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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

Makers & Doers

WINTER 2018


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 WINTER 2018

Head of School Marsha K. Nelson Director of Institutional Advancement Jennifer Rhodes Editor Jessie Saunders Writers Elizabeth Bacon Daniel Hrdlicka Delilah Lora Colin Murray Design Aldeia www.aldeia.design Photography Caroline Voagen Nelson Filip Wolak Colin Murray Daniel Hrdlicka 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

F E AT U R E S

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Future Perfect After over a century, The Cathedral School’s landmarked building is growing for the first time. A spectacular 8,000-square-foot addition transforms the entire school building from terrace to roof

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Inclusive Spirit Tucked in the shade of the world’s largest neoGothic cathedral, The Cathedral School has an unwavering commitment to spiritual openness and understanding of world religions

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Living History With a 120-year-old, 13-acre campus, the Cathedral Close is a treasure-trove of world class art, science and history, all waiting to be explored by curious Cathedral students

40 #CathedralNYC #TheCathedralSchool #KnowWonder

Upward Bound The Upper School’s Leadership Lab encourages 8th graders to embrace leadership, collaboration, and dedication to service

Cover, TOC and Back Cover photo: Caroline Voagen Nelson

D E PA RT M E N T S

02 Letter from the Head of School

26 On the Close

03 Notes from Amsterdam Avenue

44 Beyond Cathedral

20 Uniquely Cathedral 22 Responsible Citizens of the World

42 Graduation 2017 48 The Last Word


Letter from the Head of School MARSHA K. NELSON

Recently, I had the opportunity to catch up with a parent of a Cathedral alumnus, now a high school senior. She updated me not just on her son but on other Cathedral alumni in his class. As she was listing their accomplishments—one was the president of his class, another the editor of the student newspaper—she said, “It’s incredible how all these Cathedral alumni assume leadership roles so quickly in their new environments, yet it’s really not surprising at all.” It doesn’t surprise me either. I know Cathedral students are stellar leaders in their high schools, universities, and beyond, because they so fully embrace the essential element of leadership: service. They also believe in the importance of collaboration. Leaders that seek out and value the opinions of others when making decisions are the better for it, and our voice for change is more forceful if we work together. As a student at Cathedral, Aksel Katz ’17 was a dedicated leader of PEACOCK, our environmental action club. He advocated for more green practices at our school, including encouraging the administration to introduce composting to our dining room, which we did in 2016. His initiative, nurtured in the classrooms and community spaces of Cathedral, has continued to blossom in high school. Not even two months into his freshman year, Aksel began leading the charge to have every independent school affirm the Paris Agreement on Climate. I was proud to sign for The Cathedral School. You can read more about it on p. 11. That incredible dedication to service in leadership is part of everyday life at Cathedral from our youngest students to our oldest. In our new Leadership Lab, 8th graders combined a challenging adventure of Outward Bound with service to the community at an urban farm, Harlem Grown (see the story on p. 40). Whether it is taking the lead in shaping extracurricular scientific study, making a difference in the lives of children with autism, or helping hurricane victims, Cathedral students learn the power of example and the need to expand our connection to the world around us.

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C O L I N M U R R AY

Leading the Way

Members of the Lower School meet with Marsha Nelson to discuss the Peace Tree assembly, a Cathedral School tradition

Our faculty are also leaders in their fields. Over 75% have graduate degrees. All are committed to continually deepening their educational study through professional development. They are also innovators in the classroom, and share those innovations on a national level. This year, three teachers are speaking at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’s national conference, presenting units developed here, inspired by the architecture on our campus (see p. 07). All of this student and faculty initiative will have more room to blossom in our Expansion, currently under construction and due to be completed by the winter of 2019. Our students will innovate, collaborate, and excel in this state-of-the-art, 8,000-square-foot new space, which includes a sensational Media and Innovation Center, a new, expanded dining and common space, and a Makerspace for engineering and invention. You can see our future on p. 28. Cathedral students meet challenges head-on, full of energy and enthusiasm, and full of thoughtfulness and empathy. They never sit back but always participate in the effort to make their school, their city, and their world a better place. I can think of no better definition of leadership. s

Cathedral

W I N T E R 2018


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

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Notes from Amsterdam Avenue

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


Notes from Amsterdam Avenue

Question Time

What have you made on a 3D printer?

Cathedral Magazine asked—Cathedral students answered.

Favorite field trip?

A mini Excalibur sword.

Lincoln Center. We went to see the opera house and the orchestra.

OLIVER B., 5TH GRADE

RANYA J., 4TH GRADE

The Natural History Museum. Last year we got to see the Egyptian exhibit. That was so cool! We learned a ton about mummies and had fun.

Ski Trip!

4th grade’s field day. I just like field day in general.

ARIANA K., 7TH GRADE

OLIVER B., 5TH GRADE

STELLA G., 7TH GRADE

My Name. DEANNE M., 5TH GRADE

A house! I installed lights, speakers and fans in it. I printed it out in pieces and assembled it.

When we went apple picking in kindergarten. FINN M., 2ND GRADE

For my cousin’s birthday, I made her a tree frog — she loves tree frogs! MADELINE B., 7TH GRADE

The new Makerspace will be pretty cool.

The school is going to be bigger and more modern. So, I’m really excited for everything.

A pencil case.

Mostly everything, and going through the new glass hallway to it. LEO B., 4TH GRADE

FRANNY D., 5TH GRADE

The library because it’s going to be way bigger and have a lot of books.

The new dining room. It’s going to be humongous.

AVERY P., 4TH GRADE

RANYA J., 4TH GRADE

JAKE B., 7TH GRADE

LEO B., 4TH GRADE

HUDSON M., 4TH GRADE

JAKE B., 7TH GRADE

What can’t you wait to see in the Expansion?

Last year I made a model of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.

I like that there’s more space for clubs to meet. JULIAN S., 3RD GRADE

The new assembly room. FINN M., 2ND GRADE


Notes from Amsterdam Avenue

A Summer of STEAM Camp

C AT H E D R A L I N B E TA Cathedral students who can never have enough scientific exploration in their lives join Beta Lab, an elective with a different scientific theme each trimester. This fall, the kids worked with Micro:bits, a credit-card sized processor that has Bluetooth, a gravitometer, and an accelerometer. The students can use it to code for computers, robots, musical instruments, or whatever they dream up. This winter, a group of scientific daredevils are planning on designing a race car with the help of Columbia University’s Knickerbocker Motorsports club, which builds racers. For those Cathedral Upper Schoolers who are looking for even more science, there is Lab Rats, a club that meets during lunchtime to discuss topics ranging from fungi, to viruses like rabies, to neurobiology and electricity. Upper School science teacher Jon Pirnia acts as a mentor to students looking to explore a topic in depth, encouraging them to share their experiments in presentations to the Lower School. Above: Cristina T. ’19 and Anna J. ’19 dissect sheep brains in a demonstration for interested, but wary, students. Cristina and Anna explored neuroscience during their lunchtime science club, Lab Rats. Left: Dr. Thomas Foo talks about his experience in scientific research during an Ampersand Seminar

Led by a merry band of Cathedral faculty, including Michael Demianiuk, Shawna Altdorf, Tiffany Williams, Yojairy Sands, and Deja Williams, as well as a group of dedicated young alumni counselors, STEAM camp 2017 was a hit with all the campers who participated. Our young campers explored art, music, programming, robotics, circuits, aerodynamics, stop-motion video, engineering, game development, chemistry, and 3-D printing—plus, of course, had ample time on the beautiful green 13-acre Cathedral Close to run around and eat popsicles on sunny summer days. Camp teacher (and Upper School science teacher) Shawna Altdorf’s favorite moment of last summer? Designing and woodworking sailboats, and then testing their pond-worthiness alongside the geese and turtles in Morningside Park’s pond. With six theme weeks, there’s a week for every budding engineer’s interests. Sign up for one—or all six—of the summer sessions by visiting cathedralnyc.org and clicking on the STEAM camp icon. Any questions? Feel free to contact STEAM camp Director Emmanuel Saldana at steamcamp@ cathedralnyc.org.

Ampersand Seminars There’s nothing unusual about a school hosting a lecture series—but it’s a little more unusual when the students themselves invite the speakers. Last year, the Student Council started the Ampersand Seminars series as a way to tap into Cathedral students’ diverse interests. After polling classmates about what they’d most like to hear about, the council hosted speakers including alumnus Dr. Thomas Foo ’77. Dr. Foo, who went on to study chemical engineering at MIT and Berkeley after his time at Cathedral, reminisced about growing up in the neighborhood and about his long career as a research and project engineer at DuPont. Ampersand also invited lacrosse star Rob Pannell, whose resume includes winning the Tewaaraton Award (collegiate lacrosse’s Heisman Trophy) while at Cornell University, being named Rookie of the Year in Major League Lacrosse, and playing for Team USA.

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Notes from Amsterdam Avenue

From Spanish Harlem to Sesame Street This fall, 5th graders read The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by acclaimed Latina author and actress Sonia Manzano, former Cathedral parent (of Gabriela Reagan ’02) and Absalom Jones Benefit Honoree in 2007. The novel chronicles the coming of age story of Evelyn, a young Latina growing up in Spanish Harlem in the late 1960s. Ms. Manzano based the novel on her own experiences coming to terms with her Latina identity growing up in the Bronx. Ms. Manzano visited the school in November and spoke to the 5th grade about how Latinos were “invisible” in society when she was growing up. After she became friends with members of the Young Lords, a Puerto Rican activist group, she became proud of her culture and felt that she “didn’t have to explain who I was anymore.” Ms. Manzano would go on to play the character of Maria on Sesame Street for over 40 years. Sesame Street was one of the first shows to feature a diverse cast in an urban setting. Ms. Manzano told the students that only three people auditioned for the part of Maria: “If you never saw people like you on TV, how would you know you could do it?” she observed.

