Jack Erbeck and Andy Blake did not just want to go out on top. These two soon-to-be Hun School graduates wanted their final game for the Raiders’ baseball team to be a memory neither would soon forget. Erbeck, Blake and seven other final-year players on head coach Tom Monfiletto’s squad got to share in a trophy as Hun defeated Peddie, 12-0, at William Thompson Field to earn the 2019 NJISAA Prep A state title.
Hun School Launches a First-of-its-Kind Immersion Learning Curriculum
For three weeks this spring, Hun freshmen, sophomores, and juniors will participate in a ground-breaking immersion learning experience designed to offer a deep exploration of real-world topics. Beginning May 15th, 400 students will take a three-week mini-course that will take them out of the classroom and into the origin of an event, problem, or theory (in places like Arizona, Montana, Washington, D.C., Memphis, France, and Ghana.)
The Hun School boys’ lacrosse team was challenged on several occasions during its state Prep A final against Lawrenceville on Monday.
And each time the Raiders rose to the challenge. “We were confident in the guys and the game plan,” said Hun coach MV Whitlow, whose team held off the Big Red for a 10-7 victory in the state Prep A championship game that was played in Princeton. “We made a couple of halftime adjustments and with the senior leadership we have with our captains Devin Cowan and Jack Ruddy, we were confident that they were going to execute those adjustments. They’ve come a long way and their lacrosse IQs are high. They are just young student athletes of great character.”
Four, soon-to-be Hun School graduates, committed to stand-out collegiate athletic programs this week, including Eric Fleming who signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball at The College of St. Rose. The student athletes were lauded by their families, coaches, and classmates who turned out for a ceremony in Russell Lounge before classes on Thursday. They join a group that now includes twenty-four members of the senior class.
Students in Laura Shaffner’s Seminar 10 Class had an opportunity to flex their creative muscles recently, as they expressed their feelings on various social issues through art. In this self-directed activity, Mrs. Shaffner encouraged the students to research topics they felt are important social issues of our time, and then create a poster expressing their points of view.
This year, Jonathan Brougham celebrates his tenth year as The Hun School of Princeton’s tenth headmaster. We sat down with Mr. Brougham and asked him … you guessed it … ten questions reflecting on his time as Head Raider for the Spring 2019 Hun Today.
On April 26th, former colleagues, coaches, and teachers, and beloved family members, from infants to grandparents, turned out to celebrate two Hun employees and four Hun athletes. Honorees were lauded for their contributions to the School and accomplishments here and beyond.
Photography has always been a passion for Chris Heltai ’86, but it’s never been something he considered as a profession until recently. Mr. Heltai spends his days teaching fourth grade in Los Angeles, but when he needed a creative outlet, he turned to his former love—photography. It’s a passion that has its roots at The Hun School, where Mr. Heltai was a boarding student and served as photography editor of The Edgerstounian. “I took all of the photos, but it’s a testament to my learning process because we were in a dark room, and the photos came out blurry sometimes, but we had to use them.” Indeed, Mr. Heltai has come a long way from the dark room at Hun; four years ago he had his first show—and he’s had three since. “My true love is portraiture and landscapes.”
Ally Cowan singlehandedly kept the Hun School girls’ lacrosse team in the game early on as it hosted Blair last Saturday. Junior transfer Cowan scored all three goals for Hun as it fell behind 7-3 midway through the first half. “I know that it is better if I can take control and just be a leader on the field,” said Cowan. “That is the best for the whole team.”
Six Hun School student-athletes made commitments to play NCAA athletics next year at a ceremony in Russell Hall at The Hun School on April 17th. The student-athletes join twenty-one of their classmates who have committed to collegiate programs throughout the year.
Whether studying for a physics exam or looking to perfect a paper for English class, Hun boarders have teacher support on weekday evenings. Dorm parents are available informally, but there are also a team of teachers who participate in a program called Resident Coaching.
The Hun School Archives, a treasure trove of publications and artifacts of the school’s 104-year history, have been dedicated to and named after Mary Ann W. Fox, Hun’s former archivist and director of library services.
Neuroscience research suggests that a good chuckle activates long-term memory and stimulates students’ sense of wonder. Physics teacher Auriana Johnson recently tested that theory with her students during an activity designed to assess their understanding of circular motion, net force, acceleration, and speed.
If you could teach your dream course, what would it be? It was the missive put forth by Ryan Hews, head of the upper school, when he joined the Hun School in 2010. It was that radical thinking that sparked the idea for Entrepreneurial Studies, the brainchild of teacher Dana Radanovic. “I thought, how great would it be to take students through that process of creating, and running, a business?,” says Mrs. Radanovic. “This opportunity gives students an experience so far outside the classroom. They learn by doing, by creating something from start to finish. What better way to learn is there?”
