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Cathedral T H E M AG A Z I N E O F T H E C AT H E D R A L S C H O O L O F ST. J O H N T H E D I V I N E 

SPRING 2019

Celebrating Our

Expansion


Cathedral T H E M AG A Z I N E O F T H E C AT H E D R A L S C H O O L O F ST. J O H N T H E D I V I N E S P R I N G 2 019 Head of School Marsha K. Nelson Director of Institutional Advancement Elizabeth Oswald Editor Jessie Saunders Writers Alan Donaldson Dr. Worokya Duncan Daniel Hrdlicka Colin Murray Elizabeth Oswald Jessie Saunders Design Aldeia www.aldeia.design Photography Marjorie Becker Daniel Hrdlicka Colin Murray Caroline Voagen Nelson Filip Wolak Printing Lane Press Please send magazine submissions to: The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine Attn: Cathedral Editor 1047 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY 10025 Email: news@cathedralnyc.org

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A Landmark Expansion After over a century, The Cathedral School has expanded the school building with the addition and renovation of 12,000 square feet of light-filled common spaces—and, in so doing, has transformed the entire school.

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A Magical “Time” Library of America, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and Cathedral School students celebrated the legacy of Madeleine L’Engle, author of A Wrinkle in Time and former Cathedral Writer-in-Residence

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A student-run sustainability conference has inspired environmental activism across independent schools citywide, thanks in large part to the leadership of Cathedral School students and alumni.

The Cathedral School Lower School mathematics curriculum develops math skills in the earliest years by engaging with children in a way that is meaningful to them.

Spreading Sustainablity

Meaningful Math

D E PA RT M E N T S

02 Letter from the Head of School 03 Notes from Amsterdam Avenue 20 Uniquely Cathedral 24 R  esponsible Citizens of the World 26 On the Close 42 Graduation 2018 44 Beyond Cathedral 48 The Last Word

#CathedralNYC #TheCathedralSchool #KnowWonder / Cover: Colin Murray, TOC and Back Cover photo: Filip Wolak


Letter from the Head of School MARSHA K. NELSON

A Cathedral School Story

These lyrics are from “Something’s Coming” in West Side Story, one of my favorite musicals. I love this song—Tony is so filled with anticipation that music is practically bursting from within. Having waited all year for the Expansion to open, I know how he feels! This has been a particularly thrilling year at The Cathedral School. With new classrooms, learning centers, and offices— in addition to all of the improvements completed in the summer of 2017—transformed spaces have enhanced the experience of our students. And now, as we settle into the state-of-the-art spaces of the Expansion Project (see p. 28), we enter a bold new chapter in the life and history of our Cathedral School story, a true west side story. Our story involves a new space for learning, and it represents the dual nature of the work we do here at Cathedral, where we work to build a traditional foundation for students while fostering the creativity and innovation necessary to thrive in a quickly-changing world. Where will our new story take us? When we read, we are looking to the past and learning about where we came from, while also looking to the future and dreaming about the possibilities of what might come. We read to remind ourselves that we are not alone—in fact, I would argue that

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F I L I P WO L A K

The air is humming, and something great is coming. Could it be? Yes, it could! Something’s coming, something good…

the greatest of stories remind us just how deeply interconnected we are. But we don’t just read stories. We also write them, and unlike a familiar story or classic novel, whose plot is unchanging, our tales are still being written, and the pages of the chapter before us are blank. There is excitement around every corner and infinite possibility with the turn of every page. We at The Cathedral School have been keenly aware of these possibilities and, collaborating with teachers, students, administrators, families, and friends, we eagerly write the next chapter of our Cathedral School Story. s

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Notes from Amsterdam Avenue


Notes from Amsterdam Avenue

Question Time

Questions and Answers with Cathedral Kids

Favorite Cathedral School tradition? I love that kindergartners still go appleand pumpkinpicking.

Being with everyone at the table during Passover Seder.

Favorite part of Lower School Assembly? The Weekly Wonder Book because I always like hearing the new stuff people are doing.

Electives!

Dress Your Teacher Assembly and Spirit Week!

IKE S., 7TH GRADE

FRANNY D., 6TH GRADE

What book or author will you read in the new library? Judy Blume!

Diary of an 8-bit Warrior because I love Minecraft.

ALEEM S., 4TH GRADE

Sing-alongs, especially “Oh, What a Day!”

JOSIAH T., 1ST GRADE

I like that everyone gets to perform.

JAKE B., 8TH GRADE

CAROLINE P., 8TH GRADE

Telling jokes!

ZAE B., 1ST GRADE

What will you miss most about The Cathedral School over the summer? The campus and playgrounds and peacocks! KATE T., 6TH GRADE

JUSTIN H., 2ND GRADE

I can’t wait to find a new series to start!

Working together as a group in classes.

CORA A., 4TH GRADE

MATTHEW B., 4TH GRADE

NICHOLAS V., 3RD GRADE

MIYA L., 4TH GRADE

Anything by Roald Dahl.

My friends.

ALEX W., 4TH GRADE

NAHAIRA G., 1ST GRADE

Lunchroom, and especially the salad bar. HUDSON M., 5TH GRADE


F I L I P WO L A K

STEAM coordinator and science teacher Meglena Zapreva admires an exhibit at Cathedral’s STEAM Expo alongside members of the 4th grade.

Cathedral Hosts STEAM Expo In May 2018, Cathedral hosted a STEAM Expo featuring innovative interdisciplinary projects from all grades. Cathedral STEAM coordinator Meglena Zapreva spearheaded this effort as a way to showcase the collaborative technology-based projects developed by the school’s faculty, both to the Cathedral community and the wider independent school community. Throughout the event, teachers from other independent schools from all five boroughs visited the Expo, sparking an exchange of ideas. The day culminated with a technology integrators meeting with participants from other elementary and K–8 schools. “It was so beneficial for our team to exchange different strategies and to develop ways to make the content accessible in an age-appropriate way,” Ms. Zapreva said. The school is hosting a second-annual STEAM conference in the Expansion on May 14, 2019, and Ms. Zapreva hopes to expand upon the already great work being done. “I really want to be thoughtful about the way we present projects that highlight integration between disciplines. How can we better document and present these projects?”

A L L T H E S C H O O L’ S A STAG E The seed for the Upper School’s Literary Stage presentations came from members of the Cathedral School Student Council, which was looking for a way to encourage public speaking for students outside of theatrical productions. The events, during which 5th, 6th, and 7th graders recite poetry, prose, selections of plays, and famous speeches, give Cathedral students valuable experience speaking in front of crowds and can include works outside of the established curriculum. These Literary Stages are coordinated with service events that Literary Stage advisor, teacher Jonathan Pirnia, calls “Spark Outings,” where students give back to the community. These service opportunities have included leading book readings at Book Culture bookstore and tending the gardens at Harlem Grown, an urban agriculture collective. “These outings are all about engendering a sense of community despite everyone’s busy schedules,” Mr. Pirnia says, adding, “It’s a great opportunity for Cathedral School students to share responsibility and learn to speak with a strong voice.”

STEAM Camp’s Summer of Fun Now entering its fourth year, The Cathedral School’s STEAM Camp takes advantage of both the school’s stateof-the-art facilities and the beautiful Cathedral campus. This summer, campers will enjoy six weeks of STEAM programming, including art, music, robotics, circuits, aerodynamics, stop-motion video, engineering, game development, chemistry, and 3D printing—all hosted in Cathedral’s incredible new Expansion and renovated classrooms. As always, mornings at camp will be led by Cathedral faculty and Cathedral alumni counselors. Campers will spend their afternoons enjoying team sports and other activities outdoors, either on the Close or in Morningside or Central Park. Sign your budding engineer up for one—or all three—of Cathedral STEAM Camp’s two-week sessions. For more information, contact STEAM Camp director Emmanuel Saldana at steamcamp@cathedralnyc.org or visit www.cathedralnyc.org/steamcamp.

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Welcome, New Faculty! 1 1

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JENNIFER BROWN Upper School math teacher Life before Cathedral? I taught at independent schools, including Chapin, Hewitt and Saint Andrews. What inspires you about this first year at Cathedral? I’ve found the community incredibly welcoming. Favorite travel destination? I love Tanzania. I trained teachers there and found it to be an incredible place.

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JOSEFINA CALLENDER Upper School Spanish teacher Life before Cathedral? Before Cathedral I worked at the Wheeler School in Providence, RI. What inspires you about Cathedral? What thrills me about Cathedral is the integration of the core values to the life of the school and the inherent community-building journey that these values bring. There is something very empowering to all, I believe, when you are guided by the commonality of shared intrinsic values. The pursuit of these truths in action also helps us build a language of engagement and a common vocabulary with which to keep growing as whole people. The core values address the whole person. I love that. Favorite

travel destination? That’s a hard one to answer. Cuba, Hong Kong, Mainland China, Brazil, Costa Rica, Perú, Bolivia, Chile, Canada, Spain, France, England, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Uruguay, Nicaragua, California, New Mexico, Vermont, New Hampshire, Georgia, Tennessee—each place brings new knowledge and perspectives, and each place introduces you to new people and newer insights. I hope life allows me to continue to explore the world and my own place in this broad landscape.

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KEVIN HUGHES 5th grade math teacher, and coach of the math team Life before Cathedral? I was an Assistant Principal in the NYC Department of Education. What inspires you about the Cathedral community? An easy answer here is the people. I have been continually impressed with Cathedral faculty, staff, and administration. People care so deeply about Cathedral. Favorite travel destination? I like to explore, so my favorite travel location is always the next trip. Right now, my next trip is to South Africa. My wife won a research grant from Columbia University that

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Six of Cathedral’s eight new faculty introduce themselves to our community — to meet the other two, see p. 8

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is paying for us to go to South Africa for two weeks. She will be interviewing some of the top artists in Cape Town and Johannesburg for her master’s thesis. I am very proud of her!

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MICHELLE MILLER 1st grade associate teacher Life before Cathedral? Before coming to Cathedral, I was a 2nd grade head teacher at a charter school in North Carolina, which is where I grew up. I moved to New York City after I was married in July. What inspires you about the Cathedral community? I am so inspired by my positive coworkers here at Cathedral, both staff and faculty. Even on the busiest of days, there is always someone there with a funny story, a reassuring smile, or a helping hand! From planning for instruction, administrative work, preparing meals each day, keeping the school grounds safe and welcoming, and ensuring student success and happiness, Cathedral staff and faculty work as a

community to make Cathedral School what it is! Favorite travel destination? I recently traveled to Italy, where I spent some time among history in Rome and Pompeii before I traveled to the beautiful coast. The Italian people were incredibly welcoming, and the culture was such a joy to experience. The food, of course, was unforgettable!

