Every year, Blake recognizes a faculty member who has taken the time to give of themself to students in a special way—as mentor, confidant, tutor or friend—and a staff member who has gone above and beyond in their role at Blake. 

The 2024 Juliet Nelson Award goes to Upper School visual arts teacher Jim Spector. In their nomination of Jim for this recognition, one family wrote:

“Jim Spector represents the best qualities of Blake’s faculty. He is a skilled and gifted artist, remarkable teacher and a full member of the Blake community, embodying the learning and growth desired by both families and their students. For our family, his first interaction was when a Lower School class visited the Upper School to experience the ceramic wheel for the first time, coached by high school students, but it was during every year of our family’s Upper School experience that he taught, touched and impressed.”

The 2024 Staff Recognition Award goes to Lower School learning specialist Deb Maurer. A colleague shared the following in their nomination of Deb: 

“On April 8, the world experienced a rare celestial event. At Blake, when we went outside and looked up, the sky was filled with dreary clouds. For those lucky enough to be in the “Zone of Totality,” the sky darkened, the stars came out, the birds stopped chirping, and the solar eclipse took everyone’s breath away. But that’s not all. Around the sun’s circumference was the tiniest sliver of solar flare, the corona, pulsing and radiating and mesmerizing, and I am sad to have not been a part of seeing it. 

What I have been a part of though, is Deb Maurer’s tenure here. She is our corona. She is the special energy wrapped all around us—radiating support to all who need it: students, teachers and parents. Like the sun, Deb is always present when we can’t see her … Unlike the solar eclipse that I missed on April 8, I am so lucky (and grateful) to have been a part of Deb’s tenure here.” 

Congratulations, Jim and Deb!