A swashbuckling tale of pirates, sword fights, and buried gold will take the stage in the chapel tent this week, as the Performing Arts Department presents Treasure Island. The 1212 play Wicked Sketchy will entertain audiences the following week with student-written comedy sketches.
Directed by performing arts faculty member Shane Fuller, Treasure Island is based on the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson and adapted for the stage by Mary Zimmerman. It tells the story of Jim, the son of a tavern owner, who finds a mysterious treasure map among the possessions of a sailor who died at the tavern. Jim sets sail with some trusted local friends to locate the island and the treasure—and they’re accompanied by a covertly mutinous crew of pirates, including the ship’s cook, Long John Silver.
“It’s a fun show,” Fuller said. “There’s a little bit of sword-fighting, there’s pirates, there’s a lot of adventure. We didn’t want to do anything too serious or too heavy, because this is the first season that we’ve had live on campus in almost two years.”
Every student’s path to Milton is unique. For Christian Kakhome, a new sophomore, his journey here started when he got to know alumnus Liam White ‘18, who was visiting Kakhome’s home country of Malawi. White is involved with Ascent Soccer, a soccer academy based in Malawi and Uganda that provides “opportunities for comprehensive education, critical life skills, and character development—combined with world-class soccer skill development.”
Outside of elementary school, Kakhome started playing with Ascent when he was 8 years old. As he progressed through the program, he started to consider attending high school in the United States. Ascent Soccer sponsors “global scholars,” student-athletes in their program who go on to attend U.S. schools. Six global scholars are currently studying in the U.S.
Leading a classroom of students requires teachers to always be “on,” said English teacher Rachael Abernethy. When harnessed effectively by educators, being on can reap valuable rewards.
“At once, you have the opportunity to impact so many people’s lives and be impacted by so many people in genuine and authentic ways. When you’re on, and you’re in step with your students, and you’re all working toward a shared purpose, it feels like you’re on a team,” she said. “I like working with people toward a shared goal. That feels healthy and good and kind and right.”
Abernethy, who joined the English Department faculty this year after teaching at La Jolla Country Day School in San Diego, teaches two sections of Class IV English—Perspectives: Genre and Culture, a Class III elective in which texts are grouped by genre and studied within their cultural contexts; and the Class II elective Reading Consciousness, an interdisciplinary study of literature, philosophy, and religion. Abernethy also lives in Robbins House and is an assistant coach for varsity girls’ soccer.
Formed this year, the Astronomy Club offers students an opportunity to delve into the far reaches of the universe by observing and chronicling the night sky as well as exploring astrophysics.
The two senior co-heads, John Matters ’22 and Teddy Sunshine ’22, started the club because of their shared interest in astrophysics, which studies the chemistry and physics of celestial phenomena such as black holes, dark matter, and the life cycles of stars. They recognized the value in having Milton’s Ayer Observatory available on campus and wanted to encourage more students to use it.
On Thursday, November 4, Milton’s visual arts department will host an opening reception for the latest Nesto Gallery exhibit, Home, by architect, artist, and Middle-Eastern visual commentator and critic, Mohamad Hafez. A Syrian-American artist and architect, Mohamad Hafez was born in Damascus, raised in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and educated in the Midwestern United States.
“Expressing the juxtaposition of East and West within him, Mr. Hafez’s art reflects the political turmoil in the Middle East through the compilation of found objects, paint, and scrap metal.” says Visual Arts Department Chair Ian Torney.
On Thursday, November 11, Milton’s jazz musicians will celebrate legendary jazz saxophonist Cannonball Adderley and hold a tribute concert in Kellner’s King Theatre.
“Cannonball’s playing was uplifting and full of joy and positivity,” says music faculty member, Bob Sinicrope. “Originally a high school music teacher in Florida, his talent attracted Miles Davis to hire him which launched his career as a player and eventually a leader of his own band. His group offered a wide variety of jazz styles in their performances including soul jazz, bossa nova, rock, and bebop.”
The performance will feature a woodwind quartet, a string quintet, and tunes performed by students from six of Milton’s jazz groups. Music department faculty will also take the stage to perform with two special guest artists: trombonist Michael Sabin ’16 and saxophonist Jim Repa.
All parents are welcome to attend the concert, which begins at 7 p.m. in King Theatre on November 11.
Since a well-attended Community Engagement signup fair in September, the Community Engagement Programs and Partnerships (CEPP) office has been busy scheduling student volunteers for more than 200 bi-weekly commitments. English language work with adults at Immigrant Family Services and Quincy Community Action Program is happening via Zoom, while student volunteers have been excited to return to classrooms and playground recess games with our partners in the Boston and Milton public elementary schools. Our neighbors at Milton Residences for the Elderly have been happy to reconnect through in-person bingo, crossword puzzles, and trivia games. Last year’s Zoom Cantonese chat group with elders in Randolph has resumed, as have Sunday Special Olympics practices and work at the Urban Farming Institute.
The student board meets weekly to plan upcoming events, including the annual Hunger Awareness Event in November and holiday gift drive for local children. Those logistical tasks are intertwined with thoughtful discussion to make intentional connections with Milton’s DEIJ work.
