Every once in awhile we get to work with someone who is naturally caring, optimistic, and profoundly kind and directs those traits towards us. Laurie Giesen is just that person. Laurie wears her heart on her sleeve and a big heart it is. She notices the little things: who seems out of sorts, what might make a day easier, who should get flowers. When I think of how we work together, the classic TV show M*A*S*H comes to mind. The incoming helicopters, the Colonel, the chaos of the unit, the intrigue of personal relationships, and in the midst of it all, there is Radar, calm, competent, two steps ahead, knowing just what is needed and when. Laurie is a keeper of the memories of our school. She knows the history, the stories, the origins and the originals. But more than that, she cares deeply about each one of us and about our school. Quite simply, Laurie would do anything for Marin Academy. And MA needs her to keep itself centered as it inevitably grows. Laurie, thank you for your dedication, your loyalty, and your commitment to all of us. And personally, thank you for the many ways that you have been my support through these six dynamic years.
Not only does Connie play a critical role in bringing our fabulous students to MA; she also helps them document their history here as their yearbook advisor. There are few problems that Connie can’t figure out how to tackle. This year in particular, Connie helped to reshape our Open House programs and makes the visit program work. In short, Connie devotes her time to bringing the best kids to our wonderful school. She also brings the perspective of being an Alum parent to all that she does. She holds herself and others to high standards. Always making sure that those who need the most get what is necessary, she goes the extra mile. Connie, thank you for your commitment to all things MA, for helping our students find their way here, and remember it once they leave.
When I think of Liz the word that comes to mind is this: citizen. Citizenship bonds individuals beyond families in common beliefs and endeavors. Liz is the consummate citizen and embodies the essence of democratic participation. A master teacher, Liz has her students take their knowledge out of the classroom. Whether into the high Sierras to record the calls of the Pika to determine the impact of climate change or as a Thoreau Chair, Liz reminds us that education in action is the goal of our work. Her belief in the power of the individual and the power of group action gives our students belief in themselves and an authentic path to making the world a better place. Now for some, when they think of Liz the word that comes to mind is ice cream. Fair enough. In her spare time beyond her coaching, teaching, and Thoreau Chairing, Liz participated in the creation of a now national business known to all of us: Three Twins ice cream. Besides all the great Three Twins ice cream, the only brand served in our house, thank you, Liz, for your limitless energy, your leadership of our students, and your deep and abiding commitment to community.