In the Magazine

In Sight, Fall 2015

Posted by on Oct 7, 2015 in 2015 Fall Issue, InSight | Comments Off on In Sight, Fall 2015

Photo by John Gillooly

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Behind the Humming Sound at Milton: The Answers in Dollars and Sense

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Behind the Humming Sound at Milton: The Answers in Dollars and Sense

“To an outsider, Milton finances seem like they ought to be simple, straightforward,” muses Rob Azeke ’87, trustee Budget Committee chair. Milton spent against revenues of nearly $60 million in FY 2015. What were those carefully allocated dollars aiming to achieve?

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Can Inadequate Metrics Drive Equitable Decisions? Seth Allen ’86

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Can Inadequate Metrics Drive Equitable Decisions? Seth Allen ’86

“I’m interested in stretching the notion of what ‘deserving’ means in this day and age,” Seth Allen ’86 says, one day in June when his normally teeming office is unduly quiet. Seth is vice president and dean of admission and financial aid at Pomona College, and he’s directing his comment at college admission overall. As a process, applying and getting accepted to college provokes fixation, incredulity and frustration for many families, nationwide. It also raises urgent questions about access, affordability and value. “Four...

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310 Emotional Touch Points: Dhruv Prasad ’95

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310 Emotional Touch Points: Dhruv Prasad ’95

“A local radio host can be a huge celebrity in town,” says Dhruv Prasad ’95. If Ryan Seacrest, TV host of American Idol, appeared alongside Brian Scott, the K2 Radio morning DJ, at a mall in Casper, Wyoming,

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Chaos in the Circle: Donna Lee Chung ’79

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Chaos in the Circle:  Donna Lee Chung ’79

When Donna Chung was 26 years old, she was ready to quit playing field hockey for good. The two-time collegiate All-American at the University of Iowa was struggling to earn a spot as a goalkeeper on the U.S. National Team. She figured the time had finally come to move on with her life. “I really did quit in my mind,” recalls Donna. “There was another goalie, and she was better than I was, so I thought, ‘I’m done.’” Then she had a revelation. “I decided I was going to play field hockey until it stopped being fun. And it never...

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Deliver Flavor: More Rather Than Less: Tomica Burke ’01

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Deliver Flavor: More Rather Than Less: Tomica Burke ’01

Tomica “Tom” Burke ’01 could check all the boxes on any “path to success” template: boarding school, excellent college, Capitol Hill job, prestigious law school, a position at a Manhattan law firm. But after two years, she left her law firm, and one year later she launched TomCookery, a catering company featuring Caribbean and Southern-inspired food, based in Queens, New York. “It all started at Milton,” says Tom. “For my senior project, I wrote a cookbook. This was before food was sexy, but I felt this urgency about wanting to...

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What Keeps College Counselors Up at Night

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What Keeps College Counselors Up at Night

Each June for the past 14 years, I have taught at the Harvard Summer Institute on College Admission. For 55 years, the Institute has offered a weeklong, intensive introduction to all things college: the nuts and bolts of writing an effective recommendation; how to help families manage financial aid applications; the role of affirmative action; and what leadership in the college admission profession means, for example. Two of my colleagues on the faculty are high school counselors and 15 are college deans of admission and financial aid. At the...

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Eighth Graders Take on Big Data

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Eighth Graders Take on Big Data

Grade 8 students are talking loudly in class. Today’s math teachers welcome that. Nancy Anderson, Milton’s K–8 math coordinator and Grade 8 math teacher, is reshaping the curriculum to optimize the value of talking. “Discussion in class is a huge topic in math education,” says Nancy, whose doctoral degree is in math education. “The data are clear that you want to get students talking, but it’s very hard to do that well — to use students’ discussion to move the class forward. “If we believe students learn by...

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1798. 2015. Technology. Cloud. Blog. Wiki. Digital Native. Apps. Phablet. 3-D Printing. Drones. Wearables. Internet of Things. STEM. STEAM.

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in 2015 Fall Issue, On Centre | Comments Off on 1798. 2015. Technology. Cloud. Blog. Wiki. Digital Native. Apps. Phablet. 3-D Printing. Drones. Wearables. Internet of Things. STEM. STEAM.

