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Focus on Alumni Reunion

Now&Then @Wheeler summer 2009

Now&Then @ Wheeler Vol. 7 Issue 2 Summer 2009 Editor: Laurie Flynn Board of Trustees President: Alan Litwin Alumni Association President: Kim Chazan Zwetchkenbaum ‘83 Parents Association President: Jennifer Thiesen Head of Institutional Advancement: Michele Sczerbinski Diaz ‘86 Cover: Graduating seniors pose on the steps of Hope Building in 1929. Photo from the Wheeler Archives found by Claudia Willett ‘07, Alumni Archives Intern Nondiscrimination Policy: The Wheeler School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or handicap in the administration of its educational, admissions, and financial aid policies, faculty and staff recruitment and hiring policies, athletics or other programs or activities administered by the school. Published by the Office of Institutional Advancement The Wheeler School 216 Hope Street Providence, Rhode Island 02906 401-421-8100

table of contents 2

Message from the Head of School


Special Section: Alumni Reunion Profiles


Feature articles: Math, Languages, Wheeler Radio & more


Athletics: Changes in the Middle School program


The Spirit — news & notes for alumnae/i



Come September, a new interior landscape will debut with new outdoor dining, play and gathering spaces.

Now & Then @ Wheeler


from the head of school

Pamela Murray

After Wheeler By Dan Miller One of the pleasures of early summer is the trickle of drop-in visitors who find their way to my office in the Hope Building. Many of them are collegeage alumni back for summer jobs, or spending a few days at home before heading off to various adventures in far-flung locales. They update me on their coursework, roommate dramas, and the adventures of their Wheeler classmates kept close through Facebook. Invariably, they also tell me how well prepared they were for college; how far ahead of their classmates they found themselves; how much they appreciate the excellent teaching they received. I won’t lie: it’s satisfying. On occasion, more “seasoned” alumnae pay a visit as well – women who recall Miss Erlenmeyer, or Mr. Tinker, or Miss Van Norman. Some have not visited campus in decades, and they are wide-eyed over the changes, alive with resonant memories, startled at how quickly and poignantly they can conjure their teenage selves. And even though I’ve

been at Wheeler for six years and (as my daughter recently reminded me) I am “most definitely into middle-age,” they still remark on how “young” I am. I can’t say I mind that either. This summer edition of the Now & Then is a perfect time to focus on our alumni, as we can now welcome 81 new graduates to their ranks -- the newest link in a chain that extends back almost 120 years. Six thousand alumni, more or less, since 1889; they are our biggest fans, our benefactors, our historical memory, and our Greek chorus. The lives they have led, and will lead, embody the priorities of a Wheeler education. As you read through profiles of our alumni in the following pages, note the range of talents, the creativity, the social conscience, the entrepreneurial and risk-taking impulse; note the legacy of Mary C. Wheeler.

Six thousand alumni, more or less, since 1889; they are our biggest fans, our benefactors, our historical memory, and our Greek chorus. The lives they have led, and will lead, embody the priorities of a Wheeler education. 2

Now & Then @ Wheeler

A Special Focus On Alumni This edition of The Now & Then At Wheeler has a special focus on alumni. We hope after reading it, you will come to your reunion! Wheeler has changed and expanded with exciting and innovative programs and construction since you left. Visit the campus not only to revisit your favorite classrooms and buildings, but to see the new facilities and resources that exist to enliven learning for today’s students. Share with us how your life has changed since Wheeler as we show you the changes on campus that have occurred. The Wheeler spirit is thriving; come and feel for yourself the boundless energy and creativity that continues as a hallmark of a Wheeler education. No doubt as a Wheeler alum your life has taken on new paths, passions, experiences and commitments, but please consider fitting Reunion Weekend into your life. Share with us what you have been up to, as well as learn what we have been up to at 216 Hope Street.

Kim Chazan Zwetchkenbaum ‘83, President, Wheeler Alumni Association

Hope to see you there!

Alumni Day and Reunion Weekend Schedule October 16-18, 2009 Friday October 16 Alumni Day

Saturday, October 17 @ The Wheeler Farm, Seekonk MA

All Alumni are invited to participate… • Campus Tours • Alumni in the Classroom • Alumni-Student Roundtable Share your stories and represent your profession, academic interests or Wheeler class at a roundtable discussion with Upper School students.

• Class of ’59 Class Reflections

• Class of ’59 kicks off their 50th Reunion Celebration with Dinner at the Hope Club in Providence. Calling all A Cappella Singers and Handbell Ringers! Alumni Performance with Kristin Sprague and the 18 Wheelers and Class with Dan Moore and the Concert Handbell Ringers Watch for more details! • Alumni Night @Wheeler Celebration We welcome all alumni and faculty back to campus to kick off Reunion Weekend. Catch up with classmates, friends and former faculty. The evening will feature a welcome by Head of School Dan Miller and student performances.

• Fall Family Fest Free Fun at the Farm includes: * Children’s activities for all ages, includes moonbounce, pumpkin decorating, scarecrow making and a Rock Wall * BBQ to support the Class of 2010 * Pingree Games * And more! Lunch and Panel Discussion: A Woman’s Money, A Woman’s Future Presented by Wheeler Alumni and Trustees in the field of Wealth Management and Estate Planning

Back on the Providence Campus…

• Reunion Class Celebrations, Cocktails and Class Dinners, Class Photos and more!

Sunday October 18 — new this year!

• Farewell Brunch

Now & Then @ Wheeler


reunion profiles

Read more about Reunion online at

Emily Stone Cocroft ‘34 — Spirit Color: Gold I loved the Pageants out at the Farm, and the intricate costumes that were made for them. I enjoyed art with Miss Emerson, as I had more of a flair for art than athletics. I took that love of art with me when I left Wheeler and have made it a part, albeit small, of my life today. I really got to know Wheeler when my daughter Mary Cocroft Brown ’73 attended Wheeler. She too enjoyed the arts and went on to RISD. While my daughter was at Wheeler, I was President of the Alumni Association, and was its representative on the Board of Trustees. One of my favorite moments was handing Mary her Wheeler diploma. A wonderful honor. (Continued on page 43)

Nancy Haley Lyle ‘44 (“Hale”) — Spirit Color: Gold My favorite memories of Wheeler are my friends. A group of us started in the lower school and remained lifelong friends. Unfortunately, too many are no longer with us. I loved Field Day and on May 1st the May Breakfast and the May Pole, a wonderful way to start spring. Many teachers I do remember, especially Miss Pritchard in the lower school who greeted us each morning as we “curtsied” and said “good morning”. I am looking forward to our reunion and many returning from our class and also many others, always fun to catch up. Do try and come back and see the many changes. Wheeler is still a school we can be proud of. (Continued on page 43)

Caroline Van Santvoord Shipman ‘44 — Spirit Color: Purple Favorite memories: Field trips – Roller skating indoors, May 1st festival (May Pole); As seniors, singing Christmas carols in the halls in Hope Building. Path since Wheeler included: Received BA degree at University of Kentucky ‘48; Raised two children; Worked part time in a couple stores (gift & jewelry) when the children were juniors and seniors in high school; Moved to Schenectady NY – worked in a bank. Later we moved to Cleveland OH with G.E. Rented for a while then bought a home and have been here ever since. Both my husband and I are retired and enjoying life.

Louisa “Weeza” Tripp Knowles ‘49 — Spirit Color: Gold My favorite day as a Wheeler student was May Day, when we danced around the May Pole and ate strawberries and cream. Wheeler was such fun—all of it. I most enjoyed the sports that I was involved with; Hockey, Tennis, Basketball and Baseball. My favorite was playing left full back in hockey—today, my granddaughter plays the very same position. I adored the singing that we did every day at Wheeler assembly and that we learned the history of music and the old theatrical songs from Mr. Tinker. I continued to sing after Wheeler. I attended Garland School of Art after Wheeler. Travelled and lived everywhere: California, Connecticut, Omaha, South Carolina, England, Maryland, Hawaii and New Hampshire to name a few. What I treasure most are the true friends that I made at Wheeler, who I remain in touch with today. I keep happy and busy with my full family life. I hope all my classmates are well!

Natalie Flather Humphrey ‘54 — Spirit Color: Go Purple!

I have so many favorite memories, but morning assembly was a wonderful way to begin each day. We all participated and it was a very meaningful time. I also loved playing sports at Wheeler and took advantage of tennis, basketball, hockey and soccer. Looking forward to Reunion and seeing where the school is today and hearing all the exciting news from Wheeler and seeing all my classmates! I have been so blessed in my 72 years with an outstanding husband, great family, friends and community involvement. I still volunteer at the hospital, gallery, nature center and serve as a Stephen leader at our church. Mary C. Wheeler School prepared me well for my working years at our company and my community years. I have nothing but fond memories of my many years at the Wheeler School. Now & Then @ Wheeler

50th Reunion — Class of 1959

reunion profiles

Ellie Lincoln Buchanan, Class of ’59 Reunion Chair Dear Classmates, I am sitting here in a tent with a raised deck on the banks of the Okavango Delta in Botswana, Africa, reflecting on what I am looking forward to in returning for my 50th Reunion at Wheeler. A hippo is nearby in the water. First and foremost, I am looking forward to seeing everyone again. Some I have seen in recent years, and others not since graduation. I think the first thing would be what have we been doing since 1959, and what we look like now -- compared to then! I am also looking forward to seeing what my fellow Boarder classmates think of the school now. (Continued on page 43)

Carol Graves Cimilluca ‘59 Reunion Committee I hope everyone from the class of ’59 has October 16-18 on their calendar. It is time to celebrate our graduation, June 5, 1959 – 50 years! For those of you who have not returned to the school, you will be so proud to see the development of Wheeler’s state-of–the art campus and excellent academic programs. Eleanor Lincoln Buchanan, Kate Green Vibert and I have had a great time contacting classmates and renewing old friendships. To date we have 16 members of the class of ‘59 who will return for the reunion so if you have not responded, please let us know. I spent 14 years at Wheeler. Miss Harper was my second grade teacher, Miss Gilbert third. Believe it or not, Miss Tooker was one of my favorites because I loved ancient history and Mr. Tinker started me on my way to singing, which I have (Continued on page 43)

Kate Green Vibert ’59 Reunion Committee Dear Mom and Dad, I remember the day you told me that I was going to Wheeler. I was 13. Little did I know how influential those years would be. Can you believe it has been 50 years since I graduated? Just because it took me 3 years to finish 2 years of Latin with Mrs. Church and 2 years of Algebra with Miss Hokanson, never understanding any of it, at this point in life, it really doesn’t matter. They were good years. I studied hard and came away well prepared. Remember those “Sunday Releases” at our house with Eleanor, Chichi, Verity, Jocie, Viv, Edie and Carol? We chilled at 32 Keene Street and Agawam. Mom, remember the canned (Continued on page 44)

Charlotte Brayton Underwood ‘64 — Spirit team: Gold After five years boarding at Mary C. Wheeler School, many in our class felt there would never be a reason to return. It’s funny how things sometimes turn out. Looking back I am surprised by how much my life today has been influenced by my experience at Wheeler; studio and history of art, the athletics (indoor tennis at the Agawam), French with Miss Erlenmeyer and basic public speaking and writing skills. Even though I was married at 21, I needed a “career.” I worked as a secretary to the Director at the Gardner Museum and later as secretary to the Curator of the Busch-Reisinger Germanic Museum at Harvard. I loved being with the graduate students, auditing classes, hanging exhibitions, planning exhibition parties and working in an environment with many important works of art. (Continued on page 44)

Lucy Gardner Shepard ‘64 — Spirit Color: Gold My favorite memories of Wheeler are 8th grade on the farm, Field Day, always getting into trouble with Winter and good friends. At Reunion: I’m looking forward to connecting with classmates, most of whom I haven’t seen in years; hear about their journeys. Now is the time to gather while we are active and healthy. Since Wheeler I worked for 10 years at Bloomingdales in Stamford, CT, NY, and Virginia. I have 2 wonderful children, a husband of almost 30 years who has put up with me all this time. I always come back to Dennis summers for the connection of my childhood (Continued on page 44) Now & Then @ Wheeler

reunion profiles Sallie Sprague ‘69 — Spirit Color: Gold (Gold: like my mother, Margaret Ricketson Sprague, ‘46; my niece Caitlin Sprague, ‘09; my nephew Ben Sprague, ‘16, and my sister-in-law, Kristin Sprague, current faculty.) My favorite memory of Wheeler is:  Mrs. Wright and chemistry; senior photography project; Mrs. Baldwin and field hockey. Most appalling memory:   Having four of the same teachers as my mother had.   They were fine folks.   It was just weird that they’d been there when my mother was a student.  I am not likely to make it to reunion since I came east for Wheeler’s 2009 graduation in June. If I were there, I’d like to see Liz Shepard, Kathy Potter, Edie Ostby, Lucy Millar, Tibby Gross, among others (Continued on page 44) Members of the ’79 Reunion Committee were asked to share a memory about a Wheeler faculty member who inspired you. Here are two responses:

Kristen Benson Edwards ‘79 My memory is about Madame Erlenmeyer, who was my French teacher for two years in high school. During the fall of my junior year I daydreamed about my French boyfriend instead of paying attention in class.  The result of all this dreaming was a pretty bad grade in French!  Madame Erlenmeyer took me aside one day and told me that I had the ability to be a very good student.  In fact, she explained, I was really a B+ student, so I better start performing like a B+ student.  Well, what she said rankled: why B+ instead of A, I wondered?  From that point on I only received A’s in French at Wheeler.  I went on to double major in Comparative Literature and Russian Language in college, and foreign languages have been instrumental to my career as a history professor.  Madame Erlenmeyer encouraged me to strive for academic success as did so many of my Wheeler teachers.  My deepest appreciation goes to Mr. Brown, Mr. Hufstader, Mrs. Hanson, Mrs. Wright, Dr. Clem, Mr. Freccia and Madame Erlenmeyer for encouraging me to believe in myself.

Parkinson Pino ‘79 In reflecting upon the colorful array of influences on our generation at Wheeler in the late 1970’s, the spirits and approaches of many dynamic educators come to light. I delight in recalling the relentless humor of Mr. Armstrong’s Geometry; the classical culture in Mrs. Hanson’s Latin; the attention to detail in Mr. Hufstader’s English; (Continued on page 45)

Alice Hufstader Moore ‘84 — Spirit Color: Gold My favorite memory of Wheeler is: I have so many. I have particularly fond memories of field hockey and lacrosse at the farm and all the bus trips to practices and games. I remember math with Mr. Armstrong and his “Art Lake pointer”. Mr. Brown’s corny jokes are etched in my mind and also French classes with Mr. Roussin! Oh, and having my dad, twice, as my English teacher. You don’t forget that easily. I am really looking forward to reconnecting with people. Even though it’s been 25 years and many of us have not been in touch, it will probably seem like yesterday that we were all at Wheeler. I look forward to hearing stories that I have not thought about in forever and laughing with everyone. (Continued on page 43)

Andrea Cohen Reiser ‘84 — Spirit Color: Gold My favorite memories of Wheeler are: My lifelong friends, Mr. Clauser’s awesome Spanish classes (I’m still aplastando los caracoles), and Mr. Brown’s U.S. History class, which I’d like to retake as an adult! I am most looking forward to reconnecting with my classmates, most of whom I haven’t seen since graduation. Maybe we didn’t quite ROCK as a class back in ‘84, but I know we do 25 years later!   My path since Wheeler (Or, “The Past 25 Years in a Nutshell!”): I graduated from Boston U; spent 10 years in corporate communications/PR; happily married for (Continued on page 45) Now & Then @ Wheeler

reunion profiles Courtney Dell Chase ‘89 — Spirit Color: Purple What are you most looking forward to about Reunion? Reconnecting with old friends. My path since Wheeler has included: I had the chance to live on the West Coast (AZ, San Francisco and San Diego), Midwest (Chicago) and Boston prior to returning to live in Providence with my family. I have worked in both pharmaceutical and biotech and now consult for biotech clients while raising my two children Madison, 3.5 -year old girl, and Reece, an 18-month old son.