The 5th grade is all smiles after meeting author and activist Sonia Manzano

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FROM THE ARCHIVE S

THOMAS PYNCHON

ALUMNI PARENT, C ATHEDRAL CLA SS OF 2005 Before there was Cathedral Magazine, there was The Cathedral School Newsletter, and occasionally parents would contribute articles. In 1999, one such parent was the National Book Award-winning novelist Thomas Pynchon, who wrote an essay about a visit to the Cathedral: Well, we finally managed to get to the picnic this year which turned out to be a small miracle of easy-going and spontaneous community, not to mention another chance to appreciate the role (and bless the name) of V&T Pizza in the general neighborhood infrastructure. On the other hand, the Blessing of the Animals snuck up on us again for the second year running, so that’s twice now we’ve missed the sure sign of autumn at Cathedral—The Elephant. To compensate (sort of) we did get to see a giant bull-frog in a pond on a field trip to the Tenafly Nature Center, and the frog got to see the second grade, too. What I’m looking forward to now is another visit inside the Cathedral. Last year, my son Jackson and I and a small bunch of other kids got an impromptu tour from fellow school parent and Cathedral maven Gina Bria Vescovi (Alma ’02 and Luca ’04), whose enthusiasm was so contagious that the kids were soon running around and checking out organ consoles, amplifiers, and hiding places, scrutinizing the stained-glass window of the Titanic disaster for Leonardo Di Caprio’s presence, and generally being wowed by a nave high enough to accommodate the Statue of Liberty, not to mention a Pentecostal profusion of mini-chapels put in expressly, as our guide informed us, for newcomers to the U.S., because the beginning of construction here happened to coincide with the great wave of immigration a hundred years ago. What interested me in particular were the spiral staircases vanishing upward into shadows and, alas, inaccessible to the public. “So, what’s up there?” I asked. Gina beamed, mysteriously. “You wouldn’t believe what’s up there.” “Like what?” “Heh, heh, heh . . .” was about all she was prepared to say. Seems there is some problem about allowing adult visitors, even us long-suffering (and heaven knows deserving) school parents, too much access. Which is a shame, of course, considering that the guiding concept has always been that of a church that belongs to everybody. “The original core of this Cathedral,” according to Ms. Vescovi, “was an orphanage, in the oldest and best sense, a place for people who had nowhere else to go—and that meant anybody, no matter who they were, or how long they’d been in the country.” Still, the kids do get to go in all the time and use the space for its true purpose, and I have learned at least how to get from one basketball court to the other, and Gina has promised us a return visit soon. Maybe this time we’ll get upstairs. Then again, with Hallowe’en coming, I’m not so sure . . . like, a Cathedral with an annual tradition of showing classic horror movies? And what about that bishop’s ghost who’s rumored to walk around haunting the place? Maybe there’re bats up there? Vampire bats? Strange individuals swinging around on bell ropes, stuff like that? Maybe I should borrow my kid’s Darth Vader outfit from last year, buy new batteries for the light just in case?

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Notes from Amsterdam Avenue

Edith Thurber’s Farewell

C AT H E D R A L FAC U LT Y M AT H L E T E S Three members of Cathedral’s faculty, math specialist Yojairy Sands (right), kindergarten teacher Maria Peneda (middle), and 1st grade teacher Michael Demianiuk (left), will be presenting at the upcoming National Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference in Washington, D.C. The three are leading two workshops: the first, “Neighborhood Shapes: A K–2 Exploration,” breaks down a 1st grade geometry unit, where students gained an understanding of shapes through exploratory activities, inspired by incorporating the shapes found in the Cathedral and around the Close into the educational experience. The second workshop, “Not Just a Guess: K–2 Estimation Experiences,” came out of a series of engaging estimation activities conducted with the kindergartners. For instance, students estimated how many apples they’d collected on a field trip and then shared the results with the school, making estimation meaningful and fun in the lower grades.

B OT TO M : F I L I P WO L A K , TO P R I G H T: C A R O L I N E VOAG E N N E L S O N

Edith Thurber took on many roles during her 16 years at Cathedral—English teacher, Director of Admission, Head of the Upper School—and Ultimate Frisbee coach. It was for this last reason alumni and students received custom-designed (by Cameron Macdonald ’16) Ultimate Frisbees at Edith’s official farewell reception during the 2017 Spring Fair. Her intellectual honesty, academic rigorousness, and compassion for her students are part of her enduring legacy at Cathedral. She strove to cultivate each student’s authentic interest and challenged them to find, explore, and speak in their own voices. Ms. Thurber’s tenure at Cathedral was celebrated on the newly-renovated Kit Wallace Playground by over 80 of her former students and colleagues, who listened as Ms. Thurber told them, “I gave a lot to the school, but I got so much more in return. I got the honor of feeling that each of my students took away a little something from my class that they can use to make their world better. It was constantly inspiring how we never even thought about giving up. I worked day in and day out with so many people, adults and children, who were sincerely trying to do good in the world.”

T HTEHM E AG M AG A ZAI N Z IENO E FOTFHTEHCE AT C AT H EHDERDARLASLCSHCOHOOLOO L FOST. F ST. J OJHONH T NHTEHD E ID VI V NIEN E 07

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Notes from Amsterdam Avenue

FAC U LT Y F O C U S :

Michael Demianiuk It’s not everyone’s teaching career that begins in a foreign country, in a foreign school, speaking a foreign language, but that’s how new 1st grade head teacher Michael Demianiuk began his. After finishing his undergraduate education in History at the University of Minnesota, Michael was chosen for the Congress-Budenstag Youth Exchange and spent a year in Germany. He found himself in Leipzig, taking master’s program classes at the university and interning in local German schools. After the end of the exchange, he received a Fulbright grant to teach abroad and he spent the next year continuing to teach in Germany, splitting time between an elementary school, where he taught math and English classes, and a special needs school. As his time abroad drew to a close, he decided to pursue a master’s in education from Bank Street, and so he moved to New York—and found an associate teaching position at Cathedral School. He spent two years as an associate teacher, the last with his now co-head teacher Ann Bryant. “It was beneficial to work with such an experienced and knowledgeable educator as Ann. It helped me to develop as an educator so I felt like I could come in and assume a head teaching position,” he says. He also has spent time creating math units with math specialist Yojairy Sands, kindergarten teacher Maria Peneda, two of which they will present at the annual National Conference of Teachers of Mathematics (see p. 07). And what about his experience leading his own classroom? “As an associate teacher you’re juggling four or five balls at a time, whereas a head teacher is juggling 20 balls.” He wouldn’t have it any other way: “I think one of the benefits being an elementary school teacher affords you is that you can develop interests in an interdisciplinary way, which is a very valuable skill to teach to young children.”

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I think one of the benefits being an elementary school teacher affords you is that you can develop interests in an interdisciplinary way, which is a very valuable skill to teach to young children.

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Notes from Amsterdam Avenue Kaitlyn Chyau Xueyao Cui

Partners in Learning

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

Cathedral’s associate teaching program is unlike any other in the city. This year the school welcomes three new associate teachers—Elizabeth Lindley, Kaitlyn Chyau, and Xueyao Cui

Cathedral’s associate teacher program offers an incredible opportunity for young educators: a three-year program where they are mentored by Laura Higgins, the Head of the Lower School, and work in collaboration with their head teachers. Elizabeth Lindley, a graduate of Teachers College, Columbia, is an associate in Tiffany Williams’s 2nd grade class and a Spanish assistant teacher. She explains the process: “[Lower School Dean] Rachel Geringer-Dunn supervises us, and we make an agreement on paper about how much responsibility we want to take on with our head teacher as well. The goal is to grow as teachers.” When it came to working with her head teacher, Ms. Lindley says, “We had time before we started the year to get oriented and to have conversations about my goals.” Kaitlyn Chyau, who is working towards her master’s at Bank Street, is the associate for 2nd grade head teacher Marilyn Diosa. When she was asked to lead the classroom for the first time, she says, “Everyone was so supportive, from Ms. Higgins, to Ms. Geringer-Dunn, to [math specialist] Yojairy Sands. It made me feel comfortable.” Xueyao Cui, an associate in Ann Bryant’s 1st grade, was born and raised in China. For her, the whole experience is new: “I’ve never attended school in America, and the way kids are taught here is so different from my elementary school experience.” The students at Cathedral have been a source of inspiration. “The scenarios the students think about in Identity Time, how in-depth the children go during their discussions, is really unique,” Ms. Chyau says. While doing reading evaluations, Ms. Lindley asks the child she’s working with a standard question: what kind of person is the main character? “And they’ll say, ‘I think it’s a boy,’ but they’ll question it. I love that they don’t assume anything.”

Elizabeth Lindley

A N E W FAC E I N AT H L E T I C S Cathedral welcomes physical education and health teacher Lucy Oswald, who joins Cathedral after ten years at the Rudolf Steiner School, where she served as Athletic Director.

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

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Notes from Amsterdam Avenue

FAC U LT Y N E W S + N OT E S

A Feathered Nest In October, members of the Cathedral Close community celebrated the unveiling of the new peacock hutch on campus. Jim, Harry, and Phil are the third generation of peacocks at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine; in fact, they were a graduation gift from the class of 2002. The peacock’s new home was designed by members of Ennead Architects, who also designed the school’s Expansion Project (see p. 30). The structure’s inspiration draws from the Cathedral’s iconic rose window and the peacock’s feathers, and features heated panels to keep the birds warm through the winter months. The ceremony began with 8th graders walking up the drive hand-in-hand with the kindergarteners, blowing toy horns that mimicked the peacock’s calls that often ring out through campus (it should be noted that a peacock’s call is not nearly as beautiful to hear as a peacock’s tail is to see). Bishop Dietsche used a kale-and-peacock feather bouquet dipped in water to first bless the hutch, and then the crowd. It was unusually warm so everyone enjoyed the little shower. NY1 and CBS 2 News at 5 were on hand to cover the event, and even interviewed a pair of Cathedral School students, including kindergartner George B., above.

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1st grade teacher Michael Demianiuk laced up his sneakers for the New York City Marathon. The first-timer made it across the finish line in a very respectable 4:03. Food service’s Mario Flores ran in his 14th NYC marathon, with an impressive time of 3:44. ¶ Cathedral CFO Peter Maas shares that his elder daughter is now a freshman at the University of Delaware. Congratulations! ¶ Upper School Science Teacher Jonathan Pirnia had a busy summer which included attending both a 3-day NYSAIS Service Learning Conference and a 3-day NYSAIS STEAM Conference. He was also an Instructional Coach for the science department at Breakthough New York/ Town School, which is a non-profit that provides educational support to motivated low-income students. He also taught summer science and STEAM courses at Bank Street, and, to top it off, taught rock climbing all summer and began climbing 5.11-difficulty routes, of which he is “very proud!” ¶ Marietta Snyder is not only the Upper School learning specialist; she is also a proud parent to a Cathedral kindergartner. “It’s nice being a Cathedral parent as well as a member of faculty,” she writes. ¶ Lower School science teacher and STEAM coordinator Meglena Zapreva ran the Berlin Marathon, her 5th marathon, this September. A whirlwind three-day trip had her touring the BMW motorcycle plant, running 42 kilometers through the city, and teaching at Cathedral again by Tuesday morning. She says, “It was a dream come true for me to run the marathon course which holds the world record. This year, a number of elite runners were trying to beat that world record but missed by a second or two. It was a thrill to be running through the city of Berlin in the company of such incredible athletes.”

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Notes from Amsterdam Avenue

Genius Ideas

Guilded Age

Upper School learning specialist Marietta Snyder and librarian Sharon Owens were looking for a way to cultivate the executive functioning skills they were teaching in Student Skills class—and decided to adapt an idea first put forward by Google. The premise? By allowing children to pursue an interest that might not fall into the traditional areas of study, Genius Hour can spark creativity and intellectual discipline in students. Over the 8-week program, students worked on projects that could either solve problems or deepen a base of knowledge in a subject. Interests ran the gamut from designing upcycled planters, writing a girl-power newsletter, code breaking, and creating an “ultimate” folder to replace ones that were not getting the job done in the 5th grade. That’s the kind of problem-solving, on topics big and small, Genius Hour promotes. Ms. Snyder says, “Genius Hour gives kids a chance to apply the skills we discussed: thinking, planning, discussing, drafting, organizing their time, and assessing their own work.”

