THE PEGASUS SCHOOL
ISSUE 3 / SPRING 2012
MISSION STATEMENT The Pegasus School is dedicated to academic excellence and to the development of lifelong learners who are confident, caring, and courageous. COMMUNITY VALUES
• Diverse, collaborative, and vibrant • Serious about academic life • Rich in opportunities • Nurturing of the gifted student • Engaged in the world outside the school
Pegasus students love to learn, to be challenged, and to work hard; they are bright and motivated; they are joyful; they grow in both intellect and empathy. Pegasus teachers love to teach; they are flexible, creative, collaborative, and innovative; they foster each student’s individual gifts and passions; they educate the mind and the heart. Pegasus parents value education; they work closely with the school in a partnership based on thoughtful communication and mutual respect.
THE PEGASUS SCHOOL
• Environmentally Conscious • Technologically Adept • Economically Astute • Versed in the Arts • Globally Aware
Cover photo by Rick Davitt
Our students learn best, and develop the skills they need to pursue their dreams, in a community that is:
PORTRAIT OF A GRADUATE
Spring 2012 www.thepegasusschool.org EditorIAL BOARD Nancy Conklin, Director of Admission Rick Davitt, Photographer Karla Joyce, Writer Sue Harrison, Director of Advancement Shalini Mattina, Assoc. Director of Advancement, Marketing Nancy Wilder, Middle School English Teacher John Zurn, Head of School Writers Karla Joyce John Zurn Angel Waters, Assoc. Director of Advancement, Programs & Events Contributing Writers Mohamed El-Erian Nancy Fries Charley Hurst Charline Nakamura-Lazenby Julia Ostmann ’07 Eva Polizzi ’97 Dan Rosenberg Marrie Stone
Table of Contents FEATURES
Teresa Vicuna Haley & Miranda Young ’01 Art Direction and Design Shalini Mattina
Contributing Photographers Rick Davitt Shalini Mattina
Equipping our Children for a Rapidly Changing World
An Ever-Expanding Education
At the Heart of
Orange County Printing
Supporting Our Mission
Pegasus Magazine is published twice yearly
We welcome your feedback! Please address queries and comments to Shalini Mattina firstname.lastname@example.org
Quiet Leader, Big Effect
by the Office of Advancement at The Pegasus School. It is archived at thepegasusschool.org/about/publications
Those Who Soar...
Pegasus Then & Now
PEGASUS MAGAZINE SPRING 2012
THE PEGASUS SCHOOL
At Pegasus, we have this incredible opportunity to teach bright and motivated children a compelling meaning of success. It is a concept less defined by mastery of the ABC’s than by an intricate understanding of the three E’s:
Education — the ways we embrace learning
Entrepreneurialism — the initiatives we take to use our own skills
Empathy — the ways we reach out to others in common purpose and meaning.
Inside this edition of Pegasus Magazine, you will see the three E’s at play on our campus. Pegasus parent, Mohamed El-Erian, tackles the subject of educating students for the “New Normal,” a phrase he uses to describe the shifting global economy. To summarize his take on today’s students: “How they think is as important as what they think.” The school promotes Economic Literacy as a critical foundation in its Portrait of a Pegasus Graduate. Pegasus parent, Marrie Stone, lays out the economic opportunities laced into the Pegasus curriculum which “fosters an atmosphere of intense curiosity, creativity, charity and enterprise.” Hear from Lower School Director, Dan Rosenberg, who writes about the birth of the school’s Be Kind Committee and the ways we encourage our students to reach out to others. Pegasus parent, Nancy Fries, tells us that true leadership lies within each of us and is often manifest in unseen places. The stories of Emma Robertson, Josh Morrison, Katelyn Baker, and Davis Clement demonstrate Pegasus leadership at its finest. Perhaps the best example of the 3 E’s is the profile written by former Pegasus student, Julia Ostmann. She tells the story of fellow Pegasus graduate, Hawken Miller — written with such grace and insight that this much is clear: Julia’s education is evident in the quality and passion of her writing; Hawken and his family have faced their challenges with true entrepreneurial courage by establishing Cure Duchenne, a foundation for funding research and establishing awareness; and the Pegasus community is deeply grounded in empathy.
John Zurn Head of School
PEGASUS MAGAZINE SPRING 2012
At the Heart of Pegasus by Karla Joyce
What a Wonderful World (Pegasus Student, Claire Dwyer)
dolescent imagination is a powerful thing. It grabs impressions from life and injects them with steroids, creating utter perfection. Hours can be lost locking eyes with Rob Pattinson, flashing designer swag and accepting Academy Awards. Every now and then, circumstances collide in such a way that passion and hard work meet with opportunity leaving little occasion to invent. For Pegasus eighth grader Claire Dwyer, the dream and life intersect like that and success stacks up perfectly… as if scripted by a teenager. Dwyer has been singing since she was a very little kid. Her two-page resume touts the official start of her career as a performance in Opera Pacific’s La Boheme, at age nine. Already, she had been training with the Pacific Symphony’s Southern California Children’s Choir and, in six years, has graduated into the Concert Choir. Under the guidance of musical director Lori Loftus, the choir has performed in grand venues with impressive company; in 2009, for instance, Dwyer sang for Nancy Reagan and the Congressional Medal of Honor recipients
at the Ronald Reagan Library. Meanwhile, Dwyer has buffed out the theatrical side of her gift. For seven consecutive years, she has performed in Pegasus productions and carefully organized her off-season schedule to accommodate dramatic prospects. Most recently, she earned her first paid position in the Broadway professional touring production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Always looking ahead, she opened a college fund with her wages, and she adds to it steadily with winnings from singing competitions, which she enters in her spare time. Ironically, it was Dwyer’s music teacher, Kathleen Martin, who put the perspective into Claire’s story. “She named her dog Melody.” Martin praised Dwyer’s talent and time management skills, but maintained that it was her love of music — pure and simple — that powered her ambition. While she has the chops for opera, Martin explained, she can’t know that today. Today, she’s a thirteen-yearold girl with high grades and a knack for debate, a weakness for ice cream (a singer’s nemesis), and a very open mind.
She also happens to be the daughter of a classical-musician manager (mom) and the President of Segerstrom Center for the Arts (dad). Dwyer may carve a few minutes here or there to mentally drift, like her peers, but most likely the phone will interrupt her reverie… as it did recently. The Southern California Children’s Choir was invited to sing, “What a Wonderful World” at the 84th Annual Academy Awards, during a film tribute to the Hollywood celebrities who passed away in 2011. (Odds are, she met a Twilight movie star…)
The Donut Crew (Pegasus Fathers & Daughters) (Crew n. — A group of people working together; a squad.)
t’s a captivating, southern California visual: surfer dudes hitting the waves at daybreak, the ubiquitous row of neoprene figures dotting the sightline through a chilly mist, a vacant pier as backdrop. But wait. Bobbing between those hardy silhouettes is a smattering of little girls in extra-small wetsuits on short boards. It’s Sunday morning outside Blackies by the Sea, and this intrepid collection of Pegasus dads and daughters are surfing together. The first Pegasus father-daughter duo hit the water nearly two years ago. Mike 6
THE PEGASUS SCHOOL
Mulroy took his then seven-year-old Alden for a pilot outing and punctuated the effort with a celebratory donut from Seaside Bakery. While it was fun, he recalled, he knew she would be more inclined to persevere in the company of peers. So he invited fellow surfer Carl Kawabe and his daughter Caroline to join in and, by definition, a “crew” was born. The crew has grown to a core of eight girls ranging in age from five to nine, but they remain small by the nature of the activity. Surfing, Mulroy admitted, is a dangerous affair. Surfing with small children, who are naturally weaker
swimmers, is even more so. This sobering detail challenges his recruiting efforts but greatly enhances the personal growth and camaraderie that permeates the group. The fathers involved are seasoned surfers themselves, capable of teaching young girls technique and ocean safety while physically directing and protecting them. The level of exertion and element of risk have contributed to a steep learning curve, along with infectious drive. His favorite example of this combination came from third grader Arabella Foster.
After getting dragged under water for an uncomfortable duration, she emerged with a dazed look and announced, “That was awesome!” As another example, he added: “We were getting crushed in big, shortperiod waves and Alden was taking it in the face as we tried to get past the breakline. Eventually, we passed the impact zone and were out deep in large, rolling waves. As I was mentally working out our safest route to shore, Alden said: ‘I want to get barreled, Dad.’”
For Matt Watson and his daughters, Miranda and Avery, the Donut Crew eased the transition into a new school. “It solidified our belief that Pegasus is the place for us,” Watson explained. “And who doesn’t love a good donut?” Third grader Lauren von Aspen sure does. And she enjoys catching her own waves, too. But the true girl-in-the-curl satisfaction, she insisted, comes from “surfing together.”
The Angel Among Us (Pegasus Staff, Angel Waters)
he reason angels can fly is they take themselves lightly,” wrote G.K. Chesterton, English writer and theologian of the Victorian era. Angel Waters — Associate Director of Advancement, Programs & Events at The Pegasus School — has never been seen taking flight, but she does possess conspicuous traits that hearken aeronautics. She exudes balance. She is typically swathed in thick sweaters, yet shivering, as if trapped in an unseen vortex of crisp, cool air. And, she is never without her 24-ounce ceramic coffee mug, a.k.a. covert ballast, secretly securing her to earth. More importantly, Angel takes herself lightly. For the past eight years, she has managed a revolving host of parent volunteers in the planning and execution of the annual Spring Benefit, a fundraising event at Pegasus that yields a significant portion of the operating budget. She administers a thriving association of Grandparents. And she has cultivated the Alumni Association by keeping in touch with Pegasus graduates, helping to maintain the rich memories and lifelong connections shared by so many former students. It is a profusion of details,
names and communications to manage and she has done so, flawlessly. She has done so, calmly. Some might even say she has done so, silently. Most people would not know the extent of Angel’s contributions to the Pegasus community because she prefers it that way; she is fiercely private. Yet, a glimpse into her private world is critical to Angel’s story. Laid out in snapshots from beginning to end, it goes something like this: Angel grew up shy. A handicapped boy lived next door. She witnessed bullying. It pained her to such an extent that it paved the way to her future. Her first employer was United Cerebral Palsy. After the birth of her second child, she retired to parenting. Pulled back by compassion, she volunteered for Project Cuddle, an organization that prevented baby abandonment. In time, she managed the office, manned the hotline, lobbied the government and, inevitably, fostered babies. In 2003, she adopted one of them. By 2007, under the veteran eye of Pegasus pre-k teacher Sandy Deering, she learned that her daughter had autism. Even still, Angel plants herself firmly in the silver lining: “Because of Sandy, we
were able to detect the autism at an early stage. We were so blessed.” Today, in addition to her work at Pegasus, Angel is an advocate and active fundraiser for Autism Speaks, as well as a member of the Fountain Valley Educational Foundation, an entity charged with funding science, music, arts, and library programs that have been cut from public schools. For those fortunate enough to know her, she is an inspiration. She is a quiet force, helping hundreds of souls. She is — without doubt — an angel.
