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Friday Conversations

Alumni pairs reflect on their time as Titans
During two school-wide student assemblies during Trinity's 50th anniversary school year, pairs of alumni shared reflections on their time as Titans. Focusing on the essential community threads that continue to be woven into the fabric of Trinity, these conversations have encouraged the community to maintain these values ever onward into Trinity's future.
On November 11, Margie Snead ’85 , director of admission and head field hockey and girls lacrosse coach, sat down on stage with her longtime friend and colleague Hillary Grotos ’77, admission associate and events coordinator. Each first walked onto campus during the school’s earliest years, and each returned to Trinity to work in departments, like admission and development, dedicated to highlighting the best of Trinity and welcoming both newcomers and alumni to campus. It was not hard for them to identify the common themes of community and relationships among students and teachers over their decades as Titans.
“When I was a student here, we had over 400 students in just the academic building and the original gym, so you can imagine it was a little squishy,” recalled Grotos of the school’s first years, where “giant plastic curtains” hung to separate the gym into classroom spaces. “Physically the school was very different, but the feeling was the same. Everyone has always been very open, very honest. Everybody is accessible.”
“When I came in ‘81 I didn't realize how young the school was,” said Snead. “To think about the energy in the building, and how everybody loved to be there and how we were all a part of building something that turned out to be pretty darn cool.” When she returned as a staff member, she felt just as welcomed. “The thing that draws people here today is what drew me in back then.”
Both Snead and Grotos recalled raising children that not only attended Trinity but called the campus home even in strollers. “Some of my children came from public and some from independent schools, but all had an easy transition coming in because everyone was new,” said Grotos. “What impressed me as a parent was that my children found something they had no idea they were interested in before they came to Trinity.”
On December 2, Rick Hamlin ’96, social studies teacher and head girls soccer coach, interviewed Chris Markunas ’01, guitar and theater tech teacher, 
Both reflected on the values and lessons of hard work and toughness learned through their participation on teams — both athletic and artistic.
As both a soccer player and a member of the stage crew, Markunas saw these parallels firsthand. “They are all teams of a different sort,” he said. “You have to work hard, spend a lot of time together. If we do our job well, no one notices what we did. No lack of intensity in either department.”
He expressed his appreciation for the high expectations and responsibility given to him by his teachers at the time, like Brian Phillips. “I was given more jobs as a student than now. Overseeing things, teaching people as you go… being intentional and neighborly… Phillips taught the approach to whatever I'm pursuing, I already had the ‘work will get done’ mentality.”
For Hamlin that the intensity of some of his memories as a student athlete now help guide his approach as a teacher. “One thing we can appreciate is the time management that you all have,” he said. “I remember going to a practice, getting home at 6:30 and still having 3 or 4 hours of homework. Remembering what that’s like is important for us as teachers. “
He also drew a connection between his greatest memory and today’s students. “If you're fortunate enough to win a state championship, it's an incredible culmination of a lot of hard work, but it's not the winning of the trophy, it's the pursuit of the trophy and what it takes, the sacrifices you make, the things that you put yourself through. When you put yourself out there, it is a lesson for life no matter what.”

To learn more about Trinity's 50th anniversary celebrations, visit the Ever Onward page. 

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