Headmaster's Message September

 

September 2nd 2014

Dear T-D Family, Faculty & Friends:


This past Sunday about a dozen of T-D’s most faithful professionals traveled to Budd Lake in Christy Country for the annual Scandinavian Fest. Believe me, it did not disappoint. All of us came back with trinkets, texts, and terrific ideas for the “Knockin’ on Valhalla’s Door” school year. Valhalla is the Scandinavian word for heaven. Pardon me for reminding you once again.


Another important reminder is T-D’s opening is set for 9/11. On Thursday, when everyone arrives, T-D will be adorned and its campus will look like no other in the world or in your own Valhalla. A Viking ship will be right in front of my office for you and everyone to admire. Bring your cameras.


Between then and now T-D is fine tuning the master schedule.
Within this missive you will find a number of T-D’s new thematic course offerings. Most options are for our 9th – 12th graders, less for grades 7 & 8, and even fewer for grade 6. For 2014-15 all middle schoolers will take art and music. Options will occur with world languages.


THEMED COURSES – 2014-15


About 20 new themed courses will come charging into T-D’s classical college prep curriculum this fall. Several appear below to serve as your entrée:


World Geo – Scandinavia & the Baltics Scandinavian Cinema
History of English – Scandinavian words & names Scientific Programming
Scandinavian Serenade – music
Goatsong – Tragedy Banking on Pigs – Science
Vikings Vicious and Victorious World War I – Margrethe II
Infectious Diseases Tribes to Parliament
History of the Baltics Earth Science – Volcanoes
The Art of Myth World Religions
Scandinavian Architecture Fashionistas
Skyscraper National Park Nordic Storytellers
Babette’s Feast – Food
Fuel for Thought-Alternative Energy
Scandinavian Art & Design


While T-D’s master schedule will be on line on Friday, student scheduling for all returning freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors will take place this weekend.


On Saturday, September 6th grade 9 scheduling for all returning students will take place between 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon ONLY.
On Saturday, September 6th grade 10 scheduling will take place from 2:00 – 4:00 pm ONLY.


On Sunday, September 7th grade 11 will receive their program and schedule from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon ONLY.


Seniors are slotted for Sunday, September 7th from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. for scheduling only, not to discuss college choices.
All meetings are individual. Parents can come but are far from necessary. Any student unable to work within the time as so allotted will be programmed the first day of school.


On Monday, September 8th T-D will schedule all returning middle school students. The time frame for grades 6 & 7 is from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon.


On Tuesday, September 9th from 10a.m.-12:00 noon scheduling will take place for grade 8 returnees.


Scheduling for new middle and upper school students will occur during Orientation or the first day of school.


Seniors who do make college applications will be able to apply to any ten schools without any charge. Anyone who exceeds ten will pay a $100.00 fee for each additional application. Please bear in mind that the office spends at least one hour or more on each college application.


I hope you are all holding up in the heat. Me, I’m as warm as a cat on a hot fudge sundae.


Please check T-D’s website every day through the weekend.


Warmly,
Douglas E. Fleming, Jr.
Douglas E. Fleming, Jr.
Headmaster


N.B. T-D’s NEW PARENT Welcome Warmer is Tuesday, September 9th from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in the Berns Memorial Library, Main Building. You can bring your child/children with you that evening.

 

 

 

 

2014-2015  Here We Come!

 

                           August 25, 2014

 

Dear Parents:

 

            Camp concluded on Friday, August 22nd the same way it began on Monday, July 7 and the 34 days in between with joyous campers. It's been the same wonderful tune for 46 years. There's just something special about T-D's little Hamlet while Annemarie orchestrates all summer days with total harmony.  No one missed a beat as campers and counselors marched to a very finely tuned pitching fork.  Every summer day was like a cool jazz concert.

         I mentioned in my last billet doux that I'd be back to you right about now.  I received a "voice from the past" in yesterday's post, a letter from Hilary King, Jim King's wife.  As you know, Jim King passed away a few years ago.  Jim was T-D's Sheriff of Nottingham.  He and his bride hosted dozens of T-D students and teachers throughout the years beginning in the old millennium.  Hilary just returned to her home in Carlton in Robin Hood's city.  Nottingham is special to T-D, not just because of the Kings, but also because it is where Miss Emily Thornton tended to her University studies in preparing for her teaching career.  A number of years ago T-D planted an oak tree as a tribute to the Kings.  It is one of several commemorative plantings on campus and is well on its way to becoming a giant oak like a few of those in Sherwood Forest.  

            I have been meeting with a number of T-D faculty members speaking mostly about T-D's '14-'15 academic theme - Knockin' on Valhalla's Door. Scandinavians translate Valhalla as heaven and the song you know, now makes more and more sense. Knockin' on Heaven's Door by Guns & Roses was a huge hit way back when.

            Almira Bubesi now lives on campus.  Her daughter Adra is in Nyack where she is working as an architect.  Almira's neighbors in the White House, Ginny Light, Don Johnson and Jose Braga also reside there with Florian and his family. They keep the White House in mint condition.

            A number of T-D family members have asked about Dr. Robert Allen, our science chair.  He took ill the week T-D finished its finals.  He's doing well, getting stronger each and every day and is anxious to return to campus.

            When T-D opens on 9/11 it will be larger than last year.  Steven Schlitten's help with admissions has been invaluable.

          T-D's faculty has suffered from too much summer rest and is anxious to return to "common chores."

            Bring your camera on 9/11 - a Viking ship is now sailing from Copenhagen to T-D.  It's reminiscent of years gone by and gondolas on the green.  As the school year is looming, its "déjà new" once again.

            Remember, it takes a Viking to raze a village!

                                                            Very truly yours,

                                  Douglas E. Fleming, Jr.
 

                                                            Douglas E. Fleming, Jr.

                                                             Headmaster
 

 

   


 

NB - Here come the Irish

          October 10-14

          North Carolina vs. Notre Dame

          San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams   

          $1098 per person 

 

August 25, 2014


 

Are You Ready for Some Football !?!

Announcing the Annual Notre Dame Football Weekend

You'll have a great time and get to hang around with others

 from our T-D Family

 

HERE COME THE IRISH

Friday, October 10 - Tuesday, October 14 (Columbus Day Weekend)

$1098 PER PERSON

 

 

 

      Friday, Oct. 10   -   Chicago Marriott Burr Ridge

      Saturday, Oct. 11 - Michigan City - Clarion Inn

Sunday, Oct. 12  -   St. Louis - Lumiere Suites & Casino

Monday, Oct. 13  - St. Louis - Lumiere Suites & Casino

 

 

INCLUDED

 

Hemingway House & Museum

North Carolina vs. Notre Dame ticket

Notre Dame tour of campus

Ditka's Restaurant - $40 voucher

Train ticket - Chicago to St. Louis

Washington University or Saint Louis University campus tour

San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams ticket

$25 chips at Casino (21 years and older only)

Airline ticket - New York to Chicago

St. Louis to New York


 

If you are interested, please call the Main Office as soon as possible. You won't want to miss out!

 

 

 

August 5, 2014     


 Dear T-D Family and Friends:

 

Hey kids, it's been a while since last I wrote to you.  While my heart is always with T-D, sometimes I have to feel the beat from a different location or different time zones.  Five days in late June in Quebec were eye-opening.  I'd love to see a travel-study trek there in the summer of 2015.  Everyone who knows me and has been there said it was one of those magical places providing magical moments.  None were wrong.  Quebec reminded me of so many of France's small towns full of outdoor cafes, joie de vivre and art and architecture unlike anywhere in North America.  It's easy to get to, easy on the eye and even easy on the ear.  I mean who doesn't love hearing spoken French?

 

            Shortly after my return from the land of theQuébécois, I left for parts unknown to me.  Iceland, Denmark and Sweden were all on my radar screen and in eleven days I did the trifecta.

 

            Iceland was full of surprises.  Surprise # 1, for many of you, is it is one of the five Scandinavian countries that T-D will embrace during the 2014-2015 academic year. Our main focus, of course, will be Denmark.  Anyone who loves the great outdoors will find Iceland a real hot spot.  Light 24 hours a day always helps warm things up.  Light makes right!

 

            Iceland is all about the geothermal world full of heat and electricity.  Its hot springs are always within sight as are its glaciers, geysers and volcanoes.  On one tour I was actually able to see the earth's tectonic plates, the American and Eurasian plates, which separate a few centimeters each year.  While Iceland has some of the prettiest countryside with fields, farms and villages, much of it is blackened from the massive ash cloud of 2010.  The Eyjafjallajokull volcano is still "speaking" to us. Iceland's lava landscapes are like none other including Pompeii's.  Much of Iceland's countryside is all black.

 

            Using Icelandic Air my wife and I continued on to Denmark, a three hour flight across the Atlantic with Copenhagen as our resting place.  There are so many things that make Copenhagen a special location.  It's gone green.  Its streets are flooded with bicyclists.  It's rich in palaces and richer in castles.  It has eye-popping gardens. It has lots of history, art, definable architecture, and unusual designs. It has myth and mythology and fairy tales like none other.  It has characters - the Vikings, the Danes of Garden Aye, Hans Christian Andersen, The Little Mermaid, Frederick, Hamlet and on and on.  In a contemporary sense, I should add Queen Margrethe II along with Victor Borge.


 

            While I only spent a few hours in Sweden, it became an irresistible lure as it was only a 20 minute train ride from Copenhagen.  I visited a typical small Swedish city and took another colorful canal tour.

 

            All in all, the eleven days I spent away from Overlook Circle were a "dance" for the senses and in April, 2015, I expect everyone to plan on traveling with us.  Please forgive me but this is not a travel study trek "to see or not to see."  There's just so much to be "gotten in Denmark."

 

            Look for all kinds of goodies in the new school year, soon after the Summer Challenge Day Camp concludes with Awards Day on Friday, August 22nd.

 

The Fairy Tale is soon to begin.

 

             Very truly yours,

 

       Douglas E. Fleming, Jr.

           Douglas E. Fleming, Jr.

              Headmaster

 

 

June 14

 

Dear Parents:

 

My son and his family are in the Grand Canyon.  My daughters, Lauren and Janet, are at the Jersey shore thanks to Joan Mino.  My wife and I are in a launch position as a weekend trip to Quebec awaits us.

 

Four Thornton-Donovan students are in Beziers, France.  Andrew Breazna, T-D's Magellan Award Winner at graduation, Stephanie Ryzyk, 2014 recipient of The Headmaster's Academic Award for Excellence in High School, along with Sonali Rai, and Joanna deGramont are all being treated like royalty.   The Billaud family carries on a tradition begun years ago.  Both Albert and Dany Billaud of LaRochelle began the Franco-American bridge.  Both are deceased and a tree outside the Fleming-Winter house was planted as a tribute to this special Huguenot family.  Herve is their son and all his family have honored us and their parents in indescribable ways.  Receiving so many pictures of Andrew, my Romanian romantic, and "14" make me somewhat jealous.  "14" is our French American student Joanna deGramont.  Mrs. Bubesi is really enjoying her trip to LaDouce France as a chaperon.

 

At the same time, I've been receiving e-mails from Trent Shillingford, T-D senior to be.  He is in Okinawa as the recipient of a travel-study scholarship.  Trent spent his entire 10th grade experience in India on a Rotary Club scholarship.

 

Today, Monday, T-D's diplomatic corps departs for Sera in the Hiroshima Prefecture.  All five are flying on China Air.  Justin Pizzo, a T-D alumnus and Trinity College graduate is in the lead.  By the way, he'll be in Japan in the fall studying Japanese in grad school.  With Justin is Patrick Collins '14, 

T-D's Valedictorian, Justin's brother Dylan, A National Merit Scholar, Diale Takona, T-D sophomore with honor roll status and T-D's Nikki D'Annunzio, an honor roll student and 2014 Female Sports Person of the Year.  Everyone will return on July 3rd.

 

Special thanks to the Breazna family, a world class host family, for donating a music camp scholarship to Chris Capaccio, sometimes referred to as "cappuccino."  This Romanian family is like few others with a red carpet as an entrance to their home, only it is in velvet.

 

Summer school officially opens on July 14th, Bastille Day.  A few Chinese students are taking classes now. Report cards have been sent with more than a few dismissal letters - sorry to say.

 

Things look pretty good from the Top of the Circle.  Every morning begins with a little Danish.

 

Very truly yours,

 
Doug Fleming

Douglas E. Fleming, Jr. 

Headmaster 

 

 

 

 

A T-D Weekend Personalized


For all those who planned outdoor events this past weekend, you got what you dreamt of and more.

 

On Sunday, June 8, Annemarie and I visited the Larchmont Avenue Church to celebrate its Centennial. Both of us will be back there as the centennial church has become T-D’s ivory tower for its annual commencement exercises. Both the Queen and I spent time with Reverend Bill Crawford, the skillful sheppard for all the faithful who worship and regenerate under his sanctuary without a roof but with some of the most radiant stained glass one could bathe in and feel blessed. We also met Fred Petrosino and we regaled a bit.

 

On Saturday night I traveled to Douglaston on the Island. Right on Northern Blvd I met a whole host of people gathered together to salute John D’Amore, a T-D alumnus, from the Class of ’93. I was invited as a surprise guest. Thankfully I wasn’t called upon to jump out of a cake, although I still love the sweets. John D’Amore lived in New Rochelle and now resides with

his wife and family in Elmont, Queens. In 1993 John was one of three T-D alums to paint the “Spanish Steps” on the outside wall as one exits Freedom Hall.

