PDS Alumni Celebrate with the
Class of 2012 at Commencement
Last June's commencement ceremonies at PDS honored 19 seniors hailing from 12 communities across the Hudson Valley whose diverse interests include aviation, computer game design, environmentalism, philanthropy, public health and writing—just to name a few!
Alumni joined in the celebration with grads and their families. In addition to featured speaker Rebecca Yenawine '90 (see class note below), many alumni attended the ceremony and reception. Pictured with (third from left) Riley Feehan ‘12 (Union College '16) are (from left): Calle Knight ‘11 (George Washington U '15), Brittany O’Halloran ‘11 (Hobart and William Smith Colleges '15) and Natalie McKeon ‘11 (Skidmore College '15).
Allelu Kurten ’38 was deservedly honored last spring when a community garden was dedicated in her name by parishioners of the historic St. James’ Church in Hyde Park, where she has been a member for more than 50 years. PDS is grateful to Allelu for her decades of service and support and wishes her well in her new Massachusetts home.
We were sad to learn of the passing of Thomas F. Bull ’40 on November 11, 2011, in Millbrook, NY. Tom was born in Poughkeepsie in 1926, attended Clinton School prior to studying at PDS and graduated from The George School (PA). He served in the Philippines with the Navy in World War II, and was a member of the initial class of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, graduating in 1951. Our sincere condolences to his family, including wife Lynn (Layton Hepworth), and children, Andrea Bull Brainard and David Andrew Bull, and their spouses, Brad Brainard and Dover Chorley Bull.
Linguist and teacher Haj Ross ’52 was profiled in the the most recent edition of the school magazine, Compass. Stay tuned for the posting of this article under Alumni Stories soon!
Kudos to Mary-Charlotte Domandi, producer and host of the Santa Fe (NM) Radio Café on KSFR 101.1, one of five recent recipients of the 2012 Mayor’s Awards for her work supporting the creative community of Santa Fe and beyond. Mary-Charlotte began broadcasting her talk-show in 2003 and is the first radio host ever to be given this award. Her daily topics include politics and the environment as well as literature and science. With a devoted audience her show has won many awards and been voted repeatedly the “Best Radio Program” in Santa Fe by the readers of the Santa Fe Reporter. Her work earned the 2011 New Mexico Book Association’s “Book in Hand Award” for “meritorious service to the literary communities in New Mexico.” Mary-Charlotte and her show have also been praised by National Geographic’s Santa Fe Destination Guide, while Travel and Leisure’s City Guide to Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Santa Fe refers to her as a “public radio goddess.” She earned a Master of Arts in liberal education from St. John’s College in Santa Fe and a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in art history from Yale University.
Michelle Ribble ’71 is an award-winning choreographer, master instructor, producer, dancer and coach who has spent a lifetime working in classical ballet, tap dance, musical theater and jazz. She has choreographed for both stage and screen, and her work has been enjoyed by audiences worldwide, including venues, such as the New York City Tap Festival, Kaatsbann International Dance Center, Vassar and Bard colleges and Dutchess and Ulster Community colleges. The former director of The New York Dance Center in Manhattan, Michelle serves as an adjunct professor at SUNY New Paltz and is currently a faculty member and education advisor to the American Tap Dance Foundation, a guest instructor for Steps on Broadway and a member of the America Federation of Radio & Television Artists and Screen Actors Guild, among many professional associations. Michelle writes that she is “constantly on the move” sharing her talents and unique teaching skills “anywhere dancers are eager to learn.” A graduate of Arlington High School (PDS did not yet have a high school program when she left in 9th grade), Michelle would love to hear from some of her old PDS classmates and pals. Email her!
Victoria Gindele ’73 spoke at the June luncheon honoring her late mother and past PDS board president Lawnin (“Lawnie”) Gindele. A graduate of Vassar College, Victoria is a realtor with Morgan Lane Real Estate, specializing in land sales for home building and vineyard development, as well as high-end residential properties in the Bay Area and in the northern California wine country. Contact Victoria by email.
Peter Dutton ’77 is the manager of the Clearwater Community Residence in Poughkeepsie.
