75th Reunion Year


70th Reunion Year


Barbara Abney Bolger writes, “Looking forward to a cruise at the end of April visiting Celtic Lands and some D-Day sites with the Mt. Holyoke Alumnae Association. Dwight David Eisenhower II will be with us for that part of the trip. It will feel different, going alone, after all the wonderful trips Don and I shared. Also looking forward to the arrival of a grandson in August, courtesy of Megan and John! My children and grandchildren are planning a weekend celebration for my 85th birthday in May. It pays to grow old: I was recruited to play an old lady in a Reader’s Theater production of Marjorie Prime at our library!”

Jean MacIntyre shared, “I am in my second year as the Chair of the Canadian Federation of University Women, Edmonton Academic Awards Fund. This registered Canadian charity offers bursary assistance and graduate scholarships at the University of Alberta to women in need.


Elisabeth ‘Betsy’ Riddle Ruderfer writes, “Emil and I are taking our 11-year-old grandson, Eli, to the Normandy Beaches in June. It is the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Eli is very interested in World War II history, and we look forward to a memorable experience. I am fortunate to have found a way to pay tribute to American history through a regular ‘gig’ singing the great old songs of the 1930’s, 1940’s, and 1950’s with a local band.”


65th Reunion Year

Sally Helsel Price noted, “Sadly, I report that my dear husband of 60 years passed away in April 2017. He was always an interesting partner and travel companion on our many journeys.”


60th Reunion Year

Rachel ‘Gay’ Knake Haines shared, “I have enjoyed travel and visits over the past few years with Polly Brandt Lechner and Carolyn ‘Lyn’ Clark Pegg. I work with my therapy dog in the 12th District Court system in the tri-county area, which is challenging, but extremely rewarding work. I spend as much time as possible with my two handsome grandsons when they’re home from college. In a strange stroke of luck, I can spend time with St. Croix friends who have relocated to my area!”

Carolyn ‘Lyn’ Clark Pegg writes, “Hey 59ers! Our 60th Reunion is coming up this fall. Any chance we could have a gathering like 10 years ago?”


55th Reunion Year

Members of the Class of 1964: We’d love to hear about your science education at WT.


Susan ‘Susie’ MacMichael Zuntini shared, “This June I’ll be coming to Boston for my 50th Wellesley graduation Reunion. Hopefully I’ll see other WT Wellesley grads. I’ll be staying in the dormitory sharing a room with an old friend. This winter I skied in Georgia, of all places! Tbilissi was a fascinating place, and so inexpensive, but with wonderful food and wine. The Caucasus Mountains are over 5,000 meters and lift prices are 13 euros a day!”


Nancy Matheny Rabner shared, “I have accepted the milestone I just passed, but in my mind I am still sunbathing in the WT driveway at lunch with my aluminum foil reflector with the girls. I am the mother of two beautiful daughters and nanny to five perfect grandchildren. I am happy writing and owning my own small business. Lifetimes have passed, but I still love WT!”

Kristin Langley is still volunteering at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, working with the resident sea turtles. She shares, “It brings me such joy to see how each of these disabled animals have such distinct personalities and bring a smile to everyone who meets them.”


Congratulations to Wendy Newstetter who was honored with the National Academy of Engineering Gordon Prize for 2018. This prize recognizes leaders in academia for the development of new educational approaches to engineering education.

Sarah Irvin Riling has had an exciting year. She traveled to Spain with her daughter, took a trip to Norway and Germany, and completed a bucket-list trip to the Amazon and Machu Picchu. To top it off, she celebrated her daughter’s wedding and also became a grandmother.


50th Reunion Year

Lucinda ‘Cindy’ Cyert Steffes and her husband of 47 years have retired in Scottsdale, AZ. Their retirement travel so far has included trips to the Galapagos Islands, Kauai, and Costa Rica. In the fall they will go to Croatia and Greece. She shared, “Had a great time meeting with other alums at the West Coast get-together. I was so impressed with the recent WT grads! Accepting boys was a great decision. I loved meeting Scott Fech! I am confident he will be a great leader for WT.”


Helen Berkman Habbert writes, “Our daughters are now scattered from San Francisco to Chicago to Miami. None are likely to return to Cincinnati, so we’re planning a move to Sarasota in late 2019. I’ll be retiring after almost 40 years of consulting with public and nonprofit organizations, mostly in the areas of health and social services or public education, while my husband, John, will continue to work remotely and part-time with start-up tech companies. We’re looking forward to better weather and, most importantly, more frequent visits with our grandchild. Not sure if I’m more excited or terrified by this big change, but it seems like a good time to mix things up a little! Also looking forward to celebrating our 50th reunion with a big class turnout in 2020!”


