Teachers awarded for work beyond classroom at foundation event

Video by Natalie Welber

By Anna Gray and Natalie Welber

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The Whitman Education Foundation hosted their third annual Dedication to Education Celebration honoring seven teachers who continually excelled outside the classroom in student-centered activities and had been teaching for 20 or more years.

The March 10 event praised art teacher Nancy Mornini for her dedication to Whitman’s spirit club, the Whitmaniacs; math teacher Jim Kuhn for his devotion to football players; art teacher Jean Diamond for showcasing her students’ art to cancer patients; ESOL teacher Sonja Maroni for planning numerous International Nights celebrating over 30 countries; Japanese teacher Yuki Moorman for organizing annual summer trips to Japan; band director Terry Alvey who directs trips to prestigious music destinations such as Carnegie Hall; and business teacher Demitra Marafatsos for supervising DECA.

“This is a humbling experience and I am in great company with very intelligent people,” Diamond said. “The impact of all of these teachers on their students goes beyond just their time here at Whitman. The greatest contribution an individual can make is their impact on their students, seeing their potential and having them believe and feel that they are special.”

The foundation, chaired by Whitman parents Ellen Singer and Alice Gallin-Dwyer, raises funds for new technology, program support and professional development.

All of these educators share a common thread: passion and energy for the job

— principal Alan Goodwin

“The teachers that we selected have gone above-and-beyond the classroom and we have a representative sample from the sports world, the art world, the international community to represent all the different things students get involved in at Whitman,” Gallin-Dwyer said.

The music department showcased their talents throughout the night after paying homage to Alvey. A string-quartet played in the background to open the evening while the 78 teachers who attended the banquet mingled with parents over appetizers. Later in the evening, student a capella groups NOTA, Pitch Please and Solid and Sound performed pieces that dazzled the audience.

After thanking the participating students, principal Alan Goodwin introduced the award recipients, commending them for their excellent work. He described their accomplishments in and out of the classroom.

“All of these educators share a common thread: passion and energy for the job,” he said.

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