At our employee holiday party in December, I read the following about individuals who have worked at MA for thirty years. I share these appreciations here so that the larger community will know just how much we value these colleagues. Tomorrow I will share the last milestone: 35 years!
Thank you again to our wonderful faculty, staff, and administrators—Marin Academy wouldn’t be the same without you!
Pam is my role model for what it means to keep growing and learning as a teacher. First, she is truly a master teacher. She brings decades of experience to her work, and a deep appreciation of teenagers. All of that gives her perspective. As one of our early adopters, she balances a historic understanding of how students learn with a curiosity and intellectual inquisitiveness about pedagogy. As a historian, Pam uses the past as instruction for the future, not as a place to remain stuck. One has the sense that every lesson in her history class gives students the opportunity to think about how they will both create and participate in history. Her elective Justice in America captures that sense. Students look at all aspects of the justice system, developing a nuanced understanding of right and wrong, justice and mercy. Pam has worn many hats at MA: Class Dean, Department Chair, leader of Model UN, Early Adopter, and parent of Cecilia and Luke. No matter what she does, Pam brings grace, humility, and an appetite to be the best teacher possible. Pam, thank you for your consistent commitment to MA, for your willingness to step in and to help always, for being the model of a lifelong learner in our school.
Clay and fire. The elements. For thirty years, Anne has taken these essential elements, added students and high standards to the mix, to create a program that consistently unlocks the artist and pushes him or her to new heights in our ceramics program. And we are not just talking about teapots that our students can give to their great aunts or grandparents. We are talking about sculpture, whimsy, and unpredictable creativity. Whether she is teaching Foundation Art to our students, collaborating with our most advanced ceramics students, or advocating for her department, Anne has art and its transformative power as her north star. Rightly so, she sees visual arts as the school’s earliest collaborative and multidisciplinary department. She brings together painters, photographers, and herself as a clay worker to create a department that exercises our students’ right brains. But there is plenty of left-brain work there as well. Anyone who has watched Anne teach will witness one of the most dynamic and disciplined classrooms humming along with no shortage of thinking, questioning, and creating. Thank you, Anne, for these three decades at MA, for putting students first, and for, well, being elemental to all things MA.