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    An Interview with Mr. Bob Barry 

    This year we welcomed many new teachers to the Palmer Trinity community. Mr. Barry is one of the newest additions to our campus. He graduated from Penn State University where he majored in Physics. One of his favorite past times is sports, especially football. Mr. Barry also coaches football here at Palmer Trinity School. Although he didn’t play in college, Mr. Barry did participate in intermural football for fun. He also really enjoys having barbeques and his favorite food is steak. 

    Mr. Barry is a Physics teacher here at school and his favorite topic to teach is motion, especially projectile motion and the conservation of energy. His least favorite subject during his school career was Chemlab at Penn State University. Mr. Barry has very much enjoyed his time here at Palmer Trinity School so far. His favorite part about PTS: “we are a community that loves and respects each other.”


    Yuri Tuma '02: Professional Artist and PTS Alum


    PTS Falconer Staff Writer Philip McMichael spoke with Palmer Trinity Alumnus Yuri Tuma ’02 on November 25th during the PTS Art Walk. Tuma is an artist who still lives and works in Miami and his work has been displayed in shows and art fairs around the world. He works with both graphic design and photography to compose his unique and impressive artwork. Tuma spoke with Ms. Strauss’s classes and got a chance to see some of the spectacular art on display.

    So Yuri, first question: What classes did you take while you were at Palmer?

    As I was telling the students, I was not necessarily that artistically involved when I was in high school. I remember I did arts in 9th grade and ceramics and theater, but then I completely dropped it. Then it returned later in my life.

    How did your artistic career start and how has it evolved up to now?

    You know, it was really a gift from the sky, that’s kind of how I like to call it, because it came out of nowhere. I just started taking photos with my phone, and that was before iPhone days, we’re talking about slider phones, these super crappy phones, super bad resolution. I remember doing that on a daily basis, and that just kind of triggered something inside of me that I never felt before, which I guess was passion, and photography became something that I was passionately doing on a daily basis, and the rest is history.

    So when did you first get this passion for art, or at least your specific form of art?

    Once I found photography, that was the origin for my artistic career. I just started shooting everything, and a lot of the time that’s what I tell young artists, especially young photographers. Shoot everything that you see, because you never know what is going to be the subject matter that inspires you the most. So for me, after a couple of years of photographing all kinds of stuff that I don’t even photograph anymore, I photographed a piece of architecture, and that became my muse throughout my career so far. It’s been 5-6 years that I’ve been shooting architecture around the world, and from those photos I create the work that I present.

    Did you ever study art in college?

    No, never. There’s different ways to look at it, because a lot of people have opinions about that, especially when you are in the industry, and some may say “Oh, you didn’t go to art school,” and they might look down on that, but a lot of people are smart about it and can appreciate the fact that you haven’t been indoctrinated in a sense, but there’s pros and cons. I didn’t go to art school, however now I’m at the point in my life where I would entertain the idea, maybe do a grad school in the arts, because I think I’m in a good place now. I think life has helped to show me what I enjoy doing, and now I can explore art at a more academic level.

    What do you think of all the art around here today?

    I think this is amazing. I’m so fascinated with just the whole idea of having an art walk at Palmer, that was definitely something we didn’t have in my time, and something that’s happening in a lot of major cities here in the U.S. Wynwood has an art walk, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, all these neighborhoods have it, so it’s great to bring it into a high school setting. It’s so important for an artist to show their work, and have people walk around and see their work, and be part of this group exhibit, because this is just a beginning.  

    Anything else for all these young kids who are so artistic and have so much potential?

    For sure! Ultimately, the advice is be true to yourself and listen to the voice inside. That’s because even as you are doing art you can get your mind polluted with information, and you will find yourself saying “Maybe I should do this because this person said so, or maybe I should do that because my teachers are telling me that.” With art, because it’s such a subjective matter, because it’s so open ended, I think it’s very much about staying true to yourself and developing your own voice. Yes, it is important to learn from others, and teachers, and arts from the past and present, but the question is how do you take that information and have your own voice, and be your own artist? Because that’s what gonna show, the passion and the uniqueness of the work can only come from you, and that’s what will shine.

