The Bears' Den | 2.10.24 A semi-monthly newsletter designed to keep our Berkshire community connected and engaged.

Year of the Dragon

The Berkshire community kicked off the Lunar New Year celebration with a Chinese dragon dance and a presentation at All-School Meeting led by students in the Asian Affinity group and Mrs. Beattie's Chinese IV/V class. The celebration continued with a special lunch (including dumplings and sushi!) and a variety of cultural activities, games, and more! 🐉

Classroom Spotlight

Chinese Classes

Susie Beattie

Chinese classes under the Mountain made dumplings in preparation for Lunar New Year. The centuries-old tradition is believed to bring prosperity in the coming year.

The Lunar New Year is a wonderful opportunity for students at Berkshire who celebrate the festival to share their culture with their classmates and teachers.”–Susie Beattie, Chinese teacher
Chinese IV/V students with their homemade dumplings
Cooking in our class is another way that we can apply our knowledge and understanding of the language. Most of the ingredients and tools we use in the process of cooking are terms that we have learned in the past.”–Rhys Ferer '24

Academic Achievement

Edward Lee '25

Edward Lee ’25 was recently accepted into the MIT PRIMES-USA research program for mathematics. Just 51 students in the nation are selected for PRIMES-USA (Program for Research in Mathematics, Engineering and Science), where they have the incredible opportunity to work one-on-one with a graduate student or faculty member from MIT or another university. Last year’s areas of research in mathematics included projects in combinatorics, algebraic combinatorics, algebra, computer algebra, graph theory, financial mathematics, and number theory.

I am excited about doing research under my mentor, and I look forward to learning new materials, collaborating with other students in research, and organizing my work into a formal research paper!”—Edward Lee '25
Poster by Angella Ma '24

Thank you to all who came out to perform, support, and enjoy Jazz Café. The annual tradition was a great way to send us off into the long winter weekend! 🎼

The Winter Musical

February 15-17 at 7:30 pm in Allen Theater

The Theater and Music Departments are proud to present "Into the Woods" next weekend. "Into the Woods" features the combined stories of many famous fairy tale characters, as we watch while the ever-difficult question is played out before our eyes, ‘What happens after happily ever after?’”

With constant humor, unbeatable music, and classic moments from well-loved characters including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack (and his faithful cow, Milky White), a pair of handsome (but shallow) princes, a wolf, a witch, and more, you won’t want to miss this show.

There will be a $2.00 suggested donation at the door and snacks at intermission.

Expect the tropes and joys you’ve come to love from classic fairy tales, and also be ready for some unexpected twists and turns along the path. Backed by a truly amazing cast, breathtaking scenery and lighting, a live band, and a crew of talented student stage managers, you won’t regret coming on the journey with us!”–Jesse Howard, Theater Director

Winter Dance Concert

February 23 at 7:30 pm in Allen Theater

From left: Katherine Nelson ’27, Yuki Hu ’26, Angela Pham ’25, Anastasia Tigipko ’24

The upcoming Winter Dance Concert will feature a variety of styles including ballet, hip-hop, jazz, lyrical, salsa, tap, and Vietnamese lyrical.

Dancers have had the opportunity to explore and emphasize their own personal artistry throughout this season, and, in addition to their group routines, the concert will feature a solo routine from each of the dancers. Our team really took these solos as an opportunity to show off each of their individual journeys and relationships with dance, and I’m so excited to see them share with our community.”—Madison Bagby, Dance Program Director

Fifth Form College Program

Berkshire welcomed representatives from Bucknell University, Davidson College, Skidmore College, and the University of South Carolina for our recent Fifth Form College Program. The two-day event opened with a presentation from College Kickstart, highlighting current college admissions trends, keys to creating a balanced college list, and more. That evening, college reps held a panel discussion about the application process, which was followed by a dessert reception for parents hosted by Berkshire's Parent Association. The following morning, parents attended the Mock Application Review, a unique window into how admission decisions are made.

A recording of the College Admissions Panel is now available below.

The College Counseling team with, from left: Kevin Mathes, Bucknell; Matthew Cohen, Skidmore; Mike Mansuy, Davidson; Wintress Ross, University of South Carolina

Winter team photos are here!

Girls Varsity Squash

Be sure to follow @BerkshireSchoolAthletics on Instagram and Threads to keep up-to-date on athletic news, scores, and highlights!

