Westminster Magazine Fall 2017

Page 1

The Westminster Schools Non-Profit Organization

1424 West Paces Ferry Road, NW Atlanta, Georgia 30327 westminster.net

U.S. Postage Paid Permit No. 1083 Atlanta, GA


Parents of alumni: If this issue is addressed to your child who no longer maintains a permanent address at your home, please notify the Office of Alumni Engagement of the new mailing address by emailing alumni@westminster.net or calling 404-609-6205.

FALL 2017

“Before taking art at Westminster, I never thought of myself as creative, but through the many projects, I’ve expanded not only my creative and thinking processes but my ability to evoke thought and emotion through my brush strokes.” – Albert, Class of 2018 Student

Be the Catalyst

For Wildcats, the opportunities for growth, challenge, and leadership are endless. And you have the opportunity to invest in the transformative experiences that make Westminster unique. Your generosity ignites all that is happening in our classrooms, on our fields, and in our studios—helping us inspire leaders who will become a positive force in the world.

Welcome to the Alumni Association, Class of 2017! KEEP YOUR WILDCAT PRIDE ALIVE! Connect on social media. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and join our LinkedIn group so you’ll always know what’s happening in the Wildcat Nation.

Download EverTrue. Connect with fellow alumni and keep up with Westminster news.


Attend alumni events. College-age alumni, mark your calendar for the College Holiday Luncheon on Monday, December 18, 2017.

Support your alma mater. Make your gift to The Westminster Fund each year by visiting westminster.net/giving. WESTMINSTER | 91


CONTRIBUTORS Executive Editors Liz Ball Emilie Henry


Managing Editor Erin Dentmon Editorial Staff Justin Abraham Jennifer Liu Kathleen O’Gara Christy Oglesby


Stacie Davis Rapson ’83 Contributors


Jane Lauderdale Armstrong ’74 Scoot Dimon ’70 Betty Emrey Keith Evans Myles Hudson ’17 Katie Long Laney ’03 Pamela Nye Ria Parikh ’17 Ali Gray Prickett ’05 Caroline Rothschild Susan Ayres Watson ’83 Jay Watts Art Direction & Design Ridge Creative, Inc. Illustration Tim Williams Art Photography Clyde Click Gemshots Billy Howard Phillip Spears Student, faculty, staff, and parent photographers Westminster archives Printing Perfect Image



A School for Atlanta

Some of the deepest learning happens outside the classroom. Read how today’s Wildcats are learning from the city around them.


From the President

26 Faculty and Staff 38 Commencement

12 Westminster and Odyssey

48 Wildcat Den

Our partnership with Atlanta Public Schools is helping hundreds of students unlock their potential each year.

52 Wildcat Tracks

20 Wildcats on the BeltLine

74 Class Notes

60 Alumni News

Westminster’s paw prints are all over the city. It’s no surprise that our alumni are at the forefront of developing Atlanta’s on-themove areas. COMMENTS TO THE EDITOR: Please address postal correspondence to: Liz Ball Director of Marketing and Communications Westminster 1424 West Paces Ferry Road, NW Atlanta, Georgia 30327 Email: lizball@westminster.net Phone: 404-609-6259


Dear Friends, Atlanta emerged from the World War II era at a full sprint. Significant investments in the region during the war set the stage for an explosion of growth in the years following the end of hostilities. To quote just one telling statistic: By 1954, not even a full decade after the American-led victory, Atlanta had added 800 new industries and nearly 1,200 corporate offices to its roster. While Atlanta’s emergence as a global city was never inevitable, there was momentum in the right direction and thoughtful civic leaders who put the pieces in place.

2 | Fall 2017

One of those pieces was a school that would serve talented students whose development as leaders could not only sustain but accelerate Atlanta’s transformation. Westminster was created to realize the potential of young people across the city. In many ways, we were a civic project in servant leadership for a region where change was rapidly careening between uneven and exhilarating. (Perhaps some things have remained the same over the last half century.) We know the rest of the story. Atlanta emerged as the capital of a dynamic region of the United States and found a place on the world stage boasting everything from the planet’s busiest airport to the 1996 Olympics to corporate headquarters, professional sports teams, and a broadly diverse, ambitious, and ever-growing population. Westminster graduates have been right in the middle of this remarkable story. “Wildcat paw prints” are on Atlanta’s skyline, the city’s business community, metro area educational and nonprofit organizations, and leadership at local, state, and national levels of politics and government. Our alumni have contributed to this progress in ways both tangible and intangible— buildings and projects we can see infused with the timeless values that lent moral fiber to the cause.

Today, Westminster remains engaged in Atlanta in myriad ways, and not just through alumni. Our students engage in community service across the metro area while also taking on internships in everything from research labs to tech startups. We are partners with the Atlanta Public Schools both through Odyssey and our ongoing relationship with Drew Charter School. Our campus is a destination that draws people together for activities like college fairs and youth conferences, performing arts conventions and major athletic competitions. We are in and of Atlanta, and Atlanta is here, speaking in assemblies, guest lecturing in classrooms and studios, and building, creating, and inventing alongside students of all ages. Being a school with deep local roots and powerful national and global branches comes naturally for Westminster. It also seems right for Atlanta–a place that thought enough about its future to realize that every great city, or nation for that matter, prioritizes great leadership as its most critical renewable resource. Read on to see how that conviction, which inspired our founding in 1951, continues to renew both Westminster and Atlanta today.

Keith Evans President




Keith A. Evans President

Michael J. Egan ’74, Chair B. Clayton Rolader ’72, Vice Chair Lisa Borders ’75, Secretary Elizabeth Kilcullen Blake Rosalind G. Brewer William Clarkson IV Samuel G. Candler Harold A. Dawson Jr. ’82 Jason Fritz Rebecca Olson Gupta Rand Glenn Hagen Scott D. Hawkins Katharine W. Kelley ’82 David M. Love ’90 Lisa Olivetti McGahan R. Brand Morgan ’94 Joel T. Murphy ’76 Floyd C. Newton III ’73 Thomas Noonan Rahul Patel William T. Plybon Kelly A. Regal S. Stephen Selig ’61 Jeffrey P. Small Jr. ’85 Steven D. Smith Charles Austin Stephens ’93 Charles W. Wickliffe III ’85 Jay Yadav

James S. Balloun Betsy Barge Birkholz ’69 James E. Bostic Jr. David E. Boyd Peter M. Candler ’60 Richard W. Courts II ’55 Ann Draughon Cousins Suzanne LeCraw Cox ’71 Joseph M. Craver F. T. Davis Jr. ’56 Virginia Gaines Dearborn ’56 W. Douglas Ellis Jr. Joseph W. Hamilton Jr. Allen S. Hardin Thomas D. Hills ’62 Ronald P. Hogan Barbara Benson Howell W. Stell Huie L. Phillip Humann M. Hill Jeffries Jr. ’73 E. Cody Laird Jr. George H. Lane III J. Hicks Lanier ’58 Dennis M. Love ’74 Gay McLawhorn Love Margaret Sheffield Martin WS ’44 Carolyn Cody McClatchey ’65 Terence F. McGuirk William A. Parker Jr. Larry L. Prince Olga Goizueta Rawls ’73 Margaret Conant Reiser ’73 John W. Rooker ’56 Kenneth S. Taratus L. Barry Teague John A. Wallace D. Scott Weimer James B. Williams George B. Wirth

Toni Boyd Vice President for Finance and Operations Tim Downes Director of Athletics Colleen Glaude Dean of Instructional Technology Emilie Henry Vice President for Institutional Advancement Jim Justice Dean of Academics and Curriculum Whit McKnight Head of Lower School Marjorie Dixon Mitchell ’82 Director of Admissions and Enrollment Services Danette Morton Head of Middle School Thad Persons ’88 Dean of Faculty Bob Ryshke Executive Director, Center for Teaching Cindy Trask Head of Upper School



A School for


Westminster continues its legacy of civic engagement by Erin Dentmon Creative Services and Publications Manager

Westminster is a school of Atlanta and for Atlanta, with alumni who touch every industry and every aspect of civic life in the city and students hailing from nearly 80 zipcodes. Our school and our city are tightly intertwined. Providing students with the best possible education in the world-class city we call home means we have a clear responsibility to connect students with world-class opportunities. Because of the life-changing education a Westminster student experiences, these students go on to leave their own lasting marks on the city and the world.

4 | Fall 2017

Of course, engaging with the city is nothing new. Westminster was founded by Atlanta leaders with big ideas about what a school like ours could mean for the city—that it would be a place committed to creating leaders who would go out into the world and change it in significant ways. “The School was founded, from the first, to propel the city forward, and that is still true today,” says Jim Justice, Dean of Academics and Curriculum. “We want all our students to feel connected to the city that is theirs. This isn’t a city they’re going to inherit; it’s theirs now. We want them to see themselves as agents who are moving the city forward in whatever it is they do.” And while our founding values still hold strong, our School and the city have both evolved in exciting ways, and our students and teachers are creating more opportunities for learning outside our gates than ever before. “We are increasingly seeing the city as our campus and finding ways to take advantage of the array of organizations and institutions

Faculty preview a model of MercedesBenz Stadium during a faculty field trip.

that are here in our backyard,” says Westminster President Keith Evans. “We are thinking about a broader array of places where we can connect to what happens in the classroom. That might include a robotic surgery center or a construction site or a tech startup. We also want to be sure we are connecting our students to the needs and problems of Atlanta that will require their leadership now and in the future, so reaching out in service is critical as well.” The opportunities are innumerable— below are just a few ways Wildcats are immersing themselves in the city of Atlanta and all it has to offer.

Lifelong Learners Immersed in Our City

Big ideas. Leading organizations. They’re all around us. In Atlanta, we’re surrounded by innovators and difference-makers. That’s why our entire faculty, and many staff members, fanned out across Atlanta in the days leading up to the start of school two years in a row to peek behind the curtain in places like Atlanta Tech Village, the Woodruff Arts Center, Savannah College of

Art and Design, Georgia Power, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and more. Sites crossed every industry and sector. Some teachers chose sites closely related to the subjects they teach, and others took the opportunity to open new doors. “We asked the leadership of each of these organizations to tell us about how they thought about their future and what inspired them,” says Keith. “It was an eye-opening experience for all of us and caused us to ask, ‘How are we like these organizations? Or how should we be more like them?’ There really is no substitute for seeing these places firsthand and hearing their stories.” One group of faculty and staff visited Skyland Trail, a mental health facility that was in the midst of building its Rollins Campus for Young Adults, taking on the big idea that the center could meet a critical need for an underserved population. Middle School Bible teacher Lydia Turman Hansen ’87, whose father, John Turman ’63, had worked in development for Skyland Trail, was

Beth Finnerty (President and CEO of Skyland Trail), Lydia Turman Hansen ’87, and Margaret Perdue Denny ’76 (Vice President for Advancement for Skyland Trail) in front of the Rollins Campus for Young Adults at Skyland Trail during a faculty field trip.


Faculty and staff visit Lamon Luther, an Atlanta workshop where reclaimed lumber is hand made into furniture by those affected by homelessness and addiction.

among those who chose this particular trip. “It was an incredibly special experience to share a place that was so much a part of my dad’s life and work,” she says. “Being there in the trenches was a powerful way to experience and learn, which made that time very worthwhile. It is one thing to read about Skyland Trail, but being there, listening to the Chief Medical Officer, who is hands-on every day, sharing the statistics is way more meaningful and inspirational.”

6 | Fall 2017

In addition to learning about Skyland Trail’s services, faculty and staff learned from the design of the facilities. “I was expecting a more sterile, institutional, medical facility but instead found a state-of-the-art, inviting, comfortable, home-like environment,” Lydia adds. Beyond these trips, some faculty members are digging even deeper into the city to bring Atlanta’s rich history to their students. To empower teachers with richer knowledge of the Civil Rights movement and Atlanta’s role, Upper School faculty members

Jesse Breite, Sarbeth Fleming, and Kamille Harless ’95 led a summer workshop through the Center for Teaching, spending two days visiting locations important to the movement while teaching other instructors from Westminster and other area schools. “During my JanTerm class, I had the opportunity to have some Georgia State University Civil War and Civil Rights scholars over to speak with my class,” Jesse says. “They helped me to navigate and interpret the ways in which Atlanta has commemorated, and in some ways re-written, the

Alix Nail ’18 in the structural engineering lab at Georgia Tech where she helped a research team run tests during her internship.

Julian Mason ’18, his Westminster internship supervisor Anna Major, and his Home Depot mentor Jennifer Cook at the company’s headquarters.

past. Once I talked with those scholars, I felt introduced to the city, and I wanted to reproduce that for my students and colleagues.”

neighbors, better leaders and servants of conscience, and members of a more beloved community.”

Beyond the city’s well-known Civil Rights sites, the workshop explored lesser-known sites like the location where the Atlanta Race Riot of 1906 began. “That prompted conversation about what choices we make intentionally or passively about what to memorialize and what not to, whose narratives and perspectives shaped events at the time, how the outside world saw Atlanta, and how memory of the Riot has changed over time,” says Upper School history teacher John Monahan. “The stories of the time periods beyond the ’50s and ’60s, the stories of congregants, not just the ministers, and the stories of the economic and political growth of African-Americans in Atlanta are compelling; I hope a deeper and wider appreciation for them can enrich and inspire our students and me. We can all be better citizens, better

Watching an orthopedic surgeon reconstruct knees and elbows. Bringing the arts to underserved communities while finding out how a working artist makes a living. Creating promotional videos for a broadcast television network. These experiences are all reality for Westminster students who’ve taken advantage of opportunities for internships in Atlanta.

Internships Open Doors

Stepping out into the world without the familiar comforts of classmates in Pressly Hall or teachers in the library is an important step for many students on the way to becoming independent thinkers. An increasing number of students take that step through an internship, whether during a summer break or for credit during JanTerm.

“The kids really assemble their internships themselves. As a result, they are more creative, more out-of-the-box, and more meaningful to that individual student,” Jim says. “They come up with things adults wouldn’t dream of, which is the magic of JanTerm.” Alix Nail ’18 worked in a structural engineering lab at Georgia Tech during JanTerm 2017 helping graduate students research crosslaminated timber and steel bolts. Because Westminster offers students the option of creating and completing an internship during JanTerm, Alix had an opportunity to dive deeper in the lab, where she had also interned the previous summer. “I’ve been exposed to so many skills and experiences many of my peers will not have going into their future professional lives,” she says.


For all students completing internships—more than 40 during JanTerm 2017—experiencing the world outside of school is a gift. “They get to see the city as it lives and moves and breathes in the course of a day. When you leave campus, you realize there’s a whole world operating outside of our gates,” Jim says. Julian Mason ’18 traveled just a few miles from Westminster’s campus for his JanTerm 2017 internship in human resources at the corporate headquarters of Home Depot. From consulting daily with a mentor to shadowing in all areas of HR and sitting in on company meetings, Julian was able to see the inner workings of a career he’s interested in pursuing. “No day was the same. There was never a day when I repeated something from the previous day, and I appreciated that,” he says. Both students agree that lessons they learned outside of academic subjects were as important as those that

aligned with traditional academics. “The professor I worked with told me that high schoolers were not technically supposed to be working in the labs, but due to the professionalism of my letter, she knew I really wanted to work with the lab, and so she let me,” Alix explains. “The action of putting yourself out there and going for it is much better than waiting on others. My internship taught me that you have to speak up for what you want and not back down,” Julian says.

Making Local Connections, Winning Global Competition

TiE Young Entrepreneurs (TYE), a weekend program hosted at Westminster, attracts high school students from all over metro Atlanta who develop business plans and pitch their ideas to entrepreneurs. A team of five students from five different high schools, including Westminster’s

Ananya Ganesh ’20, took top honors in the global TYE competition over the summer. “TYE brings high school students from across Atlanta to our campus each week who are willing to devote a Sunday afternoon to working together on a Shark Tank-style project. Our students participate as well, so it brings our students in contact with peers from across the city and likewise exposes these kids to Westminster. In addition to the great experience our students have, TYE is a great way to share our campus and resources with Atlanta,” says Keith Evans. During the 2016-17 school year, Ananya and students from Cristo Rey Atlanta, Alpharetta, Riverwood, and Northview high schools developed Chill Wipes, a skin-cooling wipe that also offers sun protection made with natural ingredients, primarily marketed to athletes. After the team won first place in the Atlanta competition (where Ananya was

Ananya Ganesh ’20, center, and her team from TiE Young Entrepreneurs present their product, Chill Wipes, in international competition.

8 | Fall 2017

named MVP), Ananya and her teammates spent hours and hours— sometimes 10 a day—perfecting their product and presentation for global competition against top teams from all over the world in June. The team finished in first place, and Ananya won an award for delivering the best elevator pitch. One of the highlights of TYE for Ananya was connecting with Atlantans who were thrilled to help young people develop their ideas. “I had to step out of my comfort zone. I kept thinking, ‘What if this isn’t good enough?’ but I received a lot of validation,” she says. “My networking skills have really improved. If I ever need a patent, I have a network of lawyers I can go to. Whatever help I need, I can go to this massive entrepreneur network.” Ananya and her team consulted with community members in industries ranging from athletics to chemistry to patent law, in addition to developing a network of ambassadors in high schools across the country. Even though she’s yet to take chemistry in Upper School, Ananya credits Westminster for teaching her the skills she needed to make Chill Wipes an effective product. “To develop the wipe, we had to test some hypotheses. I thought back to my science classes, and I knew I had already done that; that’s what’s so awesome about Westminster. I got those research skills here.” Other skills she learned at Westminster, like the graphic design knowledge she applied to her team’s presentation and the video production skills she learned in eighth grade English, helped her set her team apart. She even went to a Westminster teacher for help crafting the perfect email to a potentially big partner: the Atlanta Braves. “I really wanted to do

that right, and Mr. (Jack) Morgan was so helpful,” she says. The skills she gained from reaching out to so many people paid off when it was time to compete. “I am 100 percent more confident in talking in front of people. We were talking to millionaires and billionaires about our product. If someone had told me last year that I’d spend 15 minutes talking to a billionaire about a product I had developed, I would have absolutely freaked out. But they teach you so well through this program, and we were confident in ourselves and our product, so we were ready,” she says.

