I teach because of Mrs. Lange. I teach because of Mr. Hougas. I teach because of Dr. Jacobson. Each of these high school teachers helped unlock in me aspects of myself that I could only glimpse through my own perspective. They saw in me potential and helped to refine my academic skills. Through them, I discovered a deeper grasp of the subject matter I was learning from them. More importantly, however, it was through them that I gained a deeper sense of self-awareness of who I was as a student and a person.
I teach because I want to devote my life to a profession where I might be able to make a difference in the lives of young people. I teach because people before me had made a similar choice in their lives and made a difference in mine.
While I do not teach as much as I did when I began my career, I have spent the past 22 years in positions in which I have hired teachers. I have also been part of nurturing school cultures where, hopefully, teachers can impact the lives of young people by sharing their own gifts and talents with students, parents, and one another.
When I interview prospective teachers, I always ask a variation of the same question. “Tell me about a teacher who made a difference in your life and why?” While the content of their answer is important, what I also pay attention to is if and how their face changes when a teacher comes to mind before they answer. Sometimes, I ask the opposite question. “Tell me about a teacher who didn’t connect with you and why?” I also pay attention to their facial reaction before they answer.
These questions prompt reactions from a prospective teacher that forces him or her to identify with themselves as a student, which is the purpose of the exercise. I am at my best as a teacher when I am in touch with myself as an adolescent student. While times change with the decades removed from my own high school experience, what does not change is the interpersonal relationship between teacher and student and the transformative potential of that relationship.
I teach because I want to make a difference, and I am honored to work with a faculty at Trinity-Pawling who have dedicated their professional lives to the same purpose.
by William W. Taylor
It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the death of Phillips Smith P’79, the fifth Headmaster of Trinity-Pawling School. Phil passed away the evening of Saturday, April 22, after a brief illness. He would have turned 92 next month. His wife, Holly, and son, Mark ’79, were with him when he passed away.
Phil served the School from 1970 until his retirement in 1990. He began his tenure at Trinity-Pawling in the summer of 1970, when the School was in the midst of enrollment and financial distress. The late 1960s and 1970s were challenging times for boarding schools. Rapidly shifting cultural norms and a poor economy combined to create tremendous headwinds for a traditional boarding school like Trinity-Pawling. In 1974-75, trustees of Trinity Episcopal School Corporation considered closing Trinity-Pawling. Phil’s steadfast leadership brought the School back from this brink and toward an upward arc of success. Nearly 2,000 young men graduated under his tutelage.
Phil’s tenure as Headmaster is distinguished by his courageous and creative leadership. While honoring the importance of structure and tradition central to the boarding school experience, Phil implemented an extensive re-evaluation of the academic and extracurricular life of the School. Elective and term courses were added to the curriculum, complementing the foundation of yearlong required courses. In 1975, the Language Retraining Program, created by Ted and Carol Kneeland, was initiated to meet the learning needs of students with language-based learning differences. This program evolved to the current Center for Learning Achievement that exists at Trinity-Pawling today. Phil also created the Effort System at Trinity-Pawling which forged a systematic approach to recognizing and rewarding students for their effort in addition to their achievement. It has long been a distinguishing characteristic of the Trinity-Pawling experience for both students and faculty.
In 1978, Phil oversaw the formal separation of Trinity-Pawling School from the Trinity Episcopal School Corporation and worked closely with the first Board of Trustees of Trinity-Pawling School, creating an independent institution that retained historical and traditional ties to both The Pawling School (1907-1942) and Trinity-Pawling School (as part of Trinity School: 1946-1978). Indeed, the continuity of the School’s mission and focus is, in large measure, the result of Phil’s leadership as Headmaster. It was during Phil’s leadership that important strides were made in alumni relations, including building a bridge so that the Pawling School alumni and the Trinity-Pawling School alumni were equally acknowledged.
