In the Classroom and Beyond Stifel Award • Dr. Elizabeth Simmons ’81 Wins Letter-in-Life • Remembering William S. Beinecke ’31 SUMMER 2018
SAVE THE DATE
PINGRY REUNION WEEKEND
MAY 17 AND 18, 2019 Celebrating classes ending in 4 or 9
WANT TO GET INVOLVED? If you are interested in serving as a Reunion volunteer or have any questions regarding your upcoming Reunion, please contact: Holland Sunyak Francisco â€™02 Class Contact for 1969 & 1994 Director of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving firstname.lastname@example.org 908-647-5555 x1284
Rebecca McNally Class Contact for 1940s, 1950s, 1964, 1970s, 1980s, 1999, & 2000s Associate Director, The Pingry Fund email@example.com 908-647-5555 x1268
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Members of the Class of 2018 on the Big Blue Bash, a dinner cruise around Manhattan, two days prior to Commencement. Graduation coverage begins on page 30.
Alumni in Education
Page 12 Whether in the classroom, at the helm of a school, or behind the scenes, many alumni have devoted their careers to helping shape students’ lives. Read about paths taken, and the motivations behind them. On the cover: Middle School Latin teacher Margaret Kelleher ’01,
seen here in her Pingry classroom, is one of many alumni with rewarding careers in education.
From the Headmaster . . . . . 3 Scene Around Campus . . . . 4 Philanthropy . . . . . . . . . 22 School News . . . . . . . . . 30 Athletics News . . . . . . . . 54
Alumni News . . . . . . . . . 62 Ask the Archivist . . . . . . . 83 Class Notes . . . . . . . . . . 88 In Memoriam . . . . . . . . . 98 Closing Word . . . . . . . . 104
37 Joei Drozjock ’18 Receives Stifel Award Returning to the Basking Ridge Campus, Henry G. Stifel III ’83 helped honor Joei for her courageous struggle with an unpredictable medical condition.
50 Ready the Set, and Go Build Having worked on television, movie, Broadway, and opera productions, award-winning scenic designer Jane Asch P ’04 works her magic on Pingry’s stage.
62 Remembering William S. Beinecke ’31 Mr. Beinecke is one of the most important figures in Pingry history. Here, we share memories of his character and legacy.
78 Dr. Elizabeth H. Simmons ’81 Wins Letter-in-Life Award The Pingry Alumni Association honored Dr. Simmons for her distinguished career as a physicist and her commitment to promoting inclusion in science.
- Please complete a brief "Pingry Review 75th Anniversary" survey at pingry.org/reviewsurvey. See Class Notes on page 88 for details. SUMMER 2018
Summer 2018 | Vol. 74 | No. 3
Students playing cornhole at the Form III Community Event. Editor Greg Waxberg ’96
Editorial Staff Kate Whitman Annis P ’23, ’23, ’28
Associate Director of Institutional Advancement
Allison C. Brunhouse ’00
Director of Admission and Enrollment
Andrea Dawson Senior Writer
Holland Sunyak Francisco ’02
Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving
Melanie P. Hoffmann P ’20, ’27
Director of Institutional Advancement
Dale V. Seabury
Director of Strategic Communications and Marketing
Design and Layout Ruby Window Creative Group, Inc. www.rubywindow.com
Photography Camille Bonds Peter Chollick Bruce Morrison ’64 Dale V. Seabury Debbie Weisman
The Pingry Review is the official magazine of The Pingry School, with the primary purpose of disseminating news and information about the School, alumni, students, faculty, and staff. Contact the editor with comments and story ideas: The Pingry School 131 Martinsville Road Basking Ridge, NJ 07920 firstname.lastname@example.org 908-647-5555, ext. 1296
The Honor Code
Pingry believes that students should understand and live by standards of honorable behavior, which are essentially a matter of attitude and spirit rather than a system of rules and regulations. Decent, self-respecting behavior must be based on personal integrity and genuine concern for others and on the ethical principles which are the basis of civilized society. The members of the Pingry community should conduct themselves in a trustworthy manner that will further the best interests of the school, their class, and any teams or clubs to which they belong. They should act as responsible members of the community, working for the common good rather than solely for personal advantage. They should honor the rights of others, conducting themselves at all times in a moral and decent manner while at Pingry and throughout their lives as citizens of and contributors to the larger community of the world.
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A LETTER FROM THE HEADMASTER
Dear Members of the Pingry Community When I was young, I swore I would never run a school. In 1962, my parents founded The Mountain School, a small college-preparatory boarding school on a working farm in Vershire, Vermont. (The school made The Official Preppy Handbook in 1980 under the category “Bohemian Prep.” It was acquired in 1982 by Milton Academy, and became the first of the genre of semester programs for juniors.) It was a small school, and running it was all-consuming for my parents, so my brothers and I had a “free range” childhood. All three of us attended the school, and I graduated as part of a class of 10. This confluence of experiences caused me to make another pledge: if for some reason I broke my vow not to run a school, at least I would not subject my children to attending it! Education, however, has deep roots in my family, and teaching was a hard calling to resist. Following my college graduation, I taught math, biology, and computer science in a small public high school in New Hampshire for two years before taking a detour to business school and then Bain & Company. Ultimately, I returned to education, a decision motivated in part by family history, but also by the realization that I am most driven by a sense of mission. There was still, however, no way that I was going to run a school.
“To those who may be considering a career in education, know that, if you are passionate about sharing your passions, a more rewarding career does not exist.”
Well, now that I am running a school—and did subject my children to the very academic fate I promised not to repeat!—I look back at the experiences of my parents at The Mountain School, and take stock of the values of theirs that have influenced me: among them, their embrace of experiential education—the notion that you learn best by doing; their expectation of full intellectual engagement coupled with high standards; their commitment to mutual trust and respect; and their insistence that we are here for the students. I’ve learned from their mistakes as well. Of course, teaching, for me, remains core. Getting to instruct Pingry’s Financial Literacy course, which I do every trimester, is—along with shaking the hands of Lower Schoolers with Ted Corvino—one of the two highlights of my week. And now that our daughter, Rebecca ’09, a U.S. and World History teacher at The John Cooper School north of Houston, is following the family path, I am an eager witness to her highlights—her stories—too. Every educator has a story. As we prepare to begin our first full school year with the new Strategic Plan solidly in place—a plan that emphasizes some of the most exciting ideas in education—we take pride in sharing the stories of a few Pingry alumni who, like me, felt compelled to pursue a career in the field. Perhaps most remarkable is how, even decades later, they point to their Pingry educations as a constant source of influence. In planning for this issue, Editor of The Pingry Review Greg Waxberg ’96 reached out to an impressive 160 alumni in education, from teachers, college professors, and administrators to directors of educational non-profits and other academic organizations. Many others exist beyond our databases, no doubt, so I extend a warm invitation to any we may have missed—do be in touch, and share your own journey with us. As I write this, with Commencement just days away, I wish all of our 2018 graduates a fulfilling future, no matter what paths they choose for themselves. To those who may be considering a career in education, know that, if you are passionate about sharing your passions, a more rewarding career does not exist. Indeed, we enter the teaching profession because it’s a true vocation—a calling. We can’t imagine doing anything else. Sincerely,
Nathaniel E. Conard P ’09, ’11 SUMMER 2018
Scene Around Campus
Dr. Robert H. LeBow ’58 Memorial Oratorical Competition, funded in 2005 through the generosity of the Class of 1958: The final round of the annual event featured speeches by six juniors: Avery Didden ’19, Jonathan Chen ’19, Rashida Mohammed ’19 (runner up), Alisa Chokshi ’19, Miroslav Bergam ’19 (the winner), and Ketaki Tavan ’19. Read more and watch individual videos of the speeches at pingry.org/extras. Finalists Avery Didden ’19, Jonathan Chen ’19, Rashida Mohammed ’19, Alisa Chokshi ’19, Miroslav Bergam ’19, and Ketaki Tavan ’19.
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Lunar New Year: Sights, sounds, and tastes of Asian culture delighted the Pingry community during two celebrations. Natalie DeVito ’22 and Brian Li ’20 hosted an assembly that featured a dragon dance, taiko drumming, other musical performances, and the Purple Swans Dance Troupe. A Lunar New Year Feast, for Middle and Upper School students, faculty, and staff, offered more than 70 Asian dishes prepared by nearly 50 volunteer families.
Pingry Feud: Hosted by Andrew Cowen ’19, Pingry’s exciting, first-ever version of the popular game show featured students vs. students and seniors vs. faculty, competing in front of an audience of Upper School students and newly-accepted members of the Class of 2022. To prepare for the event, Class Presidents Josie Cummings ’18, Andrew Cowen ’19, Burke Pagano ’20, and Nolan Baynes ’21 spent months generating questions and surveying 100 students (25 per grade) for each one.
Host Andrew Cowen ’19 guiding contestants through Pingry Feud, a Student Government production.
Upper School Winter Musical: Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, and the rest of The Addams Family brought their kooky, upside-down world to the Macrae Theater in this production by the Drama and Music Departments. The cast and crew of the Upper School Winter Musical included nearly 50 students.
2018 Pingry Research Exhibit: “I hope students at Pingry will not see research as just a branch of our science department, but as a way of thinking and problem solving,” said biology teacher Dr. Colleen Kirkhart to introduce the event, organized by her colleague Dr. Morgan D’Ausilio. Along with showcasing all of Pingry’s research programs, the sixth incarnation of the exhibit featured a first: research in the humanities and social sciences. As in the past, the event included Keynote Speeches: Journal Club member Kelli Gomez ’18 discussed a new way of treating pain caused by nerve damage, and former research student Brooke Conti ’09, a graduate fellow studying DNA replication at Rockefeller University, shared the importance of basic research, which provides information (she contrasted it with “applied research,” which is used to answer real-world questions and solve problems). Robots in action, presented by the Robotics Team.
Genetic diversity in pine snakes is the subject of an IRT (Independent Research Team) project, with Isabel DeVito '19, Wallace Truesdale '18, and Ashna Kumar '20.
Author Visit: “I try to write as much truth as I can on every page, whether it’s my personal truth or universal truth,” Haitian-born author Ibi Zoboi told Pingry students. She visited campus in April—coincidentally, on World Book Day—thanks to an invitation from Middle School teacher Ms. Lynne Cattafi, faculty advisor of The Justin Society, Pingry’s creative writing group. Ms. Zoboi read excerpts from her debut novel American Street and led writing workshops for both eighthgrade and Upper School students.
Gilbert H. Carver ’79 Memorial Lecture, funded by the Carver/DeLaney family in memory of Gilbert Harry Carver ’79: For this year’s event, Andrew Onimus from the organization Minding Your Mind, which seeks to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness, spoke to students about his struggles and, more importantly, his recovery. Starting quarterback for Muhlenberg College’s football team and captain of the track and field team his senior year, with a job already lined up after graduation, the future was bright—until he took a hit in a football game. A long, painful journey led to the diagnosis of major depression and severe anxiety. He doesn’t know if his illness was caused by the game injury, but, he argued, it didn’t matter. He urged students to take their mental health seriously, and to speak up if they or somebody else needs help. Read more at pingry.org/extras.
“I try to write as much truth as I can on every page, whether it’s my personal truth or universal truth.”
b Ibi Zoboi
The Cum Laude Society: Pingry inducted 16 members of the Class of 2018 in April, complementing nine other members of the class who were elected to the Society as juniors and inducted last September. Established in 1906 as the secondary school equivalent of Phi Beta Kappa, the country’s oldest collegiate honor society, The Cum Laude Society honors academic excellence, superior scholarship, and honorable behavior. Membership is limited to 20 percent of the Senior Class. Inductees from the Class of 2018: Jacqueline Chang, Alexandra Pyne, Raymond Chen, Jackson Proudfoot, Elle Braverman, Megan Pan, Namita Davey, Josephine Cummings, Catherine Drovetsky, Rachel Chen, Jennifer Coyne, Clyde Leef, Alexis Elliot, Alyssa Chen, Jennifer Fish, Naiyah Atulomah, Ami Gianchandani, Wallace Truesdale, Maya Huffman, Graham Matthews, Neil Reddy, Mitchell Pavlak, and Arnav Agrawal. Not pictured: Ryan Fuentes and Jessica Li.
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Middle School Spring Musical: In a modern twist on a classic title, more than 40 Middle School students presented Jeremy Desmon’s Cyrano de BurgerShack: A Pop Musical, a rock n’ roll show staged at a local high school’s “BurgerShack.” An onstage band played throughout, as the cast acted, sang, and danced their way through this quintessential love story.
Lower School Spring Musical: Celebrating the 45th anniversary of the popular, award-winning 1970s educational cartoon series, 40 Lower School students—in addition to crew members and student assistant director Hailey Caputo ’25—presented Schoolhouse Rock Live! JR. The musical promotes education, with songs about math, grammar, history, and more. Lower School drama teacher Keara Gordon directed, with musical direction by Kindergarten teacher Judy Previti and choreography by Cindy McArthur P ’29, Director of Summer and Auxiliary Programs, and summer and Lower School auxiliary staff member Heather Denges.
The Blue Book staff with their dedicatee. Top row: Ms. Colleen Kent, Gaby Preziosi ’19, Brandon Rosen ’18, Max Scherzer ’18, Mr. Vic Nazario P ’90, ’94, Editorin-Chief Brooke Murphy ’18, Isabella Drzala ’19, Eve Gilbert ’20, and Ms. Hannah Decatur. Bottom row: Belinda Poh ’22, Phito JeanLouis ’18, Veronica Williams ’19, and Kyle Aanstoots ’19.
Grade 6 students painted rocks with inspirational words and pictures for CancerCare during Project Week.
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Yearbook Dedication: The 2018 Blue Book honors “Señor Vic Nazario,” who has retired after 41 years as a Spanish teacher and coach at Pingry (his previous yearbook dedications were in 1987, 2001, and 2011). Visibly moved, Mr. Nazario said it’s often easy to say thank you, but, this time, he was nearly speechless. “Thank you for the many years you shared with me. Thank you for the cans [a reference to his annual Thanksgiving canned food drive]. Thank you for giving me a chance to teach at this incredible school.”
Project Week: For the first time, Middle School students concluded their year with projects that replaced final exams. Grade 6 worked on an array of STEAM projects that encouraged collaboration, communication, and cooperation. Grade 7 developed their leadership and research skills, with the goal of convincing Pingry stakeholders to address what Middle School students perceive to be problems affecting Grades 6, 7, and 8 (for example, Middle Schoolersâ€™ lack of direct access to printers). Grade 8 studied the proposed PennEast Pipeline (a 36-inch pipe that would transport natural gas through New Jersey) and created public service announcements to persuade their classmates and New Jersey State Senator Kip Bateman that the pipeline should or should not be constructed. Coverage of the weekâ€™s activities will appear in the fall issue. Grade 6 on their way to help clean up the trails.
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The spark came from a variety of sources. Some have wanted this multifaceted career for as long as they can remember. Some were inspired by a family tradition, childhood interests, memorable classroom experiences, or a teacher’s enthusiasm for a subject. The appeal of conducting research and teaching in a university setting also served as inspiration. Others were encouraged by teachers to pursue the profession. Many people wanted to bring the Pingry experience to other communities. Still others came to it via a more circuitous route. Whatever the process may have been, many alumni have devoted their careers to education, helping to shape students’ lives—whether in the classroom and athletics, at the helm of the school, or behind the scenes. In every case, the alumni who are working, or who have worked, in education can’t imagine doing anything else. While interviewing about 70 alumni who graciously offered their time, The Pingry Review heard numerous stories of their paths to education. Let’s meet a few of them. And, to read more, visit pingry.org/extras. The Pingry Review is aware that there are many more alumni working in education than we had opportunity to interview or space to include. If you work in education and have a story to tell, we would love to hear from you! SUMMER 2018
GAY HALLET T COLLINS ’77
“Teaching isn’t the alternate career—it’s the ultimate career!”
Jay Wood ’84
Ron Rice, Jr. ’86
English Department Chair and English Teacher, St. Christopher’s School Richmond, VA
Senior Director for Government Relations, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Washington, D.C.
As a young person who already liked to read and write outside of school, Mr. Wood came to love the written word even more at Pingry because of “awesome teachers.” He singles out former Latin teacher Albie Booth as the most influential because Mr. Booth expected excellence, did not tolerate excuses for poor work, and taught crucial writing skills—patience, revision, and word choice. Former English teacher Brett Boocock also appears on Mr. Wood’s list of master teachers, thanks to his detailed feedback on essays and thoughtful guidance on how to make effective notations within a text to ensure comprehension of the material. Having been deeply interested in (and a voracious reader of) Lincoln and the Civil War since elementary school, Mr. Wood was uncertain about majoring in History or English at Princeton University. He ultimately felt a closer calling to his English courses and declared his major in sophomore year. Then, Mr. Wood’s senior thesis about Ernest Hemingway proved to be the defining moment in his decision to become an English teacher. “It reinforced the pleasures of reading, analyzing, and writing about literature, to discover the human condition,” he says. However, he also knew that his parents wanted him to have a career on Wall Street. So, during the summers, he obliged, and worked for a government bonds options trader in New York City. “It was a terrific experience, but it was not a world I was ever going to be fluid in. I was definitely more attracted to the world of literature.” Having now spent 30 years at St. Christopher’s, Mr. Wood couldn’t be happier with his choice to work in education. “I thrive on reading, talking, and writing about literature. I was doing all three while getting a master’s degree [at Middlebury College]. As a teacher, I do two of three every day—that’s a pretty good deal! I don’t analyze and write about literature the same way the students do, but I’ve continued to learn about literature through teaching.” Since 1996, he has also taught a senior elective on Milton and Paradise Lost because exploring this demanding-but-provocative text with interested students is so much fun; moreover, “if seniors feel comfortable reading Paradise Lost, they are ready to tackle any challenging text.” Mr. Wood says he still channels Pingry as he prepares his lessons and works with students. “Pingry was a competitive environment, academically. I learned to work hard, and I’m appreciative of it. I am constantly hearing the words of my Pingry teachers.”
If not for Pingry, Mr. Rice would not be involved in his current work. Prior to Pingry, he had attended Newark public schools and participated in a “gifted and challenging” program, but he was not challenged by either one. Once Pingry accepted him—thanks to his advanced reading skills—he found out he was two years deficient in math, which devastated him, but he had never seen the material in his earlier schools. He also had to catch up in science. Years later, when Mr. Rice ran for office in Newark (he served two terms as City Councilman), his Pingry experience was on his mind. “Education was personal for me. I didn’t take it for granted. The failure to deliver a challenging curriculum in urban areas is detrimental to the American dream, so education became a big part of my platform—to fundamentally change the offerings of Newark schools,” he says. His solution was to create and expand charter schools “to make sure that kids in urban areas get the education they need, without private school prices.” He has never forgotten the teaching, care, and attention he received at Pingry, nor the thoroughness of the college counseling process. Four years ago, when his second term on the City Council ended, Mr. Rice needed to make a decision: run for mayor of Newark or leave politics. Because his wife lived in Washington, D.C., he left elected government and moved. “I still wanted to be influential in policy making,” he recalls. “I had worked with education in my previous jobs, and this job with the National Alliance was open. There are not many African American males in leadership positions in the charter school movement.” The alliance is dedicated to fostering a strong charter school network across the country, so Mr. Rice spends much of his time speaking with members of Congress, bringing in leaders of charter schools to talk to Congress, working on regulatory efforts and legal issues, and raising money for charter schools. One overall thought continues to motivate him: “Parents need choices for their children’s education, and charter schools should be part of the menu.”
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Beth Garcia ’10 Middle School English Teacher, North Star Academy Clinton Hill Middle School Newark, NJ Ever since she was a child, Ms. Garcia had two major criteria for her career: interact with people in creative and collaborative ways, and use her abilities to make a difference in other people’s lives. It seems that being a teacher was always her dream, evidenced by her love of school and the fact that she and her twin sister Maddie played “school” together (employing their stuffed animals as students) and requested an overhead projector for a birthday present around age 10, to improve their teaching. She always anticipated annual summer shopping for school supplies and volunteered to help her teachers design their bulletin boards, grade homework, and tutor. “School has always been my happy place,” she reflects, “and I was blessed with teachers who helped me grow as an individual and as an intellectual.” Among those teachers were members of Pingry’s English faculty, who created Ms. Garcia’s love for reading and writing. “Mrs. Grant created a personalized ‘must-read’ list of books for me when I took her Creative Writing class junior year. Many of those titles are still among my top-10 favorite pieces of literature. Sophomore year, Dean Sluyter taught me how to write with conciseness and clarity. While writing had previously seemed daunting, it was suddenly accessible and even enjoyable.” Her love of English developed further at Princeton University where, even as a Psychology major, she took English classes every semester (her favorites included Children’s Literature, American Bestsellers, 19th Century Fiction, and Modern Fiction), listened to lectures by world-renowned professors, and participated in seminars. “I knew by graduation that I had to share my love of literature and writing with my future students,” she says. And Ms. Garcia would do so, but she first had to overcome self-doubt about her qualifications and ability to be effective in the classroom. “Realizing that children, their families, and their community were counting on me, I started to feel the pressure. I was so young. I had never taught before. I hadn’t majored in English. I was nervous because I wanted so badly to be a good teacher and thought that, if I made a mistake or a lesson didn’t go perfectly, I would have failed my students.” Yet, once in the field, she knew teaching was right for her when “I sprang out of bed, eager for another amazing day with my students. Teaching gives me the unique opportunity to spend time with adolescents, share my passion for reading and writing, and learn something new every day.” Besides affirming her love for English, something else happened at Princeton that would influence Ms. Garcia’s career choices. During two summers working for Breakthrough Collaborative, which provides educational programming to students from under-resourced communities, she taught eighth-grade English and discovered that she loves working with middle school students because of their energy, curiosity, and sense of humor. “They possess the perfect balance between a childlike sense of curiosity and wonderment…and a developing sense of identity and maturity.”
Deena Dolce O’Connor ’93 Speech/Language Pathologist, Haddonfield Public Schools Haddonfield, NJ Her best advice: “Don’t try to be someone you’re not…I began at a pediatric rehabilitation facility, but working in a hospital didn’t feel like me—it was the person I thought I should be.”
Laura Yorke Kulkarni ’98 Goddard Preschool Founder Millburn, NJ On what most inspired her about Pingry faculty: “They embody a remarkable enthusiasm, professionalism, and dedication to excellence…I was very fortunate to have learned everything I know about teaching from this world-class faculty.”
Margaret Kelleher ’01 Middle School Latin Teacher, Pingry Basking Ridge, NJ What she appreciates most about teaching: “You can never do the same thing twice because you have new kids, and the field is always changing. I’ve realized that working in education is a great way to use passion for a subject matter in a productive way. How else would I get to talk about Latin all day?” SUMMER 2018
Gay Hallett Collins ’77 High School English Teacher, Waterford High School Waterford, CT
Maddie Garcia ’10 Grade 4 Teacher, Greenwich Country Day School Greenwich, CT On her goals as an educator: “I strive not only to inspire students to work hard on their academics, but also to reflect on the type of person they want to be, to consider how they want to be remembered, to seek out and dig into challenges, and to find and pursue their passions.”
Dr. Elizabeth Simmons ’81 Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Distinguished Professor of Physics, UC San Diego San Diego, CA On her first-year physics teacher at Harvard, Dr. Howard Georgi ’64: “Dr. Georgi has been a fierce advocate for inclusion—women, students of color. He has made a huge difference in the field and is someone Pingry should be very proud of.” (Read about Dr. Georgi on page 19.) On transitioning from education to administration: “It’s a constant series of puzzles to solve. You have to understand what the problem is, and then figure out the tools and people to solve it.” Dr. Simmons is the first woman to receive Pingry’s Letter-in-Life Award. Read more about her career on page 78.
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Ms. Collins majored in Theater at Syracuse University, believing that acting was her future, but it didn’t work—city life stressed her, and she was discouraged by the roles she was being groomed to play (“ditzy girls,” as she puts it). Fortunately, her future husband empowered her to realize that she could still have a career in theater by directing school plays. “I loved working with students and drama,” she recalls. “Then, I had this moment when I realized that plays are literature, and I could teach plays.” As she began to think seriously about teaching, Ms. Collins reflected on the Pingry education for which she will always be grateful, thought about the teachers who made a difference in her life, and decided “I want to do the same for others. There were a lot of things about education I loved. I liked school. I was a good student. I wasn’t stressed about grades. I liked learning, though it is tough to convey [the concept of] learning to students today because they think it’s all about work to get a grade. School should be a place of joy and excitement, not a grind or misery.” Even though Ms. Collins says her theater experience made teaching English a natural fit (“teachers are presenters—there’s no way around that”), she had no background in either English or teaching. So, over a period of about 10 years, she obtained an undergraduate equivalent of an English degree and took teaching courses through a master’s program, receiving an M.A.T. (Master of Arts in Teaching). Her first stop on the teaching journey: eight years as a seventh-grade English teacher, until she realized something else. “As my daughter was progressing through the higher grades, she was reading great books, and I was starting to get frustrated. I moved to high school to teach richer texts and to have more intellectual discussions with students. Ultimately, teaching in high school has been more fulfilling for me.” With every book she teaches, Ms. Collins seeks to find connections to current events and to her students’ lives. “The book has to speak to a human truth. This is not ‘art appreciation’—this is about helping students get to know themselves and their world better.” After 23 years at Waterford, Ms. Collins intends to stay in the classroom as long as she remains effective, declaring, “Teaching isn’t the alternate career—it’s the ultimate career!”
PETER COWEN ’66
“I felt like a zookeeper who had thrown meat to lions and then watched them devour it.”
Sarah Saxton-Frump ’03
Dr. Irfan Khawaja ’87
Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, PelotonU Austin, TX
Associate Professor of Philosophy, Felician University Rutherford, NJ
It is a simple, unfortunate fact that many working adults struggle to complete college, for any number of reasons. Enter PelotonU, a nonprofit that helps adults graduate from college on time and with little, if any, debt. (About the company’s name: a “peloton” is a large group of cyclists who support the lead rider; PelotonU gathers a support staff for each student.) As Ms. Saxton-Frump explains: “When you start to peel back the layers in higher education, you see some startling trends of very low graduation rates. Add to the equation a fulltime job, maybe even a second job, a family, a partner, or parents you help take care of. It’s rare that you’d be able to attend fulltime, so that means you’re taking classes part-time, and that drops your likelihood of graduating to only 16 percent. The barriers to a degree are often far, far outside a student’s control.” Her experience with assisting others in the educational system dates to her time at Pingry, when she tutored students in New Jersey SEEDS. As a Public Policy & American Institutions major at Brown University, “I found myself coming to the same conclusion over and over again: education is the problem and the solution.” When graduating, she had a much better understanding of what was happening in the country. “Vast differences in the quality of education provided, and the level of expectations set, depend on the community and your income bracket. I was privileged to grow up in the community and schools that I did—I wanted to play a small part in leveling the playing field.” Originally with Teach For America for two years, Ms. SaxtonFrump had planned to attend law school after that time. But she decided to continue teaching, for at least one more year, and joined KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) Austin Collegiate, part of a network of charter schools in Austin that helps to prepare high school students for college. During the summer after her third year of teaching, something pivotal happened: she heard a lecture by Dr. Jeffrey Duncan-Andrade, Co-Founder of the Teaching Excellence Network, challenging KIPP leaders to stay in education, remain a steadfast presence in students’ lives, and work for change. That was all she needed to hear. Wanting to make a bigger impact in education, Ms. SaxtonFrump joined PelotonU, whose mission reflects the challenges she observed as a teacher. “I am all in,” she says. “I want my work to help create equity in education.”
