Hamden Hall Country Day School

Educating students in PreSchool through Grade 12

An Evening of Literature with Betty Lou Blumberg

            A shared love of literature, family, and friendship illuminated Swain Library on May 23. Nearly 90 guests came together to celebrate the establishment of the Betty Lou Blumberg Endowed Chair of English with An Evening of Literature in Betty Lou’s honor.
            Bill Hunter, a Hamden Hall faculty member who was hired by Betty Lou in 1983 and eventually followed in her footsteps as English Department chair, served as moderator. Bill kicked off the program by reading from his own book of retrospective poems, Great Fields Behind Us—reflections about his childhood, nature, and the richness of literature. Bill’s fondness for Betty Lou has resulted in a lifelong friendship, and he said that one of the best parts of the evening was having Betty Lou back on campus—saying she “left us too soon!”
            Betty Lou, taking her turn at the microphone, expressed her heartfelt gratitude to all in the room—donors to the Endowed Chair in her name that included family, friends, colleagues, and alumni.  “I am deeply moved,” Betty Lou said. Looking back on her three decades of teaching at Hamden Hall, from 1971 to 2001, Betty Lou described her colleagues as “wonderful human beings with whom I shared this place, and a love of teaching, of literature, of art.” She gave a loving tribute to her two daughters, Nancy and Debra, and especially to her husband, Joe Blumberg, for their unwavering support of her work. As for her students, with whom she shared all the things she loved in her life: “You can’t find better students anywhere.” Betty Lou then shared a little of herself, reading two poems that held great meaning to her: one about her mother’s death, and the other about the last time—shortly before her retirement—she walked her students to a park across Whitney Avenue where they would write poetry.

To make a gift, click here. On the donation page you will have an opportunity to share a Betty Lou memory with us. We will publish your reflection on this page.

Odes to Betty Lou

List of 75 news stories.

  • Betty Lou Blumberg

    An Evening of Literature with Betty Lou Blumberg

    A shared love of literature, family, and friendship illuminated Swain Library on May 23. Nearly 90 guests came together to celebrate the establishment of the Betty Lou Blumberg Endowed Chair of English with An Evening of Literature in Betty Lou’s honor.
  • Paris Miller Godbout 2000

    Paris Miller Godbout 2000

    Jodi Amatulli
    So grateful to have been in Mrs. Blumberg's Literature of the Holocaust course my senior year. Her literature and her kindness have left a lasting impact on my life.
  • Lisa  Sachs Foppa 1987

    Lisa Sachs Foppa 1987

    Jodi Amatulli
    Your passion for literature inspired me and taught me how to think critically and analytically. I was also moved by your love for your family, which you conveyed, via personal stories about your children and husband in the classroom. I remember you spending countless hours at the end of the school day editing my papers and teaching me how to improve my writing. The red marks on the paper were disheartening, but you persisted in explaining the errors and how to correct them. You did not give up! You also were so compassionate in your teaching style. I remember a time during those writing help sessions in which I felt overwhelmed by external stressors at home. When I met your warm and tender eyes, the tears began to flow.  Your empathy allowed me to let go of the suppressed emotions and feel supported by you. You were patient and understanding. Furthermore, when I was waitlisted at a college, you offered to write me an additional recommendation. I believed this allowed me to secure a spot at the college of my choice.  Lastly, post college, you accepted my request for assistance with an essay to attend a kibbutz program in Israel.  You supported me with my endeavors and with utmost sincerity and compassion. Thank you for sharing your loving, passionate, and intelligent self with me and offering endless assistance. You were and still are a role model to me.  
  • Cynthia Sheppard 1984

    I most remember Betty Lou Blumberg for the absolute joy of reading she brought to our English classes and the care with which she approached the characters inhabiting the books and plays we read. And her shopping bags full of papers to be graded!
  • Katharine "Kathie" Harris

    I not only admired Betty Lou for her dedication to teaching but also appreciated her playfulness when it came to participating in school programs—especially as an enthusiastic Ding-a-Ling (for those of you who may not be aware, a Ding-a-Ling was a participant in the annual “holiday happening” where faculty would entertain the students). I love you, Betty Lou!
  • Jessica Shweky 1994

    Jodi Amatull
    Betty Lou's passion for teaching and Hamden Hall students was always so refreshing. She's a great teacher who we all love. I aspire to run in heels as well as Betty Lou did when rushing down the hallways in between classes!
  • Dr. Joshua Kessler 1991

    Dr. Joshua Kessler 1991

    Jodi Amatulli
    My support of the Betty Lou Blumberg Endowed Chair of English is a token of my appreciation for all that she had done for me and no doubt countless other students who were lucky enough to have had her as a teacher. Betty Lou is one of those once-in-a-lifetime mentors who has such a profoundly positive influence on everyone she has taught. She always took the extra time to help me with English work and also took many hours of her personal time to help me with college and even medical school essays several years after I graduated. Her influence was one of the reasons I went onto minor in English in college, but I have to confess that I never came across another teacher with her passion for literature and unwavering love of teaching.
  • Martin Beatty 1980

    Martin Beatty 1980

    Jodi Amatulli
    I have many fond memories of my experiences of Hamden Hall, such as lasting friendships and the teachers. One of my biggest regrets is that I did not have the opportunity to have Betty Lou Blumberg as a teacher. I was quite jealous of all the many experiences that my friends were having in her class. I am happy for those who had that opportunity and happy for Betty Lou, and the satisfaction that she must have in being such an accomplished teacher and receiving the many praises from fortunate former students. For this, I am extremely happy to support to the Betty Lou Blumberg Endowed Chair of English.
  • Lauren Andersen 2003

    Jodi Amatulli
    I remember Ms. Blumberg's 10th-grade English class with such clarity and fondness. Rather than insisting on a single method for demonstrating comprehension, she encouraged each of us to use our own interests and strengths to learn in a supportive environment. It was in her class that I made my first film, a video interpretation of Lord Jim. Another student wrote an original song in response to the Scarlett Letter. I still to this day remember the words.This experience inspired more than a strong appreciation of Joseph Conrad. It taught us to pursue our own voices and to think creatively about how to observe, interpret and communicate.I feel so fortunate to have been among the lucky ones who learned this lesson early in life, and will be forever grateful to Ms. Blumberg.
  • Laura Manganella Williams 1987

