The Pingry Review - Summer 2021

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Pandemic Lessons



From outdoor theater to an online art gallery, what innovations will endure?





Contents 20

Pandemic Lessons

From outdoor theater to virtual global programs to alumni events on Zoom, the pandemic required the Pingry community to innovate more than ever this past school year. What changes—designed to meet the needs of an unprecedented school year— were so successful they are destined to last?

SUMMER 2021 | VOL. 77 | NO. 3


The Vaccine Advocate

Based in New York City, Dr. Purvi Parikh ’00 felt she needed to do something to help end the pandemic. A little over a year ago, she volunteered to become a physician researcher on the COVID-19 vaccine trials. In a revealing Q&A, she explains what she does as a physician researcher, shares her experiences, and offers her thoughts on the importance of inoculation and the potential for future medical breakthroughs.


High-Impact Faculty Awards

Every June, teachers are called to the stage to receive endowed faculty awards that recognize exceptional teaching. But what happens afterward? How do these awards benefit not only the teachers who receive them, but the students they teach? Recipients from the past three decades share their memories.

Departments 2 From the Head of School 3 One Pingry 8 Pingry Favorites 13 Faculty and Staff Farewells 16 Commencement 18 View from SH/BR 42 Athletics

48 53 54 58 62 64 70 72

On the Arts True Blue Spotlight Reunion Pingry Creates A Visit to the Archives Class Notes In Memoriam A Final Look

The Pingry Review is The Pingry School’s official magazine. Contact the editor with comments and story ideas: 908-647-5555, ext. 1296 The Pingry School 131 Martinsville Road Basking Ridge, NJ 07920 EDITOR Greg Waxberg ’96 Communications Writer EDITORIAL STAFF Peter Blasevick Archivist

Allison C. Brunhouse ’00, P ’31 Director of Institutional Advancement Emily Cooke Director of Strategic Communications and Marketing Andrea Dawson Senior Writer Jane Hoffman ’94, P ’26, ’27, ’28 Director of Annual Giving and Community Relations Edward Lisovicz Advancement Writer Holland Sunyak ’02 Director of Development DESIGN AND LAYOUT Aldrich Design PHOTOGRAPHY Camille Bonds Peter Chollick Bruce Morrison ’64 David Salomone Maggie Yurachek ON THE FRONT COVER A portion of the set from Pingry’s first outdoor theater production: the Drama Department’s Fall Play, Almost, Maine. ON THE BACK COVER Lower School students enjoying leisure time on the playground.

From the Head of School Dear Pingry Community, In this issue of The Pingry Review, you will hear remarkable testimony that highlights the resourcefulness, resilience, and creativity of the Pingry community to come together during a tumultuous time to help us complete an historic school year in the midst of a pandemic. What is so inspiring is to see the myriad ways our educators thought about how to engage our students, in creative, fun, and innovative ways, to build and strengthen a sense of togetherness. Years ago, when I was a young educator, a wise veteran teacher emphasized the importance to me of being able to identify the “glue” people in the community and in my classroom. The “glue” people are the ones who hold people together, through their charisma, energy, and care for the common good. The feature story in the Review highlights several of our leaders who served as our “glue” during this pandemic year. In his recent book, Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World, former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy discusses the concept of “moving together against gravity,” and the importance of having community members who will step up and “move together against gravity.” This is what this past year has felt like, helping to move our community against the gravity of the pandemic. It wasn’t necessarily any one big act, but instead the cumulative, countless small acts of kindness that helped to bring our community together at a time when the forces of the pandemic were trying to pull us away from each other. Dr. Murthy writes: “It’s in our relationships that we find the emotional sustenance and power we need in order to thrive.” One relationship stood out this year: the inspiration of Pingry parent Margherita Cardello, who reached out to us to “move against



the gravity” of the pandemic by offering to help us set up a vaccination clinic on campus through her work with Rite Aid. This past spring, we were able to vaccinate our faculty and staff, as well as many students and families, and outside groups like the Special Olympics of New Jersey. Her gift to Pingry is one that will endure for years to come. I hope you will enjoy reading these pages of The Pingry Review at the conclusion of an unimaginable school year. Matt Levinson Head of School

One Pingry

Pingry marked the official beginning of the Short Hills Safety and Wellness Project with a March 3 groundbreaking; Head of School Matt Levinson, Lower School Director Dr. Thu-Nga Morris, and students representing Kindergarten–Grade 5 participated. This project will convert the front athletics field to all-season turf; create 57,600 square feet of additional outdoor space; pave an additional parking lot to ease traffic flow and reduce overcrowding; and improve the walkways and lighting to enhance safety.

“Our driveway, our parking lots, and our fields will present a totally new and welcoming environment,” Mr. Levinson said. Dr. Morris added, “Much thought and collaboration have gone into the interior spaces of the Lower School, which have been designed to promote learning, support faculty and students, and adapt to the needs and flexible mindsets of young learners [a reference to the modernization in the mid-2010s]. The same level of collaboration and thought went into this project.”

A number of families have come together in support of these critical enhancements on the Short Hills Campus, but Pingry needs additional funds to reach the goal. Please consider making a gift to this important project, and join Pingry in providing its students with the ideal environment to learn, grow, and succeed. Contact Development Director Kate Whitman Annis P ‘23, ‘23, ‘28, ‘30 at or 908-647-7058 for more information.

Christine (Layng) Aschwald ’02, Ed Layng III ’65, P ’02, ’06, and Patricia Layng P ’02, ’06 at the dedication of the Dean W. Mathey Tennis Court Complex. The ceremony commemorated a gift from the late Dean W. Mathey, a friend of Pingry (and of Mr. Layng) and the son of tennis star Dean Mathey, Class of 1908. far left: Trustee Dev Ittycheria P ’19, ’22, former Pingry tennis player and captain Luke Ittycheria ’19, and Dr. Anju Thomas P ’19, ’22 at the dedication of Tennis Court 1 in the Dean W. Mathey Tennis Court Complex. The court was given by the Ittycheria Family.



One Pingry


Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! returned to Pingry for the Drama and Music Departments’ Winter Musical in 2021—the show was presented in two filmed versions with two casts of switched genders (read more in the Winter 2020-21 issue). Previously, Oklahoma! was performed in May 1979. Read more about that production on page 62.

Capping a remarkable high school career, which included two state epée titles and “Fencer of the Year” honors, Princetonbound Jessica Lin ’21 took home a silver medal at the Junior Fencing World Championships, held in Cairo, Egypt, in April. It was her second appearance at the event, and her first time competing in the Junior category (U20), the highest age classification before open seniors.



In mid-June, professional swimmer Nic Fink ‘11 and young phenom Matt Fallon ‘21 (pictured) dazzled at the USA Swimming Olympic Team Trials in Omaha. In the 200 meter breaststroke semifinals, Matt broke the 17-18 National Age Group Record, clocking 2:08.91 to win the entire semifinal round and earn a #9 ranking as the fastest U.S. swimmer in the event (Nic is #6, with a time of 2:08.16). In the finals a day later, Nic barreled his way to a personal best of 2:07.55, taking first and earning his first Olympic ticket. For more, visit

Connecting with Young Alumni Pingry welcomes Meghan Borowick as Next Generation Giving and Engagement Associate. Specifically, she is working with young alumni, many of whom showcase their Pingry pride through engagement, volunteerism, and philanthropy as members of the Blue and White Club.* What are Ms. Borowick’s plans for young alumni? Quite simply, to enhance their existing connections with the School and create new relationships. “My goal is to learn about their unique experience with the School and the vision they have for future generations of Big Blue students. It is important to host consistent programming for our young alumni to participate in so they can stay connected with the institution . . . the Pingry connection is one that stands true to students and alumni. For Pingry, it is important to engage with both groups to continue the legacy of excellence and honor for a lifetime.” THE CYRIL AND BEATRICE BALDWIN PINGRY FAMILY CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARD: Apu ‘93 and Board of Trustees Chair Jeffrey N. Edwards ‘78, P ‘12, ‘14, ‘18 received their respective honors at Commencement; Apu is the 2020 recipient and Mr. Edwards is the 2021 recipient. The award is given to members of the Pingry family who, in rendering meritorious service to the community, have demonstrated those qualities of responsible citizenship that Pingry aspires to instill in all of those associated with the School. For nearly 30 years, Apu, a beloved member of Pingry’s Technology Department, has addressed Pingry’s IT problems by day while serving as an Emergency Medical Technician for his hometown, Springfield, by night (read more about Apu in the Winter 2019-20 issue of The Pingry Review). Mr. Edwards is stepping down as Board Chair and will remain a trustee for another year (read more about Mr. Edwards’ tenure on page 12).

*The Blue and White Club is open to all alumni for the first 15 years after graduation who give $18.61 and above. Members of the Club assist in fostering a well-connected community of young alumni for the Pingry family, and have the opportunity to attend premier young alumni experiences with networking, professional development, and social opportunities throughout the year.



One Pingry

ARTS COURTYARD DEDICATION The sculpture garden outside the Hostetter Arts Center has been modernized and enhanced as The Pingry Arts Courtyard, a retreat for reflection and relaxation. The space is dedicated in memory of Eric Witty Gould ’86, whose family, including brother Lance Gould ’83, participated in the ceremony on May 17. Visual Arts Department Chair Miles Boyd commented, “The renovation turns this outdoor area into an all-season space, whether it be used for outdoor sculpture making, for utilizing the gas kiln on rainy days, for outdoor art classes, or for students to just enjoy this bucolic landscape while working on projects.” Mr. Boyd also mentioned that the courtyard will lead to enhancements in arts programming. Appropriately, since Eric loved music and playing the guitar, the ceremony featured musician Sandy Friedman ’21 playing guitar (The Weight by The Band).



Jane Gould P ’83, ’86, Lance Gould ’83, and Larry Gould P ’83, ’86.


Terry Vaccaro, ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE SUPERVISOR What brought you to Pingry in 2002, and how does its Business Office differ from where you used to work? I grew up in Elizabeth, near Pin-

gry’s Hillside Campus, never thinking I would be working here. I had worked for family-owned businesses and was looking for something different. Pingry is much bigger, and it’s fun and exciting to work at a school. What does it mean that you are Accounts Receivable Supervisor? Having the responsibility for

financials, and looking out for the School and what we’re spending that is charged back to students— tuition, budgeting for class trips, athletics purchases, Bear Pause sales. I’m a jack-of-all-trades! Over the years, how has technology made your work more efficient? We used to mail student

contracts—10 pages that took three days to prepare, with printing the address labels, contracts, and forms, and stuffing the envelopes. Now, emailing invoices is great. Having access to information on computers has also made a big difference, and we can deposit money through direct deposit instead of having to go to the bank.

What do you wish people knew or understood better about the Business Office? Teachers and

students can come to us. We are here for them. We are part of the School and we enjoy being a part of everything. Please stop in and say hello. Also, the Business Office is the “behind the scenes”—we were considered essential workers at the time of COVID-19. We are here all year, and each of us has a role to play in the day-to-day activities of making the School run efficiently. What do you enjoy most about working in the Business Office? My team, and the changes of the

seasons. In the corporate world, everything stays the same all year. Here, I get to experience the cycle of the school year and pick up on the vibes from the kids. I experience holidays and events, and I love seeing the kids on the fields when I leave in the afternoons. I also love the customer service aspect of reaching out and talking to parents. I like dealing with people.

LETTER-IN-LIFE AWARD: Charlie Stillitano Jr. ‘77, P ‘17 received the award from Pingry Alumni Association President and Trustee Kevin Schmidt ‘98 at Commencement. It is the highest award given by Pingry to an alumnus or alumna who has earned distinction and achievement in his or her professional life and, by doing so, has brought honor to Pingry (the award was announced last June, and Mr. Stillitano was officially recognized this year). Read the citation, which details Mr. Stillitano’s achievements in soccer and the soccer industry, at



Pingry Favorites

LeBow Oratorical Competition Elspeth Campbell ’22 won this year’s Dr. Robert H. LeBow ’58 Memorial Oratorical Competition with her speech “We, the Politicians.” Pointing out that politics is “ostensibly restricted to a professional elite, yet ubiquitous in practice,” she argued that “any person who has ever persuaded another to their agenda is, by definition, a politician”—including activists, journalists, authors, filmmakers, and even the participants in the LeBow competition. “If we fail to recognize the influence of non-professional politicians, we are completely unable to check their power.” Everyone, she argued, possesses the capability and responsibility to use their rhetoric for the common good. The competition was funded in 2005 through the generosity of the Class of 1958, led by the late William Hetfield, in memory of their classmate. Dr. LeBow was an accomplished public speaker, addressing audiences worldwide about the need for health care reform. Dr. LeBow is the author of Health Care Meltdown: Confronting the Myths and Fixing Our Failing System, a book drawn from his public speaking engagements.

View the speeches at



We Got the Shot Thanks to the incredible generosity of Lower School parent Margherita Cardello P ’31, an executive at RiteAid, Pingry was able to partner with RiteAid to offer vaccine clinics on both campuses for faculty, staff, students, families, and even members of the external community. As Mrs. Cardello recalls, “As soon as the government prioritized immunization of teachers, I thought, ‘Let me see if Pingry needs any help.’ I didn’t want to overstep, and I didn’t know if Pingry already had a vaccination program in place, but I wanted to help if I could . . . It is the least I can do to help the School and the community. I just want to do the right thing.” Pictured is Director of Operations, Safety & Strategic Initiatives David M. Fahey ’99, P ’33, ’34, with Mrs. Cardello in the background.

Welcome, New Magistri Celebrating the newest members of the Magistri, those who have worked at Pingry for 25 years or more: Upper School Director Ananya Chatterji ‘25, Associate Director of Admission & Director of Lower School Admission Sheila Ramirez P ‘01, ‘04, ‘07, and Drama Department Chair Stephanie Romankow. Read more at

Middle School Artists Wanting “a space for Middle Schoolers to draw and hang out,” brothers Sebastian ’26 and Zachary Jin ’27 co-founded the Comics and Drawing Club this past school year, under the guidance of advisor and Middle School English Teacher Lori Esmond. Surprised by the number of students who joined their weekly meetings, and impressed by their skills, in February they decided to host—and judge—a drawing contest, open to all Middle Schoolers. WINNERS

BEST DRAWN Arjun Kapur ’26


MOST CREATIVE (TIE) Sheryl Chen ’26

Princeton Prize Monica Chan ’21 and Luc Francis ’21 each earned a Certificate of Accomplishment from The Princeton Prize in Race Relations for Northern New Jersey. Princeton University established the prize to recognize and reward “high school students who, through their volunteer activities, have undertaken significant efforts to advance racial equity and understanding in their schools or communities.” Last summer, Monica and Luc launched the student-led Pingry Allyship Collective (PAC), a collaboration among students from a variety of Pingry’s affinity groups, the Black and Asian Student Unions, the Student Diversity Lead-

ership Committee, and the Civic Action and Social Engagement Club. The PAC is part of Pingry’s larger efforts in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)—in Monica’s and Luc’s words, the PAC “aims to transform the realizations and lessons from education and discussion-based DEI work into tangible changes in the student culture, curriculum, and extracurricular activities.” In addition to being recognized for PAC, Monica was recognized for her work as Co-President of the Asian Student Union, and Luc was recognized for his work as Co-Leader of the Black Affinity Group.



Pingry Favorites Stifel Award x 2 This spring, Pingry honored two recipients of the Stifel Award: Chloe Mason ’21 (delayed from 2020) and Tomas Allariez ’29. Chloe was honored for her positive approach to life in the face of numerous medical issues: an epilepsy seizure disorder— specifically, absence seizures, which are sudden, brief lapses in attention— post-concussion syndrome, migraines, dizziness, and nearly constant headaches. Tomas was commended for his strong grades and perfect attendance while learning remotely from Peru the entire school year, the result of the Peru government’s pandemic-related travel ban that prevented him from returning to the United States.

The Henry G. Stifel III Award is named for Henry Stifel III ’83, who was paralyzed in an automobile accident during his junior year at Pingry. The Stifel Family established the award at Pingry in 1984 to “be awarded to the person who best exemplifies those characteristics exhibited by Henry G. Stifel III ’83 in the aftermath of his accident and spinal injury: courage, endurance, optimism, compassion, and spirit.” A Pingry lifer, Mr. Stifel is a former trustee who has received Pingry’s Cyril and Beatrice Baldwin Pingry Family Citizen of the Year Award and Letter-In-Life Award, is a Vice Chair of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation’s Board of Directors, and works at Morgan Stanley. Read more about both students at

The New Jersey State Golf Association (NJSGA) announced in February that Mr. Marston—a member of Pingry’s Athletics Hall of Fame who played hockey, baseball, and tennis at the School and served as captain of the hockey and baseball teams—will be inducted into its Hall of Fame this year for his achievements as an amateur golfer. Notably, he won the 1923 U.S. Amateur Championship, defeating Bobby Jones (at the time, the current U.S. Open champion). According to the NJSGA, Mr. Marston’s 1923 season “is regarded as one of the best single-year performances by an amateur golfer and is considered by most golf historians as second only to Bob Jones’ iconic Grand Slam of 1930 as the era’s best amateur competitive season.” Mr. Marston also won the Pennsylvania Amateur in 1921 and 1922 and was named to the Walker Cup team in 1922, 1924, and 1934.




Another Hall of Fame Induction for Max Marston, Class of 1911

Dr. Megan Jones Interviewed History Department Chair Dr. Megan Jones was interviewed by NiCHE (Network in Canadian History & Environment) for its series highlighting the experiences of environmental historians working beyond the professoriate. The piece touched on • her path since graduate school at the University of Delaware

• what she likes most about her Pingry position—the freedom to develop her own curriculum within core courses, and Pingry’s encouragement to develop new courses • training she wishes she had acquired in graduate school— translating the work of historians, and helping students understand that historians can and should serve the public

• her advice for graduate students studying environmental history—attend annual meetings of the American Society for Environmental History, and consider how their own work can inform the public’s understanding of the past or of public policy


There have been many adjustments this year. Many schools couldn’t come back in person, but the Facilities Team made it safe, enjoyable, and ‘normal.’”—BLUE BOOK EDITORS-IN-CHIEF SANJANA BISWAS ’21 AND BROOKE PAN ’21 The 2021 yearbook is dedicated to Pingry’s Facilities Team. Members of Facilities worked countless hours to help with the redesign of both campuses so that Pingry could open, including the construction of about 1,000 plexiglass dividers and installation of specialized equipment in classrooms on both campuses. Plus,

they fulfilled their regular responsibilities to keep the campuses safe and immaculate, such as clearing away multiple feet of snow. In accepting the dedication, Director of Facilities Michael Waelz said the entire team is honored during this “very difficult year.”



Jeff Edwards ’78 Steps Down as Chair of the Board Along with service to Pingry that has encompassed volunteering for Reunion, chairing The Pingry Fund, speaking at Career Day, and moderating alumni events, Jeffrey N. Edwards ’78, P ’12, ’14, ’18 considers it a tremendous honor to have served on the Board of Trustees since 2004. And now, he has concluded a remarkably eventful seven years as Chair, having assumed the role in July 2014, just three months before Pingry launched the public phase of its $65 million Blueprint for the Future Campaign. Mr. Edwards is immensely grateful for what he calls “the huge privilege to play a role” in Board activities. He describes his fellow trustees as “dedicated and selfless in their giving of time” and considers himself “incredibly fortunate to have worked with two great Heads of School, Nat Conard and Matt Levinson, and a tremendous number of talented administrators who supported us.”

