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The Magazine of Wilbraham & Monson Academy The Global School

a l s o i n t h i s i s s u e : Student Engagement News from the Hill Reunion 2017

Where We Are

It Is a very excItIng tIme at Wilbraham & Monson Academy, and a tremendous privilege to be part ofit.

For the first time, WMA alumni, families, staff and friends contributed more than $1 million to the Annual Fund, now called the Atlas Fund. This is a landmark accomplishment, and a sign of confidence as we continue our efforts to further evolve the school. Included in those efforts is our mission to balance the operating budget without the need for annual donations; as you already know, we are flipping the Annual Fund upside down from a literal budget standpoint so that annual donors to the Atlas Fund continually move the school forward rather than simply sustaining it. This year, three years after beginning this shift, we are spending 82 percent of the annual donations to support capital projects and non-operating program improvements that move us forward.

Some of this generosity supports much-needed new capital projects and

deferred maintenance projects that have an immediate effect on the quality of the student experience and the effectiveness of our admission efforts. With the renovation of the Rich Hall roof, portico and exterior, the construction of the new Academic Services Center, and the installation of air conditioning in our dormitory lobbies and public areas, to name a few of the big projects, we are using your support to change WMA in meaningful ways. We have a long way to go before we accomplish our goal of transforming annual giving and our campus, but you can feel and see the difference already.

This year, a portion of Atlas Fund giving also funded the creation of the WMA Facilities Master Plan. You will hear much more about this in the very near future, as the Master Plan will guide our facilities improvement efforts in support of our program for the next 10 or so years. Our plan, however, will also inform our

by brian p. easler Head of SchoolperspectIves

Read the Head of Schools page at

intentions within the context of a 30-year vision for the WMA campus. That is a long time to consider, but with a healthy dose of flexibility built into the plan, it will serve admirably as our lodestar long into the future.

The master planning process spanned three full weeks of this past school year and included all of the faculty and staff, a broad cross section of the student body, and as many parents and alumni as we could involve. As a result, the plan is well informed by both those who live the WMA life every day and the creativity and experience of our master planning architects, Flansburgh Architects. Because the plan was created with such a breadth of involvement (some of the most innovative ideas came from students), there is a pervasive sense of enthusiasm and optimism on campus. When you see the plan, which you will soon, you will feel it, also.

Beginning my fourth year as Head and 20th at WMA, let me thank you all once again for the honor and privilege of serving all of you and the WMA community.

Where We Are: When You See The Plan ... You Will Feel It, Also

W I L B R A H A M & M O N S O N A C A D E M Y 1


edItorTeddy Ryan

assocIate edItorsRuss HeldBill Wells

advIsory BoardMark AimoneBrian EaslerDawn HinesDon KellyElizabeth Mitchell-Kelly 04Janet Moran

contrIButIng WrItersMark AimoneErika Convery 19Christina CroninBrian EaslerAndrew Faulstich 15Tina GirhinyHaley Godin 18Russ HeldDawn HinesDon KellyAbigail Lacey 19Elizabeth Mitchell-Kelly 04Janet MoranTeddy RyanGokul Sivakumar 19Emma Stoll 18Wally SwansonBill Wells

photographyKayla AimonePaul BloomfieldRuss HeldNoah Kantor 19Teddy RyanWendy StaplesBill WellsVarious contributing photographers

desIgnStoltze Design

prIntIngStarburst Printing & Graphics, Inc.

Board of trusteesScott B. Jacobs 75, ChairJames E. LaCrosse 50W, Vice Chair Mark R. Shenkman 61M, Vice Chair David A. Reeves, TreasurerKrista Hanson, SecretaryCaitlin S. Flynn 06K. Ivan F. GothnerLinda B. GriffinJudith A. KnappBarry M. Maloney 85Timothy J. MariniAndrew P. MeleCraig A. Rubin 63WBonnie Faulkner Ryan 82

trustees emerItIEric W. AndersonRichard S. Fuld 64WWilliam E. James 64W



Alumni, wed like to hear from you! Send your current contact information and news to

Academy World is published in the spring and fall for alumni, parents and friends of the Academy. Please direct comments and letters to:

WIlBraham & monson academymarketIng & communIcatIons offIce423 maIn streetWIlBraham, ma

our mIssIon

Wilbraham & Monson Academy is a transformational experience where students become challenge-seeking citizens and leaders of an evolving world.

