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Rachel Rich Named Catherine Silver McNamara Winner


Exterior photo of Firestone Hall at dusk

Each year, we have the unique opportunity to recognize a member of the Old Trail faculty or administration for their outstanding service to student achievement by way of the Catherine Silver McNamara Award. 

This is a truly coveted honor as nominations are submitted by families as well as peers. During an all-staff meeting on September 8, we had the privilege of announcing that Early Childhood Teacher Rachel Rich is the 2020-21 recipient of the prestigious award.  

A leader in her field, Mrs. Rich has been nurturing and teaching our ECP students for more than 14 years. The relationships that she forms with students and their families are unmatched. From the moment children enter their classroom, they feel loved and cared for as individuals. As a teacher, she is talented, passionate and approaches every day with joy. 

The following comments were taken from the many nominations that Mrs. Rich received from our school community. The first two were submitted by parents; the last two came from colleagues:

  • "Mrs. Rich cares deeply about students. She creates a warm and engaging environment that fosters exploration, creativity, socialization and an early love of learning. She went above and beyond this year (2020-21), and is everything a teacher should be.” 
  • “Mrs. Rich has gone above and beyond to connect with our family, make our son feel comfortable and love school, and has played a huge role in helping us feel connected to the OTS community as a first-year family during these unprecedented times.”
  • “Rachel is an integral part of our team. If you were to look up perseverance, loyalty and accountability in the dictionary, you would find her name. She consistently demonstrates a can-do attitude and does not shy away from any challenges she may face, especially during this very trying year.”
  • “From the moment I started at Old Trail, I have been impressed by Rachel's passion for and knowledge of teaching. Visiting her class was like watching an artist paint a canvas as she inspired children to learn, think and grow. In addition, she has formally and informally served as a mentor to other teachers. The impact she has had on Old Trail and its students is both remarkable and significant.”

Congratulations, Mrs. Rich, and thank you for your dedication to Old Trail School and your students!

The Catherine Silver McNamara Faculty Award was established by the family of Catherine Silver McNamara '70, following her untimely death in 1983. Through this annual award, Catherine's late father and Old Trail School Trustee Emeritus R. Bruce Silver; her late mother and former Old Trail School librarian Peggy Silver; her sisters, Margie Silver Allen '68 and Patricia Silver '72; her husband, Robert McNamara, and brother-in-law Peter Allen honor Catherine by recognizing a member of the Old Trail faculty or administration for outstanding service to student achievement, which “has played such a meaningful part in our lives, and which continues to make Old Trail a truly exceptional school.”
To be eligible, faculty members or administrators must have been employed for at least three years at the time of nomination and must have accepted a commitment from Old Trail School to be employed the following year. 

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