“A Night of Celebration” Honors Employees

Shore’s “Night of Celebration” on May 31 honored employees reaching milestones in their careers, and celebrated those departing at the end of the school year. More than 100 guests, including families, employees, and friends, attended the event, which was held in the Trustey Family Theatre. The special occasion was a chance for the Shore community to acknowledge the commitment, professionalism, and loyalty of the entire faculty, staff, and administration. “These are what deliver such an exceptional experience for our children,” said Head of School Clair Ward.

Ward began the evening by recognizing those employees who had received a degree or certification this year. “Our school puts great emphasis on the connection between ongoing professional growth and the student experience,” she said. Kathleen Saunders earned a Masters Degree in Nursing Leadership from Framingham State University. Maintenance team member David Ashley completed a program to become an ordained deacon in his faith tradition.

Next, Ward acknowledged employees with five years of service: “Each of you in your own way has begun to leave your mark on Shore Country Day School. We appreciate your special dedication and your commitment to our students day in and day out. You are now a part of our foundation—the foundation of learning.” Five-year employees included Claudia Ovalle, Mike Pannozzi, Katie Sullivan, and John Clark.

Ward went on to individually recognize employees who had reached milestones of 10 years or more. Of 10-year employee Teacher Librarian Debora Collison, Ward said, “Debora partners with our student readers and works closely with her colleagues to ensure that Shore’s Library remains current and relevant. She has a magical and soothing voice. And she is a gifted children’s book curator who always makes sure that the Shore collection includes the newest, the best, and the most inclusive literature.”

In celebrating 10-year employee Jennifer Boyum, Upper School music teacher, Ward said, “The combination of Jenn’s musicianship and her intellect means that she is always striving for high level performances that are rich with concept. Jenn’s professionalism helps to create a music program like no other. The queen of organization and someone devoted to furthering music at Shore, Jenn is a gift to both her students and colleagues.”

Ward acknowledged third grade teacher Anne Babcock, who reached 10 years at Shore. “One of the greatest traits a teacher can have is to scan for the most vulnerable in their care. This is what Anne Babcock has been doing at Shore for all of her 10 years. It is no wonder that at the end of each year, families have trouble leaving Anne in third grade, with students wondering why she can’t just go with them to the next year.”

Admissions Assistant and Registrar Ali Jahn also received recognition for her 10 years at Shore. “Ali works closely with all of us to create a caring and welcoming experience for our prospective families,” said Ward. “There is so much warmth and polish in her approach that often our families consider Ali their person long after they enroll. Ali is a committed colleague with a flexible mindset, making her the ultimate partner.”

Ward moved on to those employees who had served 15 years at Shore. She began by congratulating Upper School history teacher Pat Coyle. “We believe that Pat has a paranormal ability to read the needs of those around him. As his colleagues, we have all benefited from the well-timed e-mail checking in on us. However, the students are the real winners, as Pat magically and quietly makes himself available. Kind, empathetic, professional and pastoral, Pat Coyle is the very definition of the Shore Community Code.”

Honoring Latin and English teacher Doug Lucey, Ward said, “When Doug sees a need in our community he is willing to personally wrestle with it and work toward solutions. And nothing could require more persistence than shifting an organization’s culture around sustainability.”

Ward next acknowledged Upper School science teacher Oliver Hay. “Always steady and encouraging, Oliver treats students with the assumption that they can be successful. He models curiosity, he wonders beside them and not for them, and he maintains high standards that inspire students to achieve. A gifted department chair, Oliver also does this with colleagues.”

Three 20-year employees next received recognition. Director of Facilities John Borden, said Ward, “is Shore’s very own superman. When COVID came, John was instrumental in gathering much-needed supplies so we could have a safe and successful school year. John is respected by the employees and students, and is a role model because of his hard work and dedication. He knows our campus like the back of his hand and has partnered closely with us to strengthen our approach to keeping everyone safe.”

Upper School math teacher Anneke Chang “has the perfect disposition for working with middle schoolers,” said Ward. “She is calm under pressure, and middle school antics cause Anneke to lean in and not lean out. You are a compassionate leader of both children and adults; you have many ways in which you bring curiosity with you into every aspect of your teaching. And you do all of this with incredible intellect.”

Ward also recognized Sander van Otterloo ’91, Shore’s Director of Secondary School Counseling. “His students know him as a dedicated teacher; his colleagues know him as an accomplished writer; we all know him as a kind and principled person. But you should know that his kindness sometimes can run in contradiction to what I will call his professional fierceness. You haven’t lived until you have seen Sander persist with an admissions office until our very last student is placed; there is nowhere to hide when he is on the hunt for a well-earned place for one of our students.”

Next to be celebrated was Upper School art teacher Ruth Bauer, who has served Shore for 25 years. “Ruth Bauer is the kind of person and teacher to whom everyone is drawn,” said Ward. “Sure, the artists love her. But even those who don’t count art as a strong suit lean in to Ruth’s kind and compassionate demeanor. Always an advocate for the underdog, Ruth is tireless in her commitment to her advisees and her students alike; Ruth has earned a Phd in sixth grade social drama, yet she approaches each new moment with a freshness that feels like it is her first. Teacher, colleague, friend, department chair, advisor—Ruth has done it all.”

In congratulating fifth grade teacher David Lund on his 30 years at Shore, Ward quoted two poets: “Yeats said, ‘Education is not the filling of a pot but the lighting of a fire.’ Robert Frost put it another way: ‘I am not a teacher, but an awakener.’ We celebrate three decades of one of Shore’s great awakeners—David Lund. Quiet by temperament, but intensely thoughtful, David is an inspiration to not only his students, but also his colleagues. It is not unusual for us to be in a meeting processing a new idea and see folks turn to look at David’s stoic expression for a clue as to how to proceed. While David is not one to think in terms of a hierarchy, we all feel a sense of gratitude for his immense wisdom on everything from children to curriculum.”

Near the close of the event, Ward paid tribute to departing employees, saying, “This June’s departures have forever left their mark on Shore.” Employees leaving Shore this year included: Kristin Larson, Sara Tollerud, Gustavo Carrera, Mike Pannozzi, Pam Haley, Bill Fisher, Mary Kinahan, Gretchen Bowder, and Sander van Otterloo.

Before closing out the evening, Ward took a moment to acknowledge outgoing Parents Association Chair Michele Vaccaro. “Michele believes very strongly in finding ways for the Parents Association to support the work our teachers do with the children. This could not have been more apparent than the work that Michele and her leadership team did during the COVID-19 pandemic to sustain us with encouragement and treats.”

Ward then invited the audience to gather outside for “toasts and treats.” “I hope you are leaving with your Shore bucket full,” she said.
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Shore Country Day School

545 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA 01915
(978) 927-1700
Shore Country Day School’s mission is to provide an education that inspires a love of learning and encourages children to embrace academic challenge. We seek to build character, cultivate creativity, and value diversity as we help our children become healthy, compassionate citizens of the world.
The School admits qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, or any other status protected by applicable law, and extends to them all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. The School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, or any other status protected by applicable law in the administration of its admissions, scholarships, and loans, and its educational, athletic, and other programs.