The enjoyment, intensity, and intellectual engagement of Pingry’s English and philosophy classes have remained in the back of Dr. Khawaja’s mind. Whether he was learning from George or Suzanne Moffat, Dr. James Handlin, Ted Li, John Holt, or Jack Dufford, “the classes connected with bigger, broader issues and percolated in my mind for years,” he says. Particularly memorable were writings by Emerson and Thoreau and books that combined literature, philosophy, and politics, such as George Orwell’s 1984, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, and Plato’s Republic— many of the same texts he teaches at Felician. “I remember talking about them at Pingry, and the excitement I felt from those introductions to big ideas.” Dr. Khawaja developed what he calls “a powerful attachment to philosophy and the humanities…to their ideals and texts.” Even with this affinity for philosophy, Dr. Khawaja majored in Politics at Princeton University and expected to be a lawyer. He grew tired of that idea and gravitated toward Government, then re-thought that idea, too. Recognizing that theory was part of the Politics degree, he latched on to theory and philosophy. At Felician, he has taught general education courses in philosophy, as well as courses in political thought and international relations. “I often think back to some of the best, most intense moments of intellectual engagement I had at Pingry, and look to re-enact them in my classroom,” he says. “In one way or another, the pedagogical spirits of [my Pingry teachers] haunt my classroom, and, hopefully, always will.”
Rachel Winell ’90
What Concerns You? Regardless of their roles in education, alumni have concerns about the field. In many cases, they are trying to find resolutions. Here are some of their answers:
Students feel pressured to attend prestigious colleges. There is more to education than the name of a school on a diploma.
Cultural literacy among today’s students is declining.
Smartphone addiction seems to be hampering intellectual growth.
Students are focusing on tests and grades, instead of learning and knowledge.
The fate of the liberal arts, as more of these courses are eliminated.
Devaluing of teachers—they are seen as “cost centers.”
Increased levels of stress and anxiety are affecting students’ mental health.
Shorthand used in texting has infiltrated students’ writing.
Not enough emphasis on building strong character in young people.
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Co-Founder of The Embankment School Jersey City, NJ Several experiences contributed to Ms. Winell’s career in education: she loved playing “school” with her sister Jennifer ’88 and brother Douglas ’97, and many Pingry teachers inspired her through their commitment to learning (including Gail Castaldo, Jack Dufford, Manny Tramontana, John Whittemore ’47, Dr. Michelle Parvensky, Susan Smith, and Tom Keating). “Without question,” she says, “my desire to become a teacher was shaped, in large part, by having been surrounded by these and other paragons of professionalism.” With a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from New York University, “I was ready to conquer the world!” Moving from San Francisco to Jersey City with her husband in 2009 proved to be a catalyst for her current venture. “Jersey City is experiencing incredible growth and development,” Ms. Winell observes. “However, we came to realize that it lacked the breadth of educational choices we had come to expect in other places we had lived. Having graduated from Pingry and subsequently having taught in high-performing schools in the U.S., Norway, and Belgium, I was determined to find something for my own children— even if that meant building it myself.” A novice entrepreneur, Ms. Winell and her co-founder launched their K-2 private school in 2015 based on Ms. Winell’s 15 years of experience teaching those grades in the U.S. and abroad (they decided to start with K-1; they currently run a K-4 program and plan to expand to Grade 5 this coming fall). The school opened in a one-room storefront, but the women soon ran out of space and had to find a new location as enrollment grew. They found a new location in a newly constructed building across from a city park. A class trip to an ice cream parlor, which introduced the students to the worlds of business, science, and history, provides a perfect example of The Embankment School’s vision: a focus on experiential learning, creativity, socialemotional learning, and STEM—the same progressive education the women want for their own children.
Dr. Howard Georgi ’64 Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics, Harvard University Cambridge, MA “I was in the right place at the right time with the right set of skills,” Dr. Georgi says of his path to becoming a physics professor, a path that began with an early interest (age eight, roughly) in theoretical science. By the time he advanced to Upper School at Pingry, he did a lot of work on his own. “Chemistry teacher Ernie Shawcross let me do my own thing and hang out in the Chemistry lab.” Dr. Georgi essentially grew into the field of education based on his affinities for science and for becoming a professor, with a well-timed doctorate. “I got my Ph.D. in 1971 at exactly the time when my field of particle physics exploded, moved to Harvard and spent two years as a postdoc, and was able to make a number of important contributions very early in my career—including creating the first Grand Unified Theories [in particle physics, multiple forces combining into a single equation; the Georgi-Glashow Model was proposed in 1974].” He also spent three years as a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows (those who study without formal requirements at the university), which carries “the prestige of a faculty position.” By the time he joined Harvard in 1976 as a junior faculty member, Dr. Georgi was known for his research—experience that appealed to his graduate students, one of whom was Dr. Elizabeth Simmons ’81 (read more on page 78). He balanced the training of graduate students with teaching freshman and sophomore courses. Fast-forward to the early 1990s, when Dr. Georgi became Chair of the Harvard Physics Department and was able to take action on something that seriously concerned him: unconscious discrimination against women in science. He realized this lack of diversity through his work with “outstanding women graduate students”; through his attendance at senior faculty meetings that felt like “boys’ clubs”; and by learning that women majoring in Physics were unhappy with the department’s culture. There also were no tenured women in the department at the time. “I questioned many of the assumptions we were making about our undergraduate program, and I began to work to encourage more collaborative work and inclusiveness in our program,” he says. He later became Director of Undergraduate Studies. There are now five tenured women in the department, including his former graduate student Lisa Randall.
Adam Goldstein ’90 UniServ (United Services) Director for the Washington Education Association Pilchuck, WA When he knew teaching was the right fit: “They [my students] had genuine ‘aha!’ moments that the soul can drink and thrive on for weeks!”
Dr. Sherman English ’71 Dean of Students and Middle School English Teacher, Explorer West Middle School Seattle, WA Recalling an inspiring Pingry moment: “I remember Mr. Weiler teaching Civil War in eighth grade, mapping out the battles, and I was enthralled. It was so cool! I looked forward to going to classes, and I thought, ‘I’d like to do what they’re doing. I would like to be the person standing in front of the class.’”
Michelle Jarney Jacobs ’89 Vice President of Leadership Coaching Services, NYC Leadership Academy Long Island City, NY On the importance of school leadership: “No matter how many resources an organization has or can access, those resources are far more impactful with a leader in place who can leverage them effectively and efficiently on behalf of all kids.” SUMMER 2018
Marc Lionetti ’88 School Counselor and Vocal Music Guide, Headwaters School Austin, TX
David Greig ’98 Director of Development, Beginning with Children Foundation Brooklyn, NY On why the former teacher turned to fundraising: “I became more interested in focusing on how schools operate as a business. I thought about financial sustainability and how schools wrestle with the need to raise tuition as costs continue to rise—with limited ability to control those costs because so many of the expenses are for human capital…what can schools do to make attending available to more of the market? This led me to Development and trying to raise funds to support a school’s budget or capital needs.”
Tim Lear ’92, P ’25, ’27, ’30 Director of College Counseling and Upper School English Teacher, Pingry Basking Ridge, NJ What the Political Science-turnedEnglish major enjoys about being a Pingry college counselor: “Each student’s recommendation letter is a puzzle to figure out, in terms of what material to choose and how to condense it. You have to be a skilled writer and editor. It’s a fun challenge.”
Visit pingry.org/extras for more profiles.
For Mr. Lionetti, growing up in a home of educators and having his own passions sparked at Pingry made a career in education seem natural. “A very thorough music education in Pingry’s choral program ignited my excitement for classical music,” he says. “When I graduated from Pingry, there was nothing else I wanted to study apart from music, and education seemed like a good fit for me.” He started his career with a middle and high school chorus teaching job in the San Francisco Bay Area, but admits to some butterflies before reaching that point. “When I graduated from Northwestern with a Music Education degree, I felt like I was too close in age to the high school students I had taught in my student-teaching semester in order to be effective with them. I knew I needed to gain some life experience before going into teaching full-time. So, I first spent several years touring the Midwest, performing with an a cappella rock group.” Then, once he was teaching, all was right in the world— Mr. Lionetti says that working with teenagers gives him “a strong sense of purpose, enjoyment, and energy.” As for the counseling side, he wanted a change after eight years of full-time teaching. “I realized that I was passionate about working with teenagers, but not about teaching them music. I wanted to help them navigate their life challenges, their relationships, their emotions, and their thoughts, so I decided to go back to school and get a master’s degree in Counseling.” Mr. Lionetti jokes that, at that point, he was becoming his mother (retired Pingry teacher and counselor Pat Lionetti P ’85, ’88, ’89, who returned to the Counseling Department for the second semester of the 2017-18 school year). Now, at Headwaters School, he teaches some music to remain connected with students outside of counseling, and has been Music Director of school musicals.
DEENA DOLCE O’CONNOR ‘93
“What took me so long to get here?”
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Marissa Litwin Zalk ’99 Assistant Director of Graduate Legal Studies, Columbia Law School New York City, NY Ms. Zalk had a number of experiences that, as fate would have it, proved to be perfect building blocks for her current job: teaching high school Spanish and French (Pingry’s World Language Department had been her “academic home”); leading international educational programs for Putney Student Travel; attending law school at Seton Hall University; clerking for two federal judges; and working as an attorney at a law firm in Manhattan. A few themes emerged from her background and interests— working with students, an affinity for languages and international experiences, and serving the public interest. At Columbia, Ms. Zalk manages graduate programs in law, including the Master of Law (LL.M.) and Doctor of the Science of Law (J.S.D.) degrees. “Most of the students are international lawyers who wish to pursue an advanced course of study to further their careers in the international practice of law, academia, or public service,” she says. Ms. Zalk administers every aspect of the admissions process for those programs, which receive thousands of applications each year, and simultaneously advises, counsels, and manages the programming for current students. “I never knew this type of job existed until I began to consider leaving the practice of law. The process of shifting careers taught me that each step in my professional history played a role in bringing me where I am today—though I certainly didn’t realize it at the time,” Ms. Zalk says. “Now, being part of an educational institution makes me feel good every day.”
ADVICE FOR FUTURE EDUCATORS If you are considering a career in education or switching careers to education, here is some advice offered by those interviewed: n Ask yourself: What are you passionate about? n Make sure you like working with young people. n Find an institution whose values you share. n Find teachers who can be role models. n Try internships or a parallel experience, such as being a camp counselor. n Be open, willing, ready, and excited to learn from students. n Have a strong desire to be of service. n There are many educational jobs that don’t involve teaching, so look beyond the classroom. n If you’re still in college, you don’t need to major in Education; a number of programs help non-Education majors enter the education field. n Explore programs that can prepare you to transition from other fields into education. n Many people have a Ph.D., but positions in higher education can be hard to find. If you want to pursue higher education, prepare for a challenge.
Basking Ridge Modernization Pingry Dedicates New Spaces
Thanks to the generosity of the Pingry community, the Blueprint for the Future Campaign exceeded its goal by well over $11 million. Following the remodeling of Pingry’s Lower School and the construction of the Miller A. Bugliari ’52 Athletics Center, the School is renovating the Upper School. State-of-the-art science labs host university-level research projects; expanded common areas promote idea sharing and collaborative learning; and classrooms are outfitted with new fixtures, furniture, and technology to enhance and augment the curriculum. Thank you to the donors who contributed to campus modernization; administrators, faculty, and staff who invested countless hours helping to design the campus changes; and members of the Board of Trustees who gave their time and resources to the campaign. The following named spaces were formally dedicated on June 2. The Becky and Daniel Chen P ’25, ’26 Math and Language Classrooms Daniel and Becky Chen’s history with Pingry dates back to 2003, when Daniel’s cousin Stephanie attended the School. “We knew how good Pingry was because of her constant praise of the School,” Daniel says. “She was always motivated, enthusiastic, and happy about attending, and she maintains that many of her best memories came from her time at Pingry.” Intrigued by the School’s commitment to a well-rounded and global education, the Chens attended a visit day at the Lower School. “Our children couldn’t stop talking about how nice their teachers were, and how friendly their classmates were,” Daniel says, and that experience confirmed that Pingry was the right school for them.
The Chens, who have supported the modernization of the Lower School as well, felt it only natural to help modernize the Upper School. “We wanted to balance our support toward both campuses,” Daniel says. “We truly believe that the donation to Pingry would make it even better in every way.” The Chens’ belief in building fundamental skills, as well as learning language and cultural competency, drove their decision to give both a math and Chinese language classroom. “As a former engineer, I strongly believe that the fundamental skills of mathematics, logical thinking, and systematic problem solving are critical for a student’s future development,” Daniel says. “I still rely heavily on these fundamental skills as Daniel and Becky Chen P ’25, ’26 with their children and Headmaster Nat Conard P ’09, ’11.
an investment banker and as an asset manager. Equally important are the understanding of and appreciation for different cultures. The more we understand about diversity in the forms of language, ethnicity, and culture, the more we realize how crucial it is to embrace and appreciate it. With that in mind, we wanted to provide Pingry students with an important key to open the door to future opportunities.”
Chip Carver ’77 and Anne DeLaney ’79, P ’09, ’11, ’14, ’14 Softball Field Anne DeLaney ’79 and Chip Carver ’77, parents of Emma ’09, Chloe ’11, Sean ’14, and Reeve ’14, have fully integrated themselves into the fabric of Pingry. They have volunteered for Reunion, Career Day, The Pingry Fund, and the Blueprint for the Future Campaign; Anne is also serving her second term on the Board of Trustees. She was instrumental in partnering Pingry with The Global Literacy Project, and received the Baldwin Award in 2009 for meritorious service to the School and the community. The Carver/DeLaney Financial Aid Fund helps provide Pingry with an economically diverse student body, and each year the Gilbert Harry Carver ’79 Memorial Fund, supported by them and their family, brings speakers to campus in support of open dialogue on self-esteem and acceptance. During the Campaign, Anne and Chip made a gift to rebuild Pingry’s softball fields. Chip has coached softball at
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There’s little doubt as to why Laura and Stephen have decided to gift an English classroom to the Upper School. “Our kids were inspired to write at Pingry,” she says. “The experiences we all had with great English teachers will stay with us for a long, long time. Our English teachers there really had a positive influence on our lives—so, as a family, we wanted to give back in a way that would make a difference to the program.”
The Hyde and Watson Foundation Biology Research Laboratory
Anne DeLaney ’79 and Chip Carver ’77, P ’09, ’11, ’14, ’14, with Reeve ’14.
Pingry since 2007 and serves as Head Coach of the varsity team. When Pingry was renovating its athletics spaces, the softball fields were a clear priority for the family: a fitting gift from a coach to renovate the play and practice space for Pingry athletes. “The reason Anne and I decided to support the improvement and building of the Varsity and Middle School softball fields is because of our strong belief in the importance of athletics for young women,” Chip says. “Anne and our daughters, Emma and Chloe, have all benefited from Pingry athletics. Their participation has put them in a better position to be successful in their lives. Our hope is that each young woman who participates in any Pingry athletics program becomes a better and more well-rounded person.”
impacted what I ended up doing with my life.” A parent of two sons, Matthew ’15 and David ’19, Laura has remained impressed by the quality of education Pingry has continued to provide. “A lot of my teachers are still teaching,” she says, “and the School has only gotten better over the years. Our kids received great educations, and it made me really happy to see them both published in the school newspaper.”
The Hyde and Watson Foundation has been partnered with The Pingry School for over 70 years, before the merger of the Lillia Babbitt Hyde Foundation and The John Jay and Eliza Jane Watson Foundation. Throughout this time, the Foundation has had a transformative impact on the School, most notably providing funds for Pingry’s move to Basking Ridge. When Pingry decided to modernize the Upper School as part of its capital campaign, the School decided to approach the Foundation to make another gift to revitalize the campus that they had helped build. With the
The Stephen and Laura Zinn Fromm ’82, P ’15, ’19 Humanities Classroom A writer and editor as well as an alumna, Laura Zinn Fromm credits Pingry with giving her the skills to succeed. “I had wonderful English teachers, and the combination of terrific courses in English, meditation, and AP Art History Laura Zinn Fromm ’82 and Stephen Fromm P ’15, ’19.
see them featured in the community that way—exploring their passions through the School,” Linda says.
Bernie Moriarty, Executive Vice President of The Hyde and Watson Foundation, and Bill Engel ’67, Chair of the Foundation.
Foundation’s focus on education, they and the School agreed that an appropriate use of the funds would be to build the Biology Lab in the upgraded science suite. “The Hyde and Watson Foundation supports education in Northern and Central New Jersey—with a particular focus on pre-collegiate education,” says Bill Engel ’67, Board Chairman of the Foundation. “The Foundation and Pingry have enjoyed a long, close relationship. The School’s plan for the science wing aligned with the priorities of the Foundation, and we knew that this was something that was a serious priority for the School as well. As the Biology Lab was the first to be funded and the first slated to be built, we hoped that our grant would encourage other donors to step up.”
The Linda and Jay Kaplan History Classroom Linda and Jay Kaplan’s history with Pingry started with their children. “Independent schools weren’t really in our DNA,” Jay confesses. “Linda and I both went to public schools, and it dawned on us that our kids could have a different experience. We liked the idea of smaller class sizes, where the faculty could really have the opportunity to get to know the students, and the touch 24
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would be a little more personal.” Linda went to an open house at Short Hills: “I was blown away by the kids,” she says. All three of their children were accepted, and they discovered their hunch was right. “The teachers understand and appreciate the students for who they are,” Linda says. “Teachers are always accessible, and that interaction between peers and teachers really makes for a richer experience.” The Kaplans’ three children—Amy ’17, Brian ’19, and Alex ’21—have very different interests. From photography to robotics to theater, each has found their passion nurtured at Pingry. “It’s incredible to Linda and Jay Kaplan P ’17, ’19, ’21, with their children Amy ’17, Brian ’19, and Alex ’21, and Headmaster Nat Conard P ’09, ’11.
The idea for the History classroom came through family discussions about history and current events around the dinner table—conversations enhanced by what the children were learning at Pingry. Additionally, through their gift, the Kaplans are honoring the history of philanthropy at Pingry. “The School has been around for a long time,” Jay says. “For almost 160 years, people have made gifts to get the School to where it is today. Our children, and the current group of students, have all benefited from the generosity of people who came before them. It’s only fitting that we continue to benefit the next generation of students.”
Nora and Ish McLaughlin III P ’18 Math Classroom When Nora and Ish McLaughlin were looking at schools for their son, a visit to Pingry was a “light bulb” moment. “Pingry was a really vibrant, tuned-in, exciting place,” Nora says. Ish agrees: “It was, by a comfortable margin, the best mix of academics, athletics, extracurriculars, and college prep—all things which are important to our family.” Their family values also align with the Honor Code and the mission of the School: “It’s important being in an environment where you can trust your peers, and students can vouch for themselves. There’s a certain level of esteem for students,
and recognize that giving back to Pingry takes on many forms. “Everyone should find a way to give back— whether volunteering your time, talents, or knowledge in some way. Offering something positive to enhance the community is how we grow as a School and maintain the high standards that characterize Pingry.”
Leigh and Randy Porges P ’03, ’05, ’07, ’10, ’13, ’15 Three Harkness Classrooms
Nora and Ish McLaughlin III P ’18 Math Classroom.
and an expectation that this esteem is merited through their actions.” The McLaughlins’ gift provides for a Math classroom for Upper School math teacher Peter Thomson P ’94, ’02, ’08. “We first met Mr. Thomson as a tutor and loved his teaching style,” Nora says. “He really helped our son a lot during his sophomore year, and then taught him Pre-Calculus as a junior. He has always challenged his students and believed in them, helping them to achieve a higher level in mathematics. Our son always liked math, and Mr. Thomson made even the most difficult concepts crystal clear.” “Basking Ridge is the only campus we’ve ever known,” Ish says. “We’ve tried to give back by supporting the infrastructure and programs that have made a difference in our lives. We’ve given back to the athletics programs and, with this gift, we hope to support the amazing teachers who have had a positive influence on our lives.”
Their oldest daughter met a representative at a school fair when she was attending Far Hills Country Day School, and approached her parents with a strong desire to attend the School. The rest, as they say, is history. “It’s easy to see the benefits of activity and athletics in the development of a child,” says Rosa, who coaches Middle School water polo and spring track at Pingry. To her, the parallels between athletics and philanthropy are obvious. “If everyone is working as a team together,” she says, “we accomplish more as a unit than we do individually.” The Morriellos believe that giving back is critical for the growth of the School Rosa and Ronald Morriello P ’21, ’22.
For the Porges family, giving three Harkness classrooms to the Upper School was a family endeavor. “We bleed Pingry blue,” Randy says. All of the Porges children have attended Pingry, but the connection goes back much further. “We were really won over by an Open House at which the featured speaker was John Hanly,” Randy says. “There was an immediate connection because he was a teacher of mine at The Trinity School in Manhattan. We hit it off, and we sent our two oldest to Pingry the next year.” With six children having attended, the Porges family has almost 25 years of combined experience as Pingry parents. “Each of our children is unique, and they all had different experiences at Pingry,” Randy says. “The common factor is that they were all outstanding.” From academics to athletics, soccer to baseball, drama to volunteering, the Porges family describes their Pingry experience as
The Morriello Family Squash Viewing Area Ronald and Rosa Morriello P ’21, ’22, feel that they were “destined” to be Pingry parents. Ronald grew up in Hillside, and seeing the School's facilities, sports teams, and students, “he wanted his children to someday go to Pingry.” SUMMER 2018
Randy Porges P ’03, ’05, ’07, ’10, ’13, ’15.
“wonderful.” The family has been heavily involved in the Pingry community; Randy was a Trustee of the School, and Leigh has volunteered with the PSPA. “I would say my experience fundraising for the School has been positive,” Randy says. “The cost of educating a Pingry student transcends the actual tuition, and we rely so much on the generosity of donors.” The Porges family wanted their gift to reflect their own philosophy. “The Harkness classrooms are easily utilized in an independent school setting,” Randy says. “It allows students to get involved— not just presenting themselves, but engaging in active discourse. The Harkness method encourages intellectual give-and-take, encouraging peer-to-peer and student-to-teacher interaction.”
The Robustelli Family Front Collaboration Room A former member of the wrestling, football, and track teams, as well as a member of the Jazz Ensemble and Art Editor for the yearbook, Jon Robustelli ’90 certainly made the most of his time at Pingry. A resident of Warren and a former member of the Pingry Alumni Association Board, he and his wife Rita wanted their children to participate in a strong academic program while pursuing athletics and the arts. At Pingry, they knew that their children would get a great education without having to compromise, and it wasn’t long before they 26
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would become the proud parents of two Pingry students. “In addition to strong academics, athletics, and extracurriculars, the School’s drive for excellence and living the Honor Code was a factor in our selection,” Jon says, “and it’s why we support Pingry as parents.” In making their gift to Pingry’s Front Collaboration Room, the Robustellis are supporting Pingry’s focus on collaborative education—collaboration between students and teachers, between students and their peers, and between teachers of different departments. As Pingry continues to modernize both its campuses as well as its extraordinary curriculum, spaces like this serve as a focal point for the exchange of ideas, allowing learning to progress beyond the traditional classroom walls.
The Brent and Amy Saunders Family Chemistry Research Suite Current Pingry parents Brent and Amy Saunders chose Pingry for their daughter because of its superior faculty, its dedication to the Honor Code, and the motivation and character of its diverse student body. “We enjoy giving to Pingry as a way of supporting the School and
The Robustelli Family Front Collaboration Room.
community that have given so much to us,” Amy says. “We have always been impressed with the caring and diverse faculty and the cohesive and intellectual student body.” Frequent attendees at PSPA and Pingry community events, the Saunders family found modernizing the Basking Ridge Campus a priority during the capital campaign. “We chose to help modernize the campus so that Pingry stays current with today’s technologies and practices, and we knew students would benefit from the advancements in facilities and equipment.” The Saunders family has confidence that the new research suite will benefit Pingry students and, in turn, the greater community. “We chose to direct our gift to the Chemistry Department because of our ties and connections to the field,” Amy explains. “Brent has worked for many years in the pharmaceutical industry, and he recognizes how important it is to have students passionate about chemistry in order for future innovations and breakthroughs to occur. More people will be excited and knowledgeable about chemistry, and the results of that research will benefit everyone.”
The Schiffman Family Tennis Court 5 A New Jersey native, Glenn H. Schiffman P ’17, ’18, ’22 had known about Pingry since he was a child. When his oldest son Jack ’17 moved from Texas to New Jersey for schooling, Glenn and Stacy thought that Pingry would be a great fit for him. While they initially thought the transition, as a junior, might be difficult, Jack had “a terrific experience.” “Even though we were far away, the Pingry community made it easy for him to fit in,” Glenn says. “The community was warm, inviting, and the overall experience very comforting.” When the whole family moved to New Jersey the following year, the other Schiffman children enrolled at Pingry as well. Each experience, Glenn says, has been “fantastic.” All told, the Schiffmans will have four children attend Pingry. “We love how hands-on the teachers are—they really care,” Glenn says, “and the students the school attracts are incredible, diverse, and each uniquely talented in their own right. We also feel that the Honor Code is important, as it vests responsibility in the student.” The Schiffmans also enjoy the balance between athletics and academics that Pingry provides its student-athletes. “Tennis, in particular, teaches the important life lessons of self-reliance, personal responsibility, and resilience,” Glenn says. “My wife was an accomplished tennis player in high school, competing nationally through her childhood.” Stacy continues to compete on top women’s teams, and tennis has also played a big The Schiffman Family Tennis Court 5.
part in the lives of all of their children. “Watching them participate in this sport and compete at such a high level has been one of the joys of our life,” Glenn says. “By providing this tangible and specific resource for Pingry to use, I know that our gift is making a real difference at the School for generations of kids and families to enjoy.”
The John A. Sprague ’70 Humanities Classroom With nearly 55 years connected to The Pingry School, alumnus John Sprague is a consistent participant in The Pingry Fund and has supported the modernization of the Basking Ridge Campus as well. John and his late brother, Charles, attended the Hillside Campus and learned from legendary Pingry teachers like Albie Booth and Dr. Herb Hahn. Mr. Booth, a Latin teacher and the longestserving member of Pingry faculty in the School’s history, is remembered for his dedication to his students as well as his fiery demeanor, which “harked back to the ways of a typical Roman orator.” Dr. Hahn, on the other hand, was nearly his opposite; the English, religion, and philosophy teacher was so soft-spoken that walking into his classroom “was like walking into a church.” Students remember his philosophy, that “good teachers don’t teach subjects, they teach people,” with alumni attesting: “It didn’t really matter what his class was called. Dr. Hahn taught life.” These two campus sages had a profound impact on many students, John included. It was with them in mind that he decided to gift a humanities classroom to Pingry’s Upper School.
John A. Sprague ’70.
“I believe, at its best, a private secondary school education can offer one or two teachers who leave their mark on a handful of their students for life,” John says. “If I were to remember anyone with my gift, it would be two of Pingry’s great teachers from my era, Albert Booth and Herbert Hahn, who did this for me.”
The Delia and Kevin Willsey P ’18 Biology Classroom The Willseys had one child at Pingry, a Pingry lifer who has graduated. “The reputation of Pingry is amazing at all levels,” Delia says. “One of the reasons we chose Pingry was that it enabled our son to be part of the same school from Kindergarten through high school graduation.” The family cherishes their memories of seeing Lower School presentations, and all the ways parents can get involved with the School. As time has gone on, the Willseys’ appreciation for Pingry has not diminished. “Working at the bookstore has given me a bird’seye view into the day-to-day of the Upper School,” Delia says, “as well as the opportunity to meet some remarkable students whom I might not have otherwise.” The Willseys’ gift names two classrooms in the Upper School—one inside, and one outside. “Nothing made our son happier than going outside,” Delia says. “He loved exploring, and each day he would tell us about all the fascinating things he found in the woods outside SUMMER 2018
educators. I believe Harkness classrooms will be important for Pingry because they will facilitate the development of closer bonds between the outstanding Pingry teachers and outstanding Pingry students. I also believe the informality and intimacy of the Harkness approach will give students confidence to explore issues more openly and with deeper intellectual curiosity than is facilitated by a larger, traditional classroom.”
The Mary Anne and Raymond Wood P ’14, ’18, ’21 Language Classroom
Delia and Kevin Willsey P ’18.
of Pingry. Now that he’s older, a lot of his film projects have taken place in those woods. When he comes back for Reunion or other School events, he’ll be able to see that special legacy left at Pingry in our name.”
The Laurie H. Wollmuth Memorial Trust Harkness Classroom David Wollmuth P ’13, ’14, ’16 knew that Pingry would be the right fit before his oldest son Jack ’13 began in Grade 9. “From the first day, it was clear Pingry was a thoughtful place with students having wide-ranging intellectual and extracurricular interests,” he says. “The teachers and staff were impressive—it seemed like they loved their jobs and the Pingry students.”
