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Weston, Massachusetts 02493


fall 2013

45 Georgian Road

the cambridge school of weston magazine

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Adolescent Brain, “Tea for a Jeweler,” digital photo by Olivia Ask ’16

Meet the 21st Century

2013–2014 board of trustees

parents association

Ben Alimansky ’87

Deborah Kahn P ’16, President

Diana Baruni, Faculty Representative Christine Chamberlain ’63 Erika Christakis P ’11, P ’13, P ’16 Phil DeNormandie ’67 * Rachael Dorr P ’07, Secretary Nina Fialkow P ’10 * Anne-Marie Fitzgerald P ’16 * Chris Gootkind P ’12 Shelley Hawks P ’12 Kaiko Marie Hayes ’81 Jennifer Jones-Clark P ’05 Deborah Kahn P ’16,* Parent Representative Chloe Knopp ’14,* Boarding Student Representative Rick McCready P ’13, Treasurer Bob Metcalf ’53 Jane Moulding, Head of School Christian Nolen P ’10, Chair of the Board Margie Perse P ’13 Deborah Pressman P ’10 * Mort Rosenthal P ’08, P ’13 * Mark Santa Maria,* Faculty Representative Sarita Shah ’86 Peter Thorne P ’12, Assistant Secretary

Anne-Marie Fitzgerald P ’16  Vice-President Alma Bair P ’13, P ’14, Secretary Barbara Jenny P ’16, Baking with Boarders Chair Victoria Rizzi P ’14, Birthday for Boarders Committee Chair Meg Lotz Bousvaros P ’15, Evening Programs Committee Chair Deborah Lapides P ’14, Faculty Appreciation Committee Chair Nancy Smalzel P ’15, Host Family Program Chair Patricia Waters P ’15, Parent Independent School Network Representative Chair Shelly Ziegelman P ’14, Parent Information Coffee Committee Chair Lise Gordon P ’14, P ’16, Welcome Committee Chair To contact the Parents Association, please email:

the gryphon, fall 2013 Jane Moulding, Head of School Eun Lee Koh, Director of Communications Rachel Stoff, Editor / A ssociate Director of Communications Rebecca Schultzberg, Director of Development Lelia Orrell Elliston ’80, Director of Alumni Relations


Hannah Taytslin, Director of the Annual Fund

contributors Arlo Furst ’04, Communications Specialist Sara Schnebly ’12, Communications Intern


Eric Ginsburg ’06 Anne Mackin P ’12 Linda Nathan ’73 John Greiner-Ferris

Stay in touch with us! Get the latest information, interesting conversation, photos, and videos of what’s going on at CSW.

design Stoltze Design • Brian Azer, Katherine Hughes, Mary Ross, Clifford Stoltze, Kyle Nelson (front cover art)

The Cambridge School of Weston is a coeducational college preparatory school for grades 9–12 and post graduate study. Inquiries for academic year admission should be directed to Trish Saunders, Director of Admissions, at 781.642.8650.


The Gryphon welcomes class notes and photographs by alumni, parents, and friends. Please email submissions to; call 781.642.8619; visit; or send to: Alumni Relations The Cambridge School of Weston 45 Georgian Road Weston, MA 02493

Eduardo Tugendhat ’72, P ’07


Susan Vogt P ’14, Assistant Treasurer

To contact the editor, email: Website:

Join the Conversation @WeAreCSW & @CSWJane

Sheila Watson P ’12, P ’17, Co-Vice Chair of the Board

Watch What Happens @WeAreCSW

Jack Welch P ’15 * John Weltman P ’12, P ’13, Co-Vice Chair of the Board Ella Williams ’14,* Day Student Representative * We welcomed these new members to the board this school year.

Artist: Lena Christakis ’16

Search for The Cambridge School of Weston under Groups

Fall 2013 Departments 02

Leading Thoughts by Jane Moulding


News & Notes


Creativity at Work

18 19 29

Course Spotlight CSW by the Numbers My Five


the cambridge school of weston magazine Features 24 “Adolescent Brain, Meet the 21st Century” 27 22 20

Diving Deep: The Mod System’s 40 Years From the Desk of… Faculty Profile: Awa Diop

Alumnae/i News

Artist: Jin Kwon ’15


Alumni Profiles: Kayla Dalton ’12, Eric von Hippel ’59 & Claudia Lux ’05


From the Archives: CSW Then & Now


Announcements & Save the Dates


Class Notes


In Memoriam

2 • The Gryphon Fall 2013

Leading Thoughts “To Talk of Many Things”

above right: Former Headmaster Dolph Cheek regularly hosted the “Walrus,” a series of conversations with the graduating class, at his home.

This is the time of year when seniors gather at the head’s house for afternoon teas, a tradition I began some 11 years ago, a year after my arrival at The Cambridge School of Weston. A lively back-andforth at an assembly led me to host tea for seniors each fall since. Unknowingly, I revived former Headmaster Dolph Cheek’s tradition of inviting the graduating class to his home for a chat, then-known affectionately as the “Walrus” from the Lewis Carroll poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter.” Spirited conversations are a way of life at CSW. In the poem, the Walrus declares, “The time has come to talk of many things.” At the gatherings with Headmaster Cheek — a nd these days, with me — the talks indeed cover quite a few things. As we sip and munch, we chatter about everything from favorite teachers and classes, issues of race and identity development, to hopes and dreams of the future. To discuss and debate — be it in my living room, in the classroom and dorm rooms, in the dining hall or on the quad — is so commonplace here that our tea-time conversations seem a fitting way to mark the fall of senior year. As many of you know, our faculty and staff have also been engaged in a series of conversations about our programs and practices, from the way we use technology in our teaching to our interdisciplinary courses to the pace and schedule of the year. These exercises have challenged us to think more deeply about what it means to be a progressive school of the 21st century. We continue to examine, evaluate, and review, in hopes that it can better inform us of our strengths, understand where we can improve, and help direct us on our path. As we

continue this work, we hope there will be opportunities for our entire community to weigh in on some of our ideas and to add your own. This latest issue of The Gryphon, we hope, is another point for conversation. You will see several changes, not only in design, but also in content. We hope to better reflect who we are now as a school with features that highlight the work we are doing; stories aimed at providing food for thought; current students, faculty, and alumni voices; and fun snippets to amuse you. Sure, the times have changed since Dolph Cheek hosted the Walrus in his living room during the 1950s and ’60s, but the core spirit and purpose of conversations at CSW remain. Engagement, reflection, and innovation move us forward, and it is this that makes us truly CSW. As I continue the teas with seniors and discussions with faculty about our work as a school, I hope you’ll stay engaged with us. Stay tuned for many lively conversations to come. With all good wishes,

Jane Moulding, Head of School

The Cambridge School of Weston • 3

Welcome to the new Gryphon magazine! Over the years, The Gryphon magazine has gone through several styles and iterations. During the latest redesign process, we set out to develop a magazine that was truly “CSW,” with design and content that not only reflects who we are as a school now, but also communicates our vibrancy and spirit. The updated magazine takes advantage of photography, incorporates first-person voices of our alumni, current faculty, and students, and draws from the writing talents of our CSW community. With each issue, we hope to highlight the fascinating work of our community and provoke thought and conversation. We encourage you to reach out to us through the written pieces, social media, and our website. The magazine may look different, but we believe the heart and soul of The Gryphon remains. The Cambridge School of Weston is your school. This is your magazine. We hope you take time to enjoy, engage, and remain connected.


Simpler, cleaner design that takes advantage of photography and visual aesthetic.

“Alumni By Alumni” Profiles

Alumni profiles written by other CSW alumni.

From the Desk of…

A thought piece written by a member of our community, such as alumni, faculty, staff, or parent.

Course Spotlight

A small feature on one of more than 300 courses offered at CSW.

Then & Now

Photos from the archives alongside a more recent photograph give a snapshot of our school then and now.

My Five

Five playful questions answered by members of the CSW community.

CSW by the Numbers

A page that highlights interesting and fun facts about CSW.



Eun Lee Koh, Rachel Stoff, and Arlo Furst The Office of Communications

fall 2013

Yours truly,

the cambridge school of weston magazine

/CambridgeSchool @WeAreCSW

Or email us:




Adolescent Brain, Meet the 21st Century





4 • The Gryphon Fall 2013

News & Notes Progressive Education Lab: Year Two with Four New Teaching Fellows top left: The new first-year PEL fellows: Kevin Smith, Xu (Sue) Li, Alice Lloyd, and Eileen Lai. bottom left: Hallie Herz, now in her second year as a PEL fellow, teaches English at CSW. bottom right: PEL fellows take on the Marshmallow Challenge, an activity from the course Ordering Chaos.

The second year of the Progressive Education Lab (PEL), welcomed four new teaching fellows, Eileen Lai, Xu (Sue) Li, Alice Lloyd, and Kevin Smith. The two-year fellowship aims to train educators through hands-on teaching experience in the classrooms of four different schools: CSW, the Putney School in Vermont, the Unquowa School in Connecticut, and the Calhoun School in New York. Teaching mentors Tom Evans and Evelina Galper return for their second year, Rachel Hirsch continues as PEL mentor coordinator, and the CSW PEL team welcomes Mark Santa Maria as a teaching mentor this year. Eileen recently graduated from Washington University in St. Louis where she has worked with various education groups throughout her college career.

