When we speak about the Common Good, it does not suggest that we are all the same or we have everything together in common. We have some things in common, such as Trinity-Pawling, but we are a mosaic. We bring our own experiences, backgrounds, personalities, strengths, and weaknesses to this common space. For the Common Good to be good, it must be diverse, made up of people with different gifts, talents, backgrounds, experiences, races, religions, genders, sexual orientations, and political views.
During the midst of winter, I challenge us all to remember that we have standards to maintain. Most of these standards, especially during a global pandemic, revolve around two main principles — respect and safety.
In a community that is diverse, the armor of light that we wear to live in this community is to RESPECT the differences in our midst. Respect the humanity of each member of this community. Respect the fact that we will come from different places, different experiences, and different perspectives.
We live in a world and a nation of historic and profound disrespect. There has been and is profound disrespect for the racial injustice that has plagued this country for too long. This summer’s protests and the Black Lives Matter movement is a powerful statement that this disrespect will no longer be accepted or tolerated. There has been and is profound disrespect for the contributions of women and that these contributions should have equal value as those of men. There has been and is profound disrespect for different religious views. There has been and is profound disrespect for those who have different political views than our own. And, on January 6th, there was profound disrespect for the citadel of democracy, and those who fought to defend it, that distinguishes this nation.
When we become a member of this community, we acknowledge that we will be civil to one another, we will respect one another, and we will find community with one another. If we cannot do this, then there will be no common good. And, if there is no common good, then there is no Trinity-Pawling. Value one another. Value yourself. Value your potential. Roll Pride!
by William W. Taylor
It has been forty years since Dean Bennett ’84 first arrived on the campus of Trinity-Pawling. Since that long-ago sophomore year, however, Bennett has never forgotten the importance of the Trinity-Pawling Effort System. “It has been the common denominator in my life,” he reflected. “It was life-altering. Really, my time at Trinity-Pawling was life-enhancing because, from the classroom to the playing field, the Effort System challenged me to self-motivate, to get outside my comfort zone, and have confidence in the idea that if you put in the effort, positive outcomes – even in disappointment – will come your way.”
Indeed, a lot of positive outcomes have come the way of Bennett. A graduate of the Frank G. Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University, Bennett is the founding President of J.K. Bennett and Associates, a New York-based management consulting firm. He has had a long and active role in politics. He is currently a Program Supervisor of Job Readiness Training at the Nassau County Department of Social Services. He served as Executive Director for the Empire State Development Division of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise, a program that aims to expand governmental contracts and other opportunities for minority and women entrepreneurs seeking to grow their businesses in New York State. Bennett also served as Director of Equal Employment Opportunity and Deputy Director for the Office of Minority Affairs for Nassau County.
Beyond his professional work, Bennett is an active member of the New York City Chapter of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. – a men’s civic organization with a mission to educate and empower African American children and teens through community service and outreach. “The purpose for me,” Bennett said, “is to teach young men how to conduct themselves in a respectful way. To essentially teach a lot of the principles I learned at Trinity-Pawling. To put forth a good effort and to comport oneself with character and grace.” Moreover, Bennett is active in his church, a trustee on numerous community boards, and a proud husband and parent of three active and growing children.
As Bennett spoke about the Effort system which he first learned about some forty years ago, he let it slip that he once received a less than stellar effort grade. “My consequence was to shovel snow from the steps of Cluett,” Bennett let out a laugh, “but I’ll never forget one classmate running through the quad and grabbing a shovel and helping me complete the task.”
The value of effort is both lasting and inspiring.
by The Reverend Daniel Lennox
At the helm of the Rutgers’ offense, the recently minted Power-5 coordinator has to believe nothing can stop him. So far, nothing has. Since joining the Rutgers staff, the Scarlet Knights have set numerous school records for offensive output, and multiple players have earned Big-10 accolades.
Sean Gleeson’s coaching career began at Delbarton School in his native New Jersey, where he also taught English and Algebra. Although a long way from coaching at the highest level of college football, he won’t diminish those four years. Not only did it prove his future as a football coach, he met his wife, Lauren, during that time.
