Cincinnati Country Day School
August 2021 Alumni Journal
Welcome Back Country Day!
Dear Country Day Alumni and Friends,
It’s been a great start to our 96th academic year! On Friday, August 21, we celebrated our return to school with our opening convocation ceremony in the Carey Family Amphitheater.
We enjoyed traditions both new (seniors and kindergarteners meeting before the ceremony) and old (Vondale Batchelor delivering a stirring rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner"). Senior Student Council President Zach Corbin encouraged his peers to “make the most of the time we share and together we’ll make memories that last a lifetime.”
On Friday night, we took Zach’s advice to heart as the entire community gathered to celebrate the opening of Brian J. Bortz Family Stadium. After pre-game food, games, and fun, the Nighthawk football team christened the field with an emphatic 56-0 victory over Manchester. Many alumni were on hand to join in the fun, including two of our lead donors, Brian Bortz ’87 and Jason Jurgensen ‘95.
While it’s been an incredibly exciting start to the school year, we know that challenges remain. Covid-19 will continue to affect our operations – at least to start the year – even though we are closer to normal than last year. This year we will welcome more than 851 students to campus—a five year high. Among those students will be 162 (and counting!) who are new to Country Day and CCDS will continue to ensure our students have the social and emotional support they need by providing additional mental health resources, including a licensed therapist on campus.

Despite these challenges, the support of our alumni and community remains an important strength for CCDS. Between annual giving to the Country Day Fund and Covid-specific support through the Guardian Fund, we raised over $1.2 million last year. That incredible effort was a major reason CCDS enjoyed the success it did last year. We are grateful for all you do to sustain Country Day and its students.
This year, I look forward to sharing the story of your alma mater – our alma mater – as we emerge from this pandemic and begin to plan for our centennial. It’s going to be a great year. 

Keep in touch.  
Rob Zimmerman '98
Head of School
Country Day Selects 13th Head of School
The Cincinnati Country Day School Board of Trustees unanimously selected Rob Zimmerman '98 as the next head of school at a special meeting on Monday, August 23.
“Rob not only surpassed the criteria outlined in the Information for Candidates position statement, but he also brings experience and proven skills that give him clear advantage over other candidates,” co-penned Jody Brant ’87, board president and search committee co-chair, in a letter to the community. “Rob brings proven team-building and leadership skills, tremendous intellect, sound judgment, and an unparalleled passion for the school to this important role.” 
Homecoming and Reunion Weekend - October 1, 2021
We missed seeing you on campus last year and look forward to welcoming our alumni back for a fantastic weekend! Share memories with old friends and faculty, while enjoying cocktails, bourbon tasting, and appetizers before the football game Friday night.

Celebrate our alumni award winners (below) during breakfast Saturday morning. Classes ending in ’1 and ’6 will celebrate their reunions Saturday night. In addition, we welcome classes '0 and '5 who were unable to celebrate their reunions last year to join. It's not too late to plan your reunion! Contact Giles DeCourcy at 513-979-0283 for more information.
Class of 1971 will celebrate their 50th reunion Saturday, October 2 at 6:00 p.m. at TQL Stadium. Please email Rodney Geier or Brooks Jackson for more details.
Class of 1976 will celebrate their 45th reunion Saturday, October 2 at 7:00 p.m. at the Camargo Club Winter Sports Building. Please email Michael Barach, Andrew Garvey, Jeff Harrison, or Tiger Kite for more details.
Class of 1981 will celebrate their 40th reunion Saturday, October 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lazarus home. Please email Steve Lazarus or Andy Wilson for more information.
Class of 2016 will celebrate their fifth reunion Saturday, November 27 at 6:30 p.m. at Mad Tree Brewing. Please contact Abby Bryant or Bradley Dick for more information.
Update Contact Information
We have added a page to the Cincinnati Country Day School website where you can update information and submit class notes.
Alumni Awards
2021 Distinguished Alumna Award:
CCDS is proud to announce that Sarah Herrlinger ’90 has been chosen as our Distinguished Alumna for 2021. Sarah Herrlinger is senior director of global accessibility policy & initiatives at Apple. She leads accessibility programs for Apple, including support for disability communities worldwide, the accessibility technologies built into all Apple hardware, software, and services, as well as other initiatives that promote Apple’s culture of inclusion. Click here to read more.
2021 Virtue in Action Award:
CCDS is happy to announce that Dr. Rodney P. Geier ’71 has been selected as this year’s Virtue In Action Award recipient. The CCDS Virtue in Action Award recognizes those alumni that are celebrating their 50th reunion year or more, for their dedication, attitude and motivation expressed through volunteer service to the community. This alumnus exemplifies our motto, Virtue in Action. Click here to read more.
Turf Field and Stadium Open Under Friday Nights Lights
On Friday, August 20, 2021, a ribbon-cutting ceremony commemorated Cincinnati Country Day School’s completion of a new turf field stadium. 
“This stadium project is an exciting step forward for our school,” said Rob Zimmerman ‘98, head of school. “Our generous donors have given us an athletic facility that matches our rich history and our bold ambition for the future.”  
The school hosted the ribbon-cutting ceremony prior to the first home football game of the season to officially mark the opening of Brian J. Bortz Family Stadium, named so after a multi-generational Country Day family and lead donor to the project.  
“This $3.75 million capital project was made possible by 14 Country Day families, including our five lead donor families – the Bortz, Cicchinelli, DiSanto, Hildebrant, and Jurgensen and Alf families,” continued Zimmerman.

