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Keeping In Touch

ROEPER @ 75 Volume 10: 1 FALL 2016



TABLE OF CONTENTS David Feldman Head of School Denita Banks-Sims Director of Development Keeping in Touch Editorial Committee Katie Buchmann Editor Bonnie Schemm Art Director

Contributors Denita Banks-Sims Katie Buchmann David Feldman Lori Lutz Juliette Olejnik Colleen Potocki Mike Ruddy Marcia Ruff Emily Wine Shani Yapa-Kimpson


ROEPER AT 75 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 David Feldman, Head of School DEAR GEORGE AND ANNEMARIE ROEPER . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Colleen Potocki, Middle School Director, and Student Writers PHOTO CAPTION CONTEST RESULTS . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MOVING THE PHILOSOPHY FORWARD . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Denita Banks-Sims, Director of Development & Publicatons NEW FACES IN FAMILIAR PLACES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Emily Wine, Assistant to the Head of School


WELCOME, JULIETTE! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Juliette Olejnik, Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Fund


ALUMNI NEWS AND EVENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shani Yapa-Kimpson ’08, Special Assistant to Development


ode to the homemakers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lori Lutz ’75, Associate Director, The Roeper Institute Denita Banks-Sims, Director of Development & Publications



The Roeper School 41190 Woodward Avenue Bloomfield Hills Michigan 48304 248/203.7300

The Roeper School is an independent coeducational day school for gifted and talented students preschool through grade 12 and an equal-opportunity institution

educating and inspiring gifted students to think as individuals and to engage as a community with compassion for each other and this world


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PARTING THOUGHTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Denita Banks-Sims, Director of Development & Publicatons 75TH LAUNCH DAY PHOTOS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


On the Cover Creating the phenomenal 75th commemorative photo — formed by the present day Roeper School community of more than 700 students, faculty, staff, administrators and Roeper children, Tom, Peter and Karen Roeper — required many months of planning and many wonderful organizers. We are grateful to Curt Catallo and Ann Stevenson of Union AdWorks and their remarkable staff of Anne Gahagan, Kathi Strace and Sean Denver, for their generosity and extraordinary production vision and support. We also offer our enthusiastic appreciation to our “Photo Team,” led by Jason McIntosh, Leonard Schemm and Elliot Silk ’18. BRAVO TO ALL! For more “Launch Day” photos, turn to page 24.



David Feldman Head of School


Mt. Rushmore. Meanwhile in Washington, D.C., President Franklin Roosevelt was beginning his third term — that was legal back then — and reminding us of the four freedoms that citizens of the world were entitled to: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, and the Freedoms from Want and Fear. These were not just American freedoms, Roosevelt said, but aspirations for a world being torn by war. Interestingly, it’s that fourth freedom — the Freedom from Fear — that he would again remind us of in December when we would join the war after Pearl Harbor was bombed.

Yet, as I think about our legacy, I find myself drawn into the news, activities and people of 1941. What were the events of the day, the conversations; what was going on around George and Annemarie Roeper as they moved from Manchester, Vermont, to Detroit?

There weren’t smartphones or tablets in 1941, but the father of modern computing, Alan Turig, was using a computer he built — one that filled an entire room — to break the Nazis’ Enigma Code, a solution that would eventually help the Allies win the war; also in the field of technology, radio giants CBS and NBC began a risky venture by rolling out a new communications and entertainment system called television.

If they picked up a newspaper when they arrived, they might find a story describing an odd sculpture being constructed in the Black Hills of South Dakota, that while patriotic, seemed strangely placed. The reporter would share that work was just being completed on something to be called

At the movies people were waiting in line to see Citizen Kane, The Maltese Falcon, and a new cartoon from Disney studios — Dumbo. While at home, Americans were snacking on new chocolate treats called M&M’s and eating a new breakfast cereal called Cheerios. Sports fans followed Yankee great Joe DiMaggio as he set the record for hits in consecutive games with 56, and mourned the passing of his teammate Lou Gehrig from ALS. Locally, Detroit was gearing up for wartime industry as auto executives met with military leaders at the Council for Wartime Production; they laid plans to build the Arsenal Tank Plant in Warren, and the US Naval Training School at the Ford River Rouge Plant in Dearborn. The Lions and the Tigers were called on to do their part to support the military as star halfback and future Supreme Court Justice Byron “Whizzer” White and Hall of Fame first baseman Hank Greenberg both left their teams and enlisted in the service.



1940s children watch their new TV. s Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms paintings graced the covers of The Saturday Evening Post four consecutive weeks in 1943 and helped raise over $132 million in war bonds.


Seventy-five years — that seems like such a long time ago — a lifetime if American actuarial tables are accurate. For our students, even something as simple as considering a date that starts 19-something feels like ancient history, beyond the frame of their reference. Think about this, our students in Stage I through Grade 10 were all born in the 21st Century. In two years, all school age children will have been born in the 2000s. Given that piece of data, 1941 can seem like a date relevant only in a history book, a distant point on a timeline, a year that may feel to some, no different from 1492, 1776 or 1865.


Tigers first baseman Hank Greenberg served in the ChinaBurma-India theater during World War II.

People couldn’t wait to go downtown to the newly opened Paradise Theater (later Orchestra Hall) to see Duke Ellington open the new venue, or perhaps folks preferred staying home to listen to the radio broadcast of local hero Joe Louis defending his heavyweight boxing title. Mercy College was opening to prepare young women to be nurses and teachers; and Michiganders had just elected Democrat Murray Van Wagoner as the new governor. Entering the world in 1941 were Pre-Baby Boomers Martha Stewart, Nora Ephron and Pete Rose, as well as music greats Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Otis Redding, Chubby Checker, and both Simon and Garfunkel. Joining this group was a particularly odd trio of future politicos: Dick Cheney, Bernie Sanders and Jesse Jackson. Into this moment in time enter George and Annemarie Roeper, refugees from the fighting that is spreading across Europe — educators with a philosophy shaped by their experiences in Germany, and visionaries focused on shaping the lives of young people. Looking through the old newspapers, and sifting through websites and history books, it’s easy to get attached to an era in time. As our Stage III students can attest, passions inspire you to want to deeply study all that you can about what feels like a transformational moment. Celebrations like our 75th anniversary cause us to look back at key points in our history with curiosity, love, and nostalgia. We look back at the purchase of the Hill House, the decision to become a school for the gifted, choosing to add a high school, adopting the open classroom model, buying the Birmingham property, the retirement and passing of our founders, and we can’t help but feel a bond and a deeper connection to the friends and community members who shared these moments in history with us. We look at that 75year timeline and naturally seek to find our spot on the continuum, the moment when our history intersected with this wonderful institution. I can remember in 2012 that first phone conversation I had with Annemarie Roeper, the day I was named a finalist for the Head’s position, and her immediate warmth. She had studied my vita and was eager to talk about progressive education, my years at the University of Chicago

