Monthly Archives: June 2011

To friend or not to friend?

A new rite of passage has hit secondary schools across the nation, including the sleepy hamlet of Byfield, Massachusetts.  Let the friend requesting begin!

This past May, mere hours after the closing strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” were played, and even before the last of the graduates and their parents had gulped down one final glass of cucumber-infused water and grabbed a pistachio cannoli for the road (mmm … yum), Governor’s faculty began receiving Facebook friend requests in their email inboxes.

Like most secondary schools, Governor’s prohibits faculty and students from becoming Facebook friends.  Of course there are ways around this, but most people follow the rules.  Perhaps that’s why Commencement Sunday, and the days that follow, have become such a free-for-all, with friend requests flying about like hockey pucks in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals (love those Bs).

But what should be a simple click of the mouse, why, yes, I will accept your friend request, honestly isn’t that easy.  Do I really want to see every graduation party photo or read every snarky comment? Will I be able to follow the conversation without Urban Dictionary open on my desktop? And, technically, can I be accused of “creeping” if I use Facebook to track down a new graduate and encourage him to fulfill his Annual Fund pledge?

On the flip side, do I want students seeing the contents of my tame (okay, lame) Facebook wall? Will they pity me because I have so few friends, or mock me because one of my pals engaged us all in a lengthy Facebook discussion about finding the recipe for a good potato salad?  Sure, I’ve waded into the Facebook waters as administrator of our institutional FB page (call me Will), but what about my own page?

After much thought, or perhaps just a little thought, I made a decision. Private secondary schools, like Governor’s, really are different.  Faculty form surprisingly close relationships with students, and it’s easy to forget that they are teenagers because they’re smart, funny and comfortable with adults.  If you want to stay in touch, Facebook is a logical next step.  Sure, you may see some things that you wish you didn’t (yes, I’m talking to you, recent grads X and Y), but if students want to let you into their private worlds then why not?

So I’ll be getting my Facebook page in order, beefing up my numbers by contacting as many former friends and colleagues as I can find, and uploading at least one profile pic (I’m currently using the default, blue faceless cartoon) in anticipation of my leap into this new Facebook universe. And hopefully I’ll befriend a recent grad or two before they head off to college and forget all about me.

Sue Hofmann is director of communications at the Academy


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Jumping the wall

One of the coolest traditions at The Governor’s Academy is the wall jump at Commencement, when the newly minted graduates run down a grassy path lined with faculty members and hurl themselves over a stone wall in back of Mansion House.  They jump in pairs, in groups, or solo, usually at breakneck speed or, at the very least, an urgent pace.  Some easily clear the perennials, while others stomp the irises as they fall; it really doesn’t matter.  The crowds cheer for every athletic leap, clumsy hop or bloody tumble onto the macadam (yes, that happens now and then). Graduates of the Class of 2011 were remarkably creative, strolling about with water guns, performing choreographed dances, and tossing LeBron James talcum powder in the air, for example.  But Ben Jenkins ’11 was the star attraction, executing an aerial flip with a half-twisting something or other, to the delight of the attentive audience.  Congratulations Class of 2011 … may you always land on your feet. 

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We are the champions

Governor’s alumni Ellie Clayman ’10 and Blake Riley ’09 recently won NCAA lacrosse championships at Northwestern University and the University of Virginia, respectively.  Clayman played in six games for the powerhouse Wildcat squad, which has claimed six national titles in the past seven seasons.  Riley played in 18 games for the Cavaliers, who endured a tumultuous 12 months en route to the university’s fifth NCAA title.  Riley and his scrappy midfield unit were lauded for their especially strong play throughout the NCAA Tournament.  UVA defeated the University of Maryland in the final; Mike Shakespeare ’08 plays for Maryland (sorry, Terps).

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Let them eat pie

A record number of students, faculty, alumni, and faculty spouses and children competed in the 31st Annual Spring Pie Race on May 26, 2011.  The weather was in the low 80s, with high humidity, but that didn’t stop the spirited group from enjoying their sprint in, out, around and through the Govs campus.  In the battle for campus bragging rights, the students beat the faculty by a razor slim margin, 23-29 (low score wins, like golf).   And every finisher walked away with his or her very own pie.  You can’t beat that.

Link to photos (thanks RG!)

Place Time Name Class

1. 17:36 Mr. Kelly ‘F, ’85

2. 19:21 B. Haran ’12
3. :54 E.J. Connor ’13

4. 20:06 Mr. Hart ‘F
5. :56 J. Rokous ’13
6. :59 N. He ’13

7. 21:38 A. McDonough ’11
8. :46 Mr. Borgatti ‘FS

9. 22:26 Ms. Block ‘F, ’06
10. :31 Mr. Suomi ‘F

11. 23:24 Patrick Farrell ’14
12. :32 Ja. Wotton ‘FC
13. :43 C. Means ’12

14. 24:39 H. Rausch ’12
15. :55 D. Trotman ’14

16. 25:02 J. Harris ’13
17. :05 I. Hulseman ’13
18. :22 R. Hamovit ’09
19. :27 O. Rokous ‘FC broke old yr.-old rec. by 2:32
20. :38 C. Clavin ’14
21. :39 A. Cusack ’14
22. :45 E. Falconer ‘FC

23. 26:08 B. McMenimen ’13
24. :08 A. Cardarelli ’14
25. :15 E. McDavitt ’14
26. :17 M. Alonardo ’14
27. :18 Ms. Stickney ‘F

28. 27:21 S. Borwick ’13
29. :45 C. Fogarty ’13

30. 28:11 J. Suggs ’13
31. :26 J. Nickodemus ’14
32. :45 M. Gary ’13

33. 29:14 C. Wolf  ’14
34. :21 B. Bidstrup ’13
35. :22 J. Bower ’13
36. :26 V. Ramos-Glew ‘FS

37. 30:18 L. Duhaime ‘F
38. :19 J. Harrell ’14
39. :19 T. Markos ’14

40. 31:13 D. O’Sullivan ’12
41. :33 E. McDonnell ’14
42. :35 M. Schneider ’11

43. 32:16 A. Hemlepp ’13

44. 33:14 C. Grewal ’13
45. :14 E. York ’13
46. :14 C. Lavallee ’13
47. :14 M. Cormier ’14

48. 35:30 N. Hamovit ’13
49. :31 A. Hegarty ’14
50. :47 S. Falconer ‘FC est. new age-group record
51. :49 Mr. Falconer ‘F

52. 36:53 T. Mulvey ’14
53. :53 A. Woodworth ’13
54. :53 E. Conry ’12

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