Alum Profile – TrendZen

Angela Adkins Downes (class of ’87) and member of the Alumni Board brought us this profile of a Greenhill Alum and Parent working together.

Greenhill Alum, Lauran Plaskoff Weiner ‘86 and Greenhill parent Debbie Tobias (Jordi 7th grade and Nikki 6th grade) are the owners of TrendZen, Dallas’ hottest new retail concept. The business fuses active attire and lifestyle clothing for todays women-on-the-go.

Launched in April 2012, Weiner and Tobias sought out complimentary partnerships with spas, yoga and Pilates studios, and individuals, hosting trunk shows while they awaited the finish-out and completion of their mobile boutique. TrendZen now embodies Tobias and Weiner’s original vision – a beautifully appointed store on wheels, featuring a changing room in addition to custom designed built-in racks and shelving showcasing their hard-to-find lines. The TrendZen truck, “Truxie”, has been rolling around town for more than two months and is often seen parked around the metroplex filled with excited customers.

TrendZen offers active-wear as well as stylish lifestyle apparel, all made in the U.S.A. and not typically found in the DFW area. The lines they have chosen combine the highest quality performance and fit, along with comfortable yet stylish looks that compliment the active woman’s lifestyle. Tobias and Weiner have become known for the personal attention and honest feedback they share with fellow ‘yoga-moms.’ “Our customers enjoy shopping with because they value our honesty and attentiveness,” states Weiner. “It has become our trademark.” Look for TrendZen to make appearances at many upcoming events in Dallas, the Grand Opening for Authentic Yoga Life in Denton, and its regular schedule stops at We Yogis studio.

For more information on TrendZen, visit their website at http://www.trend-zen.com , the Facebook page, and twitter @trendzen.

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Coach Hall, Lorene Richardson and Wayne Hines to be honored April 26

Some may call it an end of an era. Three beloved members of the Greenhill community have announced their retirement at the end of this school year. They will be celevbrated during the inaugural alumni weekend this week.

Coach Dick Hall started at Greenhill in 1971 and is true to form has stayed very busy and has impacted many students over the years. He currently serves as the Director of Sports Center, Assistant Director of Summer Programs (Sports) and coaches Middle School Soccer. Until 3 years ago, he was Head Soccer Coach.

Lorene Richardson has been at Greenhill for 46 years, for 40 years she spent her days making sure the Greenhill community was well fed. Her favorite recipe is her fried chicken. Retiring at 74, she is looking forward to catching up on things at home and spending time with her husband.

With great passion, for 25 years Wayne Hines has taught generations of Greenhill students proper conjugation and a love for Spanish and French in the upper school. He has been called a “Samurai of Romance Languages” and Greenhill’s own “Encyclpedia Brown”. In retirement, he will spend his days with his wife, Dr. Elena Casariego, of 43 years.

We’ll be celebrating them during the inaugural alumni weekend (April 26 to 27), at the Farewell Reception, Friday, April 26 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. in the Montgomery Library, following a day on the hill with Alumni.

To learn more about alumni activities on Friday, including the kick-off picnic, “Back to Class” Seminars, and the Farewell Reception; and Saturday activities including Family Fun Day at Top Golf, and the evening Alumni Reception, click here. All events are free; registration is greatly appreciated.

2013 marks a milestone year for the graduating classes of 2003, 1998, 1993, 1988, 1983, 1978 and 1973. For information on class reunions, click here.

LA Reunion

We returned to the Sunshine state for a reunion in Los Angeles. It’s been two years since our last event and we brought two favorite faculty members again this time. Corbin Doyle, Film and visual art teacher, and Art Hall, Director of Equity and Inclusion. Both have been at Greenhill School for at least 14 years!

A group of 40 alumni, faculty and friends gathered at CorkBar to reunite. Many alumni have stayed connected to each other within the entertainment industry and some are even living together! We found out that one ’87 even lives directly above CorkBar.

During our trip, we got to meet up with Lesli Linka-Glatter ’71, a Distinguished Alumni winner. Lesli Linka-Glatter was recently named Executive Producer of “Homeland” and is heading to North Carolina to film the award-winning show. Lesli has directed feature films along with television shows like “True Blood”, “Mad Men”, “Heroes”, “NYPD Blue”, “Weeds”, “The Good Wife”, and “Pretty Little Liars” among many others.

Add Greenhill School to your LinkedIn profile and increase your connections!

The alumni office at Greenhill is just great. The whole team works constantly to provide programming, connections and engagement. Today, I wanted to let you know more about Greenhill on LinkedIn and ways that you could use it for professional networking and resources. The alumni office has provided some tips below on using LinkedIn and connecting with alums.

First, if you haven’t already joined the Greenhill Alumni Networking Group group on LinkedIn, do so now. Here, you’ll see posts about job opportunitites, you can post your own listings or start a conversation (or weigh in on one) about a professional topic you just want a little advise or feedback on.

Second, LinkedIn can help you with your job search by keeping you connected with alumni. Typically, people who share a school in common have an ongoing affinity. You can rapidly increase the chance of someone considering your LinkedIn request if you and that person are alumni of the same school.

– Add Greenhill School to your list of Schools attended on your LinkedIn profile. Many of our alumni seek younger graduates to fill internship or entry level positions in their company. Also, some alumni choose to use LinkedIn as their main social network instead of Facebook, so this might be a good way to find former classmates not participating on other networks.

