Lower School Spanish Teacher Marisa McAuliffe, who retired at the end of the 2019-20 school year, was inducted into the Class of 1760 during the Class of 2020's graduation ceremony on Friday, July 17, 2020.
Will Weihenmayer '03, President, Alumni Society Board:
On behalf of the Alumni Society Board, I want to congratulate the Class of 2020 and welcome you into the alumni community. You may feel like you’re finishing your GA career today, but I would encourage you to stay connected. Stay connected with your classmates, the faculty and fellow alums. Come back to GA/PC day, attend the alumni events, or join one of the many CSO alumni groups around the country. You have so many opportunities to take advantage of as a GA alum and the school community is here to support you.
I am here today to introduce and welcome four new classmates into the honorary alumni Class of 1760, created to recognize non-alumni for their outstanding contributions to the Academy. Numerous nominations are received and closely reviewed each year by the Alumni Society Board before deciding on the year’s inductees.
Given the changes to this year’s graduation limiting the attendance of faculty, a small group of us had the pleasure of surprising each inductee over the past week so they could celebrate with their friends and family in attendance...
...Our next inductee started her GA career as a kindergarten teacher 28 years ago. From the very beginning she had a vision, some would even say a calling, to bring change and opportunity to the Lower School. With encouragement from colleagues and a deep love for her native Puerto Rican culture and language, she co-founded the Lower School Spanish Program 20 years ago. Her vision was more than just teaching kids a different language. It was about helping kids explore and embrace a new culture and it has been the foundation for GA students to become more culturally diverse, paving the way for students to learn multiple languages and study and live abroad. As one past graduate said, ‘she started nurturing diversity before anyone else really was’.
In addition to being a kindergarten teacher, Spanish teacher, and Lower School World Language Coordinator, she was the Lower School Diversity Representative to the faculty and served on the Diversity Task Force. She also represented the school by serving on the board of the Montgomery County Association of Foreign Language Teachers.
It’s obvious that she has had a profound impact on the Lower School curriculum and the students she’s taught. What might not be as obvious for some is how important her friendships have been with fellow colleagues, GA parents, and students. The constant theme in her nomination letters was how much she valued and invested in her friendships and vice versa. One nominator commented, “Most significant in her time at GA is her never-ending connection to students, parents, and faculty. She never loses touch with her many, many friends.” I know she is incredibly proud to see all her past students graduate today.
Unfortunately for GA, she is retiring this year and although she will be missed, we are grateful for everything she has done to transcend the Lower School education for the GA community. We know that her friendships will continue, and that she won’t stray too far from GA. Please join me in welcoming Marisa McAuliffe into the class of 1760.
Unfortunately, Marisa could not be here today, but a small group of us were able to honor her last week and we know she is listening to the live broadcast. Congratulations Marissa!
Other 1760 Inductees: