The Bisbee Prize was established to honor Ethan Wyatt Bisbee, faculty member in the history department who retired in 1993, after 40 years of teaching. John Warren, formerly of the history department, and his wife, Laura Warren ’78, former head of Robbins House, endowed the prize through a gift in 2005.
How Children Succeed
Meeting for Parents Will Feature Author Paul Tough
Paul Tough, author of the best-selling book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character, will visit Milton on Tuesday, April 9, 2013.
Paul Tough challenges the common belief that intelligence, measured by test scores, is the sole indicator of children’s success. The research he cites in his book supports the argument that non-cognitive skills—or, character—are better indicators of success: curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, self-control and grit.
A contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine, Mr. Tough is also the author of Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America, which focuses on the steps necessary to improve the lives and education of underserved children. He has written extensively about education, parenting, poverty and politics. His writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, Slate and on the op-ed page of the New York Times. Visit Paul Tough's Web site to learn more.
Paul Tough will speak to students in Classes I–IV on Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. in the FCC. Parents are invited to hear a lecture by Mr. Tough from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in King Theatre. Copies of Mr. Tough's book will be available for purchase from Gillian Kohli P'13 '14 at this lecture.
Not a Typical Spring Break for Some
Thirteen students, along with faculty and parent chaperones, returned from a week-long community service trip on Caye Caulker, an island off the coast of Belize. This is the second time Milton students have visited the Ocean Academy on Caye Caulker to help rebuild the island's only high school and tutor students from the area.
Francine Prose Is This Spring’s Bingham Visiting Writer
In , Abisayo Animashaun (III), Cassandra Rice (III), James Little (III) and Samantha Peponakis (III) complete the netting on a greenhouse structure that the group designed and constructed for the Academy.
"Students at the school will use the greenhouse to grow herbs and plants that they can sell to help cover their tuition costs," says community service director, Andrea Geyling.
The group also labeled, catalogued and sorted 900 donated books onto shelves built and installed by the students; repaired dozens of broken chairs and desks to be used in the classrooms; cleared trash washed up on the coast of a mangrove restoration reserve; and joined Ocean Academy students in extracurricular activities, including a guided kayak trip with a local naturalist to learn about the endangered mangrove ecosystem.
Before boarding the plane back to New England, students were rewarded with a day-long snorkeling excursion, swimming with nurse sharks, rays, sea turtles and many of the island's protected fish species.
Award-winning author Francine Prose read pages from an unfinished novel to students in King Theatre on Wednesday. Ms. Prose, this spring’s Bingham Visiting Writer, was humorously honest discussing her writing process and the background for the novel she has worked on for five years.
The story grew from a photo titled Lesbian Couple at Le Monocle (1932) by Hungarian photographer George Brassaï, which Ms. Prose saw at a museum exhibit. Brassaï chronicled underground Paris nightlife during the 1930s. In this particular photo one of the subjects was a former French athlete who was banned from competition due to her sexual orientation. Upon an invitation from Adolf Hitler, this woman attended the Berlin Olympics as his guest; she went on to become a spy for the Germans during World War II and was executed by the French Resistance. The complex and fascinating story inspired Ms. Prose to write a novel loosely based on the tale, from the vantage points of various characters.
“I thought, ‘Wow, what an amazing story.’ What could more fun than writing a scene set in the Berlin Olympics from the point of view of a furious lesbian who hates everyone!” said Ms. Prose. After the reading, she met with students in Straus Library and led workshops in English classes.
Gearing Up for the Fourth Annual “Hoops for Haiti” Fundraiser
In the spirit of awareness and giving, students hit the courts against faculty and staff in the fourth annual “Hoops for Haiti” fundraiser Wednesday, March 13, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the ACC. The format is five-on-five basketball, and students have formed ten teams to compete against the adults.
Israeli Jewish and Arab Students from Brandeis Explain Why Dialogue Can Be Difficult
“Though three years have passed, many Haitians are still suffering from displacement and disease and can use our support,” says faculty member Peter Kahn, who founded the event a week after the earthquake in January 2010. “Many students know someone who works on campus, or through their own families, who was affected by the earthquake.”
“Hoops for Haiti” is an energetic evening and a great event for all. All proceeds (cash or checks only) will go toward Haitian support efforts.
Four Israeli students from Brandeis University spoke about working towards the coexistence of Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs at the Jewish Student Union Assembly. Gil Zamir and Aviva Glick, both Israeli Jews, and Ashraf Hussein, an Israeli Arab, are Slifka Scholars; and Chen Arad, an Israeli Jew, is a Malkin Scholar. These scholarships bring Israelis to Brandeis who are interested in fostering dialogue and action between Jews and Arabs in Israel.
The students spoke about their backgrounds and how their interests in working towards co-existence developed. Within Israel, excluding the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the population is roughly 80 percent Jews and 20 percent Arabs. Throughout most of the country the groups have little daily interaction.
Gil explained to Milton students that the public education system in Israel is divided into three categories—the Arab schools, the secular Jewish schools and the religious Jewish schools.
“From the age of 0 until about 22, there is very little intermingling between the Jewish and Arab populations inside Israel,” says Gil. “As Jews, we don’t meet Arabs as part of our daily routine. So when we are thinking about co-existence as our life mission, we are at a difficult starting point because of this lack of interaction.”