Once he was able to stabilize and create a permanent foundation for the future of Trinity-Pawling School, Phil turned his attention to strengthening the foundation and building the School for the future. He created the Development Office and the Annual Fund. When he began his tenure as Headmaster, the School’s endowment was $35,000. When he retired in 1990, this endowment had grown to $4M. He launched the first capital campaign in school history, raising over $6M. This campaign led, in part, to the creation of Starr Hall in 1984 and its expansion in 1989. He also led an effort to strengthen faculty and staff salaries, which quadrupled during a fifteen-year period during his tenure.
Of course, Phil was not the sole force of leadership during his tenure as Headmaster. Phil’s dedication to the life of the School’s community was matched stride-by-stride by Holly’s commitment and love for the School. The beautification of the School’s campus was augmented significantly under her tireless efforts. Additionally, Holly’s commitment to the School and local communities was pervasive and several traditions were born from this commitment. Students and faculty were welcomed into Gamage House for regular evening coffee gatherings; the campus was adorned in festive beauty during the Christmas season, particularly with freshly and artistically created wreaths; faculty children gathered each year for an Easter Egg Hunt at Gamage House which culminated in a magic show; and the annual lobster dinner became a highlight of the spring term. Moreover, Holly served on numerous boards and as a volunteer in the larger community. Together, Phil and Holly worked tirelessly to create a vibrant and healthy relationship with the larger Pawling community, a legacy that continues to thrive to this day.
Phil was devoted to creating a transformational learning experience for the students, which for many of his years as Headmaster included young women who were day students at the School. It was critically important to him that every student learn the value of hard work, character development, respect, compassion, and the importance of giving back.
Phil was also an incredible mentor to the faculty whom he hired. As a leader, he modeled critical components of effective and transformative leadership: hard work, purpose, dignity, servant leadership, and compassion. He also worked to cultivate leadership in others. Of those whom he hired at Trinity-Pawling, ten went on to serve schools as Heads. Remarkably, Phil hired both the future sixth and seventh Headmaster of Trinity-Pawling School.
On a personal note, Phil had a tremendous impact on my professional life and instilled within me a profound respect and love for the mission of Trinity-Pawling School. I was blessed to work with him for the first two years of my career and then have the good fortune to work closely with Arch Smith for the next eleven years before I left for a leadership position at another school. I learned what an honor it is to be able to be a part of a school that makes a transformational difference in the lives of young people. I learned the impact of earnest striving as a leadership skill and that hard work, discipline, and dedication are incomplete leadership characteristics if they are not complemented by compassion, faith, and kindness.
While I join so many others who are saddened by the passing of Phil Smith, this sadness is paled in comparison to the depth of my gratitude for having known him and had the gift of being able to work with him serving Trinity-Pawling School. The heartfelt love and gratitude of the Trinity-Pawling community are extended to his wife Holly, sons Ted and Mark ’79, grandchildren, and extended family.
Phil once said, “We shall continue to strive to make [Trinity-Pawling] an even better place for students who come here to learn, to grow, and to mature.” What a legacy of continuity he left to the School, one that leaves me with a simple response.
Well done, thou Good and Faithful Servant.
by William W. Taylor
A Celebration of Life will be held on May 20, 2023 at 2:00 PM at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church, Boothbay Harbor, Maine.
The family has asked that donations, in lieu of flowers, be donated to Trinity-Pawling School or to the Boothbay Region YMCA, where Phil was active on the board for many years.
Trinity-Pawling’s three-part Practicum for Civic Leadership fosters problem-solving skills, promotes interdisciplinary exploration, builds authentic communication skills, and encourages passion-based learning. Through the Winter Project, Global Collaborative Challenge (GCC), and Senior Independent Project (SIP), students are placed at the center of the learning process. They become active participants and co-creators, in and out of the classroom. Particularly with the SIP, many students also see the project as an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than themselves — giving back to the community which means so much to them.
For his Senior Independent Project, Joseph (JoJo) Impellizeri ’23 did just that, inspired by his classmate and friend, Matt Dooley ’23, who tragically lost his valiant battle with brain cancer in 2022.
