The gift of learning without fear.

After speaking on the steps of the US Supreme Court yesterday in support of marriage equality alum Kinsey Morrison ’14 had this to say, “One final thought after an unforgettable day: I realized tonight that if my sisters and I went to any other schools, we might be really afraid to go back tomorrow. St. Francis and Stanford have both given me the gift of learning without fear, one I too often take for granted when I forget how long I lived without it and how many people still do.” Thank you Kinsey and very well done!

Wyverns in the U.S. Supreme Court!

From left: Kinsey Morrison, Jillian Morrison and Teagan Morrison.

From left: Kinsey Morrison, Jillian Morrison and Teagan Morrison.

Kinsey Morrison ’14, Jillian Morrison G’13, ’17, and Teagan Morrison G’17, ’21, are participating in an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief that has been filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in the pending case of Obergefell v. Hodges. The brief, which lists the Family Equality Council, COLAGE, and Kinsey Morrison as named amici, argues that children of same-sex couples who are denied marriage equality can themselves suffer from marriage-ban discrimination. They are asking the Supreme Court to rule that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment.

Here is a link to the brief itself.

Hazel Levine ’09

Describe your path after leaving St. Francis.         Hazel Levine

After graduating in May of 2009, I moved to Evanston, Illinois where I studied Environmental Science, Chemistry, and Jewish Studies at Northwestern University. I especially enjoyed my research grant work at the Chicago Botanic Garden, racing for the Club Cycling team, and making incredible friends. I graduated in March of 2013 and moved home to work and sort out some health issues before law school. The “health issues” turned out to be Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma. I was diagnosed in August of 2013. I lost all of my hair, most of my high school field hockey leg muscles, and for the first time, I questioned everything. I am so lucky to be contributing–cancer free–to this Wyvern Report just one year after my diagnosis! In my chemotherapy downtime I applied to law schools, and I will be attending Washington University in St. Louis in the fall of 2015. Until then I am living in Aspen, Colorado: working, hiking, cycling, cooking, adventuring, star gazing, and breathing a lot of mountain air! Hope to see a few Wyverns on the slopes this winter!
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Archie Douglass G’71

Briefly describe your career after leaving St. Francis

I attended preschool and kindergarten at St. Francis before it added grades. Having been part of the inaugural 3rd grade in the fall of 1965, I left SFS in the spring of 1971, after 8th grade. I went on to four years of boarding school at St. Paul’s School (Concord, NH), then to Yale University, from which I graduated in 1979 with a B.A. in History. After brief stints in wilderness conservation and banking in California, I returned to New England and began work back at St. Paul’s in 1985, staying for 11 years as history teacher, coach, dorm master and director of college counseling. I earned an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1991. Then…
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Imagine! — supporting artists and the St. Francis Scholarship Fund for 19 years

Imagine! — supporting artists and the St. Francis Scholarship Fund for 19 years

By Alexandra Thurstone G’80, ’84, Head of School

As most of you know, we had our second of two major fundraising galas, the Imagine Art Auction and Scholarship Fundraiser, on January 30th.  Next year will be a truly momentous year, as we will celebrate the 20th year of the event.  We are already working on how to make the 20th Imagine particularly special.  However, before we move on, I want to make sure the SFS community knows why Imagine is so special, because many of you may not realize how it works.

First of all, there are two important purposes of Imagine.  The first is the one with which you are all familiar:  to raise awareness about and funds for our Scholarship Fund. At St. Francis, we believe that any student who deserves a St. Francis education should be able to have one regardless of their family’s financial means. Throughout our history, we have had an unusual commitment to financial aid.  Today, nearly half of our student body receives some form of scholarship support, and these funds represent nearly a third of our operating budget — both of these figures are significantly higher than both the national and local average for Independent Schools.  We do this because we truly believe that an SFS education would not be nearly as powerful if we were not able to create this wonderful and diverse student body with the help of our Scholarship Fund, and we simply could not do it without the support of the Imagine Art Auction. Imagine15-038

The second major purpose of Imagine is to help promote and cultivate a vibrant art community in Louisville.  Since the inception of the auction, it was meant to support the artists as well as the school, and not just by exposing their work to the 400 or so guests at the event, and generating new buyers for their work.  What I realized that many people still do not know is that Imagine supports the artists financially, too — artists do not donate their work; they set the minimum bids, and they get half of the selling price garnered at Imagine.  Therefore, when guests purchase art, they are supporting artists in Louisville and the region, as well as the St. Francis Scholarship Fund.

I also want to mention that we had a Special Honoree at Imagine this year: Gaela Erwin, who has been our Artist-in-Residence at the High School for the last 10 years, and in that time, Gaela has been involved with Imagine – nearly half of its entire existence. After 10 years service at SFS, Gaela made the decision to retire this December.  We have been so lucky to have one of Kentucky’s best artists (and one of the best in the nation) at St. Francis for a decade, and we are very sorry to see her go.  However, Gaela hand-picked her successor in Julie Leidner, who started with us in January, so we know we are in good hands.