Hip-Hop, Ballet, Jazz and Modern
Excitement has been building for weeks, and not just among the dancers. The Winter Dance Concert may be the biggest draw on campus all year. Through 15 dances created specifically for the program, 70 student dancers bring their energy and creativity to the stage for this year’s concert. Student choreographers begin work mid-autumn: preparing dance pieces, submitting proposals to director and dance teacher Kelli Edwards, auditioning and choosing dancers.
Grammy Award-winner Eric Owens Performs at Milton
This year’s concert includes a mix of modern dance, hip-hop, ballet and jazz. The show will even feature a toy shop come to life. The first time the dancers perform their pieces on stage—during “tech week” leading up to the show—is a new experience. Student choreographer Grace Kernohan ’13 explains, “You don’t have the mirror you’re used to, the stage is shaped differently from the studio floor, and you now have an audience. That moment of surprise eventually comes, when the dance has been performed, and you say, ‘Wow, I really did all that.’”
The Dance Concert opens in King Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, and Friday, March 8. Curtains go up at 7 p.m. for the performance on Saturday, March 9.
For 83 years, the annual Gratwick Concert has brought some of the world’s most renowned classical musicians to Milton’s campus. This week, the tradition continued as the Gratwick series presented Grammy Award-winning bass-baritone Eric Owens.
Green commercial fleets, the latest energy venture by Tod Hynes '98
Joined by pianist Warren Jones, Owens performed on Sunday evening in Straus Library, singing music of Wolf, Schumann, Schubert, Debussy, Ravel and Wagner. On Monday, he led a master class with seniors, Alé Gianino and Sage Warner, followed by a discussion with a group of Milton's chamber singers.
According to the IMG Artists Web site, "Eric Owens has carved a unique place in the contemporary opera world as both an esteemed interpreter of classic works and a champion of new music. Equally at home in concert, recital and opera performances, Owens continues to bring his powerful poise, expansive voice and instinctive acting faculties to stages around the world."
The Gratwick Concert foundation was established by Dr. Mitchell Gratwick, a master at the Academy, in memory of his wife, Katharine Perkins Gratwick, who was a graduate of the Girls’ School, Class of 1924.
Tod Hynes ’98 returned to campus to speak with science classes about his work in renewable energy. Tod is the founder and president of XL Hybrids, Inc. and a part-time lecturer at M.I.T. His company developed a hybrid system that is installed in commercial fleet vehicles, reducing fuel cost and optimizing performance.
Tod discussed his various energy-related entrepreneurship endeavors since graduating from M.I.T., and he explained to students the business side of “going green.”
“Your product has to be an equal or a better solution, and it has to make economic sense,” says Tod.
Boys’ Basketball Team Are League Champions
Milton fans burst into exuberant celebration as the boys’ varsity basketball team earned the Independent School League Championship title in a 54-53 win over Nobles and Greenough in the ACC this weekend. At the final buzzer, students rushed the court as players celebrated their victory, the first league championship in the team’s history.
Both teams had strong records going into the game on Friday night, and Nobles led in scoring for most of the game. In the final 15 seconds, Milton had possession of the ball and was down by one point when Coach Lamar Reddicks called a time-out.
“This team has been one of the grittier teams I’ve ever coached,” says Coach Reddicks. “They know how to bounce back. It’s not easy to do, but they have the confidence to come from behind.”
Milton Students Take You East of Easton
In a series of one-acts, seven student actors take their audience down Route I-95 South to the southeastern suburbs of Boston, specifically the old industrial town of Taunton. Rick Dionne (III) and Oona Newman (I) are the student directors of this winter’s 1212 play, East of Easton, by local playwright William Donnelly.
“The stories are about everyday life and the way different people deal with realistic situations,” says Rick. “Some of the stories are very funny with lots of comedic elements, and other stories are more serious and low key. There are some overlapping characters and common settings that tie the pieces together.”
Watch a scene from the play.
Bringing the Tastes (and Sounds) of New Orleans to Campus
A campus-wide Mardi Gras celebration took place on Thursday, February 21, culminating in an evening performance by the Boogaloo Swamis, a local Cajun band, in Straus Library.
New Works by Brynn Dizack Featured in Nesto
The Modern Languages French program wanted to introduce students to the flavor of New Orleans, the southern Louisiana community originally formed by French colonists. Their language, culture and customs blended with Caribbean and African influences to create a culture unique to America.
French classes explored Cajun culture through class projects and a unit on French history in America. Forbes Dining Hall transformed to Bourbon Street, serving up Zydeco music and creole specialties—complete with etouffee and beignets. Students were encouraged to deck out in their Carnival finest—masks, beads and colorful attire—and won prizes for the best costumes.
The day’s festivities were made possible by the Francine L. Bustin Memorial Fund. Established in 1985, the Fund brings French scholars, lecturers, teachers and artists to campus to promote French language and culture.
As they say in New Orleans, Laissez les bons temps rouler! (Let the good times roll!)
canis major, an exhibition of new installations and photographs by Brynn Dizack, is on view in Milton’s Nesto Gallery from February 15 through March 15. Ms. Dizack is best known for her exploration of how the human experience can still be considered authentic in an age of sensational media and technology.
Optogenetics and Obesity? Dr. Ralph DiLeone Explains.
canis major includes both static and interactive installations that address issues of impermanence, duality, repetition, obsession, classification and categorization, and the constant flux of the human experience. The exhibit features Dizack's newest work, madeline, which consists of over 1,000 cement bottles. Also on display is her recently completed passage, a poem hand-cut from a piece of mylar that extends from floor to ceiling.