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KEVIN NICHOLAS 5th grade English and social studies teacher Life before Cathedral? I worked at the Rumson Country Day School for the past nine years: the first four as a teacher (3rd grade, 4th grade, and Upper School English), with the past five years as the Director of Admissions. What inspires you about the Cathedral community? In my dual roles as new Cathedral faculty member and new Cathedral parent, I have been struck by how much my colleagues are committed to “walking the walk” of helping

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ASHLEY PHILIPS Kindergarten teacher Life before Cathedral? I taught previously at The Acorn School, York Avenue Preschool, and Dream Charter School. What inspires you about the Cathedral community? I am thrilled to work at Cathedral and to have been so warmly embraced by the community. I’m excited to teach the Identity Curriculum and begin this very important conversation with my students. I love walking onto the campus every morning as the sun rises and reminding myself how lucky I am work here. Favorite travel destination? I went to Bavaria last summer for ten days. My favorite place was a tiny town called Triesenburg in Liechtenstein, high up in the Alps. I went hiking with llamas! Everyone takes so much pride in keeping their country clean and beautiful. It was the most breathtaking place I’ve ever been and hope to visit again!

Reflecting on Lower School Identity Director of Inclusion and Community Engagement Dr. Worokya Duncan shares why the Lower School Identity Program makes a difference I remember elementary school as a time when I was expected to leave certain things at the door in order to learn and be a part of the community. My name was either constantly mispronounced, or not called at all. The holidays celebrated were not the holidays my family members celebrated. Lunches and snacks I’d bring were often mocked, not only by students but also by teachers. Education is as much about the overt messages as the subliminal ones. It is as much the text itself as it is what the texts tell us about ourselves and each other. In the Lower School, faculty and staff carefully choose the books children will read with an eye to inclusion. We recognize there are various aspects of our identity, and we invite all of those aspects into the classroom as lenses through which learning may occur. Teachers create an environment where students are comfortable speaking about how they live as it relates to their understanding of gender, family structure, skin color, ethnicity, ability, age, family traditions, and ways of learning. To supplement the themes of identity that are already seamlessly interwoven into the language, math, science, art, and music curricula, Identity Time occurs as an explicit discussion to further tease out how students describe their world. They get to discuss gender in media through analysis of Halloween costumes. They can describe intersectionality using tissue paper and color paints. They walk the neighborhood and advocate for buildings with complete Dr. Worokya Duncan, Director of Inclusion and accessibility to people, regardless of Community Engagement their ability to walk or see. Children recognize when they are seen, and the socio-emotional effect of being seen directly impacts their ability to access information. Schools send messages everyday to students and their families. Our goal is to always make it clear that every aspect of a child’s being is important and vital to the life and learning of the entire community. It is not just for the sake of that child—it is for the sake of finally building a more perfect union. s C O L I N M U R R AY

guide our children toward three vital aspects of learning: learning how to learn, learning about oneself, and learning about how to make a positive impact on the world around you. Favorite travel destination? Costa Rica. My wife and I went for our honeymoon years ago. We were in Tamarindo, Arenal, and Monteverde. Each place had its own unique identity, but they all reflected the multifaceted beauty of Costa Rican culture. We also got the opportunity to see firsthand a strong sense of national pride on display when Costa Rica’s men’s national soccer team had a close match against Mexico during one of our last days there.

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FAC U LT Y F O C U S :

Sara Collins and Ricca Gaus A Q&A with Sara Collins, Cathedral’s new Director of Innovation and Educational Technology, and Ricca Gaus, the school’s new Director of Library and New Media, about how tradition and innovation can meet in Cathedral’s collaborative spaces Can you tell us about your background and how you came to Cathedral? Sara Collins: I joined The Cathedral School after designing the Blended Learning program for the Archdiocese of New York. Blended Learning is a program that combines online digital media with traditional classroom methods. This is my 11th year as an instructional technology integration specialist. Ricca Gaus: I joined Cathedral from The Francis Parker School in San Diego, California where I worked primarily with grades 6–12. Earlier in my career, I was a children’s librarian at the New York Public Library doing story times and hosting class visits. After a four-year stint in California for my husband’s job, we returned to New York City. What are your roles at Cathedral? SC: I play several roles here. I am the Director of Innovation and Educational Technology, which means my first job is to find new ways to bring fresh concepts, tools, software, and ideas into the curriculum. This work takes place all over school—not just in the new Innovation Lab and Annex. I partner with the teachers to help them use technology in new ways in their classrooms. I partner with students to help them use technology in meaningful ways to increase their active participation in

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Left to right: Ricca Gaus and Sara Collins

their own learning. I also help support the school through my work in the Technology Department. I help keep all technological projects and goals viewed through the curricular lens of the needs of the students and teachers. I also provide technical support should someone need assistance. RG: My title is the Director of Library and New Media, which means I primarily oversee the library space and the curriculum for that class for Kindergarten through 6th graders, but I believe there’s more to it than that. The librarian is responsible for promoting reading and love of literature throughout the school as well as teaching media literacy, which can help children develop a healthy skepticism of everything they read. Beyond those things, Sara and I are collaborating on the technology curriculum, though she is taking the lead on that project.

atmosphere that is truly inspiring for the students. I’m amazed by their ideas! RG: I concur. Library/Tech is still largely about books and media, but there is a portion of the year that is set aside for working together on technology lessons and projects. What are you most energized by in the new space? SC: I’m excited that this is a blank canvas upon which we all get to make our mark. Traditions are the foundation of what we do here, and I’m excited to start a few new traditions with the new space as the home in which those traditions can grow and develop. RG: I am also looking forward to creating new traditions in the library that empower students to make choices about what they read and consume. Too often there are restrictions on what students can read based on curriculum, availability, or time. I want to make time and space for them to seek out what they truly enjoy so that they have positive associations with reading that will make them lifelong readers. I also strive to give them mirrors to their own

The Expansion Project is transformative for Cathedral. How do you envision making the most of these new Media, Library, and Innovation spaces as partners in teaching? SC: This school year, Ricca and I have partnered to co-teach and co-design several engaging and thought-provoking learning experiences through the students’ Library/Tech classes. This new space has created an

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experiences and windows into the experiences of others through books. This will help to create empathetic and engaged citizens that can tackle the problems of the future.

DA N I E L H R D L I C K A

What innovations do you see incorporating into the curriculum that will be facilitated by the Expansion Project? SC: I am exploring intentional use of technology to impact the world around us. This new space will give us just that, space to dream and design ways in which we might be able to impact our worlds. This can be done in so many ways: from the most emergent augmented reality technologies to good, old-fashioned cardboard and glue. RG: I am hoping to provide a safe space for students to explore their preferences but also highlight materials they might not encounter on their own. In my lessons, I am always concerned with what is happening in their other classes or subjects because I strive to enhance the units the teachers have already created. For example, in 3rd grade they are doing a unit on South Africa, so I have chosen books from that country to provide a complement to the existing curriculum.

Money and Math

C A R O L I N E VOAG E N N E L S O N

A new elective helps students put their money where their math is “Buy! Sell! Sell! Buy!” These words echoed excitedly through Room 219 during a recent meeting of Money and Math as Upper Schoolers participated in a simulation exploring the ups and downs (and ups) of “KO” (Coca-Cola), “AAPL” (Apple), and other stocks over a 10-year period in order to calculate overall percent gains. Money and Math is a new elective taught by 5th grade math teacher Kevin Hughes. According to Mr. Hughes, the aim of this course is twofold: to introduce principles of financial literacy and to integrate these concepts with math competition problems. Mr. Hughes is also the moderator of the Math Team, an extracurricular opportunity for 4th through 8th graders who are preparing for national competitions such as MATHCOUNTS, Math Olympiad, and the AMC 8 each year. “I love teaching, and I try to bring a lot of real-world money problems into the math classroom,” Mr. Hughes said. “Financial literacy is very important. Our students come from all different backgrounds, but I hope that by the time they leave Cathedral they have certain understandings of how the world works because money is something everyone uses in their daily lives.” Throughout the Money and Math curriculum, students solve math problems through a financial lens of assets and liabilities, while also reflecting on themes of equity, ethics, confidence, and more. “I want our students to be well-rounded,” Mr. Hughes said. “I was a literature major and I don’t like when I hear people say, ‘I’m not a numbers person.’ I would rather Cathedral students be able to say, ‘I can solve a problem if I really work hard and apply myself.’ That’s the attitude and can-do mentality I want to foster in our kids.”

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Fourth grade teacher Ben Jacoff and his wife welcomed baby Alice Rebecca Jacoff (1) in September 2018. ¶ Upper School Spanish teacher and 5th grade Dean Delilah Lora and her husband Arez welcomed baby Leah Kristine in January 2019. ¶ Communications Coordinator Colin Murray and his wife Suzanne welcomed daughter Margot Catherine Murray in February 2019. ¶ Former teacher (and frequent substitute teacher) Howard Nusbaum proudly shares a photo of his brand-new grandson, Graham (2), born in March to his son Jeffrey Nusbaum ’00 and his wife, Carly. ¶ In other news: Music teacher Arden Delacey is a member of The Centre Symphony Orchestra, where she plays the trombone. The Centre Symphony Orchestra (CSO), founded in 1960 and celebrating over 50 years of service to New Yorkers, is one of the City’s oldest and most esteemed community-based orchestras. She is also a trombonist of the 92nd St Y Orchestra, an ensemble that is celebrating over 100 years of performing. She is also a member of the Doctors Orchestral Society of New York, an ensemble founded in 1938 by physicians interested in performing symphonic music. “Guess what,” she says, “Their motto is, ‘Music Heals.’” ¶ Meglena Zapreva was invited by Fulbright to lead a series of seminars in Bulgaria over the course of the year on interactive cross-curricular learning in museums and school-museum partnerships.

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Dedicated Cathedral School volunteers Hannah Stebbins P ’18, ’23 and her mother, Pam

All in the Family Cathedral parents are known for their community involvement, and it’s a true family affair for Hannah and Pam Stebbins. Hannah’s son Luke graduated last year, and her son Theo is currently in the 4th grade. Over her ten years at Cathedral, she has been a PA rep and has volunteered at every major Cathedral event imaginable, from Spring Fair to the Absalom Jones Benefit for Financial Aid. Her mother Pam has graciously served for the past two years as Grandparent Chair for the school’s Annual Fund. How did you find Cathedral? Hannah: I came about 12 years ago to the spring open house and was blown away. There was a panel of 8th graders, and I thought if my child could be that confident, articulate,

kind and cheerful, this was the right place. Pam: Since I have two grandchildren at Cathedral, I’ve been to a lot of assemblies, evensongs, and Grandparents Days. There’s a wonderful spirit about it. How did you become involved in the school? H: I think right away. I know Cathedral lends itself to that really well. Whether it’s field trips, athletics, or parent events, it’s really easy to get involved. I started as a tour guide early on, which is a really great way to get to know the school. P: Evgeniya in the Advancement Office reached out to me to be Annual Fund Chair for the grandparents. We had met before, and she knew I would go to school events or come to pick up Luke and Theo.

