Tag Archives: 2019

Alumnae/i Profile: Ellen Waterston ’64

Ellen Waterston, St. Mary’s-in-the-Mountains, Class of 1964, is an award-winning author and poet. She grew up in New England and now lives in Bend, Oregon. It is her love of writing and the literary arts that is the common thread in her life. When Ellen was a student at St. Mary’s, her English instructor was one of the first to make her aware that her talent for writing is a gift. Her appreciation and affection for the outdoors grew during her high school years in the White Mountains, “If there is school anywhere that understands and underscores the importance of a close relationship to nature better than The White Mountain School, I’d like to know where it is.”

Ellen Waterston ’64 (Photo by Marina Koslo)

Ellen Waterston ’64 (Photo by Marina Koslo)

Ellen will celebrate the 10th year of leading her “Writing Down the Baja” creative writing retreats in Todos Santos, BCS, Mexico. The week-long 2020 retreat is Todos Santos’ longest-running creative writing workshop. It begins on Sunday, January 26, and includes workshops, local excursions including turtle hatches on the beach, a fiesta, and guest presenters.

Ellen is the founder of The Writing Ranch. Recognizing the importance of taking time away from daily demands to focus on writing and writing goals, The Writing Ranch is dedicated to supporting the craft and careers of writers through workshops, retreats, and one-on-one tutorials.

Ellen’s upcoming book, Walking the High Desert, Encounters with Rural America Along the Oregon Desert Trail, will be published by University of Washington Press in May 2020. Ellen writes, “I hope my stories encourage others to expand their personal biographies of place.” You can read more about Ellen, her books, The Writing Ranch and her time at St. Mary’s -in-the Mountains in the next issue of Echoes magazine, to be released in 2020.

White Mountain Visited by Accomplished Tap Artist Julie Joseph

This fall, The White Mountain School has been privileged to host Julie Joseph, a Boston-based performer, choreographer, and teacher, on campus several times as a guest artist. Throughout the semester, students from White Mountain and Creative Edge Dance Studio alike have benefitted from Julie’s world-class experience in tap dancing.

At her first visit to White Mountain, Julie held auditions for a new tap piece, which were open to White Mountain and Creative Edge students in grades 9-12. Six students were ultimately selected, including: Rayelinn Bromley, Claudia Canuto, Kiersten Doughty ’23, Jessie Gall, Vendy Pospisilova ’20, Rose Sullivan. Julie worked intensively with these six dancers to develop an original tap piece, which will be featured in Creative Edge’s 2020 Recital, which will take place May 22-23.

Later in the semester, Julie returned to campus and held a tap masterclass, which was attended by participants ranging in age from 11 to adult. The participants were able to stretch their boundaries throughout the masterclass, and many experienced tap improvisation for the first time.

Julie Joseph and participants in her recent masterclass at Creative Edge Dance Studio.

Julie Joseph and participants in her recent masterclass at Creative Edge Dance Studio.

“Bringing guest artists to campus allows our students to be exposed to new teachers and new styles of dance, and they benefit in several different ways. It’s essential for dancers to be versatile, and having classes with somebody who focuses on different aspects of technique, runs a class differently, or has a novel approach to choreography allows our students to practice and develop that versatility,” explains Dinah Gray, director of dance. “Working with artists other than our regular faculty also broadens our dancers’ networks, setting up relationships that can be continued beyond the artist’s stint at the school. Students also get the opportunity to practice their skills as auditioners, learning to work effectively in a situation where the stakes are heightened beyond a typical dance class with familiar teachers.”

Dinah aims to bring in at least one guest artist each academic year and is currently working to find a guest artist to teach at White Mountain’s Summer Dance Intensive in 2020. The Summer Dance Intensive is a two-week residential summer program designed for dancers entering grades 6 through 12 that exposes participants to several styles of dance, including ballet, jazz, and contemporary.

“I had so many great experiences with guest artists during my high school and college years, and it’s really gratifying to be able to bring similar opportunities to our students,” says Dinah. “I learn a lot from watching other artists work with students. It’s really helpful to hear new information and also really validating to hear somebody speak to some of the same concepts and values that I try to share with our students.”


