Archive for Alumni News

Twenty Year Celebration!

On Saturday, June 9th, we celebrated twenty years of Fairhaven School. In addition to joining our annual Capture the Flag game, about two hundred current students, alumni, founders, and friends of the school visited, shared stories, played music, ate brick oven pizza, and dug up the time capsule we buried in 1998. Founder and staff member Mark McCaig shared these remarks in the backyard at the time capsule ceremony.

 

It’s About Time

How do you mark twenty years? We’ve been open about 3,780 days for 30,240 hours. We have 79 graduates. JC has adjudicated approximately 24,074 cases. School Meeting has met about 800 times.

 

In the summer of 1998, approximately 200 people, almost all volunteers, contributed time, money, muscle, and grit to build the Old Building. It was, as they say, a labor of love. On September 23, 1998, we opened for business, and students immediately started managing their own time here. And so it began. I often boil down the Fairhaven experience, the Fairhaven magic, if you will, to the following: students here have the gift of time. Time to play, time to talk, time to think, time to fail, time to succeed, time to grow, time to change, time to learn, time to forget, time to hide, time to seek, time to jam, time to drum, time to sing, time to swing, time to survive, time to game, time to curse, time to pray, time to Youtube, time to vote, time to plead, time to believe, time to doubt, time to draw, time to read, time to graduate, time to celebrate, time to write, time to add, time to subtract, time to love, and yes, time to hate, time to kickball, time to ultimate, time to infection, time to pretend, time to create, time to explore, time to munchkin, time to cook, time to argue, time to agree, time to hug, time to roughhouse, time to exist peaceably, time to ball, time to skate, time to act, time to improv, time to run, time to foodrun, time to snap, time to insta, time to climb, time to stumble, time to parkour, time to dance, time to clean (occasionally), time to cry, time to laugh, time to give thanks, and finally, just maybe, today we need a new verb: time to fairhaven.

Two more numbers I’d like to share: 1 mastodon tooth found in the stream. And my personal favorite: 10 alumni who have worked here so far. I love this number best because one day, I’ll be gone, and, along with my remarkable colleagues, these alumni will continue the work. They will keep pushing this boulder up the hill, they will fairhaven this place into the next twenty years.

–Mark McCaig 

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Excerpts from an Interview with Alumnus Andrew Agner-Nichols

For the past year and a half, we have been interviewing Fairhaven School alumni as part of marking our twentieth year. We are now producing a book from these oral histories, and we will be posting excerpts throughout the year. Here are some passages from current adjunct staff member Andrew Agner-Nichols, class of 2006.

 

photo by Rachel Sale

I think I made an attempt at attending School Meeting once or twice early on, but it took me a couple of years to become invested. I think that’s the case with a lot of people. Something would happen, hopefully not a JC referral. You don’t want to try to first become invested in School Meeting when it’s disciplinary. That’s kind of a rough situation to be in, and that’s not the ideal time to become acquainted with School Meeting.  I’d say the best ways to become acquainted with School Meeting were those times where someone wants to change a rule or someone wants something to happen, and they get their group together and say, “Guys, this means a lot to me. Let’s go to School Meeting. I know we have to wait for an hour to get to it, but if we just power through, we can talk about why we want this.” We’d go in and do it. When it went our way, that gave us that rush of, “Yes, we did a thing today. We got something passed.” Other days, it didn’t quite go our way, and we’d deal with that frustration and loss and navigate that.  

The transition from being a frequent defendant in JC to running the meeting was one of those periods where there was so much going on, and I was learning without realizing I was learning. I know that being a part of the prosecution kind of changed how I viewed certain things. I think it probably made me a better defendant, because I know when I would go in after that, for the most part I would be respectful, I would be quick and concise, and I would attempt not to waste time quite so much. I think we all have a major need to defend our actions, even if we know we are wrong. I wish I had gotten better at that earlier when I was here. Coming back and staffing, I have noticed that in a lot of these cases, they go to JC and they’ll need to give a reason or an excuse for why they did what they did. You don’t always need that. You can just apologize, say, “I understand what I did was wrong.” I may have reasons but they are excuses, and it’s not an excuse for what I did. That’s all you really need. 