    To learn more about Yuri and future art installations, visit


    An Interview With New PTS Chaplain Rev. Dr. Mary Ellen Cassini


    Reverend Dr. Mary Ellen Cassini is a self-proclaimed “cradle born Episcopalian”, but didn’t take the leap toward priesthood until she had a full career in education. 

    At the young age of twelve, Mary Ellen already knew there was “more than the tangible” to life, but never considered religion as a potential professional occupation. Blessed with an enduring love of learning, Dr. Cassini pursued a career in education.  In 1977 and 1985 she earned English and History degrees. In the years following she began a successful teaching career, instructing English, History, and even Drama classes, eventually rising to become the Head of Middle School at St. Andrews. It was in this post where she realized her call and began the Episcopalian ordination process, becoming ordained in 2007. She has since gone on to fill roles of leadership both religious and secular at several schools.

    Dr. Cassini is humble about her accomplishments and is quick to credit others in conversation for being supportive. She has particularly high praises for her husband and two sons. She also credits the communities she was and is a part of, both religious and secular.

    Dr. Cassini’s approach to ministry can be seen as spiritual rather than strictly religious. Part of an inter-faith family and Reverend of an inter-faith school, our Chaplain aspires to honor Palmer Trinity’s Episcopal identity but to more importantly encourage the school to “be engaged ” and invested in one another and the larger Miami community.  Though a new face at Palmer Trinity, Dr. Cassini’s involvement in school life has quickly made her an important member of the community, and she continues to use one of the oldest teaching tricks in the book: leading by example.



    Students Delve Deep into Women's Studies

    By Fabiana Vivacqua '14

    Students are raving about History Department Chair Laura Massa’s new elective, “Women, Culture& Development,” which ran for the first time last semester.

    Massa came up with the idea for the course last year, when, in her capacity as then-2013 senior lead advisor, she noticed it was challenging for students to build positive interpersonal relationships and that difficulty was affecting their personal wellbeing. Massa organized a seminar with visiting speakers to help students focus on healthy relationships.

    “During the exploration of these topics, I realized students needed to learn more about the social construction of gender, the relationship between gender and power, and how to create relationships based on respect and dignity,” Massa says.

    In Massa's class, students are excited and engaged, discussing controversial and pressing topics, such as how media portrays men and women differently (as seen in the video above). Massa also teaches students about the particular difficulties girls and women around the world face, from domestic violence, to prostitution and sex trafficking.

    “This class shows a broader prospective of the difference between gender roles, and how men and women are shaped and perceived in society,” says Isa Signoret ’14, who took the course last semester.

    Lea Aftimos ’14 also expressed her enthusiasm. “This class has inspired me continue fighting for equal rights,” she says.

    Massa’s class is interactive, and she encourages students to use their informed voices to fight for change. All of this “requires a lot of understanding and a compassionate approach,” Massa says.


    Students Excel in 3D-architecture

    By Daniel Gay-Betton '15

    3-D architecture students are really displaying their creativity by creating model homes.

    Taught by Mr. Moorhouse, the goal of this semester-long course is to learn the principles of architecture by designing a dream house. The class has had such success that four seniors who have taken the class will move on to study architecture (Josef Saeme, Drake Peterson, Julio Iglesias and Jonathan Dag). Peterson and Saeme even have scholarschips. 

    “The class was fun because I enjoyed having no boundaries while creating and designing my house,” says JD Madril ‘15. “I learned how to use tools and explore my mind to invent my dream house.”

    Moorhouse also asks that his students incorporate environmentally-friendly features into their models.

    “We begin with PowerPoints on modern and contemporary architects to inspire the students” Moorhouse says. “I encouraged them to think fantasy and be wildly creative.”