“At the beginning of the year, I knew I wanted to give something to the School in honor of Matt,” Impellizeri began. “I also wanted to learn how to woodwork, so it seemed only fitting to make a bench.” Over the course of a weekend, Impellizeri successfully constructed, sanded, stained, and coated a stunning wooden bench, which now proudly sits beneath the scoreboard on Coratti Field.
“I wanted this bench to symbolize all of the best qualities Matt Dooley had. This bench is strong, resilient, and beautiful, just like Matt. I hope that it will quite literally support students in the same way that Matt did for so many of his brothers.”
Impellizeri is grateful for his SIP experience, including the help and support of his parents and advisor Bill Dunham and all the lessons he learned along the way — from woodworking skills to patience, problem-solving, and perseverance. “I think the greatest lesson I learned was one that my dad taught me while working on the bench. I was getting frustrated during the construction process and I remember being worried that it wouldn’t be good enough to give to the School,” he shared. “But my dad told me: ‘It does not matter how perfect the bench is. All that matters is that you’re building something beautiful out of loving memory.’”
Thanks to Impellizeri, members of the Trinity-Pawling community will enjoy the wooden bench for years to come. It is truly a beautiful reminder of Matt Dooley and the indelible mark he made on the School. “The best moment for me was during lacrosse practice when I saw the bench sitting under the scoreboard for the very first time,” Impellizeri concluded. “It was so comforting to see and it truly felt like Matt was sitting up there cheering us on.”
by Emma Quigley
It was 2011 when the farming program at Trinity-Pawling first began, as Josh Frost ’04, Ashley Frost, Maria Reade, and several zealous students revived the biology greenhouse, started seeding vegetable plants, and eventually built raised beds on the edge of campus. Now 12 years later, the farm is a full-fledged agricultural operation on campus. Led by the Frosts, the program focuses on the concepts of sustainability and environmental stewardship through campus-based food production, beekeeping, composting, recycling, and renewable energy.
We caught up with Josh Frost ’04 this week to learn more about the busy spring season and the latest projects in bloom on the farm!
Tell us a bit about the new greenhouse and how it’s coming along.
The new greenhouse measures 24’ x 48’, which is slightly larger than the greenhouse we erected in 2011. The goal is to use this greenhouse specifically for season extension. As such, it sits on skids and can be moved over various plots throughout the growing season. We will plant tomatoes and other summer crops in it over the next few weeks, and we will look to pull it over crops like spinach and lettuce next fall. This should allow our students to continue to harvest these crops well into November, or even December. The team is putting the finishing touches on the end walls — which we milled from storm-damaged trees on campus — and will be installing the plastic shortly.
How are the Trinity-Pawling honey bees doing?
We are entering our second season with honey bees, located near the farm. Both of our colonies from last year survived the winter and are off to a great start rebuilding their numbers to prepare for the summer. The boys just checked them out during our recent Environmental Stewardship Institute programming on Earth Day, and saw lots of baby bees on the way! We will be adding another colony in several weeks, so we should have a lot of honey this fall.
How has the addition of beekeeping enhanced the farming program?
Bees, and the colonies in which they live, are simply amazing. It is quite an experience for students to put on a bee suit and open up a beehive, as they not only get to see firsthand the organization of the hive, but they also get to gently handle insects from which they normally flee, giving them the opportunity to overcome their fears. As the bees are our only livestock at the moment, they also provide the boys with a unique opportunity to learn about and care for living beings beyond themselves. There is, of course, the additional benefit the bees bring to the farm and the campus as pollinators, and we have many conversations with the boys about the role honey bees and other pollinators play in ours and ecosystems across the world.
What produce will the team be growing this season?
This season we will be growing our normal fare of vegetables: potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, greens, peppers, garlic, onions, and more. We have also added blueberry bushes, raspberries, and we are hopeful that our new apple tree grafts will take, thus adding to the small orchard that we established in the garden last year. That orchard includes apples, pears, peaches, and plums.
What projects does the team hope to accomplish before summer vacation begins?
Our main goals are to finish the new greenhouse and ensure that all of our crops are seeded, transplanted, and cultivated. If there is time amidst those projects and our upcoming field trips to area farms, we would also love to relocate our original greenhouse up to the farm to use as a plant propagation house.
