Eight Faculty Members Awarded Foundations and Instructorships in Honor of Their Contributions to PA

Eight faculty members were awarded for outstanding dedication to the Academy and a continuous effort to enrich the academic experiences of students at the Board of Trustees dinner on Friday. The teachers received instructorships and foundations; prestigious awards made available through the generosity of donors. The money, called an “endowment” or “endowed fund,” will go towards the teaching foundation to help pay for faculty salaries and needs. The foundations also provide the honored faculty with a budget, which they can use for independent research or another aspect of academy life. Director of the Office of Communications Michael Strysick explained, “The foundations are a great honor [and give faculty] strong recognition for excellence in teaching. It is the prestige that goes along with it [that makes the honor so impressive.]” The recipients were not informed in advance of their awards. Mr. Strysick said, “It is the unexpectedness that makes it a ‘magical moment’ for people.” This year, Dean of Faculty Temba Maqubela and Dean of Studies Margarita Curtis shared the honor of announcing and briefly speaking about the eight recipients. Amidst loud applause, both deans gave short speeches emphasizing the many accomplishments of each recipient. Chair of the Math Department Suzanne Buckwalter received The Zukerman Fellowship for Teaching and Learning. She was commended for leading the department to a consistently higher level. Teaching everything from geometry to calculus, her colleagues described her as dynamic and open-minded, while her students say she is an “exemplary teacher and an extraordinary person,” according to Dr. Curtis and Mr. Maqubela. Ms. Buckwalter said, “It was a huge honor – [an] awe-inspiring [one], and I am so thankful to the Zukermans for their recognition of teaching. It was very unexpected and very exciting…[It really] opens up opportunities for the department and allows us to continue to do the work we do.” Instructor in English Jeff Domina received the Richard J. Phelps Instructorship, and was praised as an extremely thoughtful and enthusiastically imaginative English teacher, always demanding yet compassionate, according to Ms. Curtis and Mr. Maqubela. He has taught at Phillips since 1999, in addition to serving as a track coach. History and Social Science Instructor Emma Frey was awarded the Frederick S. Allis, Jr. Teaching Instructorship in History. Chair of History and Social Science Peter Drench noted that since joining the department, Ms. Frey has risen quickly in a department “that takes enormous pride in the quality of its teaching.” Instructor in Biology Raj Mundra, the recipient of the Mesics Family Campaign Andover Instructorship, has been with Phillips Academy since 1996. He currently serves as a house counselor in Rockwell, Interim Associate Dean of CAMD, and the advisor of the Indo-Pak Society. He also served as co-director of the Teaching Fellow program. Chair of the Physics Department Katherine Pryde, was presented with The George Peabody Foundation award. Her colleagues describe her as influential, organized, and readily available to help her students outside of class. Chair of the Russian Department Victor Svec received the A. Wells Peck Teaching Foundation. With the belief that technology should supplement language learning, Mr. Svec has played a major part in the creation of the Language Learning Center (LLC) and helped reform the report writing system. One of the top theory teachers in the country, Instructor in Music Dr. Peter Warsaw was presented with the Donna Brace Ogilvie Teaching Foundation. Dr. Warsaw has taught music at Phillips Academy since 1984. An active performer, he has been an “inspiring, insightful educator” to many, according to Ms. Curtis and Mr. Maqubela. Instructor in Art Thayer Zaeder, received the Lumpkin Family Bicentennial Instructorship.