An elementary-only independent school located in Atlanta, serving children ages three through Sixth Grade since 1951.

Award Recipients Demonstrate Extraordinary Commitment

In August, the Academic Leadership Team celebrated excellence in service
by presenting awards to 15 esteemed members of the faculty and staff. These awards, which provide unique professional development experiences or stipends to enhance salaries, were made possible by generous gifts to Trinity’s endowment over the years. This year, due to two new gifts to the endowment, the administration was able to present awards from six endowed funds to honor passionate employees who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to Trinity.

The Rollins Quest for Excellence grants, which include a stipend to be used for personal and professional growth and renewal, were made possible by a very generous gift from the Gary W. Rollins Foundation to recognize dedication and loyalty to Trinity. This year, Fifth Grade Lead Teacher Thomas Benefield, Instructional Technology Specialist Karen Boykins, First Grade Lead Teacher Hilary Daigre, Early Education Math Specialist Becky Holden, Science Teacher Lauren Kane, Science Teacher Thalia Scott, and Learning Specialist Jennifer Tran were honored to receive this prestigious award.

First Grade Lead Teacher Ali Avery, Pre-K Lead Teacher Claire Cagle, and Learning Specialist Michelle Perry received awards from The Childress Family Fund for Faculty Excellence. Established in 2013, The Childress Family Fund for Faculty Excellence supports faculty members in their professional growth and development. Awards presented each year give teachers the opportunity to pursue an innovative program to increase awareness, knowledge, and proficiency or insight that will be applied in the classroom and shared with Trinity colleagues. With funding from this award, Ali and Claire look forward to learning how to intentionally incorporate more play into the curriculum at the “Learning to Play and Playing to Learn” conference through the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Michelle, who will also travel to the UK, will visit Millfield UK—one of the leading independent schools with expertise in dyslexia—to observe classroom instruction and bring back knowledge, tools, and resources to share with the Trinity Community.

STEAM Integration Specialist Kate Burton and Music Teacher Phyllis Sommer were honored at the reception for receiving grants from the Teacher Opportunity Fund. Established in 1994, the Teacher Opportunity Fund is an endowment fund set up to honor excellence in teaching. The fund provides awards to faculty for exploration
and curriculum enhancement. With her award, Phyllis will explore the intersection of science and music and
its influence on brain development in young children at McMaster University in Canada as well as Northwestern
University in Evanston, Illinois. Kate will attend a summer institute at Brightworks School, a school in San Francisco, to help her plan and implement engaging learning experiences for Trinity students.

Pre-K Lead Teacher Katherine Anderson was recognized with the Stephen G. Kennedy Fund for Faculty Excellence award this year. Established to honor previous Head of School Stephen Kennedy’s 11 years of service to Trinity, this award and stipend honors a faculty member using innovative best practices to foster Information Age skills.

Because of the generosity of The Chambers Medical Foundation, Trinity was able to present the inaugural award from
The Chambers Medical Foundation Fund for Faculty Excellence to Science Teacher Becky Maas. Continuously working to raise awareness and contribute to the health and well-being of others, Becky will use her award, which provides exceptional faculty members the opportunity to pursue professional development, to travel to Kenya to gain firsthand knowledge of the country’s challenge and efforts to provide clean water. She looks forward to bringing back stories, photos, videos, and knowledge to share with colleagues and Fifth Grade students during their unit on fresh water.

Second Grade Lead Teacher Grace Riley ’03 was honored with the inaugural award from The Hartman Family Fund for Faculty Excellence, which was established by Nathan Hartman to provide stipends to teachers who go above and beyond to provide exceptional service to Trinity School.

Upper Elementary Division Head Sarah Barton Thomas says of Grace, “This leader has shown exceptional service to Trinity in a variety of ways. As a Faculty Staff Leadership Team committee chair, she has led her team to excellence in organizing resources and supporting clarity in instructional practice. As a Grade Level Team Leader, she led by example in organization, innovation, and interdependence. She is a deep thinker and active listener who regularly seeks ways to grow her work with children.”

Congratulations to this year’s grant award recipients!

Written by: Katie Rosengren, Associate Director of Advancement
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