Ackerman to Bonner

Sam Ackerman is “a freelance writer living in Virginia, with his wife Liz and their children Hannah, Holden, Endicott and Simon, their dog Diego and cat Mango. Go, go, go.” He has his own business, Caliban Creative, which provides copy writing and marketing materials (brochures, ads, web copy, etc.) “I owe it all to ‘How to Succeed in Business’ (a long-ago NCCL class, in case this is being read by someone who wasn’t there in the 1970s). At some point when you work from home, with your children running around, the distinction between ‘work’ and ‘fun’ starts to blur, but I suppose for fun I mostly do things with my family (weekend trips, reading, music, bowling, going out to eat, etc.) and watch football and basketball when I can. We dream of one day owning enough land somewhere that I can justify owning a rider mower — not so much because I want to own one, per se, but because it would be nice to own that much land. Hello and ‘best wishes’ to anyone who remembers the old NCCL building and, what the heck, anyone who doesn’t. I’d like to close with my favorite David Sedaris quote: ‘The beauty, and the horror, is that no one remembers but you.'” He is also a freelance writer, and has recently taken up bullfighting.

Henry Ackerman is working as a photographer and has his own rock band. He plays the guitar and has written over 80 songs!

Colin Adams-Toomey graduated with double firsts in Irish and Drama from the University of Aberystwth in Wales. He is currently living in New York City where he is attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Colin was fantastic as the pirate king in NCCL’s production of the Pirates of Penzance this past spring. He attended Wilmington Charter School (2000-2001 SY). He appeared as Bob Ewell in the Cab Calloway production of To Kill a Mockingbird. He is appearing with the Christmas Revels in Media, PA in December 2000. Colin was honored as a Rising Star for academic excellence during his Freshman year at Charter.

Molly Adams-Toomey (NCCL class of 2002) is a graduate student at Binghamton University (2009). She is a music/theater double major, studying voice and piano. Molly did a super job as the accompanist for the Pirates of Penzance at NCCL. She was at NCCL since she was 5. Upon graduation Molly said that it was very important to her to make the world a better place for others. Molly is very busy in her spare time, she likes to sing, act, write, draw, run, and she also plays the piano and Celtic harp. Writing and art are her favorite school subjects. She feels that both these subjects are a good way to express her feelings and show others a new way to look at life. She is excited and nervous about meeting new friends and teachers there. She is also looking forward to expanding her knowledge and interests in a new school atmosphere. Molly’s NCCL years have been highlighted by “meeting interesting people, being in plays, and being encouraged to act and sing and write, and forming a bond with the teachers who help me.” She also found the camping trips a great way to get to know her teachers and classmates better, and they taught her the meaning of teamwork.

Caroline Ailanthus is living in Newark, sailing with the tall ship Kalmar Nyckel, free-lance writing, and soon hopes to get a job maintaining hiking trails. She and Thera spent 6 months hiking the Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to Maine, in the spring of 1999. They raised money by having a garage sale at NCCL and sent postcards to the school to mark their journey. They did a post-trip presentation at NCCL when they returned in October 1999.

Thera Ailanthus has been living in Burlington, Vermont. She will spend the summer of 2002 helping to build earthships (eco-friendly housing) in Canada, and maintaining hiking trails in the Green Mountains. In the fall she will be living somewhere, doing something cool.

Nick Almendinger is at UD where he received his master’s degree in Geology and is working on his PhD. in Geology. He thinks back fondly on NCCL.

Julius Amici works for Telcot Electric and is taking classes at UD.

Michael Amici works as a cook and has a 4 year old daughter.

Peter Anderson graduated from UD in December 2000 with a degree in Economics. One summer he biked across the U.S. from D.C. to San Francisco to raise money for Habitat for Humanity. He teaches tennis on the side.

Whitney Anderson graduated from Newark High School and was one of the year’s Valedictoria. She is a junior (2001/02) at Northwestern University in Illinois, studying theater, musical theater and playwriting. “I have been very fortunate in my opportunities here and in the professional theater world, and I couldn’t be happier to have pursued this avenue of study. I offer much credit to NCCL for introducing me to the arts. I vaguely remember demanding that 1st graders be allowed to audition for the musical, then low and behold I made my theatrical debut as a kitten in NCCL’s musical revue of Cats). I also believe it was NCCL that bred the courage I have mustered to pursue it professionally, as well as the confidence so necessary to succeed. Thank you. Bette, Debbie, Marilynn, Ray, and Nora, I am glad to see you are still teaching! And to those who came after my time, congratulations on finding such a special workplace! I hope you are all doing well and that you are surviving these hard times with smiles and optimism!”

Victor Arriaza (Class of 2010) is attending St. Andrews.

