T H E W I L L I STO N N O R T H A M P TO N S C H O O L
In Addition SPRING 2 01 2
WILL ISTON + AND W ILLISTON SC H OLA RS H A R N E SS I N G T H E R E S O U R C E S O F T H E P I O N E E R VA L L E Y At this age, Williston students are asking themselves the big questions: who am I, what am I good at, what interests me? Williston+ expands on this moment of natural curiosity and provides students with the opportunity to immerse themselves, on a collegelevel, in a field of study they’re passionate about.
National Book Awardwinning poet Nikky Finney visited Williston as part of this fall’s Writers’ Workshop Series. Visitors like Ms. Finney not only speak at the school, but teach small classes during their time on campus. This is another way that Williston integrates the resources of the outside community into the classroom experience at the school.
“Do what you love, love what you do” is a mantra for Kim Evelti, the assistant academic dean for program development who coordinates the Williston+ program. For the college-level courses offered by a team of Williston teachers and Five College professors called Williston Scholars, Evelti draws on the wealth of resources offered in the Five College area. “It’s like taking the best from college offerings in the area and turning it into one super class at Williston. We don’t just say ‘Hey, let’s take the kids to a play and be done with it,’ we ask how can we integrate this in a meaningful way. Can we get time to speak with the author of the play? Can they come to our class?” Over two trimesters, with the help of area college professors, this “super class” introduces students to a level of research and writing usually more common in higher education than in high school. There are currently two Williston Scholars classes available to students. The 18th Century in the Connecticut River Valley explores interactions between indigenous
persons and colonists in New England prior to 1800. Contemporary Art and Culture, focuses on how art has evolved in the midst of socio-economic, political, and scientific events of the mid-twentieth century. At the end of the trimester, students create a portfolio or complete a journal-level research project in each class. The drive to provide an outstanding academic opportunity using the surrounding resources sets
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Williston apart from other boarding schools. “It’s available to lots of people in the area, but we take special care to harness it,” said Evelti.
+ To learn more about the Williston Scholars
program visit www.williston.com/willistonscholars
AT H L E T I C P R O G R A M WO R K S W I T H T R A I N E R S TO A D D A N E D G E ( S A F E LY ) “Go!” barked the trainer and 15 students took off across the rug. At the gym stairs they pivoted, set both feet, and raced back, arms pumping. Standing off to one side, Steve Conca, founder and president of Conca Sport and Fitness, nodded in approval. “They’re learning how to start correctly,” he said as two instructors moved among the 15 students, giving advice on form. “It doesn’t matter what sport these guys play, everybody wants to get a bit faster.” The students began bouncing up and down on one leg, an exercise geared to improve their ankle, knee, and hip stability. This is the sort of strength training and injury prevention class that has been missing at the athletic center, said Director of Athletics Mark Conroy.
Over the winter, Conca has been working with students in the fitness program. He’ll return to work with four teams for a couple of days each week during the spring. If the initial trial is successful, Conroy hopes to eventually offer such training on a daily basis to all Williston students, from dancers to varsity football stars, to help them establish healthy habits.
“We have a fantastic facility. What we are missing is the expertise and guidance to be able to really utilize that,” Conroy said. “It’s like you have this beautiful car, but you don’t know how to turn it on.” While coaches do a very good job of instructing students, Conroy said what has been lacking is a consistent approach to strength training, injury prevention, and nutrition that targets students and teams at all levels. “Our goal has been to partner with an outside group which is current and is professionally trained...so they can bring that expertise and guidance to our program,” Conroy said. “I see it—both for the individual kids and for the teams—as a real plus.” Conroy first heard about Conca Sport after Bridget Instrum ’12 trained with the West Springfield studio. In December, Instrum signed a letter of intent to play lacrosse at The Ohio State University.
Her father, Dr. Khalid “Kelly” Instrum—an orthopedic surgeon who has worked with Williston athletes—also recommended Conca. Last year, Conroy decided to bring the trainers to Williston for a pilot program.
“I see it not just with the competitive athletes, but for the noncompetitive kid here who wants to go in there,” Conroy said of the athletic center. “They can still have this opportunity to use the fitness center, develop good habits and have the right direction.” For the pilot, Conca and his team of trainers worked with off-season athletes on three main components: muscle activation and warming up, weight training, and metabolic conditioning. “A lot of kids find ways to get bigger, faster, stronger, but they don’t do it right on the front end and it comes back to hurt them,” Conca said, adding that he and his instructors work on “how to get to the next level.” “This is what they have to do to get ahead of the competition,” Conca said as Adam Curtis, a lanky senior in plaid pants, walked up. “I wonder if I should be doing sit ups—or if you have any idea what a pole vaulter should do?” he said.
