Convocation Speeches, 2018

At Convocation on September 22, we warmly welcomed 31 new students to Waring. What does it mean to be a part of Waring? Take a look at this year’s Convocation Speeches to learn what it means to members of Waring’s senior class, faculty, administration, and parents.

The full video of the event is also available here:

A welcome by Robine Vaneck, Associate Head of School

Good morning and welcome to the 2018 Convocation of the Waring School. It is wonderful to see so many familiar faces and also so many new faces gathered together here today.

A testament to the ownership that we all feel as members of the community is the number of people I see today who have been here in different roles over the years. I see Parents who have become Board Members; Alumni who are now Faculty; two Alumni Parents who are now Board Chairs Emeriti – Tom Burger and Dick Prouty – and one special pair of alumni parents turned Head of School and Department Chair, turned Faculty Emeriti – Peter and Allegra Smick. Welcome to all of you and thank you very much for being here today.

There are also many new faces here today who have come to join our community – the students are to my right and we’ll present them shortly. Your parents are no doubt sprinkled throughout. Faculty and staff are all here to my left, and in this group we have several new members who have all been introduced to you in various communications over the summer and even last spring and may already be known to you. But to help you put a face to a name, I will present them briefly now and ask them to stand and remain standing until I’ve welcomed them all.

Meg Ferguson Sauder, already a parent for four years and now also the school social worker; Kirsten Trumbull, our Learning skills coordinator; Julie Nelson, math teacher, coach and tutor; Harold Wingood, our new college counselor; Jill Sullivan, Alumna parent and now writing teacher; Anton Fleissner, math and also ancient languages elective teacher; Renée Becker, Immersion music teacher and Girls Chorus director; and Tim Te, science and math teacher and tutor, who was unfortunately not able to be here today. And since he joined us last spring and hasn’t had his official introduction to the community, I’m also going to ask Graham Pearsall – who does his work in the communications office, and is also running with the cross-country team – to stand and be recognized. Welcome to each of you!

Additionally I’d like to thank everyone who helped organize this day for us – Dianne, Pavel, and Rob for the tent and sound system, students for assembling and after this stacking the seats, parent Group Chairs Stephanie Patrick and Kelly Knowles, for organizing the decorations and assisting Wendy Panchy and the Group 4 parents with the luncheon that we are all invited to enjoy after this ceremony in the House.

Finally, although my role today is technically to open this ceremony and make some introductions, with The Waring School Ethic in mind, I’d like to take just a moment to share one very important idea about this school. It is not a new idea, but it struck me again on camping trip one morning, after breakfast, with a relatively trivial interaction.
Nearly all the students had finished breakfast and left to gather their things for the first activity period. A few students were at the far end of the dining hall wiping down tables, some were flipping the chairs up onto the tables, and some were pushing a broom around in a lazy pattern. A colleague and I were patrolling for last bits of breakfast remains and he picked up a mug with a little coffee in it and asked me, ‘is this yours?’ then looked in it, and said distractedly ‘or maybe it’s mine’ and then with finality and mostly to himself, ‘it doesn’t matter, it’s ours. It’s all ours.’

It’s probably going to sound a bit silly, but I thought that was beautiful. I thought it was beautiful in its simple encapsulation of our school community – because I don’t believe that he was only referring to the shared responsibility for a little mess left behind; I believe that he was really referring to everything.

This school is ours – yours and mine. We are each to varying degrees responsible for everything. All School Meeting is ours – we all sing happy birthday, respond to the speaker, lead a meeting. Science class is ours – we all share ideas, ask questions, challenge assertions. Chorus is ours – we all are attentive to our voices, sing with energy, know our parts. Soccer games are ours – we all support other players, compete honorably, cheer kindly. The Grande Salle is ours. The walkways are ours. The trash cans and recycling bins are ours. This event is ours – because without each of us owning a small part, there are no speeches, there is no music, there is no tent, there are no new students’ names in our inscription book and voices in our future! We must arrive here every day with the understanding that community is not a thing that we can hold or that can be given to you – but it is an ethos that takes form and that we share as long as our choices, words and actions sustain it. As long as we realize that it is all ours.
Thank you.

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Elizabeth Gutterman

The Richard Prouty Award is given in recognition of a parent whose commitment and service to the community ensure a strong future for the Waring School. The award itself is relatively young, having been established in 2004. The award is younger still because it is one that we give intermittently, when we have occasion to look back at the preceding few years and take stock of those people and events that have had an impact on our community. Dick Prouty’s role as two-time Board Chair, long-time expert in experiential learning and leadership, and now as a Waring host parent truly embody spirit of this award.

Though this year’s recipient has joined the ranks of our alumni parents, her contributions and impact abide. I met Vicki Lincoln when I was directing my first play here at Waring, the Core production of The Wind in the Willows. We were on a dinner break, and I came into the VH room accompanied by her son, Mateo Lincoln who had written some beautiful and lively music for the production. He and I were in the midst of an incredibly high stakes situation room discussion that can only be had about the state of a middle school play. Vicki came right over to me, smiled her huge wonderful smile, and said, “You must be Elizabeth.” I put my hand out, and she waved it away, and enveloped me in the kind of hug that told me not only that everything would be all right on our riverbank, but also that I would find my second home here in the Waring community.

Vicki had made enough veggie chili with thoughtful accompaniments for an actual army – and in this case a forest full of starving preteen woodland creatures. Vicki visited with each participant, and made sure that each toad, rat, rabbit, mole, badger, otter, weasel, ferret, and fox was fueled and happy, and ready to return to rehearsal.

Vicki has fueled Waring in so many ways, by celebrating what is best about us, while always encouraging us to realize our full potential. As Parent Group Co-Chair from 2013-2015, Vicki organized, rallied, led, and inspired our community, sometimes through uncertain times. Vicki has been an eloquent spokesperson on Waring’s behalf and has enhanced the Admissions and College Counseling processes. As the Co-Founder of our Faculty Grants program, Vicki has worked tirelessly to ensure that Waring School faculty members will have the resources to challenge and enrich ourselves and to continually fuel our passions so that we may truly give our best to our students so we may guide them as they discover their own passions. We thank you, Vicki, for your generosity of spirit, your incredible kindness, your guidance, and your steadfast care. On behalf of Waring School, I am honored to present the Richard Prouty award to Alumni Parent and dear friend, Vicki Lincoln.

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Edith Fouser

The first thing I want to say is “thank you.” I am grateful to be part of a community that loves me enough to send me away for a semester, a community that recognizes in this tangible way the value of being apart from the ordinary to refresh and restore. My family – my mother, my husband Jason, my children and my in-laws – appreciated those months of having me around to participate and to help out when they needed me. It was my privilege to use some time for professional development, at two outstanding math-teacher workshops.

Far and away, however, the exceptional opportunity of my sabbatical was an eight-week adventure in New Zealand. Jason and I traveled with our boys – Loben and Kepler – who are seven and five years old.

When I came back to Waring, people asked me, does it feel like you never left? No. I have new riches of experience.

We built faith that we can walk together through challenges and through our personal quirks and emerge into joy, wonder, and awe.

On the Abel Tasman Track, at the northeastern corner of the South Island, we embarked on one of many backpacking excursions. Road conditions had forced us to arrive at this remote trailhead only a half-hour before sunset. But the track across the headlands to our beach campsite was short – only three kilometers – so we adults shouldered the big packs, took our boys by the hands, and struck out. The moon rose in a sliver over a meadow scented with herbs as we crossed under a pinkening sky. After a long day in the car, the little boys were eager to move fast.

Once in among the palms and tree ferns, however, shadows grew deeper and even the clearings offered less light. I felt little Kepler grip my hand more tightly, and his questions grew increasingly anxious. I had just begun to hear the breakers and knew we weren’t far when he burst into tears. I tried all my soothing mama tricks but he wouldn’t have any of it. Around a corner I caught sight of tiny pricks of light beneath a rocky overhang about shoulder level. In that instant I remembered this marvel of New Zealand’s insect community: glow-worms.

“Kepler!” I said, stopping short.