Helping in the City We Call Home

When Westminster students serve, they’re looking to partner with people to address real needs in the community. The Glenn Institute for Philanthropy and Service Learning is one of the most significant exemplars of Westminster’s commitment to the city of Atlanta. Students from pre-first through twelfth grade are immersed in the community through longstanding partnerships like tutoring at the Agape Youth and Family Center, building homes with Habitat for Humanity, and a host of other experiences. Urban EdVenture, a yearlong philanthropy course for fifth graders, is both a culmination of Lower School community engagement experiences and a springboard to service at higher levels. The course uses studentdesigned projects to teach teamwork, leadership, and philanthropy. Because community engagement is already part of the students’ ethos, they’re ready to take control when it comes to how they impact the community. “They can captain their own ship, so we focus on things that hold a deep interest for them and encourage them to be the point of contact

with the non-profit partners, do the fact-finding, and design a project to meet that partner’s needs,” says Stacy Chalmers, Community Engagement Coordinator for the Lower School. Students drive the entire process, starting with selecting organizations to support. “Every homeroom chooses an organization. We do what’s called a ‘heart map’ to try to find things the students are interested in, then we try to find common ground within the classroom,” Stacy says. Many classes partner with organizations Westminster already works with. After students discover shared interests and select a nonprofit partner, their focus shifts outward. “It’s not about what we can do, but what the partner needs done,” Stacy explains. For example, when Friends of English Avenue was encouraging community members to grow plants at their own homes, fifth graders built planter boxes for the organization to give to neighborhood residents. The relationships students develop during Urban Ed are often enhanced when they don’t just learn about their partners, but from them. A group who worked with South Atlanta Bike Shop last year spent half a day learning about bike repair from kids who live in South Atlanta and volunteer at the shop, then held a bike drive at Westminster. The experiences Urban Ed provides set the groundwork for students to find and meet community needs throughout their lives. Christopher Block ’18, now a member of the Upper School’s Service Corps, is working to set up a program that connects Westminster’s Chinese Club with students taking Chinese at Toomer Elementary. “We do fun Chinese culture activities with the students like paper-cutting, mahjong, tai chi, and calligraphy. This after-school activity program WESTMINSTER | 9

Fifth graders learn about bike repair from a volunteer at South Atlanta Bike Shop during Urban EdVenture.

10 | Fall 2017

Meera Laskar ’24 works with a refugee during an English class with the International Rescue Committee. Her class also offered a Mother’s Day brunch to more than 50 refugee women as part of the Urban EdVenture unit.

will give them a fun, supplemental, hands-on learning experience that will hopefully make learning Chinese more enjoyable for them,” he says, noting that Urban Ed was one of his first immersive volunteer experiences. “It inspires me to volunteer to this day because my first experiences were enjoyable,” he says. Lauren Brown ’18, another Service Corps member, credits Urban Ed with teaching her the importance of empathy. “I remember learning that it is truly difficult to understand what someone is going through, whether it’s medical issues or going hungry, until you put yourself in that person’s shoes,” she says. “The lessons I learned and the experiences I had in Urban Ed sparked my journey to find my passion in service. Through Urban Ed, I found my way to my passion for education equality and financial literacy.”

By giving students the opportunity to build relationships with people of different backgrounds across the city, Urban Ed prepares students to lead, Stacy explains. “It’s easy to give time, talent, and treasure from afar. When you’re not engaged with the community and you’re not seeing a human being faceto-face and shaking hands or having a meal together, it’s easy to develop a paternal sense of what philanthropy is, without recognizing that we are in an interdependent relationship with the rest of our community,” he says. “It helps our students develop compassion that will help them one day bridge divides in the community when they find themselves in leadership positions. One of the best ways to generate leaders with a conscience is for students to have a broader perspective and see the community they are part of.”


“Being at Odyssey and Westminster makes me happy. My teachers make me happy. The environment makes me happy. I am proud of myself for all that I can accomplish here.” – Ciara, Eighth Grade Odyssey Scholar

12 | Fall 2017

Westminster and Odyssey A partnership for Atlanta’s future by Betty Emrey

Westminster has always held a deep commitment to community, born of our founding as a school for Atlanta and rooted in our Christian values. Our students, faculty, and staff devote time and resources to projects all across the city. One such project—our partnership with Odyssey—is especially close to home. Housed year-round on the Westminster campus, Odyssey offers a six-week summer program to highly motivated Atlanta Public Schools students who may not have access to key resources that could take their learning to the next level.


YEARS OF OPPORTUNITY Odyssey’s history dates back to the 1990s, when a variety of programs were held at Westminster that would eventually evolve into the six-week summer program that is present-day Odyssey. These initiatives included STARS (an elementary school program focusing on reading), Woodruff Center for Young Artists (a middle school program focusing on the arts), Air Einstein (for rising ninth graders with an interest in science), and Summer Scholars (for rising juniors and seniors, teaching skills for college). In 2000, the Collaborative Education Partnership was officially established, bringing these programs under a single umbrella under the guidance of Executive Director M.J. Thorne ’75 and Westminster Diversity Coordinator Oveta Willie. In 2006, it became the Odyssey program we know today, with a newly defined mission to expand the ambitions of Atlanta students and empower them on a successful journey to college and a fulfilling career. Westminster continues to provide inkind donations of space and technical support to the organization. Odyssey also receives funding through city grants and private donors to enrich its program. “Westminster feels like a college campus,” says Odyssey’s Executive Director Jeff Cohen. “Being here for the summer gives our students access to amazing facilities like the Innovation Space. We also benefit from the learning coming out of Westminster’s Center for Teaching, as we’ve been able to align the Odyssey curriculum with the same standards as Westminster.”

14 | Fall 2017

“Odyssey is one of the best private/public collaborations in the city,” says Whit McKnight,

Westminster’s Head of Lower School and former director of Odyssey’s elementary program. “It’s a true, reciprocal partnership where Westminster teachers work sideby-side with teachers from Atlanta Public Schools to develop and teach a curriculum that not only supplements what goes on in the public schools but also exposes these children to experiences that can help unlock their great potential.”

Immersive project-based learning. Over the years,

Odyssey’s curriculum has evolved in concert with Westminster’s to become both more challenging and more engaging. Originally, the program’s emphasis was on standardized tests. While the curriculum is still rooted in the subjects that students will study in the coming school year, Odyssey now uses immersive project-based learning to help students develop not only the hard skills they’ll need to master the tests, but also soft skills they’ll need to succeed in life, like problem solving, interpersonal communication, and leadership. Each grade level focuses on a theme or core question; all subjects contribute to a greater understanding of that question.

The path to college. Many Odyssey Scholars will be firstgeneration college students. So every summer, Odyssey takes rising juniors and seniors to visit a range of college campuses and meet with admissions counselors across Georgia and the Southeast. Rising seniors spend their last year on Westminster’s campus actively preparing for the college

application process: they get one-onone time with one of Westminster’s college counselors, Sarbeth Fleming, complete their common applications, write their application essays, and study the ins and outs of financial aid.


Benefits beyond. It’s not just participating students who benefit from the Westminster/Odyssey partnership. Public school teachers say the program gives them more freedom to be creative with the curriculum and guide students to dig into the subject matter. Westminster faculty benefit as well. “Teachers from the charter and public sectors have different ideas about how to develop curriculum and how to reach students,” says Whit. “I felt like my teaching got better because I was able to work alongside them in Odyssey.” Westminster’s Upper School students also fill important volunteer roles within Odyssey, helping teachers in the class and leading one-on-one science and math sessions.

With field trips, interactive projects, and plenty of fun with Upper School volunteers, Odyssey’s elementary students engaged in six weeks of project-based learning around themes including ocean ecosystems, healthy habits, human rights, and more.


After lessons on the Civil Rights movement, rising seventh graders painted benches with imagery reflecting what they’d learned. Much of their summer focused on the criminal justice system, with activities that included a staged crime, a visit to the DeKalb County Courthouse, a meeting with Lt. Jeff Hensal of the Atlanta Police Department, and a full mock trial.

16 | Fall 2017

The Atlanta connection.

Odyssey has the reach to make a significant difference in the broader Atlanta community. This past summer, Odyssey celebrated its largest enrollment to date, serving close to 400 children from 37 zip codes in grades 1–12. More than 70 percent of Odyssey students return year after year. Over time, they have numerous opportunities to get involved and build relationships in the city. “They get to see the connection that Atlanta has to the world at large, and they want to be a part of it,” Whit says. Tara Sweeney, Odyssey’s Director of Development, says, “Atlanta is a great city. Unfortunately, it’s also among the nation’s top major metro areas for economic immobility and income inequality. These kids have great potential to make a difference, but the barriers to their success are substantial. Creating a more level playing field for them is critical for all of Atlanta.” “At last year’s commencement ceremony,” says Whit, “it was fitting that the students graduated against a backdrop of the city skyline, because there’s a direct connection between the impact the Odyssey program has

had on these students and the impact they’ll go on to have on Atlanta.”

The needle is moving.

Data shows that Odyssey Scholars typically exceed the program’s expectations for improvements in reading, mathematics, and crossdisciplinary writing. “Odyssey graduates will have choices that they wouldn’t have had without going through this program,” says Executive Director Jeff Cohen. “And they’ll be better prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that come their way.” For the past five years, 100 percent of Odyssey rising seniors have graduated from high school on time (the Atlanta Public Schools’ 2016 four-year high school graduation rate was 71.5 percent). “It’s exciting that we get to see so many first-generation kids go to college,” says Vielka Reina, Odyssey High Director and Middle School faculty member at Westminster. “They say that if it weren’t for Odyssey, they wouldn’t have even thought about college.” Odyssey graduates have been accepted at colleges and universities across the U.S., as well as pursuing military careers.

COLLEGE BOUND. Over the past several years, Odyssey graduates have gone on to attend college at such prestigious institutions as Arizona State University, Cornell University, Georgia State University, Georgia Southern University, Morehouse College, the University of Georgia, and Tuskegee Institute. Clearly, Odyssey is hitting all the marks on measurable results. But what about the kind of impact that isn’t so measurable? Whit McKnight talks about attending a commencement ceremony where he saw graduating students for the first time since teaching them in third grade: “One boy was particularly shy as a child. But at graduation, he had been transformed into a charismatic speaker who could easily talk to board members and parents. Seeing the direct impact that Odyssey had on these children’s lives solidified for me why I wouldn’t want to be on any other board. Children are synonymous with potential. Our job is to do everything we can to unlock that potential. Odyssey is the perfect connection between the world of potential and the world of opportunity.”

College counseling is an important part of Odyssey for rising juniors and seniors. Students visit a variety of college campuses, fill out the common application, and prepare to apply for scholarships.


Odyssey and the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club

Join Forces

In June, Odyssey’s youngest scholars joined the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club (MSRC) for a citywide reading event with the help of Philanthropy 101 students. The collaboration between Odyssey and the MSRC is a natural fit. Both are driven to improve the future of children in the metro Atlanta community: Odyssey with its mission to empower students on the path to college and the MSRC by spreading information on the impact of reading with children from birth to the age of eight.

Share the joy of reading. The Mayor’s Summer Reading Club gives children free, age-appropriate books they can take home and share with their parents and siblings. This year’s books were: A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni and Farmer Will and Growing 18 |the Fall 2017 Table by Jacqueline Briggs Martin.

Eight year olds and college students may seem worlds apart, but according to a study commissioned by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the two are actually linked quite closely. The study showed that children who cannot read proficiently by the end of third grade are four times less likely to graduate high school by the age of 18. So it’s critical to reach these children as early as possible to instill a love—and habit—of reading. Odyssey and the MSRC both help fight what’s called “summer slide,” where students can lose as much as two months of grade-level equivalency in reading over the summer break. Summer slide is cumulative, and Ferst Foundation research shows it can account for as much as 85 percent of the reading achievement gap between lower- and mid-to-upper- income students. But simply reading with young children a few minutes each day can prevent summer slide and dramatically improve their vocabulary, comprehension, and critical thinking skills—skills that will serve them in high school and college and help them go on to lead successful lives. So two years ago, when the mayor’s office first approached Odyssey about holding a reading event for first

through fifth graders, Odyssey was definitely on board with the idea; however, it didn’t have the resources needed to plan and implement the event. That’s when Odyssey’s Executive Director Jeff Cohen and Callie Crabb, former Director of the Glenn Institute for Philanthropy and Service Learning, came up with the idea of turning the event into a handson project for Westminster students in the Philanthropy 101 course. “We’ve always had a relationship with Odyssey,” says Callie. “But the MSRC provided an opportunity for our students to learn more about how organizations work and gain real-life experience planning and running an actual nonprofit program.” The event was a perfect fit for Philanthropy 101, a summer course that exposes rising seniors to the nonprofit sector to prepare them to be informed and effective in the philanthropic world. To prepare for the MSRC event, Philanthropy 101 students shadowed Odyssey teachers and staff, sat in on classes, and conducted research to discover what kinds of activities might help get Odyssey students excited about reading. Back in their own classroom, they debriefed each other on what

they’d learned, pored over the books the MSRC would be providing for the event, and started to think. “It was really exciting to get to plan an event ourselves and use the things we’d learned,” wrote one Philanthropy 101 student in a survey about the experience. When the day came for the MSRC event, Westminster’s Philanthropy 101 team was ready with a carnivalstyle celebration featuring fun activities designed to make the stories and the language from the books more meaningful to young readers. The event began with Odyssey students reading the MSRC books as a group. Then they went to the playground for a scavenger hunt and competed for prizes in word search and carnival games. They were even able to practice their skills, reading aloud to dogs that were specifically trained for the job. “The Mayor’s Summer Reading Club was my favorite part of the Philanthropy 101 class,” responded another Westminster student. “Seeing the children’s faces light up when they read to the chocolate lab and golden retriever from Canine Assistants was truly worth all of the planning it took.”

One popular activity during the Odyssey/MSRC reading event was reading out loud to service dogs from Canine Assistants.


Wildcats on the BeltLine Westminster grads: connecting and transforming by Betty Emrey

Atlanta is a city of growth and modernization. From a small railroad settlement called Terminus, our city has transformed into the economic engine of the Southeast. Traffic, demographics, the economy, and a desire for a different lifestyle now have people returning to the urban core in droves after decades of suburban growth. Developers across the nation are looking newly at urban development, urban infill, and adaptive reuse. In Atlanta, it’s no surprise that many of the people at the forefront of reimagining the way our city lives and works are also Westminster grads. Here are just a few stories about how our alumni are reshaping Atlanta along the BeltLine, in Midtown, West Midtown, and in historic downtown.

James Alexander ’96, former Housing Policy & Development Director for Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., speaks with Philanthropy 101 students about his work with communities along the BeltLine, Atlanta’s multi-use trail loop.

20 | Fall 2017

At Westminster, Katharine learned to have a big-picture vision and take care of the details that would make it come to life. “When you’re developing highly complex, highbrand image properties, you have to constantly go back and forth between the details and the big picture to execute well on the vision,” she says. “Westminster also taught me to be a critical thinker. That’s important, because so much of what we do as developers is challenging the rules and the conventional way of doing things. You have to ask the questions and challenge the norms.”

Katharine Kelley ’82

Now with Newport, Katharine is part of a team that has put together the largest collection of remaining historic buildings in south downtown that made up the city’s oldest commercial shopping district – almost 50 buildings over eight city blocks. “A lot of the buildings were boarded up and abandoned,” she says. “We’re investing $250 million to preserve, renovate, and bring these properties back to life. This is an incredible opportunity to do something for the historical part of the city and to make a lasting difference.”

Executive Vice President, Newport US RE Katharine Kelley’s passion for city improvement dates back to her senior year at Westminster. When traveling, she saw how other cities created vibrant, mixed-use environments and blended historic buildings with new development. “I decided at that point that what I wanted to do was to build ‘people places .’” And for the past 30 years, she has. Katharine’s primary career focus has been developing urban infill properties and adaptive reuse projects around the city. Over the years, she’s crossed paths with the BeltLine in several significant ways. The first time was when she was working with Green Street Properties on Glenwood Park, a walkable, mixed-use development located just east of Grant Park. “At the very early stages of development, we pulled some documentation and found a very simple preliminary sketch for the BeltLine. We didn’t know much about it, but we wanted to incorporate it into whatever we did at Glenwood Park,” she says. Later, Katharine managed the team developing Ponce City Market while working with Jamestown. “In that case, the BeltLine was already under way. That property was a highly speculative and risky undertaking, and the BeltLine was a material part of what captured our interest,” she explains. Katharine then returned to Green Street and the restoration of another city landmark: Manuel’s Tavern. “Manuel’s is a beloved institution, and we were passionate about updating and preserving it for the next century of its life. There was a lot of pressure to not mess it up, and we took great pains to document everything and put it all back where we found it,” she says.

Chris Faussemagne ’90 Principal, Westbridge Partners For the past 17 years, Chris Faussemagne has been busy revitalizing Atlanta’s West Midtown neighborhood. His developments include White Provision, Westside Provisions District, and Elan Westside. Chris credits Westminster for helping him develop the resilience he’s needed to succeed in real estate. “In the 1990s, people knew the area around the intersection of 14th and Howell Mill because it was the back way from Buckhead to downtown, and there were good furniture and fabric stores. But it was all industrial,” says Chris. “It wasn’t like today where loft projects are WESTMINSTER | 21

After developing the White Provision Building, Chris Faussemagne ’90 worked to connect the building with the Westside Urban Market, creating the Westside Provisions District.

in such demand and people want to live in urban infill neighborhoods. There weren’t big funds available for this kind of development, so you had to be creative and persistent to put the financing together.” Today, Chris’s properties have transformed the area into a destination filled with new residential units, upscale retail spaces, and some of the best restaurants in the Southeast. Though he’s used to overseeing large-scale projects, Chris has discovered through his service as President of the Upper Westside Community Improvement District that small efforts also reap big rewards. “We wanted to do something about the litter in the area and found out that MARTA couldn’t afford to maintain trashcans at their stops. Through the CID, we were able to buy trashcans and hire a crew to pick up litter. It’s made a huge difference in the everyday quality of life,” he explains. “At Westminster,” he says, “you couldn’t just be good at math; you had to be good at all your classes to graduate. The ability to have a broad working knowledge of so many different subjects helps me communicate well with all of the partners involved in these complex projects, like bankers,

22 | Fall 2017

architects, contractors, and appraisers. Westminster helped me develop that capacity.” He goes on to say: “There are a lot of Westminster graduates doing great things all over town. It’s been extremely gratifying to have had the opportunity to be part of building this great neighborhood in the heart of Atlanta.”

