Scholastic Award Winners

Scholastic Award Winners

A “remarkable” number of student writers and artists were recognized in the Massachusetts Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the nation’s longest-running competition to identify creative talent among students. Thirty-one students earned 43 writing honors and 19 students earned 34 art honors. Last week, Ms. Baker and Mr. Nobles announced the winners at assembly.

In writing, Anne Kwok ’21 received numerous awards in poetry and fiction including three Gold Keys, one Silver Key, and one Honorable Mention. For her poem “Aubade For My Sister,” she also received an American Voices and Visions Medal, the highest regional Scholastic honor.

“It is one of the more abstract poems I’ve written,” said Anne, who currently takes the creative writing course and the poetry half course. “I’m experimenting with new forms of writing and exploring different poetry forms.”

Last fall, her work was also recognized by the Foyles Young Poets competition, when she was awarded Commended Poet. Anne said she’s always loved writing, but at Milton she has more opportunities to write poetry. She’s also enjoyed having visiting poets on campus, such as Greg Pardlo, who spent time in her class. “I’d been struggling a lot with appropriating someone else’s voice and he told me it’s about finding the individual story and to focus on that.”

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Community Engagement Opportunities Abound This Spring

Community Engagement Opportunities Abound This Spring

Second semester is a busy time for Community Engagement Programs and Partnerships (CEPP) at Milton, with plenty of opportunities for students to get involved and give back.

Already, students volunteered to help run the Special Olympics basketball tournament with 15 teams, including the Milton-Quincy team, whom Milton students coach throughout the year. It was a successful, fun event, says CEPP director Andrea Geyling-Moore. The Special Olympics and other relationship-building volunteer programs through CEPP help students move beyond the concept of one-way service into something more meaningful, she says.

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Successful Year for Robotics Team

Successful Year for Robotics Team

The Robotics Team is on a roll this year, with three robots qualifying for the U.S. Open Robotics Championship in Iowa in April. Under the leadership of team captains Diego Domenig ‘20, Avery Miller ‘20, and Tony Tao ‘20, the team participates in VEX Robotics, which challenges students to design and build robots that compete against others in a small arena where the robots complete certain tasks for points.

Freshman Ryan Shue, who drives one of the robots, says, “It’s great to work with people who have the same interests as you. And it’s a fun way to apply that interest in and knowledge of engineering.”

Every day after school, team members meet in their space down in the basement of the Art and Media Center. “They’re here all the time, until 6 p.m. on weekdays and later on Fridays,” said Chris Hales, computer science department chair. “They are so dedicated. They put in the time so they can improve and succeed.”

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Boys’ Varsity Squash Team’s Excellent Season

Boys’ Varsity Squash Team’s Excellent Season

The boys’ varsity squash team opened their season with a big win (7–0) against Phillips Exeter, setting the stage for a strong undefeated (6–0) winter season so far. “It was so exciting to start off with a bang with such a resounding victory,” says co-captain Andrew Willwerth ’20.

The top eight players on Milton are four seniors and four juniors, which brings solid depth and leadership to the team.

“A lot of students have stepped up as leaders this year, more than ever in my four years on the team,” says co-captain Zac Ibrahim ‘20. “I don’t mean just the captains, but all the kids. There is an interest and passion from everyone to get better.“

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Girls’ Swim Team Wraps Up Strong Season

Girls’ Swim Team Wraps Up Strong Season

It’s been an impressive season for the girls’ swim team, who have won their last five meets. In mid-February at the Eastern International Swimming and Diving Championships in Pennsylvania, the team placed 12th out of a field of 28. Team captains Mary Howley ’20 and Leydn McEvoy ’20 both placed in the top 8th in their individual events–Mary with 2nd in the 100 butterfly and 4th in the 100 backstroke and Leydn with 6th in the 500 free and 8th in the 200 IM.

Both the girls’ and boys’ teams are often out of the spotlight, practicing and competing off campus throughout the winter season. These dedicated swimmers spend long hours in the water, working hard to improve their form and times. So Mary and Leydn make it a point to instill some fun into the practices and meets.

“This year, to get our team members more excited to do well at meets, we started offering candy prizes,” said Mary, who competes in the 100 backstroke, 100 fly medley and the 400 relay. “Everyone who swims the 500, the longest race, gets a ring pop. And after every meet on the bus ride home, we choose an MVP for boys and girls, and there are more prizes.”