 

Everyone ascended to the fourth floor of Il Bucco, the hosting restaurant, and with the word “surprise” John, who is now a lawyer, became speechless. John didn’t begin college until many years after his T-D graduation. In senior year he aspired to be an actor, an artist, a comic book creator, an astronomer and so on. It wouldn’t be until his first child was born that John realized he had a serious role to play; so to Adelphi he went and a few years later he was graduated with the highest index ever posted there. Law school was next, the bar exam followed and John is now looking for a place to hang his shingle. As handsome as all get out, John now knows the meaning of Sapere Aude more than most. It truly became a dare and John truly became wise. There’s still lots of hope for you, Anthony Alvarez!

 

That same day in the afternoon, I returned to the former home of Jennifer Rubenstein’00, now the Psycho doc of Westchester. Jennifer is living in New Rochelle with her true companion Michael Murray. Both are T-D alums. Michael is an ADA in New York City and a lawyer specializing in cyber crime. Jen was graduated from Lafayette, got degrees from SUNY, went on to Columbia and now has her PhD in psy and education from Yeshiva. A year from now she will follow David Kudlowitz, T-D’s 2014 Commencement Speaker. Jen was very animated when I asked her to address the 2015 graduating class. T-D is pretty darn good at producing doctors, lawyers and soon to be Indian chiefs.

 

I hope you are with us this Friday at the Larchmont Avenue Church. T-D’s eighth graders and seniors will be fully dressed at 3:00 pm; and leave in one vehicle from Overlook Circle for the centennial church. Parents and guests can join the graduation processional by lining up in T-D’s circular drive.

Stay holy my friends and have faith in the future. Both Jennifer and John are great examples when it comes to aspiration and inspiration.

 

Doug Fleming

Headmaster

 

East to Alaska!

Arts House Café

 June 2, 2014 

 

 

On Friday night, May 30th, you didn't have to go North, just East. With music, dance, art and fashion on stage at the New Rochelle Public Library, Liam Baum and his Thornton-Donovan performers took you everywhere in Alaska simply by going East. The entire performance was a real ice breaker and I believe a few glaciers Way Up North were cracking. Liam Baum, T-D's lead dog, led his huskies all over the barren library stage, brightened and warmed by its Northern Lights.   To put on any two hour student soiree really takes something, and most musicologists do not consider Alaska as a great source of rhythm, dance, lyrics or sound. Baum always knows better. I wonder in his high school years if Baum took an Alaskan Robotic course?

.

T-D's Glacial Goddess, Annemarie Licini-Paris, sparkled and shined as she introduced all the models parading during the fashion show. Several of Mrs. Bubesi's student fashion designers were on hand, some of whom modeled their own creation. Other T-D models enthusiastically volunteered to walk on the snow carpet. Lots of applause and smiles from the T-D audience made each model more and more relaxed and at home. The girls were lovelier than the Northern Lights.

 

 Each year T-D's Arts House turns out to be an uncommon "Jewel" and Baum, like Alaskan iconoclastic musical composer John Cage, embraces new ideas with less resistance than he does doing the same old shtick each year.

 

Baum is already thinking Denmark and "Knockin' on Valhalla's Door." I think I hear the ice beginning to crack now.

                                                                                                            

 

T-D Returns From Alaska!

 May 27, 2014

 

Dear T-D Trail Blazers,

 

About 60 T-D trekkers returned to the Lower 48 just prior to Memorial Day. The North to Alaska study-travel trek left each of them with incredible and indelible memories for a lifetime. T-D's Alaskan Adventure disappointed no one. The only disappointment for me was that too many students couldn't or chose not to go. Everyone will hear more and more as the T-D family returns from the Top of the World to the Top of the Circle.

 

As for the Circle, please, please make note of the following forthcoming events.

On Wednesday, May 28th, T-D's standardized tests will be given for grades K-11. Seniors are on holiday.

On Wednesday, May 28th, several students from Ginny Light's classes, grades 9-12, will perform in A Sketchy Evening. It will be at the White House from 7:00-8:00 pm.

On Friday, May 30th, from 3:15 to 5:00 pm, Japanese classes begin. There will be 10 hours of instruction taught by Justin Pizzo at a cost of $200 for the course. Please see the earlier announcement for the full schedule. 

On Friday, May 30th, there will be an Art's House Café at the New Rochelle Public Library at 7:30 pm.

 

Please make note of these important Lower School dates.