Elizabeth Vason Hollister (Betsie) ’05 Executive Director, Upper Westside Community Improvement District Elizabeth Vason Hollister was first introduced to her future career though Westminster’s Urban Plan program. The economics unit, taught in partnership with the Urban Land Institute, exposes students to major concepts of city planning, then charges them with developing a master plan to revitalize a blighted area close to a fictitious city’s central business district. Today, Elizabeth is planning and implementing real, long-needed, and long-lasting improvements through her work with the Upper Westside Community Improvement District. “Every major economic center has a CID doing this kind of strategic planning,”

she says. “There is so much potential in Atlanta as the economic engine of the Southeast. And because the city isn’t policy-driven regarding development, there are lots of opportunities for individuals to make a difference. In areas where the infrastructure hasn’t kept pace with development, the local commercial property owners partner with the city to push for progressive improvements, create a long-term vision, and then execute against it.” During Joe Tribble’s Running Through History class, Elizabeth learned about urban transportation planning in a surprising way. “We’d start out every day with an address for a hotel and a train schedule,” she says. “If you got separated from the group, you had to be able to read a map and figure out how you were going to meet back up. It was very eyeopening to see how easy it is to get around in other cities.” As a graduate student in Georgia Tech’s city and regional planning program, Elizabeth deepened her study of urban transportation through an internship with the Atlanta BeltLine while the organization was engaged in right-ofway acquisitions on Atlanta’s west side. In her current role, Elizabeth oversees a number of projects designed to improve the flow of traffic for cars, transit, bikes, and pedestrians in the area, including Howell Mill Road, which crosses a section of the future BeltLine. “At Westminster, I learned how to weigh the interests of all the parties affected by a plan and defend my opinions. When I think about how I came to this role of leading the Upper Westside CID, I realize it was more than being in the right place at the right time; it was being the person who was concerned and reaching out—it was me raising my hand. Westminster gave me the confidence to do that.”

John Wilson ’03 Senior Vice President, Jamestown Ponce City Market Asset Manager Ponce City Market is one of Atlanta’s most ambitious and exciting new developments. Originally constructed by Sears, Roebuck & Co. starting in 1926, the two million+ square-foot structure is the largest brick building in the Southeast. The property sat mostly vacant for years until Jamestown acquired it from the City of Atlanta in 2011. Now, the property is home to numerous James Beard Award-winning restauranteurs, a vibrant mix of local and national retailers, residential flats, loft office space, and a rooftop amusement park. Once opened, this highly anticipated project, located directly on the BeltLine, quickly became a central gathering spot for locals and a destination for tourists. And at the heart of the team responsible for the property is John Wilson.

“Developing Ponce City Market took a lot of vision from a lot of people,” says John, a Senior Vice President for Jamestown, the property's owner. “Jamestown's senior leadership has great relationships with the city and the BeltLine. They took a huge bet in a challenging time in the real estate market to make this happen.” “There were actually a lot of Westminster people, like Jim Irwin ’97, Katharine Kelley ’82, and Hank Farmer ’03, involved in the initial development of PCM,” says John. “Westminster taught me to appreciate what you can achieve through hard work over a long period of time. The education is second to none, and the academics challenge you to operate on a level where you push beyond what you think you can do. Westminster also teaches you to think beyond yourself. You realize that it’s not just about you; it’s about your community and how you can make an impact.” As asset manager, John focuses on value creation efforts and leading the team that executes on everything from marketing to leasing to construction and operations. Ultimately, though, he says: “This is a community hub, and we spend a lot of time thinking about how to engage with the community, like hosting a weekly farmers market, art exhibitions, and fitness classes. At the end of the day, it’s very satisfying to look at this place we’ve created and to know we've had a stamp on bringing people together and impacting the quality of their lives.”


Jim Irwin ’97 President, New City “The biggest gift Westminster gave me was the core belief that there is nothing I can’t do,” says Jim Irwin. He put that belief to the test during the development of Ponce City Market, where he managed acquisition, design, development, and construction for Jamestown. “It was an enormous, six-year undertaking, but I just had this understanding that if I did my best, I would succeed,” he says. Jim’s next big test came when Kroger approached him with the opportunity to create a large, mixed-use development right across the BeltLine from PCM. “It wasn’t a project that Jamestown wanted to do, so they supported me in starting my own company—which is something I had always wanted to do.” Today, Jim is President of New City and in the process of building 725 Ponce on the site where Kroger once stood. “What drew me to development in the first place,” Jim says, “was the amalgamation of art and science.” 725 Ponce is designed to fit within the context of the neighboring historic buildings. It will offer Class A loft office spaces with multiple roof terraces overlooking Historic Fourth Ward Park, a 60,000 square-foot urban prototype Kroger, and a lobby connecting retail spaces directly to the BeltLine.

“It’s a privilege to be at the forefront of creating places that Atlantans really love. Before PCM and the BeltLine, there were not many big, iconic places you could take people from out of town where they could spend a whole day eating, shopping, and wandering. This city has been really

24 | Fall 2017

good at tearing down historic buildings, but we can build things with character," he says. "I’ve been so happy to be able to create places that support biking and walking and to think about urbanization in a different way.” “Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to run across a lot of Westminster alumni working in banking, architecture, construction—all the walks of life that I interact with. There’s an instant trust when you meet another Westminster person, whether they’re 10 years younger or older, because you know this person has the same commitment to excellence, and that’s a gift the School has given us.”

Steve Selig ’61 President and Chairman of the Board Selig Enterprises

Selig Enterprises has been an integral member of the Atlanta real estate community for nearly 100 years. Over the course of his career as the head of this family-owned and -operated company, Steve Selig has made significant contributions to the Atlanta skyline, including major developments in Midtown and Downtown. “I’m proud to be able to leave a legacy of so many quality projects across the city,” says Steve. “We’ve made a tremendous mark in Midtown. We helped make it a destination and build it into one of the most booming areas in the Southeast.” “Today, of course, the BeltLine is in the forefront of everything we are looking at from a development perspective. It’s doing great things for the city because it offers new modes of transportation—biking, walking,

jogging—where you can get from destination to destination instead of being out on the street in a car. In addition, you’re not alone on the BeltLine; there’s a lot of activity and compelling synergy,” he says.

property on the westside. Over the next 10 years, the company plans to convert the low-rise brick warehouses into office and retail space, add residential units and a boutique hotel, and develop 13 acres of green space.

Steve says that Selig is fortunate to have many properties on or near the BeltLine. Among those holdings is The Fresh Market on Peachtree Street just south of Peachtree Battle, which will be a prime spot for development when the BeltLine comes through, and Ansley Mall. Steve says: “There are no plans for this now, but I could see at some point in the future turning the businesses in the mall around to face the BeltLine.” Selig has also recently announced The Works at Chattahoochee, a new 80-acre

“During my time at Westminster,” Steve says, “I learned the value of hard work and honor in the classroom and teamwork on the football field. Being Jewish, I was a minority there, but I never felt uncomfortable. We were taught to respect others whether it was religion, nationality, or sexual preference.” Friendships forged at Westminster have lasted a lifetime. “I still meet for lunch every six weeks or so with a group of friends from the Class of ’61.”

Jim Irwin ’97’s company, New City, aims to further enhance the area near the Eastside BeltLine Trail with the development of 725 Ponce, a mixeduse property featuring an urban prototype Kroger.


Faculty and Staff

Farewells Pete Higgins

Head Swim Coach, 1960-2017 Having served Westminster and the swimming and diving team for 57 years before retiring this past spring, Pete Higgins is nothing short of a living legend within the Wildcat Nation and the Georgia swimming community. Pete’s love of swimming, and all sports for that matter, ignited early on. He grew up in Davis Island, Florida, where his father coached both football and track and field, and established the athletics department at the University of Tampa. Pete excelled in high school football, basketball, track and field, and, of course, swimming. He was an allAmerican prep school swimmer, the Florida high school state record holder in the 200-yard freestyle, and the MidSouth record holder in the 150-yard individual medley. Although Pete received many offers to play football in college, he headed to the University of North Carolina to swim while pursuing a bachelor of science degree in business administration. In 1952, Pete was one of five UNC athletes to contract polio. Doctors had to remove the calf muscle from one of his legs, forcing Pete to delay his athletic dreams until the following year. A few years later, while studying to get his master’s degree in education at UNC, Pete remembers “meeting a nice looking redheaded lady named Nell Ferguson, and the rest is history.” In 1960, Pete and Nell headed south so that Pete could teach and coach swimming at the newly established Westminster Schools.

26 | Fall 2017

Pete spent the next five decades making waves at Westminster and is truly unparalleled in the local, national, and international swimming community. He led the Westminster swimming and diving team to 42 Georgia High School Association state championships and coached more than 140 National High School AllAmerican athletes, four Olympic team members, and one Pan-American Games gold medalist. Pete was the first Westminster coach elected to the Breithaupt Athletic Hall of Fame and was recognized as the National High School Coaches Association State Coach of the Year six times, the Region 7 Coach of the Year three times, and the National High School Federation Coach of the Year twice. He is a member of the Georgia Aquatic Hall of Fame as well as the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame. Outside of Westminster, Pete is the founding president of the Georgia Swim Coaches Association and is a board member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame. His accomplishments are so numerous that the City of Atlanta proclaimed January 5, 1990, as “Pete Higgins Day.” Though his statistical record is seemingly unmatched, what really sets Pete apart as a coach, teacher, and friend is how he has influenced lives. “As a swimmer, I always sensed that Coach Higgins was principally focused on making me strive for success in life. The likelihood that I would fit into the 0.0001 percent of people to achieve international swimming greatness was so low, that he worked on making me a wellrounded person. His canvas was Pete Higgins Pool, but Coach cared about his swimmers wet or dry,” remembers swimmer and close friend, Wade Rakes ’98. Pete has always believed that his work is about much more than swimming. He is known as someone who sees the big picture and the importance of teaching students perseverance, dedication, and perspective. “Pete is an original,” reflects Westminster diving coach Cynthia Potter. “It has been a true honor to coach in the same program for almost 20 years. There was never any question that his priority was the student-athlete, even if he was not the one coaching the swimmer. Pete preached excellence, and found a way for his students to discover their own excellence, in and out of the pool.”


Harrison Merrill ’61 was a member of Pete’s first team at Westminster. “Pete is a great inspiration to me because he coached and cared about the swimmers with the least ability as much as he cared and coached the swimmers with the most ability. Pete never gave up, Pete never lost his sense of humor, and Pete will always have an honored place in the hearts and minds of his thousands of swimmers,” he explains. Harrison and the Merrill family chose to honor Coach Pete with their gift of the Pete Higgins Natatorium in Turner Gym in 2001. Pete’s cool demeanor, deep commitment, sense of humor, and gentle humility are just some of the qualities that make him an unforgettable coach. He knows when to demand and when to joke and credits much of his coaching success to his listening skills. Pete has a unique way of understanding people and what makes them tick—and uses that knowledge to help his athletes succeed. Pete sees coaching as a partnership and does everything he can to make each student-athlete better. He also has a way of turning swim lessons into life lessons.“Everybody is not going to be a competitive swimmer, but it is a nice thing to know what to do when the boat goes down,” Pete explains. “Get over to the shore, no matter how far away it is—just get there.” “I will miss the personal contact I have with the kids most when I retire,” Pete says. “The smiles on their faces—whether it’s an outgoing smile or just a subtle smile—you know they are just about to burst with excitement when they’ve just done a great job.” Pete plans to spend his retirement taking care of his wife Nell and spending time with his grandchildren. But he will still come to campus for games and events—Pete has only missed about a dozen Westminster football games in the last 57 years and plans to remain a dedicated fan. As Pete says: “rain, snow, 105 degrees, Higgins is in the stands.” -Ali Gray Prickett ’05

WESTMINSTER SWIMMERS QUOTED THE FOLLOWING “PETE-ISMS”: “You can accomplish a whole lot more with a smile than a frown.” “I’m more concerned about what’s happening with [the students] from the Adam’s apple north. They have to see themselves as being successful.” “Do you want to be someone who wishes for things to happen or someone who makes things happen?” “Don’t be sorry; be good.” “You come out here with almost no clothes on, stick your head in a cold bucket of water, and play wall tag for a couple of hours.” “If it is to be, it is up to me.” “The only place ‘success’ comes before ‘work’ is in the dictionary.”

From the Author: I am honored to be one of the countless students and athletes that Coach Pete has mentored and taught during his career. He first taught me to swim and has continued to be a mentor and a friend. It has been a privilege to coach alongside him for the past three years. The impact Pete has had on my life and the lives of so many is remarkable, and his legacy at Westminster is incomparable. Thank you, Pete!



old storage closet in Askew Hall. The space was cramped and located right off the hallway, offering no privacy for students to seek support. Over the years and under Rose’s guidance, the counseling department expanded in both personnel and space. Westminster now has six counselors spread across campus, each with spaces for student support, including the new Wellness Center in Pressly Hall, which offers room for students to congregate and relax.

Rose Harper

Director of Counseling 1991-2017 More than a quarter of a century ago, Rose Harper was drawn to Westminster by former colleagues Stan Tucker and Gwen Cleghorn. According to Rose, the pride with which Gwen talked about the School, its students, and its faculty inspired her to apply for a teaching position in 1991. The former loan officer-turned-Spanish teacher joined the faculty and immediately began leaving her mark on the language department and beyond.

“SHE WAS SELFLESS AND WORKED HARD TO CREATE A COUNSELING PROGRAM AND DESIGN A SPACE THAT WAS WELCOMING. SHE INSPIRED ME EVERY DAY.” – Alicia Davis Though she began her tenure at Westminster as a Spanish teacher, Rose felt the need to have a stronger connection with the students. That passion led her to seek and ultimately secure a counseling role at Westminster. When Rose first took over counseling duties, she was the sole counselor for all three divisions, tucked away in an

28 | Fall 2017

Personal highlights of hers include providing increased counseling and new support systems for students. “Our president and division head are very forward thinking. That absolutely excites me,” she says. “I’m at the right place to retire because all of my goals for counseling and student support are coming to fruition.” Rose oversaw the founding of the health and wellness program, support groups like GUISE and GERLS, and parent clubs. “None of that existed 16 years ago,” she says. “There is a lot more student support than ever before.” That will continue in the 2017-18 school year, as the counseling department hires a learning specialist, a position for which Rose advocated. Beyond her normal roles, Rose was always a champion of student support and admired by her colleagues. “She put her whole self and whole heart into Westminster,” says former counselor Alicia Davis. “If there was a student who needed anything, whether it be accommodations or emotional support, she put everything aside to focus on that kid. She was selfless and worked hard to create a counseling program and design a space that was welcoming. She inspired me every day.” Now that Rose is retired, she plans to still call Atlanta “home,” but she will be keeping her passport busy! She has vacations lined up for France, Thailand, and Morocco. In addition, she will take a few classes in art history and devote time to her seven grandchildren. Though she will be traveling the world, Rose will never forget her family at Westminster. “The sense of community and the connections here, they make you feel like family,” she says. “I’m always amazed by things my colleagues know. I’m fascinated by the teachers. Their camaraderie and willingness to help each other is something I had never experienced before.” -Justin Abraham


Patrick joined Westminster’s faculty in 2008 and quickly became a student favorite. His colorful stories of his French seaport hometown of Marseilles, charming sense of humor, and genuine concern for students made his classroom an inviting and engaging place to which students were drawn.

Patrick Mourjan

Upper School French Teacher, Grade Chair 2008-2017 Bidding adieu to beloved French teacher Patrick Mourjan is not easy. He has brought much more to Westminster than his skills as a native French speaker. Grade chair, mentor, faculty coordinator for student government, AP coordinator—Monsieur Mourjan has worn many different chapeaux during his time with us, and he has worn them all with grace and good cheer.


Teaching all levels of French students, from true novices to seasoned AP Francophiles, Patrick used his instincts and experience as a master teacher to inspire each of his students. He also co-taught French New Testament with Ralph Geeza for two years, an experience Patrick cites as wonderfully memorable, as was his time as a grade chair alongside partner Kamille Johnson Harless ’95. It is no surprise that this versatile and caring teacher was awarded the Parker Mentoring Award in 2010 and the Merrill Award in 2014. Asked what he enjoys most about teaching, Patrick overflows with enthusiasm for his students: “Their energy, their zest for life, their kindness, their hard work. Being around them is free therapy. The second I enter the room, I feel great, happy, and I’m ready to go!” And the enthusiasm goes both ways. Ansley Rapson ’14, who was fortunate enough to be in his class for two years, puts it this way: “Monsieur Mourjan is one of the kindest, happiest, most encouraging teachers I have ever known. If I was ever having a bad day, it instantly got better when I entered his classroom or just passed him in the hallway for a quick ‘Bonjour!’ Best of all, I always felt like he truly believed in me, and that made me believe in myself more.” Patrick carries many wonderful Westminster memories into retirement. He shares that the most cherished is “the demonstration of support and love from students and the entire Westminster community when my mother passed away. A huge bouquet of roses, countless cards, and many hugs. I will never forget it.” And we will never forget you, Patrick. Merci, au revoir, et bonne chance! -Stacie Davis Rapson ’83

– Ansley Rapson ’14



with social calendars and social media, Millie’s wisdom was timeless, and so they always made time for her,” he says. Millie expected her students to do their best and saw it as her personal duty to model that behavior for her students. “I’ve always had the philosophy that these children are only in my room for one year, so it’s my responsibility to give 100 percent of myself every day. If I’m slacking off or not expecting the best out of them, or they’re not seeing the best out of me, what kind of role model is that?”