The Cathedral School community aligns with this mission and will continue to participate in the efforts to fight global environmental change. PEACOCK Statement on the Paris Agreement on climate

To learn more about the movement, visit www.wearestillin.com

The Guild of Independent Schools of New York City was the first independent school advocacy group in New York when it was founded in 1938, and the Guild members are the Heads of School from city independent schools. The current president’s name might be familiar to you: it is Marsha Nelson, our own Head of School. Guild presidents, who serve 2-year terms, are responsible for maintaining the Guild’s archives, which offer a unique look into the history of independent schools in this city. The archives include a speech about the purpose of the Guild made during the early 1940’s by Guild president Millicent Mackintosh, then the Head of Brearley School, and later the Dean of Barnard College, and who is considered to be one of the most prominent educators of the 20th century. Mackintosh wrote that “the Guild will be a tower of strength in building our schools solidly into the foundations of the future,” a sentiment undoubtedly shared by independent heads of school today.

PEACOCK’s “Still In” on the Paris Accords This fall Aksel Katz ’17, the former president of Cathedral’s environmental club PEACOCK and now a freshman at Fieldston, wrote an email to the independent schools in New York City urging them to join the “We Are Still In” movement, which was started after President Trump pulled out of the historic Paris Agreement on climate in June 2017. “A signature of the letter by schools would yield a joint statement by educators acknowledging the reality of climate change and the urgency with which it needs to be dealt, and would also enter primary and secondary school, into the field of climate activism.” Current PEACOCK member Uma S. ’18 was inspired to encourage Ms. Nelson to affirm The Cathedral School’s status as an environmental leader. “We [PEACOCK] think you should sign the letter because you are representing all of us: students, faculty, staff, and administrators,” she wrote in an email. Representatives from PEACOCK gathered in Ms. Nelson’s office to have her sign the letter. The Cathedral School’s name will be added to the list of signatories. PEACOCK hopes that including independent schools as stakeholders will bolster the movement as the UN climate talks continue.

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#TheCathedralSchool Instagram? Facebook? Take your pick. The energy of Cathedral students and faculty is captured daily on our social media feeds. Stay up-to-date on the wonderful things happening on our campus by engaging with The Cathedral School on your favorite social media platforms. Like us on Facebook at The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine (@cathedralnyc), or if you’re an alumni visit our dedicated facebook page at @TheCathedralSchoolAlumni. We’re @cathedralnyc on Instagram and Twitter, too. Join the conversation by tagging your Cathedral pics with @cathedralnyc or by adding our hashtags: #TheCathedralSchool, #CathedralNYC, and of course, #KnowWonder.


Tale of the Tape

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

Talk about all-school projects! This fall, both the 7th grade and the 4th grade thought outside the classroom and used the entire school to tackle challenging mathematical problems. The first unit of study for 7th grade mathematics is the relationship between the table, graph and equation of linear functions. It includes defining, finding and using slopes, or rise over run. Dr. Terry Colliton, who teaches 7th grade math, was climbing the stairs in the newlyrenovated south staircase when she noticed that running back up the stairs was much easier than in the past. She saw how much more square footage was needed because, while the rise is the same, there is a great deal more run. So she had students, working in pairs, measure sections of each staircase. When the calculations were finished, the students, with Upper School art teacher Brian Delacey’s help, built to-scale staircases created in cardboard and wood. The 4th graders were not satisfied with just one school-wide challenge—so they took on six, both inside and outside. These challenges included calculating the area of the Kit Wallace Playground; discovering if the entire Lower School could fit inside 4J’s classroom; estimating the amount of compost created in a school year by the Lower School; and measuring the volume of the excavation for the Expansion with the help of the official schematic drawings provided by Ennead architects and a tour of the excavation with Cathedral CFO Peter Maas.

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

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Notes from Amsterdam Avenue

The Sports Desk Now in its second year, the budding young reporters of the Cathedral Sports Network meet all their deadlines

Every Day 3 and Day 6, a group of sports enthusiasts grab their laptops and gather in room 307 for the Cathedral Sports Network, a sports media elective now in its second year, advised by Athletic Director Terry Pfeifer. They array themselves in a circle, goodnaturedly teasing Mr. Pfeifer, who reminds them to get down to work. They quickly do. Like any newsroom, there’s a pecking order: fresh-faced new reporters from the 5th grade hand over their copy to the 7th graders who edit them in time to go into that week’s Peacock Post. There are roundups of the JV soccer season, and a play-by-play of the girls varsity volleyball game. But this is a multimedia sports elective, and video is king. Many of the members have interviewed notable sports figures: 6th grader Sebastian M. talked on camera with New York Mets pitching legend Jon Franco. CSN veterans, 7th graders Jack A. and Zach R., scored a postgame interview with University of Albany basketball coach Will Brown after Albany’s victory over Columbia at Levien Gym last season, a decision the two boys made in the stands watching the game. “They did it with the thought of getting it into the Peacock Post, through the elective. They went above and beyond,” their advisor, Mr. Pfeifer, notes. “It was a great experience for me, and for Zach, too, to be able to interview someone of that caliber,” Jack says. The group is notable for its enthusiasm for their subject and a remarkable lack of nerves when approaching interview subjects, particularly in a stadium setting. Jack spotted Zack Hample, a collector who has claimed to have caught over 10,000 baseballs at major league parks, at Yankee Stadium, and asked him a few questions on camera. They are learning the ropes of interviewing, writing, editing and publishing their work, whether in print or on video, and understanding the kind of time commitment projects like this demand. The Cathedral Sports Network has also focused their attention on the future: both Zach and Jack are interested in following their passion into sports either in journalism or in sports management. “I just love it,” Jack says.

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6th grader Sebastian M. talked on camera with New York Mets pitching legend Jon Franco.

Top: Sebastian M. ’20 scores with his interview of Mets pitching legend John Franco. Bottom: The Cathedral Sports Network team in a huddle with their faculty advisor, Athletic Director Terry Pfeifer

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Notes from Amsterdam Avenue

What sports did you play at Cathedral? Which was your favorite? I played soccer, basketball, softball, and outdoor track. At the time basketball was my favorite, but now track is definitely my favorite. You won the AIPSL basketball championship in 2014. What was going through your head before the game? Do you have a favorite moment from that season? We were playing the Heschel School, and the year before they beat us by two or three points in the championships— it was really close. So, I can clearly remember the bus ride over to that championship game. We were all very excited and also pretty nervous, but walking into that gym, we were really confident. We developed a pretty big lead, so we kind of knew that we were going to win the game. Throughout the entirety of the game we just played really well together. It was a great feeling of camaraderie and teamwork.

Sharde Johnson ’14

Q&A with Sharde Johnson ’14 by Jack A. ’19 and Zach R ’19

Cathedral School alumna Sharde Johnson ’14 was awarded the Headmaster’s Cup for best athlete and competes nationally in the high jump for her high school, Emma Willard. Two founding members of the Cathedral Sports Network, 7th graders Jack A. and Zach R., interviewed her for Cathedral Magazine.

You have a successful track and field record at Emma Willard, particularly in the high jump. What is your proudest achievement? That’s a great question. I think that my proudest achievement is jumping 5'6" when I did not expect to jump 5'6". So, a little back story—I started high jumping my freshman year during the outdoor season. I talked to the coach at the beginning of the season, and I said, “OK, I’m a 200-meter sprinter, that’s what I did at Cathedral. I’m excited to do that here.” And he said, “No, you’re not going to be a sprinter.” He asked me if I had ever tried high jumping, and I had never heard of it. I don’t know if you guys have heard of it? No, it was new to us! Exactly! So I was pretty nervous. One afternoon he brought me to the pit and put up a bungee cord, and he told me to jump over it. I asked, “How?” During that season my personal record was 4'10",

Don’t only focus on your athletic commitment in the moment, but also think about what you need to do academically. Sharde Johnson ’14

which is not very high. So just seeing my progress from 4'10" my freshman year to 5'6" my junior year is really something that I’m proud of, because you can see that the work that I put in helped me achieve that. Do you have any advice on how to balance your academic commitments and your athletic commitments? I think that it’s very important to put academic work first. So, what I try to do is look at my academic schedule and get all that out of the way before practice and games. I can’t remember how much time I had before games at Cathedral, but definitely bring homework to games if you can. Don’t only focus on your athletic commitment in the moment, but also think about what you need to do academically. What’s next for you after your senior year? I’m planning to continue high jumping in college. I have continued to play soccer and basketball in high school, although not softball, unfortunately. I might play club soccer and basketball in college. Thank you so much, and good luck in your athletic career!

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Notes from Amsterdam Avenue

Good Play Cathedral athletes are well known for their sportsmanship on the field—a reflection of the core values of The Cathedral School It’s a bright fall afternoon in Central Park, and the Cathedral School JV soccer team is squaring off against one of their league rivals. The opposing team is strong, skilled, and fast: a big red blur continually testing the limits of the Cathedral defense. However, the Cougars remain undeterred. A Cathedral defender wins the ball deep in his own half, but his feet get tangled with an opposing player, sending that player sprawling. “Are you okay?” asks the Cathedral player, as he tries to help his opponent up. Meanwhile, the game goes on just a few yards away. “They’re almost too empathetic,” jokes Deja Williams, one of the JV soccer team coaches. “If they see someone hurt, they have to help, even if they are wearing a different uniform.” As a K–2 science teacher and Upper School soccer coach, Ms. Williams can appreciate how the values of sportsmanship can build within a Cathedral student. “I think through our Identity curriculum, our students do gain a high-end social awareness and ability to take care of others,” she says. Physical education teacher Lucy Oswald, who coaches varsity volleyball, also sees Cathedral’s core values such as cooperation, respect, and responsibility embodied in her Lower School students. “Students take ownership for creating a fair environment on the field,” she says. “Behaviorally, students correct themselves, and there’s an expectation that everyone meets the standards of the community.” On Upper School athletic teams, the manifestation of these values become more

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concrete: an extra jersey is donated to a student who forgot his or hers on game day, or a teammate whose skills have improved significantly over the course of the season is cheered on by his or her teammates. This is not to say there is lack of competitiveness among Cathedral sports teams. “When there’s a game happening, everyone knows once you walk in the door at 8 a.m., and there’s an energy that builds up to it,” says Uma S. ’18, a member of the school’s varsity soccer team this year. Rather, the sense of sportsmanship at Cathedral is “more genuine,” according to Ms. Oswald. “We’re pretty honest with each other,” says Uma. “There’s

a lot of integrity on the team.” While teams stay positive, they also hold their teammates accountable. According to varsity volleyball member Arushi M. ’18, each student has “a passion for playing the game, and for trying their best.” Teams are also a place where students feel comfortable taking risks, either to improve or to try out a sport they have never played before. “There’s always something to learn from every game or every point,” says Ms. Williams. The students absorb these lessons intrinsically: “they bring only positivity for the teams,” says Ms. Oswald. In the end, the Cathedral uniform becomes a natural extension of the school community.—Colin Murray

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Notes from Amsterdam Avenue

Creature Creators Upper School art teacher Brian Delacey is always looking for connections: “There’s a through line,” he says, “in multi-step projects. It gives the student a change to have a new perspective on the same subject, using a new medium, either visual or tactile.” There’s also an interesting relationship between technology and traditional studio art, where students manipulate images first on screen, and afterwards on canvas. In the 5th grade project featured here, the children used a program called Spore Creature Creator to invent animals, adding and subtracting features. Once satisfied with their creatures, they print the images and then interpret them in acrylic paint. Students hone technology and STEAM skills while also developing traditional studio art skills, like representing weight and volume using color theory. In the 6th grade, students start with a penand-ink drawing of a mythical creature of their own invention. After researching ancient Greek vase shapes online, they design a vase of their own using their invented mythical creature as the central motif. Finally, that same creature becomes digitized as a Yu-Gi-Oh! playing card, with the students assigning the character specific powers. In this one multistep project, the students draw, paint, do collage, and photoshop their images.

