Get Out Your 2010 Calendar

With a successful school year now behind us, we want to wish everyone a safe and restful summer. Our special congratulations and best wishes go out to the Class of 2010 and their families. You will be missed.

For new and returning families in 2010-2011, we know your summer has just begun, but we’re already looking ahead to next year. Here are a few important back-to-school dates for the fall (more events to be announced):

  • Wednesday, August 25 – Wednesday, September 1 Preseason Upper School Sports Practices (weekdays only, details to come)
  • Tuesday, August 31, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Upper School Orientation for all new US students and parents
  • Wednesday, September 1, 12:00-3:15 p.m.: Middle School Orientation for all new MS students
  • Wednesday, September 1, 3:15-4:00 p.m.: PA’s Ice Cream Social for all Middle School families
  • Thursday, September 2: First Day of School and Middle School Photo Day
  • Friday, September 3: Upper School Photo Day
  • Monday, September 6: Labor Day, No School
  • Tuesday, September 7: Orientation Day Trips (details to come)

More events are listed on the online calendar. Be sure to check it often as dates and times sometimes change.

End of Year Events and Awards

The 2009-10 school year concluded last week with Eighth Grade Promotion and Final Assembly on June 4 and Commencement on June 6. Photos from all three events are on SmugMug and in the Media Galleries (more graduation photos will be available from Highpoint Pictures in July; senior families will receive instructions on how to order photos and DVD).

Eighth Grade Promotion

Speaking to the entire middle school at Eighth Grade Promotion, MS Director Jorge Valcarcel stressed the importance of making smart choices, relating a story from his trip to Asia over spring break. Visiting a Buddhist temple in Japan he found himself frustrated at being forced to choose among drinking fountains promising health, wealth or wisdom. “That’s not fair!” he thought, a familiar refrain in school hallways. But on further reflection, he chose to drink from the fountain of health and learned that in the act of choosing he had become a little wiser.

Student speakers Maddie Brucker ’14 and Josh Carney ’14 each gave humorous predictions about what their classmates might do when they grow up. Maddie said Josh would likely be elected to take Scott Brown’s seat in the US Senate, and Josh said Maddie would probably become the CEO of a chain of fitness clubs.

The forty-two members of this year’s 8th grade voted first-year teacher and boys’ varsity basketball coach Juan Figueroa to be their faculty speaker. “Mr. Figs” drew on his coaching experience to urge the rising freshmen to push themselves to always perform at their highest level in high school and beyond, and never to take for granted the opportunities that a Beaver education offers.

Final Assembly

Each year at Final Assembly students are recognized for exceptional contributions to academic and school life with a series of awards presented by department heads and administrators. Final Assembly ends with the 6th graders giving each of the seniors a white rose as the seniors recess. Following the assembly students receive their yearbooks. This year’s editors dedicated the yearbook to Rebecca Roberts and Kevin Bau (a.k.a. “Bauberts”), who met when they joined the faculty four years ago and will be married this month on campus. Download the list of award descriptions and recipients (PDF).


Highlights of this year’s Commencement, the 86th in the school’s history:

Senior Class President and “lifer” Willy Tucker ’10 gave the student speech and talked about what Beaver has meant to him in his seven years at the school. He and classmate Matt Robbins ’10 demonstrated the intricate secret handshake they created back in 7th grade. Read Willy’s speech.

Willy introduced guest speaker Brad Falchuk ’89 (co-creator/writer and director of Glee) and presented him with a “Beat LA” T-shirt, which Brad draped over the podium during his witty and self-deprecating address.

Brad said that back in 1989 he would have been voted least likely to be invited to speak at a future graduation. In fact, he said, he “probably would have been voted most likely to resign my seat in an ethics violation, or to be responsible for an oil rig explosion, or to be shot in a crime of passion by an angry husband or boyfriend.” He said some veteran teachers in the audience are probably so shocked to see him at the podium that it’s “like the rapture happening, it’s such an impossibility.”

Brad brought along some of his old Beaver report cards as props. He said that in high school he thought he might become a doctor, like his father, until he made a D- in science. He had a few choice words for a former English teacher (long since retired) who gave him a C and told him he was destined to fail. Only in college did he discover that he is severely dyslexic!

