by Patrice Hurley, Principal – Oak Ridge School
When you see an active group of students digging, planning, recycling, painting signs and slogans, or making items to sell for raising funds, it is very likely that Ann Kelly is organizing, advising, and supervising. Yesterday, as Marian MacPherson and I pored over these remarks we were writing at 4:30 pm, there was Ann and her daughter Rosie who teaches at Forestdale, tending the gardens for the umpteenth time this summer.
Ann has transformed the grounds outside the Oak Ridge School, by renewing a dedicated garden; planting and decorating a new garden that is personally enjoyable directly below the office windows and populated by hummingbirds; and by creating a beautiful sundial garden. Brightly-colored maps were rejuvenated in the bus loop, creating a welcoming presence at the entrance to our building. Student volunteers even worked during school vacations and Saturdays to be part of these projects under her leadership.
Ann fostered leadership among fifth and sixth-grade students by advising Student Council. Members raised money to support multiple organizations, and worked actively in the planning, preparation and hosting of the Fifth and Sixth Grade Social. Her Recycling Club monitored, emptied and returned recycling bins throughout the building.
Ann’s fortunate colleagues benefit from her exemplary teaching skills and commitment to students. She is described as an “invaluable asset, who develops a positive rapport with students.”
Ann is a positive force in the classroom, as she reinforces complex concepts to students and collaborates to plan meaningful, high-quality instruction. Ann is always concerned with her students’ academic and social well-being. I remember entering her small math room, to first hear (down the corridor) and then see big hulking 8th grade math phobic boys excitedly solving math problems with her and one-upping each other to build complexity into them.
As a long-time friend and colleague has observed, “Ann’s love and dedication to her family and family life has carried over to her students and her teaching. “ She cares for each one of them as her own.
At the Oak Ridge School, our lives are enriched by having Ann Kelly as a colleague and a friend.