Valerie Notarianni Smith ‘89 — Spirit Color: Gold My favorite memory of Wheeler is: Good friends, good school, good times. What are you most looking forward to about Reunion? Catching up with everyone. My path since Wheeler has included: Getting married and starting a family. Moving all over the US (Virginia Beach, Monterey, San Diego, the Berkshires, and finally Tucson). Getting my MBA and settling back in AZ (love the heat!) and working for Raytheon Missile Systems.

Jan Sturner ‘89 — Spirit Color: Purple I remember trips to Quebec, Glenbrook, Nantucket and Bermuda, basketball (especially the SENE championship), Farroba’s cream cheese brownies, German chocolate cake and chicken cutlet sandwiches, and playing football on Pembroke Field with either Mr. Harris or Mr. Smith as official quarterback. What are you most looking forward to about Reunion? Finding out if anyone else lives in (or near) Northwest Arkansas. I think I already know the answer . . . My path since Wheeler has included: College, law school, marriage (Stacey), two children (Jan Jr - 8, Will - 4), 10 years practicing law in Washington DC, last 3 years working as in-house counsel at Wal-Mart’s Home Office in Bentonville, Arkansas. We’re avid Arkansas Razorbacks fans - the football and basketball stadiums are very close to our house in Fayetteville, AR. My wife and I are both alums of the University of Arkansas School of Law.

Kristina Hanson Lowell ’89 — Spirit Color: Purple Hard to pick one favorite memory after 15 years at Wheeler! Here’s a very random selection from a very long list:  Field Days (win or lose!)…Class trips to Nantucket and Mount Monadnock…  Field hockey, lacrosse, X-country practice at the Farm (and running back to Prov for X-country)… Hot days at Merestead… Naps in nursery school (and Nurse Nancy’s)… Monkeying around on the monkey bars… Anything Goes… Multiple-choice chemistry exams… Clothing sale—and the cheeseless, yet delicious pizza at the clothing sale… Farroba’s tuna melts and blueberry muffins.… Random Aerie activities, especially AcDec….Whale watches… AND Muckle and Scatter (were those just Wheeler games??).   (Continued on page 45)

Stacey Roth Schneiderman ‘94 — Spirit Color: Gold and proud My favorite memory of Wheeler is: Sharing my day on the van ride over the Bragga bridge, home to North Dartmouth.   What are you most looking forward to about Reunion? I’m eager to reconnect with teachers and friends who I’ve lost touch with.    My path since Wheeler : After completing my graduate degree in Intensive Special Needs, I taught in various settings settling in with the urban youth population.  Currently I work part time, mentoring educators in psychiatric hospitals, but nothing is more exhausting and rewarding than being a stay at home mom.  Everyday is an adventure with my husband Noah, daughter Harper, ditzy Goldendoodle Raia, and two turtles, Nygel and Shirley! Now & Then @ Wheeler

reunion profiles Marc Trachtenberg ‘94 — Spirit Color: Gold My favorite memory of Wheeler is: As a freshman, no audience, playing Wipe-Out on the beat-up Steinway in the Wheeler Hall basement with Alex on drums, realizing (hoping) we’d be making lots of music together over the next four years. What are you most looking forward to about Reunion? Hope I can make it this time. My path since Wheeler has included: I keep playing music, for adults and for kids. I created Rock-a-Baby in New York, a music class for infants and toddlers.  Married Stephanie Centafont in 2004, and had our first child, Sanford Joel, in September 2008.  The family is looking forward to moving back to Rhode Island as soon as possible!

Wendy (Cahn) Jett ‘94 — Spirit Color: Gold So many memories - sitting up in the old Aerie rooms with Mr. Harris when he still had the beard! Also - writing melodramatic poetry with Giampiero Ambrosi (although Hal’s poetry really captured the imagination more than mine - yes, I still have the poetry book we made!) Also - comparative literature with Mr. Sheeran (and discussing the movie MindWalk after class over greasy pizza with Joel).  What are you most looking forward to about Reunion?  Seeing the campus again after all these years - I still don’t know why you had to renovate and make everything pretty - I’ll miss that pay phone in the basement of Hope and the old photo lab down there too - it had charm... My path since Wheeler has included: Law School, a short stint working in Entertainment, finding my career in nonprofits, and having a great husband and two awesomely beautiful children.

Chris Hensman ‘99 — Spirit Color: Purple My favorite memory of Wheeler is: Community.  In the end I spent 13 years at Wheeler and throughout I was surrounded by great teachers, friends, and staff.   From Mr. Merlin in kindergarten through AP Bio with Mrs. Tatulli senior year, there were a lot of great moments.   Thinking back, one of my favorite traditions was walking out at the beginning of Field Day (and) making that walk with my sister, the kids of some of my teachers, and my classmates.  Making that walk for the last time as a senior was a touching moment. Walking with a kindergartener made me think back to the first time I went to Field Day, saw the mascots, and got caught up in the school spirit surrounding the day. After graduation, I spent 4 great years at Connecticut College.  I thought I was going to be premed but my interests shifted to government and politics.  I’ve been lucky enough to work for the State Department as a diplomat overseas and just moved back to Washington, DC to work on the National Security Staff at the White House.  All that time away from home has definitely made me appreciate all that we have here in the U.S.  I’ve been really lucky to receive a solid education and to have had so many opportunities growing up. My goal now is to use those opportunities to do the most good. 

Louisa Kimball Baker ‘99 — Spirit Color: Purple My favorite memory of Wheeler is: A couple come to mind so it’s tough to choose a favorite.  A real highlight of my high school memories was singing in Mrs. Sprague’s chorale, performing for the upper school and all over Providence.   At Reunion, I’m looking forward to seeing old friends from the Class of ‘99.  It’s been a while since I’ve spent time in Providence!   I’m a third year doctoral student at the University of Connecticut, studying marriage and family therapy.  I live in Storrs, CT with my husband of nearly a year and our cats.  We’re headed on our belated honeymoon in July 2009 to see the world in twelve days.  We love spending time with friends and family and are looking forward to seeing Wheeler’s campus in October.

Share your memories of time at Wheeler. Visit or visit our Facebook page at and join your class group! Now & Then @ Wheeler

reunion profiles Class of 2004 Reunion Committee’s Top Five Reasons to Come Back to Your 5th Year Wheeler Reunion 1. Because, let’s be honest, we spoke more about this reunion than our impending graduation while messing around in the senior room circa 2003-2004. 2. Open Bar! 3. By the 10th Reunion, we will not be nearly as attractive. 4. At this point, stalking classmates on Facebook has gotten old and we’d rather gawk and gossip about one another in person. 5. Your experience at Wheeler deserves another memory... From top right: Dacia Read, Erika Kreuter, Carrie Alexander, Andrew Jacober, Alex Conner

Want To Help With Reunion? vol·un·teer

1: a person who voluntarily undertakes or expresses a willingness to undertake a service

Reunions offer an opportunity for alumni to help with classmate communication and outreach as well as fundraising. Thank you to all our Reunion 2009 volunteers, some of whom are profiled in this issue.    In serving as a volunteer, these alumni are part of an important tradition of giving of their time and talent.  Interested in getting involved? It’s not too late to volunteer for Reunion 2009 and we are now recruiting volunteers for Reunion 2010!  For more information, please contact the Alumni Office at or (401) 528-2259.  Now & Then @ Wheeler

Wheeler ‘math-letes’ win $10,000 at national event.

Competitive Mathematics at Wheeler By George Lewis, Upper School Math Curriculum Coordinator This has been a successful year for Wheeler math students participating in state and national competitions. Both the Middle School Mathcounts team and the Upper School math team won state championships this year.

Middle School Mathcounts Coach Tom Wharton led the Wheeler Middle School team to victory in the Rhode Island Mathcounts competition in April. As a result, he took the top four students in the state, including Wheeler eighth grader Max Saccone, to the National Competition in Orlando, Florida. The Wheeler Mathcounts team has won the state competition four out of the last seven years and has had at least one student make nationals in nine out of the last ten years.

Math Team Champions For the third year in a row, the Wheeler Upper School Math Team won the state championship and then went on to win the state Playoffs. Karan Takhar ’09 and Matt Halpern ’09 tied for first place in the league and then went on to tie for top scorer at the playoffs. Seth Neel ’11 tied as top 10th grader at the playoffs. Postseason, a six-player team went on to the New England Association of Math Leagues competition to take third place in the small schools’ division and an eight-player team went to MIT to compete in the HarvardMIT Mathematics Competition. Wheeler finished first in the state for the third straight year in the New England Math League, a separate competition from the math team events. Wheeler students also participated for the first time in the Mandelbrot Competition this year, placing fourth in the New England division. The dynamic duo of Matt Halpern and Karan Takhar placed fourth and fifth individually.

Moody’s Math Challenge In April, a team of five Wheeler seniors


(Karan Takhar, Matt Halpern, Brent Musco, Alex Wheelock, and Chris Shaw in photo) went to Manhattan for the second year in a row to present their research in the Moody’s Mega Math Challenge. Sponsored by Moody’s Corporation and run by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the M3 Challenge must be done by a team of not more than six students, working independently within a ten-hour time window. This year’s challenge question was titled, “$787 Billion: Will the Stimulus Act Stimulate the U.S. Economy?” Of the 389 teams who submitted solution papers, the Wheeler team was judged a contender for one of the top six prizes and invited to Manhattan to present their paper to a panel of professional mathematicians and economists. Traveling from Providence in a rented limousine (Moody’s paid for it!) the team went on to take third place and the $10,000 scholarship prize. All participants are offered internships at Moody’s after their freshman year in college.

American Mathematics Competition Eighth-grader Charlie Nickerson earned the top AMC 8 score in Rhode Island. The AMC 10 and 12 tests are taken by all of our Upper School honors math students every year. It is the first step on a ladder that leads, eventually, to the 12-student U.S. American Mathematics Olympiad team. This year, four students did well enough on the AMC 10 and 12 tests to go on and take the American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME) and one, Karan Takhar, went on to take the USAMO, a nine-hour, six-problem test which is open only to the top 500 AIME scorers in the country. Simply making it that far is a great honor for a young mathelete and for each of the past six years, Wheeler has had at least one student qualify.

Now & Then @ Wheeler

Why Wheeler?

The phenomenal success of the Math Teams at Wheeler the last several years is no accident. We have our share of “whiz kids,” and a competitive math team can ride on the strengths of a couple such kids who may be accelerated or completely focused on one dimension of the academic spectrum. However, a championship team is quite different, in our experience. That kind of team is based on depth of participation and commitment by a lot of students, most of them kids who plug away at tough problems, who think long and hard about strategies, and who don’t get 800 on the Math SAT… When Tom Wharton, our charismatic high school teacher, comes to Middle School two or three times a week to coach mathletes, it becomes “cool” to be in “Math Counts” during Activities time. When an intern from California by way of Brown enlivens practices with stories of flights to far-off national competitions, it’s fun for kids to dream. When Judy Poirier gives time in 8th Grade algebra class to excited kids buzzing about a Saturday scrimmage, it’s intriguing for a new kid to check out the action. When corny announcements in Upper School morning assembly tout the results of yesterday’s lunchtime math league contest, everybody knows how the team is faring. When my bills for pizza are higher than usual, I know George Lewis is stepping up the after-school practice schedule. When George calls to say he needs another driver for Wednesday’s meet, I know his team is now too big to fit on one mini-bus. When there are as many freshmen on the team as seniors, I know that next year and the year after that will be strong years, too. The “culture” that sets the stage for such powerful Math Teams took years to build. It’s a culture where a 4th Grade girl treasures her New England Math League Contest certificate as much as her big brother did his, where the head of the Math Department attends a meeting with parents of a 7th grade applicant who want to know what the program will look like in 6 years, where kids fight to be part of a group writing an applied math/economics scenario at a student’s house all day on a Sunday, where a high school teacher proposes a Middle School course that he’d love to pilot…That’s the culture built by a lot of teachers over the course of a lot of years, here at Wheeler. Mark Harris, Director, Aerie Program

Connecting To Culture Through Language By Summer Sheeley, Head, Modern Languages The Department of Modern Languages prepares students to communicate in Chinese, French and Spanish. While our primary goal is oral proficiency, we also emphasize the skills of listening, reading and writing. Teachers and students converse every day in class to promote oral proficiency. Our students listen to authentic sources such as newscasts, popular movies and songs to improve their listening comprehension. Most recently, our faculty’s creative use of class blogs, wikis, voice recording, integrated dialogues and simulated conversations has enhanced our program allowing for more exposure to and the practice of all three languages. Wheeler’s place-based initiative has given our students other unique opportunities for participating in activities that enhance their speaking skills and give them a better understanding of the cultural heritage and the diverse communities in Providence. “These activities overcome the division between the classroom and the world beyond” says Gregory Smith, an associate professor in the Graduate School of Education at Lewis and Clark University. Chinese, French and Spanish classes have linked with other language communities in the area in an effort to expand their speaking opportunities and, as importantly, show them the connection between classroom work and everyday experiences. The value of language learning is obvious when it is connected to a place and its people. This year Wheeler language classes have made cultural connections with Chinese students attending a local college, the French-Canadian community in Woonsocket and a bilingual (English/ Spanish) school in Pawtucket. Through conversation in Chinese, French and Spanish, Wheeler students gained experience with the language and met community members who share their interest in language and culture.

Chinese Over the past few months Wheeler

Chinese 3-5 students have spent numerous afternoons speaking in Chinese with Johnson and Wales University Chinese students. Our students benefited enormously from these personal exchanges; they introduced themselves and shared personal preferences and impressions about each other’s cultures. Gina Chang, Upper school Chinese teacher, remarked that an especially interesting topic was comparing the Chinese and American educational systems.

French French 8th graders learned about the rich French heritage in Woonsocket, RI through an extensive tour of the Museum of Work and Culture almost exclusively in French. The students learned about Quebec history beginning with the Québécois farmers struggle in the1880’s to the immigration period from 1890 to 1930, when French-speaking families came and established in Woonsocket. French teacher Anne Greenberg says “Our guide told us about the harsh living and working conditions at the Mills, and she spoke about la survivance, or survival, which consisted of the three elements of faith, culture and the French language which these Québécois families tried to keep alive during their first decades in the US.”

Spanish Spanish 3Honors classes spent a day at the International Charter School in Pawtucket, RI with the first, fourth and fifth grade classes to better understand the mission of bilingual education. Before visiting, Amy Bonnici Bodah invited Wheeler 7th graders and ICS alumna Zooey Arnold-Conner and Rye Carroll to speak to the class about their experiences and their transition to Wheeler Middle Now & Then @ Wheeler

School. Our students observed some classes and interacted in both languages with the ICS students. This interaction with younger students allowed our Upper School students to uninhibitedly speak Spanish as well as assist in Math class (see photo above). Speaking Spanish and eating arepas at a local Venezuelan restaurant after their visit was an added delight! Our hope is to extend these initial visits and establish regular exchanges between Wheeler and these communities. We can encourage and motivate our students by demonstrating to them that they live in communities that speak these languages and value their contributions.