Having seen his children pursue their diverse interests and make lifelong friends at Pingry, David has given back to support the Basking Ridge Campus. “I believe whole-heartedly in Pingry’s educational mission, and I think the institution is a powerful force for good for its students and for our society. The gift is made from my deceased wife’s charitable trust, and she would greatly value (and, I believe, greatly values) the education that Pingry provided her children and all of its other students.” David chose to give a Harkness classroom for a number of reasons. “First, it represents a collaborative approach to education that I believe in,” he says. “Second, all three of my children have told me that their teachers at Pingry were amazingly talented and dedicated David Wollmuth P ’13, ’14, ’16 with Jack ’13 and Charlie ’14.
Raymond and Mary Anne Wood P ’14, ’18, ’21.
Parents of three Pingry lifers, Mary Anne and Ray Wood have a history of giving back to Pingry. They have given to The Pingry Fund annually, supported the construction of The Carol and Park B. Smith ’50 Middle School, and given toward the renovation of the E. Murray Todd Track. The Woods have now also gifted to name a German classroom at the Upper School. “Our children had a great start at the Lower School,” Mary Anne says. “Our oldest, Stewart ’14, was a member of the first sixth-grade class to move up to Basking Ridge from Short Hills. He took German for seven years and was also part of the first class to have that opportunity.” Mary Anne attributes the success of the program to Magistri faculty member Norman LaValette P ’04. “He has been a gifted and inspiring teacher and mentor, both at the Middle and Upper Schools,” Mary Anne says. “We dedicate this classroom to honor him and all the other excellent faculty at Pingry.”
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Pingry Welcomes New Director of Institutional Advancement Ms. Elizabeth Breidinger is joining Pingry in mid-July to lead the Office of Institutional Advancement, bringing 13 years of fundraising experience at The University of Chicago, Brown University, and Bennington College, where she has held leadership positions in Alumni Relations and Development. This appointment marks the culmination of a national search, conducted by Doug Cooney of Deerfield Associates, that began when Melanie Hoffmann P ’20, ’27, Director for 13 years, first shared her intentions to pursue an exciting opportunity in school leadership. Ms. Breidinger most recently served as Bennington College’s Executive Director of Development, managing a team of 10 in major and leadership giving, annual fund, foundation relations, and planned giving, and spearheading preparations for a $150 million comprehensive campaign, the largest in the college’s history. In addition to tripling the size of their development team, she created and implemented new metrics, reporting, and donor relations best practices, as well as a development team training program. She led the effort to rebrand the Bennington Fund and, under her leadership, the college’s dormant planned giving program was reignited. Prior to Bennington College, she spent eight years in various positions at Brown University, her alma mater, rising through the ranks to become Director of Major and Leadership Giving. As both a manager and fundraiser, she oversaw a sevenperson team covering more than 1,000 prospects and soliciting gifts ranging from $50,000 to $5 million. With a knack for establishing comprehensive metrics and goals for her team, she helped to propel the $3 billion BrownTogether campaign launch, and developed hiring, on-boarding, training, and mentoring programs for junior fundraisers. With her husband, Erik, she has a daughter, Mae, age three. In her free time, she runs, swims, and reads (preferring paper instead of ebooks!), especially World War II fiction and— what she describes as a “guilty pleasure”—stories involving time travel.
A dynamic, sincere, and inspiring leader, Ms. Breidinger will expertly guide Pingry’s Advancement Office and serve as an invaluable member of the Administrative Team. We were impressed by Elizabeth’s eagerness to join and contribute to an independent school with a strong sense of community, and we warmly welcome her to ours! To further the introductions, she recently spoke with The Pingry Review about her background.
How did you become interested in Advancement work? I became involved with Advancement my senior year of college, serving as both a Senior Class Officer (Alumni Relations) and Co-Chair of the Senior Class Gift (Development). Through my class gift work, I met the Chair of the 5th Reunion Giving Committee, a connection that led me to my first job—Major Gifts Associate at Brown. I served in that role for a year before making a move to Washington, D.C. to work at a for-profit company. I was at a transition point at the company when I went home to be with my father after my grandmother passed away. We spent a day at Colgate, where he was Athletics Director, engaging in Family Weekend activities and having dinner with three generations of Colgate alumni who were talking about their shared experiences. I loved everything about the day, from football tailgating to a reception at the President’s House, and returned to D.C. inspired, energized, and dedicated to returning to Development. I love being able to meet and work with individuals who have an overwhelming sense of dedication and pride for the institution(s) that shaped them and/or their children.
Why is philanthropy important? It ensures the thriving of institutions and organizations we love, especially those
that may have played key roles in our lives, transforming us into the people we are today.
What appeals to you about transitioning to an independent school? Education is critically important, and I’ve been fortunate to gain professional opportunities because of my educational experiences. On a personal level, I faced challenges in a large classroom in early elementary public school, but luckily a second-grade teacher identified a learning disability and helped me get the resources and support I needed. Without her (and my parents), I honestly do not know where I would be today. I know that the period from elementary school to high school is a crucial time, so I want to give back. I feel indebted to that teacher.
What attracted you to Pingry? The strong sense of tradition and community, with multiple generations of shared experiences. It is a privilege to be part of that tradition, and to help an independent school create a foundation for people’s lives.
How do you plan to apply your past professional experiences to your work at Pingry? I would like to see holistic community building around Advancement’s work and educate people about the power of philanthropy: How are we improving the school? What is the impact—daily and long-term—on students, faculty, and staff? I also believe in strong relationship building. We want people to feel good about—and be excited about—their volunteering and philanthropic efforts. SUMMER 2018
CLASS OF 2018! The 157th Commencement Exercises
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“The funny thing about time is that you never really know you have it or notice that it is passing until you take a bow at your last Pingry theatre production, put down the pencil after your final AP exam, hear the whistle blow at the end of your last lacrosse game, or sit down to write a speech for graduation. Always remember that . . . you can easily pick up your phone, call your old friend from the mighty Class of 2018, and reminisce about the wonderful times we had and the lessons we learned here at Pingry.”
Class President Josie Cummings ’18
The Magistri Laudandi Award and The Class of 1902 Emblem Award
Clyde Leef ’18—The Magistri Laudandi Award: 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.
Josephine Cummings ’18—The Class of 1902 Emblem Award: 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.
“Too often, we think to say goodbye to specific people— our classmates, our teachers, the administrators . . . What I should be saying goodbye to is this entire experience . . . to teachers and classmates who made you learn and love learning.”
Valedictorian Alyssa Chen ’18
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The Cyril and Beatrice Baldwin Pingry Family Citizen of the Year Award To recognize their “monumental impact on Pingry for over 20 years,” Board of Trustees Chair Jeff Edwards ’78, P ’12, ’14, ’18 honored Paula and Terence O’Toole P ’05, ’08 with the Baldwin Award, presented 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. Mr. and Mrs. O’Toole were recognized for their instrumental role in bringing squash to Pingry—twice! They helped introduce the sport to the School (their children Maggie ’05 and Brian ’08 both played for Pingry), then supported the team by helping to secure a practice location at Drew University, arranging transportation to and from practices and matches, hosting team dinners, and chaperoning the team when it first competed at high school nationals. Then, the O’Tooles literally helped bring squash to Pingry by supporting the effort to construct squash courts in the Miller A. Bugliari ’52 Athletics Center—their gifts and others from the Pingry community made the courts a reality. This generosity is reflected by the O’Toole Family Court, O’Toole Family Viewing Area, and Pingry Squash Wall of Excellence, all given by the O’Toole Family.
Commencement 2018 [ 1 ] Olivia Virzi ’18 and Alice Berndt ’18. [ 2 ] Raquel Gomez ’18 and Hailey Cernuto ’18. [ 3 ] Megan Pan ’18 and Phito Jean-Louis ’18 passing through the faculty receiving line. [ 4 ] Jared Tiggs ’18. [ 5 ] Krish Bhavnani ’18 and science teacher/squash coach Ramsay Vehslage. [ 6 ] Mariam Trichas ’18, Sophie Loesberg ’18, and Anna Wood ’18.
“These new spaces are instrumental in growing our squash program,” Mr. Edwards said. “With our practices and competitions no longer held off-campus, not only do our current players have more resources available to them, but we are also able to increase exposure among other students and even faculty.” A former Pingry trustee and PSPA volunteer, respectively, Mr. and Mrs. O’Toole also supported the construction of a classroom wing on the Short Hills Campus, the Hostetter Arts Center, and The John Taylor Babbitt ’07 Memorial Field, and they have graciously hosted Pingry’s New York City Reception for the past decade.
Commencement 2018 [ 7 ] Aubrey Molloy ’18 and Malcolm Fields ’18. [ 8 ] Channing Russell ’18, Ben Ramos ’18, Aidan Dillon ’18, Arnav Agrawal ’18, Vineil Reddy ’18, and William Fallon ’18. [ 9 ] Derek Huffman ’20 and Maya Huffman ’18. [ 10 ] 13-Year Club (also known as Lifers, these students attended
Pingry since Kindergarten) Front row: Olivia Virzi, Maya Huffman, Alice Berndt, Mairead Higgins, Alexis Elliot, Sana Sheikh, Anna Wood, Melissa Tungare, and Hailey Cernuto. Back row: Dylan Cheng, Clyde Leef, James Zusi, Ryan Willsey, Owen Wolfson, Mitchell Flugstad-Clarke, Michael Weber, Ben Vazquez, Apurva Memani, and Graham Matthews. [ 11 ] Tyler Williams ’18, Zach Aanstoots ’18, Alexis Elliot ’18, and Obi Nnaeto ’18. [ 12 ] Ethan Chung ’18, Alyssa Chen ’18, and Alison Verdesca ’18. [ 13 ] Adam Freeman ’18, Jared Lefkort ’18, Nic Ladino ’18, Sana Sheikh ’18, Colin McKinnon ’18, and Colin Edwards ’18. [ 14 ] English teacher Dr. Susan Dineen and Ouarida Benatia ’18. [ 15 ] Legacy Families (students with their parents or grandparents who also graduated from Pingry) Front row: Elizabeth (Brodkin) Brauer ’81, P ’18, Alex Brauer ’18, Colin Edwards ’18, and Jeff Edwards ’78, P ’12, ’14, ’18. Back row: John Feeley ’86, P ’18, ’20, Ryan Feeley ’18, Jason Weiss ’18, Dr. Richard Weiss ’55, GP ’17, ’18, Mary Nussbaumer ’18, Edie (McLaughlin) Nussbaumer ’84, P ’18, ’21, Zach Aanstoots ’18, and Dr. Ida Miguelino ’86, P ’18, ’19.
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“To The Pingry School Class of 2018 I ask, ‘How will you spend and cherish your time from this very moment forward?’ Time will always persist, but we will not, so never count the years, leave your mark whenever possible, enjoy every moment, and always strive for balance.”
Student Body President Michael Weber ’18
Dr. Andrew Moore Celebrates 25 Years at Pingry the organ stems from his love for Baroque music, especially organ music by his favorite composer, J.S. Bach.
Headmaster Nat Conard P ’09, ’11 with Dr. Moore, who thanked his students, colleagues, and family, including his wife of 25 years.
Before he graduated from The Juilliard School with master’s and doctorate degrees in Organ, Music Department Chair Dr. Andrew Moore received a surprising phone call. It was Pingry. “The School was looking for someone who was an organist and had a choral music background,” he recalls. At the time, Dr. Moore was Organist and Choirmaster of Grace Episcopal Church in Plainfield, and Music Director of the Plainfield Community Girlchoir. He had been contemplating an academic position, but planned to continue in his current jobs, in addition to performing as a concert organist and recitalist. “After the call, I became interested in Pingry because of its amazing students and incredible faculty, and it is one of the few country day schools with a pipe organ. In retrospect, the opportunity to teach AP Music Theory has also been wonderful.” Dr. Moore’s love for
Since joining Pingry in 1993 (and continuing as organist and choirmaster for several local churches), Dr. Moore has directed the Men’s Glee Club and Buttondowns, and played the organ for School events, such as Convocation, Commencement, and concerts. A few years into his Pingry career, he became director of the Middle School Boys’ Chorus and began teaching AP Music Theory. He took over as Musical Director for the Winter Musical in February 2002 (that year’s production was Fiddler on the Roof) and was named Music Department Chair beginning with the 2002-03 school year. In 2004, Dr. Moore was awarded the Albert W. Booth Chair for Master Teachers. Since his arrival at Pingry 25 years ago, he has noticed two major changes within the department. First, more students are choosing careers in the arts. Second, “the Buttondowns and Men’s Glee Club have written and arranged a lot of music themselves, instead of just having the director choose all of the repertoire— arranging is important because it gives each ensemble an identity. Overall, the groups are more self-motivated.” Dr. Moore is particularly proud of the work of his fellow music teachers and the quality performances by the School’s ensembles. His colleagues describe him as a “consummate musician” who sets high standards for both Pingry’s music students and music faculty.
At his Magistri Induction Ceremony, the Balladeers and Buttondowns surprised Dr. Moore with a poignant performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” The groups’ collective sentiment in selecting this song is, “Dr. Moore has always been there for us, and we’ll always be there for him, even through the toughest times.”
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Other Faculty/Staff News Mrs. Sue Marshall Marotto, Health Department Chair who has also taught P.E. and coached both the Girls’ Varsity Basketball and Softball Teams during her 33-year Pingry career, is one of 16 inductees into the 2018 Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Hall of Fame.* This honor recognizes her remarkable accomplishments in basketball and softball at Gettysburg College (Susan Marshall, Class of 1985), where she led the Bullets to back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Division III Basketball Tournament (1984 and 1985) and was named to the Women’s Sports Federation AllAmerican Second Team in basketball (1985). As a pitcher, her 0.89 career ERA still stands as the program’s record, more than three decades later. She was also the first female basketball player in Gettysburg history to reach 1,000 points. Read more about Mrs. Marotto’s accomplishments at pingry.org/extras. * Created in 2012, the MAC Hall of Fame recognizes student-athletes from current and former member institutions. Ms. Alicia Sharma has joined Pingry as Accounting Supervisor, bringing to the position more than 25 years of accounting experience in various industries, such as finance, insurance, manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and recently completed an M.B.A. in Accounting and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Integration.
Stifel Award Presented to Joei Drozjock ’18 Imagine that you are sitting in class, your hand locks up to the point of being unable to write, and you have terrible pain in your arms and legs. This is what happened to Joei Drozjock ’18 during her sophomore year. A week later, she was rushed to the emergency room with a 103-degree fever, excruciating physical pain, and what proved to be dangerously low blood levels. She was treated for what doctors suspected was meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord, but, instead of receiving a meningitis diagnosis, Joei ultimately tested positive for the Epstein-Barr virus. “Her health and life have not been the same since,” said her college counselor, Mrs. Amy (Gibson) Cooperman ’90, P ’23, who shared Joei’s story at this year’s Stifel Award assembly. The Henry G. Stifel III Award is named for Mr. Stifel, 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 works at Morgan Stanley and is a Vice Chair
of the Board of Directors of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. For more than two years, Joei has been struggling with flare-ups—episodes of terrible pain that can last for weeks or months. Traveling to see specialist after specialist and sitting in waiting rooms became Joei’s new normal. The biggest questions: why do her symptoms continue to cause such pain, and why does this cycle recur? “Specialists at Boston Children’s Hospital are helping unravel that mystery,” Mrs. Cooperman said. “The doctors there specialize in rare cases of immune-related conditions like Joei’s and are trying to figure out how genes and possible genetic mutations fit into the ‘how and why’ our bodies react to illness.” Despite the fact that Joei has had to miss school, athletics, and club activities, Mrs. Cooperman said that “she never uses her health as an excuse or a reason for special treatment, or lets her illness define her… She pushes through her course requirements, works in ‘real time’ with her classmates on GoogleDocs, makes up assignments, and self-teaches.” Joei has remained involved in athletics by shifting her priorities—when
ice hockey proved impossible, she took up crew. When rowing required too much exertion, she became a coxswain (in charge of the boat, responsible for steering and coordinating the power and rhythm of the rowers). “Joei encouraged the rowers to push themselves to do what they didn’t think they could,” Mrs. Cooperman said. “She was very well-suited for a role that motivated others to push on.” Joei has also maintained her commitment to More Than Me, a non-profit organization that brings education to children in Liberia, and she has received several volunteer awards; she also established a More Than Me club at Pingry. Throughout this ordeal, Joei maintains a realistic, yet positive, outlook. “Life is not always black and white. It is the gray terrain in life that can hold the greatest value. These areas of gray possess the unknown, which sometimes yields fear. Navigating this space and identifying its significance can be challenging. However, overcoming the unknowns and fears, as well as finding strength in the process, has allowed me to appreciate the lessons life has to offer and find my true purpose.” In his remarks, Mr. Stifel credited Pingry’s support and encouragement for helping members of its community move forward when facing challenges, just as the School did for him. “That’s why I return. Pingry mobilized for me in unimaginable ways. The School knows how to come together, as one, in support of others. I am honored to be associated with you all.” He also thanked Joei for allowing the community to recognize her. How does Joei manage the uncertainty of her condition and the pace of life? She remembers there is always someone facing a greater challenge. Perhaps someday, she will be able to help others surmount their challenges, since she dreams of becoming a doctor. Henry G. Stifel III ’83, Joei Drozjock ’18, and College Counselor Mrs. Amy (Gibson) Cooperman ’90, P ’23.
Working with Willie Cole and Water Bottles Pingry students may never look at or think about plastic water bottles the same way again! Internationally-recognized American artist Willie Cole visited the School this winter and spring for separate (yet related) projects on both the Short Hills and Basking Ridge Campuses—the first time that a visiting artist has collaborated with students in Kindergarten through Grade 12. Mr. Cole’s art addresses a range of social and political issues, such as identity, race, and the environment. His work includes what he calls “visual transformations” that are based on the repetitive use of household objects, such as plastic water bottles and highheeled shoes. Because Mr. Cole realized years ago that disposable water bottles are so readily available, he has used thousands of them to create unique sculptures of chandeliers, umbrellas, automobiles, peacocks, flowers, and tornadoes. “Willie Cole is known for a wide range of projects—sculptures, paintings, photographs, and more—and he is one of the most important contemporary artists in New Jersey,” says Mr. Miles Boyd, Chair of the Visual Arts Department. “Visual arts teachers on both campuses, including Jennifer Mack-Watkins in Basking Ridge and Russell Christian in Short Hills, said they wanted to work with him. It was a ‘Eureka!’ moment to bring him here, and Jennifer helped spearhead the project in Basking Ridge. There were logistical challenges involved in having an artist visit two campuses—it was an ambitious undertaking—but there were also wonderful collaborations among the teachers and fantastic learning opportunities for our students.” Mr. Cole’s appearances also provided an opportunity for the Diversity & Inclusion Department’s mission to be integrated into the curriculum. “We want to expose students to different perspectives. It was important for both campuses to 38
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have access to Willie Cole, so that students and faculty could learn from him and work with him. He’s very dynamic,” says Dr. Diana Artis P ’09, ’16, Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Department. She compares Mr. Cole’s visit to that of a writer-in-residence, with students engaging in the artistic process and not simply looking at a display of artwork. Both campuses collected plastic water bottles for months without knowing what project Mr. Cole had in mind. When he arrived, Lower School students met Mr. Cole in an all-school assembly in the gymnasium, and Grades 4 and 5 worked with him in the art studio; he showed them how to string 13 bottles together, using wire, to form small human figures. In Basking Ridge, students employed the same process of stringing bottles together, but on a far more massive scale. Ultimately, the Middle and Upper School’s sculpture of a giant human figure was displayed outside the Hostetter Arts Center, fifth-grade sculptures were displayed in Short Hills, and Grades 4 and 5 had the opportunity to take their sculptures home. For his part, Mr. Cole doesn’t usually have a formal plan while working on a project; he thinks of his art as a building up of molecules. “I just play until I’m done,” he says. “I want to help students realize that there are a lot of possibilities for making art.”
Above: The fifth-grade sculptures were displayed in many poses on walls, benches, the ceiling . . . Right: Many students and teachers helped construct this large sculpture over two days.
Water Bottles, By the Numbers • 20,000 were collected by students, parents, faculty, and staff on both campuses. 16,000 of those bottles (80 percent) were contributed by the Lower School, including the efforts of P.E. teacher Brian La Fontaine P ‘10, ‘14 and his golf club outside Pingry. • 2,000 were used by Grades 4 and 5 to create their individual “people.” • 10,000 were used by the Middle and Upper Schools for the large sculpture in Basking Ridge. Pingry donated the remainder to Mr. Cole for use in future sculptural projects.
Middle and Upper School Curricula and the Gallery Willie Cole’s visit included an exhibit of his work in the Hostetter Arts Center Gallery, with curricular lessons based on artwork that addressed issues of race and stereotypes. And it wasn’t only Middle and Upper School students who saw the exhibit: To prepare for their transition to the Basking Ridge Campus, Grade 5 students saw the exhibit during their visiting day—the first time that a fifth-grade class had seen the gallery during a campus visit. Thanks to lessons devised by Gallery Education Coordinator Ms. Jennifer Mack-Watkins, seventh-grade English classes taught by Ms. Bria Barnes and Ms. Lynne Cattafi connected themes in the exhibit with themes in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, which they happened to be reading at the same time. Among those themes: white America and black America, cultural identity, how black women came into contact with white children, and re-thinking history in terms of race. “The gallery lesson was a highlight of the year because Willie Cole’s work spoke beautifully to themes we had been discussing all winter,” says Upper School English teacher Dr. Ann Dickerson P ‘22, ‘24. Students taking her American Perspectives elective were reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Americanah, a coming-of-age
story about a Nigerian college student who suffers an identity crisis when she comes to America to study. Dr. Dickerson and Ms. Mack-Watkins created a lesson plan that included activities about the black arts movement and discussions of race. Students created backronyms on themes in the book (the reverse of an acronym—words are chosen to fit the letters) and completed their versions of Exquisite Corpse, in which they wrote a sentence from the novel, cut up the words, and rearranged them into a new statement that reflected on the original. Visual arts teacher Nan Ring integrated Willie Cole’s work into an Art Fundamentals unit that focused on artwork made from found and recycled materials. “There is a long history of artists, from early American quilt makers
Willie Cole working with Middle and Upper School students on segments of the large sculpture.
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Middle School English teacher Ms. Bria Barnes says, “Middle School students were captivated by the blackboards, trying to understand the board’s meanings and connect each line with something they had learned.”
to sculptors, who are concerned about the environment. His water bottle figure, in particular, fit perfectly into that unit,” she says.
The exhibit included an image that showed a black woman holding a white child, when viewed from one angle, and a white woman holding a black child when viewed from another angle. Students related this image to Calpurnia, the Finch family’s black cook, and the white children in To Kill a Mockingbird.
Reflections from the Lower School Visual arts teacher Lindsay Baydin “Students had great exposure to a prominent, contemporary artist, and one who works in an improvisational way. He reached the whole Lower School community through an assembly that featured a slideshow of his work and concluded with a Q&A when almost every hand was raised. Students were blown away by his sculptures.” (During a trip to the Newark Museum later in the school year, first-grade students recognized one of his bronze sculptures from the slideshow).
Visual arts teacher Russell Christian “I’ve been interested in Willie Cole’s work ever since I saw it in New York City galleries in the 1980s. In one of those exhibits, I was intrigued by ironing boards covered with burn marks from irons, resembling African masks and shields. I loved working with him in person, and it was an interesting experiment for him to work with younger students, which he rarely does. Also, [Lower School Director] Ted Corvino and [Assistant Director of the Lower School] Sandy LizaireDuff were so supportive and watched this [campus visit] unfold in all of its complexity.” Lower School students spent over a month de-labeling, cleaning, drilling holes in, and counting bottles.
Lower School Director Ted Corvino “Sandy deserves a lot of credit for reaching out to Willie Cole and serving as the catalyst to bring the two campuses together. When Willie was here, he said he felt like a rock star while working with younger students. He wanted to give them a sense of the artistic process as you work toward a goal, so they could learn that it doesn’t happen instantaneously.”
Assistant Director of the Lower School Dr. Sandy Lizaire-Duff
Willie Cole working with Lower School students to build their “people,” using 13 bottles for each.
“I knew that Russell and Lindsay had a vision of working with recycled materials, and I had met Willie Cole, so I wanted to make this happen for everyone on both campuses. Observing his lunch with students, I appreciated how Willie answered a student’s question about parents questioning ‘art as a career.’ Willie told the student that there are different ways of being an artist.” SUMMER 2018
Social Entrepreneur Wes Moore Captivates Pingry Students –––––––––––––
“The most important question is, ‘Who did you choose to advocate for when it wasn’t easy?’ That’s how you’ll be remembered.”
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Rapt silence, engaging laughter, thought-provoking questions, and a standing-room-only, post-assembly discussion indicated that students found Wes Moore’s visit to Pingry in late April a resounding success. His appearance was made possible by a connection with the family of Jack Grier ’19. In his introduction, Jack commented, “We have invited him here to discuss his personal story and motivation to improve everyday society. Throughout his life and career, Mr. Moore has had a variety of experiences that have taught him that he needs to be active in giving back to those communities that he is a part of.” A decorated U.S. Army officer and Rhodes Scholar, Mr. Moore enjoys a distinguished career as a social entrepreneur, television producer, political analyst, and New York Times best-selling author, as well as the CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation (New York City’s largest poverty-fighting organization), and Founder and CEO of BridgeEdU (an education-technology startup that supports first-year, lowincome college students). In a wide-ranging speech that touched on different aspects of his life, Mr. Moore spoke to students about community activism and advocating for “the others,” a phrase that was adapted for the title of his first book The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates. “People are going to ask you, ‘What will you major in [at college]?’ or ‘What is
your GPA?’ You will be asked these questions so often that you’ll think they’re the most important things in your life,” he said. “They’re not. The most important question is, ‘Who did you choose to advocate for when it wasn’t easy? Who did you choose to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with when it may just have been the two of you at first?’ That’s how you’ll be remembered. You’re not just students—you are citizens, fighting for ‘the others.’” It was this idea that inspired the title of his book. Mr. Moore recalled a conversation with the publisher over the naming of the work: He was initially opposed to having his own name on the cover— thinking the name would lack meaning for readers—but the publisher pointed out, “The most important thing about the title isn’t the name. The most important thing about the title is ‘the other.’ It’s the fact that our society is full of ‘others.’” Who is the other Wes Moore? A man serving a life sentence without parole for the February 7, 2000 killing of Baltimore County Police Sergeant Bruce A. Prothero, a father of five who was working a second job as a jewelry store security guard when a robbery took
place. This Wes Moore, 24 years old when the crime was committed and now in year 17 of his sentence, was one of four men convicted of the theft and murder. Both Wes Moores were born blocks apart within a year of each other and had similar childhoods, yet had vastly different lives, which Mr. Moore explores in his book. Their stories dramatically converged in The Baltimore Sun, which published articles about both men in close proximity: one article announcing Wes Moore as a Rhodes Scholar, and another covering Wes Moore, a convicted criminal. Soon after, the two Wes Moores connected through letter-writing, which has resulted in a relationship lasting more than 10 years. Mr. Moore poignantly reflected, “His story could have been mine, and the tragedy
is that my story could have been his. The smallest decisions—sometimes, decisions we make, sometimes, decisions that are made for us—help to make the difference in terms of what kinds of lives that we have.” Mr. Moore urged students to use the opportunities they have been afforded and the privilege of attending a school like Pingry to benefit others. He left the students with multiple messages: “Live freedom, and enable it. Experience freedom, and share it. Be a constant seeker of what’s right, and a constant sharer of what makes sense. Work harder, sacrifice more, serve more.” And, quoting a superior officer from his time in the Army, “Make sure it mattered that you were ever even here.” Wes Moore, with Jack Grier ’19 to the right.