Laboratory Schools, my knowledge of Freud, and most importantly, my understanding of child development. She did her homework and was eager to engage. I loved talking with her; we covered neuroscience and all that we still didn’t know about the brain. We talked about what it means to be gifted and how a depth of empathy is an essential component. I have always been drawn to people who value curiosity, and I’ve never met anyone who embodied the spirit of inquiry more than Annemarie. I am so grateful to have been able to visit with Annemarie at the start of my Roeper School journey and to speak with her on many occasions by phone. I particularly enjoyed learning about her history, traveling with her back through time to Germany, talking about the subconscious, the emotional life of children, and the evolution of her educational philosophy.   While she had been physically frail during my visits, she maintained an intellectual curiosity and a willingness to share ideas with me that I continue to treasure. There were moments in our talks when you could see a sparkle in her eye, and she would stop, look at you with a broad smile, and knowingly talk about a memory from her childhood life at Marienau. My wife Elane teased her as we left after our last visit saying, “You have stolen my husband’s heart.”  I must admit there is truth in Elane’s words.  Annemarie’s smile, her stories, and her passion for working with children filled my heart. It is so rare to find someone with such a deep and powerful sense of purpose. Her life’s work was an active and strong response to Nazi oppression, and we are the beneficiaries of her and George’s tenacity.


I know that each of you has a personal story that connects you to the School; many of you have special stories that connect you to George, Annemarie, Mariann Hoag, and other amazing people who helped to form and shape this incredible community of learners. As we think about our past, celebrate our history, remember important moments in our story, and immerse ourselves deeply in all that has been achieved, I can’t help but think about one of my favorite movies, the Woody Allen gem, Midnight in Paris. For those of you who are not familiar with the film, it’s the story of a Hollywood writer who sees himself as having sold out to commercialism. During a trip with his fiancé and her parents to Paris, he has a chance to get in touch with his youthful ideals and consider what his life would have been like if he had pursued his passion for writing novels instead of pulp TV scripts. Late one evening, the writer, Gil, played by Owen Wilson, goes for a walk by himself, and having done a little too much drinking, sits down on a curb along a quiet narrow Paris street as the clock


Transported back to his idyllic Paris of the 1920s, Gil befriends Ernest Hemmingway, Pablo Picasso, and even gets invited to attend Gertrude Stein’s Salon, where she offers to read and critique his long developed and much loved novel. This is nirvana for Gil; he is surrounded by his heroes of the past and begins to contemplate what it would be like to remain in this perfect moment in time. Excited to have his novel critiqued by his new friends, Gil leaves the party to retrieve the draft. Arriving back at his 21st Century hotel room he passes out, and in the morning finds himself puzzled, wondering whether the previous evening was just a dream. The film follows Gil as he sneaks away from his fiancé and in-laws to go for midnight walks so that each night he can repeat his experience and travel back to his beloved Paris of the 1920s. During one of his visits, Gil meets and falls in love with Adriana, a free spirit who is passionate about life but doesn’t think much of the time in which she lives; instead she reveres Paris of the turn of a different century. “I’m from the ‘20s, and I’m telling you the golden age is La Belle Époque.” This shocks Gil, as he has been trying to figure out a way to remain in the 1920s and spend his life with Adriana. One evening, while out on a 1920s Paris walk, Gil and Adriana are approached by a horse-drawn carriage with a driver wearing a top hat and tuxedo with tails, a man leans out of the coach’s window and offers the couple a ride. Minutes later, the coach stops, and Gil and Adriana find themselves outside Maxim’s Bistro, transported to Adriana’s idealized moment in time — ­­ Paris of the early 1900s. Gil is astounded that this is the moment in history that Adriana reveres — he looks around the night club and says to her — how can this be the perfect moment in time? “These people don’t even have any antibiotics!”


Annemarie and I talked a lot about our family histories. During one conversation she shared that a family friend named Dr. Feldman delivered her. I smiled and told her that my grandmother’s family is originally from Hamburg.  We started trying to trace our family trees. While I doubt there is any relation, my German Jewish roots connected with her memories of Germany. Her smile went right to my heart, and we felt a kinship in our discussion of family.

T Newly appointed Head of School David Feldman meets with Annemarie Roeper at her apartment in Oakland, CA.


strikes midnight. Half dozing and ready to pass out, Gil is startled as a 1920s luxury car driven by a chauffeur pulls up next to him; a man in the backseat leans out the window, and offers him a ride. Startled and a little tipsy, Gil gets in the car without much thought — and, much to his surprise finds himself in conversation with fellow passengers F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

t Gil and Adriana on an evening walk in Midnight in Paris.

Adriana tells Gil that she wants to leave Paris of the 1920s and intends to remain in the 1900s. Unwilling to stay with Adriana in the 1900s, it is at this moment that Gil has his epiphany — “Adriana,” he tells her, “If you stay here, and this becomes your present, then pretty soon you’ll start imagining another time was really your ... you know, was really the golden time.” The next day, Gil’s friend in the 21st Century, Paul, is touring Gil and his family through various historical Paris sites and sums up the situation for our protagonist. Looking around at all of the monuments to past eras of French history, Paul says, Nostalgia is denial — denial of the painful present ... the name for this denial is golden age thinking — the erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one one is living in — it’s a flaw in the romantic imagination. We are shaped by our moment in history and the life experiences that result; whether we choose to embrace the events of our time, try to maneuver and stay neutral, or employ our own version of romantic imagination and deny the affect, it is naïve to ignore the impact of the past on the circumstance of now.

s Annemarie and George with their sons, Tom (between them) and Peter (in George’s arms), soon after moving into Hill House.


Author and activist Bryan Stevenson, keynote speaker for the 2017 Roeper Gala.

As we celebrate our 75th anniversary, we will joyfully recall with great fondness the many people, events, and practices that shaped who we became and made us a better community. Set within a moment in time, framed within a snapshot those recollections can seem idyllic, and it would be easy to label that as a golden era. As we recall the wonder of our past and our founders’ guidance, remember that George and Annemarie would not have us linger on what has been, but rather they would remind us of our forward thinking task, “to prepare this future generation to deal with the unknown.”