Millie Pryles

Lower School Teacher 1984-2017 Millie Pryles embodies the Westminster spirit in so many ways. Her warm, loving spirit and genuine belief in her students’ potential for greatness have made her a memorable influence on many Lower Schoolers and their families, even years after teaching them. Millie, a Lovett graduate, accepted a second grade teaching position at Westminster after college when her alma mater didn’t have any openings. But before the end of her first year teaching, Millie felt at home at Westminster. “I thought, unless I’m unhappy, why would I leave? So, I didn’t.” Instead, she’s spent 32 years teaching young Wildcats. Millie counts herself fortunate to have taught approximately 600 students and worked with four wonderful principals, three presidents, and three different co-teachers during her tenure. Millie spent many of her years at Westminster co-teaching with Elaine Chestney; Scoot Dimon ’70, retired Assistant Headmaster for Student Life, dubbed the two of them the “Dream Team.” The pair taught both of his sons. She then worked with Virginia Gilbert, who retired at the end of the 2015-16 school year, and then with Westminster newcomer Deborah Peart during the 2016-17 school year. Millie says she was “nurtured by so many people” during her career. Of course, Millie did a lot of nurturing, too. Head of Lower School Whit McKnight says “countless” Middle and Upper School students would show up every year in Millie’s classroom to visit her. “Third grade stood out as an exemplary year for them because Millie made them feel special, and she honored the uniqueness of who they were. In a world where we often feel like our pre-teens and teens are too preoccupied 30 | Fall 2017

Westminster has recognized Millie for her teaching—and her always-give-your-best mentality—with several awards, including the Merrill Award (1999), the Alumni Fellows Award (2006), and the Bobo Family Award (2012). Another great honor came in 1996, when The New York Times interviewed her for a front-page story about teaching cursive handwriting and included a photo of one of her students, E Calk ’06, working hard during a penmanship lesson. But watching her students grow and learn—and laughing alongside them—are Millie’s best memories from the last 32 years. Graduation and the Alpha Omega Party, when seniors who attended Lower School at Westminster reunite with their teachers the week of graduation, were some of Millie’s favorite traditions. “Watching children change and blossom has been such a joy,” she says. “You’re so excited when you see them walk across the stage at graduation, thinking you had a tiny part in helping to grow that person.” Millie appreciates several travel and learning experiences Westminster provided for her, such as a sabbatical that gave her the opportunity to trace her roots in Ireland and Scotland, where she saw the cemetery where her greatgreat-great-great-great grandfather was buried and a stillstanding estate that belonged to her great-great-great-great grandparents. She also fondly recalls a summer conference in Philadelphia that left her inspired to “be the greatest teacher in the whole world” and a two-week program for teachers in Martha’s Vineyard that involved reading 175 children’s books. Millie hopes to pursue some hobbies during her retirement, like painting or learning to play violin. Her seven grandchildren, with whom she hopes to spend more time are sure to bring her great joy. As for her legacy at Westminster, Millie hopes she’s remembered as someone who not only taught students the lessons they needed to learn, but who taught them to love the act of learning itself. “I hope they, like me, have a real love of learning,” she says. “I hope I’ll always be a student myself, learning something new.” -Erin Dentmon


Through the Years…

Millie Pryles at swim meets with Rand Glenn Hagan, left (along with her co-teacher Elaine Chestney), and Lila Hagan ’24. Rand was a member of Millie’s first class at Westminster, and her daughter Lila was part of Millie’s last class.

Rose Harper, far left, takes members of the Spanish Club to volunteer at a local middle school during the 1993-94 school year.

Patrick Mourjan, whose tales of his childhood in France kept his students entertained, teaches in this photo from the 2012 Lynx.

Pete Higgins, a poolside presence at Westminster for more than half a century, offers guidance to swimmers in 1967.



Catching Up with Retired Faculty by Jane Lauderdale Armstrong ’74

Hazel Cochran From her desk beside the principal’s office, Hazel Cochran was the face, voice, and heart of Westminster’s High School, as it was known at the time, for 40 years. For parents, she was a reassuring hello at the other end of the phone. For the faculty, she was a dependable colleague and supportive friend. But for literally thousands of Westminster students, Mrs. Cochran was the person they turned to when they needed a “during-the-day mom.” With her warm smile and genuine compassion, she could allay any fear, solve any problem, ease any disappointment, and redeem any bad day. When Hazel came to Westminster in 1971, the School still had separate high schools for boys and girls. Her close friend, Betty Fincher, had decided to step back from her job as secretary to the Girls School principal, and she suggested that Hazel apply for the position. Hazel’s neighbor, Jim Patton, also encouraged her to apply. It turned out that there was also an opening in the Boys School. Upon meeting Hazel, Dr. Pressly asked her if she would consider that position. Growing up with two brothers and having had plenty of business experience, Hazel was not fazed by the prospect of the virtually all-male culture of Campbell Hall. After her meeting with Charles Hawkins, the Boys School principal at that time, it was clear to everyone that she was the perfect fit. Hazel was an eyewitness to many of the most significant events in Westminster’s history. Her career spanned all four of Westminster’s past presidents, as well as eight principals—Charles Hawkins, Peter Tower, Charlie Breithaupt, Jere Wells, Kevin Reel, Dave Drake, Jessica Bagby, and Ross Peters. During her tenure, the boarding program closed and the dormitories were retrofitted; the Boys School and Girls School merged into a single unit, as did the Boys Junior High and Girls Junior High; Broyles Arts Center was built, vastly expanding the School’s visual and performing arts programs; Turner Gym was rebuilt, doubling the size of the facility; Robinson, Love, and Clarkson Halls came online; the campus was redesigned to 32 | Fall 2017

accommodate the physical plant, ease the traffic flow, and expand parking; the gift of Adams Gate created a place to welcome guests to campus; and technology revolutionized all facets of school life. Yet in the midst of so many changes, Hazel says the constants at the School are Westminster’s greatest strengths. “The faculty and staff, the academics and athletics, the supportive parents and alumni all combine in a way that sets the School apart,” she says. When asked about her most cherished memory, Hazel immediately named Lucy, Charlie Breithaupt’s dog. On numerous occasions, she watched Lucy put her head in the lap of or lick the hand of an anxious student waiting to see Mr. Breithaupt about a discipline issue or other problem. Lucy seemed to know just what to do. Hazel says she shed many tears watching Lucy work her magic. Hazel’s tenderness was equalled by her consummate professionalism. Her meticulous attention to detail and ability to flawlessly manage multiple tasks were critical to ensure that all aspects of the High School ran smoothly. Former High School Principal Charlie Breithaupt summed up her impact this way: “I’m sure a lot of Westminster graduates and their families count Hazel as a significant part of their school experience. She was always there to guide, support, and help in any way she could. She made my job much easier in every way.” Hazel retired from Westminster in 2012. Her husband and she live in Ball Ground, Georgia, a place she describes as Mayberry without Andy and Opie. The close-knit community offers all the best things about small town life, including Halloween decorations on Main Street and flags flying for patriotic holidays. She has been busy with her garden club and planning birthday parties for senior citizens through the Lions Club. She also enjoys catching up with friends over lunch, but the best thing about retirement is having more time with her family, particularly her son, daughter-in-law, and grandson, Josh.




Brooks Batcheller Alumni Fellows Award

Kamille Harless ’95 Alumni Fellows Award

Ami Kadaba Alumni Fellows Award

Carolina Mares ’08 Alumni Fellows Award

Anne-Sophie Hankla The Anise Chason Wallace Foreign Language Professorship

Tony Souza Bob Ward Catbackers Award

Debbie Cushing ’83 The Bobo Family Award

Linda Searles The Davidson Family Professorship

Peyten Williams ’01 The Eddie DuPriest Professorship for Excellence in Teaching

Kevin Soltau The Goizueta Foundation Faculty of Distinction

Jason Smith The Goizueta Foundation Professorship in Language

Reanna Ursin The Hawkins Professorship in English

Jason Vuckovic The Janet A. and George T. Piercy Science Professorship

Bill Caldwell The Joseph and Amelia Craver Endowed Professorship

Shaffiq Welji The Joseph and Amelia Craver Endowed Professorship

Heather Karvis The Love Family Endowed Chair

Lauri Jones The Madison F. Cole, Sr. Professorship

Haley Brown The Merrill Award

Anna Major The Merrill Award

Susan McMillan The Merrill Award

Maria Russell The Merrill Award

Caroline Bayer The O. Wayne Rollins Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching

Jesse Breite The O. Wayne Rollins Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching

Stacy Chalmers The O. Wayne Rollins Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching

Liza Cowan The O. Wayne Rollins Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching

34 | Fall 2017


Stephanie Hines The O. Wayne Rollins Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching

Kate Morgens ’91 The O. Wayne Rollins Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching

Dana Notestine The O. Wayne Rollins Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching

Kristen Orsini The O. Wayne Rollins Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching

Tim Shabanowitz The O. Wayne Rollins Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching

Emily Ashe ’82 The Schoen Faculty Excellence Award

Terri Kaplan ’76 The Schoen Faculty Excellence Award

Pamela Martinez The Schoen Faculty Excellence Award

Shon Cameron The Schoen Staff Excellence Award

Montrey Jackson The Mary DuPriest Award for Staff Excellence

Thomas Morse ’93 The Mary DuPriest Award for Staff Excellence

Anthea Economy The William A. Parker, Sr. Exceptional Service Award

Janet Lee The William A. Parker, Sr. Exceptional Service Award

Matt Sottnick The William A. Parker, Sr. Exceptional Service Award

Pearl Zhu The William A. Parker, Sr. Exceptional Service Award

Jona Braden The William A. Parker, Sr. Mentoring Faculty Award (Seventh Grade Student)

Katie Argall The William A. Parker, Sr. Mentoring Faculty Award (Eighth Grade Student)

Akwetee Watkins The William A. Parker, Sr. Mentoring Faculty Award (Ninth Grade Student)

Sara Pangle The William A. Parker, Sr. Mentoring Faculty Award (Tenth Grade Student)

Curtis Goings The William A. Parker, Sr. Mentoring Faculty Award (Eleventh Grade Student)

David Charney The Woodward Fund Biblical Studies Professorship



Mary Jarrell Third Grade

Laura Krentel Third Grade

Tom Marine Fifth Grade

Patrick Egan History

Ashley Gayanilo History

Maria Malone Learning Specialist

Francisco Simbaña Advertising and Media; STEAM Intern

Tyree Simon ’92 Long-Term Substitute

Florence Sumner Science

Cynthia Swanson ’02 Latin

Perry Williams Science

Beth Abdillah First Grade

Alyssa Rooks Pre-First Grade


36 | Fall 2017



Brad Bernstein Counselor

Val Causevic Spanish

Meagan Christensen Library

Courtney Cox Biology

Elizabeth Davidson Latin and Bible

Kevin Hare Computer Science

Nicole Justice Environmental Science

Sarah Latham Math

Nick Merrill Physics

Meredith Miller Counselor

Catherine Monroe Learning Specialist

Robin Oliver French

Adam Pullen Physics



Congratulations, Class of 2017! Kyla Barnwell laughs at a line from Senior Class Co-President David Choi’s speech.

Grade Chair Sandi White leads the Class of 2017 girls to Pressly Patio.

Jack Amerson, Roman Bacchetta, Danny Adkins, Hunter Adams, Grant Ansley, and Cortez Alston wait for the ceremony to begin.

Senior Class Co-President Klara Lou addresses her class.

Ashton Maguire and Madison Malloy thoughtfully listen to Scoot Dimon’s address.

Jimmy Balloun proudly walks across the stage to receive his diploma from President Keith Evans.

Hats off to the Class of 2017!

Watson Jackson and Ethan Price enjoy a moment together after the graduation ceremony.

David Choi, Alexis Fisher, and Arman Varzi are all smiles after the ceremony.

38 | Fall 2017


Class of 2017 Senior Honors Liz Bailey, Mitchell Ostrow.............................................................................................. Valedictorians Christine Liu, Josh van der Eerden.................................................................................Salutatorians Edward Holliday.............................................................The President’s Volunteer Service Award Lexi Young....................................................................................................Community Service Award Jack Schlafly, Ellen Buchanan................... Vernon S. Broyles Jr. Christian Leadership Award Harrison Hall.................................................................................................................. Forensics Award Bill Huang, Klara Lou, Grace Weston.................................................................... Visual Arts Award Christine Liu................................................................................... Performing Arts-Orchestra Award Cyrus Faruque.........................................................................................Performing Arts-Band Award Anna Harrison, Allie Jeffay................................................. Performing Arts-Theatre Arts Award Rachel Drury.............................................................................. Performing Arts-Vocal Music Award Zay Malcome, Alex Clark............................................................................................. Athletics Award Maxxe Albert-Deitch.................................................... Gwendolyn M. Cleghorn Memorial Award Joshua Pinckney.............................................................. David T. Lauderdale Jr. Memorial Award John Sheehan, Maddie Turner...................... Leila Mason Venable Eldridge Memorial Award Cartie Werthman........................George R. Lamplugh Excellence in American History Award Jolisa Brown......................................................................The Goizueta Foundation French Award Cate Simons...........................................................................The Goizueta Foundation Latin Award Eliza Miller.......................................... The Goizueta Foundation Lazaro Herrera Spanish Award Christine Liu, Omari Matthews...........................................Robert M. Sims Math/Science Award Vicky Zhang.................................................................. The Branham Award for Greatest Progress Bradley Jones...........................................................................................................Berry Senior Award

Graduation speaker Scoot Dimon ’70 shares his inspirational address with the Class of 2017.

Cristina Dalton...........................................................................................................Dean’s Award - Girl Ben Barber................................................................................................................. Dean’s Award - Boy Will Miller.................................................................................................Head of Upper School Award Kit Walker, Bennett Porson................................................................................................. Spirit Award Julia Grady, Myles Hudson.....................................Croft Family Service and Fellowship Award Klara Lou...........................................................................................Atlanta Journal-Constitution Cup Michelle Bibiano...............................................................................Thyrza S. Askew Nobility Award Florida Huff....................................................................................Judith A. Smith Citizenship Award Roman Bacchetta.......................................................................James G. Patton Citizenship Award Liz Bailey............................................................................ Frances Isabelle Outler Memorial Award Cyrus Faruque....................................................................................Richard L. Hull Memorial Award



Mapping the

Future Eighty colleges and universities across the United States will welcome at least one Westminster graduate this fall. The 192 members of the Class of 2017 will take the spirit of the Wildcat Nation with them as they continue their educational journeys.








40 | Fall 2017

































Ties That Bind

Following the Commencement ceremony each year, new graduates gather with their family members who are also graduates of Westminster, NAPS, or Washington Seminary. These “Ties That Bind” are strong and far-reaching.

Helen Hill Adams ’81, Hunter Adams ’17, Gene Hill ’57

Danny Adkins ’17, Hannah Adkins ’15

Daniel Deitch ’92, Jonathan Deitch ’88, Maxxe Albert-Deitch ’17, Joel Deitch ’80, David Deitch ’85

Jack Amerson ’17, Jenny Low Amerson ’82

Kevin Ansley ’80, Grant Ansley ’17, Alex Ansley ’13

Mark Balloun ’84, Jimmy Balloun ’17

Alex Balser ’15, Reid Balser ’17

Emily Barshay ’12, Rebecca Barshay ’17

Alison Bennett ’11, Charlie Bennett ’17, Connor Bennett ’13

Clay Bradley ’79, Christian Bradley ’17

Chuck Breithaupt ’82, Laura Breithaupt ’13, Michael Breithaupt ’17, Julie Breithaupt Speyer ’84, Charlie Breithaupt (Retired Faculty)

Hayes Buchanan ’13, Ellen Buchanan ’17

42 | Fall 2017


Mollie Cahillane ’13, Jack Cahillane ’17

Brian Chu ’17, Emily Chu ’15

Mary Coffin ’15, Max Coffin ’17, Nina Hopkins Raine ’55, John Coffin ’13

John Weston Collins ’15, Ashley Jenkins Collins ’85, Landis Collins ’17, Kendle Jenkins Hassinger ’83

Conrad Cornell ’14, Georgia Cornell ’17, Christian Cornell ’12

Conoly Cravens ’15, Caroline Cravens ’17

Margarida Dalton ’14 , Cristina Dalton ’17, Jimmy Dalton ’76

Robert deGolian ’15, Katharine deGolian ’17, Lisa Loudermilk deGolian ’75

Brooksie Dickey ’11, Caroline Lide Ketchum ’78, Cary Minnich Lide ’53, William Dickey ’14, James Dickey ’17, Barbara Green Hill WS ’50, Brooks Lide ’76, Courtney Lide Dickey ’83

Maddie Downs ’14, Owen Downs ’17

Matthew Faler ’17, Ashley Faler ’14

Vincent Gangemi ’15, Natalie Gangemi ’17, Jag Gangemi ’13

Hannah Grady ’08, Henry Grady ’80, Julia Grady ’17, Sarah Grady ’11

Allison Greenberg ’17, Benjamin Greenberg ’15

Ashley Zeiler Hager ’86, Jaquelin Hager ’17, Van Zeiler ’91



Bill Mitchell ’92, Joel Murphy ’76, Charlie Mitchell ’61, Louise Hatcher ’17, Nancy Mitchell Hatcher ’88, Gannon Murphy ’94, Caroline Murphy ’08, Natalie Murphy ’06

Matthew Hennessy ’13, Andrew Hennessy ’17

Sarabeth Hoffman ’17, Alex Hoffman ’09

Beth Huang ’16, Bill Huang ’17

Robbi Harrison Hudgins ’83, Ree Harrison Brannen ’76, Susanna Lauten ’17, John Hudgins ’83, Harrison Hudgins ’17, Sam Lauten ’15, Julie Hudgins Lauten ’82

Doug Ellis (Emeritus Trustee), Florida Smith Ellis ’61, Florida Ellis Huff ’85, Florida Huff ’17, Graham Huff ’83, Graham Huff ’15

Suzanne Newberry Murphy ’76, Beth Newberry ’83, Charlotte Irvin ’17, Jim Irvin ’81, Suzannah Irvin ’15, Holland Whitaker ’15

Eliza Jameson ’13, Hannah Ruth Jameson ’17

Tory Jeffay ’08, Allie Jeffay ’17, Dylan Jeffay ’11

Sheffield Hale ’78, Ellen Hale Jones ’81, Bradley Jones ’17, Allen Jones ’13, Matt Cole ’67, Sharon Jones Cole ’68

