Hall of Fame Winners
FA L L 2 0 1 3
CONTENTS | VOLUME 100, NUMBER 1
FEATURES 16 | GIANT ON CAMPUS Cathleen Robinson transformed the study of language—among many other things—over almost 30 years at the school. 20 | WE THE PEOPLE History and Global Studies teacher Peter Gunn creates a new generation of informed and engaged citizens. 26 | FIRST PERSON Dan Cain ’64 remembers Dan Carpenter, the campus’ “quintessential father figure” for decades of students.
Dan Carpenter embodied both the joy of friendship and the art of helping others.
MAYA WILSON ’15
Drawing in pencil for the Spring 2013 Art Intensive
PH OTO G R A PH S: J OA NN A C H AT T M AN
After 27 years of teaching at Williston, Ms. Robinson (and her garden) are in full bloom.
28 | SETTING THE PACE A look at the inaugural class of Williston Northampton’s Athletic Hall of Fame at the induction ceremony at Reunion in June 2013.
CAMPUS NEWS 4 | CAMPUS EVENTS Explore Convocation, the Writers’ Workshop Series, and new traditions, and meet some new faces on campus. 10 | GOOD GIRLS AND BOYS IN SKIRTS Educator and author Rachel Simmons and UMass psychologist Chris Overtree examine the dynamics of same-sex friendships and bullying. 12 | SPORTS REVIEW An overview of the spring teams, including a profile of Gabby Thomas ’15, who has set tremendous records while competing as a Wildcat.
PEOPLE/PLACES 34 | CLASS NOTES News and profiles from classmates and former faculty. 63 | FIVE QUESTIONS FOR … Mickey Meyers ’03 continues to thrive in a shifting entertainment landscape and answers some questions from Los Angeles. 67 | I’D LIKE TO THANK THE ACADEMY Raffy Cortina ’09 wins a student Academy Award for Bottled Up. 70 | FROM THE ARCHIVES Reflecting on the importance of an archives on the campus and in our lives. 71 | OBITUARIES Remembering those we have lost and sharing your thoughts from our online In Memoriam pages.
HEAD OF SCHOOL
T h e W i l l i sTo n n o rT h a m p To n s c h o o l
Robert W. Hill III P’15, ’19
the greatest impression on me, and I remember him often and fondly. —Stephen P. Foster ’66
Chief Advancement Officer Eric Yates P’17
For Ashley GeArinG ’09
Director of Alumni Relations
Director of Communications Traci Wolfe P’16, ’19 Director of Online Communication Rachael Hanley Assistant Director of Communications Emily Gowdey-Backus Design Director Aruna Goldstein
Please send letters to the editor, class notes, obituaries, and changes of address to: The Williston Northampton School Alumni Office 19 Payson Avenue Easthampton, MA 01027 T (413) 529-3300 F (413) 529-3427 Established in 1915, the Bulletin is published by the Advancement Office for the benefit of alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends.
cover photo by Joanna Chattman
of Dan Gould ’66, Dan Cain ’64, Steve Striebel ’65
2 WILLISTON NORTHAMPTON SCHOOL
The Science curriculum evolveS
THE COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE TAKES STUDENT ID PHOTOS DURING REGISTRATION EACH YEAR, and I love
capturing our new students in some of their first moments on campus. I see excitement, surprise, and occasionally, a little fear in those pictures, but by this time of year, I can’t tell a new student from a returning one. By November, we are all Williston Northampton. The year moves fast on our campus, and after the quiet of summer, I’m amazed at the pace. So much gets accomplished so quickly. Reading about the alumni, teachers, and students who are profiled in this magazine gives me a window into why this is the case. I believe it’s about the passion people bring to their work. Peter Gunn has stewarded the We the People program on top of teaching a series of AP courses, creating new classes after a summer National Endowment for the Humanities grant, and coaching and advising. Cathleen Robinson transformed language education at Williston Northampton, and in her “free” time, chaired the school’s accreditation effort (including writing the report—no small feat!), reinvigorated the newspaper, and had a hand in this magazine. No surprise that her retirement is just as busy. I have always been interested in what makes some people—like Peter Gunn and Cathleen Robinson—say that “good enough” isn’t enough. I love that this community is always asking what we can improve, how we can do more, and sometimes, how we can do less of something that isn't working. The strategic planning process is helping to define exactly what those things are and will help us to focus our efforts. We are a
Al ShAler A Giant on campus
4/30/13 3:02 PM
THE MANY CHAPTERS OF AL SHALER
community that values focus. I hope you had the opportunity to complete the survey that we sent to all alumni and families to share your opinions; we rely on your input and we’re stronger for it. That’s true of the Bulletin as well. We received letters and emails in response to our last issue, and we loved hearing from you (even when you pointed out our mistakes—and you were right, by the way). Thank you for the feedback, and please keep it coming! Wishing you the happiest of holiday seasons from Easthampton. Sincerely,
Traci Wolfe P’16, ‘19 PH OTO G R A PH : J OA N N A CH ATT M A N
Jeff Pilgrim ’81
I very much enjoyed Rebecca Rideout’s “The Many Chapters of Al Shaler.” In my years at Williston, boys all wore ties to class, and some of these were less to Al’s liking. He’d be standing in front of the class reading dramatically from the assigned text when he’d peer over the top, hoist his glasses up his nose, and purse his lips. “Hmmmm,” he’d intone, zeroing in at some student before him. He’d advance, slightly hunched, like a Greco-Roman grappler, exclaiming his outrage that anyone in his class would wear such a gross tie. “Take it off!” he’d command, and he’d then dangle it out the Schoolhouse window, one end held by the closed sash–out of his sight. Repeat offenders, or those sporting flagrantly distasteful ties, could expect to have theirs summarily snipped off two inches below the knot by a pair of desk shears that Al kept for such emergencies. Of course, we loved the theatre involved and played along by bringing to school the worst of the outdated ties we could find in our dads’ closets. Mr. Shaler showed his students that it was okay to have a little fun now and then at a time when the school was pretty buttoned-down compared to today. He was the teacher and housemaster who made
Two interesting things about Alan Shaler: 1. He was an excellent organ player and was featured at all mandatory chapel services (in the mid ’60s). In fact, we had famed organist E. Power Biggs perform a concert in the Chapel, and I recall remarking to my roommate that Mr. Shaler was just as good as the master. 2. If you wore a particularly loud or offensive tie to his class, Mr. Shaler would hang it on the classroom’s window shade string outside of the building. In the wintertime, when Mr. Shaler returned our neckwear, they were frozen stiff as a board. There’s another one I heard that supposedly happened to another class. It goes something like this: There was a student who was habitually late to Mr. Shaler’s class. Rumor had it that even if he arrived at the classroom doorway on time, he would still walk in a few moments after the bell. In an effort to provide some negative reinforcement for this rude behavior, Mr. Shaler wrote a single question on the blackboard prior to class regarding a Shakespearean tragedy (I believe it was “Macbeth”), and the question read something like: “SURPRISE QUIZ: Identify the Earl of Hampfordshire and his relationship to Lady Macbeth, and discuss the Bard’s literary strategy in introducing this character.” When the rest of the class was seated, before the tardy student arrived, Mr. Shaler instructed them to take a sheet of paper and to begin writing feverishly, as if they had full-blown answers for this “quiz.” When the
tardy student arrived, Mr. Shaler instructed him to answer the surprise quiz in the time remaining. Of course, the tardy student was not only stumped by the question, but his anxiety was exacerbated watching his classmates write copious answers while he drew a blank. A few minutes later, Mr. Shaler collected the students’ writings, and never discussed the quiz for the remainder of the class period. He asked the tardy student to remain after class, at which point he revealed the ruse. Apparently this student was never late again for Mr. Shaler’s class. I have very fond memories of Mr. Shaler. —Reeve Chudd ’69
read the Williston Bulletin (if that was what it was styled that long ago). For most of those years, the Bulletin was an earnest and welcome posting from one’s old school, but always rather unsophisticated. But the issue I just received last week represents a new high. Marvelous! The articles were well chosen and edited. The writing appeared unstudied and effortless, which always is an indicator how much careful effort goes into a written document. I must also praise the photographs. Excellent professional work! Keep up the good work! —Bill Williams ’45
Mr. Hmmm Shaler was one of my all-time favorite professors. His American Literature class was always a treat. I’ll never forget the midOctober day when he had us read a poem, describing the Massachusetts foliage, and then had us narrow in on the exact day of the year that the poem was written. At the beginning of the year, he had us write a report on a local issue in our hometown. Looking back, I realize that reading those reports was probably more of an education for him than it was for us. The things he must have deduced about our young minds! He also coached me on the first girls track team and commented as I lost a very close race to a much bustier runner, who had the good sense to lead with her chest, that she had “won it, but not by her nose.” Dah dumpt dump. I miss you, Mr. Hmmm Shaler. Best wishes for a wonderful and well-deserved retirement. —Jillian Douglass ’80
It is with more than a bit of chagrin that in the first paragraph of the article “Representing Our School” one finds major errors of fact. Claiming that the alma mater was Wagner was the first; that it “became Nazi Germany’s national anthem” compounds it. As I am sure you know, Haydn’s “Emperor” became the Austrian and still is the German national anthem. Someone should have been able to get this fact checked before printing. I am certain that Rick Teller ’70 would have known this. Al Shaler certainly does…ironic, isn’t it? It is never a good idea to have words like “Nazi” in an article claiming to represent the school. And while in some areas maybe the school colors were changed in 1972, in reality from 1980-84 all uniforms were blue and gold and nothing had green. Those changes came with Denny Grubbs. Anyway, just venting… —Rex Solomon ’84
Mr. Solomon for noting these errors and submitting his correction.
