William D. “Bro” Adams graduated from Holderness in 1965, He served as the commencement speaker for the Class of 2018. A Vietnam veteran as well as service for various educational organizations, Bro is the former president of Colby College and the former director of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Now serving as a Senior Fellow at the Mellon Foundation, it is easy to say that Bro has had a transformative effect on the American educational and intellectual landscape. Read Bro's address to the class of 2018 below:
Holderness School is very proud of our alumni. As we celebrate a new class becoming alumni, we are pleased and honored to have William D. “Bro” Adams ‘65 addressing the Class of 2018 at the 139th commencement. Bro Adams is currently a senior fellow at the Mellon Foundation; he recently served as the president of Colby College and was the director of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The information included below predominately comes from the Spring issue of Holderness School Today’s article on Bro “What Is Best In America” written by Rick Carey.
After a year of researching, interviewing, and participating in experiential learning opportunities, the twelfth-graders will be sharing what they have learned with the school community. From the structural design of surfboards to the effective treatments of anxiety, from the effects of adrenaline on the brain to the economic and moral implication of artificial intelligence, the students in the Class of 2018 have done their homework and are now ready to show their mastery of their chosen topics. Follow this link to the students' posters and literature reviews! For more information on our Senior Thesis program click here!
Each year departing seniors arrive for one last service at Outdoor Chapel. Each student brings with them a decorated stone to add to the collection of stones of seniors before them. This year at stones chapel, Dr. Nicole Furlonge spoke to the seniors about leaving Holderness.
The first chapel of the school year for new students is held in the Trinity Chapel on Route 175 across from the main campus of school. Four years later (for those who entered as ninth-graders) the soon-to-graduate twelfth-graders have a closing service in Trinity Chapel. They invite a faculty member to address the class. Trinity Chapel was the original chapel for Holderness School at its 1879 opening. This year, science faculty member Annie McClements was invited to share her reflections with the Class of 2018.
In the Chapel of the Holy Cross, the rising classes also gathered to hear remarks from the new student leaders.
Last weekend the Chorus and Band, led by Music Director Alec Sisco, shared their talent and passion for music on the Hagerman stage. From jazz to a capella to modern and classic rock, the students poured their energy into their performances and produced a memorable evening for all.
Last weekend I was fortunate to be in New York at an event at the Museum of Natural History to honor the retirement of Pearl Kane, who led the Klingenstein Program at Columbia University for almost 40 years. The Klingenstein Program is a premier leadership development program for independent school educators, and many of our colleagues have benefitted from that program and Dr. Kane’ mentoring. The event at the Museum of Natural History was also a wonderful moment for Holderness because Pearl Kane’s successor, our Director of Teaching and Learning Nicole Furlonge, PhD, was announced. We heard from several renown speakers, and a constant theme was, “Leadership is not a title or position, leadership is a behavior.”
Leadership by many is considered a position, often a sought-after role, i.e president of the United States or president of a school -- a specific role. At Holderness, we see leadership differently. We see it as a behavior and work to intentionally integrate leadership and service into all aspects of our educational program.
“Many students think plays just magically come together,” says Director Monique Devine-Robichaud. ”And there is always an element of magic, but it also takes a lot of work. Being a part of a production gives students practical experience in problem-solving and what it takes to make long-term projects successful.”
Meaningful participation in the Holderness community begins with the sense of belonging. The daily fabric of our school is based on respect and understanding for others. As an academic institution, opportunities to express and learn from others, to perhaps see things differently through examination and integration of ideas, is a central focus. We’ve seen national examples of student voices rising up recently, and we are a better country for those voices and movements especially when we listen and contemplate.
Every two years, Holderness hosts a Relay for Life event on the Upper Fields. While the main goal is to raise money for the American Cancer Society, faculty leader Kathy Weymouth and student leader Audrey Simonson '18 also made a point of educating the community about cancer. They also wove plenty of fun into the event as well!
Are you one of those people who have no idea of what to read? Or maybe you stand in front of library shelves or an independent bookstore seeking a tidbit about this book or that book so you can then more seriously scan one or two and consider the selection for your bedside table. Or, do you keep a running list on your mobile phone so the next time you want to download an e-book, you’ll have a ready list of recommendations?
Associate Head of School Nigel Furlonge provides a thoughtful reflection on formative lessons in "What I Learned Along the Way." He discusses childhood and growing-up events that create a widening perspective of "God's plan." Some of his vignettes share what Mr. Furlonge learned about inquiry, testing limits, how to make mistakes, understanding that very often others are there looking out for him and to listen and learn from challenges offered.