The Board’s purpose is to make strategic decisions for Pingry, outside of day-to-day operations. During Mr. Edwards’ tenure as Board Chair, the Board also focused on additional priorities: a successful capital campaign (it exceeded its goal, raising $76.7 million); the subsequent modernization of both campuses, including construction of the Miller A. Bugliari ’52 Athletics Center; the development of a new Strategic Plan (launched in 2018); the search for a new Head of School; Pingry’s renewed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts in the wake of the murder of George Floyd; and Pingry’s response to the COVID19 pandemic. Mr. Edwards was also integral to helping Pingry navigate the allegations of sexual abuse that took place in the 1970s. “Pingry is a complex place in complex times,” Mr. Edwards says. “The School has a constant ability to move forward, adapt to conditions, and maintain its position of preeminence

“Jeff has a very calm demeanor and has always been a good listener and a good consensus builder. He is incredibly well-read—for any topic that came up on the Board, he would find two or three books and will have read them, or be reading them, when we met. He never spoke as if he were an expert. It’s fun to watch good people have an impact on an institution you care about, and Jeff’s dedication to Pingry has been incredible.” —Trustee Stuart Lederman ’78 “He had to address some issues that were truly existential. I suspect that Jeff’s contributions to the School may not be fully appreciated until the circumstances faced by the School during his tenure are put into an historical perspective.” — Former Board Chair and Honorary Trustee Jack Brescher ’65, P ’99 “Jeff Edwards has been nothing short of extraordinary as Chair of the Pingry Board of Trustees. It is not that Jeff managed by himself all these events and crises . . . but he managed to keep 12


Board of Trustees Chair Jeff Edwards ’78, P ’12, ’14, ’18 at Convocation in 2018.

in the educational world. I don’t think anything demonstrated that better than what we’ve seen in the last year with our response to the pandemic. You usually think of big institutions having to move slowly, but Pingry demonstrated an ability to move very quickly.” Mr. Edwards extends his gratitude to the whole community, especially the faculty, the trustees, Mr. Conard and Mr. Levinson, and their administrative teams. “They have made such a difference to my family’s life and to so many in our community. Pingry is an incredible place, and I hope that, as we go through changes, nobody loses sight of how important it is that Pingry continues to be superb.”

the Board focused, making decisions when needed, and behaving at all times in a collegial manner. He is a leader par excellence; he will be sorely missed indeed.” —Trustee and Vice Chair Ian Shrank ’71 “Jeff is the consummate leader: super-smart, leveledheaded, a great strategist, and an active listener. Without Jeff’s leadership and foresight, the current Strategic Plan would not exist. The key to a successful strategic plan is in its execution, and Jeff has ensured that all Board priorities, actions, and decisions are aligned with the plan. He is always engaged and is there to support every Board member, the Head of School, administrators, and others. Jeff has truly brought honor to Pingry.” —Trustee Lori Halivopoulos ’78, P ’23 “Jeff’s leadership of Pingry’s Board of Trustees was steady, insightful, and effective. He was able to solicit and welcome varying viewpoints on important issues, and bring the group to a productive consensus on more than one occasion. His analysis of various issues seemed well-researched and thoughtful. Kudos on a job well done!” —Trustee Don Mullins P ’15, ’20

Faculty and Staff Farewells Tributes to those who have worked at Pingry for 10 years or more




Allison Brunhouse ’00, P ’31, Director of Institutional Advancement, has left Pingry after 14 years. She joined Pingry in 2007 as Assistant Director of Admission and Coordinator of Financial Aid, became Director of Admission and Director of Financial Aid in 2010, and added oversight of Communications in 2015. For the past two years, Mrs. Brunhouse served in her current role, overseeing Enrollment Management, Communications, and Development. During her tenure, awareness of Pingry in the community has grown steadily, generating record numbers of applications for multiple years running. In her role with financial aid, Mrs. Brunhouse served as a member of the Board of Trustees Financial Aid Task Force in 2008 (when Pingry was being proactive to meet the needs of families) and 2019 (to address budget questions). She was also Co-Chair of the 2015 New Jersey Association of Independent Schools (NJAIS) Self-Study for Accreditation. “It has been such a privilege to be part of the big and small moments, like small conversations that become transformative opportunities for the School,” she says of seeing Pingry from multiple perspectives. “And I got to understand how much work goes into everything that gets done at this School. For one email, how many hours have gone into brainstorming, gathering information, writing, proofreading, and more—so many people’s perspectives and hands.” Mrs. Brunhouse is proudest of her time as an Upper School advisor, as well as her teams. “Everyone matters, and it’s

been such a gift to work with families, students, fellow alumni . . . it’s been an incredible journey, and I was lucky to be given responsibilities and challenges. I’ve had mentors and colleagues who believe in teamwork and working together.”

Ananya Chatterji P ’25, Upper School Math Teacher and Upper School Director, has left Pingry after 25 years. After joining the School in 1996 as Network Administrator and a member of the IT Help Desk, she went on to touch nearly every aspect of school life in multiple roles: College Counselor, Independent Senior Project Coordinator, Student Government Advisor, Admission Committee member, Honor Board faculty representative, Assistant Dean of Students, Upper School Academic Dean, and her most recent position. She has also coached JV Girls’ Lacrosse and Middle School Boys’ and Girls’ Swimming. Ms. Chatterji never envisioned this trajectory. “I thought tech would be one year. [Then-Headmaster] John Hanly called me to ask for tech help. In my second year, there was a math opening, so I tried for that. I came to Pingry when there was tremendous leadership in place—giants in Pingry history—and I learned from them.” To this day, Ms. Chatterji still considers a decision from nearly 25 years ago to be the best decision she made at Pingry. During her first year, then– Middle School Director and Middle School History Teacher Jeff Utz asked if she would work on the schedule with him over the summer (using software

to generate student schedules based on their course requests, and figuring out classroom availability). “Working on the schedule taught me the absolute intricacies of the curriculum, from prerequisites to graduation requirements to who teaches which courses. From there, I got more interested in the study of curriculum. It opened this world to me, and every piece became interesting.” Ms. Chatterji has spent years working with and learning from students, and becoming Upper School Director gave her the chance “to get to know the faculty in a more three-dimensional way. I know the teachers for the courses they teach, but I got to know them better. And I have enjoyed extraordinary teamwork with the deans.” Ms. Chatterji received the Herbert F. Hahn Junior Faculty Award (2001) and the Woodruff J. English ’27 Faculty Development Award (2014).

Kelle Leonhard, Upper School Economics and Math Teacher, has left Pingry after 13 years. In her Principles of Economics course, students worked on many projects that focused on world events from an economics perspective—fiscal policy, monetary policy, inflation, and industries’ responses to various economic events. “Kudos to [former C. B. Newton Library Director] Eileen Hymas for helping the students’ find resources. She went above and beyond,” she says. Mrs. Leonhard also coordinated Upper School students’ involvement in two math competitions: the New Jersey Math League’s monthly contests and THE PINGRY REVIEW | SUMMER 2021


Read the full-length coverage, as well as additional tributes to departing faculty and staff, at

the Mathematical Association of America’s American Mathematics Competitions. For the first time in 2016, she took eight AP Economics students to Boston for the annual Harvard Pre-Collegiate Economics Challenge for high school students from around the world (Harvard Economics Professor and Pingry Trustee Dr. Greg Mankiw ’76 is the competition’s faculty sponsor). In addition, Mrs. Leonhard advised the student-organized Math Help Center, which became the STEM Center (Science, Technology, Economics, Math), and enjoyed mentoring new faculty. “I will hold my Pingry memories near and dear,” she says. Mrs. Leonhard received the James P. Whitlock, Jr. ’60 Faculty Development Fund for Science, Mathematics and Technology (2013) and The Albert W. Booth Master Chair (2015).

Susan Marshall Marotto, Health Department Chair, has left Pingry after 36 years. She joined the School in 1985 as a physical education/health teacher, and seven years later was promoted to Chair of the Health and Physical Education Departments; the departments split in 1999 and she remained Health Department Chair. She oversaw a health curriculum that has expanded exponentially. When Mrs. Marotto started teaching at Pingry, health courses were offered only in Grades 9 and 11 and focused

mainly on sexuality, nutrition, and drugs. Today, health is required for Grades 6–10 (Health 10 is a CPR/AED certification course), and the School offers two electives, Foundations of Sports Medicine and an Emergency Medical Responder class. In terms of topics taught, there are almost too many to list. “We have more teachers and a whole conglomerate of topics because of cultural changes, and we need to keep up with the world,” Mrs. Marotto says. “We also have more knowledge of the body, and the influence of substances on the body.” Examples of recent additions: vaping; organ and tissue donation; stress; sexual orientation; and gender identity. One of Mrs. Marotto’s most important accomplishments as Chair was helping to establish Pingry’s Public Access Defibrillation Program—AEDs (automatic external defibrillators) were purchased in 2001 over a decade before Janet’s Law required all K-12 schools in New Jersey to have an AED. In December 2006, using AEDs, Mrs. Marotto, nurse Joy Livak, and thennurse Joanne Childs helped save the life of Hank Langowski, a then-member of the Maintenance Department. A memorable moment took place in May 2008, when the American Heart Association honored Pingry with Heart Saver Hero Awards to recognize two earlier events: the 2006 life-saving

Head Coach Transition After more than 30 years leading the Girls’ Varsity Cross Country Team, Chemistry Teacher Tim Grant P ’03, ’06 is passing the Head Coach reins to assistant coach Sarah Christensen P ’10, ’12. A stand-out runner at Ursinus College, Mr. Grant joined Pingry’s faculty in 1984, the same year as his wife, English Teacher Vicki Grant P ’03, ’06. Five years later, he took the helm of both the Girls’ Cross Country and Track & Field Teams. Beginning in 2001, he guided the cross country program to five state championships, in addition to six Prep Championships between 1992 and 2004. He has shepherded numerous runners to Division I and III collegiate careers, including several who went on to earn NCAA All-American status.



efforts for Mr. Langowski, and a 2008 life-saving effort by a sophomore who used his CPR training to help a woman suffering from sudden cardiac arrest. From 1985–2002, Mrs. Marotto coached three sports each year. Her teams included varsity softball (17 years), varsity basketball (seven years), varsity field hockey (one year), Middle School basketball (10 years), Middle School soccer (10 years), and Middle School tennis (five years). More recently, she has returned to coaching with Middle School cross country, basketball, and track. “I grew up at Pingry, and one of the big honors has been teaching legacy students—that makes my day. I also enjoy working with alumni who come back to Pingry, and hearing from alumni and knowing that my life’s work has had meaning and value for them,” Mrs. Marotto says. “I will miss my department members and colleagues. I have been so fortunate to work with such wonderful, professional, thoughtful, caring, top-notch colleagues. And my family, especially my husband Bob and daughter Jackie, has been supportive of my career and time commitment. I couldn’t have done it without them.” Mrs. Marotto received the Senior Class Faculty Chair in 2017.

Dr. Joan Pearlman P ’89, ’92, ’96, Grade 5 Language Arts Teacher, has retired after a 38-year Pingry career. She taught Grade 5 the entire time, with a slight shift in curriculum. Though she is best known for teaching Language Arts, she was hired to teach reading and literature, complementing the grammar that was taught in other fifth-grade classrooms. She and her colleagues realized that one course, Language Arts, should combine reading, grammar, writing, vocabulary, and study skills. Ultimately, Dr. Pearlman taught fifth-grade Language Arts and sixth-grade Study Skills, along with aspects of study skills in Grade 5, such as time management, note taking, and research. Dr. Pearlman also advised Grade




4 and 5 Student Council for the past few years, helping students learn and demonstrate leadership. Among other activities, they prepare and lead assemblies for Veterans Day, the Honor Code, and Dr. John Pingry’s birthday, and promote Dress Down Days that support charitable causes. Of course, when she joined Pingry, the Lower School was a different place, physically and in the student population, than it is today. “We have a more diverse student body, purposefully. Education is more than just books and learning to get along. Students come from different backgrounds. And the modernization several years ago led to more emphasis on student collaboration, with more common areas added outside the classrooms of the various grade levels,” she says. The Code of Conduct was developed in 1994 as an age-appropriate version of the Honor Code, and Dr. Pearlman has seen the impact. “There have been more open discussions about honor and about why the guidelines exist. Lockers have no combinations or locks because a school with an Honor Code doesn’t need them.” A special note: Dr. Pearlman remains grateful for the “unbelievable” support from her colleagues when she underwent six months of treatment for breast cancer in 1995. “Pingry was here for me, and I’ve been there for Pingry. It has always been a special place for me and feels like family. I never felt like I was going to work. I was going to my happy place and always loved working with children.” Dr. Pearlman received the Woodruff J. English Award in 2005 (she com-

ments on this award in the story on page 34).

Samantha Schifano, Director of Middle and Upper School Admission, and Director of Financial Aid, has left Pingry after 10 years to work for an e-commerce business of which she is part owner, Bear Mattress. She came to Pingry as Admission Coordinator and then became Assistant Director of Admission and Director of Financial Aid. Mrs. Schifano was also Form III Dean. She learned much about admission and financial aid during her time at Pingry. “The work is only as good as the people you meet, and I’ve met some great people. I learned how to connect with students and families, recognizing how their own values align with Pingry, and the importance of a partnership. And financial aid will always hold a piece of my heart. Finances are not easy to talk about. It’s a very intimate process, but I was able to build relationships so that families felt that I was trustworthy with their personal information. It can be very business-like, but I always felt that families should feel my warmth and understanding for their circumstances because we have their best interests at heart.” How does Mrs. Schifano describe the sense of responsibility that comes with these positions? “It comes down to making sure that Pingry is the right fit for each child. For financial aid, we have to be fiscally responsible with our budget and how we administer it, and be equitable across the board.” Mrs. Schifano never expected to be at Pingry for 10 years, but “it’s a warm and welcoming community, and what

I thought would be a one-year job became a career. I am truly grateful to the numerous members of the community who championed my progression and success.”

Homa Watts, Grade 2 Teacher, has retired after a combined 13 years at Pingry. She taught Kindergarten from 2006–2013, took a two-year sabbatical to spend time with her husband Kenneth in Abu Dhabi, returned to teach Grade 1 from 2015–2020, and taught Grade 2 this year. Outside of the classroom, Mrs. Watts has been a member of the Diversity, Curriculum, Admission, and Hiring Committees. She has been a natural fit for Kindergarten and Grades 1 and 2 because “I love early childhood. I love to see students learn something new, the twinkle in their eyes at the joy of reading or solving a math problem, their passion for learning, their innocence.” Through her work at Pingry, she has developed even more respect for Kindergarten teachers because “they have one of the hardest jobs—planting the seeds for learning. That is a tremendous responsibility.” Beyond Kindergarten, she finds it fascinating to watch students’ developmental growth. “Development and time are great attributes in how children learn. When they struggle with something, I tell them, ‘Maybe not yet, but it will happen.’” She is thankful to all of her colleagues and grateful for the collaboration over the years. “It has been truly an honor to work here. Pingry has been my Mt. Everest.” Mrs. Watts received The Albert W. Booth Master Chair in 2012. THE PINGRY REVIEW | SUMMER 2021



On Sunday, June 13, Pingry celebrated the School’s 139 newest alumni—the Class of 2021—in the 160th Commencement Exercises.


(13-Year Club, students who attended Pingry since Kindergarten) Christian Colella Lauren Drzala Jill Dugan Micah Elwyn Mahek Hemani Walker Johnson Claire Keller Jaiden Lalla Adelaide Lance Hope Maultsby Sahdev Patel Oreoluwa (Ore) Shote Kaley Taylor Christopher Ticas Grace Wang Henry Wood

“I learned the beauty of community at Pingry before I even started here. . . The relationships I’ve built here, and the conversations that have bloomed as a result, have taught me this: it’s the people that make the place—the voices, talents, passions, friends, and mentors.” —MEGHAN DURKIN ’21, HONOR BOARD CHAIR

THE CLASS OF 1902 EMBLEM AWARD Carolyn Coyne ’21 By the efficiency and amount of service, and by loyalty of attitude, the student who has done the most for the School and shown the greatest amount of school spirit.




Honor Board Chair Meghan Durkin ’21

MAGISTRI LAUDANDI AWARD Matthew Mandel ’21 The student who demonstrates personal integrity and generosity that inspire the best in others, whose sense of purpose is to the greater good, and who helps all succeed.

(students whose parents or grandparents also graduated from Pingry) Emilia Baird Elle Dziadzio Micah Elwyn Elijah Goldberg Gia Kalro Avery Kirby Elisabeth Korn Peter Korn Anna Kovacs Jemma Kushen Jaiden Lalla Gerhard Mennen Simon Muller Mia Shum Augusta Winterbottom

Student Body President Nolan Baynes II ’21

“Just live your life. At the end of the day . . . you’re the one that’s going to make the decisions. Go with your gut and trust that everything will fall into place. Don’t worry about the future because you can’t control it and don’t dwell on the past because you can’t change it. Do what you think is right . . .” —NOLAN BAYNES II ’21, STUDENT BODY PRESIDENT “My parting advice to you is to embrace a modified metaphor: an ivory elevator. This elevator represents my sincerest hope that, as we become educated members of society, we can find mobility between lofty intellectualism and common pragmatism; that we can interact as fruitfully with fellow experts as we can with the general public. . .” —NOAH BERGAM ’21, CLASS PRESIDENT Class President and Valedictorian Noah Bergam ’21




View from

A balancing act during the Lower School’s Field Day, which is filled with games and activities. For this annual event, students are split into Blue and White Teams (siblings are on the same team) and compete in events that emphasize teamwork and sportsmanship.






Pandemic Lessons Urgency prevailed when COVID-19 first rattled schools across the country last spring. Administrators, faculty, and staff were suddenly thrust into the teeth of remote learning—remote everything—and swift accommodations had to be made. With the benefit of a few months of summer planning, and the launch of the School’s first-ever flexible education model, Pingry Anywhere (covered in the Fall 2020 issue), the 2020-21 school year began with far more intention. Classrooms were outfitted not only with plexiglass dividers, but an array of new technologies to make remote learning possible. By early fall, COVID-19 testing of more than 1,300 students, faculty, and staff—first weekly, then twice weekly— was taking place on both campuses. Within weeks, a small squadron of Pingry staff became trained contact tracers. Social distancing and mask-wearing upended the typical school day experience— eating lunch, cocooned in plexiglass, became a solitary experience; changes to athletics strained the very concept of a team; and yearly musicals and plays, staged outdoors or virtually, defied logistics. Committed to engaging remote and in-person learners alike, faculty covered material in ways they hadn’t before, taught in outdoor tents, or otherwise adapted their approaches to an ever-changing environment. Student groups and clubs found new ways to connect. In the absence of on-site campus visits, the College Counseling Office found new ways to support students. Without a doubt, the 2020-21 school year was replete with innovation and novelty. So, the question becomes: With the vaccine now widely available and a return to “normal” on the horizon, what innovations will remain? When masks and plexiglass come down, what changes, which Pingry so successfully adopted to respond to an unprecedented time, will endure? What follows is by no means an exhaustive accounting, but a highlight reel of a few of the most impactful and likely to last. Hint: Yes, Zoom—the pandemic zeitgeist and an undeniable convenience—is here to stay. But many other unplanned changes, whether virtual or in-person, were both imaginative and collaborative, quenching our basic thirst for connection and community, and charting unexpected paths in the process.

