Jay Choi took one tie with him to UC Berkeley, his Vineyard Vines class tie. “That tie reminds me of the lessons I learned at T-P: being responsible and taking care of others.”

As a freshman at Berkeley, Choi identified three areas of student concern: campus safety, increased support for international students, and expanded study abroad opportunities. “I saw these as problems and wanted to advocate for solutions so I decided to run for student government.”

Choi campaigned during the spring of his freshman year and earned a seat as a senator, a coup for a first year student. (His campaign slogan? “The Best Choi-ce”) The Associated Students of the University of California [ASUC] is the most powerful student government in the United States with a long and storied history dating back to 1887.

As one of 20 ASUC senators, Choi spent his sophomore year immersed in the legislative process. “I didn’t fully realize the scope of what I was getting into. Being a senator consumed my life but it was so worthwhile.” The ASUC oversees a $2 million budget, allocating those funds to student organizations, and Choi managed an office of 25 students. “I’m probably the least political person in the Senate but I am proud of what we accomplished. My office established a campus safety committee that has created a bridge between campus and city police and the student body. We are now working together to protect our students and solve problems.”

Choi is glad he dedicated his sophomore year to serving others. “I’ve had my taste of politics and being the Big Man, but now it’s time to get back to my studies and friends and achieve a little more balance in my life.”

He credits his time at Trinity-Pawling for honing his values. “T-P taught me about personal obligation and social responsibility. I played varsity soccer, participated in twelve clubs, and served as a proctor in Johnson. This is where I learned to manage my time and dedicate my energy to things that matter: school, family, and friends.”

Choi flew across country in late February to deliver a chapel talk, wanting to share his message with students and the faculty who had shaped his two years. “I received so much genuine love from people here, and someday I hope to be a trustee so I can give back what I received.”



Dennis Ilmela ’17 joined Trinity-Pawling in the 10th grade after completing the mandatory 9 years of schooling required in Helsinki, Finland. “Somewhere during 8th grade, I had the idea that I should complete high school abroad. So during 9th grade, I was introduced to an agent who places Finnish students in North American schools and through them, I found out about Trinity-Pawling,” Dennis explained.

Dennis fit right into Trinity-Pawling’s diverse campus life, “I speak 5 languages – English, Finnish, and Spanish fluently, and also Swedish.” He also studied French for 5 years but couldn’t continue it due to his busy schedule at Trinity-Pawling.

Dennis loves sports and is a Trinity-Pawling tri-varsity athlete, playing football, golf, and wrestling. “I don’t really have a favorite sport – I’ve grown up playing pretty much every sport on the face of the earth and can’t pick one over the others.”

“Everything around you here is designed to make you the best possible you and your success is only limited by how willing you are to commit to this,” Dennis stated. Dennis enjoys math, but Spanish and Mr. McDougal’s history classes “take the cake.” He attributes his academic success to his “American mom,” Mrs. Carlin.

Dennis proudly described his Senior Independent Project that he completed earlier in the year. “I created a petition to allow the ACT to be taken in the state of New York in February. As of now, that isn’t possible because of an Admissions Testing Law. I was able to talk with a few state government members on how to draft a petition and Mr. Mead served as my mentor for the project. The amount of knowledge that I gained was unimaginable. Now only time will tell if the petition gets enough signatures so that we can propose this change to the state.”

“It’s quite hard to not enjoy working on the Senior Independent Project because we students get to choose exactly what we want to work on. Allowing us to work on something that we enjoy and want to pursue is, in my opinion, the best part.” Dennis concluded.




Meredith Durkee spent her summers off from college working at camps in New Hampshire. It was through this experience that she developed a passion for working with children, particularly in an immersive residential setting that summer camps typically offer. Durkee was drawn to the idea of working in a similar setting at a boarding school, and came to Trinity-Pawling after receiving her Masters in Secondary Education.

