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#KnowYourPelicans: The Development Office
Posted 05/12/2017 12:05PM

Know Your Pelicans - Development Office


#KnowYourPelicans: The Development Office

[l to r: Dona Laughlin, Susan Moore, Aaron Heflich Shapiro, Shriya Bhargava-Sears, Sara Shulman]

Photo by: Raoul Brown


What do you do for Packer?

Sara Shulman, Director of Development: I help advance Packer's mission, vision, and goals by coordinating the philanthropy of our wonderfully generous and thoughtful community.

Shriya Bhargava-Sears, Development Associate: Through my work I build relationships within the Packer community. I assist my colleagues in their philanthropic and community-building efforts for the school. I especially love to plan events, like the recent Special Grownups Day in the Kindergarten.

Aaron Heflich Shapiro, Manager of Database Services: I make sure that the rest of the Development team has the information they need to advance Packer's mission and connect our community!

Dona Laughlin, Director of Alumni: I'm a time traveler... I help to connect the past to the present to the future. For instance, The Valentines Project connects our current students to our historical past, to our alumni, and to the idea that they too will be Packer alumni. Our alumni and students share many of the same experiences — May Day, Founders Day, and Chapel — that connect them to Packer and to each other, no matter when they were students.

Susan Moore, Director of Annual Giving: My job is to help the school have the funds to give every student and faculty member the resources they need to thrive here at Packer. I do this by asking parents, grandparents, parents of alumni, and faculty to help support Packer's mission and our students with a gift. I love my work — I get to partner with many wonderful volunteers and an amazing community that supports our extraordinary school in so many ways.

What is your favorite thing about Packer?

Sara Shulman, Director of Development: I love showing our school to friends and colleagues who don't know what lies beyond the doors on Joralemon; that moment when they see our Garden is awesome! My personal favorite spot is the huge round stained window in the Middle School looking out into the garden. Too beautiful.

I'd be hard-pressed not to say May Day this week! I just find the dancing and singing of our students to be pure and joyful

Shriya Bhargava-Sears, Development Associate: There are many things at Packer that make me happy but what brings me great joy is that Packer supports the staff in participating in the life of the school. I especially cherish my interactions with students.

Aaron Heflich Shapiro, Manager of Database Services: The fact that it feels a bit like Hogwarts! And feeling all the youthful energy that's around. Nothing warms my heart more than being around the Lower School kids in the dining commons!

Dona Laughlin, Director of Alumni: I have a few. The dedicated people who work here. They give their hearts and souls to Packer every day.

The energy! Seeing students working in the halls, their animated conversations with their teachers, the affection and respect.

This beautiful campus that embodies the spirit of the school. As Harriet Packer said, the buildings should reflect the "elevating influence to be found within its walls."

Susan Moore, Director of Annual Giving: What I love the most about Packer is the feeling of joy and passion for learning that permeates the school. There's nothing I enjoy more than walking through the halls and hearing snippets of conversations and discussions wafting out of classrooms, study groups, art rooms, dance studios, club meetings... Even in quick overheard conversations, the intellectual and creative enthusiasm of teachers and students alike is palpable.

What is something that few people at Packer know about you?

Sara Shulman, Director of Development: I was the shyest kid ever and my family thinks it's too amusing that I'm a fundraiser. I've been scared of birds for my entire life and I'm particularly fearful of pelicans. It's a problem!

Shriya Bhargava-Sears, Development Associate: I occasionally teach Bollywood dance to Packer students. I was a sprinter in high school and in my freshman year I became the champion of my division on sports day. As a child, I had a dozen penpals from all over the world! I also met Mother Teresa!

Aaron Heflich Shapiro, Manager of Database Services: Before working at Packer, I had a very different career. I spent nearly a decade working as a professional stage manager, where I organized the logistics of live plays, musicals, and operas! I'm also really good at running off for adventures in the far reaches of the world (in Morocco, Kenya, Australia, the Philippines and more) whenever Packer is closed for a break!

Dona Laughlin, Director of Alumni: I was a Packer Trustee for nine years. All told this is my 28 year as a member of the Packer community.

Susan Moore, Director of Annual Giving: I might to this day be living in Colorado and working for a whitewater rafting company if my parents hadn't suggested (somewhat forcefully) that I go back to college...





Previous Pelicans:

Kindergarten Teacher Anne Montero

Upper School Science Teacher Alice Lurain

World Languages Teacher Su-Ling Huang

Upper School Art Teacher Eric Baylin

Preschool Teacher Lynnette Arthur

Middle School English Teacher Todd Johnson

Physical Education Teacher and Coach Rich Domanico

Food Services Member Ann Martinez

Lower School Librarian Chris Rush

Upper School Computer Science Teacher Louis Minsky '09

Upper School History Teacher Monika Johnston

First Grade Teacher Irene Turner

Interim Chair of the Arts Department Ali Boag

Middle School Dean of Student Life and Health Teacher Bessie Oster

Fourth Grade Teacher Tim Jensen

Middle School Math Teacher Ashley Greene

Upper School Choral Director Esther Liu Harris

Upper School English Teacher Eric Weisberg

Facilities Staff Member Luciean Seaforth

Director of Global Outreach, Service, and Sustainability Tené Adero Howard '91

Administrative Assistant for Student Services, College Counseling Lydia Monzio

Lower School Associate Teacher Annabelle Baylin

Middle School Administrative Assistant César Ayala

Instrumental Music Coordinator Paul Riggio

Second Grade Teacher Sara Baumrin


The Packer Collegiate Institute
170 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 250-0200
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