Sue brings her passion for science to the program after studying both neuroscience and English at the University of Michigan. Outside of attending courses at Dartmouth College, Alice has explored her passion for teaching through working at various summer camps. Kevin’s enthusiasm for hands-on learning stems from his own learning experience at Bowdoin College and working on an organic farm. Last year Sam Egilman ’07, Aspen Golann ’05, Hallie Herz, and Dana Wolfson became the first fellows to participate in PEL. This year they are full-time teaching interns, placed at each of the partner schools. Hallie secured an internship in the CSW English department.


Class of 2013 Graduates While tropical storm Andrea poured down, The Class of 2013, consisting of 87 students, received their diplomas from The Cambridge School of Weston at its 127th commencement exercises on June 7. In her opening remarks, Jane Moulding, Head of School, paid tribute to the much beloved and recently departed art teacher Karl Fisher. Jane recalled Karl’s love of Ultimate Frisbee and discussed the code of behavior used in games of Ultimate known as “SOTG” or spirit of the game. The senior class chose fellow classmates Emma Rose ’13 of Cambridge, Mass., and Raekwon Walker ’13 of Newark, N.J., to speak on their behalf at graduation. Emma commented on the ever changing, yet constant nature of the rain forest, which reminded her of CSW, while Raekwon

shared pieces from the journey that brought him to CSW and carried him to his graduation. Elected faculty speakers Nailah Randall-Bellinger, the new chair of the dance department, and Craig Dorfman, beloved English teacher who left CSW after the end of the 2012–2013 school year, shared their thoughts and advice with the students. Faculty members, chosen by members of the senior class, presented the graduating students with their diplomas. Many students ran leaping into tight emotional embraces with faculty members. The Class of 2013 processed to Rusted Root’s “Send Me On My Way” at the end of the ceremony, shot up their umbrellas under the unrelenting rain, and joined the guests for refreshments.

Photography by Tim Morse Photography. Please visit our Facebook page at   /CambridgeSchool to view the entire album and download photographs.

6 • The Gryphon Fall 2013

News & Notes Continued

A Memorable and Well Attended Reunion 2013 After considerable rain and cloudy weather leading up to the weekend, the sun came out strong for our 2013 Reunion. Over 200 alumni attended the reunion and an overwhelming additional 200 attended the featured activity on Saturday: an emotional dance tribute to Martha Gray that celebrated 45 years of teaching at CSW. All CSW alumni and friends were welcome to attend Reunion, where they reunited with old friends, reminisced about their time at CSW, and enjoyed the various workshops and events. Activities included an alumni vs. student soccer game, tea and discussion with Head of School Jane Moulding on progressive education, exploring the Thompson Gallery exhibit

titled Michael Oatman: Another Fine Mess, and a Story Corps workshop led by Kathy Wittman. The Robin Wood Theatre was standing-room only for the muchanticipated event From the Horse’s Mouth: A Dance Tribute to Martha Gray. Dance students from every decade of Martha’s CSW career returned to pay tribute to the beloved teacher by dancing and sharing their stories for the piece. From the Horse’s Mouth was first performed 15 years ago by a group of modern dancers and choreographers, which then grew to include a multitude of styles including: ballet, African, tap, flamenco, jazz, East Indian, Broadway, and Japanese dance through the years.

The piece revolves around personal stories from the dancers of each show, ensuring that no two performances are the same. Martha’s tribute featured 23 performers, who have gone on to study dance and theatre after CSW. Many of the featured performers have made careers out of dancing, including Grazia Della-Terza ’72, a former member of Douglas Dunn & Dancers, Christopher L. Huggins ’81, a former member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Rebecca Levy ’97, the Artistic Director of the Jacksonville Dance Theatre. The moving performance demonstrated the depth of Martha’s work and her influence on generations of CSW graduates. above: Alumni dancers paid tribute to Martha Gray, who retired in June after 45 years at CSW. left: In total, a record 400 alumni and guests attended the 2013 reunion. Photography by Russ Campbell Photography. Additional photographs of Reunion are featured in the Class Notes section, starting on page 35.


Noteworthy Math teacher LeeAnn Brash taught a one-week course using Zome building systems at Einstein’s Workshop in Burlington, Mass. Einstein’s Workshop is a space for kids and adults to explore the creative side of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Science teacher and Sustainability Coordinator Marilyn Del Donno attended a Green Scholars Conference at Manchester Essex Middle High School, where she learned about a program they have for developing projects with students on sustainability issues. Spanish teacher and College Counselor Ben Ibbetson and skills teacher Liz Hayes got married! The couple tied the knot on June 19. Congratulations! CSW dance teacher Carey McKinley was commissioned to create a dance piece for “The Process Series,” a program with Carolina Performing Arts at UNC–Chapel Hill. Her work on the piece started this summer. The piece explores the seemingly stark landscape of the Antarctic, the contrast between human’s desire to conquer nature, and nature’s ultimate control over us all. Carey is dedicating the piece and the process to the late visual arts teacher Karl Fisher. It will be performed on February 13, 2014 in North Carolina.

Visual arts teacher Alison Safford was an artist in residence at Sundaymorning@ekwc in Den Bosch, Netherlands. Sundaymorning@ekwc is an international workplace where artists, designers, and architects explore the technical and artistic possibilities of ceramics. During her time abroad, Alison made three installations, worked on some performance pieces, and collaborated with other visual artists from around the world. Languages department chair and French teacher Diana Baruni practiced her Spanish at the Boston Language Institute through private classes and traveled to England and France with her family. Dance department chair and dance teacher Nailah Randall-Bellinger was a Guest Artist at the DanceLife Teacher National Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., where she presented and instructed in Modern Dance. This summer the print department of the Boston Public Library purchased 25 more Boston street photography images from visual arts department chair Tony Loreti. They began collecting Tony’s work a few years ago, and this summer’s big purchase doubles the number of his prints at BPL. These are pictures that Tony has taken in the city since 1980.

Seung Hyun Kim ’14 was recently invited to present his independent Math work at the American Mathematical Society’s Fall Eastern Sectional Meeting at Temple University in Philadelphia, Penn. Seung Hyun worked in his home country of South Korea to further develop his independent Math research. His focus was to develop a new method to calculate a nonlinear Stefan problem. A Stefan problem (also known as a Stefan task) is a particular kind of boundary value problem for a partial difference equation adapted to the case in which a phase boundary can move with time. Noah Bartel ’14 began his second year in the “Fast Forward” program at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), as one of the only students from a private, suburban high school. His short film “Expression” that he conceived of and produced in the program placed second in the YoungCuts Film Festival, an international film festival for independent, emerging filmmakers. Noah was selected to attend a special screening and film workshop at the White House due to his impressive work in the “Fast Forward” program.

8 • The Gryphon Fall 2013

News & Notes Continued

Spring & Fall Sports Wrap Up The Boys’ and Girls’ Varsity Soccer teams won their semifinal matches in the league playoffs.

SPRING Tennis The Tennis team finished in third place in the Massachusetts Bay Independent League. They finished with an overall record of 7–5 and a league record of 3–4. Sam Hoenig ’15 was selected as an MBIL All-League player. Ultimate A-Team The Ultimate Frisbee A-team finished with an overall record of 17–8 and a league record of 4–4. The team played in three different weekend tournaments, including the elite Amherst High School Invitational Open. Max McGleughlin ’13 received the coveted Most Valuable Player award for the Massachusetts Bay Independent League and Jacob Arons ’15 was selected as an MBIL All-League player. Ultimate B-Team The Ultimate Frisbee B-team finished the spring season with an overall record of 5–6. The team, a mix of ambitious novices and trusty veterans, enjoyed a handful of competitive games and learned a great deal about the sport of Ultimate in the process.

Baseball The Baseball team had a tough transitional season, finishing the spring with an overall record of 0–9 and a league record of 0–8. Comprised of a number of newcomers and a few returning players, the team faced some highly competitive teams and lost a few close games in the process. Team captain Eli Scribner-Moore ’13 was selected as an MBIL All-League player. Lacrosse The Girls’ Lacrosse team had a season of notable improvement last year despite a tough regular season record of 2–6. Every game was a valuable learning experience for both new and returning players, and the team ended the spring with a positive outlook to the 2014 season ahead. FALL Soccer Both the Girls’ and Boys’ Varsity Soccer teams won their semifinals matches in dramatic fashion in front of a roaring crowd of CSW fans. The teams advanced to the championship games in their respective leagues, but lost narrowly to the Waring School. Boys’ Varsity Soccer Co-captain Noah Rossen ’14 became the leading goal scorer in CSW history with over 30 goals in the season, and was voted co-MVP of the Massachusetts Bay Independent League. Cross Country The Cross Country team placed second in their Championship Meet. With more than eight schools competing, this is a wonderful accomplishment and a great way to end an extraordinary season. Field Hockey The team posted a record of 0–8–2 for the season, but was strong in spirit and determination. Ten CSW athletes were named all-league players for the fall season.

