With a hat on his head, his signature backpack over his shoulder, and a ready grin, Mike Joyce is about as far from being a pocket protector-wearing accountant as you could imagine. Numbers are never the bottom line with Mike. People, community, what is best for kids, excellence, and transparency, however, are his bottom lines. More often than not, the first words he speaks in a complicated conversation are these: let’s think about that from another perspective; or I want to try on a different point of view. There are not many schools who have a CFO skilled or committed enough to chair its Diversity Council. Trustworthy, careful, and funny, Mike has provided us all with wise counsel that holds at its core a deep compassion for all things human and an understanding that life happens to all of us. When a school is fortunate enough to have a CFO of Mike’s caliber, one who possesses skill, vision, and commitment, that school is lucky enough. Mike, thank you for your tireless work on behalf of our entire community, for your ability to make things work, to find a way, for your endless good humor and grace.
There is a consistency about Derek that one finds comforting: his button downs, khakis, and jeans, his engagement with college football. Historian, librarian, archivist, Derek reminds us that our past always needs to be an honored part of our present and future. His deep respect for what came before, for the forces that shaped us, make him a critical keeper of MA’s history. He provides a crucial insight into the chapters of MA’s forty-one years. But Derek is by no means all about the past. He challenges himself as a teacher and a librarian daily. He has helped us move in the world of technology, never taken by the bells and whistles of a thing, but always embracing of any thing that authentically helps a student learn. In that old fashion way, Derek believes in doing what is right, and he has the courage to hold others to that as well. And there is no one else who can lead us in a spirited MA cheer in the way that he does. Derek, thank you for the integrity that you bring to your work, for the insight about the past as we create our future, for your unwavering loyalty and devotion to MA.
You have to be up early to beat Tom to school. In fact, Tom holds several records here: highest attendance at sports of events of any faculty member, most kobe beef sliders eaten at Prom, most frequent faculty visitor to the candy bowl in my office. Tom is always ready with a quick quip or a kind word. Underneath all of that, however, lies a most serious teacher. A conversation with Tom about Constitutional Law or the Supreme Court or the vagaries of an election year reveals an individual of purpose. He has an abiding belief that a student’s fluency with American History in all its complexity is a critical entry point to citizenship. He believes not only in educating the whole child, but in witnessing that child’s growth. He never misses the chance to see his students or advisees in a play, on the field, at a concert. He is an example to all of us of what it means to be a school person. Tom, thank you for the heart that you bring to your work, for your tireless support of students in all aspects of their lives, and for your incredible humor.
For many people the term blue eyes conjures up Frank Sinatra; for us at MA it has to be Micky Morris. We don’t necessarily see him break out in song, but his classic greeting, “how are we doing,” is all the song that most of us need in a day. Micky makes things happen. As an incredible leader of our B and G team, Micky cares for this campus with intention, skill, and considerable knowledge. Always looking to do something better or more effectively, he has been a leader on sustainability at MA, making moves that have saved our school tens of thousands of dollars. His dedication to our community also comes out in his kind words, his commitment to his work and, as he always says, his guys. On the Admin Team, his presence brings not just history but also a balance to our thinking. Micky, thank you for your leadership, your commitment to making MA stronger and safer, and for the heart that you give us every day.