In a Year of Many Firsts, What Revelations & Innovations Will Endure?



Dr. Morris’s Surprises Designed by Lower School Director Dr. Thu-Nga Morris, these once-a-trimester (three total) diversions—kept secret from students until the day of their unveiling—helped to punctuate an otherwise challenging school year. First up last fall, “When You’re Smiling,” by Louis Prima, was played on the P.A. system, leading to an impromptu dance party in classrooms and hallways. Smiley-face stress balls—in Pingry blue, of course—were also distributed to students. In early March, they were treated to a live presentation of reptiles and snakes in one

of the outdoor tents. To end the school year, a snow cone truck visited campus. Her signature surprises have become such a hit, Dr. Morris plans to continue them going forward. “After seeing the students’ reactions, we thought to ourselves, ‘Let’s keep going!’ A simple idea like ‘Dr. Morris’s Surprise,’ which emerged from our desire to build community, has added incredible value to our program in the way it has brought happiness to the students and allowed kids to be kids,” Dr. Morris says.

A nearly eight-foot-long, gleaming yellow Burmese python was among the reptiles on display at the “Snakes ‘n Scales” presentation Lower Schoolers were treated to in early March.




Advisories Get Creative Approximately once a week in their advisories, Middle School students are treated to Advisory Choice. Departing from typical planned material, they are encouraged to decide on a different activity, “as long as it’s together,” explains Middle School Dean of Students Mike Coakley. Outside games or activities in the Bugliari Athletics Center were common, but to

accommodate remote and hybrid learning this year, advisors had to get creative. They experimented with a number of online resources and games, like and Jackbox Games, that many didn’t know existed prior to the pandemic. They were a hit with students. “When we reach some sense of normalcy again, I think advisors will be eager to blend the online ‘Advisory

Choice’ options with some of the more physical ones,” explains Mr. Coakley. “Basketball, dodgeball, and the like certainly appeal to a lot of kids, but what these online games do is give space for kids who enjoy less-active games. In short, we can add these to our broader menu of options to be more inclusive of all of our students’ interests and passions.”

Word Spud and Drawful were a few of the popular Jackbox Games played in Advisory last school year.

Zooming Parent-Teacher Conferences “We have seen an increase in both parents showing up for conferences because they can Zoom. I anticipate that parents will continue to have the option to conference this way, though we may also provide an in-person option. Zoom has provided the flexibility for us to do this. It has been a real benefit for working families that have long commutes and/or busy schedules.” —Dr. Thu-Nga Morris, Lower School Director

Outdoor Tents Erected last fall to adhere to social distancing guidelines, three spacious white tents on the Short Hills Campus were regularly used for a host of activities, from mask breaks, P.E. classes, and assemblies, to

One of the Lower School’s three outdoor tents—where “Snakes ’n Scales" took place—positioned near the playground.



afterschool enrichment, small-group classwork, and rainy-day recess retreats. As Dr. Morris shares, they aren’t going away anytime soon. “I don’t think we fully appreciated how useful they would be,” she says. “Among other improvements to the grounds surrounding the Lower School, the tents are providing an opportunity to dramatically enhance the experiences our students have with regard to learning in the outdoors. The very presence of the tents—and the expanded campus footprint they have afforded—have prompted us to reimagine how we use outdoor space on the Short Hills Campus, initiatives that will extend well beyond the pandemic.”

Reimagining Global and Experiential Learning When domestic and global travel ground to a halt last spring, Julia Dunbar, Upper School History Teacher and Pingry’s Director of Global Education and Engagement, still wanted to offer students some sort of global experience—if not place-based, at least illuminating and meaningful. So, over Winter Break, she teamed up with History Department Chair Dr. Megan Jones to transport nine Pingry Upper Schoolers to the former Yugoslavia for the School’s first-ever virtual Global Program—a Zoom-based “travel” experience in which they connected with four natives of the Balkans to learn about nationalism and the history of the Yugoslav Wars. (This virtual program was highlighted in Independent School magazine. Read more about the program and the magazine article at “In some ways, this experience reinforced for me what I already knew: The power of in-person travel is irreplaceable. But this is a great complement,” Ms. Dunbar says. “For students who can’t participate in Pingry’s Global Field Studies Programs, virtual courses provide another potential option. I hope that in the future we can see them as a complement to our travel programs.” Continuing to think imaginatively, Farm and Sustainability Coordinator Olivia Tandon and Middle School Visual Arts Teacher Melody Boone designed “Pingry in the Jersey Woods,” a new take on the more traditional Spring Break travel program. They took advantage of the farm, garden, composter, and greenhouse on the Basking Ridge Campus to provide seven Middle Schoolers with hands-on, interdisciplinary, place-based learning about ecosystems, science, and art — programming that they plan to continue going forward.

“The power of in-person travel is irreplaceable. But [virtual courses] are a great complement.” —JULIA DUNBAR, DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL EDUCATION AND ENGAGEMENT

Online, Alumni Engagement Increases Vibrant and meaningful Zoom conversations with alumni were hosted not only by the Department of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion last school year (see page 25). Pingry’s Office of Institutional Advancement also found web conferencing to be a tremendously effective tool for hosting regional events and connecting with alumni across the country who wouldn’t otherwise be able to travel to campus. Leveraging the technological ease,

they built on their typical in-person programming. “It was really special to connect alumni with members of our faculty who were at Pingry while they were students and to engage alumni about how Pingry is evolving as an institution,” says Jane Hoffman ‘94, P ’26, ’27, ’28, Director of Annual Giving and Community Relations. Several alumni classes have begun to meet regularly via Zoom, rekindling friendships and debating several topics presented by classmates.

Current students have benefited, too. Mrs. Hoffman remarks that the simplicity of video conferencing has made it easier for more faculty to engage alumni and students, together, in conversation. “In general, Zoom has forever expanded how we connect with alumni and given us another resource to keep the Pingry community connected and engaged,” says Mrs. Hoffman. (For recordings of alumni events, visit THE PINGRY REVIEW | SUMMER 2021


World Language “Exchanges” “When we go back to in-person exchange and travel, virtual exchange will definitely continue.” —UPPER SCHOOL FRENCH TEACHER ANNE CHANGEUX

French language, I am less nervous about traveling to France in the future,” she says. As Ms. Changeux says, “When we go back to in-person exchange and travel, virtual exchange will definitely continue. It helps the kids to make a connection before we go and maintain that connection after. We generally do an exchange every two years, so doing a virtual one in between would help us to stay in touch.”

College Counseling Expands Its Reach “I think the biggest positive takeaway for me has been connecting with colleges and families over Zoom. While meeting in person is more gratifying in some ways, and the importance of relationships, of sharing ideas and stories and making connections was clearer to me than ever, the technology has allowed us to reach a broader audience this past year. Zoom is definitely a tool that we’ll continue to use.” —Tim Lear P ’25, ’27, ’30, Dean of College Counseling and Director of Student Support Services




Upper School French Teacher Anne Changeux recalls the day last spring when 12 of her students received disappointing news. They were all set to embark on a 10-day exchange with their peers at Les Chartreux, a school in Lyon, France. On March 6, 2020, Pingry decided it would be prudent to cancel the program. “It was a really good call,” Ms. Changeux says. Just days later, the CDC recommended halting all international travel. But having partnered with the school for many years, Ms. Changeux, along with her French counterpart overseas, were not ready to give up. A virtual exchange took place instead. Both last spring and throughout this school year, students used the app Padlet to share projects and discuss a variety of topics with A Padlet screen in which their French peers—Thanksgiving students from the virtual traditions, environmental issues, Pingry/Les Chartreux college admission, and sports, to exchange share their name a few. Thanksgiving and winter Senior Massa Godbold still holiday traditions. keeps in touch with her exchange friend, Amicie, over Instagram. “We ask each other questions about our lives and, at times, cultural differences. This allows us to better understand the differences (and similarities) between the countries we come from. It also opens a gateway for more conversation. . . ‘virtual connection’ is preparing me for in-person travel. Because I get an opportunity to frequently practice the

• In partnership with the PSPA, the College Counseling Office invited Jeff Selingo, New York Times bestselling author of three books, including Who Gets In and Why: A Year Inside College Admissions, to speak to Pingry families over Zoom last November. The office anticipates hosting more virtual presentations like this. • On April 15, “Ask the Experts” took place, a virtual gathering of more than 30 college representatives from across the country and abroad, meeting with junior families for a series of facilitated conversations about admissions.

Last November, awardwinning higher education journalist Jeff Selingo shared insights into college admissions with the Pingry community.

In the “Why I Chose an HBCU” alumni panel last winter, alumni from Howard University and Spelman College shared their experiences.

DEI Work Expands Its Reach, Too “Not only did Zoom allow us to bring alumni in from various parts of the country for the HBCU event, but we also ‘hosted’ three alumni from the early ’60s (they only lived as far as New York City, but Zoom made it a lot easier!),” says Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Gilberto Olvera P ’29. What’s more, he adds, Zoom calls made it much easier for the

Antiracism Task Force to convene every other week for two hours. Launched last summer, the Task Force includes at least one member who does not live locally, and others who do not work at or have a child at Pingry. The creation of Alumni Affinity Groups, which began this school year, were also made possible thanks to Zoom.

Thanks to Zoom, two unique, first-time events—each celebrating Black History Month and open to all Pingry families—took place. Past Meets Present: A Conversation with Pingry’s First Black Students Dr. Robert Fullilove ’62, Judge Harold Fullilove ’63, and Mr. Mark Fury ’75 shared stories about their time as some of Pingry's earliest Black students. (Read more at

“At a time when school desegregation was an important part of national politics, Pingry decided it couldn’t afford—ethically, morally, or politically— to have a graduating class in 1961, its centennial year, that was all White.” —DR. ROBERT FULLILOVE '62 DURING "PAST MEETS PRESENT"

Why I Chose an HBCU After Pingry: A Conversation With Recent Graduates More than 60 members of the Pingry community tuned in to hear the experiences of six recent Pingry graduates, all of whom chose to continue their education at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). The conversation was moderated by Digital Communications Specialist Camille Bonds (Howard University ’04) and Associate Athletic Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator for Athletics Taunita Stephenson (Delaware State University ’09). (Read more at THE PINGRY REVIEW | SUMMER 2021


The “Togetherness” of Teams “The pandemic brought us back to why athletics are important, why we play. It’s an appreciation for the team and togetherness that we took for granted before, which I think student athletes will really hold onto going forward. I had a senior, who hadn’t played since her freshman year, who wanted to come back out for the Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse Team this past spring. She missed time with her friends so much and playing a sport was a way to be with them. In fact, I had nine seniors come out for the team this year—I’ve never had that many!” —CARTER ABBOTT, DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS AND COMMUNITY WELLNESS; HEAD COACH OF THE GIRLS’ VARSITY LACROSSE TEAM

The Varsity Field Hockey Team celebrated a close, 1-0 win over Montgomery last October.



Library Lessons 1

Thanks to an online program called Biblionasium, the normally in-person, month-long, K-5 Olympic Reading Program at the Lower School took off, virtually. Each student created their own virtual bookshelves, set goals, tracked their reading minutes, and received reading incentives and certificates.


With many local libraries closed or experiencing reduced hours, K-5 Summer Reading Lists, once printed booklets for each grade, became virtual and interactive, with links to read many of them online. Now, students not only have their list of books, but a way to access and read them digitally. “Although these changes were made in reaction to the restrictions, I feel that we benefited from rethinking how to present our programs and learned that it could be done successfully and effectively in a virtual format,” says Lower School Librarian Ann D’Innocenzo. “I plan to incorporate most of these changes as new, innovative options to interact with the students and the Pingry community.”


As Middle School Librarian Felicia Ballard summed it up: “Connections had to be made in different ways. We were always looking for the opportunity to forge new alliances.” Using FlipGrid for students to share their book recommendations, in place of regular “Book Talks” in the library, was a hit, as has been the library’s partnership with the Bernards Township Library and librarians’ increased use of Schoology to share resources and literature in an interactive way.

While class visits to the library proceeded as normal last school year, social distancing guidelines meant that independent student drop-ins could not be accommodated. Biblionasium—an online bookshelf—helped, making setting and achieving reading goals fun for Lower Schoolers.

“We benefited from rethinking how to present our programs and learned that it could be done successfully and effectively in a virtual format.” —ANN D’INNOCENZO, LOWER SCHOOL LIBRARIAN


One unique library collaboration was forged with Director of Middle School Athletics Gerry Vanasse P ’14, ’20. To build camaraderie and competition among students both on-campus and learning remotely, he created a series of athletics challenges—for example, be the first to climb Mount Everest or the highest volcano in the solar system, Olympus Mons on Mars. (One minute of mountain climbers—or any exercise—was the equivalent of 10 feet of elevation.) “I posted facts and information about life on Mars to both my Middle School Schoology page and the Middle School Athletics page. I also made a related display of books on Mars and space exploration in the library,” explains Ms. Ballard. “It was a great connection, and Mr. Vanasse and I will continue to collaborate going forward.”

Middle School Librarian Felicia Ballard created a library display on Mars and space exploration to complement an athletics challenge that took place both virtually and in-person.



Outdoor Amphitheaters, Livestreaming Performances, and Virtual “Stagings”

Upper School tech and stage crew members constructed Pingry’s first-ever outdoor amphitheater last fall, allowing audience members to social distance while taking in Almost, Maine, a play by John Cariani.

In a school year that saw the creation of a student-built, outdoor amphitheater for a socially-distanced performance of the Upper School fall play Almost, Maine, not to mention the first-ever live-streaming of the winter musical, Oklahoma!, Pingry’s Middle and Upper School Music & Drama Departments had their share of challenges, adjustments, and revelations. Here’s what stuck.

> “I found a lot of what we can bring from the pandemic isn’t necessarily in the ‘final product’ but in the process. The hope is to get back to live in-person theater as soon as possible, [but] we found ways to become more efficient at blocking and using cameras to record more. And we found that using Zoom forced us to have more character discussions and delve deeper into analyzing the script. I also think about using mixed media (some film and some live) as a way of keeping the things we learned from the pandemic. That’s something I’m interested in seeing as a way to continue presenting compelling, entertaining, and engaging theater.” —Upper and Middle School Drama Teacher Alan Van Antwerp

> “If I was asked — ‘Would we do it [live outdoor theater] all again?’ — the answer is yes, absolutely! However, when things go back to ‘normal,’ we will most likely hold our mainstage productions inside, where the elements aren’t so unpredictable. . . but we might explore opportunities to use the Pingry landscape as a natural backdrop for suitable theater productions such as 24-hour theater festivals, lunchtime theater, class-specific performances, and possibly the Senior Play.” —Stephanie Romankow, Drama Department Chair > In the Lower School, Drama Teacher Keara Gordon pivoted deftly to find virtual options for the fall play (Do You Read Me?) and the spring

Last fall, Lower Schoolers got a taste of film acting in Do You Read Me?, a play by Kathryn Funkhouser, written uniquely for virtual performance.

“Nothing beats live theatre. However, I really enjoyed being able to teach film acting.” —LOWER SCHOOL DRAMA TEACHER KEARA GORDON 28


A New Virtual Art Gallery Launched this fall, Pingry’s first online art gallery was a direct response to the pandemic, according to Visual Arts Department Chair Miles Boyd. When it became obvious in the spring of 2020 that hosting visiting artists in the Hostetter Arts Center Gallery the following school year wouldn’t be possible, he was intent on developing a plan to maintain the program’s vitality. “We have had many discussions as a department about ways to make our gallery program more accessible, so this was a natural direction to go in, although we knew of no other secondary schools that offered what we envisioned,” Mr. Boyed says.

“My hope is that [the online art gallery] becomes a permanent complement to our live exhibitions.” —MILES BOYD, VISUAL ARTS DEPARTMENT CHAIR

musical (Super Happy Awesome News), giving students the chance to dabble in film acting and greenscreen technology. It was so well-received, going forward, she’d like to offer a similar film course in place of the traditional fall play, while keeping the spring production live. “Yes, of course, nothing beats live theatre. However, I really enjoyed being able to teach film acting,” Mrs. Gordon says. “Grade 4 and 5 actors still worked on expressing themselves clearly and were encouraged to make big acting choices, but they also had to learn about framing the scene for the camera. We used greenscreens for the first time, so we also worked on making sure the colors worked for each scene and nothing blended and disappeared into the background. My editing skills improved in putting the scenes together, and even my Assistant Student Director helped me edit our spring musical. The students are given a lot of agency in filming their own scenes. I’m amazed by their flexibility, creativity, and resilience.”

Making Music Inside and Out For Music Department Chair Dr. Andrew Moore, not being able to perform indoors—choral and instrument rehearsal were only permitted outside—meant more time to dabble in other aspects of music. Music theory, arrangement and notation, as well as editing software were all areas that students were either introduced to or spent more time learning. When the weather didn’t cooperate for outdoor practice, students had the opportunity to record in practice rooms inside, learning the subtleties of virtual performance. “Teaching outdoors in the fresh air has had many benefits throughout the school year, and equipping students with the knowledge of how to arrange, record, and edit their own work has been an added bonus. These are all aspects of our program that we plan to continue going forward,” says Dr. Moore.




was May 2020 in New York City, and Dr. Purvi Parikh ’00 felt that she needed to do something during a “harrowing and traumatic time.”

“I was hearing sirens around the clock. Health care workers were frightened because we were not only worried about the stress of taking care of our patients, but this was the first time we also had to worry that our own lives were at risk because of shortages in personal protective equipment,” she recalls. “This was my way of helping out, given my specialty, in what seemed like a very hopeless situation.” An allergist and immunologist who is Medical Director of Allergy and Asthma Associates in Manhattan and an affiliated provider at NYU Langone Health, Dr. Parikh is referring to her desire to volunteer as a physician researcher on the COVID-19 vaccine trials, the second time in her career that she has been involved with trials for a vaccine during a pandemic. Her career in medicine came after a fork in the road. As a Political Science major at Emory University, taking pre-med classes, she was torn. On the one hand, she enjoyed writing and communicating—skills she learned from Upper School English Teacher Tom Keating P ’27, ’29—and was considering going into law. On the other hand, she is the daughter of doctors and has witnessed how much they enjoy their careers, as well as the time commitments involved. “What ultimately made my decision was that I felt that you can advocate for people by going into public service, but at the end of the day, health is the number one thing—if you don’t have that, you can’t do anything else,” Dr. Parikh says. “I became really interested in restoring people’s health, and in public health, and realized there’s a lot that doctors can do outside of the exam room or operating room to impact change, especially in certain areas of the country or the world.” In a way, she had the best of both worlds, because she can still write and communicate on policy. Plus, she credits Pingry’s Model UN and Model Congress with developing her confidence in public speaking, and Chemistry Teacher Tim Grant P ’03, ’06


with helping convey “the importance of science in the functioning of the human body and the world around us—he taught something very complex in a simple and interesting way.” Both public speaking and simple explanations come in handy for her media appearances and other talks. Her decision made, it was on to medical school at St. George’s University in Grenada, where Dr. Parikh was attracted to internal medicine’s variety of specialties. Then, during her residency in internal medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, she made a discovery. “At one point, I took care of a patient who had a really rare immune system problem—primary immunodeficiency [a weakened immune system]. The patient’s allergists and immunologists came to see the patient and give us advice about what to do, and I learned that this condition was very underdiagnosed, yet many people suffer from it. I got more interested and liked the field because there’s so much you can do, such as treating allergies and relieving people’s suffering from breathing problems.” Something else happened during her residency: the H1N1 pandemic, causing swine flu. “My research mentor asked if I wanted to get involved in the trial for the H1N1 vaccine, and I thought, ‘Oh, so immunology includes vaccine development, too.’ I liked that immunology plays a role in every specialty because the immune system is involved in the entire body.” Now, she is doing her part to help with the COVID19 vaccines. In addition to her work on the trials, this spring, to give back to Pingry and make sure people get reliable vaccine information, Dr. Parikh was the guest speaker for a vaccine Q&A presented by the Pingry Alumni Association’s Alumnae Committee (read more on page 69). The Pingry Review spoke with her in late April about her experience with the COVID-19 trials, vaccine efficacy, what she has learned about vaccines, and her advice for vaccinating those under age 18.

