Celebrating Retiring Faculty

Last week, the tables in the Dining Hall were graced with flower arrangements from a dinner in honor of two retiring faculty: Mrs. Patricia Kelly P’07, ’10, ’13, head athletic trainer, and Mr. Charles Noyes ’78 P’03,’07, instructor in art.
Although he did not attend the dinner, Mr. Charlie Bell, instructor in math, will also retire this year. He has worked at the school since 1985 and lived on campus from ages one to ten.
To celebrate the journey of Kelly and Noyes, who have worked at Hotchkiss for 33 years each, the school held a dinner on May 5 at Fairfield Farm.
The dinner was bittersweet, as family and friends commemorated the achievements and careers of Kelly and Noyes while also saying goodbye to two beloved members of the community. Mrs. Kelly’s family, old friends, colleagues, and former advisees joined the celebration. Mrs. Kelly said, “It was one of the best nights of my life. It was really fun to have everyone there [and] a really sweet tribute. ”
At the dinner, The Gospel Choir sang “You Raise Me Up” with Mr. Noyes for the last time. His classmates and even his advisor from his days as a student at Hotchkiss attended the event. Mr. Noyes said,“Oh my goodness! It was a blast! It was F-U-N! There was a lot of joy and good cheer all around.”
Mrs. Kelly and Mr. Noyes are both leaving with great memories. Mrs. Kelly said, “Many of the most important events in my life [have] happened [here]. I got engaged, then married, and later had three children who all attended Hotchkiss. The people here are great to work with, and the students are respectful and fun. It’s a fun place to raise a family and work.”
Mrs. Kelly began to work as an athletic trainer when the program was small. She said, “I started to use a golf cart instead of riding my bike down to the fields when there was an injury. Then we got three golf carts and three certified athletic trainers. These changes made the school safer for the students. The most important thing is we provide the best care for the student [that] we can.”
Mr. Noyes returned as an instructor in art after graduating from the class of 1978. Like Mrs. Kelly, he raised a family here. He said, “I came with a baby girl who was barely one year old, and now that I’m ‘graduating,’ she’s a mother of three. My two sons, who were born on campus, are both grown-ups and artists. I’ve spent most of my life here, and it’s given me so many opportunities. I didn’t know I was going to be an art teacher when I graduated from college!”
Many students are disappointed to see their teachers leave and expressed gratitude to have known them. Nick Romero ’21, a member of the gospel choir, said, “Mr. Noyes…pushes me to be a better singer [and] also a better person. ”
Mrs. Kelly’s advisee, Romy Tarantino ’21, said, “She was so caring and always reached out, especially during times of high stress in my life. She could always find a way to make me laugh or smile. I’m sad to see her go, but thankful I got to know her even for a short amount of time.”
Mr. Bell will miss his students and colleagues. He said, “I’ll miss the humor and spontaneity of my students. I’ll miss the understanding of my colleagues – the sense that they uniquely appreciate the vicissitudes of the lives we lead. I’ll miss the sight of early-morning mist rising from the Lake and of late-afternoon sunlight slanting across the golf course.[My advice is], keep your eyes on the big picture: see the forest from above the trees. Nurture your heart more than your mind. [And in the] Dining Hall, please clean your table when you leave.”

Don’t count the days, make the days count.

— Mrs. Pat Kelly, P ’07, ’10, ’13

As their days at Hotchkiss come to an end, these three experienced educators offered their advice to the students at the school. Mrs. Kelly said, “Don’t count the days, make the days count. Everybody keeps asking me if I’m counting down the days until retirement, but I’m not. I’m enjoying every day here until I officially walk through those doors for the last time.”
Mr. Noyes expressed his hope that students will focus more on embracing their own vision instead of worrying about getting an “A”. He said, “[I’m going to miss] the students the most. I cannot count the students who have let me be part of their journey, from young and naïve, lacking confidence, lacking a sense of self, to seeing how they develop and grow and see them grow into capable, confident, and contented adults. That’s why I teach. You all have the capacity to do amazing work, but the hard part is getting you to believe it.”
Students will line the hallways on the last day of school as Bell, Kelly, and Noyes leave their classrooms for the final time.