Reflection, Speeches, and Awards Begin the School Year

angelusThe Williston Northampton School celebrated the Convocation of its 171st year on the evening of Friday, September 16 on the Quadrangle in front of the Reed Center. This year, the keynote address was given by Professor Shamus Khan of Columbia University. The program also included a welcome from the Senior Class president, Adrian Mendoza; the awarding of faculty chairs; and recognition of faculty members who have served the school for 25 years. At the beginning of the ceremony, Addison Coley ’12 rang the Angelus before a moment of silence.

Each fall at Convocation, the school recognizes outstanding long-time faculty who have been an integral part of the Williston community for 25 years. This year, the following three faculty members were honored.

25 year faculty chairsBob Bagley has taught the breadth of the mathematics curriculum. He spearheaded a review of the geometry curriculum and developed a topics course enabling students to have further options in math. Bob has served the school in many roles over the years as dorm head, track coach, graduation marshal, and as a member of the grounds crew for a number of summers.

Peter Gunn is an extraordinary teacher of history and economics who has inspired countless students on their way to intellectually engaged lives, and he coaches students annually in the statewide We The People program. His presence in the wider community is equally impactful; he chairs the Easthampton School Committee, teaches at Smith College, and coaches various youth teams.

Mimi King has made her mark in the Middle School by helping her students discover the math skills that provide a firm foundation for future success. Her pun-filled classroom generates a positive spirit that makes learning fun. She has also been a dedicated dorm parent.

The school also honored the following four dedicated faculty members as recipients of endowed chairs.

faculty Chair awardsDavid Koritkoski received the inaugural Prigmore Chair in History. “Coach K,” as he is known, is renowned for his engaging presence in the history classroom, his dedication as an advisor, and his passion as a swimming coach. He was elected to the faculty in 1999.

Jane Lucia received the David H. ’35 and Edward J. Goodman ’37 Science Chair. An innovative teacher of life science, Jane is also responsible for the community garden and its integration into her curriculum. This summer she took a graduate course in long-term forest research through Harvard, and her students’ data will be used for that study. She was elected to the faculty in 2005.

Marcia Reed received the Hagedorn Family Faculty Chair. She has come to define Williston’s studio arts program in painting and design, and countless Williston alumni have remained in touch with her over the years as they have pursued their own careers in art. She has taught painting workshops and retreats in Italy, the Caribbean, and closer to home in Maine, and she is the curator of the Grubbs Gallery, which connects Williston to local and nationally recognized artists. She was elected to the faculty in 1978.

Matt Sawyer received the Henry M. ’52 and Judith M. Zachs faculty chair. An English teacher, coach, advisor, and all-around school person, Matt Sawyer has an “enduring quality,” according to former Williston headmaster Denny Grubbs. He was elected to the faculty in 1994.