We enter our 76th year in a post-founder era, a time when George and Annemarie are not physically present to ask for guidance, direction, or insight into what has been. They have provided us with a powerful roadmap in their Philosophy, and as alumnus Andy Reed reminded us in his graduation speech last June, a school that is a kind of incubator, a community that provides a safe place where we can grow, develop, mature, test ideas, try on new identities, and grow into the selfactualized individuals our founders wanted us to be. We are a forward-thinking community. Yes, we value our history, we are committed to our philosophy, and we love our mentors, but we are not stuck. We can be nostalgic without being stagnant. This year is filled with reflection and progress, celebration and growth. We will honor our past as we construct our future. Our philosophy is a living, breathing document that shapes our values, and we will be constantly called upon to be true to its tenets. In February we will face such a challenge when we welcome MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant recipient, Bryan Stevenson to our community. An American lawyer, social justice activist, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative and a clinical professor at New York University School of Law, Mr. Stevenson has gained national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and minorities in the criminal justice system. His New York Times best-selling book, Just Mercy, is filled with gripping stories of the struggle between power and justice. I am pleased to share with you that Mr. Stevenson will spend the day with Middle and Upper School students on the Birmingham campus, and the evening as our keynote speaker for our 75th Anniversary Gala on February 17, 2017.


Mr. Stevenson will remind us that our work is not done, that power rather than justice remains the order of the day. His work will call upon us to reflect on our history and the difficult work that our philosophy calls upon us to engage. You see, George and Annemarie Roeper did not leave Germany by choice; Annemarie’s parents, Max and Gertrude Bondy did not give up their boarding school — Marienau — to pursue other ventures or opportunities. The rise of the Nazi government to power, the menacing presence of the Holocaust, and the rampant anti-Semitism that surrounded them, even for cultural Jews who saw themselves as good Germans, was too powerful a set of forces to overcome. When you are unable to own your own identity, unable to have a voice in matters that directly affect your life and well-being, are forced to flee for your life from the only place you have ever known as home, the burdens are intense and deeply shape your world view. The struggle to find voice, to be respected, or to live in peace are sadly not relegated to the pages of history books. As Roeperians we are drawn to world events today because of our closeness to the Roeper family story. The continued tension between justice and power is ongoing and shaping the lives of people across this nation and the world.


Bryan Stevenson will remind us of our duty to get proximate, to help change the narrative, to maintain our sense of hope, and to engage in actions that will likely make us feel uncomfortable. You see, my friends, there is too much to do in this world for us to view this year merely through the lens of nostalgia; our children are counting on us to help them think deeply, to guide and focus their passions, to help them see the importance of collaboration, and to understand that we are interdependent — that as much as the news is filled with separation, isolation, and fear — that is not what it means to be a citizen of the world. If we are true to the teachings of our founders, then we know that we are always thinking about the unknown future; we are always preparing our students and ourselves to make history and not be the relics of a distant time. We, my friends, are Roeperians, and our Golden Age is always yet to come! F


Colleen Potocki

Middle School Director

DEAR GEORGE & ANNEMARIE As a 75th Anniversary reflective writing exercise, Middle School English students considered in letter form what they might write to founders George and Annemarie Roeper if it were possible to mail them letters. Even though the letters are undeliverable to the intended recipients, the letters express a deep-felt gratitude for the life and heart of The Roeper School, the legacy of George and Annemarie. Dear George and Annemarie Roeper, My name is Ava Thomas. I am in 6th grade, and this is my ninth year at Roeper. When I was in Stage I, I remember Annemarie speaking to my classroom. I was little, so I did not think I would understand much, but when I got to the “big room,” and you (Annemarie) started talking to us, I knew you were a person who understood me and who understood everybody. Afterwards, all the kids went up to you. I wanted to, but I did not know what to say (being that I was four and did not know many words anyway, it made things harder). A lot of people think of pre-schoolers as little kids who are not capable of doing things, but I knew that you knew that I did not want to make a fool of myself, so I just stood there behind everyone. I thought no one would notice me, but after all the other kids left, you noticed me. You came up to me and asked me what my name was. I said my name; then, you looked at me and smiled. I smiled back, then went to my classroom with my class. What you had said inspired me to do a lot of things, and I think about that day a lot. The other day, on the 75th Anniversary, we heard you (George) telling a story. What I heard in your voice was the same thing I heard in Annemarie’s voice. You seemed to understand everyone. I want to thank you both very much. Love, Ava Thomas, 6th Grade Dear George and Annemarie Roeper, My name is Julia Raphael, and I think Roeper is a great experience for any kid’s lifetime. I have had so many great experiences here, but one of my favorites was when I was not even enrolled here. I remember that it was Annemarie Roeper’s 90th birthday, and the whole school was invited. I was only three, and I wasn’t going to Roeper School, but my brother was, and so I came to Annemarie’s party. There was a giant cake shaped like the domes and it was so big, there was a piece for everyone. After the cake there was a huge line to meet Annemarie and shake her hand. My mom, my brother, and I got in line. When we were at the front of the line, we were happy to get to stop waiting. My mom said to my brother and I, “Wish Annemarie Roeper a Happy Birthday!” and Annemarie said, “Don’t tell them what to say.” And I knew by that, that Roeper is the perfect school for me. Love, Julia Raphael, 6th Grade Dear George and Annemarie Roeper, One of my favorite memories at Roeper was my visitation day. It was a nice cool day when I visited in the Spring. We pulled up to the big campus and right next to a field were two huge buildings: the CCB and the Steward Building. We met Leslie at the Commons, and I got escorted to my homeroom with Ellen and Gloria. This was not the homeroom when I joined Roeper, but it gave me a view of what I had in store for the day. I was greeted by an array of couches and immediately felt safe in the environment. Later that day I met all the kids in Ellen’s homeroom. All kids were happy and having a great time at school. I laughed, had fun, played, and sometimes didn’t even know I was learning. At the end of the day Ellen took candy out of Snoopy’s box and gave us all a piece. I didn’t even know it was the end of the day. My mom asked how my day was, and I said one thing that changed my life, “I want to go here.” Love, Jai Singh, 6th Grade


