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CATHEDRAL THE M AGAZI N E O F T H E CAT H ED RA L SCH OO L O F ST. JOHN T HE DIV IN E

WINTER 2014


CATHEDRAL THE MAGAZINE OF THE CATHEDRAL SCHOOL OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE WINTER 2014 Head of School Marsha K. Nelson Director of Institutional Advancement Jennifer Rhodes Editor and Director of Communications Shawna Gallagher Vega, APR Contributors Mosie Choudhry Linara Davidson ’96 Valerie Dillard Rachel Geringer-Dunn Laura Higgins Evgeniya Kirpicheva Mirona Neagu Marsha K. Nelson Kevin Roth Dr. John Vitale Ellen Emerson White Sarah Work Design Lilly Pereira Printing Lane Press Photography Caroline Voagen Nelson

Please send magazine submissions to: The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine Attn: Cathedral Editor 1047 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY 10025 Email: news@cathedralnyc.org

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FEATURED IN THIS ISSUE

24 Smart Technology 30 A Vital Language 34 Twelfth Night 36 Reflections from the Classroom DEPARTMENTS

02 Letter from the Head 03 Notes from

Amsterdam Avenue

08 Cathedral Today

What’s In at Cathedral?

09 From the Archives Over the Rainbow for Oz

18 School Spirit Lessons for Life

20 Responsible

Citizens of the World

Greening the City

22 On the Close

10 Uniquely Cathedral

38 Graduation 2013

14 Living Traditions

40 Beyond Cathedral

16 Arts Wing

48 The Last Word

Oh, What a Day!

Family-Style Dining

Art Connections

High School Acceptances

Class Notes


            

Tradition and Innovation   .      ,        

  members of The Cathedral School community, I vividly recall the first time I stepped onto our 13-acre campus. The beauty of the Close—and the history that encompasses it—are the perfect backdrop to our school. Whether writing haiku under the trees or studying shapes in the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, our campus provides unique experiences for Cathedral students. As you will read in this magazine’s alumni notes section, generations of Cathedral graduates recall their years on the Close as defining ones in their lives. But as educators, we are always looking forward, challenging ourselves to incorporate the technology and innovation that have redefined our world. Throughout the pages of this magazine, you will find that we do that incredibly well, all while staying true to our traditions.

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This issue of Cathedral showcases a school alive with energy, filled with teachers who challenge and encourage and, as a result, students who are resilient and comfortable taking risks. You will read about the technology that infuses our classrooms, giving students a passion for inquiry and a sense of ownership over their learning. You will discover the historic importance of Latin at Cathedral, a testament to our belief that knowledge of the classics is fundamental to the education of a modern scholar. And I believe you will come to understand the soul of our school, embodied by student performances at Lower School assembly, a school-wide collaboration to rebuild the Rockaways, the wonderful tradition of our family-style lunches, and much, much more. I hope you will be as inspired as I continue to be, almost 11 years after my first glimpse of this remarkable school. s

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Notes from

AMSTERDAM AVENUE

Everyone cheered and clapped, and it felt so good. —TOB I AS H EL L ER

<< Third grader Tobias Heller turned his passion for building into a major success when he was named a grand prize winner in the 2013 K’NEXpert Search. Run by the K’NEX construction set company, the K’NEXpert Search is an annual, nationwide building contest that challenges children from ages 5-14 to design a creative, original model made entirely of K’NEX pieces. Tobias (who fondly remembers getting his first K’NEX set at Spring Fair a few years ago) won in the 7- to 8-year-old category for his creation, “Gantry Crane.” Eight grand prize winners and 12 finalists were chosen from four age categories. Tobias and his fellow grand prize winners each received a $2,500 check, a 16 GB iPad Mini, various gift cards, and the opportunity to visit the K’NEX headquarters in Pennsylvania. Tobias shared news of his victory with fellow Lower School students during an assembly in October. His classmates marked his win with music and confetti. “Everyone cheered and clapped, and it felt so good,” Tobias said. He is far from resting on his laurels, however; in fact, he is already planning his next contest entry. “I’m going to enter the contest again next year and try to win as many years as I can,” Tobias said. TH E M A G A Z I N E O F TH E CATH E D RA L SCH OOL OF S T. J OH N THE DI VI NE

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       

New Faculty Mosie Choudhry Seventh Grade English and Social Studies Teacher

Hometown Washington, D.C.; Baltimore, Maryland; and Rome, Italy Education Roland Park Country School, The Park School of Baltimore, Barnard College, Columbia University Teaching Experience 12 years teaching middle and high school First Impressions of Cathedral “I’m loving working with younger students now. They’re so open and curious, and they have an amazing capacity for wonder.”

[Our students] are so open and curious, and they have an amazing capacity for wonder.

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Emmanuel Saldana Kindergarten Associate Hometown Bronx, New York Education Deerfield Academy, Bucknell University Teaching Experience 4 years First Impressions of Cathedral “When I interviewed, I was blown away by the passion and care the faculty put into working with children. I continue to be amazed by the hard work and dedication to the craft of teaching by the Cathedral faculty.”

I was blown away by the passion and care the faculty put into working with children. I continue to be amazed…

Lindsay Velazco Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Grade Science Teacher Hometown Storrs, Connecticut Education Edwin O. Smith High School, City University of New York, Hunter College Teaching Experience 10 years First Impressions of Cathedral “The first students I met … came across as confident, knowledgeable, and selfassured. They were whole students. They not only knew material, but they could speak to adults about their learning and experiences.”

The first students I met came across as confident, knowledgeable, and self-assured…

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The Z Award

Faculty Reading List

Head of School Marsha K. Nelson presented the annual Z Award at the Thanksgiving Evensong on November 27, 2013. The following is her speech.

 is a time to enjoy the company of family and friends—a

time to express gratitude for the many blessings that fill our lives. It is in this spirit that we gather each year, on this day, to celebrate the love and care that infuse The Cathedral School community. It is our tradition to conclude each Thanksgiving Evensong by presenting the Z Award. Established in 1986, the Z Award is given in honor of Steven B. Zaslofsky—a teacher, coach, dean, and business manager at The Cathedral School from 1978 to 1986. Mr. Zaslofsky is best remembered for getting the job—any job tossed his way—done responsibly with determination, good humor, and zest. Today we celebrate a current member of our community who embodies these same qualities. Yet, as I considered worthy candidates this year, two rose to the top, and I just couldn’t decide who was more deserving. I thought carefully about what each means to this school and realized that not only because of their individual contributions, but also because of the zest in their synergy, they are both worthy of recognition. So, I will intentionally break tradition this year to honor two outstanding members of our community. Thanks to these two individuals, our school runs efficiently. Their constant, capable, positive presence makes the rest of us better at our jobs. They are jacks-of-all-trades, impressively handling a breadth of responsibilities enthusiastically and reliably. Their willingness to jump in and help with any situation is astounding, and their ability to anticipate others’ needs is endlessly impressive. In addition to her many responsibilities, one of our recipients works closely with students, often motivating them with commiserations, other times with a gentle kick in the pants. Our other recipient works closely with adults and has been known to tell many of us (even the Head of School!) to focus on a task at hand or to take a deep breath when under stress. Frankly, it would be easy to take the efforts of this year’s honorees for granted, because they do not seek recognition. Yet, their work ethic and professionalism are exemplary. They are behind-the-scenes problem solvers who devote their many talents, unending patience, and caring spirit to support all of us. Outside of school, this year’s honorees are nurturing, thoughtful mothers and wives, always living the values that our school strives to instill in every student. They are beautiful role models for all of us. Individually, these two are amazing. Together, they are a force to reckon with—strong women with a keen sense of fashion and generous laughter that frequently echoes through the halls. The combined results of their contributions are immeasurable. It is with great pleasure that I present the 2013 Z Award to The Cathedral School’s own dynamic duo, Business Office Manager Yesenia Aguilera and Assistant to the Division Heads Jessica Orsini.

Sarah Work Upper School Science Teacher Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace Infinite Jest—poignant, hilarious, tragic, and gargantuan—is an addictive read about addiction and the human condition. I’d recommend starting it when you have a chunk of time that you can devote to getting completely absorbed in (and transfixed by) a book that you’ll need to read again as soon as you thought you were finished. David Foster Wallace had his own distinctive writing style; to me, it’s brilliant, and I mourn the loss of every book he’ll never write.

Howard Nusbaum Fourth Grade Teacher Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain The author contends that Americans— elementary school teachers in particular— overvalue extroverts. This book has helped me take a look at my teaching practices and my life has a whole. I’ve shared its wisdom with my class, and they are eating it up.

Monika Olszer Jasinska After School Director I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai This book reminds us how precious are the rights we take for granted—not least, the right to education. It teaches us so much about courage, commitment, and hope. It should be required reading for students everywhere.

There’s more! See other selections from our faculty and staff online at www. cathedralnyc.org/magazine.

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       

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Cathedral is Social

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01 Exuberant first graders at the Blessing of the Stuffed Animals 02 Seventh grade students visit The Cloisters 03 Parents admire a student-created scroll after the All Saints/All Souls Evensong 04 Chaplain Welch leads chapel in the Cathedral 05 After School baseball students

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Director of Admission Lisa Smoots was recently elected to the board of the Independent Schools Admissions Association of Greater New York (ISAAGNY), a notfor-profit organization that strives to further a spirit of cooperation among member schools by coordinating admissions practices and procedures. Her two-year term began in September 2013. Admissions is a second career for Ms. Smoots, who earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering at Northwestern University and worked as an industrial and quality assurance engineer in the aerospace and healthcare industries. After having children, she transitioned to independent schools and “fell in love with admission.” Before coming to Cathedral in 2010, she worked at George School and Princeton Day School. Ms. Smoots earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010.

