The Perils of Popularity - Miss Hall s School

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					E G                                        November/December 2008

The Perils of Popularity
B     y the time I was ready to go to South
      Junior High, I knew that I wasn’t part
of the “in” group. Even if there had been
                                               exchanging their integrity for an invita-
                                               tion from those with social power. It is in
                                               settings where adults allow this “merciless
a “How to be Popular for Dummies,” I           competition for relationships” [156] to go
couldn’t have made the turn on the road        unchecked that there are winners and
to being cool. I knew there were guys          losers and that a girl’s very sense of worth
around, but to be popular you needed to        can be challenged so severely that it takes
be much more comfortable with them             years for her to regain her equilibrium.
than I was. Then there was the “look.” I            Recent research now suggests that
was off by a mile. I was still chubby, my      there are also long-term negative implica-
face (adorned with acne) hadn’t quite          tions for teens who belong to Club
caught up with the size of my teeth, and I     Popularity. Joseph Allen at the University
wore glasses.                                  of Virginia has undertaken a longitudinal
     By high school, I had thinned out and     study of teen culture and points out that
discovered contact lenses, but my orbit        teens who are popular are so “in part
was still not within the constellation of      because they are carefully attuned to the
the uber-popular. Fortunately, the stakes      norms of their peer group.”ii He goes on
were not so high in the 1960s in my            to explain that “as these norms increas-
boomer-filled school. Being popular            ingly come to support even minor levels of
meant that you navigated                                         deviant behavior during
socially with more ease        We are committed                  adolescence, popular teens
than others, but it didn’t                                       may be particularly sus-
mean you had more                in this school to               ceptible.” Specifically,
power. Fitting in and                                            according to Allen, the
                               providing a setting
being noticed, regardless                                        most socially skilled stu-
of where you were on the        for girls in which               dents are “three times as
social scaffolding, was                                          likely to be drinking by
within the grasp of most.
                              there is no “in” and               age 14 as those outside the
There were many places             “out” group.                  group.”iii
for membership—the                                                    Allen’s work also sug-
musicians (my group), the nerds (also my       gests to me that parents may inadvertently
group), ROTC, athletes (pre Title IX—          play a role in shifting the norms of the
boys only), and thespians. And, as far as      teen culture. His findings reveal that
my parents were concerned, there was no        popular adolescents not only navigate
cache in my being a social diva; nor did       well in social interactions with the peer
they need me to be popular to enhance          group but also demonstrate a high level of
their social standing.                         social skill in dealing with adults, includ-
     Times have changed. The stakes are        ing their parents. Teens’ social charms,
high when it comes to being unable to fit      therefore, may cause us as parents to lose
in as a teen today. In Odd Girl Out,           our grip and allow girls to have access to
author and MHS Scholar-in-Residence            adult forms of entertainment long before
Rachel Simmons talks about what we all         they are ready, thus increasing their vul-
know regarding the social land mines in        nerability to behaviors that carry risk.
the teen culture.i Popular girls have               We are committed in this school to
access to “the booty of womanhood…             providing a setting for girls in which there
makeup and boys…and parents born               is no “in” and “out” group and where the
without genes for party supervision….”         norms of the peer culture are wholesome
[156] What is less well understood, she        and values are intact. There is consensus
goes on to say, is the role of friendships—    that preparing for college (and life) is dif-
the right number and the right ones—in a       ficult enough without a girl feeling either
girl’s social standing. For those girls in     that she’s on the outskirts or that she has
hot pursuit of sustaining their popularity,    to keep pace on the social treadmill. One
friendship [becomes] “a ticket [or] tool.”     girl described it this way: “It’s not about
[159] On the other end of the continuum,       being popular in the old way here... [it’s]
girls desperately seeking acceptance are at    being known for your ideas and your
great risk for becoming pawns and              interests as well as the high level of
                                                                           continued on page 6
S S