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Poet Robert Pinsky on Translating Dante’s Inferno

Poet Robert Pinsky on Translating Dante’s Inferno

Three-term U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky discussed his translation of Dante’s Inferno with students taking Founding Voices: Literature from the Ancient World through the Renaissance.

In a free-flowing conversation, an affable Mr. Pinksy answered students’ questions about his translation, which they are reading in class. He explained how his full translation came about after he was invited to translate one of the Inferno cantos for an anthology. He also helped another poet with his assigned canto and realized how much he enjoyed the work.

“I’m very interested in difficulty—a worthy difficulty—not trivial or canned. I realized with this, I had a difficulty that I really loved,” said Mr. Pinsky.

The full translation took a year of work and then another year showing his work to colleagues and Italian friends. “You can’t translate Italian sounds into English; you have to find an equivalent. So if a word sounds great in Italian, you have to find a word that sounds great in English,” said Mr. Pinsky.

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Wonderful and Worthy—Students are Already There, Talbot Speaker Says

Wonderful and Worthy—Students are Already There, Talbot Speaker Says

“How would you engage in your life if you knew you were wonderful just as you are?” Dr. Adia Gooden asked Milton students. “I want you to think about what you would have the courage to do if you knew you were worthy.”

Dr. Gooden, a licensed clinical psychologist, visited campus as this year’s Talbot Speaker. She is the director of community programs and outcome measurement at the Family Institute at Northwestern University. She spoke with students about the issues of imposter syndrome and low self-worth, things that make even the highest achievers feel as if they are unworthy in their day-to-day lives.

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Parents’ Association News and Notes

Don’t forget to follow the Parents’ Association on social media for event information and reminders, meeting details, and photos.

Instagram – @miltonuspa
Facebook – Milton Academy Upper School Parents Association

Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day — THANK YOU!

Many thanks to everyone for volunteering and making the Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day a huge success! Your generous contributions made February 12 a special day for the Milton Academy faculty and staff. They appreciated the delicious food, generous raffle prizes, and warm reception.

Upcoming USPA Event (all are welcome): Upper School Panel and Social

Tuesday, March 10, 7–9 p.m., Straus Library
An evening of conversation and insight into our Upper School program at a panel featuring Head of School Todd Bland, Upper School Principal David Ball, and Dean of Teaching and Learning Indu Singh. The event will be moderated by Dean of College Counseling Rod Skinner.

7–8 p.m., panel discussion
8–9 p.m., wine and cheese social

A recording of this event will be available on March 12: www.milton.edu/uspa-march-panel

Upcoming USPA meetings (all are welcome)

Tuesday, April 7, from 7–9:00 p.m. in the CSG Conference Room
Guest speakers: Academic Dean Heather Sugrue and Dean of Students José Ruiz.

Tuesday, May 19, from 7–9 p.m. in the CSG Conference Room
Guest speaker: Dean of College Counseling Rod Skinner

Student Directed One-Act Plays

one-acts-webThe student one-act plays are a venue for student directors and actors to showcase their wide-ranging talents on and off stage. This year there were three one-acts, completely directed, performed, and tech-supported by students.

Brie Lewis ’20 and Eloise Maybank ’21 directed No More Mister Nice Guy, featuring four actors: Owen GwinnLandry ’23, Alex Paulino ’21, Talia Sherman ’22, and Nancy Tao ’23.

“The play is centered on the character Sheldon Grimes,” said Eloise. “He is the pinnacle of goodness, but he finds himself in serious trouble with the law, his crime being this very virtue of kindness. Sheldon must work to rectify his behavior, with help from two cops and a ‘professional.’”

Eloise said that the dystopian society reflected in the play, which is written by Jonathan Rand, “not only lends itself to hilarity, but presents underlying commentary on corruption within today’s justice system plagued with profiling. It begs the audience to ponder what truly is good—the law or what you personally believe to be right. We chose this play because of this nuance and, of course, because it made us laugh really hard. We hope everyone enjoyed it!”

The other two plays were “Why We Like Love Stories,” directed by Rowan Hack ’20 and “The Door,” directed by Miranda Paiz ’21.

