On Sunday, May 30, 2021, at 11:00 AM, Trinity-Pawling School held its 114th Commencement exercises and celebrated the graduation of 86 students. The ceremony was held on the School quad, with a limited number of invited guests. A livestream of the Commencement was available to the public. The full recording may be viewed on our YouTube channel.
The Commencement speaker was Mr. David N. Coratti P’08. Coratti has been a cornerstone of the Trinity-Pawling community for 40 years. While revered as a coach, he possesses equally impressive academic credentials. He has taught Advanced Placement European History for 36 years, served as Director of Studies, and Associate Headmaster. In 2013, the Trinity-Pawling athletic turf field was named David N. Coratti Field in honor of his legendary coaching career. Coratti’s achievements are numerous. He and his wife Debbie will retire from Trinity-Pawling School on June 30, 2021.
Student speakers included Valedictorian Tobias Duncan Berner, of Brookfield, CT and Head Prefect Peter Claro of Katonah, NY. Headmaster William W. Taylor awarded prizes. The diplomas were presented by Board President Erik K. Olstein ’86, P’11, ’14, ’17.
CLASS OF 2021 DIPLOMAS AWARDED SUMMA CUM LAUDE
Tobias Duncan Berner
CLASS OF 2021 DIPLOMAS AWARDED MAGNA CUM LAUDE
Stuart William Phillips
CLASS OF 2021 DIPLOMAS AWARDED CUM LAUDE
Caleb Michael Hade
Nolan Blake MacLear
Jackson Nicholas McAvoy
Declan G. Mitchell
Samuel J. Nichols
Matthew Thomas Romeo
Visit the Class of 2021 page on our website for a full list of graduates from the Class of 2021.
To the Class of 2021 — Thank you!
I have to be honest with you, part of my mind always envisioned this day: the end of a successful year battling this pandemic and reaching the ultimate reward — the in-person graduation of your class. If you cannot envision something that you want to achieve, you will never achieve it.
Yet, I also had another vision that forced its way into my head in times of worry and distress, particularly last summer. In this vision, there were outbreaks of the virus, the health of the community was seriously compromised, and the School would be forced to retreat from its plan of attack.
The battle plan for this campaign was to appeal to the strengths of this School — its community. Specifically, we would build a fortress for the common good and we would create strategies to protect this common good so that we might be able to make it through to this day.
What was immediately clear from the formation of these plans is that they all would require sacrifice and discipline if they were going to be successful. And, they would require leadership from you, the senior class. And, you led. None of this was easy, but there was very little complaining. So, thank you.
We asked you to reach a high bar of compliance. And, while you didn’t always get there, you understood why the bar was there and you adjusted when asked to do so. We couldn’t ask for anything more. But, if the senior class did not understand the reasons for this bar to be high and if the senior class did not adjust and adapt, then the entire plan would have failed. You stepped up to this challenge and we are here as a result. So, I thank you for your leadership and your sacrifice for the common good of your class and your school.
Now, I challenge you to continue this leadership. Whether you have been here for six years, four years, or one year, your Trinity-Pawling experience will be marked by your role during this year, your participation in pushing back against this pandemic so we could make it to this day. You will have this in common with your brothers from the Class of 2020. Unfortunately, their role in this undertaking involved a different type of sacrifice, particularly because they did not get this day. But, we would not be here if it were not for the leadership of both of these classes.
Continue this leadership as alumni. The School needs your leadership; it needs your courage; and, it needs your commitment. The Brotherhood doesn’t end on this day, it just takes a different form that can, if you want it to, last a lifetime. I hope that you stay connected with one another and with this place, because it will continue to shape your life in good and meaningful ways if you allow it to happen.
It’s kind of funny that a guy who prefers silence says he found his voice at Trinity-Pawling. Toby Berner, who graduated as the Class of 2021 valedictorian, laughingly acknowledged in his Commencement address that “this is the longest anyone on campus has ever heard me speak.”
A silent and thoughtful leader, Berner pushed himself to become more extroverted as a senior prefect and a proctor. “Trinity-Pawling provided me with plenty of opportunities to try new things and speak out in class, sports, and chapel.”
However, Berner still prefers paintbrush to words for self-expression.
In the spring of his junior year, Berner decided to focus his Senior Independent Project on a series of paintings of familiar campus scenes. “Sam Fechner, valedictorian of the Class of 2020, inspired me. He had recorded a CD, Sunrise Over the Eastern Hillsides, with original musical compositions based on his experiences at Trinity-Pawling, and he donated the proceeds from the sale of those CDs to the School.” Toby also created the cover art for Sam’s CD.
Over the course of a year, Berner captured the campus on canvas, including a snowy Chapel, the pond in autumnal hues, the flickering glow of December’s Candlelight service, students walking across the quad en route to classes, and pond hockey.
In mid-May, he posted these framed masterpieces to an online auction, with the assistance of Colleen Dealy in the Office of Advancement. The eight paintings generated nearly $5,000, which Berner donated to the Trinity-Pawling Fund. “It’s awesome to be able to do what I love and to help the School at the same time,” Berner said. “I love that my art will be in different homes, and I’ll be connected to these people in some way.”
In his valedictory address, Berner explained that when he paints, he must balance attention to the fine details with stepping back to see the whole scene. “When I finish a painting, it’s not perfect and it never will be. But I feel good because I know that I took the time to step back, ask questions, and look at it from all angles to get it as close as I can to being perfect. Likewise, when I make important decisions in my life, I feel good in my heart knowing that I stepped back and thought about all angles, vantage points, and perspectives. Asking questions that challenge us to think hard and to look at ideas in different ways and from different perspectives forces growth and ultimately encourages a better humanity.”
Toby Berner graduated Summa Cum Laude and earned a Diploma with Distinction for his Senior Independent Project. He will matriculate at Haverford College in September, where he plans to study art and engineering.
A final word from Berner: “One night after dinner, Sam and I stood in front of the Honor Student plaque in Cluett hallway. We looked at it and thought, wouldn’t it be cool if we were listed as back-to-back valedictorians, and now we are!” From his home in Germany, Sam watched his friend and fellow artist deliver the 2021 valedictory speech via livestream.
by Maria Buteux Reade
As a top college prep school in the Northeast, the Trinity-Pawling community works together each year to provide students with the guidance and support they need to find success in college and beyond. The dedicated college counseling team has an individualized, student-centered approach as they thoughtfully guide each student through the college selection process — from researching and visiting (both virtually and in-person) to applying and interviewing. As the recent graduates from the Class of 2021 can certainly confirm, Co-Directors of College Counseling Slade Mead, Scott Harff, and their team work tirelessly to keep the college application experience efficient, focused, and rewarding.
“Mr. Mead and I are incredibly proud of each senior for all of the hard work they have put in this year and throughout their Trinity-Pawling careers,” shared Scott Harff, soon-to-be Director of College Counseling. “A sincere congratulations goes out to each of you for completing the college process. We wish you continued success in the future.”
Below is the matriculation list for the members of Trinity-Pawling’s Class of 2021. We wish our graduating seniors all the best in college and beyond, wherever their paths may take them!
Advanced Technology Institute (ATI)
Belmont Abbey College
Carnegie Mellon University
George Washington University
High Point University
Hobart William Smith Colleges
Johns Hopkins University
Long Island University
Loyola University Maryland
Michigan State University
New York University
North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Pennsylvania State University
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
St. Lawrence University
Stony Brook University
SUNY College at Potsdam
SUNY Polytechnic Institute
The University of Arizona
The University of Tampa
University of California-Berkeley
University of Colorado Boulder
University of Florida
University of Kentucky
University of New Haven
University of Rhode Island
University of Toronto
University of Washington (Seattle Campus)
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Wake Forest University
West Point, United States Military Academy
Western Connecticut State University
“Finding your passion gives you the confidence and drive to pursue your dreams.” – Billy Baldwin ’79
It’s Billy Baldwin’s genuine commitment to sparking passion and creativity that led him to establish the Baldwin Award at Trinity-Pawling. The Baldwin Award is given to a member of the senior class who successfully completes a Diploma with Distinction, which is an honor given to seniors who showcase exceptional independence and determination throughout their Senior Independent Projects (SIP). “I want this award to support an environment where students can identify a passion and tap into the drive to create. If they can ultimately build a career based on something they truly love, all the better,” shared Baldwin.
