Rebecca T. Upham, Head of School
I would like to give you a “heads up” about some exciting news that we will be able to share with you next week.
As you may remember, we announced last November the establishment of the first-ever endowed teaching chairs (two of them) and instructorship in BB&N’s history. In this way, BB&N has gained an important, tangible way to celebrate the outstanding dedication and talent of our finest teachers and future leaders, and to recognize the exceptionally valuable contributions these faculty members have made to the life of the school.
Next week we will announce the inaugural faculty recipients of these endowed positions. I can tell you that the boost that these chairs and instructorship will provide to the teaching and learning energy at our School will be tremendous!
At this time, I would like to describe to you the names of these three endowed positions:
The Founding Paideia Master Teacher Chair
The Founding Paideia Master Teacher Chair takes its name from the ancient Greek noun paideia meaning “education” or “training,” and comes from the verb paideuo which means “to teach.” Paideia was the process of educating humans into their true form, the real and genuine human nature. Since self-government was important to the Greeks, paideia, combined with ethos (habits), made a man good and made him capable as a citizen or a king. This education was not about learning a trade or an art but was about training for liberty (freedom) and nobility (the beautiful). Paideia connotes the cultural heritage that is continued through the generations.
As noted in BB&N’s Mission Statement, “The connections between our faculty and students are at the heart of our School.” In establishing the Founding Paideia Master Teacher Chair, the donors have recognized the importance of the life of the mind, and the essential role that BB&N faculty have played in the life of the School since its founding by training young minds for the future.
The Jeanette Markham Master Teacher Chair
The Jeanette Markham Master Teacher Chair honors the Founder of The Buckingham School in 1889, who also served as its first Headmistress until 1901. Miss Markham is remembered as both wise and witty; her imagination, humor, candor, and boldness were unusual in that era. Among her progressive ideas was the belief that a school could be a place where children not only worked but lived, a place as much for their delight as for their instruction. As a colleague reflected, “Miss Markham had very high ideals, and pupils and teachers felt compelled to come up to them. She was also extremely particular about details; nothing was passed unless it was the very best that the student could do, and Miss Markham had confidence that you could do whatever was asked.”
In establishing the Jeanette Markham Master Teacher Chair, BB&N recognizes the impact this Buckingham legend had on its earliest students and their families. More than anything, Miss Markham was known as an extraordinary teacher. Through the Markham Chair, BB&N celebrates and recognizes this legacy of teaching excellence that lives on at our School today.
The Marian W. Vaillant Future Leader Instructorship
The Marian W. Vaillant Future Leader Instructorship honors the third Headmistress of The Buckingham School who served the School with intellect and passion, dignity, and grace of spirit from 1935 to 1962. Miss Vaillant took each student seriously, holding each to the highest standards of behavior and teaching all the value of participation and engagement in the world beyond oneself. Among the many things for which she is remembered are her dedication to helping others through an active community service program, her lively interest in the School’s dramatic productions, and Monday morning assemblies in which she put students’ lives in a larger context through discussion of current events.
The Marian W. Vaillant Future Leader Instructorship recognizes the special contributions that promising early and mid-career faculty have made to the School community, their academic accomplishments, and evidence of personal growth. We know that it is this group of faculty who will become the next generation of master teachers and will sustain BB&N’s academic excellence for decades to come.
These three endowed positions have become a reality at BB&N thanks to the extraordinary generosity of three early donors to the Opening Minds Campaign, each of whom has requested to remain anonymous. We extend our deepest gratitude for their support of the mission of our School.
Be sure to check the news page on the School website next week to learn about the faculty recipients!