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Keeping In Touch S E N I O R


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d from better characters.

Seniors 2013

volUME 6: 5

ON THE COVER For Spirit Week Senior Brooke Michelson and her team created the banner (pictured above), honoring each member of the Birmingham Campus staff. Nick Pudar (Alumni Parent of Julie ’13 and Jim ’10) photographed the banner in its placement as well as each individual character pictured on the cover.


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

Features OPENING REMARKS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 David Feldman, Head of School FOUNDERS’ FAMILY MESSAGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Tom Roeper ’61* Read by Alyssa Flynn, Vice President — Class of 2014 senior class farewell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Mara Jaffe, President – Class of 2013 introducing our newest alumni . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 The Graduates & Their Presenters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Contributors Lisa Baker Denita Banks-Sims Patti Bostwick Katie Buchmann David Feldman Mara Jaffe ’13 Bridghette Parker Emery Pence Tom Roeper ’61*

Senior Class Profiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Katie Buchmann, Editor CLOSING remarks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Lisa Baker, Upper School Director SENIOR PROJECTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 PASSIONS AND PURSUITS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 awards & honors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 college acceptances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

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 children preschool through grade 12 and an equal-opportunity institution

FROM EMERY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Emery Pence, Alumni Relations Coordinator PARTING THOUGHTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Denita Banks-Sims, Director of Development

photographs Commencement photos by Joshua Kristal

* indicates the actual graduation year of alumni who matriculated from other secondary schools.



David Feldman Head of School


I love to watch the faces of faculty during ceremonies like today. We each feel such a deep investment in our students; it’s what makes us good teachers. We often talk about being educators who teach the whole child. It is this total investment in the academic, social and emotional development of our students that makes us so successful and so emotionally connected. To my colleagues — Thank you for your boundless energy, deep dedication, and thoughtful construction of curriculum. Most of all, thank you for providing a nurturing environment where students can’t wait to arrive, can’t stand to leave, and a place where, as George Roeper told us, “Students find teachers who respect them as individuals, where they are bound to make mistakes and learn from them, where they search for the unknown and the unseen.” Family members, you are a child’s first teachers. You are there for the first steps, the first words and the first day of school. A milestone like today is only possible because of the care and nurture you provide. Thank you for sharing your children with us and for the opportunity to be a part of your child’s personal narrative. This day is a celebration for your whole family. To the Class of 2013, thank you for a magnificent year! It has been a privilege to join a community where seniors lead through their actions. As the new Head of School, I am often asked about our philosophy and whether we are able to continue to live its core tenets. The guiding document left to us by George and Annemarie is, after all, a set of values not just on teaching and learning, but on living a self-aware and interdependent life. There are certainly moments at each stage and each grade level that I can point to with clarity and certainty and say — that is a concrete example of our philosophy in action. However, in my attempt to better internalize how we live these important words in an interconnected manner, I found myself in the role of an anthropologist and spent a great deal of time this year attending performances, concerts, games, presentations, and assemblies. I spoke with students, parents, faculty and alums in my attempt to gain a deeper insight into how we do what we say we do. It wasn’t until I watched the presentation last week of your senior projects that the light bulb in my head flashed, and it all made sense to me. Watching you not just talk about your passions, but actively find a way to live them gave me an insight into our founders and their vision for our School. Senior Projects, you see, truly are a capstone moment for all of us at Roeper. In one long-term, selfselected project, we find the embodiment of the philosophy. Student-directed, focused on a deep passion, hands-on in nature, and most of all, an experience that requires thoughtful reflection of the self and one’s role in the larger community. This is a moment when we see our students fully immersed in something that is deeply meaningful to them, and at the same time, witness the evolution of a maturing world citizen who will make our community stronger. Upper School Director Lisa Baker is absolutely correct when she says, “A project like this could only happen at a school like Roeper.” It could only happen at a place where students have been guided, mentored and empowered to seek their passions and use their voices. In his book Flow, the University of Chicago professor and philosopher Mihály Csikszentmihályi talked about that moment in our lives when we are engaged in work with such passion and intensity that it is no longer work. “Flow,” he said, “is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does.”


It is this total investment in the academic, social and emotional development of our students that makes us so successful and so emotionally connected.

…a nurturing environment where students can’t wait to arrive, can’t stand to leave, and a place where, as George Roeper told us, “Students find teachers who respect them as individuals, where they are bound to make mistakes and learn from them, where they search for the unknown and the unseen.”

Seeing you talk about your love of writing, performing, building, cooking, teaching, mentoring, and activism helped me fully understand and concretely see what a self-actualized person really looks like. In each of your projects you discovered, and sometimes rediscovered, a critical part of your identity. Through active, hands-on, progressive learning you have had the chance to explore, to find your passion, and to experience “flow.” As you prepare for the next step in your life’s journey, I’m curious … What will you do with this insight into yourself? What will you do with this gift? In his book, The Element, educator and writer Sir Kenneth Robinson talks about how few people he meets are in careers that are directly related to their college studies. “After college,” he says, “most people find that they are interested in other things. Are they happy in their new choices?” “They are if they are fulfilling their passions,” Robinson says, “The saddest thing to me is seeing someone take a job because it pays well and then spend all that money on toys to cheer themselves up for being so miserable in their jobs. The people who are doing what they love hardly feel they’re working at all, just living.” As the old adage tells us, “Find a job you love and you’ll never work another day in your life.” Through your time at Roeper you have gained a deeper knowledge of yourself, and had the opportunity to be in your “element.” So, today, as you graduate from our Upper School, I leave you with the words of our Founder George Roeper who shared these thoughts with our first graduating class. While I look at you, a thought flashes by: what are you going to be like 10 years from now? You may be married; you will have a job; you may have children. You may have been immensely successful; you may have failed. Regardless, you will have an outlook towards life that is openminded, progressive, more understanding and accepting of differences among human beings. You’ll be intolerant of ruthless, inhuman cruelty, and I hope intolerant of violence of any kind. You will feel passionate about justice and rights of the individual and fight injustices, racism, and narrow-minded bigotry. You will not be ignorant and indifferent about these matters. These are vital issues to you, and you know quite well where you stand. You belong to a generation that is less compromising than the previous one. You are less pragmatic, more idealistic, and more concerned about the world around you. If our school has contributed to this outlook towards life, we will be satisfied and feel the school served an important purpose. Of course, it is taken for granted that we also hope for the full development and use of your talents and capabilities. However, I think this is less predictable than your likely attitudes towards life. You have learned to relate honestly and naturally to one another, how to express yourself openly and directly, yet with sensitivity and consideration for other persons involved, how to respect the individuality of friend and teacher, how to incorporate in your life new ideas about art, music, dance, social and political issues, poetry and literature. Maybe these years have given you a sense of community with the school, a sense of having gotten values dear to you, a sense of having had meaningful relationships with friends. If that is so, I cannot see how we can ever forget each other. Congratulations Class of 2013! F



Tom Roeper ’61*

the eldest of George and Annemarie’s children


It is a great pleasure to say a few words to you on behalf of my mother and my father. They would have been lifted by your bright young eyes — and you would have been lifted by the optimism in their voices. I’d like to tell you a couple of stories about the school. A real lived philosophy — like the Roeper philosophy — should turn into the reality that stories reveal. A friend of mine — Paul Bloom (a Yale professor) — recently wrote a rather wrong-headed article, “Against Empathy,” in the May issue of The New Yorker, claiming that empathy for individuals detracted from people’s awareness of large scale problems. (We quarrel over email sometimes — but he is also a supporter of my book, The Prism of Grammar, which derives its moral perspective from the Roeper philosophy.) Paul Bloom missed the fact that empathy for larger causes with millions of victims usually grows out of empathy for individuals. My mother and I were discussing — a year ago — how deeply and easily children feel empathy. It is not something they have to learn. It was the topic of the last article she was trying to write. She told me the story of a four-year-old child who drowned at the school in a shallow pond that used to be right here where graduation is held — or is it somewhere else now? The child just stayed behind after his nursery group had looked for frogs — and went in, perhaps, to look again. In just a moment he slipped under water in the shallow pool. I remember that day in 1950 myself — looking out the second grade window where David Feldman’s office now is, seeing an ambulance roll up to the pond. My mother was just overcome with tears — before the whole alarmed school. She said one person — a child, not a teacher — and only one, a 10-year-old girl, who was labelled “retarded” at the time, came out from the crowd and put her arm around my mother. She was not a “gifted” child, but not only her moral instincts, but her sense of their relevance to an older adult, was clearly present. She had not yet learned the so-called “wisdom” offered in The New Yorker that would lead us to hold back our empathy. Perhaps we can all learn from her. As my mother often said, a community is for the adults as well as the children. Every person is not only a unique, partly unknowable person, but a person who must decide for himself how far he will bend to social norms. Perhaps in the ultimately ideal school the rules would be different for each person. Here’s a memory I have of how important adult individual differences are and how we have to adjust our empathy for each person. I remember that my father was irritated by and critical of an assistant headmaster who would often arrive at school 10 minutes or so late. My father felt the Headmaster and the administration should be right there when children get off the bus.


L to R: Tom ’61*, Karen ’66*, Annemarie and Peter ’63* Roeper gathered for a celebration of Founders Day. In the foreground is the commemorative plaque in honor of George.

… empathy for larger causes … usually grows out of empathy for individuals.

I am sure my parents would simply wish that each of you continues to summon new insights into yourselves from your experiences at Roeper.

And at the same time, he always defended a dance teacher — who the other teachers complained about — because she was habitually late from teaching her other classes in the inner city. He felt that these teacher responsibilities — and these people — were very different. Leeway for one person does not imply laissezfaire for all. We should expect different things from different people. It can be hard for teachers as well as students. That is my posture toward undergrads and graduate students too. I explain my philosophy to them and they all accept it easily. My expectations for a nursery school teacher and a computer scientist taking my class on language acquisition are very different. I don’t grade them the same way, and there is nothing the University of Massachusetts can do about it. And I remember at dinner my father discussed one teacher who came to him with a student and explained what the student had done wrong. My father asked the student to explain the situation, too — and the student promptly accused the teacher of something. The teacher was then angry that my father had even asked the student for “his side of the story,” and the teacher had felt that the Headmaster should just support him. My father felt that the whole incident was not as important as the student’s being able to represent himself. He told the teacher that he was sure the teacher was right, but something much bigger was involved. I was treated differently too — for many reasons — as you might imagine. But one experience was brought to mind recently when we had a visit from a Roeper family a week ago. When I was in second grade, I had the feeling that another child who I usually sat next to, Jeff Broder, had all the answers for our workbooks, so I just copied his answers. It did not seem wrong — it just seemed like sharing. And my teacher knew it — in fact, I think I told her. This continued for a whole year, and at the beginning of the next year — our teacher moved up with us — I noticed one day that his answer was wrong, and I told him, and then I just decided to answer all the questions myself. And that was that. My parents never particularly discussed it either. It made me aware of my own capacity for growth and learning. Now suppose I had been in a school where I was sharply reprimanded for what I did? (And just forget how much worse it would have been because I was the child of the headmaster!) Instead of being given the room to grow personally, I would carry a little social scar that I am sure I would have remembered as long as I have remembered this little story.

Because none of the Roepers’ children was able to attend graduation, Junior Class Vice President Alyssa Flynn delivered Tom’s words.

I spoke of this with my mother years later, and she treated it as being rather commonplace and said something like, “We knew you were perfectly capable, you just needed to discover it yourself.” I am sure my parents would simply wish that each of you continues to summon new insights into yourselves from your experiences at Roeper. And I am sure those insights will be ones you can draw upon for the rest of your lives.



Mara Jaffe

President,‑ Class of 2013

senior class farewell Here we are. All 48 members of the Class of 2013. We’ve submitted our last projects and papers, brought in our final homeroom snack, and cherished our last free block. As a group, we’re slowly coming to the realization that next year, we won’t be arguing on the grade Facebook page about what we are going to dress up as for Spirit Week superbonus or selling drinks at the all-school picnic. Although this is a little sad, we can maintain a sense of comfort in the fact that, in my somewhat biased opinion, we will have left Roeper as one of the greatest grades in the school’s history. Statistically speaking, you can see our greatness in Abe and Garrett’s combined 43 points that won district basketball finals, the 15 members of the class that made it to Forensics States this year, Connor’s 11’ 10” record-breaking pole vault, the six National Merit Scholars and the two Spirit Week championships that each member of the class played a part in earning. What’s even more impressive about these achievements is that we have an undeniable passion for everything that we do. When our musicians get on stage, you can see and hear that they aren’t just reading music off of a page, but they are putting their entire hearts into what they are playing. The same goes for our poets, athletes, journalists, dancers, artists, debaters, singers, actors and forensicators. For every activity that we partake in, whether it be a highly-anticipated game against Our Lady of the Lakes or a game of spoons on the senior trip, we put the same amount of energy and passion into it. We aren’t a group that decides to take the easy way out. Whatever we do, it’s full steam ahead.

To couple with this passion, our grade is immensely talented. This is truly an unbeatable combination. Our 14 Senior Projects not only showed passion and commitment, but also represented how talented our grade really is. This talent is visible in our Spirit Week banner, which took Brooke and her team over 100 hours to complete, and it’s visible in every soccer goal scored and every run of a show performed. This group of people not only has an incredible range of talents and passions, but we can put all of them together to become a truly cohesive unit. We respect — and are sometimes in awe of — each other, and we work together to be the best group of people we can be. Now, dealing with a group of people this passionate and energetic is not always an easy feat. And for that, we have to give credit to our coaches, directors, teachers and most of all, our parents. These are the people that have spent the past years supporting all of our crazy endeavors and encouraging our passions, whatever they may be. It has been an absolute honor to be the President of the Class of 2013, and to be able to speak on their behalf today. Next year, the 48 of us will be divided amongst three countries, 13 states and 29 cities. We don’t all know what exactly we will be doing, but we will be headed in with the same passion that’s brought us so far already.


