Alumni Profiles

Sammi Cannold ’09, Director

Sammi Cannold is a director who is one of Forbes Magazine's 30 Under 30 in Hollywood & Entertainment, class of 2019. Recent theater credits include Evita (New York City Center), Endlings (New York Theatre Workshop, A.R.T.), Ragtime on Ellis Island, Violet on a moving bus (A.R.T.), and Allegory (La Jolla Playhouse WOW). Upcoming projects include Carmen (Lincoln Center w. MasterVoices), a documentary film, and a feature film. Associate director credits include the Broadway production of Natasha, Pierre... (dir. Rachel Chavkin). Sammi has also served as an Artistic Fellow at the A.R.T., a member of Cirque du Soleil's Creative Cognoscenti, and a Sundance Institute Fellow and developed work with Playwrights Realm, The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, New York Stage and Film, Cirque du Soleil, and Nickelodeon.

Rippowam Cisqua School - 2009
Byram Hills High School - 2012
Stanford University - BA, Drama and History 2016
Harvard University - MA, Arts in Education 2016

Christine Colley ’06, Commercial Real Estate

Christine Colley is an Executive Managing Director at Jones Lang LaSalle. Prior to joining JLL, she was a Managing Director at Cushman & Wakefield. Christine has been recognized as one of the most accomplished and talented young professionals in the real estate industry. With a transaction volume that has exceeded 3.6 million square feet of leasing, she has generated over $47 million of revenue for her firm. Christine is also a Founding Member of Chief, a private woman’s network headquartered in Tribeca. Chief was founded to support, connect, and unite the most powerful women in business.

“I am so incredibly grateful for my time at RCS,” she said. “The experiences in the classrooms, on sports fields and even on the stage, are memories that I will never forget. My closest friends are from RCS, including my maid of honor! RCS taught me so many valuable lessons, both inside and outside of the classroom, but I think the most notable being around leadership – throughout my 12 years at RCS, there were so many opportunities to enter into leadership roles, culminating in ninth grade, where I was voted Blue Team captain. Throughout my years, RCS taught me so much about how to be an effective leader, setting the foundation for boarding school, college, and my professional career.”

Rippowam Cisqua School - 2006
Groton School - 2009
Trinity College - BA, Economics and International Relations 2013

Jay Fischer ’00, Commercial Real Estate

Jay Fischer enrolled at the Rippowam Cisqua School in the fall of 1996 as a sixth grader, graduating as a ninth grader in 2000. Thereafter, he attended The Hotchkiss School and subsequently The Hotel School at Cornell University. After two years as a commercial real estate acquisitions analyst at a life insurance company in NYC, he enrolled at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania to pursue his MBA, double-majoring in Finance and Management. After 7 years of work in real estate investment banking and real estate private equity, Jay joined CPP Investments (Canada Pension Plan Investment Board) to acquire office and healthcare real estate properties on behalf of their US portfolio.

Rippowam Cisqua School - 2000
Hotchkiss School  - 2003
Cornell University - BS, Hotel Administration 2007
Wharton School of Business - MBA, Finance and Management 2012

Missy Walker ’07, Director, Current Series - Film 45

Missy Walker is a film and television producer based in New York City. She first discovered her passion for storytelling in her seventh grade English class at Rippowam. With a focus in the documentary space, Missy has produced programming for Netflix, FOX, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, A&E, and more. Missy serves on the Young Associates Committee of the Nantucket Conservation Foundation, with a focus on the annual Race for Open Space. She is a third-generation Rippowam alumna and is passionate about the RCS community.

Rippowam Cisqua School - 2007
Deerfield Academy - 2010
Tulane University - BA, English Language and Literature 2014

Taylor Simmons ’04, Fashion Entrepreneur

As a student at Rippowam Cisqua School, Taylor Simmons never thought she would launch or run her own business, and she never imagined working in the fashion industry. 

“Other than my Rippowam uniform, I only wore sports clothes,” Ms. Simmons jokes. 

But today, inspired by her grandmother's favorite silhouettes, her father's love of colorful prints, and her mother's love of timeless vintage, Ms. Simmons is the CEO of Coco Shop, an iconic 70-year-old clothing brand from the Caribbean island of Antigua.

"I absolutely loved my time at RCS. It not only prepared me well for boarding school, but instilled a love of learning that I’ve never lost. Some of my closest friends in the world are still my friends from RCS. I think we all feel like sisters at this point – friends that became family. There is nothing like best friends who have known you your entire life. I am so lucky."

Rippowam Cisqua School - 2004
Groton School - 2007
Harvard College - BA 2012
NYU Stern School of Business - MBA 2017

Madeleine Henry ’07, Author

After graduating from Yale in 2014, Madeleine Henry began work as an analyst at Goldman Sachs. She spent four years working in finance in New York City before choosing to focus full time on writing. Madeleine wrote comedy for The Yale Record, America’s oldest college humor magazine and was the editor-in-chief of The Exonian as a student at Phillips Exeter Academy. On July 9, 2019, her debut novel, Breathe In, Cash Out, was released by Simon & Schuster. 

"Rippowam provided an invaluable community of friends and teachers who continue to help me in my career and beyond. My classmates and teachers from Ripp still support me at my book events, other milestones, and on social media. I'm very grateful to the school for the support I still feel."

