An educational environment, such as Trinity-Pawling, that values a holistic approach to education, has multiple opportunities each day to embrace meaningful moments of teaching and learning. As a boarding school, moreover, Trinity-Pawling can lean into these opportunities more comprehensively than an independent day or public school. Yet, the fact that the Trinity-Pawling learning environment has more of these opportunities than other schools, makes it all the more incumbent upon the School to ensure that it is using time in the wisest ways possible to maximize the effectiveness of these opportunities for teaching and learning.
In a fast-paced boarding school like Trinity-Pawling, time is a treasured commodity. Accumulated, wasted, or misused time compromises the effectiveness of a School to meet its objectives for student learning and growth. It is the goal of Trinity-Pawling to create a learning environment that will make a transformational difference in the learning and growth of its students. As such, we must be deliberate about how we are utilizing the time that we have to make this type of difference in the Trinity-Pawling experience.
Here are just a few examples of how Trinity-Pawling prioritizes time in creating a distinctive learning experience that is guided by the research on how boys learn best:
- The core academic schedule at TPS is facilitated during the academic days, Monday through Friday.
- Most Saturday mornings are devoted to our Institutes for Active Learning, a dynamic program that allows boys to get a hands-on introduction to learning that addresses topics in leadership, citizenship, entrepreneurship, and the environmental stewardship.
- Our Wintersession devotes dedicated time between the Thanksgiving and Winter vacations to The Practicum, a signature program that allows students to pursue a creative and active exploration into critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and self-awareness.
- The distinctive fabric of the TPS community is reinforced through regular gatherings of the School community during Chapel, Family-Style Meals, and a weekly Morning Meeting.
- This year, the academic schedule was adjusted to allow for 30 extra minutes of unscheduled time in the morning, designed to give students the option for more rest, reflecting the important research on the role that sleep plays in the learning process.
- Our unique Effort Challenge incorporates a focus on personal initiative and effort into the application of time toward a wide array of student responsibilities at TPS: academics, athletics, residential life, co-curriculars, citizenship, and attendance.
Dwight D. Eisenhower famously said that: “Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.” How schools approach planning for the precious time that they have for teaching not only reveals their priorities, but also their aspirations. How we value and creatively use time is one measure as to why Trinity-Pawling is the next-generation school for boys.
Each spring at Trinity-Pawling’s time-honored Stepping Up ceremony, a small group of rising seniors are elected as prefects for the upcoming year. Derived from the Latin word for ‘leader’, prefects are voted in by the student body and faculty, serving as student leaders and modeling the School’s ideals of honor, respect, and hard work.
This past May, eight prefects were elected for the 2021-2022 school year, earning the honor by demonstrating their commitment to the School and most importantly, to their peers.
Here’s a snapshot of the Class of 2022 Prefects and their plans for the year ahead:
Joe Porto ’22, Head Prefect
Hometown: Branchburg, New Jersey
Years at Trinity-Pawling: 4
Interests and Hobbies: Woodworking, lacrosse, and hockey
“To me, being a prefect means being a model student. This is doing the right thing even when no one is watching and helping others when it’s easier to just walk by. As the Head Prefect, and the prefect of victuals (food) this year, I plan to listen to students and faculty for new ideas, and most importantly, help to bring back the pre-COVID traditions in the School community.”
Robbie Accomando ’22, Junior Prefect
Hometown: Newtown, Connecticut
Years at Trinity-Pawling: 4
Interests and Hobbies: Guitar, running, and wrestling
“As the prefect of the arts, I plan to showcase the arts of Trinity-Pawling by promoting the works of others. I believe that students are more inclined to engage in and enjoy the arts if they see their peers participating and succeeding. My job as a prefect is to be a role model for new and returning students. If I can also help to reinstate the great traditions of Trinity-Pawling lost due to COVID, I will feel that I have done my job.”
Andrew Belcher ’22
Hometown: Dover Plains, New York
Years at Trinity-Pawling: 4
Interests and Hobbies: Soccer, squash, lacrosse, futsal, and playing bass guitar and trumpet
“With many new students not knowing what everyday life was like at Trinity-Pawling pre-COVID, I want to make sure they have an experienced person they can trust and look to for help. For me, being a prefect means being an authentic figure in the community. I intend to stay true to who I am and show my peers that you don’t need to change who you are to fit a certain role. Knowing your identity strengthens you as a person and as a result, strengthens our community.”
Francisco Bendezu ’22
Hometown: Wingdale, New York
Years at Trinity-Pawling: 4
Interests and Hobbies: Reading, writing, and playing squash
“As the prefect of honor this year, I want to expand the role of the Honor Council. I hope it becomes more present in our everyday routines here on campus. As Head Editor of The Phoenix, I also want more people to get involved on the staff. If more students contribute to the paper, more of the community can enjoy it each week. I was elected as a prefect by the School community, so my job is to do what’s best for everyone. I hope students and faculty can see me as an outlet for help and communication this year.”