We respect — and are sometimes in awe of — each other, and we work together to be the best group of people we can be.



Class of 2013





46 45










14 30




27 21






8 6




24 17




12 11







3 4

1. Alex Blankenburg 2. Chloe Rybicki-Kler 3. Morgan Harrison 4. Zoe Demko 5. Rosie DeSantis 6. Kiara Canales 7. Melanie Schwarz 8. Erica Parker 9. Mikayla Konst 10. Aaron Bernard 11. Justin Finkel 12. Kyle Westphal 13. Taikhoom Attar 14. Spenser Solys 15. Claire Dennis 16. Mara Jaffe 17. Julie Pudar 18. Julianne Walkiewicz 19. Nick Panourgias 20. Will Martyka 21. Jack DeCerchio 22. Tom Allen 23. Samantha Heiman 24. Amy Romano 25. Aaron Keteyian 26. Christian White 27. Matt Wagner 28. Stuart Crawford 29. Max Raimi 30. Catherine Galligan 31. Esohe Osabuohien 32. Jeremy Kruman 33. Connor Sheidler 34. Brooke Michelson 35. Gabe Lind 36. Jacob Dalton 37. Flynn Drew 38. Garrett House 39. Austin Farrow 40. Abrahim Hashwi 41. David Veillette 42. James Murray 43. Max Gordin 44. Alex Rossetti 45. Miles Eddy 46. Dan Thibodeau 47. Alec Segel (Not pictured: Abena Stone)



THE GRADUATES & THEIR PRESENTERS THE CLASS OF 2013 in graduation order graduate (# = position in class photo, page 7) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . presenter Melanie Sophia Schwarz (7) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Susannah Nichols Kyle Lee Westphal (12) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Syd Plotkin Julia Marie Pudar (17) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Linda Vernon Catherine Rose Ramona DESantis (5) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dan Jacobs Austin Montgomery Farrow (39) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jamie Benigna Justin Moshe Finkel (11) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sharon Carter Abrahim Muhammad Hashwi (40) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reanne Young Esohe Cherise Osabuohien (31) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eulalia Ferrer Ann Abena Stone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ttari Hellmer Maxwell Asher Raimi (29) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Michal McConville Matthew Lucas Wagner 27) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Linda Vernon Stuart Kenneth Grant Crawford (28) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dan Jacobs Jack William DeCerchio (21) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Karen Johnson Morgan Marie Harrison (3) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Susannah Nichols Spenser Stepas Solys (14) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dennis King Taikhoom Fakhruddin Attar (13) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sharon Carter Aaron Lev Bernard (10) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dan Jacobs Kiara Simone Canales (6) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reanne Young Jeremy Ryan Kruman (32) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Laura Panek William Robert Martyka (20) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jamie Benigna Jack Teh-Luen Murray (42) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ed Bergonzi Nicholas George Panourgias (19) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Karen Johnson Jacob Raymond Dalton (36) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Andrew Brock Thomas Francis Allen (22) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mike Ruddy Garrett Alexander House (38) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jamie Benigna Alex Matthew Rossetti (44) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Karen Johnson Erica Janelle Parker (8) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Karen Johnson Miles James Eddy (45) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jason McIntosh Alec Stuart Segel (47) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jason McIntosh Flynn Markham Drew (37) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Karen Johnson Catherine Anne Galligan (30) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Christina Miceli Mikayla Sue Konst (9) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Andrew Brock Brooke Sarah Michelson (34) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Susannah Nichols Alexandra Louise Blankenburg (1) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Christina Miceli Aaron Robert Keteyian (25) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jason McIntosh Max Burton Gordin (43) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Andrew Brock Mara Alissa Jaffe (16) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Christina Miceli Gabriel Luke Lind (35) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eulalia Ferrer Chloe Isabella Rybicki-Kler (2) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Colleen Potocki Julianne Laine Walkiewicz (18) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Michelle Stamler Connor William Sheidler (33 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ed Bergonzi Zoe O Demko (4) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mary Kay Glazek Claire Ellen Dennis (15) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Linda Vernon Samantha Lynn Heiman (23) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jamie Benigna Amy Michelle Romano (24) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jarie Ruddy Daniel Jay Thibodeau (46) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Christina Miceli David James Veillette (41) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lisa Baker Christian Andrew Clark White (26) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jason McIntosh


Relationships are important at Roeper. Each senior chooses the staff member s/he wants to be presented by at commencement. Speeches are factual, humorous and poignant, with words drawn from student records, friends, family and staff members. Historically, George Roeper spoke a few minutes about each graduate, and upon his retirement, the Upper School Director assumed that commitment. As the classes grew larger, it became a daunting task for one person to undertake, so in the mid-’80s a group of five or six teachers was designated by each graduating class from which the seniors could choose. In the early ’90s the choice was widened to include any current or former staff member. It is considered an honor to be invited to present. Graduation order is determined by the student’s length of time at The Roeper School. The newest student to Roeper graduates first; and the student who has attended the longest is presented last.


Katie Buchmann Editors


Melanie … makes everything fun.

Kyle … handles himself with grace.

Julie … talented beyond belief.

Melanie Sophia Schwarz, host daughter of Sandra and Robert Johnson of Novi, Melanie attended Roeper for one year. Prior to coming to Michigan, she lived in Greece for 12 years before returning to her native Switzerland. She is conversant in five languages. Emotion, empathy and humor can often be lost in translation, but not for Mel. Esohe says one of her favorite things about Melanie is that she is “always ready with a sassy comeback when you least expect it,” and host sister Sammiey says that Melanie “is one of the kindest hearts I’ve ever met. She is genuinely concerned with how people are feeling.” Melanie’s generous spirit has made her beloved, and her temerity has made her admired. A seasoned snowboarder back in Europe, Melanie immediately put her athleticism to use on the volleyball and soccer teams and became one of the best archers in the history of Ed Sack’s class. In a recent essay for Expository Writing, Melanie reflected on her year here: “I have never understood the concept of national pride. When I lived in Greece, I was Swiss, in Switzerland, I’m Greek, and here I’m foreign. I don’t think somewhere I’m born is something I should be proud of. I am proud of doing this, proud of the people who made it possible, thankful of the country to be hosting me. I am not foreign anymore. I’m always home.”

Thank you so much for choosing me to attend Roeper for my exchange year. It was a unique experience I would not want to change. It was an awesome year! Kyle Westphal, son of Lisa and Ed Sack, attended Roeper for two years. Kyle transferred to Roeper for the second semester of his junior year. He wanted to be where students were more serious about their learning. In his presentation speech Sydnie Plotkin stated, “During your time at Roeper, you have been a role-model for many Middle

School students in the Resource Room. When the Middle Schoolers would become fidgety, you would give me a look that said, ‘It will be okay, the block is almost over’ and a warm smile. You were so patient, kind and respectful when you were helping students with questions. Not surprising, when you volunteered at a Clawson facility for children with Autism, you received commendations for your “exceptional work.” Kyle plans to attend Oakland Community College next fall, and then transfer to Michigan State University or Oakland University.

Thanks for putting in all the time you did to improve my education. The teachers I had along the way were by far the best that I ever had in comparison to public school. The improved education I received from Roeper I feel has better prepared me for my future endeavors and has helped me be able to give presentations with confidence ... Julia Marie Pudar, daughter of Nick and Pam Pudar of Farmington Hills and sister of Jim ’10, attended Roeper for three years. The summer before her sophomore year, Julie made one of the hardest decisions of her life when she elected to leave her many friends and teammates and come to Roeper. “That she was living the dream at Mercy and was willing to change everything for the hope of more challenge and personal growth is something I find incredibly admirable,” English teacher and coach Susannah Nichols says. Not surprisingly, Julie has made the most of her experience here. “She lives her life with a purpose,” Susannah says. Julie’s dedication to her studies and her dedication to her family impresses all. Few students match Julie’s natural leadership and talent in athletics. A valuable member of the Varsity Soccer team, Julie was elected Co-Captain by her Varsity Volleyball and Basketball teammates, and earned First Team AllConference honors, as well as being named to the Academic All-State Basketball Team. Coach Ernie Righetti says he could not have asked for a better


team player. Mara adds, “Julie would pass up the game-winning shot if a teammate had a better shot.” Julie will attend the University of Michigan Honors College in the fall.

Thank you to all the teachers and friends who made, and will continue to make, being a part of the Roeper community such a great experience.

Catherine Rose Ramona DESantis, daughter of Maggie Desantis of Detroit and Rudy Bryant of Mullens, SC, Rosie attended Roeper for four years. As Mikayla Konst says: “Rosie is genuine; she sees the world how it really is. Unless she’s making plans. And then she sees the world how she wants it to be. The world becomes this place where the laws of physics are suspended, and she can get from Roeper to downtown Detroit in negative 15 minutes.” Her other friends say that Rosie’s head is so full of intellect, community service projects, acting and swing dancing that sometimes there’s no room for organization. In packing for the Mackinac trip, for example, one student reported that Rosie’s clothes were distributed across four different hotel rooms. Dan Jacobs explains, “Ultimately, everything in Rosie seems to be geared for forming or joining up with groups to make the world a bit — or a whole bunch — better.” She works with community theater, interns with different non-profits, and has been a strong presence in Roeper’s choir, forensics, and theatre. She’s had some tough lessons when it comes to trusting others to join her, even in projects that directly benefit them. Rosie put it best when she said in her senior presentation, “I can’t be a community group all by myself.”


Boy, how the time flies. Roeper, thanks for giving me the standard I’ll hold for the rest of my life for the meaning of “community,” as well as how to be a part of one. I can think of few more valuable things I’ve had ingrained in me so far. Austin Montgomery Farrow Austin, son of Winston Farrow of Detroit and Regina Farrow of Highland Park, and brother of Tori ’14, attended Roeper for four years. Linda Vernon stated, “Austin is a person who understands how to seize opportunity. When given a multitude of choices, Austin refuses to pick only one. In trying to set up his senior schedule, Austin had picked no fewer than 12 classes, despite having only eight blocks in a day. And Austin doesn’t limit his opportunities to those that occur during the school day. A short list: basketball, cross country, Black Student Union, choir, theatre, debate, forensics, and who can forget his stint as the morning news broadcaster on the senior trip? For Austin, being involved is not about building a resume; it’s about doing your best. This is the guy who spent his free blocks illustrating a sign that said, ‘Let’s all work harder in school,’ and hung it up in the math hallway. This is the young man who gushed and gleamed after completing his semifinal performance at the State Forensics tournament this year, but not for the reason most people would expect. Austin was absolutely enthralled that he had given the BEST speech of his life that day. He was not concerned with placement or winning; Austin cares only about doing his absolute best in everything that he attempts. And given Austin’s track record, there’s always something new to attempt. Our world would be a better place if more people possessed Austin’s flexibility of mind, willingness to listen, and graciousness.”

I thank God for Roeper, and I encourage all students to really get to know the philosophy.

Rosie … sees the world how she wants it to be.

Austin … thoughtful, caring, genuine, and sincere.

Speak with individuals like Emery who can tell you a description of it that never gets old. Then challenge yourself to apply this philosophy to Every Part of Your Life. Justin… deep concern for others, a remarkable brilliance, and an exceptional passion for learning.

Abe … the kind of person who will make the best of any situation.

friends say Justin sets the bar high, knows how to wreck a curve and always goes the extra mile. Speaking of which, Justin is an exceptional cross country runner. He’s so dedicated to running that he awoke at 5am during the senior trip just to run. Justin will be attending Washington University St. Louis to study physics. He is interested in earth science and climatology. He hopes to become a researcher, engineer and physicist.

Roeper, I owe my identity to you. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to create myself these past four years. I will never lose the gifts I’ve received or the friendships I’ve made here. I promise to never be a stranger. Thanks for the experience of a lifetime! Abrahim Muhammad Hashwi, Justin Moshe Finkel, son of Amy Good and David Finkel of Detroit and brother of Roeper alumna Ann ’11, attended Roeper for four years. In the never-ending pursuit of perfection, Justin started juggling and riding a unicycle in the fourth grade. He kept rolling with it. He joined a juggling club and started to win juggling contests hands-down. Justin became a hero by winning Spirit Week for the freshman class by juggling during karaoke. He won the Roeper Benefit Talent Show several years ago with a moving juggling performance. Humble Justin then discreetly donated his winnings back to Alternatives for Girls, the Detroit nonprofit founded by his mother. Justin continues to volunteer and help others. Justin came to Roeper in 9th grade. When he first started, he was like a “shy bat” — he kept to himself and stayed under the radar. Justin has become much more outgoing while establishing himself as an exceptional student. He often goes above and beyond the required work and spends much of his free time reading articles and proofs on topics of interest. As Jamie Lyons-Eddy said, “Conversations with Justin are like talking with a colleague.” In class, Justin was often many steps ahead, practically reinventing calculus. He would ask deep and intriguing questions. Jamie Benigna said, ”Justin does not settle for superficial answers; he wants to know how it really works, from the most fundamental laws of nature upward.” His

son of Randa Hashwi and Muhammad Hashwi of Dearborn, and brother of ninth grader Maha, attended Roeper for four years. Linda Vernon states, “Abe, as he is called by his friends, will tell you that he initially did not want to come to Roeper; but he chose Roeper because he wanted to play basketball; when he got here he found much more than sports — he found that hard work pays off; he learned how to be a good student and found lifelong friends.” The transition into Roeper was not an easy one. After his first semester, it was suggested that he start as an 8th grader because the transition would be “easier” as he’s a year younger than his peers. After hearing this, Abe said, “I won’t go to school then.” A deal was struck: buckle down, do your work, no goofing around, and you’ll stay a 9th grader. He refocused and got it done. Abrahim is a very sensitive young man — those sensitivities are hidden by his humor, his athleticism and his special dancing skills. Before he learned the rules of basketball, mom Randa shared that Abrahim was offended when an opponent tried to “steal” the ball from him. He felt that he deserved an apology because it’s rude to take things that are not yours. Will describes Abe as a really great guy who has your back. He admires Abe’s athleticism and even recounted getting smoked by Abe in boxing. Abe will major


in Physical Therapy at Michigan State University. To his mom and dad, Abrahim says, “Thank you for ‘forcing’ me to go to Roeper!”

