Bridgton Academy Family Endows Chair of Teaching Excellence

Bridgton Academy is pleased to announce a $250,000 dollar Third Century Fund campaign pledge to create and endow the James "Jake" Laferriere Chair of Excellence in Teaching given by Edward, Nancy and Andrew Barr '99 of Shelter Island Heights, New York. This faculty chair was established in honor of former Academy teacher Jake Laferriere, who passed away in 2000 after a battle with cancer. The Barr family felt it was important to create an endowment that would continue to honor a teacher who was extremely influential in the foundation of their son's education, as well as support the professional development of current teaching faculty members.

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North Bridgton, ME (PRWEB) January 5, 2007

Bridgton Academy is pleased to announce a $250,000 dollar Third Century Fund campaign pledge to create and endow the James "Jake" Laferriere Chair of Excellence in Teaching given by Edward, Nancy and Andrew Barr '99 of Shelter Island Heights, New York. This faculty chair was established in honor of former Academy teacher Jake Laferriere, who passed away in 2000 after a battle with cancer. The Barr family felt it was important to create an endowment that would continue to honor a teacher who was extremely influential in the foundation of their son's education, as well as support the professional development of current teaching faculty members.

During Andy's year at Bridgton Academy, he took an actual college English course taught on the Academy's campus by Mr. Laferriere. In this course, Andy discovered not only that he was expected to grow as a student, but also that he had the capacity for this type of growth. "This is not a high school course; this is a college course and my expectation is growth," Andy recalls Mr. Laferriere saying to him. "Every time you submit a paper that is identical to others you have written, you receive a lower grade because you haven't grown."

Mr. Laferriere's teaching and mentoring encouraged Andy to challenge himself both as a student and as a thinker, in ways that Andy had not known were possible prior to his class with this special teacher at Bridgton Academy. Currently enrolled in the Master of Business Administration program at New York University's Stern School of Business, Andy attributes his academic self-confidence to Mr. Laferriere. Recognizing the tremendous impact that this teacher had made on their son, the Barr family chose to commemorate Mr. Laferriere by establishing and endowing an award in his name: The Laferriere Chair of Excellence in Teaching.            

"The masterful ability of Jake Laferriere to impart his knowledge profoundly impacted both his students and the quality of a Bridgton Academy education," Mr. Barr said. "We are grateful for the mentoring that Andy received from Jake Laferriere, and we wish to honor his memory by supporting the professional development of other teaching faculty members."

The endowed chair will be awarded every five years to a current faculty member who embodies the qualities that Jake Laferriere demonstrated as a teacher, including mastering his/her discipline, fostering academic courage in his students and showing a genuine concern for the well being of the young men entrusted to his care. Recipients are chosen by a committee which considers nominations from alumni, current students and faculty members, and hears presentations from each nominee regarding his/her educational philosophy and goals.

In August of 2006, Mr. Peter Gately of North Bridgton, Maine, was chosen as the inaugural recipient of the Laferriere Chair of Excellence in Teaching. Currently in his twenty-ninth year at Bridgton Academy, Mr. Gately has served in a wide variety of roles, but considers himself a teacher first and foremost. As the first recipient of this prestigious award, Mr. Gately plans to explore opportunities of professional growth that will benefit the entire teaching body at Bridgton Academy.

"In receiving this award, I am extremely honored and humbled," said Mr. Gately. "Through its generosity, the Barr family both recognizes the powerful impact that a teacher may have on a student, and ensures that the Bridgton Academy faculty continues to strengthen the Academy's mission and to maintain our tradition of excellence in teaching."

Endowments are extremely important to the development of private institutions, as they guarantee that a gift will be able to continue for many years. "The Barr family's generous gift will have an immediate and direct impact on the Academy, and will continue to benefit faculty members and their students for years to come," said Headmaster David N. Hursty. "The heart and soul of Bridgton Academy are its outstanding faculty. The Laferriere Chair will provide the Academy with the resources not only to keep and reward current faculty, but also to attract the best and brightest new faculty to the Academy in the future."

For further information on Bridgton Academy's Third Century Fund, endowments, available naming opportunities, or specific information about the James "Jake" Laferriere Chair of Excellence in Teaching, please contact Patrick J. Tevlin, Director of Development, at (207) 647-3322, ext.229, or by e-mail. Founded in 1808, Bridgton Academy is the only college preparatory school in the country exclusively offering a true transition year between high school and college for young men.

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