Startled, he sniffled at me. “What.”

“Look,” I said, hoisting him up to my hip.

He recoiled, confused and scared, and buried his head in my shoulder.

“Glow-worms,” I said, beaming at him, “Tons of them! Look!”

I stepped us closer and he reluctantly turned to see. After a moment I heard a giggle. “Glow-worms?”

I could hear the surprise and delight in his voice as he wondered how a worm might make a light. Behind us I heard Jason and Loben approaching.

“Jason,” I said, and I knew he could hear me smiling, “glow-worms!” He drew Loben in and pointed up under the limestone.

We stopped for a long moment to admire this tiny constellation, twinkling like a second sky, and listened to the boys laugh in wonder, tears forgotten.

It was hard to leave that spot, but the sound of waves on the beachfront lured us forward to find our campsite on Anapai Bay. Familiar routines of setting up our tent and camp kitchen went quickly, and toasting quesadillas on the Whisperlite took only a few minutes. We sat in the warm night around a picnic table – actually a rare treat in the New Zealand camping world – and told our story back to each other before crawling into the tent for a long sleep.

Over and over on our adventure we experienced this pattern of pushing through into transcendence. The weather, someone’s mood, the terrain or some circumstance would drive us into frustration or worry, and we’d make that choice to stay in the work, to not give up for an easier, softer way, and then emerge into something worthwhile.

But haven’t we seen that together, Waring, in Endterm, in science class, as a community?

Math students – runners – writers – parents – I invite you to share in this practice as often as we wish.

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Priscilla Malboeuf

It is a pleasure to see all of you but I will set expectations up front: public speaking is one of my least favorite things to do, right up there with a root canal. Nevertheless, I can’t think of any group I would rather address. So, here we go.

I am happy to add my voice to other’s in welcoming you to Waring. From my perspective, not only has this school provided a strong academic framework for my daughter Sarah, but more importantly it has been an extended family that she and I have needed and relied upon.

Our family lost my husband/Sarah’s father, when he died unexpectedly in 2013. That has taken its toll, but the Waring family has been there with us. At once being a shoulder to lean on and yet giving us the space to find our bearings; the Waring family has been there. We are a community, and what affects one affects us all. We rise together to face challenges, support and celebrate each other.

These are some of the many ways Waring distinguishes itself as place of learning. The faculty and staff are in this with the students, challenging each other to tease out the heart of their assignments. The students somehow innately know that no more is being asked or expected of them than what Waring asks and expects from itself. And therein lies the seeds of trust; the collaboration between school and student that over the years enables these kids to not just find their voices, but to trust their instincts.

But those attending classes are not the only students. During Sarah’s trip to Angers in 2016 there was a horrendous act of terrorism at the airport in Brussels. I was in email communication with Yasmin Fraser and realized then that Waring had been preparing me for a moment such as this. I thought, in our family, Sarah is not the only student of Waring – I am too. And as a student of Waring I needed to understand and trust that although we were in touch by Skype, Sarah and I were learning that she could manage this on her own.

How does Waring do it? Beginning with the Core trip to Montreal and the realization that there will be times when students are not in the company of an adult. They rise to that challenge, and we as parents, must too. And then watching them go through airport security as young 9th graders off to France for a month. And finally, Junior trip – the mother of all Endterms – France for three weeks. You wake up and the kid you have been dropping off at school (hopefully before 8) is packing her own suitcase, ticking off her own checklist, and making her own clothing choices (hard as that was to stand back from that) – all very matter-of-factly preparing for three weeks without you.

As parents Waring helps us to learn how to stand back, to let go, to let them carve their own paths and trust in our children’s judgment. When college comes we will be ready; confident that indeed they are well prepared for their future.

As I watch Sarah and her classmates take on their last year of high school, I know she is eager to embrace her future, as I am along with her – well mostly …. I still have a few more months of Waring to learn into that eventuality.

So welcome, families, to Waring. You’ve made a terrific choice of school for your children – and for yourselves.

Thank you.

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Julia Kautz

Imagine having an incurable disease for seven years. A time-consuming, chronic condition with daily treatments. Over time this disease challenges your pre-existing beliefs, thoughts, and outlook on life. Over 6 years ago I came to this school and contracted Waring-itis.

Within a week of my initial exposure, I began to see symptoms that would be reportable in any adolescent practice. I was suddenly motivated to make the most extravagant visuals for books like Donald Duck, and The Good Earth. I was restless, and I stayed up past the “core bedtime,” making a simulation of a rice field just for a Humanities discussion. Everyday I feverishly looked forward to French class in a basement where our young voices screeched “la vie en rose” for the entire campus to hear without yet knowing what we were saying.

It wasn’t long until I realized my disease was an epidemic. My entire grade had fallen ill with Waring-itis. Symptoms included breaking out in notecards; a rash of overwrought visual assignments, a persistent love for and desire to re-submit math problems for John Ferrick until we got them perfect, and an itchiness to run extra suicides at practice. The illness spread like fire on a dried up soccer field. By 8th grade my case had worsened, I was delirious to do everything on campus, and my peers were no different. I was in Debate Club, Math Team, Orchestra, Ensembles, a Play, and three sports. Despite this affliction, my classmates and I quickly mastered how to manage time and priorities. I learned how to question and participate in discussions and to advocate for my own education. We began to link ideas across disciplines.

I knew it was serious when I left for France as a high school freshman, spending an entire month in a country across the sea, living with a family of strangers who didn’t speak English. But we weren’t nervous, just excited. In Angers, I ended up flying in a plane smaller than our family car at 20,000 feet with my host father as the pilot.

Waring-itis was making us strangely comfortable taking risks. Every soiree infused me with a need to be better. My trembling 11-year-old arms that used to add unwanted vibrato to the violin became more and more confident as the number of performances multiplied. Coffee houses and dance planning masked the grade-bonding developing underneath. Endterms with 12-hour bus rides to Baltimore, dancing with the Bolivian soccer team at Copa America, and putting on a Vaudeville show in nursing homes all tested our character and charisma.

Junior year we went eagerly to Francis’ Physics class. In Humanities Joshua’s “You don’t know, what you know, you don’t know, you know” slowly made sense to us, very little sense, but still some. Topics from Debate metastasized into every class like a tumor. Tim Averill’s Lit class transfigured into Life Advice Class.
By the time we became upperclassman everyone had an irrational desire to be a Teaching Assistant in some subject at Waring. That’s when Waring-itis was full blown! It really was viral. Why did I love these people and this place so much? The daily conversations with Dianne and Pavel; the smiles from Mrs. Cahill as I rushed to class at 7:59; tutors like Mike and Colleen who cared more about my overall health than I did. It is all so contagious.

To those of you about to be infected: embrace Waring-itis through contact with the Waring community. It is everywhere. Vectors include your teachers, coaches, administrative staff, and classmates. Trust me, this is one disease I hope they never find a cure for.

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Gareth Buhl

When I was just beginning here in the eighth grade, awkward, clumsy, and a bit too tall (a lot like today), the faces around me seemed immortal. I struggled to fill in the blanks about this strange new place, and I wrote what I saw in stone. Henry Mitchell is a senior. My sister Autumn is a Sophomore. Graham teaches math. Mel is the head of school, Inga works in the office with Mrs. Cahill, and of course our darling Dorothy Wang will always be there to give me a hug and a kind word when I need it. Those of you new to Waring won’t recognize these people and perhaps you’ve never even heard their names. But in eighth grade they were the only Waring I knew.

When I came back as a ninth grader, I looked around and was shook. The school was mostly the same but it felt like everything was different: Mel, Inca, Dorothy, and Henry were all gone, and now there were new kids who were even newer than me. And the same thing the next year: Andrew, Jack, and Graham were all leaving and I knew that soon I would be helping pack my sister’s room to send her off to Kalamazoo as even more unfamiliar faces filled the Waring campus. What happened to the school I used to know?