Make It Personal Students wanting to hear additional words of wisdom from Mr. Moore met with him in a full O’Connor Board Room—a standingroom-only audience! Students posed questions about how to make a difference in community activism; the role of elected officials; and how to fix the “school-to-prison pipeline” of disadvantaged youth, which Mr. Moore referenced in his speech. Here is a sampling of his comments: TAKE A STANCE with a personal, defensible opinion. You will never find universal agreement, but you will be able to sleep at night. ASK YOURSELF, “What is my role in helping to reform the community?” We can’t just rely on politicians to create change. MAKE A DIFFERENCE, following these three steps:
• Consider the issues that make your heart beat a little bit faster.
• Find allies who will passionately fight for the cause with you.
• Make sure the people you’re trying to
support are part of the conversation and not subjects of the conversation—otherwise, your altruism can be misinterpreted or ineffective.
KEEP ASKING QUESTIONS about the education system until you get answers. Education should be a holistic experience, with shared values among schools. ENGAGE, especially on issues that won’t impact you—you may never meet the people who are affected, but the issues need to be addressed. SUMMER 2018
In a New Offering, Middle School Students Take to the Trails The 200 acres of Pingry’s Basking Ridge Campus, nestled in the Somerset Hills of central New Jersey, are not simply a picture postcard of verdant farmland and rolling woodlands. To students accustomed to biology labs, music rooms, and art studios, they offer an exquisitely boundless outdoor classroom. And last fall, 11 Middle School students eagerly explored its nooks and crannies, hiking trails, and campsite in a newly launched, trimester-long athletics and activity block offering, appropriately titled, Outdoor Education. Every afternoon (except Fridays), from 2:10–3:30 p.m., these sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students broached the borders of their school building to experience some of the lessons—both tangible and experiential—that only nature can teach: leadership skills (how to lead hikes and plan routes); self-care (watching for blisters, packing the right equipment, staying hydrated); the “leave no trace” principles of camping; map reading; naturalism; fire safety; bear 44
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“I learned a lot of lessons like map reading, outdoor cooking, and ‘leave no trace’ principles, but I also learned a lot about getting to know people.”
Sarah Parker ’22
––––––––––––– safety; trail etiquette; water purification techniques; and wilderness cooking (that is, preparing mac ‘n cheese, hot chocolate, and ramen using camp stoves), among other proficiencies. Bushwhacking through Pingry’s woods —clearing trails—was another highlight. Landscape photography was also incorporated, giving students a chance to interact with and interpret the natural world they observed. “This course allows students to experience nature in the comfort of their own school, with familiar teachers,”
says Experiential Education Coordinator and visual arts teacher Rebecca Sullivan, a faculty leader of the fall course, along with Middle School math teacher Jeff Feinberg. “For students who want to learn more about outdoor wilderness and leadership skills but never had the opportunity before, this is a great introduction. These are life skills—you have them forever.” Take, for example, the simple act of going on a hike. While students engaged in short, nearby walks and on-campus adventures, like building campfires and tending to the School’s new flock of chickens (more on that later), three days a week, they left the confines of campus once a week for a veritable hike, usually within a 30minute drive of school. Each outing, Ms. Sullivan, who also serves as faculty advisor of the Upper School Outing Club, and Mr. Feinberg distributed maps to all the students, who took turns leading the way. Familiarity with the route, finding the trail markers,
Left: Middle School students hiking in Washington Valley Park, minutes from the Basking Ridge Campus.
and understanding the markers’ directions (left, right, straight) were all critical, as was the ability to negotiate voices of dissent among peers (not everyone agreed on the proper way forward), set an appropriate pace, and wait for the group to reunite at every trail junction. What local trails did the group explore? Those of Jockey Hollow, Hacklebarney State Park, the Great Swamp, Washington Valley Park, Watchung Reservation, South Mountain Reservation, and Coddington Farm round out the list. Additionally, on October 21, they headed to Norvin Green State Forest in Passaic County for a day-long, six-mile “challenge hike” to its summit. The final week of the fall course, the hike was entirely studentplanned, from the site to the route to the requisite snacks. Their destination? South Mountain Reservation, where they hiked Hemlock Falls. The experience not only teaches students life skills and an appreciation for the outdoors, but also takes advantage of the natural resources that not all schools have at their fingertips. “It’s amazing that Pingry has a campsite on its campus,” Mr. Feinberg says. “Washington Valley Park is literally 10 minutes down the road, with many others close by. Within 30 minutes,
students have access to a lot of incredible hiking opportunities.” Watching 13-year-olds complete a six-mile hike and identify Pingry’s tulip poplars and sassafras trees with the mental dexterity of a naturalist proves the lessons they learn extend well beyond wilderness skills, and even life skills. “Outdoor Education is really about creating a sense of place here on campus to deepen students’ emotional connection to their school and create environmental stewards in our own backyard,” Ms. Sullivan says. To this end, once a week, the students were tasked with caring for Pingry’s new flock of chickens—collecting their eggs,
Students deciphering a trail map and planning the route.
feeding and giving them water, and cleaning the coop. [In August, six hens and one rooster, adopted by Upper School science teacher Olivia Tandon, arrived on campus, from their hometown of Crown Heights, Brooklyn.] Two of the students are even incubating their own chicken eggs, having been inspired, thanks to Outdoor Education, to try raising them at home. Not a full year old, the course has already developed a following. Despite cold temperatures, a new and equally enthusiastic group of Middle School students signed up for the course over the winter trimester. “I learned a lot of lessons like map reading, outdoor cooking, and ‘leave no trace’ principles, but I also learned a lot about getting to know people,” says Sarah Parker ’22. “It was surprising how, at first, we started out as a bunch of kids who didn’t know each other, but, by the end of the trimester, we were ‘The Pingry Danger Noodles’ [the nickname given to a young corn snake that the group encountered on trail, which quickly became their mascot]. It was really cool to see how the woods could bring together many different types of people, even if we were in different grades.” Students harvesting eggs from Pingry’s chicken coop on the Basking Ridge Campus.
A Credit Union Collaboration Comes to Pingry
As students boarded buses home at the end of the day or prepared for any number of after-school activities this winter, Alyssa Chen ’18 and Andrew Lee ’19 headed to work. 46
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After a full day of classes, these two members of Pingry’s Credit Union Club drove themselves to Affinity, New Jersey’s largest credit union, which just happens to sit two miles down Martinsville Road from the Basking Ridge Campus. For eight weeks, from January through the beginning of March, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Alyssa and Andrew—the first high school interns ever to be
Alyssa Chen ’18 and Andrew Lee ’19 at work at Affinity.
brought on board by Affinity—were put to work. More about what they were charged with later. First, to understand the origins of their internship arrangement with Affinity and why it is so mutually beneficial, a bit of background is required. Four years ago, a group of Upper School students, led by Fred Chang ’15,
Abhiram Karuppur ’15, Will Johnson ’15, and James Chartouni ’15, became interested in launching a credit union for the Pingry community. Never mind that most high school students—and, no doubt, some adults—have only a vague notion of what a credit union is or does, the enterprising group persisted. With help from the Office of Institutional Advancement, the group secured a grant from the E.E. Ford Foundation, which Pingry matched, giving them additional capital to research the feasibility of a Pingry Credit Union. The Pingry Credit Union Club was soon born. Middle School history teacher George Sullivan—having prior banking experience and, at the time, teaching Pingry’s Financial Literacy course—was appointed its first advisor, along with Chief Financial Officer and Director of Operations Olaf Weckesser P ’25. The club’s ultimate goal—the raison d’être of all credit unions—was a lofty one: to offer administrators, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, grandparents, indeed, anyone connected to Pingry, a range of personal banking tools, from checking to savings accounts—perhaps, down the line, even home equity loans, car loans, and mortgages—all at favorable rates. “Initially, the reason I wanted to be part of the club was more self-centered,” recalls Charlie Zhu ’16, one of its first members. “I didn’t feel that I was participating in activities that had many realworld applications. Working to launch the credit union was a very tangible project that had real-world impact. That’s an extremely rare opportunity for high school students. It quickly became clear, however, that the most important reason for pushing the project forward was how invested each and every member of our club was in our central mission: to create a financial entity that would work for the benefit of the Pingry community.” From the club’s inception, members had their work cut out for them, projecting financials, creating surveys for alumni, faculty, staff, and parents to gauge interest, and filing the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) Application for
“It was a phenomenal business lesson for the students. When you start a new business, often you can end up somewhere totally different from where you began.”
––––––––––––– Federal Charter, arcane paperwork that had to be submitted and approved before an official credit union could even be pursued. But first, they had to present their idea to Pingry’s Board of Trustees. Several years later, Charlie— now a sophomore Applied Math major (with a focus on Economics) at Harvard—still remembers the day well. “Here was this group of 16- and 17-yearolds pitching a real business idea to the highest governing body of our school,” he says. “We prepared more for that one presentation than I had ever prepared for any presentation in my life!” The pitch went well, and the group received approval to pursue due diligence and report back regularly to a Trustee Special Task Force chaired by Ian Shrank ’71. Club members were grateful when, after Fred Chang’s graduation from Pingry in 2015, he began working for the University of Pennsylvania’s Credit Union and continued to offer his support and newfound knowledge. Eventually, they determined that $1 million in capital would be required for Pingry to launch its own credit union, far too hefty a sum. Other roadblocks arose, such as the fact that minors could not legally take responsibility for the necessary NCUA paperwork or hold positions of responsibility in the operations of a credit union, two conditions that were integral to the spirit of the endeavor. The process was tedious, at times frustrating, and it seemed as if they had hit a brick wall.
“We were fairly confident that we were the only high school in the country trying to form our own credit union,” recalls Mr. Shrank. “When it ultimately fell through, I told the club members, ‘We’re trying to climb Mt. Everest here. Don’t feel badly that we didn’t make it to the top. The reward is in the trying and the effort, and in thinking of other ideas.” And so they did. While brainstorming with students, Mr. Woody Garavente, former Financial Literacy and math teacher, who replaced Mr. Sullivan as the club’s advisor in 2015, suggested a cooperative venture. Collaborating with a larger credit union, he offered, might help to lower their start-up costs and make a Pingry Credit Union more viable. So, the students made a few cold calls, including one to Affinity, whose convenient proximity to the Basking Ridge Campus made it an obvious candidate. Mr. Patrick McDermott, Affinity’s Assistant Vice President of Business Development, picked up the phone. Intrigued by the entrepreneurial spirit of a group of high school students, and recognizing their potentially invaluable insights into the teenage market, he was interested in learning more. When a collaboration with Affinity eventually solidified, with the approval of the Board of Trustees, club members were rejuvenated, recalls Mr. Garavente, a former financial services professional. Enthusiasm was rekindled. “It was a phenomenal business lesson for the students. When you start a new business, often you can end up somewhere totally different from where you began. Whether from a lack of capital, as we experienced, or another reason, you may have to move off your initial target and find a work-around. That’s how a transaction gets done.” A particularly community-based credit union, focused on building relationships with local businesses and organizations and supporting their “financial wellness,” Affinity was just as eager to collaborate with Pingry—its first independent school client—as Pingry was with it. The hope is that anyone affiliated with SUMMER 2018
the school will not only be able to take advantage of a range of personal finance tools at affordable rates, but can also receive guidance when it comes to their financial goals. When the opportunity for students to intern with the company was added to the conversation, the collaboration became even more of a win-win. “When we entered this relationship with Pingry, our strategic vision was to develop a sustainable and continuous learning environment for students, empowering them through financial education and firsthand insights into the credit union experience,” Mr. McDermott says. “This same strategic vision weaves into Affinity’s mission statement—to improve the financial lives of every single one of our members.” He adds, “Not to over-simplify, but this collaboration, including the internship experiences, is owned and operated by Pingry students, and powered by Affinity. We are serving as an extension of the Pingry curriculum.” And so, we circle back to Alyssa and Andrew, Pingry’s “beta test” interns for Affinity. The hope, explains Mr. Garavente, is that the pair will pave the way for future Pingry interns, with the goal of three to five interns (juniors and seniors) working at Affinity each fall, winter, and spring. Pave the way they have. Casting aside the stereotype of coffee-fetching, photocopying rookies, Alyssa and Andrew were put to real work. And, by all accounts, they delivered. Alyssa interned in their Public Relations and Brand Advocacy Department, compiling member testimonials and strategizing about how to integrate 48
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Members of Pingry’s Credit Union Club. Around the table: then-advisor Woody Garavente, Andrew Lee ’19, Mitchell Flugstad-Clarke ’18, Jenny Coyne ’18, Alisa Chokshi ’19, Krish Bhavnani ’18, Justin Li ’21, Jeff Xiao ’19, Alyssa Chen ’18, Julian Lee ’21, and Alison Lee ’20.
them into Affinity’s branding and communications. “Reading the testimonials and learning about the various credit union members and how Affinity has had a positive effect on their lives made me proud of the projects I’m working on, and proud to help build an effective communications plan to tell their stories,” she says. With an interest in data analytics and financial technology (“fin tech”) services, Andrew was placed, thanks to the help of Mr. McDermott, in their Project Management office, as a data analytics and technological consultant. “I helped figure out how to improve the digital banking experience for my generation, Generation Z,” he explains, a demographic Affinity is keen to reach. He performed extensive analytics on current banking trends, fin tech services, the habits of his generation—what they’re looking for in a bank, what they want in their first, off-to-college checking account—and how Affinity can keep up with the ever-changing trends in the banking industry. In late February, he presented his findings and data analyses to Affinity’s management, including the company’s Chief Strategic Officer, to much praise. Alyssa and Andrew’s internship aside, all members of Pingry’s Credit Union Club (four seniors, three juniors, three sophomores, and two freshmen in the 2017-18 school year), who hold meetings twice a cycle, have learned invaluable business —and life—skills: leadership, business modeling, and scenario testing, not to mention the art of following up, creating
spreadsheets, sticking to an agenda, and conducting conference calls and business meetings. (Club members were present at key meetings between the CFO of Affinity, Mr. McDermott, and Pingry’s Board of Trustees, when the initial collaborative venture was proposed and details were worked out.) “Pingry students are natural leaders, and truly very special. I continue to be amazed by their innovation, maturity, passion, and collaborative spirit,” Mr. McDermott says. “It has been such a rewarding experience building this program with the School.” In turn, and even more significantly, as Charlie Zhu described in the club’s early years, by collaborating with Affinity, the Credit Union Club is able to share helpful benefits with the entire Pingry community. Credit Union President Jenny Coyne ’18 agrees. “What excites me the most about our collaboration is the continued learning opportunities for both the club’s members and the broader Pingry community,” she says. “Beyond just financial services, Affinity provides a big financial literacy component—which happens to complement Pingry’s financial literacy classes in Grades 9 and 12 nicely—that will reach all segments of our community. The company is more focused on giving back [to the community] and on financial education than on the bottom line.” And members of Pingry’s Credit Union Club hope that is a message they can deliver, too.
Love for Language Extends to Digital World Q&A with GirlCode Club Co-Founder Lindsey Yu ’18 Last December, during Computer Science Week, 20 members of Pingry’s GirlCode Club visited Google’s corporate campus in New York City, where they were treated to a tour of the company and a peek at its innovative Creative Lab, a melding of interdisciplinary thinkers who produce cutting-edge technology. Here, one of the club’s three founders, Lindsey Yu ’18, shares a highlight from the tour, explains her thoughts on computer science and STEM at Pingry, and discusses the importance of female mentors.
What attracted you to coding? I think my love for coding is fueled by my love for language. I’ve always seen language as a way for people to share ideas while preserving the details of their cultures. As a result, I’ve enjoyed studying Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese at Pingry. When I started coding in Python, I realized that programming languages are very similar—they are the words, the basic units and roots, of technological innovation. I felt that coding could translate my creativity into something real and shareable; I could prototype and solve problems with my own flair and accents.
What led you to found GirlCode— a coding club for girls—at Pingry?
experience of being the only girl in their coding class. The three of us decided to create a coding club for girls called “GirlCode,” to inspire more women to pursue their interests in computer science and STEM fields. Overall, Pingry has an incredibly thorough and unique CS program, spanning intro-level courses to multiple levels of advanced topics. We wanted to encourage more girls to take advantage of this rich curriculum. [In the 2017-18 academic year, more than 40 girls signed up for the club.]
In what ways do you notice the club making an impact? In the past two years, it’s been exciting for me to watch as more of our members, perhaps due to joining our club, have enrolled in CS at Pingry. Though the concentration of women is still low in these classes, I am happy to know that our club has made an impact, even if through just a few new girl coders. I believe our trip to Google in December was especially effective, as many of our members told us it was one of the most memorable experiences they’ve had at Pingry. Most importantly, I think that GirlCode provides a strong support network for our members. I think that we can all feel more confident knowing that we belong to a group of equally passionate women.
What did it mean to you to meet Jane Friedhoff, a game developer and coder with Google’s Creative Lab? Meeting Jane Friedhoff was very exciting. She’s experimented a lot with augmented reality, something I’m very interested in. Though I think it’s common to see few women working in these departments, I felt that the environment at Google was very diverse and progressive. Along with Jane, Avery, Michelle, and Mimi (our tour guides at Google) also represented strong examples of confident women in the worlds of STEM and business. Though I’m sure they’ve endured many obstacles as females in their fields, it was motivating for us to see them thriving while working on what they truly love.
How has your experience with GirlCode influenced your decision vis-a-vis college and/or potential areas of future study? My experience with GirlCode has definitely shown me that I should continue my path in computer science in college. My mentors from the club have shown me that it’s possible to succeed in a male-dominated field. To read more about Lindsey’s experience at Google, visit pingry.org/extras.
Two years ago, when I was a sophomore, I was so excited to take Intro to Computer Science (CS), my first official programming class. As I saw my classmates pouring in the first day of class, I realized that they were all boys. I was incredibly discouraged at first, but, after the first few lessons, I knew that CS was for me. During the tennis season [Lindsey was a four-year member of the Girls’ Varsity Tennis Team, and captain her senior year], I discovered that two of my closest teammates, Daria Fradkin ’16 and Jessica Li ’18, had the same A mural at Google NYC, with the words “Celebrating Women in Technology.”
READY the SET, and GO Build
Jane Asch Sets the Stage If you are fortunate to attend a Pingry drama or musical production in the Hostetter Arts Center’s Macrae Theater, it would be worth your while to take special note of the sets. Detailed, colorful, and carefully-crafted, they are the artistic vision of award-winning scenic designer Mrs. Jane Asch P ’04. “I take into account all of the show’s collaborative needs and then create the design, which is reflected in my draftings [detailed drawings that guide the construction of sets] and models,” she explains. That list of needs begins with the director’s initial vision for the production, which could sound as simple as “a two-story set with two staircases.” (She receives other input from the lighting director, music director, and choreographer.) And, make no mistake about it, Mrs. Asch has collaborated with many directors during her career, having worked on television, movie, Broadway, and opera productions as a professional scenic artist before becoming Theater Production Designer & Manager and a visual arts teacher at Pingry (part-time from 2004 to 2010; full-time since 2010). By joining Pingry, she came full circle, in a way, from where her interest in scenic design began—backstage in high school! “My friends were performers and stayed to help with sets, so they suggested that I try it. It was magic, and I met my husband Tony while building the sets,” she remembers. “I liked the problem solving, and that the set was ephemeral—a moment in time, like music and performance. You work together to create a magical experience and then move on to create another work of art.” That sense of problem solving is ongoing, since every production presents a new set of challenges. “I take copious notes about the Draftings and models by Mrs. Jane Asch P ’04 for Antigone, The Addams Family, Seussical, The Crucible, and Curtains. Models help the cast and crew visualize three-dimensional set pieces.
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A scene from The Addams Family (left) and from Suessical (below).
“We used to have a very large carbon footprint, because we didn’t have storage space and needed to throw out a lot. But now we’re very fortunate—sharing the old fencing room [space that became available with the opening of the Bugliari Athletics Center] with the Facilities Department gives us storage space, so I’m able to reuse a lot of flats and platforms and design bigger, better sets for future shows. And I can save on rentals.”
production team’s needs and conduct hours of research about the technical aspects of a particular set design, such as how to build something or where we can rent or purchase a set piece. I have to figure out how everything will fit on stage,” she says. Thanks to a projector that was generously donated by the Ballintyn and Lipper families, the production team has even more to work with as it considers a show’s visual possibilities.
Did You Know?
• Jane Asch was one of the first
women in the New York film industry to work as the charge scenic artist for feature films, and the first female Senior Scenic Artist on Sesame Street. Production credits include Jungle Fever, The Secret of My Success, A Chorus Line, Porgy and Bess, La Traviata, and Little Shop of Horrors. She is also a painter, muralist, costume designer, and makeup designer. She is the Coordinator of Warren Township’s Office of Emergency Management—the first female OEM Coordinator in Somerset County. She is the lead writer of Pingry’s new Emergency Operating Plan. She has been an Emergency Medical Technician volunteer for 29 years.
When the design is complete, set construction begins, relying on standard building codes, like the struts that provide support for balconies. Significantly, all students involved in a show help build the sets “because it’s collaborative, experiential learning,” Mrs. Asch says. “We teach them stagecraft, scenic painting, and how to use tools. Students even learn how to do their own makeup. The experience is comprehensive.” Each production also has two or three “set days” when parents help the students build and paint. Mrs. Asch spends a great deal of time scouring stores like The Home Depot to buy components for Pingry’s sets, although not as much time as in the past.
That’s not to say that some of Pingry’s sets haven’t already been big! Among Mrs. Asch’s most memorable challenges have been productions such as Les Misérables, The Crucible, and The Addams Family—shows that required big sets with lots of moving parts because the stories take place in multiple locations. “That was the problem solving—to have the set pieces fit together when they turned around to become something else,” she emphasizes. “We do lots of one-set shows, so, when we have a production with multiple locations, the question is, ‘How do we add a completely different scene?’” Sets can also change, within reason, as rehearsals progress, making them the result of a collaborative, evolving process. So, the next time you take in a Pingry show, take time to appreciate the skilled, labor-intensive work of Jane Asch.
• • • • •
Home-Grown Math at Pingry “When I first started teaching, I realized that I didn’t like the organization of the math textbooks that I had seen,” says Middle School math teacher Alex Joujan. “The chapters sometimes jumped around, making topics seem disconnected. I wanted to write continuous sets of problems that lead students through topics, so new concepts make sense based on what they already know.” Taking matters into his own hands, Mr. Joujan, a math teacher since 2006 and a Pingry teacher since 2011, wrote his own books to cover a two-year algebra sequence (not an unusual approach, since Pingry’s math program has not relied on standard textbooks for many years). He started the process in 2013 and recently published Summit Math, a 15-book curriculum series that provides guided discovery; the Knowles Teacher Initiative recently mentioned Mr. Joujan’s accomplishment on its website.* The books—1,200 pages of 4,000 math problems—are used by Grades 7 and 8
at Pingry, the grades Mr. Joujan teaches. “I also wrote the problems to give students greater depth of material. In textbooks, topics simply stop, but I wanted to go further. For my books, I stop when a book became too long, or when I believed the material is sufficient. An important aspect of my books is that students learn at their own pace and ask questions as needed.” Headmaster Nat Conard P ’09, ’11 envisions more teachers taking a hands-on approach to the curriculum. “When you look at the Strategic Plan, and its goals
for interdisciplinary course development, cross-disciplinary learning, and experiential learning, the vehicles for delivering that kind of curriculum will have to be home grown. They don’t exist,” Mr. Conard says. “We are going to see more internal curriculum development in all areas.” * As a new high school math teacher in 2006, Mr. Joujan was awarded a five-year Knowles Teaching Fellowship to help him develop his skills. He has been a Senior Fellow since 2011 and informed the organization that he completed Summit Math last summer.
In Health Classes, Recovering Addicts Share Their Stories “Every day, nationwide, over 150 people of all ages die from overdoses because people don’t want to talk about the addiction epidemic. Many people view addiction as a moral failing—they think people can decide to stop,” Sam* said. He and Kim*, who are grateful to be in recovery, visited Pingry’s Health 10 classes in April when the Health Department hosted the organization Community in Crisis, which provides speakers who have struggled with addiction. Sam has a family history of drug and alcohol addiction—but he didn’t know, at first, because nobody in the family spoke about it. His story began at a party in 2008, when a mixed drink relaxed his inhibitions. Later, pain medication further ensnared him in addiction because he didn’t know that pain medications could be addictive. Through high school, college, his first job, and beyond, his struggles ballooned out of control as he used drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism for stress. “I was taking a pill for every one of my problems,” 52
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he said. After repeated, unsuccessful trips to a rehabilitation facility, his life became unbearable, and Sam realized he needed a support system. He also shared that “I needed to like myself.” With a newfound support network, he fully committed himself to recovery, and he has been clean and sober since 2014. Nobody in Kim’s life had a problem with drugs or alcohol, so she was convinced that nothing would happen to her if she experimented. As an outgoing person who wanted people to like her, she “dabbled with drinking” and continued to drink “normally” because it made her feel comfortable in social situations. She also started to surround herself with schoolmates in leadership positions who were using drugs, giving her the impression that it was a “normal activity.” As Kim increasingly relied on drugs to have
fun, her life began to unravel—she put herself in dangerous situations with dangerous people, became depressed, and considered suicide. All the while, she denied that she was an addict, even lying to her therapist. “All I could think was, ‘How did I get here?’ I wanted myself back, but I couldn’t admit to the problem and ask for help,” she said. Ultimately, she admitted to needing help. “I’m so happy that I’m out from those bad years [2009-2015]. I don’t associate drugs with fun anymore. The problem was in my mind.” As a takeaway, in addition to offering students robust programming to equip them with critical health and wellness knowledge, Pingry’s health teachers encourage students to educate themselves about potential side effects of any medications they use; be knowledgeable about what they put in their bodies; and seek guidance and support from the School’s counselors as needed. * Fictitious names to protect their identities.
Exchange Students Experience American Life at Pingry By Dina Glasofer, Admission and Communications Associate
April was a busy month for Global Programs at Pingry, as students on the Basking Ridge Campus hosted two separate groups of European exchange students—12 high schoolers from Karl Rehbein Schule in Hanau, Germany and seven from Lycée Victor-Duruy in Paris, France. The week-long German exchange, organized by Pingry Global Programs and titled “Borders of My Perception —Exploring Immigration in Germany and the U.S.A,” represents the School’s first for-credit exchange program.* In June, Pingry students had their turn to experience life in Germany when they reconnected with their European friends for a week in Hanau, followed by a few days of learning and sightseeing in Berlin. The French students’ two-day campus visit, part of a week-long stay with Pingry families, coincided with a threeday weekend that included Pingry’s Prom, allowing a few of the French students to experience a glimpse of this American tradition; they even attended a “pre-prom” party with Pingry students. Grade 8 students in Mr. Rich Karrat’s French 2 class practiced language skills with their French friends.
Pingry students and their German guests preparing to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
Both the German and French students —as well as their American counterparts—benefited tremendously from the visits, according to Director of Global Education Jeff Jewett, who believes that hosting students from abroad provides an incredible opportunity for Pingry students and their families to learn about life outside of the U.S. without necessarily stepping foot on a plane. “Participating in exchange programs also teaches participants from both communities about different cultures, and students have a chance to practice a world language outside of the classroom.” * The German exchange program was one of five Global Field Studies courses (all for academic credit) launching this summer. The four other courses: Peru with Purpose: The Denan Project and Sustainable Development Nations at a Crossroads: Nationalism and Religion in the Balkans Marine Ecology Research in Belize Pura Vida: Leadership and Community Development in Costa Rica
Lower School Readers “Go for the Gold”
By Lower School Librarian Ann D’Innocenzo “Go for the Gold,” an optional Olympicthemed library reading program that took place in February, motivated students in Grades 1 through 5 to read as much as possible over a 20-day period. The 230 students who participated (80 percent of the Classes of 2025 through 2029) set a goal for the number of hours they would read and pledged to achieve it through a “contract” they signed with the library. Reading choices were practically limitless—students chose books from Pingry’s library or any outside collection. In keeping with the Olympic theme, Lower Schoolers were assigned to five teams representing the colors of the Olympic rings: red, blue, yellow, black, and green; each team had two fifth-grade co-captains whom I selected based on their desire to motivate teammates and their enthusiasm for reading.