Successful Third Season of Summer Arts at CSW Summer Arts at The Cambridge School of Weston celebrated the last day of camp with their annual Arts Festival. Almost 200 campers showcased all that had been created over the five-week multi-arts program for kids aged 6–15. The daylong celebration included an art exhibition of drawing, painting, photo, sculpture, and original performances in music, drama performances, video and animation screenings, and sports activities. The dance concert demonstrated various styles and featured campers of all ages. Many campers also participated in the musical production of “Follow Your Hooves,” an original musical co-written by CSW alumnus Cooper Evans ’10, which follows the adventures of two goat sisters trying to find their place in the world. Summer Arts strives to empower kids to express their individuality, take artistic risks, and learn new skills. The community thrives on a blend of cultural and economic backgrounds, and inspiring and experienced teachers.



Hallie Herz joins us as an English teacher in her second-year as a Progressive Education Lab teaching fellow at CSW. Carmen Leahy joins us as an English teacher this year from the Brentwood School in Los Angeles where she has taught for the past 11 years. Tara Nelson joins the visual arts teaching team. She is a national and international exhibitor, curator, and lecturer of film. Kemarah Sika, director of library and media services, joins us from the Winsor School in Boston, where she was, most recently, the instructional technology specialist. Samantha Simpson, English teacher, relocated from North Carolina where she taught at Charlotte Country Day School for three years. Zachary Taylor joins us as a new Spanish teacher this year. Formerly, he was a graduate assistant at Eugene Lang College. Devon Voake joins us as health educator and counselor for 9th grade students. Most recently, she was a graduate teaching fellow at the University of Vermont. Barbara Whitney joins us as the chair of the theatre department after five years of teaching and directing at the Pingree School.

Thompson Gallery WINTER


Les Mastenbrook :   Multiple Angles At Once December 16, 2013–February 21, 2014

Milton Rogovin :   Social Optometry March 31, 2014–June 15, 2014

Reception Thursday, December 19, 2013 4:00–7:00 p.m.

Reception Friday, April 4, 2014 4:00–7:00 p.m.

Gallery Talk Saturday, February 1, 2014 1:00–2:00 p.m.

Gallery Talk Saturday, April 26, 2014 1:00–2:00 p.m.

Lelia Elliston ’80 returns to CSW as the director of alumni relations, a position she held from 2007 to 2011. During her time away, she worked at various organizations in development and philanthropic operations and database management. Susan Jacobs P ’93 joins the business office as the associate director of finance. She has 20 years of experience in the financial field at various educational institutions in Massachusetts. She is also the mother of an alumna. Jessica Kim joins CSW as a new assistant director of admissions. Previously, she was a preparation and placement associate at the Steppingstone Foundation in Boston. Denise Santa Maria is our new admissions coordinator. Previously, she worked in the registrar’s office at the University of Massachusetts. She lives on campus with her husband Mark Santa Maria, chair of the English department and dorm associate. Rebecca Schultzberg is our new director of development. She spent six years at Worcester Academy, and most recently, was the director of annual giving and development volunteers at Hebrew Senior Life in Boston.

Fall has bloomed on the Quad.

12 • The Gryphon Fall 2013

Alumni Profiles Written by Alumni for Alumni Interested in writing a profile? We welcome new alumni writers. Contact:

A Look Into the Lives of CSW Alumni: Kayla Dalton ’12 Eric von Hippel ’59 Claudia Lux ’05



Kayla Dalton ’12: Taking the Non-Traditional Route By Sarah Schnebly ’12 Kayla Dalton ’12 applied the independence she honed at CSW to arrange a gap year to Costa Rica to enrich her knowledge of agricultural sustainability and to teach English to children at the local school. “Independence was a big part of CSW,” said Kayla, who attributes her autonomy to her high school experience. She spent the last year hiking the mountains of New Zealand, talking to prospective families for CSW, and teaching English to children in Costa Rica, where she worked with local farmers and took courses on sustainability. “I had the ability to plan so much of my own life at CSW, and I learned to take control of my own education,” she said. Kayla’s adventures in Central America were driven by her enthusiasm for sustainable agriculture, her passion for languages and culture, and a deep fondness for the country of Costa Rica, which she developed during her study abroad at CSW. Four years of studying Spanish in CSW classrooms paid off as she put her language skills to the test and aided farmers in creating instruction pamphlets for their farms in both English and Spanish. “A vast majority of their income comes from agro-tourism,” Kayla explained of the town that she stayed in. “Students come from all over the globe to stay at farms and learn about sustainability.” The program, called EARTH University, enabled her to embark on the agriculture-centered community development project, while at the same time, provide an opportunity to teach. Local middle school students, who wanted a basic introduction to the English language, became Kayla’s first class. “It was a lot of fun being a teacher in front of a classroom full of students. It was the first time I’d really done that,” Kayla said. Her students’ families frequently host English-speaking students from the United States and Europe, so she focused on providing tools for basic communication that would help Costa Rican families to welcome English speakers into their homes. She also assisted high school-aged students taking English as a second language with their schoolwork and helped them comprehend more complex grammar and tenses. “I would love to revisit teaching at some point in the future,” said Kayla, who started studying at the University of Vermont this fall. “My gap year was a way to explore and look deeper

into things I might be interested in studying.” In addition to fueling her passion for Costa Rica and the Spanish language, Kayla says that CSW helped her decide to take a year to explore her interests before entering college. “There was a great deal of encouragement within the CSW community to take a gap year. Everyone really wanted me to be able to follow my dreams and passions without going the traditional route.”

14 • The Gryphon Fall 2013

Eric von Hippel ’59: A Creative Spirit Fostered By Eric Ginsburg ’06 The author of “Christiana in Catlandia,” a compilation of freshly imagined, cat-themed bedtime stories, also happens to hold degrees from Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Carnegie-Mellon, but before any of those, CSW. Eric von Hippel ’59, a professor of technological innovation in the MIT Sloan School of Management, considers himself an odd-ball, something that helped him fit in at CSW, pioneer economic theories of production and innovation, and write “Catlandia” with his daughter. Eric has always been a tinkerer and inventor, appropriate characteristics for someone who holds four patents and turned conventional business wisdom about innovation on its head by championing “user-centered” innovation. His books — from the widely lauded “Democratizing Innovation” to the light-hearted cat-themed compilation — embody his principles about open inquiry and the idea that innovation and entrepreneurship start at the fringes. Eric found his creative spirit before discovering CSW, but the school nourished him and equipped him to pursue his curiosities.

“My philosophy when I came to CSW was that I really wanted personal freedom to create, and CSW certainly supported that.” “I really think it was the school’s support of my individual creativity — a nd everyone else’s — that was the major thing,” he said. CSW runs in the von Hippel family, but both of Eric’s children made other educational choices before electing to attend CSW. Like Eric, they found a set of teachers who were willing to adapt their approaches to the von Hippels’ specific passions. For his son, who fostered an “intense interest in history,” Rachel Hirsch became his beacon.

“He took every course of hers that she ever gave or could imagine giving,” Eric said, marveling at the school’s longstanding ability to attract and retain brilliant teachers. Several names leap to mind from his own education spanning several disciplines, including Hans Bierman, a former biology teacher. Eric recalls one experience that provides insight into the philosophy of progressive education. “He wanted us to really learn about what cells were like, and we had to draw the details,” Eric explained. “We had to make tons of dots for the cytoplasm of the cells. This was arduous and we all complained, so I built an electric dotting machine that I shared with all my classmates. Hans just laughed and laughed. The whole thing had a warm, nurturing quality.” Other teachers, like math teacher Bob Brown, offered that same warmth while instilling “real moral standards.” Eric also speaks highly of Latin teacher Rosalin Henning, who spent a considerable amount of time outside the classroom engaging with him about politics or Rome. “The teachers there are so well educated and intellectually curious,” Eric marveled. “The fact that she would take the time and be willing to follow and add to a student’s curiosity was just phenomenal. Even if you wanted to have that kind of a conversation in an ordinary school, you couldn’t. CSW did a lot to shape my intellectual curiosity and freedom.” Even though his kids already graduated, Eric is animated about CSW’s future, especially as the school continues exploring the relationship between art and science and technology. “CSW is fabulous,” he said, “and I’m excited that things are going in that direction.” Eric’s doing his part to help — he recently brought Leah Buechley from the MIT Media Lab to present at a CSW assembly about her LilyPad Arduino boards that combine art and accessible technology. The Cambridge School of Weston already understands the relevance of interdisciplinary education, Eric said, and if it can stimulate and combine scientific and artistic creativity, it will remain at the forefront of progressive education.


Claudia Lux ’05: A Strong Sense of Purpose By Eric Ginsburg ’06 Claudia Lux ’05 has seen her share of high schools, and she swears there isn’t another one like CSW. As part of her Masters in social work program at the University of Texas at Austin, Claudia interns at a local high school. Before trekking south, she worked as a sexuality educator for Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey. It’s not always easy to talk to teenagers — in middle schools, high schools, prisons, shelters, and rehabilitation centers — about sexual health, but Claudia drew on the example of her affirming CSW teachers. “Unlike other high schools, we were treated with a certain amount of adult respect that a lot of young people really are not treated with,” she said.