He went on to reassure the graduates that he was “utterly lost” when he was their age, and told them that they will eventually discover that their greatest strengths are what they now think of as their flaws.

As he does every year, Head of School Peter Hutton said a few words about each of the seventy-five seniors, citing their individual contributions in academics, athletics, arts, service and school life as they received their diplomas. They will head off to 58 different colleges and universities this fall. See list of colleges students are attending (as of May 26).

Tribute to Faculty Member Debi Ellman

From time to time we need to remind ourselves of people at Beaver who have given so many years to the school. To name a few: Bea Kleppner has been here since 1958, Mike Kidney and John Clippinger since 1976 and Pam Cavanagh since 1978, Sandy Horwitz since 1979, Peter Gow since 1980, Tom Manning since 1990 and Kathryn Buckley since 1991.

As we think about longevity, the number 25 is a special one, and with Commencement on June 6, Debi Ellman completes her 25th year at Beaver Country Day School.

Debi Ellman was born and raised in 90210. That’s right, she’s a Beverly Hills native; and, in fact, her mother was the mayor of Beverly Hills. She came East to get her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Brown and then returned to California, where she was an English teacher, dean of students and college counselor at the Oakwood School in North Hollywood. Yes, Beverly Hills and Hollywood. Who knew?
Twenty-five years ago she joined Beaver as English teacher, dean of studies and college counselor, and quickly established herself as one of the core members of this faculty. She was on the search committee that ended up hiring me – so if you have an issue, take it up with her later – and was someone I could always rely on in those challenging first few years. She was director of the upper school, and in that time she (among other things) built much needed bridges between the school and parents. Students and colleagues know her as a poet and a quilter, and in her time her she has been a wonderful teacher of creative writing.

Above all, she is an extraordinarily skilled college counselor. Parents and students enter the process with more than a little fear and trepidation as they hear horror stories from family’s experiences in other schools. Debi diffuses all that in a matter of moments and families end up with a process that is thorough – even enjoyable – and infused with humor, warmth, honesty…and a little California vibe. And, by the way, the results are spectacular. She advocates tenaciously for students – don’t ever underestimate her tenacity – and is brilliant at helping colleges understand how a Beaver education makes our students stand out. As the process begins, as it unfolds and after it ends, and sometimes years later, our families tell me how fortunate they were to work with Debi Ellman. We all are. Please join me in recognizing Debi Ellman for 25 years of extraordinary service to Beaver Country Day School.

Remarks delivered by Peter Hutton at Final Assembly on June 4, 2010.

Annual Report Update

The Parent Honor Roll (PDF) lists all parents whose Annual Fund gifts have been received through June 10. We’re within reach of breaking last year’s record Annual Fund total ($1,055,487). With everyone’s help, we can set another record, but we only have until June 30 to do it. Our goal is to reach 100% participation in every grade.

The Class of 2010 responded to the Senior Parent Gift effort by stretching their gifts and raising over triple the amount they did last year and are very close to reaching their goal of 100% participation.

The Annual Fund supports every aspect of a Beaver education. Gifts of all sizes make a difference. You can give online at: Thank you!

End of Year Photos Now On SmugMug

Photos from Eighth Grade Promotion, Final Assembly, Senior Dinner and Commencement (along with all spring performances and sports) are available on Beaver’s SmugMug site. You can download high-resolution digital copies for free or order prints for a small fee. If you missed any pictures from the past year, you can browse the archive on SmugMug as well.

Senior families: Later this month, you will receive an email with instructions about purchasing the DVD of Commencement and photos taken by Highpoint Pictures. The photos on SmugMug are those taken by Michael Maloney.

Back to School Information

Over the summer returning and new families will receive several Back to School emails from BCDS Communications. Be sure to be on the lookout for them, as they will contain important information, and some will include forms that will need to be completed and returned. If you think you missed any of these emails, you can find them archived on the Back to School page (sign in required).

Read more for information about health forms, 2010-2011 course lists, textbooks, and preseason athletics. Please return the Parental Consent health form ASAP, if you have not already done so.