I don’t think I’ve attended the same school two years in a row. Our culture has been shaped by the beautiful, critical voices who have passed through here. New students, parents, and teachers come in with their own insights. As they spend time here those insights illuminate our shortcomings. If we can listen to those critical voices among us, we can be better. We have listened to students like Asher Leahy who started Waring’s queer club because he knew that inclusion takes more effort than tolerance. We have listened to students like Julia Natale who campaigned for equal recognition of women’s sports. We have listened to students like Laura Miller, Lily Wildrick, Elizabeth Ward, and the countless others who fought to open a dialogue about gender and sexism in the Waring community. These students are no longer here, but their legacies live on to remind us that this is a brand new year, and we do not have to accept the world as we see it.

This year I knew what to expect, and while I was saddened watching old friends and teachers leave this little commune, I was excited to see the fresh and young, well mostly young faces that have joined us. New students: perhaps you see Waring now the way I saw it in eighth grade. Tim is the head of school, Mrs. Cahill runs the front desk, and this small class of 23, myself included, are the seniors. As we leave we pass this school down to you, a fair share for all. Do what you can with it. This place will be changed by you if you let it. Do not accept this school as it is, but make it accept you as you are. The Waring we leave to you does not have to be the Waring you give the next generation. Make us smarter, make us fairer, and above all, make us kinder.

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Phoebe DeAngelo

For months now, I have had my graduation speech completely planned in my head. That being said, I am not funny so the four jokes that I do have will all be included in that speech. Sorry.

I thought that maybe I could talk to you all about my first camping trip but then decided that no one would be interested in hearing about how hard I tried to fit in before I realized that fitting in, is totally uncool and completely Un-Waring. My next thought was to talk about how on my tour, I walked into a senior math class and one student was solving an equation on another student’s leg, but then I realized, that is the whole story. After thinking through a couple more ideas (both cliché and not good for some of the audience), I decided I am going to talk to you about math.

Contrary to popular belief, I think math is super cool. I am the kind of girl that solved a polynomial division problem on the back of one of those paper menus you get at a Chinese restaurant with the animal signs on them, solely because my dad didn’t think that the problem could take up the entire page. I was right, and so was the math problem.

Growing up, liking math was the worst thing that you could ever admit to. So, as any middle school girl would, I played along. “Ya, I know right, that class was the worst. Who cares about numbers and letters and the way numbers and letters come together to equal more numbers and letters? It totally isn’t interesting at all and I totally am not going to do the bonus questions he gave us if we wanted more problems to do tonight.” I used to lower my test scores by at least 10 points when people asked me what I got so that I could avoid the embarrassment of actually doing well in school. Long story short, my whole charade was revealed when my math teacher told the class that I had the highest test average. I was done for.

So, I ran away to a tiny school in Beverly that I had never heard of and as it turned out, they actually liked math. And not only did the students there like math, they liked learning, and the teachers were happy to teach the students and the students even taught the teachers a lot of the time. I fell in love with school again and not only was it okay, it was encouraged. Let yourself be the person that wants to do the bonus homework questions, even though you have three other subjects to do. Let yourself push through your fears. That is what I am showing you today. I am standing up here, giving a speech, when I have been too afraid to even speak at All School Meeting for my entire Waring career. It could take time (approximately three years and 9 school days, if you’re like me) or it could be your first period on Monday morning. Waring is not about changing who you are but, about uncovering who you can be.

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Sasha Malley

You don’t know you’re a Waring Student yet.

You’re at Waring because your brothers came here. You’ve come because your family speaks French. You’re here because you love to read. You want to be challenged, and you like to take risks.

You don’t know you’re a writer yet.

You’ve come to Waring full of ideas and aspirations, even if you can’t articulate them yet. Maybe you sit in this tent and wonder if you will measure up. You wonder if you will be able to explain what drives you, what inspires you and what is worth fighting for. Do you have the words? Have they all been used up already?

You don’t know you’re an artist yet.

Drawing pencils don’t fit comfortably in your hand. You drew your very first vase in the middle of the page despite KB’s instructions. But within the palimpsest of your first, second, hundredth attempt, you have created something worth talking about.

You don’t know you’re a scientist yet.

You’ve never taken so many notes in your life but now you’re driving home anxious and excited to start your first problem set. You begin to ask questions during your first lab, and you don’t know it yet, but that’s the beginning of a hypothesis and the beginning of a scientist.

You don’t know you’re an athlete yet.

Your basketball sneakers are giving you blisters and you still don’t quite understand the rules of the game. But here you are, on the court with your teammate as she sinks six three pointers, and the balcony of spectators is going wild and the whole gym starts to shake for your team.

You don’t know you’re a francophile yet.

Your notebooks are littered with verb conjugations that you think you’ll never remember, and you’re worried you’ll never do justice to Christiane’s name. But you find yourself humming Papaoutai while helping your 22 best friends scale the French mountainside, toute en rêvant de ta prochaine baguette.

You don’t know you’re a teacher yet.

But now you’re shepherding Group 1 writers around the school and they’re arguing about who gets to read first, and once they quiet down, they look to you. Or maybe you finally step up in Humanities and read a bit of your marginalia, and Jim starts to smack your classmates’ notebooks so that they write down what you said.

You don’t know you’re a feminist yet. And you never thought you’d be a debater.
But maybe you’re starting to enjoy the sound of your voice when you make a point. You’re starting to work harder just to see that look on that face when you convince an audience.

Right now, I want you to know one thing: When you hear the bell that symbolizes your entry to Waring, you become part of a community that believes in you and believes in your ability to become all things. Here is a space where you can pursue your passion, develop your identity, and grow your voice. These bells call to you. Listen. You don’t know yet where you will go. But it will be a journey worth taking.


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Tim Bakland and Joanne Avallon: A Momentous Announcement

At Waring, we ask questions. Why learn? What is the best way to learn? How can we learn from each other? How can we use our imagination and passion to make the learning experience exciting and joyful?

At Waring, we learn for learning’s sake. Curriculum and content are only a means to a larger end. We learn how to learn, how to lead with open hearts and minds and integrity, we gain the skills and competencies to thrive and empathize in a diverse, changing world.

At Waring, Faculty drive our culture and our mission. Our teachers live out passions tthrough a life calling, a vocation. Superbly qualified, our teachers are able to mix spontaneity with experience and expertise. They utilize experiential and progressive pedagogies in their teaching and, in fact, like our students, Waring teachers are always learning.

At Waring, diverse ideas spring from a diverse community. Those who are passionate about learning, those who take personal responsibility for their growth, those who have the courage and aptitude for the rigors of Waring’s program – come from all walks of life. Waring devotes significant resources to ensure that our student population is diverse in all respects.

Waring’s campus is community-oriented. This beautiful, quirky, rustic estate, filled with pianos and renovated stables, facilitates learning in relationships. Anywhere, everywhere we see learning in circles, and mixed-age participation, from the smallest alcoves of a building, to our large, open spaces and All-School Meeting venue. Waring’s campus is an organic, living and breathing entity. Individuals, like living cells, comprise a larger, dynamic body of learning and being.

In 2015, Waring’s Trustees and Faculty published a 5-year strategic plan,committing ourselves to supporting diversity and affordability through financial aid, to bolstering the supports of our teachers and staff, and to moving forward with a comprehensive Campus Masterplan. We raised over $500,000 in two years with a Major Gift Initiative, and then were granted a subsequent $75,000 of permanently endowed funds from grateful parents of students and alumni which now facilitates a Faculty Grants Program in perpetuity. We have had fiscal strength and successful supports for Annual Fund raising, thanks to the generosity of our community. And, if an Annual Fund is an indicator for the health of an organization: just consider that we have had 100% Board and Faculty participation annually for several years now.

Today, we are positioned to make a transformative announcement that marks a historic moment for the school. With the momentum of our strategic plan, and the ensuing Major Gifts Initiative, we have enjoyed widespread community support of Waring, its direction and its strategic initiatives. Money raised for faculty and students is already in use, already part of the operating budget, already reflected in new teaching positions, professional development, and in financial aid and student supports. We have targeted the first and greatest capital need in our Campus Masterplan, and the designs for an entirely new and sustainable All School Meeting space are well underway with our architects.