It has been some 70 years since I first
REPRESENTING OUR SCHOOL
ed. note: Many thanks to
FALL 2013 BULLETIN 3
CAMPUS NEWS IN SHORT WRITERS’ WORKSHOP
Rebecca Makkai, author of The Borrower, visited campus on October 3 to speak about her short stories and forthcoming novel, The HundredYear House. Williston welcomed National Book Award finalist Patricia McCormick, author of Sold and Purple Heart, on October 7. Elinor Lipman, parent of a Williston alumnus and author of such novels as The View from Penthouse B and Then She Found Me, returned to campus on November 5. Poet and former Mount Holyoke College professor Mary Jo Salter concluded the series with her talk on November 11.
NEW TRADITIONS AT COMMENCEMENT
In a colorful change to the ceremony, underclassmen attended Commencement in May and celebrated with the Class of 2013. A representative from each class carried a banner featuring traditional Williston icons such as the lion, the Victory Bell, and the Centennial rock outside Reed. These three banner designs were based on original paintings by Carrie Rubinstein ’90. The only exception was the graduating class. Matt Freire ’13, the student body class president, carried a banner designed by senior Keely Quirk. The Fine and Performing Arts department had recommended Ms. Quirk, whose design incorporated the wildcat and seal. Each class banner featured one of the four original school colors: blue, gold, green, and white. The freshman, sophomore, and junior banners will stay with each class until their senior years, when a student artist will be chosen to design a banner specifically for that class. Banners will remain at the school following graduation and will be displayed when each class celebrates Reunion. Clockwise from left: Connor Murray ’16, Loren Po ’15, Senior Class Speaker Miranda Gohh, and Maddy Stern ’14.
A NEW TRADITION
FOUR FACULTY HONORED
Describing the recipients as leaders, thinkers, and positive forces in their community, Dean of Faculty Peter Valine awarded four new instructorships this fall to Susanna White, Tom Johnson, Lynn Magovern, and Betsy Grant. The faculty were all honored for their efforts both in and out of the classroom. See more at: www.willistonblogs.com/blog/ four-faculty-honored 4 WILLISTON NORTHAMPTON SCHOOL
ACTS OF KINDNESS At the school’s 173rd Convocation, Head of School Robert W. Hill III told students that they reminded him, in some ways, of the Panama Canal. “You are all under your own power, and your passage—from one ocean of possibilities to another—is steadily guided by your teachers, coaches, and advisers,” he said. “Whole new horizons will appear on your improbable transit if you are thoughtful, purposeful, and willing to enlist the assistance of others.” Convocation speaker David E. Sullivan P’08, ’10 also reminded students to be open to possibilities. While he had held every type of job along the way—paperboy, telephone operator, adoption worker, chimney sweep—Mr. Sullivan said he relished his current work as Northwestern District Attorney the most. “I’ve had a wonderful legal career discovering ways to help people, causes I could believe in, and ways to make changes in my community,” he said. Mr. Sullivan told students that the largest impact could come from the simplest deeds: helping a fellow student feel welcome, cleaning up around the house, or extending a kind word. “Your acts of kindness, no matter how small, are never wasted,” said Mr. Sullivan. “I’d ask that you take the gifts you have now, and will be given in the future, and pay it forward.”
AT THE MIDDLE SCHOOL
PH OTO G R A PH : M AT T H E W C AVA NAU G H
Last May, the eighth grade staged A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The class, under the direction of Fine and Performing Arts teacher and Theater Director Emily Ditkovski, managed every part of the production. The Middle School arts program focuses on ensemble music, visual arts, and theatre.
RETIREMENTS IN 2012-13
DR. ALAN LIPP
Dr. Lipp P’94, who began teaching at Williston Northampton in 1975,
retired from the school in June. An accomplished mathematician, Dr. Lipp was an inspiring teacher.
Ms. Watroba, who worked in the Academic Office, was the school’s registrar.
Recent Middle School trips included visits to Berkshire museums and to Heifer International, where students prepared food that represented different diets across the globe.
She began at Williston Northampton in 1978 and worked in various capacities over her tenure.
FALL 2013 BULLETIN 5
Williston Northampton welcomes a terrific new cohort of faculty to campus to teach, advise, coach, and inspire.
BRIAN CROCKETT HISTORY TEACHER
CAREY BALDWIN ENGLISH TEACHER
LIZ KAY MATH TEACHER
Mr. Crockett holds a degree in education from Colgate University. An All-American football player, Mr. Crockett coaches football, wrestling, and track and field; advises; and lives on campus.
Ms. Baldwin, a Mt. Holyoke graduate, returned to the Pioneer Valley after a decade in California and Washington State. She advises and coaches soccer and lacrosse. Ms. Baldwin and her husband live on campus with their two sons.
Ms. Kay came to Williston from Suffield Academy, having also taught at Stoneleigh-Burnham and Brighton. She graduated from Bates College with a B.S. in Biology. Ms. Kay, who lives off campus, advises and coaches soccer and golf.
ALLISON EVANS HISTORY TEACHER
JOSHUA HARPER MUSIC TEACHER
KATE BIDDISCOMBE ENGLISH TEACHER
Ms. Evans, who holds a M.A. from UMass Amherst, joins the Middle School History and Global Studies department. She has worked with our We the People program and student taught in Easthampton. She coaches cross-country and lacrosse, advises, and lives on campus.
Mr. Harper holds a M.M. in Choral Conducting from UMass Amherst and has conducted choirs at UMass and the Hartsbrook School. He conducts the choral groups and music directs the spring musical. Mr. Harper also coaches, advises, and lives on campus.
Ms. Biddiscombe joins Williston after completing her master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She attended Colby College and the Breadloaf School of English. She coaches water polo, advises, and lives on campus.
Joining the Board RICHARD WAGMAN P’14 NEW TRUSTEE
ANNIE SCHNEIDER MATH TEACHER
JUSTIN GEYER SCIENCE TEACHER
A graduate of Assumption College, Ms. Schneider served as a head tutor and was involved in club and intramural sports while in college. She advises; coaches volleyball, basketball, and track and field; and lives on campus.