Heather Balder Healy graduated from Tatnall as an Honor Roll student. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Delaware with a degree in Early Childhood Education and belonged to the Golden Key Honor Society.  She now has 2 children who attend NCCL and one child who graduated NCCL in 2015.  They aren’t the first alumnae’s children to attend NCCL, but they are the first teacher’s (Bette’s) grandchildren. Heather works in the office at NCCL, leads parent child music classes, teaches children’s yoga, teaches aerial yoga, volunteers at Newark Natural Foods and performs locally in professional and community musical theater.

Sarah Barnthouse graduated from Newark High School where she played soccer. She is a freshman (2000-01 SY) at Franklin Pierce majoring in media and broadcasting. She still plays soccer.

Max Barnthouse is attending Newark High School. He plays soccer and enjoys snow and skateboarding and fly fishing.

Brynna Bartoo (Class of 2016) will be attending Padua Academy.

Ward Bauscher is a construction superintendent working for a company involved in building public works projects (such as bridges). He will become a partner in the company during the next year.

Sophie Becker-Klein (NCCL class of 2014)  Sophie will be attending Cab Calloway School of the Arts as a drama major.  Sophie says “My first year at NCCL, I joined Drama Club. That was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made. I had always loved acting before, but being in Drama Club has assured me that this is what I want to do with my life. Janice and Joe always pushed me to do my best, and that has gotten me so far, not only as an actor, but also as a person. I have learned to be confident in myself and to support other people.”

Lori Bellamy is living in Seattle and has been working as a metalsmith. She is excited that she has been picked up by a gallery in San Juan Islands. She has taught 7th grade science, has been an actress with the Santiam Actors Rep, and has also taught dance lessons. She enjoys writing poetry, hiking up mountainsides and twisting her beginner’s body into the pretzel shapes of yoga. She is working on getting the two novels that she has written published.

Stephen Bellis is a freshman at UD (2000-01 SY).

Dylan Belnavis-Flexner is attending Juniata College.

Emma Berger graduated from Newark High in 1998. She attended the University of Delaware in the summer of 1997 and studied various mediums at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1998-2001. Emma believed that everyone could tap his or her creative self; one favorite quote, “Life is a work of art, designed by the one who lives it”. She believed that her purpose as an artist was to expose all forms of ignorance, prejudice and exploitation in society. She took her art to the streets, organizing political rallies across the country. Emma died at age 21 in a car crash near Albuquerque, NM when she was returning from HI. She lived her beliefs and affected so many people’s lives; her family loved her very much and will miss her deeply, as will all of us at NCCL who knew and loved her. The family would appreciate all contributions to be made in Emma’s name to Prevent Child Abuse DE, 100 W. 10th Street, Suite 715, Wilmington, DE 19801, so that her most recently completed artwork, a coloring/activity book for Delaware school children can be published and distributed for years to come. The purpose of the book is to raise awareness of potential exploitive behaviors towards children and to teach personal safety rules.

Blair Berger is attending the University of Tampa, majoring in chemistry and marine science. She graduated from Newark High School where she plays soccer.

Soren Bieber-Schneider graduated from Sanford and is a junior at Franklin & Marshall College (fall 2001). He has a double major in Anthropology and English. Soren is planning to go to law school in the future. He will be spending all of next semester studying abroad at the University of London. In the past few years he has grown to love traveling and has been to Ecuador, Kenya, and Tanzania most recently. He’s planning on bumming around Europe during the month-long term break while in London and should get to see quite a bit more of the world then. “I really value the years that I spent at NCCL and look back on them with feelings of happiness. Still an NCCLer at heart, Soren.”

Emily Bieber-Schneider is attending Parsons New School for Design (Previously – Emily attended Sanford where she enjoyed field hockey, chorus, biology and math. She is now a senior at Delaware Valley Friends School in Paoli, PA (2001/02). “It’s been a great year so far. I am working on my college applications and am going to apply to art and liberal arts schools. I am working on my art portfolio in my studio arts class and also in photography. I also took a fashion class at school and think that might be what I want to major in, but I am not sure. Over the summer I spent 5 weeks in New York City and took an art class at Parson’s School of Design. That was a great experience and I learned a lot of new art skills. A few weeks before I went to New York, I traveled to Africa for 2 weeks. We went to Kenya and Tanzania, went on many safaris and saw many animals. That was one of the most amazing places I have ever been.”

