Alumni Newsletter - November 2019

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Dear RCDS Alumni,

In October, we welcomed over 250 alumni back to campus to celebrate Wildcat Weekend and Reunion, including the Class of 1969 who were honored at the Golden Alumni Luncheon. Alumni reconnected, relived old memories, toured the campus, participated in classroom activities, and cheered on our Wildcat athletes (links to photos below). To top off the festivities of the weekend, we introduced the 1869-Minute Giving Challenge, which was a huge success. The challenge set new records and raised enthusiasm and school spirit amongst the entire community. Thank you to all who participated!

We now invite you and your families back to campus on Friday, November 29, for the Alumni Thanksgiving Games and Family Reception, where you can shoot some hoops, slap some pucks, cheer from the sidelines, or gather at the family reception. Whatever you choose, we hope you will attend.


As we approach Thanksgiving, the Office of Alumni Relations would like to take a moment to thank you for the many ways you support, enrich, and engage with the School. Your dedication and commitment to RCDS have a meaningful impact on our students, faculty and staff, and our community as a whole. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Warmest regards,

The Office of Alumni Relations
Campus News
Why RCDS? New Videos Released
Check out the videos highlighting the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools, and see if you can spot any familiar faces. Next, meet Rye Country Day's Makerspace Director Gail Sestito and learn more about making and innovating at RCDS.
US Science Teacher Joe Rue Wins Award
Congratulations to Upper School Science Teacher Joe Rue on winning a University of Chicago Outstanding Educator Award. The award recognizes teachers who have "gone above and beyond the call of duty in their role as an educator." Read more.
Students Launch the Coalition of Differences
To foster open dialogue and diversity of thought, student leaders in the Upper School created a new program to practice engaging across difference. Read more.
Recent RCDS Leadership Columns
Read reflections on citizenship from Middle School Principal Meredith deChabert, Upper School Principal Jon Leef, and Director of Public Purpose Rebecca Drago. Browse the library of Leadership Columns here.
Alumni News & Announcements
Words with Wildcats
Check out this exciting new feature on the RCDS alumni website, WORDS WITH WILDCATS! This new page showcases our amazing alumni through a candid and fun Q&A. You can read about our first five alumni, Ramesh Grandhi '97, Marni Aronson '09, Dana Cates '03, and sisters Nicole Fanjul '02 and Vanessa Jackson '05 here. If you are interested in being one of our featured alumni, please contact Melissa Mahoney Wirth '97, Manager of Alumni Relations at
Young Alumni Internship Opportunity
College freshmen and sophomores, there is an exciting and highly coveted summer internship opportunity that you can apply for RIGHT NOW! Fortress Investment Group LLC, a leading, highly diversified global investment manager with approximately $40 billion of assets under management, is seeking one RCDS alumnus/a for an internship opportunity this summer. This internship is offered through Alumni Executive Board member and current parent, Robin Quittell Ponticelli '94, who is the Managing Director; Chief Human Resources Officer & Council at Fortress. If you are interested in this internship, please send your resume to Melissa Mahoney Wirth '97 at All resumes received will be submitted to Ms. Ponticelli and the HR team at Fortress.

In case you missed it in our October Newsletter, you can read about Hannes Boehning '17 and his internship experience at Fortress here.

Wildcat Weekend Alumni Celebrations
It was wonderful to see over 250 alumni back on campus for the All-Alumni Reunion Cocktail Reception during Wildcat Weekend. Everyone had a great time reliving past memories and catching up with old friends. View photos.
RCDS Celebrates the Class of 1969
Congratulations to members of the Class of 1969 who celebrated their 50th Reunion at a festive luncheon along with Golden Alumni from all classes prior to 1969. View photos.
Alumni Experience the Makerspace
Over Wildcat Weekend, alumni visited the Makerspace in the Cohen Center for Creative Arts, where they participated in projects led by student apprentices and RCDS faculty. All participants were extremely impressed by the space and the projects that our students are completing. View photos.
Alumna Inspires Service in Kenya
Thank you to RCDS alumna Caroline Breinin '11 who returned to campus to present to AP Computer Science students and fifth grade students about global service opportunities that support students at the Wema Children's Center in Kenya, where she is a board member. Learn more about her visit here.
Alumni Care Package Party
Parents of alumni and current parents gathered on campus to assemble over 100 goody filled, Halloween-themed care packages for their RCDS alumni in college. We hope you enjoyed the sweet surprise!

Check out the new song "Flowers," which is a wonderful RCDS collaboration: Music by Saxophone Teacher Alexander McCabe (he also plays the piano on the recording), lyrics by Grace Casale '22, and vocals courtesy of RCDS alumnus Robi Hager '06.

Former WildScat David Townley '16 was recently chosen to join Yale's top a cappella singing group, The Whiffenpoofs! The group recently sang in two music series events at Grace Church in White Plains, NY, and at American Yacht Club in Rye, NY.

Congratulations to Carolyn Binder '13 who is in Ireland playing professional basketball. She shared that she left her job at Google to pursue this opportunity, which has been a dream of hers since her days at RCDS. While in Ireland, she will also be getting her masters in marketing at Trinity College Dublin, Business School.

Jourdan Layne '15 shared that this Christmas season, she will be in a dance production called The Nativity: Birth of a King. It takes place on December 15 and 16 at John Jay College. If you are interested, you can learn about the show and purchase tickets here.

Michelle Freis Dancyger '97 writes, "I'm pleased to share I have joined Julia B Fee Sotheby's International! Please message me if you are interested in buying or selling or if you want to tour Westchester!"

Congratulations to Katie Hunt '02, Co-founder of SHOWFIELDS "the most interesting store in the world" who was selected as a speaker at The Retail Summit 2020 in Atlantis, Dubai. View the agenda here and read more about SHOWFIELDS here.


Are you or a classmate in the news? Please let us know. Submit a class note or email us at


Is your company hiring? Looking for an internship? Help connect fellow RCDS alumni by submitting the information to our alumni network.

Thanksgiving Games & Family Reception
November 29, 2019
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Alumni LinkedIn Group Alumni LinkedIn Group
Rye Country Day School
"Not for Self, but for Service"

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