Left to right: Peter Musselman and Patrick Walsh
The annual award, endowed by the Renjen family, recognizes educators for innovative and collaborative teaching.
Lower School Music teacher Peter Musselman and Upper School Social Studies teacher Patrick Walsh are the recipients of the 2022 Renjen Teaching Excellence Grants. They were recognized for their innovative and collaborative work, which has positively impacted the school’s commitment to experiential learning.
Peter and Patrick were chosen for the award because their work reflects collaborative projects or initiatives; innovative approaches to teaching, assessment, or student support; or collaborative work that has a demonstrable impact on educational thinking at CGS, and possibly beyond.
Teachers are nominated for the Renjen awards by colleagues, and the school’s division heads, Assistant Head, and Head of School select the awardees, with the goal of distributing the awards over grades and subject areas over time. Grant recipients are awarded funds for their individual professional development accounts. Each year, many highly qualified faculty members are nominated, representing a wide range of interests, expertise, and experience, across all school divisions.
Peter Musselman, who teaches Lower School Music, was nominated for his dedication to teaching, collaborative leadership, and the countless ways he finds to bring joy to the Beginning and Lower School. Colleagues noted that his belief and trust in the capability of children is at the heart of his work, and they commented on the ways in which he has helped create spaces where diverse music and culture are celebrated, and children’s voices are boldly heard.
Patrick Walsh, who teaches Upper School Social Studies, was nominated for his dedication to teaching, and his work leading sustainability initiatives. Colleagues commented on his ability to cross disciplinary boundaries in his teaching, particularly with respect to integrating environmental issues into social studies classes, and the way he encourages students to think about how their actions affect our world.
Head of School Tim Bazemore noted, “Exceptional teaching is the most important element of a Catlin Gabel education, and we continually seek ways to honor our educators. The Renjen family has made it possible for us to do that each year in a substantive way. Through their grant, we can recognize and support teachers who inspire and engage their students, model expertise and commitment for colleagues, and deepen the community’s faith in the school’s mission and purpose.”
The Renjen Teaching Excellence Grant program was established in 2018 by Heather and Punit Renjen, who generously endowed this annual award to celebrate and support the art and science of teaching. The grants honor teachers and teaching practices that exemplify Catlin Gabel’s mission, and add funds to the school’s professional learning program. Each year two or three teachers/instructional staff in any division are selected for the award.