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Barb DiTirro Receives Top Faculty Honor

Barb DiTirro Receives Top Faculty Honor

Grade 2 teacher Barb DiTirro has been named the 2023-24 recipient of the Catherine Silver McNamara Award, as announced by OTS Head of School Sarah Johnston this afternoon. Mrs. DiTirro was presented the top faculty honor in front of her peers and family during an intimate ceremony held at the Merryweather Outdoor Classroom.

With more than three decades of experience as an educator, Mrs. DiTirro has devoted 24 years of her professional life to nurturing OTS students in first and second grade.

"As we pay tribute to an outstanding educator, it is imperative that we recognize the profound influence Barb wields within the Old Trail community," Mrs. Johnston said. "Barb embodies reliability—offering unwavering support, invaluable guidance, and innovative ideas. With a wealth of experience, she maintains a fresh perspective, ensuring her contributions remain dynamic. Barb's teaching philosophy revolves around her students' needs, earning admiration from both children and parents alike. The unparalleled trust she has earned from colleagues, students and families speaks volumes about her character."

The McNamara Award is given annually to an Old Trail faculty member in recognition of outstanding service to student achievement. It is a coveted honor as nominations are submitted by OTS community members, including parents and peers, and is determined by an Awards Committee consisting of members of the school's leadership, a faculty member with more than 20 years of experience at Old Trail, and the previous year's recipient.  

"Barb has been an impactful teacher in second grade for many, many years," wrote one of Mrs. DiTirro's OTS colleagues. "In her daily teaching, she is clear, fair and caring and has a great ability to read her students and their moods. She is patient, never loses her cool, and always strikes the right tone with her 'kiddos'. She is an exceptional teacher, who makes a difference in the lives of her students."

Added a current OTS parent: "I have had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the nurturing and loving environment Barb creates for her students. She makes great efforts to support her students' unique needs and strengths. She is truly making a lasting impact on the lives of her second graders by instilling confidence and empowering them to reach their true potential. Barb has an amazing ability to connect with her students and their families on a personal level, fostering a strong school-to-home connection through great communication. Knowing Barb's true genuine love for her students provides such a peace of mind for a parent like myself, which is invaluable."

Please join us in congratulating Mrs. DiTirro on this well-deserved recognition of her dedication and excellence in teaching!

About the Award

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 have accepted a commitment from Old Trail School to be employed the following year.

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Exterior photo of Firestone Hall at dusk