Roeper has offered me so many opportunities that I was grateful to accept openly. Esohe Cherise Osabuohien, daughter of Marilyn Osabuohien of Detroit and Dennis Osabuohien, attended Roeper for four years. Eulalia Ferrer states, “Esohe was born a philosopher and has become an amazing human being. Few people know that in 7th grade, that age where social relations are so important, she endured multiple hip and leg surgeries, stopped playing soccer, and had to be home schooled. She overcame this adversity and learned patience. Esohe had several more surgeries in high school, and through it all she was responsible and made up work expediently.” Eulalia is not the only one with tremendous respect and admiration for Esohe. These are some adjectives that teachers, friends and family use to describe her: calm, positive, analitical, caring, compasionate, mature, conscientious, focused, determined. She possesses an impressive work ethic. Jamie Lyons-Eddy says, “I can’t think of another student who matches her maturity, grace, determination and self-discipline.” Her friend Rosie says, “What makes Esohe unique is that Esohe is Esohe no matter what is going on around her. Esohe is a cool drink of water, if I ever met one. She is my personal human stress reliever. Between being ridiculously caring and just her aura of chill, she deserves her own luxury vacation commercial: ‘Relax. Forget your troubles. Come to Esohe,’” it would say. Esohe plans to study neuroscience and theater at the University of Michigan.

Thank you, Roeper, for these past four years. The amount of friendships, bonds and lessons that I have learned and accumulated will always be with me wherever I go. Ann Abena Stone is the daughter of Mark Stone of Keego Harbor. Ttari explains, “Abena is a poet, a sculptor, a painter, an actor, a playwright and a lyricist. Her talents are limited only by her interests. But, as Rosie said, ‘Her greatest talent is just in being human. She couldn’t judge anyone to save herself.’” Abena is compelled to think the best of everyone and even when they let her down, she refuses to let that be the impression she takes away. She just chalks it up to another wonderful learning experience. Egyriba describes Abena’s “deeply feeling heart” and said that she has a “curiosity steeped in innocence at the very heart of her.” Abena has admittedly learned many things about herself over the last couple of years. She has learned that she can make people laugh with her portrayals on stage, but that acting is not her passion. She was acclaimed recently for her slam poetry, but poetry is not her passion. She brought the house down on with her Senior Project play, The Roomba Bomb, but playwriting is not her passion. Her play’s theme was communication, and she is deeply interested in communication and the ways that people communicate because she is deeply interested in people. Next year, Abena plans to attend Oakland University to study linguistics.

Hi, Friends — Stay cool and don’t forget to breathe. Love, Abena


Esohe… will attain whatever goal she sets for herself.

Abena … the best at … being a person.

Maxwell Asher Raimi is

Max … a knight in shining armor who holds chivalry as the highest law.

Matt … loyal, kind, incredibly polite, honest, supportive, compassionate

Stu … it’s impossible to dislike him.

the son of Kyle Raimi of Farmington Hills. For five years at Roeper Max has been dazzling us with magic tricks, incredible performances, and hilarious films, but even off the stage, everyone knows that Max is pure magic. Max has an energy about him that has no bounds; he is quick and ready to make a joke at any given moment. His friend Jacob says that he “would never let a good joke go. Like one day in French when we were talking about hunting for truffles in the woods, Max broke out with, ‘Everyday I’m trufflin’.” He is entertaining, can create a pun in a second flat, and is almost effervescent with his enthusiasm for life. Because of his imagination, Max is sometimes accused of being “oblivious” when he is lost inside his head, but if you have ever read one of Max’s amazing stories or publications in The Muse magazine, you know why he spends so much time up there. Magical forests, singing during the apocalypse, and alter egos like Francis Zorange are all a daily occurrence for Max. Films and poems are second nature to him. This year, we got to see him step in front of the audience in a lead role in Rumors, which showed that he transitions easily between creating characters of his own and embodying well-known characters on the stage. With his signature straight face and his irresistible comedic timing, he kept the crowd in stitches throughout the night. Max will go on to study filmmaking at Columbia College in Chicago.

Everyone at Roeper has helped me become the person I am. Every teacher, every student, alumni, and faculty have either directly or indirectly helped me grow as a person and I thank everyone for that with all of my heart. Roeper is, and will always be my favorite place in Michigan. Matthew Lucas Wagner, son of Skip and Sharon Wagner of Troy, attended Roeper for five years. Linda Vernon states, “Matt Wagner

is a truck-drivin’, country music-lovin’, cowboy boot-wearin’ gentleman and a scholar … with a little ‘ogre’ thrown in for good measure.” Matt made a great impression when he first came to Roeper as a third grader. “He had a big smile on his face, and gave me a sturdy handshake. He is a delightful young man,” teacher Susie Small said. A third generation Eagle Scout, Matt continues to be part of the organization, working at a local scout shop after school and serving as a summer camp counselor. He could not be a better role model. Chinese teacher Lily Zhu says that Matt shovels the snow off the driveways for many senior citizens in her subdivision, while English teacher Susannah Nichols loves that Matt volunteers his time as a mechanic to work on cars for single mothers. Matt claims that his willingness to help is partly due to his “ogre-ness.” “I use my strength and ability to do good,” he says. Matt is always ready to help, and always ready to learn. “Meticulously organized and task-oriented, Matt has all the ingredients for success — curiosity, hard work, intelligence and perseverance — and it shows,” Math teacher Sharon Carter wrote. Matt loves how things work and building things. For his senior project Matt elected to restore a 16’ sailboat and trailer. “I think he is an extremely resourceful guy — I’m always learning new things from him,” David Veillette says. Matt will be attending the University of Wyoming to major in agricultural business and mechanical engineering this fall.

Thank you, Roeper, you have sent me off to do better and greater things. Stuart Kenneth Grant Crawford, son of Lisa Crawford of Bloomfield Hills and the late David Crawford, and brother of former student Cameron and 9th grader Madeline, attended Roeper for six years. In his application to enter


Roeper at the age of five, Stu’s mother Lisa wrote, “He sees everyone he meets, child or adult, as a potential friend. Within five minutes, he invariably asks, ’Will you be my friend?’” Dan Jacobs explains, ”This was the Stu I remembered — the friendly little fellow with the long hair and trucker’s cap. And so, when he reappeared this year, and I found he was pretty much the same — only a bit taller — I thought the only logical conclusion was that Stu had been cryogenically suspended at the age of nine.” Ethan Rosenberg says, “He’s too darned nice for his own good.“ Stu has an established history of lying and subterfuge. He loved coming to the Upper School with his dad, the late Dave Crawford, former Roeper teacher. “I used to lie,” Stuart explains, “and say I was sick so I could come into work with my dad. I remember walking around with him a lot.” He says that Roeper has always felt like home for him. According to witness Miles Eddy, “Back in Stage IV Stu had a vast comic distribution network. People didn’t know who he was, but they knew his comics.” Stu’s art distribution system is alive and well, with some very impressive pieces on display in the art hallway and in the 2013 Muse. Stu plans to study art and illustration at Columbia Chicago or at CCS.

Life is a series of events, both good and bad. No matter how deft your organizational skills, there will always be life-influencing factors over which you may have no control. But no matter what, I know that I will be able to rise to the occasion because of the values Roeper has instilled in me. “Farewell, Farewell ... Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say goodbye till we meet tomorrow” — Shakespeare Jack William DeCerchio, son of Mickey Guisewite and Jack DeCerchio of Bloomfield and brother of sixth grader Mia, attended Roeper for seven years. Jack’s friends describe him as funny, a


wild card, eccentric, and spontaneous — they unanimously agree that if Jack had a theme song that played every time he walked into a room, it would be Thunderstruck by AC/DC. Karen Johnson stated that his penchant for the absurd, his vivid imagination, and his all-around ebullience can mask the fact that he is probably one of the hardest working individuals she knows. He has doggedly applied himself in his studies over the years even and especially when the going was tough. This utter tenacity and unshakable will to not just endure, but to thrive, speaks volumes about his spirit. As Jamie Lyons-Eddy explained, in math this year, she simply could not ask for more from a student — he knows himself as a learner, and he is self-disciplined. These are sentiments that all his teachers can affirm: Jack has this drive to continually grow as a student and to make things happen. Last summer, Jack dressed up as the amazing Spiderman, entertaining a group of gravely ill children at a screening of the movie. That costume could not have been comfortable, but then again, it really wasn’t about him — it was a selfless act to bring joy to others. Ed Sack notes that he is a model for sportsmanship and cooperation, and while one would question the nutritional value of some of the snacks he brought to homeroom this year, he nonetheless of his own volition brought something to share with everyone. In the fall, Jack will be attending American University in Washington, DC.

I’ve gotten an incredible education at Roeper. I’m extremely grateful to all of the teachers who have been there for me. I’m also grateful for all of the amazing friends I’ve made. Morgan Marie Harrison, daughter of Mark and Tamara Harrison of Pontiac, attended Roeper for six years. Morgan has a voice just about everyone at Roeper can recognize, and not just because she never stops talking. It’s a voice that makes others stop and listen — because she has something important to say; because she cares about who she is speaking to; and because she is so pleasant to listen to. When asked to

Jack …. compassion and thoughtfulness only enhance his positive energy.

Morgan … lights up the world like nobody else.

Spenser … leading a nerd and jock coexistence. Taikhoom … may the Force always be with you.

describe Morgan, friends couldn’t come up with enough superlatives to describe her warmth and sweetness. Morgan radiates energy, charisma and humor, and it’s impossible not to love someone who exudes so much love herself. “She wants to get to know people below the surface,” shares Mara Jaffe, “She wants to really know their stories.” In the words of Jamie Lyons-Eddy, “She flashes that gorgeous smile so many times a day for a million reasons, ranging from trying to get out of trouble to trying to stir some up, but in between those extremes is a person who really loves people.” Morgan’s voice isn’t all bubbles and high notes: there’s a poise to her words as well. Mary Kay Glazek recalls a day in Shakespeare — a class Morgan had been dubious about taking — when she posed a particularly thorny question to the class. The class sat stupefied, not sure what to make of the complicated language and layers of meaning, but it was Morgan who untangled the difficult passage with poise and grace. This year, Abha Dearing has celebrated Morgan’s ability to use a new understanding of breath and technique to use her “whole voice,” which “allowed Morgan to share more of what is in her heart.” Already boasting a resume that includes voiceovers, commercials, print work, and an upcoming appearance on an AMC drama, Morgan heads to Central Michigan this fall to continue to pursue her dreams of stardom.

Roeper will always hold the greatest memories of my childhood. I have had more fun within these walls, and with these people then any other place. Roeper has been such a large part of my life, and it’s going to be very hard to let it go. Spenser Stepas Solys, son of the late Steven Solys and Julie Frost of Northville, and brother of sophomore Chase, attended Roeper for six years. When Spenser first came to Roeper, he was passionate about physics and math. He was very curious to find out how things worked and why. Through the years his passions have changed somewhat. After having Jill Graf as a teacher, he wanted to be a forensic anthropologist. Once Spenser started taking Latin under Karen Johnson, Spenser became so interested in Latin that he began to put together a vision for writing a computer program that could conjugate Latin verbs in their entirety. Spenser coexists both as a

nerd and as a jock. When you look at him in an academic setting, he is definitely a nerd. Spenser and his partner earned the highest score on the Six Solution Lab Puzzle, where they designed a procedure to identify six unknown solutions in the fewest steps possible. On the other hand, when you see him in the athletic arena, his nerd function collapses, and he is definitely a jock. He tried out for track in his junior year and set the school record for the 100 meter dash. His exploits on the soccer field are almost legendary. Facing the #1 team in the state and down 3-0 with six minutes remaining, Spenser scored three goals to tie the score at the end of regulation and then assisted David Veilette for the game-winning goal 45 seconds into overtime. He has set the school record in soccer, scoring 31 goals in a single season. One thing we know for sure is that he is passionate about everything he does. He will be going to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in the fall and will be working toward a double major in Computer Science and Software Engineering.