What is Milton’s approach to technology? How do we affirm historical core values as well as relevance, well beyond 2015? In September 2013, Milton’s board of trustees convened a Technology Advisory Council (TAC) and charged the members with digging into this ever-changing landscape. The Council’s task was to develop a master plan that would guide Milton’s thinking about technology that supports teaching and learning. KublerWirka, a Boston-based consultancy that worked with Milton to develop our Strategic Plan, consulted on this project...

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Heidi Vanderbilt-Brown is Milton’s New CFO

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in 2015 Fall Issue, On Centre | Comments Off on Heidi Vanderbilt-Brown is Milton’s New CFO

This June, Heidi Vanderbilt-Brown joined Milton as the School’s Chief Financial and Operating Officer. Heidi previously worked in Harvard University’s Office of Financial Strategy and Planning, where she had been associate director since 2011. In that role, Heidi was responsible for the design and execution of all annual university financial planning initiatives, including multi-year financial planning, annual budgeting, tuition, enrollment and financial aid proposals, capital planning affordability assessments, and quarterly forecasting...

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Reaching New Heights, Mustangs Are League Champions

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in 2015 Fall Issue, On Centre | Comments Off on Reaching New Heights, Mustangs Are League Champions

Reaching New Heights, Mustangs Are League Champions Boys’ Track Team Breaks School Records The boys’ track and field athletes made their mark in Milton’s history books by winning the team’s first Independent School League Championship in 24 years. The Mustangs scored 100 total team points in the ISL meet, defeating tough competition — including last year’s champion, Thayer. During the course of the day, 11 Milton athletes accomplished at least one personal record. The team’s victory was decided in the final event, in which...

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Board of Trustees News

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in 2015 Fall Issue, On Centre | Comments Off on Board of Trustees News

Milton Thanks Brad : A Decade of Record Bradley M. Bloom Member of the Board of Trustees, 2004–2015 President, 2009–2015 For 11 years, Brad Bloom has devoted himself to advancing Milton’s tradition, mission and capacity to lead. Not ones to stand by, Brad and his wife Terri took on early roles as parent leaders in Milton’s fundraising, when their daughter Elizabeth ’08 entered Grade 4 and their son Ross ’06 joined Milton in seventh grade, the following year. Elected to the board in 2004, Brad exposed more of his talents, and we...

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Reflections on a Master Teacher

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in 2015 Fall Issue, On Centre | Comments Off on Reflections on a Master Teacher

William M. Moore Faculty member from 1978–2008 Bill Moore died on September 11, 2014. Many friends and family, alumni, faculty and staff gathered in King Theatre on October 11, 2014, to share reflections about Bill and celebrate his life. Speakers recounted stories about Bill’s warmth and humor, his care, his boundless intellect and charming, engaging style. Memories of Bill are vivid and enduring. Because it so aptly captures Bill as he was known by many Miltonians, Milton Magazine reprints here the tribute that David Smith, former...

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David Smith, English Department

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in 2015 Fall Issue, Retiring Faculty | Comments Off on David Smith, English Department

David Smith, English Department Member of the Faculty, 1981–2015 “Teaching is play, and anyone, at whatever level, who forgets this axiom will probably have a grim time of it,” writes David Smith, in his new book, Be a Teacher: A Memoir in Ten Ideas. After all, he reminds us, “[We are] but sharing a few precious hours with grumpy, cheerful, feisty, querulous, randy, reflective, impulsive, generous, and spirited teenagers, who deserve a full initiation into the human comedy before they go to college, let alone law school.” As far as I...

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Maria Gerrity, English Department

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Maria Gerrity, English Department Member of the Faculty, 1998–2015 Young teachers hope to launch a career with curiosity and authenticity; mid-career teachers yearn to balance work and family; and veterans earn gravitas. We are here to celebrate Maria Gerrity, who has played every melodious note on just such an ascending scale of a school career. Her 20-year arc at Milton has been backlit by her natural, easy way with her students and colleagues, an ease that has always invited us to learn and laugh genuinely. Before she set foot on...

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Virginia Needham, Admission Office Staff, 1990–2015

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Virginia Needham, Admission Office Staff, 1990–2015 Capturing all that Virginia has meant to Milton during her 25 years here is challenging. Virginia has been a welcoming, kind, supportive presence in the admission office. The admission office is often a family’s first point of contact with Milton Academy. Understandably, families may be anxious, but Virginia’s calming influence quickly puts them at ease. She brings grace and care to each interaction and signals to families that they are in good hands. Virginia’s thoughtful approach...