We therefore officially announce to you today our CAMPAIGN FOR WARING — with the goal to raise an historic $6 million dollars for our students, faculty and new School Building.

To date, through the record-breaking support of donors from all constituencies as well as from foundation support of Waring’s mission, we are excited to announce that we have already raised a remarkable $5.1 million in commitments toward our campaign goal! This $5.1M has been contributed from 28 donors during the “quiet” / nucleus fund of this Campaign, which we began in January.

We are thrilled at the momentum and I am grateful to the entire Board of Trustees, 100% of whom have given to this Campaign already. Through this campaign, in addition to the school building, we continue to raise meaningful funds that support faculty and students, to the tune of $200K each year, in addition to the Annual Fund’s support of school’s operations.

Through this campaign, we will see through the final design and construction of a new school building built to Passive House Sustainability standards — a first for schools in our region — a home for learning with nooks, porches, classrooms …. And CUBBIES… that will merge with and embrace the natural beauty of our campus; a building that will have intimate spaces for quiet discussion; a new All School Meeting space that will appropriately and comfortably bring the entire school together for our gatherings, a critical shared experience that dates back to the “morning meetings” with Philip and Josée in Rockport, MA. This new building will serve as a catalyst to learning, and will allow Waring to continue to invite, engage and connect, inwardly and outwardly symbolizing the very soul of Waring School.

JA: We call on our entire community to help us as we move forward with these momentous plans.

TB: We call on you to continue imagining this Waring School together and to be a part of this remarkable period in Waring School’s history. Thank you, all, and stay tuned.

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Tim Bakland

Contained within Grace Lin’s When the Sea Turned to Silver, Waring’s summer reading, there is a wonderful short story entitled The Story of The Ginseng Boy.

In this adventure, a young girl is sent away from a happy village life with good parents, lakes, fish and sun, to a shadowy forest with gray rock, where she is to live with her elderly aunt and uncle. Over time this old couple, who seem resigned to lead a dull and unhappy existence, take notice that the young girl is leaving the cottage with more frequency and can even be heard laughing and playing off in the distance. Incredulous that the young niece could find happiness or companionship in such joyless environs, the old couple question her about her solitary amusement.

“Well… I don’t play alone,” says the young girl, “I have a friend. A boy. A boy in a red hat.”

The unhappy old couple come to understand that their niece’s companion is the The Ginseng Boy — a mysterious being dressed in red who, each month during the Night of the Red Moon, turns into a root.

Well, the unhappy old couple decide they must procure this Ginseng Boy and eventually execute a plan, hunting him down while he is in his root form. Bringing him back to their cottage, the old couple place the Ginseng Boy in a large pot, where they bring him to a boil, with the ultimate plan… to eat him up. Why, after all, if they manage to consume this magic root, of course, they’ll be nourished with the vigors of youth.

Like the soup over their fire, the couple’s scheme thickens, with the aunt and the uncle each devising a way to get the other out of the house so that each could, secretly, consume the full share of the root, taking for her and himself all the more of the youthful sustenance.

As you can imagine, though, the couple’s plans are predictably thwarted when each of them in turn greedily attempts to double-cross the other; and in a rather comical twist of events, they trip over their own scheme, even injuring each other in their ill-founded plan, all the while our Ginseng Boy (now returned to his child form) and our young girl eventually escape from the cottage, leaving the old, injured adults behind, our young companions running “far, far away, never to be heard from again.”

Nieces, nephews, Ginseng Boys and Ginseng Girls, meanderers far and wide: Welcome to Waring.

Welcome to a place of curious spirit, youth and laughter, meanderers and dreamers. Waring may not, technically speaking, have lakes or many fish, but there is something of a pond, and certainly a stream, and even more certainly… floods, and you’ll surely find in exploring this land and these old barnyards, stables and greenhouses, much more than meets the eye.

Welcome to a place where many of the inherent lessons in that Ginseng Boy story are lived out when we are at our best; welcome to a community that values agency and authorship of the individual– most of all, in our students; a place where we count on you along with our faculty, to drive our school, to define a culture, to dream up both the broadest notions, and the daily details. You will undoubtedly find in us elder folk that we may embody, from time to time, some of the unfavorable traits of the aunt and the uncle in our story. There will be times when we adults will, at worst, trip over our own ill-advised schemes, or, at best, be reminded by your voices and actions and natural propensities, that there is everywhere the self-propelled will of the student, the natural curiosity and agency in each of you. The Ginseng Boy reminds us all to loosen our grips, to relinquish some of our control, and to let loose the marvelous dance of youth and learning.

Speaking of elders–and I realize that I am getting older as I even ponder doing the following: I would like to leave you off with a brief story of time spent with my maternal grandfather–who, old as he was, never resembled the aunt and uncle in our story, and who brings a lesson that I think connects with our Ginseng story and with the spirit of Waring School.

My late grandfather, Erlon Blood, would be 100 years old this fall. He grew up in rural Andover, ME during the depression, cross-country skiing his way to school in the winter months like anyone else at that time from his neck of the woods. During WWII, Grandpa Erlon trained and served as a ski medic in the 10th Mountain Division of the war, and was stationed in the northern Italian alps — where I can only begin to imagine the scenes and stories.

Many of those 10th Mountain Division ski soldiers actually returned to start the nordic and downhill ski centers we know today. Although not such an entrepreneur, my grandfather returned from the war a life-long nordic skier, even a medalist in the Lake Placid Masters at one point, and passed down to the family, over many winters, a lifetime love for the serene, backcountry woods, and the exhilarating pastime of nordic, cross-country skiing.

My wife Andrea and I were fortunate enough to have some precious overlapping years of cross-country skiing with Grandpa in Bethel, ME. Even though he was by then in his late 80’s, Grandpa Erlon taught us the intricacies of freestyle “skate-skiing”, including the precise technique to skate up steep hills without stepping or herring-boning (as it’s called), and the art of meticulously waxing skis.

What remains with me more than anything else from those winter lessons with Grandpa Erlon, is his careful description of a particular state of physical and mental being, a state achieved in the rarest moments when one’s intense, most heightened efforts will–almost without notice–transform into an effortlessness, a suspension of all calculation, all detail. Grandpa called this rare moment: abandon, when the skier is in such a state of perfect, synchronous strides, that the little details vanish from the mind, each movement becoming part of a subconscious whole, each glide an instinctual response to its antecedent gesture. This is what distance runners experience at mile 10, or 11, or 24, when an initial preoccupation with each and every stride is gradually replaced by the indescribable feeling of wind on the face. It is the pianist whose fingers no longer matter to the mind, the debater whose detailed preparation transforms into instinctive rebuttals, the teacher whose class notes lie on the table unseen while students lose themselves in a discussion of The Odyssey or Euclid’s proof of the Pythagorean Theorem. The paradox inherent in this state of abandon is that while it can only achieved through much practice, skill and intense effort, it is also, by definition: effortless, unplanned, unordered, completely unencumbered by any constraint.

Like our young niece and her Ginseng Boy companion — youthful souls liberated from controls and confinements, we are all called together today — poets, scientists, artists, and nordic skiers of all ages — to join our newest Waring students, in the joy and the abandon of learning.

Click here to see more photos.

Waring School Teaching Pedagogy: the first in a series of articles by our teachers

Dear Waring Community and Friends,

Just over a year ago, the “Waring Way Study Group” (a task-force of the Board of

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Claire Rhyneer (’21) has fun with “des fruits exotiques” in a recent Waring French Class

Trustees) commissioned a series of articles to be written over the course of a few years on elements of teaching pedagogy at Waring School — how our practices both build off of and inform best practices in the larger world.

Waring began in the 1970s as something of an experiment during the “free school” movement; but much of our practice and pedagogy borne out of home school roots has only been affirmed by outside research in the last decades as proven and effective among best practices in teaching. This series of articles by our teachers seeks to connect what we do at Waring — what we have long done and what we are still learning to do better — with research, writing, and practice all around us.