“It sounds so simple but it’s so rare. To be able to give young people that respect and that authority is really powerful and definitely the best way to educate.” While living in Brooklyn and commuting to New Jersey, Claudia designed a lesson plan examining how teenage girls are portrayed in the media, ultimately presenting her work at conferences for professionals and hundreds of teenagers. In many regards, she traces her self-confidence and empowerment to CSW. Encouragement from her advisor, the photo department, and the entire community helped the development of her senior capstone project about sexuality and body image of teenage girls. The process and finished project amounted to a metamorphosis for her, and looking back, she realizes just how rare the institutional support she received is at other schools. Despite the potentially controversial topic, the staff received Claudia’s interest in exploring how teenage girls thought about their sexuality with an academic understanding and reinforcement of her curiosity.

Before transferring to CSW, Claudia struggled at an esteemed private school that failed to cater to her learning style. During her first mod, Claudia started doing well academically and realized that she was smart and could contribute to class discussions. “I never took my education seriously before CSW,” she said. “Craig Dorfman’s English class was radically important for me, and I participated a lot in class. Tom Evans was phenomenal in making me feel like I could make art, which was not something I felt like I could do before. In a lot of ways I can credit CSW for not only who I am, but that I made it through high school.” CSW also taught Claudia to think about how she can improve society, leading her to co-found Daughters Rising, a nonprofit that provides practical job training and resources for women escaping sex trafficking in Thailand and Cambodia. It aims to empower the women’s daughters through girls clubs, creating an intergenerational shift by opening new financial opportunities and internal transformation. Claudia attributes her creative thinking and practical problem-solving skills to her foundational high school education. She radiates pride not just for the school and its teachers, but also for the current students. Last winter, after being invited back to CSW to speak at an assembly for International Women’s Month, Claudia met with the school’s feminist group. She is still in touch with some of the students. “They were so smart and dedicated,” she said, “and so much more driven than a lot of high school students I’ve seen. They wanted to make CSW better because they love CSW. Students are able to bring issues forward and have an assembly about it. CSW provides a forum to discuss things that other schools would never acknowledge or discuss. CSW is not preparing you for more high school, it’s preparing you for real life.”

16 • The Gryphon Fall 2013

Campus Life Afternoon Scrabble in Aleph.


Creativity at Work Laser Show Inspired by STEM Class

Classic Literature Goes Digital

As part of last spring’s Illuminarium festivities, Tino Christelis ’14 treated the community to a laser show he designed from scratch, where music-influenced patterns projected onto the ceiling. The project grew out of the STEM integration course, which Tino took, that investigates how mathematic and scientific principles are used in engineering to improve technology. Months after the class concluded, Tino revisited the laser show in an independent study focusing on computeraided design and programming. By strategically placing mirrors within a sound system’s speakers and pointing a laser at them, Tino created a show unlike anything seen before, as it allowed the audience to see patterns that reflected the music’s sound waves. Tino relished the immensely positive reaction all types of students had toward his show. “People were on the floor of the theatre dancing to the music, gazing up at the laser show, the entire time appreciating the science that made up this unique CSW experience.”

During Mod 7 of last year, English Teacher Jeannette Lee introduced the first open educational resources (OER) iPad-only course for the upper level “Jane Eyre” class. Students read the entire lengthy English classic written by Charlotte Brontë on school-owned iPads using Subtext and Project Gutenberg’s ebook version of Brontë’s 1897 edition. All class assignments and homework was shared on Google Drive. “It’s exciting and great to have the opportunity at CSW to employ, expand upon, and adjust approaches that I used when I was in academia,” said Jeannette. The class received assistance from the technology department who downloaded the app on CSW-owned iPads that were loaned to students for the mod. Assistant librarian, Eileen Juncewicz regularly attended and assisted on any iPad or research based questions. One of the key benefits of Subtext is the amount of useful statistical information that Jeannette could collect about student reading habits: where students are in the novel, students’ pace of reading, how many words students looked up, what text students highlighted, and what comments students made on highlighted text. It gave Jeannette so much information on students’ reading practices. She was also able to share that with the open educational community so other teachers in the world can use the syllabus. She will be teaching another “Jane Eyre” OER iPad class this year.

Capstone Project Fuses Passion for Technology For his senior capstone project, E.J. Fitzpatrick ’13 worked closely with English teacher Jane Berkowitz to test the integration of technology into the classroom. Together, E.J. and Jane created a one-on-one iPad classroom for required sophomore English class “Writing About Reading,” designing lesson plans that gave students opportunities to complete classwork on individual iPads. “I felt respected and supported,” E.J. said of his experience with Jane and the technology department, who loaned him 20 iPads for the project. “It’s a huge deal for a school to provide real opportunities for students to shape their own education, and to have the autonomy and power to pursue their interests.” E.J. had pursued his passion for technology throughout his CSW career by taking independent studies with the technology department and as a member of the Technology Committee. He is currently studying Computer Engineering at Boston University.

18 • The Gryphon Fall 2013

Course Spotlight Ordering Chaos: An Integrated Studies Course Integrated Studies are interdisciplinary courses designed to inspire students to develop their creative problem-solving skills. “Ordering Chaos,” a required course for new freshmen and sophomores, is taught by a math teacher and a visual arts teacher, and students are continually asked to think “outside the box” as they make connections between math and art, two seemingly different disciplines. Using skills and ideas from each discipline, students are given the opportunity to reflect on concepts and ponder their own newly formed ideas as they create a variety of projects. Working successfully in groups and being an active, thoughtful participant throughout the course are important goals for each student. Designed in part as an introduction to the type of creative problem-solving that students are asked to do throughout their time at CSW, all Integrated Studies courses are a vehicle for students to understand better who they are as learners, to celebrate cognitive diversity, and to acknowledge both the strengths of their intelligences and their challenges as learners.



CSW BY THE NUMBERS Number of iPads in Library



Number of Tournaments Ultimate Frisbee Team Won Last Year

Number of composting toilets on campus:

6 Warren House 7 Garthwaite Center “recycling toilets” 4 in the Facilities Barn Number of years that Mod System has been in place

Pets Residing On Campus Approximate

848 dogs


80% faculty holding




Jethro and Charlie 2 beloved dogs owned by Head of School Jane Moulding

DISTANCE TR AVELED The farthest approximate distance (in miles) of a student’s home from campus: from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The shortest distance (by any measure) of a student’s home from campus: . One of our students lives on campus with his parents, who are residential faculty. 

8,780 0

pounds of noodles served at noodle bar:

135 2,700



faculty profile

Awa Diop: Witnessing Flowers Bloom By Sarah Schnebly ’12


Awa, who has devoted the last five years to enriching CSW students’ understanding of language, can trace her fascination with different languages and cultures to when she was just four years old. As a young child growing up in Senegal, Awa spoke Wolof and French. She was introduced to Spanish through the Cuban-influenced music piped through her parents’ stereo. “I remember moving to the rhythm of the music and singing along to the Spanish, which I didn’t understand then,” she said. “I just imitated the sounds I heard.” She attributes her decision to study several languages, including Spanish, to this early love of foreign language and culture. While languages swiftly found a place in Awa’s heart, a passion for teaching was not far behind. Throughout Awa’s youth, she learned from teachers whom she admired and who influenced her greatly. “I was always impressed with their intellectual ability,” Awa said of her early educators. “I was impressed with their ability to motivate me and push me toward my goals.” However, one of her greatest motivations toward teaching came from an unlikely source — a teacher who treated her aspirations with contempt and racial prejudice.  “I shared my dreams of becoming a teacher with this teacher and I was told that if I wanted to work at a school, I should become a cook,” Awa recalled. “When I spoke of wanting to go abroad and become fluent in English, he made it clear he thought the only reason I received good grades in English was because my English teacher was also black.”  His words stuck with her, pushing her deliberately and more forcefully toward her goal of becoming a teacher. “I took the negativity and it fed me, and gave me stamina to prove him wrong,” she said.   After earning her masters degree at Syracuse University, Awa began her journey at The Cambridge School of Weston. Though Awa originally had reservations about teaching in a high school, having only taught university students before, she quickly warmed up to the world of CSW and its students. Awa learned that CSW is “a place where students are really pushing back.” In her very first class at CSW, Awa was challenged by her students, who frankly told her the syllabus she had planned did not fit CSW’s way of doing things. Awa still stood by her guidelines for the class, but warmed up to their

boldness. Over the years, she has become accustomed to the unabashed way in which CSW students share their opinions. Awa also credits her fellow faculty in the languages department for supporting her and helping her acclimate to CSW. “I formed relationships with teachers and developed my own relationship to the school and its philosophy of being,” she said. “I became more comfortable and I was able to teach the way I wanted to teach.” Awa relishes the chance CSW gives her to approach the material in her own way, and she is thankful for opportunities to create deep, meaningful bonds with her students. “I really love my students,” she said. “I love their creativity and their curiosity. There will be days when I have this perfectly structured outline of how I might teach, but none of it ends up happening the way I thought. Someone will ask just one question that will lead the whole class in a completely different direction. There is a richness in that.”

“I love witnessing my students discover a new personality within a new language. It’s like seeing little flowers bloom.” The most powerful moment in the classroom, for Awa, is seeing how students grow from using their acquired language skills. “I love witnessing my students discover a new personality within a new language. It’s like seeing little flowers bloom. As students master the language they discover new aspects of their personality that are only expressed in that language.” This year, in addition to working in the languages department, Awa has taken on the roles of dorm associate and international student advisor. As a dorm associate, she lives on campus and interacts more directly with boarding students, many of whom are international students. As the international student advisor, she helps students whose homes are outside of the United States navigate the transition to life at CSW. “I’m looking forward to this year, this new life on campus, and a new balanced energy.”