Any closing thoughts?
There are so many valuable lessons that our students learn up at the farm about nature, agriculture, and our relationships with both the Earth and each other. My hope is that students gain a greater appreciation for the complexity, beauty, and interconnectedness of the natural world in which we all live. Along with that appreciation, we strive to instill a sense of responsibility in our students to take care of the Earth and each other.
by Emma Quigley
Maximus “Max” Camaj ’23 hails from Hopewell Junction, NY and has been a joyful presence on campus since he joined Trinity-Pawling as an 8th grader five years ago. His outgoing and friendly personality is known and appreciated by all.
For his Senior Independent Project (SIP), Camaj has been developing a leadership program to help unite our community — specifically, by creating an opportunity for Upper School students to mentor Middle School students.
I recently asked Camaj to share the details of his newly-formed Big Brotherhood Club for this issue of The Quad:
How did the idea for the Big Brotherhood program come about?
Since joining the School as an 8th grader, I‘ve always stayed connected with the Middle School students, as a friend and a mentor, and I realized that there aren’t too many other Upper Schoolers who do this. If we had a bunch of guys doing this, it would really help the School shine and help the Middle School boys out. Having been on both sides (Middle School and Upper School), I know what it’s like.
Was there anyone who inspired you to create this program?
The person at Trinity-Pawling that has always inspired me the most is Mrs. Barker — she has so much compassion and respect and she really helped me find myself. There were also some Upper School students who inspired me — Danny Csaszar ’20 and Lucas Hughes ’20 were always good to me and helped me grow — they were like big brothers to me and are still my friends. Mr. Hoffman was a tremendous help with this SIP and I am hoping he will continue to oversee the Big Brotherhood program after I graduate.
Are other students joining the Big Brotherhood yet?
The other students are excited about the club and how it will benefit the School. Emmett Croddick ’24, Roni Eloranta ’25, and Ryan Impellizeri ’25 are a few of the students that will be helping to plan events and will, collectively, keep the club going. They all know the School well, have a sense of purpose, have good character, and will be good leaders. Our first meeting was on April 6, and I’m hoping we will have a few more before the school year ends. The club will be presented at the Club Fair in September so that new juniors and seniors can also join.
What activities are planned for mentoring Middle School students?
Lunches with the Middle School students will be a natural way for them to connect, and informal club meetings will create opportunities for teaching them skills like kindness, effort, respect, and humility.
What’s next for Max?
Go to college and get the degrees I need to come back as a history teacher at Trinity-Pawling. When I come back, I hope I will see that the Big Brotherhood program has kept Middle Schoolers engaged and valuing their time at the School.
Favorite Trinity-Pawling tradition?
Candlelight, I love it!
One thing you hope will never change at the School?
The amount of respect we have for each other … the brotherhood … it really gives you the ability to be the best you’ve ever been.
Camaj’s mentor, Todd Hoffman adds, “Max’s Big Brotherhood Program adopts the ethos of interactive, age-inclusive learning in a way that helps build new and organic friendships within the School’s brotherhood and helps boys of different friend and peer groups get to know one another in non-academic and non-athletic endeavors. Max has tapped into something that fully accentuates the student-centered educational approach here, which provides leadership and entrepreneurial ideas such as this to expand our already robust efforts in these areas. Kudos to Max for adding his zest for all things Trinity-Pawling!”
by Judy Redder
After graduation, no matter where life may lead over the years, the bond of the Trinity-Pawling brotherhood remains strong and the friendships withstand the test of time.
This is certainly true for members of the Class of 1971. With their 50th Reunion behind them but still much to celebrate, a group of close-knit 71’ers teamed up to form the Fighting Gentlemen’s Golf Association (FGGA). From March 29-April 2, 2023, the group held their first annual event in sunny Scottsdale, Arizona.
“Granted, the FGGA was a little slow in its formation,” quipped Larry Bloch ’71. “A mere 52 years after graduating, the association is now up and running, and while we all showed some evidence of wear and tear, our spirit was as strong as ever.”
