June 2021

Carroll Connected is an email to alumni, their families, and Carroll friends that includes interesting, newsy, exciting, creative, and fun things happening at Carroll School. We hope you enjoy and we welcome ideas and/or updates about what you and your family have been up to!

Celebrating Steve Wilkins

At Carroll, our ability to adapt, evolve, and improve as a community at every turn has played a critical role in realizing our goal of “giving each child what they most need.” It is because of Steve Wilkins' leadership over the past 16 years that helped us to realize this goal ... time and time again. We are so thankful!

Naturally, we had to celebrate Mr. Wilkins and all he's accomplished at Carroll as he retires this year. The community came together in many different ways:

  • Faculty & staff gathered virtually for a fun night filled with memories, kudos, and some humor
  • Students and faculty cheered on Steve in a "Clap Out" organized by our Parents' Association (see video)
  • Students, parents, and alums share stories and messages in a book presented to Steve (see below for some messages)
  • And so much more!
Steve Wilkins' Clap Out
Steve Wilkins' Messages from Alums & PArents
Steve, thank you so much for all that you have done to make Carroll such an extraordinary place. My son, Benjamin, would not be where he is today without the skills that he learned at Carroll under your leadership. I am so grateful for the incredible work you have done to support all of Carroll's students, and the foundation you have created for future generations of students with dyslexia. Thanks to you, Steve, so many more students will gain the knowledge and skills they need so that their learning disability will not be a barrier to their success in their education or beyond.

-Liz Cooper P'07

Steve Wilkins likes to ask, "If not for Carroll?" We like to ask, "If not for Steve?" The McQuillan family thanks Steve for his service to our global society by developing legions of neurodiverse people, who contribute mightily, bringing about huge positive change to a world that, if not for Steve, these great people may not have been able to otherwise even access, much less impact. Steve's vision of a world that embraces the notion of superior outcomes from decisions made from contributions of a diversity of cognitive strength. We give heartfelt thanks for your shining example of giving each child what that child needs most.

-John McQuillan, Parent of Current 7th Grader

Mr. Wilkins is one of the best! When I was a student, every time I passed him in the Storrow halls, saw him on the sidelines of an after school sports game, or helping out at cab lines, he always had the biggest smile and was excited to see everyone. One time I made an art mobile in Ms. Francis's art class and gave it to Mr. Wilkins as a gift. He had the mobile over his desk in Storrow for many years and it always made me so happy to see it when I would stop in to say hi. I wish Mr. Wilkins plenty of new adventures and a great retirement!

-Meredith Kauffman '08

Steve, it is hard to believe that it was six years ago that you stood at the podium at Carroll graduation and read this excerpt from a letter I wrote to you expressing my gratitude for all that Carroll had done for my son:

There is a parable about an old man walking on a beach amid thousands of shored starfish, all destined to perish. He throws them back one at a time. A younger man comes along and asks him why he bothers, because he cannot possibly save them all, even if he works all day, so the young man posits it makes no difference. The old man picks up one and throws it back and replies, "It made a difference to that one."

Carroll has made a difference to so many starfish on your watch. Thank you so much for all that you have done for Carroll families and students.

-Amy Belger P'15

How do you thank someone who has forever changed the life of your family? Steve, from the first time we met you and Sarah nine years ago as we left Dillan for her first day of Beginning Readers and listened to you welcome us as new parents in the gym your words have always calmed, inspired and rung true for us. Your assurance that we had done the right thing for our child, your promises that Carroll could help her learn, your words of wisdom as one parent to another have gotten us through year after year. We can never express how thankful we are to you and to your leadership of Carroll. We are forever grateful. You and Sarah have become part of the story of our family.

-David, Dani, Dillan '20 and Chase (5th Grader) Strimaitis

Welcoming Dr. Renée Greenfield, Carroll's Next Head of School

New Head of School, Dr. Renée Greenfield shares all that led her back to Carroll and reflects upon the educational philosophies and motivations that will guide her as the next leader of Carroll School in this video series.

Live Your Dream: Inspiring students to dream courageously and confidently

David Bamforth ’11 came to Carroll in the second grade. Now, almost two decades later, David is a college graduate (Wentworth Institute of Technology ’19) and the owner of two growing businesses. Since arriving with David, his parents, Morag and Mark, have been active volunteers, Carroll ambassadors, and generous supporters.

