On Monday and Tuesday, June 10 and 11, the St. Mark's community said goodbye to departing faculty and staff. Ken and Lee Wells, with 71 years between them on the faculty, are retiring. So are staff members Jack Cullina and Betsy Cullina. Assistant Chaplain Stephen Hebert is also leaving from the faculty, while staffers Sheri Barich, Grace Camuso, Mary Martell, Julie Nugent and Dolores Russo are also moving on.
On Wednesday evening at Choate House they were fêted by the entire School community. Head of School John C. Warren '74, veteran art teacher Barb Putnam, and Senior Teacher Rick Umiker sang their praises. Mr. Umiker pointed out that they are the first and only St. Mark's teachers to meet, marry, and stay at the School for more than 30 years each, right up to retirement. They were showered with gifts and applause.
At that same event, a couple of married staffers were also honored on the eve of their retirement. Jack Cullina came to St. Mark's 22 years ago and has done yeoman work as the School's Facilities Manager. Betsy Cullina has been at St. Mark's for nine years, working as Accounts Payable Manager in the Business Office. Mr. Warren, Chief Financial and Operations Officer Rob Kuklewicz, and Dean of Students David Vachris thanked them for their contributions to the School and presented them with gifts.
On Tuesday, at the traditional end-of-year luncheon for Faculty and Staff in the main dining room, Mr. Warren and Head Chaplain Barbara Talcott said goodbye to Stephen Hebert. In addition to serving as Assistant Chaplain, in his six years at St. Mark's Mr. Hebert has taught religion, chaired the Religion Department, coached varsity golf, and fulfilled many other responsibilities fully and impressively. Mr., Hebert is returning home to Texas.
After six years on the Communications staff, Associate Director of Communications and Marketing Julie Nugent is leaving St. Mark's. She was unable to be at the Tuesday luncheon, but at that event St. Mark's was able to say thank you and goodbye to Director of Institutional Research Shari Barich, Head Receptionist Grace Camuso, nurse Dolores Russo, and driver Mary Martell. All will be missed.
At the luncheon, a number of other staff members were recognized for five, 10, and 15 year milestones at St. Mark's, and Admission Coordinator Laurie Kalapinski was presented with the Burr Staff Prize. Established by the Class of 1961 on the occasion of their 40th reunion to honor one of their teachers, Fred Burr, and his emphasis on the contribution of staff to the quality of the education provided by St. Mark's. Fred Burr considered himself one—like so many staff members—who enthusiastically supported the work of adults and students while working outside the limelight. The Burr Prize is awarded annually by the Head of School to a member of the staff who demonstrates extraordinary support of the work of St. Mark's adults and students, the approach the Class of 1961 sought to honor.
And so another successful year comes to an end.