Surrounded by faculty, staff, and alumni, Dr. Scott Gaynor opened the second annual Legacy Faculty and Staff Event by reflecting how much can change in just one decade. Ten years ago the iPhone had just been introduced, the last book in the Harry Potter series was published, Barack Obama announced his candidacy, and Stephen Gaynor School was only in its second year in the North Building and had an enrollment of less than 200 students. The event, sponsored by the Gaynor Alumni Network, reconnects alumni with one another, their teachers, and shows them how much Gaynor has grown – all while recognizing those who have been part of the journey for ten, twenty, and fifty-plus years.
“We are here today honoring a group of teachers who have been part of the amazing growth of Gaynor over the last ten years,” said Dr. Gaynor. “We have doubled in size. Yvette Siegel-Herzog was the source of our mission and you all have done the work in the classrooms, providing an individualized curriculum and making sure we have stayed true to that mission.” Math Specialist Anne Bode was the first honoree recognized, followed by Co-Director of Gaynor’s Community Learning Center and Admissions Associate Kate Adlin. Also honored in the 10-year category, but not present at the event, were Jessica Brandeis, Barbara Kider, and Rachel Zucker.
Assistant Head of School Jill Thompson then awarded the honorees for twenty years of service. “I have been fortunate to learn from these veterans who have helped show me the way and I am grateful for the history, experience, and passion that you bring to Gaynor each and every day,” she said. “It is obvious what a special place Gaynor is to our community and the people I am about to talk about exemplify what makes Gaynor so special.” Thompson honored Middle School Head Teacher Chris Meyer. With twenty-one years of service, he is one of the longest-serving faculty members at Gaynor. And finally, Thompson and Dr. Gaynor said thank you and wished farewell to Middle School Director John Beich, who is departing Gaynor after thirteen years to pursue his Ed.D. in Colorado at the close of the academic year.
After celebrating their colleagues, faculty and staff were happy to reconnect with their former students, who ranged in graduate years from 1974 to 2017. Alumni shared their various accomplishments, including being a comedian in Los Angeles, working in advertising, attending graduate school, making the headmaster’s list, and receiving a dance scholarship in Rome.
There were many numbers mentioned during the event but most importantly is the number “one” – representing each person’s commitment to unlocking the potential of each individual child. And no matter the amount of years that pass, it is something that will never change.