May 2016
Parent Newsletter

Dear Bancroft Friends:

Mr. & Mrs. Cassidy with the Arinella sisters at Reunion

The end of every school year is a time of celebrations, transitions, endings, and new beginnings. As Commencement approaches, our seniors are out in the community doing their capstone Senior Co-op projects. Eighth graders have been choosing Upper School classes for the first time. Fifth graders are eyeing the other wing of the McDonough Center, knowing that next fall will bring new challenges and privileges in Middle School.

I’ve been reminded of the circular nature of life at Bancroft many times lately. Close to 200 former students and faculty returned for Reunion Weekend May 13-14. They remain connected to each other and to Bancroft after five, 10, 25, 50, even 75 years. That weekend, the Alumni Council also honored four members of the Bancroft community — Pat Condon, who taught here for 32 years and came back to volunteer for 16 more (so far); Rebecca Josephs Prada ’56, whose experiences on the Bancroft stage helped launch a career in the performing arts; and Alicia ’96 and Jessica ’94 Arinella, two sisters who trace their career success and social consciousness in part to the relationships and lessons of Bancroft School.

A few days later, we gathered to honor four individuals who are retiring at the end of this year, including Assistant Headmaster Gary Mathieu, who has served this School for an incredible 47 years. The huge audience of current and former faculty and staff who came back to honor their beloved friends and colleagues was awe-inspiring. Our retirees have touched so many lives and their influence will be with our School forever. We now welcome new faculty and staff whose tenure at Bancroft is just beginning.

This weekend, our Girls' Varsity 4+ (a boat that holds four rowers plus a cox) will be competing in the NEIRA Crew Championships for the first time in Bancroft history. Their coaches this season were able to guide their training from a wakeless launch purchased because an alumnus from 1950 left us a bequest in his will.

As another school year comes full circle, we must pause and celebrate where we’ve been, the good work we’ve accomplished along the way, and the places we’re going next. For every parting there is a reunion. For every record broken, there is a new record set.

Bancroft remains at the center, keeping us all connected.


Trey Cassidy
Head of School






In This Issue:

Alumni Reunion 2016

Four Beloved Bancroft Retirees

Upper School Awards

US, MS, and LS Art Exhibitions

Girls Break EIL Records

Student-Led MS Diversity
Day Informs & Inspires

Bancroft Alum's Passion for
the Water Lives On

9 US Students Represent
Bancroft at State Science Fair

6 TAMY Nominations and 1 Award for US Musical

LS HGP & US Writing Buddies

National Merit Scholarship & National Latin Exam Award for
Jack K.

New Faculty & Staff 2016-2017

Upcoming Important Dates


Angela Cheng-Cimini, PFA President
Angela Cheng-Cimini, PFA President

Thank You, PFA Volunteers!

Instead of a question this month, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the many PFA volunteers who gave of their time and talents to make this year so special for our children. From decorating committees to ticket-takers to chaperones to yard sale organizers, your contributions helped the PFA support special events like Homecoming and Prom, unique cultural programs, and teacher funding requests that might otherwise go wanting.

I would also like to personally thank this year's PFA Board: Vice President Andy Freedman, Treasurer Betty Darling, and Secretary Amy Gove, as well as our Division Liaisons, Beckley Gaudette (US), Susan Onffroy (MS), and Amy Wolf and Angela Fochetti Haddad (LS). It’s been a great year! 

Student Gallery

Scenes from the 5th Grade play, The Universe and Other Stuff.




Upcoming Important Dates:

LS & MS Closings:
Tues., June 7
LS – 9:00 a.m.
MS – 2:00 p.m.

Senior Dinner:
Wed., June 8, 6:00 p.m.

Friday, June 10, 5:30 p.m.

Visit the Calendar HERE

Bancroft Summer Programs

♦ K-8 Day Camps

♦ Specialty Programs

♦ Teen Enrichment


Summer Teen Enrichment at Bancroft!

Technologies in Biomedical Research, a 4-week, half-credit course taught by Mr. Kondek, Ms. Roach, and UMass Ph.D. candidates (June 27-July 18)

Introduction to Computer Programming, a 2-week class taught by Mrs. Heinricher (July 18-29)

Introduction to Arduino Programming, a more advanced 1-week course with Mrs. Heinricher (August 1-5)

SAT Prep Class, a 12-session course that teaches academic skills and strategies for the SATs (July 25-Sept. 18)

Other Student Photos



Reunion 2016 Renews Lifetime Connections

Alumni Reunion 2016Some 200 alumni, faculty, and friends returned to Shore Drive for Reunion weekend, May 13 & 14. Friday night’s reception included the presentation of the Milton P. Higgins Award to Pat Condon for her dedication and service to Bancroft School. The festivities continued on Saturday with a cookout for alumni and their families, and the 34th Annual Blue Moon Reunion dinner, where the Alumni Council presented the annual Alumni Awards. Roberta Josephs Prada ’56 was the recipient of the Esther Forbes Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement; and sisters Alicia Arinella ’96 & Jessica Arinella ’94 accepted the Young Alumni Achievement Award, giving a moving speech about the work habits and values they learned at Bancroft. An amazing two-thirds of the Class of 1966 came back to celebrate their 50th Reunion — just goes to show that Bancroft connections last a lifetime. Click here to WATCH VIDEO.

