We’re delighted to introduce the class coordinators for the 2020 Milestone Reunions. In bringing alumni together, organizing a memorable day for their classmates, and fundraising for their class gift, class coordinators play a key role in strengthening the HCHS alumni community. We are thankful for their time and efforts.
From alumni of ’15 organizing their first reunion, to the alumnae of ’55 who have stayed engaged for decades, it is our pleasure to share the diverse backgrounds and accomplishments of the men and women serving as our current class coordinators.
|Joy Levien ‘5Sophie DITTMAN Heymann Jan. ’45|
June C. ROSS Marks ’45
Elaine SCHWIDE Blackman Jan. ’50
Phyllis LEKASHMAN Glantz Jan. ’50
Judith SEGAL Zabar Jan. ’50
Olivia HALMOS Grayson ’50
Marlene ADER Lerner ’50
Eva MASTER Kaplan ’55
Anita VALENTE Mule ’55
Eleanor PRUGER Seepes ’55
Jeanette ISENBERG Bersh ’601 Jan.
Risa Stabin ’51 Jan.
Sheila Goodman ’56
Joan Grabe ’56
Lucille NELSON Richards ’56
Helene WILLIAMS Spierman ’61
Leonore Tiefer ’61
|Elaine P. Brand ’65|
Mildred Kalik ’65
Sara ROBBINS Schoenwetter ’65
Susan Neidich ’70
Maria Rychlicki ’70
Lisa Braun ’75
Deborah B. Kahn ’75 Esq.
Sheila Anderson ’80
Laura Haight ’80
Jean Tom ’80
Keith Kaplan ’85
|Nina Habib-Spencer ’90|
Lori A. Hoepner ’90
Allison BRYANT Mantha ’90
Ian Wright ’90
Anthony J. Accurso ’95
Laurie Beth EHRLICH Emmer ’95
Judd Kessler ’00
Max Sarinsky ’05
Benji Goldsmith ’10
Nikhil Krishnan ’10
Brent Morden ’15
Pravir Samtani ’15
Sophie Heymann, Class of Jan. 1945
Occupations: Buyer, Alexanders’ Dept Stores, Elections specialist, ABC TV, V.P. Finance, Abeles and Heymann, Inc., Gubernatorial appointments: NJ Board of Pharmacy 28 years, Palisades interstate Park Commission 2014 -present. Elected official: Closter Borough Council 1998-2006, Mayor 2007-2014, also numerous and ongoing Borough Board appointments. Non-profit boards: Bergen Co. American Red Cross, Bergen County Girl Scouts, NYU Alumnae Association, Temple Beth El of Northern Valley, Community Resource Council of Bergen County, Adler Aphasia Center, and others.
Honors: Among others: NJ Housing conference, HWC, Women’s Political Caucus, Am. Red Cross, Knickerbocker Hook and Ladder Co., NJ State League of Municipalities, NJ HIstoric Preservation, Hunter College Wall of Fame, and the naming of a Closter playground for me.
Family: Husband Lee (died 2002), four happily married children, and six wonderful grandchilden.
June Marks, Class of 1945
After College I was an intern in the NYS Dept. of Commerce- then in PR at the Republican State committee followed by being a rent examiner, working in my Mother’s antique business before marrying and starting my own business (mfg and designing women’s and children’s tennis wear) for 45 years. Have had to give up tennis but walk, exercise, play bridge, and spoil my dog. My politics have changed.
Phyllis LEKASHMAN Glantz, Class of Jan. 1950
From the moment I walked into the Hunter College auditorium, on the day of the test for HCHS in the fall of 1945, I knew I belonged. 10 years for high school, college and grad school. Hunter is in my blood, and, of course, I loved the high school the best. There I learned leadership and friendship and received a fine academic background. Teaching secondary school math was my career in the Bronx at Walton High School. After retiring in 1995, I became a mentor for new teachers over 7 years, finally giving up when I moved to New Jersey. I am a member of the Hunter College Hall of Fame and the recipient of an Alumni Recognition Award for Service to the Alumni Association and to Hunter College. I’ve worked on all the high school and college milestones since we have had them.
