Five Faculty Receive Awards During Founder’s Day

Cheers rang from the crowd of students, faculty and administrators as Head of School Laura Danforth announced the five teachers who received faculty awards during the All School Meeting on Friday, October 4.

The prestigious awards are given to faculty who have distinguished themselves in their dedication to their subject, their students and the community. Brian Cheney, upper school history and religion teacher and Matters of Spirit co-presenter, received the Henry Sloane Coffin Fund for Religion award; Michaela Boller, middle school teacher and grade 5 dean, received the Thatcher Fund for English; John-Alec Raubeson, middle school music teacher, received the Louise Harkness Lawrence Fund for Music; Curt Ebersole, Department of Performing Arts faculty member and private lessons coordinator, received the Jane Rechtman Faculty Chair; and Frank Greally, Science Department chair, received the Maureen Fonseca Faculty Chair for Teaching Excellence. 

In presenting the awards, Danforth shared their genesis; they were created in the 1960s and 1970s, leading up to the School’s centennial in 1977. “The Masters School raised funds to establish a series of endowments to support faculty through individual awards for excellence,” Danforth said. “Our parents and alumni felt it was their duty to pay forward the great education and experiences they had had with Masters.”

Cheney, Boller and Raubeson will hold their distinctions for three-year terms, and Ebersole and Greally will hold their chairs for four-year terms. 

Henry Sloane Coffin Fund for Religion
Established in 1961 to honor Dr. Coffin, a pastor and close personal friend of the Masters family. Dr. Coffin served as chair of the Board of Trustees for 30 years (1926-1945). He served as pastor of the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church and president of the Union Theological Seminary. His daughter, Ruth Coffin Nash, graduated in 1939.

Thatcher Fund for English
The Thatcher family established the fund in 1960 with the leadership of trustee Winifred Wheeler McIntyre '29 to create a fund for English Department faculty. At least 11 members of her family attended the School, including her daughter Virginia “Dinnie” McIntyre Stache '61.

Louise Harkness Lawrence Fund for Music
Named for a student of that name who died while at Masters in 1973. Her sibling Anne Lawrence McKenzie graduated in 1977 and her two cousins, Kathleen Folsum and Rebekah Ingalls, graduated in 1967 and 1979, respectively.

Jane Rechtman Faculty Chair
The chair will recognize a Masters teacher who most closely exemplifies the humanity, generosity of spirit, self-reflection, and world view that Jane brought to the classroom and the wider Masters School campus during the more than 20 years she has served on the faculty. Jane Rechtman helped students learn about themselves and the world around them. She guided students to balance achievement and contentedness, and to seek out and offer kindness to others in their lives.

Maureen Fonseca Faculty Chair for Teaching Excellence
The Fonseca Chair will recognize a distinguished member of the faculty who displays a deep commitment to student-centered teaching and learning, demonstrates a mastery of participatory learning, and embodies the belief that our students can be a power for good in the world. The Fonseca Chair holder will also be an excellent teacher and thought-leader on campus; someone who represents the energy and creativity that makes the Masters faculty exceptional. On occasion, the Fonseca Chair will be asked to represent Masters at events and ceremonies on and off-campus.

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