Frutillar, Chilean Patagonia
I want to tell you a story this morning about a young man who attended Dublin School many years ago and died as a result of wounds he received fighting in Vietnam, about his devoted younger brother Jack, about a Dublin headmaster who never forgot, and about a 1970 muscle car called a Chevrolet Chevelle.
When I first arrived at Dublin in the summer of 2008 Mr. Fox, the acting and interim Headmaster of Dublin School invited me and everyone else who was on campus that July day to an informal ceremony in the School House. There, Mr. Fox reached into his pocket and pulled out a key and said, “congratulations, the keys to the school are yours.” I felt a real weight at that moment, a weight that would only grow as I looked around the School House and asked Mr. Fox about the five names inscribed on the hearth in the School House living room. “Those are the names of the Dublin School boys who died in World War Two, in the very early days of the school.”
Wow, things really ramp up here on campus as we speed into graduation! I just returned from Millinocket, Maine where I spent forty-eight hours with the junior class talking about their senior year and rafting the high waters of the Penobscot River. I like to take this trip every May to start preparing the next class of seniors for helping the faculty to run the school. School culture is important at Dublin, in fact it may be the most important thing, and I want the seniors to be intentional about how they shape and manage that culture.
Have you noticed that we are being forced into a world filled with “likes” and “don’t likes?” I fear that social media is forcing us to lose our sense of nuance, our tolerance for ambiguity, and our willingness to live fully in the present without the need for a photo opportunity.
I may be in the process of becoming a curmudgeon so I will stop there and say that I found it refreshing when the United States’ top Olympic triathlete, Joe Malloy, visited the school last week to talk about his career in endurance sports.
Ella and the "bot."
Wow, what a week! While I catch my breath let me attempt to share with you what I witnessed from my Head of School perspective.
The recent presidential election brought about an unprecedented level of vitriol, hate and anger in our country. As a history teacher I had to go back to the election of 1800 between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams to find such a divisive campaign. As an educator I am deeply disturbed by the number of stories coming from college and high school campuses that talk about students being threatened based on their race, gender identity, religion, sexuality and beliefs. Now more than ever schools like Dublin must engage in intense conversation and encourage active listening.
Jonathan Phinney, Learning Specialist, and English Instructor, was recently published in Saint Ann’s Review. His short story, “A Quiet Story,” begins: “Scott left the house in a rush. Everything was gray and strewn with some kind of debris: the tattered Christmas decorations hanging from unpainted houses, the peeling sign in front of the supermarket, the ripped-up spruce shrubs in front of the bank from the big storm back in November. Even the way the snow banks melted along the sides of the road looked like ruin.”
A lab period in “The Local Landscape” course means wandering through an old growth forest, studying the trees, stone walls, and topography. A lab period means getting outside and asking questions of everything on the horizon.
This is the first year that “The Local Landscape” has been offered at Dublin School. The course creator and instructor, Ms. Katie Curtis, used to teach a similar Geology and Environmental Science course at Falmouth Academy, which led her and her students to explore the beaches of the Cape at least once a week. Here, nestled near the base of Monadnock, Dublin students explore forests, streams, and mountains.
Be sure to thank James Kirk, class of ’08, the next time you select a playlist to work out to at the gym. “I help Spotify build systems that learn how people enjoy music” he says, and then “…use that knowledge to automatically create fun, satisfying listener experiences”. After graduating from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, James moved to Boston where he started working at Spotify as a machine learning engineer.
In locating the new Slopeside Dormitory, we had to remove the old Arts Building which served in recent years as our Outing Club. The Outing Club was home to our Mountain Biking, Nordic Skiing, Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding programs. We originally intended to put the new Outing Club into the basement of the Slopeside Dormitory but thought better due to the impact on the height of the building and the potential for fumes and fire from ski waxing.
Dublin lost one of its greats last week.