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Preview image from Maureen Gedney’s article on Waring’s French Teaching Pedagogy

I’m very excited to bring you our first piece from this series of writing: an article by French teacher, Maureen Gedney, on how we teach French at Waring and how our “never in English” language immersion program is backed up by science and research. Please enjoy this read — share it with your friends and fellow educators and francophiles — and look forward to more to come!

Tim Bakland


Head Of School Journal: Faculty Reflections From Camping Trip 2018

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Dear Waring Community,

We have now just begun our official classes (what most schools would mark as the “start” of year), but we have also just come off a wonderful week at Northwoods Camp in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. This journey into the outdoors is where the Waring year really begins.

Waring’s relationship with Northwoods YMCA Camp began in the mid ’80s. Several on the Faculty have attended over 25 trips to Lake Winnipesaukee, with veteran teacher Jim Watras, for example, holding a record of somewhere around 30 trips… including his years on sabbatical. This year, we are particularly grateful for teacher Edith Fouser, who, just returning from her own sabbatical, took on the role of lead organizer of the Camping Trip, facilitating a flawless schedule of events and promoting a culture of all hands on deck.

Waring’s Camping Trip is much more than a simple tradition. It is anything but perfunctory: each year, we revise the program, offering different outdoor experiences and setting a tone for a culture of student- and faculty-led experiences, mixed-age activities, discussions of summer readings, and an evolution of what will define that year for Waring School. The trip is an entrée into what we are and who we are in any given year. The students and faculty enjoy some continued traditions — such as singing with inspirational song-leader, Nick Page, living in cabins as a Tutorial, eating meals all together, engaging in community service in Wolfeboro — as well as creating spontaneous activities. The leadership of the Senior class becomes even more evident and powerful: this Class of 2019 set a tone of inclusion from the outset, leading us in all-school games on Tuesday, coordinating a Coffee House on Thursday night with an orientation toward full-school sing-alongs, and capping off the week with the ebullient traditions of Tutorial games.

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But don’t take my word for it.

Please hear the following words of Faculty and Staff who recently shared these souvenirs from last week:

Delighting in seeing the personal growth in some students that occurred over the summer, such as seeing a student who had been shy and reserved last year proudly greeting new students and acting as an ambassador: introducing them to others and making sure they had a place where to sit.

The joy of reading my cabin to sleep with stories from When the Sea Turned to Silver.

Group 1 went into Wolfeboro and interviewed residents about the upcoming elections: liberals, conservatives, undecided, and those that didn’t even know that there was an election coming up. Group 1 also visited the Wright Museum, learning all about WWII, the homefront and the Pacific & European fronts. The docents at the museum were impressed with us. On the way home, some asked, “Can we keep doing this kind of hands-on learning?”

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I smile to myself when I think about our Tutorial laughing and playing a fun fact-guessing game in the cabin while it rained – it was the best way to get to know each other!

Seeing John Wiggs walking quietly towards the lake upon his return from the Arctic with kids all running around the quad and him just taking it all in; and the standing ovation upon his return at Thursday’s dinner…

One image that sticks with me is a Group 3 student tearing up as I told her that she’d been chosen to do community service for the infants at the Wolfeboro Children’s Center. (When I asked her about it later, she said that working with infants is her “dream job” and that she’s been a mother’s helper since she was 8!)

I always love camping trip. Whether it’s catching that North Woods sunset in the 5 minutes between dinner and Nick Page, whether it’s noticing how many more stars there are when you’re really in the dark, whether it’s cheering on the Cross-Country runners as they descend into Wolfeboro after 6.3 miles – I would happily exist on camping trip far beyond our short 4 day trip.

Listening to and watching our Tutorial’s senior earnestly guide her fellow tutees on their writing prompts in our cabin was a highlight for me.  

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Oh, how marvelous to work in a place that provides the space to be lying in the dark under a clear and expansive night sky, stargazing and pondering the immensity of our universe (and how small we are within it) with a thoughtful and articulate 7th grader. In that moment we are in it together, learning from each other and our rich, vast surroundings.

Theatre on Camping Trip this year felt particularly successful. We started with our seniors taking Senior Sports Option talking about their plans for the season, and also how they would still involve themselves in the fall play. […] Yes it was hot as all get out, and there was rain, and when I looked at the kids on Thursday afternoon they had positively melted, but my takeaway is how welcoming our current students were to our new students. Having the luxury of time to explore craft, experiment, and get to know each other is really a gift. Our ensemble ebbs and flows over the course of a year, and it’s so gratifying to begin from such a place of warmth, strength, and shared vision.

Star-gazing with John Wiggs’ Tutorial: unforgettable! We had never seen so many shooting stars and our ages ranged from 12 to 45!

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I was sitting in the dining area at night with our new calculus teacher, Anton. The door opened at the other end of the hall.  Anton asked, “what was that?”  I said, oh, just someone looking in, I guess. Anton was not satisfied with leaving the mystery unsolved. He walked to the end of the room then came back and said, “A skunk came in then left when it saw me. It was black and white; it had to be a skunk!” I replied, “Yes, but don’t you want to work on your Calculus?”

We lay on our backs and caught a shooting star. We sat up and read our fears out loud. We watched them curl in the flames until nothing was left but a single swoop of orange. Then that too disappeared like the Cheshire cat’s smile. 

We now venture into the equally exhilarating business of Waring’s “regular” class schedule. And yet, we carry the spirit of Northwoods in our every endeavor, each day adventuring, each day creating the experience of all voices… and of one Waring School.

Best wishes!

Tim Bakland
Head of School 

P.S. For more Camping Trip photos, click here!

Eight Reasons Why Waring Endterm Rocks

This spring, Waring students built a skiff, interviewed political candidates, created a video game, wrote novellas, sewed rompers, travelled to Canada, designed theater sets, programmed robots, studied the World Cup, recreated historical photographs, and pondered the good life as part of a three-week Endterm for grades 6-10. The term is intensive, experiential, and often involves off-campus or travel experiences.

What makes it great? Why does it fit Waring’s core philosophy?

In their own words, eight Waring students explain why:

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1. Follow your passion
“If it’s something that you really like, that you’re passionate about, you’re able to do that thing every single day, all day, for three weeks. Having more time to focus on your passion–it feels really good to be able to get it all out.” – Kira Baxter ’22

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2. Learn with professionals
“We had this chance to go and use Harvard’s machines in labs that so many people want to go to. We got to go there as high school and middle school students. It was a really unique opportunity.” – Phoebe Holz ’20

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3. Work as a team
“You don’t see all the progress that has been done in one day because you’re just focused on your one part. But at the end of the day, when we put everything together, you can really see the boat coming to shape. It’s a super cool experience because it’s not just you building a boat. It’s a group of people working together to build a boat.  – Cole Ferguson Sauder ’21

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4. Develop new skills
“In regular school, you’re working for one hour on humanities, an hour on writing or math, but now, during Endterm, it’s one category for the entire three weeks. It’s really fun to see yourself develop in that field a lot in just a short time.” – Benny Weedon ’20

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5. More experiences, less tests
“Instead of ending with finals or more classes, we end class early and have this intensive, which I think is very Waring. Instead of ending with a bunch of standardized tests, we focus in on a different topic and you can go explore it.” – Henry Symes ’20

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6. Learn by doing
“We try and figure it out on our own. They let us make mistakes and let us learn from them. It’s a really awesome way for me to learn, and it’s taught me that in the future, when I want to teach people things, this is a really awesome way to do it. – Claire Rhyneer ’21

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7. Discover new talents
“When I was in sixth grade and just starting Waring, I was very tentative to try anything artsy, but Endterm helped me discover my strengths and interests. I realized there was a lot more to art than just black and white pencil. I realized my strength was actually poetry and watercolor. Knowing that made me realize that there is a lot more to art and writing that I had no clue about and that I might actually be very talented in.” – Ilaria Bardini ’20

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8. Promote camaraderie between groups
“Endterm is mixed age in a similar way to Tutorial. It’s to promote camaraderie between a sixth grader and say a sophomore… It’s only in these settings that a sixth grader could get critiqued on their work by a freshman – or the other way around.” – Campbell Boisvert ’20

Celebrating Our Roots; Words and Images Featuring Waring’s Founders, Philip & Josée


From Tim Bakland’s remarks at the 2018 Auction: 

In anticipation of this evening’s celebration of Waring’s roots, I had the pleasure of traveling to Tampa, Florida where I spent a day with Philip and Josée, our school’s founders. We spoke at length about the earliest days of the school, La Petite École in Rockport, and then the move here to Beverly.

