At Trinity-Pawling, we have always believed that learning takes place in a community. When we gather together in the classroom, in the Chapel, in the dorms, in the dining hall, and on the playing fields and courts, the relationships we build with one another promote growth and a sense of belonging. We know that our close-knit community is one of our greatest assets, which makes the idea of keeping distance very strange to us at the School.
Nevertheless, on Wednesday, April 1, Trinity-Pawling students and faculty embraced a new form of community — a virtual community — for the Spring Term. While it may be an entirely new experience for all involved, we are confident that our technology will allow us to stay connected as we teach, learn, create, mentor, and interact remotely.
“It is our goal to be able to bring the community together virtually in ways that are creative, dynamic, and personal,” shared Headmaster Bill Taylor. “The Trinity-Pawling brotherhood is a human connection like no other — and we are determined to keep our connection as a community intact, in spite of the distance.”
Amy Foster, one of the dedicated faculty members at the helm of the remote learning planning process, echoes these sentiments. “We are all in this together,” she shared. “Not just at Trinity-Pawling, but worldwide! Learning from each other has been a blessing.” Foster, along with many other faculty and staff at the School, have been working tirelessly over the last few weeks to implement the best remote learning experience possible for our students. “It’s uncharted territory for us, but I am confident that we will still be able to provide a meaningful, engaging, and distinctly Trinity-Pawling education for our boys.”
After all, Trinity-Pawling is a school that celebrates giving your all to everything. Whether in a traditional classroom or in a virtual class meeting, the School’s focus on effort, character, and community does not waver — paving the way for life-changing learning.
For more information on the remote learning plan for the Spring Term, please visit the Remote Learning page on our website.
by Emma Christiantelli
One of the great traditions at Trinity-Pawling is the ringing of the All Saints’ Chapel bell each morning to call us to prayer, to community, and to a new day. The rhythmic and consistent ringing at 7:50 AM, 7:55 AM, and 7:58 AM, are reminders of time and date, for sure, but they are also reminders of history and our place in this family that has gathered for nearly a hundred years in the Chapel to start the day.
As such, the tolling of this bell is important. Bells, in general, are of import. They summon us. They remind us of time. They memorialize people. They gather us together. They ring out when everything else is silent. They maintain consistency, memory, and hope.
As such, during the Spring Term, Monday through Friday, I will toll the Chapel bell at the times when we would traditionally gather (7:50 AM, 7:55 AM and 7:58 AM; and on Friday at 10:50 AM, 10:55 AM, 10:58 AM). In a small way, this will give us some consistency and some faint reminder that when all else falls away, our daily gathering place — the Chapel — still summons us.
In time, we’ll have a chance to respond to this tolling, and return and gather together. In the meantime, know that, in the famous words of John Donne, “Therefore send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”
God bless and stay healthy and safe.
by Father Lennox
The entire Trinity-Pawling community is deeply saddened by the death of former faculty member and coach William “Bill” Cooper P’75, P’79.
Bill was a dedicated member of the Trinity-Pawling faculty from 1956-1981. During his 25 years of service to the School, Bill served as an admired teacher, advisor, administrator, mentor, and coach. Among his many roles on campus, Bill served as Head of the Mathematics Department, Head of the Disciplinary Committee, Head Coach for varsity hockey (which included leading the team to a Housatonic Championship), and Assistant Coach for varsity baseball. In 1970, Bill also founded Pawling Youth Hockey, which continues to be a cherished program in our local community.
Bill was inducted into the Trinity-Pawling Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003, along with his 1979 hockey team (in recognition of their outstanding 18-1-1 record), and again in 2018 for his long tenure as an outstanding coach.
When he spoke to those in attendance at his 2018 Hall of Fame induction, he reminded everyone that “you can come home again.” Indeed, Bill’s life and legacy have enriched the lives and learning of so many over the years who have called Trinity-Pawling their School and their home. His impact was indelible.
Bill has touched the lives of many people in this community and the wider Pawling community. Specifically, he worked to make a meaningful impact in the lives of the many young men he taught and coached at Trinity-Pawling. He will always be remembered for his knowledgeable, dedicated, and respectful teaching and coaching style.
Well done, thou good and faithful servant!
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bill’s family and friends.
You may read his obituary here.