Dear George and Annemarie Roeper, Hello! My name is Maguire Smith, and I came to Roeper about 3½ years ago. I joined Roeper halfway through the 5th grade year. When I first visited Roeper, I was in Jamie and Julie’s classroom. When I walked in, it was like no other classroom. I remember my first thought was OMG they have couches! I was immediately accepted into the classroom. It was halfway through the day, and I already felt like I had been there forever. When I went home that day, I told my dad I want to go back tomorrow. After that it took off. Now I am in 8th grade writing this letter to thank you for making this amazing school. The school has helped me grow a lot. Looking back on everything, I am glad that I moved from Pittsburgh, because in the end, I got to meet all these amazing people who understand what I am thinking and people I can relate to. Thank you so much for making my life better. Sincerely, Maguire Smith, 8th Grade Dear George and Annemarie Roeper, Hi my name is Aristide Gardette; I’ve been at Roeper for nine years now, and I’m 11 years old, and my favorite memory takes place when I was a Stage IV first year, or in 4th grade. We were at Tamarack for the first time, and I was lucky enough to go there and be in the same cabin with my two best friends, Hayden and Amare. It was a great first time and was the highlight of my year. Our cabin was filled with friends that I knew well, so this helped the little anxiety that I did have. The cabin was a funny one — ­ I found out when we named ourselves the “Chezzitz” (Cheez-Its). Scott was a great chaperone, giving us room to play our cabin games and stepping in when needed. But the actual party didn’t happen until after dinner. After the mess hall, we went to the outdoor theater and watched Finding Nemo. After that it was dark, and we had to stumble our way back to the cabins. Once back, all the kids were restless, and nobody wanted to go to bed. So we created a game called “the doll game.” The doll game is also the reason I had nightmares that night. Basically, how you play the doll game is you turn the lights out; you were allowed to use flashlight only if you didn’t shine in people’s eyes. Then, it’s basically like tag. Only you have to act like a creepy doll. Best experience of my life! Thank you for reading! Aristide Gardette, 6th Grade Dear George and Annemarie Roeper, My name is Jameson Patrick Gerrits, and I have a story. When I was in Stage IV I built a fort. We lugged behemoth logs heavy as iron and the length of five kids lying down to make it. That would not have happened at any other school because the teacher would have stopped us saying they were too heavy. In the woods there was a complex system of hierarchy involving territories, rulers of forts, and builders which would also never happen at any other school because the teachers would insert too many regulations, making it impossible for imagination to flourish. Because, how would we come up with new things if there was an unbreakable establishment that could not be challenged, and no complex forts would exist without the necessary personnel to construct them? That’s why Roeper students have a lot of imagination — because of less rules to [squelch] it. Love, Jameson Gerrits, 6th Grade


Dear George and Annemarie Roeper, My name is Alex. I am in sixth grade. One of my favorite memories is when I was in third grade in Cathy and Susie’s homeroom. There was a day when we went on the creek walk. The one day in the year the class longs for. The creek walk is when the whole class goes down to the creek. We walk there and back. The adventure starts at the bridge. Everyone was so excited. It was my first time. There were some rules: be careful, don’t stray from the group. When we started to walk in the cold water, I could see minnows darting in the water. Then Susie said we were approaching the part called the refrigerator. It was called that because it was cold, and it was deep, when walking in the refrigerator. It got so deep, it was up to my neck. I remember weaving through fallen trees and branches. When we finally reached the end, we were happy and sad. We were happy because we got to the end and sad because it was halfway over. That was my favorite memory. Love, Alex Lyon, 6th Grade Dear George and Annemarie Roeper, I came to Roeper when I was three years old: the first school I had even walked into was here. Until I got to Stage II, every single morning I cried when my daddy left. I did that every single morning in Stage I, and every single time that happened, Jennifer would pick me up and put me into her lap and give me a Tootsie Roll. I never, ever thought that my daddy would come back, but she would always reassure me that he would. Looking back at like nine years ago, makes me think how far I have come. I used to cry when my daddy dropped me off, but now I can’t wait to have all my classes and learn Science, Math, History, English and so much more. The first time I ever stepped into any school except this one, or my cousins’ school, was at my first volleyball game at Southfield Christian, which was only two years ago. Saying goodbye to all my Lower School teachers, including Jarie, Laura Ambrose, Deb and Karen, who I have known basically all my life was so sad. But then coming into the Middle School this year gave me a whole new level of love for school. My cousins, who are my age and Ivana’s age, would always say how much they hated school. They would always say that every single school on the earth was boring and terrible. I would always say, “But Roeper is different.” Love, Irena Thomas, 6th Grade F




WINNER: Sweet dreams are made of memes. Brittany Hanson, Grade 8 FINALISTS: Do you really think we should add sandcastle-making and surfing to the curriculum? Jamison Mayes-Wheeler, Grade 6 Fist pump! Betsy Laansoo, Stage IV Why are we wearing work clothes at the beach? Emma Goldschmidt, Grade 8 Help, I’ve fallen for you. Ethan Fracasso, Grade 8

Photograph #2 (1951)

WINNER: I wore this same tie 12 years ago. Dean Ersher, Grade 9 FINALISTS: What’s with all these headshots? Julia Hoover, Grade 6 Staring contest. GO! Maureen Conway, Stage IV I can’t believe we look so well-behaved. Jacob Beveridge, Stage IV Time to stand tall for the big school. Christopher Bonde, Stage IV

Photograph #3 (1966)

WINNER: What’s that shadowy place over there? That’s conformity. You must never go there. Maya Radhakrishnan, Grade 9 FINALISTS: Look! It’s Maude. Gina Galligan, Grade 8 I don’t like it when people point, so I’m just going to stare at your hand and completely ignore whatever it is you’re pointing at. Meagan Konst, Grade 11 Hey, look at that student wearing a unicorn suit! Lilly Richards, Grade 8 … uh oh, THE FINGER OF DOOM! Teddy Potocki, Stage IV Under there. Underwear? Jonathan Dinneweth, Stage IV

Photograph #4 (1969)

WINNER: Annemarie and George seek a quiet corner in the Big Dome. Mike Ruddy, Faculty FINALISTS: Did I leave the stove on? Alexander Exler, Grade 12 Did you hear the joke? Clara Calderwood, Stage IV It wouldn’t be the same without you. Lexi Lang, Stage IV Was I supposed to have written a speech? Just smile, Honey. Elizabeth Stayton, Grade 12

Photograph #5 (1991)

WINNER: This was a life well-lived. Laura Panek, Faculty FINALISTS: That cloud looks like a penguin. Griffin Akkashian, Stage IV Is that a trapezoid? No, it’s a Roeper circle? Alexander Exler, Grade 12 Everything that touches the light is yours. Meagan Konst, Grade 11 What are we looking at again? I don’t know — just keep looking. Kaili Osborne, Grade 8


Denita Banks-Sims

Director of Development & Publications



“Looking back more than 40 years to graduation from Roeper, the School continues to exhibit an amazing power of sustenance for me. Days at Roeper dispensed many lessons that carried throughout the fabric of life. That early experience fostered a strong commitment to intellectual discovery and a robust consideration for and collaboration with others.”

