Headmaster Bill Taylor has implemented many initiatives as a means of challenging students to interact with the world around them while developing the 6 C’s: creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, communication, character, and citizenship. A 21st century Trinity-Pawling education encompasses not only teaching these essential skills, but also cultivating new ways of measuring our students’ learning.
Creativity isn’t easy to measure – the scores of standardized testing or multiple choice tests give very little information about what students can do. The teachers at Trinity-Pawling have long sought to create a diverse approach toward assessing student learning. “The expanded focus on project-based and experiential learning builds on this commitment, recognizing that a student’s ability to demonstrate learning and knowledge cannot be limited to the narrow confines of a single approach to assessment,” says Taylor. “Our small classes and relationship-based approach to teaching creates many opportunities for discussion-based activities and collaborative work,” he continues.
Measures of assessment, exemplified in part by Trinity-Pawling’s Effort System, focuses attention on students’ abilities in ways more aligned with how they will be measured out in the world. “Our faculty have a significant opportunity for professional growth as we shift in how assessments are created,” says Taylor. Through professional learning communities, forums, and an in-house Teaching and Learning Committee, the Trinity-Pawling faculty is able to share many best practices for assessing the 6 C’s.
A recent study found that 60% of CEOs polled say that creativity is the most important leadership quality. The value of creativity in the school setting is more important than ever. At Trinity-Pawling, teachers take a holistic approach to nurturing creative thinking. “Synthesis is a highly creative act,” states Taylor. “When we challenge students to synthesize information from various disciplines through the creation of a project, we are nurturing their creativity,” he continues.
The close-knit community at Trinity-Pawling allows students to engage in experiential learning that is both playful and creative. “Play is a creative act,” says Taylor. The 24/7 access allows faculty to foster empathy in their students. “When we challenge students to grow through relationships so that the perspective of the other is deepened through mutuality, we are nurturing their creativity,” Taylor explains.
Creative thinking is important in science labs, in figuring out math equations, for computer coders – it’s part of almost all work in the 21st century. At Trinity-Pawling, young creatives are empowered. “By challenging our students to value and understand that they have been given distinctive gifts and talents that can be invested to guide and shape their growth, then we are nurturing their creativity,” Taylor concludes.
Linked by a common interest, and separated by 50 years, two members of the Trinity-Pawling brotherhood recently met in New York City to discuss interests, passions, and things that make the heart beat. In fact, these two men met at the Mid-Town Hilton where Dr. Demenkoff was attending The Heart of Manhattan, a cardiology conference hosted by The Mayo Clinic. Dr. Demenkoff ’66, an internist and Pulmonologist at Mayo Clinic Arizona, had flown in from Phoenix to attend the conference and Hitoshi M. ’17 made the trek from Pawling to meet him.
“Let me see your hands.” asked Dr. Demenkoff. Hitoshi wants to study medicine and eventually become a heart surgeon. “There is artistry involved in surgery. You have to have a creator’s hand; one that is precise.” Hitoshi listened intently and then showed the doctor a small book of illustrations he had made for his Winter Project. Detailed drawings of internal organs and parts of the body make up the pages and somehow, Hitoshi has made them look beautiful. The doctor carefully considered the work and the conversation turned to medical illustration. “Do you know Frank Netter, the great medical illustrator? You should see his work…and find a copy of Grey’s Anatomy.” The book, not the TV show.
John Demenkoff came to Trinity-Pawling from upstate New York because his parents, “…had a dream for me. They wanted to open up a pathway for me to have experiences they, perhaps, hadn’t had.” And Hitoshi came from Japan because his parents have a similar dream for him.