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Notes from Amsterdam Avenue

A Day in the Life: 3rd Grade Writing, science, math, Spanish, social studies, sports: A 3rd grader’s life is busy but fulfilling at The Cathedral School 8:00 AM [1] Organization and preparation are key for 3rd graders who are meeting new academic challenges, including multiplication and division in math 9:05 AM [2] Ms. Santos introduces the morning writing and reading lesson. Focus has been on books about South Africa, including Soccer Fences by Phil Bildner 9:55 AM [3] Students explore natural science—here, earthworms—in the Lower School science lab 12:30 PM [4] Ms. Mannarino leads the 3rd grade in dance during music class

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[5] In the Library, 3rd graders are introduced to online research and reference programs, including Easy Bib 1:15 PM [6] Modern language instruction, here in Spanish, is an essential part of a Cathedral education 3:30 PM [7] A handshake with Ms. Daughenbaugh or Ms. Santos (pictured here) ends the school day

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 F I L I P WO L A K

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Notes from Amsterdam Avenue

Cathedral 3rd graders come together as a community to tackle the academic challenges they face as young scientists, mathematicians, readers, and thinkers. As the year progresses, they make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

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Stephanie Daughenbaugh and Massiel Santos, 3rd grade head teachers

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Uniquely Cathedral

Moving Up For Cathedral 4th graders, the transition to 5th grade is a time of new challenges, new responsibilities— and a new trust in their own abilities BY JESSIE SAUNDERS

On a sunny day in late May, Cathedral 4th graders, full from a special pizza lunch and slightly sweaty from some vigorous exercise at recess in the Kit Wallace Playground, made their way up the stairs into the library, where some new faces were waiting for them. Richard Koo, the current 5th grade dean, for instance, and Delilah Lora, the incoming 5th grade dean. There was also Grace Rho, an Upper School learning specialist. And someone else— someone they’d seen in the halls but didn’t know very well: the Head of the Upper School, Dr. Joshua Deitch. It was time for the 4th grade Q&A. Cathedral treats the 4th grade transition very seriously. For these students, it’s time to leave the Lower School, and some of its beloved traditions, like Assembly, behind. Instead, they will exist in a whole new way at Cathedral—with homerooms, electives, EXCEL periods, and student council. They will have class deans and advisors. There could be (gulp!) detention. They are joining the Upper School. Ben Jacoff, one of a pair of 4th grade teachers (Alan Donaldson is the other), says, “I think there is a kind of mystique about the Upper School that our 4th grade students feel. They know that they will need to be much more independent, and that they won’t have their hands held in the same way. I think a lot of the kids, and maybe the parents, feel like there is a transition from childhood to adolescence that happens in the move from 4th to 5th grades.” Alan Donaldson concurs. “Part of my job as a teacher preparing students for the Upper School is helping kids build habits of independently expressing what they know. Either on paper, during a test, in class, while asking questions, or when advocating for themselves when they need help, students have a responsibility to themselves to show what they are capable of, academically and morally, to the best of their abilities, every day.” At the Q&A, the Upper School faculty present field any and all questions about what the students might expect when they come back to school in the fall. The session opens with a general introduction from Dr. Deitch, who explains his role and, in broad strokes, talks about what they can expect in 5th grade. Immediately,

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eager hands shoot up. What about electives? How do transitions between classes work? What if you’re late to class? The focus is on sussing out what might be the same, and what might be different, trying to understand how their days will change, from the prosaic details to the theoretical and spiritual. The feeling in the library is excited but apprehensive, and the teachers are all willing to take time to answer every last concern. A week later, was the moving up ceremony, which, as Laura Higgins, the Head of the Lower School, notes, “is all about change.” All the Lower School grades—not just the 4th—look back over the year that was and have an official moment of closure. The rooms are filled to capacity with parents, grandparents, and family friends who have come to witness this rite of passage. The two 4th grade classes are last to go, and each teacher gets up to speak about the class as a whole, and the students individually. In opening about his classroom, 4J, Mr. Jacoff said, “I’ve been thinking a lot about our year together—about everything we’ve achieved and how much you all have grown and I honestly can’t believe how we fit it all in. Books, essays, stories, tests, trips, and discussions. What are the things that we will hold on to from this year? You have your friendships. You have the connections you made with each other. And you have the knowledge, if you haven’t realized it yet, that you have made at least one person’s day better every single day that you came to school. You may have learned a lot this year, 4J, and you may have grown, but as your teacher, I have too. And it has been my total pleasure to spend each day together with you.” Individual awards for students, noting their personal strengths and sometimes poking gently at their quirks are handed out. For Mr. Donaldson, that meant making every last child in his classroom a member of a sailing ship’s crew, from captain, to the navigator, to the wind itself that fills the sails. At the end, the students are called up and receive certificates, along with some hugs from their teachers and Ms. Higgins. After proudly raising their certificates for all to see, Dr. Deitch arrives to ceremonially lead the now-no-longer-4th-graders down the center aisle and out the door. The Upper School awaits. s

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C O L I N M U R R AY

Uniquely Cathedral

The camaraderie and spirit of Cathedral’s 4th graders are on display on a beautiful fall day on the Cathedral campus

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Responsible Citizens of the World

Celebrating Difference In The Cathedral School’s 1st grade, children learn about minds and bodies that work differently from theirs, while Upper Schoolers buddy up with children with autism in partnership with the Manhattan Children’s Center

Above: Ann Bryant leads her 1st grade class in a discussion following their wheelchair walk, which identifies public locations inaccessible to wheelchair users as defined by the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act

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It all began with a Mystery Guest. The tradition in Cathedral’s 1st grade is for the teacher to invite someone—usually a student’s family member—to come to class and share something new and interesting. More than a decade ago, Ann Bryant invited a mother to speak as a Mystery Guest; her son, the brother of one of Ms. Bryant’s students, has autism. Ms. Bryant watched her student, normally quiet and reserved, open up as she presented with her mother and talked about her brother’s autism, educating the 1st graders around her. Ms. Bryant was impressed by the change in her student and realized that she was learning about autism, too, alongside her students. “I was seeing things in different ways,” she says.

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BY JESSIE SAUNDERS


Responsible Citizens of the World

That Mystery Guest revealed an opportunity for more learning. There was already a robust identity program at Cathedral, “but at that point, we weren’t thinking about diversity of ability, physical or mental. I thought this was an interesting avenue of study,” she explains. Using the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act as a starting point, Ms. Bryant began developing the Understanding Differences Curriculum. “It was a voyage of discovery for me as well, learning about people who have autism, people with Down Syndrome, people who were blind, people who were deaf, people who use wheelchairs, and it does, as an adult, make you look at things with a different lens. The children go home with what they’ve learned through this unit and share it with their parents. Sometimes children in class will be able to share about a family member who maybe has Down Syndrome when they’ve never felt they could share that before.” The year starts with a unit on wheelchairs. The children are first asked, “What can you do in a wheelchair?” and the answers are mostly, as Ms. Bryant says, “doom and gloom.” She then shows them a clip of Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham, an extreme athlete with spina bifida who performs amazing backflips while in a wheelchair. Their perception of what is possible is immediately changed. On a recent Thursday the current crop of 1st graders made their wheelchair walk, an eagle-eyed survey of the surrounding neighborhood to see how accessible stores and public services really are. The main campus at Columbia University gets a thumbs down for a ramp that goes nowhere. The Cathedral Station of the 1 train only has a steep staircase. The Chase Bank has a doorway that’s too narrow to accommodate a chair. The dry cleaner has a small step at the threshold. Back in the classroom, the kids meet on the rug and, led by Ms. Bryant, discuss what they saw. They have a keen eye for fairness and note the accessibility failures sternly. As the year progresses, there are units on autism, Down Syndrome, and deafness, and finally a unit on blindness. This unit culminates with a week-long charity drive called Pennies for Puppies, where the 1st graders participate in read-a-thons and bake sales after they discover that training a single Seeing Eye dog costs over $50,000. It’s now a school tradition, and Ms. Bryant says that Upper Schoolers will come to the Lower School floor to participate because they remember this activity so vividly. One of the challenges she’s faced as this curriculum has grown is finding age-appropriate reading material on these subjects. Ms. Bryant has identified about ten books per subject that she likes, but some books geared to young children will have factual errors. And, she says, it’s important to allow the children to lead the discussion, allowing them to discover how to understand these sorts of differences. “We talk about what happens when you don’t understand someone who is different from you. How does it change your behavior when you’re with someone who has that different part of their identity? Or, can you relate to them because you understand something about that identity? That’s the goal for the whole Identity Program. After all, isn’t learning about and understanding other people’s differences what we all need to do, at any age?” s

Buddy System Through Cathedral’s Peer Buddy program, 7th and 8th graders make an enduring commitment to friendship with children with autism What does it mean to commit to service at Cathedral? Is it something that a student does once or twice, or is it a serious commitment in time and energy? For participants in Cathedral’s Peer Buddy Program, where 7th and 8th graders meet and interact with children with autism over a meal, it’s a commitment that can span two years. Every other Wednesday, students with autism from the Manhattan Children’s Center will come to Cathedral to eat lunch in the library and then do an activity like a read-aloud or a game in the 3rd floor gym. The Cathedral students attend an orientation at MCC and are guided at the beginning by teachers from MCC and mentored by Cathedral faculty. The rewards are great. Lily W., an 8th grader who started in the Peer Buddy program in the spring of 2017, says, “The Peer Buddy program is a really gratifying experience. You get to know someone, and you know that you’re helping them, maybe teaching them something they will use for the rest of their life. You can see the difference in the work you do with them.” Her buddy, an 8-year-old girl with a love of Fancy Nancy books, has become relaxed around her, part of the reason the commitment spans more than one school year. “It’s important that the kids get comfortable and that they know their Cathedral buddies. My buddy was shy and reserved at the beginning, but she’s gotten less shy as she’s gotten to know me.” Lily’s experience with autism was limited before she joined Peer Buddies, so “every experience has been new to me. But at Cathedral we talk about these disabilities from kindergarten on, and we’ve always talked about not having pre-conceived notions, because everyone is different.”