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A World Language Capstone for the 8th Grade

A N E W FO C U S O N S PA N I S H Se habla español! Starting this academic year, students in kindergarten through 3rd grade are concentrating on Spanish in their world language instruction. Cathedral’s early attention to foreign language acquisition is a notable feature of the curriculum. Head of School Marsha Nelson says, “I am confident this is the best course for our students and expect they will continue to receive an excellent foundation in World Language, preparing them well for high school and beyond.” For Lower School Spanish teacher Lynn Zimmerman, the benefits of this concentration were immediately evident. Focusing on one language all year long helps with consistency and continuity, building stronger foundations. “The children are like sponges and love learning Spanish through games, songs, chants, and stories and look forward to each class with enthusiasm and excitement,” Ms. Zimmerman says. “They are acquiring skills in listening, pronunciation, and language acquisition. The skills learned are scaffolded, and the learning spirals as they go through the grades.”

What do you like about volunteering? P: I think the school is wonderful, and I support it in every way. I just walk into the school and I’m happy. I feel very appreciated for what I do. H: I think the school attracts down-to-earth, fun, interesting people, and by getting involved you meet friends. I still get together with all the Class of 2018 moms.

What you’re saying about the school functions, athletics, and even drop-off and pick-up, there’s so many entry-points for parents at the school. H: So much of that isn’t volunteering, but it’s part of a larger welcoming spirit of the school. It makes it easier to volunteer because you’re already feeling invested and involved.

The 8th grade Foreign Language Capstone project is a year-long culmination of the students’ study of either French or Spanish at The Cathedral School. The idea for the project was the brainchild of Upper School Spanish teacher Delilah Lora and Upper School French teacher Maria Anagnostopoulou. Ms. Lora explains, “Maria and I were discussing whether or not we felt there was a need for 8th grade world language final exams or if there was something more memorable and meaningful that we could create for our 8th graders to culminate their years of world language learning.” They decided on a course of independent study that would answer the questions, “How does foreign language enhance my awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity? How can I integrate my foreign language learning with my personal passions?” The result is a multi-layered project that spans the entire academic year. In the first trimester, the student writes an investigative paper on a topic of the student’s choice, which may include anything from cuisine to sports to sustainability. They pitch their topics through a Capstone video they create and edit, including a narrative in their language concentration. In the second trimester, the student either interviews an expert in their chosen field or participates in a cultural event, which could range from taking a salsa dancing class to attending a French film festival. The Capstone finale is an exhibition which showcases all the students’ research. The teachers invite parents, faculty, and members of the Cathedral community to attend and listen as the students share their work. In the end, the project inspires a life-long passion for language and cultural exploration.

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#TheCathedralSchool Keep up with The Cathedral School wherever you go by following us on social media! Our Instagram (@cathedralnyc) and Facebook (facebook. com/cathedralnyc) pages are exciting digital destinations with exclusive Cathedral School content you won’t find anywhere else—from guest speakers and special class projects to campus shots, athletic updates, candid peacock poses, and more! We invite all community members to join in the fun by using our hashtags: #TheCathedralSchool, #cathedralnyc, and #KnowWonder. Thank you for being our best ambassadors and helping spread the good word about Cathedral!

YouVist Virtual Campus Tour Want to check out what’s new on campus? We’d love to welcome you for a visit, but if you can’t make it to Morningside Heights, our YouVisit Virtual Tour is the next best thing! Featuring 15 living and still stops around our lush 13-acre campus, this immersive experience captures the beauty and magic of The Cathedral School—and stay tuned for additional stops featuring the Expansion Project’s new spaces, coming soon! To access the YouVisit Virtual Tour, visit our homepage at cathedralnyc.org.

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Thilo Widder After graduating from Columbia Secondary School, Thilo matriculated at Bennington College in Vermont. Throughout high school, he fostered a wide range of interests, including robotics, engineering, philosophy, and animation.

Notes from Amsterdam Avenue Sloane Satow Sloane was very active in service at Trevor Day School, where she was a member of HELO Haiti and traveled to work at a children’s center in Haiti. Considering a pre-medical track (for surgery), she is currently a freshman at Duke University.

Isabella Cosentino Isabella is a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, where she is studying the business side of fashion. Also a fashion model, Isabella graduated from Dominican Academy.

Sophia Nunn After playing soccer, basketball, and lacrosse at Spence, Sophia is now a freshman at Georgetown University. An avid film photographer with many interests, Sophia is also a staff photographer for The Hoya student newspaper.

Jane Li Jane attended Phillips Exeter Academy, where she developed an interest in environmental studies, vertical farming, and hydroponics. Considering a future as an entrepreneur, Jane is a freshman at Yale University.

Melinda Vivado Melinda was very active in service and theatre throughout her time at The Marvelwood School, writing, directing, and performing her own script. She is currently a freshman at Whittier College in Los Angeles.

CLASS OF 2014 REFLECTIONS Sophia Nunn: Cathedral gave me the ability to put myself into other people’s shoes and to be aware of myself and those around me. Not only did I learn how to manage my time well and balance my commitments at Cathedral, but I also learned how to empathize with people. I was more prepared going into high school than some of my peers because I was able to understand where others were coming from and how their experiences differed from my own. Max Harris: If I had to choose a single word to sum up what Cathedral has given me—it would be empathy. From kindergarten onwards, I felt that The Cathedral School always ensured that I viewed everyone around me with humanity. I learned that all people are fundamentally the same—living life in search of happiness, kindness, and family. I think that that lesson was a big part of growing up.

CATCHING UP WITH THE

Class of 2014 Gathering in June of 2018 for a reunion and Ice Cream Social before embarking on new adventures in the fall, nine members of the Class of 2014 enjoyed catching up and swapping stories of their Cathedral days. They were pleased to share updates with Cathedral Magazine.

Tristan Herrod Tristan is back in New York City after moving to Texas with his family at the end of 8th grade. Passionate about science and engineering, Tristan is a member of the Class of 2019 at Columbia Secondary School.

Max Harris An enthusiastic traveler who has especially enjoyed his time in Myanmar, Max Harris graduated from Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School. He attends Brown University, where he is interested in history, political science, and law.

Sophia de Peña A graduate of The Hotchkiss School, Sophia is interested in Russianand Latin American Studies, having spent a summer abroad in Bolivia. She is an experienced water polo player and currently a freshman at Barnard College.

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“We Want a Trophy!” At the beginning of the 2017–2018 girls basketball season, winning a league title seemed like a pipe dream for the Girls Varsity Basketball team. The previous year, the Cougars had won only one game all season. “We weren’t expecting a lot, but we were expecting it to be fun, of course,” recalls co-captain Josie Macdonald ’18. The team started off well, winning a few games and staying competitive in all of them. A turning point was their game against St. Ignatius. The previous year they had gotten “absolutely crushed” by St. Ignatius, but the Cougars ended up blowing them out, with their suffocating defense holding St. Ignatius scoreless until the fourth quarter. The team began to realize their hot start was not just due to few lucky games; their ceiling was suddenly much higher. The foundation for the team’s success could be found in practice and off the court. “Many teams just try to make each person develop better as a player, but we tried to develop as a team,” says co-captain Alisha Faheem ’18. Despite having varied experience playing basketball, “we all knew each other’s playing style and how we could make each other better by combining our strengths.” Coach Scott Mesloh and Coach Shawna Altdorf were also instrumental in bringing the team together. “They were great coaches. They wanted us to have fun but also pressured us to do our best,” says Alisha. The team kept things loose in creating their own distinct identity. There were a lot of jokes and funny cheers between the girls and coaches. The day before a tournament at the Town School, Josie and a teammate

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came up with a tongue-in-cheek call and response cheer: “Who wants a trophy?” “We want a trophy!” The Cougars ended up losing in the tournament final to Town, but they kept the cheer for the rest of the season. Their goal: a league title. The girls team finished the regular season undefeated in league play, securing a bye to the semifinals. After a relatively easy semifinal win, the Cougars faced off against the School at Columbia in the finals. Though they had beaten Columbia earlier in the season, the Cougars were definitely nervous in the big game. Down early in the first quarter, the team turned up their trademark aggressive defense they had played all year and pulled away to win 35-19. “We were all so proud of each other,” says Alisha. Of course, the trophy cheer came true. After the game, the team lifted it together and proudly showed it off to other students back at school. “It was a great way to finish the season off as an 8th grader,” Josie remembers. This momentum propelled the team into 2018-2019, an entirely undefeated season. Led by a dynamic group of 8th grade players, including Dalyn B., Stella G., and Caroline P., the team won the league championship after a thrilling rematch victory against the School at Columbia in the finals. “There were a lot of close games last year and this year, which gave the team great experience responding in pressure situations,” Coach Altdorf says. “This was a very mature team that was able to draw on these experiences and come together, to fantastic result.”  —Colin Murray

F I L I P WO L A K

The Girls Varsity Basketball team rode a blend of humor, camaraderie, and burgeoning belief to two back-to-back league championships

2018 Girls Varsity Basketball captains Josie Macdonald ’18 and Alisha Faheem ’18

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Notes from Amsterdam Avenue

The Brain Breaks Bonus The link between physical activity and increased academic achievement is well-documented, but at Cathedral, the benefits of “Brain Breaks” go beyond their original intentions Studies continue to show a significant positive effect of physical activity on children’s cognition and academic outcomes. In particular, physical activity held the largest benefit for elementary- and middle-schoolaged children’s academic achievement. Though the reasons for the positive relationship are unclear, researchers theorize that increased activity reduces fatigue, leads to higher levels of self-esteem, and might even change neurological processes in the brain. The Cathedral School’s own PE program is stronger than ever. In the Lower School, students have PE three to four times per week in a dedicated gym, in addition to breaks for recess each day. Besides their PE classes, over 90% of Upper School students participate in a team sport during the school year. In recent years, teachers are taking this holistic approach and using it with their students with an emphasis on movement and mindfulness as a way to make learning more effective in the classroom. “Everyone benefits from some down time,” 2nd grade teacher Tiffany Williams attests. Four years ago, she implemented what she calls “Brain Breaks” for her 2nd grade students. Between every academic period, students have a few minutes to do an activity of their choice. Students can do anything from physical exercise to reading or just getting a drink of water. By taking a break, students can relax, recharge, and get focused for the next lesson. The breaks also promote student independence. “They like that responsibility, that it’s their own decision. It really holds them accountable for when they come back to learning, so they are engaging fully in the lesson,” says Ms. Williams. Though it varies from classroom to classroom, teachers across the Lower

School use Brain Breaks in some capacity. First grade teacher Ann Bryant incorporates the Brain Gym® Program into her breaks between lessons. The learning readiness routine starts with drinking water, ensuring students are well-hydrated, and moves through a series of movements and exercises that help student concentration, memory, and focus. “It’s a nice way to give them some activity after intense learning. Then it brings them back,” says Ms. Bryant. Stop by one of the kindergarten classes on a given afternoon and you might find them dancing to movement videos made by GoNoodle, a company that aims to improve classroom cohesion and focus through their interactive platform. Increased engagement and learning aren’t the only effects of Brain Breaks. For Ms. Williams, the breaks offer her a chance to get to know her students individually in a more relaxed setting: “It’s great way to observe their personalities and then find opportunities for a child to shine.” Last school year, she discovered through Brain Breaks that one of her quieter students excelled at origami, which culminated in the student leading the entire class in an origami lesson at the end of the year. The relaxed setting isn’t just for Ms. Williams’s benefit either: “It’s a good, fun way for them to see you not just as a teacher. Kids want to know that you know them. And it makes for a more meaningful relationship.” Not only that, the shared connections between teacher and student motivate them academically. “You can be their champion or ally, and a personal connection goes a long way,” Ms. Williams reflects. On every level, the foundation of a Cathedral student shines through. —Colin Murray

By taking a break, students can relax, recharge, and get focused for the next lesson. The breaks also promote student independence.