The New York Junior League honored Lower School French teacher Rachel Geringer-Dunn with a “Woman to Watch” award (given annually to a select number of the Junior League’s emerging leaders) in June 2013. Ms. Geringer-Dunn was honored for her work supporting community educational efforts for both children and the elderly. For the past two years, she has served as a community partner vice chair for Done in a Day, a Junior League committee that provides hands-on support to various community groups including the pediatric patients of New York Presbyterian Hospital, Baby Buggy, Father’s Heart Soup Kitchen, the Central Park Conservancy, and City Meals on Wheels.

06 Cross country medalists 07 Cathedral’s hard-working kitchen staff 08 Varsity volleyball players celebrate success 09 View of the Close from a third-floor classroom 10 An interactive bulletin board celebrates acts of kindness

littleBits, a children’s engineering toy company, profiled science teacher Lindsay Velazco on its website in October 2013. Last summer, Ms. Velazco served as an education advisor for the company while teaching a graduate school class, “Science: Grades 1-6 for Educators,” at Hunter College. Read Ms. Velazco’s littleBits profile at www.littlebits. cc/educator-spotlight-lindsay-velazco.

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Following his presentation at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference in October 2012, Lower School math teacher Alan Donaldson shared his work creating the “Math Gym” lesson at the Nassau County Teachers Mathematics Association’s “How to Make Math Count” conference in January 2013. He reprised his role as a presenter at the January 2014 edition of the conference.

Elena Jaime serves as the co-coordinator of the New York Independent Schools LGBT Educators Group, which provides professional development and networking opportunities for LGBT-identified educators and administrators and their allies. The group emphasizes programs that look at the intersection of gender and sexuality with race and class. She is also a mailing list manager for the Safe Schools Coalition organization, an international public-private partnership in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth. The coalition works to help schools around the world become safe places where every family can belong, where every educator can teach, and where every child can learn, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. Kindergarten teacher Nina Czitrom currently serves as the U.S. representative for a Tanzanian organization called The African Community Exchange. Last summer, she visited Tanzania for the fourth time and partnered with teachers there to share teaching techniques and lead discussions on alternatives to corporal punishment when managing children in an early childhood setting. Ms. Czitrom also biked overseas during summer 2013, riding close to 350 miles with a group through Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

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     

What’s In at Cathedral?            :     ’ 34 ,  -    ’36,      ’38 ,        ’38,     ’34,         ’38

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(1) Rainbow Loom Cathedral students of all ages love making and wearing colorful rubber band bracelets known as Rainbow Loom bracelets. Many students have purchased plastic looms and crocheting hooks (as well as a huge supply of rubber bands) to create these complex works of art to wear on their wrists, fingers, and around their necks.

(2) Bubble Tea Lately, Cathedral students have been swarming Tea Magic on Broadway between 111th and 112th

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Streets. Invented in Taiwan during the 1980s, bubble tea is a drink available in hot or cold versions that incorporates tapioca pearls at the bottom.

(3) Starbucks A popular drink to consume on the way to school is a Starbucks Frappuccino, a delicious drink made from coffee and flavorings, such as caramel or vanilla.

(4) Insomnia Cookies Located across the street from The Cathedral School, Insomnia Cookies is the perfect place to stop for an

afternoon snack. The store offers a variety of warm, fresh, delicious cookies.

(All Photos) Instagram Cathedral students keep each other updated on their lives with Instagram, a photo-sharing platform that allows users to give their snapshots creative filters (such as those seen on each of this page’s images). Many students have added the Instagram app to their mobile devices and check the website on their computers. (After completing their work, of course.)

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Over the Rainbow for Oz IN 1939, A NEW FILM TOOK THE CATHEDRAL SCHOOL AND THE WORLD BY STORM—The Wizard of Oz. David Huntington ’40, seen at left, dressed up as the Cowardly Lion for the school Halloween party that year (and contributed this photo to our archives many years later). His classmates Danny Daudon ’40, Bob Johnstone ’41, and Jim Johnstone ’40 dressed up as Dorothy, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow, respectively.

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Oh, What a Day!       -  

    and best memories of The Cathedral School comes

from my very first evensong in the Great Choir, the magnificent assembly space in The Cathedral of St. John the Divine where our school community periodically comes together for celebrations. Chaplain Patti Welch welcomed us to the new school year and talked about this special community—how we’re all part of something bigger and what that means. Something about her words lodged firmly in my mind, especially once I came to know the school better and understood how members of the Cathedral community celebrate and take care of each other. The idea that “we’re part of something bigger” remains one of the first things I think of and tell anyone when talking about the spirit and uniqueness of The Cathedral School. Nowhere is this idea more evident than in our Lower School assembly each Friday. Students, families, and faculty look forward to it each week; we wait with bated breath to see who’s performing, which class will be showcasing a project or collaborative effort, and what song we’ll sing in a rousing canon. We come together to celebrate our unique gifts and talents, to share with each other and cheer each other on, and to be thankful that we get to spend our time at Cathedral. Led by Laura Higgins, our Head of Lower School, we begin each assembly by singing “Oh, What a Day!”—a time-honored Cathedral tradition loved by students, teachers, and families alike. When asked what singing this song each week means to her, a second grader declared, “Oh, when I sing ‘Oh, What a Day!’ I love it—I know it’s going to be a great day!” I couldn’t put it better myself. While assembly is unequivocally special, it provides different kinds of opportunities for different members of our community. For some, assembly is a spirited time to let loose a little—a way to start our collective day with energy and excitement. I think of our frequent pairs of second grade joke tellers, or the numerous solo musicians who perform. Every presentation or performance elicits cheers or giggles from the Lower School community, and it’s clear from the proud smiles on presenting students’ own faces that they, too, feel invigorated by sharing their talents with us. To get up on that stage, students must feel considerable trust, comfort, and confidence; I believe our child-centered, developmentally-appropriate Lower School program truly supports our students in developing those valuable qualities and encourages them to embrace the kinds of opportunities afforded by our assembly. For others, assembly is a special time to showcase our school’s core values. Consider the example of a third grade class teaching about kindness: Not only must the students truly understand what it means to treat others with kindness in both big and small ways, they must also commit to planning, writing, and

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When asked what singing this song each week means to her, a second grader declared, “Oh, when I sing ‘Oh, What a Day!’ I love it—I know it’s going to be a great day!” I couldn’t put it better myself.

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executing a presentation that’s accessible to everyone from our youngest kindergarteners to guests and visiting families. Through this work and by getting up in front of the community, our older Lower School students set examples of courage and passion for learning; our youngest students observe their hard work and begin to look forward to the kinds of opportunities they themselves might embrace as they grow and thrive at Cathedral. A guest might wonder how we fit such preparation into our already busy and rigorous days; we know that hard work and dedication are just the Cathedral way. Assembly gives a clear sense of what we value here, how we live out our mission, and how we lift each other up.

As we sing, “What a most miraculous day! Everything is happening in a most unusual way,” we know that Cathedral is an unusual and miraculous place, and we are so lucky to be part of it. s Rachel Geringer-Dunn earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Hamilton College, a master’s degree in teaching from Brandeis University, and will complete a master’s degree in educational leadership at Bank Street College of Education this spring. She is The Cathedral School’s Lower School French teacher and Language Curriculum Coordinator, teaching students in grades K-4 and developing scope, sequence, and assessments for the Lower School World Language program.

Weekly Wonder Teachers and students record acts that demonstrate Cathedral’s seven core values (passion for learning, integrity, responsibility, respect, cooperation, kindness, and courage) in the Weekly Wonder Book. One homeroom categorizes the book’s entries each week, and at the end of each assembly, Head of Lower School Laura Higgins reads the entries aloud to celebrate success communally.

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         

Family Style              

   with tables set with fine silver and cloth napkins. Civilized, but still bursting with mild mischief (think butter balls stuck to the ceiling thanks to a cloth napkin slingshot). Multiple courses served by pretty Irish waitresses and a “pigs” table, where students with poor table manners were banished for the remainder of the period. Such was school lunch (and breakfast and dinner!) at The Cathedral School in the 1940s, back when it was an all-boys, live-in choir school with about 40 students. Today, we are blessed with Chefs Michelle Whittle and Betty Bovell, their mac and cheese (amongst countless other favorites), and a beautifully-controlled chaos that allows students the opportunity to eat family-style—serving themselves and each other—all on their own. As Howard Nusbaum—current fourth grade teacher and father of Jeffrey (’00) and Eric (’02)—says, “When new teachers arrive here and people ask them what makes this place special, a lot of people say ‘lunch.’ Oftentimes, it’s about how good the lunch is. But it’s also often about how little supervision the kids need to have a peaceful, successful lunch.” Our less formal, more responsibility-required lunchtime calls for Lower School students to truly care for and assist their younger classmates. Each round

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DINING MEMORIES We sang a Latin grace before and after each meal (different verses before and after). —Jim Groton ’42

At the end of each term, class ranks were read out to the entire dining room so we all knew where we stood, grade-wise, and where we might need to improve. —Bob Marble ’50

At the head of each table was a teacher, and my favorite meal was a beef goulash with a mashed potato covering. Delicious! —John Reyes-Guerra ’79

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When new teachers arrive here and people ask them what makes this place special, a lot of people say ‘lunch.’

table has three servers, and each long table has six student servers who serve and clean up their table every day, for the entire school year. Fourth graders serve food and drinks and clean up the dishes, and third graders wipe down the table after each meal. “I like serving. It’s good teamwork and it’s good to help people. And the other kids at my table say ‘thank you’ and they help when there are spills,” explains third grader Lila di Florio. “Family-style lunch gives kids independence. My son takes being a server very seriously. And the assigned seating helps prevent cliques and helps kids make friends with students in

other grades,” relays Hannah Stebbins, mom to Luke Resetarits, a current fourth grader. By the time students arrive in Upper School, designated servers aren’t even needed. Students take turns serving themselves and each other and work together to make sure lunchtime runs smoothly and efficiently. Students bond over their shared responsibilities as well as the healthful, soul-satisfying meals that come out of our school’s kitchen: comforting chicken noodle soup, cozy Muenster bagels, warm apple pie at Thanksgiving. “I feel sorry for Michelle and Betty. They try to create new dishes, but they have so many old favorites that people want,” explains Mr. Nusbaum.