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Responsible Citizens of the World


Responsible Citizens of the World

Tidal Wave The Cathedral School becomes the first K-8 school in the nation to endorse Turning the Tide, an initiative from the Harvard School of Education which emphasizes the need to value “concern for others and the common good” in education—something the Cathedral community knows plenty about

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

BY ELIZABETH BACON

After the spate of destructive hurricanes this past fall, The Cathedral School community immediately mobilized to help. From the outset, it was done in a distinctly Cathedral way. Director of Inclusion and Community Engagement Worokya Duncan explains: “We can be a positive force if we focus on how we serve and whom we serve. Many times, when people decide to do service, they are only giving, not asking the important questions. Cathedral School students actually talk about the problem and help in a way that supports the impacted community. It means lasting help and continuing service. It is service that comes from empathy, not from sympathy.” Cathedral students made plans to not just help hurricane victims once, in the direct aftermath of these disasters, but to meet and aid victims throughout the 2017–2018 school year, as the need lasts much longer than the length of just one news cycle. This type of thoughtful, dedicated service to a community, both here in New York and far away, is a hallmark of The Cathedral School culture—a culture where service to the community is not just what we do, it is who we are. It comes as no surprise to us, then, that an initiative like Harvard’s Turning the Tide would be a perfect fit for Cathedral. Turning the Tide is an offshoot of Harvard’s Making Caring Common project, which “helps educators, parents, and communities raise children who are caring, responsible to their communities, and committed to justice.” It is focused on reshaping the college admission process to promote greater ethical engagement and go beyond just the quantifiable statistics such as grade point averages, standardized test scores, and the reporting of a laundry list of activities that are not necessarily meaningful to the applicant beyond the purpose of impressing an admission committee. Turning the Tide’s goals include motivating students to “contribute to others and their communities in authentic ways that promote in them genuine investment in the common good,” and, crucially, sending the message that “both ethical engagement and intellectual engagement are highly important.” For members of the Cathedral community, these attributes—and emphasis on meaningful service—should sound awfully familiar.

The focus of Turning the Tide is on college admissions, but it’s never too early to make the importance of meaningful engagement central to a school’s mission. Jessica Marinaccio, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid at Columbia University, an original endorser of the project, says, “Turning the Tide urges educators to be deliberate about conveying that achievement—whether it’s academic, athletic, or extracurricular—is not all that matters. Young children are influenced by direct and indirect messages about what is important.” She adds, “Being a good friend, classmate, neighbor, and citizen; helping others; and contributing to society are of profound importance. This initiative asks us to be more direct in communicating and celebrating them from an early age.” Head of School Marsha Nelson decided to add The Cathedral School as the first K–8 school to the list of institutions supporting the Turning the Tide initiative (which includes Amherst, Swarthmore, and Bowdoin Colleges, as well as Harvard, Dartmouth, Cornell, Brown and the University of Chicago, all of which count Cathedral students as recent alumni) for exactly that reason: because as responsible citizens of the world, Cathedral students and graduates have been turning the tide all along. s

A student’s commitments can cultivate and deepen their sense of purpose, and the substance of their pursuits will naturally reflect their personal values. Jessica Marinaccio, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, Columbia University

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On the Close

The campus of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine is full of world-class resources for our students to explore, including the Textile Conservation Laboratory. The lab restores tapestries and other textiles from all over the world. Here, 1st graders view a 17th-century French tapestry in the workshop.


A NEW LOOK The Expansion’s south façade is a harmonious mix of the old and new, incorporating granite and schist from the original quarries used for the school in 1912. The enormous windows—over 20 in all—let the sunshine in the Makerspace and Media and Innovation Center on the Terrace Level, and will make the dining expansion a bright and airy place to eat Ms. Whittle’s mac and cheese. The 1,000-square-foot terrace and garden welcome visitors into a new school entrance, where kindergartners can walk directly into their Terrace Level classrooms, and other students can take advantage of nice weather for club meetings or outdoor classes. The expansion was designed by Ennead Associates, founded in 1963. Ennead is a global firm that specializes in academic and cultural architecture, including work at Yale, Stanford, the Smithsonian, and the Brooklyn Museum. Ennead has a long history and institutional knowledge of The Cathedral School. “They’ve been hearing Cathedral stories from me for a very long time,” Head of School Marsha Nelson laughs. For the architects, this project was an amalgam of respect for the existing, landmarked architecture and an embrace of technology and clean design. Ennead partner and head architect Susan Rodriguez says, “The 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.”

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Future

Perfect Cathedral’s school building is expanding its footprint and creating spaces for academic excellence, creativity, innovation, and community gatherings

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HE CATHEDRAL SCHOOL’S MISSION has always been clear: to nurture and challenge Cathedral students into becoming articulate, confident, and responsible citizens of the world. This unshakable foundation of a Cathedral education has been a constant for over 100 years. Another constant has been The Cathedral School’s beautiful, neo-Gothic school building that sits nestled inside the Cathedral Close, surrounded by plane trees, gardens, two playgrounds, and, of course, three peacocks. This foundation has remained unchanged, even as the student body has changed: no longer an all-boys choir school for 45 boarders, as it was when completed in 1913, it now houses about 380 curious and energetic students, faculty and staff. As the school grew, the question arose: could the centuryold foundations of the school building continue to support the school’s mission? During the 2014–2015 school year, Marsha Nelson, the Head of School, Peter Maas, the school’s CFO, and members of the School’s Board of Trustees met and made a momentous decision: it was time to make a permanent change. The group decided to make plans to physically alter the existing school building by expanding the building’s footprint and building a three-floor expansion. For Marsha Nelson, “It was time to burst through our walls and create innovative facilities which would serve our program for many years to come.” The expansion would be a project entirely driven by the mission of the school, and every decision made would enhance that mission for the generation of students to come. The project, which has come together in less than three years, and is scheduled for completion in the winter of 2019, includes enhancements that reinforce the already cherished traditions and values. Innovation and collaborative learning are at the forefront of the terrace level expansion, where a new Media and Innovation Center and Makerspace will provide space for student learning and technological exploration. On the first floor, The Cathedral School’s incomparable tradition of community will find room to grow with a beautiful new dining space, which will convert quickly and easily to expanded common space. The first floor is also transformed with the addition of several seminar-style rooms, available to students, faculty and staff, and parent volunteers. Finally, the entire existing school building’s floorplan will be redesigned, as the addition allows for new classrooms and learning centers to be created on the second and third floors, emphasizing Cathedral’s commitment to an academically rigorous culture. For everyone involved, it has been an exciting time, full of complexities but always with an sense of energy and purpose. Angie Karna, the President of the Board of Trustees, notes, “There is an awesome sense of support for this project by the full community. Since the beginning, an incredibly positive momentum has carried this expansion effort forward.” It’s a new foundation for the future of The Cathedral School. s

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12,000 TOTAL SQUARE FEET of school space will be added or renovated by the Expansion Project

MAKERSPACE The Expansion’s Makerspace will be a wonderland of handson instruction as the locus of The Cathedral School’s STEAM program. From robotics to coding, to woodworking and rocketry, multidisciplinary projects will find their home here and in the adjoining room filled with 3D printers and scanners. A glass-walled hallway will allow students to share their ongoing projects with friends and faculty.

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Future

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Perfect

NEW grade homerooms

GATHERING AND DINING Head of School Marsha Nelson says, “Community is a key component to what you feel at The Cathedral School. Visitors say they feel it immediately. Graduates always talk about it: the strong sense of community.� The new dining space with its floor-to-ceiling windows will allow long traditions like familystyle meals to continue at Cathedral, and will also make room for many more faculty and staff at lunch, an important arena for the exchange of ideas. On Friday mornings at Assembly, this dining room will be transformed into a common space, including a state-of-the-art audio-visual system, making room for over a hundred more guests. Now, everyone will enjoy a wonderful sense of closeness and community here at Cathedral.

120 more people can fit into the new common space

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Future

Perfect

CAPITAL NOTIONS

MEDIA + INNOVATION CENTER

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new seminar and conference rooms

An expansive, 2,700-square-foot Media and Innovation Center will be a beehive of collaborative learning and innovative activity for everyone in the Cathedral community. Both a center of cutting-edge technology and a large academic library, the Media and Innovation Center is a perfect metaphor for a Cathedral School education: the respect for traditional and the embrace of the innovative live side by side. This Center will also include a glass-walled breakout space for class meetings or elective groups.

This enormous undertaking would not be possible without the generosity of donors to the $6 million Innovate, Collaborate, Excel: The Cathedral School Campaign. The Board’s Capital Campaign Chair, Bill Bermont, says, “The outpouring of support, both in time and treasure, underscores the strategic imperative and communal virtues of this Expansion Project.” Planning for a project this size, financially, meant acknowledging some absolutes. Among them? “The size of the school, at 300 students, is ironclad,” says Cathedral School CFO Peter Maas. News and updates on construction are available on the campaign’s website, www.cathedralschoolcampaign.org.

25% increase in the school’s total square footage

A COMPLETE TRANSFORMATION “This Expansion Project is the result of the commitment of the entire community,” says President of the Board of Trustees Angie Karna. It makes sense, then, that this project involves the entire footprint of the school, existing and new. With the expansion and construction of the Media Center, the library on the school’s second floor will be converted into two classrooms for the 5th grade. A dedicated learning center for grades 3–5 will also be created. On the third floor, the existing 5th grade classrooms will transform into a second 8th grade homeroom and an Upper School learning center. There will also be a new conference space for the Director of High School Counseling, to facilitate important conversations. On the first floor, the expansion has included a newly renovated stairwell and three new seminar and conference rooms.

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A HISTORIC GROUNDBREAKING

The Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Expansion Project was held during Spring Fair on May 20, 2017. The weather at noon felt a little more like March than May, but the threatened rain held off as extended members of the Cathedral community— not just students, administration, faculty, families, and alumni, but members of the diocese and Cathedral including Bishop Dietsche and Dean Kowalski, and New York City Councilmember Mark Levine—gathered on the south end of the school, took their seats on white folding chairs, and listened to stories about the enduring importance of a Cathedral education. The ceremony opened with a welcome and remarks from Jon Abbott ’76, president of WGBH in Boston. He was at Spring Fair for a special reunion of the class of 1976. These men, who entered Cathedral as members of the final all-boy class, remain particularly close today. Mr. Abbott reminisced about his time at Cathedral and reflected on the importance of the school’s mission: “This alteration to the walls of the school will not change the important, enduring values that the school teaches within them. In fact, by growing, we only become stronger.” After remarks from President of the Board Angie Karna and Capital Campaign Chair Bill Bermont, Head of School Marsha Nelson spoke: “This project is a capstone for our mission—and The Cathedral School has always been a school on a mission. We have strived to exceed our highest academic standards while cherishing our belief in equity and justice. We know and live our core values by heart. Throughout our long history, we have dedicated ourselves over and over again to that mission in word, thought, and deed. “Now, we plan on making a promise to that mission in stone, glass, and steel. “We honor the tradition built into these landmarked walls and embrace the challenge of living beyond them. We expect our students to rise to academic and cultural challenges. This expansion will strengthen the sense of community and inclusive spirit we treasure at The Cathedral School.” After a blessing from Dean Kowalski, shovels were passed out and official Expansion hardhats were donned, with two Cathedral students, including kindergartner Cora N., pictured, joining in. There was applause as the first shovelfuls of dirt were thrown aside. It was official: the Expansion Project was underway.