“This year Wheeler language classes made cultural connections with Chinese students attending a local college, the FrenchCanadian community in Woonsocket and a bilingual (English/ Spanish) school in Pawtucket.” 11

Wheeler Radio In Tune With Campus & Community By Marc Harrison, WELH Radio Host Tune into 88.1 FM on any given day, and you might hear salsa, meringue or reggaeton music breezing through your speakers. You’ll catch news on the hour. You might hear classic soul artist Aretha Franklin singing “Respect.” Over the weekends, you’ll be treated to jazz, classical, hip-hop, funk, hard rock, punk, techno, and both popular and independent artists, not to mention Italian-language programming. And at night, Brown Student Radio disc jockeys explore community issues and spin cutting edge records. Such is the diverse nature of the programming of Wheeler’s radio station, WELH. For more than 15 years, and with studio space perched next to the Aerie offices, WELH has provided non-stop music, news and community information to Providence, Kent and Bristol Counties in Rhode Island, and to neighboring Bristol County in Massachusetts. The brainchild of alumnus John Corrigan ’87, WELH-FM evolved from a student’s idea into a viable source of radio programming. What began as a request of Aerie Director Mark Harris for “a list of parts with a $25,000 price tag” became a collaborative project first with Brown University’s WBRU, and then with Rhode Island College’s WXIN. As a result of bartering, negotiation and the sharing of resources, the School acquired its nonprofit/educational FCC license, effectively securing Wheeler’s presence on the FM dial – 88.1 FM being both the newest and very last frequency available in the Providence market.

Investment in Wheeler, Investment in Community Creating a full-time radio station for the School is “an investment, like a building… or an endowment,” says Business Manager Gary Esposito, “and our goal is to increase its value, much like any other investment we own and support.” One of the challenges to running a not for profit station is generating revenue – a challenge 12

addressed early on with WELH’s longterm relationship with Latin Radio. The School’s more recent partnership with Brown Student and Community Radio allows the station to reach audiences which the station is unable to reach during its primary broadcast hours. Identifying and cultivating leasing partnerships like these support WELH’s annual operating expenses, and both have become important community partners.

Unassuming Digs The station calls the northeast corner on the fourth floor of Hope Building home, its permanent studio since a renovation effort in 1997. The space is divided into three sections: a small recording booth as you enter, an office and classroom area in the center of the room, and the broadcast center which covers the eastern wall of the studio. With equipment encased in glass and secured behind a locked door, visitors to the station see a large sound board, a wall of computer equipment, and very little seating space. It’s in the small recording studio, however, where the WELH ‘magic’ happens. Wheeler students who appear on-air have taken Broadcast Journalism, a minor credit-bearing course offered through Aerie. In this class, students learn about story selection and fact-checking, research and writing methodologies, broadcast mechanics and articulation and delivery. Students who aspire to become ‘jocks’ enroll in Radio Production – a course where students learn how to prepare, research, record and deliver an hour-long radio show. According to David Schiano, WELH’s current Director of Operations and the station’s only full-time employee, “student programming on WELH is so much more than kids playing records.” Mr. Schiano has been a presence at WELH since its inception – beginning in the mid-1990s as a collaborator at Rhode Island College Radio, and then as an assistant to John Corrigan. Before returning to WELH in Now & Then @ Wheeler

2003 in his current capacity as Director of Operations, Schiano worked as on-air talent at New Bedford’s WFHN “Fun” 107 FM and at Providence’s WWKS “Kix” 106 FM. Passion for music, radio and technology drive Schiano in his work with the station, his students and the faculty and staff who have been involved with WELH over the years. Programming is diverse and represents the varied musical tastes of both the Wheeler community and the Providence area at large. He currently manages ten hours of original programming each week; eight of which are shows developed and produced by students.

Starting Small, Growing Up Fast At first, WELH’s broadcast footprint was very small. According to Mark Harris, “what began as a closed-circuit system on our block grew into providing background music on a local cable community information station.” Later, as interest in broadcasting grew, and as a small cadre of students ventured upstairs to spin records, WELH established its very first format identity – “Extreme 88” was where local listeners would tune in to hear the latest in rock music, hosted by live student DJs. By 1988, the station’s format had shifted to jazz, and become automated. Now tagged as “Providence’s Number One Variety Station,” listeners of WELH hear automated Latin Radio during the early morning and afternoon hours, classic hits, oldies and soul during afternoon ‘drive time’ – from 3 until 9 pm, and Brown Student and community Radio overnight. Student and faculty ‘jocks’ (the industry term for on-air talent) are featured on Friday evenings and Saturdays from noon until 9 pm. Perhaps one of the best-known on-air WELH alums is Rob Pirraglia ’01. As a ten-year-old Lower School student, he began as an intern at WWBB-FM (known

Listen to WELH. FM online by visiting WELH.NET locally as B101) . Rob soon moved on to host afternoon drive time as the youngest on-air talent, a fledgling DJ on Wheeler’s fledgling radio station (then 97.1 WELR, the station’s first designation and a closedcircuit broadcast), all while continuing to work at B101, a job he held for seven years. On his time first at WELR and then at WELH, Rob recalls: “It was very exciting as time passed to join with RIC and Brown students on one cohesive rock and later jazz format and for me to host afternoon drive time.” Rob’s journey has taken him all over the dial – in addition to his work at B101, he was a longtime DJ for local country station “Cat Country” 98.1 WCTK-FM – but now he is at home on New Haven’s WEBE 108FM, a station which broadcasts at 50,000 watts (compared with the 150 watt signal that WELH transmits) where he hosts afternoon drive time, anchors newscasts, hosts a Sunday night talk show, and is celebrating his 16th year in professional radio.

Beyond Music, Beyond Today While music and news are the cornerstones of WELH’s broadcast day, the station has made its mark in other broadcast areas. Schiano explains, “We’ve aired spotlight shows about faculty members’ accomplishments in the professional music area, we’ve showcased The 18 Wheelers, and we’ve aired talk shows which highlight the Wheeler community, like ‘Wheeler Time with Coach Stein’.”

Upper School Spanish students (photo below) have written and recorded Spanish-language public service announcements, while Fourth Grade students have prepared and broadcast skits over the air. Working with staff at the Wheeler Farm, WELH has aired Wheeler Varsity Baseball games live, with veteran Physical Education teacher Coach Eric Stein (photo at right) calling the play-by-play, with guest color commentators, including Head of School Dan Miller, former Board of Trustees President Alan Tate, faculty member Bob Schmidt, student JJ Masko, as well as the author of this article. Former student Teddy Weller interviewed Sergei Kruschev, and current Middle School student Ava White interviewed activist Burmese physician and author Ma Thida for a documentary broadcast. Each year, the station records and broadcasts the School’s annual Holiday Festival, bringing the traditional celebration to the many parents, alums, and friends who are unable to attend. Perhaps the greatest compliment one can offer to WELH is that it sounds professional. Both Harris and Schiano agree: the goal of the station and all involved is that WELH be a professional station which strives to produce and provide high quality community oriented programming in addition to great music programming. Within the next five years,

e and som Bonnici ncements y m A r nou ache rvice an anish te chool Sp corded public se S r e p p U udents re of her st tion. a at the st

Coach Stein and JJ Masko ‘10 throw caution (tape) to the wind during a live baseball broadcast at the Farm.

according to Schiano, WELH will be “the most powerful school radio station in New England, and the second most powerful non-commercial station in Rhode Island.” At the time of this writing, the School and the station are examing ways to strengthen its broadcast signal, giving WELH the power to reach even more listeners in southern New England, and, in turn, amplify its identity as “Providence’s Number 1 Variety Station.” Marc Harrison is Director of Diversity Planning and Services at The Wheeler School. In addition to his official role at Wheeler, he is host of “The 80s at 8,” which airs every Friday night at 8 pm on 88.1 WELH-FM.

The 18 W their sou heelers jammed nds of m in usic and to the studio to commun talk abo ity appe u arances. t

Now & Then @ Wheeler


School Hosts Clothesline Project As Silent Lesson By Nelsie Vincze ‘12 and Meg Hughes ’12 On April 23rd, 2009, the Wheeler Upper School gathered on East Campus to view the Clothesline Project. Faculty, staff, parents, and Upper School students drifted in to look at the tee-shirts that hung around East Campus. Each shirt used a combination of images or words to tell the stories of domestic violence. The Clothesline Project is a visual display of shirts with messages and art that have been designed by women survivors of violence. The purpose of the Project is to increase awareness of the impact of violence against women and to provide an avenue to courageously break the silence that often surrounds the experience. Each state has its own chapter and this is the first time Wheeler has hosted the RI Clothesline Project. Our teacher Amy Bonnici, who advises the Women’s Issues Group, coordinated the display of the Project for the Upper School. She involved the Women’s Issues club members, who also organized fundraisers for local women’s shelters. With smoothie sales and “Stop Violence Against Women” tee-shirt sales the club raised more than $800. Faculty, staff and students of both genders bought so many shirts that they were sold out on the first day of sales. We are freshman who recently worked on the Clothesline Project. We were assigned to make posters to bring awareness to the Project about the number of women being abused. We first looked up statistics about violence against women. When we were researching, we came across shocking facts, which really


moved us, and motivated us to write 30 posters with the statistics that carried the message “Break the Silence.” We had not realized that violence against women is so prevalent. Before the Clothesline Project, Ms. Bonnici arranged for Sandra Malone, coordinator of Prevention Education at Day One—The Sexual Assault and Trauma Resource Center, to teach Upper School students and teachers about the myths and facts of violence against women. Students asked, why violence against women and not men? While many men are abused, women are ten times more likely to be sexually assaulted. In many cultures and traditions, women are valued second to men and cannot get out of the violence cycle. The day before the Clothesline Project, the two of us unpacked the tee-shirts from their boxes and strung them on the clotheslines. While we knew before that violence happens, handling the personal work of women who had been abused was eye-opening; it made their stories real for us. The messages on the shirts moved us because they brought reality and awareness about the unbelievable amount of pain and sadness. The day of the Clothesline Project, we arrived early to help hang the tee-shirts. With other members of the Women’s Issues Group and volunteers, we strung the shirts on clotheslines along the fences, between trees and basketball hoops. By working with other students, we were all able unite to support each other and the women and girls who created the shirts. The experience of actively hanging up the shirts with others was powerful. To us the shirts’ sad stories had a message about hope for change and we felt a personal connection with the victims. Francesca Errante, an educator from the Katie Brown Educational Program, came to speak to us as a follow-up to the project. She discussed the cycle of violence, what to do if your friend is being abused, and signs Now & Then @ Wheeler

of abuse. She gave us several handouts as resources to help ourselves and friends. This information let us take action after the Clothesline Project.   The Clothesline Project broke the silence on violence against women. Our education about violence was the first step on the way to making others aware. The experience of hanging and viewing the tee-shirts with the rest of the Wheeler community made us feel that we could help break the silence. We were motivated to get involved in education, awareness, and activism—and continue to work and hope for change.

While we knew before that violence happens, handling the personal work of women who had been abused was eye-opening; it made their stories real for us.

Summerbridge News By Dulari Tahbildar, Executive Director Challenge Grant Renewed We are pleased to announce that the Carter Family Charitable Trust recently renewed for Providence Summerbridge a second five-year $200,000 challenge grant to support our transformative “students teaching students” model. The “challenge” aspect of the grant requires that we raise $40,000 in new and increased gifts each year for five years. That means that as a new donor, your gift will be matched dollar for dollar! In addition, if you are already a supporter of Providence Summerbridge, every dollar that you increase your gift will be matched by the Carter Family Charitable Trust. Thank you to the Carters for their continued generous support of Providence Summerbridge!

SB Welcomes Two New Program Directors A warm welcome goes out to Natalie Solomon and Christina Turner who will be joining Providence Summerbridge full-time in August. Natalie (at right) will serve as our Program Director for Teacher Education and will teach 8th grade Chinese in the Wheeler Middle School. Christina (at left) will serve as our Program Director for Student & Family Programs and will teach Unity & Diversity and a section of the Community Action Program in the Wheeler Upper School. Both women will bring a tremendous amount of energy and creativity to their new roles and we are lucky to have them!

Saying Farewell & Thank You Providence Summerbridge would like to thank Bill Prescott, former Head of Wheeler School, for his years of service as Advisory Board Chair of Providence Summerbridge. In May 2009, Bill stepped down as Advisory Board Chair but will remain as a dedicated member of the Advisory Board Development Subcommittee. We are excited to welcome Kathryn Robinson as Bill’s successor. Kathryn is the former Executive Director of Breakthrough Manchester, a sister organization to Providence Summerbridge, and brings a wealth of knowledge of program and organizational development to our community. After six years of dedicated service, Rameka Blakey and Elkinsette Clinton will be moving on from Providence From left: Elkinsette Clinton, Summerbridge. We thank them for their Rameka Blakey and Dulari Tahbildar. tireless commitment to the hundreds of young people across the city whose lives they have impacted.

Business Publication Honors Tahbildar With “40 Under 40” Award Providence Summerbridge at Wheeler Executive Director Dulari Tahbildar has been selected in the 5th Anniversary Celebration of “40 Under 40” business professionals by Rhode Island’s Providence Business News. A party honoring the recipients was held in July at the Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport. Tahbildar joined Wheeler in 2008 as Executive Director of Summerbridge. She is a graduate of Brown University with a B.A. in Public Policy and Urban Studies and a graduate of MIT with a Master in City Planning. She has worked in education and youth development organizations in large cities including The Brotherhood/Sister Sol, City Year National Headquarters, the Urban Institute, and the Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science. She has earned certificates at Columbia Business School’s Institute for Non-Profit Management and Hunter College’s Department of Urban Affairs and Planning, plus she participated in a doctoral research practicum on community organizing for school reform at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Now & Then @ Wheeler


field day


Photos by Annie Funnell, Lauri Lee, Sloane DeAngelis Pilgrim ‘86 and Diane Rennie

Now & Then @ Wheeler

Photos by Pam Murray. See more and read speeches at the Upper School link online.


Speakers from left: Alex Wheelock, Maia Chao, Head of School Dan Miller and Carley Roney ‘86

Now & Then @ Wheeler



@ wheeler

Hamilton Construction Project Underway As soon as ‘08-’09 ended, work began on the new addition to The Hamilton School at Wheeler. The pictures came off the walls, the classrooms were packed up and mature trees were moved to be re-used off campus in preparation for the work which will be complete in 2010. Ed Wojcik Architect, Ltd. and Shawmut Construction are leading the work. When finished, the new building will be nearly double in size with all new classroom, gathering and office spaces for Grades 1-5. “By now we all know the importance of Hamilton to the larger Wheeler community. This building is simply testimony to that fact. Hamilton is Wheeler; Wheeler is Hamilton. The facility simply did not do justice to the program. The new space will allow brilliant teachers and motivated students the opportunity they deserve.” Dan Miller, Head of Wheeler School

Madden Gym

"The most exciting aspect of our new building is that not only will the entire Hamilton community have an assembly space, but the building is being designed to accommodate the "Hamilton model" which someENTRANCE

times require small breakout teaching spaces for small group work, but will also allow Wheeler classes to visit and work with Hamilton students in Hamilton classrooms. Certainly, this takes the school-within-a-school to another level--very exciting!" Jon Green, Director of The Hamilton School at Wheeler 18

Angell Street Now & Then @ Wheeler

First Floor Plan excerpt by Ed Wojcik Architect,Ltd.

Senior Parent Gift Surpasses Its $100,000 Goal! A big thank you to the Senior Parents and Grandparents for their wonderful generosity this year. Wheeler also thanks the members of the Senior Parent Gift Committee for their leadership.