This year marks Chef Whittle’s 25th (and Chef Bovell’s 24th) year at Cathedral. Their chicken is so good that former Head of School Phil Foote would wrap extra pieces in napkins and put them in the pockets of his blazer at the end of lunch. As Chef Whittle tells us, “His wife said their dry cleaner was always complaining about all the crumbs in his pocket.” A Whittle-made meal is difficult to resist. Luciana Taddei ’04, current Kindergarten Associate teacher, is grateful to be back in the Cathedral lunchroom, where lunches are just as healthy and delicious as she remembers from her student dining days. The serving style has remained the same as well, and the responsibilities she learned as a young Cathedral diner have carried through into her adult life. “I loved being a server. It taught me how to care for and help others, especially at mealtimes.” s Valerie Dillard is executive assistant to Head of School Marsha Nelson. In her pre-Cathedral life, she was a managing editor at Philadelphia magazine. She currently lives in Riverdale, where she spends her evenings preparing cozy meals for her new husband, thanks to bountiful cooking tips from our school chefs, Michelle and Betty.

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Art Connections           

   , the landscape often becomes the lesson—and nowhere

Corresponding art projects cement the knowledge students gain, ensuring its lasting power in their memory.

is that truth more evident than in the arts. Last fall, when Cathedral seventh graders visited The Cloisters museum and gardens, the northern Manhattan branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe, they wandered a structure assembled from European architectural elements largely dating from the 12th to 15th centuries. Students were introduced to works of art created for medieval monasteries and castles, and they had the rare chance to hear about the collection from C. Griffith Mann, the Met’s curator in charge of medieval art and The Cloisters. It was much more than a simple field trip to an art museum. Students viewed many of The Cloisters’ famed tapestries, which depict the life of Christ through allegory, a concept they had studied in English class; they admired the museum’s Gothic and Romanesque architecture, examples of medieval design they had discovered in art; and they discussed the cultural significance of the Middle Ages, a key highlight of their fall social studies course. Venturing off the Close to integrate cross-curricular instruction is central to The Cathedral School experience. Trips in every grade enliven concepts learned across disciplines, from a kindergarten animal scavenger hunt at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (coordinating with that grade’s social studies curriculum on farm animals) to a sixth grade visit to the Met for the Greek Images in Western Art tour. Corresponding art projects cement the knowledge students gain, ensuring its lasting power in their memory. “What I remember most from elementary school is not what I learned in class, but what I made. These projects lived with me years later as a reminder and reference of what I did learn in the subject areas they were related to,” said veteran Upper School art teacher Brian Delacey. “With that in mind, I connect art projects to other subject areas to both collaborate with colleagues and more deeply develop students’ understanding of the subjects they are investigating— especially the art materials and styles that were innovated at the time.” “Images speak loudly for themselves,” said English teacher Edith Thurber, who leads the sixth grade Met trip with Mr. Delacey and touts its educational influence. “Starting with the Romans, through the Renaissance, the Dutch masters, all the way up to modern America and Europe, there are absolutely beautiful statues and paintings of the characters we read about. The message is that these stories have spoken to people and represented the human condition for millennia. I want my kids to know that.” s Shawna Gallagher Vega is The Cathedral School’s Director of Communications. She earned her bachelor’s degree in history and master’s degree in education administration at Boston College. She taught middle and high school history before transitioning to independent school communications.

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     

Lessons for Life               

  doesn’t develop by chance. It is emphasized

and encouraged, modeled and rewarded. At Cathedral, students are taught from their youngest years that grace in victory and defeat is a value of the highest merit. “The main goal of our physical education program is to make physical activity and fitness fun for students while instilling a true appreciation for the values of cooperation and sportsmanship,” said Jackie Berney, Health and Physical Education Coordinator and Sixth Grade Dean. “On the first day of PE classes in grades K-2, students help create rules for the year. With teachers’ guidance, some important rules always make the list: It does not matter who wins or loses; be kind to one another; and have fun. The games we play emphasize working together to achieve a common goal, causing students to cooperate and reach for communal success.” When students enter third grade, more competition is included in the PE curriculum, and the importance of winning and losing graciously is emphasized further. “It’s our belief that learning about sportsmanship and practicing it over time creates positive habits that transcend from PE class into our interscholastic athletics program,” Berney said. Visit http://tinyurl.com/ More than 90 percent of Cathedral students play cathedralsports to get the latest team updates. at least one interscholastic sport upon entering fifth grade, with many playing two or three each year. The Cathedral School’s no-cut policy fosters inclusive team atmospheres, and all coaches are faculty members, ensuring that behavioral lessons that start in the classroom extend to the athletic arena. “Our athletes are really well-behaved. It’s just our culture,” said Athletic Director Terry Pfeifer. “They compete hard, but the right way.” “Referees comment a lot about how our teams are respectful and disciplined,” Pfeifer continued. “Our athletes are known for being hard-working, for being good team players, and for demonstrating a high level of sportsmanship. Our athletes, parents, and all of our spectators have fun and cheer loudly at games, but are never disrespectful.” “We emphasize sportsmanship on all our athletic teams because it not only helps build character in our student-athletes, but it also promotes an athletic environment that does not bend the rules to win at all costs,” said Alex Plasencia, who has coached cross country, track and field, and boys’ basketball at Cathedral for three years. “Sportsmanship provides studentathletes with the opportunity to compete in an environment that fosters fair play and respect for your teammates, coaches, and competitors.” Sportsmanship and stellar teamwork aren’t just points of pride at Cathedral; they have also brought home multiple athletic titles. During the 2012–2013 school year, the Cougars won league championships in varsity soccer, varsity

Photo by Sarah Work

Referees comment a lot about how our teams are respectful and disciplined. Our athletes are known for being hardworking, for being good team players, and for demonstrating a high level of sportsmanship. —T E RRY P F E I F ER Athl e ti c Di re c to r

volleyball, and varsity boys’ basketball. Cathedral runners finished in the top ten at the cross country Metro League championship and track’s Gotham Games meet. “The most important things we stress are having fun, learning to play as a team, having a positive attitude, and working hard. We also work on building positive relationships with all teammates and being respectful of coaches, opponents, and officials,” Pfeifer said. “When you focus on these aspects of the game, you will always be successful, whether you win or lose.” s

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MillionTrees NYC Fall Volunteer Planting Day 1,100

volunteers from across the five boroughs

14%

of total volunteers came from The Cathedral School

20,713 trees planted

2,025

shrubs planted

Photos by Shawna Gallagher Vega

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                     

Greening the City           

   in The Cathedral School’s mission statement encapsulate

our best hopes for our students—that “each child can become an articulate, confident, and responsible citizen of the world.” One Saturday morning last October, that mission materialized at a sprawling park in southern Queens. Students, parents, teachers, and staff members turned out in droves for the MillionTreesNYC Fall Volunteer Planting Day, joining together with volunteers from across New York City’s five boroughs to roll up their S EE MO RE sleeves, shovel the earth, and plant much-needed trees MillionTreesNYC and shrubs in the hurricane-ravaged Rockaways. A www.milliontreesnyc.org proud member of the Green Schools Alliance (a global MillionTreesNYC network of schools working together to solve climate video created by Wesley Penn ’14 and conservation challenges), Cathedral brought nearly http://tinyurl.com/ 14 percent of the event’s volunteers, supporting the CathedralMovie MillionTreesNYC mission to create more green space Cathedral’s throughout the city. MillionTreesNYC photo album “It was inspiring to see so many of our faculty, staff, http://tinyurl.com/ and families turn out for the MillionTreesNYC planting CathedralPlanting project,” said The Rev. Canon Patti Welch, Chaplain of The Cathedral School. “I think it speaks to our parent community and their commitment to teaching their children the value of service.” s

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Lower School students throw a football on the playground alongside The Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

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SM ART T E C H N OL OGY BY LAURA HI G G I NS

in Maria Crossmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s math classes began the school year by brainstorming questions about The Cathedral School or the Close that they could solve mathematically. In small groups, they drafted hundreds of questions after polling several classes and offices throughout the school to find out what others wanted to know. Ms. Crossman, Ms. Cho, and I each led a small group of fourth graders, and we determined which questions were the most compelling and offered the richest mathematical exploration: How much water do we use in the toilets and water fountains? What is the area of the Pulpit Green? How tall is the school? How many peacocks would fit in a fourth grade classroom?

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During the 2012–13 school year, The Cathedral School was recognized as a “Common Sense School” for its dedication to teaching young people how to be safe, responsible digital citizens.

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So, outside the students marched, armed with tape measures and meter sticks, determined to get the job done. However, the peacock was not so motivated to cooperate, nor was he reassured by their pleas of “We don’t want to hurt you; we just want to measure you!” The students soon realized they would have to go back to the drawing board, or in this case, the iPad, to solve this problem.

