Of the many ways that teaching excellence is nurtured and recognized at St. Paul's, the awarding of an endowed faculty chair is one of the most significant. The first endowed chair, the William J. & Frances R. Price Chair in English, was established in 1999 through a generous gift from an alumnus in tribute to his former teachers who taught him a love of the written word.Today, through the generosity of many donors, St. Paul's has five endowed chairs, with a combined value is $5.8 million.
Each Chair provides both recognition for outstanding teaching and resources that enable the Chairholder to explore new frontiers and bring that knowledge back to their colleagues and classrooms. Appointment to a Chair is a mark of professional distinction, identifying the recipient as an exemplar of the St. Paul's teaching philosophy and tradition.
"The faculty Chair program represents the pinnacle of recognition for great teachers at St. Paul's," said Headmaster David Faus. "The first endowed Chair was established by alumnus and Trustee Jim Price, class of 1942. He understood that great teachers are the cornerstone of a great school, and he hopes his gift will ensure that St. Paul's continues to attract and keep the very best teachers."
Three endowed chairs were announced during the 2018 opening meeting:
• The William J. & Frances R. Price Chair in English,was awarded to Middle School English Teacher Robert Keal;
• The William A. Bassett Chair for Teaching Excellence, was awarded to Upper School Science Teacher Howard Schindler;
• The Kent W. "Skip" Darrell '60 Distinguished Chair for Teaching and Coaching Excellence, was awarded to Upper School Director of Choirs John Smeadstead.
The two other endowed Chairs are: theRobert W. Hallett Chair for the Chaplaincy, held by The Rev. Dan Meck; and the Nellie Hilleary Carter and Judge Joseph L. Carter Distinguished Chair in Innovative Educational Technology, held by Middle School STEM Coordinator and Science Teacher Casey Kleiman.
Past holders of the endowed chairs include:
- William J. & Frances R. Price Chair in English Language Chair: Cameron Baird and Joel Coleman
- William A. Bassett Chair for Teaching Excellence: Penny Witter, Keith Culbertson, and David Chalfoun
- Kent W. "Skip" Darrell '60 Distinguished Chairfor Teaching and Coaching: Ric Brocato and Mitch Whiteley