All posts by Kate Snyder

Williston Graduates 124 Members of the Class of 2017

Senior class president Natalie Aquadro prepares to lead her class beneath the tent for Commencement.

On a cool gray Sunday, as the rain held off, 124 students graduated from the Williston Northampton School during its 176th Commencement exercises. Graduates, their classmates, faculty, families, trustees, and special guests gathered on May 28, 2017, under a white tent on the Quad to celebrate the achievements of the Class of 2017. (See the video here.) (See photos here.)

Head of School Robert W. Hill III presided over the event by comparing graduating high school to a much-watched YouTube video of a sea lion pulling a toddler into the sea (the toddler, and her dad, who rescued her, were fine). (Read his amusing—and poignant—remarks here.) Mr. Hill also introduced his mentor from his Middlebury College days, keynote speaker John McCardell Jr., the vice-chancellor of The University of the South and president emeritus of Middlebury College. Continue reading

Commencement Speaker McCardell Leads the University of the South

Bonnie and John McCardell

John M. McCardell Jr., president emeritus of Middlebury College, and the vice-chancellor of Sewanee: The University of the South, will be the speaker at the 176th Commencement of the Williston Northampton School.

In 2015, McCardell was appointed chair of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). NAICU board members set the association agenda on federal higher education policy; actively encourage support of association priorities and initiatives; and oversee the organization’s financial administration. Continue reading

Students Dedicate Yearbook to Jenna Motyka

Ms. Motyka gives Gabby Mercier a hug.

A standing, whooping, stomping ovation, and even some tears, greeted the dedication of the 2017 Williston Northampton School yearbook, The Log. Its three editorsseniors Emma Reynolds, Gabby Mercier, and Saul Blain—announced at a recent assembly that this year’s edition is dedicated to Jenna Motyka, coordinator of student services.  Mr. Seamon captured video of the moment. The following is the transcript of the dedication, which was read by Emma Reynolds. Continue reading

Student Life Speaker Sheds Light on Teenage Brain

Dr. Abigail Judge addresses students at a recent Student Life assembly.

Teens need to know the difference between “hot” and “cold” cognition, and how making decisions in each of these emotional states can bring vastly different outcomes. Student Life Speaker Abigail Judge, a Cambridge therapist who also teaches at Harvard Medical School and conducts research at Massachusetts General Hospital, connected with her teenage audience using humor and self-deprecation during a recent assembly. Her message: know your brain.

“Hot” cognition occurs when emotions are high, when someone is upset, angry, or sad. Teens in this state should notice their feelings (a tight stomach, sweaty hands, a feeling of anguish, for example) and put their phone down. This is not the time to send a text or reply to a provoking phone call. In the cold light of day, Judge said, we all make better judgment calls on how to interact with people. Continue reading

Painter Cody Rutty Brings Iterative Abstraction to Williston

Visiting artist Cody Rutty
Visiting artist Cody Rutty

Cody Rutty, an American painter living and working in Boise, Idaho, will be the third visiting artist to spend time at Williston Northampton School as part of the Grum Project, funded by a generous alumna. Rutty will be on campus through April 14, leading classes, working with individual students, and creating a large oil painting that will remain at the school.

After studying architecture and virtual technology and design at the University of Idaho, Rutty pursued fine art with a focus on painting. This focus has led to what he calls iterative abstraction: a process-driven approach to visual art through repeated layering. Continue reading