Remembering work they had done with Lindsay Velazco in science class using the iPad application Explain Everything, the students set out to build a peacock model using online research and the measurements they were able to gather. They set the model inside a corner of the classroom and, using the app, were able to duplicate it from different angles to determine the surface area of the floor in “peacock units.” They soon recognized the limitations of the iPad app in fully calculating the volume of the room—an important conceptual lesson and building block in their math education. Learning the formula and concept of volume developed naturally through this exploration, as the students recognized they had to account for the “layers” or three-dimensional space in a volume measure. I love this story, not just for the charm of picturing our 9- and 10-yearolds doggedly pursuing a peacock, but for the example of them using technology as a tool and a means to solve problems, rather than as the driver of instruction. Our students’ creativity and ability to understand sophisticated concepts is enriched by the use of technology. Our teaching is also enhanced, as technology allows us to gain even deeper insight into children’s thinking and how they approach all aspects of their learning process. A first grader traces a Mandarin Chinese character on his iPad.

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Lower School science teacher Jill Beary uses a digital microscope, which broadcasts an image to a corresponding iPad.

Step into Mosie Choudhry’s seventh grade English class and you will see students logging on to their MacBook Airs, preparing to continue an expository writing project. Ms. Choudhry begins the class with a list of expectations and directions on the whiteboard. Once all general questions are answered, the class begins to write, individually and quietly. What sets this class apart is that the students are writing in Google Docs, so Ms. Choudhry is able to sit in the middle of the room and, through her own laptop, “drop in” on each student one by one to check in with his or her progress. If she observes a student reworking a sentence over and over, she can suggest a move forward or offer encouragement about the approach. She is able to suggest a link to a grammar site to help resolve a troublesome passage or a website that might provide some evidence to support an argument. Ms. Choudhry can review a student’s work and offer an appointment during that day’s academic support period to continue the dialogue. If students have questions during class, they know to raise their hands; she will drop into their pages to answer them. The class hums along, she is able to virtually meet with and coach each child, and the children have independence—but know she is literally a click away if they get stuck. Ms. Choudhry describes this classroom workshop as “a two-way information exchange, which is the reality of school today.” She utilizes technology in her classroom to allow her to equitably divide her time and devote meaningful attention to each student. Furthermore, she has a written record of her work with them—a road map of where guidance was needed and how students responded to that guidance.

As a school, we are resisting the temptation to use technology as a glitzy toy or to bring out the iPads, laptops, digital cameras, or SMART Boards as a way to showcase new gadgetry. We want technology to further our work and our students’ capabilities. We ask ourselves, “Does this build critical thinking?” And equally important, “Is the use of technology here the best way to expand understanding?” Digital microscopes were first developed for the medical field, but they are finding a natural home in elementary science classrooms. Our kindergarten students work with their science teacher, Jill Beary, to investigate properties of various objects (such as grass, a car, a caterpillar, fruits, or a statue) in order to determine whether they are living or non-living. The digital microscope

broadcasts its own wireless signal to the iPads, which the children use in pairs. The students can follow Ms. Beary as she focuses on one attribute, such as the seeds in a red pepper, and questions them about what they observe. Traditional microscopes require too much delicate manipulation for young children, and hand lenses do not magnify with much intensity. The digital microscope opens up a small world for the whole class to explore. Through their observations, Ms. Beary can provoke questions and guide the exploration in a meaningful way that includes everyone. These explorations also prompt the children’s budding curiosity as scientists. Before long, the class is creating a lengthy list of things inside and outside that they want to observe more closely. Recent discoveries have included the many fibers in a crayon wrapper, the number of veins

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01

As a school, we are resisting the temptation to use technology as a glitzy toy or to bring out the iPads, laptops, digital cameras, or SMART Boards as a way to showcase new gadgetry.

We want technology to further our work and our studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; capabilities. 28

03

on a leaf still growing on a tree, and the pattern of divots in a seemingly smooth tabletop. Ms. Beary notes that students particularly like taking a close look at objects that cannot be brought indoors: â&#x20AC;&#x153;They really enjoy taking something huge, like the Cathedral, and looking at a piece of it

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02 01 While observing features in a frog’s mouth during a dissection, eighth graders use iPads to record their own voices and take screen shots for later use. 02 Spanish teacher Kevin Rosa looks on as a fifth grader plays an interactive SMART Board language game. 03 Fifth graders work on a class project using their Mac laptops. 04 A fourth grader works to answer questions about The Cathedral School using mathematical principles.

04

microscopically.” Students can then take a screen shot of a magnified item to include in a catalog of observations in their science notebooks. In this case, the urge to know and record observations leads the class to technology—and to the deeper learning that results.

Technology bridges the connection between home and school, as evidenced by the language program in fifth grade Spanish. Using a series of e-texts, students build on their classroom learning with practice at home. The speaking and listening workbook allows students to hear different vocabulary words and phrases and record their own pronunciation for comparison. They then share these practice sessions with their teacher, Kevin Rosa, and create a virtual language lab in their own homes. The multisensory nature of these practice sessions—reading, speaking, listening—builds fluency and confidence in language learning. Back in school, Mr. Rosa uses technology to provide differentiated instruction. Following a practice quiz, he identifies students who need further teaching in a particular area. That small group joins him to play an interactive game on the SMART Board. He coaches and reteaches vocabulary as the students compete to finish the game. Meanwhile, the rest of the class has their earbuds in, watching and translating a fotonovela on their laptop screens. Back in fourth grade math, the small groups of students are finishing up their problem-solving as they prepare to present their results and learning process to the rest of the school. They know that since Head of Upper School Kevin Roth originally asked the question, he will be particularly interested to find out the shortest path for students to walk to Synod

Hall. They also know that they need to prove the precision in their explanations. After drafting an outline of their steps, they return to their iPads to create movie trailers filled with photographs, maps, and text authenticating their results. The confined format requires that they be succinct and clear, but also allows for them to show their humor and creative expression. Along the way, they flip back and forth between different apps—Drawing Pad to show their results, Explain Everything to annotate a photograph. Sometimes things don’t quite work. “This is getting glitchy,” they’re heard to say. But they keep at it, testing different approaches and proving that technology can indeed be a tool to build critical thinking. Much has been made of the current generation of students being “native speakers” when it comes to technology. Certainly, there will be many more advances in their lifetimes beyond the materials they use now, but our students demonstrate that they are learning the skills and developing the disposition to meet these problem-solving challenges for many years to come. s Laura Higgins has been Head of Lower School at Cathedral since 2008. She earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Smith College and her master’s degree in math leadership from Bank Street College of Education. She is a 27-year veteran of New York City independent schools and a former adjunct professor at Bank Street, where she taught “Math for Teachers.”

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a

VITAL

language latin is alive and thriving in dr. john vitale’s classroom

BY LINARA DAVIDSON ’96

One of Dr. Vitale’s “well-thumbed volumes,” Vergil’s Aeneid. Background: Primary sources gathered over a long career

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Y FATHER USED TO TALK about the necessity of understanding a culture through its language and food. Like most things my parents taught me, the message was lost until much later, yet subconsciously had seeped into my being. Studies now show that one’s language has a direct relationship with the way in which one views the world; it helps frame our existence. It is clear to me that Cathedral understood this way before science confirmed it. The importance of language and food has been part of Cathedral’s fabric for years, and it has always been coupled with dynamic teachers who bring this concept alive in seemingly inexplicable ways.

IN 1982, Anna Quindlen discussed

Latin Week at The Cathedral School in a New York Times article, “About New York: On 110th Street, a Taste of Old Rome.” Created by Dean Jack Langton, Latin Week placed sixth and seventh graders in an experiential learning environment as a means to make Latin more interesting. Students spoke Latin and dressed in togas while enjoying Roman food and drink. There are not many students I have met who are excited to study Latin. The rote memorization it requires at times can be summed up by a Cathedral choir boy, interviewed by The New York Sun in the midst of World War II: “I sure hope that if we ever have an air raid, it comes in Latin class.” Mr. Langton saw an opportunity to change this. “When I was taught Latin, it was like a system of mathematics, with no reality behind the numbers,” he told The New York Times. “I had probably studied Latin three or four years before I knew that Julius Caesar had really existed, what he wore, how he lived. Those are the things that make a language come alive.” Quindlen accurately observed that “entering the world of the Romans [made] the language more interesting” for Cathedral students. Though Roman banquets are no longer part of the curriculum, Cathedral found an even better way

to make Latin both relevant and alive. His name is John Vitale. I had the honor of having Dr. Vitale as both my English and Latin teacher during his first year at Cathedral. His passion for words was infectious, to say the least, so much so that one of my classmates went on to study four other languages and become an ESL teacher, another a classics major, and one an opera singer. This is no coincidence. Dr. Vitale planted a seed early on in our educational careers.

