In the thick of it with Bonnie Docherty ’90

Bonnie Docherty ’90 has a long-held passion for the study of history. Her interests were nurtured in Waynflete’s Upper School by teachers like Karen Whitney and Alice Brock, and she planned to eventually pursue a doctoral degree. But after majoring in history and literature at Harvard, and a three-year stint as a journalist, Bonnie’s inquisitive nature began to pull her in a different direction. She wanted to be “present at the creation”—not removed from historical events, but on the ground when history was being made.

Continue reading “In the thick of it with Bonnie Docherty ’90”

Veterans Day at Waynflete

Josh Broder, Waynflete Class of 1997, Army Veteran, and owner of Tilson (a local telecommunications company) gave an amazing talk to the Upper School Assembly on Tuesday. You can watch the video here. Josh’s full bio is below.

Josh was also recently featured on the Huffington Post in an article titled “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO: Joshua Broder, CEO of Tilson.”

Remember to honor all our veterans this coming weekend!

Josh Broder ’97, Matt Marston ’97, and US Director Lowell W. Libby

Joshua Broder ’97 serves as CEO of Tilson, a Portland-based information technical implementation company, which under his leadership, has grown from less than 10 employees to 360, earning a top spot on the Inc. 5000 list for the past consecutive seven years. Josh led several large, successful Recovery Act-funded technology infrastructure projects in for Tilson that included fiber optic broadband smart grid network deployments. Josh cut his teeth in leadership as an Army Signal Officer on missions in Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia, where he was awarded the Bronze Star for service in Afghanistan running the tactical communications network for U.S. Forces. Josh holds a Bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College. Josh is a graduate of AT&T’s Operation Hand Salute at JFK University with a certificate in entrepreneurial studies. Josh serves on boards at Skowhegan Savings Bank, Kleinschmidt Associates (a Pittsfield, Maine-based multi-national engineering firm), the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, and software start-up NBT Solutions. Josh is is married to Eliza Ginn ’00 and his son, Clayton, is in Kindergarten in Mrs. T’s class (Josh’s K teacher).

From the Wilds of Yosemite National Park

I am writing this letter from a cabin in Yosemite Valley, where my windows overlook – in one direction – an oak grove with four giant Sequoias shedding dark orange and brown leaves on the gravestone of Galen Clark, and in the other, impatient rainclouds haloing the tallest waterfall in the continental united states.

I am so lucky to have lived the adventures I have over the past six and a half years – And I can honestly say that I have Waynflete to thank for every one of them. My eight years with Waynflete taught me the value of community, and of asking questions. It taught me how to write, but also how to experience emotion and understand the nuances of the written word. It taught me the scientific method and the theory of tragedy of the commons; but it also planted in me the understanding of systems and the connectivity of science and ecology to the vast array of pressing problems our world is facing. It taught me about complimentary colors and photo composition, but also how to create an image or a graphic design that can move people to tears, or even to action. It taught me to dance freely, to stand up for what I believe, and to pursue my dreams and give them space to grow. Continue reading “From the Wilds of Yosemite National Park”

Checking in From Spain

Hi Geoff!

How are you? I hope this school year has had a great start! I’m sure you are probably very busy but I’m writing to thank you for making Waynflete what it is.

Waynflete has prepared me extremely well for college. I think the sense of independence and responsibility we receive at Waynflete is something that we make use of in college. We learn to take responsibility for our actions and to organize ourselves. It helps us mature and prepares us for everything that can be thrown in our direction. The diversity at Waynflete, in terms of people, classes, activities, guest speakers…opens our mind so incredibly much. I have never appreciated what a gift that was until I put it to use in this new environment.

The relationship with our advisors also has helped me so much in creating a similar relationship with many professors and my advisor here, making college just a bit easier and manageable. Comparing myself to other students, I see myself better equipped to handle all the difficulties that come with college and I can’t stop thinking about Waynflete and how grateful I am to have been there for my last years of high school.

Thank you so much! I hope to hear from you soon and please write if you find yourself in Spain!

Eleanor “Nellie” Semmes ’12 Writes Home

I’m thrilled to be writing home to Waynflete as a first-year medical student! I moved to Durham this past summer to start a joint MD-PhD program at Duke University School of Medicine. I know I never would have made it here without the formative 15 years I had at Waynflete. I was reminded of this last year when Wanyflete surfaced as the main subject of an application essay I wrote for Duke.

The application process for medical school has a grueling reputation for a reason. It was about 18 months from the time I first started studying for the MCAT to when I actually figured out where I would be going to school. At times, the process can be incredibly dehumanizing. It’s easy to feel reduced to a set of numbers and letters encompassed by your GPA, transcript and standardized test scores. Yet, many of the questions schools ask of you and that you’re forced to ask yourself during this journey can be eye-opening. One of the most revealing essays I was asked to write was in response to the following statement:

“Describe the community in which you were nurtured or spent the majority of your early development … what core values did you receive there and how will these translate into the contributions that you hope to make to your community as a medical student and to your career in medicine?”

I was initially dumbfounded. In my mind, it was far too broad an essay prompt with far too little guidance. Did they want me to describe the neighborhood I grew up in? Was I supposed to talk about my family? It seemed impossibly vague.

However, I quickly realized beyond a doubt that I wanted to talk about the Waynflete community and how it shaped me. It’s an awkward and unfamiliar exercise to have to put into writing a description of your values and your most meaningful experiences. (Naturally, the only other time I had to do something similar was in Michele Lettiere’s sophomore English class at Waynflete while working on a year-long autobiography project).

While reflecting for this essay on the many core values I gained at Waynflete, I decided to focus on the three most impactful. These are intellectual curiosity, global stewardship and social justice.

Although I’d never put pen to paper before to describe my time at Waynflete, it was natural and gratifying to be able to succinctly summarize the values I gained there. I was reminded while writing this essay that courses at Waynflete choose to broadcast passion rather cram standardized content, which has been formative throughout my academic career.

Intellectual curiosity is what led me to pursue two interdisciplinary degrees as an undergraduate at Tulane University – a B.S. in Neuroscience and a B.A. in Political Economy. This curiosity further led me to both clinical and basic science research during my time there. I would be remiss not to mention how lucky I was to be introduced to the role of women in science early with rock star mentors in Wendy Curtis and Carol Titterton.

Most importantly, Waynflete taught me that educational endeavors should never be pursed in a vacuum. This is where global stewardship and social justice surface as core values. I remember early as Kindergarten being introduced to other cultures through global focus week. By Upper School, I was lucky to engage with the world historically through Lorry’s Literature of Genocide course, contemporarily through Model United Nations and culturally through Breda’s brilliant Spanish electives.

Academically, Waynflete prepared me better than I could have ever expected for college, but what astounds me most now is how much it also prepared me for dual MD-PhD degrees. Without the core values I gained at Waynflete, I seriously doubt this is a path I would have been successful in or chosen to pursue. By teaching me to be intellectually and morally engaged with the world, I owe Waynflete immeasurable gratitude. I never thought the crazy application cycle for medical school would have led me back to my time there, but I’m so very glad it did.