Speech Students Qualify for NSDA National Tournament

20-02_speech-teamDuring the first weekend of February, Milton’s speech and debate team joined 20 other member schools to compete in the New England National Speech and Debate Association District Qualifying Tournament. Top students from the tournament will represent the region at the NSDA National Tournament in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in June. All six of Milton’s finalists, listed below, qualified for nationals:

Dramatic Interpretation 
Ben Simpson
Miranda Paiz

Humorous Interpretation

Jack Burton


Jana Amin

International Extemp

Tyler Tjang

Original Oratory

Nyla Sams

Milton’s team also earned 2nd Place in Speech Sweepstakes based on the students’ performances, and Neha Modak qualified as 2nd alternate in U.S. Extemp, earning 5th place in her division.


Mardi Gras Speech Carnivale

Milton Speech and Debate students attended the 26th Annual Mardi Gras Speech Carnivale at Shrewsbury High School this past weekend along with 43 other area schools in the Massachusetts Speech and Debate League. Milton finished with a 5th Place Team Sweepstakes Award. Below are individual honors for finalist rankings of 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.

Debate Awards

Can Yildirim (IV) & Nancy Tao (IV) (2nd Place)

Speech Awards

Children’s Literature
Talia Sherman (III) (1st Place)

Shreya Rallabandi (IV) (3rd Place)

Dramatic Performance
Jack Burton (III) (2nd Place)

Extemporaneous Speaking
Neha Modak (III) (3rd Place)

Original Oratory
Nyla Sams (I) (2nd Place)

Radio Broadcasting
Emily Hong (II) (1st Place)

Team Improv
Benjamin Simpson (II) and Caitlin Waugh (I) (3rd Place)

Harvard Nationals
Milton students joined 430 other schools and nearly 3,800 event competitors last week at Harvard University for a three-day marathon event in speech and debate. Our students earned the following recognitions:

Junior Varsity Public Forum Debate (263 teams)
Tony Wang and Tim Colledge (first place)

Novice Public Forum (406 debaters)
Can Yildirim (first place speaker)

Novice Public Forum (203 teams)
Alison Blake and Karol Querido (advanced to Octafinals)
Yaman Habip and Lorenzo DeSimone (advanced to Double Octafinals)
Zoe Shleifer and Sneha Jaiswal (advanced to eliminations)
Nancy Tao and Can Yildirim (advanced to Double Octafinals)
Isabella Kanczuk and Shiloh Liu (advanced to Quarterfinals)

Extemporaneous Speaking (286 competitors)
Tyler Tjang (Quarters)
Elliot Smith (Octafinals)

Duo Interpretation (156 competitors)
Jack Burton & Talia Sherman (Octafinals)

Dramatic Interpretation (291 competitors)
Miranda Paiz (Double Octafinals)
Caitlin Waugh (Double Octafinals)

Informative Speaking (207 competitors)
Nyla Sams (Quarterfinals)

National Catholic Forensic League Tournament
speech-and-debateThe National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL) hosts a national tournament each year over Memorial Day weekend. This year’s national tournament will be held in Chicago, Illinois. Milton students qualify to attend the national tournament through a district competition in early February held at Shrewsbury High School. The following 12 students earned qualification to the national event; three students also earned first and second alternate places:

SJ Hwang
Shreya Rallabandi
Nika Farokhzad

Duo Interpretation
Jack Burton & Talia Sherman

Dramatic Performance
Caitlin Waugh
Abby Buonato
Thea Chung

Elliot Smith
Tyler Tjang
Neha Modak (first alternate)

Oral Interpretation
Miranda Paiz

Original Oratory
Nyla Sams
Jana Amin (first alternate)
Maya Bokhuri (second alternate)

TEDx Beacon Street
Watch Jana Amin and Nyla Sams perform at TEDx Beacon Street.

Changing the narrative, one Muslim woman at a time, Jana Amin

Black girl magic without the Hogwarts acceptance letter, Nyla Sams

A Winter Favorite

Dance Concert Brings Community Together Through Performance

The Winter Dance Concert represents the best mix of creativity and physical prowess at Milton, says Nyla Sams ’20, a dancer and choreographer in this year’s performance.

