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Winter 2011

DWIGHT TODAY An Alumni Magazine for the Dwight, Franklin, and Anglo-American Community Dwight is an IB World School

Alumni Around the World

Also in This Issue: Alumni celebrate Reunion Weekend 2010 Alumni gather for the first Dwight Holiday Party

Volume 8 Number 1


is Your Graduation?

The Dwight School is proud to announce that commencement exercises will once again be held at

the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art. May 26, 2011, 2:00pm

From the Editor dwight today

Dwight Today is a publication serving the entire Dwight community, which includes current students and their families, as well as alumni and friends of the Dwight, Franklin, and Anglo-American Schools. Its purpose is to inform you of exciting news from our school today as well as from members of our community. Our goal is to keep you connected to the spirit of Dwight. We welcome your feedback and suggestions. Please address all correspondence to the Editor, Dwight Today, The Dwight School, 291 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024, or you can email us at

Chancellor Stephen H. Spahn Editor-in-Chief Rachael Bennett Director of Communications Editorial Staff Kari Loya Director of Development Kristin Pate Director of Alumni Affairs Graphic Design Audrey Miller Director of Creative Design Proofreaders Mary Abdullah Jacqueline Leitzes Christine Lippman Caroline Walsh Photographers © 2010 Bellamy Blue Rachael Bennett Michele Hoos Victoria Jackson Kristin Pate Piotr Redlinski Stan Schnier Printing Queen City Printers Inc., Burlington, VT, environmentally certified to the Forest Stewardship Council Standard.

Dear Readers, We are constantly striving to improve how we inform you about noteworthy student, alumni, and faculty achievements as well as other exciting school news. I wanted to share briefly two new communications initiatives now serving our community: • In November, we launched “Dwight Stories,” a multimedia sub-site of our main website that highlights some outstanding members of our community. The sub-site reflects the three pillars of our school: global standards, individualized study, and community service. We will be adding more profiles to the site, including several alumni profiles, this winter. Readers can also look forward to a completely redesigned main website later this year! • The Dwight School has a new Facebook page. Be sure to check it out ( and click “Like Us” to receive daily school and alumni news and photos on your wall. Alumni can also receive alumni event updates on The Dwight School Alumni Fan Page: We are proud to have more vehicles than just our Dwight Today magazine to celebrate our many successes. We hope you’ll come along for the ride!

Rachael Bennett Editor-in-Chief

Winter 2011 |


Daniel Maren ‘11 and Olivia Dunkley ‘13 perform a scene from Aria Da Capo, one of two plays from the Winter 2010 Mainstage Theater production held at the Marjorie Deane Theater. The Dwight Theater Department bases their program on a professional model, holding two bi-annual productions each year on prestigious New York City stages, allowing students to further develop their “spark of genius.” Photograph by Stan Schnier.

Winter 2011 |


Chancellor Spahn warmly greets an alumnus at October’s Dwight/ Franklin/Anglo-American Reunion Day. The annual three-day event welcomes alumni from across the globe who are celebrating landmark year reunions. For more news and photos from the weekend, turn to page 66. Photograph by Piotr Redlinski.

Winter 2011 |


Winter 2011

DWIGHT TODAY features An alumni magazine for the Dwight, Franklin and Anglo-American Community

Graduates who are living, working, and studying abroad

Alumni Spotlights:

i Ar oun n m d u l th


34 Alumni Around the World

orld eW


36 66

66 Reunion Weekend

Photos from the annual October alumni festivities

departments 07 10 28 64 87

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36 Wontae Cha ’00 Unveiling the Future of Healthcare? 39 Silvia Natalicchi ’95 London Calling... 40 Hannah Levi ’10 Gap Year Globetrotter 43 Guido Bouw, Anglo ’88 From Anglo to Amsterdam... 44 Steven Schechter, Franklin ’71 Video Gaming in Hong Kong 46 Jennifer Lee ’10 Teaching in Beijing Before Studying in Ithaca 48 Joel Rosenfeld, Franklin ’88 Giving Tours in the Holy Land 49 Giuliano Soderini ’97 Analyzing Atomic Energy in Austria 50 Chungxing Mah ’01 Business School Shanghai-Style 52 Christian Bisogni, Anglo ’91 Home Sweet Home with P&G in France! 54 Nicola Mercusa, Anglo ’83 Last Stop... Luxembourg! 55 Amaury Berzin ’08 Summer in Serbia 56 Rudi Tsai ’81 From Wall Street to the Central District 57 Richard Wertheim, Franklin ’66 Consulting in Canada 58 Kyle Kim ’98 A Serial Entrepreneur in Korea 60 Matthew Grogan ’81 Studying in Scotland 62 Peter Allegretti ’79 Viva España

Chancellor’s Letter Community News ICL News Alumni News From the Archives

From the Chancellor

Dear Dwight Community, We encounter evidence of our international-mindedness each day at school, but Dwight’s global impact and connections extend far beyond our walls. I was thinking about our role in the world just before Thanksgiving break, when I spent a week in Singapore at an International Baccalaureate Trustees’ meeting. One particularly heated topic of debate was on the conflict between the IB’s global mission and the current American sanctions against Myanmar, where there is an IB school. My wife and I decided to visit the country—formerly known as Burma—and report back to the Board. After interviewing Greg Von Spreecken, Principal of Yangon International School; Wendy Douglas-Khin, President of their Parents Association; students; Buddhist monks; and local merchants, I came to a conclusion that I believe is consistent with Dwight’s global vision. Myanmar, like so many other countries around the world, faces the challenging paradox between modernization and community tradition. It is also simply a wonderful place, a place where children and adults revere their teachers and families give loving attention to aging parents. My visit made it clear to me that, despite its opposition to the country’s despotic military regime, the IB must continue to support the International School of Yangon, even though doing so is a violation of U.S. law. This visit helped me realize that part of me is a crusader who would like to redefine America’s attitude towards the world and use education to transform one small community at a time. It also inspired me to reflect on some of the transformative educators and experiences that have brought me to where I am today. Many of my early educational experiences were centered on stories that stressed Emerson’s suggestion that we “not follow where the path may lead but go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” This is, of course, an idea that is echoed by Dwight students’ experiences in the IB programs. Like many of our students, too, I discovered that it is often a master teacher who points the way toward new realizations. My first master teacher was Frank Bird, a full-blooded Native American Indian. Every summer, Frank regaled me with tales of his ancestors and taught me to track animals, to listen to the music of the wind, to fish, to shoot a bow and arrow, and even to skin a raccoon. Slowly, part of me became Native American Indian. At age sixteen, I studied in Madrid and fell passionately in love with the paintings of Goya. One day, I spent six hours looking at his painting of a dog gazing into space. It was a transformative

experience as I learned to see the world through Goya’s eyes. Part of me had become Goya. Four years later, working for Senator Jacob Javits, I met Betty Maul and Tsering Shakapba. Betty was the Senator’s secretary, and Tsering was a close friend. Over time, Betty taught me that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. She adopted sixteen Vietnamese children; arranged an airlift to save an entire orphanage in Saigon; and was featured in a movie on her life, “The Angel of An Loc.” She helped me realize that part of me must help children in need. Tsering, on the other hand, was a smiling, fun-loving Tibetan refugee with a naïve and compassionate optimism. His father, the Finance Minister in the Dalai Lama’s cabinet who recognized an imminent Chinese threat in 1950, secretly moved fifty million dollars in gold to a safe refuge in India. When the Dalai Lama escaped from Lhasa in 1959, that money eventually saved the lives of thousands of fleeing Tibetan refugees. Immediately upon my graduation from Dartmouth College, Tsering and I travelled to Dharmsala, India, where his father arranged for us to live and travel with a group of Khampa Warriors, the freedom fighters of Western Tibet. We travelled to towns deep in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains, where I experienced Tibetan culture untouched by the modern world. There I learned the true meaning of compassion and hospitality while observing first-hand a purposeful, self-sufficient society. Five years later, I spent my honeymoon with the Shakapba family in Kalimpong, India. Part of me will always be Tibetan. Today, I am privileged to oversee the education of more than 700 future world leaders at The Dwight School, students who already represent an impressive array of cultures and backgrounds. While they are at Dwight, we will weave as many unique, transformative experiences into their education as possible so that they are prepared to succeed – and they are prepared to do so anywhere in the world. This issue of Dwight Today shares inspiring stories of some of their predecessors, Dwight graduates who have already scattered about the globe on their own path. Part of them will undoubtedly continue to change. But at the core, part of them will always be Dwight students. Warm regards,

Stephen H. Spahn, Chancellor

Winter 2011 |


Inside Dwight Today | New Foundation Trustees

Foundation Welcomes Two New Trustees

The Dwight School Foundation welcomes two more members to its eighteen-member Board of Trustees: Marlene Arbess (Matthew ’13, Ethan ’15) and Barbara Wallner (Ex-Officio, Parents Association President; Linden ’12). They join fellow trustees Jonathan Auerbach (Sasha ’13), Libby Callaway, Andrew Chrisomalis, Paul Fribourg (Deborah ’05, Rebecca ’07, and Michael ’09), Gary Fuhrman ’79, Michael Kalnick, Susan Kessler (Stephen ’10), Marie Lippman (Adam ’15), Michael MacDougall (Robert ’19, Eleanor Jane ’21), David Magier (Jeremiah ’11, Aaron ’12), Eric Semler (Nicholas ’13), Robert Shafir

(Nicholas ’11), Ravi Singh (Maya ’22), Shiv Vasisht ’95, Richard Zinman (Emily ’11), and Paula Oppenheim Cope ’71 (Ex-Officio, Alumni Council President). The trustees advise and work in conjunction with the Chancellor to think critically about the future of the School to ensure that a Dwight and Woodside education is of the highest quality. The Foundation, a separate 501(c)3 not-for-profit entity, was established in 1969 to give members of the Dwight community a way to provide meaningful support to Dwight faculty and students.

Marlene Arbess (Matthew ’13 and Ethan ’15) Marlene received a Bachelor of Commerce in 1983 and a graduate degree in Public Accounting from McGill University in 1986 before becoming a Chartered Accountant in 1986. Professionally, Mrs. Arbess has been engaged in accounting in Canada, management consulting with Arthur D. Little, and commercial real estate. Since 1994, she has concentrated on raising her three children, Matthew, Ethan, and Sophia (Solomon Schechter ’16).  She has also served as a resource and patient advocate to a number of families of children with pediatric illnesses. Marlene, her husband Dan, and their kids are globally-focused and have traveled extensively internationally.

Barbara Wallner (Linden ’12) Barbara is a Vice President at Salovey & Associates, a retained executive search firm specializing in the real estate industry; she also recently started a resume advising service. Prior to that, she was a Vice President at Bankers Trust Company for thirteen years, where she specialized in leveraged buyouts. Mrs. Wallner has held many leadership positions at her children’s schools, is a former president of 325 West End Owners Inc., and is affiliated with Young Playwrights. She has been involved with the Dwight Parents Association since 2006 and is now serving as President. Barbara and her husband, Rob, have two children.

8 | Dwight Today

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Community News | Milestones

Jack Thompson Coy with dad, Jason

Babies Physical Education teacher Jason Coy and his wife, Trista, welcomed Jack Thompson Coy on October 15, 2010. Jack weighed 9 lbs., 6 oz.

Weddings Fifth Grade teacher Betsy Buecker married Ray Doss on June 19, 2010 in Piqua, Ohio. They spent their honeymoon in Bora Bora. Ray and Betsy Doss

Physical Education Teacher Sean Davidson married Tara Martin on July 11, 2010 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Tara and Sean Davidson

Alexander Phan and Dianne Drew

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Director of Curriculum and Professional Development/MYP Coordinator Dianne Drew married Dr. Alexander Phan on August 10, 2010 in Maui, Hawaii. They honeymooned in Cairns – Barrier Reef in Australia.

Milestones | Community News

Weddings Preschool Liaison and Special Events Associate Courtney Falk married Lawson Inman on October 2, 2010 in Garden City, New York. They honeymooned in Barbados.

Fifth Grade Teacher Elizabeth Southerland married Brendan Garrett Johnson on August 14, 2010 in Manchester, Vermont. They spent their honeymoon in Southeast Asia.

Lawson and Courtney Inman

Brendan and Elizabeth Johnson

Brian and Kari Strong

First Grade Teacher Kari Van Ausdal married Brian Strong on July 3, 2010 in Brooklyn, New York. They honeymooned in Hawaii.

Preschool Blue Jays teacher Val Simone Weisman married Drew Weisman on July 3, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They honeymooned in Paris, France and Santorini, Greece.

Val and Drew Weisman

Winter 2011 |


Community News | Professional Development

Dwight and Woodside Faculty Continue Integral Professional Development Professional development is an integral tool that keeps teachers abreast of current issues in education, helps them implement innovative curriculum, and refines their best teaching practice. Keeping our teachers as informed as possible on current educational advancements, depends primarily on the opportunities they have to learn new instructional practices and school organizational roles. At Dwight, we are committed to keeping our faculty at the forefront of educational initiative and knowledge. We offer a range of professional development opportunities internally and externally, locally and internationally, across the school from preschool through twelfth grade. We send our faculty to exemplary International Baccalaureate and overseas training opportunities. Most recently three of our faculty attended the ECIS (European Council of International Schools) Annual conference in Nice. Their experiences will undoubtedly be shared with other faculty so that we can capitalize on the information obtained at this world-class educational event.

We have also expanded our summer grants educational opportunities that allow faculty to pursue higher education, subject area enrichment, and experiential learning opportunities. We have gathered on the next few pages a few snapshots of the recent summer 2010 faculty grant experiences made possible through The Dwight Foundation. They highlight the numerous educational experiences our faculty are exploring not just throughout the summer but throughout the entire calendar year. We strongly believe we have the best faculty in the world at Dwight. Their dedication, passion and enthusiasm for being life-long learners is witnessed every day in and outside of the classroom. They are excellent models for our students and the wider school community as we continually attempt to exemplify the International Baccalaureate mission. Dianne Drew Director of Curriculum and Professional Development

This past November, The Dwight School sent a team of administrators to the ECIS (European Council of International Schools) annual conference in Nice, France. This is a yearly event that provides valuable professional development opportunities focusing on international curriculum and innovative learning from around the world. Paul Sanders, Chair of the English Department, participated in a number of sessions focused on future developments affecting both American and global educational systems. He was challenged to think about reading in a broader context, and to consider the role that technological developments will change the way we think about information transmission. He also learned about a number of dramatic shifts in the way American public and international schools are beginning to embrace shared core educational standards.

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Dr. Elaine Chambart, Chair of the Foreign Language Department, attended several lectures on iPod casts and iMovies run by Apple Education. She also attended lectures on assessing international-mindedness and project-based assessments in world languages as well as a lecture focused on mega sites for internet research and virtual language learning.

Betsy Doss, Fifth Grade Teacher and PYP Co-Coordinator, attended several sessions on development of the whole child. They were based around the Learner Profile and methods for explicitly teaching to the Learner Profile and planning with it in mind. She also attended a session on discussing global issues with elementary school students. The knowledge she gained will certainly enhance the PYP Exhibition planning and action, which takes place each spring. It will also provide Dwight’s younger grades with methods for action projects that are developmentally appropriate and multi-sensory.

Professional Development | Community News

A New Artistic Outlet —Charles Shuttleworth, English Teacher I spent this summer once again traveling by bicycle - 3,400 miles over seven weeks, 3,000 of them solo, riding first in Colorado and then from the Oklahoma Panhandle to Seattle, Washington, via Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Oregon, averaging about ninety miles a day. It was all very rigorous - the winds were especially strong this year, and nearly always against me - and also all very scenic. I’ve been traveling this way for twenty-five years now, logging nearly 50,000 miles in the U.S. and Canada, including five trips across the country, traversing forty-seven states (the ones remaining are Alaska, Hawaii, and Iowa). And whereas I used to travel without a camera, not wanting to be weighed down physically and mentally by equipment or to have to stop to take photographs (just wanting to go! Go!! GO!!!), I changed my attitude several years ago and now have become an avid photographer. In striving to share what I see and experience, I’m constantly looking for the perfect angle, the perfect shot, not just to record the beauty, but also the oddities - the elegant dilapidation of an old barn, say, or a road sign that’s ironic or emblematic of local culture. As a New Yorker, immersed among people and skyscrapers, the open vistas of Western Plains feel exotic and therapeutic, mountains and outcrops more elegant than anything man-made, and animal sightings as thrilling as running into a movie star. Photography, thus, has offered me a new artistic outlet. I thank the Dwight Foundation for supporting this “spark,” and I invite everyone to view my photos at: h/2010SummerJourney#

Winter 2011 |


Community News | Professional Development

Summer Reading Institute —Suzanne Rolfson, Kindergarten Teacher This summer I attended the Summer Reading Institute held at Teachers College Columbia University in New York City, organized by the Teachers College Reading & Writing Project. The conference featured expert keynote speakers such as Lucy Calkins, Kathy Collins, and Lester Laminack. I also engaged in large group sessions and small group discussions organized by grade level. Some of the following topics were discussed at the Institute: The central role of curriculum development and planning in the teaching of reading, comprehension strategy instruction, the importance of assessment-based instruction, the role of the read-aloud book, methods of holding students accountable for doing their best work, and classroom structures that support inquiry and collaboration. Attending the Summer Reading Institute deepened my understanding of the reading workshop curriculum as a valuable method used to help students develop their literacy skills and individualize learning. I was committed to using the workshop model in my classroom prior to attending the conference, but participating in the Institute enriched my instructional repertoire. The reading strategies I learned at the Institute and implemented in the classroom have proved especially helpful in differentiating student learning. I have studied the work of Lucy Calkins, the creator of the Institute, for many years, and it was an honor and thrill to listen to her lectures about her approach to teaching reading to elementary school students. During a memorable lecture, Calkins told teachers that students need a clear image of their goals and it is a teacher’s great task to make these goals come alive through the art of storytelling. Calkins reminded teachers that reading is an art, not a science. Lester Laminack was another informative speaker at the conference who was particularly inspiring. Laminack compared teaching children to read with taking a trip. He explained that students should not just be tourists while reading a text by searching for specific landmarks, main ideas, characters, moods, and settings. Rather, teachers should invite students to be residents in texts by entering and living in the book with an adventurous spirit, open to anything. Exploring the text with this approach yields endless opportunities for inquiry

14 | Dwight Today

and immeasurable learning. Laminack also challenged teachers to shield children from feeling pressure when learning to read. Teachers should inspire children to read by being their wind, not their anchors. I am grateful to Dwight for the opportunity to attend the Reading Institute. It was exciting and informative to participate in the conference, and I hope to continue to extend my knowledge of literacy by applying to the Teachers College Writing Institute next summer.

