High School, College & Beyond

Life After Talcott
Meet Our Alumni

High aspirations: Reaching for the Stars

The beginning is always the most important step in any journey. At Talcott, we realize that the education we provide our students  is critical to their future success. We prepare them for educational road that lies ahead. 

By the time they graduate Talcott Mountain Academy, they are well-prepared for their secondary and college careers. This is clearly evident in the distinctive paths they have chosen, the roles in which they distinguish themselves, and the projects they’ve developed with these talents.

It’s hard to believe that 3 years have already passed since I left [Talcott]. This year I finally finished the AP math curriculum, with a 5 on each test. Thank you so much for the incredible foundation you were able to build – it made math in high school super easy. I didn’t appreciate how special that was until I got to high school and realized that anyone who had passed your classes would be prepared to be top of the class in any other program. 
-- Varun A., TMA Alumnus

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High School

Talcott Mountain Academy graduates are accepted at all the outstanding private and public secondary schools in the area and New England. They include:

— Avon Old Farms School
Berkshire School
Choate Rosemary Hall
Deerfield Academy

Loomis Chaffee
Miss Porter’s School

Northfield Mount Hermon
Northwest Catholic High School
Philips Academy Andover
Phillips Exeter Academy
St. Paul’s Catholic High School
Suffield Academy
The Ethel Walker School
The Hotchkiss School
The Master’s School

The Taft School
Watkinson School
Westminster School
Westover School
University High School of Science & Engineering

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Talcott Mountain Academy alumni are accepted at outstanding colleges and universities. They include:

— Berklee College of Music
— Boston College
— Boston University 
— Brown University
— Cal Tech Yale University
— Carnegie Mellon University
— Catholic University of America 
— Columbia University
— Cornell University
— George Washington University
— Georgetown University
— Georgia Tech
— Hampshire College
— Harvard University 
— Howard University
— Marist
— Massachusetts Institute of Technology
— Middlebury College
— Oberlin College
— Penn State
— Rensselaer
— Rhode Island School of Design 
— Rhode Island University 
— Savannah College of Art & Design
— Stanford University

— Syracuse
— Trinity College
— Tufts University
— UC Berkeley
— University of Florida
— University of Rochester
— Virginia
— Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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Talcott alumni have contributed their talents and expertise to companies around the globe. From small startups to big players in science and technology, from Amazon to Google and many in between!

— Amazon
American Museum of Natural History
Argonne National Laboratory
Boston Dynamics
Brigham & Women’s Hospital
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
John Dempsey Hospital
Manchester Hospital
United Technologies
US Fish & Wildlife Service
WBTW South Carolina
WTVY Alabama

Meet our Alumni

Talcott Mountain Academy was designed as a full-time school inside the campus of a full-time science facility, with the availability of professional scientists as their guides. When staffing the entire complement of subjects, we look for the same professional standing for all of them. In that spirit, our art teacher is an artist, our music teacher is a musician, our language arts teachers are writers, and we have a healthy dose of living history in our social studies curriculum.


It’s no wonder then, more than 30 years after inception, that our graduates report being well-prepared for their secondary and college careers. This is clearly evident in the distinctive paths they have chosen, the roles they’ve established, and the projects they’ve developed with their talents.


We invite you to meet a few of our distinguished alumni.

Dax Hassell

Dax Hassell

“I came to Talcott Mountain Academy from a small island in the Caribbean. TMA promoted and supported my passion for scientific exploration and discovery. It provided the first real safe space for me to flourish. I eventually became one of the first generation emergency medicine physicians in The Netherlands, pioneering and giving shape to the current Dutch emergency medicine system. TMA was the primary stable stepping stone to my professional career.”

Shari Wiseman

Shari Wiseman

Valedictorian of her graduating class at TMA, Shari went on to attend Glastonbury High School and Yale University, where she majored in Biology. She then stayed at Yale to complete her Ph.D. in Neuroscience, followed by postdoctoral training in Boston. Shari is currently a Senior Editor at the journal, Nature Neuroscience, and says her time at TMA was invaluable in fostering her life-long love of science.

