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Founders Day 2022

Founders Day on Sept. 23, 2022 marked Bryn Mawr’s 138th school year as the community gathered to celebrate the school, its history and the founders’ vision for educating girls and giving their students bold voices for the future. 
In her Founders Day remarks, Head of School Sue Sadler reminded the community that part of what makes Bryn Mawr so exceptional is the talented and dedicated  faculty and staff.
“Great teachers create an atmosphere of inquiry, of critical thinking, a place for a dynamic exchange of ideas. They encourage our curiosity and give us space to ask questions,” she said, “Most of all, while coaching us through the learning process, they give us the confidence to tackle life’s challenges. In the process of teaching their lessons, great teachers shape us as people.”

Three alumnae employees served as Founders Day speakers, continuing the theme that great teachers shape great people. 
Deanna Boyd ’05, director of alumnae engagement, shared stories of handwritten study guides provided by now Associate Head of School Elaine Swyryn and celebrating test results with Upper School math teacher Jennifer Arrogancia.  Molly Wolf ’12, assistant director of athletics and varsity lacrosse coach mentioned the unwavering support of Jeanette Budzik as the dean of students, now leadership programming coordinator.  And Farah Hinds Evans ’98 shared how her experiences as a peer educator and in advisory shaped her current role as Upper School Counselor and advisor.  Their full remarks are available here.
Each Founders Day, Bryn Mawr also honors faculty and staff for their contributions to the school. Read more about this year’s award winners: 
  • Kristen Hall was awarded the Alumnae STEM Chair for her tireless commitment to her job and especially to her students, both in and outside of the classroom.  She teaches classes at every level of computer science, from introductory classes to AP Computer Science, while also being an advisor and chief advisor.  
  • The Apgar Award for Teaching Excellence was given to Middle School Latin teacher Melissa Musacchio for her efforts to make a new language fun and exciting, always making time for her students and creating a positive learning environment.
  • The Blair D Stambaugh Award is given to the faculty or staff member who contributes the most to the overall wellbeing of the community. Director of Communications and Strategic Institutional Marketing Deb Baum P’26 was surprised with the award for her unwavering presence as both employee and parent, helping the school navigate all its communications needs during the past two pandemic years.  
  • The Blanche and A.V. Williams Master Teaching Chair was awarded to Diandra Pinnock for her compassionate and caring work in the Little School, where she creates a nurturing and stimulating learning environment where children can grow and learn at their own speed.
  • The Julia Clayton Baker Chair in Environmental Stewardship was established for Bryn Mawr to recruit and retain an outstanding teacher and provide a unique level of support for his or her specialized professional development so that the entire school can benefit from that learning and intellectual growth.  Dr. Sasha Klevytska was awarded the chair for her unending curiosity, efforts on the DEI Task Force, sponsorship of student clubs and her extensive expertise in the classroom.  
  • Hee Won Choi was given the Cynthia Leboutillier Teachership Award for her clear love of teaching, positivity and enthusiasm in the classroom, and dedication to the APIDA Affinity Group, including bringing the APIDA Pen Pal program to the Lower School.
  • The Nancy L.R. Bucher ’31 Master Teaching Chair was established by a Bryn Mawr alumna to pay tribute to the teachers who inspired her.  It is to be awarded to an exceptional teacher from any division or department with the hopes of perpetuating the tradition of great teaching at Bryn Mawr. Georgia Summers ’01 was awarded the chair for her involvement in all aspects of Bryn Mawr.  She has been a faculty representative on the Board, taken part in professional development committees, sponsored clubs and serves as the faculty advisor of the Quill.  
  • Michelle Sapp was awarded the Ella Speer Colhoun and Elizabeth Atkinson Reynolds Fund for her work ensuring that physical education contains a global perspective, while also coaching Middle and Upper School sports, leading activities at retreats and clubs and bringing a positive attitude to everything she does. 
  • Nicole Cooke was celebrated for her hard work, infinite patience and friendly demeanor as the recipient of the Patricia A. Dieter Staff Award. Nicole’s loyalty to Bryn Mawr and her dedication to her coworkers is evident whenever you interact with her. 
  • The Elizabeth Sheridan Sinclair Chair in the Fine and Performing Arts was established in memory of trustee and past parent Betsy Sinclair to honor a member of the fine and performing arts faculty.  This year it was awarded to Anne O’Brien for being the pied piper of Bryn Mawr performing arts, helping Middle School students navigate their individual stories and ideas so that all can shine.
  • And Katherine Gilbert was the recipient of The 37-45 Award for her tireless work in one of Bryn Mawr’s most unique programs.  Her ability to teach any Lower School grade, history, math, reading and science gives her insight into researching and updating curriculum as she gives 110% to everything she does.
Sue Sadler also recognized faculty and staff for significant milestones of service, including five faculty and staff members who celebrated their 20 years of service.
Following the ceremony, the faculty and staff band “Edith Jamilton” performed in the Senior Quad for the whole community to enjoy music and dancing during a cookout lunch
Watch the full Founders Day ceremony here