Peer counseling was born 25 years ago, when Sue Carlson, then head counselor at Deerfield, recognized that students often feel more comfortable talking about their concerns with another student rather than with an adult. At present, 16 dedicated students, eight juniors and eight seniors, equally divided between boys and girls, serve as peer counselors at Deerfield. Counselors make a two-year commitment to the program, and are trained by the Health Center staff in basic counseling skills, the range of referrals available to students at Deerfield, and the issues that impact their fellow student’s physical, emotional and social well being. (more…)
An extremely well-attended Parent Panel entitled “Pathways to College” took place on a beautiful Friday over Parents Fall Weekend. Jim Alexandre, president of the Deerfield Parents Network, introduced two speakers who know the most about this process: Martha Lyman, Director of College Advising, and Peter Warsaw, Academic Dean.
Both stressed that our job as parents and educators is to inspire our children to discover what they love. Expose them to a variety of courses and extra-curriculars. Provide a safe and supportive environment within which to experiment and even fail. Encourage our kids to push outside their comfort zones while always following their internal compass. It is the journey that is important. That being said, there are many “pathways” students can follow on their passage to higher education. (more…)
In a world filled with technology, where vast amounts of information are available at the flip of a switch, how do we encourage creativity in our children? This is the question asked by Peter Warsaw and Peter Nilsson at their “Technology and Creativity in Education Today” presentation during Deerfield’s Parents Fall Weekend.
Peter Warsaw began the talk by introducing the story of Riley Ennis. While still in high school, and shortly after watching a NOVA research special on horseshoe crabs and how their immune systems work, Riley read an article on cancer immunology. With his mind drifting between these two very different topics, it occurred to Ennis that it might be possible to generate a vaccine for cancer based on the horseshoe crab immune system. This out-of-the box approach to research allowed him to discover a never-thought-of-before way that allows the human immune system to recognize and combat cancer and other diseased cells in the body. (more…)
‘Tis the season of giving, and the Deerfield Parents Network is excited about a pilot effort to thank and celebrate the devoted faculty and staff who give so much to our children throughout the year.
Once the students head home, the Deerfield community gathers for its traditional Jingle Mingle holiday party on December 21. This year, the DPN is organizing a “free raffle” to show our appreciation to them. (more…)
Left to right: Dr. Tom Hagamen, Kate Rolland, Dr. Sheila Fritz, Patricia Haggerty-Rahn, Sarah Brooks, Nancy Burniske, Susan LaScala, Kristin Loftus, Dr. Stuart Bicknell
A team of professionals provides Deerfield students with comprehensive health care and counseling services at the Health Center, an accredited hospital facility. To reach the Health Center directly, 24/7, call (413) 774-1600. See a full list of services.
The following is a listing of the Health Center Team:
Tom Hagamen, MD
Susan LaScala, RN-C, FNP
Nancy Burniske, Health Center Office Manager
Sarah Brooks, Health Center Assistant & Medical Chaperone
Desiree Bellor, Medical Chaperone
Dee Dee Pielock, Medical Chaperone
Health Education/Peer Counseling
Stuart Bicknell, EdD, Coordinator of Counseling
Sheila Fritz, PsyD (more…)
Deerfield parents gathered on a perfectly crisp Parents Fall Weekend morning for coffee, conversation and bulb planting. The Deerfield Parents Network launched the campus beautification project last year with the planting of 1797 bulbs by parents, many of who met through the inaugural First Link program. It was such a success an encore planting of some 500 bulbs was held on Saturday, October 13th. Look for the amazing array of blooms come Spring. Pictured (from left) Susan Dragone P’14, Atlanta, GA; Huazhi Gao and Guirong Fang, P’15, Beijing, China; Gerry Pasciucco P’10,’13, Greenwich, CT; Phyllis Powers Phillie P’09,’11’,’13 East Sandwich, MA; and Michael Brod P’14, Southampton, NY.
For years, many Deerfield families have generously opened their homes over school vacations to international students who cannot travel home or have no family or friends in the United States. In the past ten years the number of international students has almost doubled to a high this year of 105 from 37 countries. Students need host families for all Deerfield vacations, including current requests for the upcoming winter vacation (two students), long winter weekend in February (13 students) and spring break in March (six students). (more…)
As parents we walk a fine line with regard to how involved to be with our children’s Deerfield experience. I remember dropping off my oldest child (of four who would follow the Deerfield path) on his first opening day, and just as I was looking around for more ways to help create a room of flawless organization, my “partner” in that effort looked appreciatively at me and confidently declared, “Dad, you can go now! I can work out the other stuff tonight.” At Parents Weekend some six weeks later, his thoroughly reorganized room suggested that my engagement should take a different path!
The Deerfield Parents Network has been a rewarding way to be involved with the Academy in a way that improves the collective experience of families at the school. The message of this note is simple: we need your help! As I’ll explain below, the school has asked the DPN to take on a broader role, and to move from the “low hanging fruit” we could easily reach a few years ago to more complex challenges faced by the school. (more…)
An Athletic Task Force was created to look at how we use our co-curricular time at Deerfield Academy. In an effort to best understand the needs and perceptions of our various constituencies, we have created a brief survey to gather information. We have collected information from faculty and students and now we are asking for your help. It should not take longer than 5 minutes and your time and contributions are greatly appreciated.
Annual parent and alumni support is critical to providing approximately 12% of the funding for the school’s yearly operations. This financial supplement represents the margin of excellence that sets Deerfield apart from its peers. Within annual parent fundraising there are two funds — the Parent Annual Fund and the Senior Class Gift Fund.
Dr. Thomas Hagamen has been Deerfield’s physician since 1989. A graduate of Dartmouth Medical School and trained as a family physician, Tom leads the Dewey Health Center’s team of professionals who tend to our students’ physical and emotional well-being. He lives with his wife in a house on Main Street just a stone’s throw from the Health Center. Their daughters graduated from Deerfield in 2001 and 2003.
Q. Based on your 23 years of experience here, what is the key to staying healthy at Deerfield?
A. Sleep deprivation is the number one health problem and risk factor for a multitude of physical and mental health issues. This has not changed in 23 years. (more…)