Deerfield Parents Network

The DPN Steering Committee is composed of 25-30 members and meets three times a year: during Fall and Spring Family Weekends, and mid-school year in January. The DPN is organized around five primary committees and responsible for an array of programs including:

Communications provides input to the weekly Deerfield Families FYI electronic newsletter; and reviews and updates the DPN web pages. For more information and to get involved please contact:


Events is focused on campus events—such as tours of Historic Deerfield and group hikes to the Rock during Fall and Family Weekends, regional welcome gatherings for new students and their families during the summer, and the Friday night year-end Senior party for all graduating students and their parents and guardians. For more information and to get involved please contact:


First Link is a mentoring program that welcomes and integrates new families to the Academy. For more information and to get involved, please contact:



Travis Acquavella P’25
Julia Cuddihy Van Nice P’25
Leslee Mackenzie P’21,’24 
Mary Read P’24


The Inclusion Committee collaborates with the Academy’s Dean of Inclusion and Community Life and others on campus to create a community that is supportive and inclusive of all Deerfield parents and guardians. Some of these efforts include:

  • Working with the Nominating Committee to build a DPN Board that is inclusive and representative of the entire student body.
  • Working to increase (virtual and in-person) parent/guardian attendance at DPN meetings.
  • Working to ensure that events for current and new families are welcoming for all.
  • Working to ensure that the Academy’s international families feel connected to the school.


The Nominating Committee thoughtfully and carefully considers potential Steering Committee candidates. For more information and/or to share suggestions for candidates, please contact:


Fabiola Arredondo Rolfe P’24
Vanessa Lewis P’21,’25

The Deerfield Parents Network (DPN) seeks to build partnerships among Deerfield parents, and between parents and the Academy. If you are a current Deerfield Academy parent, you are also a member of the DPN.

Schools such as Deerfield no longer serve “in the place of parents,” but rather, “alongside parents.” The goal of our Parents Network is help enhance the Deerfield Experience for all students and their families through several initiatives. As a Deerfield parent, you are already part of the DPN. If you would like to help with any of the initiatives described here, or with new projects as they develop, please email the Deerfield Parents Network. Thank you!

The DPN’s signature program is the First Link, which organizes contacts between current Deerfield parents and the families of newly-enrolled students each spring. Experienced parents offer words of welcome and share their knowledge of the workings of the school. The First Link program also encourages and helps to organize gatherings of current and incoming families as one step to ease the transition to campus life.


  1. Wednesday, August 9, 2023

    1. Get Ready! Helpful Pointers for New (and Returning) Families

      The First Link Committee of the Deerfield Parents Network (DPN) has put together this list of pointers containing useful information that we hope you will find helpful as your child gets ready to leave for school. If you have questions or comments about the First Link program, feel free to contact the Co-Chairs: Travis Acquavella, […]
  2. Thursday, July 27, 2023

    1. Senior Party 2023 Recap

      The Senior Party is a tradition established several years ago as a special way to bring the entire class and their parents together on the Friday evening before graduation. This all-inclusive event features delicious food and drinks, music, and dancing. This year’s event included fun lawn games and a photo booth. Parents annually fund the […]
  3. Monday, May 15, 2023

    1. Offering Thanks

      Dear Deerfield Families: It’s hard to believe that in just a couple of weeks the seniors will graduate, and we will all head off into summer. As we wind down another fantastic school year, I am writing to ask parents to join me in pausing to reflect and to say thank you. Our children have […]

Families FYIs

The Deerfield Families FYI is emailed to all current parents and guardians on a biweekly (every other week) basis.

Specific content varies, but every edition of the FYI contains important (and helpful!) reminders and notices for parents and guardians, announcements and information, and links to photos and videos that give everybody a fun glimpse into “life on campus.”

Accidentally deleted last week’s FYI? Just can’t find it in your inbox anymore? See below for an archive of editions for the current school year.  Enjoy! (And please feel free to reach out to the Deerfield Academy Communications Office if you have any questions. Thank you.)

The DPN also provides parent-to-parent content for the Families FYIs during the school year. 

These newsletters are a great vehicle for sharing information and inviting informed parent involvement in the life of the Deerfield community. They are also the Academy’s primary means of sharing official “news and notices” with parents.

