Ryan Clinesmith Joins BWL
Richard Pan

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Ryan Clinesmith as a Lower School teacher and Assistant to the Headmaster. As Assistant to the Headmaster, Mr. Clinesmith will be working on a variety of projects to enhance the school’s program and mission. In addition, he is co-teaching Mr. Carnabuci’s twelfth grade course, The Outsider in Literature, as shown in the photo. Ryan Clinesmith attended The Calhoun School and graduated from The Hill School in Pennsylvania. He holds a BFA from Emerson College and has been on the faculty of LREI. An accomplished writer and poet, he is the editor of The Poetry Distillery and The Poetry Barn. The poem that follows was originally published in Gravel Literary Magazine. We are delighted to welcome Ryan Clinesmith to BWL and know that he will contribute greatly to our community. 

Folgers Classic Recipe

Sits on the bottom shelf

in the bathroom,

a deluxe size container

Filled with everything

but coffee;

rocks, tampons, a hairbrush,

rubber bands once shot

in the kitchen, a ball of clay -

a failed miniature wolf

from a pottery class,

scissors, old things

long ago duplicated

like the house

around the Folgers container,

a wooden memory

of forgotten pasts.

By Ryan Clinesmith

Originally published in Gravel Literary Magazine

WinterFest Kicks off the Holiday Season
Richard Pan

WinterFest featured an evening cocktail party for parents, followed by a full day of shopping with a wide range of vendors represented. With something for everyone, WinterFest brought the BWL community together.


Vladimir Salamun Featured at the Bruce Museum
Richard Pan

The Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut is now showing a piece by one of BWL’s own working art faculty, Vladimir Salamun, as part of its signature fall exhibition. 

“ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection” celebrates the prevalence of tools in our lives. With over 40 pieces that transform everyday tools into thought-provoking images and objects of beauty, the exhibit includes a sculpture by Mr. Salamun entitled “Siamese Hammer Joined at the Handle.” 

Members of the BWL community are welcome to view this exhibition through December 30. For information about directions and museum hours, please call (203) 869-0376 or visit the Bruce Museum Website.  Click on the photos to enlarge them.


Fall Fair Brings The Community Together
Richard Pan

The Parents' Association and Fall Fair Chairs coordinated this popular BWL tradition, with teachers and parent volunteers joining forces to make the afternoon a huge success.


The Birch Bots Team Leads the Way in Robotics

The Birch Bots, otherwise known as Team 5421, is the Birch Wathen Lenox School’s FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics team.

The Birch Bots, otherwise known as Team 5421, is the Birch Wathen Lenox School’s FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics team. Our team got its start in late 2014, when Scott Mandelbaum ’16 MIT ’20 joined forces with Science teachers and Robotics mentors Ed Brown and Woody March-Steinman, creating a team with thirteen members. A few months later, in 2015, BWL won the “Rookie All-Star Award” which celebrates a rookie team exemplifying a young but strong partnership effort, as well as implementing the mission of FIRST to inspire students to learn more about science and technology. 

Although the Birch Bots is still a “young” team, membership has more than doubled in the past three years. Our goal as a team has not changed, and is in keeping with BWL’s educational philosophy: to improve our own abilities according to what the individual student is inclined to do. Regardless of one’s interests, abilities, or experience, all students in the school are encouraged to join the team and our journey of working together for competition and enjoyment.

The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is comprised of thousands of teams worldwide. Every January, FRC releases a challenge/game that requires teams to design, build and program a robot in the short span of six weeks. Our team has participated in the annual NYC regional event for all three years (each year with a new robot) as well as the 2015 St. Louis Championships and many off-season events including Monty Madness, the Where is Wolcott Invitational, Brunswick Eruption, and Girl Power, our most recent competition. Girl Power stresses the importance of female students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and the entire driver team must be composed of girls. While it was a smaller event than others that we have competed in, it was very enjoyable and successful. We ranked high and were able to pick our alliance partners, teams who helped us to fight hard through several playoff matches.

In June 2017 BWL competed in the Where is Wolcott Invitational (WIWI ‘17) for the second year in a row. While we started with several defeats, we were able to persevere and end up in first place, winning the entire competition. Early on in the competition, our gearbox had broken, preventing us from climbing a rope, one of our robot’s main abilities. This caused us to slowly fall further down in ranking. Unfortunately, by the time it came to picking teams, we were ranked 24th out of 25 due to our malfunctioning robot. Even so, we were invited to be on the top-seeded alliance, composed of two other wonderful teams. The captain team of our alliance admired our robot and helped to repair our mechanism in the very short amount of time that we had before we had out next match. After some daring changes, we proved to be an enormous asset to our alliance and ended up winning the entire competition.

At the end of September, the eighth annual World Maker Faire was held in Brooklyn. 200,000 people attended this family-friendly festival of invention. The Birch Bots team was invited to hold our own booth in the FIRST section of the Robotics area. We were able to show off our robot, explain the program to families, teach visiting children about the building process, and spread the ideas of FIRST into the wider community.

Our next event is a team favorite, Brunswick Eruption, on November 11th.

If you would like more information about the Birch Bots, or are just interested in hearing more from us, check out our Instagram (@frc5421), YouTube channel (@frcteam5421), and website (

BWL Welcomes Todd Harrity
Richard Pan

Todd Harrity is currently the top ranked U.S. Squash player in the world. He is a 2-time US National Squash Champion (2015, 2016).

Todd Harrity is currently the top ranked U.S. Squash player in the world. He is a 2-time US National Squash Champion (2015, 2016).

Harrity is a graduate of Episcopal Academy and Princeton University. At Princeton, he majored in Psychology and was a co-recipient of Princeton’s William Winston Roper Trophy, the Athletic Department’s highest honor, awarded to “a male senior of high scholastic rank and outstanding qualities of sportsmanship and general proficiency in athletics.” Harrity was also the National Collegiate Individual Champion in 2011, and led Princeton to win the National Team Championship in 2012, as well as the Ivy League Championship in 2013.

Since turning professional in 2013, Mr. Harrity has made meteoric strides up the World Rankings. After graduating from University in 2013, Harrity held a world ranking of 181. One year later, he held a ranking of #78. His career high ranking, achieved in December 2015 is #45.

At BWL, Mr. Harrity is an adjunct faculty member in student development. He is also a special coach for the squash program and an advisor to the Headmaster.