NAEYC Conference —Rochelle Miller, Preschool Director An opportunity to participate in the NAEYC Conference (National Association for the Education of Young Children) is always a privilege. Any educator who works with young children is welcome to join this energizing, national conference. The organization welcomes all early educators regardless of the type of curriculum their school encompasses; they promote excellence in early childhood education and emphasize that any curriculum/activity designed for young children be developmentally appropriate. This past November, preschool teachers Rachel Rubin and Allison DiVito accompanied me to the annual conference, this year held in Anaheim, California. The workshops featured exploration of many areas of early education including curriculum, math, science, literacy, health/nutrition/safety, music/movement, art, social/emotional issues for children and staff, working with parents and community organizations, as well as administration. One of the most notable was the keynote speaker, Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, the renowned pediatrician, who spoke about the development and needs of children and families in the twentyfirst century. “The NAEYC conference was a uniquely rewarding experience as it provided the opportunity to be surrounded by thousands of like-minded individuals passionate about early childhood education,” said Ms. Rubin. I came away from the conference inspired and ready to put into action the many new ideas I had acquired.”

Professional Development | Community News

Attending the conference made Ms. DiVito eager to return to the classroom in hopes that her students will benefit from the abundant knowledge and techniques she acquired in areas such as math, literacy, science, cooking and circle time.  “I found the experience to be very rewarding in a number of ways; namely in that it had me reflect on my practice in a comprehensive manner,” she said.  “Whether it is a new game to play as a group or a new method of reading a story, what I gained from the conference has put a smile on the face of many students, and that is a reward unlike any other.”

The Learning Child —Caroline Farrell, Preschool Curriculum Coordinator Dorothy Cohen beautifully summarizes the focus for this year’s 92nd Street Y’s Annual Wonder Play Conference, Working with the 21st Century Child & Family: Preparing Today’s Young Children for the World of the Future. Life as we know it has become fastpaced, and the influence of technology is rapidly changing the way we learn, communicate and connect with one another. At the Wonder Play Conference, we heard from experts in education, child development, psychology and related fields on various topics like How Technology Affects Boy Play and How 21st Century Living Impacts Sensory Development in Young Children. The preschool staff were inspired by the day and gained more knowledge and perspective on how to support children and families for the changes ahead.

IB Americas Regional Conference —Elaine Natalicchi, Timothy House Dean I applied for a grant to attend the IB Americas Regional Conference in Miami Beach, Florida, last July. I have attended such conferences since Dwight has been authorized to deliver the Primary Years Program, both as a participant and as a presenter. The conference provides an excellent opportunity for teachers and administrators to exchange ideas and share best practices. The theme this past year was “Exploring cultures, Expanding minds,” which was appropriate for an

IB setting. Plenary session speakers included Greg Mortenson, Wade Davis, and Alma Guillermoprieto. Greg Mortenson has established 131 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan, providing education to over 58,000 children, of whom 44,000 are girls. He has written two books about his experiences, Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools. This man’s vision continues to transform the face of Central Asia. Wade Davis, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, is one of the world’s most distinguished anthropologists. He is celebrated for his work to protect the “ethnosphere,” a term he uses to describe indigenous cultures made up of thoughts, beliefs, myths and institutions of native people the world over. One fact that struck me was that of the seven thousand languages spoken in the world, half are not being taught to children, and every fortnight one language dies out with the last elder, a gradual loss of humanity’s social, cultural and intellectual legacy. Alma Guillermoprieto is a highly esteemed journalist born in Mexico and raised partly in the United States. She has become an expert on Latin America, having won accolades for her work on the subject. She gave us lively anecdotes from her personal experiences, both amusing and truly frightening. Each day, following the address by a plenary speaker, participants were offered any array of choices for break-out sessions. I chose “Organized Inquiry in Writing Instruction,” as this is the gold standard for Timothy House’s young writers. Three teachers from Bradenton, Florida, gave a framework for writing workshops organized around a mentor text chosen for its connection with the unit of inquiry being explored. Emphasis was placed on the writer’s craft and how students can develop these qualities in their writing. The session that had the greatest resonance for me was Dr. Bertie Kingore’s “Tiered Learning Stations: Increased Achievement, High-level Thinking, and Joyful Learning.” I have been to previous workshops of hers and have derived much from her no-nonsense, spirited, hands-on approach to learning. Kingore contends that the students who at the beginning of the school year are struggling will make the most progress by the end. Those in the middle will advance as expected, but the high-achievers will make comparatively fewer gains, unless ways are found to challenge them. Her practical tools for doing just this are available in abundance on her website, and

Winter 2011 |


Community News | Professional Development

I have purchased her books on differentiation and assessment for use in Timothy House, and I am preparing a mini-workshop in the area of differentiation for early next year. What I have learned and experienced in the realm of the PYP will be useful to our Timothy House teachers when applicable. Having attended the IB Americas workshop has certainly enhanced my ability as an IB PYP trainer to present the most comprehensive current practices in the field, whether in workshops or on-site visits.

Reggio-Inspired Thinking and Practice —Caroline Farrell, Preschool Curriculum Coordinator Last November, Dwight’s preschool teachers attended The Blue School and Beginnings Nursery School workshop on Inquiry, Documentation and Relationship: Reggio-Inspired Thinking and Practice. The day began with a school visit to the Beginnings Nursery School, followed by a neighborhood field trip/map tour lead by the children and teachers from the Blue School and ended with a presentation from Amelia Gambetti and Lella Gandini on their experiences in the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Designing a Community of Independent Readers and Writers —Rebecca Myers, Kindergarten Teacher I am currently pursuing a master’s degree in Literacy at Hunter College in order to further my education and build on the skills that I have acquired over the past eleven years as a kindergarten teacher. I am completing my third semester at Hunter College and most definitely plan to complete this program by Fall 2011. I wanted this grant and will continue to apply for the same grant next year because I want to continue to design a community of learning that enables students to read and write independently. It is important as readers and writers, that children independently use reading and writing strategies to construct meaning, build understanding, communicate, and value reading and writing. I feel that children are

16 | Dwight Today

capable of learning and acquiring the skills to be independent readers and writers if they are presented with developmental approaches that support their strengths and needs. As an educator and as a student in the Literacy program at Hunter, I continue to challenge, motivate, engage, and support students in becoming readers, writers, speakers, thinkers, and listeners. I focus on creating a meaningful literacy environment that allows children to reflect and take ownership of their learning. I chose to pursue a master’s in Literacy because I feel that literacy education is the core of learning; it interrelates with all aspects of life. I believe that literacy learning occurs in a classroom that encourages active involvement, involves a variety of instructional approaches, builds upon each child’s strengths, and fosters a lifelong appreciation of literature, oral, and written expression. The Literacy Program has helped me to become a thoughtful and responsive literacy educator because it has provided me with the knowledge of the foundations of reading and writing processes and instruction, and the necessary tools and skills to be an effective educator and evaluator. I continue to stay informed on new and more effective practices such as assessment tools, portfolios and reading standards. After receiving my master’s degree, I hope to become a reading specialist or a literacy coordinator. Until then, I will continue to model reading and writing behaviors, and teach students to use strategic actions across instructional texts (intonation, phrasing, predicting, synthesizing, etc.), while using appropriate reading behaviors. I will continue to provide a balanced literacy approach in my classroom, where I will provide my students with various genres, meaningful literacy instruction, and opportunities to build connections between prior knowledge and new information. I will also create literacy activities that build upon each child’s strengths, and scaffold their learning as they move toward independence in reading, writing, and thinking. Most importantly, as a literacy educator, I will encourage students to be active in their literacy learning and personal developments, and provide a safe classroom community where children will feel they can flourish as readers and writers.

Professional Development | Community News

A Summer at the Greenwich House Pottery —Claudette Lopez-Lewis, Art Teacher

A piece of pottery that Mrs. Lopez-Lewis created this summer

Well, there I was, back at the Greenwich House Pottery located in the heart of the West Village on Jones Street. On entering one can feel the creativity exuding from every crevice. “The Pottery,” as it’s lovingly called, was started in 1909 to create a feeling of creativity and community in the then-poor neighborhood of Greenwich Village, especially amongst the children. That means people have been making pots there for just over a century, and those walls do talk! I am a lower school art teacher and have seen how therapeutic working in clay is for all ages, but most especially for our little ones, who, for the most part, live in ‘highly’ urban settings, and have little opportunity to experience the primordial feel of squelching mud in the hands. When they are shown how to turn that mud into a piece of art and are given full reign to create whatever their hearts’ desire, the joy is immeasurable. Last year, I received a grant to attend two lectures at “The Pottery” on two different types of hand-building techniques, but that had only served to whet my appetite. So this year, I applied for another grant to further my knowledge and efficiency in teaching pottery. I signed up for a wheel class and a hand-building class. Sheryl Zacharia was my teacher in the hand-building class. She was ideal, she was very experienced and had a very eclectic approach to pottery that allowed us to explore and push the

clay to wherever you and it wanted to go. I was a “duck in water,” and my fellow classmates, most of whom were regulars and very knowledgeable, were there to encourage and share little tricks. Every day we had these special snacks that we all contributed to… oh the camaraderie, it was heaven! The wheel was a major challenge. I walked in to the class with the thought in the back of my mind… ‘Hey, I’m an art teacher, I have some experience with clay, I did it back in high school, after all, how hard can this be?” I looked around at my fellow students, a science student from Princeton needing a mental break from studies, a real estate agent, a longshoreman, and a couple of old guys… “Piece of cake,” I thought. Hah! Famous last words. I couldn’t get the hang of the wheel!! Albert Pfarr, our instructor, told us this was to be expected, that it’s like riding a bicycle. I was humbled but still determined, especially on seeing the eighteen-year-old Princeton student nailing the technique in one session, not to mention those “old guys!” I am truly grateful for the wonderful opportunity this grant has given me, but I have now started something that needs to be completed. How do I teach the children other techniques? How to understand the technique of glazing to pass on to the class? “Please Madam/Sir, may I have more?”

Winter 2011 |


Community News | New Faculty

Ashley Adams

Assistant Teacher (4s Orange Clownfish) Ashley is originally from Charleston, South Carolina. She received her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of South Carolina and is in the process of completing her master’s degree in Language and Literacy. She recently moved to Manhattan with her fiancé, Alex. In her free time, Ashley enjoys exploring the city, traveling, going to the beach and spending time with her fiancé as well as their dog, Heyward.

Nicole Arriaga Ashley Adams

Nicole Arriaga

Second Grade Teacher Nicole attended Columbia University, where she obtained her BA in American Studies and Childhood Education, her master’s degree from Teachers College in Bilingual Education (English/Spanish), and a certificate in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). During her studies, she student taught and did independent research in fourth and fifth grade Dual Language classrooms. She later worked as a first grade teacher in a transitional bilingual education classroom. After teaching first grade for two years, Nicole relocated to Frankfurt, Germany, where she taught English as a Second Language to adults and worked as a third grade teacher at The Frankfurt International School, teaching the Primary Years Program. Nicole is originally from Queens, New York and in her free time enjoys dancing salsa as well as other styles of Latin dance.

Nina Bailey

English and Social Studies Teacher Nina received a bachelor’s degree in English from Tufts University, where she graduated magna cum laude and composed her senior thesis on James Joyce’s Ulysses. She began her teaching career at New York University as an instructor of freshman writing courses while earning a master’s degree in the Humanities. Nina then moved home to the San Francisco Bay Area to teach high school English at the Branson School. After several years of teaching at Branson, she returned to New York and began teaching English and writing at Bay Ridge Preparatory School and Legal Outreach. In addition to teaching, Nina loves writing essays and stories, travelling to Spanish-speaking countries, and cooking for her friends and family. Nina Bailey

Jaya Bhavnani

18 | Dwight Today

Jaya Bhavnani Math Teacher

Jaya’s teaching career started in Bombay and has spanned various continents and countries. Whether teaching in Muscat (Oman), Dubai, or Santiago College (Chile), her positive attitude and multilingual skills have helped make bonding relationships with diverse individuals. She has taught students Mathematics, Physics, General Science and Environmental Science to Middle and High School students. She has also been involved in counseling and training students for college admissions. In addition to having participated in several workshops related to the IGCSE and IB Curriculum, she has served as a project supervisor for the Mondialogo UNESCO Contest, Education Committee Officer for the Emirates Environmental Group, and led educational workshops conducted by the Association of British Schools in Chile. She holds a Bachelor of Education degree and a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Mathematics and Physics from Bombay University. She enjoys watching movies, reading and travelling. Mrs. Bhavnani is married and the proud mother of a beautiful, young entrepreneur. A passionate educator, she firmly believes that as a teacher, there is a lot to learn!

New Faculty | Community News

Jonah Bowles

Physical Education Teacher Jonah has a BA in Musical Theatre from Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and has worked across the country as an actor, singer, dancer, and fight choreographer. In addition to coaching P.E., he is also the Lead Instructor for The Little Gym of Harlem, working with children ages four months to twelve years old in gymnastics, karate, dance, and sports skills. In his rare moments of free time he enjoys tumbling, marine conservation, crocheting, and walking through as much of New York City as possible.

Shira Caplan

Jonah Bowles

Teacher (2s Blue Jays) Shira was born and raised in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. After attending a performing arts middle school and high school where her focus was on painting, drawing, photography and sculpture, Shira moved to New York to attend New York University. After graduating from NYU with a BA in Art History, Shira worked in the international non-profit field for six years prior to making a career change to follow her passion for teaching. Pursuing that passion, Shira is currently completing her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education at Hunter College. Shira enjoys spending time with her husband and family, running, reading, and watching home improvement and cooking shows.

Joseph Dowling

Shira Caplan

Director of Facilities Joseph has served as Supervisor of Operations and Security at New York’s Chapin School for the past twelve years. He has attended many conferences and received extensive training in managing a safe and sound school environment. Joe is an active member of The Green Schools Alliance and is committed to reducing his carbon footprint. Prior to his work at The Chapin School, Joe spent twenty-three years as a Superintendent for the NYC Department of Sanitation helping to establish the NYC residential recycling program. In his spare time Joe loves being with his family and is a die-hard New York Giants fan.

Al Doyle

Technology Teacher Al, a native of Brooklyn, has interests ranging from art, animation, set design, digital imaging and most recently, game design. He was the producer and lead animator for the Salvadori Foundation’s Art of Construction web site designed to teach basic architecture and engineering to middle school students. For more than twenty years, he taught computer graphics and multimedia at leading independent New York City K-12 schools. Al developed a popular course for adults, Learning Photoshop Through Art, at the Guggenheim Museum Sackler Center for Arts Education. Al received a Jerome Foundation Fellowship to create a portfolio of prints at Bob Blackburn’s Printmaking Workshop. His print Night, Death and Devil is part of the Library of Congress collection. As Director of Internet Training at the National Teacher Training Institute for Thirteen / WNET in New York, he traveled extensively in a “train the trainers” model of technology integration for K-12 teachers. Currently, Al teaches courses for teachers at Touro College in the master’s degree program in Instructional Technology. Al holds an MA in Studio Art from New York University and a BS in Art Education from SUNY New Paltz.

Joseph Dowling

Al Doyle

Winter 2011 |


Community News | New Faculty

Courtney Falk

Preschool Liaison and Special Events Associate Before joining The Dwight School, Courtney was the Development Coordinator at Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe in New York. Prior to Orrick, Courtney was the Development Associate and Special Events Coordinator for The Epiphany School Foundation. Courtney graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2005 with a degree in Criminology. She was born and raised in Garden City, New York, and currently lives on the Upper East Side.

Rebekah Friedman Courtney Falk

Kindergarten Teacher Rebekah is joining the kindergarten team at Dwight after teaching pre-k for two years at Dwight’s Preschool. Rebekah holds a master’s degree in childhood Education and Literacy from the Bank Street College of Education and completed her undergraduate studies at Bates College. Prior to teaching at the Preschool, Rebekah taught kindergarten and first grade as an associate teacher at the Packer Collegiate Institute and Dalton. She grew up on Long Island and enjoys playing soccer and tennis, exploring the city, and spending time with her fiancé and family.

Laura Giraldo Rebekah Friedman

Laura Giraldo

Gabrielle Goodman

20 | Dwight Today

Language and Upper Quest Teacher Born in Colombia and raised in New York, Laura graduated with an IB Diploma from The Dwight School. She then attended Vassar College and received a bachelor’s degree with honors in Italian Studies. Continuing with her passion for languages, she earned a master’s degree in Italian Studies from Middlebury College. Prior to teaching at Dwight, Laura earned a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Connecticut. While working at a non-profit legal clinic, she was able to use her language skills by speaking to clients in their native tongues. Recognizing the importance of learning a foreign language, Laura joins the Dwight faculty and is looking forward to inspiring students to do the same. Her interests include traveling, reading, and cooking.