Congratulations to AP Scholars
E    ighteen MHS students—including fifteen recent
     graduates—have been named by the College Board
as AP Scholars, in recognition of exceptional achieve-
                                                           Exams taken during their academic careers, and scores
                                                           of 4 or better on eight or more of these exams. She is
                                                           the first MHS student to earn such a distinction.
ment on the 2008 Advanced Placement (AP) Exams.                 Five recent graduates were named AP Scholars
More than 1.6 million high school students worldwide       with Honor by earning an average grade of at least
took the college-level exams in May, according to the      3.25 on all AP Exams they took and grades of 3 or
College Board, which oversees the AP program. About        better on four or more of those exams. Those students
18 percent of those students performed at a sufficiently   are: Amelie Dyzmann, now attending college in
high level to merit the recognition of AP Scholar.         Germany; Caroline Ellis, now attending Barnard
    Ruth Montiel ’09 and four recent graduates were        College; Lauren Melle, University of Massachusetts,
named AP Scholars with Distinction, meaning they           Amherst; Sally Melville, Newcastle (U.K.) University;
earned an average grade of 3.5 or more on all AP           and Kathleen Sagarin, McGill University.
exams they took and grades of 3 or better on five or            Shannon Carey ’09, Woo Ji Kim ’10, and six recent
more of these exams. Recent graduates recognized are:      graduates were recognized as AP Scholars, meaning
Dana Drugmand, now attending Mount Holyoke                 they completed three or more AP exams with grades
College; Alyssa Kronen, now attending Middlebury           of 3 or better. Recent graduates recognized are: Kristin
College; Nora McCloskey, at Trinity College; and           Anderson, now attending Sarah Lawrence University;
Elizabeth Rutledge, at Providence College.                 Mary-Ellen Beattie, now attending Dickinson College;
    Additionally, Ruth was recognized as an AP             Katinka Canning, Ithaca College; Bailey Hilst,
National Scholar, an award granted to students who         Northeastern University; Eliza Rodrigs, St. Lawrence
receive an average grade of at least 4 on all of the AP    University; and Erica Solari, Wesleyan University.


Pond Clean-up
The MHS Environmental Club
recently spearheaded an initiative to
improve the environment for aquatic
life in the MHS pond and make the
pond a more useable resource for
students. Club members and
student/faculty volunteers donned
waders, picked up rakes and pitch-
forks, and removed trash, tree limbs,
leaves, shoreline sediment, and other
debris accumulating in the pond, said
club President Hester Godfrey ’09.
They plan to continue the work as
time and weather permit. “We defi-
nitely accomplished something, but
we’ve got more to do,” Hester said.

T W W T
                                                                                        COLUMNS
Professional Development                                                               News from the office of
                                                                                    Head of School Jeannie Norris
Librarian Vicky Biancolo attended the Next-Generation Information Literacy
                                                                                      Published monthly for the
seminar Sept. 25 at NELINET, Inc., in Southborough, Massachusetts. The               parents of Miss Hall’s School
daylong session included information literacy, curriculum development,                         _______
emerging technologies, strategic planning, and other topics. NELINET is a                  
library-owned cooperative promoting the advancement of libraries and the                   Sharon Brigham
sharing of library and information resources and services.                                   Dallas Briney
                                                                                             Joan Kurber
Vaunie Graulty, Director of the Academic Skills Center, attended a weeklong               Brian M. Majewski
graduate course at Landmark School in Prides Crossing, Massachusetts. The                  Janis Martinson
course, Assessment II, included an overview/history of testing and assessment                Sandy Moon
(both cognitive and achievement) as well as hands-on training in administer-               David A. Smith
                                                                                               _______
ing and interpreting various tests. The course helped strengthen assessment
skills and support program planning for students in the ASC.                              , . 
H  A

Horizons Kick-off Breakfast
Horizons, a weekly off-campus experiential learning program, is an integral part of the academic study at MHS,
designed to enhance a sense of competence by doing; refine social, communication, decision-making, and problem-
solving skills; test values and define moral positions in the context of community; and increase financial literacy.
Through Horizons, MHS students contribute over 8,500 hours annually to the local Berkshire region.




