On Monday in Outdoor Chapel, Chinese teacher Amelia Ortiz gave a powerful talk questioning the celebration of Columbus Day and challenging us to think about historical perspectives that continue to impact our thinking today. With compelling facts and statistics, she helped us consider another way in which privilege--our diversity theme for the year--has shaped the world we live in today and how we might play a role in changing that landscape. Please note: Some passages in her talk are graphic in nature and may not be suitable for children.
Author and educator, Shamus Kahn was a recent guest on-campus He spent his day-long visit with faculty and students discussing privilege and providing a platform for further discussion. Editor-in-Chief Chae Hahn '17 wrote this article for the school's student newspaper, The Picador.
Over the summer, students, faculty, and all who are interested partake in a shared experience: reading a book. This year's All-School Summer Read was World War Z by Max Brooks. Fortunately, the experience doesn't end there. When students return from summer vacation, many faculty take time to discuss the All-School read and assign projects related to it. This year, students also participated in zombie tag and a one question colloquium.
Last weekend was Reunion and Homecoming Weekend. During the Convocation on Saturday morning, College Counselor Bruce Barton spoke to alumni about their contributions to Holderness and the importance of their return to campus.
During Thursday evening chapel, we were fortunate to hear from Tim Scott '73, who currently resides in Jackson, NH but visits campus frequently to stay connected with the Holderness community. On Thursday evening, he shared with the community his thoughts on a passage from Deuteronomy.
It is a tradition early in the fall for all new students to attend a Monday morning chapel service in Trinity Chapel, one of the many historical buildings on campus. Students sign in as they enter the chapel; they will return just days before they graduate in the spring of their senior year. Today, Mr. Barton shared a history lesson with the new students before teaching them how to sing Hymn 711, "Seek Ye First."
The first Monday Morning Chapel service began in Hagerman when Rev. Weymouth shared with us excerpts from a New York Times article about the previous day's 9/11 services. Mr. Barton also spoke, sharing with us the expectations for attending chapel and being open to the opportunities the services present for reflection and spiritual growth. After he spoke, students and faculty walked together to the Chapel of the Holy Cross and participated in a very short service.
And the school year has begun! During his opening remarks to the students, Head of School Phil Peck talked about the importance of the two words seniors chose to guide their leadership of the school during the 2016-17 school year: positivity and persistence.
The Edwards Art Gallery at Holderness School features four shows annually. "Quiet Moments: The Photography of Alexandra de Steiguer" begins with a reception at the gallery with Ms. de Steiguer on September 9 at 6:30. The public is welcome.
Change is good. With each new school year, students bring renewed energy with them and the campus comes alive. New faculty and staff contribute to that energy as well, bringing fresh ideas and new perspectives that make us all think differently. This year there are six new faculty members as well as three new staff. Here’s a sneak peak at what they will be doing this year.
Ivar Dahl's not new to Holderness School; his wife Janice is an English teacher at Holderness and a coach for the Eastern alpine team. The Dahls also live in Green Dorm just behind the Weld Dining Hall. As of August 1, however, Ivar's role in the Holderness community will become more professional as he takes on the leadership of the Snow Sports Program.
Check out this great article about Brette Harrington in which she is called "one of North America's best trad climbers and free soloists." Read about her amazing career and view some beautiful photographs of her climbing all over the world!
From Marilee Lin on the streets of Shanghai: “We asked the students to try every day to focus on one experience and consider what it meant to them. They either could choose one image (among the many pictures they took) that they found especially interesting or evocative, and write a short reflection on it; or they could write about something they noticed and then take a picture that illustrated somehow the notion they were trying to convey.”
During the second leg of their journey, students and faculty traveled to Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province in northwest China. Xi'an is the starting point of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Warriors. Here are some of the student and faculty reflections from Xi’an.
In addition to welcoming our Holderness graduates into the Holderness alumni community during Commencement exercises at the end of May, we also had the great honor of celebrating some outstanding alumni with two prestigious alumni awards.
I know you have a lot on your minds. Science and English to be precise. But, I invite you to take a moment to think about something else: your “get psyched” playlist. You know, those songs you’ve catalogued on Spotify or Pandora that amplify your mornings, raise your spirits when you’re down, energize you for a game or performance or tough climb. Songs like Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” and “My Shot” from the amazing musical Hamilton. Whitney Houston’s “One Moment in Time.” And, one of my all-time favorite “get psyched” songs: Eminem’s “One Shot:” “You better lose yourself in the music, the moment, you want it, don’t ever ever let it go. You’ve only got one shot, do not miss this chance to blow. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime.” They are songs that are so powerful they can even get you pumped for the challenge of Exam Week.
The last twenty four hours at Holderness have been all about Senior Thesis. It began Thursday night with a fabulous sushi party that the dining room staff put on for our seniors and their parents at our house. Following which, we enjoyed three rounds of presentations/seminars. Today continued with senior thesis presentations/seminars going from 9:00 this morning until 4:00 this afternoon.
Sunday was the 137th Commencement Exercise for Holderness School. Commencement speaker David Lockwood inspired us with his thoughtful remarks and his moving song “Lucky You,” and we are very pleased to welcome our newest group of alumni, the Class of 2016!
Each spring, as their high school careers come to a close, the Senior class gathers in the Trinity Chapel to hear some words of advice or inspiration from a departing faculty member. This year Chris Day spoke and he began with a quote from last year's All School Read, All the Light We Cannot See.