Sports aren’t about winning and losing for Tracey Arndt, The Hun School’s new co-director of athletics. Instead, she sees them as integral to a holistic, well-rounded student experience. “The student-athlete experience at The Hun School is about so much more than having a sport to play," says Mrs. Arndt. "It is about creating a culture of success both on and off the field, where the student athlete can cultivate positive physical, social, and mental habits that can carry over into all aspects of his or her life."
Hun students recently earned a gold and three silver medals in the National Classical Etymology Exam (NCEE) which measures students’ knowledge of English words derived from Greek and Latin. The students take part in a thriving Classics curriculum at Hun.
On the first night of New Resident Orientation last September, three new juniors found themselves talking about their families. Despite hailing from different corners of the world, they quickly realized they share a common denominator: All three have brothers who are about to or have recently graduated from Hun.
Call it happenstance, kismet, or just a coincidence, but Charles Vollmer, M.D. ’85, Cimarron Sharon, M.D. ’09, and Joseph Savino, M.D. are all colleagues at the Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania, but they also have something else in common: The Hun School.
Elijah Smarr '19 organized the Playing 4 Change 5v5 indoor soccer tournament, which was held Feb. 2 at Hun. The tournament wound up with 44 players registered on six teams with 16 Hun boys soccer players volunteering as the referees and coaches. The event raised $550 to donate to Goals Beyond the Net, as well as collecteing 30 pairs of soccer cleats and other soccer gear that will be sent to Hatti to help other young boys and girls play the game.
Ajay Vasisht '16 uses music to connect with others. Now a junior at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the a capella group, Penn Masala, Mr. Vasisht and his fellow performers are also using their voices to speak up about mental illness. “There is huge pressure in the South Asian community to achieve. Many of us are first-generation and we are expected to perform. When we’re struggling, we think it’s better to hide it than open up to our friends and families.
The Hun Middle School hosted its first Wellness Day this month, composed of workshops and programs on mental and physical health issues facing adolescents. The February 13th event is part of Hun’s schoolwide Wellness Program, which seeks to nurture the physical and emotional development of students alongside their academic growth.
A first-ever Mercer County Tournament (MCT) title for the Hun girls swim team and an astonishing sixth consecutive MCT title for the boys’ ice hockey team. A state championship in foil for Hun fencer Anna Marie Heiser ’21 and a 1000-point milestone for Hun basketball player Jada Jones.
Elizabeth Ji ’21 poses with the mixed-media art work she created in The Hun Middle School to observe Black History Month and be part of the #blackhistorydoorchallenge, in which students across the country are decorating their doors to mark the month of February. Elizabeth, a boarding student, creates bulletin boards and murals all over campus, and plans to be a children’s book illustrator one day. She did the piece with the help of fellow boarders, Angel Truong ’21 and Kathy Wang ’21.
Even before Brian Nelson joined the Hun School boys’ hockey program, he had visions of taking a leading role in a run to the Mercer County Tournament championship.
“I was in 7th grade and I went to the title game and I remember seeing that crowd,” recalled Nelson, who attended William Penn Middle School before coming to Hun in the fall of 2015. “I can’t wait to be that guy.”
Nelson had to be patient, though, playing a supporting role in his first three seasons with the program as standouts like Kyle Mandleur and Blake Brown led the Raiders to MCT titles.
Coming into the 2018-19 campaign, Nelson was ready to assume a starring role.
Hun senior Nathan Yu ’19 has been named a National Merit Scholarship finalist, one of approximately 15,000 in the country. Mr. Yu, of Belle Mead, N.J., gained the honor by scoring in the top 1 percent of the roughly 1.6 million juniors who took the PSAT in the fall of 2017. After submitting an application, transcript, and recommendations, Nathan is now in the running for one of 7,500 National Merit scholarships, which will be announced in the spring. Nathan, who plans to study science, math, or engineering in college, has been a member of Hun's fencing and robotics teams.
Spoken word poet Sarah Kay visited The Hun School on February 13 for a performance and Q&A session with sophomores and seniors at the John Andrew Saks ’31 Auditorium. Ms. Kay was welcomed to campus as part of the Centennial Speaker Series designed to provoke thought and stretch understanding of real-world topics and issues. Ms. Kay, who has performed and taught poetry in 30 countries, was a speaker at TED Talks and her video has been viewed over 11 million times.
While college and university admission decisions will continue until May, as of February 1st, 84% of Hun School seniors already had at least one acceptance in hand.
Early decision and early action programs provide students with the opportunity to apply and receive admission decisions ahead of the pack. Director of College Counseling Radha Mishra reports that more and more Raiders are taking that early leap.
Nine Hun School of Princeton student athletes made commitments to play NCAA athletics next year at a signing ceremony at the School on February 6th. Three Hun students committed to play for Division 1 schools, including Nicholas Ramsey, lacrosse, at current NCAA Champion Yale University; Andrew Blake, baseball at Columbia University; and Gavin Casey, football, at East Stroudsburg University.
