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Award for Teaching Excellence Goes to Amy Papandreou

Head of School Andy Delinsky and Board Chair Jaime Foley presented the Disciplina ad Vivendum Award for teaching excellence to Amy Papandreou at the Welcome Back Dinner on Sept. 7. Begun in 2005, the Disciplina ad Vivendum Award is the most distinguished award at Peck for a faculty member.
At Peck, educational objectives are clear: graduates will succeed academically, and will have the mindset and moral fiber to lead productive and principled lives. This requires a talented and capable faculty who are not only interested in who our students are today, but in the people they will become tomorrow. To adapt to changes in the educational landscape without sacrificing academic strengths and core values, faculty must constantly grow and learn themselves. The Disciplina Ad Vivendum award honors that commitment to lifelong learning.
“This year, it is an honor and privilege to present the Disciplina Ad Vivendum award for teaching excellence to Ms. Amy Papandreou,” Board President Jamie Foley, announced at the Welcome Back Dinner. “Amy walks the walk and talks the talk of lifelong learning.  We are grateful for her professionalism, service, and for holding firm to our highest standards at The Peck School. We are thrilled to celebrate her tonight.”

The 2018-19 year marks the start of Amy’s ninth year of teaching at Peck. Amy came to teaching by a circuitous route. She graduated from Harvard with a degree in psychology before moving onto NYU and a Master’s in Computer science.  A few years later, she became a programming analyst before venturing on to Wall Street and a global investment bank, becoming a managing director with an expertise in equity program trading and strategic product management.

Following 17 years in trading and technology, she turned her sights to education. As Jamie Foley continued, “Amy’s diverse background and amenable personality make her the perfect middle school teacher. She listens first, never says a student is wrong and gently guides them back to the process and the learning through thoughtful inquiry. Amy has committed every moment to creating a classroom community that engages students in active learning and empowers every student to learn and to contribute.“

Amy is a highly respected colleague at Peck, and she wears many hats. She spearheaded the Upper School’s entrance into Harkness-style learning in the seventh grade math classroom and also piloted Peck’s new Geometry program in the eighth grade.  She spends every summer engaged in professional development, always seeking to improve as a teacher, and learn new methods to help children fall in love with math.

Perhaps Amy’s experience on Wall Street made her particularly well suited to the fast-pace and changing schedule of a school. She works tirelessly with every student, worrying about both their feelings and their growth, inside and outside the classroom. Amy is beloved by her students and parents often sing her praises: recognizing their child is loved and known.

“Amy’s passion for teaching and for Peck is without question and always at the fore -- and the compassion with which she addresses and handles her students’ occasional middle school foibles is always heavily invested with positivity and good humor.  She makes teenagers laugh, inviting them to learn and to be themselves, leaving their doubts behind and inspiring them to strive. Thanks to Amy, students here at Peck pursue their dreams,” concluded Jamie Foley.

Congratulations to Upper School Math Teacher Amy Papandreou for being recognized as the 2018 Disciplina Ad Vivendum Award winner.
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