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The Gator

The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

Community Flocks to Circles 20

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  • Creative Arts Director Bill Jacob, who spearheaded the Coffee House, welcomes everyone to the event.

  • Maya Lownie ’24 beautifully executes the “Battu” in the classical Odissi dance style.

  • Chloe Scolnick ’25 and History Teacher Ted Barker-Hook, who also co-spearheaded the event, perform together at Friday’s Coffee House.

  • English Teacher Kenley Smith recites a poem at Friday’s Coffee House.

  • Rachael Rosenberg ’27 sings during Friday’s Coffee House.

  • Kyle Terino ’24 plays the piano during Friday’s Coffee House.

  • Former English Teacher Jane Sidebotham, Humanities Co-Chair Donald Reese, and History Teacher Ted Barker-Hook reminisce at the Coffee House.

  • Edward Flint ’27, Andrew Flint, ’27, and Nikka Souza ’26 help prepare for performances at the Friday’s Coffee House.

  • Head of School Judith Guild chats with attendees at Friday’s Coffee House.

  • Juniors (L-R) Ady Jaeckel, Giulia Laurenza, Chloe Scolnic, and Ruby Cohen-Weinberg enjoy food and performances at Friday’s Coffee House.

  • Juniors (L-R) Abby Jacobs, Amelia Bowman, Ben Dykeman, and Eli Lewis pose for a photo a Friday’s Coffee House.

  • The yummy cake celebrating the 20th annual Coffee House.

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The Hastings Dining Commons overflowed with enthusiastic attendees as the School celebrated the 20th anniversary of its beloved “Circles” coffee house event on Friday evening.

Initiated by co-organizer Ted Barker-Hook and Creative Arts Chair Bill Jacob two decades ago, Circles evolved into a cherished tradition, embodying its slogan of “a celebration of community, reunion, and peace.”

Alex Mael ’08, the event’s host, had not returned to a Circles gathering since his college days. During the event, he entertained the crowd with a parody of “What a Wonderful World” originally by Sam Cooke, playfully incorporating the names of his former teachers.


Ted Barker-Hook and Bill Jacob

“To be asked 15 years later to come in and host was pretty cool,” Mael said. “When you think about it, 20 years is a long time to be doing something. This time, it was nice having my daughter there.”

Over the years, Circles has served as a platform for students, faculty, and their families to showcase their talents and foster a sense of community here. Faculty and students from all divisions of the School graced the stage with their performances.

“We’ve never had more people attend, and we’ve never had more people perform,” Barker-Hook said. “A record number of alums and former faculty and staff came back to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the event with us, and current students showed up in a big way. And the conversion of the Dining Commons to a warm coffee house feel was smoother and more successful than I’ve ever seen it. The night was wonderful in every way.”

Current students like Kyle Terino ’24 expressed his admiration for the event, saying, “I thought the Coffee House was really, really awesome and I appreciated all of the performances—especially from new students who hadn’t performed before.”

Upper School Senate President Baden Howard ’24 was equally enthralled by the event.

“It was fantastic to see a lot of people show off their talents,” Howard said. “The alumni element made for a really unique experience, and the slideshow was a great look at the past.”

Reflecting on the journey of Circles over the past two decades, Barker-Hook said that some performances over the years stand out to him for different reasons.

“Of course, the first Circles was special because we got this idea of ours off the ground and received a wonderful response from the community, which started us on the two-decade journey we celebrated last Friday,” Barker-Hook said.

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About the Contributor
Rachael Rosenberg
Rachael Rosenberg, News Editor
Rachael is the News Editor of the Gator. She is passionate about creating unbiased news for the School community. When she isn't writing, you can usually find her on a stage or reading a book.

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