    Laura Manganella Williams 1987

    Jodi Amatulli
    Mrs. Blumberg's passion for literature and for teaching was infectious; books that I never would have otherwise be interested in came to life in her classroom. Even if you weren't that excited about being at school on any given day, you could never show up to her class feeling apathetic; she was fully invested and we need not disappoint her. The learning speaks for itself. There are literary references that I use today that came from a discussion during 12th-grade English class. My husband will sometimes ask, "How do you know that?" My response, "12th-grade English! Too bad that you didn't get to experience ‘Betty Lou's’ in action!" We love you back Mrs. Blumberg and this honor is a tribute to your passion, dedication, and love for teaching. Best wishes and congratulations!!
  • Richard Peck 1972

    Richard Peck 1972

    Jodi Amatulli
    Richard Peck 1972
    Betty Lou was a friend to my late mother, Mary Peck, who taught Lower School at Hamden Hall from 1978 to 1995. Betty Lou was also a lovely woman and one of my mother’s favorites! For me, as a senior graduating the year that Betty Lou arrived at Hamden Hall, I had her only once as a substitute for a few days. But in that short time—we were studying Othello—Betty Lou took Shakespeare to another level for me. 
  • Marc Osborne, Faculty

    Marc Osborne, Faculty

    Jodi Amatulli
    I have the warmest memories of Betty Lou and me visiting each other in our respective classrooms across Whitson Hall's second floor, between classes and particularly after hours. Our conversations were highly stimulating and enthusiastic and would range from linguistic, literary and intellectual interests we shared, to hilarious rants and riffs on the absurdities and delights of the teaching profession. These informal get-togethers lasted for 10 superb years, and Betty Lou's wit, sharp intelligence, and wisdom helped me to become a better teacher and a better man. We built between us an affection and respect that did not often transcend the context of the workplace, but nonetheless made of us meaningful, lifelong friends. She is a significant figure in my career, as vivid in my memory today as ever.
  • James Fennelly 1974

    James Fennelly 1974

    Jodi Amatulli
    I first had Betty Lou Blumberg as a teacher when I was a junior during the 1972 – 1973 academic year. She had just begun her career at Hamden Hall the year before.

    Who can ever forget her usual entrance into the classroom: slightly scattered whirlwind of energy, talking a mile-a-minute, and always laden with tote bags brimming with pounds of books and papers!

    Her natural enthusiasm for her subject was infectious. She introduced me to the joy of literature, the ability to critique and analyze a piece of fiction, and the skill and hard work it takes to put one's thoughts clearly on paper.

    She never played favorites with students, but I suspect I was not alone in feeling that she thought I was special. I remember one afternoon sitting under a tree with her reviewing an essay that I had written. I appreciated her advice on how to make my writing more succinct, but I was particularly grateful for the gift of her time and attention that she took out of her busy day to help me.

    It occurred to me then that I was lucky to have her as a new teacher and to benefit from her enthusiasm, joy, energy, and idealism. What I have come to really appreciate about Betty Lou is that it was those very qualities that never flagged 
    during her long career in Hamden Hall. Now that's an accomplishment!
  • Kelley McDevitt-Hooker 1989

    Kelley McDevitt-Hooker 1989

    Jodi Amatulli
    It is nearly impossible to portray my love and respect for Mrs. Blumberg in one simple story, so instead I will try to convey what an impression she made on me during my challenging teenage years.
    Betty Lou Blumberg was more than a teacher; she was a mentor, a role model, a confidante, an advisor and a loving parent. Her passion for literature and writing, as well as her patience with adolescents, proved the perfect formula for "educator extraordinaire."
    During my years under the pines, I had the privilege of sitting in Mrs. Blumberg's classroom for two years. High school, for me, was indeed extraordinary, as I experienced so many extremes. As an emotionally charged teenager, trying to navigate life's changes, I always knew that Mrs. Blumberg's classroom was a safe haven, during class time or for that matter, anytime.
    Whether discussing Shakespeare, working on a FACES piece or just discussing life, my times with her were precious and she influenced the woman I am today. Further, Mrs. Blumberg's lessons in grammar made me the perfectionist I am today. My colossal Webster's dictionary, won sophomore year for my knowledge of grammatical rules, sits out at my home today.
    Upon graduating from Trinity College with my B.A. in psychology, I decided to pursue elementary education at the University of New Haven. Those outstanding
    teachers who had made such a lasting impression on me, such as Mrs. Blumberg, were with me during my graduate work and ultimate tenure as an elementary school teacher. I wanted to mirror Betty Lou's warmth, respect, passion and knowledge.
    I resigned from teaching 14 years ago in order to raise my own family. Although I am no longer in the classroom full time, I still strive to emulate Mrs. Blumberg's zest for life, respect for education and love of family.
    I am forever grateful, Mrs. Blumberg, for all of your lessons, in and out of your classroom. Thank you, Betty Lou, for always being there for me. XOXOXO
  • Melinda LaVelle Saller 1985

    Melinda LaVelle Saller 1985

    Jodi Amatulli
    When I think of Mrs. Blumberg, I smile! I loved celebrating William Shakespeare's birthday in class. She is one teacher who truly touched my heart, and I feel blessed to have had her as a teacher. My very best to Betty Lou.
  • Michael Sommer 1987

    Michael Sommer 1987

    Jodi Amatulli
    I loved AP English with Mrs. Blumberg. Senior year was amazing!
  • Tara Moss Rozen 1988 and Brian Rozen 1987

    Tara Moss Rozen 1988

    Jodi Amatulli
    Of all of the teachers I have had throughout my academic life, Mrs. Blumberg has had the greatest influence on my day-to-day life. From writing emails, to editing my kids' homework, Mrs. Blumberg's lessons have stuck with me. Much to the chagrin of my friends and family, I even punctuate when I text! I know I am one of hundreds of students who has benefited from Mrs. Blumberg's grammar lessons and her infectious love of literature. This is the reason that I wanted to be a part of honoring and celebrating Mrs. Blumberg in this meaningful way.
  • Joanne Cohen 1980