Following a recent visit with former PDS director Leo Opydycke and his wife and past PDS board president Sandra Opdycke, Mark Farnsworth ’77 writes: “Leo was asking typically Leo questions—pressing, probing, passionate, hard, funny questions—about work and my interests in theatre and what I was doing about them; pressing me to think differently and urging me to go and do and try. It was the same as it was 40 years ago and a real example of how an individual can both embody an institution and touch an individual. What an extraordinary gift to revisit an inspiration and have it be just as vital and relevant as it was once. That’s PDS. That’s Sandy and Leo.”
Congrats to Ellen Schubert ’81 on her marriage last March to Steve Birthisel. Ellen’s twenty-year old son, Jordan, “one of the best people I know,” is studying engineering at the University of Central Florida. She sends “best wishes to PDS, the friends who are still there and all those who continue to make it one of the best places for learning…”
It was great meeting Kerin (Buckley) Reeves ’82 at the May alumni gathering in NYC. A graduate of NYU, Kerin is a sales manager in NYC for the world-famous French perfumer diptyque.
What a great surprise to learn that PDS lower school teacher Dorothy (Penz) Luongo is married to alumnus Chris Luongo ’84! They have a beautiful baby girl, Harriet, and live in Bethel, CT. Chris is the son of former PDS English teacher Mary Luongo. Says Chris: “Meeting Dorothy brought back memories of my time at the Day School in the 4th and 5th grades—two of the most wondrous years of my early life. I remember being so eager to get to school every day. Some favorite things were acting in skits; learning to turn simple observations into descriptive poems (thanks to former PDS teacher Lucia Mittlemark); exploring the farm across the street with my friend Brian Page ’85; and staring up at the wide open sky and letting my imagination wonder freely.” Following previous careers in the music business and in journalism, Chris now writes executive speeches and manages a corporate storytelling series, the Curiosity Shop, at IBM. He also does some acting “here and there” in local, amateur plays.
The acclaimed theater company, 13 P, founded by Rob Handel ’86, was the subject of a full-page article in the New York Times on Sunday, July 15, and featured in another article in the Wall Street Journal, on July 16. He also made his debut as an opera librettist with the premiere of six one-act operas at the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh.
Former lower and middle school teacher K. Geetha (Murthy) Holdsworth ’86 has a new job as director of diversity initiatives and 9th grade English teacher at Bosque School in Albuquerque, NM. Although not “progressive” in the PDS sense, Geetha says that it “reminds me of PDS in many ways so it feels like a homecoming.”
Virginia (“Page”) Fortna ’87 is a professor of political science (international relations) at Columbia University. She and her family—Pete Beeman, a public artist, and two daughters, Rosie, age 6, and Linden, age 3 ½—spend the school year in New York City and the summers in Portland OR. Page is currently on sabbatical in Portland, researching a new book on terrorism in civil wars and “hanging out with my kids, horseback riding a couple times a week, and generally enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest.”
Jason Adams ’89 competed in an eight-day, 2,000- mile motorcycle race, called the Australasian Safari Rally, in Western Australia. He was offered a seat aboard a vintage BMW motorbike, and “I could not refuse.” When not riding bikes, you can find Jason behind the scenes at the Bardavon Opera House in Poughkeepsie.
Rebecca Yenawine ’90 was the featured speaker at PDS commencement ceremonies in June. She urged the grads to “follow your own vision," recounting how PDS championed her own creative and entrepreneurial spirit. The executive director of New Lens, a youth-led nonprofit organization in Baltimore that helps young people create art and media to advocate for social change, Rebecca is a graduate of Goucher College and a master’s degree candidate at Johns Hopkins University. She serves as an adjunct faculty member at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in the masters of community art program where she also teaches a social justice curriculum and works with the college on research related to community art.
Communicator extraordinaire Jonah Sachs ’93 is the author of a fascinating new book, Winning the Story Wars (Harvard Business Review Press). Called “brilliant” (Bill Bradley, former US senator and managing director of Allen & Company) and a “how-to book for communicators who want to change the world,” the book is “a call to arms to build iconic brands and causes in service of a better future…an invitation to see today’s marketing challenges as an adventure through a world of wonder, danger and limitless opportunity.” It’s an outgrowth of Jonah’s ground-breaking work as founder of Free Range Studios, the highly acclaimed graphic design and story-telling firm, and seeks to give individuals, companies and not-for-profits tools for creating inspiring brand identities that counter the “dark side” of marketing.