Most recently, the Bamforths invested in the renovation of the Arts & Innovation Center during our campaign, If Not for Carroll, through their philanthropy and with a lasting tribute to Jennifer “Jeffie” Wilkins Chapin, beloved daughter of Steve and Sarah Wilkins, David, and each and every Carroll student. This comes in two parts - a mural representing mountains and valleys entitled, “Live Your Dream” to highlight the highs and lows associated with pursuing a dream. The second component is a still-to-be-named “Dream Wall”, where students store their own dreams in “capsules”. These dreams are kept private but can be accessed, updated, or changed as students evolve.

View this video to learn more about the art installation created by Jaywalk Studios in collaboration with the Bamforths, the Wilkins family and Carroll’s A&I Center teaching team. Like our students, you will see how the Bamforths' dream became a reality.

Live Your Dream Video
Steve Wilkins, Morag Bamforth & Sarah Wilkins
Middle School Teacher Nick Wilkins & His Students Using the Dream Wall
Dream Wall Lit Up

Congratulations to these Alums!

The following is an excerpt from remarks Steve Wilkins has made to our graduating class since arriving at Carroll as Head of School. We hear from parents year after year how often these words resonate with them and their Carroll alum(s), most especially at milestone moments that before arriving at Carroll were often unimaginable.

It is unlikely that there will be a more important graduation in your life than today. Surely all of you will graduate from high school. And almost all of you will choose to graduate from college. Lots of you will pursue advanced degrees.

You have learned well, you have become strong people, you have found ways to let your intelligences shine through, you have gained self-appreciation, and you have become stronger for the experience. “Dyslexia makes you stronger.”

When you get your diplomas from your high schools and colleges and graduate programs, remember that it all was made possible by what you did at Carroll.

The following is a list of recent college comings and goings we’ve learned about directly from the alums and parents. We send hearty congratulations to each for their hard work and great accomplishments. If you haven’t had the chance to be in touch, we want to hear from and celebrate with you, too! Share your update here.

Alumni graduating from high school

David DelPico -  going to University of Hartford for Radiology Tech

Jason Feinstein - going to Elon University

Justin Blake Garfinkel - going to Lynn University

Abigail Kelley - going to Tulane University for Business

Jake Lunder - going to Syracuse University for Industrial Design

Sydney Blackburn - going to University of Vermont

Michael Sawyer - going to Colby College

Ryan Mead - going to Wentworth Institute of Technology for Architecture

Cristina Hennessey - taking a gap year, deferred admission to Dean College, Manhattanville, Mitchell College, and College of St. Rose

Caroline Solakian - going to New York University - Tisch School for the Arts for Photography and Imaging

Ethan Sprague - starting an apprenticeship in a trade union

Nicholas Lynch - going to Quinnipiac University

Katarina Klacko - going to Northeastern University

Jackson Lin - going to Tulane University

Evan Graham - going to Rutgers

Scott Sigmund - going to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) for Architecture

Cooper Petrie - going to University of Vermont for Environmental Engineering

Lily McCullough - going to Savannah College of Art and Design

Sarah Vasily-Cioffi - going to Boston University

Tyler Wenning - going to Syracuse University

Anna Bush - going to Chapman University

Lara-Kate Lanza - going to Sarah Lawrence College

Joel Puckett - going to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Nathaniel Smith - going to American University in DC

Parker Gregory - before going to the NOLS program, Parker is building a camper van and travelling across the country to mountain bike in Idaho and Oregon and surf in Southern California

Ethan Kerr - going to George Washington University

Samantha Pfeffer - going to Muhlenberg College

Cyrus Jewett - going to Babson College

Samuel Bishins - going to High Point University

Alumni graduating from College

Jennie Greenhalgh - graduated from Bucknell

Trevor Yandow - graduated from Villanova

Alvie Stoddard - graduated from Babson

Nick Antonellis - graduated from Bates

Julia Greenbaum - graduated from Trinity

Ryan Habermann - graduated from Trinity

Sam Esbenshade - graduated from Unity College