  Nancy Sacchetti, Charlotte Crane ’09,            Mary Reilly, Star Zhang ’11,        Lee Neff, Maggie Griffin ’11, Ventfort Hall
        Herberg Middle School                          St. Mark’s School




Anne Nardi-Curtin, Alisha Pang ’09, Basma       Brent White, Daisey Anglow ’09,         Jasmine Galindo ’11, Teresa Krzysztof,
      Alsweilem ’09, Red Lion Inn                     White Engineering                           Crosby School




     Kitty Griswold ’09, Claire Klose,      Roby Gasque Garcia ’10, Anna Szemes ’10,      Cynthia Ngarambe ’09, Pat Winkle,
      Greylock Federal Credit Union          Kas Maroney, Berkshire Botanical Garden               Crosby School




 Ning Lee ’09, Jean Dupre, Compuworks            Lauri Drake, Sasha Barrett ’09,        Val Kemp, Joi Ward ’09, Crosby School
                                                    Linda Ryan, Head Start




     Lindley Wells ’09, Laurie Wolfe,            Ariel Fusini ’09, Raymond Ross,            Terry Kardasen, Karen Varney,
         Hancock Shaker Village                      Big Brothers/Big Sisters                    Kayla Lawrence ’09,
                                                                                            Pediatric Development Center
A P