Senior Parent Gift Committee Rick and Kathleen Godley Lisa Ballou Tyler ‘75 Barbara H. Brown Alan H. Litwin Karen Mancini Diane B. Rennie Kim Chazan Zwetchkenbaum ‘83

Parent Annual Fund Donors Make Strong Statement of School Support Interested in serving as a parent volunteer caller next year? Please contact us at

THANK YOU to the 70% of Wheeler families who supported the school through the Annual Fund last year. Together, you are helping make great things happen at Wheeler. A contribution to the Annual Fund is a vote of confidence for the students, faculty and programs of Wheeler. Your gift, no matter the size, has a lasting impact on the School. Many thanks to the Division Chairs and all the volunteer callers for all their hard work in driving us towards our goals: Alex Mitchell, Annual Fund Chair David Hasslinger, Upper School Chair Lauri Lee, Middle School Chair Karen Mancini, Lower School Chair Scot Jones, Hamilton Chair 2008-2009 Volunteer Callers: Lisa Ballou Tyler ’75 Helen Bodell Anthony Bomba Sheila Broderick Stephanie Chafee ’76 Janine Chang Kathy Chaquette Meredith Curran Andrea DeMayo-Clancy Stacy Emanuel ’87 Weining Feng Cindy Feinstein Mary Gagnon James Gilbane Elizabeth Hegarty Cynthia Hughes

Donor Report Goes Green

Annual Fund Volunteer Parent Chairs for next school year are Lauri Lee and Sandra Smith.

Deborah Jacobson Julie Larosee Jane Mignone Deborah Morrocco Christin Murphy Betsy Myers Tracy Pagnozzi Shelley Roth Ron Rotondo Adam Singer Sandra Smith Jyothi Subramaniam Courtney Taylor Jennifer Thiesen Ellen Welty Sarah Windsor

Now & Then @ Wheeler

We reduced the size of our annual report and put the entire list of donors online this year. Find it under the Support Our Mission tab.

Annual Fund Director Karen Fuller needs two hands to accept the gifts from students and brothers Justin ‘19 (left) and Zachary ‘17 Emanuel. 19

wheeler’s big event

First Big Event Raises $230,000 from Sale and Celebration

Big Event’s Debut helps School “Catch The Spirit” Co-chairs




above) and Lori Lousararian (right) with Honorary Co-chair Chris Rooks ‘70, and (top left and right) Clothing Sale chairs Andrea DeMayo-Clancy and Deb GoldAlumna speaker Leidy Valencia ‘05, Sotheby’s vice president and auctioneer Hugh Hildesley and emcee Patrice Wood, added to the evening program.

farb-Norton led volunteers from all walks of Wheeler & Hamilton life to set the bar high as we entered a new era in community and event fundraising. The Clothing & More Sale, sponsorships, auction donors and winners, Fund-A-Future supporters, in-kind donations (nearly

Go online at BigEvent to see more great photos from the Sale & Celebration. 20

$50,000 worth!) plus the 440 guests at the celebration all played a BIG part in making this a historic success. Thanks to all who caught the spirit to support the students of Hamilton and Wheeler.

Now & Then @ Wheeler

wheeler’s big event

Save The Date(s) for the Big Event II We are delighted to announce our cochairs and the dates for Big Event II. Pictured





Deb Schiavone, Mary Farrell, Kathy Chaquette and Marianne Litwin. These four parent volunteers have already begun work to build on the success of our first Big Event to raise funds for students at Wheeler and Hamilton through the Clothing Sale and Celebration. Mark now










are made and this year’s theme is

Big Event II Highlights! • Earlier (and more) Clothing Sale Receiving Days September 21 — 7:30 - 10:30 am; Yellow House on Angell. October 17 — Mobile Receiving at Fall Fest at the Farm!! November 16 — 7:30 - 10:30 am at the Yellow House. January 25 — 7:30 - 10:30 am at the Yellow House. • get involved Go online to volunteer at You can help with both efforts if you wish! Committees are forming now and alumni, parents and faculty & staff can all participate. • A fun new theme “Catch the Spirit” was a great way to debut our one-andonly fundraising effort at Wheeler. This year we want to infuse both the Clothing Sale and the Celebration with a fun theme for Big Event II. Watch for the announcement of this year’s theme.

announced! You’ll want to be a part of it.

• your support benefits our students From the fantastic community outreach that the Clothing Sale brings to the funds raised, Big Event II has big shoes to fill to exceed last year’s totals. We look forward to your participation. Visit to volunteer, sponsor, make an in-kind donation or learn more. Now & Then @ Wheeler


parents association news A Message from the ‘09-’10 Parents Association President

Outgoing WPA President Joanne Carlino with new WPA President Jen Thiesen and Wheeler Head Dan Miller.

I can still recall the day my husband Larry and I first visited Wheeler and how very impressed we were with the very poised and articulate young lady charged with showing us about the Wheeler campus. Initially we were surprised that the school had chosen a middle school student to assist with parent tours, but it became clear in a very short period of time that these were not ordinary middle school students and that Wheeler was not an ordinary school. In fact, it has proved to be an extraordinary school. When asked to reflect on the education our children have received at Wheeler, two words come to mind: engaged learning. Our children, Adam and Taylor have each in their own way become engaged learners. By that I mean that the faculty and curriculum have engaged their hands, their minds and their hearts in learning. Wheeler, through its diverse and connected learning community, is creating world class engaged learners and it is my sincere pleasure to support that endeavor as President of the Wheeler School Parents Association. One way we can all support Wheeler is by volunteering our time and talent ...becoming “engaged volunteers,” if you will. Volunteering with the Parents Association (WPA) is fun-filled and richly rewarding. For returning parents, thank you for all you have done; for new members of our community please take advantage of the many volunteer opportunities starting in September with Fall Fest, culminating with the Big Event: Clothing Sale /Celebration in the Spring and with countless activities scattered between throughout the year! I look forward to seeing you all on campus this fall. Jennifer Thiesen P’14

Clockwise from Clockwise from right:Parents Parentsatat one right: one of of several Families of Color several Families of Color events events chat with Dan Miller; The chat with Dan Miller; The Spacones Spacones lunch theSenior-Parent lawn at the lunch on the lawnon at the Senior-Parent year-end event; year-end Big Event event; I parentBig coEvent co-chairs and Kathy chairsparent Kathy Chaquette LoriChaquette Lousaraand Loriparent Lousararian flank Roat rian flank Ro Mede whileparent working Mede while working the Cloththe Clothing Sale; Lower at School teachers ing Lower School teachers BenSale; Goulet and Sarah Mango showBen off Goulet and Sarah Mango show their Wheeler Family Cookbooks off their Wheeler Family Cookat the Faculty-Staff books Appreciation luncheon. at the Faculty-Staff Appre-


Now & Then @ Wheeler

community action Hamilton 8th graders raised $615 for Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Meatheads aka officers for the MEATS Club raise funds for RI Food Bank.

Students Support Various Causes this Spring Showing Their Service Learning Is Strong Students conceived, organized and led numerous projects this past Spring to support the community and raise awareness about important issues. Here’s a roundup of some of their activities. • Club for a Cure held a number of bake sales to support The American Cancer Society. Students urged classmates and others to wear either yellow or orange to show support for research to cure Leukemia, Childhood cancers, Sarcoma, Bladder, Bone cancers, and Uterine cancer. • Ninth graders participated in service trips to Camp Street Community Ministries, Urban Edge Farm, SSCLT City Farm, Amos House, the Food Bank, and the new Community Garden at the Wheeler Farm.

Nursery students get support for their Amos House bake sale from Dan Miller.

• MS Community Service Club had a very successful bandanna sale to benefit the Providence Animal Rescue League. • The Women’s Issues group donated $400 to the Women’s Center of RI to benefit the Children’s Expressive Arts Therapy Program that plays a vital role in healing from domestic violence. • On Earth Day, Middle School took part in the Woonasquatucket River Cleanup to build a community bulletin board, clean the park, plant shrubs and offer 100 William D’Abate School Children a fun, hands-on environmental education experience.

A Middle School pet parade raises awareness of the Animal Rescue League.

• Community Action Mentors in the Upper School held a candy sale for Project Undercover. • The MEATS Club (Making and Eating Awesome Tasty Stuff) held a BBQ named CARNEvale (“goodbye meat” in Latin) to raise money for the RI Food Bank. • The Hope Scholarship Fund held sports raffles and dumpling sales while Rebound for Tomorrow sold samosas and sodas to benefit students in rural schools in China and India respectively. • Upper School students contributed 500 build hours in the Greater Providence area this year. • Hamilton Second Graders led a campus effort to raise $640 in funds for the Mwea School in Kenya. Now & Then @ Wheeler

Fourth Graders support heart healthy phys-ed activities on Wear Red Day.



Middle School Athletics Gets Renewed Focus, Adds New Soccer Coach By Martyn Hollands, Director of Athletics for External Affairs Whether in the classroom or on the sports field, dealing with the differing levels of physical and cognitive development for a middle school student can be a challenge. In addition, creating the correct learning environment for preparing the student for high school is critical. With this in mind, Wheeler’s Athletics Department, along with the support of The Middle School, are making some changes (including adding new coaches to complement our existing veteran coaching staff) to the structure of the middle school athletics program starting this fall, which we feel will assist in developing well rounded student athletes. Creating the correct learning environment that nurtures the fresh faced 6th grader, while holding on to the reins of the 8th grader desperate to experience upper school, is the ultimate middle school balancing act, which the Middle School faculty consistently achieve. Our first priority is to establish an environment for our middle school students that encourages their development, recognizes their different stages of learning and the uniqueness of their learning styles. To help us achieve this we will create, where numbers allow, development teams for our 6th grade stu-


dents. Historically, this has been in boys’ soccer, and girls’ and boys’ basketball. The 7th and 8th grade students will try out for selection on the “A” or “B” teams. All the middle school coaches will focus on player development and preparing the students for the demands of high school sports. That being said, our “A” and “B” teams will strive to be competitive with other schools’ programs, but ultimately the success of our middle school program should not be judged on results alone, rather by the player’s physical, technical, tactical and psychological development as an athlete. We recognize there are challenges associated with having 6th grade only development teams, particularly in having the critical mass to create them, but also dealing with the differences in skill level, as well as size, speed, strength, and even motivation between students. Nevertheless, the 6th grade is such an important year for identifying and developing young athletes and nurturing their passion for sports, we believe these challenges can be met. To this end, we will be strengthening our well regarded, middle school coaching staff with coaches who have a history of establishing learning environments that meet the disparate needs and the unique learning styles of young athletes. We have appointed Hugh McCracken as the 6th grade boys’ soccer development team coach. Hugh has a vast wealth of soccer coaching experience: Assistant Head Now & Then @ Wheeler

Coach at UCLA; Olympic Development Coach Massachusetts & Rhode Island; Massachusetts Youth Soccer Coaching Staff; and a Premier Club coach. In addition, Hugh has a MS in Kinesiology and a Ph. D. in Motor Learning and Development. Hugh himself says he “has a passion for children’s learning and….is constantly focused on discovering new ways to coach children to learn soccer.” We are delighted to have Hugh as part of our Wheeler middle school coaching staff this fall. Hugh’s coaching philosophy will fit well in the middle school, and here at Wheeler in general, as the passion for children’s learning is apparent in all aspects of Wheeler life. That same passion for children’s learning is evident in all aspects of Wheeler life and our middle school coaches strive to achieve the goal of providing an enjoyable, challenging and competitive learning environment for our athletes. In addition to this, under the new structure, our middle school students will have the support to be spontaneous and creative in their play. Coaches at the professional and collegiate level complain that players have lost this ability to express themselves, and cite too much organized sport and fear of making mistakes as being the main reasons for this lack of creativity. Wheeler is the embodiment of creativity within academics and the arts – it is now time to extend this to the sports arena.

athletics Girls Varsity Lacrosse earned the SENE Championship, the first since 2001, by defeating Falmouth.

Spring Sports Highlights Champions & All-Stars • Girls Varsity Lacrosse defeated Falmouth for their first SENE Championship since 2001. • Seniors Dean Clarke, Trey Dandreta, John Sweriduk, and Alex Zwetchkenbaum represented Wheeler in the RIIL All-Star Lacrosse Game in June at Classical High School. The four earned Division II 1st Team honors. The Warriors were ousted from the RIIL State Playoffs in the semi-final round this spring losing to the eventual State Champions Mt. Hope. • Gil Whalen and Matt Brown were selected by the Rhode Island Baseball Coaches Association as All Stars to play in the 2009 Division 2 All-Star Game at McCoy Stadium. • Freshman Morgan Johnston took 2nd place in the NEPSTA Division III Track & Field Championships in the 3000 meter. Her time of 12:02.59 was also her ‘Personal Best’ for the year. • Jesse Frieder finished 2nd in the RIIL D-I Singles Tournament ending a stellar season where he defeated the 2-time defending champion from South Kingstown, Kyle Burke during regular season play. • The Middle School softball team, coached by JoAnn Donahue and Dorothy Garfield, captured a 26-5 win over Moses Brown and a 13-7 win over Williams in their strongest winning season yet. • Varsity Field Hockey Co-Coach Jen Vinnitti will be leaving Wheeler after 5 years to coach at UCAL Berkeley this upcoming fall. She will be an associate coach for the Division I ‘Bears’. Wheeler wishes Jen the best of luck! • Senior Alex Carney and junior Andrew Fiorenzano earned Providence Journal Independent Stars honors for their accomplishments this spring. Carney led Wheeler to the SENE regular-season and tournament lacrosse championships. She earned first-team All-Conference honors for a season in which she scored 91 goals and assisted on 28 tallies. Fiorenzano won his second straight SENE individual golf championship. His three-over 75 at this year’s tournament gave him a three-stroke margin of victory over his closest competition. Last year he won the conference title by nine strokes.

From top to bottom: Golfer Andrew Fiorenzano, runner Morgan Johnston, tennis star Jesse Frieder, Middle School Softball players. From left to right: Coach Jen Vinnitti and Lacrosse All-Star Alex Zwetchkenbaum.

Now & Then @ Wheeler


school news Eleven students represent Wheeler at a New England High School Students of Color Conference.

News of note and congratulations • Five teachers and 11 students represented the school at the Association of Independent Schools of New England High School Students of Color Conference. In the photo above are front: Sol Taubin and Jay Lopes, center: John Goncalves, Blanca Zevallos, Shady Reyes, Jiawen Tang, Genetta Kah and back: Cathleen Williams, Jay Andrade, Sophie Lo, and Elizabeth Gao. At this year’s conference Cathleen Williams ‘10 and Sol Taubin ‘11 presented a workshop entitled “Yes We Can: Confronting Old Prejudices with New Hope,” looking at where we are as a society post-Obama election. The pair were the only student workshop presenters this year. The 18 Wheelers made a special performance appearance Sunday morning of the conference. • The Chazan Gallery was nominated in the Providence Phoenix’s ‘Best of 2009’ as the Best Gallery in Rhode Island. The awards event took place in April. • Freshman Emily Silverman had a one-act play — written and performed in Wheeler’s annual One Act Festival — chosen to be performed professionally this summer at the Young Playwrights Festival in Rhode Island. • 8th grader Ruby Stenhouse was one of three essayists selected to give a live reading by WRNI Public Radio to recognize and thank all who participated in the “This I Believe Rhode Island” segment. The audio essay was also one of several music, audio and video features spotlighted during the year on Wheeler’s website. • Art teacher and Chazan Gallery Director Sue Carroll was invited by RISD to review the portfolios of graduating seniors at their RISD FINE ART PORTFOLIO REVIEW. • Freshman Christian Sadler was featured in a Providence Journal article about garments made by teenagers from recycled materials designed for a “trashy fashion” show. The event capped an eight-week course in innovative design taught by Elana Carello, a veteran of the garment industry. Sadler began designing clothing at 13. • The 18 Wheelers have made it onto the international compilation CD, “Best of High School A Cappella” for the fifth time in seven years. The singers earned the 2009 spot with a cover of “Be Good to Me” (original performing artist, Ashley Tisdale). The group earned similar honors in 2002, 2005, 2006, and 2007 as well. Only 14 selections make the final cut. You can hear the track on the Wheeler website’s Wheeler School Portal page. 26

Now & Then @ Wheeler

More than 400 grandparents visited campus in May, including Norah Hojman, grandmother of 8th grader Nicole Hojman. Mrs. Hojman made the trip to Wheeler from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Admission Director Jeanette Epstein accepts the ‘09 Board of Trustees Award from Dan Miller and Board Chair Alan Litwin. Previous recipients include Mike Edwards, Gary Esposito, Mark Harris, Jerry Del Signore, Ben Baker, Barbara Staples, Alan Tate, Miriam Kenney ‘53 and Vera Wayne.