Vaccine Advocate 30


Q&A How did you get involved with the COVID-19 trials when they started last May? Because of my

residency and my experience with H1N1, I wanted to help. I’m affiliated with NYU Langone, which has a big vaccine center that I knew would be involved with the trials, so I reached out to the Chief of the Infectious Diseases & Immunology Department. I shared my experience with clinical trials, especially vaccine trials, from the last pandemic and said I want to help out and volunteer my time. I’ve now been involved with trials for Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Sanofi. What is the time commitment for volunteering with the trials, and how are you balancing it with your day job? Currently, it is about one half-day

per week, including after-hours responsibilities on evenings and weekends to be on call for emergencies, meetings, staying up-to-date with trial data, and training. It definitely has been challenging with my day job and other responsibilities, but when something is important, you find a way. I have learned how to prioritize and manage my time better and also have learned it is okay to say “no” if things become overwhelming, as this is a marathon, not a sprint.

What do you do as a physician researcher on clinical trials? We’re involved in the whole process,

from the time when someone approaches us to volunteer. We evaluate their candidacy because vaccine trials, in general, have criteria for who can be included, then we supervise every visit and are on-call after hours for phone calls about patient symptoms. We basically become the doctor for that patient. Initially, it was Phase 1 and 2, but then we were involved in the Phase 3 trials, the last step before the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization [EUA, during a public health emergency]. In the early trials with mostly healthy people ages 18 to

55, we were figuring out the vaccine’s safety and the safest dose. After that, the question in Phase 2 with more high-risk and diverse groups was, “Is it effective?” Then, Phase 3 gets involved, with thousands of people [in vaccine and placebo groups], because we want to make sure that what we found in the first 50 to 100 people is still true. We document everything and submit the data to the drug company running the trial, for analysis. The National Institutes of Health gets some information, too. How do you find volunteers? People are eager to

participate, and the trials use marketing. Also, the physician researchers help find people. We frequently recruit participants through community outreach programs and even our own patients. For those who participate in the trials, how is the vaccine’s efficacy proven, especially when people are following public safety measures or sheltering at home? There is some exposure risk, regardless,

but in the larger trials, we work harder to recruit higher-risk individuals—those who can’t work from home, like essential workers; people over 65; and those with medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity that make them more likely to catch the virus. Then, we follow whether they get sick while living their regular lives. We test vaccinated individuals’ blood in a laboratory setting against the virus and variants, by adding the virus to the blood in the test tube, so the person doesn’t have to be infected for us to see the vaccine immunity working. Also, in a trial, everything is controlled. With millions of people getting the vaccine now and more people leaving home and traveling, the efficacy might change. Are the drug companies performing ongoing, long-term studies of each vaccine, particularly to



determine if efficacy rates are changing? Yes, and they’re

required to. Right now, the vaccines only have emergency use authorization. None of them have full FDA approval, so the drug companies have to keep going with research until that is achieved. All of these trials are going to continue for a minimum of two years, but I have a feeling it will be a lot longer because of new information and variants. As a result of helping with the trials, what have you learned about vaccines? There are many different ways to

make a vaccine and different ways of getting the immune system to do the same thing. Moderna and Pfizer use mRNA [Messenger RNA, a small piece of code, wrapped in lipids, that delivers the vaccine to your cells], which doesn’t stay in a person’s body. I think mRNA is the vaccine of the future. Scientists have been studying mRNA for 30 years, not just for infectious diseases, but for cancer and other problems. I’ve also learned how important it is to get correct information to the public. Vaccines are a victim of their own success. Because they’re such an effective public health measure, people don’t realize what happens when you don’t have one. Before vaccines, there was death and devastation because our immune systems are not equipped to handle something that we’re not immune to. People need to understand science more and understand vaccines more. In Africa, they know the value of vaccines because they’ve seen measles wipe out an entire village—mothers walk for hours in extreme heat to get their children vaccines. I have seen far more vaccine hesitancy in the U.S. and Europe than in Zambia, for example.

itably. I think what people don’t understand about scientific research is that it’s very money-driven—if a lot of money isn’t being pumped into it, that slows down the progress. It’s not that these vaccines were ‘rushed’ or ‘experimental.’ They came out so quickly because money and resources were poured into them. With a lot of really rare diseases, and even cancer, the research has stalled for years because nobody’s putting money and resources into them. It’s not that scientists don’t know what to do next—they don’t have the resources to go forward. Is the medical community anticipating a different vaccine for each variant, or one vaccine that can treat all variants? Time will tell. The current vaccines give

“It was heartening to see the global community not only develop a vaccine together, but other treatments we have been using in COVID-19 patients.”

Q&A What is the key to achieving vaccine acceptance?

Address people’s concerns. Most people become pretty open when you show them real research and real data of vaccines saving millions of lives over time and wiping out diseases. In 2021, information is coming from so many places, and a lot of those places are not reliable or accurate. If not for the EUA on these vaccines, when do you think mRNA might have been introduced to vaccines outside of areas like cancer treatments? mRNA was coming inev-



protection. As more people get vaccinated, variants will decrease. We’re still seeing them because millions of people are not vaccinated. A virus that can’t replicate can’t mutate. Will people need a booster for COVID-19, and might it be combined with the flu vaccine? That is all to be

determined, but testing is in progress for boosters.

Is the trial process different for children than it is for adults, and what are the age groups for children based on? The clinical trial process is the same for

child volunteers as for adults, but there is a separate trial for each age group because of the immune system. For ages 12 to 18, the immune system is similar to adults, which is why Pfizer happened to be approved for ages 16 and up. Under age 12, it’s still developing. Under age six, it’s underdeveloped. Infants can’t have certain vaccines in the first year of life because their immune systems aren’t ready. Would you recommend the vaccine for Middle School students and younger children? Yes. The benefits

far outweigh the risks, and research is showing that variants are more infectious in children. Children represent 21 percent of all infections, so I absolutely recommend the vaccine for them, especially with schools reopening and people traveling. And you don’t want

them spreading the virus to a high-risk adult or a grandparent. If children aren’t immunized, the number of infections could rise. People should be careful not to let their guard down too soon. What are you researching, in addition to working with patients? Besides vaccine

safety and efficacy, I am also researching potential treatments, especially with Dr. Purvi Parikh ‘00, right, on CNBC on July 9, 2020, interviewed by Meg Tirrell. COVID-19 long haulers who are experiencing ill effects even months or a year after Given your experiences during the pandemic, what their infection. We are also studying the natural history sort of changes would you like to see in health care? of the disease itself by following people who were sick to Will the role of allergists and immunologists evolve? understand why they experienced what they did—since The biggest change I would like to see is being proacall the presentations are so different—and if any future tive rather than reactive. Also, ensuring health equity complications may arise. Remember, this is a brandfor all. This pandemic started overseas and ended new illness even for the medical community. We do not up quickly in our backyard. An outbreak anywhere have years of research, data, and understanding like we is an outbreak everywhere. This is why it is in our do for other diseases. best interest that everyone on this globe has access to a vaccine, and luckily, the U.S. is sharing resources Has your work on the trials influenced your work as an now. But even outside of vaccines, we were incredibly allergist/immunologist? It has influenced me a lot. It unprepared early on with testing, personal protective reaffirmed what I always knew regarding how crucial equipment for health care workers, and more. We the role of our immune systems are and that immunolneed to start planning now for the next pandemic. I ogy is our only way out of this pandemic. It also reafalso think policy leaders need to listen to doctors, as firmed how important vaccines are. Finally, as much as many have been sounding these alarms for years. I the trials influenced my day job, my day job has influhope that changes not only for the pandemic, but for enced the trials. When news broke early on about vacall things in health care. Many who make large sweepcine-related allergic reactions, allergists were able to be ing decisions have no idea what is actually happening a voice of calm regarding how rare these actually were in health care. I do think the role of the allergist and and I think helped ease a lot of fears. My own patients immunologist will change. We have already seen a feel reassured. spike in medical school applications this year, as Dr. Fauci is an allergist/immunologist and has inspired How has the pandemic affected your outlook on medmany students. In fact, he inspired me to get involved icine and health care, overall? Preparation is key. The in vaccine advocacy and research when I was in trainworld was caught unprepared for this pandemic. We ing! Our specialty has a unique understanding of the must anticipate something like this happening again immune system, and that is key in any pandemic or and have a plan in place. It also shows the importance novel threat to our bodies. of research and funding research. Imagine what else we could solve if the same vigor were applied? Could we What advice would you offer for students in Pingry’s cure cancer or diabetes or heart disease? The sky is the research program? Keep your passion for research limit. Finally, it heartened me to see what truly can be alive now and in the future because you can and will achieved when humanity works together. Since COVIDmake a major impact on the world. “Chance favors the 19 hit places like China, Italy, and France before us, docprepared mind.” Your skills and experience now may tors on the other side of the world helped guide us with lead you to a moment in time when you will be able treatments early on when we were in uncharted waters. to help humanity in a significant way—just as we are Also, it was heartening to see the global community not experiencing now. only develop a vaccine together, but other treatments we have been using in COVID-19 patients.




Faculty Awards UPPER SCHOOL MATH TEACHER and coach Judy Lee was worried that she had done something wrong. She was waiting in the Upper School’s main entrance one afternoon during the 1991-92 school year, about to leave for an away game, when then-Headmaster John Hanly walked over and asked to speak with her in his office. Mrs. Lee remembers thinking, “I need to leave for a meet, but you don’t say ‘no’ to the Headmaster.” Much to her relief—and pleasant surprise— the purpose of Mr. Hanly’s impromptu meeting was to tell Mrs. Lee that he was going to nominate her for The Edward G. Engel Chair for Mathematics and Science (the School’s first endowed faculty chair that had been presented for the first time in 1989). Today, the Engel Chair is one of 10 endowed faculty awards presented at the end of each school year, and Mr. Hanly was a driving force behind several of these awards that

are funded by generous donors. In a constantly evolving educational landscape, endowed awards recognize their achievements and their commitment to the School. Mrs. Lee, who did receive the Engel Chair in June 1992, is one of dozens of Pingry teachers to be honored since 1989 for their hard work.* The impact of these awards takes many forms—in many cases, a combination of them— whether a boost of confidence; motivation to continue teaching at a high standard; gratitude for efforts being recognized; the opportunity to seek professional growth; additions to personal or classroom libraries; or a stronger sense of being valued or belonging to the community. In these pages are some of the reflections that teachers recently shared (not all awards are represented by stories) to help answer the question, “What happens after the awards are presented?”

*Teachers are nominated by their colleagues, and administrators vote on the nominations. Chairs require five or more years of service to Pingry, and the Herbert F. Hahn Junior Faculty Award requires 5–15 years of total teaching experience.




Dr. Frances Mecartty


Extra class time in Spain In all of her years of teaching, Dr. Mecartty had never received an award with monetary value, which she calls a “tremendous incentive.” She presented a paper at the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (July 2018), so—thanks to the award—she traveled to Spain prior to the conference to take an extra class at the University of Salamanca. “I was going to be teaching Spanish IV for the first time that fall, so this course in Latin American literature helped me to implement a unit about the exile experience of the Chilean writer Isabel Allende. Through the unit, students learned about the sociopolitical situation of Chile at that time that forced mass migration, as portrayed by the author’s autobiographical story that they read.”

Miles Boyd



“. . . I throw everything back into my work . . .” “[Albie Booth’s] name will always be synonymous with the ‘pinnacle of the craft’ at Pingry of teaching and devotion to students. He continually sought more knowledge . . . In my dual role as an artist-teacher, I throw everything back into my work, so this award enabled me to increase my knowledge and skill as an artist to benefit me as an educator. At the time, I was working on techniques for the upscaling of images, to enlarge the details in a photo . . . This award inspires me to strive even harder to emulate Mr. Booth because the obvious next step is wanting to live up to it. Although no one can be Mr. Booth . . . I can still try to make the impact he made during his long, illustrious career.”

Heather Smith P ’16


Experiential education Ms. Smith used the Booth Chair to attend a conference, which would ultimately lead to an experiential education project she helped to create. She attended the 2019 ISEEN (Independent School Experiential Education Network) Summer Institute in Santa Fe the same month she was honored. That fall, she and Lower School Visual Arts Teacher Lindsay Baydin P ’26, ’29 planned the first crosscampus, cross-divisional, interdepartmental unit that helped students learn about living/non-living things through hands-on experiences at Pingry’s farm and garden, including a chicken meet-andgreet, as well as time for on-site sketching (read more about this cross-campus chicken adventure at




David Greig ’98 on The Greig Family Endowed Faculty Chair

Mike Webster P ’24, ’27, ’27


Why was it important to your family to establish this endowed award? Our family


“Athletics means a lot . . .”

was originally approached to support the new Athletics Center because my parents had made a contribution to the School in the late ’90s, helping to build the weight room that overlooked the gym. Tom (’94), Andrew (’00), Lauren (’00), and I were all very involved in athletics at Pingry, and we loved the idea of seeing a new athletics center. As we discussed the idea more, we came to the realization that what made our athletic experiences at Pingry so meaningful were the amazing coaches we had. Tom and I had Mike Webster for lacrosse, all three of us boys had Tom Boyer for football, Andrew had Mr. Tramontana for baseball, and Lauren had Judy Lee in swimming and Tim Grant for cross country. All of those coaches were also dedicated teachers who had impacted our lives in the classroom, too. Ultimately, we decided that being able to recognize teachers like that—who give so much to the School and to the students—is more important than a new athletics center. We felt it is important to support the faculty who go above and beyond: head coaches of a sport who are also master teachers.

“When I came to Pingry as a 22-year-old college graduate, I looked up in awe at the great coaches of the past and present: Reese Williams, Vince Lesneski, Rick Weiler, Miller Bugliari, Manny Tramontana, and others. These wonderful Pingry figures had been educators of students both inside and outside the classroom. Athletics meant a lot to them, and it means a lot to me, so I was excited to be recognized for what I was doing in the history classroom and on the athletics fields as well.”


Dr. Joan Pearlman P ’89, ’92, ’96 GRADE 5 LANGUAGE ARTS TEACHER (2005)

“. . . make sure that the reason for the nomination continues to be your focus . . .”

What do you hope it means to the faculty who receive it? We hope that the faculty

“When you’re recognized, you need to make sure that the reason for the nomination continues to be your focus as a teacher. In the case of the Honor Code, you can’t be satisfied resting on your laurels, but work on it continuously. Students shouldn’t rest on their laurels, either—you don’t want them to think, ‘Whatever I do is fine.’” Dr. Pearlman used her award to purchase books for her Study Skills program that teaches students about good study habits, public speaking, and how to write a research paper; she also purchased books for independent reading in her classroom.

members who receive the Chair understand that they have a tremendous impact on their players and students. The relationships that they create both inside and outside of the classroom leave lasting impacts on their students and players, and I hope they know they are appreciated for all that they give.

What makes the criteria for the award so meaningful for your family? These crite-




ria are important to us because being a head coach is a tremendous commitment that carries a lot of responsibility and pressure, and that needs to be recognized. Teachers at Pingry are asked to take on responsibilities [known as a “plus-1”] in addition to teaching and advising: for those who coach, the commitment of time and work is often greater than it would be had they chosen some other way to satisfy that obligation. We believe there needs to be some recognition for those who go the extra mile for Pingry student-athletes, and hopefully our endowed Chair can do that.


Judy Lee


Preparation for a new course “The award gave me the opportunity to gather textbooks and resource books to prepare for teaching AP Calculus—I knew it was going to happen and I wanted to be ready [she taught the course in 2007-08]. Plus, these books helped me see what topics were covered in the AP course and on the AP exam. This way, I could structure my Calculus and pre-Calculus classes with an eye toward being certain that the students were prepared to move [to the next level]. I also attended several workshops, one of which described how the AP exams were graded—you show your work, and the work is graded, step by step—so I could tell my students, both those who planned to take the AP exam and those who would take AP Calculus, how to answer the problems to get maximum credit. In fact, in later years, we incorporated AP-like grading into our individual courses. Essentially, some students were taking the AP exam, but I wanted to teach a course that would lead up to it.”


Jennifer Mack-Watkins



“Being noticed is reassuring . . .” “I was doing a lot—organizing ‘Hostetter on the Five’ [five-minute student performances in the Hostetter Arts Center Gallery, inspired by some of the art on display], overseeing [water bottle artist] Willie Cole’s visit, coordinating gallery exhibits with the curriculum—and I love to share with and inspire my colleagues. But I wondered who noticed. After winning the award, I thought, ‘What else can I make happen?’ Receiving the Hahn award said to me, ‘What I’m doing is really important and really does matter.’ When you’re teaching, you don’t always see the tangible impact of your work, and teachers often go unnoticed. Being noticed is reassuring as an educator . . . a legacy of hard work.”

Doug Scott


“I set my sights . . .” “I remember being very excited that Pingry values hard work and dedication in all departments—in this case, Physical Education—and not just the core departments. After winning this award, I set my sights on being not only a contributor to the Pingry community, but also a leader in high school strength and conditioning. Shortly after, I began speaking around the country and developing neck strengthening exercises to reduce concussions in sports.”




Alisha Davlin


“. . . those skills have been very helpful in working with students . . .” “It was so lovely to feel so supported. The funds allowed me to pursue quite a few avenues, including a memoir writing workshop—I really enjoyed learning about how to apply first-person accounts of real-life events in working with Creative Writing students. Additionally, the college essay is basically a memoir piece, so those skills have been very helpful in working with students on their personal statements. I also was able to attend poetry readings in New York City and meet poets with whom I have kept in touch and introduced to my poetry classes. The funds also helped me pursue another master’s degree, a Master of Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. This degree allowed me to explore subjects ranging from Ethics and Education to Equity and Inclusion, and School Leadership. These classes have informed my teaching, allowing me to update my skills in an ever-changing educational landscape.”

