A Distinguished 40-Year Career
Filled with joyful laughter
This year we are grateful for what feels familiar, including the many opportunities to gather as a community. Our students, teachers, parents, and alums have returned to the Mitchell Building to start our weeks at All-School Morning Meetings. We learned, danced, and dined at our Parents’ Night. We rooted loudly for our basketball teams over the last two weekends. And at every event, you could hear the distinct joyful laughter of one particular faculty member. As we look toward the second half of the school year, we celebrate the distinguished forty-year career of Mary Raftery, who has decided to retire at the end of this school year.
Many Hats (and name tags!)
During her four decades at Pine Point, Mary has worn many hats (and name tags!). She has taught a wide range of grades in both Lower and Middle School. She has made vital contributions to the Pine Point athletic program through her coaching career (field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse) and her former role as Athletic Director. More recently, she has served the school in division-wide and school-wide leadership roles. Previously serving as the Head of Lower School, she is currently the Head of Teaching and Learning, supporting the faculty and overseeing the entire academic program.
Throughout her career, Mary has distinguished herself for her work ethic. She has high expectations for herself and others and always follows through. For example, Mary was a vital member of our most recent strategic planning team. Her incredible attention to detail and dependability helped the school articulate and execute its vision for teaching and learning. And Mary has not eased up in her final year. Behind the scenes, she has been serving in the critical role of Pine Point’s Self-Study Coordinator for our Connecticut Association of Independent Schools re-accreditation.
A Sense of Happiness Brings Out the Best
Perhaps Mary’s greatest insight, as evidenced by her ever-present laughter, is her deep understanding that shared joy is at the heart of meaningfully connecting with people and fostering curiosity. She knows that a sense of happiness brings out the best performance in students, athletes, and teachers. Her third graders will undoubtedly recall their requirement to find evidence in the literature they were reading to support their answers, which they had to write neatly in their very sophisticated Blue Books. This is quite a lot to expect from young readers and writers! Yet, they also remember all the scientific principles and creative writing involved in her hilarious unit, The Potato Olympics. (Some students couldn’t bear to part with their beloved potato when they completed the lessons!) Mary also works hard to bring joy to faculty meetings, including our annual Apple Pie Bake-Offs, frequent scavenger hunts, and humorous and creative end-of-year tributes for significant staff milestones.
I am so thankful for Mary’s unquestionable love and support of Pine Point and how she has brought joy to the entire school community. Over the next several months, we will have the opportunity to reminisce and thank “Ms. Raf” for all she’s done for Pine Point.
Head of School
Save the Date: Saturday, June 17
Celebrating a 40-Year Career, Ms. Raf Style!
We invite parents and alumni to save the date of Saturday, June 17, for a unique celebration at Seaside Beach Club in Westerly, RI.
If you have a fond memory or recollection of Ms. Raf, or even just want to share your Potato’s name from the Olympics, we would love to hear from you!
Gifts In Honor of Mary Raftery
The Fund for Teaching Excellence was established to serve as a vehicle to honor or memorialize Pine Point’s teachers. Over time, this Fund has raised over $325,000 and provides important support of the faculty in all areas from classroom instruction to compensation and professional development. We hope you will consider a gift in honor of Mary Raftery. To give in Mary Raftery’s name select The Fund for Teaching Excellence from the drop-down menu.
Together, our giving enables Pine Point teachers to help children flourish.