You need to know, first of all, that the topic of “why did you start a school” is never a clear-cut conversation with Philip and Josée. They both almost invariably lead with “we never thought we were starting a school,” followed by each of them giving the other credit for actually doing it. (From Philip: “It was Josée who really started the school. She’s the one who loved working with children — and I was more focused on books and ideas.”  From Josée: “It was Philip who really started the school. He was a teacher who knew about books and ideas — and I was more focused on raising the children.”)

Eventually, though, with video camera rolling, the Warings spoke in beautiful, simple terms about their notions of “school” and “learning” and the sharing of “ideas”. They recalled discussions in daily morning-meetings, sketching all over campus with Josée, bee-keeping with Philip, the long trips in a school bus named Rocinante, and of the mysteries within buildings made out of barns and greenhouses and stables – spread over a largely untamed campus of extremely varied natural features.

There was nothing overly complex in the notion of La Petite École and Waring School – as all was really about learning through good living – and echoed repeatedly in the words of both Philip and Josée is what is most inalienably at the root of this place: that the spark, the impulse, the creativity and curiosity, the work, all the aspects of learning must come first and foremost from the learner. This idea may seem self-evident, and yet, as Philip and Josée knew so well, it takes courage as parents and teachers to step away, to abandon control, and to make the space and time for learners to learn.

It is a pleasure to show you now a short excerpt of my recent conversations with the Warings …

Tim Bakland

Celebrating our Roots Cover

3/11/18: An Open Letter on Behalf of Independent Schools of New England

An Open Letter on Behalf of Independent Schools of New England,

We, the heads of independent schools, comprising 176 schools in the New England region, stand in solidarity with our students and with the families of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The heart of our nation has been broken yet again by another mass shooting at an American school. We offer our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of those who died and are grieving for the loss of life that occurred.

We join with our colleagues in public, private, charter, independent, and faith-based schools demanding meaningful action to keep our students safe from gun violence on campuses and beyond. Many of our students, graduates, and families have joined the effort to ensure that this issue stays at the forefront of the national dialogue. We are all inspired by the students who have raised their voices to demand change. As school leaders we give our voices to this call for action. We come together out of compassion, responsibility, and our commitment to educate our children free of fear and violence.

As school leaders, we pledge to do all in our power to keep our students safe. We call upon all elected representatives – each member of Congress, the President, and all others in positions of power at the governmental and private-sector level – to take action in making schools less vulnerable to violence, including sensible regulation of firearms.

We are adding our voices to this dialogue as a demonstration to our students of our own commitment to doing better, to making their world safer. Our children’s safety is more important than partisan politics and we pledge to work with any and all who share our commitment.

We stand together for our children and our children’s children to ensure that our country comes together for their right to learn and grow in safe communities nationwide. We know that action is needed now.



Dr. Brian D. Bloomfield
Head of School
The Academy at Charlemont

Molly Martins
The Academy at Penguin Hall

Melissa P. Earls
Head of School
Academy Hill School

Courtney Dickinson
Founder & Head of School
The Acera School

Nicole A. DuFauchard
Head of School
The Advent School

Susanna H. Thompson
Interim Head of School
Amherst Montessori School

Martina B. Albright, Ph.D.
Apple Orchard School

Chris Williamson
Interim Head
Applewild School

Amy Gold
Head of School
Arthur J. Epstein Hillel School

Marshall W. Carter
Head of School
Atrium School

James Hickey, Ph.D
Austin Preparatory School

Trey Cassidy
Head of School
Bancroft School

Ian Bickford
Provost and Vice President
Bard Academy at Simon’s Rock

Conrad Wildsmith
Head of School
Bay Farm Montessori Academy

Cindy Laba and Marsha Feinberg
Beacon Academy

Peter Hutton
Head of School
Beaver Country Day School

Brendan W. Largay
Head of School
Belmont Day School

Rick Melvoin
Head of School
Belmont Hill School

Christopher H. Wilson
Head of School
The Bement School

Bonnie J. Ricci
Head of School
Birches School

Grace Cotter Regan
Boston College High School

Dr. Ari M. Betof
Head of School
Boston University Academy

Judith Guild
Head of School
Brimmer and May School

Darren Nicholas
British International School of Boston

John Packard
Head of School
Brooks School

Laura Caron
Head of School
Brookwood School

Rebecca T. Upham
Head of School
Buckingham Browne and Nichols School

Franny Shuker-Haines
Buxton School

Chris Gorycki
Interim Head of School
Cambridge Friends School

Dr. Ingrid W. Tucker
Head of School
Cambridge Montessori School

Jane Moulding
Head of School
The Cambridge School of Weston

Tom Trigg
Head of School
Cape Cod Academy

Christopher D. Day
Head of School
Cardigan Mountain School

Stephen Wilkins
Head of School
The Carroll School

Dr. Peter F. Folan
Catholic Memorial School

Isabel “Charlie” Spencer
Head of School
The Center School

Lance Conrad, Ed.D.
Head of School
Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School

