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:



Leslee Mackenzie P’21, ’24 


The Inclusion Committee helps to host all-community book reads, suggests potential parent panelists and keynote speakers for the Academy’s annual “MLK Day” (Martin Luther King Jr.) program, and a myriad of additional ways that the DPN can best support the Office of Inclusion and Community Life. For more information and to get involved please contact:



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 P’24
Vanessa Lewis P’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. Tuesday, August 23, 2022

    1. From DPN President Brooke Spater P’21, ’23, ’25: Welcome!

      On behalf of the Deerfield Parents Network (DPN), I would like to welcome you to the 2022 – 23 school year. To new families and students, welcome to our community! We are thrilled to have you and cannot wait to get to know each of you. Every year brings new milestones, challenges, and the opportunity […]
  2. Friday, August 12, 2022

    1. Welcome, New Deerfield Families!

      The First Link Committee of the Deerfield Parents Network (DPN) has put together this list of “pointers” and useful information that we hope you will find helpful as your child gets ready to leave for school.
  3. Wednesday, August 3, 2022

    1. 2022-2023 Steering Committee

      I am pleased to announce the DPN’s 2022-2023 Steering Committee. Please feel free to contact me or any of the DPN leaders. Brooke Spater, P’21, ’23, ‘25 DPN President Executive Committee President: Brooke Spater, Topsfield, MA (Tom ’23, Hadley ’25) VPs Campus Events: Elizabeth Brennan, Chestnut Hill, MA (Annabelle ’22, Jack ’25) Alison Pappas, New […]

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 Steve Harrick ’89 P’23  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!

Important Dates

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 2022-2023 school year.

2022–2023 School Year

August 29-30, 2022Students Arrive on Campus
August 31, 2022First Day of Classes
September 4, 2022Convocation
October 14-17, 2022Fall Family Weekend
October 17, 2022Fall Term Holiday
November 18, 2022November Break (starts at noon)
November 28, 2022Students Return (by 7:45 pm)
November 29, 2022Winter Term Begins
December 15, 2022Winter Break (starts at noon)
January 2, 2023Students Return (by 7:45 pm)
January 3, 2023Winter Term Continues
February 2 – 6, 2023Long Winter Weekend (starts at noon, students return by 7:45 pm)
February 7, 2023Winter Term Continues
March 3, 2023Winter Term Ends
Spring Break (begins at noon)
March 19, 2023Students Return (by 7:45 pm)
March 20, 2023Spring Term Begins
April 21-22, 2023Spring Showcase (formerly known as Spring Family Weekend)
May 26, 2023Last Day of Classes
May 28, 2023Commencement
May 29, 2023Students Depart (at 2 pm)

Note: For vacations and long weekends, students may not leave prior to their last regularly scheduled class, assessments, or cocurricular assignment; schedule changes should not be requested to accommodate travel plans. Dormitories close the day after school vacations begin and all students should arrange to be off campus by that time.

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.

2022–2023 Steering Committee

Executive Committee
President: Brooke Spater, Topsfield, MA (Tom ’23, Hadley ’25)
VPs Campus Events:
• Elizabeth Brennan, Chesnut Hill, MA (Annabelle ’22, Jack ’25)
• Alison Pappas, New York, NY (Teddy ’24)
VPs Communications:
• Steve Harrick ’89, Menlo Park, CA (Thomas ’23)
• Carlos Fierro, Jackson Hole, WY (Stella ’23, Alexandra ’25)
VPs First Link:
• Meaghan Chorske, New York (Kate ’25)
• Vanessa Willett, Westport, CT (Jack ’23)
• Mary Read, Palm Beach, FL (Brady ’24)
• Leslee Mackenzie, Burlington, VT (Kate ’24)
VP Inclusion:
• Lisa Kittredge, Amherst, MA (Kylie ’22, Casey ’25)
• Laura Patton, Houston, TX (John ’23)
VPs Nominating:
• Vanessa Lewis, Bedford, NY (Andrew ’25)
• Fabiola Arredondo, Greenwich, CT (Alexander ’24)
Steering Committee:
• Kamari Alexander, Brooklyn, NY (Aviel ’25)
• Liz Anderson ’94, Greenwich, CT (Stone ’23)
• Rachel Baker, New Canaan, CT (Maeve ’23)
• Hilton Ball, Atlanta, GA (Georgia ’25)
• Tom Bracken, Grosse Point, MI (Tessa ’24) 
• Kristen Brown, Cornwall, VT (Joe ’23)
• Carlyn Cappela, Tuxedo Park, NY (Lucas ’24, Christian ’25)
• Stephanie Gallo, Modesto, CA (Amelia ’23)
• Josh Huffard ’87, Old Greenwich, CT (Edie ’25)
• Janice Lin ’92, Hong Kong (Ocean Feng ’24)
• Andy Lodge ’91, Darien, CT (Caitlyn ’24)
• Colby McClure, Blufton, SC (Sloan ’23)
• Courtney Mokarow, Dallas, TX (Evie ’24)
• Bertram Okpokwasili, Jersey City, NJ (Hawk ’25)
• Jennifer Tonkel, New York, NY (Stella ’23, Alexandra ’25)
• Boris Wolfson, Amherst, MA (Ben ’24) 
• Catroina Hynds, Deerfield, MA (Ella ’23, 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.

Contact the Deerfield Parents Network