Karla Joyce is a Pegasus parent and contributing writer for the Pegasus Magazine. Contact: email@example.com
PEGASUS MAGAZINE SPRING 2012
Meet Peter, Emily, Harry, Toni-Marie, Penelope, Jack and Nicoletta Koulos… All Together, A Pegasus Legacy
The most familiar snapshot of Greek-
Orthodox Church in Los Angeles. They
America. The generations proliferated
American culture in modern history
spent Sundays and Greek Orthodox
with alacrity and named their offspring
might well be the 2002 romantic comedy,
summer camps together and attended
according to Greek tradition: first-born
My Big Fat Greek Wedding. In the movie,
high school proms and debutante balls.
male (father’s father), first-born female
a young Greek woman falls in love
Shortly after graduating from college,
(father’s mother), second-born male
with a non-Greek and struggles for her
they married. While the marriage
(mother’s father), second-born female
family’s approval. The plot unfolds with
was anything but arranged, her father
(mother’s mother), and so on. Emily and
a healthy dose of cultural stereotype (the
strictly conveyed the fact that she would
Peter followed suit.
controlling immigrant father, a truckload
eventually marry a Greek man. “We
of cousins with the same name, and
were so immersed in Greek culture that,
chuckle at the exacting customs of this
raucous feasts) but ends with this telling
frankly, it was easier to fall in love with a
ancient culture being wedged into our
freer, modern times, but not a Greek. It
A non-Greek might shrug or even
Key word: frankly. The history of
is the tenacity of the Greek tradition and
and we laugh and yes, we roast lamb on a
Greece might spill from Emily’s mouth
Greek Orthodoxy faith that cements its
spit in the front yard. But wherever I go,
before her coffee cools, and any audience
values—above all: family predominates.
whatever I do, they will always be there.”
would be captivated. But, with direction,
Education is a duty. Religious practice
she happily focuses on the Koulos family.
binds a community.
truth in stereotype.
Peter’s grandparents emigrated from the
Greek island of Kalymnos at the same
culture and the increasing ease in which
unwavering identity, and yes, it is Greek.
time Emily’s ancestors arrived from
students can access information, the
When she was ten years old, Emily
Kalamata, both families, with the goal
constancy and moral assuredness of the
met Peter Koulos at St. Sophia Greek
of better educating their children in
Greek culture appeals. Despite external
“My family is big and loud. We fight
According to Emily Koulos, there is The Koulos family has a conspicuous,
THE PEGASUS SCHOOL
Given the landscape of our popular
Photos courtesy of Gina Chiaramonte, Photographic Designs
by Karla Joyce
pressures, Greek children are steeped
team recently took second place in the
in Greek identity. They are buffeted by
high school championship at The Honda
it and, Emily would add, they blossom
Center, and he played quarterback on
because of it. “It is my job, my duty, to
the Pegasus championship football team
give this to my children.”
this year, and Nicoletta won the state
championship in gymnastics at Level 9—
By association, she has also given it to
but they bring joy to their big brother.
They also embody the family ethos that
Little Harry was just three years old
when he arrived at Pegasus. (Today, he is
has been long carved by both Greek
22.) In the ensuing nineteen years, The
culture and Koulos character: the desire
Pegasus School has grown-up in step
the Air Force Judge Advocate General
to bring joy, an intrinsic need to honor
with five Koulos students, each avidly
(JAG) Corps at Andrews Air Force Base.
family and community, and a steady
Greek in philosophy and drive. They
striving for personal excellence.
strive to bring honor to their family, as
“artistic one,” says Emily. A sophomore
they are schooled in traditional Greek
at Drexel University’s Westphal School
on the commonality of sheer achievement
dancing, on the side. Each one, however,
of Media Arts and Design, Toni-Marie
from such a diverse cast, it is the fact
is unique. A quick inventory of their
is relatively seasoned in the field of
that joy bounces so freely from brother
pursuits and achievements is nearly
fashion. She has spent two consecutive
to brother, parent to child, son to sister
summers under the tutelage of Pegasus
Toni-Marie is, by all accounts, the
While it would be natural to focus
that truly sets this family apart. They
parent, Christina Peng, at TSE Cashmere. Emily credits Pegasus for recognizing her daughter’s artistic nature. By high school she was in full possession of her own creativity; she wrote, acted in and directed plays for the Wilson Drama department.
Penelope is a ballerina. As a high
school senior, she is currently in the throes of college applications and dance school auditions, targeting NYU, Fordham and Julliard, among others. She
bring joy. They love in spades. They go out
class from Woodrow Wilson High School
is also wrapping up her final semester
into the big world in big style but they
in Long Beach. Long ago he had fallen in
as valedictorian of her class. Curiously
come home, frequently. They talk, daily.
love with Yale and history — interests
discerning (for an eighteen year old), she
Sure, this group shows (exceptionally)
fueled by his family (Dad had taken
has already calculated the likelihood and
well dolled-up on a Christmas card, but
him to Cooperstown for his devotion to
longevity of a career on her toes, so she
it is the snapshot of true friendship and
baseball and, while there, they visited
has a backup plan. Her real goal is to earn
loyalty that shows the family’s soul.
Yale) and Pegasus (his all-time favorite
a PhD in Kinesiology from USC and work
teacher was social studies whiz, Mrs.
as a physical therapist for a professional
Love your brothers and sisters. Make
Bortz) — so off he went. He graduated
education a priority while cultivating
with honors and is currently a first-year
individuality. Contribute to a community;
law student at Georgetown, interns in
Nicoletta (Pegasus fifth grader) have
identify somewhere. Go about your
the Office of Vaccine Litigation in the
equally impressive talents, but truly
business, whatever it is, with full energy...
U.S. Department of Justice, and will be
shine through the words of brother
and lots of opas!
interning this summer for Judge Beryl
Harry: “The joy Nicoletta and Jack bring
Howell at the U.S. District Court and for
me is immeasurable.” Sure Jack’s hockey
Harry graduated number one in his
Jack (Pegasus eighth grader) and
Lesson learned: honor your parents.
PEGASUS MAGAZINE SPRING 2012
by Dan Rosenberg
“It’s not the sex talk.” And so began the first student meeting of the Be Kind Committee.
s a newcomer to Pegasus, I am often asked what I like best about the school. The answer is easy: it’s the students. Whether I am on the field during recess,
taking part in the “Who Stole the Cupcakes?” forensic science unit in third grade, reading Stories with Holes and posing brainteasers with the fourth graders, or teaching computer programming and algebra to fifth graders, the highlights of my year have unquestionably been the moments that I have had with the third, fourth, and fifth graders.
Last fall, faculty members B.J. Crabtree, Karen Hurst, Dr.
Iriet Peshkess, Vicki Schmitz, Coach Charles Tyler, and I got together and formed the “Be Kind” committee. The committee was not formed in response to any particular occurrence at school, nor was it formed because we felt our students were not being kind to one another. Rather, we wanted to create a more formal social and emotional learning program that supplements what is already accomplished in many of the classrooms and to
and Hurst, as well as with several girls in the Lower School,
create a venue where students could discuss their feelings and
that meaningful conversations have taken place about kindness,
learn strategies for responding appropriately to conflicts.
friendships, and other topics of interest to these soon-to-be
middle school students. One of the most insightful conversations
Over these past few months, the six of us have met with the
third through fifth graders. Tyler, Crabtree, and I meet with the
among the girls occurred when some middle school girls
boys, while Schmitz, Peshkess, and Hurst converse with the
visited the fifth graders and spoke candidly about the social
girls. Initially, the students felt a bit apprehensive about being
pressures they faced and how they handled those pressures
split by gender. Did they think they were in trouble? Were they
both successfully and unsuccessfully. These stories sparked in
worried we were going to deliver some bad news? Tyler, though,
the fifth graders a willingness to share their own stories and to
quickly diagnosed the problem, and with five words put the
explore their own strategies for responding to social pressures
children at ease: “It’s not the sex talk.”
in ways that are characterized by kindness and good decision
Since we meet with the students by gender, I can attest
first-hand only to what has happened during discussions with
the boys. Although I have not been present at the meetings with
occurred during the Be Kind meetings with the boys. I give
the girls, I know through conversations with Peshkess, Schmitz 10 THE PEGASUS SCHOOL
I have been quite moved by the conversations that have
credit not only to the students for their willingness and courage to share what is on their minds, but also to Tyler and Crabtree for the relationships that they have built with the students over the years. Boys have shared heartfelt stories of times when they were treated unkindly, as well as times when they have treated others in a less than kind way. Also, boys have shared unpleasant experiences from as long as four years ago. These accounts have led to good discussions about how our actions and words — both good and bad — can have a lasting impact. We have asked the boys why people may act in an unkind way and have been very impressed with the thoughtfulness of their answers. One child mentioned that he thought someone might bully another child “because he feels insecure about himself.” Another stated that a person may be unkind because “maybe there’s something wrong in his life, and he doesn’t know what else to do about it.”
In some instances our meetings have become a forum to
problem solve, when the adults ask a few questions, but the students come up with their own answers. If, for example, excluding (or “discluding,” to use the student’s word) someone from a game is unkind, what do you do when that person does not want to play by the rules or is unable to keep up with the pace of the game? Is it OK to “disclude” them then? What can you say — and what shouldn’t you say — to that person? Most challenging of all, what if — gulp — that person is a girl?
In establishing the Be Kind committee with Crabtree,
Hurst, Peshkess, Schmitz and Coach Tyler, I hoped that we keep a forum in which meaningful conversations took place in an environment where the students felt safe to share what is on their minds. Every meeting Tyler, Crabtree, and I have had with the boys ended before everyone has had a chance to speak. In a way, ending a discussion when we still have multiple hands raised is difficult, but it is rewarding to see that there’s still plenty to talk about at our next meeting.
I feel honored to be part of the Be Kind committee. I
believe that it has been beneficial for our students and that the meetings we have had with the children have encouraged discussion that otherwise may not have happened. In addition, this committee provides an opportunity for the adults that make up the committee (myself included) to get know the children better and to spend time with them talking about their issues, concerns, and experiences.
My favorite moments this year have been those with the
students, observing them create, think, question, solve, discover, and play on a daily basis. Of those favorite moments, some of the “best of the best” observations have been these Be Kind committee meetings. Listening to students speak from the heart and work together to solve issues that matter to them is incredibly powerful. We have impressive children at Pegasus, and it is a pleasure to be part of their lives.
Telling students to “be kind” is easy. What, though, does
Dan Rosenberg is the Lower School Director. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
that really mean to a third, fourth, and fifth grader? The Be Kind committee works to address this issue while establishing a more systematic way for students to explore what kindness and other related values really are.
PEGASUS MAGAZINE SPRING 2012 11
cultivating pportunities to xplore
by Eva Polizzi
“Excuse me, do you have any books about
for a long afternoon and Atticus didn’t
be different and what puzzle pieces are
sharks?” asks a kindergarten student,
have to worry about her. The point of a
required to make it so. The question
his sweet little drawl at odds with the
library is to inspire imaginations.
“what if?” must be continually on the
seriousness in his face. “What about
mind of an innovator. What if an ill person
Luther King? I want a book about Luther
through an atlas, or reading a book—
was able to ingest a microscopic army to fight
King,” a pre-kindergarten Penguin
non-fiction or fiction—the imagination
an infection? What if I could touch the screen
informs us. “Martin Luther King? His
is engaged. A student’s brain has the
instead of using a mouse? If necessity is the
books are right here,” we respond. The
opportunity to visualize the world of
mother of invention, imagination must be
constant and un-remitting curiosity
a story, or comprehend the distance
the mother of innovation. To imagine the
of the students is both overwhelming
between a Southern plantation and a
world as being different—even just a tiny
and inspiring. And the questions don’t
Boston factory. When students use their
facet of it, such as the buttons on an ATM
stop with lower school students: older
imaginations to stretch their minds to
or an alphabet of gestures—is the first
students ask us everything from how to find the atomic number for nitrogen, to what’s our favorite eighteenth century novel, to who our picks are for March Madness.
When educators try to develop the
skills needed for students to succeed in a results-driven system, they face the challenge of stimulating the imagination in over-stimulated children. Why read
Whether listening to a story, flipping
In order to think differently, the imagination must be engaged...The question ‘what if’ must be constantly on the mind of the innovator.
step to creating a new world, a new way of life.
