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A Message from Head of School Anne Stavney

Dear Blake alumni and friends,

Anne StavneyOur community extends far beyond the three campuses that comprise our school. Please know that in this unprecedented time, we include all of you in our thoughts and hope you are healthy and safe. Like other schools and organizations around the world, Blake is working hard to make operational adjustments that will minimize the impact of this global pandemic on our students, families and employees. (Detailed information can be found at Beyond the procedural adjustments, though, we want to acknowledge the implications of COVID-19 for our wider Blake community.

Read more from Dr. Stavney about what you can do to connect with and support Blake alumni.

Bear Pause:
10 Questions in 10 Minutes

Brennan Greene ‘01Brennan Greene ‘01 is the owner of Birch's on the Lake Brewhouse and Supperclub in Long Lake, Minnesota, and Birch’s Lowertown in downtown St. Paul*. He married his high school sweetheart, Natasha Corver Greene ‘01, with whom he has two beautiful girls, Kaleesi, 6, and Lilly, 3. Learn more about Brennan in the latest edition of Bear Pause.

Send recommendations of alumni you would like to see profiled in this monthly feature to Or check out our list of questions and participate yourself! Visit the Bear Pause archives to read past interviews.

*During the COVID-19 restrictions, Birch’s will offer curbside to go and delivery of food as well as beer in growlers and crowlers, Wednesday-Sunday, 11am-8pm. Call ahead to 952-473-7373.

Alumni Spotlight

Paul Koullick ‘10 and David Kang ‘10David Kang ‘10 and Paul Koullick ‘10, are co-founders of Keeper Tax, the first tax filing software designed for freelancers. After six months of development the product has officially launched in the U.S. The childhood friends and former debate partners shared the story behind their startup in an article for TechCrunch. “We wanted to build something that actually mattered to real people,” Paul told TechCrunch. “And we wanted to do it in the financial space where we were happy to wade through ugly details and systems on their behalf.” David added, “We’re willing to tackle some of these topics that are kind of boring and mundane and really intensive. The average person doesn’t want to think about taxes or filling out forms. We saw that as an opportunity for us to step in and be like, hey, we’ll take it.”

Whitney MacMillan ‘47, who led Cargill Inc. for 20 years and was the last member of the founding family to run the agricultural giant, died on March 11 at age 90. Many publications paid tribute to his life and legacy, including two pieces in the Star Tribune (here and here).

Danielle Fagre Arlowe ’90 and Amy Schachtman Zaroff '90 are co-hosts of “Hyperbole: The Best Podcast Ever,” which explores “the best and worst of everything this week: pop culture, news #hastags and interviews with cool people you need to know.” Mpls. St. Paul Magazine named “Hyperbole” to its list “15 Locally Connected Podcasts to Get Out of Your Listening Rut.”

Mary Moulton Putman ‘92, vice president of marketing and brand for GE Appliances, received BrandSource’s 2020 Women in Business (WIB) Cornerstone Award. WIB is a professionals’ organization for women in the appliance, furniture, mattress and consumer tech sectors. The award lauds efforts to bring a woman’s perspective to the appliance industry and to help crumble the glass ceiling in society.

Aliya Feroe ‘13, a third-year Harvard medical student who identifies as queer, is part of a push to improve health care for LGBTQ patients by increasing LGBTQ enrollment and training in LGBTQ health issues in medical schools.

Submit alumni news for inclusion in this section of Cyrus Monthly to

From the Archives

What’s WHAT?

Student DJs

In the mid-1970s, Upper School students could turn their dials to 600 AM and catch WHAT Radio, a station run by and for Blake students. Broadcast from a nook in the school’s subbasement, the short-lived project peaked in 1974-75, its first full season on air. Throughout the school day, student announcers worked shifts of one to two class periods, playing progressive rock, jazz and also featuring experimental theater, live concerts, news and specialty segments.

The 25-member staff worked to keep the air waves open by fundraising and encouraging student and faculty participation. But in 1978 the club disbanded and would not reorganize. An editorial in the Upper School student newspaper, Spectrum, cited lack of student interest for the program’s demise and lamented, “In closing WHAT, Blake has lost part of its uniqueness in giving its students the chance to participate in an activity that they enjoyed.”

Today at Blake

LearningWorks Celebrates Class of 2020

Natalie Owens-Pike ‘07 with LearningWorks graduates

Members of the LearningWorks class of 2020 celebrated graduation from the academic enrichment program this month. The ceremony featured speakers Mauri Friestleben, principal of North High School in Minneapolis, and Jocelyn McQuirter, a LearningWorks alumna from the program’s first graduating class of 2002 and a North High and St. Thomas University graduate. This was also the last graduation ceremony for LW Executive Director Natalie Owens-Pike ‘07, who will be leaving Blake at the end of summer to attend divinity school. Photos from the ceremony are available on Flickr.

Bears Finish Third in First-ever Trip to the State Class AA Boys’ Hockey Tournament

2020 Blake boys' hockey team

Following an exciting section final win over Benilde-St. Margaret’s, the Bears earned their first-ever trip to the State Class AA Boys’ Hockey Tournament at the Xcel Energy Center. The Bears won their quarterfinal game against Maple Grove but fell to Eden Prairie in the semis. In their final game of the postseason, the Bears won 4-0 over St. Thomas Academy to take third place in state. Read more

Boys’ Swim and Dive Wins Fourth Consecutive State Title

2020 Bearstangs boys' swim and dive team

The Breck/Blake boys' swim and dive team, the Bearstangs, won its fourth consecutive state Class A title and sixth; Breck/Blake also won in 2009 and 2010.

Notes and Reminders

Director of Alumni and Parent Engagement Position Available

Annie Linvill Seidel '85, director of alumni and parent engagement, is leaving her role at Blake to spend more time with her family. Annie says it was not an easy decision, but she looks forward to remaining involved with the school she loves as an active parent and committed alumna. Details about the position are available here.

The Blake School, 110 Blake Road South, Hopkins, MN 55343