“No, not sit ups,” replied Conca. That caught the attention of seniors Max Reichelt, Alex Nunnelly, and Alex Doudnikoff, who were working out nearby as part of a separate class. “What’s wrong with sit ups?” Reichelt asked, jumping up. “I want to listen. How do I strengthen this more?” Doudnikoff added, gesturing to his core. “I don’t know what to do for my abs.” A better workout, Conca explained, would include plank pyramids and exercises that targeted the inner muscles along the stomach and back. “I want to erase the myths and misconceptions about what athletic training really is,” Conca said as the students headed back to their workouts— Curtis to the weight room and his classmates to their stretching. “It’s not just bench presses,” Conca said. “It’s way more than that.”
To learn more about Williston athletics news, scores, and schedules, please visit us at www.williston.com/athletics
Junior Class Visits the Five Colleges
Second Visit Days
Spring Musical, Fiddler on the Roof
Senior Class Dinner
Spring Break Begins
Susan Falzone in the Photographers’ Lecture Series
Spring Instrumental Concert
Enrollment Contracts Due
Greg Heisler in the Photographers’ Lecture Series
10 Admission Decisions Announced 27
Spring Break Ends
30, 31 Second Visit Days
26-28 Spring Musical, Fiddler on the Roof 27, 28 Family Weekend
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A M E S S AG E F R O M T H E H E A D O F S C H O O L We are looking forward to spring on The Williston Northampton School campus. After a winter that was marked by almost no snow, it feels like students and faculty are ready for our annual spring recess and the replenishment that comes with it. There has been a lot to celebrate during our second trimester: our students continue to challenge themselves in our classrooms, undertaking independent research more often found on a college campus than at a high school. Our Children’s Theatre performed The Phantom Tollbooth to great crowds (and were interviewed on a local radio station about the experience of bringing the book to the stage), and our sports teams excelled. As I write this, the girls hockey team is still in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Conference Division I tournament. Ranked as the seventh seed, the Williston skaters scored an impressive upset against the number two seed with a 6-0 shutout. One of the things that I cherish most about Williston is how open, we are as a community. As evidence of that bold claim I would point to the wonderful success of our 10th Annual Diversity Conference, where we devote an entire day to the many different cultures, attitudes, and talents that comprise this incredible school. The leadership of our students and faculty, as well as the genuine participation of our entire community in workshops and seminars, was absolutely inspiring. Williston’s culture promotes respectful discussions, and in my experience, we are a unique community for our willingness to engage and learn from one another. Because our students set such a positive tone of inclusiveness, they readily accept challenges, trying new things and stretching themselves rather than
The Phantom Tollbooth
simply staying within an accepted comfort zone. This atmosphere means that students audition for a play for the first time, try a new sport, or speak up more often in class in a subject that is difficult—it all comes down to taking risks in a safe and supportive environment.
the National Yiddish Book Center, one of the terrific resources that surround us in the Five College area. Williston is a community on the move, and we are excited to welcome you. Hail to Williston Northampton,
Community is the hallmark at Williston. We live our mission every day. We pursue our passions; we learn with purpose and integrity. I hope you’ll have the opportunity to visit our campus, meet our students, and talk with our faculty. Join us for a performance of Fiddler on the Roof this spring. The cast is bigger than our football team, and it has been doing research at
Robert W. Hill III P’15, Head of School
Visit Mr. Hill’s blog, The Head’s Perspective: http://info.williston.com/headsperspective/
O U R G R A D UAT E S LO O K B AC K : A V I E W O F W I L L I S TO N F R O M CO L L E G E
Williston Class of 2011 Georgetown University Class of 2015
Williston Class of 2011 Harvard University Class of 2015
Williston Class of 2011 University of Pennsylvania Class of 2015
Williston + Timi Onafowokan =
Williston + Rae Underberg =
The man I am today. The only way I can explain this one is that I basically grew up at Williston (six years). The morals that I have were further shaped at Williston. I guess the simplest way to say it is just that without Williston a lot of great things in my life wouldn’t have happened. I just simply
Learning how to learn. Academically, Williston challenged me to push my own boundaries and I figured out that learning really means growing, both inside and outside of the classroom. At Williston, I was able to grow in the classroom, on the court, and in the dorm, and this combination has really helped me tackle college life.
wouldn’t be who I am today.
