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Cyrus Monthly fall masthead
OCTOBER 2020 NEWS FOR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS

Upcoming Events

Oct. 30
The Equity Lab presents When You Want To Talk About Race: Deepening your Understanding and Fluency
Virtual Webinar
Noon (CT)

Nov. 10
The Equity Lab presents Historical Racism and Systemic Exclusion in the Twin Cities
Virtual Webinar
5:30pm (CT)

Nov. 12
Breakfast at Blake with Laura Gabbert ‘85
Virtual Webinar
7:30-8:30am

Quicklinks

Alumni Homepage

Alumni Events

Cyrus Magazine

BearWear

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Reunion and Homecoming

Bear Pause:
10 Questions in 10 Minutes

T.J. Gordon '94T.J. Gordon '94 lives in Highland Park, Illinois, and is a partner at the international law firm Sidley Austin LLP. He remains a die-hard, and suffering, Minnesota Vikings fan. T.J. enjoys playing tennis with his family but also thinks a round of golf with Larry David sounds pretty, pretty, pretty good. Learn more about T.J. in the latest edition of Bear Pause.

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

Alumni Spotlight

Mia Greene Como '05Mia Greene Como '05 is the founder and executive director of Amplifying Voices for Youth, a nonprofit with "the mission of getting own-voices books into the hands of colonially marginalized youth. Amplifying Voices works with teachers, schools, library specialists and youth programs to bring increased and more accurate representation to BIPOC, disabled and LGBTQIA2S+ youth and supports the work of educators and youth leaders around the world by providing easier access to these materials." Mia shares, "We also have a program to bring, via Zoom and other digital platforms, the authors of the books we donate to the classrooms where they're being read so the students can have direct access to authors whose experiences and perspectives more closely resemble theirs. We know representation matters, and we're hoping to make it easier for youth to see it." Learn more about Amplifying Voices for Youth's mission and story on the organization's website and on Instagram @amplifyingvoicesforyouth. And listen to the Amplifying Voices for Youth podcast to hear discussions with teachers, community leaders, authors and students about the importance of representation in texts and how it impacts youth.

Don Piccard '43, named "the father of modern hot-air ballooning" by the National Balloon Museum in Iowa, died last month at 94. A tribute in the Star Tribune reveals highlights of his remarkable life and career.

Ames Sheldon's '66 second novel, "Don't Put the Boats Away," has won six awards, including the winner in the family saga category and finalist in women's fiction by the 2020 American Fiction Awards. The sequel to "Eleanor's Wars" was also named finalist in historical fiction by the 2020 International Book Awards, finalist in women's fiction by the 2020 National Indie Excellence Awards, finalist in fiction by the 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and finalist in historical fiction by the 2019 Best Book Awards.

Paul Hyde '84, co-founder of Hyde Development, was named Executive of the Year at the Minnesota 2020 Real Estate Awards show presented by the Minnesota Real Estate Journal.

Marta Cohen Musolf '88 recently launched Musolf Mediation, which offers mediation and divorce coaching services to support clients through the emotion, overload of information and confusion of divorce.

Melissa Oszustowicz '89 has joined executive search firm Raines International as senior vice president and head of the agribusiness practice.

Tom Winston '95, founder and CEO of Grizzly Creek Films, and his team received an Emmy for documentary cinematography for their four-part series "Epic Yellowstone," which aired last year on the Smithsonian Channel.

Bisi Agunbiade Wilson '97 has started a new law practice, Ward & Wilson, P.C., focused on neutral investigations, family law and litigation.

Eric Dayton '99 was appointed to the Governor's Advisory Council on Climate Change, which will work together with the Climate Change Subcabinet to identify opportunities for, and barriers to, policies and strategies to reduce GHG emissions and increase climate resiliency in Minnesota.

Kendall Boyd Tyson '05, vice president of strategy and analytics for the NHL's Seattle Kraken, was a guest on "Women Blazers," a podcast that features interviews with women in the sports industry who are either breaking barriers or on a journey to blaze trails in the front office. Kendall also participated in a Women in Sports Tech (WiST) webinar to inspire high school and middle school girls to explore careers in sports tech and was highlighted in this Q&A with WiST.

Lily Delianedis '20 is one of seven new members of the Cornell women's hockey team welcomed this month by head coach Doug Derraugh.

Today at Blake

Educating Students through an Election Season

American flag reflecting in middle school window

While Blake has a longstanding tradition of teaching students during presidential elections, this year presents myriad challenges for us all. As always, we have kept the student experience at the forefront of our planning and teaching. Head of School Anne Stavney shares how Blake is supporting students in all divisions this election season as they learn about the election process, grapple with complex issues and develop the skills of critical thinking and civic engagement.