GOAL: 4,242 hours of reading
ACTUAL: 4,548 hours— over 300 more! When the results were tabulated, team co-captains acknowledged their top three readers with certificates for achieving gold, silver, and bronze. All participants received certificates and medals for their reading efforts, with gold, silver, and bronze certificate seals based on the final number of hours compared with the goals. The firstplace team was later treated to a MakeYour-Own Sundae Party. I am so proud of our reading Olympians and hope they discovered that reading a good book is a great way to spend their time. It was such a joy to see students, especially some who are not avid readers, choose to read during their free time and ask me for more good books. One parent commented, “We are simply blown away by how this energized our son. This competition has inspired him beyond anything his Dad and I have seen so far.” SUMMER 2018
Making Swimming History
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With their 138-32 victory over Oratory Prep on February 25—a rematch of last year’s state final—Big Blue’s inimitable Boys’ Varsity Swim Team (9-0) posted their 11th consecutive NJSIAA Non-Public B state title. The win continues a streak that began in 2008 and gives the team the second-longest run of state titles of any high school swim program in New Jersey. As NJ.com reported after the historic meet, the team has not been kept under 100 points in the state final since 2014, when Notre Dame came within four points (87-83). However, finishing just two points shy of the maximum 140 points was a surprise even to them, including four-year veteran and 2017-18 captain Victor Vollbrechthausen ’18 and Ben Ingrassia ’19, both of
Pingry has not been kept under 100 points in the state final since 2014.
whom have older brothers who competed during the “streak” and graduated with four state titles under their belts. “It feels good to continue the legacy of my brother and his amazing team,” says Ben of his older brother Alexander Ingrassia ’12. “He was co-captain of the team his senior year, and winning the state title meant a lot to him. He is happy to see the streak continue.” Indeed, the legacy of the program is as strong as the swimmers who comprise it, and working out in the pool with alumni, like two-time Olympic Trials qualifier and professional swimmer Nic Fink ’11, who often return over Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks, is nothing if not inspiring. Capping off an already triumphant season, Big Blue saved the best for last at the Meet of Champions, where it won three of the 11 events. Sean Tan ’18—who was named Courier News “Boys’ Swimmer of the Year” and, earlier in the season, broke the school record in the 200 IM (2:05.16), previously held by Nic Fink ’11—won the 100-butterfly (49.72). He, along with Leighton Mayers ’19, Dillon Shu ’19, and Matt Fallon ’21, also won the 200-medley relay in a new school and meet record of 1:32.49. Matt went on to win the 100 breaststroke in 56.13. By meet’s end, Big Blue swimmers finished within the top eight in the state 15 times.
“We had an incredible combination of senior leadership and super talented younger swimmers.”
b Boys’ Varsity Swim Team Head Coach Steve Droste P ’25
Darlene Fung ’19.
Sean Tan ’18.
In recognition of their remarkable season, during which they also won the Skyland Conference, Somerset County, and Prep Championships (the latter, for the second year in a row), breaking numerous school and meet records along the way—not to mention clinching a few All-American qualifying times—the team was named NJ.com’s “Boys Swim Team of the Year.” Head Coach Steve Droste P ’25, who has been with the team for 21 years (Head Coach since 2012), was also named Skyland Conference “Coach of the Year.” In the article announcing the honor, Coach Droste remarked, “We had an incredible combination of senior leadership and super talented younger swimmers.” Not to be overshadowed, the girls’ team more than held their own, also securing a second-straight victory at the Prep Championships and taking second at the Skyland Conference Championships. At the Meet of Champions, junior Darlene Fung, who was named Courier News “Girls’ Swimmer of the Year,” won both the 100- and 50-freestyle (the latter in a school- and state-record time of 22.80). SUMMER 2018
BIG BLUE ROUNDUP Winter 2017-18 Season Falling Records and National Rankings for Winter Track & Field Testament to the success of the Girls’ Winter Track & Field Team this year was the fact that a whopping— and unprecedented—six girls (and one boy, Henry Wood ’21) qualified for the prestigious New Balance Indoor Nationals at the Armory Track & Field Center in early March, where the best track and field athletes from across the U.S. cap off their season. There, Pingry’s 4x800-meter relay team of Nicole Vanasse ’20, Avery Schiffman ’18, Cathleen Parker ’19, and Ryan Davi ’21 finished an impressive ninth, running 9:15.05 in a new school record. At the Meet of Champions, Nicole won the 3200 meters with a PR and school record of 10:34, smashing her former PR of 11:05 set at the state championships a week earlier and securing a #3 national ranking in the event. Freshman phenom Ryan lowered her school record in the 800-meter run for the third time in the season, taking second in a blazing 2:12, giving her the 10th fastest time of any high schooler in the nation, and the best time for a freshman. And, for the third time in the season, the 4x400-meter relay team of Cathleen, Kierstyn Brown ’20, Avery, and Ryan broke the school record in the 4x400, running 4:04 to finish ninth in the state. Pingry’s 4x800-meter relay team: Ryan Davi ’21, Avery Schiffman ’18, Cathleen Parker ’19, and Nicole Vanasse ’20.
Brandon Spellman ’19 Earns Top-12 Finish at State Wrestling Tournament Capping off a tremendous season, in which he became Pingry’s first county champion in more than a decade, not to mention the School’s first individual District champion in 15 years, Brandon Spellman ’19 celebrated a successful run in the coveted State Tournament in Atlantic City. The junior placed in the top 12 in his weight class by winning three matches, and was just one match shy of placing in the top eight. Head Coach George Sullivan remarks, “It was a historic performance, as no Pingry wrestler since Zach Shanaman ’04 has earned such success. Brandon also follows in the footsteps of Frankie Dillon ’17, Pingry’s first wrestler since 2005 to compete in the State Tournament last year.” Brandon Spellman ’19 in the State Tournament.
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Big Blue’s Ski Racers Shine Despite only mediocre snow conditions for most of the season at Mountain Creek (in Vernon, NJ, the racers’ home base), Big Blue’s ski racing team posted its most successful season in recent years. For the first time in five years, the girls qualified as a team for the State Championship, capturing the Non-Public State Championship title. Freshman Rosemary Collins, Annie Leithead ’19, and Matthew Dispenza ’20 all qualified for the Race of Champions on March 1, Annie Leithead ’19, Matt Dispenza ’20, and Rosemary Collins ’21 at the Race of where Rosemary finished Champions. third. Selected to represent New Jersey at the Eastern High School Alpine Championships, Matthew and Rosemary then headed to Franconia, NH at the start of Spring Break. “It was truly an exceptional year for Pingry skiers,” said Head Coach Christine Larsen.
New Jersey’s All-Star Ice Hockey Game Features Four Pingry Girls
Credit: Mike Gilfillan
Boys’ Basketball: 4-20 Michael Weber ’18 reached 1,000 career points
Girls’ Basketball: 18-9
Somerset County Fencing Tournament: Jessica Lin ’21, 1st place epée; Aubrey Molloy ’18, 1st place foil
NJISAA Prep A Tournament: 2nd place
Boys’ Ice Hockey: 14-5-1
Boys’ Fencing: 7-7
Austin Parsons ’18: New Jersey Devils “High School Player of the Month”
State Tournament: Malcolm Fields ’18, 1st place sabre; Apurva Memani ’18, 2nd place foil; foil squad, 3rd place; sabre squad, 1st place District 3 Fencing Tournament: 3rd place overall; sabre squad, 1st place; foil squad, 3rd place; Malcolm Fields ’18, 1st place sabre; Graham Matthews ’18, 1st place epée; Apurva Memani ’18, 2nd place foil Somerset County Fencing Tournament: sabre squad, 1st place; Apurva Memani ’18, 1st place foil; Malcolm Fields ’18, 1st place sabre Cetrulo Tournament: sabre squad, 2nd place
Girls’ Fencing: 5-8 State Tournament: foil squad, 2nd place; epée squad, 1st place District 3 Fencing Tournament: 1st place overall; epée squad, 1st place; foil squad, 2nd place; Jessica Lin ’21, 1st place epée
Skyland Cup: semifinalists
Scott Garrow: Skyland Conference “Coach of the Year”
Girls’ Ice Hockey: 9-12-1 Ski Racing Team NJISRA Non-Public Championship: girls’ team, 1st place Race of Champions: Rosemary Collins ’21, 3rd place Eastern High School Alpine Championships: Rosemary Collins ’21 and Matthew Dispenza ’20 selected to compete
Boys’ Squash: 11-3 New Jersey High School Squash Championships: team, 1st place (sixth consecutive win); Krish Bhavnani ’18, 1st place; Chris Zachary ’19, finalist National High School Team Championships: 15th place
Thirty-eight of the best female high school ice hockey players from across the state squared off in the first annual New Jersey All-Star Game at the Barnabas Health Hockey House (next to the Prudential Center) in Newark on March 4. On the ice were four—yes, four—Pingry players: sophomores Allie Moss, Rylie Drozjock, and Lizzie Gilfillan, and senior captain Caroline PetrowCohen. Kate Whitman Annis P ’23, ’23, ’28, Head Coach of the Girls’ Varsity Ice Hockey Team, served as a coach in the game. Kate Whitman Annis P ’23, ’23, ’28, Head Coach of the Girls’ Varsity Ice Hockey Team, with Caroline Petrow-Cohen ’18, Lizzie Gilfillan ’20, Rylie Drozjock ’20, and Allie Moss ’20.
Girls’ Squash: 7-3
Boys’ Track & Field
New Jersey High School Squash Championships: team, 1st place; Renee Chan ’20, 1st place; Rachel Chen ’18, 2nd place
NJSIAA Non-Public B Relay Championships: 3rd place
National High School Team Championships: 11th place
Boys’ Swimming: 9-0 NJSIAA Non-Public B Championships: 1st place NJISAA Prep A Championships: 1st place Somerset County Championships: 1st place Skyland Conference Championships: 1st place The Pingry School: NJ.com “Boys Swim Team of the Year” Sean Tan ’18: Courier News “Boys Swimmer of the Year” Steve Droste: Skyland Conference “Coach of the Year”
Girls’ Swimming: 6-3 NJISAA Prep A Championships: 1st place
Girls’ Track & Field NJSIAA Non-Public A Championships: 2nd place NJISAA Prep Championships: 1st place tie with Lawrenceville Skyland Conference Championships: 2nd place NJSIAA Non-Public B Relay Championships: 2nd place
Wrestling: 10-10 Somerset County Tournament: Brandon Spellman ’19, 1st place; Aidan Dillon, 2nd place District 19 Tournament: Brandon Spellman ’19, 1st place; Holden Shikany ’19 and Aidan Dillon ’18, 2nd place; Zach Dobson ’19 and Kamal Brown ’19, 3rd place Regional Tournament: Brandon Spellman ’19 advanced to NJSIAA State Tournament
Skyland Conference Championships: 2nd place Darlene Fung ’19: Courier News “Girls Swimmer of the Year”
The Girls’ Varsity Basketball Team after defeating Blair Academy in the Prep A Tournament semifinals.
Groundbreaking Season for Girls’ Basketball Team It was a lightning finish to the end of the season for the Girls’ Varsity Basketball Team (18-9), which, despite losing to Pennington (62-49) in the finals of the Prep A Tournament on February 27, still celebrated a definitively winning season, one of the strongest in the program’s recent history. After defeating Somerset Tech (75-31) and Somerville (47-42) to advance to the quarterfinals of the Somerset County Tournament—also their best showing in years (they fell to Rutgers Prep, ranked #4 in NJ.com’s Top 20, in the quarterfinals)—they headed into the Prep Tournament with the same momentum. As the fourth seed, it was their first time advancing to the Prep finals in Head Coach Courtney Tierney’s six-year tenure at Pingry, and they edged out seven-time defending champion and top-seeded Blair Academy in the semifinals (54-52) to do so.
Coach Bugliari Selected as 2018 National High School Hall of Fame Inductee The nation’s winningest high school soccer coach and seven-time New Jersey State “Coach of the Year,” Pingry’s Miller Bugliari ’52—Head Coach of the Boys’ Varsity Soccer Team since 1960—recently received another prestigious honor. The governing body of high school sports in the U.S.—the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)—named him an inductee into the 2018 National High School Hall of Fame. In the nearly 40-year history of the award, only three other New Jersey coaches have been inducted. On the heels of the Hall of Fame distinction, Coach Bugliari received yet another. On March 1, NJ.com published an article ranking New Jersey’s 50 greatest all-time coaches. Where did Miller fall? In a lineup beside the incomparable Vince Lombardi (#1), longtime Rutgers Coach C. Vivian Stringer (#6), and legendary track & field coach at Seton Hall, John Moon (#48), he came in at #42.
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NCAA Division I Letter-of-Intent Signings Top row: Austin Parsons ’18 University of Notre Dame—Track & Field Sophia Weldon ’18 Southern Methodist University—Track & Field Malcolm Fields ’18 University of Notre Dame—Fencing Bottom row: Mairead Higgins ’18 Georgetown University—Lacrosse Aubrey Molloy ’18 University of North Carolina—Fencing George Enman ’18 Lafayette College—Lacrosse Read more about these athletes at pingry.org/extras.
Pingry Announces Seven Scholar-Athletes Somerset County: Ami Gianchandani ’18 (Golf) and Victor Vollbrechthausen ’18 (Swimming) Skyland Conference: Aidan Dillon ’18 (Wrestling) and Mairead Higgins ’18 (Soccer, Lacrosse) NJSIAA: Kassidy Peterson ’18 (Softball, Swimming) NJISAA: Krish Bhavnani ’18 (Squash) and Rachel Chen ’18 (Squash) Read more about these athletes at pingry.org/extras. SUMMER 2018
Q&A with Zach Keller ’17 Zach Keller ’17 (left) in a race against Cornell and George Washington Universities on March 31.
Harvard Freshman Trades the Baseball Diamond for a Boat A two-year letter winner in basketball and three-year winner in baseball at Pingry, you helped the Baseball Team win a Skyland Conference/Mountain Division co-championship last spring. This spring, you were rowing in an eightman shell (boat) as a member of Harvard’s varsity heavyweight crew team. What led to the sudden—and adventurous—change in sport? As a junior at Pingry, I was seriously considering playing baseball in college. Harvard wasn’t even really on my mind at the time, but I went to a showcase that the school hosted that winter. My performance could not have been worse! I was somewhat devastated, thinking, well, there is no way I’m going to play baseball at Harvard now. I knew I wouldn’t play a varsity sport at a Division I school like Harvard, but I felt it would be a real shame to give up on competitive sports. Athletics were always a huge part of my identity at Pingry; I didn’t want to give up that part of myself in college.
You had never stepped foot in a shell before. Why did you choose crew? After I was accepted to Harvard last spring, my dad suggested crew as a potential 60
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option for continuing athletics (he was a successful rugby player at Harvard, but always regretted not trying out for crew). So, I did a ton of research on it— I became a little bit obsessed. I read The Harvard Crimson archives and found a bunch of old articles about the crew team’s walk-on program. Harvard has a unique rowing program, rooted in great history and team culture. Their legendary, 50-year head crew coach, [the late] Harry Parker, cultivated a tradition of developing walk-on rowers, students who weren’t necessarily getting recruited for crew, but who worked their butts off for the chance to compete. Now, the program has a lot more recruits— over half our team is international—and the walk-on component has been deemphasized, but it’s still there. So, that walk-on opportunity, combined with the fact that I have a natural build for rowing, led to my interest. The program just seemed really cool. I loved the tradition of it.
What did you do to prepare for the season? Upon acceptance to Harvard last spring, I reached out to one of the team’s assistant coaches, expressed interest in joining as a walk-on, and asked what I should do to get ready. He said the best thing I could do was to be really fit. So, I spent the whole spring working out in the BAC [Bugliari Athletics Center] with my friend [and fellow baseball teammate] Jack Laurent ’17.
Over the summer, I did CrossFit and worked out in the BAC more. I had built up a good base by fall, when I joined the other walkons and learned how to row. We used the indoor rowing machines [ergometers, or “ergs”] to build fitness further. The first time I actually got in a boat, the four of us rowing were so bad that I was mostly terrified I was going to fall into the Charles! But the most amazing feeling I remember was the first time we rowed into the Charles River Basin at night and downtown Boston was lit up before us. There was a slow attrition of novices throughout the fall, but, by December, I was invited to join the team at their training camp in Florida and was “boated”—given the opportunity to row with varsity.
Care to share your biggest highlight from last season? Last November, I competed in my first head race, which means you’re not side-by-side with another boat; it’s a timed event, a 5k. I was still just learning how to row, but varsity needed another rower in their fifth boat. It was an unexpected opportunity. On race day, early on a Saturday morning, it was 25 degrees, and here I am, I’m making my debut! My parents had come up for the weekend to watch—I was so excited. But I was also absolutely terrified. We get out there and I’m just holding onto the oar for dear life. “Catching a crab” is the worst thing that can happen—that’s when
you can’t get your oar out of the water in time. It can swing around and hit you and mess up the whole boat up and you lose time. I was terrified of that happening. Suddenly, the race officials are telling us to go, and I’m rowing as hard as I can. A 5k takes about 15-16 minutes, so I’m exhausted, I can’t feel my hands at all. But I managed to make it through the whole race without doing anything too embarrassing.
College Athlete Accolades
Are there any aspects of your life as a Pingry student-athlete that you find yourself drawing on in college? Attitude—specifically, discipline and working in a team environment. I have very fond memories of being in team environments at Pingry, of running 17s [laps of the gym] before the basketball season even begins. At the time, I felt horrible, but you realize you’re not doing them for yourself; you’re running them for the guy next to you. I also learned a lot about discipline from the team environment cultivated by [then-Head Coach of the Varsity Baseball Team] Coach Corvino and [Assistant Coach] Trem [Manny Tramontana]. Their program was truly a meritocracy, and I learned that, if I worked harder, I would be rewarded for it. Lastly, there’s the discipline of time management, which is definitely something I learned at Pingry and also apply at Harvard. I remember when I was in the eighth grade, about to move up to the high school, a panel of Upper Schoolers talked to us about different aspects of high school life. Adedire Fakorede ’14, who was on the track & field team at Bates College, was talking about how by not doing a sport, you think you’ll have all this extra time, but, actually, athletics forces you to manage your time better. That message really resonated with me. At Harvard, I probably spend 20-25 hours a week on practice commitments, whether on ergs in the boathouse, on the water, lifting, or doing “stadiums,” a unique form of Harvard torture in which we run up and down the stadium steps. The one place I suffer is that I have less time for other extracurriculars, but being on the crew team really gives me the structure I need to get everything else done.
Steve Droste P ’25, Head Coach of Pingry’s Boys’ Varsity Swim Team, and Sebastian Lutz ’15 at the Ivy League Championships.
Men’s Swimming & Diving Sebastian Lutz ’15 (Harvard University), swimming in the Ivy League Championships in late February, was part of a 200-medley relay team that broke the Harvard, Princeton pool (the location of the Championships), and Ivy League records in the event.
Women’s Track & Field Julia Dannenbaum ’17 (pole vault, Washington University in St. Louis) was named a UAA Indoor Field Athlete of the Week (Jan. 15). She cleared a jump of 3.53m on her first attempt, to tie for first with a teammate, at the Terre Haute Double Dual. Sophia Cortazzo ’16 (pole vault, Johns Hopkins University) was named Centennial Conference Field Athlete of the Week for her record-breaking performance at the Keogh Invitational (Feb. 19). She won the event with a mark of 3.45m and holds at least a share of the top three marks in the school's program history, all of which have been set this year.
Matt Beattie ’11 Inducted into Hall of Fame The New Jersey High School Ice Hockey Hall of Fame opened its doors to Matt Beattie ’11 during induction ceremonies on April 15. Matt holds the Pingry record for points in a season (94) and won an NCAA title at Yale before being drafted by the Vancouver Canucks.
What’s next? Being part of Harvard’s heavyweight crew team has been a really positive experience so far. This summer, I'm rowing for the New York Athletic Club and competing at Club Nationals in Cincinnati. I want to come back this fall with a vengeance and move up a boat.
NJISAA—New Jersey Independent Schools Athletic Association NJISRA—New Jersey Interscholastic Ski Racing Association NJSIAA—New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association UAA—University Athletic Association SUMMER 2018
From the Twinkle in His Eye, to an Official Pingry Diploma…
Memories of Honorary Trustee William S. Beinecke ’31 A decades-long era in Pingry history came to a close when Honorary Trustee William S. Beinecke ’31, P ’61, ’64 passed away in April at age 103 (an obituary appears on page 98). Although much of his direct impact on Pingry occurred more than 35 years ago, culminating with the School’s move from Hillside to Bernards Township in November of 1983, he remained a vital member of the Pingry community until his passing. On the site of the future campus in Bernards Township (1982) with then-Board Chair Fred Bartenstein Jr. P ’68, ’70, ’72, ’75, then-Headmaster David Wilson ’59, then-Pingry President Scotty Cunningham ’38, P ’78, ’80, and then-trustee Mac Bristol III ’39, P ’69.
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As recently as 2008, he was interviewed for a short film that celebrated the 25th anniversary of the campus move. In 2011, he was the first speaker for the School’s 150th Anniversary Lecture and Performance Series (read his full remarks at pingry.org/extras). In 2012, he was on campus to celebrate the dedication of Beinecke House, the headmaster’s house on the Basking Ridge Campus made possible by his generosity. And at countless Trustee dinners and receptions in Delray Beach (many of which he hosted), he was a wise and engaging presence. Remembering his legacy and character, members of the Pingry community highlight his passion for lifelong learning and his astonishing loyalty to Pingry —astonishing considering neither Mr. Beinecke nor his sons graduated from the School. They also recall lighter moments … but more on that later. Enjoy these additional memories:
Honorary Trustee Vicki Brooks: “… we can’t rest on our laurels … ” Bill will always be associated with having the foresight to move Pingry to Bernards Township, and with the story of the move, saying that we can’t rest on our laurels, buying the property, and burning the mortgage. I will always remember Bill’s values as a person, and the wonderful twinkle in his eye. He was devoted to community building, understanding how people learned and worked together, and higher education. I always sought him out because he was such a delightful and thoughtful person. Many times in his later years, he came to trustee dinners or other Pingry events—Bill gave us so much of his time. His mind was there the whole time, and he cared about Pingry the whole time. His whole life was one of giving back.
Special Assistant to the Headmaster Miller Bugliari ’52: “. . . he had everybody spellbound.” I knew Bill since the early ’60s. I met him through his sons—John was one of my biology students, and Rick played soccer when I was the assistant coach during my first year at Pingry. When I first met Bill, I thought he was going to be austere, but he had a great sense of humor, which made you warm up to him right away. I went to his 100th birthday party, where he spoke for about 15-30 minutes, about his life and the world around him, without notes, and he had everybody spellbound. He was a wonderful benefactor and friend for Pingry and so many other places. Celebrating his upcoming 97th birthday after speaking for the 150th Anniversary Lecture and Performance Series (2011). Marisa Werner ’12 and Freddy Elliot ’12 presented the cake.
He had the ability to talk to everybody, no matter their position in life. Bill will be missed by not only the Pingry community, but so many others. He left a real mark on the world, and his advice to me was: Keep Pingry strong and make it the best school it can be.
Board of Trustees Chair Jeff Edwards ’78: “… he has shaped our development …” It would be difficult to overstate the tremendous impact that Bill Beinecke had on the development of The Pingry 64
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School. From providing strategic direction to relocate the Middle and Upper School Campus to Bernards Township in the 1970s, to ensuring the availability of funding for the Headmaster’s house, he has shaped our development over many decades. While we will miss him greatly, I think his generosity will inspire us for a very long time.
Honorary Trustee Bill Engel ’67: “He showed his unwavering support …” When I became a trustee, Bill didn’t treat me like a kid; he offered his
Receiving his Pingry diploma (2000) from then-Board Chair Bill Engel ’67. Seated is then-Headmaster John Hanly.
wisdom peer-to-peer. He had an active, inquiring mind—he never lost his mental acuity or his sense of humor— was always thinking ahead, and was interested in the evolution of education, generally, and what was happening at Pingry, specifically. He showed his unwavering support for the School, both financially and by attending trustee meetings and dinners [after he retired from the Board in 1976]. He even showed up on a Saturday morning in 1986 when the Board officially voted to
elect John Hanly as the next headmaster. Bill was happy to stay involved and was always available when advice was wanted or needed. I had the honor of giving him his Pingry diploma [in 2000] because he had never officially received one. He had more than earned it.
Roger B. Parsons ’55, with Robert W. Parsons ’51: “… the present day ‘Mr. Pingry.’” Mr. William S. (Bill) Beinecke, a most coveted friend if there ever was one, is, as far as we are concerned, the present day “Mr. Pingry.” I’ve known Bill since I was a teenager. He and my father, Bob Parsons, were such great friends. They did wonderful things together, not only with Pingry, but also other Right: Mr. Beinecke with his wife Betty. Below: Groundbreaking for Beinecke House (2011) with Special Assistant to the Headmaster Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24, then-Board Chair Jack Brescher ’65, P ’99, Headmaster Nat Conard, Brenda Hamm (Parents ’09, ’11), then-PAA President Steve Lipper ’79, P ’09, ’12, ’14, then-PSPA President Noreen Witte P ’13, ’16, and then-Director of Facilities Mike Virzi P ’18.
philanthropic efforts around the New York area. The school would not be in Bernards Township were it not for Bill. I was home with my family when Bill came to see my father and expressed his belief that Pingry had to move west. Most of the student body came from there, and therein lay the school’s future as he saw it. Having mentioned his idea, he then asked if Dad would like to see the land he had in mind. Dad agreed, and the move to Bernards Township was underway. As long as I can remember, Bill and his wife Betty were strong supporters of the School. They will be sorely missed.
this wonderful man lent me and others a helping hand or ear, I will leave you with this single recollection: The Beineckes would host a Christmas cocktail party almost every year. To this day, my enduring image of Bill, upon my walking into the front hallway, was to see him happily ensconced on the stairs near the bottom of his winding staircase, egg nog in hand, waving to all the arriving guests and wishing them all a Merry Christmas. For me, this moment captures his wonderfully effervescent personality, his love of people, and his generous spirit. He was a model to be followed, for he was a model in all respects. I shall miss him greatly.
Bill Sterns ’66: “He was a model to be followed … ”
Headmaster Nat Conard … on the first meeting
My parents were close friends with Bill and Betty Beinecke. Consequently, I knew Bill most of my life. While I could recount innumerable instances when
I met Bill at the Yale Club in New York during the winter of 2004-05, after I was named headmaster. He was very gracious, but also very penetrating in
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Dedication of Beinecke House (2012) with Headmaster Nat Conard P ’09, ’11 and then-Board Chair Jack Brescher ’65, P ’99.
his questions, with a superb grasp of history, especially Pingry history. We had a delightful conversation about his history with Pingry and his experiences on the Board. I knew I had met somebody truly remarkable.
… on Mr. Beinecke’s advice In my experience, Bill was not a big giver of direct advice. Instead, he was a great storyteller—thoughtful and intentional about the stories he told, with lessons to be taken from them. He was a great teacher by example, an incredibly kind and humble man, and a great listener. When you were speaking with him, he was making connections between what you said and his life experience or history.
“By the end of 1969, I had come to the realization that, notwithstanding its beautiful new and efficient schoolhouse, Pingry was in the wrong place for the long haul . . . So, I gathered up my son Rick, who was now back from a Marine Corps tour in Vietnam,
… on Mr. Beinecke’s involvement with Pingry Bill always wanted data—not assurances— about how the School was doing in Admissions, college placement, and other areas. Conservation, for example, was a big interest of his, and it’s important to his family, so he was excited when we started moving toward stewardship and sustainability. He very much wanted Beinecke House to be built in his lifetime, and was pleased that the plans called for a green residence and one that would capture and display some of the history of the School, like salvaged materials from Parker Road and Hillside. It was great that he was able to attend the dedication. And, he eagerly hosted alumni gatherings, year after year, in Delray Beach, long past the point when there was any reasonable expectation that he would do that.
… on his devotion to Pingry and other institutions Bill chose organizations that he believed in— Pingry, Yale, Columbia Law School, the Central Park Conservancy, among others—and then entered long-term relationships with them. He never spoke ill of anybody and always supported institutions and their missions, whether or not he believed that the person in charge was the best person for the job.