Gabrielle Goodman

Fourth Grade Teacher Gabrielle joins Dwight this year after recently completing fieldwork for her master’s degree, where she taught both second and fourth grade, and worked as a reading specialist in New York City public schools. She is trained in a variety of reading instruction methods, including both Orton-Gillingham and Reading Rescue. Currently, Gabrielle is finishing a dual master’s certification in General Elementary Education and Literacy at Bank Street College. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Michigan, and, during her undergraduate career, she also spent time studying abroad in Florence at Lorenzo de Medici Italian International Institute. Prior to teaching, Gabrielle spent three years as a journalist with a focus in both political and financial journalism. She began writing at US News & World Report and moved into an editorial position at SourceMedia, a publisher of financial trade magazines and newspapers. Gabrielle also has a passion for food, fusing this interest with her writing abilities to collaborate on New York restaurant reviews with the Zagat Survey. She also enjoys cooking and developing new recipes. Gabrielle is looking forward to an exciting and challenging school year!

New Faculty | Community News

Ashley Haughton

Development Administrator Ashley joined Dwight’s Development Office in 2011 after completing her service as a Teach for America corps member in Phoenix, Arizona, where she taught third grade at Gateway Elementary School. Prior to this experience, Ashley worked as an Executive Assistant at The Delaware River Mill Society, a small non-profit historical site situated along the Delaware River in Stockton, New Jersey. Ashley earned her undergraduate BA from Douglass College at Rutgers University, where she majored in Anthropology and Women’s and Gender Studies. As a Douglass Scholar, she completed a senior thesis and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Society. She also earned a certificate in Women’s Leadership and Social Change from the Institute for Women’s Leadership and currently serves on their alumnae board. Most recently, she completed her master’s degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University. Ashley’s passions include traveling, cooking, spending time with friends, and exploring new places and things.

Ashley Haughton

Molly Hensrud Preschool Administrative Assistant Originally from Fargo, North Dakota, Molly received her BA in Vocal Performance from the University of Denver. Outside the office, she enjoys spinning, spending time with her family, singing, and reading.

Molly Hensrud

Diana Hirtle

English and Social Studies Teacher Diana is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She earned her Master of Arts in Teaching of English from Columbia University’s Teachers College in 2010. Diana student taught sixth, seventh, eighth, and eleventh graders while working towards her degree. She attended the University of Virginia for her undergraduate education where she received her Bachelor of Arts in English. Before moving to New York, Diana lived in San Francisco for two years, where she worked in wealth management and in development at a private high school in Marin County. In her free time she enjoys cooking, photography, traveling and reading. Diana spends her summers in Jackson, Wyoming, where she will be married in July.

Diana Hirtle

Michele Hoos

Director of Global and Digital Communications Originally from Connecticut, Michele started her career teaching English and advising the yearbook at a high school in New Jersey, where she eventually moved into a communications role. She then earned a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Before joining the Dwight community, she spent a year as a teaching fellow at Columbia, working with faculty and students to enhance the digital media program. In her spare time, Michele enjoys writing and photography.

Michele Hoos

Winter 2011 |


Community News | New Faculty

Ashley Huckabone Teacher (3s White Rabbits)

Ashley Huckabone

Ashley is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Literacy Education at Hunter College. She received her bachelor’s degree from SUNY New Paltz in Childhood Education. She tutored and substitute taught since moving to New York City in 2008. In addition, she worked as a teacher/implementer for a curriculum company that is based on using a variety of games to teach and practice higher order thinking skills, and social skills. Ashley enjoys running, doing yoga, cooking, traveling, and spending time with family, especially her niece and nephew.

Fiona Imboden Co-Director Ambassador Programs and Associate Director Student Activities

Fiona Imboden

Born in Yorkshire, England, Fiona has been involved in numerous parent-teacher groups and youth sports organizations in Atlanta, Georgia and New York City. Fiona has been a proud and busy stay-at-home-mom for sixteen years. Prior to becoming a full-time mom, she worked for seven years in her own childcare business and as a teacher in a private preschool. She has been involved with the Dwight Parents Association (PA) since 2005 and served two terms as the PA President. Fiona lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Bill, and their son, Race ’11.

Alexandra Isham Fourth Grade Intern

Alexandra Isham

Alexandra is a new intern in Timothy House. She received her undergraduate degree in Communications and Sociology from the University of Denver in June 2009. She was born and raised in New York City.

Megan Konieczny

Teacher (3s Silver Elephants) Megan holds degrees in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. Prior to teaching at Dwight, Megan was the pre-kindergarten director and lead teacher at a private school in Los Angeles. She grew up in Chicago and also taught preschool there for several years. In her free time, Megan enjoys watching movies, exploring the city, and baking. Megan Konieczny

Melissa Lachman

Communications Associate Melissa was born in Los Angeles, California, but considers herself a New Yorker. She grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and currently lives in Staten Island. She graduated from Boston University’s College of Communication in May 2009 where she developed her writing and communication skills. At Boston University, she supplemented her Advertising major with a concentration in International Relations. She has a strong interest in foreign cultures, traveling, and community service. After graduating Melissa worked for an online marketing firm where she developed and implemented various social media campaigns. Melissa Lachman

22 | Dwight Today

New Faculty | Community News

Jacqueline Leitzes

Director of Annual Giving and Major Gifts Jacqueline joined Dwight’s Development Office in 2010. Previously, she worked as the Director of Development at The Summer Play Festival, and prior to that, she served as the Assistant Director of Development and Capital Campaign Director at The Allen-Stevenson School. In addition, she has held a variety of positions in fundraising and development at educational institutions including New York University and The Spence School. Jacqueline received her bachelor of arts, cum laude, from Vanderbilt University and holds a Certificate in Fundraising from New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. Originally from Westchester, New York, Jacqueline currently lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and in her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, and exploring New York City.

Jacqueline Leitzes

Tara McCarthy

Teacher (2s Yellow Chicks) Tara holds her bachelor’s degree in Art Education from the University of Vermont and plans to begin pursuing her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education this spring. This is her fourth year teaching two-year-olds. An outdoors enthusiast, she loves hiking, camping, and spending time outdoors with her dog.

Tara McCarthy

Megan Miller

History Teacher Megan received her bachelor’s degree in History and French from Wellesley College and her master’s degree in World History from Northeastern University. She taught for several years in Boston and worked as an Alumnae Admissions Representative for Wellesley College before moving to New York. She enjoys traveling with her family and has lived in Quebec, Strasbourg, and Geneva. Ms. Miller is also the girl’s varsity tennis coach.

Megan Miller

Matthew Moran

Math and Upper Quest Teacher Matthew is originally from Rochester, New York. While a student at Boston University, he studied Italian in Padova, Italy. He graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and a minor in Italian Language and Literature. Before coming to The Dwight School, Matthew worked as a mathematics teacher in New York and is continuing on to graduate studies in mathematics education. In his spare time, Matthew enjoys sports, reading, traveling, and blogging.

Heidi Mosser

Matthew Moran

Teacher (3s Brown Kangaroos) Heidi comes to Dwight with nine years’ experience in early childhood education. Prior to that, Heidi was the Director at Rhinelander Nursery School and the Head Pre-K teacher for four years. Before moving to Manhattan from Long Island, Heidi was a Head Teacher and Director of the Extended Kindergarten program for the Northport school district. Heidi holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Early Childhood Education from Long Island University. In her spare time, Heidi enjoys museums and theater, and spending time with her teenage son and her husband of twenty years. Heidi Mosser

Winter 2011 |


Community News | New Faculty

Wendy Puello

Spanish Teacher

Wendy Puello

Wendy holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education and Psychology. She has over eight years working with children ranging in age from two to twelve years old. She worked for two years as a Head teacher for a preschool class. Previously she worked alongside teachers in a public school setting as a student teacher and assisted in assuming the role of the teacher on many occasions. Prior to entering a major in Education, Wendy took an EMT Basic Training course which prepared and led her to working in a private ambulance company for several months. Wendy is married and the mother of a beautiful thirteen month old boy who keeps her on her toes and brings tremendous joy to her life every day. She enjoys spending time with family and enjoys the art of cooking.

Kay Ruiz

Teacher (4s Gray Dolphins)

Kay Ruiz

Kay was born in Peru but is a loyal New Yorker. She is currently attending City College to complete her bachelor’s degree in early childhood and special education. She has been teaching and tutoring children for the past two years. When she is not teaching, Kay enjoys swimming, bike riding, playing volleyball, reading, music, and spending time with her family and friends.

Aaron Sand

Science Teacher

Aaron Sand

Aaron is from Lincoln, Nebraska, and is a loyal Cornhuskers football fan. He studied philosophy and biochemistry at the University of Nebraska. He also spent some time studying medicine at The Case Western Reserve University Medical School before teaching high school science. Mr. Sand received his Master’s of Science in Education from City College and has been teaching since 2007. He is also an active painter and radio producer.

Robin Seidenfeld

Teacher (3s Brown Kangaroos)

Robin Seidenfeld

24 | Dwight Today

Robin received her undergraduate degree in Family Science and a minor in Special Education from the University of Maryland. Since then, she’s had experience working with children with varied developmental levels, ranging from typically developing to not typically developing. She is continuing a master’s degree in both Early Childhood General and Special Education at Adelphi University. Robin lives in New York City, on the Upper West Side, and loves running, yoga, and learning new things about herself and surroundings.

New Faculty | Community News

Caitlin Sullivan-Pond HR Assistant

Caitlin is originally from Montclair, New Jersey. She received a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from New York University, where she was a member of the Gamma Delta sorority. She spent her junior year abroad in London and fell in love with the city. After graduating in 2003, she moved to London, where she lived for six years. While there, Caitlin worked as a freelance photo editor, working on some of the U.K.’s top magazines. Upon returning to the U.S., she decided to pursue her passion for international education and left publishing for the opportunity to join The Dwight School. Caitlin lives on the Upper West Side with her husband and in her free time enjoys running in Central Park, rooting for the Yankees, and traveling. Caitlin Sullivan-Pond

Daniella Ulmer

Technology Teacher Daniella is originally from Toronto, Canada. After graduating high school, Daniella studied Judaic studies in Jerusalem, Israel, for a year. She then moved to New York and attended Yeshiva University, Sy Syms School of Business, graduating as the Valedictorian. Daniella recently received her MA in the Technology Specialist Program, part of the Communication, Computing and Technology in Education program from Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to joining Dwight, Daniella assisted as a student teacher at The School at Columbia University and at The Nightingale-Bamford School. She is looking forward to working with the students and faculty at Dwight to integrate technology into an already exciting curriculum.

Daniella Ulmer

Jessica Weiss

First Grade Teacher Jessica is originally from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and knew from the start she was destined to be a teacher. She received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Art from the University of Miami in 2007. After graduating, she taught third grade in an inner city public school in Miami. Jessica moved to New York City in 2008 and went back to school full-time to obtain a master’s degree from Teachers College, Columbia University within the Literacy Specialist Program. Throughout her time at Columbia University, she had the opportunity to work with both second and fourth graders as a literacy intern. Upon finishing her master’s, she taught first grade in a public school in New York City. Jessica strongly believes in fostering a classroom environment that is responsive to students’ needs and interests as well as the importance of catering to the various paces at which children acquire the skills and knowledge to achieve greatness. When Jessica isn’t teaching her interests include reading, art, spending time with her family and friends, and exploring New York City.

Jessica Weiss

Annie Zaken

Lower Quest Teacher Annie is very excited to join The Dwight School’s Lower Quest team for the 2010-2011 academic year. Annie recently graduated from New York University with a dual MA in Childhood and Special Education. Prior to attending NYU, Annie graduated with honors from Binghamton University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. Outside the classroom, Annie enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

Annie Zaken

Winter 2011 |


International Society | Fall Cocktail Reception

n Monday October 4, 2010, Chancellor and Mrs. Spahn hosted a cocktail reception at Manhattan’s SoHo House to honor members of the School’s International Society – individuals who made gifts of $1,000 or more to The Dwight School Foundation’s 2009-10 Annual Fund. Over one hundred members of the Dwight and Woodside community – including parents, alumni, former parents, faculty, and friends – attended this festive occasion. International Society gifts accounted for 95% of the record $1,233,268 raised in the 2009-10 Annual Fund. During the evening, Foundation Trustee Richard Zinman, whose wife Audrey was an Annual Fund Co-Chair along with Sam Droulias and Susan Kessler, thanked everyone for their support and encouraged their continued generosity. The group was also fortunate to hear from guest speaker Carol Bellamy, current Chair of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Board of Governors and former Director of the Peace Corps and UNICEF. Bellamy discussed the benefits of an IB education in helping to achieve the School’s mission and the importance of Annual Fund dollars to the School’s mission.

26 | Dwight Today

Fall Cocktail Reception | International Society

Winter 2011 |


ICL | Letter From the Executive Director

Dear Dwight Community: I am elated to join The Dwight School team and to have the extraor-

dinary opportunity to lead the Institute for Civic Leadership as the new Executive Director in 2011.

As an alumnus of Columbia University and the School of Public Af-

fairs at CUNY-Baruch College as well as an undergraduate admissions

interviewer, I am intimately aware of the lack of leadership training and recognition for high school civic leaders. As a former program director

for an international foundation that recognized outstanding community work in adults, I believe that we need to support and train our civic leaders at an earlier age.

Thus, I am confident and proud to say that the Institute for Civic Lead-

ership is becoming an innovator in developing sustainable high school

leaders. I invite you to consider our upcoming Leadership Academy for the high school leaders in your life.

With the recent help of a generous gift from the Alcoa Foundation, the

Institute for Civic Leadership looks forward to welcoming your children

to the Dwight International School campus in British Columbia, Canada for two weeks this August. Best wishes in 2011,

Ty Buckelew Executive Director The Institute for Civic Leadership

291 Central Park West • New York, NY

28 | Dwight Today

10024 • 212.724.7298 •

Leadership Academy | ICL

ICL Leadership Academy

Grades: Current Grades 9-11 Dates: August 1-14, 2011 For More Information: Overview:

The ICL Leadership Academy is a comprehensive, hands-on program that brings students with a passion for service together from around the world to enhance their leadership skills. The Academy helps students answer critical questions asked by both colleges and future employers: How are you a leader? How have you made a difference? Upon completion of the program, students will have an expanded skill set to “separate themselves from the crowd” in the college application process. This fourteen-day, inspirational experience is intellectually and physically challenging. After two weeks, students will become a part of a network of service leaders from around the world who share a passion for service. Students will have a different understanding of themselves and their ability to “make service count.” Students will learn how to plan and execute practical projects to better their school and community while earning credit for a leadership and sustainability course. (Students will also earn CAS/community service hours.)


• Seminars in leadership and sustainability

• Community service projects

• Work on an organic farm

• Guest lectures by global leaders

• Team-building exercises • Sports

• Canoeing/kayaking/swimming

• Ropes course

• Overnight camping /hiking trip • Whale watching


Located at the Dwight International School on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, students will have the opportunity to live in the world’s largest temperate rainforest. The wilderness surrounding the school is considered some of the most beautiful on the planet.

For more information and to fill out an application, please visit: Winter 2011 |


The D wight S chool Boys Varsity Basketball S chedule 2010-2011

2008 ACIS Champions 2009 ACIS Champions 2010 ACIS Champions

The 2010-11


if you are the big tree, we are the small axe, sharpened to cut you down .

The 2010-11

DWIGHT LA The D wight S chool Girls Varsity Basketball S chedule 2010-2011

2008-09 ACIS League Champions 2008-09 ACIS Playoff Champions




i Ar oun n m d u l School, they immediately embrace in-

ternationalism in two distinct ways:


they immerse themselves in the rigorous International Baccalaureate curriculum, the only curriculum with internationally-benchmarked exams, allowing a Dwight student to compare his or her academic performance with a counterpart in Europe, Asia, Latin America, or at any of the 3,086 IB schools worldwide. Second, they interact daily with classmates and faculty representing more than forty countries, learning new perspectives along the way. But who says the fun has to end at graduation? It certainly didn’t for the alumni on the pages that follow. An investment banker in Hong Kong, an event planner in London, an MBA student in Shanghai, an engineer in France. These are just some of the fascinating Dwight, Franklin and Anglo-American graduates who today are living, working, and studying abroad.

orld eW

hen students enroll at The Dwight

Feature | Wontae Cha ’00

Unveiling the Future of Healthcare? Wontae Cha ’00 Wontae Cha ’00 is the Director of Strategic Planning in Global Management Systems Development at CHA Health Systems, a global healthcare enterprise, which owns and operates Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, the largest privately owned hospital in Los Angeles county, twelve general hospitals through Korea, as well as two fertility treatment and anti-aging research centers in Korea and the United States. CHA Health Systems was founded by Wontae’s father, Dr. Kwang Yul Cha. Wontae received a BS in Biological Anthropology and Anatomy from Duke University in 2004 and an MA in Public Health from Yale University in 2008. What exactly is your role? For the past few years, I have been working on opening the Chaum Life Center in Seoul, Korea, the most high-class life center established to change the global medical paradigm by providing a new model for future hospitals. I participated in important decision-making processes around the opening, such as the structure and functionality of the Chaum building as well as the opening ceremony. I am proud to say that Chaum opened this fall,

36 | Dwight Today

and I am now responsible for medical tourism-related marketing, i.e. attracting foreign tourists and overseeing their care. What was the motivation and purpose of establishing CHAUM? Medical developments do not always improve the quality of life. Many diseases that were incurable in the past can be cured easily at a hospital; however, patients frequently rely on taking lots of medicine for ten to twenty years to survive, which results in poor quality of life. A preventive medical center, not just a hospital but an institute that helps individuals to live healthy lives , is necessary. This was the motivation behind Chaum. Chaum offers a one-stop totalhealth solution that enables patients situated between illness and health to utilize the latest medical examination techniques, through which both eastern and western medical methods are synthesized. In addition, they can get customized prescriptions integrated with expert advice on diet, tea, exercise, swimming, spa treatments, and more. In short, visiting Chaum leads to a healthy life. What makes CHAUM different? A couple things. Chaum integrates eastern and western medicines,

Wontae Cha ’00 | Feature

Dwight’s Alumni Network Expands to Asia! and focuses not on curing disease, but on actively managing the “grey zone” between health and illness. The medical examination is unique: Chaum provides a “cell checkup system,” in which medical personnel bring equipment and visit patients who are staying in their own independent rooms at Chaum. This represents a shift from a doctor-oriented medical examination system to a patient-oriented one. Patients can enjoy a comfortable and professional checkup in eleven individual cells with their privacy protected. Secondly, Chaum has developed Bio Insurance, a program that makes good use of stem cells, one of Cha Hospital’s main products. When healthy, an individual stores his or her stem cells and can utilize them later when he or she becomes ill. Bio insurance keeps placenta-amniotic fluid stem cells, self-fat stem cells, autoimmunity stem cells, peripheral blood stem cells, and more.

