MASTER TEACHER: LYNN HAWTHORNE (1986-2006)

Consider this a mini-series dedicated to MASTER TEACHERS, post-2002.

These paragraphs written by Christie James on a beloved friend are a wonderful tribute to Lynn.

“Wonder Woman - inspired by the Greek goddess Artemis, she is as beautiful as Aphrodite, as wise as Athena, swifter than Mercury, and stronger than Hercules. Lynn Hawthorne is the Wonder Woman of Graland. She is the champion of justice and truth, and her extraordinary contributions to Graland are the result of her ‘superhuman’ endeavors. It is, however, Lynn’s especially human qualities, her grace and compassion, which have inspired and encouraged so many. Let’s exchange the flashy superhero costume for something with texture, warmth, and brilliant hues as we reflect on Lynn Hawthorne’s twenty years at Graland.
 
‘Lynn has followed in the footsteps of her father, an educator and her role model. Her senior year of college was dedicated to education courses, and she has never looked back. She has also never stopped learning and striving to become a better teacher. Barb Wagner, a former Graland teacher and administrator, describes Lynn as someone who ‘from the beginning of her time at Graland was a standout—always wanting to improve her teaching, always wanting to meet the needs of her students and to be the very best colleague she could be. She was the kind of colleague everyone admires—bright, caring, generous, flexible and kind.’ And from Francey Joslin, head of the Foreign Language department when Lynn started her journey at Graland, ‘Lynn, do you know what a profound influence you have been in my teaching and in my life over the past twenty years? This master teacher learned from the novice who is now the master teacher! Such is the essence of lifelong learning, and you, my friend, are that lifelong learner – always the student, the teacher, the student – learning from your colleagues, from your students, your family, your community and giving back in return.
 
 
“Lynn’s students don’t go to her classroom just to learn Spanish. Her room is a safe haven, a comfortable place to hang out and visit. There are sewing machines and scraps of fabric, jugs full of pennies, and always hot chocolate and a great selection of teas.  Lynn has the unique ability to nurture and highlight an individual student’s best. Lynn’s role as an educator at Graland extends well beyond the classroom. She has been a grade level team leader, department head, and interim head of the Upper School. Lynn shepherded the process of writing the school’s guiding principles of education and led the faculty and
staff through an ACIS evaluation.
 
“Lynn Hawthorne’s legacy to Graland, however, is Service Learning. Students, parents, faculty, and hundreds in the Denver community benefit from her leadership and heart for service. Her approach to service is professional and academic. It is based on research, and the outcomes are documented. Her commitment to service comes from the heart and her compassion and empathy are genuine.  She invites and inspires others to become leaders and in her work with the Student Service Council, Lynn is able to walk the fine line between facilitating success and allowing autonomy, even if that autonomy means struggle or failure. Lynn creates openings and encourages exploration, empowering all of us to shape how Graland serves the community.
 
“We salute you for twenty years of service to this community. We offer you a gift: not the cape of a superhero, but a handwoven garment from Guatemala made by the humble hands of a woman. It is rich in color and texture, intricate in design, creative and beautiful like you, our Wonderful Woman. Thank you, dear friend, for your service to colleagues, students and their families and the global community. Well done, good and faithful servant!”
 


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Graland Country Day School

55 CLERMONT STREET    DENVER, CO 80220    303.399.0390   
Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.