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Barbara Kennard, Middle School English

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Barbara Kennard, Middle School English Member of the Faculty, 2008–2015 In The Tempest, one of Barbara’s five-star productions with the sixth grade, Prospero says, “Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, the cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces, the solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve.” I disagree with Shakespeare. None of Barbara’s work at Milton Academy...

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Juan Ramos, Mathematics Department

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in 2015 Fall Issue, Retiring Faculty | Comments Off on Juan Ramos, Mathematics Department

Juan Ramos, Mathematics Department Member of the Faculty, 1998–2015 Imagining Milton Academy, Wolcott House and the math department without Juan Ramos is difficult. Always flexible and happy to teach what the department needed, Juan taught courses across the math curriculum. Students found his straightforward approach reassuring and his explanations clear, even when they were trying to master the most difficult ideas. More recently, Juan centered his work in the Skills Center, helping budding mathematicians at every level. There too,...

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Mary Jo Ramos, Modern Language Department

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Mary Jo Ramos, Modern Language Department Member of the Faculty, 1998–2015 Mary Jo Ramos, in the eyes and hearts of teachers, students, parents and alumni, is a most caring and generous colleague. She feeds us, supports us, challenges us, inspires us and champions us. Whether she has responded to cover a class in Ware Hall, or coached the Middle School Speech Team to nationals in a Midwestern city, or traveled to Spain with students on a new adventure, Mary Jo understands and tends to the needs and the hopes of all, building toward their...

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Janet Levine, English Department

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Janet Levine, English Department Member of the Faculty, 1986–2014 Last year the English department saw the departure of Janet Levine, one of its most veteran members, whose worldly intellect enriched generations of students and colleagues. A writer and political activist fleeing South Africa’s apartheid government, Janet moved to Milton in 1984 when her sons, Roger and Tony, enrolled in the Middle School, and Janet turned to her burgeoning writing career that produced such diverse titles as Inside Apartheid (1988), The Enneagram...

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Dr. Reza Aslan

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in 2015 Fall Issue, Messages | Comments Off on Dr. Reza Aslan

Dr. Reza Aslan Religious scholar Dr. Reza Aslan visited campus as the Class of 1952 Endowed Speaker for Religious Understanding. Dr. Aslan is a professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside, and serves on the board of trustees for the Chicago Theological Seminary. He is the author of bestselling Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. He is also the founder of AslanMedia — a social media network for news and entertainment about the Middle East and the world — and co-founder and chief creative...

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Patricia Smith

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in 2015 Fall Issue, Messages | Comments Off on Patricia Smith

Patricia Smith Award-winning poet Patricia Smith read to students from her work as the spring’s Bingham Visiting Writer. Ms. Smith has written six books of poetry, including Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah (2012), which won the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets; Blood Dazzler (2008), a chronicle of the human and environmental cost of Hurricane Katrina, which was nominated for a National Book Award; and Teahouse of the Almighty, a 2005 National Poetry Series selection. Her work has appeared in Poetry, the Paris Review, the...

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Listening for Understanding — Easier when interpreting the past, than the present

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in 2015 Fall Issue, Faculty Perspective | Comments Off on Listening for Understanding — Easier when interpreting the past, than the present

by Brittney Lewer, Fellow in the History Department In high school, I thought of history as a detective game. Piecing together clues from the past, historians would deduce what really happened. Relatively late in my college career, I realized that “what really happened” is, in some ways, a moving target. History is not a fixed set of events, but a narrative that changes based in part on who is telling the story and who the audience is. Perspective taking — the skill of being able to engage with more than one person’s ideas...

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I Am Radar, by Reif Larsen ’98

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in 2015 Fall Issue, Alumni Authors | Comments Off on I Am Radar, by Reif Larsen ’98

I Am Radar by Reif Larsen ’98 Penguin Press, February 2015 In 1975, a black child named Radar Radmanovic is mysteriously born to white parents. Though Radar is raised in suburban New Jersey, his story rapidly becomes entangled with terrible events in Yugoslavia, Norway, Cambodia, the Congo, and beyond. Falling in with a secretive group of puppeteers and scientists — who stage experimental art for people suffering under wartime sieges — Radar is forced to confront the true nature of his identity. Acclaimed novelist Reif Larsen...

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