This year, nine graduating seniors completed their SIPs in a manner worthy of earning a Diploma with Distinction: Michael Acquaah-Harrison, Toby Berner, Peter Claro, Ryan Kane, Aidan Morgan, David Poulos, Matt Romeo, Tyler Woods, and Kevin Zhong.
During the 114th Commencement Exercises last month, the 2021 Baldwin Award was proudly presented to Michael Acquaah-Harrison ’21 for his exceptional SIP! After viewing all nine eligible senior presentations earlier this spring, a panel of alumni judges chose Michael as the winner based on a combination of his idea development, the quality of his final product, his presentation, and most importantly, the evidence of his passion and drive. Michael’s tireless efforts to develop his mobile application, Eyewitness © (a safety-based app for people in critical situations, which is currently in Beta testing), successfully met all the criteria and thoroughly impressed the panel.
“Michael showcased an incredible level of individual problem-solving, passion, and a clear drive to continue improving his app,” shared Co-Director of College Counseling Scott Harff. “So well deserved!”
We extend a heartfelt congratulations to Michael, and a special thank you to Billy for continuing to inspire Trinity-Pawling students in all of their creative endeavors.
by Emma Christiantelli
The past year has brought much into focus, including the critical importance of holding our friends and loved ones close and taking nothing for granted. Robert Brownlee ’82 agrees wholeheartedly and took the initiative this spring to organize an off-campus gathering for his classmates so they could reconnect before their 40th reunion. What transpired was a weekend of good food, great times, and lots of reminiscing!
Brownlee and his classmates stay connected on Facebook and other social media and when they learned recently that a close friend of a fellow alum had passed away, they were saddened and spurred into action. “I had a sudden realization that we can’t wait on life and circumstances to be perfect to do something. I missed my T-P brothers and wanted to get us together again,” Brownlee comments.
He proceeded to connect with the Trinity-Pawling Office of Advancement, secured an updated contact list, and reached out to his classmates about an April gathering at his family’s vacation home in Ellijay, GA. He heard back from a few guys and they put it on the books.
Brownlee, Tom Wilkinson, and Bill Dickson arrived Friday, April 9th, and Ted Allegaert and David Hobbs came in on Saturday morning. A couple of others were planning to attend as well but had last-minute conflicts. The five “brothers” settled in and spent a lot of time just catching up. “Although Hobbs and I talk on a regular basis, I hadn’t seen Bill since graduation (!), or Tom and Ted since previous reunions. We had a lot to talk about!” Brownlee remarks.
They shared memories of fun moments at Trinity-Pawling, connections over the years between classmates and their families, and stories about favorite teachers, including Dean of Students and Wrestling Coach Eric Ruoss. In between, they enjoyed a couple of great meals out and also called fellow classmates to catch up.
“Hands down, the best part of the weekend was just the opportunity to reminisce about old times and our shared experiences. Trinity-Pawling is family — from your classmates to teammates, to coaches, and the faculty. You create bonds there that you just don’t in a public school environment. T-P had an immeasurable impact on my life, even more so than my college years,” Brownlee acknowledges.
As for future gatherings, the group is already talking about them! “The first will be our 40th in the fall of 2022. No excuses guys — just get on that plane and join us! You know we’re going to have fun!” An enthusiastic endorsement backed by a weekend of wonderful memories, and one that we stand by 100% — we look forward to welcoming you all back to campus, Class of 1982!
by Kate Vengrove
In late February, Louis Inghilterra ’17 was organizing the annual Pig Dinner for his fraternity at Colorado State University at Fort Collins. This traditional formal dinner is well known to members of Phi Gamma Delta, aka Fiji. As the corresponding secretary of the fraternity, Inghilterra needed to find a keynote speaker. While flipping through the Fiji history book, he saw a name he recognized: Joe Callo.
“I had met Joe Callo ’48 at a Trinity-Pawling alumni function in New York City when I was an alumni ambassador,” Inghilterra recalled. “I reached out to Colleen Dealy in the Trinity-Pawling Office of Advancement who connected me with Joe.”
