Headmaster Bill Taylor shares his views on the journey of education from the perspective of a school leader, a teacher, and a student.
HERE ARE HIS TOP 10 OBSERVATIONS:
- Many people cannot see that which does not already exist; it is up to those who can to paint a picture.
- In both teaching and learning, recognize that each process should be distinguished by earnestness, courage, and wonder.
- Laughter, music, and humility are essential companions on any learning journey.
- Things that are important in life must be importantly protected in the classroom, and the School as a whole.
- Healthy risks are a critical aspect of the pursuit of excellence, whether as an individual or as a school.
- Hard work, faith, and a positive attitude can overcome almost any obstacle.
- Collaborative wisdom is far more dynamic and valuable than individual intellect.
- Surround yourself with dedicated, smart people and you will always find the right guidance, or re-direction, when you need it the most.
- Young people are the leaders of our future; respect them and their potential.
- Always look forward. But, always be informed by what lies behind, particularly your mistakes.
Heshimu Evans ‘94 came to Trinity-Pawling for a post-graduate year in the fall of 1993. Hailing from the Bronx, NY, Evans recalls the move to Pawling as an eye-opening experience that he would never forget. “I wish I could have been in that conducive environment for all four years of high school,” Evans reflects. “One fond memory that seems to stick out is when I planted a tree in front of Johnson Dorm (because I slightly bent the rules!). I’m proud to say that after returning to campus in 2015 the tree had blossomed into an old and wise oak.”
While his time at Trinity-Pawling was brief it was impactful. Evans was a member of the historic basketball team that year that went 22-0 and finished as Class B Champions. Upon graduating from Trinity-Pawling, Evans headed off to Manhattan College for two years before transferring to the University of Kentucky on a full basketball scholarship, where his team won the 1998 NCAA Men’s Championship. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in social work, and subsequently played pro basketball in Europe, Africa, and Asia for 15 years. Evans then headed to Mumbai, India where he worked with the NBA and taught grass root basketball to kids across the country.
After a whirlwind life of living abroad, Evans came back to the states. “After hanging up the playing shoes I became a strength coach at Manhattan College where we were crowned the 2015 MAAC Champions and had an automatic birth to the NCAA Tournament.” Evans now calls Lexington, Kentucky home, and thinks back on his days at Trinity-Pawling fondly. “Trinity-Pawling will always have a special place in my heart and I look forward to visiting again in the near future,” Evans concludes.
This weekend, the Trinity-Pawling Drama Society performs The Producers at Gardiner Theater. Continuing on a productive streak of showcasing outstanding shows, Director Pat Hitschler will direct his fourth comedy production at Trinity-Pawling. We had a conversation with Pat about directing, teaching boys, and comedy.
The Quad: Is it more difficult to direct a comedy than a drama?
Hitschler: They each have their own benefits and dilemmas. Comedies rely more on timing, but on the other hand they have more freedom to adapt and take things to the nth degree. Dramas rely a lot on the emotions and a realistic feel but there is typically less movement to worry about. Myself, being primarily a comedy actor, it is much easier to teach comedies where I can just have a lot of fun with the blocking and movement of a scene.
The Quad: What’s the best comedy scene you’ve ever directed?
Hitschler: Probably the scene in One Man, Two Guv’nors where the main character of the show was trying to serve both of his bosses at the same time without them seeing each other. We put it on this past fall, and it took about a week to block out, but it ended up becoming the highlight of the show. It also featured an actress that was pretending to be an audience member. She was thrown around the stage and hit in the face with a pie, and the audience had no idea that she was part of the show.
The Quad: Is it hard to make an audience laugh?
Hitschler: It is much easier to make them laugh than to get them to cry, I will say that. Laughter is contagious so when one person laughs others will almost certainly join in. The written lines do the majority of the work, and then the timing and persona of the actors does the rest.
The Quad: How do you feel when things “go wrong” on stage?
