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Learning by Doing. Building Community.

Alumni from classes ending in 1s, 2s, 6s, and 7s return to Pingree for an evening of fun.

Alumni from classes ending in 1s, 2s, 6s, and 7s descended upon the Athletics Center on Saturday, October 15 for Community Reunion 2016. Pingree also celebrated the 10-year anniversary of its football program with a tailgate and win against Hyde School. Other highlights included dance tunes spun by DJ Lenworth "Kip" Williamson and a Pingree-themed photobooth. Over 200 alumni came out for the celebration, which lasted into the night.

Dick Kennedy House Dedication

Friends and alumni gathered at Kennedy House to toast and honor Dick and Nancy Kennedy, and there was no shortage of loving stories about their indelible impact on Pingree School. Kennedy House was constructed by the Kennedy family in 1964 and they lived there until Dick and Nancy's retirement in 1981. The house then served as the Head's Residence from 1982 to 2002 and has remained faculty housing from 2002 to the present. As the new plaque states: "The influence of the Kennedys continues well beyond the two decades they devoted to Pingree and lives on in the hearts of the alumni and faculty whose lives they touched."

The Mimi Davis Emmons '64 Alumni Association Award is presented each year to a Pingree graduate who has, through extraordinary effort and dedicated service, made a significant contribution to the quality of life of their school, community, or society as a whole. This year's recipient is Amanda Crawford Jackson '96.

After attending the Danvers Public Schools through eighth grade, Amanda received the Pingree Scholar award and immediately fell in love with the school's engaging academics and close, nurturing environment. At Pingree, Amanda was captain of the ice hockey team, played soccer and ran cross country, and participated in Social Concerns, College Bowl, and Math Team. Amanda is a proud member of the Pingree School Class of 1996. She served seven years on the Alumni Leadership Board, helping to establish an annual career development seminar for the senior class and also served on the Pingree School Board of Trustees from 2010 to 2016.

Amanda Crawford Jackson Pingree Alumni Award

As senior director, business development, for SRS Acquiom, Amanda builds relationships for the company with private equity, venture capital, legal and M&A communities in the Eastern US and Europe. Amanda works with prospective clients and outside counsel to streamline the process of engaging SRS Acquiom and provides guidance in handling post-closing issues such as purchase price adjustments, indemnification claims, escrow funds, and payments.

Amanda brings more than 10 years of business experience from the financial printing industry, where she assisted clients with initial public offerings, merger and acquisition transactions and compliance filings at RR Donnelley and Bowne.

Amanda graduated from the University of Richmond, where she was a Phi Beta Kappa scholar. Amanda and her husband, Ned (a former Pingree teacher and coach), live in Danvers with their two sons, Nate and Cole.

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Pingree community members live and serve in a community wholly different from their own.

How well do you adapt to changes in plans? Are you comfortable putting community over self? What kinds of chores do you help with around the house? Would you describe yourself as self-motivated?

These are some of the questions posed to students interested in participating in Pingree's annual trip to the Rosebud Indian Reservation in Todd County, South Dakota. Because the Rosebud visit isn't just a high school service trip. It is an enduring partnership between the Pingree community and the members of the Sicangu band of the Lakota (Sioux) Tribe, who welcome Pingree students, faculty, staff, and alumni into their community each summer, teaching lessons and offering perspectives that simply cannot be attained at home in South Hamilton, Massachusetts.

The program was launched in 2006 under the careful leadership of Alan McCoy, director of athletics, and Anna McCoy, history teacher, service coordinator, and ninth grade dean. That first visit, Valerian Three Irons, a Mandan Indian and Sun Dance Chief, conveyed a message that has formed the basis for the trip and for Pingree's service and civic engagement efforts as a whole:

"If you go to help, you assume they are helpless. If you go to fix, you assume they are broken. But if you go to learn and to serve, you assume they are whole."

Today's participants stay on the reservation in pop-up tents at Sinte Gleska University, with shared bathrooms and kitchen facilities. Students cook for themselves, taking turns preparing family-style dinners to be eaten around a large round table each night. With the absence of a fixed "service agenda," the daily schedule is loose, flexible, and at times, unpredictable; participants strive to support community efforts underway and do not engage in activities unless they are invited to do so.