Gretchen Larkin
Head of School
Charles River School

Tamara Schurdak
Head of School
The Chestnut Hill School

Jeffrey Clark
Head of School
Clark School

Christine Lindeman
Head of School
The Common School

William Wharton
The Commonwealth School

Dan Corley
Head of School
Community Preparatory School

Rick Hardy
Head of School
Concord Academy

David Manzo
Cotting School

Margaret H. Lee and Catherine E. Pollock
Co-Heads of School
Cushing Academy

Katherine L. Bradley
Head of School
Dana Hall School

Allison D. Webster
Head of School
Dedham Country Day School

Margarita Curtis
Head of School
Deerfield Academy

Corrine Perkins
Delphi Academy of Boston

Joseph Perry
Head of School
Derby Academy

Brad Bates
Head of School
Dublin School

Dr. Peter J. (PJ) McDonald
Eagle Hill School

Andrew Chase
Eaglebrook School

The Rev. John H. Finley IV
Head of School
Epiphany School

Annmarie Quezada
Interim Head of School
Esperanza Academy

Moira Kelly
Executive Director and President
Explo School

Rob Wells
Head of School
Falmouth Academy

Robert J. Gustavson, Jr.
Head of School
Fay School

Edward Kuh
Head of School
Fayerweather Street School

Jerry Ward
The Fenn School

David Stettler
Head of School
The Fessenden School

Maura Spignesi
Head of School
Fontbonne Academy

Ben Kennedy
Head of School
Friends Academy

Rabbi Marc Baker
Head of School
Gann Academy

Dr. Jochen Schnack OSR
Head of School
German International School Boston

David Liebmann
Head of School
Glen Urquhart School

Ralph Wales
Head of School
The Gordon School

Peter H. Quimby
Head of School
The Governor’s Academy

Michael Junkins
Faculty Administrator
Great Barrington Rudolph Steiner School

Temba Maqubela
Groton School

Paul Horovitz
Head of School
Harborlight Montessori

Frances Cameron
Administrative Chair
The Hartsbrook School

Geraldine Kline
Head of School
High Mowing School

Ed Chase
Head of School
Hillside School

Phil Peck
Head of School
Holderness School

Laura Gauld
Head of School and President
Hyde School

Donna Milani Luther
Head of School
INLY School

Richard Ulffers
Head of School
International School of Boston

Anne Murphy
Jackson Walnut Park Schools

Susie Tanchel
Head of School
Jewish Community Day School

Andrea Katzman
Head of School
Jewish Community Day School of RI

Christopher S. Cheney
Head of School
Kents Hill School

Mike Schafer
Head of School
Kimball Union Academy

Renee DuChainey-Farkes
Head of School
Kingsley Montessori School

Robert J. Broudo
President and Headmaster
Landmark School

Amy Carroll
Head of School
Laurel School

Dan Scheibe
Head of School
Lawrence Academy

Michael McCord
Head of School
The Learning Project

Deanne Benson
Head of School
Lesley Ellis School

Aline Gery
Head of School
Lexington Montessori School

Suzanne Fogarty
Head of School
Lincoln School

Thomas J. Doherty III
Malden Catholic

Fanning M. Hearon III
Head of School
Maple Street School

Arvind S. Grover
Head of School
Meadowbrook School of Weston

Joshua Abrams
Head of School
Meridian Academy

John Kaufman
Head of School
Middlebridge School

Kathy Giles
Head of School
Middlesex School

Todd B. Bland
Head of School
Milton Academy

Julia Heaton
Head of School
Miss Hall’s School

Karen E. Bohlin, EdD
Head of School
Montrose School

Matt Glendinning
Head of School
Moses Brown School

Ed Hudner
Head of School
Mother Caroline Academy and Education Center

Eileen McLaughlin
Head of School
Mount Alvernia High School

Danielle Heard
Head of School
Nashoba Brooks School

Harry Lynch
The Newman School

Barbara Rogers R.S.C.J
Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart

Beth Black
Head of School
Newton Montessori School

Catherine Hall
Head of School
Noble and Greenough School

Peter Fayroian
Head of School
Northfield Mount Hermon

Elizabeth Pasciucco
Notre Dame Academy

Bill Perrine
Head of School
Oak Meadow School

Margaret Douglas
Head of School
Odyssey Day School

Sarah Herman
Head of School
Our Sisters’ School

Cynthia A. Harmon
Head of School
The Park School
Tracy Bradley
Head of Schools
Park Street School/Park Street Kids

Rob Kelley
Head of School
The Pennfield School

John G. Palfrey
Head of School
Phillips Academy

Lisa MacFarlane
Phillips Exeter Academy

Betsye Sargent & Barbara McFall
Heads of School
The Phoenix School

John “Muddy” Waters
Head of School
The Pike School

Susannah Wells
Head of School
Pine Cobble School

Diana Owen
Head of School
Pine Point School

Dr. Timothy M. Johnson
Head of School
Pingree School

Margaret Bagge
Head of School
Pioneer Valley Montessori School

J. Timothy Richards
Head of School
Pomfret School

Vince Watchhorn
Head of School
Providence Country Day School

Emily Jones
Head of School
The Putney School

Michael Barclay
Head of School
Quest Montessori School

Mallory Rome
Head of School
The Rashi School

Ned Parsons
Head of School
The Rivers School

James Tracy
Head of School
Rocky Hill School

Kerry P. Brennan
The Roxbury Latin School

Marie P. Leary
Head of School
The Sage School

Alex Zequeira
Saint John’s High School

Tom Nunan, Jr.
Head of School
Saint Joseph Prep

Jennifer Borman
Head of School
School One

Mark Stanek
Head of School
Shady Hill School

Clair Ward
Head of School
Shore Country Day School

Frank Schwartz, Ph.D.
Showa Boston Institute

Rebecca Lurie
Head of School
Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston

Gigi DiBello
Head of School
Sophia Academy

David Tinagero
St. Andrew’s School

Alixe Callen
Head of School
St. George’s School

Edward P. Hardiman, Ph. D.
St. John’s Prep

John Warren
Head of School
St. Mark’s School

Mike Hirschfeld
Head of School
St. Paul’s School

Scot Landry
Acting President
St. Paul’s Choir School

William L. Burke III
St. Sebastian’s School

Houry Boyamian, M.Ed.
St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School

Sally L. Mixsell
Head of School
Stoneleigh-Burnham School

Martha Torrence
Head of School
Summit Montessori School

John H. Quirk
Head of School
Tabor Academy

Christian B. Elliot
Head of School
Tenacre Country Day

Don Grace
Head of School
Thacher Montessori School

Ted Koskores
Thayer Academy

Dr. Mary Halpin Carter
Head of School
The Derryfield School

Walter Hubley
Head of School
The Woodward School

Peter Saliba
Head of School
Tilton School

Susan Diller
Head of School
Touchstone Community School

Timothy Delehaunty
Head of School
Tower School

Linda Echt
Interim Head of School
Tremont School

Rosann Whiting
Ursuline Academy

Mara D. White
Director of School
Waldorf High School of Massachusetts Bay

Robert Schiappacasse
School Director
The Waldorf School of Lexington

Antonio Viva
Head of School
Walnut Hill School for the Arts

Timothy Bakland
Head of School
Waring School

Teri Schrader
Head of School
Watkinson School

Geoffrey Wagg
Head of School
Waynflete School

Allison Gaines Pell
Head of School
The Wheeler School

Timothy Breen
Head of School
The White Mountain School

Brian P. Easler
Head of School
Wilbraham & Monson Academy

Robert W. Hill, III
Head of School
The Williston Northampton School

Sarah Pelmas
Head of School
The Winsor School

Edward A. Cooper
Head of School

Walter Hubley
Head of School
The Woodward School

Ron Cino
Head of School
Worcester Academy

Brother Daniel Skala, C.F.X.
Xaverian Brothers High School

The Brick Wolves: Waring’s First Lego League Team by Francis Schaeffer

On December 9, 2017, Waring’s First Lego League Team, the Brick Wolves, headed off to Revere High School for a day of competition. Fourteen nervous students, two teachers (Erin Thomassen and me), along with several parents, and lots of Lego, traveled south from Waring on a cold, snowy, Saturday.


Our journey toward the Revere tournament started in early August when many students came in to assemble our playing field, make the mission models, and build Waring’s first batch of Lego Mindstorm’s robots. Once the school year started Erin and I taught the students how to program in the EV3-G language used by the robots. We knew we would be up against teams with lots of experience and we would all be newbies. So, we scrambled to learn the language, came in for multiple full-day sessions on Saturdays and got our selves from zero to ready in 3 months.


When we arrived at Revere High we pulled out our carefully packed tubs holding the precious, student-built and programmed robots, and headed into the gymnasium where the other 25 teams awaited. It was a hectic day, but we learned a lot and had fun. When we ran our robots for the judges, we scored lots of points, but during the meet our robots had problems. Our teams placed in the 10th and 11th spots in the meet, receiving awards for our work, but we missed the cut off to move on in the competition by one spot.


Now that the official FLL season is over, we are running our own internal competition. We took apart our old robots, divided into seven teams of two and are in the midst of our own contest. The kids are almost done building their new robots and will start to write new code for them. We look forward to taking what we learned during the official FLL season and incorporating it into our new batch of robots and code!

Catching up with Alumni Athletes, by Mike Kersker

When students are interested in pursuing their education at Waring School, we often times get questions about sports and the level of competition our students participate in. All members of our community are athletes in some way. One of the many beauties of our school is that we offer the novice athlete opportunities to become members of our sports teams, and under the same umbrella, we graduate some of the most competitive athletes on the Northshore. Our end goal is to create an environment here at Waring where being active in sports and activities transcends any school, institution or work place; where being active becomes a mainstay in our alumni’s lives, creating lifelong habits for good health.

Staying Active After “It’s Over”

a4hzjrsy141q9lx7I caught up recently with Waring alumna, and former two-sport athlete at Emerson College, Maggie Sheetz. Although Maggie has graduated from Emerson College and isn’t playing collegiate lacrosse or soccer any longer, staying active is still important to her. Maggie’s job as a sound technician at Gillette Stadium gives her windows of opportunity to get out and run. “I play in a women’s lacrosse league over the summer which is fairly competitive, but most recently I have been into running for the sake of running and staying fit. This past year I have participated in two half marathons, running them both with a former college teammate.” Maggie says that having an event to train for creates even more incentive than just staying healthy and being fit. “It keeps my competitive juices flowing, which for me is still important”, says Sheetz.

