Welcome to the Headmaster's Blog where you'll find updates, thoughts, and events regarding Saint David's School, the education of boys, and other items of interest. This is by no means meant to be a complete account of all that happens at Saint David's. Please refer to the school's website for more complete details -- it's more a Headmaster's musings.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Saint David’s Grad to Play Intercollegiate Division III Football

Sam Healy (’09) will attend Claremont McKenna College in southern California next September where he was recruited to play quarterback.   

The football program at Claremont–ranked the 9th Best Liberal Arts College in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report—competes in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletics Conference.  

Sam recently graduated from Ethical Culture Fieldston School where he set two single-game passing records and finished in several of the school’s top-5 all-time passing categories.  He also was a three-year starting lacrosse mid-fielder for the Eagles during which time he was named to the First Team NY Post All-City team.

Sam is currently attending Loomis Chaffee School (Windsor, CT) as a post-graduate student athlete where he played for the Pelicans football team.  

We are proud of Sam's achievements.  He chose a path less traveled.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas at Saint David's

Throughout the halls of Saint David's today, second graders spread good cheer.  Assembling in nooks and crannies, on stairwells, in the lobby and outside my office, the boys sang Christmas carols, old and new.  Ahh ... Christmastide. 'Tis the season.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Spirit of the Season

Last night when we gathered in the Hume library amidst a glowing fireplace, dimmed lights, and holiday decorations, the spirit of Christmas met the spirit of Saint David's as alumni and alumni parents joined with our faculty for a joyous evening.

We were there not only to celebrate the Season and each other's presence in our lives but also to recognize and honor Dr. Alberto Acosta, Class of 1971, as Alumnus of the Year, for his many contributions to the life of the school.

Alumni Council Chair from 2011-2013, Alberto has been an incredible force in taking our alumni to another level through his stewardship and ability to bring together people who love Saint David's.

Accepting the award, Alberto spoke of the importance of Saint David's in his life: how the school fostered a love of learning and the ability to think in an analytical and creative fashion. He also spoke of the school's values, its emphasis on the importance of doing the right thing, community service, and living with integrity, honesty, and commitment.

Alberto expressed his gratitude to Saint David's. The school, in turn, is grateful to Alberto and all of our alumni who take the message of Saint David's and live it each day of their lives.
We have much to be thankful for and to celebrate this Christmas.

Noted below are the remarks given by Sam Samuels, '84, Alumni Council President in recognition of Alberto's accomplishments:

Alberto M. Acosta, M.D. Ph.D.

Alberto Acosta graduated from Saint David’s in 1971 and was the first Saint David’s graduate to attend Regis High School.  He successfully completed and graduated from Regis in 3 years for the first time in the history of the school.  He then attended Columbia College where he double majored in Biology and Art History and was named a Shapiro Life Sciences Scholar.  Alberto completed a combined M.D. - Ph.D. program at the Cornell University Medical College.  His graduate work focused on defining the autoimmune basis of the heart damage seen in Chagas’ Disease or American Trypanosomiasis.  Chagas’ Disease is predominantly a disease of the poor and underserved in rural areas of Latin America where it is a significant public health concern affecting between 30 and 45 million individuals.  Alberto received several national awards for his research. 

Alberto went on to complete an Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine and subsequently a research fellowship in Immunopathology.at The New York-Presbyterian Hospital. 

In 1989, in response to the expanding HIV/AIDS epidemic, The New York-Presbyterian Hospital established the Center for Special Studies which was one of the first comprehensive HIV/AIDS treatment centers in the U.S.  Alberto was recruited to be one of the initial physicians and served as the center’s Associate Director.  He continued to volunteer at the center for several years.


Alberto currently serves as the Executive Director for Medical Services for Ingersoll-Rand Company, a leading diversified industrial company.  In this position, Alberto coordinates with and counsels the company’s senior human resources and environmental safety and health leaders, and is responsible for designing and administering several health benefits programs for the company’s 45,000 employees worldwide. 

In addition to his role at Ingersoll Rand, Alberto maintains a private practice in Internal Medicine, and Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, and is the Medical Director of Traveler’s Medical Service, a pre-travel health clinic, both in New York City.  He serves as a clinical consultant for several global companies.  Alberto is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Weill School of Medicine of Cornell University and an Assistant Attending Physician at The New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

Alberto was elected by his peers to the Best Doctors in America list initially in 2007 and has been re-elected annually since then. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Rhetoric and Analysis

Five Eighth Grade finalists recently presented art lectures to Eighth Grade girls from The Nightingale-Bamford School.

For the Lectures, each member of the Eighth Grade researched a notable work by a renowned artist, and prepared a lecture and PowerPoint presentation on the work.  Boys selected relevant tools from traditional elements of analysis which included the in-depth critique of a variety of components of the work including its historical setting, and the artist's use of gesture, geometric simplification, iconography, line, color, and balance, among others.

Five finalists were selected from the preliminary rounds by a panel of internal judges.  The finalists competed on Friday morning before a panel of predominantly external judges that included faculty members, administrators, trustees, and art experts.

The girls of Nightingale, the boys' peers from the Eighth Grade and the boys of the Seventh Grade all looked on ... and what a show it was!

Each of the boys was judged on the quality and depth of his research and analysis, as well as his oral presentation skills and the visual design and technical elements of his slide presentation.

The winning lecture was on the Euphronios krater, an ancient Greek bowl painted by Euphronios, with Euxitheos as potter in the 5th century BCE.

The NBS Lecture Series is one of three interdisciplinary summary projects included in our Eighth Grade Humanities course, a culminating Eighth Grade course that emphasizes analysis and rhetoric.

By having our boys refine their writing, speaking and skills of critical analysis through these types of projects, we are preparing them for the demands of a world that emphasizes the ability to synthesize and analyze information for a purpose, and to then communicate it cogently and effectively.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

In Class? Second Grade at the Museum

Last week, second grade boys visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as part of our curriculum's  imperative to "break down the walls of the classroom" and provide all of our boys with greater opportunities for out-of-school learning experience--one important outgrowth of the Curriculum Initiative.

At the Met, boys experienced a guided tour, chaperoned by two of their art teachers, Ms. Boccella and  Ms. Fidler, and their homeroom teachers. The program, called “Faces and Masks,” reinforced and enhanced what the boys have been learning about in their art classes back at school.

The tour specifically focused on African, Native American, and Pre-Colombian masks, (which is what the boys have been studying at school) along with Western works of art featuring faces.

The boys concluded their time at the museum with a drawing activity that asked them to zoom in on particular details of a mask that appealed to them.

It has been said that when viewing art, it is important to stand or sit in front of it and let the piece speak to you. 

Having the boys draw what they see can help the eye and mind connect with the artist and to what the work is "saying."

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Mission: Carnegie Hall

Saint David's boys are preparing for the stage at Carnegie Hall.

Under the direction of our own maestro Phil Hough, The Saint David's Philharmonic Ensemble has been hard at work rehearsing for their upcoming performance.

Last Wednesday, Ensemble Alumni, in keeping with our Thanksgiving and homecoming traditions, joined our current boys for an early morning rehearsal of the pieces they will play together on one of the most famous stages in the world this January, including La Réjouissance by Handel and the Theme from Mission: Impossible—an all-time favorite.

The returning Ensemble alumni expressed genuine excitement about the chance to play with their former Saint David's classmates and continue to be a part of the school in this unique and special experience.  They lifted the spirits of all present and added a certain level of gravitas to the whole experience and event.

As the performance date draws near, anticipation is mounting for what will be a wonderful opportunity for our young musicians.