After a short stint at Farleigh-Dickinson University in his first college coaching job, Gleeson found his way to Princeton to work with the running backs under the tutelage of former college coach James Perry. Once Gleeson took over the offense from Perry, the Tigers amped up their output. Three Ivy championships and an undefeated season that set points and scoring records in the Ivy League caught the interest of FBS programs, leading Gleeson to pack up his wagon and head west, assuming the offensive coordinator role at Oklahoma State University.
Thus is the life of a college football coach: while rewarding in many ways, staff turnover is high and no job is secure. Thankfully after just one year, Gleeson was offered the OC job at Rutgers, and he headed back east to his home state in 2020. Creative thought and an aspirational attitude prepares Gleeson for any challenge, and with three young children — one just born in November — he has his hands full, with a lot to look forward to.
by Cyrus Rothwell-Ferraris
Long-time faculty member Bill Casson has announced his retirement — he’ll be heading to Florida following 20 years of coaching and serving in the Office of Admissions. While it’s bittersweet news, we’d like to celebrate all that Bill has done for Trinity-Pawling over the years!
Bill is in his 20th year at Trinity-Pawling as Associate Director of Admissions and Head Coach for varsity basketball. He left the School in 2006 to work as Athletic Director and Head Basketball Coach at St. John’s Country Day School in Orange Park, Florida and he returned in 2010. In his first Trinity-Pawling tour from 2001-2006, Bill worked in admissions and coached varsity basketball. During that time, the varsity basketball team was named Tri-State League Champions for five years, Founders League Champions for five years, and New England Class B runner-ups in 2003. After Bill returned, he also guided the basketball program to two Tri-State League Championships and a Founders League Championship in 2015, while qualifying for the NEPSAC Class A Tournament eight times in the past eleven years. In 2014, Bill was honored to receive the NEPSAC Coach of the Year Award.
During Bill’s dedicated career, he has been a head coach at the high school level for 40 years, with an estimated 500 wins! He has also helped to place over 130 basketball players in colleges all over the country. As the Associate Director of Admissions, Bill interviews prospective families, travels to meet with educational consultants, and visits lower schools throughout the country and overseas.
He and his wife, Kathy plan to retire to Fort Myers, Florida with their loyal Labrador, Barkley.
We extend a heartfelt thank you to Bill Casson for his contributions to the life and success of Trinity-Pawling School. While we still have a few months to celebrate all that Bill and Kathy have done for the School, we take this opportunity to focus our collective attention on Bill’s stellar career and to say THANK YOU!
Well done, Good Sir!
Did you know that you too can applaud Bill Casson’s hard work, commitment, and impact on Trinity-Pawling (and on you!) by making a gift in his honor? Visit our giving page and make a note that your gift is “In Honor Of” Bill Casson.
In December of 2020, Marquese Ward-Morning ’21, Travon Monlyn ’21, and DeAndre Williams ’23 proudly represented Trinity-Pawling at the 2020 Student Diversity Leadership Conference. Hosted annually by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the conference is a multiracial, multicultural gathering of student leaders from across the United States and abroad. Although the conference could not be held in person this year, the virtual group discussions and workshops were enlightening and dynamic — focused on allyship, reflection, social justice, and building community in a diverse world.
We caught up with Marquese, Travon, and DeAndre for a Q&A to learn more about their experiences at the virtual conference.
Q: What brought you the most joy during the conference?
A: What brought me the most happiness was the fact that nobody was uncomfortable with the conversations. They were all willing to ask questions and listen to the answers to find out how they can help to make their school a better and more accepting place. It’s our turn to try to fix things. We don’t want sympathy…we want allyship.
Q: What is one standout lesson you learned at the conference?
A: At the conference, there were so many other students who understand and have gone through the same things that we do. I liked the sense of belonging. It took me some time to open up and find my voice, but I also learned that sometimes it’s better to just listen. Hearing people out is important, especially before making pre-judgements.
Q: What was the most rewarding part of your experience?