On Wednesday, August 11, Chancellor Spahn visited with Dwight alumni and current students in Seoul, Korea for the first formal alumni gathering overseas. Chancellor Spahn was in Korea to meet with the Mayor of Seoul and other top officials about a long-term partnership to operate the flagship IB school in their new Digital Media Center. Everyone first met at CHAUM where Dr. Kwang Yul Cha and his son, Wontae Cha ’00, founders of the new life center, gave alumni an exclusive tour of the facility before its opening. After exploring CHAUM, the group went to Napoli, an Italian restaurant at the Renaissance Hotel, for a lovely celebratory dinner. As Dwight’s alumni network expands, we hope to hold events in other corners of the globe as well!

Third, the medical facilities of Chaum have also introduced a range of design and cultural factors to make patients feel comfortable. We insisted on the highest level in the world from design to layout, interior, flow and finishing materials. Alexandro Mendini, a world-famous Italian designer, designed the logo and uniform, Mario Nanni, a lighting artist, was responsible for lighting for the facilities, and Rian Stevense, a chief designer of

Winter 2011 |


Feature | Wontae Cha ’00

What are your biggest priorities for the year ahead? The concept of Chaum is so new that it is difficult to get people to understand it in one sitting. People can easily confuse Chaum with a hospital, an anti-aging center, a simple health care center or a medical examination center, but Chaum is a personalized health care center that helps patients maximize their quality of life. Accordingly, my biggest priorities are marketing, education and public relations regarding Chaum’s concept.

KMD, designed the interior. Music and art have also been added to appeal to global patients who expect high quality medical care.

The Dwight School made me look at the world with a more open mind. But most of all, Chaum is a center that is rooted in the research of medical schools. Chaum has exchanged researched results with world-renowned universities including Harvard, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and The

38 | Dwight Today

BUCK Institute, the biggest antiaging research center in the US. What have you found is the biggest challenge in starting a business? Setting up this concept of integrating eastern and western medicine was a challenge, particularly persuading eastern and western medical experts around the world of the validity of this concept, and then recruiting them. We also kept challenging ourselves to develop the best facilities in order to satisfy patients from around the world.

Is there a particular accomplishment of which you are most proud? Chaum’s opening was my proudest moment. On its opening, Chaum was visited by more than 2,000 people, including more than 200 well-known figures, like Peter Henry Fonda, Kristin Davis, Sheena Easton, the most influential woman in China Yue Saikan, and Erik Bredson, a leading scholar in the field of anti-aging. People traveled from the US, China and Japan to experience Chaum’s medical services. When celebrities, Korean journalists and foreign journalists repeatedly exclaimed “wonderful,” and when the international media announced Chaum’s opening, I was deeply moved – my efforts had borne fruit. (continued on page 87)

Silvia Natalicchi ’95 | Feature

London Calling... Silvia Natalicchi ’95

Silvia Natalicchi ’95 is living in London and is the Deputy Head of Events at Caspian Publishing. She received a BS in Business from the University of Edinburgh in 1999. Silvia is the daughter of Elaine Natalicchi, Dean of Timothy House.

combine my passion with my career.

What brought you to London? I grew up in London and absolutely love it!

What advice would you give others interested in working/ studying/living abroad? Gain a good basic knowledge of the language before you go so you can really integrate yourself with the locals and gain a deeper appreciation for the culture. Create a hit list of things you want to see and do when you are out there, but also let yourself roam the streets and discover unknown areas off the beaten track.

There are so many amazing places in the world. Explore as many of them as you can! What inspired you to do event planning? I always loved organizing parties and get-togethers, so I wanted to

Do you use a language other than English in your work? I have used Italian and French for events in both Italy and France. I grew up speaking Italian (my father is from Italy), and I learned French at school.

Who was your favorite teacher? Mr. Samuels for bringing history to life and really engaging his students. Who is the most interesting person you’ve worked with? Many of our events involve entrepreneurs such as the founders of, EasyJet, LOVEFilm, Orange, Carphone Warehouse, Pret a Manger, Caffe Nero, and Lush. It is always incredibly inspiring to hear their stories of how they became so successful. What have you learned? There are so many amazing places in the world. Explore as many of them as you can!

Winter 2011 |


Feature | Hannah Levi ’10

Gap Year Globetrotter Hannah Levi ’10 Hannah Levi ’10 is taking a gap year between graduating from Dwight and starting college. She will start at University of Edinburgh in the fall of 2011 where she plans to study Psychology. How are you spending your gap year? I just finished three weeks of volunteering with Afrikids in the upper east region of Ghana, and I am currently in Italy studying Art History. Next I plan to volunteer in South America for about three months (Brazil, Argentina and Peru) before returning to Kenya for six weeks at the end of the academic year to volunteer at the WISER school. Accompanying me on this gap year is my cousin and best friend, Rebecca. How did your experience in Ghana compare with your current experience in Italy? The two experiences are polar opposites. In Ghana, we were entirely independent, structuring our own days and meeting new people on the way. In Italy, we are with an organized group with two tutors (leaders) and eleven other gap year students. Our days are planned out with the group from morning until evening. In Italy, we are here to learn about History of Art, focusing on the churches and how religious art impacted Italian History,

40 | Dwight Today

whereas in Ghana, we didn’t really have a focus. We spent the days experiencing everyday scenarios and, as a result, learning about the Ghanaian culture from that perspective. Another huge difference is the food. Often in Ghana, we were quite hungry, either due to a lack of food or dislike of the food. Unless we brought snacks along with us, we would have to manage without meals. Here in Italy, as you can imagine, we are probably eating more than we usually would since the food is amazing and there are restaurants everywhere! Tell us about your living conditions.  Are you living in a home, apartment, dorm, etc? In Ghana, we were living in a foster home of forty children ranging from newborns to nineteen-year olds.  My cousin and I shared a basic room with  two beds and a cupboard. We spent most nights hanging out with the children and so we only used our room to sleep  in. Surprisingly, our hotel room in Venice isn’t much better. It is a basic room with  three beds and a bathroom. It has been a huge shock to have mosquitoes in Venice as well as Ghana!  In South America, we will  be staying in a hostel with other young volunteers, and in Kenya we will be in the WISER boarding school.

Hannah Levi ’10 | Feature

Do you use any language other than English? If so, what language and how often? In Ghana, we learned useful phrases for everyday living, but almost everyone speaks English so we were able to get by quite easily. Some of the younger foster children surprisingly spoke even better English than they did Frafra since they’ve had so many visitors from the UK. In Italy, we’ve also learned useful phrases and try to use them as much as possible, but our leaders speak pretty good Italian and most people also speak English. I would love to be able to speak some Italian by the end of the six weeks. What has been the toughest part of living abroad? There was one day in Ghana in particular I will never forget. Rebecca and I decided to shadow one of the girls at school for the day. We had spent a lot of time teaching at the school sponsored by Afrikids so we thought it would be interesting to see some of the other schools in the area. We turned up at one and sat at the back of the class with around fifty students. When we entered, the students all stood up assuming we were the teachers. After explaining we were simply a friend of one of their classmates, they still begged us to teach. When half

an hour later still no teacher had turned up, we began teaching them French. We did role plays in French with volunteers and played games like Hangman. Four and half hours later, we were still standing at the front of the class teaching. Three times we noticed teachers  walking around the school peering into the classrooms. We soon found out that there was a population census and so quite a few of the teachers were working for that. During this time, the students are expected to sit in the classroom, studying in silence. If patrolling teachers caught them either talking or out of their seats,

the students would be caned.  That the school had many teachers doing nothing, yet had not provided substitutes, was extremely hard to see.  The students  are so eager to learn and will  do anything to get a decent education, but the  teachers  are clearly not putting in  the same effort. Not only are the teachers breaking the Ghanaian law, since caning has now been banned, but it seems that  they are also unaware of the passion the students have for education.  Coming from the western world, where students are given the opportunity to learn but often take it for granted,

Winter 2011 |


Feature | Hannah Levi ’10

around 9:30 am to  begin our  tours around churches, chapels, scuolas, and galleries, looking specifically at the  architecture and the  paintings inside. We get a couple of  hours off for lunch and then meet again for a similar afternoon session. We go out for dinner as a group, and then go to a bar  for an hour or so afterwards (drinking age  is eighteen in Europe!).

I found  it extremely tough to  witness the opposite where students wanted to learn but teachers didn’t want to teach. Describe a typical day. In Ghana, we woke up at 6:00 am,  showered, had breakfast, and left by 7:00 am. We were picked up in a car by one of the Afrikids staff who taught at the school and drove for about half an hour. We watched the morning assemblies, and began teaching at 8:00 am. We spent most of the day in the library, working with  kids of all ages. We left school at 3:30 pm and usually visited another Afrikids project on the way home before returning to the foster home where we spent the rest of the night socializing with the children.  In Italy, we usually meet at

42 | Dwight Today

If you are interested in traveling, when else is better to go than between high school and college? What advice would you give other Dwight students interested in living abroad? I would definitely encourage living abroad. It is extremely important to explore other cultures and open your eyes to aspects of life that you wouldn’t otherwise experience. Go to a place that you have never been before, or spend a longer time in a place you know only slightly. Part of the reason I didn’t spend my year in Israel is I already know the culture. One thing that I am so glad I did in advance is guaranteeing my place at university. Quite a few people on my course are stressed about their applications, so sort that out in senior year rather than during your year off. If you are interested in

traveling, when else is better to go than between high school and college? Later in life, you will have the stress of needing a job, so why not take the opportunity when it’s right there? Who was your favorite teacher at Dwight? Why? My favorite teachers are Mrs. Bennett and Ms. Clark. Although they never taught me in an academic subject, they were the two who supported me with the DwightWISER partnership. Together, we have arranged various events and fundraisers, and I even lived with them for two weeks in Kenya! We have similar goals for WISER, and I feel comfortable sharing my ideas with them. I am confident that they will continue to support me when putting my ideas into a reality. Who is the most interesting person you’ve met? The foster home in Ghana is run by Mama Laadi. Mama Laadi was a poor lady in her early twenties who rented out a single room to live in when she began looking after little children on the street. This continued until she had fourteen children living in that one room, struggling for food and drink. Once Afrikids found her, they sponsored a foster home for forty children, along with (continued on page 87)

Guido Bouw, Anglo ’88 | Feature

From Anglo to Amsterdam... Guido Bouw, Anglo ’88 Guido Bouw, Anglo ’88, is currently living in the city center of Amsterdam, the Netherlands where he works as the Commercial Director at Sport2Media. Guido received a BS in Business Administration from Nyenrode Business Universiteit in 1991 and a MS in Political Science from Vrije Universiteit in 1996. What brought you to Amsterdam? I was born in Amsterdam but moved to New York City because of my father’s work. I went to AngloAmerican for the IB and after graduation, I moved back to Amsterdam for university. What do you do professionally? I work in the field of sports marketing and media as the Commercial Director at Sport2Media. At Sport2Media, we bring sports organizations, sponsors and the fans closer together by using different new media techniques and efforts. Digitalization costs for video production and distribution keep falling, which makes it easier for  organizations to enhance TV and internet content for themselves and their sponsors. We put the theory of the ‘long tail’ into practice. It is evident that even though there are a lot of sports on television,

there are always die-hard fans who want to see even more. What inspired you to enter this field? Sports play a great role in life and societies, for individuals and collectives. The competitiveness of the athletes and the passion of the fans make it a powerful, almost explosive, environment to work in. Do you use a language other than English in your work? Which one? Where did you learn it? My native tongue is Dutch, but in my work and frequent international travel, I speak French, Spanish, and

German when necessary. Not many people in this world speak Dutch.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Be interested in local things and customs. But always be yourself. What advice would you give others interested in working/ studying/living abroad?  When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Be interested in local things and customs. But always be yourself.

Winter 2011 |


Feature | Steven Schechter, Franklin ’71

Video Gaming in Hong Kong Steven Schechter, Franklin ’71

Steven Schechter, Franklin’71, is currently living in Hong Kong where he works as the Vice President of Operations for Outblaze, a global video game developer and publisher. Steven received a BA in Communications from Emerson College in 1975. What brought you to Hong Kong? I was searching for a job in Tokyo with no success, and then the company I was working for had an opening in Hong Kong, and I thought, “At least it’s closer to Tokyo than New York.” I came here

44 | Dwight Today

for a year in 1995. When the year was up and the company wanted to send me back to New York, I found another job here instead. What do you do professionally? I’m Vice President of Operations for Outblaze, a global company based in Hong Kong that develops and publishes video games – with a focus on online and mobile games.  We’ve developed games and community websites for Ben 10, Tom and Jerry, Hello Kitty, Tuzki and others.   Aside from looking at internal operations and doing some business development, I oversee some of our partnership

Steven Schechter, Franklin ’71 | Feature

arrangements, manage our social media marketing, and I’ve created an in-house training program. I also co-own a successful photo studio and workshop with some friends. In my spare time, I write a relatively successful blog and have contributed articles and photographs to local magazines and newspapers. What inspired you to enter this field? After twenty-four years working in IT, I was burned out and looking for a change.  I knew the CEO of Outblaze and had a few friends working there and it seemed like an interesting company (it was named Hong Kong’s IT Company of the Year in 2009 by Computerworld Magazine).   So it was the chance to take up a different kind of role in an interesting company in an area that’s growing faster than many people realize.

What has been the toughest part of living abroad? Hong Kong does not offer the same range of cultural activities as cities like New York – I miss the choices New York offers in music, theater and museums. But like anything else, I’ve found other activities and interests to fill the gaps. What advice would you give others interested in working/ studying/living in abroad?  Do it now.   Don’t hesitate.   Do it yesterday if possible.   It will give you experience and knowledge that you couldn’t possibly get by playing it safe and staying in your own backyard.   

Do you have a mentor? Yes. He was the CFO at Warner Home Video (my previous employer).   He was incredibly generous in terms of sharing his knowledge and his time with me.  Even though Do you use a language other we’ve both left the company, we rethan English in your work?  main in constant contact.  Which one?  Where did you Who was your favorite teachlearn it? Our company is primarily English- er? Why? based.   I speak a little Cantonese, From my days at Franklin, Dr. ElMandarin, Japanese, Thai, and Ta- liott is the one who stands out the galog, but I’m far from fluent in any most.  I loved that he taught Histoof them. The only one I formally ry by asking questions that made us studied was Mandarin, but that was think about cause and effect rather just a month in Fudan University in than asking us to just memorize a series of names and dates. Shanghai in the summer of 2005.  

Is there a particular accomplishment or accolade that makes you especially proud? I was a member of the management team that set up a joint venture in Shanghai in the early 00’s for Warner Home Video. To this day, it remains the only Hollywood studio that is directly distributing DVDs in China.

My life and my career have taken me to places that I wouldn’t have even dared to fantasize about when I was younger.

What have you learned? The biggest lesson was one that I learned early on. Don’t come here with an attitude of, “I’m an American; we’re the best, and “It’s my way or the highway.”   By keeping my eyes and ears open, by keeping myself open to new ideas and solutions, I’ve been successful in leading teams and projects, and I’ve learned an incredible amount about the cultures and history in Asia.  My life and my career have taken me to places that I wouldn’t have even dared to fantasize about when I was younger.

Winter 2011 |


Feature | Jennifer Lee ’10

Teaching in Beijing Before Studying in Ithaca Jennifer Lee ’10

I assisted in several of the English taught classes such as physics, chemistry, and English, but, by the end, I found myself teaching an entire literature class on my own! Where were you living? I was living with a tenth grade girl, Helen Li, and her mother and father about twenty minutes from school on the outskirts of Beijing.

Jennifer Lee ’10 is a freshman at Cornell University. She spent her summer teaching at Capital Normal University in Beijing, China.

I wanted to have an adventure; I wanted to go somewhere on my own where I didn’t know the language or culture.

