Retiring members of The Benjamin School community were honored during a virtual end-of-year faculty and staff assembly the afternoon of May 27. Upper and Middle School Division Heads thanked three members of the faculty for their decades of service.
Head of Middle School Charles Hagy recognized outgoing Lower and Middle School Children’s Librarian Sherrie Hornaday for her 25 years of service at The Benjamin School.
“Your time here, to put it simply, has been transformative,” said Hagy. “During this time, you have created worlds that have left the hundreds of students, who were blessed to be in our care, with fond memories and a love of reading.”
Hornaday was the architect behind the Story Cottage, an imaginative space in the library where young minds enjoy the pleasure of a good book being brought to life.
“Certainly, memories to be treasured throughout their years at Benjamin and into adulthood,” said Hagy. “We so appreciate - Sherrie - your service and dedication to our children - and the stories that make reading so magical.”
Hagy also thanked Lower and Middle School World Language teacher Carol Labzda for her 28 years of service to the School. Hagy commended Labzda for her strength, wisdom, and courage that has made her a “quiet, but impactful, hero to both students and colleagues.”
“You are a model of strength, grace, and dignity - inspiring us all and teaching us the most important lessons in life,” said Hagy.
Head of Upper School Fletcher Carr wished outgoing Assistant Head for Academics Ken Didsbury well in his retirement.
“It is certainly hard to sum up a five-decade career in education in a couple of minutes as we wish you this farewell. And doing this from a remote location over a screen - while talking about the power of personal connection - is even more cruelly ironic,” said Carr.
Carr said Didsbury, who has dedicated five-decades to education, will be leaving a tremendous void.
“Your ability to see both the sublime and the ridiculous in our profession is what makes you a brilliant educator,” said Carr. “And like every great educator, you possess a knowledge of, interest in, and most importantly, an enjoyment of learning about any topic; you love to knock around ideas and visions for programs; and the craftsman in you loves to give projects a try--and it is precisely that next level of connection with students and appreciation of their efforts--successful or not--that have made you such a trusted mentor to students and colleagues alike. You challenge anybody you work with--and if it so happens that they, in your words, ‘make a hash of it’ - you pick them up and work with them to push on to mastery.”