The Bears' Den | 3.7.24 A semi-monthly newsletter designed to keep our Berkshire community connected and engaged.

Head of School Pieter Mulder shares an update from campus and looks ahead to spring under the Mountain!

Classroom Spotlight

Environmental Science with Chris Meehan

Chris Meehan

Students in Chris Meehan’s Environmental Science class have been studying renewable energy resources, and two alumni here on campus have provided expertise to enhance the class’s understanding through their real-world experiences: Director of Facilities Tim Fulco ’78, who gave the class an overview of Berkshire’s 8-acre solar field, and Tyler Spofford ’05, Marine Operations Manager at General Electric’s recent spin-off, the renewable energy company, GE Vernova.

Director of Facilities Tim Fulco '78 talks about Berkshire's 8-acre solar field.

A graduate of Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Spofford is currently working in collaboration with Vineyard Wind, an offshore wind development company building an 800-megawatt project located 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. Spofford introduced the class to the basics of how offshore wind turbines work, how they are constructed, and the role offshore wind can play in helping to decarbonize the electric power grid.

The first GE Haliade-X Turbine installed for the Vineyard Wind 1 Project. Photo: Vineyard Wind
I first became interested in Earth science during Mr. Dalton’s geology class. I love science in general, and specifically, being outside and using nature as a classroom. This hands-on learning ultimately led me towards my career in the maritime industry.”–Tyler Spofford ’05

In honor of Black History Month, members of the Black Student Union (BSU) led our all-school meetings and shared presentations with the community throughout the month of February.

To open the first all-school meeting after long weekend, students rose to sing the Black National Anthem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing,"—a hymn first written as a poem by NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson in 1900.

As part of the student presentations, Michkael McKenzie '25 shared his poem, "We Are America," with the community. "I envision a brighter 'tomorrow,' where unity and understanding will prevail, embodying the resilience and optimism of the American spirit," McKenzie said.

Model UN

Berkshire’s Model UN traveled to Cambridge in February for the MIT Model UN Conference. A special shout out to Noboru Tsuru ’25, who won the Best Delegate award from the International Court of Justice committee, and to Roy Krueger ’24, who earned Best Position Paper in ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council). Congrats, Bears!

Calling all writers, poets, and artists!

The editors of The Dome, Berkshire’s literary and art magazine, are ready for your work! Student submissions of fiction and nonfiction pieces, poetry, and artwork of all kinds are welcome until Wednesday, April 3. 🎨 📝 💡

For more photos from the musical, visit Berkshire's SmugMug gallery here.

Winter Dance Concert

From left: Katherine Nelson ’27, Yuki Hu ’26, Dance Program Director Ms. Bagby, Anastasia Tigipko ’24, Angela Pham ’25

Thank you to our dancers for delivering a captivating night filled with ballet, hip-hop, jazz, lyrical, salsa, tap, and Vietnamese lyrical performances. Brava Bears!

Kellogg Grant Winners

Congratulations to the two recipients of the 40th annual Kellogg Grant, Patrick Donovan and Carlos Taborda! The award is given each year to two members of the Berkshire community who contribute in unique and powerful ways and comes with a generous stipend to spend on a well-earned vacation.

Mr. Donovan has been at Berkshire for a decade teaching science, coaching the ski team, and this year added the role of Director of Pro Vita. Dean of Faculty John West says that Patrick “extends compassion and kindness to all, and he so clearly cares deeply about the people on this campus. He is a relationship-based educator who leads through listening, and his selflessness and humility serve as a model for his students and colleagues alike.”

Mr. Taborda has spent 13 years in the Facilities Department under the Mountain. Director of Facilities Tim Fulco ’78 said that Carlos “connects and communicates on a personal level with his staff of 15 to ensure that each of them is informed and valued for their work. Berkshire is really fortunate to have him.”

Mic'd Up with Varsity Coaches

Go behind the scenes with Girls Varsity Basketball Coach Junior De La Hoz and Girls Varsity Hockey Coach Lisa Marshall as the Bears prepared for game day. Watch the videos below.

Boys Varsity Hockey Makes NEPSAC Playoffs

Congratulations to the Boys Varsity Hockey team on a terrific season! The Bears finished 20–12–0 under first-year Coach Kevin Czepiel, and earned a spot in the NEPSAC Martin/Earl (large school) tournament where they lost an exciting semifinal game 5–4 to the eventual champs from Kent. Go Bears! 🐻 🏒

Spring Ahead

Andy Towers

Preseason Training With Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) Coach Andy Towers

Once again, Berkshire welcomed PLL Coach Andy Towers to campus to host our Winter Lacrosse Clinics for both boys and girls. Head Coach of the 2021 World Champion Chaos LC, Towers has over 20 years of D1 college coaching experience.

Spring Travel

Bon voyage to our Boys and Girls Lacrosse, Baseball, and Crew teams, who will head to Florida and South Carolina for spring training over the break.

Spring Schedule

The spring athletics schedule is now available! Join us under the Mountain or on the road to support our Bears. We’re looking forward to a great spring season for all our programs!

Bears had a blast last week in Berkshire's Pro Vita Winter Session. They chose from over 50 hands-on, experiential courses taught on campus and around the local community. Some elected to embark on an off-campus trip, and 28 Bears taught their own courses, sharing their interests and passions with their peers. Alumni returned to teach as well, enriching the community with their talents and expertise in classes and evening workshops. Be sure to follow the Pro Vita Instagram to see the day-to-day coverage in photos and video!

For more Pro Vita photos, visit Berkshire's SmugMug gallery here.

Our Bears from around the world came together to share their traditions, favorite foods, and home cultures with our community during Pro Vita's Global Celebration. It gives students an “opportunity to learn from each other and celebrate each other,” said Pro Vita Director Patrick Donovan.

For more Global Celebration photos, please visit Berkshire's SmugMug gallery here.

Join us under the Mountain for Spring Family Weekend, Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27! We're looking forward to welcoming families for the spring concert, athletic contests, and more.

We’re also excited to invite the Class of 2024 and their parents/guardians to our third annual Family Weekend Senior Dinner on Friday, April 26, at 6:00 p.m. We hope you'll join us as we begin to celebrate our sixth formers' Berkshire careers.

Alumni Spotlight

Lydia Wu Davis '21 & Izzy Maher '18

Lydia Wu Davis and Izzy Maher share their musical talents and experiences during Pro Vita.

Alumnae Izzy Maher and Lydia Wu Davis came back to campus for Pro Vita to teach Appreciation for Songwriting, where they shared their insights about the power of songwriting as a means of expression and reflection. They chatted with us about where they find their inspiration, what music they’re listening to these days, and what it was like to be back in the Berkshire classroom!

A Remembrance: "Portrait of Charles, 2023" by E.V. Day '86

E.V. Day with the bronze plaque she crafted in memory of Chuck Beyer '86

On January 26, members of the Class of 1986 gathered on campus for the unveiling of "Portrait of Charles, 2023," an installation by artist and classmate E.V. Day. The piece honors the memory of Charles "Chuck" Gordon Beyer '86, who passed away in 2021, and hangs at the entrance of the Kennard Visual Arts Center, welcoming students into the space. The ceremony included members of the Beyer family, as well as trustees, faculty, staff, and friends.

The evening was also a celebration of the Class of 1986 Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Arts, an endowment that has reached more than $130,000, contributing over $5,000 annually to support a student pursuing the arts at Berkshire.