Four Beloved Bancroft Retirees

Gary Mathieu, Barb Chenot, Bonny O'Rourke, Peg MacGilpin

At the end of this school year, Bancroft will say goodbye to Assistant Headmaster Gary Mathieu, Lower School Science Teacher Barb Chenot, US English Teacher Bonny O'Rourke, and Business Manager Peg MacGilpin. We wish each of them a happy and healthy retirement as we bid them adieu with our thanks and love. (But we expect to see them again at the next Bancroft gathering!) Visit our website HERE to read about Gary, Barb, Peg, and Bonny's many contributions to Bancroft and leave a message for their memory books! CLICK HERE to watch Slide Show.

Upper School Awards

US Awards

The 2015-16 Upper School Awards were presented on May 24th. Click here for a list of students who were honored for excellence in academics, the arts, or athletics.  CLICK HERE to watch Slide Show.

US, MS, and LS Art Exhibitions

Mrs. Moore with MS Art Students
Each year our Visual Arts Department showcases the work of our student artists in all three divisions in art shows that are open to parents and friends. This year's displays featured a stunning array of paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramic pieces, photography, fabric arts, and multi-media art pieces. Please enjoy this slideshow of works from the 2016 Upper, Middle, and Lower School Art Shows. CLICK HERE to watch Slide Show.

Girls Break EIL Records

Shanez'e J. with discusBancroft Shanez’e J. spent the final meets of the spring track & field season breaking records and earning first-place finishes in Shot Put and Discus. Her teammate Emily B. set a new EIL record in the Triple Jump, while Alexandra W. and Caitlin S. brought home impressive performances in High Jump and 300 Hurdles. Coach Mark Hayes couldn’t be prouder. Here’s the breakdown:

Wed, 5/11 Track Meet @ Wilbraham & Monson
Shanez’e made a first-place, record-breaking Discus throw of 101’8”. Later she had an even longer Discus throw of 104’10” — shattering the old EIL record by more than 10 feet. She also took 2nd place in Shot Put.

Sat, 5/14/16 Odell EIL/SENE Invitational @ Portsmouth Abbey
Shanez’e set a new EIL record in Shot Put with a throw of 27’7” (old record 27’2”); set a new EIL and Odell Record in Discus with a 99’9” throw (old record 87’6”); and took first place in both events. Meanwhile, sophomore Emily B. set a new EIL record and earned a second-place finish in Triple Jump (30’6”) and junior Alejandra W. made a first-place High Jump of 4’10” — only two inches off the Bancroft record.

Sat, 5/21/16 NEPSTA Div 3 Track & Field Championships @ Hyde School 
Shanez’e took first place in Discus (99'6"), topping off an undefeated season. Junior Alejandra W. took third place in High Jump (4'10"), and senior Caitlin S. took 6th Place in the 300 Hurdles — an excellent accomplishment in the first year of hurdling. 

Student-Led MS Diversity Day
Informs & Inspires

MS Diversity Day

With the goal of informing and inspiring their peers about diversity in its many forms, the MS Diversity Committee (Androniqi D., Page C., Cora M., Clara M., Abby S., and faculty advisor Lyssa Steponaitis) organized the 2nd Annual Bancroft Middle School Diversity Day on April 27th. They started preparing for this event in December, recruiting faculty and US students to help run workshops, which ran the gamut from civil rights to learning differences, and included popular repeats from last year such as sushi making and drumming. This year topped last year's day with a new art installation, a generous sharing of a US student’s experience as an immigrant, and closing words from learning support specialist Meg Swan.

