Pike Celebrates Faculty and Staff Milestones With a Combined 160 years of Service!

Pike Celebrates Faculty and Staff Milestones With a Combined 160 years of Service!

On Thursday, May 9, Pike faculty and staff gathered together in celebration of their colleagues and their milestone years of service at Pike. It was an evening filled with connection and gratitude, showcasing the unwavering dedication of our amazing faculty and educators to our students and community. 

Interim Head of School, Will Powers shared heartwarming tributes to some of our most beloved faculty and staff, reminding us all that Pike teachers truly are the heart of Pike.

Emeric Viani
Lower School Music Teacher
Milestone Year: 10 

Emeric’s impact resonates at every corner of Pike, from his enriching celebration of music and talent in his classroom to the lively and engaging performances he creates for the Lower School Concerts, it is clear that his ability to inspire and lead is truly remarkable, and for that, we are all grateful.
We acknowledge the confidence you have instilled in our lower-school kids.  The way they comfortably hold a microphone is a testament to your teaching. You’ve taught them that public speaking is about the audience deserving to hear them.
Thank you, Emeric, for conducting more than just notes and rhythms—you’ve conducted experiences for the entire community to enjoy, and that will be cherished for a long time to come.

Karen Latham
Upper School Math Teacher
Milestone Year: 15

Karen’s presence in the classroom and in our community strengthens Pike in so many ways!  She is the epitome of a lifelong learner and an optimistic innovator and her infamous Mars Moon Rovers curriculum not only captivated the minds of our students but also set a precedent for educational excellence.
Karen has made an enduring impact on Pike and our school’s math program.  She is especially fond of the Pike 9 program and teaching 9th grade Geometry.  Her dedication to the Math Team, through coaching and competition coordination, have fostered a culture of excellence among our Upper Schoolers.  It is no wonder why at upper school assembly the call out “Go Math!” is a student favorite.  
One faculty member remarked that one of their favorite things about Karen is the joy she radiates while teaching. This is endearing and a testament to the delight that teaching math brings her.  Thank you, Karen, for 15 years of excellence, integrity, and compassion as an educator!

Watson Schmeiske
Facilities Manager
Milestone Year: 15 

Watson’s officially joined Pike as an employee in 2009 and It didn’t take long for Watson to get noticed for his amazing work. One colleague remarked: “he was a magician to me and the one person I could count on every single day.  He always showed up with a smile and helping hand.  I loved his sense of humor, his go with the flow attitude, and his uncanny ability to get stuff done and make things happen.”  
Watson is a prime mover and constantly thinking about ways in which we can improve the school’s facilities and its operations. When the school-year concludes each year, Watson swings into action and takes on some of the school’s most needed and daunting construction projects.
Watson's improvements can be seen all around campus from the school’s newly renovated Gymnasium to our newly designed makerspace.  Congratulations on your 15-year milestone at Pike!

Mimi Addessa
Kindergarten Teacher
Milestone Year: 20 

Mimi has a passion for learning by play,  she loves how play is built into the day in the Kindergarten program and the children just build, and try and try again.  To those who know her best, she has a certain selflessness that draws others in. Her well of empathy is bottomless; there is no circumstance that she can’t find compassion in. Children naturally sense this important trait in her - and truly love her for it.
Success in Mimi’s classroom is not just about the outcome, but about the process, a child’s effort, and perseverance, and helping students draw meaning from the assignment.
Mimi’s dedication to her students is unparalleled. She never gives up on them, constantly seeking new ways to support their growth.  Her gift for connecting with children, families, and colleagues makes each feel valued and understood.
Congratulations Mimi on your 20-year Milestone at Pike! 

Rachael Wood
Upper School Science Teacher
Milestone Year: 20

Rachael’s generous spirit and kindness bring people closer together.  Rachael’s willingness to be vulnerable in the moment and lean into a risk, demonstrated her intrinsic value to Pike, something that has only grown and multiplied since her arrival at Pike 20 years ago and in her roles as a 6th and 7th grade life, physical, and earth sciences teacher.
As a 6th-grade advisor, Rachael has been the cool, calm, and steady presence that our children need. She’s given them a safe and reliable home base, a sanctuary where they can grow and thrive.  Her dedication to putting students first is evident in every decision she makes.

Rachael's assistance with Generation Green and her academic focus on environmental studies have inspired our students to be mindful stewards of our planet.
Congratulations Rachael Wood on your 20-year Milestone Pike!

Betsy Devries
Upper School History Teacher
Milestone Year: 25 

As a passionate teacher of history, Betsy’s expertise in World Wars I and II brings the past alive in her classroom.  Her ability to find the good in every child, see them for who they are, and celebrate their uniqueness is nothing short of extraordinary. You teach not just history, but how to be students of life—note taking, summarizing, paraphrasing, and the important art of “less is more.” 
Betsy’s smile and infectious laugh have been cited by peers as reasons for why she brightens their days. As a true school person with a heart of gold, she has a willingness to step up for any and everything. With unparalleled social intelligence, her ability to put kids and parents at ease is a gift. Betsy is the one teacher that students turn to for a good cry or a heart-to-heart talk. Trusting her implicitly, and knowing she’d never let them down.  
It is hard to imagine Upper School without Betsy next year. She is are a master teacher, a kid magnet, a confidant, and above all, a person who embodies the Pike motto of being a lifelong learner. Thank you, Betsy, for 25 truly amazing years and congratulations on your approaching retirement!

Becky Miller
Math Coach
Milestone Year: 25

Becky, is the epitome of what it means to be a teacher, a coach, and a mentor. For 25 years, she has been omnipresent in all divisions, embodying the spirit of Pike with her unwavering positivity.  As a Math Coach, she’s turned numbers into narratives, and equations into excitement.  When a student is on the verge of a breakthrough moment, she’ll let nothing get in the way of learning – no paper handy? – no problem, Becky just encourages the student to figure out the math problem by writing on a chair, a desk, or a window.  I guess it was Becky who J.D. Salinger was speaking of when he said: “You can’t stop a teacher when they want to do something. They just do it.”
Her closest colleagues say she is a kind and wise friend and a singularly gifted educator who can work with anyone, ask hard questions in a non-threatening way, and understand the challenges of each student. Her love for walks and the great outdoors mirrors her teaching philosophy – to explore, to discover, and to always move forward.
Thank you, Becky, for being the heart and soul of the Pike School.

Donna Curtis
Kindergarten Teacher
Milestone Year: 30

Donna’s story is one of unwavering commitment to growth – not just the growth of the countless students she’s guided but her own personal and professional growth alongside them. She’s mastered the art of teaching and tailors her approach to help each student reach their fullest potential. Families describe her as heartwarming, appropriately firm in a gentle way, and tremendously committed to her students.
Stepping into her classroom is like entering a community where each child is an integral gear in a well-oiled machine. Her space is a haven for exploration, from art to building puzzles to dramatic play, each corner is designed to cater to the whims of 5 and 6-year-olds. Under her guidance, students not only learn but also care for one another, fostering a sense of safety and belonging.
Donna is not only an excellent teacher of children, but a mentor to us all. She has inspired us with her passion for teaching, her infectious laughter, and her youthful energy that never seems to fade.
 Congratulations Donna for being more than a teacher; for being a nurturer, a mentor, a friend, and above all, a cherished and longstanding member of the Pike Community. Here's to 30 YEARS at Pike and counting!

join in on the celebration by donating to support teaching and learning at the Pike School!