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Notes from Amsterdam Avenue

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The 4th Grade Chair Project Each spring, art teacher Brian Delacey leads the 4th grade in constructing wooden chairs that have been creatively transformed into a person, place, or thing. Through their own hard work and ingenuity, these students build a useful and beautiful object that they then exhibit.

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BRAINSTORMING At the start of the chair project, students sketch ideas for their chairs, drawing inspiration from their interests and the world around them.

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CONSTRUCTION Mr. Delacey provides the raw materials, but it is up to the students to construct the chairs themselves using hand drills, hammers, nails, and wood glue. They saw out and attach any decorations necessary to bring their transformations to life, while making sure to build a strong structure.

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PAINTING Once the carpentry and woodworking are finished, it’s time to break out the paints. Careful thought goes into the colors and designs of these chairs.

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PRESENTING The chairs are presented by the 4th graders to their classmates and parents at a special assembly.

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MARJORIE BECKER

ALUMNI CHORISTER MEMORIES

Singing in Harmony Alumni choristers raised their voices with Cathedral’s student choristers during an unforgettable reunion over the 2018 Spring Fair weekend The walls of the Cathedral rang joyfully during a special Choral Evensong on May 19, 2018. In addition to celebrating Pentecost, this service also commemorated the shared musical legacy of the Cathedral and The Cathedral School, as current choristers joined their voices with chorister alumni in a magnificent performance featuring more than six decades of Cathedral School students. The reunion weekend began with an alumni rehearsal on Saturday afternoon as singers warmed up their vocal cords by delving into musical selections from Ralph Vaughan Williams (“O Clap Your Hands”), Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (“Jerusalem”), and more. After being fitted for robes, the guests adjourned for the evening and returned Sunday afternoon for a combined rehearsal with current choristers and members of the Cathedral choir before the 4 o’clock service in the Great Choir.

“It was nice singing in the Great Choir again, especially being right next to a professional bass,” said Pete Haynsworth ’60. “The reception in St. James Chapel, which was the location of numerous ordination services during my time there, was also very lovely.” After the service, alumni and guests mingled with current choristers and their families while enjoying food and fellowship. Kent Tritle, Director of Cathedral Music, and Angie Karna, chorister parent and former President of the Board of Trustees, also shared remarks. “The chorister program is truly the jewel of the school,” said Ms. Karna. “We are blessed to have the leadership of Kent Tritle, [Associate Choirmaster] Bryan Zaros, [Organist] Raymond Nagem, and so many more who have helped shape this dynamic program throughout its storied past, wonderful present, and illustrious future.”

Michel Kinter ’68 shared additional memories of his time at Cathedral, including performing works by Benjamin Britten, Johannes Brahms, and Igor Stravinsky, and participating in the live recording of Divine Hair / Mass in F, a liturgical setting written by Galt McDermot, James Rado, and Gerome Ragni, the creators of the Broadway musical Hair. Of that service, he recalled: “The Cathedral was packed and rocking with everyone singing “Let the Sunshine In.” McDermot stopped playing the electric piano and just listened, as if in a daze. It was spectacular.” Richard Wyton ’70 is the son of Alec Wyton, Organist and Choirmaster at Cathedral from 1954 to 1974. In testament to the tight-knit nature of the chorister experience, Pete Haynsworth ’60 recalled that he and his fellow choristers were present for Richard’s christening as an infant in the Cathedral Baptistery outside of the Chapel of St. Ansgar.

“Looking back, my experience as a chorister was work but fun,” said Michel Kinter, a member of the class of 1968. “Learning to read music, learning to sing together, to work together, instilled in me a work ethic and a foundation of discipline and respect that have carried me successfully through a career in labor relations and happily through everyday life.”—Daniel Hrdlicka

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A Day in the Life: 6th Grade For 6th graders, life is full of intellectual exploration and academic rigor, with breaks to enjoy Cathedral’s beautiful campus

[1] Starting in the 6th grade, students begin to tackle algebra, while also learning about the properties of geometry. [2] A 6th grader’s social studies class is interactive and lively, focusing on the study of ancient cultures, which culminates in the 6th grade play. [3] In science, 6th graders study astronomy and earth science; here, a student works on her earthquake lab. [4] A student enjoys a bit of reading before class. In addition to a world language (either Spanish or French), 6th graders begin the study of Latin.

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[5] Students enjoy a break on the Kit Wallace Playground. [6] The social studies curriculum of ancient cultures is echoed in English class, where 6th graders read selections from The Iliad and The Odyssey. [7] Sixth graders join in the singing during this year’s All Saints All Souls Evensong in the Cathedral, where students sign a scroll of remembrance.

P H OTO S BY C A R O L I N E VOAG E N N E L S O N A N D C O L I N M U R R AY

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Notes from Amsterdam Avenue

Sixth grade is about growth and development as students and leaders. Students explore the origins of ancient civilizations and cultures, investigate fundamental concepts of math and science, and take on the study of Latin as their sixth core academic subject.

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Dr. Joshua Deitch, Head of Upper School

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Uniquely Cathedral

Ab Uno Disce Omnes* On a memorable Spring Fair Saturday, students, faculty, and alumni gathered at school to honor Dr. John Vitale with a room dedication—and then got schooled by his Latin master class BY JESSIE SAUNDERS

To say Spring Fair 2018 was a damp day would be an understatement—outside the mullioned windows of Dr. John Vitale’s classroom, the rain was pouring down. But the weather did not stop dozens of Dr. Vitale’s fans— alumni, current students, and current and former faculty and administrators—from arriving for a very important event: the dedication of his classroom in his honor. It was a very jovial, slightly humid group that gathered, each attendee relating their own favorite Dr. Vitale moment. Alumni could be overheard reminiscing about scanning the opening lines of the Aeneid for the very first time. As the ceremony began, Head of School Marsha Nelson noted, “Every independent school has its legends— the teachers and community members who are as integral to the DNA of an institution as the brick and mortar of the school building.” She went on to say, “These are master educators, profoundly dedicated not only to their subject matter but also to each and every student who enters their classroom, leaving an indelible impact on these young people, an impact that will be felt for the rest of their lives.” She then went on to introduce alumna and former Board member Linara Davidson Greenidge ’96, who was one of Dr. Vitale’s first students at Cathedral. In her remarks, Ms. Greenidge said, “Today, we get to celebrate and honor someone who has convinced hundreds of Cathedral graduates of their brilliance, long before we had the self-esteem to believe him. For two years, Doc taught us English and Latin and treated us like we were his colleagues. He taught us the art of storytelling through words and how, if written well, your reader will be with you in your story instead of reading about it.

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* “From One, Learn All”

I remember being equally terrified and excited to read his comments in the margins of my papers, to learn if I was successful in creating the entry point for him to enter my world. There is no coincidence that Doc made me a better writer, a lover of writing, in fact—because of the foundation he created for me with Latin. To this day, as I begin a new relationship with a word, the first thing I do is look up its root word to be better connected to it. “So, what can I say to someone who gave me the toolkit to authentically create my world every day through language? What do I say to someone who has been so generous? To someone that saw in me, actually, created with me through language, the idea of being a writer and lover of words? Thank you does not feel good enough—and just

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Uniquely Cathedral

like that, our most powerful tool—language, that provides us access to the world—feels too limiting to actually convey deep gratitude.” Dr. Vitale, visibly moved, thanked the group. It was soon clear, however, that the sentimental portion of the morning was over. The group took their umbrellas and moved down to the Dining Room, where, after another introduction by alumnae and Board members Martha Consor Tedesco ’96 and Daphne Rubin-Vega ’99, Dr. Vitale took the stage to teach a Latin master class. It was time for everyone to remember what it was like to be 13 years old and in Dr. Vitale’s room. On display was his passion for learning and love of teaching that make Dr. Vitale a Cathedral School legend—but, thankfully, minus the homework, and plus coffee. s

Above Left: Dr. John Vitale thanks alumna Linara Davidson Greenidge ’96 for her thoughtful remarks; Above: Friends and members of the Class of 1999 pose for a photo before Dr. Vitale’s room dedication. Back row, from left: Zach Naidich, Max Martinelli, Mathilda McGee-Tubb, Jessica Hertz, Andrew Sinanoglu; front row, from left: Madeleine Rumely, Daphne Rubin-Vega.