How did you decide to spend your summer in Beijing? I decided halfway through senior year after all the college stress was over that I wanted to have an adventure. I wanted to go somewhere on my own where I didn’t know the language or culture. I had always wanted to go to China and Beijing seemed like the perfect place. What were you doing? In Beijing I was an assistant teacher for tenth and eleventh graders at Dwight’s High School attached to Capital Normal University. At first

46 | Dwight Today

Did you use any language other than English? If so, what language, how often and where did you learn it? While I was teaching, I predominately used English; however, at nights I learned Chinese with my host mother. At first, it was a challenge given she didn’t know any English, but ultimately it was better for me because I learned proper Chinese pronunciation. With my basic Chinese, I wandered around Beijing on my own, sightseeing and shopping. After school ended in Beijing, I joined the China Prep group and travelled to several cities all over China where I learned even more Chinese. Describe a typical day. I would wake up, get ready for school and eat breakfast with the family. Breakfast was really different; it always consisted of a really thick rice-based soup with either

Jennifer Lee ’10 | Feature

they could practice English with me. My favorite sightseeing activity was the Shanghai Expo, because it was amazing to see over two hundred countries and major corporations display their culture, values, and newest technologies in one city. Despite the ridiculously hot weather, I loved it so much that I went four days in a row. eggs or dumplings. Helen’s father would drive us to school, and I would sit in classes throughout the day with the students, assisting all of the English-speaking teachers. After school ended, Helen’s father would pick us up and drive directly to her grandfather’s house for dinner, where Helen’s whole family would be cooking an amazing meal. Once we got home, Helen would do her homework, and I would get Chinese lessons from her mother until it was time to go to bed. I occasionally went for a run around the neighborhood when it cooled down at night. Right before bed, Helen’s mom always served fruit. Lychee fruit became my favorite! What advice would you give other Dwight students interested in living abroad? Be open-minded, and don’t be afraid to go somewhere completely foreign to you! Living abroad was the best decision I ever made

because I learned so much about myself. I can now confidently navigate through an unknown city with a map. I am way more open to trying unconventional foods, and I am no longer afraid of adjusting to new cultures. I would definitely recommend keeping a journal. It’s nice to go back and read how I was feeling and what I was doing each day. Who was the most interesting person you’ve met? The most interesting people that I met were Americans who had learned Chinese and were living in China. Each one of them had interesting stories, jobs they loved, and most didn’t start learning Chinese until they were college students or older. That really gave me the confidence that I could do it as well!

Do you plan to study abroad during college? Yes. Currently I am learning Chinese at Cornell, which is my favorite class albeit very challenging. I hope to go to Beijing fall semester of my junior year. While I’m there, I hope to work with Dwight’s School in Beijing again. Hopefully, by the time I graduate from Cornell, I will be close to fluent because I would love to move to China for at least a few years.

What did you do for fun? A lot of sightseeing! Many of the students offered to take me to historical places all over Beijing, so

Winter 2011 |


Feature | Joel Rosenfeld, Franklin ’74

Giving Tours in the Holy Land Joel Rosenfeld, Franklin ’74 opportunity to continue to work in the field of education while earning more money. Do you use a language other than English in your work? Which one?  Where did you learn it? I work both in English and Hebrew. I arrived in Israel as a seventeenyear-old with a basis of Hebrew that I had learned in synagogue and Hebrew school. However, I learned most of my Hebrew in formal studies and in informal contact, especially with my pupils. Joel Rosenfeld, Franklin ’74, is living in Israel, where he owns and runs Roots of Faith, a company that specializes in educational and spiritual tourism to Israel. He received a BA in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago in 1979. What brought you to Israel? I grew up in a fairly observant Jewish home. In high school, I got involved in the Zionist movement Young Judaea. I deferred my admission to the University  of Chicago and went on Young Judaea’s Year Course program in Israel. During that year we studied and experienced life in Israel. I returned to Israel for my junior year abroad

48 | Dwight Today

at Hebrew University and decided then that I wanted to make Israel my home. I got married in 1981, and my wife and I moved to Israel in 1984. What inspired you to enter this field? I had worked in education for most of my professional life, teaching and writing English-language textbooks. Fifteen years ago I felt the need to get out of the classroom. Incoming tourism to Israel was an

Today I read the different sports sections of the New York papers online before my friends in New York have even woken up!

What has been the toughest part of living abroad? In the beginning, it was being so far away from family and friends and New York sports! We moved to Israel long before the Internet so it was hard to follow my sports teams. Over time, we raised a family here, and our family and friends in the U.S. came to visit. And today, I read the different sports sections of the New York papers online before my friends in New York have even woken up! What advice would you give others interested in working/ studying/living abroad?  It is a wonderful experience and definitely worth doing, even if it’s only for a semester in college.

Giuliano Soderini ’97 | Feature

Analyzing Atomic Energy in Austria Giuliano Soderini ’97 Giuliano Soderini ’97 (middle in photo) is currently living in Vienna, Austria, where he works as an analyst in the Department of Safeguards at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Giuliano received a BS in Political Science from SUNY Binghamton in 2001 and a MS in International Relations from Monterey Institute of International Studies in 2008. What do you do professionally? I’m an analyst in the Department of (nuclear) Safeguards at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The Safeguards Department is responsible for carrying out the necessary verification activities so that the Agency can provide assurances to the international community that a given country’s nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. The unit I work in supports inspectors in their evaluation of states’ nuclear programs. We are primarily responsible for collecting and  evaluating open source information (information available in the public domain) that inspectors utilize to further scrutinize nuclear programs. I regularly contribute to state evaluation reports, which serve as the final product of the Departmental analytical process in evaluating nuclear programs.

What inspired you to enter this field? A desire to occupy myself with issues that are of important consequence not to any particular individual or country, but to the international community as a whole. Do you use a language other than English in your work?  Which one? Where did you learn it? I use Italian informally with certain colleagues, and occasionally I use Spanish and Japanese in some of the assignments I work on. I

learned Italian growing up, studied Spanish at Dwight (refining it while studying in Italy), and I picked up Japanese while living and working in Japan for two years.

Resist the temptation to search for the familiar and instead immerse yourself in the unfamiliar. What has been the toughest part of living in Austria? Vienna has been rated the city with the highest quality of life in the (continued on page 87)

Winter 2011 |


Feature | Chungxing Mah ’01

Business School Shanghai-Style Chungxing Mah ’01 Chungxing


’01 is

currently living in Shanghai, China, finishing his MBA at China Europe International Business School (CEIBS). He received a BA in Economics, Chinese, and Japanese from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005.

I guess it was a little bit of fate that everything I learned connected in my career growth!

What were you doing before business school? I spent five years at Daymon Worldwide (and will rejoin the company as senior management after graduation), where I worked with retailers in building and driving private label programs. Some of the largest customers I worked with were MUJI in Japan, Carrefour in Taiwan, Lotte in Korea and China and CRV in China. I spent a year in each of the following countries: the United States, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and China. Why did you decide to pursue your MBA? During my international experience with Daymon Worldwide, I saw the rapid growth of the retail industry in China and wanted to become better acclimated and knowledgeable regarding the business conditions here. So I took a two year educational sabbatical from work to get a MBA at China’s

50 | Dwight Today

best business school (The CEIBS MBA was ranked eighth in 2009).   Do you use a language other than English in your work?  Which one?  Where did you learn it? I speak English, Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese, and Korean to varying levels of competency. I had no idea that I would be using these languages when I picked them up (two of my three majors at the University of Pennsylvania were Chinese and Japanese), but they came in extremely useful when I ended up working in Japan, Korea and China. I guess it was a little bit of fate that everything I learned connected in my career growth!  What has been the toughest part of living abroad? Being an expat is not easy. My childhood consisted of moving around every three years, but I have seen the challenges faced by some of my fellow expat colleagues. These include culture shock, lack of a social structure and difficulty communicating with local partners. What advice would you give others interested in working/ studying/living abroad?   Keep an open mind and be willing to learn. Be tolerant of practices in different countries. While they

Chungxing Mah ’01 | Feature

might not be as practical (as you might like to think), there is a reason they are in place. Who was your favorite teacher? Why? While she did not teach me any courses, my favorite faculty member at Dwight was Ellen Grayson. I was new to New York and Dwight, and she really went the extra mile to take me under her wing and teach me about American culture and New York. She also always ensured I felt comfortable and included in the community and was always there to listen if I had a problem or just wanted to talk. She even invited me to Thanksgiving dinner when my family was away during my senior year. Her kindness really had a profound effect on me and my family. Is there a particular accomplishment or accolade that makes you especially proud? I have been promoted six times over the last five years and am one of the youngest business leaders in my company’s history and their youngest in Asia. I am currently a Shanghai Government scholar for my MBA program, a very prestigious award in China. What have you learned? 1. Life can be unpredictable. It is important to be able to ride the tides

but roll with the punches. Keeping a positive but objective perspective on things will help make your life a lot easier when faced with tough challenges! 2. Brilliance is relative. Better to be a big fish in a small pond than to drown in an ocean of sharks. You should know your strengths and limitations and be able to play both to your benefit.

3. Focus, focus, focus. Hard work can take you to high places. There is absolutely no substitute for hard work. 4. Luck really is when preparation meets opportunity. If you did not prepare with hard work, you will not be ready to capitalize on the opportunities that come your way.

Winter 2011 |


Feature | Christian Bisogni, Anglo ’91

Home Sweet Home with P&G in France! Christian Bisogni, Anglo ’91

was offered an opportunity to manage an engineering organization in Paris, France, I didn’t think twice about accepting it.

Christian Bisogni, Anglo ’91, is currently living in Blois, France, with his wife and daughter. He works as a Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) Delivery Engineering Leader at Proctor and Gamble Pharmaceuticals. Christian received a BS from Cornell University in Mechanical Engineering in 1995 and a MS from Cornell University in Aerospace Engineering in 1996. What brought you to France? My work. I grew up as an expatriate travelling around the world so I had a strong desire to find opportunities that would allow me to continue to experience the world.  My parents retired in Italy, so when I

52 | Dwight Today

What inspired you to enter this field? I have always had a passion for technology, which drove me to join the world’s largest consumer products company, Proctor and Gamble, as a Technical Engineer. Specifically, I work as a Delivery Engineer in our Hair Care business in the European and Middle Eastern Region. I am responsible for ensuring that all new major product launches are delivered to the market in a quick, efficient and cost effective manner.  Our team oversees designing, selecting, purchasing, installing and starting-up all of the equipment and systems required to deliver hair care products in the region.  We are a diverse team spread out in various countries.  My job is to ensure the overall organization works together seamlessly as one technical community, so I travel frequently between our production facilities and equipment suppliers. Do you use a language other than English in your work?  Which one?  Where did you learn it? I use multiple languages. Most frequently, I use English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish. I grew

Christian Bisogni, Anglo ’91 | Feature

up as an expat child in a European family. I learned to speak English at school, Italian at home, and I learned French, German, and Spanish throughout my school years and as a result of my various work assignments.

more and more in a complex and volatile world. The more people are exposed to other cultures, religions, and ways of life, the more we can learn and teach our future generations the true meaning of tolerance and respect.  From a professional point of view, the opportunity to What has been the toughest work in an overseas assignment is part of living abroad? invaluable.  More and more nowaNothing really. When you are days, companies are looking for brought up as an expat, “abroad” people who are well-rounded, who does not necessarily mean anyhave had varied experiences and thing.  Home is where you are and who will be able to bring a fresh and you learn to love and make the best diverse perspective to the table.  Diof every opportunity you are given versity today is a global issue, and as to meet new people, explore new companies look to continue to excountries and learn new cultures.  pand into growing markets and deMy wife would say being far from velop products that will respond to family and friends and having to the needs of a global consumer base, learn a new culture and new lan- individuals who have had internaguage is a challenge, but eight years tional exposure be it through school after having arrived in France, she is or work are highly sought after. fully integrated and loves the people, the culture and the country. Home is where you are and you learn to love and make What advice would you give others interested in working/ the best of every opportunity studying/living abroad?  you are given to meet new Do it! From a personal perspecpeople, explore new countries and learn new cultures. tive, it is an amazing experience that will open your eyes to the world, to different viewpoints, different Who was your favorite ways of thinking.  It will fundamen- teacher? tally change you as a person if you Back at Anglo I would say Nigel open yourself up to it and teach Urry. He had a way of making evyou things not only about others erything relevant. He had a great but about yourself as well.  We live sense of humor and related well to

his students. He took an interest in us as kids and in our development and that made you want to learn what he was teaching. Is there a particular accomplishment or accolade that makes you especially proud? In my last four years in Paris, I was responsible for leading a team through the shutdown and sale of one of our production facilities. This meant not only working with the government to find solutions for the sale and re-industrialization of the site, but most importantly working diligently with local leaders and companies to find solutions for the over one hundred individuals that lost their workplace. By the end of the process, we were not only able to sell the facility to a holding company who brought in multiple businesses, but we succeeded in finding every single individual a solution that matched with their goals, be it to start their own business, go back to school or find a job in another sector.  Despite four very long and difficult years physically, mentally and emotionally, to know that we were able to turn a difficult business decision into a new beginning for over 150 people proved an extremely rewarding experience.

Winter 2011 |


Feature | Nicola Mercusa, Anglo ’83

Last stop...Luxembourg! Nicola Mercusa, Anglo ’83

Living abroad enlarges your own culture and allows you to see things under a different perspective. It enriches you!

Nicola Mercusa, Anglo ’83, is currently living in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg with his wife and three children. Nicola is a Finance Director at the European Investment Bank. He received a BA in Economics from LUISS Guido Carli in 1988. What brought you to Luxembourg? Luxembourg is the home of several European Institutions including the European Investment Bank, the financial arm of the European Union. What do you do professionally? I’m in charge of funding activities, i.e. collection of financial resources

54 | Dwight Today

from the capital markets in order to finance large lending projects. What inspired you to enter this field? Chances of life. I’ve been working in the banking and financial sector since I graduated from university. I had the chance to work for a few companies and live in different cities, such as Rome, Milan, London, Washington DC and finally (for the time being) Luxembourg. Do you use a language other than English in your work? Which one? Where did you learn it? Although English is the official language of financial markets, the European Investment Bank has a fairly wide and diversified spectrum of

nationalities: all of the twenty-seven member countries of the European Union are represented. I speak English, Italian, French, German, and Spanish daily at work. What has been the toughest part of living abroad? Since we have moved several times, we are fairly used to it. The main challenge of living abroad is the distance from family and friends. What advice would you give others interested in working/ studying/living abroad? Move as much as you can. Living abroad enlarges your culture and allows you to see things under a different perspective. It enriches you!

Amaury Berzin ’08 | Feature

Summer in Serbia Amaury Berzin ’08

Radomir Kovacevic encouraged me to spend a year abroad in Serbia and words simply cannot describe how incredible he was and how great his impact was on all those he taught.

Amaury Berzin ’08 spent his summer living in Belgrade, Serbia, working for the US Department of State at the US Embassy. He is a junior at Harvard University majoring in Government.

abroad for a year during my time at Dwight. Although not entirely necessary to get around, I would strongly recommend anyone interested in working, studying, and living in Belgrade to have some verbal command of Serbian.

Who was your favorite teacher? Why? My two favorite teachers at Dwight were Mr. Constas and Radomir Kovacevic. Mr. Constas was a funny, easy-going, and engaging teacher, who encouraged us Did you use a language other to discuss and evaluate the greatthan English in your work?  Which one? Where did you er ramifications of the material we studied.  Radomir Kovacevic learn it? I used my knowledge of Serbian, encouraged me to spend a year which I learned while studying abroad in Serbia and words simply What brought you to Serbia? Having always been interested in international relations, I applied for a summer internship with the US Department of State through their college intern program.

cannot describe how incredible he was and how great his impact was on all those he taught. Who was the most interesting person you’ve worked with? The most interesting people I worked with this summer were the staff of the political section in the US Embassy in Belgrade.  They provided me with a unique insight not only into the political culture and ongoing developments in the region but also the role that the State Department plays in instituting US foreign policy abroad.

Winter 2011 |


Feature | Rudi Tsai ’81

From Wall Street to the Central District

Rudi Tsai ’81 a while, but the intended stint has turned into a career. I have been living and working in Hong Kong since 1990 after business school. What do you do? Investment banking. I started in private equity, then moved into infrastructure advisory, and later specialized in mergers and acquisitions advisory. Currently, I am responsible for developing regional capital markets and advisory business for Fubon Capital (HK) Limited. What inspired you to enter this field? Watching the original Wall Street movie and working on Wall Street before business school.

Mandarin Chinese has become a necessity for doing business in Greater China. I learned the language when I was young and then had to practice using it for business.

Rudi Tsai ’81 is currently living in Hong Kong with his wife, Jennifer, and their son, Connor. He is an Executive Director with Fubon Capital (HK) Limited. Rudi received a BS in Applied Economics and Business Management from Cornell in 1985 and a MBA from Tepper School at Carnegie Mellon in 1990. What brought you to Hong Kong? After doing a summer internship at a local bank in Hong Kong in 1986, I decided that I wanted to come to Asia to live and work full-time for

56 | Dwight Today

Do you use a language other than English in your work? Which one? Where did you learn it? Mandarin Chinese has become a necessity  for doing business in Greater China. I  learned the language when I was young and then had to practice using it for business. Who was your favorite teacher? Why? Sensei Rusty Kanokogi. She provided the guidance for my personal and physical development during my years at Dwight.

