Boston College Morrisey College of Arts & Sciences (B.A.), Boston College Lynch School of Education (M.Ed.)
A Derryfield alumna of the class of 2010, Alex earned her B.A. in Communication from Boston College. She rejoined Derryfield’s community in 2018 as the Assistant Director of Admission and went on to complete her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Policy from Boston College’s Lynch School of Education and Human Development in 2021.
In the summer of 2023, Alex became the Director of Admission, overseeing the admission process for prospective students and families from inquiry through enrollment.
Alix Reilly attended Drexel University to pursue a degree in psychology with a minor in anthropology. Post-graduation, while researching graduate school programs, she returned to Derryfield to support a long-held passion—the crew team. As an assistant coach, she was able to share her love of the sport with a new generation of Derryfield students.
Soon, however, Reilly secured a full-time position at the Nashua Children’s Home. She was assigned to the teen floor, where she was in a mentorship position. Reilley later transitioned to The Counseling Center in Nashua, where she served as the client intake specialist. Matching patients with the right care provider for their mental health needs exposed Reilley to the inner workings of the mental health field.
This exposure led to Reilly pursuing a master’s degree in mental health counseling from Rivier College. During her time in grad school, she worked as a case manager with Greater Nashua Mental Health. She also completed internships at Seacoast Mental Health Center and Monadnock Family Services. Upon graduating in 2021, Monadnock Family Services offered her a full-time position, and she is now a therapist master-level clinician. Reilly is in the process of submitting her application to become a licensed mental health counselor.
Reilly and her fiance plan to marry next year. She spends her free time planning her nuptials, crafting, crocheting, and kayaking.
“Derryfield fosters learning and exploration, it makes classes and the subject matter interesting but also fun. It has wonderful faculty that really makes you feel welcome and cared for. It also makes you do things you never thought you would. I never thought I would fall in love with crew like I did, but crew made me an athlete and I loved every minute of it.”
Mallory Rinker’s passion for theatre emerged at a young age. While a student at Derryfield, she received extensive theater, dance, and voice training, and performed professionally at The Palace Theater in Manchester. During her college days at the University of New Hampshire, Rinker enrolled in courses that focused on the backstage elements of theater. She quickly fell in love costume construction and design. After completing three years at UNH, she secured a full-time position at The Palace as a resident artist. Two years later, Rinker packed her bags and headed to New York City, where she hand-delivered her resume to 28 stage doors. Her first call back involved an Off-Broadway show, where she was contracted to be the wardrobe supervisor. Rinker’s next gig was with a national tour of Cabaret. Soon after starting, and after only five months residing in the city, she was presented the opportunity of a lifetime—the Broadway show Phantom of the Opera offered her a wardrobe supervisor position. Rinker worked there for two years, eventually advancing to the position of star dresser. Subsequently, Rinker dressed for multiple shows, including My Fair Lady and Frozen. She also started to delve into the field of marketing, working on social media for several companies.
After a few years, Rinker began to miss her home state of New Hampshire and her family, which prompted her move to Manchester in the fall of 2019. Rinker has since opened her own business, Mallory K Social, which focuses on organic growth strategies for Instagram for local New Hampshire businesses. She created the map for Taco Tour Manchester 2022, worked with a woman at IT Cosmetics, helped with social strategies for Shipyard Brewing, and also organized socials for notable Broadway actors.
In addition to her new business venture, Rinker recently graduated with an associate’s degree in marketing from Manchester Community College and was a 2022 graduate of the Leadership Greater Manchester program. She is very excited to see where her business takes her in the future.
“Derryfield helped me learn how to walk through discomfort and come out the other side shining. It gave me a space to be my true self, and to learn how to face challenges and never give up.”
Hobart and William Smith Colleges - B.A.
College of William and Mary - M.A.
A Derryfield alumna of the class of 1987, Kathleen received a B.A. in English from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. She happily rejoined her alma mater in 1996, and since that time has been involved in the Philanthropy & Engagement and Admission efforts in a variety of capacities, acted as a student advisor, and coached middle school girls lacrosse.
In the summer of 2021, Kathleen became the Director of Enrollment and External Affairs, a role that blends 25 years of experience at Derryfield in admission, fundraising, alumni, and marketing. She claims that the best thing about her position is “sitting in the crow’s nest” and witnessing the full scope of a Derryfield student’s life unfold–from prospective student to student to alumni–and being involved at every stage.
Mother to Miles ’17 and Parker ’21, Kathleen spends her spare time living the life of a domestic diva: cooking, baking, gardening, and obsessing over the bluebirds in the backyard. Bucket list accomplishments include three marathons, the Mount Washington Road Race, a trip to China to recruit international students, and skydiving. What’s next?