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BY JESSIE SAUNDERS

Openness to all faiths is a hallmark of a Cathedral School education, where students embrace their diverse beliefs and strive to educate themselves about others

Inclusive Spirit

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uring the kindergarten’s first week of school, Chaplain Patti Welch meets the newest Cathedral students for their first official chapel. Despite the wealth of potential locations—the enormous Cathedral has seven chapels and several buildings on the Close available to host—Chaplain Welch chooses a more humble spot: the Cathedral’s front steps, among the passersby and tourist groups, looking up at the intricately carved Portal of Paradise.

“I start by asking them a question,” Chaplain Welch says. “I’ll say, ‘This is an interesting place. Who does it belong to?’ The children start answering: ‘It belongs to God,’ or ‘it belongs to Ms. Nelson.’ After a few rounds, a child might say, ‘Does it belong to us?’” It does indeed. Chaplain Welch goes on to explain to her young listeners: “You should know that you will always be welcome here. We’re going to share some things together. We’re going to have some experiences and you’re going to learn about the things that people believe. Your voice is going to be very important in that conversation.” From the first moment at Cathedral, spirituality isn’t something that is dictated or taught—it is encouraged as an honest expression of the child’s own beliefs. “Learning about religion and spirituality at Cathedral is not oppositional. It’s a different way of understanding,” says Director of Inclusion and Community Engagement Dr. Worokya Duncan. Chaplain Welch agrees: “We work at The Cathedral School to create the opportunity for the students to explore what spiritual humanity is, and how that’s expressed in all the different ways. They are given the opportunity of

expression and exploration.” In fact, the spiritual component of Cathedral’s culture dovetails with the nationally-recognized Identity curriculum. Learning about religion and spirituality at Cathedral is an exercise in an age-appropriate asking of “why,” and is yet another way that critical thinking is cultivated in students. It encourages an expanded worldview and an embrace of service. If someone is religious, or not religious, how can you understand that? How can you notice it, ask questions about it, and respect it without assumptions? Cathedral parent Angie Karna says being open to all faiths at Cathedral is “not just stopping at an all-encompassing and wonderful community. It directly feeds into our mission as a school that produces excellent critical thinkers.” This distinction is important for prospective parents to learn, particularly when they see the imposing Cathedral for the first time. Angie Karna and her family are Hindu, and when her elder daughter, now an 8th grader, was applying for kindergarten, they were encouraged to consider Cathedral by a Jewish friend of the family who was a Cathedral parent herself. Still unsure, Ms. Karna visited during the Kwanzaa Evensong,

led by the longtime Cathedral receptionist Ms. Brown. Afterwards, she felt that the Evensong “was an incredible affirmation of the school and its values.” Now the President of the Board of Trustees, Ms. Karna has helped lead a Diwali festival and also does readings at the Cathedral during services on Sunday where her daughter is a chorister. “My experiences have me appreciating, relishing, and believing that the Cathedral really is what it says it is. It really is a church that welcomes people of all faiths (and no faith), and so is the school.” Doris Cooper and her family are travelling to Israel this year for her son’s Bar Mitzvah. Her son is a current 7th grader and “feels he can be very open about that experience and talking about that part of his identity.” For the Cooper-Rose family, the school’s magical mix of rigorous academic curriculum and social and spiritual diversity remains very compelling. Cathedral’s approach to world religion and spirituality appeals not only to parents and students; it leaves a lasting impression on the graduates, as well. Hannah Eisner ’09, a recent graduate of Wesleyan who, as a college undergraduate, cocurated the Christa exhibition at the Cathedral last year, said, “Cathedral taught me to think critically about what I believe and why, and to pay attention to the complexities of other people’s worldviews. The school, in my experience, is a space where there are many definitions of belief, tradition, community, and culture. You can personally believe and practice whatever you want as long as you respect other people’s experiences— and, along the way, there’s always something new to learn about the people around you!” s

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LIVING HISTORY From their first week on campus, students at The Cathedral School take advantage of a 13-acre classroom right outside their front door. The 1st grade docent tour, a carefully researched, written and illustrated visit to the Cathedral and its surroundings, is a crowning achievement of the 1st grade year. This past summer, rising 8th graders were Cathedral field interns, knocking on doors and solving the mysteries of the campus’s treasures

GUIDING LIGHTS

1st grade students learn about art, science, music and social justice—all by writing and illustrating a guidebook to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine BY JESSIE SAUNDERS

Everywhere you look on campus, stories are waiting to be told. The beautiful sculpture of Gabriel atop the Cathedral was created by Gutzon Borglum, best known as the sculptor of Mount Rushmore. Borglum was the first master sculptor at the Cathedral, and finished many works inside the Cathedral; his angel Gabriel was raised to the roof in 1908. The current sculptor in residence is Cathedral School alumnus Chris Pellettieri ’80.

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hen you’re in the 1st grade and working on your docent tour guide on the Cathedral campus, you sometimes get surprise visitors. Last spring, as 1B was discussing the message of conservation in Frederick Franck’s sculpture “Seven Generations” on the grounds, Bishop Dietsche walked by. Intrigued, he walked over to the group and started talking with the children. One student had a question for him: is there still a telephone in the armrest of Bishop’s Throne in the Cathedral? The answer was no, and the bishop was surprised to learn there had ever been a phone. He thanked the 1st grade for this bit of Cathedral history. It’s not every day that a 1st grader teaches something new to the Bishop of New York. The Docent Project is a 1st grade tradition. Starting in the spring trimester, they make a dedicated study of the Cathedral and the entire Cathedral campus, with the result being a guide book they can use to personally lead a tour for their parents and

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Members of the 1st grade admire Chris Pellettieri ’80’s work in the Historical Parapet. The figures represented (left to right) are Martin Luther King, Jr., Albert Einstein, Susan B. Anthony, and Gandhi


family friends. Over several months, each child acts as explorer, researcher, writer, and illustrator as they visit and discuss the treasures found on the campus. It’s a truly one-of-a-kind Cathedral School experience, one which intersects history, art, science, music, math, and spirituality. The process is as follows: after visiting important features in the Cathedral and on campus, the children list attributes of the landmarks. Then, they discuss meaning: for instance, how is peace represented in the Peace Fountain? They also notice when something seems off, or wrong: why are there seven chapels, dedicated to people from other places, only for European countries? Why is there only one sculpture of a woman among the 12 on the choir stalls? They then split into groups to write entries on one of 20 docent tour stops, and illustrate their essay as well. The docent tours happen the last week of the school year. Families gather on the school’s porch and make their way into the Cathedral and around the grounds, stopping in little clusters around landmarks. There’s the Great Rose Window, with its 10,000 pieces of stained glass, 40 feet in diameter, or, measured another way, “ten 1st graders.” There are the menorahs, a gift from the New York Times-publishing Ochs family, each weighing one ton. There’s the Nelson Mandela sculpture, and its message of civil and social justice. The parents are uniformly impressed and proud. “My son just explained to me that the Great Rose Window is the second-largest in the world, only a foot smaller in diameter than the one in Notre Dame,” one parent shared. Another parent added, “The school really takes advantage of the whole campus.” Learning about the campus is not limited to the spring trimester, however. Recently, stonemason and sculptor Chris Pellettieri ’80 gave sections of the 1st and 2nd grades a talk in front of his sculpture in the Historical Parapet, located between the choir stalls and the altar in the Cathedral. The parapet was designed with 20 niches, each featuring a sculpture of a notable member of a century, from the first through the 20th. Mr. Pellettieri, who is the official stone carver in residence at the Cathedral with his own workshop on-site, was the sculptor who carved the 20th-century niche. He described the process of choosing the representative figures and asked the children how those figures were different than the ones which represented the other 19 centuries. The students are quick to point out that the inclusion of four figures in the niche, not just one—and that this is the only niche to include figures that are not only white men: Martin Luther King, Jr., Albert Einstein, Susan B. Anthony, and Gandhi. These are the kinds of nuances Cathedral students notice while exploring the world’s largest neo-Gothic cathedral. s

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A STOP ON THE DOCENT TOUR The guidebooks the docents create include short essays and illustrations of the stops on the tour. The facts that the 1st graders have carefully collected are typed up into entries and bound together. Here, members of last year’s 1st grade report on Chris Pellettieri ’80’s work on the Historical Parapet:

The Historical Parapet By Luke S. ’24, Conor F. ’24, and Leah R. ’24 The Historical Parapet has 20 niches and there is one person in each niche, people thought was the most important person from that century. George Washington, William Shakespeare, Christopher Columbus, and Abraham Lincoln are shown. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves and was president during the Civil War. George Washington was the first president of the USA. William Shakespeare was a writer in England 500 years ago. Christopher Columbus was an explorer. The first 19 niches were all statues of white Christian men. Chris Pellettieri carved the people in the twentieth niche. When he went to The Cathedral School, the twentieth niche was empty and he saw a big block of stone near the twentieth niche. He carved four people in the 20th niche. One of them is Mahatma Gandhi. He was an Indian and fought for freedom from the British who were ruling India. He used non-violent protest. Another person in the twentieth niche is Martin Luther King, Jr. He got his ideas about non-violence from Gandhi and fought for black people to be treated fairly in the USA. Susan B. Anthony fought for women’s right to vote. Albert Einstein was a scientist, and he was Jewish.

