Four Outstanding Hotchkiss Instructors Receive Endowed Chairs

Head of School Craig Bradley (standing) with recipients of endowed chairs. From left to right: Marta Eso P'22, Amanda McClure P'18,22, Carmen Dockery Perkins P'23,P’23, and Carita Gardiner P’17,’20.

In an All-School Meeting in Elfers Hall on Friday, Oct. 1, four long-serving, dedicated instructors received endowed chairs. Watch a replay of the ceremony below.

Prior to announcing the recipients, Head of School Craig Bradley addressed the community and spoke earnestly about the hard work of teachers. 

“I am the son of a teacher. I am married to a teacher and I am deeply aware that being a teacher is not a job, or even a lifestyle. It is a calling,” he said. 

“At Hotchkiss, teaching does not begin and end in the classroom. Teachers are available outside of classes, in the evenings, and on weekends. Most teachers coach two sports a year, they serve as advisors, and they lead residential life in the dorms,” he continued.

Being named to an endowed Chair is among the highest forms of recognition an institution can bestow on a faculty member. The first endowed Chair was created in 1959, and in the 62 years since, the School has added 26 more. 

Associate Head of School and Dean of Faculty Merrilee Mardon announced the recipients.

Marta Eso P '22, instructor in mathematics, received The George P. Milmine Chair.

Eso joined Hotchkiss in 2002. “Over the years, Dr. Eso has diligently served our community in numerous visible and invisible ways. Never one to highlight her own work or her contributions, Dr. Eso pitches in whenever and however she is able. Dr. Eso has joyfully served residential life, both as a dorm faculty member and also at times as a part of the study skills team. She was co-head of the math department for several years, and she has contributed to the work of curriculum development in the Math Department. She has also served formally and informally as a mentor to new and even old faculty,” Mardon remarked. 

Carmen Dockery Perkins P'23,P’23, instructor in Spanish, received The William Elfers '37 Teaching Chair.

Dockery Perkins came to Hotchkiss in 2015 from Berkshire Country Day School, where she had served as associate head of school for 15 years. In addition to teaching Spanish at all levels, Dockery Perkins is a member of the admission team, she serves as advisor to the student affinity group CAFE, and she is a S.E.E.D. (Seeking Educational Equity and Inclusion) facilitator. She is also the dorm head of Flinn, Mardon noted.

She is an innovator, a collaborator, a nurturer, and a holder of standards. In the classroom, she is a dedicated and intentional educator.”

Amanda McClure P '18,’22, instructor in History, philosophy and religion, and associate dean of community life, received The Meredith Mallory George '78 Teaching Chair.

“Since she arrived in Lakeville in 2012, she has taken on key administrative roles, serving as class dean for eight years and, more recently, she’s become a leader in the development of student life programming as the associate dean of community life. She has served on numerous committees, where her collaborative style and clear thinking have helped colleagues stay focused on student learning and well-being. She’s also contributed critically to our co-curricular program, as a sailing coach, a rowing coach and, perhaps closest to her heart, as a coach in FFEAT,” Mardon said. 

Carita Gardiner P’17,’20, instructor in English, received The Class of 1942 Teaching Chair.

English instructor and chair recipient Carita Gardiner with her husband Chris Oostenink, instructor in environmental science

Gardiner came to Hotchkiss in 1999. “She has served as the English department head and taught all levels, including senior electives in film adaptations, humor, gendered language and Asian American literature. She’s coached cross country, water polo, swimming and diving, and club puck. Her record of service to the school community is so long that I can’t list it all here. In recent years, Ms. Gardiner’s support of Hillel has been invaluable. She has also collaborated with others to launch the adult anti-racist reading group, and she is co-leading the white identifying adult affinity space,” Mardon said. 

“Suffice it to say that Ms. Gardiner is a person who steps up when there is need and commits with an open mind and heart. From playing fields and pool decks to classrooms, Ms. Gardiner has touched the lives of legions of Hotchkiss students.”  


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