School awards Kogan Family Award to English teacher

Elly Hong

Middle School English teacher Julia Grody received the Kogan Family Award for Innovation in Teaching at the Aug. 26 meeting for faculty and staff members.

“When presented with a problem to solve, [Grody] responds by listening first, understanding the problem well, examining options, and then proposing solutions that meld what she has learned with her own profound wisdom,” Huybrechts said.

The Kogan Family Award recognizes original approaches to improving the teaching process, Huybrechts said.

She highlighted Grody’s modification of the Middle School scheduling process and her role in driving the development of Wang Hall, as well as her personal zeal.

“Over the past decade she has committed herself to several big projects — each with a long gestation — and has backed up that commitment with great energy and stamina,” Huybrechts said. “She sticks with it. You can count on her.”

Grody said that she considers the connection between teacher and student to be the most important part of teaching.

“When Ms. Huybrechts made the announcement, I was so excited,” Grody said. “I thought it was such a lovely way to begin the year. And I couldn’t imagine that it could get even better. But then my friend Mr. [Kent] Nealis won the [Carolyn and Marion Hays] award, and I thought, ‘Oh, it can.’”