A new world is scary, and innovation
is risky. To return to Scout and the Maycomb Library, a library also serves as a safe place. It houses the records of all past successes and precedents for those seeking inspiration. But it also houses the records of all past failures and catastrophes. Revolutionaries, both
a book when you can see a movie and
understand, they create new worlds with
young and old, want to know what’s been
the imagining has been done for you?
new possibilities. Eventually, hopefully,
done before. Taking an army of elephants
Why bother flipping through a book
these new worlds will help change our
over the Pyrenees was an innovation, to
when the question can be typed into
say the least, and Hannibal’s tactics are
a search engine? Does anyone even
recorded. Marie Curie’s discovery that
know how to use an index anymore?
the way we live are the ones who, to
uranium itself is radioactive depended
Thankfully, Pegasus students do. And
quote Apple, “think different.” Well,
upon the years of research that came
the point of libraries in general, and ours
think differently. In order to think
before it, all recorded in a science library.
in particular, is not to wallow in the
differently, the imagination must be
And these records and inspirations aren’t
nostalgia of a simpler time when Scout
engaged. A brain must be allowed to
limited to the non-fiction section. Pegasus
Finch could ride her bike to the library
imagine how a situation would be, could
students know how Pip stood up for
12 THE PEGASUS SCHOOL
The people who ultimately change
himself by asking for more and how the Ingalls family persevered through trial after trial on the American frontier.
A quiet library is a paradox
because while we ask that patrons be quiet and respectful of others, the quiet atmosphere allows for a raucous life of the mind. A quiet respite in the library allows the imagination to flourish, allows the mind to see all the possibilities available. A student sitting quietly in the library is really an undercover entrepreneur: plotting, planning, and wondering. He or she uses his or her imagination to change the world.
We’ve been reading a picture
book called, Me…Jane, by Patrick McDonnell, to the youngest children at Pegasus. McDonnell recently won a Caldecott Honor Medal for his beautiful watercolors in the book, but the core of the story is what truly reaches our students. It’s basically a biography of a Jane Goodall’s childhood and yet, it is utterly relatable to a pre-kindergarten student. They know what it’s like to carry their favorite stuffed animal with them (in Dr. Goodall’s case, a stuffed chimp named Jubilee). They know what it’s like to just sit down and wonder— about things, about life, about the world: our world, their world, the “what if” world. Eva Polizzi ’97 is the interim librarian. Contact: email@example.com
PEGASUS MAGAZINE SPRING 2012 13
Charles Tyler, Impact Player
by Charley Hurst
egasus students know Charles Tyler as their beloved
Physical Education teacher and Middle School advisor, and as both a coach of sports, and a coach of life. He is
known to generations of Pegasus students by a single name: “Coach.” His enthusiasm and passion, his big heart, and his booming voice, permeate the Pegasus campus. I set out to find out how one man could have such a profound impact on an institution. I found the answers in his personal history, and they were not entirely what I expected.
Tyler was born in 1940, in Washington, D.C., which at
the time was part of the segregated South. As a young boy, he couldn’t go into most theaters or restaurants due to his color. He attended segregated grammar and middle schools, and it wasn’t until high school that he went to school with white children.
When Tyler was thirteen, his father died in a hunting
accident. He, his mother and four siblings were devastated by
After leaving the Army, Tyler took a job in Chicago, where
his father’s death. His mother took a job, went back to school,
he worked as a manager, successfully running a series of
and became a nurse. Years later, she told Tyler that his father
manufacturing plants for an industrial brake manufacturer
had been rushed, still alive, to a nearby hospital after the
called Abex. When he was passed over for an important
accident. He had been refused treatment because he was black,
promotion in favor of a demonstrably less qualified colleague,
and he died before he could obtain treatment. His mother
Tyler challenged the company’s institutional bullying
sheltered her children from this truth, to steer them away
and ultimately obtained justice in the form of a favorable
from hatred. Her perseverance and positive outlook in the face
of this tragedy were a huge influence on Tyler. Her response
exemplified the strength of character that was ultimately
snowstorm in Chicago in 1967. A year later they were married
passed on to her son.
and decided to look for a house in the suburbs. Their realtor
offered them a single house on a flooded street and told them
Following high school, Tyler was recruited to Lafayette
Tyler met his wife, Jan, at an impromptu party during a
College in Easton, Pennsylvania, to run track. He was in the
that every other house in the area had been sold. They tried
ROTC and received a BS in Mechanical Engineering. After
another realtor and promptly found their dream house. Upon
graduation, he volunteered for the Army, serving three years,
learning that all those “sold” houses were in fact available,
and retiring as a captain.
Tyler and Jan challenged the first realtor and the case was
14 THE PEGASUS SCHOOL
settled. A week after moving into their new home, a fire was
The CHOICES Program evolved into the Advisement
set, burning the kitchen and family room. The perpetrator
Program, and ultimately moved into the Pegasus curriculum.
was never caught. To this day, despite the evil Tyler has
encountered, he maintains the strength of character to stand
he has stressed sportsmanship over winning and has
up for himself and what is right. His outlook on life is positive,
focused on the means, rather than the ends. He teaches the
and he has not lost his love for people—all people.
stronger athletes to improve their skills by incorporating the
weaker athletes into their team’s efforts, and he teaches the
Tyler moved from Abex to ARCO, initially turning around
For the nearly twenty years Tyler has taught at Pegasus,
a money-losing plant, and at the same time successfully
weaker athletes to feel good about their level of effort and
instituting an ex-offender program, helping and inspiring
improvement, and to not be concerned that others might be
individuals who might otherwise be shunned. He says that
more adept. As a result of his personal history, Coach Tyler
“dealing with people the right way” is the key to successful
preached a message of anti-bullying long before it was stylish,
plant management, a lesson he shares with Pegasus students.
asking his students: “Why not be concerned about how
In 1982, ARCO moved Tyler and his family to California,
other people feel?” When teaching respect for others, he also
where he managed plants in Long Beach and City of Industry,
sometimes draws upon his past experiences.
and was later promoted to more senior jobs within the
company. The couple and their four children settled in
how deeply he cares about them as a person, and that Coach
Huntington Beach, where Tyler coached his children’s sports teams, served as commissioner of the local AYSO, and even coached the girls’ soccer team at a local high school. He also dreamed of one day being a teacher.
Tyler retired from ARCO in
1994, obtained his emergency teaching credential, and began working as a substitute teacher at
And Pegasus students love him for it. Each of them knows
For the nearly twenty years Tyler has taught at Pegasus, he has stressed sportsmanship over winning and has focused on the means, rather than the ends.
can always be counted on to help. To walk into his office tucked away at the far end of the boys’ locker room, is to enter a shrine to that love. Every inch is covered by cards and pictures and memorabilia signed by literally hundreds of Pegasus students who thank him for playing such an important role in their lives. The same message is conveyed in the school’s yearbooks, which are chockfull of odes to Coach, and his impact
The Pegasus School. Founder Laura Hathaway asked him to join Pegasus full-time as the school’s
on the lives of his students.
P.E. teacher. He jumped at the opportunity.
Bat Mitzvahs, and he remains in touch with dozens of Pegasus
Tyler’s P.E. classes were large, and Dr. Hathaway
Tyler has attended more than 100 Pegasus student Bar and
expressed concern that he needed to watch all of the children
graduates, writing college recommendations and even job
all of the time. Coach said it couldn’t be done and suggested
references. Outside of school hours, he attends games, recitals,
instead that he talk to the students about the importance of
dances and swim meets for Pegasus students and graduates.
doing the right thing, whether he was watching them or not.
He has even been the subject of college essays. Coach says it is
And that began the character education program at Pegasus,
as if he has “a thousand grandstudents,” and he is proud that
and was the genesis of Coach’s axiom, known to every
he “had some influence on their lives.”
Pegasus student that “character is how you act when no one is
“the best job I ever had.”
And he says one more thing: that working at Pegasus is
Tyler expanded his informal lessons on character into
his “CHOICES” Program, which he initially taught in his P.E. classes. “CHOICES” is an acronym for: Courage, Humor,
Charley Hurst is a transactional real estate lawyer, and the father of five children. This is his nineteenth and final year as a Pegasus parent. He served on the Board of Trustees from 1996 to 2005. Contact: Charles.Hurst@sedgwicklaw.com
Openness, Integrity, Commitment, Excellence, Self-Reliance.
PEGASUS MAGAZINE SPRING 2012 15
Quiet Leader BIG Effect 16 THE PEGASUS SCHOOL
by Nancy Fries
rom the classroom to the
Williamson says. “Leadership skills
courageous—and following the principles
boardroom, from the playground
give young people the confidence and
of values-based leadership—can help
to the political arena, our culture
independence to make wise decisions.”
them succeed both personally and
extols the virtue of leadership. We
professionally. Williamson would add
envision leaders as pillars of popularity,
leaders who are confident, caring, and
self-advocacy as a critical leadership skill.
student-council presidents, and denizens
courageous. This aspect of our mission
of positive change. Indeed, Pegasus
closely mirrors what Northwestern
leadership skill, but I do,” Williamson
strives to develop leaders in traditional
University management professor Harry
shares. “From kindergarten all the way
ways, like public speaking, community
Kraemer calls “values-based leadership,”
through middle school, our faculty allows
service, sports, and much more. But what
which includes four principles: self-
the students to develop interactive,
about the student who runs for office and
reflection, balance, self-confidence, and
trusting relationships.” Williamson says
doesn’t win? Or the one who leads a quiet
those relationships give students the
yet exemplary life without reaching some
confidence to interact with adults and
objective pinnacle of achievement? What
isn’t about emulating a role model or
At Pegasus, we strive to develop
“Becoming the best kind of leader
“Many wouldn’t view that as a
advocate for themselves throughout life.
exactly does it mean to be a leader?
developing values-based leadership in its
“Leadership is much more about
Zurn explains that Pegasus excels in
character, finding out who you are and
students in part because it’s a safe place
what you do well, and seeing what kind
to try new activities:
of impact you can have on other people,”
states John Zurn, Head of School. Middle
experiences, challenging them to try
School Director Joe Williamson agrees.
on different hats, and building up their
confidence through opportunities to
“When I think of leadership
“It’s about giving students
among middle school students, I’m not
demonstrate their leadership; Leadership
thinking just about being student body
is ultimately about figuring out your
president or captain of the football team,”
role, what you’re good at, what you like,
Williamson comments. “Leadership is
what you can do with passion and have a
also being comfortable with who you
positive impact on other people.”
are, having the ability to resist peer
and media pressure, and displaying
passions with an ever-growing choice
Pegasus plants the seeds of potential
confidence in your personal and academic
a historic figure,” Kraemer, the author
of activities such as, environmental
of From Values to Action: The Four
sustainability programs, debate, robotics,
Principles of Values-Based Leadership,
and lacrosse. Each curricular and
and particularly in middle school,
wrote in Forbes magazine. “Rather, your
extracurricular activity has its natural
students are deciding just what kind
leadership must be rooted in who you are
leaders—the math whiz, the lead in the
of people they want to be. Torn at
and what matters most to you.”
play, the queen bee of the playground.
times between fitting in and following
But every Pegasus student has the
their moral compass, students rely on
aren’t leaders in the traditional sense.
opportunity to lead in his or her own
leadership to help them make good
They may never play quarterback or
way: by demonstrating a solid work ethic,
choices. A leader may be the one who
first violin, run a company, or seek
by encouraging others, or by choosing the
stands up to a bully on the playground or
political office. But maybe they’ll be
road less traveled. Here we profile several
resists the temptation to cheat. A leader
the key member of a research team that
unique Pegasus student leaders.
may quietly demonstrate kindness and
develops a new drug or a trusted advisor
respect to others. A leader acts as a role
on foreign policy. Maybe they’ll write
model through his or her daily behavior.
for a newspaper or teach at a school like
Eighth grader Emma Robertson reflects
“Values have become confused,
Pegasus. No matter which path they
the traits Pegasus seeks to develop in all
muddled and vague for this generation,”
choose, being confident, caring, and
of its students. Take courage, for example:
Throughout their years at Pegasus,
Many bright and gifted students
PEGASUS MAGAZINE SPRING 2012 17
After losing an election in seventh
grade, Emma could have given up on
on a different trait,” she notes. “After
disease and requires great maturity to
the Associated Student Body (ASB). But
all those years you are well-rounded,
manage successfully,” says Pegasus nurse
Emma wanted to make a difference at
you are more or less organized, you’re
Karen Hurst. “Josh and Katelyn have set a
Pegasus and saw ASB as an opportunity
hardworking, you’re confident, and you
remarkable example for our students.”
to do so.
can work with others.
diabetes with confidence and grace,
“I’ve always gravitated toward being
a leader,” she claims. “I’m not the best
“Every year at Pegasus kind of focuses
“Since this is the only school I’ve been
to, everything I am is because of Pegasus.”