National Geographic photographer Lynn Johnson photographed the aftermath of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Squirrel Hill. Her photos and reflection on documenting this tragedy in her hometown can be found on National Geographic’s website.


Betsy Aiken shares, “From time to time Sue Hunter and I have the pleasure of meeting up for fun and adventure. I’m now working for the Westmoreland Land Trust, conserving open space in Westmoreland County. It is with humor and fond memories that I look back upon my years at WT.”


45th Reunion Year


Adrienne Statti accepted a Project Manager position at CTI Clinical Trials and Consulting in Covington, KY (across the river from Cincinnati) and moved to Northern Kentucky in January 2019. CTI specializes in rare disease and oncology research.


Edith Raphael Brotman had her second book published. The Art of Being Present: Mindfulness Meditation for Work and Life follows her first book Mussar Yoga.


35th Reunion Year


Congratulations to Heather Gaines who is moving to Beachwood, OH to become the Housing Choice Voucher Program Director for Cuyahoga Metro Housing Authority.


30th Reunion Year

Class of 1989 Thistledown staff: Do you have any great photos you could share for the Reunion slideshow?


Tanya Duerstein Diable A’90 served as a mentor to Research Science students who were designing a prosthetic device for a dog. Tanya is the founder of Joey’s Paw, a nonprofit organization that provides prosthetics for dogs throughout the country.


25th Reunion Year

Class of 1994: What’s the story behind this professional photo?

Ian Gould began 2019 by touring in Europe with a new play Shooter about the intersection of toxic masculinity and gun violence. He is currently playing the title role in a workshop of Shakespeare’s Richard II in NYC and directing The Winter’s Tale with the students in the graduating class of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting.


Christopher ‘Chris’ Stigler has become a Principal at Blackney Hayes Architects. The Philadelphia-based Architecture and Engineering firm has been in business for 31 years with a focus in educational, multi-family residential, hospitality, healthcare, and corporate markets. Chris has served as the Director of Quality Control and is looking forward to expanding his role as Principal and growing the firm.


Like most of the rest of her Class of ’96, Lauren Ober recently turned 40 (Happy Birthday, y’all!). In her 40th year, Lauren took lots of pictures of her dog, bought a condo, and lost her job. She is now the host of Spectacular Failures, a podcast from American Public Media. It drops in June. Check it out! Lauren lives in D.C. with her aforementioned animal. Say hi!: @oberandout or oberandout.com

Amy Guccione Wintersteen is married with three children (Tatum, 11; Morrison, 9; and Jeremy, 2), and is living in Newport, RI.


20th Reunion Year

What are you up to now?

Brandilyn ‘Brandi’ Dumas was recently elevated to shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, LLP in New York City. Brandi focuses her practice on commercial real estate transactions, including borrower- and lender-side financings, acquisitions and dispositions, and development, with respect to a variety of asset types.


Jason Shavers played a starring role as Monty Price in the world premiere of Game On, a simulated game show, at Greer Cabaret Theater.


Congratulations to Cassandra ‘Cassy’ Richards Davis and her husband, Anthony, on the birth of their first child Anthony James Davis, Jr.

Shannon Lindemer Garcia writes, “After being a stay-at-home mom for four years, I’ve decided to go back to school at the University of Arizona to major in Psychology and minor in Healthcare and Sciences. Once I graduate in 2021, I hope to continue my education focusing on Psychoneuroimmunology. Our four-year old son, Mateo, is in preschool where he is in full immersion Spanish and also learns Farsi and Hebrew. He loves it and teaches us new words every day! Our two-year old daughter, Stella, will be starting preschool in the fall, but in the meantime she loves hanging out with her puppies. My husband, David, is an assistant professor at the University of Arizona in Health Promotion Sciences. We love living in Tucson and always welcome visitors.”

Richard ‘Rich’ Homann was recently married to Nicole St. Jean at the Castle Hill Inn in Newport, RI. They currently reside in Washington, D.C. with a furry feline roommate and a little one on the way.

Kristen Maser Michaels was recently named the Director of For Good PGH, a non-profit that works to advocate inclusion and inspire kindness through its own unique initiatives and by facilitating partnerships. Kristen is also the co-founder of Free Store Wilkinsburg, in Wilkinsburg, PA that serves neighbors in need.


Callie Gropp gave a Lightning Talk at the 2019 One Health, One Planet Symposium at Phipps Conservatory on Art in the Garden and Surviving to Thriving, two programs she and her sister Emily Gropp Carlson ’99 run to support the intentional development of resilience in youth. Throughout both of these programs, WT educators and families have been involved in multiple ways.