    Joanne Cohen 1980

    Jodi Amatulli
    I will always remember Betty Lou as not only an exceptional teacher, but a mentor and friend. Her nurturing qualities helped bring out the best in her students. Her gentle guidance and support meant a great deal to me.
  • Elise Calcagnini Palumbo 1981

    Elise Calcagnini Palumbo 1981

    Jodi Amatulli
    Betty Lou was a wonderful teacher and so much more. I could always count on her patience and kindness, her humorous perspective, and her voice of reason—the perfect antidote to my years of teenage angst!
  • Andrew Saxe 1980

    Andrew Saxe 1980

    Jodi Amatulli
    My memories of Betty Lou Blumberg are numerous and vivid, despite the passage of 40 years. Her passion for her subject, steely determination to expose young minds to the wisdom of poets and novelists, and sheer joy in the art of teaching are what render these memories so colorful and so enduring. She was convinced an appreciation of literature, art, poetry shaped an adolescent into a more sentient being, capable of greater happiness for self and greater kindness towards others. How dull and hard a world we would have but for teachers like Betty Lou Blumberg. How much more glorious and full it is for her lifelong dedication to her students.
    That all said, I recall she inadvertently blurted out the ending of Anna Karenina when we had waded through only 200 pages of the 800 page tome, “so it wasn't always wine and roses.”
  • Haris Lender 1981

    Haris Lender 1981

    Jodi Amatulli
    I have known Betty Lou Blumberg I'm sure since the day I was born. Our families were very friendly. Education was always important to her. I remember going over for a play date with her daughter in 7th or 8th grade. I was in awe of the conversation at the dinner table. Deep stuff. And then when I became a Hamden Hall student I could see how she lived, loved, and embraced education and teaching. When I think of Hamden Hall, I think of a lot of things but mainly I think of Betty Lou sitting on the floor in the hallway with a student. Or in her classroom... but honestly I don't think she took a break to go to the bathroom! She was always teaching. This fund will serve so many children for years to come... just like Betty Lou always has.
  • Hon. Lisa A. Sokoloff 1976

    Hon. Lisa A. Sokoloff 1976

    Jodi Amatulli
    I transferred into Hamden Hall Country Day School in the 9th grade. Betty Lou Blumberg taught English, my favorite subject.
    She was like no one I had ever known. She had boundless energy and was constantly moving. Betty Lou could sense when her students were struggling and always reached out. I remember sitting in the school hallway, in pain. Betty Lou got down on the floor to speak with me.
    When she was my teacher, her dark hair was frosted, like many of the women who lived in Woodbridge at the time, and it made her appear older than her years. I am not sure whether I realized that she was just in her mid-thirties when we met. She always wore a special mauve shade of nail polish that looked beautiful against her skin. When I finally began polishing my nails I wanted to wear Betty Lou pink just like her, but it was no longer in fashion. 
    Betty Lou taught me how to organize my writing and to connect paragraphs with transition sentences. After my first year in law school, I wrote onto three of my law school's four journals. That success was certainly due to Betty Lou's teachings. Before taking the bench, I spent 10 years as an appellate writer. Some people were wittier than me, but none were clearer. Appellate judges and court attorneys all recognized my writing with its matter of fact style and simple analysis of the issues. Six years ago, after my mother passed away, I was helping my stepfather clean out the house. I found a box full of my school papers, including stacks of my writing. I realize I wrote better then than I do now. I wish I had Betty Lou with me to tighten up my writing again.
    Mrs. Blumberg had a profound influence on my life and I could not be more grateful. I have been a judge for more than four years. In my current position, I help change many people's lives. While I did not see this goal in my future when I was younger, I hope Betty Lou realizes that I am paying her guidance and support forward in a positive way and that she can take some credit for my accomplishments.
  • Franklin Todd Renz 1981

    Franklin Todd Renz 1981

    Jodi Amatulli
    Betty Lou was a very pleasant person and I enjoyed seeing her while at Hamden Hall.
  • Susan Stone-Levine 1980

    Susan Stone-Levine 1980

    Jodi Amatulli
    Betty Lou is the kind of person and teacher that stays with you for a lifetime. Her warmth and dedication rarely exists in teaching anymore. The two most important things she taught me that are with me today are: 1) Never use the word "it"—describe what you are talking about in detail! 2) Read all papers backwards and out of context in order to correct each and every sentence. I have taught that to all my children and invoked Betty Lou! They have all met her by now and understand the rules. Personally, Betty Lou knew my father which is a connection that was special as well, and I know both of her girls. My heart smiles when I see her, and I am thankful I had a teacher and mentor like Betty Lou in my life. 
  • Irene Cheung 1992

    Irene Cheung 1992

    Jodi Amatulli
    The Endowed Chair is a wonderful idea! Thanks to all involved for organizing this! Betty Lou was a huge part of my Hamden Hall experience, and I meet her for lunch every December when I ‘m home for the holidays. She will love this!
  • Alison Stein 1999

    Alison Stein 1999

    Jodi Amatulli
    What I remember most about Mrs. Blumberg is the interest she showed in us as human beings outside of the classroom. She knew my entire family and she shared with us stories about her own family. She felt like a close friend just as much as she felt like my teacher.
  • Tara Johnson-Smith 1989

