Each year Rectory School presents the School's prestigious Kellogg Award. The Kellogg Award, established in 1993 by Rectory alumnus Peter Kellogg '57 in honor of his mother, Mrs. James Crane Kellogg III, recognizes Rectory employees for their dedication and commitment to the School. Each year, two employees are selected to be recipients of this award because of their many years of service to the School and their special help to the school and students. Below are the most recent recipients with Headmaster Fred Williams' comments.
The Kellogg Award was established in 1993 to recognize faculty and staff who have demonstrated excellence and commitment to Rectory School. Today we recognize an individual as the first two-time recipient. We do this for a career’s worth of incredible contributions to our school, and we do so as this one-of-a-kind educator, administrator, and child’s best advocate prepares to retire at the conclusion of this school year. Rectory, due to the generosity of Mr. Kellogg, is so pleased to provide this recognition to this individual as she contemplates many interests to come in a new phase of her life.
Great teachers succeed because of their passion for the subject and their commitment to their students. For over twenty-three years this individual has excelled in both areas. A science student in college where she received a BS in Earth Science with a minor in Biology and Anthropology, this person has spent her professional life opening young minds to the wonders of our natural world. According to Mr. Ames, “This person has a flare for teaching science and bringing a sense of excitement to her class.” The impact on the students is clear with one student sharing in a course evaluation: “I like that we have many awesome demonstrations in science to support what we are doing.”
This teacher is a life-long educator and a life-long learner. Even as she prepares for retirement, she remains one of our most eager seekers of professional development. Recent activity for her includes a Harvard University offering related to new science standards for middle school, a STEM Summit, and a workshop focused on teaching weather and climate with digital media. She has also spent the last year articulating and documenting the grade 6 science program, while refining what occurs in grade 5. Her professionalism and personal sense of responsibility have caused her to put all in order for the benefit of the next teacher and the upcoming students.
This teacher is all about exposing students to cool things inside and outside of class. I have had the privilege of traveling on two MELPs with her. The first, Vermont on Fur-Wheel Drive, introduced our students to dogsledding. The only challenge was, after a very mild winter, almost no snow. But with this person leading the trip it was no problem as we spent four days bonding with twenty plus sled dogs, taking hikes, and playing poker with Oreos and M&Ms as chips. In Texas, she took students down the Rio Grande River, and brought them all back, though not without a good bit of shenanigans as she had a nightly prank awaiting unsuspecting students each morning. Now she mines for diamonds and teaches students about geology on a new MELP that will hopefully become a regular offering to our Rectory Prospectors.
This recipient once wrote to a former Rectory headmaster after receiving her residential responsibilities for the year, “Girls are MUCH easier to supervise than boys, almost boring. They tend to be cleaner, neater, and spend much more time in the bathroom or in their rooms. I am really not complaining here; it just seems like I used to earn my keep more when dealing with the boys. I am happy to do either as long as I am immersed in kids.” All of us know how sincere these words are. This recipient is drawn to students who offer a challenge, and rather than shy away from hard work, she ventures in to it with a determination and resolve to outlast anything a middle schooler has to offer.
For the many roles you have played at Rectory, and on behalf of all who have benefitted from your wisdom, your kindness, and your commitment to our school and our students, I am pleased to give this Kellogg Award to Ms. Fran Morano.
Mary Lou & Brad Seaward
This year we are forging new frontiers with the Kellogg Award. Ms. Morano just became the first two-time winner. Now, for the first time, we award a Kellogg Grant to a couple for their combined contributions to Rectory. Like Ms. Morano, one member of the team retires from Rectory at the end of this year, the other takes a leave of absence to spend time with grandchildren and see whether she can live with her husband and his boundless energy in retirement. We all know there is no more deserving a team than these two, and we hope this award allows for a great family adventure as these two are all about family and relationships.
Case in point: the Mrs. in this relationship is responsible for the photo collage that greets visitors when they pass through the Grosvenor House main entrance. The words—Rectory is Relationships—are paired with photos of students with teachers and family members bonded across the decades by Rectory and our strength of community.
This family continues to execute this belief by opening their doors beyond any reasonable expectation, even on a junior boarding school campus. They entertain from sun up, with breakfast for boarders, through sun down, as they host after study hall gatherings for students who just want to come down and hang out. For the fortunate few, they have even housed young men and women, sharing their living space, their food, their television to accommodate an overflow of great kids interested in Rectory School. Who could even guess at the number of ice pops or pounds of monkey bread that have been consumed on their premises across their years at Rectory?
On his job employment history, the Mr. in the relationship has written one phrase: I came to work at Rectory School after college. How fortunate we are that he has stayed these forty-three years, and across this span he has served in nearly every academic, residential, and administrative role possible. When I interviewed at Rectory ten years ago, I actually thought he was the headmaster so we will give him credit for that one as well.
Rectory faculty receive annual contracts which list salaries, housing assignments, coaching, and “other duties.” The Mrs. in this relationship possesses the only contract where the “other duties” line runs out of space. In addition to being an exceptional tutor, this person is a videographer, a photographer, serves on the Archives Committee, and is the organizer of the Heart-y Party and the Spelling Bee. But these are just the formal roles she plays.
This duo has literally done it all at Rectory in a way that brings them the love, respect, admiration, and appreciation of this entire community. But rather than revel in accolades and awards, which these two would like to avoid entirely, this family responds by thanking and recognizing others. After pulling off yet another campus-wide Rectory Fall Parents Weekend video shoot, the Mrs. sent out an email titled “The Top Ten Things I Learned at Today’s Video Shoot.” Number 5 on the list read, “The ninth graders will do anything as long the get Monkey Bread. Thank you ninth graders.” After hours and hours of her personal time dedicated to this effort, Number 1 read, “The lesson I learned today (for the hundredth time) is that when you need a group of people to come together and make some impossible dream come true, all you need to do is to put it before the Rectory community, students, and adults, and they will make it happen.”
The Mr. wrote in an annual reflection. “My daily interaction with current students, parents, faculty, and staff is what really creates the Rectory experience for me. Trying to provide care and leadership and watching the students grow right before your eyes. There is nothing like it! I gave my best this year, but I know I can do more."
This couple has been giving it their all for decades, and the impact they continue to have on this campus will never be matched. Yet in their efforts, they always thank others versus patting their own backs, and they always under-assess the most extraordinary role they play on our campus and in the lives of all with whom they interact.
Because of all of this and more, it is with the most heartfelt appreciation that we award this Kellogg Grant to Brad and Mary Lou Seaward.
Previous Years' Award Recipients
Mary Lou Seaward