Smokin’! Both the career of Eric Keating ’99 and the delectable comfort food his restaurants serve can be summed up using this one word. A co-owner, founder, and main “pitmaster” of the Local Smoke BBQ restaurant chain and catering outfit in New Jersey, Keating has helped to build a brand that the locals just can’t get enough of! “Our business was actually born out of a BBQ competition,” Keating explains. “In 2009, I entered the New Jersey State BBQ Championship in North Wildwood with my friends Steve and Loren Raab. We won and decided to open up a catering company featuring our award-winning recipes.”
Competing under the name Fat Angel BBQ, Local Smoke continued to grow and win competitions. Not only did they take the state championship in 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2017, but they were invited three times to participate in the World BBQ Championship in Tennessee and won first place for their Texas-style brisket at the National BBQ Festival in Georgia (much to the chagrin of the Lone Star State’s pitmaster!). “We competed all over the country — from Nevada to Vermont to Alabama. At the same time, our base was growing through the catering business, and we saw an opportunity to put a stake in the ground.”
“In 2011, we opened our first two restaurants in Cookstown and Neptune City,” Keating comments. Now with a total of four restaurants and a booked catering schedule, the Local Smoke team doesn’t have as much time for competition.
With a degree in hospitality and tourism from Lynn University, experience behind the desk at resorts and hotels, and countless hours logged in every role of the restaurant business, Keating brings a wealth of practical knowledge and expertise to the team as they expand the Local Smoke BBQ enterprise. He also credits his time at Trinity-Pawling for the very critical skills he employs on a daily basis. “Trinity-Pawling is a great place to learn how to be successful. It’s where I became more organized and developed the necessary dedication and commitment that is needed to create a strong business. I’ll never forget my history class with Mr. (now Headmaster) Taylor — it was the hardest class I had, but I loved it and considered him a mentor all four years,” Keating relays. Hard work, dedication, and teamwork — throw in a couple of award-winning sauces on the side, and you have a game-changing combination in the world of ‘cue.
Local Smoke BBQ is indeed “smokin’,” and Keating and his team are rising above and beyond in these challenging times. Since last week, all LSBBQ locations began operating only with phone-in or online orders for curbside pickup, free delivery, or third party delivery.
In addition, Keating has initiated a “Help Feed Our Health Care Workers” campaign. With the motto, “BBQ makes everything a little bit better,” Local Smoke BBQ will be accepting $10 donations — they will match each donation and put together BBQ care packages to support their local New Jersey health care facilities: Riverview Medical Center, Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, Jersey Shore Medical Center, Monmouth Medical Center – Southern Campus, and Local First Responders.
Thank you for helping to keep everyone safe and well-fed!
by Kate Vengrove
Dear Headmaster Taylor,
I am in receipt of your email from earlier today regarding the remainder of the spring semester, and my time at Trinity-Pawling. I know that this was a very difficult decision to make. However, I am writing to let you know how much I appreciate your leadership during these very difficult and unprecedented times.
I am very disappointed to miss out on so many of the things that I was really looking forward to in the next few months. I will miss my professors and completing my coursework in the collaborative classrooms at Trinity-Pawling. I will miss jamming with Mr. Kelsey and my bandmates in the music room, and dedicating long hours to rehearsals for the Rock Concert — which is always a highlight of the year for me. I will miss the Baking Club, our spring Relay For Life event, and so many of the other clubs that I participated in on campus. I will miss giving campus tours to prospective students, representing Trinity-Pawling as an Alumni Ambassador, and the great connection that I have had with my advisor, Mr. Lockwood ’10, who has helped me navigate my four years at Trinity-Pawling. I will also miss completing my four-year career as a member of Trinity-Pawling’s varsity lacrosse team. I was really hoping to finish that out on a positive note.
As you said in your email, there is a tremendous sense of community and brotherhood on the Trinity-Pawling campus which I will really miss. With that being said, I respect your decision and I appreciate your leadership and care of our Trinity-Pawling community. I hope to celebrate with you and my brothers at some point in the future and to have the opportunity to say goodbye to so many people who have greatly impacted my life.