This year’s Newport Film Festival screened a Wheeler student-made film created for an 8th grade Chinese class taught by Isabel Purdy. The filmmakers were Max Schoenfeld, Austin Collier, Dylan Igoe, Taber Gifford and Larry Chan shown with Alex Collier who attended the screening. The students will all be juniors next fall.

school news

Public Art Initiative Welcomes ‘Welkin’

View of the outdoor panel from inside the Student Center.

Nicole Chesney’s four glass panels, entitled “Welkin,” the latest in the pieces commissioned for Wheeler’s Public Art Initiative, were installed July 9 in the Nulman Lewis Student Center on campus. The pieces can be seen along the wall connecting Clark Alumni House with one panel outside leading to the courtyard. To see a video about the artist and learn more about the entire art initiative, visit and click on Current School Initiatives under About Wheeler.

Next piece of Public Art Initiative to be Sited at the Farm A committee of faculty, staff and administrators met this spring to approve and site the next work commissioned as part of Wheeler’s Public Art Intitiative. The red metal arch by artist Jim Reynolds is planned for installation during the 2009-2010 school year. It will be the second piece to be placed at the Farm.

The large red metal arch will be located near Walker Street near Field 2 and across from Field 1.

Now & Then @ Wheeler


beyond the classroom Seventh graders research family artifacts for their annual Folklore Fair on Grandparents Day.

creative teaching inspires in or out of class • George Milkowski’s AP Computer Science class extended the AP Computer Science “Case Study” (a required component of the AP CompSci curriculum) and created a program that modeled a toxin spreading in an environment with “bugs” moving in the environment. The students developed an idea that the bugs would have traits to make them better able to survive in a toxic environment which they had to program into AP Biology students tag horseshoe crabs. the code for a bug. These traits included: speed, smartness, and immunity. They also coded how these traits would be passed on from parents to child genetically. They then presented the “model” to the AP Biology classes, who were studying genetics as part of their curriculum. The AP Bio students continued their other project this year, tagging horseshoe crabs. • After attending Raisin in the Sun at Trinity, Jodi von Reinhart’s 7th graders wrote what she noted were “extensive, remarkably eloquent and impassioned thank-you letters to the cast, crew, and director.” Trinity posted excerpts from many of the kids’ letters in the “Join the Conversation” area of its website. School rivalries take a back seat at the annual Battle of the Books event.

• Performing Arts Head Lisa Brackett and English teacher Ann Bruno directed a group of Wheeler 4th and 5th graders, as well as some seniors, in a multi-school production of Hamlet as part of a new Shakespeare In The City effort in Providence. • For months each winter, Fourth Graders read at least ten of the forty titles selected for the annual Battle of the Books contest, a celebration of reading in which children from Wheeler, Gordon, Lincoln, and St. Michael’s Schools stage a mock battle of reading knowledge. The “Battle” is a fun-filled evening event at which parents and teachers are dazzled by what kids have learned says Wheeler librarian Brooke Strachan.

Alexis Ingram delivers her Gold medalwinning speech at Academic Decathlon.

• The Upper School Advanced Acting class visited New York where students had an audition workshop with professional actors and a stage combat workshop with Justin Greer who is now appearing in Shrek. They also saw Waiting for Godot with Nathan Lane and John Goodman and In the Heights! • Wheeler’s Academic Decathlon team led by teacher Anne Martin earned numerous medals in this year’s state competition. The team placed 3rd overall in the state and 3rd in the SuperQuiz. Among the highlights: Kathy Silvestre won a total of 11 medals, medaling in every subject but one. Alexis Ingram won the 1st place Speech Gold Medal and was selected as one of three students to present before the entire academic decathlon audience.

Adding a song gave this team the winning edge at an MIT-sponsored event. 28

• At this year’s Fay School/MIT Rube Goldberg Competition, Wheeler’s Middle School team — led by alum Phil Eil ‘03 — broke a three-way tie for the Sportsmanship/ Teamwork/Presentation award thanks to its performance of “Hey Rube!”

Now & Then @ Wheeler

faculty field work

New Community Garden Thrives at The Farm Modern Languages teacher Kelly Foss has spent her sabbatical creating an organic Community Garden at the Wheeler Farm. Foss has recruited a volunteer committee of parents, faculty and staff, plus encouraged Wheeler teachers to integrate the garden into existing curriculum, from the sciences and math, to social studies and service learning for their students. The Community Garden was already named one of 20 national Project Orange Thumb recipients by Fiskars and received a grant of Fiskars tools. Nearly 200 volunteer hours from 56 faculty, staff, parents and students have been put into our garden. More volunteers are always needed. The garden (located near the old bull pen close to where a greenhouse once stood) will create an outdoor classroom space for hands-on learning, space for a “Seed to Plate” initiative and also create a communal area for those at the school as well as their families. Sixth graders in the Farm Program have crafted chairs for the space and are piloting a composting effort. Lower Schoolers are raising seedlings that were transplanted to the new beds. The garden will be on display at Fall Festival this October. For more information, visit the website at www. and click on School Life.

Above: the garden in summer as photographed by Camp Director Vanessa O’Driscoll. At left: Teacher Kelly Foss smiles as another rock is cleared from the new garden beds. Inset left: A map of the Wheeler Farm from 1932 shows the location of the garden.

Librarian Serves on International Review Teams in England and Canada Carolyn Hilles, Wheeler’s Upper School Librarian, served on an international accreditation team for the second time in two years last November for the Commission on American/International Schools Abroad (CAISA) of the New England Association of Independent Schools (NEASC). NEASC is the only organization of its kind to accredit international schools—166 of them in 65 countries. Hilles’ most recent visit was to ACS Egham International School west of London, where she served as one of 12 educators selected from nine countries. This accreditation team represented the first time that NEASC collaborated with the International Baccalaureate’s evaluators in evaluating a school’s program. In the previous autumn, she served on a visiting team to Stanstead College, a 7-12 boarding school in Quebec. “You always learn something valuable on any NEASC visit,” she says, “as it gives you the opportunity to observe directly how another school’s program and culture operates. International schools add another dimension to that experience, as the country’s culture impacts school life. For example, Great Britain is well-known for its pervasive use of camera security—by recent estimates, 1 for every 14 people. This security approach is reflected in ACS Egham International School’s CCTV system, capable of viewing and filming all playgrounds, fields, and entrances as well as whatever can be seen through Librarian Carolyn Hilles took this photo of fellow accreditation members during her trip to England. any window at the school. Americans on the Stanstead College visiting team in Canada were stunned to hear teenagers report that they were getting enough sleep, and in fact expressing surprise at being asked the question. Further investigation revealed that Canadian approaches to school schedules and homework account for this cultural difference, as does this boarding school’s shut-down of the network at 11:00 at night. “Though you always come back with some new perspectives and good ideas,” Carolyn concludes, “sometimes one of the most important things you learn is how happy you are that you’re going back to your own school!” Now & Then @ Wheeler


alumni news

& events

The Spirit Annual Alumni Meeting Welcomes New President and Honors Service The Annual Meeting of the Alumni Association was held this May in the Prescott Library. Susanne BowenToothaker ’66 (in photo at left) was recognized for her leadership as President as her term came to a close and Kim Chazan Zwetchkenbaum ’83 (at right) was welcomed as the incoming President. Following the meeting was a reception in honor of Alix Cross Maloney ’87, whose photographs have been given by her to the School and are on display in the Library.

Nicole Brissette Jennings ’99 and Etienne Granito Mechrefe ‘95

Wheeler Trustee Geoff O’Hara ’87 and Alix Cross Maloney ‘87

Michelle Ducoff Miller ’89 and Susanne Bowen Toothaker ’66 in front of photographs by Alix Cross Maloney ’87

Wheeler Alumni Board 2009-2010 Executive Committee Kimberly (Chazan) Zwetchkenbaum ’83 Geoffrey O’Hara ’87 Sara Granoff-Schor ’81 Trudy Coxe ’67 Nicole (Brissette) Jennings ’99 Susanne (Bowen) Toothaker ’66

President Vice President Reunion & Alumni Day Chair Alumni Giving Chair Alumni Outreach Chair Past President

Members Susanna Bodell ’77 Alexander Boeglin ’03 Joan (Murdough) Boucher ’50 (Special Appointment) Carol (Graves) Cimilluca ’59 Bobbie Berking-Dalzell ‘73 (Faculty- Special Appointment) Constance (Payan) Danforth ’50 (Special Appointment) Jeremy Isenberg ’94 Catherine (Bateman) Killian ’79 Andrea (Vibert) Kumlin ’76 Kenndra Leary-Poole ’99


Now & Then @ Wheeler

Harvey Lee ’86 Nancy (Haley) Lyle ’44 (Special Appointment) Laurie (Wilkins) MacDonald ’78 Bay (Kilvert) McClure ’67 Etienne (Granito) Mechrefe ’95 Brooke Odessa ’02 Lisa Samdperil-Davis ’76 Betty Ann (Hacking) Taylor ’43 (Special Appointment) Sarah (Williamson) Whinery ’65 (Special Appointment)

alumni regional events focus is on athletics at nyc event Numerous alumni gathered at PrimeHouse in New York City to hear Jean Carlson, Physical Education, Department Head, and Martyn Hollands, Director of Athletics, External Affairs talk about “The Wheeler Student Athlete Today.” From left: Martyn Hollands, Ryan Seggel ’96, Jean Carlson and Matt Guttin ‘96

washington event attracts long-time alum

Geoff O’Hara ’87, Trustee and Alumni Board Vice President, joined DC-area alumni for a reception at Zola. He is pictured with Bunny Bobrinskoy Shepherd ’55 and Geoffrey Shepherd.

young alumni gather in dc Alex Schoenfeld ’01, Aaron Beaudette ’03, Kate Lyons ’02 and Ben Williams ‘01 join for a photo at the alumni event in DC.

Join the online community of Wheeler alumni! It’s easier than ever to find the Wheeler alumni community. To find us on Facebook, use our new vanity url www.facebook. com/wheelerschool. Coming this fall — Mobile apps! A FreeCause Wheeler toolbar you can download! New ways to stay connected!! Now & Then @ Wheeler


Art Murals Connect Classes of ‘39, ‘79, ‘09 Murals have long been a staple of the art on display around Wheeler. This year saw an unusual interest in them as a 2009 Drawing 2 Class was inspired to create its own mural after working beneath one drawn 70 years ago. And, as the Class of 1979 prepares for its 30th Reunion, memories of a mural drawn during their days at Wheeler continue to inspire. Read about the connection between art now and art then below.

Art Class Creates New Mural Inspired By Old By Leah Grear, Art Teacher

My Drawing 2 class completed a selfportrait mural as a 70th anniversary commemorative celebration of the 1939 mural that is installed in my classroom. In our Drawing 2 class this semester — as we were beginning our self portrait assignment — a student caught a glimpse of the mural that hangs above the Drawing Room door in Wheeler Hall. The mural is of several young women that appear to be in a library amongst piles of books, and was dated 1939. After some discussion and the realization that this is the 70th anniversary of that mural, the class requested that we make the self portrait assignment a mural of self portraits. The objectives and learned skills would be similar with the addition of photoshop and mural making, and it would have the added challenge of collaboration. Additionally, each student would have to be willing to let go of ownership as the mural would remain at Wheeler. Once completed, it was an unanticipated surprise to find out that the Class of 1939 is among the classes celebrating a reunion this October!

Above: The 2009 mural was displayed in Morgan Building foyer. At right: the Drawing Class art room with the 1939 in the shadows at the end of the room. Below: A closeup of the ‘39 mural which is dated (but not shown) in the lower right corner.

Project objectives: • Create a self portrait using a method of value reduction, • Learn to work within the challenges of collaboration. Project skills: • Continued development of observation skills and hand eye coordination • Steps in mural making • Working with acrylics • Photoshop and value reduction 32

Now & Then @ Wheeler

‘79 Self Portraits Were Class Act

Above: Selfportrait murals done in ‘78-’79 still look down on the Studio in Wheeler Hall. At left: Park Pino’s photo of two sections of mural which includes a portrait of then-art teacher ‘Pepe’ Maisterra. Below: The windows and shelves depicted in Pino’s painting remain part of the Studio decor as seen on the left.

While digging through items saved from his Wheeler years, and digging through memories as well, alumnus Park Pino sent in a photograph (center) of a painting from a mural project more than 30 years ago. “Attached is a photo of the painting I was telling you about. It is a portrait of Art teacher Narciso ‘Pepe’ Maisterra in the studio at Wheeler 1978-79. The general assignment given each artist was to produce a self portrait, one of six, that were intended to be connected with the others to create a mural of those within the studio at the time. (Each panel is 48”x26”.) I believe Betsy Capaldi, Linda Pierce, Christine Campanero ‘80, and Keith Choquett ‘80 were responsible for the other four panels. Three panels were hanging in the studio when I visited Wheeler with the Cause Collection in 1997. (The top photo shows the murals remain in the Wheeler Hall Art Studio.) As for two panels, their backs were signed by their original artists, Ann Gillespie and Rocky Bromberg ‘80. For reasons unknown to us, Kris Benson and I were assigned to complete these panels, but Kris had to abandon the project. Being terribly self-conscious, I accepted responsiblity for both as long as I could paint a portrait of Pepe and not myself. As my first large-scale painting, I encouraged underclasspersons, including Faye Granoff ‘81 to assist with the items on the shelves. The original clay head on the lower right shelf was by Alex Gifford. (A bottle of Ruffino Chianti had particular meaning and significance to some of us back then, but that’s another story for another time :)”

Self-portrait by Narciso Maisterra from his museum and website. Now & Then @ Wheeler


authors Jane Stanton Hitchcock ‘64 Celebrating her 45th Wheeler Reunion this year, writer Jane Stanton Hitchcock has published another of her witty, engaging mysteries. Her latest novel, Mortal Friends, shares none of the goriness of earlier works such as The Witches’ Hammer and Trick of the Eye. Instead, the violence has moved deeper inside the world of ‘society’ that Hitchcock reveals in ways that prove her familiarity. Washington, D.C. gets the scrutiny and critique this time, much as New York City showed it’s hidden, uglier side in her last book Social Crimes. What’s particularly fun about this new novel, is Hitchcock’s not-soveiled references to the main character’s prep school in Providence. Known here as “Wheelock,” the mystery connects old school chums and, without giving away the story, even references alumni publications such as the one you’re reading now! Mortal Friends is published by HarperCollins.

Debra Lawless ‘77 A self-described ‘proud member of the Wheeler Class of 1977,” Debra Lawless has written a history of Chatham, Massachusetts in the Jazz Age of the 1920s. Often regional histories such as this can be dry recitations of facts dug out of residents’ attics and town archives, but Lawless has portrayed the town as a living piece of an era by focusing on key characters who were residents of Chatham at the time. Using her skills as a journalist and historian, Lawless’ stories of the five men and women are so interesting that one wishes she would develop biographies (or fiction, even) based on any one of their lives — artists Harold Dunbar and Alice Stallkneckt Wight get this reader’s vote. Chatham In The Jazz Age is published by The History Press, Inc. A trip over to the Cape will let you find the book at either The Yellow Umbrella or Where The Sidewalk Ends, both places having hosted signings by the author this summer.

Alumni authors — send us your work and we’ll mention it in a future publication as well as place it in the Alumni Authors Collection in the Prescott Library on campus. 34

Now & Then @ Wheeler

alumni giving ON YOUR MARK… GET SET…GO!