Hitoshi asked Dr. Demenkoff if he had a particularly fond memory from his time at Trinity-Pawling. The doctor, who had recently returned to campus for this 50th Reunion, remembered being a pulling guard on the football team. In a scrimmage against Loomis, though small compared to most of the opposing players, he managed to flip a Loomis safety head over heels with an open field block. He wasn’t sure what he had done until his advisor, Mr. Cole, rushed the field and congratulated him with great enthusiasm. “The people around me recognized my accomplishments.” He paused and said, “Trinity-Pawling creates opportunities to be successful and provides a supportive environment. My experience there gave me the confidence to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish.” Dr. Demenkoff went on to Bowdoin where he played football and lacrosse. He then went to Dartmouth and then to Harvard Medical School, where he graduated with honors. At age 55 he decided he’d also like to study Humanities and earned his PhD.
What advice does he have for Hitoshi, who is headed to Boston University in the fall? “At Trinity-Pawling one develops an internal authority. You learn how to manage yourself and your time. Don’t get distracted. You are entering a competitive field. And never go to sleep before your work is finished.”
He read a few quotes from Aphorisms, a collection of quotes and words of wisdom from Charles and William Mayo, the founders of The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He had brought the book as a gift for Hitoshi. And then, he graciously, inscribed it: “My advice is to always be curious and never fear exploring new worlds.”
Take a look at Hitoshi’s book of anatomy illustrations.
An athlete wants to be first string; an actor pursues the lead role. After Ira Conklin ’17 hit the stage as a bit player in “Damn Yankees” three years ago, he set his sights on bigger and better. “I fell in love with performing and wanted to be the best actor I could be,” said Conklin.
Patrick Hitschler, Conklin’s English teacher and Theater Director, noticed the sophomore could do masterful impressions and encouraged him to audition for the spring play. Sure enough, Conklin was first to be picked and his acting career was up and running, culminating in five plays over three years.
The aspiring actor worried initially that people would criticize him for not doing a competitive sport. However, the school community proved supportive and encouraged him to pursue his passion. “People really respect you when you do a good job,” Conklin reflected in a recent conversation two hours before his final performance in The Producers. “You don’t just have to be an athlete at T-P.”
Conklin admits he used to be a shy kid but acting has given him direction and quiet confidence. “Acting lets me immerse myself in my character and drop the worries of the world. I walk through these doors and become King Arthur or Max Bialystock.”
Conklin describes his daily routine as “School, theater, bed. I’m basically King of Gardiner Theater,” he said with a smile. “I spend every afternoon and evening here, practicing my lines, learning the songs, playing piano. I also work on the tech end with Mr. Dinsmore. I dedicate as much time to theater as varsity athletes spend on their sports. The School has given me the space and support to develop this talent. Theater is just like a team, with cast mates and coaches.”
A defining moment in his career as a thespian? “After the final performance of One Man, Two Guvnors last November, the cast was taking their bows. I was to go out last as the lead actor. The music kicked up, there was an uproar, and suddenly I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Thinking of that moment still gives me chills.”
Conklin had originally planned to study environmental science but once he decided on theater, Slade Mead, Director of College Counseling, suggested he consider Hobart College. “I reached out to Ira’s parents to make sure they were supportive of his change in focus,” said Mead. “Hobart built the $28 million Gearan Center for the Performing Arts in 2016, a reflection of their commitment to the arts.” Along with his application, Conklin submitted a highlight tape showing him in his lead roles and shared the link to his Senior Independent Project, a short film written by Hunter Olstein ’17 in which Conklin starred.
According to Slade Mead, “Ira was the only student out of 25 applicants to earn the Edward E. Griffith Theater Scholarship, receiving the maximum award. The Admissions Office was impressed with Ira’s extensive resume and the media he submitted. They said his senior project and highlight tape reflected his creativity, adaptability, and passion for acting and set him apart from the rest of the pool.”
Conklin’s response? “I never dreamed I would graduate with an acting scholarship! I think that finally convinced my dad I can go far with acting. Now I can spend every day in the theater. This is truly my home.”
Walt Hauser ‘96 has been a part of the Trinity-Pawling community in one way or another for his entire life. “Most of my fellow alumni know me as one of Mr. and Mrs. Hauser’s kids–not a member of the Class of ‘96,” says Hauser. “My brother and I were always around campus playing in the former student lounge in Cluett or riding our bikes around the Quad.” His transition from faculty kid to student was natural and something he never took for granted. “Attending T-P was a tremendous opportunity and, understanding that, pushed me to work harder in the classroom, on the field, and in service to my community. Without question, the work ethic and expectations instilled at T-P have helped me throughout my career,” Hauser says.