Mr. Geyer is completing a M.A. in exercise science at Springfield College after earning his B.S. from The College of Mount St. Joseph. He works part time as a strength and conditioning coach, he also advises and lives on campus.
HUA JONES CHINESE TEACHER Ms. Jones, taught at Miami Valley School, received a B.A. from Northwest Normal University, and a M.A. from Shanghai International Studies University. She advises, works with the afternoon program, and lives on campus with her husband.
PH OTO G R A PH S: J OA NN A C H AT T M AN
JOSH SEAMON MATH DEPARTMENT HEAD
6 WILLISTON NORTHAMPTON SCHOOL
Mr. Seamon comes to Williston from St. Johns‑ bury Academy, where he was also Director of Academic Technology Integration. He earned a B.A. in mathematics from Pomona College and a M.S. from the University of New Hampshire. Mr. Seamon coaches soccer and ultimate frisbee, advises, and lives on campus.
Read more at www.willistonblogs.com/ blog/new-faculty-2013/
Mr. Wagman has been a principal with PricewaterhouseCoopers since 2012 and is in charge of the firm's Boston office. Mr. Wagman is a 1984 graduate of Middlebury College. He received a J.D. degree from the University of Miami School of Law.
England Retina Consultants in 1999. Dr. Foster graduated from Cornell University, and received his medical degree from the Cornell University Medical College. He completed his ophthalmology residency at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School. He then remained at the infirmary for a two-year surgical fellowship, serving as chief fellow.
BRADLEY S. FOSTER P’14, ’16 NEW TRUSTEE
Dr. Foster is an attending surgeon at Baystate Medical Center and an assistant clinical professor of ophthalmology at the Tufts University School of Medicine. He is a clinical instructor at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and retina editor of Focal Points, a publication of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He joined Dr. David Agahigian to form New
Bradley S. Foster
FALL 2013 BULLETIN 7
a year to
“We are Williston,” said senior class speaker Miranda Gohh ’13 during the 172nd Williston Northampton School Commencement. “All of us here make this place a community.” Head of School Robert Hill reminded underclassmen, who were attending Commencement for the first time, to pay close attention to the moment. “Enjoy this moment and cheer for your friends," Mr. Hill said, "But also project forward and imagine yourself on this stage in a year, or two, or three hence, and consider what you have to do to get here, like the seniors before you have done so successfully." The Commencement speaker, author John Katzenbach P’00, ’04, joked that graduation speeches were designed to “exhort younger people in all sorts of incredibly heartfelt, and utterly useless advice.” “In my case,” he added, “I can fill you with wise suggestions—were you suddenly being pursued by a serial killer who longs for notoriety. That’s my latest book.” Mr. Katzenbach challenged students to live a life free from failure and full of respect. He urged seniors to follow their dreams or, as he called them, “reasonable beliefs based upon solid expectations.” “Never stop learning,” he said. “When you stop learning, you calcify. If you happen to look down one day and realize you’ve stopped learning, there are really only two viable possibilities: 1) You’ve died and are on your way to heaven. 2) You’ve been elected to public office.” During the ceremony, 11 seniors were recognized for their academic standing and inducted into the Cum Laude society, joining the 10 seniors inducted in January. Devon Greenwood received the Sarah B. Whitaker Prize (White Blazer) honoring the top young woman in the class; Evan Jacobson was awarded the Archibald V. Galbraith Prize for top young man; and Eric Tallman was named class valedictorian. Continuing a tradition that has closed many Commencements, Mr. Hill read former Headmaster Robert Ward’s “A Farewell to Seniors.” Then with their diplomas in hand, the 112 members of the Class of 2013 stood and sang “Sammy” together.
8 WILLISTON NORTHAMPTON SCHOOL
Alumnae Bowl corecipient Amanda Cronin (Salve Regina University) receives her roses before the processional.
Head of School Robert Hill and President of the Board of Trustees Elizabeth D’Amour P’00, ’03, ’04, ’07 share a humorous moment before proceedings commenced.
Senior Class President Matt Freire (University of Richmond) lines up in the processional.
Left to right: Caitlin Berube (Georgetown University), Jean-Francois Boucher (St. Lawrence University) and Laura Bowman (Culinary Institute of America) listen to Mr. Katzenbach’s rousing address.
Devon Greenwood (UPenn) and Maddison Stemple-Piatt (Union College) at the celebrations.
Patrick Archbald ’79 and Kathy Unruh watch their son Conor Archbald (Union College) graduate.
Dylan Watson (Ithaca College), Alexandra Sampedro (Rollins College), and Xiao Ping Sun (Northeastern University) are all smiles.
Glenn “Swanee” Swanson ’64 attended his 45th Commencement.
PH OTO G R A PH S: S H A N A SU R E C K
On a blustery May morning, the 112 members of the Class of 2013 gathered to bid farewell to Williston.
SPRING 2013 BULLETIN 9
The Myth of the
GOOD GIRL AND BOYS IN SKIRTS
by Rachael Hanley
“I’ve never met a girl who doesn’t have something to be sorry about,” said Rachel Simmons to her female audience on April 12. “It’s not, ‘people were so mean to me and now I’m so nice.’ No one’s perfect.” Ms. Simmons, a nationally regarded speaker on bullying prevention and female empowerment, spoke to the girls of the Williston Northampton School about how they could identify hurtful behavior, and change the patterns that created it. The Upper School had divided in two for the special morning assembly. Girls listened to Ms. Simmons
in the Phillips Stevens Chapel, while boys headed to the Williston Theatre to hear Dr. Christopher Overtree, director of the Psychological Services Center (PSC) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an expert on the prevention of bullying and harassment. In the Chapel, Ms. Simmons talked about what she called “relational aggression,” an attitude she described as, “if you don’t do what I want, I won’t be friends with you anymore.” “A good friend doesn’t threaten the friendship,” she said. “In a healthy relationship, you should feel
10 WILLISTON NORTHAMPTON SCHOOL
comfortable sharing your feelings.” Part of the ongoing problem girls have with relationships stems from the fallacy of the “good girl,” an über-perfect creature who is perfectly groomed and always on good terms with those around her, Ms. Simmons said. “We’re expected to hold ourselves in, not just physically, but in the way we act,” she said. As a result, girls are expected to ignore, or even laugh at, rude statements that ended with “just kidding!” But not all jokes are funny, Ms. Simmons said. She encouraged girls to use a “no joke zone”
or NJZ, where one person could ask her friends to take joking about a particular sensitive topic — age, weight, family, hair, appearance — off the table. “Your NJZ could be your friends, family, racial background,” Ms. Simmons said. “If you say, ‘That’s my NJZ,’ the other person has to apologize, sincerely. Then you talk about something else. It’s a lowdrama tool.” While Ms. Simmons encouraged girls to speak openly and honestly about their needs and feelings, she noted that the way they asked for what they want also mattered.
PH OTO G R A PH : M AT T H E W C AVA NAU G H
In April, author and educator Rachel Simmons (Odd Girl Out and The Curse of the Good Girl) and UMass psychologist Chris Overtree met with girls and boys separately about same-sex friendships and the issue of bullying.