On any given day, you might find Bill Seney ’02 driving the Manchvegas Brew Bus or hosting trivia nights throughout New Hampshire. After spending time at Plymouth State University, Seney entered the sales industry. He liked what he was doing, but yearned for more adventure, leading him to move to Colorado to become a snowboarding instructor.
Seney eventually returned to live in Manchester and started working in the call center at Eversource, and also hosted trivia nights with his wife’s cousin, Cody. Bill eventually decided his trivia gigs were more profitable than his “day” job, and WAY more fun! Seney’s wife, Alli, proposed the idea for the Manchvegas Brew Bus. At first, Seney didn’t believe the venture would be profitable, but he and Alli took a leap of faith. He quit his job, and the Brewbus was fully operational within 6 weeks— taking groups on tours of local breweries in New Hampshire. Seney is also the owner of two successful small businesses, and is proud his work supports other small businesses around NH.
When reflecting on his time at Derryfield, Seney referred to himself as a “self-proclaimed lax-bro before it was a term.” Seney is grateful to his Derryfield advisor and hockey coach, Dudley Cotton, for pushing him and encouraging him to lean into his talents instead of others’ expectations of him. Using a grant from the city of Manchester, Seney will be installing disc golf baskets around Manchester this fall. He and his wife, Alli, live in Manchester with their two children, Alton (6), and River (2).
“Derryfield encouraged me to try new things and take risks. My advisor and coach, Dudley Cotton, encouraged me to lean into what I was good at and made me realize that I didn’t have to stick to the traditional path.”
Rich Sigel has dedicated his life to serving the citizens of New Hampshire by impacting political and social change in the community, earning him recognition as The Derryfield School 2005 Distinguished Alumnus. Sigel is the son of Derryfield Founders, Saul Sigel and Selma Deitch Sigel, two active community members with a vested interest in the future of The Derryfield School, and also Breakthrough Manchester, known then as Summerbridge. During his six years at DS, he actively developed his leadership skills, served as president of the school government for two years, and mentored younger students.
After graduating from Derryfield in 1981, Sigel studied political science at Tufts University. While an undergrad, he became involved with the presidential campaigns of Gary Hart and Michael Dukakis, giving him a taste of a career in politics. Additionally, he served on the McEachern for (NH) Governor staff, where he became acquainted with McEachern’s campaign manager, Jeanne Shaheen, current New Hampshire senator.
Sigel received his J.D. from The George Washington University Law School in 1992, and spent three years as an associate attorney with Wilmer, Cutler, and Pickering in Washington, D.C., specializing in securities enforcement litigation. He returned home to New Hampshire in 1995 to practice law with Devine Millimet but took a leave in 1996 when Jeanne Shaheen asked him to manage her campaign for governor. Sigel continued to work for Shaheen as chief of staff for six years, and then as the campaign manager of her 2002 senatorial campaign. Sigel returned to the law in 2003, working as attorney of counsel at Shaheen & Gordon, P.C. Sigel served as the chief architect of and senior advisor to John Lynch’s 2004 campaign for governor. Upon Lynch’s election, he named Sigel chief of staff, because, in his words, “Rich brings a passion to public service, along with a deep understanding of state government and the political process.” He was featured on New Hampshire’s Ten Most Powerful People list in 2009 and on the New Hampshire Business Influencer’s list in 2011.
Since 2012, Rich Sigel has been working as a senior advisor with McLane Middleton GPS, providing strategic advising and government affairs services for businesses and organizations. Sigel shared that the skillsets he uses each day were developed at Derryfield and have remained a common thread throughout his career. His love for management and effecting positive change started back at DS in 1975.
“I use the same skill set today as I learned and became passionate about at Derryfield. Organizing and moving things forward are what I really enjoy doing, and I’ve been able to help people because of the skills I picked up in leadership roles at Derryfield.”
Following his tenure at Derryfield, Ryan Stevenson attended Emory University—an apt suggestion from former Derryfield librarian Betty Jipson—where he pursued a double major in international studies and Latin. Stevenson felt well prepared as many of the published works he studied were concepts Derryfield has taught him. Similarly, he was able to double major in Latin because he had completed many of the course requirements needed while at Derryfield. After graduating from Emory, Stevenson began teaching Latin at The Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. Realizing the structure of the program was similar to his Derryfield experience, he introduced some of the same books to his students. He also implemented teaching techniques patterned after Gill Roberts and Chris McNeil. In addition to teaching, Stevenson helped with college counseling and found this part of his position to be rewarding. Specifically, he felt a passion for helping students find colleges that suited their needs and personalities—that would propel them to their next chapter beyond school.
