6-7s Building Study: Progressive Education

Big Night Out! 2019

Big Night Out! 2019

MCS Director Michèle Solá, Honorees Ana María Archila and Lee Gelernt '75, and MCS Board Chair Gisele Shorter '91 at Big Night Out! 2019
MCS Director Michèle Solá, Honorees Ana María Archila and Lee Gelernt '75,
and MCS Board Chair Gisele Shorter '91 at Big Night Out! 2019

Big Night Out! 2019 was a resounding success - a night when the value and impact of MCS’ mission and program were reflected in multiple generations of alumni, past, current and future families and faculty, as well as friends of the school and the remarks of the 2019 honorees. Thank you for helping us to raise more than $336,000, an all-time record for our gala and 33% more than we raised in 2018.

Special thanks to all of our honorees - Lee Gelernt ’75, Anand Balakrishnan, Dan Galindo and Judy Rabinovitz of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project and Ana María Archila of the Center for Popular Democracy.

Special thanks to all the community members who pitched in to make the evening authentically MCS, including:

  • Master of Ceremonies Alison Stewart
  • Presenters Daniel Altschuler ’96 and Debo Adegbile ’80
  • Co-Chairs Amy Weinstein and Vanessa Potkin​
  • Jody Watermeyer for the flowers
  • Parent volunteers at the event
  • Young alumni volunteers from classes of ’15, ’16, and ’17
  • Teachers and staff and those who donated tickets so they could attend
  • Tom Haynie for printing another gorgeous program book
  • Valeria Luiselli for helping to secure copies of Tell Me How it Ends for all BNO! guests
  • DJ Stretch Armstrong (aka Adrian Bartos ‘83) for the great music​
  • 4-5s to Eighth grade families and the families that will join MCS in September
Honorees Anand Balakrishnan (l) and Dan Galindo (r) of the ACLU
with Presenter Debo Adegbile '80 (center)

As MCS director for nearly 20 years, I was deeply moved by the sense of hope this year’s honorees inspired. I share here a short excerpt from Ana María’s acceptance speech:

It’s so meaningful to be here tonight because in many ways what brought me to this school, as a mom, was a search for refuge for my child – a place where I could have the certainty that the seed of freedom that is in every single one of our hearts and that we recognize so clearly when we look at the eyes of someone new in this world, that that seed of freedom would be nurtured every day.…I have so so much gratitude and a sense that with this practice of democracy and community we will in fact build the country of our dreams…

Whether you attended, volunteered, bought a staff ticket, made a gift to fund-a-need or supported the auction, we are inspired by and grateful for all the ways members of the community continue to support the mission and program of Manhattan Country School. We humbly thank you.

Michèle Solá