Alumni Visiting Day

Chandler welcomed alumni back to campus for Alumni Visiting Day on February 13, offering a chance to re-connect with old classmates and teachers, and talk with current students. It was an exciting day for students, too, as they got to connect their classroom studies to real-world careers, and hear valuable life tips from Chandler alumni. 
This year’s keynote speaker, Jim Demetriades ’77, told Middle School students about the importance of imagination and dreaming big to solve the world’s problems through innovation. His investment firm, Kairos Ventures, seeks to bring the world’s revolutionary scientific and technological discoveries to market.
In Middle School workshops themed “Legacy of Service”, alumni Sebouh Bazikian ’10, Founder of One Bicycle Foundation, Olivia Gaines ’09, Advocate for King’s Ransom Foundation, and Farrell Heydorff ’96, Technical Sergeant of the U.S. Air Force, talked about leading a life of service.
New to this year’s Alumni Visiting Day celebration was the incorporation of the African American Read-In for kindergarten, first, and second grade. Founded in 1990 by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English, The African American Read-In is a nationwide event that celebrates diversity in literature and promotes positive representations of African Americans and their experiences. At Chandler, African American alumni read aloud books written by African American authors and featuring African American characters.
All across campus, our alumni generously engaged with students on a wide range of topics relevant both to their classwork and their lives:
Kindergarten: Olivia Gaines ’09 and Earl Barr ’72 CHS ’76, Insurance Broker, participated in the African American Read-In
First: Khalilah El-Amin ’91, Director of Human Resources & Administration at Rockley Photonics,
participated in the African American Read-In, and Dr. Sunjay Lad ’95, Dentist and Owner of Lad Family Dentistry, taught about good dental health. This was especially timely, since February is Pediatric Dental Health Awareness Month.
Second: Blakley Coe Graham ’93, Assistant Principal of Paul Revere Charter Middle School, and Matt Lawler ’95, Director of Digital Media and Global Partnerships at AEG, participated in the African American Read-In.
Third: Sebouh Bazikian ’10 talked with third graders about the exciting way he has combined his love of cycling with a nonprofit that provide bikes to orphans worldwide.
Fourth: Kelsey Peterson-More Szamet ’96, Partner at Kingsley & Kingsley, taught students about persuasive argument writing. As a lawyer, she easily convinced them of the usefulness of this skill in real life. She also spoke with eighth graders, linking her expertise in law to their studies on the Justice Unit, and talked to Mr. Finch’s Ethical Perspectives class.
Fifth: Allison Hegan Kleine ’01, Author of No More Endlings, talked about her book on endangered animals, and provided advice to students who are currently writing about endangered animals in class. Students have read her book as an example for their own work.
Sixth: Chloe Daniel ’15, a member of the U.S. National Team, taught fencing to students in grades 4, 5, and 6. She had lots of expertise to share and also brought two of her coaches.
Seventh and Eighth: Chris Waldheim ’81, CEO of J’s Maintenance and J’s Maids, spoke with students about leadership and the power of gratitude; Erika Person Werner ’88 taught a music elective class and shared lessons learned from her career as an opera singer; Aimee Bahng Boyer ’89, Author of Migrant Futures, discussed fiction-writing, diversity of characters and identity with students; and Allison McGuire ’01, Founder & CEO of Walc and Monaghan McGuire, explained that with an entrepreneurial mindset, students can reinvent their careers many times over, finding the power and courage to master new things.
Eighth: Chris Lee ’92, Investment Analyst at Capital Group, helped students understand the power of compound interest and sound financial decisions, as they work on their personal financial profiles in math class.

Thank you, alumni, for sharing your talents and life experiences with Chandler students!

To see a photo gallery of the day, please 
click here.