News & Media

Alumni News Archive


  • November

    Dr. Sandy Mattei ’10 with ISRP students

    Hackley Alum Sandy Mattei '10 Shares Insights With ISRP Students

    Hackley alum Sandy Mattei ’10 recently returned to the Hilltop to speak to students in the Independent Science Research Program.
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  • Dr. Sarah Davis '95 addresses the Class of 2024 in a

    Hackley Alum Sarah Davis '95 Spends a Day on the Hilltop

    On Tuesday, Nov. 21, Hackley alumna Sarah Davis ’95 visited the Hilltop for a full day of activities with the Hackley community.
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  • Peter Smith '91 performs in Allen Memorial Hall

    Hackley Alum Peter Smith '91 Performs and Visits With Students on the Hilltop

    Hackley alumnus Peter Smith '91, jazz pianist, composer, arranger, singer and recording artist, returned to the Hilltop in November to perform for the Hackley community and spend some time with students in the jazz combo class.
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  • September

    Hackley Announces New Director of Advancement

    John Gannon P ’21 has been named Hackley’s next Director of Advancement. As he enters his 25th year at Hackley, John is recognized for his deep commitment to building relationships with all members of the Hackley community and engaging them in the life of our School. As the Director of Advancement, John will lead efforts to ensure that Hackley continues to have the resources needed to provide a world-class education to young people throughout the region.
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  • Melissa Rodriguez '09 Takes Home Award at Festival of Cinema NYC

    Melissa Rodriguez '09’s latest film Helado, which she wrote, directed, and filmed in Mexico City, had its New York premiere at Festival of Cinema NYC on August 11th.
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  • Alumni Spotlight: Peter Smith ’91

    We recently caught up with PETER SMITH ’91 to discuss his album and his time on the Hilltop.  Click READ MORE to read our Q&A with Peter.  
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  • Jack Houghteling '10 Publishes Second Novel

    Congratulations Jack Houghteling ’10 – he recently published his second novel titled “Sunnyside.” 
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  • Student Research Symposium: Jiya Dhakad '26 Gargoyle Video

    In May, Hackley hosted its Second Annual Research Symposium with 58 different projects showcased from the Independent Research Programs in science, English, history, and oral history, as well as projects funded by the Russ Hogg Grant for Creative Expression. Twenty concurrent sessions were held around campus.
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  • Biology students visit Apiary with James Pratt '97

    James Pratt ’97 of Fly Honey Farms and Ms. Johnson took biology students into the hives for the first time this academic year. The students all had the chance to pull comb out and watch nature at work. Ms. Johnson is hoping to get at least two or three more classes out to the apiary this fall.
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  • Congratulations Dave Sykes!

    Congratulations to Director of Hudson Scholars and Upper School economics teacher David Sykes on being recognized by the Tarrytown Union Free School District for his work with the Hudson Scholars program.
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  • Congratulations to Hackley String Orchestra Director Dr. Lauren Rigby

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  • Eliot Smith

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  • Joel Miller '02 visits football practice

    Hackley alum Joel Miller ’02 stopped by a pre-season football practice this summer to share a few thoughts with the Varsity Football team. 
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  • August

    Tessa Johnson (left) and laboratory assistant Lynn DeMichele (right) visited Andy Retzloff (center) in the Adirondacks last summer.

    A Legacy of Learning: Faculty Mentorship on the Hilltop

    By Rozanne Rosenberg, Assistant Director of Communications
    Ask any member of the Hackley community, and they are likely to tell you that people are what make Hackley, well, Hackley. Throughout its storied 123-year history, the students, alumni, families, staff, administrators, coaches, and faculty have made this institution what it is today. It is those same people who continue to champion Hackley’s legacy. 
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  • Christie Philbrick-Wheaton ’00 (left) on Alumni Day with the Hornet and Michelle Annunziata Hambright ’94.

    Choosing to Stay Connected — Alumni on the Hilltop

    By Aisha Laspina-Rodriguez, Director of Communications
    As you walk across the Quad and through the main entrance door above which is inscribed “Enter here to be and find a friend,” one cannot help but feel instantly moved by a sense of welcome and comfort. Perhaps that warmth was the goal more than a century ago when Mrs. Hackley first envisioned the School. One thing is certain: for many, Hackley is where the heart is.
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  • Director of Alumni Engagement Margie McNaughton Ford ’85 (left) reconnects with fellow alumni (left to right) Jackie Leitzes ’93 (HAA director), John Van Leer ’65 (former Upper School history teacher) and Zan Variano ’09 (HAA director) at Alumni Day 2022.

    Connecting Communities: Hackley’s Networking Initiative

    The Hackley Review sat with Margie McNaughton Ford ’85, Director of Alumni Engagement, to learn more about the Networking Initiative — a mentorship program that grew organically within the Alumni Office — and how the program engages alumni daily, as well as how families can get involved.
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  • Violinist Emil Chudnovsky '88 Concert in Thornwood on 8/7 & 8/8

    Violinist Emil Chudnovsky ’88 will be playing free concerts at the Summit Music Festival at EF Academy in Thornwood, NY tomorrow, Monday 8/7, and Tuesday 8/8. He invites all members of the Hackley community to attend. A world-renowned violinist, Emil has played concerts all over the world and is on the adjunct faculty of the Catholic University of America and the faculty of the San Miguel de Allende Chamber Music Festival in Mexico. Click the link for concert information and to view Emil’s bio.
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  • July

    Dave Karger '91's new book

    Dave Karger '91 has written a book titled "50 Oscar Nights: Iconic Stars & Filmmakers on Their Career-Defining Wins" from TCM and Running Press. It is an exclusive look behind the scenes of the Academy Awards featuring interviews with 50 Academy Award winners including Nicole Kidman, Elton John, Julia Roberts, John Legend, Sally Field, Mel Brooks, Barry Jenkins, Rita Moreno, Steven Spielberg, and Meryl Streep, plus dozens more. And it’s filled with gorgeous archival photos. The book comes out on January 23, 2024 (Oscar nominations day!) but you can pre-order it now anywhere books are sold.
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  • Hornets Take Big Wins at NYSAIS Championships

    Hackley School had an exceptional day at the NYSAIS Championships this week! The Hornets crowned two team champions and three individual champions. We also had runner-up performances for two teams and one individual.
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  • Kubrick C. '28 winning playwright!

    Congratulations to Kubrick C. ’28, who was invited to the Write A Play Festival at Florida Studio Theatre as a winning playwright in the Seven Up category (plays written by students in grades 7-12).
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  • June

    Sean Legister returned to the Hilltop as our Varying Perspectives in Action Speaker

    Sean Legister returned to the Hilltop as our Varing Perspectives in Action Speaker
    Sean Legister ’07 returned to the Hilltop in early May as our Varing Perspectives In Action speaker, a speaker series designed to bring to campus individuals engaged in meaningful projects and conversations that help us to see the world through a new lens. Sean has been an advocate of the intersection between personal and professional growth for many years. A Black Studies and English major at Amherst College, Sean has turned his love and passion for literature and language into a motivational newsletter called, Monday Morning Lift, and email newsletter loaded with quotes meant to challenge, goad, and encourage readers. Sean is committed to empowering young adults to achieve their best no matter what they choose to do in life. His newsletter is beautifully produced content that will inspire many to focus and push after what they want in life.  While on campus, he addressed students during community time in the morning and spent the rest of the day meeting with students and then spoke with alumni, families, and past and current employees in the evening. Pictured are P.E. teacher and coach Fran Stanek, former coach and Athletics Director Rob Pickert, Sean's mother Paulette, Sean, Assistant Head of School for Community and Inclusivity Cyndy Jean, and Director of the Upper School Andy King.  
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  • Carter Hogg ’22

    Carter Hogg ’22 has collaborated with Alana Matthews, the COO/founder of Alatus Clothing Company, to develop the G8RSkin, a protective device that could reduce the concussion risk in contact sports, all with family on the mind. Click here to read more about Carter’s invention.
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  • May

