Share Your Story
Share Your Story
St. Anne's-Belfield School is launching a focused effort to gather alumni stories about teachers who shaped their lives. Our hope is to compile a collection of anecdotes which reflect our experiences at the School and that allow others to learn more about student/teacher relationships that make a St. Anne's-Belfield education so special.
Miss Malone was an educator who shaped not just my years at St. Anne's, but really my whole life. Everyone probably remembers what a fine teacher she was, but I have other memories of her as well. I was a pretty good student but I really struggled in her American History class. After one particularly hard test, she told her students to come by her office to pick up their graded tests with all her comments. Her office was in the same area as the headmistress's office so that was pretty intimidating, plus I knew I hadn't done well on the test. When I saw how badly I'd done I raced out of her office so I didn't have to face her! She tracked me down later that day, explained how I could do better, and restored my confidence. I've never forgotten the extra effort she took to encourage and teach me. The next year, my senior year, she encouraged me to apply early decision to Smith College, her alma mater. When I was accepted, she was the teacher who called me at home to tell me the good news. I've always known she was a major reason for my acceptance, and going to Smith changed my life. I got to "spread my wings" a bit in an unfamiliar environment way out of my comfort zone. I met students from so many parts of the country and was exposed to ideas I'd never really encountered in high school. I think often of how she influenced me and I feel blessed that I was able to visit with her a month or so before she passed away.
As a "sandbox kid," I was fortunate to have MANY excellent teachers at Belfield and then at St. Anne's. A partial list would include Shirley Dorrier, Jay Taylor, Naomi Wallace, Mrs. Wilson, Carlisle Chambers, Aylene Ward, Tom Farrell, Ham Bishop, Dave Bowman, Dave Allen, Pam Malone, Clayton Williams. All of them got to know me and helped direct my energies in a positive direction. Plus, a lot of them taught me things I still use today.
The tallest redwood in the forest was Peter Weeks. I had him for a couple of years at Belfield and, with the merger, for a couple more years at St. Anne's. He was witty, genial, tall (!), intimidating, friendly, curious, intelligent, opinionated, an intellectual. He was rarely "preachy" but he could impart a life lesson or two if he wanted. Most often, he shared a point in a way a friend might share a secret. You were on the inside, a confidante more than a student. And a laugh that could shake a building!
Most of all, I will remember his love of Sherlock Holmes. How many stories he read to us in lieu of some lesser literature! They really were/are clever stories, and I think Peter enjoyed that most.
Again, there are many fond memories of wonderful people, but I am most proud to say I knew Peter Weeks and that he knew me.
There are so many teachers I could talk about who influenced my life while at STAB and beyond, but the two that come to mind most are David Bard and John Amos. Coach Bard was Head Football Coach from 1990-1995 and was the architect of Football's resurgence at the school. Along with Jim MacDonald, they not only saved the program, but won several conference titles and STAB's first State Championship in '92-'93 vs FUMA and an undefeated 10-0 season. But David Bard was more than an excellent Coach. He was a mentor for me and excellent Math teacher and class sponsor. In fact, he was the only Math teacher I managed to do half-way decent in their class! He was direct, but never intimidating and impeccably organized. When I think of some of my fondest memories from my entire 13 years at STAB, they involve being a part of the Football program he built and lifelong friendships made with the players on those teams.
I was fortunate enough to have John Amos for English three times while at STAB - once in middle school and twice in the Upper School. With him being from Orange and I from Louisa, we had the "outlying County" and long drives to school every day in common! Most importantly, he had the ability to get the very best out of my potential and instilled a lifelong love of English within me. I credit the fact that English became my college major to the fun I had studying the subject under Mr. Amos. His "down to Earth" teaching style along with an ability to communicate the most challenging of concepts was extraordinary.
There are so many more I could name - Florence Allen, Steve Dupree, Karen O'Neil, Denny Burnette, Pam Malone, and many more. All have influenced my life greatly. These two men however are who I personally associate with my best memories of STAB.