David Howe was a long-time Board Member, Chairman of the Board and enormous friend of the school. But more than that, he was a man who knew how to ask the best both of himself and others. Knowing Dave made us better.
On Wednesday, November 1st, Dublin Cross Country traveled to Putney School for the RVAL League Championship Race. It was a successful and historic day for both teams. The girls team finished third overall, but managed to place three runners in the top five overall! Lilly Bates won the race with a dominant performance, with Aggie Macy and Isolina Miller finishing an impressive 4th and 5th, respectively. Sita Moses (22nd) and Camille Pollak (25th) rounded out the scoring team with strong performances on Putney's Hilly Course.
The Boys' team capped off a dominant season with another decisive victory, bringing Dublin its first ever Boys Cross Country Championship. Quinn Wilson finished 3rd overall, followed closely by Ian Baker (5th) and Kyle Mincey (6th). Max Johnson also finished in the top 10 (10th) and Alex Antonellis had a great race and was Dublin's fifth scorer, finishing in 13th place. James Wolpe and Dereck Elmera helped to preserve the team's margin of victory by finishing as Dublin's 6th and 7th runners, thus displacing some of the other top teams final scorers.
Ibn Battuta, a Moroccan scholar who lived from 1304-1368 or 1369, may not be an historical figure that most high school students encounter. Battuta, however, has many stories worth exploring and studying; he—over a period of thirty years—visited most of the Islamic world and many non-Muslim lands, as well, during the medieval period. His travels reached North Africa, West Africa, the Middle East, India, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, China, and more. He dictated an account of his journeys, A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling, which many historians consult today.
When Mr. Lindsay Brown, History Department Chair at Dublin School, first learned about Ibn Battuta, he was captivated by the stories that Battuta told and the many details his rich historical account provides.
Over 11,000 athletes from all over the country and the world participated in the 53rd Annual Head of the Charles Regatta on September 21-22 and Dublin School students and alumni were among them. Dublin School was successful in getting a lottery pick for this year’s Head of the Charles for the Women's Youth 4+ race. Coxswain Laura Coffin ’19, Stroke Zoe Hewitt ’18, Faith Lewis ’18, Lauren Ryder ’19 and Imogen VonMertens ’20 represented Dublin well among the 86 boats in the race. Navigating the crowds on the water (and in the parking lot) was not easy and took a lot of skill and courage for coaches Katie Curtis and Lindsay Brown and the team. Overtaking several boats one particularly important corner, allowed the girls to finish 75th among the 86 boats in their race.
Harrison Atlas, ’18, a self-described “curious, dedicated learner,” when asked what his greatest passion is, can answer honestly: “talking. I love to talk.”
“I would honestly say that I love intellectual conversations, academic discussions—the classroom setting is so discussion-based in my classes—and I really just enjoy talking about the material and getting other people’s perspectives,” he elaborates.
On a very wet, muddy soccer pitch, Dublin girls achieved what no other school has been able ever to accomplish - to defeat Stoneleigh Burnham School in the RVAL Girls Soccer Championships. After an undefeated RVAL season, the girls stormed through the three-game playoffs, scoring 19 goals and giving up none. In the Championship game, the Dublin girls scored early on a deflection by Adunni Abrams (Brooklyn, NY) and then added a second goal from Stella Davis (Dublin, NH) in the first half. As the rain built, field conditions deteriorated to the point where it was close to impossible to dribble or make even a short pass. The adverse conditions limited offensive opportunities in the second half for both teams. The defense was stout, and on the few breakdowns that occurred, senior goalie Zoe Hewitt (Keene, NH) stood tall preserving her playoff shutout streak.
Dominic McVey is a 32-year-old British entrepreneur from London who visited Dublin on Friday, October 20th as part of the DublinInspires series. Dominic talked about his early life where at the age of eight he was accompanying his father, who was a percussionist with the Royal Shakespeare Company, on trips to the US and Tokyo. One of the things that caught his attention was the difference between the economy section of commercial jets and the first-class sections. Determined that he would enjoy the benefits of first-class, he started thinking about how he would make money in the future.
