia. The Bennett Gallery exhibition Water: Blake and Beyond featured the artwork of Blake 2 Cyrus

students from all divisions and other community members. The CSB organized the show and hosted a gala to auction off the artwork. Proceeds from the event supported ImpactLives in its efforts to install water filtration systems in Bogotá. The student-led initiative inspired other donors — enough to make a new well a reality for one community. The filtration system provides potable water at a low cost and is a part of the community’s larger water project that implements vocational training in entrepreneurship. That program, in turn, provides families with an income, better access to health care and the ability to support other vital programs that address child exploitation, sex trafficking, drugs and gangs.


IN BRIEF

ARTS HIGHLIGHT

PAINTING A STORY WITH DAVID GEISTER

David Geister describes himself as a storyteller with a paint brush. The Minneapolis-based artist specializes in historical art, picture book illustrations — including the children’s books by second grade teacher Kamie Page and her dad, Alan Page — and landscape paintings. Geister shared his talents with Jackie Quinn’s third grade art students, who had the chance to work with the illustrator on their own drawings. ACADEMIC HIGHLIGHT

EIGHTH GRADE GOES TO WASHINGTON The previously optional Middle School trip to Washington, D.C. is now part of the eighth grade curriculum, giving students the opportunity to experience democracy in action, grapple with public policy issues, see themes of history come to life and explore the critical question of who gets memorialized and why. The trip dovetails with the eighth grade capstone project, the Influential, so students can engage in field research for their chosen topic. Faculty will continue to develop curriculum with the national organization Close Up, a nonpartisan group that helps young people understand gov­ernment institutions, history and their roles as citizens. SERVICE

STUDENT TRAVELERS SET AMBITIOUS GOAL FOR EMISSIONS OFFSET International travel is an invaluable component of many students’ education at Blake. But long-distance trips incur a cost beyond airline fees in the form of carbon emissions. Students traveling to the

Dominican Republic were encouraged to participate in a climate neutral initiative by exploring options to purchase carbon offsets through organizations like TerraPass and Carbon Footprint. The con­ tributions help balance the carbon footprint by supporting clean energy projects such as dairy farms, wind turbines and reforestation.

COMMUNITY

BIG BEAR ON CAMPUS

High fives, squeals of delight and an elevated level of school spirit follow Cyrus the bear everywhere. Blake’s mascot underwent a makeover for the new school year, and with the upgrade have come photo shoots, video appearances and invitations to campus events. Fans of all ages love the new Cyrus! See the introduction video at blake.mn/newcyrus.

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IN BRIEF

ACADEMIC HIGHLIGHT

THE POWER OF PURPOSE “The biggest problem growing up today is not actually stress; it’s meaninglessness,” says Bill Damon, director of the Stanford Center on Adolescence, which developed a program to address the rapid rise of depression and anxiety found among high school students nationwide. Project Wayfinder, a program Blake’s Upper School adopted for its student health and well­ness initiative, encourages students to think of their purpose as a non-linear and reflective process they can draw upon for guidance throughout their lives. Research shows

that purpose helps adolescents develop a sense of self, diminish bullying, reduce risk-taking behaviors, and boost academic engagement and success. This year, advisors will use Project Wayfinder activities in their small-group meetings with students, and faculty will infuse Wayfinder concepts into various academic subjects and projects. ACADEMIC HIGHLIGHT

BLAST TO THE PAST

Highcroft kindergarteners traveled from Wayzata to the Upper School where they then traveled even farther: about 4.5 billion years back in time. Pairing up with ninth grade biology students, the kindergartners enjoyed lunch with their new high school friends before getting to work coloring pictures of dinosaurs and other ancient life. They added their artwork to a timeline of Earth, which ran the length of the library.

COMMUNITY

ABOUT A SCHOOL: BLAKE FACTS 2019–20

ACADEMIC HIGHLIGHT

50+ languages spoken in homes

23%

75%

$ students receiving needbased financial assistance

faculty with advanced degrees (master’s or doctorate)

B

45

40+

local community organizations partnering with students on service projects

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concerts/drama productions in a year

ATHLETICS TEAMS

35%

varsity

students who identify as people of color

34 72 total

IN RWANDA, A FRONT ROW SEAT TO THE SENATE During a global immersion trip to Rwanda full of memorable moments, one experience stood out for the three chaperones and 13 students who spent three weeks there. Lexie Dietz ’20 shared the experience in a blog post: “After breakfast, we rode our bus to Parliament, where we had the privilege of meeting the vice president of the senate,

Jeanne D’Arc Gakuba. We got to sit in the actual seats Rwandan senators sit in and spoke into microphones when we asked questions. The vice president spoke about how Parliament works and some of Rwanda’s plans, such as National Vision 2020, which has spurred immense economic growth. Extremely optimistic plans like these reflect the Rwandan attitude of thinking big and pushing the nation to always improve.”


IN BRIEF

ARCHIVES

The Hilltop School in Hopkins

When the Blake School for boys adopted a country day school plan in 1911, its trustees began searching for a site beyond the school’s current location on Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis. They soon found the 40-acre Anderson Farm in Hopkins — on traditional Dakota land — seven miles west of the city. The trustees purchased the land for $25,000 and approved plans drawn up by the firm Hewitt and Brown. Headmaster Charles Bertram Newton checked the trolley system and assured parents that there would be extra Hopkins-Minneapolis cars for students and teachers, who would ride together to and from school. Construction began in May 1912, with the Tudor-style school opening just four months later. The building, funded by trustees and friends of the school, cost $90,000. A year later, the trustees added another section, which included a gymnasium, and in 1913 and 1921 purchased additional land. A second wing, built in 1921, completed the original building plan. When Blake co-founder and trustee Charles Bovey funded a remodel of the gym into a chapel in 1927, the trustees constructed a new field house. It was an unheated shell with a dirt floor; not an ideal facility for hockey or basketball but suitable for other activities. The Great Depression and World War II delayed further construction at the hilltop campus until the 1950s, when a new science wing was constructed as well as a “junior school” for grades one through five. Excerpted from Expecting Good Things of All: 100 Years of Academic Excellence by Jan Woolman. Fall 2019 5


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When Tom Winston ’95 moved to Montana to learn about filmmaking, he never imagined his documentaries about the natural world and wildlife in Yellowstone would someday be broadcast by PBS, National Geographic and the Smithsonian Channel, reaching viewers around the globe.

COVER STORY

CALL OF THE WILD TOM WINSTON ’95

Written by Joel Hoekstra Illustrated by Owen Davey – Folio Art

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T

om Winston is standing at the edge of a reservoir at the base of Emigrant Peak when the osprey attacks. It’s a chilly summer afternoon in Paradise Valley, an hour’s drive from Winston’s home in Bozeman, Montana, but the skies are clear enough to afford some spectacular views of the serrated Absaroka Range, which cuts through the northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park. Winston is eyeing the snow on Emigrant’s summit (elevation 10,926 feet) when, seemingly out of nowhere, an osprey plunges headfirst into the water in front of him. “Did it get something?” Winston exclaims. The brown-and-white bird explodes out of the lake, shakes the water from its wings and flaps away — with nothing in its beak. The intended prey has evaded capture, leaving the osprey hungry and observers disappointed. But Winston, the founder and CEO of Grizzly Creek Films, a production company that specializes in natural

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history and wildlife films, is always excited to see raptors in the wild. Predators, like ospreys, as well as eagles, fishers, wolves and grizzly bears, are essential to a nature narrative. “If you don’t have good predators,” Winston observes, “you don’t have a very good story.” Winston has been looking for stories in and around Yellowstone for more than a decade. National Geographic, the History Channel and PBS are among the clients who have hired him to film wildlife in the region, and Winston and his team spent much of the last four years working on a four-episode series titled Epic Yellowstone, which aired on the Smithsonian Channel last March. But while America’s first national park, established by Congress in 1872, includes such postcard-worthy wonders as Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs and Yellowstone Falls, Winston notes that the park’s 2.2 million acres comprise only a tiny portion of what ecologists call the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Encompassing nearly 20 million additional acres outside

the park, Greater Yellowstone, as the region is known, is one of the last large nearly intact temperate zone ecosystems left on Earth. Most of the flora and fauna that fascinate park visitors can also be found in the mountains and valleys surrounding the preserve. The area north of Yellowstone, which includes Paradise Valley, is particularly rich in wildlifesighting opportunities. Leaving the reservoir, Winston gets into his gray pickup and navigates a dirt road back to U.S. Highway 89. Each feature of the landscape evokes a story: There’s the heron rookery he once filmed with a drone, the ravine where his team set up a camera trap for mountain lions, the riverbank where they got the first-ever footage of salmon flies hatching after three years spent in the water as nymphs. “Other than Alaska, this is the place to be in America if you want good natural history filming opportunities,” Winston says.