TREASURE TROVE For Erik H. ’18, a field internship turns into a lesson on resilience and the opportunity of a lifetime B Y C O L I N M U R R AY

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rik H. ’18 was looking for an interesting project over the summer when he was presented with the opportunity to be a field intern at the Cathedral School. Offered by the Advancement Office in collaboration with Upper School science teacher Jon Pirnia, the aim of the summer field internship program was to have rising 8th grade students research different landmarks or items of interest on campus. Their research projects would aid the Advancement Office in populating data about the campus on the school’s website or in other external communications. For Erik, it was a new perspective of looking at the campus he thought he knew so well. “The internship structure developed organically,” remembers Mr. Pirnia. On the first day of the internship, students would tour campus and the Cathedral to get ideas for their projects. “You could see that was really

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C O L I N M U R R AY

I illuminating for a lot of our kids Tom Otterness may well because they had never walked be “the world’s best public around the campus with that sculptor,” as the art critic Ken Left: “Life and Death” by Tom Otterness in the Cathedral. Right: Erik H. ’17 and Mr. Otterness meet at the artist’s Johnson opined in the New kind of perspective,” says Mr. Pirnia. Brooklyn studio York Times in 2002. Public While most of the students gravitated art is his focus, and he has towards classically historical pieces in the completed at least three dozen the whole process. You clearly are a Cathedral like the Barberini Tapestries, public commissions, including very bright young man, and it would Erik was drawn to “Life and Death,” a Life Underground (2004), be great to hear more of what you have modern art installation adorning four of his celebrated multi-figural to say.” On the Friday before the first the columns in the Cathedral’s Crossing. bronze sculpture installation day of school, Erik and his mom travImpish, abstract figurines dotted the pilfor the New York Metropolitan eled to Brooklyn to meet Otterness at lars: some held money signs, some looked Transportation Agency at his studio. Over the course of an afterlike skeletons. A small sign told visitors the 14th Street station on the noon, Otterness gave them a tour of his that the piece was by the sculpture artist Eighth Avenue subway line. studio, showing them his latest projects Tom Otterness. His international commisand some of the techniques he used to After the interns picked the piece sions include public plazas in create his sculptures. It was a historical they wanted to focus on, they visited Münster, Germany, Toronto, overview of the artist’s career and phithe Cathedral’s archives on campus to and Seoul. losophy, coming directly from the artist conduct their research. It was a chance himself. Erik and Otterness were able to to use primary documents to trace the discuss the “Life and Death” project at provenance and history of each item. the Cathedral. Erik learned that Otterness’s personal view Unfortunately for Erik, his research hit a snag: the archives’ about his art is that only the observer’s point of view is what documentation of the piece was lacking, and information matters. Tom paraphrased a Jasper Johns quote: “If I invent about the piece online was almost nonexistent. Erik was gum, and someone uses it for glue, I’ve invented glue.” He determined not to give up. He found Tom Otterness’s email explained that the animal sculptures were inspired by the address and decided he would email Otterness his questions Cathedral’s Blessing of the Animals, and one figurine depictabout the installation directly. “It was a last-ditch effort, but I ing a woman holding a dollar but giving a cent was supposed also thought, ‘Why not?’” says Erik. “And then it turned into to be a “poke” to less generous patrons of the Cathedral. something great.” The experience provided a glimpse into the daily life of A few days after Erik sent his email, Tom Otterness a world-renowned artist. And for his research project? “I responded and proposed that they meet in his workthought his answers to my questions were sufficient,” said shop. “Would you and your mom like to visit my studio in Erik on the subway ride back. Resilience and insouciance are Brooklyn and see where and how the work gets made?” not necessarily mutually exclusive for 8th grade students. s Otterness wrote. “I think that is an enlightening part of

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For Cathedral 8th graders, leadership means more than just being the oldest kids in school. This year, a comprehensive new program called Leadership Lab helps them define the sort of leaders they want to be

UPWARD BOUND

BY JESSIE SAUNDERS

This year, the Upper School instituted a new program for 8th graders only, a two-part deep-dive into what it means to be a leader. It’s called Leadership Lab, and it immerses the students in a particularly Cathedral sort of leadership—one that believes that leadership and service go hand in hand. The Leadership Lab experience was split into two parts, the first being the Lab itself, and the second a two-day city experience provided by Outward Bound. It began with a visit to Harlem Grown, an urban farm located in central Harlem. The farm serves the community both as an educational center and as a source of donated produce. Josie M. ’18 explains, “Harlem Grown talked a lot about the process they use to grow produce. We learned about composting, which was cool because we compost here, but we didn’t really know the process behind it.” After several hours of work, it was back to school to attend workshops focused on leadership at Cathedral. It was a time for students to speak freely with their teachers, dean, and the Director of Inclusion and Community Engagement, Dr. Worokya Duncan, about what leadership means to them. The following day was an intensive look at another area in which Cathedral 8th graders take the lead—applying to high school. Though the high school application process is already incredibly supported by the faculty and staff, there’s never been a whole day set aside to review the whole process, practice writing application essays, and prepare students for interviews. Students were sent on a series of mock interviews and writing workshops. Emma F. ’18 says, “I thought it was really interesting, especially regarding how to present ourselves for the interview. It made me think a lot more about how I would be seen by high schools.” Several weeks later, 8th graders prepared for their Outward Bound experience, which, for many of them, opened a window to a city they had never visited. Ethan W. ’18 says, “Outward Bound really helped us step out of our comfort zone.” Split into two groups, this “step out of the comfort zone” included navigating the public

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transportation system, budgeting and finding meals for everyone in your group, and interviewing people on the Brooklyn Bridge. There was also a strong service component. One half of the 8th grade went to St. Ann’s After School Program in the Bronx, a program that supports elementary-aged children in the poorest congressional district in the country. Emma F. says, “We came in and helped them finish up their homework, working with one or two kids at a time. In my group, I was working with a 7-year-old and a 10-year-old, and it was interesting to hear about their different experiences. It was also cool because many of them were bilingual. I take Spanish and I really enjoy it, and it was interesting to see the kids think and work in two languages at the same time.” The other Outward Bound group was working with children at WIN: Women In Need, a residence for homeless women and their children in Queens. Josie M. says, “We facilitated a bunch of games outdoors. It was really fun. The kids ran up to us and were so excited to see us.” After a sleepover at Cathedral, the two Outward Bound teams went to the Brooklyn Bridge, where they went on blindfolded “trust walks” across the bridge, and then stopped to do some person-on-the-street interviewing. Their question: What does it mean to be a leader?” Most on the bridge were tourists—students talked to citizens of France, Spain, Germany, and even a leadership consultant who taught at a university in Canada. Most students found that it wasn’t difficult to approach people, and that, in fact, it resonated with what they had learned during the high school interview tutorials. The four days spent together have deepened the 8th grade’s appreciation for leadership, and for each other. They discovered new things about classmates they have known since kindergarten, and most importantly, they no longer have to guess at what leadership is. “Leadership Lab did help us,” reflects Josie M., “and it taught us a lot about what we can do for others and the potential we have.” s

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

g and s to ba matoe loom to n farm a ir e rb h u rt so wn’s helped em Gro at Harl graders ral 8th munity d m e o c th l a a C c loH T H E M AG A Z I N E OaFteTto H EthCeAT 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 41 don


Graduation

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Graduation

C L A S S O F 2017

The Graduates

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

The Cathedral School class of 2017 tossed their mortar boards into the air in celebration of their graduation this past June. Members of the class of 2017 received acceptances to the following schools and are attending 24 different independent, boarding, public, and diocesan schools.

Day Schools Avenues: The World School The Berkeley Carroll School The Birch Wathen Lenox School The Brearley School Calhoun School The Churchill School Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School The Dalton School Dwight School The Dwight-Englewood School Ethical Culture Fieldston School Fordham Preparatory School Friends Seminary Grace Church School Hackley School Hewitt School Horace Mann School LĂŠman Manhattan Preparatory School Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School Loyola School Marymount School of New York Masters School The Nightingale-Bamford School The Packer Collegiate Institute Poly Prep Country Day School Riverdale Country School Rudolf Steiner School The Spence School Trinity School Xavier High School

Boarding Schools Choate Rosemary Hall Forman School Groton School The Harvey School Masters School Miss Hall’s School Northfield Mount Hermon School Peddie School Storm King School Westover School Public Schools The Bronx High School of Science The Brooklyn Latin School Columbia Secondary School Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School High School of American Studies at Lehman College The High School for Math, Science, and Engineering at the City College of New York New York City Museum School New York City Lab School Diocesan Schools Archbishop Molloy High School Archbishop Stepinac High School

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Beyond Cathedral

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Beyond Cathedral

Class Notes 1965

Carl Lewis: Launched his

website imajinnation. net as a digital home for his photography. Over the last 40 years he has covered 12 cities and six states, documenting every subject short of food and weddings. He’s shot stock for Black Star Photo Agency, owned and operated a photography studio in Hartford, and spent five years on Dallas’ Public Art Committee and the Texas Commission on the Arts’ Arts and Education Roster. He is the only photographer known to have captured 20x40 foot, live laser images with an analog camera and slow film. Images from Lumière Captureé are in the permanent collections of the Amon Carter Museum and NYC Library’s Schomburg Center for Research into Black Culture. Carl’s work is referenced in Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers 1840–Present by Dr. Deb Willis.

1967

Dr. Bill Allen: “I travelled to Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean this August. It’s a remarkable place with volcanoes, Great White sharks, incredible hiking, and its mixture of African, French, Indian and Asian cultures. It took two days to get there from Minnesota, but it was well worth it for no other reason than it gave me a chance to see how little French I could actually speak well! I sometimes wish I had taken more time to travel earlier in life, but I’m making up for it now. I’d definitely recommend it to any Cathedral School community members looking for an adventure.”

1968

Scott Wilson: “For the past two years I have been creating and producing 3D printed art and models for Fantasma Toys NYC and my own 3D printed art through my website concepts2realities. com. I often reflect on my days at Cathedral Choir School long ago with warm memories of Canon Landon, Alec Wyton and singing in the choir. See you at Spring Fair!”

1972

For the past two years,

Richard E. “Nick” Noble has been very busy. His seventh book was published—The Echo of Their Voices: 150 Years of St. Mark’s School. He has also continued to host his radio show—The Folk Revival—on Worcester Public Radio (WICN), Thursday evenings from 7–11 PM (streaming live online at wicn.org). In 2015 Nick won the Pulse Magazine Worcester Music Award as best DJ in Central Massachusetts (he has, to date, been nominated 7 times). On October 12, 2017, he celebrated his 500th show with a four-hour-plus live broadcast before a studio audience featuring two dozen local New England artists. Nick also enjoys performing with his “faux band,” Wolfpen, at a variety of venues and working at various folk festivals. He is currently Manager, Editor and School Historian at St. Mark’s School in Southborough, MA.

1985

Ian Ford: “Cathedral was a very special time for me and a great experience; I think it was a critical foundation for who I am today! In brief, I went on to attend the Collegiate School on the UWS, and then Duke University for a BA in History, with a focus on China. I also studied Mandarin Chinese at Duke including a summer session at Yale and a term at the Beijing Language Institute.

I moved to China in 1995 to work for Seagram Spirits and Wine in Beijing. In 1999 I founded Summergate, a fine wine and spirits importer and distributor, based in Beijing and Shanghai. At the end of 2014, I sold Summergate to Woolworth’s of Australia, and I am now running my own boutique investment firm, Lightkeeper Studio, that specializes in small and startup consumer goods companies in Asia. I have managed to stay single throughout all of that, and looking forward still to starting a family and getting some kids back into The Cathedral School! I was a chorister and played soccer at Cathedral, and was active in school plays at the time including a very memorable Prince and the Pauper in ’84 or ’85, with Max Weintraub ’85. By the way, my older brother Brendan Ford ’81 also attended Cathedral; he now lives in LA as a professional actor in film, TV, and stage.”