Roll Pride for Life,
CJ Mezzatesta ’20
Dear Mr. Taylor,
I wanted to say thank you for your thoughtful letters and handling of this difficult situation. I am very disappointed that the school year had to end like this and was really looking forward to a great spring at T-P; however, I do understand that this is a very serious, and no doubt unique, situation for you and the School. I am thankful for my time at T-P and all the amazing friends and connections I made in these two years — both with fellow students and faculty members.
I really enjoyed being able to share some of my music at T-P and while I regret that I will not be able to perform any of my music at T-P again, I thought I would take this opportunity to share some of my most recent works with you. I was lucky to meet with alum Gedney Webb ’86 for the SIP with Distinction Program. We had a great, lengthy conversation about music and he gave me some valuable advice about software instruments and writing orchestral music, which I have started to dive into these last two weeks while in quarantine. The two pieces I have attached to this email are the result of this new knowledge.
The first one, entitled Sunrise, is inspired by the amazing sunrises at T-P. I’ve always enjoyed the walk from Cluett down to the dining hall with the sun getting up behind me. This year I was on the other side of the building, so I could enjoy the sunsets after dinner in the fall. I might have to write a piece about that as well. The second piece is called Uncertain Times. It reflects my thoughts and feelings during this time of uncertainty. Writing this music has helped me calm down when I was really nervous or anxious about not knowing what news the next day might bring. I thought it might help some people on campus as well.
I have not shared these pieces with Mr. Templeton yet. In case he is on campus at the moment, maybe you could share them with him with greetings from me.
Once again, thank you for everything these last two years. I’m looking forward to a new experience this Spring Term and hopefully seeing you soon for graduation!
Sam Fechner ’20
Alex Scrymgeour ’92 writes:
This past year saw tremendous success for my dramedy TV pilot Eddie’s, which I created, wrote, and executive produced, starring Eddie McGee and George Wendt. Eddie’s was in five festivals from here to Europe, including Los Angeles, New York City, Houston, and Madrid, where it garnered four nominations for best pilot and three wins.
Eddie’s is a feel-good, single-camera dramedy series starring Eddie McGee (CBS’s NCIS: Los Angeles, NBC’S Chicago Med and Fox’s 911), George Wendt (CBS’s, Cheers), Nikki SooHoo (Paramount’s Heathers), and Jacob Zachar (ABC’s Family’s Greek). The show is directed and executive produced by Michael Lange (X-Files, Larry Sanders Show, Bones, Criminal Minds and Charmed revival). The proof of concept/pilot was shot on location in Hermosa Beach, California and has a strong, diverse cast.
A recent CDC study showed one in four adults has a disability, making over 25% of the population the most underrepresented minority community in TV and film. Eddie McGee as producer and star, having lost his leg to cancer at age 11, gives voice to over 25% of the population who have no strong presence on TV or in film. As for all the talk of diversity in Hollywood, there is not a lot of discussion regarding diversity and disability of actors and producers. Information and trailers on the show can be found at www.facebook.com/eddiestvshow.
I also am pleased to note that the pilot for the pizza travel show I created, wrote, and executive produced, Pizza Perfect, is now streaming on Amazon Prime. In the pilot, Pizza Perfect traveled to Rome, Italy. Exploring the Eternal City and meeting local pizza masters, Pizza Perfect shows different types of pizzas from different regions in Italy and some of the vibrant visual history from the area. I also met local buffalo mozzarella cheesemakers and learned to make authentic Roman pizza!
For 2020, I am working on my next film project, Kill Switch, starring Eddie McGee and my next crime drama TV show Santa Monica Knights. Kill Switch has an amazing script and I am currently looking for investors to continue making award-winning content that engages and entertains.
“Welcome to the Pride!” Earlier this month, 124 young men learned that they were accepted to Trinity-Pawling for the upcoming school year. Director of Admissions JP Burlington ’95 and his team were thrilled to share the exciting news and welcome the newest members of the Pride to our school community.
In each acceptance email, students had the chance to watch a celebratory video about the Trinity-Pawling experience — produced entirely by current students! Peter Claro ’21 and Jack Kalin ’21 took the lead on the project. “Our goal was to capture the many different aspects of T-P and what the School is all about,” Claro explained. “From the classrooms, to the fields, to the dorms, and across campus, we wanted to show the true T-P experience.”