“Diabetes is a very complicated
Josh and Katelyn manage their
quietly testing their blood sugar levels
at organization or the best at a bunch
at regular intervals throughout the day,
of different things, but I’m able to see
delivering extra insulin after meals, and
people’s strengths and put everything
eating sweet snacks if their sugar levels
dip too low. For Katelyn, diagnosed at age
three, it’s been a part of life as long as she
So Emma gave ASB another chance,
and this year her fellow students elected
can remember. For Josh, diagnosed at age
her president. She brings to her position
ten, it was a life change, but it didn’t have
another key Pegasus trait—caring.
to change his life.
“Our biggest goal in ASB,” she states,
“I was diagnosed in fourth grade, and
“is to make everyone feel included and
third grade was all about independence,”
to have everyone feel important.” To that
mentions Josh. He credits his teachers
end, ASB coordinated an anonymous
with helping him develop the skills
Valentine card exchange this year so
to manage his diabetes once he was
every middle school student would
diagnosed. Whereas students at some
receive a card and treat on his or her
other schools have to leave the classroom
locker. They’ve also organized a ping-
to test their blood sugar levels, Josh is
called “Elimination” that encourages
Josh Morrison & Katelyn Baker
students to interact with each other, and
Ernest Hemingway said, “Courage is
from a bad one. “Pegasus is special, I
other fun activities designed to foster a
grace under pressure.” Pegasus seventh
guess,” he says.
sense of community.
graders Katelyn Baker and Josh Morrison
exhibit courage every day at school as
culture of independence contributes
organization and time management
they manage their diabetes. Both have
to her own responsible approach to
skills,” shares Middle School Activities
Type 1—or juvenile—diabetes, which
managing diabetes, “When we get older,
Director Christine Bridges, who is also
causes dangerous levels of sugar in the
our parents won’t always be there to test
an advisor to ASB. “She is well-respected
our blood sugars or change our pump site.
by her peers and is a good leader and
We have a big responsibility to take care
listener. She is willing to learn and is
just two active, bright students. Katelyn
figure skates, plays ice hockey, surfs, and
would like to be an interior designer.
“They see us test our blood sugars and
who also dances, participates in National
Josh plays lacrosse and hopes to parlay
give ourselves shots every day, and they
Charity League, and works on the
his public speaking skills into a career
admire that we are able to do this,” Josh
yearbook, Emma exudes both confidence
as a news anchor, lawyer, or President
states. “I also admire my friends because
and humility. She speaks with genuine
of the United States. Only by watching
they keep their grades up, they have
passion about the life lessons she has
closely would anyone notice that both
sports, and they have responsibilities, but
learned through her ten years at Pegasus
wear pumps that deliver insulin to their
I definitely think they look up to us.”
and how they have shaped her into the
pong tournament with faculty, a game
“Emma has good communication,
A distinguished honor roll student,
person she is today. 18 THE PEGASUS SCHOOL
At first glance, Katelyn and Josh are
allowed to test his sugar level in class and his friends even know a good reading
Katelyn agrees that the Pegasus
Fellow students respect the pair.
These two Pegasus leaders act as
Junior Ambassadors for the Juvenile
Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).
priority on developing collaborative skills
As ambassadors, they help publicize
in its students.
the organization’s mission of finding
a cure for diabetes and participate in
the classroom to the football field to the
fundraising events. They also support
Kindergarten wing, where he meets up
and advise newly diagnosed children.
with a buddy several times a week as part
So when sixth grader Melanie Wolter
of the Service Learning elective. “When
was diagnosed this year—her first at
I first saw the elective I didn’t know we
Pegasus—Josh and Katelyn reached out.
were going to get to go to kindergarten
and have lots of fun,” states Davis, who
“It was so helpful just to know there
Davis works well with others from
are other active, athletic, and helpful
chose the elective for altruistic reasons.
students at Pegasus who have Type 1
“Giving back to what the community
diabetes,” Melanie says. “It is one thing
gives to you I think is very important.”
when a doctor says the disease doesn’t have to limit you; it is another thing to actually know people who are examples
respect for Davis because he puts
says kindergarten teacher Nancy Larimer,
everything on the line in what he does,
who sees Davis work with her students.
but does nothing without dignity and
lives,” Hurst comments. “The proof of
character,” says James Swiger, social
where everyone knows everyone,” Davis
character is how we react to those times
studies teacher and football coach. “He
shares. “You create bonds with not only
and how we move forward every day in
leads through his actions and deeds,
your friends, but also your teachers and
the pursuit of success, happiness, and a
which are far more powerful than words.”
some of the parents that come here. It
full life.” In this respect, Josh and Katelyn
gets you to feel comfortable around many
personify the type of leaders Pegasus
first glance he is a typical eighth grader,
different types of people and to be able
seeks to develop—confident, caring, and
but moments into a conversation he
to adapt and overcome any hardships or
exhibits maturity and poise beyond his
years. Not one to sing his own praises, he
attributes his personal success in large
to bring out the leader in all of our
In any grade at any school, students and
part to the only school has ever attended.
students. In a place where they feel
teachers alike can identify a few obvious
comfortable being themselves, expressing
leaders. At Pegasus, we also celebrate
teaches you lots of valuable skills you
their ideas and trying new things, every
the students who lead by quiet example.
can take with you,” reflects Davis. “It
Pegasus student has the opportunity
Davis Clement is one such student.
teaches you teamwork, and there are a
to lead through actions and deeds with
lot of group activities where you have to
confidence, courage, and compassion.
“Everyone has difficult times in their
By all objective measures, Davis is
“Adults and peers alike have such
“Davis is patient and kind and uses
Yet Davis’s words are powerful. At
“From the beginning years, Pegasus
a Pegasus success story: A student here
work to get along with people you might
since preschool, he is a distinguished
not work as well with.” An interesting
honor roll student. Davis was an all-star
insight in light of a recent New York Times
and captain of the Fall 2011 championship
article by former Harvard University
flag football team; he also sails and plays
President Lawrence H. Summers
rugby and lacrosse. As Assistant Senior
noting the increasing importance
Patrol Leader for Boy Scout Troop 911,
of collaboration in the workplace.
he holds the second highest leadership
According to Summers, the most
position in the troop. But what really
important attribute sought by a leading
makes Davis a leader is the manner in
investment bank is the ability to work
which he conducts himself.
with others, and Pegasus places a high
every opportunity to teach a life lesson,”
“Pegasus has that community feel
That “community feel” is intended
Nancy Gelston Fries is a freelance writer and the mother of Ian ’10, a sophomore at Sage Hill School, and Eric ’14. Contact: Nancyfries@cox.net
PEGASUS MAGAZINE SPRING 2012 19
Equipping our Children for a Rapidly Changing World
by Mohamed El-Erian
udging from current economic trends, our children will inherit a different world when they reach their adult years.
As caring parents, our responsibility is to continue to do our utmost to equip them to navigate the changing sets of risks and opportunities. We try to do so in many ways, including by providing them access to a great education at Pegasus and, equally important, helping them understand that how they think
is as important of what they think.
Baby Boomers grew up in the comfort of knowing that the
United States — and, more broadly, the West — was the model that most other countries in the world aspired to emulate. The “western system” was seen as most effective in creating opportunities, delivering prosperity, and rewarding talent and hard work — so much so that western culture became readily exportable (especially when it came to the American variety), as did our habits, playbooks, and aspirations.
These days, however, the West faces considerable
headwinds. We have allowed our debts to get too large and our economies to lose too much vibrancy and competitiveness. Our educational systems have lagged, and our emphasis on hard work has often given way to the temptation of credit-financed short cuts. In the process, we stumbled into a destructive financial crisis that will take years to overcome.
As the challenges have grown bigger and more complex,
our political system seems to have fallen victim to extreme polarization and short-termism. Political interactions have become more divisive and overly tactical (as opposed to strategic), and the outcomes are outright dysfunctional in far too many cases. As an illustration, recall how last summer’s political bickering pushed the U.S. to the verge of a default and, in the process, undermined the country’s sacred AAA credit ratings and undermined confidence in the economy.
The West is now having problems creating enough jobs,
funding small businesses, and facilitating social mobility. Meanwhile, income and wealth inequalities have grown
20 THE PEGASUS SCHOOL
materially, and unemployment remains worrisomely high, thus contributing to the damaging trio of record long-term joblessness (with over 40% of the unemployed having been out of work for more than 26 weeks), extremely high youth unemployment (a staggering 24% for sixteen to nineteen year olds) and weak social safety nets.
These worrisome economic trends, along with the fact that
our elected representatives are not doing enough to address them, have led a growing number of analysts to a disturbing and unusual conclusion: for the first time in a very long time, our children’s generation may be worse off than that of their parents.
It should come as no surprise that the global standing and
traditional dominance of the Western system are being eroded.
It should also come as no big surprise that grass root protest
of the measurement metrics, various analyses suggest that they
movements, usually youth driven, have formed in an increasing
already outscore us in mathematics and sciences, especially
number of western countries — from the Occupy movements in
when it comes to elementary and secondary education — a
the UK and U.S. to the Indignados in Spain and protestors in the
stunning outcome given that we have out spent them for years, only to lose our edge and even fall
streets of many European capitals, including Athens, Paris, and Rome.
The West’s loss of self-
confidence is even more pronounced when compared to what is happening in the emerging world. Several countries — including giants such as Brazil, China, India, and Indonesia — are in the midst of an historic developmental breakout phase. There, economic growth is more robust, wages are rising,
The most important thing is to stress to our students the importance of a proper education; and educational establishments must continue to make learning an engaging and interactive process.
behind. Even their technology orientation at school is starting to outpace some of what is happening here.
No one can tell for sure how
the world will accommodate these two very divergent trends in Western and emerging countries. In particular, will it do so in an orderly and cooperative fashion; or will tensions and trade wars dominate? What is clear is that there is little
competitiveness is increasing, and financial assets are growing. In the process, these countries are
chance of going back to the global configuration that most of us
closing the gap with the West, and they are starting to assert
had as children and that we have grown comfortable with.
themselves more forcefully on the global stage.
Remember, some of these countries have also been investing
equipping our children with the right tool kit to navigate what,
effectively in education and, often, taking bold forward-looking
to use a famous phrase from Chairman Bernanke of the Federal
views of curriculums. While we may disagree with the specifics
Reserve, is an “unusually uncertain outlook.” Some of this
I believe that we can and should react now in the hope of
PEGASUS MAGAZINE SPRING 2012 21
on educational achievements, there is an enormous dispersion around the average national unemployment rate of 8%. Only 4% of those with bachelor degree lack a job, yet a whopping 14% of those without a high school diploma are unemployed. And these figures only speak to the overall level of education. Just imagine if the numbers were adjusted for quality.
Working with schools throughout our children’s academic
career, and certainly today with Pegasus, we must help them to be intellectually agile. We must encourage them to be analytically curious, to explore, and to question consistently. Indeed, as the world changes, long-standing approaches may well prove less effective in dealing with the range of challenges that a growing student faces.