Ms. Dizack has visited Milton intermittently over the past month, working on her pieces in the storage room next to the Nesto Gallery. Milton’s 3-D Studio Art classes have witnessed Dizack at work and the process involved in the installation of this exhibit.
The Nesto Gallery is located on the lower level of the Art and Media Center. Admission is free and open to the public.
Groundbreaking research in neuroscience, specifically in the area of optogenetics, is changing scientists’ understanding of animal behavior. Ralph DiLeone, associate professor of psychiatry and neurobiology at the Yale School of Medicine, spoke to students about the history of neuroscience and recent cutting-edge discoveries during the science assembly in King Theatre.
Optogenetics uses both optic and genetic techniques to control the neuron activity in living tissue. Dr. DiLeone’s research focuses on reward-related behavior and on discovering which brain mechanisms regulate eating and are important in the development of obesity. Other scientists are applying the techniques to areas such as Alzheimer’s and substance addiction.
“New technology allows us to focus on the neurons themselves,” says Dr. DiLeone. “Just five or six years ago, it was a scientist’s dream to think we could control turning them on and off. And now, we can actually do it, using laser light technology.”
Winter Play Brings Intrigue to the Stage
A student ensemble cast unspooled a classic who dunnit murder mystery in this year’s winter play, Musical Comedy Murders of 1940. Faculty director Dar Anastas says the 90-minute production offered some “light-hearted fun during these cold February nights.”
The complicated plot was filled with twists and turns, and the audience enjoyed a few surprises. Faculty member Shane Fuller designed the elaborate set and Swap-It items were well represented on the stage, from bookcase items to the sofa and desk. Oddly, the script only provided lyrics, not music, so faculty member Ted Whalen wrote original piano music to accompany the actors.
Speech Competitions Are a Team Effort
Watch the performance of Musical Comedy Murders of 1940.
Harry Wood (I) is performing at the top of his game in speech tournaments this year, but he is more interested in focusing the spotlight on the Speech Team as a whole. This winter, the team traveled to George Mason University for a nationally renowned tournament.
“We had a fantastic tournament as a team,” says Harry, who is one of the team captains. “We placed ninth out of 104 teams, which was huge. Almost everyone on the team ‘broke,’ meaning they moved on to the next round of their category.”
Harry came in first place in both the Humorous Interpretation event and the Original Oratory event. He finished second in Prose and was a semifinalist in Dramatic Interpretation. This achievement earned him one of five individual competitor awards, which recognize strong performances in four or more events.
Randall Dunn ’83 is this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Speaker
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s talent as a facilitator is what made him such an effective leader and agent of change, says Randall Dunn ’83, who was the 2013 speaker at the assembly to honor the great civil rights leader.
“Not only did Dr. King have the ability to put the well-being of others before his own, he was a great facilitator,” says Mr. Dunn. “He was possessed by great conviction and he knew that his focused and courageous work, though difficult, would help others in the future. In the end, the best facilitators allow you to get to a better place.”
Mr. Dunn is the head of school at the Latin School of Chicago, which was founded in 1888 and, like Milton, provides students with a challenging and rewarding educational program in a community that embraces diversity of people, cultures and ideas. He told students how specific people were essential in guiding him on the path to be an active leader in education.
“We all have facilitators in our lives who seem to already know what certain opportunities are going to mean to you,” says Mr. Dunn.
Watch Mr. Dunn's talk in the ACC.
Artist Linc Cornell Featured in Nesto Gallery
Antarctica, a solo exhibit of original digital prints and sculpture by Boston artist Linc Cornell, opened in the Nesto Gallery on Friday, January 11. Organized jointly by Nesto Gallery Director Ian Torney and the artist, the exhibition shares photographs inspired by Mr. Cornell’s trip to the Antarctic, as well as a subsequent series of glass sculptures he created in reaction to that experience.
"Working intuitively, I stay open to discoveries and mistakes, which I blend into my process," says Mr. Cornell. "Exploring themes of myth, time, mortality, change, decay, memory, dreams and the spiritual, sacred life, I strive to create poetic sculptural interventions where the creative experience becomes cathartic."
Linc Cornell earned his B.S. in photojournalism from the S. I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University and his M.F.A. from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. For 25 years, he worked as an advertising and corporate photographer in the Boston area and is the recipient of numerous honors and awards for his photographic work.
Antarctica is featured in the Nesto Gallery—located on the lower level of the Art and Media Center—through February 8. Admission is free and open to the public.
Ringing in 2013 as Tabor Tournament Champs
Milton's varsity hockey squad claimed their fourth Tabor New Year's Championship in five years at the annual tournament hosted by Tabor on January 1 and 2. The Mustangs clinched a spot in Wednesday's finals following first and second round ties in overtime against Winchendon and Stanstead on New Year's Day. The team took home the top trophy by defeating Tabor 6-1 in the final game.
Wide and Well-coordinated Effort Brings New Level of “Green”
"Senior forwards, Anthony Sabitsky (Sicklerville, NJ), Jake Farabee (Cicero, NY), Elliott Vorel (Boonton, NJ) and Cole Morrissette (Bristol, RI), were highly productive over the two-day tournament," says head coach, Paul Cannata. "Sabitsky led the way with four points in the championship game."