Mason Clark ’22
Hometown: West Warwick, Rhode Island
Years at Trinity-Pawling: 3
Interests and Hobbies: Sports and playing games
“I was chosen as the prefect of zeal this year, so I’ll be rallying all students to go to the home games to cheer on the boys, and making sure nobody is left out. As a prefect, I know there are people in the School who look up to me as a role model. That is such an honor, and I plan to lead by example.”
Tony Gao ’22
Hometown: Chengdu, China
Years at Trinity-Pawling: 2
Interests and Hobbies: Piano, tennis, writing, reading, and politics
“As the prefect of academics, I look forward to keeping a positive attitude when facing any academic challenges and enjoying every in-person learning opportunity we have. Being a prefect does not mean that I am special. It only represents people’s trust in my ability to take on more responsibilities. This trust motivates me to consistently improve and set examples for others. I am proud of myself and my effort, and the title of prefect has taught me to be humble and thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given.”
Michael O’Rourke ’22
Hometown: Wingdale, New York
Years at Trinity-Pawling: 4
Interests and Hobbies: Hunting, fishing, and mountain biking
“I want to create a campus where we can all go outside with different interests, but still be together. As the environmental prefect, my goal is to bring the brotherhood of T-P out of the dorms. The honor of being prefect means the world to me, especially because my family has history here at the School. I feel as though I am showing them that this is where I belong.”
Ryan Walker ’22
Hometown: Braddock, Pennsylvania
Years at Trinity-Pawling: 2
Interests and Hobbies: Watching sports, listening to podcasts, and watching comedies
“I am the prefect of connectivity this year – bringing people together. I plan to carry out my duties by being a leader in the classroom, ice rink, and all around the School. I want to be known as approachable and willing to help anyone at all times. Being a prefect is an absolute honor and I take the responsibility very seriously. I hope to set a good example for the underclassmen here on campus, and hopefully leave T-P a better place.”
by Emma Christiantelli
For Ahmet Bidav ’12, it’s all about perspective and optionality. Whether he’s acquiring a new business or giving back to the community, he believes that life is short, and the more you create your own reality while preparing for life’s curveballs, the more successful you’ll be — no matter what the future holds. An entrepreneur at just 27 years old, Ahmet isn’t waiting on others to make a difference. He’s jumping in feet-first and the world is a better place for his passion and care.
Founder and CEO of Lux-STR, a new boutique insurance enterprise, Ahmet is building a business and brand that is both grounded and nimble. After a 5-year stint at Pure Insurance, a mid-sized insurance carrier, he was ready for new challenges so he used funds from a successful vending machine business to seed and launch Lux in February of this year.
“I think it’s really important to spend time ‘apprenticing,’ to learn everything about a job or trade from those who excel in it. When I started at Pure, they had around 300 employees and it was a great place to acquire key skill sets and industry knowledge. The company grew quickly to nearly 1,000 employees and while that is exciting, larger companies have their own inherent challenges. I like to get things done and felt in my heart that there were more opportunities to be addressed, so I took the leap and started my own business,” Ahmet shares.
For Lux clients, Ahmet offers traditional insurance services, while also adding new membership benefits such as data scrubs and other risk management tools. He identifies his field as “fintech,” and will continue to evolve his offerings and consolidate services based on customer needs.
In the meantime, Ahmet feels called to give back and offer others the same “apprenticing” opportunities that he was fortunate to receive. He recently reached out to the Trinity-Pawling alumni office to inquire about mentoring and other volunteer roles.
“I was inspired to connect back in with the School after a very rewarding experience volunteering for a literacy organization in New Jersey. I was able to really make a difference for one of the students there. She and I worked together consistently over many months and she then passed her literacy exam. It was so fulfilling! While it’s fun to learn new skills, it’s even more fun to give them away,” Ahmet exclaims.
‘To Whom Much is Given, Much is Expected.” Ahmet remembers this important quote above the fireplace in Scully Hall and has taken those words to heart. Thank you for your service, Ahmet. We look forward to watching your business grow, and to your future partnership with students and young alumni as you share your gifts with our community and the world!
by Kate Vengrove
Todd Hoffman is in a reflective mood. After 20 years at Trinity-Pawling, he’s done it all. He’s successfully coached JV and thirds hockey, lacrosse at all levels, and JV football. He’s been a dorm parent. He’s taught history at nearly every grade level. He served as the Dean of Faculty, assisted with The Phoenix and the Radio Station, delivered memorable game coverage as the live stream varsity football and lacrosse commentator, and been a quintessential presence on the campus of Trinity-Pawling for the last two decades, where — in addition — he and his wife have raised two daughters.
