Alumni (Volume 2: Summer 2013)

Class of 2002 Reunion

By Ryan King
Class of 2002 Reunion

Class of 2002 Reunion

When I began talking to friends about planning Sturgis’s first ever reunion, I had visions of Romy and Michelle and Zack and Miri running through my head, along with memories of planning committee “meetings” from high school at Nancy Gagne’s house.  Gatherings would involve deliciously prepared snacks and cocktails, and somehow, like magic, a fun-filled and memorable event would occur.

I imagined seeing long lost classmates who had grown up, networking with successful old friends with a DJ playing music in the background, reconnecting with people with whom I’d once felt solidarity for a cause.

Then the planning began, through emails, text messages, and rare phone calls.  There was never an opportunity to gather, and after I was able to list off, without the help of a yearbook, every member of our graduating class, I realized that there weren’t too many “long-lost friends”.  We certainly had no one’s mother to take on the preparation and planning of this task.

Class of 2002 DSC_0118In spite of all this, and the daunting realization that we were, once again, pioneers, a Facebook page for our class reunion was set up, members of the class invited, and an eventbrite.org invitation designed.  A room was booked at the Hyannis Resort and Conference Center, a playlist including popular songs from 1998-2002 was created on an iPhone, and word got around to even those of us out of touch in the social networks.  We were able to channel our school-dance-planning-selves of the yesteryears to inexpensively decorate the room with a Sturgis theme.  Although only 14 (out of 51) members of the class of 2002 were able to attend, everyone contributed to a successful first reunion.

Some people joked about the “Nintendo Club”, which was created in the former storage space at the back of the school with remainders from a fundraising yard sale.  (After an original Nintendo gaming system and broken TV didn’t sell, a technologically savvy student somehow worked his magic and created a functioning entertainment center for students on “bathroom breaks”.)  We also laughed about the hand-written math worksheets of Ms. Nina, our first statistics teacher, and the deciphering required to understand the task she’d assigned (“Find the…poo?!  Is that a statistical term?”).  The Sturgis Hot Lunch Team (known as SHLT) of the days before open campus lunches was fondly acknowledged, as well as many other luxuries we went without.  Thanks to the storage of many parents’ attics, we were able to pull out pictures and yearbooks from high school years, which included requests to keep in touch via home phone numbers and AIM screen names.  With the help of Sturgis’s drama department, we were even able to have a mock photo booth, and re-shoot Sturgis’s first ever prom court.

Class of 2002 DSC_0108We remembered our school without windows, partitions instead of walls, and dingy carpeting instead of tile for the first two years.  We begrudgingly complimented the new amenities offered at Sturgis West.  We raffled off items donated by Bobby Byrnes Pub, HyLine Cruises, the Boston Bruins Foundation, BBC, and the Black Cat Tavern, to raise money for the Nancy Gagne Memorial Scholarship.

In all, the evening was a success, and hopefully a tradition which can be carried into the future.  Although impromptu reunion-esque gatherings are not uncommon among us, it was much appreciated to finally have an official purpose.

Freedom Summer - HibbertCaroline Hibbert, Class of 2010, got a paid summer internship with an organization documenting the civil rights movement – and she has her Sturgis Extended Essay to thank! Caroline is concluding her junior year at Rhodes College in Memphis. She is one of several students who will be conducting interviews with participants in the civil rights movement for Rhodes’ Crossroads to Freedom digital archives. During the interview process for a spot on the team, Caroline discussed her Extended Essay on Freedom Summer – and she’s sure that helped her secure the internship.

Caroline is scheduled to graduate from Rhodes next spring with a degree in international studies and a minor in French. During her senior year she will serve as student co-coordinator for multinational communities for the college’s Kinney Program. She spent her first semester junior year studying in Europe and last year was an after-school tutor for the Memphis Refugee Caroline E. Hibbert (Class of 2010) got a paid summer internship with an organization documenting the civil rights movement – and she has her Sturgis I.B. paper to thank!

Caroline, who is concluding her junior year at Rhodes College in Memphis, is one of several students who will be conducting interviews with participants in the civil rights movement for Rhodes’ Crossroads to Freedom digital archives. During the interview process for a spot on the team, Caroline discussed her I.B. paper on Freedom Summer – and she’s sure that helped her secure the internship.

Caroline is scheduled to graduate from Rhodes next spring with a degree in international studies and a minor in French. During her senior year she will serve as student co-coordinator for multinational communities for the college’s Kinney Program. She spent her first semester junior year studying in Europe and last year was an after-school tutor for the Memphis Refugee Empowerment Program. The world view Caroline acquired at Sturgis has inspired her to pursue her interests in international events and multicultural communities.