    Tara Johnson-Smith 1989

    Jodi Amatulli
    Betty Lou Blumberg provided a pathway to using words wisely! With each novel read in her class, we learned to appreciate the words, not just the story, but the actual words expressing feeling and intent.
    I talk a lot, so using my words wisely is a gift from Mrs.Blumberg. And so she gave me a love of words.
    Just as she has a place in my spirit, many of the words learned in her class have a place as well. I never left her class “flummoxed. ” In my eyes, she was so poised and confident in everything she taught. She knew things. She knew meanings beyond the words in those books. She had vision.
    One such impactful moment that comes to mind is what I call the Black Coffee moment. I came into her class and couldn’t focus because I was not feeling well at all. I couldn’t even sit in my chair. I made every attempt to ball myself into a knot. I was wringing my hands and punching myself in the thigh; I was just hurting.
    Mrs. Blumberg left the class and returned with a cup of hot, black coffee. She gave me the cup, sat me in her chair at her desk, and calmly said to me, “One day you will have beautiful children and you won’t even think about this pain; it will be worth it, I promise.”
    Still in pain, I sat and drank the coffee. I calmed down. She would not excuse me from class. I had to push through. She made sure I didn’t miss the lesson.
    Years later, when I birthed my first daughter, I remembered that day. I endured 19 hours of labor, far more extreme than the pains I felt in class that day. I recalled when Mrs. Blumberg calmed me with her very effective words. I remembered the taste of the coffee and felt the warmth of the cup on my lips. But more than anything, I remembered her caring words. My daughter was beautiful and that pain was worth it.
    I learned to love the words but to read beyond them; To be confident in sharing and be unafraid to question words chosen.
    Thank You, Betty Lou Blumberg.
  • Michael Leventhal 1975

    Michael Leventhal 1975

    I had Mrs. Blumberg in 9th grade and remember her as a great teacher who was very animated!
  • Dr. Thomas I. Odinak 1975

    Dr. Thomas I. Odinak 1975

    Jodi Amatulli
    Betty Lou Blumberg epitomized passion for teaching literature. When she led us through a work and revealed it to be "a devastating indictment of man's inhumanity to man," we could feel the grief. Who else could make a 14-year-old boy WANT to read Shakespeare? Forty-five years later, I still love literature. Thank you Betty Lou.
  • Deborah Kase Lillian 1975

    Deborah Kase Lillian 1975

    Jodi Amatulli
    Who else could have helped me understand just how much depends upon a red wheelbarrow? Thank you for this, and so much more.
  • Jane Cohen, Former Faculty

    Jane Cohen, Former Faculty

    Jodi Amatulli
    Jane Cohen. Former Faculty
    The two best decisions I’ve made in my life were (1) marrying my husband, Larry and (2) hiring Betty Lou Blumberg in 1971 as an English teacher at Hamden Hall. In my mind’s eye, I see her sitting on the hallway floor with students revising papers and explaining passages; playing tennis in student/faculty tournaments staged on the courts that are now buried under an asphalt parking lot outside the gym; slaving over report card comments in her meticulous handwriting; reviewing the details of a Shakespearean banquet to be held at her home; feverishly writing a score of college recommendations. Her family – Joe, Nancy and Debby – were often mentioned in class and they became as familiar to her students as the characters from the novels, stories, plays and poetry that she loved. She championed literature about the holocaust before it was fashionable to teach it to adolescents. She helped found the Cum Laude Society. She launched many writing careers through her efforts as advisor of the literary magazine. Betty Lou has been my friend for 45 years and has remained one of the most outstanding teachers I have ever encountered. She richly deserves this very special honor on the occasion of her 80th birthday.
  • Debbie Kasowitz Sachs 1975

    Debbie Kasowitz Sachs 1975

    Jodi Amatulli
    Debbie Kasowitz Sachs 1975 and her husband Joel Sachs 1973 honored Betty Lou with a gift. Deb shared this lovely sentiment:
    I am forever grateful to Betty Lou Blumberg for the joy, passion and intellect she brought to every novel, poem and play that she taught. I credit her for instilling in me my own love of poetry and writing. 
    As a student, I was often touched by Betty Lou’s kindness, caring, and sensitivity. Even at her busiest, Mrs. Blumberg always found the time and space for checking in with her students. I can still recall sitting with her on the floor of the "new building's" main hallway, her makeshift office, for impromptu and thoughtful discussions.
    Most of all, I am indebted to Betty Lou for the example she set as an outstanding educator. Her respect, knowledge, dedication and enthusiasm regarding her subject, students and profession have inspired and informed my own career as an educator of students who are deaf and hard of hearing. I feel quite fortunate that Betty Lou Blumberg has been and continues to be a treasured mentor, role model and friend.
  • Mario Dottori 1980

    Mario Dottori 1980

    Jodi Amatulli
    "Mrs. Blumberg introduced this dumb old jock (played football, baseball, and wrestled) to an appreciation of poetry."
  • Joseph Astrachan 1979

    Joseph Astrachan 1979

    Jodi Amatull
    Betty Lou has a gift for opening the hearts and minds of her students, transporting them inside literature and poetry so that both transform and bloom together.
  • Matt Small 1991

    Matt Small 1991

    Jodi Amatulli
    She was a very special lady. I think all of us in 10th grade honors English thought so. She had a huge heart. My favorite memory is when she saw a news letter I was writhing for my BBYO chapter and she yelled "oh Matthew, why don't you write this way for me?!".
  • Christine Adley Battista 1983

    Christine Adley Battista 1983

    Jodi Amatulli
    When I think of Betty Lou, I remember her emotion with every second of teaching— she would take her glasses off and hook them on her hand, look up towards the ceiling and close her eyes. She would share her thoughts, her stories, her love of reading...and most times she had tears in her eyes. What an inspiration to all.
  • Erin Mahon-Moore 1992

    Erin Mahon-Moore 1992

    Jodi Amatulli
    So happy we are doing this. Betty Lou Blumberg is great!”
  • Tom Greiner 1984

    Tom Greiner 1984

    Jodi Amatulli
    Tom Greiner 1984
    Mrs. Blumberg was the best! She took my tepid interest in all things Shakespeare as a challenge and I'm better for it.
  • Terry Cannavaciolo Souza 1977

    Terry Cannavaciolo Souza 1977

    Jodi Amatulli
    I remember having to memorize a Shakespeare soliloquy. It gave me a life long love of Shakespeare, and I am glad to honor this very deserving teacher.
  • Mindwell Sargent Egeland 1976

    Mindwell Sargent Egeland 1976

    Jodi Amatulli
    Mrs. Blumberg started out our 9th grade year by telling us that we should handle our books with love. She shared her love of literature with each of us and taught us to respect our books!
  • Alison Stein 1999

    Alison Stein 1999

    Jodi Amatulli
    What I remember most about Mrs. Blumberg is the interest she showed in us as human beings outside of the classroom. She knew my entire family and she shared with us stories about her own family. She felt like a close friend just as much as she felt like my teacher.
  • Bill Wells 1975