I’d like to thank the Roeper community for allowing me to become the person I am today. At public high school I would not have been given the freedom to choose my classes and truly find what I was passionate about. Taikhoom Fakhruddin Attar, son of Fakhruddin and Farida Attar of Farmington Hills, attended Roeper for seven years. Sharon Carter states, “Children are often cast into a mold from early on and feel obliged to stay within those expectations. Taikhoom has changed his identity many times. This is a very healthy approach to life. Learn from your mistakes, and don’t be afraid to change your goals and dreams. Like myself, Taikhoom was born in Brooklyn, New York. As a little kid Taikhoom caught wild animals such as frogs and had an aquarium as a family hobby. Taikhoom came to Roeper in 6th grade. He has been involved in Robotics since he was 10 years old. In 1999 Taikhoom got his first computer — I wonder if his parents regret that now! Taikhoom spends


most of his time doing Robotics, administering his computer servers, building, playing Mine Craft and ‘trying to make something do what it was not designed to do!’” Friends describe him as talkative, curious, outgoing, funny, kind-hearted and religious. On a spiritual level, Shia Islam is an integral part of Taikhoom and his family. They make the pilgrimage to India every year. Or as his friend, Jeremy said, “Taikhoom goes Mumbaibye!” Taikhoom has felt very accepted at Roeper and is comfortable wearing T-shirts, his prayer shawl or his light saber with Star Wars cape to school. It is no surprise that Taikhoom’s favorite books are science fiction fantasy, and his favorite movie is Star Wars VI, the Return of the Jedi. Karen Johnson said, “Star Wars is woven into the fabric of how Taikhoom thinks about and interacts with the world.” This fall, Taikhoom will begin studying computer engineering, at Rochester Institute of Technology. His current ultimate goal is to invent a new kind of computer system.

Goodbye Roeper, thanks for the life skills and great memories.

has caused a number of students to say they fear him. He respects Machiavelli’s writings and is working on his first book, The Case for Bullying, so there might be good reason for fear. But Aaron hasn’t always been the titan of rhetoric that towers before you. It took a good deal of work to become fearsome. Linda Vernon said that Aaron elevates all of her classroom discussions. He challenges his teachers and peers alike and brings constructive criticism as well as an encyclopedic mind to each class. Aaron even applies his powers of persuasion on a personal level. His friend, wingman and fellow tribunal member Matt says, “He encourages people positively — in a fun way.” Aaron sums it up best, saying, “The knowledge I gained here is only part of it; the next important piece is to be able to articulate my thoughts and ideas and to give them to others.” Affirming this resolution gives the University of Michigan a valuable, powerful voice in its community, and also means the rest of us will not have another year of losing debates against Aaron Bernard.

I’m going to miss Roeper a lot. I really valued my time here.

Aaron … he is persistent, he strives to succeed but is not afraid to fail, and he rapidly applies what he has learned.

Aaron Lev Bernard, son of Dennis and Hadas Bernard of Birmingham, attended Roeper for seven years. Dan Jacobs stated, “When I first met Aaron Bernard, I thought he was a jerk. But now, he’s my best friend. I love the guy — there are no other words for it.” On the Roeper Forensics team, they downplay trophies and scores and refocus attention on learning and personal growth. But it is true that growth can lead to recognition; in Aaron’s case, the concepts blend together. A small sampling of Aaron’s accolades over the years includes: highest honors in Model UN throughout high school; State Champion in Impromptu in middle school, and Oratory in high school; and 5th in the nation out of 222 teams in public forum debate with his debate partner-in-crime Tom Allen, ending four years of national level debates with the best speech of his career. Aaron’s aptitude and intensity as a debater even in normal classroom circumstances


Kiara Simone Canales, daughter of Darin and Kimberly Canales of Detroit and sister of Denzel ’10, attended Roeper for seven years. Reanne Young explains, “If Ki had it her way, she’d never let you know that she had sickle cell — she’d never let you see that her pain impacts her ability to focus or study; that the task of walking down a hallway or running up and down the basketball court is difficult at best. No — Kiara would have you believe that she’s like any other teenager. The truth of the matter is, she is not like any other teenager; wise beyond her years, Pee Wee (as Ernie calls her) always has a lot on her mind. And while she’s

Kiara … she says “Suck it up and deal with it … Roeper is a gift!”

Jeremy … loving and independent with a strong moral compass.

not afraid of backing down (from anything OR anyone) — you won’t always know when she’s hurting. Kiara has always made it clear that Roeper has afforded her the opportunity to get a great education; it’s given her a community of people that have positively impacted her life and most of all, Roeper is her place to be a normal teenager (mouthy, argumentative and sassy — just kidding). Kiara doesn’t want special treatment, she wants our trust; she wants us to believe that she can and will always do her best. Kiara plans to attend Wayne State University in the fall.”

I enjoyed playing varsity ball for four years for Coach, and I am sad to leave him, my team and my fellow classmates. Jeremy Ryan Kruman,

Will … the change he will make in the world will be positive.

son of Lisa and Craig Kruman of West Bloomfield, attended Roeper for seven years. Jeremy Kruman embodies what it means to be empathetic. As his friend Jacob Dalton said, “What really stands out about Jeremy is that he really cares about the feelings of the people around him.” He is exceptionally aware of the emotions of others, and he reaches out to people with tremendous compassion and does all he can to help them. He cares deeply for others and it shows in every aspect of his life. Jeremy also has a wonderful sense of humor, and he has learned to use his humor to help put others at ease. Teachers love having him in class. His kindness to others, wonderful sense of humor, exceptional work ethic and enthusiasm for learning make him a joy to have in the classroom. Susannah commented, “A casual observer of our class might be surprised to know that one of the kindest and mellowest students is also one of the hardest and most thoughtful workers.” Dan Jacobs observed that Jeremy would often make an insightful observation in class and then follow it with a ridiculous pun. Jamie Benigna admires Jeremy’s keen sense of humor, excellent study habits and his

devotion to Family Guy. Eulalia describes Jeremy as kind and responsible, and she has enjoyed that he makes jokes in Spanish. Kelly McDowell commented, “What’s not to like about Jeremy Kruman? He really is an ideal student with an excellent work ethic, who also manages to brighten the classroom with his engaging personality and wit.” In the fall, Jeremy will begin University of Michigan’s Health Sciences Scholar Program.

Well, Roeper, it’s been fun. Thank you so much to all of my incredible teachers that I have had over these past seven years, and to all of the amazing friends that I have made. You have all had such a profound positive effect on my life, and I will definitely miss you all. So thanks to everyone for all of the knowledge, laughter and fun times. Stay classy, Roeper. William Robert Martyka, son of R.Amy LoDico of Redford and brother of freshman Justen, attended Roeper for seven years. As Jamie Benigna explained, “Will’s fourth grade teacher remarked that Will ‘enjoys an opportunity to be challenged and has the ability to meet each challenge head on. He is not intimidated or easily stressed out by challenging work.’ William was one of the most laid back, easy-going students he had had the privilege of working with.” Teacher after teacher confirms this observation. As stated by Susannah Nichols, “He was one of those students that I knew, because he was in it, the class would be better.” Teachers, classmates and siblings alike repeatedly remark on Will’s discipline, diligence, focused yet easy-going nature, and determination to do the right thing. Will’s artwork exhibits astonishing clarity and detail with scientific


precision. He shatters the false dichotomy that art and science are opposites, and one cannot excel at both. Historically art, science and philosophy attempt to do the same thing: enable humans to understand the world around them — they simply use different tools to complete the same task. Will’s toolbox for explaining the world is rather aptly stocked. When asked what three wishes he had in fifth grade, Will remarked, “Happiness for everyone; for everyone to be fair; and to be able to live a good life.” In the fall William will be attending Michigan State University.

Thank you for all you have given me and all of the strong relationships you have allowed me to build. I am happy to say that because of Roeper my high school experience has been one that I will always remember and always be reminded of. Jack Teh-Luen Murray, son of Stephen and Chi-Ying Murray of Beverly Hills, attended Roeper for seven years. Ed Bergonzi explained that Jack started swatting tennis balls at the age of three. He won a national clay court title in his age group at 12. His dream is to be the NCAA champion — certainly a noble and worthy pursuit! It would be wrong, however, to see this young man one-dimensionally. Jack is much more than he seems. Jack is personable, with a ready smile. Jack is a really nice young man. Both Shey Yi and Lily, two of Jack’s teachers who think very highly of him, remarked about his politeness and good nature. I would certainly agree. Jack is smart … he can surprise you with his intellect … and his seriousness. Jamie Lyons-Eddy comments: “More than most students, Jack has the self-awareness and the motivation to correct each error and use those experiences to grow — as an athlete, as a student, and as a person.” Jack will be attending the University of North Carolina this fall. Maybe we’ll see Jack at Centre Court!

I’m gonna miss all of you guys a ton!!


Nicholas George Panourgias, son of John and Lisa Panourgias of Birmingham, attended Roeper for seven years. Karen Johnson describes Nick as a dedicated, intense and inspiring student with a creative streak, a perceptive wit and a reflective nature. She speaks about a paper that Nick wrote on the topic of fate and free will in Vergil’s Aeneid. Karen explains it as an exemplar in literary analysis for advanced Latin students to read. It is no surprise that Nick has affected curriculum at Roeper in other ways, too — Dan Jacobs explained how his story about Tram-Law (that’s, Wal-Mart spelled backwards) inspired an entire lesson on morality and capitalism for Stage III students one year. His sense of humor is priceless, and his comedic timing is impeccable. Nick’s friends can clearly see him writing for TV or appearing on Saturday Night Live. One of his proudest moments here at Roeper was being a part of the forensics multiple performance of Pootie-Tang in ninth grade, a piece that brought the group to the State Competition that year. Nick has returned to the forensics State Tournament every year since as a formidable competitor, due in large part to the time and attention he gave to every piece performed. In the fall, Nick will be going to Albion College.

Goodbye, Roeper! I will remember all the happy memories I had here and psychologically repress all of the bad ones. Jacob Raymond Dalton, son of Jeffery and Patricia Dalton of Waterford and brother of former student Dakota, attended Roeper for eight years. Jacob Dalton loves a good fight. Ju-Juitsu, Hapkido, swordfighting; he loves fighting in table top and live-action RPGs. His senior page is a picture of him in full battle armor wielding a broadsword, and somewhere buried in the

Jack… personable, polite and respectful.

Nick … valued and respected among the teachers and students at Roeper.

Jacob … no matter what he’s fighting for or who he’s fighting against, he throws himself into it and gives his all.

Tom … If he accomplishes 10% of what he wants to do, he’ll do more than most people in their lifetimes.

depths of the internet is a video of Jacob soundly beating and bodyslamming one of his forensics coaches. And Jacob’s lust for battle extends to other fields. Track, musical theater, editing a script, coaching, directing, judging a speech competition, even learning chemistry. Anything that poses a challenge. Anything that gives him the opportunity to dig in the trenches, devise a battle plan, rally the troops and meet the enemy head on — Jacob is there. And though he doesn’t like to lose, he knows winning isn’t everything. He fights to win, but knows how to learn from defeat. His outlook is more often Sun Tzu than Thunderdome. Jacob appreciates the full experience of a challenge, Jacob doesn’t even have to be the one fighting to enjoy it. One of his greatest joys is coaching middle schoolers. He loves preparing them as best he can and sending them off to fight for themselves. No matter what he’s fighting for or who he’s fighting against he throws himself into it and gives his all, to the benefit of those fighting alongside him and the opposition as well. You could not ask for a better brother-in-arms or a finer adversary.

I owe so much to Roeper as a whole. The way the school has shaped me will be instrumental in the life I plan to lead. I can’t believe I’m finally graduating and saying goodbye.

with Susannah, Outdoor Ed and Fishin’ with Ed, and European History. Tom has been elected and has served as Senior Class Vice-President, Student Government member, and student member of the Board of Trustees. Sports definitely make Tom tick. He played basketball and soccer in Upper School, but since returning to Roeper from a footballinduced freshman hiatus, baseball has been his top sport. Coach Todd Dunfield reports: “Tom played all three years and made a huge leap from sophomore to junior year. What we did in the past two years was largely through Tom and his leadership, and even if things didn’t always go well, Tom pitched half our league wins, hit two homers in a District game last year, and batted .395 this year.” Tom said, “Roeper made me the person that I am and gave me the confidence, knowledge, to become a better leader, and shaped what I want to do.” Speaking activities really, really, make Tom tick, as he reports spending even more time preparing for these than for his homework. Tom has been a key Upper School Model UN member, winning Best Delegate and Honorable Mention awards at various conferences from Kalamazoo to Stuttgart, Germany. His most notable achievement was at the opening session of MUNOG 2012. His confident and polished speechmaking convinced 600 international delegates to reject a proposed Security Council reform that would have fundamentally weakened the UN. In the fall, Tom will attend the University of Michigan. There he plans to prepare for law, study politics and international relations, and as an upperclassman hopes to attend the Gerald Ford School of Public Policy.

After leaving Roeper for freshman year I finally learned the true meaning of “you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone”. I knew I could achieve academically and socially at any high school, but Roeper was the only place I could truly enjoy doing it. The teachers, the freedom, and the Roeper philosophy are three things that make me believe Roeper is the best high school in the state, and I will miss it for sure. Thomas Francis Allen, son of David and Colleen Allen of Detroit and brother of Roeper students Joe and Francis, attended Roeper for nine years. Mike Ruddy posed the question …“What makes Tom tick? Academics, ideas, and politics inspire Tom.” His favorite classes were Constitutional Law with Regis, Expository Structure

Garrett Alexander House, son of Charles and Kimberly House of Lathrup Village and brother of Ross, attended Roeper for nine years. Ladies and Gentlemen, a letter from the President of the United States of America:


Dear Mr. Garrett House: This letter is a cease and desist order for you to, effective immediately, stop your impersonations of me that are entirely too accurate. You have already generated 1,767 hits on your YouTube video where you dupe an unsuspecting campaign office manager into believing that she was receiving a congratulatory phone call from yours truly. You have also been observed impersonating myself in Biology presentations as well as in school assemblies. This … must stop. There are other actions that we in the Oval Office think you should bring to an end. First, stop being so darn good at, uh, everything. Your prowess in basketball, academics, drawing and public speaking is, frankly, making everyone else look bad. And to top it off, you do it all in a style that has been described by our informants as “kicking back” and looking “relaxed.” This kind of inequality is unacceptable. You appear to be hoarding all of the knowledge to yourself by taking summer classes at Penn and independent studies in microbiology and quantum mechanics. At this rate of knowledge acquisition, you will have it all, and no one else will be able to get their fair share. Should you fail to abide by this cease and desist order, you will be sentenced, starting in September, to four years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There, you will experience hard labor in biomechanical engineering and synthetics. Sincerely, President Barack Obama P.S. It is my honor to have Jamie Benigna, Chemistry Teacher at the Roeper School, present your diploma on my behalf.