Hauser went on to attend Trinity College where he majored in Psychology and defined his own minor in Architectural Studies, an interest that was sparked by the architectural drafting class he took while at Trinity-Pawling, taught by his father. The formal start to Hauser’s architectural studies was attending the Harvard Graduate School of Design Career Discovery program after graduating from Trinity. From there he completed a master’s degree in Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, with some time spent at the Bauhaus University in Germany. The vast majority of his professional career has been spent working at KG+D Architects out of Westchester County.
When Trinity-Pawling was considering planning the construction of Scully Hall, KG+D offered to help the School make the project a reality by donating a preliminary conceptual design. Since then, KG+D’s professional relationship has included services for the Campus Master Plan, Coratti Field, tennis courts, and Smith Field House. “The three partners at KG+D value community service and keep strong ties in particular to our alma maters (one of them is Hotchkiss!),” Hauser says. “Certainly our role as designers is primarily to assist the School in creating facilities that are appropriate for the community, functional, and aesthetically pleasing,” Hauser adds. “At T-P we look to create traditional exteriors and signature spaces within. Most importantly, we want the buildings to be a place where the community can thrive.”
Follow the Smith Field House progress here.
Scott Harff joined the Trinity-Pawling faculty in 2015 as an Economics teacher and hockey coach, after two years of playing hockey professionally. “The opportunity to be a hockey coach in the Founders League was something that I could not pass up,” says Harff. “The teaching part comes very naturally as I draw many parallels between it and coaching. I enjoy getting to know the boys on several levels and pushing them towards excellence, both academically and athletically.”
Most recently Harff has been appointed Assistant Director of College Placement for the 2017-2018 school year. Harff is most excited about the opportunity to help students achieve their goals. “I know first hand from coaching hockey that watching a kid you have worked closely with choose a college is one of the most rewarding feelings out there and I am thrilled to be a part of that process,” Harff explains. Having been recruited himself, at both Division I and Division III levels, Harff hopes to offer student-athletes a fair and honest assessment of the challenges that they will face at each level.
“Scott Harff brings four vital things to the college office,” says Director of College Placement Slade Mead. “First, he played both Division I and III athletics, thereby making him an invaluable resource for our athletes. Second, Scott writes extremely well. I am excited to have him authoring and polishing SSR letters for the seniors. Third, he brings an amazing ability to question and challenge ways of doing things. Already, in the time I have started working with him he has made some keen observations which will make the office work better. Lastly, he brings a rapport with the kids which is invaluable. It seems everyone likes Harff. Needless to say I am delighted to have him be part of the college office.”
Frank Fritts has taken steps to incorporate Trinity-Pawling’s community theme “Engaging the World” into the curriculum of his World Geography class in the form of service learning. “I wanted the students not just to study the complexity of the world but to do something to make the world a better place,” Mr. Fritts explains. The project Mr. Fritts formulated involved the students taking part in a Shark Tank-like competition to pick an organization that would help children somewhere in the world. It was then up to students to find ways to raise money for that organization and to inform the community about it.
The faculty judges, or sharks, chose the student group that proposed the Stephanie Crispinelli Humanitarian Fund, a foundation that raises money to build schools in Jamaica and Haiti. With it being an organization on the smaller size, the sharks felt that students could make the most impact with their efforts, and it also holds a special Trinity-Pawling connection. The brother of the person for whom the organization is named is an alumnus of Trinity-Pawling. Stephanie Crispinelli, sister of Nick Crispinelli ’09, tragically lost her life in the events of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake.
Jesse Ballard ’17 (shown center) personally knew Stephanie and her family and proposed this foundation to his group. “When the earthquake in Haiti happened and I knew Stephanie was there, it had a huge impact on our family and our whole neighborhood and community,” says Ballard. “Any money we raise will go towards building the seventh Steph’s School, which is the title given to the schools which are named after her.”
