Ben Rhodes-Kropf ’24 has a message from his father. In order to receive it, he’ll have to travel to Spain.
That’s because his dad left the message through Trace, an app Rhodes-Kropf and classmate Benjamin Siegel ‘24 developed throughout their junior and senior years at Milton. The location-based service combines the functions of a messaging app with the thrill of an in-person treasure hunt, allowing users to “leave a Trace” wherever they are in the world. Messages for other Trace users (or their future selves) are delivered only when the recipient is physically close to the location where the message—in video form—was recorded.
Frustrated by the passive nature of existing social media, which users can idly scroll through for hours on end, Siegel and Rhodes-Kropf set out to create a different kind of messaging service that would foster more-meaningful connections and inspire users to travel near and far.
Nobody’s perfect—unless you’re talking about the Milton Academy math team.
Milton’s math competitors have maintained a perfect score through months of competing at the New England Math League (NEML) this academic year. Currently, the school sits atop the NEML rankings, which includes both private and public schools. Math contests give students opportunities outside of the classroom to flex their analytical muscles while proudly representing Milton.
“We have a lot of good mathematicians on our team this year,” said Devan Agrawal ’25. “One thing that’s nice about the NEML is that you don’t have to learn a lot of new concepts. You have to practice critical thinking and creative problem solving, and I think Milton Academy students in general already shine with that.”
“The future” can mean different things to teens: It could describe next weekend, or spring break, or college, or even a potential career path.
One group of Milton students takes a decidedly long view that includes making sure that they (and others) are prepared financially for all the possibilities—college and housing costs, budgeting, building credit, saving, investing, retirement, and financial stability for their families.
And planning for this future? The sooner you start, the better. The students’ passion for helping their peers and other young people achieve financial literacy has taken them from Milton to the Apple App Store and even the Massachusetts State House.
To help young people learn financial literacy and investment principles, Hugo Eechaute ’24 created StockSense. The free app, aimed at users ages 15 to 21, teaches the basics through fun, easily accessible games. He’s gotten the app off the ground with the help of some Milton peers, including Simon Farruqui ’25, the COO of StockSense, and Isabella Alba ’26, its CFO.
This year’s Graduation speaker is actor and educator Jason Bowen, Milton Academy Class of 2000. Born and raised in Boston, Bowen has performed on Broadway, television, and film. Bowen’s notable and previous credits include The Play That Goes Wrong (Broadway), Law & Order: SVU (NBC), Blue Bloods (CBS), The Upside (STX/Amazon), and Mother/Android (Miramax/Hulu). In 2012, Boston Magazine awarded Bowen “Best Actor” honors in its annual “Best of Boston” issue.
Great coaches, like great teachers, can have a life-changing positive impact on a young person. Milton Academy coaches focus not only on athletic excellence but the development of players as students and community members.
One such coach is Chris Kane, head coach of Milton’s boys’ varsity soccer team, who has built a culture of development, positivity, inclusivity, and family—with great results. Coach Kane was named by the New England Soccer Journal as the Boys’ Prep Coach of the Year in its 2023 champions issue. He “did a masterful job preparing his squad throughout a season that resulted in a NEPSAC Class A championship, an Independent School League title, and a record of 19–1–2,” the journal wrote. Since 2011, his first year as head coach, Kane’s Mustangs have won four ISL championships and two NEPSAC Class A championships, had five undefeated regular seasons, and qualified for the Class A tournament every single year.
Luke Witkowski ’24 knows a thing or two about balance.
For one thing, he’s a figure skater, which requires a tremendous amount of balance—not to mention strength, dedication, and precision. For another, he’s managing a competitive skating career while navigating a busy senior year at Milton. Preparing for competition at his level is a massive time commitment; he trains about five hours a day, five days per week.
“I sleep very well at night with all the run-throughs I do during the day,” he said.
Luke finished in the top four in the U.S. Pairs Final last month. He and his partner, Sofia Jarmoc, won first in the short program and third in the long program, qualifying them to compete in the Toyota U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January.
Every year at this time, the best teams in independent school hockey descend upon the rinks of Milton and Nobles for a chance to claim the coveted championship titles of the Flood-Marr Tournament and the Harrington Invitational Tournament.
Harrington Tournament schedule and results
Flood-Marr Tournament schedule and results
This past weekend, members of Milton’s Robotics Team joined schools from across the United States and Canada to compete in the fifth annual WAVE tournament, a three-day Vex competition hosted by Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts.
“With almost eighty teams, it is a truly competitive tournament, which sets it far apart from other events we have attended this year, so far,” says Hailey Coval (I). “It demands hard work, long hours, effort, commitment, creativity, practice, and talents.”
This year, the History and Social Science Department hosted Dr. Ilyon Woo P’25 for the Henry R. Heyburn ’39 Lecture in History. The department tried a new model for the lecture; Dr. Woo spoke to American history students in an assembly November 9 and then visited individual classes to dive further into the content of her work as part of an in-house field trip. During the assembly, she shared her journey as a historical researcher and storyteller, from her early struggles to her New York Times best-selling book, Master Slave Husband Wife. On November 28, the Times named Master Slave Husband Wife one of its 10 Best Books of 2023.
Milton film students traveled to New York City for the All-American High School Film Festival, where two students, Yevgeniya Regent ’24 and Luke Witkowski ’24, had films accepted and shown. Yevgeniya’s documentary, “Prayer of the Birds” made it to the Best of Fest showing and was nominated for Best International Film and Best Documentary.
Yevgeniya has earned accolades at several festivals for “Prayer of the Birds,” winning Best Picture and the Audience Choice Award at the Williston Northampton Film Festival and Best Film About a Social Issue in the Student World Impact Film Festival. The documentary chronicles the experience of a young Ukrainian refugee—Yevgeniya’s sister—as she adjusts to life in a new country. Luke’s film, “Bloodshed,” won Best Editing at the Williston Northampton Film Festival.