    Jodi Amatulli
    Betty Lou has a nurturing gift that leads even the most free spirit to success. My favorite class at Hamden Hall was the independent study that David Billings and I had with her during our senior year.
  • Dr. Lauren Price 2001

    Dr. Lauren Price 2001

    Jodi Amatulli
    Mrs. Blumberg fostered my love for literature! Thanks to her I fell in love with Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Shakespeare. She was an amazing woman, teacher and role model. She taught her students how to excel and most importantly to believe in themselves! She truly had a passion for her role as a teacher and it showed.
  • Susan Chapin Musicant 1977

    Susan Chapin Musicant 1977

    Jodi Amatulli
    Your love and enthusiasm for the material was matched only by your warmth and caring for your students!
  • Meg Sokoloff Edelson 1978

    Meg Sokoloff Edelson 1978

    Jodi Amatulli
    Totally out of the blue, at age 46, I received a mysterious large white envelope bearing the Hamden Hall logo. Inside were several poems I had written at Hamden Hall and a warm personal note from Betty Lou Blumberg. Betty Lou had kept these poems 30 years and was returning them to me! I was enormously touched. And Betty Lou’s timing was perfect; it allowed me to show my high-school aged daughter what her mom had written at the same age.
    Betty Lou and Hamden Hall deserve significant credit for my career success. Sure, I felt frustrated when obliged to correct and rewrite my 30-page paper for the third time! But the writing skills and tenacity taught by these editing experiences helped me write better proposals and win business.
    Betty Lou taught us more than how to write a great paper. She taught us kindness, creativity, compassion, teamwork, persistence and so much more. Betty Lou Blumberg is a truly exceptional teacher and mentor. How fortunate we were to have been her students.
  • Herb Emanuelson 1982

    Herb Emanuelson 1982

    Jodi Amatulli
    I'll always be grateful to Betty Lou for the start of my love of Shakespeare. His plays were just (confusing) words on a page...until she got us reading "Hamlet" aloud in class. Then, it all came alive for me. And, I still have such fond memories watching the emotion she would exude when she would read. Thanks Betty Lou, I've acted in "The Tempest" in high school (directed by Helen Sheehy), took college classes (which led to meeting my wife), and seen so many amazing performances. I still volunteer my marketing/PR time to help stage the Greater Hartford Shakespeare Festival and coordinate a monthly Shakespeare Book Club in West Hartford.
  • Rolan Joni Young Smith 1978

    Rolan Joni Young Smith 1978

    Jodi Amatulli
    Betty Lou was a constant and consistent source of encouragement, support and love, who inspired and educated me. Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Kafka, Faulkner, Nikki Giovanni, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, and Maya Angelou (to name a few) were the tools she used to feed not just my mind, but my soul. And more than that, and more than these, she gave and taught love. Just love. Always love. And 40 years later it is so very clear that she is enduring love. She is a blessing to us, and continues to inspire me. To love, just love, always.
  • Diane Cuomo Orr 1983

    Diane Cuomo Orr 1983

    Jodi Amatulli
    It seems like yesterday that I was sitting in your classroom reading out loud the play “Othello.” I have so many fond memories of being in your classroom! Your love and passion for books has always stayed with me. I wish you a Very Happy 80th Birthday!
  • John Scott 1979

    John Scott 1979

    Jodi Amatulli
    Betty Lou Blumberg brought Shakespeare to life for me. I still have my textbook—a large, thick book. For many years, I took it with me wherever I went. I had a greater understanding of Shakespeare because of Betty Lou. She was intelligent, kind, patient, and gentle and made her lessons meaningful.
  • Ronald Kaye 1980

    Ronald Kaye 1980

    Jodi Amatulli
    Mrs. Blumberg continues to be at the top of my list of favorite teachers. Much of what she taught me wasn’t meaningfully realized until many years down the road. My love of literature and all creative writing endeavors in general, began in her classes.
  • Barry Esposito 1980

    Barry Esposito 1980

    Jodi Amatulli
    Once when I was in a class with Mrs. Blumberg, she was reading a passage from Shakespeare, and she suddenly and spontaneously began to get emotional and actually started crying. To me, this showed her dedication to teaching, her love of Shakespeare, and her passion for life and loving.
  • Lisa Cutler McAndrews 1979

    Lisa Cutler McAndrews 1979

    Jodi Amatulli
    Betty Lou, your enthusiasm in the classroom teaching English sparked my love for the subject, and I have not put a book down since! Thank you for sharing your gift of knowledge with me and the class of 1979!
  • Sydney A. Perry

    Sydney A. Perry

    Jodi Amatulli
    Such a pleasure to contribute for the Endowed Chair of English in honor of my teacher and friend, Betty Lou.
  • Andrea Schuman Balogh 1984

    Jodi Amatulli
    Betty Lou had such a profound impact on me as a student and while I can’t recall the exact moment this occurred, I can recall at least one instance. It must have been 10th grade and we were studying “Macbeth” or “Hamlet” or one of the other Shakespeare tragedies. We had a very small class—seven or eight students. Well, Shakespeare just never came easily to me, and I can recall Betty Lou looking into my eyes after we spent a good part of the class trying to dissect one of the long soliloquies and saying, “You don’t understand this, do you Andrea?” I sheepishly said “no” and right then and there she promised to meet me after school for some one-on-one tutoring to help me get it. She may have viewed it as a way to keep the class moving but for me it was far more profound. It showed me that it was okay to be a little lost and confused and not to get things as quickly as my friends did because I had this wonderful teacher who was going to ensure I would be okay anyway. It helped me realize that teachers were more than just lecturers there to hand out grades—they were people who really cared about my learning experience. That was almost 35 years ago and I still remember it like it was yesterday.
  • Sally Mixsell, HH former faculty

    Sally and Hank Mixsell, HH former faculty

    Jodi Amatulli
    Glad to honor Betty Lou, a real HH icon!
  • Dr. Katarina Lujic Curtis 1986

