This year’s graduation ceremony will be hosted online. A live stream of the event will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 5, at www.milton.edu/graduation.
Following a welcome by Head of School Todd Bland, graduates will hear from two Milton seniors voted to speak on behalf of the class. Awarding of diplomas will be read in random order, and, as is tradition every year, the last student to graduate will be given a sock of quarters—one from each classmate. During this virtual celebration of our seniors, music will be provided by Piper Tom Sexton and the Milton Academy orchestra, conducted by Music Department Chair Adrian Anantawan.
The senior project is a long-treasured tradition at Milton—an opportunity for Class I students to spend the month before Graduation focusing on one topic before presenting their work.
This year, the coronavirus pandemic changed many seniors’ plans for projects, but members of the Class of 2020 have still found creative ways to use this time period, either by pursuing their projects safely, altering their projects, staying in their regular classes, or dedicating their month to serving the Milton community.
For their final class assignments of the year, students in Josh Emmott’s Globalization and Islam class turned to Instagram this spring to spark awareness and support for philanthropic endeavors halfway around the world. Using the popular social media channel, students built pages to educate and help raise money and volunteers for causes in the Middle East.
Newly elected head monitors Eliza Dunn ’21 and Garvin McLaughlin ’21 took up the mantle as school leaders from outgoing head monitors Olivia Wang ’20 and Beck Kendig ’20. Historically, head monitor elections are held in May with a School-wide Q&A and speeches from each candidate in the Athletic and Convocation Center. Despite the circumstances of students being home due to the pandemic, Wang and Kendig worked hard to replicate the process. They hosted a live Q&A with the 13 self-nominated candidates over Zoom. The session was recorded so students had the option to watch it at a later time. Then candidates submitted recorded speeches and those were posted so students could watch them before voting online.
Despite the upheaval of the past two months, Katharine Millet ’00 has worked to create some regular touchpoints for her students. She begins each week with video tutorials explaining what the class will cover and shares helpful resources to guide them.
“They’ve come to expect these weekly orientation videos, and I share resources that they can access on their own time,” she said. “The routine has been helpful.”
Millet teaches two Class IV history courses, Ancient Civilizations and Modern World History. As Milton prepared to go into a remote-learning program, Millet and the other History and Social Sciences faculty members who teach the freshmen classes decided to extend the deadlines on students’ research papers when classes resumed after spring break. Their papers were due today.
A few weeks into Milton’s remote-learning program, math teacher Phil Robson started getting headaches—if the additional time on video calls, email, and creating online instruction plans was affecting him, he figured, students may feel the same way.
To offset the added screen time, Robson instituted “no-screen math” in his precalculus and statistics courses. He offers students a game or activity they can complete entirely offline.
“There are math games and puzzles they can work on with their parents and siblings, or by themselves,” he said. “I give them different options; they’re not all mandatory, they’re fun.”
Some of Milton’s best student writers and artists gathered virtually on Monday evening for the Laurence S. Persky Memorial Awards. The annual awards are given for the best work appearing in Milton Academy student publications and honor excellence in creative writing, journalism, art, photography, and production.
Guest speaker and alumna Neha Wadekar ’07 spoke to students from Nairobi, Kenya (2 a.m. her time), where she is based as a freelance journalist. She spoke about her non-linear career path and how students can follow their passions and take risks, even in these uncertain times.
“Success comes in many different forms,” said Wadekar. “People who are creative, passionate and flexible are the people who can thrive in any environment. For me, writing is an art. It’s a personal form of freedom and self-expression. It’s a privilege.”
Milton seniors Kalel Mullings and Mitchell Gonser were both recognized as outstanding scholar-athletes by the Jack Grinold Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame.
The award honors senior football players who have excelled on the football field, in the classroom and within the school and community. The 45th-annual banquet, which was scheduled for May 17, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The recipients will receive a plaque and a commemorative program at a later date.
Three Milton teams competed in a virtual Independent School League hackathon hosted by Middlesex School. Teams had six hours to collaborate and then develop a working prototype focused on the theme of “creating something that will be beneficial to others.” They presented their projects over Zoom. The winning team was Ben Botvinick ’21, Zack Ankner ’20 and Blake Ankner ’23, who built a fully functional website called Hobbyist.
“It’s a simple website, where anyone suffering from quarantine boredom can go to find a hobby,” says Botvinick. “Users fill out a quick form about their goals, interests, and inclinations. Then we give them a suggestion for how to spend their time and some video courses to get them started.”
The student Asian Society (AS) turned missed opportunities into philanthropy this spring, donating all the funds they raised for club programming to COVID-19 relief efforts in Boston.
“It feels empowering to have made a tangible difference, and it’s comforting to know that Asians and Asian-Americans in Boston are receiving aid,” said Tony Wang ’20. “We hope Boston’s many communities will support each other in weathering COVID-19 as well as its economic impacts.”