    Upper School Debate Team

    Upper School Debate Team Dominates HSPDP Championship

    Hackley's Upper School Debate Team achieved an unprecedented accomplishment at the Championship for the East Coast High School Public Debate Program (HSPDP) League for the 2022-2023 season on May 6. Hackley was the top team overall with a 100% winning percentage and tied for the most number of wins despite having just three teams in the event.
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  • Cydnee Copeland '24, Travis Knaggs '24, and Sam Nadol '24

    Upper School ROV Team Takes 2nd Place in Regional Competition

    The Whirlpool Robotics, Hackley's 11th grade ROV team of Cydnee Copeland, Travis Knaggs, and Sam Nadol, had an exceptional performance at the Villanova MATE Regional competition on May 13!
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  • Jenny Leffler, 2023 Rice Award recipient

    US English Teacher, Coach, and 12th Grade Dean Jenny Leffler Wins 2023 Rice Award

    Congratulations to Jenny Leffler, the recipient of this year’s Anton and Lydia Rice Inspirational Teaching Award! The award is presented each year to a member of Hackley’s faculty who, in the estimation of the Senior Class, "has lit and sustained the fire of learning and inspiration, stimulated their intellectual curiosity, and inspired them in positive ways to seize the day and grasp the challenges they will face in the years ahead."
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  • Adjunct Professor and Associate Research Scientist Michelle Levine ’96 with Dr. Andrew Ying and current ISRP students

    Hackley Alumna Shares Lie Detector Research With ISRP Students

    The Independent Science Research Program recently hosted Adjunct Professor and Associate Research Scientist Michelle Levine ’96, as a guest speaker. During her visit, Professor Levine described her current research project focused on the ability to tell a lie from a truth, and her software platform that can train people to become better lie detectors.
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  • Charles Franklin, Hackley's 13th Head of School

    Hackley Announces 13th Head of School

    Charles Franklin has been named Hackley's new Head of School, beginning July 1. The Board of Trustees unanimously approved the appointment of Mr. Franklin based on the recommendation of the search committee and the hundreds of survey responses and feedback received from members of the Hackley community, including faculty, staff, families, students, and alumni.
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  • Alumnus Stephen Zak ’16 with current ISPR students

    Stephen Zak ’16 ISRP Speaker

    The Independent Science Research Program (ISRP) was excited to host Stephen Zak ’16 as a guest speaker. During his visit, Stephen taught students the fundamentals of knee replacement surgeries and discussed his published clinical research paper.
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  • Class Notes 2023 Survey

    We hope you enjoyed the latest issue of Class Notes 2023, Hackley’s alumni publication. We are interested in hearing your feedback. Please take a few moments of your time to complete this short survey to help us improve with every issue. Thank you!
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  • Class Notes 2023

    Click here to view an online version of Class Notes 2020. 
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  • The Just-in-Time Mentors Program

    The Alumni DEI Committee is pleased to announce: The Just in Time Mentors Program. This new mentorship program invites alumni to connect with current 11th and 12th-grade students in a meaningful way. It promotes student-initiated pairing with an alumni mentor to foster relationships and opportunities for social and professional connections…Just in Time! Click here to register to be a Just in Time Mentor
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  • April

    Alum Zooms with Lower Schoolers

    On Saturday, March 11, Hackley hosted the Hudson Valley First Lego League Explore Division Expo. Hackley fielded two third and fourth grade teams, the Hackley Hurricanes and the Hackley Lightning.
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  • Christina Johantgen ’10 visits with Hackley's "Food and Power" class

    Christina Johantgen ’10 visited with Katherine Hannon’s “Food and Power” class. 
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  • Justin Roberts '01 speaks with the economics class in the Lindsay Room.

