Hotchkiss Thanks Staff and Faculty at Anniversary Awards Ceremony

The Hotchkiss community recently recognized and thanked the employees of the School during a week of gratitude. The annual anniversary awards ceremony on April 28 honored staff and faculty members for their service and named the winners of the Margot Hooker Award and the Robert and Candice Barker Staff Recognition Award.

“Running this School is an extensive undertaking,” Head of School Craig Bradley said. “This work is done by 345 employees who have collectively provided 3,287 years of service. These colleagues contribute day in and day out—365 days a year—to ensure the excellence of the Hotchkiss experience.”  

Staff Recognition Awards

Hotchkiss's Danielle Shippey receives award

Danielle Shippey Receives Margot Hooker Award

Danielle Shippey, director of health services, received the Margot Hooker Award. This award was established in 1996 in memory of Margot Hooker, a 28-year member of the Hotchkiss staff, and is presented annually to a member of the staff who best exemplifies those traits of character which distinguished Margot Hooker: thoughtfulness, reliability, attachment to the institution, cheerfulness, kindness to one’s co-workers, and the example one sets for others.

“Danielle is kind, forthcoming, humble, and always behind the scenes making sure that our School delivers an extraordinary level of care to our students and their families,” said Merrilee Mardon, associate head of school and dean of faculty. “The ultimate test of leadership at a boarding school’s health center was the COVID pandemic. Danielle’s ingenuity and integrity quietly and critically shepherded our community toward safety—always with overall wellbeing in mind. Danielle does not talk about problems—she solves them.”


Hotchkiss's Sara Chiarenza receives award

Sara Chiarenza Receives Robert and Candice Barker Staff Recognition Award

Sara Chiarenza, faculty and recruitment operations manager, received the Robert and Candice Barker Staff Recognition Award. Established in 2017, this award recognizes a staff member who, through personal commitment, dedication, loyalty, and willingness to go beyond the call of duty, has enhanced the sense of community at Hotchkiss.

“Sara cares deeply, follows through, and looks well beyond the formal description of her job to do what she can to improve the work and experience of those around her,” Mardon said. “I admire her so, and I don't know what we would do without her.”

This award is sustained by the permanent endowment of the Robert and Candice Barker Staff Recognition Fund and honors Robert and Candice Barker, whose work, for over nearly four decades, exemplified dedication to the School. Robert taught history at Hotchkiss, with great distinction for 39 years, holding the E. Carlton Granbury Teaching Chair for two decades.  In addition to his teaching, Robert served in several administrative roles. In 2004, Robert was founding dean of the Summer Portals program and served as its director until 2010. Robert retired in 2014. Candy Barker joined Hotchkiss in 1988 as director of admission for the Summer Program and she served in several roles, including registrar, executive assistant to the head of school, and the director of events before retiring in 2011.


Milestone 25th Anniversary Honorees

Hotchkiss's Wendy Levithan and Chris Oostenink

Wendy Levithan P'23, Edgar Cullman '36 Teaching Chair, Head of the Classical and Modern Languages Department, Instructor in French

“Ms. Levithan has an unusual ability to envision growth and change for the better,” Mardon said. “As head of the Classical and Modern Languages Department, she has introduced profound change. The obvious manifestation of this is the Language and Culture Center. The less obvious includes the transition away from the AP curriculum and her deft guidance of discussions among language teachers about the best modes of language instruction, the embrace of cultural competency as an aspect of language learning, and her leadership in seeking external validation of our instructional methods. She has created conditions for meaningful discussions among colleagues which in turn has allowed her to shepherd small and larger change within language instruction, all the while, she has maintained the support and confidence of her colleagues. How has she done this? Her care for others, her ability to see all sides, and her steadfast commitment to student learning and wellbeing.”

Christopher Oostenink P'17,'20, Head of the Science Department, Instructor in Environmental Science

“Mr. Oostenink has contributed substantially to all areas of school life in his tenure at the school,” Mardon said. “He is currently head of the Science Department, he has taught across the science curriculum and coached wherever needed, including boys hockey and boys lacrosse and, most recently, FFEAT. His heart is in environmental science, in water, on the farm and in thinking about things and engaging with others in thinking about things. The first two words that occur to me when thinking about Mr. Oostenink are mind and heart. He is an innovator who sees well beyond the status quo—ideas big and small, ranging from the context of trout fishing in this area to imagining an American Studies curriculum that is a collaboration between English and science. He embodies the principle of open mind and heart.”


Additional Milestone Anniversaries Across Campus

The following faculty and staff were recognized for their milestone anniversaries this year. We congratulate them for their contributions to the Hotchkiss community. 

