Applause! Applause!

Ross faculty, staff, students, and alumni achieve many accomplishments throughout the year, both on and off campus. This month we’re recognizing students Teague Costello, Wenqian Jiang, Amili Targownik, Alexandra Waldman, and the boys varsity tennis team, along with faculty Chris Engel and Alicia Schordine. Eleventh graders Teague Costello, Wenqian Jiang, and Amili Targownik each received an East Hampton Star Academic All-Star award, and were honored at a ceremony at the Bay Kitchen Bar restaurant on June 2. The annual awards recognize high school juniors’ academic excellence as well as talents and contributions to their schools and communities. School administrators make the individual selections.


Teague recently represented Ross at the National Geographic Bioblitz in San Francisco. As an “environmental steward,” he helped to teach others about the role of the ocean in planetary health. Teague also worked on creating the Reef Impact card game based on the students’ marine science research in Mo’orea during M-Term.


Teachers note that Wenqian stands out as one of the hardest-working students at Ross. She takes detailed notes in class, follows up with independent research about the content to improve her understanding, and is meticulous in how she presents what she has learned through her writings and presentations.


Amili was nominated for a Teeny Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama for her “spellbinding” performance in her autobiographical monologue The One-and-a-Half-Year Silent Girl, which she performed as part of Ross’s One-Act Play Festival in Fall 2013.

Alexandra Waldman

Sophomore and Ross Tennis Academy student Alexandra Waldman put on another strong showing at the Huntington Indoor Tennis tournament on May 24. She captured first place in the Girls 16S L2 Regional Championships, losing only one game in four sets. Alexandra is happily moving on to the next level—L1B events! The boys varsity tennis team also shone this season, placing second in their league with a 13–3 overall record. They were seeded in seventh place in Suffolk County.

Chris Engel

A selection of abstract artwork by Chris Engel, director of Community Programs, will be on display at the “Open Paths” art show at the Romany Kramoris Gallery in Sag Harbor June 5–26, with an opening reception on Saturday, June 14, at 4:30pm. Chris explains that the origins of his abstracts come from summers spent in his studio located on an island off the coast of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, where he was struck by the interplay of light and wind upon the water, observing the reflections and recording their paths. This work is part of many art collections throughout New York, the East and West Coasts, and Europe.


Alicia Schordine returned to Ross School this year to teach fourth grade after a year at a startup charter school in Tarboro, North Carolina. Alicia received her M.S. in childhood education at Long Island University in Riverhead, and she holds New York State certifications in elementary education, early childhood education, and theater education for grades K–12.

Alicia says, “I credit Ross with giving me the keys to becoming the type of educator I am today and continue to aspire to be.” Helping her hone her skills as an educator, Alicia has embraced every professional development opportunity made available to her. In addition, she sought out two specific opportunities this year: one as a result of the Ross Parents Association Faculty Innovation Grant, and the other an online opportunity through Oxford University in England.

The Ross Parents Association Faculty Innovation Grant enabled Alicia to participate in an exciting and innovative study—the Genographic Project conducted by National Geographic. The results of the project are expected to be released before the end of the school year.

Alicia also received funds from the School to participate in an Oxford University course titled “Ritual and Religion in Prehistory.” This course will allow Alicia, as cultural history coordinator for the Lower School, to obtain a deeper knowledge of the subject matter, which in turn she will pass on to her students and colleagues. This course also demonstrates her commitment to the Ross curriculum and development as a lifelong learner.

Congratulations to all!