The 75th Anniversary is a remarkable achievement, and the most notable is the recognition that Roeper alumni and former students are thriving in a challenging and aspirational ethos. Their individual and collective contributions to Roeper have moved the school forward and serve as a stunning reminder of that triumph. In large ways and small, gestures of time, talent and treasures from Roeper alumni are enriching the present day, and we have only begun to realize the impact. This year we eagerly anticipate the debut of the MacArthur Fellows Program at Roeper, an extraordinary opportunity made possible by a generous alumnus to bring exceptional innovators to our community.

THE VISION From “A Most Grateful Alumnus:” Looking back more than 40 years to graduation from Roeper, the School continues to exhibit an amazing power of sustenance for me. Days at Roeper dispensed many lessons that carried throughout the fabric of life. That early experience fostered a strong commitment to intellectual discovery and a robust consideration for and collaboration with others. In return, my wife and I sought to provide a new opportunity for student-centered learning that remained relevant to today’s world and central to the tenets of Roeper. It seemed there might be some key alignments between the values of Roeper and the criteria for MacArthur Fellows. We were happy to provide support to Roeper that enabled exploration of such an idea. The following quotes from a letter my wife and I sent to David Feldman in 2014 shows where we landed. Many thanks to the School for embracing this idea: David, Thank you for all your time this past month discussing the MacArthur Fellows idea for The Roeper School. We are quite excited by your enthusiastic response …. Vision — Our vision integrates MacArthur Fellows, as unique leaders in their field, with the community of student-centered learning at The

Roeper School, demonstrating to the students the leaders that they themselves can become … through programs involving Fellows and students in meaningful and constructive dialogue and substantive hands-on participation …. Needs — a program champion currently inside the school whom the students view as mentor material and whom the faculty look to as a leader in their own right …. Implementation — a collaborative effort led by the champion among faculty and students to design and execute …. Success — Success means that students latch on to the program, carry it forward with faculty and school help, and perhaps take ownership at some point such that the Fellows program endures for future classes …. Ancillary Beneficiaries — Bringing Fellows to the school can provide opportunities for alumni and members of the broader community to participate and benefit from such exposure. How this evolves should be up to the students and faculty driving the design and implementation …. Summary — The MacArthur Fellows idea deliberately provides a direct opportunity for growth and expansion of student interests ….

THE IMPACT Today, the structure and alignment for the MacArthur Fellows Program has benefitted from faculty, staff and student leadership. Led by Upper School Director Lisa Baker, the first iteration reflects a fundamental tenet of the Roeper philosophy and imagining a fairer, freer, more compassionate world. One of the essential objectives for the MacArthur Fellows Program is to inspire students. The remarkable synergy that emerged from inviting Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative and the author of Just Mercy, as the inaugural presenter has realized that vision. (Brian Stevenson is a MacArthur Genius Grant Award recipient from 1995.)


Melanie “Mel” Wells, a senior, offers her insights about the focus on social justice and the opportunity afforded by the MacArthur Fellows Program. Before attending Roeper, I never truly felt committed to social justice issues. I did not understand how a young teenage girl, such as myself, could help solve racism, health and education inequality, etc. In the 10th grade at Roeper, I finally opened my eyes to what was going on in my world and took a chance at trying to help change it. I joined the Diversity Club, whose main objective is to help students become more aware, accepting, and understanding of others’ differences regardless of their age, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, ability, or race. Our club may only reach a small group of students, but how many people will those students reach? Injustice may be contagious, but so is equality. My current and future commitments to social justice issues are to be a part of organizations like the Diversity Club and to use my voice to encourage others to acknowledge the inequality in the world so they, too, can advocate for what is right. Social justice issues will remain enormous issues if people do not do their small part. As a student representative for the ISACS SelfStudy Equity and Justice Committee, I was able to get a good look into how students really felt about equality within Roeper. I made and distributed Likert-Scale surveys that contained several statements regarding diversity and equality displayed within Roeper School. A few of the statements from the survey were “Certain religions are frowned upon.” “There is inclusion within the classroom.” ”Every student is treated equally.” And, “Your socioeconomic status does not interfere with your school and social life.” For the most part, the committee and I received positive results. The students mostly agreed with the statements that demonstrated equality and justice within the school and disagreed with the statements that did not. Altogether, the experience was assuring because it was a reminder of one the main reasons why I decided to attend Roeper. Hosting Bryan Stevenson will not only make students aware of life outside of Roeper, but also help prepare them to mature as righteous citizens. The Roeper society is like


a utopian bubble when it comes to equality. Religion, income, ethnicity, and sexuality do not determine a student’s social or school life at Roeper; a person’s personality and heart are what truly matters. It is certainly fair to say this view is somewhat absent across the world, or even the country. Bryan Stevenson will help the students prepare for this swift transition and will explain why it is important to stand tall, never forget who they are, and fight for what is right. My generation does not seem to be as influenced by race, religion, or politics as others have been in the past. The one thing that truly influences us is socioeconomic status. Low income can affect many things: a person’s ability to go to a good school or college, a person’s well-being, and even a person’s social life. Someone may think, how could money affect a person’s ability to obtain relationships with people? The issue with some of today’s teenagers is that money and material things characterize a person for them. If people are not financially stable, they are not worth treating as human. If everyone could recognize how insignificant money is to who a person truly is, then the world would have a greater chance of decreasing greed and increasing opportunities for everyone. The MacArthur Fellows Program at Roeper was a bold concept, and the vision and generosity of a “grateful alumnus” has set a foundation for innovative philanthropy that has enhanced our program and built on our commitment to George and Annemarie Roeper’s powerful legacy. Now that the launch of the program is imminent, Lisa Baker and the MacArthur Fellows Program Committee are exploring the second, third and future presentations at Roeper. The opportunities are wide ranging — from leaders in repurposing to puppetry to innovations in math — the selections will be directed by the passions and interests of students and guided by Roeper faculty and staff. As noted by Adele Diamond, one of the pioneers in the field of Development Cognitive Neuroscience, on a visit to The Roeper School, “It is critical to our ability to see connections to seemingly unconnected things, and hence creativity, for the essence of creativity to assemble and disassemble.” The MacArthur Fellows Program has been designed to inspire the parts! F

Roeper Senior Melanie Wells.

“My current and future commitments to social justice issues are to be a part of organizations like the Diversity Club and to use my voice to encourage others to acknowledge the inequality in the world so they, too, can advocate for what is right.”