 

You can learn so much from someone who is just a couple of years older than you or a couple of years younger than you, or what seems like an ocean of time at that age. A ten-year-old talking to a fifteen-year-old, it feels completely different. I think it’s important for many reasons. Part of it is just being comfortable with talking to people that aren’t your age and learning how to interact with those people and learning from their actions.  When I was younger and hanging out with Gabriel and a couple other people of the older age bracket, I would kind of learn these social cues and spend more time listening or observing and figuring out which of my actions were annoying and what I needed to adjust. Then, it was also nice to have them there, so if a younger person or someone of your age range was picking on you, or doing something obnoxious, you’d have a superior there to say, “Hey, that’s not cool. Back off.” This didn’t happen very often, but just having the family dynamic there was helpful. 

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Alumni Book Project

Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year!

Fairhaven School’s Public Relations Committee has begun interviewing alumni for a book about their experiences as students here. Prior to the release of the book, we will be sharing some of their words. Today, some excerpts from Zoe Woodbridge, class of 2009.

Field trips- I was pretty involved in field trips. Again, it was a way students could express their freedom and the trust we’d be given at school. I’d be talking with a group of friends and one of us would say “It’d be cool to go hike Old Rag,” and so we’d get a sign up sheet and make sure we had transportation and staff to go with us, as well as funds for the trip. I also went on the ski trip my first year. It was great to still have that same freedom that I would’ve had at school, but in a new place. We weren’t necessarily expected to “report” to anyone and it was a great way to spend time with friends outside of school.

Staff- My relationships with staff vs. my relationships with previous teachers or administrators were very different. I developed more personal relationships with staff at Fairhaven and still consider many of them to be friends and people I would go to for advice about life in general. I could even curse in front of them and not necessarily get in trouble, not that I ever really cursed that much, but that was weird for me to get used to… to feel like these adults were, for the most part, my equals. It was refreshing. 

Zoe Woodbridge, right, chairing School Meeting.

Zoe Woodbridge, right, chairing School Meeting.

Age mixing- I know some people didn’t like it, but I personally loved the age mixing at Fairhaven. I had friends who were three years younger or older than me, and I wouldn’t have had that if I had been assigned to a certain grade. I spent some time in my last year with our Play Time group and with a lot of the younger kids, playing hide and seek or reading to them. It’s definitely given me good experience when it comes to working with kids, which I’ve been doing since I graduated from college. I think it also made me more interested in the social work field, specifically working with young children. 

Essence of Fairhaven- I think for me the essence of Fairhaven was when a random capture-the-flag game would start. The weather would have to be nice, so it was usually towards the end of the school year. And you would just hear several people yell “capture the flag!” as loud as they could and whoever wanted to would run down to the field and start making teams. I was so nervous to play when I first came to Fairhaven, not knowing very many people. But everyone would encourage you to join in and it was just great camaraderie. I think you see that every year at the Alumni Picnic/Flag Day, too. Everyone comes back home, and it’s like you pick up the game where you left off. 

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Class of 2015 Video

As we mentioned earlier on this blog , we are profiling the five graduates of the Class of 2015 as a way to reveal Fairhaven School’s unique approach to education. We hope, then, that you enjoy this video produced by Fairhaven School alumnus and staff member Richard Morris.

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Class of 2015 Video

As we mentioned earlier on this blog , we are profiling the five graduates of the Class of 2015 as a way to reveal Fairhaven School’s unique approach to education. We hope, then, that you enjoy this video produced by Fairhaven School alumnus and staff member Richard Morris.

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Class of 2015 Video

As we mentioned earlier on this blog , we are profiling the five graduates of the Class of 2015 as a way to reveal Fairhaven School’s unique approach to education. We hope, then, that you enjoy this video produced by Fairhaven School alumnus and staff member Richard Morris.

Comments off

Class of 2015 Video

As we mentioned earlier on this blog , we are profiling the five graduates of the Class of 2015 as a way to reveal Fairhaven School’s unique approach to education. We hope, then, that you enjoy this video produced by Fairhaven School alumnus and staff member Richard Morris.

Comments off

Class of 2015 Video

As we mentioned earlier on this blog , we are profiling the five graduates of the Class of 2015 as a way to reveal Fairhaven School’s unique approach to education. We hope, then, that you enjoy this video produced by Fairhaven School alumnus and staff member Richard Morris.

Comments off

Class of 2015 Video

As we mentioned earlier on this blog , we are profiling the five graduates of the Class of 2015 as a way to reveal Fairhaven School’s unique approach to education. We hope, then, that you enjoy this video produced by Fairhaven School alumnus and staff member Richard Morris.

Comments off

Class of 2015 Video

As we mentioned earlier on this blog , we are profiling the five graduates of the Class of 2015 as a way to reveal Fairhaven School’s unique approach to education. We hope, then, that you enjoy this video produced by Fairhaven School alumnus and staff member Richard Morris.

Comments off