Catlin Gabel Announces Recipients of 2021 Renjen Teaching Excellence Grants

Berkeley Gadbaw and Andrew Merrill

The annual award recognizes educators for innovative and collaborative teaching at Catlin Gabel

Middle School Science teacher Berkeley Gadbaw and Upper School Computer Science teacher Andrew Merrill are the recipients of the 2021 Renjen Teaching Excellence Grants. They were recognized for their innovative and collaborative work, which has positively impacted the school’s commitment to experiential learning.

Teachers are nominated 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 to be used for individual professional development. Each year, a number of highly qualified faculty members are nominated, representing a wide range of interests, expertise, and experience, across all four divisions.

Berkeley Gadbaw, who teaches 8th grade science, was cited for her dedication to creating opportunities for experiential education and her ability to inspire students to love STEM. She was also recognized by her peers for continually researching best practices, implementing what she learns, and ensuring her students develop confidence as scholars and scientists.         

Andrew Merrill, who teaches Computer Science in the Upper School, was recognized by his colleagues for his ability to inspire all learners, for his success in engaging students of all genders, and for his dedicated and sustained efforts on behalf of colleagues. One of Andrew’s peers who nominated him noted that his work, and the work of students under his guidance, focuses on serving the school and the world by solving real problems and challenges. 

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.

Past Recipients of the Renjen Teaching Excellence Grants

2019: In its inaugural year, the grants were awarded to Lower School Mandarin teacher Guimin Tang and Upper School Science teacher Veronica Ledoux.

2020:  The grants were awarded to Lower School Science teacher Sheri Cocquio and Upper School English and Social Studies teacher Krystal Wu.