Upon entering the cafeteria one day in August of 1976, I heard a most striking, authoritative voice, a voice defining class and intelligence. As I gazed around the room, I spied someone I had already met, Katie Dodge. Mrs. Dodge stood up and said, “Lynette, have you met our new English teacher, Phil Hickey?” Lynette stood up, shook my hand, and welcomed me -- she called me young man. Well, I was young -- twenty-nine years old -- and quite in awe of the many people I had met that week. Mrs. Emery asked me whether I had enjoyed the faculty’s excursion to the art museum. I blushed, for I truly did not want to say anything that might offend. The day has been a bit too wild for this Catholic boy; however, I mumbled some unintelligible words about the medieval sculptures. She smiled.
Later, Mrs. Dodge told me that Lynette was an art scholar and a wonderful lady. Katie was always right. Many of the older alumni affectionately recall Mrs. Emery’s art classes.
When it came time to have someone write on Lynette, Katie was a natural choice since both ladies shared a passion for art, especially art history. Here is an excerpt Katie delivered at the Master Teachers’ reception in 1998:
“In the twenty-five years that Lynette Emery was at Graland, she built the art program into an art department, integrating it with music and drama. Guided by her, teachers were able to enhance social studies and reading by integrating their studies with the arts.
“Having attended the Rhode Island School of Design, she had a solid background in art and design. She was also an aficionado of art history and had an innate sense of design and artistic judgment. Her teaching was alive, innovative, stimulating, inspiring, and above all, creative.
“This dedicated teacher endeared herself to students, faculty, and staff with her cheerful personality, her enthusiasm, her beautiful voice, and her contagious, bell-like laugh. She was respected for her all-encompassing knowledge of art, her intellect, and her values.”