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Uniquely Cathedral

Senator Gillibrand Visits The Cathedral School Senator Kirsten Gillibrand visits Cathedral to share the stories of women who fought for voting rights B Y C O L I N M U R R AY

As usual, Friday Assembly on November 16 began with a rousing version of “Oh, What a Day!” More unusually, “Oh What a Day!” was followed by a visit from the junior senator and now presidential hopeful from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand. Senator Gillibrand’s new children’s book, Bold & Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote, had just been published and she was there, at the invitation of the school and Cathedral parents Jef Pollock and Deborah Brown, to read excerpts and answer questions from the students, both in the Lower and Upper Schools. The Lower Schoolers were the first to meet the senator. They sat in neat rows as Senator Gillibrand made her way down a snow-covered driveway, the result of a surprise November snowstorm. Head of School Marsha Nelson introduced the senator to the Lower School, explaining that Senator Gillibrand “is one of New York’s senators and a passionate advocate for girls’ and women’s rights like her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother before her.” With the beautiful Maira Kalman illustrations from her book projected on the screen behind her, the senator spoke about her background growing up in upstate New York and how she drew inspiration from her grandmother—who was a lawyer and political activist—to write this book. She then read excerpts from her book, including sections on Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Harriet Tubman. Afterwards, she answered questions from Lower School students and encouraged them to speak out about issues that matter to them, including homelessness and the environment. In fact, in the days leading up to her visit, 3rd grade students in science teacher Meglena Zapreva’s class wrote letters to the senator advocating for reduced plastic use, which the senator received during her visit. Ms. Nelson personally gave the letters to the senator at the end of her visit. Lindsay H. ’24 wrote, “How beautiful would the world be if it were covered in plastic? Please help us ban plastic bags.” Elizabeth W. ’24 and Elizabeth B. ’24, advocating for bioplastics, wrote in a joint letter, “So much plastic is being produced each day and none of it is biodegradable. If you use a plastic spoon, you use it for a minute and then it lives for hundreds of years. When

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you use a spoon made of bioplastic, it biodegrades.” Following the Lower School session, the Upper School presentation felt more like a forum for questions for the senator. Prior to Senator Gillibrand’s visit, members of “Allies Challenging Isms” wrote questions based on research they had done on the senator, and the Upper School then voted on the questions they liked best. Questions ranged from, “What are your proudest accomplishments as a senator?” to “How would you fix the immigration system?” Their carefully considered questions inspired thoughtful answers from the senator, and Senator Gillibrand and her team were complimentary of the incisiveness of the Cathedral students’ questions. The visit ended with a gift for the entire student body: signed copies of the senator’s book, courtesy of a generous donor. Students could be found in the halls Friday afternoon absorbed in its pages. Mosie Choudhry’s 7th graders also wrote letters to the senator in humanities class after her visit. Beverly D. ’20 wrote, “Your book really helped me understand more about the pioneers of feminism, how the word got out, and why they chose voting as a first step. When you came to school, it reminded me that I need to choose who I would vote for. It’s my beliefs, my right to vote, and it’s my job to get active and stand up for what I believe in.” s

Students from the 3rd grade are all smiles as they pose with the letters they wrote Senator Gillibrand. Teacher Meglena Zapreva (left) and Head of School Marsha Nelson join them.

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Uniquely Cathedral

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand reads from her book Bold & Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote to the entire student body.

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Responsible Citizens of the World

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Responsible Citizens of the World

Hurricane Help from the Heart After Hurricane Maria, the Latinx and Hispanic Affinity Group made a big effort to get relief where it was most needed—and their commitment to their cause was lauded by a very notable New Yorker BY JESSIE SAUNDERS

Just before the 2018 Absalom Jones Benefit, Head of School Marsha Nelson received a note from an unexpected, but very welcome, admirer: Lin-Manuel Miranda. He was writing to express his gratitude for the work by Cathedral School students for Puerto Rico after the devastation of Hurricane Maria. In his letter, Mr. Miranda wrote, “I heard about your recent donation to Global Giving for the Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Fund and am unbelievably moved. The challenge Puerto Rico is facing continues, and the spirit and work you have given toward this cause is incredible.” Ms. Nelson was very proud of the extensive student-led efforts to provide relief for hurricane victims and thrilled that these students were the recipients of such prominent recognition. “It is emblematic of the way Cathedral students face challenges that the Latinx and Hispanic Affinity Group devised such a successful—and fun—fundraiser for hurricane relief.” The relief efforts by The Cathedral School Latinx and Hispanic Affinity Group members had been months in the making. Aware that many in Puerto Rico were still without basic necessities and power and anxious to do something constructive to help through one of the many groups that were organized to provide aid to Puerto Rico, the Latinx and Hispanic Affinity Group planned a fundraiser called Amazing Almuerzo: The Latinx and Hispanic Affinity Group Lunch. Almuerzo is a Spanish word meaning “mid-morning snack”— fitting as the lunch started at 11:15. The group transformed the Common Room into a fiesta, with a wide array of Latin dishes, both homemade and donated from Salsa Caterers in Mt. Vernon, NY, for the community to sample, plus plenty of music for dancing. Attendees paid $5 for the lunch and entertainment. It was the group’s first-ever fundraiser, and it was a huge success, raising over $1,000 for hurricane relief. The event was also important in that it raised awareness for Latinx and Hispanic issues beyond Cathedral, a core element of the school’s diversity mission. In particular, the students’ dedication to this service project, in addition to the care and attention they gave to their academic responsibilities, was impressive. The affinity group advisers, teachers Delilah Lora and Emmanuel Saldana, said that “it has been a blessing to see the way the group has united over the last couple months and their commitment to service to

Upper School teacher and affinity group adviser Emmanuel Saldana helps serve lunch to Cathedral students during the Amazing Almuerzo fundraiser for hurricane relief.

our community.” That commitment is ongoing. The affinity group plans on continuing fundraising efforts, as the need doesn’t disappear even as the headlines do. “Any group of students would want to help,” says Director of Inclusion and Community Engagement Worokya Duncan, “but Cathedral School students talk about service in a way that supports the community in a lasting way.” It’s clear that Lin-Manuel Miranda agreed. He closed his letter by writing, “I have never been more hopeful for the future of my Puerto Rico, especially when learning about this kind of contribution from young people like yourselves. And the fact that this was a student-led idea and effort makes it even sweeter. So, muchisimas gracias!” s

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On the Close

On the Close

F I L I P WO L A K

Upper School English teacher Kevin Roth leads class discussion while enjoying the gorgeous spring weather on the Cathedral Close


On the Close

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a LANDMARK 28 

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EXPANSION

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F I L I P WO L A K

After more than a century, The Cathedral School has expanded its footprint for the first time, with the addition and renovation of 12,000 light-filled square feet

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T WAS BARELY A HALF-DECADE AGO that plans began to form for the Expansion Project, The Cathedral School’s first alteration to the original school building since it was constructed in 1913. Today, it is a thriving center of learning, experimentation, and innovation for all Cathedral students. Reflecting on the arc of this transformative project, Head of School Marsha K. Nelson said, “The Expansion Project represents the balance of tradition and innovation at The Cathedral School. You see it visually as you take in the beautiful stone, the neo-gothic archways, and the arched windows. As you stand in the Morningside Room and face back into the original school building, one wall of the new room is the original exterior stone. It speaks to the school’s beautiful blend—look one direction and you see the original dining room through arched entryways; look the other and you see floor-to-ceiling windows through which you view the world beyond. That’s what this school should always be, a school deeply rooted in our values and traditions, as well as one eager to support innovation and creativity and to equip our students to be responsible citizens in an ever-changing and unpredictable world.” s

LIBRARY AND MEDIA CENTER As you walk through the beautiful arched glass door on the Terrace Level, to your right is the 2,700 square foot Library and Media Center, with space for 6,000 books. The large arched windows will look out onto a landscaped terrace with a dogwood tree and four benches, donated by the Class of 2019, where students will be able to gather before school. Inside, the modular tables can be constantly moved and reconfigured to accommodate class groups, STEAM projects, and children enjoying books on the rug or in one of the blue armchairs dotted throughout the room. This room also includes a breakout space that houses state-of-the-art video and photography equipment and a green screen for student video projects. The west-facing wall is made of glass, giving students and faculty working in the Media Center a glimpse of the classes hard at work across the hallway in the Innovation Lab. F I L I P WO L A K

“The Expansion’s balance of old and new, stone and glass, forms a counterpoint to the original building and celebrates the innovative curriculum that the new addition will support.” —Susie Rodriguez, project head architect, ENNEAD Architects

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A LANDMARK Expansion INNOVATION LAB AND ANNEX A wall of windows allows the Cathedral community to enjoy the creativity of students in the Innovation Lab as they pass by. The Innovation Lab and Annex are filled with high-tech and analog tools to enrich the STEAM curriculum. These include 3D printers, a large-format poster printer, LEGO Robotics, Makey Makey circuits, Dash and Dot robots and accessories, Little Bit circuits, Squishy circuits, sewing machines, iPad Pros, sand, gravel, air-dry clay, and a wide variety of paper, cardboard, glue, scissors, and tape to allow for prototyping and designing. There is also a 72-squarefoot LEGO wall, both playful and educational. Sara Collins, the Director of Innovation and Educational Technology, has developed an Innovation Lab mission statement: “Teachers of all subjects and students of all grades can use the new Innovation Lab as a place to solve all sorts of problems through design, construction, and reflection.�

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MORNINGSIDE ROOM

F I L I P WO L A K

The dining room expansion, known as the Morningside Room, is a multipurpose space with breathtaking floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides looking out onto expansive views of the 100-year-old plane trees in Morningside Park. The original Dining and Common Room spaces were always cozy. Now, this space can host over a hundred more people, and is the home for Upper School Assembly, any overflow from Lower School Assembly, and other community events. The room includes a giant retractable screen and advanced audio-visual equipment. It is also a welcome addition to the lunch service, allowing faculty and students to eat together (a treasured Cathedral tradition), and features new tables and a salad bar that can be quickly tucked away and stored for flexibility.

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OTHER SPACES AND TRANSFORMATIONS The Expansion Project was not just an addition—it was a transformation of the entire school building. The additional 8,000 square feet of space afforded by the Expansion Project allowed spaces inside the original structure to be reimagined as, among other things, three new classrooms, two new learning support spaces, a dedicated high school counseling space, two new conference rooms, a renovated reception area, the Sue Martin Faculty Workroom, and a large, spacious south stairwell. Inside the Expansion, a suite of offices next to the Morningside Room for the Office of Outreach and Enrollment Management welcomes prospective families in a gracious, light-filled setting. There is also an elevator, plus increased storage space for food service, the Parents’ Association, student engineering and innovation projects, and more on the Cellar Level.

Upper School students gather for their inaugural Assembly in the Morningside Room.

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A LANDmark Expansion THE FIRST DAY OF (A NEW) SCHOOL After much anticipation, Cathedral students entered the school’s new Expansion spaces for the first time on February 26. That morning, Lower School students paraded into the Annex on the Terrace Level, each placing a LEGO on the LEGO wall before gathering in the new Library and Media Center. After a blessing by Chaplain Patti Welch, Director of Library and New Media Ricca Gaus read BiblioBurro: A True Story from Colombia to the entire Lower School. The book is about a man who creates a traveling library to spread literacy to children. Lower School students also delivered books from their classrooms to the new Library. In the afternoon, the Upper School held a ribbon-cutting before crossing the threshold to hold their first Upper School Assembly in the new expanded dining space on the First Floor. Head of School Marsha Nelson opened remarks by revealing the name she had chosen for the new room: the Morningside Room. After reviewing suggestions from students, faculty, and staff, Ms. Nelson felt her choice reflected the morning light of a new day “filled with hope and possibility” and its view overlooking Morningside Park. “I am deeply thrilled that the Upper School is claiming this for Upper School Assembly,” said Ms. Nelson. Chaplain Welch also blessed this new room and, in particular, CFO/COO Peter Maas for all his work managing the project. The next day, all students were able to claim the Morningside Room as part of the school’s first expanded lunch service.

