It is a joyful tradition at Belmont Day School that the Annual Meeting of the Corporation and Parents’ Association Meeting held each May begins with a tribute to those faculty celebrating a milestone of their tenure at BDS. Beginning at 10 years and at every five year interval beyond, faculty members are acknowledged for their commitment to excellence over time. This year, we were lucky to honor five faculty members who combined for ninety years of dedicated service to the school. Additionally, we acknowledged both Catherine David and Alice Henry for their service as they retire at the end of this school year.
Blair Fross (10 years)
For ten years, Blair Fross has led the after school programs at Belmont Day with a clear-eyed dedication to the excellence of the programming offered and the students and families who benefit from it. Dedicated to the ever-changing population of Belmont Day School families, Blair ensures that with each decision she considers, and, indeed, any decision issued by the school, families are at the center of that consideration. The upshot: a phenomenal array of after school and enrichment offerings that have helped distinguish the program and further advance the mission to inspire and challenge students. Blair has advocated thoughtfully for students and her team for ten years, and Belmont Day is a better place for her efforts. Blair Fross is a true school leader, and we are ever grateful for her ten years of service to Belmont Day.
Sandra Trentowsky (15 Years)
Ask just about any alum of Belmont Day how their high school years are going, and they will lead with this: “I’m crushing science. Ms. Trentowsky prepared me so well.” Dig deeper, and you will discover the source of their confidence, pride, and enthusiasm: it is the relationship that Sandra forged with each of them, with student-centered care, passion for the subject matter, and a belief that every child is a scientist at heart. A beloved teacher and advisor, Sandra has, throughout her fifteen years at Belmont Day, served the school in myriad capacities: as science department chair, a grade level coordinator, a collaborator with the arts faculty for the school’s first art installation in the Barn, and as one of the rock steady voices of the middle school throughout its earliest years. Sandra’s commitment to the sciences, hands-on education, and the precision required for a worthy lab report is matched only by her respect and admiration for her students. Congratulations, Sandra, on fifteen years of service to Belmont Day.
Susan Dempsey (20 years)
Deeply devoted to her students and her craft, Susan Dempsey knows what it means to sing the song in her heart. After twenty years of directing plays, musicals, and choral ensembles, Susan leads by example with a passion and conviction matched only by her beautiful singing voice and fearless willingness to perform. A scholar of her craft, Susan has used each of her twenty years to challenge herself, study, nurture her talent, and tease out the best in students. To witness the power of her impact, one must only look at the long line of Belmont Day graduates who have gone on to act and sing in high school, college, and beyond.
Poet and philosopher Kahlil Gibran once noted that “music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.” If music is the language of the spirit, then Susan is the teacher who has given voice to that language over twenty years, bringing peace and abolishing strife for countless students along the way.
Lino Medeiros (20 years)
Lino Medeiros arrived at Belmont Day under heartrending circumstances. He joined the buildings and grounds team to assist the school when Director of Buildings and Grounds Lenny Corso’s health began to fail. Lino dove right in and started then what he continues to do nowcommit himself every day to making Belmont Day a more beautiful place. For twenty years, Lino has arrived each day with a smile on his face and has set to work maintaining our physical plant and keeping it beautiful for students and families alike. A proud man deeply devoted to his own family and his roots in the Azores in Portugal, Lino is an important member of our BDS family, kindly welcoming and caring for each of us and always seeking ways to make Belmont Day a better place. Lino, for your twenty years of service, we are ever grateful
Heather Smith (25 years)
For twenty-five years, at the start of the early childhood hallway and the very heart of our school, Heather Smith has brought calm, steady care, kindness, and love to her work at Belmont Day. Heather has served as the reading specialist for kindergarten, first, and second grade studentsgreeting them with a welcoming smile and a gracious heart and guiding them with steadfast patience and determination. Students come to cherish their time with Heather, as she deftly and carefully provides them with the necessary skills to embrace or discover the reader withina reader that Heather knows is simply waiting to be discovered. Faculty see Heather as a true expert in her field and turn to her regularly as a resource to help access a particular learner or to guide them in their literacy instruction. Parents trust and respect her guidance, experience, and expertise and see her work as a wondrous mix of scholar and magician. Heather can synthesize and utilize data and compassionately challenge and inspire a child even as she unlocks the mystery of their learning profile with apparent ease.
For twenty-five years, our school has been incredibly fortunate to have the wisdom, care, and kindness of Heather Smith at the heart of our school and the start of each student’s journey.
Congratulations, and thank you, Heather, for twenty-five wonderful years.
Catherine David (retiring)
When Catherine David returned to her role as registrar and Assistant to the Head of School, a head from one of our peer schools reached out to me, unsolicited, to congratulate me on the return of “the Mary Poppins of Head’s Assistants.” Truly, in each of her capacities throughout her more than five years in this role, Catherine has been ‘practically perfect’ in every way. Catherine has answered questions before I’ve thought to ask them, has anticipated the needs of every constituent in the school, and has been a pivotal player in our transition to the new database. Her work with the chairs of each board committee has been critical as she has kept all of us moving forward, promptly and on time every step of the way. An invaluable sounding board to me as we have completed construction on the Barn and developed the most recent strategic plan for Belmont Day’s future, it would seem there is no stone that Catherine has left unturned. And so, what better time to return to her family as a loving mother and grandmother? On behalf of a most grateful community, I wish Catherine a joyful and restful retirement with boundless thanks.
Alice Henry (retiring)
Alice Henry’s long and incredible career at BDS with our youngest learners was lovingly and joyfully paid tribute to with an ABC book created and read by Deborah Brissenden. (Click here to enjoy the book!) Honestly, there just aren’t enough letters in the alphabet to capture all that Alice has shared with us and the impact she has had on generations of our students. Thank you, Alice. I do hope you’ll return often to join us for a leisurely walk in the woods.