New Hampton School opens its historic Bicentennial year with Convocation on Sunday, August 30th. This year, our featured Convocation speaker is Charlie Smith, a six-year Visual Arts faculty member. As part of a new tradition at New Hampton School, the faculty member honored with the O’Connor Excellence in Teaching prize at the conclusion of each academic year receives the distinction of speaking during Convocation. Their voice helps lend tone and structure for the year ahead in conjunction with words from our Head of School, and the all-school theme.
The O’Connor Excellence in Teaching Prize recognizes a faculty member selected as a strong contributor by demonstrating such attributes as; setting the highest standard for his or her students while not abandoning them to their own resources; nurturing students inside and outside the classroom; and demonstrating a commitment to the student, the school, and the art of teaching. Current students nominate a teacher who is caring, inspiring, and represents the best of New Hampton School.
O’Connor Distinguished Teaching
With this recent award, Mr. Smith is recognized as a creative and passionate leader on campus. As a practicing artist himself, he shares his love and passion for ceramics with his students. When you step into his classroom, you are surrounded by a relaxed and fun atmosphere. Some light music may be playing in the background as he lets his students take the lead to be creative with their work. He offers his knowledge and critique but does so in a way that allows students to take creative risks that end up being award-winning, beautiful pieces of art. This year, he shared an autobiographical exhibition in Galletly Gallery titled Perfect Spiderman featuring pieces of reflection, self-discovery, personal history, and how we deconstruct our past to understand our present selves better.
Students note Mr. Smith as someone approachable, warm, compassionate, committed, and invested in his students’ well-being. Outside of the classroom, he is the head coach of the Women’s Varsity Soccer team, leader of the Outing Club, and House Head in Caswell House.
We look forward to hearing Mr. Smith’s remarks at our Bicentennial Convocation ceremony.