Tuesday, June 3rd: Alaskan Iditarod

Wednesday, June 4th: Alaskan Storytelling

Thursday, June 5th: The Sharing of Gifts 

 

More info will be given in advance of each event unfolding.Juneau what I mean.

 

Respectfully, 

 

Doug Fleming

 

Douglas E. Fleming, Jr.

Headmaster

 

N.B. The trip to Hiroshima is nearly set. The dates are 6/23/14-7/3/14. Get on board!

 

 

 

 

 

May

 

A Tent Without a Top!

May, 2014

 

 

Dear T-D Family,

 

It was a great night for family, faculty and friends, and, of course, the fourth "f" would be Fanelli, Alyson Jane that is.

 

As the T-D annual theme and the Spring Gala converged, guests at the occasion became immersed in another world. This one, of course, was Alaska and the Larchmont Yacht Club which had to be one of the coolest places one could be on a night bursting with spring. Great synergy!

 

In Aly Fanelli's next life, she should be everyone's event planner.  Iceberg and glacial centerpieces, totem pole auction paddles, a souvenir journal that spoke to us, and a setting that created just enough chill. Oh what a night! No, I shouldn't forget to mention that blue and white dress too.

 

Yes, T-D received some "digits," but the goodwill The Gala created made the "good tidings" so very secondary. If happiness is a room without a roof, T-D's roof at the Yacht Club could never have been located -- lost in space.

 

A few announcements were made.  T-D's impending Science Fair on Wednesday of this week was in the forefront. Our New Zealander's Farewell comes next on Thursday. The motor coach to the Ramada Plaza in Newark is at 6 PM that evening and on Friday T-D goes North to Alaska via Vancouver, B.C. Canada.

 

Thanks to every T-D patron who came to the seashore for partying under the tent without a top and Aly Fanelli for waving goodbye to us from her hot air balloon in distant space. Pharrell William's Happy lyrics said it all.

 

Get ready for T-D's next Spring Gala to be called Babette's Feast. There will be lots of windmills stirring the air in 2015. Start clapping along with me right now and begin Knockin' on Valhalla's Door. Did someone say Denmark?

 

Happily,

 

Doug Fleming

 

Douglas E. Fleming, Jr.

Headmaster

 

N.B. Click here for May-June Calendar.

 

During the Travel Break, Mr. Chapin and Mr. Schlitten will again be offering an ELA Enrichment/Creative Writing Workshop.

 

It is open to all students in grades K-6. It will be held at T-D May 12-May 16, from 9 am to 1 pm. 

 

The goal of the workshop is to strengthen the grammar and creative writing skills of the participants through various teaching strategies and lessons along with individual attention from both teachers.

 

The cost will be $300 per student. Payments may be made with cash or a check made out to Thornton-Donovan. Please have payments into the Main Office by May 7, 2014.

 

The program is open to no more than ten participants. All students are asked to bring a snack, lunch, notebook, and pencils.

 

It will be a fun and worthwhile experience for all.

 

 

APRIL  LETTER

 

Dear T-D Family:

 

 

 

T-D's travel-study adventures always seem in tune and in touch with daily events. With UCONN winning the NCAA championship in b-ball in both men and women's categories at the same time this becomes something truly remarkable. For T-D the remarkable begins on May 9th as over 50 of us head "North to Alaska." "Yukon" believe it will be one of the school's most memorable excursions.

 

While Kate and Prince William are boasting about their tour of New Zealand, three of the most talented young people from Auckland will be the guests of T-D beginning April 21st. All three are from the Corelli International Academic School of the Arts. Each teen is as talented as the other. Two boys and one girl will be our guests through May 10th.

 

Any T-D parent with tickets to any Broadway show, Lincoln Center opera, ballet, or symphony, the Apollo Theatre, local theatre or whatever, please help T-D entertain. Baseball tix, B-ball tix, tennis tix, hockey tix, golf tourney tix, and so on would be welcomed.

 

T-D is arranging tours to the NBC studios, Lincoln Center, and Radio City. Tickets to Once, Heathers, andLes Mis have already been purchased.

 

In October T-D student ambassadors will visit Auckland.

 

Thanks and be creative. Even a dinner party or luncheon could be fun. A trip to Coney Island could work.

 

Congratulations to Rayaan Ba for his second prize award at the Classical Languages Oral Contest held at Columbia University this past Saturday. Hail Caesar! Hail Dr. Kernell!

 

 

 

Dear T-D Family:

 

Can’t quite believe it is April. March went out like a lamb as soon as our Hiroshima students flew back to the Rising Sun. Thanks to all the T-D families for their Sunshine throughout.