Founded in 1886 and set in the beautiful White Mountains of northern New Hampshire, The White Mountain School is a coeducational college-preparatory boarding and day school for 135 students grades 9-12/PG. Our mission is to be a school of inquiry and engagement. Grounded in an Episcopal heritage, White Mountain prepares and inspires students to lead lives of curiosity, courage, and compassion.

Students and Community Feel the Music at Cultural Event Series with New Inca Son

The White Mountain School’s annual Cultural Event Series kicked off on Nov. 15 with a lively and interactive performance by the award-winning group, New Inca Son, who performed music and dance of the Peruvian Andes.

New Inca Son is a musical and dance ensemble with a mission: to preserve its indigenous heritage and to instill, particularly in children and young people, an understanding and appreciation of it. The group both performs and educates, offering hands-on workshops, interactive concerts, and residencies for students in schools. One such workshop was held before the group’s performance at White Mountain, and students had the opportunity to try their hand at the Peruvian pan flute and later joined the group in a number in front of the community.

“Through the Cultural Event Series, we hope to expose students to multi-cultural performances that remind them of the beauty and complexity of many cultures from around the world and to grow from art forms that they may not be familiar with,” said Becky Beno, a member of White Mountain’s faculty who has organized the Cultural Event Series for over a decade.

Many of the students who participated in the workshop have played or currently play other musical instruments and were able to compare and contrast their experiences with the pan flutes.

“The most challenging part was the breathing aspect of playing the pan flutes, you had to control your breathing in order not to run out of breath,” said Judah Borges ’20. “I played the flute a long time ago, something that was different in this instance was the team aspect. The flute was a solo instrument, here you had to be in sync with others around you.”

“The workshop went really well, a lot of people showed up, which was great because we were able to get a good sound together,” said Addie Laster ’23. “I’ve played the flute, accordion, and guitar before. In comparison to the flute, these pan flutes were definitely easier to figure out how to hold and play.”

White Mountain’s Cultural Event Series aims to connect White Mountain students and the community at large with rich cultural and performing arts productions. Throughout the 2019-20 academic year, White Mountain will host two additional events as part of its Cultural Events Series, which aims to support White Mountain’s broader commitment to equity and inclusion by featuring artists from diverse cultural and musical backgrounds. On Feb. 7, Guy Davis, known internationally as a leading ambassador of the blues, will perform. On April 17, the Dissipated Eight, the oldest a cappella group at Middlebury College, will perform. Additional details about these two events will be released in 2020, closer to the date of each performance.

Initiatives like the Cultural Event Series are made possible due to generous support of White Mountain’s Annual Fund.


Founded in 1886 and set in the beautiful White Mountains of northern New Hampshire, The White Mountain School is a coeducational college-preparatory boarding and day school for 135 students grades 9-12/PG. Our mission is to be a school of inquiry and engagement. Grounded in an Episcopal heritage, White Mountain prepares and inspires students to lead lives of curiosity, courage, and compassion.

White Mountain’s 2019 Fall Open House Sees Record Attendance

Senior Ayanna Dukes '20 leads a group of prospective students on a campus tour.

Senior Ayanna Dukes ’20 leads a group of prospective students on a campus tour.

On Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, The White Mountain School set a new record for attendance at its Fall Open House event for prospective students and families. Over 80 total guests were in attendance, making this White Mountain’s most well-attended admissions event to date.

“This year’s record high attendance is truly a testament to the great work our entire team—faculty, staff, and administrators—all do and have been doing,” said Allison Letourneau, associate head of school for enrollment management. “It is clear that people are genuinely interested and excited about the amazing work happening at White Mountain and that our intentional, close-knit community is resonating with prospective students and families alike.”

Throughout the day, prospective families had multiple opportunities to tour White Mountain’s facilities and interact with students, faculty, and staff. During the morning, prospective students visited the Inquiry, Innovation, and Impact Lab and participated in a design challenge led by Mike Peller, assistant head of school for teaching and learning, and Tory Dobbin, a faculty member in the Department of World Languages. Working in small groups with 1-2 current White Mountain students, prospective students built the tallest tower possible using only dry spaghetti, marshmallows, twine, and tape.

