On our return from Spring Break, in our virtual faculty meeting just before launching our distance learning effort in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, we took some time to recognize some incredible individuals. While it was odd not to have the full school present, and to “clap” with microphones muted, it was still heartwarming to recognize some of the excellence on our faculty. Perhaps you know a few of our award-winners!
Merrie-Beth Cleary, Director of the ASSIST Center
Eileen Neville Marceau and CK Kennedy described Merrie-Beth as a “bottomless well of energy and enthusiasm.” They lauded her ability to push her students to be the best versions of themselves while holding them accountable when they fall short with kindness and good humor. She was acknowledged for her kind nature and her desire to really know each person she interacts with. As head of the ASSIST Learning Center, her empathy and professionalism pairs perfectly to help her students gain confidence with difficult subjects and improve.
Sarah Kniesler, English
Amelia Wright, friend, and colleague shared that “Sarah’s ability to carefully craft a healthy balance of joy and rigor in her classrooms makes those she teaches feel comfortable and safe taking risks, leading to student growth that extends well beyond the walls of our classrooms.” A true expert in English content, Sarah is deeply dedicated to personal and professional growth. Wright goes on to say, “She fully exemplifies the full meaning of being a seawolf—passion, life-long learning, commitment to excellence, and care for others are obvious strengths of Sarah’s that she models exhaustively well for both her students and colleagues.”
Matt Sandefer, French
His colleagues, Jesse Hawley, and Derek Krein commented that Matt is always tinkering, pursuing, evolving, a true role model for the growth mindset for his students and colleagues. “He is a deep thinker, and very open to other viewpoints.” They describe his willingness to be “comfortable in the discomfort of novelty and change” as invaluable. A passionate, goal-oriented teacher and coach, an empathetic advisor and an inclusive educator, Matt has shown that his inclination to learn and to help others learn is his default setting.
When we return to campus, at last, framed photos along with the full citations read will be displayed in the Atrium of the Math/Science Wing of the Academic Center to honor the commitment, dedication, and skill of these individuals.
Congratulations to the 2020 Seawolf Faculty Award winners!