ALUMNS IN ACTION: Tim Paydos ’85, IBM’s Global General Manager of Government Industry Solutions

June 5, 2023

Tim Paydos’s interest in using the latest technology to solve problems can be traced back to the early 1980’s, when the first computer arrived at Renbrook. He remembers sharing the excitement as Marg Ayres, Head of the Math Department, set up the big, clunky Apple computer in the library and called it “the Computer Lab.” Hooked, Tim continued to explore the possibilities of the new technologies as they evolved through his time at St. Paul’s and then at Harvard, where he majored in Foreign Relations with a specialty in Nuclear Wargaming. Tim’s studies included government and history, sociology and psychology, and statistics and probability. How would he use his varied interests and aptitudes? Would he follow many of his talented peers into investment banking? No, Tim was excited to deliver value to society through innovative, geeky technology.

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Emma Kagel

ALUMNS IN ACTION: Emma Kagel ’97, Bioethecist

May 29, 2023

“Like many who pursue a career in healthcare, it was my personal experiences as a patient that led me to seek a meaningful way to contribute to the practice of medicine,” explains Emma Kagel ’97. Forging her path in the rapidly evolving field of bioethics, she has drawn on her struggles and triumphs as a profoundly deaf child and an early adopter of cutting-edge medical technology. Now she is making a difference at Beth Israel Lahey Health as a compliance officer, addressing ethical issues in medical research. She is also the founder of Bioethics Alliance, whose goal is “to foster evidence-based insights and best practices to advance bioethical dialogue, therapeutic partnerships, and ethical action for a just society.”

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Alumna Morgan Caswell

ALUMS IN ACTION: Morgan Caswell ’06, Manager of Air Quality Practices for the Port of Long Beach, CA

May 15, 2023

Renbrook alum, Morgan Caswell, Zoomed in to give seventh and eighth graders a window into how science and technology are at work to solve a complex environmental problem in Southern California. The students were riveted by her clear explanation of how she is coordinating the efforts of industry, government, science, and citizens to clean up some of the dirtiest air in the country. What was Morgan’s path to this critical job?

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Alumni presenting

Shelley Grant ’21 gives moving chapel talk

March 11, 2022

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.

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Alums Bring Art Show to Renbrook

November 30, 2021
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.
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Renbrook Alumni Visit with Eighth-Grade Students

June 17, 2021

Our eighth-grade students enjoyed a visit with two Renbrook Alumni recently to talk about careers. There was no shortage of questions from our inquisitive students as they explored career options and choices in the area of arts and entertainment and government. We are grateful to Barrie Kreinik “00, an actor, singer, writer, and audiobook narrator based in New York City, and Vasishth Srivastava ’06 who serves as Chief of Staff for Hartford Mayor Luke A. Bronin.

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Alumni Visit with the Class of 2021

June 4, 2021
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.

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    Renbrook Alumna Lauren Horn ’10 Performs “Cleave”

    February 22, 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.”
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    Alumni Office Sends Love and Care Via USPS

    December 21, 2020
    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!

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    Renbrook Hosts Alumni Dinner in DC

    April 11, 2019

    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!

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    Renbrook School Holds Alumni Career Day

    November 6, 2018

    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.

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      Renbrook School Holds Alumni Event

      November 6, 2018
      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.


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      Boston Area Alumni Reception

      March 2, 2018
      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 or 860.236.1661 for more information or to register.
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      Alumna Shares Video Creation of the Cardboard Challenge

      February 5, 2018
      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……
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      Alumna Angelica Calabrese ’07 Visits with Students

      January 24, 2018

      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. 

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      9th Grade Hosts Young Alumni at Pancake Breakfast

      November 28, 2017

      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

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      Renbrook Holds Alumni Weekend 2017

      October 28, 2017

      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. 

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      Jen Caswell ’85 Wins National Award

      May 1, 2017
      Jen Caswell ’85 Wins
      National Award

      Each year the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), an international professional association serving 3,670 educational institutions and 81,000 advancement professionals who work in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and advancement services, presents four awards to independent schools in the United States. The awards recognize an advancement professional, a support staff member, a trustee, and a foundation or corporation with an extraordinary record of support for independent schools.

      Unbeknownst to her, we nominated Assistant to the Head of School Jennifer Caswell ’85 for the 2017 Support Staff Distinguished Service Award. Her nomination and letters of support were reviewed by a panel of judges, and she was selected as the winner! Jen was presented with the award at the joint annual meeting of CASE and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) in Texas in January.

      Colleagues described Jen as the “heart of the school.” Her loyalty to Renbrook is extraordinary, and spans from her days as a student to her now 31 years of service. She held several positions in the development office before transitioning to the Head’s office in 2012.

      Jen is part of a long family legacy at Renbrook. Her mother and grandmother both worked at the school, and her three daughters are alumnae.

      We all know how fortunate Renbrook is to benefit from Jen’s care and commitment, and now everyone else knows about her, and about Renbrook, too. Congratulations, Jen!
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