Class III student Drew Hotte (Lower Gwynedd, PA) guarded the net in all three games and turned back 23 Tabor shots in the final round.
The Mustangs move to 6-3-3 on the season and take on Lawrence this Saturday in an away bout beginning at 3 p.m.
Students are returning from winter break to a “greener” campus. As part of the School’s ongoing energy conservation efforts, the facilities department worked with Bluestone Energy Services to upgrade lighting, building controls and HVAC motors around campus.
While students, faculty and staff bustled about their busy days, members of the facilities department quietly and efficiently retrofitted 4,355 light fixtures in classrooms and common areas, and replaced 107 exterior wall lights and 125 outdoor pole lights—all with more energy efficient versions. The basketball courts in the Athletic and Convocation Center have new light sensors that detect motion onto and off of the courts, so the lights will not be left on when the courts are not in use.
The installation of new automation systems in nine buildings on campus gives facilities the ability to better control the heat and cooling systems from a central location in their office.
Preserve What Makes Milton, Milton
As 2012 comes to a close, review the year in photos and see what makes Milton, Milton. From stage productions to athletic contests, from Harkness tables to community service sites, students are living by our motto, "Dare To Be True." You make Milton's outstanding learning opportunities possible. See your Annual Fund gift at work in these images. Please join the Milton alumni, parents and friends who have already supported Milton's Annual Fund this year with a gift to the School. Thank you.
Learn about ways to give.
Urban Connections Build Awareness and Depth
The many educational and cultural options within minutes of campus allow faculty to work in field trip experiences that enhance their classwork. Over 60 Class IV students in Modern World History visited the Forbes Museum in Milton, the former home of the Forbes family, China trade merchants in the late 18th and early 19th century. Museum guides led students through the house to view artifacts the Forbes brothers acquired on their voyages to and from China. Back in the classroom, student discussed what they saw as they completed their consideration of the China trade and industrialization.
The Ancient Civilization classes took their annual field trip to the Museum of Fine Arts to tour the Ancient China, India, Egypt and Persian/Assyrian/Middle East exhibits. The visit wrapped up their fall curriculum and deepened students’ understanding of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism as well as the political histories in Egypt and the Middle East. Students wrote about what pieces they found interesting and challenging and issues that related to their classroom work.
“The collection that I most connected with our work was the section on the ancient Middle East. When I saw Ur on the stone map, a map from thousands of years ago, the civilizations of Mesopotamia became more than just people in a book,” wrote one student. “Another set of artifacts that caused history to come alive for me were the roof tiles from ancient China. I thought, ‘If I could see what these have seen, how much would I know that was supposedly lost to history forever?’”
Decking the Halls: Holiday Traditions in Milton's Houses
Students returning from Thanksgiving break find a campus decked out in twinkling lights and colorful decorations. The festive energy around School reminds students that winter break is near, and each house’s holiday traditions have students celebrating the season with their family away from home. As one Norris boy says, “It’s the best time of the year here!”
In the week before winter break, Hathaway House girls stage their important event: the holiday dinner—with fancy dress and linens—where their dining hall and facilities staff are honored guests. Each senior girl also invites one guest to the dinner, and these “guests” serve the hosts! After dinner, the guests perform a song, story, poem or another creative piece that honors the senior who invited them. In honor of Nan Lee, a former Hathaway house head, the Lee Award is given to “the girl who most expresses the generosity of spirit and the art of gentle persuasion to help create a caring community at Hathaway.” The night ends with homemade desserts and songs around the piano.
Wolcott House boys are not to be outdone. On the last evening before break the boys dress up and escort the girls of Hallowell, their sister dorm, to the holiday dinner. (The Hallowell girls, dressed in their finest, have begun with appetizers and mulled cider hosted by their house head.) The boys then return to the dorm to practice their caroling songs—with which all Milton’s boarding boys will serenade the girls’ houses one by one. After caroling, Wolcott boys gather in their common room to watch Dr. Seuss’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and enjoy a much-deserved feast.
For New Takes on Voting Systems, Try Using Algebra
Why not examine democratic electoral systems from a mathematical perspective, math faculty member Matt Simonson thought, leading up to the presidential election. Together with colleagues Becky McCormick and Juan Ramos, Matt developed a unit for their Algebra II Honors students.
“We compared voting in the United States to voting processes in other democracies like Germany, Japan and Israel,” says Matt. “We looked at the advantages and the flaws in our system, and how it compares to other countries that use proportional representation; for instance, if a party receives ten percent of the vote, that party gets ten percent of the seats.”
The students also studied how different systems apportion decision-making seats—how seats are divided among different states or parties. For example, if a state qualifies for 2.5 seats in a government body, based on the population, should two people or three people get seats? Or, if three parties are competing for 100 seats, one party gets 33.3 percent, one gets 33.3 percent, and the other gets 33.4 percent: If the numbers round down and there is an extra seat, which party can own it?
I Have Your Back: This Year’s Talbot Speaker Shares an Important Message For Teens
A banana costume, a duet guitar performance, building a LEGO city? This year’s Talbot Speaker, Joe Vulopas, used some unconventional methods to communicate an important message to students. Founder and executive director of Aevidum, Mr. Vulopas’s goal is spreading awareness about depression, suicide and hope.
“Suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents, yet most schools won’t address it, for fear that it will give students the idea to commit suicide,” Mr. Vulopas began. “That’s foolish. We have to let students know how to recognize symptoms of depression, so they can help themselves and their friends.”
