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The Gordon School

Gordonians in the spotlight

Athletes, law students, performers, educators, journalists and more

Yes, that was Gordon dance instructor Rodney López leading educators from across the nation in dance earlier this week. He presented a workshop, Salsa: Community Building Through Vernacular Dance and Culture, at the National Association of Independent Schools’ annual People of Color Conference.

Yes, he was part of a large Gordon contingent at the conference that represented administration and faculty from all three divisions of the school. Preschool teacher Kerri Monteiro missed this photo but…


Yes, that was Preschool teacher Kerri Monteiro as part of the chorus that sang at the end of the finale of the National Association of Independent Schools’ annual People of Color Conference. The chorus was open to all, and rehearsed for over three hours over the course of the conference, including a 7am (!) rehearsal on the final morning.


And yes, that was former Middle School teacher Sean Hamer next to Head of School Noni Thomas López as Heads of School of color were recognized at the end of the National Association of Independent Schools’ annual People of Color Conference. Sean is Head at Alta Vista School, a Kindergarten to eighth grade school in San Francisco.


Yes, that is Meg Schimelpfenig '12 on the big screen in Steven Spielberg's new film The Fabelmans, where she plays Sammy's classmate in scenes at a hot-dog eating contest, on the beach, and at senior prom (she’s on the left in the screen shot above, reaching across the table). Meg lives in Los Angeles where she's an actor and screenwriter, crediting Gordon with her start in the performing arts.


Yes, that was Willa Nelson ’22, standing out in Lincoln School’s recent production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. She stole scenes with her performance of the donkey Bottom.


Yes, that is Middle School parent Alli-Michelle Conti co-producing a moving segment for Rhode Island PBS on a musically inclined Ukrainian family recently resettled in East Providence. Conti is a freelance journalist specializing in telling the stories of immigrant and refugee communities.

Yes, that is a Gordon eighth grader and Violet Orth ’21 in the Ocean State Ballet's production of the Nutcracker. They are doing outreach performances at local schools as they prepare for their big public performances December 17th and 18th.

Yes, that is Henry Kirkman ’18 taking the field today as Williams College competes in the 2022 DIII Men’s Soccer Semifinals today at noon. It’s an amazing season for Williams - they haven’t had a national championship in almost thirty years - and for first-year Kirkman, who has scored four times with seven shots taken as a midfielder. NCAA live stream begins at noon, linked at


Yes, that is Head of School Noni Thomas López credited as Racial Justice Advisor in season three of Apple TV’s series Ghost Writer. Dr. Thomas López helped during the creation of characters, settings and themes, and reviewed scripts as part of the creative team.


Yes, that was former faculty member Dania Polanco honored with one of two 2022 Papitto Opportunity Connection Law School Scholarships in November. Administered by the Rhode Island Bar Foundation, the scholarships are offered annually to persons of color who have been accepted into an accredited law school. 


Yes, that was Middle School parent and former trustee Tulani Freeman profiled in the latest issue of the Providence Public Schools’ newsletter. The publication coincided with National School Psychology Week, and Tulani spoke candidly about her work as school psychologist at Nathan Bishop Middle School.


Yes, that was Coby Unger ’05 of MIT’s Hobby Shop featured in the Boston Globe for his work reclaiming the seats from Boston’s Red Line as “Choo-Choo Chairs”. The project may or may not be a direct echo of the anonymous, unsanctioned Stump Chairs project that Coby may or may not have led in Providence in 2011 and 2012.


Yes, that was a Gordon third grader on the winning team when the Seekonk Youth Soccer league had their championships in October. Careful readers will note that this same student was on a champion baseball team in Seekonk last spring - watch this space for news from Seekonk’s basketball season…!


Yes, that was a dizzying array of Gordon alumni faces among the athletics award winners on Moses Brown’s instagram a few days ago. For the record, the Gordon honorees were Ellie Kirkman ’20, Girls Varsity Soccer, Coach’s Award; Myles Craddock ’20, Varsity Football, Most Valuable Player; Anna Bamford ’21, JV Field Hockey, Defensive Most Valuable Player; Peter Buonanno ’19, Varsity Boy’s Soccer, Defensive Most Valuable Player; Drew Algava ’22, Varsity Boy’s Soccer, Most Improved Player; Simran Travedi ’21, Varsity Girl’s Soccer, Most Improved Player; Izzy Cummings ’21, Varsity Field Hockey, Defensive most improved player; Peyton Reigel ’22, JV Field Hockey, most improved; Harry Jellinek ’20, Varsity Cross Country, Most Improved; Catcher Dobron ’19, Varsity Football, coaches award.

Yes, that was Luke Hruska ’19 giving a shoutout to his Gordon eighth grade humanities teacher as he talked about receiving Moses Brown’s Class of 1948 Award last week. The award comes with a grant, which Hruska used last spring and summer to work on voter registration. 

Yes, that is Gordon grandparent Luis Arias profiled in the latest issue Motif Magazine. A veteran of Rhode Island’s Latin music scene, he reflected on the growth of that community over the past twenty years.

More recent Gordonians in the Spotlight

Seen a Gordon family member standing out in the crowd? Let Geoff Griffin know at or 401 480 9933.


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