TWENTY YEARS AGO, “Doc” (as I like to call him) became a staple of the Cathedral community, and he has ignited a passion for learning in his students ever since. Below are some of their own words: The summer before seventh grade, I was excited about many things— starting Latin was not one of them. Every person I spoke to would relate some horror story about memorizing verb conjugations or how it was a “dead language” that is pointless to learn. That is, every person I talked to outside of the Cathedral family. At Cathedral, Latin was an integral part of rounding out an education. There was a strong tradition of respect and reverence for it. Studying Latin was crucial to understanding the past and navigating our paths ahead of

Dr. Vitale teaches a seventh grade Latin class.

us. I discovered I loved singing in Latin when I became a Chorister, but that was mostly because I loved to sing. I was struggling with the idea of learning a language that no one speaks. It was not a language of a 12-year-old. But I trusted Cathedral. Adding to this unease was the fact that we had a brand-new Latin teacher, Dr. Vitale. I don’t think any of us could have expected the impact he and Latin would have. The moment we entered our first Latin class, we knew we were in for something different. Dr. Vitale realized he was starting from a tough position. He took one look at the classroom of skeptical 12and 13-year-olds and knew we weren’t expecting much. Instead of launching into a lecture on the importance of Latin to the foundation of a person’s education, however, he simply started doing what he did best. He taught. He spoke in a confident cadence. He must have done this thousands of times, but there was nothing tired about his presentation—nothing to indicate that this was some simple, rote exercise. We knew about principal parts and conjugation from Spanish and French. But there was

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IT WAS NOT A RECITATION OF A DEAD LANGUAGE . HE SPOKE THE WORDS LIKE , WELL , LIKE HE WAS SPEAKING ANOTHER LANGUAGE —

a living language. something about the way Dr. Vitale said it. It was not a recitation of a dead language. He spoke the words like, well, like he was speaking another language—a living language. Dr. Vitale introduced us to hundreds of Latin verbs, nouns, and adjectives. He taught us the difference between tenses and led us through translations of Caesar. He spoke to us in Latin frequently and challenged us to think of and use Latin as a modern language. He taught with fervor and passion. He taught us the way a Cathedral education demanded. —Taylor Spearnak ’96, Lawyer Dr. Vitale has had a greater influence on who I am today than any man I know. He has given me the gift of unfailingly wise counsel and a love of ancient and sacred stories, wherever they may be. He made long-lost worlds and words come alive for me and countless others. Now, as an actor who works primarily in classical theatre, his love of language informs everything I do. I can never properly thank him for everything he’s done for me and though life has taken us many miles apart, I carry those gifts with me everywhere I go. I’d fight for him to the very steps of Caesar’s home. —Daniel Frederick ’01, Actor While going through high school, my Latin education influenced me in innumerable ways. Studying Latin truly became a study for the sake of the study itself, and not for any ulterior purpose. This is not to say that Latin did not help me understand grammatical and linguistic nuances in several languages.

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On the contrary, Latin in seventh grade was a gateway to helping me understand grammar and vocabulary on many levels. Latin has influenced me in terms of the literature I read, the courses I choose to take, the colleges I am applying to, and, most importantly, the way I view the world. A cursory glance at any Western culture will reveal the undeniable influence of Rome. Learning Latin has given me a deeper understanding of this, as well as an appreciation for Rome itself. Latin became a prism through which I could view the vastly interesting subject of Roman history and culture. Of course, none of this personal growth and development would have been possible had it not been for Dr. Vitale. Another teacher, perhaps, would have succeeded in making a dead language seem just that; but not him. From his passionate searches through the well-thumbed volumes in his cabinets to the glint in his eye when he speaks about his subject, it is clear that he lives and breathes the language. While this passion alone might have been enough to inspire any student, when it is coupled with his wealth of knowledge in almost every field, it becomes almost overwhelming. The way he managed to weave Latin, history, philology, literature, and a preposterous range of other subjects into a coherent web during one 45-minute period still amazes me, and I realize that I will never have a teacher quite as passionate about and devoted to the study of Latin as Dr. Vitale. —Elias Stengel-Eskin ’10 Senior, The Dalton School

Top: Decades of student art graces the walls of Dr. Vitale’s third-floor classroom. He commissioned Ana Lieberman ’03 to create this piece of artwork honoring Cicero. Right: Dr. Vitale

THE REFLECTIONS of my fellow alumni reveal just what an impact Doc had on us. Through teaching us Latin, he opened the door for us to appreciate all things. It is evident that Dr. Vitale can teach anywhere, yet he has chosen Cathedral—and I don’t think this is an accident. He has rooted our next generation of leaders. And after 20 years, he still has his magic. We are all connected through our history, and Dr. Vitale captures this ideal beautifully. So how has Latin helped us in our adult lives? The answer is simple. Latin has provided a foundation that enables students to become thoughtful, global ambassadors—a powerful position in a world that is becoming increasingly smaller. s A member of The Cathedral School’s Board of Trustees, Linara Davidson ’96 earned her bachelor’s degree in humanities from New York University. A veteran of various political campaigns and offices, she was named one of New York City’s Top 40 Under 40 Political Rising Stars by City & State in 2012. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in public administration at Columbia University.

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MOSIE CHOUDHRY, SEVENTH GRADE ENGLISH AND SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER, EXPLAINS THE PREPARATION PROCESS FOR THIS YEAR’S FIRST-EVER ELIZABETHAN EVENSONG.

Twelfth Night

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U

NROLLING STUDENTS’ first experience with Shakespeare is always a tremendous amount of pressure for a teacher who cares. As a devotee not only of the Bard, but also—and especially—of the transformative power of Shakespeare in the classroom, I always begin a unit plan with lofty goals: students will read with fluency and appreciation; they will recognize the influence of Shakespeare on the English lexicon; they will speak in iambic pentameter at the lunch table; they will take the first college Shakespeare class they can get their hands on; they will fall in love with or want to be one of the Shakespearean heroines… Every year of the past 12, the reality of students’ fear of the “old English” (which, of course, Shakespeare didn’t write) and the seeming remoteness of the characters tempers my aspirations. And while I have overcome this reality with students of various ages and abilities in other settings, Twelfth Night at The Cathedral School seems to provide a special formula for success. Never in my career have I encountered a group of students as eager to immerse themselves in the words of the Bard as Cathedral’s current seventh graders. When I ask for volunteers to soliloquize, it’s an embarrassment of riches; every child’s hand goes in the air. When I provide an opportunity to analyze a phrase—they loved “the pregnant enemy does much,” for example—the kids can fill a class period with their sophisticated insights. I’m not sure what the special formula is here, exactly, but what follow are my suspicions: The Cathedral School cultivates in its students a stunning degree of self-possession combined with a willingness to take risks. Together, these two qualities make the students especially apt learners. They incorporate Shakespeare-isms in to their normal speech like it’s no big thing. When they get silly or speak out of turn, for example, they pardon themselves with the play’s greatest nugget of wisdom: “There’s no slander in an allowed fool.” They love not only the idea that there is a time and place for foolery, but also the language that Shakespeare uses to convey it. They are unselfconscious in their enthusiasm. They delight in Malvolio’s notion that “unless you laugh and minister occasion to him [the the fool], he is gagged,” or, as one student pointed out, “If you don’t laugh at the class clown, he’s MARCH 12–13, 2014 The entire seventh grade will no longer a clown. It’s kind of like if a tree falls perform Twelfth Night in the in the forest and no one is there to hear it, it original Shakespeare along with medieval instruments, Gregorian hasn’t really fallen.” chanting, and student-made set In undertaking Twelfth Night, our seventh pieces and props. graders have latched onto the themes that resonate most with their experience of middle school life. From the social-emotional perspective, they understand that people are not always what they seem . . . for worse, and sometimes, for better. Academically, they appreciate that Shakespeare’s words themselves are similarly unreliable. I introduced them to the folio and quarto texts of several plays, and they could barely contain their detailed observations about how and why there are different versions of canonical texts. They love looking at digitized old texts and marveling about how print culture has changed since the 16th century. On the other end of the pedagogical spectrum, kinesthetic approaches are equally successful with this group. They love a good line toss, a technique in

Save Date

which students toss a ball and say the first word of a line of Shakespeare, which the catcher in turn has to complete. Their playful competitiveness makes this a wildly successful way to impart many lines effortlessly to memory. We are in the final phases of our classroom study of the play, which will lead to the Elizabethan Evensong this March. The 45-minute version of the play I had thought might be too ambitious actually needs to be expanded, even doubled, to embrace and showcase the many talents of the seventh grade group. Harnessing their unlimited energy will be the biggest challenge. (I know, I’m a lucky girl.) Performing Twelfth Night in the Cathedral will be the culmination of six months of scholarly study and dramatic training. Like the students, I can barely contain my excitement to display their talents and hard work in this unique setting. With the help of Emily Davis, a consultant and teaching artist at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, along with the invaluable artistic, musical, and choreographic leadership of Brian and Arden Delacey, the production promises to make more than “some quantity of barren spectators . . . laugh.” s Mosie Choudhry earned her bachelor’s degree in English at Barnard College and her master’s degree in English at Columbia University, where she studied with the eminent Shakespeare textual materialist David Kastan (now at Yale). She served as a National Endowment for the Arts Folger Shakespeare Institute Library fellow in 2005, has taught various Shakespeare-themed classes, and attends every Shakespeare production she can.

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Upper School Head Kevin Roth Returns to Teaching BY KEVIN ROTH

It is early September, and I am back in the classroom, teaching my eighth

grade English class for the first time. After anesthetizing my students with our first foray through the syllabus, we play an introduction game that I have used for years: “Tell the class one thing people know about you and one thing they don’t.” I go first, sharing my love of cooking and for binge-watching television shows over the summer. But when I turn to them, I get nothing except nervous laughter and eyes cast down. Fear of revelation, of exposure. Middle school in a nutshell. We have some work to do. It is late September, and we are discussing The Crucible. While much of the reading takes place at home, we re-enact certain key scenes in class. Though it can still be a struggle to solicit comments during a discussion from some of the more reticent students, when it comes to volunteering to play a part, abundant hands shoot into the air. I make my choices, ignoring the inevitable “How come I never get to be Proctor?” as they jump in, suddenly alive, investing these 17th-century characters with personality and pathos and passion.