In the early afternoon, prospective students had the opportunity to participate in one of four student activities with current White Mountain students and faculty: art, climbing, robotics, or writing. These activities, only a sampling of the opportunities White Mountain offers, allowed prospective students to experience White Mountain’s philosophy of student-driven inquiry directly. This approach enables students to engage and find success in work that matters to them based on their natural curiosities, strengths, and passions.

“White Mountain is a small school, but a school that offers an incredible amount of choice. In ninth and tenth grade, students choose many of the courses that they take, and starting in junior year, every single class that’s on a student’s plate is one that they have actively selected,” said Mike. “This amount of choice sparks or re-sparks the natural curiosity and enthusiasm for learning that we see in young kids. Our approach allows and helps students at White Mountain become the dynamic learners that we know they can be. During college interviews, our students are able to talk about projects and experiences that they’re truly excited about, and it shows and leaves an impact.”

White Mountain’s Office of Admission will hold two additional open house-style events during early 2020. On Feb. 17, prospective students and families will have the opportunity to visit campus at a Winter Open House with a similar agenda to the Fall Open House. Between April 29-30, admitted students and their families will have the opportunity to explore White Mountain in greater depth at Admitted Students Day. Additional details about these two events will be released closer to the date of each event.

Prospective students and families interested in visiting White Mountain outside of these events should call the Office of Admission at (603) 444-2928, ext. 226, or email admission@whitemountain.org.


Founded in 1886 and set in the beautiful White Mountains of northern New Hampshire, The White Mountain School is a coeducational college-preparatory boarding and day school for 135 students grades 9-12/PG. Our mission is to be a school of inquiry and engagement. Grounded in an Episcopal heritage, White Mountain prepares and inspires students to lead lives of curiosity, courage, and compassion.

Internationally Acclaimed Group, New Inca Son, to Perform at The White Mountain School, Nov. 15

New Inca SonOn Friday, Nov. 15, beginning at 7:00 p.m., The White Mountain School (371 West Farm Road) will present a free and engaging event featuring traditional music and culture of the Peruvian Andes. The award-winning group, New Inca Son, will bring to life the rich musical traditions of the Andes in an interactive and lively performance that will have audiences swaying and clapping along. White Mountain proudly presents this program as part of its Cultural Event Series, which aims to connect White Mountain students and the community at large with rich cultural and performing arts productions.

New Inca Son is a musical and dance ensemble with a mission: to preserve its indigenous heritage and to instill, particularly in children and young people, an understanding and appreciation of it. The group both performs and educates, offering hands-on workshops, interactive concerts, and residencies for students in schools. In addition to critical acclaim, the group has received recognition for its educational efforts, including the 2007 “Distinguished Arts Educator in Music” award from the Massachusetts Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE) and the 2009 “Gold Star Award” from the Mass Cultural Council.

For more than two decades, New Inca Son has performed its ancient melodies and dances on world-class stages such as the 1994 FIFA World Cup, 1996 and 2002 Olympic Games, and the White House. In 2015, New Inca Son headlined at the Kennedy Center for the Arts and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival as part of a tribute to Peru. In 2018, New Inca Son performed with its full band, folk dancers, and scissors dancers for an audience of over 6,000 children and families at Philadelphia’s Mann Center for the Performing Arts. This past summer, the group performed at both the New York and Washington, D.C., locations of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

New Inca Son’s performance will take place in White Mountain’s Lovejoy Chapel, and parking for off-campus guests will be available at any of the school’s public lots. The locations of Lovejoy Chapel and several parking lots are marked clearly on White Mountain’s campus map. This performance is free and open to the public; however, an RSVP through Eventbrite by Wednesday, Nov. 13, is preferred for planning purposes.

Throughout the 2019-20 academic year, White Mountain will host two additional events as part of its Cultural Events Series, which aims to support White Mountain’s broader commitment to equity and inclusion by featuring artists from diverse cultural and musical backgrounds. On Feb. 7, Guy Davis, known internationally as a leading ambassador of the blues, will perform. On April 17, the Dissipated Eight, the oldest a cappella group at Middlebury College, will perform. Additional details about these two events will be released in 2020, closer to the date of each performance.