Grace Kelekci ’17, Laura Kelekci ’12

Patrick Kelley ’12, Kevin Kelley ’17, Jack Kelley ’10

Owen Ladner ’17, Ben Ladner ’15

Carter Maguire ’13, Ashton Maguire ’17, Caroline Maguire ’14

Anuj Manocha ’84, Ajay Manocha ’17, Shefali Manocha ’15

44 | Fall 2017


Omari Matthews ’17, Remi Matthews ’15

Kelly McCutchen ’15, Caroline McCutchen ’17

Gregg Scott McMorran ’83, Emma McMorran ’17

Hamilton Miller ’15, Allie Smith Miller ’17

John Miller ’90, Will Miller ’17

Deric Long ’85, Kelli Long Moore ’90, Alisia Moore ’17, Deric Long ’12

Melanie Bolch Isbill ’02, Natalie Bolch Morhous ’01, Todd Moran ’84, Jorie Moran ’15, Margaret Moran ’17, Crawford Moran ’86, Allison Bolch Moran ’86, Harriet Cotten Moran ’56

Michael Moulton ’14, Caroline Moulton ’17

Grey Notermann ’12, Win Notermann ’17

Tommy O’Neal ’16, Kristen O’Neal ’15, Katie O’Neal ’17, Michael Owens ’04, Andrew Owens ’08

Alexander Ostrow ’13, Mitchell Ostrow ’17

Ria Parikh ’17, Caleb Parikh ’15

Rahul Patel ’13, Simran Patel ’17

Marsha Hill Mitchell ’57 (deceased), Jack Patton ’17, Laura-Hill Mitchell Patton ’87

Martha Mattingly Payne ’78, Emma Payne ’13, Ian Payne ’17, Sam Payne ’07, Matt Payne ’10



Marnie Robertson Porson ’84, Bennett Porson ’17

Nidhi Rao ’17, Deepti Rao ’15

Sue Kiss Richardson ’83, Anna Richardson ’14, John Richardson ’17, Bryan Kiss ’92, Karen Kiss ’87, Schuck Richardson ’12

Jason Robinson ’04, Jordan Robinson ’17, Juleon Robinson ’11

Jack Schlafly ’17, Maddie Schlafly ’14

John Sheehan ’17, Joe Sheehan ’13

Alexander Silliman ’15, Margaret Silliman ’17

Sydney Simmons ’17, Dwan Henderson Simmons ’89

Harriet Witham Ellis WS ’48, Edward Ellis ’85, Eloise Simons Eager ’71, Cate Simons ’17, Alan Simons ’69, Libby Black Simons ’75, Frampton Simons ’77

Julian Smith ’17, Aaron Smith ’14

Marguerite Spiotta ’12, Marianna Spiotta ’17

Lebby Harrison Thompson ’91 , Elizabeth Harrison ’17, Rankin Thompson ’17, Anna Harrison ’17, Mary Kent Harrison Ellis ’92, Chason Harrison ’84

Kristen Plybon ’06, Mary Tucker ’17, Kellson Tucker ’16

Russell Ude ’15, Ian Ude ’17

Katie van der Eerden ’13, Joshua van der Eerden ’17

46 | Fall 2017


Wesley Vance ’12, Beau Vance ’17, Salem Vance ’10

Judith Anderson Vanderver ’84, Hannah Vanderver ’17

Charlie Walker ’14, Kit Walker ’17, Maggie Walker ’12, Ben Walker ’17

Noah Weinstein ’17, David Weinstein ’87

Mindy Cates Banks ’86, Grace Weston ’17, Amy Cates Lance ’84

Wilson Wheeler ’17, Tom Wheeler ’14

Ben Wilson ’17, Margaret Wilson ’14

Gray Woodham ’15, Rollins Woodham ’17, David Woodham ’81

Hunter Bremer ’15, Taylor Bremer ’13, Hank Bremer ’83, Davis Woodruff ’17, Mimi Bremer Woodruff ’80, Grace Woodruff ’15

Margaret Wyant Schultz ’80, Isabelle Wyant ’17, Barbara Turner Trammell ’55

Lexi Young ’17, Maia Young ’15

Catherine Zhang ’14, Vicky Zhang ’17

Class of 2017 graduates with their alumni parents.

Additional Class of 2017 graduates (including soccer team players not present in the group photo) with their alumni parents.


Wildcat Den

Spring 2017 By Scoot Dimon ’70 | The Voice of the Wildcats and Jay Watts Baseball

Boys Golf

Coach Chad Laney ’95’s first season as the Wildcat skipper included big wins over Woodward, Buford, and Lovett. The BatCats qualified for the AAA state tournament but fell in the opening round in a threegame series against Greater Atlanta Christian. Freshman sensation Parks Harber wowed the crowd when he hit five home runs in the first two games of the series.

Under the direction of head coach Andy Dunn, Westminster boys golf won the Area 4 championship and finished third in the AAA state championship in Blackshear. Sam Lape ’19 was the low-scoring Wildcat at the state tournament with a final score of 145 (+1). He and David Dickey ’20 were both named AAA first-team all-state golfers for the 2017 season.



The crew team had another solid season with impressive highlights spread throughout the spring. Sophomore Brooke Ansley finished third at the Atlanta Erg Sprints with a time of 7:37.6 for 2,000 meters, making her the third-fastest individual in the state. The Varsity 4+ earned a silver medal at the John Hunter Regatta, and the Novice 8+ earned a silver at the Clemson Sprints. At the Mid-South Scholastic Championship, Westminster’s Novice 4+ composed of Sarah Grace Allen ’20, Olivia Tordella ’20, Marlyn Medrano ’18, Nylah Desnoyer ’20, and coxswain Charlotte Brown ’20 also earned silver.

Westminster had several impressive individual performances throughout the spring season, but the Cats failed to qualify for the state meet as a team. The GymCats defeated both Lovett and Pace in a home tri-meet in April with a season-high score of 97.2 and dual-sport star Tori Penn ’20 finishing first in the all-around.

Girls Golf The girls golf squad qualified for the state tournament and finished seventh in the final standings. Wildcat Ashley Jian ’20 finished seventh individually with a 21-over-par score of 165. Highlights during the regular season included dual meet wins over Lovett and Pace and a third-place finish in the Longhorn Par Three Shootout.

48 | Fall 2017

Girls Lacrosse The girls lacrosse squad finished the season with a 14-7 record after playing one of the toughest schedules in the state. The Cats picked up big wins over Upper Arlington (Ohio), Lovett, and Starr’s Mill and reached the state semifinals, losing to the eventual state champion. Isabelle Dadd ’17, Julia Grady ’17, Emma Kate Lill ’19, Kate Miller ’18, and Margaret Moran ’17 were all named first-team all-state.

Boys Lacrosse In one of the most exciting athletic events of the school year, the Wildcats won the GHSA state championship in overtime over Lovett, 10-9, when senior All-American Jack Patton scored from about 12 yards in front of the goal. The win was the 18th of the season for Westminster, who also defeated Walton, Lassiter, and Marist earlier in the spring. The state title was the third for boys lacrosse in the last five years.


50 | Fall 2017

Wildcat Den

Girls Soccer

Boys Tennis

Few teams dominated their classification like girls soccer in 2017. While the Cats did win the AAA state title, that only tells part of the story. Westminster was nationally ranked throughout the season and outscored their opposition in the postseason by a combined score of 30-0. The girls ended the season ranked 13th in the nation in the USA Today poll. The championship was the third in a row for the Wildcats.

For the 17th time in the last 18 seasons, the Wildcats ended the boys tennis season as the GHSA champion team. After going undefeated in the regular season, Westminster stormed through the AAA state tournament brackets, defeating their five opponents by a combined score of 21-0. This spring marked the 12th time in school history that both the boys and girls teams have won a tennis state title in the same year.

Boys Soccer

Girls Track and Field

Coach Scott Snyder and the boys soccer squad picked up another AAA state championship with a thrilling 2-1 win over Pace. Whit Sperau ’19 and Watson Jackson ’17 scored the goals in that final game that propelled the Cats to their first state title since 2013. The team finished the spring ranked ninth nationally in the USA Today poll.

Westminster girls track and field had an impressive spring season, winning the Region 5-AAA meet and finishing third in the state meet in Albany. Naima Turbes ’19 finished the season as an individual state champion in both the 800and 1,600-meter races. Earlier in the season at the FSU Relays, she set a new school record in the 1,600 meter with a time of 5:00.36.

Girls Tennis Coach Scoot Dimon ’70 ended his Westminster coaching career with a state title as the Cats edged a strong Calhoun squad 3-2. During the regular season, the Cats had impressive wins over St. Pius X, Greater Atlanta Christian, Blessed Trinity, Woodward, Marist, and Lovett. They also won the Region 5-AAA championship with a 3-1 victory over Pace. Wildcat superstar Grace Staes ’18 was featured by the Atlanta JournalConstitution as one of the top individual players in the state in any classification.

Boys Track and Field

Competing in one of the toughest regions in the state for boys track and field, Westminster finished both second in the Region 5-AAA meet and second in the AAA state meet. Senior Jack Cahillane ended his Westminster career with a state title in the pole vault and a new school record in that event, 16 feet. Senior Brandon Hammond won the AAA boys 400-meter dash, finishing in 49.53 seconds.


Wildcat Tracks WCAT WINS MAJOR ACCOLADES WCAT, the School’s student-run webTV station, was awarded the title of “Best Overall School Broadcast Program” by the NFHS Network. The network—a joint effort by the National Federation of State High School Associations and PlayOn! Sports—is composed of more than 1,500 member schools in 48 states. The group also received two first-place Student Production Awards from the Southeast EMMY Chapter. In the Live Sports Event category, Bennett Porson ’17, William Turton ’19, and the WCAT crew were recognized for their coverage of varsity football. In the Audio/Sound category, Alex Bean ’16 and Andrew Shackelford ’16 won awards for producing Owen Ladner ’17’s performance of “Across The Universe” for the second annual WCAT SoundStage.



EMMY Awards since 2014


students involved across all three divisions


athletic competitions and school events streamed during the 2016-17 school year

115,000+ total views on YouTube channel

Eighth Graders Advocate for Human Rights Eighth grade advisement groups spent a day researching and presenting about human rights issues and nonprofits to a panel of school and community members this spring. The winning team visited the state capitol building in April. The students met with an advocate for human rights to discuss creating change in the community, toured the Capitol, and visited Governor Nathan Deal’s office.

52 | Fall 2017


WiredCats Place Fifth in the World In April, Westminster’s Upper School robotics team traveled to the FIRST Robotics World Championship in Houston, Texas. The WiredCats—in an alliance with a team from South Forsyth High School and two teams from Israel—finished fifth in the world!

YOU BE THE CHEMIST At the You Be The Chemist state challenge, Matthew Propp ’21, Kiran Gadde ’21, and Yash Kadadi ’21 claimed the top three spots in the competition. Matthew then represented Westminster and the state of Georgia at the National Challenge in June.

Academic Quiz Team Undefeated at State Tourney The Upper School Academic Quiz Team won the Georgia Academic Team Association’s State Championship in March! The team—composed of Jessica Lao ’19, Jack Amerson ’17, Anup Bottu ’20, Cole Walker ’19, and Alejandro Lim ’19— faced six opponents and finished undefeated.



WILDCATS BUMP INTO MATT DAMON AND CHRIS HEMSWORTH Upper School students on the way to France bumped into two A-list celebrities, Chris Hemsworth and Matt Damon, at the airport. The students were traveling to Strasbourg to study the French language and culture by living with host families and attending a local private school.

Debaters Earn High National Ranking Harrison Hall ’17 and Mary Bryce Brannen ’17 reached the semifinals of the Tournament of Champions—the premier national championship for high school policy debate—at the University of Kentucky. Earlier in the year, the duo won first place at the National Debate Coaches Association National Championship in Utah. Harrison and Mary were ranked sixth nationally—out of more than 2,000 pairs of students—at the end of the season for their overall performance since September 2016.

Pre-First Students Visit College Counseling Pre-first students visited the McCamish Family College Counseling Center, not to plan for college, but to check out the Skype booth that students use to interview with college representatives around the world. The pre-first graders were developing their own story booth to record advice for the incoming pre-first students.

54 | Fall 2017


Siblings Donate Food Siblings Connor ’21 and Kelsey ’23 Li donated more than half a ton of food to Malachi’s Storehouse to help those in need. Connor rescued 1,246 pounds of food from Cox Enterprises, Autotrader, and Northside Hospital, and Kelsey secured 252 pounds of food from Sprouts Farmers Market.

Art by Cyan D’Anjou ’18 on Display in London

Cate Simons Named Student of the Year

A piece of artwork titled “Lucifer (Matchsticks)” by Cyan D’Anjou ’18 was one of just 20 works selected to appear at the 2017 Saatchi Gallery Art Prize for Schools exhibition in London, England. Cyan’s is one of two pieces from the United States.

Cate Simons ’17 was recognized as the Georgia Classical Association’s Student of the Year. Cate was honored for her commitment to the development of Classics in both the school community and the external community. Congratulations!



SCHOOL CELEBRATES CHRISTIAN EMPHASIS WEEK Each division celebrated Christian Emphasis Week with a different theme. The Lower School celebrated with the theme of “Peacemakers.” Students submitted prayers through a special prayer box that has now become a part of the community. The Middle School’s week focused on “Miracles” and included talks by Atlanta Falcons guard Ben Garland and the Rev. Pam Driesell of Trinity Presbyterian Church. “Strength Through Weakness,” the theme in the Upper School, featured assemblies about overcoming adversity and a visit from John Dau, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan.

Anna Wilkinson ’18 Wins Award for Poetry Anna Wilkinson ’18 has been named a 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards gold medal recipient. Anna was recognized for her work of poetry, “My Old Friend Magdalene, Picture Book, Dear Margaret.” National medal winners are identified as the most talented young artists and writers in the nation by panels of creative professionals. This year, more than 330,000 works of art and writing were submitted for consideration. Less than one percent—just 2,500 works—were recognized at the national level. Gold medal recipients were invited to attend a ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City in June.

56 | Fall 2017

Phoebe Liu ’18 Performs Symphony Solo Phoebe Liu ’18 performed as a soloist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. She was also the 2016-17 Concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra.


Fundance Film Festival Fourth graders once again flexed their creative muscles and developed organizational and presentation skills by producing their own independent documentaries. Students and their families were invited to walk the red carpet when the films premiered at the film festival.

Eighth Graders Invent and Investigate

Opa! It’s the Greek Parade

Eighth graders showed off some of their best ideas in science and technology—including detecting head trauma in sports helmets, using sneakers to recharge batteries, and eliminating smoke during a house fire— during the annual science fair.

A Westminster classic, the Greek Parade was the culmination of the fifth grade’s Greek mythology studies. This year, the gods and goddesses presented a living museum for students and parents outside Pressly Hall.


Summer at Westminster While summer on campus is much quieter, it is by no means less busy. During June and July, when vacations are under way and school books begin to collect dust, Westminster’s summer programs are in full swing. From classes on campus to experiences around the world, here is a look at how Westminster summers. Learn more about Westminster’s summer experiences at westminster.net/summer

Philanthropy 101

Summer School

Global Programs

Rising juniors and seniors enrolled in the Glenn Institute’s Philanthropy 101 took an immersive, four-week look at philanthropy in Atlanta this summer. Among the highlights, students learned how city leaders are addressing food insecurity and the role foundations play in communities. Students also hosted the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club, providing literary-themed activities for Odyssey students. Field trips to nonprofits like the Woodruff Foundation, Park Pride, Canine Assistants, and Jacob’s Ladder gave Philanthropy 101 students the opportunity to see how organizations operate and impact the Atlanta community. The ultimate goal of the course is to empower students to change the world by being thoughtful stewards of their time, talent, and treasure. As one student said, “Philanthropy 101 has served as a jumping off point into what I hope is a lifelong journey of learning about how to better my community.”

Summer 2017 brought many exciting changes to Summer School. The tradition of excellence in teaching has been a constant throughout the years, as well as ample participation in summer programming by our bright and motivated students. In addition to the usual array of courses, students were offered several new courses in both the Middle School (Coding, STEM, and Transitioning to the Middle School) and the Upper School (Scientific Research and SAT Biology). Other Upper School novelties included a later start time, office hours, Ice Cream Wednesdays, and numerous field trips. Strengthening student support and the transition to the Middle and Upper Schools were two important focal points of the summer. Planning is already under way for next summer with new courses being considered and new opportunities for the community to connect with Summer School.

Once again, Wildcats pulled out their passports to travel all around the globe. Middle and Upper School students adventured to China, France, Spain, Guatemala, Argentina, Colorado, Hawaii, and Maine. Rising seniors continued the tradition of conquering Europe by foot during the 40-day, multi-country Running Through History course. Students toured multinational corporations, studied at local schools as part of exchange programs, and immersed themselves in unique experiences.

58 | Fall 2017

For more details on the dozens of global opportunities Westminster offers, visit westminster.net/global-programs

Summer Camp 6


weeks of fun

unique camps

1,299 campers served


different schools represented from as far away as New York, Colorado, and Brazil Campers from


years old through college


Alumni News

Dear Alumni, “Who knows only his own generation remains always a child.” As I attended graduation ceremonies for my son, Ryan Watson ’13, at the University of Colorado Boulder several months ago, this inscription above the George Norlin Library entrance struck me. While an original phrase by Norlin, the sentiment is expressed throughout literature both classical and modern. It is indeed our roots that allow us to grow, and our history has forged our current path. Knowledge and understanding of our past provide insight that creates purpose and possibility. It is with this in mind that I am excited to serve as president of the Alumni Association at a time when Westminster is looking back to its roots even as it casts new visions and designs new blueprints for the future.