The Rosebud Reservation is one of the poorest places in the United States, with one of the lowest life expectancies. A majority of residents live below the poverty line in substandard housing, with few opportunities for advance-ment. It is an unfamiliar world for many Pingree students.

"My first trip was definitely a culture shock," shares alumna Emma Phippen '11. Phippen has participated in the program a total of five times, with three of those visits occurring after graduation from Pingree. "You're put into an entirely new cultural and socioeconomic setting and it's eye-opening. You almost can't believe that you're still in the United States. It feels like you're in a different country."

Rosebud Illustration Nate OlsonOn Rosebud, students are exposed to a culture that is remarkably different from their own, but that is also very much an American culture, opening their eyes up to the fact that not everyone in America has the same beliefs, customs, or standards of living that they've come to expect. And while they may have heard this in class or seen it on the news, experiencing it in person is an entirely different thing.

"The Rosebud trip made me so much more aware of a lot of social issues that really are not talked about in the mainstream discourse," says alumnus Adam Logan '08. Logan has been on the trip seven times, including the very first year. "Rosebud is a prime example of one of the most underserved communities in the United States, and being there really made me a lot more attuned to important social issues both locally and nationally. It certainly made me more mature."

Following his experiences at Rosebud in high school, Logan focused on American Indian history at Holy Cross, returning on his own to do oral history research, and ultimately writing his thesis on the Lakota Language. He also participated in a pro-bono trip to an Indian reservation in Oklahoma while pursuing his J.D. at Boston University.


Pingree teachers consistently push students to take risks. Stretch. Step out of their comfort zones. And they do it because they know that from vulnerability and discomfort comes understanding, mindfulness, and personal growth. The Rosebud program supports this notion, compelling students to stretch themselves in ways that are foreign to them.

"It feels a little uncomfortable to be on the reservation at first," shares Pingree senior Meg Foye, who just went on her third trip to the reservation this past summer. "Suddenly, you are the minority, and that can be really uncomfortable for kids that aren't used to that. But taking that step is really important."

It's common for participants to feel a deep sense of guilt when they see the relative poverty in which many community members live. There is a natural inclination to want to "fix" the situation, and the McCoys and program leaders stress to students that these feelings are normal, and to be expected, but that there are appropriate ways of dealing with them. Simply feeling guilty inhibits one's ability to engage, and ultimately doesn't help anyone. Albert White Hat, a revered Rosebud elder who died two winters ago, put it this way: "They say the worst thing you can do to a person is to pity them. It's a way of putting that person down, putting yourself above them... [and] the greatest gift you can give is time. Generosity is measured in the ways of respect and honor, not pity."

"Our role there isn't to help them," echoes senior Gabby Assad. "They don't need our help. We're there to learn. And that's the best way we can contribute, by taking the time to get to know them and working to make each day we're there a good day."


Nate Olson Rosebud IllustrationThe Lakota have a tradition of tiospaye, which roughly translates to a small piece of a large family. It can also mean community, and Pingree visitors seek to live, work, and interact in keeping with this tradition while on the reservation. The idea is to put community over self and be accountable for the wellbeing of the group by what- ever means possible. Students work together to complete daily chores, doing their own cooking and cleaning.

At the end of every day, participants gather together for a discussion circle, during which each person says one thing they are thankful for and shares a moment or observation they had during the day. And just as the students convene in this way each evening, so too do they return each year, in doing so continuing the circle of trust that has been built between the Lakota and Pingree, thus expanding the Pingree family in a very unique way.

"The real strength of our program has been its continuity, and the fact that we continue to go every year," says Logan. "That engenders a lot of trust with the community. They trust that we're there for the community and we're not there to pat ourselves on the back. We do this because we genuinely enjoy it and derive a whole lot of value out of it."

The Rosebud trip has created, in Pingree, "a substantial investment in another community," says Anna McCoy, "and I think it's a pretty cool, healthy, amazing thing that this little school can be so connected to another part of the world."