Health Forms (please return as soon as possible):

The Parental Consent Form (PDF) is required for ALL students. In addition, please ask your child’s health care provider or pediatrician to complete and give you the standard physician’s exam report after your child’s annual check-up. We need an updated copy of the physician’s form every year.
Complete and return the Licensed Prescriber Form (PDF) only if your child is on prescribed medication that might ever need to be administered during the school day or on an overnight school trip.
Complete and return the Parental Consent for Medication Form (PDF) only if your child is on prescribed medication that might ever need to be administered during the school day or on an overnight school trip.

Return all forms to:
Beaver Country Day School
Attn: Laura McGovern
Health Office
791 Hammond St.
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Information about summer reading will be available soon.

Course lists for the 2010-2011 school year will be sent to families at the end of June.
During July you will receive an email detailing the procedures for ordering textbooks for the fall.
Preseason sports practices for upper school fall athletes will begin on Wednesday, August 25 and will run every weekday through Wednesday, September 1. You will receive an email later this summer with more information including times and practice locations.

Using the Online Directory

Looking for a carpool for next year? Need to put a student’s name with a face? The Beaver online directory can help.

Once signed in to the BCDS website, the directory allows you to search current and incoming students and parents using several criteria. For example, you can search by zip code to find families who are in your area to coordinate carpooling.

A printed directory will be available shortly after school starts. You will receive a form soon asking you to update all of your contact information; please make sure you do so. In the meantime, the online directory is always available. Read more for instructions on using the directory.

After signing in to the Beaver website, click Directory in the left menu.
If you are simply looking for contact information for an individual, you can enter that person’s last name in the Last Name field. This will search all parents, students, faculty, and staff.
If you would like to search for a parent by a particular criteria (i.e., zip code or town), select Parent from the Search dropdown menu. Then click Advanced Search and enter any information you would like to search for. (Note: Until mid-July, new parents will be listed by the Parent of Incoming Student role, so you will have to do a separate search for them. Later in the summer, the Parent and Incoming Parent roles will be merged into a one Parent group.)

All returning students, faculty, and staff also have their picture with their directory entry. This is useful for putting a face with the name of the friend or teacher your child is always talking about.
If you look at your directory entry and see that any information is incorrect, you may edit it by clicking My Profile in the left menu. (Please note: Every family will receive a form from the Registrar this summer asking them to update their home, work and emergency contacts. If your contacts change at any time in the year, please be sure to inform the Registrar.)
If you have any questions about using the directory, please contact Jan Devereux ( or Matt Clobridge ( in the communications office.

NuVu Web Page and FAQs Now Online

After a successful pilot phase this spring, the NuVu Studio program will begin its first full year this fall. Sixty students will spend one of their three trimesters at NuVu in 2010-11. The BCDS website now has a page dedicated to this innovative program, complete with a list of frequently asked questions. Everything from the philosophy driving NuVu to the logistics of how it works with a student’s schedule are covered in the FAQs. The page can be found at

Hiatt Stipends Further Summer Experiences in Social Action

Beaver’s Hiatt Center for Social Justice Education awarded stipends to eight students to enable them to pursue opportunities this summer in community service, social justice and leadership training. Each spring all BCDS students are invited to apply for Hiatt Center summer stipends. The following students received grants this year:

  • Marie-Annett Bernard ’11 and Kelsey Taylor ’11 will intern at Beth Israel Hospital.
  • Julia Cohen ’11 will volunteer at Birthday Wishes, a nonprofit that brings birthday parties to homeless children.
  • Abe Hyatt ’13 ICEP will do environmental conservation field work in New Zealand.
  • Jillian Costello ’11 will volunteer on the Chimney Corners Sioux Reservation in South Dakota.
  • Annie Mangone ’12 will volunteer at the Boston Children’s School summer program for international children.
  • Stephanie Rhee ’11 will volunteer with infants and toddlers at Perkins School for the Blind and at Gabriel’s House in Seoul, South Korea, working with children with severe disabilities.
  • Emily Belowich ’11 will volunteer at the Second Step domestic violence shelter.

