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Alumni & HAPA

Alumni News

Alum Jessie Dowling ‘99 Places 13th in Mongol Derby!

We are super proud of Hyde alum Jessie Dowling '99 who completed the Mongol Derby in August! 

She placed 13th in the 620 mile horse race across the Mongolian Steppe in 10 days. The historic route was used almost 800 years ago by Genghis Khan as a horse rider mail system. Jessie set this goal over a year ago and trained hard for the competition which required her to navigate rough weather and terrain. Speaking with her recently, Jessie explained that of the 43 riders who started the race, only 25 finished. Others did not finish due to injury or resulting health issues. 

Jessie embodies the Hyde spirit as she pursues the path of her unique potential and embraces both the challenges and opportunities along the way. Jessie is also founder and owner of award-winning Fuzzy Udder Creamery in Whitefield, ME. 

Here’s a link to her story that recently ran on Maine 207:


Aree King '23 receives The Salvatore and Maria Pizzi Family Scholarship

Aree King ‘23 was recently awarded the prestigious Salvatore and Maria Pizzi Family Scholarship through the City of Boston Police Department.  The scholarship recognizes exceptional students from Boston who graduated from high school and are enrolling in college in the fall of 2023.  Aree was chosen for her courage, determination, and focus, which are among the many characteristics she exhibited as a Hyde student.

While at Hyde, Aree excelled as a student-athlete and community leader.  Students often described Aree as a role model for what it means to be confident, driven, and ambitious.  She received the Sportsmanship Award at Hyde’s annual James Roman Basketball Tournament and was recognized by the Hyde community as the 2023 Athlete of the Year.  She also received academic honors, particularly for her work in English and Mathematics.

Aree recently began her freshman year at the University of Massachusetts, Boston where she is studying to become a lawyer and is the first person in her family to attend college.  With Aree’s grit and determination, there is no doubt she will be successful at whatever she does.

Pictured with Aree is her mentor Al McClain '80.

Featured Alumni

When I arrived to Hyde School in August of 2009, I was a boy without much direction. When I left three years later I was still a young man largely uncertain of where life would take me. I had many passions and I wasn’t sure how to step into adult life at 18 years old. 
In 2022, ten years after graduating from Hyde, I look back at my time there and try to articulate the valuable life lessons I learned which define me today. A decade later, I am a Professional Alpine Climber and Himalayan Expedition Leader. My life is a constant adventure: fear, joy, motivation, inspiration, excitement, anxiousness- these are the emotions of a human in remote high mountains. Danger, challenge, adversity, great responsibilities- this is what I deal with most days. Being cold, tired, wet, hungry- this is my life. 
How will we fare on the windswept ridge? What unlikely relationships will we form on the mountainside? When faced with great adversity, how will we respond? Can we overcome fear and perform at our best? After all, on a snowy mountain, the game isn’t over until we return safely to our family & friends. 
At Hyde, in hindsight, I learned to be a leader in my life. I learned that challenge & courage are intertwined and that the way to our unique potential is through trial and error. We don’t need to ace every test but pass or fail we must move forward and take the next exam. The road of my life is a series of successes and failures that ultimately yield growth. Our unique potential is defined by prolonged effort and it will change & evolve just as our bodies and our minds do. They say iron sharpens iron, I would say self sharpens self. 
Lastly, perhaps most importantly, at Hyde I learned that relationships are the key to moving forward & open the doors of opportunity in often the least expected directions. Be kind & pay attention to the world around you. The road ahead is not a straight line. 
If I could share one message to the community today, I would say that what we learn in the mountains, often in the cold lonely night - amongst blowing snow over lifeless rock & ice- “Stay in the Game.” Have the courage to work through the circumstances of today for the promise of tomorrow.
-Benjamin Lieber, Alaska.
Hyde School Class of 2012, Savannah College of Art and Design 2016
Professional Mountain Athlete & Himalayan Expedition Leader.