Hitschler: There is not much you can do about it. You rehearse in the hopes that everything goes right, but things will always go differently in front of a live audience. I cringe a lot when I am back stage – when I see that a prop was not where it should be or a actor misses a cue – but the show usually finds a way to figure itself out again.
The Quad: What prepared you best for being a director?
Hitschler: Being involved in many different shows with very different directors. Mostly though, it was just about being a leader in other aspects of life. Whether it was on sports teams or class projects, I was always trying to be the leader. I was not always successful but I always wanted to be in charge and have all the pressure on me.
The Quad: What’s your recipe for teaching teenage boys how to act?
Hitschler: Let them have fun. They will not want to be in the shows if they are not constantly having fun. I am serious when it gets down to the last couple weeks before a show, but besides that I try to keep it very enjoyable and very energetic.
This production of The Producers is sure to be a hit. Don’t miss performances on Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8 at 7:00 PM at Gardiner Theater.
Chris Kelsey, longtime music teacher at Trinity-Pawling, has been passionate about music since he was a young boy. “I constantly heard music around the house when I was young,” Kelsey explains. “My father was a jazz musician so he was always practicing an instrument or listening to music. I knew I was going to be a musician–that is, if my plan for playing shortstop for the Mets didn’t work out (spoiler alert: it didn’t)”, Kelsey jests. While Kelsey didn’t make it on the Mets, he did find success and a passion for playing the saxophone, which he began at age 10, and decided to pursue music more seriously.
At Trinity-Pawling, Kelsey’s approach to teaching music is hands-on. “Music education is the ultimate in project-based learning,” Kelsey explains. “Generating enthusiasm and opening boys up to the joy of collective creation is paramount. I tend not to focus on attaining perfection. Music is marvelously subjective, which means there is ample room for everybody to contribute to the whole and make it stronger and better.”
Kelsey’s Winter Project this past term was designed to provide the boys with an opportunity to conceive and produce a multi-track recording for radio and present it on the air as guests on the Voices of Trinity-Pawling, a student-run weekly radio show on Pawling Public Radio. “I advised the boys that they should approach the experience as if they were a professional artist being interviewed about a new record release,” Kelsey says. “I didn’t give them a list of questions, but rather advised them to be ready to answer questions on their backgrounds, their musical influences, motivations for playing the type of music they play.” Kelsey adds, “Life isn’t a well organized, step by step process. It is rather–like the music we play–an improvisation.”
Watch the Winter Project radio show here.
In its second year running, the Winter Projects allow students to select from a broad range of interdisciplinary course offerings and pair up with two teachers (one from each discipline) on a project that requires using the tools from both disciplines. As one of the three prongs of the Practicum for Civic Leadership, these projects aim to teach students critical 21st century skills such as working collaboratively to understand an issue, learning how to give an oral presentation both as part of a group and as an individual, as well as learning how to ask the right questions when confronted with a challenge.
Our spotlight project this month is the Key Club Campus Tour in Mandarin.
The goal of this project was to create a video tour of the School entirely in Mandarin for the purpose of being used as an admissions tool for prospective students from China who may be unable to experience a tour on campus. Kenny McDougal ‘17, one of the 3 seniors working on the project, says, “We all enjoyed being on set. As the ‘actor’ it was Jack Makris and Hunter Olstein’s job to direct me to be relaxed and have fun.” McDougal adds, “The biggest challenge for me was memorizing the script (Chinese is really hard!).” The students are proud of their finished product and hope it will help the admissions office in the future.
“Watching Kenny develop the narrative, work on pronunciation and on tones, and consider the challenges of translating a live tour to a professional video with high production values was a learning and an enlightening process for me as well,” says Mandarin teacher Mark Corliss. “He nuanced well all aspects of the project. In conjunction with Hunter Olstein, videographer; Jack Makris, key grip; and Leo Chen, editor, Kenny’s work showed that when given time and space, students are able to accomplish much. I am very proud of the work by the members of this project,” Corliss concludes.