Founded in 1886 and set in the beautiful White Mountains of northern New Hampshire, The White Mountain School is a coeducational college-preparatory boarding and day school for 135 students grades 9-12/PG. Our mission is to be a school of inquiry and engagement. Grounded in an Episcopal heritage, White Mountain prepares and inspires students to lead lives of curiosity, courage, and compassion.

White Mountain Students Learn Through Service on Community Service Day 2019

Left to right: Hannah Butterfield '20, Oscar "Oz" Leach '21, and Arli Moyao-Ramirez '21 spent the morning working in the garden at Copper Cannon Camp.

Left to right: Hannah Butterfield ’20, Oscar “Oz” Leach ’21, and Arli Moyao-Ramirez ’21 spent the morning working in the garden at Copper Cannon Camp.

On Tuesday, October 29, students at The White Mountain School advanced the mission of the school through White Mountain’s 2019 Community Service Day. For over two decades, Community Service Day at White Mountain has served as an annual way for students to learn more about charities, nonprofits, and civic organizations throughout the North Country by working directly with them in small groups. While most groups of students partner with an organization in the community, other groups work on self-directed projects under the leadership of a White Mountain faculty member. 

This year, White Mountain’s student body split into twelve groups to work with the following organizations or on the following projects: 

  • 14 students spent the day building and clearing trails with the Bethlehem Trails Association (BTA), which aims to “provide human-powered recreation opportunities that promote sustainable tourism and encourage and nurture an active lifestyle.”
  • 14 students spent the day raking, painting, removing fencing, and maintaining facilities at Remich Park with the Town of Littleton’s Parks and Recreation Department.
  • 13 students spent the day cleaning up Red Summit Trail in Sugar Hill and establishing a new view ledge lookout with the Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust, which aims to conserve “the farms and working forests that are the foundation of our region’s economy and character.”
  • 13 students spent the day clearing leaves and brush and cleaning up detritus in the garden at Copper Cannon Camp, a “tuition-free summer camp for under-served youth in New Hampshire.”
  • 13 students spent the day cleaning up the Ammonoosuc River and other nearby streams and banks.
  • 12 students spent the day working on various projects at Dow Park with the Lafayette Recreation Department, including finishing the Riverwalk Trail, painting picnic tables, and replacing the kickboard at the skating rink.
  • 12 students spent the day completing a garden installation with Root to Rise, which aims to “encourage community and personal discovery of ecological and social systems through experiential permaculture learning.”
  • 10 students spent the day building composting units at the Lancaster Community Garden with Taproot, which develops programs that “support three impact areas: economic viability, restorative food systems, and environmental education.”
  • Eight students spent the day repainting, cleaning up, and repairing the headquarters of Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country (ASPNC) after a waterline break the night before flooded the organization’s facilities. ASPNC aims to “enrich the quality of life for people living with disabilities through year-round sports, recreation and wellness activities.” 
  • Eight students spent the day cleaning up and clearing leaves and brush from Indian Head Trail, which White Mountain adopted several years ago.
  • Six students spent the day cleaning up the area around Mt. Eustis Ski Hill and preparing it for ski season. Mt. Eustis is one of the region’s oldest ski hills and reopened in 2015 after being defunct for several decades. 
  • Six students spent the day helping the curators and caretakers of The Frost Place prepare to close the museum and grounds for the winter.

After returning to White Mountain in the late afternoon, students and faculty alike enjoyed snacks and refreshments as a community and reflected on the day’s activities. 

“I think Community Service Day is a great way for us to practice what we preach in our school’s mission statement. Each year we give up one academic day and spend it helping a dozen neighboring organizations. This strikes me as an impressive act of compassion, and I’m glad to work at a school that goes to such lengths to embody its mission statement,” said Porter Morgan, a faculty member in White Mountain’s Department of Mathematics, who has organized Community Service Day for the past two years. “Students learn a lot about helping others on Community Service Day. Each different site is typically an unfamiliar environment that challenges the students in unique and different ways. I think the day helps students understand both the costs and the benefits of community service.”