“Girls are expected to hold themselves in, not just physically, but in the way they act.” — Rachel Simmons Rather than being aggressive (asking for what they needed in a way that was hurtful or offensive), or passive (dropping hints and assuming the other person would guess the right answer), Ms. Simmons suggested they be assertive
and pose their questions or statements in a way that intended no hurt or disrespect. “You have to look at what I’m talking about as something you have to learn and practice,” Ms. Simmons said. “Your friendships right now are the classroom for you to develop the skills you’ll use later on.” In the theater, Dr. Overtree spoke to Williston Northampton’s boys about the ways in which conscious and subconscious thoughts and attitudes dictate our actions. The age-old concept of “breaking out of the mold” is one that Dr. Overtree simultaneously likes and
dislikes, he said. He likes the idea of standing up for your true self, but he doesn’t believe this confining mold exists. “We create it through our behavior and our attitude,” he explained. Throughout his talk, Dr. Overtree repeatedly returned to a photo of what looked like a man in a skirt walking down the street with his daughter. Dr. Overtree explained that it was a photo of a German man, Nils Pickert, and his son in a dress. Mr. Pickert’s son had wanted to wear what is conventionally thought of as women’s clothing. Rather than try to convince his son
to only wear dresses at home, Mr. Pickert decided to support his son. “The only courageous thing he could do was wear a dress with his son,” said Dr. Overtree. The best course to take, he added, is to respect others when they “break out” of the mold.
Read Mairead Poulin '13’s article for The Willistonian, “Good Girls, Bad Friends." www.willistonian. org/good-girls-bad-friends/
FALL 2013 BULLETIN 11
S I WILL RUN I WILL COMPETE
peedster Gabby Thomas ’15, from Northampton, MA, has been at Williston Northampton since the seventh grade, leaping and sprinting her way to new heights each year. Having set new records for the long jump, triple jump, and the 100-meter dash, Ms. Thomas, a junior, is expected to smash even more records this spring. “Gabby is well on her way to being one of the most accomplished track and field athletes in our school’s history,” Athletic Director Mark Conroy said. “Blessed with wonderful natural ability, she has benefitted from a fierce competitive drive and some excellent coaching.” Last May, Ms. Thomas set a new school record in the long jump with a leap of 17’ 7.5”. The jump—in a meet against Kingswood Oxford, Westminster, and Hopkins—broke the previous mark set by Annie Huyler ’08 in 2007. In the same week, Ms. Thomas had a triple jump of 35’ 11.75”, which eclipsed her own record from the year before. Her finishes at the New England Preparatory School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC) Division II Track and Field Championships garnered All New England recognition in four events. In the 100-meter dash, Ms. Thomas earned her third straight NEPSAC title with a final time of 12.06 seconds, breaking the NEPSAC Division II record of 12.31. Hers was equal to the fastest electronically timed 100-meter dash in a NEPSAC championship meet at any level. “Gabby approaches track with determination, dedication, and enthusiasm,” said Michelle Lawson, a science teacher and Ms. Thomas’ coach in the long and triple jump last spring. “She is a fierce and poised competitor in the sprints and the jumps,” Ms. Lawson said. “Gabby comes to practice each day ready to work hard, improve her jumps, and lead other athletes by example.” In addition to being named the team’s Most Valuable Player last spring, Ms. Thomas was named Most Improved Player on the girls varsity basketball team. She was elected junior class representative to the student council last spring.
PH OTO G R A PH : A AE NDA H WERNAGPH E LY R IM SL Y P HSC OTOG
Follow news about Ms. Thomas and other Wildcat achievements on our athletics blog at www.willistonblogs.com/athletics
12 WILLISTON NORTHAMPTON SCHOOL
SPRING 2013 STATS
Baseball (8-7) Softball (5-7) Boys Golf (6-12-1) Girls Golf (7-4-1) Boys Lacrosse (5-9) Girls Lacrosse (15-0) Boys Tennis (2-9) Girls Tennis (2-8)
Boys Track and Field (4-6) Girls Track and Field (5-5) HIGHLIGHTS
Senior Catie Laraway, of Westfield, MA, broke the Williston field hockey career goal scoring record on Saturday, October 5, in a game
played at Berkshire School. Ms. Laraway has 62 career goals, beating the previous record, held by Bridget Instrum ’12, by two goals. Ms. Laraway, a four-year varsity player, scored four goals in the team’s 5-1 victory. Her second goal tied the
record and her third broke it. Her outstanding play has helped lead the Wildcats to a 9-3 record thus far. Head Coach Logan Brown is in her second year coaching the Williston squad after succeeding Ann Pickrell in the fall of 2012.
In an effort to print information in a more timely fashion, we print only short recaps of a team’s season in the Bulletin; full descriptions can be read online at
FALL 2013 BULLETIN 13
DRESS LIKE A
My life with my mom was too short—it was not nearly enough time—and yet, even in the short and insufficient 19 years we had together, she built me well-enough to be here today and say ‘I miss you,’ ‘I love you,’ and most of all, ‘Thank you.’
Stars Photos by Abby Walker ’14
Photos by Janine Norton
— NURSE KERRY-BETH GARVEY ON THE WILLY WELLNESS BLOG Denise Smith P’15: Beautifully said!! Your Mom was a lucky woman to have you as her daughter. Jayne Bellwin-Mark ’76: Read this through my tears…for me, 6 years wasn’t “enough”…it will be 50 years without her this month…I thank God for Williston Northampton…what you wrote not only touched me it blessed me…The children are lucky to have you there.
PH OTOG RA P H S: J OA N NA C H AT T MAN
Nell Tucker P’07, ’16: Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your touching journey of surviving such unimaginable loss.
The Williston Campus Store is your source for team apparel, gifts, and accessories for you and your favorite Wildcat. Shop online at WWW.WILLISTON.COM/CAMPUSSTORE or in the Reed Campus Center lower level.
Gretchen Atkins P’15: Your insightful, compassionate personal story is inspiring and beautiful! Hooray for your inherited ‘grit’–said to be more important than intelligence & luck, and obviously more than enough to create such a wonderful spirit. Thank you for sharing your story, it shows how you make a difference, why you matter so much and that you would make your mom proud…nice! Tracy Channell P’09, ’17, ’18: Thank you for sharing such a beautiful and touching story of love and resilience. The power of love and nurturing during our early years is immeasurable. Your mother would be so proud. I too have had the great fortune of experiencing both the Wheaton and Williston communities and can attest to the incredible nurturing environment of both that only can be explained by being a member of such wonderful ‘families.’
“25 Years Later: Mourning my Mom with a Joyful-Enough Heart:” www.willistonblogs.com/wellness/25-years-latermourning-my-mom-with-a-joyful-enough-heart/
A Servant to Two Masters 2013 Julie Hug Carney: Wonderful adaptation and great performances! Loved it!
Congratulations to girls varsity soccer for cracking the prep school top 10! Silvia Goyburu Triana: Congrats! Keep up the good work! Cathi Salvo Harris: Way to go Willy girls!!
IN THE TWITTERVERSE ALUMNI PRIDE Taylor Elizabeth ’07: I’m…more upset about not being a student at @WillistonNS right now than I am about not being at Hartford. Lilah Brown ’07: Looking forward to @StLawrenceU and @WillistonNS networking events in #Vermont on back to back days next month!! #alumna Cameron Williams ’09: “@Hill3Williston: Volleyball @WillistonNS serenades field hockey with ‘Sammy’ sung loud and proud!” Ahh, I miss this!
CONVERSATION Stephanie Tanner ’07: My high school has a Vine? #what #technologyisweird #whereisbville’s? WillistonNorthampton @ WillistonNS: And it’s run by students, too! #technologyiscool #waytogoteam #iWilliston Stephanie Tanner ’07: So cool! I’m jealous that 1) it didn’t exist when I was there and 2) the school I teach at isn’t as tech savvy
SPORTS Coach McKillop: feeling like a caged wildcat waiting for our season opener tonight: be @theBear @7 #football #UnderTheLights #HardWorkPaysOff @WillistonNS Melissa MacDonald P’16: Great play today on the turf! Varsity girls soccer with the W! #waytogo Williston Hockey @WillistonHockey: Congrats to @THE_MaxWillman ’14 and his family on his commitment to @BrownMensHockey for next fall!!! @WillistonNS #bettereveryday
Jennifer Sklar ’07: Going back to @WillistonNS always makes me happy…no matter how much time has passed.