By Ann McCoy

I am afraid of flying. For as long as I can remember, air travel has brought with it overpowering anxiety that for many years was so bad that I avoided it altogether. So when it came to doing a semester abroad in college, I had limited myself considerably— or so I thought. In my Work Study job at the University of Massachusetts I happened upon a pamphlet that advertised the opportunity to complete a semester of service on an Indian Reservation in South Dakota. I had very little background in American Indian affairs, and absolutely no desire to go to South Dakota, but somehow the following August I found myself driving across the country with my father, Alan McCoy, in my 1987 Volvo station wagon. The trip was memorable for many reasons, not the least of which was that the radio broke in Michigan and we spent the rest of the ride memorizing state nicknames. This type of

"atlas fun" remains a big part of riding in my father's car in South Dakota, along with enduring favorites such as "Let's Memorize the Presidents" and "Who Knows What a Cattle Guard is?"

That was in 2001. In 2006, after my first year as a Pingree history teacher, I proposed to my father that we return to South Dakota — this time with students in tow. He agreed. That June, accompanied by English teacher Jim MacLaughlin and twelve students, we made our first trip.

In our history classes this year, most teachers have incorporated the TED Talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie called "The Danger of a Single Story." The message of this talk is about the danger of accepting a single story about a person or place, and allowing that story to serve as an absolute. Doing this creates stereotypes and as Adichie says, "The danger of a stereotype is not that it's wrong, it's that it's incomplete."

The Rosebud Reservation is one of the poorest places in the United States with one of the lowest life expectancies. To gloss over these realities would be to ignore the very real challenges faced by so many living there and to deny the privilege that we bring with us when we go. Just as dangerous, though, would be to create a vision of the reservation that is bleak, hopeless and sad. In the fifteen years since I began working with the

Sioux Nation, however, I have become increasingly aware of the fact that — despite astounding and systemic challenges — hopelessness does not define this community.

One of the most indelible memories I have of our journeys to South Dakota happened during our third summer. A group of us had the privilege of overseeing the day-to-day activities of a children's emergency shelter for the week. For those five days, we provided activities for the children, cooked, cleaned, did the laundry, supervised naptime, mediated disputes, calmed babies, and put on a fashion show with donated clothing. We used a hose to create a backyard water park (later a mud puddle), ate our weight in oranges, and sang the same T-Pain song over and over. The last day was hard.

Our every minute had been consumed with the joys, adventures and peaceful exhaustion that comes with caring for young children, and yet we had to leave knowing that, due to confidentiality, we might never know what happened to them. Waiting in line at a gas station and listening to Mika's "Happy Ending," I peered in the rear view mirror. The tears streaming down the faces of my passengers revealed that every single one of them had, in some way or another, thrown their lots in with those kids and would never, ever see the world the same.

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  • Students

Abhi Sambangi '18 helps create a prototype for a lightweight, cost-effective vaccine carrier.

Over the summer, Pingree junior Abhi Sambangi participated in the TiE Young Entrepreneurs business competition, an event sponsored by TiE Global, a non-profit organization focused on fostering youth entrepreneurship.

"The competition involves forming a team, creating a novel product, building a business plan and model around that product, and then pitching the business in front of judges," explains Sambangi.

Sambangi was a part of the Chilvaxx team that created a lightweight, cost effective prototype for a vaccine carrier that can prevent spoilage in third world countries and rural areas without access to modern refrigeration. The Chilvaxx system consists of a transportable, multi-layered, insulated bag with a temperature sensing sticker, and an insulating "cool box" that maintains an interior temperature of two degrees celsius.

The Chilvaxx team took home the first prize in the Boston regional competition, qualifying them for the global finals. Sambangi and his team members ultimately came in third place out of 21 finalists, willing $1000 in prize money.

"The best part for me," says Sambangi, "is that along the way of product development, I may have invented a new frozen chemical mixture that actually prevents vaccine spoilage, which I prototyped for use in our competition vaccine carrier model. I look forward to testing it further since the lab results so far are very promising."

Sambangi continues to test his material under the supervision of chemistry teacher Dr. Hamilton, who was a key advisor to Sambangi and the Chilvaxx team during the early development stages of the project.