 

This week T-D’s third quarterly exams are in progress and throughout April several Faculty Luncheon Conferences will take place.

 

I’m pleased to say that many T-D seniors are quite pleased with their admit letters. Syracuse, Franklin and Marshall, DePaul, SUNY Stony Brook, St. John’s, Iona, University of New Hampshire, and McGill put smiles on many family faces. Patrick Collins even mustered up a smile as he was wait-listed at the University of Pennsylvania. That, ironically, is quite a tribute.

 

Re-registration letters will be sent out shortly. The 2014-15 year opens on September 11 as T-D salutes the best of Scandinavia --Denmark. Does that make Denmark West the happiest man on earth?

 

In less than three weeks T-D will host three students from the Corelli International Academic School of the Arts in Auckland, New Zealand. All New Zealanders are 15 and above and all are into the arts. T-D is looking for a few host families. Should you want to be a real part of it, call T-D ASAP. Everyone arrives on April 21 and returns home on May 9. In 2014-15 T-D will send its own contingent to Auckland. I can’t believe I’ve written this!

 

I wonder if Alaska will still be a part of the other 49 states. There is a petition with 60,000 signatures clamoring for Alaska to secede. Just imagine if Alaska seceded? Not all of us would Crimea River.

 

Very truly yours,

 

Douglas E. Fleming, Jr.

Headmaster


P.S. Thanks to Lynne Tirrell for the lower School Planetarium Program at NRHS last week.



 

 

Arts House Café Reflections

New Rochelle Public Library

March 21, 2014

 

Where else but at T-D can one find this kind of ensemble? Where else but at T-D can one find eight chanteurs and chanteuses, led by Mrs. Bubesi, chanting Les Choiristes, without much practice, so beautifully? Where else but at T-D can one find nine faces; each one so different from the other. Where else can one find an Irish American and an Italian American, teamed up with other students and teachers hailing from Albania, India, China, Senegal, Belgium and, of course, France. On March 21 T-D was T-D – Totally Diverse and the Arts House Café held on the stage at the New Rochelle Library was a later rendition of the earlier Globe Theatre in Britain.


Show business isn’t easy. Mr. VanLesberghe had to pause while doing his solo – so sweet and so special I must add. One of our Japanese pianists got arthritis in the middle of a classical piece as she played it without notes. Both these performers were applauded not for perfection, but infectious imperfection. T-D audiences love anyone who has the courage to perform and to entertain.

 

There were a few entertainers who came close to real stardom. Sophia Ventresca is about the coolest kid I’ve seen grace a stage. Sean Shen, Mr. Tropicana in his orange suit, was T-D’s Alaskan aurora borealis.

 

Where else but at Thornton-Donovan can kids without a stage become poets, musicians, singers and alike? Where else but at T-D could anyone upstage all that Liam Baum does with a K-12 student body and one without any real platform?

The next time T-D holds a performance of the Arts House Café everyone should wear a hat and at the conclusion the entire audience should do a hats off in honor of Mr. Baum and T-D’s diplomatic dare devils and performers.

 

No one at T-D has to look elsewhere for the students and the things that make being here so worthwhile. There’s no place like T-D and its Talented and Dexterous aspiring artists.

 

There’s no time like showtime!!!!

 

Douglas E. Fleming, Jr.

Headmaster

 

March Message 2014

 

Dear T-D Family:

 

March Madness? And you thought it was b-ball, not snowfall. For March, T-D is in the middle of its own avalanche – an avalanche of activity.

 

Starting last Sunday, T-D warmed up for another summer full of activities, promises and challenges. Annemarie is in charge and T-D Challengers will begin summer fun on Monday, July 7th. Lunch for all campers and door to door transportation to most locations is included in the rates. Early birds will receive deep discounts. There will be another camp open house on Sunday, April 6th from 2-4 PM.

On Tuesday, the PTP held a Carne-vale dinner for the entire school family. Aly Fanelli really knows her New Rochelle-La Rochelle history. The site of T-D, the city’s oldest independent school, is on land that was part of the 300 year old land deal by the Pells. This was commemorated by a Fat Tuesday feast and tribute.

 

The Book Fair is open and in full force. Mrs. Silverstein is inviting all book worms to the Berns Memorial Library. The pickins look irresistible.

 

On the 11th Mr. Chapin’s English class will be learning more about the infamous Willowbrook State School, courtesy of the Teich family. The entire eighth grade will be on hand to hear from Bernard Carabello, a noted civil rights leader. Parents are invited and the presentation will begin at 11:00 am in the Fleming-Winter House.

