BCD Profiles

BCD Profiles

All BCD alums have played a part in shaping the legacy of the school and have undoubtedly left their mark on the world; each contributing and making a difference in their own unique way. Below are some extended profiles we’ve collected for our annual alumni magazine BCD Today. Please click the names to read them.

Alumni are always welcome to speak to our current students about their work and experiences, or to submit their own Alumni News or Extended Profile for the magazine. Contact alumni@berkshirecountryday.org for more information.

Charlotte Jones ’79 Blome, BCD class of 1979

Charlotte Jones ’79 Blome – Charlotte is an award winning designer who has been creating landscapes since 1991, after spending four years in Japan apprenticing to a master gardener and studying traditional gardens. She started [...]

Harrison Newman, Class of 2011

Life is Good!I just spent almost a month in Tanzania, working (and playing soccer) in a remote village at the N’getaeu Secondary School. I traveled with the Safi School Project (Safi means Life is Good [...]

Dr. Houston H. Stokes, PhD, Class of 1953

Graduation year 1953 from sixth gradeWhere did you go to school after leaving BCD? I grew up on the AP Stokes place, in “Lake Cottage,” the first house to the south of BCD. I know every [...]

Mary Talbot Fee, Class of 1972

Years at BCD: Grade 6 (1969) through Grade 9 (1972)Where did you go to school after leaving BCD? Taconic High School and then on to American University and then San Diego State University for a degree [...]

BCD Legacies

While the main purpose of BCD Today is to spotlight what is happening at the School here and now, the updates and memories of our alumni constantly remind us that our history informs who we are today.  If you have memories or comments you would like us to share with them please email alumni@berkshirecountryday and we will pass them on.

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Marcia Jones

BCD is saddened to report that Marcia V. Jones, 82, passed away on December 11, 2014. Mrs. Jones was an educator at BCD for 37 years, 1963–1975, and 1983–2008.

Marcia taught Latin, Math, and History during her tenure. She was one of the first teachers here to integrate technology into her teaching. She designed a software program with a playful format to introduce her young Latin students to correct verb tenses. Mrs. Jones was beloved by generations of young scholars, and her love of children and understanding of learning styles are hallmarks of her legacy at BCD.

Her obituary adds: ‘From 1975–1980, she taught at Miss Hall’s School in Pittsfield and briefly held the position of Dean of Students… She was in charge of the Visitors’ Center at Tanglewood Music Center for many years; she was also a confirmed Lay Eucharistic Minister in the Episcopal Church. She was a member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Pittsfield, and then became a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Lenox. She leaves one son, Kent W. Jones, of New York City, two grandsons, Ethan Jones and Andrèzj Jones, and many devoted cousins, friends, and former students. She will be remembered fondly by many.’

Many people have written to share their memories of Mrs. Jones. We have collected these memories in a book for Kent, and have printed a few below.

Ellie Atwater: Marcia was an incredibly intuitive person.
My sense is that she applied this gift to her craft as a teacher with students, as she worked with parents, and as she worked with her colleagues. I feel very fortunate to have gotten to know her during my time at BCD. We shared some very special moments.

William Campbell: Mrs. Jones is a star in my life.

Vivian Caputo: Marcia loved teaching and loved her students. She lives on in all the lives she touched.

Carmen Dockery Perkins: Marcia was a firecracker—a terrific mentor and a gifted teacher to hundreds of BCD students. Students and colleagues alike loved Marcia. Her unwavering commitment to her practice and her students, along with her profound sense of integrity made Marcia Jones a very, very special person whom I miss dearly.

Aline (Bunny) Drescher: Marcia was a very close friend of mine during our years together at BCD and beyond. She was an extraordinary person and was part of what made BCD the great school it is.

Samuel Greer: Ms. Jones was a truly inspirational teacher and genuinely kind individual. Her excitement and joy in teaching Latin was contagious and I am fortunate to be able to say that from 5th to 9th grade Ms. Jones taught me how to learn, excel in, and love a language.

Gail Heady: Marcia used to love to tell the children if they did not behave, she would drop kick them over Kripalu.