Claro and Kalin, both members of Ms. Rafferty’s Video Production class, tapped into their creativity and resourcefulness throughout the production process. “The weather wasn’t great for shooting new footage, but we had lots of great drone shots from other projects that we were able to incorporate,” Claro explained. “We specifically picked out shots that made the School pop. We really wanted to showcase what makes Trinity-Pawling so great and unique.”
For both Claro and Kalin, working on the video with guidance from Ms. Rafferty was most rewarding. “We’re so grateful to Ms. Rafferty, who was our mentor throughout the entire process. She gave us great ideas and suggestions to make the video even better.” The duo would also like to thank classmates Jonathan Link ’21 and Tyler Woods ’21 for their contributions to the project.
“The video that the boys produced was everything that we wanted and more,” shared Director of Admissions JP Burlington ’95. “It truly captured the essence of who we are as a school, community and brotherhood.”
And a growing brotherhood, at that! To all of our newly-accepted students and families, we’d like to officially welcome you to the Pride. There’s no greater experience than learning, living, and growing alongside 300 brothers. “The connections you make here…” concluded Claro. “…they are bonds that will last a lifetime.”
Enjoy the full acceptance video here.
Amidst an unprecedented season of change, Chris Connolly ’17 and Jack Gump ’18 harkened back to a formative home: Trinity-Pawling. Although they ran with the Pride at different times, they have now converged at UMass Amherst, leading a nationally-ranked team.
Connolly joined rare company as only the second freshman in UMass history to score 50 points in his first year, and became the quickest player to reach 100 points as a sophomore when he led the team in scoring with 67 points. Gump finds his way onto the field as a skilled LSM, doing the dirty work that doesn’t record eye-popping statistics like his Trinity-Pawling teammate.
Reflecting on his boarding school experience, Gump says that Trinity-Pawling “completely transcended me as a person and as a player.” He gives credit to Mr. Mead for the vast knowledge he gained; most importantly an education in how to prepare to participate in class, take a test, and write a paper. In the same way, Gump says his education on the field went beyond lacrosse. “Coach Kirkaldy taught me discipline, drive, that the only person in your way is you. From day one, Kirks helped me grow into a man and he has a lot to do with the person I am today.”
Connolly says that his time at Trinity-Pawling helped him be a more versatile leader. As a prefect, Connolly connected with his young teachers and coaches: Mr. Gillman ’05, Mr. Pirie, Mr. Harff. “I think the leadership that I was able to learn and the bonds I made with people were super special. Learning those mechanics and leadership qualities helped me build relationships quickly in college.” He fondly remembers the weekend when the power went out and boys stormed the quad in the dark.
Before the 2020 season was suspended, the Trinity-Pawling boys led UMass to a 5-2 start that included wins over nationally-ranked #12 Ohio State and #1 Yale. The Minutemen were voted a final national rank of #12.
by Cyrus Rothwell-Ferraris
We’ve always known that we have the best parents in the boarding school world. From rallying fellow parent support of the annual fund to providing lavish appreciation breakfasts to welcoming prospective families during Admissions’ events, our strong and dedicated group of parent volunteers goes above and beyond to sustain and enhance every aspect of the School. Over the past few months our parents’ generosity has truly expanded in new and remarkable directions.
During an extraordinary Giving Tuesday event in December, a record number of parents contributed to Trinity-Pawling in honor of faculty who make a difference for their sons. To continue that celebration, faculty were not only treated to an extravagant brunch on December 16, but parents also pledged to provide breakfast fare weekly on Mondays throughout the winter term. These once-a-week feasts were not only delicious but warmed the hearts of hard-working faculty and staff while providing much good cheer throughout the cold winter months.
Says Slade Mead, Director of College Counseling, “Monday mornings went from dreary start of the work weekdays to glorious feasts in the faculty room days. Wow — thank you!”
Additionally, a number of parents jumped in recently to help when they learned that many of our international students would be spending their March break on campus. They provided abundant snacks to keep the boys going. “Parents empathized with the reality of having their sons across the world in such a new and unfamiliar situation. They wanted them to be as comfortable as possible,” says Amy Foster, Director of Gardiner Library and Learning Commons.
Truly, we are blessed by the incredible generosity of our parent community. We are grateful to them for sharing their boys with the School, as well as their devotion and care for Trinity-Pawling and its faculty and staff.
by Kate Vengrove