Collegiate Honors Blake Goldsmith for Excellence

Collegiate is happy to honor members of our faculty and staff for their dedication and passion. This year’s Middle School Hamill Family Endowment Award is presented to Blake Goldsmith. 
In 2016, Bill and Susan Hamill and their daughters Blake '98 and Carter '01 created the Hamill Family Endowment in appreciation for the excellent teaching their daughters received while at Collegiate. The endowment recognizes and rewards outstanding full-time teachers who have 15 years or less of experience, with a preference for teachers early in their career. The endowment also rewards specific attributes in these young teachers who demonstrate faithful commitment to the teacher-coach-mentor model and demonstrate student success in inspiring student attainment in the areas of critical thinking and problem-solving, accessing and analyzing information and effective oral, written, multimedia communication and more. The Hamills recognize great mentors can come in many forms, and therefore this award is not limited to teachers who are solely classroom instructors.

The following remarks were made by Head of Middle School Tung Trinh at the Opening of School Meeting, held August 2022.

There is a palpable energy that is felt when in this year's award winner's classroom. Within the meticulously organized classroom with an accompaniment of wonderful visuals on the walls to support students' learning, you can see students thinking and engaging with the material. And while the proverbial wheels are turning, students begin to take those safe academic risks teachers all cherish seeing by uttering words in a language that is not their native tongue. Some participants offer a few words chunked together. Another student offers clarifying questions. Then some begin to string together what they can to cross an important bridge of communication across a new language: trying to connect with others using new words but familiar ideas.
But it comes down to the Spanish word "confianza," loosely translated to trust or confidence. And this trust is what breeds everything that Blake Goldsmith is able to do in her classroom with her budding Spanish speakers. Blake builds trust by respecting her students as people before learners. Blake builds trust by holding her students accountable. Blake builds trust by listening to them when they speak up. Blake builds trust by following through with what she tells students she will offer. Blake builds trust by holding herself to a high standard and working with great humility to reach her goals.
One of the most difficult things as a world language teacher is all of the preps, but leave it to Blake to volunteer for an overload when we needed an additional section covered, which not only put an additional class on an already full plate, but added another prep. And after the last bell rings, Blake is hustling to Robins to coach our girls' JV tennis team. An accomplished collegiate player, Blake knows what it takes to play at a high level but does not lose sight of the importance of ensuring that all of her players have ample opportunities to practice the fundamentals on the court. Fellow coaches and her players will all brag about Blake's ability to build team camaraderie that is built on supporting each other and striving for individual growth — just like in the classroom.
Best of all, Blake does it all with an everlasting and optimistic energy. An exemplary teacher, coach and colleague, please join me in congratulating Blake Goldsmith, our Middle School winner for the Hamill Family Endowment Award.