A: I’d say the most rewarding part was meeting new people and hearing how they have gone through a lot of the same things that I go through on a daily basis. It was great to hear so many other points of view. It made me open up and I learned the importance of trying to see things from a different perspective.
Thank you, Marquese, Travon, and DeAndre for your continued efforts to keep the conversations going, spread kindness and acceptance, and truly make a difference at Trinity-Pawling, and beyond!
by Emma Christiantelli
Monthly giving to Trinity-Pawling is an efficient and effective way to support the School and help provide for ongoing needs during this challenging time. When you make a recurring gift, your investment adds up quickly and allows Trinity-Pawling to be nimble and ready for critical expenses. And it’s as easy as:
1. Visit www.trinitypawling.org/give
2. Enter your gift amount, select “recurring donation” and choose your time frame
3. Complete the form and send it off
We’ll keep you informed on how your gifts are making a difference for students, faculty, and campus initiatives, and you can take pride in knowing you are making an incredible and steady impact for the Pride! Make a gift today and support the extraordinary experience of a Trinity-Pawling education!
Once a teacher, always a teacher! This adage certainly rings true for Trinity-Pawling Artist-in-Residence Ned Reade. Even after retiring last June from his role as Chair of the Arts Department and a legendary 45 years of teaching, Reade continues to feel the call to guide students in the “art” of creating art. It is a remarkable gift that he has — a knack for helping others discover beauty and express it through a variety of mediums. This talent, along with a penchant for connecting and sharing what he knows, keeps Reade coming back to the teacher’s canvas. How fortunate this community is to be the beneficiary of that remarkable offering.
Reade reflects, “I realized that I can’t paint without teaching and I could not teach without painting! Teaching helps me synthesize information and forces me to plan each painting lesson in advance. Then I paint better myself.”
On campus this December, Reade shared his pottery expertise with faculty and staff in a series of studio sessions. From slab and coil projects to spinning pots on the wheel, participants had a great time learning the tricks of the trade from the master himself.
Locally, Reade is currently teaching an 8-week course of watercolor classes at his downtown Pawling gallery, Live 4 Art. Throughout the series, he’s welcomed students both in person and around the world via Zoom. Each class emphasizes key elements of good painting — design, drawing, values, color, texture, technique — while focusing on a specific project theme. One week students paint a floral still life and the next, a landscape, and so on. Whether they are accomplished artists or novices, attend one class or all eight, participants take home beautiful paintings of their own creation, along with a proficiency and tool kit they can call upon for future projects.
Elaine Clayman, a professional oil painter whose work is featured in Reade’s gallery, wanted to expand her skillset and signed up for the winter series. “Watercolor is a completely different animal, but Ned has made it accessible — he is a phenomenal teacher! I can see why his students love him. He keeps challenging us and upping the ante, but is always very keen to see us succeed,” she comments.
If all of this sounds like fun, Reade is offering a 6-week spring series of watercolor classes on Mondays beginning April 5. For details, contact Ned directly via email or at the gallery. You can also visit his YouTube channel for class examples.
Thank you Ned, for continuing to share your gifts and talents with the greater Pawling community!
by Kate Vengrove
In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day last month, the Trinity-Pawling community welcomed Tafeni English, Director of the Civil Rights Memorial Center with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for a virtual presentation and Q&A session. In her moving and educational seminar, English shared the history, mission, and work of the SPLC — illustrating their vital and ongoing efforts to fight hate, teach tolerance, and seek justice for all. “The SPLC is a catalyst for racial justice in the United States,” she explained. “We work in partnership with communities across the country to dismantle racism, strengthen intersectional movements, and advance the human rights of all people.”
English also emphasized the profound legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and spoke of his strides for equality and his sacrifice in the service of justice. “It’s up to us to not only quote and study Dr. King, but to live out the principles for which he stood, today and every day. How can we honor his life and legacy? Apathy is not an option. Silence is not an option. Each of us needs to have the courage to stand up and speak up. It starts with your own voice,” she shared.