Martha Neubert ’67
M        artha Neubert has had an
         extraordinary career in the
service of suffering human beings.
                                                                                 needs.” She accompanied patients
                                                                                 to clinical appointments and
                                                                                 coached them on how to interact
As a talented and versatile practi-                                              with doctors. It was, she says,
tioner of various types of social                                                “rich, painful work.”
work and service, she has encoun-                                                     Martha’s next stop was in the
tered, in a way that few of us do,                                               intensive care unit at Strong
individuals whose fate it is to live                                             Memorial Hospital in Rochester,
with serious illness. She has also                                               New York. Here she works with
chosen to work with the invisible                                                families, helping them cope with
ripples of such illness, the effects                                             the emotions and logistical impact
that a particular catastrophe has                                                of what is going on. I asked for an
on family systems. Moreover, in                                                  example, and she spoke of a recent
her everyday closeness with serious                                              case of an elderly woman admitted
challenge, she has found ways to              Her next job was at the            with brain damage. This woman’s
maintain the necessary strength          Convalescent Hospital for Children      daughter, four weeks prior, had
and resilience. There is much to         in Rochester, treating children aged    died from a very aggressive form
admire about the work that she           3-18 and their families. She spent      of colon cancer. At the same time
has done in this life.                   ten years at this job, beginning as     of admission, her seven-year-old
     Martha said that her orienta-       primarily an outpatient therapist,      grandchild was in a coma after an
tion toward helping others began         though with some residential            auto accident in Ohio. We can
in her years at Miss Hall’s, in the      patients as well. It was, she says, a   only imagine the stresses on that
community service organization,          “wonderful setting for me,” founded     family and the deep need for
and has evolved steadily since. She      on some of the same principles as       smart, committed assistance.
studied psychology at Pace College       Austin Riggs. She reflects that she          I asked the obvious question,
in Westchester County and was            was “fortunate to grow up when I        which was how she, Martha, stays
involved in peer counseling in an        did, when things were changing.”        fresh and strong while dealing
adolescent drop-in center, then at            She began by treating children     with this level of trauma and
a hospital. She remembers one            and their parents separately and        tragedy. She said first that her
young man who attempted an               eventually expanded to family           husband was as overloaded as she,
overdose, ended up a quadriplegic,       therapy. She told me the story of a     but they were able to share what
and needed someone to communi-           single mother who had married           they were doing. Then she talked
cate with him through his ability        into a family of schizophrenics. She    about finding a chiropractor who
to spell out words. In this              had a son, whom Martha saw when         used a “touch technique” to
instance, Martha saw how a long-         he was seven and who was schizo-        reduce stresses in the body. It
term, coaching relationship              phrenic, and a younger son who          brings relaxation when she is in
became significant in both lives.        came into the program at three.         “fright mode.” In addition, she
     After college she worked for        She worked with all of them and         has practiced meditation and yoga
four years as a psychiatric aide,        says that the treatment she pro-        in the past and currently swims
first at the New York Hospital           vided enabled the mother actually       and exercises to reduce her stress.
Cornell Medical Center, and then         to be a mother, work, and support        She also says that, with her exten-
at Austin Riggs in Stockbridge.          her children through school.            sive mental health background,
She graduated from SUNY Albany                After eleven years of working      she is not afraid of people with
with an M.S.W. At Austin Riggs           with children and families, Martha      serious illness, mental or other-
she was working to carry out treat-      decided to apply her clinical skills    wise. Her career, she says, has
ment plans with the residents—           in a more medically based arena.        been “rewarding but very intense.”
great training, she says, in team-       She was hired to work at the                 Concerning Miss Hall’s,
work. She worked with individu-          University of Rochester Medical         Martha says that the older she gets
als and groups, consisting of young      Center as the supervising social        “the more gratitude I have.” She
adults in treatment.                     worker in the Cancer Center. Her        came to Miss Hall’s about ten years
     Her first job after finishing her   clinical work focused primarily on      after her father died, leaving her
M.S.W. was in western New York,          gynecological oncology patients         mother with five children to raise.
at a mental health clinic in Albion,     and their families.                      I observed that she had had the
west of Rochester. She became a               In this work, Martha “learned      experience as a young girl that pro-
child and family therapist and           the value of different modalities.”     vided a deep motivation to be so
headed a program for adults who          She learned to make sure that “we       involved in alleviating the suffering
were deinstitutionalized. Martha         were looking at the overall system      of others, and she agreed. It was
commented that there are many            and collaborating with doctors.”        thrilling for me to hear this story of
more services of this type available     She made sure that other medical        a vastly creative and dedicated life.
now than there were then.                professionals “knew their patients’                          — Peter Norris
A C                                               More Horizons Breakfast Photos
Biancolo to co-Chair
Library Association
                                L      ibrarian Vicky
                                       Biancolo has been
                                  chosen to co-chair the
                                  Western Region of the
                                  Massachusetts School
                                  Library Association.      Geneva MacDonald ’10, Shimoli Kotecha ’10, Isabel Filkins ’10,
                                                                 Kim Pemble, Winni Assefa Belai ’10, Cynthia Mole,
                                       Ms. Biancolo and               Boys and Girls Club Children’s Center
                                  Leigh Barnes, Librarian
                                  at the Stearns and
                                  Capeless elementary
schools in Pittsfield, will share responsibility for con-
ducting local MSLA meetings and keeping members
abreast of current initiatives. They are also required to
attend MSLA executive board meetings, serve as
liaisons to the Western Massachusetts Regional
Library System, and help to create an informed
network of colleagues to share ideas, best practices,
                                                              Elizabeth Cao ’11, Yuwan Lam ’11, Karen McHugh, Karen
and professional development opportunities.                  O'Neill, Vivien Wang ’11, Zoe Cassels ’11, Jane Seo ’11, Kathy
     Ms. Biancolo joined Miss Hall’s in 2006, and she has              Baker, Emma Blair ’11, Egremont School
actively worked to promote the School and the resources
of Humes Euston Hall Library. Last year, MHS partici-
pated in Pittsfield Generations READ! a city-wide
reading initiative supported by Pittsfield’s libraries.
Ms. Biancolo was one of the librarians involved in the
planning and implementation of that project.
     Recently, Ms. Biancolo submitted a successful
application for Picturing America, an initiative of the
National Endowment for the Humanities, conducted
in cooperation with the American Library
Association. As a result, the School received 40 high-      Cyndi Hand, Ellen Richardson, Brittani McMillan ’11, Breeanna
quality reproductions of great American art and a                          Bright ’11, The Christian Center
teacher’s resource book to help include the artwork in
the study of core academic subjects.
     MSLA membership includes about 800 librarians
throughout the state. The association works to ensure
that all Massachusetts schools have libraries that are
integrated into the instructional program and serve all
students. The group also seeks to ensure that school
libraries are managed by credentialed professionals
who provide resources and instruction promoting
student achievement.
                                                                  Ricky Hewins ’10, Darlene White, Sara Newman ’10,
                                                             E.Y. Chun ’10, Boston Symphony Orchestra Resource Center
  Humes Euston Hall Library Fast Facts
  Average Circulation            100 weekly in ’07-08
  Volumes                                       15,658
  Number of New Volumes                1,346 in ’07-08
  Magazine Subscriptions                            60
  Newspapers Subscriptions                           3
  Available Databases                               43
  Number of Computers                               12
  Hours Open Each Week                           117.5          Yuanshu Dai ’11, Dolores Rocha, Savanna Dunham ’11,
                                                                           Lilly Jones ’11, Kimball Farms
I  P’ V