This year’s diversity workshops:

  • The Art of the Green Smoothie: The Benefits of a Plant-Based Lifestyle
  • Brazilian Drumming
  • Bullied: A Student, a School and a Case That Made History
  • Cajun Workshop
  • Court Cases of the Civil Rights Movement
  • Find Your Inner Leader
  • Food Connects Us
  • Freedom of Speech Team
  • How to Be an Ally
  • Mighty Times: The Children’s March of Birmingham, AL
  • Sushi Making & Origami Boxes
  • What kind of smart are you?
  • Zentangle/Mandala Workshop
  • What makes you, you?
  • KOOB

Bancroft Alum's Passion for the
Water Lives On

Crew LaunchThe late Robert ‘Dudley’ Harrington, Bancroft Class of 1950, was an active philanthropist who supported Bancroft School and many other nonprofits throughout his life. An avid outdoorsman, Dudley had a deep love of boating and life on the water. Sadly, Dudley passed on in 2014, but his legacy lives on because he left a portion of his estate to Bancroft in a bequest. Bancroft has used Dudley’s gift in ways that reflect his values — providing funds for the annual Cape Cod/Woods Hole field study trip for our Upper School marine science students, and purchasing a much-needed coaching launch for our varsity crew. The low-wake launch provides coaches a safe way to view our rowers in action, and has the space to fit two teams in case of an emergency. Crew Coach Ellie Kleiman says the new launch “puts Bancroft on top in terms of crew safety on the water.” We are deeply grateful to Dudley Harrington and the many others who have commemorated their love of Bancroft School through a bequest.

9 US Students Represent Bancroft at
State Science Fair

US Students at Science Fair
Bancroft sent nine US students (seven projects) to the Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair (MSSEF), held this year at MIT, and brought home five awards — all of them in the top 30% of the winning projects! “MSSEF brings together the 'best of the best' from over 70 high schools” says MaryAnn DeMaria who, along with fellow US science teacher John Beauregard, is so proud of all nine students. “These students put countless hours of research, trial and error, and plain hard work into their projects,” she added. Making the day even sweeter, four Bancroft alumni — Jessica Chang, Liam Shanahan, Emory Payne, and Connor Palatucci — stopped by to cheer on our students. Here are the projects and prizes:
1st Place: Collin S.: "Effect of Ethanol and Caffeine on Axonal Regeneration Rate in D. tigrina." 2016 EMC Corporation $1,000 Award. Second Alternate: The 2016 Harvard University Summer School Scholarship.
1st Place: Paris J.: "Habitual Blues: Transcending Song Genre Using the Big Five." The 2016 GEMS Award for Outstanding STEM Research. The 2016 Ben Eisenstadt Memorial $500 Award. First Alternate: The 2016 Harvard University Summer School Scholarship.
2nd Place: Nicole B. & Connor S.: "Effect of Organic Fertilizer Pollutants on the Immune System of D. tigrina." 2016 BAE Systems $500 Award.
2nd Place: Sarah K.: "Effect of a High-Fat Diet on the Immune System of D. melanogaster." 2016 American Society of Microbiology $300 Award. First Alternate: 2016 National Youth Science Camp Award.
2nd Place: Shyanne T. and Sydney L-W.: "Effect of Temperature of the Biodegradation of Polystyrene Using T. molitor." 2016 Air Force Award.
Noah K.: "Optimizing Electrical Production in a Microbial Fuel Cell."
George D.: "Effect of Sulforaphane on Glucocorticoid Induced Apoptosis in Osteoblasts."

6 TAMY Nominations and 1 Award for US Musical

Shanez'e J. in US MusicalThe cast and crew of this year’s US Musical, Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella, earned six TAMY Award nominations, and junior Shanez'e J. won the TAMY in the category of "Not Your Average Chorus Member"! More than two dozen cast members and crew attended the TAMY Awards presentation event at Montachusett Technical High School on May 22nd. The program included musical performances by many of the award nominees, and our own Tiana B. performed in the opening number. In addition, Best Actor-nominee Cameron C. sang a solo of “Ten Minutes Ago” from Cinderella. Director Chris Sheldon and Producer Paul Belanger were so proud to accompany the students to the TAMYs, sharing with them an evening celebrating excellence in high school musical theatre. Congratulations, Shanez'e, and all the nominees on a job well done!

LS HGP & US Writing Buddies

Bulldog BuddiesSome junior/senior English classes and Lower School HGP classes joined forces to become “Bulldog Buddies,” meeting four times from February to April with the intent to reinforce the writing process, critiquing with kindness, practicing sentence expansion, learning the parts of a paragraph, and simply building community by having good ol’ fashioned fun working together! Laura Hamel, third grade HGP teacher, reflected, “While students often will write a first draft and declare they are “done,” both their investment in a personal narrative and the opportunity to work with older students prompted multiple revisions that strengthened this piece of writing.” US English teacher Martha Fortier added, “The US students benefited from the metacognitive opportunity to review the steps to produce a rich piece of writing.”  Third grade student Damon stated simply yet profoundly, “Even though your partner is in Upper School, you can still help them with their work.” Fourth grader Charlotte added, “I thought it was exciting because you get to learn what the juniors learn.” The teachers plan to continue finding ways to connect LS and US writers in the coming year, so Bulldog Buddies will live on! Click HERE to watch Slide Show.