Alumni…we’re calling on you! Throughout the school year, Wheeler students volunteer their time to help “ring up” support for the Wheeler Annual Fund. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to connect with Wheeler today and to hear the stories of today’s Wheeler students such as Nick Scoliard ‘12 above. More importantly, we want you to share your story with them! The similarities will pleasantly surprise you. Please support the Wheeler Annual Fund by answering their call. With your gift, you will have a direct impact on the lives of all Wheeler students. Your support also encourages students to give back to the Wheeler once they become alumni themselves. Your story and your gift make a difference, one student at a time.

Supporting Wheeler Can Be Easy Finding the right giving vehicle can maximize your gift to Wheeler and meet the individual needs of your family members. Here are some things to consider: I wish to keep my gift giving simple. A cash gift to the Annual Fund is the simplest and most direct way to support Wheeler. Another simple way to give is to name Wheeler as a beneficiary in your Will. I have securities that are worth more today than what I paid for them. Avoid the capital gains tax by donating the stock to Wheeler to fund your gift. I am moving out of my home and my children are not interested in keeping the house. Reduce the size of your estate and pay less estate tax by gifting your home to Wheeler. I am currently supporting a family member financially each month. Designate this loved one as the beneficiary of a gift annuity agreement with Wheeler. They will receive a monthly income for life. I have sufficient savings but wish to increase my monthly income. Create a Gift Annuity agreement with Wheeler and receive monthly income for life. I will need to provide financial support to a family member after I am gone. Lead Trusts provide an ingenious way for wealthy individuals to protect their substantial assets for their children and grandchildren from estate and gift taxes. A lead trust is an irrevocable arrangement that provides annual gift income from the lead trust assets to a charitable institution, like Wheeler, over a period of years. At the end of the period of years, the remaining lead trust assets are given to noncharitable beneficiaries, usually children or grandchildren. Lead trusts are particularly appropriate for assets that are likely to appreciate substantially over the life of the trust (typically 10-20 years). To talk more about a giving arrangement that will meet your family’s needs, please contact Molly Garrison in the Wheeler Advancement Office at 401-528-2180 Now & Then @ Wheeler

Alumni join in the Race to Field Day through the Purple and Gold Alumni Participation Challenge Field Day is Wheeler’s oldest continuous tradition. On May 16th, students participated in competitions and games, earning points for their spirit teams. This year, we asked alumni to get in the game, too! By making a gift to Wheeler in the weeks leading up to Field Day, alumni racked up points for their spirit teams, helping to decide the winner. Thanks in part to the participation of our alumni, GOLD was declared the winner! THANK YOU to all of our alumni who made a gift this year. No matter the size of your gift, your support helps keep Wheeler strong! Through your support of the Annual Fund, you are making an invaluable investment in today’s students and in the success of the school today. Why is alumni participation important? Alumni giving is a tradition and a responsibility. Every generation of Wheeler students has benefited from the generosity of those alumni who came before them. Participation, at any level, demonstrates the strong connection alumni have to Wheeler and its mission, and is an important reflection of Wheeler’s excellence. One of the most important things you can do to help Wheeler as an alum is make a gift to the Annual Fund every year. The fact that you make a gift each and every year is as important as the amount of your gift. To learn more about making a gift to Wheeler, call the Advancement Office at (401) 528-2151 or email us at 35

alumni on campus Class of 2009 Boasts Nine Legacies

Julian Shore ‘05 shared his talents at a campus Concert for Scotland last May to raise funds for the Theater Department trip to this summer’s Fringe Festival.

Holding their new laundry bags as they join the ranks of Wheeler alumni and head to college are these new graduates with legacy ties to Wheeler. From left: Brett Musco, John Sweriduk, Sophie Whitin, Chase Sylvia, Dean Clarke, Izzy Tyler, Alex Zwetchkenbaum and Amanda Gaynor.

Carley Roney ‘86 (center) was joined by her family as she gave this June’s Commencement speech to the Class of 2009.

Dean Clarke (Don Clarke ‘88) Amanda Gaynor (Brenda Kaufman Gaynor ‘73) Brett Musco (Lisa Mariorenzi Musco ‘77) Caity Sprague (Margaret Ricketson Sprague ’46) John Sweriduk (Patty Hallmann Sweriduk ‘74) Chase Sylvia (Tina Cook-Sylvia ’72) Izzy Tyler (Lisa Ballou Tyler ’75, Priscilla West Ballou ‘49) Sophie Whitin (Edith Osborn Whitin ’44) Alex Zwetchkenbaum (Kim Chazan Zwetchkenbaum ’83)

Ken Mandell ‘88, Justin Wolf ‘88, David Mandell ‘86, Jan Sturner ‘89 and Harold Sturner ‘87 recently reunited on campus to shoot some hoops, visit former teachers and check out Wheeler today.

Above: Wheeler’s Alumni Association welcomed the Class of 2009 with a special lunch in the new Student Center during Graduation Week. Right: Among the guests was Seth Brown ‘97 whose sister Halee is among the graduates.


Now & Then @ Wheeler

2009 Tennis & Golf Outing Is Family Fun

More than 100 Wheeler alumni, parents, friends and their family members came out in June to play tennis at the Wheeler Farm, golf at nearby Ledgemont Country Club and enjoy a family bbq at the Farm. Prizes were awarded for top play in both sports: Tennis Winners: Cristiana Quinn ’80 and Paul Wardlaw Runner Up: Sue Petrocelli and Bill Canning Golf

Closest to the Hole: Men: Jeremy Moses Women: Chris Rooks ‘70

Longest Drive: Men: Bill Durvin

Women: Chris Rooks ‘70

Low Net: Arthur Fiorenzano, Sal Eacuello, Richard Sugarman, Curt D’Aguanno Low Net Runner Up: Jeremy Moses, Larry Moses, Geoff O’Hara ‘87, Eric Stein

Alumni Baseball Alumni returned to take on the Varsity on Field Day and if no one was keeping score, it didn’t seem to matter to either team’s enjoyment of the game. Playing for Alumni glory are from left: Coach Jeff Calista, Zach Berk ‘97, Mike Esposito ‘97, Ben Rooks ‘97, Matthew Guttin ‘96, Dave Cutler ‘95, Ankur Suri ‘96, Drew Glazzard ‘07, Jon Read ‘08 and Jason Ross ‘95. photo by Sloane DeAngelis Pilgrim ‘86

Hamilton Alumni Turn Out To Speak To Current Students A large turnout of alumni from The Hamilton School came back to campus to speak to current students about their experiences in high school and beyond during Learning DIfferences Awareness Week this Spring. Hamilton Director Jon Green snapped a photo of the group during their visit.

Now & Then @ Wheeler


class notes 1944 Edith Welch Potter writes, “Still farming on Chappaquiddick and enjoying visits from relatives.”

1954 Natalie Flather Humphrey writes, “I have been so blessed in my 72 years with an outstanding husband, great family, friends and community involvement. I am still volunteering at the hospital, gallery, nature center and serving as a Stephen leader at our church. Mary C. Wheeler School prepared me well for my working years at our company and my community years. I have nothing but fond memories of my many years at Wheeler School.”

1959 Eleanor Lincoln Buchanan writes, “I can’t belive that our class will be 50 years old! Seems very hard to realize. I look forward to seeing everyone back for reunion weekend 10/16-10/18. We have a fun weekend planned.” Susan Davis Moora writes, “After a career in social investing and private wealth, I started a company called Capital Missions Company (CapitalMissions. com) in 1990 to serve the shift to a global green economy. Since then, CMC has launched 10 social investor networks for institutional investors, venture capital investors, families of $100 million plus, solar investors, microenterprise investors in Nigeria, investors in women-led companies, investors in African-American led companies and others. Walter Moora and I have 4 children who are all engaged but not yet married…a lawyer, a healer, a philanthropy executive and a personal trust professional. We are currently on sabbatical writing books in Vilcabamba, Ecuador, which is becoming a model global eco-village.” Sarah Bullock Desjardins writes, “I’ve been retired from “clerking” for the U.S. Postal Service in Adamsville, RI for five years - where did the time go? Kept up with my watercolor painting, took up golf seriously, and returned to piano lessons 38

(any one remember Miss Higgins and Mrs. Pierce?) My five kids are all grown up now but still my kids if you know what I mean? Have three adorable grandchildren and another one on the way, due in June - I’m blessed - still with Rick, who’s still practicing law in Westport (across from Lees’ Supermarket on Main Road) where we live. Can’t wait to see everyone in October!” Gwendolyn Sweet Fletcher writes, “I continue to enjoy my work, running the children’s room at one of the Boston Public Libraries. The little ones keep you young at heart. I hope some of you are having fun revisiting old favorites of children’s literature from your childhood or wonderful new ones with your grandchildren. Continuing my passion for the theater, my latest has been with The Importance of Being Earnest. I played Miss Prism, the governess (not Margaret Rutherford to be sure but nevertheless mine own) - a hilarious adventure all around, with a superb crew including a Wellesley professor of English as our dramaturge. We did the rarely performed four-act version complete with more characters and decidedly more cucumber sandwiches. My two older daughters, Jenny and Kath, currently live in Brooklyn, continue to pursue their careers in law and education and raise their children in what seems a more congenial atmosphere for the children than Manhattan, their most recent home. Kath’s husband, John, primarily a writer, may also be seen on network television as the geeky Mr. P.C. v. cool Mr. Mac in the ads, which show him for the wonderful comedian that he is! His wife’s one, too, but just not as visible. Lizzie, my youngest, a history teacher, married in September, a very happy occasion for us all. She and her husband still live in Manhattan, apparently not yet to be shunned by them!” Vivian Wagner Gast writes, “I stepped off the board of Woodmere Art Museum in January 2009 having served for 11 years, two of them as President. I am currently President of the Board of the Wagner Free Institute of Science in Philadelphia where I’ve served on the board for 9 years. My husband, Bill, continues as chairman of Mangos Inc., his advertising agency in Malvern, PA and our daughter, Now & Then @ Wheeler

Bry (Victoria) has a job in Manhattan as Director of Publications and Graphic Design for the Tribeca Film Festival... following in the family tradition! I look forward to seeing “old” friends at our 50th reunion in October 2009.” Ann Marvell Kirwin writes, “Life is peaceful in rural Ontario. Fifty years ago we all left Wheeler to live our lives. They have been good for me. Thank you, Wheeler.” Elizabeth Cottrell McKown writes, “Retired from working in the fast lane in NYC to being a beach bum in Vero Beach, FL - enjoying our grandchildren (8) and children (5)’s visits - life’s a beach! Looking forward to seeing classmates at our 50th!” Patience Deisroth McPherson writes, “I spent the winter in Tucson, a wonderful locale. The weather is on your side and offers many side trips in any direction. Pam Glidden Zapata ’59 came to visit and redid the interior artistically! In Baltimore, I continue to sub in French and English at local schools. I try to spend as much time with my four grandchildren as possible. I’m off to Providence in June with my son’s family - 2 boys now 11 and 13. The oldest has had a year of French and is eager to immerse. I’m looking forward to reunion and updating in Providence. Hope our super Class of ‘59 shows up in “high definition!” Kate Green Vibert writes, “Looking forward to 100% attendance from the Class of 1959 for our 50th Reunion! Gear it up, fellow graduates!” Edie Green Walker writes, “Looking forward to returning to Wheeler for our 50th reunion. Tony and I await our 8th grandchild. We have two kids living near us in Bellingham, WA and two in the Oakland, CA area. I’m still rowing competitively and tutoring. Tony is not interested in retiring. Seattle’s a great place to live. See you in October!”

More from the Class of 1959 on the next page —

class notes Alexandra Ratcliff Richardson writes, “Tom and I are in good health and use the freedom of retirement to travel. We loved our visit to the Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan) and another sweep through the Black Sea. Will definitely return to Georgia! We marked our 30th wedding anniversary this year (wow!) and continue to use our summer house outside Arezzo, Italy each year. Tom is a sometime guest lecturer on cruise ships. My book is finally completed and will be published this autumn (a biography of an English gentleman - archeologist who lived in Sicily) here in England. The expected title is “A Gentleman in Girgenti,” if there is any interest! We saw Carol Cimilluca ‘59 for dinner here in London recently. And I keep in touch with Vivian W. ‘59 and Anne Marvell ‘59.”

1964 Emma Bragdon writes, “Totally involved with studying and teaching about “Spiritism” in Brazil...when in USA, absorbed with two grandchildren and writing.” Elizabeth Gould Reeves writes, “Latest best news is I am a grandmother! The best thing!” Lucy Gardner Shepard writes, “All is well with the Shepards. Our son Ted and his wife, Jessica, live in Minnesota where Jess is finishing her second year of vet school. Our daughter Lisa moved to Colorado in October and spent the winter teaching snowboarding at Keystone. I still spend my summers in Dennis managing the tennis club where I played as a kid. My husband, Dwight, is an online editor for the Springfield newspaper.”

spotlight on

martha pansey elliott


Singing in my Homeland

March 2009 As we descended the staircase of our commuter flight from Vienna onto the tarmac in Odessa, we saw a man wearing a suit and an official ID tag holding a sign that said “Michael and Martha.” We smiled and waved, and as we walked towards him he started chattering at us in Russian. We continued to smile and nod, but I finally got out “ya nye ponyumayu pa Rusky” I don’t understand Russian. The man was Anatoly Nitschenko, a representative of Ukrainian Airlines sent to meet us by Hobart Earl, music director of the Odessa Philharmonic. He whisked us away in a VIP van, and shepherded us though customs, while his five young assistants retrieved our checked bags and loaded them into our waiting car. On the other side of passport control, we were handed off to beautiful and capable Anya, who spoke English, and Sergei, the driver, who did not. My husband Michael and I were in Ukraine to do a concert with the Odessa Philharmonic. We were guests of Hobart Earl, a classmate of mine at Princeton and Michael’s first conducting student. Hobey has become quite a celebrity in Odessa since coming there in 1992. He has turned the orchestra into one of the leading arts organizations in the country and the pride of the city. Michael was a bit apprehensive about rehearsing the Russian speaking musicians in English, but excited to

conduct this wonderful orchestra. I was hoping that my Russian diction would be up to snuff when I sang Prokofiev’s Ugly Duckling. As always I was looking forward to rehearsing and performing with Michael. I was also excited to be in the childhood home of both my grandmother and my piano teacher. Martha Sigal, my mother’s mother, lived in Odessa until she was 12 or 13. In 1905 she came to the US and settled in R.I. Essie Einstein, my first piano teacher and close friend of my mother’s family, came from a well known family of musicians. Her husband came from a family of cantors. Essie and Arthur came to RI from Odessa in 1923, but kept in close touch with their relatives left behind. Part of my mission this week, in addition to rehearsing and performing, was to find out what I could about these family ties. Michael and I will always cherish the memories of making music in the land of my ancestors. When the ugly duckling first sees the swans and realizes who he truly is, he feels a sense of recognition and belonging to his people. Prokofiev’s music for this is luminous, rapturous and tender. I certainly felt a luminous rapture singing it, especially in the land of my people. Being in the city I have heard about my whole life, I had a warm and tender feeling of recognition and belonging in my homeland.

continued on next page — Now & Then @ Wheeler


class notes 1969 Carol Smith Gutwein writes, “Byron and I have retired to southern Utah where we hope to play lots and lots of golf! Southern California is a tough retirement location, but if we don’t do well with seasons after 30 plus years in San Diego, we can still go back. We have a beautiful house on a golf course with a panoramic red rock view, and we think we will be very happy here. Enjoy the reunion!” Mary Wall Daly writes, “Dear Alumni, I do have some news- On April 28, 2007, Polly Wall (Coe) Daly married Bob Daly. We had been close friends at Brown, and afterwards working in NYC and at Harvard Business School. Then we lost touch for almost 30 years. Currently, we live in Weston and plan to move back to Providence. My daughter May Coe (24) works in foreign exchange sales at RBS Greenwich Capital. My son Livy Coe (22) graduated from Johns Hopkins University in May 2008. Bob’s son Will Daly (22) attends George Washington University and daughter Annie Daly (17) graduates from Middlesex School in June 2008.”