Students in the elective Activism for Justice in a Digital World course went on a “Toxic Tour” in Roxbury led by one of CEPP’s long-time partners, Alternatives for the Community and the Environment. Classroom learnings about environmental injustice and racism came to life in hearing about the activism and personal experiences of local residents David Noiles and Stuart Spina. Their passion and knowledge inspired students to believe they can make a difference, beginning with listening.
Abe Wyett ’22 said during the tour he realized the importance of showing up with “compassion and empathy, both in everyday life and in activism.” Aimee Heard ’24 said she learned “that activism of any kind is, in many ways, not always pretty to the passerby. Take for example the empty lot where the bus garage once was. That empty lot represents an incredible accomplishment for the community who suffered the effects of 200 idling MBTA diesel buses spewing toxic fumes into the neighborhood.”
Thank you for participating in the family weekend socials and making them a success. It was great to see so many of you in person after two years and meet the new Class IV and Class III parents for the first time. We hope you felt the warm welcome that the Upper School Parents’ Association extends to each one of you.
We are thrilled with your participation and engagement during our monthly meetings. Thank you for asking insightful questions that help the whole community. These monthly meetings are a great way to learn about the school and share information with Upper School parents. They feature a guest speaker and are followed by Q&A discussion. Our monthly meetings will be held via Zoom. The upcoming meetings will be held on the following dates (more details to follow):
Thursday, November 18, from 7–8 p.m.
Zoom Speaker, Dean of College Counseling Rod Skinner
USPA Board Meeting 8–8:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 9, from 7–8 p.m.
Zoom Speaker, Director of Nursing Peg Reardon, R.N.
Tuesday, December 14, from 7–8 p.m.
Zoom Speaker, Dean of College Counseling Rod Skinner
USPA Board Meeting 8–8:30 p.m.
Please note that all meetings will be recorded and emailed to parents after the meeting for those who are unable to attend. We respectfully request that you not share the recordings beyond the Milton Academy parent community.
You will be delighted to know that the USPA can host fun activities on campus and has hosted donut days and Halloween cookies and plans to host a senior breakfast in the next few weeks. All these events and socials sponsored by the USPA are made possible by your generous contributions of time, funding, and gifts, as we are a self-sustaining organization led by volunteer parents and supported primarily by parent dues and donations. Thank you so much for all gracious contributions!
Please note, we are still in search of parents to volunteer! Please contact Teena Kamal (firstname.lastname@example.org) to help or learn more.
The Milton Fund directly impacts the lives of Milton’s students and faculty by providing the funds needed to address the changing needs of the organization in real time. A successful Milton Fund ensures that Milton will continue to thrive today and in the future.
Interested in volunteering for the Milton Fund? Please contact Rosheen Kavanagh, director of the Milton Fund, at email@example.com or 617-898-2326.
La Voz de Milton
First published as a print publication in 1986, La Voz is Milton’s student-run Spanish newspaper that includes news, opinions, regular departments, and reviews. This coming year marks the 10th anniversary of La Voz moving from a print newspaper to a fully online publication. Read the latest issue at lavozdemilton.com, which includes an audio interview with the executive director of Mil Milagros by Benjamin Siegel ’24, as well as two creative writing pieces inspired by Mesoamerican creation stories by Jessica Lee ’23 and Jacob Pohl ’23.
Class IV Follies
Student Film Showcase
Meet Private Eye Vince McFly in this short film created by Jae Lee ’22 for his Advanced Filmmaking class project.
What's on Your Mind?
Students in Dr. Richards’ Neuroscience science class “really knocked it out of the park on their ‘make a brain’ assignment.” She developed the assignment six years ago as a creative outlet for students to learn neuroanatomy, which can sometimes be a dry subject. The week-long project was an in-depth, hands-on way that is more than just memorizing flashcards. Students had to choose a media that resonated for them.
“Are you a baker? Bake a cake! Artist? Make a painting or sculpt something! If you lack all artistic skills, as I do? Put something together that is fun and will be memorable to yourself,” said Dr. Richards. “At the end of the day, I wanted them to learn from their maps. I challenged them to do something I have never seen before and this year, I had the most original works. I was completely blown away by the beauty and originality of their projects!”
View photos of the students’ final projects.
A Day at Milton
On Thursday of last week, Milton’s photographer traveled from classroom to classroom with our students to capture a “Day at Milton.”
View the photos.
Art Around Campus
Faculty member Kendall Chun’s photograph hangs in Kellner’s Arts Commons as part of Through the Lens, an exhibit of work by Milton’s faculty and staff running through November 19.
The Nesto Gallery exhibit—Over, Under, Inside, Out by artist Charles Goss—finished its run last week. In case you missed it, view photos of the show here.
The Food Issue
In this issue, we celebrate the world of food. In putting it together, we visited alumni at farms as close as Mattapan and as far away as Downeast Maine. We spoke to chefs who’ve chosen diverse culinary paths and to alumni who, during challenging times, created a platform for sharing recipes and memories that are keeping them closer together. These stories help remind us that food nourishes not only the body but also the soul, keeping friends and families close. As the renowned food writer MFK Fisher wrote: “I think our three basic needs for food and security and love are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others.” The stories and individuals featured in this issue echo that sentiment. Read the magazine online or in print.