Her background has undoubtedly influenced her as a Student Activities Director as she takes a student-centered approach. One initiative Durkee introduced this year was that of the House Cup, an idea she says was inspired by her time at Camp Robindel. House Cup activities have included a field day, video game tournaments, fundraisers, and community service events, through which students earn points for their respective Houses. As Student Activities Director, Durkee aims to make the “after 3 o’clock experience” for students a positive one. She says, “Students’ daily schedules are so packed with academic commitments that they need an outlet to relieve some of the stress. My goal is really for the students to have a little more joy in their lives.”

Another initiative she implemented this year, “Random Acts of Excellence”, serves as a way for students to feel acknowledged for being good people and helping others. “What I love most about this project is that it recognizes students who may not be academic or athletic all-stars, but who are genuinely good people,” Durkee says. “We need more opportunities to recognize those people because they’re valuable to the community that Trinity-Pawling prides itself on.”

In addition to being passionate about student activities, Durkee has shared her passion for bookmaking with the Trinity-Pawling community through the Winter Project she is leading with Ned Reade. “I’ve wanted to share my passion for bookmaking with others and the Winter Projects gave me the perfect avenue to do that,” Durkee explains. “The project I’m leading is an introduction to the different styles of bookbinding and an exploration of the content within books. Bookmaking is about precision, which makes it a fun combination for our artistic and mathematically minded students. So far it’s been an incredibly rewarding experience seeing students engaged in the material and working diligently on their products. It’s been fun to teach Ned too!”



Bill Shannon’s phone rang last spring: his classmate Scott Menzies ’69. Of course he took the call. “Scott and I have been friends since we were freshmen at T-P, and we graduated from St. Lawrence together.”

Menzies had recently bought a 46 foot sailboat custom made for the commodore of the New York Yacht Club. Did Shannon want to sail with him along the Intracoastal Waterway in May?

Shannon packed his bag and met his former lacrosse teammate in Florida. Also joining the crew was Bill Shattuck ’69, and the trio set sail from Palm Beach headed for Charleston, South Carolina.

As they ventured north, Shannon realized their course would take them past the Sea Islands of Georgia. His sister had married into the family who owned St. Catherine’s Island. She contacted the manager who arranged a visit to the private island.

“The place is amazing! The foundation runs it as a nature preserve, allowing students from the University of Georgia and Sewanee to join scientists and educators doing fish and sea turtle research and archaeological work. We spent two days there exploring the tidal marshes and beaches, the plantation, and restored slave quarters.”

Later in the week-long trip, the men were having breakfast in Beaufort, and Shannon looked on the wall: a Trinity-Pawling banner. “No matter where I go, I always find a T-P connection!”

“These guys are my brothers,” Shannon continues, “the people I immediately call with good news or bad. We’ve had these deep bonds for nearly 50 years. That says something.”

Just as Shannon and Shattuck debarked from the boat in Charleston, Rick Jameson ’69 arrived and sailed back to Chesapeake Bay with Menzies. Shannon will make the trip again this May, sailing with Scott and his wife, Suzy.

In this world, friends don’t let friends sail alone.



In the last few months, the Trinity-Pawling Archives on the ground floor of the Gardiner Learning Commons has gotten a little more attention thanks to the efforts of the Learning Commons staff- Amy Foster, Sara Ferraris, and particularly Megan Burlington, who is focusing her efforts on the archival collections. The staff, along with a recently assembled Archives Committee comprised of members of the community, has jumpstarted efforts to turn the archive office into a more efficiently used space. Senior Louis Inghilterra has also contributed a great deal to the organization through his work for his Winter Project about the history of several of Trinity-Pawling’s notable buildings. In addition, work has started to comprehensively digitize items stored in the archives that can be searched electronically.

Concurrently, library assistant Nicolle McDougal has been carefully archiving digitized content that would otherwise evaporate. Everything currently happening at the School has been saved both digitally and in print as there is no guarantee of future retrieval of some electronic items. “We are also piloting an online photo directory software program called Vidigami, which tags and organizes images, and which has the capacity to have community members, including alumni, contribute images,” says Foster.