In addition, Hiatt stipends will support a delegation of Beaver students attending the annual Women2Women conference (August 3-10) and those participating in the InIt diversity leadership training sponsored by Boston Center for Community and Justice (August 15-21).

The Hiatt grants are awarded based on an hourly rate for service work. They can be used to pay particpation fees for leadership training programs and diversity conferences but do not support travel expenses.

Beaver Athletes Named League All-Stars

Several BCDS athletes were named Eastern Independent League (EIL) All-Stars at the spring athletics awards ceremony on May 19. In separate end-of-season ceremonies, coaches presented school awards to outstanding varsity and JV athletes and to promising middle school athletes on spring teams.

“I would like to congratulate our student-athletes who were selected as EIL All-League performers in their respective sports. It is an accomplishment to be recognized for their high skill level as much as their sportsmanship,” said Director of Athletics, Sherry Levin.

Eastern Independent League All-Stars (Spring 2010)

Boys’ Varsity Tennis:
Pierre Planche ’10 (#1 singles)
Henry Moorhead ’10 (#2 singles)
Julian Fialkow ’12 (#3 singles)
Lukas Mead ’10 & Kris Bronner ’12 (#1 doubles)

Varsity Baseball
Danny Segel ’10

Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse:
Charlie Jackson ’11
Matt Friedman ’10

Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse:
Hannah Searle ’11
Tess Anderson ’13

Honorable Mentions:
Dan Fellman ’10 – baseball
Oliver Hunt ’11 – boys’ lacrosse
Michelle Freeman ’11 – girls’ lacrosse
Brae Cabot ’10 – softball
Lani Mann ’11 – girls’ tennis
Colin Read ’10 & Jay Rodman ’10 – boys’ tennis (#2 doubles)

Upper School Team Awards (Spring 2010)

Varsity Baseball
Danny Segal ’10 (MVP)
Connor Laubenstein ’12 (Coaches Award)

Varsity Softball
Brae Cabot ’10 (MVP)
Rachel Maltz ’10 (Coaches Award)

Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse
Matt Friedman ’10 (MVP)
Isaac Chafkin ’12 & Anthony Richardson ’12 & Danny DeLeon ’11 (Coaches Award)

Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse
Tess Anderson ’13 (MVP)
Alex Strawbridge ’10 (Coaches Award)

Boys’ Varsity Tennis
Pierre Planche ’10 (MVP)
Henry Moorhead ’10 (Coaches Award)

Girls’ Varsity Tennis
Lani Mann ’11 (MVP)
Sarah Jane Devins ’12 (Coaches Award)

Ultimate Frisbee
Tyler Starr ’10 (MVP)
Sam Lynch ’10 (Coaches Award)

Boys’ JV Tennis
Diego Fiori ’12(MVP)
Malte Heissel ’13 (Coaches Award)

Girls’ JV Tennis
Melissa Carp ’12 (MVP)
Marie-Annett Bernard ’11 (Coaches Award)

Middle School Team Awards (Spring 2010)

Peter Killelea ’15 (Most Improved)
Jamie Kennedy ’15 (Coaches Award)

Marissa Langevin ’14 (Most Improved)
Emily Cudhea-Pierce ’14 (Coaches Award)

Girls’ Lacrosse
Lina Sullivan ’15 (Most Improved)
Kathy Rodriguez ’14 (Coaches Award)

Boys’ Lacrosse
Ellis Cordaro ’16 (Most Improved)
Joe Chafkin ’14 (Coaches Award)

DeAndre Dymski ’14 (Most Improved)
Pablo Fiori ’16 (Coaches Award)

BCDS Lacrosse Coaches Named EIL Coaches of the Year

The BCDS Athletic Department is proud to announce that Peter Brooks, Sarah Bormel and Liz Skinner were voted as the 2010 EIL Boys and Girls EIL (Eastern Independent League) Lacrosse Coaches of the Year.

Mr. Brooks, a veteran coach (this was his 10th season) and visual arts department chair at Beaver, led the boy’s varsity team to their first appearance in the New England Small School Boys Lacrosse Tournament and finished the regular season with a five-game winning streak and an overall 7-7 record.