COMING INTO FOCUS Winston’s affinity for nature has deep roots in his family’s

heritage. His mother, Eleanor Crosby Winston ’60, grew up hiking and riding horseback in the woods around Long Lake, Minnesota, and has served on the boards of the Nature Conservancy and the Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota. His father, Fred Winston ’55, sits on the board of the Quetico Superior Foundation and served as the longtime editor of its publication, Wilderness News. In fact, the family has a deep connection to the Boundary Waters region. Tom’s grandfather was a close friend and ally of Ernest Oberholtzer, a conservationist who successfully fought against development of the Minnesota-Ontario Lakes region in the early 20th century. Winston and his three siblings were raised in Long Lake, and he attended Blake for most of his education. He struggled with writing, however, so when a friend showed him his parents’ new JVC camcorder, Winston’s world changed. “Video was a natural way for me to communicate,” he recalls. “I would usually figure out a way to do a video that would


“VIDEO WAS A NATURAL WAY FOR ME TO COMMUNICATE. I WOULD USUALLY FIGURE OUT A WAY TO DO A VIDEO THAT WOULD GET ME OUT OF WRITING A PAPER.”

get me out of writing a paper.” His senior year, Winston and a group of friends rented a Super 8 film camera and video equipment from the local cable-access station and spent their spring break filming a ski movie at Bridger Bowl, Grand Targhee and several other resorts out west. “It was a pretty elaborate project for a bunch of 18-yearolds,” says John Wanner ’95, one of the ski-movie participants. “We’d shoot sequences all day from different angles, and when we got back to the hotel room at night, Tom and I would do film logs while our friends were being goofballs. We took it very seriously.” Wanner, who served as a photographer for Blake’s newspaper, says Winston’s talent was evident from the start. “I would get lucky because I shot so many pictures, but Tom could frame things and see things that were naturally stunning,” Wanner says. “He would see things that I didn’t see.” Winston graduated from Blake in 1995 and, after a summer spent on a ranch in

Montana (“I was building electric fences and moving cattle on horseback,” he says. “It was a lifelong dream.”), he enrolled at Middlebury College. After earning a bachelor’s in geography, he relocated to San

pre-digital age, a time when getting your hands on the equipment, like a $100,000 camera, was a challenge.” The experience solidified Winston’s belief that he wanted to spend his life making movies.

Tom Winston ’95

Francisco and found a job as an intern at a video-production company. The business’s main focus was making customerservice training films for Hilton Hotels. It wasn’t glamorous work, but it broadened Winston’s skill set. “My bosses let me do everything,” he says. “And this was in the

He applied to several graduate programs, including a new Master of Fine Arts program in science and natural history documentary filmmaking, funded by the Discovery Channel, at Montana State University (MSU) in Bozeman. In 2003, he was accepted and enrolled.

Most American filmmakers live in New York or Los Angeles, but after graduating from MSU, Winston remained in Bozeman, enticed by both professional and personal opportunities. Producers from Japan, the United Kingdom and elsewhere arrived in Yellowstone every summer to shoot new productions, and Winston cobbled together freelance jobs doing production, camera work and directing. He eventually founded Grizzly Creek and later hired a talented writer and Bozeman native named Shasta Grenier to help write scripts. They married in 2015. “I go to the East and West Coast just enough to know that I like Bozeman a lot better,” Winston says. “Plus, being here, I feel like I have a better perspective. I can find stories that go beyond the clichés about the natural world in Yellowstone because I’m closer to it.”

PATIENCE AND INGENUITY A few years ago, Winston was preparing to do a series on Yellowstone in winter when he heard a bobcat on the Madison Fall 2019 9


“I WAS NEVER HARDCORE INTO ECOLOGY, BUT MY WORK ON THESE FILMS HAS DRAWN ME DEEPER AND DEEPER INTO CONSERVATION.”

River. Local residents had spotted a lone male hunting ducks along the snow-filled riverbanks — which surprised Winston, since the species, a relative of the common housecat, has narrow legs and small feet and tends to avoid deep snow. The filmmaker’s team decided to get a look 10 Cyrus

for themselves. “We were on that bobcat for probably 20 days,” Winston recalls. Early each morning, they would locate the cat and watch it stalk its prey along the Madison. Some days they watched for hours and saw nothing happen. Some days, the bobcat captured a mouse or plunged into the

river only to miss its target, emerging a wet mess. They shot secondary footage of ducks, of the rippling water, of snow falling. And then one day, they got the shot they needed to make a story: The bobcat sprang off a river­bank and caught an unsuspecting duck. “I’d put that sequence

up against any animal-behavior sequence done by the BBC or anybody else,” Winston says, referring to the bobcat story, which was incorporated into the Smithsonian Channel’s Epic Yellowstone series. “You definitely have to go in with a plan though. You need to shoot the scene as if you’re


“BEING HERE [IN BOZEMAN], I FEEL LIKE I HAVE A BETTER PERSPECTIVE. I CAN FIND STORIES THAT GO BEYOND THE CLICHÉS ABOUT THE NATURAL WORLD IN YELLOWSTONE BECAUSE I’M CLOSER TO IT.”

a director shooting in scripted scenario, even if you only see that animal for 10 minutes the entire day. And you’ve got to be thinking about how you’re going to edit that sequence to produce a story.” The stars of wildlife production can be temperamental, of course (birds fly away, foxes vanish, bison turn their backs), but Winston steers clear of filming captured animals. He also tries to tell scientifically accurate stories, and he’ll go to great lengths to get the right footage. For a recent production about birds in Yellowstone, for example, his team hollowed out an old log, fitted the interior with LED lights and strategically placed camera holes, and fixed it to a post to mimic the wild nesting environment of bluebirds. After a female bluebird took up residence and laid eggs in the model home, Winston’s team returned and filmed the newborn chicks before they fledged. “It was a lot of McGuyvering,” Winston confesses. “Tom’s team is remarkably

innovative and resourceful,” says Tria Thalman, an executive producer at the Smithsonian Channel. “They’re always building stuff, modifying equip­ ment. They’ve been able to capture some wonderful animal behavior for us even though we didn’t have a huge budget.”