Mic'd Up with Coach Czepiel

Go behind the scenes with Varsity Hockey Coach Kevin Czepiel as the Bears prepare for game day. Watch the video below.

New Head Coach for Boys Varsity Basketball

We are excited to announce Wilbur Allen as the new Head Coach of Berkshire Boys Varsity Basketball for the 2024-25 season. Allen joined the Berkshire community in the summer of 2023 as an assistant director of admission, duty team member, and advisor. In addition, he has served as an assistant coach to the football and basketball teams.

A Temple University alum, Allen spent four years playing for legendary Hall of Fame Coach John Chaney. After college, he started his now-decade-long career as a basketball coach at his alma mater, Oak Hill Academy, in Virginia. With Allen as an associate coach, the Warriors compiled a 175–15 record, including a national championship season in 2012 (44 wins, 0 losses) as well as a national runner-up season in 2009 (40 wins, 1 loss). After working at the NBA Yao School in Beijing, China, Allen joined the University of Mississippi’s (Ole Miss) men’s basketball staff. He worked at Ole Miss for two seasons, one of which the team advanced to the quarterfinals of the National Invitational Tournament. Most recently, he was a member of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) basketball program. The Blazers were 49–15 with Allen on staff, which included winning a school record of 27 games in 2022, and captured the Conference USA Tournament Championship, earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament. During his career, Allen has helped develop 9 players who’ve gone on to play in the NBA.

With over 50 courses led by students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni, two off-campus trips, and community-wide evening events, Pro Vita Winter Session is always one of the most anticipated weeks of the school year! Follow us on Instagram to learn more about Berkshire's signature "For Life" program.

Guest Speakers

Berkshire has welcomed two guest speakers to share thoughts at all-school meetings this winter. The first was from Prevention Solutions, a nonprofit organization that provides alcohol, nicotine, and other drug education to schools and communities, empowering young people to make healthy, responsible choices. The second guest was from Minding Your Mind, another nonprofit whose primary objective is to provide mental health education with the goal of ending the stigma often associated with mental health issues. Both speakers took questions from the community in a Q&A after their remarks and were available to students afterwards for discussion.

For more Winter Carnival 2024 photos, visit Berkshire's SmugMug gallery here.

New Student Center

Construction is underway on Berkshire's new Student Center, with completion scheduled for 2025! To learn more about the project’s progress through photos, renderings, and videos, click here.

Alumni Spotlight

Elyse Harney Morris ’83

Elyse Harney Morris ’83 has lived in some of the most amazing places in the country and world since her time as a day student in the ’80s. Now, she sells real estate back in the Berkshires and surrounding area, where she has been an active member of the community since 2008. Read more about her time under the Mountain, her conservation efforts, and more below!

I found my passion in land conservation, and it's where I make a meaningful impact. In the final months of 2023 and the first two months of 2024, I am proud to have brokered the conservation of over 1,000 acres in Connecticut and Massachusetts.”—Elyse Harney Morris
January 20, 2024

The annual Alumni Hockey Game brought Bears back from the classes of 1964 to 2022 with Will Reynolds ’26 and Matt Crowson ’05 in goal for some friendly Green vs. Gray competition. It was an exciting game, with Gray winning by a score of 8–4!

Alumni Hockey Co-Chairs Chris Reichart ’98 and Jason Pendrock ’98 presented this year’s awards to Lt. Col. Tim Murphy ‘98, awarded the W. Ross Hawkins Alumni Hockey Player of the Game, and to Steph Holmes ‘06, who was awarded The Elizabeth Hayes McGraw Alumni Hockey Player of the Game. Afterward, Head of School Pieter Mulder presented Dan Driscoll with a Berkshire jersey honoring his 30-year career as a varsity hockey coach across New England. Thank you to all those who attended this special event and also enjoyed some family skate time! 🐻🏒

A special thanks to Chris and Jason for their dedication to organizing this year's event and to all those who attended. We can’t wait to see you back on campus next year!

Players in alphabetical order: Matt Crowson '05 (goalie), AJ Grimm '06, Steph Holmes '06, Robin McGraw '70 (coach), Steph Miller '08, Tim Murphy ‘98, Jason Pendrock '98, Jeff Pietrasiak '02, Chris Reichart '98, Lee Reichart '64 (coach)Will Reynolds '26 (goalie), Kevin Soja (Advancement Office), Matt Spurling '09, Pratt Stetson '22Alex Watts '02, Whit Watts '13, Billy Zegras '18