Each year, faculty and staff members are honored with awards for their hard work and dedication to St. Mary’s.
At the close of this school year, seven outstanding members of our faculty and staff received awards recognizing for their dedication to students of St. Mary’s. These leaders show compassion, creativity, and loyalty every day.
Fannie Warr Award - Linda Crawford
This award is given to that special individual who, like Fannie Warr, demonstrates a high degree of loyalty, unselfish service, and love for St. Mary’s Episcopal School. In the closing meeting, St. Mary’s Episcopal School presented the Fannie Warr Award to Linda Crawford.
The recipient of this year’s award has worked for St. Mary’s for more than 19 years and joins other esteemed colleagues and has been referred to as the backbone of North Campus for faculty and staff alike. Whether she is assisting with carpool, running a fire drill, setting up for an event, or helping in the classroom, her work is invaluable to the experience of our youngest Turkeys. Her institutional knowledge of all things North Campus is unrivaled and we are all truly blessed to call her a friend. Please join me in congratulating Linda Crawford. St. Mary’s is a better place because of you!
Apple Award - Caryn Brannen and Penny Bower
This award is given to that special individual who gives outstanding and unselfish service to the school. The Apple Award was established by Lizzie Apple ‘14 upon her graduation in recognition of the many teachers who inspired her by teaching with passion and by being kinder than necessary.
The recipient of this year’s Apple Award is a part of everything that happens on the North Campus, and most people don’t even realize it. She is one of those people who, by her choice, quietly fades into the background, but those who know her recognize her hand at work. Whether it is covering an extra carpool (even when she is off during an electrical outage), chipping in while soldering during the STEM class, pulling books from libraries all around the city, or being a sounding board to help plan an event or project, she is an example of quiet, graceful leadership. She supports the teachers personally, listening, advising, or providing meals or cards depending on the need. Her genuine heart and love for SMS students and the overall community are evident in everything she does. Our St. Mary’s family and community are a better place because of her. This year’s Apple Award goes to Caryn Brannen.
Our Apple Award recipient has been a beacon of light for many students over her 27 years at St. Mary’s. She provides a nonjudgemental ear and a comfortable place to land during the often rocky years of middle school. She is also a trusted colleague who is always willing to pitch in when needed. Nothing flusters her. Whether it’s helping facilitate a project, subbing when no one else can, or volunteering to go on more field trips than anyone I know, she always lends a helping hand. She remembers her co-workers in the kindest ways. I think the faculty and staff all agree that the best days of the year are when we get the word that her chocolate chip cookies are in the workroom! Her kindness extends to her furry friends. She has helped find a home for many abandoned dogs (taking many in herself), and she may or may not have kept a sweet lost dog in her office on a couple of occasions until the owner could be located – funny how that dog knew just where to go! Her students say she never fails to help them find the perfect book and so much more: “You can tell she really loves being with us.” “Bookclub is so much fun, and she makes sure that everyone is included and has a way of encouraging others to lead the discussion.” “It’s always about more than just reading the book.” “She is there for us when we have hard times and just makes everything we do more fun.” She is the proud mother to alumnae Erin and Hayley and grandmother to Cole and Carter. For her enthusiasm, positive attitude, thoughtfulness, and always being kinder than necessary, the Apple Award goes to Penny Bower.
Gold Cross Award - Allison Wellford Parker '83
The Gold Cross is the school's highest honor. It is awarded to a faculty or staff member who has been at St. Mary’s for 20 years or more and has displayed superior service to the School. Our community likes to celebrate together, so I wanted you to join me in congratulating Allison Wellford Parker '83 who was awarded the Gold Cross Award at Baccalaureate!