“Having Ms. English join us in January was fantastic. One of the best ways to confront racism is through education, and Ms. English taught us about the struggles our country continues to face today,” shared Co-Director of College Counseling Slade Mead. “The Southern Poverty Law Center is a leading force for justice in America and learning about their work was an invaluable lesson for everyone in our community.”
Director of Equity and Inclusion Sam Clougher added: “Ms. English brought with her a moving, tough, and informative presentation. We are incredibly lucky to have heard her speak and owe Mr. Mead a debt of thanks for helping bring her to Zoom!”
On behalf of the entire Trinity-Pawling community, we extend a heartfelt thank you to Ms. English and the SPLC for an insightful and thought-provoking presentation!
by Emma Christiantelli
Training for fall and spring sports has continued this winter, keeping the field house warm. Canadian lacrosse player Michael Blaymires ’22 summed up his week of winter sports: “I get to lift Monday, play hockey Tuesday, lift on Wednesday, and then play indoor lacrosse Thursday and Friday, finishing with Saturday speed school.” A breadth of exposure keeps both sports fun and Blaymires is continually pushing himself to get better. “One of the great advantages of a tough year,” he says. “This time last year we weren’t playing lacrosse.”
Varsity hockey, basketball, and squash enjoyed COVID-conscious competitions with Hill School, Hoosac School, and Millbrook School over the past month.
Hockey saw big wins over Hill and Hoosac, but dropped a set of games against a more talented Millbrook school this past weekend. Brady Schultz ’23, Tyler Fogu ’22, and Ryan Walker ’23 led the way with big plays and big hits.
Basketball has enjoyed consistent scoring from Deandre Williams ’23 and excellent effort and leadership from Mark Engel ’21, Nzube Mekkam ’21 and Jude Tapia ’21. A last-second shot to win against Millbrook rimmed out, and the team is still searching for their first victory.
Senior squash player Whit Hazlewood ’21 tells the tale of a different type of success this year. “It’s so fun to be a captain of a whole new group this season,” he says. “Tjende (Djibo) ’22 and I were here last year, but the rest of the team is new, so it’s nice to be a leader for these new players.” Versus the Hill School, Hazlewood says he faced a top-20 ranked player worldwide, for his age. Although he lost, Hazlewood notes that he still won some tough points during the match.
The promising success and sobering defeats across all three sports proves that the process of improvement is never over. We are all hoping for more opportunities for safe interscholastic competition in the spring, as school policy dictates.
by Cyrus Rothwell-Ferraris
We’ve enjoyed connecting with our community throughout the year for Pride Perspectives – our ongoing series of interactive webinars featuring experts from the Trinity-Pawling community.
On January 27, Bill Taylor and Trinity-Pawling faculty members had an inspiring conversation about educating boys in the 21st century. Our teachers are constantly reimagining what’s possible — adapting and creating new and dynamic programs and pedagogies based on how modern boys learn and grow. The results are transformational! In case you missed the webinar, you can watch the full recording on our YouTube channel.
Another standout webinar this season was our captivating conversation with our distinguished alumni about their career paths and experiences in their respective fields. The Career Insights panel featured Chris Ambrose ’80, Micah Chase ’84, Brad Maiorino ’88, Joe McElligott ’02, Osei Mevs ’94, and Cal Smith ’87. Watch the full recording here.
Our Winter Series will wrap up with these upcoming conversations:
March 3, 7:00 PM (EST) — Winter State of the School, featuring a Winter Term wrap-up by Headmaster Bill Taylor and Board President Erik Olstein ’86, P’11,’14,’17 — Register on Zoom
March 10, 7:00 PM (EST) — Coffee With Ned, featuring acclaimed artist Stephen Hannock ’68 — Register on Zoom
If the thought of cleaning your house before you join your Zoom calls seems daunting, we’ve rounded up some favorite Trinity-Pawling scenes to refresh your Zoom space. Whether you’re Zooming for work or play, now you can place yourself back on the beautiful Trinity-Pawling campus — winter, spring, summer, or fall. Download a Trinity-Pawling background here.