FALL 2013 BULLETIN 15
Cathleen Robinson doesn’t just take things on; she tackles them. She doesn’t just write one novel; she writes three. She doesn’t just write about the familiar; she writes about something that’s never been documented. And she didn’t just teach at Williston Northampton; she transformed a department, reinvented the school newspaper, changed at least one life, possibly saved Latin, and became one of the most influential people in the school’s history.
Cathleen Robinson has been busy since her retirement. A prolific writer, she also enjoys time with her husband, retired long-time Williston teacher Ray Brown ’55, and her dachshunds, Hershey and Mia, at their home in Hadley, MA.
— BY MEGAN TADY
CATHLEEN ROBINS 16 WILLISTON NORTHAMPTON SCHOOL
ON SPRING 2013 BULLETIN 17
t’s an untold tale, and Cathleen Robinson is writing it: During World War II, German prisoners of war were shipped to Hadley and Hatfield, MA, to work the fields while U.S. soldiers fought abroad. In her historical-fiction take, an Irish widow must overcome her prejudices as she is forced to rely on the prisoners for help. Ms. Robinson has been interviewing “old-timers” who remember the prisoners, and has written roughly 80,000 words. “My first two novels were so
Since Ms. Robinson retired after 27 years of teaching at Williston Northampton, she’s been writing. And writing and writing. She opens a cupboard to reveal 17 binders full of short stories and reviews of Hispanic books for three different bilingual newspapers. “I loved teaching, and I loved the kids up until the last day. Then I …” she says, as she wipes her hands clean to indicate she was done. “I was looking forward to taking up my passion of writing. And I was tired. Though you wouldn’t have known that, because I kept going.” Cathleen Robinson doesn’t just take things on; she tackles them. She doesn’t write one novel; she writes three. She doesn’t write about the familiar; she takes on what’s never been documented. And she didn’t just teach at Williston Northampton; she transformed a department, reinvented the school newspaper, changed at least one life, possibly saved Latin, and became one of the most influential people in the school’s history.
belt. “[Williston] just schmoozed me. They really wanted female faculty.” Ms. Robinson says the curriculum “was a mess” and she “probably OD’d on sports talk” during lunch with her colleagues. “But I just loved it,” she says. “I just blossomed.” She moved into John Wright House as the first female dorm parent. Until she arrived, the male dorm parents hadn’t set foot in the female wing. “The girls were getting away with murder,” she says. “And then I came. I found vodka bottles and gin bottles. It blew my mind. But it was the ’70s. Anyone who wanted to party signed up for that dorm. But I changed things.” It would be the first overhaul of many.
Betsy Grant, a Spanish teacher in the department, worked alongside Ms. Robinson. “She raised the bar, absolutely,” Ms. Grant says. “She was focused on things that we weren’t looking at. She had the pulse of things.” Ms. Robinson asked her colleagues to confront their biggest obstacle: how to get kids to love languages. Most students were bailing out of language classes after their second year, only doing the bare minimum. “And I said, ‘We’re going to change that,” Ms. Robinson remembers. “You take four years of English, why not four years of Spanish? Or four years of French? Why not? It’s going to be the natural, normal thing. And we did it.” With Ms. Robinson at the helm, the department developed new, creative electives to keep kids inspired. “I love Don Quixote, but, for God’s sake, it’s for college and it’s archaic Spanish that nobody speaks,” Ms. Robinson says. Instead, they invited students to take more conversational classes.
MAKING IT BETTER
When Ms. Robinson looked around the Language Department, she didn’t like what she saw. “At that time, the Language Department was just a revolving door of teachers,” she says. She was named department chair
and were publishing more national news than campus news. No one was reading it. “I said, ‘We’re going to try to get 50 kids names in each issue. They’ll pick it up and read it during their lunch hour,’” she says. “And they would get so excited when each issue came out.” Under Ms. Robinson’s 15-year tenure as the newspaper advisor, the paper scooped up bundles of awards. “When we first got All-American, I just screamed,” she says. As the years passed, Ms. Robinson’s reputation for success grew, and she “started getting elected to everything.” In 1985, she led Williston Northampton’s accreditation process and wrote the exhaustive school self-study that was part of the effort. “I said, ‘We’re good, and we’re going to show ’em.’” A MASTER TEACHER
In 1988, when Michelle Satterlee ’90 took Ms. Robinson’s Spanish class, she said she called herself a “smart ass” who most teachers didn’t deign
initially nervous, decided to take the trip. “It was definitely a life changer,” she says. Ms. Satterlee went on to study abroad in Japan and moved to California after college. “When I came home from Spain, I just wasn’t afraid of anything anymore,” she says. “It was a rite of passage.” Ms. Satterlee returned to Ms. Robinson’s class her senior year, and says Ms. Robinson was a role model as a “strong female” and as a teacher. “She noticed me at a time when I really didn’t feel noticed,” Ms. Satterlee says. “She just took the time. Pure and simple.” Betsy Grant calls Ms. Robinson a “master teacher.” “She was very serious and the kids knew she was very serious,” she says. “They worked hard to earn her approval.” Ms. Robinson isn’t shy about her talent. “I am a natural-born teacher,” she says. “I had a God-given talent to explain things and make them clear.” To this day, Ms. Satterlee speaks Spanish and “remembers [Robinson’s lessons] on the subjunctive.”
ton seems endless. She was given the first endowed Henry M. Zachs Faculty chair in May of 1999 and received a Clapp grant to study at Emory, as well as other grants to travel to Spain and Costa Rica. She taught numerous classes, including journalism and Latin American history. And she led the new teacher orientation program. Ms. Robinson says she is grateful for the freedom she had at Williston Northampton. “The one thing I’ll say about teaching at Williston, both professionally and intellectually: I got to do everything I wanted to do,” she says. “Every time I had an idea for a course, the administration said: ‘Do it.’ Of course, then I ended up teaching five classes.” It’s this same zeal that has Ms. Robinson, in her “retirement,” penning her third book, leading a book club, singing in a choir, and tending a stunning flowerbed. “She’s just decided that she wanted to continue to be a busy and engaged person, and she sure has,” Ms. Grant says.
simple compared to this,” Ms. Robinson says. “I feel like if I don’t tell [this] story, it will be lost.” As Ms. Robinson talks, her miniature dachshund, Hershey, vies for her gesturing hand. Her house in Hadley was built on the former asparagus patch behind husband Ray Brown’s parents’ house and features a meticulous garden nearing full bloom. (Mr. Brown also taught at Williston for 43 years.) 18 WILLISTON NORTHAMPTON SCHOOL
It was chaos. That’s how Ms. Robinson remembers Williston Northampton when she arrived in 1974. Williston Academy had just merged with the Northampton School for Girls, and the mostly male faculty was still trying to catch up with the changes. “Oh my Lord, there were so few female teachers,” she says. Ms. Robinson, who moved from Ohio, had nine years of teaching under her
a year after she arrived and set about doing what she does best: changing things. “We were determined to make the department—which was kind of a laughingstock on campus—the best one,” she says. “And we did. We did.” Ms. Robinson instilled a sense of collegiality among the teachers, helped the department set goals, and asked the administration to invest in professional development.
