Archives for October 2016

Our Good Earth 2016 Photo Gallery

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

8th Graders Rite of Passage

By Reed Gabhart, Head of Goshen Campus


I’ll be fairly brief this week, as I have been trekking through Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area with the 8th graders! As Patrick Donovan says, this trip is truly a rite of passage for our 8th graders, and for most of them, is one of their fondest memories of their time at St. Francis. From the time they get off the bus at Big South Fork on Monday at about 12:30 p.m., until they reload on Friday at 9:00 a.m., they are “creatures of the outdoors” and all that entails – especially the weather! 

The number of lessons learned on this trip are numerous and unique to each individual who goes. Self-reliance, teamwork, attitude, reflection, preparedness, gratitude, and a healthy dose of philosophy are just some that come to mind. Rest assured, we have many pictures and stories to share now that we are back, and share we will!

afm-poster-lt-brnI also wanted to extend an early invite to all Middle School families to mark your calendars for our fall play, which takes to the stage beginning Friday, November 4th. This year, the National Youth Arts Award-winning St. Francis Drama Project has decided to take on the ambitious project of Anne Frank and Me. Not to be confused with The Diary of Anne Frank, this drama/comedy takes place both in the present and the past and was written by Cherie Bennett. (Bennett also authored John Lennon and Me, which we performed to great success four years ago.) Alternately funny, musical and heart-wrenching, this story of a self-absorbed modern young girl “traveling” to the past to deal with the Holocaust and meet Anne Frank herself will induce laughs, smiles, and possibly tears. Showtimes are Friday, November 4th; Wednesday, November 9th; and Thursday, November 10th at 6:30 p.m., with a Sunday matinee on November 6th at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for students and will be available at the door. Due to the subject matter, we recommend Anne Frank and Me for students in Middle School grades and up. Our kids have taken the challenge of the gravity of this subject matter very seriously, and I am very proud of their dedication to this project!

Endings and Beginnings

By Suzanne Gorman, Head of Downtown Campus

Watch your email for an exciting announcement about our new spaces opening SOON!

This week brought the end of field hockey and soccer seasons (congratulations to both squads for fantastic seasons!) and the start of basketball practice and 9th-grade-in-downtown-louisvillebowling matches! Auditions for our Showcase of Plays are underway and the Quick Recall team began league play. And we still found time for the annual 9th grade downtown adventure field trip/10th-11th grade PSAT/12th grade college application and essay work day on Wednesday!

The noon dismissal on that annual PSAT (etc.) day has always allowed for some professional development time for faculty, which we’ve used in various ways. This year, it was devoted to work time for our ISACS Self-Study. You may remember filling out the ISACS Constituent Survey last spring; with the results of that in hand, we can now dive into every school area (curriculum, programs, services, facilities, technology, etc.), identifying strengths and challenges to create reports that will comprise our Self-Study. We work on the document throughout this school year and provide it to the ISACS Visiting Team in advance of their three-day visit to SFS next fall. You’ll certainly hear much more from us about this as the year goes on. 

Creating Successful Learning Experiences

By Renee Hennessy, Preschool Director


Parent-Teacher Conferences for Preschool are next Friday, October 28th. These conferences provide a valuable opportunity to strengthen communication between home and school. You and your child’s teachers can share important information and discuss ideas for any areas of concern. Parents and teachers working together will improve the likelihood of a successful learning experience for our preschoolers. Here are a few suggestions our teachers recommend:

  • Prior to your conference, write down any questions you may have.
  • Please arrive on time for your conference.
  • Let your child’s teachers know of any big changes at home (new baby, moving, etc.) that can affect your child’s behavior at school.
  • Ask what you can do at home to help your child.
  • Feel free to contact your child’s teachers at a later date with any follow up questions or information.

Monday, October 31st is Halloween! The preschoolers will parade in their costumes immediately following morning carpool in front of the school. Please send your child to school in his/her costume, and remember to send in a change of clothes for after the parade.

