Collegiate is happy to reward teachers for embodying the teacher-coach-mentor model with this year’s Hamill Awards.
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 are selected remarks made by Head of Lower School Debbie Miller at the Opening of School Meeting, held August 2023, in recognition of the Lower School Hamill Award recipient.
This year’s Lower School Hamill Award recipient is engaged across many areas of Collegiate’s campus. Positive, hard-working and energetic are all words that describe this amazing educator and athlete. In the Lower School, he brings a wealth of knowledge to his classes and his daily interactions with students, who truly benefit from his positive encouragement and patience. During class, his students are motivated to give their best, challenged to grow, interested and always responsive. To walk into his class brings joy and excitement.
Our recipient is a trusted and respected colleague in the Lower School and in the Athletic Department as a three-season coach. His smile is ever-present as he supports his students and athletes while bringing together physical education and athletics. His use of adaptive physical education is truly remarkable in sustaining the physical needs of his students. His focus on health and wellness skills encourages our Cougars, young and old, to develop their own positive and active lifestyle. Please join me in congratulating this year’s Lower School Hamill Award winner, Tyler Stevens.
The following are selected remarks made by Head of Middle School Jeff Dunnington at the Opening of School Meeting, held August 2023, in recognition of the Middle School Hamill Award recipient.
This year’s Hamill Award recipient from the Middle School has been a vocal proponent in shaping our students in Grades 5 through 12. One of the hardest workers on campus, this individual helps to nurture and blend the talents of many of our students, frequently culminating in a public display, sometimes here on campus, and other times in the greater Richmond area and beyond. This award recipient has poured his heart and soul into nurturing the talents and passions of his students, fostering an environment of creativity, growth and harmony.
Ryan Blevins is as quick to offer additional practices for his 5th Grade quarterly performances as he is to help students to prepare for competitions off campus. Many of his students can be found performing in the local theater community outside of Collegiate with organizations such as SPARC, VA REP Theater and Cadence.
The Middle School is fortunate to share this incredible teacher with the Upper School. Please join me in congratulating Ryan Blevins.
The following are selected remarks made by Patrick Loach at the Opening of School Meeting, held August 2023, in recognition of the Upper School Hamill Award recipient.
One need look no further than this recipient’s signature line in email to see a veritable alphabet soup of letters that tells you she is highly educated, impressively certified and deeply skilled. Through years of training and experience she has made herself an invaluable resource to the communities in which she works. At Collegiate, she made a difference from the start, as she began in the midst of the pandemic and became the person many students looked to in order to manage their emotions and mental health. In that first year, she worked incredibly hard to be a presence around campus in an effort to get to know the students and faculty. Her joyfulness and warm personality made her a magnet to the teenagers in her midst. She worked to build rapport and a foundation of trust with each of the students she counseled, which was no small feat since we were all wearing masks and having to maintain social distance. That important work continues and her office remains one of the busiest on campus. Oftentimes she is meeting with students about serious issues, but frequently students come by just to chat because five minutes with her brightens your day.
She guides and supports the parents and provides the resources they need to help their child. An important goal of hers is to destigmatize mental health, and she has worked diligently to provide information to students, professional development to teachers and programming for parents. Last year she organized and facilitated programs for parents on eating disorders and technology.
In addition to her work as a counselor, she stepped in last year to lead our United Sisters and Brothers Affinity Group and in no time worked with the students to host the first ever Soulful Celebration.
And if all that qualitative data is not enough to convince you of how great she is, we have data to support it. In the last administration of the Authentic Connections Survey, the percentage of students who said they would confide in a school counselor if they had a problem doubled since she arrived. I call this the Antenette Stokes Effect. So please join me in congratulating her as the 2023 Upper School Hamill Award recipient.