Retiring Faculty Honored at ASM

The Phillips Academy community honored and bid farewell to eight departing members of the faculty during last Wednesday’s All-School Meeting. The community came together in what Head of School Barbara Chase described as a “bitter sweet task to do as a school.” Collectively serving Phillips Academy for over two hundred and fifty years, Chief Financial Officer Neil Cullen, Instructor in Biology Thomas Hamilton, Instructor in Math Frank Hannah, Instructor in Spanish Rebecca McCann, Instructor in History and Social Science James Rogers, Instructor in Music and School Organist Carolyn Skelton, Instructor in English Jean St. Pierre, and Instructor in French Hale Sturges will all be joining the Class of 2004 in leaving the Phillips Academy community this coming June. Various members of the community delivered brief commemorative speeches in honor of each of the eight individuals, whom Mrs. Chase referred to as “eight legendary people.” Dean of Studies Vincent Avery described Mr. Cullen as a “very brave man” and said that he has been a “just and caring steward” to the Academy since 1986. He also stated that he has come to discover Mr. Cullen as a man with the “mind of a teacher and the idealism of a teacher.” Instructor in Biology Lydia Goetze honored the career of Instructor in Biology Thomas Hamilton, saying that Hamilton taught his students that they “should and could think like biologist.” Math Department Chair David Penner portrayed Mr. Hannah as a “puzzle addict” and someone with a “commitment to students.” Dr. Penner also spoke about Mr. Hannah’s thirty-six year tenure as a member of the Phillips Academy community. Describing Hannah’s many involvements in coaching everything from JV Soccer to Varsity Squash, Penner also spoke on Hannah’s insightful ability to solve problems and his many times in which he had shared an “ah-hah” moment with Hannah. Commemorating the thirty-seven year Andover career of Instructor in Spanish Rebecca McCann, Matt Garza ’04 described McCann as someone who was in the “inside and outside…just incredible.” Describing Rogers as a man who’s “values have been tested” and someone with a “rock of commitment” Chair of the History and Social Science Department Victor Henningsen honored Roger’s famous announcer’s voice and time and as a member of the Andover community. Steve Traversio ’04 spoke in honor of Mrs. Skelton’s thirty-two years as an Instructor in Music and school organist, referring to her as the “grandmother of Fidelio.” “Ms. Skelton was definitely someone who led through fine example rather than harsh words,” Travierso continued. Claudia Koh ’67, an Abbot Academy graduate, Phillips Academy parent, and newly appointed Trustee of Phillips Academy, spoke in honor of Instructor in English Jean St. Pierre, who was the first woman ever to have chaired the Phillips Academy English Department. Harkening back to her days as a student in Ms. St. Pierre’s English class, Ms. Koh described Ms. St. Pierre as someone who would “never change” and presented her with a rose, a flower she believed to be symbolic of Ms. St. Pierre as a person. Tess Borden ’04 concluded by honoring Mr. Sturges. Borden described her days as one of Sturges’s students, stating she will never forget the first day of French class and Mr. Sturges’ famous “Bonjour!”