Spearheaded by Alex Hilton ’71, the idea for the golf vacation materialized after Homecoming and Reunion Weekend in September 2022 — a weekend full of reconnection and reminiscing. Also on the golf course for the FGGA weekend was Jack Esselen ’71, Jay Bresnehan ’71, Doug Hawley ’71, and Ridge Lincoln ’71.
“We had a great time getting together, sharing stories, and playing golf. The bright Arizona sunshine made it even better,” Bloch concluded. “A special shoutout to Alex for getting us together after so long! We hope even more members of our class will be able to join next time.”
Alumni, have you reunited or reconnected with your classmates recently? We’d love to hear about it! Please send your stories and photos to Tom Densford, Associate Director of Alumni and Parent Relations, at email@example.com.
by Emma Quigley
Marc Welch graduated from Trinity-Pawling in 2018 and went on to play lacrosse at Hamilton College. While there he earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish, the subject he currently teaches in the Modern Languages Department here at Trinity-Pawling. Welch also coaches the sports he played as a student: varsity soccer, JV hockey, and varsity lacrosse. We recently talked about his experience coming back to the School as a teacher and coach.
What brought you back to Trinity-Pawling?
Athletic Director Brian Foster ’79 reached out to me and asked if I had an interest in coming back to Trinity-Pawling as a faculty member. I had a great experience here as a student and I wanted to give back to the School that helped shape me into the person I am today.
What has the transition been like from student to teacher and then from player to coach?
The transition from student to teacher has been an enlightening experience in that I have gained a better understanding of the different ways that students learn, allowing me to grow as an educator. The transition from player to coach has been rewarding because I am provided with the opportunity to guide and develop players, not only as athletes but as young men.
What’s been the best part of coaching for you?
The part I enjoy most is the opportunity to build relationships. I have been able to create bonds with players through our many interactions, which I deeply cherish. I have thoroughly enjoyed coaching the same sports that I played during my time as a student. I do my best to pass down all the things that I have learned in my time playing those sports. It is also a new perspective for me as there are different challenges that come with coaching. Overall, I have enjoyed working with the players and have learned a great deal from other coaches, as well as the players themselves.
by Kyle Miller ’18
Trinity-Pawling School recently held the Washington D.C. alumni reception. Graduates from the Class of 1951 all the way through the Class of 2012 gathered, showcasing the depth and strength of the Trinity-Pawling brotherhood. The event was held just a few blocks from the White House, providing the perfect setting for alumni to connect with old friends and meet new ones.
Head of School Bill Taylor shared an insightful update on the School’s progress, honored the late former Headmaster Phil Smith, and reminisced on the importance of Smith’s mentorship in starting Bill’s career in education. He emphasized the pride he takes in carrying on the mantle of leadership.
The reception was a huge success, with alumni mingling and enjoying the fantastic food. The menu was diverse and featured a wide range of delicious options, including crab puffs, bacon-wrapped scallops, mini quesadillas, falafel balls, spinach ricotta turnovers, Virginia ham biscuits, and potstickers in their own little take-out boxes. The food was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the evening and left everyone feeling satisfied.
The event was graciously hosted by Kathryn and Ken Weeman ’59, P’91. The Weemans ensured everyone felt welcome, and their hospitality was greatly appreciated by all who attended. Overall, the alumni reception was a wonderful opportunity for graduates of Trinity-Pawling to come together, share memories, and celebrate their connection to the School.
by Tom Javery
With the Spring Term at the halfway point, the boys have been keeping busy in the classroom — and once the school day ends, it’s time to hit the sports fields, where the athletes have also been very busy. Here are some highlights of the spring season:
The baseball team has picked up the play recently, after facing some tough pitching to start out the season. The bats have come alive as they took down Hotchkiss by a score of 14-11. Senior Peter Link ’23 and postgraduate Henry Aronwald ’23 have provided the spark on offense with a couple of home runs each. Joseph Haugh ’23 has also looked good on the mound in his recent outings, which has helped lead the Pride to victory.