Aevidum is a depression and suicide education awareness initiative launched at the Pennsylvania high school where Joe Vulopas teaches English. Aevidum involves trained adults in empowering middle and high school students to understand that depression is a treatable illness; to know the warning signs of depression; to use their gifts and talents to spread the message of hope; and to be advocates for their friends—other students—who may need help. Partnered with health and education professionals from University of Pennsylvania, Aevidum also addresses many other issues facing teenagers today.
watch video of assembly
“All for one, one for all” in the Class IV Play
King Theatre stage became 17th-century France this weekend, complete with clashing swords. The performing arts department, and Milton’s newest students, presented The Three Musketeers as this year’s Class IV Play. The Class IV Play is a long-standing tradition at Milton and an all-inclusive and beloved class project. Faculty member Robert St. Laurence directed this year’s production based on an adaption of the novel by Alexandre Dumas about the adventures of a young man who travels to Paris to join a group of the royal military known as the Musketeer of the Guard.
Bishop Spong Is This Year’s Speaker for Religious Understanding
Thirty-seven Class IV students were involved in this year’s cast, and those not performing on stage contributed behind the scenes, acting as ushers, designing posters, and joining the audience in support of their classmates.
This year, Bishop John Shelby Spong continued the Endowment for Religious Understanding speaker series established by the Class of 1952. Bishop Spong spoke with students about accepting people, regardless of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. He explained to students that the Bible is sometimes used to dissuade that acceptance, including in Bishop Spong’s own childhood experience. A retired Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, New Jersey, Bishop Spong is known as a theologian, religious commentator and author.
Growing up in the 1930s in North Carolina, Bishop Spong says, “I listened as my home church quoted from the Bible to justify segregation of African Americans, to justify treating women as second-class citizens, and to justify anti-Semitism. It also taught me to become homophobic.”
Bishop Spong credits the Civil Rights Movement as triggering his lifelong personal journey toward changing the way he thought about people different from himself, without turning away from the Bible, a book that he treasures.
Girls' Cross Country Wins ISL Championship
Milton's cross country runners are league champions. The girls brought home the ISL Championship Cup this weekend, a feat last accomplished by the program in 1983.
“The race was really fast, because the first part of the course was completely flat,” said Maddie Warwick (II). “Many of the girls in the front weren't giving up. It was harder to pass them, because they stuck with you.”
Maddie earned an early lead in the field of 85 runners and never looked back. Milton’s number one runner finished the 3.1-mile course in sixth place with a time of 20:34. The Mustangs followed up Maddies’s strong finish with five more runners in the top 20. Emily Bosworth (III) finished 14th; Caroline Ward (IV) placed 16th; Victoria White (II), Lindsay Atkeson (I) and Laura Barkowski (III) followed closely, finishing at 17th, 18th and 20th place respectively.
Nesto Gallery Features Artist Ekua Holmes
Colored Memory - Primary Narratives, an exhibit of original paintings by Boston artist Ekua Holmes, opened on Friday, November 2, in the Nesto Gallery. Part of an ongoing series of collages by Ms. Holmes, her works in this exhibit revisit the joys and challenges of childhood, as re-imagined through adult eyes. The collages examine some of the foundational relationships, games and rules we learn at an early age and apply throughout our lives.
Poet Martín Espada is This Fall’s Bingham Visiting Reader
“In my collages, memory plays a central part,” says Ms. Holmes. “In childhood, a loving and supportive community of men and women nurtured me. In everything I create I hear them saying, ‘Remember Me,’ and through my work I honor their legacies by bringing them forward to life with torn and cut shapes of found colors and textures. With these scraps and remnants, assembled like a down-home quilt, I rebuild my world, putting in what speaks to my personal and cultural narrative.”
Ekua Holmes holds a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art, and has received several awards—for her art and for recognition of her community outreach and curatorial efforts championing the Black Art traditions of Boston and the greater-Boston area.
Colored Memory – Primary Narratives will run through December 14. The Nesto Gallery is located in the lower level of the Art and Media Center. For more information, visit the Gallery online.
Tapping into his ancestral Puerto Rico and his 1960s Brooklyn childhood, Martín Espada’s poems weave stories of immigrants, family, music, racism and baseball. With passion and humor, he read from selected works to students in King Theatre, framing his poems with stories of how they came to be.
He moved chronologically through his life, charting the path that led him to poetry: growing up in the projects and meeting there his first real poet, a man “who spoke the truth.” Mr. Espada received his first book of poetry, Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, from his father. As mystified by a 17-year old as all parents are, Mr. Espada said, his dad was “throwing things at me to see what would stick.” Poetry stuck. Mr. Espada captures this experience in his poem, “The Playboy Calendar and the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám,” which he read to students.
Yet, alone at night, I memorized the poet-astronomer of Persia,
his saints and sages bickering about eternity,
his angel looming in the tavern door with a jug of wine,
his battered caravanserai of sultans fading into the dark.
Watch video of Martín Espada in King Theatre.
Shakespeare and Steampunk? Check it out.
Shakespeare’s coastal setting of Illyria gets an unexpected treatment on the King Theatre stage during this fall’s production of Twelfth Night. The 400-year-old comedy will combine the revelry of Mardi Gras with the anachronistic technologies of the steampunk subculture. Stage manager Claire Robertson (I) says faculty director Shane Fuller wanted to include a sense of timelessness, and the aesthetics of steampunk (a subgenre of science fiction where steam is the main power source) fit the bill. Some of the 13 student-actors will play live music during the performance, adding another unique twist.