A Miss Hall’s Girl                                             Fall Election Results
The Parents’ Fund for MHS helps support the programs
and initiatives that ensure the success of Miss Hall’s         Class of 2009
girls. Ted Fajen (Tricia ’09), from Lufkin, Texas, and a       Student Council Rep.            Alysha Kercado
member of the Parents’ Fund Committee, shares his              Judicial Representative         Hester Godfrey
MHS family story.
                                                               Class of 2010
                                                               Student Council Rep.            Sara Newman
I   t came to a head early in the middle school years in
    the Texas public school system. Tricia was in the
Gifted and Talented program, getting mostly As and a
                                                               Judicial Representative         Dominique Fields

B or two, but doing no homework. Her mother and I              Class of 2011
both worried that later in life when she had a problem         Student Council Rep.            Andreinna Marmolejos
to solve, she wouldn’t have the tools to solve it.             Judicial Representative         Bethany Fusini
      Valerie went online, found twenty-five schools,
narrowed it down to twelve and finally six. We visited         Class of 2012
all six, with Miss Hall’s being the last. As we were           President                       Emma Rivera
leaving the campus Tricia said that this was where she         Vice President                  Dalia Jimenez
wanted to be. She was accepted, and the ears of                Secretary                       Jasmine Becker
Director of Admission Kim Boland ’94 may never be              Treasurer                       Petty Chen
the same after all that shrieking.                             Class Archivist                 Morgan Schuler
      Tricia’s freshman year adjustment was a difficult        Gold Representative             Val Alvarez
one. The boarding process wasn’t that hard as she is           Blue Representative             Julie Rosa
very gregarious, but she had not been prepared for the         Student Council Rep.            Crystal Lee
academics in a college prep environment. Ms. Pour’s            Judicial Representative         Arielle Sebestyen
World Cultures class, where girls were asked to deter-
mine whether a concept was of the Confucius or
                                                             continued from page 1
Daoist philosophy, was a wake-up call. Tricia needed
help, so we enrolled her for Study Skills with MHS           respect in the culture that make the difference.” This
faculty member Fredi Hungate.                                student also thought that school size is a factor: “MHS
      Tricia’s growth from her sophomore year                is small, so we all get to know each other.” Another
forward has been fantastic. She now has the skills to        girl, a junior, agreed that the old rules of popularity
plan her time, and her grades have dramatically              don’t apply at MHS. She said, “We each have our own
improved (which has given her pride and confi-               group of friends, but we all work with each other.”
dence). We especially appreciate the maturity she has        What is key, she added, is that “we learn to listen to
gained from being in an environment that nurtures            what others are saying and to approach others with an
the individual to be the best citizen she can be in all      open mind.”
the facets of her life.                                           Girls feel this way because we all work hard to
      Last spring Tricia made the varsity lacrosse team.     sustain the culture they describe; we are all vigilant
The sport aside, the camaraderie and joint effort of a       and respond when things go amiss. What is foremost
group with a single purpose is something everyone            in our minds as teachers, however, is sustaining a
should be able to experience at least once, so I was         learning environment in which girls come to know
grateful to Coach Pour.                                      that the source of their power is not in what they
      Tricia relaxed over the summer, and I thought that     have or in whom they know. It is in the clarity they
maybe I overestimated the success she had achieved,          develop about what they believe in deeply and in the
but getting back to Miss Hall’s this September put her       sure knowledge that the world is waiting for their
in the right place to move forward. It will be a busy        contributions.
year with the academics, getting into college, and the
leadership responsibility of being in the graduating
class of 2009.
      I know that Tricia will be able to handle it because
she is a Miss Hall’s girl.                                     i Simmons, Rachel. Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of
                                                                 Aggression in Girls. Orlando, FL: Harcourt, 2002.
                                                              ii Society for Research in Child Development (2005, May 17).
                                                                The Dark Side of Adolescent Popularity. ScienceDaily.
                                                                Retrieved October 19, 2008, from http://www.sciencedaily.com
                                                             iii Carey, Benedict, “Spot on Popularity Scale Speaks to the
                                                                 Future; Middle Has Its Rewards,” The New York Times,
                                                                 September 1, 2008.
                                Miss Hall’s School
                    November/December 2008
   SUNDAY              MONDAY                TUESDAY           WEDNESDAY              THURSDAY                FRIDAY                SATURDAY