After two years at The Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, he moved to Washington D.C. where he presently works in the field of international relations. Stevenson is also a Latin translator, and recently translated a Reformation-era sermon called Address at Regensburg, by Johann Eck, for an anthology. He has a deep appreciation for this Classical language and is grateful it has been a constant thread in his life.
“Derryfield gave me the skills to articulate what is on my mind and has provided me the tools to think critically and intellectually. Derryfield grows us to be lifelong learners with a passion to explore our own interests.”
After graduating from Derryfield in 1984, Chris attended Dartmouth College, pursuing a degree in computer science. Sweeney’s first job was at True Basic. He was originally hired as an application developer and tech support officer but rose through the ranks to become chief developer. After 12 years at TrueBasic, Sweeney became a freelance software developer. One of his clients was Dartware, a mapping program company, and they eventually offered Sweeney a full-time position. He took the original mapping program created for Mac computers and rewrote the code so it could be utilized by both Windows and Linux software. Sweeney remained at Dartware for about ten years as the director of software development. Next, he moved to ADP as the lead developer, where he focused on converting an applicant tracking system to flow into their payroll and ecosystems. After an eight-year tenure at ADP, he moved to his current position as an application developer at E-Closing.
Outside of work, Sweeney sang in the Handel Society of Dartmouth College, one of America’s oldest town-gown choral societies, and continued to sing in his church choir. To unwind, he loves to watch the Celtics and the Red Sox, enjoys reading detective novels, and spends time with his family.
“Derryfield always kept me interested, the school let me be an athlete one day and be cast in the spring musical the next. Derryfield taught me how to love learning and thoroughly prepared me for my future. Everyone there was bright and motivated. It was a relief to be with like-minded folks, instead of being the odd one out.”
Upon graduating from Derryfield in 2016, Phil Tatro was looking forward to a college experience that would show him what he didn’t know he was missing. Phil found this enlightenment of sorts at Pace University in New York City, where he studied arts and entertainment management. Tatro remembers the transition from small town New Hampshire to the Big Apple as transformational. As the bustle of NYC opened the world for Phil, he found himself doing an internship in a non-partisan government think tank. Recalling a love for history while at DS with Mr. Berk, Tatro decided to continue his deep dive into government and public affairs. Currently, he is interning at the United Nations doing work in publications and public information. Some of his current projects include a sustainable development book club for students in countries like Brazil, Portugal, and Japan; marketing for the UN; and sustainable practices within the publishing industry. He will attend Indiana University in the fall of 2021 to pursue a masters in Public Affairs.
“Derryfield curriculum allowed me the space to try small portions of everything because of how caring and engaged the whole community was. Those later manifested into things that were much more significant in my life” – Phil Tatro ‘16
Martha VanderWolk is a lifelong progressive educator who, as an eighth grader, was a member of the first student body at DS. She fondly recalled having a great amount of autonomy at the young independent school. After experiencing the intense academic curriculum at Derryfield, VanderWolk was bored by her college curriculum and left after completing her first semester. She later entered the Goddard College Adult Degree Program. VanderWolk shared that without a progressive program that supported single mothers and working people, she never would have completed her subsequent five degrees.
VanderWolk then applied to the Graduate School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, now known as the Goldman School. She earned her masters in public policy with an emphasis on property taxation and its effects on environmental policy and school funding. After completing her degree, she moved to Canaan, VT, and began searching for positions in public policy. She was delighted to discover a teaching position at Goddard, her alma mater. VanderWolk fell in love with teaching over time and shaped the curriculum at the Adult Degree Program to change the way education is approached. She earned her teaching license and spent 25 years working in public schools.
In 2011, VanderWolk “retired for the first time,” and bought the Sturtevant Pond Campground in McGalloway, ME. She exited retirement to become a professor of statistics and sustainable businesses and communities at Plymouth State University. She enjoyed this work but missed teaching children. She then assumed a new teaching role at a tiny middle school in northern New Hampshire before retiring (again), and selling her camp. In the fall of 2020, a local school was desperately seeking a math teacher, and Vanderwolk happily re-emerged from her second retirement. After a long year teaching within the restraints posed by the pandemic, she retired for what she thought would be the final time. However, history repeated itself and VanderWolk accepted another teaching position in July 2022 where she continues to feed her passion for guiding elementary school teachers in shaping their curriculum.
VanderWolk recalled her five years at Derryfield as a wonderful time of her life and shared her gratitude for the way DS informed her view of education. She doesn’t know how long she will remain in teaching, but she is excited by the prospect of instilling the educational values she learned at Derryfield with more of her students.
“Being involved in the founding of a new school was really fundamental as an educator for me. The sense that we as students had as really having a stake in the school; we were part of the shaping of the school.”
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