By Wesley Jansen ’21
Hard working. Brilliant. Empathetic. Creative. Valued. Kind. These were among the words used by students across divisions to describe Heritage Hall’s faculty and staff, whose immeasurable contributions to our school were recently recognized by the Heritage Hall School Patrons Association (HHSPA) during its annual Faculty and Staff Appreciation Week.
The slate of activities kicked off with Mindful Monday, which provided faculty and staff opportunities to decompress, relax, and reflect while enjoying meditation and spa offerings. The rest of the week could be summed up by one word – delicious! From Taco Tuesday’s taco bar lunch to Wake-Up Wednesday’s fruit and beverage stations, there was no shortage of delectable treats. The week concluded with an appreciation luncheon set to this year’s theme, “Thank you for helping our children grow.”
Inspired by the week’s events, students shared some of their favorite memories of Heritage Hall’s faculty and staff.
“One day last year during advisory, I saw Mr. Morris (who is fairly tall) standing under the mini basketball goal, so, of course I had to take the opportunity to dunk on my eighth grade science teacher,” joked freshman Gray Ferguson.
Sophomore Larsen Van Horn commented, “During my first year at Heritage Hall, I was especially nervous for my first advisory meeting with Dr. Hamel. Everyone else in the group seemed to know each other well, so I didn’t talk much. After the second meeting, I stayed behind to speak with Dr. Hamel, who said, ‘You’re going to do great at Heritage Hall. It might take a while to learn your way around and make new friends, but I’ve been here a long time and this is a great school.’ Somehow I knew it was going to be fine. His encouragement helped me a lot that first year.”
Junior Gary Smith recalled, “At the start of my junior year, I had a thoughtful discussion with Mrs. Steelman regarding an Independent Studies Program project focused on data science. She helped me to sharpen my project goals and focus, and to tailor my project to expand my existing interests in computer science. Mrs. Steelman has been an invaluable mentor, regularly reviewing my project progress and pitfalls, and further developing my administrative and leadership talents.”
Senior Izzy Burton stated, “One of my favorite memories is of Mrs. Ferguson making our precalculus class cookies. We hung out, ate cookies, and worked on our math. I like that the focus is both on learning and building relationships.”
These are just a few examples of the meaningful interactions that students have with faculty and staff every day at Heritage Hall. On behalf of the entire student body, THANK YOU, for the difference you make in all of our lives.