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Gordon in the headlines

Surfers, historians, justices, educators, authors, engineers and more

Yes, that was 2023 Karla Harry Visiting Artist Kyle Lukoff (above, during his December visit to Gordon) named to deliver the prestigious 2025 ALSC Children’s Literature Lecture at the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards. Other honorees at the event included 2024 Britt Nelson Visiting Artist Kah Yangni, recognized as the illustrator of Not He or She, I’m Me, one of four 2024 Honor Books.

Yes, those were nine Class of 2020 names on the list of 2024 Presidential Scholar Candidates issued earlier this month. Congratulations to Maude Smith-Montross (now at Barrington High), Sebastian Connolly, Riley Hewitt and Eitan Pessin (Classical High) and Zac Kurtis, Luke Nelson, Phoebe Porder, Andrew Song and Diana Szilagyi (Wheeler School). (photos: Maude, Sebastian, Riley, Eitan, Zac, Phoebe, Luke, Diana and Andrew during their Gordon years)

Yes, that was Green Dean Cush Gillen (above left) on the Climate Action in Middle and Lower Schools panel at the January Global Summit on Climate Education, organized by the Global Education Benchmark Group and the Klingenstein Center at Teachers College, Columbia University. The international conference also included friend of Gordon Karenna Gore as well as Peter Milne of the Beyond COP21 symposium.

Yes, that was Gordon parent and technology consultant Marlon Henry on the Instagram of the Brotherhood, an affinity group for students of color at Bishop Hendricken High School. Marlon met with Hendricken students at the invitation of Brotherhood president Alejandro Cashore ‘22, who was also featured on the Brotherhood’s stream last week.


Yes, that is Gordon seventh grade teacher Tamar Paull in Engage: Creative Strategies for Teaching and Learning, a new book by Eileen Landay and Kurt Wootton. Paull’s annual novel-writing project is featured as an example of how technology can be used to enhance student collaboration during a project, and to help them produce a tangible finished product they can be proud of.

Yes, that was Phoebe Porder ’20 (above center) on Wheeler’s social media in the fall, helping lead their Political Action Club. “Every vote matters,” says the group, a sentiment familiar to Phoebe and to every Gordon student who studied voting rights in eighth grade and met with activists in Alabama and Georgia while on the Civil Rights Trip.

Yes, that is Middle School parent, Gordon graduate and Board chair Damian Ewens ’90 at the center of the short film Tuckerman’s Rock, which debuted last fall. The documentary traced his partnership with Clean Ocean Access on a two-mile walk across the bottom of Narragansett Bay, a challenge that drew on the Shinto practice of misogi.

Yes, that was a Gordon third grader and a Gordon fifth grader speaking before a screening of the 2019 film Microplastic Madness in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. The event was organized by Gordon caregiver Mary Lou Nicholson, and the Gordon students spoke about recent efforts at Gordon to reduce waste and introduce campus-wide composting.

Yes, those were Gordon graduates were all over the Eastern Independent League’s November cross country meet in Carlise, Massachusetts. Pepper Travers ’20, Evan Atwood ’21, Zoey Frank ’22 and Ashton Carson ’23 all ran for Wheeler; Ashton and Evan were top ten in their races (in fields of about one hundred and fifty), and all four Gordon graduates ran their personal bests.

Yes, that was clay artist and Gordon grandmother Valorie Sheehan exhibiting “Alphabet of Saints (and Other Tough Chicks)” at St. George School last fall. The show included twenty-six women, one for each of the alphabet, that Sheehan created over the past seven years.

Yes, that is fifth grade teacher Mimi Roterman featured in a short film on the Surf Exchange Company’s website. Roterman talks about her vintage Hobie surfboard, which she bought through the Surf Exchange Company, and how it fits into her surfing practice.

Yes, that was Andrew Song ’20 (above, during his Gordon years) invited to participate in the American Invitational Mathematics Examination. It’s an important step on the rigourous path towards the International Mathematical Olympiad high school world championship, a journey Andrew began when he helped lead Gordon’s math team to three consecutive first place state championships.

Yes, that was Theo Duarte-Baird ’18 featured in the Williams College Record back in November. He was interviewed as part of their weekly “One in Two Thousand” feature, talking about favorite classical authors, photography, and singing a cappella.

Yes, that is Middle School parent Amra Brooks (above, bottom row center) named as part of the upcoming cohort of artists-in-residence at the Wedding Cake House. Brooks is a writer with a memoir coming out in 2025; the Wedding Cake House, at 514 Broadway, is a project of the feminist arts collective the Dirt Palace, and hosts artist residencies, installations and exhibits yearround.

Yes, that is Ava Giardino ’20 and Myles Craddock ’20 named to the Providence Journal’s All State teams this year - Giardino on field hockey and Craddock on football. Craddock’s also been in the headlines lately as Gatorade’s Rhode Island Football Player of the Year.

Yes, that was Mariely Madera ’20 among the four winners of Moses Brown’s Class of 1948 Award for Independent Study and Inquiry, using funds from the award to support Fundación Red De Misericordia, a nonprofit organization that supports children in need in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic. It was the second year in a row that a Gordon graduate has won the award; Luke Hruska ’19 won last year with work on voting rights.

Yes, that is Reina Paratore ’20 (back row center) among the eleven Moses Brown seniors inducted into the Cum Laude Society. The Cum Laude Society’s mission is to recognize academic achievement in secondary schools for the purpose of promoting excellence, justice, and honor.