For a full list of Winter Projects, view the course catalog.
Head Prefect Jack Makris ’17 shares his story about overcoming obstacles and rising to meet the challenges of life.
Classmates Ryan Winn ’17 and Chris Polletta ’17 documented his story for their broadcast journalism class. Watch here.
We are thrilled that the 13th Annual Golf Outing will be held at the exclusive private golf course Morefar Back O’Beyond in Brewster, NY. This year’s golf outing will last the entire day, includes three meals, an open bar, and generous prizes.
We hope you can join us on July 18!
Please note, this event is capped at 60 golfers.
Registration will open soon, stay tuned for details!
Schedule of Events:
8:00AM – Registration and breakfast at the Club House
10:00AM – Shotgun start with lunch on the course
4:00PM – BBQ dinner and awards
$550 Alumni in class years 2006-2016
Hotel Zero Degrees – Danbury, CT (shuttle service provided)
Arrival: Monday, July 17, 2017
Departure: Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Group Rate: Trinity-Pawling Alumni
- Superior King $109.00
- Executive Suite $175.00
To book your room, call 203-730-9200. Group rate cut-off day is Monday, June 19, 2017.
All proceeds from the event will benefit the Trinity-Pawling Fund and the Miles H. Hubbard, Jr. ’57 Scholarship Fund. This scholarship was established to provide financial assistance to boys with exceptional athletic ability. Miles Hubbard served Trinity-Pawling as a teacher, coach, and athletic director for 37 years.
For more information, visit the website www.trinitypawling.org/events
Alumni, share your good news with your Trinity-Pawling friends!
Have you recently gotten married, entered retirement, welcomed a new baby into the family, embarked on a great trip, received a promotion at work, or won a community award? Let us know!
You can submit your good news online at www.trinitypawling.org/classnotes
Class notes for the Fall 2017 Trinity-Pawling Magazine are due by May 19, 2017.
Questions? Contact Janet Hubbard P’07 by email email@example.com or phone 845-855-4830.
After a very successful winter sports season at Trinity-Pawling, the boys are now heading outside to the freshly thawed fields. Help cheer on the PRIDE by attending a Trinity-Pawling sporting event this spring!
The Spring Athletic Schedule is live on the Trinity-Pawling website.
Follow the teams on social media:
On Sunday May 7, 2017, Trinity-Pawling School hosts the second annual MayDay – an event designed to raise awareness and money for two outstanding charities. Ryan’s Foundation is a non-profit organization designed to help kids in the Hudson Valley that have been diagnosed with cancer. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation funds research that transforms the lives of people with Type 1 diabetes.
The event is extraordinarily inclusive, as all people from the greater Pawling area are invited to attend and enjoy a festive day on the Trinity-Pawling campus. Pawling will be buzzing on MayDay, as a wide variety of activities will be offered. The main event is a 2.2 mile “Extreme Cross Country” race. The race will wind throughout campus and will include two mud pits, water, hills and obstacles. Participants looking for a less physically demanding event can participate in a cross- country style walk. Children may join a half-mile race on the track.
Other activities include an inflatable jousting ring, a dunk tank, a climbing wall, and much more! New this year is a plant and flower sale, a student art sale, a large thrift sale, and a cake auction.
Lunch will be included with registration, and there will also be food trucks on site for food to purchase. Registration will take place on the Trinity-Pawling campus on the day of the event, May 7th. A full schedule and fee list will be released and posted on the school website in April.
MayDay is a spectacular opportunity to get involved with the greater community.
“I have grown here; I have learned how to relate to people and how to lead them.” – Jeong Hwan “James” Kim ’17
Your support provides hundreds of boys the opportunity to learn the skills and principles they will need to become contributing members of a global society.
Enhance an education and invest in individuals who personify the values of Trinity-Pawling in all corners of the world.
You can direct your gift to the area of Trinity-Pawling that matters most to you. Find your giving options online at www.trinitypawling.org/giving
Thank you for your support.