A site for all Williston Northampton speeches and reflections.

Head of School’s Welcome, Family Weekend 2017

Head of School Robert W. Hill III delivered this address at the Family Weekend all-school assembly in the Athletic Center on Oct. 20, 2017. To see photos of Family Weekend, click here.

It’s only once a year that I get to stand before all students and many sets of parents or guardians, aunts and uncles—and now I am doing it for my eighth time as headmaster. And since that’s the case I am going to seize the opportunity to brag on you, to brag about students, and faculty as you head into the heart of Family Weekend and all that is going on. Williston’s community is remarkable and I’ve seen that in myriad ways for the past seven years. Here’s a very very public example of what I mean. Last night, I attended the play Our Town. I’ve come to expect great plays at Williston—Ms. Ditkovski has developed a gold medal program—and once again the cast was unbelievable in their display of talent and range. Continue reading

Two Faculty Recognized for 25 Years of Service

Director of the Middle School Jen Fulcher

Ed note: During Convocation on September 15, 2017, Head of School Robert W. Hill III made the following remarks recognizing 25 years of service of two faculty members.

It has been our tradition at convocation to honor teachers who have committed 25 years of their lives to Williston by presenting them with a Williston chair. This year we have two recipients. Jen Fulcher began her career at Williston back in 1989, and she has been a psychology teacher, civics teacher, dorm parent, and coach. Her career here was interrupted by a stint coaching women’s soccer at Middlebury College, only to return Williston after a handful of years. Currently, she serves as the director of the Middle School and is well known for her phenomenal record as the varsity coach of girls lacrosse and soccer. Ms. Fulcher is, as everyone who knows her will agree, a Coca­-cola-fueled force of unparalleled energy—and I know that she’s always been this way, since I did some digging before writing these remarks. With that boundless energy comes an equal focus on student achievement, on her students and players being better every day, whether on the playing fields or in the classrooms. If anyone doubts her competitiveness, then just watch Ms. Fulcher in the Middle School volleyball tournament. Jen, if you ever run for Congress, you have a ready-made slogan. Thanks for setting the bar so high and for all you have done for Williston.

Director of Middle School Admission Allison Marsland

Allison Marsland has been an admission officer at Williston for 25 years and currently serves as Director of Middle School Admission and Senior Associate Director of Admission—so she and Ms. Fulcher are joined at the hip when it comes to our 7th and 8th grade students. Moreover, every student who joined Williston as a ninth grader also knows Ms. Marsland as co-founder and director of the 9th grade CORE. If you remember your first day at Williston, you will recall Ms. Marsland moving among the pews of the chapel taking pictures of everyone
smiling—she even invented the selfie before that was a thing. Ms. Marsland insistence that smiling makes you feel better and invites others to engage you forms the basis of friendship and community. Those who have seen Ms. Marsland in action, whether coaching soft ball or heading 194 Main Street, know that she practices what she preaches. Allison, please accept our thanks for your 25 years of community building and modeling Williston’s mission.

Mesics Instructorship Awarded to Josh Seamon

Ed. note, the Sandra Bashore ’55 and Joseph C. Mesics Instructorship was awarded to Math Department Chair Joshua Seamon during an all-school assembly on September 15, 2017. Dean of Faculty delivered the following remarks.

The Sandra Bashore ’55 and Joseph C. Mesics Instructorship was established in 2001 to recognize the work and initiative of a young faculty member at Williston.

The new Mesics Instructorship recipient joined the Williston faculty in 2013. Arriving on campus he quickly became known for his incredible energy, his love of dogs, his addiction to international travel, his intricate and elegant Origami, and perhaps most famously for his irrepressible passion for all things mathematical. Continue reading

Sarah Klumpp Receives the Richard C. Gregory Faculty Chair

Sarah Klumpp receives the Gregory Chair.

Ed. note: History and Global Studies Chair Sarah Klumpp received the Richard C. Gregory Chair during Convocation on September 15, 2017. Dean of Faculty Peter Valine presented the chair and delivered this address.

The new recipient of the Gregory Chair arrived on our campus in the fall of 2001. As an independent school graduate who had also taught for three years in boarding school before coming to Williston, she rapidly immersed herself in all areas of school life.

In the classroom, her energy, enthusiasm, and exceptional organization allow her to successfully transmit her passion for history and teaching. She brings history alive through her student-centered pedagogy. She encourages students to find their own voice through discussions and to challenge their understandings through debate. She asks probing questions about historical issues, and creates engaging projects that require her students to adopt the roles of discoverers and historians. She uses clearly articulated goals and objectives that assist the process of discovery, and then prods her students to apply the knowledge and skills that they gained. Her students feel well supported by her frequent and constructive feedback, her availability for extra help, and her positive reinforcement and praise when their work is well done. Continue reading

Anabelle Farnham ’18 Convocation Speech

Anabelle Farnham ’18

Students, faculty, staff, class of 2018, welcome to Convocation!

I was terrified. Excited, but terrified. No, I am not talking about when I sat down to write this speech. I’m talking about when I was first accepted to Williston the spring before freshman year. I was afraid that I wouldn’t dress the right way; that I wouldn’t be smart enough; that I would fail in athletics; that I wouldn’t know how to be “preppy”; and before the year had even started, I somehow already felt behind. Luckily, that summer I met one girl from Williston that would change all of that. Continue reading

A site for all Williston Northampton speeches and reflections.