100 Overlook Circle New Rochelle 10804
100 Overlook Circle New Rochelle 10804

September 2019 Letters

Musings-Headmaster Letter 9/26

Dear T-D Family,

In 2012 Thornton-Donovan danced in Ireland and green was the scholastic theme. One of the highlights of the traveling show was time spent in Sligo, Ireland. There we were received by a sister school – the Coola Primary SchoolThe exchange was coordinated and facilitated by Lorna Davey. While in Sligo, I was introduced to Martin Enright, a Yeats scholar. Martin entertained the T-D family in Sligo reciting several of the most notable poems of Ireland’s best poet, hallelujah! On more than a few occasions Martin has visited T-D and quite spontaneously created a few poetry sessions for the T-D student body. Last night I attended a reception at the Consulate General of Ireland to enjoy an art exhibition reflecting on the renowned work of W. B. Yeats. After introducing myself to the featured speaker, I mentioned Martin Enright’s name hoping he would have known him. Not only did he know Martin, but he taught at the same school as Martin – the Coola Primary School. ‘Tis a small world after all….Lorna Davey, I hope you are reading this. I also met a T-D family member not seen for 20 years or so – Maria Woods. She and her family moved to Pearl River and her daughter is now a college student. 

Doug and Maria

Doug and T-D’s association with the Woods family is long and rich – Seamus Woods is a T-D alumnus from the class of ’10. He and his dad traveled with T-D to the Irish capital in the USA – Notre Dame. T-D was also hosted by the Woods family at their restaurant in Poughkeepsie during a Glory Days visit. Seamus always keeps in touch with T-D. It’s good that he does, as he continues to sail around the world with the Coast Guard. He is now floating somewhere around Singapore. Should you ever be in Poughkeepsie, stop in Mahoney’s for a pint. You’d never feel out by the Woods there. GO IRISH!

On Tuesday evening, in the White House, I attended the Parent Warmer sponsored by the T-D Parent Teacher Partnership. Marianne Silva spoke about her plans for the new school year. Stella Ficai from Arezzo, Italy was introduced and spoke to everyone about another successful T-D exchange and closed by giving immense gratitude to T-D’s host families. Two new T-D teachers were introduced-Shannon Moss and Andrew Chong. They both offered a few words about their new school adventures in science and in English. Joining in the conversation was Dave Montgomery – upper school English and Scott Paris – tech and much more.

Koos, Stella, Jill, Marianne, and Anna

Over 30 parents were on hand and there’s not a more inviting setting than T-D’s White House to begin the year of Sacred Geography. April 16, T-D’s departure date, is getting closer and closer and many T-D families have already sent a $1000 deposit. It’s going to sell out! That “Is real” sure!  HOLY SMOKES!         

  Douglas E. Fleming, Jr.


September 16, 2019

YOU PUT YOUR RIGHT FOOT IN……… The Italians arrived

The Albanians are here

The Japanese are ready

and then there was England

Dear T-D Family, 

On Friday night 15 Italian ambassadors arrived and found warm and comfy beds in T-D’s host family homes. Once again, this group from Arezzo was led by its native-born countess, Stella Ficai. 

On Sunday morning from 10:00 am until noon about 20 Albanian students with ages from seven to 17 began a regular weekly cultural and English language program. T-D’s ties to Albania are long and rich and three Albanians are members of the current senior class. On Monday another Albanian will join T-D. She speaks three languages and lives in Milan, not far from Arezzo. 

Sunday was Miyamoto’s arrival day at JFK and getting all her gear in my car was a fun task. Once again, Miyamoto, who is from Hiroshima, will be doing “giant” calligraphy on the court during the UN International Peace Day Celebration-this Friday, September 20th at 11:00 am or so. 

In the middle of all this international activity-walking right through T-D’s center portal-was Tom Davy from London, England. T-D met Tom in 1995 as the school’s “Dare to be Wise” program was unveiled. “Wise” for T-D was an acronym for Wales Ireland Scotland and England.

Tom Davy was housed by the Murray family in ’95. Michael Murray, who graduated from Holy Name, was an outstanding T-D upper schooler then. Mike went on to RPI and then St. John’s Law School. He currently works in the City and for the City in cyber security. Mike will soon be a new father.

His bride is also a T-D alumna, Dr. Jennifer Rubenstein. Each time during Tom’s ten-plus visits to the U.S.A. he has been a guest of the Murray family and enjoyed the warmth of their home in New Rochelle as well as the other Murray home in Long Beach Island, New Jersey. The next time Tom visits the Murray family he’ll probably discover Northern Westchester as Mike and Jen are shopping for houses there. Tom is now 42 years old and is a practicing podiatrist. Ever since 1995 Tom has been putting his right foot in….. 


Douglas E. Fleming