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C O U RT E SY O F P E T E R M A A S

PETER MAAS AND THE SEARCH FOR THE STONE

MEET OUR MASTER STONEMASON, KAZIMIERZ HAROWICZ

The idea to clad the Expansion with stone from the school’s original quarry was a romantic one, with a nod to the important history of the Cathedral Close. In practice, however, this romance soon faded—the old quarry was unable to match the color and texture of the original. Peter Maas, Cathedral’s CFO/COO and the intrepid steward of the Expansion Project, went on a quest to find a quarry that would perfectly replicate the existing stone—and cut it into shapes that could mimic the original design when built. With a sample of the original in hand, Mr. Maas traveled around Vermont and upstate New York, staying at “several spooky bed and breakfasts” along the way, and tirelessly tracked down a perfect match. After nine months, he found it at Champlain Stone in Warrensburg, New York. The quarry was able to make 26 different shapes that could effectively replicate the existing stone pattern. The beautiful results are on display along the Terrace Level entrance of the Expansion.

C O L I N M U R R AY

MARJORIE BECKER

A multifaceted project like this takes people with diverse talents and skills who join together to make a dream reality. For Cathedral, Kazimierz Harowicz was one such person. Kaz (as he prefers to be known) is a master stonemason for the contractors Nicholson & Galloway and has worked on the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and other landmarks in New York City. With good humor and optimism, Kaz worked with CFO/COO Peter Maas to keep the project moving forward and used specialized techniques so that the 2018 stonework seamlessly matched that from 1913. Kaz is originally from Poland and lived in Italy and Greece before arriving in New York in 1994. He now says, “New York is my one city,” but on his first day of work years ago, he found himself patching stonework 34 stories above the ground in a high wind, which made him fear that “it would be my first and last day” as a master stonemason here. The school extends heartfelt thanks to Kaz and all the workers who worked on this project over the past two years.

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UPCOMING EVENTS We are delighted to invite our Cathedral School community to two special events celebrating the Expansion and Innovate. Collaborate. Excel: The Cathedral School Campaign.

AN INCLUSIVE CAPITAL CAMPAIGN Since its launch, Innovate. Collaborate. Excel: The Cathedral School Campaign has raised more than $5.5 million to fund this transformative Expansion Project. To celebrate this progress and help our community reach the campaign goal of $6 million, Bill Bermont, Board President, and George Filopoulos, Capital Committee Chair, announced a $250,000 challenge grant at the end of the 2019 Absalom Jones Benefit. Thanks to the generosity of anonymous donors, this challenge grant will match every campaign gift, dollar for dollar, up to $250,000 through June 30, 2019, helping community members double their impact at every level. Bermont and Filopoulos (below) recently talked with CM about these transformative spaces, the challenge grant, their excitement surrounding this Public Phase, and the generosity of the Cathedral community.

The Expansion is here! How do you feel after watching everything come together? GF: Seeing the development of the current building and construction of the new spaces over the last two years has been a real treat—it has been so exciting to see the progress every day. BB: The amount of planning that went into this entire project was phenomenal. I credit my immediate predecessors as Board President, Angie Karna and Kristin Kearns-Jordan, because they left such a strong foundation on which to build and proceed. It’s been a campaign of milestones for Cathedral. The school had never had a million dollar gift, and we had never taken on an initiative as extensive as this one. At every step, donors have said not only, “Yes, I want to give,” but also, “Let’s talk about ways in which I can stretch to make this project a reality.”

Why do you think the community has been so ready to stretch for this cause? BB: We are a community of doers and givers—two elements that are deeply embedded in the fabric of who we are. That this entire project has been funded through separate fundraising streams outside of tuition and operating revenue is extraordinary, and an incredible testament to the generosity of our community. GF: Having our educational team inplace with this student body size is a parent’s dream come true; therefore, we weren’t expanding the school building to expand the student body. Rather, we worked carefully to invest in modern, usable space that complements the history of this building and enhances the school’s program—a powerful case for giving. How would you describe the goal of the campaign’s public phase as this fundraising opportunity is opened to the broader community? BB: I’m so proud of our Annual Fund participation rates, which are nearly 100% every year, because this speaks so tangibly to our inclusive approach to philanthropy and Cathedral’s deep sense of community. Even the students refer to the Expansion as “our Expansion,” and this shared sense of belonging extends to all constituent groups. As Board President, it’s both humbling and thrilling to share this unique

Expansion Dedication & Earth Day Evensong Friday, May 10, 2019 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Join us for a special Evensong—held in conjunction with Grandparents & Special Visitors Day—celebrating Earth Day and The Cathedral School Expansion! Spring Fair: Alumni Reunion & Time Capsule Saturday, May 18, 2019 Program will begin at 11 a.m., followed by an alumni reception and tours. Spring Fair ends at 4 p.m. All are invited to celebrate the past, present, and future of The Cathedral School during Spring Fair 2019. Enjoy the food, fun, and festivity of Spring Fair, as well as an alumni reception, tours of the new and renovated spaces of our completed Expansion, and a brief program that will culminate in the burial of a Cathedral School Time Capsule. Please RSVP by emailing advancement@cathedralnyc.org. To submit items for the time capsule, please email alumni@cathedralnyc.org.

fundraising opportunity with every member of our community. GF: Building on what Bill has said, I am so often moved by the generosity of our community, at every level. There’s a sense of belonging, that this is our campaign as a community, and I’m confident we can make it a true team effort through this public phase, especially with this $250,000 challenge grant—an incredible opportunity for donors to double their already sizable impact. To support The Cathedral School Campaign and make a gift or pledge online, please visit www.cathedralnyc.org/giving. You may also contact Elizabeth Oswald, Director of Institutional Advancement, at 212.316.7509 or eoswald@cathedralnyc.org to explore the best giving option for you and your family.

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A Magical “Time” Cathedral School students celebrate Madeleine L’Engle’s legacy on the Cathedral Close BY DANIEL HRDLICKA

C O U RT E SY O F L I B R A RY O F A M E R I C A

“It was a dark and stormy night…”

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With these iconic words, Madeleine L’Engle begins A Wrinkle in Time, her 1962 novel of adventure, fantasy, and philosophy. The Cathedral School’s 13-acre campus was actually calm and clear on Thursday, October 18, a crisp autumn night, as literary luminaries and three Cathedral School students participated in a special event honoring the life and work of beloved author Madeleine L’Engle. Hosted by the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and Library of America, this evening of readings, speakers, and music marked not only the centenary of a literary legend with close ties to the Cathedral and The Cathedral School (L’Engle was writer-in-residence for more than three decades) but also the Library of America’s publication of a definitive two-volume boxed set of A Wrinkle in Time and its seven companion novels, known collectively as the Kairos novels. The program began with a welcome from Reverend Canon Patrick Molloy, Sub Dean of the Cathedral, who introduced Max Rudin, President of Library of America, and Marsha Nelson, Head of The Cathedral School. In her address, Ms. Nelson spoke to the enduring qualities of A Wrinkle in Time, as well as the overlap of L’Engle’s worldview with that of the Cathedral and The Cathedral School:

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Right: Allison I., 5th grader, shares a reflection on her favorite passage from A Wrinkle in Time during October’s celebration of Madeleine L’Engle. Below right: From left. Marsha Nelson, Head of School; Avery P., 5th grade; Cristina T., 8th grade, and Max Rudin, President of Library of America.

“Like Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which empowering Meg and the children in their fight against darkness, so too does The Cathedral School work tirelessly, empowering the young people in our care to become articulate, confident, and responsible citizens of the world—or, to borrow the expansive lens of Ms. L’Engle, perhaps ‘citizens of the universe’ might be a more apt phrase.” After a brief excerpt from Madeleine L’Engle’s 1976 Cathedral School Commencement Address, two 5th graders, Alison I. and Avery P., shared their favorite passages from A Wrinkle in Time, which they had chosen in partnership with Mr. Kevin Nicholas, 5th grade humanities teacher. Alison selected a moving moment in which Meg is reunited with her father, citing the comfort she felt as a reader knowing the characters were finally reunited after great hardship. Avery chose a passage in which Meg sees darkness spreading over planet Earth, a reflection of the personal responsibility and sense of justice she so admired in the character of Meg. Later in the program, Cathedral School 8th grader Cristina T. shared findings from her participation in the Summer Field Research Program, an annual opportunity for rising 7th and 8th graders to spend time on campus and learn more about a particular aspect of the Cathedral Close, delving into a subject of their own choosing. Under the guidance of faculty advisor Jonathan Pirnia, Cristina had selected L’Engle as her subject, exploring notes, articles, and original photographs in the Cathedral Archives before uncovering a hand-written poem that L’Engle had given to her friend Jim (Cathedral Dean James Park Morton) on the occasion of his birthday. Cristina shared this poem at the event—the work’s first public recitation. The program concluded with a conversation between children’s book historian Leonard Marcus, Editor, and Stefanie Peters, Associate Editor, followed by questions from the audience. In gratitude for their participation, each Cathedral School student received a copy of the boxed set, presented to them by Max Rudin—timeless tomes, born on the Cathedral Close that will continue to inspire readers for generations to come. s

“Like Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which empowering Meg and the children in their fight against darkness, so too does The Cathedral School work tirelessly, empowering the young people in our care to become articulate, confident, and responsible citizens of the world.” MARSHA K. NELSON

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SPREADING Spy SUSTAINABILITY

A student-run sustainability conference has inspired environmental activism across independent schools citywide, thanks in large part to the leadership of Cathedral students and alumni B Y C O L I N M U R R AY

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P H OTO S BY C O L I N M U R R AY