Open mindsets will be critical to our children’s ability to
navigate tomorrow’s world. When compared to our generation, they will need to be much better at spotting paradigm changes. They will be challenged to be more skillful and timely in adapting their approaches and analytical frameworks. They will have to do certain things better and others differently. And they will need to do so without sacrificing the educational foundation equipping can be done at home, and some will also require that our children’s schools and colleges step up to the task of being even more responsive in a rapidly changing world.
The most important thing is to stress to our children
the importance of a proper education; and educational establishments must continue to make learning an engaging and interactive process. This process speaks to a range of requirements, many of which enable our children to understand, prepare and navigate a more volatile outlook. Importantly, it is about both how and what they think. It is about maintaining agile tools of analysis. It is about mixing and matching the best of different approaches. And it is about understanding that education is an investment for life, is a way to handle both the expected and unexpected, and is not necessarily for immediate consumption and gratification.
Unlike money and material possessions that our children
may inherit, education is something that can never be taken away from them. Once armed with a proper academic foundation, they can rely on it for a lifetime, to provide them with a rock solid basis for good analysis and sound decision making.
Then there are the numbers that, unambiguously and
clearly, stress the importance of education. Look at the latest employment report published by the government. Depending
22 THE PEGASUS SCHOOL
that anchors them every single day.
I believe that it is particularly important for us, as parents and
through the school, to encourage our children to be open in
Pegasus, our students are part of a special group of students
a global and humble manner. By doing so, we can help them
with access to talented teachers, a strong educational culture,
recognize that other cultures have much to teach us. Different
and superior facilities and approaches. But, critically, they must
cultural perspectives enrich rather than confuse discussions.
not think of this privilege as an “entitlement.” Rather, it is an
And we can help them understand that a previously-alien way of
opportunity — or, to be more precise, an investment — to put
looking at familiar issues may, in fact, be complimentary if not
them in good stead to grow as individuals, to provide for their
superior to old ones.
own families, and to contribute to society.
Just because our children will confront playbooks that differ
We should have no doubt. Because of their exposure to
Neither our children nor any of us should forget that there
from those we grew up with, we must not conclude that they are
are others who are not as lucky and fortunate. This is much more
wrong. Moreover, revisions to playbooks need not be seen just
than a moral issue. It also speaks to our self-interest. If social
as involving risks; they also point to tremendous opportunities,
justice and fairness continue on their worsening trajectory of
especially for those with first/early mover advantages. In doing
recent years, we will all find it very hard to, using a housing
so, we should increasingly recognize that other countries and
analogy, be a good house in a deteriorating neighborhood.
cultures are bringing new ideas to the table and doing so in a
manner that can be beneficial to millions around the world.
often be unsettling. The world is going through quite a bit of it
Finally, we will also be constantly challenged at home
right now, and it will continue to do so in the years ahead. By
and at school to make our children aware of their broader
recognizing this change explicitly, we can enrich discussions
surroundings, including the world’s realities and inequalities,
both at home and at Pegasus on what it will take to ensure that
and to make them appreciate their privileges and their social
our children can navigate well what is an inherently fluid yet
Whichever way you look at it, fundamental change can
Mohamed El-Erian is the CEO of PIMCO and author of the best seller, When Markets Collide. Contact: Mohamed.El-Erian@pimco.com
PEGASUS MAGAZINE SPRING 2012 23
Entrepreneurialism and the Importance of Economic Literacy by Marrie Stone At Pegasus, the three “R”s of traditional education have long shared the stage with three equally important “E”s: economics, entrepreneurship, and empathy. In a climate of increasing financial uncertainty, economic preparedness is essential for a generation that will live longer with less resources. But just how equipped is the average American child, and how do Pegasus students compare?
Only recently did Education Secretary
Arne Duncan call educators into action, urging them to incorporate economic literacy into their curriculum. “As important as reading and math and social studies and science, I think today more than ever financial literacy has to be part of that,” Duncan stated at a speech at the Treasury Department in November 2011. “To continue to have a population that is relatively illiterate in these matters I think has real negative consequences to our democracy.”
To give this comment some poignant
context, according to the Council for Economic Education, as of 2010, only thirteen states require any course work in personal finance, or include any economic concepts at all before high school graduation. This is up from seven states in 2007. And that still doesn’t guarantee 24 THE PEGASUS SCHOOL
that economics will be taught. “The adage ‘if it isn’t tested, it isn’t taught’ is unfortunately true in this case,” remarks Gary Stern, former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and acting president of the Council for Economic Education.
But at Pegasus, that adage doesn’t
enter the educational equation. Concepts such as taxation, business structure, and interview skills are introduced as early as second grade. Business begins when children are seven years old. As part of their social studies unit on taxation, students bring products from home and hold a swap meet, where they can sell for Pegasus Bucks (a currency more desired than cash). At the end of the exercise, they are asked to calculate the taxes on earnings, and learn about how those taxes service the community. The children visit local businesses and Huntington Beach City Hall, where they interview shopkeepers and public employees, appreciate the differences between needs and wants, goods and services, as well as consumerism. The Community Unit culminates during the holidays, when the children earn money at home and pool funds with classmates to purchase toys for the Sparks of Love
who have expanded those products to a
of economics in action. Supply and
broader market, to a number of Pegasus
demand, inflation, marketing, real estate,
parents who have established their own
taxation, the list too long and the ideas
charitable endeavors, the community
too integrated into every aspect of the
fosters an atmosphere of intense curiosity,
curriculum to break them all down.
creativity, charity, and enterprise.
be familiar with the phrase “economic
book Outliers,” comments Zurn.
literacy,” they know their stuff. They
“Gladwell claims it takes 10,000 hours of
know the desirable pieces of real estate
time at task to master something. Why
(that sacred space near the rain forest
not start that clock as early as possible?”
wall), and they know the premium
Pegasus has done just that. In a
they’re required to pay to get it. They
variety of ways, in every grade, Pegasus
know if they make a run on the bank,
is one of the few schools that teach those
they won’t be able to take out additional
critical financial skills in a charitable
loans in the future. They know the
dangers of debt and the uncertainties
“I’m reminded of Malcolm Gladwell’s
Although nine year olds may not
Open for Business
“There’s an entrepreneurial spirit
that exists in southern California,
For two days in the middle of May,
particularly this area of Orange County,
the Pegasus third grade classrooms
that doesn’t exist in other parts of
transform into micro-centers of
the country,” says John Zurn, Head of
commerce. There are glittery snow globes
School. “Coming here [from Maryland]
and wiggly headbands. There are pencils
articulates this issue better for me. This is
encrusted with pipe-cleaner creatures
a unique area.”
and pillows brimming with buttons. Last
That spirit is, indeed, palpable.
year’s hot selling eraser buddies are, this
From Pegasus programs like Third
year, passé. This is the hustle and bustle
Grade Businesses and Entrepreneur
of deals being made, dollars earned,
Day that push students to research and
and children learning—viscerally and
develop unique products, to graduates
first-hand—the complicated concepts
of inflation. Most of all, they know the power of the almighty Pegasus Buck, and they’re motivated to earn it.
Third Grade Businesses have been
in operation for seventeen years. “What began as a small project,” states third grade teacher Elaine Sarkin, “became a year-long philosophy.” Sarkin explains how the program touches every aspect of the third grade experience, from reading and writing skills, to art and design, to mathematics, to logic and analysis, to behavior modification and discipline policies. “There’s nothing worse to these children than losing money. When they PEGASUS MAGAZINE SPRING 2012 25
have to open their wallet and part with
“These students come back, over and
are split into small groups within their
$10 (in Pegasus Bucks) because they
over, telling us they were so far ahead
math classes. They’re given a hypothetical
missed an assignment, it’s horrible.”
in their college economics classes
$100,000 to invest in the market. They
because they lived it and experienced
must invest in one green company and an
to run businesses,” mentions Sarkin.
it. Economics makes sense to them in
international company. The rest is largely
“When the children apply for a business
ways that don’t need further instruction,”
up to them.
license, they need the endorsement of
every teacher. Only honest and honorable
philosophy, the program lends itself
people open businesses. That’s the
into Entrepreneur Day, which Nicolas
well to other aspects of the curriculum.
background check. From P.E. to art to
Jaber ’08 started and John Sullivan,
The students can connect current
Spanish, everyone needs to sign off.”
former lower school director, continued.
events, politics, climate changes, and
“Only honorable citizens are able
The program blends beautifully
Consistent with Pegasus’s
their parallel African studies to what’s
Every year, even within the same
year, the economy of the classrooms
happening to their stocks. The program
change. Some classes are richer, while
also has an essay component, which
some go bankrupt and are forced to
culminates with an oral presentation,
take out loans from another. “Last
including market research of companies,
year,” reflects third grade teacher Vicki
graphs, and charts prepared in Excel, and
Olivadoti, “the students threatened
personal reflections on the process.
to strike. They found their economic
strength in unity and refused to raise
school train, we are able to build on all
their hands, answer questions, or
those economic lessons the children have
participate. It was effective, for a while,
amassed,” says fifth grade teacher Kristen
and very creative.”
Brady. “The depth of a fifth grader’s
understanding of economic issues is
The children learn about
“Being the caboose of the lower
partnerships, splitting profits, and that
remarkable. They evaluate companies and
good friends don’t always make ideal
make decisions in a way many adults are
business partners. They learn about
unable to do.”
bankruptcy and loans. When they can’t
Fourth and fifth graders are responsible
generate effective business ideas, they
for raising their own start-up costs in
learn about consultants (their teachers)
real dollars, doing chores, or otherwise
and consulting fees. They learn about
working for the funds. They design and
long-term savings, keeping accurate
produce their own products, either as
accounts, salaries, and banking. And they
individual ventures or in a partnership
learn the value of hard work, and the
arrangement. In addition, they market
financial consequences of career choices.
and sell, and they use their profits to pay
back investors and donate the proceeds
“Different jobs have different
salaries from year to year,” says Sarkin.
to a charity voted on by the student-body.
“Sometimes the children are eager to do
some tasks; other years I can’t pay them
“from the skills they acquired in third
enough to do them.”
Countless former students have
returned to report that this experience heavily shaped their economic experiences in high school and college.
26 THE PEGASUS SCHOOL
“It’s a beautiful build,” states Zurn,
Growing Up and Giving Back So where do all these early economics lessons lead? The foundation of the Pegasus education is, and has always been, domestic and global awareness, personal responsibility, empathy, and giving. Those aren’t just lofty words in a Vision Plan. Every concept translates to tangible actions, from school-organized fundraising campaigns for international disasters to individual volunteer efforts within local communities.
“These students are incredibly
compassionate,” states James Conti,
The Stock Market Game begins for the
Middle School social studies teacher.
fifth graders in late winter. Children
“They’re financially savvy, and they want
Ultimately, many students choose
to bring these lessons back home and incorporate them into their individual lives. Seventh grader Gabriela Goffman, for example, has been involved in the National Charity League since first grade. She has volunteered more than 300 service hours in a Costa Mesa thrift shop. The proceeds of her efforts and service have been used to fund a number of organizations, including High Hopes and the American Cancer Society.
“We live in such an insulated
community,” reflects her mother, Marie Goffman. “Giving our children some financial and real-world perspective of Students at Elie Dubois School, Haiti. Photo courtesy of Grace Lau, Global Nomads Group (GNG)
to make a difference.”
lunches provide the primary incentive for
those children to attend school.”
