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Gordon out front: leaders in arts, academics, education

above: Gianna Paratore '17 and Dylan Bean '18 in The Seagull, produced at Moses Brown in February

Last weekend, Gordon alumni once again made up the bulk of the casts of local musical theater productions. The Wheeler School production of Mamma Mia featured Harper Azevedo '17, Ben Thornton '15, Theo Richter '15, Anna Clyne '17, Brandon Gunasti '17, Lily Heffron '15, Maddie Lee '16 and Hannah Zevon '16. 

At the Lincoln School, Rent included Sophie Grosswendt '16, Lydia Grosswendt '16, Allison Iwatake '16, Grace Cahners '18 and Anika Istok '16, with Katie Ginn '15 and Katie Chambers '16 in the crew. Lydia also won the Rhode Island round of the English-Speaking Union's National Shakespeare Competition, held at the Providence Athenaeum in February. She goes on to national round in New York City in April.

The week before at Moses Brown, Gianna Paratore '17 and Dylan Bean '18 performed opposite each other as the leads in The Seagull (with lighting by Emma Platt '18), and Ursula Talbot '18 was featured in An Inspector Calls. Paratore had been in Moses Brown's fall production of The Wolves; this February, The Wolves was produced at the University of Rhode Island, with Katherine Templeton '11.

Further off campus, Sherry Romanzi '10 performed in her thesis production, La Double Inconstance, at Princeton University this winter, presented entirely in French. And in Vermont, Maia Wolf-Livingston '15 and Leo Griffin '17 are serving on the hiring committee as the Putney School chooses its next theater teacher.

On the professional theater circuit, a Gordon sixth grader is starring in the next production at Trinity Rep. The Song of Summer is a world premiere, commissioned by Trinity from playwright Lauren Yee, that opens on March 14th. This is no face-in-the-crowd youth casting, either; the Gordon student is one of five actors in the play. His casting is yet one more connection in the ongoing relationship between Gordon and Trinity; Gordon's Middle School a cappella group, for instance, performed as part of this year's production of A Christmas Carol, and Trinity actors will teach at Gordon Summer Theater in June.

Trinity's just-announced 2019-2020 season has yet one more Gordon connection. The season's first, headline-grabbing, production, The Prince of Providence, is based on the book of the same name by alumnus parent, and faculty spouse, Mike Stanton.


above: sixth grade parent Mary-Kim Arnold made headlines recently, earning a prestigious grant from the Rhode Island Foundation

A reading last Friday at Pawtucket's Twenty Stories bookstore featured sixth grade parent Mary-Kim Arnold and fifth grade parent Darcie Dennigan. An award-winning poet and novelist, Dennigan is serving as the playwright-in-residence at Providence's Wilbury Theater Group, where her play The Happy End will be produced later this month. Arnold, who works in poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction, made headlines recently as one of three recipients of prestigious grants from the Robert and Margaret MacColl Johnson Fellowship Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation.

In other writer-honor news, third grade parent Eli Nixon was awarded one of this year's Audrey Residencies at New Georges, an organization dedicated to supporting female and gender-nonconforming artists.


above: the five males and five females on Gordon's math team represent the ten highest scorers on a test offered throughout the Middle School. 

Gordon's MathCounts team had their March 2nd state competition delayed due to snow. The five males and five females on Gordon's team represent the ten highest scorers on a test offered throughout the Middle School. They'll meet their peers from across Rhode Island at the state finals on Saturday, March 30th. more on this team and Gordon's math curriculum

The three seventh graders who were selected for the 2019 Rhode Island Music Educator's Junior All State Festival have begun rigorous rehearsals and will have their culminating concert on March 17th, along with the six Gordon graduates also made it into the festival: Ella Bogdahn '17, Charlie Callahan '17, Dimitri Daskalopoulos '18, Maddie Lee '16, Evelyn McAdam '17, Henry Stanton '16 and Mika Vanelli '15.

Later in the month, Gordon's eighth grade geography champ will head to the state competition in the National Geographic Geography Bee, having passed the qualifying test to become a Rhode Island finalist. 


At this week's SXSW Educator Conference in Austin, Texas, third grade teacher Emily Abedon and seventh grade parent Karla Vigil presented their workshop "Making good trouble: disrupting oppression in Kindergarten to twelfth grade." The global conference is expected to draw 15,000 attendees from forty different nations. Ms. Abedon has been presenting workshops locally for several years alongside Ms. Vigil, who earned her master's degree through the Teacher Residency at Gordon and Roger Williams University. Recent examples of "good trouble" from the third grade curriculum are on Gordon's blog here and here

Later this spring, third grade parent Aarav Sundarish will be presenting at the third annual conference held by the Rhode Island Coalition for Educators of Color, coming up April 27th

On Friday, March 8th, Head of School Noni Thomas López will be on a panel discussion at New York's Spence School. The conference is Private Schools with a Public Purpose: Collaborating in the Spirit of Justice, a topic near to Dr. Thomas López's heart, and she will be sharing the stage with leaders from the Spence School, Trinity School, Horace Mann and Columbia University.

The following week, Dr. Thomas López will be part of Bryant University's sold-out Women's Summit on March 15th. This year's theme is "Make Change Happen!", and Dr. Thomas Lopez is one of four panelists at the workshop dedicated to leading change. It is one part of a new round of welcome-to-Rhode-Island moments for Dr. Thomas López, which has also included features in the Providence Journal's People on the Move column, Providence Monthly's Leading Ladies supplement, and Rhode Island Monthly's Outstanding Women section.

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