More than 65 years ago, led by the inspiration and drive of Dr. William Pressly, a group of determined citizens worked against all odds to ensure that Atlanta had an academically strong independent school fully committed to excellence and Christian-based principles. These citizens included CEOs, parents, civic leaders, presidents of Oglethorpe University and Agnes Scott College, Atlanta’s superintendent of public schools, and many others. Since that time, Westminster has nurtured the minds, bodies, and spirits of more than 11,000 students with what Dr. Pressly described as a wholesome intensity. As alumni, we have gone out into the world daring to dream and instilled with the belief that each and every one of us can make an impact both inside and outside our own homes. The contributions made by Westminster alumni across numerous industries, education, government, the military, medicine, sports, the arts, faith-based initiatives, and more are nothing short of extraordinary. We are true leaders of conscience. Atlanta and our world are forever changed because of the leadership of many Wildcats—teachers, students, trustees, parents, alumni—all of whom remain committed to excellence. In a rapidly changing world, together, with curious minds, an appreciation for those who have come before us, and the love of challenge, we will continue to build a strong school community and change the world! It’s the Wildcat way! GO CATS! Susan Ayres Watson ’83 Alumni Board President

60 | Fall 2017





Susan Ayres Watson ’83 President

Catherine Humann Callaway ’03 Nellie Black Brewer ’04 Beau Allen ’05* Mary Lauren Schoen Garrison ’05 Mary Lowell Downing Pettit ’06 Dorothy Padgett ’07 Hannah Grady Jones ’08* Matt Lunati ’08 Ross Conway ’09 Carolyn Candler ’10 Ross Erskine ’10 Ginger Abblitt ’11 Saharsh Chordia ’11 Chapman Wilkinson ’12 Grace Caswell ’13

Sarah Hawkins Warren ’00 President-Elect Matt Tarkenton ’88 Alumni Giving Chair Wab Kadaba ’87 Recording Secretary Alan Elsas ’58 Martha Garrett Massey ’65 Bruce Bryant ’72 Ellen Hale Jones ’81 Karen O’Leary Taylor ’85 Billy Levine ’88 Charlie Henn ’91 Anna Driver Wick ’95 Chris Suh ’95 Dominique Holloman ’97 Wade Rakes ’98 Kennedy Hicks ’01 Beau Allen ’05 Hannah Grady Jones ’08

*Denotes Co-Chair and Alumni Board Member

Mr. John R. Jones Jr. ’74 Honorary Member and Board Historian

THE THOMPSON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY HALL OF FAME The Thompson Science and Technology Hall of Fame is an opportunity for Westminster to recognize alumni who have made significant contributions to a professional field related to the sciences, medicine, and/or engineering. One individual will be eligible to receive this honor annually provided individuals nominated meet and/or exceed the criteria upon which the honor is based. The awards will be on display in the Warren Lecture Room, Robinson Hall. The criteria by which nominees will be considered for this recognition will be based on accomplishments achieved during his/her professional career. Qualified recipients will be individuals who have:

Each year during Commencement ceremonies, the Westminster Alumni Association presents two awards to outstanding alumni: the Alumni Service Award and the Distinguished Alumni Award. Graduates of North Avenue Presbyterian School, Washington Seminary, and Westminster are eligible to receive the awards. Traditionally, current members of Westminster’s Board of Trustees, faculty, and staff, as well as members of The Westminster Schools Alumni Association Governing Board, are not eligible. ALUMNI SERVICE AWARD This award honors an alumnus who has consistently provided exemplary service to Westminster, enhancing the mission, success, stature, and well-being of the School. Each recipient must be able to accept the award in person at Commencement. DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD This award honors two alumni who have provided extraordinary service to the community or who have achieved outstanding personal, business, or professional success. Each recipient must be able to accept the award in person at Commencement. Send nominations to: Office of Alumni Engagement The Westminster Schools 1424 West Paces Ferry Road, NW Atlanta, GA 30327 alumni@westminster.net

• Earned national and/or international recognition for his/ her professional contribution to science, medicine, and/or engineering. • Demonstrated values pertaining to the philosophy statement of Westminster, namely “…personal excellence, responsible citizenship…and lifelong learners caring for and serving the world.” Send nominations to: Office of Alumni Engagement The Westminster Schools 1424 West Paces Ferry Road, NW Atlanta, GA 30327 alumni@westminster.net



Board of Trustees Vice Chair Clay Rolader ’72, graduation speaker Scoot Dimon ’70, Distinguished Alumni Award winner Stacey Davis Stewart ’81, Alumni Service Award winner Dave Drake ’61, Distinguished Alumni Award winner Dr. Steven Frank ’87, President Keith Evans, Alumni Board President Court Thomas ’90

2017 Award Winners Each year at Commencement, Westminster recognizes outstanding alumni. The following awards were presented by President Keith Evans and Court Thomas ’90, then President of the Alumni Board, on May 13, 2017.

62 | Fall 2017


Alumni Service Award The Alumni Service Award is presented annually to an alumnus who has given exceptional service to the School.

David B. Drake ’61 Dave Drake is a proud member of the Class of 1961, son of two former Westminster faculty members, father of two Westminster graduates, and beloved retired faculty member. Dave loyally served the School as a teacher, coach, and administrator for 48 years before retiring in 2016. His impact on generation after generation of Wildcat students and athletes is both lasting and immeasurable. Dave’s spirit of willingness to fill any role or need that emerged at Westminster was a hallmark of his extraordinary career. Dave served on the Board of Trustees Education and Student Life: Communications Committee, led the Upper School faculty campaign for the Westminster Fund from 2007 until 2010, and served as interim head of the Upper School for the 2010-11 school year. Outside of his official roles, Dave has also faithfully served our alumni community. He was always the first one to volunteer to teach a class at Back-to-School Night, lead a Reunion tour, and attend any and every alumni event. Our alumni were especially excited whenever Dave traveled to our alumni events outside of Atlanta! Our alumni across the country loved getting to visit with their former classmate and teacher. When his fellow classmates established the Class of 1961 Scholarship Fund in his honor during their 50th Reunion year, Dave was both humbled and grateful. While he is officially retired, Dave continues to remain active in our alumni community serving as an

ambassador for our Golden Wildcats, unofficial host for Alumni Basketball Night, and regular attendee and volunteer at many other events. He also worked on a campus history research project which will ensure future generations of Wildcats have access to our storied past.

Georgetown University. She also holds honorary degrees from Trinity University, Morgan State University, Texas Southern University, Lincoln University, and Alabama A&M University. She serves on several boards nationally and in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Distinguished Alumni Awards

Stacey is married to Jarvis C. Stewart, the Chairman and Managing Partner of I + R Media, LLC a strategic communications firm based in Washington, D.C. The Stewarts have two children, Madeleine and Savannah.

Each year at Commencement, Westminster recognizes and honors outstanding personal, business, or professional achievement by two alumni.

Stacey Davis Stewart ’81 Stacey D. Stewart joined the March of Dimes Foundation as its fifth President on January 1, 2017. In this role, Stacey promotes a global strategy around the organization’s mission to give all babies a healthy start. She is responsible for leading all aspects of the organization’s strategy, vision and operations. Stacey came to March of Dimes from United Way Worldwide, where she held several positions including Executive Vice President of Community Impact Leadership and Learning. Stacey most recently served as United Way’s U.S. President where she provided strategic direction in driving community impact, revenue, and enhancing the organization’s brand. A business veteran, Stacey also has held a number of senior roles, including Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Vice President for the Office of Community and Charitable Giving at Fannie Mae, as well as President and Chief Executive Officer for the Fannie Mae Foundation. Stacey has a master’s of business administration in finance from the University of Michigan and a bachelor of arts in economics from

Dr. Steven Frank ’87 Dr. Steven Frank, MD, is a Professor of Radiation Oncology at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. He attended the University of Pennsylvania and entered the US Navy as a submarine officer on the fast attack submarine USS Batfish (SSN-681) in 1991. In 1996, he returned to Atlanta for medical school at Emory University and received his medical degree in 2000. Steven moved to Houston for residency and joined the faculty at MD Anderson in 2005. He is extensively published, has several patents, and developed the first FDAapproved MRI marker for prostate cancer treatment with brachytherapy. He is the medical director of the MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center and treats both prostate and head and neck cancers. He is a physician scientist, inventor, innovator, and entrepreneur, and the founder and chairman of C4 Imaging. He is married to Dr. Ivy Frank, a veterinarian, and has four beautiful daughters and a golden retriever.



Reunion Committees Thank you to our 2016-17 Reunion Committees! Reunions provide an exciting opportunity for alumni to reconnect with old friends and the Westminster community. We look forward to welcoming our alumni to campus each April and are grateful to these committee members for their leadership. Class of 1967- 50th Reunion Jack Halpern (Co-Chair) Cindy Bickerstaff Mallard (Co-Chair) John Ager Judy Alexander Augustine Bill Barwick Pete Bentley Bill Bost Ruthanna Jolley Bost Len Persons Bourland Henry L. Bowden Jr. Sunny Passmore Carr Frances Berry Carroll Matt Cole Tal Dryman John Oliver Ellis Jr. Paul J. Erlandson Jep Hogan Vesta Owens Jones Alex C. Kliros Wendy Soper McSweeney Lora Millard Doug Mitchell Mickey Mixson Ann Ford Nermoe Barbara Obenshain Segars Cary Pendergrast Sibley Vernon Skiles Frances Fowler Slade Karen Johnston Vance Connie Roelofs Washburn Bob Woodward Class of 1972- 45th Reunion Matt Flournoy (Event Chair) Clay Rolader (Fundraising Chair) Helen Ballard Bruce S. Bryant Betty Fuller Case Emily Dannals Davis 64 | Fall 2017

Bruce Durkee Jolie Eisner Ric Felker Cynthia Gentry Debbie Dever Gray Geoff Hammett Bill Hensel Jeb Howell James D. Landrum Jr. Chuck LeCraw Henry A. Munford Ann Upshaw Perry Janet Dobbs Roach Mark H. Shaw Stan Watters Class of 1977- 40th Reunion Stacy E. Stubbs (Chair) Lisa Satterthwaite Bridges Nona Cleghorn Gibbs Ann Sheaffer Gibert Jason C. Gold Merritt Huber Laura Dornbush Iarocci Susan Gold Kahn Lulu Dobbs Mann Nick Manos Tom McLain Cheryl Jones Pappy Rosa Hagan Ramsey Scott F. Rees Doug Taylor Class of 1982- 35th Reunion Susan O. Stribling (Event Chair) Peter R. York (Fundraising Chair) Ivan Allen IV Emily Wilkinson Ashe Stewart Brann Walter P. Bridges Tom Chubb

Wayne Copeland Angela Tarkenton Cordle Cynthia Robinson Fox Chrissy Rogers Hite Dede McCamy Houk Robin Robinson Howell Julie Rees Kelly Patty McIntosh-Mize Susan DuPre Midis William L. Monroe III Daniel H. Popky Allison Wilson Reid Charles C. Schoen IV Carroll Irby Vaughan Kim Kolze Venter Ginger Berry Verch David T. Watson Jr. Leslie H. Zinn Class of 1987- 30th Reunion Lydia Turman Hansen (Event Chair) Charlie Hurt (Fundraising Chair) Laura Hall Allen Kendall Butterworth Jenny Casarella Hal Clark Lizzie Baird Crawford Allan N. Crawford III Stockton Croft Norma A. Fiedotin Steven J. Frank John A. Hansen Jennifer Ide Wab Kadaba Will Lybrook Anne Strickler Mitchell Allen Moseley Matthew Norman Tripp O’Connor Kimberly Booth Rimmer


Eleanore Robinson Julianne Sanders Schaaf Wight Floyd Schuelke Mindy Selig Shoulberg Caroline Shaffer Vroon Jennifer Smith Wray Class of 1992- 25th Reunion Rush Bradley (Fundraising Co-Chair) Jessica Dobresk Bradley (Fundraising Co-Chair) Sarah Brannon Dozier (Event Co-Chair) Kate Bellows Hudson (Event Co-Chair) Brian K. Adams Thomas Carroll George H. Connell III Mary Kent Harrison Ellis Jason W. Hammer Mary Beth Farr Hutchison Ransom James Melanie Ripps McKnight Julian B. Mohr Jr. Catherine L. Muller David Overend Brooksie Robbins Paget Hines Savage Todd M. Stein Taylor Mitchell Wright Class of 1997- 20th Reunion Dominique I. H. Holloman (Event Chair) Alden Rivers Potts (Fundraising Co-Chair) Whitney Walters Woodward (Fundraising Co-Chair) Ged Avery Emily Poe Boyer Betsy Brady Elias

Lauren Duncan Griffey Kelly Shankle Henson Elisabeth League Irwin Maggie Gallant Isenberg Jackie Bennett Phillips Beth Whitaker Tate Jim Thompson Class of 2002- 15th Reunion Liz Olmsted Griffith (Event Chair) Charlie Yates (Fundraising Chair) Caitlin Prendergast Brodie Michael J. Butkus Jr. Taylor Hudson Butkus Allie McSwain Byrd Lib Gray Constantine Caroline Banta DeRosa Ned Douthat Chris Fellows Kristin Simmons Ferguson Alex Kaufman Kenny Kraft Ira L. Leeds Peter MacKenzie Meg Strother McCullar Sarah Beasley Mount Clay Prickett Ginny Branch Stelling Charlotte Marie DuPre Sturtz Cynthia Swanson Conor Tochilin Class of 2007- 10th Reunion Brad Mann (Event Co-Chair) Caroline Warren Montgomery (Fundraising Chair) Dorothy Padgett (Event Co-Chair) Katie Sturniolo (Event Co-Chair) Ben Woodall (Event Co-Chair) Stephanie Newton Bedard Cooper Carter

Sawyer Duncan Julia Greenberg French Wes French Reeves Henritze Naomi Johnson Steven Menendez Charlie Ogburn Jenna Smith Ramsey Hagan Ramsey Callie Sadler Katie Schwartz Taylor Stevens Helen Strickler Anne Collier Reid Wood Caldwell Zimmerman Class of 2011- 5th Reunion Sarah Grady (Event Chair) William Linginfelter (Fundraising Chair) Ginger Abblitt Baylor Banks Hilliard Burton Saharsh Chordia Wiley Falconer Jessica Gaudiosi Shelby Grady Richard Hendrix Clare Houk Jimbo Izlar Jack Kidd Trevor Nash Maggie Read Chris Reagan Charlie Sherman Cameron Smith Catherine Smith Shane Thomas Aubrey Wells



Westminster Fund Class Agents Many thanks to our 2016-17 Westminster Fund Class Agents! Each year, the annual fund achieves great success because of the leadership and dedication from these alumni volunteers. We are extraordinarily appreciative of their commitment to Westminster. Alumni Giving Chair Matt Tarkenton ’88 1978 Liz Cooper 1979 Ralph Paris 1980 Ladd Jones 1981 Mary Lee Gibson Bartlett 1983 Patton Bethea Fowler Pam Byerly Watkins 1984 Andrew Abernathy Brad Addicks 1985 Christina Pak Hanratty Florida Ellis Huff Charlie Mills 1986 Hamilton Williams Karen Koenig Winarsky 1988 Jason Foss 1989 Millar Effinger Freeman Libby Ralston Ingram Julie Kruger McNulty Robert Rearden 1990 Harrison Roberts John Wheeler

66 | Fall 2017

1991 Derek Kahn Jenny Pocalyko Latz 1993 Kelly S. Black-Holmes Devon McElwee Corrigan Rachel Derr Dickert Laura H. Thompson 1994 John Nastopoulos 1995 Kevin Bourke Grant Gandy Geoff Gober Anne Park Amann Hopkins Mary Dickinson Trammell 1996 Margaux Hanes Brown Justin Grant Sandy Mitchell Kinnett Megan Phillips Watson 1998 Nancy Paek Glover Wade Rakes Ernie Wetzler Anna Margaret Griffin Woods 1999 Edward Bauer Allison Strueber Dyer Lindsey Wong Webb 2000 Mitchell Ermentrout Jeff Gordon Shelley Spring Williams

2001 Allie Baxter Stewart Caughman Reid Childers Charles Griffin Natalie Bolch Morhous Ellen H. Persons Alice Henderson Strachan Barclay Taylor 2003 Emily Balentine Barbour Catherine Humann Callaway Elizabeth “Oz” Oswald 2004 Mark Kaufman Michael Plunkett 2005 Cason Wilson Given 2006 Mary Lowell Downing Pettit 2008 Caroline E. Cordle 2009 Cameron L. Egan Dori Longley Robbie Ottley If you are interested in serving as a Class Agent for your class, please email Ann Giornelli ’10, Assistant Director, Alumni Annual Giving, at anngiornelli@westminster.net.


Events Nashville Reception Monday, February 6, 2017 Alumni in Nashville, Tennessee, joined together at Watermark Restaurant to reconnect and catch up with fellow Wildcats. With more than 40 people in attendance, our Nashville alumni base is rapidly growing! Special thanks to the host committee—Carolyn Griffin Hall ’81, Sara Elizabeth Burke Bradford ’95, Andrew Maxwell ’01, Nick DuPuis ’05, Parker Abblitt ’06, Mary McGuirk Holby ’08, Neil Holby ’08, and Ford Lindsay ’12.

CATtalks Wednesday, February 22, 2017 At the second annual CATtalks event, alumni, parents, and friends enjoyed hearing from Maggie Gallant Isenberg ’97, Executive Vice President for APA PR, and Dr. Anna Bacon Moore ’89, Director of Student Support at Westminster. Maggie and Anna led fascinating discussions on the entertainment industry in Georgia and neurological implications for students in the modern world, respectively.

Washington, DC Reception Tuesday, February 28, 2017 Our DC-area alumni gathered at The Army and Navy Club to visit with fellow Wildcats and help launch the DC Alumni Chapter! Special thanks to Laura Bond Barker ’80, Bill Callahan ’83, Danica Leach Griffith ’98, Andrew Blaisdell ’99, Jim Hobart ’01, Alex Battey Bailey ’02, Katie Egan Hammer ’04, Caroline Cordle ’08, and Walter Love ’10 for serving on the host committee.

Young Alumni Happy Hour Thursday, March 30, 2017 More than 60 young alumni (Classes of 2002-2012) reunited at Pauley’s Crepe Bar for the annual Spring Young Alumni Happy Hour.