Richard Wertheim, Franklin ’66 | Feature

Consulting in Canada Richard Wertheim, Franklin ’66 Richard Wertheim, Franklin ’66, is living in Toronto, Canada, where he operates his own Investor Relations (IR) and Public Relations (PR) consulting agency, Wertheim + Company Inc. Richard received a BS in Economics from New York University in 1972. What brought you to Canada? I was with a PR agency in New York City that owned 50% of an agency in Toronto and, in 1974, and they asked me if I would move to Toronto for six to twelve months to help during a period when they were transitioning to new owners for the other 50%. Now having lived in Canada for thirty-six years, I’m not sure if I ever will return to the U.S. to live, unless it’s in retirement. Who was your favorite teacher? Why? It’s a three-way tie. Dr. Russell Elliot taught History, which I always enjoyed, but his biggest influence on me was as the leader of our debating (National Forensics League) team. Under his guidance, I learned to research, speak in public, and make educated arguments on any side of an issue, all of which have been very important in my career. The other teachers are Martha

Weingarten and Elizabeth Youman, English teachers who taught me to write, expanded my vocabulary, and nourished my love of reading, again all essential in my personal and career development. Is there a particular accomplishment or accolade that makes you especially proud? I was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award by Investor Relations Magazine, recognizing my contributions to the field in Canada, including as one of the founders of the profession. Any funny stories? When first asked by the agency in New York City to move to Toronto, I laughed. I told the CEO that if he had gone through the draft (Vietnam) and now found he was going

to Canada after all, he’d probably find it funny as well. When I did get to Canada, I was stunned by how little I knew about the country and how distinct it is from the United States in so many ways. I discovered, in time, that Toronto, not New York City, is really the center (or centre as they spell it here) of the universe.

I was stunned by how little I knew about Canada and how distinct it is from the United States in so many ways. What have you learned? How little I know despite the fact that I’d like to believe otherwise.

Winter 2011 |


Feature | Kyle Kim ’98

A Serial Entrepreneur in Korea Kyle Kim ’98 Kyle Kim ’98 lives in Daegu, Korea where he is the Director of LIKE Language Schools. Kyle received a BA in Linguistics from Boston University in 2002. What do you do professionally? I consider my main job to be serving as the Director of LIKE Language Schools, one of the oldest and most respected language institutions in Daegu. However, I am also one of the founders of Archon Media Asia, a record label in China, and the CEO of Sunshine Landscaping Farm & Fishery in Jeju Island, Korea.

What inspired you to enter education? My hometown, Daegu, was suffering from brain drain where over 87% of top tier students moved to other cities to pursue their secondary and post-secondary education. As the top tier students moved out, top tier teachers and learning organizations moved out as well. And by the early 2000’s, many of the major corporations  started to move their companies. I wanted to change that.  Do you use a language other than English in your work?  Which one?  Where did you learn it? I use Korean and Japanese. I learned my Japanese from taking two years

58 | Dwight Today

of IB Japanese from Mr. Matsumina at Dwight. What has been the toughest part of living abroad? People in New York are very sophisticated; they get to experience all the great things about the world. Small countries do not have that privilege. Therefore, it’s a greater challenge to get people to embrace different cultures and to see the value of trying new things. Who was your favorite teacher? Why? My favorite teachers were Mr. Radomir Kovacevic and Mr. Terry

Kyle Kim ’98 | Feature

People in New York are very sophisticated; they get to experience all the great things about the world. Small countries do not have that privelege. Therefore, it’s a greater challenge to get people to embrace different cultures and to see the value of trying new things.

Christgau. From Mr. Kovacevic, I learned how to break my fears and challenge my dreams. From Mr. Christgau, I learned different ways to express my thoughts and ideas, which has been very useful in my business negotiations and presentations. Is there a particular accomplishment or accolade that makes you especially proud? With Archon Media Asia, my record label in China, I am producing an artist group VIVA Girls who play modern tunes with traditional Chinese instruments. VIVA Girls

previous moniker was 12 Girls’ Band, a group that was nominated for two Grammys. I am preparing ‘VIVA Girls’ to do a world tour with Japanese Grammy Awardwinner Kitaro and release an album in 2011.

protein content of the feed on my fish farm and just a small miscalculation of 0.004g ended up killing quite a few fish. From this experience, I once again realized that big businesses are all about precision. Kyle is pictured on the left

Any funny stories? What have you learned? My Chemistry teacher at Dwight, Mr. Richard Thornley, used to say that 99% of the miscalculations happen in simple math, so I should always be careful with addition and subtraction. Well, he was exactly right: I did not properly add the

Winter 2011 |


Feature | Matthew Grogan ’08

Studying in Scotland Matthew Grogan ’08 Matthew Grogan ’08 is currently a junior at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He is pursuing a Scots law degree (LLB). What inspired you to study abroad? My sister. She completed her degree at the university several months before I entered my first year and has provided me with a wealth of advice on everything from handling the workload at the university, to adjusting to a different culture, to chatting up girls. Do you live in a student residence? For the first year of university most students live in dorm-like accommodations. Thereafter, you are on your own and must rent a flat in the city. Most first-year students, whether they live in a flat or a dorm room, have their own bedroom and sometimes their own bathroom. I started off in what is known as “selfcatered accommodation,” meaning that I lived with randomly selected students in a university-owned flat for the first year. For the past two years, though, I have lived in a flat in a largely student neighborhood with several friends of mine.

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Are the majority of the students from the UK? Yes, with the qualification that part are English, while part are Scottish. A quarter of the students come from other international backgrounds or are there on temporary exchange. How has your experience been different from that of your friends in the States? The difference is most pronounced in degree program. At an undergraduate level, students can attend courses typically reserved for postgraduates in the States. Law is one example - but I also know students who take degrees in architecture or even medicine. Since there is no core curriculum of courses which a student is required to take outside of their degree program, many students will experiment during their first two years with outside courses. Or they can focus on one degree program to the exclusion of everything else. The sense I have gotten is that in the States you emerge a jack of all trades with your undergraduate degree, whereas in the UK you emerge a master of one. Each system has it merits and demerits.

Matthew Grogan ’08 | Feature

In terms of socializing, many students meet each other through less-institutionalized social systems. There is no preliminary canoe excursion or hiking trip with the rest of your dorm-house as a university might organize in the States. You are partly on your own. As intimidating as it sounds, though, you do still meet people. But it’s through society meetings, flat parties, sports, the pub, and your university courses, which I imagine is not too different from university in the states.

Go by yourself. It is when you are alone in another country without any friends that you become a social extrovert and meet new people. As a result, you will find yourself embracing the local culture and forming new relationships. What has been the toughest part of living abroad? Going back home and keeping in touch. I have come to expect not to return for six months at a time to see friends and family in the States. Conversely, if I do return home for the summer, the likelihood that I

will see my friends from the UK in the States is dim. Describe a typical weekend. A night on the town. Edinburgh has a cosmopolitan night life and a wide selection of restaurants. On other weekends, I take jaunts to visit friends or family in other cities or go hillwalking (as hiking is known in Scotland) in the Highlands. The countryside is mesmerizing. What advice would you give others interested in studying abroad? Go by yourself. It is when you are alone in another country without any friends that you become a social extrovert and meet new people. You cannot fall back on old friends at the university or even friends in the same area. As a result, you will find yourself embracing the local culture and forming new relationships. Who was your favorite teacher at Dwight? Why? Mr. Cunningham. He really inspired my enchantment with Social Studies. When I saw his passion for the subject, I subsequently could not shake off my own fascination with the area. Most memorably, I distinctly recall Mr. Cunningham leaping onto the table before

relating the circumstances of the War of Jenkin’s Ear in order to grab our attention. There was never a dull moment. Who is the most interesting person you’ve met? My professors. They all have a very witty, engaging style of teaching that is hard to forget. All of them come from peculiar backgrounds and have a variety of quirks. What do you do for fun? Primarily rock-climbing and a variety of club activities. The university has hundreds of societies (clubs) to choose from, so I mostly rotate among them all. They have everything from a chocolate appreciation society to a whisky appreciation society. Any funny stories? Despite having lived next to the oldest golf course in the world for the past three years, I have not once golfed. What have you learned? I’ve learned to dry my clothes in the dead of winter without a clothes dryer. At all times my room is besieged by laundry.

Winter 2011 |


Feature | Peter Allegretti ’79

Viva España Peter Allegretti ’79 Programming (NLP) to the Master Practitioner level. What do you do professionally? Although I was a traveling journalist for twenty years with one of the world’s major media houses, I decided to make a career change some years ago and I now do one-on-one therapy, coaching, group mentoring and training. The bulk of my work now is seeing private patients in Barcelona and London and my continued affiliation with the LCCH where I work as a lecturing assistant and tutor to new students of clinical hypnotherapy. As well, I run a number of training seminars primarily based around effective communication and influence.

Peter Allegretti ’79 is living in Barcelona, Spain, where he works in Personal and Professional Development. Peter received a BS in Educational Studies from Ithaca College in 1983. He studied hypnotherapy at the London College of Clinical Hypnosis (LCCH) and received Certificate, Diploma (DHyp), and Practitioner Diploma (PDCHyp) qualifications. He has also studied Neuro-Linguistic

62 | Dwight Today

What inspired you to enter this field? A genuine desire to help people to make positive changes in their personal and professional lives. I spent many years searching for the right combination of techniques, therapy, learning and coaching protocols until I found the ones that delivered effective change. For therapy, I use a combination of Clinical Hypnotherapy, NLP and Cognitive-Behavioral approaches. In my opinion, looking at the present and future is more effective for positive change than looking extensively at the past, so I favor solution-focused approaches.

Peter Allegretti ’79 | Feature

Do you use a language other than English in your work? Which one?  Where did you learn it? At the moment I work primarily in English and Spanish; however, depending on the project, I’ll also use French, Portuguese, and Italian. I first learned Spanish at Dwight, but when I needed it for work many years later, I enrolled in the Escuela Oficial de Idiomas, Spain’s official language school and eventually earned the top-level diploma. To refresh my Italian, I went to the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, which is Italy’s official language school. Foreign television, newspapers, magazines, friends and lovers have also been employed in pursuit of good grammar and multilingualism. What has been the toughest part of living abroad in Spain? Too many temptations to avoid working. The climate and social nature of this country mean mealtimes, coffee and drinks are as much of the work day as the actual work. This is, of course, the greatest pleasure as well. What advice would you give others interested in working/ studying/living in Spain?   Learn the language, understand the Mediterranean mentality and be very, very patient. Do not expect

the lifestyle, systems and codes that you are used to in the US to be replicated in another country. Many make this assumption and this is often a source of great surprise and discontent. Who was your favorite teacher? Why? Mr. Engle. He was an outstanding teacher, an excellent counselor, and a patient man. Is there a particular accomplishment or accolade that makes you especially proud? My favorite accolades come from working successfully with individual patients or clients. I have a corkboard full of cards and complimentary emails adorning a wall in my office. It reminds me that I have made a positive difference in people’s lives.

That being genuinely open to new experiences brings possibilities you might never have imagined. Do what you want to do. What’s the worst that can happen?

The climate and social nature of this country mean mealtimes, coffee and drinks are as much of the work day as the actual work. This is, of course, the greatest pleasure as well.

Any funny stories? So many that I wouldn’t know where to begin. They range from being arrested in Moscow twice to being drafted to play guitar at an impromptu gig with an African band in Bagamoyo, Tanzania. These are best told over a bottle of wine… What have you learned? That everything is constantly changing. It means that every new day, your possibilities are infinite.

Winter 2011 |


Alumni | Welcome Letter

Dear Fellow Alumni, When we go off to school, we don’t often think about our place in the world. Even in a World History class where we discuss cultures, values, and traditions, a robust discussion on how we serve the greater good is rarely a topic of conversation. Typically, parents struggle with their day-to-day obligations, such as overseeing the homework of their children and meeting their commitments at work, with little attention paid to the part we all play in world affairs. Dwight is different. Many of our parents sought out a Dwight education precisely because of its connections to the world stage. Dwight has had a commitment for decades to not only educate its students but to help us understand where we fit and how to use our “spark of genius” to make the world a better place. Now, that can sound cliché, but at Dwight it’s the real deal. Every student is taught a set of values and principles that extends beyond oneself. Faculty place student learning at the heart of everything they do and incorporate those values and principles so each student can develop a sense of where they fit in a global society. With that comes a clearer understanding of the power each one of us has to make change within our own lives and the lives of others. Dwight extends its reach through teaching and programs so that we can learn both theoretically and experientially. These opportunities allow us to understand the external forces and world condition that shape our present so we can decide, challenge, and sometimes help reinvent our collective future. Many of Dwight’s students are global citizens, and others develop a love for travel born out of those friendships and other experiences. We are fortunate to have a number of Dwight alumni working and living abroad, extending our reach every day across the globe. They are living Dwight’s values and principles as they work in government, foreign relations, hospitality, education, the arts, health care, and in service related fields. This issue of Dwight Today will introduce you to some of those alumni so you can appreciate how our “spark and genius” has spread across the world. Here at home, our Alumni Council continues to grow. We have added four new members, held our first ever event in Seoul, Korea, had the largest turnout to date at our young alumni event at Rare View, expanded Reunion Weekend, and held our first holiday party in December. We are gaining strength and recognition among our alumni to secure our roots so our wings can spread even further abroad.

Paula Oppenheim Cope, Dwight ’71

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Classmate Challenge | Alumni

Many thanks to our Alumni Council and Class Representatives for working tirelessly to strengthen our Dwight, Franklin, and Anglo-American alumni community and make Dwight even stronger today. Alumni Council 2010-11 Paula Oppenheim Cope ’71, President; Peter Timmins ’90, Vice-President Communications Committee Sandy Smith Feldman ’71; Vanessa Freeman, Anglo ’89; Victor Schwartz, Franklin ’58 Fundraising Committee Scott Hefler ’97; Aubrey Hodges ’99; Blain Namm ’97 Special Events Committee David Ackers ’04; Annie Sigal Medina ’93; Sibile Morency ’01; Greg Williamson ’97 Career & College Committee Jyotsna Vasisht Bean ’96 Landmark Year Class Representatives 2010-11 Peter Abbott ’60; Lynne Alper, Franklin ’60; William Berkis III ’05; Gina Bloome ’75; Jonathan Blyth ’85; Steven Cornfield ’65; Claire Evans, Franklin ’60; Ursula Farrell ’95; Michael Frizzell, Franklin ’65; Laura Giraldo ’00; Jay Levy, Franklin ’75; Barry Kallenberg, Franklin ’70; William Lipson ’85; Anou Mirkine, Franklin ’75; Mrs. Jennifer Pasinetti ’90; Jessica Salzer ’05; Reza Sarbakhsh ’00; Jane Siegel ’80; Ethan Silverman ’80; Peter Timmins ’90; Tyson Toussant ’95; Bradley Zeifman ’95

Sandy Smith Feldman ’71 not pictured. Paula Oppenheim Cope ’71, President

Jyotsna Vasisht Bean ’96

Annie Sigal Medina ’93

Peter Timmins ’90, Vice-President

Vanessa Freeman, Anglo ’89

Sibile Morency ’01

Scott Hefler ’97

Blain Namm ’97

David Ackers ’04

Aubrey Hodges ’99

Victor Schwartz, Franklin ’58

Greg Williamson ’97

Winter 2011 |


Alumni | Reunion Weekend

Reunion Weekend

Events Miami

Bryant Park Grill October 15, 2010

Reunion Weekend kicked off Friday morning with a school tour followed by the opportunity to visit a Math class with veteran teacher, David Anstey. Friday evening, nearly half of the Class of 2005 returned to campus for a dinner in the Quad with a dozen faculty members. Simultaneously, Dwight hosted an elegant dinner at Bryant Park Grill (courtesy of Christian Pascal ’97) to thank the Alumni Council for all their hard work and to celebrate the fiftieth-year graduates as well as the Classmate Challenge winners (Dwight ’90 and Franklin ’75), who obtained the highest percentage of updated contact information for our alumni database. After cocktails and a threecourse dinner, alumni continued the festivities at various locations in the Big Apple. 1

1. Franklin Class of ’75 2. Dwight Class of ’90 3. Franklin Class of ’60 Lillian Ertag Elfenbein, Lynne Kohn Alper, Thomas Lister, Claire Cowan Evans, and Linda Barnett Mandel 4. Alumni Council 5. Dwight ’90 Classmates Julie Vipler McCoy, Liz Goldberg, Laura Weingarten Ruderman, Marie Carlisle, Evan Gallahou, Jen Taylor Pasinetti, Naomi Hartstein Petrick, Tara Isserman, and Alex Ross 6. Dwight ’90 classmates Doug Davis, Doug Summer and Louis Sherman 7. Naomi Weitzner Hart, Franklin ’75 and her friend 8. Bellanca Smigel Rutter, Franklin ’75 and Lisa Abramson Heicklen, Franklin ’75 9. Dwight ’90 classmates Patrick Casey, Meredith Geller, Barbra Feltman Goodman 10. Michael Anton, Franklin ’75 and Seth Lederman, Franklin ’75.

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Reunion Weekend | Alumni









Winter 2011 |


Alumni | Reunion Weekend









1. Dwight ’90 Classmates Naomi Hartstein Petrick, Jen Taylor Pasinetti, Marina Gurin Groothuis 2. Chancellor Spahn speaking with Aubrey Hodges ’99

and his wife 3. Franklin ’75 table 4. Reunion Weekend schedule 5. Dwight ’90 Classmates Karen Bierman Hirsh, Alex Ross, and Tara Isserman 6. Mrs. Spahn and Victor Schwartz, Franklin ’58 7. Alumni mixing and mingling! 8. Michael Gluckman ’90 and Kris Palestrini ’90.