Last week Holderness School Leaders for the 2016/17 school year were announced. This week in Chapel we heard from President-Elect Brooke Hayes and Vice President-Elect Celine Yam in their first speeches to the community.
On Thursday evening, we gathered in the chapel to find out who would be our elected leaders for the 2016-17 school year. But before the official announcement, both current President AJ Chabot and current Vice President Maggie Barton shared their thoughts about leadership.
On April 23rd, 2016 Holderness School hosted our annual Relay for Life Event. In all, 265 participants on 24 teams raised a total of $27,186, crushing our fundraising goal by more than seven thousand dollars. Thank you to everyone who made this such a successful and impactful event.
In elementary school very few of us dreamed about working in an independent school; those who wanted to be firemen, astronauts, and professional athletes definitely out numbered those who wanted to be teachers. Yet the list of Holderness alumni who have returned to schools to teach, lead, and volunteer is significant; the pages of Holderness School Today are filled with stories of alumni involved in the field of education.
Congratulations to history teacher Tyler Cabot and English teacher Jini Rae Sparkman! They have been chosen from a competitive field of independent school teachers to participate in this year’s Klingenstein Summer Institute for Early Career Teachers.
On Friday night we had the fortune of having Randy Newman on campus for a performance. His voice filled Hagerman auditorium and his stories captivated our imagination.
The concert was made possible because of a friendship music teacher David Lockwood developed with Mr. Newman over ten years ago when he was on sabbatical and working on one of his own albums. He asked Randy Newman to work with him and provide some critique.
Mr. Newman played two sets and included familiar songs like “Short People” and “It’s a Jungle Out There.” He also dedicated “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” to David Lockwood who will be retiring in June.
“Amanda’s creative life has been varied and full,” says Director of the Edwards Art Gallery Franz Nicolay. “Her extensive background in design has fine-tuned her eyes to the aesthetic reflection that she needs when she turns to her artistic color studies of the natural world.” The work of Amanda Houston ‘84 will be on display in the Edwards Art Gallery in April and May.
We are very excited to officially announce that Katie Mandigo will be our new Varsity Girls’ Ice Hockey Head Coach for the 2016-17 season. Katie brings a wealth of knowledge about the game and is excited to join the Holderness community.
Many folks who think about religion for a living use the metaphor of “different paths up the same mountain” to explain the presence of so many religions in the world. But not all agree. Some think that this metaphor is over simplified at best, or simply wrong at worst. So which is right? During his chapel talk, Mr. Barton asked students to keep this argument in mind as he explained Buddhism and the life of Siddhartha.
In February and March ten Holderness students had their artwork displayed at the AVA Gallery and Art Center during their eighth annual regional high school art exhibition, featuring the creative work of 150 students from seventeen schools.
On Monday in Chapel, several students shared information about relationship violence in preparation for a fundraising effort in May for One Love, an organization founded in 2010 to honor the memory of Yeardley Love, a student at the University of Virginia who was beaten to death by her ex-boyfriend.
Tonight I want to take a moment of your time to share with you the stories from some very dedicated members of our own Relay for Life committee. Please respect the students who have chosen to share their stories with us, and also look for answers to some of the questions you may have lingering in your mind about what we do from here and why we are fundraising for the upcoming Holderness School Relay for Life.
Congratulations to Chae Hahn ‘16 for winning the New Hampshire Scholastic Arts & Writing Contest’s Silver Key Award! Chae’s essay takes a deep and critical view into the recent developments surrounding the possible re-writing of history text books in Korea and Oklahoma and compares these changes to George Orwell’s 1984.
David Flynn ’96, twenty years after graduating, admits he still “bleeds blue.” He was a tri-varsity athlete, a house leader in Niles Dorm, and a leader of Blue Key—the group of students who give tours to perspective students and their families. In July, David Flynn will take over as Director of Admission from Interim Director Cynthia Day.
Coretta Scott King says on the The King Center website, “We call you to commemorate this Holiday by making your personal commitment to serve humanity with the vibrant spirit of unconditional love that was his greatest strength, and which empowered all of the great victories of his leadership.” Holderness School takes this call seriously and tries every year to spend the day thinking about, talking about, and learning about groups that are often marginalized, discriminated against, and threatened.
This year we are taking a look at gender and sexual orientation. And in order to extend the conversation, we use the days around MLK Jr. Day to explore the theme in depth. This year we have two chapels, a movie on Tuesday night, and then a full day of speakers and workshops next Wednesday.
In the first chapel on Thursday evening, the Alliance, a group of students dedicated to helping the LGBT community at Holderness, shared a short video and this poem below.
Later this month, the editors of Holderness School Today will publish an issue that celebrates the school’s snow sports history. From alpine skiing to jumping, from snowboarding to freeskiing, Holderness has proudly embraced snow sports, developing Olympic racers and coaches as well as passionate backcountry explorers. The next issue of HST will tell the stories of our alumni as well as the stories of the school.
While we did our best to include as many stories as we could, we didn’t have room for all of them. Here’s one story, however, we couldn’t let go. Buster Welch ’59 spent two years at Holderness and has many tales to tell about living with roommate Chris Hoagland ’59 and next door neighbor Gerry Ashworth ’59 (who later went on to win an Olympic gold medal in 1964 as a member of the 4x100-meter relay team). Other tales involve his memories of the ski team—training with Don Henderson and racing in the Eastern Junior Championships. We’ll let him do the rest of the talking…
Editor’s note: This story contains some disturbing content.