On the evening of May 1, 2021, Callo delivered a remote keynote address to more than 100 Fijis gathered at the Fort Collins Country Club. “Although 1,000 miles apart, we are connected in spirit, thanks to technology,” Callo observed from his apartment in Manhattan. A Phi Gamma Delta at Yale ’52, Joe received the Distinguished Fiji Award in 2010, given by the international fraternity to honor his lifetime of service.
Dressed nattily in a blue blazer and striped tie, the 91-year-old retired U.S. Navy rear admiral, advertising executive, professor, television producer, and author spoke about how we deal with change. He had solicited input from three different perspectives: Admiral Antony Radakin, head of the British Royal Navy; Father Gerald Murray, pastor of a major Catholic parish in midtown Manhattan; and his own daughter, Kathleen Callo, a former journalist with Reuters International News Agency.
In the ten-minute video-recorded address, Callo summarized these individuals’ insights. Admiral Radakin suggested that, “We place too much emphasis on the risks of introducing change and too little emphasis on the risk of carrying on as we are.” Father Murray opined that, “At the root of our search for change for the better is a healthy dissatisfaction with the way things are at present.” And the journalist Kathleen Callo reflected specifically how technology has transformed the way we create, learn, communicate, and view community. She noted that “trying to cope with unrelenting digital change can seem as daunting as leaping onto a moving skateboard, but it’s worth the effort.”
Callo concluded that what matters more than the existence of change is how we react to it, particularly digital technology’s warp-speed evolution. “Change is constant. We need to embrace or accommodate it, but by all means, we need to preserve our psychological balance and maintain perspective in order to avoid being victims of it.”
Callo and his wife of 42 years, Sally McElwreath Callo, a retired Navy Reserve captain, live in Manhattan, where he continues to write while also contemplating what his next career will be. Inghilterra recently completed his junior year at Colorado State where he is studying interior architecture. “My fraternity brothers and I were so appreciative of Joe’s wisdom. A man of his stature heralding and embracing change is a good message for us all.”
by Maria Buteux Reade
This year, five beloved and long-time faculty members will retire from Trinity-Pawling. While it’s bittersweet news, we’d like to celebrate all that these dedicated community members have done for our School over the years!
Ned Reade completes his year of service as Artist-in-Residence this month, after retiring from teaching and coaching in June 2020.
Debbie and Dave Coratti P’08 will say goodbye at the end of this month, after 40 devoted years at the School.
Bill Casson is heading to Florida following 20 years of coaching and serving in the Office of Admissions.
Van Metcalf completes 17 years of service to the School, which included the development of a demanding computer science curriculum. He will move to Rhode Island this summer.
We are truly grateful for their years of dedicated service to Trinity-Pawling. Well Done, Thou Good and Faithful Servants!
Read more about Ned, Debbie, Dave, Bill, and Van at trinitypawling.org/alumni/honoring-retiring-faculty or watch the recording of A Toast To Retiring Faculty.
The Trinity-Pawling Theater Department presented Monty Python’s The Edukational Show to cap a year absent of indoor theater.
In Theater Director Kent Burnham’s final play at Trinity-Pawling, the series of skits interspersed by music, animation, and shorts from the original Monty Python cast pushed the audience to consider the absurdity of the mundane. A bizarre opening skit capped senior Jackson McAvoy’s wonderful career as a leader on stage, as his character resisted an impulse to use scissors for a more violent purpose than cutting hair. The dreamy, drawn-out opening captured the audience, giving way to belly laughs filling the theater throughout the night.
The Kathleen Claypool Prize for Dramatic Arts winner Kyle Tanner ’21 showcased his humor and command of the British air in a skit where he donned a coat and tie to reminisce with friends about how much worse things were ‘in those days.’ Senior Christian Strader showcased his beautiful voice, belting alongside youngsters Phuc Vu ’22 and Junyoung Park ’22 about the deliciousness of SPAM in their on-stage Trinity-Pawling debut. Max Camaj ’23 and Daniel Lisanti ’22 also made their premiere performances for Trinity-Pawling, establishing a promising future for more laughs and tears in Gardiner Theater.