Unlike others, his future started when he was nine when he rented out a hall and threw a paid DJ party for his school. He followed this quickly on by buying the latest and greatest technology products on his trips to Japan. At the time, these products were only available in the West six months to a year after they were "beta" tested in Japan. He built a thriving business importing and marking up the Japanese electronics that his friends and classmates craved. He also built a first gen website to market his finds, but e-commerce was not yet a thing and this project resulted in few sales.
I never really thought about how much celebrating Hispanic Heritage month would mean to me until I realized how important being a Latina is as a part of my identity. Growing up in a diverse area in New Jersey, I got to learn a lot about my Colombian and Bolivian cultures because of my family getting me into festivals, customs, traditions, food, music, dance, and more. I grew up with traditions that I thought were normal such as the Hispanic- State parades that I often attended and even have been part of, but now not being able to celebrate this at a predominantly white school has made me realize how much it is needed and how important it is.
On Friday, October 13, Visions, a non-profit training and consulting program with offices in Massachusetts, North Carolina, and California, came to Dublin School to run sessions for students. Visions advertises their vision: “to be a catalyst for a more equitable world where differences are valued and used for the benefit of all.”
Before the session, the whole school watched an excerpt from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “The Danger of a Single Story” TED Talk, which explains that if one has a “single story” of a person or of a group of people different from their own, there exists “no possibility of feelings more complex than pity, no possibility of a connection as human equals.” Visions asked students to contemplate which “single stories” they feed into and believe in the Dublin Community.
Before heading out, I was a little nervous about driving 7000 miles for nearly a month on my own and camping out for many of those nights in my car. With only my Audible account (all seven Harry Potter books, Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime, and a series of lectures on European history) and a stuffed prairie dog from the Badlands to keep me company (sane?), I found myself in alien landscapes far from the comforting forests and hills of the northeast
When she was three, Devyn Itula, ’18, began finding her way in what would become one of her greatest passions: dance.
While she only took “baby classes” once or twice a week, her routine of dance classes evolved; by the time she was seven, she was taking classes three days a week. Classes varied from ballet to lyrical to jazz to, occasionally, tap. By the time she was eleven, Devyn was dancing competitively on a team that she would continue to work with through age fifteen.
Cal Butler '07 is a Senior Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. in Washington, D.C. He works on the Air Force's Invisible Wounds Initiative, which seeks to improve perceptions of treatments for PTSD. He was recently interviewed by the Milla Hispanic Leadership forum for his immigration advocacy and counter-terrorism experience. He graduated from George Washington University with a degree in International Affairs in 2013.
This weekend, this year’s winners of The New Yorker Festival Writing Contest—Mia Brady, ’18, and Nico Posner, ’19—headed to the bustling Big Apple with Mr. Jonathan Phinney, English Instructor, and Learning Specialist. The contest, which was created last year, invites students to submit 1,000-word stories under a new theme each year; the submissions are read blindly, meaning that no student names appear (and no work can be submitted that has previously been read by a teacher); and two winners are chosen. This year, in addition to the regular panel—Ms. Jenny Foreman, Ms. Rachael Jennings, Ms. Laurie LeClair, Mr. Jonathan Phinney, Ms. Sophia Rabb, Mr. Alexander Scalfano, and Mr. Henry Walters—last year’s contest winners, Caroline Robbins, ’18, and Owen Mortner, ’18, read and ranked the anonymous fiction submissions.
Kati Preston was born in Hungary of Jewish and Christian parents. Most of her family died in the holocaust. At the age of five, she was hidden in a barn by a friend of her mother and escaped the fate of her family.
She spoke to the Dublin community on Monday, October 2nd. Her words were powerful, eloquent and occasionally humorous. Rather than try and paraphrase her thoughts, we offer the recording of her talk below.
