Seas of blue attire and roaring cheers could be seen and heard in the Taylor Performing Arts Center as the Lower School community hosted a special assembly celebrating Grade 4 teacher Sara Dixon as she will be retiring at the end of the school year.
With Grade 4 teacher Emily Schimelman 2002 and Grade 6 teacher Beth Hunter as hosts, Mrs. Dixon was recognized for her 23 years under the pines. First-grade students gathered on stage to sing the school song before Head of School Bob Izzo gave his remarks and presented Mrs. Dixon with a rocking chair, a Hamden Hall retiree staple.
“We are grateful for Mrs. Dixon’s dedication and service to Hamden Hall for the last 23 years,” said Mr. Izzo. “Her love of math and her commitment to her students has been evident in the classroom. She always goes above and beyond for her all her colleagues. She is a wonderful educator and she will be missed. We hope to see her back on campus.”
As she sat in her rocking chair, Mrs. Dixon was adorned with funny memories and messages of adoration by Mrs. Schimelman. With Lower School music teacher Rachael Jungkeit on piano, the 17 fourth-grade students stepped up on the stage to perform a poem they wrote detailing why Mrs. Dixon is so great. As the last word was spoken, Mrs. Dixon embraced the students with hugs. Compiled by Lower School Director Lorri Carroll, a tribute video full of decades-worth of photos of Mrs. Dixon’s time as a teacher illuminated the screen to end the assembly.
“I am so appreciative of my colleagues and the Hamden Hall community,” said Mrs. Dixon. “You have become my family over the last 23 years, and that feeling has kept me here. I will miss this caring community, my colleagues, and all my students. Most of all, keep going and always do your best.”
The celebration was not over until dessert! Mrs. Dixon’s favorite – ice cream and brownies – was served during lunch. Students were able to enjoy vanilla and chocolate ice cream with brownie pieces and sprinkles. Before parting for the remainder of the day, Mrs. Dixon left everyone with some final words.
“Be kind, and be a good friend. That is the most important thing you can do in this world.”
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.