 

That very same Tuesday, T-D’s girls basketball team, the Lions, will play their first away game. Coach Schlitten has his Lions ready to roar. T-D’s boys basketball team has “played Soundview close” during the last two encounters and I’m sure the girls will do us proud. Special thanks to the T-D parent family for some welcomed cheers.

 

In the evening of this busy Tuesday, T-D’s brightest and best are being regaled at the Radisson Hotel in New Rochelle. Dr. Robert Allen is the featured speaker at The National Honors Convocation. A total of 14 students will be honored and pinned, one of whom is Dylan Pizzo who can now be called one of the most gifted math students in all of America.

The next morning I’ll be at JFK to greet ten Japanese visitors from Hiroshima. T-D still needs a few more host family volunteers. Four teenage girls are without beds. The Japanese will be in T-D’s hands through March 25th. In the month of June, T-D will be sponsoring its annual “bridge building” with another ambassadorial effort at our sister school in Sera, Japan.

 

On March 21st, T-D will be at Bowlerland once again. Grades 6-12 and our Japanese guests will enjoy a pizza luncheon as spares and strikes are heard everywhere.

 

Two Ecuadorian high schoolers will be T-D guests for all of March. Three T-D upper schoolers recently returned from a service mission in Brazil, two others served as student ambassadors to Guatemala and three more upper schoolers are heading to Hamburg with Dr. Hellge on March 14.

 

Third Quarterly Exams kick in the last Monday in March and numerous faculty luncheon conferences will be taking place beforehand. It’s a “think or sink” time for all 6th through 12th graders. Tanaka on wood!


Very truly yours,

 

Douglas E. Fleming, Jr.

Headmaster

 

 

 

 

 

 


February 2014 Letter

 

Dear Parents:

 

It’s getting more and more difficult to worry about global warming and I’m as tired hearing about it as I am all the Super Bowl hype. Neither seems to have great appeal, but I will say this about Sunday. You can score it Omaha 4 – Sherman 0.


Things continue to stay hot at T-D. Grades 6-12 are in the middle of mid-terms. The Sunday before our exams began, our 11 South Koreans returned after a 3 ½ week stay.


Glory Days is now in the wings and T-D grades 9-12 will be on the road for the first week in February. Our five days of searching for spirits begin on Monday, February 3rd in New York City. T-D will also be in the Bronx at a Muslim mosque, in Queens at a Community Methodist facility, and the Louis Armstrong House Museum. Then a visit to AOL’s corporate headquarters meeting the religion editor for the Huffington Post. It will be followed by a tour of the Merchant House on East 4th, known to be one of the oldest houses in the City as well as the Big Apple’s most haunted house. Two universities are in sight, both with lots of campus spirit. On Thursday T-D will be in New Haven at Yale and walking on sacred ground at the Battell Chapel. On Friday Fairfield University will open its campus and doors to T-D. A visit to the library there will include commentary on Lumen Martin Winter’s art work within. Winter owned the home at 144 Overlook Circle, now a T-D proud possession. Lunch on each of these campuses will be a part of the two last days of Glory experiences.


The week will close out with Fairfield U as T-D’s middle school “Stag” English teacher and noted author, Andrew Chapin, preaches to us about his days there as an aspiring undergrad.


One wrinkle in T-D’s Glory Days spiritual search is a side trip to Rio. T-D’s four horsemen, Liam Baum, Andrew Breazna, Michael Fanelli, and Lorenzo Gazzola, will be volunteering their time helping out the underprivileged and impoverished in Rio. Their entire week will be spent teaching music to kids from 2 – 16 years old.


Later in February three upper schoolers will spend about a week to 10 days in Guatemala at the Evelyn Rogers School. T-D has been exchanging with the school for decades.


In mid-March eight students from Hiroshima will be seeking host family members. Sera High School and T-D have been dancing for years. Also in March T-D will be sending a number of diplomats to Hamburg, Germany. Stay tuned for more info.


Don Johnson will be administering a math exam to five of T-D’s best math students and they will be measured against all those taking it nationwide. T-D is proud that Dylan Pizzo, Patrick Collins, Jane Yoo, Trent Shillingford, and Miguel Conkright are in the initial steps of competition. The exams lead to the Math Olympiad and T-D has a shot to have at least one contestant in the mix.


It’s warmer in Anchorage than it is in the Big Apple. You figure? All the roads lead to Nome!

Sincerely yours,


Douglas E. Fleming, Jr.

Headmaster


January Message

 

January 7, 2014


 

Hi Everyone:


It was a December to remember and a year to forget.  It's hard to like the number 13.  Now 2014 has arrived and it's time to get even.