William & Susan Knight: The Knight family is very saddened at the passing of Marcia Jones. She was a wonderful person, outstanding teacher, and great friend.

Rebecca Lord: Did I watch Monday night football? Is the Pope Catholic? Does a bear s**t in the woods? Yup, she really said it! She was a great lady, teacher and mentor.

Christopher Mangiardi: Marcia kept learning fun and interesting while always keeping a smile on her face and, in turn, putting one on each of her students’ faces as well. I will never forget her kindness and passion for teaching her students.

Timur Pakay: Mrs. Jones was a dedicated teacher who encouraged us to participate in community service and taught us the value of etymology. Thanks to her remarkable teaching methodology and occasional subtle humor, I excelled in Latin.

Kay Sadighi: It was always a treat to have the same free periods between classes as Marcia when we taught at BCD. She truly loved her students and teaching, and would share excellent insights as well as invariably injecting a humorous note into discussions of challenges. I can still conjure up a vivid image of her chuckle, slight eye-roll and the phrase “Quelle surprise” in response to unsurprising unwelcome news. She also commiserated with me on pervasive 80s music like Motley Crüe, but said Bon Jovi at least had a name that sounded like a string quartet. She was a fierce scrabble player. She was smart and fun and I am so glad I knew her.

Charles Seyffer: Marcia has loved her way into and resonated within the hearts of so many people. Her energy, her humor, her generosity of spirit, all that she gave us will continue to warm us long after she’s gone.

Christine Witker: Marcia had the most wonderful laugh, a
brilliant mind, and was a multi-talented, caring person. She will be remembered always by those who had the good fortune to know her.

Nina Ryan: Feisty and challenging and funny and tough and warm hearted and knowledgeable… and deeply intelligent…She was one of those lifetime teachers for me – the few who stick with you throughout your life.

Wendy A. Rabinowitz: Marcia is a memorable person who was always vital, interesting, interested, skilled, funny, delightful
and supportive.

Nick Arienti: The connection that she was able to make with me, and with so many of us, was what initiated and drove my desire not only to learn, but to not want to disappoint her. To me, this would have been far worse than simply getting a bad grade.

1990 Yearbook Dedication: Throughout our years at BCD we seem to have been blessed by Mrs. Jones’ cheery presence. Mrs. Jones and her sense of humor, her Lifesavers, her blueberry coat, her bridge lessons…this list never ends. These are things this class will never forget, and Mrs. Jones is someone we’ll always appreciate and love.

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Susan Carol Hartung

Susan Carol Hartung, who taught English and Grade 3 at BCD from 1994 –2000, passed away on September 6, 2014 with her children, Anna Milkowski ’90 and Stefan Milkowski ’93, at her side.

Her obituary in the Berkshire Eagle read, in part, “(Susan’s) artwork has been exhibited widely in the Berkshires, Columbia County, and New York City….her poetry was an exploration of the joy, complexity, and sadness of life. She found beauty in everyday things and meaning in even unpleasant things. Hartung also found joy in music, playing piano with friends and singing for many years with Berkshire Bach and other choruses. (Susan) was curious and engaged….she was funny, loving, and strong….she deeply valued the friendships she had, some of which lasted more than 50 years, and continued to make new friends until her death…. she added much to the lives of many.” Former faculty member Steffi Fletcher wrote the following Letter to My Friend Susan Hartung:

Dear Susan, I know you cannot read this letter, cannot receive any message, but even though you are out of our reach forever, I cannot bear to write about you in the third person. I must write to you directly just as I have continued these last sad months to speak to you directly in my mind.

I suspect I am not the only one who has felt and continues to feel such a strong connection with you, that your many friends feel that same strong connection. What was it about you that bound so many of us to you?

You were one of the most talented, complex people I have known, a sensitive and successful artist whose art ranged from delicate, painstaking work that glorified the beauty of a black line on white paper to bold, brilliant colors bursting from the page. Besides being an artist, you were a poet who saw the fascinating details of every-day-life and who wrote with rage, tenderness, grief, love, and humor. For one of your poems that encapsulates all those qualities I think of “Love from a Burning House” from your book Inclusion. I love that poem so much that I have copied it into my computer so I could print it out and carry it around with me. (I shall be glad to email the poem to anyone who would like it. My email is steffifletcher@roadrunner.com). You always wrote with keen observation and with humor, never with self-pity.