Assistant Director Joe Osborne ’21 finalized his creative and thoughtful Trinity-Pawling career with the successful show. A special thanks is deserved for Mr. Bresler’s sound and lighting design, and to Mr. Templeton for his musical direction.
by Cyrus Rothwell-Ferraris
This year has been a marathon and yet, in true Trinity-Pawling fashion, the School has persevered and innovated for the future. This would not have been possible without the incredible support of our community, whose gifts have enabled upgrades in critical technology, safety measures, and new programming.
Will you join the hundreds of alumni, parents, and friends who have helped sustain Trinity-Pawling in this challenging year? The need is greater than ever and your support can help us sprint to the finish line and end this year strongly! BONUS: If we reach 200 donors by June 30th, we’ll unlock an additional $10,000 for the School from our Trustees!
Make a gift today and be part of the momentum — sprint now for the boys, for the faculty, and for the School! Thank you for your support.
Despite so much uncertainty throughout the year, the boys suited up each day to maintain their strong commitment to athletics. Practicing in-season sports while staying in the gym late to get reps in an off-season sport proved that the Trinity-Pawling athlete is willing to do what it takes to stay prepared. The canceled fall season gave way to more certainty during the winter, allowing basketball, squash, and hockey to compete in some interscholastic events. By the spring, the structure was in place for the boys to play almost a full slate of games throughout the season, and all of the teams showed how hard they had worked in the off-season. The 2021 Weeman Athletic Award recognized Stuart Phillips ’21 at graduation for his impact as an athlete and a leader for the past three years.
The varsity baseball team finished a strong spring with an 11-6 record. The boys were lucky to have no rainouts and to play almost as many games as they would have any other season. With a contest at Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford, CT, and numerous walk-off wins, the excitement came to bat every game! Congratulations to the seniors for a strong year, and good luck to Brendan Tierney ’21 at West Point, Chase Swain ’21 at Pace University, Nick Sottolano ’21 at Misericordia, Connor Haywood’21 at Fordham, Jon Link ’21 at Trinity, and Dean Simeone ’21 as he pursues junior hockey.
The varsity lacrosse team ended the season with an 8-6 record. A pair of excellent goalies kept the Pride in almost every game, and the returning class will look to build on the success of this year. An extensive and impressive list of matriculation to play lacrosse at the next level follows: Stuart Phillips ’21 at Johns Hopkins, Matthew Bologna ’21 at Quinnipiac, Peter Claro ’21 at Cornell, Chris Pateman ’21 at Western Connecticut State, Carson Block ’21 at Belmont Abbey, Tobias Berner ’21 at Haverford, Declan Mitchell ’21 at Stony Brook, Tyler Gatz ’21 at UC Boulder, Brandon Ventarola ’21 at Dartmouth, Lucas Brennwald ’21 at RIT, Tyler Lahey ’21 at Lehigh, Michael Mcknelly ’21 at Marist (walk-on), and JJ Ford ’21 at Connecticut College.
The Pride had a tough season behind the strong play of number one Eric Gao ’22. The young team will look to build on their success with up and coming stars Tony Gao ’22 and Leo Liu ’24 looking to make an impact in the future. Thank you to Coach Clougher for his commitment to the program and the community.
Track and Field
The track and field team finished a successful slate of meets this spring, both at Trinity-Pawling and on the road. Garrett Backus ’23 impressed as one of the fastest 100-meter sprinters in New England, and seniors Jimmy Nolan and Sam Renaud (Sam will continue his running career at SUNY College at Potsdam), led the way as strong distance runners.
A final thanks to Athletic Director Brian Foster ’79 for his flexibility in scheduling, Headmaster Taylor for working with the entire boarding school coalition to make athletics possible this year, and Glenn Carey for orchestrating behind the scenes to keep us all safe.
Congratulations to all!
by Cyrus Rothwell-Ferraris
Alumni, as you reflect on this past year, we hope you will share an update with Trinity-Pawling!
Did you get married, enter retirement, welcome a new baby into the family, switch careers, or win a prestigious award? Do you have any exciting plans? Let us know!
The deadline for the next Trinity-Pawling Magazine is July 6, 2021 — submit your class notes today.
Questions? Reach Out. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Janet Hubbard P’07 at 845-855-4830. We look forward to hearing from you!