Another initiative that has helped with archival efforts has been that of the Oklahoma Correctional Institute. Trinity-Pawling yearbooks are sent to the facility and trained inmates carefully scan the books, returning digital copies of individual pages via DVD with the original yearbooks. “We will soon have our full collection of yearbooks scanned, including rare Pawling School Scrolls, at no cost to us!” Burlington exclaims.

Currently there is limited space in the archives, but if you have an item you might like to donate, please send a photo or physical description of the object, including its condition, to and we will contact you if we are able to accept it into our collection. We are more able to accommodate items and photographs from the Pawling School era (1907 to 1942).



“Over the years I’ve watched our students grow and prosper. Boys here learn the importance of making commitments and the value of pursuing goals.” – Miles Hubbard ’57

Trinity-Pawling provides a transformational education by offering the curriculum and the experiences young men need to become:

  • Global citizens – ready to thrive in a complex, ever-changing world.
  • Men of honor – eager to serve our world in ways both large and small

When you support the Trinity-Pawling Fund you help to provide the enduring gift of a Trinity-Pawling education. 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

Thank you for your support.



Volunteers, engaged alumni, and parents who support the School and our students, are vital to the Trinity-Pawling community. Emily Zhu P’17, who lives and works in her native China, has become a bright thread in the fabric of Trinity-Pawling’s volunteer structure.

Zhu’s love for Trinity-Pawling and gracious outreach has been invaluable to the process of introducing new Chinese families to the School in the spring and summer, and she has become an integral part of our International Student Orientation in September.  “Every good beginning is one half of the success, so it is very important to be a volunteer from March to September,”  said Zhu.  Her standard greeting to new families:  “Welcome home! Let our great love surround your sons.”

Zhu and her husband are avid travelers and have visited over 30 countries with their son Zimo.  Because of her own experiences traveling, and due to her cultural and linguistic fluency, when Trinity-Pawling faculty members visit China, she is happy to accompany them as they navigate their way to meetings, and bridge the language gap as Headmaster Bill Taylor communicates with parents.

Zhu remembered how their family found a “home” for Zimo at Trinity-Pawling. “Zimo’s goal was to study law in America and he independently set out to find a prep school to lay the foundation for his dream,” she reflected.  After interviewing at 10 schools, Zimo chose Trinity-Pawling for himself.  “He liked the idea of an all boys campus because he felt there would be more hands-on experiences in the curriculum, and that students would have a special bond of brotherhood,” Zhu recalled.  “I liked the idea of Zimo growing up in the beautiful natural environment with a warm-hearted community that was like a big family,” she continued.

“Our family, like your school, is full of love. So when I was asked by Trinity-Pawling to volunteer and help communicate with other Chinese families, I was very happy to help,” concluded Zhu.

Thank you Emily Zhu P’17 for your dedicated support of Trinity-Pawling!

Visit our parent page on the website to learn more about volunteer opportunities at Trinity-Pawling!



You and a guest are cordially invited to join alumni, parents, and faculty for an evening to celebrate 110 years of academic excellence and brotherhood at Trinity-Pawling School and to learn more about Headmaster Bill Taylor’s inspiring vision for Trinity-Pawling’s future.


5:30 – 7:30 PM

Garden Reception with hors d’oeuvres

at the home of Dianne and John Avlon P’96

55 Church Street, Charleston, SC

RSVP by phone: 845-855-4836 OR email:

This event is graciously hosted by Trustee Dianne Avlon and John Avlon P’96.




Members of the Class of 2017 have been immersed in the college selection process over the past several months and several seniors have chosen to take advantage of the Early Decision option offered by many colleges and universities. Early Decision is a process where an applicant applies in the fall and gets a binding offer of admission before the new year. When a rising senior finds the perfect school that offers ED and he gets accepted, it’s a great opportunity.