“It combines music, culture, athleticism, and beautiful visuals into two entertaining hours,” she says. “Also, everyone is in dance concert! You have die-hard theater kids and football players on the same stage. Everyone is there to support one another and have fun, so the energy is just amazing.”

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Ira Sobchyshyna (I) choreographs a dance for this weekend’s Winter Dance Concert.
Reserve tickets online for the event.

Watch the Dance Concert Online

Thursday night live webcast

Friday night live webcast

Saturday night live webcast

Faculty Profile

Kendall Chun, Computer Science Department

Kendall Chun, Computer Science Department

Kendall Chun, computer science teacher and director of the Outdoor Program, spent the early part of his career working in the biomedical industry, but his love of the outdoors conflicted with the 9–5 life.

“My degree is in electrical engineering, so I worked in that field for several years before going back to school and getting my master’s in education,” Kendall says. “I realized that working in a cubicle in a room with no windows, staring at a screen all day, was not for me.”

Prior to arriving at Milton, Kendall worked as the director of technology at Cushing Academy. He was hiking with friends in Joshua Tree National Park where he met Milton science teacher Matt Bingham, who asked to join Kendall’s group on a climb. Years later, Matt encouraged Kendall to apply to be the Outdoor Program director at Milton. This is his 13th year at the School.

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Featured Photos

Sports Snapshots
Enjoy this gallery of sports photos from the winter season.
The Big Show
Student exhibits give Milton artists the opportunity to share their work with peers. View photos of pieces now on display at “The Big Show” that opened last Thursday with a reception in the Arts Commons.
Beatnik Café
The popular Beatnik Café—an evening of live entertainment, for and by the students—happened in Straus this past weekend. Students packed the room, lounging on couches and feet dangling between rails of the second floor balcony, to watch their classmates’ artistic talents. View photos of the event.
Almost, Maine
Actors took the stage in King Theatre for this winter’s presentation of Almost, Maine. View photos of the performance.
Mindful Gaze
In case you missed it: View photos of work by Eugene Dorgan that hung from the walls of Milton’s Nesto Gallery during the months of January and February. On Thursday, March 12, the Nesto hosts an opening reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. for a new exhibit, Timely Conditions, featuring artist Barbara Norfleet.

Spring Sports Schedules

The spring sports schedules are online. Visit our team pages to view when and where the Mustangs will play. If you can’t make it to the games, view photos and updates on Instagram (@MA_athletics) and Twitter (@MA_Athletics).

Upcoming Events for Parents

Participate in one or all of our upcoming events. For more details or to register, visit www.milton.edu/events.

Career Networking

Looking to build your personal or professional network? Tap into the Milton Academy community at upcoming parent and alumni networking events:

Tuesday, March 3, from 6:30–8:30 p.m.
Hosted by Tamsen ’91 and Michael Brown P ’20 ’22 ’24
Battery Ventures, 1 Marina Park Drive, Suite 1100, Boston

New York City
Thursday, March 5, from 7–9 p.m.
Poppin, 16 Madison Square West 3rd Floor, New York City

Milton in Florida

Join Milton Academy in the sunshine state! On Tuesday, March 24, gather with Milton families, alumni, and friends for a Red Sox spring training game as the Red Sox take on Atlanta at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida. Don’t miss Head of School Todd Bland throw out the first pitch. The pre-game picnic begins at 11:05 a.m. and the game begins at 1:05 p.m. Purchase lunch and/or game tickets online today. On Wednesday, March 25, Milton heads to Palm Beach for a reception hosted by Allen and Carol Wyett P ’84 ’85 G ’22. Tour their one-of-a-kind modern and contemporary art collection at this evening reception.

Giving Day

Save the date: Milton Giving Day is Thursday, April 16. Join alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends from around the world as we unite around the common goal of supporting all that makes Milton exceptional.

Parent and Alumni Receptions

Join us in Chicago at an event hosted by Trustee Randall Dunn ’83.
Tuesday, April 14, from 6:30–9 p.m.
1547 N. Dearborn Parkway, Chicago

Centre Connection

Centre Connection, Milton's online newsletter for parents, is published five times each year through the efforts of the Milton Academy Communication Office and Parents' Association volunteers.

Communication Office


Jennifer Anderson
Greg White
Liz Matson
Marisa Donelan
Esten Perez
Sarah Abrams