Chris Williamson Remarks – Jarvis Hunt
Starting in the spring of 2005, Applewild began honoring people who have been very important to the school’s history. Once every year or two ever since, the school nominates a candidate and the Board of Trustees affirms a recipient of the Founders’ Award. The Founders Award is named to capture the notion of a strong foundation and recognizes people who have made a sustained difference to the school’s progress and development. That may hearken back to the founding of the school, as the recognition of Nancy Bullock and Persis Laverack did, or to important periods later in the school’s history, such as the recognition of Jay Crocker, Al Stone, and Ron Ansin.
In the audience today are Al Stone and Persis Laverack, two earlier recipients, and we have daughters of Nancy Bullock and Ron Ansin and a son of Jay Crocker with us. They are here as alumni to honor today’s recipient, Jarvis Hunt, who taught them.
The teachers at a school are the history, the through line, the connection among generations. When you students return to campus it will be the memories of what you did here, the friends you made, what you learned that resonate. But it will be the teachers who taught you and cared about you who will provide special meaning, as Les Meyer reminded us when he helped us celebrate our 50th graduation last year. (Les – thanks for coming to honor Jarvis). As we honor Mr. Hunt today, I invite our students, just returned from your Halloween Parade of Horribles, to think about a teacher who is making a difference in your life – who knows you well, cheers you up when you are having a bad day, helps you understand something that you didn’t know before or did not understand. And, yes, that teacher who knows what your potential is and expects you to do your best.
Mr. Hunt was true exemplar of the best in independent school teaching. Jarvis brought to teaching intellectual depth, passion about his subject(s), and creativity. He saw the best in his students, expected the best from them, and approached his craft and his charges with good humor and affirmation. He truly demonstrated a “Belief in the Future,” and we are honoring him as much for symbolizing what it means to be an Applewild School faculty member as we are for his dedication to the school during his 38 years directly connected to the growth of the school and the 13 years that he and Judy have supported the school since he retired.
Your legacy of being demanding with heart and humor has been a lasting one, and you would be proud of the ways that today’s faculty exemplifies your values. In particular, your legacy is an outstanding science program that provides current students with essential skills for their 21st Century world. Our science teachers today deliver a powerful curriculum that, for example, has led to ninth graders scoring at the highest levels on the college credentialing Biology SAT II test over the last few years. I attended a celebration for Marion Stoddard, who with single minded purpose made possible the clean up of the NashuaRiver that our fourth graders paddle on each year. Sounds like a Mr. Hunt activity. At the event, Caroline Crocker mentioned still referring to her daughter Hope’s leaf project in science to help her identify trees. The ripples from a teacher’s devotion to craft, to subject, and to students continue into eternity. You see evidence of that today, Jarvis, and all of us teaching today thank you for reminding us how we touch the future.
We have a collection of reflections from both your former students and former faculty, and I will share selections from those at our luncheon. I know that Gus Stewart, who predated you at Applewild by the one year possible, also would like to share a couple of reminiscences at lunch.
Clarence Rabideau, whose own legacy includes the RabideauArtRoom in the AnsinBuilding, not to mention puns and a photography and art curriculum the envy of other schools, shared Applewild with Jarvis for 25 years. He himself gave 37 years of his professional life to the school. He is a perfect person to introduce Jarvis and present the Founders Award.