When Isabel (Izzy) Koo ’16 was asked to serve on the planning committee for the inaugural Sustainability Through Student Voices Conference in 2016, she admits that it was “scary at first.” She and Cameron Leo ’16 had founded PEACOCK, Cathedral’s environmental club, just one year prior. The two of them were the only 8th graders on a committee of students that included seniors in high school. It was exciting for them to find a group of like-minded individuals equally passionate about the environment. Along with the other committee members, Izzy and Cameron reached out to organizations to find keynote speakers and workshop presenters and to build out the conference. Their hard work led to success. Representatives from 17 schools attended the first ever student-organized NYSAIS (New York State Association of Independent Schools) conference on April 9, 2016. The conference has grown steadily over the past three years; students and representatives from 26 schools attended the 2018 conference. “Environmental science and sustainability is a topic I’m really interested in,” says Izzy, “and [this conference] showcases it. It makes me excited to reach out to all these people from different schools.” As the conference has grown, so, too, has the involvement of Cathedral students, alumni, and faculty. Of the nine-member student planning committee in 2018, six were either current or former Cathedral students: Uma Sooran ’18 and Luke Resetarits ’18, as well as Emily Power ’15, Hava Chishti ’15, Izzy Koo ’16, and Aksel Katz ’17. It was nearly impossible not to run into a Cathedral community member at the 2018 conference. Emily Power ’15, now a senior at Fieldston, led a Shark Tank–style workshop. Part incubator, part contest, five teams of students were tasked with coming up with an innovative solution to a current environmental problem and

accepted into any field that they want then “selling” it to a team of judges. to, especially science, which has a Projects were scored on feasibility, history of excluding people of color evidence-based support, and overall and women. In science classrooms, innovation. The room buzzed with it’s all about the content, but you excitement as students rushed to put can’t be invested in the content if together their pitches. The winning there are these subliminal messages team proposed to better distribute telling you that you can’t study this unused food to the homeless, which work longterm.” scored points for its intersectionality. The conference wrapped up with “At the end, students from different the “pod” of representatives from schools were all giving each other each school creating an action their phone numbers and social plan for their school based on media,” said Emily, in hopes what they had learned that of continuing their work day. Head of Lower School for a better environment. Laura Higgins attended Other workshops the conference and was approached the theme inspired to further clarify of sustainability from the school’s composting varied perspectives. Down and recycling efforts for the hall, Aksel Katz ’17 led a Left: A large group of the community for the workshop on how students Cathedral students, 2018–2019 school year. could advocate for their alumni, faculty, and parents represented the The group also talked schools to divest from gun school at the conference. about further reducing the companies in the wake of Above: Lower School amount of paper coffee the #NeverAgain movement. science teacher Deja Williams presented cups available. In 25 other A paper was passed around at the conference on the importance of pods, groups of students, to generate a listserv for incorporating diversity faculty and administrators continued collaboration into sustainability lessons. discussed what changes between the active reprethey could bring back to their sented schools. In another room, schools. Izzy Koo hopes in the next Cathedral School’s K–2 science two years to integrate specialized teacher Deja Williams shared her high schools and public schools efforts to incorporate diversity and around the city. “I really want to see inclusion into her lessons. Her 2nd this conference grow because I think grade students learned about Isatou it’s really important.” s Ceesay, a woman from Gambia who began making purses out of used plastic bags and ultimately spawned a environmental movement that resulted in Gambia banning plastic bags altogether. Students then worked on a project to make pencil bags out of woven plastic bags they brought in from home. Both environmental and art project, the lesson is designed to have students consider the environmental impact of everyday items like plastic bags on different communities. For Ms. Williams, incorporating perspectives like Isatou Ceesay’s into science class is critical: “[It’s] important and relevant now to make students feel empowered and

OF THE NINE-MEMBER STUDENT PLANNING COMMITTEE IN 2018, SIX WERE EITHER CURRENT OR FORMER CATHEDRAL STUDENTS.

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Math

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C A R O L I N E VOAG E N N E L S O N

Meaningful


The Cathedral School Lower School mathematics curriculum develops math skills in the earliest years by engaging children with numbers in a way that is meaningful to them BY JESSIE SAUNDERS

Cathedral Lower School Math Specialist Yojairy Sands noticed something interesting about one of the math units teachers were using in kindergarten: in order to teach the children about shapes, the lesson utilized a story about mowing a lawn. Now, five-year-olds in New York City understand a lot of things, but perhaps lawn-mowing isn’t one of them. This jarring bit of suburban life inspired Ms. Sands to reimagine the lesson, only this time, she used city blocks and building foundations and even the shapes that can be found in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine—meaningful objects to her big-city kids. The unit that Ms. Sands developed in coordination with 1st grade teacher Michael Demianiuk and kindergarten teacher Maria Peneda was eventually presented at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and it is emblematic of the kind of math that is taught at Cathedral. Head of Lower School Laura Higgins says, “In a program like ours that focuses on meaningful mathematics, students have opportunities to apply the skills and approaches they are learning to problems that engage their minds and imaginations.” In another example, 4th graders solve mathematical problems about the school and campus that require calculating area and volume, multiplying with two- and three-digit numbers, and measurement in different forms—Is the big playground really larger than the small playground? How many ball-pit balls would fill the dining room? What is the weight of our weekly compost collection? These are real questions which spark the imagination of the students and feel applicable to their lives. Ms. Sands herself was someone who wasn’t always crazy about math—at least the way it was taught to her. In high school, she felt that there was a one-size-fits-all approach to mathematics instruction that was limiting. After majoring in English Literature and Religion at Columbia University, she got her master’s in teaching from Hunter College and began her career as an elementary school teacher in independent schools. It was then she realized that math instruction “could really be different—and could be taught in ways that children could really access with their own sets of tools and strategies.” When she arrived at Cathedral in 2011, the school was in the process of reevaluating their curriculum with an eye to making it more individualized for the students. “It was our goal to have a curriculum that would lead to rich investigation, guided by the children’s interests,” she says. The guiding principle with the math curriculum is always, “How can we make this problem less structured and more open to the students engaging with the material?” It’s a pedagogical principle called a “low floor/high ceiling task,” which allows the young learner to build upon their own knowledge to make those meaningful connections.

Math Specialist Yojairy Sands, introducing numbergrouping to a group of kindergartners, says math can “be taught in ways that children can really access with their own sets of tools and strategies.”

Maria Peneda has been teaching kindergarten at Cathedral for eight years, and has been instrumental in helping implement the curricular changes. “I love the fact that our math program is hands-on,” she says. “We use manipulatives which help kids acquire knowledge through experience. I find that they are valuable tools for engaging students in the language and communication of mathematical thinking, the big ideas and concepts. They help build a deeper mathematical understanding, and I hope it helps shape positive attitudes towards math.” The mathematics curriculum at Cathedral also incorporates very regular assessments by a team of teachers to ensure that the lessons remain purposeful and that every child is supported and challenged in ways that speak to them. It’s part of the benefit of a K–8 school, where the student body is kept at a size that prioritizes the whole child. After all, what better way is there to encourage a student’s investigative spirit and inspire a lifelong love of (meaningful) math? s

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Graduation

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Graduation

C L A S S O F 201 8

The Graduates

MARJORIE BECKER

Congratulations to the 30 members of the Class of 2018 who received acceptances to the following independent, public, and diocesan schools:

Independent Schools Avenues: The World School The Berkeley Carroll School The Birch Wathen Lenox School The Brearley School The Browning School Calhoun School The Chapin School Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School The Convent of the Sacred Heart The Dalton School Dwight-Englewood School Ethical Culture Fieldston School Friends Seminary Grace Church School Greenwich Academy Hackley School The Heschel School Horace Mann School Little Red Elisabeth Irwin School Loyola School Marymount School The Masters School The Nightingale-Bamford School The Packer Collegiate Institute Poly Prep Country Day School Professional Children’s School Riverdale Country School The Spence School Trevor Day School Trinity School United Nation International School Xavier High School York Preparatory School

Boarding Schools Church Farm School Forman School George School The Harvey School The Hotchkiss School The Loomis Chaffee School The Madeira School Marianapolis Preparatory School Marvelwood School Miss Hall’s School Phillips Exeter Academy Pomfret School Westminster School Westover School Public Schools Bronx High School of Science Brooklyn Technical High School Frank McCourt High School Laguardia High School of Music & Art Diocesan Schools Cathedral High School Notre Dame School St. Vincent Ferrer High School

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B

F I L I P WO L A K

Beyond Cathedral

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Beyond Cathedral

Class Notes Howard Esquirol: Spent

four years at Cathedral, from 1942 to 1946. Thirty-year career as a sales representative for Sandoz Pharmaceuticals, now Novartis. Spends summers in Apple Valley, Minnesota, and winters in Zephyr Hills, Florida. Many memories of Canon James Green, Headmaster, and Norman CokeJephcott, Choirmaster. Richard H. Leonard: Mr. Leonard has 35 years of finance and banking experience, principally with Donaldson Lufkin and Jenrette (today Credit Suisse) in both the United States and Hong Kong. He has made private equity investments in ventures across diverse geographies, including South Africa, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Haiti. Mr. Leonard was a founder of a Colombian energy services company and became active in agriculture during his regular visits to Latin America over a ten-year period. He served as a U.S. Marine officer and has degrees from Colgate and Georgetown Universities, as well as Columbia Business School. After spending 20 years overseas, he is very glad to have moved to Princeton, New Jersey. Mr. Leonard says, “I am very impressed by all of the changes at Cathedral, while preserving many of the traditions.”

1950

Bob Marble: Blessings and greetings from New Mexico! Life in New Mexico is good, although it took some getting used to upon first arrival here some 42 years ago. My wife and I look forward to attending the Santa Fe Opera every summer. Because of the years spent at Cathedral, I have come to really appreciate opera and look forward to every opera season. I continue to remember fondly my days at The Cathedral Choir School.

C O U RT E SY O F M AYA J A S I N S K A

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F R I E N D S G I V I N G has become a cherished tradition for members of the Class of 2013! From left to right, Jolie Brown, Tiffany Harris, Maya Jasinska, Alex Koo, Agnes Scotti, and Jake Eisner enjoy food and fellowship while reminiscing about their days at The Cathedral School.

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Charles Stannard: My

wife Linda and I winter in Bradenton, Florida, and summer in Clinton, Connecticut. I am well-retired after 37 years of teaching middle school math and 13 more years substituting. I’ve been a church organist and choir director for most of my adult life, having had my first organ lessons with Dr. Norman Coke-Jephcott at the Cathedral. I sing in the choir in both places when I’m not being a sub-organist. I also enjoy sailing in the summer on Long Island Sound and have chartered sailboats in the British Virgin Islands several times, the last this past May when our son and his family joined us.

1963

Raymond Short: I was in the last class to graduate from CCS when it was still a boarding school and recall many trips in double-file along that path, to and fro the school building and vast gray granite Cathedral. I ultimately went on to

graduate from Andover, Johns Hopkins, and Rhode Island School of Design. For many years I worked as a sculptor and painter, as well as an urban designer. In 1995, I decided—after seeing so many of my friends die of HIV-related illnesses— that life was too short to not do what I really had always wanted, which was to be an artist full-time. I moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2007. It gives me pleasure to see what a joyous place Cathedral has become.