Ronee Penoi is now an Associate Producer with Octopus Theatricals. Ronee is a 2016 Theater Communications Group (TCG) Rising Leader of Color and was also selected to join the third cohort for The Association of Performing Arts Professionals’ (APAP) Arts Leadership Program, Leadership Fellows Program (LFP). Ronee had her NYC producing debut recently at the world-famous BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) for the New Wave Festival with Phantom Limbs’ Falling Out. Additionally, Ronee is writing a new musical, The Carlisle Project, which has already received recognition and its first developmental premiere at Dartmouth University. Ronee and Ilana ‘Loni’ Ransom Toeplitz ’05 are still best friends and attended each other’s premieres this past November in New York City.


15th Reunion Year

Class of 2004: What was the occasion for this photo?


Ilana ‘Loni’ Ransom Toeplitz was selected from more than 170 applicants for the prestigious Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation’s Mike Ockrent Fellowship, which put her on Tony Award-Winner Casey Nicholaw’s creative team for the new Broadway musical The Prom. This is Ilana’s second Broadway show, following the Tony-Nominated revival of Violet starring Sutton Foster (2014). The Prom opened in November to rave reviews, and was nominated for seven Tony Awards. This year, you can find Ilana scattered across the country directing and choreographing productions of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Rocky Horror Show, Piano Slam, and the workshop of a new musical, Living Over the Rainbow. Ilana always includes “Proud Pittsburgh native” in her Playbill bios. You can follow Ilana on the following channels: www.IlanaDirects.com, @IlanaRanToe


Eric Schuman writes, “After graduating from film school two years ago, I’ve had my first film released theatrically, a documentary I edited titled Combat Obscura. Last year a short I made, Proxy, premiered on NoBudge.com, and I’ve been developing it into a feature film. If you have Spielberg’s number, hit me up!”


10th Reunion Year


After receiving her Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration from George Washington University, Rebecca ‘Becca’ Greenhouse taught English as a Second Language (ESL) to high school students in Omegna, Italy for three months. She taught through Greenheart Travel, lived with a host family, and traveled throughout Europe.

Congratulations to Gabriel ‘Gabe’ Isaacson who has graduated from the joint M.B.A./J.D. program from the Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business and University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He will be joining McKinsey & Company in the Pittsburgh office.


5th Reunion Year

Kayla Goldstein is currently teaching English as a Second Language in Moscow.


Yijia Chen traveled to Beijing during his winter break from the University of California at Berkeley to research deep learning to develop lossless compression algorithms of data that are more efficient than the current ones.

Joseph ‘Joey’ Scapellato had the opportunity to debate against conservative commentator Ben Shapiro on the University of Pittsburgh’s campus in front of thousands of other attendees in person and online.

Stellar former WT Faculty Linda Brown, Joan Franklin, Ruth Grant, and Debbie Reaves taught literally hundreds of WT students over their many years at both the City and North campuses. Remember them and the many intellectual journeys you took together? In the fall of 2018, they held a mini-reunion in Colorado where Debbie and Ruth now live, and the stories flowed for days! Here are some things they have been involved in after their careers at WT: Both Linda and Joan taught and supervised future teachers at the University of Pittsburgh; Linda developed programs and exhibits at the Carnegie Science Center; Debbie was a devoted CASA advocate and tutor to many students; and Ruth became a naturalist with California and Colorado environmental centers. Each has traveled the world, spent wonderful untold hours with their children and grandchildren, read scores of great books, been involved in artistic projects, community service and political activities, and kept up with innumerable friends. They would enjoy hearing from the widespread WT community–where are YOU now? What are you up to?

In Memoriam

Thistle LogoThe following members of the WT community will be missed by their classmates, friends, students, and colleagues. We offer sincere condolences to their families.

Mary Lou Kountz Groover ’39
Ruth Weimer Tillar ’41
Janet Donaldson Gilmore ’43
Jane ‘Bonnie’ Gordon Haynes ’43
Nancy Walton Follansbee ’46
Eleanor Hewitt Rushworth ’47
Frances ‘Fran’ Blasdell Hubbell ’55
Alexandra ‘Alex’ Brittain Knox ’59
Joyce Griffith Butler ’64
Katherine ‘Kat’ Tynberg ’67
Alexander ‘Alex’ Joseph Zerby A’17
Paulette Durst, former faculty member

Alumnae/i Connections

Check out our newly reimagined online spaces:

LinkedIn is now the place to share stories, find fellow alums, and engage in dialogue: linkedin.com/school/winchester-thurston-school.

The WTAlums Facebook page and class year groups are being retired. You can follow all that’s happening today at WT at facebook.com/winchesterthurston.

Visit the WT website to access the directory, update your profile, submit a class note, and learn about upcoming events.

We’re eager to help share your stories and facilitate connections!