A Life of Life Sciences
Two new funds honor the impact of Melanie Fields in the Upper School.
Upper School science teacher Melanie Fields P ’00, ’05 touched the lives of countless students and colleagues during her 34 years at Sidwell Friends School. Her death in February 2023, just two years after her retirement, brought forth an outpouring of tributes and remembrances from a community that continues to hold her in the Light.
Now, two new endowed funds, established by an anonymous donor, will serve as a permanent reminder to all whom Fields touched through her teaching and friendship. The Melanie C. Fields Professional Development Grant will fund a signature program in the Sidwell Friends Center for Teaching and Learning. Consistent with Fields’s work and spirit, this fund will enable teachers to develop meaningful programs that will transform and touch the greatest number of students. An annual grant will be awarded to an individual or team of faculty for a proposal that will enable teachers to deepen students’ understanding of and appreciation for the natural world; to provide off-campus and experiential learning opportunities, including community engagement and service projects; and to support students in designing, conducting, and presenting original research.
The second fund, the Melanie C. Fields Faculty Chair in Environmental and Life Sciences will support an Upper School teacher whose principal area of teaching and research focus on these disciplines. In appointing the chair, the School will seek candidates who demonstrate a deep commitment to experiential learning, facilitate independent student research, and convey to students a genuine interest in exploring and protecting the natural world.
“Melanie was an engaged and inspiring teacher,” says Head of School Bryan Garman. “Her indefatigable spirit and love for her students, the Sidwell community, and the environment exemplifies transformative teaching for others to emulate. These two new endowed funds create a special opportunity for current faculty and students to work together to honor that essence of what it means to be an extraordinary teacher and member of our community.”
To make a donation to either of these funds, please visit the Melanie Fields gift page.
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