Deirdre O’Mara P ’17, ’19, ’21 BIOLOGY TEACHER (2007; FIRST RECIPIENT)

“I work with and am inspired by so many fantastic teachers, and any of them are deserving, too! I ‘stand on the shoulders of giants,’ which reminds me to keep pushing forward in being a creative teacher. The award was a tremendous opportunity to deepen aspects of my teaching—continually nurturing our faculty’s passion takes effort and space and, of course, needs to be prioritized, but how do we take time from the constant whirlwind that is Pingry? Winning this award enabled me the time, space, and resources to keep fueling my passion for science: I traveled [to South America] to see reefs and swim with fish and have since created our Belize travel course [in marine ecology], and I spent a summer working in a lab, which improved my knowledge of cutting-edge science.”




“. . . time, space, and resources to keep fueling my passion for science . . .”

Chris Shilts P ’17, ’19, ’21, ’24 UPPER SCHOOL ENGLISH TEACHER (2015)

Functioning of sentences and stories A teacher and writer, Mr. Shilts attended a fiction writing workshop at Kenyon College and the DISQUIET International Literary Program in Lisbon, Portugal, itself an immersion into fiction writing and Portuguese literature. Major takeaways were sentence function and meaning, as well as new ways of understanding stories. “At Kenyon, I learned to call plot ‘top story,’ the thing needed to draw readers into the story, but the ‘bottom story’ is DIRECTOR OF STRENGTH AND what the story’s really about, and I gained an CONDITIONING; PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHER (2016) even greater appreciation for writers and their abilities to wrestle with this underworld.” As “ . . . fundamentally changed how a result of attending the Kenyon workshop, he also published a short story, Fire Built. At I view my role . . .” the time he received the award, Mr. Shilts was Mr. Scott calls winning this award “a highlight of my Pingry also teaching an English course called “Civil career . . . [it] fundamentally changed how I view my role as War Studies,” which examined the Civil War a teacher and coach.” He used the award to purchase equipthrough literature, so he also explored Civil War ment for, train for, and compete in the 2018 Lake Placid Ironbattlefields. And he visited Sweden—specifically, man, “an athletics event far from the comfort zone of team Gotland Island—to enhance his teaching of sports I was accustomed to. In the year-long training program Beowulf. “Being able to tap into my passions and of countless hours of swimming, biking, and running—leaddreams went right back into the classroom.” ing up to the completion of the 140.6-mile race in 13 hours—I learned that we are really only limited by the experiences of our past and how we choose to define ourselves,” he says. “I had never completed a run longer than five miles and, therefore, never viewed myself as an endurance athlete. But with some coaching and sustained effort, I was able to complete so much more. That is the lesson I take with me when I am teaching and coaching our students: encouraging them in trying a new sport, performing a new activity, joining a new club, or taking a hard course. The farther away from your comfort zone, the better—that’s where the magic happens.”


Doug Scott

Heather Smith P ’16


How to Run a Teaching Garden 101 Ms. Smith used the award to learn how to build and operate a teaching garden at the same time that the Lower School was launching its garden. “I took numerous classes all over the country to learn how various institutions design, maintain, and use their gardens with the public and with schools.” Among her numerous destinations: Springs Preserve (180 acres of botanical gardens and other nature in Las Vegas), Atlanta Botanical Gardens, Longwood Gardens (outside Philadelphia), Missouri Botanical Gardens, New York Botanical Garden, and Santa Fe Botanical Garden. Concurrently, Ms. Smith helped incorporate experiential education and STEAM units into the curriculum, including a “clay owl” unit in art and a “circuit” unit in science, the latter involving light-up eyes inside of sewed owls.



Norman LaValette P ’04

Lydia (Pew) Geacintov P ’84, ’88




TEACHER (1992)

Expanding two programs and making more nominations

“I would have never taken that opportunity . . .”

“The notion of employees being rewarded for work that was deemed ‘beyond what was expected’— although a concept in use in the business world— was not yet part of educational parlance [back in 1989] and certainly not enacted. So, I was happy for our school because this could put an extra kick in the step of my colleagues.” Mr. LaValette used his award for materials for the German program and the Instructional Skills Workshop he co-taught, two programs he was striving to promote and expand at the time. He also received the Booth Chair in 2010, and “both awards motivated me to nominate numerous colleagues for the various year-end awards over the years. My nominations were fueled by the desire to give back and to also have more colleagues recognized.”

The Awards The Albert W. Booth Chair for Master Teachers Mr. Booth taught Latin for 64 years, from 1929-1993; he is the longest-serving faculty member in School history. David B. Buffum History Chair Mr. Buffum taught history, French, and public speaking from 1926–1960. Henry H. Hoyt, Jr. ’45, who established this Chair, called him “the best teacher I had in high school or college.” The Edward G. Engel Chair for Mathematics and Science Mr. Engel ’33 and his wife Patricia established this Chair to reflect his lifelong interests in math and science. With an engineering background, he cared about precision, methods, analysis, and organization. 40


“I was surprised because I believed these awards usually favored fields such as History, Science, the Arts, and English, and not World Languages. Thus, I felt honored to receive this prize as the Head of the Language Department at the time. It was an institutional acknowledgement that the study of other languages beyond English is important.” Mrs. Geacintov spent three weeks at the Immersion Language School in Madrid to study Spanish culture and language. “That program was a marvelous and highly enriching experience. I would have never taken that opportunity without the funded Chair. It was a stimulating professional experience that I shared with my colleagues and my students.”

Read more history of these awards at Woodruff J. English Award Mr. English ’27, whose family established this award, was considered an honorable individual, hence the designation of this award to a faculty member who embodies the spirit of the Honor Code, both personally and professionally. The Greig Family Endowed Faculty Chair Some of the Greig family’s best memories at Pingry may be traced back to teachers who also coached them, so they endowed a Chair to recognize the dedication of a teacher-coach.

Herbert F. Hahn Junior Faculty Award Dr. Hahn taught English, philosophy, and religion and authored the book The Beginning of Wisdom, the history of Pingry’s first 100 years, published in 1961. Senior Class Faculty Chair A group of former parents representing the Classes of 1996–2000 established this Chair to recognize outstanding teaching at Pingry. The E. Murray Todd Faculty Chair Mr. Todd ’16 was a talented long-distance runner, Pingry trustee, and Letter-In-Life Award recipient, and was committed to education and had deep respect for excellent teachers. A gift from his estate established this Chair.

The Norman B. Tomlinson, Jr. ’44 Chair for History and Literature Mr. Tomlinson was a Pingry trustee from 1991–1996, an Honorary Trustee from 1996– 2017, and Letter-In-Life Award recipient. He established this Chair to reflect his interests in reading and military history and to acknowledge his indebtedness to great Pingry teachers. James P. Whitlock, Jr. ’60 Faculty Development Fund for Science, Mathematics and Technology Dr. Whitlock, who spent 25 years in teaching and research in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology at Stanford University Medical School, established this fund to reward excellence in teaching science, math, and technology.


T H E N O R M A N B . T O M L I N S O N, J R . ’ 4 4 C H A I R FO R H I ST O RY A N D L I T E R AT U R E

JA M E S P. W H I T L O C K , J R . ’ 6 0 FAC U LT Y D E V E L O P M E N T F U N D FO R S C I E N C E , M AT H E M AT I C S A N D T E C H N O L O GY

Davidson Barr


“. . . improved my ability to teach effectively . . .” “This has been an extremely difficult year and the extra support has made the year better. The Whitlock award has given me the means to buy books and explore technologies that improved my ability to teach effectively in uncertain and unusual environments.” For example, Mr. Barr purchased a document camera, whose photo and video capabilities enable him to work more easily with books and paper (“When talking to students remotely, it’s hard to point to things, digitally.”). Mr. Barr has also purchased economics books and, overall, is more willing to explore his interests. “When I’m interested in exploring something that will benefit my students or my academic interests, I can do so in a much freer way. This award is a great thing to help teachers in math and science keep learning and doing their best.”

David Maxwell



Motivation to move up When Mr. Maxwell received this award, he had no way of knowing that the Science Department Chair would be an open position within a couple of years. “Receiving the award sent me a strong message that my efforts were valued by the administration—this helped to give me the confidence to apply for Department Chair when the job came open. Without that inspiration, I would have been unlikely to apply.” (He assumed the position in 2014). On another level, as Chair, Mr. Maxwell could continue encouraging science students to conduct research. “Pingry tries to focus on the scientific process, not just teaching facts, because students can do research, and that’s how science is done. There’s a misconception that we’re trying to do Ph.D.-level research with high school students, which we’re not—we are getting them to do scientifically meaningful things.”




Due to limitations on indoor athletics imposed by COVID-19, the Winter 2020-21 season was both abbreviated and frequently interrupted for Pingry teams. For a full summary of the season, including records, visit

Capping a remarkable—and remarkably snowy—season, freshman Dylan Jay and senior captain Rosemary Collins both took second overall at the Race of Champions on February 17. Camille Collins ‘23 won the slalom event and earned a fifth-place overall finish in the state. They were just three of a record seven Pingry skiers who advanced to the highlight event during the 2020-21 season. A week earlier, the Boys’ and Girls’ Varsity Ski Racing Teams (pictured) each secured second at the NJISRA Giant Slalom State Championships, while the girls also took home the Non-Public State Championship title for the second straight year.

> right: Big Blue’s varsity squash teams went 6-0, with a combined three wins over Princeton Day School, two over Delbarton, and one over Kent Place. Pictured, co-captain Simon Muller ‘21. > far right: For the second time in two days, Daniela Karnaugh ‘24 set a new school record in the 100-meter breaststroke (1:13.54) in a meet against Phillipsburg on March 25. (See page 4 to learn about the recent achievements of swimmer Matt Fallon ‘21.)




Charlotte Diemar ‘24 locked in seven goals and four assists during the season, two of which came in the team’s 11-1 win over Madison on February 3.




< In order to adhere to safety guidelines during a week of remote learning, Pingry’s wrestling mats were hauled onto the turf field, on Parsons Field, for a first-ever outdoor match on March 30. Here, Sean Lyons ‘21 takes on a Millburn opponent. left : Their season severely truncated, the Boys’ and Girls’ Varsity Winter Track & Field Teams competed only once, at an outdoor home meet against Watchung Hills in late March. Here, Carson Shilts ‘21 clears the hurdles. right : Led by senior captains Josie Alston and Ameera Ebrahim, the Girls’ Varsity Fencing Team soundly defeated two of its annual rivals, Watchung Hills and Ridge, frequently ranked among the top teams in the state. Rohan Pande ‘21 and Emerson Lubke ‘21 led the boys’ team. (See page 4 to learn about the recent achievement of fencer Jessica Lin ‘21.)



Reese Swittenberg ‘21 led with 24 points in Big Blue’s 56-37 win against Manville on February 16. The team won its third consecutive Skyland Conference Mountain Division Championship, marking an 18-0 conference record from 2018-19 through 2020-21.

“Although there were no county or state playoffs, it was a rewarding and meaningful season that taught our team so much about camaraderie, selflessness, and commitment. Thank you to our safety and security staff, the Athletics Department, Facilities, parents, and student body for the support provided this season. Greatly appreciated!” —JASON MURDOCK, HEAD COACH OF THE BOYS’ VARSITY BASKETBALL TEAM, ADMISSION COUNSELOR, AND MIDDLE SCHOOL HISTORY TEACHER





A Former College Coach Finds His Rhythm at Pingry Before arriving at Pingry in the spring of 2015, Scott Garrow spent 20 years as an assistant ice hockey coach at several Division I programs, including Western Michigan University, Cornell, and, most recently, Princeton. After three years with the Tigers, the head coach resigned and a new leadership team came in, prompting him to make a tough decision: He left the electric, if at times, exhausting world of collegiate athletics for high school sports. Five years and two Skyland Cup Championship trophies later, he’s glad he did. Mr. Garrow, who began at Pingry as a permanent substitute teacher and assistant coach, quickly moved on to Head Coach of the Boys’ Varsity Ice Hockey Team, and became an integral member of the College Counseling Team as well. These two, uniquely complementary roles, combined with his intimate knowledge of collegiate athletics, give him an invaluable lens on high school sports, college admission, and the lives of adolescents.

previewing paper applications—the entire college application—and I had relationships with admission directors on the college campuses that I worked at, so I had an idea of what was required of students at that level. I had some background in college admission from an athletics standpoint, which is not the norm. When I joined the College Counseling Office at Pingry, I was able to bring a different background into meetings in terms of being able to say, why do we do it this way? Can we do it this way? Coaching is second nature for me [he also served at Pingry as an assistant lacrosse, soccer, and football coach], but the counseling part was a learning curve. It was like when I started coaching hockey and I thought I knew a lot, but I didn’t. You have to ask a lot of questions; you can’t be too proud to think you know it all. The College Counseling Office is very conducive to that—everyone was open to answering my questions. Now that I’ve been through five admission cycles with 100 kids, I’ve definitely settled into a rhythm.

Moving from a Division I program to high school sports was no doubt a bit of a culture shock. What struck you most when you began coaching at Pingry? In college

Are there ways in which coaching and college counseling complement each other? From coaching,

hockey, you’re working with 19- to 23-year-olds. That’s a different relationship than you have with a ninth grader. Ultimately, in college sports, it’s not enough to be just a mentor or role model. At many institutions, if you don’t win, you lose your job. But when you come to high school, your main focus is as a mentor. That was a big change, and one that I have grown into over the last few years. I have learned a lot from Mags [John Magadini, former Head Coach, now Emeritus Head Coach, of the Boys’ Varsity Ice Hockey Team and current Permanent Substitute Teacher] and how he carries himself around school, the respect he has earned. I don’t think he even knows he was a mentor, but I followed him around those first few years to learn how to conduct myself. While coaching at Western Michigan University, your alma mater, you also served as the team’s recruiting coordinator. Did that and any other experiences prepare you for Pingry? During the early days at Cornell [where

he coached from 1995-1999 and 2003-2011], we were



I learned how to be calm under pressure. So, I try to help kids relax during the college application process. When you’re coaching a game, you have to surrender to the players. Your job is during the week and before the games, but it’s out of your hands when they’re on the ice. That translates into college counseling—I tell them, we’re going to cover all our bases, do our work, and get prepared, that’s the part we can control. One difference is that coaching is so team-focused, and being a college counselor has allowed me to get to know individual kids better, to be more aware of what they’re going through in high school. I’m going through it with my own son, which is helpful. You start to see a more holistic view of them. In February 2020, just before the pandemic forced Pingry into remote learning, the Boys’ Varsity Ice Hockey Team (13-2-3) captured their second straight Skyland Cup Championship. They were also #1 in the Skyland Conference for the second year in a row. How did this pandemic season turn out, and what are your goals

for the team going forward? The core of our team was

back from last year, but because of COVID-19 cases and quarantining, it was a short season, with only six of our scheduled 12 games played, and no Skyland Cup or state championship. But we knew going into it we would have to adapt. For us just to get to play a few games, especially the seniors, was important. Next season, we will be a little younger as a team as we transition away from this senior class, which was one of the most successful in

Pingry ice hockey history. The bar has been set high, but our returning players know what type of commitment is needed for success. You control what you can control. Working hard and having fun and humility—these are the core values I try to instill in them. “If [students] know that you care and are invested in where they’re headed, the tough conversations are easier. I want what’s best for my athletes and my counselees.”



On the Arts DR AMA

Lights, Screens, (Shadow) Action! “There are different methods of storytelling and conveying a character—drama isn’t just about acting with the face, but also other parts of the body,” says Lower School Drama Teacher Keara Gordon. This spring, Mrs. Gordon introduced shadow puppetry (shadowgraphy) to Grade 3 students as a prelude to learning about Chinese shadow puppetry. She began by showing a video of a professional hand shadow puppeteer and displaying a chart of animals the students could make. Then, it was time to practice—students in school used screens and stage lights, while remote students used paper and a flashlight. “When the focus is the shadow, the students are moving their hands and arms like that’s the character. Their personality is shown through the hands,” Mrs. Gordon says. (Chinese shadow puppetry also has a vocal component, so students added their voices.) Students had fun with the lesson, and for some, it was a welcome departure from full-body acting. “For some students,” Mrs. Gordon observes, “using hands is easier than acting because they’re not standing in front of everyone. Shadow puppetry is great for those who want to be in the background more. They can disappear into the characters.”

“Shadow puppetry is great for those who want to be in the background more.”



MUSIC 2021 ACHIEVEMENT IN THE ARTS AWARD WINNER Pingry presents this award to distinguished Pingry graduates or former teachers in recognition of the contributions they have made to artistic pursuits throughout their careers.

Dr. Scott Brown ’78

Physician and Musical Detective



in Harlem, the Library of Congress, and the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University. Having compiled a nearly 300-page paper, he brought a bound copy to the Rutgers Institute, which decided to include it in their jazz publications. James P. Johnson: A Case of Mistaken Identity was co-published in 1986 by the Institute and Scarecrow Press. At the same time, American conductor Marin Alsop, who was interested in jazz-influenced symphonic music and had been searching for Johnson’s scores, found out about the book from Rutgers. She approached Dr. Brown, and they contacted Johnson’s family—with the book in hand. His family gave them access to boxes of musical scores and other documents that were thought lost for 50 years. This discovery led to performances and recordings, including Jazz at Lincoln Center (program notes by Dr. Brown) and the CD Victory Stride with world-premiere recordings of Johnson’s symphonic music (liner notes by Dr. Brown). Dr. Brown continued to collaborate with Maestra Alsop to make Johnson’s music available to other orchestras. He also became a board member of The James P. Johnson Foundation and has been involved in other projects involving Johnson’s music. On top of all this, Dr. Brown found Johnson’s unmarked grave at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Queens, which led to fundraising for a headstone, and Dr. Brown contributed the balance. He has written a new biography of Johnson (not yet published), updating his previous effort with information from the family collection and additional archival research. And, Dr. Brown just completed a Master’s degree in Jazz History and Research from Rutgers-Newark. DR . SC OT T

In a sense, Dr. Brown has had two parallel careers. On the medical side, he practices Performing Arts Medicine, treating musicians and dancers, and is Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore. Among other accomplishments, he has been medical advisor and taught at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University; is Past President of the Performing Arts Medicine Association; is a charter member of the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science; and has served as Editor-in-Chief of the Association’s peer-reviewed Journal of Dance Medicine & Science. On the arts side, ever since he was a college student, Dr. Brown has been working to preserve the music and legacy of the late African American jazz pianist, accompanist, and composer James P. Johnson. He was known for his influential piano style that came to be known as Harlem Stride Piano (“stride” is a technique in which the left hand plays quick, rhythmic tempos across a range of the keyboard, alongside the right hand). As a composer, Johnson’s numerous compositions include the signature 1920s tune, “The Charleston”; over 400 selections for musical theater; the “Harlem Symphony,” the “Jazzamine Concerto,” and the one-act opera The Organizer, collaborating with Langston Hughes. Dr. Brown’s interest in Johnson can be traced to his love of ragtime that started at age 13 with the movie The Sting, which features music by Scott Joplin. Wanting to hear more, Dr. Brown bought ragtime records that also included Johnson’s music, and he was intrigued by his style. Seeking more of Johnson’s recordings and information about his life, but not finding much, Dr. Brown sought to dig deeper. It was at Yale University that Dr. Brown was accepted into an honors independent study program and devoted his senior year to writing Johnson’s biography, a research project that took him to Yale’s library, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

To read a full account of Dr. Brown’s research on James P. Johnson, visit




The Power of the Personal Paintings by Sarah Kurz ’99 were featured in this spring’s Alumni Art Exhibit. Based on her experiences and imagination, Ms. Kurz’s artwork depicts familiar and contemporary objects, landscapes, and people. Her primary source is personal photographs, but other sources range from film to the Internet. “My narratives explore the power of intimacy and the personal in an increasingly impersonal and digitized world,” she says. “I am excited by the psychological and associative power of images, and interested in how they can be a visual signifier of a memory, moment, or feeling . . . I have been thinking about how each person’s reality is a matter of their own perception.” While Ms. Kurz was able to explore a variety of artistic media and techniques, and study art history, at Pingry, she didn’t consider becoming a professional painter until she moved to New York, worked in galleries and museums, and met artists. “I learned more about what it means to be an artist and what that journey looks

like. About one year after graduating from Columbia University, I rented a studio, started painting again, and applied to graduate school at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University. Painting held my interest and was a constant challenge—it felt limitless.” Ms. Kurz’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibits at galleries in New York and Massachusetts, as well as publications such as The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Flash Art (an international magazine dedicated to contemporary art), Artnet (a website for the contemporary art world), and the online magazine artcritical.