School Notes for Week of October 17 – October 21

The Halloween Dance is right around the corner! Students in grades 6th-8th are invited to join us Friday, October 28th from 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. (Yes, we know this is a Parent-Teacher Conference day!) $5 per student. Dress up for the costume contest! And if you have decorations to loan us for the event, please bring them in to Reed Gabhart or the Goshen Campus front office.

The Downtown Campus will have an Admissions Open House on Thursday, November 17th at 6:00 p.m. Our Open House is the best way to gain a comprehensive view of the High School at St. Francis. Many current students and parents will be present to share their experiences and answer questions. Visitors will also receive a guided tour and have the opportunity to meet with our talented faculty, fine arts instructors, and coaches to learn more about the school’s outstanding programs. Contact Trisha Amirault if you have any questions!

The Goshen Campus will have an Admissions Open House for our Preschool – 8th Grade on Tuesday, November 15th at 9:00 a.m. Our Open House is a great way to showcase our mission, philosophy, and unique educational environment. We will feature our Lower School Choir, Middle School Drama, and Language Departments. Visitors will also receive a guided tour by current students and parents and will have the opportunity to see students engaged and working in our open classrooms. Please invite anyone you know that you believe would want to explore our wonderful school. Contact Kelli Carter at 502.795.3464, if you have any questions and to RSVP!

Photo Gallery for Week of October 17 – October 21


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Alumni Updates

Robert Bonnie ’81, Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment for U.S. Department of Agriculture, was awarded the Ducks Unlimited 2016 Wetland Conservation Achievement Award. Robert received his award in the Senior Federal Official category, one of six awards given each year.

Note from an alumnus – Mehran Tirandaz ’83
I am glad I am reconnected to St. Francis. When I graduated from St. Francis, I went to George Washington University in Washington D.C. and obtained my B.S. degree in biology. I subsequently went to medical school at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. I did my internship in internal medicine at New York Medical College and my internal medicine residency at Barnes Hospital at Washington University in St. Louis, and became boarded in internal medicine. I became interested in radiology and did a second residency in radiology at the LSU Medical Center in New Orleans. I subsequently completed a body imaging fellowship at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles and did another fellowship in musculoskeletal radiology at the University of California, Irvine. I met my wife, who is also a radiologist and specializes in mammography at the University of California, Irvine, when she was also a fellow. We live in Mission Viejo, CA. I am currently the medical director of a radiology department in a 200-bed hospital in Riverside, CA. Interestingly, up until 2013, all radiology residents, no matter where their training was done, even if it was in Hawaii, had to take their oral board exams at the Executive West Hotel in Louisville in June of their last year of training. So I was in Louisville when I took my oral boards in 1999 and I went with my wife when she took her oral boards in 2007. It is good to see Louisville having grown so much, including downtown, and I am glad St. Francis has expanded and all campuses have merged.

Note from an alumnus, current parent, and teacher, Paul Harshaw ’86
In May 1986, after graduating from the High School downtown (the old one, not the updated and remodeled version that stands today), I truly believed my days at St Francis were behind me. Little did I know other plans were being formulated in the stratosphere way out of my control. It started in the late 90s into the early 2000s when Madison Cawein the Artist-In-Residence at the time, and my old teacher, needed a regular substitute teacher, and being a struggling artist, I jumped at the opportunity. I loved my few years helping out at the school and relished my time back being a Wyvern. Time passed and I found myself married with two kids, working at a preschool where my children attended. Life was good, but again, plans out of my control were swirling above. This time I got a call from Alexandra Thurstone. We had gone to St. Francis together, and by seeing her around town and my family’s continued support of my alma mater through various fundraisers, she knew I was teaching. At first I wasn’t sure why she wanted to meet with me, but my wife did. As always, she was right, there was an opening in the Preschool, and they wanted me for the position! It only got better, because not only did I jump at this incredible opportunity to become a Wyvern again, but my two kids, Adam, 7, and Sophie, 5, would follow me and attend the greatest school ever. My wife Kasia had fallen in love with the school when we came for my 25th reunion, and needless to say, we are overjoyed at all the work the stratosphere has done. We have just finished our first year at the Goshen Campus and find ourselves more in love with the school, the staff and the faculty than we’ve ever could have imagined. We can’t wait for our second year.