Because you were such a gifted artist and poet, you were
also a gifted teacher who saw and encouraged the individuality
of your students. When I was producing the school magazine,
“The Sampler,” I could always count on receiving wonderful
poems from each 3rd grader. You never forced their writing into
a mold; you inspired them to trust their own visions, to become poets themselves.

Dear Susan, your poem “Inclusion” from the book of the same name tells us why so many of us felt bound to you. It tells us that you were someone who included everything and everybody, someone who did not separate nor categorize but who united. You were able to express your feelings, your thoughts and your many talents, but were also fascinated by the people and the world around you. In your friendships and your life you combined strength and tenderness. We shall always miss you.

­Steffi Fletcher

Inclusion Susan C. Hartung

Are you a man or a woman?

Yes.

Is the moon waxing or waning?

Yes.

Are we coming or going?

Yes.

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Adeline Cowhig

Adeline Cowhig began teaching Grades 5 and 6 at BCD when the school opened in 1945, and stayed through June of 1965. The School’s first yearbook (1960) was dedicated to her. It reads: “Now I want your divided attention.” For almost as long as the School has stood, we students have had this demanded of us by the faculty’s senior member. If our attention was not quickly forthcoming, then the request was repeated three times. Not four, but exactly three times. Sometimes we grumbled (even talked of revolution), yet we knew that it was always by the highest academic and personal standards that we were being called, and we responded. For fourteen years of dedicated teaching, endless patience, and seemingly unwarranted confidence in our halting abilities, this issue of The Penguin is gratefully dedicated to Mrs. Joseph Cowhig.

Despite the fact the Mrs. Cowhig passed away over 30 years ago, she is alive and well in the memories of her former students. Houston Stokes ’53 shared this sentiment a few years ago, “By far the best teacher I had at BCD was Mrs. Cowhig, who taught 5th and 6th grade.” Fran Colt ’51 Scheidau mentioned her in the first sentence of her update this year, and later added: “…There was no teacher like her. Not before or since. We were all so lucky to have her. I can hear her voice as clearly now as I did when she ruled the 5th and 6th grade classroom. When, after she explained something new to all of us, one of us would pose a question, “Mrs. Cowhig …do you think…?” she would reply without hesitation “I don’t think…..I KNOW!” I would give the world to see her once more and tell her how much she meant to me.”

Upon receiving a note from BCD with these remarks, Margaret Goggins (Mrs. Cowhig’s granddaughter and a former BCD faculty member) replied, “It is always such a treat to know how fondly she is remembered. As a current teacher, I find the memories of Grandma Cowhig to be ones I aspire to. I hope students will say such nice things about me many years from now…. I have scanned the letter and sent it on to her 2 daughters, 12 grandchildren, and to 37 great grands. There are too many teachers in the bunch to count! We have preschool teachers, high school teachers, special education teachers, religion teachers, Teach for America and World Teach teachers just to name a few! I think the love of children and information has been passed down from our Grandma!”

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Eleanore Aronoff

Eleanore Aronoff took over Grade 5 at BCD in September 1965, and stayed through June of 1975. The paragraphs under her 1967 class’ yearbook photo contain this sentence: “We found our study of the Bayeux Tapestry so interesting that we designed and embroidered our own tapestry.” Carolyn Crane ’71 was a member of that class. She shared these memories with us.

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.” I was first inclined to memorize these lines many years ago when I was in fifth grade at BCD and Mrs. Aronoff had us read, but mostly she read aloud, the Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. Since then, in my family, we have reread and listened to again and again this wonderful tale of adventure and character, along with its darker sequel The Lord of the Rings. And of course we have seen all the movies many times each. However, even with all the time that has past, whenever I think of that opening line, I think of fifth grade. And then I remember the tapestry.