I am proud to be a graduate of The Roeper School and a member of the Roeper community. As an alum, I will strive to carry the philosophy and share the lessons it has taught me wherever I go in life. Thank you to everyone who has shared


this experience with me along the way, and I hope that I have been successful in leaving a positive impact on our community. Alex Matthew Rossetti, son of Matt and Terri Rossetti of Bloomfield Hills, attended Roeper for nine years. Karen Johnson describes Alex as a genuine philosopher. “At times he is a Stoic, contemplating the curiosities and complexities of life around him with a detached calm. At other times he seems to be an Epicurean, finding happiness through purely joyful pursuits. Even if contradictory, he has found a way to engage with both philosophical traditions such that of two images of artwork, which seem to tell his story. The first is Rodin’s iconic sculpture The Thinker — that man, perched as if surveying the world and engaged in profound reflection, could easily be a representation of Alex.” As long as he has been at Roeper, his teachers have commented on what a careful and deliberate scholar he is. He is an expert problem-solver. The second image that reminds Karen of Alex is Picasso’s sculpture, Guitar. Over the years, playing guitar has become an important part of his life. In earlier years with the instrument, his teacher and friend, Kors, explained that he just kept working on fingering and strumming techniques and asking questions on how to improve until he could play just about any melodic or rhythmic line without hesitation. This year, in particular, we have witnessed how this instrument and the guidance from Kors has brought a confidence in front of an audience (such as at this year’s talent show) and a valuable means of personal expression for Alex. In the fall, he will join the freshman class at the University of Michigan.

It’d be nice if I had something a bit more inspirational or fair-hearted in mind at the moment, but all I can say for now is that it’s been a fun ride. The teachers, students and the Roeper community was really quite a lucky opportunity for me, and I’m sincerely thankful to have been a part of it.

Garrett… competitive streak combined with a quick mastery of new ideas and skills, makes him a serious threat to others.

Alex … intellectual curiosity and clarity of thought.

Erica … centered and self-assured.

Miles … a wonderful heart and a knack for knowing when someone needs a friend.

Alec … We enjoy seeing that special smirk when he permits himself to speak from his heart.

Erica Janelle Parker, daughter of Bridghette Parker of Southfield and Frederick Parker and sister of Roeper alum Jonathan ’08, attended Roeper for nine and a half years. Karen Johnson described how she and Erica have connected over their passion for languages. Through Erica’s studies in Chinese and Spanish, she has shown a curiosity for how thought and culture become encoded in the languages that people speak. Erica has a strong desire to reach out to others whose native language is different from English, and has explained, “Something vital about humanity is lost when we fail to embrace all the world’s languages.” Lily Zhu explains that she is a determined student who is open to other cultures in ways that many people are not, and that she is brave, not least when singing karaoke in Chinese. Eulalia Ferrer shares that Erica is a dedicated student who can almost intuitively comprehend the sense of a passage in Spanish and convey beautifully a summary of ideas. It is easy to see why family and friends can imagine her becoming a language teacher and/or cultural ambassador. Over the years at Roeper, her voice has grown increasingly stronger, and recently issues of social justice have been the beneficiaries. Her personal relationships have been especially meaningful: friends describe her as fiery, feisty and spunky. Furthermore, they explain that if she were a punctuation mark it would undoubtedly have to be an exclamation point — her exuberant spirit could not be expressed any other way. Erica will head to Howard University in the fall.

I’m glad I came here. This is a place that taught me things I never would have learned if I had coasted through a school where everyone was like me. There have been struggles, but the good definitely outweighed the bad. Miles James Eddy, son of Jamie Lyons-Eddy and Chris Eddy of Troy and brother of sophomore Julia, attended Roeper for ten years. Jason McIntosh states, “When the 6th grade Miles Eddy first walked into my classroom, I don’t think I’d ever encountered

a young musician with the amount of knowledge, discipline or passion that he has within. I realized almost immediately that I had met a real ‘pro’, and was in for one of the greatest times and challenges of my career so far. The enthusiasm and love for music that he brought with him that day, has continued to fill my classroom and the halls of our school every day since.” There hasn’t been a program printed at Roeper in years that didn’t have Miles’s name somewhere in it — almost a decade of band and choir concerts, galas and auctions, RTC productions, senior projects … the list goes on, influenced by and credited to his fantastic friends and teachers, and an extraordinarily musical family as well. Miles accepts it, but hopes to be remembered for a lot more than his time on stage. Fueled by Monster energy drinks and gas station snacks, Miles “The Machine” Eddy is successfully (and frantically) rooted in just about every social and academic scene. Mary Kay said that he’s “one of the very few students I’ve ever had the pleasure of teaching who would make a fine English professor.” Whether he’s serenading us, entertaining us, making us laugh, or making us think; whether we’re hearing his voice on the PA or from inside the Tuna suit, we are always going to remember, and smile, and sit on the edge of our seats to see what’s next: Columbia College in Chicago next year, that’s what — to study and arrange and compose amazing music for stage and screen.

See you ‘round, Roeper. You have been the backdrop to many of my best experiences, and, thanks to you, I feel fully prepared to move on to the next stage of my life. Alec Stuart Segel, son of Carol Graff-Segel and Mark Segel of West Bloomfield, attended Roeper for 10 years. Susie Small was the first Roeperian to meet the seven-yearold Alec Segel. “What a sweet boy,” she said that day. “He offered to carry my testing material downstairs, did so, and held the door for me. He is very polite and gentle — he has to be at this school.” Unlike the experience he would have


had anywhere else, Alec found opportunities here to learn and grow, and form the relationships he needed to become a brave and successful citizen. He says that he’s connected with teachers unlike he ever imagined possible. He is thankful that he has been allowed to become who he wants to be, and not what everyone else wants to be. Jason McIntosh states, “His intensity, intellectual capacity, compassion and sense of hilarity are fully appreciated. Alec brings to this world a grace that we may never fully understand, but seek within ourselves. We enjoy seeing that special smirk when he permits himself to speak from his heart. He devours lists of facts and would spend endless hours with a book of world records. He has a deep appreciation for the human spirit and is awed by the world around him.” Alec will attend Albion College next year. He’s enrolled in the Institute for Healthcare Professions, and plans to graduate in four years with a double major in neurobiology and music; neurobiology because he wants to, music because he needs to.

To all of the people at Roeper who helped make my life the one that it is today, I say thanks. Flynn Markham Drew, son of Thomas Drew and Donna McGuire of Beverly Hills and brother of Reilly ’10. Karen Johnson asks the question, “Why is Flynn Drew so tall?” She explains, “There may be a perfectly good biological explanation, but let’s suspend reality for the moment and explore what Flynn’s height represents. You have to be that tall in order to accommodate all the talent Flynn has shown in photography and filmmaking. He has to be as tall as he is seemingly messy. ‘Seemingly’ because one would recognize something like the contents of his backpack as hopelessly disorganized. (Whoever had the idea to “taco” your backpack, honestly didn’t know what they were taking on.) It is necessary for Flynn to be tall to contain the size of your kind-hearted spirit. He is a loyal friend to many; he has a good head on his shoulders, and he knows how to be inclusive in his interactions. Of course, it may be unscientific and somewhat teleological to say that


he is tall because his qualities and characteristics and creativity demand it, but if we shelve rationality long enough to entertain an alternative explanation, we can begin to see the world from a novel perspective, and that’s what you have shown me during your time at Roeper. Flynn actually sprouted another four inches this past school year — one can only imagine that’s because he needed to make room for an even greater future at Columbia College in Chicago this fall.”

Flynn … a loyal friend to many.

Thanks for having me, Roeper has been a wonderful place to learn and grow.

Catherine Anne Galligan, daughter of Matt and Maribeth Galligan of Clarkston and sister of Stage IV twins Gina and Griffin, attended Roeper for 11 years. Christina Miceli states when asked to describe Catherine, each of her friends used a phrase synonymous with dazzling intellect. Justin Finkel noted Catherine’s incredibly sharp mind, ingenious insights, and competence as a student. Mikayla Konst said, “She’s brilliant,” and elaborated on Catherine’s ability to see things logically from an outside perspective while others are caught up in trivial things. Max Gordin said, “She knows what she’s doing with everything! Even Mario Kart.” In a letter Catherine wrote to her parents in Stage III, she said, “I am having fun at school. I like art, reading and sometimes math.” At the time Catherine was not quite as enthusiastic about the subject as the prospective engineer she is now, but Cathy and Susie already recognized that Catherine was developing into an insightful mathematician. In her report they said, “She loves to take risks in thinking — in fact she relishes this.” It was not until summer calculus junior year when Catherine finally recognized these characteristics within herself. When Jamie Lyons-Eddy described Catherine’s calculus work she said, “Catherine’s quiet, respectful demeanor complements her razor-sharp intellect. She was always a great math student, but suddenly she was a standout among the strongest

Catherine … her unparalleled lucidity and honesty of thought will be a great contribution to the world.

Mikayla … a fierce, strong, and confident young woman.

Brooke… ambitious, willing to take risks, and always ready to have a good time.

math students in the school.” Catherine’s gifts are not limited to those of logic and analytics; she has also preserved her passion for drawing and music. Catherine’s versatility of talents, pragmatic and logical thought, sense of wonder and creativity will lead her to success in her pursuits at Michigan Tech University next fall.

Dear Roeper Community, I am not going to take this time to gush about how great Roeper is or how much I am going to miss going there. I am ready to start a new chapter in my life. That being said, I know that I would not be where I am now if I had not gone to Roeper. Because of Roeper, I have been able to reach my academic potential. But, more importantly, I have enjoyed every step. No, Roeper is not a secluded Utopia like some members of the community like to claim, but it is a place where students “love to learn,” and that is really what matters the most. Thank you to everyone who has helped me finally spread my wings. Mikayla Sue Konst, daughter of Sue Konst of Rochester Hills and Larry Konst of Livonia and sister of 7th grader Meagan, attended Roeper for 11 years. As Andrew Brock stated, “Mikayla is, in a word, inspiring. Anyone asked will tell you that she is brilliant, talented and kind.” Through her confidence and self respect she is a leader to her peers and a role model for younger students. But hers has been a long road of self-discovery. What may, now, be difficult to conceive of is that Mikayla was, a lifetime ago, a shy, quiet, fragile-seeming little thing. Perhaps the most obvious testament to Mikayla’s transformation is the Girl’s Mentoring programs she organized and directed, a program in which high school girls help middle school girls by teaching them to be more confident and socially aware. A place where young girls can find their voices, as Mikayla found hers, and grow easier into the people that they will be, as she was helped to grow. Mikayla had the courage to grow from a little girl who didn’t think she could do anything to change the world, into someone who already has. In the fall Mikayla will attend the University of Rochester.

Thanks. I’ll miss you. Take care of each other. Brooke Sarah Michelson, daughter of Jamie and Beth Michelson of West Bloomfield and sister of Rebecca ’12, attended Roeper for 11 years. Susannah Nichols explained, on her first day at The Roeper School, Brooke instinctively smiled when she saw a shed on this campus festooned with brightly painted quotes and sponged leaves. And this February, on the Friday of Spirit Week, everyone was stopped in their tracks by the massive senior banner strung across the gym, featuring each staff member cleverly rendered as a Disney character. Two inimitable and enduring pieces of art with no signature — but both belonging to Brooke Michelson. Art isn’t often the first thing that comes to mind when people think of Brooke. After all, this is the girl who was finishing two years of Latin as an 8th grader, taking on an independent study in AP US History as a 9th grader, racking up A+ after A+ semester after semester. Being such an intellectual force of nature might make someone kind of annoying, but those who’ve been lucky enough to learn alongside Brooke know that she is inherently likeable, both in and out of the classroom. For teachers and peers alike, this uncommon warmth is more than nice, it’s inspiring. Middle School volleyball coach Samantha Miceli stated that when she polled her team on which Varsity player they aspired to be like, Brooke was the near-unanimous answer. This fall, Brooke will attend the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, joining a legacy of Michelson women: sister Rebecca, mother Beth, and grandmother Bonnie, the latter of whom was one the first women to attend Wharton.

To my supportive family, inspiring teachers, and lovably-offbeat classmates — I wouldn’t want to have grown up anywhere else. Thank you.


Alexandra Louise Blankenburg, daughter of Bob and Dee Blankenburg of Rochester, and sister of Ryan (6th Grade) and Cooper (Stage IV) attended Roeper for 12 years. Christina Miceli explains, “In an Olympic commercial, Morgan Freeman says, ‘1/100th of a second is faster than a blink of an eye, faster than a flash of lightning, and the difference between Michael Phelps winning eight gold medals instead of 7.’ Alex knows just how significant 1/100th of a second can be. On Day 1 working toward her Olympic Trial cut, Alex misses by 1/10 of a second. One day later she comes back and misses by 1/100th of a second. She’s got to wait a week before she will have another chance. During this week Alex must travel back to Michigan because it also happens to be the week of midterms. She’s studying and working to finish the semester, all the while thinking about the 1/100th of a second that is completely within her reach. One week later at the Grand Prix, in spite of an incapacitating migraine in the first rounds, Alex makes her Olympic cut in the last trial while swimming the 200 fly against former Olympians.” Alex has an extraordinary swim résumé, but those closest to her are most impressed by her versatility and ability to be more than just a swimmer. Claire Dennis said, “She’s one of the most talented people in every respect. No one realizes she loves singing, guitar and piano. She has more standout categories than she gives herself credit for.” Alex has maintained strong friendships with her winning sense of humor and fierce loyalty,” Claire said, “She’s one of those people that’s drama free. She’s consistently easy to get along with, always smiling; if you’re having a bad day — just hang out with Alex.” These same characteristics were recognized when Alex started Stage II by Annette and Laura who said, “Alex’s energy, love of learning adds a special spark that brightens even the gloomiest of days.” Next fall Alex will be attending Vanderbilt University.

