Good things come in threes!
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Thanks to a generous donor, 333 gifts to the Tilton Fund on Thursday, March 3 will unlock an additional $100,000 gift that will drive special initiatives to support our incredible faculty and staff. We’ve collected stories, images, and videos that help illustrate the impact your gift can make. So please, join us on March 3!
Three Things Tilton Taught Me
Patricia “Trish” Black Kelly ’77
Trish was the 2017 recipient of the George Plimpton Award which recognizes outstanding achievement and significant contributions to society. As an attorney and Child Welfare Law Specialist in California, Trish has spent her entire career defending the rights of the most vulnerable among us and often the most impoverished and disenfranchised members of our society—children and the disabled. Here are some of her Tilton reflections:
My journey to Tilton started 30 years before I was born. My father, Bob Black, arrived in the fall of 1945 and, as he would tell it, barely squeaked out in June of 1947. I heard about Tilton growing up but it wasn’t until the fall of 1975, as a junior who had already started public school, that I arrived on campus and my life, as I knew it, changed forever.
Unlike my old school, my teachers and all members of the Tilton community knew my name. They challenged me. They ate dinner with me. They coached me. And I realize now they were watching over me, rooting for me, monitoring me. Caring about me. Tilton became my extended family and remains so to this day.
Tilton taught me, without my even knowing it, that there is great potential in everyone, if someone can take the time to make that individual feel valued as a human being and provide an avenue to tap into that person’s potential.
Statistics have been brought to bear that as a child, having just one adult who truly, deeply cares, can make all the difference in shaping a positive outcome for that child. The quality of our relationships matter. Not the number of friends you have on Facebook but the one to one, face to face interactions we have in life. For me, the rest flows from that foundation of trust. You will be there for me. I will be there for you. Tilton taught me that.
Tilton’s mission statement contains the phrase “through the quality of human relationships”—that is the foundation upon which all else is built at Tilton and, as it turns out, the basis for my own personal mission statement—a lesson learned at Tilton.
Pictured above: our three winners of the Jeffries/Weiss ’61 Award for Excellence in Teaching. From L-R: Julie Caldwell P’24 (World Languages Faculty, Director of Community Service, ILE Coordinator), Tyler Goodwin (Arts Faculty, Coach – Skiing and Snowboarding), and Megan Killigrew (English Faculty, Yoga Instructor).
Three Making A Difference
Several years ago, Dr. Stephan Weiss ’61 breathed new life into an award created to memorialize a devoted teacher and mentor of his—J. Gordon Jeffries.
Dean Jeffries served Tilton School from 1952 to 1983, thirty-one years that indelibly shaped the life of our school and our people. After his death in 1985, an award was created in his memory to recognize outstanding faculty. The award was bestowed somewhat sporadically through the years, and that inconsistency caught the attention of Stephan Weiss ’61, who has since shored up the future of this award.
Steve credits Tilton, and especially Dean Jeffries, for his growth as a young man. After graduation from Tilton, Dr. Weiss earned three degrees in Psychology and spent more than forty years contributing to this field. Since his retirement as a tenured professor from the University of Cincinnati, he has become more involved with Tilton School. Steve has provided us with invaluable insights with a focus on the many facets of wellness as we continue to strengthen our work and programming around mindfulness.
In 2019, the award was re-named The Jeffries/Weiss ‘61 Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award is now presented each year at commencement to a teacher whose dedication to students and the boarding school teaching profession has significantly enhanced the quality of community living and learning at Tilton, and whose sense of personal commitment as a teacher, mentor, and friend has profoundly influenced Tilton students and fellow Tilton teachers.