Top Banner

of 48

The Jag - Fall 2015

Jul 25, 2016



The Wellington School Magazine Fall 2015

  • FALL 2015

    Creative Freedom inthe Classroom


    Cynthia Callender Dungey: Building Bridges


    Class of 90: Second to None

    45 ALUMNI

  • Dear Friends, SAVE THE DATEThis fall, I had the honor of giving the first Wellington Distinguished Alumni Award to Cynthia Callender Dungey.

    A member of Wellingtons inaugural graduating class in 1989 and currently Director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Cynthia was a natural choice for this recognition; though perhaps not for the reasons you would expect. Her path to success was neither easy nor simple. Upon accepting the award at the Alumni Weekend Breakfast in September, Cynthia was quite candid about the challenges

    she faced, both academically and socially, as a new student at Wellington, receiving an education that stretched her further than she ever thought possible.

    What helped her face her fear of the unknown, Cynthia recalled, was the staunch support of our school community.

    Teachers and students alike embraced and encouraged her during moments of self-doubt and uncertainty. She found strength and confidence in her vast capabilities when those around her professed an unwavering belief in her potential. Wellington was a second family to her, and the deep connection she formed with the school as a teenager still resonates with her today.

    As Head of School and a parent of two alumni, I can say with great certainty that Cynthias experience at Wellington is not uncommon.

    Whether a student, parent, or faculty member, past or present, we all have a powerful bond as Jaguars. With a shared dedication to impact the

    world for the better, our school community strengthens as alumni continue to travel across the country and world for opportunities in higher education and successful careers. Throughout this issue of The Jag, you will

    find the many ways in which current students, empowered by innovative curriculum and self-directed learning under the guidance of expert faculty members, are already making their mark on the world before they even graduate. Inspired and courageous, Wellington students have no boundaries in the pursuit of their ambitions. The only question is where will they go next?

    Warm regards,

    E DI T O R : Yvonne Johnson P 25 27 C O N T R I B U T O R S : Laura Cooke 90 P 21 21 24 27, Yvonne Johnson P 25 27, Lindsey Smith P 26, Erik Willers 90 C O P Y E DI T O R S : Melanie Eggleton, Caroline Haskett P 19 20 22, Laura Cooke 90 P 21 21 24 27, Sally Saeger Stratton, Jeff Terwin, Erin Noviski, Jill Webb P H O T O C R E DI T S : Chris Cooke P 27 24 21 21, Laura Cooke 90 P 21 21 24 27, Juli ODonovan P 19, Debra Gill P 17,Caroline Haskett P 22 20 19, Rob Luikart, Craig Mosier 01, Carolyn ONeil P 22 20, Cindy Ray P 25 22 20, Chris Robbins P 22 17, Abbey Slee, Sharla Starker P 22 17, Marlo Tannous P 16, Mimi Taylor P 18 16, Jeff Terwin, Kelly ZavotkaD E S IG N : Bluewave Creative

    T H E JAG is published by The Wellington School for all members of its community. Please send any comments to Yvonne Johnson at


    Inspired and courageous, Wellington students have no boundaries in the pursuit of their ambitions.

    6:30 P.M.

    All Things Wellington9th Annual Curriculum Night







    Cynthia Callender Dungey:

    Building Bridges

    Faculty News

    Wellington Grads Have the Spirit of Adventure

    Creative Freedom in the Classroom

    Award Winners

    Imagineering a Better World

    Lower School Talks Numbers

    John Kruzan: Renaissance Man

    The Xin Perspective

    What Is Pos Ed?




    O N T H E C OV E R : Alexander Khan 27, Paige Thompson 27, MadJo Hyudzu 16, Michael Dolciato 27

    6:30 P.M.

    Wellness at Wellington

    Writing is Discovery26

    Deep Dive Into Marine Biology










    Ian Frim 19.

    Alumni Weekend 201540

    Wellington AthleticHall of Fame


    Hyzdu Can Do

    PAGE 24


    I like sharing my own experiences and struggles with young kids. I want to be a role model for others.