Thank you for helping me become the person I am today. Without this community I would


have never been able to achieve what I did. The Roeper community was so supportive of my schedule and helped me succeed. I will miss the atmosphere of this school and the strong sense of togetherness. Aaron Robert Keteyian, son of Rodney and Barbara Keteyian of Royal Oak and brother of sophomore Rachel, attended Roeper for 12 years. Jason McIntosh stated, “It’s been fun to watch Aaron’s leadership and sense of self expand in so many positive ways. He has an extremely creative flare that comes through in each of his endeavors. He’s quick to create images in his mind and set about bringing his visions into reality. He has a precise, meticulous style that we’ve all come to appreciate as such an important part of who Aaron is. He likes to organize projects, groups of people, and direct Kid TV skits.” When Aaron was in the Lower School, Diana and Elise wrote a fairly accurate and relevant report. It’s there that he believes he learned to genuinely care for people, to make decisions based on how it might affect the well-being of someone else. He also gained a certain maturity, because the teachers and students treat each other so well. He often feels more confident conversing with adults than many of his teen friends. Aaron states, “I also really enjoyed my years playing the saxophone in the Roeper band,” and “Journalism was a high point, and my two classes with Mary Kay greatly developed who I am as a writer. But Colleen’s 7th grade film festival is what truly sparked my interest in filmmaking; if were it not for Colleen, I would likely not be pursuing a career in film.” That’s what he’ll be doing next year. At Columbia College in Chicago, he’ll study film and video production.

I am very grateful to the Roeper community for providing an education in academics as well as ethics and morality. Attending Roeper has undoubtedly shaped who I am as a person. Thank you to my Lower and MIddle/Upper School teachers, friends, and anyone else who has crossed my path during the last 12 years.

Alex… gets along with everyone.

Aaron… a composed, classy, kind, critical and well-dressed kid with high expectations.

Connor William Sheidler, son of

Connor … has a sense of humor that is both natural and welldeveloped.

Max … perpetually obnoxious, but also thoughtful and introspective.

Alan and Leslie Sheidler of Rochester Hills and brother of Colin ’11, attended Roeper for 12 and a half years. When Ed Bergonzi was approached by Connor to prepare his Senior Speech, he was “touched, honored and flattered.” Connor underwent shoulder surgery last summer, followed by a six-week convalescence; he then was diagnosed with cancer and had to undergo two rounds of chemotherapy. Oh, and he had to keep his grades up, prepare for graduation and start thinking about Michigan State, where he will be in the fall, rooming with Dan Thibodeau. Connor sums it up … “It was a tough year.” No 18-year-old should have to deal with what Connor has. Ed explains how he got to know Connor in his Comparative Anatomy class. Connor’s profoundly negative health experience was turned into a positive by his friends at Roeper, who shaved their heads to show support for him. All those bald-headed soccer players; one could only smile and empathize. Connor is still recovering, but recently broke the school record in the pole vault. Connor aspires to be a pediatric oncologist. Connor’s Roeper experience in a sense prepared him in a unique way for the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” In 2012, Connor’s math teacher, Jamie Lyons-Eddy wrote of Connor: “We have many extremely bright and talented students at The Roeper School, but Connor stands out as a particularly quick and detailed thinker. He is able to make connections almost immediately, and once he has put a new idea together with the concepts he already understands, he is able to apply what he knows even to an unfamiliar problem.” She writes further: “Connor has a sense of humor that is both natural and well-developed, and he loves sarcasm and irony.” Jamie closes, “I recently learned that Connor aspires to be a trauma surgeon. I can’t imagine a better way to utilize his exceptional intelligence, physical dexterity and self-discipline. I highly recommend him.”

I love my teachers, my school, and my friends! Keep in touch! School record is mine!

Max Burton Gordin, son of Eric Gordin and Elizabeth Schneider of Detroit, attended Roeper for 13 years. Andrew Brock explained he finds one of the great joys of working with kids is what he learns from them. And he has learned a great deal from Max. He learned the difference between a “frumor” and a “trumor;” he learned that athletic shorts can be worn with a cardigan; and he learned to never underestimate the element of surprise. “Max is full of surprises. For one, he is lazy. He is, in fact, ‘lazy as Max.’ Yet surprisingly, he manages academics, extracurriculars, the play, time to play league, and coached a Middle School multiple for his senior project. He delivers expert and experienced coaching guidance while rolling down the hall in an office chair, his lap heaped with bagels and doughnuts.” Beneath Max’s carefully polished veneer of sloppy disorganization is something surprising. He is also thoughtful and introspective. Max is simultaneously the most immature student and most mature coach in the room. While testing the patience of parents, teachers and friends alike, he is also acting as a responsible leader for Middle School kids at Forensics tournaments and on class trips. In dark times his constant positive attitude has been a bright and guiding light for teammates because Max will always have fun. It is his confidence and honesty in himself that allows him to be comfortable in who he is, wherever he is, and to share the fun with others. Max will attend Rose-Hulman in the Fall.

Roeper, it’s been great over the years. After attending school here for 13 years, I can safely say there it was the perfect match for me. I don’t think I, with all my quirks, would have done


this well anywhere else. So for these last 13 years of my life, I would like to thank the school and the community for making them wonderful. Mara Alissa Jaffe, daughter of David Jaffe ’74 and Erica Peresman of Birmingham and sister of alumna Adela ’09, attended Roeper for 13 years. The muffins Mara makes on “Muffin mornings” are not from a Betty Crocker box. That would be ordinary, and as Christina Miceli stated, “Mara Jaffe does not do ordinary. She has grand ideas that are combined with high expectations and a drive that brings her revelations to life. She sees what hasn’t been thought of and makes it happen.” Brooke Michelson recognized this trait even in Stage IV while building stick forts outside. “Mara went above the normal collecting sticks that the rest of us did. She assigned jobs to each of us, including ordering Matt and Tom to carry the larger sticks for her. She talked to the maintenance staff to get a bunch of sod and excess patio rock. A normal fort was not going to be enough for her.” Mara’s events are always impressive and require careful planning, powerful leadership, and a commitment to excellence. The work that she puts into these events stems from a common motivator — she wants more than anything to bring people together for an unforgettable experience. As Class President, Mara took it upon herself to establish the Class of 2013 as one force; she inspired support of everyone’s extracurricular endeavors and originated events beyond established traditions. Mara is ambitious; she sets her sights high and does everything in her power to achieve her goals. Mara’s Senior Project, The George, was a well-planned and successful pop-up restaurant in Eastern Market. Mara created top-notch recipes and took care of product ordering and menu design. Next fall Mara will be studying at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration.

This school has made me who I am today. Thank you to my teachers and fellow members of the Class of 2013 for inspiring me every day of the past 13 years.


Gabriel Luke Lind, son of Steven and Elise Lind of Ortonville and brother of Alex ’10 and freshman Calvin, attended Roeper for 13 years. Eulalia tells the story of Gabe’s arriving at Roeper at the age of four, when the world was so new that many things had no names, at the enchanted Roeper Domes on the bank of the creek where he played in the shadow of the Trojan horse. Gabe loved his first teachers, teachers who at the end of each season change wrote affectionate comments: Annette and Laura sang his praises as a very inquisitive, cooperative child, who loved to play and to make people laugh with his bag full of jokes. Sue and Marta admired his empathetic, caring and cooperative spirit; and Gloria and Rosalee marveled at his integrity, sensitivity and willingness to stand up for his beliefs. Gabe serenaded his friends and loved ones with his piano and clarinet skills that he had been perfecting for 12 years. He sharpened his sense of humor. He took pleasure swinging for the fences and running bases on the baseball diamond. Gabriel’s comrades in comedy and parody grew closer and stronger. Jacob, Max and Alex all praise Gabe as a sassy, energetic, inspiring, amazing and loyal friend. As his hundredth month at Roeper comes to a close, his magical but real Roeper family left him a message: “Gabe, you are not leaving the Roeper family tree, you are simply branching out. It’s time to turn a new leaf, and as your future becomes more realized with every passing day, may you keep your wonderful sense of magic.” Gabriel is on his way to Kalamazoo College to study psychology and neuroscience.

I would like to thank everyone at Roeper. The teachers, the administration, the students, everyone. Every single person there at Roeper made Roeper what it is, and that is a great and wonderful school. Chloe Isabella Rybicki-Kler, daughter of Christina Rybicki and Robert Kler of Royal Oak and brother of sophomore Liam, attended Roeper for 13 years. Colleen Potocki stated when Chloe was born on a snowy day in

Mara … has set the bar high for every future leader in this community.

Gabe … a warmhearted, kind-hearted, good-hearted human being.

Chloe … amazingly driven.

Julianne … she squeezes as much as she can out of everything.

January at 10:17pm, the doctors announced she was neurologically advanced. The diagnosis should have been tweaked just a bit — Chloe was born neurologically adventurous. During her years at Roeper, teachers have used synonymous language to describe Chloe’s approach to her learning: tenacious, relentless, enjoying mountains of work, immersed in the life of the mind, determined — fiercely determined — diligent, personally driven — amazingly driven, hyperdriven, self-driven — indefatigable, razor sharp, laser-focused, discriminating. Chloe’s friend Justin Finkel describes Chloe most succinctly: She is a “scholar.” According to Chloe, she likes “the largeness in the tiniest detail.” Chloe’s imagination and humor complement well her uncommon investment in learning. Chloe describes her humor as “usually too subtle.” When Colleen asked Chloe, for example, if she wanted any particular experiences mentioned in her senior speech, she replied, “No, I’d like to be surprised as long as said experiences do not include vomit, clothing mishaps, a quotation taken out of context, or any type of stealing.” Chloe has also enriched Roeper with her endless endurance, most notably, in her Cross Country successes and her status as a capable and knowledgeable “foodie.” Chloe has repeatedly demonstrated a generous commitment to the community: Chloe served meals at the Thanksgiving Feast in 7th grade, earning funds to shop for a family in need; she and Mara Jaffe volunteered to take their places on the Middle School serving line again this year; and most recently, Chloe stepped up to design this year’s Roeper Benefit Talent Show logo. Chloe will be attending the University of Michigan Honors College this Fall.

Thank you for your time. I will remember the ride and keep the lessons.

Julianne Laine Walkiewicz, daughter of Joseph and Anne Marie Walkiewicz of Troy and sister of alumnae Lauren ’09 and Leah ’11, attended Roeper for 13 years. Michelle Stamler explained, “On the application to Roeper, her mother wrote of fouryear-old Julianne that she ‘already has learned that life is finite.’ This gets us closer to understanding the internal mandate that dictates how Julianne has and will live. The essence of life will never be squandered because Julianne squeezes as much as she can out of everything. If this is perfectionism, it is a new hybrid where the coalescing of kindness, determinism, dedication, and the need to achieve for the good of the community as well as for herself, coexist. Julianne strives for what might be, for the best of the unknown.” Two high-level sciences classes for three years and photography and yearbook all seven years fed two aspects of what Julianne loves. She has an uncanny ability to put herself in the shoes of others. Jamie LyonsEddy wrote that Julianne needs to make sure she is always helping students around her. Additionally, for the last two years, Julianne has gone to American House weekly to be with the residents, determined that they know, through her attention, that their lives have meaning. Close friends saw last year’s trip to France as a turning point. An initially tentative Julianne studied photography in Paris but also spent almost two weeks with a host family in Brittany. Julianne returned more independent, open and willing to put herself out there. That will stand her in good stead in the fall when, after an unprecedented quandary about college choice, Julianne will head to the University of Michigan.

I want to thank Roeper for allowing me to discover and define myself over the past 13 years. I will cherish my memories here and the relationships I’ve created with my teachers and classmates, who have always helped me grow, learn and laugh with them over the years.


Zoe O Demko, daughter of Monica Moons of Farmington and John Demko of Detroit, attended Roeper for 14 years. Mary Kay Glazek stated, “Zoe, Greek for lifeforce, is well-named because she knows that life doesn’t happen, that a life isn’t had, but is made. Zoe, you are the life-force. You make things happen. The force is with you.” Mary Kay explained that were the life-force to assume human shape, she’s pretty sure it would be that of a longhaired girl playing a tenor sax. And were the embodied life-force to lay down her saxophone to pursue a career, she bet’s that career would be in epidemiology ... “Think about it: epidemiologist — also a Greek word —meaning something like, ‘credentialed champion-of-life-against-death’ — in other words, the life-force. By definition, the life-force is engendering, which is to say, it makes things happen. Like Zoe. For example, when accepted by, but not yet enrolled at Johns Hopkins, she applied for and received a grant of $10,000 to study infectious diseases in a French-speaking country.” Mary Kay continues that one must make a life, and that takes effort. Zoe is all about effort. Zoe’s effort looks like untold hours of helping others to learn history, to stage plays, to perform forensics pieces. It looks like writing her Stage IV book report in Braille … It looks like dragging Mikayla out of bed, sending Miles to class, picking out ties for Will, and stocking her locker like a convenience store, for the convenience of her friends. It looks like stiletto heels and pencil skirts. It looks like finger jousting with Jeremy, who remains at a loss to explain how Zoe always wins at everything, even when there is no contest. In the fall Zoe will be attending Johns Hopkins University.