“What a nice honor to cap such a successful season. Of course, I have to thank my assistant coaches Jeff Anderson, Andy Simon and Larry McKinney ’90 for all of their hard work and dedication to the team! Our working dynamic as a coaching staff has truly been wonderful and our collaborative effort has
certainly paid off,” said Coach Brooks.

The girls’ varsity team completed one of their most successful seasons in recent years. Their 4-6-1 record included a three-game winning streak and a five-game unbeaten run. Associate head coach Sarah Bormel, in her second year of coaching at Beaver, played Division I lacrosse for Boston University and helped to start a club lacrosse team when she was in college.

Liz Skinner, the other girls’ associate head coach, played varsity lacrosse for four years at St. Lawrence University. Team captain as a senior, she led her team to the Liberty League Championship Tournament and was a member of the Liberty League and Intercollegiate Womens’ Lacrosse Coaches Association academic honor rolls.

“We are proud of the seasons both lacrosse teams completed this spring,” said BCDS Director of Athletics Sherry Levin. “The Coach of the Year awards, voted on by the EIL coaches, are a testament to the hard work of the coaching staff as well as the commitment of the players to improve. We look to continued success in the future.”

2010 Theater Season Finishes Strong

Beaver’s 2009-10 theater season finished in May with three strong productions that showed the range and depth of our dramatic talent, both on stage and behind the scenes. The upper school musical (South Pacific) showcased many outstanding voices in both the leading and supporting roles in this Rodgers and Hammerstein classic. The middle school took on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the young cast and crew impressed all with their command of the play’s challenging verse and staging.

Also in May, the upper school students in the Foundations of Theater course directed and acted in four short plays for their final exam which they staged as the “10-Minute Play Fest.”

Download South Pacific program. Photos on SmugMug and in the Media Galleries.

Download A Midsummer Night’s Dream program. Photos on SmugMug and in the Media Galleries.

Download Foundations of Theater 10-Minute Play Fest program. Photos on SmugMug and in the Media Galleries.

Jazz Bands Cap Season With Farewell to Seniors

Beaver’s jazz bands wrapped up their 2009-10 season with the Spring Jazz Café in the Black Box Theater on the evening of May 13. Thirty-two upper and middle school musicians in seven different bands performed classic jazz, blues, pop and Latin pieces. The concert, billed as a “special farewell to seniors,” was the last for six seniors, some of whom have been mainstays in the jazz program since middle school. Veteran faculty member John Clippinger played tenor sax with the senior band, which included “In a Sentimental Mood” (Duke Ellington) in its set list to match the evening’s emotion. More photos on SmugMug and in the Media Galleries.

Download a copy of the program.

BCDS Kitchen To Get a Summer Makeover

When students return in the fall they will notice some big changes in Beaver’s kitchen. Between next week and the start of school, the kitchen will undergo a gut-renovation – all while we continue to provide meal service for up to 1,000 people a day during the eight weeks of summer camp!

Families who have endured their own kitchen renovations can appreciate what a challenge this will be for Food Service Manager Kevin Pappone and his hardworking kitchen staff. The camp meals will be prepared in the Roxbury Latin School’s kitchen and transported to Beaver each day. Refrigerators and storage areas will be located in some of the middle school classrooms near the kitchen.

Director of Finance Tim Parson notes that the school kitchen has not been significantly updated in several decades, and that this summer’s project is long overdue. While the kitchen’s footprint will not change, the layout will be entirely reconfigured, all the electrical, plumbing and gas systems will be replaced, the countertops and walls will be clad in stainless steel, the floor will be tiled, and all the appliances will be new. So long, antique stove!

Plans for the renovation have taken shape over the past year under the supervision of Mr. Parson and a project committee. Two past parents are closely involved in the project: Mark Hammer P’07 is the kitchen architect, and Ron Axelrod P’96 is the project manager.

Performing Arts DVDs Available for Purchase
Recording of Beaver’s plays, musicals, and concerts are available on DVD. For further information, please contact:

Scott Spagna
Concept Teleproductions
1760 West Street
Mansfield, MA 02048

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