Each spring at Trinity-Pawling, a small group of rising seniors are elected as prefects for the upcoming year. Derived from the Latin word for “leader”, prefects are voted in by the student body and faculty, serving as student leaders and modeling the School’s ideals of honor, respect, and hard work.
This past May, as the School community gathered on Zoom for its first-ever virtual Stepping-Up Ceremony, eight prefects were elected for the 2020-2021 school year — earning the honor by demonstrating their commitment to the School and most importantly, to their peers. In September, the group began their duties (both remotely and in-person), ready to rise to the challenge of a never-before-seen Fall Term at Trinity-Pawling.
Here’s a snapshot into the Class of 2021 Prefects and their plans for the year ahead:
Peter Claro ’21, Head Prefect
Hometown: Somers, New York
Years at Trinity-Pawling: 4
Interests/Hobbies: Cooking Italian food, traveling, history, playing/watching sports
“This year, the School is heading into uncharted territory, and my goal is to be a source of resilience for the community. To me, being a prefect means being willing to take on any challenge — especially in a special year like this. No one earns the role of prefect because it’s easy. It’s a challenge, and that’s what’s so great about it. I won’t always have all the answers, but I will give my best effort to make this a year to remember. And I couldn’t ask for a better group of prefects to help me along the way!”
Stuart Phillips ’21, Junior Prefect
Hometown: Port Coquitlam, British Columbia
Years at Trinity-Pawling: 3
Interests/Hobbies: Playing/watching sports, ATVing, watching movies
“I will share the academic and zeal prefect duties this year with Tommy and Michael. For academics, Tommy and I will oversee the academic wellness of the student body and advocate for our brothers, both in-person and remote. As the prefects of zeal, Michael and I will look to keep school spirit up in this time when we could all use it! With such a unique year ahead of us, I believe it’s more important than ever to listen to the student body. It’s our job to make sure their voices are heard. It’s an absolute honor to be Junior Prefect this year and I will lead with integrity, honesty, and kindness.”
Toby Berner ’21
Hometown: Brookfield, Connecticut
Years at Trinity-Pawling: 3
Interests/Hobbies: Drawing/painting, playing lacrosse and hockey, skiing, hiking, Star Wars, and running
“As the prefect of art, I plan to encourage all my classmates to enroll in a new art class this year. I also want to work with Mr. Poon, Mr. Burnham, and Mr. Avis to incorporate more art-related activities outside of the classroom. Being in this leadership position, I know the importance of leading by example. There is so much strength in being helpful, kind, and a good role model. Kindness and integrity are contagious, so the actions of one person, especially a student leader, can have a positive effect on many people every day.”
Michael Fritz ’21
Hometown: Gibsonia, Pennsylvania
Years at Trinity-Pawling: 2
Interests/Hobbies: Watching movies and The Office, music (80’s rock), playing guitar, playing hockey and lacrosse, and history
“With such a dynamic year in front of us, I think it’s very important to boost the positivity and enthusiasm around campus. Although we do not have competitive fall sports this year, as the prefect of zeal, I plan to keep the energy high among the student body. With the hybrid Fall Term, we’ve been given a challenge that no other classes have faced. I am confident that this group of prefects will do anything we can to make it the best it can be. My father was also a prefect when he attended Trinity-Pawling, and there’s something special about being part of the T-P family, while continuing our family legacy at the same time. I consider myself so lucky to be here.”
Peilun “Tommy” Li ’21
Hometown: Beijing, China
Years at Trinity-Pawling: 4
Interests/Hobbies: Traveling, reading, running, and playing squash and tennis
“As a prefect of academics, along with Stuart, my responsibility is to positively influence the learning experiences of our brothers. Although being a remote prefect is challenging, I am dedicated to listening to the voices of all students — especially those who are remote this year. I will pay extra attention to the academic environment to help ensure that we all have great educational experiences. From my perspective, my role as prefect gives me a chance to help others and create a more inclusive, caring community.”
Nolan MacLear ’21
Hometown: Jupiter, Florida
Years at Trinity-Pawling: 4
Interests/Hobbies: Computer science, board games, finance, rec volleyball, skiing, cooking, and fishing
“This year, I am proud to carry out the role of the community prefect. I hope to use the power of technology to keep everyone connected, both on campus and remotely. For me, being a prefect means standing up for effort, integrity, and kindness. Whether it’s organizing service trips (when we’re able to leave campus) or simply checking on the general health of our community, it’s my job to make sure the brotherhood’s bond stays strong.”