After spending nearly the entirety of my conscious life at Roeper, I find it difficult to say goodbye in so few words. So, I won’t. I will simply say, farewell, take care, and see you next break.


Claire Ellen Dennis, daughter of Rick Dennis and Anne Gahagan of Birmingham and sister of Griffin ’12, attended Roeper for 15 years. “Claire is a wonder. She is highly motivated and enthusiastic about her learning. She is very much in charge of herself.” These words, written by Claire’s science teacher Susan Yamasaki 13 years ago are just as appropriate today. Linda Vernon explains, “In Stage I, the little tomboy didn’t have much time for the ‘girly’ stuff.” As Claire said recently, “You can’t play in the sand in a dress.” Claire didn’t have time for naps, either, and was given activity books to complete so she wouldn’t distract her sleeping classmates. In Stage II, Claire was the only student in Maria’s class to ask for homework. Claire wrote on a Stage III evaluation, “Something about getting tests appeals to me, something with studying … it seems fun.” When Claire moved over to the Birmingham campus, she loved playing Varsity Soccer, cooking with Mara and creating such specialties as the Pot-o-Food, doing community service work for The Bottomless Toy Chest, and designing award-winning layouts in Yearbook. Impressing all with her knowledge of ’70’s trivia, and her voice of reason, Claire also continued her no-nonsense approach to learning. Claire was one of three freshmen in the country to take the AP US History exam. As teacher Jamie Benigna observed, “Claire does not stop at ‘good enough.’” “I think that Claire has a confidence and put-togetherness that, though she is often a bit unorganized, allows her to be such a strong person, student and friend. I think she is very secure in who she is and what she stands for, and that is so crucial to her entire character,” Julianne says. Claire has always followed her own path, and that path is now leading her to Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.

Mom and Dad — thank you. The fact that I’ve been able to spend 15 years of my life at Roeper makes me pretty lucky. Thank you, classmates, teachers, and staff — you make Roeper, Roeper.

Zoe … makes things happen.

Claire … very much in charge of herself.

Samantha Lynn Heiman,

Samantha … relishes trying new things and working hard.

Amy … the first one to run over to any new person walking into the school and introduce herself.

daughter of Jim and Lynn Heiman of Clarkston, attended Roeper for 15 years. When Jamie Benigna asked Samantha what her favorite animal was, she paused for a while, and she eventually talked herself into answering, “Otters.” That which we love often reflects our true selves, so Jamie presented his analysis of Samantha and her favorite animal. Otters are skillful and creative. Jamie’s first knowledge of Samantha was actually a year before she ever took a class with him, when former English teacher George Tysh remarked of Samantha, “She is just the most creative kid.” Throughout her academic career, teachers have routinely commented on her inventiveness, her flair for the dramatic, and her ability to engage in make-believe. Mara perhaps stated it best: “With Samantha you can propose something crazy, and she’ll totally go for it.” Otters are noted for their playfulness, and perhaps one of Samantha’s most endearing qualities is her genuine delight in experiencing something new … she gets really excited … REALLY excited. Many species of otters are known to be compassionate and caring, with some exhibiting strong social connections. Samantha’s friends describe her as the one who will never exclude anyone, the one to make people feel included, and a very good friend. Samantha’s empathy towards others has made her a natural leader, but her reliability has ensured that her peers and teachers hold her in the highest esteem. When Samantha commits to do something, you know it will get done. Stage I teacher Colleen Shelton perhaps put it best: “Samantha was loving, funny, and wise beyond her years, a much loved friend. This not a student anyone will ever forget — for all the right reasons.” Otters are not highly migratory animals. They generally venture fewer than 50 miles from where they are born. Samantha will not migrate far for college this fall, with U of M a mere 48 miles from home.

Roeper has been with me almost my entire life,

but there’s something in me that isn’t so sad about leaving because I know I will keep in touch with all the wonderful people I met here. I wish all my friends and teachers a wonderful future at Roeper, or, to my fellow seniors, wherever you’re headed. Amy Michelle Romano, daughter of Paula Romano of Royal Oak and Richard Romano of Birmingham and sister of alumnus Andrew ’11, attended Roeper for 15 years. Jarie Rudy presented the “Top Ten Things About Amy”… #10 — She’s one smart cookie. Amy loves to learn. Laura Panek describes her questions in biology as truly exceptional, showing her ability to synthesize fields of science and find new ways of understanding the world around her. #9 — She loves sports. Coach Christina sites Amy’s senior leadership as one of the reasons they had a successful volleyball season this year. Her hard work and sportsmanship recently gained her a spot on the All-District soccer first team. #8 — She will always find a way to convince you of her point. Christina recounts this story: One time we were talking about walking directions to a park. A group of us said go left, Amy said right. She finally convinced us that you could turn right and go around the entire block, and her way would work. #7 — She’s pragmatic and practical. Her very clear life plan includes medical school for pediatric orthopedics, becoming part of Doctors Without Borders, and then living in a ski chalet in the Canadian mountains. #6 — Amy gives back. Her senior project, teaching pre-algebra all year to two gifted Lower School mathematicians was the perfect way for her to give back what she has internalized. #5 — She’s incredibly loyal and kind. Erika Parker sums it up the best, saying, “Amy is the most steadfast friend anyone could hope for. She would bend over backwards for those she considers her friends and she makes it easy to return the favor.” #4 — She is totally unassuming. Amy has a childlike wonder about the world. This innocence and genuine niceness leads us to wonder — is she someone cryogenically frozen from the 1950s? #3 — Oh, Canada! Who could


forget the talent show when 10-year-old Amy sang that song in a slightly off key and absolutely heartfelt way? So great is Amy’s Canada love that next year she will be attending Queens University. #2 — Her family is amazing. Amy is incredibly well-adjusted and grounded. And the number one thing about Amy! She’s a hugging maniac. In Stage IV Amy had the distinction of being our designated hugger — always there when you needed a hug — since then she has used her stealth moves to constantly one-up me with hugs!

shaping the experience of many Middle School students through his leadership as a chaperone at Wolverine Camp, tutoring in math clinic, and coaching the Middle School girls’ Soccer team this spring. He brought the same demeanor to the girls that he demonstrated as a captain of the Varsity team. Zoe Demko described Dan’s leadership as “an air of optimism and positive support that can be felt even from off the field.” Next fall Dan will pursue his passion for teaching at Michigan State University.

This school and community has given me more than I could ever return.

I really have grown more than I could imagine by being a part of the community. Thank you all and thank you, Ma and Pa, for taking me here.

Daniel Jay Thibodeau, son of Ed and Amy Thibodeau of Royal Oak, attended Roeper for 15 years. Christina Miceli speaks about the Senior Trip: “As most of Dan’s class was whitewater rafting, Dan was back at the lodge, heating up bed sheets by the fire to keep the sleeping Connor Sheidler warm.” Everyone knows that he would do anything to help, not just those closest to him, but anyone who needs a friend. Dan is very aware of how people should be treated in order to feel valued and included. These characteristics lend themselves to those of a successful and inspiring educator, which is why Dan decided to teach the introduction of Calculus to a Pre-Calc class for his senior project. In the classroom, Dan forces students to think for themselves and believe that even the most challenging concepts are manageable. Jamie Benigna commented that Dan is “completely at ease with making himself the brunt of a joke, and he clearly takes himself lightly while simultaneously taking learning very seriously.” Dan believes that school should be fun and memorable, and that you learn best when enjoying the experience. Whether it was dressing up as Lisa Baker during Spirit Week, singing Stacey’s Mom to homeroom, or telling Jamie, “My eyes are up here,” as he modeled new jerseys for girls volleyball. In addition to these silly stories though, Dan has played an instrumental role in


David James Veillette, son of Steve and Deb Veillette of Lake Orion and brother of Jordan ’12, attended Roeper for 15 years. Like so many students, Roeper is more than a school for David — it is a way of life. Lisa Baker states David has the heart and tenacity of an athlete coupled with the sensibility of an artist and the soul of a potter. He is a complex, committed and highly empathic student. Ed Sack describes him as “one of the most fit players I’ve ever coached.” It seems on many days that he could play the position of two people. He is living proof that talent and hard work pay off! David has learned to take care of himself, and in the process he takes care of those around him. Lisa Baker says, “He’s the kid I find picking up trash in the hallway when no one has asked and no one is watching. He’s the player who makes the pass, to set up the assist that ends in a goal that wins the game. David revels in the team’s win and the school’s success. He is as likely to be in the stands at a playoff game as he is in the audience

Dan … his analytical skills, extraordinary ability to listen fully, and gift for connecting with others will lead him to success.

David … quite simply, one of Roeper’s unsung heroes.

Christian … honest, thoughtful, funny, and sincere.

at a play — because David understands what it means to be a part of a community — you have to show up!” David’s friends and teammates describe him as someone they can count on and someone who doesn’t take himself too seriously. “ David’s love of running free — of being unencumbered, takes life in the art studio. Tessa says, “His glazes are intuitive, playful, and spontaneous. He allows the material to lead him, and if things don’t turn out, he can shift easily.” David will be attending Lawrence Tech in the fall, where he will play soccer on a scholarship.

Thank you, Roeper. Thanks to my teachers, my coaches, my peers, and all of my supporters. You have made Roeper the most fantastic experience of my life. I have been very fortunate. I have learned so much along the way. I am so lucky that I was able to experience so much. My graduation isn’t then end of my life with Roeper, and I am excited to see how much will change when I come back to visit. Christian Andrew Clark White, son of Patrick White and Amy Clark of Birmingham, attended Roeper for 15 years. Jason McIntosh describes Christian as a strong, silent man — alive, and very well. Every one of his few words is important, confident, and wellselected before being delivered. Do not mistake this quiet man — he is brilliant, creative, strategic, assertive, and prepared to interject when the time is right. His quietness is a running theme, through 15 years of written reports. Although, from the start, his teachers recognized the wisdom Christian quietly carries. “He’s really just taking it all in,” they said. “He’s collecting knowledge and waiting for the right time to return the favor.” “I often look at Christian and wonder what he is smiling about,” Laura Panek wrote. “He always seems to have a small, sly smirk on his face. I wonder if he has a running commentary going in his head about his classmates and what is going on

around him.” In fact, in a college essay, Christian wrote: “If I have a camera in my hand, I am happy. Through photography, I have learned that attention to detail leads to success. As a photographer, I capture more than just the moment; I want to create a work of art that is truly unique by composing the elements within the image. I see details that others may overlook, like the way the sunlight reflects on trees and the way raindrops change the color of roads.” Christian has been here at Roeper his entire life. It’s all he knows — the comfort of a small community accepting who he is and the pure joy that radiates from him. The words of his Stage III teachers seem fitting today: “Dear Amy and Patrick, What a delightful son you have! Christian is so genuine. He has passions, and he has information. He has dreams and desires, and he lets us in on all that is important to him. He is honest, thoughtful, funny, and sincere. We are delighted to know him. Thank you for sharing him with us. We will miss this charming boy of yours, but he’s ready for the new challenges he will face in Stage IV” — or in this case, at Indiana University.

After spending 15 years at Roeper, I still find myself enjoying and learning something new each day. I have truly enjoyed the 15 years that I have spent at Roeper. I have made a lot of friends over the years at this school. The values that I learned at Roeper will last with me for the rest of my life. F






Lisa Baker

Upper School Director


The Class of 2013 is a remarkable group of individuals, who, as Mara pointed out are strongwilled, intelligent young adults who rise to challenge and confront adversity directly. In ninth grade we described them as “northside” and “southside;” (and clearly they still remain proud of their roots). However, over the last few years they have discovered their commonalities and have harnessed the power of every class member! Just last week, at the Senior Project Festival, over 75% of the class was in attendance. You see the Class of 2013 celebrates their peers’ work as much as they do their own. They have raised more money and organized more class-sponsored trips and activities than any class in my tenure. One hundred percent of the class has participated in an extracurricular activity at Roeper, and academically they have set the bar at a new mark. Nearly 60% of students in this class were offered meritbased scholarships, and 90% of those students were offered scholarships at more than one school. They are leaving very big shoes to fill. Many students in this class have faced real-life challenges. They seem to know inherently what some of us are just learning — that you can’t always choose what happens to you. Events and people will kick you in the gut sometimes. It’s not your choice. However, you can always choose your response. You can always frame your day and your life as you choose. In Abena Stone’s one act play The Roomba Bomb, one of her main characters, Osei says, “Today a bouquet of flowers fell at my feet, as though they came down from heaven with the rain and the lightning. Because I knew the sky was not wicked, I have decided to love today with my feet on the ground.” He continues, “Don’t avoid bumping into life. Open yourself. Let yourself be human. Let yourself love.” Roeper has taught you many things — not the least of which is how to love, how to support, and how and when to take action. Trust me when I tell you that this group will never sit idly and let the world pass them by. Last week driving up Woodward Avenue I noticed a sign that reads, “Walsh College grads hit the ground running.” My son Matthew said, that’s not true at Roeper. I was taken aback. Surely we’d all want to think our graduates hit the ground running. “No,” he explained, “at Roeper, graduates are so far ahead they don’t need to worry about running.” Turns out, in this case, he’s right! So, Class of 2013, I hope you hit the ground walking and decide to love today with your feet on the ground. Take time to appreciate the little things. I know you will continue to bring your fire — to push and ask hard questions and challenge the world. Most importantly, I hope you will remember that you are loved and appreciated. You may be moving beyond our walls, but you will always be welcomed back with open arms. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with great pleasure and pride that I present the Class of 2013! F


Trust me when I tell you that this group will never sit idly and let the world pass them by.