All in all, Imagine was a great success, meeting its fundraising goals and netting over $70,000 for the Scholarship Fund.  Just as importantly, though, the varied and eclectic crowd all learned something about St. Francis and supported the School as well as the Louisville art community.  If you haven’t been to Imagine yet, please make plans to join us next year for our exciting 20th Anniversary.



March Madness

Coming up in March…

march madness imagemarch madness image (1)-page-001
Get ready to Make Your Shot for St. Francis School as we kick off our March Madness Annual Fund Campaign.  If you haven’t yet given to the 2014-15 Annual Fund now is the time.  More information to follow each week during the month of March!

Norm Jones

Norm Jones G'88, '92

Norm Jones G’88, 92

Norm holds a Ph.D. in workforce education and development and an M.A in public administration from Pennsylvania State University and a B.A. in English and linguistics from Morehouse College in Atlanta.  He is currently the Associate Chief Diversity Officer and Deputy Director at Harvard.
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Michael Trager-Kusman

Alumni Profile

Michael Trager-Kusman ’02

Michael left his job at the Department of Treasury in Washington D.C. to move to New York and pursue his passion. From starting as an unpaid pizza delivery boy, he climbed his way up to become a line cook at one of New York’s most premier gastropubs, The Breslin, where he met Tyler Morris, now executive chef of MTK Productions.  Michael had gotten the crash course needed to pursue his dream of starting a restaurant in his hometown of Louisville.  RYE on Market opened in the NULU district in early 2012, followed by Atlantic No. 5 in the summer of 2013.
[Read more…]

Alumni News


  • Sarah Kelty (née Glenn) G’99, ’03 recalls very fond memories of her days at St. Francis School. So fond that she went on to become a teacher herself. Sarah is currently teaching in Jefferson County Public Schools. She teaches special education for elementary-aged children. She received a master’s degree from Indiana University Southeast in elementary education, and a dual certification for regular education and special education, from Bellarmine University.
  • Stewart Pugsley ’06 has done a lot in the rather short time since graduating from SFS. Post-St. Francis, she went on to Fordham University in New York City. After graduation, she went on to work at an Outdoor Science school in the San Bernardino Mountains of California, teaching 5th and 6th grade science. After this endeavor, Stewart returned to New York City, where she was a nanny for two years. She then spent a month walking across Spain from the Pyrenees to the ocean on the Camino de Santiago. After this adventure, Stewart moved to Boston to attend North Bennet Street School, where she studied carpentry and woodworking, and she also started her master’s degree at Lesley University for Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Most recently, Stewart got engaged to Peter Collins, an actor, and moved to Chicago, where she is working at custom furniture company Pinetree Furniture. Stewart also started a blog about women in the trades called A Hard Hat Life.
  • Mara Bartlett photoMara Bartlett-Ansejo ‘07 is one well rounded alumna. During the Fall, Winter, and Springs Mara lives in New Orleans with her Partner, Justin. She escapes swampy Louisiana for the summer months and heads to Alaska. While in Alaska, Mara works at an Artist Retreat Center/Wilderness Retreat ( doing various things like housekeeping, keeping general order on the property, and beer brewing! The Retreat Center is completely off the grid, meaning they get most of their power from solar energy and a diesel generator, and the water comes right out of the creek. Mara describes this as a life changing experience. Mara also keeps herself busy as a talented photographer (visit her website!; she recently had a photo featured in National Geographic (see featured photo to the left)! While in New Orleans, Mara works at a non-profit called T.R.E.E. (Teaching Responsible Earth Education, as an Earth Educator, there, they stay busy doing a wideTropicuba range of things, for example, taking groups of students into the forest and teaching them about Earth science and systems. (
  • Kazia Cumbler ’95, her husband, John and 5 and a half year old daughter, Rae,  welcomed a  baby girl, Sonny Clare, to the family on January 19th. Rae stays busy with school, Sonny Clare is busy being a growing baby, John is a film composer, and Kazia runs a mothers group called ‘Mama Needs a Drink’ ( The group is based out of Santa Monica, CA and brings speakers in to the community to talk about “mama health and wellness” as well as baby enrichment health and wellness.
  • Laura Masterson ’05 married Andy Whalen in January in San Francisco. The couple is expecting a baby girl this summer. Laura is currently working as the marketing manager for software startup Typesafe in San Francisco. Congratulations, Laura and Andy!
  • Orlando Grimany Calas ’06 , who welcomed a baby girl to his family in October, is now welcoming a new Clifton restaurant, Tropicuba! Check out more about Tropicuba here.
  • As part of the Kentucky to the World series, alumnus Sander (“Sandy”) Florman ’85  will be lecturing on “Life Saving Organ Transplants- Ethics, Politics & Technology” at the Henry Clay building on
    March 12th. Sandy is an international leader in organ transplants and makes us proud to call hiSander Flormanm one of our own! Click here for official event details!




