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The Milton Measure

Faculty Members Say Goodbye to Milton after Years of Service

by Emily Jiang on Friday, June 10th, 2016

It’s that time of year. Seniors are graduating and gearing up for their next phase in life, and the rest of the community, students and teachers alike, is embarking on a much-needed and well-deserved break. However, with the chaos of the ending school year, there are a few faces many of us overlook: faculty members who we won’t be seeing again next fall.

A few teachers are retiring, while others are departing Milton and heading to new schools or even new countries. Among the retiring faculty are Mr. Fricke, Mr. and Mrs. Banderob, and Mr. Hilgendorf. The leaving faculty include Mr. Baker, Ms. Hetzler, Ms. Thorp, Mr. Williams, and Ms. Carpenter.

Chances are, you’ve heard the name “Mr. Fricke” tossed around at some point in your Milton career. As Elina Thadani (II) enthuses, Mr. Fricke is “an amazing and really legendary teacher.” After 29 years at Milton, he is saying farewell and heading into retirement. Mr Fricke says that in his many years as a Miltonian, “I hope I have helped to make Milton a happy, lively, and creative place that doesn’t take itself too seriously.” On Mr. Fricke’s teaching style, Logan Troy (II) remarks, “Mr. Fricke has a rare talent for teaching and connecting with his students in meaningful ways.” Elina, who had Mr. Fricke in American Literature this year, notes his lasting impression, saying that he “has conferred to [her] an appreciation of the English language that [she] has never found before.”

After 42 years at Milton, Mr. and Mrs. Banderob are also saying their bittersweet good-byes. A faculty member in Robbins House, Mr. Banderob has taught seventh and eighth grade math, Algebra II, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Statistics, Computer Programming, CE/PS, Introductory Physical Science, and Philosophy during his Milton career. Ms. Sugrue, the Math Department Head, attests to his cherished status, “He is really supportive of every student in his classroom.” After Milton, Mr. and Mrs. Banderob will be retiring to their home in New Hampshire. Mr. Banderob says he will miss “students, colleagues, and especially Robbins House” but looks forward to “traveling in the U.S. and elsewhere.”

Currently an Algebra II teacher, Algebra II Foundations teacher, and Robbins House head, Mrs. Banderob is woven into the lives of countless members of the Milton community. Ms. bargar, a fellow math teacher and friend, attests that Mrs. Banderob “seriously knows everything, past and present– we actually sometimes refer to her as ‘Chief Information Officer.’” Jerome Vainisi (III), one of Mrs. Banderob’s Algebra 2 students, says, “Mrs. Banderob is the best teacher I’ve ever had. I’ve learned more about math this year than in any other year of my life.” While excited for the future, Mrs. Banderob notes that “to think about a life where [Mr. Banderob and I] can basically do anything we want at any point without really thinking about anybody except each other…that’s sort of scary.”

Mr. Hilgendorf, a History Department faculty member, is retiring after 34 years of teaching. He says, “I hope that my students developed a great love of learning and the power of ideas.” He also hopes that his students “left his classroom having a deeper respect and love for their classmates.” After Milton, Mr. H “will miss both the commitment to and the excitement of learning shared by both students and faculty.” Brie Lawson (II), a former student of Mr. H’s, reminisces, “Mr. H was always more focused on our having fun and learning than simply on grades. He was by far one of the kindest teacher I’ve had at Milton.”

Mr. Baker, one of the librarians, is taking his leave from Milton and will be moving on to the Keys School in Palo Alto, California. Mr. Baker was part of the Milton Academy Class of 2003, and returned to become one of Milton’s librarians. In his time at Milton, Mr. Baker “[hopes] that [he has] shown students the kind of student that can come out here, that they can be many different things.” Ms. Edwards, a Performing Arts faculty member and former dance teacher of Mr. Baker’s, reflects, “His exuberant energy and smile and his willingness to speak out about important issues that matter to our community will be sorely missed.”

A learning specialist in the Skills Center, Ms. Hetzler has been working at both Milton and the Shady Hill School, and next year will be working at Shady Hill on a more full-time basis. In her ten years at Milton, she hopes she has “helped [students] to navigate their way through the Upper School with confidence and success.” Her presence was invaluable to many students, including Raneem Mohamed (II) who explains, “As English is my second language, she was the person who helped me adjust (to Milton).” Raneem also dotes on Ms. Hetzler’s going above and beyond in her support: “She came to all of my squash matches, even when they were away. She has been always there for me.”

Ms. Thorp, a Spanish teacher, Millet dorm faculty member, and the rising seniors’ beloved class dean, is leaving Milton to move back to Madrid, Spain. Ms. Thorp will greatly miss “working with such motivated and curious students who amaze and surprise me everyday with their talents.” Tyler Piazza (II) had the pleasure of working closely with Ms. Thorp, as he was the juniors’ former class representative. Tyler attests to Ms. Thorp’s being a great dean, “even though it was her first year as class dean, she did a fantastic job dealing with all of its various roles.”

An Algebra II teacher and JV irls’ Basketball coach, Mr. Williams is departing Milton to teach at the Pingree School in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. Even in just two years at Milton, he’s had an undeniable impact on students and faculty alike. Mollie Ames (II), a former student of Mr. Williams, recalls, “Mr. Williams brought a funny, fun energy to all of my Algebra II classes last year.” As he parts from Milton, Mr. Williams hopes his students “found that I was a teacher who truly care about them and enjoyed teaching them.”

Last but not least, Ms. Carpenter, the interim Outdoor Program Head, Honors Biology teacher, and Robbins dorm faculty member, is heading to Pace Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. Lydia Hill (II), one of Ms. Carpenter’s Honors Biology students, observes that “Ms. Carpenter helped ease the usual pressures and stresses of Honors Bio, which was incredibly helpful, especially during junior Spring.” Luke Cadigan (II), another Honors Biology Student, adds, “Ms. Carpenter related very quickly to her students, and she seemed to genuinely care about improving the course.”

These faculty members will be missed greatly, but we wish them the best of luck as they move onto their next chapters in life!

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Posted by Emily Jiang on Jun 10 2016. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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