NATURE NURTURED Before leaving the Paradise Valley, with Emigrant still in sight, Winston stops his pickup and parks on a bend along the Yellowstone River. He pulls out a laptop and plays some footage of a molting salmon fly — a transformation that fascinates him. “I was never hardcore into ecology,” he says, “but my work on these films has drawn me deeper and deeper into conservation.” Winston sits on the board of directors of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, a Bozeman nonprofit that recently lobbied successfully to block a mining company from drilling for gold in the Yellowstone River watershed. Remarkably, a Congressional bill to permanently revoke

mining claims in the lands surrounding the national park received bipartisan support and was ultimately signed this past spring by then Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and President Donald J. Trump. “[The bill is] representative of how much the economy here is moving from mineral extraction to being more dependent on natural beauty,” Winston says. “Everyone knows that the future of the local economy is tourism-related. It’s no longer about getting whatever you can get from the land. The whole economy now relies on a healthy Yellowstone River.” Habitat conservation also lies at the heart of a Florida panther project that Winston is working on. Over the last 200 years, the entire panther population east of the Mississippi has been wiped out — except for the elusive Florida panther. Now, a plan to route an interstate highway through the northern Everglades threatens to cut the species’s habitat in half. Winston, who has been raising money to finance the project and will complete

production this fall, is eager to get the film finished and in front of viewers by 2020, when the Florida legislature will review a study it commissioned regarding the potential impact of the interstate project. “The central question is: How do the people of Florida feel about one of the last undeveloped places in their state being developed?” Winston says. The panther film will include testimonies from a longtime Florida nature photographer, a master animal tracker, a biologist and a veterinarian, but whenever possible, Winston tries to let the animals speak for themselves in his films. He wants us to marvel at the buffalo’s strength, the wolf’s speed, the grizzly’s power and the heron’s grace. “If you want people to care about the natural world, you need to show them why you love it,” Winston says. “That’s important because people need to love the natural world before they’ll be willing to protect it.” Joel Hoekstra is a Minneapolisbased writer and editor. Fall 2019 11


IN PHOTOS

P HOTO # WORTHY

AMONG THE MILLIONS OF USERS SHARING IMAGES VIA THE POPULAR SOCIAL NETWORK INSTAGRAM, THE ACCOUNTS HIGHLIGHTED HERE STAND OUT FOR THEIR CREATIVITY AND STYLE.

“ Emerging photographers have a presence in the industry like never before; you just have to have talent and a following to get noticed and hired.” Thea Traff ’09, TIME photo editor

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@theatraff photographer, photo editor

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@lucialitman

@juliaheff

@woodmanmaynard

artist

food writer

graphic novelist, graphic designer

“ I fully intend to still be wearing loud and colorful furry coats until I’m 90, thank you very much.” Lucia Litman ’08

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“ I find so much of my inspiration for stories and recipes on Instagram — seeing what people are eating, where they're traveling, how they're entertaining.” Julia Heffelfinger ’07

“ I’m on Instagram to share my work and to see what other cartoonists and artists are creating.” Katharine Woodman-Maynard ’04


@jmoss5

@domesticconjecture

@ringlessgold

travel writer

dean, writer, taco connoisseur

photographer, visual artist

“ Most of my posts are snapshots of the places I travel. I often post in the moment when I'm experiencing a place I think others would want to visit.” Jess Moss ’03

“ Since I was a little kid, I have loved looking at houses and imagining what’s happening inside. This account is a natural extension of what I have always done.” Anne Rubin, grade dean

“ I’m on Instagram to share my work and find inspiration from my community and the natural environment around me.” Eve Liu ’16

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@cassiroll

@marthabennettgallery

@learningworks

cat lover, adventurer, global citizen

Upper School art gallery

LearningWorks at Blake

“ You could see something one thousand times and then one day you see it from a different angle and find beauty in it.” Cassidy Blackwell ’02

“ Our Instagram community is an eclectic mix of past and present students, teachers and parents — anyone who wants to can join!” Lilian Anderson ’20, Martha Bennett Gallery team member

“ See if you can guess which posts were co-written by our middle schoolers. They're way cooler than me!” Natalie Owens-Pike ’07, LearningWorks executive director

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@blakelibrary

@soraya

@eclectic_wanderer

Blake librarians

venture capitalist

traveler, 273 posts photographer 1,587 followers

“ Our library is full of inspiration from new books to library programs to students simply being themselves.” Kali Olson, Upper School associate librarian

“ I love the visual nature of Instagram and the simplicity of the medium. I use it to keep a photo journal of my travels.” Soraya Darabi ’01

“ Wherever I’ve been in the world I’ve experienced vistas, buildings, foods and moments of striking beauty that I want to share with others.” Peter Ormand ’01

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Q&A

MOLLY BLOOM ’01 GETS SERIOUS ABOUT BEING CURIOUS

AS HOST OF THE AWARD-WINNING SCIENCE PODCAST BRAINS ON! , BLOOM PAINTS A FANTASTICAL WORLD FOR KIDS AND FAMILIES. Drawings of the creatures and places featured in the show and imagined by its young listeners line the walls of Brains On! headquarters, the Minnesota Public Radio space Bloom shares with her co-creator Marc Sanchez. The weekly episodes attract a worldwide audience whose members both inspire and are inspired by Bloom.

Question: To this Brains On! listener, it sounds like you are having so much fun creating the show. What do you enjoy most about the work you’re doing? Answer: The most rewarding part of the job is hearing from the kids and families who listen to the show. Even though we only come out with one episode a week, kids will [repeat shows and] listen every day. It’s an honor to be in their lives so much, and we take that very seriously. We want everything we put out to be accurate and engaging and also something that won’t annoy parents if they have to hear it 5 million times. Q: Having a kid co-host is one of the defining elements of Brains On! Can you 18 Cyrus


“ANOTHER THING THAT HAS DRIVEN OUR SHOW FROM THE BEGINNING IS THAT WE DON’T TALK DOWN TO KIDS. THEY’RE REALLY SMART AND CAN HANDLE NUANCE AND COMPLEXITY.”

talk a bit about how you involve audience members in the show? A: Almost all of the co-hosts are kids who’ve written in with that episode’s question — if they’re old enough and are interested in hosting. We want them to sound like real kids, not too polished. They just need to be curious and comfortable enough to talk with someone they’ve never met before. We also feature kids who aren’t the co-host by playing recordings of them asking their questions. Sometimes we’ll play mystery sounds kids have sent to us. And we pose questions for future episodes during which we play the responses kids submit. Q: Can you share an example? A: For our series on feelings we asked kids to tell us how it feels in their body when they’re happy or sad or nervous or angry. Those responses are some of my favorites. They’re beautiful and funny and just wonderful. A lot of the response

prompts are creative because we’re big advocates of the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) thought that creativity is a big part of being a good scientist. We want to engage that part of kids’ minds too. Q: What are the advantages of podcasts as an educational tool? A: Audio engages your imagin­ ation in a way that watching a screen doesn’t. We have Brains On! headquarters in our show, which is this fantastical place in which we invent new rooms all the time. We have an elevator that can travel around and take us to all these places. We have characters too, like Gungador, who’s a monster who likes to dance. We created all these things, but we don’t really talk about what they look like. We get tons of drawings from kids of Gungador on the elevator or us at Brains On! headquarters, and so they’re imagining it. Also, when you don’t have a visual aid you have to explain

things so clearly and use interesting metaphors that might get into people’s brains in a different way because they have to imagine it; they’re engaged in the metaphor you’re using. Q: On the flip side, what are the challenges? A: Sometimes there are things we’re trying to explain that are so visual. The three most challenging things I had to explain without visuals were how an engine works, how paint sticks to a wall (through molecular bonds) and how batteries work. We had to create these really fun and wacky metaphors. For the molecular bonds, we created a radio play called Molecule Party and had different friend groups of molecules bonding in different ways. For how a battery works the metaphor involved a lake and a dog. That was hard. I spent a lot of time on the phone with the scientist. She would explain to me how a battery worked, and I would say it back to her. She would

say, “Close, but not quite. Let me try again.” Then when I got it, I had to think about how I could possibly explain without showing a drawing, which would be so much easier. Q: Your audience comes from all over the world. What do you think is the secret to the show’s appeal? A: Part of it is we really listen to our audience. We know kids are interested in all the topics we cover because they came from the kids who listen. Another thing that has driven our show from the beginning is that we don’t talk down to kids. They’re really smart and can handle nuance and complexity. Also, we learn a lot making the show as grownups, so I think parents get a lot from it too. Do you know Blake alumni who are doing interesting work? Let us know at cyrus@blakeschool.org.

