As each school year comes to a close, the headmaster honors faculty members for distinctive achievements in nurturing students, not only through their work as teachers, but also as coaches and advisors of activities beyond the classroom.
Headmaster Dennis Manning announced this year's award winners at the final faculty meeting, which took place June 11 in Johnson Theater. In his remarks, Mr. Manning spoke of his overwhelming sense of gratitude to the Bulldog community, citing the total commitment of the Board of Trustees, the administrative team, faculty and staff, and families.
Before coming to Norfolk Academy in 2001, he served in many educational roles--teacher, coach, college dean at Washington and Lee, and headmaster at the American School in England. Yet, he noted, the past year's intensive effort to create a safe environment for in-person learning, and reach distance learners simultaneously, was an experience unlike anything he had ever done. “In my career and life, it was the single greatest team effort I have been a part of," he said. “I am proud and happy to say that."
The following teachers received awards:
The James B. Massey Award is given annually to one faculty member in each division, who has taught at Norfolk Academy for no more than six years. The award salutes “professional development and personal growth as a teacher." The award is named for James B. Massey Jr., who served as headmaster from 1950-1978.
Lower School: Ms. Katie Aladj '03, Guidance Counselor for grades 1-3, Lower School Student Support Coordinator
Middle School: Mrs. Elaine Denson, English Teacher, Assistant Director of the Batten Leadership Program Literacy Fellows, Assistant Coach for Cross Country and Track
Upper School: Mr. Kevin Denson, Government and Psychology Teacher, Assistant Coach for Boys Soccer and Girls Soccer
The Waitzer Master Teacher Award is presented annually to a faculty member in each division who has taught at Norfolk Academy for at least six years. The award, endowed by former Trustee Leah Waitzer and her husband, Richard, and selected by a faculty vote, recognizes faculty who have “demonstrated a consistent love of teaching and influence on students." The award “signifies the highest degree of dedication and service to the profession."
Lower School: Mrs. Susan Duquette, Lower School Assistant Director, Director of Guidance for grades 4-6, faculty advisor for the Lower School Forensic Speaking Program
Middle School: Mrs. Jennifer Rodgers '97, Executive Director of Breakthrough at Norfolk Academy, English Teacher in the Middle School, faculty advisor for the CARE Club
Upper School: Ms. Patti Rankin, Math Teacher in the Upper School, faculty advisor to the Tunstall Student Council
The Excellence in Coaching Award, which was announced at the final meeting for teacher-coaches on June 1, was awarded to Mrs. Kristen Kirkman, who serves as Varsity Swim Coach, Lower School Physical Education Teacher, and Director of the Vaughan Aquatic Center.