Abby Kaplan ’89 is living with her husband in Brooklyn and working as a qualitative researcher in the healthcare industry. Her husband is the front-of-house manager at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, so she gets to see lots of theater and film. Alex is a proud cancer survivor and began a non-profit organization called Burning Survivors, inspired by the Burning Man Festival. Alex and her husband recently completed a 40-mile bike ride through New York City to raise money for cancer research.

Sarah Van Gaasbeek ’07 is about to start her second year at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. She is very excited to be back in Louisville after going to college in Brooklyn and spending a year in Toronto.

Spencer Crawford ’13 is a rising junior at Transylvania University. He expects to graduate in May of 2017. He just got back from studying abroad in England where his favorite class was “Invaders, Traders, & Lovers: How the Norman French influenced English Literature”. He had a blast exploring London and especially Stonehenge while making new friends along the way.

Jessica Lee Taylor ’00 is living in Cincinnati with her husband, Mark and one-year old son, Augustus. They have a home in the Westwood neighborhood. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and works as a therapist with St. Elizabeth Physicians Group.

Annie-Laurie Auden ’02 just finished her residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of Illinois in Chicago. She is on an International Medicine track through her residency program and received a grant to do a research project on cholera in Haiti. She loved the beauty of the country and is thinking of going back with Doctors Without Borders or a similar program.

Alumnus of the Year: James Mason G’83, ’87

james-mason-alumnus-of-the-year-1Every year we have the distinct pleasure of honoring one of our St. Francis School graduates. We are truly fortunate to have such an amazing pool of Wyverns to choose from who continually support the school and our Mission, while also demonstrating the qualities of a St. Francis graduate years after they leave our halls. This year, we honor James Mason from the Goshen Class of 1983 and the High School class of 1987 as the 2015-16 Alumnus of the Year. 

James has been an integral member of the St. Francis community from the get-go, beginning with his time as captain of three different varsity sports and as a member of the School Committee. Following his long tenure at St. Francis, James went on to Davidson College, graduating in 1991 with a degree in economics, with a specialty in the history of economics and economic theory. He started two businesses – a real estate redevelopment company and a real estate management company – in his first two years after graduation. For nearly 20 years, he has served on the Board of Directors of Magnolia Bank and currently is Chairman of the Bank. He is also on the Board of Directors of Commonwealth Bank and Trust Company, and currently owns a number of insurance and real estate companies.

james-mason-1While by now, James is obviously very comfortable in a boardroom, he also serves as president of his local competitive soccer program in Elizabethtown. And a little known fact is that just after graduating from college, James served as an assistant soccer coach here at St. Francis, where his love for soccer began. Most importantly to us, selfishly, James has served on the St. Francis Board of Trustees and the finance committee since 2009. Here, he has proven yet again to be an integral member of the Wyvern community. James was part of the High School Board prior to merger, and helped smooth the transition to a merged St. Francis, with his roots on both campuses. His financial expertise has also been instrumental in helping us achieve balanced budgets and in secure the financing we needed to build the Gym in Goshen and, just this past May, to close on the additional space in our 233 W. Broadway Building for the High School expansion. James truly represents the ideal alumnus, without whom St. Francis would not be what it is today.

SFS alums bring back the ’80s with The Breakfast Club!