40 Years of Service

Tom Drake, The Class of 1938 Teaching Chair, Instructor in History

Michael Musillami, Instructor in Jazz Guitar

35 Years of Service

Christy Cooper, The Huber G. Buehler Chair, Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Coordinator, Prep Class Dean, Instructor in English, Head Coach, Girls Varsity Soccer

Brad Faus, The Marie S. Tinker Chair, Director of the Art Program, Instructor in Art

Ginny Faus, The Edward R. Tinker Chair, Instructor in Chemistry

Dave Vande Bogart, Post Office Associate

John Thorne-Thomsen, Mechanic

Sarinda Parsons Wilson, The Bigelow Chair for Advanced French, French Program Coordinator, Instructor in French

30 Years of Service

Bridget Dixon Moon, Instructor in Mathematics

Christie Rawlings ’85, Summer Programs Director of Admission & Residential Life

20 Years of Service

Valerie Burke, Director of Admission Operations

Marta Eso, The George P. Milmine '19 Chair, Instructor in Mathematics

Teresa Mango, Instructor in Harp

Terri Moore, Director of Tremaine Art Gallery, Instructor in Art

Carrie Smith, Human Development Coordinator, Instructor in Human Development

Michael Traggio ’91, Director of The Forrest E. Mars Jr. Athletic Center

Roger Wistar, Director of Computer Science, Instructor in Mathematics and Computer Science

15 Years of Service

Sabrina Argentina, Housekeeper

Jack Brown, Instructor in Voice

Liz Dittmer, The Maria Bissell Hotchkiss Chair, Instructor in Mathematics

Dennis Grandell, Electrician Supervisor

Laurie Grusauski, Testing Coordinator

Brant Hadzima, Instructor in Spanish

Jason Maier, Instructor in Mathematics, Head Coach, Boys Varsity Golf

Merrilee Mardon, Associate Head of School, Dean of Faculty, Instructor in Economics

Crystal Marks, Health Services Coordinator, Certified Nurses Assistant

Jeff Navin, Senior Financial Analyst

John Weber, Director of Leadership Giving

Matthias Weiss, Instructor in Mathematics, Director of Scheduling 

10 Years of Service

Derek Brashears, Director of Theatre, Resident Designer and Technical Director, Instructor in Theatre

Paul Campbell, Carpenter Supervisor

David Conti, Instructor in Classics, Dorm Head, Garland

Teresa Dawson, Endowment Accountant

John Dreger, Instructor in French and Classics

Mike Eckert, The Class of 1964 Teaching Chair, Director, The Class of 1964 Teaching and Learning Center, Head of the Humanities & Social Sciences Department, Instructor in History

Cecile Emond, Admission Administrative Assistant

Jason Larson, Director of Religious and Spiritual Life, Instructor in Philosophy and Religion

Allison Lassoe, Transportation Safety Coordinator, Medical Chaperone

Wendy MacKenzie, Associate Director of Human Resources

Amanda McClure, Meredith Mallory George '78 Teaching Chair, Associate Dean of Student Life, Instructor in History, Philosophy & Religion

Parker Reed, The Peter Jay Sharp '48 Chair, Head of Theatrical Performance, Instructor in English and Theatre

Catya Ubaldo, Human Resources Administrator & Analyst

Jodi von Jess, Director of Counseling 

5 Years of Service

Justin Almeida, Head of the Mathematics & Computer Science Department, Instructor in Mathematics

Doron Blake, Instructor in Philosophy & Religion

Katie Boyd, Associate Director of College Advising

Michael Brown, Gospel Choir Director

Gary Capozziello, Instructor in Violin

Brenda Catalano, Assistant to Alumni and Parent Engagement

Mike Cleveland, Groundskeeper and Lead Ice Rink Associate

Andrew D’Ambrosio, Dean of Student Life, Instructor in History

Lisa Fenton, Learning Specialist

Thomas Fisher, Instructor in History, Philosophy & Religion, Instructor, Hersey Scholars Program

Brittany Giacco, Instructor in Mathematics

Alex Ginzburg, Instructor in Mathematics

Kristy Glasheen, Instructor in Spanish, Dorm Head, Buehler

Sharon Johnson, Housekeeper

Amber Jordan, Administrative Assistant to the Deans of Student Life

Andrey Karpyuk, Instructor in Piano

Alexander Kollias, Instructor in Clarinet

Adam Lopez, Electrician

Patricia Lynch-Vande Bogart, Registered Nurse

Laura Chapell, Staff Accountant

Christine Owen, Instructor in Ceramics

Dave Paton, Campus Safety & Security Officer

Enrique Perez, Assistant Housekeeping Supervisor

Cooper Puls ’11, Access Services Coordinator, Head Coach, Varsity & JV Wrestling, Dorm Head, Dana

Allesandra Rinaldo, Dance Program Director, Instructor in Dance

Joe Rose, A Cappella Coach for Bluenotes and Calliope

Nick Seiser III, Energy Management & HVAC Technician

Jarrod Sisk, Instructor in Mathematics & Economics

Josh Smith, Senior Associate Director of College Advising

Pam Velez, Registered Nurse

Elizabeth Webb, Instructor in Biology, Head of School Spouse

Kelly Whelan, Instructional Services Coordinator & Outreach Librarian



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