I was widowed 2 years ago after 64 happy years of marriage. My wonderful family keeps me quite happy: 5 children, 16 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. They all live in NY, NJ, and PA, except for a couple of grnadchildren who settled in Boston. I enjoy playing bridge 3 times weekly and Scrabble on Friday mornings. There are also a number of clubs in our community, so I am kept as busy as I would like to be. I am very fortunate.
Olivia HALMOS Grayson, Class of 1950
Don’t know what I expected the next 70 years (ye gods!) to be like, but here’s what happened. Last 63, usually still happy, married to Les Grayson. Moved away from NY for 2 fabulous years in Ghana, which led moving away to Charlottesville as he changed careers. I never had a career, first two lovely little girls, then moving around. Loved it when I did social research and international cultural consulting. Last 15 years back in Midtown NY, two daughters, and three granddaughters usually around. The 13-year-old, Alex, now at Hunter, has danced in NYCB’s “Nutcraker,” and other ballets, for the past five years.
Marlene ADER Lerner, Class of 1950
After Hunter High I attended Barnard College majoring in mathematics, followed by a graduate degree from NYU’s Courant School of Mathematics. My first real job was in the engineering department of AT&T. That lasted until my marriage and a move to the DC area. But Southern Bell did not hire ladies in their engineering department in the 1950’s. So I then got a job at The Service Bureau, a division of IBM, and became a computer programmer. Next came children and a move back to the New York area, specifically New Rochelle, where I’ve lived for the past 59 years. There I encountered the HCHS math teacher who had turned on my interest in mathematics. She was the math department chair of our local high school. This led me to a 25-year high school career teaching math and computer programming. After retiring, I became active in my husband’s acoustical company, but have had time to indulge in attending our local IONA College’s learning in retirement classes, volunteer at my synagogue, take part in local civic activities, travel and just try to enjoy life.
Eva MASTER Kaplan, Class of 1955
Eva received her B.A, cum laude from Hunter College in 1959 – and has been honored by induction into Hunter’s Hall of Fame in 2015. Graduating from NYU with an M.A. in Interrelated Arts (1964), her dissertation, The Interrelationship of Poetry and Art, is the recipient of numerous references. Eva has curated state, national, and international conferences and events in psychology, education, the arts, and chromo therapy. She worked for New Jersey Council for the Arts, designed New Jersey Arts for Individuals with Handicaps’ Passport to Space, led tributes to Raoul Wallenberg, organized ecumenical programs, and is an exhibiting visual artist. She attributes her involvement in academia to the opportunity of being mentored by the astute and caring teachers at HCHS. Not to mention continuing friendships with classmates.
Anita VALENTE Mule, Class of 1955
I received a B.A. from Hunter College in 1959. My major was Romance Languages. My minor was in Education, and it required more credits than the majors! I was an elementary school teacher for a short while. I then worked as a health claims assistant for Travelers Insurance. I left that job, which I loved, when I learned that the (male) employees we were training were earning more than we (females) were. When I had my first child, I became a stay-at-home Mom. I raised four children, and after fifty-three years, we finally became empty-nesters. I have been involved with HCHS reunions since they were re-instituted in 1965 (our tenth). I made many friends through working on reunions, women I had not known well in school. It has been very rewarding. I hope for a relatively good turnout, given our age and various infirmities. Come on, Class of ’55. Let’s show ’em what we are made of!
Eleanor (Ellie) PRUGER Seepes, Class of 1955
While I do not have that full resume of academic and civic accomplishments, I can quietly boast a life rich in experiences and personal accomplishments. I used to think I had let down my HCJHS/HS legacy, but now I can look back at hundreds of accomplishments that enriched my life and, I hope, helped society in many small ways. My career listing includes medical office management (2) and international tourism industry accomplishments. The latter is far too long in listing–those corporations and nations for which I introduced and accompanied Americans.