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Reunion Weekend | Alumni

Reunion Weekend

Class of 2005 Dinner October 15, 2010





1. Dwight ’05 classmates Nevada Tinsman, Antonio Aransaenz, and Billy Berkis 2. Dwight ’05 classmates Sonny Brasseur, Nevada Tinsman, and Ted Belcher 3. Dwight Class of 2005 4. Mr. David Anstey, Dr. Elaine Chambart, Blain Namm ’97, Chancellor Spahn, Jessica Salzer ’05, and David Ackers ’04

Winter 2011 |


Alumni | Reunion Weekend

Reunion Weekend

Cocktail Party October 16, 2010

Dwight welcomed a growing number of Dwight, Franklin, and Anglo-American alumni and guests to campus on Saturday for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres (catered by Mayan Axelrod ’91). Alumni traveled from all over the globe to reconnect with classmates and favorite teachers. A cocktail bar in the Quad provided wine (courtesy of Bobby Shagrin ’75), while the Roof Terrace was outfitted with TYKU (courtesy of Kirk Spahn ’95) and a special sushi bar. After the reception, alumni headed off to class dinners arranged by their class representatives.

Events Miami

A special thank you to our student volunteers – “Alums in the Making” – for their help in facilitating such a memorable afternoon. Thanks also goes to Peter Timmins ’90, Mayan Axelrod ’91, Christian Pascal ’97, and Bobby Shagrin ’75 for their donations of food and drink and for their support in creating a successful Reunion Day. 1

1. Various classes enjoying time together 2. Franklin ’75 Classmates Robert Fernandez, Shannon Cunniff, Doug Drosin, Lisa Zwirn, Rebecca Blum, Jonny Solomon, Joan Marks Akselrad, Betty Karpus Polinsky, Jill Margolies Chernick, Michael Anton, Danny Trachtenberg, and Jay Levy 3. Franklin ’70 Classmates Wendy Kahn Cohen, Jerry Seeman, and Michael Lambert 4. The sushi bar 5. Leanne Moore, Franklin ’75, Bruce Spenadel, Franklin’77, Jill Margolies Chernick, Franklin’75 and Erik Jacobs, Franklin ’77 6. Mike Frizzell, Franklin ’65 and Jerry Seeman, Franklin ’70 7. Dwight ’80 Classmates Danielle Segal Stern, Francois Picot, Olya Turcihin Stern, Ethan Silverman 8. Siblings Jason Tsoutsouras ’03 and Amy Tsoutsouras ’05 9. Oliver Miller ’90 10. Jessica DiCicco ’98 with her friend.

70 | Dwight Today


Reunion Weekend | Alumni









Winter 2011 |


Alumni | Reunion Weekend









11. Alumni enjoying time on the roof! 12. Former Director of Admissions Libby Callaway and Chancellor Spahn chatting with a former student 13. Peter Timmins ’90 14. Jon Hunt ’80, Bill Lipson ’80, Hank Cadra ’61, Gina Cleo Bloome ’75, Blake Spahn ’89 15. Evan Gallahou ’90 16. Linda Barnett Mandel, Franklin ’60 and Claire Cowan Evans, Franklin ’60 17. Laura Giraldo ’00 with her mother, Luz Giraldo, and Elaine Chambart 18. Peter Timmins ’90 catching up with Raphaelle Camille Sondak ’90 and her husband.

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Reunion Weekend | Alumni

Reunion Weekend

Alumni Basketball Game October 16, 2010

Alumni arrived at Trevor Day on Saturday afternoon to participate in the traditional alumni basketball game, organized by Scott Sigal ’95. The players had a brief warm up before battling it out on the courts and competing with Dwight’s Varsity Basketball Team to a three-point shoot out. 1




1. The competition is fierce! 2. John Schriffen ’02 3. Alumni Basketball Team and family 4. Haig Schneiderman ’78.

Winter 2011 |


Alumni | Reunion Weekend

Reunion Weekend

R adomir Workout and Athletes Brunch October 17, 2010

Events Miami

Alumni gathered in the Small Gym at Dwight for the Fourth Annual Radomir Memorial Workout, organized by Blake Spahn ’89 and Eddie Purovic. Participants completed an exhausting ninety minutes of circuit training in honor of legendary faculty member and Olympic champion Radomir Kovacevic, who passed away in 2006. As soon as the final buzzer ended the workout, all athletes headed to the Quad for a catered brunch, a nice way to reward everyone for their hard work.



1. Blake Spahn ’89 giving a pep talk before the workout begins 2. The workout in full force! 3. Vedad Osmanovic ’98 and Eddie Purovic 4. Jyostna Vasisht Bean ’96 and Annie Sigal Medina ’93 5. The entire crew postworkout! 6. Athlete’s Brunch.

74 | Dwight Today

Reunion Weekend | Alumni





Winter 2011 |


Alumni | Events



R are View

July 20, 2010

On July 20, nearly fifty Dwight graduates from 1990-2007 gathered to enjoy cocktails on the Rare View Rooftop for what turned out to be a great evening! Thank you again to Doug Boxer ’91 for donating the space and making the event possible and to Peter Timmins ’90 for generously picking up the tab and continuing the festivities when the Dwight tab ran out.


1. Kristina Altman ’07, Sonny Brasseur ’05, Billy Berkis ’05, Danielle Blue ’07, Isabela Garcez ’07, and Mary Casey ’07 2. Alumni enjoying the warm summer night! 3. Dogan Baruh ’94, Scott Hefler ’97, Evan Gallahou ’90, Peter Timmins ’90, Doug Davis ’90, Kirk Spahn ’95, and Todd Feltman ’91 4. Sam Marburger ’93 and Alex Elghanayan ‘04 5. Jessica Muscio ’04, Zaheen Khan ’04, Jeff Loren ’04, Greg Williamson ’97, Amir Cohen ’04, Jonathon Katz ’04 and David Ackers ’04 6. Tahira Sands ’06, Michael Van Tosh ’07, and Valentino Yung ’06 7. Noah Shulman ’02 and Ashley Davis Sachakov ’02 8. Justine Rosenberg Bray ’94 and her husband, Dogan Baruh ’94, and Annie Sigal Medina ’93 9. Dwight ’02 classmates Ioan Popa and Adam Schaffer with a friend.

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Events | Alumni







Winter 2011 |


Alumni | Events

Holiday Party December 14, 2010 1






78 | Dwight Today

For the first time ever, Dwight held an Alumni Holiday Party on Tuesday, December 14. Generously hosted by ’97 classmates Austin Stark and Greg Williamson, the event was held downtown at Austin Stark’s apartment and proved a wonderful opportunity for alumni to reconnect during the holiday season. A special thank you to Annie Sigal Medina ’93 for providing the food, Stuart Jakub ’97 for providing the wine, and to Paula Oppenheim Cope ’71 for underwriting a portion of the event.

1. Party hosts Austin Stark ’97 and Greg Williamson ’97 with Chancellor Spahn 2. Annie Sigal Medina ’93 and her husband Julian Medina 3. Fabiana Portolano ’97 and guest with Christos Katsiaouni ’97 4. Alumni catching up 5. David Ackers ’04, Alex Bilowitz ’03, guest, Alex Elghanayan ’04, and Amir Cohen ’04 6. Dwight ’97 Classmates Scott Hefler, Stuart Jakub, Michael Cohen, Christos Katsiaouni, Austin Stark, Greg Williamson, and Blain Namm.

Guest Speaker | Alumni

Alumni Guest speakers Alix Strauss ’87

Alix Strauss ’87 signing her most recent book titled Based Upon Availability

At Dwight, we continually try to connect alumni who are experts in their field to current students in the classroom to help bring relevant curriculum to life. In October, English teacher Diana Hirtle approached the Alumni Office for a speaker for the Young Writers Society, a small group of creative writers in grades nine through twelve. The society welcomes writers of any genre, including fiction, poetry, plays, and screenplays. Their goal is to help members polish their writing for publications and submission to writing contests. We immediately recommended Alix Strauss ’87. A media savvy social satirist, Alix Strauss ’87 has been a featured lifestyle and trend writer on national morning and talk shows including ABC, CBS, CNN, and most recently, “The Today Show.” Her articles, which have appeared in The New York Times, New York Post, Time Magazine, Marie Claire, Entertainment Weekly, Self, Esquire, and Departures (among others), cover a range of topics from trends

in beauty, travel, and food to celebrity interviews. She is the author of the The Joy of Funerals, Death Becomes Them: Unearthing the Suicides of the Brilliant, the Famous, and the Notorious, and Based Upon Availability. Alix spent a lively hour with Dwight’s Young Writers Society answering questions, discussing her career path, and candidly sharing what it has taken to succeed as a professional writer. Alix fell into writing at New York University when she wrote a play and realized how much she loved seeing her name in print. Now, almost twenty years later, she is interviewing celebrities such as Elizabeth Moss, Betsy Johnson, and Joan Rivers. She has learned to be a good networker, to roll with the punches, to never take no for an answer, and to avoid getting her feelings hurt when an editor is critical of her writing. Alix vows to never write in bed or in sweatpants, and she’s known to leave a party early if an idea comes into her head. After all, she doesn’t believe in writers block; she believes people suffer from being overwhelmed by too many ideas. Her approach is disciplined and methodical and it’s no secret that whatever she’s doing is working. If you are interested in being an alumni guest speaker at Dwight, please contact Kristin Pate, Director of Alumni Affairs, at

English Teacher Diana Hirtle, Linden Wallner ’12, Alix Phoebe Fregoli ’14, English Teacher Audrey Enriquez, Andrew Pauker ’14, and Jeremiah Magier ’11

Winter 2011 |


Alumni | Accolades

Austin Stark ’97

Shining at Sundance and Beyond You were recently at Sundance for your film Happythankyoumoreplease (HTYMP). How did it go? Best experience at Sundance yet. Screenings were off the charts positive... and then HTYMP won the Audience Award and that was incredibly gratifying for me professionally. No one can ever take that away from you, and I think I realized that right when it happened, and it made it all the more special. What are your feelings about a screening? Can you feel the buzz in the audience? At a festival like Sundance? No question about it. You know when your film is playing the right way and when it’s not. The audience members are super enthusiastic to be there, and they genuinely love film.  

We sat down with Austin Stark ’97 to discuss his most recent visit to Sundance, filmmaking, and his latest projects. Austin runs Paper Street Films, a film production and finance company for independent films based in New York City.

When you make films, is there a specific thing you want the audience to take away? Depends what kind of film I’m working on, but in general you want people to connect to the material. Otherwise what’s the point, you know? I’m not sure I’ve ever gone into making a film expecting or hoping for an audience to take one specific thing away from it, but I always want audiences to connect, no matter what film it is.      What attracts you to a movie? Originality. That’s the number one criteria for when I’m considering a new project. I’ve done dramas, comedies, horror, art films – I like working in a lot of different genres, but the content has got to be unique. What’s been the most exciting part of the whole process? Being on set. I love being on set. I always compare movie sets to being on a pirate ship. There’s this feeling of outsiders coming together for a singular purpose, which I guess sometimes makes me feel that way. You meet some incredible people, have some incredible experiences... and sometimes you even get the feeling that you’re doing something important.

80 | Dwight Today

What, in your mind, would be the ultimate achievement? An Academy Award would be nice, but I’ll take what I can get. As long as I can keep making films that I love, I’m happy. Who has been a major influence for you as a filmmaker? Most recently, my friend Tony Kaye. We’ve been working together for about eighteen months now, and his approach as a filmmaker is very different than anyone I’ve worked with. He lives in the moment on set much more than most directors and works largely from instinct, which reminds you that what you’re ultimately making as a filmmaker is art. I think it’s important to remind yourself of that because you do forget it sometimes. Tell us about what you’re working on now. I’m in the middle of an edit on a film we shot this summer called Detachment, a high school drama about public school teachers at a failing school. It’s directed by Tony Kaye (American History X) and stars Adrien Brody, James Caan, Marcia Gay Harden, Christina Hendricks, Lucy Liu, Bryan Cranston, Billy Petersen, Blythe Danner and Tim Blake Nelson. I’ve been working on it for eighteen months, and I’m extremely proud of this one. Should be in theaters around this time next year. What’s next? Happythankyoumoreplease is coming out in theaters in February so I’m working quite a bit on the release and promoting the film. Detachment should also premiere sometime in 2011, so I’ve got my hands full there as well. Other than that, I have a couple of projects in development that could go soon: One is a quasi-mob film about the infamous Miami club owner/gangster, Chris Paciello; another, an outrageous comedy called Three Dead Hookers that we’re working on with Tony.

Accolades | Alumni

Julian Rose ’02

An Award-Winning Eye for Architecture I was honored to be approached by Artforum to write a piece on Oscar Tuazon, a Parisbased artist whose work incorporates ideas and techniques from both sculpture and architecture. The magazine has an exceptional history as one of the most important forums for new ideas in modern and contemporary art. And I appreciate that it has always published a wide range of writers - including artists, critics, historians, curators, and architects - rather than favoring a particular point of view. Because of my background, which is a mix of training in both Art History and Architecture, I always try to approach issues from both an artistic and an architectural perspective, and I felt that the magazine welcomed both. I have been following Tuazon’s work for several years, so when the editors offered me the chance to write about him I eagerly accepted. In my article I argue that his work has a lot to teach both artists and architects. There can be a frustrating divide between the two disciplines, where a given practitioner’s work is seen as primarily relevant for one or the other. Tuazon has a very sophisticated understanding of both art and architecture, and his work engages important theoretical and historical problems in both. I think one of his most important achievements has been to produce a radically new understanding of structure. Historically, architectural structure has had a strong metaphorical and symbolic dimension. For many architects, it has been almost as important that their buildings look solidly built as that they actually stand up. Tuazon’s understanding of structure is not metaphorical or symbolic, but much more performative, physical, and material, which gives his work much of its visceral power.

Writing about Tuazon was a great experience, and I hope to continue writing criticism. But at the moment, I am focused on the design side of my practice. I was just shortlisted for the 2011 MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program, which I entered in collaboration with a close friend and classmate from Princeton. I’m extremely excited about this opportunity and will be putting most of my energy into that for the next couple of months. Our design proposal for the PS1 project will be one of five exhibited at MoMA in June.

Julian Rose ’02 is a designer and critic who lives and works in New Haven, CT. Julian received a B.A. in Art and Architectural History from Harvard University in 2006 and a Master’s of Architecture from Princeton University in 2010. His recent research has investigated the possibilities of formlessness in architecture, particularly new understandings of materiality, tectonics, and the spatial conditions they generate. Julian was recently asked by Artforum to write about acclaimed Parisbased artist Oscar Tuazon. Below he shares his regard for Artforum and his views on Tuazon’s work.

To learn more about the Young Architects Program, please visit

Winter 2011 |


Alumni | Class Notes Share the latest news and a photo with your classmates for the next issue of Dwight Today and The Dwight School website: Send news to Kristin Pate, Director of Alumni Affairs, 291 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024, or via email to

Dwight Class Notes Norbert Aubuchon ’38: “As a geezer I’m in good health living with my first and only wife in Kennett Square, PA. We have two gainfully employed adult children. I have a book in the marketplace, The Anatomy of Persuasion, and my website is: www.theanatomyofpersuasion. com. I still drive and can still fly an airplane – something I learned in the Navy. People on the ground worry more than do I. But progress continues. I have a new skill: never before in my whole life have I been able to forget so much in such a short length of time.” Paula Oppenheim Cope ’71: Paula Oppenheim Cope was recently elected to the International Women’s Forum (IWF). The IWF is a global organization that advances women’s leadership across careers, cultures, and continents by connecting the world’s most preeminent women of significant and diverse achievement. The IWF helps prepare future generations of women leaders and spans five continents and sixty-four nations. Paula has also been reconnecting with her classmates. Almost 70% of her class has been located. They hope to meet at the Dwight reunion in October 2011 for their fortieth reunion. Bruce Blau ’76: On June 18, The Dwight School Class of 1976 held an after-work social networking mixer. By tracking down all classes through Facebook, Dwight ’76 class representatives, Nina Cantor, and Bruce Blau, were able to correspond with other classmates from across the country as well as distant places like Australia and England. The event was held at Ink48 in the Press Lounge in Midtown Manhattan.

Dwight ’76 gathering at Ink48

82 | Dwight Today

The small get-together was attended by ten people from the Class of ’76, including Nina Cantor, Bruce Blau, Steve Alter, Robyn Muskat, Danny Greene, Lisa Safir, Sheila Meers, Lizzie Gross, Alan Nacht, and Joe Darnell. Also in attendance were Lori Goldberg ’78, Eric Johnson ’78, and Linda Muskat ’79. Everyone in attendance expressed a desire to meet again at one of Dwight’s events. Meredith Geller ’90: Meredith Geller, Holistic Health and Lifestyle Consultant, has been learning, studying, and practicing various modalities in the realm of holistic health and wellness for over a decade. Meredith has guided hundreds of clients towards radiant health. To read more about what she is up to and book a complimentary health evaluation, please visit: Bill Lipson ’85: Bill is the Assistant Director of Alumni Relations at St. John’s University where he has held this position for over four years. He and wife, Kathleen, currently reside in New York City and are expecting their first child in early February. Steve Williamson ’91: Steve is living and working in New York City.  An attorney with his own law firm, Steve is a former senior government trial lawyer who focuses his private practice in civil litigation. As a child, Steve was dyslexic, and today he sits of the board of trustees of The Churchill School and Center, where he attended before Dwight, and on the associate board of Project Eye-to-Eye, a national mentoring program for children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.  A member of a true Dwight family, Steve is the older brother of Greg Williamson, a ’97 graduate and member of the Alumni Council.

Laurie Hefler Krasik’s ’94 children, Cooper and Skylar

Laurie Hefler Krasik ’94: “I gave birth to my daughter Skylar Jordyn Krasik on May 25, 2010. Skylar is a very happy, sweet little girl and her big brother, Cooper, is enjoying her. Cooper turned two in September.”