By Reed Gabhart, Head of Goshen Campus

tbc2This past summer was a very special one for me and St. Francis Drama Project alums. We put together our third Summer Alumni Show and took on none other than The Breakfast Club! Yes, that very iconic Breakfast Club – a play based on the 1985 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film written, produced, and directed by the one and only John Hughes. Considered one of the greatest high school films of all time, The Breakfast Club looks at five teenagers, each a member of a different high school clique, who spend a Saturday in detention together under the watch of a strict disciplinarian, and come to realize that they are all more than their respective stereotypes. While 30 years may have passed since the original, the themes certainly live on.

And since The Breakfast Club is a rather small-cast show, I decided to include a musical element and included a singing and dancing group of ’80s “new wave” singers to create a soundtrack for the show. It included greatest hits from the likes of Wang Chung, The Human League, Blondie, The Go- Go’s and of course the memorable closing number, Don’t You Forget About Me by Simple Minds.

Following on the heels of Godspell in 2012 and Almost, Maine, in 2014 (which won a National Youth Arts Award for Outstanding High School production), the summer alumni shows are first and foremost a chance for SFS Drama Project alumni from the Goshen and Downtown Campuses to reunite and relive their love for theater. In this summer’s show, we had every class represented from high school freshmen to college juniors. Some of these students were seven years apart in age and had never acted together, but they became a tight-knit ensemble who shared words of inspiration before every show and truly became a “summer family.” Our cast party on closing night was so uplifting, I can’t really put it into words.

tbcSome of my favorite memories and reflections from The Breakfast Club? It has to begin with the filmed opening sequence. Alex Scarfe, a film student at Columbia College Chicago and brother to High School student and Goshen graduate Nicholas Scarfe, painstakingly filmed the beginning of the movie wherein each teen “delinquent” gets out of his/her parents’ car for the Saturday morning detention. Making it even more memorable, all the actors’ parents in real life played themselves for the filming. Wearing winter coats, the scenes were shot in 95-degree Kentucky heat and it took 90 minutes to capture the two or so minutes of film. Alex did a fabulous job recreating this opening.

We sold out all four productions in advance. Tickets were at a real premium, and thanks to an excellent article in the Courier-Journal on the show, we had strangers not connected with St. Francis show up hoping to get seats. No one left disappointed and we accommodated everyone who came.

But mostly, I will remember the camaraderie and spirit this cast and crew showed for each other. They worked hard and were off script in two weeks. We rehearsed three and four hours at a time near the end, and no one complained even though many worked day jobs and then rehearsed until 8:30 p.m. in the evening. It was so very gratifying for me to work with high school and college-aged alums who were in it for the love of good theater and the chance to see each other again. The story was funny, emotional, romantic, and even hard to watch at times, but so very faithful to the original – and to the spirit of drama at SFS. As I look back on it, I can’t wait to see what the Summer of 2018 will bring.

Below are the actors and crew members who took part in The Breakfast Club. “Don’t You Forget About Me?” No chance.


Paige Didier G’12 & Amelia Dimas G’16

Aaron Lattis G’13

Gray Thurstone G’10, ’14

Clay Smedley G’15, ’19

Hannah Jones G’14 & Zoë Koss G’12, ’16

Principal Vernon
Joe Harlan G’10, ’14

Olivia Beach G’16, Lucy Biberman G’15, Margot Bond G’12, Paige Dider G’12, Amelia Dimas G’16, Hannah Jones G’14, Grace Malone G’16, ’20, Maggie McGraw G’15, ’19


Produced & Directed By
Reed Gabhart

Assistant Director
Annie Stone G’11

Musical Director
Katie Heit G’11

Lighting & Sound
Lucas Asher G’12 & Nicholas Scarfe G’15, ’19

Alex Scarfe

Stage Manager
Ellie White G’16, ’20                  

Stage Crew
Ella Davis G’16, ’20  & Sydney Lattis G’15

Acting Understudy
Thomas Simpson G’14, ’18

2016 Wyvern Reunion Weekend Photo Gallery

This slideshow requires JavaScript.