Centennial Celebration of New Canaan Country School



New Canaan, CTOctober 1, 2016

An Evening to Remember: The Centennial Celebration of New Canaan Country School

Seven hundred fifty alumni, faculty and parents gathered together Saturday, Oct. 1, for An Evening to Remember: The Centennial Celebration of New Canaan Country School. The evening began with a toast from President of the Board of Trustees Steve Rodgers who told guests that the large turnout spoke volumes about what Country School had meant to so many over the last 100 years. For most, he acknowledged, it felt like a homecoming – “Country School feels like a second home for students, parents, teachers and staff, alumni and parents of alumni.” To the teachers, he added “You have made possible for my children – and for the children of so many of us here – the most extraordinary education. Thank you.”

Head of School Dr. Robert P. Macrae, in his remarks, added thoughts about what has changed and what has stayed the same over the past century. “When Country School began in October 1916, it was a small group of parents, that was quickly joined by a small group of educators, who were passionately determined to provide children with the best possible education, the most vibrant, most complete education of the whole child. While in some ways the school has changed dramatically, in some very important ways, it has stayed exactly the same.”

“We remain a child-centered school – infused with energy, imagination, curiosity and – above all – a desire; a passion to learn. We continue to enjoy this beautiful 75-acre campus and the sense of openness and possibility it provides. We pride ourselves on having the very best, most dedicated faculty. We continue to innovate where necessary and hold firm to what has been tried and true. We continue to be leaders and pioneers, adding to the landscape of education, staying a step ahead. As we look to the future and imagine the Country School of tomorrow, we know that this extraordinary school’s future is ours to determine.”

Dr. Macrae was then joined by two of the prior Heads of School Nicholas Thacher (1979-2000) and Timothy Bazemore (2000-2014), along with Interim Head of School Peter O’Neill (2014-2015), for a round of applause by all those assembled.

Centennial co-chairs Julie Halloran, Topsy Post ’66 and Gigi Brush Priebe ’74 were thanked for their tireless work in overseeing countless activities and events leading up to the culminating weekend such as student curriculum projects, archival presentations and exhibits, the publication of two books and numerous opportunities for members of the school community to reconnect and reminisce.

Additional gratitude was bestowed upon the evening’s event co-chairs Kelley Barnett, Sarah O’Herron Casey ’80, Annie Cohen, Josephine DiBiasio and Jacqueline Jeffress who organized the seated dinner for over 700 catered by OnTheMarc.

The event culminated with a short film presentation called Audentes Fortuna Juvat: Fortune Favors the Bold and ended with many dancing late into the evening to the music of New York City Swing, or reminiscing with friends and faculty.

An additional reception was held Friday evening, Sept. 30, which provided alumni the opportunity to thank current and former faculty and staff of the school. This reception, called An Evening to Honor, was co-chaired by Ashely Burr, Lyn Bremer Chivvis ’60 and Jane Isaacs Schoenholtz ’80 and attended by more than 400. A highlight of this event was the awarding of a Faculty Grove by Steve Bloom ’03 President of the school’s Alumni Association. The Grove was dedicated in honor of the faculty who have served the students of New Canaan Country School so exceptionally for over 100 years. It will be incorporated as part of campus plans for the future.

New Canaan Country School is a co-educational day school for students in Beginner’s (age 3) through Grade 9. Located in New Canaan, the school serves children from Fairfield and Westchester counties. For further information: www.countryschool.net.

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