Honoring the extraordinary


Marly Rivera, ESPN

Mintz and Shusterman interviewing two-time MLB All Star Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Ella Waldman, Incoming In-Depth Editor, Director of Social Media

The annual Head of School Circle Celebration thanks donors who have made significant contributions and acknowledges distinguished alumni and teachers. Each year, three important members of the JDS community are honored and chosen to speak at the event. Traditionally, three alumni are nominated by the Alumni Advisory Board, but this year a change was made to nominate two alumni, and one long-time (20+ years of service), current or former faculty member. The 2022 honorees were journalist Emily Bobrow ‘94, sports writer and podcaster Jake Mintz ‘13, and middle school science teacher Nick Miller. The event was held on Nov. 29 at the Upper School.


Emily Bobrow (‘94)

Bobrow currently writes a weekly column called Weekend Confidential for the Wall Street Journal where she highlights the work of noteworthy individuals. 

“It’s great, it’s so much fun,” Bobrow said. “I love getting the chance to talk to completely different people, athletes, scientists, writers, performers, and getting a sense of how they became who they are and figuring out how to tell their story.” 

However, Bobrow didn’t always envision a career in journalism. During high school and for a large part of college she planned a future in public policy. Although she felt passionately about the cause, she also felt dissatisfaction with the political process. She then wrote an op-ed on welfare reform for Student Life: Washington University in St. Louis’s student newspaper. 

“It just never occurred to me that you could actually make a difference that way…[A]ll of these people, people who I didn’t know, read it and thought it was interesting, and it was just kind of thrilling,” Bobrow said. “I realized you could engage with the same issues that I cared about…but more broadly and try to communicate the value of and the stakes, to a broader audience, to get more people engaged or concerned or involved.”

Based on the positive response, Bobrow joined the school’s paper, which affirmed her interest in journalism. After graduation, she moved to London and worked for a small local newspaper, before moving to New York and freelancing. Eventually, she secured a job for The Economist, writing for a variety of sections in several different locations, including London and Washington D.C. After 15 years with The Economist, she decided to settle down in New York to focus on freelance writing. Bobrow was hired by the Wall Street Journal last Bobrow cites the impact that JDS had on her life educationally and holistically.

“The education that you get at JDS, it’s not just about passing your tests, it’s not just about writing good papers, it’s clearly about graduating as a good, well-rounded human,” Bobrow said. “I do feel like JDS does a good job of not just raising people who can read and write, but also creating mensches.”  


Jake Mintz (‘13)

Mintz’s journalism career began in December of his senior year, when he used the extra time he had after submitting his college applications to start a baseball website with friend and former classmate Jordan Shusterman. They grew their website and Twitter account over the course of a year and even started a podcast together. 

Halfway through college, MLB reached out and offered them a summer opportunity to road trip from Washington, D.C. to San Diego and back, watching and writing about a baseball game each day. The trip helped grow their following and right out of college, MLB hired Mintz for a permanent position. After two and a half years with MLB, he left for two years to do a podcast for The Ringer, before hosting a show on MLB Network for a year. In 2021 he began writing for Fox Sports. He also hosts a podcast for SiriusXM. 

Similarly to Bobrow, Mintz did at one point envision a career in politics, but his passion for sports never wavered and with encouragement from his parents, he knew he was interested in a career in sports journalism early on. 

“I just loved baseball…so many kids like sports, obviously, but I just never got sick of that, and I was interested in it in a way that adults were interested in their jobs,” Mintz said. “It’s just such a small percentage of people who get to make baseball or sports their day-to-day lives, that you never expect it to happen.”

Mintz’s career has taken off, but he still appreciates the influence JDS has had on him. He explained that staff like history teacher Mark Buckley, Dean of Experiential, Leadership and Service Learning Tori Ball and Director of Arts Education ​​Dr. David Solomon all had significant impacts on his education and experience at JDS, and that the relationships he built at JDS will last him a lifetime. 

“It means something that, at least for me and my experience, JDS has created an environment where I was around special like-minded people that would have not just an impact on 15-year-old me, but an impact on 27-year-old me,” Mintz said.  


Science Teacher Nick Miller

Miller’s JDS career began in 1985 as a Latin substitute teacher for two years, while also teaching part-time at several other schools in the area. Then, a few days before the start of the next school year, the administration needed to quickly fill an unexpected vacancy. Miller was informed of the vacancy on a Thursday, interviewed for the job on Sunday and then began teaching science full-time that Tuesday. Although the job placement was last-minute, Miller has built connections and grown with the community during his many years of teaching at JDS. 

“I liked the community. I think we’re very welcoming,” Miller said. “I like that our parents are interested in their kids’ learning, and that culture is really alive here. It’s important to study that communities are important, religion is important, whether you’re secular or not, and I liked all that.” 

In addition to the community, Miller explained that he appreciates the values and network that JDS fosters. He described the importance of the shared values of family, religion and community that JDS cultivates and expressed admiration at the connection that JDS alumni have built to maintain relationships and provide support beyond graduation.  

Throughout his many years at JDS, Miller has served many roles and taught hundreds of students. Yet his dedication and commitment to his job is unwavering. He has influenced so many lives through his teachings and prepared countless students for successful careers. 

“I love teaching science. And I love to teach people how to study. I really think it’s important to know different study techniques,” Miller said. “That’s one of the most rewarding things is that people can optimize their abilities by learning how to study, and how to think, and how to write, and how to speak. That optimization, I really liked that aspect of my job.”