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Williston + Matt Slodden = A great set of friends, an athletic platform where I was given the opportunity to participate at the next level, and the discipline, preparedness, and work ethic to remain a strong student while dealing with all my other commitments.
P H OTO G R A P H E R S ’ L E C T U R E S E R I E S B R I N G I N G P H OTO G R A P H E R S TO C A M P U S A N D T H E C L ASS R O O M Williston presents a Photographers’ Lecture Series each spring. Every year, an outstanding group of guest documentary photographers, photojournalists, commercial photographers, photo editors, and others involved in the field, individually visit the campus and classrooms to share examples of their work, offer insights, and have discussions.
NANCY SIESEL FEBRUARY 23, 6:30 P.M. As a former staff photographer for The New York Times, Nancy’s deep interest in the transformative power of documentary photography was sparked while working on a project at the School of Visual Arts. That project focused on a former classmate who worked in Times Square as a topless dancer, and who later succumbed to AIDS before her 25th birthday. The project, entitled Solitary Dancer, was a personally painful and cathartic undertaking that spanned seven years. Ms. Siesel was a recipient of a 2010 DCA grant from BAC for Last Rites, Brooklyn. This project portrays rituals of death, mourning and remembrance among Brooklyn’s diverse ethnic and religious communities. Nancy is currently in production on her first documentary film, The Man Corporations Love to Hate. SUSAN FALZONE APRIL 12, 6:30 P.M. Susan Falzone is a documentary and portrait photographer dedicated to making a positive difference with today’s social issues. Susan graduated in 2009 from the Photojournalism and Documentary Photography program at the International Center of Photography in New York City, where she received a Director’s Fellowship. She has been in various group shows in New York City, as well as the International Pingyao Photo Festival in China. Susan’s work also has been featured in NPR’s 100 Words: The Picture Show; Best of Photography 2011, Photographer’s Forum; The Great All Embracing Beds Book, by FOAM Magazine; New York Photo Festival Blog 2011; and Visura Magazine Blog.
FOR M ORE I NFO R MATI O N
GREGORY HEISLER TBA Gregory Heisler is a New York-based photographer who is renowned for his technical mastery and thoughtful responsiveness. His enthusiasm, curiosity, and drive are manifested in his hands-on approach to all aspects of the image making process. His iconic portraits and innovative essays have often graced the covers and pages of many magazines, including Life, Esquire, Gentlemen’s Quarterly, and The New York Times Magazine. He New York photographer Todd France ’85 spoke to Ed Hing’s photography classes at is currently Artist-in-Residence Williston in January. at the Hallmark Institute of Photography in Turners Falls, regions. To affirm and emphasize his commitment to Massachusetts. Mr. Heisler is a recipient of the Alfred what actually exists, he has chosen to work in color Eisenstadt Award and the Leica Medal of Excellence. and in a strict documentary tradition. He has applied himself to the photography of cultural landscape: SAM ABELL TBA he explores ways in which places can be purely Sam Abell’s thirty-year career has been dedicated to recorded, with images simultaneously shaped by achieving artistic expression through documentary the photographer’s imagination. At present, Mr. photography. He has pursued his goals primarily Abell is photographing the Amazon headwaters for through his lengthy, in-depth coverages for National a book project. Geographic. At the same time, he has maintained a career as an artist, teacher, and author. The raw All presentations are free and open to the public and take material of Mr. Abell’s photography comes from close place in the Dodge Room of the Reed Campus Center. contact with the world, especially austere, remote
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FA S T FAC T S
NEPSAC Ranking of the Girls Hockey Team
Photographers in the Photographers’ Lecture Series
Advanced Placement and honors classes
Students inducted into the Cum Laude Society
Number of Williston Scholars classes next year
A cappella groups (the Widdigers and Caterwaulers)
Number of visits to the Writing Center annually
Number of acres the campus covers
States students call home
19 Payson Avenue Easthampton, MA 01027 413.529.3000
Antonio’s Pizza in Easthampton (Try their chicken bacon ranch pizza!)
Williston+ The Williston Northampton School inspires students to live with purpose, passion, and integrity. Discover what inspires you at Williston, and—in collaboration with our faculty and students—explore those things with purpose and passion. The opportunities inside and outside of the classroom will help you discover your +, and will lead you to what comes next. The + is what you make it. Whatever that is, it will be extraordinary.