Anne Charny said to me on my retirement five years ago that the greatest gift I would have in my retirement was time. The time that Anne spent giving students her care and insight was her greatest gift to our school. Anne addressed all of her students with an understanding of where they were in their educational journeys. She expected the best from them and gave them clear feedback on their work, as well as tools and strategies to improve their skills. She consistently challenged their curiosity and shared in the joy of discovery in her 7th and 8th grade English classes. She was the best example of a lifelong learner.
During her twenty years of service to the school, Anne was a model of intellectual integrity and energy for her students and her colleagues. She taught in the Harvard Graduate School of Education's Project Zero and introduced its concepts and practices in her classroom and to the faculty. She encouraged many teachers to attend the summer courses in Cambridge and held meetings for those participants to deepen their understanding and practice of the ideas that had been presented in their workshops. She used these multidisciplinary approaches in her own classroom to enrich and expand the ways that students could access information and further develop their skills. In faculty, committee and team meetings, colleagues listened to Anne with respect. When Anne asked a question of a student or a colleague, she always listened attentively to the response, asked follow-up questions and challenged everyone involved to think critically and creatively. Her suggestions and observations were to the point and never a repetition of earlier comments in the meeting.
Anne’s roles as an advisor and team member were exemplary. She was always an enthusiastic collaborator who encouraged our team members, and she was instrumental in our sharing information and insights about our team’s students. Her understanding of each student’s writing and study skills was essential to helping our advisees in their studies and student lives. She was one of the bedrocks of our Middle School team and of the faculty's committee work. Her deep caring for the welfare of each student and community member was manifest in her insightful comments and support throughout her twenty-year tenure at Sidwell.
Congratulations, Anne, on your retirement. Now it is your turn to enjoy the gift of time. We wish you the very best in your new adventures and the pleasure in having more time to pursue your many interests.