"Dr. Hamilton has been extremely helpful throughout the entire process," says Sambangi.

The pair plans to continue to work out a formal testing procedure this fall.

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  • Faculty

Pingree Athletics Director Alan McCoy Looks Ahead to a New Role as Service Liaison in 2017-18

Pingree Athletics Director Alan McCoy will be stepping down from his post at the end of the 2016-17 school year to take on a part-time role as service and civic engagement liaison in 2017-18.

From Head of School Dr. Tim Johnson:

Mr. McCoy's indelible impact on the Pingree Athletics Program as both coach and director is immeasurable. His wise counsel, sense of humor, unwavering focus on citizenship and community, and dedication to athletics as a co-curricular extension of the classroom helped to shape Pingree's student-centered culture of kindness, teamwork, and healthy competition. In a world of specialization and unrelenting pressure, Alan has remained our beacon for health, wellness, play and balance. He has been a teacher, coach, mentor, administrator, EIL pillar, advisor, Coffee House Elvis, and friend since 1978, and we are fortunate that he will continue on many of these fronts in a new and exciting capacity next year.

Thank you, congratulations, and cheers, Mr. McCoy!

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  • Prep@Pingree

Prep@Pingree celebrates 15 years and public-private partnership with Lawrence-Abbott Academy.

Prep@Pingree teacher Cesar Batista says that his students are so passionate about The Crucible that they don't want to stop talking about it. When class is over, he has to gently nudge them towards the hallway, where he can hear them still arguing about the play as they walk to lunch. One student says that she already read The Crucible earlier in the school year, but barely remembered it until Batista brought the play to life by connecting the concerns of 1692 Salem to contemporary issues.

After 14 years of strong community partnerships with schools and organizations for middle school students, Prep@Pingree expanded its reach this year by partnering with Lawrence Abbott Academy, an accelerated academic program for high-achieving students at Lawrence High School. It is the first public-private partnership of its kind. "It's a new experience," a tenth grader with Abbott Academy states. "Prep@Pingree lets me try things that I wouldn't necessarily get the chance to try during the regular school year. It's good to do something over the summer."

Besides English class, over the five-week summer program, both Prep@Pingree and Abbott Lawrence Academy students study history, math, and engineering. They swim, have outdoor activities, and go on excursions to the Museum of Science, New England Aquarium, and a whale watch. They meet regularly in small advising groups to discuss academic concerns, play games, and build friendships. "This is such a boost," one Prep@Pingree student says.

Students admit that initially, the idea of attending school in the summer goes against the very idea of summer break, but once they arrive onto campus, they understand the benefits. One young woman says, "I hated getting up at first, but now I'm not in bed all day and doing nothing." Another student was hit by a car halfway through the summer while she was home, but that did not stop her from getting on the bus every morning. The reputation of Prep@Pingree's summer program is so strong that a few students, outside of the target population, participate with full tuition.

Steve Filosa, founding director of the Malcolm Coates Prep@Pingree Program, remembers when 14 students from 3 Lawrence schools participated in the first Prep@Pingree summer program. They fit in one classroom on campus and studied math and English. Fifteen years later, those same three Lawrence schools continue to partner with Prep@Pingree and the program now serves 75 students from 9 different communities.

Filosa has worked in independent schools for over 25 years and with Prep@Pingree for 15. There was a time when he worried about the program's ability to survive beyond his own efforts, but he has since watched with pleasure as the Prep@Pingree family has grown. Paul Mayo now serves as program director, and increasingly more teachers and students have gotten involved over the years. "I don't worry as much that the program will survive from year to year," says Filosa.

"Sustainability is within reach. Some endowment giving one day will mean that we are here to stay."

Filosa describes the feeling of watching the "virtuous cycle play out in a big way" as deeply satisfying. He's seen those involved with Prep@Pingree as students, faculty, staff, and alumni magnetically cycle back into the Pingree community as members of the school's faculty,staff, and Board of Trustees. He's also proud of how Prep@Pingree has become a way to train future teachers and mentor young people who are interested in the teaching profession. "Everyone is growing and learning something every day," Filosa says. "Everyone who connects with Prep@Pingree benefits from it."