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IN PRINT

& PRODUCTION

AMES SHELDON ’66

Don’t Put the Boats Away (She Writes Press)

In the aftermath of World War II, the Sutton family is reeling from the death of their “golden boy,” Eddie. Over the next 25 years, they struggle with loss, grief and mourning. Daughter Harriet and son Nat fight with their autocratic father, George, over their professional ambitions as they come of age. Their mother, Eleanor, who has PTSD as a result of driving an ambulance during the Great War, wrestles with guilt over never telling Eddie about the horrors of war before he enlisted. As the family members attempt to rebuild their lives, they pay high prices. But in the end, they all make peace with their loss in their own way.

DEAN NELSON ’72

Talk to Me: How to Ask Better Questions, Get Better Answers and Interview Anyone Like a Pro (Harper Perennial)

Drawing on 40 years of award-winning journalism and his experience as the founder and host of the Writer’s Symposium by the Sea, Nelson takes readers through each step of the journey from deciding who to interview and structuring questions, to recording-device and note-taking strategies, to the ethical dilemmas of interviewing people you love (and loathe). Case studies of famous interviews show readers how these principles play out in real time.

DOUGLAS SMITH ’81

The Russian Job: The Forgotten Story of How America Saved the Soviet Union from Ruin (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

In 1921, facing one of the worst famines in history, the new Soviet government under Vladimir Lenin invited the American Relief Administration (ARA) to save communist Russia from ruin. It became the largest humanitarian operation in history, preventing the loss of countless lives, social unrest on a massive scale and, quite possibly, the collapse of the communist state. Almost a hundred years later, few in America or Russia have heard of the ARA. Smith resurrects the relief mission from obscurity, taking the reader on an unforgettable journey from the heights of human altruism to the depths of human depravity. MICHAEL LEE ’07

The Only Worlds We Know (Button Poetry) The Only Worlds We Know grapples with sobriety and survival and takes a nuanced and tactile look at addiction and what comes after. Lee's debut includes patient meditations on loss and the land where the people we love live and are also buried. Before being a published poet, an award-winning short film of Lee’s spoken-word poem Pass On helped break stereotypes about poetry and pave the way for thousands of poets to broadcast their work in video as well as in print.

Alumni are encouraged to inform Blake of their publications, recordings, films, etc., and, when possible, to send copies of books and articles. Contact us at cyrus@blakeschool.org.

20 Cyrus

Mark Ott (former faculty) and Mark Cirino Hemingway and Italy: Twenty-First Century Perspectives (University Press of Florida) Essays from top scholars, exciting new voices and people who knew Hemingway examine how the author's adopted homeland shaped his writing and legacy.

Tom Cagley ’52 The Medal and Two Ladies Named Mary (Self-published) Cal Dolan expects the pope's bles­­sing of a medal to reunite him with his estranged father, but two women of biblical fame send Cal on a different path.

Stephen Wallack ’94 Chapters (Self-published) This debut solo album features 10 original piano compositions that capture important moments in Wallack’s life.

Emily Chambers Blejwas ’96 The Story of Alabama in Fourteen Foods (University of Alabama Press) Part history, part cookbook and part travelogue, this book explores Alabama’s diverse cultures and traditions.

Jess Moss ’03 Easy Weekend Getaways from Washington, D.C. (Countryman Press) Travel writer, editor and photographer Moss presents a curated menu of trips, from wine tasting escapes to stress-bashing hikes to lake house journeys.

Tyler Storlie ’10 Two Tribes (self-published) An allegory for tribalism and political polarization in America today, Two Tribes tells the tale of those who must overcome differences to save their home.


CLASS NOTES Class notes and photos received after August will appear in the next issue of Cyrus. Notes are provided by alumni or their friends and family, and some have been edited for length and style.

49

Bob Litfin and his wife, Carol, are still enjoying the California ambience in Silicon Valley. “Well, the weather at least,” he writes. “We have had five offspring between us, with eight grandchildren arising, all unmarried. From our perch here on the left coast, Carol and I are watching U.S. culture re-shape itself and eyeballing Minnesota politicians striving bravely. My eyeballs are growing a bit more hazy and slow, however, so we will greatly curtail travel in our very comfortable Class A motorhome. Perhaps we will just keep it around, stocked for emergency or the unexpected. Our health has blessed us with a pretty happy year; hoping yours has too.”

of the Kennedy family continue to sell well on Amazon. He writes, “But the surprise of the summer is how well my CIA novel, The Nature of the Beast, is doing. The inspector general of the CIA called it the best espionage fiction he ever read, and it won the Writers Notes Award for best fiction of 2003. My Landau trilogy is doing well and climbing the list. I am currently at work on a novel to be called Inherited Money. It is a firecracker. Best to everybody there and the ghosts of Mssrs. Cleveland and Glenn and the unforgettable Howard Filson Jones.”

REUNION

52

50

Larry Corbett writes, “We have sold our Palm Desert seasonal home, have returned to Oregon full time and plan to go to a newly developed retirement facility in Lake Oswego at the end of the year.”

51

Burton Hersh’s books about the early decades of the CIA, his Ted Kennedy biography and study

Dick Larson and Madrienne Johnston Larson are in senior living and enjoying it. They spend winters in Rio Verde, Arizona, and summers up north. “Still going strong,” he reports. Tom Cagley (See In Print & Production)

Peter Gillette does pro bono work for DACA immigration. He has fully recovered from the disc, colon and head surgeries he had this past year. Roger Hale “continues to stay vertical, is regularly playing (not well) in chess tournaments

and concentrating on remembering the names of 14 grand­ children in the metro area.” In August, he traveled with a group from the Walker Art Center to the Edinburgh Festival.

53

Sam Marfield and his wife, Joyce, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at a chapel in Las Vegas with 30 of their friends and relatives. The couple continues to live in Naples, Florida, after having lived for 40 years on Crystal Bay of Lake Minnetonka. Sam has retired as a real estate developer and as president of several real estate trade groups. REUNION

55

Mike Abramson writes, “I continue to write the occasional thought-provoking poem while dreaming of other worlds. I’ve written over 1,000 poems. Look up my last book, Expectorations Vol. V, or email me at poeticalways@hotmail.com.” Jack Mithun recently had a gallery show of his drawings sponsored by Opera Santa Barbara.

58

Ben Troxell retired from Morgan Stanley as first vice president in 2017. He writes, “In retirement I have been quite active — most notably in my church, St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, where I am director of a retreat council — and even more so as co-chair of the Code 893 Task Force in Florida. The group is involved in creating solutions for the opioid crisis here and potentially nationally. We focus on education (primarily middle school), prevention and rehabilitation. I also serve as vice president of our homeowners’ board. [Kathy and I] just became grandparents for the first time when Benjamin Francis Troxell was born in Boston on June 20. All our best to the Blake family!” REUNION

60

Dick Caswell writes, “My wife, Mary, and I traveled to Big Sky, Montana, in June for a surprise 80th birthday party for my sister Eleanor Caswell Bean Nolan ’57. Lots of old friends and most of her children were in attendance, as she is settling into her new home in the Meadow Village at Big Sky.” Mary Ann Levitt has been retired for quite some time and shares, Fall 2019 21


CLASS NOTES

SAM ’53 AND JOYCE MARFIELD

AL POLLOCK ’64 AND HEIDI SPRENGER STOKES ’83 DISCOVERED THEIR BLAKE CONNECTION DURING A CHANCE MEETING AT A VINEYARD IN VIENNA.