The lessons translate in countless
ways. During the 2007-08 school year,
Recycling proceeds are also used to
students met with Benjamin Ajak and
fund a non-profit micro-lending company
Alephonsion Deng, two of the Lost Boys
called KIVA. KIVA unites business
of Sudan, and Judy Bernstein, co-author
owners in impoverished nations with
of They Poured Fire On Us From the Sky.
individuals and organizations wishing
From that meeting, they were inspired
to loan small amounts of money that can
to initiate a fundraising campaign to
make a big impact. Students are able to
drill wells in the village where Deng
evaluate business plans, investment risks,
and Ajak came from and provide much-
and economic impact of dollars donated.
needed water to Africa. Others had an
“Every aspect gets discussed,” notes
opportunity to speak with students from
Conti. “Students are aware, for example,
the Elie Dubois School in Port-au-Prince,
of how women are treated in Pakistan
Haiti, after the earthquake in 2010 to
and whether their inferior standing will
determine need. Seventh grade students
impact their ability to repay debt.”
spent the entire 2010-11 academic year
working with a team of three other
are challenged to engage in a cost/
schools from around the United States.
benefit analysis. “Projects like KIVA are
Pegasus students alone raised $2,500
no-brainers,” says Conti. “The cost is so
(with funds matched by the Bezos Family
small and the benefits are so immediate
Foundation) to rebuild the school. Still
and great. But extending that lesson
others recycled cans and bottles and sent
to working hard for grades or making
that money to Kenya to fund student
nutritional choices at lunch, and it gets
lunches. “Those lunches are the difference
more complicated. They might still make
between children eating and not eating
bad decisions on occasion, but at least
on any given day,” remarks Conti. “School
they’re aware of the costs.”
Through every encounter, students
what’s happening around them, very close by, is invaluable. Making them realize what a lucky and unique situation they live in, it’s really changed Gabby’s perspective on the world.”
Perspective is the foundation of a
Pegasus education. “There’s a vast socioeconomic divide in Orange County between the coast and the inland areas,” mentions John Zurn. “Lots of social issues, immigration issues, and economic issues that aren’t being redressed well. This is a unique area. There is an opportunity for our students to see, first hand, the impact of their actions. Pushing students to understand the cultural divides and differences lends an understanding of a larger view of the world and how it works. This makes them confident, successful, and employable. It makes them feel like they can make a difference.” Marrie Stone is the Director of Public Affairs and co-host of “Writers on Writing” at KUCI, 88.9FM, in Irvine, and the mother of Haley Rovner (‘15). Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
PEGASUS MAGAZINE SPRING 2012 27
Home Economics Bringing Money (Lessons) Home by Marrie Stone SAVING THE RELUCTANT SAVER
account and the interest rate was 2% per
year. After five years, would you have:
A. More than $102
siblings. One will spend, the other save.
B. Exactly $102
One is the family loan shark, happily
C. Less than $102?”
doling out funds and charging exorbitant
Fifty percent of them did not realize
interest to another who’s perpetually
hirty percent of Americans save nothing for retirement, according
to a report from PBS NewsHour last year. And those who do save aren’t saving much. The Employee Benefit Research Institute reports 43% of working Americans have less than $10,000 in retirement savings.
Of course, some of these Americans
are just able to meet their monthly expenditures. But others lack an appreciation of the basic mathematics that underlies saving.
Americans fifty and older were asked
28 THE PEGASUS SCHOOL
“Suppose you had $100 in a savings
are asking for advances on next week’s There’s often little similarity between
(A) was the blindingly right answer.
This philosophy toward money—about
what we spend, what we save, and what
easy. Lectures and hard lessons are often
we know about economics—trickles
outmatched by the seductive lure of a TV
directly down to our children.
commercial pitching the next hot gadget.
Even after the personal, and perhaps
Teaching the spender to save isn’t
Sheila Bair, former Chairperson of the
painful, financial lessons of third grade,
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
some children remain reluctant savers.
(FDIC) and author of Rock, Brock, And
They’re the students whose allowance
the Savings Shock and Isabel’s Car Wash,
never reaches their wallets; the ones who
argues that instilling relatively simple
math lessons early on could have averted
and their ability by age three to delay
Proctor & Gamble. “I think she liked the
(or at least lessened) the latest financial
their gratification. Delayed gratification
decent dividend yields, name recognition,
is a better predictor of economic success
and decent P/E’s,” he states.
In Rock, Brock, And the Savings
than is education, grades, academic test
Shock, aimed at grades 3 – 5, twins Rock
scores, intelligence tests, or childhood
to buy. Riedl says he’s not sure why, but
and Brock are offered an intriguing
standard of living. Self-control, Moffitt
Charlotte has confided to her mom that,
deal by their grandfather. They will
says, is clearly more important than any
“maybe I’m a little young for this.”
earn $1 per week for household chores.
other skill we can teach or measure in our
If they’ve spent their dollar by week’s
with daughter Haley. In November 2009,
end, they’ll get another dollar the next
when Haley was eight, Rovner opened a
week. But if they’ve saved that dollar,
Moffitt, “Is going to live to be, on average,
small e*Trade account in her name.
Grandpa will double it, matching what
well above 100 years old. That means it’s
they’ve saved. This compounding effect
absolutely essential for every child to
“She named off products she liked to buy,
will go on indefinitely. At the end of the
learn how to develop self-control skills so
we found the parent companies of each
ten-week experiment, Brock has saved
they can avoid dependency, poor health
product, and invested in three of them:
enough to buy the latest-and-greatest-
and poverty in old age.”
Build-a-Bear Workshop, Barnes & Noble,
most-expensive-thing, plus plenty left
and Tween Brands, the company that
over. Rock has, well, $1. Ah, the power of
of teaching our students strong writing
skills, clear communication, reasoning,
analysis, and comprehension. But without
“until Tween Brands merged with The
focus on resisting those urges for instant
a foundation of self-control as it relates to
Dress Barn, resulting in a shareholder
gratification and focusing on the long
spending and savings, our children risk a
transaction cost that wiped out her
term of, ‘what’s meaningful to you, what
steep financial fall.
meager holdings. Haley and I placed a
“Educational materials need to
do you want?’ This is a cultural problem and hopefully the lesson of ‘Rock and
“This generation of children,” says
There is no denying the importance
BONDING OVER STOCKS
Charlotte has been more reluctant
Jeff Rovner did something similar
“We started with $100,” Rovner says.
“Everything went well,” says Rovner,
pathetic call to e*Trade asking them to reverse the charge lest Haley’s first stock
Brock’ is think for the longer term,” Bair
Pegasus dads Robert Riedl and Jeff
market experience end in a total loss.
Rovner brought economics home. As
The customer service representative took
Chief Investment Officer and Senior
pity on us and credited Haley’s account.
Whitman & Co, 2011), aimed at grades
VP of Finance for Consumer Portfolio
Thank you e*Trade!”
K – 4, focuses on investment risk and
Services, Inc., Riedl is in an ideal position
entrepreneurship. Isabel needs money for
to foster his daughters’ understanding of
little obsessed with the daily ups and
an expensive doll and decides to open a
macroeconomics and capital markets.
downs of their stocks. “Amanda keeps
car wash to pay for it. The start-up costs,
asking, ‘Have we made any money yet?’
however, are beyond her means. She asks
Schwab accounts for his daughters,
I tell her she can track her stocks with
five friends to invest $1 each, promising
fifth grader Amanda and second grader
their tickers, but not to worry about the
she’ll double their investment once her
Charlotte, and gave each of them $300
day-to-day movements because she’s
car wash turns a profit. At the end of the
to invest. “We did some research on the
earning the dividend,” Riedl says.
story, Isabel is able to pay her investors
web, starting with CNBC’s Jim Cramer’s
and afford the doll. Everybody wins.
10 Stocks for Kids and Barron’s top picks
interest in the topic increased when it
Terrie Moffitt, psychologist and
for 2012. We looked at 20 or so names,
was cast in terms of familiar products
professor at Duke University, stresses
comparing P/E multiples, dividend
and her personal investment. But more
the importance of teaching delayed
yields, 52 week high/lows, and tried to
important,” Rovner says, “it’s been a
gratification to young children. There is a
understand each business,” says Riedl.
lovely father/daughter experience to
direct correlation, studies find, between
Amanda bought two stocks, Pepsi and
Isabel’s Car Wash (Albert
For Christmas last year, Riedl opened
Both dads say their daughters are a
“It was fun to see how much Haley’s
a person’s economic success as an adult
PEGASUS MAGAZINE SPRING 2012 29
The Spanish Experience at Pegasus Bringing the Language to Life. by Charline Nakamura-Lazenby How would you like to take a virtual tour of Spain, cook an
authentic Guatemalan meal from scratch, dance the salsa, or
requires that all sixth through eighth grade Spanish students
replicate a Pablo Picasso painting? The opportunity awaits
conceive, research, and complete a unique cultural endeavor each
you, at Pegasus. These are just a few examples of how Pegasus
semester. One of the benefits of acquiring a new language is to
students have interpreted the Culture, Participation and
learn about the people who speak it, making the language more
Research project recently implemented in the Middle School
meaningful. Students are given the freedom to choose a project
Spanish Department. The project was conceived to supplement
from a list of options or go out and follow their own interests.
our dynamic Spanish curriculum, by exposing students to the
The CPR involves independent work outside of the classroom,
language of real situations and the cultures of Spanish-speaking
allowing students to expand on subjects that fascinate them
countries. The process is characteristic of the Pegasus education,
personally and explore the resources in their own community.
at large: offer students a choice, encourage individual curiosities,
and reinforce independent learning. The results have been
kindergarten. Spanish teachers are blessed to work with bright
phenomenally creative, and students are expressing their hidden
students who embrace learning on so many levels. While
talents before our very eyes!
primary school Spanish teachersâ€”Adrianna Perry and Teresa
30 THE PEGASUS SCHOOL
The Culture, Participation, and Research (CPR) project
Pegasus introduces students to the Spanish language in
Vicuna—familiarize their students with the Spanish language
The CPR is a wonderful tool for this type of learning.
and culture, middle school Spanish teachers—Lisa Botts, Valerie
The freedom to choose a unique path and craft a unique
Gelso, and I—offer students opportunities to enhance their
presentational format has been visibly inspiring. Each day our
learning through independent study. Pegasus students thrive
students fill our classroom with the distinctive art, knowledge,
in independent-study environments and gravitate naturally
and culture of Spanish speaking countries. Their eagerness to
toward countries and cultures thousands of miles away. These
demonstrate what they have learned is exhilarating.
students are highly motivated to “think outside of the box”
The Cultural Participation and Research project has inspired
and go beyond academic requirements to engage their creative
our students to take their learning of the language and culture
appetite. At Pegasus, we consider every student the “exception”
to new levels. Each of these new experiences for middle school
— someone who possesses a unique gift and the will and
Spanish students has inspired creativity and love of the Spanish
enthusiasm to develop it. We try to cater to this exception,
language and culture. Students eagerly anticipate new project
removing restrictions and strict guidelines whenever possible
experiences for this semester.
so that students can explore and create without the pressure of conforming.
Why Learn a Second Language at an Early Age? by Teresa Vicuna A monolingual mindset has long been the norm in U. S. society, but the idea of exposing children to a second language has gained strong momentum during the past decade. The United States has the fifth highest Spanish speaking population in the world, after Mexico, Spain, Colombia and Argentina respectively, and the U.S. Census Bureau estimates an impressive 34 million U.S. citizens identify Spanish as their primary language. With such a hefty percentage of Americans utilizing a language other than English, the argument for second language education becomes even more compelling. The question, then, is: when to start? There has been substantial debate regarding the pros and cons of starting to learn a foreign language at a very early age. While several scholars may not agree with the “earlier-is-better” approach to second language education, the experts who weigh-in on the other side are far greater in number and validate the many benefits of early introduction. The advantages are formidable:
Charline Nakamura-Lazenby is a Pegasus middle school Spanish teacher. Contact: email@example.com
Studying a foreign language helps students to reinforce English grammar skills. By learning a new grammatical structure, they have a better understanding of their own language.