… on his legacy He made life better for many people and organizations through his perspective and his philanthropic support. Bill loved taking care of Pingry and its people.
and we went to see my neighbor Bob Parsons, who had, by then, retired or was about to retire as an elder statesman of the Pingry Board. I did so with some trepidation because Bob had been head of a foundation that did a lot of the funding for the move from Parker Road to Hillside less than twenty years earlier. And here I was about to suggest that all his excellent work should be set aside and that Pingry should move again! I gathered up my courage and told him what I thought. To my amazement, Bob took my point immediately and even proposed that we go out together to look at some possible sites.”
b Excerpt from Mr. Beinecke's remarks during the 150th Anniversary Lecture and Performance Series Read his full speech at pingry.org/extras
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Alumni Honor Fallen Classmate
[ 1 ] Amanda Hulse ’13, music teacher and former Girls’ Varsity Ice Hockey Team Head Coach Sean McAnally, and Hanna Beattie ’13. [ 2 ] Alumni
Pingry dedicated the Class of 1964 William F. Little III Memorial Vietnam History Room on May 18. Bill Little ’64 (West Point ’68) was killed in action in Vietnam in November 1969. A First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, Bill gave his life protecting a comrade and was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, our Army’s second-highest award for valor. To honor Bill’s sacrifice and all classmates who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Vietnam Era, the Class of 1964 came together to support the School through the naming of a history classroom in Pingry’s Upper School. Bill’s sister Alison ’82, P ’22 and her family were joined by several members of the Class Gift Committee, Headmaster Nat Conard P ’09, ’11, and Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90 ’97, GP ’20, ’24 to unveil the plaque commemorating Bill and “all the classmates we have lost and all those who served.”
Lacrosse Game. Kneeling: George Enman ’18 and Aidan Dillon ’18. Standing: John Magadini, Matt Parisi ’18, Drew Brosie ’17, Tommy Dugan ’18, Ryan Boylan ’17, Will Graff ’17, Cameron Wright ’18, Jake Simon ’17, Austin Chang ’16, Jason Weiss ’18, Jake Patterson ’18, Frankie Dillon ’17, Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse Head Coach Mike Webster P ’24, ’27, ’27, Brian Combias ’06, Kevin Fischer ’12, Tanner Combias ’08, Todd Ferrie ’93, and Assistant Coach Mike McMenamin. [ 3 ] For the first time, the Student Body President spoke at the Annual Meeting of Alumni. Michael Weber ’18 shared the story of how the tradition of a senior prank became taboo this year. Although the seniors were planning one, Form V/VI Dean of Student Life Jake Ross explained that it would create a bitter goodbye to teachers and administrators, equivalent to college’s “Moving In Day” for parents. “A prank would hurt the same people who instilled in us a passion for learning, met with us at all hours of the day, and took a genuine interest in our lives beyond the classroom,” Michael said of his classmates’ new perspective. “The tradition of putting community before self persists, and 140 high school seniors coalesced out of reverence and respect.” [ 4 ] Jim Froggatt ’58 and Bill Ledder ’52.
To see all photos from Reunion Weekend, visit pingry.org/reunion, scroll to the photos link, and use “pingry1861” for the password.
Julia Saksena ’22, Alison Little ’82, P ’22, John Saksena, and Sonny Saksena P ’22.
Tom Oathout ’64, Rik Alexanderson ’64, P ’02, Bruce Morrison ’64, Alison Little ’82, P ’22, and Bob Weissman ’64.
Alison Malin Zoellner ’83 Receives Nelson L. Carr ’24 Service Award
Trustee and PAA President Woody Weldon ’91, P ’23 and Alison Malin Zoellner ’83.
A tradition for many years, Saturday’s Annual Meeting of Alumni included the presentation of The Nelson L. Carr ’24 Service Award, a surprise for the recipient. Named in 1992 for Mr. Carr, who served as Pingry Alumni Association President (1942-43) and received the Letter-in-Life Award (1982), it is given for faithful and dedicated service in support of Pingry, with special consideration given to the nature and duration of service.
“Alison has given Pingry so much of her time, energy, and expertise. She has been incredibly eager to help the School in any possible way, and our community is enriched by her involvement,” says Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Holland Sunyak Francisco ’02. Mrs. Zoellner has been a Reunion Committee volunteer, Pingry Fund volunteer, Decade Chair, and Career Day speaker. For the PAA, she has been a board member, Vice President, and Young Alumni Committee member, and she founded the Alumnae Committee and its networking events. She was also a member of the Board of Trustees from 2011-2017, chairing the Committee on Trustees and serving on the Finance, Compensation, Employee Benefits, and Planning Committees. Accepting the award, Mrs. Zoellner says, “Pingry is everything to me, and it’s truly an honor to be recognized. The School has been a consistent source of growth and inspiration for me—continuing well after my graduation and through roles as alumna, parent, and trustee. The commitment of its gifted teachers and vision of its leaders have served the School and its alumni exceedingly well. I encourage all members of the Pingry community to consider volunteering your time and talents in service of this wonderful institution dedicated to excellence and honor.” 70
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Reunion 2018 [ 5 ] Michael Arrom ’13, Music Department Chair Dr. Andrew Moore, and music teacher Jay Winston at Dr. Moore’s Magistri induction. Read more on page 36. [ 6 ] Geirr Jakobsen ’68, AFS student from Norway, with Chris Downs ’68 and Stu Conway ’68, P ’94, ’95. [ 7 ] Pingry history on display in the entrance of the Basking Ridge Campus. [ 8 ] Steve Engler ’93 and Ken Engler ’58, P ’93.
Pingry Athletics Hall of Fame Inductions The ceremony returned, with two milestones: the first Hall of Fame inductions held in the Miller A. Bugliari ’52 Athletics Center, and Pingry’s first female coach to be inducted—long-time field hockey and swimming coach Judy Lee. Read more about the inductees’ accomplishments and the ceremony on page 76. Above: Members of the 2001 Field Hockey Team with their citations: Head Coach and fellow inductee Judy Lee, Lauren Callaghan ’02, Liz Dee ’02, Caitlin Morahan ’02, Jessica Saraceno Carroll ’02, Lea Salese Mirabile ’02, Kate Schmidlin Hannon ’03, Christin Gianis Willis ’03, Heather Shafi ’03, Micki Rupon Cobos ’03, and Assistant Coach Hillary Huffaker Clark. Right: Andrew Houston ’00 with his wife Liz Houston and their son Hagen.
Middle School Pen Pal Program
Pen pals from 1968 and 2018 with Form I Leader Mike Coakley.
Members of the 50th Reunion class met their Grade 7 pen pals and visited their classrooms for a fun question-and-answer session about Pingry in 1968 and 2018. Prior to the classroom Q&A, English teacher and Form I Leader Mike Coakley thanked both groups for their thoughtfulness in their letters. He also gave a presentation that contrasted 1968 and 2018 in music, movies, fashion, technology, current events, sports, and cost of living. Specifically referring to Pingry, he said, “The School has changed, too— coeducation, its location, the Dress Code—but let’s consider the Pingry community outside of all these changes. The values of the School are the same.” As an example of a message to the younger students, Gil Klein ’68 wrote in his letter, “All that I ask of you is that you embrace the Pingry Honor Code to live a life of integrity; that you are always curious; that you understand the necessity of facts to make decisions; that you learn about the nation’s past to understand the present; that you appreciate the value and potential of each individual; and that you know that a Pingry education is a gift not afforded to 99.9 percent of the world’s population. Treat it with humility and avoid hubris.”
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Reunion 2018 [ 9 ] Upper School English teacher Vicki Grant P ’03, ’06 and Justin Gump ’13. [ 10 ] Members of the Class of
1968 outside Beinecke House for the 50-Year Club Luncheon. Front row: Karl Fenske, Rick Tomlinson, Jr., Hank Reisen, Michael Dee P ’99, ’02, Geirr Jakobsen, Don Wiss, John Blair, and Bart English. Back row: Stu Conway P ’94, ’95, Tom Breton, Chris Downs, Evan Johnson, Paul Maloney, Charlie Eddy III, Peter Epstein, Gil Klein, Jr., Charlie Forbes, Stuart Leigh, Hans Bonn, Dr. Peter Metz, Fred Bartenstein III, Ralph Litwin, and Ralph Whedon III.
Reunion 2018 [ 11 ] Michelle Chang Comstock ’98 with her husband Scott and their children. [ 12 ] John Churchill ’48, John Thomas, Jr. ’48, GP ’13, ’15, and Kimball Marsh ’48. [ 13 ] Dr. Peter Metz ’68 with his wife Phyllis Pollack. [ 14 ] Barry Perlman ’83, Jon Dressner ’83, Sean Love ’83, Patty Fernandez ’83, Dr. Dan Slater ’83, Buffy Cave ’83, and Dr. Mark McLaughlin ’83 in the Reunion photo booth. The Parker Road school is in the background.
[ 15 ] Class of 1998. [ 16 ] Class of 2008. [ 17 ] Class of 2013. [ 18 ] Kelly McIntyre ’93, Kristin Sostowski ’93, Amanda Wiss ’93, Kim McIntyre ’93, Tiffany Shenman Volze ’93, Deena Dolce O’Connor ’93, and Emily Yorke ’93.
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Pingry Athletics Hall of Fame Inductions The Hall welcomes Judy Lee—the first female coach to be inducted— Andrew Houston ’00, and the 2001 Field Hockey Team CITATION FOR
COACHED STATE CHAMPIONSHIP FIELD HOCKEY & SWIMMING TEAMS
SPEAKING ABOUT JUDY LEE She was a true leader—consistent, fair, and disciplined. She provided the tools we needed and said, “Go play,” giving us options to be creative on the field. Judy also knew how to make the game fun. She would build excitement on game day by developing funny slogans for teams, like “Whip Whippany” or “They Ain’t Metuchen Nothing.” She is well deserving of this honor. – Kim Susko ’97 I’ve known Judy for well over 40 years. When I first met her as a competing swim coach, I saw someone who enjoyed coaching, helping her players improve, instilling sportsmanship, and running well-constructed practices. She was dependable and reliable, no-nonsense, and caring. – Bill Reichle P ’00
Judy Lee with her presenters, Hall of Fame swimming coach Bill Reichle P ’00 and Hall of Fame field hockey player Kim Susko ’97.
Judy Lee was a two-sport coach throughout her 31-year tenure as a math teacher in the Pingry Upper School. She was beloved by her teams, holding both herself and her athletes to an exacting standard. She served as Head Coach of the Field Hockey Team from 1985-2016, posting a record of 439-171-76. Coach Lee was inducted into the NJSIAA Hall of Fame, and three of her teams are in the Pingry Athletics Hall of Fame (1988, 2000, and 2001). She led Pingry to four Group I State Championships, five Group I Sectional titles, 12 Somerset County Championships, and 10 Colonial Hills Conference crowns. Coach Lee was named National Coach of the Year by the National Federation of High Schools (2001) and earned State Coach of the Year honors from The Star-Ledger (2000) and the New Jersey Interscholastic Coaches Association. The accolades also included NFHS Regional Coach of the Year, Star-Ledger Somerset County Coach of the Year, Courier News All-Area Coach of the Year, and the 2008 NJSIAA Sport Award for Field Hockey. Coach Lee also served as Head Coach of the Girls’ Swim Team (1987-2015) and the Boys’ Swim Team (1987-1995). She led the girls to five Non-Public State Championships, six Prep State Championships, and three Colonial Hills Conference titles. Coach Lee took the boys to two Non-Public State Championships, one Prep State Championship, and one Somerset County crown. She was also named Girls Swimming State Coach of the Year (2010) and Somerset County Coach of the Year by The Star-Ledger. 76
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In her remarks, Coach Lee looked back upon when she started coaching the field hockey and swimming programs. “The previous coach advised me not to hold field hockey preseason practices (‘nobody will come’) or enter the county tournament (‘they’re all bigger schools’). I was also advised not to hold swim practices over Winter Breaks. In all three cases, I figured I would try anyway.” She also acknowledged and thanked her coaching colleagues as some of the finest, most knowledgeable people she had the pleasure of working with at Pingry.
ANDREW HOUSTON ’00
LACROSSE ALL-AMERICAN WAS A DIFFERENCEMAKER IN THREE SPORTS
Andrew Houston ’00 with his presenters, Hall of Fame hockey coach John Magadini and Hall of Fame lacrosse coach Mike Webster P ’24, ’27, ’27.
An excellent three-sport athlete with a unique combination of strength, speed, and quickness, Andrew Houston earned 11 varsity letters during his Pingry career. Named an All-American defenseman during his senior lacrosse season, he also garnered both First Team All-State and Defenseman of the Year honors as a senior. With 259 career ground balls—including 115 during his senior season—Andrew currently ranks fourth all-time in Pingry lacrosse history. With his stellar defensive play, characterized by speed and a laser focus on the ball, Andrew led Pingry to an 11-7 record and a share of the Waterman Division Championship as a senior. On the football field, Andrew earned All-Area and All-Conference honors plus four varsity letters. The Pingry football team posted a combined record of 15-5 during Andrew’s junior and senior seasons. As a hockey player, Andrew earned First Team All-State honors from The Star-Ledger as a junior and Second Team All-State honors as a senior. He won four varsity letters and was also named MVP of the powerhouse Mennen Hockey League. Initially recruited for hockey, Andrew instead continued his lacrosse career at Colgate University at the urging of their head coach and served as team captain during his senior season. He lettered all four years, earned First Team All-Patriot League honors as a junior, and the following season was selected for the National North/South Senior All-Star Game. After graduating from Colgate, Andrew played lacrosse for the New York Athletic Club from 2006-2011.
SPEAKING ABOUT ANDREW HOUSTON Andy was an incredible goalie. He made the job look easy. He had an amazing ability to anticipate a shot, cover his angles perfectly, and coordinate with his own defensemen. He was respected by his teammates, coaches, opposing coaches, and officials. When I think of Andy’s attitude, I remember words from the poem “Invictus,” written in Nelson Mandela’s journal while he was spending 30 years in a South African jail: “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” Andy must have been listening, as he has determined his own fate by becoming an excellent student, an outstanding athlete, and a great family man, and he is doing very, very well in his own national commercial real estate company— all of this through hard work and determination. His soul is marked with honor, integrity, high ethical standards, and concern for others—all factors he exhibited while an Honor Code member of our Pingry community. – John Magadini He played three varsity, contact sports all four years of high school: football on offense, defense, and special teams, which is exhausting; getting pummeled by slap shots in ice hockey; and running full speed on the lacrosse field. And Andrew didn’t just play three sports—he excelled at them. I always talk about “Head, Heart, Hustle.” Andrew made the right decisions and cared about his teammates, and I still talk about his non-stop hustle to my current teams. He never quit, and he never tired. He never knew anything but 100 percent effort.” – Mike Webster P ’24, ’27, ’27
2001 FIELD HOCKEY TEAM
With a record of 23-0-1, this team extended the program’s undefeated streak to 49 games. They won the Group I State Championship, the Somerset County Championship, and the Colonial Hills Conference Championship on the way to earning the No. 2 spot in the final Star-Ledger Top 20 rankings. Named the North Jersey Field Hockey Coaches Association Team of the Year, the squad recorded 18 shutouts and scored 82 goals while only giving up six goals over the entire season.
SPEAKING ABOUT THE 2001 FIELD HOCKEY TEAM Every team has a personality, but this team had personalities. They worked through adversities in the world and on the team. They did it all, and did it together. – Judy Lee There is nothing more rewarding than recognition for our undefeated season leading us to Pingry’s second state championship and first win against Shore Regional . . . Mrs. Lee and Coach Huffaker built a united and competitive team that quickly became a powerhouse in New Jersey…Winning was great, but our team spirit and Pingry pride are what we remember best…We would like to thank all of our teammates and coaches for giving us some of the best memories we have from our four years at Pingry... Thank you for making “breaking records” so much fun. – Jessica Saraceno Carroll ’02 and Lea Salese Mirabile ’02, team co-captains SUMMER 2018
Dr. Elizabeth H. Simmons ’81 Receives Letter-in-Life Award The Letter-in-Life Award is the most prestigious honor bestowed upon a graduate by the Pingry Alumni Association. First presented in 1938, it honors those who, in gaining distinction for themselves, have brought honor to the School. Dr. Simmons’s citation was presented at Commencement.
Dr. Elizabeth H. Simmons has dedicated her life to the study and teaching of physics. A brilliant particle physicist, she focuses her research on the origins of the masses of the elementary subatomic particles, and she has contributed to over two hundred academic papers. She has taught physics at all levels, ranging from introductory to graduate level courses, and has further distinguished herself by recognizing and exploring the relationship between science, culture, and society. At Pingry, Dr. Simmons was a member of the fencing team, the soccer team, the Blue Keys, the Cum Laude Society, the Calliope literary magazine staff, and the Balladeers. She won the New Jersey State Science Gold and Silver Medallions, the Scholarship Prize, the Latin Prize, the Whitlock Prize for Math, and the RPI Medallion for Math and Science. In addition to being a National Merit Scholar, she was also honored with the Presidential Scholar Award, the Michael Jupka, Jr. Award, and the Valedictory Award. Dr. Simmons graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 1985 with a degree in Physics. She went on to study at the University of Cambridge and 78
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Ruth Simmons, Peter Simmons, Dr. Elizabeth H. Simmons ’81, and Dr. Sekhar Chivukula.
received a Master of Philosophy in Physics in 1986. She then returned to Harvard University, earning a Master of Arts in Physics in 1987 and a Ph.D. in Physics in 1990. Dr. Simmons remained at Harvard as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Theoretical Particle Physics until 1993. She then spent ten years teaching at Boston University, where she was promoted from Assistant Professor of Physics to Associate Professor of Physics after five years. Dr. Simmons also served as Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Physics as well as Director of Boston University’s Learning Resource Network for PreCollege Outreach. She moved from Boston University to Michigan State University in 2003 to begin her tenure as a Professor of Physics and Director of the university’s Lyman Briggs School of Science. After ten years at Michigan State, Dr. Simmons received the honor of being named a University Distinguished Professor. She served for a decade as Dean of Lyman Briggs College, beginning in 2007, and in 2016
she took on an additional role as Michigan State’s Associate Provost for Faculty and Academic Staff Development. Since 2017, Dr. Simmons has been based at the University of California, San Diego as a Distinguished Professor of Physics and as the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. She is the university’s secondranking executive officer as well as its chief academic officer with a portfolio of responsibilities that include policies and decisions relating to all academic programs and curriculum, instructional support programs, and faculty appointments and performance. Dr. Simmons’ mission as an educator is to encourage and nurture students from groups currently underrepresented in physics. She is a tireless advocate of outreach and inclusion in science, including efforts advocating for the advancement of women scholars in science, technology, engineering, and math. With a long-time colleague from India, she offers Career Development Workshops at the International Center for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy for women physicists from developing nations. Dr. Simmons was a member of the Ad-Hoc Committee on LGBT Issues for the American Physical Society, which investigated LGBT representation in physics, assessed the educational and professional climate in physics, and recommended changes in policies and practices that impact LGBT physicists and all overall inclusion efforts. She is an organizing board member of the advocacy group “LGBT+Physics,” has co-authored the LGBT Climate Report commissioned by the American Physical Society, and is Chair of the Founding Committee of the APS Forum on Diversity & Inclusion. Through her career as a theoretical particle physicist and as an educator, and because of her passionate, diligent commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in science on behalf of women and all traditionally underrepresented groups, Dr. Elizabeth H. Simmons has earned distinction and brought honor to The Pingry School.
A rug based on images from a painting by Dr. Jon Sarkin ’71.
Focusing on the Art of Dr. Jon Sarkin ’71 When Dr. Jon Sarkin ’71 had his first solo exhibit in the Hostetter Arts Center Gallery in November 2004, dozens of his drawings covered the walls, to reflect his prolific productivity. By contrast, this school year, for his second solo exhibit, only about 15 pieces were on display.
“I wanted this show to be different,” says Mr. Miles Boyd, Chair of the Visual Arts Department, who has known Dr. Sarkin for many years and curated the exhibit. “Sometimes, we’re so focused on an artist’s collective output that we don’t focus on individual pieces. This was a minimalist look at Jon’s work, to let people really take the time to concentrate on each one.” The exhibit combined a few of Dr. Sarkin’s large canvases that had never been shown in public;
album covers; a sketchbook from one of Dr. Sarkin’s Pingry visits; and a rug. Woven in Nepal, the rug uses images from one of his paintings; the company Wool & Silk Rugs approached him to buy the design. “He gives us so much of his time and talent every year,” Mr. Boyd adds, referring to Dr. Sarkin’s annual, week-long visits to Pingry since 2004. “I wanted to give him the best show possible.” Dr. Sarkin says the exhibit was validating. “I was able to see my art in a very different way than I ever did before. You weren’t inundated with hundreds of pieces, so it forced you to pay attention to what was there. It was, by far, the best representation of my work.” SUMMER 2018
Naples Reception [ 1 ] Bob Gibson ’66 (host), Barbara Gibson (host), Bonnie Slobodien, Dave Slobodien ’70, Greg Goggin ’55, Missy Ryan P ’83, ’84, GP ’15, ’17, ’20, Georgia Jervey P ’78, ’82, Hilton Jervey ’57, P ’78, ’82, Midge Shepard, Bill Shepard ’64, Special Assistant to the Headmaster Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24, Dr. Andrew Faber ’75, and Headmaster Nat Conard P ’09, ’11.
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Vero Beach [ 2 ] Attendees included Susan and Bryant Alford P ’92, ’95, Vin Apruzzese P ’76, ’78, ’80, ’85, GP ’06, ’08, Jill and Edward Benedict P ’87, Special Assistant to the Headmaster Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24, Anne and Freeman Bunn ’53, P ’78, ’80, ’82, ’83, Bob Burks ’56, Nancy and Pete Cameron, Headmaster Nat Conard P ’09, ’11, Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Holland Sunyak Francisco ’02, Michael and Ted Hauser ’56, P ’86 (host), then-Director of Institutional Advancement Melanie Hoffmann P ’20, ’27, Betty Jacobsen P ’78, Brenda and Bruce Kelsey P ’87, ’89, ’95, GP ’20, ’20, ’23, ’23, ’23, ’25, Bobbie Kimber P ’76, ’79, GP ’07, Guy Leedom ’54, Joan McIlwain P ’77, ’79, ’81, ’85, Jamie Newhouse ’95, Judy and Steve Newhouse ’65, P ’95, ’97, ’99, Jeffrey and Karen Pfister, Bob Pyle ’56, P ’91, MaryEllen and Art Scutro ’60, Rick and Lynn Apruzzese Tetrault ’80, Sherry and Jim Urner ’57, Pat and Steve Waterbury ’49, P ’82, ’85, and Linda and Eugene Wilkinson P ’96, ’98, ’00, ’02.
Atlanta [ 3 ] Front row: Jessica Jaramillo, Martha Seabrook (host), Connor Seabrook
Delray Beach [ 4 ] Joan Corbet P ’77, ’78, Jubb Corbet, Jr. ’50, P ’77, ’78, Headmaster Nat
’76 (host), Aaron Frank ’89, and Francine Morrison. Back row: Will Fischer ’11, Andrew Falk ’11, Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Holland Sunyak Francisco ’02, David Waterbury ’85, Joe Helyar ’61, Doug Morrison ’62, Jessica Lalley, Marc Lalley ’86, John Christy ’73, Special Assistant to the Headmaster Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24, and George Ways ’67.
Conard P ’09, ’11, Tod Barber ’64, Dr. Mike Lewis ’67 (host), Nancy Weingard, Lewie Dames, Maggie Corbet ’78, Howard Danzig ’60, and Special Assistant to the Headmaster Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24.
Mark B. Grier P ’19, Melanie Nakagawa ’98, and Graham Macmillan ’93.
Finance Networking Event
Business cards flashed as over 60 members of the Pingry community —alumni, current parents, and parents of graduates—mingled at the New York Athletic Club for the 2018 Pingry Finance Networking Event on March 28. Organized by Chip Korn ’89, P ’21, ’21, ’23 and David Fahey ’99, Co-Chairs of the Networking Committee of the Pingry Alumni Association Board, the event was headlined by a panel of Pingry finance all-stars: Mark B. Grier P ’19, Vice Chairman of Prudential Financial, Inc. and Board Chair of the Global Impact Investing Network; Graham Macmillan ’93, Senior Program Officer of Mission Investments at the Ford Foundation; and moderator Melanie Nakagawa ’98, Head of Climate Initiative for Princeville Global. The panel discussion focused on “Impact Investing: Doing Well by Doing Good.” The panel discussed the growth of “impact investing”— simply put, investments in enterprises that have a positive social or
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environmental impact. Impact investing is nothing new, and early proponents discovered that it tends to have less risk and higher return than average investments. As impact investing becomes more mainstream, it becomes more feasible to use business models to solve social and environmental issues. The panel recognized that social issues are often quite complex, and difficult to convert to capital systems, but that the intersection of social impact and capital investment is a focal point for an increasing number of investors. Every investment has an impact, and the trend now is to steer toward investments that have a positive impact rather than a negative one. The trend toward impact investing is not only about positive impact, but also about logical and smart investing—corporations realize that they have a social responsibility, as well as a responsibility to their shareholders, and capitalizing on smart social investing can yield returns for both them and the community. If you’re interested in networking with fellow alumni and parents, be sure to join the Pingry Alumni Network and the Pingry on Wall Street Network on LinkedIn. Not in finance? No problem. We’ve also established the Pingry Women’s Network and seven other networking groups on LinkedIn for alumni and parents working in the following industries: Arts, Entertainment, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Law, Marketing, Real Estate, and Science. Contact Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Holland Sunyak Francisco ’02 at email@example.com if you’d like to volunteer or support a professional vertical networking event in your industry.
Ask the Archivist
If you can share information about this photograph, please contact Greg Waxberg ’96 at firstname.lastname@example.org or 908-647-5555, ext. 1296.
(Winter 2017-18 issue) Several alumni confirmed that this room was the French Language Lab (next to the library), photographed as a new space in the early 1960s (most likely, the 1961-62 school year). 1. French teacher Charles Gordon, overseeing a first-year course 3. Richard KixMiller ’64 4. Jim Glickman ’64 5. Bill Busker ’64 6. Howard Kroop ’64 8. Doug McKenzie ’65 Mr. Gordon was a great believer in the lab (a hot idea at the time). We listened to tapes and had to repeat words and phrases to improve our spoken accent or had to answer questions viva voce . . . I have never seen before—or since—anyone with such horrible printing as this man displayed on the blackboard. His “i”s featured big, round circular dots, much too high above the stroke of the letter, and his letter forms were always off kilter. Intermittent capitals appeared without rhyme or reason in the midst of lowercase writing . . . Notwithstanding, Mr. Gordon was a good teacher. I felt well prepared for the following year with Georges Krivobok, a real Frenchman, whom Pingry hired away from some other prep school to teach Russian, a language that was felt, in those Cold War days, to be as necessary as German in World War II. - Roger Lathbury ’63
The lab was a great addition to Pingry. I was a Lab Rat and won the Foreign Language Prize my Sixth Form year, in large part as the result of my work in the lab. (Ironically, that prize was an English language dictionary.) - Bob Dwyer ’65
Thank you: Ted Strauss III ’61 Roger Lathbury (Lewis) ’63 Bill Busker ’64 Bob Ziegenhagen ’64 Bob Dwyer ’65 Don Wiss ’68
Todd Andersen ’63 Greg Serbe ’63 Bob Weissman ’64 Jack Brescher ’65, P ’99 Doug McKenzie ’65
Bringing Enterprise Risk Management to Pingry
Although the Lower School is equipped with an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) device inside the building, one does not exist outside, near its athletics fields. Should it be purchased and installed? From June through August, all Big Blue Summer camp counselors relinquish their personal cell phones in the morning, are provided a Pingry cell phone to use during the day for emergencies, and reclaim their own phones when their work day is over. Is this a demanding imposition or a reasonable request? Two faculty members take a group of Upper School students on a Pingry Global Programs trip to Quebec City over a long winter weekend—should a modified Global Programs cell phone policy be created for this trip?
While these scenarios seem to have little in common, they are all examples of the types of challenges addressed by Pingry’s recent efforts to mitigate risk and capitalize on opportunity through the implementation of a growing business practice, common among large corporations, known as Enterprise Risk Management (ERM). In short, ERM provides a data-driven, overarching framework, across industries, for managing risk in order for any institution to optimally achieve its goals. It also helps organizations operate more efficiently and, in some cases, more safely.
