Faculty win awards for innovation, loyalty

By Marcella Park

Senior Advancement Officer Jim Pattison received the Marion Hays Award and history teacher Nini Halkett received the Kogan Family Award at the faculty opening meeting last week.

School president Thomas C. Hudnut presented the Marion Hays Award, which honors service to the school, and Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts presented the Kogan Family Award, which honors innovative teaching.

After 16 years at Harvard-Westlake, Pattison said his role has evolved from working in annual giving to improving stewardship and growing endowment.

“My favorite part of running the Advancement Office is having the younger people in the office take responsibility for their respective areas, seeing them get excited about that particular responsibility they each have, and making that happen even better,” Pattison said.

Pattison, who drives 100 miles from his home in Goleta to the Middle School every day, said he was excited about receiving the Marion Hays award, having known the former Harvard School teacher for whom the award had been created.

“The people who have won these awards are really wonderful people here at the school. To be included in this group is quite an honor,” he said.

Halkett said she was surprised to receive the award, but found that it reflected her belief in the importance of hands-on learning. Halkett said she emphasizes education through action in her history courses where lectures are common. She uses tools such as question sets and charts to make sure students identify main ideas.

Though technology contributes to Halkett’s teaching, she said that the most important part of learning is varying how students get information. One of the reasons she enjoys sharing an office with other teachers is that they can share new teaching methods with each other.

“That a school can honor the desire that the faculty and the staff have to be excellent in their service, I think it’s a terrific thing,” Pattison said.