2012:Truman Beckley Brown, Ph.D., Dr. Howard Craig, Mrs. Gail Eisen, Jack Koch and Miss Virginia Federico
Truman Beckley Brown, Ph.D., high school economics, history & social studies teacher from 1964-1991. Dr. Brown was nominated by Jill Forshee ’67 & Steve Greenfield Raikin ’67. They stated that “Beck was a tremendously effective and creative teacher whose sage advice, wisdom, guidance and mentorship inspired several generations of Amherst students to achieve not only influential leadership roles in their chosen professions, but also to become actively involved in the betterment of American society at the local, state and national levels.”
Dr. Howard Craig, high school guidance counselor, and department head was nominated by Thomas Theophilos ’80 who stated that “as an advisor to the student council, Dr. Craig performed tasks above and beyond the call of duty. He offered trenchant and incisive advice, expertly moderated disputes among members of the Council regarding policies and procedures and was always available to the students.”
Mrs. Gail Eisen, 3rd grade math teacher at Windermere Elementary School for over 30 years was nominated by former student Julia Savarino Spitz. “Mrs. Eisen was so much more than just a math teacher to her students and the entire school. Mrs. Eisen made her students feel special. I never thought of her as a teacher, but as my school mom, and to an elementary student, that is the highest compliment I can think of,” said Savarino Spitz.
Jack Koch, Dean of Students, was also chosen to receive this award. Nominated by Detective Lieutenant Donald Wright Jr. ’67, Koch and Wright, a member of the Amherst Police Department, worked closely together with administration. Detective Wright stated, “I observed his interaction with many students and marveled on his ability of dealing with kids in a firm, fair and impartial manner. The respect the students had for him was amazing. Jack touched many lives, and in my opinion is likely responsible for putting many on the right track.”
Miss Virginia Federico, high school French teacher during the 1970’s. She was nominated by Katy Wright Nash ’75 who said that Mrs. Federico had a special bond with her students. When planning trips to France as part of the class, she encouraged and directed her students, but allowed them to be part of the preparations. Nash said it was a “tremendous learning opportunity for us.” Mrs. Federico had a great love for the French language, and her patience and encouragement through the years made her students appreciate the French language as well.
An awards reception was held on October 25th at 5:30 – 7:30pm at the Sonoma Grille in Snyder, New York.