Past DPN-authored articles have included parent perspectives on the DA experience, tips for dealing with common challenges students might encounter, and information that helps parents understand the array of supportive services that Deerfield offers. Parent suggestions for topics of interest and parent perspective pieces are welcome; please contact DPN Vice Presidents for Communications, Carlos Fierro P’22,’23,’25 and Josh Huffard ’87 P’25  with your suggestions.

The DPN Steering Committee holds annual meetings during Family Weekends, usually early on Saturday mornings, and all current parents and guardians are welcome to attend. If you would like to get involved in any of our programs, just ask! We welcome your participation. Go Big Green!

The First Link Program

The First Link program is part of the Deerfield Parents Network geared towards building new relationships among parents within the Deerfield community. Over the years, it has become an important and valuable tradition.

2023–2024 Steering Committee

Executive Committee
President: Brooke Spater, Topsfield, MA (Hadley ’25)
VPs Events:
  • Elizabeth Brennan, Chesnut Hill, MA (Jack ’25)
  • Alison Pappas, New York, NY (Teddy ’24)
  • Jennifer Tonkel, New York, NY (Alexandra ’25)
VPs Communications:
  • Carlos Fierro, Jackson Hole, WY (Alexandra ’25)
  • Josh Huffard, Old Greenwich, CT (Edie ’25) 
VPs First Link:
  • Travis Acquavella, New York, NY (Chloe ’25) 
  • Leslee Mackenzie, Burlington, VT (Kate ’24)
  • Mary Read, San Francisco, CA (Brady ’24)
  • Julia Van Nice, Chicago, IL (Fiona ’26)
VP Inclusion:
  • Kamari Alexander, Brooklyn, NY (Casey ’25)
  • Lisa Peddar, Amherst, MA (Thayer ’24)
VPs Nominating:
  • Fabiola Arredondo, Greenwich, CT (Alexander ’24)
  • Vanessa Lewis, Bedford, NY (Andrew ’25)
Steering Committee:
  • Hilton Ball ’93, Atlanta, GA (Georgia ’25)
  • Susu Block, Chicago, IL (P.J. ’25)
  • Brooke Borgen, Denver, CO (Ilsa ’26)
  • Tom Bracken, Grosse Point, MI (Tessa ’24) 
  • Carlyn Cappela, Tuxedo Park, NY (Lucas ’24, Christian ’25)
  • Meaghan Chorske, New York, NY (Kate ’25) 
  • Barbara Fernandez Del Valle, New York, NY (Juan ’25)
  • Rebecca Hong, Shanghai (Abby ’25, Billy ’25)
  • Peter Kurto II ’85, Prospect, KY (James ’25) 
  • Janice Lin ’92, Hong Kong (Ocean Feng ’24, Tai Feng ’26)
  • Andy Lodge ’91, Darien, CT (Caitlyn ’24)
  • Bertram Okpokwasili, Jersey City, NJ (Hawk ’25)
  • Stacy Petronzio, Winston-Salem, NC (Sophie ’25)
  • Boris Wolfson, Amherst, MA (Ben ’24) 
  • William Wright, New Carollton, MD (William ’25)
  • Catriona Hynds, Faculty Representative, Deerfield, MA (MacGregor ’25) 
  • Faculty Rep Trustee Liaison: Diana Newton, Dallas, TX (Thayer ’24)

Parent and Guardian Forum Videos

Frequently Asked Questions

The Deerfield Parents Network (DPN) is an organization aimed at building partnerships among Deerfield parents, and between parents and the Academy. Schools like Deerfield no longer serve “in the place of parents,” but rather “along side of parents.” The goal of the Parents Network is to improve the Deerfield experience for all students and their families through several initiatives.

The Deerfield Parents Network does not have a formal office. The network of parents, staff, and volunteers spans the globe.

Sending an email to is a good first point of contact for general inquiries. We’ll help you get in touch with members to answer your questions or help you to get involved.

There are many ways for a parent to volunteer. You can join the First Link program; you can attend student performances or athletic events; or make a contribution in programs that benefit students and the Academy’s efforts to create the best environment for learning.

Please view the full academy calendar for the official and most up-to-date list of events, vacation start/end times, future year events, and more. You can download and print out an important-dates reminder card for the 2023-2024 school year.

Contact the Deerfield Parents Network