Dr. Jackson Katz, Former Football Star, Advocates Speaking Up
“I’m so impressed with the cast,” says Claire, a veteran stage manager with eight Milton productions under her belt. “They quickly memorized all their lines and are giving their full effort to make this a great play. And they are a lot of fun—everyone gets along so well.”
Twelfth Night opens in King Theatre on Thursday, November 1, and Friday, November 2, at 7:30 p.m., and on Saturday, November 3 at 7 p.m.
Taking the lead against gender violence
Advocating the “bystander approach” commonly used in anti-bullying campaigns, Dr. Jackson Katz spoke with students this week, encouraging everyone to use their voices against issues of gender violence.
“Gender is a central, organizing principle of human society. It affects all of us. If you are in a position to speak up in the face of social injustice, then you need to speak up,” says Dr. Katz, who is internationally recognized for his groundbreaking work in gender violence prevention education. “If you say nothing, what are you saying by your silence?”
Dr. Katz co-founded the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program at Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society. The program initially focused on involving college and professional athletes, because the culture of athletics awards status to certain men and therefore has potential as a positive leadership platform. Today, MVP is the most widely used gender violence prevention program in college and professional athletics, implemented by teams in the NFL, NBA and in Major League Baseball.
Stomping, hand-clapping, heart-thumping beats met with wild cheers and applause. That’s the scene at assembly when Milton’s Step Team performs. Founded by Liane Thornhill (I) three years ago, the team now has 20 active members and holds auditions at the start of the school year to keep its numbers manageable. Co-headed by Liane, Emmie Atwood (II) and Lisandra Lao (III), Step Team has become one of the most popular clubs, and most anticipated performances, on campus.
Liane has been stepping formally since sixth grade—informally since she was six years old—and wanted to be involved at Milton. “Because there was no team here at the time, a friend of mine said I should start one,” Liane says. “By fall of my Class III year it was up and running. We held practices during activities period and it evolved into practicing after school and performing at assemblies and in the dance concerts. We have ties with college teams now, like Dartmouth’s team. We connect with them throughout the year.”
SWAP–IT: The One Stop For All Your Bargain Finery
A sparkly purple jacket, tie-dyed leggings, a faux fur scarf, and a hat worthy of a Dr. Seuss character. Sounds crazy? It's a student's typical basketful of goodies, proudly compiled from Swap-It, Milton's much-loved annual second-hand sale.
A tradition for over 60 years, Milton's K–8 families are hard at work organizing the enormous sale of quality treasures—outerwear and sports gear, books and games, furniture, home accessories and designer clothing—that also happen to have been used and donated by families in the Milton community. Teams of parents accept, sort, price and organize thousands of donations that pour in during the days before the sale, then manage the crowds and the cashiering.
For Upper School students, Swap-It represents not only a chance to find rare and hip t-shirts—it is the source for outfits that ordinarily would be just figments of imagination. The much-anticipated Swap-It dance relies on creative purchasing and layering of very affordable finery from the Swap-It "racks." The Swap-It dance, on Friday, October 26, is the place to see and be seen, and to show off your colorful, bargain apparel.
Milton “Speechies” Excel at Yale Tournament
The Speech Team kicked off the school year with a stellar showing at the Yale University Invitational. Evan Garnick (I), Eva Grant (II), Liane Thornhill (I) and Harry Wood (I) traveled with team coaches Patrice Jean-Baptiste and LaJaun Foust (both of the performing arts department) to the weekend-long event, logging many rounds of competition in one of the longest tournaments of the year.
Liane took first place in Oral Interpretation (Prose and Poetry reading). Her prose piece was drawn from the book Hold Still by Nina LaCour and addressed the reverberating effects of suicide. Her poetry performance combined the work of three poets and focused on child labor in the mines of the eastern Congo, the source of the mineral coltan used in the production of cell phones and other electronic products.
“The poetry piece was meant to get people thinking about how the cell phones we use every day have a complicated history,” says Liane. “I always choose poetry based on a topic I’m passionate about and that I think is necessary for people to learn about and consider.”
Twenty-four Hours With Sea Urchins: Advanced Biology Students Take On the Challenge
Dr. Linde Eyster has just received delicate cargo. Seven living sea urchins—three "girls" and four "boys"—have arrived on campus from Florida, which means that Dr. Eyster's Advanced Biology students can now get to work.
After prepping the living specimens, students begin the favorite "urchin lab." This foundational, hands-on experience gives students a conceptual, visual, and mechanical insight into the core content of their course: learning about biodiversity and development of plants and animals.
"This is the best batch of sea urchins we've had in years," says Dr. Eyster as the class induces the urchins to release their mature eggs and sperm. The students, split into teams, rinse the eggs, dilute the sperm, and then study the fertilization process under microscopes. Dr. Eyster projects a slide onto the television, and the class gathers to see a magnified version of a fertilization envelope forming around a zygote. "That is so cool," a student says.
Leading the Way for Sustainability at Milton
Emmie Atwood (II) and Yuta Inumaru (I) are the superhero duo of environmental efforts at Milton. Co-heads of the student-led Sustainability Board, the two are leading several projects to make Milton a “greener” place.
The student board’s focus this year is implementing a compost system on campus. They are busy researching costs and local companies, while working with Milton’s facilities department and dining services to determine which method is best for the School.
