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School News

Alixe Callen will become the first female head of school in SG’s history 

The St. George’s School Board of Trustees announced on Dec. 9 the appointment of Alexandra “Alixe” Callen as our 12th head of school. Callen will become the first female to lead St. George’s when she begins her tenure on July 1, 2017.

Callen, the head of the upper school at Lakeside School in Seattle, Wash., since 2013, has extensive leadership experience in both independent and public schools. Prior to Lakeside, she was the principal of Acton-Boxborough High School in Acton, Mass., from 2008-2013, and the assistant principal of Needham High School from 2004-2008. Callen holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brown University and a master’s degree and doctorate from Harvard University.

“I am delighted and honored on behalf of the board and our school community to welcome Alixe Callen into the St. George’s family,” said Chair of the St. George’s Board of Trustees, Leslie B. Heaney. “Alixe is a brilliant educator who has devoted her entire career to fostering the academic success and personal well-being of her students. We are confident that under her leadership, St. George’s will continue to thrive and fulfill its mission: to nurture our students so that they may discover their particular talents, to prepare them for a successful college experience, and to encourage them to lead lives of constructive service to others.”

In accepting her appointment, Callen said: “I am honored and humbled to be asked to serve as St. George’s next head of school. The chance to lead this highly professional faculty is a tremendous opportunity. To do so with the endorsement of a dedicated and supportive board is icing on the cake.”

When she arrives on the Hilltop next summer, Callen will be joined by her husband, James “Ace” Bailey, and their sons Zander, 18, and Miles, 14. “Throughout the search process I have been impressed by each and every person I have met,” Callen added. “Honestly, I am hoping the time flies between now and July 1!”

Heaney recognized current Head of School Eric Peterson and his wife Krista, senior associate director of admission, for their dedication and nearly 13 years of leadership of the school. “Eric and Krista have done so much to make the school we love the academically exceptional and warm and nurturing community that it is today. The Petersons will indeed be missed, but we are thrilled to have Alixe and her family join our community and look forward to welcoming them this summer,” she said.

To learn more about our new head of school, click here



Weekly News


Dec. 2, 2016

Greetings from the Hilltop!

Many in the Dragon community were saddened this week to learn of the death of Dr. Debra Saunders-White, SG’s first black female administrator and first director of technology, who served on the faculty from 1994-1998. Deb (right), also a teacher, coach and dorm parent, passed away on Saturday after a heroic battle with kidney cancer. She was just 59. ... Deb’s legacy on the Hilltop lives on. Read more about her pioneering efforts and view remembrances from former students and teachers we’ve gathered on our website. Deb's full obituary is here.

Students were back in classes Tuesday after the Thanksgiving break, and they’re right back into the swing of things. The winter sports season officially began on Wednesday as Dragon squash and boys’ hockey players competed in their first games of 2016-17. Follow all the athletic teams at www.stgeorges.edu/athletics. As we closed out the fall, star linebacker Isaac McCray ’17 was the subject of a feature in the Newport Daily News on Saturday. Isaac has signed on to play for the Division I Bryant College Bulldogs next year. 

Today we're premiering the fourth video in our six-part series on students and their passions. Meet standout swimmer Rozie Moylan ’17 (right) on our Vimeo page.

Evidence of Dragon Pride:
Mike Violette ’10 and his girlfriend, Kerry Durkin, included a chapel tower climb in their visit to Newport last weekend. Mike called the trip an early celebration of his birthday, which was on Wednesday. 

An exhibit by local artist Mandy Howe opens in the Hunter Gallery Monday. Her show ends Jan. 20. If you’re in the area, please join us at the artist reception on Friday, Jan. 6.

We’ve added a reception in Seoul, Korea, to our slate of events honoring Eric and Krista Peterson this year (see below). As Eric noted in his Convocation speech in September, the two are soaking up every minute of their last year on the Hilltop. The beloved Christmas events, which begin next Friday with the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols, will surely be among some of their most treasured memories.

Geronimo is closing in on Grenada as Captain Mike Dawson and the crew head into the last nautical miles of a transatlantic voyage from Spain’s Canary Islands. Thanks to some thoughtful stocking of the galley, the sailors enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast aboard the boat last week. Read Mike’s excellent blog entries and track the boat at https://www.stgeorges.edu/geronimo.