LADY FLIER (CHALK ON WHITE PAPER) BY JACK MITHUN ’55

“Retirement doesn’t suit me, so I’ve been traveling whenever I can and taking pictures. I love photography, and it keeps me stimulated. I live in the paradise of Sausalito, California. I’d love to see any of my class when they are out here.”

63

Jeff Lewin reports, “The highlight of the year relating to Blake was watching classmate Doug Melamed being interviewed on CNBC at 6:30 in the morning while

I was at a local YMCA putting an elliptical trainer through its paces.”

64

Al Pollock and his wife, Helen, live in Anna Maria Island, Florida. In June they traveled to Croatia and Slovenia’s Julian Alps for 18 days and then to Budapest for a 15-day Viking River Cruise to Amsterdam. He writes, “In Vienna we went to a vineyard for dinner. It was a very crowded place, and we sat at a table for four. A few

Role Models Jo Rochelle ’09 moved last year from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree, California, where, she says, the quiet desert is “really good for writing.” It was on a stretch of California highway on the way to her new hometown where she came up with the idea for her first feature film. Jasmine Star is a coming-ofage story about a teenage girl with albinism who aspires to be a model. Rochelle learned about the realities of living with this condition while teaching students with albinism in the small town of Indianola, Mississippi, where she served with Teach for America (TFA). Through her film, she seeks to depict “a community that hasn’t seen themselves represented positively on screen.” Positive representation is an important concept for Rochelle, who credits her career to her own role

22 Cyrus

models. Her love of storytelling began at Blake in Diane Landis’s Lower School drama program. “Ms. Landis was the first female director I ever saw,” Rochelle says. Seeing Landis’s direction of Upper School theater productions taught Rochelle that “I can do that too.” Rochelle studied acting at New York University, but it was a web series she wrote, directed and produced about

minutes later Heidi Sprenger Stokes ’83 and her husband asked if they could sit at our table. At the end of dinner, Minneapolis came up in conversation and it turns out we both went to Blake. Small world!”

66

Marlow Brooks writes, “I’m still, after 21 years, teaching at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. I teach workshops in five-element healing

her experiences as a resident advisor that sparked her love of filmmaking. “I knew I had discovered a job that would make me want to jump out of bed every morning.” After serving with TFA, she moved to Los Angeles in 2015. One of her first projects was writing an original web series for Issa Rae Productions. As she met more female filmmakers through the festival circuit who had released their own features, she realized that she, too, was ready to take on an ambitious creative project. Rochelle will produce Jasmine Star in Minneapolis with the philosophy that has propelled her career: “Use the resources that you have, all the cards you’ve been dealt and make the best project you can.” For updates on Rochelle’s latest project visit jasminestarmovie.com. Written by Ann Ford ’08

near and far and have written three books. The last one, Singing Our Heart’s Song, includes much of the material I teach in my yearlong class on Chinese medicine. I am a practicing artist (see marlow­brooks.com) and happy grand­mother of five grandsons, and I love being with the creek and mountains at my wilderness cabin here in the Rockies.” A solo exhibition of artwork by Dougie Padilla is on display at Rogue Buddha Gallery in Minneapolis. The show, lucky 70 (suerte), highlights select works from the past 10 years including paintings, drawings, original prints, tile work and an immersive ofrenda/altar installation featuring numerous calaveras (Day of the Dead skulls). Ames Sheldon (See In Print and Production)

68

Mark Reed writes, “My lovely bride, Karen, and I just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary with a wonderful two weeks in Italy: Rome, Siena and the Amalfi Coast. I’m an incredibly fortunate guy.”


CLASS NOTES

CHARLEE BACH PARKER ’69 ENJOYS THE GREAT OUTDOORS NEAR HER HOME IN WHITEFISH, MONTANA.

69

Charlee Bach Parker lives with her husband in Whitefish, Montana, where she is a broker with Glacier Sotheby’s. “Life is full with work, play, family and friends,” she writes. “I especially enjoy hiking beautiful Glacier National Park, which is about 40 minutes from my door. A highlight of 2019 was a family trip to Maui with all our children and grandchildren. Can’t wait to see my classmates at our reunion!” REUNION

70

Marcia McNutt took a Wild Women Expedition to Iceland during the summer solstice for an eight-day horse-trekking trip into the island’s interior. She writes, “We stayed in mountain huts and rode 15 to 18 miles each day, viewing magical scenery of waterfalls, volcanoes, glaciers and wild vistas.” The president of the National Academy of Sciences, Marcia also received an honorary Doctor of Science from Boston University, where she delivered the commencement address.

72

Dean Nelson (See In Print and Production)

MARCIA MCNUTT ’70 EMBARKED ON AN EIGHT-DAY HORSE-TREKKING TRIP IN ICELAND.

74

Bill McLaughlin writes, “Three daughters, two sons-in-law, one granddaughter, a terrific wife (and a black lab). Home in Minnesota, but living in Vermont working with Orvis. Hope to make it back [for the reunion] to see old friends. Special thanks to the Peters and Davids for organizing.” REUNION

75

John Jaffray has been married to Allyson Rudy since 1982. The couple lives in Deephaven, Minnesota, and has two adult children, Christopher and Anna, and one grandchild. He writes, “Financing, operating and owning solar around the U.S. All is well and we are very fortunate!”

76

Andrea Carla Michaels (Eisenberg) reports, “Last remaining classmate to face turning 60! I have become the Pizza Lady of San Francisco, serving over 25,000 slices to our Neighbors on the Street. I didn’t think I’d end up spending my 60s as an activist in the streets of San Francisco, but there you have it. Don’t worry, still making puzzles for the New York Times. (Look for hidden subversive

GINGER OWENS MULCRONE ’71, ANNIE DEARDORFF ’70, JOCELYN FANSLER ’73, MARCIA MCCARY MAYO ’71 AND RACHEL DAYTON ’72 SPENT TIME TOGETHER AT A COTTAGE CALLED DRIFT AWAY ON LAKE SENECA IN GENEVA, NEW YORK. RACHEL WRITES, “DEEP BONDS FORMED LONG AGO NOW CREATE A STONE BRIDGE OF SUPPORT AS LIFE MOVES ON.”

messages and shouts out to Lake Harriet.) All Northrop girls welcome all times!” Vicki Parchman has been the volunteer coordinator of Calvary Church’s drop-in center for 26 years. She writes, “We provide Sunday community meals and clothing, etc. We always need gently used shoes, especially tennis shoes, and winter clothes. We are located at 2608 Blaisdell in Minneapolis.”

77

Dwight Cleveland owns one of the most prominent private collections of classic movie posters in the world. The Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida, displayed 215 of the 3,000-plus posters from his collection in an exhibition.

78

While on sabbatical as Blake’s Upper School media arts teacher, J Jolton was brought on as an art director and a game designer for Universal Space Station Inc. Excalibur Games announced the game will be released later this year.