Katie Buchmann

Development Officer




Saturday, April 22, 2017 Forest Lake Country Club • 5:30pm

Celebrate our 75th and keep the magic happening! an evening of celebration with a purpose to benefit the mariann hoag financial aid program & professional development for our faculty & staff

Have you been wanting to attend a special sporting event, dine in a restaurant where you have been trying to get a reservation, have your child spend time with an extraordinary teacher, decorate your home with an amazing class project or explore part of the world where you have yet to go? Don’t miss out on the exciting items and experiences we have this year!  Mark your calendar to get dressed up for this fun night of mingling and dining with our amazing community! If you are interested in being a corporate sponsor, have an exciting item to donate or would like to volunteer for this special event, please contact Katie Buchmann at

Looking forward to seeing you in April 2017!



Emily Wine

Assistant to the Head of School

NEW FACES IN FAMILIAR PLACES Our newest Trustees Sujana Gundlapalli We welcome Sujana to the Board of Trustees as the Bloomfield Hills campus Parent Representative. Sujana and her husband, Dipak Shah, have three children in the Lower School. Sujana received her medical degree at the University of Chicago and served as Chief Fellow at Rush University. She is now a cardiologist at Providence Park Hospital. Sujana considers Roeper her second home and is committed to ensuring a bright future for The Roeper School. Lukas Sznewajs — Now in his senior year at Roeper, Lukas joins the Board of Trustees as a Student Representative. Throughout his seven years at Roeper, Lukas has participated in many activities including forensics, debate, athletics, theatre and Student Government. He hopes to bring his humor, insight and passion for problem solving to his role as trustee. Linda Ban — Linda was appointed to a three-year term on the Board this year. She and her husband, John, have been Roeper parents since 2010; their son is now in the Upper School. Linda is the Global C-suite Study Director for the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV). She hopes her professional and personal experience will not only assist the Board with current issues, but will also help guide the school’s future plans.

New Faculty & Staff Cynthia Harris — Cynthia joins our Lower School faculty, team teaching in Stage II. Cynthia is a Wake Forest graduate and was a faculty member at Friends School in Detroit for 10 years. She was attracted to the similar philosophy at Roeper. Cynthia and her husband Edwin are parents to three Roeper students; one in Lower School, one in Middle and


one in Upper. They also have a son in college. Cynthia says teaching helps her to be her best self each day. Hasan Humadi — Hasan teaches Math in the Upper School. Hasan’s favorite math formula is “teaching = knowledge + spirit,” and it only takes one conversation with Hasan to know he lives this fully. He comes to us after teaching at Lawrence Tech University and was attracted to our diverse community and the opportunity to teach advanced levels of math. Greg Huntoon — Greg is a new Math teacher in the Middle and Upper Schools. He is a Greenhills School grad and taught and coached there as well. The great feeling of community he sensed is what attracted him to Roeper, and he loves the enthusiasm of our teachers and students. Greg is a big sports enthusiast and jumped right in as the Assistant Soccer Coach this fall. Olivia Potocki — Olivia is no stranger to Roeper. She is the stepdaughter of MS Director, Colleen Potocki, and has made her own contributions to our community over the years, from substitute teaching to working with our summer camps. Olivia has now joined the Admissions team full-time as the new Administrative Assistant to the Director of Admissions. Aaron Robinson — We welcome Aaron to our Middle School as our newest Social Studies and English teacher. Aaron chose Roeper because of our mission. After graduating from Wayne State University, Aaron served in the Peace Corps for two years before moving to Chicago. We are happy to welcome Aaron back home to the Detroit area! Jim Territo — Jim teaches Instrumental Music in the Lower School. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and has been a very active freelance musician and composer in both the New York and Detroit areas. Our students are very fortunate to have such a talented and passionate musician join our community! Ron Zill — Ron is a new faculty member, teaching Health and PE in Middle/Upper School. Ron is an Oakland University graduate and taught for 10 years at Bishop Foley. He is excited about the tight community at Roeper and the focus on whole-child development. In his spare time, Ron has made appearances as an extra in nearly 20 film and TV projects. F

Juliette Olejnik

Director of Alumni Relations & Annual Fund


WELCOME, JULIETTE! Parents, teachers, students, alumni, and extended Roeper family, I am absolutely delighted to join The Roeper School as Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Fund and truly look forward to meeting many of you during the upcoming weeks and months. I sincerely invite you to share your Roeper stories and memories with me as I continue to learn about the school’s remarkable students and rich history. It is my honor to serve as the link to our far-reaching community, and I consider it a privilege to keep our loyal alumni and friends informed of the many wonderful things underway at the school, particularly during this 75th anniversary year.

[My parents] taught me that anything is possible if you are willing to work for it, and they taught me to live today the way I want to be remembered tomorrow. They encouraged me to be true to myself, to follow my heart, and to treat others with kindness and respect.

In an effort to break the ice, I would like to share a bit about myself. I was born in Detroit and raised in a Polish-speaking household. My parents are immigrants, and I watched them work tirelessly throughout my childhood to ensure a better life for me and my older sister. They taught me that anything is possible if you are willing to work for it, and they taught me to live today the way I want to be remembered tomorrow. They encouraged me to be true to myself, to follow my heart, and to treat others with kindness and respect. Perhaps that is why my entire career has been dedicated to organizations with meaningful mission statements that inspire me to be my best self. I attended public school and earned my undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from Central Michigan University and graduate degree in Public Administration from the University of Montana. Throughout the last decade I have worked for large non-profit organizations including the Girl Scouts and the American Heart Association, as well as smaller non-profits including a wilderness therapy program for at-risk youth and a children’s shelter serving abused and neglected children. My work has varied from backpacking with teenagers in the Montana wilderness to coordinating up-scale fundraising events. These experiences have built upon one another to set a foundation that I believe will help me excel in my new position at Roeper. My husband and I are ecstatic to be back in my home state of Michigan after living in Montana and Iowa for the past 10 years. My husband is currently completing his medical school training at McLaren Macomb Hospital in Mount Clemens, and is as passionate about medicine as I am about children. When he is not working or studying, you can find us running or biking within the abundant parks and trails surrounding Metro Detroit. I invite you to stop by the Hill House to introduce yourself, or simply call to say “hello.” Once you meet me, I think you will quickly realize that I am genuine in my eagerness to make a difference at Roeper. As you already know, The Roeper School strives to provide every gifted child the opportunity to fulfill his or her full potential, and my goal as the Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Fund is to help you understand how your continued support helps make that possible! Go, Roughriders!

THE ROEPER SCHOOL Juliette Olejnik

ANNUAL FUND 2016/2017 Your contribution will impact the next 75 years! honor the past and fund the future with a philanthropic gift that is significant to you.