New Wyverns

Benny Alvarez baby Wyvern

  • Congratulations to Myra Holloway ’93 and her husband, Chad, on the birth of their baby girl, Dahlia Lorraine Holloway, born January 3rd.
  • Elizabeth Zimmerman ‘96 and her husband Wake Norris welcomed Heloise Grace Zimmerman Norris to the family on December 18th.
  • Congratulations to Kazia Cumbler  ’95, her husband, John and 5 and a half year old daughter, Rae, who welcomed Sonny Clare, to the family on January 19th.
  • Benedict “Ben” Ignatius Alvarez (pictured right) was born February 7th to Danny Alvarez ‘93 and Marie Therese Keating




In Memoriam

  • Nick Spaulding G’06 passed away in December. He was a valued member of the St. Francis community — a fierce competitor on the soccer field and a gentle soul off the field. He was a graduate of Trinity High School and Transylvania University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Nick was taken from us far too soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
  • Andrew Schiller ’88 passed away on January 21, 2015. Andrew was a casino host with Horseshoe Casino and a former volunteer firefighter with Harrods Creek Fire Department. The St. Francis community mourns this loss and sends Andrew’s family and friends well wishes.

Wyverns in NYC
On December 14th, more than 40 Wyverns gathered at Von Bar in the East Village in New York City. This annual “Wyverns in New York” event is in its ninth year and was hosted by Kareem Bunton ’91, Devin Emke G’84,’88, Rob Kemp G’85,’89, Adam Sachs G’84,’88, Bill Schreiber G’84,’88, and Charley Miller ’96. A wide range of alumni turned out, from the Class of 1984 to the most recent Class of 2014, in addition to school attendees College Counselor Kit Llewellyn, Head of School Alexandra Thurstone G’80, ’84, and Director of Advancement Siofra Rucker G’84. We are glad that the strong sense of SFS community permeates its way to the Big Apple and are happy the event exists to reconnect alumni and to continue the Wyvern network in the big city. Thank you to all who took time out of their Sundays to come; we look forward to next year!

Keep in touch! Want to visit? We love to reintroduce alumni to the school.
If you have any ideas that you think would appeal to alumni and/or if you are interested in checking out what we have going on, email Alumni Coordinator Callie Gray at

Alumni Profile – Michael Trager-Kusman ’02

Alumni Profile

Michael Trager-Kusman ’02

Michael left his job at the Department of Treasury in Washington D.C. to move to New York and pursue his passion. From starting as an unpaid pizza delivery boy, he climbed his way up to become a line cook at one of New York’s most premier gastropubs, The Breslin, where he met Tyler Morris, now executive chef of MTK Productions.  Michael had gotten the crash course needed to pursue his dream of starting a restaurant in his hometown of Louisville.  RYE on Market opened in the NULU district in early 2012, followed by Atlantic No. 5 in the summer of 2013.

Briefly describe your career after leaving St. Francis.

St. Francis was a great help in opening my mind to different career paths and not limiting myself based on pressure or expectations.  After college, I spent time in both Washington D.C. working in the Department of Treasury, and then in New York City as a chef.

Looking back at your time at St. Francis, what stands out?

The creative freedom to learn in different ways.  I felt like I was stronger because St. Francis created an environment that allowed me to be independent and learn the way I needed to.

Do you recall a specific teacher or friend that influenced you in some way?

Mikulak teaching Walden had a huge impact on me. At the time I had no clue what he was talking about, but it really began to mean something later in life.

How was your experience at St. Francis a factor in determining your career path?

It allowed me to think outside the box and chase my true dreams.

What are the highlights of your career thus far?

Opening RYE – my first restaurant.

What are you currently working on?

Always looking for opportunities to educate about and provide “good,” clean food.

How do you define success?

Being happy in what you do, which I believe happens when you care deeply about what you are doing day-to-day.

At RYE, we believe food should be approachable yet challenging; something that pushes the senses and comforts the soul. Founded on the conviction that our most valued social experiences are created around food, RYE believes food exudes an energy that is, at times, indescribable. We believe that local and regional food simply tastes better. Capitalizing on the unrivaled products of our local farms, RYE focuses on using sustainable, seasonal, unadulterated ingredients, allowing us to provide you with a fresher, cleaner, more flavorful cuisine. Beyond what we believe, you can trust that we are focused on being the very best at what we do.

Atlantic No. 5 features an innovative take on lunchtime classics and coffee by local roasters Sunergos. Grab a quick bite while you’re on the go or pull up a chair, plug in your laptop and stay awhile. Join us for breakfast, lunch, and after-work drinks, and check out our upcoming music events.