Reflections

from the Classroom It is early October when we read Jonathan Edwards’s fire-and-brimstone jeremiad “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” The language and imagery are violent and unstinting—we are sinners, all of us, and we deserve to suffer for what we have done and what we will inevitably do in the future. A tour group comes in just as I am describing Edwards’s God as “vengeful” and “unforgiving.” The tour seems to leave quickly, and the class is amused. Then, when we return to the discussion, one student says, “So isn’t Edwards saying that while we are very fortunate to have God, God is not at all fortunate to have us?” True understanding is demonstrated when you can explain something entirely in your own words. He gets it. Others in the class nod in agreement. They get it, too. It is late October, and the subject is Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “Young Goodman Brown.” As we grapple with this strange and surreal story, set in the same 17th-century Salem as The Crucible, a student makes the case that the story is really about the protagonist’s sudden loss of innocence and his inability to handle a world where the people he loves and admires are capable of bad behavior. Our discussion turns personal, and students share their memories of that moment when their own understanding or perception of the world changed forever. Inevitably the subject of Santa Claus comes up, and as I try to get them to remember how it felt when they first learned that he wasn’t real, one student suddenly drops his pencil and turns to me, jaw agape, eyes filled with limitless sorrow

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and horror. “What?” I say, before I— and the rest of the class—realize what he is doing. Amazingly, he maintains his deadpan expression through the laughter, though I do think I detect a slight smirk of satisfaction. One November afternoon I decide at the last minute to shift gears and spend the class period studying the Gettysburg Address. It isn’t completely out of the blue, as the literature we are currently reading comes from the Civil War era, and the day before was actually the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s speech. Somehow, amid one curiosity-driven tangent after another—questions about the Lincoln assassination, about JFK (the 50th anniversary of his murder is just a few days away)—we do a close reading of the text. One student, always a responsible note-taker but less often an active participant in discussions, comes to life. Lincoln, she notices before anyone else does, uses the word “dedicate” or “dedicated” a number of times. Later, when I ask the students to focus on why the words “a new birth of freedom” are so important, the same student leaps in, explaining that Lincoln wants to create a new country. She is on the right track, but I know she understands this more thoroughly than she is explaining, so I push her with a follow-up question. Now, she explains, leaning forward at her desk, there is a new purpose to the war. It is no longer simply about reuniting the nation but about creating a new United States free of slavery. She leans back, clearly proud of herself. She should be. It is December, and the first trimester is in the books. My return to the classroom has reminded me how challenging teaching middle school students can be: grappling with those days when half the class is visiting a high school, or those other days when

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everyone is physically present, but half of their brains are thinking about high school, or each other, or anything else besides Edgar Allen Poe or Harriet Jacobs. There are still days when it feels like I am doing all of the talking, and others when side conversations and unexplained giggles pop up, then die off as quickly as crocuses in a February thaw. Still, my students have worked extremely hard over these first three months of school, and I am proud of all of them. They have faced and successfully bounced back from adversity and disappointment. They have worked together and listened to each other and been supportive. They have laughed; they have been moved; they have made surprising, even brilliant,

connections among the works they have read. Most important, they have all grown in at least one important way: some as writers, some as readers, some as contributors to the classroom discourse. They are a class of committed learners. More than that, they are caring, compassionate, wonderful young women and men, and I know, every day, how fortunate I am to spend this time with them. s

They have laughed; they have been moved; they have made surprising, even brilliant, connections among the works they have read.

Head of Upper School Kevin Roth earned a bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in history and an MFA in fiction writing from Columbia University, as well as a masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in journalism from Stanford University. He is a veteran English teacher, department chair, and division administrator. This is his first year in the classroom since 2011.

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Class of 2013

High School Acceptances Twenty-seven members of the Class of 2013 joined The Cathedral School’s alumni community on June 13. They now attend some of the best high schools in New York City and across the nation. Independent Day Schools The Berkeley Carroll School The Brearley School Brooklyn Friends School The Browning School Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School Convent of the Sacred Heart The Dalton School Dwight-Englewood School Ethical Culture Fieldston School Friends Seminary Grace Church School Hackley School

Horace Mann School Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School Loyola School Marymount School The Masters School The Nightingale-Bamford School The Packer Collegiate Institute Poly Prep Country Day School Riverdale Country School The Spence School Trevor Day School Trinity School Independent Boarding Schools Choate Rosemary Hall Emma Willard School The Hotchkiss School Miss Hall’s School St. Andrew’s School Westover School

Diocesan Schools Fordham Preparatory School Xavier High School New York City Specialized Public Schools Brooklyn Latin School The Bronx High School of Science Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts High School of American Studies at Lehman College New York City and Other Public Schools Bard High School Early College Frank Sinatra School of the Arts NYC Lab School for Collaborative Students NYC Museum School School of the Future Townsend Harris High School The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School

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Photos by Ellen Emerson White

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Beyond

CATHEDRAL

I was very proud of the school back then and remain equally proud of what the school has become. — L E O N A RD FL E I SI G ’6 7 40

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1940

John Jay Hughes

is in his 23rd year as priest-in-residence at Christ the King Catholic Church in St. Louis, Missouri. The author of more than a dozen books and hundreds of articles, he blogs at jaystl.blogspot.com. Almost 60 years after ordination, he is still in love with the priesthood. Jay’s father, The Rev. William Dudley Foulke Hughes, was Headmaster of The Cathedral Choir School from 1927 to 1940.

of New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in the fall of 1947.

1951

Bruce McInnes

Jim Groton remains very active as a “recovering lawyer,” counseling businesses and non-profit organizations about techniques for de-escalating and preventing conflicts. (More information about his work can be found at www. jimgroton.com.) Jim lives in Atlanta and California.

earned degrees from Dartmouth College, Harvard University, and Yale University and attended the University of Paris on a Fulbright Scholarship. He taught music at Amherst College for 21 years, then went on to serve as a music school dean in Oregon, Organist and Master of the Choristers at New York’s Grace Church, and Dean of the Cleveland Institute of Music before his retirement. Bruce is the founder of a semi-professional men’s chorus (mastersingersusa.org), which he continues to conduct, and teaches one course each term at the University of Maine at Farmington. Fellow alumni are welcome to contact him at brucemcinnes@aol.com.

1950

1953

1942

Robert F. Marble

is an assistant professor at Doña Ana Community College in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where he teaches Introduction to Psychology. He has been trained as a Stephen Minister and Stephen Leader at his church, where he continues to sing in the senior choir. He vividly recalls his Cathedral School experience, including his attendance at the funeral

Robert F. Marble ’50 vividly remembers attending the funeral of former New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in the fall of 1947.

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The Rev. Ralph R. Warren, Jr. retired

as Rector of Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Palm Beach, Florida, in 2008 after 27 years there. Before moving to Florida, he served as Rector of St. Paul’s Church in Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania, and on the staff of St. James’ Church in Manhattan. He is married with two daughters and four grandchildren. Charles Stannard retired from teaching middle school math in 2002, but he continues to substitute at the middle school level. In 2013, he retired after 41 years as a church organist. He and his wife live in Connecticut, and they look forward to becoming Florida snowbirds this year. Their son, Philip, is chef de cuisine at Parlor Steak House on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and their daughter, Julie, is an artist and yoga teacher in Salt Lake City, Utah.

1955

Lamar C. Walter

1956

Stuart Chamberlain

1967

Leonard Fleisig lives

graduated from Longmeadow High School in 1959, the University of Georgia in 1963, and the University of Georgia Law School in 1966. He practiced law in Augusta, Georgia, for five years before being elected to the Columbia County Board of Education. In 1971, he accepted an appointment to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Savannah. After 14 years as a partner in the firm Chamlee, Dubus, Sipple & Walter, where he practiced admiralty law, he returned to the U.S. Attorney’s office in 1990 and prosecuted white-collar crimes until retiring in 2006. He was appointed Judge Pro Tempore of the State Court of Chatham County, Georgia, after his retirement. Lamar and his wife, Frances, live in Savannah and Cape Cod. They have one daughter and two grandchildren. Lamar still prizes his 78 RPM record of “Brother James Air” sung by the Cathedral Choristers in 1955. “We still sound great,” he said.

is now retired after more than 33 years at ABC News. He lives on Long Island, where he is acting organist at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. He is also active in New York City as a member of the Amateur Comedy Club and the Lambs Club.

in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and works in Norfolk, where he is a partner in a law firm. His practice focuses on maritime law and international trade. “I have very fond memories of my days at Cathedral, and I was thrilled to return in 1992 to have Canon Landon and Bishop Dennis baptize my daughter,” Leonard said. “I was very proud of the school

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back then and remain equally proud of what the school has become.” Fellow alumni are welcome to contact Leonard at leonard.fleisig@gmail.com. John Rennackar attended Cathedral from 1963–65 and would have been part of the graduating class of 1967. After the school transitioned from a boarding to day program, he returned to his home in Michigan with many fond memories of his time on the Close. John has taught orchestra at the elementary, junior high, and high school levels in Michigan and Utah, and for the past 10 years he has taught music at Salt Lake Community College. He is a seasoned singer and musician with experience playing cello in orchestras.

1968

Scott Wilson is currently a substitute teacher at The Anderson School on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. He remembers his time at Cathedral as “a wonderful, memorable experience I cherish to this day.”

>> A LUM N I PROF I L E

David Huntington ’40 “I spent four years at the residential choir school attached to The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City,” David Huntington ’40 writes in his recently published book, First Flight and Other Stories. “It provided a strong academic environment in the English tradition, and at a very low price because the forty boys sang at services in the Cathedral each day, thus earning their keep.” First Flight, David’s second tome, is a collection of short essays about formative events and experiences in his life. The Cathedral School (or The Cathedral Choir School, as it was known then) factors prominently in several vignettes. David reflects on playing at Carnegie Hall with his fellow Choristers; trekking to California and back on a school field trip; and contributing to a student body effort to launch a homemade aircraft on the Close in the title story. Grab a copy! David Huntington An artistic rendering of The Cathedral School’s will gladly make First Flight entrance graces the book’s cover. available to fellow alumni. After Cathedral, David attended The Lenox School He can be reached at in Massachusetts and went on to Harvard University, dhuntington26@gmail.com. where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He held administrative posts at Harvard and the University of Chicago before moving to Wisconsin in 1970 to manage three philanthropic foundations. “There is no question that the four years I spent [at Cathedral] at an impressionable age, among a similar group of high-energy boys in an ever-creative environment, contributed substantially to my make-up and what I did thereafter,” David said.