The weather was unseasonably warm as Dublin alumni returned to campus for reunion weekend. The beauty of the weather was matched only by the joy of seeing so many alumni from throughout the school’s history. Hank Otto ’47, who was back for his 70th, mingled with Greg Antonelis ’12 and others back for their 5th reunion. This was my first alumni weekend so I was eager to learn more about the Dublin experience through the years. Has it changed from decade to decade? What has remained constant? This was my quest as I welcomed alumni throughout the weekend.
Raphael Pumpelly was an intrepid explorer and traveler who summered in Dublin from 1884 until his death in 1923. Born in 1837 in Owego, New York. Pumpelly attended common schools and graduated from Owego Academy in Owego, New York. Against his parent's objections, he decided against attending Yale University and chose to study and travel in Europe. A 1859 graduate of the Royal School of Mines in Freiburg, Germany, he traveled extensively through the mining districts of Europe to study geology and metallurgy by direct observation.
On Saturday, fourteen Dublin students and three Dublin faculty members attended the Northern New England Students of Color Conference (NNESOCC) in Holderness, New Hampshire. The conference, run by Holderness School, brought together Dublin School, Holderness School, Brewster Academy, the Derryfield School, the White Mountain School, Kimball Union Academy, Cushing Academy, and the New Hampton School.
Celeste Hopson, ’20, reflects: “This Conference felt very liberating. The most unique part about it was that the room was filled with talented, educated, and beautiful minorities from all schools and backgrounds coming together for the same cause.”
Emily Ruggeberg ’10 has been selected as the 2017 Curatorial Fellow for the Mildred Hawn Gallery at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
Emily is an art historian who has specialized in modern and contemporary art with a focus on feminist and performance art. On her time at the Dublin School, Emily says, “Dublin was formative for me in the sense that it provided me with the confidence to advocate and think for myself.”
Unlike most schools and colleges that use an outside food service, food at Dublin is prepared by our employees. Head Chef, Sven Green is adamant on building a food culture centered around healthy eating. When he talks about foods with his staff, he emphasizes continuously increasing our use of "live" foods versus "dead" foods. He defines this difference simply: live food is prepared from scratch by his team; and, dead food is anything coming out of a can.
There may not be a more unlikely pairing. A 71-year-old retired construction worker and a 70-year-old MIT engineer. Joined by a love of work, solving problems and an excavator.
Bob Miles is Erika Rogers (Dublin's Director of Alumni & Development) father. Shortly after graduating high school, Bob got in the cab of his first excavator. On his first day, he inadvertently took down a telephone line that was not scheduled for demolition. Things went better after that, and he spent a career building roads around New England.
George Foote is a long-time Dublin board member who has served on the Building Committee and as the Treasurer of the school. When George was at MIT in the 1960s, he designed and built a laser out of spare parts. There is nothing that George can't make - from buildings to fireworks firing circuit boards.
Eight days ago, the Shamrock Duty Team led a trip to Boda Borg in Boston. Boda Borg is a center devoted to real-life challenges called “quests” that involve physical, mental, and creative strength. Twenty-six students attended the trip on Sunday, and they worked in teams of three, four, or five to make it through as many challenges as they could in a fast-paced, adventurous afternoon.
Andrew Evans is a professional magician and illusionist who brings a modern twist to classic magic. He also consults for theatrical production set design and his background in engineering and product design helps him create unique illusions that have impressed audiences on six continents. When he's not on stage, Andrew is a Design Lead at IDEO and a Guest Lecturer at the Stanford D.school. He regular speaks at companies around the Bay Area about the intersection of Magic and Design.
Last week, Dublin’s English department unveiled a new challenge: the READ MORE Challenge. The challenge, inspired by a conversation the English Department had during their June end-of-year retreat, emerged while the department members were discussing their top summer reading titles: what they wanted to read, reread, and share. They decided to swap books, and, as the six of them passed around their favorite titles, they decided to invite the whole school into the fun of reading together, recommending, sharing, and reflecting together.