The Hartsbrook School
Waldorf Education In The Pioneer Valley Of Western Massachusetts
Clarity of Thought | Warmth of Heart | Strength of Purpose

Alumni Notes

Recent Alumni Class Notes — Fall 2013

JOHN CHENIER (8thG’95) reports that he was recently promoted to Senior Assistant Director of Graduate Enrollment. “We welcomed baby Lucas to our family with my wife, Amanda, this past March. Currently pursuing 2nd Master’s Degree in Management after completing my Master’s Degree in Education in 2012.”

AMBER DAHLIN (hs’08) In early September 2013, Amber writes, “I started a year-long internship at the Pfeiffer Center, where I’m practicing and studying biodynamic agriculture within a dynamic anthroposophical community.”

Josiah Smith in Oman 11-26-13

Josiah Smith in Oman 11-26-13

JOSIAH SMITH (hs’10) is majoring in Arabic at the U.S. Naval Academy, and is currently spending an intensive language and cultural semester in Muskat, Oman. Here he is with two other American students, wearing a custom-tailored dishdasha that he haggled for in the local market. (see photo)



High School Class of 2011

SCHUYLER EVANS (hs’11) finished her freshman year (2012) at Wheaton College, making the Dean’s list both semesters, and completed a one-month summer training intensive with Shakespeare and Company in July.

GABRIEL ROLLINSON (hs’11) performed at Lincoln Center in New York City, where he sang in WILLIAM WALTON’S HENRY V as part of the Manhattan School of Music Symphonic Choir. Gabe is having a great time and working hard. He sends greetings to the Hartsbrook community!


High School Class of 2010

ANDREW HELLMUND (hs’10) received a fellowship that allowed him to visit Japan for two weeks in June 2011, along with forty other faculty and students, to study Japanese culture. Two of his metal sculptures will be exhibited in Woodstock, Vermont, as part of Sculpturefest 2012, and will be on display for two months.

ELIZABETH MEALEY (hs’10) went to Burma in June 2011 with her Tufts University photojournalism class. She presented a photo essay on how nightlife is emerging in Yangon, now that curfews have been lifted. Afterward, she spent six days in Bangkok, Thailand, experiencing local culture.

As a member of the US Naval Academy Glee Club, Midn. JOSIAH SMITH (hs’10), sang before the President and his family in the annual Christmas-in-Washington program. Before the program, Josiah encountered Justin Bieber in the Green Room, struggling with preparing to sing Away in a Manger, and spent some time coaching him through it.

NICK TEENSMA (hs’10) is currently (2012) at Greenfield Community College majoring in Visual Arts, more specifically photography. He plans on going to Hallmark Institute of Photography in Turners Falls, MA. After that, he hopes to create an internship involving adventure and motorsports photography, and then ideally make that into a career. Nick wanted to thank each and every faculty member at Hartsbrook – in the high school, and in the lower grades – for giving dedicated family-like support and guidance from 6th to 12th grade. He says “I know that being a student of an amazing Waldorf education makes a seriously positive difference for an individual, academically and in every-day life as well. The faculty of the Hartsbrook School is the reason that can happen, and it does.”


High School Class of 2009

SYLVA HALL (hs’09) spent the summer (2011) working as a Stewardship Technician for the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, mapping invasive plant species, working on environmental planning and review, and gathering research data on trees in the Crow’s Nest Preserve. She plans to finish her degree in Environmental Science at the University of Mary Washington this coming year.


High School Class of 2008

IAN CURTIS (hs‘08) is spending a year teaching in France. (See Alumni Feature)

AMBER DAHLIN (hs’08) graduated (2012) from Principia College and has taken a position as the Land Stewardship Assistant at the Hartsbrook School.

RHYS EVANS (hs’08) graduated from Tufts University in May, majoring in Political Science with an emphasis on entrepreneurship.

BRENDAN GAFFNEY (hs’08) graduated from Skidmore College in May 2012, and is heading to UC San Diego this fall for graduate studies in their Computer Music program. He has also been running a small business, Burnheart Synthesizers (, making acoustic and electronic musical instruments.

In May TESS HARRISON (hs’08) graduated Magna Cum Laude from the New School University in New York City in 2012. One highlight of her work as a drama major at the school was taking a new work, TRIANGLE: FROM THE FIRE, to the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland last summer where it won numerous awards including Best New Musical.

GABE ISMAN (hs’08) graduated from Oberlin College in May 2012, majoring in Computer Science. He is working in New York as a software engineer for Skillshare Inc., which is developing an alternative model for education, connecting course providers directly with students.