Typically, the AS holds a t-shirt sale to fund programs like the group’s annual senior banquet. This year, using a design from Evelyn Cao ’22, the group sold sweatpants instead. The sale was wildly successful, said teacher Vivian Wu Wong, a club advisor.
Rural, tucked-away places contain rich stories, but they’re not often found on stage in modern theater, playwright and Tony Award-nominated actor John Cariani told Milton performing arts students this week.
Cariani wrote Almost, Maine, a play told through nine stories about love and loss in a remote, fictional Maine town. Milton students performed the show in February; Cariani joined members of the cast and crew—along with others who had planned to put on Milton’s spring musical, Urinetown—via Zoom to talk about the play and his career in theater and television.
Small-town life hasn’t always been ignored—plays from the middle of the 20th Century depicted nuanced suburban and rural lives—but political divisions seem to have created an “us vs. them” rift in American culture, with rural people often depicted unfairly as simple or ignorant in current media.
Making meaningful differences is the mission of Milton’s Community Engagement Programs and Partnerships (CEPP). And this important work continues despite the pandemic, as students and their families, faculty, and staff have found ways to help others. CEPP has updated a list of ways to help local and national organizations. Even the simple act of students writing letters to residents in local nursing homes and assisted living facilities has continued community engagement connections.
Victoria Fawcett ’22, Ellie Mraz ’21, and Sofie Mraz ’23, made masks for residents at the Village of Duxbury, a senior living facility in Duxbury, Massachusetts. Fawcett first reached out to see what the residents needed and then used social media to ask for helping hands for their project. They said they received great support and collected enough material to sew over 250 fabric face masks.
A huge thank you from the Parents’ Association to all of our dedicated volunteers—the parents who give generously each year—giving their time, their resources, and their ideas to make all the PA-sponsored events for Milton students, faculty, and staff a resounding success. THANK YOU!
The Upper School Parents’ Association is currently seeking volunteers for the 2020–2021 school year. We hope that you will join us, in person or online, in creating an association that welcomes families to our community, offers social opportunities for parents to come together, and supports the efforts of the School to make Milton a positive learning environment for our children. If you’re interested in working with us next year, please reach out to Lee Peterson: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Parents’ Association would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to the Class of 2020 and their families! We wish our entire community a healthy and happy summer!
The Milton Academy orchestra, in collaboration with the performing and visual arts departments, completed a series of video projects. “These projects are a representation and celebration of the creative spirit of our students,” says Music Department Chair Adrian Anantawan, “and their continued ability to make meaning out of the world around us.”
Click below to view these projects.
Mozart Flute Concerto
Senior soloist Caitlin Waugh shares the buoyant, brilliant Mozart Flute Concerto with members from the Milton Academy chamber orchestra. The work speaks to the joy and facility that comes with brilliance. Our thanks to John Matters, Anthony Zhao, Perry Heredia, Shiloh Liu and Ainsley Iwanicki for their orchestral parts, recorded from different parts of the world.
Carmen Intermezzo (Orchestra and Dance)
In lieu of Arts Night, this project was an interdisciplinary effort by members of the Milton Academy orchestra and three dancers from the Advanced Choreography Dance class: Alli Reilly, Grace Li and Ira Sobchyshyna. Poetry by Alba-Gilabert Reid. This Intermezzo is an excerpt from Bizet’s Carmen, though our interpretation found inspiration from nature. Especially in a time of uncertainty, there is comfort to be taken in the constancy of the outside world, and the beauty that surrounds transformation. A special thanks to Eric Goode for his assistance in layering the orchestra video.
Visual arts faculty members, Jenny Hughes and Lu Adami, created an exercise with their drawing classes to do quick interpretations of the Intermezzo in real time. A special thanks, once again, to Eric Goode in helping with the layering.
Dancing From Home
Norris House residents find creative ways to stay in touch while away from campus. A weekly series of videos—dubbed “Norris Notes” by house faculty member, Peter Parisi—is just one of these ways.
You Can Close Your Eyes
Henry Taylor ’20 sings “You Can Close Your Eyes” with his parents on the Tonight Show.
Flip through recent work by Milton’s artists.
Creating opportunity: Providing students with the tools to grow and flourish and realize their greatest potential is at the heart of Milton’s mission. It is the principle that informs and guides our ongoing work and that is echoed in the deeds and actions of many of our alumni. We feature some of that work in this issue.
Visit www.miltonmagazine.org to read this issue.
Download and read the Spring 2020 publication of Milton’s science journal, Helix. Hot off the (digital) press, this latest edition focuses on our planet’s environment.
Gifts to the Milton Fund allow Milton to be nimble as we address our greatest and most pressing needs, including emerging costs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In June, a group of generous trustee challengers will match, dollar-for-dollar, gifts to the Milton Fund. Check your email for challenge details coming soon. All gifts are part of Dare, the largest campaign in our history concluding on June 30. Make your gift at www.milton.edu/donate.