This year’s partner organizations expressed their gratitude to the students both publicly and privately. On Facebook, representatives from Copper Cannon Camp said: “A HUGE thank you to The White Mountain School for spending their Service Day here! All of your help in the garden and raking leaves puts us a few steps closer to being ready for winter. This group worked hard. But this is camp after all, so we made sure to break up the work with some fun!” Also on Facebook, representatives from Taproot said: “We want to extend a BIG thank you to the faculty and students from the The White Mountain School who joined us today at the Lancaster Community Garden to build three 3-bin compost units and plant garlic. Each year the students embark on community service projects in their community and Taproot was one of several lucky organizations chosen as a site this year. These students are awesome and we look forward to future collaboration with the school.”

Outside of Community Service Day, White Mountain students regularly participate in community service activities throughout the year as either individuals or small groups. Organizations interested in partnering with White Mountain for future Community Service Days should contact Porter Morgan at porter.morgan@whitemountain.org.


Founded in 1886 and set in the beautiful White Mountains of northern New Hampshire, The White Mountain School is a coeducational college-preparatory boarding and day school for 135 students grades 9-12/PG. Our mission is to be a school of inquiry and engagement. Grounded in an Episcopal heritage, White Mountain prepares and inspires students to lead lives of curiosity, courage, and compassion.

“Lift Thine Eyes to the Mountains”

One of the three kneelers designed by Tess Parrish, mother of alumna Susan Parrish Carter ’69.

One of the three kneelers designed by Tess Parrish, mother of alumna Susan Parrish Carter ’69.

During The White Mountain School’s 2019 Alumnae/i Weekend on Saturday, Oct. 19, the Class of 1969—who graduated from the School when it was still St. Mary’s-in-the-Mountains— celebrated their milestone 50th Reunion. One alumna, Susan Parrish Carter ’69, along with her husband, Bill, visited the School, with a keen interest in seeing the lovely altar kneeling cushions, colloquially called “kneelers,” that Susan’s mother, Tess Parrish, had designed and needlepointed in gratitude for the financial aid that Susan and her sisters received as students. Donations from alumnae/i and friends to White Mountain have, among other things, provided scholarship support to students like Susan and her sisters for generations, and continue to support scholarship support for current students.

“It was a pleasure to see the School. All the changes are really wonderful and I am happy that the School has so much to offer its students,” said Susan. “With adolescence being what it is, being a student is rarely considered a high-point. Looking back now—50 years is a pretty good distance for reflection—much of the core of St. Mary’s remained with us alumnae and has produced some pretty interesting individuals.”

According to Susan, the three kneelers that her mother designed, which now are housed in White Mountain’s Gilbert R. Tanis Oratory, were originally made for the St. Mary’s-in-the- Mountains chapel. Ironically, the chapel was one of the few rooms at St. Mary’s that did not have a view. The soul of St. Mary’s grew from its motto “Levavi oculos in montes” (“Lift thine eyes to the mountains,” Psalm 121), annually confirmed by the graduating seniors, singing Mendelssohn’s composition a cappella, as they left St. Mary’s to their futures and the School to the following classes. “I’m sure most, if not all, the seniors paid little attention to the lyrics, but all of us remember the mountains,” noted Susan. “Although St. Mary’s was remote, a little island on the rim of the valley, it made its impression on us.”

Tess Parrish demonstrating bobbin-lace for a local Textile Day in Yarmouth, Maine.

Tess Parrish demonstrating bobbin-lace for a local Textile Day in Yarmouth, Maine.

Tess Parrish was a musician, an expert in historic ecclesiastical embroideries, a needlework designer, and she spearheaded the Kneeler Project at St. John’s Episcopal Church, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Tess was grateful to St. Mary’s and the opportunities that it offered her daughters, as well as the generosity of the School and the Diocese of New Hampshire for scholarship support. She was struck by the combination of the view of the mountains surrounding St. Mary’s and the aptness of the School’s motto. St. Mary’s chapel was located in the then-new Main Building (McLane) and was one of the last rooms to be completed. As a designer who preferred to create useful pieces through her needlework, she asked the Rev. William Dearman and Headmaster John McIlwaine if she could show her appreciation to St. Mary’s with kneelers for the chapel.

