Alumni Stories

A Recurring Dream

I’ve had a recurring dream all of my life that because of a clerical error I have to return to Caedmon and retake the 5th grade or all of my proceeding degrees (high school, college, and, soon, graduate) will be rendered null. The fact that my dream always returns me to that grade, to Jane Darby and Honor Taft’s Upper Class classroom (long before it became the library, back when there was still a combined 5th and 6th grade ‘Upper Class’) says something. 5th grade was the top of the food chain. There was a feeling of being grown-up, or in charge of things, in the same way that one might feel a sort-of superiority when he reaches his senior year in high school. These were the kids you looked up to for years growing up at Caedmon, and suddenly you were one of them. There was a great sense of accomplishment that came with that, with reaching the top. I think that is an important feeling for kids to experience, as we will spend the rest of our lives ascending through tiered structures. And combine that with the continued structured and progressive nurturing that Caedmon employed through our time there. It was a good combination. That was a good year.

Alexander Brokaw, Class of 2000

Caedmon to Dalton to Yale

We had to find him a place that would mirror the values, morals, and sense of community we had begun to instill in him, as well as foster the intellectual curiosity and love of learning. That place was The Caedmon School.

Angela Morga, Ms. D’amico, Ms. Kelly, Ms. Rama, and Ms. Woodruff took every opportunity to allow him to grasp every bit of knowledge. Ms. Morga used his love of dinosaurs to build his spelling and math skills. In Early Program, he loved to share his knowledge of carnivores and omnivores and knew the spelling of his favorite dinosaurs, Pterodactyl, Pachycephalosaurus, Ornithischia. I often wondered when Ms. Morga found the extra time to help him, or how Ms. Kelly knew when he had accumulated and counted one hundred miniature dinosaurs.

There was something really special about this place. I still remember the call from Ms. Virella because he had promised to share a book with his classmates and wouldn’t go to the courtyard to play with his friends. He had to keep a promise and I had to take the book to school.

Ms. Woodruff read with him a NY Times article, which he carried in his backpack until the end of the year, when it was crumpled and torn.

Ms. Rama and Ms. D’amico not only read with him during their breaks, but answered all of his “numerous” questions.

Ms. Vrazel, the best librarian ever, appreciated his love for reading. It happened here, and he became an avid reader.

Ms. Flatow taught him how to appreciate music, and was, and still is, like a second mom.

Ms. Virella looked after him and made sure he and all of the children had a person who was always willing to listen and set them straight, with love.

After leaving Caedmon, he returned to seek Mr. Crohn’s advice on a sixth-grade science project.

Mr. Kagan appreciated an athlete and a mathlete.

His intellectual curiosity, his love of learning, sense of community, and appreciation of his individuality and that of others, were fostered and embraced here.

We are forever grateful and given the opportunity to do it again, would do the same without reservation.

The Brewsters, Class of 2009