Eight members of EA's faculty and staff recently shared their plans to retire at the end of this school year. The school community looks forward to celebrating their 224 combined years of service throughout the coming months.
Janet Albrycht (35 years)
Janet Albrycht will retire after 35 years of pitch-perfect dedication to EA. As the Lower School Choir Director, Mrs. Albrycht has shared her passion for teaching music with many generations of students. Some of those students now return to campus as EA parents, and when they hear Mrs. Albrycht sing her familiar greeting, they still sing it back to her. In addition to developing the natural musical talents of many of her students, Mrs. Albrycht also aims to foster a life-long love for music. She believes strongly that no matter how big of a role music will play in a person's life, it is important for every student to experience singing and playing music. Her joy for music and teaching are equally infectious. As students enter her classroom, the lesson is typically already underway. She does not waste one minute of instructional time, cherishing every second of teaching. Her passion for teaching music especially shines during Chapel and school performances.
Eileen Brown (19 years)
For nearly two decades, Eileen has often been the first person to happily greet and welcome people to our campus. She initially joined EA to help support the Upper School and College Counseling Office and then transitioned to serve as the main receptionist on the Merion campus. Mrs. Brown cherishes the memories of moving to Newtown Square and has enjoyed working in the Crawford Campus Center for the past decade. In this role, she has helped greet all of our visitors, manned the phones, assisted the EAPA, and helped with various projects. Mrs. Brown's warmth and care shines through in every interaction. She goes out of her way to make sure all of our guests are comfortable, and she is always willing to help our parents with anything they need. And whether it be helping a faculty member track someone down, helping a parent navigate campus, or kindly looking after students who often assemble in the lobby to work on homework, you can count on Mrs. Brown to do it with a smile.
Joyce Gavin (39 years)
For 39 years, Joyce Gavin has nurtured EA's youngest students as a PreK and Kindergarten teacher. Throughout her nearly four decades, she has been a highly sought-after teacher who has a deep passion for early childhood education. She has always worked to make EA's Lower School program special. Mrs. Gavin exudes warmth and loves and protects her students as if they are her own children and makes each child feel special as often as possible. She consistently goes out of her way to really get to know each of her families and always advocates for the best interests of her students. During her tenure at EA, Mrs. Gavin authored a children's book, The Adventures of Millie and Willie: Two EA Churchmice, to help honor the history and tradition of EA while the community settled into its new home in Newtown Square ten years ago.
Linda Hassett (27 years)
Linda Hassett, Lower School Librarian, began her EA career at the Devon campus in 1992. Since that time, she has helped to inspire thousands of young students to become passionate learners, inquisitive researchers, and voracious readers. Mrs. Hassett has always been a proponent of allowing our youngest students to borrow four and five books at a time. She also sets up a special display and out-of-library check-out station in the school hallways during Back to School Night to allow parents to borrow more books for their children. Mrs. Hassett is very committed to her students and makes sure to connect with them even outside of the library. Over the years she has enthusiastically volunteered every year to help chaperone the annual 4th grade trip to Cape Henlopen. Her passion for her work and progressive thinking drives her to continually embrace and learn new technologies, techniques, and tools.
Phyllis Martin (31 Years)
Phyllis Martin first came to EA in 1988 to serve as the administrative assistant for former Head of School Jay Crawford. Before she joined the Upper School team, Mrs. Martin helped found and develop what is now our Communications Department. She was an integral member of our new campus transition team back in 2007-2008, helped develop and foster our work with the EAPA, and coordinated endless events. Over the years, Mrs. Martin has taken countless photographs and printed innumerable event programs. She remembers nearly every student and alumnus/a, has instant recall on previous policies and school traditions, and takes time to stay in touch with dozens of former employees. Through her selfless work, Mrs. Martin ensures we never lose sight of what matters most in our community -- our students and our people. Always working behind the scenes, her work, institutional knowledge, and dedication to EA has been monumental.
Cheryl McLauchlan (24 Years)
Cheryl McLauchlan will be graduating with her senior class this June. She has served as a Form Dean since the inception of EA's Upper School Form Dean model and has positively impacted the lives of 500 students from the classes of 2007, 2011, 2015, and 2019. In addition to this and teaching US math, Mrs. McLauchlan has served countless other roles over the years, including US Student Council advisor, JV squash coach, Seeing Eye dog trainer, and leader of the "Meet EA" new 9th grade student orientation program. She is also heavily involved in service programming. Known for her tough but fair approach, her students know that she is always there for them, whether it be for extra help with math, cheering from the sidelines, or for a chat in her cozy office. In addition to serving as a role model to her students, many teachers and deans would agree that Mrs. McLauchlan's mentorship has had a lasting impact on their daily work. Her work ethic, honesty, and team player attitude are unmatched, and her institutional knowledge and photographic memory have been a huge asset to EA.
John Spofford '74 (26 Years)
As John Spofford prepares to celebrate his 45th reunion with former classmates, he is also preparing to retire after 26 years of teaching and coaching at EA. He is known for his supportive nature and willingness to lend a helping hand whenever one is needed. As a teacher, Mr. Spofford's contributions reach far beyond the walls of his Middle School math classroom. Each year, he enthusiastically leads the Middle School Can Drive. His passion for this annual event and other philanthropic initiatives inspires students to get involved and helps to teach the importance of service to others. As a coach, he loves teaching the fundamentals of a sport and watching students grow. While he has coached many successful seasons of soccer, baseball, softball, and golf, his greatest coaching legacy lies in his 12 years with EA's squash program. Many championships and milestones were achieved during his coaching tenure, including the first time that both the boys' and girls' squash team from an Inter-Ac school went undefeated. John has also combined his passion for athletics and photography and served as the MS athletics photographer for many years.
Perry Zanki (23 Years)
While he currently teaches Upper School chemistry and AP environmental science, Perry Zanki has taught almost every US science course at some point during his 23-year tenure. Mr. Zanki invests significant time and energy to carefully craft inspiring coursework and engaging experiences for his students. Perhaps most famously known as the mastermind behind our bike polo fitness option, he has also served as an advisor, a Lilley Fellow mentor, soccer and cross country coach. An avid supporter of EA Farms, Mr. Zanki has helped to design unique and creative JTerm courses, like Urban Farming. He can often be found in his chemistry labs on the weekends, where he practices demonstrations and designs lessons. One colleague shares that in an effort to reach every student in a meaningful way, he "prepares relentlessly until every lesson is perfect." Mr. Zanki's passion for science and scientific inquiry is infectious. He has a true talent in connecting with his students and goes out of his way to make himself available to his students. Most Domino periods, you can find him and some students in the lab.