In mid-November, Head of School Rebecca T. Upham announced Master Teacher Chair recognition for two esteemed, veteran BB&N faculty members.
Leigh Hogan has been named as the third recipient of The Jeanette Markham Master Teacher Chair, which honors the founder of Buckingham School in 1889 who also served as its first Headmistress until 1901. The Markham Chair recognizes senior faculty for excellence in teaching and faculty leadership and acknowledges established faculty members who have made exceptionally valuable contributions to the life of the school. Hogan joins previous Markham Chair recipients Margaret Hardy '61 and Bill Hritz.
"Master Teacher" is as an apt descriptor for Hogan. He has been a bedrock member of the Upper School History & Social Sciences Department since 1983, when he first started teaching at BB&N.
Hogan's classroom was distinctly "global" in character long before globalism became in vogue in academia. He has always placed great priority on fostering discussion and the sharing of perspectives. As Upper School Director Geoff Theobald points out: "Leigh is highly valued by students for his ability to share world views and his unending desire to help students understand the world better."
Mr. Hogan meets students where they are. He sees them as individuals, and endeavors to be supportive and offer many opportunities for fulfillment and success. He has a calm, gentle manner but also challenges his students.
Perhaps the most underrated factor contributing to Hogan's teaching acumen is the fact that he is such an insatiably curious learner himself. He delights in developing his knowledge of global issues and history through organizations such as Primary Source. And he relishes the opportunity to jump into new teaching experiences, such as the Religious Studies course he led a few years ago.
He is equally valued by his fellow faculty members. Hogan chaired the History and Social Sciences Department for seven years, from 2002 to 2009. Theobald says, "He is a trusted colleague and mentor in developing curriculum and keeping student interests always at heart."
In the past, Hogan also coached baseball and JV hockey at the Upper School. Additionally, he served as head baseball coach at his alma mater, Harvard, from 1990-1995. He had been an outstanding student-athlete for the Crimson in the mid-1970s, starring in both baseball and hockey.
Rachel Jamison has been named the third recipient of The Paideia Master Teacher Chair, which takes its name from the ancient Greek noun paideia meaning "education" or "training," and comes from the verb paideuo, which means "to teach." The Chair reflects the importance of the life of the mind, and the essential role that BB&N faculty play in the life of the School by training young minds for the future. Jamison joins previous Paideia Chair appointees Rob Leith and Bill Rogers.
Now in her 18th year as a member of the Middle School English Department, Jamison is a remarkably innovative teacher. A colleague describes her as "someone who is never satisfied with the status quo, someone who is always pushing to find new, inventive ways to reach the students in her classroom."
One way in which this pioneering mindset is demonstrated is Jamison's creative use of technology as a teaching tool. In 2013, she developed a comprehensive and entertaining grammar website to assist students as a writing and grammar resource. In addition, more than a decade ago she was the brainchild of what has become one of the School's most beloved assignments: the multimedia writing project for 7th graders known as the Radio Essay.
She is a demanding teacher who sets a high bar for her students. In fact, for the first few weeks that students have Ms. Jamison as their teacher, they might be somewhat nervous about these expectations. However, those nerves quickly disappear when they recognize how much she really cares about them and believes in them.
"In the course of any day, she's virtually impossible for me to find," jokes Middle School Director Mary Dolbear. "But that's for the all right reasons—because she's invariably tucked away in some corner on our campus, helping kids, meeting with them, offering extra help."
In addition to teaching and advising, Jamison also acts as coordinator of additional programming for the Middle School, which includes overseeing the elective program and Community Time.
"Rachel is the connective tissue of so much that happens at the Middle School," notes Mary. "She's a tremendous resource at Sparks Street for kids and faculty alike. For the past few years, she has become an extraordinary mentor to new faculty at the School."