    Dr. Katarina Lujic Curtis 1986

    Jo Amatulli
    I remember sitting in the second floor hallway going over papers with Mrs. Blumberg and her red pen. My favorite class with her was “Women of Literature.” She was such a dynamic person and teacher.
  • Dr. Denisa Lujic Millhouse 1987

    Dr. Denisa Lujic Millhouse 1987

    Jodi Amatulli
    Mrs. Blumberg is the reason I thoroughly enjoyed Shakespeare!
  • Dr Sanda Lujic Tomak 1989

    Dr. Sanda Lujic Tomak 1989

    Jodi Amatulli
    The thing I remember about Mrs. Blumberg is the passion, enthusiasm, and energy that she brought to every single class she taught and everything she did at Hamden Hall. And she’s still that way!
  • James Kase 1978

    James Kase 1978

    Jodi Amatulli
    Betty Lou was a dear friend of my mom’s (the late Judy Kase, former HH faculty) and a close friend of our entire family (she was at our wedding). What a wonderful birthday present!
    Note: Betty Lou celebrates her milestone 80th birthday in July. In lieu of the party we had initially planned to officially announce the Betty Lou Blumberg Endowed Chair of English, Hamden Hall will host a program for our students with funds from the Endowment--once we reach our $100,000 goal. Betty Lou looks forward to working with our Department of English in identifying the program—one that will be meaningful to her, our school community, and the long list of donors who have made this Endowment possible.
  • Whit Russell, Former HH Faculty

    Whit Russell, Former HH Faculty

    Jodi Amatulli
    I am very proud to have shared so many energetic and positive years on the second floor of Whitson Hall with Betty Lou Blumberg and the English department. Thank you for including me in this joyous event--the Endowed Chair of English in her honor!
  • Bruce Shutan 1979

    Bruce Shutan 1979

    I just LOVE Betty Lou Blumberg and probably owe a 33-year career in writing to her!
  • Sharon Liebowitz White 1979

    Sharon Liebowitz White 1979

    If only we had our iPhones back when Betty Lou was our teacher. Even better, recordings of her passionate discussions on the literature we read and talked about in her classes. It always seemed to spread into our other courses. Art, History, Religion, and Psychology. I credit Betty Lou for showing us how to look around us and see all the beauty in the world. She is an inspiration to all!
  • Susan Liebowitz Kaminsky 1982

    Susan Liebowitz Kaminsky 1982

    I had many wonderful teachers at Hamden Hall, but one definitely stands out—Betty Lou Blumberg. I doubt there will ever be another teacher anywhere that cared as much about her students. And if you loved DH Lawrence, she loved you even more!
  • Jeannette Cole 1981

    I think it was my junior year at HH when I was associate editor of Faces Magazine. Betty Lou invited me to attend with her a poetry reading by Adrienne Rich at the Center Church on the Green. It gave me a feeling of purpose and helped me to hone my writing skills. She was a magnificent writer and Betty Lou a magnificent teacher.
  • Domenique "Mimi" DePonte Levine 1983

    I still remember the day Mrs. Blumberg ran up to me in the hall with a huge smile on her face and said, “You have finally learned how to write an essay!!!” She was so thrilled, possibly more than me!
  • Evan Shweky 1982

    There is one story that resonates with me to this day. We were in Shakespeare class and I was trying to make a point and used the word "anyways." Betty Lou quickly corrected me and said there is no such word. Rather "anyway" was the appropriate word. I cannot tell you the countless number of times I have heard the use of "anyways" in commercials, television shows and movies, knowing full well that Mrs. Blumberg would be cringing in her seat. Now if I can only learn to distinguish between "I" and "me".......
  • Jennifer LaVelle Holguin 1983

    Jennifer LaVelle Holguin 1983

    The story you are talking about is from Cushing Cabaret from my junior year, so 1982... I did a little skit in the back of the room where I was Betty Lou. After (I think) really nailing her character the first night, guests were anticipating seeing "Betty Lou" the next night. 
  • Lucy Lavely 2007

    Lucy Lavely 2007

    Betty Lou, you are an inspiration to all your students. And although you had retired by the time I was at Hamden Hall, you helped me outside the classroom, and I  am so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with you and absorb your brilliance. I appreciate all your love and support of my career. You are such a gem!
  • Caron Shutan 1975

    Caron Shutan 1975

    Forever ingrained in my memory was Betty Lou Blumberg's rendition of one of the famous lines from Hamlet, "This above all: to thine own self be true" (Act 1, Scene 111) as she leapt into the classroom in a whirlwind and pronounced the line with such exuberance, as if she was herself on stage.
  • Adrian Zuckerman 1975

    Adrian Zuckerman 1975

    Betty Lou was one of the best teachers at HH and became a lifelong friend.

  • Dr. Michele DeMusis 1982

    Dr. Michele DeMusis 1982

    Betty Lou didn't just teach us how to write--though I silently thank her every time I write or edit anything--or how to read Tolstoy and Shakespeare and the Bible. She taught us, a bunch of high school kids, why those texts matter.  
  • Dana Birke Montgomery 1983

    Dana Birke Montgomery 1983

    My dearest memory of Mrs. Blumberg has little to do with English class. It was the holiday season and she shared with us that someone had stolen all of the gifts she had just purchased from her car over the weekend. 
  • Bill Hunter circa 1985

    Bill Hunter, HH Faculty 1983-Present

    In Appreciation of Betty Lou Blumberg
    by Bill Hunter
    Having worked with Betty Lou for eighteen years, from 1983-2001, I have memories of her beyond number.   Clearly, so do many others, including Betty Lou’s students over thirty years who have stepped forward, after several decades of Betty Lou’s image still burning bright, to honor her.  
  • Joan Worms Delfini 1979

    Joan Worms Delfini 1979

    What I remember most about Betty Lou is her love of all literature, Shakespeare in particular, and her ability to inspire that same love of literature in her students. She has a special gift to make each and every student feel special in his or her own way.
  • Ron Scott Jr. 1980

    Ron Scott 1980

    Just like many people have already stated, Betty Lou will always hold a special memory of my time at Hamden Hall as well as in my life. Her love of Shakespeare and poetry opened my eyes to the written word in a different way.

List of 1 news stories.