1999

Alec Rivers: After Cathedral, I attended Cornell, then MIT for my PhD. My career then took a sharp left turn when I combined my computer science training with my hobby of woodworking and developed a new kind of robotic power tool. I co-founded a startup to bring the product to market and the tool is now for sale under the name Shaper Origin. I remember getting to combine my creative and engineering sides back in

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Beyond Cathedral

In Memoriam The Cathedral School honors the memory of the following alumni:

FROM THE ARCHIVES

J A M I S O N B R A D D O C K ’68 : 195 4–2 018 W I L L I A M F I S H E R ’08 : 1994 –20 18 M AT T H E W L E C C A ’ 10: 1996–2018 B R I T TA N Y B R OW N ’ 12 : 1998 –2018

Brian Delacey’s art class, building puppets with moving parts, and now very much enjoy doing the same in my professional life.

2004

Marian Abbott: 1948–2018 Parent of ’76 Alumnus Remembers Cathedral In the fall of 2018, Cathedral was grateful to receive a bequest from the estate of Marian Abbott, and mother of Jonathan Abbott ’76. Jonathan was a self-described “rambunctious and disruptive 2rd grader” when Marian and her husband decided to enroll him at The Cathedral School, which Jonathan asserts was the single most transformative experience of his life. Marian recognized the powerful effect that the school and participation in the choristers had on her son. In turn, she gave of herself wholeheartedly as a parent volunteer. After moving to the Boston area, Marian wrote saying, “I miss my wonderful 65 years in the Morningside area, including all the time spent participating in life at The Cathedral School.” Her fondness for Cathedral is thoughtfully reflected in her planned gift. Planned giving is a wonderful philanthropic vehicle that will help Cathedral provide the same caliber of experience and access to the students of tomorrow. If you would like to learn more about the various methods of making a planned gift, please contact Elizabeth Oswald, Director of Institutional Advancement, at eoswald@cathedralnyc.org or 212.316.7509.

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David McCaffrey, Jr.: Currently

a PhD Candidate in Classics at the University of Edinburgh’s School of History, Classics, and Archaeology. Warmest regards to the Cathedral community—we have nothing but fond memories.

2010

Morgan Gray: Mr. Gray recently graduated from Brown University, where he studied Economics and Environmental Studies. Morgan’s interest in the intersection of these two fields initially began when he took a course at Brown called the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Investing. Morgan has been working as a Senior Research Associate for a company called Sustainable Market Strategies (SMS), founded by one of his professors at Brown. At SMS, Morgan researches market trends, policy developments, and global news to provide top-down, data-driven strategies across all asset classes for large fund managers to help improve the value of their strategic developments. In addition, he has joined SunPower by Venture Solar to assist in the energy revolution by compel-

This past November, Pat Lassoff visited The Cathedral School with her family to drop by and say hello to an old friend—a B Grand Steinway Piano in walnut that Ms. Lassoff donated to the Cathedral in the late 1980s when she and her family moved from New York. This piano is now housed in our Cathedral School music room, and Ms. Lassoff was thrilled to see the instrument in active use, calling the piano, “An especially good one. It was made to be played.” A lover of music, Ms. Lassoff also recalled how jazz pianist Billy Taylor helped her select this particular piano and spoke of longtime Cathedral musicians Dorothy Papadakos, organist, and Paul Winter, saxophonist, with great affection. While visiting, Ms. Lassoff presented The Cathedral School with her original Steinway & Sons Warranty, which identifies December 6, 1977, as the date of the piano’s production in Long Island City—going strong after four decades of beautiful music!

ling households to transition to solar-generated energy. Morgan hopes to one day operate as a Portfolio Manager for a fund that is similarly committed to doing well by doing good. He welcomes any and all conversation around this subject and hopes that the good people of the Cathedral community are interested in preserving the only home that we have—planet Earth!

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Beyond Cathedral

2016

Davis Robertson:

Davis is doing great things at Packer! He is enjoying Advanced Topics Computer Science, ran on the undefeated ACIS cross country team, and is playing on the varsity basketball team. He will be traveling to Rome with his Latin class and looks forward to working at the IT department at Packer this summer.

We want to hear from you! Please send class notes, photos, and magazine submissions to: The Cathedral School, Attn: Cathedral Editor, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10025, or email your note to

DA N I E L H R D L I C K A

alumni@cathedralnyc.org

EMBODIMENT OF THE MISSION

Rebecca Newman ’01 After graduating from The Cathedral School in 2001, attending LaGuardia High School, studying English and Psychology and earning her master’s in Social Work at Stony Brook University, Rebecca Newman is back in Morningside Heights, working at Bank Street College of Education as an early childhood coach in the Guttman Center for Early Care & Education. Rebecca recently sat down with Cathedral Magazine over hot chocolate at the Hungarian Pastry Shop to share how The Cathedral School has shaped her work as an advocate for early childhood education. How would you describe your role as an early childhood coach? In this position, I give support, professional development, new information, ideas, and techniques—all kinds of things—to daycare centers and home childcare professionals. It’s kind of like being a social worker to a particular daycare center. I like writing, I like psychology, I like education. Being a coach really pulls all of this together. How did The Cathedral School help set the stage for this work? I often say in my line of work that we can’t advise and ask teachers to do something with their students that they haven’t experienced themselves. I am able to share experiences that I had at Cathedral with them—that is, individualized care and instruction, getting to know someone deeply, thinking about what they like and what they’re good at, and growing from there. The individualized instruction is so strong at Cathedral, so perhaps that was the seed. I also had this really interesting a-ha moment last semester in my work. I wrote letters to each of the teachers at the end of the program as a way to say good-bye and sum up their strengths and things we worked on together, and I realized I was going through the experience of writing an individualized report. At Cathedral I would always look forward to reading those reports, asking, “Mommy, where are my reports? What did they say about me at the conference?” I know it’s a lot of work—it’s a labor of love to write them because you want them to be letter-perfect and customized. As you can see, they stay with the child forever, but now I have so much appreciation. Again, I experienced that at Cathedral and was able to share it with other people.

At Cathedral, we talked about values systems, and we looked at stories through the lens of ethics, morals, and developing values. Rebecca Newman ’01

What elements of your Cathedral School experience have stuck most with you? So much of what we did—I loved the arts and humanities curriculum, especially taking Latin and being able to dissect words and think about etymology and the origins of language. I remember my 1st grade teacher ran the World Club, and we talked about our rules for the group—it was all about inclusivity and acceptance of difference. We also talked about values systems, and we looked at stories through the lens of ethics, morals, and developing values. I still remember the Mitten Tree, the Peace Tree, and the food drive—all of these things that we did at Cathedral were really customs and celebrations of community, not greater-than or lessthan, but things that helped develop awareness of the rest of the world—outside of myself, my building, my block, my neighborhood but, rather, globally.

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The Last Word

A Matter of Trust BY ALAN DONALDSON

In the more than 20 years I have been a teacher —approaching 19 years at Cathedral—much in the world has changed. Marriage equality is here to stay and has the backing of the courts. “Twitter” now refers to something beyond the chatter of birds (…or does it?). Newly-elected representatives to the House are making politically and historically relevant news via the content and the use of their Instagram accounts. The world inside the Close has changed, too—dramatically. The scaffolding on the Cathedral tower is down. Playgrounds have moved. Technology inside the school that at one time would have amazed is now the norm. During my first year at Cathedral, as an associate teacher in the kindergarten (I was “shared” between the two classes back then), I was in charge of a brand-new digital (digital!) camera. The pictures were saved on a 3.5" floppy disk. They were about 33K each. (For comparison, one photo from a phone nowadays contains about 300 times the data). The building itself has undergone its most dramatic transformation in its history—a new kindergarten center, new classrooms, new hallways, and of course the most recent additions of the Library and Media Center and Innovation Lab. (20 years ago, what would we have made of a “Innovation Lab”? Would we have thought it was some sort of hatchery?) Teaching is different, too: students submit work on Google Drive, meet with teachers oneon-one to discuss their work during EXCEL, and compose thoughtful and persuasive emails as to why their busy evenings warrant an extension on their homework. But with all of this change, inside the classrooms and out, the central element of life in the classroom remains the same. Teaching and learning at its core is inherently social. Both thrive when based on relationships built on trust. When I taught in the kindergarten

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classroom, this meant helping my students understand that I would still welcome them and love them even after being projectile-vomited on. In 2nd grade, students had to know that I understood how desperately they wanted to please the adults in their lives and that having a water fight in the bathroom was only a momentary lapse of reason. The 4th graders needed both a platform for their ideas—to be not just heard but respected—as well as a growing understanding from the adults of just how important their friends were becoming. And, in the Upper School, as I have been learning as quickly as I can (as both a parent and a teacher), the kids need me to know that, while it is a simple fact that I am now the most embarrassing and least cool human on the planet, I should not take this personally. It is just the way it is. And yet, at the same time, they also need me and the rest of the adults in their lives to see through this ruse—to respect how much they want to do well even while challenging them to do better, and to realize that they, too, need to know they will still be loved, even if they show contempt now and then for appearances’ sake (or, if the latest stomach bug requires, projectile vomit). To be “progressive” as an educator means to me that everything is on the table—all content, classroom structures, teaching techniques are up for negotiation. But the heart of the matter is not. What remains “traditional” about this place, and I believe always will, is that teachers always will, and always must, connect through a deep sense of trust with their students. Heart, brain, and stomach contents included. s Alan Donaldson has taught at Cathedral for almost two decades. He received his B.A. from Middlebury and his master’s in education from Hunter College. He speaks fluent Mandarin.

What remains “traditional” about this place … is that teachers always will, and always must, connect through a deep sense of trust with their students. Cathedral

S P R I N G 2019


M I S S I O N STAT E M E N T The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine is an independent, Episcopal, K-8 day school for girls and boys of all faiths. The School is committed to a rigorous academic program that integrates the arts, athletics, and leadership development. Located on New York City’s Upper West Side on the 13-acre Close of the Cathedral, the school offers a unique setting for the celebration of the many traditions shared by its families. The school prides itself in being a diverse community in partnership with families who take an active role in their children’s intellectual, ethical, social, and emotional growth. The Cathedral School offers a stimulating environment in which each child can become an articulate, confident, and responsible citizen of the world. Continuing a century-old relationship, the school draws upon the Cathedral’s vast resources and provides its children’s choir.

2018 –2 019 B OA R D O F T R U ST E E S The Right Reverend Clifton Daniel, III Chair and Dean of the Cathedral Bill Bermont President Katie Conway Vice President Robin Alston Secretary Troy Wagner Treasurer Marsha K. Nelson Head of School Everett Alexander S. Courtney Booker, III Satrina Boyce Jaye Chen Roberta Connolly Lucy Culver Martha Escobar Danielle Felczak George Filopoulos Carey Flaherty John Gallo Noah Greenhill ’83 Kaliope Kostas Lee Morakis Bruce Paulsen Jefrey Pollock Daphne Rubin-Vega ’99 Catherine Salisbury Ellen Stein Martha Consor Tedesco ’96


1047 Amsterdam Ave. New York, NY 10025

Profile for The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine

Cathedral Magazine (Spring 2019)