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Jack Capuano '85 Named Head Coach of 2021 U.S. Men’s Hockey National Team

Jack Capuano ‘85, who currently serves as an associate coach for the Ottawa Senators, has been named the head coach of the 2021 U.S. Men’s National Hockey Team. Capuano, whose playing career featured stops in the AHL, IHL, and NHL, previously served as head coach of the New York Islanders from 2010-2017 after coaching stints in both the ECHL and AHL.

As a sixth former at Kent, Capuano was a member of the Boys Varsity Hockey team that won both the Housatonic Valley League and the Founders’ League title in 1985, winning the Tirrell Award as the team’s top defender. A member of the Kent School Athletic Hall of Fame, he was a captain of the Varsity Football team that won the Ericson League that year, and also served as a Dining Hall Steward.

This will be the fourth time Capuano represents the U.S. as a coach. He served as an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2017 IIHF Men’s World Championship and at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, as well as the head coach of the 2005 U.S. Under-18 Select Team at the Five Nations Cup. Capuano will lead Team USA at the 2021 IIHF World Championship beginning on May 21 in Riga, Latvia.

 Head of School Michael G. Hirschfeld's Remarks at Baccalaureate 2021

I want to share a few thoughts with you tonight about your learning here, the School’s hopes for your future and how you might apply your Kent learning to the “real world”, and, finally, gratitude. 

I will be brief in part because you have done a lot of listening in your time at Kent School.  In fact, we trained you to be good listeners—in our classrooms and in the many other spaces where learning occurs here.  Your presence in St. Joseph’s Chapel this evening is in one way evidence of your success in listening to others.  Especially this year, it would not surprise me, if you were weary, if not flat out tired, of listening to others. Tired of being told what to do.  I ask that you indulge me tonight for around seven minutes and, more important, Father Schell tomorrow as he launches you with his wisdom on Prize Day. You are actually entering a phase of your life where your skills as listeners will become more helpful— and much more important.

This year I have met many Kent School alumni and alumnae and almost to a person they recall their experience at Kent as students as transformational.  That they were transformed—changed from one thing into another—while they were at Kent. The first of our readings tonight from Acts describes Saul’s transformation from being a persecutor of Jesus to literally becoming his biggest fan, his chief salesman. Saul’s transformation offers an easy and obvious metaphor for your transformation here, although I do not think any of you were transformed as dramatically as Saul—by getting struck by lightning.  I suspect it will be months or even years before you begin to understand your Kent education and your experience here as transformational. 

Believe it or not, I chose this reading from Acts, not for the easy metaphor of transformation it provides, although it is obviously convenient, but rather for this one line: “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what to do.”  This is the two-part commandment of Prize Day and your leaving Kent School.  

The first part--tomorrow it will be literally time for you to get up and go.  You are ready to leave.

The second part of this commandment is to again listen, but not to others as you have done so well at Kent, but to yourselves—to the voice you have developed here.  I find the phrase “Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do” to be inspiring, commanding and true.  It will require all of your skills as good listeners to hear this voice that will tell you “what you must do” because that voice will be your own.  It will be your own voice, your own heart, telling you “what you must do.”  My highest hope for you as you leave Kent School is that you have confidence in that voice.  Listening to that voice, your voice, will be the key to your living a good life—a fulfilling life. The faculty, staff, your families, your friends, and all who supported you in your time at Kent share this belief: you are ready to listen to your voice.

Tonight’s second reading of the parable of the sower is the subject of much theological debate and interpretation. I wanted to include it tonight because I believe you will leave here as sowers--planters—capable of planting the seeds of community wherever you may go. I actually believe you are uniquely qualified to do this given your experience at Kent during a global pandemic.  

You may not yet have recognized this, but you will leave tomorrow with an understanding of how a community works as deep as those students who studied at Kent during the Great Depression and the World Wars. You understand that building and maintaining community requires care, love, and intention—providing care, love, and intention often at your own expense or in the place of your personal gain. Putting the common good above yourself in as simple an act as wearing a mask is the foundation of servant leadership and of community.  You are very well-schooled in this kind of leadership. You have learned that successful relationships and the communities they support require intention, diligence, and above all love to maintain.  

Like the sower, spread your knowledge of these things generously. The mustard seed reminds us of humility—and the great possibility small beginnings provide.   Your small beginning at Kent School is full of possibility, full of promise.

I want to finish my remarks with a practical reminder. We are all here tonight—all of us—because our family, friends, teachers, coaches, advisors, and countless staff members supported us. These people are our angels. In the rush and chaos of activity and emotion in your last hours at Kent please remember to give your angels thanks.  They have done much to support you.

On a personal note, I want to thank you all for making my first year at Kent School so rewarding. I am grateful for your leadership and the kindnesses you extended to me and Mrs. Hirschfeld.  We are proud of our association with you. And we look forward to welcoming you back to the School as alumni.