A violent intruder enters the Basking Ridge Campus—what do students, faculty, and staff do in response?
“Pingry is really at the forefront of secondary schools when it comes to ERM work,” says Ian Shrank ’71, a member of Pingry’s
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Pingry’s ERM Working Group. Front row: Director of Facilities Michael Waelz, English Department Chair Christine Taylor, Assistant Director of Athletics and Athletic Trainer Erin Carannante, Executive Director of A.J. Gallagher’s Public Entity and Scholastic Division Dorothy Gjerdrum, Director of Summer and Auxiliary Programs Cindy McArthur P ’29, and Associate Director of Institutional Advancement Kate Whitman Annis P ’23, ’23, ’28. Back row: Director of Strategic Communications and Marketing Dale Seabury, Director of Global Education Jeff Jewett, Middle School Dean of Students David Szelingowski, Assistant Director of Operations and Strategic Initiatives David Fahey ’99, and Lower School P.E. Teacher Jeff Patten. Not pictured: Chief Financial Officer and Director of Operations Olaf Weckesser P ’25.
Board of Trustees and Chair of its Audit Committee. “It is a mark of our sophistication as a School and the care we have for our community—our students, parents, and employees—that we are willing to spend time, effort, and money to manage risk. That’s what this is all about.” David Fahey ’99, Assistant Director of Operations and Strategic Initiatives, who is also a member of Pingry’s ERM Working Group and leading the charge in ERM’s implementation at the School,
explains further. “Every business, nonprofit, hospital—in our case, school— has insurance. But recently, people have begun to think more strategically about how to prevent a loss or injury from ever happening,” he says. Preventing insurance claims from happening in the first place is precisely where ERM comes in, thanks to the unified protocols and methods it espouses, not to mention an International Standards Organization (ISO) document on the practice of risk management, which Pingry now consults regularly. “Institutions all have a smart person or group of people at the top who are seeking to reduce risk,” Mr. Fahey adds. “But, equipping all constituents with an overarching framework that spans industries and provides guidance on how to actually do that is tremendously helpful.” What led Pingry to explore ERM? About five years ago, the Board of Trustees Audit Committee, which provides procedural oversight, recommended to Headmaster Nat Conard P ’09, ’11 and Olaf Weckesser P ’25, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Operations, that it be explored. “Pingry had already done a lot, evaluating the physical security and cyber security of its campuses. But what hadn’t been undertaken was a systematic, enterprise-wide way of addressing risk,
“Pingry had already done a lot, evaluating the physical security and cyber security of its campuses. But what hadn’t been undertaken was a systematic, enterprise-wide way of addressing risk, which inevitably picks up things that were not considered before.”
Trustee and Audit Committee Chair Ian Shrank ’71 ––––––––––––– which inevitably picks up things that were not considered before,” Mr. Shrank explains. So, the School issued a request for proposals, interviewed several risk management firms, and ultimately settled on A.J. Gallagher, a company that currently serves a two-part role, as both Pingry’s property & casualty insurance broker and risk management advisor.
Time and care were taken by Mr. Fahey to develop an internal Working Group of 11 faculty and staff members, representing both campuses and all functional areas of the school. Armed with the ISO risk management document (incidentally, co-written in 2009 by Dorothy Gjerdrum, Executive Director of A.J. Gallagher’s Public Entity and Scholastic Division, and the primary consultant with whom Pingry works), the Working Group had a framework from which to begin. But, they quickly set out to engage in their own selfstudy: What are our values? Who are Pingry’s stakeholders? Who in our community is impacted by risk? What is our risk tolerance as a school? What is our history of risk? The Working Group carefully considered these questions, and their answers were presented to Pingry’s Administrative Team and the Audit Committee for approval. From there, the group led a risk identification workshop with faculty and staff. Similar workshops were held with Pingry’s Administrative Team and the Audit Committee. As Mr. Fahey explains, the Working Group’s approach was unusual in that it was bottom-up. “For most institutions, this process starts with the Board, which says, ‘These are the risks we want you to consider.’ We certainly listened to our Board, but we didn’t start with them. Faculty and staff are Pingry’s lifeblood. We wanted to first understand what they viewed as risks.”
Mrs. Gjerdrum, who notes that ERM is an increasingly sensible approach for schools, complimented Pingry’s approach. “Pingry realized that successful implementation of ERM would need both the support and participation of faculty and staff throughout the process. As a result, we have engaged them at every step of the process, and this has made the school’s program stronger, deeper, and more robust. I am very proud of the work that The Pingry School has done to implement ERM.” Once risks were registered into an online database, they were ranked in terms of both their likelihood and consequence. Each risk was then assigned an “owner”— someone to manage or delegate its “treatment.” For example, during a risk identification workshop on the Short Hills Campus, the abscence of an AED on the Lower School’s athletics fields was pointed out. (On the Basking Ridge Campus, the ERM process prompted a transition from portable AED devices to those that are permanent, installed throughout the campus fields). The risk was therefore ranked and prioritized: without an AED, the likelihood of not being able to save someone experiencing a cardiac event is nearly 100%; the consequence is as high as it gets (death); and the treatment is straightforward. The School promptly purchased and installed an outdoor AED. Why was a “treatment” so seemingly obvious not applied sooner? Other school priorities and needs were higher up on what was originally a
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non-quantifiable list, Mr. Fahey explains. The ERM framework has helped the School to quantify, and, therefore, reprioritize, these needs. The faculty-led trip to Quebec City over Presidents’ Day Weekend provides another example, and one that highlights an important aspect of ERM—it isn’t only about reducing risk. Just as important is ERM’s role in identifying what risks should be taken. As French Department Chair Steve Benoit, a co-leader of the trip, pointed out, strictly adhering to the School’s Global Programs policy and prohibiting students’ use of cell phones while on the trip would also deprive them of certain positives: quick access to Google Translate, which he felt would be helpful to them; a map application, should students separate from the group and need help navigating; and, finally, a bit of diversion on the seven-hour bus ride to and from the French capital. Mr. Benoit, Form III/IV Dean of Student Life Carol Mahida, Global Education Director Jeff Jewett, and the Canadabound students came together to arrive at a decision, applying an ERM framework to their discussion. According to Ms. Gjerdrum, getting students to think about risk is another example of Pingry’s innovative approach to ERM. “The process engaged all stakeholders, including students, developed shared understandings, and resulted in a clear agreement about why the consideration of risk was important for this particular
field trip,” she says. Questions the group posed included: What are the objectives and value of the trip? How does the trip support the mission of the School? Who are the stakeholders? What uncertainties could affect the objectives of our travel? What is being done to address these identified risks? Given everything the group knows about the risks of bringing cell phones, is it a risk worth taking? The group concluded that, as with all Global Programs trips, social media would not be used. Cell phones would only be permitted during daily excursions in the event of a separation from the group, in order to fully focus on the travel experience. “Managing risk is not just about avoiding something negative happening; it’s also about missing out on opportunity, missing out on the benefits that can result from taking a calculated risk,” says Dale Seabury, Director of Strategic Communications and Marketing at Pingry and a member of the ERM Working Group. Indeed, look no further than the School’s new Strategic Plan: Vision, Purpose, Impact—and the deliberate, targeted areas in which it seeks to push institutional boundaries, such as empowering faculty and staff to innovate and take their own risks for the purposes of professional development—and you’ll see calculated risktaking at work. Another key aspect of ERM is that it is an iterative, ongoing process. Once risk treatments are applied, new risks may emerge. Yes, the AED was easily installed on the Short Hills Campus field, but all
faculty and staff must now be trained on how to use it. Insufficient training can pose yet another risk. Also essential to understanding the nature of ERM is to recognize that there is no finish line. “It’s absolutely a process— there is no end goal,” Mr. Shrank says. “We could build a huge bubble around the campus and make it safer, but we’re not going to do that. The point is to raise awareness about risk among all members of our community. We don’t want to run away from risk, but we continually seek to mitigate and address it.” Currently, Mr. Fahey and the Working Group are prioritizing the treatment of 22 of the nearly 100 risks identified thus far. While risk management initiatives encompass all sorts of scenarios, not just emergencies, the violent intruder example is, unquestionably, one that epitomizes ERM. And so, the ERM Working Group also undertook a review of the School’s Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). A committee led by Jane Asch P ’04—a visual arts faculty member at Pingry, who is also Warren Township’s Emergency Operations Coordinator—and including Facilities Director Mike Waelz and Mr. Fahey, began by speaking with faculty and staff to gauge their knowledge of what to do in the event of an emergency, from medical and biosecurity events to intruders, bombs, and natural disasters. Their discussions revealed a sobering reality: despite prior trainings and drills, they weren’t entirely sure what to do— a risk in and of itself.
the same language.” Whereas before, a “lockdown” might have prompted one series of actions from school A and another response entirely from school B, now, everyone knows what a “lockdown” refers to, and responds the same way.
In response, Mrs. Asch led Pingry’s efforts to adopt the Standard Response Protocol (SRP), ensuring that all students, faculty, and staff are better informed and prepared when it comes to responding to an emergency situation. “Whereas before, we had a homegrown approach to emergency response, the SRP provides a best-practices response —a consistent, clear, and shared language that is integrated with what first responders are expecting,” she explains. “It was adopted by Somerset County over a year ago—all emergency managers, law enforcement officials, first responders, and public school supervisors have to understand and follow it— so it made sense for Pingry to get on board, too. Now, we’re all speaking
In addition to leading the charge in adopting the SRP (the response plan), Mrs. Asch is working tirelessly to update and expand Pingry’s Emergency Operations Plan (EOP), which addresses not only the response to an array of emergency situations, but also the school’s preparation, mitigation, and recovery from it. Developing action plans for potential incidents in athletics, Global Programs, and Auxiliary and Summer Programs are also a focus of her work. In crafting Pingry-specific standards for the EOP, she and Mr. Fahey consulted local law enforcement procedures, FEMA guidelines, the New Jersey Department of Education, Bernards and Warren Township Police, the Millburn Police, as well as the recommendations of
Trainings and drills are helping to teach and reinforce the SRP at Pingry. Last fall, Detective John Neiman, a School Resource Officer with the Bernards Township Police Department, trained faculty and staff on the SRP, which is, in essence, a series of five possible responses to incidents that could compromise school safety and security, whether natural disasters or violent crimes. Later, he provided an overview of the SRP for students in a separate assembly.
non-profits dedicated to the cause, such as Sandy Hook Promise. As Mr. Fahey points out, being more informed and aware when it comes to ERM doesn’t only lead to expected improvements in school operations. Sometimes, it can lead to unexpected improvements. Take, for example, the School’s recent switch from the Honeywell Instant Alert System to SchoolMessenger to send emergency alerts to community members. “We used to send snow day communications using Honeywell, but, in the course of our violent intruder research, we learned that a critical protocol is the ability to send immediate communication to parents, students, and faculty and staff. Honeywell can’t send texts. So, we went with School Messenger instead, which is cheaper and easier to use, and also syncs information from our comprehensive school-wide database, ensuring that contact information is always the most up-to-date.” Because ERM is an ongoing process, so, too, is Pingry’s work. Recognizing the impossibility of predicting the future and avoiding all unpleasant events, what is the ultimate goal? To focus the attention of everyone at Pingry—from students of all ages to members of the Facilities Team to camp counselors—on the topic, empowering them to identify areas of risk and, together, build an even stronger community. Pingry's work with ERM is featured in the July/August 2018 issue of Net Assets. Read more at pingry.org/extras. SUMMER 2018
Pingry Review Survey
The Fall of 2018 marks the beginning of The Pingry Review’s 75th year of publication, having launched in 1944. As part of our retrospective in the fall issue, we would like your thoughts about the magazine, for possible inclusion. Please take a few moments to answer questions about The Pingry Review and why you read it. Thank you, in advance, for participating!
• In what ways has The Pingry Review kept you connected with Pingry and your friends/classmates? • Have any stories been particularly memorable? If so, which? • What is the first section you turn to, and why? Has this changed over the years? • Given the evolution of The Pingry Review over the years, which changes have you liked most? • Fill in the blank: “The Pingry Review is _____.”
You may also send your responses by Friday, September 14 to email@example.com or Greg Waxberg, The Pingry Review, 131 Martinsville Road, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920.
Class Notes Share all your news!
Submit your Class Note at pingry.org/classnotes, or mail it to Holland Sunyak Francisco ‘02, Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, The Pingry School, 131 Martinsville Road, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920.
DR. RICHARD L. CRUESS and his wife Dr. Sylvia Cruess received the 2017 Edward D. Harris Professionalism Award from Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society. The award recognizes best practices in medical professionalism education and is named for the late Dr. Harris, who served as Chair of Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine and as Executive Secretary of Alpha Omega Alpha. According to Dr. Joe Hanaway ’51, who graduated from McGill, “The Cruesses are the most influential medical couple in Canada today and were honored for their tireless efforts to reintroduce professionalism in medical schools and medical associations around the world over the last 20 years.” They also edited the book Teaching Medical Professionalism: Supporting the Development of a Professional Identity (2nd Edition, Cambridge University Press, 2016).
BOB HORNING married Marilyn McCoy Smith on December 29. They are spending half the year in Boynton Beach, FL and half the year in Wilmington, NC.
1950 DUANE ST. JOHN delivered a Memorial Day address to a standing-room-only crowd of about 400 residents of his and Nancy’s new home at Fleet Landing in Atlantic Beach, FL. It is available at pingry. org/extras.
Marilyn and Bob Horning ’48.
1952 MILLER BUGLIARI P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24, the nation’s winningest high school soccer coach and seven-time New Jersey State “Coach of the Year,” received two coaching honors this spring. Read more on page 58.
Pete Buchanan ’52, Craig McClelland ’52, and Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24 at Loblolly Golf Course in Hobe Sound, FL.
Dr. Warren Radcliffe, Jr. ’49 with his wife Patricia Radcliffe (GP ’16), Woody Phares II ’47 with his wife Jacqueline, and Dr. Bill Burks ’51 with his wife Judy. 88
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The Brotherhood of the Traveling Coins and Stamps After reading about Elliot Knoke in The Pingry Review (Winter 2017-18), I am moved to pen a sequel to the tribute hailing one of Pingry’s legends. BACKGROUND: I was a Middle School student (in the same class as Miller Bugliari and Scott Knoke) in Mr. Knoke’s famous “stamp and coin” menagerie room. By the time I had a shiny college diploma and returned to teach at Pingry, he had become Headmaster of The Gill School (forerunner of Gill St. Bernard’s). Stamps and coins traveled with him. I taught English classes under the watchful eye of Dr. Herbert Hahn. Additionally, in the mid-1960s, I became Director of Admissions and sat in the chair from which Mr. Knoke had previously directed Pingry Admissions. And now the story gets intriguing. BUILDING A TEAM: I was appointed Headmaster of Barstow School (Kansas City) in December 1967. I knew Mr. Knoke was to retire from Gill (I had applied to sit behind his desk), so I called and asked if he would join my Barstow faculty. His swift answer was, “Yes, I would like that IF you call me Elliot, because I sure am not going to call you ‘Mr. Lenci.’” We had a deal. And, of course, coins and stamps
By Gordon Lenci ’52
would travel with him. But the story’s intrigue goes on. I came to know the Headmaster of Short Hills Country Day via phone calls we had regarding students from Short Hills who applied to Pingry. I needed a star elementary educator, so, on a dare, I contacted him and explained to Mr. Joe Le Blanc that Elliot Knoke and I were heading to Kansas City in June and wanted to invite Joe to come with us. (After an exploratory visit to Barstow, Joe took a leap and signed on to help carry the stamps and coins west.) Now, I had an Admissions and Upper School Director from Pingry and a very experienced Lower/Middle School Director (whose school, of course, was destined to become entwined with the Martinsville Road gem). Those sage appointments were among the most significant ways I helped walk Barstow into the educational limelight in Kansas City. While the stories behind all the coins, medals, and more enchanted scores of wide-eyed students AND their parents (!), we put “everything up to date in Kansas City.” (Thanks to Pingry.) OUTCOME: Barstow thrived; we added boys to the Upper School, which the Board had directed me [to do] at our first interview; we added space for swelling numbers;
and we had a vigorous music program that was the envy of Missouri. (Well, a slight exaggeration perhaps.) Update: Joe shared with me in the spring of 2018 that, at “90 something,” he is still pushing a feisty lawn mower around his Kansas City yard; he had coached Barstow baseball into his late 80s. (By the way, wife Kay Le Blanc taught English there for several decades.) ONE OTHER worthy PINGRY connection occurred along the way: Alan Gibby ’66 accepted our invitation to teach and coach soccer (a sport and player I had taught and coached at Pingry). We could now boast three generations of Pingry men in Kansas City. The Knokes (wife Lucille taught third grade and was beloved in Kansas City as much even as the heralded stamps and coins) moved to Asheville, NC after five years; in 1975, I moved to a headmastership in Baltimore to get in closer reach of our 150-year-old Cape Cod farmhouse.
Dr. Jim Smith ’58, Assistant Headmaster–Basking Ridge Campus Dr. Delvin Dinkins, Miro Bergam ’19, LeBow Competition Coordinator and Middle School French and Spanish teacher Rich Karrat, Headmaster Nat Conard P ’09, ’11, Dr. Richard C. Weiss ’55, GP ’17, ’18, and Dr. Weiss’s wife, Dr. Sandra R. Harmon-Weiss GP ’17, ’18. This photo was taken following the Dr. Robert H. LeBow ’58 Memorial Oratorical Competition at Pingry in February. Dr. Weiss is Dr. LeBow’s first cousin; he and Dr. Smith have attended the competition for years. Read more about the competition at pingry.org/extras. SUMMER 2018
Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24 and Bill Ghriskey ’62 in Boca Grande, FL.
Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24 and John Wight, Jr. ’62, P ’03 in Lake Wales, FL.
The 2005 watercolor painting SATYAGRAHA: Martyrs for Peace and Justice, commissioned by Tim Leedom ’64. It depicts 20 historical peacemakers from around the world and is displayed at Soka University in Aliso Viejo, CA. The university’s name comes from Soka Gakkai, a Buddhist movement started by Japanese educator Tsunesaburō Makiguchi, one of the figures in the painting. 90
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Ernie Moody ’66, Dr. Mike Biunno ’88, Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24, Jim Kowalski ’66, and Dr. Bill LaCorte ’66 in New Orleans.
1964 THE HONORABLE JOHN D. BATES, a U.S. District Court Judge, was highlighted in a Washington Post article on April 24 for his ruling that the government must continue the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program and reopen it to new applicants. He called the government’s decision to end the program “virtually unexplained” and, therefore, “unlawful,” but stayed his ruling for 90 days to give the Department of Homeland Security a chance to provide more solid reasoning for ending the program. TIM LEEDOM writes, “I have been active in social and political issues for most of my life. I was an aide to both the Governor and Lt. Governor of Hawaii. In addition, I was a legislative aide in the House of Representatives. During the course of these activities, I was Co-Chair of Hawaii for RFK with U.S. Representative Patsy Mink. I campaigned for Bobby Kennedy in California during his fatal trip. During the years following the ’60s and the deaths of more advocates of peace and justice, I started to research them. The tally increased from JFK, RFK, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Medgar Evers during one decade. Soon, Yitzhak Rabin, Anwar Sadat, John Lennon, Hawaiian activist George Helm, Óscar Romero, Rachel Corrie, Tank Man, and Ninoy Aquino were killed. I was appalled, but also
inspired by their bravery. I began to look at the past: Gandhi, Tsunesaburō Makiguchi, Chief Joseph, Hungarian President Nagy, Quaker Mary Dyer, and Michael Hofer arose from the pages of history—famous, unknown, all brave. I felt they should be honored. I commissioned a popular California woman artist, Desiree Guerrero, to create the painting, SATYAGRAHA: Martyrs for Peace and Justice [“Satyagraha” is Gandhi’s term, meaning “firm resistance in nonviolence”]. Soka University dedicated the art in 2005. Since then, it has been viewed by thousands and written about in a dozen magazines and newspapers.”
Bill Sterns III ’66 and Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24 in Delray Beach, FL.
Dr. Tom Behr ’58, author of Eight Decades at The Pingry School: The Life & Times of Miller A. Bugliari; Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24 holding a copy of Tom’s new book Doppelgänger: An American Spy in World War II France; and Gil Roessner ’66 with a copy of the book he designed and produced for the Class of ’66 Fiftieth Reunion. SUMMER 2018
SEEDS Honors Two Pingry Alumni New Jersey SEEDS’s Executive Director John F. Castano comments on both honorees, “Bill has been part of the SEEDS family since its inception. He works tirelessly to show that students from low-income families need to be given opportunity and access to reach their full potential. Excelling academically and professionally, Neha has never forgotten her SEEDS roots. Throughout her career in medicine, she has worked to engage and empower vulnerable populations.” Board-certified in internal medicine, Neha cares for patients at the Atlanta VA Medical Center, is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, and is a medical editor at WebMD, working to develop content and ensure the accuracy of health information. She is pursuing a master’s degree in Wellness and Health Education. Honorary Trustee Bill Engel ’67 and Dr. Neha Pathak ’98.
New Jersey SEEDS, a nonprofit organization that has been preparing high-achieving, low-income students for independent schools for more than 25 years, honored two Pingry alumni at the organization’s Leading Change Benefit in April: BILL ENGEL ’67, a SEEDS Co-Founder and Trustee Emeritus, and DR. NEHA PATHAK ’98, a SEEDS alumna (from the organization’s first class: 1994). Each year, SEEDS presents the Leading Change Award to those whose initiative and commitment have enhanced the educational opportunities of young people throughout New Jersey.
At the ceremony, Neha expressed her immense gratitude to SEEDS for both changing her life and bestowing this honor. Upon learning that “Mr. Engel” was also going to be honored, she especially wanted to attend, to pay tribute to “Mr. Engel, the face of SEEDS for us.” She continued, “Most gratifying is that I don’t have to worry or wonder about how I’m going to provide my children with the opportunities they deserve.” For his part, Bill is proud to be part of an organization that has changed so many lives, and he was especially honored to be recognized with Neha, “a pioneer for SEEDS and [a pioneer] at Pingry. Her SEEDS class’s successes at schools like Pingry paved the way for future generations of SEEDS students.”
STEVEN LIEBERMAN writes, “After undergraduate and graduate studies at Yale, I spent 19761992 at the (White House) Office of Management and Budget, rising from a budget examiner to a (career) Assistant Director and mainly worked on health programs. After six years in Arizona and California running an HMO, the delivery system for a large academic medical center, and founding a venture capital-funded health services company, I returned to Washington, D.C. as the policy deputy at the Congressional Budget Office from 1999-2004. After retiring from the federal government in 2004, I’ve served as the Deputy Executive Director of the National Governors Association and run a health consulting company, and I have an appointment (as a Non-Resident Fellow) in Economics and Health Policy at the Brookings Institution. I’ve been married to Hannah Miller Lieberman since 1973, and we have two children. Josh is an M.D./ Ph.D. working at the University of Washington, and Michaela is a public interest lawyer in Virginia.
Receiving an Honor for Teaching Honors DR. DAVID WILDER ’70, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Professor of Occupational and Environmental Health, and a member of the Honors Faculty at the University of Iowa, received the university’s 2018 Honors Program Teaching Award in recognition of eight years of work on behalf of the university’s honors students. He is the first Engineering professor to receive the award.
Dr. Art Spisak, Professor of Classics, Director of the Honors Program, and Immediate Past President of the National Collegiate Honors Council, commended David for his classroom work that involves experiential, hands-on learning to affirm the students’ problem solving skills; his efforts on the Honors Steering Committee (the Honors Program’s faculty advisory group) that helped bring the Honors Program up to national standards; and his role in instituting honors sections of Engineering courses, some of which David has taught. “In short,” Dr. Spisak wrote, “your contributions as part of the Honors Steering Committee have resulted in improvements in the delivery of an honors education for our students across the undergraduate colleges.”
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Credit: Destiney Ohrt
David began to work with honors students by being in the right place at the right time, and he has written, “It is important to facilitate imagination, creativity, productivity, and access to opportunities in highly skilled, selfmotivated students…I am touched that the Honors Program students are interested in my work, experience, and insight, and I cherish the opportunity to get to know them at the beginning of the arc of their careers. The Honors Program students always leave me with confidence that they will carry on the attitude of valuing the insight of others and make the world a better place.”
Dr. David Wilder ’70 receives the 2018 Honors Program Teaching Award from Dr. Art Spisak, Director of the University of Iowa Honors Program.
Because of his fascination with how things work, including the human body, David wanted to be a creative problem solver as an engineer. He gained experience in explaining biomechanics to orthopedic residents, but was then asked to talk about the spine to a lay audience—he used simple metaphors and ended up discovering his teaching style. In general, David considers teaching “a goal-directed performance art: storytelling using memorable images, surprise, and humor. Storytelling in an engineering context is as important as learning traditional technical engineering tools. The stories provide context and perspective for the use and limitations of the tools of engineering.”
Peter Mindnich ’71, Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24, Paul Ciszak ’72, and Dr. Tim Gustafson ’71. Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24 and Todd Cunningham ’79 in New Orleans.
Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24, Sean O’Donnell ’75, P ’05, ’10, Jonathan Shelby ’74, P ’08, ’11, ’19, Stuart Lederman ’78, and Guy Cipriano ’74, P ’06, ’08.
JEFF EDWARDS P ’12, ’14, ’18, Partner and Chief Operating Officer at investment advisor New Vernon Capital, was appointed to be an independent member of American Water Works’s Board of Directors, effective this past March 1. American Water Works is the largest, publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company.
Pingry gathering in March, hosted by Jay Wood ’84 and Hannah Lauck at their home in Richmond, VA: Bill Corbet III ’77, Jay Wood ’84, Ken Robson III ’76, Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24, Roland Vetter ’99, Paul Monroe ’67, Larry Burke ’67, Rhett Walker ’74, and Frank Mountcastle, Jr. ’51. SUMMER 2018
Front row: Leighton Welch ’79 and Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24. Back row: Steve Lipper ’79, P ’09, ’12, ’14, Phil Lovett ’79, Chris Bartlett II ’79, and Tom Trynin ’79.
Scott Corwin ’80, Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24, and Bob Jenkins ’80.
Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24 and Bobbi Coffey ’82 meeting for lunch at Princeton University. 94
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ALISON MALIN ZOELLNER received Pingry’s Nelson L. Carr ’24 Service Award at Reunion, recognizing her service to the School (read more on page 70). She was also recently featured in Profile magazine, discussing her career in corporate law and her role as Vice President and General Counsel for Honeywell’s $2.5 billion Advanced Materials business. She is fairly new to the position, having worked in Honeywell’s corporate department, focusing on matters related to securities and corporate finance, for more than four years.
Jay Wood ’84, Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24, and Caitlin O’Donnell ’05 in Richmond, VA.
DR. JENNIFER HARTSTEIN was a guest on NBC’s Megyn Kelly TODAY in February, discussing the school shooting in Florida and providing guidance for how to speak with children. Her advice: be open and honest in an age-appropriate way, limit social media use, turn off the news as needed, and respond to children’s questions without offering too much information.
DANIEL PINCUS was one of three people interviewed for the “Leap of Faith” segment on NBC’s Megyn Kelly TODAY in March. The interfaith group spoke about their efforts to use social media to rescue Mohammed Al Samawi from war-torn Yemen. Daniel and Mohammed shared this story for the John Hanly Lecture on Ethics and Morality (detailed in the Winter 2017-18 issue). Mohammed’s book, The Fox Hunt: A Refugee’s Memoir of Coming to America, is now available.
1995 DR. RANDY LIZARDO is listed in the Winter issue of Washingtonian magazine as a Washingtonian Top Doc in Obstetrics and Gynecology. He specializes in minimally invasive surgery, robotic surgery, and advanced laparoscopic surgery. He is a partner at Capital Women’s Care and an Assistant Clinical Professor at The George Washington University.
Dr. Randy Lizardo ’95.
Mike Coughlin ’90, Jamie Donohue ’90, Jake Angell III ’90, Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24, Peter Ackerman ’90, Anthony Bugliari ’90, P ’24, and Brian Donnelly ’90. SUMMER 2018
CATHERINE PFAFFENROTH married David Higgs on October 8 in a small family ceremony in Washington, D.C. Catherine works at the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs on the Fulbright Program.
