In Memoriam

We are deeply saddened by the loss of the following members of the school community, whose deaths have recently come to our attention.


Diamonte Riviore (‘10)

"Diamonte’s first year at MCDS was in my 5th-grade classroom, in 2006.  He followed his sister Takiaya by a few years.  He was an eyes-wide-open child, quietly observant and doing all he could to keep up with the different demands of MCDS compared with the school he had previously attended.  He made friends and laughed guardedly.  I think he enjoyed his first year and made himself a part of the community of children in his grade, but also in retrospect, think that there was much we didn’t know about what he was feeling.  What a loss for us all."   ~ Jennifer Seely (former MCDS 5th Grade Teacher)

"Diamonte was in my English class and advisory during his eighth-grade year at MCDS. He was a spark of energy, humor and truth-telling to his classmates and me. Diamonte recognized that he was largely surrounded by wealthy white students and did not share many of the privileges of me and his classmates. This was not an easy school for him to feel a part of coming from Marin City, but he offered a wonderful perspective and candor. He would remind us all that not everyone shared their perspective in often humorous and stunningly accurate ways. Diamonte had a great belly laugh and a big smile and was quite popular with his peers. He invariably was surrounded by peers who loved his stories, humor, and warmth. I appreciated the intelligence, joy, and honesty he brought to MCDS, and I am grateful to have known Diamonte." ~Ted Saltveit (8th grade English Teacher)

Faculty and Staff

John Graulich

"John was a special teacher, who possessed a true passion for the English language, that made his students appreciate him and the subject. A few years ago, Jim Swanson and I attended a dinner with MCDS alumni at an alum's home in New Orleans where she produced a book of Shakespearean poetry, that John Graulich had given her when she was an eighth grader. The two of them had spent time after class talking about Shakespeare. She opened the book, and in it was a handwritten passage from John, that read, "May you and I always appreciate the work of a world-class writer, and may it inspire us to embrace quality writing." She told us that she had carried it with her through high school and as she went away to college. John Graulich was a teacher who truly made a difference in the lives of students." ~ John Hutchinson (former colleague) 

Mr. Graulich (that’s we always called him, never John) helped open our minds. He treated us with respect, as young adults eager to learn, and challenged us to ask questions and think deeply about what we were reading. The discussions in his classes were always lively and engaging and left us with a sense of wonder.” ~ Andy Reinhardt, 1974 

"John had a passion for language and quality writing. He reflected that in his teaching, wanting his students and fellow teachers to find the same passion. He was a good friend...and an excellent cook and entertainer. His marvelous voice resonates with me now." ~ Kathleen Jackson (former colleague) 

"Mr. Graulich was such a special teacher. He treated me like a real writer, so I started to think of myself as a real writer, and then I went ahead and became one. The ability to instill that kind of confidence in a child is such a rare and beautiful gift. I will remember him forever."  ~ Susie Kramer Nadler, 1991 

"Such a wonderful man and amazing teacher. When I first came to MCDS in 1977, John sort of took me under his wing and that began an amazing friendship. Over the years [my partner] Ken and I were invited to John's house for gourmet meals and lively conversation. John's booming, deep voice filling the air. John's cooking was legendary. As a teacher, I remember his long table in the 8th grade language classroom with John at the head leading discussions about Shakespeare or a variety of writing assignments. John made his students stretch their intellect and reach deep into their thoughts. He never let them settle for easy answers." ~ Jeff Escabar (former colleague) 

"John had such a positive impact on the lives of his students and was a model and inspiration to fellow faculty. He was a teacher's teacher. Fair winds, John." ~ Duncan Wanamaker (former colleague) 

"I have so many fond memories of him. I felt alive and powerful in his class. He was an English teacher and also a teacher of something more elusive and powerful, something I cannot quite name, something about having a personhood, a self. It was profoundly compelling and such a gift for me as a young person." ~ Catherine Hills, 1981

"Mr. Graulich approached eighth-graders as opinionated, thoughtful, and sensitive readers. His classes were grand, thoroughly academic, but a celebration of imagination and creativity, too. A remarkable teacher. I will always remember him." ~ Julie Doherty Meade, 1990  


Gayle Jennison 

"Gayle was my 4th-grade teacher, and she told me I was special because I could laugh at myself. It didn’t resonate with me until later, but she was spot on and it is an attribute I cherish." ~ Maggie Scott Jessup, (Maggie Scott, 1988) 

"One of my favorite teachers at MCDS!" ~ Elizabeth Green Kilgore (Elizabeth Green, 1986)  

"Gayle was my dear 4th-grade teaching partner and my loving and life-long friend.  Even now I can hear her spunky and mischievous chuckle.  Gayle knew how to live with humor and how to make everyone around her feel seen and important.  She leaves a legacy of hundreds and hundreds of students touched by the magic of her teaching and care." ~ Annie Zesiger (former MCDS colleague and friend)  

I had Gayle as my 4th-grade teacher. It was in her class that I formed an appreciation for science when we dissected a squid in class to learn more about it and then we cooked it and had calamari for the first time during ocean week. ~ Rhenika Smith-Martin, (Rhenika Smith, 1993) 

"Gayle was a wonderful teacher, so supportive and kind. She shaped so many of us." ~ Kate Wilson, 1996 

"I loved Gayle for her southern charm and for her willingness to take time to sit down and really talk with friends. She always made one feel welcome. A great mother, teacher and friend, I can hear her voice today. I miss her." ~ Doug Zesiger (former MCDS colleague and friend) 

"She was my math teacher in 4th grade, and was exactly what a teacher should be: encouraging, thoughtful, engaging and fun." ~ Vita Erwin Leach (Vita Erwin, 1989)