ALLIE MAHONEY (hs‘08) graduated this past spring (2012) from Skidmore.

CHARLIE WEEMS (hs’08) graduated in 2012 with Honors from Whitman College and is currently on a three month internship in Tanzania, working for U.S.Aid. The summer of 2011 he interned with the same agency in Washington D.C.


High School Class of 2007

GAEA CAMPE (hs’07) graduated Magna Cum Laude from Whitman College in 2012 and will be working as an early childhood teacher in Portland, Oregon.

KIARA ANA PERICO (hs‘07) recently went on tour with singer-songwriter Laura Warshauer, playing electric and acoustic viola, and singing. The tour wrapped up with a weekend of performing at the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago. She is moving to Los Angeles to pursue new opportunities for furthering her music career.


High School Class of 2006—Our First High School Graduating Class

CATHERINE BACHMANN-GEES (hs’06) is working at the Jones Library in Amherst.

Alumna KIMBERLEE LYNN ZACEK, (hs’06), presented her first picture book, THE FROG AND THE MOUSE, at the Odyssey Bookstore in South Hadley, during a read-aloud program and book signing. Her book was chosen in a competition for graduating illustration students, and was described glowingly: “Kimberlee Lynne’s radiant illustrations capture the life and humor of this story, pulling the reader into the fantastic world of a persistent frog and his lady love.” Kimberlee Lynne (her pen name) said that her art teachers at the Hartsbrook High School encouraged her dream to become a children’s book illustrator. Her goal is to write and illustrate her own picture books and middle-grade novels, and it looks as though she is well on her way!


Eighth Grade Class of 2008

SIERRA GAMBLE (8thG’08) was accepted at the American Music and Dramatic Academy in NYC and is planning to begin her training there in Feb. 2013. SiSi is performing Broadway songs at a tuition benefit event on November 10th at 5pm at the UU church in Amherst.

WILL SWYERS (8thG’08) will be attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts this Fall 2012. Will’s talent places him along with the great alumni of the AADA (Alumni achievements unmatched by any other acting conservatory). Will’s dad, Mr. Swyers mentions that all the students that were from Mr. Kalman’s class, who went on to Northampton High School, received a scholarship at the NHS “dollars for scholars” night held this past spring and many are going on to some very good colleges. Will and his dad both feel that Hartsbrook, and especially Mr. Kalman helped nurture Will so he could be where he is today, and that as he progresses, what Mr. Kalman taught him will always be a part of Will.


Eighth Grade Class of 2006

ZOE ELKIN (8thG’06) went to Hartsbrook through the 4th grade with Mr. Reynolds’ class and still keeps in touch with her classmates. Last August, they had an informal class reunion. Thanks to Facebook, most of their class was able to connect and enjoy coming together again. I took a year off after graduating from Amherst High School and traveled. I worked as a teacher’s assistant in Guatemala and then went backpacking in New Zealand!! I now attend Pitzer College in Califronia, and continue on the path of self-exploration, adventure, and learning.


Eighth Grade Class of 2005

JOSHUA KRUGMAN (8thG‘05), now a student at Wesleyan University, won the Peter Morgenstern-Clarren ’03 Social Justice Scholarship Award and the Robert Schumann Distinguished Student Award for his work at Long Lane Farm, a student-run organic farm.  Josh and his fellow farmers were able to make fresh local organic produce available not only to the university dining hall but to many low-income Middletown residents.


Eighth Grade Class of 2002

PHOEBE CAPE (8thG ’02) has taken a position as the Main Office Manager at the Chicago Waldorf School.


Eighth Grade Class of 2001

TOBIN PORTER-BROWN (8thG’01) made headlines at Amherst College with plans to develop Book and Plow Farm, a farm-to-table initiative.  Tobin and Peter McLean have signed a deal with Amherst to lease a four-acre parcel of campus property to grow and sell in-season produce directly to the college’s Valentine Dining Hall.  The duo’s long-range goals are to collaborate with Amherst College and other institutions in operating a “full-diet,” diversified, year-round agricultural enterprise that efficiently produces vegetables, tree crops and grain for the campus and the Five College Community.


Eighth Grade Class of 1998

MICHAEL SUSTICK (8th G‘98), who teaches kindergarten at Discovery School in Greenfield, won a Harold S. Grinspoon Foundation Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award. He is known for lessons that address children individually and for varying his techniques to ensure that every child succeeds.



CONGRATULATIONS to Elida Mejiia and GABRIEL SMITH (hs‘06) who were married in March of 2011 in Guatemela, home of the bride.