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Scott Wilson ’68 (right) treasured his visit with the late Canon Harold Landon at The Cathedral School a few years ago.

1970

Steven Bargonetti

writes music for TV commercials with his wife, Diane. He has been featured playing guitar on Sesame Street and Lilyhammer. He is scheduled to play guitar for the upcoming Broadway musical Holler if Ya Hear Me, featuring the music of Tupac Shakur.

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Steven Bargonetti ’70

1975

In 2013, Marc Feigen became an

Honorary Fellow at St John’s College, Cambridge. He is a management consultant who lives in New York with his wife and two daughters. From Christopher Brown: Now that my son Hudson attends Cathedral, it surprises me how often I find opportunities to tell him stories about the old days. “Look here,” I’ll say as we walk up the driveway. “I know you see a parking lot but we saw . . . well, we saw a parking lot also, but we had epic football games in this parking lot every morning before school.” I think it was those football games and the wrinkled blazers and crooked ties that they produced that prompted the administration to reconsider the dress code. “You see that? That was the north field where we ran track and played soccer and softball. In order to get to it, you had to pass a secret clubhouse called the Dinosaur Club.” The Dinosaur Club was really an unfinished section of the church wall on the north side where thick exposed rebar pipes jutted from the mortar. When struck with a stone, these bars produced sounds of varying tone. We

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used them as chimes to summon all “dinosaurs” in the area. I’ll probably not tell my son that Star Trek and West Side Story were big deals to us. Whether we were fighting aliens or rumbling as rival immigrant gang members, the game always seemed to end with the entire class piled on top of one another in the center of the playground. (For the record, West Side Story was not just about a big rumble. There was spirited singing and dancing that led up to the mayhem.) The north field and the playground that housed the Starship Enterprise have been replaced by an apartment building, a parking lot, and a storage shed. Also, times have changed. Generally speaking, we parents don’t take the risks that our parents did. There was a time when going on a long trip meant piling kids into the back of the family station wagon “free-range” style. Hearing a grown-up say “Go out and play” meant you had permission to roam your neighborhood with little direct supervision. These things don’t happen much anymore, partly due to cumulative learning and partly due to a collective belief that none of us have the bandwidth for unscheduled trips to the ER. I understand, but I am sometimes concerned that our children are losing valuable experiences in the non-contact, highly supervised environments we have created for them. I think back to my days at Cathedral and realize how much was gained by letting kids “work things out.” Things sometimes got messy, and there were often consequences, but there was also an attempt to put things in perspective. Even failures and setbacks could be justified if they led to insight. This philosophy took a tremendous amount of trust and courage on the part of those who were responsible for us. In fact, every lousy teacher I’ve ever had shared two traits in common: They trusted no one and

were cowards. I did not fully appreciate this as a student. Recently, I watched my son and his friends play after school. Their game lacked the back story that our games had, but the result was the same. Before long, they were piled on top of each other in the middle of the playground. I rose to stop them but caught myself. There were teachers and other parents nearby who had taken notice but were unfazed. As I sat back down, keenly aware that I was the outsider in this ecosystem, it occurred to me that while some physical things had changed, the school’s core values and spirit have remained intact. This and several other recent observations indicate to me that the school is still filled with students, parents, teachers, and administrators who trust each other and are courageous.

Now that my son Hudson attends Cathedral, it surprises me how often I find opportunities to tell him stories about the old days. — CH RI ST O P H ER BRO WN ’ 7 5

Christopher Brown ’75 and his son Hudson Brown ’22, a Cathedral kindergartener.

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1977

Kevin Kanarek,

who taught at Cathedral from 1990–94, has been working to bring his mother’s 1956 novel Chocolates for Breakfast back into print. The book was just reissued by Harper Perennial with a foreword by his former Latin and French student, the writer Emma Straub ’94. Read Emma’s words online at http:// www.tinhouse.com/blog/26676/ chocolates-for-breakfast.html. Stephanie (Anderson) Wanek

is a proud member of Cathedral’s first coeducational graduating class. “I remember my classmates Kerry, Jessica, Anna, and Sharon,” she said. “I have always had fond memories of mealtime in the Great Hall, chasing peacocks, exploring the corners of the church, gym classes in the crypt, French cooking lessons, and especially the full choir singing in the Cathedral.”

I have always had fond memories of mealtime in the Great Hall, chasing peacocks, exploring the corners of the church, gym classes in the crypt, French cooking lessons, and especially the full choir singing in the Cathedral. — ST E PH A NIE (A NDER SON) W ANEK ’77

1979

Mark Hildesley runs a consulting company in New Zealand. He is the proud father of two daughters, Emma, 13, and Sophie, 12. He recently finished his master’s degree in engineering, and his thesis was published as a book. He enjoys “the fun of doing something that lets me use what I have learned to make the world better.”

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Karyn Seroussi lives in Norway, where she works as the marketing director for a European fitness company. “I am grateful to Cathedral teacher Bob Lopez for making us memorize all of the countries and capitals on a blank map of Europe,” Karyn said. “That is really coming in handy!”

1982

Candice Belanoff

lives in Boston with her husband, son, and two dogs. She teaches maternal and child health at the Boston University School of Public Health. “Thanks to Facebook, I’m back in touch with many Cathedral alums,” she said. “I always look back at my Cathedral days and friendships with a great deal of nostalgia and love.” Laura Hildesley Bartsch lives in Providence, Rhode Island, with her husband and two sons. She works for Advanced Energy Economy, an organization that works to transform public policy in support of clean, secure, and affordable energy technologies, and is currently pursuing her MBA in Global Management. John Williams recently celebrated his 23rd year of living in Seattle and 14th year of marriage to his wife. They have three children. John runs his own public relations firm focused on sustainability and clean technology startups, and he enjoys staying in touch with his classmates via Facebook.

1983

Hope Subak-Kaspar

(née Subak-Sharpe) lives in Prague with her husband, Filip, and daughters, Ema and Anezka. She teaches first and second graders at a local public school. “After studying Russian literature and law, I had to learn some new skills to teach children and really enjoy it,” Hope said. “Life in a big Czech city is not too different than in a U.S. city—kids, school, and after-school activities, weekends in the country . . . but some

things are different. We like to go mushroom-picking in the forest. Our bike trails take us through parts of the Czech-Austrian border that used to be part of no-man’s land. We are surrounded by Baroque churches, Renaissance palaces, Art-Deco apartment buildings, and Soviet-era prefabricated buildings. We are far away but visit often. My daughters look forward to visiting the Cathedral (and V&T’s and the Hungarian Pastry Shop) every year.”

1988

Fileve Palmer is a

Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at the University of Indiana. She looks forward to defending her dissertation and graduating in May 2014.

1992

Alice G. Walton is a health and science writer who has written for Forbes, The Atlantic, YogaGlo, Yoga Journal, the University of Chicago, and the American Psychological Association. She earned a Ph.D. in Biopsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience from the CUNY Graduate Center and loves writing about anything brain-related. She lives in New York City with her five-year-old son and their dog. Her son’s “early school days make me think very fondly of my days [at Cathedral],” she said. “What an amazing, unique place it was—wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.”

1996

Linara Davidson just

finished working as Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr.’s re-election campaign manager. She previously served as his Special Assistant for External and Community Affairs within the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. She came to the office having served on Vance’s 2009 campaign as the Northern Manhattan Political Director. Prior to her work with Vance,

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Linara served as the Community Liaison for Central and West Harlem in the Office of Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer after serving as Volunteer Coordinator for Velmanette Montgomery’s State Senate Campaign. In 2012, Linara was recognized by City & State as one of New York City’s Top 40 under 40 Political Rising Stars. Linara is currently pursuing her master’s degree in public administration in the Executive Program at Columbia University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. She is a graduate of New York University, holding a B.S. in Humanities with a concentration in Literature. Linara serves on The Cathedral School’s Board of Trustees, co-chairing the Diversity Committee, and she is also a board member for Advocates for Youth, serving as their Secretary. A member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, scholarship, sisterhood, and service continue to be integral elements in all of Linara’s endeavors.

1997

Kieran Nulty just finished his fifth season working in business/ballpark operations for the New York Mets. During the 2013-14 offseason, he visited friends and family (including his sister Aran ’94, who recently moved to Vermont with her husband) and enjoyed the holiday season at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, where he basked in his memories of being a Chorister.

Max Martinelli ’99

to improving the lives of adults living with developmental delays. Mathilda McGee-Tubb recently graduated from Boston College Law School and is currently serving as a law clerk at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Next year, she will clerk for a judge on the federal district court in Boston and hopefully return to New York City soon after. She is thrilled to have attended the recent weddings of her Cathedral classmates, Jessica Hertz and Madeleine Rumely, and continues to stay in touch with many other alumni.