22 • The Gryphon Fall 2013

From the desk of... Each issue, we feature a guest writer from our community to share his or her story with us.

Linda Nathan ’73

Making the road by walking: A roadmap from an after-school initiative to a better school system Who would have known that an informal theatre program for young children in the late 1970s could yield such fertile ground? I was teaching in a middle school and also directing an after-school theatre program that had achieved some notoriety. A visionary principal from another school heard about our work, and decided he could turn around his K-5 school by providing arts for all students. The first task was starting a middle school so that the school would grow to be K-8. Very few K-8s existed in that era. The school was located in one of the worst housing developments in Boston, ravaged by violence, drugs, and high rates of teen pregnancy. Yet eventually, we created an environment where every young person in that large elementary school had daily arts experiences. The principal knew that the arts would be a strong draw. He gave us another challenge: Make the middle school a bilingual middle school for the arts. Ensure that graduates were competent and

conversant in both Spanish and English and also had skills in theatre, stagecraft, visual arts, dance, and music. A group of committed teachers worked for months to plan an interdisciplinary curriculum that would create multiple opportunities for students to experience the arts woven with science, math, English, and history. We had autonomy to create our own academic curricula and also to think about ways that arts and academics might enhance learning. We were a small group of very committed teachers who made strong connections with community organizations and families. Yet, we had no authority or real agency to ensure that our school would thrive. Our visionary principal left and another arrived who didn’t share our zeal for a bilingual middle school for the arts. This new principal had many initiatives for school improvement. Our arts focus was just one of many things


we were asked to do. Raising student achievement by any and all means became the new mantra. Funding and energies dissipated. We saw that the district no longer supported the original vision for the school. Many of us began to look for new opportunities to effect change in schools. Boston Arts Academy Today Fast forward to 1998 when I became the founding Headmaster of Boston Arts Academy (BAA). BAA was part of a new movement in Boston called “Pilot Schools.” These are schools that were developed by both the district and the teachers’ union with the premise that by granting schools more autonomy student achievement would increase. Each of the original Pilot Schools was very mission focused. BAA, as the name suggests, is a school for visual and performing arts. At BAA, the arts create an environment where explorations of polarizing issues can be the norm. The culture of experimentation in new media, of risk-taking both artistically and academically, striving for excellence, and of collaboration permeates all classrooms. Students proudly discuss the values of the school, which include “passion with balance,” “vision with integrity,” “community with social responsibility,” and “diversity with respect.” These concepts, which can be difficult for most adults to live by, are infused in all aspects of the BAA community. Today, BAA is part of a growing number of autonomous schools in Boston. Pilot schools were the first to guarantee autonomy in six key areas: governance, budget, hiring, curriculum, scheduling, and school calendar. There are now over 40 (out of a total district of approximately 135 schools) autonomous schools in the Boston Public Schools. From Founding Principal to a Broader World In my new role in the district, I work to better clarify what these variations in autonomies mean to different constituents. Some autonomous school

leaders have created some of the most successful schools I have ever seen anywhere in this country. (And I would put BAA in that category). Some leaders haven’t yet figured out how to ensure that teachers feel a strong sense of ownership. Other schools operate almost as if they don’t belong to any district. Collecting the evidence of the variations and the areas of tension between the district and schools has been fascinating. Most exciting for me has been the opportunity to connect with young teachers and school leaders who, as with myself over 30 years ago, embrace the challenges of public education and use autonomy as a way to ensure the creation of the best school possible. Every one I meet with is determined to keep students at the center of the work. These young educators believe deeply in the power of collaboration and I have witnessed their team meetings as they pour over student achievement data and discuss how to improve teaching and learning in their classrooms.

About Linda Dr. Nathan is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in education reform, and has lectured and written widely on topics ranging from the importance of arts education to developing schools centered on equity to developing strong structures that support teachers and leaders. Her book, “The Hardest Questions Aren’t on the Test: Lessons from an Innovative Urban School,” was published in 2009, and her articles have appeared in numerous publications. She is also a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she teaches a course titled “Building Democratic Schools.” She is currently Special Advisor to the Superintendent of Boston Public Schools, where she works on issues of school autonomy.


24 • The Gryphon Fall 2013

“Adolescent Brain, Meet the 21st Century” By Anne Mackin P ’12


In the ever-changing education landscape, The Cambridge School of Weston has been at the forefront of delivering a dynamic program and providing opportunities for deep learning that support the development of the adolescent brain. What does learning look like in the 21st century? More importantly, what are the skills that students need to survive in this globally connected, technologically advancing world? In “Essential Capacities for the 21st Century,” the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) named “Analytical and Creative Thinking and Problem-Solving” first on its list of necessary skills. The report focuses on research by Tony Wagner, a noted thought leader and author of “Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World,” who in his research, asked 600 CEOs what qualities young citizens now needed to survive in this new century.

The Cambridge School of Weston prides itself on the “deep learning” seen as imperative by NAIS — a nd with good reason. The adolescent brain, as it turns out, is designed for this type of thinking, and the necessity to teach and foster skills, such as collaboration, critical analysis, adaptability, and resilience, have implications far beyond high school. Since its inception, CSW has valued student-centered learning that encourages independent thinking, critical analysis, and creativity in all disciplines. Forty years ago, when the school broke ground with the Module System, also known as the Mod Plan, it upended the traditional high school schedule. Gone were students juggling class work for seven or

26 • The Gryphon Fall 2013

eight periods a day. Through the Mod Plan, students took insulator that speeds up transmission from neuron to neuron. fewer classes at a time, sometimes just two or three classes This brain is ready to analyze situations and information with in one mod, for longer class periods. The result has been sophistication and to creatively solve the problems or conflicts more time — more time for learning, more time for teaching, they present. more time for students to experiment, think, ask questions, The cerebral cortex is the last and most sophisticated layer and explore. imparted by evolution to the human brain. In post-adolescence, And time is necessary for the development of the well into a person’s mid-twenties, the frontal lobes of the adolescent brain. cerebral cortex undergo critical fine-tuning, solidifying Adolescence is a time of brain growth and restructuring in complex systems such as executive function, which allows us the important frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex — a key part of to control and coordinate our thought processes and behavior. the brain that helps humans Creative thinking and “The adolescent brain takes 12 or 13 weigh consequences of acproblem-solving are notorition, evaluate risk, and create ously difficult to achieve in minutes to transition from one longer-term memory. Much of subject to the next, and that’s time lost courses taught primarily by this work occurs during the lecture. Memorizing a fact from each class.” long hours of sleep for which takes few neurons, making teenagers are famous.  it harder for the brain to diana baruni French Teacher, In puberty, our brains add retrieve and use. Students Chair of the Languages Department gray matter by building addiwho think creatively tional synapses in the frontal lobe. Synapses connect the neurons about information utilize more brain activity that can help that hold information, allow us to relate and compare these strengthen its place in the brain. bits of stored knowledge, and allow us to think. After puberty, Thinking deeply about something connects it to many the brain prunes back synapses and may even rewire a bit. other facts and concepts in the brain and strengthens memory What it adds at this stage is white matter, or myelin, a fatty and understanding. When something is more personally relevant or meaningful, the brain pays more attention and our memory for the material is improved, according to Tina Bryson, parenting and learning expert and co-author of “The Whole-Brain Child.” French teacher Diana Baruni learns continually about the adolescent brain from lectures, readings, her colleagues, and students. “The adolescent brain takes 12 or 13 minutes to transition from one subject to the next,” explained Diana, who is also chair of the languages department, “and that’s time lost from each class.” In CSW’s longer class periods, students have the opportunity to practice and apply these skills. First, longer time in class allows students to focus deeply on fewer concepts at a time. In addition, teachers at CSW report using more creative and effective ways of teaching, rather than the traditional lecture mode. When students can learn by doing, by creating, by conceptualizing ideas visually — or by teaching others or


debating — the information and skills they gain stays with them. And there’s more. CSW teachers see fewer students each day, compared to teachers at other schools who teach six or more classes a day. When that happens, students benefit. Teachers get to know their students better, including their different learning styles, individual strengths, and varying interests. Greater flexibility and teacher innovation, as well as the demand to incorporate essential skills for the 21st century, has led to a fascinating course called “Ordering Chaos” at CSW that combines mathematics and art. The course is designed to advance students’ abilities in creative problemsolving, through collaboration, puzzles, and equations. Math teacher Evelina Galper noticed that some students who stumbled at math had great creative problem-solving abilities. The new course allows students to understand different ways of relating concepts such as “logic and truth,” “shapes and beauty,” and “different forms of intelligence,” and to apply them to mathematics and problem-solving. It has been an unqualified success, and has excited many students about math in a new way. Now, the rest of the world is now catching up. The 1990s saw both independent and public high schools in the U.S. adopting longer class periods of 75 to 90 minutes. Block

Scheduling Associates of North Carolina estimates that up to three quarters of American high schools now use at least one longer scheduling block in their course calendar. Academic Dean Sidra Smith attended a symposium on block scheduling last year, run by Independent School Management (ISM) of Delaware, where she “felt like a celebrity” because CSW had been incorporating best practices for so long. “Other schools are getting the message that longer class blocks benefit students in a number of ways,” she said. “They can focus more deeply on a smaller scope of material, so they learn better.” As more research emerges about the development of the adolescent brain, schools of the 21st century must also adapt and evolve to meet the demands and learning styles of the adolescent brain. “CSW has been experimenting with modular courses, with tutorial systems with fewer students for many years,” said Head of School Jane Moulding. “And interestingly enough, we’ve devised a system that really helps kids develop the skills they need to succeed in the modern world. We help them learn about themselves and their opinions, how to find their passions, how to collaborate, how to think deeply about a topic or an issue, to analyze and evaluate it.”