Now, Hoffman is doing something new, and he’s excited to use his experience to guide a future generation of learners.
This fall, Hoffman assumed the duty of Middle School Coordinator after the retirement of Debbie Coratti. “I’m excited and energized by a new task in an old setting. I learned a lot from Debbie. I started in the Middle school. She taught me to mellow out. Now I’m like a piece of copper wire,” he laughed as he reflected on his early days as a teacher. Seriously though, Hoffman isn’t that bendable. He has a steely goal for his leadership of Middle School. “Look, I live each day wanting — trying — to be a better person. My goal in the Middle School is to give the boys something of value every day, because it’s a precious time at that age. The world can be tough,” he continued, “but a good classroom can be a slice of heaven. I feel like each day is a miracle, and I’m grateful that I can be a consistent presence in these young lives.”
As my time with Hoffman drew to close, I found myself pining for more. Thoughtfulness and grace seemed to be oozing out of the wily veteran who started his teaching career on September 11, 2001, after arriving via New York City and Albany. Being in his presence on this particular morning felt like a little slice of heaven, if you will. It was as if I’d caught someone in a state of contemplative enlightenment. “I try to be in the best possible mood for whoever is around. You know, as we get older — we do things we don’t want to do. Being in this role — this is what I want to do. Being here,” Hoffman’s finger traced the surrounding campus, “I feel very lucky.”
The Middle School students and parents, as well as the entire community of Trinity-Pawling is very lucky – in fact, blessed – to have Todd Hoffman in our midst.
By The Reverend Daniel Lennox
Alvah Rock ’59, one of Trinity-Pawling’s most munificent benefactors, passed away on August 31, 2021 at his home on Bay Shore, Long Island after a long illness. He was 81.
Rock grew up in Madison, New Jersey and came to Trinity-Pawling as a sophomore. He immersed himself in all aspects of school life, from the full gamut of athletics to Rifle Club and choir. Hailed by classmates on his senior page for exuding an “abundance of good nature and carefree gaiety” and being a “staunch supporter of the choir,” Rock attributed his love of choral music to his years in the Choir, Glee Club, and the Octet. Rock made mellifluous contributions to choirs at Nichols College, from which he graduated in 1963, and church choirs wherever he and his wife, Susan, lived over the next 50 years.
Rock served on Trinity-Pawling’s Board of Trustees from 2000 to 2017. Upon his retirement from his role as Board Secretary, he noted he “enjoyed the camaraderie, intelligence, and dedication of my colleagues from all eras. I respect the longevity of the Board which allows trustees enough time to absorb the School’s culture. These experiences allowed me to see first-hand the evolution of the School over the years. It has been great to be a part of a team focused on helping Trinity-Pawling grow and do what it does best: helping boys develop into focused young men and contributing citizens. Much of that teaching occurs around the edges, lessons not necessarily found in textbooks.” Rock earned the Distinguished Alumni Award in October 2019.
The Rock family’s generosity commenced with the Rock Squash Courts in 1999, followed by the Rock Lobby of the Gardiner Theater in 2004. Upon Arch Smith’s retirement in 2015, Rock helped endow the Archibald A. Smith III Chair for Mathematics and Science.
The Trinity-Pawling community is deeply saddened by the passing of Alvah O. Rock. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Rock family for their legacy and contributions to this community and our deepest condolences.
by Maria Buteux Reade
After a pair of tremendous seasons at Temple University, Re Davis ’18 decided to step up his game, transferring to Vanderbilt University for a world-class education and to compete at the highest level of college football.
“Vandy was more so for the academic piece,” Davis explained, but that’s not all. “I transferred to be able to compete in the SEC and test my true skills, test myself as a football player. Guys in this league are getting looks every day at the NFL level.”
“The team embraced me as a transfer,” Davis said. “They took me in and I’m able to get used to the speed of things at the SEC level. It’s meetings, nutrition, training, and weight room. We have a young team,” he continued. “Focused on getting better right now, being 1% better every day.” Now that’s a motto to live by, yet Davis’ goals go beyond college football. “Obviously I would love to make it to the league. For me, it’s about getting my degree. Looking back at high school, I was not a guy who had the grades and didn’t have the scores, I never thought I’d be playing Division 1 football, but now I have achieved the highest education possible.”
Harkening back to his days at Trinity-Pawling, Davis said, “A lot of people doubted us, Coratti’s 2015 team that won it all after starting 0-2.” Davis is facing another bump in the road, as a toe injury has him sidelined for the rest of the season after starting the year as the Vanderbilt Commodores feature running back. Regardless of his injury, if the past is any indication, don’t doubt Re’Mahn Davis.
by Cyrus Rothwell-Ferraris
The experience is transformational. The traditions, time-honored. Your connections are the future of Trinity-Pawling. As an alum or parent, you understand the value of a Trinity-Pawling education best.