Bronx, Manhattan, Paris: my addresses. On the Upper West Side for most of my life, I have quietly contributed in many ways that reflect my civic pride; assist local elected officials; use my botanical skills where possible and attempt to instill such in others; after-school tutoring; volunteering for the League of Women Voters; seasonal volunteering with Goddard Riverside Senior Center; advocating for my 247-apartment building with agencies. Quietly screaming and begging where necessary with some of these offices.
Two marriages many years ago, with three stepsons and one daughter (Stuyvesant HS). Alas, incurable orthopedic disability. Together, she and I offer daily and overnight care for small dogs at home—wow, at 82 I am working almost full time; seasonally, neighborhood brownstone gardening. Just completed a solo visit, 18 days, to eight European cities. My never-expected amazing health is indeed a rich blessing, as is my early gift of an education at Hunter.
Jeanette ISENBERG Bersh, Class of 1960
I am Jeanette Isenberg Bersh the Class Coordinator of 1960. I was born in the Dominican Republic due to WWII and came to the US at the age of 4. My parents were very eager for me to attend Hunter. I started in seventh grade. I have been planning reunions and trying to keep class communications contact current for 40 years when I found 169 women before the internet. It “ain’t” easy. Our class was very friendly with Mr. Kizner; he came to all our reunions and had us hysterical with his Hunter stories. We are a remarkable group of very interesting women graduating just before there were really equal opportunities. I worked for the labor department and then for our own mailing and fulfillment business with my husband, that also “ain’t”easy. We look forward to seeing each other every 5 years and sharing our news.
Susan Neidich, Class of 1970
I have been coordinating my class reunions for the past 15 years and had worked on the class 20th and 30th reunions before then. My class was the last to spend six years and graduate from the “Castle” at 930 Lexington Avenue. We have been well connected these past fifteen years and have held gatherings on several non-reunion years. Thanks to email, a now defunct yahoo group and Facebook, we have been able to keep in touch on a regular basis. The Centennial Class is looking forward to celebrating our 50th reunion next June and is hoping to get as many classmates as possible in attendance to at least one event.
My life journey has included living in Israel for over a decade. I have children and grandchildren who give me much joy. I have worked in the non-profit world for over the past two decades and am currently the clergy assistant in a synagogue outside of Philadelphia.
Jean Tom, Class of 1980
I am excited to continue to help coordinate the Class of 1980 reunion activities. I am so thankful for my experience at Hunter and the many friendships made over the years. This class is unique as the first co-ed class and an incredible level of camaraderie maintained over the years. It feels natural to be able to give back to the class in this way. When not working on reunion activities, I am busy working at Bristol-Myers Squibb where my team develops the chemistry and processes to enable new compounds becoming medicine and I help bridge industrial and academic interests in the chemical engineering profession.
I am also excited to be working closely with our Class of 1980 Co-Coordinator, Sheila Anderson, Esq. (Maryland). In addition, Laura Haight (New York) is spearheading our Fundraising Initiative this Fall. This is truly a collaborative effort, so please reach out to us in the upcoming months. If any class member reading this is not part of the Facebook Class of 1980 group, please join.
Keith Kaplan, Class of 1985
I am very excited to help my friends and classmates gather and commemorate our individual and collective growth, into what is now a cohesive group of truly wonderful and supportive people. I am always amazed by how many social media friends we maintain from our Hunter days 35 years ago- more than a third of our class. Through Facebook, we still coordinate mini reunions; exchange continuous messages of humor, family and career advice and mutual encouragement; and yes, we feverishly discuss politics and policy. I guess it’s the luck of the “Wham Bam Thank You Clam,” making this all possible for us.
My wife and I are both CPAs in the public sector, and we live in Saratoga Springs, NY, about 180 miles north of 94th St. We have a son and daughter who are in their twenties, and we are adjusting to empty nest life with volunteering, as well as outdoor and art-related hobbies.