Kara Rosen Diamond ’95: “I’m living in London and working in marketing and business development for a luxury travel and lifestyle management company called Nota Bene. I’m expecting my first child in April!” Linda Claude-Oben ’95: “On June 1, I graduated from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and in September, I started a year-long clerkship with the Honorable N. Peter Conforti of the New Jersey Supreme Court in Sussex County. I graduated from New York University in 2005.  Currently I reside in Kinnelon, NJ with my husband Roman D. Oben and our sons André, who is six, and Roman Jr., who is nine. I was introduced to my husband by Vanessa Katzen ’96.  Roman played twelve years in the NFL (he retired in 2008) and was a starter for the 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers when they won the Super Bowl. Currently my husband and I are developing the Claude-Oben Recovery Effort initiative through our foundation (The Roman Oben Foundation) to help build an orphanage and medical clinic in Haiti (where my parents were born and raised).”

Elisabeth Frankel Reed’s ’96 two children, Brandon and Julia

Elisabeth Frankel Reed ’96: In June 2010, Elisabeth Frankel Reed ’96 and her husband Colin welcomed a daughter, Julia Miriam Reed. Elisabeth and Colin are also

Class Notes | Alumni

parents to two-year-old Brandon, who loves to play soccer and explore Manhattan, during which he greets as many people as he can and discusses all the vehicles he sees. Elisabeth is a writer for several publications under the Manhattan Media umbrella. Gabe Acinapura ’97: Gabe and his wife recently celebrated their one-year wedding anniversary and are happily living in Chicago as lawyers. Stuart Jakub ’97: Stuart is currently a fine and rare wine specialist working for the world’s largest wine auction company, Zachys. He is married to Rhonda Schneider Jakub who works in HR at Facebook. Abhishek Bhattacharjee ’01: “I finished up with the Ph.D. from Princeton in July and have joined Rutgers since then. I’m coming towards the end of my first full semester as a professor and its been fun, hectic, and informative at the same time.” Charles Kalter ’01: “I work for a Mechanical Electrical & Plumbing (MEP) Engineering consulting firm as a Mechanical Designer, assisting on the design of heating, cooling and ventilaiton systems for different types of buildings. I work at an office in Manhattan, just north of Penn Station and south of Times Square.” Marni Lynn Isaacs ’01: “I live in Seattle, Washington. I’m very happy here, and I’m looking forward to our ten-year reunion!” Molly O’Keefe ‘02: Molly  has been living in Los Angeles since 2007 and working in entertainment. Most recently she was Associate Producer of Summit Entertainment and Participant Media’s film Furry Vengeance.  She has been working with writer/director Roger Kumble as his Creative Executive for almost three years. She completed the Los Angeles triathlon in October.   Noah Shulman ’02: “Quite a few updates from me. I recently finished editing a feature documentary for the pop/rock band All Time Low. It has been flying off the shelves at Best Buy, selling over 30,000 copies so far. I just finished doing post-production on a Gourmet Live iPad App spot for, and I’ve also recently completed twelve episodes of a viral campaign promoting exercise

in urban environments for the Russell Athletic Company. Currently, I’m working on post-production for twelve luxury commercials promoting tourism in downtown Dubai. Shot on location, the spots will highlight the chic lifestyle that only Dubai can provide. My websites to keep people up to date are: www. and” Alexandra Zolot Dell ’04: “I was married to my fiancé, John Edward Dell II, on October 22, 2010. He runs an asset based lending firm called Oak Rock Financial LLC in New York and I am the CEO of my own footwear company, Bunny Belair Inc., where I design footwear for women and make bespoke shoes for clientele all over the world.  We are so in love and wanted to share it with everyone.” 

Alexandra Zolot Dell ’04 and her fiancé, John Edward Dell II

Dwight Smith ’05: “I graduated from Columbia University this past May. I was supposed to graduate in 2009, but I took a year off to compete for a spot in Men’s Epee Fencing at the Olympics. Even though the United States didn’t qualify a team, it was an amazing experience and has prepared me well for the tournaments I have been competing in since. Right now I’m fortunate to be working at a non-profit school in Harlem called Children’s Storefront. My job title is the Assistant Director of High School Placement and Post Alumni Support. I help place the kids at our school into boarding, public, or catholic Schools around the city and in the New England area. I also do Alumni Development, which entails reaching out to former graduates to see how they are doing. Additionally, I am a math tutor and I teach fencing to third and fourth graders. Outside of the school, I teach fencing at another non-profit organization called the Peter Westbrook Foundation. I’ve been teaching

there for over ten years and I really love doing it. When I’m not teaching, I’m either practicing or competing in fencing locally, nationally or hanging out with old friends from Dwight and Columbia.”

Fencer Dwight Smith ’05

Franklin Class Notes Harvey Wiles, Franklin ’58: Harvey stopped by Dwight this past summer to walk the former Franklin hallways and reminisce about the good old days. Harvey lives in Florida with his wife, Carol. He stays in touch with a few of his classmates, including Victor Schwartz. Lynne Kohn Alper, Franklin ’60: “When I look over the prophecy from our class written fifty years ago, I realize that Claire was right on! Mathematics and Chocolate. Along with my family, these are still my two additional loves. I have been a mathematics educator since graduation from college and have taught high school and college mathematics.

Franklin ’60 Classmates at Reunion Weekend

Winter 2011 |


Alumni | Class Notes

The Interactive Mathematics Program ( is the curriculum several colleagues and I developed to make mathematics challenging, exciting and accessible to all high school students. My husband, Dan, and I live amongst the redwoods in the hills above Santa Cruz, CA; our kids and grandchildren are nearby in Berkeley, CA. I now visit their elementary school classrooms bringing the love of mathematics and art...and chocolate.” Lillian Ertag Elfenbein, Franklin ’60: “I graduated from City College in 1964 with a BA in Romance Languages. I got married in 1963 and have four children (two boys and two girls) and ten grandchildren (five girls and five boys). I am now retired, but I worked for twenty-two years with an attorney doing medical and dental collection work and periodic translations.”

Lillian Ertag Elfenbein ’60 pictured with her husband, Joe, daughter, Ruthie, and two grandchildren

Claire Cowan Evans, Franklin ’60: “I am living in West Hartford, a widow for almost five years after forty-one years of marriage to a psychiatrist. My son lives in Los Angeles, CA with his English wife and two sons. My daughter lives in Ridgefield, CT with her husband, two daughters (one of whom just had her Bat Mitzvah) and son. I recently attended the fifty-year Franklin Reunion in New York City where I reconnected with four other classmates. It was great! I enjoy theater movies, mahjongg, reading and coming into the city at least three or four times a year. My ninetyfour-year-old mother was living with me for four months. She recently returned to Boca Raton, FL, where she lives.” Steve Silver, Franklin ’65: “After over thirty years as an Orthopedic Surgeon, I laid down my knife and retired part-time. I obtained a master’s from Dartmouth Medical School at the Dartmouth Institute later in my career and wound up doing work in informed consent

84 | Dwight Today

and patient decision making to complement my clinical work. I have two children, one grandchild and the same wife.” Randolph Swiller, Franklin ’63: “I graduated cum laude from Hofstra University with a BA in Biology in 1968. In 1972, I received a MD from The Chicago Medical School. I became board-certified in Psychiatry and Neurology in 1977, and I worked in the New York area until 1982 when I relocated to Coral Springs, FL to establish my own Internal Medical practice. I am an active attending Internist at both Florida Medical Center and Coral Springs Medical Center. I also make home visits, and I am considering taking the boards in Psychosomatic Medicine.” Jay Levy, Franklin ’75: “Since graduating from Franklin, I received a B.S. in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1979. From there I pursued a career in science that has included chemistry research, pharmaceutical R&D, vaccine manufacturing, biotechnology, drug discovery and teaching. I have worked in both academic and industrial settings, from start-up biotechs to big pharma, from New York to San Francisco, but currently I’m in Bloomington, IN at Indiana University where I design and make new drugs (legally!) for the treatment of diabetes and obesity, and teach chemistry to undergraduates. I’ve been married to my wife, Anne, for over twenty-five years. We have a daughter, Jessica, who is twenty-two years old, and two dogs, Sprewell and Barkley!”

Anglo Class Notes Moira Jaffe-Solomon, Anglo ’84: “I had a baby boy named Jack Daniel Solomon on April 11, 2010.”

Moira Jaffe-Solomon’s, Anglo ’84, son Jack

Robert Amrani, Anglo ’89: “Greetings from Afghanistan. Things here are still as busy as ever. The tempo has increased, and the Coalition Surge is for sure under way. The elections came and went with some turmoil, but NATO forces and part of our Brigade were able to keep the majority of the peace in our district. The fighting has gotten fierce, and the majority of our support goes to the Special Forces Operators, but things look nonetheless better! I am still with the SAR/MEDEVAC (search and rescue/medical evacuation aviation), and I am currently one of three senior Flight Medics in our Company. I headed home to Texas on leave in October for fifteen days to see the birth of my second child, Zoey Gibson Amrani. Her brother, Parker Joseph Amrani, will be turning two in November.  I hope to be home again in July, so that I can spend much awaited time with them. I also hope to get back to New York City to visit my family there and maybe even swing by the old schoolhouse.”

Robert Amrani, Anglo ’89, in Afghanistan

Class Notes | Alumni




graduates Successful Dwight, Franklin and Anglo-American graduates span the globe. Your gift will ensure that future Dwight graduates also leave their mark. Please support The Dwight School Foundation’s 2010-11 Annual Fund. Successful Dwight, Franklin, and Anglo-American graduates span the globe. Help future Dwight graduates reach their potential by ensuring the best Dwight education possible. Last year a record number of alumni supported the Annual Fund. We hope alumni will have an even greater impact this year as we strive to reach our overall goal of $1,300,000. Every gift counts. Please consider making a gift in the attached pledge envelope or online now at For more information, please contact Jacqueline Leitzes, Director of Annual Giving and Major Gifts, at 212.724.6360 x247 or

Winter 2011 |


Alumni | Where Are They Now? Missing Landmark Year (A class celebrating a five (5), ten (10), fifteen (15), twenty (20), etc. year reunion) Alumni Below are alumni from Landmark years with whom we have lost contact. Please communicate with your Class Representative if you know the whereabouts of anyone on this list. You may also contact Kristin Pate, Director of Alumni Affairs, at or 212.724.6360 ext. 232. We appreciate your help!

Anglo ’85

Marzia Glisenti

Kevin E. O’Sullivan

Stephen B. Israel

Andrew Arnhem

Rachel Horne

Riv V. Perez

Dennis P. Kowalski

Dorit Ben-Moha

Nemiko Inada

Richard B. Rubinstein

Stephen J. Lutz

Valeria Borghi

Nicholas Johnson

Kurt F. Schussler

Bari M. Mapelli

Robyn Brand

Robin Kodaira

Jon J. Sheppard

Daniel G. Mazzello

Courtney Bullock

Giulia Leoni

Daniel Y. Stromeier

Brian T. McGirl

Kwang-Jai Chun

Noah Mallin

Francis A. Tamburrino

John Q. McNulty

Ernesto DeMarzio

Robert McCormick

Douglas Torborg

Richard E. Montgomery

Michael Mimoun

Joseph L. Uriarte

John C. Morgan

Rieko Onkita

James R. Walker

Richard K. Muller

Stephanie Sarna

Michael B. Weiss

Joseph T. Murphy

Annie Descoteaux Firoozeh Ebtehadj Erika Ellis Christopher Hamer Andrea Istel Kathryn Kaestle Ilya Karlin Kamran Karoon

Adam Simon Jonathan Stiles Jason Wasiak

Dwight ’60

Dwight ’65 Kamran Akhavan Kazuma Atsumi Chetman Brown

Barry N. Nemhauser Robert J. Oglio Steven A. Paiewsky Richard J. Peck Bruce W. Plenge

Sang H. Kim

Douglas K. Byrne

Michael A. Bunzl

Lucas LaFontaine

Hart B. Ferrall

Robert L. Butler

Alyssa Leyton

Norman S. Field

William F. Byrne

Josh Lurie

Chester A. Frank

Vincent R. Camperlengo

Eunok Moon

Jeffrey A. Halley

Kenneth A. Cappy

Frank Morris

Richard K. Harris

John Carballo

Tony Paris

Hollins Hoguet

Daniel T. Cash

Alex Quentin

Stuart T. Hulbert

Stephen J. Clement

Samantha Richman

Raoul D. Kennedy

Richard H. Coinder

John Santoiemma

Ronald S. Kerney

Charles T. De Gregoria

Shahira Shaker

Walter A. Kirton

Sean De Guzman

Rodrego Siez

Paul T. Larkin

Patrick W. Deegan

Andrew Taylor

George O. Lehmann

William J. Demjen

Paul Vincent

David S. Lundberg

Emil H. Dietz

Dror Ben Ami

Alyssa Wilder

William H. Mac Murray

Peter S. Ferry

Barbara Bjelovucic

Stephanie Young

Dennis M. McCarthy

Roman Genauer

Jose Diaz

Dana Zeitzer

David N. McLaughlin

Michael E. Getter

Stuart Gibert

Stephen E. Metz

Alan Greenberg

Michael Goldenberg

Nedim Baruh

David H. Mistroff

Thomas F. Gully

Lee Goldman

Renee Cooper

Henry J. Monetti

Raymond R. Hagedorny

Vanina Goodman

Doron Ezra

Charles L. Montati

David Hernandez

Jane Hillman

Margot Gatje

James K. Moran

Peter J. Ianello

Nancy Hoffman

Anglo ’90

86 | Dwight Today

Frank Profeta, Jr. Michael S. Reed Fred V. Rizzo Chedmond B. Samuel Mark Schwartz Peter V. Segal Thomas A. Simone Michael M. Spritzer Lawrence J. Stern Paul E. Tausig James E. Vassalotti, Jr

Dwight ’70

Continued... | Dwight Today Wontae Cha ’00 (continued from page 38)

What would your advice be to Dwight high school students? Have a wide range of experiences and learn to get along with as many people as possible. When I attended Dwight, there were students from South America, Europe, Canada and other countries. Socializing with people from diverse backgrounds and learning about their culture was priceless for me. How did your experiences at Dwight influence your career path? I have frequently been told that I am a creative worker. This may be the result of having experienced diverse cultures and having met students and teachers from a variety of backgrounds while I was at Dwight. Before, I had known only Korean culture,

but my experience at The Dwight School made me look at the world with a more open mind. That creativity and originality will continue to be a strong asset for me in business and life. What is next for you? My main objective is to successfully operate Chaum. After that, Chaum’s expansion overseas is the eventual goal. We plan to export Chaum’s management expertise, adjusted to the medical systems and economic conditions of each country, to the rest of the world after first succeeding in the U.S., China, and Japan.

children when she basically had nothing herself is amazing. What have you learned? Although traveling to Ghana was a culture shock for me, it was surprising to see how advanced it is compared to Kenya. The people are far more aware of the western world and its culture. I realized that positive change can be made in a matter of time. Afrikids was created thirteen years ago, and it has already had a huge impact on the upper eastern region of Ghana.

Giuliano Soderini ’97 Hannah Levi ’10

(continued from page 49)

(continued from page 42)

world, so I don’t have many complaints. I still struggle to learn German, making it difficult at times to get want I want at the local market, but luckily, most Austrians are patient and willing to use English.

two guest rooms, allowing her to look after herself and the kids properly. Her story was extremely inspiring. After everything she has been through, the fact that she was looking after other

What advice would you give others interested in working/studying/living abroad? Resist the temptation to search for the familiar and instead immerse yourself in the unfamiliar. Refrain from tying yourself to the expatriate community. Any funny stories? A popular item in souvenir shops in central Vienna is a bright yellow diamond-shaped road sign with the writing “No Kangaroos in Austria”. It happens that a large volume of global mail destined for Austria is mistakenly sent to Australia. I thought this was an exaggeration until I received a package from New York about three weeks later than the scheduled arrival with the label “Missent to Melbourne, Australia.” Since I had lived in Melbourne as a child, it was particularly ironic.

Grandparents: Save the Date! 2011 Grandparent’s Day

Kindergarten April 15, 2011

Preschool May 12 & 13, 2011

Winter 2011 |


Dwight Today | In Memoriam

In Memoriam

Richard Holbrooke 1941-2010

photo courtesy of

Ambassador Richard Holbrooke died on Monday, December 13, 2010 in Washington, D.C. at age 69. Mr. Holbrooke was an American diplomat and a parent of Dwight graduate Anthony Holbrooke ’89. He was also a key advisor to Dwight and provided the school with key relationships to the diplomatic community, which often included internships for students. Holbrooke was born on April 24, 1941 in New York City. His parents were Dan Holbrooke and Trudi Kearl, and his brother, Andrew, survives him. Holbrooke earned an A.B. from Brown University in 1962. Holbrooke worked on many foreign policy issues from the 1960s until his death, but one of his greatest achievements was his work on creating a peace agreement in Bosnia in 1995. Chancellor Spahn recalls talking at length with Mr. Holbrooke about the future of various countries in turmoil. The solution they always agreed upon was education. Mr. Spahn and Mr. Holbrooke even collaborated on a project, during which they established an IB model for schools in war-torn countries with the goal of using education as a tool for peace. Through their model, education helped bring citizens of Mostar, Bosnia Herzegovina under one roof. Even more than his diplomatic abilities, Chancellor Spahn was impressed by Holbrooke’s wonderful relationship with his family. Richard Holbrooke was not only a devoted father and husband but also a great American. He will truly be missed by the Dwight community.

88 | Dwight Today

From The Archives

Dwight 1938 Tennis Team

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Dwight Today - Winter 2011  
Dwight Today - Winter 2011  

A magazine for the Dwight, Franklin, and Anglo-American communities