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Showing posts from May, 2011


May 17th saw a visit with Saint David's alums on the West Side.  We have 7 boys from the class of '09 at Trinity, Jeffrey, William, Daniel, Serge, Christopher, John and Garrett; 4 from the class of '10, Jonathan, Jorge, Ryan, and Jon; and one, Nicholas, graduating Trinity this year from the class of '07.  It was an enjoyable and productive visit with the boys. They are doing well, and happy.

A Farewell to the Chaplain

Spring, 2011

Dear Saint David’s School Community:

Traveling widely and moving often, St. Ignatius Loyola had no real definitive plans when he left the castle home of his family, Loyola, in 1522. In keeping with the founder of his order, our beloved Chaplain, Father Steve Katsouros is leaving us, but unlike Ignatius, he has a plan. The Jesuit superiors and Father Katsouros have discerned and decided it’s time for him to put to use his doctoral studies, and so in August 2011, Father Katsouros will become the Director of the Institute of Catholic Educational Leadership in the School of Education at the University of San Francisco. USF is one of the 28 Jesuit institutions of higher education in the United States. This is obviously an exciting move for Father Katsouros, even though a sad one for us.

Father Katsouros succeeded Monsignor Thomas Leonard as the school’s Chaplain in 2003 and has served these past 8 years with distinction. He was as much at home judging the Nightingale-Bamford L…

Senatus Populusque Romanus: A Special Accomplishment

SPQR, The Senate and People of Rome, referred originally to the government of the ancient Roman Republic. It appeared on coins, at the end of official public documents, in dedications of monuments and public works, and it was emblazoned on the standards of the Roman legions.  In a letter I received this week from Mary Washington University in Virginia, this ancient initial appeared blazoned across the letterhead surrounded by laurel.  My interest, obviously, was piqued.

Each year, for the past several, Saint David's boys have participated in what's know as the National Latin Exam. They have always tended to do very well.  This year, however, was a little different.  Of the 18,100 students from across the world--the United States, Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Italy, Poland, Bulgaria, China, Guam, Japan, Malaysia, Virgin Islands, Iran, and Zimbabwe--who sat for this exam, only 328 students scored a perfect paper.  In and of itself this is quite remarkable.  What is e…


We visited Loyola today to catch up with Saint David's alums.  We have seven alums currently attending Loyola--seniors: Christopher, John, Joseph, David and Andrew; sophomore Hunter, and freshman Max. 

After Mr. Imbelli and I spent some time meeting with the boys regarding their transition from Saint David's to high school and critiquing their experiences, we shared stories and memories.  Chris is off to George Washington, John to NYU, Joseph to Penn State, David to Boston College, and Andrew to Macalester.  It was a lot of fun catching up with the boys and I thank them for their candor and time.


Although not found naturally in the Americas, Nightingales were both present and visible throughout first grade classrooms at Saint David's School Friday.  Reciprocating the boys' visit to their classrooms earlier in the year, the first grade girls of Nightingale-Bamford visited the boys on the boys' home turf.  Connecting with and developing close bonds and relationships with neighbors is an important part of a Saint David's boy's education.  In addition to our first grade tradition with Nightingale, we have the 8th grade lecture series and the orchestra coffee concerts.  Saint David's also works with Spence girls in the 3rd grade, and Marymount girls across multiple grades for a piano recital at Steinway Hall.

I know that it is typically Nightingales that sing frequently during the evening hours, but this Friday, it was the boys and the girls "singing together" that caught my eye--and what sweet song it was.

Taft, Choate & Pomfret

The sweet smells of spring filled the Connecticut air Tuesday, May 3 as I drove north to visit alums at three New England boarding schools.  An early arrival at Watertown found me quickly catching up with Willy McMullin, Headmaster, on Saint David's boys at Taft.  In all, there are 11 boys currently attending Taft represented at all four grade levels.  It's a much bigger school than Saint David's with more than 460 boarders and some 150 day students.  Taft boasts a beautiful campus that is now enjoying the fruits of significant plant upgrades.  The distinguishing characteristic, in addition to the architecture of place, is the central hall--main street--theme of the school.  Taft prides itself on this focus on centrality, giving this "big school" in the words of the head, "a small feel." Pictured is the entrance to Taft and the new dining hall; the boys sitting with me in the Faculty Room discussing their respective transitions to high school, their sug…

Classical Music: Alive and Kicking

Friday morning April 29th saw the girls of the Nightingale-Bamford School join the boys of Saint David's School for an open rehearsal "Coffee Concert" in Hyman Hall.  A tradition now, parents from both schools gathered again to enjoy this early morning combined activity.  The two schools played together Antonín Dvořák's 1893 Largo from New World Symphony, after a beautiful introductory piece by the girls.

The boys finished off the morning's get-together with a strong rendition of Edvard Grieg's 1876 In the Hall of the Mountain King.  From the back row, Mrs. Hutcheson, Nightingale's Head and I marveled at the intensity of this early morning rehearsal by the 2nd through 8th graders.  What a way to start a day! The classical music was kicking in large part, I think, because of the presence of our special neighbors from a few blocks north.

Below is my amateur recording of some of the joint performance, for your enjoyment:

George F. Baker Houses

This past Wednesday, April 27, Saint David's Alumni Parents Council organized a stunning spring social at the New York home of Richard H. Jenrette.  Designed in 1917 by Delano & Aldrich, the same architects that designed all three townhouses that now comprise the main buildings of the Saint David's School (12 through 16 East 89th Street), the Baker houses represent stunning examples of brick Georgian-style townhouses.  Just twenty feet across the front, the Jenrette home is 70 feet deep stretching almost to the back of the property line.  Ceilings within are some 20 feet high with large rooms extending from either side of a central spiral stairwell hall, lit by a skylight, on all three of the principal floors.  Filled with American nineteenth century art, the house was an absolute treasure to explore.  The more than one hundred alum parents enjoyed the evening tremendously.

An ardent preservationist, Mr. Jenrette purchased the houses in the late 1980s.  67 E 93rd serves a…