Tucked away in a drawer in my office desk, bound by a worn rubber band, is a collection of hand-written note of thanks, congratulations, and encouragement.
Celebrating PDS' 2017-18 Retirees
PDS faculty and staff celebrated an exceptional group of PDS teachers who retired at the end of the school year. A video honoring each teacher, featured here, followed these moving tributes from Head of School Paul Stellato.
"Looking at the list of retirees whom we will now honor, one might be inclined to this observation: were anyone to launch a school, it would be a stunning success were these its founding faculty. Wisdom, compassion and renewal rise from these names; peace and prosperity attend the syllables of each; laughter and joy flow from them to touch each of us; care and contentment grace them tonight and, as we sit in their presence, grace all of us.
We are stronger and better for their efforts on our School’s behalf; we will be poorer – if only for a while – for their absence. To paraphrase Wordsworth, we will always take comfort in what they leave behind." Paul J. Stellato
A champion of historical literacy and embodiment of the virtues of a liberal arts education, you retire as the third-longest serving Princeton Day School faculty member.
I repeat one of her favorite refrains, reserved for the giddiest and most joyful students in her class. It goes something like this: “You should probably be seen by a doctor, as you’re having way too much fun in school.”
I pity those who have never had the pleasure of attending the Permanent Art Installation assembly under your good direction, for it is a sensory treat.
You have taken great care to create a community in your classroom. No detail is too small: every quilted pillow is perfectly stitched, every water color complements the mood and magic of your beloved novel, Half a Moon Inn.
To be completely candid (as you and I have always been with one another) I was not sure what I was getting when you signed on.
Of the work you have done, the poet W.H. Auden wrote, it is our common prayer, the greatest comfort of which is music, which can be made anywhere, and is invisible.
Bill, you seek order constantly and have found it in many places. So have you found that chaos and calamity stand at its fringes.
You are a theatrical superhero, having penned the plot, dialogue, and scenes for the Middle School fall play; coaxed and cajoled 8th graders to sing, dance, and act; you’ve stitched, sewn, hemmed, fastened, and repaired costumes for countless Middle and Upper School productions.
Your long relationship with our School began before there was a school: having started at Miss Fine’s School in 1964, graduating from Princeton Day in 1970, and joining its professional staff in 1986.
At alumni gatherings in New York; or during alumni weekend celebrations on campus, we endeavor to supply everything necessary for a successful event: food and drink, nametags, notes on the attendees.
As Dean of the 8th grade and math teacher of 8th graders; and as a long-time advisor to Peer Group, you have met and worked with our students at their most vulnerable.