Kate Alper

Year Graduated MTS: 2004
High School: The Branson School
College: University of Southern California
Lives in: New York, NY
Current job/profession: Communications Director at Communité

What are you up to? What do you most like about your current job?
I moved to New York City after college and have built my career working in fashion communications and public relations in-house and at agencies. My experience has varied from social media and influencer marketing to traditional and digital PR and events for brands ranging from J.Crew to Farfetch to Victoria's Secret.

I recently joined the team at Communité, a new strategic communications agency with a tailored approach to marketing and communications. We believe that all communications strategies should be digitally-led, placing value on both established and social media.

I love that every day at my job is different! The agency environment always keeps you on your toes since you're working for multiple clients.

What is one thing you’ve done that you never expected to do?
Mattel is one of my clients and we've been working together on the @BarbieStyle Instagram account together for about four years. I wouldn't believe you if you told me that I would be traveling the world producing content and partnerships for Barbie! It's been such a dream working on an iconic brand. We are almost at 2 million followers, so make sure you check it out!


Best part about attending Mount Tamalpais School?
The community! I'm still close with my friends from Kindergarten. It's been great to stay close over the years. Of course, I also loved the themed days at school. I think the French Café may have led me to my French minor...

Advice for the graduating MTS eighth grade class of 2019?
Work hard, but don't forget to have fun!

How do you spend your time when you’re not at work?
I love to travel with friends, even if its just for a weekend. One thing that is great about New York is that you're so much closer to Europe, so making a quick trip overseas is much easier.

If you could go anywhere in the world all expenses paid, where would you go?
I'd love to go to Argentina and then to Uruguay to check out the beach scene in Jose Ignacio.


Connor Clark

Year Graduated MTS: 2009
High School: San Francisco University High School
College: Dartmouth College
Lives in: Eugene, Oregon
Current job/profession: 2nd Year Master’s Student, University of Oregon, Community and Regional Planning

Photo credit: Benjamin Weingart

Photo credit: Benjamin Weingart

What are you up to?
I’m in my second year of graduate school at the University of Oregon studying Community and Regional Planning. At most schools it’s called “urban planning,” but if you know much about Oregon, the state is definitely more “community and regional” than it is “urban.” In addition to getting my masters at UO, I came to compete on the Oregon cross country and track teams. Though I exhausted my NCAA eligibility with the Ducks in 2018, I am still training with the team and compete as an unattached runner in many of the same races as the Duck athletes.

What is one thing you’ve done that you never expected to do?
While at Mt. Tam and in high school, I would have never expected to find myself competing as an Oregon Duck in track and field. Even in the 8th grade, I knew I loved running and would plan to continue it in high school and hopefully college. Though to think I’d find myself still competing eight years later at the best track and field university in the country was a distant dream. Yet here I am, post NCAA, and still competing as a “semi-professional” distance runner!


Best part about attending Mount Tamalpais School?
The best part of about Mt. Tam is the teachers! After nine years of school, I left Mt. Tam with a love for learning. I owe so much of that to my teachers who made class time exciting and enjoyable. I often think back of the projects in Nancy’s history class (I think Race to Mecca still happens?), the science experiments with Eric, and playing math games with Dave, and recall how much fun I had then with my classmates. All the teachers I remember from Mt. Tam, many of them still there, made that classroom a fun and enjoyable place to learn. That passion for learning is absolutely still with me today.

Advice for the graduating MTS eighth grade class of 2019?
My advice for graduating eight graders is to keep doing what makes you happy and is most fun. As you get older and move through high school and college, its easy to become really focused and do what everyone else seems to be doing. Maybe you love drawing, reading, playing soccer, writing, singing. Maybe you don’t like any of those things but have something else that’s really special to you! I found running at MTS and continue to run competitively today because I know its what makes me happiest. There will be times where don’t want to do to something, but need to, and that’s okay. But making sure you hold on to what makes you happy is really important.

How do you spend your time when you’re not at work?
When I’m not in class or studying, you can find me running around Eugene! The city has some great running trails around campus and along the Willamette River. Though I have my go-to routes, running is also a great way to explore new parts of the area!

Movie or book you think everyone should see/read?
I’ve been reading a lot of urban planning books lately, both for fun and for school. Coming from Mill Valley and having gone to school in San Francisco, you see and hear so much about housing affordability, gentrification, and other urban/regional issues. One of the great books I finished recently (for fun!) is called the New Urban Crisis by Richard Florida. Florida has written a ton on urban issues for a while, though this is his most recent book. He does a great job articulating the challenges that cities like San Francisco face while also offering some really interesting solutions. It’s also easy and fun to read even if you aren’t an urban planner!


Sophia Gasser

Year Graduated MTS: 2014
High School: Westminster School (Class of 2018)
College: UC Davis (Class of 2022)
Lives in: San Francisco, California

What are you up to? What are your plans after you graduate from high school?
Upon graduating high school from boarding school on the east coast in the spring of 2018, I eagerly made my way back to the West Coast to attend college at UC Davis. I plan to study at Davis for the duration of my undergraduate experience and then we’ll see where I end up after that!

What is one thing you’ve done that you never expected to do?
Since my education has consisted of Mt. Tam School which is around 300 students and Westminster School which is around 400 students, and I have loved my experience at each of those small schools, the last thing I ever expected I would do would be to attend a large university with 25,000+ undergraduates.


Best part about attending Mount Tamalpais School?
There are two components that come to mind when I think about the best part of attending Mt. Tam. First is the opportunity to learn from teachers who are so devoted to and invested in each kid’s educational experience. I feel so lucky to have attended a school where the teachers are your friends and mentors and deeply care about each person on an individual level. Second is the well rounded structure of MTS student life. As a student at Mt. Tam, you get to develop many talents and interests without feeling pressure to prioritize certain activities because visual arts, performing arts, athletics, and more, are incorporated so seamlessly into the curriculum. It is so special to have exposure to such a wide variety of things to learn and engage in, and I think it not only helped prepare me for high school applications but it gave me a broader and more personalized education which I continue to carry with me today.

Advice for the graduating MTS eighth grade class of 2019?
One of the true blessings MTS offers is the opportunity to form close relationships with your teachers and friends. At the start of high school it can be disorienting to suddenly be so distant from the people and place you have known for so long. In my opinion, one of the best ways to help integrate yourself into the new community when you arrive at high school next fall is to find certain clubs, sports, or activities that you can participate in. Even if it is something you have never tried before and regardless of if you go to a big or small high school, having immediate opportunities to meet new people and contribute to your new community will be so influential in your overall adjustment and it will help to create a close-knit network that resembles the unique and special dynamic that exists at Mt. Tam.

Sophia with her sister, Rose (MTS 2016).

Sophia with her sister, Rose (MTS 2016).

How do you spend your time when you’re not at school/work?
When I am not at school or work, my favorite thing to do is spend time with friends and family. I enjoy going to the beach, playing sports, and eating ice cream!

Movie or book you think everyone should see/read?
A movie that I think everyone should see is The Blind Side. The message of unconditional compassion and always looking for a way to make a difference in the lives of others is inspiring and motivating to everyone.