  • 2 T H E JAG n FALL 2015


    2 T H E JAG n FALL 2015


    Cynthia Callender Dungey: Building Bridges

    When Cynthia Callender Dungey 89 was called to the Lincoln Room at the Ohio Statehouse in the middle of her work day, she was uncharacteristically at a loss for words.

    Fortunately, upon finding Governor John Kasich waiting for her, Dungey also found her voice and was able to engage in a deeply philosophical dialogue with the governor about the best way to help Ohioans in need of assistance find jobs and prosperity. By the end of the conversation, the accomplished lawyer and Chief of Staff of the Ohio Department of Medicaid was asked by Kasich to take on a new role as Director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

    In leadership, I believe you have to be ready to serve, Dungey said one bright

    afternoon this fall in her office overlooking Downtown Columbus and

    high above the statehouse in which she first found herself entrusted with the oversight of 3,000 employees and the lives of 1.7 million Ohioans receiving aid. I always wanted to be a social worker and save the world. If you want change, you cant stay on the sidelines.

    Dungey is as inspiring to meet as she is warm and personable. Always smiling and quick with a joke, she speaks directly but in an inviting manner that draws in everyone around her. She is thoughtful and measured but never reserved. Her passion for helping people is palpable and one cant help but tear up at the poignant stories she tells of those in need. One such story involved an

    PICTUREDCynthia Callender Dungey 89 with Robert Brisk P 13 15

  • 4 T H E JAG n FALL 2015

    internship Dungey had at Childrens Hospital during her senior year of high school at Wellington. She worked in the Family Abuse Unit of the hospital and co-authored a published article about pediatric hand injuries often indicating child abuse. After making the connection that abusive parents would often attempt to correct a behavior by harming a childs hand, such as forcing a childs hand on a hot stove as punishment for touching it, Dungey realized not all families were healthy and happy like her own.

    There are times when Im driven to tears by the work I do, she said, but I always remember that I have the opportunity to change lives.

    Dungeys own life was forever changed when she first visited Wellingtons campus as a high school sophomore from the near east side of Columbus. She can still vividly recall walking through the halls and seeing the science and computer labs, feeling immediately that the learning potential in such an environment would be limitless. When she enrolled the following year, Dungey found herself struggling not only with a challenging curriculum but also with the fact that, for the first time in her life, her classmates did not look like her.

    It caused her to wonder about her identity, former Wellington English teacher and college counselor Chris Williamson said. Cynthia had to fit into two very disparate worlds. She told me she would change out of her uniform on her way home on the COTA bus to avoid being different at home, even as she was dealing with being different at her new school. She described Wellington, not in a disparaging way but genuinely, as La La Land for her, and for her neighbors, yet for her this unreal ideal school became part of her reality. She was determined to make it work.

    Along with confronting a sense of otherness, Dungey faced another fear that could have crushed her. The fear of failure. She realized that despite being an honors student at her previous school, the course work at Wellington was far more advanced than she had been accustomed.

    For the first time, I had to face the possibility that I wasnt going to be at the top, she said. It was important for me to take personal responsibility and do what I needed to do to be successful.

    Dungey quickly set to work, teaching herself 10th grade curriculum at night while also keeping up with her current 11th grade classes. While she did indeed do what she needed to be successful at a new school surrounded by new people, Dungey will always feel indebted to the faculty members and fellow students who embraced her and encouraged her every step toward achieving her goals. The individual attention she received from her teachers, including the creation of a Spanish class solely for Dungey, allowed her to ultimately excel academically far beyond what she could have ever imagined.

    She also began to think differently about the world and her place within it. Teachers like Sam Stewart inspired her to ask difficult questions and have the personal drive to find answers. When it was time to consider colleges, Williamson guided Dungey through the daunting selection process.

    I remember Mr. Williamson spending a lot of time with me, Dungey said, telling me that I shouldnt rule schools out simply because of cost or whether they were close to home. He opened up all my options.

    She went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in political science and sociology from DePauw University and then a juris doctorate from the Ohio Northern University College of Law. Fresh out of law school, Dungeys dedication to public service led her to the attorney generals office where she worked in healthcare fraud. In all of her roles throughout her career, she has found preparation