“The incredible commitment of these families is a shining example of what can be accomplished when our community comes together, and a reminder of how Country Day has been built since its founding.” 
During the ceremony, field team student-athlete representatives cut the ribbon to mark the occasion, with the football team entering the field for their opening game by running through a ribbon-holding Nighthawk banner.  

“Our student-athletes, coaches, and families will all benefit from this amazing new stadium,” said Dennis Coyle, athletic director and head football coach. “We are all excited to watch our athletes compete on this field and in this stadium for years to come. Today is a great day to be a Country Day Nighthawk!” 
Construction began in May 2021 and was led by John R. Jurgensen Company, completing the project on schedule and on budget.
1926 Society's Legacy
The 1926 Society recognizes individuals who make a planned gift to CCDS through bequests, trusts, or annuities.
These individuals know through firsthand experience the power of a Country Day education and have chosen to give back so that others in turn can benefit. We are deeply appreciative of their commitment. Their contributions will change students’ lives forever and strengthen the school as it moves forward into a second century.

To read about our generous donors or learn about ways to leave your Country Day legacy, visit

If you have questions or would like to speak about planned giving, please contact Paula Brock, director of legacy giving, or 513.979.0282
Alumnus Pays it Forward
Greg Hague ’66 said that attending Cincinnati Country Day School was a pivotal point in his life.
“The single biggest transition in my life was when I made the move from public school to Country Day,” said Hague. “I had no idea that an education like Country Day’s existed. It set me on a better path and gave me an entirely different life perspective.”

But it was not an easy transition in many ways. “My first year going from public school to Country Day was VERY tough – it was like going from high school to college overnight. By my second year I was in sync; my grades were OK but nothing to write home about, but I made it through.”

Added to that, Country Day was an all-boys school at the time. There were about 30 boys in his graduating class. All students had to wear coats and ties every day. 

After graduating from Country Day, he attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and graduated cum laude. He then went to American University Washington College of Law and is still a licensed attorney in Ohio, even though he now resides in Arizona. In 2009, he took the Arizona bar exam – at 60 years old – and received the top score in the state.

“It was quite an honor, but it goes back to the study and work ethic that I was taught at Country Day.”
In 2018, Hague developed, a program that enables homeowners to sell in 72 hours at full market value, avoid the inconvenience of daily showings, and even stay in their home for up to six months after closing. The program has been wildly successful and in May 2021, Greg launched 72SOLD in the Cincinnati market, as the 29th national market for the program. Within the first week, more than 100 sellers responded. “It's an alternative to the traditional model of selling our homes, offering convenience, certainty, and full market value, something that really resonates with sellers.”

Greg says he gives back – and will continue to give back – to Country Day to pay it forward. He was the presenting sponsor in 2021 for the school's annual fundraising event, CountryDate, and agreed to be the presenting sponsor again in 2022 at TQL Stadium.
Faculty Feature
To say that Nico Rumboll adds a global perspective to the middle school is an understatement. Born in Cordoba, Argentina, he attended an International Baccalaureate high school in India, received his undergraduate degree in environmental science from Edinburgh University, and fell in love with and married someone from Kentucky.
Before working at Country Day, Nico taught geography in Buenos Aires. “My mom was a kindergarten teacher at an independent school and my dad was an environmental education teacher and the head of the national parks service school. My sister, who is also a teacher, convinced me to be a teacher and the rest is history,” said Rumboll. “With both parents as educators, you can see yourself in that position and see what you can accomplish. I always thought teaching was an important job.” 

Currently, Nico teaches social studies at the middle school, and helps teach French. He also coaches swimming and tennis. The 2020-21 school year marked his fourth year at Country Day and the first year his son, Rollo, attended school at the Early Childhood Center.

“I love that Rollo is being educated at Country Day,” said Rumboll. “I'm all in here. Sure, I would be more excited if this wasn't the year of Covid, but I'm hopeful we will get back to normal and do what we do best. At the same time, I'm excited because next year I'm teaching a new elective – global studies.”
Pictures of the Month
Brian Bortz '87, Michael DiSanto, Jason Jurgensen '95, and Christopher Cicchinelli celebrate the opening of the new stadium and turf field.
Head of Lower School Mark Morawski greets students at carline in the morning.
Middle School Arts Faculty Ully Marin meets with his advisory on the first day of school.
Jack Wright '21 and Kasey Chopra '21 were selected for their fifth year as ball boys for the Western and Southern Open.
The girls golf team captured the first ever MVC Girls Golf Championship at Eagles Nest golf course!
Our newest alumni, the Class of 2021 enjoyed time with faculty and friends as they were welcomed into CCDS Alumni Association at Senior-Sendoff.
Save the Date
Match Day
Thursday, November 11