Emmie says another goal is “making students feel involved and inspired to make sustainable efforts.” Weekly announcements during Monday morning assembly keep their peers informed on the board’s work and remind them about the small, everyday changes that can make a big difference in energy, plastic and water use.
Understanding Academic Integrity in Collaborative Work
Each fall, Milton sets up an important conversation between adults and students about our standards on academic integrity. Now a September assembly tradition, Academic Dean Jackie Bonenfant asks students to consider the effects of their decisions ahead about how they complete and turn in their work. After they hear Ms. Bonenfant’s thoughts, they then break into smaller groups with their advisors to raise and discuss different scenarios.
"Temporary Extensions": Art by Ani Avanian
Quoting from the book The Honest Truth About Dishonesty, Ms. Bonenfant reminded students, faculty and staff why we revisit this conversation at the start of every school year: “Evidence suggests that when we are simply reminded of ethical standards, we behave more honorably.”
The focus of this year’s conversation is “collaboration,” as teachers often expect and encourage students to work together to share ideas, solve problems and complete projects. Group discussions focused on helping students understand the guidelines for collaboration in different disciplines; what a student should do if he or she feels unprepared for an assignment or exam; and how students can work with teachers, advisors and the Academic Skills Center to avoid confusion or ambiguities. These open conversations encourage students to share questions, opinions and concerns and set the tone for the academic year.
The Nesto Gallery welcomes artist Ani Avanian as the first exhibition of the school year. Originally from Armenia, the Boston-based artist explores technology and the human form in a variety of mediums.
“As we get further lured by the seductive designs of consumer technology, I'm fascinated to observe how the field of ergonomics and interaction design will evolve to successfully continue integrating technology into our bodies,” says Ms. Avanian. “Will the boundaries between the organic and manufactured one day be indistinguishable?”
An opening reception for Temporary Extensions is scheduled on Friday, September 21, from 6:00–8 p.m. in the lower level of the Art and Media Center. The exhibit is open weekdays, 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m., until October 26. Ms. Avanian will give a talk to students on Wednesday, October 23 in Greeley Auditorium.
“I Should Learn to Look at An Empty Sky”
Colin Cheney ’96, a prize-winning poet living in Bangkok, Thailand, and Ian Cheney ’98, a documentary filmmaker living in Brooklyn, New York, remember childhood nights at their family home in Maine, under thousands of stars. The Cheney brothers collaborated to create an artful reflection on something we often take for granted: the night sky. These days, the wonders of the night sky are muted by the glow of city lights—causing repercussions in nature and mankind. Inspired by Ian’s recent film The City Dark, the two paired to develop the visual and literary collection published in the recent Orion magazine. Together their poetry and photography prompt the question, “What is lost when we lose the stars?”
Three Faculty Members Join Milton’s 25-Year Club
The deep commitment of a learned and experienced group of teachers is Milton’s greatest treasure. One start-of-school tradition is honoring faculty who have served at Milton for 25 years or more. Juggling roles as teachers, advisors, coaches and dorm parents, the three faculty members honored this year are from the science department. Principal David Ball penned these tributes to Jim Kernohan, Tom Sando and Bob Tyler, who join a distinguished group of seasoned faculty.
Wit and intensity define Jim Kernohan’s teaching. With his characteristic humor, Jim explains complex abstractions in simple, concrete terms, daring his students to think. Jim also challenges himself, both as a teacher and as a scientist. Dedicated to his own professional development, Jim has embarked on a continual search for knowledge, knowledge that he shares with Class IV students, novices in the physical sciences, and with passionate Class I students, committed to the field. Astronomy’s finest ambassador, Jim also pushes science beyond the confines of the classroom, opening the Ayer Observatory to the School and the town countless nights each year. Innovative and loyal, Jim shares his ever-expanding knowledge and his ever-growing expertise selflessly.
What Happens in Those First Few Days?
The opening days of School are a whirlwind of activities and programs designed to help students feel comfortable at Milton. Monday morning, Class I students opened the week with a favorite tradition: senior walk-in. The seniors dressed in colorful costumes, and their class leaders shared the themes the class has chosen for the school year. Once the cacophony of the seniors’ entrance calmed down, Class I councilors Matt Rohrer and Olivia Atwood welcomed Class IV students. They shared advice about making the most of your Milton years and the importance of acceptance and kindness toward one another.
Thursday was Class Day, when all four classes participate in activities on and off campus. Class II students boarded buses headed for Boston, where they searched the city for specified items, guided by their advisors and class deans. Class III students set off to local schools, daycares and shelters for a day of community service. Class IV students completed ice-breaking and team building exercises before joining Class I for a barbecue lunch on the quad.
This summer, head monitors Jessica Li (I) and Nick Maragos (I) assigned a viewing of the film Freedom Writers to students and faculty, who then met for small group discussions about the film last Wednesday. Freedom Writers is a drama based on the true story of a young teacher who teaches “at risk” high school students at a large, urban high school in Southern California.
Tina Cho ’12 is Among the Country’s Elite Young Writers
In the tradition of T.S. Eliot, Class of 1906, and scores of Milton graduates since, Milton students show special promise as writers of creative fiction and creators of inspired visual art. This spring, ten students earned recognition for their work in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the nation’s largest, longest-running, and most prestigious visual and literary arts program identifying the creative accomplishments of high school students.
