Listening and Believing

Hyea Won Lee ’08 was shocked to hear about Pam Machemer’s passing. “She was such a strong and resilient person who always listened and believed in her students that I thought she would always be there.” As the manager of the varsity boys’ soccer team for two years, Hyea Won met Pam through soccer but she really got to know Pam and develop a strong friendship with her when she was applying to college as Pam was her college counselor. “Pam was always there for me; I was lost and completely unfamiliar with the American college system. Pam was patient and gave very honest advice. She gave me the confidence that wherever I went, it would be fine. As a student I was very good at science, but I knew that I did not want to study it at college. Pam accepted this and encouraged me to think about going to a larger university where I could explore what I was really interested in.

Pam left a vivid impression on me and had a profound impact on my life which is why I made a gift to George School in her memory. It was her wish that we support the school as it meant so much to her and I wanted to honor her wishes. I also want George School to maintain its impact on students and the community.

I arrived from South Korea my sophomore year and I remember an English teacher saying that George School was not mainstream America. I did not understand what she meant until I went to college in Washington DC. Yes, I was homesick when I came to George School, but I was welcomed, and the community was there for me. Faculty members became a large part of my life and I loved being a prefect in Westwood and being there for the younger girls. George School helped shape and set my values and taught me how to find myself and to find harmony with others. At college there was a clear separation of student bodies which was not at my experience at George School. George School was a global community and I enjoyed this so much so that after returning to work in South Korea, I decided to come back to the United States and am now working for the World Bank as I missed being part of a multi-cultural environment.

I am so grateful that I attended George School and met Pam. She was a warm and loving person who was always there for me and I know she was there for so many others. She will be greatly missed.”