PHOTOGR A PHS: J OAN N A CH ATT MA N
“THE GIRLS WERE GETTING AW AY WITH MURDER, and then I came.” “Latin numbers were falling and she got us together and is the person, in my mind, who saved Latin,” Ms. Grant says. “Now Latin is thriving.” Ms. Robinson did the same thing with the school newspaper: sized it up, and then went about making it better. “The paper had fallen on hard times before I came here,” Ms. Robinson says. She says students were using the paper as a personal forum
to confront. But Ms. Robinson was different. “She was a no-nonsense, very strict teacher,” Ms. Satterlee says. “When I was being a jerk, she would pull me aside and tell me I was being a jerk. I would never have guessed that she would end up having the influence on me that she did.” Ms. Robinson encouraged Ms. Satterlee to study abroad in Spain for her junior year, and Ms. Satterlee,
So how did she get kids to love languages? “It’s because of an adult that they admire,” she says. “If you have an excited teacher who is knowledgeable, then the students take another look. And if the students start experiencing success in it, then you got ’em.” ZEAL FOR LIFE
The list of Ms. Robinson’s accomplishments at Williston Northamp-
Still, 12 years later, Ms. Robinson is missed on campus. “She would bring these homemade cinnamon buns to school for meetings,” Ms. Grant says. “And we would have department meetings at her house and she would feed us. We would be like, ‘Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness.’ The hamburger buns were made from scratch.” From Ms. Robinson, no one would have expected anything less. SPRING 2013 BULLETIN 19
PHOTOGR A PHS: J OAN N A CH ATT MA N
Things get a little intense in Peter Gunn’s AP U.S. History class. The students, after all, debate the same thorny issues as our forefathers: Should First Amendment rights ever be suspended? Is it fair that just five judges on the Supreme Court can veto popular legislation? Should presidential power expand during wartime? As part of a nationwide We the People curriculum, the students pick apart the U.S. Constitution to consider—perhaps for the first time—how America’s rule of law was brokered, and how it will evolve over time. And then, in a competition that includes mock Congressional hearings, they argue their sides, pulling from notes and then from the recesses of their own brains. — BY MEGAN TADY
SPRING 2013 BULLETIN 21
n 1787, “drafting a more perfect union” was anything but perfect. It was tedious work for our nation’s leaders, bogged down with impassioned arguments, salacious insults, and pouty boycotts. It’s reported that the Pennsylvania State House was pungent with the smell of sweaty delegates as they toiled in the stifling summer heat to write the Constitution.
Students who participate in We the People begin at the state level. The competitions are hosted at colleges and universities. 22 WILLISTON NORTHAMPTON SCHOOL
“It really was just a bunch of people having an argument about how they wanted it to look,” Mr. Gaubinger says. With similar passion, though presumably less body odor, students across the country and at Williston Northampton are still arguing, pouring over our nation’s early documents and crafting shrewd stances. In the We the People competition, students are grouped in small teams and assigned a topic. They prepare all semester, pulling from a We the People textbook, practicing how to answer proposed questions related to their topic, and anticipating surprise questions from a panel of volunteer judges. Two sample topics: What are the philosophical and historical foundations of the American political system? And, how have the values and principles embodied in the Constitution shaped American institutions and practices? Hey, no one said they’d be softball questions. Mr. Gaubinger,
assigned to “Team Hamilton”—or affectionately, “Team Ham”—recalls studying in his friend’s attic on his farm in Westhampton, MA. Their topic: presidential powers during wartime. “We really challenged each other to think and prepare,” he says. “It was something that we took seriously in an academic way, but we were also having fun.” Mr. Gunn says the competition is a “place for students to play at something they’re hungry to do.” And for Mr. Gunn, it’s been a place to push kids out of their comfort zone, to challenge them to develop a voice, and to inspire their civic engagement. “[Students have] been raised in largely undemocratic institutions through the time they get to my class,” Mr. Gunn says. “In most of their classes and athletic teams, they don’t participate in making the rules. And once they turn 18, we say, ‘Geez, why don’t you guys go out and vote?’”
The 2013 Massachusetts state event was hosted by Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
In Mr. Gunn’s class, an opinion is a requirement. Given such a platform, Emma Freeman ’05 thrived. “It forces you to think about things,” Ms. Freeman says. “It’s
Students give rehearsed presentations and then respond off the cuff to questions from a panel of judges. “The best part for me is chucking the paper and just answering
others, like Ms. Freeman, it meant stepping back. “We had three really strong personalities on our team—all friends to this day,” Ms. Freeman
complicated, but I’m actually demanding that you do’—it encourages you to sharpen your own abilities,” Mr. Gaubinger says.
“We’ve looked at the politics behind science. Why isn’t our campus more green? What’s the money behind it? Who are we going to ask in our alumni effort?” — Devon Ducharme ’02 about, ‘What do you think are the boundaries of the Fourth Amendment? Do you think it’s okay to search somebody’s cell phone? How would you, as a 16or 17-year-old, feel if the police took your cell phone and read your text messages?’” Ms. Freeman was also drawn to the extemporaneous-speaking component of the competition.
PHOTOGR A PHS: E MILY F ITZGER AL D
he civics-based curriculum, started in 1987 by the Center for Civic Education to commemorate the bicentennial of the Constitution, is designed to deepen students’ knowledge and understanding of the U.S. political system, and to sharpen their analytical and persuasion skills. Over the last 15 years, Mr. Gunn’s AP History students have participated in the state-level program 10 times, winning in 2000 and placing second in 2013. They’ve also competed twice at the national-level in Washington, D.C.— placing 43rd and 29th respectively. Underlying this curriculum is a deeper, more personal question: What sort of citizen will you become? Will you vote, even in the small elections? Will you
sit on the school committee? Will you volunteer? “These are really fundamental questions about what it means to live in America and what it means to be an American,” says Adam Gaubinger ’05, who participated in the competition. “Once you understand the interpretive frame of the Constitution, that frame can be applied to so much that you read and see on the news. The earlier that gets instilled, the more useful and developed it can be.”
questions,” she says. Ms. Freeman recently graduated from law school, and says her experience with public speaking during We the People piqued her interest in litigating. Along with their eloquence, teams are judged on their inclusivity—meaning every member has to speak in order to win high marks. For some students, it requires stepping forward. For
says. “But we all wanted to be talking all the time. That was our particular challenge.” Regardless of students’ need to step in or out of the spotlight, most shared a common experience: the thrill of adults actually listening to them. “Being told as a young person, ‘Not only do I have faith that you can think in a way that’s
AN INFLUENTIAL TIME
he curriculum did have an impact in extremely perceptible ways—from the ability to speak on the fly to the instinct to question the very nature of systems of processes. Devon Ducharme ’02, whose team made it to the national competition in Washington, D.C.,
Teams grow close through the year-long process, which can cumulate at the national competition held in Washington, D.C. SPRING 2013 BULLETIN 23
“The best part for me is chucking the paper and just answering questions.”
Emma Freeman ’05 (Yale ’09) was named best oralist at Harvard Law School’s Ames Moot Court Competition, presided over by retired Supreme Court Justice David Souter.
was a shy student. “I hate any kind of public speaking,” Ms. Ducharme says. “It took a lot of work for me to overcome that.” Ms. Ducharme is a physics teacher at St. George’s School, and her curriculum is a far stretch from the Federalist Papers. Yet she honed a quality in We the People that she strives to impart on her own students: a scrutinizing eye. “We’ve looked at the politics behind science,” Ms. Ducharme says. “Why isn’t our campus more green? What’s the money behind it? Who are we going to ask in our alumni effort? Do we have to worry about the people connected to the oil industry in our alumni network?” Ms. Ducharme says it’s crucial to ask students to consider such fundamental questions—from basic freedoms to climate change—at such a fundamental age.