  • In appreciation:

    Anonymous (2)
    Shirley L. Aaronson
    William Abelson 1975
    Josef & Cecle Adler
    Mark Adley 1977
    Gale Alanby
    Lucille Alderman
    Barbara Kasowitz Allen 1977
    Jodi Amatulli
    Lauren Andersen 2003
    Dr. Marvin & Gloria Arons
    Benny Aprine
    Marie Arserio
    Joseph Astrachan 1979
    Michael Astrachan 1983
    Dr. Stephen & Rosalind Atkins
    Caryn Azoff
    Andrea Schuman Balough 1984
    Michael Barbaro 1998
    Helen Barnstable
    Elizabeth Barnston
    Christine Adley Battista 1983
    Duane Beasley 1992
    Martin Beatty 1980
    Sally Jacobs Beckerman 1978
    David & Ruthann Beckerman
    Dr. Barbara Beitch & Dr. Richard Yanowitz
    Peter Berdon 1984
    Dr. Gerald & Barbara Berg
    William & Linda Berliner
    Judith Bernstein
    Gavin Black 1975
    Jeffrey & Martha Blue
    Medria Blue-Ellis & Malcolm Ellis
    Debra Blumberg, Michael Healy
         & Emily & Nathaniel Healy
    Joe & Betty Lou Blumberg
    Lester Blumberg & Robin Hasenfeld
    Nancy Blumberg, Mark Weinstein
         & Ben & Matt Weinstein
    Phyllis Blumberg
    Kathryn Keenan Bonito 1990
    Eunice Bragg
    Judith Bratt
    James Brownstein & Michele Herman Brownstein 1972
    Dr. Irwin M. Braverman
    Karen Brenner Brown 1979
    Philip & Liane Browne
    James Brownstein & Michele Herman Brownstein 1972
    Chris Candido 1992
    Al & Albina Cannavaciolo Sr.
    Al Cannavaciolo Jr. 1979
    John Caplan 1981
    William Caplan 1976
    Bill Carroll 1979
    Lorri Carroll
    Vanessa Gamberdella Carroll 1981
    Caitlin Eicher Caspi 1998
    Britta Chambers
    Irene Cheung 1992
    Kinneret Chiel
    Ingrid Chorches
    Jae Chung 2000
    Christopher Coates 1982
    Daniel I. Cohen 1978
    David J. Cohen & Andrea Vandeven and
    Becca & Emily Cohen 
    Joanne Cohen 1980
    Dr. Lawrence & Jane Cohen
    Joshua & Nancy Cohen
    Sue Cohen
    Jeannette Cole 1981
    Jeff & Kathy Coppola
    James Craddock
    Felicia Cuomo 1989
    Dr. Katarina Lujic Curtis 1986
    Martha Cutts
    Cheryl Cwik 1988
    Mary Jo & Terry Deck
    Joan Worms Delfini 1979
    Dr. Michele R. DeMusis 1982
    Dave DeStefano 1981
    Martha Djang
    Peter Dolven 1979
    Gabriella Doob 2003
    Mario F. Dottori Jr. 1980
    Ross Douthat 1998
    Ann Drabkin
    Lois Drabkin 1987
    Cindy Drabkin du Bell 1981
    George & Susan Dummitt
    Meg Sokoloff Edelson 1978
    David Eder 1981
    Mindwell Sargent Egeland 1976
    Michael Eisenfeld 1981
    Marjorie Ellenbogen
    Herb Emanuelson IV 1982
    Emily Epstein 2002
    Herbie Epstein 2005
    Rick & Debbie Epstein
    Avery Esdaile 1996
    Barry Esposito 1980
    Beth Winnick Falcone & Michael Falcone
    Mitchell B. Feierstein 1977
    Paul Feit Ph.D. 1977
    Jim Fennelly 1974
    Ferguson & McGuire
    Lisa Cannavaciolo Ferris 1981
    Christine Festa
    Kate Epstein Fierman 2000
    Tracy Fischer 1978
    Joe & Christine Fontana
    Lisa Sachs Foppa 1987
    Catherine Adley Formo 1979
    Maureen Forte
    Brian Franford 1998
    Claire Frankel
    Ann Freeman
    Lyle R. Gamm 1992
    John Garfield
    Darchelle M. Garner 1979
    Greg & Muriel Garvey
    Joan Gelpey
    David Gilden 1975
    Amanda Glaeser-Bligh 1993
    Paris Miller Godbout 2000
    Douglas Goglia 1981
    Harold & Carole Greenbaum
    Jonathan Greenbaum 1980
    Gary Greenberg 1982
    Glen Greenberg 1985
    Dr. James Greenberg
    Joshua & Reva Greenberg
    Tom Greiner 1984
    Frank Gruskay & Gillie Lender
    Paul & Lesley Gustafson Jr.
    Frances Hack 1978
    Judith Hahn
    Hamden Hall Country Day School
    Yasmin Haque
    Dean & Marcia Harris
    Katharine Harris
    Marilyn & Craig Hewitt
    Marissa Hewitt 1999
    Gretchen Mossberg Highsmith 1975
    Jennifer LaVelle Holguin 1983
    Stephen Hooker 1988 & Kelley McDevitt-Hooker 1989
    Regina Hopkins 1976
    Bill & Susan Hunter
    Teddy Hurwitz
    Keron Fitzgerald Incarnato 1991
    Al Ippolito 1975
    Bob & Janet Izzo
    Andrew 1978 & Karen Jacobs
    Tara Johnson-Smith 1989
    James K. Jolly 1979
    Paula Bartlett Joslin 1975
    Joel & Susie Kahan
    Keith Kaliszewski 1998
    Susan Liebowitz Kaminsky 1982
    James Kase 1978
    Dr. Nathan Kase
    Ronald F. Kay 1980
    Yvonne Keenan 1988
    Christopher Kelly 1982
    Rick Kennedy 1981
    Dr. Joshua Kessler 1991
    Lauris Dobrowolski Khan 1974
    Elizabeth Kleber, Ph.D. 1975
    Ronald Kramer 1976
    Dr. Barry Kramer 1980
    Evelyn Krevolin
    Alison Hurwitz Kroll 1985
    Chris Kuselias 1980
    Andrew Laudano 1979
    Lucy Lavely 2007
    Kate Lawder 1978