Samara Wenten

SFDO SKO 2019 HEADSHOTS 00567 E1587398725859 284x300, TMA“I was an angry kid when I arrived at TMA in 1985. I came from a tiny school in a small town where the teachers did everything to challenge me, including allowing me to skip a grade, but socially I was floundering. As Dean Gibb can attest it took a bit for me to adjust, but eventually I found my footing and my people on the mountain. I learned how to write, how to use the scientific method, and how to love being surrounded by the smartest people in the room. I even learned to ski in the extracurricular program at Ski Sundown and it’s still my favorite thing to do. It’s been more than 30 years since I graduated and I still reflect on the lessons I learned at TMA in my current life as a product manager for a major technology company in the Bay Area. I also still keep in touch with many of my classmates and have been proud to see their successes over the years. Not surprisingly, they’re still the smartest people in the room.”

Bryan Nagy


Bryan is at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, working on a robotic forklift. As part of the Robotics Institute at CMU, they are developing automated systems for packing and unpacking truck trailers and containers.

Ariana Feldberg

TMA Class of ’90

Ari, a marine biologist is part of the team creating aquaculture of oysters, clams, and scallops for the Wampanoag Tribe in Aquinnah, Martha’s Vineyard Island. She presented this work to an enthusiastic crowd of students at the academy this past March.

Chris DiPentima

TMA Class of ’86

DiPentima250x250, TMAChris DiPentima was the first person admitted to TMA as a sixth-grader in 1983 and enjoyed 3 years molding the school with classmates and teachers, including the creation of the student council (he was elected the first president), the first school dances and talent shows, and family night viewing of Haley’s Comet. Upon graduating, Chris boarded at Westminster School and then attended Boston College where his enjoyment of reading and writing resulted in a BA. He received his JD from Quinnipiac University Law. This education track, starting with TMA, resulted in blending STEM and liberal arts disciplines, a foundation needed for his multifaceted career.

Chris spent eight years as an attorney, where he represented many businesses on a broad range of issues. He joined Pegasus Manufacturing in Middletown, CT, then family-owned, in 2002 as general counsel and was named president in 2006. Leaning into the TMA experience of molding the future, DiPentima implemented strategic initiatives which led to the company tripling employment and revenue. Chris and his family partners sold the business to S&P 500 Leggett & Platt in 2016 and he became part of the Aerospace management team. He was eventually promoted to division president, leading operations in Middletown, Washington, California, and France. In 2020, Chris became president and CEO of CBIA, Connecticut’s leading business organization, with thousands of member companies, small and large, representing a range of industries from every part of the state.

Chris has served on several boards, including CBIA, Aerospace Components Manufacturers,  Connecticut Employment and Training Commission, National Governor’s Policy Academy, Connecticut Technical High Schools, and Governor Lamont’s vaccine advisory group. He is chair of the Connecticut Manufacturers’ Collaborative and on the Manufacturing Innovation Fund board.  He lives in Durham, CT with his wife and three daughters.

Sia Reddy

TMA Class of ’22

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At Talcott Mountain Academy, we’ve become accustomed to seeing our young scholars and inventors make it to some rather impressive places. If you frequent the Connecticut Science Center’s Women in Science Saturdays, you may have spoken with a young woman with a unique approach to tackling the global issue of plastic in our oceans. Last November, Sia Reddy was one of only four students invited to showcase their projects as part of this initiative.

Every year, students at Talcott develop innovative solutions to everyday challenges in preparation for two local and extremely competitive competitions: the Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair, and the Connecticut Invention Convention. As an eighth grader, Reddy set her sights on developing a new system to tackle the global issue of plastic in our oceans. Her solution? The “Pellet-‘O’-Trap.”

Her multi-filter system captures toxic pearl-shaped plastic pellets, also known as ‘nurdles’, that often make their way into the oceans as a result of shipping accidents and spills.

Billions of these tiny plastic pellets litter the oceans, serving as sponges for other toxins and chemicals in the water. Pollutants can be a million times more concentrated on the surface of the pellets than in the water –and they can even be deadly to seabirds, fish and other wildlife, who often mistake them for food.

Despite the immense challenge that collecting these tiny pellets presents, Reddy’s device has an eighty-seven percent success rate.

Since the pellets travel primarily through stormwater pipes and combined sewer overflow to the ocean, and both of these pathways have very strong currents, Reddy is currently working to rebuild the mechanism with more durable industrial materials to withstand the force of the water currents.

Additionally, she is researching facilities where she can test the device to observe its efficiency in real-life situations. Her goal, once these two steps are completed, is to apply for a patent in the future.