August 27, 2014

Jeffrey Lorber emailed seeking contacts with CS alumni from the early 1970’s and to share his memories of teaching at Community School in its first years. Excerpts from his email are included below. Alumni and teachers from that time period can reach Jeffrey at

I taught at The Community School for two years in the early seventies. Mr. Nickerson was principal when I first arrived and Susanna Turner was brought in the second year. So perhaps it was 1972 – 1973.

I graduated from Hollins College’s creative writing program in 1971 and Carmen O’Brien introduced to me to the wonderful Levine Family (The Caps are intentional), who not only fed me on more than one occasion, but hired me to teach the upper grades for the royal sum of $4,000 per year. I have so many fond memories of those years, I am not sure where to begin….

I saw Ayn Cates’ post and was thrilled to read of her accomplishments, especially in light of those early, stormy years…We knew we wanted to provide a safe environment where students could explore their passions and learn at their own pace in their own ways. Other than that it was a free for all. I don’t remember a lot of last names, so maybe someone with a better memory can fill in the blanks.

I had participated in a lot of theatre activities while at Hollins and used that background to introduce improvisation to the kids. We all brought in old hats and props and I remember Roberto always wanting to play a “bum” on a park bench. He was hysterically funny….

Names I recall other than those mentioned above – forgive the spelling – Ricky Lustig, Michal and Eddie O’Brien, Rhona Levine, Jenny, (Rick?) Saben, and Mitch Todd (Birdy Cheeks was the newspaper he created). I would love to hear that all are well and leading happy, fulfilling lives.

For my part, I live in Atlanta, GA. I have been married 34 years and have two grown sons. My wife is a 4th grade teacher (what can I say?) We met in acting class in New York. I am looking forward to retiring to a sunny beach in the south in the not too distant future and would love to hear from any of those who I touched or who touched me back in those early, wonderful, innocent years at The Community School.