– Your next stop should be LinkedIn Alumni, a tool that provides you with information about where your fellow alums work, what they do and where they live. The tool pre-fills the years you attended a school listed on your LinkedIn profile and shows you the classmates who attended at the same time. For a broader search, you can enter additional graduation years. www.linkedin.com/alumni

Search by Employer, Job Function, and Location
Those blue horizontal bars at the top are clickable. For example, select “Legal” and your Alumni results are re-sorted to show those connections who work in the legal professions. And the re-sort includes the Employer and Location listings (“Where they work…” and “”Where they live…” in LinkedIn’s user-friendly labeling system).

Search by Dates Attended or Graduated
Tiny pulldown menus at the top right of the main window let you set the chronological window in which you’re searching for fellow alumni. Or you can click on “Attended” and select “Graduated” instead, to focus on alumni from a single class year.
– Use the Find Classmates function available in Add Connections (that link at the top right corner of any LinkedIn page) to look for classmates from the schools in your profile.

– Check the connection list of any of your contacts who attended school with you. This is a good safety check to look for any classmates on your contacts’ lists who you might not have initially considered.

– Connect as a former classmate and ask for information first, referral second. Your shared alumni status will help open the door, but don’t expect a golden handout right away. Be ready to offer one of your contacts in exchange for the former classmate’s help or consideration.

Networking with alumni is an effective and often very enjoyable form of networking for job seekers. Have you had success networking with alumni on LinkedIn?

Creativity

Last night, sitting on the couch, flipping through my smartphone and social feeds, one particular article caught my attention from Psychology Today discussing the decline of creativity over the last couple of decades in America. The article pointed the finger at perpetual scheduling and pre-planned activities, Scantron testing where there is no gray area for a different approach to solving a problem. There seems to be no room for play in today’s typical education system.

I glanced away and thought about my time at Greenhill – a home away from home from 7:30 to 5:00 where we were encouraged to explore different solutions, to have some unstructured free time during the day to make our own decisions on how to spend our time – whether we studied or explored. Greenhill encouraged us to participate in life and to develop our own interests and personalities. We were provided a safe place to fail and then were never left alone while overcoming that failure.

There is one lesson of “safe” failure that has stayed with me since Upper School. Our class was studying Calvinism in Upper School. I will gladly admit today that I had not done my reading for class, but not that day – and I think it must have shown. Dr. Cox asked me about what Calvin meant by the walls. Not willing to admit I hadn’t read, she and the class allowed me to spend 10 minutes describing these walls, which were not exactly on point. I was given credit on creativity, and was then asked to read the assignment and be prepared to discuss during my free period the next afternoon. The takeaway for me was two-fold. First, there is no substitute for preparation. And second, fast-talking can get you in trouble.

What I have really grown to appreciate post-The Hill is how much a Greenhill education has contributed to my life. The subjects we studied, the experiences I had, the free exchange of ideas, and the comfort in knowing there is not always just one answer. Sometimes, you have just need a different perspective to see a new solution.

This time of year…

I love the holiday season for many reasons but mostly because it gives me a chance to pause and reflect. While I was watching the kindergartners perform the Nutcracker yesterday, I couldn’t help but remember when my  own son was Chinese tea last year. As an employee and parent, I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to see this School through his eyes every day.
For him, Greenhill is Camelot, Oz, Narnia, Hogwarts…a truly magical place. I appreciate his adoration of school as I also loved school. I feel that I grew up playing on the floor of my Moms’ high school classroom and later enjoyed having her as a principal – shockingly enough. Schools have always been very special places to me. However, as much as I enjoyed school, I do not remember loving it as much as my son does.
It is wonderful for me to see how much he feels at home here mostly due to the faculty. I feel I have a better understanding of the love alumni have for Greenhill by watching my son. It makes me very appreciative not only of the exceptional education and experiences he is gaining but moreso because he is loved here for who he is.
In my nearly two years here now, I remain thankful for that and to all of the alumni and faculty that have made me feel a part of the Greenhill family. Happy holidays to all alumni and their families and all my best for a wonderful 2013!

– Whitney

A night before Thanksgiving – Alumni Holiday Reception

From the alumni relations perspective, many aspects of the 2012 – 2013 term are markedly different than they’ve ever been.  Among many other changes, we’ve modified the very successful “Trending Topics” luncheons, and we’ve added a full alumni weekend in the spring (more details to come!). One other change is the combination of the traditional alumni holiday reception – the one that normally takes place in the library – and the pre-Thanksgiving alumni happy hour. The new reception took place on Wednesday, November 21 and was a huge success.

This year, over 110 Hornets kicked off the holiday season at Sevy’s on the evening before Thanksgiving. As the pictures show (below), the reception was well attended and, unsurprisingly, Greenhill alumni are very attractive. However, the attendees weren’t limited to students alone; current and former Greenhill teachers were in attendance as well – including, Headmaster Scott Griggs, Jack Oros (my former AP Statistics and Precal teacher) and Elaine Velvin (my 7th grade advisor and Texas History teacher).  Mr. Oros and Ms. Velvin were worth the price of admission, alone… ok, the price was $0.00, but you get the point.

To those of you that didn’t make it out, you should come next time. Nothing says “The Holidays” like getting together with a bunch of people you haven’t seen in a while and drinking alcohol that someone else provided! Special thanks to the Greenhill Alumni Association for sponsoring the event and to Sevy’s for hosting and providing the delicious food and drinks. See you next year!

Warm Regards,

Nick S., Class of 2000