From 1965 through 1966, each time Tess visited the School to pick up or drop off Susan, she reflected on the words of the School motto to develop her design and bring the mountains into the chapel. An expert in incorporating texture and color in her needlework, Tess’ design of the St. Mary’s kneelers utilized vibrant colors and several stitching techniques to render a simplified depiction of the mountains. The kneelers were completed in 1966 or 1967 and today, fifty years after the graduation of her first daughter, the kneelers are still softly reminding the White Mountain community to “lift thine eyes to the mountains.”The kneelers remain in pristine condition and are a powerful testament to the Parrish family’s appreciation of St. Mary’s and White Mountain. We want to thank them for generously sharing them with the School.

Tess recently celebrated her 90th birthday. She lives independently, volunteers at her local library, translates technical manuals on historic bobbin lace, tutors French, and continues to teach design and needlework techniques.

Give Back, Get Back: An Interview with Carol MacEwan Powers ’69 and Valle Patterson ’69

Left to right: Merri Andrews Gillian, Carmen Arsenault Perry, Valle Patterson, Susan Julien Foss, Nancy McCouch Davis, Jeanna Muir Hodgon, and Cindy Gale Harris. All graduated as part of the Class of 1969.

Left to right: Merri Andrews Gillan, Carmen Arsenault Perry, Valle Patterson, Susan Julien Foss, Nancy McCouch Davis, Jeanna Muir Hodgdon, and Cynthia Gale Harris. All graduated as part of the Class of 1969. (Missing from the photo Susan Parrish Carter and Anne Donahue Allen).

We were honored to award the 2019 Linda Clark McGoldrick Alumnae/i Award to two very deserving alumnae of St. Mary’s-in-the-Mountains who celebrated their 50th Reunion this year at The White Mountain School’s Alumnae/i Weekend. Valle Patterson and Carol MacEwan Powers, thank you for all you did to bring your class here for Reunion weekend and congratulations on receiving this award! Given to an alumna or alumnus who best represents the attributes of the “ultimate volunteer”, the Linda Clark McGoldrick Award is named in honor of Linda, Class of 1955, who served our School for countless devoted years.

This year is a special year because there is not one, but two recipients of the Award. Valle and Carol worked with the school to ensure their class had a wonderful Reunion experience. They combed through photos, sent out hand-written notes, made calls, organized hotels and dinners. The 50th Reunion would not have been the same without them! We were sorry Carol was not with us, but Valle and friends from their class and other attendees enjoyed their time in the mountains as much as we did hosting them. Many had not been back to see the renovations and additions around campus. They marveled at Lovejoy Chapel, McLane Building, and the Linda Clark McGoldrick Library and Research Center. But more meaningful than the physical changes was recapturing memories of their time at St. Mary’s. It was the perfect weekend to reconnect with classmates and an opportunity to meet with current students and their families who were also on campus for Family Weekend. They attended Saturday classes to observe first-hand White Mountain’s innovative curriculum based on Student-Driven Inquiry and place-based experiential education.

Valle Patterson and Carol MacEwan Powers.

Valle Patterson ’69 and Carol MacEwan Powers ’69.

Carol and Valle, long-time friends since 1965 when they came to St. Mary’s as Freshman, spent four years here as students. Valle was originally from Lander, Wyoming. An older cousin, Linda Lamb Ashbaugh ’62, had attended St. Mary’s. Valle heard about the skiing and other outdoor activities, in addition to the school’s music program, and wanted to attend. Valle lived in Hill House and Vaillant House. Carol, the daughter of the late Hamish and Gerry MacEwan lived on campus in faculty housing with her family. Her father, a talented artist, was head of the Art Department and taught fine arts from 1955-1971. The Hamish MacEwan Prize for Excellence in Art, named in his honor, is given annually to a student.

