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

The Importance of Perspective and Learning the History We Don’t Know

Dr. Beverly Tatum

Williston Northampton Convocation Speech
Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum
September 15, 2017

A long time ago I read a disturbing story that had a powerful effect on me and I want to begin my talk today by telling it to all of you.  Unfortunately I no longer remember where I first read it, but I believe it comes from the Buddhist tradition.  It is a story about a king who wanted to create a large bell that could be heard across the country side, one that would be astonishingly beautiful in tone.  He commissioned the most highly skilled bell maker he could find, and the bell maker worked diligently to produce a wonderful bell.  The first bell he made was good, but not great.  The sound quality just wasn’t what the king was looking for.  A second bell was cast, and still despite the bell maker’s best efforts, it wasn’t good enough for the king.  Finally in frustration, the bell maker told the king that the only way to get the beautiful tone he was looking for would be to sacrifice a young maiden in the casting of the bell.  And so the king ordered his soldiers to find a suitable candidate.  In a nearby village they found a poor woman with a young daughter, and snatched her away from her pleading mother.  She was sacrificed for the bell, and indeed the bell that resulted was both beautiful to see and had an astonishingly pure and lovely tone.  All who heard it marveled at the sound, but the poor mother who knew firsthand its terrible history cried with grief each time the bell rang. There was injustice literally baked into that bell, but those who did not know that history never had to think about that injustice.  They simply enjoyed its sound. Continue reading