March 20, 2023

Mark Trotter writes:

After graduation, I attended McGill University in Montreal where I completed a BA with Russian major in 1979. While a student there, I had the opportunity to see Josh Conescu, my classmate in Mrs. McClaren's 10th grade English class, (much to my and Josh's surprise) perform in "Henry IV" at U of Vermont during field trip with a Shakespeare class that I was taking in summer of 1978.

After two years employment as a sort of social worker with the Jewish Employment and Vocational Service of Philadelphia, I entered the graduate program in Slavic Languages and Literatures at University of Michigan in 1981, finishing an MA degree and reaching PhD candidacy but never quite pullng it together to complete a PhD dissertation.

From 1987 to 1993 I taught Russian, Russian culture, and linguistics at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa (even had a LMHS graduate in two of my Russian classes). From 1993 through 2007, I lived abroad for most of the time, first in Hungary where I taught at a teacher training college in small town near the Austrian border and then in Russia, where I served as resident director of a newly created program for exceptionally accomplished US students of Russian, based at Saint Petersburg University. In 1998 I began to teach Russian in the summer intensive program at Indiana University (Bloomington) and continued to do so through summer of 2017. In 2007 I returned to the US as a year-round resident when I landed my current position as associate director of Indiana University's Russian and East European Institute.

I have been married to the incomparable Veronika, née Boikova, of Saint Petersburg, Russia for more than 20 years now, and we have been blessed with two wonderful daughters, Arina (19) and Jess (15).

Those who attended Ardmore Junior High School might remember my father, Kenneth Trotter, who passed away in 2017.

I wonder if anybody remembers Ricky Simpkins, one of my father's former students, who was shot and killed by an Ardmore storeowner in a tragic altercation that took place early in 1974. I didn't find Ricky's name on the program for our graduation but I'm pretty certain he entered LMHS with the rest of us--I was in (Screamin') Gene Hernenko's Health class with him in 10th grade.

 Despite some pretty serious medical challenges over the last two and a half years, I am feeling quite upbeat about life in general and looking very much forward to seeing former classmates at the upcoming 50th reunion!

Here is a photo of  summer (2019) in Paris with the Trotters: (left to right: Arina, Jess, Veronika, Mark):




Lower Merion HS Class of 1973

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