The tapestry. Wherever did that tapestry go? Mrs. Aronoff, one of BCD’s best, believed in approaching education from all angles. My memory of this is all a bit faded but I know she had us make a tapestry, a Hobbit tapestry, quite large as I recall (of course I was smaller then). I think there were mountains and rivers, maybe barrels, maybe gold. I suspect there was a comfortable hobbit-hole, but most definitely there was a big, green dragon. He was many shades of green, and he was breathing fire. All stitched by our young, little hands. I had already learned embroidery and needlepoint from my grandmother and truly enjoyed it. I loved watching the patches of color grow and take shape. I loved experimenting with stitches and knots. And while I know that I spent more than my share of time on that tapestry, I have no recollection of ever being told to get back to schoolwork. I also remember Mrs. Aronoff’s warm amusement and pleasure while my classmates and I worked. I suppose we stitched as she read but I don’t quite recall.

After years of this tapestry appearing in my memory, I finally thought to contact BCD to track it down. About a year ago I told my story to Amy Elmore. Intrigued, she said she would look into it. But the tapestry seems to have disappeared. I know we didn’t finish it and it may have been passed on to the next fifth grade class or maybe folded up and put away in a closet that later needed clearing out. When I heard back from Amy with the news that it could not be located, I was initially disappointed. As time has passed though and even as I write this, I realize it is unlikely the real life tapestry would ever live up to the one in my imagination; the one I’ve carried with me all these years; the one that brings me back, with great fondness, to hobbits and Mrs. Aronoff’s fifth grade class.

Favorite BCD Memory

At the 65th Anniversary Celebration, several alumni shared their favorite BCD memory.  Click on their names below to read their stories and click here to share your own.

–Ilene Rubin Fish ’59

I attended BCD in the very early years in the original building on the Lenox School campus and then in the building where BCD moved, which was across from Trinity Church where there now are apartments. The first and second grade shared one class room with each class sitting around a table. Our teacher was Ruth Potter. The members of my First Grade class were Romi Whitman, Clover Swann, Buddy Jastram, Christopher Hallowell and me, Ilene Rubin. Houston Stokes was in an “older class” and I think Sylvia Stokes was in the 2nd or 3rd grade at that time. We spent many recesses playing under the large pine trees, and on the play ground. There were wonderful Spring Fairs attended by the families of all the students. Some of the other students who were at BCD in the early years who I recall are Carol and Stephen Hibbard, Rozie Dana, Margo Hallowell, Mikie Hart, Christine Jastram, Jane Birchard, Judy Kinney. My sister Judy joined me at BCD a few years later. We all remember Mrs. Cowhig and sitting on the ledge near the windows doing our times tables forwards and backwards and practicing our penmanship!! I recall putting on plays on a grassy shaded area in the Spring ! BCD holds some very fond memories from the early years!

–Mary Grace McNulty ‘11

how can i have one favorite BCD memory? i loved all my time here. one that’s stuck in my mind right now was a couple weeks ago. a french teenage girl visited the school for the day and spent it with the 9th grade. we showed her around to all the classes and she was so sweet, her name was antonia. when i went with my friend halina to plant sunflowers with the kindergarten she came with us. she taught them the french word for sunflowers. now everytime we visit them to see how the flowers are growing, they tell us the “tournesol” have grown. i just love that our school gives us the opportunity to work with the younger students and be exposed to someone who lives in such a different way then we do.
another great memory was the entire france and spain trip. loved that trip and i love my classmates.

–Tony Belanger ‘98

I can’t count the number of people I’ve brought to the Brook Farm Campus, hoping to share with them the beauty and greatness of BCD.

–Rachel Siegel’ 89

My favorite BCD memory is the first day of kindergarten, my first day at BCD, when I walked across an empty playground towards a lone figure of a dark-haired girl on a swing. I asked her if her name was Susan. I told her she looked like a Susan. She said, no it was Sara, which seemed close enough to me. Sara and I have been the best of friends ever since that moment. Though she left BCD before I did and our lives took divergent paths, we still talk at least every few weeks and see each other every chance we get, laughing over all the girlie games we used to play.