Randolph is a place where profound relationships flourish, many of them for long periods of time. At the end of the 2018-19 school year, we said goodbye to four faculty and staff members who have served the School for 15 years or more. As they depart, they each will take with them a Randolph captain's chair. At the faculty/staff breakfast in mid-May, Head of School Jay Rainey paid tribute to them with the following remarks.
Robin Barr (17 years) Over her 17 years, Robin has served Randolph as a Lower School teacher, as a member of our Advancement Team, and most recently, as the invaluable Administrative Assistant for our Department of Visual and Performing Arts. Robin’s institutional knowledge, her bright mind, her sense of duty and honor, and her incredible work ethic have made her one of the most treasured members of the arts department. In fact, the celebration of National Arts in Education Week at Randolph was actually Robin’s idea. On this and on many projects, she worked with other members of the arts department, with the RCN, and with the broader community, not only to manage the arts department at Randolph, but to bring Randolph to the forefront of the greater Huntsville arts community. Thank you, Robin!
Connie Voight (19 years)- When Connie arrived at Randolph, theater experiences for students were understood more as time away from serious pursuits than as serious pursuits in their own right. Her first classes were taught on a stage that she shared with the band while Lower School PE classes were being conducted, with little in the way of costumes, sets, or lighting and sound equipment to support her work. But Connie persevered, drawing students in by expecting more from them, from designing and building sets, to creating costumes, to running tech, to giving their best performances on stage. Under Connie’s leadership, the theater department has grown and thrived. Randolph students have benefited from her talents and have been allowed to develop their own skills in acting, designing, and directing under her guidance. From “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” to “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” to Oz and to Neverland, Connie has brought Theatre Randolph—and all of us along with her—to new places and experiences that have shaped our ability to connect with one another. Thank you, Connie, for your years of service to our school.
Betsy Allen (22 years)- Betsy has served as a history teacher at Randolph for 22 years. During this time, her students have appreciated her for inspiring in them a deep love of American History through individual Americans’ stories. She teaches history with a strong respect for what has made our country a great nation, but also with a willingness to question the past and challenge assumptions. Betsy’s students learn to write and organize their thoughts and to develop their study skills, particularly in preparation for the infamous Constitution test. In addition to her role as a teacher, Betsy has served as a mentor for many new teachers and has led Randolph’s teacher mentor program. She has also ably coordinated the annual DC trip for eighth-grade students. Most of all, Betsy is a wonderful colleague and a caring advisor, committed to her students and to the Randolph community. Her love of this institution is an example to us all, and we will miss her as she prepares to retire to Georgia to be closer to her family. Thank you, Betsy.
Vally Perry (25 years)- Vally has left an indelible mark on the students she has taught, the colleagues with whom she has worked, and the culture that makes Randolph such a special institution. Her former students have described her as “the reason I love the Spanish language and the reason I’ve continued pursuing it in college,” as the person who “saw in me and in all of my classmates more than what we often saw in ourselves," and as “the best teacher I’ve ever had.” For their part, her colleagues describe Vally as an invaluable resource and “the definition of professionalism.” Writes one, “Vally would probably never know this, but I’ve tried to model my own approach as a colleague on my experiences working with her. She is gracious, respectful, encouraging, and always willing to talk. I almost feel as though I’ve been her student without ever having sat in her classroom.” Throughout her time at Randolph, Vally has shared her passions, her wisdom, her generosity, her family, and of course, more time than can ever be repaid. She leaves Randolph a better school than she found it. Vally, thank you for your distinguished record of service to our school community.