For more information on Crossroads to Freedom, visit www.crossroadstofreedom.org.

Erin McevoyErin McEvoy, Class of 2002  “Sandwich native and Sturgis Charter Public School graduate Erin McEvoy is the manager of the Boston Bruins Foundation. The job perfectly blends the 29-year-old McEvoy’s passion for sports and a commitment to helping organizations that help those in need.”

Great article about Erin in Cape Cod Times, April 28, 2013:

http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130428/SPORTS/130429732&cid=sitesearch

Emily Morin Receives Rotary Scholarship

Emily Morin

Emily Morin, Class of 2012, received a $1,000 scholarship from the Rotary Club of Hyannis. The Rotary Club of Hyannis awarded $17,000 this year to seventeen exceptional students from Barnstable High School, Cape Cod Community College, Cape Tech and Sturgis.

Alia Sanfilippo, Class of 2012 –  Received the 2013 Emerging Leader Award for her demonstrated involvement in events and programs at The New School.  Alia was nominated for the award by staff at the Wellness Center. Alia’s article on “connectivity amongst individuals” was recently published on the Wellness center’s blog:

Peace, Love and Community

By Alia Sanfilippo, Peer Health Advocate and student, The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music

Originally published in Wellness at the New School 25 April 2013: http://blogs.newschool.edu/wellness/2013/04/25/peace-love-and-community/

Alia Sanfilippo

Alia Sanfilippo

Recently, a group of fifteen Peer Health Advocates and other student leaders took part in a Student Services- sponsored retreat centered on becoming a “connector”. A connector is someone who brings together people with common goals in order to achieve a task. They have the ability to maintain and grow relationships with multiple groups of varying interests, professions, and backgrounds. Ultimately, once you realize you are a connector, you are “networking”.

As a participant and organizer of this retreat, I definitely feel more confident in my own ability to network and maintain relationships on a professional and personal level. I learned a great deal on how to interact with each group, without blurring the lines of boundaries. Through this gathering, I definitely felt more connected to my community of student leaders, such a small fraction of my much larger circle. And that got me to thinking; what does my larger circle consist of? Do I even have one?

When I  say the word “community”, what do you think of? The many definitions suggest that we think of a retirement home, “people with common characteristics and interests inhabiting a common space”. Or an office building or generalized field of study all of which are, by definition, communities. However, here at The New School, we certainly try to step beyond the bonds of definition. As a collegiate setting we should fall under the definition of community that states, “An interacting population of various kinds of individuals (as species) in a common location”[1]. For we are all individuals, and this is a common location, is it not? But no matter how much our setting may emphasize individuality, both in person as well as in the divisions of schools, it does seem that the individuals inhabiting this space seek an alternative definition of community. We crave the red string that connects all people, an aspect of community that surpasses physical space.

So, how is this achieved? Constantly I hear from my colleagues about how they feel disconnected from the people they sit next to everyday, how there’s no real sense of community that lingers in The New School setting. It’s almost impossible to achieve the physical sense of community, because we live in a city that so emphasizes isolation. If you don’t live in a dorm, your relationships are practically dependent upon the interactions you have in the classroom. The connection that we then rely upon is more of an abstraction that is expected to just “be there” simply because, this is a school. However, again we emphasize individuality and therefore, it makes it difficult for the individual to place themselves amongst a group. And though most people try to “play it cool”, after a while not feeling connected to your surroundings, both physical and emotional, does start to have a negative impact. When creating the “Sweet reTreat” we as organizers were designing it with this in mind. The lack of community is what drove me personally to look at this retreat as an opportunity to create a starting point for greater change. This was a time for individual student leaders to come together, and connect with one another via a common goal; to create an even larger community of student leaders. There are so many wonderful student organizations on campus that do and create wonderful things. But they all lie so separate from each other, as do the different divisions. So what if all of us individual persons started to work diligently towards a common goal of creating community? Bringing together musicians from Jazz and Mannes in order to create beautiful music, Drama and Parsons in order to create works of art.  We must take an active role; join a student organization that you find compelling and meet people with common goals. Or, if you feel inspired, start something that you believe will create community. It’s easier than you think. But don’t sit idly by and allow yourself to be lost within the masses. Go to one student event and see what happens. I bet you’ll find at least one person whom you connect with. Ultimately, student leaders must be the driving force. Play your role as a connector to your best ability and always try to engage the people around you, especially those you feel are being lost in the crowd. You may be the spark that someone needs to feel like they belong. Connectivity amongst individuals: compassion, shared values, needs, ideals, and experiences –isn’t that what community is all about?


[1] Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster. 19 Apr. 2013 <http://www.merriam-webster.com/&gt;.

%d bloggers like this: