Each year at division commencement ceremonies, Rowland Hall proudly honors faculty who have demonstrated exceptional teaching and mentoring
Cary Jones Faculty Mentor Award 2019
The Cary Jones Faculty Mentor Award is presented to one faculty member at Rowland Hall each year who demonstrates excellence in teaching, serves as a mentor to others, and contributes to the Rowland Hall community. This award was established through an anonymous gift to the school in honor of Mr. Jones' dedication to the faculty when he was a trustee and chair of the Board of Trustees.
Fifth-grade teacher Sarah Button is a beloved teacher in the Lower School. Her charming rapport with her students is long lasting, and her love for each student is evident. She understands best practices for delivering a meaningful, engaging, and joyful curriculum and her students show her the utmost respect.
Sarah contributes to our community in many ways. She has been instrumental in implementing our Strategic Plan and understands the importance of each of its components. She has been invaluable in her role as ombudsperson. This year, she partnered with two other colleagues as they led our faculty on a one-year journey through the book Onward, which focuses on cultivating emotional resilience in educators.
Rowland Hall proudly honors Sarah Button with the Cary Jones Faculty Mentor Award.
Sumner Family Faculty Awards
The Sumner Family Faculty Award is given each year to an outstanding faculty member in each division who has demonstrated a love for teaching and excellence in their field. The award symbolizes the Sumner family's high regard for Rowland Hall's faculty. Congratulations to the following 2018–2019 recipients.
Beginning School: Camilla Rosenberger, 3PreK teacher
Camilla is a committed, joyful team member whose love and admiration for Rowland Hall's youngest learners shines through her smiles and conversations with them. She is a comforting presence to these small people in their difficult moments, and she encourages them to stretch themselves and be their best—artfully adapting her teaching to each learner. She is a wonderful colleague: her insightful—sometimes delightfully subversive—wit is a treat, and her infectious laugh can be heard down the hallway. She works hard to be the teacher her students need, learning all the time from colleagues, summer reads, podcasts, conferences, and more, always reflecting on how she could be more effective.
Lower School: Dave Sidlow, second-grade teacher
Dave's coworkers describe him as calm, collaborative, and supportive. Always open to new ideas, Dave engages in a collegial team relationship and is a great listener. In the classroom, students benefit from his natural enthusiasm and joyful sense of humor. His classroom environment is inclusive, safe, and inviting place where students feel free to share opinions and make mistakes. He respects and honors each of his students as individual learners. He does an excellent job of keeping students excited and engaged. In return, it's clear that his students will do almost anything for him.
Middle School: Allison Spehar, co-director of dance, musical theater teacher, and director of community programs
Modeling what it means to be a lifelong learner, Allison Spehar has embraced every opportunity to grow—from joining professional-learning communities, to taking online courses, to attending and presenting at conferences. Allison's influence extends beyond the Middle School, working with faculty, staff, students, and families in all divisions on our equity and inclusion initiatives. She is a leader in this work within the wider independent school community as well, sitting on the planning committee for the annual People of Color Conference. Allison is a student-centered educator and has been a key part of the continued development of the advisory and community programs in the Middle School. Whether interacting with advisory groups, supporting students in the Arts and Ensemble program, working backstage or in the sound booth during a performance, or choreographing and writing scripts for this year's phenomenal Imagining Alice performance, her passion for creating meaningful connections with students is apparent. Allison's boundless energy is only matched by her dedication and commitment to our students and her craft as a student-centered, dynamic teacher.
Upper School: Lauren Carpenter, health teacher
Lauren Carpenter has taught and coached thousands of Rowland Hall students throughout her career. Lauren is a tour-de-force department of one, designing and teaching Rowland Hall's signature health and wellness curriculum for three decades, steering students through the essential learnings of adolescence and growing into adulthood with authority, creativity, openness, and sensitivity. One colleague said: "Lauren is unflappable. She approaches things with a positive mindset and a desire to create a warm, trusting, safe classroom environment." And another: "I have so much respect for the kind of honest conversations she manages with our students, and the tools and knowledge she gives them to be responsible for their own well-being, to respect and even protect others."
Respected and appreciated by her colleagues, a true friend to many, Lauren represents the best in education and the best of Rowland Hall: a caring, kind, inquisitive, articulate, creative teacher and lifelong learner.