    Hackley Alumnus Shares About Investing With Economics Students

    Hackley alumnus Justin Roberts ’01 returned to the Hilltop as a guest speaker in David Sykes’ economics class on Friday, April 21. A partner at Rubric Capital Management LP, Justin shared his expertise and insights on investing, a topic that has been of particular interest to the class throughout the year.
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  • ISRP students with guest speaker Kiegan Lenihan ’15

    Hackley Alumnus Returns to Hilltop as ISRP Guest Speaker

    The Independent Science Research Program (ISRP) recently had the pleasure of hosting Hackley alumnus Kiegan Lenihan ’15 as a guest speaker. Kiegan is currently working at Carbon3D in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he is applying geometry and mathematics to drastically improve 3-D printing technology.
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  • Varsity Football Coach Joe McDermott ’14 strategizes with the team on the football field.

    Hackley Perspectives: Why I Coach

    By Joe McDermott '14, Varsity Football coach
    In this month’s blog post on Hackley Perspectives, Joe McDermott '14, Varsity Football head coach, writes, "I've learned that the most fulfilling part of being a coach is the hope that the discipline and perseverance my players learn from being on this team will ultimately be applied to the other areas of their lives.” Read the post here.
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  • ISRP alumnus Josh Zhang ’19 visited current students virtually to share his research on combination treatments for pancreatic cancer.

    ISRP Alumnus Draws Connection Between Current Research and Research at Hackley

    The Independent Science Research Program (ISRP) was excited to host ISRP alumnus Josh Zhang ’19 as a virtual guest speaker. During his visit, Josh presented his recent research at Notre Dame on combination treatments for pancreatic cancer. What was particularly exciting is that there was a direct connection between his current research with the acute pancreatitis research he completed while in ISRP at Hackley!
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  • March

    Krysta Dudley '01, P '32, 34, Lower School teacher

    Hackley Perspectives: A Community Built on Kindness

    By Krysta Dudley ’01, P ’32, ’34, Lower School teacher
    In this month’s blog post on Hackley Perspectives, Lower School teacher Krysta Dudley '01, P '32, 34, writes, "When I sit down to consider the why — why do so many people return to the Hilltop, some after decades? — there is one undeniable answer: the community and the way that it makes us feel." Read the post here.
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  • February

    Spotlight: Danny Casper '19

    In January 2023, Danny Casper ‘19 and his curling team won silver at the 2023 FISU Winter World University Games in Lake Placid this past January. Click Read More for a Spotlight on Danny.
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  • Women of Hackley Entrepreneur Panel Event

    In February, alumnae from the Classes of 1985 to 2014 gathered in Greenwich, Conn. for the Women of Hackley Entrepreneur Panel Event, our first in-person event since 2019. The event featured a panel of inspiring entrepreneurs Kim Nichols ’93 P '28 '29, dermatologist and founder of Nichols MD of Greenwich Boutique Care for Beautiful Skin; Stephanie Naccari ’95, founder of Get it Done By Stephanie, a professional organizing firm; and HAA Director Ali Galgano ’01 P '34 '36, gemologist and founder of Serpentine Jewels. They shared their stories and gave us a glimpse in their impressive businesses. Moderator Sally Parker Nichols closed the discussion by asking, "Can women have it all?" The answers were fascinating and depended on what your personal definition of "all" meant. Thank you to Ali for hosting the event at the stunning Serpentine Townhouse.
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  • Aurora Straus '17 visits with the Middle School Connect Club

    By Dianne Fahy '92 

    On February 15th, the Middle School Alumni Connect Club had the privilege of connecting with Aurora Straus '17. After asking about favorite teachers and where she went after Hackley, the students sat in awed silence when Aurora revealed that her current work involves being a race car driver. "You are the one in the car, wearing the helmet?" one asked in disbelief. "So the Daytona 500 means you drive five hundred laps, all at once?" another asked in awe."Wait, what do you mean you are part of a team?" another asked, trying to make sense of the crew of people who support the driver. It was great to connect with yet another alum to widen the perspective of our students. Thanks again to Aurora for taking the time to meet with us.

