Faculty Chairs Awarded

Two faculty chairs were recently awarded to members of the faculty.  Head of School Kathy Giles described the important work done by the faculty and the honor bestowed by the awarding of a faculty chair:  “Faculty members who dedicate their professional lives to teaching, coaching, advising, and fostering the growth and development of our students are the lifeblood of Middlesex School.  Over the first century of this School’s existence, students and families have chosen to honor faculty members and the role they play in students’ lives through the creation of these chairs, making significant financial gifts to the school to support this work. Faculty chairs honor teachers who embody excellence in their commitment to the School’s best practices and ideals.  In keeping with the classical definition of the verb “to educate,” these teachers lead forth what is best in their students and inspire them to engage and revel in the life of the mind.  Teachers who are honored by faculty chairs enjoy the respect of their students and colleagues for their commitment to the profession of teaching, to the School, and to their students.”

Brooke Family Chair in Ethics & Spirituality

The Brooke Chair was established in 2012 by John F. Brooke ’81, a Middlesex trustee since 2008 and the father of Hadley S. Brooke ’12, and was supplemented by gifts from his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Peter W. Brooke, and his brothers, Samuel R. Brooke ’76 and Peter W. Brooke ’79, along with gifts from M. Holt Massey ’68 and Henry S. Woodbridge ’24, a trustee from 1944-47 and 1951-95. This chair was awarded to Rebecca Smedley, Director of Spiritual and Ethical Education.

This year is Ms. Smedley’s 20th year as an independent school educator. At Haverford School for the last 11 years, she taught English, coached JV squash, and served in a variety of advisory roles. In prior school appointments, she has also served as a school chaplain and dorm parent, taught religion, philosophy, and history, and coached soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse. A graduate of Agnes Irwin School and Wellesley College, Rebecca earned her M.Div. at Princeton Theological Seminary and is now working toward an M.A. in English literature at Middlebury College.

Independence Foundation Chair  

This chair was established in 1966 by a gift from the Independence Foundation.  This chair was awarded to Tom Kane, Head of the Arts Division

Tom Kane is beloved for his commitment to his students and to his work in the theatre but really everywhere on our campus, and for helping all of us keep perspective by – in the words of Mark Twain — taking our work, and not ourselves, seriously.  He is a champion for the arts at Middlesex, but never at the expense of the myriad other ways our students seek to find their promise; his respect for the totality of students’ experience and for the work of his colleagues makes him an inspiring mentor for many of us, regardless of whether we are students or teachers.