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2014 Presentation of Faculty Awards at Graduation

May 25, 2014

At the 49th Commencement Exercises, three prestigious faculty and staff awards were presented. These awards were presented by Interim Head of School, Mrs. Nori Madrigal.

Joe FacultyAward

The Sarah H. Hoiles Memorial Award wasestablished in 1997 in the memory of Sarah Hoiles, Class of 1994, and is given to a faculty or staff member who has provided exemplary service to the CSS community, and who shows deep commitment and enthusiasm for teaching, learning, and helping others.

JOE THOMAS is such a kind and gentle soul in the face of constant fires. Everyone’s tech need is an emergency. He methodically works through each problem efficiently and without any drama. He is amazing within a budget as far as I know, constantly scouring Ebay and sites to get the most bang for the CSS buck. He has a small but very dedicated group of students doing disc golf this year and they love Joe. He uses both sides of his brain, he is an amazing musician and plays with Garage Band club in the Upper School. He worries about the kids and is quick to express concern if he thinks someone is struggling. What would we do without him? There might be others who could do “some” of what he does well, but he has such a unique combination of traits, skills, and strengths. What is most fascinating is that we can totally envision Joe as a student and he would have been the type of kid we all embrace so thoroughly, just as we love him as a colleague. Original, authentic, and in constant pursuit of new knowledge and ways to use it.

The Edward E. Ford Foundation Award is given to a faculty member who epitomizes the school’s concept of teaching, is committed to the growth and learning of students, and has devoted a significant portion of his or her time to classroom studies.

Libby FacultyAwardHer fellow teachers describe her as an exceptional, dependable, and trustworthy colleague. A team player that goes out of her way to give what is needed, she lends her time and materials, is flexible, and always gives thoughtful and helpful advice. In fact, all of her decisions are based on what is best for children. With her students, she balances high expectations with great affection, establishing truly authentic relationships. Teaching some of our youngest students on campus, this loving, kind, and caring educator has the innate ability to inject humor at just the right moment! It is with great admiration that we give the Edward E. Ford Faculty Award to LIBBY LEACHMAN.

The Mary Flynn Flemke Leadership in Education Award is given in honor of Dr. Mary Flemke, this school’s sixth Head of School. During her tenure, the school endured many challenges and required a level of leadership among faculty that is still highly valued at CSS. This award is a tribute to the loyal conviction of all our faculty, whose commitment to meeting the myriad educational needs of our students goes beyond the norm on a daily basis, just as it did during those early years of the school. This award recognizes outstanding individual accomplishments in the education of the students and in the advancement of the school. It acknowledges one who leads by example, exceeds the traditionally high standards of teaching at CSS, and who combines the managerial skills to be sure things get done, with the leadership skills to be sure the right things get done.

Anne FacultyAward

ANNE TAYLOR is a delightful and trusted colleague. While students talk about the engaging lessons of her history classes, she is quick to consider broader school-wide communications and marketing matters. Anne delivers exceptional academic and mentoring experiences, she is easily in touch with business functions of running a school. Two examples best showcase her demonstrated commitment to go above and beyond the standard job.

While leading the Peru ECS, her students produced some of the most thoughtful and reflective blog posts and pictures about their experiences studying globalization. Through Anne’s work with the REACH program, she is living out the motto of “a private school with a public purpose” mentality, engaging teachers in stimulating summer work, providing mentorship opportunities for CSS Upper School students, taking the CSS experience beyond our walls, and enriching the lives of children in the larger community. Her organization skills are impressive – she manages and run a full-blown summer collaboration with Atlas Prep and Peak Education while also teaching at CSS. The three-week REACH academic summer boot camp for local middle school students has tripled in size since its start in 2012.

Later this week, in a private faculty and staff lunch, five faculty and staff members will recognized with 10-year academic chairs in celebration of completing 10 years of service to The Colorado Springs School.

  • Lisa Birbaum, 5th Grade teacher
  • Rusty Haynes, College Counselor
  • Susan Kosar, Admissions Officer
  • Dawn Rainbowstar, PreK teacher
  • Joe Thomas, Technology Manager 


This year’s recipient came to us in 2003 and has taught in multiple grades. Her many nominators cited her as caring, cheerful, positive, and gift with the ability to instill her students with a ‘can-do’ attitude. She is a leader in her division in implementing technology, teaching math, and going above and beyond the call of duty to serve each student, each parent, and the school community as a whole. Her colleagues call her a “delight to work with”, and “an inspiration”, and tell me that “parents respect her and hold her in the highest esteem.” Her passion for teaching holds the attention of her students and infects all around her.  This year, we are honored to present the Sarah Hoiles Memorial Award to Carol Mayberry