Say Something Loving is based on Ms. Kurz’s personal photograph from the Aeolian Islands; the painting (and much of her work) is influenced by filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni.

“I think about where to reveal or conceal the process of painting through brushstrokes and mark making. It is of paramount importance to me that the artist’s touch be evident in my paintings, as touch is an integral part of the humanity and intimacy of my work.” 50


I Take You Along, 2019, oil on linen, 20 x 28 inches

“I am curious about the emotional landscape and lives of women. Portraiture is how I choose to represent this, as a way to explore psychological depths and place renewed emphasis on a more personal dimension.” Would You Even?, 2016, oil on linen, 16 x 26 inches



To learn more about The Pingry Fund or to make your gift, visit

GO BIG BLUE! Gifts to The Pingry Fund support the margin of excellence that enables Pingry students to meet the challenges of today and innovate the solutions of tomorrow.



True Blue Spotlight


Phil Hoch ’75 What inspires you about Pingry today? I have

found both the heightened attention to diversity and the adjustments made due to the pandemic inspiring. I spent a large part of my career working on improving diversity at the managerial level within several lines of business, as well as addressing issues faced by under-represented populations. When I look back on my Pingry experience, there was little observable diversity, and the experiences of minority populations could not have been the same as for others. At the time, I wasn’t yet aware enough to know or notice this. The recent commitment to DEI and to open dialogue will hopefully speed progress for current and future Pingry families. Regarding the pandemic, I believe the School has adapted responsibly, creatively, and—most importantly—in the best interest of the students. I have been particularly impressed with Pingry Anywhere and the flexibility of the Drama Department, which continues to offer superior-level productions. What is your fondest Pingry memory? While

there are many from the days spent at the Hillside Campus, there are two that stick out for me. The first seems silly, but it was actually my graduation. I started Pingry in the ninth grade and was ill-prepared academically. I spent that year battling failure, and not always succeeding. I was convinced my parents would receive a letter or a phone call that would invite me not to return for the tenth grade. Later, when I learned I would be graduating with a class rank in the 30s, it was like hitting the lottery. The real lessons for me were about commitment, finding ways to overcome obstacles, and the realization that I could continue to do so in the future. The second has to do with the Honor Code. While I was attending the Fuqua School of Business [at Duke University], the faculty decided

to implement and create their own honor code. I volunteered to join the committee working on this task, and it turned out that no other students had been to a school that utilized an honor code. I quickly called Mr. Fayen to make sure that using Pingry’s Code, a copy of which I still kept with me, as a potential basis for Fuqua wouldn’t violate the Code. Could you imagine plagiarizing the Pingry Honor Code? What spurred you to become engaged with Pingry as an alumnus? I can’t tell you how many times

throughout my life or career a question has come up that I immediately know the answer to. When asked, “How do you know that?”, the answer is always easy: “I learned that in high school.” The educational foundation provided to me at Pingry was one of the major components of my successful career, and I have always known this to be true. This TRUE BLUE SOCIETY is why I give annually to Pingry and why I am a member of the C.B. Those who have Newton Society. given to The Pingry Fund for 10 or more consecutive years



REUNION 2021 Virtual Reunion was amazing and such a wonderful example of how we have grown and evolved as a community to find ways to engage and connect through Zoom. This was unimaginable two years ago, and now we are able to bring more Pingry alumni together from around the world. We are eager to continue to deepen engagement, both virtually and in-person, in the years to come.” — HEAD OF SCHOOL MATT LEVINSON

Nelson L. Carr ’24 Service Award

Ryan Akins, Emma Carver Akins ’09, Eloise Akins, Chip Carver, Jr. ’77, Anne DeLaney ’79, Chloe Carver ’11, Sean Carver ’14, and Reeve Carver ’14.



The Nelson L. Carr ’24 Service Award is presented for faithful and dedicated service in support of Pingry, with special consideration given to the nature and duration of service; Mr. Carr served as Pingry Alumni Association President (1942-43) and received the Letter-In-Life Award (1982). This year’s recipient is Chip Carver, Jr. ’77, who has coached softball at Pingry since 2007 and currently serves as Head Coach of the varsity team. Mr. Carver and his wife, Anne DeLaney ’79, are the parents of four Pingry alumni: Emma Carver Akins ’09, Chloe Carver ’11, Reeve Carver ’14, and Sean Carver ’14. Mr. Carver and his family have fully integrated themselves into the fabric of Pingry: they have volunteered for Reunion, Career Day, The Pingry Fund, and during the Blueprint for the Future Campaign. His commitment to Pingry and to his team has been characterized by generosity and inclusion, and his dedication to his team both on and off the field extends far beyond the softball season. Also, each year, the Gilbert Harry Carver ’79 Memorial Fund, supported by Mr. Carver and his family, brings speakers to campus in support of open dialogue on self-esteem and acceptance.

What a joy it was to see alums I hadn’t seen in years and to meet new ones from before my time at Pingry. It was great that we were all able to jump right into a vibrant discussion about the health of the humanities with such ease. This is what I love about Pingry! I can’t wait to see everyone in person!” —UPPER SCHOOL ENGLISH TEACHER VICKI GRANT P ’03, ’06 ON “BACK-TO-THE-CLASSROOM”

Coming This Fall: Vicki Grant’s Alumni Book Club You asked, and we listened! A quick and casual suggestion posted on social media—“Can we have a Vicki Grant alumni book club?... Please!”—is becoming a reality thanks to the gracious and enthusiastic participation of beloved Upper School English Teacher Vicki Grant P ’03, ’06, a member of the Pingry faculty since 1984. If you’re a lifelong learner with an appreciation for good books and thoughtful discussion, then we hope you’ll come aboard for this exciting new opportunity to connect multiple generations of Pingry alumni through a shared love of reading.


The book club’s first read will be The Midnight Library—an instant New York Times bestseller and an Amazon “Best Book of the Year” winner reviewed as “An absorbing but comfortable read . . . a vision of limitless possibility, of new roads taken, of new lives lived, of a whole different world available to us somehow, somewhere . . .” Acclaimed writer Jodi Picoult describes the book as “A beautiful fable, an It’s a Wonderful Life for the modern age— impossibly timely . . .” Get going on The Midnight Library (. . . paper or digital, no judgement here!), and stay tuned for further details about the book club’s anticipated October launch.

Vicki Grant’s Top Recommended Summer Reads

CONTEMPORARY 1. Nine Perfect Strangers — Liane Moriarty 2. In the Woods — Tana French 3. The Stand — Stephen King 4. The Shipping News — E. Annie Proulx 5. Saturday — Ian McEwan 6. She’s Come Undone — Wally Lamb 7. The Nightingale — Kristin Hannah 8. Imagine Me Gone — Adam Haslett 9. The Wangs vs. the World — Jade Chang 10. The Summer Before the War — Helen Simonson

CLASSICS 1. To the Lighthouse — Virginia Woolf 2. Beloved — Toni Morrison 3. Pride and Prejudice — Jane Austen 4. The Mayor of Casterbridge — Thomas Hardy 5. The Master and Margarita — Mikhael Bulgakov 6. Nicholas Nickleby — Charles Dickens 7. Waiting for the Barbarians — J. M. Coetzee 8. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie — Muriel Spark 9. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest — Ken Kesey 10. Badenheim 1939 — Aharon Apelfeld



REUNION 2021 Save-the-Dates for Next Year’s Reunion: May 12-14, 2022

Back-to-the-Classroom: Science at Pingry Over the Past 30 Years How has the renovation of the Science Wing and classrooms changed how you teach?

“For a long time, we’ve been putting a lot of emphasis on working together and collaboration. Certainly, in the physics area, it was nice to have two classrooms with very large lab tables where kids could work together on problem sets and do labs together, prior to going remote.” Physics Teacher Chuck Coe P ’88 “We like to make a huge mess, regularly. Getting your hands dirty and making lots of messes has been great! No more on your own, at your own little desk with a truck board—[the students are] doing the work and exploring, and I’m kind of off to the side, and I get to go from table to table. It’s been a gift to have that space.” Biology Teacher Deirdre O’Mara P ’17, ’19, ’21 Is there technology or equipment that has had a lot of impact on your teaching?

“It’s been amazing what the Internet offers. We’ve gotten rid of textbooks, for the most part, because [students] can find things. When I was in college, we

The study of science is a central part of a Pingry education, and while courses differ across topic and grade level, they share a common purpose: to prepare students to think scientifically. The kind of active, hands-on learning that students experience at Pingry is made possible by the generosity of supporters like Dr. Augustus John Rush, Jr. ’60 and his wife, Dee. Dr. Rush, a world-renowned expert in the fields of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is committed to fostering curiosity and developing critical thinking skills among students of all ages. This continues the legacy of one of the cornerstones upon which Pingry was founded: intellectual engagement. At Pingry, every aspect of a student’s education is embraced, and diverse topics are explored through meaningful inquiry—no matter the subject. If you, too, want to make an impact on an area of study about which you’re passionate, please reach out to the Office of Institutional Advancement at 56


used to have to go to chem abstracts to figure things out, and now everything’s right in front of you. The knowledge is all there—you just have to know how to sift through it. I let the kids teach me how to get through some of this stuff and it’s just great.” Chemistry Teacher Tim Grant P ’03, ’06 “Cell phones. It’s amazing! Now every kid has a stopwatch with them all the time. In physics, they can take video of various experiments and actually count the frames in the video to figure out times for ‘this mass to fall this distance,’ etc., etc. It’s really pretty nice and very handy, and the kids are very savvy with the technology.” Physics Teacher Bill Bourne P ’08 “Pingry has always, for the whole time I’ve been here, been special because of the student-teacher relationship. And sometimes you’re afraid that the technology might get in the way of that, but in my case, I actually find that email and other types of communication with students have enhanced their ability to get a question asked, exactly when they need it answered. It’s pretty fun. It’s definitely changed the way I’ve helped kids. It makes that experience more valuable for them, and it changes our relationship—that ability for us to go back and forth.” Physics Teacher Chuck Coe P ’88 “The lab space has really freed up a tremendous amount of extracurricular opportunities for our kids. That space is filled every single day at every free moment with kids who are doing ongoing research projects and are collaborating with researchers outside the building, and doing novel research inside the building . . . it’s really been amazing to watch.” Biology Teacher Deirdre O’Mara P ’17, ’19, ’21 “Some of you might remember, if you were in my class, going down to the pond, throwing sodium in the pond, and having it explode. That was great back then, but now, with the cameras, students can take a video of it, like Bill was saying, and we can actually go frame-by-frame of the explosion, which is just amazing.” Chemistry Teacher Tim Grant P ’03, ’06

285 185 31 12


alumni registered for at least one Reunion event

alumni attending class parties on Zoom (classes ending in 1 and 6)

Why have you stayed at Pingry for so many years?

“The intellectual challenge of teaching here, and keeping up with the people you work with, is second to no other place. I have lots of friends who teach at other schools, and they’re all jealous of me.” Physics Teacher Chuck Coe P ’88 “My first year I taught at a school, I had to scrounge around for everything. And, boy, if I want something here at Pingry, I just ask for it and I get it. And I can do some experiments I would never be able to do at any other school.” Chemistry Teacher Tim Grant P ’03, ’06 “For all of us as teachers, if we have something that we’re passionate about and are willing to put in the time and effort, we can go in pretty much any direction that we want. We’re really given that freedom within the classroom and within the Pingry community as a whole.” Middle School Science Teacher Ramsay Vehslage “I’m still growing as a teacher. I find it just remarkable how I will lay in bed at three in the morning and come up with some new way of presenting something

or some different problem to ask. So that’s always exciting. And I still get kids asking me questions that are like, ‘That’s a great question. Let’s think about it.’ And I guess if all that stopped, I probably would stop but, you know what? It’s just fun.” Physics Teacher Bill Bourne P ’08

states represented

countries represented

Last Thoughts

“If you’re going into teaching, don’t be afraid to let the students see how passionate you are about the material. That comes across and, when it’s genuine, it engages them right away.” Physics Teacher Chuck Coe P ’88 “If you’re not having fun, it’s not worth it. That’s what I love about all of my colleagues—we always make things so much fun for the kids in here. We really are all about the kids discovering things, letting them discover it for themselves. So yes, we let them play a lot.” Chemistry Teacher Tim Grant P ’03, ’06

Moderating the Student Leadership Panel made me realize how lucky I am to be around such vibrant, sharp, and thoughtful students. Their answers to my questions revealed not only their love and gratitude for Pingry, which they will carry with them into their future endeavors, but also their ability to synthesize all that they’ve learned and experienced in their years here. Our students are amazing!” — UPPER SCHOOL ENGLISH TEACHER AND DIRECTOR OF TEACHING AND LEARNING DR. REID COTTINGHAM, IN REFERENCE TO STUDENT PANEL PARTICIPANTS CAROLYN COYNE ‘21, GUANYUN LIANG ‘21, AND NARAYAN MURTI ‘21




Last Pretty Lake in New Jersey: Cedar Lake (self- published; edited by Dr. Tony Smith and Becky Gringas, DPA). According to, “This book presents his memories of the lake and its people in satirical and sometimes biting style. Fishing trips, holidays, lake history, shops, restaurants, and family relationships are all described. Much of the small town and lake life of the 1950s and 1960s remains today. Traditional ways of fishing and celebrating are still enjoyed today. On a foggy morning, those out on the water can still look toward the shore and believe it is 1955. Come meet the lake, its people, the fish and wildlife, and walk back through time.”

John Roll ’73 served as producer, videographer, and


editor for the television series Carolina Home Today, which he describes as “an infomercial on steroids.” Viewers were introduced to home improvement companies that paid to be featured in three- to five-minute segments. (It originally aired on NBC affiliate WMBF-TV in Myrtle Beach from September 2020 to June 2021.) The show was the brainchild of his former colleague Nancy Aborn Wuennemann from ABC affiliate WTNH-TV in New Haven. She became involved in real estate in South Carolina and, wanting to apply her broadcast experience to the industry, decided to highlight home service businesses on television. Knowing that Mr. Roll had left his most recent job as a news photographer at the FOX affiliate in Hartford because of the pandemic, she asked him to film and edit the show. So, he found himself traveling back-and-forth between Connecticut and South Carolina, where the housing market boom proved to be a challenge for producing the show because contractors are so busy. As he spent time behind the camera, Mr. Roll realized “there’s a lot one can do to make their home more energy efficient, more livable, and more affordable. I learned to appreciate the home and what people can do to maintain it, upgrade it, and be happy with life.”




Dr. John Stibravy ’68 has written a new book, The

Andrew McCarthy ’80, actor, director, award-winning travel writer, and bestselling author, has written a memoir, Brat: An ‘80s Story (Grand Central Publishing). According to the publisher, “Most people know Andrew McCarthy from his movie roles in Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, Weekend at Bernie’s, and Less than Zero, and as a charter member of Hollywood’s Brat Pack. That iconic group . . . has come to represent both a genre of film and an era of pop culture. In his memoir, McCarthy focuses his gaze on that singular moment in time.”

Lyric Wallwork Winik ’84 is co-author with Jory Fleming of How to Be Human: An Autistic Man’s Guide to Life (Simon & Schuster), which the publisher describes as “an unforgettable, unconventional narrative that examines the many ways to be fully human, told by the first young adult with autism to attend Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar . . . How to Be Human explores life amid a world constructed for neurotypical brains when yours is not. But the miracle of this book is that instead of dwelling on Jory’s limitations, those who inhabit the neurotypical world will begin to better understand their own.” Author John Donvan praises Ms. Winik’s “honest curiosity” as she “nudges forward the conversation with sensitivity and respect.”

Katherine (Apruzzese) Sherbrooke ’85 has written a novel of historical fiction, Leaving Coy’s Hill (Pegasus Books). The story is based on the life of abolitionist and feminist Lucy Stone, the first woman from Massachusetts to earn a college degree, the first woman to speak regularly


in public about women’s rights, and the inspiration for Susan B. Anthony to join the movement. (The Lucy Stone House in Orange, NJ, where she lived briefly in the late 1850s, was the site of her protest against taxation without representation.) “Anthony and Stone were fierce allies until a wrenching controversy created a significant rift between them—one of several key story lines in my book,” Ms. Sherbrooke says. Leaving Coy’s Hill was born while Ms. Sherbrooke was researching possible character names for a different novel— characters to be named for strong, but overlooked, women in history. Lucy Stone was one name she found. “Given her outsized role in advocating for women’s rights in the 1800s and the litany of firsts in her life, I couldn’t believe I’d never heard of her,” Ms. Sherbrooke says. “The more I learned about the hardships she endured in her quest for equality and the surprising reason she was written out of history, the more I wanted to know. Reading about her became an obsession.” The story’s fictional aspects represent Ms. Sherbrooke’s freedom “to imagine what it might have felt like to be [Lucy Stone] . . . Writing her story as fiction also allowed me to take certain liberties—creating fictional characters to stand in for multiple real people, or telescoping time in service to the story—while maintaining all the amazing truths that made her life so extraordinary.”

Dr. Jennifer Weiss ’89 and Dr. Leah Weiss ’96 launched Grand Rounds, a podcast “with two sisters asking life’s big questions.” As Dr. Weiss ’89 explains it, “Leah and I connected

for the podcast at the beginning of the pandemic—we like to say that it took a pandemic to create the time and focus to bring this project to life.” Season 1, “Purpose in a Pandemic,” brought together thought leaders in self-compassion, ritual, motivation, and purpose, and its finale featured Dr. Purvi Parikh ’00. Season 2, “Disruption,” will begin with the sisters’ brother Adam Weiss ’89. Dr. Weiss ’96 teaches at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and is co-founder of Skylyte, a consulting firm focused on compassionate leadership and burnout. Dr. Weiss ’89 is a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon with a subspecialty in sports medicine.