Diving Deep: The Mod System’s 40 Years By John Greiner-Ferris When Robert Sandoe became headmaster in 1972, he was determined to bring new life and educational ventures to The Cambridge School of Weston. Civil activism had made its way to the Weston campus as political unrest embroiled the rest of the country in the wake of the Vietnam War. A year after his appointment, Sandoe introduced the Modular Plan, which even to the progressive world at CSW was considered revolutionary.

The Mod Plan, also known as the Mod System, allowed for a new way to learn and teach. It upended the traditional practice of taking seven or eight subjects at a time throughout the course of a school year. Under the Mod Plan, students took fewer classes a day in longer time periods, for just five weeks at a time. It meant students had the opportunity to dive deeper into the material and intensely engage with the subject at hand. For instance, instead of one year-long overview course in history, students could take a course on a specific place or time period, such as “Ancient Rome,” or a more focused topic,

28 • The Gryphon Fall 2013

Diving Deep continued...

curiosity — the very skills that CSW has been instilling year like “Voting and Elections.” The longer class periods also after year — top the list. It could be said that CSW is one, allowed for more hands-on, experiential learning through lab giant collaborative project. Students move around and adapt experiments and collaborative projects. constantly to new classes, teachers, and peers. Just as important as the intensity was the flexibility “The Mod System shakes things up every five weeks,” inherent in the Mod System, which allowed for educational Rachel said. “We mix up the grades more than other schools, opportunities not found in traditional programs. Under the so students don’t see themselves in just their grade level, but Mod Plan, a student could choose to spend an entire mod also as members of other communities. off-campus to study broad, to work on a capstone project or an Rachel adds that adaptability is an essential skill, as independent study, without disruption to other classes or students eventually enter the work force, take on various jobs requirements. Over the years, students have been able to take and work with a variety of people in different settings. “In order their studies off-campus to the Woods Hole Oceanographic to do that well, you need to know what you bring to the party Institution to study marine biology, to French-speaking and what you do well and how you integrate yourself in with Canada and France to study French language and culture, to other people who are different from you, and you need to do Costa Rica and Panama to study language and sciences in the that quickly. Here, a student might have been the best talker in neo-tropics, and more recently, to China to study language and their history class one mod, but he or she lands in an art class, Beijing Opera. and they realize there’s somebody who speaks better than Now in its 40th year, the Mod Plan continues to be the they do. Students are not in the same pond all the time. So foundation of CSW’s educational program. “It means I can teach history the way it’s supposed to be taught: sometimes you’re a big fish, and sometimes you’re a small fish, By immersing me and my students in it and rolling around in it and sometimes you’re in a school of fish. Students learn to do and loving it, and not trying to memorize a canon of knowledge that humbly and respectfully, but they still know their skill set.” in a year,” said Rachel Hirsch, who teaches history. “It means we can “Students are not in the same pond all the time. So sometimes go so much deeper and rather than you’re a big fish, and sometimes you’re a small fish, and learn the narrative, we can learn sometimes you’re in a school of fish. Students learn to do that how to be historians.”  “I think that the Mod System humbly and respectfully, but they still know their skill set.” almost guarantees students will rachel hirsch, History Teacher have a better sense of who they are when they graduate,” said Tom Evans, visual arts teacher who Motivate students through their individual interests. has held various positions including dean of faculty and acting Learn actively through experience. Go beyond traditional dean of students in the 26 years he’s taught at CSW. curriculum. Give students the power to shape their education. “It’s a powerful experience for the students Students can say, Head of School Jane Moulding wonders what the old ‘I picked this,’ and that gives them a sense of voice and headmasters would think if they could return to CSW. Would responsibility because they feel they are in control of their they recognize the school? Would it be what they had intended own education.” when they laid groundwork 40, 80, or 120 years ago? That sense of self, Tom feels, is a valuable attribute with “Our school has always been about equipping our students which to send them off to college.   with the skills that they will carry with them for life. This was While educators assess the skills young people need to true when John French was the head of school. This was true possess in the 21st century, many agree that critical thinking when Bob Sandoe introduced the Mod System. And this will and problem-solving, collaboration, adaptability, analysis, and remain true for many years to come.”

MY FIVE • 29

Jim Cook

Tom Evans

Devon Anne Rosenberg ’15 Hittson ’14


Do you have a favorite CSW moment or a fond CSW memory?

Yes. When the class of 2010 asked me to read names at Graduation. That was a very intelligent class!

Seeing parents cry when they realize how creative and hardworking their child has become. Still being in contact with my very first advisee who is now 43!

My favorite CSW memory was last year during Evening of the Arts when I got to sing in front of a packed auditorium along with my close friends.

Experiencing the first art show and seeing my own work on the walls was stunning for me, it being the first time I had displayed anything of mine in public.


What are you looking forward to most this year?

I love the first and last days of school. I like seeing the new kids come in and I like seeing the seniors graduate.

Seeing our new film program develop.

This year, I’m looking forward to being an assembly coordinator as well as one of the heads of the CSW a capella group!

Creating my art portfolio and winter.

What are you reading? (Doesn’t necessarily have to be a book, could be a newspaper, email, birthday cards, etc.)

IKEA: A Translation Work on How to Assemble a ThreeDrawer Desk

“Death of a Hero, Birth of the Soul” by John C. Robinson, “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe, and New Yorker Magazine.

I’m currently reading all the lost emails from students that don’t know how to keep track of all their belongings they bring to school.

College pamphlets.


If you could have dinner with any person — living or dead, throughout history — who would it be?

My dad — on June 6, 1944.


I’d have dinner with one of my grandparents I never got to meet!

Elton John! I grew up listening to him with my mom, and he still stands to be one of my favorite artists.


If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

The ability to understand Italian Opera.

The power to heal sickness, or breathe under water.

If I could have a superpower it would be the ability to freeze stuff, whether it’s a person, or time, or when homework is due so I could complete it to my best ability.

The ability to consume as much food as I wanted.

Facilities Department


Visual Arts Teacher

Leaving a Legacy:

A View From the Inside “My parents worked hard and had little, but they made sure that I had the best education — in spirit and in fact. I would have once said that because there wasn’t much left over to give away in my family, I was not raised in a philanthropic culture, but I understand now that my parents gave more than just money. Not least, working out of their small office in the heart of Harvard Square, they typed, printed, and bound the volumes of our CSW literary magazine twice a year.

“I understand from the inside out that gifting is crucial and

that a robust endowment is not a luxury but a necessity.

— Christine Marston Chamberlain ’63

I used to feel that the relatively small amount I could contribute in response to an appeal meant little or nothing to an overall budget, but now I know that even the smallest gift has great impact and there are many meaningful ways in which to give. Five years ago, I set up a Planned Giving arrangement and established the John and Theodora Marston Fund through my estate in memory of my parents. It is too late for me to thank them for all they did, but I am touched by the chance to remember them in a concrete way at The Cambridge School of Weston, an institution, that, in retrospect, gave me so much. Now, as a CSW Trustee, I understand from the inside out that gifting is crucial and that a robust endowment is not a luxury but a necessity. I am glad to think that I can contribute to the development of a strong faculty and provide an opportunity to a student who has great potential but limited means. I am particularly pleased and proud that my parents will be remembered and honored in perpetuity.”

For more information about how planned giving can benefit you and The Cambridge School of Weston: The Patience Lauriat Society is an honorary association of individuals who have made planned gifts to The Cambridge School of Weston. The society is named after Patience Lauriat ’46, who left a portion of her estate to CSW. Her gift to the school was her way of acknowledging what the school had taught her and had helped her accomplish, and she was the first to honor the school in this way.

Thaddeus Thompson Director of Leadership Giving Programs | 781.398.8346

We are...

all in!

When you make a gift to the CSW Annual Fund, you join the thousands of parents, alumni, faculty and staff, and friends who have invested in the heart and soul of The Cambridge School of Weston. Your generosity makes an impact on our students, faculty, and the world around us — and it shows.

Thank you for giving back to CSW.

For more information or to make your Annual Fund gift, please contact: Hannah Taytslin Director of the Annual Fund | 781.642.8647 Please make your gifts by June 30, 2014.

32 • The Gryphon Fall 2013




34 • The Gryphon Fall 2013

Announcements & Save the Dates Upcoming Events

Reunion 2014: Saturday, 6.14.2014

Please save the date for these upcoming gatherings. Watch your email and the website for more information.

CSW Reunion is a very special time to reconnect with classmates and make new connections. It is also a chance to relive your days at CSW, visit your old classrooms and dorm rooms. Our reunions also provide opportunities for networking, and meeting faculty (current and past).