At the end of the engineering course, students complete their final activity: an egg drop. They've brainstormed ideas and come up with creative solutions for how to drop an egg from the second story and protect it from cracking. Students gather around their contraptions made with recycled plastic shopping bags, balled up paper, cardboard boxes, even blown-up balloons, and make final adjustments. The room is full of their previous projects, towers made of straws, and their teacher, Maria Ronchi, an engineering student at Brown University, tells them it's time. "I always really admired my teachers in high school and I plan to be an engineer, but eventually, I'll probably teach," says Ronchi. Her positive experiences as a student inspired her to pursue teaching and her time with Prep@Pingree has further reinforced this decision.

The students tie string and wrap masking tape around their eggs. They draw happy faces on the balloons that are attached to the basket that their egg sits in. The room is alive with excitement and anticipation. Will their eggs survive the fall? It's something that we all prepare for in some way, how to survive a setback, a disappointment or even a tragedy, and these students face this academic challenge with humor and enthusiasm. This is what a great learning experience can do, give us skills and information and allow us to practice in a safe environment. We try, fail, learn, and succeed.

One by one, Prep@Pingree students climb the great stairs to the balcony. They stand at the bannister and let their eggs fall.

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  • Alumni

Young Pingree alumni share how their passions guide their pursuit to making a difference.

Students are often reminded to follow their passions. Love what you do, and never work a day. No pressure, right? But even if a young person discovers what this is early on, what does a life in pursuit of a passion look like? Next in our young alumni series, we hear from four alumni actively finding a way to pursue their passions and make a difference in the world. No matter the twists and turns of life, they follow their dreams to careers and further study in politics, travel, education, and business.


Emily Meldon Pingree

We are so disconnected from nature. We can reconnect with the wilder part of our human experience by being out in the world, by foraging and picking our own food and exploring untamed lands. A lot of things melt away once you start spending the day outside in a simpler environment. You realize that you are on this planet, and in the grand scheme of things, you are small.

I am the co-founder and executive director of DNTUlimit, or Don't Know Your Limit, an organization that leads educational programs for adults that brings together personal development and environmental health projects with permaculture design principles. We spend half the year in Latin America and the other half in the US. We have a plot of land where we grow food, medicinal herbs, and plants for pollinators. In addition to leading groups, we also coach clients and consult to organizations. We've worked on projects such as installing therapeutic gardens in hospitals and assessing the best environmental design for an animal shelter built partly on a floodplain.

The world will continue its unsustainable path unless we change not only the societies we live in, but also the people living in them. I'll never forget the first travel pro-gram we ran, way up in the Andes mountains. We were in a lagoon for a stand up paddleboard activity and there was one person who didn't know how to swim. She had a fear of water, but at that moment, she put on her life jacket and stepped in for the first time. Three months later, she contacted me to tell me that she had started taking swimming lessons and was now swimming three times a week.

Pingree was awesome. I started becoming interested in politics at Pingree and now that I own a business, I see how much politics intersects with my life. I need to be involved and participate in government because I see that it has a direct impact on my life. I have three pieces of ad-vice for Pingree students. First, play an instrument, dance, do art or something creative. Second, play a sport, be part of a team or get involved closely in some other group that feels like a family. And finally, get out of your comfort zone and attend several meetings of clubs that you don't necessarily identify with. You are so encouraged at Pingree. Teachers want you to succeed, but they also aren't going to let you get away with anything. They expect a lot from us.


Christopher Lange Pingree

I've just started my first year at MIT Sloan where I'm an MBA candidate focusing on finance. Before that, I worked for US Senator Elizabeth Warren as the regional director. I've worked in the public sector for several years and now I am making the transition to trying to make a difference in the private sector. I became intrigued with finance, first on a personal finance level and now on a larger level—an institutional and governmental level.

Even before I started at Pingree, I was interested in politics and finance. I also wanted to make a difference in people's lives and this passion started to sink in towards the end of high school.

