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Cyrus Monthly summer masthead

Upcoming Events

Dec. 23
Alumni Holiday Party Open House
6-8:30pm (CT)

Jan. 21
Breakfast at Blake with Cassidy Blackwell '02

Jan. 28
Alumni Trivia Night
7-8:30pm (CT)


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Cyrus Magazine


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Reunion and Homecoming

Bear Pause:
10 Questions in 10 Minutes

Jan and Lee WoolmanFormer Upper School teachers Jan and Lee Woolman retired from Blake in June 2008 and have enjoyed traveling, volunteering, film festivals and various other cultural events—but especially interacting with their four grandchildren. You can catch up with Jan and Lee at this year's virtual Alumni Holiday Party Open House, where they'll be hosting a breakout room. Learn more about this dynamic duo in the latest (and first-ever double feature) 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.

Alumni Spotlight

Max Johnson '11Max Johnson '11 is the co-founder of Awe Inspired (Instagram @aweinspired_), a fine jewelry brand he founded in 2017 with his mother, Jill Johnson, and brother, Adam Johnson '13, to create designs that celebrate iconic women of the past and present. Since its inception, the company has donated over $500,000 to organizations they believe in including NAMI, the Trevor Project, CancerCare, RAINN, EMILY's List and NAACP. Max recently spoke with the industry publication JCK about their business and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted him and his work. "When quarantine and lockdown [happened], people were immediately reallocating their personal spending from events and experiences to more meaningful products," Max tells JCK. "They were looking for things that they can have with them at home that would bring them strength, hope, and resilience. This is everything that Awe Inspired stands for." Read the full interview.

Peter Markle ‘64 talked with We Are The Mighty about his formative years during a period of intense change for the country, his time in the U.S. Army Reserve and how his experiences inform his work as a filmmaker.

Peter Connor '90, owner manager and president of WD Flooring, announced his company's opening of a new showroom in the Denver Design District.

Amy Schachtman Zaroff '90, founder and creative director of Amy Zaroff Events + Design, was named one of the 100 People to Know in the Twin Cities by Twin Cities Business in the innovator category.

Emilie Hitch '96, applied anthropologist and vice president at the marketing and advertising agency Broadhead, shares nine culture shift predictions for 2021.

Brooke Barrett '99 has launched BenchK12, technology that matches substitute teachers to schools to ensure a great substitute teaching experience.

Maxine Kaye Bédat '01, executive director of the New Standard Institute, a think tank focused on fashion's footprint, spoke with Vogue about this year's growth in vintage and secondhand clothing consumption.

Katharine Woodman-Maynard's '04 graphic novel adaptation of "The Great Gatsby" comes out Tuesday, Jan. 5. She'll be celebrating with a virtual book launch at the Red Balloon Bookshop on the same day.

Minneapolis City Council member Jeremiah Ellison '08, together with his parents, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Minneapolis Public Schools board member Kim Ellison, were named to the 100 People to Know in the Twin Cities list by Twin Cities Business in the change agent category.

Grace Seeley '17 is a senior in the University of Pennsylvania's Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business. She was recently featured in the school's interview series HuntSpeak in which she talks about her college experiences.

Addie Burton '20, a freshman forward for the University of Minnesota's women's hockey team, was profiled in the 2020-21 NCAA Preview: Newcomers to watch in the WCHA.

Today at Blake

Online John Edie Holiday Debate Tournament Virtually Unchanged

John Edie Holiday Debate Tournament trophy

Zoom rooms, pets on parade and a holiday sweater fashion show are just a few examples distinguishing the 58th annual John Edie Holiday Debate Tournament from its previous 57 runs. But one constant participants of this prestigious event can count on is high-quality, competitive debate in a variety of formats. If you are interested in seeing some of the weekend's debates (Dec. 18-20), visit the tournament website or contact Director of Debate Shane Stafford. Alumni are also invited to join the Blake Speech and Debate Alumni group on Facebook.

2020 Service Learning and Community Engagement at Blake

Alumni volunteers

In January 2020, Blake was looking forward to developing a new partnership with Spero Academy, a charter school for students with special needs; hosting Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Elizabeth Rush as our Otis Environmental Author; holding a Climate Change and Sustainability Showcase; running a Plank Summer Institute for Educators on Local Businesses of Immigrant Entrepreneurs; and much more in the areas of service learning and community engagement. The COVID-19 pandemic interrupted all of these plans. However, collectively and individually, we responded and continue to respond to the needs and realities before us in a variety of meaningful ways.

Cyrus Magazine Returns

Cyrus special 2020 issue coverOur special 2020 issue of Cyrus centers on students (now alumni) as they examine race and identity through art and words. We also feature a Q&A with Tyneeta Canonge, who leads the Office of Equity and Community Engagement at Blake. Read the full issue and look for your copy, arriving in mailboxes this month.

Notes and Reminders

Don't Delay! Register Today for the 2020 Alumni Holiday Party Open House

Turn Turn turn

The Alumni Holiday Party Open House is less than a week away, but there's still time to register for this virtual event on Wednesday, Dec. 23 from 6 to 8:30pm. Enjoy meet-ups with classmates, faculty and coaches and three special performances by pop-infused Americana band Turn Turn Turn. Register by Monday, Dec. 21. We look forward to celebrating with you!

January Breakfast at Blake with Cassidy Blackwell '02

Cassidy Blackwell '02Join Breakfast at Blake on Thursday, Jan. 21 from 7:30 to 8:30am (CT) to hear from Cassidy Blackwell '02, international communications director for Airbnb. Watch for more information on Cassidy's presentation in your email and on the alumni Facebook page. Register for this virtual event by Monday, Jan. 18.

Alumni Trivia Night with Trivia Mafia

Trivia Mafia logoBlake is teaming up with Trivia Mafia to host a pub-style trivia evening for all alumni on Thursday, Jan. 28 from 7 to 8:30pm (CST). Test your knowledge and compete for bragging rights with fellow Blake and Northrop classmates—all from the comfort of your home! Form your own team or be paired with other smart Blake Bears. Register by Tuesday, Jan. 26.

Make your Blake Fund Gift by Dec. 31

Teacher working with studentThis year is far from traditional, but creative thinking has ensured students are still taking part in Blake's beloved academic and co-curricular activities—regardless of how or where they are learning. As 2020 comes to a close, please consider making your Blake Fund gift before Thursday, Dec. 31. Your gift speaks to your belief in Blake's mission and continues the unique experience that makes this school so special for every student.

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