1994

Rosha Forman just

welcomed her third baby, Silas, into her family. His older siblings are Ezra (6) and Phoebe (3). Rosha lives in Cambridge, MA with her husband Caleb and kids where she works as a Nurse-Midwife at Boston Medical Center, taking care of women and families in the city. She just visited The Cathedral School with her kids, during which her son Ezra announced, “Mommy, if we ever live in New York, I want to go to this school.”

2003

Forrest Anderson

Graduated from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons in May, and has begun his residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia University Medical Center NY.

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Beyond Cathedral

Join us for a special choir reunion and Latin masterclass at this year’s Spring Fair, May 19, 2018.

TIME WILL TELL

SAVE T H E DAT E

Spring Fair Alumni Reunion 2018 The Cathedral School’s Spring Fair is the place to be for class reunions, special announcements, and events. Spring Fair 2018 will feature an unforgettable weekend-long chorister reunion, featuring Director of Cathedral Music & Organist Kent Tritle. On Saturday, May 19, there will be a alumni rehearsal from 2-4 p.m., led by Associate Choirmaster Bryan Zaros, in preparation for a Sunday, May 20th Evensong in the Cathedral. A formal invitation to former choristers will follow. Please contact Daniel Hrdlicka in the Advancement Office with any questions, dhrdlicka@ cathedralnyc.org, or (212) 316-7568. Spring Fair is also proud to present a Latin master class led by Dr. John Vitale that will feature the creation of a Cathedral School motto in Latin and some Ancient Roman sing-alongs. All Latin language enthusiasts are invited, no matter how rusty your Latin may be. There will also be a special dedication of a classroom in honor of Dr. John Vitale—but don’t worry, Latin Alumni, Dr. Vitale is not retiring!

LATIN QUIZ Worried you can’t keep up at the Latin Masterclass? Dr. Vitale has kindly provided a quiz for you so you can brush up before the big day. Can you translate the following three Latin words or phrases that are printed inside every book approved for publication by the Catholic Church? (Answers at the Spring Fair) 1. NIHIL OBSTAT 2. IMPRIMATUR 3. IMPRIMI POTEST

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2009

Jenna Wu

is enjoying attending Colorado College in Colorado Springs, where she is an Organismal Biology & Ecology major, and has also studied Sustainable Architecture & Design. She hopes to become an environmental architect working to protect public ecologies by finding solutions capable of reconciling issues of biology and the environment with the needs of an economically driven society. Attending Cathedral—walking from the city streets onto the Close with its beautiful and peaceful gardens, roaming peacocks, Gothic architecture, celebration of all cultures, and artwork and singing everywhere—planted an early interest in ecology, architecture, music, and world cultures. At the end of her sophomore year, Jenna was the recipient of a Venture Grant, enabling her to travel to China to do research and prepare a photo exhibit highlighting architecture and urban design

The stately Tiffany & Co. grandfather clock that stands between the dining room and the common room was donated to the school around 1915. It has a classic “phases of the moon” clock face and a Durfee ninetube chime system, which plays the Westminster Chimes, the same melody the Cathedral itself plays in its bell tower. As it is well over 100 years old, the clock has needed a repair a time or two— and for many years, that repair was provided by Martin Schoen, an expert in the nearly lost art of grandfather clock repair. Mr. Schoen, now 96 and retired, maintained the clock for over 40 years.

in six major Chinese cities. This past summer she completed an intensive five-week architecture studio course at GSAPP, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Jenna spent the fall semester in Copenhagen at the Denmark Institute for Study Abroad where she took courses in Architecture and Sustainability. She had the privilege of being in the studio of Jacob Nørløv, who was on the Henning Larsen design team for the Royal Danish Opera House. She also sings in Ellement, her school’s all-female acapella group. Jenna’s love of singing was nurtured throughout her years at Cathedral. Many thanks to everyone at Cathedral who encouraged and inspired me!

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Beyond Cathedral

At Cathedral, I always had the sense that I was unlimited in my ability to maximize my potential.

Daphne Rubin-Vega ’99 A graduate of Columbia University and Howard University School of Law, Daphne Rubin-Vega ’99 joined The Cathedral School Board of Trustees in Fall 2017. Currently a member of the Land Use Team and Real Estate Client Service Group at Bryan Cave LLP, Ms. Rubin-Vega sat down with Cathedral Magazine to discuss how the mission of The Cathedral School continues to shape her work today.

Daphne Rubin-Vega ’99

2011

Emily Frazier:

“I am currently attending Northeastern University in Boston. I just got back from a study abroad in Israel where I studied international affairs and politics, and I am currently working as a corporate tax analyst at Fidelity Investments’ headquarters in Boston’s Financial District. Next year, I will be moving to Paris to continue my education there, and also work full-time for six months at an international accounting firm.”

What about your experience as a Cathedral School student most prepared you for your future success? Our teachers at Cathedral had very high expectations for our academic growth and character development. These, combined with our rehearsal schedule as Choristers, certainly fostered a strong work ethic. Above all, though, Cathedral was—and is—a place where each child was seen as a person first, an individual free to be herself or himself. To that end, I always had the sense that I was unlimited in my ability to maximize my potential at all times. I think we all felt that way. What was your relationship like with your fellow members of the Class of 1999? Our class was like a small family, and it was really organic. If we happened to be at school late for something—sports, choir, or getting ready for the Spring Fair—all of our parents looked out for the other kids, and everyone was really connected, which is one of the reasons why I value community so much today. And how has this translated to the work you do now? As an attorney, I specialize in land use and zoning, which means urban planning is a really big aspect of what I do. Ultimately, I work to create cities for people, living environments where residents thrive to be their best selves, and I know that I learned a lot about that here at Cathedral. I work with architects, engineers, environmental consultants, developers, tenants, and landlords regularly—truly diverse teams of professionals that each add value because of their unique insight and experience.

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

alumni@cathedralnyc.org

UPCOMING EVENTS Hoops from the Heart February 10, 2018 Absalom Jones Benefit March 2, 2018 Class of 2014 Ice Cream Social June 2018

How has this focus on community shaped your volunteer work? My pro bono work mostly centers around immigration cases for families and children, which is very much related to the idea of fostering nurturing environments for all people—in this case, people who are seeking safety and working to build a better future for themselves. I also volunteer with the Lower East Side Girls Club, which provides a safe, community-centered space for young women to learn and grow. What made you want to serve on the Board of Trustees at Cathedral? I attended an Alumni Roundtable hosted by Angie Karna, President of the Board of Trustees, and was inspired by both the participation of other alumni on the Board and by the progressive work that Cathedral continues to do, as presented so eloquently by Marsha Nelson, Head of School, and explosively by Dr. Worokya Duncan, Director of Inclusion and Community Engagement. The roundtable discussion reminded me that the values I learned at Cathedral and the loving, caring environment I enjoyed there as a young student were intended to teach us what a better future can look and feel like—for ourselves and others. In this way, The Cathedral School helped teach me how to give back.

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

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The Last Word

Defining a Life, in Spanish and English BY DELILAH LORA

As a child, I had an idea of what I wanted to do for a living. It always involved helping others and being around children. Back in the early 1980s, in our Washington Heights apartment, dozens of stuffed animals sat on my pink canopy bed. They faced a small blackboard easel, beside which I stood, holding a piece of chalk and lecturing twelve furry friends on their A-B-Cs and 1-2-3s. My love for teaching was obvious; however, my path to become an educator was not as straightforward as it seemed at that innocent age. In college, I hopped from major to major. I started in pre-med, then psychology. I dabbled in economics, mathematics, and sociology. I even studied theater and music. It wasn’t until my junior year that I declared a major: Spanish Literature. When I came home that winter break and shared my news, I was met with an inquisition from my relatives. “What are you going to do with that? Are you going to write books in Spanish? What happened to pre-med? How do you plan to make a living?” I had no answers to their questions. I just knew that I loved every Spanish Literature class that I had taken. I wanted to study something that made me happy. My great-grandmother Carmen chimed in from her rocking chair; she instinctively knew I needed to be rescued. “¡Deja la nena quieta! Ella sabe lo que hace. (Leave the girl alone! She knows what she is doing.)” And just like that, everyone fell silent. Abuelita was the matriarch of our family. She was also my best friend. We spent our time together digging up old Puerto Rican recipes, cooking in the kitchen, painting our nails, and talking for hours on end about family, life, love, and loss. She was the wisest person I’ve known, and always left me with a sense of peace and clarity. Most of the time, her words of wisdom went like this: “Delilah, you come from a line of

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resilient women. You know what to do. Find the strength within and do it.” After graduating from Wesleyan, I landed a job as a fundraising and events associate at a major hospital in New York City. While I enjoyed my job, it was not fulfilling. Abuelita’s words rang in my ears. You know what to do. Two years later, I left that position for a promotion at another major institution. My days were long, my purpose was unclear, and I was unhappy. I needed to make a change, but I had not yet found the strength within to do it. In 2008, I visited Abuelita in Maryland. I told her about my desire to leave my job. At that moment, she reminded me of those stuffed animals I used to teach in my bedroom. “Why didn’t you ever become a teacher?” she asked. Suddenly a lightbulb turned on. “I don’t know, Abuelita. I guess I was worried about the pay.” We laughed so hard. “Mi’ja, I think you will be just fine.” A year later, I was hired as a middle school Spanish teacher. That same year, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The night she passed, I sat at her bedside, sharing how much my life had changed now that I had become a teacher, doing something that I loved. I vowed to never forget where I came from—a line of passionate, powerful, and nurturing women. I promised her that I would always be strong for our family and for those in my care. And I thanked her: for shaping me into the woman that I had become, for helping me to find my calling, and for teaching me the meanings of such values as kindness, courage, respect, responsibility, passion for learning, cooperation, and integrity. Now that I think about it… Abuelita would have made a great Cathedral teacher. s

Hacer; Hacerse (TRANSITIVE VERB)

to do, make; to become

Delilah Lora, a graduate of Wesleyan University (B.A.) and Hunter College (M.S. Ed.), teaches Upper School Spanish, and is also the 5th grade dean.

Cathedral

W I N T E R 2018


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.

2 0 17–2 0 18 B OA R D O F T R U ST E E S The Right Reverend Clifton Daniel, III Chair and Interim Dean of the Cathedral Angie Karna President Bill Bermont Vice President Robin Alston Secretary Troy Wagner Treasurer Marsha K. Nelson Head of School Everett Alexander S. Courtney Booker Satrina Boyce Jaye Chen Roberta Connolly Katie Conway Lucy Culver Cindy Dupont Martha Escobar George Filopoulos Carey Flaherty John Gallo James Hooke Kaliope Kostas Bruce Paulsen Jefrey Pollock Daphne Rubin-Vega ’99 Elizabeth Stein Ellen Stein Rachel Strickland


1047 Amsterdam Ave. New York, NY 10025

Profile for The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine

Cathedral Magazine (Winter 2018)  

Cathedral Magazine (Winter 2018)