Our recipient has been serving St. Mary’s for 28 years. As an alumna from 1983 with three alumna daughters, her family has amassed 80 years at SMS. This remarkable servant-leader gives of her whole mind and soul and person in the support of students. When she was a student here, she was Pep Club president, and that enthusiasm has never stopped. Allison joined the faculty in 1992, successively and successfully taking on the roles of Middle School teacher, counselor in both Middle and Upper Schools, and Director of Counseling. In her personnel folder, her Vanderbilt English professor effused that she is a “most engaging and relational young woman.” In her first years teaching at St. Mary’s, she was praised for being ”wise beyond her years, sensitive, poised, fluent, and well-prepared. Her instincts are great, she is a natural teacher” with a “rare gift.” And those words came from an evaluation of her Sex Ed class! Those qualities have only increased. Her citation for the Outstanding Teacher Award in 2010 said that in her office “our students are free to share their fears, hopes, dreams, and learn…countless life lessons.” She has laughed with us (oh, that laugh), advised us--students and faculty, supported us, and listened to us. And she has cried with us. A counselor’s job is infinite and doesn’t follow business hours. Allison has faithfully and selflessly lived and breathed this calling for the love and health of this community And since Allison is pursuing other vocations, I will end with this prophetic sentence from that same 1992 recommendation from Dr. Doherty at Vanderbilt: “If she chooses to pursue some other vocation than teaching, I expect she will bring her mind, her love of people, her sense of humor, and her good values to that service.” We know she will. St. Mary’s awards its highest honor, the Gold Cross, to Allison Parker.
Ellen Feild Todd Staff Award - Andra DeVincenzo
This award is given to that special individual who gives outstanding and unselfish service to the school. St. Mary’s Episcopal School presented the Ellen Feild Todd Staff Award to Andra DeVincenzo.
This year’s recipient demonstrates this outstanding and unselfish service to St. Mary’s in many ways. Her high moral standards, love for the school and the girls we serve, and selfless dedication to her work make her more than deserving of this award. Whether she is working with a colleague, parent, student, or donor, she always happily extends a helping hand, even going well beyond her duties as Donor Relations Manager. It is truly a tribute to her talents, hard work, and unwavering commitment to St. Mary’s. She is an excellent example to us all. This year’s recipient is Andra DeVincenzo. Andra, we appreciate your devotion and thank you for all you give unselfishly.
Creative Teacher Award - Molly Logan
Each year, St. Mary’s Episcopal School Alumnae Association honors a St. Mary’s Teacher, who has initiated and administered a creative program, which has broadened and enlightened the life of the St. Mary’s Community.
If you can dream it, she can create it! Whether creating a landscape bubble or designing pieces and artwork for a Glow Party, this teacher knows how to blend traditional art with exciting student-centered ideas. Every student in her class is known, seen, and encouraged to bring her unique self to each project. When thinking of this teacher, this phrase comes to mind “level up.” She makes sure each project is full of inspiration, a special twist based on her students' interests, and often a fun keepsake to treasure for years to come. This year’s Creative Teacher Award goes to Molly Logan.
Nanette Quinn Outstanding Teacher Award - Caroline Goodman
The Outstanding Teacher Award was first given in 1964 at graduation. The award is given to a teacher whose passion, dedication, and excellence in all matters are manifested daily in the classroom and hallways of St. Mary’s. In 2009, the award was named in memory of Nanette Quinn who received the award in 2003.
Outstanding teaching demands leading with both your heart and your head, and this year’s recipient of the Nanette Quinn Outstanding Teacher Award has demonstrated this trait to a T. Whether it's developing an innovative curriculum, supporting students to inspire their growth in the classroom or beyond, or just approaching each member of our community with a genuine spirit of caring, she inspires her students, her colleagues, and everyone she meets. Her classroom is a learning lab where students’ ideas are valued and their understanding of the written word is affirmed by her thoughtful and innovative lessons. - Lauren Rogers
Beyond her commitment to teaching students, this year’s recipient is a teacher’s teacher who trains faculty to embrace the instructional technologies at St. Mary’s. Over the past two years, she has tirelessly supported our teachers and students with every instructional technology innovation that we have implemented during the pandemic. Caroline Goodman is the embodiment of the Nannette Quinn Outstanding Teacher Award. Thank you, Caroline, on behalf of your students, teachers, St. Mary’s, Lauren, and myself for your dedication to St. Mary’s. - Justin Whitford