Wilbraham & Monson Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, military status, gender identity and any other categories protected by federal, state or local law.

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qqid: 2306006424

34feature story

24 Brian Easler: Leadership, Caring & Humor

supportIng Wma

2 Scott Jacobs 75

alumnI In actIon

28 Hyun Chong Kim 7730 Steph Reeves 12

travelIng tItans

34 Cuba: Baseball and Laughter38 England: Plymouth Exchange40 Central Europe: Different

Perspectives42 Iceland: Meeting Warm People44 China: Lessons for the Teacher

Wma spotlIght

31 The Student Experience32 New Trustee Andrew P. Mele33 Don Kelly Bench dedication48 Heanny Mompho


4 News from the Hill10 Titans Victorious20 Reunion 201755 Class Notes63 Annual Report

In memorIam

51 Harold Bud Porter 44W52 Richard R.B. Phillips 63W53 Helmut Waszkis 51W53 We Remember54 Gary Beauchamp 78

on the cover

Head of School Brian Easler has shown strong leadership of and genuine caring for WMA students. Among many of Easlers engagements with students has been participating in the Bunion Derby, as he did in full dress code in 2016. Lizzy Mitchell-Kelly 04 details Easlers special bond and interaction with students. Story on page 24. Photo by Wendy Staples.

2 A C A D E M Y W O R L D FA L L 2 0 1 7

supportIng Wma by Teddy ryan Director of Marketing & Communications

Scott Jacobs 75 on Connecting Board of Trustees, Heads of School and the Road Ahead

When scott JacoBs 75 reflects on his time as a student at Wilbraham & Monson Academy, he credits the likes of faculty legends Roger Lincoln, Hugh Harrell and others for how much the Academy prepared him for his future. Mr. Jacobs recalls the mid-1970s as a tumultuous time for the world and acknowledges how hard the faculty and administration worked for its students. A day student, he drove to school a highlight for any teenager yearning for more freedom and independence as they enter adulthood.

Its where you grow up, for me, it was a lot of growth here. I was a younger student when I went to college, but I was academically prepared, Mr. Jacobs said.

He spent two years at the Academy, following his older brother Eric, with

three siblings attending after. Upon graduation, he matriculated to Cornell and studied engineering. He began his career at DuPont Engineering, and after his career took him to Tulane University in New Orleans for an MBA, he charted a new path.

Mr. Jacobs transitioned to the real estate business and then later, his wife Leslies family business, in insurance.

In times of crisis and stress, national recessions, you learn a lot about covering your bases, thinking forward, being strategic, working really hard and being able to look back and realize how far youve come, he shared.

All of these skills have prepared him for his role as Chair of the WMA Board of Trustees.

Times of transition at WMAFormer Head of School Dick Malley initially invited Mr. Jacobs to join the Board. When Mr.Jacobs also heard from Jonathan Sperling 57W about how the Academy was progressing, he looked forward to getting involved. It also didnt hurt that his mother was still in town, a personal aspect that helped make his decision easier.

At the time, I didnt realize how much we could get done, the challenges, thinking and hard work, Mr. Jacobs said.

He officially joined the Board in 2002 the same year Rodney LaBrecque began his tenure as Head of School and became the Chair in 2004.

Throughout his tenure, Mr. Jacobs has seen an evolution within the styles of leadership and changes to the program, campus and student body. Through the work of Mr. Malley, Mr. LaBrecque and current Head of School Brian Easler, the high standards, for which WMA has always been known, have continued to rise. This in turn has impacted, and will continue to impact, admission: more stable admissions, quality applicants, stability of the demand and excitement for the future.

When Mr. LaBrecque began to think about retirement, Mr. Jacobs made sure he and the Board worked closely, supporting Mr. LaBrecque and the transition to Mr. Easler as Head of School. Between the selection process and the transition, there are many moving pieces when it comes to a smooth transition. It was so important for the community that there be no glitches, there be continuity. I hope it felt, for people, quite seamless, Mr. Jacobs recalled. T