New York City Reception Tuesday, April 18, 2017 New York City-area alumni and friends gathered together and celebrated their Wildcat roots at Park Avenue Tavern this past spring. Special thanks to the host committee for their flexibility and enthusiasm in helping to host this year’s event: Haynie Lowrey Wheeler ’74, Pamay Bassey ’89, Caroline Kibler ’93, Laura Moreland Reynolds ’94, Charlotte Meadors Gould ’03, Sarah Sherman ’06, Michael Saadine ’07, Caroline Robinson ’08, Chris Faux ’09, Jonathan York ’10, and Mary Zack H’Doubler ’11.

Golden Wildcat Cocktail Reception Friday, April 21, 2017 At our seventh annual Golden Wildcat Reception, Westminster alumni who have already celebrated their 50th reunions enjoyed an evening at Capital City Country Club. Thank you to our hosts, Tread Davis ’56, Winifred Storey Davis ’57, H. Alan Elsas ’58, Millie Hudson Lathan ’59, Ed Croft ’60, Lynn Petters Cochran Schroder ’61, Eleanor Howell Effinger ’63, Sidney Rodbell ’64, Martha Garrett Massey ’65, and Margaret Londeau Woods ’66, who helped energize the biggest group we have had to date!

NAPS and Washington Seminary Lunch Wednesday, May 3, 2017 North Avenue Presbyterian School and Washington Seminary alumnae enjoyed catching up at the annual spring lunch.

Alumni Board Senior Lunch Wednesday, May 10, 2017 The Alumni Board welcomed the Class of 2017 into the Alumni Association with the annual luncheon, which included the alwayspopular ice cream sundaes, class trivia, and laundry hampers for their college dorm rooms.

Alpha Omega Party and Lower School Reunion Wednesday, May 10, 2017 Class of 2017 Wildcats who attended Westminster in Lower School enjoyed a trip down memory lane at the annual Alpha Omega Party.

68 | Fall 2017


Spring Beyond the Gates Friday, May 19, 2017 Batter up! The Alumni Board hosted members of the Westminster community at SunTrust Park for a once-in-a-lifetime morning. Guests enjoyed hearing the inside story about the business of baseball from Allison Hearn Dukes ’93 and Terry McGuirk, then toured the new Atlanta Braves stadium.

Young Alumni Basketball Tournament Tuesday, May 23, 2017 The weather may not have cooperated for the annual Young Alumni Flag Football Tournament, but we did not let that stop us! While it rained outside, our Wildcats brought the competition inside for an exciting Alumni Basketball Tournament!

Chapter Events 2016-17 Westminster now has two alumni chapters—one in NYC and one in DC! These chapters have put together unique opportunities for alumni living in the Big Apple and the District. The NYC Chapter participated in an event at the NBC Innovation Space during the 2016 Summer Olympics, a Braves vs. Mets game, a service project with the New York Food Bank, and a Wildcat Roundtable discussion with Drew Silverstein ’07 at Amper Music. The DC Chapter kicked off its first event with a tour of the U.S. Capitol with Will Miller ’08, Special Assistant to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. To get involved with your alumni chapter, contact the Chapter Co-Presidents. NYC: Lawson Anderson ’05 and Ryland McClendon ’03; nycalumni@westminster.net. DC: Will Miller ’08 and Katie Plomgren Lavelle ’99; dcalumni@westminster.net.



Reunion Weekend

Friday and Saturday, April 28-29, 2017 The annual Alumni BBQ was a great way to kick aoff Reunion Weekend! The fun continued on Saturday with a picnic and parties organized by the class committees.

70 | Fall 2017


Class of 1967

Class of 1972

Class of 1977

Class of 1982

Class of 1987

Class of 1992

Class of 1997

Class of 2002

Class of 2007


School Days:

Home is Where the Heart Is Atlanta has always been the home of Westminster and its legacy schools, Washington Seminary and the North Avenue Presbyterian School. Even though the original buildings of the schools no longer exist, they live on in photographs that have been collected and the memories of the alumnae. Each school moved more than once, but the schools’ final locations are much cherished by those who attended. According to the 1953 Facts and Fancies yearbook, the Washington Seminary students moved into the “Home Building” at 1640 Peachtree Street NW in June 1913. The house became the dormitory for 30 boarding girls, the garage was converted into a junior high school and drama department, and then, for the rest of the students, a two-story building was erected. Other improvements and additions were made over the next 40 years before the school’s

merger with Westminster in the fall of 1953. This site is located opposite from the Amtrak train station, across Interstate 85. As Miss Askew noted in her 1951 history of NAPS, “The fall of 1922 found NAPS reunited and in three buildings—the white columned home for the dormitory [Thrower Hall], the new building with spacious classrooms for the Lower School, and the McCord home for the High School [Synod Hall].” The addresses in Atlanta changed in the late 1920s, but the final address of the school was 331 - 341 - 351 Ponce de Leon Avenue, just down the street from the iconic Mary Mac’s Tea Room. Photographs of the grounds, buildings, and students are always welcome. Please contact Pamela Nye, Archivist, at archives@westminster.net or 404-609-6110.


NAPS campus: This promotional photograph was used in many of the school’s publications and clearly shows Synod Hall, the Lower School, and Thrower Hall. What’s your favorite story involving these buildings?

72 | Fall 2017

1919: The Class of 1923 as ninth graders in September 1919, when the school was located across the street from the North Avenue Presbyterian Church (seen at right in the background).


1923: A group of schoolgirls pose in the yard of a new school location with Ponce de Leon Avenue in the background—the apartments visible are still there today. Do you recognize any of the girls?

1951: Mary Brooke of Decatur was crowned Napsonia by the junior marshals, Shelton Brooke and Sally Watters at May Day exercises on May 25. Napsonia represents to the seniors the girl who best upholds the qualities of Nobility, Ability, Play, and Service, the ideals of NAPS. Mary Brooke was also the editor of the yearbook her senior year. (from Senior Reader, May 29, 1951)


1920: A picture of the Home Building on Peachtree Street. It was originally built for the attorney Clifford L. Anderson. He designed the outside to be of Georgian architecture, but for his wife, he put in a courtyard copied from a European monastery, a chandelier shaped like a dragon’s head, and furnishings gathered from Asia, Africa, and Europe. Washington Seminary purchased the home from a Mr. Laddson, who owned the house, in 1913.

1928: In the description of the Home Building in the school catalog, the Scotts write that “a distinctive feature of the school building is the arrangement for open-air classrooms. The building is surrounded on two sides by wide porches; these are divided into sections corresponding to the inside classrooms from which the porch rooms are entered. In all seasonable weather, which is about five of the nine school months in this climate, the classes are conducted on the porches, thus securing real out-of-door class work. The effect of this upon the health of the students is admirable.”

1941: Students pose with the Washington Seminary wagon in the 1941 Facts and Fancies yearbook. The editors noted that, “in this publication of Facts and Fancies, it has been our purpose to show the bond which links education with travel. We believe that wider travel is a means for a broader education and hope to convey this thought to you in the pages on our annual.”

1952 May Day celebrations: From left to right, kneeling: Anna Hurt, Annette Torrance, Ducky Green, and Dodo Black. Seated: Joan Fisch, Katharine Cooper, Carol Lanier, and Phoebe Gould. Standing: Louise Mandeville, May Queen; Carroll Young, Maid of Honor.


Class News NAPS 1942 Anne Stevens Ruff writes, “Years ago I graduated from NAPS in three years. I’m now 91 years old and have just buried my husband, George, after 62 happy years. Many happy memories of NAPS!” Washington Seminary 1941

Susan Coltrane Lowance WS ’51, Nancy Boynton Dudley-Smith ’60, Jody Collins Weatherly ’60, Peter Stelling ’60, Margaret Rains Howell ’60, Henry Howell ’56, and Mason Lowance ’56 pictured together after attending service and Eucharist at Wesminster Abbey.

Carolyn Howell Lovell writes, “I am 94 and was president of our Junior (1939-40) and Senior (1940-41) classes. I live in a beautiful area on the Georgia coast and am in excellent health. Best wishes.” Westminster 1960 Carole Brannon Mason writes, “We are about to join our daughter and son-in-law for a trip to Tuscany. Bob and I won the trip at a hospital benefit. Will let you know how it turns out. Our three grandchildren are growing up so fast.”

Dr. Eugene Hill ’57, who played on Westminster’s very first soccer team in 1956, Buzzy Hill ’88, who played in the late 80’s, and Hunter Adams ’17, who recently graduated from Westminster, at Hunter’s soccer game.

1962 Dancy Allcorn Cassell writes, “Retired in 2016 and now resident of South Carolina. Grandson Kent Carson is in Westminster Class of 2023.” 1964 Grace Trimble writes, “Kay Kirkley Barrett ’64 and I had a fabulous trip to Australia. We spent most of the month of October there, seeing Sydney, Uluvu, and Melborne and driving the great Ocean Road. We saw lots of wildlife— koala, kangaroo, echidna, wombats, and little penguins by the hundreds.”

Class of 1956 Boys Lunch

74 | Fall 2017


1965 Andy Beard writes, “My 20-year-old Jeep and 70-year-old body are being put back together one piece at a time by incredible mechanics and medical workers. The pain persists due to my own stupidity.” 1969 Larry Hurst writes, “I am working at Florida Hospital, Tampa, with plans to transition back to Orlando this year. Nancy and I have our first grandchild, with Eli Seltzer being born to our daughter, Casey, who is a PA in Orlando. This summer we are headed back to the Caribbean for our 20th Sandals trip. Yep! We are hooked!” 1973 Florence LeCraw Lyford writes, “After practicing anesthesiology for 32 years, I have cut back my clinical practice to sub-specialize in Health Economics. I guest lecture at Georgia State and Emory Healthcare, but my focus is research in quality of care in the U.S. with the economists at Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.”

Mark Pendergrast ’66, Author In his most recent book, City on the Verge: Atlanta and the Fight for America’s Urban Future, Mark Pendergrast details the history of the Southeast’s largest city and its struggle to reinvent itself in the 21st century. According to Mark, the city’s notorious traffic problems and ad hoc planning are the two major obstacles preventing Atlanta from becoming a world-class city. Despite those setbacks, Mark writes that the BeltLine is in the process of uniting Atlanta and elevating its status: “It’s connecting 45 neighborhoods, going through all types of areas, from affluent to devastated, and in that process, it is getting people out of their cars and onto a trail where they can bike, meet, socialize, and enjoy the restaurants, shops, and amenities nearby.” During his research for City on the Verge, Mark says he saw beyond the “Buckhead bubble” he grew up in and truly got to know his native city for the first time. He applauds Westminster for making a concerted effort to connect the school with the surrounding community and city. “Westminster has made great strides in getting students to be engaged with the city outside that very pleasant bubble,” he says. City on the Verge is one of Mark’s 11 published books. His next book, Memory Warp, is slated for publication this fall. Though he started his career as a teacher and librarian, Mark has been writing full-time since 1991. “I really learned to write and think at Westminster, more than any other part of my education,” he says.

1975 Barbara Buxton Guy writes, “I enjoyed seeing Meg Tysinger Hartin ’75 and Athena Sotus-Nawar ’75 in April when I was in Atlanta playing with the Palmetto Bronze Handbell ensemble.” 1975 Patrick West writes, “Living the pleasant life on Maryland’s Eastern Shore creating memories with my three grandchildren. Note to ‘The Harp’ from ‘Tuh-Huh’: Not much baseball up here, the kids walk around with lacrosse sticks.” Mark discusses his newest book with Westminster faculty and staff.



Jim Durrett ’75 Executive Director, Buckhead Community Improvement District Jim Durrett plans the future of Buckhead each day as the Executive Director of the Buckhead Community Improvement District (CID). Since its 1999 founding, the CID has been tasked with creating and maintaining a more accessible and livable urban environment in the heart of metro Atlanta. Though the group has overseen several substantial projects, including the construction of the PATH400 Greenway Trail and Charlie Loudermilk Park, Jim believes the most significant improvement was the transformation of Peachtree Road between Piedmont Road and Peachtree Dunwoody Road.“We took what I called a traffic sewer and turned it into what is known as a ‘complete street,’” Jim says. “Peachtree is now much more walkable than it used to be. It is for people, not just cars.” There is still more work to do, though. In the near future, the Buckhead CID will partner with the city and the Georgia Department of Transportation to improve traffic flow along Peachtree Road from Piedmont Road to Midtown. Other plans include enhancing the driving, walking, and biking experience near Lenox Square Mall and the Lenox MARTA station. “The most significant project we are pursuing, the one that would make the most difference to the district and to all of Atlanta, is a potential park on top of Georgia 400 and MARTA’s Buckhead Station,” Jim says. “It would give us the significant gathering place that we have been missing and that is sorely needed.” In addition to his family upbringing, Jim cites his time at Westminster as one of the influential experiences that continue to inspire him to this day. He credits Westminster with preparing him “extremely well” for college and graduate school success, and he continues to draw on his experiences as a Wildcat to better the city that Westminster calls home.

76 | Fall 2017

1978 Malcolm Proudfoot writes, “When I first arrived at Westminster in 1976, I believe I was the only Yankee on campus. Today, I see so many of you are now scattered around the globe and even here in my backyard in Chicagoland! I love reading the 1978 News section of this magazine to see how accomplished all of you (our class) have become with your families and careers! I have just become an empty nester as my last of four children will head off to Harvey-Mudd College to study engineering in the fall and play soccer for the ClaremontMudd-Scripps Stags. My oldest, Katy (27), will be marrying in September. Brett (25) and Taylor (23) are not yet married nor anything imminent. I am blessed that all my kids live here in Chicago and are “off the payroll.” I continue my work as a Managing Director, Wealth Advisor with Morgan Stanley. Would love to reconnect with you via Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. If you find yourself in Chitown, be sure to look me up! Send me an email if you are inclined: Malcolm. Proudfoot@MorganStanley.com.” Huntley Allen writes, “I moved back down to Saint Simons in 2002 after 20 years in Manhattan, near the corner of E. 88th and Lexington, just down from the Guggenheim Museum (across the street from which was the childhood home of our classmate Jimmy Echikson). I did historic preservation and adaptive reuse during the fun transition times of SoHo, Tribeca, Greenwich Village, and Brooklyn Heights. Once back down to The Golden Isles, which was my childhood and teen playground, I was asked to be the first consultant to the Saint Simons Land Trust (via Austin Catts ’62, Esq., who is the brotherin-law of our classmate, Bill Avery). I


then used my NYC and Coastal North Carolina experiences (I ran Downtown Renaissance, a non-profit that sought to restore nine towns in five counties in Eastern North Carolina, and I based myself in Edenton on the Albemarle Sound) to assist the City of Brunswick, Glynn County, and the Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau to establish The Gateways Initiative to restore the waterfront areas of the area (see SaveOurGateways.com to learn more.) It is still in process, and we have received plenty of pro bono advice from Westminster environmental lawyers (including Craig Pendergrast ’77, Esq.) and other consultants to help along the way. Julie Turk Martin ’74, another Westminster alum, is the Mayor Pro Tem and Commissioner of the City of Brunswick and has founded several nonprofits, including Signature Squares, Inc. I was also able to save the historic (African-American) Harrington School House & 13 acres, which started also in 2001, and only this year did the now Glynn County Public Park get its grand opening (Speaking of parks, the Westminster Richards family, of South Wire fame, made possible the Frederica Park up the road). The SSLT became a part of both projects. Thanks Austin. My latest efforts have been to save the waterfront historic site of Ebo Landing, just around the corner from my home (LagoonLounge.com), which is on the Dunbar River (we are dead west of the Cloister Hotel at the western edge of SSI.). To learn the history, one can Google, or contact me. To try to preserve the grounds, my family partnership has purchased the site to save it from inappropriate development, and we are working with national historians, archaeologists, and others to see if we can figure out any way to keep it away from the bulldozers

Peter Candler ’60, Margaret Rains Howell ’60, Jody Collins Weatherly ’60, Mason Lowance ’56 at the Class of 1960 lunch

Class of ’65 girls celebrate their 70th birthdays!

Ren Davis ’69, Helen Davis, and John Howell ’60



On April 5, 2017, members of the Class of 1966 gathered at the President’s Home to celebrate their 50th Reunion class gift effort and officially dedicate the Fire Pit!

Class of 1972 inaugural monthly lunch

Everett Jane, Nora, and Josie, daughters of Alix Wilcox Nadi ’96 and Omar Nadi

78 | Fall 2017

and to save also its 20 200-year-old live oak trees. Until we can find a permanent sustainable solution, we are offering the beautiful nature preserve site as a wedding and event venue to help contribute to its taxes, mortgage, and insurance. To see the grounds, go to SaintSimonsIslandWaterfrontWeddings. com. It is a beautiful place that we hope we can preserve for eternity. Again, many Westminster alums have contributed their volunteer time to work on this and other projects, including here the Gambrell sisters, Mary Rolinson ’81, and Alice Gambrell ’78. John Adams ’78 has introduced us to additional regional land trust options. An amazing shout out goes to Len Al Haas ’78 and his father, John Haas, who have guided all of the above groups with their pro bono fundraising expertise and board development. John has done ALL of the websites above!! None of this could have been accomplished without their help... Although, it was not my intention in the beginning of writing this, but I realize that this is a tribute to all of the Westminster friends that I made in my short six years on Paces Ferry Road in the mid-1970s disco years!! Thanks to you all who help these projects, me, and future projects. We have a great Westminster presence here on SSI and Sea Island, and I am always happy to visit with fellow alums who are interested in getting involved in projects down here with groups like the SSLT, OneHundredMiles.com, and many others. We often bring groups together for benefits and meetings at The Lagoon Lounge dock, and we would be happy to have visitors to learn more about the Golden Isles!”


1979 Emery Ellinger III, CEO of Aberdeen Advisors, recently published a book entitled, “Turn Your Blood, Sweat, and Tears Into Cash: A Guide To Sell Your Business.” 1980 Pat Boomershine Mitchell writes, “Continue to find joy and continue to be passionate in helping people train their dogs to become therapy dog teams in both Georgia and Utah. Truly rewarding!” 1987 Lane Whitney Dunyak writes, “Bob and I enjoy living in Raleigh, North Carolina, which I have called home since 2001. I enjoy doing the accounting for a design-build and cabinet company. When not working, I enjoy running, gardening, cooking and painting. Wishing the best to all my Westminster classmates!” 1987 Michael Rubenstein writes, “My family has experienced many wonderful new developments this year. In March, we welcomed the birth of our daughter Mika, and just last week we relocated from Los Angeles to Phoenix, where my wife Nirit has been hired as the Chief Operating Officer of Nextiva, a business communications company based here in Arizona. I continue to serve as Enterprise Sales Director for Stem, Inc., a national provider of intelligent energy storage technology. The 120 degree July temperatures have been a new experience for us, but unlike the Atlanta summer climate, it’s a “dry heat,” and we are embracing the desert life!”