                     REMINDER
                                                                                                                                 NOVEMBER
                                                                                                            Community
                                                                                                                                          1
Please update your e-mail address(es) with the School:                                                                                  7:00 am
                                                                                                             Weekend              SAT Reasoning and
           Parents to: LCOLL@misshalls.org                                                                                            Subject Tests
       Alumnae to: ALUMNAE@misshalls.org                                                                                             2:00-3:30 pm
                                                                                                                                     JV Soccer (A)
                       Thank you                                                                                                   Varsity Soccer (A)
                                                                                                                                  Cross-Country (A)

       2                    3                    4                     5                   6                      7                       8
Daylight Savings          9:50 am          Expressive Arts          2:30 pm                             Last Day of Athletics          7:00 am
  Time Ends           Class Meetings         Field Trip        Field Hockey (H)                            and Afternoon              SSAT Test
                         in lieu of                                 3:00 pm                                   Activities             (on campus)
                     Morning Meeting                           Varsity Soccer (A)
                                                                                                                                  Cross-Country (A)
                                                                                                                                    New England
                                                                                                                                   Championships

       9                   10                   11                   12                    13                    14                       15
                                                                    5:15 pm
                                                              Fall Athletic Awards
                                                              Program & Dinner
                                                                   (required)




      16                   17                   18                   19                   20                     21                      22
                           TBA                  TBA           Modified Schedule                         Modified Schedule
                    Pre-Season Tryouts   Pre-Season Tryouts    Friday schedule                          Wednesday schedule
                     for Winter Sports    for Winter Sports
                                                                   5:30 pm                                  Thanksgiving
                                                                  Sophomore                             Vacation begins after
                                                                                                           classes; earliest
                                                              Thanksgiving Dinner                          departure from
                                                               (formal/required)                         school is 12:10 pm

      23                   24                   25                   26                   27                    28                       29
                                                                                     Thanksgiving Day




      30            DECEMBER                     2                     3                    4                     5                       6
                            1                 8:00 am               3:00 pm                                 Community          SAT Reasoning and
                       Thanksgiving         Fall Semester   Varsity Volleyball (H)                            Weekend             Subject Tests
                      Vacation ends;       Classes Resume        6:30-7:30 pm                                Big Sisters /          8:00 am
                     resident Students        5:15 pm          ISA Culture Fair                          Little Sisters Event      SSAT Test
                    return by 9:00 pm       Grace Notes       (Centennial Hall)                                5:30 pm           (on campus)
                                         and Vocal Ensemble
                                             perform at                                                 Varsity Basketball (H)      3:00 pm
                                          BMC tree lighting                                               Trustee Meetings Varsity Volleyball (H)