The ability to express ideas in a foreign language
will boost confidence.This confidence is displayed when students travel to a country where the target language is spoken and they engage in conversation with native speakers. As a mother of two children who have been exposed to three languages since birth, I believe it is possible to get a strong second language foundation before a student starts high school. It is crucial to introduce the target language earlier in childhood, when children possess an emotional disposition and intellectual readiness to learn foreign words. Children acquire foreign words through a subconscious process when they are younger. Older students, by comparison, learn by methodology, a process which requires them to understand grammar before being able to construct sentences.
step out of their own culture and open the door to new ones. By gaining this cultural awareness, they get prepared to live and work in a global society.
As an educator at Pegasus, my approach to teaching is to expose young minds to a combination of the two teaching techniques. Students are partially immersed in a “Spanish-Only” section of the class, where they learn vocabulary by mimicking the way a “heritage” student would learn Spanish. They also learn Spanish grammar rules, which are introduced in English to ensure proper language usage. My goal for the students is to reinforce the exposure to the language they get in lower grades and give them the confidence and necessary tools to express their ideas clearly in Spanish.
Studying a foreign language enhances cognitive development by exercising critical thinking skills, creativity and intellectual growth in children.
Teresa Vicuna is a Pegasus lower school Spanish teacher. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Students who are exposed to a new language at an early age are more likely to achieve native-like fluency and intonation than adults, since they are able to understand words and differentiate small sounds that would be missed by others.
Students who are introduced to a second language
PEGASUS MAGAZINE SPRING 2012 31
Those who Soar
by Julia Ostmann ’07
Hawkin Miller ’11 Courageous and energetic... …on a mission to succeed.
awken Miller ’11 loves scuba diving, classic rock, and traveling with his family. He takes stats for the Sage Hill football team and camps with his Boy Scout
troop from Pegasus. He likes “to watch football on Sunday, and practice piano, and play video games even though I don’t like to admit it.”
Hawken also has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, one of
the most common rare disorders, in which the muscles rapidly deteriorate. Nearly all those affected are male and usually don’t live beyond age 25.
It’s fall, the beginning of the school year. A brand new
group of Friendly Frogs fidgets on the carpet in Nancy Larimer’s kindergarten classroom. Suddenly, in a burst of energy and giggles, the children bounce off to the next activity. Except for one little boy, who with great difficulty rises and walks away.
It was 2002. Larimer told Hawken’s parents, Debra and
Paul, “You might want to have it checked out. Please have it checked out.”
The Millers first saw a pediatrician, then specialists. On
the day doctors initially suggested the possibility of Duchenne, the backseat with his big blue eyes and his blond hair — he had blond hair then — and his baseball cap. And I remember thinking, I can’t imagine him not always being here.”
After the diagnosis, the Millers, who both have backgrounds
in business and marketing, grew frustrated with the lack of effectiveness in existing organizations related to Duchenne. So they founded their own. The result was Cure Duchenne, a nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure within ten years.
To raise public awareness and money, Cure Duchenne has
worked with the Greenbay Packers’ Clay Matthews, Modern
32 THE PEGASUS SCHOOL
The greatest challenge would be I wish I could be like everybody else and normal...but, I don’t really worry about that.
Photos courtesy of Debra and Paul Miller, Cure Duchenne
“I met Paul for dinner,” Debra said. “Hawken was sitting in
Family actor Sofia Vergara, and Pegasus parent and former
famed hockey player Scott Niedermayer. Each year, teams across
mean that he’s included,” Debra said.
the U.S. scale mountains for Pick Your Peak: Climb to Cure Duchenne.
This June, Paul will lead a team to Mt. Kilimanjaro.
activities and still protect his health, Paul accompanied his son
on many field trips, including overnight ones. For Yosemite,
“We’ve contributed funds to seven different research
“He’s got good friends, and he loves them, but it doesn’t To ensure that Hawken could participate in bonding
projects in clinical trials,” Debra says. “Right now it’s a matter of
Paul had a custom backpack made to carry Hawken on his back
funding the research that could save their lives.”
Mention the name Hawken Miller to anyone who’s met
One day the group hiked up more than 660 stone stairs
him, and you’ll hear about his smile. You’ll also hear about
to Vernal Falls. Nancy Wilder remembers Hawken telling his
his inherent curiosity, thorough scholarship, and almost
dad, “You don’t have to do it, you don’t have to finish,” and Paul
superhuman work ethic.
saying, “Hawken, I’m
“He has the
gonna make it to the
top. You can either be
athletes,” said English
quiet or encourage me.”
teacher Nancy Wilder.
The quiet, unfailing
“Even if there’s a
determination of his
parents is a constant
takes that success, he’s
in Hawken’s life. They
grateful for it, but he’s
practice what Debra
moved on to the next
calls “action as therapy,”
so that “at the end of our
life we know we’ve done
Pegasus, Debra says,
“embraced him in a very
everything we can to
help our son and these
First there was a
There are permanent challenges. “The stuff I didn’t get to do
little red stool for Hawken to sit on during Friendly Frog carpet time. Later there were lunchtime board games, an attempt to
with him,” says Paul. “Father-son stuff...coaching a Little League
keep him from running on the playground. Eventually, there was
team, that kind of stuff.”
a motor scooter to get around campus.
coming up against stuff,” said Debra, “and somehow he picks
Pegasus P.E. teacher, Coach Charles Tyler, remembers
But Hawken offers countless inspirations. “He’s constantly
talking with Paul about Hawken, how to “get him active
himself up and smiles and keeps going in a different direction.”
without being active” and further damaging muscle tissue. The
“He’s my hero,” comments Paul.
task seemed at times impossible, but Hawken improved his
Hawken is sitting on his living room sofa. He gently pets
throwing, catching, and sit-and-reach.
Gus, the small scruffy dog he holds in his arms. Cody, a black
lab, rests at his feet. “The greatest challenge would be I wish I
Other Pegasus students, Tyler said, “challenged themselves
to work with him” so that “he felt good, and they felt good, and
could be like everybody else and normal.” But, he shares, “I don’t
he felt like he was a part of what was going on.”
really worry about that.”
People are important to Hawken. He loved socializing at
Pegasus lunchtime and hanging out during the eighth grade Yosemite trip. When his class last year voted to support Cure Duchenne with its Pegasus Jog-a-thon proceeds, “I was really grateful of having them as friends,” he said.
These are treasured moments of connection — one common
Julia Ostmann is a freshman at Harvard College and is planning to major in English, Psychology, or History of Science. She serves as a campus peer counselor and is a mental health research associate at Cambridge Hospital. She also volunteers with the literacy program of a local HeadStart preschool. She hopes to pursue a career in science journalism or child psychiatry. Contact: email@example.com To learn more about the work of CureDuchenne, please visit: www.cureduchenne.org
component of Duchenne is a degree of social isolation.
PEGASUS MAGAZINE SPRING 2012 33
Alumni Connections by Angel Waters
Lisa Wiley ’96 and Ian McCall married in June 2011 at the Fullerton Arboretum
Brandon Carr ’99 attended the 2012 Pegasus Spring Benefit, Hear the 20’s Roar, with his mother, Michelle Carr
He won the 50-lap main event, his fifth
Lisa Wiley has been an associate attorney
consecutive victory in the NASCAR
at the Law Offices of Marjorie G. Fuller
sanctioned Automobile Club of Southern
since April 2008. She is the appellate
California Late Model series driving his
section chair of the Orange County Bar
Applied Computer Solutions No. 55 High
Association and volunteers as a judge for
Point Racing Chevy Monte Carlo.
the Constitutional Rights Foundation
high school mock trial and the California
2011 series races] in my wildest dreams,” reflects
committing many years to medical school.
State University, Long Beach moot court
Nick Frazier graduated in 2011 from the
competitions. In her spare time, she
Davis’ victory tied an Irwindale
University of California, Los Angeles
performs with a tap dance company called
record for most victories (5) to start the
with a bachelor of science degree in
season in the series.
biology. He also graduated with honors
from both University of California,
“I did not think I could [win five consecutive
Davis is engaged to be married to
Haley and Miranda Young ’03 interned at Pegasus during their 2011 winter break. The twins reached out to their fellow 2003 classmates for updates and dug up some inspiring news.
Europe before heading back home. He has plans on visiting Korea, the Philippines, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, and has visited Thailand on multiple occasions. He is taking this year and the next to simply travel and work before
fiancé Erica at the family’s Napa vineyard.
Los Angeles’ Honors College and
this fall. He was sworn in by Superior
the biology department. A year ago,
Court Judge Honorable Marla J. Miller,
Sean Davis is a senior at San Diego State.
with whom he worked as a Judicial
He is a kinesiology major and tri-athlete.
French Polynesia, studying coral reef
Externship in San Francisco.
which focused on overfishing and the
Laura Wiley, former Pegasus student,
Josh Kim is an English teacher at a cram
subsequent ecosystem changes which
received her master’s degree in writing
school in Taiwan. Kim graduated from
are occurring. He submitted a paper to
and publishing from Emerson University.
the University of Michigan in 2011 with a
the journal “Coral Reefs” and which is
She is now working in Hermosa Beach
bachelor of arts in sociology and a minor
currently being revised. Since July he has
and advancing her music career.
in biochemistry. He plans on attending
been applying to medical schools and is
medical school and is currently going
deciding on which school to attend in the
through the application process. Kim
fall. He also volunteers ten hours a week
enjoys teaching in Taiwan, though the
at The Venice Family Clinic, Venice Beach,
main reason he’s there is so he can travel
which is one of the largest free clinics
Asia and hopefully make his way to
in the country where he takes patient
Brandon Carr passed the state bar exam
2000 Brandon Davis won his fifth consecutive NASCAR Southern California race in July 2011 at Toyota Speedway, Irwindale.
34 THE PEGASUS SCHOOL
Frazier spent three months in Moorea, ecology and conducting field research
histories, vital signs, conduct various
now works as a freelance director of
medical procedures and therapies, as well
photography and considers himself
as conducts blood and urine analyses.
fortunate to be able to make movies for a
Harry Koulos graduated cum laude
and with distinction in history from
Chrissy Schwartz spent “nine wonderful
Yale, where he played baseball. He
years at Pegasus” then attended Newport
was awarded the Francis Brown prize,
Harbor High School. She graduated from
awarded to “one member of the Yale
the University of Southern California
Class of 2011 who most approaches
in 2011 with a major in communication
standards of intellectual ability, strong
and minor in business entrepreneurship.
character, capacity for leadership, and
Schwartz completed internships at
service,” for his dedication to both
several companies including a major
athletics and school. Koulos also studied
public relations firm, a movie marketing
abroad at Oxford and in Greece, where
company and Sony Pictures Television.
he researched and reconnected with
She plans to travel abroad to Europe this
spring and hopes to follow with a job
in either entertainment or sales. For her
urban China. This project was originally
Georgetown Law School where he interns
downtime, she enjoys golfing, watching
her thesis film for her media studies
as a law clerk at the Department of
sports and playing with her pets.
major. She hopes to write/complete her
Koulos is a first year student at
Justice’s Constitutional and Specialized Torts Division. He is pursuing positions with the Navy Judge Advocate General Corps (military lawyers) and federal judges for this summer.
Alle Hsu began working on a few film projects since graduating from Scripps College in 2011. Hsu began her postcollege journey as an intern in post-
Jessica Paek ’06 accompanied her mother, Suzan, to the 2012 Spring Benefit, Hear the 20’s Roar
first feature-length screenplay based on her research and exploration of Shanghai in the 1920s/1930s during the time of the Battle of Shanghai.
production on a documentary film for the
Jacob Kirkorowicz attended New York
Omo Child Foundation. The Omo Child
University upon graduating from Sage
Foundation’s mission has been to stop
Hill School. During his time at NYU
Mingi and provide a home for 35 displaced
he became interested in global health,
children by the Omo River region of
particularly the spread of HIV/AIDS in
Eric Shieh received his bachelor of arts
Southwest Ethiopia. The organization
socially marginalized urban populations.
degree from Harvard University during
has been able to save childrens’ lives that
His passion for global health inspired him
the spring 2011 and is now working
would have ended in death as victims
to participate in, and ultimately to lead,
toward his master’s degree at Harvard
of ritual infanticide. Mingi is described
a series of community health projects in
by the tribal elders as children who are
Honduras for which he received NYU’s
considered cursed or imperfect.
2010 President’s Service Award.
His interests include working on
the biography of early 20th century author and diplomat George Horton and continuing to Greek folk dance.
Michael Solomon graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in finance and economics. He interned and then worked at an investment bank briefly out of college before deciding to shift careers. While in college, Solomon was a part-time professional photographer which developed into working in film. He
Hsu recently began production on
Kirkorowicz became involved in
a documentary about how music affects
health research and worked as a research
children with special needs. She is
intern at NYU’s Center for Health,
working with a non-profit organization
Identity, Behavior, and Prevention
in Northern California that is dedicated
Research specializing in the study of HIV
to serving the special needs children
risk behaviors. After graduating from
and the community through music and
NYU in 2011 with high honors, he went on
art. Hsu also continues to work on her
to pursue a Master’s of Science in Global
documentary on the status of women in
Health at Duke University. PEGASUS MAGAZINE SPRING 2012 35
Lauren Balfour ’10 and David Aghaian ’05 welcomed guests to the Roaring 20’s with jazz numbers at our Spring Benefit 2012. Also, a warm thank you to Kaitlyn Bannister ’09 for volunteering at this year’s Benefit.
Kirkorowicz currently works as a research assistant at the Duke Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research, exploring depression in HIV positive individuals. This summer he will travel to Sri Lanka to conduct his master’s thesis project on injury, trauma, and emergency
As our alumni become established, we support their businesses and talents. Vartan Tchekmedyian ’01 has a production company that specializes in large events including concerts and celebrations. Over the past two years, Tchekmedyian has been the magic behind all of our Spring Benefit audio/visual needs.
Our 2010 alumni, Camden Blower, Wyatt Robertson, Garrett Byers, Cole Friedman, Audrey Rimland and Taylor Goeser at their Newport Harbor High School winter formal
fresh culinary adventures with her
Alex Neff is a senior mechanical
engineering major at Brown University.
Liz Zadro graduated from University of California, Los Angeles with a bachelor’s in anthropology. Liz completed her fourth year on the women’s soccer team starting
Upon graduation, he will work at a startup company designing and building an original Stirling engine to be used for renewable energy applications.
at center mid. They won two PAC-10
Anika Sutty graduated from Bentley
titles and went to the final four three
University in Waltham, MA in 2011
times. Last fall, Zadro studied abroad in
with a bachelor of science in marketing.
Christine Shepard graduated from the
Rome, and upon her return in December,
Currently, she is studying for her MBA
University of Miami in 2010 with a dual-
started work at Zadro Products as a sales
with a concentration in Global Business
degree in electronic media and ecosystems
manager. Zadro has substituted soccer
and Markets and will graduate this
science and policy. Currently, she is
workouts with yoga and in a few years
May. This summer she will start as an
serving as the Multimedia Specialist
will be going back to school to get her
allocation analyst in the purchasing
for the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation
master’s in business.
department at the TJX Corporation in
care systems. He hopes to pursue a career in medicine or global health research.
Program at the University of Miami, where she strives to translate cuttingedge scientific research into creative multimedia packages for educational outreach purposes.
With a strong focus on shark research
and conservation, Shepard has been featured in various mass media outlets this year including O Magazine and the Discovery Channel. She hopes to continue her marine conservation work in the media, as well as open her own nature photography gallery.
Shepard resides in Miami, FL, where
you can likely find her embarking upon 36 THE PEGASUS SCHOOL
Zach Von Berg continued baseball through high school and into college; however, he has now hung up his spikes following multiple surgeries. He will graduate with an degree in Exercise Science from the University of Puget Sound in May. Aside from school and baseball, Von Berg enjoys fishing,
Framingham, MA. This past winter Sutty interned for an NGO in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, that specializes in helping Afro-Brazilian entrepreneurs learn basic management, marketing, and finance skills to help expand their business. In the fall she plans on running the Chicago Marathon with her family.
hunting, camping, four-wheeling, skiing
Caitlin Gillenwater graduated from
and snowboarding. He hopes to travel
Edison High School and travelled to Costa
Europe before continuing his education to
Rica for six months to teach English.
graduate school in a few years.
In 2009 she moved to New Hampshire
Von Berg wishes for his class: “I hope
everyone is on their right path and enjoying life.”
(where she currently lives) and works as an EMT. Caitlin also helps as a volunteer for the fire department.
Axel Eaton, a junior at Newport Harbor High, volunteered in a project with WAVES for Development in Lobitos, Peru for three weeks in July 2011. Eaton raised $2,700 before his trip to help set up a surf shop in Lobitos. Profits raised from the shop from tourist visits would help increase income for the locals and motivate the locals to establish their own Our fall 2011 issue of Pegasus Magazine featured Pegasus Troop 911 when they were Tiger Cubs. Shown are a few of the dedicated troop members: (L-R) Zachary Rabosky ’04, Bryant Schulman ’04, Joey Puishys ’04, Brendan Davis ’04, RJ Davis ’02
Axel Eaton ’09 (center) with boys from Lobitos, Peru
shops in order to become self-sufficient.
Eaton named the shop after the most
intense surf spot in the area, El Hueco. Not only does the shop employ four local
roundtable discussions for magazine
people who work four days a week, it also
Everett Alexander Heiney, has been
editors. Haley interned for two well-
has generated so much profit that it will
selected by the J. William Fulbright
known fashion designers — New York
cover the cost of a part time college degree
Foreign Scholarship Board to receive a
based contemporary label, Miha, and
for their Peruvian financial manager.
Fulbright Teaching Assistantship for 2012-
Alexander Wang, and now works and
The profit also provides private English
2013 to the republic of Georgia. He is one
interns at NYLON magazine in the art
classes for three of the locals in Lobitos.
of only 1600 college seniors selected for a
department. Also the art director for ISO
US Student Fulbright award annually.
magazine, her photographs have appeared
Eaton acknowledges as “one of the
in Foam Magazine and Crossroads Trading
most inspiring people I know” came to
at Claremont McKenna College in
calendar. At New York University,
WAVES two years ago with the interest
Claremont, CA, and served as Editor-in-
Haley was chosen to participate in the
of borrowing a surfboard and can now be
Chief of the campus literary magazine,
University Leadership Honors Course.
seen shredding his home break in style.
the Port Side, as a Harrison Fellow at
The program provides specialized classes
Henry graduated from high school and
the Salvatori Center. He is the S3 in
to a select group of students hand-picked
became a full time photographer, selling
charge of operations and training for the
by the deans of individual schools.
his photographs to tourists.
Army ROTC Golden Lions Battalion.
The courses are designed to encourage
He also plans to initiate a program to
teach Georgians land navigation skills.
Following his Fulbright year, Heiney will
begin training in Field Artillery to fulfill
her back to campus, she answered with
Jack Clement ’09 and Chris Kolar ’08
a smile, “seeing all my past teachers brings
achieved Eagle rank from Troop 911.
me back to my roots, core values and is a place
Heiney is a government major
his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army.
2006 Haley Stark, a media communications major at New York University, is pursuing her dreams and talents in the fashion and media industry. Haley’s interest in the magazine world started while working with Teen Vogue in high school. Still involved with Teen Vogue, Haley continues to be on-call for events or
Her portfolio can be viewed at
Maggie Danner, a junior at Sage Hill School, was featured in the Daily Pilot on October 2011 and recognized as the Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week for her top volleyball skills. Danner is also involved in the student ambassadors program and carries a 3.6 grade-point average.
One of the local boys, Henry, who
Jenna Peterson, a junior at Huntington Beach High, volunteered for Athletic Director, Chrissy Bridges, on a day off from school. When asked what brings
I always feel safe and loved.” The skills she learned at Pegasus has advanced her study and organizational skills which she uses in her AP classes. “Pegasus understands what students need to succeed in high school.” Peterson runs track and cross country and is a member of the Save Darfur Club. Angel Waters is the Pegasus Associate Director of Advancement, Programs and Events. She oversees the Spring Benefit, Alumni Association and Grandparent’s Association. PEGASUS MAGAZINE SPRING 2012 37
Pegasus Then and Now by Haley and Miranda Young ’03
e attended Pegasus from
campus are nice new additions!)
and coaches wholeheartedly dedicated
Walking around the school, fantastic
to the development and personal
eighth grade. It’s hard
memories came flooding back:
enrichment of each individual student.
to believe that nine years have since
kindergarten star of the week; first
Clearly the faculty and staff continue
passed. Although we have now spent
grade pioneer day; second grade
to have a passion for academic
just as much time out of Pegasus as
biographies; third grade chit chats;
excellence and student well-being,
we did in it, we still feel as connected
fourth grade missions; fifth grade
an outlook that is as deeply rooted as
to the school as we did then. As a
state presentations; and, middle
the vision with which the school was
result, when encouraged to seek an
school technology projects, science
internship during our winter break
experiments, vocabulary tests,
from business school at Duke, we felt
and, naturally, lockers, dances, and
Pegasus is truly an amazing place
compelled to come back to Pegasus.
sports. The fact that we can so clearly
to learn and grow up. We emerged
Our love for the school, combined
remember everything is a testament to
with an unparalleled education,
with the learning opportunities
the joy that the assignments brought
great values, and lasting friendships.
that could be gained from such a
to us and the impact they had in
Pegasus will always have a special
successful institution, made for a great
shaping our academic careers and love
place in our hearts, and we look
collaboration, and we were thrilled
forward to continuing our involvement
to gain experience working with
with the school long into the future.
admissions, advancement, and alumni
campus, we were warmly greeted
with hugs from teachers who vividly
remember us from as long as eighteen
Upon our return to Pegasus, we
Every corner we turned around
were astounded — not by how much
years ago. This teacher-student bond
has changed, but by how much has
is a relationship we cherish above all
stayed the same. We saw lessons
and represents perhaps our strongest
designed to challenge young minds,
memory of the school. The teachers
students eagerly learning, and walls
are truly a paradigm of Pegasus’
still plastered with creative projects.
unique and cherished culture; in no
(Of course, the flat screen tvs and
other school can you find an entire
laptops sprinkled throughout the
campus full of instructors, mentors,
38 THE PEGASUS SCHOOL
Our experience reconfirmed that
Haley and Miranda Young ’03 Corona del Mar High School University of California, Irvine Hayley: B.S. Chemistry, minors in Biology and Education; Honors in Chemistry, Phi Lambda Upsilon
Miranda: B.A. Economics, minor in Education; Latin Honors, Phi Beta Kappa
Duke University- The Fuqua School of Business Master in Management Studies: Foundations of Business
Supporting our Mission
We are thrilled to announce the Pegasus community raised close to $600,000 through the Spring Benefit for our school and financial aid program. We take care of our own, we take care of others and we have a great time making it happen. That is how Pegasus gets it done! Many thanks to co-chairs, Wendy Matthews and Shea Watson, their committee, and donors for creating a memorable Roaring 20â€™s evening for all.
PEGASUS MAGAZINE SPRING 2012 39
NONPROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE PAID HUNT. BEACH, CA PERMIT NO. 421
19692 Lexington Lane Huntington Beach, CA 92646 www.thepegasusschool.org
Last Day of School
Pegasus Summer Programs Begin