Waynflete alumni have contributed extensively to the life of the school and to the larger society.
Learn more about the following Waynflete alumni, as they look back on their experience at Waynflete and what the school continues to mean to them.
As a schoolteacher and pediatrician, Emily Frank ’04 puts lessons learned at Waynflete to good use
Speak with Emily Frank and you will quickly learn this: she likes to wear many hats.
After four years in the orbit of teachers including Wendy Curtis, Carol Titterton, and David Vaughan, Emily had become passionate about science. During the summer before her freshman year in college, a scholarship at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute provided her with an initial taste of medicine. It was a thrilling experience—“I couldn’t believe that people got paid to do research for a living,” she recalls.
Exploring the world of condensed matter theory with Ali Ghorashi ’15
Power up your stereo receiver, game system, or desktop computer. Wait a few minutes, then place your hand on the top panel. Feel the warmth? That’s waste heat, the result of the inefficient conduction of electricity. Multiply that effect by the billions of residential, commercial, and industrial devices and machines in use around the world and you’ll start to get a sense of how much generated power is lost as heat—and the resulting effect of that waste heat on global warming.
But don’t fret. Change is coming, and Ali Ghorashi ’15 is part of the team that’s on the case.
Rebecca Smith ’12 researching prehistoric climate change to better predict the world to come
For most of us, visiting a beautiful setting in Maine means taking in the views, basking in the sun, and perhaps looking out for local wildlife. Becky Smith thinks a bit differently. When she’s out in the natural world, she’s more interested in knowing what that particular spot looked like millions of years ago.
Izzy Parkinson ’09 mixes art, technology, and community at Google
Isabel Parkinson ’09 grew up in Kennebunk, but for most of her high school years, she considered herself an honorary Portlander. Immersed in a variety of sports and activities, with many close friends at Waynflete, Izzy often found herself in the city from early in the morning until late at night. “I would stay over at friends’ houses during the week, which was pretty special for high school,” she says. “That sense of independence was great training for college.”
Margo Walsh ’82 creates opportunities for hundreds of Mainers looking for a fresh start
In Malcolm Gladwell-speak, Margo Walsh ’82 is a “connector.” She became a successful recruiter after graduating from Wheaton College, working with organizations like Goldman Sachs and HR consulting firm Hewitt to “help put people with the right other people,” as she puts it. But in 2011, born out of her own experience recovering from substance abuse disorder a decade earlier, Margo left the corporate world to create MaineWorks, an employment agency whose mission is to create dignified working lives for people who face barriers to workforce re-entry, including individuals recovering from addiction, people with felony convictions, and veterans facing re-entry obstacles.
Navigating the Mashup with John Wordock ’87
John Wordock ’87 already had a half-decade of journalism experience under his belt when he entered Waynflete’s Upper School as a freshman in 1984. Graced with self-knowledge at a young age, he knew what he wanted to do (be a radio reporter) and where he wanted to do it (New York City or Washington, DC). “As a fifth-grader, I would get out my index cards and write down ball scores, headlines, and the weather report,” he recounts. “I’d read off the news pieces, play records in between, and record the whole thing on cassette tapes.”
Making the Leap to Better Healthcare Outcomes with Leah Binder ’80
Imagine arriving at your auto repair shop only to discover that technicians have accidentally replaced the oil in your car with water and have destroyed the engine. “The shop owner doesn’t go on to say, ‘And here is a bill for the water and a new engine,’” says Leah Binder ’80. “But this happens every day in the healthcare industry. Unsafe hospitals bill employers and government for fixing the consequences of errors, with little or no financial sting.”
Meet Carol Leavitt Adams ’47
Carol Leavitt graduated from Waynflete in 1947 and went on to a glamorous career on three continents. She is a woman of strong character with a delicious sense of humor and, above all, determination.
Her determination was always on display at Waynflete. Her classmate Gerry Arzonico Clement remembers Carol coming to school every morning wearing illegal and very red lipstick. Every morning, Miss Woodruff gave her a lecture and made her wash it off. The same scene was repeated every day for weeks.
Meet Matthew Page ’97
By the midpoint of his Upper School experience, Matt Page ’97 had developed two passions. The first was for England—the result of a yearlong experience in Plymouth, UK, as part of his father’s sabbatical from Bowdoin. The second: an affinity for the humanities, an interest nurtured by teachers like Debba Curtis.
Matt’s two passions converged when he began undergraduate studies in politics, philosophy, and economics at Oxford. He discovered that he was well-prepared. “Waynflete taught us that with strong writing, you have a survival skill,” Matt says. “In my line of work, writing well is an expectation. But if you write exceptionally well and pair it with an ability to think critically, you can make your ideas even more powerful and compelling.”
Meet Julia Merriam ’10
“Everything changed for me when I started at Waynflete,” says Julie Merriam ’10. Prior to entering Upper School as a sophomore, she had been shy and focused on academics. “But at Waynflete, I felt encouraged to try things that I had never felt comfortable doing before.” Julie took up lacrosse and field hockey along with other extracurriculars. “It helped me later in life to seek out the things I wanted to do. I doubt that I would have had that confidence without the Waynflete experience.”
During her high school breaks, Julie volunteered with Partners In Development, a nonprofit that helps improve the quality of life in impoverished communities in Haiti, Guatemala, and Mississippi through economic development, children’s programs, and housing and medical assistance. Julie’s teachers supported her global citizenship work. “I went to Haiti three months after the 2010 earthquake,” she says. “It had a real impact on me.” Julie wrote a paper about her experience, and her teacher, Taffy Field, helped her process the event. “I always had a lot of support when I was at Waynflete.”