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Prep for Prep: Alumni and The Future of the Program

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Dear fellow Prep for Prep and PREP 9 alumni,

We hope this note reaches you in good spirits. We write to share our concerns about the organization that connects us all—Prep for Prep—and to call upon all alumni to express their concerns to Aileen Hefferren, Prep’s Chief Executive, and Prep’s Board of Trustees by signing the Prep for Prep: Alumni and the Future of the Program petition.

Over the past decade, drastic changes have taken place at Prep that have caused an increasing number of alumni to feel disconnected with the organization in which we literally grew up. The first was the unceremonious departure of Prep’s founder, Gary Simons. Then came the change to the Prep seal without any forewarning to the alumni. Most recently, Prep announced the retirement of Peter Bordonaro, Deputy Executive Director & Director of Academic Programs, but has expressed no intention to retain him in any substantive capacity within the organization, contrary to what has been done for departing executive staff members, Dominic Michel and Jonathan Mills. The latest event is the restructuring of Prep’s Admissions Department which resulted in the removal of esteemed Prep alumna Tarmla “Tammy” Small and left the admissions office devoid of anyone with significant experience in finding and evaluating PREP 9 candidates. Moreover, there is not one decision-maker in the entire department with any independent day school or boarding school experience.

Over 100 years of combined Prep expertise and institutional knowledge has been lost in the last two years (Peter, Tammy, Dominic and Jonathan). When it comes to the Prep Brand and Culture, we alumni have a vested interest in ensuring that the organization that raised us continues on a positive course. We must make our voices heard when the organization fails in its commitment to Prep and our fellow alumni. Most of us will and have done anything for Prep: donating to the alumni giving campaign; offering internships to students; and featuring in the Annual Report and at the Lilac Ball. However, Aileen and the Board of Trustees must realize that we are willing to support Prep to the best of our abilities, but only to the extent that it recognizes us as important stakeholders to be considered when making structural changes to our organization.

To this end, we are calling on you to take the following actions:

1) make your pledges to the Alumni Giving Campaign for this fiscal year but withhold making the actual donations; and

2) refrain from attending Prep events, including the Lilac Ball.

For those of you who have already made your gift to Prep, please consider requesting a refund and ask that your supporters do the same. Also, sign the Prep for Prep: Alumni and the Future of the Program petition and feel free to leave a testimonial.

Remember, we are the embodiment of Prep’s motto: Excellence, Integrity, Commitment and Courage. Leaders don’t just happen!

Thank you for your time and consideration and make sure to share this letter with fellow Prep alumni.


Erick Espin (P9 VI)

Renee M. Chung (XVII)

June Arrington-Pena (P9 VI)

Esosa Ogbahon (P9 VI)

Christian Pena (XIII)

Asia Witherspoon (P9 VII)

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