The Early Decision process overall was good to Trinity-Pawling this year. Slade Mead, Director of College Placement reflects, “in light of the fact that many of our students did not utilize the tool and some were not allowed because of Restricted Early Action, I would say this was one of our best years in the Early Decision pool. That said, like any year, I know some students are disappointed they were either denied or deferred in the ED process.” As Mead culls through the list, he continues. “For some of our boys they have landed at excellent schools early in the process, and now can take a deep breath and enjoy senior year without the 800 pound college gorilla on their shoulder.

“My only frustration is we still had a fair number of students who did not utilize the ED/EA (Early Action) option and then once they realized what they were missing asked if they could go ED, but it was too late. This is one of my biggest challenges each year – convincing the boys that by waiting, one just pushes all the pressure and anxiety later into the senior year.” Mead continues. “I cannot force people to go ED or even EA, but unless it is an extraordinary situation like athletics, I encourage students to take advantage of this tool.  I hope 2018 will build on the success of 2017.”

Congratulations to the seniors who have accepted Early Decision offers:

Jason Berkeley – New York University (Gallatin School)

Ethan Black-Fernandes – Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Man Hang Chong – Boston University

William Cordes – Rhodes College

Ronald DiMaggio – Gettysburg College

Glyn Ge – University of Rochester

Benjamin Gilman – American University

Tyler Gundrum – Skidmore College

Dakota Harvey – Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Varun Himatsingka – Trinity College

Osuman Imoro – Dickinson College

Louis Inghilterra – Dickinson College

MacLean Larned – Colorado College

John Linder – Marist College

Hitoshi Matsukage – Boston University

Kenneth McDougal – Sacred Heart University

Christopher Polletta – Fairfield University

Joshua Reiss – Lehigh University

Jake Rothman – Connecticut College

Samuel Shafer – Loyola University Maryland

Jacob Verdesi – Rochester Institute of Technology

Ryan Winn – Bowdoin College




After a very successful winter sports season at Trinity-Pawling, the boys are now heading outside to the freshly thawed fields.

To finish up the year, the varsity wrestling team finished second at the Western New England Championships on February 11th at Salisbury School. Senior Captain Jeff Thompson won his second consecutive Western title and did so in spectacular fashion.  The 195-pounder pinned all three of his opponents and was awarded Outstanding Wrestler and Most Pins in Least Amount of Time.

Brothers Zach Conlan ’19 and Jake Conlan ’19 also won their second consecutive titles.  Both Zach and Jake finished the day with a pin in the finals.

The Pride put seven wrestlers into the finals on the day.  Junior grapplers Conrad Adams and Matt Trainor along with sophomores David Bancroft and Brett Ginac finished as runner-up in their respective weight classes.  Dennis Ilmela ’17 concluded in third, while fellow senior Nikolai Degenhardt finished fourth.  Troy Lois ’17 and Will Dencker ’17 would end the day in fifth place.

The following weekend, the Pride traveled up to Maine and finished in fifth place at the New England Championships.  Jeff Thompson ’17 and Zach Conlan ’19 led the team as they each finished second in their weight classes.  Bancroft ’19 fought his way back to third place, as Adams ’18 and Trainor ’18 each placed fifth.  Jake Conlan ’19 unfortunately got injured and had to default to sixth place, while Ilmela ’17 finished the day in eighth place.

This past weekend at the National Preps at Lehigh University, Jeff Thompson ’17 was able to capture seventh place to become an All-American for the Pride.  Dave Bancroft ’19 finished one match shy of the same honors.

Varsity basketball is 15-8 overall and after two big wins at the end of the season, the Pride qualified for the NEPSAC Class A Tournament.  The Pride will play Suffield on Wednesday, March 1st in the first round of the bracket.