That theory has long been at the core of a Hun education, according to Hun Headmaster Jonathan Brougham.
“The article hits home for anyone who knows Hun,” said Mr. Brougham. “We are a school that puts student teacher relationships at our core. It’s heartening that modern research is confirming what John Gale Hun had in mind when he started Hun 105 years ago. Every good teacher knows that students do better when they feel respected, safe, and loved, and our years of experience here at Hun have born that out.”
A group of Hun School students traveled to New Hope, Pa. to visit the Philips’ Mill Community Association’s Youth Art Exhibit. The trip, one of several Resident Life excursions offered to students last weekend, was a chance to see their artwork on display and explore a nearby town.
John Gutierrez ’10 is a multidisciplinary artist, creator, educator, and performer. If that sounds dizzying, it is, but Mr. Gutierrez wouldn’t have it any other way. “It’s not easy being an artist but you’ve got to do what you find joy in.” Finding joy and following his curiosity have propelled him from his family’s home in Washington Heights to Hun’s campus and eventually to stages around the world.
Getting out of one’s comfort zone, though difficult, is almost always a recipe for success. It’s certainly true for Betsy Halsey ’04, who wasn’t even sure she wanted to attend The Hun School as a boarding student. “At first, I was hesitant to be away from home at fourteen, but my parents were supportive, especially my dad,” she says. Betsy’s father, Ed Halsey ’62, was particularly persuasive, sharing fond memories of his time at the School with his daughter. “He'd had a great experience at Hun and was still close to his classmate, then headmaster, Dr. Byer. It was actually Dr. Byer who suggested I attend.”
The Hun School’s own Noah Savage ’04 recently went national with his college hoops expertise, landing a gig with ESPN to provide color commentary for men’s basketball. After playing for Hun, Princeton native Savage attended Princeton University, where he was a four-year starter. After playing professionally overseas, he returned to the United States and began doing color commentary for Princeton basketball, while pursuing a sideline as a standup comic. Savage has been able to parlay his various talents into a trip to the “big show” on ESPN.
The Hun School of Princeton hosted more than forty students from Hun and other schools for a three-day summit exploring how identity impacts both their way of looking at the world as well as how the world views them.
Arturo Rodrigues and Marie-Eve Hebert came to the Hun School swim team this season with vastly different backgrounds in the sport.
Hebert arrived at Hun this fall from Quebec with 10 years experience as a swimmer, most of which has been spent swimming at a high level. Rodrigues arrived at Hun this fall from Belgium with no experience in competitive swimming.
Hun basketball player Jada Jones ’19 joined an exclusive club on January 16thtallying 1,000 points in her high school career, an outstanding achievement last accomplished by a female player at Hun in 2007. A team captain, she got her thousandth point with a free throw in a 55-38 win over Hightstown High School.
Those who believe the path to success is paved with gold ought to meet Steve Wills. The new chair of the Board of Trustees of The Hun School, Mr. Wills is a roll-up-your-sleeves type with an affable, can-do spirit. Currently the chairman or C-suite leader of three companies, he has come a long way from his humble Kentucky roots, where he grew up a hollow, or dirt road, away from country music star Loretta Lynn.
As a new state law requires that all New Jersey middle schoolers receive financial literacy education, the Hun Middle School continues to explore creative ways to make such lessons part of its curriculum as it has done for years.
In discussing his Hun School ice hockey team, coach Ian McNally smiles when thinking about how physically imposing the Raiders have gotten this year. “In general we’re kind of bigger and older than we’ve been, and it’s nice,” McNally said. “Usually you’re looking at the other team going out for warm-ups and thinking, ‘We’re in a little bit of trouble,’ when you see their size. But I imagine there’s some teams watching us going through warm-ups this year and they’re saying ‘Uh oh,’ and he’s a big reason why.”
"DC couldn't come at a better time," Hun coach Ian McNally said. “Morale was low after the four losses. but everyone showed up in the mood to win and it was one of those tournaments where each game played out different, different heroes, different adversities and found different ways to win. This will be a good example of what we are capable of when similar scenarios come up over the next month of games."
With its roster essentially doubling in size over the last few years, the Hun School swimming program is enjoying new competitive opportunities. Having been limited to fielding one co-ed team in dual meets in recent years, Hun has been rolling out separate boys’ and girls’ squads this winter. Raider head coach Joan Nuse sees the increase in numbers as a boon to the program.
“When I started five years ago, we had either 15 or 16 kids total for co-ed meets, and now we have 31,” said Nuse.
The Hun School of Princeton is an independent, coeducational, private day and boarding college preparatory school. Student-centered, hands-on learning prepares students for the global community in which they will live and work.