Shani Yapa-Kimpson

Special Assistant to Development

ALUMNI NEWS & EVENTS ALUMNI IN THE NEWS On May 11, 2016, Roeper alumnus David Lauer ’08 was chosen as one of the “Top 40 Under 40” by the Michigan Mortgage Lenders Association.

On September 30, former student and Development staff member, Kiki Louya ’00* along with her business partner Rohani Foulkes hosted a grand opening of their market-café, The Farmer’s Hand, in Corktown — Detroit’s first and only entirely local grocery. Kiki and Rohani are partnered with 100 local growers, producers and artisans — everything in the store is Michigan-produced. They carry fresh produce, meat, dairy, eggs, bread, pastries, dry goods, housewares, and natural body care. In return for their contributions, market partners will receive 70 cents for every dollar The Farmer’s Hand makes in sales. (Popular chain grocers offer 17 cents for every dollar made.) The market has been featured in stories in the Michigan Chronicle and Martha Stewart Magazine and on Channel 7’s Morning Show. Check it out at www.!

My Roeper Story Project We invite you to explore the My Roeper Story Project on our new 75th website, The project was created by alumni Aaron Appel ’12 and Shani Yapa-Kimpson ’08 to bring together and honor stories of all those — be they students, faculty, or staff — who have benefited from the vibrant culture and community of The Roeper School. This project is meant as a visual testament to our diverse community that will far outlast its origins as a 75th Anniversary retrospective. Email if you are interested in submitting your story!


On August 4, Bruce Davidson ’79 came for a visit along with his children — all the way from Israel! On September 7, Jeremy Xido ’89 joined us to discuss his upcoming plans for art and film projects dealing with the city of Detroit. Jeremy is pictured with Development staff and alumnae, Lori Lutz ’75 and Shani YapaKimpson ’08.


Kiki Louya ’00* and business partner Rohani Foulkes and their market-café, The Farmer’s Hand, were featured recently on Channel 7’s Morning Show. Photo by Stephanie Casola.

Adam Smock ’87 (center) gets together with Jason Hammond ’89, Rob Winkworth ’89, Rob Rahbari ’89, and Jeremy Xido ’89 for a night of fun.

Come Home!

Alumni Reunion Weekend

May 25 – 28, 2017 Please join us for a weekend of fun and excitement as we welcome you back home to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the school. By coming home, we will have a chance to look at life today at The Roeper School and think back to our school days, reliving the history that George and Annemarie so richly embedded in our Roeper culture. Here is the tentative schedule:

In September, Sheila Brodsky ‘81, Scott Printz ‘80, Richard DeLano ‘80 and Chris Ackerman ‘79 stopped by for a visit and reminisced about the days spent here on the Lower School Campus.

Thursday, May 25 The Happening a parade and celebration in Downtown Detroit Friday, May 26 Welcome Home Lunch Children’s Enrichment Program for 3- to 10-year olds Campus Tours Roeper History Film Fest A Night of Alumni Entertainment Saturday, May 27 Roeper Alumni Service Corps Community Volunteer Project for Families

On September 2, we received a special surprise from a wonderful group of former staff. (L to R), Barbara Van Oast Terrell (PE, Roeper Camp Director, parent), Kate O’Mara (Administrative Assistant), Rick Mckenzie (Stage I homeroom teacher), Barbara Bartz (Stage IV homeroom teacher, LS Admissions/ Administration, MS Director, parent), and Laura Line (Science Stages II and III.)

Iconic Roeper Field Games An Evening of Dinner & Dancing at the Bloomfield Hills Campus Sunday, May 28 Farewell Breakfast

7 Suggested Hotels The Kingsley Inn 248/644-1400 39475 Woodward Avenue • Bloomfield Hills 48304 Auburn Hills Marriot Pontiac 248/253-9800 3600 Centerpoint Parkway • Pontiac 48341  Holiday Inn Express Detroit-Birmingham 248/642-6200 35270 Woodward Avenue • Birmingham 48009




Kristen Perry ’08 & Lonell Carr were engaged May 9, 2015 in Chicago


d 18

David Lauer ’08 & Jessica August exchanged wedding vows AUGUST 7, 2016

Pictured with family Amanda Pence Ronis ’00 and Jason Ronis ’00 and their children Nadia and Emmett




Kristen Perry ’08 & Lonell Carr added twin daughters to their family

Harper Lou & skylar rose February 26, 2016 3 lbs 9 oz & 3 lbs 3oz

Mykolas Rambus ’96, Tamara Rambus & Seraphina Rambus (Stage II) welcomed baby boy

MAKSIM MING April 4, 2016 7 lbs 9 oz

Susannah Harwell Hegarty ’92 & Jamie Hegarty welcomed a son

JAMES EARNEST DOUGLAS “JED” June 7, 2016 9 lbs 15 oz 21”

Nicole Knibbe Chinigo ’92 & Gary Chingo welcomed

HAILEY CONSTANCE June 27, 2016 8 lbs 20”


a b

Ryan Davis ’97 & Amanda Davis welcomed a son

WESLEY ROBERT July 2, 2016 12:23am 6 lbs 11 oz 19.75”

Tony Kohlenberg ’03 & Becky Kohlenberg welcomed a baby girl

JUNIPER “JUNE” CLAIRE October 14, 2016 8:56pm 7 lbs 7 oz 19”


Beth Kellogg Prince ’91 & Brett Prince welcomed a baby girl

MAYA LENORA July 16, 2016 3:14am 6 lbs 4 oz 18.9”

d f g m n Get engaged? Get married? Have a baby? PLEASE send all the pertinent info to juliette.olejnik so we can publish your good news!


Lori Lutz

Associate Director/Roeper Institute

Denita Banks-Sims

Director of Development & Publications

Ode to the Homemakers! When alumni return to Roeper, they often speak of “coming home.” Indeed, how many of us — teachers, staff, parents, and students — think of Roeper as “home”? In other contexts, we envision a house or an apartment or some sort of edifice that provides shelter as a condition precedent for a home. And at Roeper, we enjoy many shelter-giving buildings — how is it that the sum total of these spaces becomes “home”?