Shari Baron Sokol writes, “Just earned my PhD in Speech Language Pathology at the University of Kansas. I started going back to school 15 years ago, taking prerequisite courses, then moving on to my Master’s degree, and then my doctorate. It was 10 years between Master’s and PhD (but what’s the rush!) My children are now 20, 17 and 8. I very much enjoy living in the Kansas City area - but I always will be a Rhode Islander deep down! My field of interest is phonology (speech sounds), which I’m sure is due in part to having grown up in Rhode Island, surrounded by the distinctive accent and dialect I hear only rarely in the midwest.”

1984 Karen Linde Davenport writes, “I am keeping busy working part time and keeping up with children Lindy (10) and James (5) as well as our small farm with horses, dogs, cats and chickens!”


1971 Allison Argo wrote to let the campus know her latest film would be televised in April on PBS. Argo spoke about her plans for her next film when she visited Wheeler as its N12 campus speaker in February, 2008.

1979 Carolyn Cardi Gardy writes, “I am really enjoying my daughters, Celeste (7) and Sarah (12), and puppy Cleo. We are so connected to the Northern Virginia area now, after being in this area for almost 30 years! I still think of RI, miss the ocean and breathtaking views of the bay. I so miss my family, too - seems harder to be apart at 48!” Harriette Mauran Merrill writes, “A few years ago I started making goat milk soap 40

- and what started as a hobby has turned into a full-time business. Between the soap, raising goats, dogs, bees and our two boys, Peter and I keep pretty busy!”

Robin Berk Cornelison writes, “I can’t wait to see all my old classmates at our 20th year reunion! I hope everyone can make it!” Michael Malik writes, “We’re expecting our third child in June! See you all in October!” Jennifer Ciunci Sapolsky writes, “Hello to all. Steve and I are enjoying the busy life as parents of three boys here in Rhode Island.”

1995 Jason Lea married Catherine M. Servant on October 12, 2008 in St. Luke’s Church in Barrington, RI. A reception followed at Rhode Island Country Club.

1998 Matthew Frankel married Katherine Knowles of Berkeley, Calif., on September Now & Then @ Wheeler

8, 2008 in Sacred Heart Church in Winnetka, Ill.

1999 Amy Tibbetts writes, “My short story, ‘Bones in the Desert, Stones in the Sea’ just came out in Black Gate Magazine,, Issue #13. I also continue to work at the Higgins Armory, educating Cub Scouts in Medieval history!” Faculty member Sue Carroll ran into Sarah Kramer ‘99 and fellow alumni Jack Horkings ‘08, Jessie Epstein ‘08, and Jacob Kramer ‘02 on the annual Studio Art trip to NYC in April.

2001 Rachel Segal married Nicholas Hurd on November 7, 2008 at Belle Mer in Newport, RI. Alex Schoenfeld and his mother, Barbara, took part in the 2009 Global Scavenger Hunt. Alex wrote on his blog, “The logistics were flawless, destinations and accommodations excellent...I love the ‘A Blind Date With the World’ concept...the mystery, suspense and surprise of it all still gets my heart racing even though we’re already finished! There is simply nothing like it.”

2002 Ethel Flynn married David Brown on May 24, 2009 at the Naval Officer’s Club, Newport, RI. Classmate Kelly Clifton was in the bridal party. The couple live in Hermosa Beach, CA, where she is acquiring her California teaching credential and Masters in Education.

spotlight on amy tibbetts


The Joys of Writing, Teaching, and the Aerie Program “Are you sure your hand isn’t tired of writing?” I asked, concerned. My student had been writing nonstop for twenty minutes. There was no sound in the Aerie classroom except the scratching of his pen. “Nope,” he said without looking up, “still good.” He flipped over the looseleaf page—every line crammed with script— and continued on the back side. The student was tenth-grader Jack Christie, and the class was Writing Fiction for Publication. Since January, I’ve been working in one-on-one sessions with a handful of dedicated Upper Schoolers: Jack, Micah Savitsky, Cassie Stirpe, and Sol Taubin. These students all wanted to explore the craft of fiction. Jack’s assignment that day was to write a scene in which two characters meet for the first time. (Next week, the assignment would be to write the same scene again—this time from the point-of-view of the second character.) I hadn’t expected Jack to take such delight in my writing exercises. Not because I doubted his abilities (in fact, Jack impressed me right away with his interest and creativity), but because, until this semester, I’d never taught before. Ten years ago, I was an Upper School student myself, wanting desperately to write fiction but not knowing how to find the guidance I needed. It wasn’t until 2004, when I attended the intensive, graduate-level Odyssey Writing Workshop (based out of the University of Southern New Hampshire) that I became successful at writing short stories for publication. Eager to share my knowledge, I returned to Wheeler and the Aerie Program last fall. In particular, I wanted to connect with students involved in my own genre, science fiction and fantasy, for which there might not be an outlet in English classes. I designed the curriculum for the workshop myself, based on my own experiences as a writer and my struggles to learn the craft of fiction. But because

I was creating the lessons from scratch, I worried that they wouldn’t go well. What if the students found them too difficult? Too easy? Too boring? I needn’t have worried. Wheeler is a remarkable place for allowing experimentation and unique approaches— and for having remarkable students. Cassie Stirpe, for example, never missed a single session. She had already written hundreds of pages on a novel-inprogress before she began meeting with me. Because she writes in the fantasy genre, our lessons included strategies for “worldbuilding” (creating a fantastic world), using examples from Homer’s Iliad to Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Cassie’s natural gift for smooth prose and powerful dialogue has made her fiction a delight to read. Meanwhile, Sol Taubin has been enjoying the in-class exercises, such as creating the plot arc for a story about two characters traveling down a dangerous river. Most memorable for me was Sol’s description of the Gobi Desert: “Footprints appeared and disappeared, the only evidence of change on the surface of the golden sea.” The assignment was to describe a National Geographic photo in one paragraph, then again in one sentence. Sol captured the scene with remarkable brevity and eloquence. For Micah Savitsky, the workshop provided an opportunity to share his ideas, discuss plot outlines, and ask questions about the life of a writer. Micah has spent most of the semester developing a novel, a young adult contemporary fantasy with a very original premise. It’s been a pleasure to watch all these students gain confidence in their work over the course of the semester. Their enthusiasm has been apparent in their appreciation for all of my eclectic and experimental lessons. For our first class, we did a plot analysis of the children’s book Where The Wild Things Are! Later, I shared the rejection letters I’ve accumulated over the years (a normal part of the submission process). In other sessions, we read examples of published Now & Then @ Wheeler

Amy (center) and two of her Wheeler writing students.

short stories to analyze how the awardwinning authors utilized the various aspects of fiction (plot, character, dialogue, setting, etc). On that May day in the Aerie classroom, I was thrilled by Jack’s enthusiasm for writing lengthy scenes on-the-spot. He kept writing through the whole class session, pausing only to consult his notebook, in which he keeps a meticulous record of imaginary information. Names of alien cities, quirks of futuristic cultures, types of food one can order in a restaurant on a distant planet—all this and more exist between the pages of an otherwise ordinary composition book. It’s all background information which Jack might use in his science fiction novel. Or novels, as the case may be. Like many writers, Jack has a penchant for coming up with a new—and completely original— story idea every week. He lacks only the time to write them all down. That writing fiction requires a huge amount of time and commitment has been a running theme of the workshop. It may take months to finish a short story, years to produce a complete novel, and more years to become published. And I’m looking forward to watching these students succeed. Amy Tibbetts ’99 has been serious about writing fiction since her days in the Lower School. A graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop, she has won the Nancy Potter Short Story Contest at URI, the Ralan Fiction Contest at, and the MISFITS Writing Contest in 2005. Her first major print publication, a short story in the fantasy genre, came out this year in Issue #13 of the magazine Black Gate. She is currently working on a novella for the same publisher. 41

class notes Caroline Woolard writes: “After a long silence, my thoughts return to Wheeler every day. I am currently at work on an art project about high school soccer (to be presented publicly in 2011) and I welcome all memories about The Wheeler Warriors’ soccer days at CarolineWoolard@gmail. com I hope to be at games this fall, so I will be back in touch. Since graduating from Cooper Union, I have received over $12,000 in grants (from The Field, iLAND, and the Leon Levy Foundation) for interdisciplinary projects ranging from performance art to sustainable housing, from sculpture to economic revitalization strategies. In the past year, residencies at The MacDowell Colony, Ox-Bow, and The Watermill Center have solidified my artist practice. I run an 8,000 square foot studio space with friends in Brooklyn and am available for Wheeler studio visits in the fall. I look forward to seeing you at The Farm!”


2006 Brandon Lane opened “29 Auto Shine” at 29 Bald Hill Rd. in Cranston, RI in May. “Building off five years experience detailing both boats and cars I am excited to usher in this new venture, which promises to be both a challenging and rewarding experience!  I am eager to begin operations at my new shop and look forward to working with both clients new

Grace Powel Ritchie ’35 December 16, 2008 Harriet Bent Smith ’35 December 2008 Bette Schlosser Baker ’56 March 14, 2009 Lydia Cheney McKiernan ‘61 April 24, 2009

and old. If you are interested in scheduling a detailing please feel free to call 401-3167591 or e-mail  I’m proud to say our very own Headmaster is one of my many satisfied customers! (Not in the Cranston area?  Ask about pick up and delivery service!)” Coach Carlson and Coach Stein are also ready with their ‘celebrity’ endorsements of the business.

2008 Marcus Hoffman (far right) joined current biology students as they continue to tag horseshoe crabs on the Cape this Spring.

Teacher Sharon Tatulli sent this photo and info: “I went on a field trip Friday with Ashley Vanicek for her senior project. She is “interning” with Ashley Tramonti and her third grade class at St. Andrews, where she is helping to teach science. Here’s a photo of the two Ashleys and the class out at Fogland Point in Tiverton.”


In Memoriam

Go online any time to read and share class news and photos at the Alumni Café at Need login help? Email us at You can also share news on our Facebook page at wheelerschool Now & Then @ Wheeler

Read th Reunio e latest Schedun News and le onlin www.w e at heelers cho

Reunion Profiles continued —

MORE — Ellie Lincoln Buchanan ‘59 MORE — Emily Stone Cocroft ‘39 I read the Now & Then when it arrives at my door and I am glad that the school is doing well. I especially have been impressed with the Hamilton School at Wheeler and what it must do for those students. After Wheeler, I went to Boarding School, as many of my classmates did in those days. From there I attended Vassar and then joined the Navy. I was stationed in California in Communications and later deciphered code messages. I was married in 1952 to Mason Cocroft of Providence and we remained in Providence and Wakefield. I have a son, daughter, grandchildren, and my first great granddaughter. And still spend my summers in Wakefield.

MORE — Nancy Haley Lyle ‘44 My path since Wheeler has been full and blessed. After Wheeler I went to nursing school and married immediately upon graduation. However, not before taking my state boards, a criteria executed by my Mom. I married Sandy Lyle, and can happily say that after sixty years, we are still together. We initially lived in Boston, before moving back to Rhode Island and starting our family of four, one boy and three girls. I did occasional private duty nursing, but home, children, and volunteer work filled my days. I started working at Wheeler as the school nurse, known as “Nurse Nancy.” That lasted for twenty years and in so many ways so fulfilling. I swim, play tennis (sort of), garden, and of course fill in with eleven grandchildren. I go back to Wheeler quite often and hope to see many of you there in the fall for reunion.


There are no longer any boarders AND it is co-ed! I remember my first night at college sitting at a dinner table with 10 girls I had never met. We went around the table giving our name, where we were from, and where we had gone to school. Some of the schools mentioned included Farmington, Foxcroft, Madeira, Miss Hall’s and Westover. None of them liked the school they attended. I remember feeling rather “odd” saying that I really enjoyed my school. I think this last statement stuck with me throughout life by my commitment to stay connected with Wheeler. Helping out with Wheeler events in CT and FL and being a member of the Board of Trustees and the Alumni Board were all things I enjoyed. I enjoyed watching the many changes Wheeler went through over the years. The “crown” to this was when Dan Miller, Head of School, asked me to be Honorary Chair of the recent Campaign For Wheeler. It was then that I felt “old.” Somehow the word Honorary conveys that impression. Then I realized I was approaching my 50th reunion and figured out why he asked me! Each of us has our own special memories to reflect on. Mine is of my Boarder classmates and teachers. There were also day students that were instrumental in bringing together the Boarders and Day students especially Kate, Edie, Carol, Sharon, and many others. For me, Miss Hokanson was special, teaching algebra and geometry, plus being a dorm mother. Miss Conary was in charge of all the Boarders and taught us US History our senior year. We dedicated our yearbook to her. I remember Mrs. Pattou for her Drama class and how we liked asking her to “cry” for us. I also remember Mr. DeAndrea, who taught Biology, Miss Alden for whom we played “Dead Bug” in her English class, Mrs. Church who taught us Latin and did college counseling, Miss Erlenmeyer for French, Mrs. Lopez-Morillias for Spanish, and Mrs. Howe for athletics. How could any of us forget Mr. Seeley for Art and Mr. Tinker for music!! Most of all we remember Rowley Morgan, our headmaster, and father-figure who oversaw what we did in our school life. Each of us has her own memories. But most important will be to share these at our 50th Reunion October 16 - 18. Bill and I look forward to seeing many of you there. Sincerely, Ellie Lincoln Buchanan

Who remembers the words to the Wheeler hymn? MORE — Carol Graves Cimilluca ‘59 ... continued to do all these years. Who remembers the words to the Wheeler hymn? We have a wonderful weekend planned so please come back. You will really enjoy connecting with old friends, visiting classes and taking yet another trip to the Farm!

Now & Then @ Wheeler


reunion profiles


MORE — Kate Green Vibert ‘59

MORE — Sallie Sprague ‘69

... shrimp salad sandwiches we made because that was what Eleanor always wanted? They were fun times. I am looking forward to seeing everyone and reconnecting with my classmates, many of whom I have kept in touch. Many, I have not. I am looking forward to re-hashing old memories, making new memories and renewing old friendships. I have happy flashbacks of seeing Chichi at the Stonehouse in Sakonnet, Edie in Seattle and Florida, Carol in Matunick, Eleanor in Naples, Pammy in Amelia Island and Sharon and Rosie in East Greenwich. I will miss seeing familiar faces: Mrs. Church, Miss Hokanson, Mr. Tinker, Miss Conary, and Miss Erlenmeyer. It will be a different scene with familiar faces no longer there. I am anxious to see the many changes. The Farm totally transformed, buildings added and expanded, the campus enlarged and Wheeler now a co-ed day school instead of a girl’s boarding school. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for making that important decision so long ago, enabling me to have such a solid and well rounded education. Love, Kate p.s. Dad, remember when you showed up at my Senior Dance in the gym in those crazy, LOUD golf pants? I was so embarrassed I wanted to die!!! “Thanks for the Memories”.

Wheeler has been very influential in my sons’ lives and as it turns out, in mine too. There are some things that you just can’t know until you look back. MORE — Charlotte Underwood ‘64 Eventually we moved back to Rhode Island and I became involved with the Wheeler Art Gallery planning exhibitions and mounting pictures with Gertie Pardee (an Honorary Wheeler alumna) Many years and three children later our youngest son Roswell was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. We were advised to apply to the Hamilton School at Wheeler. There was one opening left in fifth grade and thankfully it became Roz’s spot. All those wonderful teachers, from my alma mater, guided him and us to his academic success. At the same time our oldest son, Julian, returned from a “year off ” after college. Bill Prescott was then Headmaster. Julian was accepted in the Brown School of Education and became a student teacher at Wheeler and other Providence schools as a result of Wheeler’s partnership with the Brown program. My son, a Wheeler student teacher. I never could have guessed it. So, sometimes life comes full circle, back to the place where you began. Wheeler has been very influential in my sons’ lives and as it turns out, in mine too. There are some things that you just can’t know until you look back. I am looking forward to seeing many in the Class of ’64 for our Reunion Class Dinner.