Gabriel J. S. Bisio (NCCL class of 2002) is majoring in electrical engineering at the University of Delaware. He started at NCCL when he was 7; he is now 14 years old. He enjoys playing video games and watching TV in his spare time. In the fall of 2002 he will be attending The Cab Calloway School for the Arts. Art and Math are his favorite subjects. He is looking forward to entering a new learning environment in the fall, however, at the same time is hesitant to move forward. He will always carry his experience with the apprenticeship program with him. Gabe states “the apprenticeship program is a unique and morality promising program that has taught me a lot about the business world.”

Hallie Block went to Penn State, majored in history and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. She lives in Arizona where she and her husband have recently bought 40 acres of land and built their own home. They have two children. She works in the area of organic farming and has been awarded a grant to teach poor people how to grow and produce organic food. She also writes a column for a monthly newspaper.

Kelly & Lois Blough moved to Texas where Lois is Trauma Program Coordinator for a local Hospital. Kelly is working on a Ground Water Flow model for Edwards Air Force Base.

Chris Bohner has taken a job with the UK branch of her company, Zurich. She is an attorney and does insurance law. She was London setting up a program and people there asked what they could do to keep her there, so she told them, and started her new job the summer of 2000.

Kate Bohner moved from writing a column for, the Wall Street Journal’s Internet magazine, to anchoring the company’s first internet all-day business show, The Trading Desk. You get to it from She does about 3 one hour hits a day (11-12 is one). Previously, she graduated from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism with an M.S, wrote for Forbes as editor and columnist, co-wrote Donald Trump’s Art of the Comeback and then was on-air as a correspondent for CNBC.

Russel Bohner got married in October 1999. He and his wife moved to Chicago, where Russ began his first year at Seabury Western Seminary (Episcopalian) – connected to Northwestern.

Bruce Bonner is the Chief Operating Officer of the Children’s Literacy Initiative in Philadelphia. He left the for-profit world in 2004 to work at CLI – a not-for-profit dedicated to increasing children’s literacy skills. This has been a humongous change in his personal priorities. Fond memories of NCCL continue to surface – especially as his second niece Kaitlin graduates from NCCL, thirty years after his NCCL graduation. (Preiously he said that life continues to be festive and enjoyable. He works as a financial advisor to the Chairperson and CFO of Urban Outfitters, an international retailer headquartered just a three-minute moped ride from home. Socially conscious activities have him working as president of the local civic association, and as an AIDS hotline coordinator. He volunteers with the Red Cross to assist with aquatics/swimming for the handicapped. He and his partner recently purchased ten acres in the Pocono’s as a weekend home and “have more trees and deer than we know what to do with” Bruce says, “wood-working skills taught by Ray are utilized on an almost daily basis as we continue the renovation of our home, while spell checker and a little luck keep me under Jean’s five spelling-error rule.”)

Stephanie Bonner (NCCL Class of 2004):Stephanie will be attending Oberlin College in the fall of 2008 as an Environmental Studies major. She continues to play piano, sing, and, yes, still reads avidly. (My name is Stephanie Bonner. A lot of people call me Stephie (which I hate, but cannot change) or Stephanie B, or Bonner. I’ve also tried to change that one too, but as I spent three of my four years at NCCL with another girl in the school named Stephanie, it doesn’t work either. I’m thirteen years old, and my favorite subjects are Writing, which is the greatest; Art; and when I’m in the right mood, Math. I love to read, sing, and paint in my free time, but I don’t do enough of the latter at home. I plan to attend Cab Calloway next year, with a major in Communication Arts.)

It’s exciting to go to a school where a major part of the curriculum is a subject that you are good at, and like. But on the other hand, it’ll be kinda scary to get on a bus for the first time in four years, find new classrooms in a huge school while balancing five textbooks, notebooks, and a large binder. At NCCL, all I need is my backpack.

I came to NCCL when I was in fifth grade, right after I had graduated from Wilson Elementary. It was a hard decision to come here, because all of my friends (and I mean it, each and every one), were going to Bancroft. I was pressured on both sides to go to both schools. I’m so glad I came here though, because of the many things that NCCL offers that I could find nowhere else. At Bancroft I could have never gotten small classes where I know every single person in two grades. I would have never gone on camping trips with the whole class, NOT THAT I ENJOYED THEM! I wouldn’t have met all the teachers in the whole school, worked on a mural for other people to enjoy for generations or a hundred other things.

NCCL was like a second home that I spent half my days at. I’m sorry that I’m leaving, but excited for what’s ahead. In my latest writing piece, my last sentence is, “So, if you’re looking for a place that thrives on energy and creativity, Newark is the place to be.” But I definitely believe that NCCL could use that title too.

Kaitlin Bonner (class of 2007) is attending High Point University majoring in elementary education. She graduated from Conrad Schools of Science where she majored in biotechnology and animal science. She also taught gymnastics and played softball. She is in the National Honor Society and Key Club. She still loves horseback riding.