The faculty and staff at MICDS are dedicated, passionate, compassionate, knowledgeable and caring professionals, and these qualities have shone even brighter recently as teachers have stepped up in a big way to retool their courses for the distance learning environment and provide continuity and care for our students as they adapt to these unusual times. Staff members have been unrelenting in their continued support of our community. Each spring, MICDS recognizes faculty and staff members who are celebrating milestone employment anniversaries at an all-school assembly, and the winners of the Rivinus and Duncan awards are also announced. Because of the distance learning environment, we are unable to physically come together as a community to celebrate our faculty and staff; however, that won’t stop us from honoring them from afar!
Each week, we will be recognizing employee milestones with photos, comments from colleagues and students and more. First up are those MICDS employees celebrating their 10- and 15-year milestones. Congratulations on this momentous occasion, and thank you for all that you do for the MICDS community!
Donna Waters - 15 Years
Donna Waters is a Fourth Grade Homeroom Teacher in Beasley Lower School. Ever a calm presence with a smile on her face, she is beloved by her students. One student said, “Mrs. Waters is very thoughtful and really kind. She always finds a way to fix problems. She knows that everyone does not learn the same but she always finds a way to help her students however she can.” And another thinks that she is doing a great job of preparing students for 5th grade. Another student remarked, “Mrs. Waters is super nice and helps us when we need it.” Fellow Fourth Grade Teacher Chris Brennan said, “Donna is the quintessential ‘a place for everything, and everything in its place’ teaching partner; I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve popped in her classroom to request something, and had her know exactly where it was and offer it to me. She is unfailingly concerned with how her students are growing as learners, and consistently devoted to holding them each accountable for their own learning path. Along with her clear expectations and expansive history of teaching (I won’t say how long…but I do know several of her former students have kids!), Donna is fantastic at keeping us grounded and focused on our curriculum. She is a wonderful teaching partner, and I’m very thankful for all I continue to learn from partnering with her!”
Changa Bey - 10 Years
Changa Bey teaches history in the Upper School, and he is an honest, authentic and impactful advisor who treats all students with respect and dignity. Students appreciate that he “makes the classes he teaches impact you as a person and makes you think about solutions in a historical perspective instead of in a way that benefits yourself.” Another student likes that Mr. Bey “tries to be more than just an advisor or another teacher to us, he acts as more of a friend in the classroom.” He cares just as much about students’ character education as he does about their academic education.
Chris Brennan '94 - 10 Years
Chris Brennan ’94 is a Fourth Grade Homeroom Teacher in Beasley Lower School. With boundless energy and always willing to try something new, he inspires colleagues and students alike. One student said, “The best thing about Mr. Brennan is that he makes learning fun.” A colleague provided these remarks: “Chris is one of the kindest people you would ever want to know. He is dedicated to his students who he cares deeply about. As a teaching partner, he makes every day interesting and keeps me laughing! I appreciate his outlook on life and the dedication he brings to his profession.”
Eric Brunt '02 - 10 Years
Eric Brunt ’02 is the Director of Enrollment Management at MICDS and oversees the Admission Office team.
Head of School Jay Rainey said, “I can think of no other position at an independent school that demands equal mastery of human relational skills and data analytical skills to as great an extent as the Director of Enrollment Management role. Eric Brunt lives into both halves of his work at MICDS by welcoming and shepherding prospective families through our admissions process with extraordinary warmth and kindness while at the same time tendering offers of admission and anticipating new student matriculations with an accuracy that ensures both our full enrollment as a school and optimal enrollment balance across all 14 grade levels.
Eric is a conscientious and engaged leader of our Admission Office team, setting high expectations for their efforts and celebrating their successes in equal measure. Eric is also distinguished by his colleagueship towards other members of the Administrative Team, placing a high value on information-sharing and collaboration across all areas of MICDS operation.
We are extraordinarily fortunate to benefit from Eric’s leadership at MICDS. Please join me in celebrating his completion of his first ten years of service to our school.”
Andy Cox - 10 Years
Andy Cox teaches history in the Upper School, and his advisees feel lucky to have him as their advisor. One student said, “During my transition to MICDS, Mr. Cox has been almost a father figure to me. He gives me advice on both my classes and at home. He is one of the many amazing staff members at MICDS who you can go to about anything.” He is helpful, welcoming and always there to help a student through a challenge. And, he knows how to have fun and be productive at the same time!
Amy Dove '85 - 10 Years
Amy Dove ’85 is the Director of Development at MICDS and oversees the Alumni and Development team.
Head of School Jay Rainey said, “Many of the same habits that distinguish great teaching also distinguish great development work at independent schools. Teachers can never predict when a student, perhaps after a period of apparent disengagement, will suddenly bloom to the learning opportunity at hand and root themselves deeply in their education. All that our faculty can do each day—indeed what they must do each day without fail—is tend and water their gardens and hope for growth.
The garden that Amy Dove and our Alumni & Development Office tend is vast: alumni, current parents, former parents, grandparents, current trustees, former trustees and many other friends of the School. Under Amy’s conscientious leadership, our Development team tends and waters this garden every day. It blooms in the form of volunteer efforts, gifts and other acts of goodwill toward MICDS that substantially enable our work on behalf of students. Amy herself has the gift of being able to focus on details and on the big picture simultaneously. Her love of our School is lifelong, and her leadership of our Alumni & Development Office is distinguished not only by this love but by her love of her team and the collaborative spirit with which she engages her colleagues.
We are extraordinarily fortunate to benefit from Amy’s leadership at MICDS. Please join me in celebrating her completion of her first ten years of service to our school.”
Scott Herrmann-Keeling - 10 Years
Scott Herrmann-Keeling is an outstanding college counselor who always keeps students as the focal point of his work, going the extra mile to make sure families understand the many facets of the complex college application process. He has eagerly taken on large programs among his college counseling responsibilities, his hard work and careful attention to detail contributing to his success in each of these endeavors. His contributions to MICDS stretch beyond his counseling duties, most notably as a regular in the orchestra pit for the spring musicals. He is a terrific coworker and friend who enjoys contributing to our school community in a variety of ways.
Laure Lesperance - 10 Years
Laure Lesperance serves as the Database Manager in the Alumni and Development Office. Her skillset is second to none; she is a master at maintaining database integrity. She has implemented processes to make the team’s workflow efficient and productive. Recently, the database system underwent a significant and important transition, and Laure’s patience, even keel and mild manner kept the team moving forward while quelling stress. One colleague said, “While our entire team admires Laure’s database skills, what we treasure most is her friendship.” Another said, “Her sense of humor brings levity and joy to our office.” Ever the selfless colleague, Laure exudes patience and grace even when interrupted with urgent needs.
Jason Roberts - 10 Years
Jason Roberts teaches choir in the Middle School. He is kind, understanding, caring and funny; and he always tries to get students to do their best inside and outside of the classroom, according to his students. One student said, “He has expanded not only my vocal capacity but also my music understanding in general.” Another remarked, “He makes the most out of every day and always makes us smile.” An advisee said, “Mr. Roberts is the type of teacher you can relate to as a friend. If you ever need help, you can always trust him to be there for you.”
JoAnne Vogel - 10 Years
JoAnne Vogel is the Middle School Fine Arts Department Chair and a beloved teacher of visual arts. She is a valued colleague, and her students appreciate her unending support. One student said, “Ms. Vogel is such an amazing advisor and teacher because she is always there and always making the best out of what is happening.” Another shared that she “is so nice and trustworthy, and I know that I can talk to her when I need to.”
Congratulations and thank you to all of these wonderful faculty and staff members for their years of service!