We celebrated our superb faculty and staff at a special Kindergarten-Grade 8 Chapel on Friday, May 20, that was also live-streamed for parents and friends. At this Chapel, we announced the Love of Teaching Award and Jeff Keffer Service Award, recognized faculty and staff celebrating anniversary years of service to St. Patrick's, and acknowledged departing faculty and staff. In full, we gave thanks for these great gifts of talent, energy, and commitment to our community.
Our faculty and staff regularly demonstrate professional excellence and profound dedication in their service to the Day School. This annual Chapel recognizes their efforts to create exceptional settings for teaching and learning, to find what works for each student, to continue to develop their own craft knowledge, to collaborate with colleagues, to foster community, and to serve others.
Each year, we invite nominations of potential honorees for the Love of Teaching Award from members of the faculty and staff for consideration by the Division Heads, who in turn make a recommendation to the Head of School. We ask faculty and staff who are nominating someone for the Love of Teaching Award to write a brief statement as to how that individual displays a particular commitment to students, craft, and colleagues. This year, our recipient was Grade 8 humanities teacher Marlena Elmore.
We also endeavor to remember and honor a man, a father, a husband, a volunteer, and a friend who revealed his sense of St. Patrick’s through a depth of involvement, commitment, energy, and achievement—a life of service to this institution—that will be difficult to equal. We remember, and honor, Jeff Keffer by acknowledging a member of the St. Patrick’s faculty and staff for that individual’s commitment to the Day School, demonstrated understanding of the community that comprises St. Patrick’s, and service to the health and vitality of the institution.
Jeff was an individual who clearly understood that each of us must work to make human institutions, relationships, and situations better than they were when we arrived. He had a keen sense of the roles each one of us can, and should, play in this effort, as faculty and staff, students, and parents. Rather than expecting those roles to constrain us, though, Jeff seemed to think that a clear, textured understanding of our various roles actually frees us to be our best selves.
This year’s recipients of the Jeff Keffer Service Award have provided extraordinary service in support of the health and well-being of our students and families, faculty and staff, and broader community throughout the coronavirus pandemic. They are our Health Office team of Judy Barr, Emily Carney, and Claire Cliche.
We look forward to sharing more details about these awards and the recipients in an upcoming edition of the St. Patrick’s Press.