Jackson McAvoy ’21
Hometown: Poughquag, New York
Years at Trinity-Pawling: 6
Interests/Hobbies: Film, theater, American history, food (eating, not so much cooking), and writing
“My responsibility as the prefect of victuals is to oversee all of the meals on campus. During a year of such fragility and uncertainty, I’m hoping that good food can be at least one source of comfort for students. Although I am a Day Student and can only eat meals in McGraw (I miss Scully Hall!), I will do my best to make any difference I can in on-campus dining. My hope is that the boys can use me as a voice this year, for victuals and any other concerns they may have.”
Mingcheng “Kevin” Zhong ’21
Hometown: Shanghai, China
Years at Trinity-Pawling: 3
Interests/Hobbies: Traveling, environmental science, veganism, skiing, cycling, puzzles, and Rubik’s cube
“This year, I am the prefect of honor and academics. As a remote prefect, it’s difficult to connect with students the way I normally would on campus. However, I will make as many virtual appearances as possible — through all-school meetings, chapel services, sharing weekly articles from The Phoenix, and more. Although I am a prefect, in my opinion, you don’t need a title to be a good leader. You can lead by example, or quietly behind the scenes. As a good leader, you don’t need to receive praise for what you do. You just do the best you can to make the community a better place. That’s what I plan to do.”
by Emma Christiantelli
Headmaster Taylor’s American Experience course comprises a diligent group of senior and PG students, providing deep and comprehensive insight into American history and the narrative of American Exceptionalism. Sitting in his class, one sees Mr. Taylor’s fluent knowledge of the delicate blend of religious, individual, and political climates that coincide to make the United States a country like no other in the world.
The course is unique because it has a dual literature component taught by John Teaford. The same students are afforded Teaford’s fictional anecdote to Taylor’s historical facets for a wholly synergistic impetus. “Having Mr. Taylor’s class really makes my job a lot easier,” Teaford said. “When the students are assigned a 15-page paper, they get to come into my class and now I have a backdrop to teach with.” Currently, students are reading The Scarlet Letter with Mr. Teaford while Mr. Taylor examines the landscape of colonial America as religious autonomy dictated colonial identity.
Originally proposed in 1995, Headmaster Taylor has adapted and expanded the course to capture advanced students in asking the big questions of American identity: What are American myths and why are they important? Why is there tension in our history between personal liberty and the quest for the common good? What role does religion play in the creation of the American Experience? Is American democracy a civic virtue in the nation’s experience?
Now, as much as ever, asking those questions can help lead students to understand the richness of this nation with so many components worth celebrating, while simultaneously examining historical problems that will necessitate their dedicated attention in the future.
by Cyrus Rothwell-Ferraris
Join us throughout this year as we celebrate and honor Debbie and Dave Coratti P’08 and their years of service to Trinity-Pawling. We’ll kick off the festivities tonight when Dave will headline this evening’s Pride Perspectives webinar. Tune in to a conversation and virtual roundtable moderated by Eric Drath ’88 and featuring Dave and Head Football Coach Nick LaFontaine, as well as alumni Stew McKnelly ’86, P’21, Chris Cattani ’93, Paul Mancuso ’06, Austrian Robinson ’15, and Super Bowl XL Champion Chukky Okobi ’96. They will reminisce about Dave’s teaching accomplishments, favorite memories, and reflections on his years of coaching football and wrestling at Trinity-Pawling.
Stay tuned for further retirement festivities honoring the beloved couple and opportunities to thank them for their dedication and commitment to the School. Gifts to celebrate the Corattis can be made to the Trinity-Pawling Fund in their honor, or to the Coratti Varsity Club, a special fund established in Dave Coratti’s name in 2012 to support Trinity-Pawling athletics (make note of your wish to direct your gift this way in the “Special Instructions” section of the giving form.)
Watch your inboxes for more details!
“My goal is to give all students a platform to have their voices heard — here on campus and out in the world,” began Sam Clougher, Director of Equity and Inclusion at Trinity-Pawling.
