Blake retirees 2024

Pictured (l to r): Brenda Anderson, Scott Hollander and Elaine Fries

With the close of the 2023-24 school year, three longtime Blake employees celebrated their retirement. These individuals represent a combined 83 years of service at Blake. Each retiree has contributed so much to the Blake community, and their work will live on through the students, parents and colleagues they have taught, supported and inspired. 

The following are highlights from notes Blake community members shared with this year's retirees.

Brenda Anderson, Lower School office manager (26 years)

“Brenda Anderson's organization and memory are truly matchless, and I am lucky our family got to know her over the past four and a half years. She was always there to respond to my student logistic requests and other questions, and every time I saw her, we had a good conversation and a laugh. I'll never forget the time she rescued [my child’s] pink unicorn stuffie from the carpool sidewalk just in time for spring break, after I emailed her in a panic as Blake was closing for two weeks, and how she left it with Tom at the security desk for us so [my child] would not have to wait for it. Brenda Anderson is a true gem!” —current parent

“We would like to wish Brenda Anderson all the happiness and relaxation she deserves in her retirement. Ms. Anderson was the first friendly face we got to know in the Blake Lower School many years ago and bears a special place in our collective family heart. Her calm and caring demeanor has been such a treasure to the school for so many years. And her ability to remember personal details about every community member is always so impressive. She will be sorely missed by all!” —current and alumni family 

“Ms. Brenda Anderson, you have been the backbone of our Lower School experience since the day we set foot on the Blake campus for the very first time … It was you who greeted us with your warm welcome and set the stage for the next several years. While much of your work went on in the background of regular school days, I often noticed your interactions with students and parents and knew you were special. Your sincere care for each family was obvious and your calm and steady presence abated worry for so many. You have left an indelible mark on the Blake Lower School and you will be missed. I am so grateful that our children all had the honor of knowing you during such critical years of their development, and I cherish our friendship.  Wishing you all the best in your future adventures!”  —current family

Elaine Fries, assistant to the Head of School (36 years)

“Elaine, you are a true professional and awesome person who does flawless work all without complaint or fanfare. You have mastered an important role within our school and you do it with a light touch and an easy going attitude. Of course you've seen and been through some stressful experiences and through it all you have made those around you better. It has been a pleasure to watch you in action all of these years, and to get to know you through our regular interactions. I'm sure you won't have any trouble keeping busy and fulfilled during your retirement. Take care and be well.”  —colleague

Scott Hollander, Upper School English (21 years)

“I had Mr. Hollander for American Lit my sophomore year. I really enjoyed this class and [his] style of teaching. I loved playing Word Ball. I liked our class discussions. [He] taught me to be a better writer. Thank you.” —current student

“Mr. Hollander was my advisor throughout all of my four years at the Upper School. I had a great experience under him. He was always someone I could talk to if I needed to. He always let us play games in advisory and goof off, even if we weren't supposed to be. Advisory was something I always looked forward to.” alumnus, class of 2022 

“Thank you, Mr. Hollander, for being such a wonderful English teacher and positive influence in the Blake community. My aptitude for writing and critical thinking truly took off in tenth grade, and I believe my ability to craft thoughtful, concise arguments now is a testament to your teaching. You pushed me to be a better reader and writer, and I could not have asked for a better mentor to guide me through such a formative academic year.” —alumnus, class of 2024