Finally, I have been eager to paraphrase for you a portion of the apostle Paul’s second letter to Timothy.  Paul is concluding this letter and he writes, “…the hour for my departure is upon me. I have run the race, I have finished the course, I have kept faith.”  

Class of 2021, the hour of your departure is upon you.  You have finished the race.  And you have kept the faith.  Well done and congratulations.


ap award symbolKent School is proud to be named among the winners of the College Board AP® Computer Science Female Diversity Award for expanding young women’s access to AP Computer Science Principles.

"Kent aims to provide a computer science program that supports students of all interests. Our mission is to help students develop the skills to solve problems and make an impact in whatever field they choose to pursue," says Math Department Head and AP Computer Science teacher Kevin Saxton.

"We aim to break down the stereotypes of computer science as a caffeine-driven hacker community best suited for a particular type of individual," continues Mr. Saxton. "We introduce it as a field that needs students from all backgrounds and perspectives to tackle today's most critical problems such as social justice, the environment, and the consequences of the age of information. Earning this award is evidence that progress is being made toward inclusivity. There is still plenty of work to be done, however, to further open the world of computing to young women who would thrive in the field, but do not see themselves reflected in those who represent tech in our culture."

Out of the 20,000 institutions that offer AP courses, Kent is one of 831 recognized in the category of AP Computer Science Principles.

 Maintaining Community in Fragile Times

hos header

Dear Kent School Community,

I have a confession to make: when I was teaching United States History to Kent School students almost thirty years ago, I failed. I did not fully guide my students in understanding how political passion could give rise to violence or how demagoguery could exist in an enlightened society.

The case of Preston Brooks physically beating fellow Senator Charles Sumner over the issue of slavery on the Senate floor in 1856 was simply an artifact of a different time. Such a thing could not be possible today.

Similarly, in the early 1950s, Senator Joseph McCarthy’s perpetuation of the single, false narrative of widespread communism in the United States government and the fear-based power it gave him were things of the past that would never be tolerated today. We are too smart to be led in such a way.

Looking back on it now, I taught from the naïve assumption that the trajectory of human development naturally arcs toward progress and that history viewed from this perspective is a story of our continual evolution toward betterment.

I reflected on this yesterday as I watched, as many of you likely did, rioters breach security and vandalize the United States Capitol. In the coming days, weeks, months, and indeed years, historians, sociologists, and political scientists will analyze this moment in history. There is no doubt they will offer a variety of compelling explanations for why it occurred. For me, and I believe for the entire Kent School community, we need not wait for their analysis. The chief lesson is obvious: democracy is fragile and should never be taken for granted. It takes work to maintain.

I want to be clear: yes, democracy describes a system of government, but more importantly for us, it describes a way of living together. A way of living together that values inclusivity, diversity in all its forms, the free exchange of ideas, respect for all voices, and an openness to seeing and understanding another’s perspective. I mention these values and their underpinning in empathy because these are the foundations of Kent School. They are not unfamiliar to us; they are part of us.

Like the disheartening examples of persistent racial injustice this summer, yesterday’s assault on democracy should not discourage us. Rather, it should strengthen our commitment to the School’s values.

This Fall I challenged us to be the kind of community that could be an example for other communities to follow. I am excited, as I hope you are, about recommitting ourselves to doing this good work. It is clear the world could benefit from our example.

I cannot wait for your return on February 1.

In the meantime, I hope you are enjoying your time away and that the earliest days of 2021 have been filled with joy, relaxation, and family.

Michael G. Hirschfeld

Honoring 96 Years

Headmaster Dick Schell joined in with the community of South Kent School in a chapel ceremony honoring their 96th year. “The ties between our schools are numerous and strong” noted Headmaster Schell as he spoke about the relationships forged between the founders of South Kent School and the Headmaster of Kent School. For more information regarding the event (click here).

Portrait of Father Sill


Kent School Supports FOCOS

Kent School was one of many sponsors for the 2019 Foundation of Orthopedics and Complex Spine (FOCOS) NYC Fundraising Gala. FOCOS is a non-profit organization that ensures that affordable and high-quality orthopedic care is accessible for all. This year’s gala honored H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of Ghana, with the Humanitarian Award. The Republic of Ghana has a long history of supporting FOCOS and their work, and several other ministers and government officials were present to accept the award alongside H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. All of the proceeds of the event will be used to continue the work of FOCOS as they serve their patients. Headmaster Dick Schell, members of the faculty, staff and alumni joined Foundation leaders, Mr. and Mrs. Roland Akosah, parents of  Nyamekye '21, at the Kent table.

For more information regarding the Foundation of Orthopedics and Complex Spine (FOCOS) (click here).

Foundation of orthopedics and complex spine .   Foundation of orthopedic and complex spine


Kent School Student Receives Change Ringing Award

Stella Klingebiel has received the Jeff Smith Memorial Young Ringer Award from the North American Guild of Change Ringers. The award recognizes bell ringing achievement and a commitment to the local ringing community. Change ringing developed in England and is traditionally heard following royal weddings as well as before and after most English church services. It requires a group of ringers working in tight coordination to ring the bells in constantly changing permutations. Because each tower bell takes over a second to complete its full 360-degree rotation, the bells cannot ring traditional music or melodies. That constraint led to an intricate system of generating unique permutations known as change ringing. In addition to strengthening the abilities of the Kent band of change ringers, Stella has conducted a quarter peal. A quarter peal contains a series of at least 1250 permutations rung in rapid succession according to rules that ensure no permutations are repeated. A quarter peal takes about 45 minutes of concentration and cooperation among the band of ringers, directed by their conductor. The permutations create a hauntingly beautiful ribbon of sound. The award is named after Jeff Smith, a long-time and beloved professor at Kalamazoo College. In addition to teaching mathematics, Jeff taught hundreds of students to ring changes and inspired the college to install change ringing bells in Stetson Chapel on the Kalamazoo College campus.

North American Guild of Change Ringers

Racing Summary: Henley 2019

Garrison Smith, Girls Crew Head Coach

TeamThe KSBC girls brought three boats (an eight a four and a double) to England to race in three regattas: The Reading Amateur Regatta on Saturday (a 1500 meter head to head style race) the Reading Amateur Regatta on Sunday (an 1100 meter head to head style race) and the Henley Woman’s Regatta (a time trial to select crews, and then head to head style racing over 1500 meters).  

On Saturday June 15th in the first Reading Amateur Regatta, the eight raced in the Women’s 8 B division, which included high school and University crews, and they defeated the Wellington Rowing Club from New Zealand by 1 ½ lengths.  Then in the finals, they lost to St. Paul’s School USA by 2 ¾ lengths.  On the second day of the regatta they lost in the semi-finals to University College Dublin Ladies Boat Club by a canvas in a tightly contested hard fought race.  In the Henley Women’s Regatta on June 21st the eight raced in the Aspirational Academic Eights category against mostly University crews.  On Friday they faced a time trial where 24 crews were entered, and this number would be reduced to 16 crews to race in the head to head racing.  They were selected out of the time trial and raced Liverpool University and won by 2 lengths.  In the quarter finals they raced Durham University Boat Club and in a difficult race lost by a canvas.  

ReadingThe four raced in the J16 category throughout the trip. On Saturday June 15th in the first Reading Amateur Regatta they first raced Lady Eleanor Holes, a high school in Hampton England and defeated them by 4 lengths.  Then in the semi finals they raced against St. Edward’s School, a high school in Oxford in England.  This boat was second at the National Schools Regatta in England in the J16 event and Kent defeated them by 1 ¼ lengths.  In the finals they defeated the Henley rowing club by 3 lengths winning the Reading Amateur Regatta.  On Sunday their race was finals only, and they once again won, defeating the Henley Rowing Club again, this time by four lengths taking a second gold medal for the weekend.  In the Henley Women’s Regatta starting on Friday June 21st the four was slated for a time trial, where 23 boats were entered and only eight would be selected for the head to head racing.  They finished second in the time trial only one tenth of a second behind the first-place crew and so they were selected out of the time trial to race in the head to head racing.  In the first round of head to head racing (the quarter finals) they raced the Kingston Rowing Club and won by 2 ½ lengths.  In the semi finals on Sunday they raced Headington School a rowing powerhouse in the UK and defeated them by 1 ½ lengths.  Then in the final on Sunday afternoon they raced against Marlow Rowing Club and were behind off the start and then went ahead through the middle of the race, and yet they could not hold onto the lead and lost by one length.

In the double, Kent raced in the Junior Double category throughout the trip.  These two girls did a great job as they had just learned how to scull at the end of our racing season, and they were racing against girls who had been sculling for years.  We were able to race three times, once in each of the Reading Amateur Regattas and then in the time trial at Women’s Henley.  At Reading on Saturday, they raced Wallingford Rowing Club and then on Sunday they raced Wycliffe Junior Rowing Club and though they improved drastically each race, they fell both times.  At the Henley Women’s Regatta, they raced well in the time trial beating two crews one from the Henley Rowing Club and another from the Hinksey Sculling School, but they were not selected to race in the head to head racing.


Both boys and girls hockey at Kent School have pursued New England championships in the past, but despite fielding some great teams with outstanding records, neither had been able to achieve that elusive title.  That all changed this season, as the Girls won the 2018-19 Division 1 tournament, and the boys won the Large School tournament.