Maggie was a three-sport athlete at Waring, captaining both soccer in the fall and lacrosse in the spring, while playing basketball in the winter. Maggie went onto Emerson College where she played both soccer and lacrosse for the Lions. Maggie credits her time as a student-athlete here at Waring as the largest factor in her ability to participate in collegiate athletics and wanting to pursue a healthy lifestyle in her adult life. “Playing sports and being active every day at Waring became part of my identity, and I didn’t want to give that up in college and certainly not now in my adult life.”

Making Those Tough Decisions – From Judge to Statesmen

Wigglesworth_Nick_636A3038 (1)Waring alumnus Nick Wigglesworth is a Sophomore at Hobart College where his team made it to the final eight of the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament for Division three soccer this past season. It is the second time in as many seasons that Wigglesworth has been to the final eight, only not with the same team.

Nick’s path to Hobart was not typical. Nick started his college career at Brandeis University (the Judges), where he was recruited by long-time coach, Mike Coven. Coven was not only attracted to Nick’s ability on the soccer field but really appreciated the fact that Nick was a student-athlete in the true sense of student. Coven commented on Nick’s love for writing, and spoke to the Boston Globe Scholastic Writing Award Nick won his senior year at Waring. “I love the fact that Nick is so well rounded, he makes our team that much more diverse” said Coven. Nick seemed to think the same thing about his coach. “Mike Coven was a father figure to all his players. He made you want to play better every day. He had a way of making corrections to your game and still make you feel good about it in the process. Mike was always open to talking outside of games or practices, where he wanted to know more about you, not just about your game”, said Wigglesworth.


The Judges went on to compete in the NCAA Final Four in 2016, losing in the Semi-Final to Calvin College. “I will never forget the experience I had at the Final Four. You play your whole life to get to that point and being one of the last four teams in the country still playing, you feel as if you’re on top of the world. The Hotel was decked out with banners for each team, rooms were customized for us, the key cards to the room said NCAA Championships on them, it was all surreal. In the end, I transferred for academic and community reasons. Although the soccer was first class, I felt like other schools could offer me a better Economics/Environmental Science opportunity as well as a more conjoined community experience.”

So once the season ended, Wigglesworth started a similar process to that of his senior year in High School. Fortunately, he found just the fit he was looking for in Hobart (the Statesmen). “I couldn’t be happier both on and off the field. I love my classes, my community, my teammates. This is what I envisioned the whole experience could be. Transferring was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make, but it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. I couldn’t be happier with my experience so far at Hobart.” 

One of the Best at His Game

rtny24tjskkzay5cWaring alumnus and former Boston Globe All-Scholastic Aidan Wood is not only considered one of the best players in the most competitive division three soccer conferences in the country, the data actually proves it. Aidan led the NESCAC in total points and was tied for top goal scorer in the league with eight goals, three of which were game winners. He was voted First Team All-New England Small College Athletic Conference. His Hamilton Continentals lost in the conference semi-finals to Tufts and just missed out on an NCAA bid this year. Aidan goes above and beyond. He has a lifting regiment that he follows over the summer, plays competitively for the local U-23 Aztec Men’s team, follows his daily summer fitness training packet and has asked to work privately with me over the past two summers-solely focusing on his shooting technique. Aidan’s athletic quotient is off the charts. When you couple that with an off- season willingness to work even harder on your game, these are the results one can be capable of.


The Duct Tape Network at Waring Downtown, by Sarah Carlson-Lier

170621C-WARING-0500.jpgMaking and doing has been an integral part of Waring’s approach from the early days of the school when a student’s day might include taking care of the goats, woodworking, baking or typesetting, as well as academic work. The opening of the Waring Industrial Park (WIP) this fall is a natural extension of this original vision of experiential, creative learning and gives students space and tools to work on their own projects, as well as the opportunity to participate in new initiatives such as First Lego League.

The opening of the WIP coincides with a second year in residence at Waring Downtown, our Cabot Street storefront. This fall, I wanted to bring some making energy from campus to downtown Beverly. With the encouragement of Tim, Robine and my colleagues, I decided to start an after-school club for local children age 7-10, inspired by the Duct Tape Network, a program I heard about through the Boston Mini Maker Faire.

The Duct Tape Network, which was conceived at the MIT media lab, is a series of fun, hands-on maker clubs that encourage children to use cardboard, tape, wood, fabric, LED lights, motors, and more to bring their stories and inventions to life.


This fall, 13 local children participated in weekly, hour-long Duct Tape Network meetings at Waring Downtown. I led the club with 4 Waring students, who opted to help as part of the Monday afternoon elective program. We experimented with cardboard linkages and built wobble bots and propeller cars, added light to our projects with LEDs and created cardboard automata.

Second grader Bella said, “I liked the Duct Tape Network because it was fun and I could make things with electronics and cardboard, and I liked working in downtown Beverly. I am proud of making a robot dog and a night light.”

As a final project, we created cardboard arcade games inspired by the short film Caine’s Arcade. Children made their own versions of skee-ball, pinball and basketball, as well as some totally unique creations. At our final meeting we invited parents, siblings and friends to play the games and win prizes.

The seven weeks of Duct Tape Network passed quickly, but I’ve heard from parents that the creative energy has just moved from the Waring Downtown storefront to the kitchen table as students continue to make things at home. We will have another session of the Duct Tape Network beginning in mid-January and are looking for more young makers to join us, so if you know any, please send them our way!


Radium Girls, by Elizabeth Gutterman

170621C-WARING-0352While home in Providence for Rosh Hashanah, I saw an elderly family friend in temple who asked me what I was working on. I told her that we were currently rehearsing Radium Girls, and when I started to tell her about it, she nodded and looked at me intently. Then she teared up. She knew the story, and not because she’d Googled “large cast plays for high school students.”

“I didn’t realize they made that into a play,” she said.

“Oh yes,” I said proudly. “Not a lot of high schools perform it.”

She touched my hand. “Well, I’m glad your students are. People need to hear this story. It’s so important.”


Important, I thought as I walked away. Important. I began to feel a tremendous responsibility to this woman, to the story of the play, and to all the Radium Girls. At its core, this is the story of women whose health, agency, and worth were marginalized and sacrificed for the sake of profit. As Grace Fryer, the play’s heroine, tells her fiancé, “They put lead screens in the laboratory for the technicians. Did they give us lead screens? 100 girls in a room and they’re going to spend that kind of money on us?”

Important? Without question. However, I often find theatre that is “important” can become precious and ultimately an idea rather than an emotionally and visually gripping experience. Actors risk being beleaguered by intellectual Radium_329.jpgimplications which prevent them from playing the visceral heart of their story. I began to fear that our students would collapse under the weight of their responsibility to the history, and that the play would become preachy and heavy-handed. Then I remembered what my thesis advisor told me when I was writing a play about a daughter making a last-ditch effort to forge peace with her mother, who was dying of leukemia. “Don’t play the illness, he cautioned me, “play the moment.” I knew that was what we would need to do here. We would play the moment when Irene’s mouth starts to bleed, heralding her demise. We would play the moment when the factory president must confront his culpability in the poisonings and his inability to forgive himself. We would play the moment when Grace breaks her engagement because she knows she won’t live long enough to see her wedding day.

How would we get there? We grapple with these questions every time we begin a new play. How will Tristan play forty-year-old serial killer Sweeney Todd? How will Radium_214.jpgAinsley play Gus, a teenage boy who does not speak? How will Emma play Libby, a woman who survives a catastrophic fall? We answer these questions using other questions to guide us. We ask what our characters want, from whom they want it, and how they will get it. We ask about the dire consequences of not fulfilling our characters’ objectives.  When we warm up, I tell my actors to plant these objectives in their bodies, to let these desires drive them down the paths their characters travel.

I write this a week from opening night. As we finish painting our set, refocusing our lights, adjusting the levels on our sound cues, and setting our props, I see glimpses of our version of this story coming to fruition. I see our forthright, passionate, and empathic students collaborating, connecting, and creating, and I am so proud that we are able to share work that is brave, deeply-felt, and yes, important, here on the Waring stage.