Erin McNamara, Old Trail's director of experiential and nature-based learning, has been named 2021-22 recipient of the Catherine Silver McNamara Award, Head of School Sarah Johnston announced today. Erin was presented the award in an intimate ceremony hosted at the Merryweather Outdoor Classroom for faculty and staff.
The McNamara Award is given annually to an Old Trail faculty member in recognition of outstanding service to student achievement. It is a truly 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.
"Erin is a one-of-a-kind educator, innovator and inspirational human being," Mrs. Johnston said during the presentation. "This year, she shone in ways we only imagined could be possible. She thrived in a position that required her to interface with every student in the building and develop a novel curriculum, all while putting her indelible stamp on our school and the program."
Erin is completing her 11th school year at Old Trail this spring, her first as the school's first director of experiential and nature-based learning.
"Erin's nature-based and experiential programming is unique, adventurous and desperately needed in our world," Mrs. Johnston said. "She carries out her day with boundless energy and passion, along with a commitment to educating the children who will one day inherit the heavy position of being the stewards of our planet."
Criteria for the Awards Committee's consideration include exceptional performance in the classroom; creative teaching skills; or any unique accomplishment that leads to outstanding student achievement that is deserving of this special recognition.
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.