Carol and Valle each have many fond memories. Carol remarks that St. Mary’s was a great place to grow up. She remembers the former head of school Miss Jenks (1944-1959) and Miss Willis, the business manager. When her family came to the St. Mary’s, Seven Springs, the original main house of the Beck estate, was still standing. It was unfortunately destroyed in the fire in 1964. Carol also has memories of the horses and the horse barn (yes, there used to be riding at St. Mary’s!) and ice skating on the pond. Carol, who lives in Palm Desert, California, had hoped to have a chance to sit down with the old yearbooks to refresh her memory on several things. Her education at St. Mary’s shaped her, teaching her to persevere when things seemed difficult. She values her late mother’s unwavering support and the rewards of working hard to achieve the goals she had set for herself. It was thanks to the patience and encouragement from her St. Mary’s music teacher, Ed LeBlance, that she was accepted to the Hartt School of Music school as an organ major.

She was taught from an early age that going to Saint Mary’s was a privilege and an opportunity that not everyone had. She is grateful for having had that privilege and supports the School because she wants other young people to be afforded those same opportunities. An added bonus to organizing the Reunion is how much fun Carol has had reconnecting with old friends! She encourages classmates and alumnae/i in all classes to reconnect and get involved with White Mountain today. You won’t be sorry!

Since graduation Valle, who has lived in Jacksonville, Florida since 1978, has traveled back to St. Marys at least six times. For Valle, her four years here were more than just being at a boarding school, it was her home, “my safe and comfortable place, with new friends and ‘family’.” Valle, a talented pianist and musician, also sang in the choir. Her studies in music, photography, art, and science, along with daily skiing and outdoor sports were her passions. Some of her memorable experiences include skiing at Cannon Mountain, camping and skiing on a field trip to Tuckerman’s Ravine (Mt. Washington); Freshman year in Valliant House dorm; swimming in the pond; and attending Ivie Memorial Church in Bethlehem every Sunday. Following a long tradition, she was honored to be chosen to carry the cross, as crucifer in church, her senior year. Valle notes that St. Mary’s turned out to be the best school for her at the time, and it continues to be a special place 50 years later. “My lifelong, forever friendships established there, remain today, as the most important and cherished parts of my life.”

Valle hopes others will return to their school and witness all that is taking place in the classrooms and surrounding mountains of this very special place. “Many thanks to all the faculty, staff, students, alumnae/i, families, and friends who have dedicated their time and efforts to the continued success of The White Mountain School, to be The Best, for over 130 years!” Valle, we couldn’t agree more.

Forging a Partnership Around Sustainability

Sharing a common goal, The White Mountain School and the Stone Barns Center for Food And Agriculture recently formalized a partnership based on developing the next generation of environmental leaders with a focus on food and food systems. At White Mountain we believe that true education should do more than inform; it should inspire. Courses focusing on integral aspects of global sustainability—economy, natural environment, social equality, and personal well-being—help students become informed, thoughtful, and active stewards of the changing ecosystem. Sustainability topics are infused across the curriculum and White Mountain integrates sustainable practices into daily life through community service, recycling/composting, and job programs.

Stone Barns’ motto is, appropriately, “Dig Deeper.” Stone Barns is a hub of “learning, creativity and experimentation which encourages food change-makers near and far to make healthier choices for themselves and the planet.” Working to train the next generation of farmers and food citizens, their mission is to change the way Americans view farms and what they eat and where it comes from. On October 15-16, Lindsey Dayton, Senior Manager of Food Education, and James O’Donnell, Education Manager visited White Mountain. Through Stone Barns’ Food Education team, James works to develop the center’s interdisciplinary high school food studies curriculum and leads educational programming for teachers and students. They are looking forward to working with White Mountain and Lindsey shared the following, “Stone Barns is excited to dig in with the students and faculty of White Mountain to ask how our understanding of the environment changes when we put food and farming at the center.”

Seeking to further develop their own curriculum by learning about White Mountain’s programs and courses, they met with Head of School John Drew, administrators, program directors, and students to explore ways to cross pollinate our missions. For the foreseeable future, representatives from Stone Barns and White Mountain will work together to imagine what a partnership with a boarding school could look like. White Mountain’s mission of inquiry and engagement offers a remarkable chance to partner with a leading institution on crucial environmental and sustainability issues. The team visited several local organizations to get a perspective on local farming and production. This included a tour of Meadowstone Farms, owned by Tim Wennrich, former faculty member at White Mountain and parent of a current student. Tim shared with the group his farming practices and insights on the possible ways to incorporate more opportunities for hands-on learning at Meadowstone and White Mountain’s own organic farm. During the tour, Tim said several times, “If it’s about kids, food, and education, I’m all in!”