At Pingree, my experience as head tour guide put me in touch with a lot of new people. As a tour guide, I learned to explain what was great about Pingree, but even more importantly, I learned how to build relationships with people. We are all connected in the end.

While I was in college, I interned for Senator Ted Kennedy and then, Senator John Kerry. I really enjoyed the work. I was a big fan of Elizabeth Warren from what I'd seen of her on TV regarding the financial crisis. When I heard she was running for office, I reached out to people I knew who might know people in her campaign. In other words, I tapped into my network. I started volunteering for the campaign full-time and that turned into a job offer. It was lucky timing for me. I worked hard and my job as a field organizer for the campaign developed into regional field director and then regional director for Senator Warren.

I don't think of Pingree as just a place to go to class or to learn from teachers; it's a place with resources available to pursue what you want. Pingree alumni are always helping each other and alumni can be an effective tool for gaining experience outside the academic world. I didn't know how important this network was when I was a Pingree student. I recommend tapping into this alumni network no matter what your passion is.


Caitlin Shelburne Pingree

I am passionate about working in urban schools. After joining Teach for America, I was hired as a grade five English Language Arts Teacher at the FM Leahy School in Lawrence, MA. Three years later, I became the dean of curriculum and instruction. Most recently, I was hired as the director of English language development at Making Waves Academy in Richmond, CA. My passion is developing curriculum aligned with the common core and supporting teachers in their implementation of critical thinking, evidence-based writing, and note taking.

I work in a school district with students who are chronically underperforming. I also work with a student population that has a high percentage of students with special needs and those whose second language is English. I tell students the story of my academic struggles so that they know that change is possible. I tell them that we are not static. If it's possible for me to go from Cs to As, they can go from Ds to Bs.

Until I went to Pingree, I struggled academically and earned average grades. Once I started at Pingree, I built relationships with teachers who put in extra work to help me get my grades up. Teachers were always willing to help. Mr. Olson put in many extra hours tutoring me in math, Ms. Lyons helped me with study skills and Ms. Dyer encouraged me to get involved with activities. When I became a teacher myself, I realized what a commit-ment this was because teachers work around the clock.

I had a hard time writing my thoughts on the page, but a single history assignment changed the course of my academic career and reverberates today. I was faced with writing a ten page research paper, the longest one I'd ever attempted. It was through this process of finding a topic, researching independently, developing a thesis and completing each stage of the paper that I found my voice. I grasped reading and writing on a level that I had not experienced before. At Pingree, I learned to take ownership of my work and this is something I took with me later in my work in education and urban schools


James Murray Pingree

My passion is for building things. I have an entrepreneurial spirit and passion for media, including journalism and news. I'm about to finish my MBA at Vanderbilt University and look forward to launching a new venture, which brings both those passions together.

A few years ago, I founded DSRUPTISM, a digital platform for young professionals, which attracted viewers from over 100 countries. The content I produced created productive conversation around meaningful topics, ranging from diversity in business, to finding one's passion. I realized how much of an impact that my voice could have in shaping the way people perceive important issues.

I used my experiences with DSRUPTISM to develop an innovative enterprise technology for corporate communications teams. Our goal is to help companies deliver important industry news and insights to their employees. Our business-to-business content platform is currently in the process of raising capital. This project has allowed me to bridge my two passion points, entrepreneurship and media, together.

I was on the varsity hockey team at Pingree and if I learned anything, it was to how to work hard. From the tryouts through the season, I learned that the human psyche and body is capable of going beyond its perceived limits. This is an attitude I took with me and applied to my academic life and then my career. I have a work ethic that I would not have if I hadn't spent those years on the ice.

You get out of Pingree what you put in it. What I learned about life in general and about becoming an adult was from being involved in school. I played sports and joined clubs. I participated in the richness of the Pingree experience. It's important to step outside of your boundaries, get to know classmates who are different from you, and embrace the full experience both in and outside the classroom. Pingree is a special place; immerse yourself in all it has to offer.

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Discover a place where you belong and stretch beyond expectations.

Coming Up at Pingree


Danny — Student
Mr. Haltmeier — Faculty
Charlotte — Alum


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