    Lisa Chapin Lefkowitz 1981
    Lois Lehman
    Michael Lehman 1980
    Carl Lender
    Haris Lender 1981
    Jay Lender 1987
    Joyce Lender
    Marvin & Helaine Lender
    Michael Leventhal 1975
    George Levine
    Marc Levine 1979
    Mimi De Ponte Levine 1983
    Susan Stone Levine 1980
    Dan Levy 1975
    A.C. Lichtenstein 1981
    Phil Lichtenstein 1979
    Deborah Kase Lillian 1975
    Lorraine Lorenze
    Dr. Marko Lujic 1998
    Dr. Petar & Joyce Lujic
    Donna Lyons
    Jim & Kaye Maggart
    Erin Mahon-Moore 1992
    Lou Mangini 1995
    Andy & Mary Pat Maretz
    Jane Maretz
    Brent W. Matza 1999
    Lisa Cutler McAndrews 1979
    Eric McDonald 2000
    Peter McGinnis 1986
    Tricia Coyle McKernan 1986
    Ellen McNamara-Castillo 1979
    Lisa Mercugliano 1985
    Keith Meyerson 1982
    James & Melvin Mezoff
    Dawn A. Miceli
    Shari Millen 1985
    Dr. Denisa Lujic Millhouse 1987
    Hank & Sally Mixsell
    Roy Money & Mary Sapir Lesser
    Dana Birke Montgomery 1983
    Jarret Moore 2001
    David Moser & Marie Greger
    Sue Chapin Musicant 1977
    Dr. Peter & Susan Naiman
    Herb & Edna Newman
    William Nichols 1979
    James O'Brasky 1978
    Dr. Thomas Odinak 1975
    Diana Cuomo Orr 1983
    Marc Osborne & Marcia Marquis
    Elise Calcagnini Palumbo 1981
    Janet Parker 1979
    Richard Peck 1972 Family
    Irving Perlmutter
    Sydney Perry
    John Phipps 1991
    David M. Pilot 1972
    Jared J. Pollard 2001
    Rabbi James & Elena Ponet
    Carl & Terry Porto
    Carl Porto 1986 & Kim Gold Porto 1987
    Arnold & Madeline Potash
    Dr. Lauren Price 2001
    Maria Esposito Prota 1982 & Dr. Carl Prota
    Elizabeth Cusanelli Raccuia 1982
    Irma Felix Rappaport 1982
    Malcolm & Barbara Rashba
    David Rasmussen 1972
    Amy Scarbrough Real 1980
    Elizabeth Levine Reede 1980
    Franklin Todd Renz 1981
    Mr. & Mrs. Randolph Richardson
    Fred Richter & Beth Rosenberg Richter 1985
    Jessica Cheerman Rogers 1995
    Jamie Roseman 1995
    Ilene Goldstein Rosenthal 1970
    Tara Moss Rozen 1988 & Brian Rozen 1987
    Whit Russell
    Joel Sachs 1973 & Debra Kasowitz Sachs 1975
    Ruth Sachs
    Jamie Sadek 1996
    Rafael Salamon 1988
    Melinda LaVelle Saller 1985
    Andrew Saxe 1980
    Gloria Schaffer
    David Scholder 1986
    Bob & Linae Schroeder
    David Scott 1982
    John Scott 1979
    Ron Scott Jr. 1980
    Daniel Seigel 1996
    James & Carol Shanbrom
    Sidney & Elinor Shanbrom
    Richard Shank
    Rabbi Rona Shapiro
    Helen Sheehy
    Cynthia Sheppard 1984
    Edwin Sherman III & Sheryl Ash
    H. William Shure
    Bruce Shutan 1979
    Caron Shutan 1975
    Evan Shweky 1982
    Jessica Shweky 1994
    Susan E. Skolnick
    David Slossberg 1981
    William Slusky 1975
    Matt Small 1991
    Michael & Mary Jane Smith
    Alexis Highsmith Smith 1997
    Rolan Joni Young Smith 1978
    The Hon. Lisa Sokoloff 1976
    David Solomon 1995
    Dr. Lawrence & Carol Solomon
    Michael Sommer 1987
    Teresa Cannavaciolo Souza 1977
    Bob Spiegel 1980
    Alison Stein 1999
    Joe Stein 2007
    Sam Stein 2000
    Dr. Stephen Stein & Dr. Emily Fine
    Betsy Stern
    Eve Stone
    Susan Stone Levine 1980
    Eileen Swirsky
    Dr. Howard & Martha Taubin
    Kristin Gardner 1989
    Jeff & Robyn Teplitzky
    Dr. Sanda Lujic Tomak 1989
    Sue & Gary Toole
    Nicole Troncale 1990
    Dr. Frank & Mary Troncale
    Jonathan Tross 1997
    Reginald Tucker 1993
    Phyllis Vena 2002
    James Vender 1998
    Martha Venter
    David Wade 1993
    Sharon Cohen Webb 1981
    Ellen Slusky Weinstein 1977
    MarkWeinstein & Nancy Blumberg
         & Ben & Matt Weinstein 
    William Wells 1975
    Marian F. Wexler
    Sharon Liebowitz White 1979
    Deborah Whittington 1991
    Laura Manganella Williams 1987
    Stephanie Stiefel Williams 1983
    Edward & Mary Lou Winnick
    Michael Winnick & Victoria Hauser Winnick
    Dr. Rick Winters 1982
    Daniel Winterson 1992
    Betsy Wollman
    Noah Wortman 1993
    Dr. Meghan Wulster-Radcliffe 1991 & Dr. Scott Radcliffe
    Steven Yudkin 1990
    Dan & Terry Zibello Jr.
    Michael Zibello 1987
    Paul Zibello 1989
    Sharon Chepovsky Ziegler 1978
    Alexis Zingale 1994
    Richard & Joanne Zitser
    Adrian Zuckerman 1975
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Hamden Hall Country Day School

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Hamden Hall Country Day School is a nurturing and inclusive community with a dynamic learning environment that promotes academic excellence by understanding each child and fostering their individual growth.