Excerpts below of the Chapel Talk or listen to the podcast.
The last exhibit of the year will feature the works from the collection of John '62 and Gretchen Swift. These are works that give excitement, peace, and joy created from a variety of techniques. Read more about the exhibit below:
The Senior Thesis program at Holderness is a year-long investigation for twelfth graders. After spending the fall and early winter researching topics of their own choice, students embark on self-designed experiences in March. From interviews to internships to travel to hands-on construction projects, our students use the month of March to apply what they have learned and deepen their practical knowledge. Each year the projects are as unique as the students who design them. Below is just a sampling of essential questions that students hope to answer this year! By the way, twelfth graders will present what they have learned on May 18 and 19. Stay tuned for more details!
It was a great winter for Holderness athletics; even now many snow sports athletes continue to compete in post-season events! In the regular season, both the boys' and girls' Nordic teams were victorious in the NEPSAC Championship race at Proctor, and the girls' varsity basketball team won the Class D NEPSAC Championship! We had a chance to recognize a few individual achievements of our winter athletes during our Winter Sports Assembly in March. Below are short write-ups on the student-athletes who were recognized for their outstanding accomplishments! Photos of individuals receiving their awards can be found in the Holderness Smugmug Gallery!
Students learn best when they develop deep relationships; not just through literature, language, science and the arts, but through the transformative relationships with their teachers and their peers. Our size allows deep, meaningful academic relationships through rigorous coursework, collaborative projects, mutual inquiry, and experiential programs. We pride ourselves in a relational alchemy that provides insight into each individual’s strengths and helps teachers guide students in finding intellectual excellence and scholarship within themselves. This video offers perspectives on the teaching and learning process at Holderness.
The HonorRoll recognizes and commends outstanding achievement and effort in the academic program. Holderness School recognizes that each student's growth and progress is complex. Quarterly comments written by faculty better reflect the unique path traveled by each student, and the HonorRoll and Effort HonorRoll are simplified but significant markers of the engagement of our students in the most recent marking interval.
A trained mountain guide, Director of Outdoor Programs Erik Thatcher ‘08 reflects on the need for both humility and critical reflection in learning to be an ice instructor. In his case, learning for safety’s sake but he draws the parallel with the overall learning process.
After suffering from a terrible accident at the age of 17, Hugh Herr, PhD is now the head of the Biomechatronics research group at the MIT Media Lab. A modern-era bionic man, Dr. Herr is an associate professor in MIT’s Program in Media Arts and Sciences and in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. His impact on the field of bionics and providing hope for those who suffer from amputations and degenerative disease is growing every day. Earlier this year we were fortunate enough to have Dr. Herr speak at Assembly.
Songwriting, a magical blend of lyrics and a melody fused together, takes commitment, patience, and certainly creativity. During the experiential Artward Bound program, our 10th graders under the guidance of singer/songwriter Grace Rapetti endeavored to create their own music. Sometimes with Grace and sometimes in a larger collaboration, the following are musical clips of their artistic exploration:
Sam Jackel, an improv teacher in our Artward Bound program, told students that when they are doing improv, if someone asks them a question, the answer should always be "yes." The students in this year's March programs have had to live up to that call every day for the last ten days.
Holderness students' voices were strong as they joined with other students across the nation to protest gun violence. #Enough. This video depicts the walkout ceremony, during which the students observed 17 seconds of silence and read the names of the individuals slain in the Parkland, FL shooting. They also sang our “National Anthem” and “Amazing Grace” and burned paper notes that contained “the pebbles in their shoes,” those fears, anxieties, regrets, and troubles that cause them pain and make them feel alone.
Please Note: Holderness School students are currently participating in our experiential programs, so only our tenth graders are on campus.
Artward Bound at Holderness is a chance for all tenth graders to work with resident artists for ten days and discover their voices through creative expression. Directed and edited by artist Marlene White in conjunction with Holderness students, as well as teachers and other resident artists, this video shares the ideas and passions of the Holderness community.
Snow sports athletes don’t always get the attention they deserve. Imagine training in the dead of winter, on the coldest and windiest days, often on the edges of darkness. They are a tough breed. They also travel a great deal, both for training and races; plane rides across the country are common and most weekend races involve missing classes and sleeping in hotels all over New England. On top of their rigorous academics, these athletes train long hard hours, get up early on weekends to compete, and relentlessly pursue ways to drop fractions of a second to pull ahead of their competitors.