Boston-Area Alumni Event: 1.22.14 A lumni of Color Dinner at CSW New York-Area Alumni Events: 1.16.14 Brooklyn Gathering (DUMBO area) 1.19.14 Manhattan Young Alumni Gathering 6.6.14

CSW Class of 2014 Commencement

We are looking for alumni to host gatherings in Florida, Oregon, Seattle, Chicago, Santa Fe, Boulder, Atlanta, and North Carolina. Please contact the Alumni Relations Office if you have ideas for a gathering or would like to connect with area alumni.

Alumni Circles This year we are looking to have dynamic dialogues about “Learning & Teaching” within interdisciplinary education, food justice, health and wellness. Would you like to host a smaller, more targeted discussion or join us at one of the many gatherings we are planning across the country? Watch your email and the website for more information. If you are interested in hosting an Alumni Circle dialogue, please email the Alumni Relations Office.

Past Faculty Honoree and Alumnus / Alumna Service Awards We are accepting nominations for Past Faculty Honoree and Alumnus/Alumna Service Awards for outstanding accomplishments. Please email the Alumni Relations Office with your nomination.

For more information on alumni events, Reunion, or to reconnect with classmates, please contact: Lelia Elliston ’80, Director of Alumni Relations | 781.642.8619

MILESTONE YEARS This year, we are celebrating milestone years ending in 4 and 9, with special shout-outs to CSW’s 50th Reunion for the Class of 1964, and 25th Reunion for the Class of 1989. Please contact the Alumni Office for more information on how to get involved. THEATRE AND ARTS HIGHLIGHTS This year, the new chair of the theatre department Barbara Whitney and the Alumni Office are planning a program that highlights CSW theatre and art. If you are interested in being involved or have an idea for a performance piece or art you’d like to share at Reunion, please be sure to contact Barbara at Please contact the Alumni Office for more information on how to get involved. WANT TO STAY ON CAMPUS? Dorm rooms or entire dorms are available for anyone attending Reunion! Start planning now, and let us help you secure a place on campus to gather your class and make your reunion extraordinary! In order to make Reunion a success, we need YOU, Class Agents and Reunion Organizers, to help foster CSW affinity, build class pride, contribute to your Annual Class Gift, and increase attendance and participation in both giving and Reunion! We are here for you every step of the way to help you plan a memorable event at Reunion! We provide: • Class lists and call lists • Venue space on campus or help catering smaller gatherings in your home • Communication materials and email blasts • Help reconnecting you to lost classmates, past faculty, and friends


Class Notes

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! This issue includes notes submitted from April 1, 2013 to October 11, 2013. Everyone is invited to submit news to the alumni office. Please send your news (including photos) via email to


Joan Weiss ’48 writes: “I am 82 and receive about eight pieces of mail every day asking for money. When your piece arrived I was surprised to learn that only eight percent of alumni donate to the school, hence my check. I attended the Cambridge School from first grade through 12th and loved it. The school reinforced my liberal views already instilled in me by my parents. It has a special place in my memory, of sunny days with interesting people.” Cynthia Hollingsworth ’48 recently had a chance to catch up with classmate George Bibring ’47. “I was so glad to hear his voice, but saddened to be told of his wife’s death this past fall. George and the late Don Born ’47 are two of my favorite friends from the ’47 and ’48 era.”


Kay Silberfeld ’52 let us know that she is still enjoying life in Pennswood Village in Newtown, Penn., where she is painting happily.

After 46 years in the classroom, Ira Carmen ’53 retired in 2009. He and Toni Putnam ’53, who were married in 2000, recently moved from Champaign, Ill. to Cortland Manor, NY. Toni’s career in the arts will continue. Ira’s running career will hopefully continue. Jane Jampolis ’55 writes: “As a freelance designer, it is not only in thanks for my education there, but I treasure my time as a Trustee, even though my international and crosscountry career as well as our major relocation to UCLA, caused my sporadic attendance at meetings on campus. CSW will never be forgotten. A little about the history of my arrival in 1953. My mother’s closest friend was the

mother of Larry Nathanson ’46; so on my family’s sudden return from Los Angeles to our Cohasset home, she urged my attendance. I do recall being sent to Headmaster Cheek’s office and asked why I had not been with my viola at orchestra calls. The instrument had arrived somehow with my luggage, but I had only had two years of lessons while at Tenacre. In California, I had quickly abandoned it for my guitar, and had not touched it for over a year. But my father was a renowned violinist, and in those days violists were in short demand! I remember sharing a stand with Beryl Forbes Eddy ’54, and turning to her and asking where the first note on the music was on my mostly unfamiliar instrument.” Bea Bolt Scribner ’57 is a singer songwriter on Cape Cod. “Thanks so much to Hal Sproul for so much musical influence.”

36 • The Gryphon Fall 2013

Class Notes Continued

Richard Freedberg ’57 called in to share a story... he was in a used bookstore recently, and asked to look at the art books. He was directed to the back room, where among many, many paperback books, there was a beautiful old hardcover that caught his eye. He purchased it and in it was a bookmark. When he turned to the bookmark he noticed the name of Stern Sprit, a classmate of his from the class of 1957! Richard remarked how “CSW graduated a bunch of quirky kids who ended up being spectacularly fantastic!” Allen E. Hopper ’58 wrote: “Still retired, still living in the Atlanta area, and recently became a grandparent for the second time. That’s one thing about getting old that never gets old!”


Esther Chase Heitler ’61 wrote in to let us know that her grandsons, Ari and Jason Heitler-Klevans, just graduated Phi Beta Kappa from high school, and will attend Oberlin in the fall. Congratulations to Becky Dennison Sakellariou ’62 whose third book of poems was recently accepted for publication by Finishing Line Press. The book is “What Shall I Cry?” and is due to be published in late 2013. You can read more of Becky’s work at

Christine Marston Chamberlain ’63 shared: “In March I was awarded a Mary Elvira Stevens Traveling Fellowship by Wellesley College for the purpose of writing a book on the United Nations 1994 Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo. I will be meeting with participants from Europe, India, and South America over the next 12 months.”


Franklin A. Davis ’75 writes: “Thinking of CSW always brings to mind some of the most influential people in my life — the loving CSW teachers. Here’s a warm hug in memoriam for Mario Castillo, whose humor and clarity ignited my love for physics; Holly Hickler, who held my hand and heart through many emotional ups and downs; Robin Wood, who invited me into poetry, theatre, and caring for toddlers; and Jeff May for showing us the joy of chemistry (and blowing stuff up!). Thanks also to every person at CSW from 1971–1975 for acceptance, kindness, inspiring intelligence, and thoughtfulness.” Till Mueller-Ibold ’76 wrote in from Brussels to let us know “all is well. Children are growing at an incredible pace!” Gay Gillies ’78 called in to say she regrets being unable to attend Reunion as she will be traveling to India to teach. She has two


children who attend the Park School in Brookline and will be heading to Choate next year. She loved CSW and would very much like to be in the loop for future events. She encouraged a visit to her website: Congratulations to David Stern ’78, who was named by National Law Journal as one of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers.” For two decades, David has been at the forefront of efforts to extend the reach of public interest law and has served as a powerful voice in the fight for equal access to justice. As executive director of Washington-based Equal Justice Works, David has helped send more than 1,200 attorneys and 2,500 law students into public interest fellowships across the country — serving thousands of clients in need. His pro bono efforts have attracted powerful support from major law firms and big business and have created an alumni

association that populates some of the top positions at public interest groups around the country. (For more information on Equal Justice Works, see

the wonderful influence she had on me as a teacher and performer artist, during my days at CSW.” Julie sent her love and best wishes to Martha and to her old dance buddy, Christopher Huggins ’81.

Frances Witte-Holland ’79 sent us this update: “Returning to teaching in the fall, as our youngest daughter, Lillian, is entering kindergarten. Oldest son, Morgan, will be a sophomore at St. Lawrence University, and daughter Celeste a senior at Holderness School. Looking forward to attending 35th Reunion next spring!”

Peter Skillman ’81 writes that he will be moving to Berlin, Germany soon.


Julie L. Habraken ’80 writes that she was sorry to miss the tribute to Martha Gray From the Horses Mouth. A former dance student of hers, she remembers a trip Martha made to her country (The Netherlands) that they organized for her to teach and perform. “I will always be grateful for

Clea Zolotow Coulter ’82 writes that she is currently living in Ireland, where she works for IBM. “Had a nice drink with Peter Skillman ’81 a few months ago in London. He’s got a huge YouTube presence!”


Mike Sperber P ’90 writes: “My daughter, Lisa Sperber ’90, graduated from CSW, and went on to Sarah Lawrence. Lisa now has her doctorate in literature and teaches English composition at UC Davis. I feel that she used CSW as a spring board which gave her a much needed lift, and I want to express my thanks.”

38 • The Gryphon Fall 2013

Class Notes Continued

Larisa K. Mann ’91 writes: “In December 2012 I received my Ph.D. in Jurisprudence and Social Policy from UC Berkeley Law School, for my dissertation: Decolonizing Copyright Law: Learning from the Jamaican Street Dance. I am currently living in New York, on the academic job market (while teaching part-time at NYU, CUNY, and Rutgers) and also making a living as a performing musician (DJ) and public speaker. I am a member of the Dutty Artz collective in New York. I hope to stay in the Northeast, but travel for gigs.” Dorothee Lepper ’99 is living in Germany and would love to be in touch with her classmates.