       7                    8                    9                   10                    11                    12                      13
     2:30 pm                                Grace Notes            2:30 pm                                                              8:00 am
Freshwoman Class                         and Vocal Ensemble Varsity Volleyball (A)                                                  ACT—Seniors
  Holiday Party                              perform at            3:00 pm                                                           2:45-4:30 pm
(Centennial Hall)                          Devonshire and    JV Basketball (H)                                                   Varsity Volleyball (A)
                                          Melbourne Place          4:00 pm                                                       Varsity Basketball (H)
                                                              JV Volleyball (A)                                                    JV Volleyball (A)
                                                                                                                                   JV Basketball (H)

      14                   15                   16                   17                    18                   19                       20
                    Secret Gift Days for Secret Gift Days for Secret Gift Days for      8:00 pm          Modified Schedule
                    students and faculty students and faculty students and faculty   Music and Dance       Winter Vacation
                                               5:30 pm              4:00 pm               Night          begins after classes;       Happy
                                         ISA Holiday Program Day Student Meeting                          earliest departure
                                               6:15 pm          (Woods Theater)                             from school is          Holidays!
                                          ISA Holiday Dinner                                               12:10 pm; plan
                                           (formal/required)                                             flights accordingly

      21                   22                   23                   24                    25                   26                       27
                                                                 Christmas Eve        Christmas Day
Hanukkah begins                                                                                                                   Resident Students
  at sundown                                                                                                                            return
                                                                                                                                    by 9:00 pm on
                                                                                                                                  Sunday, January 4
                                                                                                                       Non-Profit
                                                                                                                      Organization
                                                                                                                      U.S. Postage
                                                                                                                         PAID
                                                                                                                      Permit No. 73
                                                                                                                      Pittsfield, MA
                                                                                                                          01201




M  H

New Sport: Crew




           Members of the MHS crew team, from left: Isabel Gregg ’10, Emma Blair ’11 (in back), Anna Szemes ’10,
          Megan Krentsa ’09 (in back), Emma Donfried ’11, Leah Regan ’09, Helen Donfried ’09 (in back), Jo Sulin ’09,
           Anika Pommers-Dear ’11 (in back), Hayley McEachern ’11, Elizabeth Cao ’11, Taylor Gillespie ’12 (in back)



M       HS athletes didn’t just take to the athletic fields and
        cross-country trails this fall. They also took to the
water. The School, with a little help from Berkshire
                                                                       Isabel Gregg ’10 said she joined because she rowed in
                                                                  middle school and loves the sport. She also finds the regat-
                                                                  tas inspiring because members see the college teams, and
County’s rowing community, offered crew as a trial sport,         she wants to row when in college. “I love being out on the
which was well-received. “The response was great,” said           lake after school,” said Isabel. “It’s beautiful, especially in
Director of Athletics Mercedes Pour. “A dozen girls went          the fall. Also, the feeling you get when a group of rowers
out for the team, and they really enjoyed it. They                rows perfectly in unison (much harder than it may seem)
embraced the crew mentality and culture.”                         is amazing. It’s a real team sport, though in a completely
     The sport was added as the Athletic Department               different way from soccer or basketball, because you have
reviewed all of its offerings. In fact, the department consid-    to all be willing to push yourselves to finish a race and you
ered adding crew a number of years ago but was unable to          have to realize that it’s about the team and not you.”
do so. “During this latest review, we learned that Joan                “Crew is very demanding in terms of physical fitness,
Schultz, who coaches the Lenox High School team, might            but what I really like is the teamwork,” said Coach Pour.
be available at times that would fit our schedule,” said Pour.    “Everything about the sport—getting the boat off the
This time the schedule worked, and the team fielded two,          trailer, getting it into the water, getting into the boat—
four-person boats, or sculls, each with four rowers and a         means girls have to work together. Also, the girls call the
coxswain, who steers and directs the rowers. The School           shots. The coxswain has to speak in a loud, clear voice and
rented two sculls and equipment for the team, which               with authority. Everything about the sport seems like it
trained on Stockbridge Bowl and competed in two regattas.         really fits the nature of athletics at MHS.”

				
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