To spent fifteen years in one organizations takes a particularly dedicated individual. Part III in our appreciations celebrates three such people.
A Panamanian by birth, Anayansi is a citizen of the world. She is a language teacher, but more than that she understands the power of language. There is a spiritualism that she brings to her way of being at Marin Academy. I have always been moved by the ways that she can see through to the heart of the matter, or frankly to the heart of a person. And make no mistake about it, she knows who she is and what she is about. She holds down the fort in Foster Hall. Her expertise and wisdom as a teacher, an elder, and a woman are very much a part of all that she does. She holds very high standards for teaching, for her students and for her colleagues. As department chair, she values hard work and innovative teaching. Whether in the use of technology or the willingness to try different approaches, Anayansi brings both an openness and a rigorous, investigative mind. She doesn’t settle for what is easy or quick. She seeks excellence in all that she does. For all of those high standards, Anayansi knows when a kind word is needed or a thumbs up for support. She is keenly aware of those around her and without being intrusive, she will connect and engage, give a sense of light that she sees surrounding you. Anayansi, thank you for these years of commitment to MA.
It is probably inappropriate to begin this way, but let me put it out there: has anyone ever seen Katharine wear the same complete outfit twice? As I walk around in my classic jacket, shell, and pants, I marvel at the many mini canvasses that make up Katharine’s wardrobe. Color, shape, style, bold, mod, are all words that come to mind. But let us not let that distract from the fact that a most serious artist resides in our midst. She is painter, a thinker, and an intellectual. Katharine is engaged in the world and in the world of ideas. Whether she is talking about perspective drawing or commenting on how a student uses text in a painting, Katharine has seriously high standards for what constitutes art and a deep and abiding belief that each individual is an artist. How intriguing, how engaging that her vision is a vision that each of us has one. How reassuring for those of us who essentially wear black on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and gray or brown on Tuesday or Thursday. When of think of Katharine and her work, I often think of Lily Briscoe in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. Throughout the novel, Lily contemplates her painting, not quite sure how to finish it, to bring it to its natural completion. Finally, with great deliberateness, she draws a single, final line, and the piece is done. Katharine, thank you for the intentionality that you bring to your teaching here, to your students, to the piece of MA that is indeed, think, question, create.
Josh has been here since it began. I don’t mean that he has been here since the beginning of athletics—they started even before his time—but rather that he has been here since MA decided to make its all in commitment to valued programs inclusive of athletics. His expertise as a coach of the game is legendary, his reputation as a leader of young people, both boys and girls, is almost mythical. At the heart of Josh’s teaching, and he is a teacher, is a firm belief in excellence. He expects a lot and gives a lot, too. He is tireless in his commitment to athletics as a means for our students to develop their sense of self, their character, and their understanding of what it means to be responsible to a team. And his contributions don’t just touch those who play soccer. How many of us have found one of his emails with a link to an article or a YouTube video in our in box, watched or read it, and had it change our day? He has a feel for the moment. Besides all of that, there is his signature ear piece, his knowledge of all things Apple and iPhone—the sixth one hasn’t come out, but I am sure that Josh already knows about it—and the love and affection that he has for his twin boys. Josh, thank you for putting MA on the map, not just in soccer, but also in sportsmanship and character-building.