Rippowam Cisqua School - 2007
Phillips Exeter Academy - 2010
Yale University - BA 2014

Frankie Celenza ’02, Chef

Frankie Celenza is a New York Emmy award-winning chef. He created the YouTube series Frankie Cooks, which features recipe demonstrations of his famous creations. He is currently presenting and creating recipes on-screen exclusively for Tastemade, a global community for food and travel lovers, that reaches 250 million unique viewers a month. 

“I'll always remember Band Night at RCS and how much fun I had playing the drums and guitar, and singing backup vocals with my fellow classmates Alex Paul ‘00, Evan Speiser ‘00, KK Chase ‘00, Will Carroll ‘00, Jamie MacDonald ‘00, and Gordon MacGill ‘00. It usually took place twice a year, the night before Christmas break and the night before summer break. My heart still pounds thinking about the curtains being closed, with a hundred kids on the other side, anticipating the fun that was about to ensue. Those performes at RCS further instilled my passion for music and performing, which helped lead me to where I am today with my cooking shows." 

Rippowam Cisqua School - 2002
Kent School - 2005
New York University - BFA 2009 

Will Reeve ’07, Multi-Platform Reporter, ABC News

As a student at Rippowam CIsqua School, Will Reeve developed a love for storytelling which has blossomed into a succesful career in broadcast journalism. Will began his career as a production assistant at ABC's Good Morning America and went on to spend four years as a contributor to ESPN's SportsCenter. Will has recently returned to ABC News where he reports across all news platforms - digital, radio, linear TV, and shows including  Nightline, World News Tonight, and Good Morning America

Will also serves as an Ambassador and Board Member for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, which benefits those affected by spinal cord injuries. He is a leader of the Reeve Foundation Champions Committee, which is dedicated to fostering multigenerational involvement in the cause. Will returned to Bedford in 2017 to kick-off Rippowam Cisqua School's Centennial Speaker Series and was awarded the RCS Distinguished Alumni Award. Will spoke to RCS students about the important role that Ripp has played throughout his life and commented on his own personal journey saying, “You can learn more from struggle and loss than from success. That’s the time when you get to look into your own self and figure out how to overcome and get better and to grow. The best of us keep trying to grow every day.”

Rippowam Cisqua School - 2007
Brunswick School - 2010
Middlebury College - BA 2014 

Chis Hanson ’06, Professional Athlete

Chris Hanson began playing squash at a young age and continued his career at Dartmouth College where he graduated cum laude with a B.A in Psychology. During his time at Dartmouth Chris was a 3-time First Team all American, 4-time First Team All-Ivy, a 2-time CSA Scholar Athlete. He was also the co-winner of the Skillman Award for sportsmanship in college squash. He is now a full-time professional on the PSA World Tour. 

“Over my six years at RCS, my teachers and coaches instilled a great work ethic in me, in both academics and athletics. My athletic experience at RCS was incredible, with special thanks to my coaches Mike Topchik and Bill Barrett for making it such a memorable experience."

Rippowam Cisqua School - 2006
St Luke's School - 2009
Dartmouth College - BA 2013

Justin Cronin ’77, Bestselling Author

In 2010, Justin Cronin’s The Passage  became a runaway bestseller. The Passage spent 3 months on The New York Times bestseller list and was featured on more than a dozen “Best of the Year” lists. The Passage inspired the FOX TV series which premiered in January 2019. The Twelve and The City of Mirrors, the second and third novels in the trilogy, were also critically acclaimed instant New York Times bestsellers.  Justin Cronin is also the author of Mary and O’Neil (which won the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Stephen Crane Prize), and The Summer Guest. Other honors for his writing include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Whiting Writer’s Award.

"Ripp provided a very good foundation - I would not have gotten into Andover and Harvard without it. I was something of a nerd, which, at the time, wasn't an easy thing to be, but in the end it worked out fine. My guess is that many of my former Ripp classmates would be surprised to find me doing something as ethereal as writing novels for a living."

Rippowam Cisqua School - 1977
Phillips Academy Andover - 1980
Harvard University - BA 1984

Mary MacGill ’03, Jewelry Designer

Mary MacGill ’03 is a Hudson Valley, New York and Block Island, Rhode Island - based artist working primarily in gold and semi-precious stones. Her minimalist style finds root in the ever-evolving shorelines of the American Northeast. Combining the fragility of wire with the strength of stone, Mary's work falls in the lineage of mentor Kazuko Oshima and sculptor Alexander Calder, focusing on the beauty of hammered imperfections and suspended forms. 

"We were Mr. Duveen’s first class at RCS and as legend goes, he had us design a nuclear submarine that year in order to teach us “basic” physics. I was voted Project Manager and it was a true lesson in communication, teamwork, and leadership. Mr. Duveen gave us guidance, but really left us to our own devices to figure out a seemingly insurmountable problem. We all had to work really hard to stay organized and on the same page, but we pulled it out in the end and lived to present and tell the story to a board of real life nuclear engineers."

Rippowam Cisqua Scool - 2003
Lawrenceville School - 2006
Brown University - BA 2010
Rhode Island School of Design- 2012
Rippowam Cisqua School
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phone: (914) 244-1250
Rippowam Cisqua School is a PreK-Grade 9 independent day school in Westchester County, New York. RCS offers challenging academics built on innovation, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, wellness, leadership, service learning, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.
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