Family Additions Jessica Lipschultz ’94 a daughter, Sabina Rayne May 1, 2019

Marriages Maris Allen ’93 and Dan Moore ’93 June 23, 2018 Lizzie Aby ’07 and Brendan Huss April 13, 2019 Julia Heffelfinger ’07 and Rick Maynard June 22, 2019

REUNION

80

John Randolph and his wife, Anne, have welcomed a growing family. Daughter Brooke ’05 has a 2-year-old son, George, and welcomed baby two in July. Daughter Brittany ’08 and Zach Gulla ’08 live in Santa Monica and married in August. Daughter Hannah ’13 and Daniel Maurer ’12 witnessed and officiated the ceremony in the Canadian Rockies. Hannah and Daniel are moving to Boston, where she will pursue a teaching role and Daniel will enter a Ph.D. program at Harvard. Daughter Courtney ’09 lives in Kansas City and is pursuing a master’s degree in codependency through Hazelden’s graduate

Fall 2019 23


CLASS NOTES

VALERIE GOLDEN'S NORTHROP 1972 CLASSMATES CAME OUT IN FULL FORCE TO HEAR HER BREAKFAST AT BLAKE PRESENTATION. PICTURED, L TO R, MARGIE CORWIN, ALICE KAPLAN, JENNIFER PETERSON, VALERIE, SANDRA SWEATT HULL, CAROL VAUGHAN BEMIS, LUCIA WATSON, CONNIE BEAN CONNORS AND SHIRAJOY ABRY.

school. John writes, “I have stayed in touch with Jim Duncan when he visits Minneapolis and last fall had a great fishing trip with Steve Sprenger. Last February, I enjoyed another awesome snowmobiling trip with Forrie Burke, Mike Sill and Warner Ide. After eight years running a private wealth practice at UBS in Wayzata, I moved the practice to a new RBC location focused on family office services. Anne and I spend time at our home in the Adirondacks and enjoy CrossFit, and I try to play as much golf as possible.”

81 82

Doug Smith (See In Print and Production)

Annie Gillette Cleveland has launched a new company. Extra Paddle Consulting helps leadership teams clarify their brand, identify product opportunities, enhance marketing, improve design and set goals. Scott Forbes reports from Denver, Colorado, with updates from several classmates. Bill Ogden’s family visited England during Wimbledon, and he and his 15-year-old daughter traveled to Barcelona. Lindsay Willette

24 Cyrus

BILL ZATS ’76 ENJOYS A BEACH SUNSET WITH HIS WIFE, NANCY, AND THEIR CHILDREN, BEN AND SHIRA.

Utter and her husband, Charlie, celebrated 30 years of marriage by driving 2,100 miles across Morocco. They drove through and hiked the Rif and Atlas mountains and camped in the Sahara Desert. Syd Rosen traveled to South Africa and Zambia. Scott says, “Me? I am heading to Cotopaxi, Colorado, this weekend. It’s a work trip. It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be intense. It’s nothing like London or Barcelona or Morocco or, wait a minute, it’s dusty and hot just like Morocco. But at least I’ll be hiking with pack goats and riding horses — until they take offense to my smartass commentary and buck me off.”

83

Alison Townley writes, “A fun and exhausting week of commencement celebrations and trustee meetings marks the start of year three as vice president of advancement at the American College of Greece in Athens. I feel extremely grateful every day to be a part of this extraordinary institution, started 143 years ago by women missionaries from Boston. Our motto is non ministrari sed ministrare. It’s the largest and oldest independent American education institution in Europe.”

ALISON TOWNLEY ’83 IN ATHENS, GREECE, WITH DAVID G. HORNER, PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF GREECE

84

Jennifer Monick and Jennifer Krasinski ’88 met at a party in New York City a few years ago and, after noting their identical first names, glasses and prematurely gray hair, realized they also went to the same middle school. More recently, they set about trying to remember all of the hotspots along Hennepin Avenue circa 1980. (Scissor Circus!) They had to summon the help of Uncle Dan Monick ’86 to recall some of it (Dudley Riggs) but were essentially in a heap laughing. Tom Quaintance will direct Twelfth Night (opening in February) at the Guthrie Theater. He writes, “The Guthrie is where I had my first theater job as an usher after my first year in college. I also have memories of shooting baskets with Thomas Ciulei ’83 in the rehearsal room at the old Guthrie with actors wearing pig heads from his father’s production of Peer Gynt. It is exciting to be coming back to direct.” Jon Traub and his wife, Jean, live in Annapolis, Maryland, but are relocating for the school year to Park City, Utah, where their 9-year-old son can indulge his passion for skiing. Jon is managing

principal for tax policy at Deloitte in Washington, D.C., where he puts the debate skills he learned at Blake to good use. REUNION

85

Betsy Aldrich won her second consecutive Minnesota Golf Association Women’s Senior Match Play Championship at Dahlgreen Golf Club in Chaska. Cathy Countryman Maes, executive director of Loaves and Fishes, received the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Transformational Leader Award for “creating a vision to serve healthy food to more people.” Under her leadership, the organization tripled the number of meals served. Ellen Mahoney and her husband, Aaron Imholt, have relocated to Minneapolis from the San Francisco Bay area, where they had been living and working for the past 22 years. Ellen began her career in New York in contemporary art galleries before moving to San Francisco several years later. As a contemporary art advisor, she consulted on acquiring artwork for Carlson for a redesign of their corporate headquarters in Minnetonka. She is looking


CLASS NOTES

JENNIFER NASH KOCHEVAR ’88 WORKED ALONGSIDE THE FLORENCE ACADEMY OF ART TO LAUNCH AN EXHIBITION OF ARTWORK BY CLASSICAL REALIST DANIEL GRAVES.

SYLVIE AND HER NEW SISTER, SABINA, ARE THE DAUGHTERS OF JESSICA LIPSCHULTZ ’94.

forward to expanding her advising business in the Midwest for corporate and private clients, as well as reconnecting with the Blake community. Fritz Rahr reports that Rahr and Sons Beer will start selling in the Twin Cities area this fall during special events and then begin statewide distribution in January 2020.

88

Jennifer Nash Kochevar lives and works in Minneapolis. As president of JNK Consulting, she serves as the artist representative for local artist and ARC Living Master Mary Pettis and classical realist Daniel Graves, the founder and director of the Florence Academy of Art. Jennifer recently partnered with the Florence Academy of Art to launch a solo exhibition of Daniel’s artwork at the world’s oldest academy, the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno in Florence, Italy. Continuum: The Art of Daniel Graves showcased more than 80 works, spanning 40 years, and drew record crowds. Sara Newhall moved to Paris and began working in Europe. She writes, “I’m still headhunting for venture-backed companies via

SUSIE WHITLOCK ’98 OF GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO, MATT MILEY '96 OF SAN FRANCISCO AND BESSIE ALYESHMERNI ’97 OF SQUAW VALLEY MET UP FOR A SKI DAY IN TAHOE.

InFlux Partners and will teach aerial yoga and sell essential oils (see flygirlsf.com). Super excited about this next chapter! If you’re coming through Paris, please reach out to me. Namaste.” REUNION

90

Jon Kirsch is in his fifth year teaching future health care providers about challenges faced by migrant and seasonal farmworkers.

91

Brian Warshawsky was named CEO of Fenix International, a company he co-founded in 2009 that offers solar home systems across Africa. He previously served as Fenix’s COO and before that spent five years at Apple as part of the iPod operations team.

93

Maris Allen and Dan Moore married in 2018, nearly 32 years after they met in Ms. Lundholm’s sixth grade homeroom at Blake. Maris markets movies for Los Angeles-based studios, and Dan is a litigation attorney for Target. They live in Edina with their children, Will Venable ’28, Madeline Moore and Henry Venable ’31.

JOHN WEST ’05, A PROFESSIONAL RECORDER PLAYER BASED IN BOSTON, VISITED BLAKE’S FOURTH AND FIFTH GRADE MUSIC CLASSES AND SPOKE ABOUT HIS PASSION FOR MUSIC.

94

Joining proud sister, Sylvie, Jessica Lipschultz and Jeremy Schildcrout welcomed daughter Sabina Rayne in May. After spending many years in New York, they moved back to Minneapolis and look forward to seeing fellow Blake alumni more frequently. Stephen Wallack (See In Print and Production)

96

Nora Anderson, executive director of executive education at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, was appointed to the board of directors for UNICON, a global consortium of business schoolbased organizations. Emily Chambers Blejwas (See In Print and Production)

97

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio named John Paul Farmer as the city’s chief technology officer. A former Microsoft technology and civic innovation director, John began his new role in June.