The golf team played its first match against Forman tis season and came away with the victory. Seniors Matt Yamin ’23 and Owen Robitaille ’23 both played well as did junior Ethan Fehrenbaker ’24. The team then traveled to Hotchkiss for a match involving multiple schools. The Pride finished with a very respectable 215. Most recently, Yamin shot a 38 in their match against Canterbury.
The lacrosse team is playing strong and their recent victories against Kent and Westminster have proven this to be true. Senior goalie Landon Whitney ’23 has helped the Pride to keep the ball out of their net, while attackmen Ben Calabrese ’23 and Brayden Lahey ’24 have led on the other side of the ball. Christian Tacogue ’23 also had a nice behind-the-back goal against Westminster to top off the 15-5 victory. The team will face some tough competition in the coming weeks and will look to build off their recent momentum.
The tennis team had a couple of close matches at the beginning of the season against Wooster and Millbrook. The team finally made it over the hump when they beat Canterbury. Senior Raphael Denis ’23 has played well in every match so far, winning most of his singles and doubles matches. After playing against top programs in Avon and Hotchkiss, the team will travel to Choate looking to secure a second victory.
Track and Field
The track and field team has enjoyed some early success this season. They have held three competitions at home, and came away victorious in the first one, winning the meet over Canterbury and Millbrook. Some individual highlights from the meet were Jason Musa ’26, Emeka Nwogugu ’24, Justin Umunakwe ’23, and Garrett Backus ’23 winning the 4×100 relay, Backus winning the 100m race, and Sal Zani ’24 winning the 400m. In their second home meet, Backus finished first in the 100m and the 4×100 team, winning against both Brunswick and Taft. In their most recent home meet against Hotchkiss and Brunswick, Emeka Ngowuwu ’24 won the 200m; and the young distance runners, Jack Fries ’27 and Oliver Denaro ’27, ran season-best times in the 1500m and 3000m respectively.
by Kyle Miller ’18
Photo by Cristobal Tola ’23
We have exciting news to share!
WE HAVE A $175,000 MATCH!
As a way of showing their pride in Trinity-Pawling School, current and former members of our Board of Trustees will be matching your gifts on the SHOW YOUR PRIDE Giving Day — Thursday, May 4, 2023. That means…
- Double the impact;
- Twice the mentorship opportunities;
- Two times the support for campus improvements;
- And, 200% more love for our School!
We hope you’ll join the celebration next week and SHOW YOUR PRIDE for Trinity-Pawling!
Your gift of any size will be matched DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR up to $175,000 through this Trustee Challenge – now through May 4.
We’re thrilled to provide various ways for you to engage with Trinity-Pawling this year, and we hope you’ll join us! Grab your calendar, save the dates, and get prepared for an unforgettable experience!
May 16, 2023
State of the School Webinar
Hosted by Head of School Bill Taylor and Board President Erik Olstein ’86, P’11,’14,’17
Tune in to learn more about the School’s 2022-2023 academic year and the strategic goals we have been working towards.
May 17, 2023
Greenwich, CT Reception
Indian Harbor Yacht Club
710 Steamboat Rd, Greenwich, CT
Hosted by Jean Doyen de Montaillou and Michael Kovner ’58
September 22-23, 2023
Homecoming and Reunion Weekend
More details coming soon!
December 4, 2023
Boston Holiday Reception
Harvard Club of Boston
374 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA
Hosted by Peggy and Phil Haughey ’53
December 10, 2023
Candlelight Service for Parents & Community
Service held in All Saints’ Chapel followed by Reception at Gamage House
Hosted by Head of School Bill Taylor and Jennifer Taylor
December 11, 2023
New York City Holiday Reception
Union Club of New York City
101 East 69th Street, New York, NY
Hosted by Jean Doyen de Montaillou and Michael Kovner ’58
Visit our website for a complete list of the year’s events! And keep an eye out for additional information regarding events in your mailbox and email inbox. If you haven’t done so already, please ensure we have your current contact information on file.
Questions? Please contact Jenna Jonke in the Office of Advancement at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 845-855-4886.