Yes, that was Early Childhood parent Erin Terry featured in the Rhode Island Interscholastic League's Educator Spotlight in November. Terry used the platform to talk about her work as a special education teacher at East Greenwich High, and her sixteen (!) years coaching cross country there.

Yes, that was alumni parent Kim Anderson speaking at Roger Williams University the other night. The owner and founder of Plant City led a discussion of the role of plant-based eating in creating a sustainable world at RWU’s Mario J. Gabelli School of Business.

Yes, that was Elise Kurtis ’21 (front left) and Simran Trivedi ’21 (middle row, second from left) on the winning team at the 2024 Rhode Island Regional High School Ethics Bowl. Their team defeated Narragansett High School at the championship held at Brown University in early February.

Yes, that was work by Lower School parent Jonathan James-Perry (above, with his sister Elizabeth James-Perry) featured as part of his sister’s exhibition, “Double Arrows,” at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University this past fall. 

Yes, those are Gordon parents Ralph Tavares and Sharon Morris as a part of the 2023-2024 cohort in the Rhode Island Foundation's ambitious Equity Leadership Initiative. The Equity Leadership Initiative is a three-year, $8.5 million program led by Angie Ankoma, alumni parent and current Gordon aunt, that "intends to cultivate, mentor, and seek access for individuals who identify as Black, Hispanic or Latino, Indigenous, Asian, and multiracial from across sectors to build a pipeline of leaders of color in positions of influence in Rhode Island." 

Yes, that was a Lower Schooler sporting a “Gordon Kindergarten” t-shirt while participating in the mishooy traditional dugout canoe burn at Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center last fall. 

Yes, that was Head of School Noni Thomas López on the cover of the Fall and Winter issue of The Yield magazine, part of a feature on transformational change in schools that grew out of the pandemic. The Yield is published by the Enrollment Management Association, a trade organization serving independent schools.

Yes, that was a poetic memoir by Rebecca Bendheim ’09, illustrated by Gordon classmate Sara Rose Glickman ’09, debuting at #1 on Amazon’s LGBTQ+ poetry list. Coming Out Party was published by Burlwood Books on Halloween.

Yes, that was alumni parent and District Court Judge Melissa R. Dubose nominated by President Biden to the U.S. District Court bench. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, DuBose would become the first person of color and first openly LGBTQ judge to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island.

Yes, that was Lower School and Middle School caregiver Mary Lou Nicholson advocating for an updated bottle bill at a standing-room-only hearing at the Massachusetts State House last month. Nicholson has been organizing beach cleanups for the past fifteen years, and is bringing her bottle bill efforts to Rhode Island next.

Yes, that was Charlie Enright ’96 named US Sailing’s 2023 Yachtsman of the Year earlier this month. Last spring, Enright led the 11th Hour Racing team to become the first American-flagged team to win the round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race. (photo: Gordon’s sixth grade found this mural honoring Enright and his crew when they visited Newport last May)

Yes, that was Daniel Duarte-Baird ‘21 (above, with his mom), Lily Thornton ’20 Calder Smith-Montross ’22, David Battle-Cardemil ’22 and Mateo Cordero-Gagnon ’22 on the two teams that faced off in the Rhode Island FIRST Tech Challenge robotics championship this weekend. Duarte-Baird was co-captain of the winning team, which will now go to the FIRST Robotics World Championship in mid-April, and he earned the coveted Dean’s List Award, which goes to the top three student leaders in the region.

Yes, that was Gordon parent Christine Chitnis with a byline and photo credit in the New York Times in October, authoring a piece for the Travel section highlighting Rhode Island’s East Bay. Her feature included alumni parent and apple farmer Spencer Morris, and alumni and Middle School parent Jonathan Glatt.

Yes, that was alumni parent Deborah Forman '83 named Coordinator for Arts Engagement and Education at Brown RISD Hillel. Forman is a painter and an educator with two books, Paint Lab and Color Lab, published by Quarry Books.

Yes, that was Middle School parent and Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Angélica Infante-Green appointed to the National Assessment Governing Board, which sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the Nation’s Report Card. This marks the first time a woman of color education chief from Rhode Island has been appointed to this national leadership role. 

Yes, that was alumni parent Dr. Tulani Freeman highlighted by the Rhode Island Department of Education during National School Psychologist Week. She was featured in a video talking about her work with the students of Nathan Bishop Middle School.

Yes, that was alumni parent Ted Widmer ’76 cited repeatedly in discourse around the January 6th insurrection at the US Capitol, including a mention in Liz Cheney’s memoir, and a citation in an amicus brief put before the Supreme Court during the hearings about Colorado’s primary ballot.

Yes, that was Nursery parent Anusha Venkataraman featured in coverage of the Rhode Island’s health department’s Health Equity Zones initiative that uses a place-based, community-driven model to build resilient and healthy communities. Venkataraman works at One Neighborhood Builders, which partnered with the HEZ to help Providence citizens direct how $1 million in federal aid was used in their neighborhoods.

Yes, that was Auxiliary Programs Director Jenny Alario presenting at the Summer Programs and Auxiliary Revenue Collaborative National Conference in the fall. She talked about “Wellness and Work: How Can We Find the Balance?” at the annual conference of school professionals.

Yes, that was a really big edition of Gordon in the headlines. Thanks to everyone who submitted items over the past four (!!) months.

Seen a Gordon person being amazing? Report them immediately to Geoff Griffin at or 401 480 9933.

Look back at more Gordon names in the headlines


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