All the weather keeps doing serves as a primer for Alaska.  Is there anyone T-D hasn't included in its 58 passengers thus far?


Our South Koreans arrived in the middle of a blizzard, but the landing was as perfect as the hospitality of our American host families - Outar, Breazna, Seda, Wright, Narain, Pannett, and 

Ho-Rezvani.


T-D's PTP meeting is rescheduled for Tuesday, January 14th at 7:00 PM.  With weather colder than the temp in your freezer, T-D moved it to one week from today.  The main topic will be the Gala and committees formation. General business will also be discussed. The Thursday PTP meeting, originally set for Jan 16th, is cancelled. 


Mid-terms are a comin'.  The schedule is on line and was sent via Constant Contact.  Make-up exams are on Saturday, February 1st.


Glory Days await grades 9 - 12 and the full week of activities will be seen shortly.


Congratulations to Kassie Ross, heading to Mills College in San Francisco, with a $60,000.00 stipend.


Stay cool in Tax Romana.


Sincerely yours,

 

Douglas E. Fleming, Jr.

 

Douglas E. Fleming, Jr.

Headmaster

 

 

 

 

POLLYANNA


There’s something about a bird that is tweeting at 6:30 AM on a late December morn that put music in my ears, not that it had left me the day before, Thursday, December 19th. The day that T-D brought everything full circle.


The Holiday Luncheon, not to be confused with Christmas, hit all the right notes as 170 of us were entertained by T-D’s musical maestro, Liam Baum, and his gondoliers all singing songs and playing their finest tones for those gathered by the shoreline and several others looking in from the outside from the many dingys that floated by the glass windows. The day was almost as spectacular as T-D’s elves. Songs sung in four different languages, songs sung by a 7 year old aspiring artist to a 17 year old with red hair lobster-like guitarist amused all the kids big and small, and young, old, and older, from places nearby and far, far away, from common cultures to unknown ones, from more continents than North and South America and all this took place without any prior practice. All 170 well wishers handled the buffet line with style and class; no running, no bumping, no ill will.

 

A single bad word wasn’t spoken. Students from the lower school sitting on their own acted like young adults and smiling and adoring parents acted like 19 once again. Everyone had his or her own surreal serendipitous moment.

 

Teachers helped shepherd one and all and the Larchmont Yacht Club servers made it easy for everyone to regale and enjoy the experience. Just the smile on the face of the Ethiopian waiter said it all and put more class in a classy afternoon.

 

In a world where one feels like everyone is going mad, there wasn’t a mad face, a bad word, or bad action as T-D broke bread and basked in the sunshine with faces brighter than the sun. The harmony on the stage was not limited to the stage alone. It spread like a virus and it was so jolly. Sam and Tux should have been there – one would have chirped and the other purred. Life can be Pollyanna.

 

Stay festive my friends,

 

Douglas E. Fleming, Jr.

Headmaster


December Part 1

Dear Snow Birds:


Saturday gave us the holiday post card we wanted, but just a little too early. Rumor has it there may be more Tuesday morn, so stay tuned.


Lost in the holiday spirit and blizzard-like activities is the arrival of eleven South Koreans on Friday, January 3rd. In this grouping of mostly middle schoolers are a mom and infant son as well as a tour guide chaperone, who is also female. Their itinerary may be seen on line today.


Any T-D parent interested in housing a mother and her first grade son should contact T-D as soon as possible. Adult exchanges are rare, but as rewarding as student ones are. The South Koreans return on Sunday, January 26th.


A few families have volunteered to host – the Breaznas, Pannetts, Ho-Resvanis have all committed. A list of the eleven with gender and dates of birth will appear for you shortly. Please reach out. T-D’s next exchange does not happen until March when the Japanese arrive. Start the New Year off with a cross-cultural experience!


T-D’s Alaskan contingent is now just a few short of 60. Very few cabins remain available. Please take note that your Discover Alaska billing statement does not include the $1,000.00 charge for air fare. Please understand that the insurance charge of $200.00 or so is optional.


Our flights are in and out of Newark with a 7:00 AM departure on May 9th. Plans to room overnight close to the airport are now in place. T-D will also be chartering a motor coach to take all trailblazers to Newark on Thursday before T-D goes way up north the next morning.


This Thursday is the First Family Holiday Luncheon. I hope to see you there with your progeny. The afternoon adventure offers so much amusement as the Larchmont Yacht Club becomes the perfect place for T-D to showcase its talents.

Stay festive my friends,


Douglas E. Fleming, Jr.

Headmaster


N.B. Those not attending this Thursday’s luncheon will have regular classes.

 

December Calendar