Ian Wright, Allison BRYANT Mantha, Nina HABIB Spencer, and Lori Hoepner,
Class of 1990
Ian Wright returns for a second tour of duty chairing the Class of ‘90 “Otter Confusion” committee of Allison BRYANT Mantha, Nina HABIB Spencer, and Lori Hoepner (pictured, far left to right, along with Bridget GORIS Klein from 2014 Reunion committee). Ian reunited with Maria CARDONA Wright ’90 (picture #2) at their fifth reunion, and they wed shortly after their tenth reunion. He is forever indebted to these gatherings! Nina and Lori are gearing up for coordinating their fourth celebrations of HCHS togetherness, while Allison is signing up for her second act, too…
Ian and Nina commiserate over the college application process for their oldest kids, while Lori (who also married a classmate, Jeb Harben ’90, after reuniting at their tenth reunion) is avidly watching their progress for her oldest. Lori, Ian, and Maria fret over the NYC Deptartment of Education school choice processes for their sons, who’ve just started attending rival Brooklyn public high schools. They have called out repeatedly on Facebook for additional committee members, and have wrangled assistance from Nancy YAO Massbach & Emily Klein… and hopefully more to come, so join us!
Anthony Accurso and Laurie Ehrlich, Class of 1995
Anthony Accurso is excited to join Laurie Ehrlich in the planning of the fifth of our five-year reunions. The ethos of the Pinball Lizard lives on within all of us. We look forward to seeing everybody and seek to build a fun and meaningful weekend based on inclusivity and family friendliness.
Anthony Accurso returned to NYC from Baltimore in 2016. He is a primary care physician and addiction medicine specialist at the Family Health Centers of NYU, Brooklyn. He lives in Park Slope with wife and two elementary aged children. He still enjoys convening his friends for music jamming and explores Brooklyn in search of exceptional pizza slices and empanadas.
Laurie Ehrlich is excited to launch into the planning of our quarter-century reunion with Anthony. We hope you and your families will join us to catch-up and reminisce.
Laurie Ehrlich is the head of legal operations at Cognizant. She lives on the Upper West Side with her husband and her two daughters. When her family isn’t monopolizing her time, she likes to cuddle up with a good book or head out for some west coast swing or fusion dancing.
Judd Kessler, Class of 2000
Judd Kessler, class of ’00, is ecstatic to be helping coordinate Apocalypse Cow’s 20th reunion. His memories of Hunter vacillate between time spent in the GO office, Brick Prison productions, and playing for Hunter basketball teams. Over the past two decades, the love of Economics that Mr. Adler inspired in him in 10th grade has grown into a PhD and an academic career. He is now a tenured professor in the Business Economics and Public Policy Department at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, teaching undergraduate and MBA students—including a good number of HCHS alums—the principles of Behavioral Economics. His friendships from Hunter still run deep, and thankfully so, since a friend from Hunter introduced him to his now wife. Consequently, Hunter can rightfully take credit for their son and two daughters. They all live on the UWS—about one mile from the brick prison—further evidence of Hunter’s ever-present gravity on his life.
Max Sarinsky, Class of 2005
Max Sarinsky is excited to coordinate the reunion for the Class of 2005 following a successful reunion five years ago. Max considers his high-school class to be the most dynamic group of people he has ever encountered, and he remains close friends with many of his classmates. Hunter has continued to have an enduring influence on his life in many other ways: More than fifteen years since Dr. Kagan’s international relations class first engaged him on the issue of climate change, he now works on the issue full-time as an environmental lawyer at a non-profit organization. And after bouncing around various New York neighborhoods over the past ten years, he is now happily settled in South Harlem, less than two miles from the school, and occasionally pays the arches a visit following a stroll through Central Park.
Brent Morden, Class of 2015
Brent Morden is excited to serve and give back to the community that gave him so much. After graduating from Hunter, Brent attended Columbia University (B.A. in Music ’19, Magna Cum Laude). The skills, habits, and mindsets that Brent developed at Hunter served him well through college and beyond. At Columbia, Brent actively composed, arranged, conducted, music directed, sung, and served as a leader for many student arts groups. Nowadays, Brent continues to work as a freelance composer, vocalist, and actor. Brent’s Hunter connection also extends into his work with Every Voice Choirs, a non-profit kids choir program founded by Hunter alum Dr. Nicole Becker, in which many current Hunterites sing. Brent still lives in Queens and takes the 7 train to Manhattan just like back in the day!