Stories and updates from around campus

Entrepreneur Nonie Creme ’90 to Give 2016 Commencement Address

Nonie Creme '88 will give this year's Commencement address.
Nonie Creme ’90 will give this year’s Commencement address.

A beauty business entrepreneur with a focus on color and irreverence, Nonie Creme ’90 will be the speaker at Williston Northampton School’s 175th Commencement on Sunday, May 29, 2016. Creme was Founding Creative Director of prestige cosmetics brand Butter London and took a chance on the mass market when she left it to create Nonie Creme Color Prevails in 2015. The line is sold at Walgreens and Duane Reed drug stores across the country.

“I have taken enormous risks, even though coming out of Butter London, I was a known entity and so many doors were open to me,” Creme said. “I am historically known for prestige, very expensive cosmetics and nail polish. With this company, I decided I wanted to take a leap of faith that I could get, over time, [upmarket makeup store chain] Sephora and department store consumers to come shop for their beauty products at the drug store.”

The risk seems to be paying off. “A lot of people said, ‘You’re crazy.’ If you screw up at prestige, you can always sell your stuff down at [the] mass [market],” she said. “If you screw up at mass, you’re done. I said, no, I’m doing this. I’m tasking myself with shifting a huge paradigm around the way people view their drug store. I have a strong gut and a strong vision and I’m highly intuitive as a businessperson. I trust myself.”

Creme hails from Houston, TX, and came to Williston Northampton School as a troubled teen with decent grades. “It’s no secret that I was a terrible teenager. Just a total hell-raiser.” At Williston she became enamored with the punk aesthetic and underwent a transformation from an unsophisticated girl who didn’t know how to do her own laundry to an independent young woman who dressed as a goth and frequented New York City’s punk venues during breaks from school. It was also at Williston that she developed her identity as an artist. “Really, I can credit Williston and [art teacher] Marcia Reed for giving me a safe, open environment in which to become an artist and to explore art in a way that I had never done before.”

As for advice for graduating seniors, Creme may emphasize the need to put oneself on the line. “Be prepared to take calculated risks,” she said, “but those risks have to be significant.” And to quote Colour Prevails’ website, “There are no mistakes, only experiments.”

The Commencement ceremony will take place under a tent in front of the Reed Campus Center, starting at 9:30 a.m., and will include the graduation of 133 members of the Class of 2016. The Reed Campus Center is located at 40 Park Street, Easthampton.

Williston Film Festival Winners

Williston Northampton School held its 9th Annual Film Festival on May 12, fielding 60 entries from high schools across the Northeast. The winners were as follows:

  • Best Motion Picture: “Flick,” Brianna Zuniga, Walnut Hill School
  • Best Editing: “Half Full, Trailer,” Luke Pinkham, Northampton High School
  • Best Screenplay: “Frankpa,” Georgina Cahill, Sacred Heart Greenwich
  • Best Documentary: “Chasing Sharks,” Jessie Swindel, Governor’s Academy
  • Most Creative: “Reach for Me (Thisbedottie),” Lexi Paulin , Easthampton High School
  • Best Music Video: Lucy Singleton Northampton High School
  • Best PSA: “Sexual Assault PSA,” Jada Goodrich, Williston Northampton School
  • Best Cinematography: “Sketch,” Carter Kratkiewicz, Concord Academy
  • Best Williston Film: “Toxic,” Verdi Degby, Williston Northampton School

The films were evaluated by a panel of judges: Director/Editor Jared Skolnick of Skolnick Films, Director/Editor Bob Savage of Dead Henchman Productions, and Producer/Director Bill Coughlin of Tohubohu Productions.

9th Williston Film Festival Ready for Its Close Up

2014_Winter_Norton_FilmCrew_Film_308x260Calling all filmmakers! The 9th Annual Williston Film Festival will take place at 6:30 p.m. on May 12 in the Reed Campus Center, and entries are due May 10. Organizers have invited submissions from 65 high schools all over the Northeast. Williston students may enter this year’s special category for Best Williston Film, and first prize is a $50 gift card to Tandem Bagel Company.

Student films can be shot using a digital camera, a phone, or an old-school film video camera. Find information on how to enter, as well as submission guidelines, here, or contact Mr. Hing with any questions.

Williston Celebrates Founders Day

On Monday, February 22, the Williston Northampton School celebrates Founders Day, which celebrates the school’s founding 175 years ago. The event kicks off on Sunday night, February 21, with a screening of the film 1 Revolution about paralympian Chris Waddell. In addition, Mr. Waddell will speak the next morning at Assembly.

The entire school will come together Monday to celebrate with a program of community-building exercises. After the all-school Assembly, students will break into different workshops and advisory groups throughout the day. Founders Day will conclude with a birthday dinner at which a new Williston-themed ice cream flavor, whipped up for the occasion by Mt. Tom’s Homemade Ice Cream, will make its debut.

In celebration of the school’s 175th birthday, Williston asks that you consider making a Founders Day gift to the Williston Northampton Fund or the Parents’ Fund. Our goal is to inspire 175 alumni, parents, and friends to come together and pledge their support during the course of 24 hours; if we reach that goal, an anonymous donor will give $25,000 to Williston! The challenge kicks off at midnight and runs until 11:59 p.m. on February 22 (for more details, check out this video, and this page on our website). Watch our Facebook page and our website for updates throughout the day. We thank you for your generosity! Questions may be directed to Traci Wolfe in the Advancement office.

Four Williston senior athletes sign letters of intent

On February 3, 2016, four Williston senior athletes signed letters of intent to play college-level sports: Emily MacDonald ’16, of Ludlow, MA, signed to play soccer with Assumption College in Worcester, MA; Caroline Wysocki ’16, of Agawam, MA, signed to play soccer with the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH; Aaron James ’16, of Amherst, MA, signed to play soccer with the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA; and Nick Garofano ’16, of Yorktown Heights, NY, signed to play lacrosse with the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY.

View photos from the signing ceremony on Williston’s Flickr site.

Stories and updates from around campus