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.
For anyone who doesn’t remember, the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl—again—this past year. Across their two-decade long NFL dominance the team’s mantra has been simple, yet incredibly effective: Do your job. The belief is that if each person is committed to the team’s success, is thorough in his preparation for assigned duties, and executes with distinction, positive results will follow. Six Lombardi trophies later this belief is surely playing out.
I am reminded of this Patriot mantra when thinking about our second Kellogg recipient, who, by the way, is keenly familiar with football of a sort. She has a job description that has her in a myriad of roles: classroom teacher, MELP coordinator, travel Guru, occasional dorm parent, Education Office part time staff, and school seamstress. Each job requires a different skill set, yet no matter the task Mrs. Bastow always does her job. And she does so with the same precision, thoroughness, focus, and team-centered loyalty the Patriots demonstrate.
Instructionally, she takes her subject seriously and has been educating classes about the wonders of science for years. Whether guiding students through a solar power unit in an effort to be more environmentally conscious, or a human body unit that teaches students about themselves and healthy living, Mrs. Bastow makes important content relevant and engaging. When asked what they liked best about her class, her students unanimously responded, “the teacher,” whom they credit with making the material understandable and the learning fun. As one student wrote, “Mrs. Bastow is one of the funniest teachers and, in addition to great activities, she brings joy and happiness to our school every day.” It doesn’t hurt that she has also been known to bake birthday cakes and scones for all to enjoy.
Sense of humor notwithstanding, Mrs. Bastow is anything but light-hearted when it comes to her work at Rectory, and I am not just talking about dress code here. In her oversight of the MELP program, Mrs. Bastow recognizes that sending students off to all parts of the country holds incredible opportunity, but also requires optimal thought and care. So she is relentless in her efforts to lead the faculty in creating a safe, educational, and incredibly enjoyable experience for our students. She asks a lot of the staff in the process, but expects even more of herself.
There are certain Rectory duties for which most people have little in depth knowledge. Travel is a good example. Mrs. Bastow is asked six times a year to collect and share logistical information for 147 boarding students coming from and going to a dozen different states and countries. This is a task made even more challenging when parents leave her in the dark regarding their children’s travel plans until the day of departures, or when e-tickets are finally submitted weeks late…in Chinese. No one manages this in-the-moment troubleshooting better than Mrs. Bastow.
You students can never fully appreciate the effort, care, and concern Mrs. Bastow exerts on every major travel day. What you do know is that you safely get where you were intended to be when you were intended to be there. That is Mrs. Bastow doing her job in her exemplary fashion.
Hailing from across the pond, for the past thirteen years Mrs. Bastow has brought a stiff upper lip and a love of British movies and Wimbledon to our Quiet Corner campus. She also brought with her years of customer service training. This professional experience means she understands how she would want to be treated as a consumer and delivers on this expectation as a stalwart Rectory employee. As Mrs. Bastow knows, there is no second chance for a first impression and she always strives to get it right the first time. Brady may have Super Bowl rings, but only Mrs. Bastow has a Kellogg Award, a recognition that reflects the high regard and deep appreciation we have for her many years of “doing the job” in her impressive Bastow fashion. Congratulations, Mrs. Bastow.
Before coming to Rectory I worked at day schools, which meant my family and I resided in housing off campus. The reality of home ownership is that things break or need upkeep on a regular basis; my track record with these repairs was not good. In a bathroom remodel I put the wrong replacement windows in the respective two openings; when I discovered a small leak in another bathroom sink my intervention resulted in a major geyser; and when I replaced the chandelier in the dining room, I flipped on the “on” switch with great trepidation due to fear of electrical shock. Suffice to say, I am not the guy to turn to for home repairs.
Fortunately, Rectory has a team of incredibly talented, resourceful, skilled experts who tend to the inevitable issues that arise across a campus occupied by over three hundred people every work day and almost two hundred people every night. Rectory is blessed with beautiful buildings that date back to the early 1800s. These spaces are charming, purposeful, historic… and in regular need of attention. Additionally, our near 140 acres of grounds, which are instrumental in creating the inviting, bucolic allure our campus exudes, do not tend to themselves. It takes a team to achieve the facilities and grounds results we see and experience at Rectory, and this team is led by a most impressive director.
Mr. Hurtado arrived at Rectory in 2011 and since that time he has been a part of transforming all aspects of the Rectory campus. His most visible contributions are the components of the School’s master plan he has helped bring to fruition. This began with the renovations of Memorial Dormitory and the Archway Apartment, continued with the Wolf Den and faculty duplex, and included the Seaward Family Pavilion and John and Millie Green Hall. The next step occurs this summer with phase one of our Bigelow Academic Building renovations, and Mr. Hurtado has this project on course for another magnificent conclusion.
With all of these jobs, Mr. Hurtado’s in-depth understanding of project design and project execution have resulted in incredibly successful facilities undertakings that come in on budget, function even better than hoped for, and enhance the beauty of our beloved campus. But there is so much that doesn’t meet the eye and is just part of daily operations for Mr. Hurtado.
Put in a new porch outside Grosvenor House, no problem. Replace windows in a drafty dorm, piece of cake. Re-do a bathroom in a faculty apartment, he’s got it. Repair the siding on Colhoun Gymasium, consider it done. Build a bridge across a frozen stream in -6 degree weather with a bunch of novice middle schoolers, he loves a challenge. Respond to a shrieking fire alarm at 11:30 at night, just part of the job. No matter the task, the time of day, or the temperature outside—Mr. Hurtado answers the call and remains on the job until the work is complete or the problem is solved.
I have trouble managing a three-bedroom house. Mr. Hurtado, on the other hand, manages a several-hundred bedroom facility on a daily basis, and is unflappable in doing so. Those he has worked with describe him as a “solid and stable force…who is skillful with his hands and just about every tool known to man.” He is also a teacher who passes his talents on to those he works with, and these talents are broad: excavation, concrete construction, metal and wood structure, building construction, HVAC, wastewater management, medium-weight equipment, electrical engineering…the list goes on.
None of us can fully appreciate what a typical week for Mr. Hurtado entails, yet even on the craziest day, he never loses his sense of humor or his fun-loving spirit. Rectory is so fortunate to have him overseeing our campus, and it is with great respect and admiration that I present this Kellogg Award to Mr. Mario Hurtado.
Previous Years' Award Recipients
Mary Lou & Brad Seaward
Mary Lou Seaward