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BA Heads to FB

As of 3:45 am on Thursday, October 6th, four Brewster students and one Brewster teacher will be embarking on a meaningful mission to discover solutions to the growing epidemic of teenage anxiety and apathy in a normal school environment. This amazing opportunity offered to us by Brewster Academy is the result of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence’s momentous coalition with Facebook in generating a nationwide initiative called “inspirED” last year. Along with ten other schools in the US, Brewster began an inspirED club about nine months ago, and our academy has been specifically chosen to encompass the “Passion & Purpose” piece of the initiative. Because of Brewster’s collaboration with inspirED, four of our own inspirED club members (and a special faculty member!) will be attending an important summit at the Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California, this weekend. Brewster’s representatives are Angela First (’17), Jackson Barber (’17), Lucy Liautaud (’17), Dexter Hanson (’18), and Sarah Hunt (dorm parent/Junior English teacher). Continue reading “BA Heads to FB”

Validating Our Work

By Lynne Palmer
Director of Admission and External Affairs

I recently spent three days at The Enrollment Management Association’s annual conference with over 900 admissions colleagues from independent schools in the U.S. and Canada. The challenges schools are facing are quite compelling, and it is clear that school representatives are eager to find creative ways to respond and be proactively prepared for what trend in education is on the horizon.

Continue reading “Validating Our Work”

Tightening the Net


By Craig Gemmell
Head of School

Opening weekend at boarding school inspires more emotion than reality TV: joy, despair, stress, enthusiasm, fatigue, amity, enmity. Life’s great drama writ small; surely worth the wait after the humidity of August and butterflies of Labor Day weekend. Continue reading “Tightening the Net”


By Craig Gemmell and Nancy Hughes


Lord House, Saturday Morning 12/12

Twenty sleepy students from Trey Whitfield School and their equally sleepy Brewster hosts streamed in at 9 a.m. for breakfast and companionship. Again this year, Trey Whitfield fifth through eighth grade students came to Brewster to visit overnight in the dorms, tour our campus, attend a basketball tournament and clinic, and explore Wolfeboro. A few students also interviewed with our Admission Office. The time these young people spent on campus was all just a small part of a remarkable, abiding relationship Brewster Academy has enjoyed with the Trey Whitfield School for over a quarter of a century.

Continue reading “Generosity”

Book Club

By Craig Gemmell
Head of School

Twenty some-odd members of Brewster’s faculty and staff, young and old, gathered over coffee and cookies on Wednesday evening to discuss Malcolm Gladwell’s recent David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants. Continue reading “Book Club”

Taking the Plunge

By Craig Gemmell
Head of School

Kids are back! Winter term has begun and thus the academic slate has been wiped clean, winter sports have started, and campus has been readied for the weather to come. We await snow as we settle into the long haul of the middle of the year and simultaneously start the sprint toward the December break. Continue reading “Taking the Plunge”


By Craig Gemmell
Head of School

Tuesday was a day of emotion here on campus. Exams started. Kids seemed quieter at lunch, more focused, tired. All of us who spend time with kids in this little hive seemed weary, too. In all of our dronings we were buoyed by the imminent break. Family. Food. Rest. All coming.

Continue reading “Gratitude”

A Higher Purpose

By Craig Gemmell
Head of School

I awoke to blue skies after a week of mostly grey clouds and rain to realize that I could see the lake through barren trees. Late fall has arrived, exams on the horizon, and the athletic awards are just a few hours away.

What, I wonder, to say about the end of the fall? The end of the term, the end of the season?

What might I presume to know worthy of sharing to a sea of kids who will be sitting in the Smith Center at 10 a.m.? This is a question that wracked my brain as I moved back-and-forth to meetings in Boston and the vicinity for the better part of the week.

Perhaps this: I was green with envy watching Bobcat Nation in this, my first fall. Green because SO MANY coaches and athletes had the glow about them that only comes from practicing and competing with friends — the very glow that I sure felt but took for granted when I was deeply involved in fall sports from the late 1970s until last fall as a competitor and then coach.

And I was green with envy because now I’m just another sedentary spectator and gain satisfaction only vicariously.

But I don’t want them to get me wrong. I was thrilled about so many moments as a fan this fall, and there were some great moments. In my first game as spectator in early September, watching freshman Anya Found score the first goal in her first game on the Girls’ Varsity Soccer team; or watching Senior Marina Jozokos score the winning goal in OT, after missing in a great bid at the buzzer a few minutes before, in one her last games on our turf. These and so many other great moments in the Nation will stay with me forever.

I would want them to understand that I’m green with envy because anyone who played or ran or rowed or sailed with intensity this fall knows the deep satisfaction of stretching for the sake of the team, the joy of growing through hard work, the sheer pleasure of the physicality. But they might not appreciate yet the transcendence of it all.

Transcendence. That’s it. That’s what I’d like them to understand.

Practicing, competing with peers, guided by a caring adult, has transcendent effects on a life. It has on many. It sure has on mine.

I was a gangly, shy kid who found voice and purpose through sports, found deep and abiding friendships through sports, found my deepest self through it all. Sports allowed me to find the athlete within, the student within, the community member within. Sports, more than any other single endeavor, put me on the path that led me to today.

I suspect the same is true for SO many who coach, and I bet they know it.

And yet I realized this in full only this very fall, when I found myself sitting in cars or meetings most afternoons while they practiced, among the spectators instead of on the field or the sidelines as coach since I’ve migrated to Wolfeboro.

Perhaps the best message I can convey is a simple one: being able to train, play, and compete has a higher purpose than merely filling time and increasing physical health. It can shape a life. Again, it can have transcendent effects. I’m sure of this.

I’ll say this to them: take a moment to be grateful to your families, your coaches, your teammates, and your school for providing you with such an opportunity. Don’t take this opportunity for granted for a moment; hold your memories close.

For sooner or later, life will take you at least one degree of separation away from this particular sort of joy. It happens. I know.

And I’ll say this: gratitude should fill you. Thank your coaches, parents, teammates, fans. They’ve made this fall all the richer for their investment. Drink deep of this and it’ll sustain you for a lifetime.

Keying in to Computer Programming

By Allison Caravella ’17

At the end of my freshman year at Brewster, I was faced with the decision of which elective to take. I always try to push myself out of my comfort zone and try something new. As a ninth grader, I chose computer graphics, which introduced me to Photoshop and Final Cut Pro: two powerful (and very useful) programs that were alien to me. At the end of the class I had learned some great new skills that I’ve actually used for many school projects. So there I was, sitting at my computer and debating. One option that I kept coming back to was an introduction to computer programming. Continue reading “Keying in to Computer Programming”

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