Clougher joined the School community as a history and economics teacher in the summer of 2017. He also serves as an advisor, dorm parent, and Head Coach for varsity soccer and varsity tennis. Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, Clougher first immigrated to the United States to attend Berkshire for a postgraduate year, and then matriculated at Kenyon College. It was at Kenyon, he said, that he discovered his passion for civic engagement, leadership, and making a difference in a community.
In his second year at Trinity-Pawling, Clougher was appointed as the Director of Equity and Inclusion on campus — a role he cherishes. “For me, the most rewarding aspect is the chance to gain trust with our students from marginalized backgrounds. It’s finding ways, on an individualized basis, to give the boys a chance to air their concerns, joys, thoughts, and emotions,” shared Clougher.
Now in his fourth year at Trinity-Pawling, and in the midst of a civil rights movement in our country, Clougher’s efforts as Director of Equity and Inclusion are more valuable than ever. “Throughout the summer, we held a series of virtual forums for students and faculty to have open conversations, provide necessary support and context to current events, and help each other wrestle with issues of justice and equity,” he shared. Clougher also incorporated discussions on the all-school summer reading, Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.
These forums will continue in-person this Fall Term, with Clougher and other faculty members, including Kent Burnham, Nick LaFontaine, Jim McDougal, Joe Poon, Mike Webber, and others, co-creating the Tough Questions Club. “The club’s main focus is constructive conversation. In small groups, the boys have a chance to talk about those topics that may be difficult or uncomfortable — like injustice, race, and COVID. It’s not about opinions. It’s about listening, reflecting, and learning from one another.”
While it is a tremendous initiative on campus, Clougher shared that the Tough Questions Club is just the beginning. He continues to work closely with School leadership, fellow faculty, and students to create a positive long-term vision for equity and inclusion at Trinity-Pawling. Although COVID regulations have caused a bit of a roadblock at this time, he looks forward to the future, when the School can host on-campus speakers, relevant movie viewings, training sessions, community programming, and more. In the meantime, Clougher presses onward — hosting small, constructive group discussions within among the students and faculty.
“This school is a wonderful place that helps students from all backgrounds and has done so for many years,” Clougher concluded. “While we can celebrate how much we’ve done, we also recognize how much more we still can — and will — do. We have an incredible group of faculty and students stepping up to do just that.”
by Emma Christiantelli
Brad Lois admits he was never much of a computer guy at Trinity-Pawling. “I could reboot my laptop but that’s about it.” He now spends his days — and many long nights — helping multi-billion-dollar companies manage their data.
Lois graduated from Catholic University with dual degrees in Civil Engineering and Architecture and Urban Planning. He assumed he would pursue a career in civil engineering. “Civil engineering taught me how to analyze a problem, listen to a community, and create a solution.”
However, in January 2019, he changed course and took a position with NetApp, a data management company based in Sunnyvale, California. He’s now a solutions engineer, with Disney as one of his clients. “I have the privilege of working with the team that designs amusement parks, rides, and movies. Disney is the most magical place on earth, but those rides and movies run on data. We give Disney the tools to manage their data and make that magic happen.”
Lois credits two Trinity-Pawling faculty members as his mentors. “Mr. Dinsmore’s drafting classes opened my eyes to architecture and design, and Mr. Reade’s pottery and painting classes encouraged me to immerse myself in the creative process. These classes sparked my creative passion and gave me the freedom to find solutions.”
So how did a civil engineer parlay his design skills into data management? “I have a problem-solving, technical mind. I’m comfortable dealing with the abstract. I do my research, present the information, and provide my clients with a trustworthy solution.”
“92% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years. That’s how fast data is growing. Data is the new oil that fuels the world. And the companies that succeed are the ones who can manage their data most efficiently. Knowing how, when, and where to move your data is essential in today’s hyper-connected world.”
Lois sees some parallels between his work now and his role as captain of Trinity-Pawling’s varsity soccer team in 2013. “I ask myself each day — what can I do to get better? That mindset keeps me competitive. It’s such an honor to be a part of a well-functioning team and work with these amazing companies. I’m learning at a rapid pace every day. It’s a dream come true.”
by Maria Buteux Reade
What a joy to have the community together once again! Classes are in session, both on campus and around the world, and students are embracing their curriculum in engaging new ways. Thanks to the generosity of our extended community and the creativity of our team here, our School has exemplified how innovation can grow out of challenge — Trinity-Pawling is open and thriving!
Maintaining a safe, secure, and globally-connected educational environment requires a considerable and constant investment, over and above our traditional budget. We need your continued support to help us fill the gap that these necessary additional expenses have caused. Your gift to Trinity-Pawling at this time will be put to immediate use, for the students, the faculty, and the campus.
Please consider supporting the Trinity-Pawling Fund today and help bolster our bridge to the future.
In late May, as students and faculty logged out of Zoom for the last time, Trinity-Pawling’s first-ever remote Spring Term came to a close. You could almost hear the collective sigh of relief. After three months of virtual learning due to COVID-19, the Trinity-Pawling community was reminded of something that they knew but took for granted: learning happens best when it happens in community. While this is true of all learning, it is particularly true in the case of Trinity-Pawling, where the relationships between the students and faculty and the availability of extra help are catalysts to the learning and growth processes. As a result, School leadership set their sights on reopening campus for in-person learning during the 2020 Fall Term and went to work.
“As a school, we are proud of how Trinity-Pawling responded to the COVID-19 challenge forced upon all schools this past spring and summer,” began Headmaster Bill Taylor. “Through creativity, disciplined hard work, and collaboration, the School worked to forge a safe, adaptable plan for students to return to campus, following all health and safety regulations associated with COVID-19.”
Now one month in, Trinity-Pawling’s first-ever hybrid Fall Term is off to a great start, with both in-person and remote learning. And it’s all thanks to the strategic planning and tireless efforts of Bryan Turner, Director of Technology, Bob Reilly, Makerspace Facilitator, and Roberta Lidl, Director of the Center for Learning Achievement. “The Fall Term was an entirely different ballgame,” Turner explained. “We were successful in the Spring as we pivoted to remote learning, but what works well for a stopgap is not always great for a long-term solution. We needed to design an in-person learning experience with remote learning components, for those students who could not be on campus.”
After much research and evaluation, Turner and Reilly installed a total of 44 Owl cameras in the Dann Building classrooms — devices that capture 360° video and audio for engaging and immersive remote learning. “The camera automatically shifts to focus on whoever is speaking. The result is an experience that nearly feels like sitting in the classroom,” Turner explained. “We also have 49″ displays providing a view of the remote students to the teacher and classmates alike. Everybody can see and interact with the entire class,” added Reilly. Toss in SmartBoards, Microsoft Teams and OneNote software, upgraded computers, and enhanced internet speed, and voila! The hybrid classrooms are ready for action.
“The cutting-edge design of our new hybrid classrooms not only differentiates the School; but more importantly, it promotes a sense of community, even from a distance,” Turner shared. “Our community is one of our strongest qualities at Trinity-Pawling. And now the technology on campus is aligned with our core value. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
Of course, the Fall Term has not come without a few hiccups; but Turner, Reilly, and Lidl continue to troubleshoot and adapt accordingly. In true Trinity-Pawling fashion, the community rises to each challenge, with patience and understanding, as they acclimate to this new form of learning.
As Turner, Reilly, and Lidl reflect on the whirlwind of 2020, they are especially grateful for the trust and support of the School community. “I believe that we have created a method of providing education that will outlast the current pandemic and benefit Trinity-Pawling students for years to come,” shared Reilly. “Seeing our vision come to life has been so rewarding,” added Turner. “It’s been a tough year, but I’m confident that we are providing a top-notch learning environment for our students.”
by Emma Christiantelli
Sports have taken on a new format this fall without interscholastic competition, allowing boys new athletic pursuits while also affording training in a focus sport.
Mr. Bresler and Mr. Avis are leading the new Mountain Biking team to ride on and off campus, while Mr. Frost ’04 continues to grow Varsity Farming in the greenhouse and on the upper property. A young talented group leads the way for soccer, PG football players set the example on Wednesday 7-on-7’s, and Robby Accomando ’22 and Harry Clark ’23 mark a fast pace for cross country’s Saturday Race Day challenges. Mr. Gillman ’05 and Mr. Pirie have also opened a robust strength and conditioning program, offering hour-long slots in the weight room and field house for all in and out-of-season teams.
After three days of training in their fall sport, students can then elect to switch activities for Thursday and Friday after school. While serious footballers stay on the pitch or with the pigskin, some athletes play lacrosse, hockey, basketball, or baseball. Others elect to go fishing or play disc golf on the new campus-wide course. The boys are as active as ever — and for now, just on campus.
by Cyrus Rothwell-Ferraris
Join us for Trinity-Pawling’s first-ever Virtual Reunion Celebration this weekend! We have a great series of virtual events lined up to showcase beloved faculty, share reopening news, and honor those we have lost. Tune in for these special events!
Wednesday, September 30, 7:00 PM Faculty Spotlight: Dave Coratti P’08
Join current Head Football Coach Nick LaFontaine, as well as alumni Stew McKnelly ’86, P’21, Chris Cattani ’93, Paul Mancuso ’06, Austrian Robinson ’15, and Super Bowl XL Champion Chukky Okobi ’96 as they celebrate “The Legend” Dave Coratti P’08. The virtual roundtable and conversation will spotlight Dave’s accomplishments, favorite memories, and reflections on his years coaching football and wrestling at Trinity-Pawling. Moderated by Emmy Award winner Eric Drath ’88 of Live Star Entertainment. Register here.
Thursday, October 1, 7:00 PM A Toast to Ned and Maria Reade
JP Burlington ’95 hosts Artist-in-Residence Ned Reade (retired from teaching in June 2020) and Senior Writer Maria Reade as they reflect on their incredible tenure at Trinity-Pawling and share future plans. Register here.
Friday, October 2, 2:00 PM State of the School
Tune in to hear Headmaster Bill Taylor and Board President Erik Olstein ’86, P’11,’14,’17 share an update on the recent reopening of school and plans for the 2020-2021 year. Register here.
Saturday, October 3, 11:00 AM Alumni Memorial Service
Our hallmark service, highlighted by traditional music and inspirational messages, will be led virtually by Father Danny Lennox to honor and remember the lives of those who have passed away this year. Register here.
Join Artist-in-Residence Ned Reade (retired from teaching in June 2020) for coffee and conversations. Throughout the year, Ned will host his former students to reflect on the lessons learned in his pottery and painting classes, the creative process, the love of music, and life beyond Trinity-Pawling.
The conversations will kick off on Thursday, October 1 at 7:00 PM with a toast to Ned and Maria Reade. Register to attend here.
Watch your inboxes for future coffee dates with Ned!
Join us throughout the year for Pride Perspectives – our continued series of interactive webinars featuring experts of the Trinity-Pawling community. For the full list of webinar topics and registration information, please visit our website. We look forward to connecting with you!
October 7 • 7:00 PM The College Process at Trinity-Pawling
Join Co-Directors of College Counseling Slade Mead and Scott Harff as they discuss the college admissions cycle, the Practicum advantage, the Secondary School Report (SSR), the state of SAT and ACT testing, and what’s happening in the world of college admissions. Register here.
October 14 • 7:00 PM Trinity-Pawling Made All the Difference: Q&A with Pride Parents
Hear from a fantastic group of Pride parents and grandparents about their experiences at the School — from the value of a boarding school experience, to the benefits of an all-boys environment, to the many ways Trinity-Pawling helped their sons and grandsons reach their potential and beyond. Register here.
October 28 • 7:00 PM The Arts at Trinity-Pawling
At Trinity-Pawling, we believe that cultivating self-awareness builds confidence and focus, which is why the arts are central to our academic curriculum. Join our dynamic art teachers — accomplished and professional artists in their fields — for a conversation about the strength of Trinity-Pawling’s visual art, music, and performing arts programs and the valuable life skills their students acquire along the way. Register here.
Alumni, are you looking for a way to network and keep in touch with classmates, as well as fellow alums from across the years? Search no further than our Trinity-Pawling Alumni Directory App! You can search alumni by class year, industry, sports, location, college, and more. Here’s the key, though…you need to register to take advantage of it all.
Signing up is easy. View the instructions for both Apple and Android phones on our website. Once you’ve registered, you can even message or invite classmates to join via Facebook. The more alums who are on the app, the more robust the directory will be. Don’t wait…sign up now!