Conor Thompson ’01 shared: “I just got engaged and we are getting married in May. Also, I am going to graduate school at UC Irvine where I will be studying

studio art and continuing to teach. Shout-outs to my fellow alums Mike Nason ’01, Jesse Novak ’00, and Jeff Brodsky ’02. It’s good to have a CSW gang in LA.” Vera Kelsey-Watts ’04 writes: “I’m finishing my certificate program for Financial Planning at Boston University in November. I’m specializing in really socially responsible investing and working with clients of all ages and backgrounds. I’m excited to move to a big orange house in Roxbury with my dog, my wonderful partner, and some very good friends in December. Plus some bees, gardens, and backyard chickens! Looking forward to the wedding of Andrew Thompson ’05 with other classmates Max Roseglass ’04 and Geoff Auffinger ’04 and Cole Callahan ’03, among others. See you all at Reunion! A note for my sister, Beatrice KelseyWatts ’08: Bea is wrapping up her fall semester at University of Arizona in

Tucson, where she’s majoring in Public Health. She hopes to continue on to their Masters in Public Health program, and she’s worked for some great organizations like No More Deaths and Pierce’s Pantry. She loves the dry heat of the southwest more than you’d ever think a New Englander could.” Rebecca A. Loeb ’06 writes: “For me, my ‘CSW moment’ was my first day of school that September 9 (nine?!) years ago and how sincerely grateful I am to CSW for providing me with a place to grow and feel accepted. I graduated two years ago with a degree in conservation biology from Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. Before college I took a gap year and traveled to India, Nepal, and Tibet, and continue to make art and save the planet. Thank you CSW!”


IN MEMORIAM Jeremy Carter-Gordon ’07 checks in and reports: “After a year traveling around on the Watson Fellowship studying Hilt and Point sword dancing in Europe, I was accepted into a masters program in Ethnochoreology (anthropology of dance). This is a joint degree taking place in Norway (where I am now), France, Hungary, and England. In other news, my vocal quartet Windborne was just selected by American Music Abroad to represent the USA as musical ambassadors and traveled to a number of countries on a five-week goodwill tour with the U.S. State Department!” Last spring, Samuel G. Rodriques ’09 received an Honorable Mention for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program and was named a 2013 Hertz Fellow. Sam was one

of just 15 students selected from a pool of over 700 applicants for the Hertz Graduate Fellowship Award. In January, the physics major learned that he had won the highly competitive Churchill Scholarship, which will fund a one-year program of graduate study at Cambridge University. Sam is deferring the Hertz Fellowship for one year, while he pursues an M.Phil. in computational biology at the University of Cambridge with his Churchill Fellowship. He will then use the Hertz funding to support a five-year Ph.D. program at MIT, where he has already been accepted.


Moved by the passing of Karl Fisher and other friends, Jayshil C. Desai ’10 wrote the poem, “Ghosts in My Head,” which is posted on the CSW Facebook timeline.

We are saddened to learn that Wilmot Whitney Jr. ’45 died on January 18, 2013. Our deepest condolences to his family and friends. We are saddened to report that Laura Wilson Heller ’46 died on March 23, 2013. Our condolences to her family and friends. We are saddened that Nancy Aub Gleason ’52 died on June 5, 2013. Our sincere condolences go to Nancy’s family, friends, and loved ones. We are saddened to learn of the passing of Sally Harkness, parent of six CSW alumni, Joan Hantz ’63, Nell Harkness ’65, Timothy Harkness ’69, Alice Harkness ’71, Fred Harkness ’74, and John Harkness ’74. Sally Harkness was a highly respected architect and the co-founder of The Architects Collaborative. Our deepest condolences to her family, friends, and loved ones. Our condolences go out to Eric Hubel ’77, whose father David H. Hubel, passed away in September. David Hubel was a Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist whose astonishing map of the visual cortex pulled back the curtain on one of the brain’s most mysterious functions, the power of sight. He died September 22 in Lincoln, Mass., at the age of 87. CSW was saddened to learn that Seth Boyd ’88 passed away on March 30, 2013. Our condolences go out to Seth’s family and friends.

40 • The Gryphon Fall 2013

Class Notes Continued

Pamela Shanley Daube P ’11 writes: “I am a parent of an alumnus, Conner Daube ’11. On March 9th, I attended the annual Spring Dance ‘Grey Matter,’ and was so moved by the feeling of goodwill and joy from everyone in the audience. But the performances were — hard to put into words — truthful, honest, eye opening! I am so grateful my son was able to attend this amazing school and experience the inspiring atmosphere CSW offers its students.” Phyllis M. Blackman, grandparent of Joseph Blackman ’13 writes: “My grandson graduated in June 2013 and I

came up to attend the ceremonies. I thank you for all the school did for Joseph.” Bill Schirmer, science teacher, recently reached out to Anastacia Spicer ’13. Anastacia is enjoying classes at Hampshire College. Mingwei Ma ’13 writes: “I just want to again say thank you to all of you! It has been a great three years. I’ve definitely grown a lot. Thanks for the help and support I received from you all! I love you dearly and will miss all of you so much!!! See you in wonderland!”

The CSW Alumni Office is working on reconnecting our European alumni and hosting a gathering abroad potentially in Germany. We recently heard from the following alumni who are doing well and enjoying life overseas: Ellen Rosskam ’78 Benjamin Wolfgarten ’94 Veit Vito Kohlhoff ’98 Tobias Drabert ’99 Jana Hanrieder ’03 Alexander Bethge ’09

2013–2014 board of trustees

parents association

Ben Alimansky ’87

Deborah Kahn P ’16, President

Diana Baruni, Faculty Representative Christine Chamberlain ’63 Erika Christakis P ’11, P ’13, P ’16 Phil DeNormandie ’67 * Rachael Dorr P ’07, Secretary Nina Fialkow P ’10 * Anne-Marie Fitzgerald P ’16 * Chris Gootkind P ’12 Shelley Hawks P ’12 Kaiko Marie Hayes ’81 Jennifer Jones-Clark P ’05 Deborah Kahn P ’16,* Parent Representative Chloe Knopp ’14,* Boarding Student Representative Rick McCready P ’13, Treasurer Bob Metcalf ’53 Jane Moulding, Head of School Christian Nolen P ’10, Chair of the Board Margie Perse P ’13 Deborah Pressman P ’10 * Mort Rosenthal P ’08, P ’13 * Mark Santa Maria,* Faculty Representative Sarita Shah ’86 Peter Thorne P ’12, Assistant Secretary

Anne-Marie Fitzgerald P ’16  Vice-President Alma Bair P ’13, P ’14, Secretary Barbara Jenny P ’16, Baking with Boarders Chair Victoria Rizzi P ’14, Birthday for Boarders Committee Chair Meg Lotz Bousvaros P ’15, Evening Programs Committee Chair Deborah Lapides P ’14, Faculty Appreciation Committee Chair Nancy Smalzel P ’15, Host Family Program Chair Patricia Waters P ’15, Parent Independent School Network Representative Chair Shelly Ziegelman P ’14, Parent Information Coffee Committee Chair Lise Gordon P ’14, P ’16, Welcome Committee Chair To contact the Parents Association, please email:

the gryphon, fall 2013 Jane Moulding, Head of School Eun Lee Koh, Director of Communications Rachel Stoff, Editor / A ssociate Director of Communications Rebecca Schultzberg, Director of Development Lelia Orrell Elliston ’80, Director of Alumni Relations


Hannah Taytslin, Director of the Annual Fund

contributors Arlo Furst ’04, Communications Specialist Sara Schnebly ’12, Communications Intern


Eric Ginsburg ’06 Anne Mackin P ’12 Linda Nathan ’73 John Greiner-Ferris

Stay in touch with us! Get the latest information, interesting conversation, photos, and videos of what’s going on at CSW.

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The Cambridge School of Weston is a coeducational college preparatory school for grades 9–12 and post graduate study. Inquiries for academic year admission should be directed to Trish Saunders, Director of Admissions, at 781.642.8650.


The Gryphon welcomes class notes and photographs by alumni, parents, and friends. Please email submissions to; call 781.642.8619; visit; or send to: Alumni Relations The Cambridge School of Weston 45 Georgian Road Weston, MA 02493

Eduardo Tugendhat ’72, P ’07


Susan Vogt P ’14, Assistant Treasurer

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Sheila Watson P ’12, P ’17, Co-Vice Chair of the Board

Watch What Happens @WeAreCSW

Jack Welch P ’15 * John Weltman P ’12, P ’13, Co-Vice Chair of the Board Ella Williams ’14,* Day Student Representative * We welcomed these new members to the board this school year.

Artist: Lena Christakis ’16

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Adolescent Brain, “Tea for a Jeweler,” digital photo by Olivia Ask ’16

Meet the 21st Century

The Gryphon: The Cambridge School of Weston Magazine, Fall 2013 Issue  

'Adolescent Brain, Meet the 21st Century' - 'Diving Deep: The Mod System's 40 Years' - 'From the Desk of'