Sarah Bacon ’93 Behavioral Scientist, Centers for Disease Control As a behavioral scientist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sarah Bacon works within the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, battling one of the country’s emerging health crises. Sarah leads the $115 million opioid overdose program, which is attempting to combat the growing nationwide epidemic, with Atlanta as one of its hotspots. Sarah works with a team of 50 personnel, partnering with agencies in 45 states to fight the dramatic spike in drug overdoses. According to the CDC, most of the opioid overdoses in Georgia occur in the metro Atlanta region; therefore, the organization works with the state health department to identify hotspots in the region. “It’s a lot of support at the national level drilling down to the local response,” she says. Sarah’s role with the CDC stems directly from her time at Westminster, where she took the Two Visions of Man course with David and Ellen Purdum. The class visited a state prison each week and met with five inmates. It inspired her to pursue and complete degrees in sociology and criminology. “The course set me on a path to understanding criminal behavior and why our system responds the way it does,” she says. Sarah worked as a criminologist before segueing into violence prevention and now opioid prevention, all in an effort to better the world. “In the larger context of philanthropy and the phrase, ‘to whom much is given, much will be required,’ Westminster allowed me to explore and to give back,” she says.

SUBMIT YOUR CLASS NEWS The deadline for Class News for the spring 2018 issue of Westminster Magazine is February 15. Please submit Class News at westminster.net/classnews. You may also send class news to: Westminster Attention: Class News 1424 West Paces Ferry Road, NW Atlanta, GA 30327 or email: classnews@westminster.net This issue reflects submissions received before August 1, 2017.



Garrett Langley ’05 CEO, Flock Safety As the founder and CEO of Flock Safety, Garrett Langley hopes to make the country safer one neighborhood at a time, starting in Atlanta. The company—founded out of an idea to cut the cost of neighborhood patrols but increase security—sells and installs wireless cameras that track vehicles in the neighborhood and can record license plates up to 50 feet away. Garrett says the idea came to him when his Atlanta-area neighborhood had a string of burglaries, despite its off-duty officer patrolling the area. Shocked at the cost of patrols, he sought to find a cheaper, more effective solution. Within a few short weeks, Flock Safety was born and implemented in several neighborhoods across the metro area. “Only 13 percent of non-violent crime gets solved. Not because police aren’t efficient, but there’s just no evidence,” Garrett says. “Maybe you have an outdoor security camera, but police can’t do much with it. When they have actual evidence, they can do something. If they have a license plate, they can run that tag.” Though the first few neighborhood installations were challenging, Garrett and his business partner have seen steady growth in the short months since the company’s inception. They are in talks with neighborhoods across the Southeast and plan to add more customers and employees soon, but not too soon, as Garrett hand-constructs and installs each camera himself! Those are skills he picked up studying electrical engineering and while at Westminster. “I definitely look back fondly at my time in Upper School when I did Science Olympiad,” he says. “You had to be comfortable building things from scratch and knowing it’s an iterative process, so the idea of building a camera wasn’t scary.” For more information, visit FlockSafety.com.

1990 Matthew Wright writes, “I am pleased to announce the founding of Wright Law, PLC (wrightlawplc.com) located in historic downtown Franklin, Tennessee focusing on plaintiff representation in catastrophic commercial transportation accidents and broker/shipper/motor carrier liability.” 1996 Alix Wilcox Nadi has been working as a Realtor with RE/MAX for a decade now and closed out 2016 as the #7 agent in the company. She was thrilled to help several Westminster classmates buy and sell homes this past year and loves reconnecting! Alix lives in historic downtown Roswell with her husband Omar, their three daughters Everett Jane, Nora, and Josie, and their two German shepherds. 1997 Jennifer Bay Brown writes, “Jennifer Brown Interiors celebrates 10+ years of interior design with projects in Charlotte and the Georgia and Carolina coasts.” 1999 Tori Tinsley is the recipient of a 2016 Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant. The Joan Mitchell Foundation currently awards $25,000 to 25 artists through a nomination process. More information about Tori’s work can be found at toritinsley.com 2000 King Davidson writes, “My wife and I moved back to Atlanta 12 months ago. We have three girls and are looking forward to reconnecting with my Class of 2000 classmates.”

80 | Fall 2017


2003 Katherine Kennedy writes, “I run a small nonprofit that harvests neglected fruit trees around the city and donates the harvest to Atlanta’s homeless and hungry. We have worked with Westminster students for the past three years.” 2007 James Michael Barazesh received a Ph.D in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in May 2017. 2009 Tired of seeing his fellow millennials so unhappy, Chris Butsch quit his job at Epic in 2015 to study positive psychology full-time and travel the world, interviewing hundreds of monks, millionaires, swamis, and psychologists, and millennials from 31 different countries. Chris is now an author, speaker, meditation trainer, and happiness coach. He’s since been called “The Malcolm Gladwell of Happiness,” and his first book, The Millennial’s Guide to Making Happiness Volume I, is now available.

Boys lacrosse players keep seeing each other on the field! University of North Carolina player Cole Haverty ’15 crossed paths with William Hudson ’15, a University of Virginia player, and Charlie Trense ’15 of the University of Notre Dame.

2015 Alexander Silliman was selected as a Meriwether Lewis Fellow at the University of Virginia. The appointment involves a multi-year leadership fellowship, including a six-week summer internship at the university for the summer of 2017.

Tori Tinsley ’99, Reluctant Hug, acrylic on panel, 2017


Marriages 1987 Lane Whitney and Robert “Bob” Dunyak, June 11, 2016 1998 Mary Catherine Groome and Zack Gober, September 17, 2016 2002 Stephanie Surbaugh and Greg Payne, May 6, 2017 Mary Zimmerman and Drew Armstrong, December 31, 2016 2003 Stephanie Surbaugh and Greg Payne, May 6, 2017 2007 Heather Karellas and Justin Norris, April 8, 2017 2011 CiCi Reid and Robert Jones, December 17, 2016


CiCi Reid ’11 and Robert Jones on their wedding day in Chapel Hill, North Carolina


Lane Whitney ’87 and Bob Dunyak with their wedding party on their wedding day


Heather Karellas ’07 and Justin Norris on their wedding day


Mary Zimmerman ’02 and Drew Armstrong at their New Year’s Eve wedding


Zack Gober ’98 and Mary Catherine Groome on their wedding day

1 82 | Fall 2017


4 3



Births 1979 Adeline Annie Francine Felton, September 9, 2016, daughter of Cassie and Steve Felton

2005 Hamilton Hughes Fryer, January 27, 2017, son of Laura Nix Fryer and Gibbs Fryer

1987 Mika Alberta Rubenstein, March 9, 2017, daughter of Nirit and Michael Rubenstein

2006 Elizabeth Adele Bandy, April 18, 2017, daughter of McKinley Kane Bandy and Alexander Bandy

1992 “Emma Frances” Byrns Hutchison, July 10, 2016, daughter of Mary Beth Farr Hutchison and David Hutchison 1996 Josephine Alice Nadi, December 8, 2016, daughter of Alix Wilcox Nadi and Omar Nadi 1999 Morgan Eleanor Hudson and Grace Journey Hudson, December 15, 2016, twin daughters of Molly Stanford Hudson and Richard Hudson Edward “Ward” Lynch Williamson, November 30, 2016, son of Patricia and Reggie Williamson 2000 Ada Emerson Burdette, June 20, 2017, daughter of Elizabeth Loyd Burdette and Britton Burdette 2004 Henry Maddox Bernstein, July 29, 2016, son of Jill Herskovits Bernstein and Michael Bernstein

Community, Faculty, and Staff Ada Emerson Burdette, June 20, 2017, daughter of Elizabeth Loyd Burdette (Staff) and Britton Burdette Dorothy Jean Dentmon, June 2, 2017, daughter of Erin Dentmon (Staff) and Zack Dentmon Darcy Jane Fry, March 3, 2017, daughter of Allison and Adam Fry (Middle School Faculty) Quinn Nita Hare, July 27, 2017, daughter of Monetta and Kevin Hare (Upper School Faculty) Rayne Elise Lyttle, April 5, 2017, daughter of Sancho and Amanda Barksdale Lyttle (Middle School Faculty) Rudy Milo Sombatsaphay, February 20, 2017, son of Jennifer Liu (Staff) and Vilay Sombatsaphay Colette Ann Shabanowitz, February 17, 2017, daughter of Lauryn and Tim Shabanowitz (Middle School Faculty) Asa Stodghill, March 12, 2017, son of Kristi and Steve Stodghill (Upper School Faculty) Eero Wentzel, June 23, 2017, son of Jen Marie Wentzel (Upper School Faculty) and Mark Wentzel

84 | Fall 2017


Adeline Annie Francine Felton, daughter of Cassie and Steve Felton ’79


Mika Alberta Rubenstein, daughter of Nirit and Michael Rubenstein ’87


“Emma Frances” Byrns Hutchison, daughter of Mary Beth Farr Hutchison ’92 and David Hutchison


Josephine Alice Nadi, daughter of Alix Wilcox Nadi ’96 and Omar Nadi


Morgan Eleanor Hudson and Grace Journey Hudson, twin daughters of Molly Stanford Hudson ’99 and Richard Hudson


Edward “Ward” Lynch Williamson, son of Reggie Williamson ’99 and Patricia Williamson, with big brother Ash and big sister Carter


Ada Emerson Burdette, with parents Elizabeth Loyd Burdette ’00 (Staff) and Britton Burdette


1 2

5 4









13 14

86 | Fall 2017


Henry Maddox Bernstein, son of Jill Herskovits Bernstein ’04 and Michael Bernstein


Hamilton Hughes Fryer, son of Laura Nix Fryer ’05 and Gibbs Fryer


Elizabeth Adele Bandy, daughter of McKinley Kane Bandy ’06 and Alexander Bandy


Dorothy Jean Dentmon, daughter of Erin Dentmon (Staff) and Zack Dentmon


Quinn Nita Hare, with parents Monetta and Kevin Hare (Upper School Faculty)


Darcy Jane Fry, daughter of Allison and Adam Fry (Middle School Faculty)


Rayne Elise Lyttle, daughter of Sancho and Amanda Barksdale Lyttle (Middle School Faculty)



Colette Ann Shabanowitz, daughter of Lauryn and Tim Shabanowitz (Middle School Faculty)



Rudy Milo Sombatsaphay, son of Jennifer Liu (Staff) and Vilay Sombatsaphay


Asa Stodghill, son of Kristi and Steve Stodghill (Upper School Faculty)


Eero Wentzel, son of Jen Marie Wentzel (Upper School Faculty) and Mark Wentzel




In Memoriam NAPS 1941 Martha Whatley Yates, April 22, 2017 1943 Mary Seabrook Smith, March 2, 2017 1947 Linnie Collins Ailey, January 30, 2017 Mary Ann Wenn Williams, April 17, 2017

Washington Seminary 1942 Mary Jessie Strickland Elcock, June 28, 2017 1943 Frances Lonnette Grove Harris, February 25, 2016 1945 Loiette “Lolly” Hume Henry, December 12, 2016 1947 Nancy Hall Eskew, March 8, 2017 Ruth Elder Vaught, November 8, 2016 1948 Jean Mouchet Brannon, June 29, 2017 Billie Bryant Henry, March 21, 2016 1949 Corinne Sturdivant Appleby, April 28, 2017 Madaline Johnson Huie, April 4, 2017 Suejette Cooledge Mason, November 6, 2014 1950 Beryl Beck Herzog, February 10, 2017

Westminster 1954 Barbara Thompson Fanale, September 23, 2014

1957 Mary Foshee Breyer Aagesen, March 29, 2016 Margaret Poer Allen, June 2, 2017 Marsha Hill Mitchell, June 27, 2017 1958 Geraldine Jill Shuford Fogarty, May 6, 2017 1961 Peyton Cater Robinson Sr., March 4, 2017 1969 Laura Duke Tison, June 3, 2017 1970 Linda Ann Barton, July 14, 2017 1971 Armand Tipton “Tip” Swisher Jr., March 27, 2017 1973 Cleveland Raine Willcoxon III, July 15, 2017 1974 Midelle “Delle” Moore, October 29, 2017

NAPS Families George W. Ruff Jr., April 23, 2017, husband of Anne Stevens Ruff NAPS ’42

Washington Seminary Families Richard “Dick” Hunter Jennings, March 12, 2017, husband of Tish Sharp Jennings WS ’48

Westminster Families Margaret Poer Allen, June 2, 2017, mother of Ivan Allen IV ’82 and Amanda Allen Thompson ’85 Corinne Sturdivant Appleby, April 28, 2017, mother of Kinsey Appleby Harper ’70 and Elizabeth Appleby ’73

Gay Miller Kahn Joel, March 20, 2017

Arthur S. Booth, June 18, 2016, brother of Cathy Booth Chambers ’64

1955 Ann Martin McCalley, June 6, 2017

Robert Remick Eckardt, May 23, 2017, stepfather of Anne Conlee Mazlish ’83 and John Conlee ’86

1956 Henry Elrod Ramsey, June 4, 2017

Nathaniel R. Goldston III, July 4, 2017, father of Rusty Goldston ’85 and Kim Goldston Martin ’90 Charles Gilbert Herion, February 27, 2017, husband of Sherry Hampton Herion ’53

88 | Fall 2017

Madaline Johnson Huie, April 4, 2017, mother of Helen Huie Ashenfelter ’75 and Sarah Huie Coleman ’77 Richard “Dick” Hunter Jennings, March 12, 2017, father of Hunter Jennings ’74, Jack Jennings ’76, and Tish Jennings Spearman ’86 Gay Miller Kahn Joel, March 20, 2017, mother of Elizabeth Kahn Jump ’78

Community, Faculty, and Staff Carolyn Maddox Gober, March 8, 2017, mother of Ann Tedesco (Lower School Faculty) Marsha Hill Mitchell, June 27, 2017, mother of LauraHill Mitchell Patton (Staff) Jan Serafy (Retired Faculty), February 16, 2017

Jill Lewis, July 13, 2017, mother of Miles Lewis ’17

Elizabeth Gober Starke (Retired Faculty), June 19, 2017

Juanita Hewell Long, April 3, 2017, mother of Stewart Long ’65 and Guy Long ’74

Andrew Bowman Swan, June 5, 2017, son of Toni Boyd (Staff)

Marsha Hill Mitchell, June 27, 2017, mother of LauraHill Mitchell Patton ’87 and Bill Mitchell ’82

Berwyn Andrews “Skip” Goudey, July 13, 2017, father of Cindy Trask (Upper School Faculty)

Midelle “Delle” Moore, October 29, 2017, sister of Julia Moore ’73

Mia Kinza Welji, June 1, 2017, infant daughter of Shaffiq Welji (Upper School Faculty)

Tony Musarra, March 15, 2017, step-father of Marion Hickman Meythaler ’02 John Joseph Notermann, July 20, 2017, father of Grey Notermann ’12 and Win Notermann ’17 Merrell Edward “Ed” Ralston, July 8, 2017, father of Ward Ralston ’87, Libby Ralston Ingram ’89, and Charles Ralston ’02 Thomas Russell Roddy, May 5, 2017, father of Ann Roddy ’82 Rita Lenore Russell Rosensweig, June 25, 2017, mother of Maria Rosensweig Escher ’03 and John Rosensweig ’07 Janis Keith Shoffner, December 15, 2016, mother of John Shoffner ’79, Jan Shoffner Johnston ’82, and Jill Shoffner Egan ’84 Elizabeth Gober Starke, June 19, 2017, mother of Suzanne Starke Demosthenes ’68 and Mayes Starke ’74 Oliver Walker Woodward, July 4, 2017, brother of Harrison Woodward ’13 Presley Daniel Yates, Jr., May 12, 2017, father of Mynel Yates DuBose ’66 and Danny Yates ’68 Louis Dennis Zakas, March 6, 2017, father of Dennis Zakas ’74


The Last Look

“A strong preparatory school belongs in the picture of Atlanta’s growing importance as an educational center. I believe that many will feel a challenge in the vision for The Westminster Schools and will be glad to share in building an institution in which Atlanta can take pride and which will serve succeeding generations of our finest young people.”

-Founding President Dr. William L. Pressly, upon construction of the Westminster campus 90 | Fall 2017

“Before taking art at Westminster, I never thought of myself as creative, but through the many projects, I’ve expanded not only my creative and thinking processes but my ability to evoke thought and emotion through my brush strokes.” – Albert, Class of 2018 Student

Be the Catalyst

For Wildcats, the opportunities for growth, challenge, and leadership are endless. And you have the opportunity to invest in the transformative experiences that make Westminster unique. Your generosity ignites all that is happening in our classrooms, on our fields, and in our studios—helping us inspire leaders who will become a positive force in the world.

Welcome to the Alumni Association, Class of 2017! KEEP YOUR WILDCAT PRIDE ALIVE! Connect on social media. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and join our LinkedIn group so you’ll always know what’s happening in the Wildcat Nation.

Download EverTrue. Connect with fellow alumni and keep up with Westminster news.


Attend alumni events. College-age alumni, mark your calendar for the College Holiday Luncheon on Monday, December 18, 2017.

Support your alma mater. Make your gift to The Westminster Fund each year by visiting westminster.net/giving. WESTMINSTER | 91

The Westminster Schools Non-Profit Organization

1424 West Paces Ferry Road, NW Atlanta, Georgia 30327 westminster.net

U.S. Postage Paid Permit No. 1083 Atlanta, GA


Parents of alumni: If this issue is addressed to your child who no longer maintains a permanent address at your home, please notify the Office of Alumni Engagement of the new mailing address by emailing alumni@westminster.net or calling 404-609-6205.

FALL 2017