Laurie Morrison Fabius ’99 has written a middlegrade novel, Saint Ivy: Kind at all Costs (Amulet Books), whose themes are caring for others and for yourself. The story centers on 13-year-old Ivy Campbell who tries to be supportive of everyone, but a life event makes her question herself and her attitudes. “I was thinking about the pressure many kids feel to have a ‘thing’—one main talent or passion that helps define them, and I was also grappling with how complicated kindness can be,” Mrs. Fabius says. “We want to be kind, of course, but there can be a cost to too much kindness, especially if we’re so uncomfortable with negative thoughts and feelings that we push them away instead of dealing with them. I decided to write about a kid who doesn’t know what makes her special, so she latches on to the trait she gets the most praise for—her kindness—and tries her best to be the ‘nice’ one, sometimes at great cost to herself.”



Pingry Creates





Middle and Upper School Visual Arts Teacher Jennifer Mack-Watkins.

Dana Zolli ’03, a television production manager,

For the exhibit, Mrs. Mack-Watkins created 11 silkscreens and two color lithographs, using doll imagery as a narrative. On the museum’s website, she explains, “My current body of work is part of an ongoing celebration of the beauty, importance, and complexity of positive representation of African American children in literature, media, and pop culture. I am interested in using aesthetics as a form of resistance against the erasure and invisibility of African American culture . . . ‘Children of the Sun’ demonstrates how a child’s innocence can be seen as an act of hope and resilience. Through my art, I seek to provide a sense of assurance for all African American children and hope the work encourages imagination and aspiration.”

produced the short film Generation Por Qué? that was released on HBO/HBOMax on May 1. It tells the story of Jackie Perez, a first-generation American of Cuban descent and her experiences chasing her dreams while feeling the pull of her parents’ culture. Being the child of immigrants herself, Ms. Zolli connected to the project. The production team hopes that it can be developed into a television series.

Katie Jennings ’06, a Forbes staff writer covering

Kristin Osika ’22 has published Single Sweets (Kindle Direct Publishing), her debut cookbook of quickbake desserts that are sized for one person, personalized for tastes or dietary needs, and free of the top eight food allergens (or modified to exclude them)—wheat, milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, fish, and shellfish. Diagnosed with celiac disease at age six and an advocate for healthy living, Kristin created, designed, and photographed the entire book.

Middle and Upper School Visual Arts Teacher Jennifer Mack-Watkins was featured in The New York Times, Vogue, and Essence in connection with her solo exhibit “Children of the Sun” at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center in Vermont this spring. Her show was inspired by imagery in The Brownies’ Book: A Monthly Magazine for the Children of the Sun (edited by W. E. B. Du Bois, published from 1920–1921); by Vermont poet Daisy Turner, who took a stand against racism during a school pageant in 1891, at age eight, by improvising a poem instead of reciting one given to her by her teacher; and by Mrs. Mack-Watkins’ childhood experiences, including an interest in dolls, growing up in the South.



healthcare, with a focus on digital health and new technology, published her first Forbes cover story this spring. She profiled Judy Faulkner, Founder and CEO of the software company Epic Systems, in a story titled, “The Billionaire Who Controls Your Medical Records.”



A Visit to the Archives

The cast, crew, and orchestra of the May 1979 production of Oklahoma!

Looking Back at Oklahoma! Prior to this school year’s two filmed versions of Oklahoma!, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical took the Pingry stage in May 1979. It was the School’s third musical, following Bye Bye Birdie and Oliver! Both Oliver! and Oklahoma! were directed by then–English Teacher (and future administrator) Kevin Rooney, who has been passionate about Broadway his entire life and joined Pingry in 1970. Seeing that Pingry had an Upper School play in the early 1970s, he offered to direct a Middle School play and then (he’s not sure how) became Chair of the Drama Committee. In the mid-1970s, his colleague, then–Spanish Teacher and Head

of the Language Department Bill Lionetti, wanted to present a musical. Bye Bye Birdie was so successful that musicals became an annual tradition. Following in Mr. Lionetti’s footsteps, Mr. Rooney directed 11 musicals. His approach: “When you put kids on the stage, they want to do what you—the director—want them to do. My thinking was, ‘You’re the character—what do you think this character is supposed to do? I want to see you bring that out.’” Oklahoma! was performed twice with a cast that included Laura Lang ’79, Dana Troxell, Jr. ’79, Addie Hall ’79, and future professional actor Andrew McCarthy ’80.


> Pingry’s collection of about 25,000 historical photographs is being organized. The photos will be available for searching and will eventually be digitized.

> The creation of

“finding aids” for Pingry’s collections is in progress. Finding aids are tools that help someone find information.

To see more items from the Archives, visit Pingry Flashes Back ( Recent posts include a geometry test in Dr. Pingry’s handwriting; over 100 years’ worth of Blue Book covers; and Ted Mayhew’s scrapbooks of Pingry news. 62



top left:

Matthew Quilty ’80 (Will Parker) sings “Kansas City” as the Boys watch. top right: Andrew McCarthy ‘80 (Ali Hakim) Karen Faherty ’80 (Ado Annie) above right: The Girls dance to “Many a New Day.”

above left:

Pingry brought several musicals to the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, PA for the playhouse’s annual, multi-day secondary school drama festival (every participating school went for one day). In May 1979, Pingry won “Excellence in Musical Staging” for a 30-minute segment from Oklahoma! with a set, costumes, and makeup. at left:

A representative from Bucks County Playhouse with Pingry’s Addie Hall ‘79 (second from left), Laura Lang ‘79 (center), and Dana Troxell, Jr. ‘79 (far right).



Class Notes S HA RE YOUR NEWS Submit your Class Note at, or mail it to Greg Waxberg ‘96, Editor of The Pingry Review, The Pingry School, 131 Martinsville Road, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920.

This Fall in Delaware: Reunion for Classes of 1960, 1961, and 1962

1946 DR. DAVID MILLER, celebrating his 75th Reunion this year, shared a photo of himself with his mother Margaret in front of their home on Irvington Avenue in Hillside. He estimates that he was in Grade 4 when the photo was taken. David is host and producer of the Big Band show Swingin’ Down the Lane (, a one-hour program that is broadcast weekly on more than 40 National Public Radio affiliates and independent commercial stations. The program is also heard on stations in Perth, Australia and Hamburg, Germany. He also teaches a Big Band course to senior citizens, via Zoom.

For the Classes of ’60 and ’61, any Reunion face-to-face gatherings to celebrate our “60th”s were obviously bypassed. The plans for a Class of ’61 gathering are in place, and Classes of ’60 and ’62 are invited to participate. We will get together in person for the evening’s main event on Saturday, October 30 at the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel in Rehoboth Beach, DE. Local points of interest include the quaint, near-by town of Lewes, the restored Fort Miles, and a World War II Army installation—Frank Ali ’62 played a major role in its restoration. We plan to begin welcoming attendees as early as Friday. To RSVP or for questions, call Dave Archibald ’61 (302-278-9096), Dave Rogers ’61 (908-419-9428), or Frank Ali ’62 (732-616-6884).

1959 ANTHONY MAZZUCCA writes, “I am living and working in Florida and now working in New Jersey. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn enough in Pingry and have to keep working, but I still do enjoy work and don’t have much to do if I don’t work. Since my work involves affordable housing, I feel I am doing something for the world. My wife Cynthia and I are preparing to find a place to live in New Jersey so that we can see our family more and work here as well. Look forward to haunting Pingry, corralling some young kids, and telling them how it was in the old days when Otho Vars terrorized us.”

1960 David Miller ‘46 with his mother Margaret in front of their Hillside home.

1948 BILL HILLBRANT has recovered from COVID-19.



ROB GIBBY writes, “A group of about 15 of us have been meeting over Zoom on a monthly basis since our Pingry Reunion in May 2020. It has been a wonderful way to reconnect and reminisce. We have taken turns sharing our ‘50 years in 5 minutes’ stories, and traded tales of our time at Pingry and the teachers and classmates who were there with us. The Zoom meetings are scheduled by John Rush ’60, with Art Scutro ’60 and Howard Danzig

’60 organizing different topics for discussion. We would all welcome your suggestions and participation. Please email John or me at or robgibby31@ if you would like to join us. We would love to see some more familiar faces!”

1961 BILL (MOGIE) MOGENSEN writes, “In 2014, my wife (Kathy) and I co-founded a Clinic in Ziroobwe, Uganda. It is now called the ‘Marion Yamba Medical Center’ in memory of my mother, Marion Mogensen (1913–2013). There are two other co-founders of the Clinic. One is Fr. Vincent Mukiibi—the local Priest who plans and supervises all construction and oversees the Clinic. The other is Mary Goss—the Director of ‘Yamba Uganda,’ a 501(c)(3) charity that has overall responsibility for the Clinic. It currently consists of two buildings that contain a reception area, examining room, injection room, laboratory, medical supply room, and maternity section with ultrasound equipment. A third building is a medical ward with 22 beds. There are a well and water tower that make clean water that is also available to the local people. Solar panels supply reliable electricity because the government power is sporadic. The complex is surrounded by a very nice-looking security wall.


As this issue was preparing to go to press, professional swimmer Nic Fink ’11 qualified


for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, in the 200m breaststroke. More coverage to follow!

Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24 presented the Bristol Cup to Westfield on May 5. Behind him, in the yellow raincoat, is The Honorable William L. Wertheimer ’60, whose son Boomer Wertheimer is Head Coach of the Westfield boys’ varsity lacrosse team. Westfield defeated Pingry 11-10 in double overtime.

The Clinic had its grand opening, which was attended by hundreds of local people, on September 18, 2018. Another building (with a latrine attached), the Staff Quarters for eight of the professionals who work at the Clinic, is located just outside the security wall and was opened on December 20, 2020. The Marion Yamba Medical Center has recently been upgraded to a Level 3 Health Center. The healthcare system in Uganda recognizes several types of facilities: VHT (village health team), Clinic, Health Center (Levels 1, 2, 3, & 4), Hospital, and the National Referral Hospital (located in Kampala, the capital of Uganda). This is a major accomplishment for Yamba Uganda (‘Help for Uganda’), and it should greatly improve the access to healthcare for the people in the area around Ziroobwe, Uganda. In the near future, we plan to expand the maternity section into a fourth building, which will fit within the existing security wall. Anyone interested in more information can contact me at”


Class of 1966 is “Zoom”ing The Class of 1966, whose Reunion Committee is led by John Cornwall and Dr. Bill LaCorte, is celebrating its 55th Reunion this year and has decided to hold a series of Zoom events on different subjects. The successful first Zoom meeting in early May included presentations by Bill and by Dr. Arthur Weissman and an appearance by Special Assistant to the Head of School Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24. Arthur has long been involved in the environmental field as Founder and President of Green Seal®, which he joined in 1993 and served as President from 1996–2017. He is also the author of In the Light of Humane Nature: Human Values, Nature, the Green Economy, and Environmental Salvation (2014). He shared his insights on the environment. Bill, active gerontologist, hospitalist, and nursing home administrator, discussed his insights into the COVID-19 pandemic. The Class hopes to continue occasional Zooms as a way to reconnect with their classmates. To participate, please contact John or Bill, or Katrina Musto, Associate Director of The Pingry Fund (

BRUCE SCHUNDLER writes, “Probably like everyone else, a few body parts have needed to be replaced (my left hip and one cataract), and a few things now need regular ‘watching’ (like my prostate cancer), but otherwise—with the exception of COVID-19—life has been good to



Class Notes

Alumni Panels: First Black Students and HBCUs Students heard from three of the School’s first Black students (pictured here, from left): DR. ROBERT FULLILOVE ’62 (appearing via recorded video), Professor of Sociomedical Sciences and Associate Dean for Community and Minority Affairs at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center; THE HONORABLE HAROLD FULLILOVE ’63, a retired Superior Court Judge for the State of New Jersey; and MARK FURY ’75, an attorney and former mayor of Plainfield, NJ. The three alumni responded to student questions about Pingry’s impact; balancing emotions and home/school lives during the Civil Rights era; allyship; and their wish for Pingry. Then, more than 60 members of the Pingry community, from all three divisions, gathered on Zoom for the School’s first-ever alumni panel featuring students and graduates of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): TEMILAYO BUTLER ’13, JOHN-TOD SURGEON ’13, and ELISHA GODBOLD ’19 (Howard University); NAVA LEVENE-HARVELL ’19, ANNAYA BAYNES ’19, and JORDAN TAYLOR ’18 (Spelman College). Among the topics: how they decided on an HBCU, what surprised them when they got there, and what advice they have for current Pingry students considering them; they also demystified common stereotypes. Pingry held two alumni panels in February as part of Black History Month. Read more at

us! And Sara and I still are leading tours for college alumni groups for This year, for instance, we’ll be leading three tours to Arches NP, Canyonlands NP, and Mesa Verde NP, and another one to Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands, and Yellowstone NP. But the best news is that, now that we’re vaccinated, we can visit and hug our kids and grandson, and enjoy just being with them again!”

1968 DR. JOHN STIBRAVY has written a new book, The Last Pretty Lake in New Jersey: Cedar Lake. Read more on page 58.



1971 THE HONORABLE MICHAEL CHERTOFF, who oversaw the Secret Service in his role as Secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush, was interviewed on CBS’s Sunday Morning (May 16) to get his perspective for a story on recent operational failures within the Secret Service. He expressed concerns about troubling behavior within the agency, as well as lapses in protection around The White House when men jumped the fence in 2014 and 2017. After an incident, he said, “There should be what we call a ‘hotwash,’ to see, ‘What are the lessons learned?’” If these follow-ups do not happen, he believes the agency is making a mistake by tempting fate.

The Class of 1971 celebrated their 50th Reunion the weekend of May 14 and 15! They had over 30 classmates attend their two Zoom parties, kicking off Reunion Weekend on Friday with special guests Manny Tramontana P ’85, ’87 and Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24. Classmates virtually joined from all over the U.S., with a classmate logging on all the way from France! Many laughs were had as they shared memories from their days in Hillside. Ian Shrank led the committee and spent months planning the 50th Weekend with Gil Barno, George Gabb, and Ward Tomlinson, as well as Katrina Musto in the Advancement Office.

1978 DR. SCOTT BROWN is the recipient of Pingry’s 2021 Achievement in the Arts Award. Read more on page 49.

1980 ANDREW McCARTHY is the author of Brat: An ’80s Story and made several media appearances this spring to talk about his movie career, including The Wall Street Journal; ABC’s Live with Kelly and Ryan (May 10); Town & Country (May 11); and the New York Post (April 18), which mentions that he fell in love with acting while performing in Pingry’s 1978 production of Oliver! He was also profiled on CBS’s Sunday Morning (May 9), reflecting on the 1980s movies he starred in. In the CBS interview, he said that he rejected offers over the years to write a book about the “Brat Pack” (a name coined in a 1985 New York magazine story about a select group of young movie stars), but agreed recently, thinking, “Why keep running from my youth?”

1981 The Class of 1981 had a two-night 40th Reunion celebration, starting on Friday, May 14 at Delicious Heights Outpost in Basking Ridge, NJ. Those who felt comfortable attending joined Rich Corino and Karen (Schatman) Benton, who led the Committee. Saturday evening’s Zoom Class Party had over 25 classmates attend, with one signing on all the way from Tokyo! John Bellitti, Jon Pasternak, and Elyse Post also worked alongside Rich and Karen to connect with classmates in the months leading up to the weekend. A great time was had by all, and ’81 classmates have been enjoying connecting with one another ever since the weekend!

1971 Reunion Zoom

1984 LYRIC WALLWORK WINIK is co-author of a new book, How to Be Human: An Autistic Man’s Guide to Life. Read more on page 58.

1985 KATHERINE (APRUZZESE) SHERBROOKE has written a novel of historical fiction, Leaving Coy’s Hill. Read more on page 58.

1989 DR. JENNIFER WEISS and her sister, Dr. Leah Weiss ’96, have launched a new podcast, “Purpose in a Pandemic: Two Sister’s

1981 Reunion Zoom

Asking Life’s Big Questions.” Read more on page 59.

1993 DR. DANIEL SCIUBBA, nationally renowned spinal surgeon, has joined Northwell Health as Senior Vice President of Neurosurgery as well as Chair of Neurosurgery at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/ Northwell. He will also serve as Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center, as well as co-director of Northwell Health’s Institute for Neurology and Neurosurgery. He has authored over 500 peer-reviewed papers,

edited three books, and received numerous awards for his published work, including the 2020 “Outstanding Paper Award” from The Spine Journal; the 2019 “Top Paper Award” from the Annals of Translational Medicine; and the 2019 “Editor’s Choice Paper” by World Neurosurgery. He previously served as professor of neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, oncology, radiation oncology, and molecular radiation sciences at Johns Hopkins University.

1996 DR. LEAH WEISS and her sister, Dr. Jennifer Weiss ’89, have launched a new podcast, “Purpose in a Pandemic: Two Sister’s Asking Life’s Big Questions.” Read more on page 58.

Free Speech HiRT Alumni Discussion As part of Pingry’s Research Week in April, the Free Speech Humanities Independent Research Team hosted a panel discussion with JODI DANIS ’87 (Special Litigation Counsel in the Immigrant and Employment Rights section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division); CHRISTINE KUMAR ’12 (Staff Attorney at Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia); and JIM SCHAEFER ’80 (Executive Vice President of Deltec Bank & Trust; President of the American Chamber of Commerce of the Bahamas; a Retired Lt. Col. of the U.S. Air Force Reserve who received the Airman’s Medal). All three appeared in a personal capacity, not representing their employers. Among the questions posed by Annika Shekdar ’24, Ava Kotsen ’23, and Kevin Gao ’22, the alumni addressed topics such as encountering free speech issues in their jobs; how hate speech should be defined and whether it should be protected by the First Amendment; how students can navigate these issues; and the role of social media companies

in determining the future of free speech. • Jim emphasized personal accountability and responsibility, the courage to express oneself, and the need for social media to post disclaimers and be transparent about “what they’re screening for and why.” • Jodi spoke about the “right to do something versus whether it’s a good idea,” emphasized the subjectivity of what is considered “hate speech” because many types of speech can cause offense, and said she believes that social media companies should be held accountable if, behind the scenes, they “taint the marketplace” by amplifying certain types of speech. She also urged students to avoid echo chambers because they “don’t promote understanding of others’ viewpoints.” • Christine focused on the questions of what motivates hate speech, how to protect someone who might be a target, and the consequences of hate speech. She believes social media companies should put in “more effort to regulate misinformation and dangerous activity.”




Class Notes

Chris Franklin ’96 and Tyler Umdenstock ’97 with the 1st Grade team of the Millburn-Short Hills Lacrosse Club.

Buzzy Cohen ’03 on the Jeopardy! set.