When you visit Poughkeepsie, be sure to check out Café Bocca, the pride and joy of entrepreneur and foodie Erik Morabito ’94. Eric opened the restaurant almost four years ago and is an active booster of Poughkeepsie’s “Little Italy” near Mount Carmel Square. Last spring he began an exclusive business relationship with Empire Cruise Lines, providing catering services aboard their Sightseeing Tour Boat the M.V. Mystere, which is docked at Poughkeepsie’s waterfront.
The Bad Guys, a new one-act play by Alena Smith ’98, debuted Off-Broadway last spring (Second Stage production) and ran through June at Manhattan’s McGinn/Cazale Theater.
Daniel Rothman ’00 (Brown ’04; MBA, UC Santa Barbara ’10) is the director of business development at Healthix, one of the largest independent regional health information organizations (RHIO) in the country. He lives in Brooklyn.
An adjunct professor of art at Parsons the New School for Design, Ayala (Yali) Lewis ’01, received her undergraduate degree from Yale and her MFA from Parsons.
Bard grad and Portland, OR resident Adam Lundquist Baz ’02 had an art show in Metz, France last spring.
Congratulations to Riana Moring-Paris ’02 and Eric Justessen ’01, who were married in Rhinebeck earlier this fall! The couple lives in Brooklyn.
Noah DeBiase ’02 recently launched a series of arts podcasts (ArtistsInternetRadio.com) “aimed at bringing originality and positivity to the arts community.” Says Noah, “It’s far more work than I had first imagined, but it’s incredibly rewarding, and feels like the right thing for me right now. He’s living in Astoria, Queens.
Samantha Hoe ’03 has opened her own dance studio called The Pennsylvania Academy of Dance(!) Check out her website.
Acclaimed pianist Mannon Hutton-DeWys ’03 has begun doctoral study in classical piano at CUNY’s Graduate Center and says, “the program is really heavy on academic work but I’m so happy to be there.” Manon recently returned from a trip to China, where she played for a United Nations World Peace Day event in Henan province. To learn more about her amazing career, visit her website.
Drew Nobile ’03, who wrote the music for the now classic “Thank You” song, as part of the score for the PDS original musical Life on Earth, won the 2011 Patricia Carpenter Award at CUNY for his paper "Form and Voice Leading in Early Beatles Songs." Congratulations, Drew. And thank you for the music!
Alison Toepp ’03 is a control vocabulary editor at Artstor, the mega online image library for the arts and sciences. In that capacity she verifies all details related to catalogued art work, including the correct spelling of names and nationality of artists.
Ivan Cash ’04 has a book coming out this fall, called Snail Mail My Email (Sourcebooks), based on the art project of the same name.
Traveler, educator and activist April Cattell ’04 is running a community outreach program in Ecuador that fosters relationships between local non-profits and traveling Europeans and North Americans who come to the country to learn Spanish and volunteer. She’s also helping to create a consortium of businesses that will work together to promote local development in a healthy and grass-roots way. To find out more, read April’s blog.
Lachlan Markay ’05 lives in Washington, DC and is an investigative reporter for The Heritage Foundation. He can be seen (often!) on Fox News commenting on various political candidates and activities. Brother Griffin Markay ’08 graduated last May from Colgate and will be teaching English in China this academic year.
NYU grad Marie Catalano ’06 is an archivist and studio photographer for Jenny Holzer Studio, LLC. She lives in Brooklyn.
Anna Gorman ’06 is an executive assistant at Community Resource Exchange (CRE), a nonprofit management consulting firm that “makes New York City’s nonprofit organizations stronger and more effective in fighting poverty and advancing social justice.”
Molly Lundquist Baz ’06 fell in love with food and cooking while a student at Skidmore College. Since then she's been featured on NPR's "All Things Considered" (re her trip with photographer dad Doug Baz sampling barbecue around the country) and most recently was enjoying her job as a line cook at the highly acclaimed Allswell restaurant in Brooklyn.
Ella Wise ’06 is studying for an MA in urban, community and regional planning at UC, Berkeley.
