Last month, Shelley Grant '21, a Renbrook alumna and current student at Brooks School in North Andover, Massachusetts, delivered a chapel talk.
A chapel talk is a brief speech written by a student and delivered to their fellow students and faculty. Chapel talks focus on themes that are personally meaningful to the speaker; they are reflective and range from the moving to humorous to motivational.
In her moving chapel talk, Shelley tells her story as a Ghanaian American. She shares her love for poetry as both a bridge and an outlet and recites three of her original poems. You can watch Shelley's talk here.
Earlier this month, Renbrook hosted its first alumni guest speakers of the school year. Arianna Calabrese ’10 and Megan Lee ’10 met at Renbrook in sixth grade and have been friends ever since. After an exhilarating and successful run of their first collaborative art show, they decided to return to Renbrook, where it all began, and brought their show, Saga, with them.
For three days prior to Megan and Arianna’s visit, students, faculty, and staff were invited to visit Saga. To engage with the pieces, visitors used their cell phones to access a special augmented reality (AR) lens. The lens allowed viewers to view Arianna’s poetry in conjunction with Megan’s paintings. Then, on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, Arianna and Megan visited Renbrook as part of our alumni career speakers series. They met with the eighth grade; shared stories about their Renbrook days, educational journey, and career experiences; and led the eighth grade in an inspiring and interactive poetry-writing workshop.
This year, in lieu of its annual Alumni Career Day, Renbrook invited alumni guest speakers to Zoom with the Class of 2021. Barrie Kreinik '00 and Vasishth Srivastava '06 met with Renbrook eighth graders, sharing their personal stories, Renbrook memories, education and career paths, and career advice and insights on June 4, 2021.
Renbrook alumna Lauren Horn ‘10 performed recently in the University of Connecticut’s Radical Black Art and Performance Series, featuring virtual performances, film screenings, discussions, and workshops by LGBTQ artists and scholars of color. The series was curated by Philadelphia-based choreographer and artist Arien Wilkerson who recently shared in an interview with Connecticut Public Radio, “This series really invites UConn and other institutions to think about the way they have neglected Black artists and Black educators. They need to incorporate Black artists, Black thinkers, Black minds in all facets, not just entertaining you, not just educating you, but also in the planning and the infrastructure of all this, too.”
We are so proud of Griffin Santopietro '20, who is featured in this West Hartford News article for his work as an actor. Griffin recently starred in the Netflix show "Cobra Kai" which is based on "The Karate Kid." Griffin is a 2020 graduate of Renbrook. Click below to read the West Hartford News article.
On December 8, 2020, Renbrook School's Alumni Office mailed 123 specially created care packages to alumni in high school and college. As part of its alumni engagement efforts, each fall the Alumni Office sends a letter to parents of alumni in high school and college, asking for their child's current contact information. A small gift, several specially chosen treats, and a note of care and well wishes are included in each care package.
This year's care packages include a card from the Alumni Office, microwave popcorn, dark chocolate covered blueberries, Chips Ahoy/Oreos, an immunity drink packet, and either a Renbrook reusable straw for our college-age alums or Renbrook Post-its for our high school-age alums. Some care packages even contained a personal note, handwritten by an alum's former teacher!
On Wednesday, April 10, 2019, Renbrook School, along with alumni Pleasance Lowengard Silicki '93 and Matthew Sahlin '00, hosted a dinner party at Farmers & Distillers restaurant in Washington, DC. Ten alumni and spouses made new friends and reconnected with old over a four-course meal in the perfectly appointed General's Parlor. Beloved faculty member and Director of Secondary School Placement Beverly Fitzsousa, Director of Alumni & Development James Ebert, and Director of Annual Giving Allison Young shared news from the Mountain and heard updates from our amazing alums!
Renbrook upper school students led a Veteran's Day assembly with an appearance from Abraham Lincoln (aka Mr. Wright). Renbrook alum Tori Hooker '02 visited campus and share about her active duty in the U.S. Navy where she has been a corpsman (combat medic) for over 11 years and have been stationed all over the East coast. She spent three years working in the emergency room at the naval hospital in Virginia and three years on a guided missile destroyer doing anti-piracy operations. She moved back to Connecticut to go to school and see her family and spent four years as a reservist supporting the navy funeral honors program in New England. She was recently called back to active duty to run a medical mobilization department in a reservist support center in Connecticut. Tori says that the best part of what she does is getting to visit over 23 countries and swim in the middle of four different oceans.
Renbrook School in West Hartford held its 3rd Annual Career Day with Renbrook alums talking about their various career this past Friday, November 2.
This program is for 7th- and 8th-grade students and is designed to give them an opportunity to learn about some potential careers/career fields from former Renbrook students who now work in those fields, to show them the often curvy road through life to a career/careers, and to instill a sense of being part of a community much bigger than their classmates and teachers.
