Close to 40 Thornton-Donovan School family members consisting of parents, teachers, students, alumni, and friends spent about two weeks in February walking in the footsteps of Frank Sinatra. T-D’s 2015-16 academic theme put Sinatra’s life in focus as he traveled East to West from Hoboken to Hollywood.



The first day of the travel trek was in L A at the Grammy Museum, which was hosting a special exhibit highlighting the life of an American icon – Frank Sinatra. In embracing the voice of the 20th century, Thornton-Donovan students were able to select from and draw upon any number of courses with Old Blue Eyes as the focus.



T-D spent six days in L A and enjoyed the ambiance and fine weather that this great city offered. Visits to the L A City Hall, the Queen Mary, Frank Gerry’s exhibit at LACMA, the Griffith Observatory, Museum of Jurassic Technology, the Getty Center, Mamak Khadom’s concert, the Peterson Automotive Museum, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Warner Brothers Studio, and the Australian Chamber Orchestra were all part of this travel study junket.



Two T-D friends, Tom Rothman, L A’s City Planner and Shannon Aronin ’97 addressed the entourage. Shannon, who lived in New Rochelle and moved to the West Coast after graduating from Johns Hopkins, spoke about the importance of volunteering and helping the hungry and the poor. Shannon is a grant writer for Goodwill Industries.



Later in February T-D spent several days in Las Vegas, a city that without Sinatra may have been totally undiscovered. Side trips to the Grand Canyon and beyond and local visits to the Mob Museum, University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Lake Mead, Graceland, and, of course, the Eighth Wonder of the World – the Hoover Dam.

T-D’s East – West trip ended at the home of Wayne Allyn Root, a T-D alumnus from the Class of ’79 and Columbia University in ’83. Wayne was a classmate of President Obama and both were poli-sci majors.

Root spoke with great gusto about his new radio program and his most recent book – Relentless. Root, who was a Vice-Presidential candidate for the Libertarian party in 2012, spoke about his political life and being an avid Trump supporter.

The entire T-D family was treated to more burgers, franks, and ice cream than anyone could digest. The outdoor salt water pool, weight room, indoor movie theatre, and gym all came into play. It was a great send-off as T-D prepared its return to the Big Apple.

As you read this T-D is preparing to host several Japanese students from Hiroshima and at the same time packing for the School’s next travel-study junket to Miami, Florida, and Havana, Cuba.

T-D is located in the Beechmont section of New Rochelle and for decades now remains individually focused and globally engaged.


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Douglas E. Fleming