Our favorite poet and rapper, Josh Smith ’07 has just released an album, called Analog. Wesleyan grad Josh and friends recorded the tracks in Woodstock. Give a listen. When not playing music or in the studio, Josh splits his time between an editorial internship with PEN American and supervising the after-school program at Bank Street School for Children.
With a newly-minted BA from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Lucia (“Luke”) Berliner ’08 is beginning a stint teaching kindergarten through Teach for America.
Recent St. Lawrence U. grad Kathryn Buccelli ’08 is moving to Burlington, VT.
Lucas Moore ’08 graduated at the top of his class in Cooper Union’s School of Art and received the prestigious Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust Prize for academic and artistic excellence at last May's commencement ceremonies. Luke works as a photographer’s assistant in the creative department of Macy’s and lives in Brooklyn.
A 2012 graduate of Hamilton College, Talia Steiman ’08 plans to go to graduate school for a PhD in chemistry. Currently, she’s taking a year “off” and traveled around Europe last summer, visiting seven countries there.
Elizabeth Moulic ’09 (Smith ’13) recently returned from Geneva, Switzerland where she spent her junior year studying abroad at the Université de Genève. While there, she was awarded the Rousseau Prize for academic excellence which also recognizes “a commitment to more fluent expression in French and a demonstrated interest in fully exploring the cultural opportunities offered by the Geneva program.” The recipient also of fellowship she was offered with the Center for Environment and Population as well as a grant through Smith College, Elizabeth is currently working at Friends of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), an NGO partnered with UNFPA that promotes women’s reproductive health and rights worldwide. This fall, when she returns to Smith for her senior year, she'll join the college residence staff as a head resident.
Last summer, Eliza Reynolds ’09 (Brown ’14) wrapped up nine months of work in Vienna for Women Without Borders, an international political NGO, and spent a month in the UK traveling, hiking, writing and studying dance. The book she co-authored with mom Sil Reynolds, Mothering & Daughtering: Keeping Your Bond Strong through the Teen Years (Sounds True), is due out this coming April.
Last summer, Nory Kaplan-Kelly ’10 (U. of Chicago ’14) worked for the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc’s Fair Housing Project where she learned about equal and integrated housing. Nory conducted initial interviews of prospective clients and also was involved in an independent project that looks at homeless youth from a fair housing perspective. During her first year at Chicago, Nory was one of only 25 students accepted into the prestigious Law, Letters and Society program, which looks at legal history, legal rhetoric, and the role of law in society. Says Nory, “I’m really enjoying my time at the U of C and am participating in a lot of student organizing (both LGBTQ and most recently, health care, immigration, and anti-racism related, all together and separately haha).”
Maxwell Hegley ’11 (Sarah Lawrence ’15) completed the Powerhouse Theater apprentice program at Vassar College last summer. He played Cassius in a production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, which was staged in an outdoor amphitheater on campus. Max says he loves the students, faculty and theater opportunities at Sarah Lawrence and the fact that, like PDS, it emphasizes narrative reports rather than grades.
Preston Kemeny ’11 (Princeton ’15) spent last summer at the Mpala Research Centre in northern Kenya studying isotope hydrology, and then returned to Princeton where he is pursuing a degree in physics.
Check out the July issue of Hudson Valley magazine and read the feature story on area wineries and, in particular, the piece written by Emma Roellke ’12 during her unpaid senior internship there. Kudos to Emma, a freshman at Vassar, on her first public byline!
F. Herbert Barnes
We were sad to learn, from Debbie Stone ’55, of the passing of former PDS teacher F. Herbert Barnes. After working at PDS he became a social worker, retired in Florida and is survived by his wife. Please send us your remembrances of him.
Our sincerest condolences to the family of Peter Yoder—including his wife, Carolyn Ann (Merriell) Yoder ’72—who passed away on September 6, 2012 at age 75. Peter served as the school’s assistant director and director of development, and was instrumental in organizing the addition of grades 10-12 from 1968 to 1971, under director Leo Opdycke. Born in New York City, he grew up in Nashville, TN, and was a graduate of Westtown School (PA), class of 1955, and Hamilton College ’60. Full notice.