This year Tina Cho ’12 was one of just 15 high school students in the country to earn a Gold Portfolio Award for her submission in the writing portfolio category. Graduating seniors are invited to compete for top honors as Portfolio gold and silver medalists in the broad categories of art, photography and writing. Tina submitted eight original pieces, a combination of fiction and poetry that she wrote and revised in creative writing classes from her Class III through Class I year. Her favorite piece is a story called Domain Eukarya, with its themes of fertility and relationships.
She was home in Korea over spring break when she received the phone call telling her that she had won. Tina earned a $10,000 scholarship for her work.
Welcome New Students
Rain has not dampened the happy buzz on campus as new students arrive for registration, orientation and campus-wide activities. Milton’s admission committee selected this class from among 1,134 applications last year. This week, 143 new students begin at Milton; 77 are boarding students and 66 are day students.
Preserving Straus, A Milton Treasure
Milton’s new students hail from 14 states and 10 countries—places as geographically and culturally diverse as New England, California, Oregon, Texas, Jamaica, Hong Kong, Nigeria, South Korea and Sweden.
These students are unique, interesting and opinionated individuals. Their backgrounds and interests are rich, varied and intriguing. Milton’s entering class arrives as an impressive and compelling group of students who, over the next few years, will identify, pursue and accomplish their personal goals.
The Milton shield, surrounded by intricately carved wood panels, marks the front and back pediments of Straus Library. This Georgian structure housed the School’s library from 1929 to 1971; it now serves the college counseling office and is a beloved gathering space for formal and informal events. Although the front panel of Straus was attended to over the years, work on the panel facing the Quad had been deferred. This summer, Milton’s facilities department set out to restore and conserve this piece of Milton’s history.
New Solar Panels Will Help Fuel the ACC
After graduation, a rigorous de-leading process began immediately led by Beacon Hill Restoration. A master wood carver, affiliated with the famous North Bennett Street School, is carving replacement pieces for sections that had crumbled or fallen away. Denis Semprebon, owner of Beacon Hill Restoration, hired two Bennett School student-interns to assist with the meticulous restoration process, including delicate sanding and painting. Workers discovered that the shield’s lettering was originally done in gold leaf; that finding led to the decision to use the material again, as gold leaf is a natural and dependable protectant. The restoration will be complete before students return in September—one of many summer projects to enhance and preserve our campus.
Solar panels are now a more prominent feature on the Milton campus horizon. The installation of photovoltaic solar panels is underway on the two, south facing gable roofs of the Athletic and Convocation Center (ACC). The ACC is the largest building on campus, and the largest user of electricity. Photovoltaic panels generate electrical power by converting solar radiation into direct current electricity. On a sunny, summer day, the panels will produce 900-kilowatt hours of useful electricity. This will provide about 50 percent of the electricity load for the ACC when the hockey rink is not in service. The estimated savings for Milton in electricity costs over a 20-year period is over $400,000.
The Athletic Center is the second campus building to use solar power. The Pritzker Science Center uses electricity generated from both hot water and photovoltaic panels installed on the roof. Milton’s observable sustainability commitment at the ACC roof is another chapter in an evolving story. Students, faculty and staff continue to explore and implement numerous sustainable initiatives. For example, Milton eliminated bottled water on campus this spring. Water fountains around campus were retrofitted to allow easy filling of reusable mugs and bottles.
Ameresco, Inc., owns the solar system on the ACC, and is installing the panels, which will be completed this summer. Based in Framingham, Massachusetts, Ameresco, Inc. is a leading independent provider of comprehensive energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for facilities throughout North America.
Milton “Speechies” Excel at National Tournament
Two recent graduates spoke their way to impressive standings in the 2012 National Forensics League National Tournament held in Indianapolis earlier this month.
Christine Cahill ’12 placed thirteenth out of 248 students in the United States Extemporaneous Speaking competition. She was the only female in the top 14 spots.
“The experience of placing so well felt surreal and surprising,” says Christine. “I've always enjoyed speech and the camaraderie of the speech team, but this year I was new to the extemporaneous event, and it just clicked. This tournament was a great way to culminate my seven years on the team.”
Christine gave six preliminary speeches over the course of two days, and then presented two more speeches during every subsequent round.
Supporting Students is a Milton Tradition
Graduation at Milton is rich with traditions and favorite rituals many years old—formal and informal. For instance, the longstanding practice of electing the student speakers has assured seniors that they will, at their last Milton gathering, hear a classmate they have chosen. This year, students heard from Cydney Grannan and Martin Page on June 8. Students also like to hear from graduates at graduation. This year, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Class of 1974, addressed graduates and their class deans prior to the formal commencement ceremony.
View photos and read speeches
The Annual Fund is money raised each year to support the day-to-day activities of the School. It benefits every student by providing extraordinary learning opportunities, as well as helping meet the Academy's general needs. A vital source of expendable dollars, the Annual Fund has historically provided seven to ten percent of Milton's yearly operating budget. Through giving to Milton's Annual Fund, alumni, parents and friends strengthen the highest priorities of the Academy through their unrestricted gifts.
Please give to the Annual Fund by June 30 to help strengthen the Milton essentials: exceptional academics, passionate faculty, broad opportunities, and talented classmates who are often lifetime friends. While the Class of 2012 has left the quad, the Class of 2013—and students to come—are counting on you, and on your support. Please use the power of a gift to protect and extend the Milton essentials.