Teachers "like Alina are not just good teachers in the classroom, but embrace every aspect of middle school life," fellow middle school teacher Greg Siegler said. They are "teachers who really make private middle schools run to their finest degree, who are active in every respect with their students ... Alina, we will all miss you very much."
RE also recognized world languages teacher Maria Martinez, who is retiring after 21 years, and computer science teacher Jan Bekkevold, who is departing after 14. World Languages Department Chair James Monk described Martinez as "a treasure" and the "keystone" of the world languages department.
"She’s the centerpiece ... [who is] supporting us constantly with her knowledge, her advice and her wonderful sense of humor," Monk said. "When Maria speaks, we listen in our department, because we know she has a valuable message to share with us."
New Assistant Head of the Middle School Jessica Merrick, who shared an advisory with Bekkevold, lauded her for her professionalism and can-do attitude. "You are my mentor, my role model and, most importantly, my friend," she said. "I will certainly miss seeing your warm smile each and every day. The faculty and I wish you the best that life has to offer."
Karen Thompson, Dean of the Ninth Grade and a world languages teacher, won the Arthur Moses Faculty Award for the upper school, and Quincy Knowles, Performing Arts Facilities Technical Director, won the newly created staff recognition award.
Director of Libraries and Archivist Katrina Patchett was recognized for 35 years of service; art teacher Ellen Grant for 30; and Maria Eugenia Abrante, Daisy Armas and Maria Elena Gonzalez for 25. RE also bade farewell to Eric Boberg, Alice Chuang, Michael Porrazzo, Tyrone Croom, Andrew Schoudel, Chris Speers and Jack Sleeman.
See a full list of RE's longevity honorees below:
Years of Service
Mario del Castillo
Paul Natland '02
Maria Eugenia Abrante
Maria Elena Gonazalez