The trivia question for this week: As the Christmas Festival draws near, a few lucky students will begin learning their lines for the traditional mummers’ play in King Hall. Can you finish this line from the Doctor?: "I am a learned Doctor, though some may call me quack/And I have special medicines inside my little sack/A sprinkle here, a sprinkle there, a sigh above the eyes/And now I’ll say my magic words to ...’’ 
The first person to reply with the correct answer will receive a coupon for $10 off a purchase from the SG Bookstore, which has some wonderful new items. Good luck!


Save the dates for:
• Our Seoul, Korea, reception, hosted by Mr. Kangki Lee and Mrs. Yoon Kyung Cho P’18, and Jennifer Shin P’17: Wednesday, Jan. 18.
• Our Charleston, S.C., reception, hosted by Dawn and Bear Dyke ’87: Thursday, Feb. 2, at the Mira Winery Tasting Room, from 6-8 p.m.
• The Alumni Hockey Game: Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017
• Our Washington, D.C., reception, hosted by Tucker ’87 and Susie Carlson ’87, P’15 ’18: Wednesday, April 12, 2017, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
• Our Bermuda reception, hosted by Calista and Jamie Todd P’18, at the Bermuda Yacht Club: Tuesday, April 18, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
• Our Glen Cove/Locust Valley area reception, hosted by David and Lisa Scully ’81 P’15, ’18, ’19: Thursday, April 27, 2017, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
• Alumni Weekend 2017: May 19-21, 2017

To RSVP, or for more information about any of these events, email us at events@stgeorges.edu

To view photos from recent St. George’s events, visit our Flickr page.

Share your alumni news and photos with us at alumni@stgeorges.edu


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A new exhibit in the St. George's Archives focuses on Memorial School House, built in 1923.

School History


Designed by the architectural firm McKim, Mead & White, Memorial School House was completed in 1923 and was meant to serve as a lasting monument honoring those alumni and faculty who served in WWI.

As of 1919 when the monument was conceived, 80 percent of the school’s alumni had served, according to School Archivist Valerie Simpson, and by the time the building was completed, 15 alumni and one faculty member had died.

“As reported in the school publications at the time, an academic building was chosen so as to form a ‘living legacy’ that would bond all future generations of students to those men who served and sacrificed for the noble cause of defending a free, educated society,” Simpson writes.

Over the last few years, Memorial School House’s slate roof was replaced and its gilded cupola renovated.

The building is slated for additional major restoration in the coming years.

Visit a photo gallery of the collection.

In a talk entitled, "Making Perspective," Dr. BJ Miller '89, a palliative care doctor, talks about the nature of suffering -- and how we respond to it



Dr. BJ Miller, St. George’s Class of 1989, was the featured speaker during a milestone weekend for the school in late February that also included the formal dedication of our impressive new Academic Center.

Miller, a palliative care specialist in San Francisco who sustained devastating injuries in a freak accident in college, captivated the audience Feb. 26 with his intellectual and creative ruminations on human suffering and end-of-life health care.

Watch Dr. Miller’s talk on our Vimeo channel.

“It was one of the best [talks] I have attended — both in and out of St. George's,” said Toreali Kurmanov ’16. “In addition, Dr. Miller proves that SG alumni are some of the most motivated and inspirational people out there.”

Students weigh in on recent media reports of St. George's troubled past

Campus Life

Updates regarding the ongoing investigation into past incidents of sexual abuse at St. George's may be found at Healing St. George's.

Following is an editorial that recently ran in St. George's school newspaper, The Red & White:

Students weigh in on recent media reports of St. George’s troubled past

By Taylor Kirkpatrick ’16

On behalf of the Red & White Editorial Board and the student body, I would like to address some issues that have become front and center for our community as of late. As everyone is aware, St. George’s has been the focus of international media attention for events that have transpired in our past which are painful for all who are involved. While we all wish that these events had never occurred, it is our responsibility, as a community, to own up to our past, while also propelling ourselves into the future.

Since this scandal has surfaced, a couple of things have become abundantly clear. As students, we all still get up and go to class every day and we still love our school. However, we continue our jobs here as students while remaining keenly aware of the severity of the situation and compassionate towards the victims harmed.