Kjell Wangensteen writes, “After graduating from the Yale School of Management in 2007, I took a position at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where I pursued a master’s degree in art history at Williams College. In 2010, I began a Ph.D. in art history at Princeton and spent eight wonderful years learning my field and researching my dissertation topic: artistic patronage at the Swedish court in the second half of the 17th century. In addition to living abroad in Stockholm and Florence, I served as the Theodore Rousseau Curatorial Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and as the Samuel H. Kress Predoctoral Fellow at the Morgan Library and Museum. In 2014, I met my future wife, Daria Foner, and we were married two years later at St. Paul’s Chapel in New York. In 2017, I accepted an appointment as curator of European art at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA), and we relocated. I defended my dissertation, graduated with my doctorate and opened my first major exhibition at the IMA entitled Life and Legacy: Portraits from the Clowes Collection. If any Blake alums are passing through Indy, please do give us a shout!”

Fall 2019 25


CLASS NOTES

LIZZIE ABY ’07 AND HUSBAND BRENDAN HUSS CELEBRATED THEIR WEDDING AMONG BLAKE FRIENDS AND FELLOW 2007 ALUMNI JONATHAN HIRSCH, CLAIRE RICHARDSON, NATALIE OWENS-PIKE, BETH DAVIS, KELLY MASLOW AND ERIN SCHNETTLER.

99

Eric Dayton was named by the World Economic Forum as one of the most promising leaders under age 40. He is among 126 people selected for a five-year program to help recipients expand their network and ideas.

01

Maxine Kaye Bédat founded and launched a data-based informational platform, New Standard Institute. Brennan Greene opened a second brewery in St. Paul in 2018. Birch’s Lowertown is across the street from CHS field (home of the St. Paul Saints) and the St. Paul Farmers Market. He writes, “Great food, full bar and, like Birch’s on the Lake in Long Lake, Birch’s Lowertown makes all its beer on site in order to guarantee it’s the freshest possible.” Gold House, an Asian collective that includes founders, creatives and leaders in a variety of fields, named Stitch Fix founder and CEO Katrina Lake to its list of the 100 most influential Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and Asians who have influenced U.S. culture. And Stitch Fix made

26 Cyrus

BLAKE'S ALUMNI COMMUNITY GAINED THREE NEW DENTISTS FROM THREE DIFFERENT DECADES. THIS SPRING, MEREDITH BURNS ’11, ANDREW KUEHN ’92 AND EVGENY BASHIROV ’06 GRADUATED TOGETHER FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA.

Fast Company’s list of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies. Stephanie Rich has launched Starting Up North, an online publication that aims to tell stories, share insights and provoke interest in the innovation that goes on in Minnesota and surrounding communities. In the first issue, she profiled fellow 2001 classmate and venture capitalist Soraya Darabi. Internationally acclaimed soprano (and Blake’s 2019 Young Alumna of the Year) Brittany Robinson performed at the University of Minnesota as part of a guest artist series.

02

Matt Martin is CEO and co-founder of Clockwise, an intelligent calendar assistant that applies machine learning to free up blocks of time for users to concentrate on work.

03

Josh Bashioum developed an earthquake early warning system, which will soon be used around the world. Jess Moss (See In Print and Production)

THE GITTLEMAN FAMILY (PICTURED, L TO R, MARK ’81, ISAAC ’19, DEB, SAM ’16 AND BEARS SUPERFAN SANDY THE DOG) HAVE LOVED PLAYING AND ROOTING FOR THE BLAKE ULTIMATE TEAM FOR THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS.

Jess Reiner, a senior counselor at the U.S. Department of the Treasury in the areas of terrorist financing and financial crimes, was recognized as one of 40 Under 40 in Housing and Finance by Women in Housing and Finance, Inc.

Santa Barbara Film Festival. Ann Ford ’08 wrote about Max’s career path, tracing back to his high school days, in Filmmaking with Max Gold ’06 in Minnesota, Iceland, the Czech Republic and on Silicon Beach. Find the story at blake.mn/maxgold.

REUNION

Food stylist and recipe developer Maren Ellingboe King taught a workshop on food, floral and interior styling in Tuscany in June. Participants learned about styling, social media and branding while enjoying an Italian vacation.

05

Ashley Bjork received a master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology from Capella University. She currently works in Minneapolis and is approaching her sixth year with Capella. Kendall Boyd-Tyson is vice president for strategy and analytics for NHL Seattle. Kate Greenberg became Colorado’s first female commissioner of agriculture when she was appointed to the position by Gov. Jared Polis.

06

Liz Apple has launched a new company. Paperapple sells paper goods locally designed and printed in Minneapolis. Max Gold celebrated the world premiere of his first feature film, Silicon Beach, at the 2018

07

Lizzie Aby married Brendan Huss in April at the Van Dusen Mansion in Minneapolis. The couple has moved back to Minneapolis, and Lizzie started a gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Minnesota. Adele Broberg has moved back to the Twin Cities and is working as the development and communications manager with SPOON, an infant nutrition nonprofit founded by fellow alumna Cindy Rothschild Kaplan ’90. Michael Lee (See In Print and Production)


CLASS NOTES

BRITTANY ROBINSON ’01, BLAKE’S 2019 YOUNG ALUMNA OF THE YEAR, WILL BE HONORED AT THE NOVEMBER BREAKFAST AT BLAKE, WHERE SHE WILL SHARE HER EXPERIENCES AS AN ARTIST NAVIGATING THE GLOBAL OPERA WORLD.

08

Kyle Boyd serves as youth and com­­munity devel­ opment and training director for NHL Seattle. Katie Dasburg is in her second year of residency as an emergency medicine physician at the Uni­­vers­ ­ity of Florida Shands Hospital. As an MBA student at Cornell, Julia Hawkins co-founded Cabinet, Inc., an online platform that connects administrative professionals.

09

Erik Gersovitz starred with Steve Carell, Lil Jon and Cardi B in a Pepsi commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. Michael Melamed lives in Denver with his girlfriend, Jane. He writes, “I am working as a portfolio manager for Cornerstone, managing 18 rental properties around Denver University. I also started my own property management company, Lakeside Investment Partners, LLC, which manages single family housing in west metro Minnesota. Lauren Mestitz received an MBA from Northwestern University’s

FILMMAKER MAX GOLD ’06 TOOK QUESTIONS DURING THE MINNEAPOLIS ST. PAUL INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ALONG WITH SISTER ZOEY GOLD ’11, A PRODUCER ON MAX’S FIRST FEATURE FILM, SILICON BEACH.

Kellogg School of Management. She has lived and worked in Chicago for six years. She leads training and development initiatives for the industrial supply company McMaster-Carr. REUNION

10

JULIA HEFFELFINGER ’07 MARRIED RICK MAYNARD IN WEEKAPAUG, RHODE ISLAND, ON JUNE 22, 2019. PICTURED, L TO R, TOM HEFFELFINGER ’66, LAURA HEFFELFINGER ’01, LAURA KOMAREK ’07, BETH DAVIS ’07, JULIA, RICK, NATALIE OWENS-PIKE ’07, ADELE BROBERG ’07, ROGER ROE ’66 AND STEVE WILLIAMS ’66.

In Memoriam Leslie Brown ’45 April 5, 2019

Randolph Brown ’47 former head of school, former trustee, May 23, 2019

Michael Carter has been working on political campaigns and in New York State government.

Yolanda Arnao Burr ’47 former parent, January 28, 2019

Asma Mohammed is advocacy director for Reviving Sisterhood, a platform created by Muslim women for Muslim women to center their voices and lived experiences to bring change in their communities.

Lucinda Nash Dudley ’53 July 27, 2019

Tyler Storlie (See In Print and Production)

11

Sarah Carthen Watson finished a postgrad legal fellowship at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Washington, D.C. and accepted an offer to stay on as associate counsel. She continues litigation, consulting and advocacy work in the Fair Housing and Community Development Project.