Roeper “Keepers of the Hearth:” Ryan Boyl, Dave Fluent, Ray Boyl and Brian Wilmers and t

Vern Arnold

Chris Collier

Ryan Zinser

For nearly 75 years, architecture has well-served Roeper’s innovative approach to learning and fostered the deliberate attentiveness to classrooms and spaces that nurture relationships. Great vision demands great execution and great execution requires great caretaking! Over the decades, that combination has fallen to a select few at Roeper, and for more than 20 years — through some of the most impactful growth in the school’s history — ­ that remarkable leadership and care has rested in the capable hands of Dave Fluent, Associate Head for Finance and Operations; Brian Wilmers, Architectural Consultant; Ray Boyl, Facilities Manager; Vern Arnold, Facilities Manager; and amazing Maintenance Staff Members Ryan Boyl, Chris Collier and Ryan Zinser. On reflection of their individual and collective stewardship, Lori Lutz ’75, former Board Chair and alumni parent, was asked to share her particularly distinctive perspective:

*One of my favorite 75th anniversary celebrations is the installation of beautiful historical markers at the entrance to each campus building as well as this fabulous Bloomfield Hills campus map designed by art teacher Janet Szeto that now graces the pump house façade.

When I first came to Roeper in the winter of 1963, City and Country School consisted of the Main Building (Hill House), the Shop (Carriage House), the just-built Middle Building, and acres of field space and woods that hid tree houses, a few play structures, and a pond that became a skating rink each winter. As the school grew, so did our need for spaces, and gradually (VERY gradually), the Stage III building (Quad), the Domes, and the Science building (Duplex) were added, along with the Court buildings that were supposed to be temporary (temporary in this case meaning 35 years!) 1981 saw the purchase of the old Adams Building in Birmingham, and more than 20 years later, the Steward Building and Community Center were constructed backto-back in space and time.* As I write this piece, with the courtyard expansion, that old Adams Building is undergoing what can literally be described as a transformation. I know that each addition, each renovation, was, at times, greeted with an ambivalence grounded in nostalgia for the look and feel of our childhood home. Our spaces matter — especially the spaces that we call home. And there is no better evidence of that fact than how fiercely we protect our memory of the place. While Roeper 2016 physically looks different from the one I encountered in 1963, it is no less home. What turns a place of shelter into a home is, of course, the people who reside in it — our staff and teachers, our parents, and our students — and the people who, on a daily basis, care for the place. They are the “keepers of the hearth,” and it is their devoted dedication and conscientiousness that insures that regardless of edifice quantity, a Roeper child of the 1940s, ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, 2000s, ’10s, or ’20s, will forever think of Roeper as HOME.



MARY & GABE DESHARNAIS Mary and Gabriel DesHarnais taught at The Roeper School for almost 20 years. Mary came to Roeper in 1976, and was a Stage IV teacher nearly 20 years. She was the Stage IV specialist in language arts, social studies (sending students on many “trips” in the encyclopedia) and for social justice, breaking down walls between Roeper and the outside world. Gabe taught Latin and some Philosophy in the Upper School from 1990. He was known by his students as an engaging and circuitous speaker, touching many ideas en route to his final destination. Mary and Gabe’s careers did not begin and end at Roeper. Since the early 1960s both were members of Catholic religious orders, involved in theology and educational work in Southeast Michigan. In the late 1960s they met and decided their future was outside Catholic religious structure. They married and were involved in a number of peace and justice issues in Michigan, including SANE/ FREEZE — Peace Action, Focus Hope, and SOSAD. On their retirement from Roeper in 1995, Lower School Director Lorene Porter called Mary D “the conscience of the school,” and “Mary and Gabe are the people we should be.” They relocated to Durham, North Carolina, and continued their work in both education and social justice. Together they worked with a prison ministry — the Orange Congregations In Mission, St. Matthew's Interfaith Support Team, and an AIDS care support group. Gabe was ordained as an Episcopal priest and worked as a chaplain for Food for The Poor and the Durham VA Hospital until he passed away on August 17, 2014. Mary continued to work in classrooms in poorer areas of Durham until a few months before she died on October 3, 2016. Gabe and Mary are survived by their sons — both Roeper alums — Denis ’87 and Armand ’89. Mike Ruddy, October 28, 2016

Jeffrey Michael Stefani Class of 1991 Jeff passed away unexpectedly September 14, 2016. He was a person of courage and determination which allowed him to accomplish some very significant things. He climbed and summited Mt. Denali as a young adult, kayaked the ocean in Patagonia, was a well-respected paramedic, joined the Missoula Montana Mountain Rescue, was an avid student of Buddhism, a member of the Western Buddhist Order achieving Dharmamitr status, and he founded his own business, Optimized Digital Marketing, PLLC. Jeff will be missed by his immediate and extended family as well as his Roeper family and friends.


Denita Banks-Sims

Director of Development & Publications


PARTING THOUGHTS Among the many delightful surprises to emerge from helping to coordinate the school’s 75th Anniversary observances has been the unexpected opportunity to celebrate the noteworthy experiences and traditions that stand out between our remarkable every days. Over the years, our legacy continues to inform and inspire faculty, staff and students, and we have benefitted from the realization of their passions. The privilege of being part of a community that creates these kinds of opportunities has become a particularly meaningful part of my experience at Roeper. One of the most rewarding has been my evolving journey toward cultural competency through the SEED program and Director of Diversity and Financial Aid Carolyn Lett’s incomparable leadership. SEED stands for Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity, and we are so proud to add this 10th Anniversary milestone to our grand celebration. According to the national office, “SEED has had a positive, transformational impact on the lives of teachers, students, parents, and communities. Those connected to the SEED Network testify that as a result of the SEED seminar experience, they listen to all voices, including their own, with widened attention. SEED participants are able to embrace with more confidence and competence the challenges and joys of the many kinds of diversity found in the own lives and the lives of others.”

Ten years ago, then-Head of School, Randall Dunn, and Carolyn Lett strengthened our cultural competency by institutionalizing a program that sought a method for educators to ensure educational equity for all students, regardless of their backgrounds and to provide access to intellectual and cultural opportunities and offer continuous and meaningful academic … and personal support. The synergy is a celebration indeed! Yours,

SEED leaders — past and present — Kimberly Phillips, Randall Dunn, Stacy Holloman, Carolyn Lett, Elaina Holsey and Emily Wine.



75th LAUNCH DAY — September 9, Bloomfield Campus

PHOTOS BY Dan Dinneweth








Save the Date!

return service requested

you are cordially invited to celebrate our 75th anniversary with us!


Gala and Golden Apple Awards Friday, February 17, 2017 Royal Oak Music Theatre

with keynote speaker

Bryan Stevenson executive director equal justice initiative and author of just mercy for tickets and information, visit

Keeping in Touch, Fall 2016  

Roeper @ 75 Volume 10: 1 Fall 2016

Keeping in Touch, Fall 2016  

Roeper @ 75 Volume 10: 1 Fall 2016