In a Jeopardy! interview, Buzzy reflected on “the honor of being asked to host” and said he couldn’t believe he got the chance to host a show he has loved since age nine. He prepared for the energy and stamina of long tape days (five episodes in one day) by doing strength training and cardio workouts, and he practiced clue reading to sharpen his focus and attention. Buzzy is also grateful to the crew for assisting him with clue reading “and all of the other little things that look effortless when Alex Trebek would do it, but actually are really hard to do,” such as responding to contestants in a variety of ways (“yes,” “correct,” “right,” “good”), transitioning into and out of commercial breaks, and reading from a prompter. On ABC’s The View, Buzzy said he was guided by Mr. Trebek’s commitment to the contestants, clues, and show. “When there was a moment of opportunity for levity or to have some fun with the contestants, he took it because he wanted them to be having fun . . . like when somebody has a funny, wrong answer, we can all laugh about it.” To recognize Mental Health Awareness Month, Buzzy also spoke about his past struggles with depression and how appearing on Jeopardy! influenced him. “When I put my mind to it, I had something to offer that no one could take away. When you’re struggling with depression, it can be so easy to discount the things you contribute to—whether it’s your family, work, or your community—and either give the credit to someone else or say, ‘It’s really not that special.’ I was very lucky that I had this amazing accomplishment on Jeopardy! that I could always point to. I hope

TYLER UMBDENSTOCK and CHRIS FRANKLIN ’96 are channeling the success of the mid-’90s Pingry teams and had a blast this spring coaching their sons on the 1st Grade team of the Millburn-Short Hills Lacrosse Club.

1998 Chef ANDREW GRUEL, CEO and Founder of Slapfish Restaurant Grill, was featured on NBC Nightly News on March 3. Andrew is serving a “Community Burger,” free with a donation, to help restaurant workers in need. As of the story’s air date, his efforts had raised over $375,000 for more than 400 individuals.

1999 LAURIE MORRISON FABIUS has written a middle-grade novel, Saint Ivy: Kind at all Costs. Read more on page 58. KENNY HSU is the software architect who created Vaccine Bot NJ to help people easily find open appointments across the state. Over 80,000 people follow his Twitter account (@ nj_vaccine) for hourly updates on appointment availability, and those details are also posted to his website, SARAH KURZ was featured in this spring’s Alumni Art Exhibit (read more on page 50). She and her husband, David Lippin, welcomed a 68


baby girl, Linnea Anaïs Lippin, on March 19, 2020, in New York City.

2001 MATT KLAPPER, a longtime aide and Chief of Staff since 2014 to Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), joined the Justice Department in January and has become Chief of Staff to Attorney General Merrick Garland. Overall, Matt worked with Senator Booker for 21 years and is a first responder—a former fulltime firefighter in Summit in addition to nine years as a volunteer firefighter and ambulance squad crew chief.

2003 BUZZY COHEN, former Jeopardy! champion, guest hosted the show’s 2021 “Tournament of Champions” that aired from May 17–28. The tournament features former champions who won the most games since the previous tournament (2019) as well as winners from the “Teachers Tournament” and “College Championship.” Buzzy won nine games in 2016, won the 2017 “Tournament of Champions,” and served as a team captain for the 2019 “All-Star Games” when Jeopardy! celebrated its 35th season. He is among those to guest host Jeopardy! after Alex Trebek passed away from pancreatic cancer in November 2020 (because he worked with the producers and writers, he is ineligible to compete again).

people can remove some of the stigma around getting help because you can’t do it alone . . . there are so many great resources.” What was it like for Buzzy to watch the shows? “I was very nervous before they aired, but the response was so positive and I am really proud of how I did. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I wanted to make the most of it, which I believe I did. My real goal was to honor the show and the returning champions, as well as make it a fun experience for everyone.”

during a global health crisis: “There are a lot of sad moments, but there are also a lot of moments of personal growth. Working in the first year of the pandemic has been scary and challenging, but there are always moments of great reward and feeling you’re making a difference. I’m grateful to be equipped with the newfound resilience that the pandemic has required of so many of us in health care over this past year.”

LIZ WIGHT SEIGEL and her husband Larry announce the birth of their daughter, Beatrice Ann, on March 15. She weighed 8 pounds, 9 ounces and measured 19.2 inches. She joins big brother Benjamin. DANA ZOLLI produced a short film that was released on HBO/HBO Max. Read more on page 58.

TATIANA OLIVEIRA, a fourth-grade virtual teacher for Blythe Academy, a member of Greenville County Schools in South Carolina, helped guide an emotional 10-year-old student to call 9-1-1 when her mother was not responsive. Paramedics revived her (she was diabetic and low on insulin) and the school system honored Tatiana with its Miracle Workers Award.



CAROLINE HOLT DUDDY writes, “The Duddy family welcomed Lorelei Eve Duddy on July 27, 2020. Her big sister Ella is thrilled, and so are we!”

DAVID METZGER, playing lacrosse at Kenyon College, and the team’s starting goalie, was named an All-America Honorable Mention by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA). According to a news release, he played a little over 400 minutes and posted a 7.28 goals against average this past

KATIE JENNINGS, a Forbes staff writer covering healthcare, published her first Forbes cover story this spring. Read more on page 58. LAUREN SALZ’s company Sealed, specializing in home efficiency, was recognized as one of Fast Company’s “10 Most Innovative Energy Companies of 2021.” Sealed was praised for its Climate Control Plan that covers the up-front costs of installing heat-pump technology in exchange for a portion of the customer’s energy savings (repayment is based on the size of each month’s energy reduction). She is also a member of the Fast Company Executive Board and was quoted in a recent article about ways to consider different perspectives before making an important business decision. Her tip: empower your team to disagree with you. “I constantly ask for critical feedback. I understand that the voice of a CEO is powerful, but I also want people to feel empowered to disagree with me or share concerns . . . I remain open to changing my mind and look to implement feedback every chance I can.”

2012 CONNOR McLAUGHLIN is featured in the cover story of Bucknell magazine’s spring issue as one of five alumni who are residents at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. He is a resident in internal medicine. In the story, “Pandemic Residents Persevere,” Connor summarizes his time as a resident

2015 Caroline Holt Duddy ’06 and Lorelei Eve Duddy.

Beatrice Ann Seigel.

Alumnae Committee’s Vaccine Q&A The Pingry Alumni Association’s Alumnae Committee (co-chairs Kate Martuscello Smith ’00 and Maya Artis ’09) hosted a timely conversation with DR. PURVI PARIKH ’00, an allergist and immunologist who is one of the physician researchers on the COVID-19 vaccine trials. She is also a frequent guest in the national media. Dr. Parikh first explained the mechanisms in the two types of vaccines—Pfizer’s and Moderna’s mRNA (Messenger RNA) and Johnson & Johnson’s adenovirus—and then participated in a Q&A. Among the topics: the possibility of variants outpacing the vaccines and preventing herd immunity (if the public can vaccinate faster than the virus can replicate, the virus is less likely to evolve); if someone who recently got a different vaccine should wait before getting a COVID-19 vaccine (no medical reason to wait, but check with local vaccination sites for their policies); if the vaccine can interfere with fertility (no evidence of this, and the mother’s immunity can be passed along to the baby); whether to resume routine checkups (yes, and if a person is fully vaccinated, the risk is low), and how to prepare for possible side effects (hydrate and avoid alcohol). Read more about Dr. Parikh’s experiences with the vaccine trials on page 30.



Class Notes season. He made 91 saves to go along with a .650 save percentage. At a national level, David’s goals against average is ninth best among all NCAA Division III goalies who logged 400 minutes or more—and among that same group, David’s save percentage ranks third. He helped steer the team to a 6-1 record and a showing in the 2021 North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Championship game. His personal 6-1 record succeeds last year’s mark of 5-1 and is included in his overall collegiate career record of 22-8. David was named to the All-NCAC team at the conclusion of both his junior and senior seasons. His Pingry records include most victories in a four-year period (62) and most games played, individual (84), and he was a goalie on three state championship teams (2015, 2016, 2017). MARY PAGANO was selected by her coaches and teammates to be one of four captains of the Georgetown University 2021 Women’s Lacrosse Team. A midfielder, she started all seven games during the shortened 2020 season, with eight goals and six assists, and was named a BIG EAST Academic All-Star. Mary also served as president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee this past school year.

2018 ALEXIS ELLIOT, studying Economics at Harvard, with a secondary concentration in Government, is Chair of the Women’s Initiative in Leadership (WIL) at Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics. The Institute’s mission is to engage students, particularly undergraduates, with academics, politicians, activists, and policymakers on a non-partisan basis to inspire them to consider careers in politics and public service. The WIL program aims to connect female students in the Harvard community with inspiring women in various fields. WIL members meet and engage with high-achieving women in professions such as public policy, journalism, business, and tech. As chair, Alexis books the speakers and facilitates the interviews, and her interviewees have included Tamara Klajn (former Chief of Staff for John Kerry) and Michelle De La Isla (first Latina mayor of Topeka, KS). “I have had the opportunity to understand government internationally in Accra and domestically in Washington, D.C. during my internships at the Ministry of Finance of Ghana and the U.S. State Department, respectively,” Alexis wrote on Harvard’s website. “I’m excited to bring my passion for policy and development to my role as WIL Chair. I am working alongside a diverse group of Harvard women and hearing stories from empowering women leaders.” Alexis is serving in the position for the 2021 calendar year. 70


In Memoriam MEGAN HORN, playing basketball at Washington and Lee University, was named to the 2020-21 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) All-Conference Team. This is her second all-conference honor in two years. According to a news release, Megan had a career season as a junior, averaging career highs in points (13.0), rebounds (6.0), and assists per game (4.8). Her mark of 4.8 assists per game ranked second in the ODAC, while her 38 total assists were tied for the fourth-most in the league. She shot 40.4 percent from the floor and 43.8 percent from long range, both career highs, and she scored 10 or more points in five games. Megan was also named to’s 2020-21 Women’s Basketball All-South Region Second Team, the first W&L women’s basketball player to be named to the All-Region team since 2010. AUBREY MOLLOY, fencing at the University of North Carolina, was named to the 2021 All-ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) Academic Fencing Team. AUSTIN PARSONS broke a 63-year Notre Dame program record and won the silver medal in the javelin in May with a throw of 70.23m at the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championships in Raleigh. Austin was also named First Team All-ACC coming off that Austin Parsons ’18 performance for the holds a new program Irish. record at Notre Dame.

2019 OLIVIA LAI (left) and CHARLOTTE CURNIN ’17 (right), former teammates on the Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse Team, pose with Head Coach Carter Abbott. Both were back from Wesleyan University this spring (Olivia plays midfield for the Cardinals, and Charlotte graduated early) and were eager to serve as assistant coaches.

CORRECTION In the Winter 2020-21 issue, Mark Fury ’75 is described as “the first student of color to enter the Lower School, in Grade 5, and graduate in Grade 12.” This is incorrect, as Lenny Adams ’71 preceded him.

ALFRED A. “TONY” STEIN III ’59 December 11, 2020, age 79, Palm City, FL Mr. Stein served as a trustee for Short Hills Country Day School and joined Pingry’s board through the merger of the two schools. Mr. Stein graduated from Georgetown University (A.B.) and Seton Hall University School of Law (J.D.), was admitted to the New Jersey Bar, and spent more than 50 years in real estate, including 30 years in real estate law as senior partner at the Short Hills, NJ law firm of Stein & McGuire. He served on the real estate committees of the American Bar Association, New Jersey State Bar Association, New Jersey Savings Banks Association, and United State League of Savings Associations. Further, he was a member of the Board of Directors of several banks, private schools, and philanthropic organizations, and Vice President of Baltusrol Golf Club. He retired from the active practice of law with the highest Martindale-Hubbell rating an attorney can receive. He was appointed an Adjunct Professor at Palm Beach Community College, where he taught Real Estate Law and Practice. He quickly became a licensed real estate broker and started HR PROPERTIES, which became the market leader in sales and rentals in Harbour Ridge Yacht & Country Club. In 2019, the Keyes Company, one of the largest real estate companies in Florida, approached Mr. Stein for a merger, and HR PROPERTIES continues today through his wife Kathy Stein and under the protection of the Keyes Company. As a student, he had appeared on the television program What’s My Line? on May 31, 1959 with four friends and classmates, owners and operators of the Elizabethtown Babysitting Agency; they also appeared on Who Do You Trust? hosted by Johnny Carson. As an alumnus, he hosted Pingry parties in Florida and was inducted into Pingry’s Athletics Hall of Fame as a member of the 1958 Golf Team. Survivors include his wife Kathleen McGinnis Stein (Kathy); their sons Richard (Jennifer) and Alfred Anthony IV “Tony” (Sarah); his sister Maureen Pearce (Alan); and grandchildren Haley, Brittany, Richard, AJ (Alfred A. Stein V), and Morgan. JOHN “JACK” WILLS PATTEN ’48 February 12, 2021, age 90, Stowe, VT Mr. Patten attended Salisbury School, received a bachelor’s degree in Geography from Dartmouth College, and served in the U.S. Air Force. He joined the McGraw-Hill

Co. and became publisher of Aviation Week and Business Week magazines. He also received honorary degrees from St. John’s University and Westminster College. He was predeceased by his brother Walter ’45. Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Caroline; sons John (Carolyn) and James (Corinne); and five grandchildren: Anna, Kendall, Christopher, Dillyn, and Sydney. JAMES L. DUN ’54 January 22, 2021, age 84, East Boothbay, ME Mr. Dun earned B.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering and Business Administration at Lehigh University, and later earned an M.S. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at New York University. His career included a variety of management and executive positions for manufacturing companies, particularly in the cable and wire industry. He spent over 20 years at Phelps Dodge Industries, worked as a consultant at Mendenhall & Company, and finished his career as National Director of Industrial Engineering at the Okonite Company. Mr. Dun saw great value in maintaining and expanding the natural beauty of the Boothbay region, which he loved. He served as president of the Boothbay Region Land Trust and derived much pleasure from helping that organization fulfill its mission. Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Doreen; children James Alexander “Alec” Dun (Kelly) and Catherine Crawford Dun Rappaport (Hugh); grandchildren Mairi Alice (Mali) and James William “Liam” Dun, and James Crawford, Julia Elizabeth, and Linnea Hope Dun Rappaport; sister; brother-in-law Richard Colten; nephews and niece; and great-nephews and nieces. Mr. Dun died of pulmonary fibrosis. MIKLOS W. NYARY ’01 November 6, 2020, age 37 Please see the remembrance from his classmates.

Faculty and Staff DR. LeROY “ROY” RIDDICK, JR. January 29, 2021, age 84, AL Dr. Riddick taught Junior School English and Civilization and coached 3rd Team Football from 1960–1963, and taught Modern European History in 1964-65. He

had attended Princeton University, earned a Master’s degree in History at Columbia University, and went on to earn a medical degree at the New Jersey College of Medicine. He became a Medical Examiner in Washington, D.C. His beloved daughter Amanda from his first marriage, to Mon-

ika Warburton, died in 2020. Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Carol; sister Dorothy; stepdaughter Lynn Waggoner; stepsons Henry Waggoner (Thashia) and Daniel Waggoner (Karen) and five grandchildren. Dr. Riddick died from a brief bout with cancer.

Miklos Whelan Nyary ’01 July 5, 1983–November 6, 2020 After a hard-fought battle with cancer, we lost our dear friend Miki this past year at the age of 37. This memorial was written by Miki’s friends and, in many ways, that makes perfect sense. Miki was a fiercely loyal friend, and if you were one of the lucky ones, who appreciated his intellect and bone-dry sarcasm, you were fiercely loyal back. After graduating from Pingry, Miki studied for a short time at Rutgers and then moved to China, where he spent years teaching English and learned to speak Mandarin. He also worked and studied for a time in Hungary, where his father’s family came from. After years living abroad, Miki finally came home for good due to his father’s advanced Parkinson’s disease. While living at home to take care of his father, Miki attended the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken and obtained a dual undergraduate and master’s degree in Engineering. At Stevens, Miki was a TA and loved teaching robotics to the “kids” as he called them, most of whom were younger than him by more than a decade. Miki was known for back-cracking hugs that lifted you off the ground. He liked anyone who would discuss politics with him, especially communist China. He had a love for nature and the outdoors and fully recognized the irony of spending so many years in China’s urban cities. Miki was the kind of person to demand Kara (Belofsky) Miller’s family come to his parent’s house on Christmas because he knew they had no plans, and it would make his mother happy to have a toddler in the house for the holidays. While he probably would have denied it if asked directly, he would frequently end his communications to Kara by “sending all his love” to her two boys. In high school, Miki and Erin Hearn convinced Mr. Webb to give a PE exemption for rock climbing. When Miki was in a car accident senior year, Erin and Bryce Kehoe went to the hospital. Miki’s father told the nurse that Erin and Bryce were related to Miki so they would be allowed to visit. Miki loved retelling that story because of its message about friendship and family, which often blurred into one for him. At an Our Lady Peace concert back in 1998, Andrew Horowitz remembers the bravery of a then-15-year-old Miki jumping into a mosh pit full of scary grown men. He has fond memories of all-night competitive Nintendo battles and, of course, his annual post-Thanksgiving Pingry reunion parties, where so many of us gained the opportunity to reconnect and catch up despite leading busy adult lives. When Miki’s father passed away in 2017, he wrote: “In the end, all we have is our story. It is our only true possession. Time always wins, linear and inexorable, time can take our bodies, our loved ones, and even our minds. But our story will always be ours. For what are we but the sum of our stories? When we love someone, that person becomes part of our story. Part of us. By interweaving your story into the stories of others, we produce a tapestry as alive and colorful as its individual threads.” Miki is also predeceased by his mother Mary, who passed in 2019. May Miki’s memory be a blessing to all of us who knew him.

The editorial staff makes every effort to publish an obituary for and pay tribute to the accomplishments of alumni who have passed away, based on information available as of press time. If family members, classmates, or friends would like to submit tributes, please contact Greg Waxberg ‘96 at



A Final Look Football Memories from Coach Shilts After a 13-year tenure leading Big Blue Football, Chris Shilts P ’17, ’19, ’21, ’24—Pingry English Teacher for over 20 years—stepped down after the Fall 2020 season, but will continue to serve as Head Coach of both the Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Teams. When asked to share a few of his most memorable moments with the football team, he replied with too many to print. Here are just a few, edited and condensed for length. “Beating Holy Cross in the 2012 state play-offs, 24-20. It was one of two state playoff wins in school history, but it wasn’t the win per se—it was the senior speeches the night before, when Tim Landers ’13 led the charge by saying he was upset that we were doing senior speeches that night, because senior speeches are supposed to be before the last game of the year, and we were going to win tomorrow. Every kid after came up and said they wanted to win, not just to win, but to play one more week with each other. I drove home that night knowing the game was already won.”

“And school the whole week leading up to the game . . . it was abuzz. Everyone was talking Pingry football and there were chants and announcements during Morning Meeting. We were center stage, and it was unlike any other week of the 20 years I’ve been at Pingry.”

“I also remember beating Bernards in the rain and slop to secure Pingry’s first playoff berth in 10 years.”

“I remember the kids crying after games, the good and bad ones. I remember football mattering to these kids. I remember them putting on their yearbook pages, ‘The most important person on the team is the kid standing next to you.’ ”



“Jon Leef, Dave Szelingowski, Jason Murdock, and I coached together for a long, long time. . . To quote former Michigan coach Jerry Hanlon, we stressed that we’d measure our athletes’ success when we saw them ‘in 20 years. Only then would we know how they turned out. Did they get good jobs? Are they hardworking and honest? Are they good husbands and fathers? Do they make the world a better place?’ If yes, that sums up our success.”

“My family made a tremendous sacrifice for Pingry football, from missed birthdays to altered and shortened plans to lost weekends. . . My kids grew up with Pingry football as part of their daily existence.”

“I love the coaches who worked with me; I love the kids who played for us; they’re all part of the 13-year team.”




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