12

Kaitlin Hansen, lean coordinator of manufacturing and

Charles Deaver ’60 May 23, 2019

Stephen “Duke” Duffy ’47 May 1, 2019 Mary Oss Egan ’44 August 19, 2019 Yvonne Martin Fox ’46 former grandparent, July 31, 2019 Gerald “Jerry” Gammell ’54 June 10, 2019 Louis “Steve” Goldstein former parent, current grandparent, former trustee, July 15, 2019 Ruth Harper ’47 October 23, 2018

Charles “Doug” Holcombe ’53 former parent, former faculty, March 23, 2019 Robert Holmgren ’48 March 31, 2019 Alexandra Light Jacobs ’59 former parent, current grandparent, April 10, 2019 Thomas Keliher ’79 September 20, 2019 Robert Kingman ’68 April 14, 2019 Aaron Lenz ’09 April 14, 2019 Thomas Little ’46 June 5, 2019 Scott Lindsay ’78 April 21. 2019 Charles Lundholm ’61 May 11, 2019 John MacArthur ’79 April 22, 2019 Ryan Mahoney current faculty, August 31, 2019 Gretchen Boehrer McCabe ’56 former parent, April 12, 2018

Sue Bros Merriman ’48 April 6, 2019 Curtis Nelson '82 former parent September 27, 2019 James Overholt ’54 August 8, 2019 Henry Pillsbury ’54 August 17, 2019 Aaron Rapport ’99 June 27, 2019 Cynthia McCarthy Sandberg ’53 July 13, 2019 Alan Sandy ’50 May 23, 2019 Matthew Schmidt ’02 March 13, 2019 Harry “Bud” Schoening ’57 July 17, 2019 James “Rusty” Swan ’53 January 27, 2019 Heidi Ellsworth Thompson ’59 April 3, 2019 Mimi Mullin Villaume ’54 former parent, June 1, 2019 David “Rip” West ’45 August 8, 2019

Please inform the Institutional Advancement Office of Blake community member deaths by calling (952) 988-3430 or by sending an email to cyrus@blakeschool.org.

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CLASS NOTES

MALCOLM KELNER ’11 TOOK HOME THE GRAND PRIZE MONEY, A GOLDEN PUTTER AND A GREEN PLAID SPORT COAT WHEN HE COMPETED ON THE ABC MINI-GOLF SERIES HOLEY MOLEY.

OUTSTANDING ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR MARK DAYTON ’65, JENNY STEPHENS HAGEN SPIRIT AWARD WINNER GEORGE BODEM ’54 AND ALUMNUS ATHLETE OF THE YEAR KELLY CORCORAN SMITH ’98 WERE HONORED DURING THIS YEAR’S REUNION AND HOMECOMING WEEKEND EVENTS.

engineering for Design Ready Controls, was selected as an emerging leader in the Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Ahead Awards, honoring young women who have demonstrated exceptional accomplishments early in their careers. Katie Lindahl graduated with a Master of Science in college student development and counseling from Northeastern University and moved to Chicago to work in college programming at the University of Chicago.

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Juwan Davis lives in Los Angeles and is working toward a degree in broadcasting while doing background work in shows and movies.

Noah Smith graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University and was accepted to the Master of Arts in international studies program at Nanjing Center (Nanjing, China) Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He also was awarded the Tufts University Chinese department alumni award to aid in his continued study of the Chinese language. Schmitty Thompson graduated from Northland College with a dual degree in geoscience and mathematics and is beginning graduate studies at Oregon State’s geoscience Ph.D. program in Corvallis, Oregon. They write, “Blake set me up incredibly well for success, and I’m so excited to continue on my academic journey.” REUNION

Joe Kyle, a painting major at St. Olaf, completed a fifth-year artist-in-residency with the school. His work was recently featured in a show at the Truckstop Gallery on Nicollet Island in Minneapolis.

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Swarthmore College senior and baseball player Charlie Levitt hit his 14th career home run, breaking the school’s all-time record of 13. He hit one as a fresh-­ ­­man, two as a sophomore, nine as a junior and two as a senior.

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As a forward for the Princeton University women’s hockey team, Carly Bullock led the Tigers to the national quarterfinals.

Bogotá, Colombia. With the help of fellow students on Blake’s Com­mun­­ity Service Board and other donors, he was able to bring about a new water well for one community.

Robyn Lipshultz, a senior at Johns Hopkins University and a member of the women’s lacrosse team, was named a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar. The list includes students from 14 institutions and 38 sports who have recorded a grade-point average of 3.7 or higher for the academic year.

Kyra Willoughby, a Harvard University women’s hockey team member, was selected as an All-Ivy honoree for the 2018-19 season. She appeared in all 10 Ivy contests and totaled nine points during her debut season.

Isabel Norsten was awarded a research fellowship Mellon Grant from Occidental College’s art history department. Jaimi Salone, a student-athlete at Stanford University, talks about the experiences that have shaped who they are and who they want to be in I Am Jaimi. The story is available at gostanford/feature/iamjaimi.

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Justin Gainsley initi­ated a service project to raise money for a water filtration system in

SUBMIT YOUR CLASS NOTES AND PHOTOS TO CLASSNOTES@BLAKESCHOOL.ORG. 28 Cyrus

AMONG THE 34 ASPIRING TEACHERS WHO SERVED AS LEARNINGWORKS FACULTY THIS SUMMER, 10 WERE BLAKE ALUMNI OR CURRENT STUDENTS, INCLUDING ADDISON ANDERSON ’19, ALLEN CAO ’20, JOHN FLANAGAN ’15, PETER GULLICKSON ’17, JOEL JUDE ’18, HANNAH KORSLUND ’16, TYLER KOSSILA ’16, BEN LEE ’19, SONAL SINHA ’19 AND ALDEN PIERSON SMELA ’18.

Former Faculty

Russ Hilliard (former Blake Spanish teacher, student services and college counselor, 1952-1991) writes, “Last year, I sold my house in Edina, where I lived for 66 years and moved into Gideon Pond Terrace, an independent living facility, part of the Presbyterian Homes of Bloomington. I also celebrated my 90th birthday on July 20. I would welcome news from former Blake students and faculty colleagues.” Class reunion photos available at blake.mn/reunion2019.


VOICES What Travel Taught Me About Me This past spring break, I traveled to the Dominican Republic with 16 other Blake students and two teachers. Initially I was hoping to practice my Spanish in a Spanish-speaking country, but the nine-day experience ultimately gave me more confidence, taught me about myself as a leader and allowed me to trust my abilities.

In the short time we spent there, I realized the best

way to be an effective leader was to focus on my strengths and use them for the benefit of the group. Although this meant stepping out of my comfort zone, discovering my leadership ability brought surprises and rewards.

One day our group interviewed locals about life in

the Dominican Republic. Since most of them didn’t speak Jane Lansky ’20 teaches swimming lessons at the Midtown YWCA, where she often gets to practice her Spanish with her students and other patrons.

English, it was up to the Spanish-speaking students to conduct the interviews. In order to speak with as many people as possible, we split into smaller groups and walked around the small town. I soon realized that, besides our teacher, I was the only Spanish speaker in the group. I felt nervous about speaking Spanish with native speakers, but despite my fear, I stepped up to conduct the interviews and help translate for the students in our group.

Another day, we were instructed to build a small house

for a local family. Our group was intimidated by the work at first, but we discovered if we assigned tasks based on strengths, we would be able to meet the challenge. I used strategy skills to help our group maximize efficiency by moving boards and determining where they should be hammered into the wall. It took most of the day, but by the end of the afternoon we had completed the small house.

This incredible experience not only allowed me to

practice Spanish and learn about Dominican culture, it taught me how to be a leader in my own way.

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