In order to qualify for the tournament, T-P knew they would have to win two of their last three games.  The squad first defeated Brunswick 74-48 led by senior Luis Cartagena with 26 points and Korey Lee ’17 with 14.  To guarantee their place in the bracket, the Pride then slaughtered Berkshire School 101-43 last Wednesday.  Every member of the Pride scored against Berkshire, including 12 points for Cormac Reilly ’17 and 11 points and nine rebounds for Kevin Salis ’17.

JV basketball concluded 4-11 led by sophomore Will Rickert and senior John “Max” Linder.  Third’s basketball finished 12-1 with big wins over Hotchkiss and Kent.

Varsity squash had one of its most successful seasons in recent memory as the team finished as one of the top teams in the New England B Division.  The team finished 10-8 and had even more success in individual tournaments.

Sophomore newcomer Ibrahim Bekhiet finished the season on a high note as he placed third in the top bracket of the New England B Division Championships.  Ibrahim lost a close semi-final bout but came back to defeat his rival opponent in the third place match.

Oosie Imoro ’17 finished in second place in the #2 bracket, while teammate Abdullah Bekhiet ’18, Ibrahim’s older brother, won the #3 bracket to take home the individual gold.

JV squash finished 5-9 on the season led by William Yau ’17 and David Kwon ’17.  Third’s squash finished 2-5 with a big 5-2 victory over Millbrook School.

Varsity hockey concluded the 2016-17 season with a 6-14-3 record highlighted by a 4-2 win over Salisbury earlier in the month of February.  The Pride also won their last game of the season with a 5-2 route of Albany Academy.

Zach Mazur ’17 led the Pride with 10 goals on the season and a total of 22 points.  Sophomore Joey Musa came through with eight goals and another 12 assists, while Nick Charron ’17 ended with six goals and 12 assists for the Blue and Gold.  The team graduates only a few seniors and will return the majority of the squad next season.

JV hockey finished with a record of 6-8-1 with big wins over Gunnery 5-4 and Kent 2-0.  The team was led by senior Chris Polletta and goalie Brennan McGuire ’17.  Third’s hockey concluded 5-7 with two big victories over Kent led by Captain Ronnie DiMaggio ’17 and forward Tyler Weicker ’17.

Varsity Skiing had an improving season on the mountains led by sophomore Tommy Poulin and senior Jackson Wang.

Roll Pride!

Roll Pride!


Throughout the school year, various initiatives have been working to increase efforts for recycling on campus. Emily Tucci, who teaches Environmental Science says, “I have definitely noticed an increased awareness campus-wide with regards to sustainability. We are in the midst of the Green Cup Challenge, so students are hearing about energy saving updates during chapel and family style dinners.” In addition, Tucci adds, “Slade Mead and a group of students are spearheading the CLYNK recycling effort to benefit Relay for Life.”

The CLYNK program is through Hannaford grocery store and has been a “game changer” according to Slade Mead. “We purchase pre-labeled bags at $.16 each, which we then fill with glass bottles, cans, and plastics, and CLYNK does all the sorting,” Mead explains. “We deliver the bag to Hannaford, zap in the bar code on the bag and put the bag down a shoot. About a week later our Relay for Life account gets credited for the returnables in that bag. If a non-deposit item was in the bag, although we do not get credit, the item is still recycled.” Tucci adds, “Because so many students are now involved with the removal of these bags of recycling, they are able to see first-hand how much plastic we as a society and community are using on a daily basis, while having the reassurance that it will all be recycled and go to an amazing cause.” Scott Stensrud ‘19, who is one of many students emptying bins says, “Using the CLYNK bags is a smart and efficient way to attack pollution. It is an instant way that everyone can be involved. Our goal is to raise for Relay for Life over $1000 by recycling our trash!”

Mead concludes, “I believe that it is a slow, steady learning process. People are so accustomed to throwing things away that they do so without thinking, so we need to keep reminding everyone to use them—recycle, recycle, recycle!”


MayDay 2017

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 early April.

MayDay is a spectacular opportunity to get involved with the greater community.

For more information on MayDay 2017, please visit the Trinity-Pawling website, or contact Jay Kellogg at