The Rivers School Select Combo 1 earned great honors at the 16th annual Charles Mingus High School Competition and Festival, held February 16–18 at the New School in NYC. Created to uphold the legacy of legendary jazz composer and musician Charles Mingus, one of the most important figures in 20th-century American music, the festival brings together top high school bands from across the country. Under the leadership of director Philippe Crettien, Rivers’ Select Combo 1 won several distinctions, coming away with the Mingus Spirit Award, Outstanding Front Line Award (for the front line team of Arianna Martinez Cavero ’24, Ethan Kasparian Weisman ’24, and Jack Benson ’24, and an Outstanding Soloist award, given to Kasparian Weisman.
The season is wrapping up for Rivers’ winter athletics teams, and the Red Wings are soaring! Varsity teams are hopeful to head to the playoffs next week, with Middle School and Junior Varsity teams ending the season tomorrow, February 23.
The question posed by the woman on a Zoom in a Revers classroom this week wasn’t simply rhetorical. The students—all participants in the Special Program in Bioethics—had been grappling with that and similar issues all year, and the virtual visitor, Lori Bruce of the Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics at Yale, was one of several guest speakers who have addressed the group as they try to find clarity around the complicated issues facing bioethicists.
The Rivers School held an evening event for parents and caregivers, “Community and Connection: A State of the School Update,” on Wednesday, February 7, providing an overview through a range of lenses: strategy, governance, finance, development, academics, and more. The speakers painted a picture of an institution on an upward trajectory, building on the momentum of Head of School Ryan S. Dahlem’s first six months at the helm.
Last Saturday, Katherine Shaw ’26 took first place in the Massachusetts state finals of the National Shakespeare Competition. Katherine will compete in the national finals at Lincoln Center on April 15, 2024.
This past Sunday, February 11, Grade 10 students had a chance to learn just what makes Special Olympics so special. As it has for many years, the grade hosted a Special Olympics of Massachusetts basketball tournament on the Rivers campus, with athletes from all over the state taking to the floor in Benson Gymnasium.
Acclaimed documentarian Frederick Wiseman ’47 has been making films for over 50 years, and was once hailed by the New York Times as “One of the most important and original filmmakers working today.” This month, he adds a new film to his portfolio—the French-made documentary Menus-Plaisirs—Les Troisgros, following in depth three restaurants that are owned by the same family.
Tera Kull ’03 is no stranger to the lemonade-from-lemons process. Kull, who has a long track record of turning challenges into opportunities, shared her story on Tuesday, February 6, at this year’s inaugural Alum Speaker Series event. The lunchtime event showcases the efforts and accomplishments of Rivers graduates who are actively engaged in their communities and working to uplift social justice values.
More wide-ranging than a talent show, more inclusive than a polished concert, more improvisatory than a play or musical, the Rivers Coffeehouse is a place where anyone can take to the stage and receive a warm response. From first-timers to old hands, from nervous ninth graders to fun-loving faculty members, everyone in the Rivers community is welcome in the Black Box theater three times a year, and while the event itself can be freewheeling and unpredictable, a supportive audience cheering for every performer is guaranteed.
No one seems more surprised about Brad Belin ’03’s career trajectory than Belin himself. Looking back on his years at Rivers, Belin—the most recent recipient of the school’s Young Alumni Achievement Award—says, “I wasn’t a model student or necessarily someone who thought of school as a place for education. School was a convenient place to play sports and hang out with friends.”
Lucas Malo joined the Rivers community at the beginning of the 2023–24 school year as the director of community engagement. Associate Editor of The Rivers Edge Sarah DuBard ’25 sat down with Malo to talk about his passion for serving the community and his pathway to Rivers.
There are countless places the study of math might lead. On a recent rainy Wednesday morning, it led a group of Rivers students to Gillette Stadium, where the current cohort of McCartney Scholars met with members of the Kraft Analytics Group (KAGR) to learn about the use of data science in the sports and entertainment industries.
Eight delegates from Rivers Model UN, along with faculty advisor Arturo Bagley and faculty member Robin Sallie, traveled to New York City last weekend to attend the CMUNCE conference at Columbia University, which ran from Thursday through Sunday. In addition to spending many hours in committee sessions as part of the conference, participants also visited the Spanish mission to the United Nations and attended symposia featuring panels and interviews with UN personnel on Columbia’s campus, taking full advantage of its proximity to the UN Headquarters in midtown Manhattan.
As Carnegie Hall is to music, Boston’s TD Garden—with its fabled parquet floor—is to basketball. And on Sunday, January 14, Rivers basketball players lived out a dream by participating in the Andrew James Lawson Foundation Invitational at the Garden.
Ask Director of Enrollment Management Yassine Talhaoui about his role, and you’ll certainly hear the word “strategic”—along with the words “magical” and “fun.” Since joining Rivers in July of 2022, Talhaoui, a native of Germany who speaks five languages, has taken up the challenge of strengthening the school’s position in an ever-evolving admission landscape. But, he says, it’s the joy of seeing students thrive at Rivers that keeps the work fresh and exciting. We recently caught up with Talhaoui to ask a few questions about enrollment management at Rivers.
Joan Hall, this year’s visiting artist at The Rivers School, grew up in Ohio and never saw the ocean until she was in graduate school. But, as she shared with students at an Upper School assembly on Tuesday, the ocean—its beauty, its fragility, and the environmental threats it faces—has been the subject of her art for decades.
The national holiday that commemorates the birthday of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. falls on the third Monday in January. But at Rivers, it is observed on the second Monday of the month, in an all-school assembly that serves to inspire the community and remind them of King’s legacy.
Climbing Antarctica’s highest peak—where average temperatures hover around -20F and base camp is reached by taking two unusual flights from Punta Arenas, Chile’s southernmost point—might not be everyone’s idea of a good time. But for Head of School Ryan Dahlem, who scaled the Vinson Massif years ago with a team that included his father, John, the challenges of the climb were part of what made it a life-changing experience for him.
It’s not unusual for middle school students to learn about the water cycle: Evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and so on. But at Rivers, students in Grade 6 Humanities go way beyond that to a broader “water cycle” that studies humanity’s relationship to water, both past and present, and looks at the role of water in global conflicts, power struggles, and opportunities.
ChatGPT appeared on Michael Schlenker’s radar last November, when it first became available to the public. The Rivers science faculty member reports, “A student who had taken my AP computer science course the year before said, ‘Hey, Mr. Schlenker, have you checked out ChatGPT yet?’ And I said, ‘No. Have you?’ And she said, ‘Yeah, I just asked it to write my video game project from last year.’”
This year’s first issue of The Rivers Edge, Rivers’ student-run newspaper, is now in circulation. The 14-page edition includes a broad range of Rivers news: interviews with new members of the professional community (such as history faculty member Stephanie Kay ’12, who also serves as the faculty advisor for the Edge), fall sports, performing arts highlights, and more.
Rivers admits academically qualified students and does not discriminate against students or families on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or ethnic or national origin in the administration of its educational programs, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic programs, and other school-administered programs.