“I think this is the age that’s the most powerful force of people if they choose to be,” she says. “It’s a really influential time, and it’s also a time when they’re questioning a lot personally, so I think it’s good for them to question things outside themselves.” But did the competition make students more engaged citizens? The jury’s out. Mr. Gunn says it’s difficult to trace a direct line from We the People to the ballot box. Mr. Gaubinger says yes, he votes, even in all the tiny elections. “Seeing what a messy process it was to make the Constitution and implement it makes you realize how important it is to be involved,” he says. “I think students become more self-consciously political,” Mr. Gunn says. “They’re aware of politics in every phase and facet of their life. I don’t mean water-cooler politics. I
24 WILLISTON NORTHAMPTON SCHOOL
mean, ‘The organization that I work for, how is this structured?’” But what has had the most impact is Mr. Gunn himself. Mr. Gaubinger was a history major in college, and now works in social services. “He instilled a social justice interest in me, questioning the way that traditional history has been taught to us,” he says. “It brought me to a field where I wanted to help people who have been traditionally mistreated in American history.” Ms. Freeman, who credits We the People for her debate skills, agrees that Mr. Gunn was her biggest inspiration. For the last three years, she’s volunteered as a judge in the state-level competition in Boston. “I love Peter Gunn so much,” she says. “I like the program a lot, but I wanted a chance to give back to Williston and to Peter Gunn’s class. He remains the best professor I’ve ever
had, and that’s after some pretty formidable figures at Yale and Harvard. He remains the top, and that class was so deeply engaging.” And now that Ms. Freeman is asking the questions instead of fielding them, she’s even more impressed with the competition. “Watching those moments when shy students come out of their shell and are able to assert how they feel about really fundamental issues— over and over again it convinces me that this is a program that is really worth doing,” she says.
More about We the People can be found on our News & Events blog www.willistonblogs.com
PHOTOGR A PH: MAT T H EW CAVAN AUGH
—Emma Freeman ’05
TOGETHER WE WILL
SUPPORT OUR STUDENTS. BE A PART OF OUR FUTURE BY CONTRIBUTING TO THE ANNUAL FUND. Every Annual Fund and Parents’ Fund gift—no matter the size—makes a difference. Combined, they provide the foundation on which a Williston Northampton education is built. Please make your gift by June 30, 2014 and join us in supporting today’s students and faculty. EVERY GIFT, ANY AMOUNT, EVERY YEAR www.williston.com/give or call (800) 469-4559
To Carp, Nobo dy was a Stranger
Dan Cain ’64 remembers the man who took in all comers.
26 WILLISTON NORTHAMPTON SCHOOL
ill Rogers was once quoted as saying, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” Dan Carpenter could just as easily have said the same. It didn’t really matter who engaged him in conversation. As students, the important topic was always what interested us. When a conversation started, he would adopt his focus to the students’ interests and become fully engaged. This was because Mr. Carpenter was Williston’s quintessential father figure. Not only did he focus on raising his own five children, but Mr. Carpenter—or Coach Carpenter, or just plain “Carp”—also served as a second father to nearly three generations of Williston students. To both students and faculty children, he was a coach, a next-door neighbor, and the school’s reigning volunteer hot dog chef. Together with his wife, Jane, who adored him beyond belief, the Carpenters took in all comers—whether they be stranded alumni, stressed-out freshmen, or hockey orphans just passing
through. Carp was further blessed with a cadre of friends, mostly faculty, who were his sounding board and support group. These included Williston luminaries like Bob Couch ’50, Rick Francis, Al Shaler, Ray Brown ’55, and Dick Gregory. Carp was a people person
and making new friends was his high-octane nutrition. He embodied both the joy of friendship and the art of helping others. At one memorable reunion, Carp referred to Williston as his “fountain of youth” and “the gift that keeps on giving.” Nobody felt like a stranger on
campus as long as Carp was within shouting distance. My mother, a long-time Williston parent and grandparent, once recalled how Mr. Carpenter seemed to be at everything: chapel events, athletic games, parent conferences, graduations— you name it. “Where did he get his energy?” she asked. While the school’s buildings, grounds, and facilities were wonderful, my mother was right—it was the personalities that we remembered. I suspect that all of the great boarding schools have a Dan Carpenter-type who rallies the troops, creates the
memories, and helps us overcome our frailties as we pass from students to alumni. But such iconic individuals don’t just stay put for 30 years, raise and educate their kids, retire, and stay on unless there is also something in the community which nourishes them in return. Williston is that type of community. Carp was the figure whose personality defined the virtues of our alma mater. We will miss you Dan, Coach, Carp. Thank you for enriching our lives, as students, alums, fellow colleagues, and parents. Williston is a better place
because of you and what you have left behind. God bless. Dan Cain ’64 The Daniel D. and Jane W. Carpenter Award for Philanthropic Excellence was established in 2006 by Daniel M. Cain ’64 in honor of the Carpenters’ commitment to, and support of, the Williston Northampton School, its students, parents, and alumni.
Read Mr. Carpenter’s obituary and the comments from family, friends, and alumni at www.willistonblogs. com/obituaries
SPRING 2013 BULLETIN 27
DAVID TYLER ’63
first hall of fame
“With coaches like Babs, Brownie, and Rick, all of whom were honored today, I had a fantastic experience at Williston.”— David Tyler
Honoring the inaugural class of the Williston Northampton Athletic Hall of Fame and their achievements on the field, track, and in the pool
David “Duff” Tyler ’63 was a recordsetting swimmer and a soccer player. As part of the 1963 swim team, he
set national records in the 50 free, 100 free, and 200 free and was named All-American for those events as well as the 200 medley relay, 200 free relay, and 100 butterfly. At Trinity College, Mr. Tyler earned All-American honors three times, was a national champion in the 500 free, a national runner-up in the 200 free, and set seven Trinity records. Returning to Williston, Mr. Tyler was an assistant coach under Wilmot Babcock (1968-1972) and
COACH WILMOT BABCOCK “I don’t think he even knew how to swim. I used to tease him that he bought all those books to teach him how.” — Patricia Babcock ’58
28 WILLISTON NORTHAMPTON SCHOOL
Coach Wilmot “Babs” Babcock certainly knew how to win, accumulating an astounding record of 341-47-2 over 20 years. After starting the Williston Academy swimming program in 1951, Coach Babcock took the team to 15 New England Championships — 11 of them consecutively. This legacy also produced 15 national prep champions. Coach Babcock attended Springfield College as a wrestler, and completed graduate work at Dartmouth College, Harvard University, and Boston University. He was named business manager
at Williston Academy in 1943. Described as a “legend” by those who knew him, Coach Babcock’s success lay in his ability to both attract and develop some of the best swimmers in New England, said Rev. Dr. Theodore Babcock, who swam for the coach. “Williston’s absolute dominance in swimming during his coaching years is a testament to Babs’ skill as a coach and leader,” Rev. Babcock wrote. Coach Babcock passed away on May 29, 1978, and the school’s pool was named in his honor.
PHOTOGR A PH: M ATT HEW CAVA N AU G H
ACCEPTED BY PATRICIA BABCOCK ’58
“I had friends within minutes and I finally knew what my brother, Chris was talking about. Williston was a great fit for me.” — Patrick Rissmiller
then head coach (1972-1973). He moved to Florida in 1973 and coached at St. Andrew’s School for 22 years, amassing 627 wins. Under his leadership, girls swimming went undefeated in 1987 and won the state and national championships. Mr. Tyler, who also coached the Bahamian National Team at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, was later inducted into the St. Andrew’s Hall of Fame and the school’s swimming facility was named after him.
PATRICK RISSMILLER ’97 During Patrick Rissmiller’s time at Williston, the ice hockey star led the team to a 23-4 record—the most wins in school history. Mr. Rissmiller was named captain and MVP in his senior year. While cranking out enough points to put him in third for all-time single season totals, he was named an All-New England selection and NEPSAC West Senior All-Star. At the College of the Holy Cross, Mr. Rissmiller was named to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Rookie team in 1999;
he received the titles of Offensive Player of the Year and First Team All-MAAC selection in 2002. He ranks second in career points and was inducted into the Holy Cross Hall of Fame in 2010. Mr. Rissmiller has played 538 games in the AHL, where he was a 2006 and 2010 All-Star. He has played 222 games for NHL teams, including the San Jose Sharks, New York Rangers, Atlanta Thrashers, and Florida Panthers. He has 21 goals and 35 assists so far in the NHL. SPRING 2013 BULLETIN 29
MARTHA GRINNELL ’85 One of the most decorated runners in Williston’s history, Ms. Grinnell went undefeated in dual meets over two years and held course records at five schools when she graduated. Her course record of 19:40 over 3.3 miles still stands. She was no slouch off the course, either. At graduation, Ms. Grinnell was presented with the award for top senior girl, the White Blazer. Ms. Grinnell continued her success at Springfield College, earning AllAmerican and Northeast 10 champion status in 1987, as well as being a national qualifier in 1988. She was later inducted into the Springfield College Hall of Fame.