Our School was one of the first small, independent schools in the nation to have a farm on the campus and our Sustainability Studies Department, founded in 2001, is the first such department at the secondary-school level in the United States. White Mountain was also the first to require for graduation that all students participate in a course in this discipline. The most recent elective – Sustainable Farming – is one of many to fulfill the requirement. The course combines hands-on work on our farm during the growing and harvest season. Students learn practical skills related to food production and preservation. Moving to the classroom the focus shifts to academic studies. The course seeks to answer questions by exploring food production methods and examining the emerging ideology of food justice – the idea that the benefits and risks of growing, processing, distributing and consuming food should be shared equitably.

Fall 2019 Field Courses also looked at food-related issues and examined the ideas and practices of sustainable agriculture, farming, and environmental stewardship. The courses explored questions such as: How then can we, as global citizens, adequately nourish ourselves while considering the well-being of the planet and of future generations? Eating seasonally and locally-sourced foods may provide a sustainable solution. These are a few of the many questions that our partnership with Stone Barns will address. We will work with Stone Barns to explore ideas and curriculum for White Mountain and other schools that examine how we can create equitable food systems and promote advocates for environmental leadership. Judson Reid, White Mountain alumnus, Class of 1992, and a specialist in the Cornell University Vegetable Program, notes, “Whether they become farmers themselves or not, we need future generations to develop an understanding of how food is produced and the interface between agriculture and the natural environment. The skills and knowledge the students gain in this work can be applied to many professional and personal fields. The world needs more young people with these experiences and White Mountain is contributing. I give credit to the success I’ve enjoyed to White Mountain.” Current student, Zoe Simon ’21, is one of many students looking forward to this new venture, “I am excited about our school’s collaboration with Stone Barns. Their passion for solving environmental problems and enhancing agricultural systems is inspiring. It will be encouraging to see what their knowledge and ability to ask important questions will do to create a culture of sustainability in our community.” Future plans include a Spring 2020 Field Course that would be held at Stone Barns. We are all very excited about this unique opportunity. It is our hope that White Mountain students will be inspired by this collaboration. This exciting project is made possible by donors like you to White Mountain.

As Mike Peller, Assistant Head of School for Teaching and Learning, describes it, “For many reasons this partnership inspires me. Most of all, though, I am excited about the prospect of developing exemplary curriculum— focusing on food equity and environmental leadership– that can be shared widely. It is our plan to create pathways that other schools might follow— that is, using our expertise in place-based experiential education, to put food and the environment at the center of student learning. That is how we’ll build the next generation of environmental leaders.”

Located in Pocantico Hills, New York, Stone Barns originated as a collaborative experiment with conservation planners, organic farmers and many others who came together to set a common vision and purpose for the land and buildings that were once part of a 1930s dairy operation. In 2003, the Rockefeller family donated the 80-acre property and restored the barns to form the nonprofit Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, to honor the memory of Peggy Rockefeller—farmers and farmland preservationist. On the farm, the work and scope have grown beyond an initial focus on public awareness and children to include the Growing Farmers Initiative, among other programs. For more information about Stone Barns please go to stonebarnscenter.org.

White Mountain Seeking Hosts for International Students

The White Mountain School is privileged to have students from around the world studying at our school. During school breaks, our international students are not always able to return home. White Mountain is currently seeking members of our community to host these students for a few days throughout the academic year. International students are often eager to spend breaks in major cities, such as Boston, New York, Philadelphia, or Washington, D.C.

If you are interested in hosting an international student during an upcoming break, please contact Jenny Wells, international student coordinator, at jenny.wells@whitemountain.org for more information. Upcoming breaks in the 2019-20 academic year include: November 23 to December 2, February 1-4, and March 7-23.