OECE Launches the Equity Lab

The Equity Lab logoBlake's Office of Equity and Community Engagement introduces a hub for equity-focused learning opportunities for students, parents, faculty and staff and alumni. The Equity Lab makes sharing topics related to equity and inclusion accessible to everyone by offering and supporting lunch-and-learn sessions, after-school workshops, one-on-one discussions, critical friend groups, professional collaborations, webinars, community partnerships and more. Upcoming events include a conversation with OECE Director Tyneeta Canonge and PK-12 Chair for Equity & Instruction Lora McManus-Graham. When You Want to Talk About Race: Deepening Your Understanding and Fluency (Friday, Oct. 30) explores what influences the ability to discuss racialized topics and find the right words to express your feelings. And Director of Global Programs Dion Crushshon '88 presents Historical Racism and Systemic Exclusion in the Twin Cities (Tuesday, Nov. 10). Learn about the historical practices and policies that have contributed to and sustained racial segregation and identity-based inequities in the Twin Cities.

National Merit Semifinalists Announced

2021 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists

Seven Blake seniors have earned semifinalist designation in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors now have an opportunity to continue in the competition. Sixteen Blake seniors have been commended by the National Merit Scholarship Program in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. Although commended students do not continue in the competition for National Merit scholarships, some of these students do become candidates for special scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.

Get to Know LearningWorks

LearningWorks students and teacher

LearningWorks (LW) is a unique public-private partnership between Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) and Blake working to prepare students to thrive in college and beyond. The program has achieved remarkable success with 99% of MPS LW students graduating from high school. The fall LW school-year program is underway virtually preparing students while training aspiring teachers. Learn more and sign up to receive the LW newsletter.

Notes and Reminders

Documentary Filmmaker Laura Gabbert '85 Headlines Next Breakfast at Blake

Laura Gabbert '85Join Breakfast at Blake on Thursday, Nov. 12 to hear from award-winning documentary director Laura Gabbert '85, who will share and discuss clips from some of her documentaries, including a sneak peek of a production that explores the impact of COVID-19 on the American food supply chain. Read more about Laura and register for this virtual event by Monday, Nov. 9.

Blake Athletics Offers Livestream of Games

Bears fans can now watch their favorite sports teams via livestream. Find all upcoming events or search by sport.

School Spirit on Display During Homecoming @Home

Blake alum holding Blake pennantNear and far, we heard our alumni roar for Homecoming @Home! You donned your BearWear and posted photos to social media and renewed your Blake Fund gifts, showing your commitment to the school. Thank you for your participation! Continue to follow school activities and news on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and make a gift to this year's Blake Fund through June 30, 2021. Go Bears!

2020 Reunion Events on YouTube

Did you miss this year's virtual reunion events? We have you covered! Recordings of The Take on Blake, a discussion with Upper School teachers Maggie Bowman and Jim Spector on the highs and lows of remote learning, and Breakfast at Blake with Young Alumnus of the Year Rolf Haas '04 are now available on Blake's YouTube channel.

Admissions Virtual Open House Oct. 31 and Nov. 21

Rediscover Blake at an upcoming virtual admissions open house on Saturday, Oct. 31 or Saturday, Nov. 21. You'll have the opportunity to build your own schedule and visit with school leaders, faculty, current families and students. Learn more about these and other fall admissions events.

Alumni Biennial Artwork Submissions Deadline Nov. 1

Blake Alumni Biennial GalleryThe Bennett Gallery Curatorial Team invites alumni artists to submit their work for display in this exhibition, which will take place throughout December in the virtual gallery. The show's theme, Seasons: Love, Loss, Pain, Peace, reflects the community's emotions in this challenging year. Submissions in any medium accepted here through Sunday, Nov. 1. Please include an artist statement and specify in which category (love, loss, pain or peace) you would like your art displayed. Questions? Contact Sophia Wagner '21 or Bennett Gallery faculty advisor Bill Colburn '88.

Alumni Board Nominations Due Oct. 31

Nominations for Blake's Alumni Board are welcome year-round, but considerations for the 2021-22 board close on Saturday, Oct. 31. Board members can serve up to two three-year terms and all alumni in good standing are eligible.

Alumni Award Nominations Due Oct. 31

Blake is accepting nominations for alumni awards. Nominations are welcome year-round, but consideration for the 2021 award closes on Saturday, Oct. 31. Award criteria and nomination forms at the links below:

Outstanding Alumni of the Year (See past recipients)
Young Alumni of the Year (See past recipients)
Jenny Stephens Hagen Spirit Award (See past recipients)

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