    Dianne Fahy ‘92 is a Middle School math teacher and MS-Alumni Connect Club founder and club advisor.
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  • Thomas Anglero '84

    Thomas Anglero '84 at the World Government Summit
    Nordic CTO & Innovation Officer, podcaster, and author Thomas Anglero '84 was recently on a panel at the World Government Summit in Dubai discussing disruptive technologies. He is pictured here with the Assistant Minister of Technology for the Republic of Azerbaijan who also sat on the panel. The summit brought thought leaders, global experts and decision-makers from around the globe to share and contribute to the development of tools, policies, and models that are essential in shaping future governments.
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  • Varsity team honors their coach Margaret Scarcella '84

    Hackley Girls' and Boys' Varsity Basketball teams compete in the annual Coaches vs. Cancer benefit in January at the Fieldston School. All proceeds were donated to the American Cancer Society. The Girls' team played in honor of their coach, Margaret Scarcella '84, a cancer survivor. "The girls take it upon themselves to have shirts made to honor my cancer color...[It's] ver touching," notes Margaret."we all know someone affected by cancer, and during this great event, there are no losers on the court. The only loser here is cancer."
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  • In the News: Fareeda Ahmed ‘02

    Fareed, Principal at Arthur D. Little, was recently named one The Top 25 Digital Transformation Consultants and Leaders of 2023 by the Consulting Report. Click here to read the article. 
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  • Phebe Dupont '19 publishes her first novel

    Phebe Dupont '16 recently published her first book - Après-Ski: A Romance Novella under her pen name Phebe Powers. Click Read More to learn more about the book and Phebe. 
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  • Sarena Straus '88 new novel

    Author Sarena Straus ’88’s new sci-fi novel is out!
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  • Will Guidara ’97's published a new book

    In his latest book Unreasonable Hospitality, restaurateur, author Will Guidara ’97 shares many of the lessons about service and leadership he learned over the course of his long career in the restaurant business, and makes the case that any business can choose to be in the hospitality industry by taking ordinary transactions and turning them into memorable experiences. Click here to watch his TED Talk "The secret ingredients of great hospitality."
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  • Taylor Robin ’20 returns to the Hilltop to perform

    In January 2023, Taylor Robin ’20 returned to the Hilltop to perform with her a cappella group, Shades of Yale (a group founded in 1988 and celebrates music of the African diaspora and African-American tradition) as part of our recognition of Dr. King’s legacy and impact. click here to learn more about Shades of Yale.
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  • Phil Variano

    Phil Variano Named to Ivy Preparatory School League Hall Of Fame

    Hackley School is excited to announce that Phil Variano will be the third coach from Hackley School inducted into the Ivy Preparatory School League Hall of Fame in June.
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  • January

    Alec Hirschfeld '65's new memoir

    Alec Hirschfeld '65's memoir titled What the Camera Didn't See shines a light on the action behind the scenes and follows his career as a camera assistant to a director of photography. Click READ MORE to learn more about Alec, his book, and to read a review from his mom.
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  • Aurora Straus '17 wins Radical Cup

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  • Cathy Schulman '83 featured in Variety

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  • Hackley Perspectives wins two Brilliance Awards

    Hackley School is proud to share that we have won two InspirED School Marketers Brilliance Awards for works published on the School’s blog—Hackley Perspectives. (Click above to read the judge’s comments.) Cyndy Jean’s piece, Radical Self Love: Leaning into the Journey of Discovery and Growth, published December 2020, won Gold. Aisha Laspina-Rodriguez’s piece, Celebrating the Self—Honoring Heritage, published February 2021, won Silver. Click here to learn more.
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  • Karina Bridger '19 named Player of the Year and All-American

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  • Goro Sato, John Gannon, Michael C. Wirtz, Takayuki Tatsumi, and Kohei Itoh

    Varying Perspectives: An Inter-school Exchange with Keio Academy of New York

    A delegation from Keio Academy of New York recently visited Hackley. Led by Keio University’s President Dr. Kohei Itoh, the group included Keio Academy Headmaster Dr. Takayuki Tatsumi and Goro Sato, Keio’s Business Officer.
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  • Alex Cherry '14 returns to the Hilltop

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