Madeleine Rumely married Zachary Naidich on August 31, 2013, at The Harvard Club in New York City. In attendance were her Cathedral classmates Andrew Sinanoglou, Adam Robbins, Jessica Hertz, Nicholas Canfield, Mathilda McGee-Tubb, Max Martinelli, Cordelia McGee-Tubb ’03, and Madeleine’s brother, Robert Rumely ’05. “Max’s and Mathilda’s parents were also present. It was a wonderful event,” Madeleine said. “I cherish the academic foundation and friends that Cathedral gave me, and I will be forever thankful to the school, the faculty, and staff.” Madeleine earned her master’s degree in accountancy from Baruch College in December 2013. She and her husband live in Brooklyn. Kofi Ofori-Ansah has moved back to New York City, where he currently works in MLB Network’s engineering division, after spending the past five years in Connecticut as a Media Engineer for ESPN. In addition to overseeing the deployment of live games and studio shows out of MLBN’s broadcast facilities, his group develops customized video technology used to deliver 4K resolution replays used during on-air game analysis. While at ESPN, Kofi and his

1999

After graduating from Cathedral, Max Martinelli attended Trinity School and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2006. He lives in New York City and executes enterprise sales deals for AOL Huffington Post. He enjoys volunteering and running, and he serves on the board of YAI Brighter Futures Society, dedicated

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Madeleine Rumely ’99 celebrated her wedding with her parents, Christine and John, and her brother, Robert Rumely ’05.

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Alexandra Schwinn ’04 Alexandra Schwinn ’04 attended Miss Hall’s School, earned her undergraduate degree in music business/management from Boston’s Berklee College of Music, and recently graduated from Cambridge University with a master’s degree in choral studies. But her formative years at Cathedral made all the difference. “If it wasn’t for the choir, I would certainly not be where I am today,” Alexandra said. “Cathedral is a very encouraging place, especially to your specific talents. I struggled a lot academically when I was a child, so being in an environment that encouraged me to follow my own path was essential to my growth. I found my voice, metaphorically and literally, whilst at Cathedral, and that means so much. I was lucky to have been a part of such a strong community.” Several teachers stand out in Alexandra’s memory. “Dr. Vitale’s passion for Latin was very influential to my growth,” she recalled. “There were many other teachers who were specifically supportive throughout my time at Concanenda’s website Cathedral—most importantly and unsurprisingly, Mr. and www.concanenda.com Mrs. Delacey.” “The Cathedral School has such a strong arts program. Alexandra’s album It is imperative that children are challenged both academconcanenda.bandcamp.com ically and artistically,” Alexandra continued. “My teachers Alexandra’s BBC interview allowed us to push boundaries, to think outside of the https://soundcloud.com/ box, and most importantly, to have fun.” concanenda/bbc-radio3-the-choir-13-10-13 Alexandra continues to make her home in England, where she and Concanenda (the choir she founded at Cambridge) are flourishing. Concanenda’s debut album, Bright Shadows, was released online in November and is now on sale at the gift shop in The Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Alexandra returns to the Close whenever she can and particularly enjoys following the progress of the Mission Outreach Committee, which she founded as a student. “I went in to meet the committee a few years ago, and it was just so humbling to see how helpful all of the children wanted to be. How passionate and involved they are. It’s truly inspiring.” As Alexandra’s star continues to rise (she was recently interviewed by BBC Radio about Concanenda’s success), she remains a proud Cathedral School alumna. “It’s important to remember where you’ve come from,” she said.

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engineering team won a 2008 Sports Emmy Award for the development of ESPN’s Virtual Playbook/”Augmented Reality” technology first featured on Sunday NFL Countdown and NFL Live. Since the conclusion of the 2013 World Series, Kofi has been pursuing endeavors in the NYC tech start-up industry and collaborating with his collegiate peers to develop plans for a physical fitness and lifestyle brand for Caribbean and West African youth. Anneka Ward graduated from Kenyon College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2007 and from Phillips Beth Israel School of Nursing in May 2012. She began working as the school nurse at The Calhoun School in August 2013. Anneka recently moved to the Upper West Side, close to her childhood residential roots.

2001

Ariel Hidalgo is about

to complete her second and final year of graduate school in Sarah Lawrence College’s Health Advocacy program. Her senior thesis will focus on mental health and college-aged students. She recently ran into fellow Cathedral alumna Madeleine Rumely ’99 at a George Washington University alumni event, and “it brought back many memories of our time in the choir together, eating chocolate croissants at the Hungarian Pastry Shop, and countless other friends that we’ve tried to keep in touch with over the years,” Ariel said. “But overall, we kept discussing how much we love and loved our time at The Cathedral School.”

2003

Bradley Johnson

graduated from Ithaca College and now studies at Brunel University in London, where he is pursuing a master’s degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology. He enjoys visiting The Cathedral School whenever he can. “I still stay in touch with many of my classmates and see them regularly,” Bradley said. “Go Cougars!”

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It brought back many memories of our time in the choir together, eating chocolate croissants at the Hungarian Pastry Shop, and countless other friends that we’ve tried to keep in touch with over the years, — AR I E L H ID ALG O ’01

2006

After graduating from Cathedral, Eric Saltzman attended The Beacon School and will soon graduate from American University in Washington, D.C. He serves as the sports editor of American’s student newspaper and hopes to pursue a career in sports journalism after graduation. He previously held internships at SiriusXM and MTV.

2010

Hannah Cropper is

a senior at the High School of American Studies at Lehman College. She is currently applying to colleges with an interest in a culinary arts major. Her eventual goal is to own a restaurant or become a dietitian.

We want to hear from you!

Please send class notes, photos, and magazine submissions to: The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine Attn: Cathedral Editor 1047 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY 10025 Email: alumni@cathedralnyc.org

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Join Us This Spring… Absalom Jones Benefit for Financial Aid F RIDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2014 7:00 PM 583 Park Avenue

Elizabethan Evensong: Twelfth Night WEDNESDAY, M ARCH 12 THROUGH THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 2014 The Cathedral of St. John the Divine

Easter Evensong WEDNESDAY, A PRIL 23, 2014 2:05 PM The Cathedral of St. John the Divine

Alumni Reunion and Spring Fair SATURDAY, MAY 31, 2014 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM The Close

Graduation F RIDAY, JUNE 13, 2014 3:30 PM The Cathedral of St. John the Divine

TH E M A G A Z I N E O F TH E CAT H E DRAL SCH OO L OF S T. J OH N THE DI VI NE

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       

The Last Word   .        

“  ”—what a clever title for this final page, a perfect choice, provided we don’t allow it to drift into “the” last word meaning to convey an air of finality or rigid insistence. For then, I should feel more wary than honored to have the last say here on grounds that doing so would run afoul of keeping an open mind, one of the core values central to the work of teachers. Saying as much takes me back more than half a century to 1957 when I was only 13 and, by virtue of being in the right place at the right time, very lucky to have watched on live TV a show likewise called The Last Word. The moderator was Bergen Evans, a Rhodes scholar, Harvard-educated English professor with a brace of degrees to his name who quickly became a TV celebrity and my hero, besides Mickey Mantle, of course, the New York Yankee every kid my age idolized at the time. The format of The Last Word was nothing short of unique: a vigorous discussion of English words to which I paid close attention because secretly I really loved words as much as baseball, even if most of what was said was Greek to me. There it was, an innocuous little show on CBS-TV suddenly slipped into its schedule, with a cast of four articulate people saying bright, witty things about words. To my everlasting regret, the program ended in 1959, yet its Bergen Baldwin Evans … effect on me has lasted a lifetime. taught me to prize highly Dr. Evans, an academic superman, was unimpeachably the final arbiter of things of the mind and anything having to do with words. So to treat every word with far as I was concerned, he was the last respect, as if it were on word, totally enslaving me with his never pedantic, never aloof, inteltrial for its life. lectual charm. In fact, his skill as a teacher was so far-reaching that it was capable of proving to this young Catholic boy that syntax (a word only later I came to understand the meaning of ) can be almost as fascinating as sin itself. Seen through the haze of time, those 30-minute Sunday afternoon broadcasts had a dimension of magic for me. From them I learned without letup more than a thing or two about English. For when he wasn’t talking about English, Professor Evans was talking about Latin and Greek, as well as philosophy, subjects that I would later come to study and eventually to teach. He assured me that they would never interrupt my future, but would become my future, and that I would not become the fool of books. Bergen Baldwin Evans, whom I revered and wanted so much to be a borrowed likeness of, on whom I am lavishing all this extravagant praise, taught me to prize highly things of the mind and to treat every word with respect, as

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The Last Word aired from 1957 to 1959.

if it were on trial for its life. In his own words, he taught me not only to deal with the demon that numbed my fingers with paralyzing uncertainty when they took hold of a pen, but also led me to the messianic belief that the study of words could change a person’s life. Finally, the most important thing I learned from Bergen Evans was that it is not always necessary or important in life to have the last word, the same lesson preached by an even higher authority, St. Paul, who warned the Corinthians against seeing one another as the final possessors of all truth, as having the last word on anything. My voice at Cathedral is only one of a rich chorus of voices—those of my colleagues. It is in unison that we teach, preach to, and hopefully reach our students. s Dedicated to the memory of Catherine Vitale

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MISSION STATEMENT 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.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES 2013–2014 The Very Rev. Dr. James A. Kowalski Chair Kristin Kearns Jordan President Bruce Paulsen Vice President Angie Karna Secretary Sandor Lehoczky Treasurer Marsha K. Nelson Head of School Robin Alston Courtney Booker Satrina Boyce Jaye Chen Evelyn Rowe Cosentino Lucy Culver Ridge Culver Linara Davidson ’96 Jay Eisenhofer George Gatch David Harman David Klafter Jennifer Prince ’96 Marta Sanders Aaron Sack Leila Satow Sally Thurston Jody van der Goes James Williams Larry Zimmerman

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1047 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY 10025

LIVING T RA D I T I O NS Family-Style Dining in the 1960s Read more on page

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Profile for The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine

Cathedral Magazine (Winter 2014)  

Cathedral Magazine (Winter 2014)