Holderness art students were recently featured at the Ava Gallery's "Best of the Upper Valley High School" exhibition. Mina Nguyen '19 won Best in Show for Digital Photography and will be included in another exhibition in May of all the award winners. Alden Sawyer '20 received an Honorable Mention in Sculpture. The show will run until March 9, 2018 at the AVA Gallery & Art Center in Lebanon, NH.
For a week in February we had a chance to step outside the Holderness bubble and experience the sounds and tastes of other countries. With the help of English teachers Marilee Lin and Jini Sparkman, the Holderness international students and the Multicultural Club organized several events on campus that focussed on the cultures and traditions of the 13 different countries from which our students travel.
Despite the rain, on February 11, hundreds of racers, fans, and volunteers gathered at Holderness School for the annual Cheri Walsh/Eastern Cup Race. From Lollipop kids to Master's racers, the competition was fierce but light-hearted. Thanks to everyone who participated and helped out! Here's a highlight reel from the day:
Ly Cao ’18 is a reporter for the student-run newspaper, The Picador. She is also an international student from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The New England Scholastic Press Association recently recognized Ly’s article on “What It’s Like to Be an International Student at Holderness” We salute Ly for this award and also thank her for helping us develop a greater perspective on how difficult it is to attend a boarding school in another country.
The Cheri Walsh Memorial Race is Sunday, February 11, 2018
Classmate and friend, Emily Magnus '88, writes about Cheri Walsh as we celebrate Cheri with the annual Nordic ski race in her honor. This is the final race of the Nordic Eastern Cup's regular race season. A fun winter tradition for almost three decades, young and old participate. At the end of the race, 48 male and female athletes will be named to this year's Junior National Championships.
LLBean encourages their customers to “Be an Outsider.” REI has an Instagram challenge, #OptOutside. Countless schools and environmental preservation organizations dedicate pages of their websites to outdoor activities, encouraging their readers to choose an adventure.
We are so proud of KC and her accomplishment of scoring her 1000th point while playing for Holderness. She hit the mark on our home court against Vermont Academy on January 17. For those who don’t know, scoring 1,000 basketball points is a significant feat for a high schooler and even more impressive as an eleventh grader. KC might be the first to indicate that hitting such a goal was the result of hard work, consistency, and the support of her coach and teammates.
Usually, Chris Davenport '89 is in the news because he's ripping new tracks or summiting another impressive peak. This month, however, in an article on REI's website, he shares his perspective on getting kids outside and keeping the adventures fun. Also included in the article, which focuses on raising adventurous kids, is some great advice from ultrarunner Anita Ortiz, who also happens to be the mom of Holderness Chinese teacher and running coach Amelia Ortiz.
This fall Carpenter once again came alive with the creative developments of our students. From ceramics to paints, photography to sculpture, students not only revealed their artistic skills but also their intellectual reflections. Here is just a small selection of some of their work.
Holderness School gathered for a final program in our two-day celebration honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Director of Teaching and Learning Nicole Furlonge, PhD, shared a personal story about herself, identity, race, class, and family.
We concluded our time together with these words of learning from our two days of reflection and celebration of Dr. King:
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
All it takes for evil to win out is for good people to do nothing.
Our lives begin to end the moment we become silent about things that matter.
Holderness School honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But what does it mean to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.? Director of Equity and Inclusion, Jini Sparkman answers the question of how we honor Dr. King: “It means service. It means education. It means actively and intentionally working towards making our world a more equitable and inclusive place.”
Last week, one of America’s leading speakers on mental health, Mike Veny, spent a couple days on campus, speaking to students in both large and small groups. He paid particular attention to the boys on campus, acknowledging that when we do speak about mental health, it is often from the female perspective; Mike understands from personal experience how important the conversation about mental health from the male perspective is. Later Mike spoke to the whole school, and alumna Liesl Magnus ‘17 had this to report.
The Holderness community gathered together in the chapel on the first week back at school in the new year. Rev. Hill provided us with a brief explanation of why it is still Christmas and then shared from his own personal experience over the holiday season.
While the end of break was chilly in New Hampshire, it was nothing compared to the temperatures in Quebec! For the last five days of their vacation, the Holderness nordic team traveled to Mount Saint Anne in Quebec for double sessions of training, with temperatures hovering around zero for the duration.
“Landscape is a metaphor for life inside and out,” explains Margery Thomas-Mueller in the opening of her artist statement for the Patricia Ladd Carega Gallery. “It is where we walk, view, embrace our daily experiences of existence…The complexity that confronts our world daily, trying to uncover the dream beyond, that is the thicket I work at on paper.”