The fundraising event that Jesse and his classmates organized is a dance for students of Trinity-Pawling and other invited schools called the Blue & Gold Ball, to be held in Scully Hall on May 6th. The money collected at the door will go entirely to the Stephanie Crispinelli Humanitarian Fund. T-shirts and wristbands will be sold to raise money and awareness for the cause as well.
Alumni, share your news with classmates and 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 845-855-4830.
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 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.
The event is extraordinarily inclusive, as everyone from the greater Pawling area are invited to attend and enjoy a festive day on the Trinity-Pawling campus. A wide variety of activities will be offered, including 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, and a thrift sale. Food trucks will be on site for food to purchase.
Registration will take place on the Trinity-Pawling campus on the day of the event, May 7th.
For the full MayDay 2017 schedule, please visit our website at www.trinitypawling.org/mayday
MayDay is a spectacular opportunity to get involved with the greater community, so please join us!
Registration for Trinity-Pawling’s 13th Annual Golf Outing is now open!
We are thrilled to be hosting our golf outing at Morefar Back O’Beyond in Brewster NY, considered by many to be one of the most exclusive courses in the country.
For more information and to register for the July 18th Golf Outing, visit our website.
Space is limited, so register soon!
This year’s golf outing will last the entire day, includes three meals, an open bar, and generous prizes. We hope to see you on July 18!
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 (to secure this price, you must register by phone)
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.
“I really feel that I can take on anything. Trinity-Pawling taught me that.” – Ryan Winn ’17
When you give to the Trinity-Pawling Fund, you support every aspect of campus life. You can see your gift at work every day, from items enriching life in the classroom, to maintenance of the School’s historic grounds.
Last year, gifts of all sizes from individuals across the globe helped to make Trinity-Pawling an exceptional place for boys to learn. Will you keep the momentum going? Make your gift today.
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.
The spring athletic season is under way!
Varsity baseball is 5-2 on the year with big wins over Westminster 15-2 and Salisbury 9-4. Will Rickert ’19 and Nikolaus Rango ’17 have been fantastic on the mound with relief work being performed by Chris Polletta ’17 and Ryan Winn ’17.
James Varian ’17 and Will Dencker ’17 led the Trinity-Pawling offense that has scored 64 runs in only seven games.
JV baseball is 4-2, highlighted by a 10-9 victory over Salisbury last week. The Pride scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to steal the win last Saturday. Ryan Legris ’19 and Brandon Lombardo ’20 have led the team from the plate.
Varsity lacrosse is 6-3 on the season including a 10-9 overtime win over Westminster and a 16-9 victory over Andover. The Pride have been led defensively by Ethan Black-Fernandes ’17 and goalie Sam Shafer ’17. Offensively, attackmen Chris Connolly ’17 and Gabe Procyk ’19 lead T-P in goals and assists.
JV lacrosse is 3-1 with wins over Canterbury, Hotchkiss, and Westminster. Nikolai Degenhardt ’17 and Tyler Weicker ’17 lead the Pride in points. Thirds lacrosse is 0-4 with a close 9-6 loss to Canterbury.
Varsity golf is 1-3 on the season with a 211-216 victory over Canterbury. Seniors Chris Taylor and Dennis Ilmela have been consistently the top two scorers for the Pride. Jack Kong ’18, Max Levine ’17 and Zach Mazur ’17 have also been constant contributors to the team.
Varsity track is 3-4 on the season with wins over Brunswick and Canterbury. The highlight of the season was a fantastic performance by the 4×100 relay team at the Penn Relays. Jeff Thompson ’17, Stephen Morrissey ’17, Avery Johnson ’17 and Ray Davis ’18 won the New England Prep School relay last Friday at the University of Pennsylvania.
Varsity tennis is 1-1 on the season with a 5-2 victory over Canterbury early last week. William Yao ’17 leads the squad from the #1 position.