Retiring Faculty to be Honored During Alumni Weekend

Tom English (pictured), Karen Hallowell, and Carolyn Lyday will retire from George School in 2018. (Photo by Bruce Weller)

During Alumni Weekend, May 4 to 6, 2018, the George School community is invited to say their goodbyes to this year’s retiring faculty. All retiring faculty have been invited to attend the All Alumni Welcome Reception on Friday, May 4 beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Mollie Dodd Anderson Library. This year’s retiring faculty are:

Tom English

For the first time in thirty-one years, George School will be without “the Professor” when the new school year kicks off in September. “Tom has been an inspiring teacher, a true historian, a compassionate and attentive advisor, a supportive department head, and a man of spiritual depth and integrity,” said Associate Head of School Scott Spence.

Tom came to George School in the fall of 1987. In addition to teaching a range of courses, he immediately took the position of head of the history department, a position he retained for the next twenty-seven years. His expertise in the classroom and his eccentricities and idiosyncrasies quickly earned him the respect and admiration of his students. As a department head, Tom was a true intellectual leader, one whose vast erudition was highly valued and appreciated. Tom’s students have often commented that he is the “smartest person they know.”

In addition to his teaching duties, Tom has also served as an assistant football and softball coach, advisor, Laramore Chairholder, a two-time sabbatical recipient, a co-leader of service trips, and a Technology Investigatory Committee grant recipient. Tom’s absence will be felt across campus.

Karen Hallowell

Karen Hallowell has been a part of the George School community since 1979. Her roles in the community have included dorm parent, dorm head, assistant director of admission, director of financial aid, and director of admission. She is currently the school’s director of alumni and parent relations. In addition to these positions, Karen has been a longstanding member of George School’s music faculty. Karen once said, “I have been astounded at how much joy I derive from being with orchestra students.”

“A gifted teacher and musician in addition to being a servant leader and administrator, she has been my confidante and mentor. She has made my adjustment to George School better than it otherwise might have been,” said Head of School Sam Houser.

Karen’s contributions both in and outside of the classroom have been pivotal to George School over the past thirty-nine years, and she will be greatly missed by the entire community.

Carolyn Lyday

Carolyn Lyday will retire from George School after forty years of service. Carolyn has taught in the English and religions departments, been a trusted advisor, service trip co-leader, assistant dean, faculty club sponsor, and Laramore and Independence Chair recipient.

“Carolyn has been an irresistible force of nature at George School in five distinct decades,” said Tom Hoopes ’83. “She was the bedrock upon which the world religions curriculum was built and the soil in which countless flowers of spiritual formation have bloomed. Carolyn leaves George School at the top of her game, still inspiring young minds to find their voices and speak truth in a world desperately in need of truth-tellers.”

Carolyn’s prodigious contributions to George School extend beyond the classroom. In 1987, Carolyn and her then partner became the first openly gay faculty couple to move into on-campus housing. The couple also fought for George School’s employee insurance plans to cover domestic partners. Carolyn served as faculty advisor of Open Doors for more than twenty years.

“In Carolyn’s world, either everyone counts or no one does,” says colleague Ralph Lelii. “Her heart is permeable and deep, her mind fluid and open and welcoming. She has all the charm of a fine Southern Lady and the intellectual sensibilities of the post-modern scholar.”

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