The George A. Roeper Senior Projects are designed to allow students to follow their personal passions and extend their learning beyond the classroom. These projects represent skill sets that students have developed over time. The students have managed at least one semester of independent, self-directed learning. They have been supported by mentors within our walls as well as professionals in their respective areas of interest outside the Roeper Community. It would be easy to focus solely on the results these students have produced; however, the process they employed and relationships they developed are likely what will impact them most in the years to come. Listed here are the Class of 2013 participants and their projects. Aaron Bernard . . . . . Internet Sociology in Viral Videos & Garrett House The Art of Performing

Jacob Dalton . . . . . .

Zoe Demko . . . . . . . In My Own Little Corner: A Seamstress’s Tale

Rosie Desantis

Miles Eddy . . . . . . .

Max Gordin . . . . . . . Phineas & Ferb: Directing a Multiple

Samantha Heiman . . . . The Beautiful Days, a novella

Mara Jaffe . . . . . . .

Mikayla Konst . . . . . . Girls Mentoring

Max Raimi . . . . . . .

Amy Romano . . . . . . Teaching Pre-Algebra

. . . . . Young Detroit Solutions Exploring the Music of Others

The George: A Pop-Up Restaurant

The Roeper Show

Abena Stone . . . . . .

The Roomba Bomb

Dan Thibodeau . . . . .

Teachin’ Ain’t Just for Teachers

Matt Wagner . . . . . .

Sailing Brought Back to Life



PASSIONS & PURSUITS Roeper students are not simply products of the curriculum, they are an integral part of the learning process and are encouraged to be fully engaged community participants by uncovering their passions in a myriad of venues. This important dimension allows students to experience the special rewards and self-esteem that come from exploration and mastering. Here is a snapshot of the Class of 2013 journey:

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL Claire Dennis Justin Finkel Samantha Heiman Brooke Michelson Julianne Walkiewicz

FORENSICS Tom Allen Aaron Bernard Stuart Crawford Jacob Dalton Jack Decerchio Zoe Demko Rose Desantis Flynn Drew Miles Eddy Austin Farrow Max Gordin Garrett House Mikayla Konst Jeremy Kruman Gabriel Lind Nick Panourgias Max Raimi Amy Romano Melanie Schwarz Spenser Solys Abena Stone Kyle Westphal

gay-straight alliance Kiara Canales Rose Desantis Max Raimi Abena Stone


MODEL UN Tom Allen Aaron Bernard Jacob Dalton Claire Dennis Samantha Heiman Brooke Michelson Erica Parker Amy Romano Spenser Solys

PERFORMING ARTS dance ensemble/ repertory theatre Morgan Harrison Samantha Heiman Amy Romano

instrumental music Alex Blankenburg Zoe Demko Claire Dennis Flynn Drew Miles Eddy Austin Farrow Justin Finkel Catherine Galligan Aaron Keteyian Gabriel Lind Mikayla Konst Brooke Michelson Nicholas Panourgias Chloe Rybicki-Kler Alec Segel Christian White

roeper theatre company Jacob Dalton Zoe Demko Rosie Desantis Miles Eddy Austin Farrow Max Gordin Samantha Heiman Aaron Keteyian Max Raimi Chloe Rybicki-Kler Alec Segel Dan Thibodeau

vocal music Alex Blankenburg Jacob Dalton Miles Eddy Austin Farrow Catherine Galligan Morgan Harrison Samantha Heiman Esohe Osabuohien Alex Rossetti Chloe Rybicki-Kler Alec Segel Christian White

SIERRA CLUB Austin Farrow Justin Finkel Chloe Rybicki-Kler

STUDENT GOVERNMENT Tom Allen Aaron Bernard Austin Farrow Max Gordin Samantha Heiman Nick Panourgias Matt Wagner Kyle Westphal

TUNA TALK Mara Jaffe Aaron Keteyian Alec Segel Matt Wagner

UMOJA Morgan Harrison Esohe Osabuohien

VARSITY SPORTS baseball Tom Allen Austin Farrow Abrahim Hashwi Gabriel Lind Alec Segel Dan Thibodeau Matt Wagner

basketball Tom Allen Kiara Canales Jack Decerchio Austin Farrow Morgan Harrison Abrahim Hashwi Garrett House Julie Pudar Amy Romano Spenser Solys Dan Thibodeau Matt Wagner

cross country Austin Farrow Justin Finkel Garrett House Mara Jaffe Chloe Rybicki-Kler

golf Jack Murray Alex Rossetti Spenser Solys David Veillette

soccer Tom Allen Claire Dennis Morgan Harrison Abrahim Hashwi Samantha Heiman Mara Jaffe Will Martyka Brooke Michelson Julie Pudar Amy Romano Chloe Rybicki-Kler Connor Sheidler Spenser Solys Dan Thibodeau David Veillette

YEARBOOK Alex Blankenburg Claire Dennis Mara Jaffe Julie Pudar Dan Thibodeau David Veillette Julianne Walkiewicz

track Aaron Bernard Kiara Canales Jacob Dalton Justin Finkel Abrahim Hashwi Garrett House Will Martyka Chloe Rybicki-Kler Melanie Schwarz Connor Sheidler Spenser Solys

volleyball Morgan Harrison Brooke Michelson Erica Parker Amy Romano Julie Pudar Melanie Schwarz



AWARDS & HONORS The Order of

The Roeperian Empire

The Fighting Tuna

In 1975, David Jaffe ’74 proposed the creation of a new award to recognize exceptional Upper School students. George accepted the proposal, and each year since, the school has awarded individuals who, by virtue of their extraordinary sharing of time, effort and self, made outstanding contributions to the Upper School community. Remarkable achievements alone do not qualify a student for the award. Contributing to the community is most important. Richard B. Morris ’72 coined the term “Order of the Roeperian Empire” for the award, and designed the official crest. .

Each year the reigning Knight or Dame Commander of the Order of the Fighting Tuna appoints a successor from the Junior Class. The Order of the Fighting Tuna was established in 1985 to “protect the honor of the members of the community of the Roeper City and Country School.” Each year, the new member of the Order is knighted during a ceremony befitting the mock-seriousness of the occasion.

The 2013/14 Fighting Tuna 20th Knight of the Order Miles Eddy appointed

The Order of The Roeperian Empire 2013 Recipients

Austin Farrow Mikayla Konst

The Order of

Dylan Shallow

21 st Knight of the Order

Mara Jaffe Dan Thibodeau

Athletic Awards 2012/13 Upper School Athletes of the Year ABRAHIM HASHWI JULIE PUDAR


Super Booster of the Year NICK PUDAR


George A. Roeper Sportsmanship Award AUSTIN FARROW amy romano CHLOE RYBICKI-KLER dan thibodeau


Patti Bostwick

Director of College Counseling

COLLEGE ACCEPTANCES Of the 48 members of the Class of 2013, 47 will go on to college immediately. Melanie Schwarz will return to Switzerland for more schooling there before college. Six students were National Merit Finalists, two of whom became National Merit Scholars; two more were named Commended Scholars. Two students were National Achievement Finalists, one of whom became a Scholar. Class members were admitted to the listed institutions and enrolled at colleges and universities in BOLD CAPS. The Class of 2013 was offered nearly $4 million total in scholarships.

Albion College (2) Alma College The American Academy of Dramatic Arts The American Musical and Dramatic Academy American University Belmont University Boston University Brown University Case Western Reserve University Central Michigan University Columbia College Chicago (4) Cornell University Culinary Institute of America Denison University DePaul University DePauw University Drexel University Duke University Eastern Michigan University Emerson College Emory University Ferris State University Georgia Institute of Technology Grand Valley State University/Honors College HOWARD UNIVERSITY Indiana University Ithaca College Johns Hopkins University Johns & Wales University Kalamazoo College Kettering University Lake Superior State University Lawrence Technological University Lawrence University Louisiana State University Massachusetts Institute of Technology Michigan State University (4) Michigan Technological University Middle Tennessee State University The New York Conservatory of Dramatic Arts New York University Tisch School of the Arts

North Carolina Central University Northern Michigan University Northwestern University Northwood University Oakland Community College Oakland University Oberlin College Oxford College Pace University Princeton University Queen’s University (Kingston, ONT) Rice University Rochester Institute of Technology Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (2) Saginaw Valley State University Suffolk University University of Chicago University of Louisville University of Massachusetts Amherst University of Michigan (9) University of MichIgan LSA Honors program University of Michigan – Dearborn University of Pennsylvania THE WHARTON SCHOOL UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA University of Rochester University of South Carolina University of Toledo University of Toronto University of Western Ontario University of Wyoming VanderbilT University Virginia Commonwealth University Washington University/St. Louis Wayne State University Wesleyan University Wentworth Institute of Technology Western Michigan University Wheaton College/Illinois Wright State University Xavier University



Emery Pence

Alumni Relations Coordinator

A NOTE FROM EMERY Good evening. As Alumni Director it is my job to welcome you to the wonderful of alumnihood.  But before I do, I must say a few words about you. As a class you have come a long, long way.  . You have always had strong individuals, but in earlier years you were not a cohesive, supportive group.  Somehow, you realized that you could do more together than apart.  You began to understand that if another succeeded, it was not a loss to you, but a benefit to you and your  community. As you pulled together, you began to accomplish in many ways, often punching above your weight.  You celebrated and reveled in each other, and thus, created a positive, supportive atmosphere that produced both more individual and class success. As you look back, ask yourself, “What did I do to build a better class, a better school and better community?”  Now ask yourself how you will create a better world once you leave us. Now, take a minute to think about your parents’ sacrificing to give you the best education and experience they could.  Some sold blood, and others knocked over the occasional liquor store, while others simply didn’t take a vacation for 10 years.  They drove to watch you play in Allen Park and perform at forensics tournaments in Saginaw.  They volunteered innumerable hours.  They took a big leap of faith to keep you in a very unusual school.  They did so because you were grateful for and took advantage of what Roeper had to offer.   The third leg of the stool of your success (I like that — stool of your success) was the educators who tutored you during free blocks, stayed with you after school until the project was done, listened to you when you were down, cheered your victories and challenged you to go farther.  Lord knows they don’t get paid enough, but your growth and accomplishments blinded them to that lack of  financial compensation.  Be sure to go shake the hand or hug a teacher sometime tonight.


A welcome to wonderful world of alumnihood means “goodbye.” You’ve got to go, break our hearts and leave us.  But you can still support each other and rely on each other.  As Alumni Director I talk to Roeper grads, and many of them talk eloquently about how the friendships they formed at Roeper have been the strongest of their lives and how they can always turn to those who journeyed with them here at Roeper. Even if you don’t know another alum, that person and you have a special affinity.  A couple of years ago we were having a gathering in a fancy chocolate shoppe on the ground floor of 30 Rock in New York.  After it was over, one of the employees said, “Those people were all different ages; did they know each other?”  I responded that many of them were meeting for the first time, and she questioned, “Then how come they acted like old friends?” I tried to explain that they all grew up in a community that valued relationships, preached respect for the individual and commu-nity, downplayed winning at the expense of others and created people not afraid of life or the future.  She glimpsed that she was in presence of something special but really couldn’t understand fully the bond Roeperians have.

This speech was given by Emery to the attendees at the 2013 Junior/ Senior Dinner on June 8.

Whenever you need help, a whole lotta’ of people have your back.  Likewise, be sure to extend your hand when one of us could use a little assistance. Lastly, this school and community have given you a lot.  Stay connected to it.  Come back and tell us what you have learned.  When you get that Annual Fund call, be as generous as you were as high school students. Now, go and continue to make the world a better place like you made Roeper a better place. Make us proud and stay hydrated! F

Note of explanation: The Alumni Office gift to the seniors this year was a beautiful silver water bottle with all of the Class of 2013’s names on it.


Denita Banks-Sims

Director of Development

PARTING THOUGHTS Dear Friends — Please note the missive written by Emery Pence and posted on the door of the Development Office (Jimmy and Vi’s old apartment), in the Hill House last year:


Like a line from my favorite musical: “How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?”… in the case of Emery, you grab the end of the beam and HOLD ON! Emery assumed the Alumni Relations position following much heralded turns as the Director of the Middle School and former Lower School Science teacher — where he was once honored as Michigan Science Teacher of the Year for his exemplary skill and masterful pedagogy. He has brought that same passion, creativity and resoluteness to, as Emery would say, “the world of alumni-ness!” The world he created included an endless array of implausible acronyms (RARBE, POW, ARF and more) that reflected and aptly served a myriad of stewardship and fundraising objectives. The levels of alumni, former student, alumni parent and former staff engagement rose significantly under Emery’s watch, and the number of alumni who donate to Roeper has nearly doubled. As well, we are reaching more and more alumni and former students and former staff each year through vigorous outreach and thoughtful stewardship. This past year, he and our Student Representatives to the Board of Trustees — Tom Allen ’13 and Alyssa Flynn ’14 — led an historic Student Annual Fund Campaign initiative that produced more than 83% participation rates! Now, as many of you know, Emery is making a 180° turn back to the classroom as the Middle School 7th grade Social Studies teacher — a position and placement that will be enriched by his distinct and enduring talents. It is now our good fortune to fortify “the world of alumni-ness” and make Emery proud! Yours, Emery with his daughter Amanda, Class of 2000, and granddaughter Nadia.







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We couldn’t have learned

Keeping In Touch Senior Edition 2013  

The Roeper School Community Magazine