Mount Hermon School Educator Awarded Kapteyn Prize

01:20PM / Thursday, June 30, 2011

SHEFFIELD, Mass. — Charles Malcolm, humanities teacher, adviser, dorm-parent, varsity soccer coach and junior varsity baseball coach at Northfield Mount Hermon School in Mount Hermon has been awarded the third annual James C. Kapteyn Prize.

The prize was established in 2009 as a fund of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation to honor the memory of the late teacher of Deerfield Academy. This annual prize is awarded to a high school educator who exemplifies excellence in “whole child teaching,” serving in multiple capacities within a public or private school community. Malcolm will be awarded $10,000.

Kapteyn died on Jan. 16, 2007, at age 45 while playing indoor soccer with friends and colleagues from Deerfield Academy, his alma mater, where for seven years he had taught English, served as the sophomore class dean, coached girls varsity soccer and boys varsity lacrosse, and lived in a boys’ dormitory with his family. The primary mission of the fund is to his memory by recognizing and supporting educators.

Candidates are accepted from the Berkshire and Franklin counties, New York's Columbia and northeast Dutchess counties and northwest Litchfield County in Connecticut. A selection committee comprised of Kapteyn family members and area residents with expertise in the field of education, reviewed applications which included references from heads of school, a colleague and a former student, as well as an essay on “Why I Teach” written by each applicant.

 “The committee was captivated by Charlie’s candidacy from start to finish," said Kirsten Kapteyn, wife of James Kapteyn, chair of the selection committee and the associate director of admission at The Bement School in Deerfield. "We were moved by his unwavering dedication to the well-being and growth of his students in all aspects of their lives, and endeared by his warm humanity and humility."

For the past 25 years, Charles Malcolm has worked at Cap Pemigewassett (“Pemi”), a community dedicated to educating the whole child. He worked at the Landmark School, a school for dyslexic students, then at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School. Malcolm is has just completed his 11th year at Northfield Mount Hermon.

"It is an honor to be recognized for an award honoring the life and commitment to education of Deerfield's James Kapteyn,” said Malcolm. Winning an award of this nature after 21 years of teaching makes me grateful toward all my students, colleagues and administrators at Northfield Mount Hermon who have all helped me become a better educator.  NMH remains an inspiring place to teach and I look forward to continuing the journey."

The James C. Kapteyn Prizes was awarded on Saturday, June 12, in a ceremony at the Berkshire Botanical Gardens. The 2010 winners Lisa Baldwin of Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington and Sam Prouty of Hotchkiss School in Lakeville spoke at the event about how they had used their prize money.

The next deadline for the Kapteyn Prize is April 1, 2011. Applicants must first be nominated by their principal or head of school. More information can be found at www.berkshiretaconic.org/grantseekers or by calling 413.229.0370.

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