MORE — Lucy Gardner Shepherd ‘64 . . . especially at the Mashantum Tennis Club. I have managed the club for the last 15 years. My winter home has been in Longmeadow, MA since 1990 where I work part time at a grocery store and am involved in various volunteer projects. 44

Now & Then @ Wheeler

My path since Wheeler has been quite varied! The early linear part goes like this:   AB in Anthropology, Middlebury ‘73; BA with highest distinction in Natural Sciences, U North Florida ‘75; MS ‘78 and PhD ‘81 in Biochemistry, U Mass-Amherst; post-doc in Cell Biology and Electron Microscopy, U Colorado-Boulder; faculty position Biochemistry, West Virginia University School of Medicine.   In 1989 I was severely burned out with the academic scene, not to mention being in the wrong setting - a medical school for someone interested in plants?  Who was I kidding!   I resigned my position at WVU in June, 1989, and took off in many directions as a freelance photographer.   I certainly didn’t make lots of bucks but I had a great time on a great variety of assignments and traveling to a great number of places:   Orofino, ID, and the lumberjack festival; Washington, DC, and the Folklife Festival and the Memorial Day remembrances; Costa Rica and the Arenal Volcano for geology and botany; Guyana and a botanical collecting trip; Australia and some of their national parks and botanical gardens; Washington State, inland and the coastal regions.  I worked some short term jobs in between, using my academic training and experience:  Technical writer for a scientific instrument company; grant writer for a couple of non-profits in Northwest Washington; natural history guide for a small eco cruise line in SE Alaska and along the Columbia River; project manager/administrator for a few ecological restoration projects around Bellingham, WA; house caretaker for a lake front house with a sunfish and a canoe.   After a dozen years of travel and house caretaking, I was ready for my own place back in Colorado.   In 2001, I began work at Colorado State University as project manager for a long-term ecological research project investigating all aspects of the ecology of the shortgrass steppe (aka prairie) east of Fort Collins.  I continue in that position now with photography around the edges.  My travel is mostly east to see my family, to Cumberland Island for beaches, oceans, more family and a few memorial services, and every now and then to some place in the midwest for the annual dance continued on next page —

atest l e h t d a Re ews and N n o i n u Re line at n o e l u d Sche eelersch


MORE — Sallie Sprague ‘69 extravaganza called the Midwest Morris Ale over Memorial Day weekend. (See if you’d like more info.)  My house has xeric landscaping out front, half a lawn in the back and a big vegetable garden in the other half of the back yard.   With neighbors and friends, I’ve been in CSA’s for the last three years.   Between my garden and the CSA produce, I managed to freeze or can enough veggies from last year to have needed to buy only a few bags of frozen spinach and fresh lettuce over this past winter.  It’s quite a switch to be growing things in Colorado from what it was for those ten years in northwest Washington.  At least the slugs don’t get everything here.  I have photos on line for review in several places.  The links are all collected on my facebook page, and will be collected on my own web site, once I get enough time to create a revised and updated one.

MORE — Alice Hufstader Moore ‘84 My path since Wheeler has included: Education. I left college and got my Master’s in Elementary Education and have been working in independent schools ever since. I have taught 3rd grade, been the Science Coordinator K-5, and now I am the Director of Environmental Sustainability at a K-8 school in California. One of my favorite things about being an educator is the great conversations I have had with my dad about education over the years. We have so much in common about what we value in education and he has been an amazing resource for me.

(I was inspired by) the respect for Lincoln in Mr. Brown’s American History; the joys of science in Mr. Vibert’s Biology; and even the robust, diplomatic leadership of Mr. Madden.

MORE — Parkinson Pino ‘79 . . . the respect for Lincoln in Mr. Brown’s American History; the joys of science in Mr. Vibert’s Biology; and even the robust, diplomatic leadership of Mr. Madden. Although all were brilliant colors on my Wheeler palette, the one who most influenced me was Mr. ‘Pepe’ Maisterra. Mr. Maisterra’s approach to Studio Art emphasized the development of a trinity that profoundly resonated with me in my quest to find balance within my natural gifts and talents. The ‘hand’ represents technical skill, subject to physical limitations, availability of materials, and familiarity with perseverance. The ‘eye’ represents perceptual or analytical capacity, subject to exposure and perception of experience. The ‘spirit’ represents imagination, subject to influence and genuine appreciation of originating. With passion, truth, and reason, Mr. Maisterra created an environment that lead me out into shades of brilliance, directing me along a lifelong path of awareness, understanding, and knowledge. From Pepe most of all, I came to know, The Spirit Giveth Life!

MORE — Kristina Hanson Lowell ’89 MORE — Andrea Cohen Reiser ‘84 . . . the past 16 years; raising 4 amazing sons (including twins); co-wrote a book on personal finance that became an amazon bestseller; had a prophylactic double mastectomy; relocated by choice to Westport, CT; created a blog where I get to babble, preach, quip and rant about a dizzying range of wholly unimportant things (; volunteer on boards and committees in the educational and Jewish communities; root-root-root for the Red Sox; and last but not least, I take every opportunity I can to eat, drink and be excessively merry with my incredibly treasured friends, old and new.

Now & Then @ Wheeler

What are you most looking forward to about Reunion? This one is easy: Seeing as many classmates, teachers, and Wheeler people as possible and seeing all the changes on campus. My path since Wheeler has included:  (career, interests, passions)After a few years in DC, I went to grad school to study health policy.  Not sure it was intentional, but my timing was just right and am now having lots of fun with the current health-reform debate (back in DC at the Brookings Institution).  Spent a few years in New York, where I met my husband, Greg.  We’ve been married just over three years and are having a great time with our daughter, Greta (who turned 1 on June 19).  Still running, still love travel, cooking, boating, following politics, etc.  Same old me, just (slightly) older!  


annual student art show 46

Now & Then @ Wheeler


They Call Me The“Gringa” By Allyson Even ‘09

They call me “the gringa.” I am not in Mexico; I am not in the Dominican Republic. I am in downtown Providence, Rhode Island, approaching the South Side. I enter the small building that houses Volunteers in Providence Schools (VIPS). The room bubbles with the inherent chaos arising from too many adolescents and too little space. My ears struggle to recognize the words of fast-paced Spanish chatter coming from every corner of the room. Maximo looks up and says, “Ay, the gringa is here!” Throughout junior and senior year I tutored weekly at the main VIPS office. The after-school tutoring program is free for Providence public high school students and, recently, the vast majority of the students helped are Hispanic. Providence is not a big city, but traveling the few miles between Wheeler on the East Side and the VIPS office on Westminster Street is like changing worlds. In my world classes are capped at twenty. In my hallways students look more like hermit crabs, bending under the weight of L.L. Bean backpacks bursting with hundred-dollar text books. In my classrooms everyone takes notes. In my school, teachers’ doors are always open. However, in Maximo’s world, in the world of countless Providence school children, backpacks are nearly empty. They do not have books. Few stay in the same high school for all four years. In their classrooms the teachers are speaking a foreign language. The chalkboard is full of math equations they don’t have the foundation to solve. In their school they are lost. Some of them come to VIPS. The story of how I became hopelessly addicted to spending my afternoons explaining geometry in Spanish begins with little ambition. My sophomore year I had gone through VIPS to get approval to volunteer in a family friend’s classroom for my community service requirement. I never intended to tutor, but I have a problem with saying no and so when VIPS asked me to fill in for a tutor who was leaving, I agreed. The first time I went to tutor at VIPS, I was immeasurably nervous and uncomfortable. VIPS is chaos. No one explained to me what I was supposed to be

doing. No one introduced me to anyone. The then-director of youth tutoring who had started only a week before I arrived, pointed to a girl for me to help. I sat down at the table. Across from us sat a boy who started talking about me in Spanish. “Look at the little white girl, the innocent little girl.” I looked over at him unsure what to say. “Shit, do you speak Spanish?” he said. “Un poco,” I replied. “I’m so sorry, Miss.” There are so many differences that separate me from the teenagers I work with at VIPS, but that one act of speaking Spanish broke so many barriers that our differences barely matter. I have found my calling: teaching, talking, and having fun with my students regardless of what language we are speaking. I will not claim that the stories they have told me in broken English, the homework I have helped them with in Spanish, and the inadequate handouts I have translated have made me understand what it is like to live their lives. I did not move to Providence when I was twelve. I do not resent my parents for making me leave the Dominican Republic. I do not struggle with reading English. What the teenagers I work with at VIPS have made me is angry, and that anger is my motivation. My work at VIPS has brought me face to face with the collision of two important issues facing our country – immigration and education. While the students will tell you, “I am straight up Dominican,” the fact is that they are now children in America, and our schools are failing to adapt and thus failing them. Students’ needs are not addressed. They hate school, they are bored, and they drop out. Support for our nation’s youth should no longer be a luxury. The challenges that face our education system are immense, and I won’t pretend that I have all the answers. Even on my small scale level, it is hard to know what to do when a student needs to write a composition in English, but knows none of the language. What I do know is that funding is not the sole hurdle to fixing our schools. No matter how much money we pump into school systems, progress will not be made until money can be administered effectively and creatively. Teacher unions, communities, Now & Then @ Wheeler

local governments, parents, and students need to be centrally involved in the process of change. Schools are for kids and it is time that they became kid-oriented environments that also support teachers and give them the initiative to succeed. While my work at VIPS has inspired me, it also has not been a rosy experience that has launched me forward with notions of preaching from a soap box or the idealism to try to save the world. Volunteering at VIPS has shown me that even organizations, whose aims may be noble, are not always well equipped for their tasks. I have been struck by instances of cultural insensitivity at VIPS, and although I recognize the many responsibilities the staff at VIPS has I have been disappointed by their limited interactions with the students and tutors working in the room next door. I am currently working with the third director of youth programs in the past two years. As hard as I try, VIPS has also taught me that you can’t help everyone. VIPS is rewarding in the sense that I love being there and I love tutoring. The kids are great, but they are tough. I can’t help caring deeply about them and becoming attached to them, but I have learned that I can’t hold myself responsible for their success or failure. Kids come and go at VIPS. You think you’re getting somewhere with one kid and then he or she never shows up again. There are many kids all over America like the kids I have worked with at VIPS. My work at VIPS has made me see how imperative it is that we fix our education system. I hope I can affect bigger changes as a teacher, writer, and reformer. VIPS has frustrated me greatly, but it also has made me very determined. I may be a gringa, but I’m the gringa they turn to saying, “I want you to hear this song,” or “Miss, how are you today?” or “Miss, ayudame por favor.” I’m the gringa they hug and high five, the gringa to whom they want to talk. And that right there, the ability to communicate across boundaries, to empathize and understand the struggles of others, I think will be the greatest asset I will carry with me from VIPS as I take my mission to new levels. 47

happenings golden oldies

Third Grade Medieval Feasters enjoy music from the past by teacher Chris Capaldi. photo by Sloane DeAngelis Pilgrim ‘86

learning’s a real grind

Fourth Graders from Hamilton and Wheeler belly up to the kitchen utensils to learn how the settlers did it on Frontier Day. photo by Megan O’Hara.

attention, s’il vous plait? Many Middle Schoolers ended the school year with a trip to Quebec, an annual tradition combining history, language and fun. photo by Lisa Mello

taking orders

7th graders in Chinese language class practice their skills by pretending to work and eat in a restaurant. photo by Doris Early

dear mr. president

Fourth graders wrote letters to President Obama with four students recording theirs to share on the school website. photo by Laurie Flynn

doctor in the house

Actor Peter Jacobson from the television show “HOUSE” speaks to students on campus during a visit. photo by David Michel

tattooed, you?

AP Biology students hope their DNA studies leave a mark, just not on their arms. Students extracted their own DNA from cheek cells and put it in little vials to wear around their neck and put on temporary tattoos that said “I love your DNA.”photo by Sharon Tatulli

small but sneaky

A Wheeler Middle School student snags the base under the nose, literally, of a rival. photo by Steve Jenks


Now & Then @ Wheeler

The Heritage Society

Marlene Cutitar ‘79 “Reunion provides a unique opportunity to reaffirm our love of our families who sacrificed so much for the privilege to attend Wheeler, of our classmates who inspired us to excel, of our faculty who challenged us to explore, and of our alma mater whose motto “the Spirit Giveth Life” perpetually motivates us.” Marlene Cutitar and her 1979 classmates will celebrate their 30th Reunion at Wheeler this fall. Marlene shared the following reflection about the upcoming event, “Reunion provides a unique opportunity to reaffirm our love of our families who sacrificed so much for the privilege to attend Wheeler, of our classmates who inspired us to excel, of our faculty who challenged us to explore, and of our alma mater whose motto “the Spirit Giveth Life” perpetually motivates us.” On a recent reunion planning visit to campus, several classmates of Marlene described her as “one of the brightest in the class, whom we so admire.” They recounted her long hair, which she still wears today, and her prompt placement in the front row in all of her classes. Since graduation, she has remained front and center in volunteering and supporting Wheeler. Marlene served on the Board of Trustees for six years and has been a consistent donor for over twenty. Recently, she named Wheeler as the beneficiary to a generous portion of her estate which will be used to establish the “The Cutitar Family Scholarship Fund,” which will be counted towards the class of 1979’s 30th Reunion Gift. Marlene attended Wheeler for only her junior and senior years, and coming into a new school with an already established class could have been awkward, but Marlene described the class as open and welcoming and the teachers engaging. While at Wheeler, the availability of science classes cultivated her interest in medicine and Ted Tuttle, then the director of guidance, encouraged her to take the AP courses offered at Wheeler and made Marlene aware of the opportunities in the field of Science after Wheeler. With the support of her parents she entered Brown University’s seven year medical program. Today, Marlene runs a successful solo surgical practice with a specialty in women’s health. She has been a leader in The Rhode Island Medical Women’s Association, the American Medical Women’s Association and the RI Chapter of the American College of Surgeons. Her email username “girlsurgeon” reveals her longtime interest in promoting women in the field of medicine. As Marlene looked back on her career, she traced her initial interest in science to Wheeler and made the choice to give future Wheeler students access to the same educational opportunity that she had. Marlene’s scholarship fund will provide financial assistance to Wheeler students far into the school’s future. When asked why she has made this investment in Wheeler’s future, Marlene explained, “My parents were always advocates for education and their investment in my education was the best gift they ever gave me. I learned the tradition of giving to education from them and I want to continue advocating for education after I am gone. Education is the one thing that can never be taken away from you.” Marlene added, “I would love to return to Wheeler as a student today – it continues to be such an exciting learning environment.” If you are interested in learning more about including Wheeler in your estate plans or if you have already included Wheeler in your will and would like to let us know, please contact Molly Garrison, Director of Leadership Gifts, at 401-528-2180 or She would be so pleased to hear from you. We also invite you to visit our planned giving web site at: www.wheelerschool.HeritageSociety

Parents of Alumni: If this publication is addressed to your son or daughter who no longer maintains a permanent address with you, please notify the Alumni Office of the new mailing address.

Office of Institutional Advancement The Wheeler School 216 Hope Street Providence, Rhode Island 02906-2246

Artist Nicole Chesney’s piece “WELKIN” was installed in July in the Nulman Lewis Student Center on Meeting Street.

Non-Profit Org. US Postage


Providence, RI Permit No. 1023

Now & Then At Wheeler Summer 2009  

magazine for The Wheeler School