Do you know a boy who would benefit from the Trinity-Pawling experience? Your neighbor, nephew, son, or grandson could be the next student to cross through Cluett on his way to a successful future. Spread the word and share the Trinity-Pawling advantage today! Refer a boy to Director of Admission Jeff Beck at 845-855-4825 or email@example.com.
Trinity-Pawling will welcome prospective students and their families to our Admissions Open House on October 9, 2021, at 1:00 PM. Space is limited and registration is required at www.trinitypawling.org/openhouse.
At the end of the first month of school, the community is so relieved to be back on the field, the trail, and the pitch once again.
A slate of games are already in the books, and the boys have faced the successes and challenges that make sports such an integral part of our educational experience.
Trinity-Pawling School is enjoying the first year of competition for our mountain biking team behind the leadership of Coach Bresler and Coach Avis. Alex Kozin ’23 medaled at both the Hotchkiss Hammerfest and the South Kent Cardinal Climb, while Henry Beimler ’24, Mason Hughes ’22, and Rain Xia ’23 have also enjoyed success in the first two events. The team looks forward to their next race at Kent School this Wednesday.
The football team rattled off two strong wins to start the season, but faced a disciplined Taft team this weekend and fell by a big score. PG leaders Luke Daly, Connor Gioia, Jack Kaiser, Olijah Williams, and Joe Patierno have strengthened the ethos of the team, while returning seniors Mason Clark and AJ Robinson have forged leadership through the first third of the season.
Soccer has had a difficult stretch to open the season, and they are still searching for their first league win. Kasey Mongillo ’22 has led the way for the young team, followed by Kevin Kraska ’24 and Sal Zani ’24, with youngsters Dominic Zani ’26, Nick McAvoy ’25, Hunter Baran ’25, and Emilio Odabachian ’25 bringing in support from the bottom up.
The Pride runners have had a great start to the season, with Harry Clark ’23 and Tyler Olsen ’24 finishing second and third place overall at Avon. This past week, Clark won the race at Choate, with Olsen finishing sixth overall and John Berbano ’24 coming up in the 11th spot. The boys look forward to continuing their success at a race at Kent School this weekend.
by Cyrus Rothwell-Ferraris
You — alumni, families, and friends — have provided critical support for our students, faculty, and programming over the past year. In challenging times, you have been there for the School in many important ways, contributing toward essential and everyday operating needs and enabling a safe and successful school experience for all. We now look to the future and all its possibilities.
As we embark upon exciting new academic initiatives, more active learning opportunities, the return of competitive athletics, and our time-honored traditions, we hope you’ll continue to invest in all that Trinity-Pawling has to offer. The future of our School is bright and it is in your hands.
With your support, we can continue to provide the experience and education that transforms lives. Make a gift today by calling 845-855-4830, online at www.trinitypawling.org/give, or via Venmo @TrinityPawlingSchool.
Thank you for your continued investment in Trinity-Pawling.
Pride Perspectives is a series of interactive webinars featuring members of the Trinity-Pawling community. The series keeps the Trinity-Pawling community connected and highlights the many advantages of a Trinity-Pawling education.
Join hosts Headmaster Bill Taylor and Director of Admission Jeff Beck along with Trinity-Pawling faculty and students, as the Pride Perspectives series continues throughout this year.
Upcoming webinars in the Fall 2021 series:
Wednesday, October 13 • 7:00 PM (EST) — The Institutes for Active Learning and Saturday Programming
During Saturday Programming, students have their choice of exciting and challenging learning experiences that follow a track of immersion in one of the 4 Institutes for Active Learning: Leadership, Citizenship, Entrepreneurship, and Environmental Stewardship.
Wednesday, October 27 • 7:00 PM (EST) — Tradition + Innovation = Trinity-Pawling’s Distinction
While we are constantly reimagining what is possible in boys’ education, it’s our time-honored traditions that guide us forward. Learn more about how Trinity-Pawling students thrive at the intersection of tradition and innovation.
Wednesday, November 10 • 7:00 PM (EST) — Wintersession at Trinity-Pawling
Tune in to learn all about Wintersession 2021 — including this year’s selection of projects and the real-world skills our students gain throughout the 2-week experiential learning session.
Wednesday, December 1 • 7:00 PM (EST) — The Advantage of The Practicum and College Counseling Join our dynamic College Counseling team and a panel of faculty and students as they discuss the important role The Practicum plays in the college process at Trinity-Pawling.
We look forward to connecting with you!