This year four alumni were excited to return to Renbrook and to speak with students about their Renbrook memories, their career paths, and their successes and failures. Alumni guest speakers were Sophie Cottrell '82 - SVP of Communications at Hatchette Book Group, Max Sinsteden '02 - Cofounder and Director at Olasky & Sinsteden, Ali Lazowksi '06 - Founder and CEO of Bare Life and recent 40 over 30 award winner, and Friya Bankwalla '08 - Digital Publicity Assistant at Penguin Young Readers.
Renbrook School held its annual Alumni Night on November 3. The evening started with a reunion reception followed by the 2018 Renbrook School Distinguished Alumni Award ceremony. This year's Distinguished Alumni award recipients were Mally Cox-Chapman '66 P'99 '02 and James W. Cox-Chapman, M.D. '66 P'99 '02, both of Hartford.
Following the award ceremony, alumni of the Class of 1993 held a beautiful tribute in memory of their classmate Peter Wertheim '93 of New York, NY.
Alumni finished out the evening with a campus crawl that featured a different culinary course, a current curriculum demonstration, and memorabilia from milestone reunion classes in different locations around campus. Highlights included the Math Center, the World Languages program, and a STEAM design challenge complete with Spheros!
Mally Cox-Chapman is the founder of Benefactory Philanthropic Advisors, a consulting firm that provides strategic advice to high-net-worth families and their foundations. Mally graduated from The Ethel Walker School and earned her BA cum laude~in political science from Yale University, in its first class of women. She was a writer-in-residence at Germantown Friends School for ten years, and has written three books.
James Cox-Chapman currently serves as a director of the Mclean Foundation, the Brainard Fund of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and the Island Commons, an assisted living facility in Maine. James graduated from Philips Academy Andover, Williams College, and Temple University Medical School. In 1997, with two other colleagues, Jim founded ProHealth Physicians, a large, statewide medical group.
Boston area alumni and their guests gathered on February 22, 2018, for a Renbrook Regional Reception. Hosted by Board Chair Eric Daniel's '77 P'15 '18 and Head of School Scott Hutchinson, the reception was held at Robinson+Cole in the BNY Mellon Center in Boston, MA. In addition to catching up with classmates, reminiscing about their formative years, and making valuable new connections, attendees heard from Upper School Head and STEAM Instructor Dr. Marek Beck about how Renbrook is leading the way with the NEW SMART by fostering a learning environment in which students can develop both the skills and dispositions they will need to succeed in tomorrow's world. The next regional reception will be help in New York City on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at the Yale Club. Contact Alumni & Special Events Coordinator Kira Miskimmin P'27 at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860.236.1661 for more information or to register.
Renbrook alumna Emma Kate Johansen '16 of Avon has a love for cinema and jumped at the chance to gain production experience documenting the annual Cardboard Challenge that is now part of Renbrook's lower school curriculum......
Renbrook alumna Angelica Calabrese '07 spoke to ninth-graders in Mrs. Nickeo's class this morning about her experiences with Where There Be Dragons, an organization doing international experiential educational programming in over 30 countries. Angelica talked to students about the value of intercultural communication and relationship-building and said her sense of risk-taking, her willingness to make mistakes in search of personal growth, and her foundation in foreign language were fostered here at Renbrook School.
More than 60 alumni returned to Renbrook the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, November 22, 2017, for the annual Young Alumni Pancake Breakfast. A Renbrook tradition, the Pancake Breakfast is hosted by the 9th-grade class and is a fun and festive opportunity for high school-age alumni and Renbrook 9th graders to catch up with one another, chat with teachers, and participate in another Renbrook tradition, the Thanksgiving Assembly! Thanks to all who joined us for food, fun, and most importantly friendship! Check out more pics at https://flic.kr/s/aHsmbLUxEG.
Renbrook School held its Annual Alumni Weekend on October 27 and 28, 2017. The weekend started with a reunion reception for alumni classes ending in 2's and 7's beginning with the class of 2007. All were invited to cheer on Renbrook athletes for the Fall Sports Day which also fell on that Saturday. Alumni and their friends and families spruced up the campus through the Alumni Give Back project and participated in a yoga class and a drum circle. During the afternoon luncheon, the Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to the Honorary Eunice Strong Groark '50, who served as Connecticut's First Female Lieutenant Governor.
On October 27, 2017, Renbrook held its 2nd annual Alumni Career Day for 8th and 9th graders. Four alumni returned to Renbrook to talk with students and answer their career- and school-related questions. The goals of the program were to give students a look at some careers and career paths, to show them the (sometimes curvy) road to a career, and to instill a sense of being a part of a community bigger than the students and faculty they see at school every day. View pictures at: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm54HHym