1953 BOYS SWIM TEAM
Ms. Grinnell was on the U.S. Pro World Championship Triathlon Team from 1992 to 1995, ranked third nationwide at the 1994 Olympic distance triathlon, and was a member of the 1994 Goodwill Games team. She placed seventh at the 1997 Hawaii Ironman World Championship, second at the U.S. Pro National Championship in 1994 and 1997, and qualified for the first ever U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team trials in 2000. Ms. Grinnell returned to the Pioneer Valley to coach cross-country at Smith College; she now coaches professionally through her company, Dynamic Training.
“I was probably the only kid who anxiously awaited the time of the presidential fitness test.” — Martha Grinnell
ACCEPTED BY CHIP IDE ’55
In 1953, the boys swimming team was among the strongest in the nation. Led by Coach Wilmot Babcock, the swimmers had an average meet score of 48.1-25.7 (+22.4) and formed one of the top 10 teams in the country — on a list that featured colleges. Among the accolades the swimming team garnered that year were the national prep records for the 100 free, 200 free, 200 free relay, and 150 medley relay. Team members would set nine pool 30 WILLISTON NORTHAMPTON SCHOOL
records for the 50 free (Harlow “Chip” Ide ’55), 100 free (Rex Aubrey ’53), 150 IM (Don Miller ’53), and the medley relay. At the heart of the team were swimmers like Mr. Aubrey, an All-American in five events — who would later become a national champion in the 50 free and 100 free, and an Olympian representing Australia in 1952. The team also included All-American Jack Erickson ’53, a New England champion in diving, and four other All-Americans: Don Miller (100 breast), Ed FitzSimmons ’53 (150 IM relay, 200 free, 100 free, 200 free relay), Theodore “Skip” Kurrus ’53 (200 free, 100 free, 200 free relay) and Chip Ide (150 IM relay, 50 free, 200 free relay).
COACH RICK FRANCIS “I would do it all over again in a heartbeat, with the exception of a few losses on the gridiron. Go Wildcats.” — Coach Rick Francis PHOTOGR A PH: MAT T H EW CAVAN AUGH
“We’re very grateful. We weren’t prideful then, but we’re very proud now.” —Chip Ide
Coach Rick Francis is the kind of person who not only worked tirelessly with athletes on the football field and basketball court, but served as a mentor off the field. “He was always quick with a smile, a hearty hello, and a word of encouragement,” wrote Peter Kostos ’87 in his nomination. “He was also a surrogate parent, somebody we could trust and come to with a problem that we felt we could not ask somebody else.” Coach Francis graduated from Choate School in 1952. He played football for the CCA (Third Armored Division) in Germany in 1956 and was on the football, track, and
baseball teams at Wesleyan University, graduating in 1958 with a degree in psychology. Coach Francis is the past president of the Western New England Preparatory School Athletic Association, New England Preparatory School Athletic Council, and Western Mass chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame. As Williston Northampton’s coach and the school’s athletic director, Coach Francis led the football program to a 165-148-7 record, including undefeated seasons in 1963 and 1981, and also led boys basketball to a 176-159-1 record. SPRING 2013 BULLETIN 31
MARK TIMM ’76
ACCEPTED BY GIL ’72 AND MIKE TIMM ’68 Whether he was taking to the court or the field, Mark Timm ’76 was simply outstanding. As starting quarterback on the varsity football team his freshman year, Mr. Timm passed for 609 yards and ran for 192 yards, leading the team in both statistics. In the spring, Mr. Timm was such an all-around baseball player that the major leagues scouted him. When scouts told him to drop football, Mr. Timm switched to soccer. As a sophomore, Mr. Timm was named the soccer team’s MVP. As a junior he was the team’s captain,
“We played for Rick, we played for Ray, we played for Dan, and it was the great shaping experience of our lives.” — Gil Timm earning MVP and All-League honors. In his senior year, Mr. Timm received All-New England and All-American honors; he was the school’s first male soccer player to earn All-American status.
When not on the soccer field, Mr. Timm was also dominating in basketball, setting the school’s scoring record (1,020 points) and making the All-Star team. Mr. Timm started at second base on the Stanford University varsity baseball team as a freshman walkon. He was captain of the Junior National Soccer Team (USA) in Europe before going on to play for the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Mr. Timm passed away in January 2006. His brothers Gil and Mike Timm accepted the award on his behalf.
(l to r) Dan Gould ’66, Dick Rowe ’66, Dan Cain ’64, Carter Hunt ’64, Paul Henrici ’64, Foggy Rowe ’64, Doc Dionisi ’64 and Cliff Sterrett ’66.
1963 FOOTBALL TEAM ACCEPTED BY MEMBERS OF THE TEAM
Coach Ray Brown has lifted more than a few trophies in his time and has been inducted into not one, but two halls of fame. After graduating from Williston Academy in 1955, Coach Brown attended Kenyon College where he played soccer and basketball. He returned to Williston in 1959 and remained at the school for the next 43 years. He taught physics and math at Williston while coaching boys soccer (1965-1993) and girls basketball (1976-2002). In soccer, Coach Brown ac32 WILLISTON NORTHAMPTON SCHOOL
cumulated a 201-143-68 record, including two Stewart Cup Championships (1977, 1978). He coached five All-Americans, seven All-New England players, and 43 All-League selections. In 1992, Coach Brown was inducted into the Massachusetts High School Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame. Coach Brown had a 322-202 record coaching girls basketball. His teams qualified for the New England tournament 11 times and were crowned champions in 1986 and runners up in 1997. In recogni-
“I am honored to be here today and to have worked with so many outstanding athletes. They are the reason I am standing here today.” — Coach Ray Brown tion of his successes, Coach Brown was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
PHOTOGR A PH: MAT T H EW CAVAN AUGH
COACH RAY BROWN ’55
“The 1963 team personified excellence in secondary football, and before terrorism took on a new meaning, our team terrorized the opponent.” — Dan Cain ’64
The 1963 football team had a perfect 7-0 record under the leadership of Coach Rick Francis and captains Dick Buckley ’64 and Bob Montgomery ’64. The Williston Academy team was the highest scoring prep team in New England and had the first undefeated (and untied) season since 1895. During their incredible run, the Williston football players
outscored their opponents 256 to 59. They were led in this effort by Dan Cain ’64, whose record as leading rusher was 1,007 yards on 148 carries. Mr. Cain had a 6.18-yard average, 16 touchdowns, and 10 bonus points for 116 points in seven games. For his effort, Mr. Cain was named honorary captain and starting left halfback on the New England All-Prep Team.
John Lyons ’64 averaged 8.4 yards per carry (for 353 yards on 42 carries) and the defense allowed just nine touchdowns. Rocky Rockwell (tackle), Steve Durant ’64 (fullback), Robert “Doc” Dionisi ’64 (guard), and Mr. Lyons (halfback) received honorable mentions for the New England All-Prep team. Mr. Durant also received the Frank Boyden Trophy.
THE NEXT REUNION AND HALL OF FAME INDUCTION IS JUNE 7, 2014. The second class of the Williston Northampton Athletic Hall of Fame will be inducted on Saturday, June 7, 2014. Up to four individuals, two teams and one coach will be inducted. In addition, this year’s induction will feature a selection from the newly formed Veterans Committee (to honor alumni who attended Williston Academy or Northampton School for Girls prior to 1940). to nominate a candidate, please go to: www.williston.com/halloffame/submission
SPRING 2013 BULLETIN 33
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