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National Merit Scholarship & National Latin Exam Award for Jack K.

Mr. Gillette, Jack K., Mrs. LefebvreSenior Jack K. received significant recognition on two fronts recently — He was named a National Merit Scholar for his outstanding performance on the PSATs, and received the Maureen O'Donnell Memorial Award for receiving medals on the National Latin Exam for four years in a row. Jack is shown here with US Head Roy Gillette and College Counselor Jackie Lefebvre.

New Faculty and Staff for 2016-17

Hiring the right people to teach, support, and nurture our students is one of the administrative team’s most important duties. We carefully select teachers with the enthusiasm, experience, expertise, and commitment to make an immediate impact at Bancroft. We hire experienced, professional academic support people to improve learning for all students, and to share their specialized knowledge with our teachers. Every adult who works on this campus understands and agrees that the students come first. Learning is a complex process, and all of us have a hand in creating an experience of excellence for Bancroft students. We are delighted to announce the hiring of the following individuals for the coming school year.

Patricia Cox, Dean of Students for Grades 11 & 12

Trish is an experienced independent school educator who comes to us from Oldfields School in Glencoe, MD, where she was Dean of Student Life for the past 11 years, as well as a math teacher and varsity field hockey coach. Trish earned a B.A. from Goucher College and a Masters in Liberal Arts Education from Western Maryland College.

Dominic Dipersia, Substitute Teacher Coordinator & Student Activities Communications Liaison
Dominic joined Bancroft as a three-season coach and substitute teacher this year. For 2016-17, he will take over as our Sub Coordinator and in-house sub, while continuing his coaching duties. Dom will also serve as our new Student Activities Communications Liaison, posting sports updates and campus happenings on social media. He has a B.A. in English from The College of the Holy Cross.

Wendy Forgie, Upper School Academic Support Coordinator
Wendy is a premier learning specialist with over 25 years of experience in public, private, and university settings. She comes to us from Arlington High School, where she worked with academically capable students with learning challenges. She has an M.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania in Psychological Services and Special Education, a B.A. from Tufts University, and has done extensive graduate work in history and English.
Mason Hendershott, Lower School Science Teacher
Mason has been teaching in the Worcester Public Schools for the past two years, and was a program coordinator and teacher at Nature’s Classroom for seven years before that. He will be a familiar face to many, as he has also worked summers at Bancroft since 2004, serving as a teacher and science coordinator for the Worcester Partnership program. Mason earned his B.A. at SUNY Potsdam.
Kim Landers, 7th Grade Hope Graham Program Teacher
Kim’s experience and enthusiasm for MS students make her an excellent match for HGP. She has extensive training and experience in Orton-Gillingham tutoring, and has spent the past 11 years at The Windward School in White Plains, NY, one of the leading schools in the northeast for learners with dyslexia. She earned an M.Ed. with Honors in Reading and Language Arts, and a B.S. in Secondary Education, English, and Sociology from The University of Vermont.
Grant Phillips, Middle School Math Teacher
Grant is entering his 20th year of teaching at the MS level, most recently at Dana Hall. He also has fascinating experience beyond the classroom as both an architect and an assistant ring director for the Big Apple Circus. Grant comes to us with a master’s degree in Mathematics Teaching from Harvard, as well as a B.A. in Economics from Haverford College.
Nathaniel Reden, Upper School Physics/Math Teacher
A love of teaching drove Nathaniel to defect from the rarified world of physics laboratories, and he has been teaching at CATS Academy in Newton, MA, for the past two years. Nathaniel will be joining Bancroft’s Upper School, where he will teach physics and math. He has a B.A. in Physics from Amherst College, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from Brandeis University.

Brad Sicchitano, Associate Director of Admission/Director of International Admission

Brad joins Bancroft after serving nine years in many valuable roles at Fay School. He spent the past six years as Director of Primary and Lower School Admission, and formerly taught reading and English, coached wrestling, advised Upper School students and mentored new faculty. Brad has also taught at Maimonides and Dexter Schools in Brookline, MA.  He has an M.Ed. in Educational Administration from Boston College, and a B.A from Colby College.

Nancy Sposato, Prep Cook/Utility

Nancy just can’t stay away from Bancroft! She worked in the kitchen in ’90s for about five years. She returned in the early 2000s to work in the Business Office until 2009. Since then, Nancy had been working in the banking industry, but recently rejoined our staff when a position opened up in our Dining Hall.

Lauren Toomy, Upper School Academic Support Teacher
Lauren joins Bancroft after serving as a Learning Specialist at Northeastern University. She also has experience working in public and independent schools, and has coached varsity girls’ soccer. Lauren has an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instructional Technology from Framingham State University and a B.A. in Elementary and Special Education from Providence College.

Bancroft Fund

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