ARLYN DAVICH was named President at Allswell, a new digital home brand powered by Walmart. The brand’s Debut Collection, consisting of luxe mattresses and curated bedding, is sold on AllswellHome.com. The name reflects how shoppers, especially women, want to feel at home. “We heard loud and clear that people craved the ability to feel that all is well in the world—both on the days when the stars aligned and through life’s tougher moments. The name ‘Allswell’ embodies that philosophy,” Arlyn said in a press release.
Anjali Sky Yorke Kulkarni. 96
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2000 Credit: Anne Lord Photography
SEAN KULKARNI and LAURA YORKE KULKARNI are overjoyed to announce the arrival of their third daughter, Anjali Sky Yorke Kulkarni, on March 16. Sean writes, “Anjali is a Sanskrit word that means ‘divine offering,’ which captures beautifully her path into this world and what she means to our family. The Hindu greeting of joining one’s palms at the heart center is known as the Anjali mudra (also on display at your local yoga studio). Sky is a simple reflection of the nature of her mind (infinite, open) and her potential in life. Anjali’s older sisters Laxmi and Padma Kara welcomed her with hair bows, glitter, and, most importantly, the joyful laughter of two (now three) girls under three that fills our home at all hours (indeed, all hours).”
Catherine Pfaffenroth ’97 and David Higgs.
Emma Sullivan Smith and Libby Smith.
KATE (MARTUSCELLO) SMITH and TED SMITH welcomed their second daughter, Emma Sullivan Smith, on May 17. Big sister Libby is proudly embracing her new role!
2001 ROB LAZORCHAK recently launched a scholastic chess education company, Diplomat Chess, and is teaching this summer to
rising students in Grades K-5 as part of Pingry’s Big Blue Summer Academics. He received chess teaching certifications from the U.S. Chess Federation and FIDE (World Chess Federation), is a licensed teacher for Grades 1-6, and has a master’s degree in Teaching. Rob has taught chess professionally in the greater Washington, D.C. area and New York City for the past 10 years and has helped develop state and national champions as well as many players on the USCF’s “Top 100” lists. Additionally, he has created article and video content for ChessKid.com and was recently contracted to create a chess video tutorial series for Kids Academy. Rob, his wife Alexandra, and their two-year-old son Charlie moved from Manhattan to Madison, NJ in April.
Front row: John Porges ’03, Billy Kovacs ’03, Robert Oh ’03, Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24, Morgan Griff ’06, and Eric Hynes ’08. Back row: Leonard Coleman ’06, Tom Strackhouse ’06, and Liam Griff ’04.
KATIE CORRIGAN GRIFF was profiled on doddle & co. this spring in connection with two major life milestones from the past year: she and her husband Conor Griff ’02 welcomed their first child, daughter Grace, in late summer, and she became the new Head of Marketing for the HATCH Collection (maternity clothing) in mid-November.
2006 PETER CIPRIANO won The Tuxedo Club’s 2018 Gold Racquet, defeating Zach Sachs in the finals of this 16-person draw: 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
2013 MICHAEL ARROM graduated from USC, who asked him to join their faculty as an adjunct professor, and recently was guest keyboardist for Noah Cyrus and her band.
2014 CAMILLE VANASSE performed as part of the Steinhardt & Tisch Ensemble during her NYU graduation ceremony at Yankee Stadium.
Miller Bugliari ’52, P ’86, ’90, ’97, GP ’20, ’24 with alumni attending the University of Notre Dame: Chris Lachenauer ’17, Ben Shepard ’16, Jack Casey ’16, Kyle Casey ’14, Pat Korth ’16, Jimmy Topor ’17, and John Lucciola ’17.
CLASSNOTES: Share all your news!
Submit your Class Note at pingry.org/classnotes, or mail it to Holland Sunyak Francisco ‘02, Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, The Pingry School, 131 Martinsville Road, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920.
Please remember to take a few moments to answer questions about The Pingry Review and why you read it.
pingry.org/reviewsurvey See page 88 for more information.
Pingry Remembers Honorary Trustee William Sperry Beinecke ’31 Pingry had relocated from Parker Road in Elizabeth to North Avenue in Hillside, and not even 20 years since Mr. Parsons had dealt with those difficulties. Nevertheless, Mr. Beinecke cited two major reasons for his recommendation: because many European cities prospered near the intersections of major highways, Pingry should move to an area near the future intersection of Interstates 78 and 287; and the population from which Pingry could draw students was expanding and moving west. It turned out that Mr. Parsons agreed. To make the move a reality, the School raised money
1996-2000) with his wife Elizabeth; served as an Honorary Member of the 150th Anniversary Committee (2011-2012); and returned to Pingry in May 2011 to deliver the first speech for the 150th Anniversary Lecture and Performance Series, when he recounted his history with the School and students presented him with a birthday cake in honor of his 97th birthday. On the same day that Mr. Beinecke delivered his remarks, he helped Pingry break ground for the headmaster’s new residence, Beinecke House, which was dedicated in October 2012 and later featured in Design NJ.
Although he entered Pingry as a fifth-grade student in 1923 and remained for only three years until his family moved from Cranford to Madison in 1926, Pingry bestowed its most significant honors upon him over the decades: the Letter-in-Life Award (1969), stating that Mr. Beinecke’s “high sense of civic responsibility is exemplified in his continuing interest in independent and public education and willing service to his country”; dedication of the School’s swimming pool in his name (1984); an official Pingry diploma (2000), his only high school diploma; and The Cyril and Beatrice Baldwin Pingry Family Citizen of the Year Award (2014), on the occasion of his 100th birthday.
“Much of Pingry’s strength today can be traced to the imaginative William Sperry Beinecke ’31 April 8, 2018, age 103, New York, NY
Mr. Beinecke, a member of the Board of Trustees from 1955-1976 and an Honorary Trustee since 1976, was associated with Pingry for nearly 95 years and is one of the most influential and visionary figures in the School’s history. His foresight and generosity were largely responsible for transforming Pingry into the school it is today. He not only urged Pingry to move west from Hillside to Bernards Township to position the School for New Jersey’s population growth and attract the best students, but he also purchased the land for the current campus, sold the land to Pingry, eventually forgave the mortgage note—thereby gifting the property to the School—and established a trust to pay for the future construction of the headmaster’s residence on the new campus.
for the construction and design of a new building, conquered numerous obstacles with many government agencies, and sold the Hillside property to Kean College (now Kean University).
The story of the campus move has been well-documented in Pingry publications. The process began in December 1969 when Mr. Beinecke “realized that Pingry was in the wrong place for the long-term” and nervously suggested to then-Board Chair Robert W. Parsons P ’51, ’55 that Pingry needed to move again. Mr. Beinecke’s trepidation about the Board Chair’s potential response was understandable: it had been only 16 years since
Along with his prompting of and financial support for the campus move, Mr. Beinecke was a charter member of Pingry’s C.B. Newton Society; established the L. Dean Speir Scholarship Endowment Fund (named for a lifetime friend) and the William Miller Sperry Scholarship Endowment Fund for financial aid (named for his grandfather); served as Honorary Co-Chair of The Campaign for Pingry (the School’s first major capital campaign from
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steadfast support of Bill Beinecke . . . ”
Board of Trustees Resolution 1985 –––––––––––––
Furthermore, on December 12, 1985, the Board of Trustees adopted a resolution expressing great respect and warm regard for Mr. Beinecke, writing, “Much of Pingry’s strength today can be traced to the imaginative leadership and steadfast support of Bill Beinecke . . . Throughout the difficult years leading up to the actual move, Bill’s active encouragement and thoughtful counsel served as a source of strength for us. When it appeared that we were in troubled waters, his guidance and reassurance kept us on an even keel. His generosity served as a beacon to motivate others to provide funding for the project. Almost safe in port, we can honestly say that we would not have attempted the voyage without Bill Beinecke. His qualities, combined with his personal warmth and good cheer, are a lasting inspiration for the entire Pingry family.” After attending Pingry, he went to Madison Academy, Westminster School in Simsbury, CT, and Phillips Academy in Andover, MA (Class of 1932). He received a B.A. from Yale University
(1936), an LL.B. from Columbia University Law School (1940), and honorary LL.D. degrees from Yale (1986), Southwestern University (1967), and The Catholic University of America (1972). Mr. Beinecke also received Columbia University’s Alumni Medal (1971), Westminster School’s Alumni Award (1982), and the Yale Medal (2000). In addition, he served as a trustee at Yale, which rededicated its Golf House in his honor and is the site of the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Columbia Law School also benefited from his generosity. Principal at Antaeus Enterprises, Inc., a private investment company, at the time of his death, Mr. Beinecke was the retired Chairman and CEO of Sperry and Hutchinson Company, the nation’s oldest trading stamp company (S&H Green Stamps, one of the first consumer loyalty programs). Founded in 1896 by Thomas A. Sperry and Shelly B. Hutchinson, the company was purchased in 1923 by Mr. Beinecke’s father (Frederick William Beinecke) and uncles (Walter and Edwin Beinecke). The company was wholly owned by the Beinecke family until 1966, when a succession of public stock offerings gradually reduced the family’s holdings. Prior to joining Sperry and Hutchinson Company, Mr. Beinecke was an attorney with Casey, Beinecke and Chase (partner and co-founder) and Chadbourne, Wallace, Parke and Whiteside. He served as a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy during World War II, serving on destroyers in both the Atlantic and Pacific theatres, and earned the Bronze Star with Combat V. He was retired as a Commander, U.S. Naval Reserve. Mr. Beinecke is the author of Through Mem’ry’s Haze: A Personal Memoir.
Among his other affiliations, Mr. Beinecke was Chair of the Board of Directors of The Prospect Hill Foundation (which he established with his wife Elizabeth in 1959); first Board Chair and then a Life Trustee of the Central Park Conservancy; Honorary Member of the Board of Directors of the Hudson River Foundation for Science and Environmental Research; Director of The Sperry Fund; Honorary Trustee of the American Museum of Natural History; and Trustee Emeritus of The New York Botanical Garden. Mr. Beinecke’s wife Elizabeth (Betty) predeceased him in 2009 after nearly 70 years of marriage. Survivors include his children Rick ’61 (Candace Krugman), John ’64 (Gaily Wurtzel), Frances (Paul Elston), and Sarah (Craig
The Bernards Township Campus (pictured in 2017) and Beinecke House (pictured at the dedication on October 25, 2012), both made possible by Mr. Beinecke’s foresight and generosity.
Richardson); seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. He is a first cousin (once removed) of William Miller Sperry II, Pingry Class of 1912, and a second cousin of Mather “Kim” Whitehead, Pingry Class of 1931. Several other Sperry cousins are also Pingry alumni. “He was an amazing man who had a great love for Pingry,” says Headmaster Nat Conard P ’09, ’11. “His impact on this school will be felt for generations to come.” For memories of Mr. Beinecke's impact on Pingry, see page 62. SUMMER 2018
William G. Dealaman, Jr. ’43
Theodore D. Baldwin ’47
February 3, 2018, age 93, St. Augustine, FL
February 13, 2018, age 89, Providence, NJ
Mr. Dealaman played football, basketball, and baseball at Pingry, and served as captain of the 1943 Baseball Team. At graduation, he received The Class of 1902 Emblem Award. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Navy until he was honorably discharged in 1946. He then attended Franklin & Marshall College, earning a B.S. in Economics. In 1950, he reenlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve and was appointed Ensign. In January 1951, he requested active duty, serving until July 1952, when he received an honorable discharge. He stayed in the Naval Reserves until 1965, when he transferred to Standby Reserves, remaining there until he entered the Retired Reserves as a Lieutenant in 1970. After leaving the Navy, Mr. Dealaman worked for Lord & Taylor, Dooner & Smith Chemical Company, and William E. Ford’s Associates, Underwriters for Home Life Insurance Company. Mr. Dealaman was predeceased by his wife Audrey. Survivors include their children Carol, Judy (Bob), and Bill (Susan); grandchildren Bob, Brad, and Bill; and great-granddaughters Makenzee and Rylee.
Dr. John Richmond Alexander, Jr. ’47 April 15, 2018, age 88, Crownsville, MD
Dr. Alexander received a B.S. from Columbia University, an M.S. from Johns Hopkins University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. After retirement from the U.S. Air Force, he taught computer science at Towson University for 26 years and became Professor Emeritus. He was inducted into Pingry’s Athletics Hall of Fame as a member of the 1947 Track Team. Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Sara; daughters Karen and Alicia; stepson Michael; stepdaughter Kerry; grandchildren Ian, Beatina, Jessica, Clark, and Ruby; and great-grandson Duncan.
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Mr. Baldwin spent a post-graduate year at Pingry, then attended Lehigh University, earning a B.S. in Business Administration. During the Korean War, he served in the counterintelligence unit of the U.S. Army. Mr. Baldwin first worked in construction, then as a real estate broker. He was predeceased by his brothers Cyril and David ’47. Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Mona; son Dwight; daughter Madelene; brother-in-law Lennart; sisters-inlaw Barbara and Loel; and nieces and nephews.
Edgar Allan Roll ’47
April 30, 2018, age 89, Warren, NJ
Mr. Roll graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in American Studies and enjoyed a long and successful career as a marketing and management executive. He was Circulation Sales Director and Board Member of Dow Jones and Company and was appointed Executive Director of the Dow Jones Open, a PGA tour event, at the Upper Montclair GC. Mr. Roll was later President of the Advertising Research Foundation, Senior Account Manager for Gallop and Robinson, Inc., and Chairman of the Direct Marketing Association. He also served on the Board of Trustees of Elizabeth General Hospital and the Board of the Pingry Alumni Association. Mr. Roll was a founding member and captain of Pingry’s 1947 Golf Team and was inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008. He qualified for numerous NJSGA Junior and Amateur tournaments and state opens and competed on the Metropolitan Golf Association circuit for many years. Mr. Roll was a member of Echo Lake Country Club in Westfield, NJ, where he won two club championships and served on the Board of Trustees and Greens Committee. He also was club champion at Maplewood GC, NJ and Castle Shannon GC, PA. Mr. Roll was predeceased by his wife of 64 years, Lucille, and is survived by his son John ’73 (Paula); daughters Dorian (Charles), Marcia (James), and Christina (Jeffrey); seven grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.
Dr. James Anthony Bradley, Jr. ’48
Taylor Kennady “Teke” Heston, Jr. ’49
Dr. Bradley received a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Brown University, where he met his future wife, Patricia Crabtree, and an Ed.D. in Math Education from Temple University. He proudly served for six years in the U.S. Navy. During his nearly 40-year career in education, Dr. Bradley was a teacher and department head in five independent schools from Rhode Island to Florida and served as the first Headmaster of Independent Day School in Tampa, FL. After retiring, he and his wife volunteered in the community: he founded and served as Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Caroline County; was a frequent volunteer at St. Martin’s Ministries;served on the board of Tuckahoe Habitat for Humanity; worked in the Education and Docent Department of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum; and was a founding force behind Voice of the Homeless. Dr. and Mrs. Bradley were inducted into The Maryland Senior Citizens Hall of Fame, receiving the prestigious GERI Award in 2017. He was also inducted into Pingry’s Athletics Hall of Fame as a member of the 1947 Track Team. He was predeceased by his sister Eileen. Survivors include his wife of nearly 61 years, Patricia; five children: Peter (Nancy); John (Virginia); Anne (Hugh); Matthew (Melinda); and Catherine (Craig); 13 grandchildren; and seven nieces and nephews.
Mr. Heston was captain of the 1948 Football Team. He graduated with an M.E. from Lehigh University and served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. He worked for Ingersol Rand before starting his own company, Hydrothrift Corp. Survivors include his loving wife, Faye; brothers Philip ’51 (Janet) and Edgar (Elizabeth); children James (Lillian), Nancy (Ivan), and Paul (Michele); grandchildren Kaylee (John), Paige, Taylor, and Hunter; stepdaughters Amy (Mark) and Ann (Edward); stepgrandchildren Taylor (Emily), Erin (Aaron), Dana (Stan), Keri, Amanda (Jason), Olivia, and Andrew; and great-grandchildren Morgan, Rowan, Gracie, and Finn.
June 12, 2018, age 87, Easton, MD
May 13, 2018, age 87, Canton, OH
Peter B. Jones ’49
November 20, 2015, age 84, Petoskey, MI
Mr. Jones was Class President, as well as captain of the 1949 Tennis Team at Pingry. After beginning his college career at Amherst College, he left after three semesters with the Class of 1953 to join the U.S. Air Force. After an honorable discharge, he returned to Amherst in the fall of 1954 and graduated in 1956. He rose through the ranks of such corporations as Exxon (Standard Oil) and RCA, where he was an Executive Vice President for Sales. Mr. Jones left RCA for the real estate industry, selling residential properties in Hilton Head, SC; California; and Alabama. Survivors include his sons Peter ’77 and David, and grandchildren.
Alan R. Keen ’48 Alameda, CA
Mr. Keen was inducted into Pingry’s Athletics Hall of Fame as a member of the 1947 Track Team.
Lindsay Russell Laird ’49
January 6, 2018, age 86, Cudjoe Key, FL and South Harpswell, ME
Mr. Laird attended Princeton University and was drafted by the U.S. Army, where he served at Fort Benning, GA. He worked in Boston for the investment banking and brokerage firm Tucker Anthony, which merged with R.L. Day. He was predeceased by his sister Alicia and brother Jack. Survivors include his loving wife of 54 years, Aldie; daughters Wendy (Yves) and Molly (Philip); grandchildren William, Henry, Frederick, Louis, Charles, Georgiana, and Luke; and niece Liz (Jim).
Dr. Harry Everett “Pete” Walburg, Jr. ’49
Arthur DeWitt “Terry” Ackerman ’59
Dr. Walburg received several degrees, including a B.S. from Dartmouth University, Masters from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia, and Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Illinois. He was a research scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and was the Director of Comparative Animal Research Laboratory in Oak Ridge. He was preceded in death by his wife Mary and sister Jeanne. Survivors include his daughters Deborah, Elizabeth (Steven), and Christine; son Andrew; step-daughter Ann (Mitch); grandchildren Peter, David, Alexandra, Zachary, Michelle, Kendyl, Tyler, Charlie, and Patrick; step-grandchildren Christopher, Michelle, and Michael; and great-grandchildren Isabella and Greyson.
Mr. Ackerman received a degree in Psychology from Hamilton University and was involved with entrepreneurial endeavors and sales. From 1967-1980, he had a successful career with Home Life of New York, where he was a member of the Hall of Fame and a Charter member of the Top of the Round Table. In 1982, he co-founded a Wall Street-based gold exploration and money engagement group. Since 1980, he had been an investment banker for resource and technology companies, raising over $50 million for early-stage companies. Mr. Ackerman was also an angel investor in resource technology and renewable energy companies, and was involved in a LEEDS community in the Mohave Desert. He was on the board of The Mohave National Preserve Conservancy and was a Director of Beech Tree Labs, Inc. and on the board of CooperRiis, American International Ventures, Inc., AIVN de Mexico, and Atmospheric Plasma Solution, Inc. Locally, he served on the Parks Commission and championed non-profits like Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Polk County, and Tryon Little Theater. Survivors include his sons Gregory ’88 and Peter ’90; brother Pete; niece, great-nieces and -nephews, and cousins; and his partner of over 25 years, Monica.
September 23, 2016, age 84, Seymour, TN
William A. “Beets” McCleary III ’53 November 26, 2013, age 78, Thailand
Dr. McCleary earned a B.A. in Economics at Princeton University and a Ph.D. in Economics at UC, Berkeley. After a short time as an assistant professor at Williams College (19651969), he taught at Thammasat University in Thailand (19691974), was a lead economist at the World Bank (1974-1997), and returned to Thammasat as Professor of Economics (19972013). Throughout his career, Dr. McCleary published numerous scholarly works, including lengthy treatises in 1962, 1968, 1974, 1990, and 2012, and a book review of Why Nations Fail, by D. Acemoglu and J. Robinson. Dr. McCleary was married to Jane Adams and had two daughters, Whitney and Jennifer. After divorcing, he had a long and happy marriage to Saisamorn (Bao). Sadly, his daughter Whitney died on December 31, 2013. Survivors include Bao, Jennifer, and five grandchildren. Dr. McCleary died while snorkeling in Similand Islands Park, Thailand.
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December 26, 2017, age 76, Tryon, NC
John Lawrence Dean ’62 April 3, 2018, age 74, Stratford, CT
Mr. Dean attended Rollins College and received an M.B.A. from the American Institute for Foreign Trade Thunderbird School. He began his banking career as a loan officer at Manufacturers Hanover Trust and continued his international banking career with DG Bank. Survivors include his husband John; son Geoffrey (Krista); grandchildren Tommy, Max, and Charlie; daughter Elizabeth (Kevin); sister Patricia; and nephew Christopher (Oliver). Mr. Dean died from cancer.
William Brown Shepard, Jr. ’64
May 29, 2018, age 71, Darien, CT and Naples, FL
Mr. Shepard graduated from Wesleyan University, where he continued the swimming career that he started at Pingry; he is in the Athletics Hall of Fame as a member of the 1961-62 Swimming Team. He served a year in Vietnam as an officer stationed at a riverboat base, and returned home safely as a decorated U.S. Navy Vietnam combat veteran. Mr. Shepard received an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and enjoyed a 40-year career as an international banking executive. He also found deep personal satisfaction and enjoyment in helping others, especially sponsoring, mentoring, and supporting those with substance abuse addiction, and volunteering in countless other ways. He was particularly proud of his most recent volunteer role in Naples, where he worked with troubled youth at New Beginnings, a remarkable military-influenced education program. Survivors include his loving wife of 49 years, Midge; children Trip (Tracy), Jay (Courtney), and Susan; grandchildren Grace, Conor, Eric, Jay, and Blake; and brothers Dick and David. He died of complications from immunotherapy treatment for recently diagnosed metastatic melanoma.
Burchard M. Hazen, Jr. ’66
September 22, 2017, age 70, Flagler Beach, FL
Annette Tomaino May 15, 2018, age 82, Chatham, NJ
Mrs. Tomaino worked at Pingry from 1988-2001, first as Director of Guidance (in charge of counseling and advising) and then, beginning in 1995, as both Director of Guidance and Assistant Head of Student Services. She also served on an advisory group to the Headmaster. As a college counselor, she worked closely with Dave Allan, Jack Dufford, and Fred Fayen, who helped bring her to Pingry. Mrs. Tomaino graduated from Albertus Magnus College and later earned a master’s degree in Guidance at Seton Hall University. She began her career as a French, English, and Latin teacher, working at schools in Connecticut, Ohio, and New Jersey prior to joining Pingry. In 1991, she received the New Jersey Association of College Admission Counselors (NJACAC) Robert Biunno Award, the organization’s highest honor, for her loyalty, dedication, and extraordinary service to NJACAC (she was a past president) and to college-bound students in New Jersey. Mrs. Tomaino also received the 2001 Bernard P. Ireland Recognition Award from the Middle States Regional Assembly of The College Board for “her record of service to young people in easing the transition from school to college, her distinguished record as a change agent and career educator, and [her] commitment to improving humanity.” She also served as President of the Middle States Accreditation Association and a Trustee of the Waterford Library in Maine, and helped to develop the curriculum for The Willow School. Survivors include her husband of 58 years, Bruno; sons Christopher (Laurie), Gregory (Kathryn), and Mark (Cyndie); and grandchildren Michael, Kevin, Kimberly, and Hudson.
Elizabeth R. Bandekow Booth May 24, 2018, age 97, Short Hills, NJ
Mrs. Booth worked at Pingry as Academic Secretary and Administrative Assistant in College Guidance from 1974 to 1988 after Pingry’s merger with Short Hills Country Day School. She graduated from Syracuse University with a B.A. in Home Economics. She was predeceased by her husbands Richard Justus Bandekow and Clifford C. Booth, and is survived by her children Richard (Linda) and Leigh (Sharon); stepchildren Nannette (Michael) and Norman (Gail); grandchildren Jenifer, Richard, David, Timothy, Daniel, and Katherine; and great-grandchildren Charlotte, Juliette, and Xander.
We Have a Responsibility … By Shelley Hartz, Director of Community Service This essay is adapted from Ms. Hartz’s remarks at a Middle School Morning Meeting in March. There isn’t a week that goes by that I am not answering a question from a Middle School student about community service opportunities or persuading students to get their hours submitted in a timely fashion. I thought you might like to know why I am so passionate about community service and why it is a large part of my life, both at Pingry and in my personal life. Thirty-four years ago, I became a mom. I gave birth to a healthy son and all looked bright. As Daniel grew, we began to notice that he didn’t really babble, but, being a first-time mom, I wasn’t sure at what age a child should start babbling. By the time he was 12 months old, Daniel had not started walking, but the norm for babies to walk is anywhere between nine and 18 months, so he still had time to catch up. At 18 months, Daniel still was not walking, and he had not caught up. We had Daniel tested by a pediatric neurologist. The good news was that Daniel did not have cerebral palsy. The devastating news was that my son was neurologically impaired and had significant fine and gross motor skill delays. I cried for weeks—unsure of what the future would hold for us as parents, for Daniel’s younger brother, and for his yet unborn sibling. The biggest fear was that I did not know what the future would hold for Daniel. I cried and cried 104
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until my husband said these simple words: “These are the cards we have been dealt, so let’s learn how to deal with them.” Being the persistent, assertive, and, yes, at times, annoying individual I am, I did exactly that: I learned how to deal with those cards. –––––––––––––
“The most significant lesson I have learned from my son is empathy and understanding.”
Shelley Hartz ––––––––––––– I learned to help Daniel with simple childhood milestones like dressing himself, tying his shoes, and even brushing his teeth. While easy for other children, those tasks were overwhelming and difficult to master. But Daniel learned how to cross the street, ride a bike, and maneuver public transportation. Daniel has had the same opportunities as his brothers. He went to sleepaway camp, led services at his Bar Mitzvah, and traveled to Israel on a teen tour. Daniel even went to what he considers college. He attended a residential-vocational program for adults with disabilities, Chapel Haven, where he lived in an apartment-like setting with roommates and learned independent living skills.
I have learned never to underestimate my son. He presently lives in New Haven, Connecticut in his own apartment. He works at the café on Chapel Haven’s campus and volunteers once a week at a local Hebrew School. He also volunteers at Special Olympics and a community soup kitchen. He does his own laundry and food shopping and has a very active social life, and, when he comes home, he takes the train to Grand Central Terminal and meets us at the information booth. That decision hastens my gray hair, but he does fine. Daniel has a case manager and needs support, but don’t we all? I tell this story about Daniel not to elicit sympathy or make anyone feel badly, but rather to explain why I believe it is so important for each and every one of us to give back to our communities, both near and far. Daniel has made my family a better family. In the struggles we faced teaching him, he has taught us the importance of helping others and never taking the little things in life for granted. But the most significant lesson I have learned from my son is empathy and understanding. I make my announcements about service to remind students how important it is for all of us to give back to our community, our country, our world. We, more than most, have the opportunity and responsibility to make someone’s life easier, better, and brighter.
CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS Saturday, July 14
Jersey Shore Reception in Mantoloking Alumni Class Notes Send us your latest news! Do you have a new job? New baby? Just married? Recently moved? Or any updates to share with your classmates? We are collecting class notes and photos for the next issue of The Pingry Review. Visit pingry.org/classnotes, or mail your note to Holland Sunyak Francisco ’02 The Pingry School 131 Martinsville Road Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
Hosted by the Ryan and Graff Families – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 28
Hosted by Deborah and Greg Mankiw ’76 – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 29
Alumni Admission Open House Alumni Soccer Games Alumnae Field Hockey Game
Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18
Reunion Weekend Basking Ridge Campus
Send us your email address! If you haven’t been receiving invitations and updates about Pingry events, it’s probably because we don’t have your current contact information. Send your updated email address and mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org to get back in the loop!
Check pingry.org/calendar and watch your email for information about upcoming events.
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For volunteer opportunities or any additional questions, please contact:
Holland Sunyak Francisco ’02 Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving email@example.com 908-647-5555, ext. 1284
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