Over the past couple of months, as the allegations have emerged, the Red & White Editorial Board has taken the opportunity to reach out to students throughout our community to understand the impact of these unfortunate events on life at St. Georges for the current student body. While many find themselves at a distance from these events, due to the fact that they happened many years ago, the students feel that the administration has successfully kept the student body informed and abreast of the state of affairs.

Honor Board member Annie Kim ’16 explained, “Mr. Peterson has done a really good job trying to keep us, the students, out of it, but at the same time, he has given us as much information as possible so that we can prepare ourselves for what is to come.” Many students agreed on the fact that they feel well informed about the allegations, but also understand their distance from the events in our school’s past. “I feel really detached from the situation, but it still pains me to think that this used to happen and I hope that everything gets resolved,” said fellow Honor Board member, Laura Edson ’16. While most students feel a sense of detachment from the allegations, there is no lack of empathy for those who were involved. “The school, for me, personally, has been nothing but positive and I know that is the case for a lot of my friends and classmates as well. I hope that everything goes smoothly from here and that these victims can be helped,” said Senior Prefect, Tim Baumann ’16. Fellow prefect, Caroline Macaulay ’16, agreed, “I have a feeling that it will all work out, but at the same time, it is odd to be removed from a situation that hits so close to home.”

As a community, I think that it is also important to understand that while St. George’s may be the one highlighted in the news now, we are not alone in these incidents. Unfortunately, sexual abuse has been a reality in the past for many schools and communities. However, this does not excuse the actions that we must still remain responsible for. “If we want to grow from this experience and become a better school, we need to talk about this and look back on what we did wrong and fix it, so looking forward we don’t make that mistake again,” said Head of the Honor Board Freddy Gregoire ’16. “I think that there’s a lot to learn from all of this.”

When alumnus Dr. BJ Miller ’89 gave a talk on Feb. 26 in honor of the official opening of the new Academic Center, he reiterated his pride for St. George’s and explained how impressed he was with how we have united in the face of these hard times. Dr. Miller, a palliative care specialist and executive director of the “Zen Hospice Project” in San Francisco, went on to speak about the nature of pain and suffering. While the majority of the suffering that Dr. Miller encounters is centered around his hospice work, he explained that it is a reality for all humans to suffer, in some way, at least once in their lifetime.

To me, Dr. Miller’s words about suffering can be paralleled with the incidents our community is currently facing. However, it seems that, universally, the St. George’s community feels that this suffering can bring us closer together and make us stronger for the future. “Even though we are in a tornado right now, there is definitely still a silver lining,” said Edson.

Many alumni have banned together on social media to support the community and show their love for the school. “I think that it is awesome that former Dragons are posting on Facebook about their Dragon pride,” said Daisy Mayer ’17. Edson explained, “Mr. Peterson has a saying about rooting for and not against. I think that is exactly what the alumni and present students are doing. It’s a really positive reaction.”

Boarding schools are special because of the unique opportunity to live among teachers and mentors. These events give current students an appreciation for the safety and security that we all feel on the Hilltop today.

As a reporter for The New York Times, Kate Zernike '86 writes often about America's most talked-about current events — but what she's really interested in are people


Kate Zernike ’86 was at her home in Montclair, N.J., getting her two boys — Frits, 8, and Nicolaas, 6 — ready for school on May 13 when a text message popped up on her cell phone. A friend was asking if she could drop off her own son at Kate’s house before the school bus arrived. There had been an accident in Philadelphia, the friend reported, and she needed to get to the hospital where the friend’s husband was to undergo emergency surgery.

Then came an email from Zernike’s boss, the Metro editor at The New York Times, Wendell Jamieson. “Can I lend you to National?” he asked. Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188, on its way from Washington to New York and carrying 238 passengers, had crashed at 9:30 p.m. the night before.

Zernike needed to start reporting. Read the full article


Geronimo - A Ship At Sea

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    • SatDec10 Open Weekend
    • TueDec13 Christmas Festival 7:30 PMChapel
    • FriDec16 Christmas Break Begins
    • FriDec16 Varsity Basketball and Hockey Tournaments
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A Coeducational Boarding and Day School for Grades 9 Through 12
St. George's School
372 Purgatory Road Middletown, Rhode Island 02842
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