GVIH The girls have emerged as a New England power in the last few years, winning the Founders League Championship in ’14, ’15, ’16 and ’18, and earning a spot in post-season play for several years.  This winter they finished the regular season with a record of 16-4.  Two of those losses came early in January to Nobles and Loomis, but those games would be avenged nicely in the post-season tournament.  Kent earned the #5 seed in the Division 1 tournament and opened the quarterfinals with a 5-0 victory over #4 seed St. Paul’s.  In the semi-finals, they faced #8 seed Loomis, but this game was quite different from the January meeting, as Kent won decisively by a score of 6-1.  That set the stage for the finals against #2 seed Nobles, a team that has numerous New England Championships to its credit.  But the Lions were not intimidated by their opponents.  Trailing 1-0 at the start of the third period, they tied the game with a power play goal with 10:51 remaining, and then less than 3 minutes later scored the go-ahead goal.  A third goal late in the period along with an empty net goal with under a minute left brought the final score to 4-1, and Kent began their well-earned celebration of their first New England Championship.

BVIHFor the boys, an invitation to post-season play seemed only remotely possible at the end of January, as they found themselves with a .500 record of 7-7-2.  From that point on, however, they would not lose another game the rest of the season.  In their last 7 games of the regular season they went 6-0-1 and earned the #4 seed in the New England Large School Tournament.  Their quarter-final opponent was #5 seed Andover, and the Lions proved they were ready with a 4-2 win.  The semi-finals offered an enormous challenge as they traveled to Deerfield to take on the #1 seeded team.  Kent showed no fear of Deerfield, climbing to a 4-1 lead by the end of the second period.  But the third period would be one of the most exciting played all year.  Deerfield was by no means conceding the game as they scored four straight goals to take the lead.  Kent recovered from Deerfield’s outburst with two goals late in the period, and added an empty-net goal to seal the 7-5 victory.  In the finals, they faced #7 seed Cushing.  Neither team scored in the first two periods, but in the third period Kent drew first blood with a power-play goal at 10:23, and then scored an even-strength goal just 9 seconds later to take a 2-0 lead.  Cushing pulled within one with a 4 on 4 goal with 7 minutes left, but Kent’s defense stood strong for the rest of the game, bringing the Lions a 2-1 triumph, and their first New England title.

Congratulations are in order for both teams, as they represented Kent throughout the season with class and dignity and did what no other hockey teams in Kent’s past have done before – finish as New England Champions.  Their first titles, but, we expect, by no means their last!


January 11th was a special night for music lovers at Kent as they were treated to a fascinating and entertaining presentation by Tom Jones, who is best known for having written The Fantasticks, the world’s longest-running musical.  The evening began with a couple of short performances of Mr. Jones’s most famous work by Zoe B ’20 and Kent Theater Director Geoff Stewart.  The energetic and insightful Mr. Jones then captivated his audience with stories from his life and career. An enthusiastic and at times hilarious question and answer session concluded the program.  This was a wonderful opportunity to learn from a legend of Broadway, an experience that will not soon be forgotten by all those in attendance.


javranArtists, photographers, and sculptors from Kent School have enjoyed a great deal of success in competitions this year.  Results from the Scholastic Art Awards for the State of Connecticut were recently announced, and numerous Kent artists were recognized.   Three students won a total of six gold medals in photography and drawing categories. Five silvers were awarded for sculpture, photography, architecture, painting and drawing, and two Honorable Mentions were achieved in drawing and photography.  In an international competition one photographer in particular, Pamela J ’19, has been named as one of the 10 finalists (out of 11,786 submissions) in Hope 2019, the theme of this year’s Habban International Photography Award competition.  Pamela has previously won gold and silver medals in international competitions for her photographs of indigenous societies, landscapes and sea life, but reaching the finals in the HIPA competition is her most distinctive achievement thus far.

The 2019 Vance Lecture

The Vance Lecture Series, which honors the legacy of our distinguished alumnus and former U.S Secretary of State Cyrus Vance '35, welcomes speakers to campus to address the prevention and resolution of violent conflict in our world today. The Kent community had the privilege of attending a lecture given by Jeh Johnson, former Secretary of Homeland Security for three years in the Obama administration. Mr. Johnson, who in December of 2018 received the Ronald Reagan Peace Through Strength Award, presented an engaging program to a standing-room crowd in Mattison Auditorium. He offered details about the work of Homeland Security and the functions of the various departments that keep our country safe.  

Occasionally, Mr. Johnson would break from the gravity of his subject with quizzes for the audience, awarding various prizes for correct answers. He also offered some background about the current government shutdown as well as the issue of illegal immigration on our southern border, topics that were of great interest to the audience. Sebastian K ’20 commented that he “was glad to see some political balance from someone who was clearly a Democrat, about a difficult issue like immigration.  He didn’t politicize the issue.”  It was clear by the conclusion of the presentation that students, faculty, and other guests were grateful to have had the opportunity to hear the opinions of an accomplished and respected leader.