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Inaugural Champions of Play Honorees Recognized

The Steward School
Awards honor inspiring teachers
Five faculty members from Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools were honored as the first recipients of the Ingrid Hillhouse Moore Champions of Play Award. The awards were presented at the Board, Faculty, and Staff Awards on February 15, 2024.

Honorees included Junior Kindergarten Teacher Katy Koppanyi, the Middle School Math team of Corbin Orgain '96, Alexandra Spitzer, and Jacqueline Tuck, and Upper School Math Teacher Scottie O’Neill

The new annual award, which includes a cash gift, is named in honor of Ingrid Moore, who passed away in 2023 while serving as the Director of Lower School. At the ceremony, Head of School Dan Frank said, “This award honors faculty members who promote…the unwavering priority Mrs. Moore gave to …play as a vehicle for promoting learning that lasts a lifetime.” 

The award plaque states: “To play is to wonder and to risk, to stretch and to discover. It is to be astonished by ourselves and others, by beauty, and by the utter joy in the worlds around us.” Each of the honorees’ names will be engraved on the plaque, which will hang in Wilton Hall.

Mr. Frank spoke about each of the honorees. About Mrs. Koppanyi and the outdoor Play Workshop program, he said, “In her nomination, the author said, ‘Play Workshop is the canvas for our youngest Spartans to develop social/emotional skills, a growth mindset, and self-exploration. It builds the foundation for literacy while sparking creativity, teamwork, and resilience.’”

The Middle School teachers, Mrs. Orgain, Mrs. Spitzer, and Mrs. Tuck, were honored for their problem-solving curriculum. “The lessons allow students to look at ‘real world’ problems, to learn to collaborate with various classmates, to take risks, to use math creatively to solve problems, and to have fun,” Mr. Frank said.

Mr. Frank described Ms. O’Neill by saying she was “nominated because of a consistent culture that she has been meticulously and creatively building both in her classroom and in the Upper School advisory program. She consistently finds a way to elevate learning and community through nurturing discussion, reflection, and intellectual growth while simultaneously imbuing the space with her sense of joy and play.” 

The Ingrid Moore Champions of Play Award is supported by an endowed fund established by contributions made to The Steward School in Mrs. Moore's honor. If you would like to contribute to this fund, please visit www.stewardschool.org/champions-of-play


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