Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dean of Students Kathy Noble Announces Election Results

On April 22, Dean of Students Kathy Noble announced the election results for class presidents at the Wednesday assembly.  Class representative elections (and there are four representatives per class) took place on Friday, May 1.

It is my privilege to announce the most newly elected class presidents following yesterday’s elections.

I’d ask that you join me in congratulation the President of the Class of 2018: Ms. Caroline Channell!

And the President of the Class of 2017: Mr. Cody Cavanaugh!

And finally, the President of next year’s senior class, Class of 2016: Mr. Nate Gordon!

I’d like to thank all of the candidates who ran in these elections and remind them (and others) that they are eligible to run for the four representatives’ seats in each class on the Student Council. Those individuals will speak to classmates during class assemblies on Friday, May 1 with an election to follow during lunch.

Please see your Class Deans for additional information.

2014 Cum Laude Induction Keynote

Editor’s note: Tim Farnham ‘84 presented this Cum Laude Induction Keynote on January 17, 2014 during Upper School Assembly in Phillips Stevens Chapel. 

Thank you, Headmaster Hill, for that kind introduction—a special welcome to all the parents, greetings to the faculty, members of the student body, and to the 2014 cum laude inductees—congratulations!! This is a huge accomplishment.

So, when I walked into the chapel this morning, I was—as you might imagine—flooded with memories. I thought I might try to open up this speech with “the last time I was in the chapel…” and I then realized I actually don’t remember what our final gathering was here—senior spring was a bit of a blur. But I do remember my first speech at assembly. Chosen by my peers to speak in front of the entire school. Back then, before email or twitter, we had important things that needed to be communicated at assembly. I was sitting back there—just like I was this morning—I got up, came to the podium, and said something like “JV cross country traveled to Westminster on Wednesday, and…..we lost.”   Continue reading

The Sterns Tell their Stories of Survival

Manny Stern, Eva Stern-Rodriguez '13, and Ritta Stern

Three days after his seventh birthday, Manny Stern, and the last remnants of Antwerp’s Jewish community, caught the last train out of Belgium. It was May 1940 and German troops were encroaching on the Low Countries and northern France.  During the Holocaust, between 1939 and 1945, the Nazis systematically murdered over 6 million people as their forces conquered Europe, Russia, and parts of North Africa.

Mr. Stern met his wife, Ritta, at a square dance at City College in Manhattan, she was 18 and he was 21.  They’ve been married for 58 years.

However, it wasn’t until four or five years ago that Mr. and Mrs. Stern, grandparents of Eva Stern-Rodriguez ’13, decided to start telling their stories of survival during the Holocaust. On April 16 the Sterns visited Assistant Head of School and history and global studies teacher Glenn Swanson’s Hitler and Nazi Germany class to tell these stories.

Below are the stories retold by Mr. and Mrs. Stern, on April 16, 2013, with occasional editing for readability.

Manny Stern
Until a number of years ago I never talked about my experiences, I wasn’t particularly interested, I didn’t attend conferences and conventions and meetings, I didn’t get newsletters, I didn’t care about it.

About five years ago, we had a guest speaker at our synagogue and he was the former Israeli Ambassador to Belgium. He started his talk by saying, ‘My story begins on May 12, 1940 in Antwerp, Belgium when my family and I took the last train out of Belgium that was allowed to leave.’ Then he went on to tell a story that left me very disturbed because it was a parallel story to that of my family. At the end of his talk he asked for questions and I said, ‘Mr. Ambassador, I was on that train.’ Continue reading

There Are Mountains Beyond Mountains: MLK Day Speech by Daphne Lamothe P’15, ’16

Good Morning,

Thank you Mr. Hill for your warm welcome. I’d also like to thank Bridget Choo, David Sanders for their invitation to address you all today, and to William Huang for his wonderfully adept assistance with the technology. I’m honored to speak to you all. As a Williston parent, I have come to know and appreciate all the good work that you do.

While preparing my remarks, I decided to give them a title: “There are Mountains beyond Mountains, So Put on your Traveling Shoes” and I hope it makes sense once I’m done speaking. Essentially I want to talk to you about some music and art that has touched me and that speak to some important points:

  • The Expression of identity through art, storytelling and music
  • The ways that artists try to convey their purpose and passions to other people through the stories they tell
  • And the ways that sharing stories create awareness of ourselves as members of a larger community.

Much of what I say is inspired by a sentiment Dr. King expressed in his final speech, “I’ve Been to The Mountaintop,” which he delivered on April 3, 1968, a day before he was assassinated. The speech begins with Dr. King saying:

“And you know, if I were standing at the beginning of time, with the possibility of taking a kind of general and panoramic view of the whole of human history up to now, and the Almighty said to me, ‘Martin Luther King, which age would you like to live in?’ I would take my mental flight by Egypt and I would watch God’s children in their magnificent trek from the dark dungeons of Egypt through, or rather across the Red Sea, through the wilderness on toward the promised land. And in spite of its magnificence, I wouldn’t stop there…”

After traveling through history and identifying some of society’s greatest civilizations, he concludes, “strangely enough, I would turn to the Almighty, and say, ‘If you allow me to live just a few years in the second half of the 20th century, I will be happy.’” Dr. King recognized that this was an odd thing to say because the world was, as he put it, is “all messed up. Trouble is in the land; confusion all around.”  But he recognized the potential for goodness and the beauty that existed in the place he stood, in that historical moment. I believe he was able to open himself up to the many challenges because he had a conviction of his potential to be an agent for social change and justice. Continue reading