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Cyrus Monthly spring masthead

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June 10
Class of 2021 Commencement
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Bear Pause:
10 Questions in 10 Minutes

Natalie Owens-Pike ʼ07Natalie Owens-Pike ʼ07 is a canoe enthusiast, connector of people and second-career grad student. She recently moved to New Haven with her husband, Alex, and would love to connect with Blake Bears in the area. Read more about Natalie 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.

Alumni Spotlight

Dziwe Ntaba ʼ90Dziwe Ntaba ʼ90, a global health and emergency physician, was named a recipient of the 2021 Bush Fellowship. In its announcement, the Bush Foundation said this year's 24 fellows are "addressing a wide variety of issues in communities around the region, and every one of them is seeking to be a greater force for equity and justice." Dziwe's experiences opening a clinic in Burundi and leading teams of Ebola emergency responders in Liberia inform his current interests at the University of Minnesota Medical School, where he works to better understand how historical mistreatment, trauma and patient experience can lead to poor health outcomes. Early in 2020, Dziwe deployed as a World Health Organization consultant on COVID-19 preparedness and response in the Western Pacific region. Upon return to Minneapolis, he helped lead support of M Health Fairview's Cedar Riverside Covid Response Group by providing pandemic biosafety training for public housing and assisted living facilities. Last April, he initiated a collaboration with Dunwoody College of Technology to fabricate 9,000 laser-cut facemasks for distribution among low-income communities. Dziwe plans to use his Bush fellowship to build networks for equitable health care solutions centered on dignity and respect. Dziwe was featured in the winter 2016 issue of Cyrus ("Together in Health").

Christine Olson Gedye ʼ83 has 20 works of art, which she describes as "quiet paintings meant to transport you to a place of tranquility, contemplation and spaciousness," on display at Fountainhead Gallery in Seattle. The show, "Yutori," runs through May 29.

Amanda McGovern ʼ83, a partner in the law firm Rivero Mestre, was named to the 2021 Lawdragon Global Litigation 500 guide, whose members were selected from independent research, nominations and input from editorial advisors.

Mpls.St.Paul Magazine included event producer Amy Schachtman Zaroff ʼ90 in its article “Thinking Big in Minnesota,” which lists 35 recent ideas, inventions and innovations from around the state. Find Amy at number 19!

Jen Seel Carlson ʼ94, a third grade teacher at Clover Ridge Elementary School in Chaska, Minnesota, is one of five finalists for the district's Excellence in Education Award (formerly teacher of the year).

Shalene Gupta ʼ06 is the co-author of "The Power of Trust: How Companies Build It, Lose It and Regain It," which will be released in July. She is also a contributor to Cognoscenti, the ideas and opinion page of WBUR, Boston's NPR station, which recently published her commentary "Want To Be Nice? Don't Stay Silent."

Noah Pentelovitch ʼ06, the associate director of advanced development for the housewares brand OXO, spoke with Zygote Quarterly about how bio-inspired design (BID) can be practically applied in his work.

Kristyn Bridges ʼ08, a writer and editor based in Cincinnati, talked about her work in an interview with Women of Cincy.

Max Johnson ʼ11, co-founder of the jewelry brand Awe Inspired, was a featured guest on the podcast "Hitting the Mark" with host, brand strategist and author Fabian Geyrhalter.

Nellie Ide ʼ17, a student at Harvard University, had her paper "Critical Breaths in Transit: A Review of Non-invasive Ventilation (NIV) for Neonatal and Pediatric Patients During Transportation" published by Frontiers in Pediatrics.

Fatiya Kedir ʼ17, Macalester student government president, shares some of her formative reads in the spring 2021 issue of the college's magazine.

Lucy Kiernat ʼ19, a sophomore at Hamilton College, received the school's H. Samuel Slater Prize in Romance Languages, awarded to a student who, at the end of the sophomore year, has ­excelled in the study of a romance language.

Today at Blake

Class of 2021 Commencement June 10

Silhouette of a graduateThe Blake class of 2021 graduates on Thursday, June 10 at 6:30pm (CT). A high-quality livestream of commencement will be viewable globally, and a recording of the ceremony will be available online following the event. Visit the Commencement and Closings 2021 page on Blake's website for links and more information.

College Destinations for the Class of 2021

The Blake College Counseling team has created a map of the class of 2021 college choices. See the scope and range of schools Blake's seniors plan to attend.

Senior Gift Supports LearningWorks Summer Program

Members of the Senior Class Giving Committee

Led by the Senior Class Giving Committee, the class of 2021 directed its senior gift to LearningWorks, raising enough to fund 98 care packages containing supplies for students attending this summer's program. LearningWorks, a partnership between Minneapolis Public Schools and Blake, prepares students to thrive in college and offers real-world teaching experience to high school and college students. The giving committee hosted a celebratory breakfast for all 135 seniors to recap the results of this year's senior gift and to welcome them as Blake's newest alumni.

Blake Celebrates Successful Giving Week

Blake Giving Week Thanks

With your participation, Blake Giving Week was a success! Many notes of gratitude were sent to educators, and 296 community members helped unlock a generous donor's $50,000 gift in support of Blake teachers. Thank you to all those who raised their hands and honored our educators. Blake Fund gifts for this school year are accepted through June 30 and can be made here.

Notes and Reminders

Retiring Faculty Tributes

The following Blake faculty and staff members are retiring this year: Ann Bellin (Lower School assistant director), David Graham ʼ85 (Upper School social studies), Julie Hansen (Cub House assistant director), Stacy Swearingen (Middle School English), Deborah Weiss (Upper School science) and Woody Woodward (Highcroft campus music).

Submit a note with your stories, thanks and thoughts for any of our distinguished retirees. We will share highlights from these responses with the retirees and our community. Watch for a link to more in-depth tributes in a future issue of Cyrus Monthly.

Become a LearningWorks Mentor Teacher

LearningWorks teachers at morning meeting

LearningWorks is looking for experienced middle and high school teachers to serve as mentors by working directly with the program's summer teaching fellows. LearningWorks instructional coaches (ICs) provide continuous support and guidance in unit and lesson planning, classroom environment and best instructional practices.

John Paul Farmer ʼ97 Presentation Available on YouTube

Paul Farmer ʼ97In his Breakfast at Blake talk, John Paul Farmer ʼ97, chief technology officer of New York City, discussed how his role affects education and opportunities for young people. He also revealed some surprising facts about the state of technology and how critical it has become to daily life.

Give the Gift of BearWear

The BearWear online store is a great place to get graduation, teacher appreciation and Father's Day gifts and now features new items such as personalized water bottles, sandals and cinch duffle bags. The items can be delivered to your home for a small fee or pick them up at 247 Active in Wayzata.

Reunion & Homecoming Weekend 2021

We look forward to welcoming all alumni back to campus Sept. 30-Oct. 3! Check out this year's Blake-hosted alumni events. Registration will begin in early August. To learn more or to get involved, contact Jon Friedell '85 P '24, '28.

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